“Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment on George Zimmerman. The state seeks reelection again, truth aside. I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They’re just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn’t have anything to do with why people wonder if they’re about to get jacked by a thug.”
Well, a media firestorm developed and citizens starting making waves, demanding that Brian Beckmann be terminated for his racist and ignorant hate speech. Maria Roach was one of those citizens screaming for the captain to get the boot.
“On the day that George Zimmerman was finally arrested, I read a story about this [fire] captain basically slandering Trayvon’s parents,” Roach told Sunshine Slate via telephone.
“I am a mom, I’m married and I’ve got two little boys. I just felt insulted for the family and deeply offended that someone in a position of such responsibility would attack grieving parents in such a malicious fashion,” she said.
So Roach went onto SignOn.org and wrote up a petition called “Metro-Dade Fire Captain Brian Beckmann: You’re Fired!” to build up a groundswell to remove Beckmann from the fire department. (View the petition here.)
Brian Beckmann’s Facebook post
So far, that petition – which is addressed to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Fire Chief William Bryson – has 1,250 signatures and Roach is well on her way to achieving her goal of 2,000.
According to Roach, this is actually her second petition – her first was a certified blockbuster in the petition world.
“I have been very involved in the Trayvon Martin case,” says Roach. “In February, I wrote a petition to [U.S.] Attorney General [Eric] Holder about Trayvon Martin and calling for the Justice Dept. to intervene. That drew over a half a million signatures.”
Why the follow-up?
“The wording of [Beckmann's] Facebook post was deeply offensive. I thought this guy should be investigated and I think removed from his position. I wouldn’t trust him if I lived in that community and I wouldn’t trust his leadership if I worked under him,” offered Roach.
She still can’t believe that Beckmann, “had the balls to slander the family, slander black kids, slander inner city people, slander working class people and then to say that ‘me and my union buddies … .’”
Roach – who now lives in Bowie, MD, after leaving Orlando three years ago – is really into her newfound glory of community involvement and organizing for a cause (when I spoke with her she was at in the middle of a National Organizing Institute training seminar).
It is all rather new to the former 20-year broadcast news behind-the-scenester.
“I am really passionate and excited about helping people have a voice and using the tools to give that to them,” said Roach. “I am the daughter of social workers and I have always believed in the power of people. … It’s been deeply satisfying.”
Got your own cause to bring to the masses? SignOn.org is free and the company, launched by MoveOn.org Civic Action, is a non-profit.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate