Exoneration Of A Sort In One HFD Incident

The beleaguered Houston Fire Department got some support today from a vice-president of the local chapter of the NAACP, who said in a press conference that he accepted that a noose-like rope found in a station locker was not intended to be a racial symbol.

Reverend D.Z. Cofield said he had conducted a "thorough investigation" into the rope owned by Captain Keith Smith and Smith "has been vilified."

For his part, Smith offered a seemingly sincere apology, saying the rope was used for practicing knots. Somewhat less convincingly, he professed that he had no idea a noose-like piece of rope might have any racial meaning, and for back-up he cited....people who comment on newspaper websites.

"I was not aware it was a racial symbol," he said. "And judging by the comments on several of the news-media sites, both local and statewide, quite a few other people were not either."

Of course, "judging by comments on...news-media sites," Obama was born in Kenya as part of a nefarious plot to bring socialism to America.

Smith said "I am now fully aware this is a racial symbol," and he apologized "for the outcome."

We've tried to get in touch with Captain Otis Jordan of the black firefighters' union but haven't heard back. He told the Chronicle that he wasn't fully satisfied with the NAACP's investigation, which found Smith to be a friend to the black colleagues working with and under him. Jordan said some firefighters might have been afraid to speak out against a captain.

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