Usually we get pretty upset when someone gets in trouble at work or school for a status update or tweet. But this Florida firefighter got what he deserved after posting a racist rant on Facebook about Travyon Martin's parents.
Miami-Dade Fire Captain Brian Beckmann was demoted to the lowly rank of Firefighter after posting a hateful status update about Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was recently shot and killed in an incident many attribute to racism. Beckmann's rant—wherein he implied that Martin's parents are "failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, [and] welfare dependent." The post was captured by The Grio before the racist public servent could delete it:
Given that the case is already racially charged, this didn't go over too well. Beckmann's language is deplorable and so loaded with racial bias even if it's not explicitly stated that some people are surprised he wasn't fired. Besides the demotion, the Miami Herald reports that "Beckmann will be on administrative leave and must complete a psychological evaluation and diversity training before he returns." Beckmann has both appealed the decision and apologized for his remarks.
If you want to be a bigot in your private life, go right ahead, but if you broadcast those feelings to the world on Facebook, Twitter or in any other way, you should expect to feel the pain back—especially if you're a public servant. Expressing hateful and hurtful opinions is not the same as expressing controversial ones. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to be an asshole and get away with it. [Miami Herald and The Grio]
Image from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue via CBS4