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Is Tampa the New Ferguson?

by Charles W. Cherry, II, Esq. – Guest Column

Ferguson police officers in riot gear (Photo credit: Twitter/LauraKHettiger)
Ferguson police officers in riot gear (Photo credit: Twitter/LauraKHettiger)

Is Tampa the new Ferguson? Black Floridians have long memories when it comes to municipal prejudice and racism, especially when local police departments enforce it.

We clearly remember when the annual Florida Classic football game between Bethune-Cookman and FAMU was played in Tampa for almost 20 years – until adjacent malls started to shut down when Black football fans showed up, the Tampa Police Department started issuing tickets for jaywalking, and city leadership stood silent. (In 1997, Orlando got the Classic and its estimated $20 million weekend economic impact and never looked back.)

Decades later, Police Chief Jane Castor is criminalizing poor Black people on bicycles and turning them revenue sources for Hillsborough County, while driving them into financial ruin and eventually to jail.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn stands silent. Tampa’s racist municipal legacy continues. It should officially adopt Ferguson, Mo. as its sister city…

“The Great Divider” – Want to see a microcosm of the divide between Barack Obama’s Black diehard supporters and his vocal critics? Read (if you can) Dr. Michael Eric Dyson’s 9,300-word online article in New Republic magazine called “The Ghost of Cornell West.” In it, Dyson attempts to assassinate the character and career of West, his former friend and mentor. West’s unforgiveable sins? Criticizing Obama, and calling out Dyson, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Al Sharpton for muting criticism of Obama’s policies to get on MSNBC.

Here’s a revealing quote from Dyson’s article:
“It is a sad truth that most politicians are serial rhetorical lovers and promiscuous ideological mates, leaving behind scores of briefly valued surrogates and supporters. West should have understood that Obama had had similar trysts with many others.”

In other words, Dyson admits that Obama is a political ‘ho’ – a fact West should have known.

Therefore, West shouldn’t be so upset that Obama treated him like a political ‘trick’ after Obama got what he wanted: the presidency. OK…Got it…

Charles W. Cherry, II,Esq. is the Publisher of Florida Courier. He can be reached at [email protected]

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