The Answer Man

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Q: What is meant by the word "injustice?"

A: Maybe one of the best answers is, "an act that inflicts undeserved hurt."

Although the big store itself was only tangentially involved, events originating there could be called The Great Walmart Debacle. In the end there is only one true victim - the city of Kennett. This is an "injustice."

Bud Hunt and Brian Mitchell were right on the mark in their comments for last weekend's edition of the Daily Dunklin Democrat.

Brian asked the mass media where they were when we had our devastating Ice Storm. The answer of course is that they paid more attention to urban areas not nearly so damaged as we were. Brian also asked them why they never mentioned Sheryl Crow, or Leonard Younger.

Bud blistered CNN's Anderson Cooper for calling our community a "hotbed of racism," and using broad generalizations to paint an untrue picture.

Why didn't the mass media take the time to find out what really goes on here, instead of making it a racial circus?

A little journalistic scrutiny could have revealed that Kennett was one of the first in the mid-south to integrate its schools. This was a true integration instead of kids in some cities leaving their homes in the dark, bussing across town, coming home in the early afternoon, with no more social contact than the generic atmosphere of a classroom.

Why didn't they ask about our international star, Sheryl Crow, who has given many hours of her time for the welfare of Kennett, and has contributed thousands of dollars for charities meant for all people?

Why didn't they look into the Delta Children's Home, or the Harold Simmons Golf Memorial Golf Tournament that has raised over a million dollars for leukemia research, or the various service clubs here with a purpose of raising money for charity, or the Kennett property owners who have donated land for the good of all.

By being professional they could have discovered ex-mayor Charles Brown's glowing tribute to Leonard Younger, an outstanding Kennett citizen who will be missed by all ethnic groups in this area.

Or they might have read Brown's correct identification of the "real" problems

in this area, which consist of poverty, lack of jobs, and a serious methamphetamine growth. Cape Girardeau county is the only one in the Bootheel that it not losing population.

One of the lowest points of journalistic coverage was some large city newspapers saying there were hundreds - even thousands - demonstrating here in Kennett, when we all know this is an outright lie.

How could so comparatively a minor flare of temper - or tempers - be turned into a showcase for grievances - real or imaginary? The attempt was made to make it a misdemeanor. This was turned down.

The logical answer is that there was time for certain buttons to be pushed. Letters were written. Phone calls were made. The hoopla that followed was planned and orchestrated by people anxious to make the proverbial mountain out of mole hill. It was then driven by a no-nothing media that never bothered to look beyond the end of their noses.

The results is a badly damaged town, and good reputations tarnished. It's called "an act that inflicts undeserved hurt," or "injustice."

In the aftermath we have to sympathize with Mayor Roger Wheeler, who is still comparatively new in his job. He has not been dealt cup cake problems. First there was the Ice Storm that must have kept him up late at night, and now this fisaco. It's about time for a break.

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