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Disciplinary Action For Racial Tweets, Do You Agree?

from Dave Wedge of the Boston Herald,

Two Twitter punks who fired off racist rants about Washington Capitals hero Joel Ward are facing possible disciplinary action from their schools while another who apologized said he’s getting death threats.

A spokeswoman for New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce University said a student is facing disciplinary action for firing off an expletive-laden tweet using “vile racial slurs.”

“We consider the racism, ignorance, lack of inclusiveness and poor sportsmanship reflected in the student’s actions to be a matter of grave concern, and we are taking immediate action,” the school’s statement said.

The student apologized in a tweet last night, saying: “I was in a state that had me frustrated. I am not racist and never will be. Sorry.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+ward

Comments

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Everybody’s got a right to the consequences of free speech.

I was in a state that had me frustrated. I am not racist and never will be.

Apparently, he never plans on being frustrated again.  That’s good to know.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/27/12 at 02:48 PM ET

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Actions have consequences. These clowns have the right to say whatever they want, no matter how ignorant or hateful. But those around them have the right to react to what was said and done as well.

Really, just a sad state of affairs that a player from “the other” team scoring a goal could cause such a reaction. Grow up!

Posted by pcoffey on 04/27/12 at 02:53 PM ET

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Looking through the tweets listed from that night, I noticed that stood out, because it was the only one from a girl. I decided I wanted to know why this girl would say something like this, so I headed on over to her twitter page. This self proclaimed cuttie(note: she was not) was already getting shit for what she said, and rightfully so. So lets get to the part that BLEW my mind.

Her response was something along the lines “people use n***** in a non racist way all the time, thats how I meant it, in a non racist way”

I’m sorry, WHAT? The n-word is the epitome of racism. You can’t not mean it to be racist! (yeah yeah, rappers, blah blah) The n-word is easily one of the most hateful and loaded words in the english language.

This girl is probably in high school, along with the kids in the story…are they that out of touch? I mean first, all the high schoolers tweeting about not knowing Titanic was based on an actual event…but now thinking the n-word is acceptable to ever say to anyone in any context? What. The. Eff.

I’m still on the good side of 30, but holy hell, what is the world coming to? I think its time to bring back corporal punishment in schools or something, kids seem to have absolutely no respect for anyone or anything anymore. Or maybe its just more noticeable because of technology? I’m starting to contemplate home schooling for any kids I end up having…assuming the world doesn’t end in December…

Posted by pstumba on 04/27/12 at 03:19 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

kids seem to have absolutely no respect for anyone or anything anymore. Or maybe its just more noticeable because of technology?

Children learn what they live. And yes, it is more noticeable because of technology.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 04/27/12 at 03:48 PM ET

pensfan29's avatar

I dont agree with what they said, but i also dont agree with a school coming down on the idiot who said it. I dont recall a tweet that was racist that included a schools name. I think they are overstepping their bounds a bit.

Posted by pensfan29 on 04/27/12 at 03:55 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by pensfan29 on 04/27/12 at 02:55 PM ET

Ding. Exactly. I had a minor disagreement last night with another member over Tim Thomas and his political stances and the whole WH thing.

If we want to wave the 1st amendment over Tim Thomas skipping the WH thing, then criticizing him for it, how can we not wave the 1st amendment over this, even if it’s digusting and morally wrong?

Of course, we could get into rap music and hip hop and the lyrics involved but I’m sure I’d be in the wrong there, too…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/27/12 at 04:20 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I dont agree with what they said, but i also dont agree with a school coming down on the idiot who said it. I dont recall a tweet that was racist that included a schools name. I think they are overstepping their bounds a bit.

Posted by pensfan29 on 04/27/12 at 02:55 PM ET

https://twitter.com/#!/skoal_banditt

If you look at his profile, he says he’s from Franklin Pierce University. Anybody who looked at that guy’s profile (and believe me, a ton of people did after his tweet led the way on this post about it from SB Nation) would be able to see that this guy is using that school’s name to identify himself with.

As a reminder, here’s what he said:

“Joel ward you f****ng n****r you suck 6 goals all season you f****ng plug n****r bitch”

I think Franklin Pierce University is taking necessary steps to protect themselves.

