RiShawn Biddle: unmuzzled

Dateline: Mon 29 Oct 2007

Here's an email from RiShawn of the Star's editorial department, sent out today:

"Plenty of folks, both fans and critics, have asked about Expresso and told us how they missed it since it went on hiatus in June. For all the folks who missed reading it in June and for those who loved tearing into it, here's some news: It's back.

"Check it out today at www.indystar.com/opinion/expresso for discussions about the antics of the city's Black Democrats and about The Star Editorial Board's latest round of endorsements. And feel free to comment if you like.

All the Best!

RiShawn Biddle"

OK, I'll comment. RiShawn is a little late to the party, but he's got the right stuff when he calls out some of the antics of Dem City-County Council bossman Monroe Gray and his ilk.

Sez RiShawn:

"Then there's the embarrassing spectacle that is Monroe Gray, whose tenure as city-county council president is being marked by a lack of decorum during council sessions, the videos of himself on YouTube and responses to allegations of corruption that wouldn't be acceptable to a child who claimed his dog ate the homework. His act, more Zip Coon than honorable statesman, epitomizes the lack of seriousness some Black politicians show in their work; it's just inexcusable....

"If I hadn't seen this with my own eyes over the past three years, I would have thought they came straight out of 'Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat.' I don't know any powerful Black people like that. Do I? Sadly, we do. Before our eyes stand men and women charged with serving the citizens of this city behaving badly, awfully, arrogantly, as if they didn't receive any home-training. They have been given power for which they could do plenty for the poor Black neighborhoods which they represent. But for them, their jobs offer them chances for self-enrichment, opportunities for petty foolishness and the possibilities of grandstanding on public access television so they can use their 'juice.'

"Meanwhile residents in Martindale-Brightwood fear for their lives, Haughville homeowners see the aluminum siding snatched off their houses and Mapleton-Fall Creek residents watch abandoned homes burn down. Those driving around Lafayette Square hit potholes; sewers continue to overflow on the Southside. Simply put, the very services they expect government to provide fall by the wayside.

"Even worse, the proverbial tap-dancing of Gray and Company is aided and abetted by folks who know better. They understand that many in this town fear the day that a Black man or woman will become mayor, scared that as soon as that happens, Indianapolis will finally be the New Detroit in all its squalor. These blatant, random acts of stupidity deserved to be called out. Those who know better, however, turn away and let the silliness go on."

Someone at the Star needs to be saying this stuff. God knows, it won't be Dan Carpenter. RiShawn may take hits over at Taking Down Words et al -- all is fair in politics and journalism -- but his Libertarian/independent perspective on the city is both refreshing and valid criticism.

So welcome back.

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