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Email to Mayor and Council

Background: My first post is the text of an email that I sent to the Mayor and members of the Fayetteville City Council. The email explains that I am working on an opinion piece that will mention incidents and policy actions that took place, or are underway, in Fayetteville. My intent was to give City leaders an opportunity to have their input considered.

Mayor Colvin and Council Members,

I am a freelance writer who lives in Fayetteville and am working on an opinion piece that will be submitted to various national media outlets for publication consideration. It will also be distributed via my e-newsletter. The idea being put forth is that if there is a privileged group in America; it is the country’s Black citizens. In explaining that conclusion, several incidents, and related policy actions, will be cited. These will be from across the nation, but will include some observations from Fayetteville.

The focus is on how individuals, governmental officials, and various entities have responded, and continue to respond, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. It seems to me that the resulting efforts are so heavily focused on various conditions allegedly negatively affecting Black Americans that the White population is being neglected while, even worse, being painted as the enemy. Note, I am not alone in this thinking. I saw a post on Nextdoor recently where a lady said exactly the same thing. She and I are not alone.

Given the case I am making in this piece, I invite each of you to respond to the following questions:

  1. What is your vision for Fayetteville? https://sedl.org/change/issues/issues23.html gives a good feel for what I mean by vision:  “Vision provides guidance to an organization by articulating what it wishes to attain. It serves as ‘a signpost pointing the way for all who need to understand what the organization is and where it intends to go’ (Nanus, 1992). By providing a picture, vision not only describes an organization’s direction or goal, but also the means of accomplishing it.”
  2. How do the following actions under Fayetteville City Council’s auspices move the city toward fulfilling your vision?
    1. On 30 May 2020, allowing rioters to damage downtown businesses while police were told not to take any action to stop this activity.
    2. In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic when various requirements such as social distancing and crowd limits were in place to prevent spread, allowing public gatherings of large groups for protests.
    3. When downtown businesses were already suffering because of the pandemic and rioting, allowing a group of protesters to take over the Market House and turn the area into a totally unsightly condition that must have adversely impacted downtown businesses.
    4. Painting the phrases “Black lives do matter” and “End racism now” in the circle around the Market House.
    5. Considering tearing down the Market House.

You may send your answers to me at the email address that I sent this email from.

I realize there are occasions when individuals do not respond to questions from media persons. Apparently, sometimes the strategy is that this refusal to respond is expected to adversely impact the financial income of the requester and, thereby, give the person being questioned some control over the person seeking information. You should be aware that my financial well-being does not, to any extent, depend on my writing. Consequently, if you choose not to respond to this invitation, I will simply report that you did not respond and go on with the piece. 

Thank you.

Karl Merritt

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