Something Good Happened In Chattanooga On Saturday

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Saturday, a Neo-Nazi group held a rally on the lawn of the Hamilton County Courthouse. Much to their surprise, a group of several hundred protestors, including myself, showed up to protest the venomous hate spewed by this group. The protestors came in all shape and sizes, races, and political  and religious beliefs. And guess what? We all got along. No pushing and shoving, no name calling and nobody got  in anybody's face. Everyone was focused on the Nazis across the street.

And the protestors talked. Not at each other but with each other. People sent to the rally to diffuse tensions seemed to be amazed that such a diverse group of people were getting along so well. A couple of people making a documentary interviewed several people from the conservative Tea Party group I was with from North Georgia and Alabama. The interviewer asked me why I came. I told her that I remembered what Edmund Burke said many years ago: "Evil prevails in a society when good people do nothing." And several hundred good people showed up to confront the evil represented by the Nazis. Our group also showed up because we wanted to show other people in our community that conservatives and Tea Party members don't have horns sticking out of our heads, we don't carry pitchforks and we don't run the roads carrying the Confederate flag.

One of my friends told the interviewer that conservatives need to be more engaged with people we don't always see eye to eye with. And he is correct. I'm not so naive to think that the Good Tooth Fairy sprinkled magic dust over the crowd Saturday and all our differences went away. They didn't. But maybe the crowd Saturday could teach leaders in Chattanooga and elsewhere that we can reach out our hands without being slapped with people we don't always agree with and find some common ground to work on issues that affect all citizens and perhaps find some solutions we can all live with to make everyone's life better. We have to at least try.
 
As for the Nazis, their ears will probably be ringing until judgment day. For the rest of us, we learned that people we don't normally hang with don't bite and won't give us cooties. As for the group I was with, we had an interesting discussion with a writer from a national Communist magazine. But at the end of the conversation, we all shook hands and wished each other well.
 
As for me, I may be the only person in America who shows up in a documentary talking about his conservative beliefs and also has his picture splashed inside a national Communist magazine. But as Uncle Dave Macon once said, "Ain't that cosmic?"
 

Mike Cameron

Rossville


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Erlanger Gains Come On The Backs Of Employees

After reading Roy Exum's glowing praise of Erlanger's management team and their deserved bonus I must offer a different view. This bonus is earned on the backs of the faithful and dedicated employees who serve the patients and provide the high quality care. The employees have always borne the brunt of being on the loosing end when it comes to compensation; most recently we ... (click for more)

State Attorney General Rules Against Erlanger On Closed Meeting Where Management Bonuses Were Discussed

The state attorney general's office has ruled that, under a section of the state Sunshine Law, that the board of a public hospital is not allowed to meet privately to discuss employee bonuses. The Erlanger Health System board recently discussed $1.7 million in management bonuses during a closed-door session. The board then approved the controversial bonuses without discussion ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Officer Who Fired At Vehicle That Backed Toward Him; Attorney Vows To Fight To Reverse Decision

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Mercer Edges UTC Men in OT 75-72

A free throw. A turnover. The simple bounce of a ball one way or the other. The Chattanooga Mocs just ended up on the losing end of a 75-72 overtime decision at Mercer. The Mocs fall to 14-8, 7- 2 in the Southern Conference, while the Bears improve to 12-10, also 7-2 tied for second a game behind Wofford. Casey Jones had career highs with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Greg ... (click for more)

Abbott Fuels Late Rally, Sale Creek Trips Whitwell, 68-57

Hayden Abbott, one of several Sale Creek basketball seniors honored between games Thursday night, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to key a fourth-quarter comeback and lead the District 6-A regular season champion Panthers to a stirring 68-57 victory over the gutty Whitwell Tigers. “Hayden hit some big shots that got some momentum going for us, got the crowd back into the game and ... (click for more)