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  1. #1

    Default When is a watermelon not food?

    "DETROIT, MI -- A "bad call," "racially insensitive," "ignorant" and a "joke gone bad" are some of the social media reactions offered after a probationary Detroit firefighter was fired for bringing the gift of a watermelon adorned with a pink bow to his new firehouse in west Detroit."

    "It's tradition for new firefighters to come bearing gifts when they are stationed in a new firehouse, but this firefighter's decision to bring a watermelon to a predominantly black firehouse struck some as a potentially racist move."

    "The watermelon has been attributed to demeaning stereotypes connected with black culture."


    http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/in...atermelon.html

  2. #2

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    They were also offended because the new firefighter had the nerve to wear a cotton shirt and "cotton" socks. The socks were even white, just like cotton.

    Sigh

  3. #3

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    And yet thousands of black families and organizations gather for get-together and celebrations, bring food, and watermelon, and it's only a problem when the white guy brings one.
    SMH.

  4. #4

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    Who knew?

    And all those grocery stores and roadside stands and farmer's markets selling them?

  5. #5

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    There is a whole list,collard greens etc. Because the slave owners provided foods high in protein etc. in order to get more work out of them so they are considered by some as slave food and the cause of high blood pressure etc.

    It seems like somebody somewhere is always trying to ban the good foods.

    We could just have a one food fits all,maybe call it soylent green.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    We could just have a one food fits all,maybe call it soylent green.

    Soylent Green is made from people!!!!

  7. #7

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    "There is zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior inside the Detroit Fire Department."

    So, how about maybe fire the person(s) who were somehow offended by the gesture? They're the ones calling attention to the whole situation.

    I hardly think that a white rookie fireman would be so stupid as to actually bring a watermelon to a mostly black firehouse as some racist joke.

    People need to thicken their skin a bit and understand that not everything has an underlying, devious message.

  8. #8

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    I'd be interested in hearing the Proby's story. Was this intended as:

    1. An insult?
    2. Some kind of weird joke?
    3. A good faith gesture?

  9. #9

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    Had he brought KFC, no one would say anything. I'm black, but it is true we live in an era of Perpetual outrage, bruised feelings, and people who just need something else better to do with their time.

  10. #10

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    Charlie LeDuff should be all over this story. LeDuff has made the Fire Department his defacto beat over the last five years or so.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASilvaman View Post
    Had he brought KFC, no one would say anything.
    Now that's racist.... Welcome aboard.

  12. #12

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    Come on people! 1) was dude even a member of that firehouse? 2)why did he feel the need to bring anything to that predominantly black firehouse? 3) why a watermelon? With a pink ribbon? Why not a cheese platter or some hot n readies? And A Pink Ribbon!!! That's insulting by it's self.

    I'm anxious to here his explanation.

  13. #13

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    First two questions are answered in the story posted above.

  14. #14

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    I'm not saying dude shoulda got fired but Dayum. What a stupid thing to do when you didn't need to. Did he deliver any other "gifts" to any other firehouse?Seems like it was real suspect! And in poor taste. Maybe he was fired for being ignorant and insensitive. At any rate I don't think I'd feel comfortable with this guy having my back��

  15. #15

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    The new firefighter shouldn't have been fired. There was nothing wrong with what he did. Being new is just that...being the newest member of the house. These thin skinned firemen at Engine 55 really overreacted in a big way. I can't imagine that was the only reason they gave the Commissioner. The proby will get his job back. If not, he needs a good lawyer because that's bullshit!

  16. #16

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    This was at E55? Ha! I didn't see that anywhere.

    E55-L27-C2 used to be one of the whitest houses in the city.

  17. #17

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    And yes, he should see a lawyer. He may have a very good civil rights case IF his intentions were good.

  18. #18

    Default The story gets even stranger...

    Apparently he's got the support of other black firefighters from his graduating class. Don't know if the support is universal, but it doesn't appear to be an isolated case of one or two people, either. Curious how this will all play out.

    But Tuesday a social media post by Tadarius Spearman stuck up for Pattinson including a group photo of him with other African-American firefighters.

    "Just want to let everyone know he's a real amazing dude and it was all good intentions," he wrote. "And our entire class (is) supporting him in this. Especially us African-Americans and that's all that needs to be said. Stay up brother. #DFD."


    http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/loca...ver-watermelon

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ablackjack View Post
    I'm not saying dude shoulda got fired but Dayum. What a stupid thing to do when you didn't need to. Did he deliver any other "gifts" to any other firehouse?Seems like it was real suspect! And in poor taste. Maybe he was fired for being ignorant and insensitive. At any rate I don't think I'd feel comfortable with this guy having my back��
    This might be a big part of why he was fired. Someone who doesn't understand what reaction that gift may provoke, may not understand other things about the community he'll serve.

    Or, he did it to be deliberately provocative (maybe because he was forced by tradition to bring a gift). In that case, he was just being a jerk, and who wants to work with a jerk?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cla1945 View Post
    The new firefighter shouldn't have been fired. There was nothing wrong with what he did. Being new is just that...being the newest member of the house. These thin skinned firemen at Engine 55 really overreacted in a big way. I can't imagine that was the only reason they gave the Commissioner. The proby will get his job back. If not, he needs a good lawyer because that's bullshit!
    The key here is that he was a probationary employee. Employers have a lot of leeway in firing probationary employees.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by archfan View Post
    This might be a big part of why he was fired. Someone who doesn't understand what reaction that gift may provoke, may not understand other things about the community he'll serve.

    Or, he did it to be deliberately provocative (maybe because he was forced by tradition to bring a gift). In that case, he was just being a jerk, and who wants to work with a jerk?
    Everyday I post with jerks, you get used to it.

  22. #22

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    It was probably a blessing for him, because now he knows what kind of people he would have had to rely on in a pinch. Better he lost a job then to have one of those mysterious collapsed stairway accidents in a burning building.

  23. #23

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    This guy went through rigorous training in a class that I would venture to guess was predominately black. There is no way he would want to "offend" anyone in the DFD, especially those whom he was going to be living with 24 hours a day. Those in the house are considered brothers and sisters, they are the ones you depend on in times of crisis and need. This entire politically correct attitude is getting tiresome in my opinion. To have to be on guard constantly, never be able to mutter the wrong things like "watermelon", "KFC Chicken", "cotton", "Christopher Columbus", "you people", )oops!! is ridiculous.
    It's time to get over yourself and live and let live. I'm really tired of this bullshit!

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honky Tonk View Post
    It was probably a blessing for him, because now he knows what kind of people he would have had to rely on in a pinch. Better he lost a job then to have one of those mysterious collapsed stairway accidents in a burning building.
    Good point here. How can you trust the person next to you with your life when they are so petty?

  25. #25

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    He should have said he brought the melon with a pink ribbon to celebrate breast cancer awareness month

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