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Thread: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Doesn't matter. My point in the post you quoted is that bosses demote, fire or otherwise punish people for things they post on places like Facebook. This isn't a matter of "should," this is a matter of reality. And the reality is that if you don't want to get fired or demoted, don't post dumb things on your Facebook.
    It is not a dumb thing. he was expressing his opinion thru a private channel.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    It is not a dumb thing. he was expressing his opinion thru a private channel.
    if a NYC teacher posted on FB that he likes sex with little boys, I would want him fired.

    the fact is, civil servants are bound by a code-of-conduct, that some might find unfair and unjust.

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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    It is not a dumb thing. he was expressing his opinion thru a private channel.
    Something being dumb is not contingent on whether it is an opinion expressed through a private channel. In the context of being employed, it is dumb if it's something that you can reasonably expect your boss to think of as a negative reflection on your place of work. Same thing goes for stuff like drunk pictures.

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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    hmmm. did you not say that he wrong for saying it?
    I said that the implication that racial profiling is not a significant problem and the derogatory manner with which he referred to the parents of urban youth were wrong. I also said that it's dumb to post such inflammatory remarks. None of those things equates to denying "the fact that many urban youths are failed by their parents" nor to arguing that he isn't "entitled to his opinion." So again, I never said any different.

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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    I completely agree. Facebook is no different than putting up a bumper sticker, or something similar. It has no bearing on his job.
    Actually, open expression of bigotry DOES have bearing on his job. He works in emergency services for the public. Open expression of ideological racism sends a rather clear message that he views certain people (urban = thinly veiled social code for "black") as being less worthy of attention/recognition/full acknowledgment than other human beings. Law enforcement and public safety personnel depend upon the public -- both in terms of funding as well as in terms of information, citizen cooperation, etc. -- in order to operate at their best. A fire department should not have to second-guess its interactions with the public because a mid-level leader within its ranks is known to harbor bigoted views of a significant portion of the public. Effective cooperation between fire departments, police departments, and the general public is made easy or difficult according to the relationship these institutions have with everyday people. This cooperation is undermined if and when the public has good reason to believe critical personnel have irrational prejudices towards people based upon imagined features.

    If the man in question performed a job which didn't require or depend upon positive interaction with the public (like staying at the fire station and tinkering on/maintaining the fire engines and associated gear), then that mechanic/technician could indeed be as bigoted as he wanted to be, and it wouldn't have any direct bearing on his work role. Firefighters, however, DO interact with the public, and rely upon establishing a certain minimum baseline of trust, for the sake of the public's safety as well as their own.
    I've moved on to a better forum (scienceforums.net). Facts matter, and I don't have the time or energy for putting up with the pretense that they don't. PM me if you'd like me to get in touch with you when I'm done developing my own forum system, likely towards the end of 2013.

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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by cmakaioz View Post
    Actually, open expression of bigotry DOES have bearing on his job. He works in emergency services for the public. Open expression of ideological racism sends a rather clear message that he views certain people (urban = thinly veiled social code for "black") as being less worthy of attention/recognition/full acknowledgment than other human beings. Law enforcement and public safety personnel depend upon the public -- both in terms of funding as well as in terms of information, citizen cooperation, etc. -- in order to operate at their best. A fire department should not have to second-guess its interactions with the public because a mid-level leader within its ranks is known to harbor bigoted views of a significant portion of the public. Effective cooperation between fire departments, police departments, and the general public is made easy or difficult according to the relationship these institutions have with everyday people. This cooperation is undermined if and when the public has good reason to believe critical personnel have irrational prejudices towards people based upon imagined features.

    If the man in question performed a job which didn't require or depend upon positive interaction with the public (like staying at the fire station and tinkering on/maintaining the fire engines and associated gear), then that mechanic/technician could indeed be as bigoted as he wanted to be, and it wouldn't have any direct bearing on his work role. Firefighters, however, DO interact with the public, and rely upon establishing a certain minimum baseline of trust, for the sake of the public's safety as well as their own.
    um.....urban youth does not equal black. White, brown, and yellow kids live in the city too.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    um.....urban youth does not equal black.
    Never said it did. I pointed out that it is CODE.

    Of course "urban" -- taken literally --doesn't mean "black." But [i]coming from someone seeking to make a racist statement who expects backlash if he stated his bigotry openly, 'urban' is currently a functional code word for "black." It's similar in usage to "inner city."

    The whole point of socially coded racist language is to be able to make racist statements while dodging some of the social flack for making racist statements. It depends upon listeners/readers/viewers being familiar with the relevant codes.

    When white supremacists like David Duke or Jared Taylor make reference to an imagined unified "Western" or "Judeo-Christian" value system, this is codespeak as well...it's code for "white." Literally, of course, "Western" does not mean ("racially") white, and there are plenty of Jews and Christians who are not admitted into the club of whiteness, but such coded speakers hided behind such thin veils to take some of the edge off of the flack they'd get if they spoke plainly.

