Members of the Undoing Racism Group White Caucus decided to write letters to the News & Record and submit columns for its Counterpoint feature at a joint caucus meeting last night. An e-mail on the group's listserv from NC A&T University professor Larry Morse says that "it was suggested at the joint caucus meeting that Deena Hayes would circulate letters and counterpoints to others for vetting and suggestions."
The following summary of talking points was circulated this morning:
• Black community is criticized for what it does not do to bring itself up and yet when it does something its plans/activities are subjected to extra scrutiny
• Mike Weaver and Dennis Quaintance as hoteliers have a vested interest in the construction of a quality hotel in the center of the city whether or not they were planning to build such a hotel (which they are alleged to have been planning but deny the allegations).
• Where were Weaver and Quaintance in asking for public release of documents for the other two projects in line for access to recovery bonds?
• Where were Weaver and Quaintance in asking for public release of documents when the city voted to give $1 million of public funds to the creation of Center Pointe? Note that access to the recovery bonds does/will not cost City taxpayers a cent.
• Public information: Representatives from the Urban Hotel Group and Ole Asheboro made several public presentations to the Redevelopment Commission.
• There seems to be a parallel between this hotel project’s level of scrutiny and the scrutiny the International Civil Rights Museum was subjected to in its early years. Is the fact that African Americans are/were in the lead of both projects an explanation for the extra scrutiny?
• The hotel project represents a radically different business model, one that brings a neighborhood into the ownership circle. Some may see this community-inclusive business model as a challenge to the usual profit motive. Some may be troubled by the included neighborhood’s being a black neighborhood.
• While white household median income is 1.6 times black household median income, white household net worth is 9.7 times that of black households.
• White neighborhoods are more likely than are black neighborhoods to be empowered because of the resources owned by their residents. Is empowerment a factor why some are some upset over a hotel project that will funnel resources into an under-resourced black neighborhood?
• The Ole Asheboro neighborhood has a decades-long history of being an organized community whose level of organization has served it well in inducing the City to invest in the neighborhood. If the hotel goes forward Ole Asheboro will have more of its own resources thus allowing City funds to be spread to other under-resourced neighborhoods.
• Middle and upper class households benefit from the availability of “cheap” labor supplied by under-resourced neighborhoods—whether they buy the goods and services produced by this labor or hire such workers. Does this reality create a sense of unease about the economic development of Ole Asheboro via its ownership stake in the hotel?
• When Greensboro was pushed by the courts to integrate its schools, that integration took place on white terms. “On white terms”? Think about who decided which students would bear the brunt of the bussing and which teachers and administrators would be kept on. The City has developed African American neighborhoods largely on its own terms. Is there a parallel between how whites moved schooling integration forward that allowed them to make the “best of a bad situation” and their current unease about the hotel which will allow an African American neighborhood to have more control over its development and destiny?