What is your definition of a racist?
I don’t know if yelling the “n-word” makes you a racist. Maybe it does. Then we have this police officer in Boston. No, not the one who arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, the other one.
Merriam-Webster – Racist – 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
A Boston police officer who sent a mass e-mail — in which he referred to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as a “banana-eating jungle monkey” — has apologized, saying he’s not a racist.
Officer Justin Barrett told a local television station on Wednesday night that he was sorry for the e-mail.
“I regret that I used such words,” Barrett told CNN affiliate WCVB. “I have so many friends of every type of culture and race you can name. I am not a racist.”
He was placed on administrative leave after the e-mail surfaced, and he might lost his job as a result.
Barrett, 36, who is also an active member of the National Guard, sent off a fiery e-mail to some fellow Guard members — as well as the Boston Globe — in which he vented about a July 22 Globe column about Gates’ controversial arrest.
Just in case you are thinking that Barrett didn’t really mean what he typed the article goes on to state:
Barrett used the “jungle monkey” phrase four times, three times referring to Gates and once referring to Abraham’s writing as “jungle monkey gibberish.”
He also declared that he was “not a racist but I am prejudice [sic] towards people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they say is freedom but it is merely attention because you do not get enough of it in your little fear-dwelling circle of on-the-bandwagon followers.”
Barrett’s comments were taken out of context, said his lawyer, Peter Marano.
“Officer Barrett did not call professor Gates a jungle monkey or malign him racially,” Marano said. “He said his behavior was like that of one. It was a characterization of the actions of that man.”
In the heat of the moment, stuff (there are several other words that can easily substitute for stuff, you can fill in whatever word you would like) can fly out of your mouth. But to sit down and type something out and then hit send, you have had time to think and reflect. If you decided not to think, I don’t think that’s my fault. This police officer has painted himself as a racist and a moron. When you send this letter to the Boston Globe you are asking the world to look at what you wrote and judge it and judge you.
Officer Barrett has been suspended from the police force.
Maybe I’m wrong – what are your thoughts?