I don’t read the Lagniappe every week but enjoy it when I do. I really had to applaud you on the only column (“Scattered logic in comparing Waffle House to Starbucks,” Damn the Torpedoes, April 25-May 1 issue) that really explained the true story of the now-infamous Waffle House story of the grossly over-publicized actions of Chikesia Clemons. You did it with facts and humor and said it exactly like it was instead of how the media and NAACP wanted it to be portrayed.
If the same thing had happened to a white, drunk Mardi Gras patron (as it probably has many times), there would not have been a word said or written about it. The drama people cause with their overreaction to every situation is what causes the unrest all over the country; it is very disturbing.
Of course, the media is also to blame for spreading and enlarging the facts just to sell their stories. That’s why I’m praising you for telling it like it was instead of how the troublemakers like for it to be portrayed..
Thank you for your honesty, humor and truth.
It is a sad comment on the state of our culture and public discourse that, given the times, I find your piece this past week “courageous.” I am sure it generated some pushback, but it was a reasonable and sensible analysis. Of course, there are two sides to every issue, and apparently there is some disagreement among witnesses as to what actually happened at the Waffle House. Perhaps footage from the surveillance camera will provide some objective evidence as to what actually transpired.
Racism, in all its forms, is wrong. But logic would dictate that not every incident that occurs has a racial component. We live in a very “in your face” time in our culture. There is nothing wrong with daring to defend one’s rights. In fact, it is a laudable practice. Rights, however, generally come with responsibilities and civility may well be a responsibility which is not well attended these days. We also live in a time of shameless self-promotion, and there are those who are not above using any incident which occurs to advance an agenda.
While I do not pretend to know what is in his heart or his mind, I see where Rev. (Al) Sharpton is coming to town this week to discuss this incident. One has to wonder if it is really worth his time. Perhaps it is; I do not know. If the facts show the police acted wrongly, that should be addressed. We should seek to right wrongs. But stoking societal conflict and division does not serve the greater good. Ms. Clemons’ attorney is quoted in Jason Johnson’s related article using the description “unarmed black woman” four times in a single sentence. It does not appear we will have a color-blind society anytime soon, and more’s the pity.
Over the years, I have had several interactions with various law enforcement agencies. I realize I was born about the middle of the last century, but I was taught from kindergarten on to trust and respect the police. As an adult, I learned that the police are as human as anyone else, and do not always act rightly. But I have always found a low-key, respectful approach to work best. Maybe I lack courage, but a “butt-whipping” or being arrested was something I wished to avoid. It just seemed like a counterproductive waste of time to me.
As I have said, the police should be held accountable for their actions. But there does seem to be a national “attack” on policing agencies. I would submit that if we do not return to some degree of reasonableness in our interactions with law enforcement, the quality of individuals attracted to the profession will degrade over time. And that serves no one’s best interest.
We do live in interesting times.
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