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Mar 02, 2007

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jc

someone had to do it.

Personally, I think the mayor should have done it. I dont care what color you are, if you are acting like DBS was, you needed to be called out. Hopefully, her non-sense will stop.

Its a shame the race card had to be played, but it doesnt surprise me. That said, we should not be afraid to speak out because of it. We are too PC most of the time.

FG might have pissed some people off, but I’m certain she has endeared herself to many who feel the same way she does.

Doug H

The ones being racist are the ones playing that card.

Jeffrey Sykes

DBS and Skip Alston are a disgrace to the reputation of your city and community.

Joe Killian

The reality of this city and race is sad and frustrating. When I try to describe it to northern friends of mine they think I'm on drugs, that the characters I'm describing and the things they say couldn't possibly exist outside of some sort of fever dream.

Has it gotten to a point that "racist" is used as shorthand for people who oppose the political opinions of people who are black, whatever the actual motivation? Yes, of course.

But white people (even white people in power) insisting that there is no racism anywhere in the city and that any suggestion to the contrary is "playing the race card" is just as prevalent, just as frustrating and counter-productive.

One feeds the other and that's what's really so sad about each. As I think Ed may have noted before, the people of Greensboro seem to choose the most ridiculous, extreme and ill advised caricatures in race and politics to represent them, creating city and county governing bodies that can look like professional wrestling matches. That's occasionally entertaining -- but only if you're willing to turn off the part of your brain that cares that anything gets done and that any longterm progress is made toward bringing people together.

I was explaining both Skip Alston and Billy Yow to a friend from mine from MA recently and she stopped me to say:

"Okay, okay. I get the point. You don't have to exaggerate. It can't be that bad."

No, I insisted. I'm giving it to you straight - in fact, I'm playing it down a little bit.

She didn't believe me. And why should she? If you wrote some of the political characters and political scenes from just the last year in this city as fiction people would say it wasn't believable. It's too surreal - like Dickens set to bluegrass.

dookie

I'd say 'schoolmarm' fits pretty well. She is, after all, not just 'criticizing' Small, but saying she needs to resign. And as much as we white teacher ladies wish it weren't so, it's our sad duty to point out that the children in District 1, left unattended, tend to...let's just say, not make good choices.

The CA

It doesn't help when our major stories about racism turn out to be false and there is little to no accountability so the perception becomes reality and fuels further division. Then the process repeats itself.

Wayne

We have serious, serious problems in GSO. We need jobs. Drug addiction is almost epedemic. Our jails and prisons are dangerously over crowded. We need much better scores in our schools to attract re-locaters to this area. Our kids are going off to college and not returning here to live.

Our elected officials don't seem to get this. They are so afraid of being branded by the racist iron

I think the Pulpit Forum is doing more damage than good with their " Political Correctness". It has been an effective political tool, but not anymore. I know that I am fed up and really don't care what they call me. GOD knows that I am not a racist and GOD knows that I am fed up with lilly-livered politicians who have no " Ba--s.

tinman

I find it hard to imagine Gatten speaking about a white politician, male or female, the way she spoke about DBS.

I'm not interested in trying to pin down whether she is a racist. But the racism of the past clearly still informs how we deal with and rank each other today. When those who only ever benefit from that legacy deny that it exists, it's hurtful to those who are harmed or undermined by it.

I'll give the Pulpit Forum benefit of the doubt that that is the concern they were expressing, and that they were appealing to the better nature of all of us. Their manner of speaking is infinitely more respectful and calm than some on the "other side". That says something, to me, about the merits of one way of looking at the situation over another.

Danny Wright

Tinman, the Pulpit Forum's manner of speaking is infinitely more respectful and calm than both Florence Gatten -- of the "other side" that you reference -- AND Dianne Bellamy-Small. Being willing to be objective about the situation by admitting that both Gatten AND Small are contributing to the discord will help you better judge the merits of either point of view. As it stands, you are giving DBS a pass for behavior that has been childish and an embarrassment to civic leadership.

tinman

I didn't mean to give DBS a pass, at all, because I don't. You're right that there are lots of people who contribute to a divisive atmosphere. DBS has put a lot of people in difficult positions, most recently the Pulpit Forum, I'm sure.

Gatten kicked this off, though. She had other options -- civil, respectful options -- and she chose to behave badly. We're all suffering as a result. She is a leader in this community, and she has failed us by choosing to be her worst self. I find it pretty thoroughly disgusting.

mick

Tinman,

As they say in Cameron ... "I beg to differ". And I mean that just like those Dookies mean it. DBS has a long history of bad behavior, judgement, actions, etc. She is a jerk. Everyone knows she's a jerk and somebody FINALLY did "Mr Rogers'" job for him and called her on it. Long overdue. No one else stepped up. No One! Not "Mr Rogers", Not Y johnson no other member of the black community....

We can debate the depth FG went to as I believe it was not her place to call for a resignation. But something had to be said. I was glad to hear anything from anyone. When "the right people" dont do what needs to be done it gets left to "the wrong people".

I think you are downright wrong about Gatten and what she did or might not have done. What evidence have you to support that she wouldnt have called BS on a white guy? None. Few, if any, rise to the level of crap that DBS has achieved.

The actions of the Pulpit Forum does not require any benefit of the doubt. Did you read Ed's article? Have you kept up with local politics? There is no mystery here. Any and all who disagree with them are branded racist. They are the perfect example of what is WRONG with race relations.

Personally I believe, and have for years, that when these aging 60's generation folks (regardless of race, creed, sex, religion or other preferences)move on we will all be better off.

Sorry, is my "white guy indignation" showing? Im just tired of the BS. Dont really care about DBS.

Eric

Swizterland invades Liechtenstein, Virginia wins the ACC regular season and Anna Nicole is still dead. There's chaos in the world and all you're blogging about today are the nut jobs on our city council? Get with the current events, man.

tinman

Mick, I hear ya. I think most people are tired of this. Every day another press conference. It seems very old and tired and transparent. Instead of calling press conferences and meetings with the likeminded, leaders ought to pick up the phone and talk to each other, try to work some of this stuff out.

I don't know how I could provide evidence that Gatten would tread lighter if DBS were white -- it's a hypothetical. I just said I found it hard to imagine she wouldn't. My reasons? Consider political back-scratching arrangements, socio-cultural norms of manners and decorum, and the fact of where the power is concentrated in this town. My opinion, that's all. People like to paint a picture of African-Americans controlling this town. It's simple enough to attend some Council meetings and find plenty of issues, decisions, and interactions that demonstrate that is simply not the case.

Holding a grandstanding press conference is not a way to model a solution. It's a good way to worsen the problem. Only the voters can deal with DBS, and I feel sure they will. It already seemed likely, even without Gatten's rude and totally unnecessary display.

It's time to clean house in city and county government. I hope we get some good -- all new -- candidates in upcoming elections.

Danny Wright

Tinman, understand that if Gatten runs for anything in the city, it is likely that she will be running city-wide. She is an at-large CC member and any mayoral aspirations would obviously expose her to the entire voting spectrum of Greensboro. No doubt this event will be front-and-center, and we'll all have a say on how it affects her political future.

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