Firefighter who sent tweet apologizes

Friday, June 14, 2013 7:48 PM
Last updated Saturday, June 15, 2013 1:52 AM
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An Augusta firefighter has apologized for a tweet that drew widespread criticism for questioning the citizenship of a Latino boy singing the national anthem Tuesday at Game 3 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio.

“The issue was really more sensitive than what I was paying attention to,” said Andre Lacey, an Augusta firefighter since 2007, in a phone call Friday. “By no means am I racist.”

Lacey said he deleted his Twitter account, @AndreLacey, after receiving death threats. People following him on Twitter who had nothing to do with the tweet, also received threats, he said.

Lacey said he didn’t expect the backlash to his original tweet, in which he wrote, “How you signing the anthem lookin like an illegal immigrant.”

The tweet, and several others like it, drew national attention after it was picked up by news sites and blogs.

“It was an insensitive remark,” said Lacey, who added that he wasn’t speaking as a representative of the city of Augusta or the fire department, only issuing a personal apology because he is “humbly regretful” for making the “tasteless” comment.

Earlier this week, Fire Chief Chris James said the department was aware of the tweet and taking a look at its options.

As of Friday, he said, “It’s still in progress.”

The tweet will be addressed by Lacey’s shift commander sometime after Lacey, who hasn’t been back to work since the tweet was sent, returns to the fire station, James said.

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LillyfromtheMills
10866
Points
LillyfromtheMills 06/14/13 - 08:23 pm
12
0

I thought

The young man had a wonderful voice and looked so nice in his outfit! I'm proud of anyone that represents his culture as he does. I'd much rather see a fine young man than the ones we see on the streets with their pants hanging around their knees.

pgapeach2
814
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pgapeach2 06/14/13 - 08:38 pm
6
4

I do not think

I do not think that this requires a harsh punishment. A good approach would be Mr. Lacey giving a class on Equal Opportunity to his department, with the main focus being racial discrimination. That is just my opinion, but you know what an opinion is like.

seenitB4
72742
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seenitB4 06/14/13 - 08:48 pm
9
9

Thanks for stepping up Mr Lacey

This is special & you do have a right to speak your mind....if they give you any trouble just come on here & tell us...we will get the posse together....:)

Amazing how some things turn out...:)

Pops
4355
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Pops 06/14/13 - 08:50 pm
14
5

His comment doesn't

amount to a hill of beans.......his only "crime" is ignorance of how Twitter is monitored by people looking to find something to be offended by......while I could care less what Mr. Lacey believes, I feel he has the right to say anything he wants.....we do not live in Nazi Germany.......

JRC2024
6955
Points
JRC2024 06/14/13 - 09:04 pm
11
4

People who spend all their

People who spend all their free time on twitter of Facebook don't have much to do. Quit worrying about a passing comment. It means nothing in the daily routine. Thanks for stepping up.

Just My Opinion
4669
Points
Just My Opinion 06/14/13 - 09:06 pm
9
3

Mr. Lacey just made a dumb

Mr. Lacey just made a dumb mistake by not thinking about what he was typing and how it would come across. I am firmly in his corner in that this man should NOT be punished any more than he already has. He gave what seemed to be an earnest apology. What else do people want?
On second thought...don't answer that.

Sweet son
8248
Points
Sweet son 06/14/13 - 09:11 pm
9
0

Well Pops and others, he has the right to say anything

he wants but in our "politically correct" world he needs to research the facts before he speaks. We don't live in Nazi Germany but anything that you post on the Internet is subject to close scrutiny. I hope that the young fellow who sang the Anthem galantly will post something that says his apology is accepted and I hope that Mr. Lacey has learned a valuable lesson from his misstep!.

LillyfromtheMills
10866
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LillyfromtheMills 06/14/13 - 09:24 pm
5
2

To the fireman

Big brother is watching you - watch out what you say. We live in a new world...

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 06/14/13 - 09:41 pm
10
3

"I'd much rather see a fine

Unpublished

"I'd much rather see a fine young man than the ones we see on the streets with their pants hanging around their knees."
amen lilly

Darby
19174
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Darby 06/14/13 - 10:55 pm
9
2

His tweet was ill conceived and stupid.

Having said that, I hope his apology was heartfelt and not driven by criticism or threats.

Dumb or not, the man should be able to exercise his First Amendment rights without repercussion, no matter how insensitive.

If he doesn't feel remorse, he should not apologize. To do so is to surrender his right to free speech.

