By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
As Incredible as it may seem—at least to some of us—Charles Barkley will be hosting a network show on TNT entitled “The Race Card.” This announcement gets even harder to believe based on the name of the show. Barkley is described in an article by the AP wire as being sincere and “having something to contribute.” Be that as it may, the name of the show doesn’t get Barkley or anyone else off to a credible start.
What does it mean to “play the race card”? In researching this term, there are several interpretations. Wikipedia says that: “The phrase is commonly used to allege that someone has deliberately and falsely accused another person of being a racist in order to gain some sort of advantage.” Charles Blow who writes for the New York Times wrote an extensive article about the usages of the “race card” which included President Obama and several prominent Americans.
But it was former Attorney General Eric Holder who spoke more direct about this matter to ABC news: “I have a particular revulsion for this phrase because of all that it implies: that people often invoke race as a cynical ploy to curry favor, or sympathy, and to cast aspersions on the character of others. Maybe there are some people who do this, but I have never known a single person to admit to it or be proven to have done it. Sure, living in a society still replete with racial bias can make one hypersensitive, to the point of seeing it even when it isn’t there. But this to me isn’t evidence of malicious intent, but rather the manifestation of chronic injury.”
The phrase has been used as a defense by many Whites who don’t believe that Blacks are recipients of racial discrimination. Contrary to these beliefs, empirical research says otherwise. Holder’s reaction to the phrase is clearly understandable and his reaction is shared by most Blacks except Charles Barkley and others. The interview with Barkley is all over the place. He says that racism exist and perhaps always will, while at the same time he states: What I’m trying to do with the show is, all the racial BS is somewhere in the middle. It’s not black and white…like everything is not all what it seems…”It’s unfortunate and indeed demoralizing that many Whites embrace this term and use it to discount their behavior when it comes to Blacks. Whites created racism in this country, and they also get to decide when it exists. The great pain that is inflicted upon Blacks when they encounter racism is to have the inflictor tells us it doesn’t exist. Being forced to deny one’s reality is probably the worst form of cruel and unusual punishment. There’s simply nothing that Barkley or anyone else can contribute to a conversation that most White Americans don’t want to have. Unfortunately, the anticipated buffoonery Barkley will bring to the discussion will continue to undermine an issue that is the most divisive in this country. It’s not certain that any conversation regarding this topic will change the hearts and minds of most White Americans, but public policies and practices can at least ensure a somewhat even playing field.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
The new president is in the oval office, and our community will be the same at the end of the next four years if we don't seize power to make a change in our city. Tip O'Neil who was a distinguished Speaker of the House of Representatives said many decades ago that all politics is local. The speaker knew what he was talking about because he realized that even in the Congress, nothing impacts the daily lives of citizens more than their local governments.
Say what you will about President Donald Trump, but take notice of his voters who want change more than they care about his character flaws. His voters stated that both parties –Democratic and Republican—failed them and so they voted for an outsider. On the campaign trial, President Trump repeatedly said that the political system is rigged against ordinary people. It is fair to say that both political parties have failed Black voters. No another group of citizens has been more loyal to the Democratic party than Black voters. So why do Black voters continue to vote down the party line when in the end, their lives haven't improved.
So here we are folks. Cincinnati is the fifth most segregated city in the nation. It has a high rate of unemployment for Blacks, poor police-community relations, Black children in the school to prison pipeline and poor education. Our housing is the worst while gentrification continues to tear up our neighborhoods while moving Black people out of their communities so that young and well-heeled White professionals reinvent our old community with many of our tax dollars.
Next year's election is critical for the Black community. The mayor and all Council seats will be up, and, yes, the School Board will have four vacant seats as well.
Blacks make of the majority population in the city. What would happen if the Black community voted in record numbers for candidates that support their issues? The combined budgets of the city and School Board are close to two billion and a half dollars. Despite the continual loyalty of Black voters to the Democratic party, the party hasn't delivered much.
2017 is the time for a political revolution in Cincinnati. Blacks are at the bottom in almost every social indicator. If rural and blue collar whites feel let down by both political parties, then the Black community should feel outraged. It's so painful and shameful to see how the Black community has been treated well over a century. But if Black people fail to organize for social justice by voting for candidates who share the same shame and outraged, there will be no change.
The White power structure has been in place since the arrival of Blacks in the late 1700s. Black people were on the bottom then, and they are still on the bottom. The power structure—with its paternalistic attitude towards Blacks-- can tell you that Preschool Promise, childhood poverty, and every other social initiative they come up with will improve the lives of Black people, but it won’t. In the end, it will still be the same. There's one simple explanation for this. We keep letting people who are mostly responsible for our plight continue to tell us how they can fix it. The system is indeed rigged.
No vote, No power.
By Lauren Victoria Burke (NNPA Newswire Contributor)
In 1984, at age 33, Ben Carson became the youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital. He pioneered a number of neurosurgical procedures and was even awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.
Carson is a skilled neurosurgeon and has earned a number of accolades during his storied career in medicine, but none of those accomplishments speak to the skills needed to craft policy for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal agency that President-elect Donald Trump has asked him to lead.
To run a federal bureaucracy with a $27 billion budget such as the is unknown. But Donald Trump has been consistent in selected unqualified millionaires and billionaires with no specific policy expertise to run the federal government. With that, Trump has selected Ben Carson to run HUD.
HUD has traditionally been the cabinet department that Republican presidents have chosen African American nominees. It has been the predictable quota position for GOP presidents and Trump is carrying on that tradition. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan selected Sam Pierce as his HUD Secretary and, in 2004, President George W. Bush chose Alfonso Jackson. But whether they were picked in part, because of skin color or not, both Jackson and Pierce still had at least some experience in a government position before becoming Secretary of HUD. Jackson was the former executive director of the St. Louis Housing Authority and later ran the Dallas Housing Authority. "Silent Sam" Pierce had at least served in the Department of Treasury before being selected as Reagan's only Black cabinet member.
During Pierce’s tenure, a Congressional investigation revealed that, “Pierce's aides, who said they had been acting on his orders, distributed millions of dollars in housing subsidies to prominent Republican consultants at a time when the Reagan administration was sharply reducing the agency's budget,” according to “The New York Times.”
The New York Times article continued: “Under President Ronald Reagan, annual spending on subsidized housing programs dropped to $8 billion from $26 billion, cuts that Mr. Pierce defended.
Carson’s housing strategy is likely to be a mix of novice policymaking and unproven theory. That's how policy novices who think they know everything on subjects they have no expertise typically approach government. Given that, Congress is likely to be the entity truly in charge of the policy as Carson fumbles around with the details.
Ben Carson has already shown a rugged disregard for plain fact since the time he retired from Johns Hopkins in 2013. That trait hasn't gone unnoticed. On the day Carson was nominated, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) blasted Trump's decision.
“Dr. Carson’s nomination to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is frightening. He may be a brain surgeon but he is not qualified to run HUD. Donald Trump knows this,” Waters asserted in the statement. “During the Republican primary, [Trump] called him a liar, pathological and even violent. Dr. Carson himself has said he is not qualified to lead a federal agency. Now, we are expected to forget these disqualifying statements by both of them and entrust Dr. Carson with overseeing HUD, which has a budget of $47 billion.”
The statement continued: “Millions of Americans rely on HUD assistance to help them access safe, decent, and affordable housing. And they are not all in the inner cities; they are in rural and suburban areas as well. HUD provides critical investments in these areas to spur economic development and house the most vulnerable. This is no easy task. The rural and urban Americans who benefit from HUD programs deserve a strong, qualified leader at the helm of this important agency. Dr. Carson is not this person. We know it, Donald Trump knows it, and yes, even Dr. Carson knows it.”
The confirmation hearing for Carson should be quite long and entertaining. Just like Trump's choice of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, the choice of Carson by Trump would indicate that the department is of little to no importance to the incoming President, but that there may be major change in federal housing policy on the horizon.
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer and political analyst. Lauren is a frequent contributor to BlackPressUSA.com and the NNPA Newswire, the news service of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. She can be reached by email at LBurke007@gmail.com and on Twitter at @LVBurke.
By James Clingman
For those of us who were blessed to see it, another year has arrived and brings with it another opportunity to start afresh with new ways to move our people closer to economic empowerment. The New Year brings a clean slate, so to speak, since we like to make resolutions and promises regarding things we would like to change. So what will we write on our 2017 slate? What will be our agenda this year? What strategy will we employ to empower our people? Will we stay on the endless circular path that has led to where we are today? Will we follow a new path? Will we adopt a new strategy?
Whatever we decide to commit ourselves to will certainly not be new; everything we need to do in 2017 has already been done by our ancestors who lived and survived in this country for centuries, under the worst treatment human beings could suffer. But 2017 is new, and it’s always good to look at our commitments in a new light, with a new resolve, and out of a renewed strength. Are you ready?
