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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iGary, Aug 28, 2006.
What say you?
Freedom of speech has to go both ways. I don't agree with racist/homophobic/sexist views, but I do think people should be allowed to have them.
If today you can't speak out against a minority that you feel wronged by then perhaps tomorrow it's the church or government you can't speak out against.
It sounds like this guys KKK membership wasn't effecting his job, just as my making a website comparing jesus to a zombie doesn't effect my job. I say give him his job back and as long as he keeps doing a fair and balanced job of it there's no issue.
How does one know if he is doing a fair and balanced job, though?
I mean we're not talking about someone pushing pencils here - we're talking about someone who can seriously affect the course of someone's life.
Pilots have to retire at age 60, but we don't openly campaign against that as age discrimination.
I think someone in this type of position with this type of power gives up some of their "rights" in order to perform their job correctly, but maybe someone can change my mind.
Yeah... I guess there would have to be a very believable way to assess his job performance. If there was even the slightest hint of brutality, aggression, etc... then he needs to be on a desk job or not on the force.... But I'm also not sure someone should necessarily lose a state job purely because of such an affiliation.... Tough issue.
This is a tough one. Free speech should be protected but how impartial or fair will he be if he pulls over a black person? Since there's no way of knowing how he behaves (unless someone in the car is filming him) it seems to be granting a phenomenal amount of trust to someone who is more or less duty bound by his KKK membership to denigrate those who aren't X-ian or white.
Your analogy is pretty lame by the way. The guy is a state trooper and responsible for upholding the law.
I'm going on this statement that he's doing a balanced job.
Granted, if this guy has one reported insistent of racist conduct while on the job then yes, bounce him.
But I still stand by my opinion that what people do on their own time is their business provided it doesn't interfere with work. If I wanna go and smoke a big joint after work but I'm always sober at work, then it's none of my bosses business.
sounds as though he would be unfair to a black person if he was or was not a member of KKK.
As stated if you could eliminate him from his job for this affiliation, what about jobs that are contrary to green peace (nuke facility emp) or Sierra Club (paper mill employee) PeTA and jello factory employee? (some of those are silly and meant to be so.....you may get the drift).
If there is any tie to him and minority claims then the answer is obvious.
Does being a member of a religion and a gov't employee violate church and state issues?
Hmm... good question. Obvious potential conflict of interest in having an officer who may or may not be pre-disposed towards treating certain people differently than others. And of course a first amendment issue.
Plus, the employer faces a potential liability should they ever be sued for any actions taken by this officer.
And there is a difference between thought and deed. No evidence has been presented that this officer has let his personal feelings affect his job.
But still, what if a teacher was found to be a member of NAMBLA, but no complaints against the teacher had been brought? Would there be any question as to whether that teacher should be fired? Would not many of you be demanding that they be fired?
has anyone bothered to ask henderson if he believes he can fulfill is duties in a disinterested manner?
My first question is how they found out he was a member of these organizations. The article is unclear.
This just sounds like semantic hair-splitting to me, as well as BS. Were he not a member of these groups, there would be no perceived breach of public trust as it were. Ergo, he's being fired because of his affiliation.
Everyone has freedom of speech, but evidently some speech is less free than other speech when it's socially undesirable.
My guess would be this:
Would you be comfortable with a teacher posting on NAMBLA's website?
Or, to muddle this further, can Apple (which I realize is a private employer, and therefore subject to slightly different rules) restrict the ability of an employee to post on Apple-rumor related sites?
That is sadly the case.
Well if he could be a good cop, and not do anything racist when he was there, i think its fine, but if he did anything almost hurtful, to a minority, people would be all over him, even if he didn't do anything, but i bet he would be treating minoritys different then white people.
I doubt he would ever be able to leave his views at home, come to work and not be a racist.Also its not only about being a KKK member, its that he would likly be racist ON THE JOB. But if he had not been up to this point, i can't see how they should be allowed to fire him, because he had not done anything yet. This is a hard question
But you don't have that right. To those who tried to cite the Bill of Rights, let's remember that First Amendment rights in the workplace don't exist. There are laws protecting against discrimination and insulating whistleblowers but your freedom of speech is only as unrestricted as your employer will have it; they retain the freedom to fire you.
This KKK instance is as clear a case of allowed presupposed bias as those which occur in many a workplace with rules to prevent nepotism. Employers don't want to allow the appearance of potential impropriety so they separate related employees. If this cop arrests a black or Hispanic kid and the kid has bruises and blames the cop, the Nebraska State Police are going to lose their ass in lawsuit for allowing this known member of a racist hate group on the job. We're not talking about a protest group here, we're talking about a group proven to incite violence against minorities.
