Ann Murray? Yes, of Course She's a Racist

I know you didn't ask, but here's what I think about Ann Murray's apparent racism (and this will likely be the last post about the matter): 

She's a bigot who finally apologized yesterday for using a racial slur only to try to save her miserable little political career.

In fact, I believe that Murray isn't just a racist -- she's a superracist. 

Think about it. Sure, your average racist will use phrases like "nigger heaven" to describe rowdy upper-level seating at a football game. But they'll do it privately, usually with like-minded bigots. Murray said this while working as a supervisor in the extremely diverse School Board transportation department. 

She said it to a fellow white school transportation supervisor who not only didn't share her views on race but was shocked at what she'd heard. On top of that, Murray said it right in front of several school bus drivers, who were also deeply offended. 

The white supervisor told me that when she asked Murray what she had just said, Murray blithely repeated the offending phrase as if there were nothing wrong with it. Two witnesses said that Murray, when she realized she'd offended everyone around her, apologized and said she'd forgotten whose company she was in. One of those upset witnesses said Murray had used the word before. 

[I'm not going to get in a big debate about the word itself and its use in rap music, etc. That's a big and complex debate that serves no purpose here. Bottom line: Ann Murray's use of the word in a derogatory fashion is a sign of racism, and no thinking person would deny that.]  

What "company" did Murray believe she was in? That of her racist brethren? She just forgot where she was, and the real Ann Murray came trotting out for all to see.

Come to think of it, maybe she's just an average racist with below-average intelligence.

When I broke the story about the incident, for which Murray received a written reprimand, she refused to comment. When the Miami Herald followed the story, Murray again refused to comment, and the newspaper implied that she eluded a reporter when she "slipped" out a door immediately following a meeting. She also failed to return numerous phone calls from a Sun-Sentinel reporter regarding the incident. 

Mind you, this from a School Board member who had promised transparency and to always address every issue with the media. 

Indication of a guilty mind? I would submit that it is. 

She issued an apology yesterday, saying she has the "deepest regret" for what she said. Murray (or more likely someone around her) wrote: "I ask the African-American community and all communities who suffer with the ugliness of bigotry to accept my sincerest apology. I pray for healing and forgiveness from those I have offended as we move toward a new chapter and forever close the old."

Nice try. The problem with that is that Murray, while on the road to contrition, had already played her hand. When activist Freda Stevens, who is black, called her on the telephone for an explanation, Murray was defensive and only dug herself deeper into the hole. 

According to Stevens, Murray told her that she couldn't help what happened 400 years ago and asked Stevens to consider whether she has "black blood" in her own family. Stevens called it a "rant" and said that she was more convinced than ever after the phone call that Murray had a deeply held racist "mindset."  

This is no small issue. Black students make up about 40 percent of the public school students in Broward County. 

Radio host Steve Kane, of all people, helped put the issue in the proper perspective. From today's article in the Sun-Sentinel on the controversy: 

Steve Kane, a former member of the diversity committee, came under fire when he let the N-word fly during a debate on affirmative action in front of 100 students at Deerfield Beach High School. During the discussion, he said people use the words "right wing" in a way that's just as insulting as the N-word.

On Tuesday, he said his use of the word was academic and not intended to cause offense. Murray's use of the word to describe the cheap seats at a football game, Kane said, was indefensible.

"They should fire this lady," said Kane. "I used the word to make a comparison and to make a point. This was just bigotry. I don't have it in me to use an expression like that."

Inside: What really should happen? Should Murray resign or be "fired"?
On the resignation issue, yes, of course she should step down. 

But she won't do that, so that's a moot point. 

Should she be fired or forced from office? 

Absolutely not. 

I hear people talk about putting pressure on the governor to remove Murray from office. My response is that such a thing not only can't happen; it would be a shame for the country if it did. 

Murray has every right in America to be a racist. And she has every right as a racist to hold public office. The First Amendment protects her, as it should. That doesn't mean that people can't put pressure on her to resign or bring it up or protest or whatever it is they might want to do. 

Yes, a Broward County public school teacher would almost surely be fired for making the same statement. But they are hired on the understanding that if they violate the standards of decency, their employment will end. Murray, a School Board employee when she made the comment, herself was threatened with firing for the incident but instead was given only a sharply worded reprimand. But School Board members, when it comes to their words and views, answer only to the voters. 

So it will almost surely be up to them to remember this during her next election. That's how democracy works.
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26 comments
DavieDemocrat_1
DavieDemocrat_1

Nice try. The problem with that is that Murray, while on the road to contrition, had already played her hand. When activist Freda Stevens, who is black, called her on the telephone for an explanation, Murray was defensive and only dug herself deeper into the hole.

According to Stevens, Murray told her that she couldn't help what happened 400 years ago and asked Stevens to consider whether she has "black blood" in her own family. Stevens called it a "rant" and said that she was more convinced than ever after the phone call that Murray had a deeply held racist "mindset."

If Freda's mouth is moving, she is lying. Liar, Liar, Pants on fire!

