Don’t blame ALL of us

Published 11:47 am Thursday, April 23, 2015

To the Editor:

You do not punish an entire community for the actions of a few people. In other words, you DON’T cancel the Watermelon Festival.

Look, I can almost get it.  When you are broke, you’re broke and let’s face it, if the economy isn’t bad enough to cite for a reason to cancel an event, the national debt is certainly enough.  But that’s not the only reason the Watermelon Festival canceled, even though the event’s committee, as I read online, said, “over the past few years the community and society have seen changes that have negatively affected the respect and desire for the mission of the festival.”

Aside from the obvious option to charge an entry fee for the festival in order to offset whatever economic difficulties in these grave times of peril, I’ll just assume the executive committee explored every possibility to save the Watermelon Festival.  What I don’t understand is why the committee had to state that changes have negatively affected the respect and desire for the mission of the festival.

I find it odd that a committee who selects vendors through an application process will talk about changes in the community that have negatively affect the mission of the festival as if fried chicken and funnel cakes became unhealthy overnight or as if they lack the authority to select vendors who can provide healthy options.

This committee blamed the community and since I no longer live in Hertford County, it’s really not my business anyway.  However, this committee also blamed “society” and since I am part of “society” I feel as though this is something we should really talk about.

What did I do?  How have I failed society?  What changes have I made that were so catastrophic you decide to cancel an entire festival robbing little girls their first local opportunity to be judged on their looks for a beauty title?  I also happen to be one of those citizens in society to promote, attend, and volunteer for activities in my local community. I am also non-violent and I honor my civic duty by voting in elections.  So really, what did I do to you? I’m pretty sure I really didn’t do anything wrong, so there was no reason to insult me and my efforts as a member of society.

I’m sure the executive committee considered charging fees, having the festival during daylight hours or less than four days. I’m sure this committee considered every avenue to save this historic event and I’m sure they struggled over this decision for months. But for the record it doesn’t feel like they did anything but insult me as a member of society and something as trivial as my apparently mediocre contributions to all mankind. This committee has some nerve to blame ALL OF US.

I apologize to the respectable members of this committee if my comments sting a bit.  I am merely writing this, as an example to illustrate some things should go unsaid.  You don’t have to insult good people in the local community (and the entire world for that matter) to justify the decision you made.

I do agree with you in part; the world and society have changed.  There was a time when we wouldn’t punish everyone for the actions of a few.  There was a time when people were active agents in their community and wouldn’t take this mess. There was a time when the spirit of responsibility permeated small towns throughout America.  But that time is gone and it has been replaced by apathy, blame shifting and a blatant disregard for tradition.

It is in cancelling this event that this committee becomes part of the problem that they have complained about and you know who’s going to pay for it? The folks who know how to act, or the good apples, pay that price.

C. Woods

Miami, FL