I read the article about the Signal Mountain town manager Boyd Veal proclaiming that Mr. C.E. James was a blatant racist and wants to have his statue removed with a look of incredible disbelief on my face. If you look hard enough you can find racism in anything. So much so that the word has lost any real meaning in today's world.
As Mr. Jones notes in his piece today, that was just standard practice in that period. My deed states I cannot operate a house of ill repute. It's just the way business was done back then. Was it right? No, but now you are going to rewrite history once again because someone may be offended? Signal Mountain was developed by some old racist white guy, we really don't know who he was. What are we going to call James Boulevard now? Old White Man Boulevard? And while we're at it, let's not forget the James Building downtown. Obviously Andy Berke hasn't thought of that yet. It's ridiculous. And by the way, Mr. James died in 1925, 95 years ago.
I remember back when the statue was at a narrow pull-off on Signal Mountain Boulevard on the side of the mountain and the city moved it to its present location so it would be easier to get to and named it James Park. And now you're just going to do away with it because of the cancel culture nonsense that seems to be taking over.
Here's some advice for you, Mr. Veal. Concentrate on being a good city manager and not a wannabe social justice warrior as you apparently are aspiring to be.
Of course, I will be called a racist now for having the audacity to express my opinion on this.
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I have seen multiple comments and messages from our city and county officials which seem to demonize you if you're in support of a social group, political party or religious organization. If you're White, go to church, vote Republican or don't support BLM or other social identity which is an activist, you're a racist. Why is that? Do we have to be labeled something that is false? Lies?
My father would often say, "Look at the log coming out of your eye before you start looking at tooth picks (if you can) from other persons' eyes." So in response, I'm working on the logs in my own eyes before casting judgement on others and hope you do the same.
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What happened 100 years ago has nothing to do with today.
Times were different, people were different. Get a grip on today, the past cannot be changed.
Sam Lewallen Jr.