The letter began: "Chicken Journalists are absolutely afraid of the Jews." It went on to cite "Bruce VanWyngarden, Karanja Ajanaku, Chris Davis, Susan Ellis, Wiley Henry, Wendi Thomas, and Jackson Baker," among other local journalists, as being too "chicken" to take on the Jews in regards to their "hatred" of Jesus.
The letter was from Rev. George Brooks, the preacher from Murphreesboro whose scurrilous, anti-Semitic fliers were widely circulated during the recent 9th District Democratic primary. I've been getting two or three of these things a week since I wrote a column about "low information" voters and Nikki Tinker's defeat in that race. It seems the good Rev. has taken a personal interest in Memphis affairs.
Brooks' missive continued: "Many of these chickens have been ringing my phone off the hook for months, wanting to talk with me about Steve Cohen and the 'Jews Hate Jesus' newsletters I have been flooding Memphis with."
He is correct about one thing: We've been trying to get in touch with "Rev." Brooks for weeks. I've called several times. He doesn't answer his phone, ever, even though the number is printed at the bottom of his "newsletters." His address is a P.O. box number.
The man is gutter slime. He threatens to "expose" who Cohen is "sleeping with" and disparages local journalists because we haven't asked Cohen to "confess" that he does not believe Jesus is the son of God.
Here's a newsflash for you, Georgie: Lots of people don't believe Jesus is the son of God. They're called members of other faiths — you know, like Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, etc. They don't have to "confess" that they aren't Christians. They have a right to live and worship here — and even to hold office. It's because of a little thing called "freedom of religion." It's in the Constitution. You might want to look it up sometime.
And if you're going to call out me and other journalists by name in that putrid snotrag you call a newsletter, I'll return the favor: Quit hiding behind a P.O. box and a phone answering machine, George Brooks. Come out into the light. Stand up and voice your opinions like a man — instead of acting like what comes out the rear end of a chicken.
(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes) — e. e. cummings
I'm writing this from the restroom facility at Big Hill Pond State Park in southern McNairy County. On Monday, I commandeered the building, which contains the men's and women's restrooms, some racks of pamphlets, and two vending machines. There's no one here right now, but I plan to stay as long as necessary to protest the fact that the state of Tennessee is run by oppressive know-nothings who wouldn't know small government — or freedom, for that matter — if it bit them on their considerable backsides ...
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. — William Shakespeare
Is there such a thing as "bad activism"? I'm asking because I'm seeing a lot of criticism of the folks who are protesting the Memphis Zoo's encroachment onto the Greensward at Overton Park.