Letter to the Editor: Community meetings should stay on topic – Rocky Mount Telegram

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Rocky Mount, the issue on the table is the discussion around the Confederate monument at Battle Park on Falls Road.

The Rocky Mount City Council has directed the Human Relations Commission to have community discussions about the Confederate Monument at Battle Park. The discussion is to leave it there or move it. The reason why the council directed the commission is because of some places across the nation statues have been removed, torn down and damaged. Gov. Roy Cooper has spoken and he says the statues need to be moved to certain locations.

Some folks will attempt to make the discussion about the statue all about the Rocky Mount City Council. Actually, the Rocky Mount NAACP made a statement at the council meeting asking that the statue be removed because of recent incidents surrounding statues. (Read more)

Advertisements

Rocky Mount NC – Human Relations Commission Host Community Discussion On Confederate Monument At Battle Park

Read the article then watch the video, “Confederate monument draws array of opinions – Rocky Mount Telegram

Click On Photo To Watch Video
image

Rocky Mount The Issue On The Table Is The Discussion Around The Confederate Monument At Battle Park Falls Road

The Rocky Mount City Council has directed the Human Relations Commission to have community discussions about the Confederate Monument at Battle Park. The discussion is supposed to be about to leave it there or to move it. The reason why the council directed the commission is because of some places across, the nation statues have been removed, torn down and damaged. NC Governor Roy Cooper has spoken and he says the statues need to be moved to certain locations.

Some folk will attempt to make the discussion about the statue all about the Rocky Mount City Council as if the issue around the statues began in Rocky Mount. Actually the Rocky Mount NAACP made a statement at the council meeting asking that the statue at Battle Park Falls Road be removed.

Last week there was the 1st of a series of community discussions and I am pissed because the discussion was not limited to the Confederate Monument but folk were allowed to talk about anything and everything. Poor facilitation especially at the cost of hiring a consultant.

I request that the next meeting and the future meetings be limited to the Confederate Monument. The next meeting and future meetings at the beginning of the meeting there should be some history given about the statue in question.

What is the purpose of having specific questions when the community is not going to be kept on track but otherwise allowing them to talk about other things that they say are more pressing. But at this time the HRC should be focused on the issue at hand the Confederate Monument.

I don’t fault the community for pushing their agenda but I have a problem with the HRC allowing the community to push their agenda on the HRC. I refuse to allow such because to allow the community to come in and push their agenda is a waste of my time.

We cannot get to the root of problems and effectively deal with them unless we stay on topic and talk about the good, the bad and the ugly as it relate to the statue. Anyone who cannot accept the truth then that is their problem and they need to learn how to deal with the facts.

Rocky Mount NC – Confederate Monument At Battle Park Do You Know? Let’s Talk About The Facts Not Opinions Not Based On Facts

image

Battle Park Rocky Mount NC Confederate Monument

Do You Know?

Why was it erected?

When was it erected?

Who erected it?

What purpose do it serve today as it relates to all races?

 

Do You Know?

What are the 4 sides of the statues that are missing from the original monument?

Why are they not at the park?

Where are the 4 sides now?

Talk about the whole history.

Confederate monument draws array of opinions – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Watch Dog response: The entire community need to know the whole history of the statue in question. The statue had 4 corners and they were damaged. After they were damaged they were taken to a secured location. So what the community is seeing with the statue is not the whole truth because they don’t know the whole history of the statue. The questions I have are: Confederate Monuments The W’s – Why were they erected? When were they erected? Who erected them? What purpose do they serve today as it relates to all races? Folk need to know that the talk about the statue didn’t just begin last year but has been a topic of discussion over the years. It was a topic simply because it was damaged years ago so someone had an issue with the original statue. During the discussion some folk wanted to change the narrative and talk about other things such as there are more issues important than the statue to them. Well deal with the statue it is on the table now and limit the discussion strictly to that. Let folk make suggestions to what is more important to them however those issues need to be decided upon if they are actually racial issues or just issues because they have a problem with people who run the town, issue with taxes, utilities and other.

The word ‘hopeful’ was the consensus coming out of a Tuesday meeting in downtown Rocky Mount about the Confederate monument on Falls Road.

“We’ve had an honest, raw discussion about race and look outside the door — the world did not come to an end,” said Willie Ratchford, president of WPR Consulting, which was called in by city officials to host a series of meetings on the issue.

The crowd of about 56 people who attended the meeting in the Booker T Theater was as diverse in race, gender and age as were the opinions bantered back and forth.

At the beginning of the meeting, Ratchford mixed up the crowd from their original seating and separated everyone into nine tables to make sure different voices were heard by everyone. Each table was asked to discuss compelling questions about the monument.

A lot of folks, mostly white, said the monument represented history and shouldn’t be taken down — while others . . . (Read more)

Rocky Mount NC – Confederate Monument Community Conversation Dialogue Session Tuesday May 22, 2018 6:00 PM

The first Community Conversations dialogue session regarding what to do with the Confederate monument located on Falls Road in Rocky Mount, will be held Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at the Booker T. Theater in Rocky Mount. The 6 p.m. meeting will be facilitated by WPR Consulting.

WPR, a Charlotte, N.C. based company, previously provided training to equip the Human Relations Commission and other volunteers who will serve as community meeting facilitators for the sessions. Three other projected meeting dates are being planned for June. Depending on attendance, an additional meeting may be scheduled.

Those who plan on attending a meeting should RSVP by calling 252-972-1181.

In Response To States of America NC school district regrets teen’s yearbook photo with gun and Confederate flag shirt – Charlotte Observer

Jeff Womble

Dear Cape Fear High Alumni:

An administrator at the school contacted me in reference to the most unfortunate incident relating to the yearbook photo. I let the administrator know how many of you felt and my personal thoughts.

First, let me say they are extremely remorseful about what transpired. They offered an explanation – not an excuse – that I found quite plausible. Believe me when I say, they know that a grave and offensive error was made. I won’t go into it on social media, because airing it here certainly won’t take back the fact that it happened and we can’t undo what already has been done. Their concern right now is making certain that it doesn’t happen again and doing that they can to reunite a close-knit community that seems to be on the verge of becoming divisive.

With that being said, they are formulating a committee that will assist in reviewing their yearbooks and other publications that may be viewed by the public. They want to make sure nothing offensive, insensitive or disparaging leaves that campus. Personally, it might not be an immediate cure-all, but I think that it is a step in the right direction and speaks highly of the administration’s desire to address this issue – and quickly.

They asked me to serve on the committee and I accepted without hesitation. As I explained to the administrator, this is a teachable moment for the entire Cape Fear community to include its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents – those who were offended by it and those who found no fault with it. In addition to addressing publications, it is my hope that we touch on topics such as race, inclusiveness, culture, heritage, etc. Those are the open conversations that need to be held.

I accepted the position because despite what transpired, Cape Fear and communities east of the river are quite special to me. I’m a Deep Creek Road guy until I die! Other than my aunt who raised me after my mother died, Fayetteville State University, and The Fayetteville Observer, no other individuals or institutions were more instrumental in my personal and professional development like Cape Fear and the people. I owe it a debt of gratitude to each of them. If I can help heal MY COMMUNITIES, I’m all in.

I know many of you were hurt, befuddled, dismayed, and downright offended by this unfortunate incident. I certainly felt your pain. I’m not saying this committee will take away that bitterness and pain, but the proposed actions are a good first step. Join me in seeing where the steps lead.

Thank you for listening with an open ear, and I will keep you abreast to any further updates.

See related:

NC school district regrets teen’s yearbook photo with gun and Confederate flag shirt – Charlotte Observer