Our Duties To Question And To Debate

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

We find ourselves in an extraordinary period where our inalienable rights and liberties have been temporarily curtailed. In particular, of the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the latter two have been curtailed with an aim to preserve the life of more citizens.

We can and should question and debate the boundaries of these restrictions and be unhampered to advocate against any portion of them that we believe are unnecessary. This is especially true when decisions are made by executive authority rather than by our elected deliberative bodies. I saw written somewhere online words to the effect of “extraordinary restrictions should come with extraordinarily clear justification.” Whether you agree with that proposition (I do), more generally citizens of all stripes have a right to express their opinions. I have noted before that Tennessee’s founding principles take some of the strongest stances towards liberty rather than obedience, consent rather than dictation, and trust of the individual.

Others in our community and nation have voiced their concerns over how to balance the lives of those at high risk with the lives, rights, and futures of all citizens. I consider that discussion very worthwhile, and at no point should that debate be unwelcome. When we consider the balance of present and future lives, I implore us to also remember the citizens of the past. To secure our liberties and build our country, so many of the past sacrificed greatly, in dangerous jobs, deferred dreams, and of course giving their lives in battle. In light of their sacrifice, I argue that we have a moral duty to question, debate, and dissent. I advise those of you in the thick of this debate to consider if your words and actions honor the purpose of the sacrifices of those who came before us. Only you can decide the answer, but please be sure to ask yourself the question.

Finally, a word to our executive officials and those advising them: no one envies your job right now in these uncertain times. Nonetheless, you cannot afford to forget that you do not speak to us, you speak for us.

David Kelman


The Cries For Justice Have Gone Unheard

Tennessee's Role In Civil Rights

Anarchy And Home-Grown Terrorism Is An Assault On Civil Rights


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Opinion

The Cries For Justice Have Gone Unheard

The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga is issuing the following statement in response to the civil unrest sweeping the nation: Our community is overwhelmed with grief and heartsick over the inhumanity we have witnessed in the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. Cities across the nation have erupted in rage and despair. As civil rights leaders ... (click for more)

Tennessee's Role In Civil Rights

While Tennessee has an imperfect track record on the issue of civil rights, we should be proud of our state. Because we know that while our citizens may argue amongst ourselves, debate issues, and drag our feet, in the end, we usually get it right. It was almost 100 years ago that Tennessee provided the 36th and final state needed to ratify the landmark 19th amendment to the U.S. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Has 2 More Coronavirus Deaths And 46 New Cases; One Victim Was In Early 40s With No Underlying Conditions

There have been two more coronavirus deaths in Hamilton County, the County Health Department reported on Tuesday. The new total is 17. The Health Department said one of the deaths was an individual in the 40-45 year range and had no underlying medical conditions. Officials said the two deaths were unrelated to each other. “This case illustrates that anyone is susceptible ... (click for more)

Anonymous Tip Helped Police Arrest Man With AR-15 At Miller Park Protest

Police said an anonymous tip may have saved many lives at a protest rally at Miller Park on Monday. Police were tipped off around 11:30 p.m. that a black male wearing jeans, a dark shirt and a camouflage tactical vest had been seen leaving the Douglas Heights apartments with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The man was seen on a Real Time Intelligence Center camera holding an ... (click for more)

Sports

CFC Hopes Turmoil Will Lead To Positive Change

The Chattanooga Football Club released a statement regarding the protests occurring within the city. It reads: “Chattanooga FC is, and always will be, a community club. From the beginning, our sole focus was to bring Chattanooga together, all of Chattanooga, from all races, creeds, and classes. It pains us that throughout our nation many fear for those lives ... (click for more)

Ray Deering, Popular Baylor School Administrator And Sports Columnist, Dies

Ray Deering, a beloved Baylor School administrator and sports enthusiast who wrote a popular sports column in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has died. A lifelong resident of Chattanooga, Mr. Deering was a 1961 graduate of Chattanooga High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Chattanooga in 1965. At UC he served as the sports editor of ... (click for more)