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.
‘This Is for the People to Decide’: Jaw-Dropping CNN Supercut Lays Bare the GOP’s Stunning Hypocrisy on SCOTUS
As the battle over replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer — takes shape in Washington, D.C., Republican senators who previously refused to hold a vote on former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick are now having their words thrown in their faces.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Saturday played a devastating supercut that features Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explaining why they would not vote on Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.
“I want you to use my words against me,” Graham said in 2016 — laying out what Cooper described as an “eerily similar” situation as the one currently playing out in Congress. “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, ‘Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’ and you could use my words against me and you would be absolutely right.”
“We’re setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year, at least of a lame duck eight-year term, I would say it’s going to be a four-year term, that you’re not going to fill a vacancy of the Supreme Court based on what we’re doing here today,” he added. “That’s going to be the new rule.”
In his own floor speech on the matter in 2016, McConnell likewise urged Congress to give the American people a say in the Supreme Court pick.
“The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country. So, of course, of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction,” McConnell said.
Cruz — who was shortlisted by Trump as a potential SCOTUS pick earlier this month — also insisted in 2016 that Congress should not move to replace Scalia until after the election.
“I don’t think we should be moving forward on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term, Cruz said. “I would say that if it was a republican president.”
“President Obama is eager to appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement this year,” he continued. “But do you know in the last 80 years we have not once has the Senate confirmed a nomination made in an election year and now is no year to start. This is for the people to decide. I intend to make 2016 a referendum on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Of course, all three men have now signaled they’re much more likely in 2020 to jam a conservative Supreme Court justice down voters’ throats on the eve of an election. After President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted that the Senate has an “obligation” select a replacement for Ginsburg, Graham said he “fully” understands where the president is coming from.
In case that statement seems vague, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman added: ”I will support President [Trump] in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.”
And McConnell has also insisted “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
And in perhaps the least surprising flip-flop of all, Cruz on Saturday wrote an opinion piece for Fox News that outlined 3 reasons why the Senate must confirm Ginsburg’s replacement before election day. In it, he touted Trump’s “list of extremely qualified, principled constitutionalists who could serve on the Supreme Court” — which, of course, included himself — and argued that going into an election with an 8 person bench could trigger a constitutional crisis in the event of a contested election.
Amazing how now of the senators were concerned with such a problem when Obama appointed his nominee.
Watch the video below to see the blatant hypocrisy for yourself:
‘You Don’t See Any Hypocrisy?’ Chris Wallace Filets Tom Cotton by Replaying His Merrick Garland Speech
Fox News host Chris Wallace accused Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) of hypocrisy on Sunday after he vowed to push forward with a vote to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an election year.
“Why the rush to judgement?” Wallace asked Cotton after the senator promised a swift vote on President Donald Trump’s eventual nominee.
“We’re not going to rush,” Cotton insisted. “We not going to skip steps. We’re going to move forward without delay.”
Wallace reminded Cotton that President Barack Obama named Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee after Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016.
“Senate Republicans blocked the choice of Garland,” Wallace noted before playing a clip of Cotton defending the move at the time.
In the clip, Cotton notes that the country will have a new president “in a few short months.”
“Why would we cut off the national debate about this next justice?” Cotton says in the clip. “Why would we squelch the voice of the people, why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the make up of the Supreme Court?”
Wallace continued following the clip: “Garland was nominated nine months before the election and you were saying then, nine months before the election, it was wrong to deny voters a chance to weigh in. So if it was wrong then nine months before the election, why is it OK now six weeks before the election?”
For his part, Cotton argued that Republicans won the Senate in 2014 to stop President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations, and then he claimed that the current Republican Senate is in power to uphold nominations by President Donald Trump.
“You really don’t think there is any hypocrisy at all,” Wallace pressed, “in saying, we need to give voters — because you can parse the 2014 election, the 2018 election any way you want — but you stated a pretty firm principle in 2016 about Merrick Garland: It’s wrong to deny voters a chance to weigh in.”
“You don’t see any hypocrisy between that position then and this position now?” the Fox News host wondered.
“Chris, the Senate majority is performing our constitutional duty and fulfilling the mandate that the voters gave us,” Cotton opined.
Watch the video below from Fox News.
Trump Says He Will Make SCOTUS Nomination Next Week – Appears He Will Use Seat to Strengthen Where He Is Weak in Polls
President Donald Trump says he will announce his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “next week.”
He made clear his primary deciding factors will be to help him in the polls.
Trump told reporters Saturday afternoon “most likely” he will choose a woman.
CNN reports he is leaning towards choosing a woman mostly because he is doing poorly in the polls with women.
Trump spoke about two women judges. He talked about Barbara Lagoa, noting she is Hispanic and from Florida. He is struggling in the polls with Hispanics and in Florida.
Reporters also asked about Amy Coney Barrett, a far right wing anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ extremist. Trump spoke positively about her as well. Reports say she is the current frontrunner.
Trump: I can see most likely it would be a woman, yeah I think I can say that. pic.twitter.com/1csAZefqUF
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) September 19, 2020
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
- DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE3 days ago
‘We’re Screwed’: New Details Emerge About Jared Kushner’s Refusal to Help Battle COVID-19
- REMEMBER THE PAPER TOWELS?3 days ago
Trump to Announce Billions in Aid To Puerto Rico in Desperate Attempt to Win Florida
- 'SOLD!'2 days ago
‘Hip Hip, Hooray!’: Haley Praised for ‘Endorsing’ Biden After She Warns He Would Move US ‘Pretty Dramatically’ Left
- News2 days ago
McConnell Announces Any Trump Nominee Will Get Senate Vote
- UNCONSTITUTIONAL2 days ago
Trump Asks Supreme Court to Allow Him to Remove Undocumented Immigrants From Census
- OUR FASCIST PRESIDENT2 days ago
White House Preparing Shortlist to Replace FBI Director Wray After He Testified on Russia Attacking Election: Report
- EDUCATION1 day ago
Dept. of Education threatens to withhold $18 million from schools that let transgender athletes compete
- 'SOUNDS ABOUT WHITE'1 day ago
Republican state leaders threaten violence in “coming war” with Black Lives Matter