Don’t Look Ethel!
Ha! Recording legend Ray Stevens shouted out that hilarious line in his 1970s hit song “The Streak.” This hilarious lyric comes to mind in a not so funny way when I think of the dust up local Fayetteville resident and Army veteran Don Talbot created when he sent out an alleged set of offensive photos depicting the extremely explicit realities of urban blight and noting the consequences of a deteriorating city.
It was shock and awe at its finest — Talbot style.
Online comments via email and Facebook flooded local cyberspace with criticism flying fast and furious lambasting Talbot for his insights. In reality, Talbot is right and he got me thinking. His message was as simple, as it was harsh: Is this what we want America to become? People were outraged.
When City Manager Ted Voorhees sent a reply-all message back asking Talbot to cease sending him such offensive materials and to remove him from his mailing list, it opened the floodgates of criticism of Talbot. And to my dismay, the race card was thrown.
When race is artificially interjected into any argument or situation, the result is that the main point of the argument is usually the photos people found objectionable — admittedly by their own volition.
Yes, they admit it.
Sure, it took nearly three decades to bring the Motown metro to this point, but, it was the citizens who nailed the coffin shut by consistently voting in leadership that took advantage of its citizens, extorted businesses and reduced the auto city to rubble. Talbot’s photos were nothing but a comment, warning and possible glimpse into the future of our nation.
My message is this: If photos of real life offend you, don’t look, but don’t bury your heads in the sand and think these problems are going away.
No one wants to see our community go the way of Detroit. But, only we can prevent this from happening. Love him, hate him, Talbot is right. We must stop illegal immigration. We must stop voter fraud — even if it means showing our IDs. Our leaders must focus on lowering unemployment by creating new jobs.
Most importantly, we must elect leaders who are ethical. It is a good time to remember if you do business anywhere in the world, you must be consistent. Being honest, hardworking and trustworthy has never failed to get the job done. Make your vote count this year. Send a message to all the candidates that character counts.
Make the statement that as Americans we need to stop rewarding bad behavior like that of New York City Mayoral Candidate Anthony Wiener, former Congressman Elliott Spitzer and of course our own Tonzie Collins.
You have a voice, use it. Vote.
See you at the Best of Fayetteville Party at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 17.
Photo: While many cities around the country face tough challenges like urban blight and high crime rates, citizens have an opportunity and a responsibility to be a part of the solution. Informed vot-ers make a difference.