Friday, October 22, 2021

Learn more about charter schools with TCSC's Charter 101

The Tennessee Charter School Center invites you to participate in Charter 101, a comprehensive series of informative sessions for anyone interested in starting a charter school in Tennessee. The Nov. 2 session about Vendor Resources, will include information about, a one-of-a-kind platform guiding school leaders and their boards from application to post-authorization and operating stages through renewal, replication and expansion.

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Charter School Commission Greenlights New Charter in Nashville

The Tennessee Public Charter School Commission has approved a resolution to overturn the Metro Nashville Public School board's denial of Nashville Classical Charter's application to open a second school in West Nashville. Read the entire article here.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021

October meeting of Moms for Liberty, Oct. 28th


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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Get real about Climate Change. Part 4: Admit that the Paris Accords has failed, ditch it, and establish an international mechanism to foster greenhouse reductions.

by Rod Williams - I am convinced that climate change is real and we are running out of time to address it and that thus far our efforts to do so have been anemic, ineffective, symbolic, and even counterproductive. I have opined on why our efforts to combat climate change have been such a failure.  Since what we have been doing is not working, what should we do differently? 

The above charts are from 2019. Since then the trends
have continued and accelerated.
A major thing we need to do is to admit the Paris Accords is a failure, ditch it and establish a global order that incentivizes greenhouse gas reductions. People and countries respond better to incentives and disincentives than exhortations to do the right thing. 

Any one country cannot solve the problem of climate change. No matter how certain we are that climate change is real, we will not be able to solve the problem alone and without some mechanism to foster greenhouse reductions by other countries. If the US and the developed world reduce their emissions while China and other countries build new coal-fired power plants and dirty steel mills, we are losing economically while also losing the battle to curtail global warming. China can increase its production of greenhouse gases faster than we can reduce ours.

Currently, the international approach to address climate change is the Paris Climate Accords. The goal of this agreement is to keep the rise in global temperature to less than 2 °C of pre-industrial levels. To do this, there would have to be a substantial reduction in greenhouse emissions so that by about the year 2050 we have reached net-zero emissions.  Net-zero emissions means any carbon emissions that do occur are offset by processes that remove carbon or offset by other changes that result in reductions of greenhouse gases. So, if we increase the world's forest that could offset some emissions elsewhere, but if more people switch to battery-powered cars or give up their cars, that would offset some emissions elsewhere also.  The level of total emissions is to be reduced until there is net-zero emissions. 

Under the Paris Agreement, each country that is a party to the agreement must establish a plan and state a goal for how much reduction they will achieve and then regularly report on the progress they are making in meeting their plan. Every five years each country comes up with a new plan.  There is no mechanism that forces a country to set specific emissions targets, but the agreement calls for each target to show progress in greenhouse emission reduction over the previous targets. 

There are other provisions of the agreement that call for wealthy countries to give aid to developing countries for abatement and adaptation and other provisions, but the greenhouse reduction portion of the agreement is the most important part. It should be pointed out that not only is the Paris Agreement not binding on any nation beyond the requirements stated above but what is sometimes called a "treaty," is not even really a treaty.  It has never been ratified by Congress. The US is a party to the agreement by executive order.

So how is the Paris Accord doing in achieving its goal? The title of this WSJ article sums it up: World Off Track to Meet Paris Climate Targets, U.N. Says. Below are some excerpts.  The highlighting is mine.

The Paris Agreement called for governments to limit the rise in global temperatures to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius and required them to update their environmental plans repeatedly to hit the target. Friday’s report is expected to serve as a starting point for negotiations in Glasgow over how much the world needs to cut emissions and which countries need to do more. 

 Economies around the world have been rapidly adopting solar panels, wind turbines and other low-emission technologies, but scientists say the shift from fossil fuels hasn’t been happening nearly fast enough to stop rising sea levels, more frequent and powerful storms and other impacts of climate change. 

