Susu Cox, Troy Davis - and communists! 

Open letter to Susu Cox


This is an open letter to Savannah/Chatham County School Board member Susu Cox:

Dear Mrs. Cox: I read with particular interest recent statement attributed to you from Connect Savannah and the Savannah Morning News. I will be citing both of them over the course of this letter.

First the quotes from you via the April 13 edition of the Savannah Morning News in an article entitled "New approach sought for old school problems." Statements tantamount to a brush-off of stakeholders in the community like "staff already has interventions a mile long" and "if anything this is old news, does any of your data look at the number of suspended black males who come from single-parent households? There's a real lack of parents who make use of the many resources we already offer -- until it's too late."

Mrs. Cox, your jihad against single-parent families never ceases to amaze me, and I have heard several variations of it through the years from board meetings at 208 Bull Street up to the Whitney Administrative building.

In Connect Savannah you are quoted this way: the group's findings are "old news and the board already knew what the data shows. What I have found is there's a real lacking of parents taking advantage of the resources, it's going to take the community as a whole to address the problem. This is just data. My plea is t othe community to help us."

More quotations I am going to reference: "Suspensions come at a cost, the children lose, the community loses, the district loses." "Parenting classes might help some parents guide their children to do better in school."

There were some other statements attributed to you, they will be addressed in a future letter.

If the Savannah/Chatham public school system was or is offering the "mile-long interventions," the public relations department needs to be getting the information out there. I am not convinced the board is doing all it can on this matter.

When the board had the "old news" apparently it did not do a whole lot with it. The "old news" is probably tucked in a file cabinet or on a bookshelf. I am also not convinced that the board means it -- let me amend that, you mean it when you say your plea to the community is to help us. You have been on the board over ten years; your track record indicates community help is the last thing you look for.

That's it for now, Mrs. Cox. To be continued.

Ivan Cohen


On Troy Davis's execution


It is alarming that Georgia wants to execute Troy Davis, whose innocence of the crime of which he stands convicted, capital murder, is extremely probable.

To recap:  Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail arrived at a Burger King location to break up a fight that was going on between that and the neighboring bus station.  He was shot to death by someone at Burger King.  Nine witnesses claimed to have seen Mr. Davis at the restaurant and seven of them claimed to have seen him shooting Officer MacPhail.  The other two were most likely restaurant employees, one who took Mr. Davis's order and one who took his payment for the food.  Those seven have since recanted their claims, saying that the police pressured them into pointing a finger, and Mr. Davis was the man unluckily, and falsely, accused.

 If the others were servers, they had no reason to lie, and obviously testified as to the time they had served Mr. Davis the night of the murder.  Yes, that places him at the scene of the crime when it happpened.  But that does not prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt;  in fact, it doesn't even mean anything but that he just happened to be a customer at the time.

What is abominable about this is that Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue believes that he has no power, according to Georgia law, to grant clemency to Mr. Davis, even if doing so would mean a retrial.  The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (ncadp.org) refutes his claim and urges the governor do whatever it takes to stay the execution of Mr. Davis, pending a new trial at which those seven witnesses would testify to the truth, not only of anything they saw or did not see the night of the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail but also of how his fellow officers pressured them to point a finger at somebody.

 One responsibility of the governor of any state is to do his best to see that true justice is administered in that state, which means punishing only those who are truly proven to be guilty, and Mr. Davis obviously has not been so proven.  The faith the voters had that he would fulfill that, as well as any other, responsibility of the governor, is the reason they elected him.

 The citizens of Georgia should let Governor Perdue know that if he does not take the action that is needed to save Troy Davis from execution immediately, whether it results in a retrial or not, then they will not vote for him if he runs for re-election. And if Perdue ever wishes to run for President, American voters should let him know the same thing.                                          

Craig Plapinger

'Communistic, ultraliberal reporting'


Just received my new Connect. Opened to movies and was greeted by a severe piece of ultraliberal trash.

It was not the Republicans who messed things up.  It was the liberal members of both houses who failed to recognize the indicators that the crooks were running the asylum. Had they listened, we taxpayers would not be subjected to these outlandous (sic) bailouts.

Someone needs to rein in this writer or adjust his attitude. I know we have freedom of speech but this is very offensive journalism.

Michael Pilgrim


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