Here we go. Don’t fall for the same old tired rhetoric we hear every day from self-appointed “leaders” who do not lead by example. Don’t continue following folks that are only sending you deeper into the woods of poverty, while they relax in the lush fields of prosperity.
Don’t get hood-winked by pandering politicians and prosperity preachers who are only interested in what they can get for themselves, and how they can use you to get another pair of “gators,” a Bentley, a mansion, or elected to public office. Don’t be lulled to sleep by intellectual banter that makes you feel good but never tells you how to do good, or do well, for that matter.
Don’t succumb to celebrity claptrap, which only excites the Paparazzi rather than enlightens our people. Don’t get down in the muck with entertainers who denigrate themselves and us. And please don’t subscribe to the same old “okey-doke” that has literally and figuratively programmed our people to wait to be rescued by folks who care very little about us.
What must we do? First, raise the level of your Black consciousness by reading, by studying, by listening, and by associating with brothers and sisters who are serious about doing the work of liberation and unashamed to proclaim their Blackness. Connect with other individuals and collectively establish economic initiatives that benefit Black people; trust me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that; other groups do it all the time.
Be prepared to make the sacrifices required to move the masses of Black people forward. Always define yourself, and do not accept definitions like “minority” and “person of color.” Terms like those really lose something in translation, namely, us.
Stand up against injustice and wrongdoing, no matter who the perpetrator is, white, Black, or any other color. Follow through on your commitments. Get fired up, but stay fired up long enough to get the work done. Teach your children how to navigate through this world.
Take better care of yourself. Find something physical that you can do and keep doing it for the rest of your life. Yes, it will hurt sometimes, but it’s worth it. Try not to eat so much of whatever you are eating. Just eat less of everything and get up and do something to burn some calories.
Do kind things for those less fortunate than you. It doesn’t always have to be money. It could be an encouraging word, a hug without words, some baked cookies, a small gift just because, or a few hours spent with a child who may not have a father or a mother. You don’t need a program to do this; you just need yourself.
Seek out new Black leadership, authentic leadership, or be a leader yourself. There are young folks all across this country waiting to step up to the task of leadership, many of who are leading right now. Find them, especially you old soldiers out there; you can’t hang on forever, you know. Teach the young and pass the baton to them, not to someone on the other team.
Start viable businesses, grow those businesses, and create jobs for our people. Build economic enclaves throughout this country, like our relatives did two hundred years ago. Identify industries where we have the competitive advantage because of our consumerism, and build vertically integrated businesses within those industries. Boycott prisons! Stay out of the cells and get into sales. The time is long overdue for us to take our rightful place in this country, politically, socially, educationally, and most of all economically.
I have hitched my wagon to THE One Million; you do what is right for you. Have a wonderfully blessed 2017.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery,
Former Cincinnati Mayor
Some days I wonder why I've lived in this community for as long as I have. To see the systemic racial discrimination taking place, especially with some of our media, is enough to make a person of color want to give up. But I won't.
Recently, Councilmember Charlie Winburn spoke out strongly about some boxes belonging to him that were removed from City Hall and now rumored to be in possession of the FBI or the city police. Councilmember Winburn did a responsible thing; he told his side of the story.
Many years ago, former Mayor Maynard Jackson, the first Black mayor of Atlanta and considered to be a national figure in this country, called me from CVG in regard to a story he read about me. I won't get into the story, but he said that I needed to set the public record straight because the story about me was negative.
Suffice to say, Black politicians, get a disproportionally amount of negative news coverage by the Enquirer whether there is any truth to the story or not. Just last week, the Enquirer wrote an editorial which said to Councilmember “…Be Quiet, Winburn” about the boxes. I found this "order" to Winburn to be racially condescending and heavy-handed on the part of the press. The first amendment also allows Councilmember Winburn to speak his mind. The story goes on to say… "Given that Winburn is under investigation…" without any explanation as to what “investigation” the paper is referencing. How irresponsible on the part of the paper.
Just as Trump has refused to back down on coverage by the media (rightly or wrongly), I think Blacks should take the same position with the media, since no other group in this country has been more misrepresented and disparaged by the press than Blacks.
Since John Cranley has been mayor, he's had a series of running conflicts with Black councilmembers and leaders only to be consistently defended by the print media. However, when Blacks respond to issues at City Hall, they have to present ironclad proof, while the mayor’s veracity is never questioned.
Will the press conduct an investigation that is color blind or will the reporters know the difference? No single institution has damage the image of Black Americans and promotes the racial divide more than the news coverage by the American press.
Studies show our most vulnerable school students need additional support and early intervention for both education and nutrition. Do Right! Kids is an initiative designed to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged, overweight or obese children, and children at risk of being overweight and obese.
The Do Right! Kids program is hands-on and activity-based with three components, in-school, after school and family and community nights. The program is for 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade students at Ethel Taylor Academy, Rockdale Academy, William Howard Taft Elementary, South Avondale Elementary and Fredrick Douglass Elementary. In school activities include one physical education class per week. The average 45-minute class includes 20 minutes of nutrition education, 20 minutes of physical activity and five minutes for consuming a healthy snack and conversation. After school kids are provided two hours of instruction per week which is one hour of physical activity and one hour of nutrition.
The family component happens once a month, each session has a nutrition and exercise program, including yoga, Zumba, and line dancing. Participants are given a cookbook and food journal. Program leader Jessica Truong works with the Do Right! Kids and parents at family night.
“Family participation is important for several reasons. First, we know it is the parents who purchase the foods to consume. Secondly, home is where children first learn about food and nutritional value. Lastly, we want kids to understand their family health history and have the discussion about food and the consequences un-healthy choices present. Many children are not aware of a genetic predisposition to diabetes, obesity or high cholesterol,” says Truong.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, low-income children are more dependent on foods provided in school, which is why it’s important that children be able to identify healthy choices and know what a balanced meal includes. Specifically, many children from low-income households qualify for free or reduced-price meals and participate in food programs.
The Do Right! Kids program also seeks to improve exposure of fresh fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods where many children have limited access to and familiarity with healthy foods. At the Do Right! Produce Market, once a week children involved can purchase a reduced rate bag full of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Each participant is given an assessment of what they eat, we also ask them what counts as a serving of vegetable, fruit, and have they tried all five food groups? The surveys show most kids can identify all five food groups, but may not know that you don’t need to exercise 7 days a week to be considered healthy. During the 12-week program children will be able to identify correct portion size, three reasons why they should consume fruit and vegetables, why they should increase moderate and vigorous physical activity, limit sweetened beverage consumption, increase water consumption and decrease screen time.
Reported results in our Spring 2016 survey, show the program helped 215 students, 104 families, 72 percent of participants reported engaging in three or more hours of physical activity per week with an ultimate goal of one hour per day. Ninety-five percent of participants reported eating three or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Our outcomes are based on a change in behaviors with respect to healthy eating and active living after completion of the program. Participants were able to eat right, move right, and live right as part of their normal routines based on the outcomes of health behaviors as well as knowledge increase.
At the end of the program, each child will attend 24 sessions of both nutrition education and physical education. The Health Gap’s mission is to lead the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities through education, community outreach, and advocacy to build a Culture of Health a block at a time throughout the greater Cincinnati region. Prevention is the key driver to decreasing morbidity and decreasing mortality.
Join the Black Agenda Cincinnati and the Center for Closing the Health Gap and come to the Budget and Finance City Council Committee Meeting and Community Forum on Monday, December 19, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. inside the Community Action Agency Auditorium, 1740 Langdon Farm Road, Cincinnati, Ohio. The Center for Closing the Health Gap is dedicated to helping you and your family live healthy lifestyles. To learn more about our efforts, please visit us online: www.ClosingTheHealthGap.org; Facebook.com/CloseTheHealthGap; Twitter.com/CCHGcincy.
By Mark Brown
Cincinnati Herald Contributor
Rumor has it that cats have nine lives! Not sure if that applies to the hybrid version, Bearcat, but one can always hold-out hope—especially if you've been a loyal fan of the Cincinnati women's basketball team.
After their two previous seasons were filled with a one dimensional offense, multiple lapses on defense and an overall product that was oftentimes tough to watch, the 2016-2017 Bearcats may be on the cusp of breathing again, and taking this cats/lives-thing seriously with an impressive 11-5 start (2-1 American Athletic Conference).
While it is certainly much too early for the Bearcats to gloat and/ or feel like they’ve arrived, the team, in particular, head coach Jamelle Elliott can finally take a deep breath and find some solace in the fact that this year's team is (already) heads, shoulders, and definitely (making) shots better than the previous two dismal seasons....of 8-22 and 8-23 respectfully.