Nobody is waiving the 1st Amendment, but the University that this particular member calls himself a member of has every right to decide whether he’s going to be allowed to continue to study there after embarrassing them like he did.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/27/12 at 04:29 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I’m learning to face palm ambidextrously.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 04/27/12 at 04:39 PM ET

pensfan29's avatar

Then i would expect a statement from the school (why are they even making a statement?) saying, we do not endorse or agree with said student’s comments.

Suspending a student, or whatever they do, because he made ignorant comments just seems unfair.

Again, i dont like what he said, but people are allowed in this country to say what they want to. No matter how vile.

Posted by pensfan29 on 04/27/12 at 04:40 PM ET

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mrfluffy:  The 1st amendment doesn’t have a whole lot to do with this situation.  While that amendment makes it illegal for the federal government to pass a law restricting speech, it does not mean that anyone can say or do anything they wish without any consequences.  I hope I’m not overstating the obvious, but disciplinary action and legal action are not the same thing.  You can be exempt from legal action but still find yourself in other sorts of non-court-related trouble.

As a trivial and non-racially charged example, it is perfectly legal to call your supervisor/boss a s***head.  But you are still likely to get fired or at least reprimanded.  The 1st amendment doesn’t come into play; it is not a legal issue.

Now it does seem that you think that a school should not be allowed to issue punishment for something that happened outside of school hours.  That is a more interesting debate, and that is the subject of this thread.  Not the 1st amendment. grin

(I hope I did not misunderstand your message, and I do apologize if I did.  Just wanted to correct some things that it seemed to me were misunderstood.)

Posted by GregAnnapolis on 04/27/12 at 04:41 PM ET

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Again, i dont like what he said, but people are allowed in this country to say what they want to. No matter how vile.

They *ARE* allowed to say what they want to, no matter how vile.  Other people (but not the government) are free to take actions or form opinions based on what they say.  A private organization is not bound by the 1st amendment.  It is perfectly legal (note: I’m not saying right/wrong, but legal) for a private person or private organization to discriminate against someone for their speech.

Posted by GregAnnapolis on 04/27/12 at 04:47 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Suspending a student, or whatever they do, because he made ignorant comments just seems unfair.

Losing out on potential students because it seems as though your university has a culture of racist nitwits is equally as unfair.

They haven’t announced his punishment yet, but they mention “sanctions”.  I don’t think he’ll be suspended, but there’s a decent chance he may be prevented from further representing their school in hockey.

There are no “hours” for representing your school or organization. You are always on the clock there and, as such, you are always expected not to embarrass them.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/27/12 at 04:49 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Wait, I think I misread the article. Not sure if the kid from Franklin Pierce plays hockey. Seems that’s another kid from Cumberland, RI.

Point remains that “sanction” doesn’t mean “suspend” or “expel”.  Hell, it could mean that they put a letter in his record that says “this kid said something stupidly racist and it embarrassed us.”

If they want to expel him for it though, that’s up to them. He’s the one who dragged their name into this problem by putting it on his Twitter page. I don’t think that teaches him the right lesson, but I’ll worry about whether this stray sheep has been unfairly punished after I know what his punishment is.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/27/12 at 05:06 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Greg- You make perfect sense. Thanks.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/27/12 at 05:14 PM ET

awould's avatar

I wish all racists would out themselves so readily.

Posted by awould on 04/27/12 at 06:13 PM ET

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As others have mentioned, while these people have freedom of speech, they do not have protection from individuals and private institutions applying consequences to them for their vulgar and ignorant free speech.

The internet leaves me disillusioned sometimes with how openly ignorant some people are when they feel they have the least bit of anonymity.

However, I’m starting to see this issue with the glass half full. All these annoying social media innovations have created a climate where idiots can easily identify themselves and be held accountable for it.

In the past, racist kids and adults would go out and pick on a visible minority and get off easy, because there’s no record or proof of what they’ve done. Now they’re coming out and identifying themselves publicly with it, and hopefully feeling large consequences that at the very least if it doesn’t make them reconsider their outlook, it will make the way to afraid to every openly express their opinions.

Posted by Supa on 04/28/12 at 01:07 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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