I have called the number u have listed to put in an ad several times and no one answers the phone. Just stopped at where u have always been located in downtown Chillicothe and the office is cleaned out. Is there somewhere I can go or call to put in an ad?
Also would like to say great job to our first pitch pitchers! Raven Schoff and Luke Karney!
We would like to give a Big thank you to our corporate sponsors last night, Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune and LifeFlight Eagle!! The Mudcats wouldn’t be the same without amazing sponsors like you!!
John Burl Smith
The other day several seemingly unrelated thoughts occurred to me, and after a lengthy consideration, I had an epiphany. I use the term epiphany to describe that mental evolution because the outcome, which began as follows, provided unexpected clarity. The first startling fact came as I learned January 6—the day of the Capitol insurrection—is observed as a church festival day commemorating the first manifestation of the Magi—Christ—to the Gentiles and in the Eastern Orthodox Church the date commemorates the baptism of Christ. Also epiphany, in its modern context, indicates an appearance, manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; an intuitive grasp of reality through something as simple, yet striking, as an everyday event).
Next, in thinking about my last post “Totally Unimpressed with Jaime Harrison” and my exasperation with the Chairman’s lack of a sense of urgency, I was baffled by his muted response to the Republican insurrection on 1/6. His lackadaisical effort since taking the helm of the Democratic Party has created doubt up and down the ranks of democrats in the field on the ground in states like Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Grassroots organizers are beginning to feel abandoned, because the party is not providing early resources or direction for the upcoming battle in 2022. The problem for such grassroots operatives in such states is they are already experiencing “out of pocket” expenses, trying to set up and get things in place ahead of what will be trench warfare, leading up to the crucially important November 2022 Congressional elections.
Having been involved in Democratic Party politics since walking door to door with my mother, Mrs. Willie May Gray, in the 1950s, and coordinating several successful grassroots campaigns for Congress and state legislative positions in in the 1970s and 80s, Chairman Harrison seemed to be unaware of lessons learned and disaster that occurred when the party did not support local effort timely. He seemed to believe hiding out at headquarters, wearing a meme of Pres. Biden for visitors, will generate sufficient financial support for first time candidates and street organizers once the battle starts in 2022; too little too late lose many winnable races!! The Democratic Party is currently raising money, building up its war chest, but sitting on dollars in a Headquarters easy chair want cushion losses in November 2022. It will spend hundreds of millions on media ads, which will not speak to inner city populations, who make up the bulk of Democratic Party. Stepping in that direction, the fight may be over before bullets reach the frontline where they are needed. Currently the chairman seems to be devoid of any understanding of the obligation to attract young voters and fund their street and door to door efforts now, rather than depending on local operation to hold the fort until the cavalry arrives late in 2022. Such reluctance or recalcitrance is a step in the wrong direction.
Then while reading for consolation, I encountered Isaiah 32: 9-11, “Rise up, ye woman that are at ease: hear my voice, ye careless daughters: give ear unto my speech. Many days and years ye shall be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. Trouble, ye women that are at ease; strip you, and make bare, and grid sackcloth upon your loins.” Most may ask, what has this to do with politics? I answer, the challenge back then is the same as today, when men fail to lead and busied themselves with intrigue, piling up wealth and power, while robbing children, the poor and dispossessed. The days of women sitting back and following the “strong man,” like Kyrsten Sinema behind Joe Manchin, ended when women began “burning bars” in the 1970s. Back then women, like my mother, began stepping up, pointing the black community in the right direction and not following men without any idea what it meant to lead. They demanded then, as they must now, that men lead, follow or get out of the way of progress!!
The next steps in the right direction were reflected in a little noticed article by Houston Keene, aired on, of all places, FOX NEWS, “National Archives' racism task force says own Rotunda example of ‘structural racism,’ knocks Founding Fathers.” This article detailed demands for changes in the Archives’ own Rotunda—which houses the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights—as examples of “structural racism” as well as, the Founding Fathers and other White, historically impactful Americans are portrayed “too positively.” The report completed in April and released this month has drawn little to no notice among U.S.’s top librarians. The task force’s critiques “unequivocally” shows the “impacts” of how “structural racism” at the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) affect employees’ interaction with each other, customers and the historical records themselves.
Examples of “structural racism” includes “legacy descriptions that use racial slurs and harmful language” to describe BIPOC communities—Black, Indigenous and other People of Color], women, and other communities—which includes actual racial slurs alongside terms such as”elderly,” “handicapped” and “illegal alien.” Additionally, the National Archives’ Rotunda categorizes and “lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding, while marginalizing BIPOC, as examples of “structural racism.” The task force suggests ways to “reimagine the Rotunda,” by presenting theatrical performance to reflect the Arts—plays, concerts, exhibits, dance—in spaces that invite dialogue about ways the United States has mythologized the “founding era and whiteness.” The report also called for "trigger warnings" to "alert audiences of content that may cause intense physiological and psychological symptoms."
