By Steve Hunley


Evetty Satterfield’s Bold Move

By the time this is published, I will be surprised if Evetty Satterfield, the Knox County Board of Education member from the First District, is under attack by professional agitators and anarchists.  The First District encompasses most of Knoxville’s Black community, as well as downtown and the university area.  Satterfield published an open letter to the City of Knoxville government on Facebook.  Unlike most politicians, Satterfield’s letter was accompanied by no artifice and an astonishing lack of the usual political flourishes.  Instead, Satterfield published a well-thought out and straight forward plea as both a member of the Board of Education and as a resident of the East Knoxville community.

Satterfield’s letter asks that the City of Knoxville remove the Black Lives Matter mural in front of Austin-East Magnet High School “before our scholars return to school.”

In her letter, Satterfield writes the “events of July 4 were not an accurate reflection of the East Knoxville community.”  The East Knoxville Board representative wrote, “East Knoxville residents take pride in our community, understand, and appreciate our historical context, and we love our school!” Satterfield objected the Black Lives Matter mural, which was painted without the permission of the City or anyone else, was “not an inclusive community event…”  Satterfield thought it could have been an inclusive event for the community if only “the proper processes had been followed.”  Satterfield pointed out the property most affected by the mural, Austin-East Magnet High School, had been left out entirely of “the planning, organizing and implementation” while “Austin-East will have to carry the burden of what could potentially transpire in the future.”

Evetty Satterfield pulled no punches in speculating just what could transpire in the future, noting it could include “counter-protest, defamation, large gatherings of people celebrating or simple upkeep for years to come.”  Satterfield wrote, “Austin-East, by default, now becomes responsible.”  Satterfield concludes the school and the school system, as well as the community, should not be “forced to carry that weight.”

Satterfield bluntly stated, “While Black Lives Matter is liberating for some, it is just as triggering for others.”  Satterfield’s letter addresses the “amount of attention, confusion and divisiveness” which raises “grave concerns” in her mind.  Satterfield said that daily reminders of strife would be harmful to the psyches of the students.

Evetty Satterfield did say the idea of having a street mural at Austin-East was nothing less than “genius,” but believes it should be a “community-wide supported event.”  Satterfield wrote after the City of Knoxville “rectifies these matters” she will sponsor a community event “with Austin-East students leading the charge” to have a mural reflective and representative of the entire community.  Satterfield said the City of Knoxville and city officials have routinely wondered what they could do for the school system and wrote now was the time to make good if the city government was serious about it.  Satterfield called for city officials to “make it right.”

Satterfield’s statement is unusual in coming from an elected official.  It was direct, to-the-point, yet an eloquent appeal for understanding and inclusion.  Satterfield lived up to her responsibilities as a member of the Knox County Board of Education in putting the students first.  There would be a lot less divisiveness if we had more public officials like Evetty Satterfield.


GOP Senate Race Heating Up

According to another publication, rival candidates Bill Hagerty and Dr. Manny Sethi are pushing competing polling data in their race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.  Hagerty’s poll claims he is leading Sethi by a hefty margin.  Hagerty’s poll had him leading 45% to a meager 29% for Sethi with perennial candidate George Flinn at 5%.  Hagerty’s polling was conducted by the Tarrance Group and surveyed 651 likely voters.  Sethi’s poll was conducted by Victory Phones, which incidentally did the polling for Bill Lee in his gubernatorial race and were only a couple of points off from the end result.  Sethi’s poll shows a much closer contest between the trauma surgeon and the former ambassador.  Sethi’s poll has him at 31% to Hagerty’s 33% and 6% for George Flinn.  If accurate, that means Sethi and Hagerty are in a dead heat, especially as it is within the margin of error of the poll.

The poll done by Victory Phones for the Sethi campaign surveyed 800 likely GOP voters.  It is impossible to know just how accurate either poll is and just what voting will be like during the coronavirus is anybody’s guess.  There isn’t a soul on earth who knows what patterns, if any will emerge, or just who is coming out to vote.

I don’t doubt Bill Hagerty started out as the big favorite in the race having garnered support from President Trump (and I imagine there’s nobody in Tennessee who doesn’t know Hagerty is endorsed by Trump at this point) and former governor Bill Haslam.

Most active Republicans believe Senator Lamar Alexander is supporting Hagerty.  I reckon there are two schools of thought on precisely what the flood of commercials mean as far as the race for the GOP senatorial nomination is concerned.  A few folks think Hagerty is trying to widen his lead with heavy advertising.


Boo Hoo

Victor Davis Hanson had a great piece recently recounting one especially “woke” specimen, a graduate of Harvard, no less, who declared she intended to stab the next person who dared to utter those horrendous words, “all lives matter.”  This sterling individual thoughtfully recorded her statement on Tik Tok, never suspecting folks from a company that had decided to give her an internship might see it.  Nor did she likely ever consider for a moment those same company officials might find it at least slightly unsettling she was on social media threatening to stab people who said things she didn’t approve of or like.  The company reconsidered its offer, which hurt her so bad.  She posted yet another video, this time a weepy confessional lamenting just how terribly she had been treated.  Evidently, she had been mistreated by pretty much the entire world, shocked that her original post threatening to slice and dice those she didn’t like had been criticized by some unappreciative folks on the internet.  So of course, she had to revisit social media to recount her woes.  Boo hoo.  It says a lot, maybe as much about Harvard as the young lady, that she actually graduated from a university.