The Backlash Against #BlackLivesMatter.

It’s understandable when a police officer is targeted and murdered in the brutal way Deputy Darren H. Goforth was while filling up his vehicle at a Houston-area gas station emotions are going to be raw. The suspect, Shannon Miles, allegedly shot Goforth from behind and then stood over the fallen deputy and finished him off firing a total of 15 shots.

So you couldn’t blame Harris County (Texas) Sheriff Ron Hickman’s anguish and anger over one of his officers being executed without a chance to defend himself. However, Hickman chose to take it to another level  when he all but blamed the #BlackLivesMatter social justice movement for Goforth’s death even before Miles’ motives for killing Goforth were known.

“We’ve heard black lives matter. All lives matter, well, cops’ lives matter too,” Hickman said. “So why don’t we drop the qualifier and just say ‘lives matter’ and take that to the bank?”

Hickman wondered if the emotions provoked by #BlackLivesMatter have thrown a match on the volatile conditions which set off cop killers.

A suspected cop killer and the cop he killed.

“I think that’s something that we have to keep an eye on,” Hickman said, “The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. We’re still searching to find out if that’s actually a motive.”

Since Sheriff Hickman already seems to made up his mind it is, don’t be surprised if the investigation concludes it was. American “justice” being what it is.

#BlackLivesMatter didn’t kill Officer Goforth. If anything, #BLM may save lives  because protest and activism offers an alternative to desperation and violence. For all parties concerned picking up a picket sign is safer than a shotgun. It would be a mistake for law enforcement officials to attempt to link peaceful demonstrators with cop killers, but  it’s a mistake the usual suspects on the Right are tripping over each other to discredit #BlackLivesMatter.

police-brutality

Senator Ted Cruz: “I do think we’re seeing the manifestation of the rhetoric and vilification of law enforcement and it’s coming from senior officials. I’m proud to stand with law enforcement. We need a president who doesn’t attack and vilify them, and who doesn’t seek to tear us apart along racial lines, to inflame racial divisions.”

Bill O’Reilly: “I’m gonna tell you right now, I’m gonna put them out of business. And any media person who supports them, I’m gonna put them on this program and put a picture of them on the air.”

Elizabeth Hasselbeck:…why has the #BlackLivesMatter movement not been classified yet as a hate group? I mean, how much more has to go in this direction before someone actually labels it as such?”

There is no correlation between #BlackLivesMatter and the killing of police officers. NONE. The opposite of “Black Lives Matter” is not “Kill White Cops.” This is not the Black Panthers marching in the streets of Oakland shouting “Kill the pigs” while they flaunt their 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms, but that’s a distinction completely lost on the cop apologists for whom Darren H. Goforth isn’t a fallen officer, but a club they can wield to bludgeon #BLM into submission.

It is as transparent as it is desperate and it won’t work.  #BLM has made its share of mistakes and missteps as it finds its footing as a nascent social movement, but it is on the right side of history.     Lost within their lies, the ranting Right-wing  won’t admit the #BLM movement is an effect with the excesses and atrocities committed by the police being the cause.

Maybe if the cop apologists bothered to read before they rant they might notice there are Black police officers being dropped as well as White officers. #BLM has not declared war on the cops, but the cop apologists who would rather exploit a murdered police officer to make a flawed and fallacious attack on #BLM, have certainly declared war on them.

#BLM came to pass as a reaction to police brutality and overreaction. This didn’t happen in an anti-cop vacuum.  It is not their fault if they have a wealth of examples of Black lives not mattering to rotten cops.  The cop apologists will tell you it’s the activists who changed the public’s perception of the police instead of the actions of the police themselves.

One would hope the killing of a police officer might be a moment for sympathy, but obviously its too tempting an opportunity to engage instead in petty demagoguery and denunciations.

When it was supporters of liberal lion Bernie Sanders beefing with #BlackLivesMatter that came as a surprise to many.   The  real surprise was it took the conservatives this long to do likewise.

Murder In the Morning

Alison Parker and Adam Ward: R.I.P.

If you’re looking for videos of two journalists being gunned down, look elsewhere. It’s not here.

