Racism continues to be an issue, as could have been predicted by the election of America’s first mixed race president, Barack Obama. Ever since, out and out racists have been finding ways to package and sell their hate, generating fear among those who themselves may not be racist but are nevertheless afraid of the potential ramifications that a mixed race president may bring to the nation–possibilities the racists paint as dire.
We don’t need this. Hate crimes and racially-inspired violence in America has increased steadily throughout this century’s first decade. Even so, America’s dirty little “not so” secret, its racism, continues to dominate the spotlight, with the media ever-ready to pursue and publicize it as interest groups exploit and politicize it.
Last night Larry King defended a white police Captain who used what I consider inexcusable language for a public servant in an email, referring to blacks as “Jungle Monkeys” in one clause, only to insist that he’s not racist in another. He’s been and is being punished. Of course, he apologized. Hypocrites are quick to apologize. Apologies are easy. It’s living a principled life that’s hard.
I agree that he should be forgiven but also feel that such transgressions –at least for public servants–must not be forgotten.
People who assault others by using inflammatory names belittling race, culture, gender, position, social status, religion or sexual preference simply shouldn’t work in public service–especially law enforcement–where their mind-numbing prejudices can so seriously damage others. When a public servant’s words, personal prejudices and behavior can affect the treatment of individuals or classes of people, it’s problematic. Just like judges, ideally, these officials should be impartial–especially since they’re very livelihoods are funded by taxpayers allegedly adhering to the rule of law that guarantees equal treatment for all…a rule of law they’re supposed to observe and preserve.
If you can’t be fair, do something else. If you look at blacks and see “niggers,” do something else. You pass a mosque and secretly wish it would be bombed, get the f___ out of the squad car. Go deliver something. Work in a warehouse. Find a job where your personal demons don’t conflict with the execution of your duties.
Just don’t tell us your not a bigot when “Jungle Monkey” is active in your vocabulary. In so doing, you insult non-racist co-workers, the intelligence of those you’re hired to serve and protect and worst of all, you insult yourself by living a lie. Unfortunately, your self-denial can have grave consequences.
We are supposed to look up to you. You are in a position of authority. Act like it. If you can’t live up to a standard of fairness in a democratic republic, stop pretending–and for the good of our nation, find another occupation for which you’re better suited.