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We can dream, but it’s time to act

OPINION. By Dave Yochum. Seeing the devastation in South Texas reminds me that we’re all people regardless of race, color or creed. Eight feet of water in your house will have you in over your head no matter who you are.

In a disaster, there’s no doubt we’re all created equal. If only we were able to see that the rest of the time, this would be a better place for everyone. Know that economically speaking, Charlotte ranks dead last among 50 big American cities in terms of economic mobility.

That means if you’re down at the bottom of the economic ladder, you and your kids are most likely going to remain there. Sorry, but I wasn’t surprised by what happened after the Keith Scott shooting one year ago this month.

I was saddened, of course. I’ve always believed diversity and communication are the opposite of a closed-minded approach to people​ based on class and color.

The Public Religion Research Institute, a non-partisan research institute that focuses on the intersection of religion, culture and public policy, says 75 percent of white Americans have an entirely white network of people with whom they discuss important matters. Only 15 percent report having a more racially mixed social network.

T​ensions have been high around the country after the events in Charlottesville, VA.,​ which saw a young woman lose her life. Less than a day later, the Confederate soldiers monument on Zion Avenue in Cornelius was defaced. It has since been cleaned.​

Meanwhile our attentions are focused on Texas where the stories of desperation ​know no color, but back at home we ​do.

The role of a publication in print or online, IMHO, is to shed light on not just current events, but underlying issues. 

To that end, Cornelius Today will host a Newsmakers Breakfast discussion titled “Post-Charlottesville: Where Do We Go From Here?” Sept. 6 at The Peninsula Club.

There will be an informal give-and-take among our panelists as well as questions from the audience, in the traditional Newsmakers Breakfast format.

 

The speakers are:

Chaz Beasley, an African-American who is serving his first term in the North Carolina House of Representatives. He represents District 92, which runs from Huntersville west of I-77 south to Charlotte.

Woody Washam, the mayor pro tem of Cornelius who is running unopposed for mayor. He is a lifelong member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, as well as the organist for the past 50 years.

John Wertheimer, Ph. D., a noted historian and professor at Davidson College. His most recent book is​ “​Law and Society in the South: A History of North Carolina Court Case​s.”​

With a “thank you” in advance to the Rev. Joel Simpson, assistant pastor at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Cornelius, we will have sign-ups for small-group discussions this fall that will be organized around diversity.

Doors open at 7:15 a.m. for networking. The buffet-style breakfast gets under way at 7:30 a.m. The Q&A begins at 8 a.m. and concludes at 9 a.m. The cost to attend is $12.​

Reserve a seat at 704-895-1335 with Visa or MasterCard.

— ​Dave Yochum is the editor of Cornelius Today and Business Today

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