Their 2-1 AAC start also comes with impressive wins over tough UCF and Houston teams. Elliott, a savvy coach, molded from the Geno Auriemma/UCONN brand, is not quite ready to anoint her team AAC champions, however she is quite pleased with the grit, focus and improvement they’ve shown thus far. That said, she’s well aware that her “much improved”, team essentially equates to “much to prove” in Bearcat land. “We take it one game at a time,” said a relieved Elliott after an 85-64 win over Houston. "Our goal is to continue to get better. I need to keep them hungry and keep them motivated. Trust me, I’m going to find something. I don’t want them to get too comfortable, too confident, and not think we need to get better every day.”
As to the catalyst behind the team’s success it boils down to two obvious factors: 1) The consistent core-play of junior guard Ana Owens (13ppg), junior college transfer forward, Shanice Johnson (14ppg/9reb), and senior guard, Bianca Quisenberry (9ppg). 2) A young, yet productive, bench that shows the future promise of freshman forward Angel Rizor (4ppg/4 reb), and sophomore guard Nikira Goings (6ppg). “I think it comes down to these guys trusting each other,” says Elliott, regarding the team’s improvement. “More important it’s trusting themselves. We recruited them to come here because we believe they can help us win.”
Taking the cautiously optimistic approach, the Owens, Johnson, and Quisenberry trio remain focused on a “team first” agenda, and a business as usual persona—trying not to get too far ahead of themselves. “I think our confidence is high this year but I also think our focus and determination to win is higher,” says Quisenberry. “We have a lot of young guys that we have to lead and they’re anxious to win. But us leading, first and foremost, has been big this year and we’ve done a really good job at that as upperclassmen.”
After carving up Houston by 21 points—in which each (of the three) scored 20-plus points—they shied away from being dubbed "The Big Three" at UC just yet. For them it’s all about the team. “That’s the best part, we don’t have any superstars," says Johnson. "We are all capable. Call us big three, call us whatever you want. We are UC.”
Next up for the Bearcats is a road game at Memphis (Jan. 14) before returning home to face SMU (Jan. 17) and East Carolina (Jan. 21).
By Mark Brown
Cincinnati Herald Contributor
To put it mildly, last season was a painful exercise in humility for both the Cincinnati and Xavier women’s basketball programs. Both teams opened the 2015-2016 season with the optimism of establishing a foothold in conference play, and perhaps beyond (tournament hopes), but fell far short of expectations—UC collapsing fairly early in the year, while XU saw their demise take root in the second-half of the season.
But with a new season comes new hope, and the only thing that really matters (now) is the road ahead. For the 2016-2017 campaign, both teams have a renewed focus—something that’s working well thus far.
Finishing 8-22 (last season) signals the obvious—improvement becomes more a mandate than a seasonal goal. With above marginal talent in junior guard, Ana Owens and a required toughness/leadership in senior guard, Bianca Quisenberry, head coach Jamelle Elliott can only hope that this year becomes the breakout season she has longed for since heading-up the UC program 7 years ago. Add in the much needed inside presence of junior college transfer, Shanice Johnson and there is some flicker of light at the end of the Bearcat tunnel. And while it may be too early to make any predictions of future success, or past failure, so far the team seems on-track to make 2016-2017 a season of interest. “We’re becoming a team,“ said Elliott, after a 30 point route (72-42) of Arkansas Pine Bluff. “I think for the first time since I have been coaching here, we have multiple weapons….including our freshman.”
The APB victory moved the Bearcats to 5-1 with Johnson (19 ppg / 11 reb), Owens (14 ppg), and Quisenberry (8 ppg) leading the way. Beyond their offensive punch (Johnson, Owens, and Quisenberry), substantive bench play is evolving as well—as in local freshman Sam Rodgers (3 ppg), freshman Antoinette Miller (8 ppg), and sophomore, Chelsea Warren (4 ppg). The consistency of the bench contributions will likely determine the questionable path ahead for the Bearcats moving forward—as their schedule toughens with the likes of Ohio State (Dec.4) , Xavier (Dec.11) , and Georgia (Dec.15) on-tap.
After a stellar 14-3 start last season, XU (to everyone’s surprise) managed to lose 10 of their last 13 games—an epic collapse of both physical and mental toughness. To-date the reason behind their collapse remains a mystery—but is likely linked to a complacent focus (early on), a tough conference schedule, and untimely voids on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Despite losing XU standouts, Jeanna Crittendon and Aliyah Zant (to graduation), the Musketeer women continue to have options….most notably on the offensive side of the ball. At 4-0, the current version of the 2016-2017 Musketeers seem back on-track to equal last season’s impressive start, and also erase the nightmare of their infamous second-half collapse. In support of head coach Brian Neal’s fourth season, is the veteran leadership of leading scorer, senior Raeshaun Gaffney (16ppg), senior, Leah Schaefer (6ppg/7reb), junior, Marquia Turner (10ppg), senior, Maddison Blackwell (7ppg/8reb), and sophomore, Kindell Fincher (11ppg). The team will also engage bench support from sophomore, Imani Partlow (9ppg/5reb), and junior Jada Byrd (3ppg).
As to on-court leadership look for point guard, Turner, to take-on that role, while Gaffney, along with Fincher shore-up XU’s offensive power. If there is to be an inside presence for XU, that question will be answered by Blackwell—if she can capitalize upon her diverse talent in the post. If she does, the Musketeers are posed to have an adequate inside presence—with additional support from Partlow and Schaefer. As to an early season focus, Blackwell feels good. “We go into each game with a different mindset,” she said. “New game, new start. I don’t feel like we have become complacent just yet. I think we just need to take it one game at a time…and that’s what we have been doing.”
Annual Crosstown Game
XU and UC will square-off for city bragging rights in the annual Crosstown game on Dec. 11 at Cincinnati (2pm). Last season’s game went to Xavier 65-56.
By Vanessa Enoch
Cincinnati braced for the outcome of a second high profile case in two years in an already racially charged climate.
In the first case, Judge Hunter, the first African American female and the first Democratic judge in the history of the Juvenile Court in Hamilton County stood trial for nine trumped up felony charges all pertaining to her obligations and duties as a judge.
In the second case, former UC Cop Raymond Tensing shot unarmed motorist Sam Dubose during a routine traffic stop, after Dubose was stopped for a missing a front license plate.
Protesters outside of the Tensing trial pointed out the striking contrast between the Hunter trial and that of White police officer Tensing. They were especially frustrated by the prosecutor’s seeming reluctance and rhetoric surrounding whether or not to retry Tensing.
After spending over $5 million dollars pursing Judge Hunter in court, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters balked at the idea of retrying Tensing, despite the estimates of only $250,000 spent on the Tensing case.
The Hunter case is in appeals court right now, and the county continues to spend tax dollars on that and in the Board of Elections continuing efforts to keep fighting Hunter in court to try to prevent her from voting and the right to run for office.
In statements to the media, Terina Dubose, the sister of Sam Dubose, stated that she believed that the evidence was compelling against Tensing and it should have resulted in a definitive conviction. She says the family would like to see the same charges brought against Tensing. The prevailing sentiment among those in the community, who took to the streets in protest after the trial resulted in a hung jury, was that the case should have been fairly easy for a seasoned and veteran prosecutor to win. Especially, one like Deters who boasts that he has never lost a case.
Clergy from across the city held a press conference on Monday, November 14, after the Tensing trial to express outrage over the prosecutor not making a strong enough case to get a conviction. They made comparisons to the Hunter trial and said that Deters’ raising the issue of cost was absurd, considering the untold sums of money still being spent to keep Hunter off the bench. Some even questioned whether the prosecutor brought charges against Tensing that could stick.
Referring to the body cam video, which captured audio and video of the police shooting, Bishop Bobby Hilton of The Word of Deliverance Church said, “There was a witness there that could not lie,”
Hilton and about 50 church leaders called for Deters to retry the Tensing case. Reverend Mark Bomar, the head of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Cincinnati and vicinity said, “I don’t agree that Cincinnati is a model city for police and community relations, and this case is proof that not much has changed between police and community relations.” Bomar went on to say that City leaders are always calling on church leaders to calm the community during turbulent times, and it’s time the prosecutor does his part in keeping the peace Bomar said he believes it is the prosecutor’s duty to retry the case, to ensure that the community continues to be peaceable.
During Judge Hunter’s trial, the jury was hung on eight of the original nine charges, and evidence during the six-week trial proved her innocence on all counts. The jury ultimately convicted her of something that was inconsistent with the bill of particulars and wasn’t something she was actually charged with. That case is currently under review on appeal with the U.S. District Court.
Despite admissions and evidence from the first trial, prosecutors fired up the grill and cocked their riffles for a second shot at Hunter, as they geared up for a second January 2016 trial. In the case of the former UC cop, even after Ray Tensing admitted in depositions that he intentionally shot Samuel Dubose, the jury composed mostly of White males was still reluctant to find him guilty on either count.
