Commissioner Coonrod Is The Leadership We Need - And Response

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

If we ever needed an example of the kind of leadership the black community needs as opposed to the kind it doesn't need, it's the issue of the BID currently under consideration. 

The NAACP actually claims a self imposed tax on merchants to make areas of downtown safer and cleaner is racist and will bring back the Jim Crow days. We have been hearing this kind of claptrap from the professional victims in the NAACP for years. And black people continue to be the poorest (despite record low unemployment rates in their community) and the black achievement gap in education hasn't moved.

So maybe it is time to try something different. Commissioner Coonrod pretty much destroyed the NAACP and its sycophants in her statement released yesterday.  I don't remember seeing any, "no blacks allowed," signs downtown like in the 50s when I was growing up. Why, I actually see black people riding in the front of the bus. Commissioner Coonrod represents the kind of leadership needed in her community in the 21st century.

I am happy to admit I was 100 percent wrong on Ms. Coonrod's candidacy. 

Douglas Jones

* * * 

I truly respect Councilwoman Coonrod. After all she was the only city councilperson to respond on an issue I wrote to the councilman of the district I live only to receive no response. Although her intentions might be sincere, she appears naive about history, and how Jim Crow and segregation came to be law. There are other means rather than using actual signs to target certain groups or make an area exclusive for a select few.  

Jim Crow, segregation and the signs that would later crop up were a gradual thing. See: "Having Our Say" an oral history of sisters Sarah "Sadie" and Elizabeth "Bessie" Delany (both now deceased) compiled by Amy Hearth. It didn't happen overnight.  

There was a time after the slaves were freed and before Jim Crow and segregation took hold that was pretty much like today. Where people of all colors, racial and ethnic backgrounds openly mingled with one another, even producing children out of interracial relationships, as the Delany sisters were (their mother was African-American/father white).  Then a few rules (today's ordinances) here and there began to take hold, later turning into actual laws. Then one day, as one of the sisters described in their book, they went to a park and the sign was up at a water fountain. "Coloreds/ or Negro" on one side/"White-only" on the other of a water fountain, the sisters as children went to drink from. 

In the community I live, not all that long ago, 21st century to be exact, police were stopping primarily young African-American men (one was practically strip searched right in front of my house) telling them "you don't look like you belong here." Although many of the individuals families, like us, had lived in the community for decades. 

Just because an area, a community, has some "select" diversity doesn't guarantee the intended goals to keep certain undesirables out aren't a part of the plan. It's part of a strategy so matters won't appear intolerant, racist or bigoted when a member or members of a particular group find themselves targeted for removal or to deny entry. 

Personally, I rarely go downtown anymore anyway or patronize any events locally. Certain areas of Chattanooga have been off limits, albeit not openly so, for quite a number of years now, just without the signs telling you where you're not welcome.  It's much easier and actual enjoyable when family invites me out of town to events. The diverse atmosphere is real, not forced or faked. The music lively and everyone free spirited. People of another ethnicity, race, gender (same even) will actually walk up to you, grab your hand and start to dance.  Nothing seems forced or putting on some pretentious show for the cameras to give the impression all's fair, just and right. Then when the cameras go away everyone rush back into their "safe-space." 

These matters should have been openly addressed when many of us attempted to speak out, but were forced into silence, via warnings, threats or other means. At times by some of the very same individuals who've begun to take notice. 

Don't wish to say "We told ya' so." But we did at least make an attempt. 

I was born into a Jim Crow/segregated south too. I have memories, and have long recognized the warning signs. 

Brenda Washington 

Fixing HCDE’s Budget

Sensitivity Training

Make Schools Individually Centralized

Much discussion has occurred about the HCDE budget. Many suggestions have been offered, some good, some a little far fetched. But it is interesting to note that anyone who sneezes and accidentally ... (click for more)

As John Martin at WRCB reported on the story of the Tweets sent out on the EPB account I immediately began to be upset. In digesting this I now have to say that I am thankful for this one ... (click for more)

In my wildest dreams improving education of children I discovered something in my own work that might have validity today with costs of educating going up, not down. Let us begin with central ... (click for more)


Fixing HCDE’s Budget

Much discussion has occurred about the HCDE budget. Many suggestions have been offered, some good, some a little far fetched. But it is interesting to note that anyone who sneezes and accidentally waves a UnifyEd or XQ Institute banner makes front page news while often good ideas are ignored. I believe Rhonda Thurman was on the right track, a few weeks ago, when she suggested ... (click for more)

Sensitivity Training

As John Martin at WRCB reported on the story of the Tweets sent out on the EPB account I immediately began to be upset. In digesting this I now have to say that I am thankful for this one who showed forth more faith than most so called Evangelical Christians. You may ask why and so let me tell you. First off the Bible tells us that in these last days that there will be ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Consultants Say County Schools Have $1.36 Billion in Facilities Need

A consultants report says the Hamilton County Schools have $1.36 billion in facilities upgrade needs. That does not include costs associated with adding capacity or account for cost saving associated with closing schools, the report by MGT Consulting Group says. The report says a preferred size of a school would have 1,000 students. The average enrollment at county schools ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Finalizes Tax Rise Of Over 20%; Cheryl Graham Takes Spalding Seat

The Signal Mountain Council voted to increase property taxes by 20.434 percent on second and final reading on Monday night. This makes the tax rate $1.8866 for every $100 of assessed value of a property. For a median price home in the town of $250,000, this will mean an increase of $200.07. Moves to reduce the budget to the get to this rate included eliminating an unfilled ... (click for more)


UTC's Tiano, Lawson At SoCon Media Days Monday

The 2019 Southern Conference Football Media Day is set for Monday, July 22, in Spartanburg, S.C. Representatives from all nine football playing schools in the league will be on hand for the afternoon of interviews and discussions leading into the 2019 season. Senior quarterback Nick Tiano and junior defensive back Jerrell Lawson, are making the trip, along with head coach Rusty ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Lookouts Losing Streak Ends At 14 Games With 3-2 Win Over Birmingham Barons

Birmingham, AL -- With the Cincinnati Reds LHP Alex Wood as the starting pitcher on a rehab assignment for Chattanooga, the Lookouts scored three runs in the top of the third, then held on for a 3-2 win over Birmingham Monday night. The victory ended the Lookouts losing streak at fourteen games and kept them one shy of the all-time record for consecutive losses of 15 set in 1971. ... (click for more)