I was readiung Statter911 abut Emont FD of NY. There were issues with a confederate flag in the firehouse and on the emblem. As an African American I do find this offensive. Someone commented that Chapel Oaks an African American Fire company has a black panther as a "mascot" Now to me one is offensive and one is not. Looking at Chapel Oaks Website (they are my companies sister company) using the animal as opposed to a Huey Newton Black Panther is totally different. Just like companies use, owls, bulldogs, alligators, chickens...okay you get the point. I would be the first, maybe the second to say the Huey Newton Black power first would be a wrong emblem, cool but wrong. They want to be called the rebels but to me there are hundreds of images that denote rebelishness without denoting slavery.

 

We had debated in adding a green strip to out black over red engines. for you whipper snappers red, black & green was used to show black unity on flags in the 60's and 70's. The problem was that while we are considered a "black" fire company (even though we've always been intergrated) we wanted to be known as a fire company, period.

 

My question to the gallery is, what do you consider offensive.

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Now a days man anything can be considered offensive. Like you said about the confederate flag in the station and the black panther as a mascot two opposites that offend 2 different people. Everyone has something that will offend them eventually,especially if created by the public its only bound to happen. Being a firefighter in California I have to be extremely careful, example; i used to carry a empty 12gauge shotgun shell in my helmet on the outside band strap, just for shits and gigs i thought it looked cool, until one of my captains persuaded me to ditch the idea because of how that image is perceived by the people we serve.
The way I have always looked at that kind of stuff, is unless it was meant to be offensive, it's no big deal. It's only a logo, a catchy design that someone will notice. Now if it was placed on the unit to show disrespect, then the situation should be corrected. But that's just me, I'll tell you what I see here, that's a smoke eater with 30+ years on the line, that's an extreme accomplishment, like I said, it's just a picture, nothing more....
You find the Stars & Bars offensive as an African-American, hell, I find them offensive as an American! It is the symbol of a secessionist movement that sought to tear America in half over the issue that not all men are created equal! I respect southern "heritage" but when your symbol has been co-opted by the modern hate movement, you just need to move on. When I was in Hong Kong, all of the Buddhist temples are festooned with swastikas! In the east, they don't carry the same connotation in the west. Here, you won't see a swastika because it's meaning has been co-opted by the Nazis.

FWIW - Chapel Oaks was a mutual aid station for me (I was down the road at District Heights, our 3rd due areas overlapped). Their logo is hardly racial, heck, I wouldn't know the old Black Panther logo if it bit me. I sort of resent that they set themselves apart from the rest of the county, but I begrudgingly accept it having read their history and knowing a bit about that area. There are white career guys stationed there pretty routinely, and I don't think they'd stop a white guy from joining.
If I stated my thoughts on this subject line I would surely catch a rash of sh*t for it. In a nut shell no matter who what when where or why or how many someone is going to find offense to something and you can never please everyone. If you don't like something you don't have to look at it, you don't have to listen to it, you don't have to talk to it. I am sick of dealing with people who are offended by everylittle thing. Give me a break.
It is supposed to be a way of saying something without offending someone. Instead of metermaid it is meterperson, or fireman it is fireperson, gender/race/handicap neutrality.... Another Give me a freaking break.....
white black mexican you name the quote races, it is a lie, as was said we are the human race. as far as to what country you belong to, answer this. can a "white man" be an "africian" can an "asian" be " north americian" you see we have taken a whole section of the world to create a "race". i am an americian because i have a citizenship here and not because of where my ansestors came from, european south america africa china ect. i BELIVE if you are to be as they say blind to race color creed ect then you will not ask on an application. my culture may be one thing and that can differ wildly in the same small town much less from a different section of the country but if you are an american citizen then you are and AMERICIAN. WITH NO HYPHEN, AMERICIAN. YOU DONT GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY AND BECOME AN AMERICIAN MEXICIAN so why do we do it here. we have become the united states of the offended yet we are supposed to be on the same side. a house divided will not stand.
At the onset of the civil war, slavery was going strong, most especially in the south.
To my knowledge, the first japanese car sold in the u.s. occurred in 1956, 11 years AFTER the end of WWII. So, your comparison of the cause(s) of the civil war with the cause(s) of WWII is both wrong and....frankly, ignorant.

And as for those that THINK the civil war was not fought over slavery, read your history. Every issue that arose (and "states rights" was really just a red herring, southern states wanted slaves, northern ones didn't) had at its center, the issue of slavery.
I'm with Patti on this one. I am tired of people being offended by every little thing. Grow some thicker skin already. People are turning into a bunch of Pansies. Just my humble opinion and if you're offended by it re-read my post.

TCSS
Jim,

I have read the history, just not the southern revisionist history.

Your point (initially) was that the civil war was NOT about slavery. You, sir, are/were wrong. Read the history.

Now you revise your original comment to say that it was "...not fought solely over the slavery issue..."

Also, you didn't bother to defend your comparison of cause(s) for the civil war and WWII.
I wonder why THAT is?

"I'm done with this topic..."
I'm not at all surprised. Hard to defend a clearly wrong view.
Interesting question. I remember the static I got when I started wearing the insignia of the International Association Of Black Professional Firefighters. I was asked not to by a member of my department that thought it was "seperatist". He wanted to know what I would think if a white firefighters association was formed?

I showed him historical documents of when there was a white firemans association and he promptly shut up about it. Because the documents showed that the association existed to supress blacks back in the 60's and 70's

I told him that my membership in the IABPFF was not racist or seperatist. Their goal is to educate, promote and expose members of the black community to the fire service. They also put on seminars and other educational events that make the fire service more approachable to black americans who may see the fire service as a white dominated profession because of current and or past beliefs. Their seminars also have college credit which aids with educational goals.

Weather we like it or not there is deviceness in the fire service Ie: emerald societys, columbia associations and others that are ethnic related. Most exist so that members of a ethnic group can fellowship and network, but we do know that they sling their own political clout too which can be a bad thing.

The bottom line is that "offensive" is subjective. If your fire department wishes to recognize it's history of being a "black department" then you should seek to compromise in order to not exclude another race or make them feel uncomfortable. An embedded symbol in an insignia is a nice way to go but everyone should agree on it so that there will be no static afterwards.

good luck with this

(bad example)-the high school was called "the rebels" because we were the "south" high school. we flew rebel flags and nobody complained much.

i can see that the offended party has a point...but you do too

even though i'm black i hope when my time comes that the emerald society will send a piper for me so that i may honor the tradition in my chosen profession along as those of my faith
good response
Great post Russ. I personally am southern, and the confederate flag is not a symbol of hate in my eyes. Yes, some may see it that way, and that is their own opinion. But just because one is offended, does not mean that the other party is wrong or hateful. Mississippi still flies the flag in their state flag, and that too could be seen as offensive, but only if you look at it in a negative light. The initial post stated that they were a black fire department. That could also be offensive. Everything is going to offend someone, and saying a black panther isn't wrong, but a confederate flag is? Come on folks.

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