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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Columbine parent Rev. Michael Shoels and Sam at Isaiah’s grave site in Colorado 

Columbine parent Rev. Michael Shoels and Sam at Isaiah’s grave site in Colorado 

Presumption of victory

By Sam Riddle
Special to the Michigan Citizen

There is the stench of inevitability in the political air of Detroit, fanned by billionaires Penske and Gilbert. Their dollars and influence have created the presumption of victory for D-U-G-G-A-N. Yep.

Now these are two guys who stop at nothing to win — even if it’s a car race where the Penske team has been whacked for cheating, and Gilbert cheated with an illegal donation to the PAC that fuels D-U-G-G-A-N votes. Yeah, and I know; me and DIA art patron Al Taubman have done time in the fed pen. Yep. It’s that kind of city — Detroit. A little rough around the edges but we all want a better city. And all of us will be part of the mix. America is like that.

“Do you still beat your wife?” A reporter asks the question and voila! demonization via media beat down. The fact that you haven’t done a damn thing becomes irrelevant. “Do emails show Sheriff Napoleon illegally invaded a former employee’s home with a warrant based upon a lie?”

Understand that the media had to have something to work with to blow this story up. They didn’t need much but they have enough to media-justify the demonizing of the sheriff. Another media nail in the political coffin … (Palmer Woods, 60 take-home cars, escapees, budget issues, the jail, race, no lip hair).

You say there isn’t much there. You’re right — problem is it doesn’t take much to have the desired cumulative effect, which is simply to plant enough doubt that the candidate doesn’t get a vote he may have gotten — had the other guy not received a “don’t bother” media gift card.

People, we’re talking about the shaping of mindsets or public opinion.  Creating an “I don’t know about that Napoleon fella” attitude is more than enough to cost the sheriff this election. You are witnessing the total demonization of a decent enough chap — as these things go — so that the Chosen One may prevail. Yep.

Domestic terrorism is still terrorism whether it is Oklahoma City, Columbine, Virginia Tech, D.C. Snipers, Newtown, Aurora, Ft. Hood or now the U.S. Navy Yard. Terrorism — homegrown or spiked with international flavor and intrigue — remains terrorism.

It was mind boggling to hear the president say, we expect these things overseas, but not here.

We have had thousands killed when jets were slammed into buildings in New York City and even the Pentagon; the fact that a military facility has been hit again means preparation for those that kill must be stepped up — including a review of policies that motivate these fkers.

You don’t want to think about it. But it happened.

“Why did he have to be Black?” Stop that! White folks have not gone on a collective guilt trip about McVeigh, Harris, Klebold or any of those other haters; why should you?

I served as the family spokesman for Columbine victim Isaiah Shoels, the only Black student killed, from the time the bodies lay in the school library. I had a comfort zone writing a speech for my client Vikki Buckley, the Colorado Secretary of State that was the only public official with the guts to welcome the NRA to Denver mere days after the 1999 slaughter. Buckley received a standing ovation when she said, “Guns are not the issue. It is the hate that pulled the trigger that is the issue.” Reverend Michael Shoels, Isaiah’s father, joined in the applause and supported Buckley’s position.

Hate transcends race, class, religion and logic. Hate kills. Love heals. Revenge is a cancer.

A tweet: #Pistons need 2do a walkabout through deep Eastside of the D as part of re-acquisition of 313 Swag cause that 248 ain’t cuttin’ it in NBA.

We must never let haters cause us to lose hope or dislike ourselves, and never let haters make you weak in your faith. Keep the faith. Stay on the battlefield.

Sam Riddle is political director of the Michigan National Action Network.  Follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at


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