.
.

She's right, and you can't handle the impolite truth.

Dare all the "offended" to sit up there.

AndrewM
AndrewM

Ann Murray's past employment record had been known before she ran for the school board. It's a bit late to be harping on a verbal offense that went into her personnel file years ago. The voter's had their chance to pick a candidate in the primary and then the general, and it's done. Work with what you've got, practice forgiveness and move on.

If Bob's correct, and Ann Murray's a racist, who is gonna tell me that not one other school board member is also racist? While it's a serious issue in regards to how Ann Murray has handled this as it arose from Freda Stevens making a stink about it- long after Murray was elected and then retained her seat through another election season- it's also an issue that Ms. Murray, her staff and cohorts and the voters have to deal with. I say deal with it by accepting her apology and moving onward.

There's too much of this action taken after the election's over b.s. when we should be focusing on the party's and the voters being better prepared for the next election. If anyone should have voter's regret, look at yourself and your own responsibility instead of only blaming the politicians. They may be deserving of a good degree of resentment, but the voters just may have gotten what they deserved as well. Be more careful next time, and in the meantime, politely tell Freda to shuddup already.

Windsome Lad
Windsome Lad

Brethren, and I call you that only because I try not to preach too often and tonight I find myself doing so and, as a consequence, it seems a fair title for you. We are a tribal species and, in the final analysis, all of us are racists. Both “tribe” and “race” are social constructs, not biological ones and, thus, there is little knowledge to be found – belief, yes; knowledge, no. Politics, yes; science, no. We are all racists. During the winter I have a I deep suspicion of the Québécois: they cannot drive, they cannot park, they put gravy on their french-fries and, most amazingly, they have trouble making change despite the fact that the algebra of the Canadian dollar is exactly the same as the algebra of “American” money.As you reading are you noticing how dumb I sound. (Hint, if not, you should be.) Yet most of you put up with me for a few because you’ve sat behind the guy at a green light, with his Ontario plates as he divided his US dollars from his Canadian dollars and made a decision whether or not he could pull into MickieD’s and get gravy on his fries.Anne Murray is, like all of us, a racist. Like all of us, as Pulp points out, she has a right to be one. The only characteristic that might disqualify her from sitting on the school board is that she is dumb. Yea, she is a dumb papist-Mick-black curtain Irish-didn’t graduate-from-college . . . . Was it Dan Quayle who said, “Mediocrity deserves representation, too.” Honestly, on this one matter she deserves a pass. We need more mediocrity, and less criminality, on the school board.NB: Those of you who know me know that I am not smart enough to have typed * Québécois* without help are hereby warned than the same group of editors insisted that *mick* needed to be capitalized. Perhaps a good solution to the problem at hand would be to capitalize the n-word.

Guest
Guest

This should be on the agenda of every PTA meeting in Broward County. This is serious! Why was this buried at election time? This is reason for a recall, There was not full disclosure about her past. I want her off the Board.

Guest
Guest

Well said Goldilocks! In this day and age there is no place on a School Board for a Racist Ignorant Clueless Cow. If she doesn't resign on her own accord, there should be a special election to this remove this shameful bigot from her school board position. How could the others stand by and put any value to what this person has to say?

kj
kj

Here's the solution: She should be forced to sit up there in those seats. Then be forced to walk down those steep steps to get herself a nice cool drink. And I would hope that all those people sitting would keep their feet out of the aisle so she doesn't trip. Just sayin....

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

Murray is an ignorant cow. I would use the term racist, ignorant cow but didn't want to be redundent.

I think she needs a good dose of what football is about. Mack Brown (Head Coach of the Texas Longhorns) adresses bigotry and racism very well in a TV special Boys of Fall. Those of you that played football or have kids that do will immediately relate to this.

Football is the great equalizer. Brown says that he has observed situations when new players would come in from opposite sides of the country and were raised with bigotry and hatred for the other side. But it doesn't them long them after two-a days or a game that they "stink the same and their blood is just as red."

She also needs to remember history. People who in their mid 50's lived segregation, The last local lynching I recall was in Pompano in the 70's. There was an active KKK branch through the late 80's early 90's in Davie. Fort Lauderdale was much more like the old south than like the North East not very long ago.

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

This is not the first time that Anne Murray has said "I beg your pardon".

BTW, why is this outrage only happening now? Was everybody asleep at the wheel when she ran for School Board and who in the media endorsed her then ?

Your Liver
Your Liver

Sorry, "whiney". Sounded like Mr. Ed there. By the way, saw "Francis the Mule" on tv the other day. Still sucks.

Your Liver
Your Liver

A whiny, whiny piece. No substance, just form. Can't we all just get along?

parkland man
parkland man

The now disbarred personal injury attorney apologized in court for his actions. Several of his former clients were in court. Many were outraged at the sentenced handed down by State Supreme Court Justice Penny Wolfgang.

Bernas pleaded guilty last year to 53 larceny, identify theft and tax charges.

