Sunday, April 13, 2008

Racism Alive: Ohio troopers disciplined for KKK photo prank

Racism is not altogether dead; if often raises its ugly head. Here in Ohio, the state with such a wonderful history of equal rights pioneering, racism is smoldering, just under the surface. Is that why Obama lost so decisively here in the March primary? Is that why the central section of Pennsylvania, the so-called Alabama section, thinly supports him? Will this be the scenario he faces in the general election too?

Today I read that two local Ohio Highway Patrolmen thought it funny that one dressed up as a KKK member while the other photographed him and sent the picture to his boss and others as well.

USA Today has the story:

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — A highway patrolman who was photographed in a handmade Ku Klux Klan costume while on duty the day before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has been suspended without pay, authorities said.

A fellow trooper who transmitted the cell-phone photo of white-masked lawman has been demoted.

Craig Franklin, a 12-year veteran of the Ohio Highway Patrol, is pictured in the Jan. 20 photo with a white cone on his head, white paper mask and a white cloth covering his shoulders, according to a highway patrol report.

Franklin and Trooper Eric Wlodarsky told an investigator that the picture was taken as a joke and was modeled on a television skit by comedian Dave Chappelle.


A joke. Just a joke, they said. Gosh, can't you people take a joke?

Racism raises its ugly head; but it was just a joke, they said.

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