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Friday, June 29, 2007

Drop Leslie Southwick for 5th Circuit

Isn't there some other person who is qualified for the seat on the Fifth Circuit Court? Is there a another candidate less hostile toward civil rights law? Someone other than Judge Leslie Southwick? The Fifth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, is a court just under the U.S. Supreme Court. The Fifth Circuit covers parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Two of those states have black populations which together total 70 per cent of the blacks in the region.

The way the Senate Judiciary Committe is behaving, especially the Republican members, you'd think Southwick is the only experienced jurist qualified to
hold the position.

Southwick's nomination is meeting with opposition because of his dismal history of decisions while serving on the Mississippi Court of Appeals. His rulings on civil rights cases, consumer issues and cases of discrimination in the work place often were against the workers or consumers.

In a 1998 case, Southwick joined a ruling re-instating, without punishment, a white state employee who had been fired for calling an African American co-worker a "good old nigger." The case was overturned on appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court. As you may be aware that court is not known for its liberal activism.

We say fageddaboud Southwick. Move on. Find someone else. We think Judge Henry Wingate would be a good nominee. Wingate, appointed more than twenty years ago, in 1985, is the only person black on the bench in Mississippi. He has a law degree from Yale University. Wingate currently serves as a federal judge for the Southern District of Mississippi. He is the judge in the case of James Seale who is convicted of kidnapping.

We're not sayin' the nominee should be black; though we realize the next president is going to have to make the Fifth Circuit more representative of the population. We are saying the nominee's views on civil rights laws is of the utmost importance. Critical examination of a judicial nominees record is vital. It is not "personal" or inappropriate to do so.

We say again let's move it along, reject Southwick. Find a worthy candidate for the Fifth Circuit. Let's be about the nation's business.

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Daytona Beach Politician Object of Local DJ's Racist Remarks: Epilogue

We recently reported on the camflamma surrounding the racist remarks of a Daytona Beach AM radio talk show host.

The AM radio announcer unfortunately directed his unsavory remarks to the current Vice Mayor and City Commission Representative for Zone 5, Dwayne Taylor.

On Wednesday afternoon, before the Daytona Beach City Council meeting our reporter Lola Wanns interviewed Commissioner Taylor by phone with regard to the controversy. When asked to comment on the scurrilous attack made by the announcer, whose audience boasts a whopping 234 listeners, Mr. Dwayne Taylor responded thusly:

"I do not allow myself to be distracted by what others say....by stuff. I am focused on the citizens of Daytona Beach."

Taking the high road seems to be the order of the day. Nonetheless what was said was careless, offensive and inappropriate. We've heard, from very reliable sources, that the remarkable announcer often makes inappropriate comment, both on and off the air particularly about people who are not white like him.

Our interviewer inquired about the complaint from some of Taylor's constituency about his alleged nonresponsiveness to their requests for help in maintaining a high quality of life in Zone 5. He says he does not always get the requests for help from the people living in the area he represents. We think you should unclog the communications congestion occuring in your office, Commissioner. Part of the responsibility of being a public servant, whether mayor or city commissioner, is being responsive to the needs of the people who can keep you in office....and we're not just talking about business entities. We know of one certain political type who services his constituency very well. His group is called "The Haves and the Have-mores".

Mr. Taylor also told our reporter, he is definitely running for mayor of Daytona Beach in the upcoming election. He says his poliltical platform is the same as his agenda as City Commissioner. Among the list of things to do are: fighting crime, housing issues, especially affordable housing; the development of more jobs; providing a tax break for citizens.

Lola Wanns asked what the commissioner intends to do to help the youngsters in the Daytona Beach community. Taylor referenced the planned community center on Derbyshire in Daytona Beach, Florida. He indicated the plan at this time is have the youngsters input as to the kinds of activities to be offered at the center that will attract them and keep them coming back for more.

We would suggest to the pre-teens, and teens who will utilize the center to think in terms of programs that will educate, enhance, and develop you. Fun activities. Expand on skills you can use later in life. Become a well rounded individual. Computer science, the dramatic arts, screen writing, making films, literature, a radio and television communications lab, these are interests you should pursue. Learn to play tennis, golf or chess. Focus on science or practical inventions. Many common day tools were invented by black inventors. Step up your game. Elevate your desires to be more than a rapper or a star in the NFL, or NBA. Everybody is trying to do that. It's not jive to be scholastic. It's uncool to be a dumby.

We would also encourage adults who are truly interested in ensuring we have productive future citizens to participate on a volunteer level to supply the guidance these young people are seeking.

To the young people and adults alike we say Reach For The Moon. You just might come away with a few stars.

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