As awful as Facebook is, it has single-handedly put more racists out of work than any other social media site. Last week, a volunteer fire chief in South Carolina landed in hot water after making a blatantly racist Facebook post that he swore wasn’t racist. Evidently, the backlash was too much as the man has resigned from his position.
According to WFAE, Francis “Butch” Ghent resigned from his role as chief of the McDonald Green Volunteer Fire Department last Friday. He was already suspended on April 22 after posting on Facebook that cops should stop responding to Black neighborhoods as “they will eventually kill each other and the fake news won’t have a story.” Ghent was adamant that the post wasn’t racist as it was intended to target the news media.
Freelancer and general MVP of The Root Zack Linly has already broken down how yes, the post was racist. I always find it funny how white folks love talking all that mess online, but as soon as they get called on it they’re so quick to backpedal. You said what you said, b. If you can’t stand by what you say online, maybe consider just not saying it at all.
I’m also starting to feel like white people’s definition of racism literally boils down to: “How am I racist? I didn’t even use the hard-R!”
Ghent issued a statement announcing his resignation and apologizing to those who were hurt by what he said. “I realize this has placed the department in a poor light and continues to cause mistrust and controversy in the community we all serve,” the statement said.
The McDonald Green Fire Department is entirely staffed through volunteers, so county officials weren’t able to officially punish Ghent, though they did issue a statement condemning what he wrote.