July 10th 2016 Newsletter
Spiraling Black Violence
A Warning or have we reached
a Tipping Point?
I was traveling back after being out of the country when the Dallas sniper attacks occurred and didn’t learn of the tragedy until I arrived back in Oklahoma City on Friday night. As I went through the news stories about the sniper attack and the connection to the two recent shooting it became clear that we are at or near a tipping point in regards to black outrage, strike that, outrage that has been seething throughout wide segments of our society.
The two police deadly force incidents blamed for instigating the protests and inspiring the sniper attack are difficult at best. There are two trains of thought running throughout the comment sections of the news stories: Don’t resist and even a black man will walk away after a police interaction is one, but the other one is far more troubling, these police killings happen regardless of skin color and are a result of decades of “training” that value a cop’s life over the lives of the people the cops are charged with protecting.
The Louisiana shooting wasn’t a justified shooting. Yes the guy was a thug and yes he appeared to have a gun in his right front pocket. Two cops were on the guy and had him on his back and had his hands under control. The suspect was terrified and appeared to be trying to keep his hands up away from his body while the officers tried to push his hands down leading some to think the suspect was trying to keep his hands as far away from the gun in his pocket. Was the suspect resisting or was he terrified and trying to keep his hands away from his gun? Hearing the cops screaming “Get down” when the suspect was already lying on the ground leads me to believe that the cops panicked. Still the case could be made that the suspect was struggling and added to the events that lead to his death.
The second case is far more troubling. Despite the misinformation campaign waged by cops and in some cases conservative types scratching at the glass trying to find a way to blame the suspect it turns out that the suspect had a valid carry license for his gun and that gun was tucked into his waistband. The suspect did the proper thing and warned the cop that he was carrying when the cop approached. Despite the misinformation the suspect didn’t have any felony convictions, just a long list of petty traffic stops, not much different than the alleged reason used to stop they guy in this case, allegedly a broken taillight. Yet the cop’s lawyer is saying the tail light was a pretext to stop the car, after all if a cop pulls you over and says “You have a broken tail light” who is going to know or get out of the car to check? The reality was the cop thought the suspect matched the description of an armed robber from four days before mainly because of race and a wide nose. The victim in this police killing had been stopped 52 times for minor traffic infractions, half of which had been dismissed by the court, an average of three per year.
Turns out the video of the armed robber and the pictures of the suspect don’t even come close to matching and as it was four days after the robbery the cops didn’t have probable cause to stop the car.
Much was said about the girlfriend’s demeanor, calmly taking the video and describing what went down. She was taken to task for not comforting the victim but clearly the video shows that the cop was warning her to keep her hands away from the victim and she had a gun pointed at her. My opinion was that she showed remarkable presence of mind to video tape and preserve the evidence. One point was why she wasn’t videotaping when the cop first walked up to the car but those would be the actions of a person that really wasn’t worried about anything going down. Her boyfriend had a job, was carrying a legal weapon in a legal manner, and they had a child in the car with them.
I personally wouldn’t be a cop, who would unless they enjoyed chasing people down and fighting? But we need cops to do the dirty job that must be done and those cops need protection if they are forced to kill in the line of duty. Yet there is a line and if it gets crossed then justice must prevail if the government wants to retain respect and the consent of the governed. I could see an officer being ready to react once he learned that the driver was armed but standing back behind the driver with your hand on your weapon ought to have afforded enough security to the cop. Maybe even drawing a weapon but the problem with that is that the driver had done nothing wrong to cause the cop to brandish his weapon. We don’t shoot people for broken taillights or for being the same race as a suspected robbery suspect. We shouldn’t shoot people for practicing one of their Constitutional rights, the right to bear arms. The reality is that the citizen has more to fear from the cop than the cop from the ctizen.
The problem is the culture that has risen within the police force and their trainers. Above all else they are trained that they will be going home and damn the citizens if there is a sliver of doubt or even the threat of a doubt. Our laws don’t give a pass to most professionals. If you are an auto mechanic you are considered a pro and an expert in that subject and are held to a higher standard if something gets screwed up. Same deal for doctors, lawyers, teachers, contractors, and tradesmen. You are the pro, you have the training that supposedly allows you to handle situations and protect your client and yourself.
