Sunday, August 26, 2018

Turnabout, Fair Play, and Fouls

I’d like to take the opportunity to poke fun at myself a little morning. It has occurred to me that there’s another aspect at play here in the newly introduced plan for Main Street in Old Ellicott City. Mr. Kittleman has taken some criticism locally for being reluctant to take risks, for lacking vision. Here he is clearly doing a bold and courageous thing and folks are up in arms. It must be hard to be on the receiving end of that.

“We wanted you to be bold and decisive but not like that...”

To be fair, I don’t believe that there’s anything inherently nefarious about the plan. I just don’t know if it’s the best response to the situation. If you have objections to the plan, and you have enough knowledge to debate it, go ahead.  But I’ve seen people taking the leap from “I don’t like the plan” to “those who devised the plan did so for their own financial gain.” I don’t think that’s a helpful assumption.

Speaking of which, I was appalled at a commenter on social media who responded, more than once, by spewing anti-Semitic slurs towards the County Executive and Councilman Jon Weinstein. It stunned me to see that, even today, there are people who hold such destructive and backward views. I’m not a public figure by any stretch of the imagination but I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to condemn this.

It’s not ever okay to belittle someone because of their religion. Or race. Or ethnicity. Or socio-economic status. Or sexual orientation. Or (I could go on.)  I feel reasonably certain that readers of this blog know this.

But it is equally important for us to push back when things like this happen. Publicly. Loudly. Immediately. It isn’t merely the conversation on Facebook that was derailed by these hateful comments. Words like these hurt people and make them feel less safe in our community. We have an obligation to our neighbors to push back and reject hate.

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