- Elliott Stonecipher
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 … 10:40 A.M.
I write this piece in hopes of describing what is a “call to arms,” whether many here understand it yet or not.
Very recently, two Caddo Parish Commissioners – Mario Chavez and Mike Middleton – deigned to meet with local animal activists. They did so only after intense public pressure was applied via Facebook and other “social media,” independent websites, etc.
In their comments, the Commissioners issued an edict to the 60 or so activists present. I will paraphrase the meaning of the orders they issued this way: “Stay the hell off FB and other social media if you want our help!”
In days gone by, such an outrage likely would have triggered a serious public reaction against those and the government body they represent.
After all, it is not theirs to qualify how we get “their help.” It is theirs to meet with, honor and serve the public … not issue governmental edicts against public expression and activism.
(Any who care to argue with my phrasing of their order to those they profess to “serve” are welcome to contact me, but no such contact will be kept secret.)
Yesterday, those of us who dig a bit deeper than is the norm in government happenings were treated to a video clip showing a presentation about the Fair Park – Woodlawn merger by Caddo superintendent Lamar Goree.
(That clip is presently viewable only on Facebook. My thanks to Danny Imani for his video recording of that “secret” meeting.)
Goree believed his presentation was “in private,” at a local church. He shared with those few locals what he refused to share with the lowly general public in the recent CPSB public meeting on that subject.
A later Facebook post on that secret meeting by the minister of the subject church – Theron Jackson – gave we who do this work a specific name / title, “social media activists.”
For the record, Jackson is also a member of our Metropolitan Planning Commission.
Also for the record, he is damned right about me: I am an activist against what he did, what he intended by doing it, and what Lamar Goree there did – for Jackson – which dishonored the rest of us.
Let me say it this way …
… when elected officials do all in their power to defeat transparency, accountability, and the Rule of Law, they are – here and now – often tripped-up by “social media.”
For decades, “news” here was carefully controlled within and by our traditional media on behalf of unelected leaders almost always acting in private.
That fact is a key ingredient in the mix of toxins which have made our place systemically corrupt. Here, there has been no downside risk for feeding the ravenous beast which is that corruption.
In the span of only the subject few days, some Caddo Parish Commissioners, our Superintendent of public schools, and our school board have acted openly and publicly to stomp out public dissent.
Please remind these public officials that America came to be because officials just like them did so much damage with their secrecy and malfeasance that patriots of many kinds rose up against them … overthrew them.
When anyone attached in any way to public money – OUR money – threatens or rebukes you for getting your “news” anyway you can, you are watching and hearing the very essence of that which has nearly killed our community.
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED