The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA) has recently faced critique for offensive remarks printed in its newsletter, the Pax Centurion.
Community members have noted that the newsletter, which includes updates about union bargaining and grievances, also regularly publishes racist, sexist, and homophobic commentary. These are often under the byline of the newsletter’s editor, James Carnell. More recently, a humor column in the Pax Centurion’s May/June issue mocked members of Occupy Boston, telling them:
“Happy Birthday you rotten Commies! Maybe your candidate for squaw I mean senator, Liz Warren (your founder) can bake you a cake.”
This was not the first time occupiers had been the target of aggressive speech in the pages of the Pax. Earlier shots against the group were fired in the January/February issue, with Carnell pulling no punches in his use of graphic, sexist language:
“Since the occupiers were told to un-occupy a few months ago, the real professional bums have been suffering. They have been unable to steal wallets, computers and cellphones from naïve idiots who invited them into their tents. Their sex lives have also been greatly diminished, what with the lack of guilt-ridden, stupid college girls who offered themselves willingly to the poor and downtrodden victims of oppression. And the drugs…Oh, the drugs! When was the last time one of our Pine St. or St. Francis House leeches enjoyed some good ‘shrooms or top-shelf dope like the rich kids from Harvard and MIT brought with them during ‘Occupy’s’ glory days.”
The newsletter has not limited its sttacks to Occupy Boston, however. Muslims, blacks, foreign students, and even the homeless have been ridiculed in the pages of the Pax. Chris Faraone and Neil Patch have compiled a fairly comprehensive list for the Boston Phoenix that shows many examples of this hate speech, using direct quotes from Carnell and his stable of writers.
Last year, Blackstonian presented the BPPA their Archie Bunker award for “for foreward thought and outstanding achievement in intellekchewalism,” noting that the newsletter “can give you a perspective on the thought process of many of OUR ‘Public Servants.’” Despite this, the Pax Centurion did not attracted wider public attention until late June, when Simmons College declared that it would no longer advertise in the paper.
Since then, under pressure from public opinion and Twitter (follow with #BPPA), multiple other groups have pledged not to advertize in the Pax Centurion, including Harpoon Brewery, Converse, and Legal Seafood . Even police commissioner Ed Davis has decried the paper, announcing on Twitter, “This juvenile conduct is wrong and not rep of today’s officer.”
Since the outcry, the Pax Centurion has removed all archives of the newsletter from its website. The staff of the Boston Phoenix, however, were able to track down and save issues of the Pax going all the way back to 2006, and have made them publicly available here.