If you’re looking for a link to a madman’s manifesto, you’re outta luck. It’s not here either.

If you think I’m going to obsess over the killer of Alison Parker and Adam Ward and why he did it, you’ve got another think coming.   I don’t care why the killer did it.    I’m glad he’s too dead to ever do it again.

If you want someone to be sympathetic to Vester Flanagan, the TV reporter turned psycho killer turned maker of ISIS-style bloody porn videos,  there’s no sympathy for the devil here.

I was actually hoping they would take Mr. Flanagan alive but it didn’t ruin my day when he decided wanted to be taken dead.

I’ve seen a thousand pretty young reporters like Alison Parker doing stand-ups on television a thousand times. These are usually the softball, slice of life, non-news stories every station uses to fill time between the hard stuff, weather and sports.

I’ve seen ’em a thousand times. I’ve never seen a pretty young reporter murdered on live television. I’ve never seen a cameraman’s last act is film his killer.

Whenever you think you’ve seen it all you get a nasty reminder you haven’t seen anything yet.

Fuck Vester and fuck his fucking “manifesto.”

I don’t want to read his manifesto. I don’t want to know his sob story. I don’t care about his petty little grudges and bullshit beefs. I never knew “Bryce Williams” OR Vester Flanagan existed before today and I will NOT give this psycho turd the recognition in death he never got in life.

Vester Flanagan a.k.a “Bryce Williams” a.k.a. Dead Guy.

These chicken shit assholes and their murder-suicides. Why can’t they reverse the order and spare us all their bloody insanity? They always have to reach out and drag someone down with them.

Goddamn coward. Burn forever and in agony, Vester. You worthless, godless, evil, twisted little FUCK.

Maybe it’s because we’ve been here so many times before when the kill zone was a school, an office, a shopping center, a church or anywhere human beings/targets can be found. We’ve seen the blood, the bullet holes, the corpses and the terrible aftermath of a killing spree. We’ve even seen the deadly slaughter play out in real-time.

But this…this is different.

I can’t say I have ever seen a young woman murdered as we watch in horror and revulsion. I can’t say I have seen a murderer exult in his kill by triumphantly posting it all over social media. I can’t say I have seen two people die like this before my disbelieving eyes.

Now I can say I have seen all this and it makes me sick to my stomach and saddened to the core of my soul.

This isn’t about Vester Flanagan being a Black gay man who believed his ex-employer didn’t treat him nicely. I don’t know what his grievances were and I don’t care to know. He’s just an asshole and he’d STILL be an asshole no matter what his race or sexual orientation or gender or religion was.

A comment from Gawker summed up what, if anything Flanagan’s rampage “means.”

Tthis is a cultural problem. Flanagan belongs to a community that prides itself on wanton violence, theft, and brutality. people need to open their eyes to this ongoing trend of American male-on-American crime

That might be too subtle for some so I’lll be blunt.  This is not a Black thing or a White thing. It’s an asshole thing and now that Flanagan is a dead asshole, the world is better now that he’s no longer in it.   If only it had happened one day sooner Parker and Ward would still be alive.

Alison Parker w/ Adam Ward - WDBJ7 reporter and cameraman.

Alison Parker w/ Adam Ward – WDBJ7 reporter and cameraman.

Survived Car Crash. Killed By Cop. (UPDATED)

We know who killed Jon Ferrell, but the legal system seems to be confused.

In the aftermath of the mistrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict in the case of Randall Kerrick, the former Charlotte-Meckenberg police officer who shot and killed 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell in September 2013, you will inevitably hear law enforcement experts providing explanations about why the jury did not vote to convict Kerrick and possibly send him to prison for 11 years.  Many of these experts will be current and former police officers. This is what you need to know about these “experts.”

Everyone has an opinion. Some even have informed opinions. But sometimes what seems to be an informed opinion it is only impersonating one. What you’re actually hearing is a highly biased opinion designed only to defend bad policing by bad cops.

