Mayor Davis Steals Back Gandhi Show from the Protesters

Mayor Robb Davis faces protestors as he speaks
Mayor Robb Davis faces protestors as he speaks

If the protesters were disappointed with their numbers – substantially lower than the 100 to 200 they were hoping for, they made up for it with their presence which threatened to overshadow the dedication of the Gandhi statue with speeches from among others Senator Lois Wolk and the Indian Consulate General.

Throughout the speeches, the protesters made up of primarily Sikhs, unhappy that the legacy of Gandhi has been celebrated, chanted things such as “Gandhi Gandhi, Shame Shame,” and others which would have be less appropriate for an event with numerous children singing songs and reading poetry.

But Mayor Robb Davis stole it back, turning to face the protestors and for a few impassioned minutes, all were silent and riveted on the words of the mayor.

The Gandhi statue
The Gandhi statue
I would like to address my remarks to the statue. Welcome to Davis, California Mr. Gandhi. That is “where” you are but I wonder if you know “when” you are—not the exact year (it is 2016) but the “when” in terms of the evolution of society and the evolution of the human heart.
Over the past generation mighty empires and smaller states have crumbled and splintered, leaving behind a growing tribalism and violence… and war that has become the background noise of our lives.
And within this nation, demographers tell us that we have nearly completed the successful physical “sorting” of ourselves into communities that are homogeneous in thought and ideology. We also sort ourselves “virtually” tuning out the views with which we do not agree and surrounding ourselves only with opinions we already hold.
And what of our hearts? In our age Nietzsche’s superman has met Rand’s Galt at the altar of hyperconsumption and that union has begat an offspring called narcissistic autonomy—a child that wills to be left alone to pursue personal peace and security. And we have accepted this child into our hearts. We have sought autonomy but have obtained only anomie.
Like sheep we have gone astray, each one turning to his or her own way.
And while we have not killed the God or the gods as Nietzsche’s madman suggested, we have certainly driven them out. We are abandoned to ourselves. But we still hear that voice—the same one that mythical Cain of old heard from the God after he had slaughtered his brother. That voice asked: “Cain, where is your brother?” 
The voice we hear asks us:
Where is your black brother?
Where is your immigrant sister?
Where is your refugee brother?
Where is your war oppressed sister?
But unlike Cain, who knowing his sin petulantly responded “Am I my brother’s keeper?”, we stand arms folded across our chests and boldly retort:
“I am NOT by brother’s keeper “
I am not my sister’s keeper.”
And like Cain, we find ourselves abandoned.
This is the “when” into which you have come Mr. Gandhi. 
And so we ask: Can you save us Mr. Gandhi?
Why have you come?
Who are you or perhaps more appropriately WHAT are you Mr. Gandhi?
Are you merely a symbol?
Currency in a patron/client exchange?
Brand India?
A god revered by some?
A scapegoat hated by others?
What will you do here Mr. Gandhi?
What will you do with them (gesture to protesters)? Will you dismiss them as a slice of nothing? As terrorists? Will you minimize them? Or will you approach them to engage them? To hear their stories even as they hurl their vitriol at you? Can you become their friend through the non-violent conflict resolution methods you taught?
So many questions… Despite them, we welcome you Mr. Gandhi.
We welcome you… but with some amount of fear.
Fear because it is not yet clear what we will do with YOU.
Will we hide behind you, to block out the conflict all around us, to shield our eyes from the violence all the while proclaiming we are peacemakers because, after all, we have our Gandhi statue? Will we ask you to shield us from the brokenness of our world? To merely check the box that says we have done our part for peace?
Or will we walk beside you like children, clutching your hand, hoping beyond hope that in some talismanic way you will cause the conflict to cease? Will we seek to derive a magical power from your presence, asking you to solve our conflicts because we feel incapable of doing so?
Or… will we walk before you to face the conflict born of our autonomy quest, our narcissism, our anomie? Will we engage it OURSELVES as peacemakers: turning the other cheek again, and again, and again—as you suggested we MUST—in order to move beyond the casual violence of neglect, to peace and reconciliation. May we find the strength to do the latter—to walk before you—thereby beginning the long process of putting an end to the “great turning away”—the great exclusion—so that we might rediscover human embrace.
Welcome to Davis Mr. Gandhi.
Sham Goyal speaks during his introductory remarks
Sham Goyal speaks during his introductory remarks
Mayor Davis receives certificate
Mayor Davis receives certificate
Senator Lois Wolk speaks
Senator Lois Wolk speaks

