Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has fired his fire chief over publication of a controversial, anti-gay, religion-based bookÂ â€“ without telling him first, and then for insisting he will continue to spread his faith in the firehouse.
For several months in 2009, Kelvin Cochran wasÂ FEMA’s Administrator for theÂ United States Fire Administration. But Cochran returned quickly to Atlanta, and became the city’s new Fire Chief. Today, he’s not serving the people of Atlanta, he’s out of a job, fired after a one-month suspension, by Mayor Kasim Reed.
Last year, Cochran wrote and self-published an ugly book, Who Told You That You Were Naked?,Â that uses religion to support his anti-gay beliefs. Calling them “unclean,” the book compares gay people to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals. TheÂ book also has anti-Semitic and anti-women passages. Not only did he publish the book, he handed it out at the firehouse, and reportedly discussed its contents with his employees â€“Â something many might feel makes for an uncomfortable work environment.
In the book, Cochran writes that his “job description as a fire chief of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department” is to “cultivate its culture for the glory of God.”
Cochran also identified himself in the book as Atlanta’s Fire Chief, without clearing the book with the City. Mayor Reed reportedly was concerned some might think the City of Atlanta endorsed the book or its contents, which it does not.
During his suspension, Cochran reportedly made clear he would continue to make anti-gay statements upon his return.
“When you have more than 1,000 people working under your command, you canâ€™t go around publicly suggesting that some of them are perverts on a par with those who indulge in bestiality or child sexual abuse,Â as Cochran did in a self-published book,”Â Jay BookmanÂ at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes today. “When you serve as a top manager in a government that has pledged not to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, you canâ€™t suggest to workers that such discrimination might be justified, as Cochran did by distributing copies of that book to his subordinates. (Apparently, Cochran had been advised by the city ethics office against publishing the book, but chose to do so anyway.)”
Mayor Reed held a press conference explainingÂ his decision, and issued a statement saying that Cochran’s “actions and decision-making undermine his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse workforce.”
“Every single employee under the Fire Chiefâ€™s command deserves the certainty that he or she is a valued member of the team and that fairness and respect guide employment decisions. His actions and his statements during the investigation and his suspension have eroded my confidence in his ability to convey that message.
“Chief Cochran also failed to notify me, as Mayor and Chief Executive of the City of Atlanta and his employer, of his plans to publish the book and its inflammatory content. This demonstrates an irreconcilable lapse in judgment.â€
At least one firefighters’ union supports the mayor.
â€œAtlanta Professional Firefighters Local 134 would like to commend Mayor Reed and his administration for their decision to terminate Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran.”
Of course, the radical religious right is furious.
The scandalized Ralph Reed, formerÂ executive director of the infamousÂ Christian Coalition who now headsÂ theÂ Faith and Freedom Coalition, “urged members and supporters to email and call the mayor to reverse the suspension and to tell him to stop ‘infringing on religious freedom,'” the Georgia Voice reports.
And last year, virulently anti-gay Tea Party leader Erick Erickson of RedState.com and Fox News “encouraged his followersÂ to purchase Cochranâ€™s book,” the Washington Post reports, “writing that the fire chief was facing suspension for ‘publicly professing Christian beliefs.'”
Today, Erickson added more falsehoods to the flame:
Today, Atlanta’s mayor fired the city’s fire chief for being a Christian.
â€” Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 6, 2015
And then there’s this:
â€” Mike McClain FOX 5 (@mikemcclainfox5) January 6, 2015
The Christian right is doing what it always does: disseminate false facts and play the victim.
Image viaÂ Wikimedia
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
John Eastman Will Face Charges if Continues ‘Frivolous Argument’ Against Capitol Riot Probe: Adam Schiff
John Eastman, the far-right lawyer who authored Trump’s “coup memo,” announced on Friday that he would be defying a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee.
Appearing on CNN later in the day, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) made clear that Eastman is free to plead the Fifth if he has a good-faith reason to fear he could incriminate himself — but that doesn’t entitle him to a free pass to ignore investigators.
“Eastman says the partisan makeup of the committee, he says makes it invalid and doesn’t need to cooperate,” said anchor Wolf Blitzer. “What do you say to that?”
“Well, that was a frivolous argument,” said Schiff. “If he uses that as a basis to refuse to answer questions, he will be in contempt of the committee, simple and straightforward. So we’ll be seeing with each witness… whether they’re properly invoking a privilege or to stall and delay for the former president, and will make the judgment as to what the repercussions should be once we see and hear the testimony.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene Cries She’s the ‘Most Attacked’ – Less Than 24 Hours After Labeling All Democrats ‘Communists’
If it seems like it was just yesterday that U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene labeled the President of the United States and in fact every Democrat in the country “communists,” it was, which is why it might seem strangely hypocritical that the Republican from Georgia minutes ago was labeling herself the “most attacked” freshman member of Congress in all of U.S. history.
“Joe Biden is a communist,” Greene declared strongly Thursday evening. “And that’s who the Democrats are – they’re communists.”
“You know, a lot of people are swallowing down the word ‘socialist,’ but that’s not a good enough word for Democrats – they are communists,” Greene told her supporters, clearly ignorant of the words’ meanings.
“That’s the word we need to keep using with them,” she continued. “Because they’re using these unprecedented, authoritarian, tyrannical controls on the American people to force people to comply.”