The excuses are the usual ones. The apologists say Kerrick deserved to lose his job. Kerrick should never be a cop again. But it’s not Kerrick himself, but the police department which hired him that should be punished for his bad policing. Kerrick should go free for his bad policing but it is the taxpayers who should be on the hook for Kerrick’s bad policing. Kerrick shouldn’t be punished for pumping 10 bullets into Jonathan Ferrell, even though the two other officers, both more experienced than Kerrick didn’t fire their guns at all.

While for some it may be plausibly asserted the past experience of someone in the same profession has to make them the go-to experts on how ALL police departments work and how ALL police officers respond to situations as an uncooperative suspect, that is a baseless assertion of authority that defies logic, reality and common sense. Nobody is an expert on everything facet and every situation others in that profession may meet.

The opinion which should carry the most weight isn’t of somebody who doesn’t know Kerrick, doesn’t know what sort of cop he was, doesn’t know how the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department trains its officers, and doesn’t know what their policies and rules are. The opinion which matters most is someone who does.

Randall “Wes” Kerrick used excessive force when the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell two years ago, a training expert testified Tuesday.


CMPD Capt. Mike Campagna told jurors that given the circumstances – from what Kerrick knew from dispatchers to how events quickly happened – the 29-year-old officer violated police policies by opening fire on Ferrell as the former college football player ran toward him on a Sept. 14, 2013.

jonathan-ferrell car 2

All that’s left of Ferrell’s car. He survived the crash but not the police.

Ferrell, who was unarmed, was hit by 10 gunshots. Most came when Ferrell and Kerrick were a few feet apart or on top of each other.

Campagna said Kerrick was justified in pulling his gun but not in using it. Instead, Kerrick should have holstered his Smith & Wesson 40-caliber pistol and used other options to restrain Ferrell – from firing his Taser, to using his baton or pepper spray, to even kicking or punching the approaching man.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers are taught to respond to a threat with only the force needed to subdue a subject, Campagna testified.

What was the highest response Kerrick should have used, prosecutor Teresa Postell asked?

“Non-deadly force,” Campagna said.

“Was shooting Jonathan consistent with CMPD policy and training?” Postell asked.

“No, it was not,” Campagna said.

Some of these experts will express how concerned they are about bad cops and how they must be weeded out.    Do not believe them.  If their lips are moving, they’re lying.

Anybody who continually manufactures excuses for bad policing and then turns around to make noises about “reforming” the police to get rid of the bad apples in the bunch does not sincerely mean it. Reform is what they say. What they do is repeatedly shrug off every incident of inept, incompetent and illegal policing as isolated events which cop-haters will exaggerate only to tear down the police. How many isolated cases does it take before it is obvious there’s nothing isolated about police violence against people of color?

Kerrick didn’t get desk duty or a suspension for shooting Jonathan Ferrell. He got fired and arrested for murder.   There were troubling signs Kerrick might not be found guilty when a grand jury failed to indict him and it took a second to do so.

How might things play out differently if Timothy Loehmann is indicted and tried for killing Tamir Rice or when Michael Slager is indicted and tried for killing Walter Scott or when the cops in Baltimore are tried for killing Freddie Gray?

It won’t play out any differently. Cops and their lawyers know they if they say the Five Magic Words it will be their guaranteed Get Out of Jail Free Card: “I feared for my life” and some sap on a jury or a limp-dick judge or a prosecutor afraid of pissing off the police will swallow this line whole and without question. We saw it with Eric Garner and Michael Brown and Sean Bell and Oscar Grant and Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond and on and on into infinity and beyond.
Michael Dunn killed Jordan Davis because he feared for his life. Theodore Wafer killed Renisha McBride because he feared for his life. George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin because he feared for his life. The Fear is the same but civilians, unlike cops, are less likely to have that reasonable doubt granted to them. Zimmerman was an exception and everything he’s been involved in since escaping punishment for Martin’s murder has brought clearly into focus between the two which one was the “thug.”

Cops get that benefit of the doubt. The Fear they claim led them to kill an unarmed man, woman or child is not measurable, but the cop apologists will tell you its real and its significant. In Kerrick’s case, he wasn’t facing Jonathan Ferrell alone. There were two other officers with him and neither one of them fired a shot. Does that mean they were the cowards here and Kerrick, the former animal control officer, was the real courageous one?

