The Tempest Online™

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Posts Tagged ‘Racism’

Boston Liar

Posted by Daniel on August 4, 2009

PhotobucketAfter referring to a black Harvard professor as a “banana-eating jungle monkey” in an e-mail, a Boston police officer, after being suspended is suing the city.

“If I’m charged with a crime I want a chance to answer. I want the chance for a fair hearing,” Officer Justin Barrett said today.

Barrett has apologized and denied he is a racist.

His lawsuit claims his civil rights have been violated; Barrett’s lawyer said the words referring to Henry Louis Gates, Jr. were misinterpreted. Barrett fired back with a federal lawsuit charging that the city is violating his civil rights and causing him to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, sleepless nights and damage to his reputation. The 18-page lawsuit accuses the three parties (Police Department, police commissioner, and mayor) of “conspiring to intentionally inflict emotional distress and conspiring to intentionally interfere with the property rights, due process rights, and civil rights of the plaintiff.”

“The choice of words were poor; but they weren’t meant to characterize professor Gates as a banana-eating jungle monkey,” attorney Peter Marano said. “They were meant in a response to behavior and characterizing the behavior. Not the person as a whole.”

Marano said the city had effectively fired Barrett, though he is officially suspended with pay.

He said it was fair to hold Barrett to a higher standard than the general public because he is a police officer, but that he was still entitled to express his opinions.

“Being held to a higher standard shouldn’t eradicate his right under the First Amendment for free speech. That is part and parcel of the lawsuit,” the lawyer said.

Gates was arrested at his house last month when a neighbor called police after she thought she saw a man trying to break into Gates’ home. The man turned out to be Gates himself, who was attempting to free a jammed door.

The incident sparked a national debate about race and policing, drawing in President Obama himself.

Obama, who is a friend of Gates, said the officer who arrested the professor “acted stupidly,” but then withdrew the comment, saying he did not know all the facts when he spoke.

He hosted Gates and Sgt. James Crowley for a beer at the White House to calm the tensions.

Barrett later sent a mass e-mail about the encounter to other officers and to the Boston Globe newspaper. Read the full text sent to the Globe below…(spelling and other grammatical errors are included)

Article writer, That was, by far, the worst article I’ve ever read. I am a former English teacher, writer, current police officer. father, husband and military veteran. You need to be corrected and I certainly hope others have attempted, for your written messages and material is so 4th grade level. I am embarassed I paid the 1.50 for the paper [rest assured, it is my aim to tell as many readers The Boston Globe and your biased reporting is both sub standard and strictly one sided]. For you are not professional and basically, your writing is ridiculous. A reader may assume, per your article, that criminals are never well-dressed with a tucked in polo [2nd paragraph] . Your defense [4th paragraph] of Gates while he is on the phone while being confronted [INDEED] with a police officer is assuming he has rights when considered a suspect. He is a suspect and will always be a suspect. His first priority of effort should be to get off the phone and comply with police, for if I was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC deserving of his belligerent non-compliance. Further [5th paragraph], a reader may assume that crimes only happen in back alleys at 0300?! You’re kidding me, right? Are you still in the 5th grade, Catholic School? That paragraph was as pathetic as jungle monkey gibberish – I might as well ax you the question. “Is this your first test at reporting?” You do not understand roles, tactics and dangers police officers face, as apparently you think no one wearing a polo might possess a firearm or knife on his/her person. Might you fathom a woman could be a criminal? Or are criminals all hairy, dirty, stinky, mean looking ugly men? You are a hot little bird with minimal experiences in a harsh field. You are a fool. An infidel. You have no business writing for a US newspaper nevermind detailing and analyzing half truths. You should serve me coffee and donuts on Sunday morning. My last point counters your final 2 paragraphs, in which you state Gates is “this immensely famous expert on race” – you really have to be kidding me? Famous for what? Expert why and says who? What has he done for me and my family? What has he done for the law enforcement community or military veterans or to secure freedoms and our borders in this country? What has he done to help limit and reduce my income tax? He has proven to work to get himself attention and become a wealthy lecturer. He lectures students on the subject of racial ethics and profiling. Jee whiz. I must attend that lecture lest I lose my identity and right to free speech and the right to celebrate God and beliefs as I see fit. I am not a racist. but I am prejudice towards people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they claim is freedom when it is merely attention because you do not receive enough of it in your little fear-dwelling circle of on-the-bandwagon followers. You mention Gates’ charges were dropped but that it was too late to stop the damage? Damage? Still kidding? You need to serve a day with the infantry and get swarmed by black gnats while manning your sector. Or you just need to get slapped, look in the mirror and admit, “Wow. I am a failure. I am a follower. Who am I kidding?” Again, I like a warm cruller and hot Panamanian, black. No sugar. Your final statement reads, “Gates, whose great success has allowed him to transcend the racial divide-” to which I ask, when did he transcend? He indeed has transcended back to a bumbling jungle monkey, thus he forever tremains amid this nation’s great social/racial divide that makes it a free and great nation mixed with crazy and awkward differences. Go ahead, ax me what I think? Gates is a goddamned fool and you the article writer simply a poor follower and maybe worse, a poor writer. Your article title should read CONDUCT UNBECOMING A JUNGLE MONKEY – BACK TO ONE’S ROOTS. JB

