What They Said...

Letters and comments from Flyer readers

| March 13, 2014

About the editorial, "Basar's Choice" ...

Commissioner Basar is to be commended for his practical and reasonable actions regarding the School Board districts, but the Flyer editorial perpetuates misinformation.  

The county commission was advised several times by the Shelby County Election Commission (SCEC)over the course of months regarding the urgency and necessity of timely drawing their district lines before the 2012 elections.

State law prohibits precinct lines from crossing county commission lines or state Senate lines (precincts must be wholly within those boundaries, not partially in one district and partially in another). This means that those lines need to be identified before precincts can be accurately drawn. 

In the editorial, it was suggested that the county commission lines were not needed, "because their election was not until 2014 and SCEC could have bypassed the issue ... gotten the maps that counted in shape for an error-free election cycle." There are multiple interdependent steps, each calibrated by the one before, required before precinct designations can be accurately drawn. The editorial further states that "a state investigation and county audit found other reasons." There was nothing in the county audit regarding this issue. The state, vendors, and consultants worked long hours to unravel the redistrict problem, which was finally completed November 6, 2013.

Dee Nollner

Shelby County Election Commission

About Greg Akers' article "Civil Discourse" and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates' call to engage in conversations concerning racial politics ...

How many discussions have been successfully avoided through the use of one term — "race card." When President Obama stated, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," critics claimed he was exploiting the race card. It seems anytime someone attempts to confront a racial problem, they are said to be using this card. The phrase is not only a way of dodging a discussion, it belittles difficult situations and cheapens conversations.

The race card acts as both a red herring and ad hominem attack. First, as a red herring it distracts from an individual's actual argument. So instead of talking about the original topic, the discussion becomes about how someone is using the race card – again! The next time a Republican brings up taxes or the national debt, one could simply say they are employing the "conservative card," and completely circumvent any of their conclusions. As in, "don't listen to Ted Cruz; he is only using the conservative card."

I propose that 2014 is the year we stop using the term "race card." This phrase stands as a road block to civil discourse and real attempts to engage racial politics.

Brandon Chase Goldsmith

GREG CRAVENS
  • Greg Cravens

About ubiquitous Flyer commenter, oldtimeplayer (OTP) ...

I think OTP is absolutely brilliant. He is a composite of all the self-absorbed, no-life CA commenters from years past, merely plucking the more controversial statements like petals from a flower. He has created his own web image, the Flyer's Max Headroom.

Dave Clancy

About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter from the Editor on low pilots' pay ...

They are applying the reverse principle to teaching. Insert cheap recent grads who stay on average 18 months in place of experienced, seasoned teachers with more education.

Homer Simpson

About Chris Davis' post, "Tom Waits and a Topless Dancer at the Ritz Music Hall in Memphis in 1977" ...

I arose from my death bed to attend this show and was healed.

James T. Davis

On Chris Davis' post, "Pantless Man Cooks Meth in McDonald's Parking Lot" ...

It started with Benghazi!

–Stoopid Guy

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Comments (3)

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Brandon brings up a point about the "race card" that to some extent might be true. I agree 100% that some do use it as a way to get out of an argument. Too many examples exist of folks who use it that way. I also agree that there are racist people in the world. It is a stupidity in some that just doesn't look like it will ever go away. That racism goes both ways and its idiotic in any form it takes.

However, there are also times when those on either side actually do play the race card as a means to attack someone by falsely claiming their opponent is racist, or to gain sympathy for their own position. This is just as foolish. Examples of individuals who cry "racist" well beyond the pale are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Examples of this are too numerous to bother citing. However, it is the case that the President himself and more often his surrogates have played this card in order to minimalize their opponents and gain sympathy among the low information voter. These attacks are as ad hominem as Brandon claims calling someone on using the race card is, maybe more egregious because of its nature.

In Jacksonville, FL, not far from where I now live, on Friday, June 20, 2008, Obama is speaking at a fundraiser. He is speaking at one point of his opponents and the type of campaign he is wanting his audience to believe those opponents would run. In that speech he blanket characterizes these opponents by saying, "They're going to try to make you afraid of me...He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

This is an unfair (and inaccurate) portrayal of his opponents' campaigns. He characterizes his opponents saying they will use racism in their campaigns and in so doing, Obama seeks to stir up fear in his audience of these opponents. Folks, this is an ad hominem attack from the man who is now our President. It is an explicit example of him "playing the race card".

So, since this is to an extent a legitimate claim, it is not proper to stop saying it altogether. Stop using it falsely, sure! Stop altogether? I recommend instead that those who are actually playing the race card, such as those mentioned above, stop playing it altogether. When they do, I'll stop calling them on it.

I'm not racist. As I've said, I think its stupid. It's also something my faith system says is wrong. I'm also for sticking to arguments about policy and position rather than discussing melanin content of someone's skin, which SHOULD have nothing to do with anything. I have also never falsely claimed that someone is playing the race card as a means to get out of an argument. I am happy to talk about the failures of this administration's (and the last adminstration's and all prior administration's) policies without ever addressing race. So, to claim that I play the race card to get out of these arguments is not true.

...and did I mention, I'm white?

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Posted by Ernie Laurence, Jr. on 03/13/2014 at 2:35 PM

Ernie, you inadvertently proved Brandon's point.

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Posted by LeftWingCracker on 03/17/2014 at 12:24 PM

Nuh uh.

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Posted by Ernie Laurence, Jr. on 03/17/2014 at 12:52 PM
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