If you're not from the city of Cincinnati, the name Chris Smitherman means little to you.
But here in these parts, Chris Smitherman, will evoke quite a bit of emotion.
A brief biography. Chris Smitherman was a city council candidate in 2003. He was a good looking, excellent speaker, who promised to unite a city torn apart after the riots. He attracted white and blacks who were dying for a change in the racial discourse that was killing the city.
As a result of his campaign, he was elected to the city council. It took all of about 3 weeks before Mr. Smitherman started railing against racist cops; he accused the cops of being dominated by white Elder grads. He encouraged conventions to take their business to other cities and became a lightning rod in every council meeting. In other words, his divisiveness was worse than what he campaigned against.
He served one term and was voted out but his divisiveness wasn't over. After challenging the local NAACP leadership, he took over the organization and then decided to run again for council despite by-laws in the charter that said he couldn't.
Now the local NAACP membership is trying to get rid of him.
Any of this sound familiar? When I hear Michelle Obama's comments of "finally being proud of America", when I hear Obama's reverend proclaiming "we're the USKKKA", I have to ask myself is this Chris Smitherman on a national level?
You tell me.