Anachronistic Racism Comes In Twos

From CNN, two unsavory attempts to bring back “the good old days” when blacks knew their place. We turn first southward:

COUSHATTA, Louisiana (AP) — A Louisiana school district suspended a white bus driver while it investigates complaints that she ordered nine black children to sit at the back of the bus.

[. . .]

“In all these years, I’ve never had a problem like this,” said Janice Williams, whose four children ride public school buses.

One of her children, Jarvonica Williams, 16, said the bus driver allowed many white students to have seats all to themselves while some blacks were forced to stand or sit in others’ laps.

It really amazes me that people think they can get away with this kind of blatant, unapologetic racism these days. You’d expect some kind of excuse or coverup, but then, anyone who’d try to flout the 14th Amendment so openly in this day and age probably isn’t the brightest tool in the shed.

Unfortunately, as Sticky Fingaz once said, “B-b-b-but wait it gets worse!”

Up next we have an item from the heartland that makes Rage Against The Machine sound more relevant than ever.

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — Robert Henderson was not fired as a state trooper because he belonged to the Ku Klux Klan and another white supremacist group, authorities said.

Instead, he was ousted because he could not uphold public trust while participating in such groups, they said.

[ . . . ]

Arbitrator Paul J. Caffera, a New York lawyer, last week overturned the firing.

He said Henderson was entitled to his First Amendment rights of free speech and that the state violated the troopers’ contract, in part when it fired Henderson “because of his association with the Knights Party … and the Ku Klux Klan.”

The principle of free speech faces no more critical test than the tolerance or rejection of those ideas which we find most abominable. In the US, private citizens are perfectly free to promulgate racist BS to their heart’s delight as long as they don’t physically harm anyone. But this guy is a law enforcement officer, a person legally licensed to dispense lethal force, and as such should submit to certain curtailments of free speech both on and off the job. Under most circumstances, there probably wouldn’t a very strong legal argument to fire someone only for belonging to the KKK or similar—you’d have to catch the person discriminating on the job—but as we all know, racial discrimination in a law enforcement scenario can cost victims their freedom and/or their lives. I think that’s as compelling an argument as any to strip Mr. Henderson of his badge and shooting privileges.

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Published on August 26, 2006 at 11:58 am. 6 Comments.
Filed under news/politics,racism.