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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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This one is for all you rebels.
1 posted on 03/12/2003 9:32:49 AM PST by Phlap
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To: Phlap
Rebels hell. Try free speech. Is there a precedent for other symbols/political speech, etc being allowed? Then he has a case. And it sounds like a hate crime also ;-)
2 posted on 03/12/2003 9:57:59 AM PST by eyespysomething (Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about)
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To: eyespysomething
BTTT
3 posted on 03/12/2003 9:59:47 AM PST by wardaddy
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To: *dixie_list
Ping
4 posted on 03/12/2003 10:00:18 AM PST by wardaddy
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To: Phlap
Dumb move by the city of Tampa.
5 posted on 03/12/2003 10:06:28 AM PST by FreeTally
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Xenophobe
Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? It requires one to walk in the other guy's shoes. How do you think seeing someone flying the Confederate flag affects black people? We may have the right to fly the flag, but that doesn't mean we should do it, or encourage it. In fact, anyone who followed the Golden Rule would discourage it. Slavery was the shame of our nation, and the Confederate flag is too closely associated with that shameful institution to be dissociated in the name of Southern heritage. There are other ways to celebrate Southern heritage without using that symbol.

In your opinion. However your opinion does not extend to the front of this man's truck.
7 posted on 03/12/2003 10:41:18 AM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: eyespysomething
So you are willing to defend this Tampa man's right to free speech at the workplace? Great, I understand that but how to you feel about the woman in Nashville that was fired for sending Anti-War E-mail on her work computer?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/861677/posts?q=1&&page=101
8 posted on 03/12/2003 10:47:55 AM PST by JebBush2008
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To: Xenophobe
How do you think seeing someone flying the Confederate flag affects black people?

How many black people living today are former slaves?

9 posted on 03/12/2003 10:50:25 AM PST by Shethink13
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To: Xenophobe
There are other ways to celebrate Southern heritage without using that symbol.

Tell me how....Some people are hollering about a Robert E. Lee statue in my hometown. If we "give up" the flag as a "symbol", "they" (whoever the heck they are) will just try to take away ALL of our "symbols" by painting them as racist.
10 posted on 03/12/2003 10:51:23 AM PST by dixierose (American by birth, Southern by the grace of God)
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To: Xenophobe
A corporation can do this. The government cannot.
11 posted on 03/12/2003 10:52:23 AM PST by AppyPappy (Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.)
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To: JebBush2008
Apples and oranges....this is the man's PERSONAL truck.
12 posted on 03/12/2003 10:52:43 AM PST by dixierose (American by birth, Southern by the grace of God)
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To: stainlessbanner; billbears
Heads up!
13 posted on 03/12/2003 10:54:01 AM PST by Constitution Day (** RALLY FOR AMERICA: Raleigh, NC ** http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/861481/posts)
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To: Xenophobe
I agree, to a point. I think it boils down to common sense and realistic sensitivity. For example, I think that we would all agree that displaying a Nazi swastika would be offensive to nearly all of us. It's certainly your right to display one; however, in society, sometimes your right matters less than trying to find a way to coexist with other people peaceably. Some people seem incapable (or unwilling) of distinguishing between the two.
14 posted on 03/12/2003 10:55:35 AM PST by Bush2000
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To: dixierose
Carpenter was ordered in January 2002 to remove the license plate or park his truck off city property.

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.

15 posted on 03/12/2003 11:00:53 AM PST by JebBush2008
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To: JebBush2008
That's good and all, but then any personal expression, of anything, would require the same treatment, right?
16 posted on 03/12/2003 11:05:24 AM PST by eyespysomething (Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about)
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To: Xenophobe
How do you think seeing someone flying the Confederate flag affects black people?

That's ancient history! Black people in America had better be very grateful for slavery in America. If it weren't for slavery in America, today's blacks would be scratching around some third world country to survive. As it is, all things being equal, today's blacks fare better than today's whites.

If you doubt this, I suggest you read Myths That Divide Us, by John Perazza.

17 posted on 03/12/2003 11:18:06 AM PST by hoosierskypilot
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To: Xenophobe
You seem to defend a monstrous evil that elevates concern only for the feelings of Leftists/designated victim groups. Would you defend the firing of an employee for putting a "Darwin/fish" sign on the back of his truck? Such a firing is unimaginable in today's climate, because some are more equal than others.
18 posted on 03/12/2003 11:21:01 AM PST by Iconoclast2
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To: eyespysomething
That's good and all, but then any personal expression, of anything, would require the same treatment, right?

