The Tennessee Legislature failed to consider a bill by Representative John Ray Clemmons, a Democrat, who wants the state of Tennessee to attack the problem of its criminal elements within the alt right, Neo-Nazis, and White nationalists just as terrorists are sought out legally. The bill was killed immediately. This should be huge news all over the country because Donald Trump admires one of Tennessee’s very own, President Andrew Jackson.
Then there is the issue of being presidential.
Donald Trump has leaned heavily on Sanctuary Cities by threatening to cut off important funding. This lack of action or No Fire and Fury reveals that from the beginning when this important piece of legislation in Tennessee was taking place Trump could have forced the hand of Republicans who would not move to assure people in that state that everyone would be protected. His lack of Fire and Fury also shows his bias in dealing with people. This is a moment for the Republican Jewish Coalition to say we don’t trust you. It’s strange that among so much evidence that Trump would be silent about Tennessee. Even at the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley has told other nations to vote with the United States or their aid will be cut.
It could be important to identify what role either for or against the bill the Southern Baptist Convention (over 3,200 churches in Tennessee) has played, especially since that organization passed a resolution against the alt right and White nationalists over a year ago. It was the Reverend Dwight Mc Kissic of Texas who brought about that resolution after some difficulties with the SBC and one would think that the reverend would do everything in his power to help the bill get passed, especially advocating for the bill with members of the SBC in Tennessee.
Donald Trump could have had a mere cancellation of golf and a visit to the state capital in Tennessee to bring about a successful bill and law, but we know that his staff members are much more obsessed with Stormy Daniels and the $20 million suit against Stormy that is moving forward right now.
The same dangers that afflicted Germany during the 1930s can be seen in the United States. History may repeat itself in Tennessee as we continue to think about Charlottesville and the unacceptable response of Trump there. Why can’t more Tennesseans join now to send a powerful message of peace among people? Why wait for Christmas?
This is very important news as the potential fabric of the next atrocity may be committed in our schools or some where else. What role did the Make America Great Again hat that Nikolas Cruz wore as he shot a gun on video before the mass shooting? That must be properly assessed.
People do not drive by my communities with the Confederate flag on their trucks in great numbers and we may have much less racism than Tennessee has. Every variable must be looked at. Would someone ask Nikolas Cruz all his feelings about Donald Trump leading up to the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
We wanted to know more from Lee Harvey Oswald after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but Oswald was quickly killed.
Donald Trump called survivors and their loved ones into the White House and you probably heard people mention that they support the great work that Trump is doing. It was on camera for the entire world to see and listen to. Were these students and their loved ones waiting for a job in the White House? The meet was a photo-op and those people can go around telling people that they were with the President of the United States in the White House talking about critical issues that face our nation.
Upon Arne Duncan’s return to Chicago after being Secretary of Education for eight years he cried. Why? 16,000 youth had been killed on his watch. Children have also died on class trips to amusement parks and beaches due to accidents and drownings. Huge amounts of bullying have taken place in our schools and I wrote about that in 2010 without receiving an answer from the administration in New York City and without even the proper support from parent leaders that I was there to support. People just do not get the job done to protect their students and not enough people read the education news.
Even this week, reporters wrote about the lack of help being given to homeless students, inmates in Rikers, the New York City jail, are given access to video games and pizza parties while their education is being slowed down by that jail, and in Chicago a school district is suspending many more African-American students than other minority students (including Hispanics).
The Congress voted 407-10 on the bill that just needs the signature of Donald Trump right now. Former Sheriff John Rutherford is the author of that bill. He became U.S. Congressman after his retirement from his sheriff’s position in Florida.
Rutherford was in charge of the jail of Jacksonville, Florida and Florida was called the murder capital of that state shortly after Rutherford became the sheriff. To his credit, Rutherford was concerned about prevention and saw dips in crime due to increased community resources, but as someone who knows what was going on in Florida educationally I can say that Rutherford was far from hitting the bull’s eye.
The issue of school violence is about all races of people, but in the state of Florida opportunity to get jobs has been frustrating with a gap on the high school equivalency test that has been 26 percent or more between Whites and Blacks.
Total mobilization of communities was essential and that never happened. This was due to the nature of very populated states that had problems, have problems, and will continue to have problems. From what I read, Jacksonville had a severe shortage of funds at times for both police and for community resources and that had a negative effect on Rutherford’s progress in helping the city. Rutherford is Republican who voted for the tax cuts that benefit the wealthy.
Rutherford is for smaller government, has accepted money from the N.R.A., and wants to balance the budget. His views support my own viewpoint that the $50 million is not enough and action should have waited for new ideas. There is a 2008 article about something horrible that happened under Rutherford’s watch. Rutherford said he did not see that any procedures were violated in the case of a correction officer who was severely beaten and raped on his watch by a man who was awaiting trial on charges of murder, premediated murder, and various other serious charges and the woman who was raped was not provided additional protections in the performance of her duties.
The victim did sue and she had previously cited that there were no security cameras in place to help prevent an attack. Lawyers for the city did what they could to prevent the suit and I do not know about a settlement of that case at this time.
I am no fan of American government, having known lots of people. Some of my best supporters in New York went to jail. No, not for supporting me. I was asked to call Congressman Peter King today who is my congressman, but I try to avoid him.
Let’s take a different view of what happened in Congress as a “bipartisan” measure passed. The funding came out to less than $2 million per state. Granted that some states are small states and can do with less money. New York State, I have been told, spends $200 million a year on adult education and that is more than the money that will be allocated for our nation.
The federal government knows that people are dying and people’s emotions are bleeding profusely and the people will get only about $50 million annually when the effort should be funded to the maximum necessary. In addition people have been getting the message from the White House that money will not be forthcoming to fix problems.