Looking at a list of mortality rates for jobs
will show that cops and firefighters have excellent PR campaigns but little risk to their jobs compared to common jobs in the real world. A commercial fisherman is almost nine times more likely to die on the job than a cop and sixteen times more likely to die on the job than a fireman. Fishermen, loggers, miners, pilots, roofers, iron and steel workers, garbage collectors, farmers, ranchers, drivers, convenience store clerks, truck drivers, power line workers, farm laborers, construction workers, chauffeurs, and taxi drivers all have bigger risks of dying on the job than a cop. If you focus strictly on violent attacks taxi drivers and chauffeurs are more likely to die from job site violence than cops. And taxi drivers and chauffeurs are not at that top of that list, cashiers, retail clerks, food service managers, property and real estate managers, security jobs, food service workers, all have higher risks of a violent death on a job compared to a police officer.
Imagine a world where a 7-11 clerk or a liquor store clerk could gun you down in cold blood because he thought you were a threat. Or your landlord could shoot you without cause if he thought you were armed. Or the pimple faced kid at McDonalds could empty a ten round clip into your chest if you reached for your wallet. Hardly makes sense, does it?
The Dallas shooting wasn’t the only one this weekend. Several other states had cops shot while doing their job. The profession has lost the respect of the people after decades of cops depending on fear for their personal safety. People are 58 times more likely to be killed by cops than by terrorists.
Let that sink in, we all worry about terrorism harming our families when we ought to be fearing the police officer that we come in contact with.
More whites are killed by cops each year than blacks, around 500 white deaths and 275 black deaths. But adjusting for population shows blacks being killed at nearly 3.5 times the rate of whites. Yes, black men commit far more crimes than whites, that is a factor. But it ought not to be black men shooting cops from high buildings if you look at the statistics. Factor in the insane federal penalties for minor infractions and Hillary Clinton walking away scot free because she has a powerful political machine and if anyone ought to be pushed over the breaking point it is white citizens.
Then there was the case of the two officers charged with the murder of the white six year old boy after filling the family car full of bullets. They alleged they were serving a warrant on the father but that was a lie. The locals in the Tennessee town report years of abuse by the local officers and even the mayor had been stymied by civil service protections as he tried to dismiss abusive officers.
The problem with violence is that it is a downward spiral. Ghandi and Martin Luther King knew this and were successful only because they rejected violence. The average person wants security and condones unlawful police killings but doing so has generated outrage from the general population. The situation will spiral down further into a police state where no one has civil liberties if wise leaders in all the states don’t rebalance the risks to police officers compared to civilians.
Tulsa Republican Mens Club
Meets July 13th
This month our speaker will be Eddie Huff. Eddie Huff has been married to Vickie Trew Huff for 38 years. Eddie is a former missionary, and licensed minister with an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University. Eddie studied theology in the M. Div. program at Melody land Theological Seminary in Anaheim, CA. Eddie is also a financial services representative as well as a radio
personality, writer, and public speaker living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Eddie also speaks German and Dutch.
Eddie is heard on Tulsa Talk Radio each weekday morning, as a contributor to the Pat Campbell Show. www.1170KFAQ.com
Our lunch is only $12.00 11:30 am and we will start the program at 12 noon at Brookside Baptist Church 3615 So Peoria Ave Tulsa
TULSA SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS RECEIVE A PAY RAISEWHILE LAYING OFF 144 TEACHERS
PARENTS AND STUDENTS HAVE A
RIGHT TO BE ANGRY
By the Watchman
Once again we find ourselves touching upon the hottest subject of the last legislative session. This time it concerns all parents and grandparents of school age children. At a time when school administrators were growing at a rate of four times the student population, no one seemed to care about where the money came from. When the money gets tight, it’s the students and the teachers that suffer. Sure many administrative positions were lost, but those that remained all received a substantial pay raise because they took on extra duty. We find that hard to believe since some of those indicated also had a simple change to a more important sounding title and several actually took substantial pay cuts.
