Winston-Salem Police aren’t saying much right now—-all we know is three would-be robbers entered Long Jewelers on Hanes Mall Boulevard in broad daylight on Monday and one of them ended up dead in the parking lot.
Obviously a firearm was discharged, but who discharged it? Gosh, what if it were—-heaven forbid—a store employee?
I’ve taken note of retired UNCG professor Tom Kirby-Smith’s views on the N&R ed page and on social media for quite some time —-let’s just say I wouldn’t regard him as a conservative.
Susan Ladd’s column Wednesday was largely an endorsement of the front-page piece in the Sunday New York Times claiming discriminatory treatment of blacks by Greensboro’s police department. The lengthy Times article gave an impression of great thoroughness.
….But there are things included and things omitted from the Times article that make its treatment of Greensboro unfair. And the reporters give more credence to Nelson Johnson than he deserves. A reference to the Klan-Nazi shootout fails to note that some of the communists who were killed were armed with pistols. Also, the reference to the National Guard’s activity is misleadingly brief.
Also omitted are numerical statistics about New York’s own stop-and-frisk policy. A study by the American Civil Liberties Union compiles these from New York Police Department records. A summary of what they found reads: “An analysis by the NYCLU revealed that innocent New Yorkers have been subjected to police stops and street interrogations more than 5 million times since 2002, and that black and Latino communities continue to be the overwhelming target of these tactics.”
Kirby-Smith adds “It is quite strange that Greensboro should simultaneously be under attack from many within the state for being too liberal and progressive and pilloried at such length in the New York Times as being a stronghold of residual racism.” I’ll go with the former; liberals have been in charge here in Gboro for quite some time now. While in theory GPD is insulated from city politics, Chief Wayne Scott’s vision and-strategies—-including an emphasis on community policing—reflect that liberal point of view. Guess Chief Scoot needs to double down on those strategies. Meanwhile guys like ‘Supreme’ Walker—-the one-time death row inmate and getaway driver Isaiah Fox’s early October crime spree— loves calling Gboro home.
Yeah I pick on the N&R, just like the Rhino’s John Hammer, who noted our local paper of record did not send a reporter to a recent Guilford County commissioners’ meeting because the beat reporter was getting married.
Just so happens there’s a big backstory to that little side note.
N&R reports students at Gboro’s downtown Elon University Law School “will work with local attorneys to offer legal counseling services for families through Say Yes Guilford.”
The legal counseling will be part of a broader system of supports and services offered to families through Say Yes Guilford, the local chapter of New York-based Say Yes to Education.
Say Yes officials have said it will take several years to completely roll out what they call wraparound services.
The idea behind those services is that outside factors such as inadequate housing, hunger or family legal trouble could affect how students perform in school. So breaking down the barriers students face to graduation would involve addressing some of the issues they carry with them to school each day.
Say Yes has also hired Akisha Jones, a Harvard Strategic Data Project fellow, to work out of the Guilford County Schools Office of Accountability and Research:
The Strategic Data Project works with education agencies, schools or school systems to make better use of data. The fellows, who have “heavy quantitative research skills,” are vetted through Harvard and then placed with education agencies across the country, Jones said.
Jones said her work will include looking at discipline issues and racial disparities in Guilford County Schools, as well as evaluating and analyzing data related to the school system’s African American Male Initiative. Her broader job is to support research and evaluation efforts through the school system.
Guess I’m just a cynical type, but it seems to me that Say Yes appears to be yet another quasi-governmental entity designed to provide jobs for bureaucrats, educrats and —last but not least—-lawyers. The other question is if —-as the N&R reports—– Say Yes officialshave said it will take several years to completely roll out what they call wraparound services,” there where will be the so-called ‘wrap around services’ for students graduating in 2016, the first class eligible for last dollar tuition scholarships?
Hey why not, especially since Charlotte Hornets president and chief operating officer made it clear that Greensboro’s D-league team is unequivocally “not going back to Carolina Cougars” and there “won’t be any confusion in anyone’s mind that Michael Jordan owns our team.”
Personally I think reviving the Cougars name would generate the nostalgia necessary to pack the house come next basketball season. And you’d think his Royal Airness would err on the side of humility considering the ill will his predecessor Bob Johnson generated in the Queen City.
At any rate naming the team is the least of the challenges facing Whitfield and Greensboro Coliseum director Matt Brown. There is the issue of taking converting the Pavilion annex into “old-school, 2,500-seat basketball fieldhouse complete with locker rooms and a permanent, Quonset-hut-style roof” with a mere $3.8 million in hotel tax money.
During a discussion over Rep. Paul Ryan, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry takes offense to the term ‘hard worker.’
Makes you wonder whether or not the powers that be at Wake Forest University —where Harris-Perry is a law professor— ever watch her show.
NPR interviews the NYT reporter who wrote the big Sunday front pager on the “disproportionate risks of driving while black.”
N&O reports the state House of Representatives will send a total of $1.25 million to 13 towns for downtown revitalization, while in a separate Senate allocation Sen. Trudy Wade “will direct $1 million to High Point to turn a library parking lot into a downtown “central gathering space.”
Wade – a close ally of Senate leader Phil Berger – said she pushed for the provision because the state doesn’t have “any programs for the mid-size city” pursuing downtown revitalization.
“Usually it’s the rural areas and the larger areas that seem to be getting the most money,” she said. “We thought we’d start a pilot program with someone who was prepared. We foresaw possibly down the road (funding) other mid-sized cities.”
High Point will be required to match the $1 million grant with $1.43 million of its own funds, which the City Council has already directed to the plaza project. The plaza will host community events, library programs and farmers market stalls. It’s designed to stimulate business and development along Main Street.
Big NYT story analyzing police traffic stops in Greensboro. The Times’ conclusion? You guessed it—“wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct.”
The Times analyzed tens of thousands of traffic stops made by hundreds of officers since 2010. Although blacks made up 39 percent of Greensboro’s driving-age population, they constituted 54 percent of the drivers pulled over.
While factors like out-of-town drivers can alter the racial composition of a city’s motorists, “if the difference is that big, it does give you pause,” Dr. McDevitt of Northeastern University said.
Most black Greensboro drivers were stopped for regulatory or equipment violations, infractions that officers have the discretion to ignore. And black motorists who were stopped were let go with no police action — not even a warning — more often than were whites. Criminal justice experts say that raises questions about why they were pulled over at all and can indicate racial profiling.
Appearances include GPD Chief Wayne Scott—“the way we accomplish our job is through contact, and one of the more common tools we have is stopping cars”—-Mayor Nancy Vaughan—-“are the next Ferguson?”—and—last but not least—the Rev. Nelson Johnson—-“this is about a culture, a deeply saturated culture that reflects itself in double standards.”