Lets review some facts. The Ohio Courts have reinstated a Trooper who was fired by the Ohio Governor after he dressed up in a KKK outfit ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan) and sent his picture dressed in this hateful costume to another Trooper. see http://www.nbc4i.com/midwest/cmh/news.apx.-content-articles-CMH-2008-11-06-0008.html
In New York a similar case occurred when off duty fireman and Police Officers rode a float in a parade in black face and had the nerve to call the float ” Black to the Future” Mayor Giuliani fired them but a court as in this trooper case reinstated them.see http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9906E5DC1631F932A2575AC0A96E958260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink
The issue, should police, teachers, fireman and other public servants be able to enjoy first amendment freedom of speech protections when they engage in hate speech or conduct? A secondary issue is whether unions should support and give legal aid to members whose engage in hate conduct or behavior.
Justice Thomas dissent in Virginia v Black ( see http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/01-1107.ZD.html) is interesting reading and persuasive in this matter. The sum and substance in his dissent is that cross burning is a violent terrorist attack, as such void of any valuable indicia of protected speech. He sites that the public has a right to balance the physical safety of it’s citizens against a persons free speech rights. I agree, and in the present case a Trooper in a KKK costume is engaging in ” terror conduct” and as such should not enjoy any civil servant employment protections as he poses a possible threat against persons of colors, and especially African Americans.
I fully believe that a Police Officer, Trooper and or any other public servant wearing a racial hate groups garments is an act which should lead to their immediate dismissal. The reason ,the officers intentional racially charge act clearly indicate he will not act in a fair manner to people of color in his professional capacity. Tax payers don’t have to subsidize racist bigots, homophobes and anti Semites. Police officers are trained in the law and have to undergo sensitivity training before they are given a badge and gun. As such we have superior knowledge of the law and conduct which is insensitive, hostile and or discourteous to the rights of other. IN GENERAL POLICE SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF IMPARTIALITY IN THEIR ON DUTY AND OFF DUTY PERSONAL CONDUCT.
Intentionally, sending a picture of yourself dressed in the hateful robes of the KKK and doing so with the full knowledge that these A -holes savagely lynched African Americans is behavior grossly indifferent to society and an overt act of racial hatred. The governor was right to fire them.