Letter to the Editor: Facts really do matter by Gardenia Hobbs – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: They don’t want to hear these trues! I am familiar with all of these facts.

E. B. White said “Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”

There are people who live their whole life believing over-generalized stereotypes that supposedly set them apart from a particular group of people. The belief that people of color are not intellectually equipped to assume leadership roles is a longstanding stereotype. The election of a people of color council majority in 2003 and the chatter and expressed perils that followed gives credence to this misconception.

The day these council members were sworn in the crusade began to recapture control. They have been criticized at every turn, for every initiative taken to improve economic opportunities and quality of life. This council majority has been criticized for a lack of transparency, yet more issues have been discussed in an open setting than ever before and citizens have been encouraged to attend Committee of the Whole meetings to get direct information.

It was this council majority that brought to light the fact that the city owed hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of a failed utility venture. It was Councilman Andre Knight who was at the forefront of this fight. It was this council majority that heeded the call of citizens and established new guidelines to accommodate those having problems paying utility charges.

At the seating of this council majority, longstanding inequities existed. Only one person of color was serving on the Planning Board and one on the Board of Adjustments. All other boards and commissions dealing with growth and development had none. Goods and services on the east side were almost none existent and plans were on the drawing board to bulldoze the Douglass Block and Booker T. Washington High School. Preservation of African-American history was not a consideration.

Is this the kind of governing that critics are clamoring to reinstate?

The critics leading the charge spent every waking hour trying to prevent the construction of the Event Center so it is surprising that they would be so aggressively interested in the center’s medical contract. It is also surprising that they are so accusatory of downtown real-estate purchases considering they abandoned the area. It is unlikely such untruths would be on display if these critics had been successful in preventing construction of the Event Center.

Al Kersha said, “No matter what you believe, it doesn’t change the facts.” So true.

Gardenia B. Hobbs

Rocky Mount

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Letter to the Editor: Council critics offer nothing by Gardenia Hobbs – The Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: The Special Cs do not have to offer anything because they are just that special. They have nothing to offer not even common sense because if they had any they would think before they lie.

In the annals of history, there are many stories about African Americans who dared to take a stand for justice and equality and how they faced character assassination and even death at the hands of those who saw them as a threat to their way of life.

In these same annals there are also stories about betrayal by African Americans who would have been the beneficiaries. Sadly, not much has changed over time. The struggle for justice and equality continues, unwarranted criticisms rage on and betrayal still lurks among us.

Activist Martin Luther King Jr., with his nonviolent approach, and Malcom X, with his straight talk approach, advocated for the same thing and were assassinated for the same reason because they dared to challenge the status quo. The Rev. William J. Barber and Rev. Al Sharpton are demonized not because they mislead their audience but because their truth to power undresses the ills of injustice and inequality in a way that is unsettling for those who fear the loss of power. At this writing I cannot think of one African American activist spared misrepresentation of intent and purpose. Indeed, there are those among us who obviously believe they alone have a monopoly on leadership ability. (Read more)

Letter to the Editor: Dancy won’t be silenced – Rocky Mount Telegram

Sunday, April 21, 2019

There has been a lot of talk about my appointment on the Rocky Mount Human Relations Commission. I was appointed by the NAACP.

Lindell John Kay asked me to talk to him about my appointment because I am not a citizen of Rocky Mount. I told him to talk to the NAACP and the Rocky Mount City Council about that. Councilman Andre Knight is also the president of the NAACP. Lindell got mad because I would not talk to him and did an open letter to me on the Rocky Mount Concerned Citizens Facebook page.

On Monday, April 1, during the Rocky Mount City Council meeting, the council discussed boards and commissions appointments. After the boards and commissions appointments had been completed that were on the agenda, the mayor pro-tem brought up the issue with my appointment. Pam Casey, city clerk, explained what happened and that some appointments such as the NAACP’s and chamber’s has been done differently, not actually coming before the council for years. However, the problem here was because I don’t live in Rocky Mount.

I was removed from the commission due to a technicality. Councilman Knight responded to Councilman Rogers when he brought up the issue and said he had spoken to me and said I had no problem with whatever they did. But like I told Lindell, that was a council and NAACP issue because I didn’t appoint myself.

The problem is beyond the residency issue but more because I have been very vocal during the Human Relations Commission meetings, especially challenging a member Attorney Ralph Steve Stevenson, and he didn’t like it and took it personal. I have also been very vocal in the Telegram, responding to Lindell’s articles about the Rocky Mount City Council members Andre Knight, especially, and the City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney.

Lindell has been trying to paint a negative picture of me because I talk about racial issues and because of how I respond to folk on social media pages that attack me. Because I say “Ignant Whte Folk,” “Ignant Safe Black Folk” and “Special Cs,” Lindell and his followers have just gone crazy. Is it really that serious?

Now the NAACP will appoint another person, however, I am going to still attend all the meetings and report on them like I do other meetings across the county.

Curmilus (Butch) Dancy II

Pinetops

Letter to Editor: I Did Not Step Down

There has been a lot of talk about my appointment on the Rocky Mount Human Relations Commission. I was appointed by the NAACP.

Lindell John Kay asked me to talk to him about my appointment because I am not a citizen of Rocky Mount. I told him to talk to the NAACP and the Rocky Mount City Council about that. Councilman Andre Knight is also the President of the NAACP. Lindell got mad because I would not talk to him and did an open letter to me on the Rocky Mount Concerned Citizens Facebook page.

