When Will City Employees Learn to Stop Posting Racist Things on Facebook?
By Brooklyn Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine
Seriously. People can see it. It’s the Internet. If it’s on there, it will be found. As reported by the New York Times, the latest incident involves “nearly 20 employees of the New York Police Department [who will face] discipline in connection with the posting of racist or derogatory comments on a Facebook page about revelers at the 2011 West Indian American Day Parade.”
The NYPD announced Wednesday that “17 people had since been disciplined; four of those are officers facing pending departmental trials on charges of ‘conduct prejudicial to the good order of the Police Department.’” This followed the December revelation in the Times of the existence of the Facebook page “No More West Indian Day Detail” which contained comments referring to parade-goers as “‘savages’ and ‘animals,’ and one poster wrote, ‘Let them kill each other.’” According to the Times, many of the names of the people who wrote on the page matched up to members of the NYPD.
The Brooklyn parade was plagued by violence last year and “the police tied three shootings to the parade, and seized 14 guns during the celebration the night before the parade, which is known as J’Ouvert.” It was also notable for the rough treatment of two city government officials, City Council member Jumaane D. Williams and Kirsten John Foy, who is the head of affairs for public advocate Bill de Blasio. Foy is actually filing a lawsuit against the city because he required surgery following his rough treatment by NYPD officers. Foy told the Daily News, “This isn’t just about what happened to me. It happens thousands of times daily to Latino and African-American men who don’t have a high profile like me to stand up and say something about it. The ultimate bottom line will be a change in policy and a change in police behavior.”
The parade, traditionally held Labor Day Weekend, will take place this year on Monday, September 3rd. Hopefully, it will not be marred by violence and will instead just be notable as being one of the most raucous, musical good times that the city knows. Also, hopefully, people will learn to keep their dumb-ass racist views to themselves, where those views can stay hidden and die in the darker recesses of the human brain. Or maybe it’s better that they let it all out there, so we can know who they are.