Community leader John Schelp to leave Old West Durham NA presidency this spring
Bull City Burger and Brewery gets ready for March 21 grand opening

Eyes on 2012 as Durham Committee members talk leadership

A group that may be mounting a challenge to the leadership of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People met Thursday evening at White Rock Baptist Church.

That much is certain. But members of the group declined to state what was discussed.

“Everybody’s upset,” said Victoria Peterson, a community activist who helped organized Thursday’s meeting, said after it ended.

But she had little more than that to say. “A lot of things were decided,” Peterson noted, without elaborating.

Other participants in the meeting stated immediately and emphatically that no one who was present would be speaking to reporters.

When asked why that was, a woman who declined to give her name answered, “Because I said so.”

The meeting had been billed, according to an e-mail missive sent to publications including BCR and summed up well in coverage by the Indy's Samiha Khanna, as a bona fide meeting of the DCABP. Its purpose? To elect new leadership following allegations by Peterson, former City Council contender Darius Little and others that the organization hadn’t made its financial records accessible as promised and had not seen effective leadership.

For the record, the committee’s longtime head didn’t seem too concerned with the talks at White Rock. When contacted by phone after the gathering, longtime head of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People Lavonia Allison noted firmly that the conclave was not an official group meeting.

“We have not in fact installed our officers yet,” Allison said. “We haven’t even started for the year. We were late getting started on everything. We have not installed any officers yet.”

When asked when the group would launch its 2011 activities, Allison replied that the debut meeting would be announced in the newspaper, per committee tradition.

She said she has focused her attention of late on developments in the newly Republican-controlled General Assembly. “The legislature is in fact in session, and at this point, all the energies we need to deal with ... all these things that are impacting negatively on the African-American community,” Allison said.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some political observers — not all — feel that the committee has a lot of say-so in who gets elected in Durham, and on the agenda-setting for local leaders through their lobbying. That fact makes Thursday’s meeting so interesting, even though it may not shed any light on the meeting’s outcome.

Anyone who controls the Durham Committee has historically had an opportunity to wield considerable political influence — at least in theory. Seventy-six percent of the votes cast for president in Durham County in 2008 went to Barack Obama, a key factor in pushing the Tar Heel State into the Democratic column for the nation’s top office for the first time since 1976.

The Bull City was rewarded for that effort six months later when the Durham Convention Center hosted the state’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. That marked just the second time in the event’s history that it took place outside of the state capital.

While Democrats around the state and nationally were trounced in the 2010 midterms, next year’s balloting could end very differently. In North Carolina, Perdue and many of her cabinet members will be standing for what is bound to be a hotly contested election. In Durham — which returned all of its Democratic incumbents to office last year — the occupants of all five county commission spots will decided at the polls.

And the Democratic ticket will be led once again by Obama, a candidate whose appeal to Durham Democrats in general and Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People constituents in particular is likely to remain extremely strong.

In other words, the committee’s 2012 leadership will have the opportunity to turn out a lot of Democratic votes. And that typically generates a lot of gratitude among elected Democratic officials.

Of course, at the state level, Democrats haven’t been holding the number of offices or wielding the power they once did.

And with the change in leadership, the now Republican-led Assembly has been working on a number of bills to which political activists on the left side of the spectrum have objected.

They include Senate 8, which would lift the cap on the number of publicly funded charter schools. The proposal has drawn fire from educators and from Gov. Beverly Perdue and is one of those Allison mentioned.

But the GOP has solid majorities: 67 to 51 in the House (where one Democrat just resigned to take a job working for the governor and another representative is unaffiliated) and 31-19 in the Senate. That makes lobbying a difficult task for traditionally Democratic constituencies such as African-Americans and education groups.

On the other hand, those constituencies and their allies may be taking the long view; there's some suggestion that members of the Durham delegation and local governmental groups that have long counted on their support on issues may be hoping Republicans will overreach in the next two years, leading to a reversal of electoral fortunes come 2012.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The folks who gathered Thursday at White Rock Baptist Church had little to say, as previously noted, although one can speculate that they’d like to see some changes made before that 2012 election.

