Wednesday, May 24, 2006

GTRC to issue report tomorrow

The GTRC will release its report to the entire community at a ceremony tomorrow (May 25th) evening. (For details click here.) Commissioners will issue the report verbally, through a printed executive summary, and through the full report, which will be made available during the 6pm ceremony at our website. Hard copies and cd-rom versions of the report will also be made available at a later date through all Greensboro Public Library branches. Potential readers who can not access a Greensboro Public Library branch should email info@greensborotrc.org to request a copy.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Truth Commission can save a lot of money by not bothering to print many copies of the full report. The summary was enough to convince most of Greensboro to no longer waist our time. You spent only a few minutes over the last two years on issues of healing and reconciliation we now know why. This report and what this Truth Commission has presented to our community will keep us divided. This is a shocking failure of imagination and we are further from the truth than ever.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to the commenter for speaking for all of Greensboro. I don't want to "waist" my time thinking for myself.

2:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous #1, the days of your kind of thinking are numbered. Enjoy them while you can.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Troublemaker Staff said...

oh yes the gtrc is truly a great thing...can anyone tell me what good they will do? what has been changed? what are we all so thrilled about?

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not an attack on your Executive Summary but some questions for ongoing dialogue. This type of dialogue may also prove helpful for the next T&R process in another community. Some of these questions are answered to some degree in your fuller posted report.

What happens in a truth inquiry that has no specific rules of evidence as in a court room? What happens when the Commission does not actually use any real type of cross examination? What happens when many key players from Nov. 3rd refuse to get involved with the process that has no subpoena power? How did the Commission decide to disregard some of the court room testimony of the three trials? What happens when a Commission decides (other than the 3 public hearings and a few community meetings) to insulate themselves from ongoing and daily conversations with the community and instead does most of their work in a very orchestrated, small group involved, internal fashion. (Supreme Court model rather than a bar room conversation model.) Would regular, specific issue, blogging that has been suggested be a good tool to better open up the dialogue?

What happens when the three groups who were actively involved on Nov. 3rd are viewed very differently as human beings by the Commission? The Klan and Nazi continue to be shown as terrorist. The police are shown as grossly negligent and probably criminally negligent. The CWP seems to be the one group, and possibly rightly so, who receives significant understanding and sympathy for all the horror that happened. Did the Commission's assumptions, some which may be correct, about the three groups create an underlying bias?

Of course every time someone brings up the connection between the survivors and the Commission some instantly show how the process is perfect and how the Commission is completely independent. But underlying assumptions and underlying ideologies abound in the work of this Commission and its staff. (Another Commission chosen by a very different and also fair selection process would also have underlying ideologies and assumptions.) So rather than provide examples of overlap between the survivors, Project and the Commission that could exist maybe we should be looking at underlying influences that may not be glaring but possibly significant to the reports outcome. (A worth while venture if you think the current process can be improved.)

The full report does include a lot of good and useful information but from the full report does the Executive Summary naturally spring? Or does the Executive Summary stand as an example of presenting the information with all three parties not being treated as equals? In other words was one group given the benefit of the doubt in most cases because they were viewed with sympathy and proper concern while the other two groups were seldom shown similar sympathy and concern? Did this Commission simply turn the previous trials on their head and present another version of Nov. 3rd that in its own way also lacks sufficient fairness to all three parties involved on Nov. 3rd?

Will the Commission and staff be around for a while to discuss some of the above questions and other questions from the community?

7:10 PM  
Blogger Troublemaker Staff said...

u will not get an answer from the staff about that...good questions though

10:25 AM  
Anonymous jill said...

Anonymous,
The Commission staff is currently scheduled to finish up its work on May 31st (tomorrow!), but I think we'll all be around for a little while longer to tie up many loose ends and discuss these types of questions.

I think your questions are good ones and, as you said, discussion of them may offer insight to other communities considering TRC processes. We're working on thoughtful replies and will post those in a new thread soon.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Troublemaker Staff said...

Page 382 of the GTRC Final Report is a section called Truth Seeking and Resistance.

1. The report claims the leaked information regarding the appearance of Imperial Wizard, Virgil Griffin, was known only to the GTRC, police and city officials. That is false. I knew. A high ranking GTRC staff member reported to me that Virgil was coming. I also know a GTRCP member knew before the media was informed. The statement made was the sensitive information "Was known only to the GTRC, police and city officials." That is not true. They have constantly claimed to be truthful but are very inaccurate in the listing of who had information regarding the leak.

2. The report also claims that city council promoted rumors about the GTRC's relationship to the GTRCP. This needs to be mentioned because of a GTRCP High Ranking Official that was aware of Virgil coming to Greensboro before it was leaked to the media.

The relationship between the GTRC and the GTRCP can only be addressed by the mentioned parties. The public must simply take their word for it. Their word is "Information known only to the GTRC, police and city officials was leaked." That is false. A GTRCP member knew as well. By not making clear and concise statements, one will come under scrutiny by others. The reports claim against the city leaders "Promoting rumors" is unjust due to the previously mentioned rumors the GTRC promoted.

3. The secret meeting at Mt. Zion.

History:

While not at home, I received a phone call from a GPD officer. The officer did not hang up their phone. My voice mail captured a conversation. The police talking were unknowingly taped. The conversation included talk about how the GTRC is not good for the public. "They are in it for themselves," was one phrase secretly taped. However, the most interesting part of the conversation was at the end. One voice told the others, "Don't forget about 2pm tomorrow."
Let me go ahead and say that it is very neat to have been ahead of the secret taping craze. I was playing unknowingly taped conversations before it was cool. The first people recorded? The secret police. Do you know how cool that is?