The Mayor’s remarks followed those of Senator Lois Wolk who invoked the spirit of the first amendment.  She told the protestors, “I have listened to you, you have the right to be here, but I also have the right to speak.”

She called Gandhi, “one of the greatest teachers of peace and non-violence and passive resistance in the twentieth century.”  She said, “He taught that change can take place without violence.”

Among the leaders of the protests was Attorney Amar Shergill.  He told the Vanguard prior to the march, “It’s simply shameful that the city of Davis through its council has allowed the government of India to place a statue here about a man that exhibited horrible racism throughout his life, pedophilia.  And more than that, the Indian government is using the myth of Gandhi to obscure the ongoing brutalization of minorities, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, in India.”

“This is not a matter of ancient history,” Mr. Shergill explained.  “This is what’s going on right now.  So we’re protesting not only to address the truth of Gandhi, but also to possibly save the lives in India right now.”

Mr. Shergill said, “We need to bring truth to Davis.  Davis is a progressive town.  They’re willing to listen.  They just haven’t heard this story.  So today is an opportunity to make sure that people in Davis hear the truth that their council turned a blind eye to… and by educating people here, we can make sure that a Hollywood myth is not propagated anymore.”

Gandhi-7 Gandhi-11 Gandhi-4 Gandhi-2 Gandhi-14 Gandhi-3 Gandhi-15

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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98 Comments

      1. Biddlin

        How is Key Riced a racial epithet? That deceptive edit was a yellow dog move. You allow a blatantly racist avatar every day, but edit a homophone designed not to offend your fundamentalist readers? This is bull crap.

  1. Tia Will

    “Just a ….. statue”

    And the American flag is just a flag. And look at all the emotion that has been stirred up by both supporters and detractors of the actions of Colin Kaepernick.

    Likewise with the Confederate flag. Just a flag, and yet consider the years and years of dissension based on differing meanings to different groups of people

    Our symbols including statues, flags, religious symbols….., matter deeply to many members of our community even if they are not of great importance to some. A little empathy might be in order.

    1. hpierce

      Does that empathy apply to statues in public parks in Davis of someone, who say, has the numbering of years in our calendar based on an approximation of his birth?  Am guessing not.

      Am sensing a ‘deification’ of Ghandi.  An effective person (in establishing a ‘state’, independent of British colonial rule…  and also the seed in creating a divisiveness that still exists ~ 70 after his death), to be sure, but cannot think of another statue of an identifiable person in a public park in Davis.

      This is going to be interesting…

      1. Tia Will

        hpierce

        Empathy is never directed at a statue. I certainly do have empathy for the feelings of those who would like to see a statue of Jesus in a public place. But would they have the same empathy for the same sized placement of a statue of the Buddha, or a symbol of Islam, or worse yet for some I am sure a statue of the devil for the Satanists amongst us ?  I suspect not. This is one of the reasons that we have separation of church and state, which is in my mind, where the difference lies between your comment and the current statue.

        1. hpierce

          Apparently they do [have empathy or disinterest]… saw no reference to Jewish, Christian, or Muslim protesters…

          There are certainly questions about Ghandi’s view of women… do you espouse those?

          There are certainly questions about Ghandi’s views of children?

          Can you not see other religious backgrounds in Ghandi’s message?

          Can you not see that Ghandi incorporated elements of Judiasm, Christianity into his philosophy?  Can you not see his, and his followers’ hatred toward Sihkism and their tenet that there was only one deity?  While believing in multiple “gods”?

          His and his followers’ hatred toward those of the Muslim faith?

          Ghandi was no atheist/agnostic…. why do you insist on ‘deifying’ him?

