One day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited our city, I hear a story about two shootings at the Sheraton downtown leading the national radio news.
The incident underlined his point that we have a serious crime issue in our city.
We know it, he knows it, but liberals apparently don’t know it. Sessions’ linking crime and punishment brought down their wrath. Immediately they were on the warpath (probably politically incorrect). Black Lives matter turned out. Pastors refused to meet with him. Steve Cohen criticized him. Activists like Tami Sawyer and Steve Mulroy added their denouncements.
The CA, which has never had one good headline about President Trump by the way, joined in the pile on of his attorney general.
Tonyaa Weathersbee said in a piece on Page 1, “Sessions’ crime speech plays to racial biases, not real solutions.” She wrote that “Sessions visited Memphis to double down on that talk about how horrible the violence was here, how bad the drugs were here, and how his people weren’t going to put up with it.”
And this is a bad thing? Would she prefer a white AG just ignore the cries of black victims here? Would she prefer he sweep it under the carpet?
Weathersbee doesn’t like mandatory minimum sentences. She says they didn’t work in the past “and they won’t work now.
All those harsh sentences did was create an environment where one in nine black children now have a parent in prison, and where a prior record for having the tiniest amounts of drugs shuts off virtually all chances of getting a job or a place to live.”
Wait a minute. Wasn’t it the Obama DOJ that mandated courts here ease up on sentences, particularly juveniles, which they did? The Obama DOJ operated for eight years. Doesn’t seem to have worked according to crime stats. Does she think Sessions enjoys incarcerating people? Seems like a racist assumption on her part.
Besides, Memphis just got a $25,000 challenge grant from the Speer Charitable Trust to help with expungement of crimes here. In addition, the expungement fee has been lessened. This issue is not ignored.
Furthermore, the MPD is run by a black chief, Michael Rallings. Is he and his police force, which includes many black officers, participate in discrimination?
What of all the black victims? Wouldn’t they have preferred their murderers and robbers be behind bars and they still be alive?
At what point does the perpetrator become the victim? You can’t have it both ways.
Steve Cohen weighed in with his reliable inane commentary. He “likened Sessions’ remarks to something out of the 50s or 60s.” Yes, when Memphians didn’t lock their doors. In 1960 Memphis had the lowest homicide rate of any Southern city.
Certainly there was inexcusable racial violence that happened. We don’t have that mindset – for the most part – anymore. Today’s black crime is black on black. Shame on Sessions for wanting to stop that.
In today’s weekly email, Mayor Strickland mentioned the meeting with Sessions. “Along with Director Michael Rallings of MPD, we were frank with Mr. Sessions about our challenges. We took the opportunity of the meeting to request additional federal resources to help us reduce violent crime. We asked for continued and expanded grant funding, additional agents to join our Multi-Agency Gang Unit and Organized Crime Unit, and to continue with the collaborative review of MPD.”
Doesn’t look like he would reject any money Sessions funnels their way.
In the same issue of the newspaper, there was a heartfelt letter headlined “Waiting for leaders to address crime issues.” A Midtowner describes hearing 12-15 rounds from a semi automatic weapon at 7:22 p.m. as he is playing soccer in the front yard with his son.
He writes, “this scenario occurs regularly now, weekly we hear a barrage of gunfire from adjacent neighborhoods… none of our citizens, especially our children, should think this selfish, criminal behavior of wide open bullets flying is ‘just the way it is.’ Mayor? City council? Representatives? We’re waiting for you to lead.”
Sessions is attempting to do just that. Let’s give his effort a chance at least.