Marge Greene today: “Joe Biden is a communist. And that’s what the Democrats are – they’re communists. A lot of people are swallowing down the word ‘socialist,’ but .. they are communists.” pic.twitter.com/agaGlwoi4N
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 3, 2021
But Greene was singing a very different tune Friday afternoon.
“I have been the most attacked freshman Member of Congress probably in United States history,” Greene cried in a video she posted to social media. “The media has defamed me. They have completely smeared my character. Called me names and labeled me horrible things, none of which I am. None of the things they have said are true about me.”
Greene today: “I have been the most attacked freshman Member of Congress probably in US history. The media has defamed me. They smeared my character. Call me names and labeled me horrible things, none of which I am.” pic.twitter.com/a61WJaIsdP
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 3, 2021
What has been said about Congresswoman Greene in the legitimate media? Unlike her videos, there’s a high degree of likelihood it’s mostly true.
Here’s a portion of what The New York Times wrote in January:
Marjorie Taylor Greene had just finished questioning whether a plane really flew into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and flatly stating that President Barack Obama was secretly Muslim when she paused to offer an aside implicating another former president in a crime.
“That’s another one of those Clinton murders,” Ms. Greene said, referring to John F. Kennedy Jr.’s death in a 1999 plane crash, suggesting that he had been assassinated because he was a potential rival to Hillary Clinton for a New York Senate seat.
Ms. Greene casually unfurled the cascade of dangerous and patently untrue conspiracy theories in a 40-minute video that was originally posted to YouTube in 2018.
Ms. Greene suggested in a 2018 Facebook post, unearthed this week by Media Matters, that a devastating wildfire that ravaged California was started by “a laser” beamed from space and controlled by a prominent Jewish banking family with connections to powerful Democrats. She endorsed executing Democratic lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She served as a prolific writer for a now-defunct conspiracy blog called “American Truth Seekers,” writing posts with headlines including “MUST READ — Democratic Party Involved With Child Sex, Satanism, and The Occult.” And she argued that the 2018 midterm elections — in which the first two Muslim women were elected to the House — were part of “an Islamic invasion of our government.”
Ms. Greene has repeatedly claimed in multiple videos and social media posts that several school shooting massacres were “false flag” events perpetrated by government officials in an attempt to drum up support for gun control laws. In an October 2020 video surfaced on Friday by Mother Jones, she said that the “only way you get your freedoms back is it’s earned with the price of blood.”
Ms. Greene is perhaps best known for having endorsed QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy movement that claims that Mr. Trump was facing down a shadowy cabal of Democratic pedophiles.
That was almost an entire year ago. You’re probably more familiar with all the baseless and unfounded attacks she has made since.
Greene has made lying about and attacking Democrats part of her weekly, if not daily routine. Sometimes those attacks have been very personal – and very close. Like when she followed Parkland shooting survivor and gun control activist David Hogg around the streets of D.C. He said he felt she was threatening him. Or more recently, when she verbally assaulted U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of Congress. That was one of her countless attacks against the New York Democrat who Greene seems disturbingly obsessed with.
But if indeed Greene is the “most attacked” freshman member of Congress in all of U.S. history, she has only herself to blame.
On the Lam?: FBI Now Searching for Parents of Michigan Accused High School Shooter – Sheriff Says They’re ‘Missing’
James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of accused high school mass shooter Ethan Crumbley, appear to be “missing,” according to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
Sheriff Bouchard says his office is now searching for the Crumbleys, but they cannot be found and are not returning calls from their attorney.
MSNBC reports the FBI and U.S. Marshals are currently searching for them.
The Crumbleys will face four counts of homicide involuntary manslaughter. Their son, Ethan, is facing murder and terrorism charges, in addition to other charges.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald Friday afternoon detailed the alarming note and drawings that led to school administrators summoning the Crumbleys to the school. Among the words on the note, “the thoughts won’t stop help me,” “blood everywhere,” and “The world is dead.”
“So the Crumbleys are missing now?”
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 3, 2021
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
Michigan School Shooting Suspect’s Mom Thanked Trump for Right to Bear Arms in Vulgar 2016 Open Letter
- RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM1 day ago
Watch: Far Right Anti-Vaxx Pastor Just Can’t Understand Why There Are No ‘Big Democrats’ Who Have Died From COVID
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
AOC Slams McCarthy and His GOP ‘Ku Klux Klan Caucus’ for Allowing ‘Violent Targeting’ of Women of Color in Congress
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Watch: Bigoted NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson Berates Democratic Lawmaker for Denouncing His Anti-LGBTQ Hate Speech
- 'PRETTY STARK DIFFERENCE'2 days ago
‘The Former President Was Suggesting People Inject Bleach’: Psaki Smacks Down Doocy Over COVID Deaths
- ANALYSIS2 days ago
‘Basically Game Over’: Legal Experts Say SCOTUS Likely to Gut Abortion – and There’s a ‘Lot More on the Chopping Block’
- 'PRO-LIFE CONGRESSMAN ENDORSES MASS DEATH'1 day ago
‘Dangerous Political Disinformation’: Jim Jordan Slammed for Suggesting COVID Doesn’t Affect ‘Real America’
- 'BLAZING POSITIVE'2 days ago
‘Massive, Dangerous, Likely Intentional’: Immunologist Blasts Trump for Ignoring Positive COVID Test Before Biden Debate