03 01 IMG 5971No doubt, as Americans, we cherish the right to have our voices heard. Currently, with the anger and contention surrounding the 2020 elections at all levels of government, these voices are not only numerous, but they are also loud, angry and obnoxious, and drowning out humanity's reason, logic and any hope of conciliation.

Three unfortunate examples are what is happening in Portland, Minneapolis and, most recently, in Washington, D.C. during the Trump support rally. Rioting, looting, assaults, destruction of personal property, and for what purpose? With the devastation in downtown Fayetteville on May 30th still fresh in our memories, we cannot let this happen again to our community of Fayetteville. However, it very well may unless we trust our local leaders and hold them responsible for the health and welfare of all our citizens.

The first step in suppressing conflict and avoiding confrontations is to identify and tap down the flashpoints. Local media is a significant flashpoint in our community and plays a substantial role in dividing our community. Fayetteville has no local TV station to keep us informed or to showcase the city, which is an embarrassment for a community of this size and stature. This leaves us with a daily newspaper that is anemic. It's a decent vehicle for the distribution of fliers and inserts but mostly serves up negative, biased liberal content that is as relevant, frequent and stale as two-day-old bread.

Unfortunately, local talk radio station WFNC "doubles down" and regurgitates verbatim the newspaper's partisan content, avoiding any sense of fairness, responsibility or journalistic integrity. Lastly, there are the self-serving opportunists who take advantage of Fayetteville's current racial, civil and political circumstances to second guess our leadership. Some wish to be recognized as radical activists or social icons. Others want to establish political power, while others seek notoriety, fame and celebrity status by claiming they speak for the masses. Regardless of their motives and rogue actions, these independent voices cause confusion, mistrust, dissension and misinformation among the ranks of local residents.

The future of the iconic Fayetteville Market House is the most critical and volatile decision facing our community. Representing both history and heritage, there are passionate feelings on all sides regarding its future. Should it be left as is? Torn down? Repurposed? We'll see what the future holds. In the meantime, as the local weekly community newspaper of record, we are subject to many diverse perspectives. This is why we are advocating that citizens be tolerant and patient while the Mayor, City Council and the committees they have appointed evaluate the options available that will best serve the city and its citizens.

During this time, tapping down the aggressive and hostile rhetoric concerning the future of the Market House will go a long way in making sure it doesn't become an explosive racial issue. Currently, movements, protests and petitions on both sides of the controversy are incredibly premature. Communication, education, awareness, patience and empathy are essential here. We must hear from the entire community and let the process work to a conclusion fairly judged on its merit. It would be unconscionable for anyone to use the Market House circumstance for personal political advancement before the current leadership concludes their study.

These are volatile times, and trust is at a premium. No one wants to see our community torn apart on any single issue. Let's be patient and give the Mayor and current leadership a chance to perform without interference. In the process, it will become evident who the real leaders are looking out for all the citizens of Fayetteville. Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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