He embezzled more than $3.1 million.

Prosecutors say Bernas would take out loans in the names of some clients, without their knowledge

parkland man
parkland man

A former Cheltenham lawyer is headed to Montgomery County prison for stealing almost $500,000 from an elderly woman who since has died.

Stanley M. Liebman, 70, Friday was sentenced to three to 23 months in prison, with the sentence to begin April 22.

Barry Sacharow
Barry Sacharow

Pulp, you are reporting Freda Stevens words as if they are to be believed. They are not, she is a liar and a thief. When you involve her in this discussion, you signifigantly lower the import of the issue. Take it away from this lying crook and I am interested in the back story, use Freda Stevens words and the story has only limited validity.

Why wan't this story, which took place BEFORE Murray's election, discussed during the election? Why has that worthless piece of human garbage using this now?

Maybe the story you should be writing is about how Freda Stevens stays in the media and what kind of thief and liar she is should be the main story, with the remark by Murray a sideline, or do you only attack your enemies and give crooks who feed you stories a free ride?

I support you, read your blog and am interested, but I am MORE interested as to why this known crook is getting the play and column inches she is? I know you have received complaints about her before, so where is that story. Ann Murray may be a problem, but she replaced Elanor Sobel, who IS a crook, DID take $600,000.00 from a convicted criminal, and did reneg on her promises to the voters. Why is Elanor Sobel getting a free ride?

Where is the fairness there, or is this less about fairness and more about YOUR friends and enemies list. I am not defending Murray, but i am beginning to question how you selct your stories and whether or not YOU are being fair to YOUR readers!

Steve-O
Steve-O

She'll get re-elected in 2012.

Commander Zero
Commander Zero

When American parents kept their kids home so they would not hear the President's "indoctrination" to stay in school, you know this country has a deep problem with race. When Governor Huckabee untruthfully said that our President was raised in Kenya, you know that racists are blinded by their own lies. When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell establishes the "single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president," you know the level of hatred for this President is unprecedented. When Mr. Obama, a pragmatist, who the Left wants to impeach, is absurdly called a "Socialist," that is the racist code-word that our President is Black.

There is irony that in a society with a pervasive and vengeful history of racism, some people are quick to judge Ann Murray. What I saw at her swearing-in was a large contingent of supportive Black people, presumably school bus drivers who helped in her campaign. Ann Murray's applause section was the strongest for any School Board Member. My first impression was that they were her family members, based on their affection for her. Maybe they did not know of her racist remark--it's hard to understand those things not being passed around at work--or maybe her Black supporters accepted it, or maybe they were campaign workers paid to clap for her, but it sure didn't look like it.

As a rule, if one wants to be always sure that the N-word is used appropriately, never, ever use it in speech or print.

I am not suggesting to ignore Ann Murray's racist remark. It raises a serious question whether she has what it takes to remain on the School Board. But whatever happens to Ann Murray is small compared with what happens to this nation afflicted by racism. Some want to change the 14th Amendment that along with the Civil War and the Voting Rights Act and 100 years of violence and struggled seemed to settle the problem of slavery. We can't go back.

Whether you do or do not condemn Ann Murray for her racist remark, do not self-righteously walk away and assume that you really accomplished anything. As Americans we need to have a deeper conversation on how we treat immigrants, the poor, the elderly, and those in need. Sensitivity should go beyond not using the N-word.

gimmesamore
gimmesamore

PULP - I get your view of the 1st amendment. However, this lady created and/or continues to create a hostile work environment for every person over whom she has authority within the Schoolboard. At a minimum, she is a litigation risk; i.e. someone is gonna sue the School board, if this lady sticks around. The 1st amendment protects against GOVERNMENT's prior restraint or restraint of individual speech. Although the Schoolboard is "government" run, the governor could remove her simply because her actions reveal she is completely incapable of fairly and properly executing her duties in the equal interest of all citizens of the county. Getting this lady off the board would be the best thing Rick Scott has done since taking office. You think he will do it --- not on your life....

Hopefully, the voters will not have a short memory about this incident and you will remind them of this incident, if she's ever up for reelection.

anonymous
anonymous

She should resign. Almost everyone on that school board should resign and no longer be allowed around children as a punishment for what they've done to our school system. And ther should be fines and jail time for several of them.

Ftlaud44
Ftlaud44

First?Hey Pulp:Carli Teproff in the Herald cited your blog as "The Daily Pulpit." What an idiot. Can't do real investigative journalism and can't cite properly either. She should resign for incompetence.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

This woman goes against every code of decency I know.

That said, I agree with you 100%, Pulp.

It is not what she *did* that was wrong ... it is *who she is* that is so distasteful and runs counter to any value of human respect and decency. But it is not a crime to be a bigot. It is just a crying shame.

Just askin"
Just askin"

If she died....would she go to..............."heaven".........or"hell"/

anonamoose
anonamoose

Are you a disbarred lawyer, or just someone tired of putting up with his fellow a@@holes?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Or run for Broward School Board.

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