Saturday, October 31, 2009

on Andy Vidal Mcnair's open letter, and more

From the listserv:

It is true that I owed an apology to everyone I wrote to for bringing the issue of Ms Plassman's daughter into the fray. Even if she did bring her daughter's story into public debate, commenting on her family troubles is going way below the belt.
I apologize again for this, and have taken any references to this off
the blog.

As for my commentary being unfortunately timed--I feel it's well
timed, b/c other than those people who pay a lot of attention to civic
politics, most people vote for city council seats as an afterthought,
or based on little knowledge. If I'd spoken up earlier, people may not
have remembered by the time the fourth came around. I also did not
know about all this until quite recently. Finally, the fact that my statements are "eleventh hour" is not a valid argument against their content.

I have to say that there do seem to be blocs in the sense that
councilor candidates have spoken up in support of one mayoral
candidate or another, and the mayoral candidates have formed public
alliances with certain city council candidates. This is not a smear on
such a practice, just a plea for people to look beyond such alliances
whoever they vote for for mayor.

I find Mcnair's open letter to be unconvincing for many reasons. How
many people can misinterpret him before we admit there might be
something there? As I've mentioned before, for the two people who
stood up to discuss Mcnair's racist and classist remarks about
subsidized housing residents, there are many, many more who've spoken to me and
others about private conversations with him in which he's expressed
such views who are afraid to come forward. In fact, Ms Carney herself
pleaded for their anonymity because she is afraid they will be slandered
when Mcnair attacks her. Also, the fact that he used the "some of my
best friends are minorities" trope is laughable at best and doesn't
prove much. Many racists are comfortable with those they feel are "deserving" minorities, but that doesn't change their attitude towards poor black and Latino people.

In contrast to Mcnair, I find Angela Plassmann to be a sincere and
well meaning candidate, but her goal--heightened prosecution of
nonviolent crimes in the city--would be disastrous for Northampton,
for the reasons I discussed in a previous blog entry:
It's true that Bob Reckman has not had a marvelous record as a
candidate, but again, I believe it's better to stick to the proverbial
devil we know in this case.

I have asked both Ms. Plassman and Ms. Silva for brief interviews to
clarify their positions--neither has responded to me as of yet. As it
does not seem Ms. Silva has much of a chance to be elected, I will
continue to focus on Ms Plassman and Mr Vidal Mcnair. In my next entry
some time today I'd like to discuss the source of their campaign funding, from
one of the major figures in No Porn Northampton, and thus their
complicity in sex negativity, intolerance, and anti-free speech

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