Inquiring minds want to know

While we’re on the subject of N&R editorials, ConAlt says the paper continues to editorialize in its news coverage.

Funny, I felt the same way when reading this story on a UNCG communications class on the Truth and Reconciliation report.

The story provides the thinnest shred of balance sandwiched between the wisdom of the young:

Rebecca Almgren mocked Bernard Butkovich, an undercover agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who infiltrated the Klan.
Butkovich saw the Nazis getting weapons, he heard harsh language used against blacks and Jews, “and yet he didn’t put two and two together?” Almgren said.

“That’s just ignorant,” Almgren said.

Students generally agreed with the truth commission that the Communists’ anti-Klan rhetoric had been unduly harsh.

“But at the same time, if I tell you to shut up and call you stupid, does that give you the right to shoot me between the eyes?” student Savon Williams said.


Other comments are thrown in from left field (pun intended), like this one from instructor Spoma Jovanovic:

“Oftentimes the African American (students) … can relate to the story that something didn’t go right (on Nov. 3, 1979), but for many of the white students, this is all brand new — not just what happened, but how it could have happened.”

How so? Exactly what makes African-American students who weren’t even born on 11/4/79 more senstive than white students of roughly the same age?

Then there’s this:

The students, some of whom have attended civic events on the report, wonder whether such violence could recur.

“Having someone shout ‘Communist!’ in my face was not pleasant,” said Cindy Dew, who recently attended such a meeting.

“Toughen up, Cindy,” Jovanovic rejoined as other students laughed. But she acknowledged that the question of possible violence is legitimate even if the likelihood is remote.

What civic event, pray tell, did this young lady attend where someone shouted “Communist!” in her face? Personally, I’d like to know what kind of a whack job would do that to an innocent young lady.

Call me crazy, but I think a little context would help. But context often gets in the way of a good story.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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