Thursday, October 11, 2007

Racial Politics In Indy Intensifies

I was somewhat surprised when I opened the editorial page of my Indianapolis Star this morning and found this cartoon by Star editorial cartoonist Gary Varvel depicting the likeness of Council President Monroe Gray shooting down a white man with a piece of paper in his hand labeled "Ethics Probe." Metaphorically, Varvel is accurately depicting the reality that Gray had a key hand in defeating council efforts to investigate Gray's ethical transgressions; however, I suspect Gray and others in the African-American community will see it as having racially insensitive overtones. Varvel actually goes to some pain to explain it over at his blog today, but I suspect few people will notice it. He writes:

In case you missed our front page story about City-County Council President Monroe Gray, he has been quoted as saying, there is no use in "having the juice if you don't use it." Well, that is too good a visual not to use. I don't think Mr. Gray was talking about fruit juices, do you? Nah, he was talking power and that starts with "P" and rhymes with "T" and stands for "Taser." Metaphorically, mind you.

According to our continuing saga in the Star, a motion to launch an ethics probe into Mr. Gray's business dealings was scrubbed by procedural maneuvers. Shocking! I know.

You'll see that Varvel explains on his blog that it's a Taser and not a handgun which Gray is holding. Upon closer inspection, I notice the zigzagging motion of the electricity emanating from the Taser towards its intended victim. I don't think this will matter to some folks though, who will likely view it as a negative stereotyping of black men. What do you think?

And then there's the matter of Ron Gibson's arrest for shoving a police officer during Black Expo last year and yesterday's announcement that charges were being dropped because the special prosecutor didn't feel he had enough evidence to convict Gibson after two eyewitnesses offered testimony under oath which supported Gibson's version of events. Radio talk show host Abdul Hakim Shabazz was attempting to interview Monroe Gray, who just happened to have time off work yesterday to show up at a press conference during working hours to support Ron Gibson, when Gray's personal lawyer and the Council's legal counsel hurled a racially derogatory term at him. Aaron Haith is heard on audiotape calling Shabazz the grandson of Willie Lynch. If you're like me, it had to be explained to me who "Willie Lynch" was. He was a British slaveowner who was regarded as an authority on how to keep your slaves under control. Some attribute the term "lynching" to his namesake. Does anyone believe Shabazz will be receiving a public apology from Haith any time soon?


Anonymous said...

Very surprised that one made it past Dennis Ryerson.

Zappatista said...

On a brighter note, I had an extra 20 dollars taken out of my paycheck that I received yesterday! Thank You's need to go out to Bart, and Monroe on this one. I will be calling Geico today!

As to the comic, please.... It is perfect!

Sir Hailstone said...

If you look at the world with racist glasses, you only see racism. At a recent function I told someone attending that Mr. Gray was black, and this person replied "He is? Sure don't look like it."

Aaron Haith should consider himself lucky he still has a law license. He reminds me of the kind of lawyer representing Tony Soprano. This fella is on the public payroll?

And yes Gary isn't it interesting the Council President could take time out of his busy day to meet Gibson and offer moral support on the day the charges were dismissed. [is a /sarcasm tag needed?]

7:38 AM - I've asked Gary Varvel that same question. Turns out somewhere on the Gannett organization charge Dennis Ryerson doesn't have control over Gary Varvel. Another editor oversees Varvel's work, this editor give Mr. Varvel quite a bit of leeway in his content. Gary Varvel's work is also syndicated thru Creator's so he appears in many markets in their newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Varvel is rarely right. But on this one he hit a home run. Grand slam home run.

I recognized the weapon as a tazer immediately. The shape, and the zig-zag electric lines, confirmed my belief.

And: if you're waiting for Ron Gibson to "come clean," well, you're going to have to wait a long time. And not just on this assault...his secrets are so public it's laughable. And sad.

He credited God for redeeming his faith in the justice system. Read his council webpage and there's no reference to his initiatives or council issues, just an overwhelming reference to do all things according to God's plan.

My God watched all this, and is not pleased, Ron. Bearing false witness is a mortal sin.

I'm one of many who believe, if Ron "gets right with God" in every sense of the word, his life will be a lot easier. We all deserve that.

Screwups happen, when you're living 24/7 to perpetuate myths and cover up parts of your life. Many of us know that the hard way. Ron hasn't learned that lessons yet because so far, he's managed to dodge the bullet, figuratively speaking of course.

His false sense of security will not last forever.

Anonymous said...

