Thursday, September 20, 2007

Feeling a little queasy about the Jena 6 protests

By now nearly everyone in the country knows about the six young black men charged with criminal acts surrounding the beating of a white classmate in Jena, Louisiana. A protest against the charges was held in Columbia on Wednesday and a large protest in Jena will be held on Thursday.

I have read countless media reports about the situation. There is no question that there were situations leading up the alleged beating that increased racial tensions in that small Louisiana town. But, I am hard pressed to find any so called “good guys” in the story. I also find it unfortunate that so many civil rights leaders are championing the cause of young men who allegedly acted so violently.

The young white man beaten was beaten until he was unconscious by the alleged attackers. The fight was allegedly six on one. Nothing, and I mean nothing, including the use of the N word justifies that sort of violence. People, including young people, who act so violently, should be held accountable. There is no justification for six young men beating another young man unconscious.

That is what is disturbing about the Jena 6 protests. Perhaps the young men are in a town that has some racism issues. But not one leader of the protests has condemned the violence the young men allegedly used.

One woman on WIS TV stated that “:it could have been” her son among the six accused. If her son was among the accused, she should be ashamed. I would be. No words, and I mean not any words, justify six guys beating a guy unconscious. To protest and suggest otherwise is harmful to young people and reinforces stereotypes about African Americans that racists have.

There is a legal system. If the young black men in question were racially harassed, they should have sought some sort of legal recourse, not violence. Their alleged choice to be violent should not be celebrated or defended.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. got more done for civil rights in this country than perhaps any other person. He modeled his acts on the non violent means of Gandhi. There is something to be said for that. When one is not violent, but simply stands up for his rights he has more credibility.

Further, lets reverse the situation. Supposed six white students beat a black student unconscious. The white students would probably not only be charged for their crimes of beating the student, but with hate crimes and lynching.

Equal justice means equal justice. If the young men accused acted with racial hate, charge them with racial hate crimes. I do not know about the lynching laws in Louisiana, but they would come darned near close to them in South Carolina.

But, most importantly, I will state again, there are no words, and I mean no words spoken that justify a horrible beating. Until we as a community and a society as a whole embrace that idea, we will continue to have divisions that are just down right silly and highly paid activists that whip us to false frenzies and lead good intentioned people into defending thugs of any race.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


As the debate about the war in Iraq and against terror wages on, I thought I would take a moment to remember those who gave the supreme sacrifice for our country. In memory of Capt. Eric Bergstrom, USAF, whose funeral taught me how special Arlington is.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering the NYFD

May God Rest the souls of the brave firefighters and paramedics and comfort their families. Let us never forget their heroism on that horrible day.

To see the list of those lost go to:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fred Thompson is no Ronald Reagan

First, let me be clear, I like the actor Fred Thompson. I ejoyed the movies he played in and Law and Order television series. Fred Thomspon could end up with the Republican nomination. He could end up President of the United States.

However, Fred Thompson is no Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan, as the flow of documents in his own hand show us, was a political thinker who happened to have a career as an actor. Reagan used his skills as an actor to promote his passion for limited government and to fight communism. It never occurred to Reagan to go back to acting after his speech endorsing Barry Goldwater in 1964. Instead, Reagan hit the speaking tour circuit, served two terms as Governor and hit the circuit again by speaking, writing colunmns, and making radio commentaries. Reagan did not spend his last days as Governor shooting scences for a television series, as Thompson spent his last days in the Senate.

Reagan also did not sit and calculate when the field was weak and he could have a shot. Reagan took on two sitting Presidents, losing to Ford in 1976 for the Republican nomination and beating Carter in 1980 for the White House.

To become anything close to Ronald Reagan in 1980, Fred Thompson appears to have to cram 16 years of thinking and commenting on the issues of the day into a few months. Perhaps he can do it. But, the way I see it, Fred Thompson will either catch fire in the next few weeks, or end up a winner of a few Southern primaries who positions himself nicely for the Vice Presidential nod.

But, his supporters ought to put aside the comparison to Reagan if they want Thompson to become our canidate instead of just theirs. Fred Thompson has to show the ability to lift up people's spirits like Reagan on the stump and show a clear idea of where he wants to go before he can even wish to hold himself in comparison to the gipper.

And, this Thompson fans, comes from a guy thinking about voting for him.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sanford is going to China and other things

The big news out of the Governor's office officially is that the Governor is going to China. The Governor is heading a delegation of South Carolinians going to China to try to win some economic development for the state. The list of those going are the who's who of Sanford supporters, from the business sector and the General Assembly.

I do not have anything against the Governor to China. Indeed, I wish him well. However, his stewardship over the Department of Commerce has become a joke among those in the know. Just ask the people of Greenville County how well Sanford works for economic development as they struggle to keep about a 1000 jobs at the Donaldson Center.

One upstate elected official made it clear to me. "I have never seen a Department of Commerce so political and so against economic development. It is unbelievable how inept they are under Sanford."

Putting that aside, fellow blogger and former Sanford staffer Will Folks on his blog, FITS News, made clear that in 2008 Sanford is going to openly go after General Assembly members who disagree with the Governor. Folks makes like this is some sort of revelation. I hate to break it to him, but politicos in the know are not stupid. The Governor's allies went hard after folks in the General Assembly in 2006 via South Carolinians for Responsible Government. They had mixed results. But, there was more out of state money in the General Assembly races than ever before. And, all of those out of state donors were Sanford allies in that they support his causes or gave to him.

So, to claim that Sanford has never gotten involved in legislative races is down right silly. We ain't stupid, Slic Willie.

Back to the trip to China. The list of travelers tells me what I already know. This Governor and his people are more about scoring political points than getting things done. Getting a good trip for his supporters seems more important than getting some real jobs for South Carolina.

If that was not the case, the Governor would stay home and straighten out the mess that is his Department of Commerce and not get into pissing contests with the House Speaker over making sure Greenville County keeps a big number of high paying jobs.