Thorns and Roses: The Worst, Best and Most Absurd (9/09)

Listen to black women (chiefs) | Rose

Roses for Yvette Gentry, who becomes the city’s first Black woman police chief. She will hold that job until a permanent chief is replaced (a job she told The Courier Journal she does not want). But she’s poised to do much in the next months, as evidenced by her remarks: “I’m not here just to help you unboard your beautiful buildings downtown,” she said. “I’m here to work with you to unboard the community that I served with all my heart in West Louisville, that was boarded for 20 or 30 years.” And: “I will just say: That is just a glimpse of how a lot of people have been feeling for a long time, and we can’t go back,” she said. “I think our city is at a point of reckoning that only truth can bring us out of.”

Churchill big on words, not deeds | Thorn

After poet-activist Hannah L. Drake wrote a letter to the CEO of Churchill Downs (published in LEO last week) regarding the protests and the Kentucky Derby, the track issued a statement, which said, in part: “We recognize that people in our community and across our nation are hurting right now. The atmosphere of the Kentucky Derby will be different this year as we respond to those calls for change.” So what does Churchill do? It plays “My Old Kentucky Home” at the race (with a moment of silence beforehand). Not enough. Here are Drake’s words about the song: “‘My Old Kentucky Home’ is not a ballad about the love of Kentucky. It is a song about a slave anticipating being sold down the river where slaves have heard the life in the Deep South is even worse than being a slave in Kentucky, as if there are degrees to being in bondage, and this is our state song?” How easy and impactful would it have been for Churchill to nix the song? Maybe it doesn’t want to upset its East End benefactors.

Cops were scared of proxy penises?  | Thorn

A thorn goes to Louisville police for failing to separate protesters seeking #JusticeForBreonna and the knuckle-draggers armed with proxy penises. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Here is their excuse: “Due to the size of the crowd, we determined it was not safe to go in, and we did not want to escalate the situation with police presence,” police spokesman Lamont Washington said.

UK ballers stand up | Rose + Absurd

Some of us are not fans of sportsball and the tribalism that distracts from the core purpose of a college — education — but UK men’s basketball Coach John Calipari and his players get a rose for their video in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. And speaking of tribalism, an absurd goes to whoever protested the video by posting a photo of their UK team swag on fire.