CHOOSE FREEDOM! #COBBFIRST
A friend on Facebook recently reminded me there is a thin line between “justice” and “vengeance.”
Over the past two weeks, peaceful protests for justice have descended into little more than violent mobs destroying property, beating, and at times killing, people, and causing mayhem, all in the name of JUSTICE.
That is not justice. It is vengeance.
When innocent people are made to suffer because of the actions of another, it is not a form of justice, but a form of vengeance.
When private property is defaced and destroyed, not because the owners participated in, or were accessories to, or even complacent about the injustice that needs to be corrected, then it is done so as an act of vengeance, not justice.
While many Americans stand appalled at the actions of the police which lead to the death of George Floyd, they too stand appalled at the actions of mobs roaming the streets of American cities seeking vengeance, not justice.
While many of Americans, of all races, colors, creeds, and political spectrums rightfully condemn the violence, we are seeing more and more from the left statements justifying the violence, to excuse the mob. The justification in grounded in false narratives about “400 years of racism,” an all too often used phrase that even Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey employed to show solidarity with those committing violence.
The left has been so pervasive in their efforts to sow these seeds of racial discord, that their promotion of ideas of “white privilege” and “systematic racism” has resulted in “righteous indignation” exploding into justified anger at society. Even some members of my own church community have excused the rioters on social media, one even posting on Facebook, “ Condemning the riots in the same breath as condemning what happened to George Floyd dilutes the real issue of inequitable racial issues. Imagine being unheard (unseen, disregarded, looked past, ignored, unloved) for a lifetime. What voice do you have? What language do you have? None except acting out loudly, aggressively, and even violently. This language of rioting is a demand to be heard, seen, and regarded.”
Unfortunately, this is not a unique or isolated way of thinking in many church communities. It almost seems as if “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is somehow justified, if within the context of “social justice.” More so, if you perceive to have a long-standing grievance against society, then it is even more justified to take any eye or tooth that can be found, even if it is the eye or tooth of a minority business owner who sunk his life-savings into the enterprise and, after struggling to hold on to his dream through COVID-19, is now watching that dream vanish in flames . That is not justice. That is vengeance.
What is more, it is a fabrication.
Zaid Jilani, a freelance journalist and a Pakistani American Muslim, writes recently in a column for The Tablet titled “ We are Individuals, not Victims ,” that he finds the left’s notion that members of ethnic minority groups are simply “virtuous victims, cast adrift on a plank in an ocean of white supremacy over which [they] have no control” as problematic. Jilani notes that under the left’s perception of the world, “basically everything in our lives is determined by the Leviathan of structural racism, a term that is both increasingly vague and ever more expansively used to explain every feature of the social conditions of America.”
Jilani wonders what has happened to the left which, in the 1960’s, demanded that everyone be seen as an individual, not of a race, religion, creed, color, or ethnicity. It was the liberal idea that was so eloquently expressed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 when he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and said he had a dream that one day, his little children, would be judged, “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
This past week, in the name of “justice,” the Lincoln Memorial was vandalized .
When we make every law enforcement officer answer for the actions of the four offices in Minneapolis, then we are judging as a group, not looking at the actions of the individuals involved. We know there are bad police officers, just like there are bad lawyers, bad teachers, bad waiters, bad accountants, bad doctors, and bad politicians. In other words, some people are rotten apples and they can be found in every sector of our society. That does not make every other member of their profession bad by association. Rotten apples only spoil the bunch if they are left with the other apples.
But the Minneapolis PD acted swiftly, firing the four officers involved and criminally charging them for George Floyd’s death. That is how justice is upheld. However, the antifa backed looters and rioters are not actually seeking justice…they are seeking vengeance.
Recently, I have seen protestors carrying signs with what the left sees as a solution to the policing problem. Their demand is simple enough: DEFUND THE POLICE.
Isaac Bryan, the director of UCLA's Black Policy Center, explained why to CNN , “Law enforcement in the South began as slave patrol, a team of vigilantes hired to recapture escaped slaves. Then, when slavery was abolished, police enforced Jim Crow laws -- even the most minor infractions.”
A whole Chairman’s Corner could be written on the absurdity of that statement, but CNN does not even question the validity. At this point, a majority of the Minneapolis City Council has agreed to "dismantle" the city's police department.