Ben Carson told residents of HUD not to get too comfortable long before Puerto Rico became a great disaster due to Hurricane Maria and that island is still severely affected today. In today’s news a World War II veteran who is 93 years old was shown in bed in house that has no running water in Barrio Mana. No visit by Donald Trump to the bedside of that veteran? Could it be that the man is Puerto Rican? All of this has been under Trump’s watch.
No School Should Be Left Behind in this urgent matter of life and death. The Republicans do not have the people’s best interests at heart. They are dictating things and telling us that our lives do not really count. The recent tax reform is a good example. The rich got richer and the middle class did not get enough from it and both sides are clearly to blame. The rich have all the private protection that they need. So why care about us and our nation’s children?
On Valentine’s Day it was a single student who killed 17 people.
Next time will surely be different.
Will it be a terrorist? Will it be a gang member or group of gang members? Will it be some escaped prisoners? Will it be a deranged adult with twenty high powered weapons or a teacher who starts shooting his or her students? Nobody knows, but we know much more must be done and if we do not see fast action that pleases us we will have done little or nothing to make things better.
In Wilson, North Carolina today only one student of seven hundred walked out of class and his opinion is that all of us of different races and backgrounds must step forward to help. Justin Blackman is that student. People all over the United States should reach out to Justin to thank him.
Here are some things that may be helpful.
Desperation leads to desperate acts often. A youth stabbed someone to death in a New York City school and that youth was bullied for his sexual orientation. Reducing desperation is essential and that can be achieved by fighting poverty and mental health issues among our people.
Students often go to other students, telling them of their ideas and anti-social thoughts. I have previously written about how students brought a gun into school to shoot me. There was a walkout from my class one morning and students said that I gave them permission to leave school. The whole community was hearing about that.
Other indecent things were made up by students, even one which involved a school security guard telling one student what to say. Because I really tried to make things fun, at least one student one day said to me “I know you smoke (marijuana)” where I quickly replied that he or she could take one of my hairs to a laboratory and find out the chemical analysis. Police and F.B.I. should keep pounding the street on this important issue.
Teachers all over the country could send in information about the last paragraph loaded with things that they know about. Some of the most dangerous school districts could be very helpful at advancing knowledge, especially since so many quarrels that end up in murder started in school. And I would not limit this to just the most dangerous school districts, because we are all part of the solution. A Wal-Mart employee just turned in a 19 year old who was arrested by Federal authorities for false statements in possession and purchase of a firearm.
Better government is needed, but one of our parties is fighting for less government and wants government to get out of the lives of people. That does not forebode well for the best action on this issue of national school safety. Both locally and nationally elected officials keep messing up.
The Justice Department received my own proposal years ago which was written to help communities and not to make me rich. The plan was to make streets safer by impacting on gang members. I found out that I was not eligible for the grant, but you would think that the Justice Department would have shared the ideas with others. The same thing applies to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Governors Association. If you think that this is all hot air, think again.
In 2001 I single handedly fought for the people of Florida, a state where the legislature and the governor raised the bar on the G.E.D. test and more people failed. Things did turn around due to my effort and the same mistake was not repeated in 2002. It was a miracle for Florida. When the G.E.D. testing system was about to collapse in New York State in 2007, I was called upon to intervene with members of the state legislature. I walked around visiting offices and luckily a staff member of the chair of the education committee told me to write to governor and he transferred $2.1 million into the New York State budget in his second week of office. Most of the time nobody listens to me and years later they tell me that they should have listened to me.
Then continuity is needed on the school level, because school administrators come and go. Who is going to remember the less dangerous incidents and keep things in check. Douglas High School is not in that category. I can assure you that children in New York City have gone to a beach on a class trip and died drowning and history repeated itself. Those trips should never have been approved. A handbook with critical information must be passed on from one administration to another successfully. And there has to be accountability.
When I first met the director of the Washington Bureau of the N.A.A.C.P. at a civil rights forum on Long Island, it took only thirty seconds for him to tell me to call his office on Monday.
More than ten years later we are working on improvements to education and politics together. We are in the battle to help Americans. I told him that we must fund the G.E.D. test to the maximum with federal dollars and take the regulations away from the states, something that would turn off most Republicans.
Florida’s regulations hurt its test takers who really did not fail the test and could have obtained a diploma from New York without even retesting. So those people were only failed by their own state government. New Jersey had a similar problem almost two years later.
Puerto Rico and Illinois also made things difficult for their people. New York State made the test free to all in 1993 resulting in a freefall loss of more than 200,000 diplomas over the next twenty years. More and more people stayed desperate and this helped increase crime in New York City over those years.
We cannot forget that Donald Trump appointed Betsy DeVos the chairperson of his school violence commission. Her comments on 60 Minutes confirm what I have been telling people for a long time and that is she does not know what is going on in her home state Michigan. She was never prepared for the job and her meeting with three Parkland students showed the neglect of other students that have launched the new movement. Donald Trump really showed incompetence in that decision. She and Donald Trump were unfit from the start and I was in close touch with the office of Arne Duncan for years, providing new ideas.
I chose to sit out the Trump years forced by the hate that he spread across the United States and around the world.
More blood is on Trump’s hands In the Middle East right now (two Israeli soldiers were just killed) due to policy changes that are distinctly his, he does not know what to do about the 17 people who have been killed in Parkland, Florida, and he really did not assemble the best cabinet in history.
American school and government history tell us that people will not rise to the challenge. The student walkouts and the movement that have been started need great solutions. The school superintendents and other school staff have failed under similar attacks. For years Republicans and Conservatives have been telling people that too much government is a bad thing. I disagree.
Big government doing great things is still possible and there are important voices to listen to. With no Fire and Fury President in sight, it is up to the people of the United States to create the changes that are needed.