Tuesday, March 19, 2013
NYC Fire Commissioner’s Son Racist?
It would seem that NYC’s Fire Commissioner, Salvatore Cassano, has a son who is blatantly racist. The story came out yesterday that Joseph Cassano has been making racist, anti-semitic and other offensive remarks on his Twitter account for months now. Apparently, he was even suspended from school for doing so at one time, but that wasn’t enough to teach him a lesson. His father’s prestigious position with the NYC Fire Department didn’t deter him either. Now, instead of his tweets being buried alive under thousands of other benign tweets, they have been preserved for posterity in various news and media articles which are quoting him left and right.
Joseph Cassano, 23, has been working as an EMT for the city for about three months. EMT’s get preferential consideration for openings in the fire department. Working for the FDNY was the young Cassano’s goal. Do I think there was some influence in getting Joe the EMT job? Yes I do. It’s reported that 100 new hires were made to the EMS department, of which 40% are minorities. I read that the fire department has long been under represented with minorities. In fact in 2011, a judge found that the FDNY discriminated against minorities for years and appointed a court-appointed monitor to oversee hiring. And who is in charge of the FDNY? Salvatore Cassano. Maybe there is a connection between the discrimination of the FDNY against hiring minorities and Cassano’s racist attitude? You have to wonder.
Of course, Salvatore Cassano came out with a very nice public apology for his son’s behavior. I am sure he was embarrassed and humiliated by his son’s words, which were extremely offensive, even to our own Mayor Bloomberg, who read the anti-semitic tweets and commented about them. Commissioner Cassano says his son regrets making the tweets and says “that is not his son.” Oh no? Whose son is it? I don’t believe for a second that his son regrets making those comments and I especially do not believe that he didn’t mean every single one. You don’t make comments like that over a long period of time and not actually think that way. And, young Cassano also made a public apology, after resigning his job as EMT, saying he regretted making the comments and enjoyed his job, treating every patient with care and respect. Let me know if you believe that!
Here are a few of his choice tweets:
“I hate ems” and, “Everybody wanna be a firefighter, but don’t nobody wanna be a damn EMT.”
“Got kicked in the shin by a drunk and had to carry a 275 pound guy down 5 flights of stairs . . . my job is the worst #yearandahalftogo.”
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he posted, “MLK could go kick rocks for all I care, but thanks for the time and a half today.”
“Getting sick of picking up all these obama lovers and taking them to the hospital because their medicare pays for an ambulance and not a cab.”
“News flash to half of the island,” Joseph, who lives at home with his parents on Staten Island, posted in August. “ur white! Stop talking like ur a shwoog.”
“I like jews about as much as hitler #toofar? NOPE.”
“I love boob jobs . . . I wish every girl in America were forced to get one once they turn 18.”
Now, I wonder how does a young man develop such deep seeded feelings of hate and intolerance towards others? I wonder how it is that his family was “unaware” of his feelings until they were exposed by the media? I have known some racist people in my day and they never keep their racism a secret. It always comes out at one time or another. I can’t imagine that, in the privacy of his family home, that he never expressed his feelings towards minorities, Jews, women, his job, or the patients he cared for on a daily basis. I find it very hard to believe his family didn’t know or maybe they did? Maybe he was raised in a home where this type of language was acceptable? I mean where is a child most likely to learn to be racist? From his family? From his friends? From his community? It really gives you something to think about. Children aren’t born racist, they are made racist, they are taught to be racist. I believe children usually pick it up from the attitudes of the parents and the types of comments they are used to hearing in the home, where it’s condoned. His father, Salvatore, says his son was raised with good values and respect for all people. So where did he go wrong?
I’m glad Joe Cassano wasn’t smart enough to keep his beliefs to himself. I’m glad his Twitter rantings were exposed and that he had to quit his job. He, and people like him, have no business serving a diverse city like New York. How are we to know if his attitudes didn’t affect the kind of medical care he provided to members of different groups that he expressed hate towards? My guess is that it did, and this is one instance where social media served a good purpose.