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Recogition for an important month


It’s Black History Month — a time for recognition of achievements and struggles and a time for hope when our country is no longer split by racial lines.


There are roots that go back to the 1920s, when Carter G. Woodson, the son of former slaves, earned his doctorate from Harvard. He knew then that history books in that day virtually ignored black Americans. But Woodson forged ahead working to change the situation. He founded the Journal of Negro History in 1926 and launched Negro History Week during the second week of February. He chose that week to honor the birthdays of two men who deeply affected racial relations in America — President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.


Black History Month also honors the great civil rights movement leaders of the mid-20th century. There’s Rosa Parks, who chose to make a stand by not giving up her seat on a bus. And when it comes to the civil rights movement, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. articulated the dream of a nation where everyone has equal opportunities.


African-American athletes and celebrities are most easily honored and remembered, but please remember this month is about so many more people and events. It’s about businessmen and women, inventors, attorneys, moms, dads, aunts and uncles and the countless others who are important and respected members in every community.


And Black History Month is about accepting the past as past, but noting that despite obstacles, the black population of the nation achieved, overcame and persevered.


— Steubenville Herald-Star


Coingate scandal


Ohio’s inspector general — the chief watchdog of state government — claims to be conducting an “ongoing” investigation of the Coingate scandal, nine years after that inquiry began. Incredibly, the office appears still not to have interviewed the figure at the center of the affair: former Lucas County Republican Party chairman Tom Noe, who is doing time in a state prison for his crimes.


That lapse raises several questions: What kind of investigation is this? Is it really meant to get to the bottom of the scandal, or rather to cover up and delay and protect certain people?


The Blade is suing Inspector General Randall Meyer, an appointee of Gov. John Kasich, to compel release of his office’s final report on Coingate. Mr. Meyer has refused to do so, six years after the last prosecution in the case….


A total of 19 criminal convictions arose from “Coingate,” including a no-contest plea by then-Gov. Bob Taft in 2005 to misdemeanor ethics violations. In 2012, after years of silence by the inspector general’s office about the status of the investigation, Mr. Meyer pledged to produce a final report. State law requires the inspector general to “prepare a detailed report of each investigation” and to treat its completed reports as public records….


Litigation should not be needed to goad the inspector general into action, for this is a matter of obvious public interest. Evidently, though, only a court order will compel the inspector general’s office to fulfill its duties under the law.


— The (Toledo) Blade

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