Go deeper, says Phillips

A conversation I had yesterday with City Councilman Tom Phillips regarding a neighborhood matter turned intriguing when he said, “You know, I’ve been thinking about this Truth & Reconciliation issue.”

I wasn’t able to whip out a notepad during our conversation, so my recollection of the exact wording may be a bit off.  If it is, I’m sure Tom will not be shy about correcting me.  He said…

“It occurs to me that we may not be going back far enough in this whole process of finding the root causes of what happened that day.”

“The reason the CWP was able to establish itself was because they were trying to improve working conditions and pay at local mills.  A lot of people were getting very rich off the labor of the poor and there were those who saw that as a real injustice.  If those mills had been treating their employees right, then the CWP wouldn’t have formed.  Without the CWP, it is very likely that confrontation would never have happened.  So if apologies are due, maybe the first ones should come from the mill owners and their descendents.  If reparations are due, surely there are some trust funds around that could be tapped for that purpose.”

I can always count on Tom to provide me with a fresh perspective on things.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted June 27, 2006 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    So was he being sincere, or was that just a veiled crack at Ed?

  2. Posted June 27, 2006 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Lex, In Tom’s own way I think he was being sincere. But I’ll let him expound if he wishes… Tom?

    Sean, So I take it you think Tom’s version of cause and effect is without merit.

  3. Posted June 27, 2006 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I rather doubt Tom was being serious, and in any case he needs to brush up on his Cone geneology if he thinks I’m an heir to the mill ownership.

    But his sneering dismissal of the TRC, disheartening as it is from an elected official, is useful in that it shows the limits of the reasonable goals here.

    This process isn’t about redressing the wrongs of American capitalism, as the CWP (and facetiously, Tom Phillips) might view them, or righting every past racial and economic injustice.

    It is about addressing specific deeds and missteps: the violent and deadly actions of the Klan, the failure to protect and serve by the GPD, and the incendiary rhetoric and disregard for the neighborhood by the CWP.

  4. Mr. Sun
    Posted June 27, 2006 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    He got it a little wrong, but the man put some thought into the insult. You’ve got to give him that.

  5. Posted June 27, 2006 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Adding on to what Ed said, it is about acknowledging past wrongs in order to put into place a system that will not allow those same wrongs to occur again.

  6. Posted June 27, 2006 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    no, david, i think there’s some merit in tom’s analysis (regarding labor issues and the CWP), but it reads as though he never would’ve gone there if he wasn’t going to drop that last line. you were a part of the conversation. how did it unfold?

  7. Mr. Sun
    Posted June 27, 2006 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    In all seriousness, I would like to point out that “Go Deeper, Says Phillips” is very dirty-sounding. I’m wondering, was it “Go Deeper, Phillips Urges Hoggard?” I will give it a prime shower time thinking slot, David. Love you, too.

  8. Posted June 27, 2006 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Then again, when you think about what ultimately happens to the taxpayer, perhaps David’s headline was accurate.

  9. Posted June 27, 2006 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Sean, Tom’s comments struck me as tongue-in-cheek mainly because I laughed pretty hard after he said it – and he didn’t take seem to take offence to my reaction.

    Sun… I would rather you not think about me while in the shower if you don’t mind and I imagine Tom has similar sentiments… but I guess that is akin to trying to keeping “My Sharona” from playing over and over in your head. You simply can’t stop it until some other tune pops in your head to replace it – like – say… My Achy Breaky Heart.

  10. Posted June 27, 2006 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    AW CRAP, HOGGARD! Just ruined my afternoon! And I was thinking of pleasant things, like City taxes.

  11. Posted June 27, 2006 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Tom is correct and it is not funny at all. Unless you think catching a terminal illness at ones job is funny…personally…I dont…see asbesots ordiance.

  12. Posted June 27, 2006 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Ben, lighten up a bit. You’ve been way too sour and serious of late.

  13. Posted June 28, 2006 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Actually…I think i am getting meaner and more serious…zero tolerance

  14. Posted June 28, 2006 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    WHOA!

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  1. [...] UPDATE IV: Tom’s foot-in-mouth syndrome continues: “It occurs to me that we may not be going back far enough in this whole process of finding the root causes of what happened that day.â€? [...]