Timbo, I disagree - surprise! I think playing the race card is this: I was denied because I am black. Thst isn't what I said. I said that I think Ms Thurman's comment was insensitive and racist. And Mr. Skillern's comment was worse.
I never thought the African American Chamber of Commerce was anything other than a rip off. I supported Fred Thompson. I voted for Obama for a number of reasons, one of which was because he is black (actually mixed, but I don't think that matters). My son listens to Aerosmith more than JZ. If I want to see black people on TV, where do I look? It may not make sense to you, but seeing a black person on the tube once in awhile is something black people enjoy. I don't know what the Congressional Black Caucas actually does, but then again, I think most, if not all, of the politicians in DC are charlatans that are enriching themselves at our expense. Republican and Democrat. And I don't call anyone hill billy or hick and neither do my children or anyone I choose to associate with.
I agree that all children should be expected to learn. It was a crime a few years ago when our black "leaders" refused a new building for Howard - refurbish for millions, now the roof leaks. I think all school facilities should be on par with each other, and I think a lot of the spending under Dr. Scales went in that direction. I know there are suburban schools that need work, and they should get the money they require. Every child deserves a chance.
That still doesn't change the fact that I do not support Ms. Thurman's approach to governance.
Timbo - what set your fuse off? I said that in my opinion Ms. Thurman's comment was racist. And I know you aren't trying to defend Mr. Skillern's statement. Or are you?
Let me ask you this: if you lived in a city where the administration was mostly black, and a councilman said that he didn't invite any (supply any term you like for white people) to a unofficial official meeting because they couldn't dance, how would you like that? If the statement was that Jewish people learned to speak German at Auschwich right before being shot, how would that sit with you? Would you feel outraged?
I am not trying to sugar coat the fact that a lot of under performing schools are in the city. They are. I agree with you - parents need to be more involved. Bad parenting leads to bad grades and bad schools. But that doesn't excuse Ms. Thurman, or the rest of the school board, for their bad behaivior.
One more thing - to lower the hiring standards and change the rules so that your guy gets the job is amazing! And to be able to strong arm the Chamber of Commerce into rescinding their negative comments is breathtaking! New York crime bosses and Louisianna politicians must be looking on with sincere admiration! Rod Blagojevich is probably kicking himself because he didn't move to Tennessee and run for office!
Rick Smith may be a nice enough guy, and he may even be qualified, but he will always be remembered as the Thurman gang's boy.
All of this bickering back and forth seems to miss one underlying fact: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately" (Ben Franklin). What does it matter if Soddy High has a great grades if Howard doesn't? When industry looks at locating in a certain area, they look at the school system as a whole. Dr. Scales may have had his drawbacks, but overall performance for the Hamilton County School System improved during his tenure, as it did under Dr. Register before him. Are things perfect? No. But they are, or were, improving.
Rhonda Thurman should be voted out of office. For her to asssociate inner city reading skills with slavery is astonishingly hardhearted, and in my opinion, overtly racist. She could have chosen to say that the Irish that were brought here as indentured servants learned to read, or that any one of a number of other minority groups learned to read under difficult circumstances. This statement was clearly aimed at inner city black students, even though I am sure a large number of white students don't fare well on standardized reading tests either. In fact, if our school system grades are low, population numbers alone prove that blacks can't be the sole reason. There just aren't enough of us to skew the numbers that way.
My daughter is a nurse, and I continually urge her to leave Chattanooga. I don't want future grandchildren growing up in a community where school board members feel free to associate learning to read with slavery, and county commisioners feel free to describe their black counterparts with the "n" word. And I don't want them growing up in a community that seems to condone such things (last time I checked, Mr. Skillern was still in office).
I wonder if Volkswagon is starting to rethink their decision to locate here?