Certainly Peterson has signaled her intent to try to push Allison out of her post.

In a Feb. 18 e-mail she sent to an official with the Committee on the Affairs of Black People and that was obtained by the Independent Weekly, Peterson complained vociferously about Allison’s alleged lack of transparency.

Although the scathing missive never names Allison directly, there’s no question who Peterson was targeting with sentences such as this: “The Chairperson’s credibility is at an extremely low level and it is time that we diligently consider new leadership.”

In case you need more convincing, you can check out the Indy article about the potential uprising.

“What’s going on in the Middle East needs to happen here,” Peterson memorably told Khanna. “Dr. Allison has been in office too long and she has abused her power.”

As Khanna’s story noted, this isn’t the first time Allison’s committee leadership has been challenged. Can Peterson — whose persistence is not to be underestimated — and her peers mount a credible threat this time?

So far, at least, no one is talking. But it’s safe to say that local political buffs will be watching the situation closely.

(For more information, see Khanna's coverage on the Indy's web site today.)

Comments

gaylib

I think it is important to remember the fact that if the GOP have there way, there will be a referendum on adding a gay marriage ban to the state constitution in 2012. As loyal Democrats, the gay community expects the party to take a stand for us. We certainly don't think they should be listening to people who believe we deserve to be treated like second class citizens. Victoria Peterson is a mean-spirited bigot and should have no place in the Democratic party, and hopefully this doesn't foretell her gaining influence with the party county wide. Her repugnant, homophobic views and continual and vociferous denigration of the gay community have no place in Democratic politics. I sincerely hope the party is able to continue fighting for the interests of ALL their constituents in Durham County. If they are, Victoria Peterson will be rightfully ignored and shunned. I would add that your description of her as a "community activist" belies her repulsive and regressive views on LGBT Americans. Her "activism" has done nothing but harm to MY community.

BeTolerant

I heard Peterson is also anti-choice; true? Sounds more like "Durham Committee on the Affairs of Conservative Black People". Is there a "Durham Committee on the Affairs of Progressive Black People"?

gaylib

and if Victoria wants to have a voice in Durham County politics, she should at least be paying her taxes...

http://www.ustaxdata.com/nc/durham/taxbill.cfm?ownerID=8461585&receiptNo=6437536&TaxYear=2010#

http://www.ustaxdata.com/nc/durham/taxbill_animal.cfm?ownerID=8094176&receiptNo=6197665&TaxYear=2009

http://www.ustaxdata.com/nc/durham/taxbill_animal.cfm?ownerID=8094176&receiptNo=6197666&TaxYear=2009

Chuck Watts

Come on folks, simply because Victoria was willing to speak publicly about what happened at the meeting does not make her the issue here. I was at the meeting and will honor the organizations traditions regarding publicly reporting on what goes on at Committee meetings. However the issues that face the Committee as an organization are much broader than Dr. Allison or Victoria Peterson.

I will say that it was my impression that everyone who attended that meeting has respect for what Dr. Allison has done in connection with the Committee over the many years of her involvement with Committee. She and her family have made and continue to make an incredible contribution to Durham. I will also say that Dr. Allison can disregard or disrespect what happen on Thursday night at her peril. It would make more sense for her to embrace the energy that was in that room. She is not the embodiment of the Durham Committee -- Black people of Durham are. Anywhere they gather in numbers to consider the affairs of Black People in Durham the spirit of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People is present and the Chairman of that organization should be interested in their perspective and discussion.

Whatever she may be doing in Raleigh may be very positive and important but it is not necessarily something involving the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People simply because she is there. Just who does she mean by "We"? Since officers have not been "installed," no meetings have been held, and she acknowledges the organization has not begun to function this year, I would wonder whether she has any authority to be there on behalf of the Durham Committee.

The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People is the oldest and most successful political/community group in a the City of Durham, Durham County and the State of North Carolina and possibly the nation. It is not a cult of personality! It faces challenges as is not unusual for it nor for any similar organization, but I predict that it will grow through these challenges and see better days in it's future.

