Commissioner Guido Brunetti Sheds Light On Councilmen Knight and Blackwell

I have traveled to Italy on a wonderful garden tour in Tuscany. To this day I revisit memories that I relish. I’ve researched and used both Lucca and Pienza, my two favorite cities, for locations in my second novel, Facing East. The tour did not include Venice, but I’ve spent hours there through the mystery series written by Donna Leon. Over time I have come to consider the intelligent and capable Police Commissioner, Guido Brunetti as one of my most interesting and likable friends who waits for me on the pages of Leon’s books. Brunetti and the ensemble of characters never fail to deliver a satisfying mystery. In each book, Leon explores Venice and its wide spectrum of issues. In finishing the latest Leon read, Through a Glass, Darkley, I found an interesting corollary to help me think about Councilmen, Knight, and Blackwell who persist in maintaining control over everything. If challenged, asked questions, their deflection is the predictable accusation of racism that motivates scrutiny. I continue to look for answers on how this is allowed to go on. Brunetti was helpful.

Brunetti is an erudite man. In this case, he is thinking about Dante’s Inferno. What category would Dante have assigned the villain? To the hoarders, who are condemned to push their heavy stone, for all eternity? Thinking about these categories, Brunetti remembers a report in a science column in La Repubblica on experiments done with people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Many of them lost the use of the brain mechanism that told them when they were hungry or full. If given food repeatedly, they would eat again and again, unconscious of the fact that they had just eaten and should no longer be hungry. Brunetti finds this applicable to people afflicted with the disease of greed: the concept of ‘enough’ had been eliminated from their minds.

Frustrated, amazed, and baffled, I keep waiting for justice, that does not come. Without shame, Council meeting after meeting, the ‘My Will Be Done’ agenda persists. Mr. Blackwell’s seat is available. His Ward may reelect him, but at a great cost to the city. After twenty-plus years, what started out as good intentions and energy to serve, has become skullduggery on steroids. It is never ‘enough.’ This is what happens when greed takes over. Case in point, The Unity Cemetery project by volunteers that represent the U N I T Y that is possible in Rocky Mount. That fact sent two councilmen into orbit. Scroll down to read any comments that may be left on each blog post.

2 thoughts on “Commissioner Guido Brunetti Sheds Light On Councilmen Knight and Blackwell

  1. Below is an excerpt from an old Washington Times article.

    Obama at Morehouse: Black men cannot use racism as a crutch

    By Dave Boyer – The Washington Times – Sunday, May 19, 2013

    Commencement speech mentions his upbringing

    Speaking at a historically black college, President Obama said Sunday that he sometimes blamed his youthful failings on racism and urged graduates to look up to black male role models such as filmmaker Spike Lee.

    Protected by a canopy in a steady rain at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Mr. Obama told the drenched graduates and their families that they can’t afford to use “the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation” as an excuse for any shortcomings.

    “We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices,” Mr. Obama said. “Growing up, I made a few myself. Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down.”

    Various biographical accounts of Mr. Obama’s teenage years in Hawaii have described him as an underachieving student who enjoyed smoking marijuana frequently.

    The president said without some opportunities, his life might have turned out differently. “I might have been in prison,” Mr. Obama said. “I might have been unemployed. I might not have been able to support a family. And that motivates me.”

    But Mr. Obama said black men today — he even used the term “brothers” — cannot use racism as a crutch to explain away any failures.

    “We’ve got no time for excuses — not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t,” he said. “We’ve got no time for excuses,” Mr. Obama said. “Not because the bitter legacy of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they have not. Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; we know those are still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with millions of young people from China and India and Brazil — many of whom started with a whole lot less than all of you did — all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned.”

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