Barrett was suspended from his military duties as captain in the Army National Guard and placed on administrative leave from the Boston Police Department pending the outcome of a termination hearing.

Barrett said he was moved to write the note because he believed a Boston Globe column about Gates’ arrest “seemed like it was biased.”

“It did not show the roles and duties of a police officer and how dangerous it already is without having a debate about people getting in a police officer’s face, which should never happen at all.”

Asked what led him to choose to use such language, he said, “I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you. I have no idea.”

He added, in response to a question, that he had never used such language before.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis denounced the e-mail.

Barrett used the “jungle monkey” phrase four times, three times referring to Gates and once to the Boston Globe column.

He also declared that he was “not a racist but I am prejudice [sic] toward people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they say is freedom but it is merely attention because you do not get enough of it in your little fear-dwelling circle of on-the-bandwagon followers.”

According to a statement from Boston police, Davis took action immediately on learning of Barrett’s remarks, stripping the officer of his gun and his badge.

Barrett’s arrests and investigations will be reviewed for indications of racial bias, Davis said. The department will also look closely at the officers who received or viewed the e-mail.


Posted in Media Matters, News, Today's Rant | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Do I Have A Case?

Posted by Daniel on July 10, 2009

Okay, so many of you know from recent posts that I have put in my 2-week notice and we are getting everything ready for the move coming this Sunday.

A scary leap, to be sure, but one that we decided was for the best overall.  Keeping the current economy and, by extension, the utter lack of viable jobs available, we really had to pick between the lesser of two evils…

  1. Continue working for a man who refuses to pay me on time – sometimes up to a week or more past scheduled pay days.  Who also screams at the top of his lungs in rage fits about things that have absolutely nothing to do with work.  Who also both calls me, other employees and all the tenants horrible names (fag, the n-word, pigs, etc.).
  2. Get out of this stress-filled hostile environment and trade it for the stress of finding and gaining employment anywhere else, hopefully soon.

It’s a pretty icky choice no matter which way we turn.  And I’ve had a lot of people tell me I’m insane to leave even a late-paying hostile job in these hard times.  Ordinarily I would wholeheartedly agree with that, however there is also the fact that I want to get Seth and I out of both this hostility as well as this horrid neighborhood where we aren’t even safe walking down the street to the store or taking a walk anywhere.  Seriously, there is rarely a night we don’t hear gunshots and see helicopters circling around overhead.

Besides, I think I might have a pretty strong case of discrimination and/or harassment against this man for the whole “fag” incident.  I hear that California law really frowns on that sort of stuff.  Not to mention the labor laws here that say that for every day your employer is late in paying you beyond your scheduled pay date, it’s an extra $100 per day they have to pay you.  This last pay period I was supposed to be paid on the 1st (I am salary and my pay dates are the 1st & 15th of each month, according to my contract) and he held on to my check until the 6th.  He does this every time.

Ever since he found out that I became aware of the “fag” comment and subsequently submitted my 2-week notice, he was doing everything he could to make me change my mind.  Even going so far as to have his accountant (who actually used the f-word about me to him and he didn’t even so much as reprimand her for it) try to convince me not to quit.

I think he knows how serious this situation really is and how potentially damaging to him it could be.  So he thinks if I change my mind (which will never happen) and stay, then the heat is off of him.

Whatever the outcome, I just want to get us the hell out of here and on a fresh track.  We had a very hard time getting on our feet when we moved here last year, so at least we know what to expect this time.  And we are ready for that.  Like I told Seth, I will get a job picking up dog poop in the park if I have to.  I have never shied away from work and refuse to pass up any occupational opportunity.

But what do you think?

Do I have a case?

