Mistreated, Misrepresented and Marginalized: Inconsolable to Inconsiderate

Mistreated, Misrepresented and Marginalized:  Inconsolable to Inconsiderate

By Wane A. Hailes

Within 30 days of the request by councilor Joann Cogle to postpone filling the late Jerry “Pops” Barnes’ seat, six of nine of the Columbus City councilors went from inconsolable to inconsiderate.

During the April 23, 2024, City Council meeting, councilors Joann Cogle, Judy Thomas, Glenn Davis, and Toyia Tucker were boohooing like newborn babies over Councilor Barnes's passing, barely able to control themselves. We now know it was all just a travesty, from the French word travesti, meaning dressed in disguise. It is interesting that with all that crying, only one of the above councilors, Charmaine Crabb, showed up at his funeral.

Prior to this past council meeting Simeone “Simi” Barnes, councilor “Pops” Barnes's daughter, wrote Mayor Skip Henderson and council members requesting that she be allowed to fulfill her father’s unexpired term. She wrote, “I am seeking the appointment with my family’s support because we strongly believe that I am the most ideal candidate to protect and preserve the Barnes Legacy.” She also informed them that she would be in attendance at the next meeting and ready to go to work for the people of District One.

According to her understanding, she was assured she had enough votes to succeed her father. However, as she, family members, friends and Mrs. Jannie Mae Barnes, Pops' wife, sat in the audience, six council members voted against her with total disregard and inconsiderateness for the wishes of the late councilman.

To add insult to injury, not once did the mayor or any council member recognize, acknowledge, wave at, nod in the direction of or look their way while they were seated in council chambers that evening. It was a total act of disrespect toward the family of a colleague they claimed they were so proud to serve with for over 20 years.

I swear I need to set up a psychic hotline because I predicted this three weeks ago in an earlier “View from A Pew.” I said there was an effort underway to appoint an individual who would vote with Davis, Cogle, Crabb, Tucker and Thomas.

We were surprised but not shocked that Walker Garrett finally showed his true colors and joined the puppeteer and the rest of his puppets. With this new appointment, they now have enough votes to wreak havoc on this city, something this community can ill afford to let happen.

One thing we were not surprised about is Toyia Tucker’s vote. She has shown us time and time again that she is the perfect example that “all skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.”  While she might revel in the fact that she won the re-election she might consider that 48% of the voters in District 4 do not trust her. 1,249 voters in District 4 compare her to one of the Africans who sold thousands of their own people to European slave merchants through the ports of Calabar and Bonny in the south of what today is Nigeria.

Finally, where was Byron Hickey? Has there ever been a time when an appointee wasn’t in place to be sworn in immediately? When Tyson Begley replaced John House, he was there. When Rev. Valerie Thompson replaced Evelyn Turner Pugh she was there. When former Representative Tom Buck replaced Red McDaniel, he was there.

If you think Hickey didn’t know he was going to receive the appointment, then let me tell you; HE DID. You can also trust me when I say I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that the puppet master instructed him not to show up.

Why this is important to the Black and Hispanic community: This news article is important to the Black and Hispanic communities because it sheds light on political dynamics and decisions that directly impact their representation and interests within the Columbus City Council. The disregard shown toward Simeone “Simi” Barnes, who sought to fulfill her late father's unexpired term, raises concerns about fair representation and respect for the wishes of the community. Additionally, the commentary on council members' actions and voting patterns highlights broader issues of trust, accountability, and diversity within local governance, which are critical for ensuring equitable treatment and opportunities for all residents, regardless of race or ethnicity.

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