Prosecutor Joe Deters and his special prosecutors brought the charges against Hunter, a pastor and judge who has lived her life fighting for the rights of abused and neglected children, after she filed ethics complaints against him and two attorneys in his office for suing her (in her landmark Board of Elections case) and representing her (in cases they and their cronies filed against her) at the same time. Prosecutors had also demonstrated their discontent when Judge Hunter also began requesting an audit of the Juvenile Court, and when she challenged them on their refusal to turn over exculpatory evidence that could have potentially proven children’s innocence.
A community effort led by the Mount Auburn Do Right! campaign resulted in a public walking track, where previously there were no safe places to exercise. The walking track is one of several recommendations made after an assessment of the entire neighborhood. The assessment focused on how to improve public facilities like, school grounds, parks, recreation areas, land use, community design and other segments that would directly impact the physical fitness of area stakeholders.
Carolyn Edwards is a resident and Do Right! Community Health Champion, says she’s been involved with the community building process since she joined the campaign in 2013. “Exercise of course is the key here, to the Do Right! program. Along the journey, we found that we didn’t have very many places that we could exercise. One of the places, we used to have were steps, but they are covered in trash and overgrown brush. It’s a good thing feeling involved and being a part of this initiative. This is also a place that we can be proud of because we helped get it started and we can keep other goals, in focus like finding more places in the neighborhood for physical activity.”
The Mount Auburn Do Right! campaign team conducted the assessment. The team also looked at the healthy lifestyle habits and desires of the community, by using tools like photo voice, a walkability assessment, and resident lifestyle survey. The recommendations for the neighborhood identified by the team includes a walking track, a playground, a new recreation center, repairs to sidewalks and lighting, speed bumps, and increase police presence and decrease drug activity, to name a few.
Taft Elementary school became the ideal location for both the playground and the walking track because the neighborhood’s old recreation center is now used by the school and it is a central location in the neighborhood.
The Mount Auburn campaign team, in partnership with the Health Gap, Interact for Health and the Marvin Lewis Community Fund were able to bring both the playground and the walking track to Taft Elementary school which is the site of the 2015 Hometown Huddle project. Grant monies allowed for the ground breaking to being in August.
“The walking track offers another opportunity for students and community members to get outside and enjoy outdoor playtime and physical activity,” said Coach Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals.
The Health Gap’s mission is to lead the community in the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities through education community outreach and advocacy to build a Culture of Health to build a Culture of Health a block at a time throughout the greater Cincinnati region. Prevention is the key driver to decreasing morbidity and decreasing mortality.
The Health Gap would like to thank the following organizations for their involvement with this community endeavor, William H. Taft Elementary School, Principal, Dr. Jonathan Brown, Interact for Health, The Christ Hospital Health Network, Speedy Signs and Apparel, The Marvin Lewis Community Fund and the Mt. Auburn Do Right! Campaign.
Join the Black Agenda Cincinnati and the Center for Closing the Health Gap and come to the Budget and Finance City Council Committee Meeting and Community Forum on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. inside the Community Action Agency Auditorium, 1740 Langdon Farm Road, Cincinnati, Ohio. The Center for Closing the Health Gap is dedicated to helping you and your family live healthy lifestyles. To learn more about our efforts, please visit us online: www.ClosingTheHealthGap.org; Facebook.com/CloseTheHealthGap; Twitter.com/CCHGcincy.
By Dr. Joseph King Jr.
Dean’s Advisory Council,
College Of Education, Criminal Justice, Human Services and Information Technology,
University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati has partnered with the Cincinnati Public Schools and Hughes High School Stem to develop a scholar’s academy to assist students in achieving their full potential and future college and career opportunities. The scholars academy was launched in 2015, it supports 21 selected 11th and 12th graders in a year long program that provides college preparation experiences, career shadowing and job opportunities.
The university president and provost each committed $100,000 annually in permanent funds that involves every college. In June (4-24) 2016 students immersed themselves in academics, leadership, ACT preparation to include career exploration, student relationships and forged a network of community. Several students commented on the rigors of the program and the intensive requirements such as math, interpersonal relationship skills and rules of the program that simulate a real-time college experience.
Direct university support is Given by President Beverly Davenport, Rob Richardson, chair of the Board of Directors, Bluezette Marshall, vice president, Equity and Inclusion and Dr. Kathie Maynard, associate dean, Innovation and Community Partnerships, College of Education, Criminal Justice, Human Services and Information Technology (CECH). The Cincinnati Public Schools supports the program with the participation of Hughes High School Stem Principal Kathy Wright, who has developed a role model program.
Hughes High School seniors are leveraging their experiences for success. Students are exploring a variety of colleges in addition to UC, such as Central State, Ohio State and other institutions; our hope is that the program will remove obstacles such as access, attitudes about college, preparation and instability. The following is a list of 2016 scholars:
Juteis Jasper, Tyre Asia Brown Loretta Morgan, Trenet Schil, Kiara Carden, Umasjesty Allah, Zephaniah Watkins, Tiauna Wright, Ronald Harris, Diamond Williams, Shatonia Presley /// 2016 Graduates Sean Curry—UC, Jarred Tallard-Morgan—UC Blue ASH, Kayla Ector—UC Blue ASH—Mina Lewis—Central State.
The program pools UC resources across all colleges and campus. The university is developing opportunity and access, which meets student ability and the will to achieve. Students are encouraged to build on their authenticity and genuineness to build on interpersonal relationship skills and further build community.
In a recent meeting with Anthony Smith, superintendent Winton Woods City Schools, and Delores King-Martin, teacher Winton Woods City Schools, Mr. Smith said the school district has challenges as well as a bright future, and is very inclusive and diverse and that students and parents speak at least 30 different languages. Further, that the school district is committed to teaching and culture that engages, technology that enables, and outcomes that matter, and is interested in inculcating a college going culture and the UC Scholars Academy.
For further information please contact Dr. Kathie Maynard at 513-675-3536
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
The City Council oversees an annual budget of a billion point six hundred million. Recently, the city manager issued on August 16, 2016, a memo regarding the fiscal Years 2018-19. While the memo talks about a process for the budget including community input, we believe that it doesn't truly allow the community particular those who are disadvantaged to make their priorities known.
In fact, we think the process is essentially the core budget that has existed for the past several decades without much change to meet the changing demographics of the city. The budget is simply not "user-friendly" to vulnerable populations who are not in a position to respond to the budget request from the City nor necessarily placed to be its advocate.
Many of us in the Black community believe that our City government has not been fair to our communities. For decades, our communities have been allowed to deteriorate without any aid from the local administration. Whether it's street repair, drug activity allowed to flourish, businesses to close up and housing to go without meaningful assistance, the result is the same; we have not received a fair share of the City budgets. Take a look at Over the Rhine, East Walnut Hills, Madisonville, West End, Mt. Auburn, Corryville, and Avondale which were and now changing black neighborhoods. These areas were neglected for decades until Whites have decided [G18] [G19] to move into these communities. Now, suddenly, there’s money to invest in these neighborhoods but not for the Black people who lived there for decades without the same attention given now.
The Black Agenda is asking you to attend City Council’s Finance and Budget Committee on December 19, Community Action Agency at 6 p.m. to ask the Council where’s our money. It’s a disgrace that City government for decades has neglected our communities. We can no longer be silent. We are citizens of this town and are entitled to be treated fairly. Please join us and let your voice be heard that we will no longer accept the inequitable treatment of our neighborhoods and businesses. Now is the time to speak up, vote up, or forever be silenced.
(TriceEdneyWire.com) - On any given Sunday afternoon, millions of Black men and women gather around their TVs, cheering on their favorite football teams. Then, when they leave their friends’ houses after the game, they must proceed with extreme caution as African-Americans - in comparison to Whites - are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police, according to the Center for American Progress.
These stops – whether because of racial profiling or legitimate reasons - have too often ended in police brutality – even deaths of unarmed Black people. This is the reason that a group of mothers has now turned to the National Football League, which makes millions of dollars a year with Black support, to get involved with a goal of ending what often appears to be a relentless attack on Blacks by police.
“We are writing to request a meeting with you to discuss the ongoing national disgrace of unaccountable police shootings. We ask this because of our knowledge about the issue and because we have been approached by NFL players who would like to see the League more involved with projects that promote healing of our communities,” wrote Collette Flanagan, founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Mothers Against Police Brutality believes that the NFL could become a very effective voice in addressing this crisis, which involves thousands of families each year. We commend the NFL for its work on domestic violence, and we urge you to bring the same morale outrage to the unjust use of deadly force by police, which so closely impacts your players personally and the communities in which so many of them grew up. Now is the time for the NFL to step up.”
The letter goes on to ask Goodell to create a task force that would serve to help promote community healing and unity around the issue which has exploded nationally and internationally in recent years with the growth of social media organizing and viral cell phone videos showing actual brutality and police shootings.
