Last week, we wrote about Fuquay-Varina’s effort to expand its extraterritorial jurisdiction, and the Wake County residents who are worried that the new zoning restrictions will crimp their style. DR B argues that “this is a clear case of taxation without representation, which was one of the main reasons for the American Revolution and the founding of our country. Money-grubbing politicians want to annex areas outside of their jurisdiction in order to increase tax revenues. Who better to systematically rob than innocent and voiceless patriots who have no say in the matter? The world is going to hell in a handbasket. I take great solace in the fact that I will be dead soon.”
To which ct counters: “Give me a break. North Carolina has allowed ETJs since 1959! The sky has not fallen. ETJ has been a prelude to annexation all along. ETJs don’t subject residents to one penny of incremental tax. In fact, ETJs protect cities by preventing developers from playing a nasty little game—developing a subdivision that’s knowingly not in compliance with zoning and then begging the city to annex it anyway. That’s right, the only annexations these days are upon request. The days of forced annexation are over. And even when there was forced annexation, many residents favored it because they were extended city services previously not available to them or that they had to pay just as much for.”
In this space last week, we ran a comment from Mike Paladin in which he argued that the anti-Silent Sam camp was falsely casting all of its opponents as racists. Nancy Tripoliresponds: “Thanks but no thanks, Mike Paladin, for building a box for me. I have a choice: I can either condone the erection of the Silent Sam statue, or I can claim that everyone associated with that view is a vile racist. This assumes that, either way, I am ignorant and intolerant, either of the protesters or of the ladies who erected the statue. I don’t think I’ll sit in your box.
“The political choices that caused the South to secede, the motivations of the soldiers who fought, and the nostalgia of the early twentieth century that led to the statue are very different from one another. So different, in fact, that the statue cannot be said to honor the soldiers, but only the nostalgia of people who didn’t understand the situation.
“The war was instigated and fought to preserve the rights of white Southern landowners to free labor—i.e., slaves. There was no other way to maintain their genteel and gracious way of life. But the soldiers who fought, no matter whether they believed slavery to be just, fought because they and their communities were under attack by foreigners. This confusion between the peaceful white Southerner and the institutions that allowed his way of life persisted when I lived near Atlanta in the 1950s. At a recent high school reunion, the all-white eighty-year-old class of 1956 graduates mourned the loss of their crime-free, carefree high school lives without recognizing the contribution of the black people who received their worn-out textbooks and whose parents cleaned their houses and kept their yards. They lived off the spoils of segregation.
“Personally, I think that the statue’s presence on campus perpetuated a myth, and that myth negated the legacy of all the slaves who contributed to antebellum prosperity. It is a rare person of color in this country who is not descended from slaves. The statue was a constant reminder that their ancestors were not appreciated as people, but as property. Mike, can I want the statue gone without accusing anyone of hate? You bet I can.”
Edward Teach says he’s not sure what tearing down Silent Sam accomplished: “What the people tearing these statues down don’t realize is that they just gave the conservative right-wing media and politicians a huge gift. And in exchange, what they gained was—well, you tell me. I don’t actually know what policy goals it helped advance. I’m sure it made some people feel better about themselves, but it strikes me as a strategic blunder in a broader political sense.”
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