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In June 2020, a longtime member and lieutenant with the Leonia, New Jersey volunteer fire department resigned after posting an "inappropriate" and "indefensible" Facebook post against Asian Americans.
The original Facebook post, which has since been deleted, was posted by a Leonia firefighter of an Asian woman holding a sign that used a vulgarity to refer to the police. The post said, "To my Leonia people, who is this and how do you think this is peaceful?"
The post garnered over 300 comments, many of which were racist, xenophobic and sexist. One of the comments was made by Jack Peters and was derogatory against Asian Americans. Peters was president of Fire Company No. 1 and a Lieutenant with the department. He has been a volunteer member for the last 45 years.
Peters issued an apology and after conferring with his pastor and other community members that his apology wasn't enough and on Thursday he submitted his letter of resignation.
On Facebook, Leonia Fire Department Company No. 1 posted a statement.
"While these comments were made through mediums not affiliated with the Volunteer Fire Department, we understand that the comments of our members can and do reflect on the Fire Department, and we further understand that at least one comment was insensitive, inappropriate, and indeed, offensive," The Facebook post said. "The Fire Dept does not condone racism or sexism, and supports the right to peacefully protest."
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
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