Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fire Danger

What they don’t teach you at the fire academy: what you write on Facebook gets read by everybody.

The Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Department opened an investigation into a racist post on one of its captains’ Facebook page. According to The Grio, Brian Beckmann, a captain in the Miami-Dade fire department, posted a rant on his Facebook page suggesting that Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman was unjustly accused and that Martin’s killing can be blamed upon poor parenting by “urban” parents who are “welfare dependent.”

As Think Progress notes, both of Trayvon Martin’s parents have full-time jobs. My guess is that they will still have theirs when Capt. Beckmann is looking for one.

If he gets canned by M-DFR, expect to hear the usual whining from the wingers about “freedom of speech” and the First Amendment. Two words: Dixie Chicks. Second, no one will be depriving this genius of his freedom to say or post whatever he wants, but there are consequences for what you say. Oh, would this be a good time to pull out the “shouting fire in a crowded theatre” metaphor?

And then, of course, there’s the social media. Charlie Pierce sums it up nicely.

The hell of it all is, I am not surprised by anything anymore, except for the stubborn stupidity of people who believe that anything they post on Facebook, or tweet around the Twitterverse, is in anyway private. It’s like those politicians who affect shock when they discover that the camera’s on, or that the tape recorder actually works.

I hope Capt. Beckmann finds another line of work. Not because I find his sentiments offensive; I just don’t want someone that obtuse operating heavy machinery.