Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

City Council and the Truth and Community Reconciliation Commission: "Greensboro's talking about it whether you like it or not"

Here are a few articles, blog discussions mentioning the Truth and Community Reconciliation Commission:

Ed Cone (and another recent article)
Sandy Carmany
Tom Phillips
Allen Johnson
Doug Clark
John Hammer

Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation blog and their website

I've been around this discussion for several years. Some agree the process should move forward; others do not. Do we support truth? Can we have reconciliation? Is T &CR needed anyway? Why do people say its a race issue when mostly whites were killed? (even though members of a white supremist organization were involved) The establishment says there goes the fringe driving Mandela and Lenin over Feb. 1 on to Nov. 3rd. The fringe says the establishment's gobbling down prozac and 'Red Bull' trying to medicate its way through its self diagnosed bi-polar disorder.

I've heard all kinds of comments..... prefaced by the term "extreme". Extreme statements like "Those communists deserved what they got". I overheard a guy say he knew several friends who urinated on the graves of those killed each year and then he laughed about it. Extreme denial-- "November 3, 1979 is in the past. No good can come from rehashing the past. We'd be better off forgetting it happened". Extreme confusion--was it a massacre or a shoot-out? Do they want the City to pay $? Extreme blame and scapegoating--blame the police; blame the Communists; blame the Klan; blame and scapegoat Nelson Johnson; blame the white juries; blame and scapegoat Jim Melvin (for opposing the TCR process); blame it on just a bunch of liberals and naysayers who support the project; Extreme apathy--"Whatever, let's watch television".

I am clear---no unstructured or informal way of discussing this painful and traumatic event has ever brought Greensboro to resolution on November 3rd. In all honesty, absolute resolution may never come even in a formal way.

BUT Greensboro--WE need not fear the discussion. My position is simple. Agree, disagree, discuss, listen, learn, and/or share if you want. Look at facts--common facts; disputed facts. Weigh the process and the actions of the commission members against your own understanding. Seek truth for yourself and be honest about it. If you're against it, be against it and tell someone why--or even engage the process and be reasonable. If you are for it, engage the opposition and continue to build support for it--and be reasonable. If you can commit to reconciliation, that's'll be good for the soul.

I could be wrong but I don't think the City Council will SUPPORT the TCRP. If this is the case I'd urge them to pass a resolution encouraging debate, discussion and/or to reconcile their differences into a modified resolution. Sure, you'll be accused of passing the buck by some but at least all sides will know you value a good fight for truth, clarity, and citizen driven efforts to get to the source of the infections that inflame old wounds.

I appreciate Tom Phillips and Sandy Carmany (most especially) on this issue because they are interacting with the public online from a position of disagreement re: TCRP.

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  • Nicely put, and... hey wait - don't you owe me money?? :D

    By Blogger Chewie, at 1:12 AM  

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