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Eight cadets say they are victims of racist abuse and hazing at the San Francisco Fire Academy, according to a letter they wrote to the city’s fire chief obtained by NBC Bay Area News Friday.
“We are the men of color of this 123rd Probie class and all we want is to work hard and graduate earning the Firefighter badge for the City of San Francisco,” the recruits say in the 18-page letter they sent to Chief Joanne Hayes-White this week.
“As we are in the middle of week seven of the 20-week Training Academy, we have seen and experienced retaliatory, demeaning, punishing, and racist/sexist behavior by some of the training staff,” the cadets wrote. “The last straw was when a battalion chief taught the Cultural Competency class last week and used the “N” word. All of us eight African American probies in this class were offended.”
The “N” word was used in the context of an acronym, coined by Tupac Shakur: “Never Ignorant Gets Goals Accomplished” as referred to in the letter.