Monday, July 18, 2005

Public Hearing #1 Reaction

An anonymous poster made the following comment, which is buried in another thread:

"200 people in attendance, so many of the speakers not from this city or state, majority not even present or involved in Nov.3rd, but yet they are experts and can get to the truth.....what a waste of time, money and emotions from such a few.....and the people doing all the complaining, the ones that brought this back to the tableare the same ones that were present at the shootings. What truth are you looking for? The only thing that you liberal far left wing activitists will accept is the facts as written by you people."

In an article in the News and Record on Friday, Eric Townsend says of the public hearing:

"Fifteen people are slated to speak, though it appears only five were present at the Nov. 3, 1979 event."

In response to the concern that many of Friday and Saturday's speakers were not present at the 1979 shootings, I want to clarify that the purpose of this first hearing was to examine the complexity and diversity of answers to the question of "What brought us to November 3, 1979?" Because our mandate is to examine the "context, causes, sequence, and consequence" of the events of November 3, 1979, it is not necessary that all of our statement givers have been present at the actual event. The first public hearing speakers represented only a small sample of the people who have already shared information with the Commission; the Commission makes no claim that this collection of perspectives paints a complete picture of the wide array of possible answers to the title question. In fact, one of our goals with the public hearings is to encourage people whose views were not represented in the hearing to come forward and give their own statement to the Commission.

In response to the anonymous poster's concerns about truth, these public hearings genuinely challenge community members to listen to the perspectives of several individuals and then to think critically about about what they are hearing. The Commissioners, as parts of the community, are likewise in the process of weighing the information they are learning from statement givers and documentary evidence. Even if you do not finally agree with what I assure you will be the thoroughly researched and corroborated yet-to-be-determined content of the final report, I hope that you will take the time to listen to the unmediated statements of the public hearings speakers and draw your own conclusions based on that information, much of which has not been heard in such an open forum before.

posted by Jill Williams, Exec. Dir.


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