Based on my reading of the spirit of the two tribes of people living in Shelby County, I think it would be a mistake to consolidate at this time. While the merger would satisfy some of the financial woes in Shelby County, it would not fix the social ills of racism that continue to plague us since the Bluff City's founding. Until we decide to debate the real issue that's holding us back, the issue of race and thus racism and the distrust that this malady fosters, nothing else matters, really.
So far, there is no ideological difference between Joe Ford and Mark Lutterll. The only difference is a perceived difference--one is perceived to be white and the other is perceived to be black. And, of course, they both claim to be biologically different but, I can't tell; not, by just looking at them as they appear side-by-side. They look the same to me--could be blood brothers for all I know.
I'm waiting on the real leader to emerge. Will the REAL leader please stand up and let the REAL debate begin!?
in spite of the high level of hatred in the white community for "A sassy, arrogant, egotistical negro", Willie Herenton is still loved and respected in his community--District 9. Does calling this man a liar among other derogatory names make way for a harmonious community of two races, one "white" and one "black"? Is Cohen willing to give up his power of whiteness. If not, why should we? Tell Cohen to renounce his white ID tag and jest be Jewish. I bet that Herenton will match point that.
I have had high regards for John Branston's coverage of the news in this city since his story on Memphis Tomorrow and the "Big Mules" broke years ago. Til this day I continue to have respect for the integrity he brings to the theater of journalism. So I want to share something with him and the readers, ESPECIALLY, outside of the urban circle of life.
I don't know a single African American who is not on nerve medication who gives a twit what the Commercial Appeal says about Willie Herenton. We all know that there is no love or respect between Herenton and CA in particular and the CA and the urban community in general.
The more the CA blows its trumpet for Cohen the more African American votes Herenton will get. I don't know a single person who will admit that the Commercial Appeal has any credibility with them. When ever the statement that the Commercial Appeal is a "Red neck", "Blue dog", "Republican paper"---in the person of Chris Peck, no one disagrees. They all say, "I know". Even the children say, "I know."
So, when someone, especially like Brandson, uses the "IF" word suggesting that the CA might be "flip flopping on the "honest servicing" rule, I say, I KNOW!
Jim Rout is absolutely correct, "If there was ever a time in the history of Memphis that we need a particularly strong vision, it is now". And, I hasten to add, that if the Mayor looks for that vision only in familiar places where he is most comfortable, he won't find it. He needs to look outside the box, not in it. And, for Heaven's sake, please don't ask Tweedledum and Tweedledee "Which is the best way out of this wood".
Thanks John Branston for keeping it real.
I voted for Cohen in his first run for congress. His opponents, with no vision for change, were simply unimpressive. Beside, I had a strong aversion for racism in myself as well as others. The racism disease is characteristic of the flu; it make one sick. I was desperate for a fresh start, a breath of fresh air. No one, absolutely, no one is more sick and tired of the race issue than I am.
On the second round Cohen nor his opponents were impressive. Again, it was a lack luster campaign, with no promises and no request; we didn't asked for anything and nothing was promised. I skipped that box and voted for neither of the candidates.
Now, coming into the third term I will vote but not for Cohen. It is true; he IS a pandering politician AND a player on African Americans. We all know what panders do for the common good: no more than a pimp does for his ladies, nothing! The voters get pimped, the industrial captains, "The Big Mules" get rich and the congressman aims to get re-elected.
The apology for slavery without any interest in an acceptance speech is a case in point. Congress gets all of the credit and the people, like the ladies of the evening, get nothing of substance and the pimp, like the congressman, get a free ride.
That after-hour-stroke, at the mid-night hour, endorsement of Obama for president, just a few hours before the election poles opened, ditto, nada. Hanging out with the Detroit player, the professor and Mary Ann and giving out awards to Ben Hooks who actually was THE main man who lead the, 'A white man can't represent the district' movement, DITTO!
We might not know grammar but Herenton knows THE needs of African Americans, in side and out. Knowing our needs is of no consequence for Cohen. If we don't ask he won't tell. He is and will always be who he says he is: 'I am White, I am Jewish and I am a male..." Had he truly known our needs he would have galvanized all of that power he commands and used it to helped us change this culture of poverty that we live in continuously since the nation's birth.
Herenton had close to eighteen years as Mayor; Cohen had twenty years or more as a State Legislator: they're almost even. Cohen has had two terms in congress, he's two up. It's Herenton's turn. Having said all of that, I'll bet my money on the bobbed tail nag; somebody else can bet on the bey. "But don't be cruel..." Let race come last.
Maia A Locke
Before Willie Herenton became mayor, I voted for white men all of my voting life and all that I got out of all those white mayors from Boss Crump to Henry Lobe was racial hatred marked by a seat on the back of the bus provided that another white person did not board the same bus and demand that I give up my seat. Talking about hatred I've seen so much of that in my seventy years that it seemed natural that life is that way throughout America and, especially, in Memphis
The comments in this article is proof enough for me to do all that I can to keep Willie Herenton or someone just like him in congress and in the mayor's office for as long as possible or else I might find my grand children and myself on the back of the bus again.
Let the facts speak to a candid world. For those of us who are not clothed in white skin, it is far better to have "King Willie" than "Boss Crump".
So hate on and I for one will not love you back. As African Americans we have no hope for justice (based on truth) or life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness accept through our own.
Willie Herenton will take Cohen out of congress simply because Cohen does not connect with the common men and women in District 9. So far, Cohen has been all show and no substance in the areas of wealth v. poverty and power v. impuissance. For example, the 36 million in federal dollars he claims to have garnered for district 9 was spread among the wealthy project managers and industrial captains in Shelby County. So far, all he has done for the poor people in district 9 is to have wrangled from congress an unanswered, unaccepted apology for slavery. The telling thing about his relentless quest for an apology for slavery was that it turned out to be nothing more than political pandering to an assumed group of politically inept people. Cohen flatly rejected my suggestion that he dignify the apology with a formal acceptance by the people of district 9 so that healing form the perennial suffering from the culture of slavery could have a beginning.
What good is a public congressional apology without a public acceptance speech with all the pomp and circumstance that such a historical apology requires? But then Cohen's only interest was in squirreling up political kudos for his own political war chest, not in up lifting the spirit and the dignity of the people of his district.
His claim to have given early support for Barack Obama's bid for the presidency was another case of disingenuous posturing, as well. Actually, Cohen publicly endorsed Obama after mid-night on the eve of the primary election date.
Steve Cohen, in his words, 'is a product of white, Jewish culture', exclusively! (See The Tri-State Defender's June 29th - July 5th 2006 issue: "White Chocolate or Opportunist") He is culturally disconnected from the majority in district 9 and does not demonstrate a general feeling for the people nor has he shown any interest in their their hopes and dreams for themselves or their children.
As it turns out, in my opinion, Cohen has been more of an opportunist than "White Chocolate" and it is for that reason that this time I will cast my lot with Herenton, not Cohen for whom I voted twice.
I will support and vote for Herenton because we need a congressman who can help the poorest persons in district 9 create some building blocks for personal wealth and human dignity.
By Micaela Watts
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