Raw Grits

Anna and Aftyn take a break from politics this week to reckon with coming of age and finding one’s purpose within the redefinition of Southern institutions. WARNING: lots of tears!

Q Anon Won’t Save the Children

Does your aunt Karen believe Tom Hanks is running a child sex ring in his basement, and that Trump will save the children? Join QAnon expert Chris Coleman for this deep dive into the “deep state”. #WWG1WGA

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Mark Lee, Alleged Student-Harassing Overton County Teacher, Sues Accusers

If you’ve been follering us for any amount of time you’ve likely seen us talk about OVERTON COUNTY teacher Mark Lee, who taught at Livingston Academy until his recent 90-day suspension without pay and eventual transfer – which was supposedly tied to years worth of sexual harassment allegations by multiple students stretching back to 2003. (He’s tenured, so he’s likely back on payroll now)

Here’s our interview with 2 of the girls and their mothers:

It was also discussed at an Overton County school board meeting, during which multiple parents expressed their disgust that the school board had done little to protect the girls, and in fact had plans to transfer Lee to an elementary school until people hollered about it – yes seriously.

There was also talk of him being placed at an Alternative School, which is almost worse because that’s often where the most vulnerable students end up.

The District Attorney Bryan Dunavant, who we spoke with, says he didn’t bring charges against Lee because he had no proof of physical touching (although one of the girls says he rubbed his head on her stomach). He also told us he “wouldn’t want his daughter in Lee’s class.

A mother of another one of the alleged sexual harassment victims of the LIVINGSTON ACADEMY teacher (Mark Lee) in OVERTON COUNTY Says she spoke up since 2017, nobody listened. Multiple girls signed sworn affidavits on that occasion, including a cop’s daughter.

Lee is now suing the families and those who have stood up for them for “damages arising out of the defendants’ pattern of intentional, malicious, tortious false and defamatory statements impugning the plaintiffs’ character and reputation and published to the world on social media” as well as “invasion of privacy”.

This guy has some nerve.

HERE IS THE LAWSUIT if you’d like to read it. It includes the posts below, which it cites as defamation.

As a reminder, the director of schools suspended him for 90 days related to all of this.

If you or anyone you know has stories about Lee, or witnessed any of his behavior, feel free to holler at us on social media or at thetnholler@gmail.com – and follow The Cookeville Holler for developments

INTERVIEW: HD-63 State House Candidate ELIZABETH MADEIRA

 

 

PODCAST HERE!

HOLLER HOUR! (with Rep. Gloria Johnson)

Rep. Gloria Johnson joins the HOLLER HOUR to talk about Kenosha, Racism, Senator Johnson’s lies and more!

The Electoral College with Dr. Andrea Hatcher

Who chooses the President, the people, or the Electoral College?  “It’s complicated,” says Sandra Rice’s guest Dr. Andrea Hatcher, professor of politics and pre-law at The University of the South.  The founders would be surprised that we are still using this system despite its flaws and threat to democracy.  Would the popular vote be a more equitable way?  How could this be changed? Please vote.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

UT-Knoxville Student: “If Anyone Dies, Blood Is On Her Hands.”

“I have read people say, kind of cynical people I think, young people won’t do it, College students won’t do it. They will not stop partying.”

On the 21st of August the UT Knoxville YouTube channel uploaded a video of Chancellor Plowman addressing her student body. This video is meant to reassure students that she believes in us, and that she thinks that we can make this work.

What she does not acknowledge is the fact that these ‘cynical people’ are the student body she’s trying to ‘inspire’.

To be fair, I see where she’s coming from. There is not one person in this generation that I know who is not sick of older generations thinking we are too lazy or entitled to care for others. If you want to pander, this is a good way to do it, especially for ‘cynical’ people.

What this message fails to realize is that those cynics are not the ones who need to be inspired to follow the guidelines. The students who need to be inspired are the ones who do not care, as the consequences don’t have real impact for them.

I am one of those ‘cynical’ people who does not think that is going to work. I would love to be proved wrong, but I cannot afford to be optimistic when it could have dire consequences for those I care about.

What I do not think the chancellor is taking into account is the very real lived experiences of the students she is supposed to serve.

I am currently lucky enough to have all online classes, however one of my roommates isn’t so lucky. The problem is, I am now exposed to the campus environment even if I don’t set foot on campus at all this semester. I also have to work, and so does my roommate, which means we are both at a bigger risk of being infected.

We have been told that there will be consequences for students who do not adhere to guidelines, and that these students could get expelled. This would be great, if this was not a virus with a two week incubation period. By the time these students are facing consequences students who are immunocompromised will also be facing consequences of the now-expelled-student. If it were me, and my life was now on the line, I would not be happy with that student simply being expelled.

I am so scared to go home, my brother has asthma, my dad just beat cancer, and my mom was a smoker for so many years. If I brought COVID-19 home, and someone in my family passed away because someone who had the virus decided to come out and not isolate, Chancellor Plowman expelling them would mean nothing to me.

That doesn’t bring my family back.

Risking students’ lives, their families lives, and other citizens of Knoxville, so the university can play football and make money from that is horribly unethical. This chancellor has lost a lot of my respect even bringing us back to campus. If she keeps us here, she will not be redeemable.

If anyone at UT dies, their blood is on her hands.

Rainey Dinsmore is a student at UT-Knoxville

Be Better Belmont

Aftyn and Anna interview Claire and Safara, organizers with the Be Better Belmont campaign, which is pushing Belmont’s college administration to divest from the private prison system. #CancelCoreCivic.
FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.
Links:

We Are On Stolen Land with Crystal Cavalier

Hosts Hale Masaki and Owen Reed are joined by Crystal Cavalier of the Indigenous People’s Movement to talk about the deep intersections between environmental justice and Indigenous rights and what IPM is doing to fight for a better world. We can’t fully realize a Green New Deal until we root out the injustices committed against Native Americans by white colonizers, injustices that still continue through the present day. The impulse to destroy our natural environment for fossil fuel is the same impulse that drives colonization, which is directly tied to white supremacy. If we don’t fully understand these connections and attack them head-on, we won’t be able to create the society we desperately need through a Green New Deal.
Check out and support Radicalize The Vote.
Find out what Native Land you are living on and familiarize yourself with tribal history.

Follow Sunrise Tennessee on Twitter and Facebook.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts and wherever else you like to listen.

Distressed Rural Counties with Carol Abney

Carol Abney, candidate for TN House District 38, knows about distressed counties and closed rural hospitals. Fentress and 3 other TN counties were removed from the bottom 10% of economic performers across the country but 2 more in this district remain on the list.  A licensed CPA, Carol discusses the tax burdens, limited resources, inaccessible medical care, and lack of job opportunities that keep rural residents distressed.  The TN Rural Initiative provides” window dressing” when real financial support from the state government is needed.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.