not in my backyard

While I consider myself a Tennessean, it would be more honest to say that I am from Memphis. I choose to live in East TN because I love the rolling hills surrounded by mountains. I love the way everyone knows everyone else through family and church connections. I like the fact that people talk to strangers as if they have known them all their lives. I am happy here.

When I worked, I traveled to other counties and saw and heard things that I knew were based on generations of fear and hate. It wasn’t until this week that I realized how naive I was not to see the prejudice right here in Knox County. It made me grit my teeth so much that my head and jaw ached every night this week. The physical pain and emotional exhaustion crescendoed when a nicotine stained finger pointed at me and lectured me about her “right” to say whatever she wanted to say. At that moment, I wished I had the “right” and the courage to punch her in the face.

I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by some of the things that were said at community forums this week. I don’t feel the way those parents feel. There are empty houses in my small subdivision. You are welcome here. I want our children to go to school together during the day and play at each other’s houses in the afternoons. We can fight together to keep our children in the nearby school instead of the one all the way across town. We can raise our children not to fear and hate.

2 thoughts on “not in my backyard

  1. Unfortuanetly, in times like these and public policy decisions like these being debated and made.

    Sometimes people overlap and we see the best in people and the worst in people. For me meeting Doug and yourself was part of my best experience in covering these events.

    You both have been professional and thoughtful in your approach. You have five wonderful kids and your passion is in the right place.

    Keep your heads up. You have done well, in spite of all that you have faced.

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