Roy Exum: Dumb Ain’t A Crime

Friday, September 21, 2018 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

As half of America wonders how a Texas school superintendent still has a job, the other half of the country now understands that being dumb is no crime. Minutes after the Houston Texans dropped a ugly 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, an upset educator – obviously with a full head of steam -- pounded this sentence out on his Facebook page: “That may have been the most inept quarterback decision I’ve seen in the NFL. When you need precision decision-making you can’t count on a black quarterback.”

Minutes later, it dawned on Lynn Redden, superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District, what he had actually posted and, while he rushed to yank it down, another Texan made a screen-grab with his cell phone and put the racial message out for all to see. The school superintendent claimed he thought he was emailing a buddy.

Redden explained, “I immediately took it down. I totally regret it” but also claimed the snippet was taken out of context. “In no way was it meant to be racist but I can easily see how it could be taken that way. I wish it had never been posted.”

Redden was bemoaning the fact the Texans’ quarterback, Deshaun Watson, played poorly and allowed the clock to run out at the end of the game What Redden said his note meant was that black quarterbacks have a rough time in the NFL. “Over the history of the NFL, (black quarterbacks) have had limited success,” he said.

The superintendent’s judgment has been called into question and his school district – about 100 miles north of Houston – will meet in a special session tomorrow. Calls to the school district were not returned but an official statement read, “Onalaska ISD regrets that an inappropriate comment has been attributed to the district's superintendent.

“The OISD does not condone negative comments or actions against any race. The district values every individual and therefore the district will take the appropriate measures to address the situation expeditiously and completely."

Much of what will occur depends on what is in Redden’s contract but a surprising number of readers at the Houston Chronicle were not nearly as upset as you might think – the “freedom of speech” issue becoming surprising parallel to the NFL players who have been allowed to kneel during the national anthem.

* * *


Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge finished last Sunday’s Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds — smashing Dennis Kimetto’s previous world record of 2:02:57 by an astonishing 78 seconds, the largest margin in more than 50 years. Kipchoge, who lost his pacesetters some 15 miles in, posted an even more impressive 2:00:25 last year in Nike’s Breaking2 event, though the race wasn’t officially recognized. The 33-year-old has now won 11 of the 12 marathons he’s raced, including the Olympic gold medal in 2016.

* * *


I have been sick and NEEDED a doctor.
I have encountered trouble and NEEDED a police officer
I have lived through times of war when our nation NEEDED our military.
I have NEEDED farmers every day.
I have NEEDED an auto mechanic, a plumber, a house painter and a lot of other everyday people.
But I have NEVER -- not even once -- NEEDED a Professional Athlete, a Media Personality or a Hollywood Entertainer FOR ANYTHING.

Why I Support Esther Helton

There are several things that Ms. Helton would like to see improved within District 30, which includes East Hamilton County, including areas of Chattanooga, East Ridge, East Brainerd, Apison, and Collegedale. These are very serious issues such as healthcare, vocational education and good paying jobs and keeping our taxes low. The two issues I’m supporting Ms. Helton is one, the ... (click for more)

Wayne Thompson For East Ridge Court Clerk

I would like to take this opportunity to endorse Wayne Thompson for Court Clerk of East Ridge.  I have known Wayne for nearly 40 years.  Wayne grew up right here in East Ridge.  He dedicated his entire adult life to serving the citizens of East Ridge and just doesn’t feel like he is done yet.  He is still a young man and has lots of life ahead of him.  ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport Has Biggest Month Yet; Work May Start Next Year On Parking Deck With 1,300 Spaces

The Chattanooga Airport set a record in September with 44,000 enplanements, the highest ever for one month. This was an increase of nine percent over September 2017, and deplanements were in line, said Terry Hart president and CEO. He said that more parking is needed near the terminal to keep up with the growth. The 20-year master plan includes a parking deck with around 1,300 ... (click for more)

Firefighters Climb 150 Feet To Extinguish Fire At Ardent Mills

Chattanooga firefighters had to climb 150 feet to extinguish a fire at a flour mill off Amnicola Highway on Monday morning. A call came in at  7:35 a.m. for the  fire at 1 Riverside Lane. Ardent Mills reported smoke in the building and all employees were evacuated. Fire crews arriving on the scene could see light smoke coming from a vent on the upper half ... (click for more)

Prep Soccer Teams Prepare For Post-Season Runs

The girls soccer post-season is upon us and several local teams will be playing for a spot in the state tournament next week in Murfreesboro.  DIvision II teams will play first round state games at higher seeds.   In Division II-A, CCS earned the top seed in the East on Saturday with a 2-0 region championship win over CAK. That win gives them a bye this ... (click for more)

State Volleyball Begins Tuesday In Murfreesboro

Bids for state volleyball titles will begin for three Chattanooga teams on Tuesday. Baylor, Sale Creek and East Hamilton start the process with defending D-II-AA state champ Baylor facing Father Ryan in their first match at Blackman.   The match is set to begin at 12:30 (CST). East Hamilton will face Camden in its first match as these two will square off at 12:30 too ... (click for more)