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« Al Qaeda resurgent | Main | Strategery »

Feb 19, 2007

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John D. Young

I hope the conversation at Duke becomes a full and complete discussion that honors all the details and complexity found in the Report, statements, concurring opinions, court transcripts, etc. This does not appear to have happen at a recent discussion at Brown University.

Over at Lex's blog ( see - http://blog.news-record.com/staff/lexblog/archives/2007/02/antagonists_wan.html#comments ) a few of us have been discussing how to get more people to the table for discussions and real dialogue including critical dialogue in Greensboro. Elizabeth Wheaton expressed concerns on how the information was presented at Providence, RI in a press article.

mick

"Greensboro Massacre" ???
Not exactly a truthy jumping off point there.

My opinion: Some folks are looking for a "truth" that does not exist. Therefore, the process can never be complete.

More pragmatic folks know the following to be at least close to the truth: The events surrounding 11/03 had little to do with Greensboro other than location. Two groups of nasties got together and people were hurt and killed. It was not a massacre. Mistakes were made by all organizations involved. There were consequences. Bad consequences.

Those who keep digging are beyond the truth. The truth was at the surface all the time.... hate and plenty of it.

Ed Cone

Mick, as I wrote in my review of the TRC report (which I described as "flawed but useful"):

The report undoes once and for all Greensboro's cherished mythology that the shootings were the sole responsibility of two extremist groups who came from somewhere else to perpetrate violence in the streets of an innocent and disinterested city.

Yes, there were two extremist groups at Morningside Homes that morning, and the TRC –- contrary to the expectations of some critics -- does a reasonably good job of acknowledging the responsibility of the Communist Workers Party for its part in inviting the disaster that befell it (the nature and culpability of the Klan and Nazis have never really been in doubt).

But the report illuminates the ineluctable truth that there was a third party in play that day that must be seen as central to the story: the Greensboro Police Department, which failed to keep the peace despite extensive intelligence as to the nature of the two groups, the hostile relationship between them, and their activities in the run-up to the shootings. "The GPD showed a stunning lack of curiosity in planning for the safety of the event," says the commission, and it backs up that assertion with a litany of facts.

The central role of our police force helps to bring home another truth that Greensboro has tried to avoid for more than a quarter-century: we own this thing. It is a part of our history. The killings took place in a Greensboro neighborhood, and many of the principals lived and worked here; those who traveled to get here did not travel far. The report is full of familiar names and locations, of context and history and place, and the place is Greensboro.

John D. Young

The failure of the Greensboro Police Department is well documented in the Report. We know that the police response on Nov. 3rd was a massive blunder that contributed to the loss of life. And Ed you are right to not allow those facts to be ignored.

However, when the T&R inner circle take their show on the road to Brown or Duke or wherever it appears that the story left behind does not represent the complexity in their own Report. I think we in Greensboro have an obligation to insure that this very helpful and flawed Report along with the diverse statements given to the Commission are used to further the truth and not as new ammunition to selectively re-supports the same old spin we have heard from the CWP side for 26 years.

anon

"the T&R inner circle... their own Report"?

How many Commissioners spoke at Brown?

Let's name those who are in the "inner circle." That way we're crystal clear on what and who it is we find objectionable and must chastise, and we're not just name-calling or trying to score points by tossing barbs at a large, ambiguous, easy target.

If, that is, we're willing to act in accordance with our own professed desires for reconciliation, so aptly expressed here:

"Community reconciliation is really about acknowledging our many flaws and still reaching our hands in friendship."

John D. Young

Anon, sorry if I was overly general. On Lex's blog the Providence RI article said that Marty Nathan, Jill Williams and I think Ed Whitfield spoke at Brown.

I realize the Commission dissolved shortly after they released "their Report." I don't know who now "owns" the Report but I assume it belongs to the entire community. I do not think the Report is primarily just a document for use by the GTCRP.

Andy Coon

Please feel free to launch those grenades my way. I was one of the guest speakers and showed a clip of my documentary to give a visual understanding to the students and idea of what kind of project the TRC was dealing with.

Brown University conducted a detailed report about the school's ties to slavery and brought the GTRC to Providence to get a better understanding of how to bring their own report to the community and begin a discussion. Not only a discussion, but a process of recommendations that will help bridge the gap between the community and what the findings truly mean.

Ed and Jill spoke about the process and the obstacles and how the community reacted to them. The reporter failed to mention in her piece that she had one hour to deadline (got that from a very good source) and didn't understand what was taking place. It seems like she stuck in the 79' story from her perspective and own research.

John D. Young

Thanks Andy for some more clarification. I saw on Sean's blog about the event and it linked the Brown web site that has now been changed. The web link described the Greensboro event with no mention of the role of the CWP nor even that the event was the Death to the Klan March. It was very short but the choice of words caught my eye.

Then I read the newspaper piece and the quotes were strange and inaccurate. Again your explanation is helpful.

As other communities look to Greensboro for information about the T&R process I hope we can be honest and tell the story with the complexity described in the Report. Three sentence descriptions of Nov. 3rd are simply inadequate. I know the "right" has butchered their explanation of the T&R process and Nov. 3rd but the "left" press seems to also continually ignore a lot of the facts in the guts of the Report that creates the same type of distortions.

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