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Resilient People in Repulsive Times Always Win the Fight for Fair & Inclusive Democracy

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

by Lent C. Carr, II for Hoke County Commissioner 2022 - January 6, 2022

Lent C. Carr, II, Candidate for Hoke County Commissioner 2022

Photo Credited to Emmaus Corp. Embassy Digital Media Company

Phot Credited to Emmaus Corp. Embassy Digital Media Company

Left of Photo Supporter Annie Wilkins, and Right of Photo Lent C. Carr, II, Candidate for County Commissioner

Hoke County, NC— by Lent C. Carr, II

January 6, 2022

As a Pastor/General Bishop of multiple Churches, and a Human and Civil Rights Activist and National President for The National Congressional Voting Caucus for Human Rights Organization, I often tell my Parishioners/Staff that if they strive to achieve full and meaningful lives they should expect failures and disappointments.

We learn to walk by falling down again and again. We learn to ride a bicycle by crashing into things. We learn to make good friends by being disappointed in friendship. Failure and disappointment are necessary prerequisites to growth. undoubtedly we as Hoke Countians have bore our share of disappointments and broken promises Election after Election with current and previous County Commissioners who’ve failed We The People time and time again. Let’s just be real and open here as the affected.

The real test of character comes after failures and disappointments. It is resilience — how easily you take failures, what you learn from them, how you bounce back.

This is a hard lesson to learn for high-achievers who are used to jumping over every hoop put in front of them. It’s also a hard lesson for people who haven’t had all the support and love they might have needed when growing up. In fact, it’s a hard lesson for almost everyone in a culture such as ours that worships success and is embarrassed by failure, and is inherently impatient.

Why am I telling you this now? Because we have gone through a few very difficult years right here in Hoke County and The United States— Donald Trump’s racist nationalism and his attacks on our democracy, a painful reckoning with systemic racism, police brutalities of our black; brown; Hispanic, Naitive American, and poor White Citizens, not to mention murders of our Men and Women in Blue who are not part of a rouge few, angry political divisions, a deadly pandemic accompanied by a recession, and climate hazards such as floods and wildfires. We assumed everything would be fine again once these were behind us.

But we now find ourselves in a disorienting limbo. There is no clearly-demarcated “behind us.” The pandemic still lurks. The economy is still worrisome. Hoke Countians continue to be deeply angry with each other—the old-political guard regime vs. the new millennium Progressives who are fed up with being governed by an autocratic governing body of five— maybe minus one Commissioners who’ve made transparency, accountability and the rule of law of no effect.

Let’s not forget that Trump and other insurrectionists have not yet been brought to justice. Democracy is still threatened.

And for all his hard efforts, Biden and the Democrats have been unable to achieve the scale of changes many of us wanted and expected. Once again by obstructionist Republicans and even out of touch Moderate Democrats of yesteryear.

If you’re not at least a bit disappointed, you’re not human. To some of you, it feels like Hoke County and America is failing. And I believe you’re right in that assessment. Even the way this County Board administers the People’s business causes one to feel as though they’re residents of a “state” within a “State.” But such failures can be cured once The People Demand Change by voting out those who are stalling doable growth, and replacing them with compassionate Servant/Representatives who will do the Will of the mass to wit consensus engagements that’s truly heard and adhered to regardless of party affiliation. Now that approach is democracy at work.

But bear with me. I’ve learned a few things in my decades of life involvements in and around politics, and my many years teaching young people. One is that things often look worse than they really are. Nevertheless can literally change by one Vote— not complaints of seeing what you know is wrong, but electing to turn your head to such egregious acts due to familiarity of a particular hometown candidate, oil slick tongues of old, and who’s who political and civic club membership that produces the same results every election round. That my fellow citizens is insanity.

The media (including social media) sells subscriptions and advertising with stories that generate anger and disappointment, and even are often times partial to specific candidates by running half stories in order to insulate politicians who guarantee them advertisement dollars and sensational local stories that does nothing to create jobs, human infrastructure, physical infrastructure, and the creation of sound policy making that lifts the whole of us. The same goes for the views of pundits and commentators: Pessimists always appear wiser than optimists.

Another thing I’ve learned is that expectations for a new re-elected governing body and decade old career politicians are always much higher than they can possibly deliver. Our political system was designed to make it difficult to get much done, at least in the short run. So the elation that comes with the election of someone we admire almost inevitably gives way to disappointment. A third thing: In addition to normal political constraints, positive social change comes painfully slowly. It can take years, decades, sometimes a century or longer for a society to become more inclusive, more just, more democratic, more aware of its shortcomings and more determined to remedy them. But the longer The People wait to eradicate outdated visionary sorts of politicians who has not delivered within a decade or more on their empty promises will inevitably destroy what little fabric of hope left in lifting our Community. And such positive changes are often punctuated by lurches backward. I believe in progress as a “Progressive Democrat because I’ve seen so much of it in my lifetime, but I’m also aware of the regressive forces that constantly threaten it. The lesson here is tenacity — playing the long game with a short term action plan that with the right majority can propel inclusive change almost immediately with viable result.

Which brings me back to resilience. We have been through a difficult time. We wanted and expected it to be over — challenges overcome, perpetrators brought to justice, pandemic ended, nation healed, politics transformed. But none of it is over. The larger goals we are fighting for continue to elude us. Yet we must continue the fight. If we allow ourselves to fall into fatalism, or wallow in disappointment, or become resigned to what is rather than what should be, we will lose the long game. The greatest enemy of positive social change is cynicism about what can be changed.

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