“Have you read it?”

As Cone points out, there is a lot of information to be found in the tucked-away particulars of the TRC report.

I especially appreciated Commissioner Rev. Mark Sills’ comments… (page 27 of the Annexes and Reflections section)

“For me, the most significant aspect of our work has to do less with what happened on that fateful day in 1979, as tragic and painful as it was, than with the way in which our community has systematically failed to deal with that event, its context, and the continuing legacy of division in our community.”

“…Public apologies offered by Klansmen and former Communists during our public hearings have set an example that others should note and follow.  …Indeed, the very process of truth-seeking has, in many ways, initiated the real possibility of reconciliation, not only among individual actors in the event, but throughout our whole community.”

As Greensboro moves to the next phase of Truth and Reconcillation – namely discussing what is contained in the report – I will have a simple question for those who enter the conversation with a dismissive attitude or obvious agenda.  I’ll ask, ”Have you read the report?”  If the answer is “no” or similar, I will politely decline further discussion of the report with that person.

The GTRCP should make a pin available to anyone who has taken the time to read the report.  The campaign-style button could simply say ”I have read it“.  The pin would be a simple way to discern between those who are making the effort, ”…to deal with that event, its context, and the continuing legacy of division in our community.”, and those who just want things to stay the way they are.

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  1. Posted May 29, 2006 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    well, us bloggers could set an example and create a similar banner for our sidebars. i’ll get on that…

    btw, good meeting you the other night, david. we have a review | conversation page up now if you’d like to leave your thoughts on the film…

  2. Posted May 29, 2006 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    That’s a great idea, Sean.

  3. Posted May 29, 2006 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I concur Sean…

    Now, I’d better get back to finishing it.

  4. Posted May 29, 2006 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    i know, it’s so large. maybe i should create another banner that reads, “i’m smack dab in the middle of the TRC report” ;-)

  5. Mr. Sun
    Posted May 29, 2006 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Exactly wrong, I’d say. Throughout the life of the Commission, there was shooshing of those who did not attend the hearings. As the issuing of the report neared, there were calls to be quiet until the tablets were revealed from Mt. Reconciliation. Now comes the cry to show your “I’ve read it cover-to-cover badge” at the door to gain entry into the discussion. Reading the report is an undeniably worthy goal, but if you make it a condition precedent for “entering the conversation,” then you care more about your own sensibilities than the underlying goals of the Commission. Why not simply listen to others, and spread the word about the report? If you do as outlined above, you turn the Truth and Reconciliation report on its head and make it a conversation stopper and a document of exclusion. It is the height of arrogance to expect all to care enough about this issue to read this report in its entirety. There are hundreds of issues affecting all of us that would be better understood if everyone had read certain source documents: the Constitution, the Bible, zoning laws, regulatory rules, personal accounts, and more. Go ahead and make your exclusive club of report-reader and screen everyone at the door. You can get a secret handshake, too for all the rest of us care.

  6. Posted May 29, 2006 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Let me think on your considered response, Sun.

    You are probably right, but I just LOVE secret handshakes… so… let me think on it.

  7. jeff
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Did many say to stick the GTRC report where the sun don’t shine?

  8. Posted May 30, 2006 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    “You can get a secret handshake, too for all the rest of us care.”

    Ha ha! Great one. Now wait — which of Hogg’s other two stipulations was that — the dismissive attitude or the obvious agenda?

    Disappointed to hear that you won’t be reading the report, but we can count on you for substantive criticism of it, right Sun? Phew! Thank the planets.

    Reminds me of that guy I was talking to the other day. He said he hated your blog, and didn’t think it was funny at all. I said, “oh, you read it?” He said “nah — I just know he’s not funny, ’cause I don’t trust stars that think the whole world orbits around them.”

    I’ll let him know how much you value his feedback and want to listen to his views, and I’ll keep telling him how funny you are.

