First the New York Times, now the Associated Press via the Boston Herald.
From yesterday’s Herald:
Few brotherhoods are as strong as the one among firefighters, who depend on one another just to stay alive. But powerful racial tensions have divided the St. Louis Fire Department and spilled over recently to City Hall.
In October, the cityâ€™s white mayor, Francis Slay, demoted black Fire Chief Sherman George after a three-year dispute over the firefighter promotion exam.
Since then, the FBI has investigated two incidents inside engine houses that were reported as possible hate crimes â€” one involving a stuffed monkey hung by the neck, the other a noose tied around a cracker box.
George â€” the cityâ€™s first black chief â€” himself won his first promotion only because of a federal court order in 1978 that found the departmentâ€™s tests for promotions discriminated against blacks. George, 63, and other black veterans of the department say racism hindered their rise at every step.
“The fire department was a country club for white folks,” said retired Capt. Baby Webber, who is black. “Then the black folks started coming in and breaking up their country club.”
Click here to read the full story.