PHILADELPHIA, PA - Several black Philadelphia police officers filed a federal lawsuit against their department Thursday, alleging the online forum used by its officers is "infested with racist, white supremacist and anti-African-American content."
One post at the site, tagged "the voice of the good guys," reads: "In urban areas, it seems [African-Americans] living on welfare in paid for housing is ingrained in their culture as well as fighting... Kids, along with adults can't speak proper English or spell at a 3rd grade level, but they can sing among 'theyselves' the lyrics to a rap song."
Though some of the statements at the site are shocking, news of the lawsuit struck a particular chord with many Philadelphians.
Earl Pickenpaugh said he and girlfriend Arlene have been dealing with marginalization like this "since even bafore time."
"Let me axe you sumpin," said Earl as he leaned back in his sofa, digging his toes in the cool grass and picking something out of his ear. "D'you ever know someone what actually did pass the sixth grade but still is livin' in a trailer? That's me. Somebody what has a gun rack on his ridin' lawn mower? That's me, too. But when me an' Arlene start in at each other and them damn neighbors of ourn call the cops, which is purt near ever time, them sumbitches won't even show up most likely, let alone say anything about us on their fancy Intranet services.
"It's like we don't even exist," said Earl as he finished off his fourth Pabzt Blue Ribbon (it was only 10 a.m.), easing the volume knob on his radio up a bit as Kid Rock began to sing.
Jim and Normalee Whisenhunt indicated they "ain't none too happy about it neither," noting that having so many police officers concentrated in the ghettoes leaves the force spread thin in neighborhoods like theirs, putting sons Skyler, 17, Tyler, 16, Dustin, 14, Justin, 11, Tommy Lee, 10, Ricky Lee, 8, Billy Bob, 7, John Bob, 6, Joe Bob, 4, and Clint, 2, as well as daughters Charlene and Sharlene, 15, Darlene, 13, Earlene, 12, Lolita, 9, Misty Lou, 5, Britney, 3, Whitney, 2, and Chastity Renee, 1, at serious risk.
Not to mention the startling number of grandchildren they said seem to be "poppin' up outta nowhars" over the last three or four years.
"They's discriminatin', that's what it is," said Jim. "We's strugglin' just to make it over here, but they don't have time for us 'cause they's too busy fightin' crime in black neighborhoods, then braggin' about on their computers.
"I guess we's just not good enough for 'em," he said.