Douchebag Decree: James Carnell and the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association's Racist, Sexist, Terrible Newsletter

Douchebag Decree logo in red and blue letters it says Ye Olde Douchebag Decree. Bitch hereby declares the following person a total douchebag

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.

Previously: Race, Bunheads, and Amy Sherman-Palladino, Adam Carolla & His Broken Record Routine

by Kelsey Wallace
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9 Comments Have Been Posted

Just to make it clear, what

Just to make it clear, what set off those of us from Occupy Boston who have spearheaded and organized this campaign isn't that he went after us as Occupy Boston. In fact, Carnell went after me personally in the Jan/Feb issue (he called me "of large girth" or something equally patronizing and stupid, then falsely accused me of shoving police officers around with my "large girth"), but that didn't set me off. What set me off was the following necrophilia "joke" about Egyptian women from the most recent issue:

“The new Egyptian Government has declared it legal to have sex with your dead wife within 6 hours of her expiration. The sex is the same, but the dishes pile up.”

What set others off was this quote on an antiviolence summit between Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement, black clergy, youth workers, city officials, and inner city teens:

“Yeah, right. I guess only ‘officers of color’ can relate to these troubled teens. (Personally, I consider myself ‘of color’, as tawny pink and lobster red are both colors, too, you know.) But, just for the sake of argument, let’s say that a priest in South Boston said that the local youths ‘only wanted to meet with officers who looked like them’. How do you think that would go over?”

And more were offended by this characterization of Middle Eastern Muslims:

"Rags for clothes and towels for hats.
No water to shave. Toilet tissue usage unknown."

You aren't necessarily implying this in your article, but it's important for me to say that racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and hateful speech of that ilk are way more important to me than being characterized as a liberal hippie (although yeah, what he said about me a few months ago was definitely sexist hate speech). He can call us bongo-playing tofu eaters all he wants, but that isn't what has led any of us on this campaign, not by any means.

We've curated a "worst of the May/June issue" here, in case anyone is interested in checking it out. Be forewarned that it's freaking disgusting.

Thanks Robin!

Thanks for the clarification, Robin. I'm glad you and other Occupiers are organizing this campaign!

Also, even in the core group

Also, even in the core group that worked to curate all the contact information and get this thing off the ground, we're not all occupiers. I have met a few OB folks, and they were passing it around because of the Bil Lewis thing, at first, because Bil has to be one of the nicest people you can ever meet, and to see such abuse was just bizarre. Then, as we began reading more, it became clear this was full of really sick, far right wing hate speech. I felt that I just had to let people know what their police force thought of them, and the campaign really just emerged from that.

There are a fair few Occupiers helping hold advertisers accountable and let people know about the media coverage, but probably just as many are others who live in the area and are just disgusted. I could be wrong, as I don't know everyone involved, but I don't even think most of these people would consider themselves activists in any sense.

This is just to give you the view of one non-Occupier who's been in this from the start.

Thanks for the coverage, by the way!

may i have james carnell's

may i have james carnell's email address please?

There are some good ones out

There are some good ones out there (I assume), but many of these men are only in the job for a paycheck ($100,000+/year) and do not have an interest in serving the public or upholding the law.

Just about everybody is only

Just about everybody is only in his or her job for a paycheck, with, I suppose, a few very lucky exceptions. I don't begrudge the officers their pay, and while some high-ranking officers may make over 250K in a given year because of overtime, I highly doubt that the average patrolman reliably makes six figures.

Pay entirely aside, what's horrible and astounding is that the association felt it was appropriate to print this kind of content in its newsletter, and that there isn't effective screening, training, and protocol in place to avoid harboring this kind of hate and bigotry on the police force in the first place. The racism, ignorance, and violence of American police forces is continually reaffirmed, but nothing ever seems to change.

congrats Stop Carnell... there's more work to be done.

I hope the group that organized to address the issue of the irresponsible editor at BPPA newsletter Pax, James Carnell, is up for another fight against irresponsible, bigoted, hateful and bullying speech. Clear Channel has acquired old WFNX and their new lineup may includs some of the most irresponsible and hate filled speech on the airwaves including Rush Limbaugh.

Fortunately, there has already been a lot of work done separating Rush from his national advertisers just as you've done with Pax -- show them the speech and they decide for themselves that they do not want to sully their brand.

The guy who ran StopBeck and contributed to getting Beck off Fox (no advertisers would take it) took the lead on separating Rush from his national advertisers right after Sandra Fluke dustup. Angelo has gotten all but 3 national advertisers to jump ship (about 30-40 in all) Still there's work to be done on local advertisers.

And, there may be opportunity for a preventative strategy since Rush etc. is not up on WFNX yet.

Any strategy employing public opinion would be well advised to display rush quotes to the public and ask parents if they want their school age kids listening to the swill. another important point to make is all of the radio stations across the nation that are dropping Rush. So why is Boston adding Rush to their airwaves?

Note that Rush is already broadcast in the Boston market. Maybe that's the place to start.

@StopRush - Rush's national advertisers
@Shoq - has organized online resource to aid in efforts to separate local advertisers from Rush

I follow AdamG stories about this on UniversalHub and comments there. Forward!

The Old Boston Phoenix article about the BPD

Hi. I don't know if anyone will find this funny reading, but that would be the maximum I would hope for.I wrote it for an old blog and it slams the article. I sent it to Faraone, the author and he responded - he was really cool about it - a really great guy, and a good writer to boot. I miss the Phoenix paper if only to have a writing prompt. So here it is about a year later.

Hey I just googled CF and found he wrote a book about his experiences in the Marathon bombings and it's free and online.

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