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Former City Worker Sues City of Tampa for Firing Him Over Confederate License Plate
AP ^ | 03/12/2003

Posted on 03/12/2003 9:32:49 AM PST by Phlap

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A former city worker who was fired for refusing to remove a Confederate flag license plate from his truck is suing the city of Tampa.

In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Larry A. Carpenter, 47, said his First Amendment right to free speech was violated when he was fired over the dispute.

Carpenter was ordered in January 2002 to remove the license plate or park his truck off city property. He refused to do either, was cited for insubordination and was fired from his job as a traffic maintenance specialist in the Public Works Department.

Carpenter's attorney, J. Benton Stewart II, said his client, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, is proud of his heritage and merely wants the city to develop a written policy that is uniformly applied.

Stewart said other city workers who drive vehicles with bumper stickers bearing political slogans and offensive statements are allowed to park on city property.

Messages left with City Attorney Jim Palermo were not immediately returned. Carpenter declined to comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.


TOPICS: Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: dixie; dixielist
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To: Polybius
GW gave most of his slaves freedom upon his death also from what I remember, he may have owned them but he didn't treat them like dirt.
101 posted on 03/12/2003 3:55:49 PM PST by samuel_adams_us
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To: Xenophobe
I see you know about the gore family
102 posted on 03/12/2003 3:57:26 PM PST by samuel_adams_us
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To: Godebert
go ahead. I'll keep mine flying high. If you got a problem with that....tough sh#*!

And Skinheads in Germany say the same thing about the Nazi Flag.

Memo to Godebert: The South Lost the War!

103 posted on 03/12/2003 3:58:48 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: Xenophobe
Xenophobe? Funny, you sound more like a Xenophile to me.

"Fess up; you're just here to stir up trouble, right?

104 posted on 03/12/2003 4:02:03 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: Xenophobe
Do you personally limit your expressions in any way, with respect to other people (symbols are merely a form of expression).

That depends on whether I agree that the symbol has the meaning that the person that claims to be insulted attributes to it.

Some people claim that the Star of David is a symbol of "racist Zionism" and that it is justified to equate the Star of David with the Nazi swastika. I don't accept that.

Some people claim that "the American flag is a symbol of oppression and hatred, not patriotism and freedom". I don't accept that.

Some people, you being one of them, claim that the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia is a "symbol of slavery and racism". I don't accept that either.

105 posted on 03/12/2003 4:06:54 PM PST by Polybius
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To: Xenophobe
I was using "slight" in the social sense - to slight someone is to purposely ignore them or publically insult them.
106 posted on 03/12/2003 4:07:55 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: JebBush2008
" And Skinheads in Germany say the same thing about the Nazi Flag."

So....you're calling me a Nazi? I'd bet a hundred bucks you wouldn't have the guts to say that to my face. Where do you live? Maybe we're in driving distance and could meet face to face? You up for it? Or are you just a gutless liberal panty-waist punk with a big mouth?

107 posted on 03/12/2003 4:09:17 PM PST by Godebert
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Comment #108 Removed by Moderator

To: samuel_adams_us
GW gave most of his slaves freedom upon his death

What did he do with the rest of them, take them with him?

109 posted on 03/12/2003 4:12:46 PM PST by Old Professer
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Comment #110 Removed by Moderator

Comment #111 Removed by Moderator

To: Godebert
So....you're calling me a Nazi? I'd bet a hundred bucks you wouldn't have the guts to say that to my face. Where do you live? Maybe we're in driving distance and could meet face to face? You up for it? Or are you just a gutless liberal panty-waist punk with a big mouth?

Well no, but if you can only threaten to resort to violence to defend yourself you are probably not up to the intellectual level of my Southern Ancestors. My Southern Ancestors understood that they lost the war and understood the repercussions of losing the war. Most people in Germany and Japan understood the repercussions of losing WWII and I hope that the people and Iraq have the intellectual capacity to understand that they lost the war with the US and do not continue to honor Saddam.

112 posted on 03/12/2003 4:29:03 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: Rebelbase
.
113 posted on 03/12/2003 4:31:11 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Xenophobe
More equal? In what sense?

In the sense that the flag stands for the Confederate soldier who carried it on the battlefield as opposed to a political flag. Thats what it stands for to me.

My perception of it is no more and NO LESS important than someone elses perception. We would be much better off if we judged based on the attitudes of the person flying the flag than on the cloth itself which has different meanings for different people. You lump me in with a pro-segregationist from 1957 when you do that. Its not true.

Judging the flag is designed to divide and stifle any concept that their can be multiple meanings for the same object.

