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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No, just clarify their position publicly Patti

when you dont clarify your position its kind of like accepting it

i feel sorry for muslems that are the target of hate and i have come to their defense and taken some heat for it. What i usually say is "as a black man, should i continue to hate white people for slavery? consdering that i was not a slave, neither were my parrents or grand parrents?

(my great grand parrents were born into it)

that was just an example i know because we're talking about symbols and i hope you can see my point about clarafication. i accept and respect you post
craig, you've opened a real can of wormes here but i like some of the responses. let me tell tell you that i'm from nassau county (north of Elmont) and the one thing that makes me laugh is the fact that a "northen" department is getting the heat for this. Elmont is a fine department but honestly, rebel stuff on a "northen" department's insignia? since its the "issue of the month" (and knowing nassau county like i do), the flag and the insignia is gonna go away pretty quick

i live in the south and i enjoy my bumper sticker that says "the south surrendered" next to my "guns cause violence like spoons cause obesity" sticker

stay strong brother and try to educate before you litigate...i'm behind you 100feet i mean percent-LOL
it has been proven that that there has been "shenaggans" when it comes to testing in NY, Philly and DC. even you have to face the fact that with equal access to testing material, there HAD to be some "fixing" because the odds simply dont add up that only "a few minorities passed" espically on big tests

"Shenanigans" comes down to accusations with little to no proof. The issue isn't that people didn't pass, but the issue that not enough minorities scored high enough to be a top pick. I can not speak for all the tests, because I simply was not there, I can however, speak for the tests I was at.

I did take the FDNY test in 2002, being from WI, I had no access to testing material, nor workshops put on and so forth. What I found when I got to the testing site was this was a NY city high school. Sitting in a classroom I looked at the material on the walls and student papers, the school work would be middle school level at best, not what one would consider HS caliber. When I got the actual exam for FDNY, I found it to be the easiest written test I ever taken, now I may just be a good test taker, but it is difficult to claim discrimination or shenanigans on a test which spells out the question for you.

Now things can come down to education levels, but in the end it does boil down to personal initiative and accountability. The excuses and "crutch" of saying such tests are discriminatory and biased is just that, excuses. Chances are even a neutral third party testing (took a few of those too) would produce the same results. When making such claims as excuses, I find that counter-productive to the groups goal of recruiting minorities and so forth.

Such issues tend to create more animosity than unity. Diversity is fine, but the issue is to do so properly. The fire service today is not just about finding someone off the street and giving them a hose and pointing them to a fire, there is more education and science involved today. It only makes sense to hire the best, most qualified people for the job, not just looking at numbers for diversity. It is difficult to meet higher standards when the push is to lower.

Now third party testing aside, it is possible and is occurring, where the standards to even apply are raised. You see depts, like mine, where education is imperative. One has to be FF1 and 2 certified, have an associates in fire protection, and be a paramedic. Testing is the easy part when up against standards like that. However, when looking at the makeup of most students in such classes like paramedic or fire protection, it is predominately white male. It is rare to have a few minorities looking to pursue such a degree, but in the end, you see more and more depts asking for higher standards because they can no longer afford longer recruit academies nor send people to paramedic school.

Personally, I would think the push of the IABFF should be to focus on those realities and to focus efforts to such goals like education vs claiming discrimination on tests. If people are able to meet such high standards just to apply, chances are the written test will be nothing to them. Along with high standards is a shorter applicant pool, which means it is easier to land such a job than worry about a big city test.
Jack (for Patti) what you are refering to is what we call "the black expierence". Past wrongs to blacks are expirenced by or witnessed by their children and become a part of their perceptions into adulthood (i have a few myself). A bad home life like jack says will end with "your" chidren because you are not going to raise them like you were raised
I agree completely. I see the flag as something entirely different than what is commonly assumed. This can cause controversy if it ever became an issue in my firehouse, but personal and professional opinions need to stay separate in order to be productive. Yes, I have a rebel flag (not to be confused with the confederate battle flag) in my home, but it is in no way shape or form a symbol of hate or oppression to me, or anyone that knows me. Russ, I want to thank you for putting yourself out there in this thread, and thank you again for not jumping down my throat about my personal beliefs about the rebel flag. TCSS

With the case the tests being thrown out a little while back, the only thing I can say is bull s&%t. I don't care if the man behind me is purple. The best person needs to get the job, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, etc. When you are pulling me out of a building, the last thing I care about is what God you pray to or what color your skin is.
"holy water" here ya its me . i found it offensive that i have a bottle of holy water on my person at work because iam c/c,and people give me shit about it all the time .!!!!!! they dont get it but i do . it my bez ! iam irish german american also and i never want to be seen as any thing but american !...... idont like or cant stand rap but ihave to put up with it. pc what about morally correct? we all wear BLUE keep that mind !
we have a GO. that stat es only the american flag is to be use on the fire eng.! thats all !
Its amazing to me that in 2011 with all the education people here have that people still do not know what the Civil war was all about.