The idea that there is something wrong with every police department in America and that unarmed blacks are 2.5 to 3.5 times more likely than unarmed whites to be killed by police is how that stereotype is justified. Forbes staff writer Jack Brewster in his column, “ Conservative Commentators Suggest Protests Are Based On A ‘Lie’—Here’s Why That’s Misleading ,” provides the left’s thought process:
“As Philip Bump of the [Washington] Post points out, according to the same statistic category, twice as many unarmed white people (20) were shot and killed by police as black people (10) last year, but whites make up almost five times as much of the population (blacks were also much more likely to be arrested than whites in every year since 2012, for which data are available).”
In May 2019, the same Minneapolis Police Department that touched off the recent protests, settled with the family of Justine Damond Ruszczyk for $20 million in her death by one of their department's officers, who was convicted of her murder. Ruszczyk was white. The cop who shot her is black. In addition to the officer's conviction, the case also led to the resignation of the Chief of Police.
While there is racial stereotyping by police, the statistic that if you are black, you are much more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer is based on the manipulation of that statistic. In 2019, forty-one unarmed people were shot and killed by police nationwide, nine (21.9%) were black. But that nuance is lost on that reporting. Instead, it seems like there is an epidemic of police shooting unarmed black suspects. What that statistic does not look at either is the situation.
In 2017, I was in a store in Buckhead when a naked, unarmed black man broke into the store, using a brick to shatter the glass storefront and proceeded to assault the store’s armed security guard, who was also black, throwing everything in reach, and sometimes coming close to hitting the other employees and customers, who I was trying to move out of harm’s way and towards the exit at the back of the store. The guard used so much pepper spray that I was affected by it, but it did not slow down the assailant. Eventually the guard had to draw his gun and was begging the man not to make him use it.
Most suspects shot and killed by police are armed and the killing of unarmed suspects is extremely rare, about 1% and 63% of those killed by police were in possession of a firearm .
What no one on the left seems to care about is more police officers died in the line of duty last year than suspects who were killed by police. According to the FBI , forty-eight police officers were killed in 2019. Of these, 40 were white, 7 were black, and 1 was Asian. This is eight less than 2018 when 56 officers were killed. Forty-nine suspects were associated with those forty-eight killings. Of those suspects, twenty-eight were white (40.8%), fifteen (30.6%) were black, and six (12.2%) were other races or the race was not reported. Using the left’s definitions and reasoning, that would also mean a law enforcement officer is 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a black suspect than a white one.
The problem with the manipulation of statics like the left is doing, is that it puts a higher distrust between blacks and law enforcement. People are less likely to act rationally if they are in fear of their lives and law enforcement is more likely to wrongly judge the situation when someone is not acting rationally because they have been constantly reinforced the fallacy that their situation is more likely than average to end in their unjust incarceration, or even their death.
Thus, it becomes a needless, self-fulfilling prophecy, which the left then jumps on to justify the fallacy and create division and demand vengeance in the name of justice.
In Kirsten Weir's article, Policing in Black & White , she highlights one study that notes the problem this can become. "Social media has turned a spotlight on cases of racial discrimination. As the list of black citizens killed by nonblack officers grows, tensions between black communities and police are running high. 'It's a nuanced problem but people continue to take a polarized view,' says Jack Glaser, PhD, a social psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley. 'It's not productive to demonize police.'"
The left’s social failure by their justification of the violence, including the defence of antifa activists who are helping to fuel it, lies in the fact that it is up to society to police itself and dispense justice under the rule of law. A mob is the ultimate expression of democracy. Whatever the majority of the mob wants, it gets, especially in dispensing its own brand of "justice."
However, as a constitutional republic, justice means due process and upholding the rule of law, not the rule of the mob. We must stand in unity on this, or be torn apart as a nation in a wave of vengeance.
The officers on trial will get what they denied George Floyd...justice. When the mob demands vengeance, it is up to society to stand on the right side of that thin line between vengeance and justice and uphold justice.
In doing so, we find, more often than not, that the thin line is, indeed, a thin blue line.
Yours in Freedom,
Chairman, Cobb County Republican Party
It seems in less than a week that America has gone from social distancing to social unrest.
Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer have sparked the worst wave of civil unrest since the 1960's.
