My friend Amaya on her website, The Brabble Rabble, has aired a pertinent article which shows how public debate should not be done. She has written about a North Carolina GOP power broker named Art Pope, who after helping the new governor get elected, became his Budget Director. In essence, his political website has published photos of a large and growing body of protesters in NC who have been termed the Moral Monday protesters. Over 500 of these Moral Monday protesters have been arrested for failure to disperse and trespassing. Many are ministers, teachers and professionals. Yet, the website goes further to ridicule the protesters with an online game. The article link follows: http://thebrabblerabble.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/art-pope-funded-group-launches-database-targeting-moral-monday-arrestees/
These protesters are there because of a series of law and bills that will be very harmful to the less fortunate in our state. Money could not be found to help these folks, yet it could be found for a potential tax cut that will help the upper income earners moreso than others. I have written several posts on the topic, the latest of which can be read with the following link: https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/moral-mondays-the-new-civil-rights-protests-in-north-carolina/
My point is not to rehash their issues. My point is that these folks have a right to be heard and not ridiculed. The governor has said they are from out-of-state, when surveys show that 98% are from NC. Other legislators have called them names to belittle them. I have shared with the governor and other legislators by several emails that whether you agree with their issues or not, they have a right to be heard. Especially, when you have people of all races, genders, and ethnic groups risking arrest. I for one believe their issues have merit. As an Independent voter, I am truly baffled by some of our decisions in our General Assembly that will be harmful to our citizens and the economy. These decisions will hurt people of all political persuasions, as poverty knows no political party.
Yet, irrespective of whether our leaders agree with them or not, the Moral Monday protesters deserve to be heard. At the very minimum, they deserve respect. This is extremely poor form on Art Pope and his advisors part. This is extremely poor form on the governor’s part, which is a shame as I voted for him. I have shared with him that his inaction to meet with the Moral Monday protesters and failure to rein in Mr. Pope’s efforts to ridicule them has cost him my vote. I realize my vote does not matter in the big scheme of things, but he needs to know his actions or inactions affect people.
No matter in which state or country you live, if you are permitted to share your concerns over government action or inaction let them know. Do not name call and stick to the issues. If you strive to be constructive in your comments, they will be more easily read and hopefully acknowledged. If you name call, they will go in the pile of unread emails. In our country, it costs so much money to get elected, the people with the money have greater influence. The only way for everyone else to have a voice is to let our leaders know what they have not done well, but also where they have done a good job. Thanks for letting Amaya and me share our state woes as an example to others.