The diversity we hold so dearly should include acceptance of ignorance and intolerance by others.

Speak out against it, but don't threaten the offender with injury or loss of income.

Some of you people are the models George Orwell used when he wrote 1984.

itsanotherday1
34723
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itsanotherday1 06/15/13 - 12:01 am
8
2

He apologized. Move on for

He apologized. Move on for heaven's sake! It wasn't a huge deal to begin with. Let the Chief verbally spank him and chalk it up to lesson learned. No need to totally castigate this guy over a thoughtless remark.

ragingbull
945
Points
ragingbull 06/15/13 - 12:05 am
4
6

The man has a right to speak

The man has a right to speak what was on his mind. If he thought the boy looked like an illegal immigrant, that's his prerogative. I am not going to fall out with him about it and neither should anyone else.

KenAmericanDad
79
Points
KenAmericanDad 06/15/13 - 01:11 am
8
3

Please go read the First Amendment

The First Amendment does NOT give you the right to say ANYTHING you want at anytime. What you say cannot infringe on the safety or well-being of other, or be such that it causes too great a disturbance (as in wearing a tee shirt that says f*** n*****s in a public school. That just might disrupt the right of the other kids to learn.). The First Amendment keeps the government, not the public from going after you for what you've said. I can say I don't like the president, without fear that the government will come and get me. Other people may not like my comment and can take me to task for it. So be it. But I cannot say I'm going to kill the president and expect the government to ignore me. If I go on social media and denounce my employer, they have a pretty good chance of firing me and not getting in trouble for it. You've all read those stories. Prospective employers are also looking up the social media presence of applicants to see what the people are like, and they have every right to do so.
I don't understand all the posts from people who are incensed that Lacey was taken to task for his comment. Why can't they say what they think? Isn't that was forums like this do? Why can some post their opinions and not others? If you don't like my opinion, fine, JUST SAY SO, but don't tell me I have no right, that I'm trying to inflict my pc view of the world, that I'm taking away his First Amendment rights, etc, that I'm a FASCIST. Say something stupid in public and you get BLOWBACK. That's what happened to Mr. Lacey. Too bad for him for not being smarter. Maybe this will LEARN him.

KenAmericanDad
79
Points
KenAmericanDad 06/15/13 - 01:16 am
7
4

His prerogative?

So if, after meeting your mother I call her some ugly names, because that's what I thought, you'd be cool with that? That'd be my prerogative? And you wouldn't fall out with me? You're a better man than I am, that's for sure, because someone would be falling if they spoke about my mom like that.

KenAmericanDad
79
Points
KenAmericanDad 06/15/13 - 01:18 am
8
5

People are so funny

they go on and on about people on twitter and fb having no life and spending all their time looking for things to upset them, then you notice they have THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of points here on the Chronicle. Ironic, no?

Bodhisattva
4942
Points
Bodhisattva 06/15/13 - 05:22 am
8
4

The usual peanut gallery

The usual peanut gallery shows up en masse any time there's a story related to race always jumps to the defense of anyone who makes a racist comment. They cite the First Amendment as somehow giving someone the right to say anything at anytime and now are adding a "without repercussions" clause to the amendment. The amendment prevents the government from blocking political speech. Your employer is very free to limit your speech, and if you don't think there are repercussions for things you might say, I suggest you walk into a biker bar and yell, "Harley-Davidson s*cks!" The odds are you would receive a rapid and very painful lesson in the repercussions of exercising your First Amendment rights inappropriately.

owensjef3
5507
Points
owensjef3 06/15/13 - 05:26 am
9
4

Not well traveled

Unpublished

I guess this guy has never been to San Antonio, T X' Plenty of Americans that look like that kid and they have been there a long time.the thing that upset me was that this was a kid

Bodhisattva
4942
Points
Bodhisattva 06/15/13 - 06:10 am
6
0

As to Andre: Not a real cool

As to Andre: Not a real cool comment. Bravo on having the nerve to man up to it and apologize.

RunningMan
346
Points
RunningMan 06/15/13 - 06:56 am
9
1

It's Simple

Treat others as you would want to be treated. I'm sure he would not like it if his action was repeated by others towards him. Also, we are talking a about a child. If the same was said about his children, how would he feel? Man up and act like a professional adult, please.

justthefacts
17993
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justthefacts 06/15/13 - 07:06 am
4
1

Well Ken, Bod

What do you think should be his punishment? What "repercussions" should he endour?

