It was ugly, but moreover, it was sad. The sight of two white males “mansplaining” to an African American woman elected to represent her district just why it was “ridiculous” to erect an historical marker in her community at the site of the 1979 Klan- Nazi Shootout.
They didn’t like it. They thought it was bad for Greensboro. They thought it didn’t go into enough historical detail.
The fact is that with their paternalistic instincts they likely brought more negative attention to Greensboro than a marker with 20 words positioned at the intersection of McConnell and Willow roads ever will.
It pained us to think what alternate wordings they would prefer.
“The communists deserved it.” “The Klan ain’t so bad.” We kept going over in our mind just what was objectionable about the wording, which stated that members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party shot and killed five members of the Communist Workers Party.
That’s what happened. But as council member Marikay Abuzuaiter pointed out, just look at how far Greensboro has come since that horrible day. Acknowledging the fact, as have history books and multiple documentaries, would prove that Greensboro is bigger and stronger than that one day when outsiders clashed in a mostly black neighborhood in such tragic fashion.
Is it Greensboro’s power elite that shudders at the thought that the city’s often celebrated diversity is but a mask hiding the real power base in Greensboro: a developer and business insider class that surfeits itself with backroom deals and special interest representation on the council itself?
If not, then the objection to an historical marker on a side of the city most of its white elite will never visit is truly backward. !
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