Where’s the Leadership?

Where’s the Leadership?
June 06
00:00 2013

We sure hope that Gov. McCrory can walk and chew gum simultaneously.

It is understandable that Kevin Daniels and others in his administration want to place the focus on the governor’s strong business background and his abilities to use it to spur the economy, but even a mere suggestion that McCrory is so preoccupied with changing the economic tide that he can’t put a leash on the pack of wild Republican dogs in the General Assembly is simply absurd.

Raleigh is burning around him as McCrory purportedly fiddles with numbers. One of the dangers of electing corporate types is that they carry their preoccupations with money into office with them. Numbers and the bottom line become their sole obsession. The public education system is being threatened; voters’ rights are being trampled; and non-profit agencies are being cut-off at the knees, and where’s our governor: clicking a calculator somewhere with a team of other money-men.

Sure, money is our friend, but it can’t be our God. A stronger economy and job growth have the ability to benefit the state as a whole, but must we pay so high a price for benefits that may or may not make their way into our inner-cities and other areas where they are needed?

We suggest McCrory buy a hatrack. As governor, he should be donning several hats each day: peacemaker, leader, advocate for his people. So far, he has proven to be a one-hat man, and we suffer because of it.

Ok, we will say it: sometimes our Caucasian friends baffle us. Such was the case when we learned that the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina was going to hire a branch director at its only black branch – the Winston Lake Family YMCA – instead of an executive director to lead it like other free-standing Forsyth County branches have.
At a series of meetings at the Winston Lake Y in April, members harshly criticized YMCA of Northwest North Carolina CEO Curt Hazelbaker and his top brass for treating the branch as if it were inferior. They complained that for decades, the Winston Lake branch has been relegated to second-class status by the powers that be.

So what does Hazelbaker and crew do to allay those concerns? They give the branch a watered-down leadership position and force it to share an executive director with another



branch across town. Huh?

Perhaps it is just us, but doesn’t placing this set-up at Winston Lake and no other local branch reinforce all the fears and concerns expressed by Winston Lake members? If the powers that be are using Winston Lake as some sort of experiment, they should be reminded that after Tuskegee, black folks don’t take too kindly to being used as guinea pigs.

Hazelbaker justifies the change at the branch by citing its low membership numbers. (It always comes down to numbers with The Suits.) But if the last five months are indicative of the support the branch gets from the local YMCA system, then we understand why Winston Lake is not flourishing like other branches. Although the branch is run by devoted employees and supported by loyal volunteers and members, they can’t lift up the branch to where it belongs by themselves.

We wish the branch all the best. It is, after all, a central part of East Winston heritage and the local black community. We wish Hazelbaker and his crew would enroll in some sort of cultural sensitivity workshop – soon!

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