Unsavory Remarks About Our President - And Response

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I am embarrassed as a Chattanoogan to have our Sheriff Hammond making such ignorant and prejudicial comments to the staff of the Times/Free Press; that people feel having a black President “will ruin our country” or that we are somehow less safe or there is an air of “uncertainty.”  

We have had a black President for the past four years and our country is stronger than it was four years ago.  Some of our nation’s greatest enemies have been brought to justice under the leadership and policies of this President.  We have finally entered into a period of economic recovery and a couple of the largest indicators of that are our recovering real estate market and job growth.  

“Uncertainty” seems to be the latest overused word by the opponents of the President and his policies.  I guess they hope we will forget how “uncertain” things were back in 2007 when the whole country was sliding into a depression under the previous administration. 

Sheriff Hammond’s comments are something that one might expect some 50 or 60 years ago but not today.  Chattanooga is a city that has taken the lead in the South on many fronts; alternative energy and electric vehicles, social justice for all, and Chattanooga serves as host to many international companies that provide thousands of jobs here in the Tennessee Valley. 

Judge this President, or any leader, by his or her policies and positions and not by the color of his or her skin.  

What makes me feel unsafe and uncertain is when my sheriff, our head law enforcement officer, is making remarks about the color of people’s skin and feeding the beast of ignorance, prejudice, and intolerance.

 John T. Dixon 

* * * 

Don't misinterpret or bend what the sheriff is saying. His remarks are not against the president, he just saying what most of us already know. I've periodically witnessed those same type attitudes where I've lived for the past 30+ years when it was felt too many minorities and/or poor were moving into the community. And this wasn't 50 or 60 years ago, but latter 20th and 21st century Chattanooga. The sad and disturbing part in all of this is that the police, along with some neighborhood community groups and their leaders, have been the driving force behind spreading fear, divisiveness and suspicion in some communities. 

Just only a night or so ago, my husband and I were out walking the dog when we encountered one of our neighbors, white, also walking her dog. We knew her parents in their lifetime. My husband use to take them a free Sunday morning paper every Sunday. It was dark. After 6 or 7 p.m. and we stopped and chatted for a while. She and the husband attend the same church. After ending the chat, and moving on, suddenly two police cars showed up, circled around to where my husband was preparing to cross the street. Someone had actually called the police, after seeing two black folks standing and talking to this white woman. 

The problem is, on the surface we pretend change, but just beneath the surface nothing much has change since 50 or 60 years ago. The lame excuse and cover are pretending it's president's "policies."  When in reality, it is what it is and has nothing to do with any policies. As President Obama's policies are no different than prior presidents policies before him. 

Sheriff Hammonds is just seeing it and telling it for what it is.

Brenda Washington

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