China, the world’s biggest emitter, and India, the second-most populous nation, have yet to submit updated emission reduction plans to the U.N., so Friday’s report doesn’t include plans they have announced but not formally submitted. Chinese President Xi Jinping said in December that China was aiming to get 25% of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 and become carbon neutral before 2060. The world stands little chance of hitting the Paris climate target without China updating the last climate plan it submitted to the U.N., which dates from 2016, according to the U.N. report. Global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to have risen by 16% by 2030 compared with 2010, based on the climate plans submitted by the end of July, the U.N. said. 

 “The 16% increase is a huge cause of concern," said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of U.N. Climate Change. “It is in sharp contrast with the calls by science for rapid, sustained and large-scale emission reductions to prevent the most severe climate consequences and suffering, especially of the most vulnerable, throughout the world."  

China and India are expected to see greenhouse gases grow strongly in the coming years, given surging economic growth. The Biden administration and the European Union have called for China to begin cutting emissions sooner. The U.N. report also notes that many of the emissions plans submitted by developing countries are contingent on receiving financing that the developed world pledged to them under the Paris accord.

This is alarming. We are increasing greenhouse gases instead of decreasing them and the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases has not even presented its required plan. Countries won't even present rosy scenario pie-in-the-sky optimistic projections.  They have stopped even pretending we will slow climate change.  Can we admit that the Paris Agreement has been a failure?

If we admit it is a failure, we need to replace it with something that works.  Replace it with what?  I, of course, do not know exactly with what, but here are some elements that I think would be essential to any plan that works.

The U. S. must take the lead.  We are the essential country.  Not much good occurs in the world when we are on the sidelines.  We are the wealthiest, one of the world's largest trading partners, the greatest military power, the most innovative, and the top provider of foreign aid to the world.  Also, we are the world's worst emitter of greenhouse gases on a per capita basis.  However, our numbers are going down, while many other country's numbers, especially China's, are going up.  We should exert our influence, lead by example, and throw our weight around.

We need to focus on a plan that involves only the important countries of the world, instead of trying to get all of the nations of the world to come together and each do their part.  Forget the United Nations, for now. We need to focus on addressing the issue where the action is.  We need an intense focus on the G-7 or maybe the G-20. The G-7 accounts for 60% of global wealth and we share common values.  If the seven wealthiest democracies can agree on an approach, we can exert a lot of influence and apply a lot of pressure on the rest of the world.  

Use international commerce to influence behavior.  I am a "free-trader."  I believe in the theory of comparative advantage and I do not want to ignite a trade war. However, "free trade" is a relative term.  It has never meant that anyone could import anything they wanted.  We do not import cars without catalytic converters. Gibson Guitar cannot import exotic woods except in limited quality with proof of origin.  We do not legally import fentanyl or cocaine. We monitor fishing and ban the import of products harvested by overfishing.  We ban the import of ivory, except in rare circumstances. A lot of trade is restricted to meet health, safety, human rights, and environmental objectives.  Certain products produced using dirty methods could be banned outright, such as Chinese steel produced using the old process of blast furnaces, for example.

In addition to an outright ban in trade in certain products, a mechanism could be established that favored countries that were reducing their overall greenhouse emissions.  We could use the current most favored nation regime and the World Trade Organization or establish a new regime using that model. 

I know this would not be easy to achieve but the approach of Paris is a failed approach.  We can't fix it. We need something stronger.

For more essays in this series see the following:

Get real about Climate Change. Part 1: Climate change is an established fact and time is running out to do anything about it.

Get real about Climate Change. Part 2: So far what we are doing about climate change is ineffective, anemic, symbolic, or counterproductive.

Get real about Climate Change. Part 3: Why are efforts to combat climate change such a failure?
Get real about Climate Change. Part 4: Admit that the Paris Accords has failed, ditch it, and establish an international mechanism to foster greenhouse reductions.

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Immigrant Rights Group Pushes For Removal Of Raul Lopez From School-Funding Committee

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] – Immigration advocates are pushing for

Raul Lopez
Governor Lee to replace the chair of the subcommittee tasked with reviewing school funding for English Language Learners, claiming he is a promoter of anti-immigration policies. Raul Lopez, who is Latino, was appointed by Governor Lee. 

This appointment has the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) up in arms. The group released a statement last Thursday, denouncing Lopez, saying that he will only cause additional trouble for students. (read more)

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Metro Party-Poopers to ban alcohol, regulate party buses.

