The ‘mindset ‘of the ‘great white fathers’

From my point of view, Ed Cone pegged what I believe to be the underlying truth behind the N&R’s almost dismissive treatment of the Greensboro Truth & Reconcilliaton Commission’s efforts as exemplified by this morning’s article on the subject.  The headline on the front page nearly screamed: “Nothing new to see here, everybody just move along“. 


In the comments following his post on what he terms our local daily’s ‘shameful’ efforts at delving deeper into what’s going on with the T&R Commission, Ed and Mr. Sun entered into a fine one-on-one exchange about Greensboro’s effort at restorative justice.  Sun’s against it…. Cone?… For it.


After I witnessed the City Council’s 6-3 white over black vote back in April to oppose the T&R process I wondered what was up with such an obviously stark division between the voices of both races represented on our Council.  So, after the meeting, I made some inquiries as to how representatives from the two dominant races within our community could come down so strongly on opposite sides of an issue that, on its face, could bring us closer together if examined honestly and openly?  Certain black members of our City Council (and others, some of who are now running for Council) confided to me that it was their impression that the ’great white fathers’ (their term, not mine) just don’t want this Klan/Nazi thing to resurface or be discussed any further among polite company.  Apparently Cone has recieved similar information. 


In a rebuttal to Mr. Sun’s arguments, Cone opines there could only be three possible reasons for the N&R’s skimming-the-surface (ed note: corrected from ‘almost silent’) treatment of the Commission’s work: intent, happenstance or circumstance.  He chooses only one as being plausible…



“… I find the proposition that decisions about the resources and focus devoted to a story of this magnitude over a long period of time are the result of happenstance and circumstance to be highly unlikely under any scenario; given the outright hostility toward this project from what might well be called the Greensboro Establishment, that proposition looks simply naive; I also have specific information, relayed on background from unhappy people within the N&R building, to bolster the impression of disinterest on the part of the paper. I am not suggesting for a moment that Jim Melvin drives the coverage, but that a certain mindset governs it.”


I imagine that what Cone identifies as ‘a certain mindset’ of the “Greensboro Establishment” is the same thing as what some black leaders identified to me as the overt, exclusionary and undue influence of Greensboro’s ‘great white fathers’.  And make no mistake, this ‘mindset’ of our monied ’great white fathers’ insidiously asserts influence on much more than mere headlines within our community.


If nothing else comes from the current T&R process, I hope all of Greensboro’s citizens will finally reconcile themselves to the above truth as to the way things really are around here, and change it.

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