On Monday April 1 during the Rocky Mount City Council meeting the council discussed boards and commissions appointments. After the boards and commissions appointments had been completed that were on the agenda, Councilman/Mayor Pro-tem brought up the issue with my appointment. Pam Casey City Clerk explained what happened and that some appointments such as the NAACP and Chamber has been done differently not actually coming before the council for years. However the problem here was because I don’t live in Rocky Mount.

I was removed from the commission due to a technicality. Councilman Knight responded to Councilman Rogers when he brought up the issue and said he had spoken to me and said I had no problem with whatever they did. But like I told Lindell, that was a council and NAACP issue because I didn’t appoint myself.

The problem is beyond the residency issue but more because I have been very vocal during the Human Relations Commission meetings especially challenging a member Attorney Ralph Steve Stevenson and he didn’t like it and took it personal. I have also been very vocal in the Telegram responding to Lindell’s articles about the Rocky Mount City Council members Andre Knight especially and the City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney.

Lindell has been trying to paint a negative picture of me because I talk about racial issues and because of how I respond to folk on social media pages that attack me. Because I say Ignant Whte Folk, Ignant Safe Black Folk and Special Cs Lindell and his followers have just gone crazy. Is it really that serious?

Now the NAACP will appoint another person however I am going to still attend all the meetings and report on them like I do other meetings across the county.

Letter to the Editor: Racial understanding still elusive by Gardenia Hobbs – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: You did a great job on the HRC. I attended the meetings back then and that is when I 1st met you. We served on the Common Ground Study Circles together as well and I totally agree with your observation. You are ab so lute ly correct, “This town, like so many others in this country, appears to have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo when it comes to bridging the racial divide. We hear a lot of talk about working together but it’s just that, talk. To my knowledge, there appears to be no interest on the part of anyone or any group to pick up the baton and organize a coalition to initiate ongoing frank and honest community dialogue that would promote racial tolerance and understanding that leads to improved race relations.”

Not so long ago it would not have been unreasonable to view racism as a smoldering ember, but today that ember has again been reignited.

The mere mention of the word racism brings on an onslaught of denials and finger-pointing from those who apparently feel they are judge and jury. Racism is ingrained in this country’s fabric at every level and injects itself into everyday decision-making that may or may not spark unconscious biases. No matter how you slice it or dice it, racism is real, it exists and it is not a figment of the imagination.

As a person of color, longevity has exposed me to all kinds of racism. I know it when I see or hear it and I do not need an interpreter. Indeed, my upbringing has served me well. It has been the foundation on which I have persevered even in the worst of times. Over the years, in my effort to rise above talk, I have participated in initiatives intended to help bring about tolerance and understanding of the views and life experiences of others. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Letter to the Editor: City councilman plays the victim – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: These Special Cs just lie, lie, lie. Read comments after the article online. Damn shame!

Mr. Knight complains that we are complaining about his purchases of property in an attempt to excuse what he and other council members are doing to taxpayers.

He knows full well that using his power as a council member to force taxpayers to purchase his property for millions of dollars in profit to him is the problem. Forcing the building of the Event Center on that property without a referendum is the problem. Of course he had a right to purchase the property, use his money to develop it or recruit a developer to do so. He did not have the right to force the responsibility on the taxpayers.

The Event Center has become a $48 million place to hold parties. We are not being told what taxpayers are paying monthly for its operation, let alone $3.5 million in taxes each year. Meanwhile, no jobs have been created. The only people profiting are those with the OIC that taxpayers built into it. Oh yes, these same council members get to decide how much taxpayer money is given to the OIC each year — nothing to see here. (Read more)

Letter to the Editor: “Who Are The Real Racist?” Rocky Mount Telegram

I find the following letter, “Letter to the Editor: Who are the real racists?” to be quite interesting. Read it for yourself.

Wow! What a waste. I am going to just respond to this part,

“It appears that racism is alive and well at City Hall as any question or complaint about the city manager or her practices by any white person is met with insults by certain members of the City Council. When you consider that the manager has been engaged in the inefficient, wasteful and very questionable exercise of her duties such as hiring friends at exorbitant salaries and allowing one of them to live out of state while reportedly costing the city thousands of dollars by failing to do her job, it is understandable and perfectly reasonable to make inquiries and complaints about the manager’s ability to do her job or her intentional malfeasance. For certain individuals to rudely attempt to disparage those questions as racism simply because they are voiced by whites speaks volumes about where the real racism resides and who the real racists are.”

Me: It appears, really! Yep you have a problem because they brought up 1898 about how white folk took over Wilmington. That is real and the same is going on in Rocky Mount, some white folk trying to take back the council since it is no longer a white majority. Fact!

Me: When you consider. Really! Accusing City Manager of mess that has not been proven. Talking about the manager ain’t doing her job. Really! Prove your damn point and maybe a black man like myself will approve of your mess but until then, it is only mess. Fact!

Me: Certain individuals. Really! You mean Blacks on the council. Damn just say it. Oh if you say it a certain way, dress it up that makes you not a racist. This post is all about you talking about black folk, City Manager, City Council and other. You see when you talk about black folk you are talking about me and other black folk better recognize. You say rudely. Really! Because black have no problem with addressing white folk intelligently and interjecting historical facts, ya’ll have a problem. Some black folk ain’t scared to talk to white folk straight up about race when you have some that play it safe. If speaking truth to power as a black man is racist, then ya’ll will live a restless and miserable life in the last days. God said, not the black man but one day the 1st will be last and the last will be 1st. Some folk don’t know  place they are in, some folk are in denial and some folk just don’t get it.

Well some black folk know our place.