As a responsible citizen, I have spent today frantically trying to prepare myself for the Greensboro elections tomorrow. If I were still in Asheville, I would easily be able to vote on matters of conscience, integrity, and for the betterment of all my neighbors in town. Yet, I am in a new town - and thus I have little history of this city council and who are the best candidates.
I have been homebound, due to my foot surgery, so I have been reliant on the internet and some newsrags that Hubby brought home. He left one on the couch for me today, saying, "I heard some people call this an informed newspaper - kinda like Mountain Express (in Asheville)." Well, I would like to know who on earth thought Rhinoceros Times was a paper with any left-leaning sensibilities. I have been so disturbed by the racial and class disconnect and divide in this town - even trying to find a diverse neighborhood in which to live was a real challenge. I have been so pleased with the Truth and Racial Reconciliation Committee and their work - it has been great to see a town grapple with its history and the repurcussions and try to find a way to better life for all people in its environs. Yet, the RT completely negated this work - essentially calling it trivial and a waste of time. Those were certainly not the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he was in Greensboro last week and commented on this committee (and I happen to think he knows more about those kinds of issues that the average North Carolinian). If the RT had offered any real substantial reasons and viewpoints for its "picks" in the election, I might be willing to read it again - but that is not to be.
And so I turn to the Yes! Weekly. I have read this on occasion since living in Gboro. I need to reiterate that I left what is commonly known as Hippie City USA (aka Asheville) just this past summer. I know what a hippie, granola town looks like. Moving to a much more "white-bread" area was an issue with which I had to grapple. So thus imagine my surprise when I read these words from Y!W, while endorsing a candidate - (Joel Landau)"...is nothing if not a hippie and Greensboro is a granola town if ever there was one."
What?! Who on earth are they kidding? Yes, I will probably go out now and vote for the "hippie candidate," but Gboro a hippie town? Is that why I have still yet to find a really good locally owned bookstore? Is that why the one food co-op in town is so small it could fit inside my house? (and don't get me wrong - I am really glad it's here) Is that why I live in what is commonly known as the most diverse neighborhood, but my daughter is one of the few people of color I see? Is that why I only see a handful of people who even look like hippies, who have one block in the city in which they hang out - as opposed to miles in Asheville?
I'm going out and buying the new Bob Marley compilation tomorrow, put some One Love bumper stickers on my car, and some more peace stickers, blast my music and start wearing dreads. (okay - I will probably forgo the dreads - I embarrass my son enough and he will be a teenager soon)
I do believe Greensboro has come a long way in recent years in regards to being more inclusive, diverse, and less white-bread. But, baby, we've come a long way, and there are still many miles to go before we sleep. Let's get real.