The letter asks for a meeting to “discuss our work to end the national crisis of police deadly force, which claimed more than 1,000 lives last year, and to save lives, particularly the lives of young black and Latino men.”
It also asks Goodell to help “arrange meetings with players and owners; and urge the NFL to form a high level task force that will address police shootings, police use of excessive force, and innovative ways that policing can protect and serve the people of every community in America.”
Mothers Against Police Brutality, a national organization based in Dallas, was founded to end the “killing of unarmed and mentally ill persons by law enforcement agencies; to change the deadly force policies and practices in the City of Dallas and nationally to support families who have lost loved ones to police violence; and to help restore trust between the police and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect,” according to a statement from the organization.
Flanagan founded MAPB after her 25-year-old unarmed son, Clinton Allen, was shot seven times by a Dallas police officer in 2013. A grand jury refused to indict the officer, Clark Staller, in the killing after he and authorities claimed the unarmed Allen was assaulting him in the March 10, 2013 incident. Allen’s parents have contended that the shooting was not necessary and that he was not given immediate medical help even as he struggled to stay alive.
Flanagan’s letter sought to sensitize Goodell to the NFL’s responsibility to those who are among their primary supporters - Black men and women - as well as members of the NFL.
“The mothers in our organization – and, indeed, most African American mothers – fear for their son’s life whenever he encounters a police officer, including mothers of NFL players. An African American NFL player, when off the field, can be just as vulnerable to police violence as any other young black man in this country,” she wrote. “Players such as Colin Kaepernick, Anquan Boldin, Josh McCown, and others have taken on a vital role in the movement for justice in policing, and they should be encouraged to speak out.”
In the letter, Flanagan also commended the NFL for its efforts to stem domestic violence – a move that was largely the result of prodding from a different organization, the Black Women’s Roundtable, led by Melanie Campbell.Flanagan urged Goodell “to bring the same morale outrage to the unjust use of deadly force by police, which so closely impacts your players personally and the communities in which so many of them grew up. Now is the time for the NFL to step up."
By Dr. Carl and Bertha Newbern
In 2004, the Cincinnati Herald printed a brilliant commentary by James Clingman titled, “Just Chillin and Grillin” in which he castigated Black youth who were wasting millions on “ice,” chains and baubles, gold teeth or grills, and tattoos. I was surprised, since as a Howard University student, anybody with a front gold tooth had to be from Cincinnati. A “home boy” he wasn’t.
Grilling or cooking out had changed into a gold crown or front tooth fad. Clingman’s attack was economic, but as a dentist I offered supportive evidence of gross food collection in formed trenches around the edges. The “gold,” as the youth called it, was usually an alloy of copper and chrome, which attracted a layer of water which caused oxidation or darkening. A proud griller always carried a polish rag. Old gold wearers complained that the new ones “stank.”
If you were lucky, a faulty grill will fall off exposing the tooth to saliva and air. Greater harm comes with loose crowns harboring food acids and bacteria with no access to saliva. The most important part of the tooth is the enamel, which was dissolved away. The remaining tooth cannot survive. Enamel is the hard, shiny covering of the tooth and the oldest tissue in the body. It is as old as you are. It is formed "in utero" and no one knows why except that the tooth will not erupt without it. Unlike hard bone it will not replace or repair itself. Any damage from a grill is permanent.
As a radio host in Florida, I became infuriated with guest dentists who bad mouthed the grill, but never explained why their patients' crowns fell off. Why did crowns fail to chemically bond to the enamel? Both bone and enamel contain rock mineral crystals called apatite and a tough protein called collagen. However, bone has small apatite crystals, which are covered by human flesh that heal and are replaceable. Not so with enamel. It faces the mouth’s acids, toxins, hot and cold foods and therefore requires large crystals that resist acids and decay to prevent cavities. It is for this reason they do not bond the grill to the tooth. It will not stick to it and it is easily lost. Ironically, it is the crystal acid resistance that allows dental fillings and dentistry to survive. There is another trick by Mother Nature to make sure nothing sticks to enamel, because enamel is not as smooth as it looks. It takes on the texture of a dirt road with cracks, clefts and ridges. It is the saliva, like asphalt, that covers the cracks, clefts and ridges with a tough protein coat or film that produces the smooth white and yellow light reflections. In addition, the layer is electrically charged with scattered proteins to repel any digestive calcium and phosphorus, which can cause dental plaque. Unfortunately, our friendly dentist and hygienist scurries it off with dental pumice while claiming it as decay casing and toxic. Saliva begins to reform the pellicle before you pay the receptionist. Fluorine will also fill in these cracks and clefts.
Finally, is the unseen slow destruction caused by the provider. You can’t squeeze enamel, because of the trillions of crystals wrapped in separate sacks for nutrition and water. Water is a stop sign for compression. It won’t give. A faulty crown cannot be forced into position in spite of advice from the provider that it will ‘work its way in’. It remains above the other teeth and so it is the first to receive jaw pressure. The problem with our teeth and jaws is that they do not grind like other animals. They are used for arresting or stopping jaw smashing, not starting it. Tooth crystals need protection. Any hard objects like popcorn kernel brings an automatic halt to closure. The grill has become the hard object and faulty closure remains permanent. When some Asian fossils are dug up you can find silver grills and some black fossils have gold. Maybe we should just get over it.
“Lo” to James, Henry Xmas, and all dear friends.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
The presidential election is finally over, and our community will be the same at the end of the next four years if we don't seize power to make a change in our city. Tip O'Neil who was a distinguished Speaker of the House of Representatives said many decades ago that all politics is local. The speaker knew what he was talking about because he realized that even in the Congress, nothing impacts the daily lives of citizens more than their local governments.
Say what you will about President-Elect Donald Trump, but take notice of his voters who want change more than they care about his character flaws. His voters stated that both parties –Democratic and Republican—failed them and so they voted for an outsider. On the campaign trial, President-Elect Trump repeatedly said that the political system is rigged against ordinary people. It is fair to say that both political parties have failed Black voters. No another group of citizens has been more loyal to the Democratic Party than Black voters. So why do Black voters continue to vote down the party line when in the end, their lives haven't improved.
So here we are folks. Cincinnati is the fifth most segregated city in the nation. It has a high rate of unemployment for Blacks, poor police-community relations, Black children in the school-to-prison pipeline and poor education. Our housing is the worst while gentrification continues to tear up our neighborhoods while moving Black people out of their communities so that young and well-heeled White professionals reinvent our old community with many of our tax dollars.
Next year's election is critical for the Black community. The mayor and all Council seats will be up, and yes, the school board will have four vacant seats as well. Blacks make of the majority population in the city. What would happen if the Black community voted in record numbers for candidates that support their issues? The combined budgets of the city and school board are close to two billion and a half dollars. In spite of the continual loyalty of Black voters to the Democratic Party, the party hasn't delivered much.
2017 is the time for a political revolution in Cincinnati. Blacks are at the bottom in almost every social indicator. If rural and blue collar Whites feel let down by both political parties, then the black community should feel outraged. It's so painful and shameful to see how the Black community has been treated well over a century. But if Black people fail to organize for social justice by voting for candidates who share the same shame and outraged, there will be no change.
The White power structure has been in place since the arrival of Blacks in the late 1700s. Black people were on the bottom then and they are still on the bottom. The power structure—with its paternalistic attitude towards Blacks-- can tell you that preschool promise, childhood poverty, and every other social initiative they come up with will improve the lives of Black people but it won’t. In the end, it will still be the same. There's one simple explanation for this. We keep letting people who are mostly responsible for our plight continue to tell us how they can fix it. The system is indeed rigged. No Vote, No Power.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
Already, there is much excitement regarding the mayor and City Council races. With the departure of Councilmembers Winburn, Flynn, and Simpson, there is a large number of candidates seeking seats on the Council. What is very critical to watch is the vacating of the of two seats held by two Black members of City Council, and if those seats are a loss, it could set back the Black community to the days of the Seventies when only two Blacks served on City Council.
Since 1995, City Council had four Blacks out of nine members and twenty years later, it hasn't picked up another seat which would give it majority representation on the council. However, unless the Black community begins to see what is at stake here, it may have only two Blacks on Council, notwithstanding a Black population of fifty percent. So far, Kelli Prather, Lesley Jones, Tamaya Dennard, Ozie Davis III, and BJ Odom are first time candidates. For the most part, these Black candidates have their work cut out, and some political watchers see very little chance for them to win a seat.
