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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

If you happen to sit on a panel that deals with discrimination policy, you probably also don't want to be posting racial slurs online.

It's not rocket science.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche was using the alias "Reality" to post comments on online news articles.

Roche has reportedly railed online against gays and the end of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell military policy. But a lot of politicians supported the policy. Surely that's not enough to fuss about, right?

But Reality has posted some negative comments about other minority groups as well.

Roche, according to the Times, "wrote that St. Petersburg was unique in Pinellas in its number of ‘thug shootings' and ‘prostitutes beatings[sic]' and ‘social service recipients.'"

Okay, but maybe this was taken out of context. However, Reality complained in 2010 of "race pimps," saying "whitie [sic] isn't to blame for your ignorance."

In another comment, he said, "When a white kid and a black kid sit in the same classroom and are given the same information, tasks and assignments - and the black kid fails - it has nothing whatsoever to do with the teacher, the system, the unions, the funding or the school. Start with a 70 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate.''

Those are pretty big nails in the coffin for Roche.

After it was discovered that Roche posted these comments, commission Chairwoman Susan Latvala decided it was best to remove Roche from the Affirmative Action Committee.

Why on Earth would Latvala remove him from this committee?

It would have been one thing if Roche had simply opposed affirmative action policy for reasons of fairness. Some argue that affirmative action constitutes reverse discrimination and ends up judging people on the color of their skin rather than individual merit.

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But this is not the argument that Roche makes. You do not want someone sitting on a panel deciding affirmative action policies who believes there are inherent differences caused by our race. That's a little scary.

Latvala did the right thing in removing Roche from the panel. However, while public officials should not be posting their viewpoints online using aliases from an ethical standpoint, it is interesting to note that the people of Pinellas County might not have ever known Roche's racist tendencies.

The voters of Pinellas County will definitely have Roche's strange behavior and remarks in mind when they go the polls in the next election.

Why the heck would Roche admit to posting these things?

What he lacks in intelligence, common sense and human decency, he sure makes up for in self-confidence.

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