"It's Racism, Sexism, and all kind of Isms" --Perry Wooten, Harris County Constable, after being convicted of theft from Harris County, blaming his situation on 'isms.'
Wasn't Obama Supposed to Fix All This Racism Stuff?...
I'm not saying I work for the Houston Fire Department, but I happen to know that, lately, they've been having a lot of problems with Racism, Sexism, and all kinds of 'isms.' I'm sure HFD has had a lot of problems with 'isms' over the years, but recently, it seems like it's become a lot worse. When I say it's become a lot worse, I don't mean racism or sexism; I really just mean ALLEGATIONS of racism or sexism have become worse.
Wasn't all this stuff supposed to go away when Obama was elected President? Wasn't that supposed to make black people, and minorities in general, feel empowered and feel like the world isn't out to get them anymore? ...Because..., if Obama can become President, then obviously people aren't racist anymore, right? In fact, I know a lot of people (black and white) voted for Obama for very few other reasons, other than that he's black (although, somehow, that's not racism). White people voted for Obama, because in some ways, they were hoping, if a black man was elected, then it would prove that the majority of the U.S. is not racist anymore, and minorities no longer have a reason to blame their problems on 'isms.'
The Noose in the Locker Incident...The Incident That Started Everything...
Recently (2/13/09), a white Captain of HFD was discovered to be in possession of a noose, hanging on the inside of his locker door. It was determined by HFD that the possession of a piece of rope, tied in the formation of noose, was racially offensive to black people.
I don't know how a noose ever became a symbol of racism. I've tied a lot of nooses, and I've never once thought about hanging a black person when I tied a noose. I've also spoken with several other white people, and none of them apparently knew they were being racist when they tied a noose. Apparently, black people are offended by nooses because nooses were used to hang black people in "lynchings." I would bet that a lot more white people have been hung by a noose than black people. If anything, white people ought to be more offended by nooses.
Anyway, HFD decided that the possession of a noose is a racist statement, regardless of a person's intentions, and the Captain was reprimanded by his supervisor. His supervisor wrote a note in his personnel file (Form 42) and told him to remove the noose from his locker. Done deal, right? ...WRONG!
City Council Circus
Several months later, several black activists showed up to the Houston City Council to protest the fact that the "racist" Captain was not fired for being in possession of a noose. They complained about racism within HFD, and they demanded that the City fire the Captain, his supervisor, the Fire Chief, and the Assistant Fire Chief, because the Captain had a piece of rope, tied in a racist manner, and his supervisors failed to fire him. At one point, a member of the BLACK FIRE FIGHTERS UNION, and the president of the Houston Black FireFighters Association, Captain Otis Jordan, was in possession of noose, and he was waving it in the air toward a group of black people in the audience. How is that not racism? I guess black people can't be racist, even when they are waving a noose at a bunch of black people?
One of the most educational aspects of the City Council meeting was when a fine, upstanding, highly educated, black citizen of Houston also declared the word "picnic" to be a racist word, stating that the word was derive from the two words "pick" and "nigger;" and she said that a "picnic" was originally an occasion in which white people gathered to "pick a nigger and lynch him." Snopes.com disagrees with this assertion.
I've heard there will be a City Council meeting, open to the public, on July 28th, at 2 p.m., wherein they will discuss whether this Captain should be fired, and what should be done in the FD to prevent future displays of racist knots. There will also be a "Flames of Racism" rally on the front steps of City Council at 12:00 p.m., by the Houston Black Firefighters Association (a.k.a., the Houston Black Power, Anti-white, Racist FF's), where they will hoot and holler about 'how to put out the flames of racism' in the fire department. I suggest an anti-racism, counter-protest. I'll be there, and I suggest everyone be there that can make it. I'd bet some of the black firefighters will be in possession of nooses, or have pictures of nooses on their shirts, if you want to bring a camera to record their possession of racist symbols.
Zero Tolerance Policy...Let's Fire Some White People For Arbitrary Reasons!
City Council wants to institute a "Zero Tolerance Policy" on racism, in which, if someone decides to be offended by something (anything), then the offender will get fired. One city council woman, Jolanda Jones, stated, "I can't believe they have a Zero Tolerance Policy on smoking a BLUNT, but they don't have a Zero Tolerance Policy on racism" (she repeated this statement approximately 5 times). Jo-Jo also began crying when one of the other city council members stated that she was 'not aware of a noose being a symbol of racism, and she reasoned that it's possible that some people don't know that black people are offended by nooses.' Jo-Jo wildly and tearfully ranted about 'how could anyone live in Texas and not know that nooses are racist symbols?'
