Friday, July 31, 2009

I called you a porch monkey, but I'm not racist

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 8:17 AM

Why is it that people make racist comment, then cry out that they aren't racist?

The latest "I'm not racist" guy is a police officer from Boston who CNN says sent an e-mail calling Henry Louis Gates a "banana-eating jungle monkey."

Cue the apology.

Officer Justin Barrett, 36, told a Boston television station Wednesday night that he was sorry about the e-mail, a copy of which he also sent to The Boston Globe. He repeated his apology Thursday night on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"I would like to take this opportunity to offer fellow police officers, soldiers and citizens my sincerest apology over the controversial e-mail I authored," Barrett said on CNN. "I am not a racist. I did not intend any racial bigotry, harm or prejudice in my words. I sincerely apologize that these words have been received as such. I truly apologize to all."

To say you're not racist after calling a black man a monkey, knowing the history of comparing blacks to monkeys, is like saying I'm not a killer while standing over a dead body with a gun in your hand.

Barrett says that he was upset about a column written in the Boston Globe. It seemed biased, he said.

Columns are the opinion of the columnist -- so it's not supposed to be fair and balanced. Maybe he's not racist, but stupid.

Asked what led him to choose to use such language, he said, "I don't know. I couldn't tell you. I have no idea."

He added, in response to a question, that he had never used such language before.

Sounds like Mark Furhman and his use of the N word during the O.J. Simpson trial. A person doesn't use such language if they hadn't thought about it or used it with their friends. If your first thought is to make racial statements when you're angry, then you're probably a racist.

Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham, who wrote the editorial that sparked Barrett's e-mail, supported Gates' actions, asking readers, "Would you stand for this kind of treatment, in your own home, by a police officer who by now clearly has no right to be there?" Video Watch Blogger Bunch: Is race discussion possible? »

In Barrett's e-mail, which was posted on a Boston television station's Web site, he declared that if he had "been the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC (oleorosin capsicum, or pepper spray) deserving of his belligerent non-compliance."

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."

Whatever this guy is, he's not fit to be a cop.

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