Absolutely, the article mentions that the rule wasn't applied consistently. I think Tampa is going to lose in court.

19 posted on 03/12/2003 11:21:26 AM PST by John123
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To: JebBush2008
Wasn't necessarily her work PC. The article states that "Saviano got the letter at her personal e-mail address," which can be accessed from home or work.

The article says that she was fired because "Saviano put her company name on her e-mail," making her e-mail seem corporately sanctioned.
20 posted on 03/12/2003 11:23:12 AM PST by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I'll defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: Xenophobe
There are other ways to celebrate Southern heritage without using that symbol.

Yes, and, as soon as another medium for memorializing Southern heritage is chosen, you and your ilk will attack its use, as well. (Example: the planned funeral for the recently-recovered bodies of the crew of the H.L. Hunley is already being protested...)

I assure you that the display of the Confederate flag (in the name of free speech) does not distress black people any more than the burning of the U.S. flag (in the name of free speech) distresses most FReepers!

Since when did the Constitution guarantee any of us the right to not be offended?

21 posted on 03/12/2003 11:26:04 AM PST by TXnMA ((No Longer!!!))
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To: JebBush2008
OK...there's a fellow who works with me that has a "BUSH KNEW" bumper sticker on his truck. That offends me. Should he be forced to remove the bumper sticker or park off of company property??? Sorry, but that argument doesn't wash. As far as I'm concerned it's his personal vehicle and he can use it to express what he wants, no matter what I think of it. After all...I don't have to ride in his vehicle.
22 posted on 03/12/2003 11:32:49 AM PST by dixierose (American by birth, Southern by the grace of God)
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To: Xenophobe
"Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? It requires one to walk in the other guy's shoes. How do you think seeing someone flying the Confederate flag affects black people?

We may have the right to fly the flag, but that doesn't mean we should do it, or encourage it. In fact, anyone who followed the Golden Rule would discourage it. "

Maybe we shouldn't fly the American flag in Texas, because the Mexicans are probably disturbed at remembering what we did to Santa Ana.

We probably shouldn't fly the American flag in California, either, because California is really Alta California, sister state to Baja California, and by rights should go back to its rightful owners.

Or so your logic would dictate!

Ed
23 posted on 03/12/2003 11:34:39 AM PST by Sir_Ed
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To: Arkinsaw
Xenophobe signed up 2003-03-10.
24 posted on 03/12/2003 11:36:11 AM PST by B4Ranch (Politicians, like diapers should be changed often. Stop re-electing these 'good' people!)
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To: Xenophobe
We may have the right to fly the flag, but that doesn't mean we should do it,

This is true of most of our freedom.  We have the right to live as we choose
as long as we don't exercise it.
25 posted on 03/12/2003 11:39:01 AM PST by gcruse (When choosing between two evils, pick the one you haven't tried yet.)
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To: JebBush2008
The woman was using theCOMPANY'S COMPUTER while the Tampa man had a Conederate flag on his PERSONAL truck.
26 posted on 03/12/2003 11:47:41 AM PST by albee
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To: Xenophobe; GOPcapitalist; stainlessbanner; 4ConservativeJustices
It requires one to walk in the other guy's shoes. How do you think seeing someone flying the Confederate flag affects black people?

For those uneducated of any race, I imagine it offends them. But that's because of their ignorance rather than their race. The documentation of the existence of Black Confederates and Jewish Confederates is well known.

Of course now that article, a C+P from you know who, with Jimmy Mcphernut and the park ranger denying it all. Of course there won't be facts, but I've found liberals don't need facts, they just live off emotion

27 posted on 03/12/2003 12:00:56 PM PST by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: albee
The woman was using the COMPANY'S COMPUTER while the Tampa man had a Conederate flag on his PERSONAL truck.

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

28 posted on 03/12/2003 12:35:12 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: JebBush2008
The truck may have been parked on his employer's property, but his employer was the City of Tampa, a government agency.