Guns don't kill, people do. Flags don't hate, people do.
114 posted on 03/12/2003 4:37:18 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: JebBush2008
" Well no, but if you can only threaten to resort to violence to defend yourself you are probably not up to the intellectual level of my Southern Ancestors. My Southern Ancestors understood that they lost the war and understood the repercussions of losing the war. Most people in Germany and Japan understood the repercussions of losing WWII and I hope that the people and Iraq have the intellectual capacity to understand that they lost the war with the US and do not continue to honor Saddam."

You're not fooling anyone. At least not fooling any Southerners. There is no way you could even remotely be considered a Southerner. No Southerner would willingly call his Confederate ancestors "Nazis". And any true Southerner would kick your pansy ass for saying such a thing.

And you can be damn sure that any true Southerner reading your bullcr#p knows you are not only a liar......but a COWARD.

115 posted on 03/12/2003 4:39:11 PM PST by Godebert
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To: Godebert
What part of losing a War do you not understand?
116 posted on 03/12/2003 4:41:54 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: Old Professer; All
Anyone know the name of the FReeper who had an ancestor that was impressed as a slave by the British Navy in the early 1800's?

I remember reading about him being really pissed whenever he looks at a Union Jack.
117 posted on 03/12/2003 4:43:28 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: JebBush2008
Is that all you got? You've been proven as a liar and a Coward. Have you no self-respect?
118 posted on 03/12/2003 4:45:25 PM PST by Godebert
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Comment #119 Removed by Moderator

To: Xenophobe
What....you his boyfriend? I noticed you signed up 48 hours ago. I smell marxist puke. You won't be around long....boy.
120 posted on 03/12/2003 4:49:55 PM PST by Godebert
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Comment #121 Removed by Moderator

To: Godebert
Is that all you got? You've been proven as a liar and a Coward. Have you no self-respect?

At least I am not sitting here in Texas longing for the "Good 'Ole Days" and whining about a war my grand pappy lost 138 years ago. Instead, I see the vision of a new south that is an important and vital part of the United States of the 21st century. The south is a fertile ground not just for cotton but for industry, education and economic vitality while much of the nation rusts.

The old south is dead as are the defeated political philosophies of the defeated Axis Powers of WWII and the defeated communists of Eastern Europe. The rest of the world moves on after being destroyed in a War but you hang on to system that was put to rest two centuries ago.

122 posted on 03/12/2003 4:58:28 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: Xenophobe
Nobody here is interested in your perverted homosexual fantasies.
123 posted on 03/12/2003 5:00:19 PM PST by Godebert
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To: JebBush2008
Read the fine print. The county never said that he could not have the plates on his truck but that he could not park the truck on County Property. Much like the woman in Nashville could not sent Anti-War e-mails on or from company property.

Not really. The situation would be comparable if the county owned his truck, but it does not. As a general rule (barring the inane and often unconstitutional local ordinances etc. that some places have), political is protected on public property so long as that piece of public property is not being turned into the item of speech itself.

For example, I could carry a protest sign while standing on a public sidewalk. But if I tried to paint my sign's message on that public sidewalk, or if I hammered a hole through it and put up a billboard holding my sign's message, free speech would not protect me nor should it.

It would seem that the first situation would apply for a privately owned car that simply makes use of a public parking lot at a public building, thus his free speech appears to be protected.

124 posted on 03/12/2003 5:01:16 PM PST by GOPcapitalist
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Comment #125 Removed by Moderator

To: JebBush2008
Yes, but the Personal Truck was parked on his employers property.

His employer is not a private company though. Rather it is a government entity whose lands are public property. Political speech is afforded further protection on public property than in a privately owned business.

126 posted on 03/12/2003 5:04:21 PM PST by GOPcapitalist
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To: Xenophobe
Take your supposed courage and your flag and march through Harlem, tough guy.

I'm a reenactor, I went into a convenience store in a principally black section of Pine Bluff, Arkansas in a Confederate uniform. Nobody bothered me and the only comments the clerks (black) had was how I could stand to wear that wool in July. On the way to a reenactment in northeast Louisiana a couple of us had car trouble and ended up at a convenience store in a primarily black town at night. We had Confederate license plate on and Confederate uniforms. The clerks let us use the phone and a black policeman came and picked us up and took us to a hotel. Our van stayed there in that black neighborhood all night with the Confederate flag on it and nobody bothered it at all.

We went to a N.B.Forrest memorial over in Memphis and several black men stood by and watched. When a prayer was said they bowed their heads. No trouble and we were glad they came.

We had a reburial for a Confederate soldier that was found out in the woods down here. Several black gentlemen from the town came out and paid their respects. They were welcomed warmly.

Up in Northeast Arkansas we had a marker dedication with some displays and had some older black men drop by. My brother had some displays with slave related items (manacles, etc) which they were very interested in and we gave them all the info we had. No physical contact there other than a few handshakes.

I don't know about you, but I've never been accosted in regards to the flag nor has anyone been anything other than normal friendly. Perhaps you have some experience with the matter that I don't have.
127 posted on 03/12/2003 5:05:04 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: JebBush2008
"The rest of the world moves on after being destroyed in a War but you hang on to system that was put to rest two centuries ago."

