Sunday, June 02, 2002

City fights back with anti-drug,
pro-police rally

        Like Rocky in the movie, Cincinnati has been on the canvas, bruised and bloodied by a sucker-punch boycott and below-the-belt jabs at cops. Finally, on Thursday night, someone said what the city needs to hear: “Get up, ya bum.” And the crowd cheered.

        More than 100 people, black and white, young and old, from Avondale to Walnut Hills, jammed an auditorium at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to support their local police and fight back against drug thugs and the noisy protesters who play the race card as a “get out of jail free” excuse for crime.

        The traditional leaders of the black community have failed to speak up, hiding under their beds when the city needs them. But on Thursday night, Cincinnati found new leaders who are not afraid of name-calling, intimidation and personal attacks from the boycott gang.

        “Yes, my name is Tom,” said the event organizer, Tom Jones. “I am an uncle,” he said, referring to the names he is called on WDBZ talk radio. “But I am not intimidated.”

A local hero

        Mr. Jones, who has been shot at and threatened for fighting crime in Avondale, was called a hero by Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen. It's no stretch.

        Mr. Jones dares to speak the tough truths that race hustlers hate to hear. “Why do you blame your own problems on the white man?” he asks them. “I've never seen a white man selling drugs on Burnett Avenue.”

        He opposes do-nothing social programs that line the pockets of noisy activists. And he supports cops and wants more of them — a direct threat to the neighborhood cancer of drug crime.

        Maybe you didn't hear about all this. It did not get front-page play like the boycott demands from City Hall yahoos who have learned to act out for media attention.

        But this is stuff Cincinnati needs to hear.

        Former City Councilman Phil Heimlich said City Hall appeasement of the Rev. Damon Lynch III has “demoralized the police and destroyed the morale of citizens.”

Support your police

        Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Norbert Nadel drew applause by calling for more cops. “The riots were done by a small group of criminals who were hell-bent on destroying our community,” he said. “Not enough leaders said this is wrong, and the wrong message was sent out to criminals that they're in charge and we're not.”

        Businessman Babe Baker, 86, shared his story of working his way from a one-room shack to owning several businesses in Cincinnati.

        “I don't go begging City Council to ask them to do things for me,” he said, slamming the boycott. “All I ask is a chance to work with the skills God gave me.”

        “The difference is that I worked and respected and appreciated what this city did for me ... If I can do it with the odds against me, why can't the others?”

        Mr. Jones is already planning another meeting. “We need a bigger room,” a woman said on the way out.

        Cincinnati is finally fighting back.

        Just listen to this powerful plea for courage from Carla D. McNeal, whose son Jeremy E. Long, was murdered last July: “This is no joke, this is not TV. They are killing at a whim,” she said. “My son is dead. Are we as citizens of Cincinnati dead? ... I believe we are on our knees, praying for the strength to carry on, and we will.”

        Get up, ya bum.

        E-mail: Past columns at


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