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Eye on Jacksonville is issuing a challenge to City Council President Tommy Hazouri.

Hazouri created a “social justice” committee on the council and set as its goal “to further equal access and opportunity for all citizens of Jacksonville and to strive to establish programs and polices which serve to eradicate systemic bias as well as honor the unfulfilled promises of consolidation.”

Thus, he begins with the assumption that there is a lack of equal access and opportunity and that systemic bias exists in the city. He states as a fact that there are unfulfilled promises of consolidation.

Why did he not list the evidence to support his assumptions and assertions?

We don’t know what “systemic bias” is, and Hazouri did not provide a definition or examples, but it may be the same as “systemic racism” – a term used frequently by radicals seeking to hamper the police, pay reparations for slavery, impose strict gun controls and replace capitalism with socialism. Most of these efforts clearly are linked to the liberal goal of defeating Donald Trump’s bid for a second term.

Trump is a Republican. Hazouri is a lifelong Democrat.

If “systemic” has a meaning in this context, it is “pervasive” and so it appears Hazouri is saying that a majority of the citizens of Jacksonville, no matter what their race, have a racial bias.

We would expect him to list the names of these biased people and provide the evidence of their bias or racism.

This is not to deny that there is racism — but there is a vast difference between small traces of it everywhere in the world throughout history and “systemic.”

Hazouri did say that the committee may conduct research and collect and analyze data. But it sounds as though he has reached a conclusion before any data is collected.

One co-chairman of the committee is Matt Carlucci, whose father, Joe, was one of the council members at the time of consolidation. Was Joe Carlucci one of those who made promises that have not been fulfilled?

What promises? Who failed to fulfill them, and why?

What access and opportunities that are guaranteed to every U.S. citizen by the Constitution are being denied to Jacksonville residents?

Before the committee even met, one councilman was calling for a tax increase to remedy disparities he alleged but did not identify.

This is a very strange way to proceed, and it raises a lot of questions.

Had Hazouri created a fact-finding committee to investigate allegations of unfairness, it would have been one thing.

But to start with the declaration that many Jacksonville residents are biased, unfair and perhaps racist – without providing one shred of evidence – seems a little over the top. The timing, just weeks before the presidential election, also seems questionable.

Is a problem that Hazouri says has existed for more than 50 years one that couldn’t wait a few weeks to begin solving?

Is it just a coincidence that those being portrayed as victims deserving more of the taxpayers’ money are part of voting bloc Democrats have relied upon for years, but which has been showing more independence lately?

One can only ask: Is this a good-faith effort to improve Jacksonville or a partisan witch-hunt like the Russian collusion hoax Democrats kept alive for three years?

Fortunately, at least one member of the committee is fact-oriented. Councilman Ron Salem has asked the administration for detailed comparisons of spending in the city’s 14 council districts. If it is available for the committee’s meeting Monday it should help shed light on one issue.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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