The dreaded noose that was hung from the tallest trees in the most vile historical pages of American lore have not abated. The festering pain of its being discovered in the locker of a Mount Vernon Firefighter on April 8, 2012, allegedly placed there by fellow Mount Vernon Firefighter Henry George Thomas as a practical joke has been allowed to languish in the expectation that no one in media will notice its horrid conduct or aftermath or the fact that the "prankster" is the brother of Mount Vernon City Councilman Richard Thomas (pictured left).
What was the purpose of this foul prank? What was the meaning and expected result anticipated by Firefighter Henry George Thomas when he conjured his malicious deed on a fellow firefighter? Was it an assault on the sensibilities of the firefighter who upon opening the door to his locker would cause him fear or laughter? Was this ploy a catalyst meant to disparage fellowship among the rank and file or simply another bigoted expression to cause friction between blacks and whites despite the "prank" perpetrated by one black man onto another.
This incident has been quietly covered up by Mayor Ernie Davis (pictured top right) and the Mount Vernon City Council, who would seemingly like to sweep this incident under the rug. Yet any thinking person would ask who is being protected here? Is it the alleged perpetrator of this dastardly and bigoted deed, Mount Vernon Firefighter Henry George Thomas? Is it the alleged perpetrator Henry George Thomas’ brother, Mount Vernon Councilman Richard Thomas? Is this bigoted incident too difficult for Mount Vernon to handle so it chooses to hope it will go away?
Firefighter Henry George Thomas had initially admitted to his concocting and carrying out his scheme against a fellow firefighter. Since then he has recanted; he was evidently legally advised that his “prank” is grounds for dismissal. The recant is too little and too late. He must be brought up on charges and dismissed from duty. The horror the noose conjures up in the minds of those who endured its stranglehold on one’s life, so much so that it would rob one of his life cannot be fathomed. Those who wretch at the prospect of such terror will appreciate that no words or regret or recant of fact can absolve the bias and bigotry from which this atrocity would be played on a colleague whose professionalism dictates he have the back and safety of all his fellow firefighters as his priority and first responsibility.
Deputy Fire Commissioner Noah Lighty (pictured right) has advised that upon hearing of this incident he had engaged Mount Vernon’s police, fire and law departments to launch a joint investigation.
Lighty may not fully comprehend or appreciate the racial divide that Mount Vernon has for years suffered when he is attributed to have said, “From what we were told, it was a joke, but we need to find out for sure.”
Mount Vernon Fire Commissioner James Gleason has chosen to await the findings of the Mount Vernon Police Department.
Mount Vernon’s silence will assure a repetition of similar conduct that must not be permitted reentry into the present day. It is sad enough similar conduct, condoned in the most sophisticated venues, and supposedly expected in venues less sophisticates, at least that was the excuse, should be permitted free reign in these days of so-called modernity.
Where is the report?