Pittsburgh-Area Fire Chief Resigns After Calling Mike Tomlin the N-Word on Facebook, Blames His Racism on ... the Media?

WPXI-TV screenshot
WPXI-TV screenshot

If reincarnation is real, I hope that I come back as a cheetah or a jaguar or some other fast and sexy jungle cat after I die. I already enjoy yawning, taking long naps and watching Animal Planet, so I imagine the transition wouldn’t be too stark.


If I cannot be one of those things, though, my second choice might be to be a mediocre white man, just so that I finally know how it feels to never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever take responsibility for anything bad that happens to me.

It’s too late to come back as Paul Smith, former chief of the Muse Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cecil, Pa. (which is in Washington County—approximately 45 minutes south of Pittsburgh), since he’s already alive and shit. But he would have been a perfect host!

Smith made national news this week after posting on Facebook that Mike Tomlin “just added himself to the list of no good niggers”—a reaction to Tomlin’s decision to keep the Steelers in the tunnel during the national anthem before their game against the Bears. And just in case he was unclear—or perhaps was temporarily compromised by an arbitrarily racist ghost—Smith followed that statement with another sentence: “Yes I said it.”

Smith eventually resigned yesterday. And in a statement to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, he blamed his predicament on the media for dragging his “fire company and township into this as well as my family.” Which is like blaming the security camera after you’re caught shoplifting.

He redeemed himself later in his statement. And by “he redeemed himself later in his statement,” I mean, “HOLY FUCKING SHIT, THIS GUY WAS IN CHARGE OF FIGHTING FUCKING FIRES???”

“I regret what I said deeply and I am not the racist the media portrays me as,” Smith said.


In a 10-word-long span, he managed to double down on the media-bogeyman thing while also making clear that while he is a racist, he’s not the grade of racist he’s been accused of being. He’s a little racist, sure. He watches America’s Got Talent and refers to Tyra Banks as “darkie tits.” And sometimes, when he’s grilling, he stacks the charcoal cubes in a cross instead of a pile. He basically has the racism sniffles. Nothing that a little Airborne wouldn’t fix.

But he’s not, like, racist racist. That would be uncivilized.


The Mouth of the South

“I regret what I said deeply and I am not the racist the media portrays me as.”

Follow up question. What kind of racist are you?