Thursday, July 31, 2014

Apparently, defending Israeli sovereignty with tacit support of blowing up Palestinian children is an issue pertinent to the Metro Council

In 2003, I wrote my council member at the time, Mike Jameson, asking him to work on legislation with the purpose of taking on the Bush Administration, more specifically, creating local civil liberties zones against John Ashcroft's Patriot Act II. CM Jameson gave me a call and told me that he could attempt to do so, but the initiative would go down in flames given the conservative lean of the council and the local political climate that was not supportive of Nashville challenging DC. It was an early lesson on civics in Nashville.

Unlike other cities, the council here is constrained in what it can do outside of planning and zoning for the county. I've learned to accept that, as hard as it is for someone who admires the histories of other cities that passed initiatives fighting apartheid and the nuclear arms race.

Ever since then I have to sit back and watch conservatives like Eric Crafton and Jim Gotto posture on immigration policies and English Only, and I remember what CM Jameson told me 11 years ago: it does not matter within the political scheme (other than to advance the careers of aspiring politicians who use red meat strategically in order to further their careers on larger stages).

The latest council conservative attempting to stir the pot on policy larger than that of Metropolitan government is Josh Stites, who uses social media to portray his views to constituents.

CM Stites has two Twitter accounts. One is @VoteStites in which he identifies himself as a member of "Nashville Metro Council". Besides the explicit reference to being a CM, the qualifer "Vote" suggests that this is how he expresses himself in his de facto capacity as an elected official. The other Twitter account, just as public, is also more personal, focused on inspiration, family, culture and faith.

In recent days, CM Stites has taken to tweeting on the Israeli attacks on Gaza on the more political @VoteStites. I'm not blaming him for having an opinion on Palestine, but why is he using his "Nashville Metro Council" twitter feed rather than his personal one to rationalize incessant drone attacks on civilians in Gaza by Israel? Someone said one time that the only significant thing Metro Council members do is pass zoning initiatives. Why his council-oriented twitter stream filled with apologies and PR for Israel? 

"Nashville Metro Council"

The personal one.

In the interests of disclosure, I completely disagree with CM Stites' views of the Middle East, which strike me as exclusively theological and Christianocentric rather than realistic and just.

Sole survivor of family of eight.
But the bigger question for me is, why is CM Stites choosing his council-oriented Twitter feed rather than his personal account to convey his uncritically pro-Israeli views of Palestine? His preferential option for Israel seems more consistent with a personal theology than a foreign policy (which council can't control anyway), so why not express it at the more devotional @JoshStites feed? Do his constituents uniformly agree that we can ignore the killing of innocent Arab children and defend Israeli sovereignty by any means necessary? And if they do what does that have to do with any business conducted in Metro Council? That's not a rhetorical question. I want to know what council mechanism I need to engage to encourage the end of the wonton slaughter of Palestinian children who are invisible to some.

Lost her entire family.

UPDATE: What about genocide? Does council business include dealing with genocide?

UPDATE: One of Josh Stites' own constituents says that she has asked him a few of the questions I have above and he has not responded to her. Is he accountable to Muslim constituents or just pro-Israel/Christian voters? Remziya is not your run-of-the-mill Nashville constituent either; she is a community leader.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your viewpoint on this issue, and thanks for trying to do something about the erosion of civil liberties. Somebody's got to point these things out!