A Belding, Michigan, firefighter has been relieved of duty after a racially charged comment he aimed at a Colin Kaepernick supporter came to light the weekend of Dec. 10.
Facebook user Tarvenia told FOX 17 News that it all started when she commented on a post about Kaepernick’s national anthem protest. Her comment stated that her brother is a vet and she supports the quarterback. Kaepernick has been not acknowledging the anthem since late August to protest white supremacy and ongoing racial inequality in America.
Tarvenia, who did not want to be identified, also commented “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the post and that seemingly is what set off firefighter Ryan Hudson. Under her comments, Hudson responded: “You are the true epitome of a n—-r. All lives matter. And if you think it’s just Black lives kiss my ass b—h and go back to the fields that us in the north fought to free you from.”
At some point later, however, Hudson apparently realized that his words could come back to haunt him because he told the woman via Facebook that he was impaired and not thinking clearly.
Tarvenia was not buying it. “He’s now claiming he was drunk. First, he was hacked, now he’s drunk,” Tarvenia says.
FOX 17 News reported that the victim took screenshots of the post and that another firefighter made Belding Fire Chief Greg Moore aware of the comment. The chief said it hurt him to read the comments and that he immediately called his union rep and the city manager and informed them he was considering firing Hudson. They all agreed termination would be for the best, the news outlet reported.
The victim said that she values freedom of speech but believes that public servants like firefighters must be held to a higher standard.
“Yes, we do have free speech in this country,” the woman says. “But free speech does not mean you’re free from the consequences of your free speech and your decisions. We don’t get to just spout off at the mouth and spew hatred and ignorance.”
The fire chief agreed. He said when that siren goes off, he needs to feel confident his men are going to do their job, no matter what color the victims might be.
“We don’t know if it would’ve changed any of his thoughts, what he would do,” Moore says. “But we cant take the chance. We have to treat everybody equal, no matter what. And we want that to happen.”