Liberty County Florida Commissioner Dexter Barber got caught in the cookie jar when he stupidly complained about standing behind niggers while one recorded call to his jailhouse brother. THEN, he tried to get the matter suppressed from being discussed at the commissioners meeting. He needs to be removed for being racist, yes, AND for being STUPID enough to say this on a recorded jailhouse line. Guess he thought his white privilege would get him out of this jam. It didn’t. Will it allow him to remain a commissioner? Only time will tell.
No one likes waiting in line — especially Dexter Barber, chairman of Florida’s Liberty County Board of Commissioners, andespecially if he’s waiting in line behind black people (or, as he calls them, “n*ggers”).
Last month, Barber was visiting his brother in Liberty County Jail, when he found himself presented with a “slap in the face” — he had to wait behind some African-Americans in line. Barber was so furious at this imagined affront that he complained in a call to his brother, never thinking that the call would be recorded and reviewed by a jail administrator:
“What’s so bad they’ve run everybody out but them. Last week they run everybody out but one, then let two n*****s walk in there and sit right in front of us.”
“That was kind of a slap in the face,” he said, apparently blaming his inability to play his ‘white privilege card’ on Sgt. Maple Spears, second-in-command at the jail (and an African-American). “That’s some of Maple Spears’ bullsh*t.”
Spears, however, says she was simply enforcing jail policy, and keeping the proper visitation rotation.
Barber’s brother, Jackie, was arrested in April after he threatened to kill himself out of grief over his dead son. In what appears to be an attempted “suicide by cop,” Jackie Barber fought with four police officers while armed with a handgun. Eventually, the officers managed to wrestle the gun away and arrest him. He was charged with four counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and four counts of resisting arrest.
Veldina Dawson, administrative assistant to the Liberty County Sheriff, reported Dexter Barber’s awful remarks to the county commission. Barber went Wednesday to Dawson’s home, where he apologized and pleaded with her to remove her name from the commission meeting agenda on Thursday.
Instead, she filed a state ethics complaint against Barber. Dawson said she was “numbed” by the remarks, and that she found it “hard to believe” that Barber, who has been a commissioner for 12 years, would say such a thing.
“Our concern is for you to further look into this breach of ethics, violation of civil rights and call on him to give an account of his behavior,” Dawson said during the commission meeting. “If individuals who sit in the highest position of county government are allowed to demean and belittle a different race of people, how long do you think it will be before students in our school system will be doing the same thing and following suit?”
Barber complained during the meeting that he had already offered an apology, which he claims was made “as solemn as I could, and I thought all this was over and this is what it turned into. I already apologized.”
“Yeah, he apologized,” Dawson said. “The night before the meeting. How convenient is that?”
“I shouldn’t have to tell you that Sgt. Spears found this remark to be personally offensive and was quite upset to hear Chairman Barber use the “N” word and make a derogatory comment about her,” Sheriff Nick Finch wrote in a letter of condemnation to four other county commissioners, the county attorney and clerk of court.
“While I realize this does not rise to the level of a criminal complaint, I do however feel it is incumbent upon me as the sheriff of Liberty County to bring this to your attention,” Finch wrote. “I personally condemn the remarks the Chairman made and I call on each of you to join me in condemning this type of behavior from our elected officials.”
According to LCSO Undersheriff Maj. Brian Langston, all inmate calls are recorded. Occasionally, jail staff monitors calls, and a staff member was listening when the call was placed. The remarks were then relayed to Dawson and Fitch.
“I think it’s been said that it’s a political move on my part,” Fitch told WCTV. “It’s not political for me. It’s personal for me…. that’s just not a word that’s acceptable in society anymore and we’ve just got to stop using it.”
The GOP told us in 2013 that racism is over in America — a claim that seems specious, at best, when elected officials spew racist hatred at will and feel that they can escape with a simple apology. The right thing would have been for Dawson to resign. Unfortunately, racism just isn’t a big deal to people…especially racists.