Racism: Hold public officials to a higher standard

Far too many Americans do not seem to understand the rights granted to us under the First Amendment. What it does not provide is any right to incite violence or to prompt the public to suspect whether one’s employer, private or public, condones racism.

The former deputy director of emergency services in Raleigh County, W.Va., is undergoing a lesson on that very subject.

His name is Mark Wilson, and he was on administrative leave from his government position because of a Facebook post he allegedly made last week. Wilson’s Facebook page featured a photo with the caption, “Be thankful Donald Trump is building the wall! Mine would look more like this.”

Above that was a picture of a man in front of a wall adorned with the decapitated heads of “people who are dark skinned and of non-European descent,” according to a published report.

Wilson was fired on Thursday. Good.

Officials have an important opportunity to set an example about what kind of behavior will be tolerated by those who represent government entities — and therefore taxpayers.

It is truly a shame that the understanding that an attitude such as the one displayed in that social media post is wrong — pure and simple — continues to erode.

Raleigh Countians should not have to wonder whether emergency services are influenced in any way by race.