A regimental battle flag is not "system". I still say you're a liar and a coward. You don't have any Confederate ancestors. And just having a Texas zip code doesn't necessarily make you a Southerner.

128 posted on 03/12/2003 5:07:29 PM PST by Godebert
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To: GOPcapitalist
So employees working in the public sector have more rights than people working in the private sector?
129 posted on 03/12/2003 5:08:54 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: Godebert
A regimental battle flag is not "system".

So I take it you will support ancestors or Iraq’s Republican Guard when they are toting around their daddy's battle flag long after Gulf War II has ended.

130 posted on 03/12/2003 5:12:40 PM PST by JebBush2008
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Comment #131 Removed by Moderator

To: JebBush2008
So employees working in the public sector have more rights than people working in the private sector?

Well, actually its not about the employees rights, its more about the employers powers. The government has very little power to restrict free speech whereas the private employer does on his own property.
132 posted on 03/12/2003 5:15:54 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: JebBush2008
So employees working in the public sector have more rights than people working in the private sector?

Not really. If any citizen needed to use the county courthouse or whatever the building is, he would be afforded the same rights with bumper stickers etc. on his car upon entering the parking lot and parking there.

133 posted on 03/12/2003 5:21:05 PM PST by GOPcapitalist
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To: Xenophobe
It is to many blacks, and, according to Billbears, is offensive to many educated whites as well. I'd expect it to be offensive to blacks, and am surprised to hear that some whites would be offended. I've also come to expect that some whites, primarily Southern whites, strenuously argue that it is a harmless symbol.

It's a case where the perception is the problem, which brings me back to my original point.

To many educated Palestinians and many educated whites, the Star of David is "a symbol of racist Zionism" and it is offensive to them.

To many educated blacks and whites, the American flag is "a symbol of oppression, racism and imperialism" and it is offensive to them.

Some educated blacks, declare that "George Washington has about as much meaning as David Duke" to black students today and ask, "Would a Jew let his child go to a school named after Adolf Hitler?". George Washington is offensive to them.

Which brings me back to my original point.

Are you willing to declare the military history of an entire region of the country Politically Incorrect because some "educated" people decide that they are "offended" by a Battle Flag that had no political symbolism in the War of (the Great Rebellion) (Northern Aggression).

If so, be prepared to have the "Buffalo Soldiers" declared "symbols of the genocide of the Native Americans" by "offended" educated Native Americans.

I would wager that the many "educated blacks and whites" that are "offended" by the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia would not be able to give an impromtu 15 second explanation of Malvern Hill or Chancellorsville if their life depended on it.

134 posted on 03/12/2003 5:21:24 PM PST by Polybius
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To: Xenophobe
The bottom line is either you're a decent person (any color) or you're not.

And thats my point. Its the people who hate, not the flag. We'd be better off if the flag carrier were judged by the content of their character. Your opinion of the meaning of the flag does not trump all others.

If you want to come down hard on a guy holding Confederate flag and blocking a school door then I'll help you out. But if you want to take one down off a soldier's memorial because you think your interpretation of the object trumps all others then I'll be on the other side.
135 posted on 03/12/2003 5:22:02 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: Xenophobe
For your education:

H.K. Edgerton

136 posted on 03/12/2003 5:24:36 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Godebert
In 1944 my Dad who was from New Orleans was dodging bullets and killing Nazi's while your ancestors were segregating schools and dictating who drank out of what water fountain. In the 1960’s my Dad took our family to march for Civil Rights while most white people in the south opposed the movement. Where were you and your family those summer days back in ’65?
137 posted on 03/12/2003 5:24:49 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: Arkinsaw
I agree, having had similar experiences through the years. The Confederate flag flap has been stirred up by race baiters, PC idiots, and do gooders to advance their own agendas. After all, if there were not some controversy, no matter how rediculous(reparations, etc.)that these people could stir up and try to make stink, there would be no use for them.
I suspect the display of the Confederate flag has no or little significance for the majority of black people.

By the way, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri were slave states until the end of the war(slaves in those states were NOT freed by the emancipation proclamation of 1862). Shouldn't those who are offended by the display of the Confederate flag be equally offended by the display of the state flags of the slave states who stayed in the union?
138 posted on 03/12/2003 5:29:21 PM PST by nomorecameljocks
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To: Xenophobe
"He didn't call his Confederate ancestors 'Nazis"

Let's just take a look see at what your friend, JebBush2008, did say then. Here are just a fewe of his musings from this thread:

"Most people in Germany and Japan understood the repercussions of losing WWII and I hope that the people and Iraq have the intellectual capacity to understand that they lost the war with the US and do not continue to honor Saddam."

"And Skinheads in Germany say the same thing about the Nazi Flag."

