My father used to tell me “People say stupid things all the time. Some they mean, and some they say in the heat of the moment. Try to resist saying stupid stuff you will regret”.
This never more evident, than the recent resignation of probationary Firefighter Ron Drake from North Randall, Ohio Fire. Drake, who posted a comment on Action News 19’s Facebook page regarding the NYPD brothers recently assassinated, stating “cops n gunman goin’ to hell lol”. Following up, when taken to task by another commenter with similar absurd statements, such as “most of your race is disgusting” (side note, if someone asked me my race, it would be “PURPLE” as a combination of blue and red blood to signify our brotherhood as first responders) .
Here is the thing that I find hilarious. If you are a firefighter, cop, paramedic or anyone else than Joe Q. Public who works at the gas station and you are in a position subject to higher scrutiny, you should probably keep your thoughts off public sites such as Facebook, or, mores specifically… A NEWS STATION’S FACEBOOK PAGE…
That’s the funny thing about Facebook genius, it has useful things on it, like WHERE YOU WORK. If you don’t have your privacy settings locked down, people can see everything you post and even WHERE YOU WORK…
I don’t get people on the best of days, but when you couple how legitimately absurd people are. I see all kinds of things over the many places I frequent over the interwebs, but the funniest (and saddest) thing that I see often, is the penchant of the masses, who consider everything they hear on Facebook as gospel. Like for instance, people’s first amendment rights. People take that as gospel, and think that anything they say is protected speech. Here’s the kicker, if you threaten a cop, or anyone for that matter, it’s not just you “blowing off steam” or whatever absurd reasoning that you try to use as an excuse for your conduct. If you threaten a public official, newsflash genius – It’s not protected speech, it’s a CRIME GENIUS.
Words have consequences, and with the onslaught of social media relating to the recent hatred directed towards law enforcement and other first responders by default, people get caught up in the emotion of the situation and just lose their minds, that is no excuse for jumping on the bandwagon and doing the “me too” response. So, when I look at a fireman/paramedic who ends up resigning because he jumped on the “me too” bandwagon, forgive me if I don’t shed a tear. You are held to a higher regard because you are in public service, it’s what we as cops know and except. If everyone else can be brothers and sisters in arms, you don’t get to be the one single delicate flower that get’s to alienate yourself from the herd because you want to join with the “protest mentality”.
What’s the point of this post you ask? Well, I guess it’s two-fold. One, the first amendment doesn’t cover threats or protect you from recriminations in the workplace for your views, especially in public service. Two, I was always taught, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. The world, and the interwebs in general should take heed of that saying. If we all treated each other online like we would in person, there would be a lot less hate filled vitriol going around the various social media outlets. There would also be fewer people losing their jobs and careers because they can’t keep their trap shut. Your company/agency/department WILL NOT BACK YOU IF YOU ARE CONTROVERSIAL. Popular thought of the minority or not, think, before clicking the post button “could this post upset a lot of people or be detrimental to my employment” if the answer is yes….step away from the keyboard.
– The Tactical Platypus (TP)