A little comment for some little issues
BY MIKE JONES Associate Editor
Sunday, March 25, 2012
3/25/12 at 3:59 AM
Often there are big issues that demand a lot of comment. Occasionally, there are several small issues that deserve a little comment. This is one of those times.
Misbehavior: Last week, a few members of the University of Southern Mississippi pep band heckled a Kansas State University basketball player during a game in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. They chanted, "Where's your green card?" to Angel Rodriguez. Turns out, Rodriguez is a U.S. citizen.
Southern Miss received some ugly publicity over the incident.
Later in the week, the university decided to revoke the scholarships of five members of its pep band. The five also were removed from the band and will be required to complete a two-hour cultural sensitivity training course.
College is a place to learn. Thanks to the officials at the university, the five band members have been given that opportunity.
Southern verdict: A jury in Mississippi sentenced a 19-year-old to life in prison for the murder and hate-crime of a black man.
Deryl Dedmon and some buddies got drunk, went hunting for a black person and found James Craig Anderson in the parking lot of a motel.
There they beat him and when Anderson struggled to his feet, Dedmon ran over him with his pickup truck.
At sentencing, the judge said to Dedmon: "Whatever excuse you offer, forget that. There is no excuse. The state of Mississippi condemns this despicable crime."
It wasn't all that long ago that it was a rarity for any white person to be convicted of the murder of a black person in the South. Change can be slow, but at least it's change.
Whose got the blues? Oklahoma is the reddest state in the country when it comes to politics. It was bad enough that our Republican governor and lieutenant governor were unable to greet President Obama when he visited. Why, however, did the only Democrat in the state congressional delegation, Second District Rep. Dan Boren, skip the greeting?
I suppose even Democrats don't want to be seen with Obama in this state, especially if they might be running for another office someday.
Bad sketch: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign adviser said during a TV interview that when Romney captures the nomination, "Everything changes. It's like Etch A Sketch. You can shake it up and we start all over."
Oops. It didn't take long for his rivals, Republican and Democrat, to jump on that. They claimed that it is more proof that Romney will say whatever he needs to win the nomination. Really? And his opponents won't?
Yes, it's another gaffe, but I'm willing to cut him a little slack on this one. Romney didn't say it. I don't think that is what the campaign aide meant when he said it.
But it did add some needed humor to an otherwise grim campaign.
The three bars: A recent poll shows that 38 percent of Americans say there is too much religious talk from politicians, compared to 30 percent who said there was too little. Twenty-five percent believe there is just the right amount.
The poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life noted that it was the first time since 2001 that a plurality of Americans believed that politicians talked too much about religion.
Delegateless: Much to the relief of many Oklahomans, the state Democratic Party told anti-abortion redhot Randall Terry that he will not be allocated any delegates to the national convention. The party cited the fact that Terry failed to complete the proper paperwork and that the national party doesn't consider him a "bona fide Democrat."
Trav Robertson, state party interim executive director, said Terry created the situation by failing to find people who were willing to register as delegates for him.
There's a fresh breeze of common sense.
Memories: Sometimes our memories cloud reality.
I hope my expectations of some old and new-again restaurants in Tulsa are not too high.
The Knotty Pine, a longtime barbecue restaurant in west Tulsa, burned some time back. Now it's opening again, but not in the same spot. Knotty Pine was one of the first places I ate when I came to work for the Tulsa World some 40 years ago. I ate there frequently over the years. I loved it.
Mondo's is back and this time on Brookside. Many friends and I remember hitting the Mondo's on 61st Street many moons ago. It was good food and - this was important for newspaper people - cheap. And big portions.
S&J Oyster Bar was one of my favorite places. The clam chowder was fabulous. There were many other menu items that became favorites of Tulsans. It's due to reopen sometime, hopefully soon, in downtown.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all three are as good as I remember.
Let it rain: You won't find me complaining about last week's rainout. Sure, I know there are some kids and parents whose spring break plans might have been washed out. Selfishly, I'm past having to make plans for kids during holidays. Now, I see rain and I see lush greens and fairways. At my age, golf has taken the place of several things I once thought paramount.
It's spring. Let it rain. We'll miss it in August.
Original Print Headline: Musings
Mike Jones, 918-581-8332
A pedestrian walks in the rain near Third and Main streets. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World file