Someone is having fun and we must stop them! 

What to know ahead of the final vote on Nashville's party
vehicle regulation bill.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Are former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and former U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Manny Sethi running for

From The Daily Lookout:

Former Tennessean reporter Kirk Bado, now with National
Journal, flagged an interesting tidbit: A number of domains have been purchased in the names of former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and former U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Manny Sethi. To wit, the following have been purchased:,, and among others.
Not coincidentally, Harwell and Sethi are both mentioned as potential candidates for Congress in District 5, should the seat be reconfigured in the redistricting process.

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Monday, October 18, 2021

I Pledge Allegiance Tour featuring Diamond and Silk, Oct. 22, 2021


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Beacon's Heroes event. Wed. Nov. 3, 2021

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 
Where: Mere Bulles, 5201 Maryland Way, Brentwood, TN 
Time: 5:30 pm until 7 pm 

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Bastiat Society presents Phil Magness, author of “The 1619 Project: A Critique,” November 2nd

About this event 
AIER’s Bastiat Society program in Nashville will host an event with Phil Magness, Senior Research Faculty and Interim Research and Education Director at the American Institute for Economic Research. The New York Times’s 1619 Project has received accolades including a Pulitzer Prize for its attempt to refocus the history of the United States upon the horrific legacy of slavery. In doing so however, the Times came under intense scrutiny for misrepresenting historical evidence and adapting its analysis to advance anti-capitalist political objectives in the present day. 

Phil Magness, author of “The 1619 Project: A Critique,” will evaluate the merits and problems with the 1619 Project’s narrative. 

The Bastiat Society of Nashville’s speaker series is co-sponsored by The Beacon Center of Tennessee & The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) (affiliated with Middle Tennessee State University). This co-sponsorship does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the speakers’ positions on the issues discussed. 

6:00 - 6:30 PM: Networking 
6:30 - 7:15 PM: Presentation 
7:15 - 7:30 PM: Q&A 

Ticket Prices: $0 for Founding Members $10 for Annual Members $20 for Non-Members $0 for Actively enrolled university students who register with a .edu email address. 

More about the speaker: 
Phillip W. Magness is Senior Research Faculty and Interim Research and Education Director at the American Institute for Economic Research. He holds a PhD and MPP from George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas (Houston). Prior to joining AIER, Dr. Magness spent over a decade teaching public policy, economics, and international trade at institutions including American University, George Mason University, and Berry College. Magness’s work encompasses the economic history of the United States and Atlantic world, with specializations in the economic dimensions of slavery and racial discrimination, the history of taxation, and measurements of economic inequality over time. He also maintains active research interest in higher education policy and the history of economic thought. In addition to his scholarship, Magness’s popular writings have appeared in numerous venues including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, Politico, Reason, National Review, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Williamson Families PAC Kickoff, Tuesday November 2nd


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Sunday, October 17, 2021

TDOE Announces Chairs of 18 Education Funding Review Subcommittees; Conversations to Explore Student-Based Investment Strategy

Chairs Will Lead Critical Discussions Representative of Tennessee Values 

Press release, Wednesday, Nashville, TN, October 13, 2021- Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced the chairs for the 18 education funding review subcommittees, who will lead conversations on how to create a student-focused investment strategy from the lens of the state’s students, families, educators, district and school leaders, higher education partners, elected officials, business leaders, and education stakeholders. 

Last week, Governor Lee called for a full review of the state’s funding formula for public education to focus on a student investment strategy that emphasizes all students rather than systems, empowers parents to engage in their child’s education and outcomes, ensures all students are prepared for postsecondary success, and reflects Tennesseans’ values. 

"All stakeholders that have a hand in a child’s education and the future of Tennessee are integral to these conversations on exploring a funding strategy that emphasizes the needs of all students, and we want to provide all Tennesseans a seat at the table to make their voices heard,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Now is the time for bold action for our kids—to ensure we are doing everything in our power to serve them well, which starts with how we fund their educational journey. We are delighted to welcome these state and national experts to lead conversations on how we can develop a student-focused funding strategy in Tennessee.” 

