Monday, December 17, 2012

People's Alliance racist ways not viewed as racist

Here we go again.  The appointment to City Councilman Mike Woodard’s Ward 3 seat may come down to the candidate’s views on south Durham development. 
In a recent article that appeared in the Durham Herald-Sun (Daniels, Moffitt differ on south Durham, December 15), Ray Gronberg, reporter for the Herald-Sun, stressed the differences between the top contenders for the seat.
Don Moffitt is commended for being transparent on his approach to south Durham development, while Anita Daniels is presented as being “non-committal on 751 and “open to compromise” on Southpoint trails.
Daniels notes that the city “has other critical issues” that merit the attention of the city council. Responses were lifted from the questionnaire of People’s Alliance, a political group willing to do all they can to assure candidates agree with their anti-growth agenda.
Gronberg fails to mention he pulled quotes from the PA questionnaire.  He simply mentions they came from one of the big-three political groups.  Failure to mention PA is relevant to the discussion due to the passion of the group.  Put another way, the PA is part of the story.
“Her ‘other critical issues’ comment to the People’s Alliance echoed the tack adopted in the fall general-election campaign by unaffiliated petition candidate Omar Beasley, who professed neutrality on 751 South,” Gronberg writes. 
The article feeds fuel to the game that is being played by members of PA.  It is a dangerous game that needs to be checked.  Gronberg’s comments seemingly align Daniels and her intentions with Beasley.
Critics doubted his (Beasley) neutrality and just after the election he reported having received $2,000 in campaign contributions from the businessman who launched the 751 South efforts, Neal Hunter,” Gronberg writes. 
The mention of Beasley has nothing to do with the story other than in swaying readers into believing Daniels and Beasley are hiding their pro-growth position. Gronberg, and PA, assert that Daniels can’t be trusted because she is unwilling to tell them what they want to hear. If Beasley did it, Daniels will do the same.  Sounds like that’s what black people do.
That is a shameful suggestion that is rooted; forgive me for saying it, under the guise of racial politics.  Growth in southern Durham has become a war that pits the anti-growth PA against black contenders seeking to make a decision after enduring a credible process. PA has been unwilling to concede the merits that come with making a decision after reading, studying and listening to all sides. Those unwilling to sign their name in blood need not apply for a PA endorsement.
Daniels makes a point that members of PA can’t hear.  The issue before Durham is not limited to growth in southern Durham.  Massive growth in the inner city core impacts the quality of life in ways that is often overlooked.  There are issues in Durham beyond southern Durham development.
“Some Durham residents who reside in rural areas want more development, while persons who reside in the inner city are concerned about overcrowding and crime, both of which negatively affect the quality of life,” Gronberg quotes Daniels from the PA questionnaire.
Aggressive inner city development doesn’t impact our ecosystem, but it does have implications among those who are troubled by the increase in population within the city.  As PA, and other critics of southern development, maximizes efforts to defeat those unwilling to take a position on southern development, we should be careful not to forget decisions that impact the rest of the city.
The problem with PA is n how they have demonized candidates for both the city council and Board of County Commissioners.  I’m certain it’s not intentional, but deep wounds have been created by a lack of sensitivity related to how comments and positions are viewed.  By suggesting that Daniels is doing the same as Beasley, what is heard is black people can’t be trusted. 
It’s one of those things hindering relationships between blacks and whites.  The problem is a failure to communicate.  Members of PA are doing hard work in protecting their political interest. In doing so, they take the risk of alienating a community that is overly sensitive due to a series of assumptions and allegations about the motives of black candidates.
The PA’s position of “we won’t support you unless you tell us how you will vote” is a credible approach.  All political action groups have the right to stand by their positions.  The failure of PA is in how they have categorized those unwilling to dance to their drum beat.  To suggest they can’t be trusted digs at the integrity of those who serve.
That is a tough pill to swallow when those candidates are black.  In calling them liars and deceivers, they feed into a racist history that demonizes black people.  It’s a truth they can’t hear due to the passion they bring to the issue.
Yes, it’s racist. No, they don’t intend for it to be racist.
Like I said, someone needs to stop the madness.  If not, the politics of Durham will never see the light of day beyond the color of those who vote.


  1. Those are strong words, "liars and deceivers". Did PA actually use those words in any statements about specific candidates, or are you making the assumption that that was their intent, to communicate that message? I haven't heard any use of such wording in any discussion or statements by PA or any PA members, but if those words were used, please let folks know exactly where and when. Otherwise, that is your own conclusion, and you have to be able to back that up. If those words were not used, it seems you are making very unfair and even dangerous assumptions, fanning flames that aren't there.

  2. `Responses were lifted from the questionnaire of People’s Alliance, a political group willing to do all they can to assure candidates agree with their anti-growth agenda.`

    Carl, you are the one with tunnel vision here. The PA appears to me to be looking for transparent and straight~forward candidates.

    And anti~growth? Please! The PA wants truly smart growth and growth that holds developers to their promises, neither of which Durham has received over the last decade.

    Everything appears to be based on race to you. Until we can move past that, there will be no harmony in Durham.