"I don't need a history lesson on civil rights, or my ancestry, or how African-American people in this community have fought for their rights," he said. "I am not grandstanding."When you defend a group of racists and do nothing to counter their hate speech in what I would say is a political move to appease the "militant vote," then yes you are grandstanding Mr. Smitherman.
I also think Greg Korte forgot some quotation marks in this sentence, "Now, a new generation of civil rights fighters - people like Nate Livingston, William Kirkland, Kabaka Oba and Terry Summers - have been using the City Council podium as their soapbox." Either that, or the sarcasm just did not come across. How can you call these guys "civil rights fighters" with a straight face? If Greg did not forget the quotation marks, then I think he needs to reassess the beliefs of the boycott B gang, as should the rest of the media, especially the local AP writers.
UPDATE: A Letter to Editor of the Enquirer agrees with my running assesment of Counclman Smitherman:
Smitherman proving to be disappointment
Councilman Christopher Smitherman would apply zero tolerance to Cincinnati police officers who use racial slurs and would start with the termination of an officer who might have used a slur five years ago. Yet, when a vocal, shameless minority of the black community stands up in council meetings and hurl the same slurs at council, Smitherman contends that his fellow members are not showing these malcontents proper respect. Does anyone else see a contradiction here?
To many of us who thought Smitherman's campaign offered a refreshing, thoughtful approach to a beleaguered city government and a racially divided community, he has become a huge disappointment and an embarrassment to the Charterite Committee. In practice, it is clear that Smitherman only knew how to speak the word "reconciliation."
John M. Kunst Jr., Anderson Township