This should get some more attention:
The flier, which provides the name and telephone number of Rev. George Brooks of Murfreesboro, Tenn., has been in circulation since at least last Thursday. On Monday, Brooks took responsibility for the broadside, saying, “I sent that out.”
Brooks said he sent the flier because the 9th Congressional District is “about 90-something percent black. That’s the reason.” According to the latest U.S. Census, in 2000, the district was 59.7 percent black.
According to an editorial in yesterday’s Memphis Commercial Appeal, Cohen’s primary oppponent, Nikki Tinker, had been slow to condemn the flier. A newer AP article says she was “incensed” by it.
Previously, Rep. Cohen has been attacked by clergy in the district for supporting a federal anti-hate crimes bill, a measure favored by the NAACP. Cohen also says that no one ever questioned Rep. Harold Ford (his predecessor in the seat) for supporting this bill, too. One clergyman responded:
“He’s not black and he can’t represent me, that’s just the bottom line,” said Rev. Robert Poindexter of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.
Note to Senator Obama: you’re under no obligation to denounce every evil African-American who does something disgusting. That said, on one of your frequent trips next week between Cleveland and Dallas, it might be wise for a strategic stopover one Sunday morning in Memphis.
Author: Jonathan Zasloff
Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees.
Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses.
Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.
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