The Civil war was not about Slavery, it was about States rights, and the right for the State to determine its path rather than an all powerful National Government. Slavery was just a side issue. Interesting fact Lincoln only freed the slaves after he was losing the war. He did that because he knew the freed slaves would then enter into service in the Union Army upping his numbers. Far from a benevolent manuver.

Its history like it or not....the men on both sides of that conflict are veterans and deserve to be rememberd as such. A country that does not remeber its history is doomed to repeat it.

This comment will probably get me in a world of S%^& but why is it ok for racial pride for everyone but white people? Someone says black power, its ok someone says white power look out boy he is a racist. Here we even have the IAFF and the Internaitonal Association of Black Professional Firefighters why is that ok? Why cant I join the IABFF? African Americans didnt want segrigation but it seems to me thats exactly what they want with things like the IABFF.

Why can we not just be one naton and celebrate our history good, bad and indifferent.
Brian...you really made sit back and think.....I like when that happens.
The Civil War was about Slavery....The states Rights to continue slavery. Several Facts; On Dec. 24, 1860, delegates at South Carolina's secession convention adopted a "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." It noted "an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery" and protested that Northern states had failed to "fulfill their constitutional obligations" by interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage. Slavery, not states' rights, birthed the Civil War.

Also South Carolina was further upset that New York no longer allowed "slavery transit." In the past, if Charleston gentry wanted to spend August in the Hamptons, they could bring their cook along. No longer -- and South Carolina's delegates were outraged. In addition, they objected that New England states let black men vote and tolerated abolitionist societies. According to South Carolina, states should not have the right to let their citizens assemble and speak freely when what they said threatened slavery.

Other seceding states echoed South Carolina. "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery -- the greatest material interest of the world," proclaimed Mississippi in its own secession declaration, passed Jan. 9, 1861.

Poor whites fought because they had the dream of one day owning slaves and becoming rich. It was also the thought that if freed black would become equal to whites.

Yes, Abe Lincoln didn't care about freeing the slaves; On Aug. 22, 1862, President Lincoln wrote a letter to the New York Tribune that included the following passage: "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union."

Read the history books. If there was no slavery there would not have been a civil war. Robert, I hope no one gives you a world of $hit, you only state what you know. I always say there is nothing wrong with white pride groups. Be proud of your white heritage. And you can join the IABFF but would I be able to join the Emerald Society?

I don't want to end this on a negative. So, I'll say I've had millions times more positive times then I have negative in the fire service. I've stopped at fire houses all over the east coast and been welcomed into each one.
It was about muhc more than Slavery....I have studied the Civil War in great detail, and Slavery was just one of the many issues dealing with states rights.

One thing people fail to mention is that not only African Americans were slaves, there were several white slaves operating as indentured servents (african americans also) So slavery was not just affecting African Americans. You do not hear about those other issues, because history only records the winners perspective hence that is what is taught in our schools.

Sure you can Join the Emerald Society, at least here in VA....the Old Dominion Emerald Society is open to members of all Races, Religions, Creeds, Sex etc. Can you say the same for your IABFF cause I know the chapter here would not let me join.

Im not trying to start a race war, or anything like that but people need ot stop being so sensitive....no one no matter how tough there life has been is owed anything....The Jews have mangaged to rise up from persicution and you never hear of them complaining about fairness, etc.

I have always like this line from The Departed to sum things up:
"I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me. Years ago we had the church. That was only a way of saying - we had each other. The Knights of Columbus were real head-breakers; true guineas. They took over their piece of the city. Twenty years after an Irishman couldn't get a fucking job, we had the presidency. May he rest in peace. That's what the African Americans don't realize. If I got one thing against the black chappies, it's this - no one gives it to you. You have to take it".

1- I have studied the Civil War in great detail, and Slavery was just one of the many issues dealing with states rights.
Really? Then you need to supply more than just your opinion. Where are the links/sources to your claim?

2- ..not only African Americans were slaves, there were several white slaves operating as indentured servents (african americans also) So slavery was not just affecting African Americans. You do not hear about those other issues, because history only records the winners perspective hence that is what is taught in our schools.
Hmmm...so what you're suggesting is (and I'm not going to argue the point) the odd occasion of a white person being a slave is comparable to almost every black person being a slave?

3 - I'm sure anyone *can* join the Old Dominion Emerald Society. Now, would they all be equally welcomed? When exactly did they open their membership to *anybody*?

4 - No one here said anything about anyone being owed anything. You were the one to bring it up, which makes ME think that is the way YOU think. A discussion on emblems on equipment could certainly come under the heading of "sensitive". Within that discussion a sub-discussion on slavery has nothing to do with sensitivity. And to attempt to dismiss slavery (of blacks) by a pale (and again, un-sourced) claim that since whites were also slaves everyone really needs to just get over it is absurd. Not unlike saying that the reason we fought WWII was to prevent the japanese from selling cars in the u.s.

Really, a quote from a (I'm guessing) TV show is how you finish up your opinion piece? What, you couldn't find an equally articulate quote from 'the godfather'?

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