Thank you Councilor Renaud

Published: 9/6/2019 10:58:53 AM
Modified: 9/6/2019 10:58:41 AM

As a white guy — one not thin-skinned — I would like to thank City Council President Renaud for her years of service to the town. I’m not at all rankled by her observation that the next military-style assault weapon massacre unleashed on the public would likely come from someone who looks like me. That’s not identity politics, that’s reality. I’m a grown-up, and me thinks my fellow blokes protest too much.

How many millions of dollars has this male fascination and love of guns and explosives cost taxpayers in towns across this country in outfitting “hardened” schools and public buildings? It’s well past time the gun lobby and the NRA were held accountable for the costs they’ve foisted on society – and for the fear they’ve injected into the lives of school children.

I have admired Renaud’s fairness, deliberation and honesty while serving in office. She is not one of those select few councilors who look like me that have indulged in bullying and fear-mongering in town deliberations — and the petty rule-manipulation and “I’m taking my ball and going home!” moves at the last minute when they just didn’t like not getting their way.

Democracy is all about standing up to bullies. Renaud, in her daily life and work-a-day job, embodies that. I’ve never looked at the real local heroes at the edges of our communities, the brown people in the Greenfield and Deerfield onion and cucumber fields working under the blistering summer sun, and thought to myself: “Pick my salad, and then go home!” I’ve always admired people who work for the betterment of working people — of all stripes. Though Rudy Renaud has seen more than her share of threats and bullying, including by the hidden cowardly trolls that attack from the shadows on-line, she has responded with rare courage and grace.

It’s time to grow up gentlemen. It’s time to stand for something, and stand up to the bullies, rather than protesting that the problems in our civil deliberations “are nothing to do with me!” I’ll miss Karen Renaud on the Council, but I look forward to seeing the ending of the terms of those bully-types in city government. Democracy takes care of all people, not just those that look-like or agree, with you. It does not seek to run people on fear or anger. Thank you Councilor Renaud.

Karl Meyer is a resident of Greenfield.

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