PHd

gaylib
While I'm a very liberal thinking person and believe all humans should be afforded every protection,rights and privileges mandated by law and more often don't agree with her views I do believe she's entitled to them. I think you are wrong to characterize her and her fitness to serve with a party GOP or Dems.I know a lot of Dems that have the same views as Ms. Peterson in private but for fear of losing votes or favor in the public arena remain silent. As for her taxes the name on the tax bill is Dennis Peterson and Triangle Rebuilding Cit. not Victoria Peterson.Show me a person that pays there taxes on time and I'll show you 100 that don't.

BeTolerant

So, the Committee takes a pro-choice, LGBT-friendly position? Or are these social issues outside its realm? Certainly not all blacks in Durham have the same views on these topics, right?

Rob Gillespie

@PHd-
Actually, 95.1% of the property taxes due the county this fiscal year have been paid. So, you would be more appropriate to say "show me 19 people that pay me their taxes on time, and I'll show you one that does not".

http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story_news_durham/11699720/article-Unpaid-taxes--read-all-about-it?instance=main_article

PHd

I agree with Mr. Watts it seems the focus has been misplaced.While viewing the many articles on file about the Durham Committee it does seem that the organization and its' membership is not the problem but the behavior and actions of the chair Dr.Allison which seem to be the overwhelming issue. It's an unfortunate situation when an organization with this much positive history over the years has come under so much public fire because of the actions or behavior of what seem to be one person Dr. Allison. Advise change leadership and move on.

BeTolerant

Sounds like it's simply become dysfunctional, which is too bad when there's so much poverty in Durham that needs addressing. It could be playing a democratic role. Once it gets its house in order, I wonder whether the group limits itself to issues of black poverty (or poverty in general), or whether the group also pursues a socially conservative agenda. Under the present leadership, it certainly took an anti-environment stance, and the anti-gay, anti-choice stuff worries me. It's just that when it makes an electoral endorsement, what does it really mean?

PHd

BeTolerant
I never interjected race into my comments about how persons of the Dem.party view certain issues.My comments were I know a lot of professed Democrats that feel the same way Ms.Peterson does but are afraid to speak out.Am I to believe based on your comments that all Democrats are black or better yet maybe I'm black because you disagree with my opinion. If I were to think like you all Republicans must be white??????????

BeTolerant

The history of Democratic/Republican in this state leaves me not knowing what the labels stand for...both parties did terrible things to blacks. I know progressive whites, conservative whites, progressive blacks, and conservative blacks. I just don't know what social and political agenda the "Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People" supports. New leadership might help clarify that agenda.

PHd

Yes I believe new leadership is needed but that doesn't necessarily mean one needs to know the social or political agenda of the "Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.History has not been fair to blacks so when an organization such as the DCABP was formed to address the issues that involve black people then one could understand why there agenda is not readily available to all....hint,hint,hint

gonzo

here's the thing about peterson. regardless of who you are, about 1/3 of what she says will make perfect sense and seem insightful, 1/3 will be misguided to the point of being offensive, and 1/3 will only make sense on a distant planet.

i'd say her comments about dcabp and dr allison are pretty spot on.

gaylib

Gonzo, they say that even a broken clock is right twice a day, but it's still a broken clock.

PHd, just because you know a lot of deadbeats who don't pay their taxes (including Peterson) doesn't make it right. County employees depend on those taxes to pay their salaries. We are bleeding teachers from the school system and you want to excuse Peterson's shameful behavior? Well, shame on YOU too. And as far as the name on the bill, googleing easily reveals that the address on those bills is Ms. Peterson's. She is the Director of Triangle Rebuild, and I suspect Dennis is her husband.

