Editor’s Note: Matthew Canipe and Junie Barrett have provided comments directly related to the original articles associated with the unfortunate, unnecessary and uncouth Republican Party and TEA Party’s Dirty Tricks played upon them. Please be sure to read them as I am sure more is to come in this soon to be charged- up 2020 Election Year process. The comments shown below were in regard to that same Dirty Tricks and TEA Party Response Article, but raised additional issues related to the perceived silence within the black community regarding this and other issues. I have added these comments into a separate article in order to double the discussion of these related issues.
On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 3:06 PM Rev. Dante Murphy Wrote:
You are to be commended for your satirical journalism. The most recent responses by prominent persons in the community is evidence that your voice resonates among the masses. The recent responses by Tea Party affiliates show that there are people in the community who care enough to the point they speak up regardless of varying viewpoints.
I remain concerned that black leadership in Cleveland County remain silent on issues that are detrimental to the lives of people. I am in shock that Green v. City of Shelby Manager Rick Howell continues to linger at taxpayer expense without pushback from at least black community leadership. Two black council members, one being a longtime pastor, indicates that black leadership remain on the auction block—cooned out below market value.
I look forward to your future writings and efforts to prick the consciousness of citizens throughout the county and beyond.
Rev. Dante’ Murphy
On Sun, Apr 5, 2020 at 9:58 PM Rev. Melvin Clark Wrote:
Greetings Mr. Williams and Mr. Murphy
I want to be clear that I will not engage in an ongoing discussion between R. A. W. and Reverend Dante Murphy on the matter in reference to Mr. Willie Green, who I feel have been mistreated in our county and by the City of Shelby administration. Considering the events of the case, none of us has met with the attorneys who represent Mr. Green or the City of Shelby; therefore, any statement I or other colleagues make would resemble the comments that have previously been expressed. Though we choose to address the injustices of Mr. Green differently than either of you, there is no reason to continue to utilize racial or discriminatory words such as, “auction block—cooned out” which is offensive to my mother, who is 80 years of age, seniors in my church and community. It appears that the attack is no longer on behalf of Mr. Green or the support for his cause but now has become personal and pointed towards black leadership.
I, as a black leader, have the right to support causes that I choose and reject those that I choose not to support. I have met with city council members to discuss my dissatisfaction with the methodology applied to restrict Mr. Green, a prominent black leader of the community. I have addressed the city council openly in an effort to resolve the issue with Mr. Green, as well as, the lack of minority business ownership in the city and county. So, I am not speaking as one who has done nothing but one who is absolutely concerned about the lack of opportunity for people of color, which I would refer to as racial genocide in the black race.
It is imperative that the utilization of derogatory language must cease, for it does not strengthen your chances of gaining support but creates a more significant point of division.
Your servant pastor for this generation
Melvin L. Clark
On Monday, Apr 6, 2020 at 7:21 AM Dr. Clyde Edgerton Wrote:
We have been following this situation from Wilmington NC and are relieved to find that courageous black leaders are publicly supportive of Mr. Green, Mr. Williams, and Reverend Murphy. We would hope that courageous white leaders are too. We look forward to loud and proud and courageous public display of such support. Thus far, it seems that such support has been relatively scant. Averages citizens, as you know, are far more likely to speak their minds publicly if they see their leaders out front. And they must see and hear them out front aggressively.
Thank you for speaking out against racial injustice.
Concerns Parents and Citizens 2020
On Monday, Apr 6, 2020 at 7:29 AM Dr. Clyde Edgerton Wrote:
I failed to mention two things in my just sent email.
1. We hope you are doing ok during these dire times.
2. We are hopeful that we will begin to see visible support of Mr. Green and his efforts. . . in the form of letters to the editor, outspoken op-eds, editorials, sermons, etc. We believe lukewarm support emboldens the enemies of justice. We hope that you also embrace that belief.
Concerned Parents and Citizens 2020
On Monday, Apr 6, 2020 at 7:22 PM Robert A. Williams Writes:
Thanks for your comment about my writing style. I just tell it like it is, just like you do. I also share your belief that speaking up for what is right is the right thing to do. Which, unfortunately, often offends some people. I suppose my “calling crooks and liars” crooks and liars has offended just about every crook and liar in elected and appointed positions in Cleveland County government. But that goes along with our form of government; which is NOT based on trust, but upon “checks and balances.” I do NOT apologize to anybody that I have called a crook or a liar as that is what they have done and that I explain, often in great detail, how they have done it. I do my business in the open while they call me “crazy” and a “liar” behind my back. Most readers have come to the fact that I can back up what I write and the crooks and liars can only continue to call me crazy and a liar to others without any proof at all.
I am glad that the TEA Party, Hayden Soloway, has made an attempt to explain themselves although the explanation was lacking in many respects. Hopefully before this discussion is over everybody will understand the issues and perspectives much better and respect the opinions of others as they would like their opinions respected in return. The caveat is corruption is due no respect from anybody.
I also believe, based on close examination, that, as you say, the public silence of black leadership “indicates that black leadership remain on the auction block—cooned out below market value.” Those are your words but appear to me to accurately and succinctly describe the present situation here in Cleveland County. I always say that you have to find the problem before you can fix it. I have yet to see where silence on a broad scale fixes anything. Instead, it prolongs the problem. Months, decades, even generations.
I have followed your work in New Hanover County, which clearly shows that standing up publicly and speaking out the truth, even when some call it offensive, and with perseverance brings results in short order. I support that approach.
Thanks for your input to this discussion. Although, maybe, it will unfortunately be only be a one-time occurrence. We hope not.
I believe there are plenty of injustices in Cleveland County to go around. The Republican Party and TEA Party “dirty tricks” during the Republican 2020 Primary Election was the starting point in my series of articles and this discussion. The injustices against Mr. Willie Green was a logical and predictable expansion of the discussion. As was the perception that the silence of the black leadership in Cleveland County was either enabling or supportive of the injustices against Mr. Green. Didn’t Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. write from a jail in Birmingham that “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere?” I don’t remember Rev. King ever depending on “silence” to motivate activist activities to bring about changes in society toward freedom and equality. If he had, I believe very few of us would have ever heard the name of Rev. Martin Luther King.
I also believe that what you called “racial and discriminatory words,” when used in the context of reminding people of the widespread discrimination during a time that I still remember, is a rallying cry that freedom and equality have still not yet been fully attained. And will never be as long as an enabling silence and widespread acceptance of the status quo is practiced.
I say that racial or discriminatory “words” are better than racial or discriminatory “actions” against any member of our community. Black or White. Including Mr. Green.
As I once told you, I believe that “any one of us is either a part of the solution or part of the problem.” I also said that “it is not what you say, but what you do” that is the most important part of leadership and in the evaluation of our elected officials. I would add, “you have to identify the problem before you can fix the problem.” Hopefully you will join us in ridding Cleveland County of the many manifestations of corruption, where ever we find them.
Thank you for your insights and words of encouragement for what we are trying to do here in Cleveland County. The rapid achievements in New Hanover County brought about by Rev. Murphy and yourself are an inspiration and a good example of what speaking-up and speaking-out can do to point out corruption in county agencies and the enabling officials. I have lost count of exactly how many people have been prosecuted and jailed in New Hanover County because of your activities. Along with all the many forced resignations of very high-level government officials there, elected or otherwise.
Keep up the good work and also keep up the suggestions. We are hoping someday to be just as successful as you and Rev. Murphy in what we are doing here in Cleveland County.
Robert A. Williams