If a cop is so afraid for his life the default setting is to kill whomever is making them afraid, why the fuck are they a cop in the first place?

Calling Kerrick a coward is a completely proper term. He panicked and overreacted. He violated his training. He acted recklessly. He used lethal force in a situation where in the judgment of two other police officers it wasn’t necessary to stop Ferrell.

Those are the actions of a coward. A gutless, worthless, murderous COWARD who never should have been a cop. Kerrick should still be taking on angry Chihuahuas and poodles, not blowing away disoriented, injured Black men who had crawled from the wreckage of his totaled vehicle.

Make no mistake of it. What Kerrick did when he squeezed that trigger and pumped bullet after bullet after bullet after bullet into Ferrell until he had no more bullets to pump wasn’t about Kerrick being afraid for his life. It was about Kerrick wanting nothing more than to kill Ferrell and take away his life.

Contrary to the cop show hype crime does pay and criminals do get away with murder.  Especially when the criminal is a cop.

The dog catcher turned killer cop testifies in court.

Chelsea Manning Does the Time For Bradley Manning’s Crimes.

Bradley committed the crime but Chelsea is doing the time.

The news that Chelsea Manning will not face solitary confinement for relatively minor rules violations as she serves her 35 year term in Leavenworth prison is a positive outcome for her and her many supporters.  I have some compassion for her but don’t count me among her supporters.

Before she was Chelsea she was Bradley and Bradley Manning never should have been a soldier.

Deifying Manning has become a cause célèbre but she hasn’t done a thing to merit it. Dumping over 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks isn’t heroic. Manning did it to stick it to the military so it shouldn’t come as any shock that now they’re trying to stick it to her.

As anyone who’s ever been in the military knows, all sort of Mickey Mouse shit can and will be used against you if you run afoul of the brass. That is what’s happening here, but I still don’t feel much sympathy for Manning.

Manning should have been discharged long before she stepped foot in Iraq and the fact she wasn’t is an endless source of wonder to me. This is as much the Army’s fault as it was Manning.

Bradley Manning is not Edward Snowden and he is most definitely not a hero. Let’s get that straight, for starters.

Manning is not a whistleblower motivated by either ideology or principle. Nor, despite the claims of some, is he a poster child for transgender rights being persecuted for his gender or sexual orientation. Analyses that have focused on Manning’s personal conflicts over his sexuality and the limitations it placed on his ability to serve miss the point as much as those that have declared him a free-speech martyr. He did not deliberately and methodically set out to expose a discrete government program that he had come to believe was unconstitutional. He was not sentenced for his gender preferences or how he chose to dress. He was a troubled kid looking to make a mark who simply spilled every secret he knew, the equivalent of screaming as loud as he could in the hope that all that noise would bring some attention.

When I was in the army, soldiers used to talk about, “dirtbags,” “shitbirds,” and “shammers.” We applied these cruel labels to the kids who, for whatever reason, just couldn’t hack it. Some of the “shitbirds” had legitimate personality disorders, and others seemed damaged in different ways—they were just off—too idiosyncratic for soldiering, or maybe too sensitive. The “dirtbags” lied to you when they didn’t have to. You couldn’t trust them not to go into your wall locker and steal your stuff. They were the borderline or actual criminals. Then, finally, there were the “shammers,” the troops who actively tried to get out of duty by citing injuries or hardships, real or imagined.

Manning doesn’t deserve hero status but doesn’t deserve 35 years in prison either.

All of these people had their reasons for enlisting in the first place. They sought money, an escape, an adventure, a way to serve their country, or a way to prove something to someone by joining the army and going to war. For whatever reason they had enlisted, once they got to basic training, they stuck out miserably. To say they were bullied would be accurate but would miss something about the character of the army, an institution in which tough-guy power relations are the norm—even tacitly encouraged—and do not form a remarkable exception.

