One who intends to leave others better off for his having existed.

3/2/14

A Comparison of Hartzman's Yes Weekly Column on the Civil Rights Museum and the News and Record's

You take the blue pill,
the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

You take the red pill,
you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

Morpheus
The Matrix

"...As difficult a puzzle as the museum’s survival seems to be, 
it’s actually simple: It starts with a clear plan."



"The ICRCM was deemed “High Risk” 
by the City of Greensboro’s Internal Audit Division Civil Rights Museum Financial Review
as of April 30, 2013."



"The museum doesn't have one quite yet. 

It does have the first draft of a “sustainability plan” 
required by the city as a condition for a loan..."


"The sustainability plan that was received by the city 
appears to be short on specifics and overly optimistic 
in projecting how the museum will perform. 

For instance, 2014 “Contributions/Membership” expectations
 rise to $800,000 from $112,758 in 2013.

 “Rental Income”, $35,957 in 2013, is projected to be $442,000 in 2014. 

After receiving $35,130 in grants during 2013, 
the museum expects $700,000 in 2014. 

On “Special Event” revenue of $117,096 in 2013, 
the plan projects $370,000 for 2014, and $825,000 in 2015."


"Some of its ideas are particularly sensible:

Hiring a development director and a marketing director.

For which the museum appears to not have the money to fund.

Reorganizing the board of directors and adding term limits."


"I believe Skip Alston and Earl Jones among others 
need to legally step away from any interest in the museum,
and a non-connected chairperson installed. 

As the Greensboro Four were college students, 
NC A&T University student government association members 
should be provided with permanent representation on the board."

George Hartzman, Yes Weekly, Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

"Adding visiting exhibits and acquiring more documents and artifacts."

Doug and Allen

For which the museum appears to not have the money to fund.

"Revisiting a stalled commemorative coin proposal..."

Doug and Allen

I don't think the commemorative coin idea would sell very well
with the same folks in charge of the museum who ran it into the ground.

"Adding self-directed tours, which have been long-promised and long-delayed."

Doug and Allen

Anticipated 2013.....$375,561 tour revenue

Projected with Current and New Self Guided Tour Format beginning in 2015
within the museum's Sustainability Plan;

2014.....$400,000 Current Format Only
2015.....$950,000 Current and New Format - Really?
2016.....$1,050,000 - I believe this projection is highly unlikely
2017.....$1,150,000 

"...as a practical matter it should wait until the museum is financially solvent.

While still relying on the kindness of ideologically divided taxpayers for help 
seems a less-than-ideal time for the museum to possibly alienate some of them 
with what could be seen as political advocacy.

Like allowing Skip and Earl to retain control?

...Now the key to keeping those doors open is by earning the public’s confidence and support."


[No mention by any other local news reporting organizations about] "City staff and council were informed before the vote that some money the museum was to receive did not look like it was merely meant to pay off loans tied to saving the facility, but connected to Skip Alston and Earl Jones maintaining control and being in a position to profit from the taxpayer bailout if the museum became profitable in the future."


Power in America…
is control of the means of communication.

Theodore White
Political Journalist

[No mention by any other local news reporting organizations about] "Shah-Khan determined that former mayor and current council member Yvonne Johnson did not have a conflict of interest on the museum vote, which involved fellow Simkins PAC and ICRCM members Alston and Jones. Johnson was listed as a manager on ICRCM documents, before having herself unlisted and then advocating for and voting on the “forgivable” loan."


Not to transmit an experience
is to betray it.

Elie Wiesel

[No mention by any other local news reporting organizations about] "If the city can’t get any of the money back, I believe Shah-Khan and some current City Council members may be partly responsible for losing $750,000 of everyone else’s money."


If they can get you asking the wrong questions,
they don't have to worry about answers.

Thomas Pynchon

"...Shah-Khan provided political cover for Robbie and Denise on this and other items, especially during the run up to a City Council election. Zack Matheny was reported to describe the events as an “absolute voter manipulation to try and get some people elected.”

[No mention by any other local news reporting organizations about] City Council needs to initiate a review of the tax credit structure, along with an accounting of how the monies acquired before the bailout were spent."


Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Aldous Huxley

[No mention by any other local news reporting organizations about] "Only the obligations necessary to saving the museum should be paid for with tax dollars. The city could purchase the property and its contents for $1 if necessary, leaving the loans not tied to saving the facility or its contents in default..."

http://www.yesweekly.com/triad/article-17199-on-greensbororss-civil-rights-museum.html

Without censorship,
things can get terribly confused in the public mind.

William Westmoreland
American military commander, Vietnam, 1964 - 1968
US Army Chief of Staff, 1968 - 1972

Is there a correlation between acceptance of propaganda 
and information consumption from what appears to be legitimate sources
with a track record of deleting news history from the public view?

Is Greensboro's communications/news/information dissemination industry 
supposed to keep an eye on the government and its connected rent seekers for the people
or an eye on the people for the government and its cronies?

Did greed and/or fear and apathy lead some to believe the museum's finances were less risky
than they actually were and still are?

Have the few who control much dissemination of most local political opinion,
who enjoy relatively disproportionate levels of influence than the many who don’t
encumbered with track records of being pretty wrong about multiples of issues over the years?

Do many in Greensboro who read the News & Record's Editorial Board museum column
now think what the News & Record's Editorial Board and some others want them to think?


Pontius Pilate was the first great censor,
and Jesus Christ the first great victim of censorship.

Ben Lindsey

Should local opinion sources intentionally misrepresent or omit truth
in the interests of a select few who have more influence than most others?

Is it hard to get entrenched political leadership in Greensboro to understand,
if relative legitimacy with some constituents depends on not understanding?

Is it worse that Greensboro’s political and local opinion writers
didn't see the financial mess at the museum coming,
or that most of our elected leaders and city staff didn't know or didn't want to know,
or that some knew in the run up to the 2013 election the museum was financially unsustainable
and did the deal anyway while keeping the truth from the public,
or that some city staff and candidates who now share relatively high portions of blame,
left the same corrupt museum leadership in place 
while espousing how responsible they have been to Greensboro's African American community 
to win an election?

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