Imagine this. You open your Facebook and see a troubling meme
: an illustration of a white woman holding her baby girl's head underwater in the bathtub. The image's caption reads: "when your daughters first crush is a little negro boy."
Obviously the post troubles you, but what troubles you most is who posted it — your town's assistant police chief.
For the estimated 30 black residents of the town of Estherwood, Louisiana the story isn't just a hypothetical, it's a reality. In July of 2017, then assistant police chief Wayne Welsh posted the meme on his Facebook page and it quickly went viral.
The offensive image was seen by town residents and others farther afield, and people rightly wanted to know how a man, charged with protecting people of all races in his city, could post something so blatantly racist.
After his post made national news, he was forced to resign
from his post, but if you ask him, he couldn't for the life of him tell you what all the fuss was about. "I just don't feel like I should have to resign on this because there's not a policy saying that I can't do this on Facebook."Two years later, Welsh is not only back in blue but he, shockingly, is the town's top cop, the chief of police.
But while the village's white residents defend the "all around good guy," black residents fear that the chief's clear racial bias will put their lives at risk. In a recent CNN interview
, not a single black resident agreed to speak on camera for fear of retaliation by the police force or other residents.
A cop's job is to defend each and every person without bias and judgment. To treat them with respect and protect them from harm. But when you have an officer that clearly shows racist tendencies, can they be trusted to do that? Chief Welsh forfeited his right to be an impartial man of the law the day he posted that repulsive meme. He can no longer be trusted to protect the town's black residents in good faith and thus shouldn't be Estherwood's chief of police. Tell Chief Welsh that you are disgusted by his racism and impropriety. Tell him he should resign and allow someone of better character to take his place as chief.