DEA INSTRUCTOR CALLED BLACK TRAINEE A MONKEY, MADE MONKEY NOISES OVER PA SYSTEM
So this story is kind a surprise to me. But, really, I shouldn’t be. Things that we thought were our collective norms are clearly not what we thought they were. And with politics in the US these days, that’s increasingly a clear truth. So this time, we’re talking about overt racism at the DEA. No, not with “perps.” But with trainees. African-American, black, trainees at the Drug Enforcement Agency’s training academy in Virginia. But it’s schoolyard antics racism. The kind of thing you’d expect to discipline kids from ever doing again. But no. The DEA Academy. One of their trainers called a black recruit a monkey. Then he made monkey noises.
STUPID CHILDREN IN THE SCHOOLYARD MAKE MONEY NOISES, NOT FEDERAL AGENT ADULTS
If that sounds utterly ridiculous, that’s because it is. One, we’re talking about an adult here. Not just some redneck drunk in a forest. Two, we’re talking about a representative of the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Agency. You know, an agency of the federal government? They’re tasked with fighting the “war on drugs,” whatever that means these days? So what happened, exactly? Well, last year, there was a training session at the academy’s firing range. You know, guns. The instructor called out a last name. But two of the recruits had the same name, one white, one black.
DEA INSTRUCTOR THEN MADE MONKEY NOISES MOCKING BLACK RECRUITS ON SHOOTING RANGE
So when the white recruit responded, that’s where everything went racist, schoolyard wrong. The DEA instructor replied, “I meant the monkey.” But it gets much worse, with the monkey noises. The instructor would go on the firing range’s loudspeaker and mock black trainees by making monkey noises over the loudspeakers. Pretty ugly stuff. But I can’t help thinking about Barrett, the nominee to the US Supreme Court. She didn’t even think that a supervisor using the N-word to a subordinate constituted a hostile work environment. You can guess what she would think here.
And as for the racist DEA instructor, very Special Agent Jay Mortenson, not enough happened. The academy removed him from his post there. But he was allowed to retire with no discipline of any kind. That’s what you call monkey business. SMDH.