Facts, more facts are interpreted differently

"These are clear and indisputable facts." That's what Chattanooga Free Press columnist Ron Hart said in his June 12 commentary on police brutality. He once again cited his one source, Heather Mac Donald, a woman who has made it her life's work to buck against her peers and claim police brutality against African Americans is an exaggerated lie.

A fact may be a fact, but an interpretation of a fact can still be wrong. Yes, statistically, more whites are killed by police than blacks in this country. But the number of black deaths is unusually high considering their percentage of the population. That's why another fact, a black person is nearly three times more likely to be killed by police than a white person, can be true alongside the one fact Ron and Heather insist thumbing their soapbox about.

And the broad death average of the country can be misleading. It doesn't capture other facts such as how blacks are seven times more likely to receive force from police than whites in Minneapolis. This is a fact that exists in too many of our cities.

James Riner


TFP: Pay attention to fact-checking

Did the Perspective section editor not read carefully the Os Guinness article that appeared on June 7? No, it was not Haitians who surrendered with the British at Yorktown; it was Hessians. The kind of fact-checking that would have avoided this error is not political; it is necessary.

We support and consult print media for our news and are long-term subscribers to the TFP. We encourage students to read it. Please keep up your standards. By the way, I checked and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette also printed the Guinness article with the same error. We expect better from the TFP!

J.M. Pendleton


Conservative candidates should come clean

Tom Decosimo's attempt to label school board member Kathy Lennon — and by association, the candidate she supports — as radical and not in line with conservative values is a ploy to smear an opponent without engaging in debate or discussion of the issues at play.

Decosimo implied that students were wrong to protest against police brutality and that Lennon was wrong to applaud their activism. He later removed his remarks from social media, acknowledging his "mistake." But he had made his point — he is the conservative candidate.

Nothing else need be said. In Tennessee politics, "conservative" means member of the status quo, defender of white privilege, agent for the business elite. It also means that we will not waste state revenues or even legislation on the poor, the sick, the brutalized, the homeless — except to penalize them — for they are the chief cause of their problems. Instead we will work tirelessly to expand gun rights, outlaw abortion and suppress the vote.

Decosimo may or may not be any or all of the above, but he and the rest of the "conservative" candidates in state and local elections should stop resorting to euphemistic code words and declare what their true positions are.

Tom May