And Mr. Watts, maybe YOU have the luxury to dismiss Peterson's vile shenanigans and hateful rantings, but I don't. She is doing her best to deny me equality and justice. She wants to do the same to the innocent children of gay people as well. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Justice Denied Anywhere, Diminishes Justice Everywhere". Allowing Peterson a voice in the Democratic Party makes them complicit to injustice, and makes a mockery of a party that claims to embrace social justice, equality, and civil rights. If the DCABP wants to embrace injustice, that's their business, just don't bring it to the Democratic Party, because it has no place there. But don't forget that there are many gay black people in Durham too, are you not concerned with their affairs? Finally, I find it hard to believe that in the same breath that you dismiss Peterson's outrageous smears and blatant disrespect of Durham's gay community that you warn Dr. Allison of disrespecting the committee at her peril. Some people might find that just a little bit hypocritical.

And back to PHd, if there are many Democrats who hold the same hateful bigotries as Peterson in regard to LGBT Americans, then they should join the GOP and the Tea Party where they belong. That they remain silent is a testimony to the fact that their prejudices are shameful and worthy of hiding. The gay community has devoted millions of dollars and volunteer hours to ensure the success of the Democratic Party, including the election of Barack Obama, Kay Hagan, and Bev Perdue in North Carolina in 2008. On the national level we are second only to African Americans in our loyalty to the Party. For them to turn around and embrace the kind of conservative, right wing, gay bashing that Peterson espouses is beyond disrespect. It is inexcusable, and unforgivable. In 2012 people like Peterson are going to be fighting to enshrine bigotry in the NC constitution. The Democratic Party owes it to their loyal gay constituents to disavow ANYONE who opposes equality and civil rights.

BeTolerant

Gaylib: Well said.

JD Overton

I'm so sick of Democrats making excuses for anti-gay Black Dems, because they are afraid of meeting the bigotry head-on for fear of being called racist. I wish conservatives, Black, White or whatever race would just go and join the Republicans like they know they want to do.

Steve Bocckino

After all, there IS a party that celebrates bigotry, and would be utterly lost strategically without it.

Chuck Watts

GayLib,

You may have you issues with Victoria. I have certainly disagreed with her over the years. However, this moment is not about her. That is not to dismiss anything about her. The only reason she became an issue for you in this discussion is that she was one of the few people who attended the meeting that was willing to be quoted about it. So her name was in Kevin's piece.

I just won't be distracted with Victoria's issues accept to say the following. I've known her for years. She is sincere and committed to making Durham a better place. I don't see her as a thought leader or generally reflective of the views of the Committee. Your attacks on her seem over the top, but again, that just is not the issue for me, for the DCABP, or really for Durham.

gaylib

My "attacks" on her are over the top??? which attacks are those Mr Watts? Have I compared her to a child molester? have I suggested that her marriage be nullified? Have I suggested that she is an unfit parent? Have I maligned her character by claiming she is immoral and unnatural? Have I continually fought to make sure she is legally defined as a second class citizen? Seriously, are you for real??? Everything I said about Peterson is the plain and simple truth. If you don't care to be "distracted" by Peterson then I can only assume that you can't be bothered with such things as civil rights, and justice, and inequality. That doesn't leave me with a very high regard for you as a member of any community Mr. Watts. You claim that Peterson is sincere in making Durham a better place. But that's not entirely true. She doesn't give a damn about making it a better place for gay people and their children. In fact, she would like nothing more than to drive us out of town on a rail. The very real issue here is influence of certain groups and people on the Democratic Party of Durham. And as long as she is associated with DCABP and a vocal presence in Durham politics, she very damn well is an issue. And it really pisses me off that straight people like you think you can get off dismissing an entire class of people so easily. It is a very easy thing to do when the type of vitriol and bigotry that Peterson contaminates the political discourse with are not directed at you. I and many other gay people are sick tired of your complacent complicity in our continued oppression. Again, Dr. King

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without 'protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

By dismissing Peterson's homophobia and the plight of gay Americans, you contribute to our continued oppression, no matter what lip service you choose to pay us otherwise.

Chuck Watts

GayLib,

Attacks??? Well let me see . . . "She doesn't give a damn about making it a better place for gay people and their children. In fact, she would like nothing more than to drive us out of town on a rail. " I'd say that's an attack and clearly over the top. I also think its over the top to associate me or the Committee with that sort of view without any basis.

