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Seven words Border Patrol Agents should never use

Matt Westerhold • Jan 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Maybe it's George Carlinish, but Border Patrol agents should not use the word "wetback." 

Agents and every law enforcement officer of any stripe also should not use words like: Nigger, retard, faggot, kike, slut or bitch. 

That’s seven words they should never use. There are others.

Journalists, and most other people also would be wise not to use the words, but police officers, a taxpayer funded community service armed by the government, should excise them from their own personal vocabularies. 

Register reporter Jessica Cuffman is following up a story she reported Saturday headlined “Agency profiles ‘wetbacks.’” It detailed a lawsuit in Erie County Common Pleas Court that appears to document instances in which the Border Patrol Sandusky Post commander used the racial slurs "wets" and "wetbacks" in communications and emails with subordinates at the federal agency.

The local Border Patrol has been out of control for years and accountable to nobody for its actions. Federal officials have done nothing to address abuses that occur.

Since the Border Patrol is a federal agency, Cuffman emailed a copy of the story to U.S. senators Sherrod Brown and Robert Portman, and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the area’s federal representatives. Here are the questions she posed for them:

1. Is it appropriate for Border Patrol agents, particularly the agent in charge of the local office, to use the term "wetback" when referring to a Hispanic person? 

2. If it is inappropriate, what would be a suitable course of action or discipline for agents who use this term? 

3. What action or study should be undertaken to identify the tactics and alleged profiling used by Sandusky Bay Border Patrol agents?  

4. If, as the lawsuit alleges, Border Patrol agents use racial profiling to identify possible suspects, would your office take action to address this issue? 

We're looking forward to receiving responses from our federal representatives. In the meantime, please feel free to share how you might answer the questions, or how you believe Kaptur and the senators should answer them, by commenting below. 

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