What brought our attention to this matter was this document in the Tulsa World bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/tulsaworld.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/33/e33a13b5-9710-55c1-9f24-09907380010
. We strongly urge you to open this link and review the contents for yourself. You are in for a shock. This document indicates the amount of pay increases and in some cases pay cuts the senior administrators for the Tulsa Public Schools received for doing a job that they should have been doing to begin with. What makes this worse is these increases and cuts were all approved by the School Board. This action squarely places the pay of administrative staff above the education of our children and grandchildren. This also raises some serious questions.
We must ask what is the Director of Communications doing different that justified a cut in pay of nearly twenty four thousand ($24,000.00) dollars. What justifies the cut in pay for the Lead Instructional Leadership Director of nearly eleven thousand (11,000.00) dollars, and what justifies the cut in pay of the TLE Data Fellow of nearly nine thousand (9,000.00) dollars. This looks suspiciously like they are financing some of the pay raises off the backs of some of the staff. Did they not stop to think that people would look and wonder what was going on?
The next article of interest we found was this Layoffs Underway At Tulsa Public Schools - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |
. This article is dated April 1st
, 2016 and it shows that layoffs are already underway within the Tulsa Public School System. To a point we can understand the reasoning behind this, but not the methodology. We all knew that layoffs were coming. Wouldn’t the students and the District have been better served by issuing letters of intent and allowing for a liberal leave policy to give those affected the opportunity to find employment. We’re sorry. We forgot. That takes someone with common sense to think of that. We all know politicians don’t have that capability.
Then we found this article Tulsa Public Schools superintendent recommends cutting 172 administrative jobs - Tulsa World: Education
. Could the District afford to lose this many administrators? Without doubt they could. The first think the District will say is we laid off more administrators than teachers and they would be correct. What they won’t tell you is that during the same time period they were hiring administrative staff at twice the rate of teachers and four times the rate of student population growth. They could afford to lose the administrators.
Things just keep getting worse for the dedicated teachers in Tulsa. The next article of interest we found, dated July 6, 2016, was this Administrative pay raises at TPS climb to $295,000 as part of reorganization - Tulsa World: Education
. This should upset every parent or grandparent with school age children that attend the Tulsa Public Schools. Those administrators aren’t the ones doing the work of educating the children. They are nothing more than pencil pushers. It’s the teachers in the classrooms that do the heavy lifting. How many teachers could have been retained for that amount of money? If you couldn’t retain a teacher what would have been wrong with a bonus check to those that you did keep on. An opening quote from the story says “Administrators say job reorganization means more duties, pay jump.”
That’s an excuse for finally having to do the job you were being paid to do. This is a flimsy excuse at best. We all know what they say about excuse.
The next article of interest we found was this Tulsa Public Schools approves teaching cuts | FOX23
. The final cut in personnel is two hundred (200) central office personnel and one hundred and forty two (142) teachers. It is our opinion that even more should go. We believe every single administrator from the Superintendent down to those who took a pay raise should be removed from office and replaced at salaries equal to that of the previous salary. We also feel that those administrators who were forced to take a pay cut should have their salary restored.
It is the opinion of this staff that the citizens of the City of Tulsa should commence a petition drive calling for the immediate recall of every single member of the School Board. It is one of the few positions in the state subject to recall. It is also the opinion of this staff that all districts, including Tulsa, follow the example recently set by the Oklahoma City Public Schools and start trying to promote within their own ranks to Superintendent instead of conducting these expensive nationwide searches. By promoting from within you encourage your staff to get qualified and become better teachers.
In closing all we can say is this is one of the most despicable uses of public education funding we have seen in a long time. People keep saying we don’t have enough money going to the classrooms, we know in Tulsa they’re right. They spent almost three hundred thousand dollars on administrative pay raises alone at a time when those same administrators should have just tightened their belts a little and better served their students. The Tulsa Board of Education, the Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools and the entire administrative staff are a disgrace to their profession. They serve themselves, not the children and not the educators.