Fayetteville’s “evil” city council and the human rights ordinance: if you begin by referring to those you disagree with as evil or misguided, what credibility do you have? | Street Jazz

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fayetteville’s “evil” city council and the human rights ordinance: if you begin by referring to those you disagree with as evil or misguided, what credibility do you have?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 1:40 AM

Getting ready to leave for the Dark Heart of America, Tracy and I had to pass into a building (for legal papers) which had before its doors a man collecting signatures for the expected special election on Fayetteville’s human rights ordinance. As I passed by the man, he was telling another fellow, “When evil people are allowed to run things, good people have to rise up.”

“Evil people?” I called out to him as I went in the doors.

“Yes, sir!” he answered back.

On my return a few minutes later, our conversation resumed. While he believed that the majority of the folks who supported the ordinance were “misguided,” he had strong feelings about the city council, which he again characterized as “evil” - except for the aldermen who had voted against it.

Going against the wishes of the people, was his line of reasoning, though I watched the entire evening on television, and it looked to me as though a majority of Fayetteville residents were there to urge the council to cast yes votes.

Our conversation was civil, though I was disturbed by the fervor of his convictions - just as I am with anyone who is rash enough to speak of people as though they were of a group mind. 

It doesn’t matter if the line begins” Leftists” or “Liberals” or “Conservatives” or “Democrats” or Republicans” - it is all just stupid beyond words to describe.

Politics is supposed to be not only the art of compromise, but also the art of persuasion. If you begin your quest by believing that everyone who disagrees with you and everyone else in your little treehouse is a moron, or venal or a “hater” (god, can’t we outlaw that word?) you probably won’t win over many converts to your cause.

You might as well stay on Facebook or Twitter, preaching to the choir.

******

Passion and Eloquence will win the day over bigotry any day

Opponents of the ordinance - just as they were in the 20th Century - will be hyper-aggressive in getting their message out - such as it is.

Some of it may come across as insane, or rancid bigotry, but it did last time, as well, when the Human Dignity Resolution was on the chopping block. And fayetteville is nowhere near as liberal now as it was then.

Supporters of the ordinance need to be prepared to come out swinging as soon as an election date is named . . . and not merely on Facebook, where we all just either talk to our friends, or argue with the same folk who will never agree with us in a million years.

The woods are full of folk sitting on the fence about this, just waiting to hear the most persuasive arguments.

Passion and eloquence can win the day.

*****

Quote of the Day

Acting can work a peculiar magic on the actor. From my own experience, I know that it can cure you - at least for the length of a performance - of a whole variety of ailments. Migraine headaches, miserable colds, or toothaches will suddenly disappear as you’re up there going through your paces. - Barbara Harris

rsdrake@cox.net

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