Up & Coming Weekly

June 16, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 5 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JUNE 17-23, 2020 UCW 5 OPINION Our defining moment by MARGARET DICKSON An online thesau- rus finds nearly 300 synonyms for "criti- cal mass" and "tip- ping point." ese include "the last straw, "sea change," "crossroads," "watershed," and "game changer." Both critical mass and tipping point are technical terms in physics, but both are increasingly used in sociology. Merriam-Webster defines tipping point this way: "the critical point in a situa- tion, process or system, beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place." Apparently, watching the excruciat- ing murder of George Floyd on televi- sion is just such an American moment, and the United States appears to have reached the tipping point on the Black Lives Matter movement. Evidence abounds, both data and anecdotal. Public opinion has trended toward BLM since the shootings of Trayvon Martin (2012) and Michael Brown (2014), but since Memorial Day, sup- port for the movement has increased almost as much as it has over the last two years, according to polling by Civiqs. at is true for all registered voters of whatever political stripe, all ages — including the over-65 crowd, all education levels from noncollege graduates to Americans with ad- vanced degrees and all races. Civiqs is not alone in its findings. Monmouth University polling finds that fully 76% of Americans believe discrimination and racism are a "big problem" in our nation. Other polling finds that most Americans agree that police are more likely to use deadly force against Afri- can Americans, according to e New York Times. I recently had an expired license plate on my car and had diffi- culty resolving it because license plate agencies had closed in response to CO- VID-19. I knew that I could be cited for noncompliance, but I also understood that my white skin probably insulated me otherwise. ere is more. Police are increasingly being held accountable. Four officers are charged in George Floyd's death, six in Atlanta for their handling of protestors, and two in Buffalo for shoving a 75-year-old protestor, who suffered a head injury. Calls for defunding law enforcement agencies are increasing, with sup- porters demanding to shift funding to human services such as nursing, counseling and in- creased education. School systems are also shifting funds away from policing to other services. Monuments to white supremacists and colonialists are being toppled not only in the United States but around the world. Demands for changing the names of both places and things bearing the names of white supremacists are being heard interna- tionally, including our own Fort Bragg and a middle school in Raleigh named for Josephus Daniels. He helped plan and execute the 1898 coup d'etat in Wilmington, the only one in United States history. American businesses, including tech companies, big box stores, professional sports organizations, and entertain- ment giants face public reckonings over both their policies and their actions. In an apparently pro-active move, a popular country music band, Lady Antebellum, announced its new name, Lady A, professing ignorance about the Civil War and slavery conno- tations of the word "antebellum." No one knows whether what is hap- pening now constitutes a true tipping point or another disappointment. Major tipping points have occurred in our nation's recent history. e United States Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage five years ago this month, after years of rising public support. Black Lives Matter feels like that to me. During my COVID-19 extended stay at home, I have tried to walk daily with varying degrees of diligence. Mine is a predominantly but not exclu- sively white neighborhood, and I have noticed and been heartened by the BLACK LIVES MATTER signs dotting front yards. Most are of the printed variety that someone made an effort to obtain and then place front and center. Last week, though, I saw the one pic- tured here. It is so lightly done I did not realize what it was at first until I took a good look. It bears the hand-done letters BLM and appears to have been done by a child. It gives me hope. MARGARET DICKSON, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. I have noticed and been heartened by the BLACK LIVES MATTER signs dotting front yards. AUTHOR Melody Foote Director of Communications Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau B U L L E T I N Download a mobile app for exploring Cumberland County. GET OUTDOORS As North Carolina con nues toward phase three of Governor Cooper's reopening plan, many are rediscovering the outdoor treasures found in North Carolina. Faye eville and Cumberland County has plenty of beauty spots to discover, and many are outlined in the Patri-Arts & Gardens Trail. A few are highlighted below. See the full trail at Faye evilleNCTrails.com. Faye eville Rose Garden Established in the early 1970's, at the Faye eville Technical Community College, the garden features more than 1,000 rose bushes and par cipates in the All-American Selec on. Enjoy the beau ful gazebos, fountains and flora. The best me to visit is from April un l the first frost. Cape Fear Botanical Garden Consis ng of 77 landscaped acres overlooking Cross Creek and the Cape Fear River, the grounds include a restored farmhouse, perennial gardens, a natural amphitheater, wildflowers, ma- jes c oaks, nature trails, numerous species of na ve plans and a "water-wise" gardening exhibit. Displays of historical farm- ing tools and techniques show how tobacco, co on and other southern crops were grown in the southeastern United States Cross Creek Linear Park In 1765, early se lers discovered Faye eville's Cross Creek. The se lement they established would one day become part of the city of Faye eville. Today, thanks to Cross Creek Linear Park, visitors can enjoy the beauty of Cross Creek. Winding along Cross Creek - skir ng downtown Faye eville - this beau ful greenway highlights the natural beauty of the area, while con- nec ng historic sites and points of interest along the way.

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