If my employer, a private business, wants to tell me what I can display on my car or what I can wear on my shirt or what music I can listen to in my office, they have every right to do that. However, the City of Tampa has no more right to tell an employee he can't have a certain symbol on his truck than they do to tell the Ku Klux Klan they can't have a parade. I may not personally like it, but that's the way the law has been interpreted. I think Tampa loses on this one.

29 posted on 03/12/2003 1:01:50 PM PST by RightFighter
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: Xenophobe
Slavery was the shame of our nation, and the Confederate flag is too closely associated with that shameful institution to be dissociated in the name of Southern heritage.

The confederate flag flew over slavery for 4-5 years. The US flag flew over it for almost 80.

Which flag do you want to try and ban again ? Slavery was a bad thing yes, but WESTERN Civilization was the first civilization that banned it.

31 posted on 03/12/2003 1:04:34 PM PST by Centurion2000 (Take charge of your destiny, or someone else will)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: JebBush2008
Will the same local government prohibit blacks from wearing clothing with a (racist Malcolm) X on it? Will NAACP bumper stickers be prohibited? How about Latino pride insignia? Admit it, one group and one group alone is the only acceptable whipping boy in this PC age: Southerners proud of their Confederate heritage.
34 posted on 03/12/2003 1:12:09 PM PST by reelfoot
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: dixierose
OK...there's a fellow who works with me that has a "BUSH KNEW" bumper sticker on his truck. That offends me. Should he be forced to remove the bumper sticker or park off of company property??? Sorry, but that argument doesn't wash. As far as I'm concerned it's his personal vehicle and he can use it to express what he wants, no matter what I think of it. After all...I don't have to ride in his vehicle.

First, I am not here to defend either the man in Tampa or the Woman in Nashville. I see it as a property issue and if your employer or his customers are offended by sights seen on company property it could cost business. For example, I have an employee that I manage that has a "Regime Change Begins at Home" sign in his office and last week before a client visited I asked him to hide the sign. If he had refused to hide the sign I would have taken steps to have him reprimanded. If I had an employee that had pick up truck with a Rebel Flag and bumper stickers that could be considered offensive I would have asked that person to move the truck before the client arrived.

36 posted on 03/12/2003 1:14:20 PM PST by JebBush2008
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: Phlap

39 posted on 03/12/2003 1:17:24 PM PST by Consort
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To: Xenophobe
Even if someone is unable to empathize with blacks, the negative impact of that symbol on them is pretty easy to figure out.

Sorry, I can't figure it out. So what is the negative impact of the Confederate symbol on a black person living in the U.S. today?

40 posted on 03/12/2003 1:21:06 PM PST by judgeandjury (The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state.)
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To: JebBush2008
I see it as a property issue and if your employer or his customers are offended by sights seen on company property it could cost business.

So if the City of Tampa has a resident who is offended by a particular race, the City should be able to ban people of that race from City property so the City won't lose business? Okay. I get it.

41 posted on 03/12/2003 1:21:38 PM PST by RogueIsland
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: RogueIsland
So Public Employees have more Rights than Private Sector Employees?
44 posted on 03/12/2003 1:26:35 PM PST by JebBush2008
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To: reelfoot
Admit it, one group and one group alone is the only acceptable whipping boy in this PC age: Southerners proud of their Confederate heritage.

And if I have one employee with Pro War Propaganda in his office and another employee with Anti-War Propaganda in his office I should have the right to fire both?

45 posted on 03/12/2003 1:29:48 PM PST by JebBush2008
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

Comment #48 Removed by Moderator

To: Xenophobe
Applying the Golden Rule, I would hope that if I was stupid enough to be deeply offended by a Confederate flag sticker on some moron's truck, that my concerns would be at least studiously ignored, or better yet ridiculed. Thus, I will do unto others as I would have them do unto me.
49 posted on 03/12/2003 1:33:25 PM PST by Sloth ("I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" -- Jacobim Mugatu, Zoolander)
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To: JebBush2008
Two different things:

He owns his truck.

She did not own the computer.

She was paid by the company to do a job; not send anti war memos.

Now if she was at her home and on her own computer....

I believe that this is over your head,but, when a company or organization pays someone to do a job-- they expect that someone to do what they are paid to do.
She s not being paid to send anti-war messages.
50 posted on 03/12/2003 1:38:19 PM PST by sport
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