Monuments in Washington, including the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the World War I and World War II Memorials, along with others, have been defaced, spray painted with "Black Lives Matter" and similar slogans, and even a few Communist hammer and sickles. Even the historic St. John's Church across the street from the White House was set ablaze .
The President, and all Americans, need to put the blame squarely on where it needs to be, not on the tens of thousands of all races, creeds, and political persuasions who have come out to peacefully demonstrate for justice for George Floyd and policies which will allow departments to remove bad cops who tarnish not just their badge, but the badges of other LEOs, but those in ANTIFA and the radical left who are inciting the violence to divide the nation.
George Floyd's death had united the nation like few tragedies have. When Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Al Sharpton are all pretty much on the same page, you know it's an issue that has brought us together.
That is not what the left in our nation wants.
The problem is, those that incite the mobs, and those who join them in their destruction, are hurting those who had nothing to do with George Floyd's death, people who were already suffering from the loss of business that COVID-19 had caused.
Korboi Balla was a firefighter in Minneapolis who saved enough to open a bar. Balla, who is black, had to watch as protestors burned it down. " It hurts, man. It’s not fair, it’s not right. We’ve been working so hard for this place. It’s not just for me, it’s for my family.”
There were small business owners in Atlanta who experienced the same thing Mr. Balla did. As the Democratic Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms said in her press conference, "We're better than this."
But what I experienced in east Atlanta on Saturday night celebrating a friend's birthday showed it is only a few that are causing the problems. Under the specter of the 9:00 PM curfew, seated outside (no indoor dining thanks to COVID-19) and on the Beltline as people walked by, we all saw the helicopters hovering in the distance wondering what was happening.
People of all races (and I assume political backgrounds) were united in condemning the violence, and wanted to emphasize that we truly are the "city too busy to hate."
While others on the left try to justify the violence as some sort of weird, cathartic letting out of frustration and defend the ANTIFA rioters.
Biden campaign staffers were ev en donating money to bailout some of the rioters.
It shouldn't be lost on us that these incidents tend to occur in cities governed by Democratic Mayors and Democratic city councils who want to protect the strong public employee unions that finance their campaigns, which make it difficult to fire bad public employees until a crisis occurs. It shouldn't take someone dying to fire a bad cop!
Democratic Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has come under fire for failing to prosecute in 2006 the very officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck. While Klobuchar said the case occurred as she was leaving the office due to her election to the U.S. Senate, and her successor took the case to a Grand Jury which said the shooting was justified, there was still a laundry list of abuses by the officer going back years.
Civil Rights Attorney Leo Terrell, a Democrat who is not a fan of President Trump, was a guest on Hannity. However, even he praised President Trump on his handling of the George Floyd injustice and then issued a personal warning to the Democratic Party.
Fast forward to 28:00 to listen to Mr. Terrell’s thoughts on the matter. His admonishment to Democratic activists/leaders is about as real as it gets.
In the end, America will get through this period, like we have so many other periods of civil unrest, because America is not found in the violence of the rioters, or the government officials who abuse their authority, but America is found in moments like this and this.
As President Trump has said, "Healing not hatred, justice not chaos, are the mission at hand.”
ICYMI, while the AJC was obsessing about Sheriff Warren's Annual Corn Boilin', one of his potential challengers running in the Democratic Primary had a campaign implosion thanks to the real journalism over at the Marietta Daily Journal .
James "Jimmy" Herndon, who you may have remembered tried unsuccessfully to have all of his opponents removed from the ballot, served a number of years as a Cobb Sheriff Deputy before he was terminated from the Sheriff's Department.
The MDJ, through an open records request, obtained body cam video of one incident that led to Herndon's suspension, one of three incidents that led to his eventual termination, according to the MDJ.
The body cam video shows Herndon unleashing a profanity-laden tirade while serving an eviction warrant.
If Herndon was little more than an "also-ran", then it may not matter, but Herndon's candidacy has obtained the backing from a number of key Cobb County Democrats.
Below are the endorsements from Cobb School Board Members Dr. Jaha Howard and Charisse Davis.
Despite the new evidence of Herndon's tirade, neither school board member has felt inclined to pull their endorsement.
Caroline Holko, the Democrat running in House District 46 against John Carson felt so strongly about her endorsement of Herndon, that she posted a 16 minute long video justifying it, even in light of the new evidence against Herndon. You can watch it below.
