An updated, edited, more comprehensive version of this rant can be found on The Fedora Chronicles
In my hands I have this short stack of pages all stapled together on the left hand side. On the front over there’s a map of this town pirated from Google Maps and inside there are other maps that illustrate the center of town the way it is now and how it could be again if we all just “cooperate.” I’ll admit that there are a couple of good ideas but the question remains – how are we going to pay for any of these ideas and can we take just the good ones and ignore or delete the bad ones?
“Bad ones?” you ask. On some of these maps there are “shopping,” “business” and community centers proposed right where people already have homes and/or business already. This committee suggested that “The Town Of Rindge” seize these homes in North Rindge at “fair market value” via “Imminent domain.”
There are also aspects of this “Charette” (the name they gave this proposal) that suggest that some parts of the town (or the whole town) be “rezoned” to accommodate smaller buildings. As it is now, you need a minimum amount of anchorage before you can build – part of this ‘proposal’ suggest that we turn minimize that minimum to just 1 acre … or a half… maybe… depends on who you ask. That (might) mean that if you own a 5 acre lot, the new zoning laws will turn that into individual 1 acre lots (all bunched together) and your taxes (might) go up. …Depending on which expert you ask.
A small group of people actually read this proposal and have concluded that this isn’t good for this town. They took what they learned and made an effort to tell their friends and neighbors – “Hey, we don’t think this is good for this town, we gotta divorce it from the actual town’s master development plan.”
Before I got on the bandwagon I asked a lawyer friend of mine to read it and give me his thoughts; his conclusion that this short stack of paper be a bane for some but could be a boon for others. It could cripple some people who want to start a business out of their home, it might not. The problem with this “Charette” is the ambiguity. If the town commits to making this their actual plan you could see your taxes go up while your property values go down.
(Again, I’m abbreviating because I’m dancing too close to 500 words here… just to the point where I might lose your attention. I bet there are some lurkers who are reading this screaming “you’re over-simplifying!” Yea… no kidding, ya think? )
Other people looked at this, didn’t like it. Some people actually spoke up at one of the town meeting I attended and said that they read it and it’s pretty clear that this contains a plan to remove them from their homes to put something in its place to give other people the sense of a community.
This past March “The Town” put it to a vote – should we keep the Charette or exclude it from the town’s over-all development plan. The voters said ‘get rid of it’ via an overwhelming majority.
Since then there have been a handful of people (some who were involved with it’s development) cried foul. Voting against this thing is “racist” and against “poor brown people” – says the white people who were in favor of the Charette.
To clearify – the pro-charette clan now claim that these people who were against it are “racist.” The people in West Rindge who were going to be displaced via Imminent domain? According to the pro-Charette people: RACISTS!
On what basis does one become a racist because they don’t agree with a development plan that doesn’t mention race? White people who are for something can claim that other white people who are against must be… what? Just make something up. That’s like saying that people who doesn’t like anchovies are UNIX experts.
Now, I asked the question publicly – how is voting this “plan” out racist? What evidence do you have that the people who don’t like this are bigoted? Give me some quotes, screen shots, audio recordings… anything to prove that the people who were against this plan are racist.
Nothing. No response… except I’m no longer “Facebook friends” of some of the people who are charging the Anti-Charette people with racism. Well, now they’ve moved on to calling the deletion of the charette with book-burning, an obvious allusion to Nazism.
There’s more detail to this that I’m oversimplifying this for brevity sake(because graphic designers and digital artists don’t have time to read about bullshit that involves a town they don’t even live in…) but this bundle of paper called “The Rindge Charette” caused a big stir.
Why is this important for graphic designers? This is “Fisk’s Graphic Design Blog” after all.
Business is good for graphic designers. If you have business coming into the region and you’re a good graphic designer you’ll always have enough work. You could also have enough steady work to start your own Advertising/Marketing company. So long as the business climate around you is fine your bottom line should remain in The Black.
Local controversies like this – especially when it comes to politics – could also kill your career if you’re not careful taking sides. There’s a fine line between being involved with local issues because it does affect you and taking a side that’s too controversial. Some might go out of their way to ruin you for retribution for what you said and done. At the same time – as part of that balancing act – not taking aside and not being involved might be detrimental, could be misconstrued as waiting for one side to win before you pick aside.
I picked my side when I saw, read and heard some of my friends we being called racist – including some of my Hispanic friends were tainted with that label. The audacity of white people calling Hispanic people racist is beyond irresponsible; it’s reprehensible.
As to the name-callers; I can have an honest and even heated debate with literally any reasonable person on almost any subject and I pride myself on admitting when I’m wrong or misinformed. I quit debating with people when they’re obviously losing and frustrated and thus resort to name calling because my continued participation might be misconstrued as an endorsement of that person or obstinate views.
The charges of “book burring” is an obvious reference to Nazism in the Nineteen-Thirties, egregious – especially after your claims that anyone who voted against The Charatte is “racist” and “hates brown people”- immature, immoral and unfounded charges like that means that whatever moral-ground you had is lost.
For me, your credibility and even respect is diminished. You’re not the person I thought you were if that’s what you really think of people who simply want Rindge’s future in the hands of Rindge citizens, period. You can justify it all you want, but to resort to calling people harsh names like “racist” reveals a cruel and ignorant streak ingrained in your very nature.
My only regret is that I didn’t “unfriend” you first.