Racist Slurs interrupt funeral for Civil Rights Icon

Virtual funeral for Phoenix civil rights icon Calvin Coolidge Goode was interrupted by hackers hurling racist slurs to interrupt the service on Tuesday. The Phoenix Police Department is currently investigating the matter to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The Phoenix Police Department has been made aware of the incident and after speaking with the FBI, the department will be the lead investigative agency,” said Maggie Cox, a spokeswoman. “This type of language and disruption is unacceptable and only divides our community. We are committed to working with our community in identifying the person(s) responsible for this act.”

The Mayor of Phoenix, Kaye Gallego took to Twitter to condemn the racist slurs, saying that the move was horrific and doesn’t represent the “values and commitment” of their community.

“I condemn the racists who disrupted Vice Mayor Goode’s funeral services. This is horrific and does not represent values & commitment of our community. I am determined to continue Vice Mayor Goode’s fight,” said Gallego.

The late Vice Mayor Goode, 93 died on December 23, 2020, from an illness not related to COVID-19. Before his death, Goode was the second Black councilmember in Phoneix and the longest-tenured elected official in the city’s history. The civil rights icon served on the Phoenix City Council from January 2, 1972, to January 3, 1994. He also formerly served as Vice Mayor in 1974 and 1984.

According to news reports, Goode was a civil rights icon who fought hard to improve the quality of life in Phoenix, especially for low-income Black residents. Even after his retirement in 1994, Goode continued to advocate for equal opportunity, affordable housing, and education through various platforms.

The KTAR radio station first reported that the hacker was heard yelling slurs over the funeral service while Gallego spoke on the legacy Goode had left in the city. The racist slurs lasted about half an hour into the virtual service.

The service was interrupted and the Historical Tanner Channel African Methodist Episcopal Church which hosted the stream on its Facebook page had to host a new stream.

“Civility is the cornerstone of society. Unfortunately, too many of our political leaders do not practice what they preach. When they engage in hateful rhetoric or give tacit approval of it through their silence, those who hold hatred in their heart feel emboldened to act,” said Steve Gallardo, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. “We saw it last week at the U.S. Capitol. We saw it today at the funeral of Calvin Goode. This behavior cannot stand in America.”

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, amongst many others, has also condemned the act.

“Former councilman Calvin Goode was a Civil rights leader who served with honor and distinction. The racist and abhorrent remarks made during his funeral service today are wrong and I condemn them,” the Arizona Gov. said on Twitter.

“The hate act that occurred during the celebration of life of Vice Mayor Goode today was atrocious and unforgivable,” said Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, in a statement. “We must do better.”

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