True Story

[Trigger warning for racist language.]

A white Boston cop (not the one who arrested Henry Gates, but one who clearly sympathizes with him) was pretty unhappy with some of the coverage of the story in the Boston Globe and fired off an email to the columnist.

That email contains repeated uses of the term "jungle monkey," demands to know how Henry Gates can be a "famous expert on race" when he's done nothing "for me and my family" (including nothing to "help limit and reduce my income tax," in case you were wondering where his political alliances lie, heh), and suggests the reporter "serve a day with the infantry and get swarmed by black gnats while manning your sector."

Shockingly, the email to a journalist, on which several of his National Guard buddies were copied, does not stay private, and the officer is "placed on administrative leave and faces losing his job."

The officer, Justin Barrett, apologizes and immediately undermines his apology by insisting: "I am not a racist."
A Boston police officer who sent a racially charged e-mail protesting newspaper coverage of the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. apologized Wednesday night and said "I am not a racist."

…"[Jungle monkey] was a poor choice of words. I did not mean to offend anyone," Barrett told NewsCenter 5's Cheryl Fiandaca.

…"The words were being used to characterize behavior not describe anyone," said Barrett. "It was a poor choice of words. I didn't mean it in a racist way. I treat everyone with dignity and respect."
For the record, his words were not being used merely to characterize behavior. The parting shot of his email is: "Your article title should read CONDUCT UNBECOMING A JUNGLE MONKEY—BACK TO ONE'S ROOTS."

Also for the record, there's no way to use "jungle monkey" to describe a human or human behavior that isn't "in a racist way."

The Boston Police Department assures us this is just one bad apple.

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