Since the racist rope configuration was found, HFD has issued an Order to its employees to not be racist anymore. The FD told its employees that if you don't know if a word or symbol is offensive, you should go to the Assistant Chief and ask him if it is considered to be offensive. White male members of HFD might as well just bring a Webster's dictionary and every object in the world to the Assistant Chief and ask him to clarify which items are racist, ...especially if there is going to be a "Zero Tolerance Policy" on racism, in which racism is defined by anyone who feels like he is offended by anything.
I guess they're going to have to make a list of all the words and objects that are considered to be offensive, so that everyone will know what they are. Then, if they're going to make a list of things white males can't say or do, I figure white people should come up with a list of all the things that offend them also. We can't have white people being the only people in jeopardy of losing their jobs for being racist. I suggest white people should decide to be offended by a "granny knot," since it's called a granny knot because dumb, white grannies didn't know any better than to tie a granny knot. Then, if we ever see someone with a "granny knot," they will be fired.
Diversity Training To The Rescue...Are There Differences or Aren't There Differences?
In addition to issuing an Order to not be racist anymore, HFD created a course in diversity, and required all of its members to take the course. The course explained that we should not discriminate or prejudge, because nobody is different; however, the course further explained that people are different from each other because of their race, culture, or ethnicity. Then the course explained some of the differences in people's race, culture, and ethnicity. One time, HFD even approved a 'diversity awareness' book for a Captain's test which explained that black people who limp and swing their arms when they walk, don't have a problem; they're just showing their pride with the way they walk. The book also explained that 'ebonics' is a perfectly acceptable, alternative way of speaking English.
I'm confused! Are groups of people different from each other or aren't they different? If I'm being told that one group of people, differentiated by certain traits, are different from another group of people, then shouldn't I be able to prefer one group of people over another (discriminate or prejudge)? If black people are going to say "Our culture," or "Our people," or "My brothers/sisters," or "Our Community," or just say "We" or "Us;" then shouldn't white people also be able to recognize that there are different cultures, characterized by certain attitudes, customs, forms of dressing, or forms of speaking; and shouldn't white people be able to point out the differences between the cultures and express which differences they prefer or don't prefer? Black people can support businesses of "their people," or "hire one of their own," or prefer to socialize with a fellow "brother/sister;" but white people can't have similar preferences?
If there are differences, then some of the differences are going to be good, and some of them are going to be bad, based on the relative perspective of each individual, right? However, if you're a white person, don't let anyone catch you saying anything bad about "You people" or "those people." Black people can say "We" and "Us," but white people can't say "You" or "Them." You can say positive things about black people, like "they sure are athletic," or "they sure dance well," or "those black comedians sure are funny, especially when they make fun of white people," or "I'm sure glad a black man is the president;" but don't be caught saying "black people annoy me, because of blank," or "I wish we didn't have a black man as a president," or "Black people aren't very good at taking multiple choice tests, because they generally aren't as educated" (even though that assertion originated from a group of black people, complaining about multiple choice tests being racist). Chris Rock is not a racist when he points out all the positive and negative differences between black people and white people, but if Cosmo Cramer says something about black people, he's a racist.
Other 'Ism' Incidents in HFD...
The Unintentional Racist Radio Broadcast Incident...
When the racist rope was found in a Captains locker, the local news ran stories about the incident and interviewed black people in the community. One black person stated he 'couldn't trust a red-neck with a noose in his locker to provide good service to his people.' A few weeks after this incident occurred, a couple of (allegedly white) firefighters (allegedly from Station 9) were talking about the incident and the reaction of the City of Houston, and they accidentally had their microphone keyed on their radio. Their conversation was broadcasted across the entire city, over fire department radios.
In their conversation, they expressed that they were upset that black people can call white people "red-necks," without repercussion, and they said they should jump on the 'ultra-sensitive bandwagon' and be offended that black people called the Captain a "red-neck." They also mentioned that black people can create a "United Negro College Fund" & "Black Caucus;" but if white people were to create a "White College Fund" or a "White Caucus," then people would "have a stroke," and accuse them of being racist.
These firefighters were actually decrying racism. They were explaining that they don't like the fact that when black people are racist, they get away with it. They were explaining that it wasn't fair that white people are persecuted for racism, but black people are almost encouraged to be racist.
Anyway, the local news channels got a hold of the radio broadcast tapes, and they played them on the news. Once again, the news channels gathered black people's reactions to their conversation. The black community was very upset, they accused the firefighters of being racist, and the Fire Chief was grilled for allowing racism in his fire department, once again. Black people wondered how these racists could be relied upon to give quality service to other black people in the City of Houston.