Rebelbuyer
30
Points
Rebelbuyer 06/15/13 - 07:08 am
0
0

Apology

Unpublished

I'm sorry that Mr. Lacey was more than likely coerced into giving an apology. What you do and or say on your own time and in the privacy of your home should be beyond the tentacles of your employer.
I felt no offense at his observation. Just look around the Augusta area at the people on our highway road crews, construction sites, or at Wal-mart. Our area has no history of Hispanics living here. So where did they all come from? The majority don't speak English. So where have they come from? Is it wrong to assume that they are more than likely illegal immigrants because they are not apart of the cultural heritage of this area and they don't speak English?
We have been so quick to diminish our WASP culture for political correctness. Lest we forget, it has been this WASP culture that has generated the ideals of personal liberty and elevated standards of living all over the Western world. It is this very WASP culture which has created the prosperity which everyone desires. Everyone seems to be offended by the WASP culture of this nation and desires to replace it with a culture which has NOT generated Liberty or Prosperity for their people. Before we forfeit this heritage which lifted us from the Dark Ages, we'd better inspect what these newcomers are offering as a suitable replacement.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/15/13 - 07:20 am
5
3

"So if, after meeting your

Unpublished

"So if, after meeting your mother I call her some ugly names, because that's what I thought, you'd be cool with that? That'd be my prerogative? And you wouldn't fall out with me? You're a better man than I am, that's for sure, because someone would be falling if they spoke about my mom like that."

I have no problem with you calling my mother ugly names. That is your right. It is my right to not like you for it and not "be cool" with it. What is NOT your right is to make some "fall" for doing so, assuming you were implying some sort of violence.

...point to ponder
641
Points
...point to ponder 06/15/13 - 07:21 am
7
3

Apology accepted...

This firefighter made a mistake. He apologized. He had no ill intent.
Move on.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/15/13 - 07:23 am
5
2

"I suggest you walk into a

Unpublished

"I suggest you walk into a biker bar and yell, "Harley-Davidson s*cks!" The odds are you would receive a rapid and very painful lesson in the repercussions of exercising your First Amendment rights inappropriately."

Again someone seems to imply that if you exercise your first amendment rights, that you deserve to have violence brought upon you.

Truth Matters
5204
Points
Truth Matters 06/15/13 - 07:41 am
9
0

Lessons

1) The young boy was shown in a video flicking the "comments" off his shoulder. Smart kid as well as a great singer.
2) Bigot attitudes can come from any persuasion---black, white, brown, male, female...
3) Sometimes it pays to lay a comment aside then read it later to see if the tone reflects what you really intended to say.
4. and 5). After reading # 3 above I decided to delete these two.
6) Never miss an opportunity to encourage a child for doing something positive.

Truth Matters
5204
Points
Truth Matters 06/15/13 - 07:45 am
6
0

Lessons 4 and 5

4) when you are wrong, say so and apologize ( good for you, Andre)
5) After apologizing, see if you can make a "message" out of a "mess."

curly123053
3202
Points
curly123053 06/15/13 - 08:14 am
3
0

A Lesson Learned

I am proud of Andre for stepping up and admitting he made a mistake. We all say or do things in the spur of the moment that we sometimes regret. I hope the city is not to harsh on Andre and takes this as a lesson learned by all involved. It takes a bigger person to step up and apologize for something they did, than to actually do the mistake. It would be nice if he was able to reach out to the kid and apologize to him personally. That would be a big step too.

internationallyunknown
3494
Points
internationallyunknown 06/15/13 - 08:21 am
2
1

All's well that ends

All's well that ends well.

...the irony in the FB and Twitter comment...

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 06/15/13 - 08:24 am
2
2

sensitive

Words can construct or destroy but according the book "cross currents", only words spoken by people who have authority in our lives effect our lives. We also give authority where we shouldn't by things like watching the news and becoming fearful. The Bible says to not take an offense and live without fear. Once again; the Word shows how to avoid this PC society and how to handle life in all areas. Society without God and the guidance of His Word becomes a mess in all areas. Our words only effect those we have authority and influence over and everything else is just talk.

seenitB4
72742
Points
seenitB4 06/15/13 - 09:12 am
3
3

Haha

And a calmness came over the crowd & they were quiet...no more jumping up & down & shouting..."Fire him--Fire him"......now it is cricket time......funny world we live in..

and they put the stones down & walked away...just as they should...

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