I have no interest nor aspirations in politics, but I admire those who do. It's incredibly difficult to put oneself (and family) in the daily spotlight. Every word and opinion could potentially make the paper, keeping the representative on his or her toes at all times. Critics and cynics crouch in waiting to destroy. How vulnerable! Public life must be downright painful at times. Though I don't wish to enter politics, I do follow it.
Though I don't live in Knoxville, and I can't even vote there, I love the city and follow it's politics and people. To be completely honest, I've campaigned for city council members in Kville though I'm not a resident anymore. I'd campaign on a state or national level *if* I could actually stand proudly by any candidate. Not holding my breath on this one.
Here's something that went down at the last Knox city council meeting.
Two members, Woodhull and Becker submitted the following:
SECTION 2: City Council hereby expresses its full intent to promote the well-being of all people within the corporate limits of the City, regardless of race, creed, color, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or citizenship status by setting a shining example of showing dignity and respect to all people and by recognizing and celebrating the diversity in our city whenever, wherever and however possible.
The council amended and approved this:
SECTION 2: City Council hereby expresses its full intent to promote the well-being of all people within the corporate limits of the City by setting a shining example of showing dignity and respect to all people and by recognizing and celebrating the diversity in our city.
Let me hit pause to ponder the words intentionally left out in the amended version "regardless of creed, color, disablity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or citizenship status...celebrating/respecting diversity whenever, wherever, however". I'll speak to my perspective on portions left out.
I wholeheartedly agree in promoting the well being of people regardless. Nothing wrong with that. However, I'll respect but don't want to celebrate some of the list above.
Take creed for example. I truly admire Ghandi and Malcolm X for the tremendous work they did on behalf of humanity, but I simply not interested in celebrating Hinduism or Islam. I study to learn from these creeds, but I celebrate my own faith with my family. I honor the person of Ghandi or Malcolm X. However, I would say a city needs to keeps church and state at arms length from one another on the creed issue.
Now about race, color,national origin, citizenship. My own family is made up of more than one color. I love international festivals and music. Yep, this one I do enjoy to the full. And I see a need for racial issues to be carefully overseen by the government based on city history. Minorities have a tough row to hoe in this town. In the 90's, the Office of Civil Rights found Knox Co. Public Schools had NEVER made an effort at racial desegregation 30 years after the Civil Rights Movement. The police have been investigated for racial profiling and brutality. I've seen some of each first hand in my inner city work. It would serve the Knox County people for government to intentionally seek balance and justice on these issues.
Disability. Don't want to celebrate disability, just the people who have overcome. And I do want to see the city actively advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves.
Sexual orientation. This is a private not a public issue.
Gender. I'm a feminist and will be till there is no more need for it.
All that said, I prefer the amended version, because lumping all those "regardless of" catagories together doesn't reflect my whole perspective. However, the empowerment in specifically naming the groups is lost.
What do you think?
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