Each of the 18 subcommittees, composed of 8-10 members, will be led by a chair who is tasked with capturing ideas and feedback based in the unique perspective of the stakeholder group or respective topic area they serve. Additionally, each chair is a trusted advocate to responsibly collect and share feedback and suggestions for a student-based funding approach. The chairs for each of the subcommittees are: 

Student Engagement Subcommittee 
Chair: Elizabeth Brown, State President, Future Business Leaders of America – Tennessee; Senior, Coffee County High School 

Students with Disabilities and Gifted Students Subcommittee 
Chair: Commissioner Brad Turner, Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 

English Learner Subcommittee 
Chair: Raul Lopez, Executive Director, Latinos for Tennessee 

Economically Disadvantaged and Highly Mobile Students Subcommittee 
Chair: Victor Evans, Executive Director, TennesseeCAN 

Parent Choice and Voice Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Derwin Sisnett, Commissioner, Tennessee Public Charter School Commission 

Teacher Advisory Subcommittee
Chair: Morgan Rankin, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year, Johnson City Schools 

Principal Advisory Subcommittee 
Chair: Farrah Griffith, Principal, White County Schools School System 

Personnel Subcommittee 
Chair: Steve Starnes, Director of Schools, Greeneville City Schools School System 

Leadership Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Danny Weeks, Director of Schools, Dickson County Schools 

Rural and Small District Subcommittee 
Chair: Janet Ayers, President, The Ayers Foundation 

Suburban Districts, Municipals, and Fast-Growing Communities Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Ted Horrell, Director of Schools, Lakeland School System 

Urban District Subcommittee 
Chair: Cato Johnson, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Public Policy/Regulatory Affairs, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare 

Higher Education and Post-Secondary Readiness Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Youlanda Jones, President, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology- Covington, Ripley, and Newbern Post-Secondary 

Readiness and the Business Community Subcommittee 
Chair: Randy Boyd, President, University of Tennessee System 

Chambers of Commerce and Industry Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Jared Bigham, Senior Advisor on Workforce & Rural Initiatives, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce 

Education Foundations Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Dan Challener, President, Public Education Foundation 

Regional Collectives and Advocacy Subcommittee 
Co-Chairs: Scott Niswonger, Chairman and Founder, Niswonger Foundation, and Dr. Nancy Dishner, President and CEO, Niswonger Foundation 

Fiscal Responsibility Subcommittee
Chair: Justin Owen, President & Chief Executive Officer, Beacon Center of Tennessee 

The state’s engagement includes a central steering committee composed of statewide policymakers and 18 subcommittees, in addition to a committee of national experts, regional meetings of county commissioners and school board members, public engagement representatives, and an opportunity for public comment through a formal survey later in the fall. Over the next three months, the subcommittees will meet twice a month, either in person or virtually. All associated committee meeting materials, including recordings and minutes, will be posted here. Steering committee and subcommittee members will be released in the coming days. 

“Few students have had the opportunity to serve in the development of a student-centered school funding strategy. I am honored to be chosen, especially as a current student,” said Elizabeth Brown, State President, Future Business Leaders of America – Tennessee; Senior, Coffee County High School.
“Every Tennessean impacts public education and should be at the table. I will proudly assist as a subcommittee chair, working alongside student leaders from across Tennessee to ensure that students have the educators and supports needed for every level of education.” 

“Nothing is more important than serving our children, and I am excited to see the state review how we fund public education,” said Cato Johnson, Senior Vice President of Public Policy/Regulatory Affairs & Chief of Staff, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System. “It is critical that our focus is on ensuring we do the best we can to prepare our students for the future and that must start now. Removing barriers to future success for all Tennessee children is something I am proud to be a part of, and I am thrilled to see these conversations take place across the state to support our students and education in this great state."

“The natural alignment between education and economic development is undeniable, and that begins with building a robust funding structure for our state’s public schools,” said University of Tennessee System President Randy Boyd. “It is also critical that we continue the important work of the Drive to 55 by increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees to 55 percent by 2025. Each percentage we miss translates into a percentage of our population that will either be unemployed or underemployed in the years to come. Tennesseans are relying on our best efforts to create a student-centered approach to school funding, helping to ensure our children are ready for college, career, and life.” 

