race: what year is it, again?
Well I’m glad I don’t live in the NCO! Last Friday a liberal* Ohio blog, OhioDaily, posted a story about a North Canton, OH police dispatcher forwarding an hilarious e-mail from her work address. Here’s a summary!
New “Air Force One” Tail Number and yes, please forgive me, I’m really sorry, I really, really tried not to laugh, but …………………..!
After a little more research, they discovered that it had been forwarded to her by a police dispatcher from Uniontown, OH from her personal address while on the clock with the addition, “now this is funny !!” At last check, the Uniontown PD website is offline.
Both have since been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Snopes confirms that this has been floating around since at least February of this year and that tail number is actually registered to a privately owned airplane.
Of course there is nothing illegal with hating on the President or any other publicly-elected official.** If it were, a lot of news networks would have been shut down a long while ago. And everyone’s dealt with getting that forwarded e-mail that is maybe kinda funny and even though you never do this, you find yourself forwarding it on to others anyway.***
But just because these women (and countless others) didn’t do anything illegal doesn’t mean I don’t think they did anything wrong****. I really don’t want to think that police dispatchers are passing around e-mails and pictures implying the n-word and that they think it’s “funny”. Knowing that it’s actually happening is disappointing to say the least. There’s an interesting split in the comments on the Think Progress and Canton Repository pages. Some commenters decry racist and other -ism/-ist messages while others think it’s no big deal!*****
Since I don’t live in OH and I don’t know anyone personally that’s sent around this e-mail, my rage is a bit tempered, but I’m reminded of a quote from Ellen Degeneres:
…once you’re upset they say, ‘Just kidding.’ As if that makes it all right. They were just kidding. ‘Well, obviously you don’t know how to kid because we both should be laughing.’
As he’s the president now, Obama is open to a lot of criticism and humor, it’s only natural. And sure, there’s no list of rules about what is or isn’t off-limits to make fun of, but when a man you don’t agree with attains that position and the only thing you seem to be able to make fun of is his race? Yeah, you don’t know how to kid.
And as a side note to all of those who do send out these “funny” e-mails. In the above case, there was at least one person it was sent to that didn’t think it was all that funny. As a result, it was forwarded to a form of the media. Think about that the next time your mouse hovers over the “Forward” button, is that really an e-mail you want people to be able to trace back to you? Is it worth it?
* Just keeping it honest, however I haven’t seen any conservative blogs picking up the story.
** Actually, I can’t say that for certain, there’s probably a lot of shit buried in the Patriot Act.
*** I’m still waiting for my check from Microsoft!
**** Considering these women both work for the police, they had to know that this was at least against their code of conduct or the department’s nondiscriminatory policies.
***** Some comedians have said that if we can’t laugh at everyone then we can’t laugh at anyone. I agree but with one exception: the joke still needs to be funny.