The Irony and the Hypocrisy

(Stephanie Kienzle)   Can anyone spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y?  Retired Miami-Dade County firefighter William Clark obviously cannot.

Can anyone spell i-r-o-n-y?  The Gadfly can.

On Monday, September 17, 2001, a scant six days after the terrorist attacks on American soil, then “Fire Chief R.D. Paulison ordered that flags be flown at all fire stations and on all fire trucks.”  Firefighter William Clark and two others stationed at the Opa-Locka fire house refused to ride the firetruck that was flying our American Flag, according to a Sun Sentinel article dated September 20, 2001.  They claimed the reason was because ” the flag offensive and said it represented oppression.”  The three firefighters were black.  Mr. Clark and his colleagues “expressed views about racial politics in the United States throughout the day”  Clark was also quoted as saying, “The men think that once the country’s renewed sense of patriotism dies down, racial discrimination will continue.”  Clark and his buddies claimed that if they were forced to ride on a truck with the offensive American Flag, it would violate their First Amendment rights.  The ACLU was called in and reported:

“Even if the allegations were true, the firefighters would not have a First Amendment case, said Randall Marshall, legal director of the Florida chapter of the ACLU. If firefighters were disciplined for refusing to ride on a flag-waving truck, they would have to seek recourse on other grounds.”

Mr. Clark was also quoted as saying, “It was almost like we were guilty without being properly tried.”

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