Upon , I immediately planned a march through downtown Geneva, held a candlelight vigil, and sang a few rousing choruses of We Shall Overcome for good measure. The only thing missing were the fire hoses, attack dogs and—oh, yeah—the lynchings.
Declaring, “This is not a speech about black history, but it is about prejudice; that is, about ignorance,” at the Feb. 27 School Board meeting, Geneva TaxFACTS member and Kane County Chronicle opinion columnist Rick Hollinger called out those who would call out his activist compatriots for “stirring up trouble.”
“Lately, it has become fashionable to call someone who commits himself to bettering his community an activist, loudmouth or egomaniac,” Hollinger added. “And if polite society believes someone is pushing too hard or too long, he might even be accused of trying to wrest control of government.”
Wait a minute! I think he’s talking about me! Though I don’t recall using the specific words “loudmouth” and “egomaniac,” I certainly thought about it. On the other hand, I always thought the term “activist” didn’t come with a downside.
Before we continue, let me stipulate that that Mr. Hollinger and I both came up through the former Tri-Cities Suns newspapers, we’ve been friends since that time, and I was the one who conned the Chronicle into considering him because I believe he has something to say.
But this time, he’s completely gone off the deep end. Comparing the TaxFACTS crowd’s antics to the peaceful protests of the 1960s civil rights marchers? Should a reader ever accuse me of too-frequently traveling the hyperbolic road, I would probably plead guilty. But after reading about Hollinger’s remarkable juxtaposition, let’s just say I don’t want to hear any of you complain about me taking literary license ever again.
Even trying to write self-appointed TaxFACTS ringmaster Bob McQuillan’s name in the same sentence with Martin Luther King’s almost makes my head explode. One had a dream while the other tends to be a nightmare.
If, for some inexplicable reason, you previously doubted my claims that this group harbors a particular brand of megalomania, you need doubt no more.
To be fair, Hollinger’s peculiar comparison was primarily directed at District 304 School Board members whom he claims too easily lumps the TaxFACTs group into the “trouble maker” category.
But later that evening, in a delicious irony, as if to prove there’s nothing the board can do to make them happy, he and some other Geneva residents had the nerve to ask the board to provide access to meeting video with a fast forward or rewind capability.
Presently, video of board meetings is only available on a Comcast Channel 10 broadcast.
So what they’re essentially saying is, “We want you to spend even more time on our already insistent demands so we can continue to play the gotcha game by reviewing board meetings with that fine-toothed comb and then posting out-of-context video snippets on our website that will make you look really bad and rally more people to our cause.
Unbelievable! Another prime example of TaxFACTS’ we-demand-all-your-attention-all-the-time mentality.
Here’s a thought! Take out your iPhones, point the little glassy thing at the dais, and hit the “record” button.
Failing that, I have one simple word for FACTS: “TiVo!” I’ve been recording all manner of municipal meetings for the better part of a decade. Then You can fast forward and rewind to your heart’s content. We even have a TiVo that can upload videos to the Internet.
In another almost-as-massive irony, though FACTS wouldn’t have you believe a word they say, the Association of School Business Officials International just presented the District 304 board with their award for having met or exceeded financial reporting and accountability standards.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing about some conspiracy there, too.
But what really frosts my cookies is, after administering verbal blow after blow, TaxFacts folks somehow fantasize they can turn this whole thing around and make it appear like they’re the aggrieved party—and do it with a straight face.
Is our School Board perfect? Far from it! But I’ve lately been perceiving the kind of effort for which they deserve at least a minimum of credit.
Though I certainly appreciate FACTS going this far out of their way to prove my previous points—"prejudice," "civil rights" and we shall overcome? I had no idea middle class white folks were so oppressed.
Get a grip. guys! You’re actually starting to make the Tea Party look good.