As for me, I am on the record fighting for the rights of gay people and their children -- straight, not narrow. This is not a secret, but if you didn't know, now you know that you know.

So please . . . with all due respect . . . have that conversation somewhere else. It would not shock me if Victoria isn't particularly enlightened on these issues -- clearly the dominant culture is not but Republicans all over the country are actively trying to pass anti gay marriage bills -- see Steve Bocckino above. Those are folks who have power and use it against your interests every day. Are Victoria's views one way or the other that important in this context? I simply don't know her views on these issues -- I've never had that conversation with her nor heard her speak on the topic. I am sure that I will though.

The coverage on what's happening at the Committee is a different discussion rarely covered with the depth and, frankly, the respect that Kevin has. The organization is potentially at a cross roads, whether Dr. Allison stays or is ousted. The Committee has a broad impact on Durham. In fact, a more robust Committee would be an ally in your fight because as MLK said almost 50 years ago from a jail in Birmingham "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." That is more indicative of Committee views on your issues than anything Victoria might say.

Frankly, I don't think what you are doing here is fair to those who care about the Committee and want to see a broader discourse about it.

Hope that clears the air, cause I'm done in any event. Peace, bro.

gaylib

Have that conversation someplace else? Please indeed! Just who the hell do you think you are? I'll have that conversation ANYWHERE I see injustice and inequality. If that ruffles your feathers, well good, it should. I've done my job. Now I'm done. And "bro", there IS no peace without justice.

colorblind durham

The real problem with the dcabp isn't their position on glbt issues, but with their blatant anti-white racism. It's long past time for colorblind durham government, where people are elected on the basis of the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Any politician who accepts the endorsement of the dcabp is a racist and a bigot and unfit for public service.

gaylib

Oh, and one more thing Mr. Watts, maybe you should pay YOUR damn taxes too.

http://www.ustaxdata.com/nc/durham/taxbill.cfm?ownerID=7992062&receiptNo=6504800&TaxYear=2010#

And I am through....

PHd

Right on Mr. Watts you are absolutely correct gaylib has identified one person who had the courage to publicly speak out about the issues of the Durham Committee and he has turned this conversation into his personal pulpit to spread the same hateful rhetoric that he accuses Ms.Peterson and what seem to me anyone who doesn't agree with his views of. I'll be the first to say I have not always agreed with Ms.Peterson views but she has the rights to her beliefs.The last time I checked the United States Constitution a person still had the right to freedom of speech and expression.If I'm to think like gaylib,BeTolerant or JD Overton then people like Ms.Peterson should only be afforded the right to freedom speech as long as it is in line with there views and beliefs. Sounds to me like the writers have there on biases.Have gaylib,BeTolerant and JD Overton now become our new judges of moral conduct if so I have a name for you "GOD". lets' stick to the issue Durham Committee leadership.

gaylib

I find it disturbing that both PHd and Mr. Watts find my statements to be "attacks" and "hateful rhetoric" while ignoring the outrageously offensive outbursts of Victoria Peterson. Outbursts, which she does every right to, PHd. I never argued otherwise. But I have every right to point out her divisive, bigoted views every chance I get. As far as biases, with each comment your own biases are becoming more and more apparent PHd. Your god may judge your moral conduct, but he isn't my god, and he is certainly not the god of this country. As Americans we base our conduct on the Constitution, not anyone's god or religious dogma. That sort of political philosophy is more aligned with the outlook of the Republicans. And as Mr. Watts correctly pointed out above, they are the ones that openly and actively seek to curtail the civil rights of gay americans. We are used to calling them out on their bigotry. It is even more alarming to hear such disgusting homophobia, however, when it comes from people who claim to belong to the same political party that has continually made promises to gay Americans only to go back on their word time and again. Just this week in Maryland, Delegate Sam Arora plainly illustrated this betrayal. Arora campaigned specifically to the gay community on the issue of marriage equality. He took our money. We volunteered to get him elected. Then he turned around and stabbed us in the back by claiming he was opposed to gay marriage and that he supports allowing a majority group to vote on the civil rights of another minority group. If we don't make noise every time the Democratic Party flirts with people like Peterson whose bigotry goes against everything MY Democratic Party stands for, we will continue to be treated with the disrespect and dismissal that both you and Mr Watts have shown to me on this forum.