AI, the Indianapolis Star is most definately on a crusade to get Gray to step down. Why? The real potential exists that the GOP can now gain a majority of the CCC seats in November.
Personally, I do not think Garvel had racial slurs in mind with his op/ed cartoon but the word "juice" did not originate in the white community's lingo and it surely isn't used in the exurbs where Garvel lives. But Gray did use the word "juice" so the race issue is mute.
But the Star is making no bones about the fact that they want Gray gone in order to protect the Mayor's agenda should Peterson win re-election. If Peterson has to contend with a GOP majority on the CCC then there are going to be a lot of sad donors that kicked in nearly $4 million to his campaign.
Will the Star succeed in outing Gray? No. Will Peterson and his handlers intervene to out Gray? No.

You are correct in stating that there is racial tension in Indianapolis. We currently have a black Mayor without actually having one. The Dems have 16 CCC seats of which 9 are controlled by blacks. The Dems are in the majority but that majority is contrilled by blacks. In effect, blacks control the Mayor and thus control Indianapolis. Blacks cannot elect a black Mayor because of the demographics but they CAN control this city by controlling the council. This is what has happened. Just like Gray said "use the juice".
Now you have some idea of just exactly why people like Gray and Gibson are skating and why crime and corruption is where it's at.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but the illegal numbers racket house (pea shake) on Columbia is having a drawing for a new car.
So if any of you readers of AI care to buy some chances for me on that car please let me know. I would get them myself but unfortunately I'm a white person.
The next shake is at noon, then 3 and 6 pm.

Anonymous said...

Wow. An extra $20 was taken from
your $ 3,000 gross paycheck.
You can let the employees at your Starbucks know that you won't be
patronizing their establishment anymore because you're too poor

Sir Hailstone said...

"the word "juice" did not originate in the white community's lingo"

It may not originated in the white lingo but its not like we whiteys ever heard of the term.

Recall the movie "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking your Juice in the Hood"? Ok it was a spoof.

Now if the Star will report on the slur Aaron Haith used towards Abdul.

Anonymous said...


-The Democrat Machine

P. S. Never mind that the tax delinquency list includes The Democrat Machine's elected officials, you just pay your taxes & The Machine will worry about it's own.

Anonymous said...

Zappatista 7:43 must be earning the big bucks if .0065% increase equalled $20. If that is true, then he can afford the extra $20 to make sure that our police and firefighters are paid their pensions.

Anonymous said...

You know folks, the topic of this post was Varvel's cartoon, and if anyone thinks the Star's editor, Ryearson, doens't have final control over every editorial word or graphic, they're crazy.

And, 7:38, if Varvel told you otoherwise, he's lying.

He's a pathetic, oft-angry cartoonist of minimal skills, who is rarely circulated in the syndicate to which he belongs. His message is oftne more Pulliam than Gannett, and that's scary, becuase the Star's longtime owners are scary folks. Think Marilyn Quayle, she of near-John-Birch right extremism. She was right at home with the family into which she married.

One Varvel cartoon a week is enough. Quite enough.

Anonymous said...

if .0065% increase equalled $20.

it's 0.65%, not 0.0065%.

indyernie said...

Gary Varvel is a very honest and open guy. His life is lived that way. Only someone who didn't know him would think otherwise.
His cartoons are published as books and are well read.
Remember what your Momma told ya? "If you can't say something nice about a nice person keep your mouth shut" Now is a good time to practice that lesson.
Gary is a straight guy with a wonderful family. Laugh at his toons or don't but don't attack a good man.

Anonymous said...

it is .0065% it is not 65% it is .65 of 1% your math

lance said...

"Zappatista 7:43 must be earning the big bucks if .0065% increase equalled $20. If that is true, then he can afford the extra $20 to make sure that our police and firefighters are paid their pensions."

Check your math. Actually, let me do it for you, because you've gotten it wrong twice now.

Taxes increased 0.65% on an absolute level. That's an amount equal to multiplying what you earn by 0.065 (1% would be 0.01). The "0.0065%" doesn't have anything to do with it; you're off by several orders of magnitude. Percents and absolutes are NOT the same thing. So essentially, if 0.65% of Z's salary is $20, he's pretty average. What you did was divide 0.65% by 100, so you found a percent of a percent. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Lance=lost cause...wont listen

Monroe Gray is so pass the ethics referral would have taken 15 was tied 13 to 13 and he then voted which made it 13 to 14...he could have abstained and maintained his integrity and it still would not have he too stupid to figure that out?