"Serving Tennessee students and the future leaders of our state should be our top priority, and I am thrilled to focus on exploring a more student-focused education funding strategy to ensure all their needs are met," said Commissioner Brad Turner, Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. "I am honored to serve my state as a subcommittee chair to lead conversations and share feedback from fellow Tennesseans who care about our children and setting them up for success, which ultimately sets our state up for success." 

“I’m honored to facilitate the engagement of Tennessee principals as school, community, and instructional leaders to discuss how every school should be equipped to meet the comprehensive needs of all our students,” said Farrah Griffith, Principal, White County Middle School. “The expertise of principals and their ability to engage families as part of this school funding formula review process is essential to the development of a well-informed strategy for our state moving forward.” 

“Providing access to much-needed resources for our rural communities in Tennessee is essential to the future of our students and our state, and I am proud to serve as a leading voice in these conversations to focus on how to match our students’ needs with our education funding strategy,” said Janet Ayers, President, Ayers Foundation. “Now is the time to act on behalf of our students and continue building on the influx on new businesses and industries coming to Tennessee to ensure they are workforce ready and prepared for post-secondary success.” 

Justin Owen
"How we fund students is important to their future success, and doing that in a fiscally responsible way to ensure we are good stewards of taxpayers' funds is critical for the sustainability and future of our state," said Justin Owen, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Beacon Center of Tennessee. "This process matters because we must balance the interests of all Tennesseans and ensure the dollars we spend go towards measurable educational outcomes. We look forward to finding a strategy that will best serve the students, families, and taxpayers of our entire state." 

"Our state has been a leader in academic achievement and innovation to provide access to essential resources and supports for our students and educators, and it is time to review our education funding strategy to ensure it reflects these ambitious goals and the trajectory of acceleration for our state," said Dr. Danny Weeks, Director of Schools, Dickson County Schools. "I am honored to serve as a chair to lead these critical conversations amongst fellow district and school leaders to dig in and discuss how we can best support our communities." 

“The statewide engagement of a student-centered school funding strategy is a profound moment for our state impacting the prosperity of Tennessee students, families, and communities for generations,” said Nancy Dishner, President and CEO, Niswonger Foundation. “Scott Niswonger and I are proud to do all we can to support this critically important work.” 

Raul Lopez
“As the son of Cuban refugees who knows firsthand the challenges that come with learning a new language, I am honored to accept the governor’s invitation to chair the English Language learner Subcommittee. Although we have been making considerable strides in recent years, far too many Tennessee students are struggling to keep pace – a crisis only exacerbated by the challenges of learning in a global pandemic,” said Raul Lopez, Executive Director, Latinos for Tennessee. “I am particularly excited about Gov. Lee’s proposal to redesign public school funding in the state. Instead of funding institutions and physical buildings, this administration is prioritizing the specific funding needs of customized learning and instruction. I’d like to thank the governor for his vote of confidence in me and look forward to serving the people of Tennessee in my capacity as the chair of the English Language learner Subcommittee.” 

“I applaud Governor Lee, Commissioner Schwinn, and our legislative leaders for looking at ways we can modernize the state's approach to school funding. We need a bold student-centered approach that respects the individual needs of families and children, and that responds to what we have learned during the pandemic so all kids can reach their fullest potential,” said Victor Evans, Executive Director, TennesseeCAN. “I look forward to helping lead that discussion as the chair of the subcommittee zeroing in on the needs of economically disadvantaged and highly-mobile students who were most at risk of falling behind academically before the pandemic and who need our help now more than ever." 

"Now is the time to begin these critically important conversations to explore a new education funding strategy on how we ensure our students are prepared for success on day one of their educational journey," said Dr. Ted Horrell, Superintendent, Lakeland School System. "I am honored to serve as the chair of a subcommittee and represent fellow education leaders and stakeholders who all have the same goal in mind- to ensure the needs of our students, educators, schools, and communities are met and taken into account during these discussions." 

