Wednesday, January 29, 2020 … 10:00 A.M.

It will be more than merely difficult for me to get this piece written and posted. I do not like being attacked as a racist for opposing this or any other project.

I simply will not let such a charge stand. My lifetime of work for Shreveport dictates it.

Yesterday’s City Council vote to reject the Cross Bayou Point plan of Councilman Willie Bradford and CPB point-man Larry English was and is NOT – in any way – about race.

I watched and carefully listened to yesterday’s “debate” … soured by charges of racism.

Now, various comments on my social media page reek of those sentiments.

Shreveport, clearly, is searching for a bottom to its accelerating decline, and yesterday’s meeting certainly dug that hole much, much deeper.

None of the four City Council members who voted against this awful plan did so based on race. Their words were and remain clear on that point … and are in the public record of the City Council over the past many months.

To underscore that fact, as if speaking for all four of those members, here is what Councilwoman LeVette Fuller told the Shreveport Times after she cast her “NO” vote:

“We’re not in a position to even enter into these negotiations, currently. I believe we need to work on getting our house in order before we start doing stuff like this. In addition to that, I wasn’t satisfied with the answers I received to my many questions at multiple points during this entire process.”

Rejection of this thing is just that easy to explain, except to those who so noxiously blame it on race.

To scream “RACE!” in Shreveport’s auditorium of community decision-making is not only regrettable, it is dangerous.

From the jump, in the many articles I have researched and written on this plan, one thing has not varied to a single degree: Shreveport does not have the money to do this or any other such project.

In fact, Shreveport may never again have enough money for such a project.

We cannot afford it!

We CANNOT afford it!

How does something that obvious lead to such an awful outcome as yesterday’s meeting?

Simple: money … our money. Money some very few others want for themselves, to hell with the rest of us.

My advice to the subject haters is simple: you have taken point in convincing a lot of people here that there is NO hope for Shreveport. THAT is how godawful this plan and the attached racism is.

How do we know? By the mix of people who oppose it, including our own Downtown Development Authority, which some few of us have worked with and for over decades. Their opposition mattered … a lot.

So does the opposition of Councilwoman Fuller. If this was about race, I have no doubt she would have found it impossible to cast her “No” vote.

I’m done with the racists here and everywhere else I run into them … no matter their race.

Done. Finished. No more silence.

Entertaining their hatred is something I can no longer afford.

Facts and history and logic matter. They do not support any such hatred.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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