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Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

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  • Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

    As a professional firefighter I can tell you first hand that pranks in firehouses are frequent and part of life in the fire department. This story was posted earlier but this piece points out some missing pieces to the puzzle and of course another persons perspective.


    November 23, 2006
    Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims
    By Larry Elder

    Tennie Pierce, a black 19-year veteran firefighter, recently won a $2.7 million settlement from the Los Angeles City Council.

    Here's the story. Following a firehouse volleyball game, fellow firefighters laced Pierce's spaghetti with dog food to "humble" him. Pierce, who calls himself "the Big Dog," took a few bites, saw three co-conspirator firefighters -- two whites, one Latino -- laughing, and demanded to know why the chuckling.

    Pierce, after learning that the firefighters -- in an undoubtedly good-natured way -- placed dog food in his spaghetti, called the prank "racist"! He hired a lawyer, found an "expert" witness who associated the consumption of dog food with "300 years" of discrimination against blacks, and successfully settled the case with the city.

    Los Angeles Times reporter Sandy Banks, in an article about the award, failed to mention a few salient facts: that Pierce somehow managed to survive on the force for almost 20 years; that fellow firefighters referred to Pierce as a "turd stirrer" -- meaning he routinely pulled pranks on others; that the 6-foot 5-inch Pierce often referred to himself as "the Big Dog"; that the incident was apparently a reaction to a volleyball game won by Pierce during which he repeatedly urged to his teammates to "feed the Big Dog" by throwing the ball to him; and that, in the frat boy tradition of many firefighters, his co-workers likely fed him dog food as a display of affection, knowing that, after all, Pierce had pulled pranks on many others during his long career -- photos of which (including Pierce's involvement in the shaving of the pubic hairs of a fellow firefighter) later appeared on the Internet.

    Days before I read about the firefighter's award, my 91-year-old dad and I watched a movie called "Proud." Narrated by the late, great Ossie Davis, the movie dramatized the experience of black sailors aboard the USS Mason during World War II. The ship became the only black-manned ship that actually saw combat. As a destroyer escort, it shepherded Allied convoys through German sub-filled waters, taking risks even the vaunted English Navy refused, deeming the mission too treacherous. Indeed, black sailors welcomed the assignment to the ship because, during this military-segregated era, they wished to prove themselves by seeing actual combat rather than engaging in "menial" labor.

    In one scene, a German sub launched a torpedo at the USS Mason, but the highly skilled blacks -- thought too dumb to master hi-tech equipment including sonar detection -- skillfully evaded the torpedo. They then counter-attacked by launching depth charges. The men of the USS Mason, despite their heroics, never received a commendation, even though their commander sent a letter to Washington, urging recognition for these brave sailors. As a result of lobbying by the grandson of one of the sailors described in "Proud," President Clinton honored the surviving crewmen during a long-delayed ceremony. Finally, the USS Mason crew received their rightful commendation for bravery and sacrifice.

    It's difficult to describe the feeling of honor and pride I felt as I watched my dad watching the movie. Every five minutes I looked at my dad, as he watched the movie with his typically stoic expression. My dad, you see, served as a cook during the war, earning the rank of staff sergeant. He spent time on Guam as soldiers prepared for an assault on the island of Japan, a mission aborted, of course, because of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He, too, like many black soldiers, received little recognition for his contribution. My dad once told me he enlisted as a Marine in 1943 because "it seemed to me that the Marines were all about action. And I wanted it."

    After my dad and I watched "Proud," he said it reminded him of a wartime story -- a story he never told me. "Son," he said, "we black enlistees had just gone through training at Montford Point, North Carolina. We gathered to hear a speech -- supposedly inspirational -- given by a white major. The officer said, 'You know, I traveled all over the world. But I only realized that we were truly at war when I came home and saw you people wearing our uniforms.'" Insulted, my dad said he and every Marine stood in a silent protest of the major's blatantly racist remark.

