For me, these last days have been like a roller coaster ride from long ago Riverview in Chicago. Roller coasters are not for me. I looked forward to the Mount Rushmore celebrations, hoped for and received a patriotic fix. One of my favorite parts of the evening were the brief stories of Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt and Lincoln. A few tears leaked while hearing their inspiring stories, knowing the country they helped build is under attack. Mobs of indoctrinated people empowered by destruction and mayhem, have been left to run free and out of control.
Recharged with hope by a show of strength and determination from the program, I returned to thoughts of Main Street Rocky Mount determined to kick some sand on the beach, or holler from my Main Street Bench, pleading for a return to law and order. I was determined to help figure out how to put our city back on a sensible path to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We begin by examining our reality.
IF WE KEEP DOING WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE, WE WILL GET WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE
What a dilemma we are in. I am in! I have a friend who has my best interests at heart, who tells me to strive to be the Henry Kissinger of Rocky Mount, rise above the fray, stay out of politics, another words, Live on Higher Ground. I don’t want to disappoint these expectations, but, but, but…again! in the middle of a budget meeting, a vote passes ignoring the three public meetings who said “Leave the Monument Alone.” Public meetings for show and then do what you want to do anyway. Once again we got what we already have.
Manley Photographs has captured the remarkable dismantling of the monument. ‘Forever Gratitude’ for the images that tell a wordless story. I leave you with one to meditate over. What CAN we do when “Our Nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.” Rocky Mount with beautiful, God-fearing, people, asking so little…to live a safe life where education, medical support, reasonable taxes are available. The right to love and be loved, to sit on the porch relishing a cool evening, to listen as the bird song quiets down. I think of two teenagers having kiss on the porch swing, the voices of mothers calling their children home, Dads putting down their papers as the light fads. There is no difference among us when it comes to these things. In our minds, kneeling now on a level piece of ground with cement crushed to powder, it is a blank slate. In your spheres of influence, won’t you reason together how we can stop doing what keeps getting us the same results.