By some accounts, the trouble started early for Pfc. Manning. One of his fellow basic trainees described him this way: “He wasn’t a soldier—there wasn’t anything about him that was a soldier. He has this idea that he was going in and that he was going to be pushing papers and he was gonna be some super- smart computer guy and that he was gonna be important, that he was gonna matter to someone and he was gonna matter to something. And he got there and realized that he didn’t matter and that none of that was going to happen.”

At his sentencing, Manning said, “I look back at my decisions and wonder, ‘How on earth could I, a junior analyst, possibly believe I could change the world for the better over the decisions of those with the proper authority?'”

Good question, but apparently Manning has cultivated enough true believers to conclude a troubled, confused and lonely soldier was the best qualified person to make that call.

My distaste for Manning is not based on being gay or transgender as I support both being part of the armed forces. My issue with Manning is she is not a prisoner of conscience or anything romantic like that.   Manning couldn’t get out of the Army so she tried to screw it over.   Now that she is at their mercy they are screwing back.

chelsea-manning

Patriot? Whistleblower? Narcissist? Traitor? Take your pick.

Soldiers are not supposed to be robots.  They have brains and they can make decisions, but  when you dump classified information you’re not supposed to there will be consequences.   Chelsea Manning is paying the price for Bradley’s bad decision-making.

Manning was not a hero then, not a hero now, and not a hero ever.   President Obama should show a kindness she may not truly deserve and pardon, then dishonorably discharge Manning from the Army she was unfit for in the beginning.

The Bernie Bunch vs. #BlackLivesMatter

Bernie has a Negro problem.

Much to his chagrin Bernie Sanders is learning it isn’t easy being a liberal darling and expecting the various voting blocs of the Democratic Party to tag along.   Sanders had another bad expereince with #BlackLivesMatter activists and this time he walked off the stage when they shut him down cold.

Sanders’ inability to either address this issue or shut it down should begin to send up some warning flags that his popularity with the Left may not carry out to the general election and his floundering response to being targeted by #BlackLivesMatter says a great deal of how Democrats can’t take it on faith Barack Obama’s base will automatically line up for their nominee next year.

Being the darling of the White progressives within the Democratic Party was never going to be all it took for Bernie Sanders to out-maneuver Hillary Clinton on her Left flank. Sanders was in trouble when he said this at the NetRoots meeting a few weeks ago, “Black lives, of course, matter. I spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and for dignity. But if you don’t want me to be here, that’s OK. I don’t want to outscream people.”

The mistake Sanders and his supporters have made is thinking a progressive agenda,  being pro-civil rights and marching with King is all it takes to win over a bloc of voters who don’t know what the agenda is or don’t think your agenda is pro-enough. Sanders could put an end to these protests, but that would take him acknowledging he needs to. He’s being challenged by these activists to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. He has failed to rise to the challenge.

Whether Sanders is or is not on the side of the #BlackLivesMatter activists is a debate we’re going to keep having until its been resolved. Right now, they obviously feel Bernie isn’t enough on their side and is only saying what he thinks he needs to say to placate them. Lip service is not going to get it done.

Why should they get Sanders get a pass? I’m speculating, but perhaps the reasoning of #BlackLivesMatter is to their supposed allies to come correct before going after their likely adversaries in the GOP. It only makes sense to hold the Democrats accountable because unlike the Republicans, they actually need to be on the right side of this issue.

#BlackLivesMatter isn’t the only issue in this campaign, but Sanders putting a “racial justice” link on his website does not reach and resonate with the Black community. Neither do interviews where he says dopey stuff like, “I have a long history in fighting for civil rights. I understand that many people in the African-American community may not understand that.”

Oh, Bernie. You really are lost up your own ass, aren’t you?

I’m not the only one saying this. Douglas Wilder, the former governor of Virginia and presidential candidate, said on NPR the issue of race is not going away in the 2016 race.

“Let me tell you one of the things that’s going to be on the agenda … The issue of race is going to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room even though it might not be spoken … because everybody’s talking about the enemy that’s going to be beating us. The enemy is not the enemy with-out our country, it’s going to be the enemy within our country. It’s not going to be ISIS, it’s not going to be al-Qaida, it’s not going to be the Taliban, it’s going to be the people in this country coming to have to believe that we are one nation, indivisible. We are not a police state that treats certain people as second class citizens. Governors have something to say about that.”

