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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Brain Drain
Jonathan Pait
May 7, 2002

Readers have asked why I have not commented on several things that are happening in the news recently. Others have wondered why the editorials have not had a lot of substance and have dealt more with the logistics of the site and not the issues. There is only one excuse: brain drain.

It isn’t that there have been no things about which to write.

What about our taxes paying for a Jim "lie down on the road" Hodges campaign commercial?

I was shocked to see the commercial with footage from the “Plutonium blockade.” Sure, I know, it was just our Governor encouraging us to join with him in the fight against the evil federal government seeking to plow up our fields and spread toxic waste across the land. Yeah, right. How about we call it a political campaign commercial at taxpayer expense? Oh, what be the joys of incumbency.

If anyone sees the commercial and can send me the number they encourage us to call, I would love to have it. I want to call and say, “Bring it on and make sure you get up plenty speed when you approach the border.”

Oh, another funny thing about that was Stan Spears speaking at First Monday in Greenville. He said he had spoken with Hodges about his blockade and that if the Governor enlisted the Guard, they would go to the location per his command. However, once the federal government arrived, they would have to switch over to their command. Now, doesn’t that conjure up a funny scenario?

One of my favorite pet peeves got its fur rubbed backward after reading Dr. Baxter Wynn’s column, “Diversity is Our Strength” in the Greenville Magazine.

Our diversity is not our strength. I get so tired of hearing this. Even Mr. Wynn’s article contradicts the title.

He tells the story of Samir who moved to the US in 1995. He moved to Greenville with his family and then his family joined him in 2000. Currently, he owns Laurens Road Subway and his children have attended Greenville County schools.

The article goes on to describe some of the negative things that have happened since September 11. The son, Mohammed, has been called “Osama Ben Junior.” Lara, in the 10th grade, often feels uncomfortable at the way people look at her.

Folks, that is the result of diversity. When diversity is our focus, it by very definition divides us. When we see our American brothers and sisters as African, Muslim, Irish, Catholic, Protestant, fat, skinny. . . you get the picture; we are dividing. It is when we take to heart the concept of “out of many, one” that we get beyond such actions experienced by the Suwwans.

We have created a culture of mistrust. Each group is out to see what they can get from the other groups. We have celebrated our diversity at the expense of our unity. Samir has it right. The column says his “advice is to treat everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of race, color or religion.”

I would be the last to say we should not be proud of our heritage and origins. I would be the last to say that we should give up our beliefs in order to avoid conflict. However, we need to learn to accept one another even though we may be diverse. We need to look at protecting the right for us to disagree and then treating each other with respect when the issues conflict.

America needs a common cause. Our neighborhoods need a common cause. There are principles on which this nation is founded with which we should all agree. Let’s resurrect those principles and unify around them. Unity is Our Strength.

Anyway, the reason the editorials have not been very “deep” or very often is because there are major changes going on behind the scenes. Things are looking good and the new CommonVoice.com will definitely become a reality this month.

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