The Boston Police Department has been in the news lately, and not for entertaining buddy cop shenanigans. Well, unless you count publishing a racist, homophobic, sexist, bigoted, rage-inducing union newsletter and then deleting the archives instead of taking responsibility for them to be entertaining (it isn't).
According to the Boston Phoenix, members of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association (BPPA) have been putting out the Pax Centurion newsletter for at least six years now, and it appears every issue has been chocked full of ignorant, hateful "jokes" (written by public servants, natch). A few excerpts:
On pregnant homeless women:
Please, no comparisons from liberals to the birth of Jesus [from the Christmas issue]. First of all, Mary was a virgin, these trollops are not.
On Saudi college students:
But these arrogant pieces of human garbage come to this country and believe they have "rights" because of their parent's wealth and this country's lack of a moral spine to kick their asses out of here on the next flight home to sandy city.
From a letter to the Occupy movement in Boston:
Happy Birthday you rotten Commies! Maybe your candidate for squaw I mean senator, Liz Warren (your founder) can bake you a cake.
You get the picture (get more of the picture by reading past issues here).
Though the Pax Centurion has been in circulation for at least six years, but it's been in the media recently after an attack on the Occupy movement in Boston by editor James Carnell. Reports the Boston Herald:
In a recent opinion piece responding to a college professor involved in the Occupy movement, Carnell called protesters "aging hippies" and "morons from privileged backgrounds" who eat tofu and brown rice and "bang bongo drums." He suggested that "bums" joined the movement for free food and to be "showered" with "compassion" from "liberal college girls."
In keeping with its media-savvy reputation, supporters of the Occupy movement responded on Twitter, alerting Pax Centurion advertisers to the newsletter's douche-y content. Now, why these particular advertisers—Simmons College, Harpoon Brewing, and LoJack among them—weren't previously aware of the off-the-rails bigotry of the Pax is unclear (a rep from Simmons said the college "has no control of the editorial content in any of the publications in which we advertise, [but they] really regret our inclusion in this publication.") but since being called out they've pulled their support, and the Pax Centurion has shut down its website.
As Chris Faraone states in his Boston Phoenix article on Carnell and Pax, BPPA's refusal to respond to this issue is unacceptable. Yanking the archives down is not only ineffective (hello and welcome to the Internet, sirs) it's disrespectful and outrageous—these are supposed to be public servants, after all. James Carnell reportedly made over $92,000 last year in taxpayer money yet he's allowed to call members of his community "garbage" and mock women, people of color, queer people, and even murder victims without reproach? Apparently so, as Boston Police Department spokesman Mike McCarthy has only said that, "The First Amendment applies to police officers." Great.
To make a depressing situation worse, Faraone quoted black activist Jamarhl Crawford saying:
I'm glad to see Occupy Boston doing something about this, because the black community has been screaming about this forever and no one cares. It's the Boston Police Department's dirty little secret. They talk about gays, about Muslims, and everything else you can imagine. It's that Archie Bunker outer-space banana-cake type of thinking that people don't even realize goes on anymore.
Did you catch that? The black community has been talking about this for years (Crawford himself was slandered in previous issues of Pax) but no one's done anything. Thanks for nothing, BPPA and Boston Police! Here's hoping the media attention the Occupy Movement has brought to Carnell and the Pax Centurion will finally force these douchebags to take responsibility for their actions and their bigotry.