By Steve Hunley

Knoxville’s Shame

I have a lot of respect and admiration for Bob Booker who is a former state representative, city councilman, the former executive director of the Beck Cultural Center and an able historian.  Robert Booker also writes a column published in the Knoxville News-Sentinel.  It may very well be the best thing in the Sentinel.  In his column of last week, Bob Booker wrote the murderers of the three teen-agers shot in East Knoxville must be found and held accountable.  It shouldn’t be an unusual point of view, but unfortunately it’s quite nearly revolutionary in the current atmosphere.  Bob rightly points out people in a community have a part to play in holding those responsible for the killings fully accountable.  Still, the shame of the City of Knoxville is the fact virtually nobody will call these killings exactly what they are: murders and crimes.  The members of the city council are too timid to use the plain language required, preferring instead the politically correct and virtue signaling “shootings” and “gun violence” instead.  It gives the inference the problem is the gun, not the people using them to kill other people.

As far as I know, not a single member of the Knoxville City Council has called for the murderers to be caught and brought to justice.  Mayor Indya Kincannon held a press conference with officials from the Knox County School system, which was little more than a media circus to divert attention from the fact the Kincannon administration has done nothing but spend taxpayer money and certainly not on additional law enforcement.  The three teenagers killed weren’t shot at school or on school grounds, as Bob Booker pointed out in his column.  It is not the responsibility of the school system to serve as defacto police officers.  Now the left doesn’t even like the term “police officers.”  They prefer “peace” officers.  What was peaceful about the murders of three youngsters?  What peace have the families known since they were confronted with the senseless tragedy of losing their children?  There is nothing peaceful about murder.  One only has to look at the faces of the family members to realize peace had fled before them with the grief and sadness so deeply, indelibly etched into the faces, young and old.  There was nothing peaceful about the snatching away of the lives of Stanley Freeman Jr., Justin Taylor and Janaira Muhammad.

Kincannon and the city council are afraid to talk about crime, even though Knoxville had a record number of homicides last year.  You see, in the era where the leftists want to defund the police, it is impolitic to refer to actual crimes.  It’s very much like the “restorative practices” program in the schools.  A child shouldn’t be suspended for beating the stuffing out of another kid, but rather be engaged in tender, restorative measures.  It’s basically a way of reinforcing the notion there aren’t any real consequences to breaking the rules or harming others.

My goodness, has anyone seen an episode of “Law and Order”?  The police find the perpetrators and the district attorneys try them in court.  Yet our public officials are too cowardly to risk the wrath of the leftists who can do little more than scream obscenities and call for defunding the police. Some council members say the violence must stop, but offer no solutions except for handing off $1 million of taxpayer money to an outfit in Louisville, Kentucky.  That is evidently easier than risking being cancelled in the current cancel culture.  We’ve become more afraid of the cancel culture than having our children shot down in the street and enforcing the law.

Social workers can counsel the families of the victims and just so you know, the victims were named Justin Taylor, Stanley Freeman Jr. and Janaira Muhammad.

Angela Dennis wrote about “gun violence” which the Sentinel published in its “Crime and Courts” beat.  I wonder how long it will before the woke folks at USA Today rename it the “Peace and Restorative Practices” beat?  Ms. Dennis quoted Linda Conners whose nephew, Marquis Nolan, was murdered.  Ms. Conners related following her nephew’s murder, that Marquis’ mother repeatedly called yet heard back from no one.  Has Gwen McKenzie demanded to know why Linda Conners or Marquis Nolan’s mother received no answer from any city official or the KPD?  My guess is probably not.  The Nolan family can’t even appeal to their state representative who is McKenzie’s husband.

“It’s almost like they know it’s Black on Black crime and it’s like they don’t care.  We are burying our kids and nobody cares,” Linda Conners told Angela Dennis.  As Ms. Conners said, parents and families need closure.  They also need and deserve justice.

Indya Kincannon and the city council would stand on their heads and dance the polka and say Black Lives Matter.  It needs to be more than a political slogan.  It’s going to take some old fashioned police work to bring closure to the parents of Janaira Muhammad, Stanley Freeman, Jr. and Justin Taylor.  Social workers can’t give those parents and families closure, nor can they give them justice.

Bob Booker was right, weeping and the wringing of hands will not bring the murderers of Janaira Muhammad, Justin Taylor and Stanley Freeman Jr. to justice.  Let’s just tell the truth: the community will have to do its part, but law enforcement will have to do its job and it’s well past time for Knoxville to recognize it.  The failure to do so is a blot of shame on the Kincannon administration and the city council. Give justice to Justin, Stanley and Janaira.


Election Reform…Not

To hear the Democrats tell it, there was never a fairer election held in the United States of America than that of 2020.  Yet, the Democrats in the House of Representatives have passed, along party lines, a grab bag of idiocy labeled as “election reform.”  The bill includes some real gems like public funding of congressional races.  Yep, that’s right, they believe you, the taxpayer, should pick up the tab for every candidate’s campaign tab.  The outrageously mislabeled “For the People Act of 2021” ought to be relabeled the “Theft of the Left Election Grab of 2021” bill.  Nancy Pelosi oddly said the legislation was necessary because of “voter suppression” in some states (which I imagine she would claim are all in “red” states) as well as to crackdown on corruption.  Now, as I recall, Nancy Pelosi and the left all claim the 2020 presidential election was free of corruption.  Of course those are the very same people who claimed for four years the Russians had stolen the 2016 election for Donald Trump.  They were the first to pooh-pooh any notion there was any chicanery in last year’s presidential contest.  It was as stainless as a star and as pure as the driven snow, so they claim.  But now we need to stamp out election corruption.  Keep in mind what leftists call “voter suppression” is so simple as requiring an ID.  Think of everything you have to provide an ID for, but those folks squall it’s voter suppression. For example, a person needs an ID to adopt a pet, but Nancy Pelosi says it’s voter suppression to ask for an ID to vote.

The “For the People Act” would automatically register people to vote from such data bases as the food stamp rolls.  The bill would prohibit local control of elections and purging the voter rolls.  That means if your Uncle Fred died, a ballot would still be mailed to him and you could fill it out and mail it in and it would be counted no doubt.  What is undisputable is the rules of electioneering were changed before the 2020 election in many instances without the consent or action of the state legislatures, where the ultimate legal authority resides.  The bill has been described as the “Democrat Politician Protection Act” to “changes the rules of American politics to benefit one party.”

That’s not only a pretty good description of the bill, but an accurate assessment.  The federal government has done such a great job of running its own institutions, why not let them work their wonders with elections?  That alone should be cause for alarm.