Roy Exum: A Black Man’s Response

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, called on the nation’s school systems to rethink “zero tolerance” rules last week during a carefully-planned speech in Baltimore. He believes that such rules push too many kids into the justice system and adversely punish more minority students than white kids.

According to the website “The Hill,” Holder explained, “Alarming numbers of young people are suspended, expelled or even arrested for relatively minor transgressions like school uniform violations, schoolyard fights or showing 'disrespect' by laughing in class.”

So the Attorney General is asking the nation’s school systems for new disciplinary methods that are “fair, nondiscriminatory, and effective.” His remarks were immediately acted upon by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and new federal guidelines were issued jointly by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education.

“Positive discipline policies can actually foster safer school environments, without a heavy reliance on suspensions and expulsions," Secretary Duncan said, “Schools also must understand their civil rights obligations and avoid unfair disciplinary practices. We need to keep students in class where they can learn.”

Holder even vowed his department “will enforce federal laws to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination in school discipline,” this coming in a 32-page letter that accompanied the new guidelines.

Deborah J. Vagins, the ACLU’s senior legislative counsel, told The Hill, "With the rise of law enforcement in our schools, the proliferation of zero tolerance policies, and misuse of suspensions and expulsions, our nation’s school discipline policies are pushing children … out of school."

But wait just a moment. Hold that thought. Allen West, an African-American who is a war hero and a former Congressman from Florida, responded to Holder and Duncan in a fiery commentary on the WND website earlier this week and don’t think he isn’t livid with pent-up anger. “Every day I am amazed at the insanity I witness in our America and here is another example,” he wrote on his blog.

Here, in his own words, is what else Allen West had to share:

* * *

“What did (Holder’s) remarks really mean? They accompanied the release of new federal guidance from the departments of Justice and Education encouraging (i.e. threatening) schools to adopt disciplinary policies that are “fair, nondiscriminatory, and effective.” The guidance offers parameters for punishment as governed by federal civil rights protections, alternatives to exclusionary discipline and a comprehensive list of regulations on the books in every state.

“So now the U.S. Department of Justice under Eric Holder will use its power to enforce “civil rights protections” in school disciplinary actions. In fact, the DOJ and DoED are putting schools on notice that they are prepared to use their authority to investigate the claims of racial disparity in the punishment of students.

“And of course the American Civil Liberties union (ACLU) is thrilled with this policy. The ACLU offered research showing that black students make up 36 percent of those expelled, though they represent only 15 percent of students.”

“Not to be outdone by Holder in the “stuck on stupid” category, Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated, “Positive discipline policies” can actually foster safer school environments, without a heavy reliance on suspensions and expulsions. Schools also must understand their civil rights obligations and avoid unfair disciplinary practices.

“I taught high school for one year in Deerfield Beach, Fla., and in the end, it was such an enjoyable experience breaking up fights daily, that I decided to return to the combat zone of Afghanistan.

“Teachers are already disrespected and attacked, not feared. There were students at Deerfield Beach who steered clear of the lunchroom for fear of being picked on or engaged in a fight. A kid was stabbed while I was on the faculty there.

“Yes, this violence on campus was perpetrated 8 out of 10 times by black students, male and female, but it had nothing to do with racial disparity. It had everything to do with a lack of discipline and control.

“When a young man took a swing at me while I broke up a beat down that he and three others were giving a young man already on the ground, it had nothing to do with civil rights. It had everything to do with a criminal behavior which does not belong in a learning environment – and he was expelled. Now imagine under these new guidelines and rules, DOJ and DoED would initiate an investigation.

“Liberal progressives don’t want to tackle the problem they created, the decimation of the black family. Fifty years ago only six percent of births in America were out of wedlock. Today the number is 72 percent in the black community. There was a time when “acting out” at school resulted in having to stay after school and worse, a call home to mom and dad — talk about a beat down.

“Common core -- now this — the progressive socialist dream of state-run education is coming to fruition. But what is even more heinous is the message being sent that race is an excuse for bad behavior in our kids, an acceptable excuse at that. It means the death spiral for education in the black community will increase as we overlook or reward the most abhorrent conduct.

“Perhaps this is why Holder and Obama want Debo Adegbile as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division considering his defense of Black Panther and cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, when he was leader of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. There is no doubt that someone skilled enough to defend Abu-Jamal would be perfect to institute this policy of racial protectionism of juvenile criminal behavior.

“This is my clear and succinct message to white Americans. How long will it be before “you people” realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you — not to mention his henchman Holder. Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists — not you.”

* * *

Whew! Has Allen West had about enough, or what? But you have to admit, it makes for interesting reading.

royexum@aol.com


Retain Justice Sharon Lee

I’m a business person, not an attorney.  I appreciate integrity and character.  I appreciate hard work and honesty, and I appreciate intelligence.  I have known Justice Sharon Lee for many years--long before she was appointed to the Court of Appeals in Knoxville, and later to the Tennessee Supreme Court—she has all the characteristics that judges should have.    ... (click for more)

I Know Kenny Smith

I’m writing in response to comments by City Councilman Larry Grohn about Kenny Smith. I don’t know Mr. Grohn, but I know Kenny Smith.  Kenny told me he met Grohn once but doesn’t know him.   If Grohn really knew Kenny Smith, he’d know Kenny pushed for expanded vocational education while on the School Board and is intent on pushing for it on the County Commission. ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Request For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

Vols Open 2018 Season Against West Virginia In Charlotte

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Volunteers will open the 2018 season on September 1 against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. All information related to kickoff date, time and tickets will be announced at ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Williams Signs With Northwest Missouri

Ooltewah’s Mike Williams, one of District 5-AAA’s most respected wide receiver threats in 2013, has signed a football scholarship with Northwest Missouri State, the defending NCAA Division II national champion. Williams chose the Bearcats, members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, over Carson-Newman, in Jefferson City, Tenn., and Paine College, in Augusta ... (click for more)