Doug Wilder has some advice for the Democrats they might want to take

“I don’t know what’s going to be the top issue, but it’s going to be the issue relative to what we need to do to make our country strong. Yes, it’s a stronger issue than al-Qaida, ISIS, ISIL, Taliban and all of them together because if we are not strong within, then we cannot fight that which attacks us from the outside.”

Are the candidates saying what you want to hear as the first elected African American governor in this country?

“No, they are not. First of all, the African-American vote is taken for granted by both sides — one side says, well we’re not going to get them, and the other side says, well we don’t have to worry about them, so let’s concentrate on the Hispanic vote. That’s a big mistake. Take nobody for granted and be certain to understand that you can’t take people shot and killed because they don’t have a license plate on the front of their car, or …”

You don’t sound like someone who is ready to vote for Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t sound like anyone whose ready to vote for anybody. I have a reputation that no one takes my vote for granted and I think that’s the way it should be, and I’m not suggesting that Hillary and I and her husband and I — we have great relationships — but we’re not talking about personalities. We’re talking about the nation. The country. The people. Where are we? People are saying ‘this exceptional nation.’ Who built the nation, what made the nation great? Who were the people that were enslaved and made others rich and then left to paddle their own canoes and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, and then criticized for every little thing that goes askew.”

“I think it’s more important for the candidates to speak to how they regard race in America, how they see what’s taking place, and what they would do to offset some of the things that are taking … this vigilante mindset, and second class citizenship for some just by virtue of the color of the skin…”

Echoing Gov. Wilder here: I’m not ready to vote for anyone yet either and It is insulting to suggest Blacks should be fall in love with Sen. Sanders because he’s the poster boy of White Progressives. Sanders, like Chaffee, O’Malley, and Clinton (the hell with Jim Webb) can’t expect to get the Black vote if they don’t work for the Black vote. Democrats are entitled to nothing simply because they are Democrats. They don’t have the Black vote sewn up and Sanders and Clinton had better wake up to that reality.

Michelle’s advice to Hillary.

The Dems cannot win the White House without the support of Black and Latinos and Sanders doing a humblebrag about what he’s done in the past isn’t going to help him now with a part of the base that doesn’t know him.

Race matters and race is going to matter in the 2016 presidential election no matter how much the candidates would prefer it would not.

For decades, the conventional wisdom has been Republicans don’t want to work to win the Black vote and Democrats don’t have to because they know they’re going to get it anyway. Those young women were being obnoxious, disruptive and rude. But their cause is just and holding the feet of so-called liberals to the fire to put some teeth behind their lofty principles isn’t a bad thing.
It’s too bad for The Bernie Bunch these activists are offending them so much, but it is through dissent is that things get discussed and things get changed. If Sanders can’t handle two angry women calling him out then its better for him to be exposed as a lightweight now because he isn’t ready to deal with Vladimir Putin, Islamic State or a hostile Republican Congress.
Suck it up sweethearts. Being pissed off against young Black folks because they aren’t oohing and ahhing over Bernie isn’t going to make the issue go away.   This is the big leagues and now Sanders is playing small ball.

“I saw ‘Selma’ Bernie and I didn’t see you marching with MLK!”

 

The Godfather Is Gone. Amos H. Lynch: 1925 – 2015

Amos-Lynch-dispatch-620x400

Amos Lynch was a true social justice warrior.

Tomorrow the National Association of Black Journalists holds its annual convention/group therapy session in Minneapolis.    I will not be there.   I attended my last NABJ convention in 2011 and didn’t renew my membership in 2013.

Last week, one man who was one of my greatest inspirations as well as someone who did a lot to convince me journalism was truly my calling in life was laid to rest.  His name was Amos H. Lynch and he was the undisputed Godfather of Black Journalism in Columbus, Ohio.

A few of the attendees will know why and how he earned that title.  Most won’t, but such is the state of the business today.  Yesterday’s icons are as swiftly forgotten as yesterday’s news, if they were ever known at all.