While neither Howard or Davis seem to have felt the need to justify themselves, Howard was quick to change the subject. It's good to know if we had just put the response to the pandemic in his hands, so many lives would have been saved.
So many self-proclaimed "leaders" on the left, like Dr. Jaha Howard, would rather throw shade on those standing on the front lines, and wave the bloody shirt to make political fodder of those who are suffering, all the while blindly standing beside one of their own party's candidates and ignoring their outrageous behavior.
That's exactly the reason politics turns so many people off.
After a few starts and stops and two date changes, in-person Early Voting Begins TODAY, Monday, May 18!
Of course you can still request an absentee ballot online by clicking here.
Several Early Vote Locations will be available for in-person voting. To see the times and locations, click here. Dates and hours do vary by location and Saturday voting is May 30 .
Due to COVID-19, locations, hours, and equipment may have been reduced to limit possible exposure to the virus and to comply with the social distancing guidelines encouraged by Governor Kemp and our medical professionals.
If you do not vote early or by absentee, you will vote at your normal polling location on Tuesday, June 9.
Yesterday, both myself and my Democratic counterpart were quoted in the Marietta Daily Journal concerning the preparations for the upcoming Primary Elections. How each of us responded says a lot about just how different each party is on our guiding principles and philosophy, especially how the parties view the people.
She articulates fear that people won’t do the right thing, while I am confident common sense will prevail. I talk of hope and optimism, believing voters will use common sense when they vote in person. She’s pessimistic and talks of fear, questioning if the voting machines will be wiped down, will people wear masks, will social distancing occur.
In the end, I trust people to do the right thing and she doesn’t seem to. That’s the difference between individual freedom and government mandates and control.
Finally, she questions why there are not drop boxes at voting locations for people to drop rather than mail their absentee ballots, stating, " It sort of defies logic to me, why they couldn’t have a drop box at an in-person early vote location so that I would not have to stand in line, that I could just walk in and drop that off."
Of course, we've had drop boxes for absentee ballots for the last couple of weeks. You can find the drop box locations here .
Just more Democrats spreading fear and misinformation.
Just because public gatherings have been shut down doesn't mean there isn't a lot going on to get our candidates elected and re-election this November, events we need you to be a part of!
This week we are having a TRUMP NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION! If you can give some time just one day or every day, you can do a lot to help re-elect our President. Our economy has been hot hard by COVID-19 and we know Donald J. Trump is the one we need in the White House to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN after this crisis is over.
You can sign up to volunteer here !
Also, mark your calendars for May 18 and May 19 as the Cobb County Republican Women's Club will be hosting online forums from 7-9PM those days for our local candidates. We will have more details in next week's newsletter and on our Facebook page.
Finally, we are excited to announce that an old friend of the Cobb GOP, former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich will be joining us on Saturday, June 6 as the speaker for our June Virtual Breakfast.
See below for more information and registration. Also, be sure to follow Governor Ehrlich on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/bob_ehrlich .
You can also get an autographed copy of Gov. Ehrlich's book, Bet You Didn't See That One Coming from the Cobb County Republican Party for $30 for non-Cobb GOP members and $10 for Members !
I have a first cousin and first cousin-in-law who are health care workers. Ashlea Stumpert, the daughter of former Cobb GOP Chairman Scott Johnson is a RN and her husband is a police officer. Cobb GOP member and HD 40 Secretary Fun Fong is an ER doctor who was recently highlighted by U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler for his work combating COVID-19. Throughout our GOP community, many of our members are actively engaged in fighting COVID-19, and we cannot thank them enough.
However, it's not just the front line workers who we owe a measure of gratitude to. Our Cobb GOP members are also going the extra mile to help during this crisis.
Recently, Cobb GOP Deputy General Counsel Neera Bahl and member Juan Violantes , co-owner of Giovanni's Italian Restaurant in Powder Springs, surprised workers at the Kennestone Hospital, Cardiology Department by delivering 50 lunches.
Each week, Georgia Federation of Republican Women President and Cobb GOP 1st Vice-Chair Kim Sherk volunteers with "Backpack Blessings" at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church to make sure kids who are learning at home will have enough to eat. She has also been recording videos reading children's books to be played at story time in local schools. I've even recorded one myself.
These are only a couple of examples of the dozens I see on social media or hear about talking with others. Cobb County Republicans are quietly making a difference for our community each and every day of this crisis. In the articles below, how have ways you can help too.