"Addressing our educational funding strategy can have tremendous benefits for students to be able to explore the vast number of workforce opportunities available to them," said Dr. Youlanda Jones, President, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology - Covington, Ripley, and Newbern. "This work provides us a chance to improve the lives of these students by giving them access to explore future careers and the pathways available. This will go a long way towards meeting Tennessee's future workforce needs and goals." 

“As a former charter school operator, I understand how critical it is to ensure funding is distributed equitably to all students,” said Dr. Derwin Sisnett, Commissioner, Tennessee Public Charter School Commission. “I am grateful for this opportunity from Governor Lee and Commissioner Schwinn to provide a voice for our students, parents, and communities on what their needs are and how we can best support them as we explore possibilities for a new funding strategy.” 

“This is our moment as a state to intentionally review and take action around how we equip schools with the educators and wraparound supports needed to meet the aspirations we have for all Tennessee students,” said Steve Starnes, Director of Schools, Greeneville City Schools. “I look forward to engaging school system leaders to inform a school funding model that will meet the needs of Tennessee students enabling them to succeed in postsecondary and the workforce.” 

"Finding a way to fund education that empowers students and gives them future post-secondary opportunities is critical across rural Tennessee," said Dr. Jared Bigham, Senior Advisor on Workforce & Rural Initiatives, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. "Leveling the playing field for these students so they can access the resources and supports they need to be ready for the modern workforce will build stronger communities and our state’s pipeline to continue bringing much-needed business and industry to rural communities in our state."

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Robby Starbuck Volunteer Training

Robby Starbuck 2022 Volunteer Training & Strategy Session on October 20th at 6:15PM. For registration, follow this link.

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Metro Planning Department release initial draft of redistricting map


For much more on the topic of Metro Council and Metro School Board redistricting and to see a schedule of where and when one may view the maps in-person follow this link

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15 "Men," mostly Hispanic and other minority men, Charged in Undercover Sex Trafficking Operation

by Rod Williams - A two-day undercover operation on Wednesday and Thursday by MNPD Human Trafficking detectives, with the assistance of the TBI and Homeland Security Investigations resulted in 15 men being charged with trafficking for a commercial sex act: 

  • Charence Smith, 49, of Clarksville; 
  • Arthur Burnett, 51, of Clarksville; 
  • Kendall Kendrick, 28, of Nashville; 
  • Jumapili Lumumba, 29, of Nashville; 
  • Gabriel Soto Adame, 33, of Nashville; 
  • Aroldo Garcia, 25, of Nashville; 
  • Marqueze Parrish, 20, of Nashville; 
  • William Moore, 55, of Nashville; 
  • Antwan Davis, 21, of Nashville; 
  • Uchenna Ugwu, 37, of Nashville; 
  • Minor Gabriel Perez, 22, of Lebanon; 
  • James White, 57, of Greenbrier; 
  • Alex Patel, 20, of Nashville; 
  • Luis Antonio Lopez, 45, of Nashville; 
  • Johnny Ardon Gozales, 38, of Sevierville. 
The men responded to a Nashville hotel in response to internet ads posted by undercover officers who portrayed themselves as 16-year-old females.

The above is from a Metro press release.  Government agencies nor the news media will tell you the race, nor ethnicity, nor nationality, nor immigration status of the arrested.  I guess is it considered racist
or prejudiced to even wonder about such a thing.  I think, however, inquiring minds would like to know. I always would like to know that when I read a story like this.  I like it when the press posts the mug shot of the arrested. 

Antwan Davis
Based on names I am assuming that six of the men are Hispanic, two are of Indian or Pakistani nationality and one is African. There is no way to know the immigration status, so everyone can make their own assumptions in the absence of that information. There is no way to know the race of the men involved.  I am assuming "Antwan" is Black. "Charence" maybe Black also.  I don't see any other obviously Afrocentric names in the mix, so I am assuming the other three are white Americans.

Thankfully the press release did tell us that "men" were charged, not just "persons."  I keep expecting political correctness to make it improper to tell us the gender of the people involved. I am surprised we are not there yet. To even wonder as to the gender, is that not sexist? 

Update:  WKRN News 2 has posted the mug shots. You can see them at this link

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