Response: Jeff black folks don’t need any movies to make us realize what is going on around us as it relates to RACISM because we have seen first hand the RACISM that exist in Rocky Mount. There are plenty black movies 12 Years A Slave, The Butler and countless others that remind us of RACISM.
Jeff I am speaking from my opinion something that I refuse to allow RACIST WHITE FOLKS nor SAFE NEGROES to take away from me. I am not speaking for Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight, the other black councilmembers and the black city manager because they can speak for themselves. They are all educated and competent to speak for themselves. However I don’t think that Knight, the other black councilmembers and the black city manager need to look at any movies to know what they are faced with as it relates to RACISM in Rocky Mount when it comes to city government. I believe that the city manager looks at the economic pros and cons on all issues before presenting them to the entire council.
Jeff how did you come to the conclusion that, “Maybe then we could have focused on the economic pros and cons of a downtown civic center without polarizing the discussion in one fell swoop with an ill-founded suggestion that racism was tainting the proceedings.” Jeff we go way back from my letters I have written to the editor and our conversations in person and over the phone so I am having a hard time trying to figure why you want to make it appear that Knight and the other black councilmembers and the city manager does not know the hidden agenda as it relates to the conversation about Civic Center.
Jeff Lige Daughtridge President of the The Community Council had an editorial titled “ Let’s take a long look at civic center proposal before approving it” in your paper a couple of days before attending the city council meeting that was staged in my opinion because WHIG-TV probably would not have been there if they didn’t know that Daughtride was going to make a presentation because the Civic Center was not on the agenda. Obviously the City Council are taking a long look since it has not been put on the agenda for discussion yet. I understand there were many white supporters at the City Council meeting last week to hear the presentation but the agenda was changed so most of them had left when the time came for Daughtridge to do his presentation. You know and I know that WHIG-TV played a major role in trying to remove Knight from the city council some years ago.
You are also aware of the talk about what the whites would do if the City Council became a 4-3 black majority. I think it was Tom Betts that said that they have a black majority but the white folks have the money. I could go on but you know the story.
Jeff I agree there should be a time to talk about the costs and benefits of a proposed arena for Rocky Mount. The council received the presentation in a committee of the whole meeting in November if I am correct and it has not been on the agenda for discussion so what was the rush for Daughtridge to attend the City Council meeting last week as the messenger to tell this City Council what to do.
On The Community Council Website I found the Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Maybe Wrong all the way Around? to be quite interesting. You see it tickles the hell out of me that you and some others are trying to make it appear that Knight should have responded like the white man wanted him to and say to Daughtridge I hear you massa. But maybe they didn’t want a response at all because I know he didn’t think they were going to validate his presentation.
Jeff you say that the discussion ought to be about the economic pros and cons and I agree 100% but damn why is it those who look like you can say whatever the hell they want to but Knight can not.
I am offended the wrong time could mean not during the time of a 4-3 black majority.
Wrong place could mean not downtown Rocky Mount because this council has put much focus on rebuilding downtown and has been criticized about that. But then most of all Knight, Reuben Blackwell and Lamont Wiggins live on the Edgecombe County side and the last time I checked they were all black. You and Daughtridge just happens to be white so therefore RACE is a factor simply because of the color of the skin of Knight, Blackwell, Wiggins, you and Daughtridge. They have a black opinion and ya’ll have a white opinion.
Wrong all the way around could mean that if the Civic Center became into existence that this could make this City Council look damn good and could possibly be a problem with trying to discredit and removing them during election time. Some folks would have thought the City Council would have shut down by now since having a 4-3 black majority. This City Council has been more open to the public than any council before them.
Jeff I understand your logic behind the colors when you say the only colors in the Civic Center discussion that should really matter are green and red. I agree but as long as the City Council is a make up of different races in my opinion one would be ignant to the fact that race doesn’t matter. When one say Edgecombe side of Rocky Mount one think black and when one says Nash one think white. Knight didn’t make the railroad tracks the great divide between Rocky Mount Edgecombe and Rocky Mount Nash.
So Jeff the the 3 wrongs are posted on The Community Council Website and in my opinion it is not only an insult to black folks who live on the Edgecombe side especially, but it is RACIST and an attempt to scare black folks. The last time I checked Ward 1 is a majority black. The citizens in Ward 1 were responsible for electing Knight. I am not ignant to the fact that once elected he represents the entire city.
I agree with your observations as it relates to the outside dollars that could be generated from outsiders. I believe that was in the presentation during the committee of the whole meeting in November. I don’t hear any talk about how the Athletic Complex has been a financial boom. You even mentioned how the newspaper stands generates money when outsiders come to town.
I mentioned to someone that obviously Daughtridge and those who make up the The Community Council must do not stand to gain any profit from the outsiders because of the type of business they may own.
Jeff I love it when you got to the red part of the equation.
