We Stand With Jay

25 09 2006

Friends, once again Youngstown has taken a blow of negativity, this time at the hands of people who want to blame the city for their problems. Thankfully, Jay Williams refuses to put up with it.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, Maurice Clarett’s attorney, Michael Hoague, issued a statement defending Clarett’s wearing of a bulletproof vest when he was arrested in August, stating:

“If you travel in his neighborhood in Youngstown, you see a lot of people, for whatever reason, wearing their tank tops with their flak vests. It’s a way of life with the people he grew up with.”

I don’t know where to begin with this comment. It’s idiotic, stereotypical, conceited, shallow…I don’t think I have to go on here.

This is the sort of negativity that keeps setting back Youngstown and the negative image it is trying to molt. What’s more, this sort of negativity is going to remain within the public’s memory.  Not the “mini-controversey”  Jim Terry caused with the HitMen and signing Clarett. That was merely flavor of the week news, now long forgotten by much of the populace. I’m comfortable saying this because, outside of Moohead Radio, who is obsessed with the soap opera that has become Terry and his team, the HitMen receive little coverage, other than Vindicator articles on their new venue (where’s it at, anyway? Seriously).  But while Jim Terry and the Mahoning Valley HitMen are but a memory to a lot of people (I admit I still check in with Moohead from time), Maurice Clarett isn’t. We’ll all remember him, or at least history will. It’ll note that he grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and that when he went to prison, he blamed the city.

Thankfully, Mayor Jay issued a response, noting that, unlike Hoague, he travels the neighborhoods of Youngstown on a daily basis, and “no one is to blame for [Clarett’s] actions; not Youngstown, not the people in its neighborhoods.”

Hopefully people will be smart enough to not buy into Hoague’s statement; that it’s merely a last-ditch effort. It seems hard to believe someone could agree with this statement (maybe a couple posters on Dems17.org), but I’ve been surprised in the past by what people believe.

And while I think about it, is Hoague so sheltered as to believe people who live in cities actually wear vests all the time? Or does he believe we’re all as gullible as his client?

All the same, I’m confident I speak for the Youngstown blogosphere that we back Jay all the way, and we also re-affirm our support for the Youngstown 2010 plan, because it is the progress we make through this administration and these programs that we’ll be ultimately be able to stop the cheap shots people take at our city.

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