Not quite sure what I attended last night. It WAS billed as a Public Forum. The Public showed up. At least 100 or so of us settled into the auditorium of the Suprenant Building on the Quinsigamond College Campus to attend a forum on Better Government and Race Relations in the City of Worcester.
I was greeted by John Hill, Communications Specialist for the city. We exchanged cards and he welcomed M&P to the event. This was the first, last and only warm greeting I would receive the whole evening.
I am not sure why but for some reason the DOJ was invited by the city to speak about the perceived problems existing between the Worcester City Council and the citizens of the city. My first question was; what the hell is the Federal Government doing coming into a sovereign city to pick the brains of the local populace?
Oh, that's right. The city invited them!
Well, I would make one suggestion to help promote better government in the city. Don't EVER invite the Feds to hold these types of forums! Just hold one yourselves Worcester. With only 14% of registered voters actually showing up at the polls last year in the city I think the problem is more systemic than what a two hour forum can possibly cover. Especially one co-hosted by the DOJ. Their record of public concern these days is not a top 10 example of 'better government'.
The first flaw was in the "handouts". If there is one thing you can depend on at events like these are those damned "handouts". These things are nothing more than prescribed talking points designed to steer the conversation down a prescribed path. Information gathering is the only purpose. It does not necessarily result in an 'end to the means'. Least of all the one we hope for.
Some of the 'fact finding' that went on covered the idea of electronic voting. This is a jewel in the crown idea of Technocrats who would love nothing more than a data base of who is voting for whom. With the computer hacking that occurs regularly and the historical record of electronic machines being tilted to skew Democrat despite the repeated pushing of the 'R' button electronic voting is a very bad idea. The continued false narrative that Voter ID is racist and oppressive was heard in more than a few circles. Again, this is a prescribed notion and is utterly false. The problem is that there is way too much non-certification of eligibility to vote. Hell, you can get a mail in registration card anywhere. They show up every election cycle in the red Referendum books, There are stacks of them on the DMV counter and candidates send them out with their mailers. In Massachusetts there is no Voter ID and any one (anything) with a pulse (in many cases that does not have to apply) can register to vote.
Then there was the discussion on 'access'. Access to Government. There seemed to be some thread that average people (minorities) are not allowed to access local government. I have no idea what these people are talking about. Just show up!
Show up at a City Council meeting. I do it often.. And I film it! I see people of all creeds, colors, genders.. I swear some are ET's.
There was the first topic of discussion in the handouts about 'Representative Government'. The discussion group I was in could not wrap their heads around the idea that we are a Constitutional Republic. Even the former Soviet Union had a 'Representative Government' known as The Politburo. I hardly think that qualifies as 'better government'. A Constitutional Republic is based on the Rule of Law and protection of the minority voter's rights. More specifically, the rights of the individual. The idea that nine out of ten people in a room agree to shoot themselves in the head does not constitute a fair voting process. Maybe that one person who dissents has a better idea. Majority rule is nothing more than two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch. Unfortunately, the discussion groups I roamed through seemed to think that 'Representative Government', or, a Democracy was a perfectly grand idea!
This brings me to one idea that was tabled and was heard throughout the entire evening. That Civics need to be re-introduced into the classroom. I couldn't agree more. Civics left the classroom some 20-30+ years ago. We now have grown children from that time raising children now who have absolutely ZERO idea on what it means to partake in the political process. The school system could not be happier that they don't have to inform children of our Republic. This way they can foment the false paradigm of Democracy, or, thinly veiled Socialism. Republic means that a teacher would have to inform the student that they are sovereign and bow to no authority, they are free to choose who, what, where, why and how they will develop and find their place in the world. The only authority for them are their parents. Parental control over children is one of the many pillars currently under erosion by Leftists. Individual Sovereignty, under a Technocratic State, would be the proverbial Sabo in the machinery of a Totalitarian State.
I spoke earlier about the only warm greeting. Once we divided into groups ( Ahh, divide... Another axiom of Technocrats) it was made known to me that filming the groups posed a problem for some individuals. Interesting.
While the very same people thought a Democracy was a good idea they still held onto their own self centered idea of individualism, or, how they 'feel'. The two in my group 'felt' intimidated by my filming; that they would not be able to speak openly knowing a camera was there. Oddly enough, once I shut the camera off three people came over to our group to film and snap pictures.... No one said a thing.
One woman pointed me out because I wore a Worcester Tea Party button. Apparently she thought (and said) I was with a political party. The WTP is a public education group and is covered under IRS status as such... I did not retort. Her ignorance was enough for me. It underplayed the level of intelligence and prescribed narratives for which I was dealing with. I had mentioned that this was a public forum and that people should not show up to public forums if they have problems with being inadvertently on film....
It didn't end there. Once the wrap up began we resumed filming and there was one woman named Sonia (sp?) who made it clear that the press was not exactly welcomed. Her comments are towards the 22:49 mark of the video included above at the top. Apparently (according to her) media presence stifles the discussion on race. Sonia went on to suggest that events such as these are designed to create a 'safe space' and that media access should be reconsidered in order to allow a more constructive dialogue. Way to go Sonia. Keep that free flow of ideas and information going there kid..
The whole forum was about 'Bias'.. Right? Bias from what side?
So, let me get this straight. The public is invited to a public forum to discuss a very public issue at a tax payer funded Community College Auditorium, hosted by the tax payer funded local/Federal Government, advertised on the tax payer funded public page of the city of Worcester and on Social media but the rest of the public who did not, or could not, attend is not welcomed to view the public forum later on? What part of "Public Forum" does this woman not understand?
Well, it is the DOJ after all. Freedom of information is NOT in their lexicon.
I placed a call to Communications Specialist John Hill to clarify who exactly hosted this forum and what his opinion was on the possible barring of media from events like this. The call was placed around 9am Tuesday morning following the event.
John was very gracious to return my phone call. Turns out the Worcester City Manager set up a Coalition Against Bias And Hate and thus these forums were launched. Good idea! It was suggested that future meetings would give the public knowledge that these events be publicly noticed that this IS a public event. There should be some 'self understanding' that there WILL be media there.
The whole idea that the Feds showed up was just a reaching out to a higher authority. It would still behoove the city to just do something like this on their own. Any time you allow the Feds into your circle you invite and open a can of worms. Should the city continue these forums it would be best to just allow the local citizens to chair, own and run these discussions..
Oh, and no more prescribed 'handouts' with false narratives..
.... And That Is The Diatribe....