No Family Should Be Broken Up Because They're Poor And Can't Pay Utility Bills - And Response

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I admit, I do not know the full situation of the East Chattanooga parents and having their children taken away because they didn't have running water or electricity in their home, or the home had a 'hole' in the ceiling or wall. But no family should be broken up because they're too poor to pay their utility bills or because the place they live has minor damage. This is the unity that's missing in today's black community.  

I never knew until adulthood not all my cousins were blood relatives, but by then it really didn't matter anyway because that bond had been made solid and unbreakable. Those 'cousins' were actually children from the community my great aunts and great-uncles, aunts and uncles, had taken in to raise as their very own. One 'cousin', I later found, parents had died when he was a young child, and there were no near relatives around to take him in. Rather than see him going into foster-care, great-auntie Pearl and uncle Kenneth raised him as their own child. We never knew differently or otherwise he was someone simply taken in by relatives. Those things, one another, the black community once depended on to survive, regardless of class, social standing, who did or didn't attend someone's church, appear to have vanished today as everyone goes about chasing their individual rainbows.  

We're more like than not to call the city on someone who's grass has gotten too high, or hide behind a curtain or shade, to report some non-existing suspicion than roll up our sleeves, knock on our neighbor's door and offer to help. When I was able to mow my own lawn, I also mowed the lawn of a neighbor who had been deployed to Iraq for a year. Falling and injuring my hip, pretty much put an end to that. But his lawn stayed mowed to keep the city at bay as long as he was deployed.  

Instead of sneaking around and advising neighbors to report on fellow neighbors, this is where community leaders, district leaders can do the most good, bring about real unity, not false pretense of, and uplift everyone.  This family's situation, in the world of my great-aunts, great uncles, aunts and uncles, would have never been allowed to happen. A world where people actually talked to one another and reached out to one another. Today's world is riddled with fear and suspicion. Where anyone who doesn't look like us or fit some sense of social or economical status is reported and the process starts to force and 'weed' them out.  

I'm a private person who much prefers to do things in a quiet way. However, I don't know how to reach this couple or know if anything is being done for them to help them keep their family in tact. It doesn't matter if one or both might have some criminal record. These days, it nearly impossible to go through life in America without accumulating some kind of record at some point, no matter how minor. I don't live in or near this couples' community, but that shouldn't matter anyway. However, I'd like to offer a donation of $100 to help them in some small way. I'm embarrassed to only be able to offer so little, but it's all I have at the moment. I'm equally embarrassed to offer in such an open and public manner, but I don't know how to reach them or anyone who might know them. 

If there's anything going on in the community to help them where I can send to money too, I'd glad appreciate someone posting an address. I don't have credit or debit cards, so I can't pay online.  

Brenda Washington 

* * * 

Ms. Washington, 

Your generosity is appreciated. However, the situation is not about being poor. It’s about choices the adults made. 

If you want to help, call Child Protective Services, 237-0004. Tell them you want to give $100 for the kids you mentioned. Ask that the money goes towards clothes and necessities for the kids. 

That way your money will help. Otherwise your money will most likely go towards bail bonds, drugs, and other things rather than groceries, electricity, water, and the benefit of the children. 

Stephen Greenfield



How Will Community Policing Be Implemented This Time? - And Response

Chattanooga, like the rest of the nation, has always had community policing in some form or on some level.  The question is, how will it be used, this time?   In recent time, as it's historically, community policing has been used to segregate by race, class, create chaos, divide communities. Pit neighbor against neighbor. But rarely has it been used to unite and bring ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Third Son Takes His Life

Steven Ferrin, described by his parents as “a handsome, bubbly and witty young man,” was the victim of what is called “a sectarian attack” in recent weeks near his home in north Belfast (Ireland) and last weekend was found dead after the 31-year-old father of a 7-year-old girl had taken his own life. Compounding the tragedy is the horrific news that Steven’s other two brothers and ... (click for more)

3 Firefighters Carry Unresponsive Woman From Burning Lookout Valley Home

Three Chattanooga firefighters early Wednesday morning carried an unresponsive woman from a burning house in Lookout Valley.   At  3:08  a.m., firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at 111 Centro Ave.The 911 dispatchers told the responding firefighters that someone may be trapped inside. Upon arrival, the firefighters observed smoke and flames coming ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Asks Jury To Find Morse Guilty In Massacre At Lookout Valley RV Park

Prosecutor Cameron Williams on Tuesday asked a Criminal Court jury to find Derek Morse guilty of three counts of first-degree murder as well as attempted first-degree murder in a massacre at a Lookout Valley RV Park on April 9, 2014. Morse, who was 19 at the time, is standing trial in the courtroom of Judge Barry Steelman. Skyler Allen, who was 22 when the shots rang out, ... (click for more)

Impressive Signal Mountain Whips Red Bank, 3-0

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles have one of the better volleyball teams in town this fall and it’s no surprise that they are unbeaten in district play. They proved just how good they are Tuesday evening in Red Bank’s Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium as they needed about 50 minutes to beat the Lionettes for the second time this season. Set scores were 25-6, 25-7 and 25-15. ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Holds Off Sale Creek For 3-2 Volleyball Win

East Hamilton blew a 2-0 lead, but rebounded in the fifth set Tuesday to beat gutsy Sale Creek 3-2 in high school volleyball action at East Hamilton. “We knew they were a good team, probably the best team we’ve played this season, but I think we gave up after the second game,” East Hamilton’s Jordyn Griffith said. “I think we knew we had it in the bag because we’re a good ... (click for more)