The task force wants to change language on OurDocuments.gov, a website of American “milestone documents”—the Constitution and Declaration of Independence—making them less celebratory of Americans, like Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. “OurDocuments.gov features transcripts and historical context of ‘100 milestone documents of American history,’ while excessively lauding “White, wealthy men,” giving 24 entries of Jefferson, as a ‘visionary’ who took ‘vigorous action’ to strengthen the ‘will of the nation to expand westward.’ The plan does not mention his policy of westward expansion forcing Native People off their ancestral land and encouraging ongoing colonial violence, while laying the groundwork for further atrocities like Pres. Andrew Jackson’s 1830 Indian Removal Act, known among native People as the “Trail of Tears.”
The step that brought everything together for me as an epiphany occurred on Friday (6-19-21), as AG Merrick Garland stepped to the podium, flanked by Kristen Clarke, head of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan, and gave crystalline clarity to all of my previous thought, experiences and concerns. He left no doubt that this DOJ tandem would act as no others before their daring attempt. I for one fought exceedingly hard for their confirmation and AG Garland’s statement vindicated the hopes of all who fought to make Pres. Biden’s choices are so monumental.
Suing Georgia for “voting rights violations,” assured Americans and the world, the DOJ is a partner in the trenches, fighting to save America’s democracy. The battle for Congress in November 2022 will still not be fought on as level a battlefield, so the Chairman of the Democratic Party must stand up and be counted, on the frontline and not back at base camp on coffee break. Going into this battle thinking as Kyrsten Sinema, based on faulty logic, she refuses to end the filibuster. Her defeatist cowardly fears of what Republicans will do when they gain power again, means she is afraid of the ghost of a dying party. The American people do not trust the insurrectionists Republicans, and will not trust them with power until they repudiate the 1/6 insurrection and purge all insurrectionists that voted not to hold Donald Trump and his insurrectionists responsible. That is a necessary step in the right direction; Sinema is afraid of the Republican ghost. I’m not! I’m from Riverside in Memphis Tn. And we didn’t go looking, but when a fight came we never ran. We had a saying, “If you’re scared, call the police, if you think somebody will protect you!!”
Steps in the Right Direction
John Burl Smith
As a supporter of the National Day of Prayer and Protest on May 8th, the Saturday on before Mother’s Day, groups like Black Live Matter, Movement for Black Live, The Squad, Mothers Against Gun Violence, NAACP, Urban League, the National Action Network and many others are calling on Americans to pray for victims of gun violence and protest the refusal of Congress to enact meaningful gun control legislation to end the epidemic of mass shooting, and the wanton policing killing of unarmed Black people. We are coming together to not only raise our voices and march, but gather in churches, parks and homes to mourn and commemorate the huge toll of over 12,400 women, men and children who were killed, as a result of gun violence in the United States thus far in 2021 alone.
An admonition from the last chapter of Ecclesiastes says; “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor thy years draw nigh, when thou shalt say; I have no pleasure in them.” These words have little meaning or resonance for those “diehards,” who are totally committed to the past. They find no pleasure in or concern for the present. They see history through the rearview mirror, while speeding ahead to build roadblocks to stop the changes those who will live in today’s tomorrow, which they want to mimic their grandfather’s day. They would kill off an entire generation to return to a time that avoided recognizing the lies and harsh reality of those times, which they know only through history books. Remembering is the only way a society can improve itself and accommodate the hopes of those who must live with the decisions leaders today are making to keep young people from implementing changes that will build a sustainable society and world.
I offer April 20, 2021, the day the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin was rendered, which served as a classic example of the possibility of change. I felt such relief with that verdict because it offered hope that the long nightmare of police murders of black people would come to an end. Watching news reports, it seemed the world was taking a much needed sigh of relief!! However, in less than an hour my feeling of relief turned to dread, as news flashes sounded the alarm, announcing that a police officer killed a 16 year old black child Ma'Khia Bryant. Then came many attempts to “blame the black victim” to justify the total lack of empathy and restraint by what was supposed to be a well-trained officer. Before pulling the trigger “4 times,” there was no forethought of intervention short of “deadly force.” The fact that her weapon was a knife, which could have caused only superficial wounds if any, there was at least one other response a trained officer could have initiated. Perceiving black people as hostile, aggressive or any other behaviors, police respond to judge actions or violations as a death sentence for people of color.
