Fire captain's racist rant sparks investigation

Published On: Apr 16 2012 08:20:35 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 16 2012 12:18:36 PM EDT

Here's what Miami-Dade fire captain Brian Beckmann wrote in a Facebook post last Wednesday night:

"Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment on George Zimmerman. The state seeks reelection again, truth aside. I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, sh*tbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They're just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn't have anything to do with why people wonder if they're about to get jacked by a thug."

What's that old saying, better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt? Isn't this what the Trayvon Martin case exposed ... a destructive belief that all "urban" (aka black) youths are thug? 

The definition of racism begins: "The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race ...". Key word: all. There's no denying that there are deep problems in the black community that shouldn't be ignored. But the real ignorance is to lump all members of any race together into one narrowly defined and hateful ball. It's not just stupid to do that, it's dangerously stupid. That of course is the whole point of the Trayvon Martin case. Here was a well-liked kid going to the store for Skittles who ended up dead because one self-appointed vigilante decided he was a criminal based on what he looked like.

Beckmann defends his idiotic words in a message to thegrio.com website: "I am a private citizen and have the same right to freely express an opinion on any subject that anyone else does.

Wrong, cap'n. You've got a high-ranking position in a taxpayer-financed fire department that serves all people in life and death situations, including those people in the inner city that you apparently detest. How can the public trust you now?

He's proven himself unfit for public service. And that's why we should be grateful he exercised his right to free speech. In so doing he revealed only himself and did us a public service in the process.