What do You Have to Do to Be Called a Racist?

 So one has to wonder is a racist defined by his choice of words? Sure Justin Barnett did not participate in cross burnings or lynchings, but the use of this term is more than a poor word choice or an angry rant. We have a Boston cop who writes a fiery letter and refers to Harvard professor Henry Gates as a “jungle monkey”, but he is not a racist. You called a black man a jungle monkey that is not a term of endearment. He says he was venting and he has since apologized for his “poor choice of words”. “The police commissioner put 36-year-old Justin Barrett on administrative leave pending a termination hearing after learning of the slur. Barrett is a member of the National Guard has been suspended from his military duties pending an investigation.” Your words define who you are. Generally you say what is on your mind and in your heart. You can’t put it out there and take it back when you see the response. I am not going to call him a racist, I am just going to say anyone who uses this kind of language at least has racist tendencies, and he is an adult and adults have to be held accountable for what they say. President Obama took some heat when he said the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in the Gates situation, and even he was forced to reel it back a little. So this policemen is going to have to take it like a man and own up to his own words.

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  • Bryan  On July 31, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Obama shouldn’t have ever said anything about it, he had no stake in what was happening. If Henry Gates hadn’t jumped straigh to yelling RACIAL PROFILING!!! there never would’ve been a problem for you to write about.

  • musesofamom  On August 1, 2009 at 12:21 am

    What this policeman said is not the fault of the president. He might have had a right to vent, but it is nobody’s fault but his own that he chose to use this racially charged language.

  • Al Brown  On August 6, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Being a blackman born and raised in black neighborhoods, I quickly learned that you have to use strategy when dealing with the police, be they black or white, because the blue mentality is trained to subliminally suspect black men as criminals. Professor Gates was right to be indignant about being suspect in his own house, but the strategy that he took could have cost him his physical life. Had he handled it differently by becoming intellectually indignant rather than emotionally indignant, there could have been a real teaching moment in the strategies of dealing with institutional rascism.
    The policeman’s comment is just a reflection of what many feel but are wise enough to keep within their circles for fear of retaliation. He was obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

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