I frame this situation as “blame the black victim” because when white people engage in similar behavior, police exercise undue caution and have a totally different reaction or attitude and no lives are lost. Social media is replete or awash in videos of encounters showing unruly white men and women with white police. They show violent lawbreakers assaulting police, taking their clubs and beating them, some driving away from the scene, resulting in high speed chases, but during these encounters no shots are fired and do not end in the death of assailants. Such videos show verbal altercations, where police admit and verbally acknowledge the rights of white people to refuse to comply with instructions and no arrest are made. A few show assailants take police vehicles and escape without a single shot being fired. Moreover, not one of these encounters have police fire shots, let alone kill a single white person. I may have missed it, but I cannot recall one white person being killed in 2021. Contrarily, even white men involved in mass shootings that did not kill themselves were taken alive. Even more aberrant, following the 9 shooting deaths of prayers at the Emanuel Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, police took the murderer out to lunch.
Although this social media information is available for comparison, not one police department, politician or media pundit, to my knowledge, offer the previously mentioned videos to highlight disparities between white and black death by police. Instead they offer ridiculous “blame the black victim” explanations, while ignoring black to white deaths disparities, as a reflection of racist police behavior. Implying the Biden administration will begin looking at such discrepancies, on Wednesday (4-21-21), AG Merrick Garland announced that the US Justice Department launched a “pattern or practice” investigation into the Minneapolis police department. He said, “Today, the Justice Department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a ‘pattern or practice’ of unconstitutional, unlawful policing.” AD Garland continued, “It will examine the use of force by police officers, including force used during protests, and whether the department engages in discriminatory practices. It will also look into the department’s handling of misconduct allegations and its treatment of people with behavioral health issues and will assess the department’s current systems of accountability.” However, just 2 hours after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, Columbus, Ohio police shot and killed Ma'Khia Bryant. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said in a Wednesday tweet, “Ma’Khia Bryant should be alive right now.”
The Minneapolis Police Department is also being investigated by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which is looking into the police department’s policies and practices over the past decade to see if it engaged in systemic discriminatory practices. The concerns and conditions AG Garland outlined certainly fit Columbus, Ohio police department. It has logged several police killings of black men this year alone. Casey Goodson Jr. is at the top of the list. Columbus, Ohio’s latest data, which covers 2013-19, mapping Police Violence shows Columbus police killed 40 people 27 were black. Six years after the tragic police killing of 12-year old Tamir Rice, DOJ declined to file charges against the Cleveland police officers that murdered him.
There are many surveys that list the number of black men, women and children killed by police across America and the numbers are staggering. One such account shows police in the U.S. killed 164 Black people in the first 8 months of 2020. The following are just a few of their names: (Part I: January-April): Tyree Davis, Chicago, Illinois, Tina Marie Davis, Spring Valley, New York, Jamarri Daiwon Tarver, Las Vegas, Nevada, Brandon Dionte Roberts, Cocoa, Florida, Kwame Jones, Jacksonville, Florida, Miciah Lee, Sparks, Nevada, Earl Facey, New York, New York, and Abdirahman Salad, Columbus, Ohio. What stands out about this list is some states names appear only once or twice, while states like North Carolina, Florida, New York, Georgia, Texas and Ohio appear at least 6 or more times for 2020.
Anthony Brown Jr. was unarmed, when he was fatally shot by Pasquotank County, North Carolina by sheriff’s deputies, John Pena Montez, 57, was armed with a knife and threatening his estranged wife in a domestic disturbance was shot and killed by San Antonio police. They were among 6 victims of police killing following the Derek Chauvin verdict. It seemed the murder of Trayvon Martin, and the acquittal George Zimmerman (2012), followed by the fact that the officer that murder Michael Brown in Ferguson was not even charged, let alone indicted in Missouri (2014), seems to have unleased the murderous policing culture Black people are enduring in America. Murdering Black men accelerated exponentially and seem to occur almost daily somewhere in America. The thing is, most police murders of Black men are for non-felonious crimes, involving traffic stops, unconstitutional vehicle or personal searches, improper and unlawful demands for information or snap judgements about knives, which there are no laws prohibiting their possession or the ridiculous claim I thought he had a gun. Why doesn’t that happen to white men, who are known to carry guns and ride around with several displayed in their trucks? Speaking to that point 6 black men have died in 2021 because police thought a cell phone was a gun. Isaiah Brown, 32, is the latest victim shot by a deputy that gave him a ride home, while on the phone with 911. For all intent and purpose, police have become Judges and juries on the spot when Black people are involved and they issue death penalties without reprieves.
All these factors are things AG Garland needs to address. It is a fact police do not respect the Constitutional Rights of Black and brown people. They have never believed the Constitution applies to Black people because of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1857. Today they continue to operate like slave catchers and act with impunity, while pole departments and police unions condone such behavior, as part of policing Black people. AG Garland’s probe in Minnesota must be extended nationwide to look first at states like North Carolina, Florida, New York, Georgia, Texas and Ohio, which have had an inordinate number of Black people killed by Police since 2012. Moreover, it should be made clear “snap judgments” by police involving non-felonious acts that result in the death of Black citizens will be investigated, as civil rights violations, with severe penalties.
Law and Murder in America