          He was a man… who, overall, did good, but was imperfect.  No more, no less… yet became a ‘cult figure’.

          Nehru was is ‘appointed’ successor… how did that go?

           

           

  2. Misanthrop

    They were obnoxious. They disrupted the ceremony and did little to advance their cause, whatever it was, about India. They insulted the rest of the Indian community instead of building bridges that might help them in the their cause.

    Robb Davis was obnoxious too and insulting, preaching and turning to the protestors and away from the crowd, calling people sheep.

    Robb thought he could diffuse the situation by reopening it at the council or make it a teaching moment with his speech. He was wrong on both counts. At least Brett Lee had the good sense to not show up after voting to delay the statue dedication. Robb added insult to injury with his patronizing behavior and speech.

  3. Woody

    Robb Davis is a dangerous man.  From his previous rants on this blog, I have learned that he is an arrogant and angry person.  I now know that he truly believes he is his “brothers keeper”.  My advice to the mayor would be to stick to the issues affecting the “sheep” such as revenue generation, pavement deterioration and job creation.  Leave the preaching to the likes of Westboro.  We are not your flock and you are not our shepherd.

        1. Chamber Fan

          I don’t understand the vitriol towards the mayor by you – Rbb’s made it clear, he’s one and done in terms of council and he’s never running for higher office – UNFORTUNATELY

        2. Woody

          My dislike for the mayor and most of the city council is that Davis’ real problems are no where near being solved and idealistic stunts like this do nothing for us.  We need pragmatic action from our city council.  How much police overtime did this charade cost us?  Did India pay for that?

      1. PhillipColeman

        Normally, I don’t get into personality perceptions. But I can’t let this one go.

        Robb Davis, as a person, is one of the most decent persons I’ve ever had the chance to encounter.  And that list is very long.

        Politics must be coloring assessments to the contrary.

        1. South of Davis

          Phil wrote:

          > Robb Davis, as a person, is one of the most decent persons

          > I’ve ever had the chance to encounter.

          I feel the same way about Robb, but still don’t understand why Davis needs to waste  time getting in to issues with religion in other countries or pipelines in other states.

          Any idea if the next city council meeting will have a debate on a Chinese Falun Gong leader statue in the new Rainbow City Park or have a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline?

    1. Tia Will

      Woody

       I now know that he truly believes he is his “brothers keeper””

      I was raised in a Methodist household. In my home and in my church, we would have considered this the highest form of compliment that could be paid to an individual. I was raised with the belief that service to others is amongst our highest callings as human beings.

      I know longer believe the origin myth of the Methodist church. However, I believe now as firmly as I did when growing up that the highest purpose of the gifts and talents that I have is in my contribution to the well being of others. I am frankly at a loss about how you seem to disparage this quality in our mayor.

      Perhaps you do not know him personally and therefore have never experienced just how carefully he considers each persons opinion, even if he does not end up in agreement. Perhaps you are mistaking his precision with language with elitism or hubris. Having worked closely with Robb in the past, I can assure you that this is far from the case. I would encourage you to get to know the mayor and I would be very, very surprised if your opinion remained the same.

       

  4. Michelle Millet

    It is rare to find a leader who is brave enough to give a speech that challenges people to think about how they view the world and the conflicts that exist within it.  Davis is fortunate to have one at this moment. Thanks Robb.

    1. Misanthrop

      Were you there Michelle?

      These people shouted over Senator Lois Wolk yelling “shame, shame” at her. Lois has conducted herself in a dignified and fair manner for over 20 years serving this community. They disrespected everyone and even though they got quiet when the children spoke or sang there were other children who didn’t participate because they were afraid.

      Robb is not a hero here, he is a tool, disrespecting the local Indian community and dismissing their efforts to bring the teachings of Gandhi to Davis as “Brand India.”

      Then he asks if we would dismiss the protestors as “terrorists” when nobody did any such thing. Robb was tone deaf to the community he is supposed to serve. He may still command the respect of his friends but he spent all of his political capital and goodwill yesterday with a portion of this community.

      1. Matt Williams

        Misanthrop said . . . “he spent all of his political capital and goodwill yesterday with a portion of this community.”

        That was a guaranteed outcome yesterday.  The only question was what portion of the community would no longer have goodwill.

        My personal opinion is that if “Brand India” is in fact a conscious initiative, then the advocates of that initiative are likely to be the first people who embrace Robb’s effort.  It was both peaceful and non-violent.

        1. Misanthrop

          Your through the looking glass analysis reminds me of one candidate blaming the other for birtherism. If you think people should be happy with what Robb did from the podium and behind the scenes to allow the protestors to get close enough where they could disrupt the ceremony with bullhorns you are sorely mistaken. Robb thought he could reason with the unreasonable whose only purpose is to disrupt and embarrass India. His efforts were at best a colossal failure and more likely made it easier to disrupt and insult this community and its elected leaders. Robb should be ashamed and he should admit his failure of judgement and  apologize to the community that was insulted and subjected to abuse at the hands of people he enabled through his actions in his official capacity as mayor to disrupt and disrespect the people of Davis.

        2. Matt Williams

          Your prejudgment of yesterday’s events is crystal clear.  You clearly have a closed mind on the subject, so it appears there is nothing to be gained by discussing it further.  Thank you for your unambiguous contribution to the dialogue.

        3. Misanthrop

          How do you know Michelle? Robb enabled these people by re-opening the issue. Robb enabled these people by not using his position as Mayor to insist the protestors be kept farther back from the ceremony by the police. Robb enabled these people by not insisting they not use bullhorns to disrupt at close range. Bullhorns they didn’t have a noise permit for. The protestors right to free speech does not supersede the communities right to free speech. What action, name one, did Robb take to protect the free speech rights of the people who were there for the ceremony. A case can easily be made that Robb did indeed throw kerosene on the conflagration both through his actions and his inactions.

        4. Misanthrop

          Here it is.

          Prejudgement, there is no prejudgement on my part. I was there I saw the whole thing. What is obvious is that Robb’s friends want to protect him from well deserved criticism. Of course I didn’t see most of you who are defending him there. Oh you like his speech but you weren’t there to put that speech in the context of Robb being the only one who wasn’t shouted down and insulted like was Senator Lois Wolk, the Ambassador of India, Dan Wolk, the M.C., Rochelle Swanson and Will Arnold. Yet Robb never spoke up for respecting any of the other dignitaries even though he was the only one they allowed to speak without badgering and constant interruption. Whatever respect he earned he failed to use when it mattered the most.

        5. Matt Williams

          You have prejudged the Indian controversy, deeming one side right and the other side wrong.  That is your prerogative.

          I was there and if my eyes did not deceive me you were sitting very close to Mahdavi Sunder.

          1. David Greenwald

            Sunder was up in the front and the anonymous individual was toward the back of the seated section

        6. Misanthrop

          Your eyes deceived you I was nowhere near Sunder. As do your assumptions. One person’s right to free speech does not over ride another person’s right to free speech.

        7. Alan Miller

          Sunder was up in the front and the anonymous individual was toward the back of the seated section

          Does anyone have a photograph of the the back of the seated section during the event?

        1. Chamber Fan

          Probably why people who don’t live here should butt out.  Robb’s made it clear he’s not running for office again, so what does he gain by pandering to voters?  Most of the protesters are out of town anyway, so who is he pandering to and for what?

      1. Misanthrop

        How do you know Michelle? Robb enabled these people by re-opening the issue. Robb enabled these people by not using his position as Mayor to insist the protestors be kept farther back from the ceremony by the police. Robb enabled these people by not insisting they not use bullhorns to disrupt at close range. Bullhorns they didn’t have a noise permit for. The protestors right to free speech does not supersede the communities right to free speech. What action, name one, did Robb take to protect the free speech rights of the people who were there for the ceremony. A case can easily be made that Robb did indeed throw kerosene on the conflagration both through his actions and his inactions.

        1. Chamber Fan

          These people?  Can you be more dismissive and denigrating?  He enabled them?  They were going to protest anyway, there were like five of these protests across the country, was Robb responsible for all of them?

      2. Alan Miller

        Robb did not spread the flame of hatred by throwing kerosene on it.

        “Did not!”

        “Did so!”

        “Did not!”

        “Did so!”

        “Did not!”

        “Did so!”

        . . .

  5. Michael Harrington

    I traveled all over India for many months years ago.  Bringing that statute here to the park was bringing their religious strife and division here, without any need to do so.   I wish the entire mess had been avoided as an unnecessary distraction from city governance and funding issues.  The clock is ticking on the current mayorship … then we have Mayor Lee.

      1. Biddlin

        “It is short sighted not to see that their religous strife is our religous strife,”

        That is perhaps the most anti-American idea I can imagine. That strife is not ours and has no place in America. One assumes that pluralism and freedom from religious persecution brought most of these protesters and advocates to our shores, in the first place. Davis is a place where divisions seem to be cherished and cultivated. That would certainly explain your inability to make any substantive progress toward municipal solvency and housing.

    1. Michael Harrington

      Frankly, wouldn’t that be nice?  If the Mayor and CC don’t get a plan together soon for reform of city governance, reducing expenses, and drafting a list of reasonable, achievable, and acceptable city revenue increases, then the mess is just going to be dumped on Lee’s desk when he is sworn in.   My understanding is that some of the current CC members don’t want to discuss a parcel tax increase as it might be used against them in a future political career;  same goes for any votes that city employees and their union(s) might see as against employee group interests.    I am not going to name names here, but it’s pretty obvious to watchers of CC issues.

       

      So unless Mayor Davis figures out how to get three votes, there won’t be any governance changes or cost cuts, and no revenue increases.

  6. Robb Davis

    I would be happy to sit with anyone and describe the reasons for doing what I did.  I don’t have time today to get into this here and now. What I cannot let pass, at this point, are comments that I somehow could have used my mayoral powers to change the demonstration or that I somehow instructed the police on how to let things roll out.

    These assertions are false.  I knew there would be a protest and discussed it in the presence of the Police Chief and the statue committee.  I then used one contact I had in the opposing group to arrange a meeting between the protesters and the police.  That was all I did.  Ever.

    The police made it clear to everyone how they would or would not intervene and what would trigger that.  I had NO say in how the protest rolled out or what limits/restrictions/agreements were made.  None.  I was alerted, along with the entire CC before the event on the potential size and approach of the protesters but, I assume like my colleagues, did not question or otherwise try to influence police tactics.  I arrived 15 minutes before the event and that is the first time I understood how things were to be set up.

    The idea that the mayor should direct such things is ludicrous given our form of government.

    I will address the lingering (and seemingly endless) accusation that somehow such events occupy the time of CC members to the detriment of other issues at another time.  That too is false and I would be happy to reveal my calendar to people so they can see exactly how I spend my time on City business.

    1. Frankly

      That too is false and I would be happy to reveal my calendar to people so they can see exactly how I spend my time on City business.

      This isn’t really the criticism.  It is more the optics and perception that members of the CC are out of balance in their focus…. and that no politician in Davis should be stepping this far out of the business of Davis.

      Lastly, I am uncomfortable with what appears to be inappropriate cultural appropriation.   There are plenty of American heroes to honor with statues.  I know this probably doesn’t satisfy your globalist new-world-order views, but would make more sense for a US city mayor to honor a US historical hero if he/she is going to spend time honoring any historical hero.

    2. Michael Harrington

      Robb,  thanks for posting here.  I wish I had had the DV available when I was on the CC.

      I keep coming back to what is happening in city government to fix the organizational, lack of staff accountability, and budget mess?  You need two more votes.  At least two of your colleagues are voting with their political fingers in the air to benefit future political careers.

      If you wanted to meet in a group with the residents who rolled back two water rate packages, forced the plant size to shrink from 18 to 12 mgd, and won the No on A No on Nishi campaign, I can ask around and try to set it up.

