Sunday, December 02, 2007

Noose Watch: Update

Last week the Baltimore Sun brought us a story of a noose found at Baltimore fire station, which in turn inspired a certain post from yours truly. You can read the entire post, if you haven't already. But here are the highlights that are pertinent to this story:

...the person responsible may not have racist intentions......That's why it's wise to keep quiet until the whole story is better known.


Well, today the rest of the story is known.

A firefighter who reported finding a knotted rope and a threatening note with a drawing of a noose in an East Baltimore station house last month had placed the items there himself, city officials said yesterday.

The man was suspended last week for performance-related issues and will likely face additional punishment, fire officials said. Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Police Department and for Mayor Sheila Dixon, said the man admitted to the hoax and will not face criminal charges.

Officials identified the firefighter who they say acknowledged writing the note as Donald Maynard, a firefighter-paramedic apprentice who is black. Maynard could not be reached for comment.


So, once again, we have another hoax.

This is especially troubling because, as you may recall, Mayor Sheila Dixon used these words to describe the incident when the items were first brought to light:

In a written statement, Mayor Sheila Dixon said she was "outraged by this deplorable act of hatred and intimidation. ... Threats and racial attacks are unacceptable anywhere -- especially in a firehouse."


Now that we know what we know, where is the written statement condemning this act (in as harsh of terms as before the story was known)? Why is this man not being prosecuted? Is there no law for perpetrating a hoax such as this? Is this not as equally offensive, now that we know the perpetrator is black?

It would seem to me that if this thing is not a violation of the law, it damn sure should be. Otherwise, others that are in the hot seat for unrelated things will be tempted to do something like this again, to create a smokescreen for the purpose of hiding their own deeds. And as long as we have civic leaders that commit knee-jerk reactions to this kind of thing before the whole truth is known, there will be more of this kind of thing in the future.


3 comments:

Greg said...

In a written statement, Mayor Sheila Dixon said she was "outraged by this deplorable act of hatred and intimidation. ... Threats and racial attacks are unacceptable anywhere -- especially in a firehouse."

Here's the statement I prepared for the Mayor's follow-up press conference: "I am outraged by this deplorable act intended to take advantage of the whole civil rights movement for personal gain. This employee counted on the thoroughly predictable knee-jerk reaction of "progressives," such as myself, and that is totally unfair and damaging to my already tenuous credibility. In addition, it brings into question possible future - legitimate - claims of hateful acts, and that's also a minor issue. Thank you all for coming, and remember the bright side of this incident: it distracted everyone from the ramapant crime and violence that plagues our city."

More seriously, did you watch Sports Reporters yesterday? Mike Lupica said, on a different issue all together, that he thinks we should just ignore the first 24 hours of reporting on any big news item. It all turns out to be wrong anyway. Good advice, I think.

Mustang said...

Great idea Greg . . . could we give it a week, though?

LASunsett said...

//we should just ignore the first 24 hours of reporting on any big news item.//

Not a bad idea. But they sensationalize it so much, it draws you in like the giant aspiration of a 60 cc syringe.