BELDING, Mich. (WOOD) — A racist Facebook rant in which a Belding, Mich. firefighter called a black woman the N-word has cost him his job.
Ryan Hudson, 40, was fired Monday, hours after the Belding fire chief learned of postings from his Facebook page. Hudson had been a paid-on-call firefighter for the department for about the past year, department officials said.
The postings in question were in the comments below a Facebook user’s status update about President-elect Donald Trump. The conversation shifted to a debate about race and the actions of Colin Kaepernick, the football player famed for refusing to stand during the National Anthem.
“F— Black Lives Matter. You are the epitome of a n—– and if you think it’s just black lives kiss my a– b—- and go back to the fields that us in the north fought to free you from,” the most offensive of the postings read.
The postings were later deleted from Facebook — but not before the woman targeted in them took an image of the messages and shared them online.
It didn’t take long for word about what happened to get to Belding Fire Chief Gregg Moore. The chief fired Hudson immediately.
“Utter shock,” Moore said, describing his initial response to the post. “The repercussions here were obvious… We made immediate termination of this employee.”
Moore said the Belding city manager and the firefighter’s union backed his decision.
Initially, Hudson told the fire chief and 24 Hour News 8 that he did not author the post. But a short time later, he called 24 Hour News 8 saying he had come to the realization that he did make the posting. He said he had been drinking and doesn’t remember doing so.
“It’s very out of character for me,” Hudson said. “I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart because it doesn’t reflect everybody.”
The woman targeted in the Facebook rant, who asked to only be identified by her first name, lives in California. She said she hopes the apology is deeper than words.
“The idea is to correct it and really show remorse by how you live your life,” Tarvenia said. “That’s a true apology — what you’re teaching your children.”
Moore said Hudson was a good firefighter with no trouble in the department before this incident.
Hudson said the Kaepernick debate hit a nerve for him, in part because of his service as a Marine. While he admits the postings are offensive, Hudson insists he is not a racist.
“I served with black people,” Hudson said. “I was willing to die for them.”
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.