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Posted in Life, Our Writings, Work | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »


Posted by Daniel on June 17, 2009

And now, from the state of Tennessee, we bring you the Obama “Spook” photo e-mailed from a GOP Senator’s office — on an official state e-mail account, no less:

Sherri Goforth, a legislative staffer working for Sen. Diane Black, a Gallatin Republican, confirmed to Nashville Is Talking that she sent around an email depicting portraits of all the U.S. presidents — but on the last slot, where Barack Obama should be, there is just an empty black spot with two eyes (see below).


When asked whether she understood the controversial nature of sending the email on her state account, Goforth replied, “I went on the wrong email and I inadvertently hit the wrong button … I’m very sick about it, and it’s one of those things I can’t change or take back.” Goforth told the press that she received a letter of reprimand from Sen. Black.

Get it? Huh? Not really…

She’s sick about it alright — sick that she got caught and exposed as a racist — not because she sent out a highly offensive, racist image of our president. Not to worry dear readers, Goforth is keeping her job, for the moment:

Update 1: Black confirmed that she had reprimanded Goforth verbally and in writing. She said no further action was anticipated.

“I think this was a bad decision on her part,” Black said. “She fully understood. … It really doesn’t matter to me why it was sent — whether it was a mistake or a decision — it won’t be tolerated.”

Update 2: Goforth went home for the day, and a spokeswoman for the Senate Republican Caucus declined to comment on the ground that it is a personnel matter. The spokeswoman referred questions to Black, who is currently in a Senate Finance Committee meeting.

Rep. John DeBerry, the chairman of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, said the incident reflects poorly on Tennessee and lawmakers.

“It’s unfortunate, and it’s another in a series of unfortunate incidents that have happened across this country with this president,” he said. “It sends the wrong message from the state of Tennessee, and it sends the wrong message from the House and Senate. I wish it hadn’t happened.”

Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, linked the message to other controversial statements attributed to Tennessee Republicans.

“This is blackbird revisited,” he said, referring to a flyer distributed last fall regarding former state Rep. Nathan Vaughn.

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Posted in Media Matters, Politics, Today's Rant | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Pride & Predjudice

Posted by Daniel on June 15, 2009

A state Republican activist has admitted to and apologized for calling a gorilla that escaped from the Columbia, SC “Riverbanks Zoo” Friday an “ancestor” of First Lady Michelle Obama.

A screen capture of the comment, made on the Internet site Facebook.

The image shows a post by an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster describing Friday morning’s gorilla escape at Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo.

Longtime SCGOP activist and former state Senate candidate Rusty DePass responded with the comment, “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors – probably harmless.”

DePass said he was talking about First Lady Michelle Obama.

DePass has been involved in state politics for decades, and helped elect Republican Governor Jim Edwards in 1974. He was an early South Carolina supporter of former President George W. Bush in 2000.

Some of DePass’ political allies and rivals told what they thought about the comment.

“Even if it was taken out of context – its not something that should have ever been said. It’s sad, disappointing, and unfortunate,” said former SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson.

Columbia Mayor Bob Coble also condemns the comment.

“You know, I think the comment is inappropriate. It’s a racist comment,” he says. “I think Mr. DePass should apologize.”

Last Friday night, DePass was asked about his comment. He said, “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.”

“You know, I don’t think there’s anything funny about that comment,” says Mayor Coble. “That is the First Lady of the United States. We’ve had a long tradition of wonderful first ladies, and I don’t think any of them deserve that type of comment.”

DePass took his apology a bit further. He also said, “The comment was hers. Not mine,” saying the first lady made statements in the media recently saying we are all descendents of apes.

But an Internet search for those comments turned up no news articles of the like.

“I don’t know of any,” says Coble.

All of that aside, the mayor wants a clear-cut apology.

“Rusty DePass is well known in the community, and I know he’s done very good things in addition to his political work,” says Mayor Coble. “I don’t want a comment like that coming out of Columbia, South Carolina for the world to comment on.”

The comment has been removed from Facebook. DePass’ Facebook page has also been deleted.

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Posted in Media Matters, News, Politics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

We the People…

Posted by Daniel on February 28, 2009

You know, I’ve heard a lot from readers over the past year or so about how I’ve let up too much on writing on the topic of politics.

Truth is that I, like many others, was so burned out by all the campaigns, mud-slinging, lies and pandering (by BOTH parties) that even I, “Mr. Asshole Liberal Jaded Opinion Man” (true story, one of our readers actually called me that) got burned out on it all.

Don’t get me wrong, Seth and I still follow what’s going on politically every day and have many one-on-one discussions about it all.  Just because I haven’t written about it lately doesn’t mean I’ve fallen out of the loop.

Quite the contrary, actually.