"I grew up in the South and am proud of my Southern Heritage. However, I also realize that the South lost the War and with that loss came monumental change for the South. The same thing will happen to Iraq when they lose the War against the U.S. Monumental change will take place in Iraq but I will not feel comfortable with people in Iraq longing for their Heritage of Life with Saddam."

"Have you ever wondered why the Confederates are the only people who lost a war and still honor the symbols of their defeated past?

"I don't see too many Germans waving the Nazi Flag or too many Japanese that still believe in the Emperor’s infallibility or too many Royalist New Englanders waiving the Union Jack. Hopefully, next year or 10 years from now we will no longer see people in Iraq honoring Saddam."

Ya.....this guy JebBush2008 must be the head of his local SCV chapter, right?

139 posted on 03/12/2003 5:31:15 PM PST by Godebert
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To: Xenophobe
Here's a new one I can add to the list above of the wit and wisdom of that great and noble Southerner, JebBush2008.

" So I take it you will support ancestors or Iraq’s Republican Guard when they are toting around their daddy's battle flag long after Gulf War II has ended."

140 posted on 03/12/2003 5:36:52 PM PST by Godebert
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To: connectthedots
"While I could never understand what honor there is in be the "son of a ______" or the "daughter of a _______"

He's talking about being a member of an organization called "The Sons of Confederate Veterans". They are among many historical groups that do the battle reenactments.

They are no different from other organizations like "Daughters of the Confederacy" (DOC), Daughters of the American Revolution" (DAR), and "Daughters of the Alamo" (DOA - The Alamo would have been torn down in the '30's without them)
141 posted on 03/12/2003 5:43:27 PM PST by chaosagent
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Comment #142 Removed by Moderator

To: JebBush2008
I take it you haven't heard of La Raza and Aztlan(?).

And there are groups in Japan that still celebrate their WW2 dead. And groups in Germany that celebrate their WW2 soldiers.
143 posted on 03/12/2003 5:46:19 PM PST by chaosagent
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To: Xenophobe
That shame was foisted on the symbol by others. There was no "shame" in the confederate flag until very recently. This man has the same right to exhibit his symbols as do blacks who want to display the green red and black separatist flag. No, I do not agree that their trauma was so very great that they cannot bear to look upon the flag. Not one of them was a slave under it. Ever.

It is a totally modern deconstruction technique that unfortunately gains sympathizers. All some ONE has to do is complain about feeling threatened, the entire rest of the population must stop in concerned horror. Lets get real.

As long as "they" want to make it an issue, it will be a symbol, not of slavery and "hatred"[which says more about the user of that term than the subject of that term] but of free expression and individuality.

144 posted on 03/12/2003 6:01:15 PM PST by Adder
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To: JebBush2008
"In 1944 my Dad who was from New Orleans was dodging bullets and killing Nazi's while your ancestors were segregating schools and dictating who drank out of what water fountain. In the 1960’s my Dad took our family to march for Civil Rights while most white people in the south opposed the movement. Where were you and your family those summer days back in ’65?

So....your dad was a war hero, eh? Just like you have Confederate ancestors.......right? You're so full of crap it's coming out your ears. If you want to see what my father did during the war you can check my homepage. BTW....what unit did YOU serve with? .....or were you too busy marching with MLK to bother with the military?

I still say you're a liar and a Coward.

145 posted on 03/12/2003 6:11:08 PM PST by Godebert
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To: Xenophobe
As our culture changes so do perceptions and values.

Are you supportive of cultural relativism? Just curious.

146 posted on 03/12/2003 6:13:48 PM PST by GOPcapitalist
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To: Godebert
Must have been tough fighting that war with a pillow case over your head.
147 posted on 03/12/2003 6:29:55 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: JebBush2008
LOL
148 posted on 03/12/2003 6:34:40 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Xenophobe
Outgunned and undermanned, the men of the South fought valiantly, and I'm glad they are my countrymen. That being said, symbols have power, and should be exercised carefully.

I agree wholeheartedly.

That is why I believe that military symbols such as the Confederate Battle Flag should be vigorously defended against any political misuse by race baiters and hate mongers of either color.

A loathsome misuse of the Confederate Battle Flag can be found here: Ku Klux Klan...The flag of the South is now the flag of World Wide White unity!

The use of the Confederate Battle Flag by hate groups and racist politicians, be they white or black, is a slap in the face to the valient men who died under that banner and should be condemned as strenuously as the misuse of Old Glory by those same hate groups.

Once we allow the hate mongers to define the symbolism of our History, they win.

149 posted on 03/12/2003 6:43:18 PM PST by Polybius
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To: JebBush2008
"Must have been tough fighting that war with a pillow case over your head."

I guess that answers my question. Pathetic.

150 posted on 03/12/2003 6:43:28 PM PST by Godebert
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