(Baltimore, Md., 8/23/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today acknowledged disciplinary action against a Baltimore public works department employee who reportedly posted racist and anti-Semitic tweets, and emphasized its call for dialogue, action and community healing.
After reviewing the employee’s twitter account, 17 posts were found “that could be viewed by a reasonable person as intentionally racist, anti-Semitic or derogatory.” The employee is no longer employed.
SEE: Baltimore Public Works Employee Who Allegedly Made Racist, Anti-Semitic Tweets ‘No Longer Employed’
“The City of Baltimore deserves public servants, workers and representatives who embrace its diversity, enrich the fabric of society, and represent the interests of all its residents,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “No one wins when a culture of divisiveness is allowed to flourish. Unfortunately, the toxic political environment we live in has emboldened bigotry with little fear of accountability or consequences. That can only change at the local through dialogue and action that leads to healing.”
Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming’s office investigated the incident and reported yesterday that “the tweets violated a public works department policy that requires employees to ‘conduct themselves at all times in a manner becoming of a City employee, and shall not bring scandal, expense or annoyance upon the City through … improper or notorious behavior.’”
Last month, CAIR and the NAACP Maryland State Conference issued a joint statement condemning the tweets and calling on the employee to resign.
SEE: CAIR, NAACP Baltimore City Branch Condemn Racist, Anti-Semitic Tweets by Baltimore City Employee, Call on Him to Resign
In July, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works issued a statement:
“The City recognizes that all employees have the protection guaranteed by the First Amendment to think or believe whatever they choose. The reports in this instance show speech that is repugnant and hurtful to many people, but the Law Department has made it clear that such thoughts are protected. On the other hand, there exists standards of behavior applicable in the City workplace, as well as prohibitions on the use of City equipment in ways that are not in the best interest of, or might be incompatible with the mission of, the City government to create and maintain a welcoming and safe community for all residents and visitors. The matter is under careful investigation and if remedial action is found to be necessary, it will be taken promptly.”
Chaudry added that CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
SEE: CAIR Welcomes Hate Crime Charges for Racist Incident in Wisconsin
CAIR, ACLU Condemn Distribution of Racist, Anti-Semitic Messages in West Virginia Community
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-971-6062