The not-so-funny thing is, these firefighters were anything but racist; they were actually speaking out against racism. They were speaking out against racism by black people on white people. It's odd that when white people accuse black people of being racist, the white people are labeled racists, and their ability to provide quality service is called into question; however, if a black person calls a white person a racist, he is considered to be a heroic 'whistle-blower.'
As it turns out, the Fire Chief promised to investigate who the perpetrators were of such a (anti) racist conversation, and he promised to punish them for saying such (anti) racist things.
The Women's Restroom Graffiti Incident...
Somebody wrote some graffiti on the wall of the women's restroom at Station 54, an airport rescue station. It is rumored that the graffiti said something about "die," "bitches," and "nigger-lover." In addition, someone defiled a photo of Jane Draycott and her daughter, who was killed in a car accident in 2006, writing "die" on Jane's face and "dead" on her daughter's face. HFD promised to investigate the incident, and they even promised to bring in the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the incident. Recently, an article was written in the Chronicle, which explains why members of the fire station would be upset with Ms. Draycott. The bottom line is, she wanted exclusive access to a room and a restroom, even when she wasn't at work. These rooms were previously being utilized people on other shifts for various reasons, and she was asking them to change their habits, since she was a female, even when she wasn't present. The reason she wanted exclusive access is because she didn't like other people making messes in these rooms, so she used the fact that she's a female to limit other people's access to these rooms. When they resisted, she labeled their resistance "sexism." Eventually they became irritated that she was using the "sexism card" to get her way. Then they became generally irritated with the presence of a female at their station, requiring special treatment, and potentially use the "sexism card" to get people in trouble.
This kind of parallels the feelings white people have when black people start using the "racism card" to get their way. It's not that they don't like black people; they just don't want to have to start acting differently when a black person is around, for fear of getting in trouble.
Many firefighters believe Jane Draycott wrote the graffiti herself. There are rumors that Jane normally shows up to the fire station at around 6:05-6:10, without any make-up, and without her hair done. On this morning, she showed up at around 5:30 with her make-up and hair done, as if she was preparing for something out of the ordinary. At approximately 7:00, the graffiti was found, the station captain was notified, and somehow the news channels were also notified. There are also rumors that she rolled a pumper, burned her house down, was the mistress of a chief that ended up getting a divorce and killing himself, and she's always trying to get people in trouble with allegations of 'sexism.'
There is supposed to be a "Respect Rally" for the women of Station 54 on the steps of Houston City Council on July 22, 2009, at 12:05 p.m. I guess they're going to get together and get all emotional about the rights of women to force people to go out of their way to accomodate them, and treat them differently in the workplace, or something. I mean, do they want equal treatment, or do they want SPECIAL treatment, because nobody else gets his own room and bathroom?
The Intentional Radio Broadcast Incident...
Apparently, on around 7/8/09, somebody broadcasted a bunch of racial slurs on a fire department radio. It was either a member of HFD, someone who stole a FD radio, or somebody figured out how to broadcast messages on a fire department radio frequency. The Fire Chief believes someone purchased a radio transmitter from Radio Shack, which is reportedly very easy to do, and they broadcasted racial slurs from their homemade radio. They know this because each radio transmission is stamped with a source code, and this particular radio broadcast came from an unknown source. The president of the Black Caucus stated that he thought this was not impossible, he demanded HFD find out which racist member of HFD broadcasted those racist slurs, and he demanded the racist be fired.
The Racist Cadets and Their Racist Rope Configurations
I never saw this story on the news, but I've heard that a cadet of the HFD academy was fired for being in possession of a noose (after the Captain with the Noose Incident). The cadet reportedly argued his case, and he was given another chance to go to the HFD Academy, but he had to go to a later class, and he lost all the time he had spent in his former HFD Academy class. The black cadet who reported the white cadet was in possession of a noose, later reported that two other cadets were in possession of nooses. The HFD Academy Administrators decided they should investigate the incident and see the nooses for themselves, before they fired someone again. They asked the black cadet to show them where the nooses were. When they found the "nooses," they found out they were not actually nooses; they were in fact Bowline knots, which are knots that each cadet is required to know. Bowline knots resemble nooses in appearance, but not in function.
How to Avoid Letting a Piece of Rope Get You Fired
If you are messing around with a piece of rope, do not allow it to end up in any of these configurations. Do not even tie your rope in any these racist knots if you need the knot for boating, fishing, or hunting; you will lose your job. Or, I guess if you really need the knot for something, check to make sure there are no black people around, tie it really quickly, use it, and then quickly untie the knot, before anyone sees it. Here's how NOT to tie a noose: