Durham is Truly A-Maze-ing
Min. Paul Scott
It started off as an easy task, last June. I just wanted to go to
the post office, check my mail and go home.
Simple, right? Not in Durham.
What started off as a simple trip to the post office
ended up being a journey through the streets of
Durham. Anyone who entered into the
matrix formerly known as downtown Durham, last Spring can "feel me" on this one.
However, for those critics who are asking
"why in the world would I want to go downtown." Let me
hip you to the facts.
If you have dared venture east of Brightleaf Square
earlier this year you would have found yourself bombarded with detour signs; signs that lead you from one detour to another.
Although, I have lived here for more than 20 years
and thought that I knew every nook and cranny in the
Bull City, last June I found myself following a
little old lady with out of state tags who for some
strange reason I assumed knew where she was going.
After taking a few wrong turns, we found ourselves
exchanging confused looks in the parking lot of the
As I sat in the parking lot drawing a makeshift map to
sell to out of towners, I thought about how the detour
ridden downtown area is similar to the City of
Medicine's political scene.
Durham is one of those cities where old south
conservatism often clashes with new south progressive
idealism. Many times, this is a good thing, as by
nature a culturally diverse community needs a
diversity of ideas.
Historically, Durham politics has been dominated by a
handful of powerful and smooth talking public
interest groups all claiming to possess the best
solution for the city's problems.
While the grouping of political ideologies is standard
practice in any Democracy, it becomes problematic when
these groups only represent the powerful few and no
longer represent the aspirations of the struggling
Although, these organizations are very visible when
election time comes around or when it is time to put
another face in a high place, they are rarely seen
addressing the needs of the everyday citizens in the
off season. The representatives of these groups give
grandiose stump speeches about how their organization
is best qualified to lead the masses of Durham folks
through all the detours into the proverbial promise
land. However, the underlying issue always seems to
be what group's crony gets the fat contract to paint
more detour signs while the everyday citizens remain
as lost as ever.
This is not limited to Durham, however, as there is
alarge segment of the population who identify with
neither the Republicans nor the Democrats. Yes, there
are people who's views are neither represented by the
highly conservative Fox News nor the liberal National
Locally, you might say that neither WPTF nor WUNC
"rep the hood nor the trailer park.”
Durham, like the rest of this country, needs a new
voice that speaks for all the people of Durham, not
just the chosen few. Someone who speaks for the
average Joe who only wants to put food on his
family's table, a roof over their heads and have them
live in a safe neighborhood. Although Durham's
political groups seem overly sympathetic to my
concerns during election time, I doubt if any of them
really cared that my million dollar check from Ed
McMahon might have been waiting for me in my mail box while I was
lost at the corner of Main and Roxboro.
As we enter into the upcoming political season you
will hear, ad nauseam, these groups trying to sell you
on the promise that they have a new direction for
Durham and how one group is good and the other the
epitome of evil.
But when all is said and done , I think that most
people are just like me.
We're just trying to get to the Post Office.
Min. Paul Scott will launch his "Cut the Bull" Campain Saturday September 22
For more information conatc (919) 451-8283