Meanwhile, Greg Landsman, Brain Garry, Laure Quinlivan, Michelle Dillingham, and Derek Bauman are Council candidates running, but are White. Landsman and Quinlivan are the greatest threat to the Black community regarding the possible loss of those seats held by Winburn and Simpson. Quinlivan’s defeat last election was by two hundred votes, and no doubt she will raise the kind of money needed to wage a successful campaign. She has substantial name recognition and will be formidable. Landsman finished right behind her and has already a boatload of money. Landsman has used Pre-School Promise as his entry into the Black community. He's made no secret about targeting the Black community with a program on Black radio for three years, and he has a well-funded campaign under way. Michelle Dillingham finished twelfth and also will be a strong competitor for the vacant seats.
Lastly, there are an unusual number of Black candidates whose names are not mentioned at this time. Of course, having such many Black candidates can deplete the resources and voting strategy that is necessary for the Black community to have fair representation on City Council. White candidates overwhelmingly raise more money than the average Black candidate, and the White community historically votes for the majority of White candidates. On the other hand, Black voters have always voted disproportionally more for White candidates. Councilmember Smitherman has spoken much about the need for bullet voting, and I agree with him. With the Black community being over fifty percent, the question remains whether we will break the glass ceiling of being a minority on the City Council to a majority, or will we lose the Winburn and Simpson seats setting the Black community back over forty years in its political progress.
It’s Christmas season once again, and I really am grateful to be alive to experience this glorious time of year.
I’d like to share what I would like to see in the coming year 2017; desegregated Sundays. Wow, what a wonderful Christmas present, what a thought.
I believe it is time for desegregating Sunday mornings in the churches of our communities, cities, country and the world. The world is constantly demonstrating confusion by calling right wrong and wrong right. Right and wrong is not relative or how it relates to you but there is a higher calling.
As a Christian, I believe in the divinely inspired word of God, the Bible. Our God is immutable, he has not changed. He provides and surrounds us with his mercy and grace.
We are encouraged to rightly divide the word, not stay divided on Sundays. There are 52 Sundays in a year and most churches are 0 for 52, never choosing to fellowship with any church that is not of the same neighborhood, belief, race or culture. How dare we ask for Godly favor on Sunday and can’t speak with our neighbors?
I believe our God intended for us to understand Ephesians 4:3; Endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and John 4:24: God is a spirit and they that worship him, must worship him in Spirit and truth.
Do you think it’s true that our God has a word for the Black church and a different word for the White church?
Will Heaven be segregated? God forbid, say it is not so. God doesn’t have any loop holes.
Hatred is disorienting, and it can take away our sense of moral direction.
Despite the results of the election and the political posturing of our churches today, is it possible that the needs of all people can be met by praying, fasting and fellowshipping together on regular basis? We can start in 2017 by prayerfully choosing to approach this idea of; daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually fellowshipping with a kingdom mind.
I believe things will get real interesting in our country soon after the inauguration. I propose we comfort our people, collaborate with one another and challenge our systems of worship. Let us humbly seek God through prayer, fasting and fellowship in the mighty name of Jesus.
Jesus is the reason for all seasons. Desegregate Sundays.
By Conrad Clowers
Cincinnati Herald Contributor
The good news. A two-game winning streak (against two of the NFL’s worse), a running attack that has come alive after laying dormant all year, and a sweep of a division opponent. The bad news. The Bengals gain no ground on first place, the team has only three games left to try and make a run, Andy Dalton was sacked multiple times against a team that has not won a game this season. Cincinnati defeated Cleveland this past weekend in the Cleveland version of the Battle of Ohio. Cincinnati improved their record to 5-7-1, but remained on life support for their playoff hopes.
This coming week is rival week. The Bengals will face a team that has been their nemesis for decades. A team that has been big brother to Cincinnati’s little brother. The last time Pittsburg faced Cincinnati in Cincinnati was January 10. It was one of the most memorably bad games the Bengals have ever produced.an 18-16 loss continues to haunt the Bengals. This time the stakes are much lower. No playoff game. No survive and advance. Just flat out bragging rights. A loss by the Bengals will end their playoff hopes from the same team in the same calendar year.
If Cincinnati is going to have a chance they will have to have all their guns available. A.J Green has missed the last several games with a hamstring injury. He may end up being a game time decision against the Steelers. Pittsburg is riding cloud 9 at the present. The 8-5 Steelers are coming off a win where Levian Bell ran for over 200 yards in a road win against the Buffalo Bills. He also set a franchise record in rushing yards in a game.
For the Bengals, this is their Super Bowl. This game is their playoffs. For a season that will likely be the first non-playoff season for Andy Dalton and A.J Green, redemption against an arch enemy will be of the utmost importance. One game that will always be guaranteed to sell out is the Pittsburg Steelers game. For so many years, Steeler fans took over Riverfront Stadium and had the majority of the stadium fan base. Paul Brown Stadium holds just over 65,000. If Cincinnati wants to get over the mental hump of Pittsburg, they will have to end the Steelers three-game winning streak. It may be easier said than done. Cincinnati may have more to lose than Pittsburg, mentally.
In a letter sent November 18 to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters, Donyetta Bailey, Esq., president of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, asks Deters to retry former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, who fatally shot unarmed motorist Sam DuBose during a July 2015 traffic stop in Mount Auburn. Judge Megan Shanahan declared a mistrial on November 12 after a 12-member jury could not come to unanimous decisions on the charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter against Tensing.
Bailey’s letter follows:
I am writing on behalf of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC), an affiliate member of the National Bar Association, which is the largest African-American Bar Association in the U.S. with a network of over 60,000 lawyers, judges and law students.
First, we wanted to say thank you for your public service in this case so far; we know this case has been difficult with respect to the amount of public scrutiny and highly charged emotions involved.
We also wanted to respectfully request that you continue working hard on behalf of the Community to ensure justice for all by retrying Ray Tensing for the shooting of Samuel Dubose.
BLAC members followed this trial very closely and our members attended the trial every day. Like you, we were also disappointed about the outcome of the case and the fact that the jury was not able to reach a decision.
It is our understanding, based on your communications with the press yesterday and in the days immediately following the trial, that the jury took a vote at the beginning of their deliberations and all 12 of them initially voted to convict Ray Tensing of murder. It is our further understanding that after 3 days of deliberations; the jury’s final vote was 4 in support of murder, 8 against; and 8 in support of manslaughter and 4 against.
You stated that your Office is considering retrying the case but will only do so if you think you can win and secure a conviction at the second trial. None of us have a crystal ball and can guarantee a conviction or acquittal, but we believe that the final results of the hung jury, along with this new information that all 12 of the jurors initially agreed on a murder conviction, is a strong indication that if you retry the case, a jury will be able to reach a conclusion and you will be successful in securing a conviction.
In situations like this, it is important for our Community to feel like the justice system works for everyone, not just the privileged and upper-class members of our society, or members of one particular race. BLAC has asked the Community to engage in the democratic process, renew its faith in the fact that this system can be fair and impartial, and most importantly, to give our justice system a chance to work. We believe that a retrial, no matter the outcome, is a crucial act that must be done to restore and maintain the Community’s confidence in our justice system.
I trust that you understand the importance of handling this case in a manner that the public can respect, support, and understand. We also trust that you understand the needs of Samuel Dubose’s family and the Greater Cincinnati Community to obtain closure, and walk away from this case knowing that the jury made a unanimous decision.
So again, we are asking that you retry Ray Tensing on the same charges of murder and manslaughter that were in the initial indictment and show the Community that your Office is committed to ensuring that the judicial system works equally and fairly for all people, regardless of their race, color, or creed.
Very truly yours,
Donyetta D. Bailey, Esq. President
Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati
In Judge Hunter’s case, the public witnessed a trial riddled with disparaging statements directed towards the judge by a peer judge who should by law never have been able to preside over her case, and over 51 instances of unethical and derogatory statements by Deters personal divorce attorneys, R. Scott Croswell III, and Merlyn Shiverdecker that Deters secured a million dollar contract to prosecute Hunter. The proceedings can be best described as a kangaroo court.
Tensing was afforded a 25-page juror questionnaire, with 194 questions to ensure that the selected jury was most favorable to Tensing. His questionnaire raised questions such as “Are you affiliated with groups such as Black Lives Matter?” Judge Hunter was confined to a two-page juror questionnaire, where members of the jury pool admitted that they were friends, relatives, and neighbors of her political foes. One juror, Sandra Kirkham even lied on her jury questionnaire without consequence. She had been sexually abused by a pastor as a teen and young adult, and still carried a measurable amount of hostility towards pastors, she said during jury selection. The jury pool in Hunter’s case also consisted of a county employee, and several attorneys.
In Tensing’s case, Black attorneys took to the community to explain what a fair trial consisted of. They pointed out that courts have held that ethics and case law supports not having attorneys, journalists, and certain types of individuals on juries.
Judge Hunter’s jury consisted of employees of WCPO who sued Judge Hunter, along with an attorney from the law firm that represented WCPO in that suit, and the wife of an attorney from that same firm became the jury foreperson in Hunter’s case.