  9. Posted May 30, 2006 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    After sleeping on it, I have decided that the secret handshake is a good idea, Sun, and I thank you for it. I have already envisioned the arm contortions that will be required and they won’t be too difficult to master. They are akin to the movements needed to turn pages. A knee-jerk element will be added later if unread interlopers learn the handshake without the required reading element of the initiation.

    Also, I have decided that the requirement for getting the pin and learning the handshake should be lower than having to wade through the full report. Reading only the ‘executive summary’ will now get you membership status.

    Those conversationalists who have not read the report or the summary, but are dismissive of its findings, will not be allowed to learn the handshake, nor get the “read it” pin.

    It is written, it is done.

  10. Mr. Sun
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Chewie – I have read it — cover to cover, even following some of the hyperlinked footnotes. As you know from prervious discussions, I’ve also read up on TRC processes in South Africa, Peru, and elsewhere. I don’t require others to read the full report to gain entry into the discussion. That was the topic of the post, by the way. Tell the guy who hates my blog to eat me.

  11. Mr. Sun
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    David — I know the difference between good touching and bad touching, so don’t try anything funny with the handshake. If you encounter someone critical of the Commission who hasn’t read a single word, instead of showing them your hand, why not say, “Did you know there were virtually no police at the scene despite advance warning?” Then, slide them a copy.

  12. Posted May 30, 2006 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    can someone please tell me why the gtrc and the report are a buig deal? please…please tell me what it will change? it is psuedo truth and justice seeking…i just cant imagine why it is soooo important…uz..it really aint gonna change one thing…it might make some cool downtown gso white folks feel like they understand things better and can call each other brother and sister…but in the real world…it doesnt change anyhting

  13. Posted May 30, 2006 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Mr. Sun, if you want to participate in the discussion ignorant of the report, that’s fine with me.

  14. Posted May 30, 2006 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Ben, did someone from the GTRC diss you?

  15. Mr. Sun
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Tough crowd. I have read the entire report. The only posting I have made since its release was to call out Matt Hill Comer for unfairly criticizing the report. My point here is to engage as many people as possible on the contents of the report instead of creating barriers to entry. You may continue with your insults, however.

  16. Posted May 30, 2006 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I just know more about this than most…cops…race…class…lies…here is one fact…one thing..one small little thing that made me think…these gtrc folks miss a lot…they had no intention of including Virgil griffin or retired cops in the reconcilliation process…they did not think of them…they did not call and ask those folks to be report recipients…they left them out…got what they needed from them and forgot about them..all the talk of love and understanding and reconcilliation…please…how u gonna forget the KKK and the cops involoved that day? in the beginning that was the only groups talked about…in the end…they are forgotten…were forgotten..till i got the gropus together…and told the gtrc that they missed a big part…and t they just kinda sighed…i have seen a bunch aboutt he gtrc…and…i am not impressed with the outcome…not at all.

  17. Posted May 30, 2006 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Ben, by what are you judging “the outcome” with which you are not impressed? The list of those invited to officially receive the report only? What about the report itself — anything in it that impresses you? (I understand you took the initiative to make sure that the police and Griffin were included among the report recipients — successfully, apparently. Thank you for that.)

    Mr. Sun, In my comment to you I used “you” when I should have used “one.”

  18. Posted May 30, 2006 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Mr. Sun, I read your latest reply to me cover to cover, and would like to enter the discussion about it.

    It really wasn’t that funny. Could you possibly have hit the “eat me” note earlier in the paragraph, and perhaps addressed it to someone we know, like Ben, Roch, or Dave, thereby enabling some comedic visualization?

    This would provide an opening for someone to make several jokes about gag reflex.


  19. Posted May 30, 2006 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Girls, girls, girls, and you too Chewie. Deep breath. Strip away the sarcasm and insults.

    What is getting lost in all of the crapola of this thread is the meat of the discussion.

    If David means (as I think he does) that he doesn’t want to talk to someone about the contents of the report when they haven’t read it, he’s right. Why engage in a futile exercise?

    If Mr. Sun means (as I think he does) that discussion about the relevant issues shouldn’t require reading the report and that such engagement may open the door to getting someone to read the report, he’s right too.

