A Tennessee state trooper has gotten himself into a similar pickle, but Tennessee is a bit more humane. Trooper Brett Gobbell has been suspended without pay for 15 days and required to attend "diversity re-education" (sensitivity training) by the Tennessee Department of Safety for accidentally forwarding a racially-charged e-mail to more than seven hundred state workers. The official reason for the suspension is "violation of computer use policy". Media stories from WDEF Channel 12, WTVF Channel 5, WTVC Channel 9 (offers considerable detail), WSMV Channel 4 with non-embeddable video HERE, and the Nashville Tennessean.
Gobbell said he was trying to forward the external e-mail to himself when he inadvertently sent it out to 787 state employees on October 9th, 2009. WTVC reports that he struck a wildcard key using his GroupWise email account, resulting in the mass dissemination. He did not realize he had done so until an internal investigation was opened. After he determined that he had forwarded the e-mail, Gobbell deleted his responses to the original e-mail and attempted to delete the original as well. He then immediately notified his superiors. Gobbell subsequently apologized for his actions.
Some excerpts cited from the e-mail:
-- "...you rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But when a white police officer shoots a black gang member.. You call him a racist."
-- "There is nothing improper about this e-mail. Let's see which of you are proud enough to send it on ...BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!"
Media outlets also claim the e-mail contained a "string of racial epithets". But one recipient of the e-mail posted a comment to the Tennessean stating that it merely consisted of two uses of the "N-word" (nigger), one use of the "K-word" (kike?), and one use of the "C-word" (chink?).
Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Mike Walker recommended to Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell that Trooper Gobbell be suspended without pay following a complete and thorough investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Commissioner Mitchell also requested assistance from the State Office of Information Resources (OIR) to ensure an independent and thorough review of Trooper Gobbell’s computer usage. No other inappropriate material was found.
In reaction, Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell concurred with Walker's recommendation, then engaged in damage control PR, saying "The action of Trooper Gobbell was inappropriate and unacceptable by a Tennessee State Trooper...The Department of Safety has zero tolerance for any discrimination and does not condone the comments expressed in the external email."
Trooper Gobbell, 51 years old, is assigned to the Capitol Security Detail at the Supreme Court and was commissioned in 1983.
But some don't think a suspension is sufficient. Already there are signs of a further witch-hunt being organized against Gobbell. Marilyn Robinson, president of the Nashville NAACP, is concerned about the involvement of a state trooper. She said the stakes are too high to have someone carrying these thoughts on the job. "He's licensed to carry a gun," Robinson said. "If he feels that strongly, the question is: 'Is he in the right position? Does he have the right judgment?' It's disturbing."
Interesting how the NAACP thinks that equality is "disturbing". The e-mail forwarded by Gobbell simply asks why there isn't real equality. But three comments supporting Trooper Gobbell have been posted to the WTVC story. Here are two of them:
cmcroy72 wrote: 11/14/2009 1:37 PM EST
I recieved the exact same e-mail, and after reading it i agree fully that as a "white" man, we are considered "racist" any time we express pride in our race. I forwarded the e-mail and applaud the officer for having enough pride in his race to do so as well. I am by no means racist, but i also do not believe in double standards. Equality is equality, we are all guaranteed equality, but things are far from equal. A suspension for being proud of his race is absolutely absurd
ezekiel33 wrote: 11/13/2009 6:08 PM EST
Many Hawaiians speak of Hawaiian Pride, have bumper stickers and T-Shirts & caps with Hawaiian Pride, esp in Hawaii where whites are a discriminated minority. Other people of color groups do the same: Native Americans (keep in mind archeological evidence supports whites were in American 1st), Hispanics (there is even a Hispanic Pride Organization), Blacks (there is a Black Pride Society, a Black Entertainment Television, and more), etc. Are the millions of colored people touting these racial pride epithets going to be suspended and forced to attend diversity training to be nicer to whites? Do people realize that whites only make up about 7% of the world's population? Do people realize that nearly all beneficial discoveries, patents, inventions, etc. were created by white men, with many of these saving billions of lives, mostly lives of people of color. Some of these life saving developments and technologies, produced by nearly all white men, are sanitary engineering, food development, medicine & medical technology, etc.? Instead of PC bashing whites, shouldn't their be endless gratitude? Political Correctness & its foundations of feminism, relativism, new age occultism, etc. are destructive to say the least.
Obviously, Trooper Gobbell was suspended out of political correctness. But at least he gets to keep his job - so far. Nevertheless, these secondary witch-hunt efforts may be of concern, since it might induce higher-ranking state officials to intervene and up the ante. This happened in Ohio in 2008; after three Ohio State Troopers were disciplined in early April 2008 for having participated in a "KKK photo stunt", Governor Ted Strickland decided suspension was insufficient, and ordered their termination.