You say, “If you read John Henderson’s report in last Sunday’s Telegram about other civic centers in North Carolina, you’ll probably remember that most, if not all of those arenas, operate at a deficit every year – usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Okay that was not hidden and was a part of the presentation during the committee of the whole meeting.
Jeff who are you talking about when you say, “Even supporters of the civic center proposal in Rocky Mount say such a facility probably would operate at a net loss of $300,000 a year. And that might be a generous estimate.”
Another scare tactic in my opinion when it comes to the estimate. Jeff I haven’t seen a campaign or letters to the editor in support of the Civic Center so obviously you are speaking about some information that other folks have had not access to. This is my very point, Daughtridge and The Community Council do not want all sides to be made known because they want to attempt to silence the City Council by trying to attempt to keep them from moving forward.
Knight was right on when he mentioned UNC when the white folks did a campaign and wanted the whole community to get behind that. It was said it would operate in the red but it would be good for Rocky Mount. Oh so it was white driven and the Civic Center was presented to a black majority council it appears that Racist White Folks and Safe Negroes want to make it appear that it is a done deal simply because it is on the Edgecombe County side where it is a black majority population.
Jeff you say, “Those are factors that have to be taken seriously by city leaders and taxpayers – no matter what the color of our skin. Ironically, it might be easier (but certainly not productive) to try to frame the debate along racial lines rather than wrestle with the tough economic questions posed by the plan.” Jeff you know that this City Council is not made up of incompetent members so what is your point? To say that Knight framed the debate along racial lines rather than wrestle with the tough economic questions posed by the plan is not only RACIST but an insult, misleading and in my opinion to further add to the plan to keep the City Council from going forward with the study about the Civic Center. It appears that Daughtridge and The Community Council, WHIG-TV, Fighting Crime And Cleaning Up Rocky Mount and others who have been vocal on the issue do not want the Rocky Mount City Council to have further discussion on the Civic Center because the City Council has not named a specific location yet or really had much discussion on the issue since the presentation was given to them during the committee of the whole meeting in November. I would think that city manager is working on it and then he will get back to the City Council when he is ready.
Jeff what? You say, “On a final note, I would urge City Council members in the future to give residents a fair hearing at public meetings and save their own comments for a non-public conversation later. It takes some guts for a farmer or housewife to stand up in Council chambers and ask questions or present an argument. Council rules allow them only three minutes to do so. Let them have their say.” Jeff so what is considered fair? Lige Daughtridge came to the meeting and spoke to an issue that was not on the agenda and he had no clue of when it will be added to the agenda and stood proudly as a white man and spoke his opinion. Just because Andre Knight was the only one to respond to Daughtridge in his own way not saying he was speaking on behalf of the entire City Council didn’t respond how Daughtridge and WHIG-TV wanted him to, all hell has began.
Why in the hell does Knight have to save his comments for a non-public conversation? Didn’t Daughtridge make his comments during the Public Comments? Do you and others forget that Knight is not only Mayor Pro-tem but he is a citizen of Rocky Mount first and just happens to represent Ward 1? For the record I stand behind Knight’s response to Daughtridge 1000%. So are we now eluding to White Privilege that Daughtridge can say whatever he wants to at the City Council meeting and on The Community Council Website and he can’t be challenged? Well Jeff tell them they are dealing with a different breed of Negroes when it comes to Knight.
Jeff since the City Council rules allow only 3 minutes for Public Comments so why are some having a problem with the City Council especially the Mayor telling Daughtridge that he couldn’t respond to Knight because his 3 times was up when he attempted to respond to Knight? Again do they want White Privilege? They say the Mayor who is white ought to have allowed Daughtridge to respond. Damn! You see this is what some white folks feel is the norm but if they continue to attend the City Council meetings they gonna learn the day.
Jeff I looked at the WHIG-TV video of the meeting and Daughtridge was allowed to speak. I didn’t see anyone attempting to stop him during his 3 minutes. So are you saying allow the citizens to have the last word during Public Comments and the City Council members are not suppose to be able to speak their opinion? Oh hell no! I have not seen any boards and commissions that do not exercise their power to do such but since this City Council is a 4-3 black majority then they should act differently. Damn again are we talking about White Privilege here?
Jeff I love your ending statement: In newspaper terms, to weigh in after a public comment would be the equivalent of writing an Editor’s Note after every pointed letter to the editor. I don’t agree with every opinion we print on this page – not by a long shot. But constructive dialogue helps a community grow – even if I happen to disagree with a point that’s being made.
That’s why we’ll continue to print those letters, so long as they’re constructive and fit for family consumption. Every day. Without comment. In black and white.
Jeff comparing Public Comments newspaper terms to the Rocky Mount City Council Public Comments is just don’t make sense to me. However I understand the responding piece. But the newspapers have the option to respond to all public comments if they like but they may choose not to do is a newspaper’s decision. How the City Council chooses to respond is their option. To make it appear as if the City Council especially Knight responds to every public comment is misleading.
