Councilwoman Sandy Carmany stayed up longer than I did last night and put her thoughts down on the extraordinary events surrounding the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation (GTRC) vote. She clearly explains what happened within the negotiations of our City Council, both in public and behind the scenes.
It was obvious last night that the Council had decided that each member should get a chance to speak their peace and then just let the matter rest. But, as it turns out, Claudette Burroughs-White just as obviously had other ideas. The shock that reverberated through much of the council when Claudette made her motion (.mp3 via N&R) to introduce a do-nothing resolution was palpable. The quick second of the motion by Bellamy-Small seemed to demonstrate that Claudette's motion had been in the cards all along. Carmany relates her feelings of being double-crossed...
"...and saddest of all, my loss of trust in a fellow councilmember who violated a negotiated agreement when she introduced a resolution councilmembers had mutually agreed would not be introduced."
The thing that Carmany doesn't address is the 'why' behind all of this. Surely Claudette knew what she was doing and what the ultimate vote would be on her motion. But she forced the issue anyway. Why?
By forcing a vote, Claudette made a conscious decision to politicize the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission straight down racial lines. Why?
Lastly. Why has this become a racial issue for Greensboro? The Klan-Nazi shootout was not a racially motivated incident. But the folks who spoke last night from the floor who had engineered getting this vote before the Council, and all three black council members, continually framed the Truth and Reconciliation process as vehicle for "racial healing."
I agree that we have some racial healing to do around here, but it just seems that it should not be couched within an examination of an incident that occured between two fringe groups who were mostly white and from out of town.
Don't get me wrong. I still support the work of the T&R Commission. But the Klan/Nazi shootout had little to do with racial issues in 1979, and it is disingenuous and needlessly divisive to frame it such a way now.
Update: N&R editorial chief Allen Johnson was at last night's meeting, too. He filed these observations.