Long before I became a blogger I was a journalist and I still think like one.   Blogging is for most the work of a soloist.   Journalism means you’re part of a band and everyone has to play their part.

Journalism is a collaboration and if you can’t work as part of a team, you’re not going to be much good at it. Particularly not if you are working for a newspaper.  In 1999, I walked away from the security of a state job for an opportunity to pursue my life’s calling after Mr. Lynch, the publisher of the Columbus Post.   The former editor-in-chief of the Call & Post had left that paper to start one of his own and before too long the city had a new press war going on but since it was happening between the Black-oriented papers,  the mainstream media mostly ignored it.

They couldn’t ignore Mr. Lynch though.   I’d go into his office and he would be working the phone.   Calling up community leaders, prodding politicians to take out a larger ad, placating a ruffled reader and otherwise being extremely busy supporting his favorite causes, dogging out his rivals, promoting events such as the annual MLK Breakfast, and being the Presence that made the big boys in Downtown Cowtown take his calls when he was on the line.

You don’t disrespect The Godfather.

Amos_Lynch

Amos Lynch, former editor of The Call & Post and publisher of the Columbus Post

Nothing about Mr. Lynch (as I referred to him then and now) reminded me of Don Corleone except they were both men who commanded respect based on their reputation.  He could be kind and gentle, but Mr. Lynch had his stern, no-nonsense side when it came to The Columbus Post.  At the Call and Post,  he worked for someone else.  Now he was running his paper and he wouldn’t hesitate to tell a reporter or contributor who hadn’t delivered what he wanted where they had fallen short.

I came to the Post after Mr. Lynch had broken away from his old publication to start his own weekly newspaper.    Leaving the stability of a steady paycheck with the state for a struggling start-up paper that had problems making payroll and never got much support from advertisers was a risky proposition, but it must have seemed like a good idea at the time.  I was hired as a reporter and I left as the editor-in-chief.  I worked hard and spent many a Tuesday night going into the wee hours of Wednesday morning putting the next edition together.

Becoming the editor was never something I aspired to.  I wanted to be a reporter and go after the news than stay in the office and make sure the right news went into the right places.   I killed off long-running columns and beats and opened up the opinion page to voices I felt were missing from the paper.   I went after gay and lesbians,  conservatives and others in the Black community the Post had shut out and ignored.   This caused Mr. Lynch some heartburn such as the time when a radical lesbian wrote a column and some of the ministers got their nose out of joint.   He called me into his office and said, “Winbush,  you can’t have that woman on the opinion page again.”

I protested a bit, but I didn’t go to war over it.   After all, It was his paper,  While he let me run it pretty much the way I wanted there was only so much change he was going to go for.

Without my time at the Post I would not have formed friendships that endure to this day.   Charles Farmer was my closest ally at the paper and though he covered the sports desk he could have handled any beat you gave him.  Someone at ESPN, Sports Illustrated or USA Today should have snatched him up a long time ago but that’s a common theme to working in the Black press.  The talent pool is deep and wide.  Kim Tolley, was a rival reporter at the C&P, but to this day is one of the smartest and most dedicated reporters I’ve ever met.   We both kept a watchful eye on what the other were doing at the two weeklies.   We would scoop them and then they would scoop us.   There were no losers as the competition only made both papers better.

The connecting thread between almost all the Black press in Columbus is if you didn’t work for Amos Lynch you knew who he was  and you knew what he had done.    Among those celebrating his life is Wil Haygood, former Washington Post reporter and author of several books  The Butler: A Witness to History which was adapted into the film The Butler,  told the Columbus Dispatch, “I recall having to rewrite stories to get them up to speed, but it was the first job that I had where I was paid to write, so I will always look back upon my time under his tutelage as being very important.”

I know what Haygood means because I feel the same way.   Mr. Lynch was a giant of journalism, a crusader for civil rights and social justice, and simply a gentleman. It was a privilege to have known and worked for Mr. Lynch. He was the Godfather of Black Media and we will never, ever see his kind again.    I hope they take a few minutes at the NABJ convention to mention the man’s name.

