Miami Woman Fired After Participation in Racist Attack on Black Teens

Dana Scalione was fired this week after she participated in a racial-slur-laden Martin Luther King Jr. Day attack on black teens.
Dana Scalione was fired this week after she participated in a racial-slur-laden Martin Luther King Jr. Day attack on black teens. Dream Defenders via Twitter
South Florida couple Mark Allen Bartlett and Dana Scalione celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019 this way: She screamed at a group of black teens. He then pulled a gun and repeatedly used the N-word. The kids, including an 11-year-old boy, briefly blocked Brickell Avenue while carrying signs demanding the City of Miami protect the affordable-housing complex Liberty Square. Bartlett, age 51, was arrested the same day for illegally brandishing a gun. Members of law enforcement say they are debating whether to consider the incident a hate crime.

The now-infamous incident began after Scalione claimed one of the teens ran his bicycle over her foot. After shouting on-camera that it would be "fine" if she "made the news" for the racist attack, Scalione has been sacked from her real-estate job. Her employer, Insignia International Properties, posted on Facebook yesterday evening that the company terminated her after the incident:
The company added a follow-up comment that Scalione had worked there for roughly seven years.

"One last thing quite a few people have been screaming at me as if I just hired Ms. Scalione and that's not the case," the person running the account wrote. "She started with Insignia in 2012-2013. I respect everyone is angry but just as multiple people have commented I was not there and those are not my opinions so if people would refrain from physical threats it would be appreciated. Because that makes all of us no better then the people that hate. We have to start respecting and loving one another. We are all human beings no matter of color, religion and beliefs." [sic]

WPLG first reported the firing earlier this afternoon.

Civil rights activists regularly march in Miami on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Others in recent years have participated in the #BikesUpGunsDown ride, in which residents ride dirt bikes, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles through the city in an act of civil disobedience.

But this apparently was too much for Scalione and Bartlett to handle. Scalione exited her car Monday and began screaming at the young civil rights protesters. She was featured in two clips this week: In the first video, she left her car and walked onto a busy Brickell street while screaming at the housing-rights protesters who were blocking Brickell Avenue. She screamed at a teenage-looking boy riding a small blue-and-white bicycle.

"You're gonna wind up in jail," she can be heard shouting at the kid.
In the second, more frightening clip, Scalione screams that one of the teens "ran over [her] foot." She shoves a few of the teens. Seconds later, Bartlett arrives — carrying a gun.

"Who did it?" Bartlett asks her before turning to the protesters on bicycles. "Get the fuck out of here, you fucking piece of shit. You fucking losers."

"You ran over my foot!" Scalione yells again.

"Fucking stupid n*****s," Bartlett says with his hand still on his gun. "You're all fucking dumb-ass fucking n*****s."
Bartlett was also separately caught on tape sitting in his car while he screamed, "N*****s suck!" at a protester holding a sign that simply read, "Preserve affordable housing."
Scalione has defended herself on TV by absurdly claiming it was unfair for her and Bartlett to be called racist while the teens were taped calling her "white" and a "bitch." (That's not the same as screaming the N-word while brandishing a gun, but we digress.)

Bartlett, meanwhile, was arrested on charges of illegally carrying a concealed firearm. The activist group Dream Defenders, which first posted the footage, called the charges a "slap on the wrist" and asked why he wasn't charged with threatening the group.

Speaking to WPLG, Bartlett said he stood by his actions and only regretted not having a proper concealed-carry permit. He claimed he was "not a racist" (even though he used the N-word) and that he simply felt afraid for Scalione's safety:

The reason why we use that word, the reason why Chinese people use the word, why Japanese people, European people, the reason why everybody uses that word is because black people use that word. We all knew the word for Puerto Ricans as "spic." We all knew Asian people as "gooks" or whatever. Jews, we knew about Jews. Nobody uses those words anymore. Why? Because Puerto Ricans don't say that to each other. Because Asian people don't say that to each other. Because the Jewish people don't say that to each other. The only ones that continue to say it are black people. So what's the first thing in my head or most people's heads? Unfortunately, it's the N-word.
Someone, however, has put the video of the confrontation on a mobile billboard and has been driving it around town.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.