*Disclaimer: My apologies to Archie Comic Publications, Inc. There is no connection to their iconic comic book characters, Archie and Jughead, in this editorial.The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of jughead is referenced as a stupid or foolish person. Any content similarities to individuals or groups, living or dead, are purely intentional. (If the shoe fits.....)
I admire Archie Barringer. He loves this community, has a passion for humanity and couldn't care less about being criticized and canceled by a "woke" society.
I have known Archie for over two decades, and he has written several excellent articles for us full of wisdom and spiritual insights. Without a doubt, this retired U.S. Army Chaplain is a man of character, wisdom and fortified convictions who has spent his life serving God and all God's children.
Archie, like many of us who call Fayetteville home, is frustrated and disappointed at the continued divisiveness in our community that has evolved since the unfortunate death of George Floyd in 2020 and the May 30th riots. That day, a hostile, angry mob terrorized downtown citizens, destroyed personal property and attempted to burn down the Historic Market House while our former Police Chief and Mayor "stood down" watching the lawless acts and failing to serve and protect Fayetteville citizens and their property.
Today, our Fayetteville elected officials continue to "stand down" in initiating the actions that would work to normalize race relations and restore dignity, pride, and honor back to our community.
That is precisely what Archie Barringer attempted to initiate when he addressed the Mayor and City Council requesting that the "Black Lives Do Matter” and “End Racism Now” messages be removed from the downtown monument's circumference.
Like many Fayetteville residents, Archie loves Fayetteville and believes Fayetteville is a community of History, Heroes, and a Hometown Feeling.
However, the message that is broadcasted daily from the Market House sends a consent reminder to residents and guests that we are a city divided.
Archie wants city leaders to remove the words “Black Lives Do Matter” and “End Racism Now.” with an alternate message that is more reflective and representative of our community's diverse population.
I had a personal, heartfelt conversation with Archie about his quest and concluded it was reasonable and practical.
He reminded the Mayor and Council that history cannot be erased or undone, and we must learn from it and move on. He recommends replacing the words with alternate phrasing.
It was a solid, well-thought-out recommendation, and the council extended him the obligatory courtesy of listening to his request. Still, from their responses, you could tell his suggestions fell on deaf ears.
Archie views everybody in the same light. "We are all God's children," he often reminds us. His enthusiasm and motivation come from wanting this community to live up to its status as an All American City and a community of History, Heroes, and Hometown feeling.
Archie Barringer is correct. Removing those words would be a huge step toward bringing the community together.
A community that is becoming more and more divided and culturally insensitive as a result of inept leadership.
We need more people speaking out and letting their feelings be known. We need more Archie Barringers and fewer jugheads.
Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.