As a matter of fact, the shabby, whiney and – quite frankly – UN-Christian actions of the GOP (especially this week at the CPAC rally) have awakend this humble scribe.  And it sucks for them that I awoke on the wrong side of the bed…and there’s no coffee, so excuse me if this gets a little cranky at times.

I remember about eight years ago when we were all being hammered over the head by the GOP with words like, “He’s your President, and to NOT support him is un-American.” (Sean Hannity), and “Democrats should get over it.  A Republican was elected President and it’s time to move on.  He’s YOUR President.”  (Ann Coulter)

Forgive me, Rebecca, for what I’m about to say…but it’s time…

No matter how you slice it…no matter how far they will bend over to kiss the asses of their base…Republicans are the worst hypocrites.

Case in point:

Morality talk show host, Laura Schesinger told people they were slime for being unfaithful or untruthful in marriage and then tried to lie as part of a cover up regarding provocative nude pictures that were taken of her while she was married to one man by the man she was having an affair with.

I know there are plenty of Democrats you could point to with equally repulsive examples, (Joe Lieberman)(notice how the first three letters in his last name are L-I-E???) but as the GOP so loves to say, “Let’s just talk about the here and now.”

The GOP seems lost these days.  You can’t tune to any channel these days without a story being ran about how hard they are working to try to get back to their core values (whatever the hell THOSE were).  And while they are all scrambling to regain political footing after a well-deserved trouncing last November, the irony is how much more damage they are doing to themselves TRYING to pull their collective shit together.

They are doing their best to put as much political distance as they possibly can between themselves and FORMER-President George Bush, but at the same time, they are looking to such ilk as Sarah Palin, Joe-the-Plumber, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and RNC Chairman Michael Steele for salvation?

Honestly, folks, it was these pandering liars and MANY other water-carriers LIKE them that got you where you are today.  These are the same people who think it’s just a funny harmless joke to have PRESIDENT Obama’s picture on a food stamp.  Or think it’s funny to see a cartoon of a dead monkey shot by police that references PRESIDENT Obama.  Or say that there won’t be an Easter Egg hunt at the White House this year, and underline the statement with a picture of a watermelon patch on the White House lawn.

And you STILL bitch about how Democrats are STILL seething about the fact that George Bush “won” the election in 2000???

Tell you what, GOP…I’ll stop bitching about 2000 if you (and EVERYONE who sympathizes WITH you) will stop characterizing the Obama’s as monkeys, apes or ANY other stereotype.

And stop lying to me and others by saying you detest such comparisons.  We no longer buy that song and dance.  Just because you SAY you object to that sort of mudslinging means nothing. If you really MEANT to stop your supporters from such shameless and childish words and acts, you’d actually have mentioned it at your little CPAC jamboree…even ONCE!!!!

“Classic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. ROLLING IN THE MUCK IS NOT THE BEST WAY OF GETTING CLEAN.” – – – – – Aldous Huxley

I have a sense of humor.  Believe me when I tell you that I know the value of a good laugh.  Ask anyone I know.  Your brand of so-called humor, however, is in no way funny.  Because those cartoons, jokes (I fucking HATE those anti-Obama emails I’m getting, even from family, so stifle that shit!!!), etc. are not meant to bring a smile to people’s face.  Instead they are intended to incite hate, anger and to perpetuate racism.

I don’t find ANYTHING funny about THAT shit.  And more people than you care to admit think the same way as I do.

Whether you like them or not.  Whether you respect them or not.  Whether you VOTED for him or NOT…

President Barack Obama is, in fact, YOUR PRESIDENT!!

Just as you insisted we have and show respect for that office when George Bush was in it (because he was THE PRESIDENT), so you now must put up or shut up.  Walk the walk.  Eat that crow.

Because the bottom line here is that you aren’t fooling anyone ANYMORE with pretty words geared towards whatever adoring crowds you hand-pick.  This country and those of us who live in it are actually PAYING ATTENTION to what you and your party are saying and doing.

You can’t shuck and jive us with magic tricks meant to sheild us from mushroom clouds with mere duct tape and plastic sheeting.

We can no longer be distracted from your true hate of free-thinking Americans by dangling something shiny in front of us.

(this goes double for the Democrats now that they have the power)

I’m not asking you to lay kisses on the Obama’s feet.  I AM asking that you show the same respect to a First Family that you insisted on for the previous eight years.

Because those very people to whom you are showing such an utter UN-American disrespect, in fact ARE…

Of The People...

Of The People...

By The People...

By The People...

...and FOR The People

...and FOR The People

Posted in Common Sense, Media Matters, Op-Ed, Our Writings, Politics, Today's Rant | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »