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Forsyth, Georgia
July 25, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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July 25, 2018

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& EDITORIALS Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not; Jeremiah 50:2 ~)16 (rod 2017 winner:. Editorial ?age excellence ,~"G~,~ 20|6 wJnne~ Sports Photography excellence 20|6 ,t, dnner: News Photography excellence 2016 wk, m~ Front Page excellence 2017 winner:. Best Humor Column- On the Porch ON THE PORCH by Will Davis latest bad idea o nYOU remember the Valentine's Day school m a acre Bmward Count, Fix earlier this year? Thats the where the wicked 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot killed 17 high school students. Wall it turned out that Cruz's neighbors and family had called police at least 17 times to report that he was a threat and had ac- cess to weapons. But the sheriff's office never really investigated, and Cruz was never Why? Reporters asked school officials if Cruz had been part of the so-called PROMISE program, an Obama-era exercise in "soft discipline". PROMISE stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports and Educa- tion. The idea is to give counsding and other "therapeutic" approaches to tmublemaking students rather than putting them into the justice system. No, Broward County school officials said, Cruz was not in the PROMISE program in high school But wait. It tums out he was in the PROMISE program in MIDDLE school, when he vandalized a bathroom. Parents of those killed by Cruz were outraged that the school system soft-pedaled discipline to make themselves look good, allowing bad kids like Cruz to remain untouched by law enforcement The idea is so bad that Bibb County district attorney David Cooke has decided to implement it there starting on Aug. 1. "Students who get in trouble for offenses such as fighting in public places, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and theft would be referred to a program for help instead of going to com ', reported the Macon Telegraph in a front page story on Sunday. The Tdegraph said that 212 criminal charges were brought against Bibb County students in 2017-18, but that number will likely drop drastically this year. It wodt be because kids are behaving better. It will be because the kids are being "treated" and "counsded" rather than sent to court. The so-called Macon-Bibb County School-lustice Partnership will be even more lenient than the failed PROMISE program. While PROMISE still sent violent offend- ers to court, even Macon-Bibb students who commit simple as- sault, battery or fight in public will avoid the harsher consequences of the justice system. Instead, these precions ones can be referred for counseling, mediation or commu- nity workshops, whatever those are. Law enforcement sources tell me that Bibb County may be trying to ensure they keep or increase state and federal dollars by showing big drops in crime among students. While Monroe County hasn't embraced this kind oflunac the federal and state governments do use funding to encourage soft discipline in all school systems, espedally for minorities. One Monroe County teacher told me they were instructed not to write up black students for disdplinary problems to keep our numbers looking good. The problem we have here is the same problem we have in so much of modem life." Liberalism. Our liberal friends misun- derstand basic human nature and so their polities always fail, because they don't deal in reality Liberals think humans are basically good, and that people only go wrong due to outside influences such as poverty. If this were tree, soft disdpline ,/vould make sense, as would the raft of Great Society programs we've tried for the past 50 years. But the Bible teaches us that human nature is not basically good. The Good Book says that human beings, from birth, are bent away from God, and that the human heart is therefore full of trouble and mischie The Bible calls this the sin nature. And so, Proverbs 13:24 tells adults: "Whoever sparesthe rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him? In the book of Hebrews it goes on to sa); "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yidds the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been tr nedbyic' Discipline should be painful, or it won't work. Troubled teens need boot camp, or to rtm stadium steps, not a "community workshop". If they persist, they should be sent to court, and to a detention center, not for them, but for us. It's sad that amidst rising taxes, a declining population and soaring crime, Bibb County is determined to employ yet another failed public polic ttlt It t t www. is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President Robe~l M. Williams Jr Vice President Checyl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer Will Davis Publisher/Editor Richard Dumas News Editor Carolyn Martel Advertising Manager Trellis Grant Business Manager Diane Glidewell Community Editor Brandon Park Creative Director Oflklal Orgen of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St. - Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER p.o. Box 795, Forsyth, GA 31029 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County:. $40 Out of County:. $48 Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Fdday pdor to issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the creation of the wdte~ the do not ne(essaflly retied the opinions of The Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 II I PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield eorgians have heard a lot in recent years about criminal reform. Those who haven't followed those ef- forts very closely may be tempted to think the idea is merely to go easier on criminals. But advocates' real empha- sis has been on the word "justice" and the belief it isn't being served in too many cases. To take that notion beyond a philo- sophical debate requires real examples of real people harmed, not by mis- carriages ofjustice - a phrase that connotes wrong application of laws - but by laws being carried out exactly as written. Only those examples can demonstrate the laws are misaligned with common sensibilities about what's just. And there may be no better ex- ample than Cindy Shanks story, told in a new documentary titled "The Sentence." Cindy lived in MIchigan in the early 2000s with a boyfriend who sold drugs. After he was murdered, police found drugs, weapons and lots of cash at their home. Although Cindy was not credibly accused of partici- pating in the trafficking, she clearly knew about it. Prosecutors, however, declined to charge her At first. Six years later, Cindy was married with three little girls and a job. She had mined her life around. Then early one moming she and her husband, Adam, were awakened by a loud knock at the door Adam recalls being confused, but Cindy went immedi- ately to embrace her girls. Somehow, she knew: On the other side of the door, her past had caught uptoher She was arrested and charged with conspiracy - that is, knowing about the crimes her late boyfriend commit- ted years earlier. The federal prosecu- tor asked for a sentence of 89 years in prison. The judge knew better than that but couldn't go below the manda- tory minimum set by Congress: 15 years. Fifteen years, for knowing about crimes but not reporting them. Fifteen years, for a first-time, nonviolent offender after six years of dean living. Fif- teen years, with three daughters too young to understand their mother wouldn't be around to raise them. "Missing my daughters grow up, that's what I was sentenced to7 Cindy says over a call from prison recorded by her brother, Rudy Valdez, who made "The Sentence" largely from home movies he made of the girls so that one day Cindy could see even a few glimpses of their child- hood. At one point, she was transferred to a prison in Florida, and her family could afford to bring her daughters to visit only once a year. The only thing more heartbreaking than watch- ing a child visit a parent in prison is knowing all the days she goes without seeing that parent at all. To Cindy and Rudy's credit, they don't argue she shouldn't have been charged, or that she shouldn't have been locked up at all. They are clear- eyed about her culpability and the consequences. "What we cannot wrap our heads around as a family,' Rudy says during a radio interview also captured on the film, "is the sentence she received. It's 15 years on paper, but her entire life has changed?' "The Sentence" was shown at the Sundance Film Festival, and HBO bought it with plans to release it later this year. Last week, Rudy showed it at the U.S. Capitol at the invitation of Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J and Mike Lee, R-Utah. (I happened to be in town and attended.) The idea was to prompt change in federal manda- and tory minimum laws restore more sentencing authority to judges. a Republican" Lee, a former federal prosecutor himself, said before the screening, "I like to think I care about liberty. Liberty is no more threatened than when govemment puts someone behind bars for years, perhaps decades?' He might have added: and when no one, not even the judge in the trial, can do anything about it. That's not justice; to the extent it erodes con- fidence in the system, it's a threat to justice. The CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wingfield's column runs in newspapers around the state. JUST THE WAY IT IS by Sioan Oliver week marks two impor- tant anniversaries in our nation's histor3n. First, on July 26, 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order # 9981 which effectively ended racial discrimination and segregation in the armed forces. Truman's EO9981 marked a signifi- cant tuming point in the dvil rights movement. The second anniversary occurred on July 27, .1953 when the Korean War armistice/cease fire was signed effectively ending the fighting in Korea. BLACKS HAVE fought in every war that our nation has fought, even before the founding of our conntry. Blacks fought against the French and Indians in the French and Indian Wars; they fought against the British in the Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812; blacks served in the Confed- erate Army, mostly as impressed slave labor and they fought for the North in the Civil War; blacks fought against Native Americans in the Indian Wars (blacks were called "buffalo soldiers"); they fought in the Spanish-American War and in World War I. And black soldiers made significant contributions to victory during World War II. Sad , after putting their lives on the line, and after thousands were killed fighting for our freedom, blacks returned home to an America that still considered them cc ,) second dass citizens. PRIOR TO EO9981, black soldiers served in separate units from whites, though many of the officers were white. During WWII, there were many "colored" units (as they were called) but two stand out above the others - the famons Tuskegee Airmen and the 761st Tank Battalion. Most people know the story of the Tnskegee Airmen. They were a group of black airmen who were initially trained at Tuskegee Army Airfield near Tuske- gee, Ala. