Facebook | Gay Slurs | Illinois

Illinois Sheriff Apologizes For 'Fag Jew Boy' Facebook Comment

Schuyler County, Illinois sheriff Don Schieferdecker apparently only recently joined Facebook and is already in trouble over a comments he made on a friend's photo on the social networking site. The comment was posted on a photo of the friend in which his mouth is open. Schieferdecker wrote: "Yup and his mouth is open, his glasses are off, he's ready, little fag Jew boy." It has since been deleted.

Sheriff The mayor of the city of Rushville, which is the county seat, Scott Thompson, issued a statement about the incident:

"I've been asked by many to make a statement regarding the remarks the sheriff made on a Facebook page earlier this week. Don is my friend but I will not speak to his heart or thoughts. I do however want to speak to my responsibility as mayor. I do not condone language which conveys discrimination or prejudice due to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national origin. Such language would reflect poorly upon the individual and the community."

Schieferdecker's originally explained the use of the slur as "just pissing with (a friend)."

The Civil Rights Agenda has called for Schieferdecker to resign:

"It is absolutely incomprehensible that an elected official would use such language to refer to a subordinate. I don't care if it was meant in jest or not. I don't care if he meant for everyone to see it or not. The fact is, the comment is now public and there should be consequences for statements such as this," stated Anthony Martinez, Executive Director of The Civil Rights Agenda. "Not only is this remark extremely hurtful to many Illinoisans, it sends a message to folks that it is okay to use such language. It sends the message that it is appropriate to mock Jewish people and people who are gay or part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community...The Civil Rights Agenda is asking residents of Illinois, especially residents of Schuyler County, to contact the Sheriff and respectfully ask him to step down."

On Friday, Schieferdecker officially apologized: "I have spent over 30 years of my life here giving public service, and I have never intentionally done anything to hurt anyone for any reason. ... All I can do is say I am sorry. ... I am extremely sorry [and] I beg people's forgiveness."

Schieferdecker has said that he has no plans to step down from his post.

The Facebook screen cap above is from Crime Crawlers, which originally came across the posted comment.

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  1. Wow! What a closet case.

    When did Chaz Bono join the police force?

    Posted by: AllBeefPatty | Mar 27, 2011 12:14:03 PM

  2. I would at least like to hear HIM say exactly what HE is sorry for. He doesn't say. What about what he said is he sorry for saying, and I don't mean the cop out vague generality "everything" answer.

    I heard people apologize for using a gay slur but when pressed you realize that they are apologizing for the horrible offense of insinuating that the person was gay rather than for the slur and its offensiveness to gay people.

    It would be like someone calling someone the n-word and then apologizing for the offense of insinuating that the person is black instead of for the slur and its offense to black people for acting as if being called black is an insult.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 27, 2011 12:23:41 PM

  3. @TampaZeke, I would take it a step further and say that he is only apologizing for being found out, which makes this even less of an apology. These types of "apologies" are all too common.

    Posted by: Austin | Mar 27, 2011 12:31:41 PM

  4. "I do not condone language which conveys discrimination or prejudice due to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national origin".....

    When people in government say this, I wonder why they are so silent when it comes to the language of DOMA, DADT, etc.?

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/#ixzz1HonpwwF1

    Posted by: Gay Tax Protest | Mar 27, 2011 12:34:46 PM

  5. This is not a true example of contrition, but a reaction to being found out and publicly shamed.

    At heart his feelings are those which he expressed in the hateful comments.

    Posted by: Arturo Beeche | Mar 27, 2011 12:41:00 PM

  6. Obviously the Rushville, Illinois donut shop has WiFi.

    Posted by: phillip | Mar 27, 2011 1:06:54 PM

  7. Something tells me he likes "Da Bulls."

    Just sayin'.

    It's even the right f'in state too. That's just wrong.

    Posted by: Chris | Mar 27, 2011 1:12:19 PM

  8. What a dirtbag. I imagine he won't have to worry about starving on unemployement...he looks quite well fed.

    Posted by: Beef and Fur | Mar 27, 2011 1:16:03 PM

  9. Amy Sedaris is NEVER getting elected to public office.

    Posted by: Kakapo | Mar 27, 2011 1:16:03 PM

  10. He should resign or be fired. And yes, these are his actual views, he's not sorry for anything but the fact he's been exposed. These people honestly think in this day and age they can say offensive bigoted crap and then somehow think crying or saying sorry enough times makes up for their bigotry. Those days need to end.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 27, 2011 1:18:38 PM

  11. @ Phillip Be nice! haha

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 27, 2011 1:20:12 PM

  12. What kind of feces is this? The guy was messing with a FRIEND; you aholes never fool around with friends, call them names?

    Pathetic control freaks. No wonder so many people question when genuine rights violations occur.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 27, 2011 1:34:29 PM

  13. When I saw his picture, my first thought was, "Wait, 'Family Guy' is supposed to be Rhode Island."
    My second thought was, "Springfield on 'The Simpsons' IS the one in Illinois."
    Of course he won't step down, if he does the Commie fag junkie terrorists will win and we'll all be wearing burqas, even the men.

    Posted by: Old Rockin' Dave | Mar 27, 2011 1:35:58 PM

  14. I agree w/a comment above that he only apologized because he was found out. I also thought the "Mayor"s response was weak.

    Posted by: Geoff | Mar 27, 2011 1:51:53 PM

  15. "The guy was messing with a FRIEND; you aholes never fool around with friends, call them names?"

