Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Baltimore Firefighters Demand Apology From NAACP In The Wake Of The Staged Noose Incident; Donald Maynard To Be Fired
Firefighters at the East Baltimore station where a noose was found demanded Monday that the NAACP apologize for labeling them racist. Source: December 4th, 2007 article in Examiner.com.
Discovery of the noose had drawn sharp criticism from Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, the Baltimore NAACP president, before a black firefighter from the station admitted that he had placed the noose there.
“The firefighters that work on his shift want Doc Cheatham to be man enough to stand up and apologize for his outrageous statements,” said Bob Sledgeski, a city firefighter union official. “They’re furious they were accused of being racists when it was not true.”
Sledgeski said the discovery of the noose — and the accusations by Cheatham and others that it was a sign of racism in the fire department — caused distress for the firefighters at Herman Williams Jr. firehouse on 25th Street.
The union, Sledgeski said, is considering filing a defamation lawsuit against the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Vulcan Blazers, a black firefighters group that said the noose symbolized racism in the department.
Henry Burris, president of the Vulcan Blazers, condemned the incident but said no apology was necessary. “I do not condone it,” he said. “However, I do not apologize for the information I got concerning the noose, and, as I said when I found out about the noose, it was just a symptom of racism in the fire department.” [Ed. Note: No one's asking you to apologize for the information you received, jackass, but for the way you used it.]
Donald Maynard, a firefighter-paramedic apprentice who had been employed by the Fire Department for six years and was under pressure to advance his status, admitted last week he had placed the noose and a drawing depicting a lynching, fire officials said Saturday evening. Maynard had told fire officials he and a paramedic found the noose and drawing on November 21st, along with a note.
The note, written in a childlike scrawl and left next to rope tied in a knot, was found in the bunk room. “We cant [sic] hang the cheaters, but we can hang the failures. NO EMT-I, NO JOB,” it read. The note apparently referred to the requirement that all city firefighters must pass advanced life-saving training as a condition of employment (EMT-I refers to emergency medical technician, intermediate). Maynard has since been suspended without pay by the department for not completing his EMT-I certification; however, a December 4th article by the Baltimore Sun reveals that Maynard's status has since been changed to "suspended pending termination", which means he's being fired. A hearing will be set at a future date. Fire Department officials insist the termination is related to other issues.
According to a December 2nd story in the Baltimore Sun, the racial incident at the Herman Williams Jr. fire station at East 25th Street and Kirk Avenue was the second this year. In May, firefighters at the station came under scrutiny for an incident involving a deer head that had been decorated with an Afro wig and gold chains. Allegations of racism also proved to be unfounded in that case as well.
Cheatham could not be reached for comment Monday. In an interview Saturday, he had called for the person who placed the noose to be punished. “As the NAACP stated when first notified of this incident, whoever perpetrated this awful act must be punished regardless of race, age, religion,” he said.
Commentary: The Aryan Blazers also could not be reached for comment. That's because they don't exist; while it's OK for non-white workers to organize their own professional racial groups, for some reason, it's never OK for whites to organize their own professional racial groups. Double standard again.
By all means the Baltimore firefighters union ought to hammer the NAACP with a lawsuit. It's time to start holding hate groups like the NAACP, the ADL, and the SPLC responsible for their smear tactics. Maybe if they had to start shelling out some bucks for shooting their big yaps off, they might act more responsibly.