The Cobb County Republican Party especially thanks those on the front lines during this crisis who put their health, safety, and welfare on the line daily to support us.
We have posted a video on facebook to show our support . It has already been shared 38 times and reached over 2,500 people. Please take a moment to watch, and share.
You can also view it right here:
Tuesday, April 21, we will begin the first of a series of Virtual Forums hosted on Facebook live to help Cobb voters get to know their candidates running in the June 9 Primary.
Tuesday, beginning at 7PM, we will have the candidates running for judicial positions in Cobb County for both Superior and State Courts.
There is no registration required, just visit www.Facebook.com/CobbGOP and we will be streaming live on there. I want to thank Cobb GOP General Counsel Tonya Boga for getting the candidates together and Catherine Busse and Michael Murphy for agreeing to serve as moderators.
Be on the lookout for future forums with our School Board and County Commission candidates as well. The Cobb GRA has their County Commission Chair Candidate Zoom Interviews on Tuesday morning running from 10:00am to 1:00pm with all three candidates. We will also be looking to hear from candidates from the districts at some point.
In addition, we are pleased to announce that Congressman Barry Loudermilk will be the speaker for our May Virtual Breakfast. Registration details are below.
Finally, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and help in the re-election efforts for President Trump! The Georgia Trump campaign needs people willing to make phone calls for the President. The campaign has an app which will allow you to turn you own cell phone into a PHONE BANKING MACHINE! See the TRUMP VICTORY NEWS section below for more information.
In Nov. 2010, I got my notice that I had passed the Georgia Bar exam, but a couple days later lost my election for State House district 37 by a narrow margin 53/47%.
With the craziness leading up to the election, I had copied down the wrong day for my law school class’s swearing in and missed it.
I needed to find a judge to swear me in, and nearly a month later, it hadn’t happened. So, I called up Babe Byrne who almost immediately got me before her boss, Judge Kreeger the day before my 35th birthday. You don’t get to practice until a judge swears you in and for me, that wouldn’t have happened without Babe Byrne making it so. On Dec. 10, 2010, I started on my new career.
No other members of my family were there for this occasion, but Babe was.
Thank you Babe Byrne for being part of one of the most important days of my life.
Bill Byrne , I know I share the sentiments of our members who have known you and Babe for years that you and the family are in all of our thoughts and prayers. Blessings to you all.
Technology is an amazing thing.
It has allowed us to stay connected to the outside world, work from home, and educate our children, all while the world is shut down.
While for now, the Cobb GOP office is still remaining closed, this Saturday we will be moving our Cobb GOP Breakfast ONLINE too.
Georgia's National Committeeman Jason Thompson will be our keynote speaker to discuss the election process for delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention, what the RNC is doing to make sure the convention still goes on as planned, and other topics dealing with the Party.
There will be two ways you can join. If you want to be able to ask questions, you can join via Zoom Conference call. You can log on to the call with your smart phone or computer. Be sure to download the app prior to joining the call.
If you just want to watch, we will also be live streaming the call on our Cobb GOP Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/CobbGOP .
I look forward to seeing you (virtually) on Saturday!
The world has certainly changed a lot since our last weekly newsletter.
The Cobb GOP has faced its own tragedies in the past week as Dowell 01 Precinct Chairman Reid McAlister passed away after a short battle with cancer, the step-father-in-law of former Cobb GOP Vice-Chair Bernard Reynolds passed away from COVID-19 and COPD, former Cobb County Commissioner Scott Chadwick is in the ICU battling COVID-19, Babe Atkins Byrne is also in the hospital on other health issues. Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
However, on a positive note, Sen. Bruce Thompson is out of the hospital and on the mend from COVID-19 and Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick is recovering from it too.
For now, the Cobb GOP office will remain closed.
We are officially cancelling the April breakfast. We will be highlighting the two sponsors who paid to sponsor the April breakfast online as our newsletter sponsor through April.
Despite the bad news, we see Americans do what we do best... come together, united for the common good . Businesses are pitching in to find ways to serve those on the front lines. CEOs are giving up their pay so their workers can continue to get a paycheck, meetings are moving online so work, including the work of the party, can continue.
Our commitment is to keep you informed and provide opportunities to make a difference right from home.
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