The jury in Hunter’s case also consisted of a woman, who during voir, dire described herself as the best friend of Assistant County Prosecutor Katie Pridemore, who testified in the case. There was also a close friend of former Court Administrator Curt Kissinger and juvenile court Judge John Williams (who lost to Hunter in the 2010 election and was appointed to the bench by Governor John Kasich, while he and Hunter were still fighting in court to determine the true winner of that election). There were also four jurors that said they couldn’t be fair at the outset of the Hunter trial, and Judge Nadel allowed them to stay on the jury.
Also on Hunter’s jury was the neighbor of Judge Heather Russell, and an employee of WCPO, who had sued her for not allowing them access to her courtroom after they deliberately defied her court order and published the names and faces of accused elementary and junior high school children. The jury foreperson in Hunter’s trial was the wife of one of the WCPO attorney’s. There was also the mother of one of the police officers from the North College Hill neighborhood where the accused children were from.
Hunter had to have personal security, because of the aggressive paparazzi-like media representatives and the numerous threats on her life.
One Cincinnati Enquirer reporter, Kimball Perry, boasted that he was inches from her face in the courtroom as he took photos of her.
Hunter’s trial ended in a hung jury on eight charges, and one felony conviction despite the fact that all three Black jurors on Hunter’s jury came forward to say that guilty was not their verdict, after Judge Nadel refused to poll that jury after the verdict was read in open court.
Alternatively, Tensing’s jury was composed of six White males, four White women, and two Black females, and members of the public were for the most part not allowed to enter the courtroom and were thus unable to personally see those jurors. During deliberations, Tensing’s jury was sequestered and driven to a hotel without Internet or television access to prevent any outside influence during deliberations. Hunter’s jury was allowed to come and go as they pleased; even after sealing the lone jury conviction prior to the completion of deliberations the jury was allowed to go home.
By Conrad Clowers
Cincinnati Herald Contributor
Not one team has the luxury of not having to deal with an injury at one point or another. Giovanni Bernard was lost for the season in a game against the Buffalo Bills. Bernard is counted on by the Bengals for explosive plays in running and catching. With Bernard out, veteran Rex Burkhead has taken over the scatback position.
One thing you can say about the Nebraska product is that he is reliable and can be counted on top take care of and move the ball. Burkhead is in his fourth season as the Bengals’ backup running back. In college, he was known as one of the most solid running backs in college football at Nebraska. Burkhead played four seasons with the Cornhuskers. The Plano, Texas native finished at Nebraska with 3,329 career rushing yards. He had 14 games of 100 or more yards. The most amazing stat in Burkhead’s college career was an amazing 5.2 yard per carry average. Even in high school Burkhead was a star. He was a running back at Plano high school in Plano, Texas. He was thee star on his high school team where he rushed for 1,762 yards and 28 touchdowns. The stats earned him Class 5A All state AP honors. He was also named player of the year.
Last season in 2015 was the first season the former Cornhusker saw action in all 16 games. It was by far his most productive out of the backfield where he recorded 10 receptions for 94 yards. This season he has answered the bell. Burkhead has carried 19 times for 106 yards with a 5.6 yard per carry average. Along with that, he has 8 receptions for 71 yards. “I try to be ready when my number is called,’ said the 4-year veteran.
The Bengals could be in their first non-playoff season since 2010. As injuries and subpar performances mount, new stars emerge and get their chance. Burkhead has proven that he is a solid backup and can even start in the NFL. Burkhead not only has a name on the field. He has developed one off the field. In addition to his consistent community outreach, Burkhead has befriended young cancer patient Jack Hoffman from Nebraska. Hoffman was invited to the White House by President Obama. Hoffman included Burkhead in his party. The NFL could use a few more like Burkhead.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
Admittedly, I had the desire to write this article forty years ago, but I just didn’t want to seem self-serving. But because it’s Black History Month, and I’ve learned over the years that if you wait on others to write your history, you’ll be waiting a long time. So, I just decided to write it anyway.
During the fall of 1968, I led a group of students to Dr. Walter Langsam’s office who was the president of the University of Cincinnati. In the spring of 1967, a large group of black students had been meeting to decide whether we would establish a Black student organization to address our issues. The nation was facing race riots on and off college and university campuses. The University of Cincinnati had a reputation for being discriminatory towards Black students. Its admission policies were abhorrent toward Black students, and the rate of retention was just as bad. U.C. was like many colleges and universities around the nation regarding Black students; they weren't welcome.
The beginning of 1968, I had become the first elected president and co-founder of what was call the United Black Association (hereinafter referred to as U.B.A.). The primary goal was to established a student organization to address a whole litany of issues and problems facing Black students. We put together a list of demands to be presented to the University President addressing issues ranging from a Black faculty, administrators, students to a Black studies department.
Students were rebelling throughout this nation against the blatant racism many of the college and University campuses experienced causing the local, and even the national guards to be on campus. And now it was our turn. I remember that day very well. We marched respectfully from Tangeman Center to the administration building not knowing what would happen if we were not received and our demands not accepted. We entered the building and then to the office of the president. We presented the demands, and Dr. Lansgman’s response was brief but assured us that we would get a reply in short order.
Within a few days, he responded in writing granting the thirty or more demands, which in my opinion, changed the face of that university for generations to come. The U.B.A. became the first Black student organization recognized by the University, which gave us an office and budget. I served on the search committee for a chair for the creation of the Black Studies Department along with Dean Wiechert and Robert Merriweather, U.B.A. vice president. Robert and I alone decided that Dr. William David Smith would become the first chair of this new department. There were many changes taking place that had never existed on the campus and immediately transformed that university to become more inviting, relevant, and educational for Black students.
In the Hunter case, juror questionnaires were shared with the Cincinnati Enquirer reporter who was privy to the composition of the jury and had knowledge that one of those jurors was a neighbor to Judge Heather Russell, and several attorneys who practiced before judges at the courthouse revealed that they were aware of Hunter’s verdict before it was announced in open court. After giving that Enquirer the jury questionnaires from the Hunter trial, the Court denied the questionnaires to members of small and Black media outlets that had requested it.
For the Tensing trial, security was tightened and no one aside from the media was allowed to carry cell phones, tablets, or laptop computers. The courthouse even instituted a second security checkpoint down the hall from the trial, and only a few from the public were allowed to enter the courtroom. Throughout most of the Tensing trial, even the media was barred from photographing Tensing, aside from the lone Enquirer photographer and the designated video pool camera. On occasion, both the defense and prosecuting attorney’s were sequestered and prevented from making statements to the media about the trial.
The Court didn’t put any such protections in place for Judge Hunter, and instead daily she was stormed in the hallways by paparazzi-like media. One Enquirer reporter even taunted her and boasted on his Twitter account that he was six inches from where her face, and had a privileged seat right next to Hunter and her attorney.
Although Prosecutor Joe Deters accused Hunter of “murder” just one business day before the start of her trial, based upon a decision she made on a teens non-serious marijuana charge, Judge Hunter never killed anyone. The teen that had appeared before her in an unrelated case over a year previously was involved in a double homicide. The maximum sentence that kid could have received on the marijuana charge was six-months, but Deters felt Hunter should have locked him up for several years.
Tensing on the other hand made statements during depositions that his killing of Samuel Dubose was intentional, according to prosecutors.
Evidence presented during the Tensing trial also unveiled that he was wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt under his uniform, which as Bishop Hilton points out, provides some context behind his mindset at the time of the shooting. In court, Tensing testified that he received the T-shirt from family members on vacation and didn’t know what the design on it meant to the Black community. Just three weeks before Tensing shot Dubose, the Confederate flag became a national conversation piece when self described neo-Nazi White Supremacist Dylann Roof wrote a racist manifesto and then went on a rampage shooting nine African Americans in Charleston, North Carolina, in a church during a prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Among those Roof killed included senior pastor and State Senator Clementa C. Pinckney. Protesters felt that more than likely Tensing was wearing the T-shirt in solidarity with Roof. Tensing’s claims that he was unaware of the flag’s meaning left many in the community outraged at the thought that he would insult the intelligence of the 12-panel jury.
Proescutors used video footage to impeach Tensing’s testimony that his arm was caught in the steering wheel.
The numerous differences in the proceedings begs the question for some local Black leaders of what exactly constitutes a fair trial? The court went to great pains to protect Tensing’s interest and his right to a fair trial, and, despite the fact that the entire country was privy to video and audio testimony that demonstrated the manner in which Sam Dubose was gunned down by Tensing, he remains a free man, while the prosecutor raises the issue of the cost of trying him again. All this while Hunter, on the other hand, is fighting for her freedom after receiving a six-month jail sentence for a conviction on something she was never charged with.