    Nope, not on Facebook. Wouldn't say anything there I wouldn't sign my name to on the front page of a newspaper. If you want to "piss" around with friends do it in private. Facebook is a public forum, so if you're a public official who doesn't want to have to own up to your idiocy and bigotry and manufacture false apologies to save your fat a**, then keep it out of the public sphere. Somehow these dimwits never learn.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 27, 2011 1:55:10 PM

  16. I hate to say it, but I agree with Ratbastard. On facebook I have majority straight friends. We have a private group we pass funny/offensive/thought provoking links and images back and forth throughout our day. If some outsider came upon it not knowing us they would probably think we were destructive. Hence why we have it as private.

    A friend and I, years ago, threw "dress to offend" parties. The point was to get all the offensive things out in the open so they could be laughed at and the power taken from them. It was probably some of the most diverse/creative gatherings I have ever been too. Free flow of liquor and honest discorse were there for anyone and everyone.

    I do not know this policemans stance on gay rights but I do know that I will not judge him on a statement like that between friends on facebook. True that the officer might need to grow up and be a bit more sensitive, but other people need to know what is important when fighting this fight for equality. Crushing all kinds of banter between friends is not a solution to getting us to equal rights.

    Posted by: Michael J. Hildebrand | Mar 27, 2011 2:01:14 PM

  17. He only apologized for being caught. I could not care less about what he says in the privacy in his home, or while drinking with friends. He thought it was funny, and if he was REALLY "pissing with his friends", he would have let the comment stand. He knew he was wrong, and that his comment was going to cause problems.

    Important lesson Sheriff: once you post something, even if you delete it, it's still there. Eediot.

    Posted by: Rev. Verdon Coleman | Mar 27, 2011 2:15:33 PM

  18. I can't imagine having a single friend who finds entertainment in patently offensive things specifically because they are patently offensive, let alone having a group of friends whose focus on offensiveness is so obsessive that we establish a Facebook page and throw parties specifically to celebrate being offensive. Whatever. Since such people exist, I'm glad they've found each other and can leave better-adjusted people out of it.

    However, NOTHING on the Internet is private. NOTHING. And this creep is a public servant. I have no problem judging him, but then my moral/ethical compass hasn't been polluted by constant exposure to juvenile pursuits with a social circle that pretentiously rationalizes reveling in stupidity.

    Posted by: ohplease | Mar 27, 2011 2:30:19 PM

  19. What is he, a 12-year-old? I smart off to my friends all the time - including on Facebook. Still, I can't imagine calling them, or having our other friends see me calling them, "fag" and "jewboy." I love my friends and respect them enough not to use slurs. Grow up, sheriff.

    Posted by: Brad | Mar 27, 2011 2:30:26 PM

  20. My friends comprise a motley crew of freaks, geniuses, multicultural mutts, and LGBTQ miscreants. We have in common that we're all very verbal, compulsive readers, drink too much coffee, talk like maniacs, and consider no subject unmentionable and no word unsayable. It being 2011, much of this occurs in virtual environments.

    Someone could take a single comment out of that context judge it without considering the intent of the speaker, and easily claim we're all xenophobic flesh eating nazi terrorists who shoot infants up with heroin using HIV infected needles.

    In doing so, they'd prove nothing but that the shallow righteous moral imperative of the self designated victim plays "gotcha" for the sadistic pleasure of it, with equal disregard for both truth and consequences.

    I don't want to live in a culture where anyone's life can be ruined by a poor choice of word, a tasteless joke, or a remark taken out of context.

    There are a lot of witch hunters on Towleroad. Weak people often make a fetish of taking offense. It's one of the things that makes them so dangerous.

    Posted by: Bryan | Mar 27, 2011 3:13:07 PM

  21. @OhPlease : You totally are missing the point and that is fine by me. Stay in your bubble and continue to be offended by everything. Don't attempt to engage an actual discussion or have a drink with someone you might disagree with.

    Instead, whine and cry on a message board I am sure that it will serve your purpose well. While you do that I am actually out and about being honest and using my real name so that people can know me and meet me and not feel as though I will judge them if they do have real prejudices. Instead I am willing to get it all out there, even the offensive generalities, so we can all face them and discuss them together.

    My friends are a large group of pretty diverse people, some that would have used the word faggot in its most hateful of context before they met me. I opened their eyes by NOT judging them or their words but getting to know them and letting them get to know me.

    Posted by: Michael J. Hildebrand | Mar 27, 2011 3:14:26 PM

  22. @Bryan : AMEN to that. Well stated.

    Posted by: Michael J. Hildebrand | Mar 27, 2011 3:24:24 PM

  23. Sheriff Schieferdecker, who's in his 60's, made this comment to a subordinate about a subordinate, both 20-years-old. The sheriff claims this is normal behavior for them - they just "piss" and "jack" around like that all the time. That may be true yet every time the sheriff made a comment (the "little fag jew boy" and all the comments regarding dry anal penetration) there wasn't any cute and friendly bantering, "jacking", or "pissing" around by these employees. Not once.

    It's gone beyond a freedom of speech thing and right smack into a bigoted sexual harassment "thing".

    Posted by: TG | Mar 27, 2011 3:25:28 PM

  24. What is this blog: concern troll central? The "liberated" crowd always rushing in to defend homophobes with self-righteous lectures about how the gay community has to be more tolerant of hate speech. Geez, grow a pair. It does wonders for your self-esteem.

    Posted by: Chuck | Mar 27, 2011 4:05:36 PM

  25. as a sheriff, you are the head of the executive branch of government at a county level. You are granted a certain amount of power and respect de facto, and you are held to a higher standard of conduct than John Q Public.

    Would you really feel great having the sheriff's dept "serve and protect you" if you knew the head of the group thought so little of queer people/jews that they use derogatory terms for them? Words mean things. And in this day and this economy, anyone in the public eye needs to watch their public image because for every government job there are 2 unemployed people ready to take it that are less stupid and will cause less headache for whatever group they're working for.

    Posted by: MadM@ | Mar 27, 2011 6:05:30 PM

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