Because I knew they were talking about the GTRC I asked a GTRC Staff member what they had planned for tomorrow at 2 pm. They reported that nothing was planned during that time. I shared the voicemail with the GTRC and we began to wonder what was happening at the 2pm meeting. Later the next day I was informed by a GTRC Staff member that they believed the police went to Mt. Zion to try an make those people scared so that they'd revoke the reservations for the community dialogue. However, the GTRC later reported this incident as not important. They first reported they would not discuss it because they were in a commissioners meeting. Is there a better time?

Jordan Green, Yes Weekly Reporter, wrote an article about that meeting that was first posted for the public by the Troublemaker.

Some interesting things from Green's work should be mentioned. They are in quotations.

"The truth commission declined to comment on its exclusion from the meeting."

They also declined from commenting on my blog.

"There was nothing discussed at the first meeting that wasn't discussed at the second meeting, Fox said."

That is false. In the second meeting there was a mention of my blog post. The Mt. Zion staff allegedly asked if their was any need to discuss my post. Police and GTRC both agreed it was me jumping the gun. It was at this time when police staff informed me of the rumor-mongering the GTRC was engaging about the Troublemaker.

"It was a mistake for the police to not invite the commission, Fox said in a Nov. 17 interview, but there was nothing sinister about the meeting."

"Fox said some Klansmen attended the final round of hearings at UNCG wearing leather vests emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag and baseball caps bearing Klan insignia. The men picked up an interest card and told commission director Jill Williams they might be interested in participating in the community dialogue, Fox said, but apparently decided not to attend after all."

That would have been Grand Dragon, Clyde Jones, who is very old and also had some kind of tubes in his nose to assist him with breathing. Clyde worked in a mill I think.

At the final hearing with Clyde was Bill. Bill was a known as a friendly figure by the GTRC. I wrote about them for the Peacemaker in 2002. These two men were hardly a threat. I was standing next to Tom Fox when he instructed Randy Garringer to get Clyde's phone number as he left the GTRC final hearing. I told Fox and Garringer that Clyde did not like police. I knew that from my previous relationship with the Browb Summit Grand Dragon. That is what mainly changed his mind about participating. He did not like the police attention.

On the Greensboro Troublemaker I wrote, "It is my opinion that the police had no business having a meeting without notifying the GTRC staff. It makes it look funny as if there are hidden agendas. Therefore, instead of living in conspiracy rumors for the next 25 more years wondering if everything was up front, I put it in front for you."

"There was never any innuendo cast about not having the meeting," Wilson said. "We were kind of amazed at all the people who were interested in covering this. The commission actually hired security. We were surprised that all these security people were coming."

Carruth added: "I actually think the Greensboro Police Department needed to be commended for coming out and offering their service." Wilson and Carruth were Mt Zion Staff.

The GTRC has never investigated this incident fully. They went on the word of an administrative assistant not present in the secret meeting. Without having any knowledge of what was said in the meeting between Mt Zion Officials and the GPD, the Mt Zion staff member alerted the GTRC of the 2pm meeting. The GTRC was already aware of something happening at 2pm as well as some other police opinions because I shared intelligence with them.

The issue of the meeting was not further investigated by the GTRC. However, it is stated as an example of corruption in the "Truth Seeking," section of the report. They ignored the coverage of the incident and obviously did not consider the thoughts of the Mt Zion staff that were present in the meeting the GTRC was not invited to.

"It was a mistake for the police to not invite the commission, Fox said in a Nov. 17 interview, but there was nothing sinister about the meeting." That was from Green's article as well.

4. Surveillance.

In no way was the GTRC staff violated by surveillance. They were on tape because Delilah took Cathy Vance to meet the GTRC Staff. It was Delilah that was the concern. The biggest question I have is who is Delilah? The GTRC staff was provided a photo of Delilah from the Beloved Community Center to help restore the GTRC's memory of being taped. Why did the Beloved community center have a photo of Delilah? Delilah was well known to the Beloved Community Center and allegedly asked Vance on numerous occasions to get involved with the GTRC. She became a concern by asking for confidential records repeatedly.

Once again half a story is told as whole truth. The whole surveillance story is coming quickly together and it is explainable. The GTRC staff was not a focus. They just want us to think they were. I pin pointed who did the taping and alerted the GTRC so an open and honest conversation between taper and tapee could begin. The GTRC never contacted the taper and did not further investigate the surveillance. However, they pass it off as a major discovery that is fully proven as a civil rights violation. The GTRC paints the police department as a shady bunch of thieves. However, GTRC staff mentioned in a letter to Local Atty. Seth Cohen that they had great appreciation for what the former police administration had done for them.

5. The report said the Mayor found it "Unappetizing" to engage in a process that speaks openly about the issues of poverty, labor, capital, race and hate. The GTRC finds it the same. I wrote a comment on their blog about the GTRC's own obvious issues with those topics. The comments were deleted by the GTRC staff.

Some of the things the GTRC used in the Truth Seeking and Resistance section is not truthful. I will leave the mysterious file cabinet investigation alone.

They could have used other examples to show resistance to truth seekers. However, none are as sexy as the half told stories being pushed as facts and violations. It is obvious that they needed to fill an agenda instead of a foundation of well investigated instances to show resistance. They are rumor-mongering. That is the last thing Greensboro needs.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Rebeca said...

If you’re an African American interested in tracing your ancestry, Greensboro Public Library has lots of resources which can help.

3:14 AM  

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