Up & Coming Weekly

August 11, 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.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1277456

Contents of this Issue


Page 5 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM AUGUST 12-18, 2020 UCW 5 KARL MERRITT, Columnist. COM- MENTS? Editor@upandcomingweek- ly.com. (910) 484-6200. 910-867-2364 • 4624 BRAGG BLVD. CONNECT with us! @legendspub910 Doors Closed for NOW We Look Forward to Hosting Good Times When We Re-open. Shop Local Visit the many shops located in downtown Fayetteville! email offers to consider his input. The latest instance of no response from Mayor Colvin was an email I sent to him and all members of Council. It was sent on 16 July 2020. To date, I have not heard from the mayor. In fact, only a minuscule number of Council members have bothered to respond. That email offered each of them an opportunity to ad- dress an opinion piece that I am writing and the email summarized my focus as follows (The full email is available at karlmerritt.com under "Blog".) "The focus is on how individuals, gov- ernmental officials, and various entities have responded, and continue to respond, in the af- termath of George Floyd's death. It seems to me that the resulting efforts are so heavily focused on various conditions allegedly negatively af- fecting Black Americans that the white popula- tion is being neglected while, even worse, being painted as the enemy. Note, I am not alone in this thinking. I saw a post on Nextdoor recently where a lady said exactly the same thing. She and I are not alone." The point here is that I have zero belief that Mayor Colvin would have responded if Bill Bowman had attempted to contact him. Fur- ther, from reliable media reports and input from people in the downtown area, Bowman had sound substantiation for everything he wrote. After a brief third point commending people who take on major responsibilities, Anderson moves to the prevailing argument that there are genuine protesters, then rioters and loot- ers. Then comes his contention that because rioters and looters constitute a smaller per- centage than the protesters, there should be conversation as to how their disruptions might be addressed. It would appear to me the first step should be to stop them from damaging the property of other people, while adversely impacting livelihoods. As to conversation, it would be interesting to see what groups would actually be invited and which voices would seriously be heard. In today's environment, my guess is that white Americans need not expect an invitation and, if invited, should not speak unless they follow the Black Lives Matter script. In the event all else fails, now Bowman gets hit with the race card. Anderson writes, "This is not the first time that Bill has applied the broad brushstrokes of race to indict a Black person." Without giving the Black person's name, he recounts how Bowman "…placed a Black man's face on the cover of his newspaper and inserted this man's face onto a facsimile of a wanted poster. This person's purported crime was that he was running for public office while being investigated for some questionable personal quandaries." He is referring to Tyrone Williams, who was serving on Fayetteville City Council in early 2018. Following is a section from an article in The Fayetteville Observer by Greg Barnes titled, "Williams resigns council seat": "Williams came under fire nearly a month ago after The Fayetteville Observer published a secret audio recording of a December meeting during which he told a developer that he could resolve a minor issue with a property title for $15,000. The council immediately asked Wil- liams to resign. When he refused, the council began a process of forcible removal that would have taken a few months." Williams was forced from office because of his action that Dr. Anderson characterizes as "some questionable personal quandaries." He further minimizes the situation by saying that, to his knowledge, Williams has never been convicted. Was it wise for Bill Bowman to use that wanted poster in America's "with no proof or fairness, racist around every corner" at- mosphere? No. Does it show him to be racist? Absolutely not. Finally, Anderson challenges Bowman's contention that people are afraid to speak up; Bill lays those fears out. Anderson apparently thinks Bill's comments here only apply to white citizens. I know, firsthand, that what he says in this regard is absolutely true. I hear it from Black and white citizens. The unsettling treat- ment I receive as a conservative Black Repub- lican would apparently shock Dr. Anderson. Anybody who follows Bill Bowman's advice and speaks up better be prepared for rough seas; but he is right, we better speak up and take action. I have tremendous respect for Dr. James An- derson, but I will not be quiet in the face of his unjustified broadside on Bill Bowman. Spirited debate is a sign of a healthy democracy and has the power to bridge differences and influence change. Up & Coming Weekly encourages the civil public discourse of ideas, which is a hallmark of our great republic.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - August 11, 2020