Steve Bocckino

PHd got kind of excited in his typing . . .

Who said VP has no right to express her beliefs?

The anti-Dr. Allison brigade is led by anti-gay, anti-choice Peterson and a convicted felon check-kiter and lawyer-impersonator. Some Durhamites might find both sides of the fracas troubling.

PHd

Gaylib it seems that your issues or concerns are much deeper than Ms.Peterson maybe you should consider taking your concerns to capital hill or better yet run for elected office (I have a lot of respect for Harvey Milk)he didn't hide behind a sir name and a posting to get his points across. I didn't know that there are two Democratic Party nor did I know there are two Gods. The God I serve is a God of all and he transcends his love for all.He is a forgiving God.My God teaches me to pray for people like you...note:before you come back with your interpretation of what I meant by people like you. I'm not referring to your sexuality but in my opinion your unwillingness to have a forgiving heart that's what the God I serve teaches me. Hey while you so busy checking peoples taxes why not drop your post name if you have the courage so we can check your tax history.And before you ask I'll drop mine if you drop yours. You first!!!!!!!!!

gaylib

My post name and sir name? Don't even know what that means. If you're talking about my real name, I feel no obligation to share that with you. Especially given your thinly veiled homophobia. And frankly I don't give a shit who YOU are. I can assure you, however, my taxes have been paid in full (and on time).

gaylib

and no, Harvey Milk didn't hide. But he did end up dead because of someone who believed the same hateful bigotry that Peterson (and I'm guessing if you were truthful, you yourself) do. The only cowards are people like you that think they can bully gay people into silence.

Chuck Watts

Gaylib,

Its fundamentally unfair for you to attack me as a person and misrepresent my tax situation (<$50 due and not past due) while you hide behind a fake name.

Now you're equating Victoria with a murderer? This seems to me to have reached the level of abuse that should not be tolerated on this board, but I guess that is up to Kevin.

You and, now, Steve too want to make it about personalities but that is so not the point here.

PHd

gaylib and Mr.Bocckino there has been no disrespect on the side of Mr.Watts nor myself just good open discussion.Mr.Bocckino your perception of excitement in PHd postings is based on what? As per reading the last Indy article it was stated that there was over 40 people in attendance at the meeting and no one there identified themselves as the organizer of the gathering.If memory serves me right the article stated that an unidentified woman in the parking lot said no one would be making any statement to the
press.Ms.Peterson was only identified as one of the committee members that had requested financial information from the chair of the committee.I don't remember Mr. Little being identified at all as the organizer of the anti-Dr.Allison brigade as you so eloquently reference.In my opinion the only disrespect being communicated is from gaylib and Bocckino in there name calling and characterization of some people that they obviously have problems with. Remember: He without sin let him cast the first stone.And people in glass houses should not throw rocks.

gaylib

What part of 12/1/10 is not past due Mr. Watts?

And $50 may not seem like that much to someone as wealthy as yourself, but to us working class people, that's a day's wages. As far as identity, there is no obligation, as far as I know, to post one's real name on this forum. Just because you chose to sign your name doesn't have any bearing on what I'm saying, and it doesn't obligate me to reveal to you (someone with much greater power, wealth and influence in this community) who I am. You are free to ignore me if you like. I am not forcing you to correspond with me.

