Thursday, January 19, 2017


Opponents, clad in red, held large, printed signs that read, "No CB-9" and "diversity yes, illegal no"; while supporters held flimsy 8 x 11-inch sheets that read, "Yes." Pamphlets sponsored by the local Republican committee that read "Weinstein: oath of office or law breaker" lay on distant desks in the building.

(From write-up in HoCo Times by Fatimah Waseem)

After watching two evenings of testimony on Council Bill 9 through the lens of social media, I have a few thoughts to share. First of all, I think it is significant to note the kind of money the Republican Central Committee was willing to spend on professional signs opposing the measure and glossy literature targeting Councilman Jon Weinstein. They put their money where their mouth is. 

All I can say is, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

In testimony after testimony, opponents spoke in anger and stirred up fear using factually unsubstantiated claims. And this is, sadly, what the local Republican Party has invested its money in. And what the County Executive will very likely endorse. Mr. Kittleman, these are your people. No matter what happens with this bill, I'm not sure you will ever be free of that association. Disaffected democrats who voted for Mr. Kittleman ought to watch the last two days of testimony to see what kind of company they are keeping.

It isn't pretty.

I found it interesting that the article in the Howard County Times juxtaposed the kinds of signs each side brought to the hearings. Those testifying in support were carrying the flimsy, homemade signs. But they came bearing facts, evidence, hope, and compassion.

Those with the fancy, professionally printed signs came with the flimsy arguments.

I'll close today with the advice given at the beginning on my faculty meeting at Sandy Spring Friends School yesterday. I'm sending it out with the hope that our county is better than the derision and fear-mongering we have witnessed over the past several days. 

At every opportunity, be peacemakers in your homes, workplaces and communities. Examine your own actions and feelings. Any element of fear, restlessness, discontent, unhappiness and poverty of spirit can lead to violence in any of its forms. We are cautioned not to bury these feelings, but to acknowledge their presence, pinpoint their sources, and transform pain and anger into the power of positive action. 

(Advices and Queries for Friends School Community Life, Friends Council on Education)  

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