    So of course, "urban" is not a synonym for "black," but *in the context of trying to come off as respectable while voicing a backwards and superstitious view, "urban" catches less hell than "black."

    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    White, brown, and yellow kids live in the city too.
    Of course they do, but they have their own coded terms. The most common coded usage for "white" people in racist code language is to falsely treat "white" as an unmarked norm, by signifying nonwhite "races" of people in descriptions but leaving off any such signifier when describing "white" people. For example, when debating the ethics of chattel slavery, many participants in white supremacism (as action, with or without an accompanying ideological endorsement of white supremacy), make a statement like this:

    "Chattel slavery is recognized today as an atrocious institution, but at the time most people [sic] regarded it as normal."

    This statement is of course false, and obviously so...as soon as it is not evaluated from within the frame assigned by white supremacy. In other words, when you evaluate that statement in terms of people -- where "people" really means people in general and not just the "white" colonial population -- there are millions of obvious counterexamples of people in that time and place who indeed objected to chattel slavery in no uncertain terms...namely, the enslaved Africans.

    Returning to the Trayvon Martin case, it is rather spectacular to note the degree to which the VICTIM of the shooting is often being portrayed as the center of suspicion rather than the man who shot and killed him. The fire captain's decision to go out of his way to promote suspicion of the victim in the shooting is quite telling. This was not a case of a spur-of-the-moment direct statement of his own...he relayed a racist statement made by someone else, as a sign of endorsing such a sentiment. To endorse the bigoted implication involved -- that regular people respond to unfair and harmful treatment with outrage, but "urban" (codeword) youth exaggerate the degree of their victimization -- sends a message to the public that not everyone's humanity, safety, or reasoning is regarded as being presumptively equal. As above (in my previous posts), this is a deeply prejudicial sentiment which undermines the basis of a positive working relationship between the fire department and the public (whose cooperation is a necessary element in effective service).
    I've moved on to a better forum (scienceforums.net). Facts matter, and I don't have the time or energy for putting up with the pretense that they don't. PM me if you'd like me to get in touch with you when I'm done developing my own forum system, likely towards the end of 2013.

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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by RadicalModerate View Post
    Off topic, but someone got fired for using their Facebook when they're sick? What are they supposed to do, sit on their hands? How ridiculous! Fired for using Facebook when your sick?! Does your place of business think that using Facebook involves an incredible amount of effort? It's the same thing if you saw them at a baseball game?

    No offense, but you seem to work for an insane company!
    Quote Originally Posted by muciti View Post
    I think he meant when you call in sick then post how much fun you are having at disney world or something similar.
    muciti is correct. It wasn't quite as extreme as Disney World; but this was an individual who had called in at 5:30 am to say they were sick and would not be in yet who was posting on Facebook about being in Boston at a certain attraction at 8:30am, where they were having lunch at noon, and a photo from their seat at Fenway Park just before first pitch that evening.

    The company I work for does not utilize the concept of "sick days" like many others do. Instead we have "sick instances". An "instance" is one or more consecutive days lost to health issues. Three or more consecutive days requires a doctor's note to return to work. More than one "instance" in a 6 month period, or three total in a year can lead to disciplinary action by your supervisor.

    This individual knew they were being watched regarding sick days and not only chose to take another one, they were stupid enough to post on Facebook where they were and what they were doing.

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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Well, he didn't say anything racist. Politically incorrect, but nothing racist. Considering I believe he is a county/state employee, he should sue for having his rights infringed upon. A private company can fire you for almost any reason they want, including things that aren't politically correct, but not a public one.

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    Re: Fire capt. demoted for alleged Trayvon rant

    Quote Originally Posted by vendur View Post
    Well, he didn't say anything racist. Politically incorrect, but nothing racist. Considering I believe he is a county/state employee, he should sue for having his rights infringed upon. A private company can fire you for almost any reason they want, including things that aren't politically correct, but not a public one.
    If we accept Beckmann's account at face value, he copied-and-pasted a racist statement instead of coming up with it from himself. He did, however, go out of his way to relay that racist statement, so no, he's not off the hook, and both the outrage and the call for penalty against him are perfectly appropriate.

    Since you seem to be either unwilling or unable to decipher the thinly-veiled codespeak and/or to grasp what is racist about it:

    The statement re-posted by Beckmann essentially implies that black people just make things up about racial profiling being a problem, and that the disproportionate degree of problems and strained relationships with law enforcement in black communities is something they bring entirely upon themselves. (Blaming the victim). This is clearly a racialized statement because it is raised as a presumptive counterpoint to an anticipated charge of racial profiling of "blacks" by a predominantly "white" law enforcement system. (In other words, if "urban" in Beckmann's reposted usage was really only intended to mean something like "of the city," there'd be no mention of/ attempt to minimize objections based upon racist profiling).
    Last edited by cmakaioz; 05-15-12 at 08:19 PM.
    I've moved on to a better forum (scienceforums.net). Facts matter, and I don't have the time or energy for putting up with the pretense that they don't. PM me if you'd like me to get in touch with you when I'm done developing my own forum system, likely towards the end of 2013.

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