As far as accusing me of equating Peterson with a murderer, come on now Mr. Watts. That's quite a stretch, even for a lawyer. You are an attorney aren't you? (I can tell by the way you conveniently ignore the substantial bits of my criticisms). You can do better than that. I only pointed out that Peterson shares the same views on gays and lesbians as Dan White, the man who killed Harvey Milk. And the men who killed Matthew Shepherd. And the parents of the child who killed Lawrence King. You know full well that I'm not suggesting that Peterson is a murderer. But her views do contribute to a climate that led to the aforementioned deaths, and those of many, many others. That is why the Democrats and President Obama worked so hard to add gay americans to hate crimes law. Don't play games with me Mr. Watts. Hearing truths that you would rather ignore is not abuse, it is standing firm for what is right. If this causes you any discomfort I suggest examining your conscience rather than trying to bully me into silence. And trying to bully Kevin into moderating my criticism seems a bit immature, don't you think?

PHd

Gaylib maybe you need to take a time out because your language is beginning to be what you termed as disrespectful and should not be used on this very public site were young people may be reading. Not once have I used any derogatory language while expressing my opinion in this matter.I made no determination about your sexuality during my commenting, I only challenged you to present your real name.The last time I checked a persons name does not identify there sexual preference. Nor does asking you to discloses your real name equates to bullying. It would appear that your insecurities have over shadowed the issue that started this communication which is the Durham Committee on the affairs of Black People leadership. And by the way my taxes are up to date as you have said you are current.

gaylib

Taken under consideration, PHd. But I've seen similar, if not more colorful language on this site before. And I really, truly couldn't care less who you are, so at least my message was a sincere one. Anyway, good for you for fulfilling your civic obligation by paying your taxes. I think everyone should be so diligent. I appreciate your concern about my "insecurities". I'm sure that wasn't meant as any kind of disrespectful commentary on your part. I do disagree, however, that your (and Mr. Watts) insistence that I reveal my name isn't a form of bullying. The point is to try to silence me without addressing my concerns. And doing so, at least in Mr Watts case, from a position of power. That, my friend, is textbook bullying.

Kevin Davis

I usually don't step into comment threads, but I am doing so here largely because the comments have become more personally directed than usual, and that's not generally helpful to having a dialogue on any subject, in real life or online.

I know most of the parties interacting in this debate, either personally or as public figures (even if using a pseudonymous alias to post), and think there'd be a delightful conversation on this subject between all involved if they actually knew each other.

On the other hand, one person who I don't think is participating in this discussion is Victoria Peterson herself. And I don't think it's terribly helpful to have a debate by proxy about Peterson between people who certainly know of her but who may not agree with her, er, sui generis behavior.

I'm not throwing this in to suggest a halt to the conversation; rather, that underlying the chasms in this discussion are a range of assumptions that may or may not exist, and may or may not be getting said.

And for that to happen, I think it's helpful to take people at their word about what they're expressing and to have a conversation on ideas, not people.

Chuck Watts

Gaylib,

Ok, so now you make $50 a day. Hmmm . . . of course that would make your pay less than minimum wage, which maybe you didn't know was $7.25 per hour and if you were a working class person and put in 8 hours a day then $50 a day would may your hourly wage $6.50. But since you are probably not a minimum wage employee since you don't even know what that would be, then you are probably not even a working class person. We will never know and are left to probe around since we don't know who you are. You could pose as anything you want to pose as. BTW, I work every day too.

Also, there is a huge difference between due and past due. Past due usually entails some penalty, like a late fee, Prior to it being due, you may not even know what the amount of the tax will be. Of course, while that bill has been presented, I have time to pay it and the county is cool with that and has imposed no such penalty. But the bottom line is, it's none of your business and has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

While we don't know just who you are what we do know is that you are willing to bring irrelevant personal information up to challenge someone in a debate, that you are willing to pose as a working class person when you don't seem to know much about being a working class person, that you are willing to try to characterize your opponent in a debate as "rich" when you know form the tax records that his car is a 15 year old $2,000 car (probably not something a rich guy would drive) and that you don't have the class to avoid hijacking a web conversation that is about one issue to make your issue as the only issue that can be discussed (maybe you could check netiquette on the issue http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netiquette). We know all of that so even though you haven't come out from behind the cloak of anonymity, we know that you have pretty low character. Who ever you may be.

This sort of thing doesn't generally happen here. This is my first encounter with you and Its unfortunate that it did this time. In the future, I will know what's up.