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military aviators in the US Armed Forces. After training, they Were sent to Europe where they compiled an enviable record of aerial ctmlhat against the highly-trained Luftwaffe pilots. THE 761st Tank Battalion is less known, though no-less heroic, than the Tuskegee Airmen. The 761st was the first all-black tank battalion to fight in WWII. After two years of train- ing, they landed in France and were assigned to Gen. Patron's famous Third Army. Prior to sending the 761 st into combat, Patton made the following speech, "Men, you're the first Negro tankers to ever fight in the American Army. I would never have asked for you if you weren't good. I have nothing but the best in my Army. I don't care .what color you are as long as you go up there and kill those Krant sons-of- bitches. Everyone has their eyes on you and is expecting great things from you. Most of all, your race is looking for- ward to your success. Don't let them down and damn you, don't let me down! They say it is patriotic to die for your country. Well, let's see how many patriots we can make out of those German sons-of-bitches? The 761st compiled an outstanding war record - fighting at the Battle of the Bulge and fighting to breach the Siegfried Line earning a Presidential Unit Citation for their actions. FOLLOWING WWlI, the Army conducted a survey to evaluate the quality of black soldiers. The surve);:'Opinions About Negro Infantry Platoons in White Companies of 7 Divi- sions" was very reveal- ing. The survey of 250 white officers and ser- geants who had a '`colored" platoon as- signed to their company found: 77% of the white officers and white sergeants had a favorable opinion toward black soldiers, 84% of the officers thought the black soldiers had performed very well in combat, and only 4% ofthe sergeants thought the black infantry soldiers were not as good as white infantry soldiers. Armed with the surveys positive results, and consider- ing the excellent performance of the all-black units, Truman was compelled' to sign EO9981. EO9981 WAS the culmination of years of struggle to bring radal equal- ity to the armed forces. However, the EO didn't immediately end segrega- tion in the military; that took another six years until the last all-black military unit was abolished. That said, 70 years later, radal equality in the armed forces is an outstanding success story. Perfect example comes from right here in central Georgia. Rear Adm. Alvin Holse a black 1983 graduate of Peach County HS, recently took command of the Carl Vinson Strike Group that includes the aircraft carrier USS Carl V'mson. Also, I can honestly say that in my 30+ years in the Army, I never saw any instances of racial discrimination. You either did your job or didn't - skin color meant nothing. THIS WEEK'S second anniversary is the Korean War cease fire signed on July 27, 1953. The Korean War started on June 25, 1950 when communist North Korea invaded South Korea. The U.S. quickly secured a resolution from the United Nations calling for the defense of South Korea. Days later, U.S. military forces had moved to the Korean Peninsula and joined the fight. Executing a surprise amphibions f ~ landing at Inchon, U.S. forces changed the tide of battle and rapidly drove the North Korean forces out of South Korea and pushed them almost to the Chinese border. At that point, over 1 million Chinese soldiers poured across the border and attacked U.S: and U.N, forces driving them all the way back to the 38th parallel. By then it was winter and a stalemate developed. PEACE TALKS began in July 1951 but theywent nowhere. It wasn't until Eisenhower became president in 1953 that talks got serious. After becoming president, Ike hinted at using nuclear weapons to end the war. Whether or not Eisen- hower's nuclear threats helped, by the summer all parties in the war were ready to sign an agreement ending the fighting. The cease fire ended the fighting; it didn't end the war. Techni- cally, we're still at war with North Ko- rea because a peace treaty was never signed. The United States lost over 50,000 killed during the Korean War, and we still have almost 25,000 troops stationed in Korea. WEEKLY THOUGHT: Perhaps President Trump is using a page from Eisenhower's playbook as he plays "hardball" with Kim lung Un, the North Korean dictator. Sloan Oliver is a retired Army officer. He lives in Bolingbroke with his wife Sandra. Email him at sloanoliver@