By Steve Hunley

Zero Tolerance For Racism?

City Councilwoman Amelia Parker is proposing what she refers to as a “Zero Tolerance” policy for racism inside Knoxville.  Parker proposes to offer a zero tolerance policy for racism and sexism by any city employee.  Parker is elected citywide and apparently, although allegedly an attorney, doesn’t believe in due process.  As quoted in an article in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Parker says, “It does not need to be a write-up ‘let’s call you in and have a conversation’.  Because as we’re seeing around the nation, those are the officers that are killing young, Black people unarmed, being murdered.”

The first thing to understand is Amelia Parker is no woman of the people, just as Patrisse Cullers, the avowed Marxist founder of Black Lives Matter is a fraud.  Cullers had enriched herself through BLM, owning several millions of dollars-worth of homes.  Parker, a self-described Democratic-Socialist, evidently ferries herself about town in a Mercedes.  Amelia Parker lives in an expensive home on the river in Holston Hills.  Anthony Thompson, Jr., the student at Austin-East shot by a police officer, was not shot by a white officer.  No indeed.  That particular officer was Black.  In fact, does Parker support a zero tolerance policy for the school system with regard to students bringing loaded guns into our schools?  That’s exactly what Anthony Thompson, Jr. did; he took a loaded gun, with extra clips of ammunition, into a school filled with youngsters.  It is very hard to dispute the notion Anthony Thompson, Jr. would still be alive today had he not brought a loaded gun into Austin-East High School.

It’s all fine and well to say one has a zero tolerance for racism and sexism, but the U. S. Supreme Court recently issued a decision the Biden Administration could not make payments only to Black farmers as that policy was in itself discriminatory.  Such policies must be EQUAL and apply to everyone.  It isn’t, as Parker suggests, merely racism against Black or Brown people, it must include Asians and Whites as well.  In other words, it has to apply to everyone and I have my doubts any higher court is going to uphold any process that discriminates against any race.  Nor do I think any court will sanction a policy that denies one due process.

In Parker’s lengthy statement about the murder of George Floyd, she omits a few pertinent and significant facts, the first being Floyd was armed.  That does not excuse the murder of George Floyd, as we all agree on that.  Yet Floyd was no saint and Amelia Parker has not, to my knowledge, uttered a single word about the young people murdered in East Knoxville, NONE of whom have been killed by police officers of any color, aside from Anthony Thompson, Jr. who carried a loaded gun into a high school filled with other teenagers.  Stanley Freeman, Jr., Janaria Muhammad, and Justin Taylor were all killed by Black on Black gun violence.  There should be zero tolerance for that as well.

Republican Antics

Speaking of zero tolerance, some of the antics amongst the members of the West Knox Republican Club have gotten out of hand.  Aside from their continuing harassment of state Representative Eddie Mannis, they post incendiary things which serve no real purpose except allowing the Democrats to fundraise off of it.

Those are same folks who have “demanded” explanations of Congressman Tim Burchett and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs why they vouched for Eddie Mannis being a Republican.  Maybe because Eddie Mannis is a Republican.  Some of the people complaining haven’t been here very long, which makes it difficult to ascertain whether they’ve voted in Democratic primaries before.  It is a known fact some of those folks complaining about Eddie were actually Democrats for a time.

Gina Oster, who lost the hotly contested GOP primary to Mannis last year, has appointed a treasurer to run next year for the Knox County Commission to succeed Commissioner Randy Smith, who is term limited.  Oster could in fact shut down the bickering by simply stating Mannis won the primary and the general elections.  Mannis was the chosen nominee of the majority of Republicans in the primary and beat the Democrat nominee handily in the general election.  That would go a long way to making her the favorite for the GOP nomination for County Commission in 2022.  Democrats have an outside chance of running well in the Third Commission District as it is now configured.  That very well might change following redistricting.

Some of the folks doing the loudest complaining are refugees from “Blue” states.  It’s becoming much easier for me to see how those states turned Blue as those folks seem to enjoying over who is a real Republican instead of beating Democrats.  So after fleeing their irredeemably Blue states, they have landed here to tell us who is and who isn’t a real Republican in their opinion.  None of them have been here long enough to remember the time when Republicans HAD to have Democrat votes to win elections.

As GOP chair Daniel Herrera brags about the monetary haul as of late, Knox County Democrats are sitting on top of, I am told, $80,000 and growing.  So by the information available, that puts the Democrats ahead presently in the fundraising contest between the local parties.  To Herrera’s credit, he has recently apprised local Republicans the party has a balance of $48,866.09 with the “mid-year supplemental report.”  Of course that is before paying the $20,000 fee for Lincoln Day Dinner speaker Charlie Kirk or the costs associated with the dinner.  Herrera says the fund has “grown substantially since reporting day.”  Let’s hope so and hopefully the Knox County GOP will surpass the Democrats in their fundraising.

Knoxville News-Sentinel Building Up for Sale

Gannett, which owns a slew of newspapers in Tennessee, including the Knoxville News-Sentinel, is apparently looking to sell the massive office building housing the daily newspaper.  A lot of folks don’t recall that same building was built with the help and commitment of the taxpayers.  Yes, that’s right, The Sentinel  received assistance in forms of tax rebates, etc. from both the city and county governments.  It will be interesting to see if all of those obligations have been paid off prior to the sale, or if they will be paid should the mammoth building be sold.

Franklin Ammons to Run for Judge

Franklin Ammons, an attorney associated with the law firm headed by noted criminal defense attorney Greg Isaacs, is telling folks he is off and running for the General Sessions judgeship being vacated by the retiring Geoff Emery.  Ammons is young, energetic, and knowledgeable about the law.  Knoxville born and raised, Ammons attended West High School where he was captain of the swim team.  Later, Franklin Ammons attended the law school at Memphis where he was on the Law Review.  Franklin Ammons was on the Academic Honor Roll.  Ammons has coached swimming and been active in the community.

Franklin Ammons is married to the former Lauren Shepherd, who was also born and raised in Knoxville.  Lauren and Franklin Ammons are expecting their first child together, a daughter, in September.