Thursday, January 22, 2015

No mention of Skip Alston lining up civil rights speakers by Roy's Rhino's John Hammer

Behind The Scenes At The Latest City Council Meeting

"There was a lot going on at the Greensboro City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 20 in the Council Chambers, but the most interesting parts were off camera.

On camera a number of speakers from the floor got the audience riled the crowd up speaking about the fact that “black lives matter.”

There was quite a bit of yelling from the audience, but Mayor Nancy Vaughan let it die down on its own rather than make it into an issue.

And the council seemed pretty calm about the whole deal, which included complaints about the International Civil Rights Center & Museum and a proposed historical marker..."
"Councilman Zack Matheny said the protest seemed orchestrated.

“It sounded to me like they had a script on the museum and someone wrote it for them,” he said.

Melvin “Skip” Alston, a co-founder of the museum and a member of its board, met with the group before it entered the council chamber but denied planning the protest as a political move against the council.

“This is an independent group of young people,” Alston said. “They have been communicating with the mayor for a number of weeks, trying to get her to take a position on the Black Lives Matter movement, on police brutality, on poverty, and they’re frustrated that they haven’t been getting a response from the city.”

Alston said group members asked to meet with him because they wanted to voice their concerns about the museum.

“They wanted to make sure they had all their facts right about the museum, so I met with them ... and I answered some questions for them,” he said. “But that’s not me planning anything. That’s what I call passing the torch to the younger leadership.”

Joe Killian
"Heaping stew of steamy rhetoric at council meeting could have used more facts

Those earnest young and not-so-young people who ambushed the City Council with blistering speeches Tuesday night had their hearts in the right place if not always their facts.

...I commend the speakers for getting involved, especially the younger ones.

I only wish they would do their homework first.

Could one source of the misinformation be a certain civil rights museum co-founder and former county commissioner?

“They wanted to make sure they had all their facts right about the museum,” said Melvin “Skip” Alston, who had huddled with the group before the council meeting convened, “so I met with them.”

Mystery solved.

It reminds me of a similarly sincere but misguided effort from a few summers ago called the Spirit of the Sit-in Movement, which disrupted a 2010 council meeting while a band played “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

“I don’t know who is advising the Spirit of the Sit -in folks,” I wrote five years ago, “but I fear he or she has steered them down a dead-end alley.”

Same song, different verse in 2015.

Passion minus due diligence does not help anyone’s cause — if anything it could hurt.
There’s no doubt about it. Black Lives Matter. But so do facts."

Allen Johnson
Civil Rights Museum / Simkins PAC related links