By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor
Watching the waves roll in here in Duck, NC, I have to admit things seem pretty peaceful and serene. It got me wondering why the folks in Ferguson, Mo. are demonstrating on a daily basis about their policing. Wonderment stopped last evening when I came across this video by 35-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, Sgt. Major Dan Page. Former Green Beret and supervising cop, Dan’s vaguely known to most CNN viewers as the enlightened peace officer who shoved reporter Don Lemon from a Ferguson street corner as he tried reporting on the mass protest of 17-year-old Michael Brown’s police-facilitated killing. Lemon was shoved and then was herded to some “Free Speech Zone” in a remote parking lot. Now street-savvy Page is back … and with a right-wing philosophy and blood thirsty vengeance that you’d have to go to 1970s Cambodia to match — “We can kill you anyway we want!”
Speaking before a group called the Oath Keepers who bill themselves as “a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to ‘defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” (they sure look like a group of Doomsday Preppers to me), Page waxes eloquent and profane about all manner of right-wing blood boilers from his utter revulsion at the “Sodomites” on the United States Supreme Court ( four of ’em, you know) to those “weak” women in the military who are taking elite combat positions away from more qualified men to the race-based mess in Ferguson. By his own admission, Page “don’t trust nobody and I hate everybody. I hate y’all too I hate everybody. I’m into diversity. I kill everybody.”
What’ s even more remarkable is that his audience just loves him. This self-proclaimed group of “military, police and first responders” seems mesmerized by the rant which covers topics from the NDAA of 2012 explaining it’s just like the movie, Escape Plan, with Sly Stallone (That boat’s real. I know”) to domestic violence situations (“just shoot each other and get it over with”.)
Sarg also tells us the word “gay” means happy and that’s it. A pox on those sodomites. He doesn’t like lawyers. Not crazy about women. He reminds us that the President has no control as Commander in-Chief over the Marines or the Air Force since the U.S. Constitution doesn’t say so. (See, gotcha). He calls the Marines the world’s finest fighting force but decries it’s “feminization” (as in allowing women to serve in combat roles) at the hands of Obama and it’s “log-head” commandant. Page even mixes in a little fire and brimstone jurisprudence reminding us that you can’t have the Constitution without the Bible and he stands at the podium thumping the Good Book. Page can’t resist that favorite of all right-wing circus acts that Obama is really an illegal alien from Kenya. All in all it’s quite an audition tape for a pundit job on Fox News.
The video did serve to answer my question about all the fuss in Ferguson, but curiously left unanswered why the whole audience of people Missourians hire to protect all of them didn’t walk out en masse. Maybe they agree is one chilling answer. After all, Page did get a snazzy Oath Keepers patch for his trouble to the vigorous applause of the audience.
My advice to the folks in Ferguson is that if this guy is a core sampling of the prevailing attitude of the public servants in St. Louis County … well, since we’re talking movies here, remember that classic horror flick, When a Stranger Calls?:
Jill, Jill. We traced the call! It’s coming from inside the house! Do you hear me? It’s coming from inside the house! You need to get out! Jill?
If you’ve got the stomach, here’s the video and a play-by-play from Crooks and Liars:
1:07: Talks about all men being created equal then went on to say “That does not mean affirmative action”.
1:26: Rants about hate crime laws
3:22: Black (little?) Perverts [ed. note: I think he said “black robed perverts” but the other way ’round wouldn’t surprise me]
5:25: Talks about doing a fair share of killing
15:40: Calls supreme court justice a homosexual sodomite.
18:30 “If I die I go to heaven… I died a long time ago”
20:30: Talks about St. Louis County schools
26:40: Calls President Obama an illegal alien
27:00: We can kill you anyway we want
31:38: Goes on anti-muslim rant
37:00: Talks about being a Saint Louis County Cop
43:00: Talk about killing people again
46:41: Goes on rant over being briefed about the 9/11 attacks on Aug 1st 1999 then says 9/11 happened 30 days later also talks about no weapons of mass destruction being found in Afghanistan.
49:22: Continues rant about having secret clearance at Fort (Leavenworth?) and training with Russian spetsnaz
52:40: Says people involved in domestic violence should “just shoot each other and get it over with”.
53:15: Somebody like me is going to come in and kill you
56:20: I don’t trust nobody and I hate everybody. I hate y’all too I hate everybody. I’m into diversity. I kill everybody.
58:02: Audience member: So what happens when good men like you are retiring from the military. What kind of military do we have left then?
58:15: Sodomites and females. End of statement.
1:01:00: Rants about female green beret
1:03:00 He’s handed an oathkeeper patch
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who immediately defended the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, issued the following statement about Page via Twitter:
Some of you may have already seen the video of the St. Louis County Police Officer speaking off-duty at an Oath Keepers event. If you haven’t we are sure you will in the coming days as news circulates the release of the video.
Chief Jon Belmar was notified of this video’s existence today and upon a abbreviated viewing of the video was disturbed by the conversation being had. Chief Belmar does not expect this kind of rhetoric from his officers, just like they don’t expect it from him.
Chief Belmar, on behalf of the St. Louis County Police Department, would like to apologize to the community, anyone that video has or will effect, and to the other hard working officers on the detail with the officer in question because they deserve better than that. While the officer has never been involved in an officer involved shooting, the statements made about killing are unacceptable and not what we are about as a Department.
We hold our officers to a high standard of honor both on and off duty. While we as a department do not have an issue with officers expressing themselves, this was disturbing and unacceptable. The officer is a 35 year veteran of this department and has been deployed numerous times in military service. He had passed the evaluations upon returning from deployment and there was no indication of this attitude.
Chief Belmar would again like to apologize to anyone this video has offended and ask any videos of this nature be reported so we can take proper action against any officer not meeting our standards.
Being from Missouri, Belmar should have no problem with my skepticism: Show Me.
~Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor
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