By: James Clingman,
The hue and cry from many of our people continues to be centered on “lack of access to capital” by Black owned businesses, especially start-ups and micro-businesses. The financial markets are not very favorable to our needs, thus, much of the potential among our prospective entrepreneurs is never realized. Many aspiring Black business owners, who could be successful, give up and quit because they cannot raise capital; and some businesses that could be grown to scale and employ workers never get the opportunity to do so.
Another complaint I hear is in reference to our young people. Some say we refuse to support them, and we do not encourage them to get involved and take the lead in our movements and organizations. I agree with that to some extent, but it’s not the case with THE One Million. We are always looking for conscientiously conscious young people to join us and offer their time, talent, and treasure to help our movement progress. We also reciprocate by doing what we can to support our members, not just with rah-rah lip-service but with our time, talent, and treasure in return.
To that end, I believe we have found one such “youngster” in the person of Rashaan Everett, a recent Howard University graduate of the School of Business. He joined THE One Million after contacting me regarding his investment concept, The Greenwood Project. (www.thegreenwoodproject.org) I introduced Everett to Mr. John Brown, CPA, partner in the Bedford Group, a development firm in Los Angeles where Rashaan lives. He is also a member of THE One Million.
Subsequently, Brown has taken on a “mentoring” role with Everett; they presented The Greenwood Project at our Training and Orientation meeting in Beaumont Texas, January 6-8, 2017, and I am proud to say THE One Million is highly supportive of this young brother’s project as well as participatory in his investment strategy to start and grow small Black owned businesses via crowdfunding.
The Greenwood Project is a collective fund for start-ups and micro businesses in which supporters can invest a minimum of $100.00 and will receive a contract entitling them to a share of the profits earned from their investments. To reiterate, this is an “investment” that, like other investments, carries no guarantee; it is not a donation.
Everett has assembled a team of the best and brightest Black scholars and professionals capable of managing the fund appropriately; and there is a very significant financial upside to his plan.
“Black people can control our own destiny,” Rashaan says. “We can make this part of our “Internal Reparations,” as some of our elders have suggested. If we support the innovative and creative businesses funded by the Greenwood Project, each investor can earn significant profits.”
Projected to raise a total of $1 million, which will be invested into black businesses, the profits from which will be re-cycled many times over by other Black businesses and individuals, The Greenwood Project is yet another answer to problems Black folks have been railing against. Now all we have to do, after due diligence of course, is invest (pool) our money and create more “conscientiously conscious Black millionaires,” something THE One Million has been advocating for a while now.
The Greenwood Project is based on President Obama's JOBS Act, which allows for non-accredited investors to invest in private companies for the first time since 1933. Before the law changed, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) mandated an individual must have a net worth of $1 million, excluding real estate, to make angel investments. Obviously, this disproportionately affected Blacks, and systematically prevented us from building our own companies and our own wealth.
For the last 83 years, until May 16, 2016, this type of fund and project were illegal. It is very important for Black people to take advantage of this new law NOW before it changes again, as it could under the new administration.
The Greenwood Project is already operational, approved, and verified, taking advantage of the new law. Everett’s team has worked with lawyers, CPA's, and bankers to assure it viability and its legality, and now with John Brown aboard, a man I have known for nearly twenty years and a man who has demonstrated his expertise in finance and business strategies, I have no doubt this project will work if we work it.
The Greenwood Project has officially earned SEC and government regulatory approval and is seeking people who are willing to invest a minimum of $100.00, right now via www.wefunder.com/greenwoodproject. This is yet another “Call to Action” to those among us who are tired of being hamstrung by a lack of capital, and are ready, willing, and able to do something to change that. Get on board The Greenwood Project by investing in yourselves. And join THE One Million too. www.iamoneofthemillion.com.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
The recent email exchange between Mayors Cranley, and Emanuel of Chicago says it all. I'm astonished that the writers for the Enquirer continue to block for Cranley -- which makes it only tougher for John. Jason Williams of the Enquirer labeled Black citizens as being "detractors" and “manufacturing the outrage” when we believe it is more probable than not, that Cranley had a hand in the firing of Chief Jeffery Blackwell. Even Mayor Cranley said in those emails that the Black community was very upset about the firingdismissal [G4] of the chief. A media organization attacked Black leaders in its [G8] [G9] latest editorial by suggesting that Councilmember Young’s motion to find out the truth about Cranley’s involvement as being about an mere election year “antics.”
As soon as Cranley heard about Young’s press conference last week, he had the secret settlement released to distract the public from Young’s press conference demanding an investigation into his role in firing Blackwell. The next day, Cranley held a press conference (three hours before Young’s) trying to deflect the public from Young’s press conference rehashing how horrible the chief was and continue trying to justify the firing of him. If you wWatching the video of the mayor’s press conference, you canit is easy to see the disingenuous lack of sincerity in Black’s face and words while once again stating he states that the Mayor had nothing to do with the firing of Blackwell. Cranley's subterfuge was obvious and ineffective.
The Enquirer is truly out of touch with the Black community. To refer to Cranley's email with Mayor Emanuel as "…nothing more than friendly chit-chat…" is outrageous and clearly lacks racial sensitivity. This issue is about police-community relations regarding the firing of the Cincinnati’s second Black police chief, which embodies in many ways the historical problems that our community had with the police department. Cranley's emails don't look at all as friendly “chit-chat.” For decades, the Black community has witnessed bad police behavior by some officers, --including the murders of Black men -- and nothing was done. We get a Black chief, and overnight he becomes the most is branded as an incompetent police officer official and warrants athe kind of public dismissal that looks like a criminal hearing before City Council. If the emails were mere “chit chat,” then why did the paper publish itthem in the first place, writing several stories regarding them.? Some Blacks feel that the tone of Cranley’s emails displayed a certain attitude towards Blacks that isn’t good.
For well over a century or more; the cCity never had a chief of police towho walked our community like Chiefs Blackwell and Craig did and the Black community loved them. The loss of Blackwell and the way he was let go caused significant pain and anger in the Black community. For John the mayor and some of the media to continue to try and place the blame of the firing totally on City Manager Black is ludicrous. Of course, Johnthe mayor did not have the legal authority to fire Chief Blackwell, but the one person that reports to Cranleyhim—the ccity mmanager—did, and he did so with the approval of the mayor. Cranley has repeatedly said that he supports the firing of Chief Blackwell. Every coach, CEO, and leader takes the blame for both the good and bad that happens within their organization. It would be better for the mayor to come clean and accept that responsibility and move on
By Conrad Clowers
Cincinnati Herald Contributor
It’s been a while since the Bengals have been playoff spectators instead of participants. The downfall of the 2016 Bengals continues. This time, the nail was placed in the casket with a 19-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The story and script was the same for the Ravens game as it has been all season. Keep it close, but do something when it absolutely counts to lose.
Cincinnati had ample chances to defeat Baltimore. A late fumble by quarterback Andy Dalton sealed a Bengal loss and likely sent the Bengals to an offseason after Week 16. All throughout the game there was an uneasy feeling in the Queen City that the results would be the same.
While the Bengal defense continues to keep the Bengals in games, the offense has yet to find an identity. Inability to consistently run the ball or pass at key times is the equivalent of the Hulk without strength.
Ken Zampese took over for Hue Jackson as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator for the 2016 season. Not since the days of former offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski have the Bengals looked so sluggish on offense.
Once the offseason comes, Cincinnati will have decisions to make. Mike Brown has never been one to bow to public pressure. As a matter of fact, the more the public says go left, the more Brown digs to the right. Bengal coach Marvin Lewis has been a hot topic of speculation. Some reports have Lewis on the hot seat, while other reports have him as solid as always. Brown is as loyal an owner as there has ever been to his coaches.
Should the Bengals fall to the Cleveland Browns for Cleveland’s’ only win of the 2016 season, Lewis could be in trouble. Brown still could hold resentment to the Cleveland organization for the firing of his father. When a team goes 1-15, you don’t want to be the only team to give Cleveland pleasure.
It now might be time to start looking towards the future. The one good thing about a dismal season comes draft rewards. The worse you are, the higher you draft.
Outside of the 2010 season, the Bengals have not drafted in the top 5-10 category since the early 2000s.
Mathematically, Cincinnati has a chance. They will not only need to win the remaining five games they would need a combination of teams to lose before they would make the playoffs. In other words, Cincinnati is, as Bon Jovi would call it, living on a prayer. The best advice to Bengal fans and followers is this. Hope for the best. Hope for a victory against rival Pittsburg and a few other upsets. Expect the worst. Expect a lob-sided win/loss record and a high draft.
Unless your name is New England Patriots, you are going to have seasons like this every now and then. Cincy has been winners and playoff contenders for five straight seasons. That has to count for something.
It’s a bottom line business. At the end of the day, it’s, “What have you done for me lately?” Unfortunately, for Cincinnati, not much.
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