    As for Chewie, her homo-erotic imaginings scare me.

  20. Mr. Sun
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Chewie — No, I worried the “eat me” line considerably before posting. First, I think it gains added punch as the exit line. I like the way it puts you down even as I am still heading out the door. It also makes me seem very casual about it, even though I desperately want for me to win and you to lose, which goes without saying.

  21. Posted May 30, 2006 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    wasn’t hoggard’s original post referring to a conversation when people are “discussing what is contained in the report?”

    reading the report isn’t a prerequisite to converse about the events of 11/3, the last 27 years or anything going on today regarding the TRC… but it should be if someone is speaking from a position of reading the report when they haven’t.

    or did i miss something?

  22. Posted May 30, 2006 at 12:02 pm | Permalink


    no. i am not impressed by any of it. i was there when mitch leaked the KKK news…i was the first to announce the secret meeting at mt zion..when i was a lil boy…eddie Dawson, james buck, Clyde Webster and many other KKK figures of the early 70′s were at my fathers house on many occasions…I got to see them…listen..learn…i knew what poor and ignorant was..i knew the real enemy was the system…i guess i just expected more concrete and transparent things from the gtrc…i did not get that……I was furious when i did not read about any kind of landlord reform…or landlord review board…or inspectiosn review board…a lot of our social ill’s could be corrected or at lease simplified if local silly ordinances were enforced all the wat across the board….blah blah blha….u may have enjoyed it and gotten a new or better perspective……but i did not…like the N&R pointed out from the gtrc report…how we see this …has alot to do with personal experiences…I should be glad that other people are looking at this stuff…I wish i would have never helped them. i dont want u to credit me w virgil and cops…but instead wonder w me how they were left out? what is the mind set of the gtrc to leave those two groups out…the two major groups involved? i did go get them and was mad they were left out…but what made me wanna puke…is the great gtrc did not even bother to try to include them until i had already done the majority of the work. How can you not include the KKK or retired cops involved and absolutley include survivors and hold a meeting w them to tell them they might be mad at the report…but totally leave the other two parties out….?????? how is that???? how? in my opinion..the gtrc had a secret meeting w surviviors and did not include the KKK and the cops…cuz…well…it aint about reconcilliation…it is about political power…the whole thing in 1979 was to bring the poor folks togehter…they used a horrible strategy…and that has been admitted…but to miss the part of unitting gropus in 2006 after you made all this noise about reconcilliation? those posters w the doves and all that…that is all it is…a poster….

  23. Posted May 30, 2006 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    sean if that comment was for me…i could have written it without the hearings and bull shit…i am sorry i am not impressed that u just realized it gets dark at night…i have known that for a while now.

  24. Posted May 30, 2006 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    no, ben, it wasn’t. it was for mr. sun. i fully realize your genius.

  25. Mr. Sun
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Put up your banner and draw your lines as you see fit, Sean.

  26. Posted May 30, 2006 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    You forgot to tell him to eat you.

  27. Posted May 30, 2006 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    very good sean…very few do..

  28. Posted May 30, 2006 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    don’t fret your little sun spots, mr. sun. your opposition to lines that “bar discussion”… or whatever your point was… were never close to being in motion.

    even though i religiously wear a little, metallic american flag on my 9-5 suit jacket to prove my love of america, my affiliation with the enlightened against what happened on 9/11 and our collective will to combat a tactic (terrorism), i’m just too damn busy tying to further the 11/3 discussion in other ways

    but i do love your reaction. al gore doesn’t know the half of it.

  29. dhoggard
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Roch, as usual, tried to bring us back on topic with a comment which I have just now moderated and approved after working my butt off all day while you guys have engaged in idle chatter about the TRC report that Ben says he could have written in less time and, presumably, for less money.

    Roch sent me an email wondering what happened to his clever post. In the email he asked, “Why has my previous comment been sent to moderation? Is it because it contained the words, girls, deep, meat and erotic?”

    Probably, Roch…

    Now, about that handshake….