      If you really want to try and fix things, you need support far beyond the little circle of city insiders downtown who surround the Mayor ….  over and over, that group has let you down and made huge errors both politically and planning wise.

      We are here for you, if you reach out to us.

       

       

    3. hpierce

      Based on my interactions with Robb, I believe every word he wrote, above.  I sincerely recommend all do.  There are many things we disagree on, but his integrity and honesty are, in my informed opinion, not subject to reasonable question.

    1. Misanthrop

      The Indian community of Davis wanted the statue here. The people opposed have issues with India and are using Gandhi to to embarrass the government of India. Giving them voice shouldn’t detract from what the people who wanted the statue here were trying to do, teach nonviolence as a means for social change just like the pepper spray protestors did by not resisting Pike.

      Gandhi would not have done what Robb Davis did the way he lectured people. Gandhi would have done what the people who came for the ceremony did and restrained themselves in the face of hatred and disruption while the disruptors hurled debased and crass degradations upon them.

      As for Robb not saying anything to the police. Robb was at the meeting and didn’t advocate for obvious changes that would have allowed for more space between the protestors. Robb is the mayor he doesn’t tell the police what to do but he can offer his opinions and the cops and city manager will take cues from him. He offered nothing to reduce the confrontation then he went there and preached holier than thou platitudes to people who couldn’t care less what he thinks but used him for their own political agenda. Robb got used as a tool of hate and insulted the Indian community of this city. He should apologize. I asked before Robb name one thing you did that resulted in less strife. Your efforts were a failure.

  7. Bill Habicht

    “Obnoxious.”

    “Insulting.”

    “A dangerous man.”

    How does denigrating one of our city leaders further the values and goals of our city? If you’re not willing to meet with Robb in person and say those things (above) to to his face, you shouldn’t be spewing it here. It is cowardly and contrary to who we are as a city.

    1. Misanthrop

      Bill you were there. Maybe you don’t think the Mayor was obnoxious but turning away from the crowd was in my opinion obnoxious and insulting. I am angry with the mayor. He deserves the same denigration that the other leaders received from the protestors. Oh and believe me I will have no problem telling him to his face when I see him.

      1. Robb Davis

        I have no doubt you will.  You always do.  A few points of clarification based on what you have written:

        1. I turned the podium so I could address the statue.  This left the statue on my left periphery, the protesters ahead and the supporters on the right periphery.  I wanted to address the statue symbolically, per my speech.

        2. I did not call anyone a sheep, I quoted the Hebrew bible on human alienation by noting “like sheep we have gone astray.”  I clearly placed myself in the sheep group and spoke of OUR alienation, OUR anomie.  I never said “you” or “yours”.  I own my brokenness.

        If I condescended, I am sorry.  My goal was to desacralize the statue and remind everyone (myself included) that we could either hope for peace or work for peace.  The challenge was to all of us, myself included.  I asked “what will WE do with the statue”, not “what will YOU do?”

        1. Misanthrop

          I accept your apology Robb although I’m only speaking for myself. I think you missed your best opportunity for restoring calm by not asking the protestors to turn off the bullhorns. They seemed to offer you a modicum of respect by not interrupting you but you failed to ask them to extend that courtesy to the other speakers. Too bad you didn’t think of it at the time. I’m not sure it would have helped but it couldn’t have hurt.

  8. Tia Will

    Succinct and in my view short sighted. I agree with Michelle that these divisions are already present in our community. The statue did not make these divisions. The divisions exist within the hearts of men not within a statue. For the majority in this country, regardless of what his personal foibles or failings may have been as an individual, Ghandi is a symbol of non violent protest. I further believe that most of us would agree that non-violence would be an optimal goal, both for individuals and societies. I do not believe that this symbolism is evil. I do not believe that any human being is perfect. But should we take down all representations of JFK or Martin Luther King Jr. because they were less than faithful to their wives ?