Damn Jeff who gets to choose what constructive dialogue is? Your newspaper? The City Council? I would think so that means you choose for your paper and the City Council chooses for the City Council.
You say, Ya’ll will continue to print letters so long as they’re constructive and fit for family consumption. Every day. Without comment. In black and white. But you left out something. Ya’ll exercise ya’ll power to edit letters to the editor and sometimes take out words and change the text of the letter that could possibly take away from what the writer intentions were. Jeff but The Rocky Mount Telegram, Daughtridge and The Community Council, WHIG-TV, Fighting Crime And Cleaning Up Rocky Mount, The DCN and others don’t get to choose what the Rocky Mount City Council members as individuals perceive to be constructive and/or non-constructive. In my opinion what happened at the City Council meeting the video that WHIG-TV and Fighting Crime And Cleaning Up Rocky Mount are pushing trying to discredit Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight is DESTRUCTIVE.
I am Curmilus Dancy II The Political Agitator a dedicated blogger where I am in control of what I post and get to approve what Public Comments I want to apporve. I don’t have a problem with talking about RACE.
“I have no permanent enemies no permanent friends only permanent interest!”
Jeff Herrin: Civic center debate should focus on red and green by Jeff Herrin
In 1974, Mel Brooks released a classic bit of insanity called “Young Frankenstein,” a movie so over the top with parody that even the tag line of its trailer made a lot of us smile: “Filmed in black and white – no offense.”
The “no offense” line alluded to some of the racial themes in one of Brooks’ earlier films, “Blazing Saddles,” which is hilarious in its own way. But on a larger scale, the “no offense” tag reminded us that America was still working its way through some fairly heavy lifting.
In the 10 short years that preceded the movie, we passed the Voting Rights Act, desegregated public schools, welcomed the first black justice to the U.S. Supreme Court and mourned the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In the shadow of all of those milestone events, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, George Carlin and other comedians of the 1970s played with stereotypes in irreverent ways. They gave us something to think about while we were laughing.
I wish the Rocky Mount City Council meeting last week had taken a break to watch a Mel Brooks movie – or at least the “Young Frankenstein” trailer. Maybe then we could have focused on the economic pros and cons of a downtown civic center without polarizing the discussion in one fell swoop with an ill-founded suggestion that racism was tainting the proceedings.
I’m not naive enough to think that all of our history of prejudice and injustice is behind us. But surely we can talk about the costs and benefits of a proposed arena for Rocky Mount without jumping to the conclusion that asking questions is a sign of bigotry.
The only colors in the civic center discussion that really matter are green and red.
The green is the potential for tourism dollars in stores, restaurants, hotels and, yes, newspaper stands around Rocky Mount whenever visitors come to town.
I’m not sure how many entertainers, sports teams, spectators and conventions a civic center can realistically hope to draw here. But I’ll freely admit I had some of the same skepticism about the city’s athletics complex. And look what a financial boon that has proved to be.
We’re drawing baseball teams, soccer squads, coaches, players and families almost every weekend from up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
Those are outside dollars that become Rocky Mount dollars once a tournament is finished and the teams pack up to leave.
Would a civic center with an indoor basketball court be capable of adding to that money stream?
Would it be enough to make a civic center worth pursuing?
Well, that brings us to the red part of the equation.
If you read John Henderson’s report in last Sunday’s Telegram about other civic centers in North Carolina, you’ll probably remember that most, if not all of those arenas, operate at a deficit every year – usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Even supporters of the civic center proposal in Rocky Mount say such a facility probably would operate at a net loss of $300,000 a year. And that might be a generous estimate.
A center of a similar size in Concord loses $1 million a year – and that’s with more than 200 bookings.
Those are factors that have to be taken seriously by city leaders and taxpayers – no matter what the color of our skin. Ironically, it might be easier (but certainly not productive) to try to frame the debate along racial lines rather than wrestle with the tough economic questions posed by the plan.
But difficult or not, the economic issue is a question we should try to answer as completely as we can before voting on the civic center proposal.
On a final note, I would urge City Council members in the future to give residents a fair hearing at public meetings and save their own comments for a non-public conversation later. It takes some guts for a farmer or housewife to stand up in Council chambers and ask questions or present an argument. Council rules allow them only three minutes to do so. Let them have their say.
In newspaper terms, to weigh in after a public comment would be the equivalent of writing an Editor’s Note after every pointed letter to the editor. I don’t agree with every opinion we print on this page – not by a long shot. But constructive dialogue helps a community grow – even if I happen to disagree with a point that’s being made.
That’s why we’ll continue to print those letters, so long as they’re constructive and fit for family consumption. Every day. Without comment. In black and white.