This letter to the N&R shows how the TRC harmed itself by making its report overly political. But it also shows that a public conversation is following the report, which is a good thing.
I wrote this last year: "Any report worth reading will concentrate on the central core of facts -- five people were killed in Greensboro and their killers went unpunished -- and then move outward to explore the concentric rings of truth and argument around them. It will recognize the dead and their killers as individuals and recognize the communities of which they were products. It will involve skeptics on all sides. It won't proclaim truth when it speaks of opinion, conjecture or belief, but it will try to tell us what went wrong and what good might still come out of it."
Unfortunately, the report includes things from the outer rings at its center.
It accepts as a given that the proper context for the truth is the history of the labor movement and textile industry, rather than, say, a history of radical political groups. It apportions blame, but then backs off on the responsibility of one group. And its recommendations are too light on reconciling the city and its people with the facts and the cops, and overly weighted to feel-good gestures and the back-door validation of the CWP.
A shame, but not a total loss.