Amos H. Lynch, Sr., left, is helped to the podium by long-time friend Angela Pace, right, who was mistress of ceremonies, to give a few words of thanks after being inducted into the Civil Rights Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium Thursday, October 13, 2011. (Dispatch photo by Shari Lewis)

Amos H. Lynch, Sr., being inducted into the Civil Rights Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium Thursday in 2011. (Columbus Dispatch photo by Shari Lewis)

This Is How Tom Brady Sacked Himself

Same as Watergate, the cover-up is always far worse than the crime.

If Tom Brady were smarter than he is egotistical he would have said, “Hey, I like the football to be soft. I like any competitive advantage I can get. It’s not cheating, but I apologize. Bill me” and probably skated with no suspension, a $25,000 fine and a stern “don’t do that again.”

Do that, and we’re all over and done with Deflategate, the dullest and  least insignificant “scandal.”   The Patriots cheated?  In a game where they anally violated the Colts 45-7?   In God’s name WHY?   Brady is as close to a football god as we’re likely to see.   Swallow the icky medicine Lady Brady and go make another Super Bowl run.

But oh no, that wasn’t good enough. Tommy Boy decided not only did he want NO suspension and NO fine and NO punishment for cheating, he wanted the NFL to bend over and apologize to him. Hubris and dickish swagger, thy name is Brady, Belicheat and Kraft.

Sorry, but no player, no coach, no owner and no team is bigger than the rest of the NFL. Brady wouldn’t cooperate, came up with a bullshit story about destroying his phone and dared Roger Goodell to suspend him.

Dare accepted. See you in court.

Bradys-soft-balls

Nothing is certain in a court of law, but judges do not like overturning the decision of an arbitrator. That’s why there is arbitration in the first place; so these matters don’t end up in a judge’s courtroom. That’s where the Patriots will be placing their hopes Brady will be able to play in the season opener

Brady is risking delaying his suspension until later in the season when the Patsies might need him for a playoff push, but hey, better to feed his ego and hurt the team than own his screw-up and take his medicine like a big boy.

Hope it’s worth it to you, Tom. Pride is a nasty mutha.  Lose this match against the league and you lose big, baby.

Guess we’ll find out how a judge sees it. I’d still take Lady Brady in my fantasy football draft team, but I’d still want a good back-up for the first four games.

The Sorority Nobody Wanted to Join.

Cosby victims

(photo: New York magazine)

“I walk her out. She does not look angry. She does not say to me, don’t ever do that again. She doesn’t walk out with an attitude of a huff, because I think I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them.”

~ Bill Cosby speaking about Andrea Constand in his 2005 deposition.
The most powerful image on the Internet today is a simple one. 35 women sitting on a chair. The youngest is and the oldest. 35 women with somber, serious and at points nearly blank looks on their faces who stare into the camera and say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby.

No two people will view the 35 exactly the same way. That’s what makes it one hell of a picture. There’s a photographic beauty in the ugly circumstances that binds 35 strangers together in a  sorority none of them want to be part of.

New York magazine published the story which took months to do, but unfortunately it is was accessible for hours because a hacker crashed the website. Fortunately, someone found a working link and passed it on to me and I passed it on to someone else. The site is now back up.

How one responds to the cover varies by what the Cosby scandal means to you. I’ve  encountered reactions from “I’m going to call Barnes & Noble and have them hold a copy for me” to it doesn’t change anything about how they already felt that many of these women were out for fame and publicity since they are revealing their names and showing their faces.

Someone said it was a dog pile “We already know Cosby is a scumbag. This is just unnecessary.” I got one “I don’t care” followed by “It’s not that I don’t care, but I’ve heard enough about this.”

I understand that. I reached my saturation point in talking, reading and writing about Cosby a while ago and I’d like to take an extended break from the subject.   Until and unless an even bigger shoe drops, I will and not because I don’t care but because endlessly living in this story will make me stop caring.

Being as I’m one of those dinosaurs who still subscribes to magazines and New York being one of them, I can sit somewhere comfortable and quietly look at the pictures and read all the stories and lose myself in the process of reading instead of swiping, scrolling and clicking.

It won’t be a pleasurable read.  It is a necessary one.