[Vision2020] Prejudgements and the Prejudging Judgers that makethem (was Chamber President and FirstBank)

Saundra Lund sslund at adelphia.net
Sat Aug 28 10:56:58 PDT 2004

Hi Dan,

You wrote, in part:
"I also know of the use of Robert E. Lee as an example of leadership in that
chamber retreat, since I've talked to folks who were there, and know why it
was used, and it's not what you think.  Maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was
the best thing at that time.  You don't know because you weren't there.
Maybe it was a mistake, maybe not.  I guess it all depends on how freakin'
sensitive you are to things.  Maybe I'm insensitive, or maybe I realize that
there aren't going to be slave auctions down at Friendship Square any time
soon.  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY in Moscow would allow this place to become
a neoconfederate stronghold like most on V2020 seems to think it will.
Maybe people need some "insensitivity training" so they don't fly off the
handle at every little thing."

Well, that does it for me.  I've not had much to say, but you've really pushed
my buttons with that.  Needless to say, I strongly disagree with you, Dan  ;-)

IMHO, it was absolutely extremely poor judgment for Commissioner/Executive
Chamber Director Kimmell to CHOOSE to use Robert E. Lee -- complete with
Confederate flag -- as a leadership model for current Board members.  You can be
wishy-washy if you want, but this wasn't a Logos school assignment where he was
*told* who to use (although the material looks like a recycled Logos report) --
AFAIK, this was his very own free choice, and it was an extremely poor choice.
It's a choice he *is* responsible for.

You want to make a big deal out of having talked with community members, and I
can do the same thing.  I, too, am out there in the community, and I cannot tell
you how many people are absolutely outraged (LOL -- even those who don't agree
with me on lots of other things) -- yes, outrage is what it is -- that Kimmell
*chose* Lee for his presentation.  A phrase that's been thrown around quite a
bit recently by Christ Church and its supporters has been, "Have you no shame?"

Well, I turn that right back around to Commissioner/Executive Director Kimmell:
has *he* no shame???  How on earth could he, of all people, make the choice in
our community to highlight Lee as an example of wonderful leadership?

This community, you see, has a *recent* history with the slavery issue, thanks
to a monograph (co-authored by none other than Kimmell's very own controversial
local "pastor") offering a Biblical defense of slavery and trying to rewrite the
history of slavery in this country.  Unlike some who want to offer a ready
defense for the piece of hogwash, I've actually *read* the thing (complete with
"citation errors").  And, it really is most vile, not necessarily (IMHO) because
of the Biblical "defense" of slavery, but because of the absolute horror of
revisionism with respect to slavery in this country.

That nasty little monograph, along with Wilson's continuing disingenuous denials
of having a political agenda, seem to me to have been the flashpoints for the
"polarization" in our community.  The community has been slack-jawed many times
over the years by the anti-women, anti-choice, anti-human rights (to name just a
few) stance of the church hierarchy, and attempting to revise the history of
slavery in this country was the straw that seems to have broken the proverbial
camel's back.

Paul Kimmell is certainly very well aware of that *recent* community history.

Yet, given that history, Kimmell *chose* Lee.  And, that's what I'd call
extremely poor judgment and thoughtlessness -- at a minimum.

It's certainly not rocket history to understand why the community is outraged!
You may think this is a "little thing" for which some of us need "insensitivity
training," but I strongly disagree, and to minimize the effect on a large part
of the community of such an offensive choice is just plain disrespectful, IMHO.

Furthermore, I believe the Chamber and the community is owed an apology for such
a thoughtlessness and (at best) ignorance.  Yes, Dan, there are Chamber members
(even board members -- how do you think the info saw the light of day?) who were
offended, in addition to many, many community members.

If you want to argue some distinction between
Kimmell-as-non-profit-Chamber-Executive-Director and
Kimmell-as-elected-County-Commissioner, that's OK.  And, you can even argue that
Kimmell's presentation was to Chamber Board members and should have never been
made public, something I hear is getting much play amongst those circling the
wagons in defense of Kimmell.

But, you can't un-ring the bell for Kimmell or for the Chamber:  the public
knows, and what Kimmell did as Executive Director for the Chamber not only
offended Board & Chamber members, it justifiably *hurt* many members of our

It is simply unfathomable to me why an apology hasn't been forthcoming.  Quite
frankly, it's bad business -- after all, Kimmell was representing local

I certainly expect more from a business community that wants my business.

But, hey -- that's me.  To each her/his own.  You can choose where to spend your
dollars, and I'll choose where to spend mine.

I'll wind this up by quoting from an interesting little article by Joshua
Michael Zeitz entitled "Rebel Redemption Redux" that was published in Dissent in
Winter 2001.  I highly recommend you read it:
"In the winter of his life, the ex-slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass
took up arms in fierce rhetorical battle for the collective memory of the Civil
War.  "Death has no power to change moral qualities," he admonished a crowd
assembled in 1894 at Rochester's Mt. Hope Cemetery . . . "What was bad before
the war, and during the war, has not been made good since the war . . . Whatever
else I may forget, I shall never forget the difference between those who fought
for liberty and those who fought for slavery."  It was a theme he had been
sounding for almost thirty years -- that national amnesia must not obscure the
crimes of the Confederacy, that the spirit of inter-sectional reunion must not
blot out the moral dimension of the Civil War, that "there was a right side and
a wrong side in the late war which no sentiment out to cause us to forget.""

In Esteemed Memory of Frederick Douglass,
Saundra Lund
Moscow, ID

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do
-Edmund Burke

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