Submitted by Gene Thomas Gomulka
All Coronado residents should be proud of how Mayor Richard Bailey handled the incident involving events surrounding the Coronado High School championship basketball game.
When I read about the incident while visiting relatives and friends in Pennsylvania, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann was falsely accused of racism and unjustly condemned by his Covington Catholic Bishop, John Stowe, who was quick to judge and condemn Sandmann based on the “Fake News” report circulated nationally by CNN, The Washington Post, and other major news outlets. The real reason the media went after Sandmann was because he had just finished participating in the annual March for Life and was wearing a “Make America Great” red ball cap. Little did they realize that he would gather evidence proving his innocence, retain a lawyer, and bring suit for $250 million against CNN alone.
All Coronado citizens, and not only the students and faculty of Coronado High School, have been defamed by the news reports circulated nationally. While visiting back East, I was angered when I was accused of living in a “racist city.” The record regarding this incident needs to be set straight just as Nick Sandmann’s good name was restored.
I cannot help but recall an incident involving Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The Marines were on their way back to their base after spending the day with their girlfriends at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Half-way home, their girlfriends asked if they could stop so they could use a rest room. The Marines saw an establishment along the side of the road where they stopped to let the girls relieve themselves. When they went in, however, they discovered that it was a gay bar. When some of the patrons accosted them and their girlfriends, they defended their honor which resulted in some of the patrons suffering blows from the Marines. When the media reported the event, one was given the impression that the Marines drove an hour south from Camp Lejeune with the intention of accosting homosexuals at this particular bar. The Democratic President at the time was quick to condemn the Marines and apologize profusely to the gay patrons and the LGBTQ community in general. When the case went to court and the truth of what happened came to light supported by the eye witness testimony of the girls, all charges were dismissed. Most of the US news media that reported the event on their front pages never reported the actual outcome of the hearing. Fortunately, the commanding officers of the Marines involved were not quick to judge their Marines as the President did. There is an important lesson here that all members of the CUSD School Board need to learn.
It is my hope that Coach Laaperi and members of the CHS basketball team might wish to consider pursuing legal action which would benefit not only them, but all residents of Coronado.
Gene Thomas Gomulka
CAPT, CHC, USN (Ret)