    This brings us back to Mr. "Rin Tin" Tennie Pierce. Enjoy your $2.7 million. When the next Veterans' Day comes around, think about how your bonanza trivializes the grit, determination and honor with which black men and women withstood insult, degradation and abuse during Jim Crow America. They stood tall and demonstrated by word and deed that black men and women -- like my dad -- considered themselves Americans, not African-Americans, who only wanted an opportunity to show their ability.

    Your crass, manipulative use of the race-card-for-money insults countless men and women who endured indignities, marched and died, in order to provide you the right to work as a firefighter -- an opportunity historically denied to qualified black men and women.

    You, sir, are a disgrace.
    'A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out...'

  • #2
    Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

    a bit over the top
    When its hot in the jungle of peace I go swimming in the ocean of love.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

      Why are you posting these right wing things on a Jamaican message board I'm sure you know most are black.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

        He's (or she's) trying to get a rise out of someone... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/70392-silly.gif[/img]

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

          Maybe it's a response to this thread .
          Show me your papers.
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

            [img]/forums/images/graemlins/70402-thinking.gif[/img]

            ...well I'm not getting in on this one! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/70390-shhh.gif[/img]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

              [ QUOTE ]
              Why are you posting these right wing things on a Jamaican message board I'm sure you know most are black.

              [/ QUOTE ]

              You couldn't have possibly read this post. If you did you would have figured out that the writer is black. Do controversial topics bother you?
              Do the "MZUNGU" topics that are posted on a daily basis bother you? Or do you just pick and choose according to race what topics you deem to be unacceptable? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/70402-thinking.gif[/img] Hmmmm!
              'A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out...'

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

                [img]/forums/images/graemlins/70374-lipsrsealed.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

                  [ QUOTE ]
                  Maybe it's a response to this thread .

                  [/ QUOTE ]

                  Yes, it was. This post is another persons perspective that I believe makes some good points. It has nothing to do with right wing or left wing but, it has everything to do with what you personally believe in. If you see things different than your thoughts are welcome.
                  'A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out...'

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

                    I'm not sure if the response was directed at me, but here's my two pennies:

                    There are QUITE A FEW ppl that will pull the race card whenevva it's convenient. FIYAH PON DEM DEH! They really do a disservice (sp?) to those that are being discriminated against...and real racial discrimination happens EVERY DAY.

                    It's good to see all aspects of an issue so you can make an "educated" decision about it. Sometimes I judge before getting all the info...which most often leads to sticking the proverbial (sp?) foot in one's mouth.

                    (...of course, sometimes we post to get a reaction too...)
                    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

                      [ QUOTE ]
                      I'm not sure if the response was directed at me, but here's my two pennies:

                      There are QUITE A FEW ppl that will pull the race card whenevva it's convenient. FIYAH PON DEM DEH! They really do a disservice (sp?) to those that are being discriminated against...and real racial discrimination happens EVERY DAY.

                      It's good to see all aspects of an issue so you can make an "educated" decision about it. Sometimes I judge before getting all the info...which most often leads to sticking the proverbial (sp?) foot in one's mouth.

                      (...of course, sometimes we post to get a reaction too...)
                      [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

                      [/ QUOTE ]


                      I believe that everyone that "posts" does so to get some kind of reaction. Isn't that why they post to begin with?
                      Every action has a reaction.
                      'A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out...'

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

                        Yes, that's true...but some post to get a negative reaction. (and that is not aimed at you)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

                          [ QUOTE ]
                          Yes, that's true...but some post to get a negative reaction. (and that is not aimed at you)

                          [/ QUOTE ]

                          Controversial subjects will bring a negative reaction out of many people. If we can't discuss the difficult subjects like adults, how are we supposed to understand each other?
                          'A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out...'

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

                            Tru fi tru Lwolf! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/70409-waytogo.gif[/img]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

                              [ QUOTE ]
                              Maybe it's a response to this thread .

                              [/ QUOTE ]

                              I think not....he could have (but chose not to) respond to my last post in that thread.
                              Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

                              Comment

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