A message to the agitators: When enough is simply enough


We get it.

You made your point.

You came, you did your thing.

Now please take your mess somewhere else.

We understand. Chatham County, and Pittsboro in particular, happens to be where a battle is raging. It’s complicated, complex and a bit messy. It’s unfortunate, and sad. It’s unpleasant, in many ways, to watch. It’s both a legal conundrum and a political one. It’s emotional and upsetting for many. It’s unsettling, for sure, and things have happened here which have many of wish had been handled differently.

But it IS, and we’re all working our way through it.

Along the way, what’s taken place — taking place — has perhaps enraged you and your ilk.

You want to help settle the issue, once and for all. Might makes right — right?

Thanks, but no thanks.

Seriously. No thank you.

Trust us: we can do it without you.

We just don’t need you.

Listen. Yes, we do get it.

And we know who you are. You’re opportunists. You’re angry. You’re soldiers of circumstance. You’re looking for a fight. You live in an agitated world of rabble-rousers, of troublemakers. You yell. You curse. Some of you even spit, push, shove, trespass, confront, harangue, insult, threaten, belittle, accuse. You’d like nothing more than to throw an elbow — proverbial or literal — into someone, anyone, who has a different worldview than you. “That’ll teach ‘em,” you think. You thrill in nothing more than “getting your back up,” as our moms used to say, or hoping to record some video of a tangle, a skirmish, a dust-up that will prove to those like you that the other guys are the bad ones, that you’re in the right. You’re right, everyone else is wrong, and that’s that.

But you’re in the wrong place, and you’re doing it the wrong way, in a way that’s hurting us.

Anger and hate are your guiding values. Too many of you seek out opportunities where violence could result. Different, more serious, than the most vile playground behavior, but on the 3rd-grade mentality level just the same.

It’s what you are used to.

Not us.

It may be the environment in which you feel at home, but hear this: That’s not our world.

So stop bringing it here.

Sure, you may think you were invited. Maybe some of you were. You feel compelled, drawn. Needed.

You think you can fix it.

It’s about numbers, you say. You have to be here, you tell each other. Clout. Weight. Presence. Rights. Heritage. History. Chest-thumping at its best.

You use social media, message boards, networks, bullhorns, walkies, signs. You bully. You engage in subterfuge. You scream. You sneak. Some of you have even leveled death threats at our elected officials, our county commissioners. You pile on. You point fingers and blame. You engage in competition to see who can be the most snide, the most clever, the most loyal. To see whose banner is still waving high at the end of the day. To some of you, it’s a contest of who has the bestest and baddest bullies.

But you’re not adding to the conversation.

Really. You are not adding anything to the conversation.

It’s worse because you’re here.

You’re an unwelcome distraction, an uninvited guest who’s brought the stench of hate with you, and you’re stinking up our county.

It’s time to leave. To stop coming here on Saturdays, or any other day, and never, ever come back.

Do you really believe that our local folks, most of whom who are peaceably exercising their Constitutional rights without being jerks about it, can’t succeed without you?

We know you’re not stupid. But you are deceived. And blind to the damage you’re doing.

Intentional or not, you’ve made downtown Pittsboro a flashpoint. Your stench is doing what stench usually does: attracting more flies, more pests. And maggots. Sure, you and your various activists groups are getting your mugs on television, and your petulance gets posted and re-posted on Saturday afternoons as you smirk and prance and generally parade your ill-fitting conception of truth around a town, and a county, that’s not yours.

You’re hurting our businesses and others who are honestly trying to work and make a living. Or pass through Chatham County.

You’re used to disruption, because you live in that constant state.

Don’t make us live in it, too.

Some of you are carrying guns and other weapons. Why? To defend yourself, to defend your beliefs? With a bullet?

Take that junk somewhere else.

Yes. We get it. Even Chathamites on opposite sides in this fight get it, too. Ask them. They’re tired of you, your antics, your show, your meanness. You? You don’t have to live here when this is over.

We do. It’s our home.

Remember home? That place you came from?

Go back there.

Don’t come back here.

If we want to come out on the other side of this with any degree of harmony at all, then harmony must be an ingredient going in. What you and your fellow agitators are doing is nothing more than a recipe for disaster. Garbage in, garbage out.

And more stench.

As a result, any real work the people of Chatham County will do will have to be done in spite of you.

Which is why you’re no longer necessary.

You’re an interference. You’re even at odds with some, or many, of those who feel the same way about the statue that you do. And when it’s over, the rest of us left to pick up the pieces will have more in common with neighbors who feel differently on this issue because, after all, we’ll still be neighbors.

And where will you be?

Making a mess somewhere else.

So get on with that. If you really want to have a sacred duty, let it be this: trust us to figure this out in a way that works for us.

Because what you’re doing isn’t working.