Also, I'm not bullying you about anything but if you go personal at me, then you need to be able to stand up. You like to talk about taxes . . . how do we know that you've paid your taxes . . . any of them? $50 isn't much to own, especially if you owe $5,000.

As if this had anything to do with the topic at hand.

Chuck Watts

Colorblind,

The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People is not and has not been for the last 70 years an anti-white organization. I'm all for colorblindness and appreciate your commitment to it. Someday it may happen. But that day is not today. Forcing black folks to behave in a fashion that is counter factual would simply be insane.

Clearly seeking the endorsement of the DCABP doesn't make a candidate a racist and a bigot and unfit for public service. Just as going to the various white, latino, jewish, or gay and lesbian organizations around Durham would not make a candidate a racist.

If we are not there yet, it doesn't seem fair to hold that against black folks.

PHd

Gaylib it seem like your the one that's not addressing the issue and you are using this issue to get something off your chest that has been bothering you for a while.Clearly Mr. Watts has made himself clear about where he stands on the issue at hand(DCABP leadership)and you continue to allude to the issues of gay rights,the Democratic Party and bigotries.Both Watts and myself have continued to state our support of equal rights for all humans being and you continue to ignore that and label us as bigots and other names that I care not to repeat.It appears that's you're doing the bullying or just grand standing. Oh by the way my comments about your insecurities were not meant as a disrespect but as a friendly observation.You may need to update your textbooks.

Will

"Anyone who controls the Durham Committee has historically had an opportunity to wield considerable political influence — at least in theory."

'Historically' and 'theory' both being the key points in that sentence.

It makes sense though that Victoria and Darius are positioning themselves for a political land grab that won't "perk". Good luck with that.

Will

p.s. Full disclosure: all my taxes are paid but I do need to get my car inspected :)

gaylib

Mr. Watts, your tax bill is merely a matter of public record. I assume the point of making tax records public is to make sure that those that wish to play a part in local governance are at the very least fulfilling their most basic of civic duties. Once you make yourself a public figure, your tax records are my business, and the business of every other citizen of Durham County. Especially if you aren't paying them. Because that is money that is not there to pay our teacher's salaries, among other things. And if you really want to get into the weeds about it, fine, but at least get your facts straight first. Your bill for your motor vehicle tax has a due date of 12/1/10. You have a month to pay your tax bill after the due date. As of 1/1/11 your tax bill was past due. The county is not "cool with that". I am quite sure your bill HAS accrued interest in the past two months. If you had bothered to read the Herald Sun article at Rob's link above, you would have seen that the county has only collected 73.8% of motor vehicle property taxes. Those $50 past due bills add up quick Mr. Watts. I'm sure that they could pay for at least two or three teachers who have otherwise been laid off.
No, I'm sure the county is doing its best to try and collect those delinquent taxes.

And do you really want to get into a discussion about class? I didn't characterize you as rich because you own a $2,000 car, but because of the taxes you DID pay on your home (and to your credit, you DID pay a substantial amount). But the reasoning behind your accusation that I'm lying about being working class is paper thin. While I am guilty of engaging in hyperbole by saying that $50 is a days wages, it's not that much of a stretch. My take home pay is roughly $80 a day. Does that bump me out of the working class, Mr. Watts? Is $30 significant when compared to the gap between what I make and what you make, Mr. Watts? Are you sure you still want to have this conversation, Mr. Watts?

Again, I'm under no obligation to tell you who I am, although it appears you're just DYING to know. You were under no such obligation to identify yourself either. You made your choice and I made mine. As an attorney you should know that you can't make any kind of judgment about my character based on information that you have no knowledge of, nor privilege to access. Everything you accuse me of is nothing but conjecture. All I can tell you is that I have paid my taxes. If you don't believe me, fine. I really don't care. But don't pretend that my refusal to identify myself can be used to imply anything about payment of my taxes. But, really, at this point I'm inclined to take BCR's advice and just let this go. I think my concerns about the corruption of the Democratic party by anti-progressive forces have been made clear.

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