This cop should be given the department's crappiest desk job and have no contact with the public. Then he'll quit and go back to mall security. End of story.
Nebraska's a pretty small state so I'm sure the rumor mill is pretty effective there. Why do you ask? Do you think all state troopers in NE are being spied upon?
He's being fired because of his beliefs. The article only stated that:
There's nothing there that said he has never shown bias or misconduct, only not a pattern of such.
IMO, it's pretty hard to uphold the law when you believe that people with different colored skins and with different religious beliefs aren't deserving of the same protections as "white x-ian folk".
Hmm guess I missed that. Oops.
Obviously I would not. I'm not defending this guy. If he wants to be silly that's his affair. But the way the record stands, his job performance hasn't been affected by his views, and as long as he can keep the two separate then fine. Right now it sounds like he's being fired for either appearance's sake or for something he might do as opposed to something he has done. Using your NAMBLA reference as a point of comparison, sleeping with a child is a crime. Not liking anyone who isn't white is repugnant, but not criminal.
Non-disclosure agreements aside, if an employee were to post something Apple-related say on here, that is harmful to Apple in real terms, trade secrets and all that. Yes, the trooper could do something stupid and get the department and himself sued, but anyone who works for that department is in the same position.
Am interested in the larger question of "police accountability," if only because during "new teacher" orientation the past few days I've had my head filled with the ways that teachers are held accountable (read: test scores entirely divorced from the reality of learning).
Are police officers regularly subjected to reviews of their actions (read: people pulled over, arrested, warned, etc.)? If so, what is the context of those reviews?
If this guy performs adequately according to such a test and no evidence surfaces that he has actively partaken in discrimination (not posting on message boards but acting on his posts on message boards) outside of his employment either, then he should keep his job. But the force should be prepared for significant -- and likely deserved -- community outrage/anger.
The "soft bigotry" of poverty isn't far beneath the surface of this story, either ...
Following up on pseudobrit's idea, a desk job would keep the guy from interacting with the public. Lotsa clerical stuff around a copshop.
Could keep both the guy and the state out of trouble...
That is probably what will happen but if he is a hard core racist and has feelings of revenge he could still cause a lot of problems for anyone with a "foreign" sounding name.
Yeah, people often forget that what they say online becomes part of the public domain.
Ah, but treating someone who isn't white differently that a white person --as an agent of the State -- IS a crime. That's the parallel I'm trying to draw between NAMBLA and the Klan. Thinking about having sex with kids -- or killing/mistreating blacks -- is, and should be, legal. Acting on either of those ideas is, and should be, illegal.
It goes beyond that though. Apple, from my understanding, doesn't even like their Apple Store employees -- the grunts -- posting anything here, even if the person was just hanging out in the community sections in their free time. Yet we don't have a problem with that. Teachers would be expected to refrain from posting on child-porn web sites. People who dole out government contracts probably shouldn't be posting to business-related forums. Ad infinitum.
I'm just saying it's not unreasonable for an employer to demand certain behaviors *that directly relate to the employees duties* to be off-limits. Obviously there is a delicate balance here, and it would be easy for employers to take this too far.
I'm not sure yet. I haven't made up my mind on this. But I'm leaning this way at this point.
"His wife had "divorced him for a minority" and the KKK gave him an avenue to vent his frustration."
Outside of that comment, we don't know much about what the guy's basic views are. A divorce is a time of high emotion, and people can do and say a bunch of irrational crap. Could have been a short-term thing and he got over it. I dunno.
OTOH, I've seen divorced people carry grudges for decades.
Based on no more that the news article's info, and pretty much personal opinion, I think all concerned would be better off if the guy wasn't out on the street doing cop duty with a gun on his hip.
This sort of stuff, I don't think there's any "perfect" solution. Only pragmatism.
Isn't the KKK an illegal organisation?
Nope. You can't criminalize a private citizen's thoughts, no matter how repugnant.
But, you have to admit there's a inherent incompatibility between an officer of the law and the KKK. I would wonder if the reaction would be similar if a TSA agent was a member of the Islamic Brotherhood.
The KKK isn't just a racist organization, but has until recently, acted as a terrorist group (church burnings, bombings, and lynchings are terror) and has used its political and social affiliations to attack and abuse minorities.
You bring up an interesting point. People in this country and in this forum are quick to denounce those who voice support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah as terrorist sympathizers.
By those standards, would this officer not be considered a terrorist sympathizer?
Let's not get too carried away. There's always the ALF & PETA association...
The KKK might be better described as an ex-terrorist organization. They had too many FBI agents as members.