Activist Resurfaces

In the last few days we have seen Tami Sawyer, the woman who is running for County Commission Seat District 7, heralded several times in the CA.

She’s the activist behind #takeemdown901, the group that sought the removal of Confederate statues.

Sunday’s paper saw her lauded with her picture on the front of the Viewpoint section. She’s one of the Memphis Citizen Activists the paper gave the 2017 person of the year award. She is quoted extensively in the article and given credit, along with others, for “statues (have been) taken down, public buildings saved, grassy fields protected, lynching sites and immigration raids exposed, pipelines and landfills challenged, laws and minds changed, economic inequality and criminal injustice confronted.”

Wow! How did we ever make it before these people came?

Today comes a reinforcement. The CA top of the front page headline names “18 Tennesseans who can help shape state in 2018” and Ms. Sawyer is No. 4 on the list which has only six Memphians.

Her title is “Director of diversity and cultural competency at Teach for America Memphis.” It says, “When Trayvon Martin was shot in Florida in 2012, Tami Sawyer started wondering where she fit into the big picture.”

That was an ah hah moment for me. The CA editor, Mark Russell, came from the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. He was deeply involved – you might even say an activist – in the case. Russell, also African American, was the Senior Vice President/Director of Content there.

If you’ll recall, a reporter there named Rene Stutzman, alleged that the editorial board decided nothing about Trayvon’s background that would make him look bad like school suspensions, records of drug use or gang affiliations would be revealed.

Top notch journalist, eh?

So now we have our paper once again returning to the Trayvon Martin case. No wonder the newspaper is pushing Sawyer; the editor has a cause to promote her. They note that she is seeking the Commission seat.

Look for her more in the next few months. She’ll be held up as a heroine.

I don’t trust someone with that big a chip on his or her shoulder. Do race relations improve when one side is always angry and seeking vengeance?

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