    These are conversations that are worth having in our communities. To those who think that our city leaders should only involve themselves with fiscal and infrastructure matters to the avoidance of all else, two thoughts. 1) I believe that our city leaders are very engaged in the basics of running the mechanics of the city, even if you are not seeing the specific results that you want. 2) There are many of your fellow citizens who want our city leaders to address not only the strictly financial and pragmatic details of running a city, but also want leaders who are not afraid to address the symbolic, emotional and controversial issues that do not deal directly with dollars and cents. I am one of them, so I know that they exist.

    Hopefully our elected leaders will continue to address your most pressing concerns. Hopefully you will bear in mind that not everyone agrees with your prioritization. And hopefully, we can all respect each other’s point of view.

     

    1. Frankly

      I think a thumbs up voting feature would do more to help reduce the invective.   That and moderation to edit and remove personal attacks would optimize tone-vs-participation.  Just take a look at the Davis Enterprise site to see how disallowing anonymous posting works for participation.

      Personally, I appreciated reading the posts that say Robb Davis is a dangerous man because otherwise how would I have known?  He seems to cerebral and kind to me.  I guess we just cannot judge a book by its cover!

      1. Alan Miller

        I think a thumbs up voting feature would do more to help reduce the invective.

        oh puleeeez . . .

        That and moderation to edit and remove personal attacks would optimize tone-vs-participation.

        Not posting personal attacks would help alot, too . . .

        Just take a look at the Davis Enterprise site to see how disallowing anonymous posting works for participation.

        Just take a look at the Vanguard comments section.

    2. Grok

      I would post under my own name if anonymous posting was done away with. Until it is done away with I wont post under my own name or submit an article. Anonymity favors the anonymous and creates an unequal discussion. Than Vanguard blog comments section is probably the darkest alley in Davis.

      1. Bill

        Anonymity favors the anonymous and creates an unequal discussion.

        C, I don’t follow. If you believe that anonymity favors unequal discussion, why would you choose to participate in that?  Just because an “anonymous” option is available doesn’t mean that you should use it.

    3. hpierce

      I understand your concerns… if the VG goes the way of banning anonymous posts, I will have to go the way of the Wooly Mammoth, as to participation.  That’s OK.  Some would opine, “GREAT!”.

      But besides my opinion, you will no longer have factual/historical info from me.  Make your choice.  I don’t really give a damn, personally.

  9. Jim Gray

    I am sorry that I missed the ceremony and the speeches and the “protest” for the unveiling of the Gandhi Statue in Davis.   It seems very appropriate to me that Davis would place a remembrance to Gandhi in our community.  I am sorry in particular that I missed Mayor Robb Davis’s remarks.  From the transcript they appear very insightful and heartfelt.

    Early in my life I was a student of non-violent social change.  As I studied the writings of Martin Luther King,  Cesar Chavez, and leaders of the conscientious objector and anti-war movements, without exception they were all influenced  by the words and the deeds of Gandhi. He was focused and committed to social change , the pursuit of justice, to democracy while remaining committed to non-violence. Those characteristics were embodied in Mahatma Gandhi.  He was able to both offer and listen to dissent,  he was both tolerant of other voices and to differences of opinion; but doing what is right — including symbolically right– was very important.

    Gandhi’s influence was both local and global. His reach and legacy is felt in India — around the world, and now recognized in a small statue in Davis.

    Recognizing, remembering and celebrating non-violence, justice, social change; while being willing to accept those who want to share a different perspective seems worthy of our Community.  Placing a small statue to remember this man and these attributes seems worthy to me.

    It was just the 147 birthday of Gandhi and a little over 70 years ago he was assassinated; he was a great leader who brought about the modern birth of India while helping to throw off the chains of Colonialism. He influenced through his words and actions many great leaders as well as the people pursuing their day to day lives.

    Just this week,  in The International Tribune there was a tribute and remembrance of Gandhi. In the article they published 10 of the quotes for which he is most famous.  Here is one that I feel is very appropriate for the current debate.

    “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

     

    1. David Greenwald

      The police that were there were not on overtime and if you look closely, it was the upper brass – Chief, Deputy Chiefs, Lts, all ineligible for overtime. I was told the reason there were so few is those were the only ones that didn’t cost OT.

        1. David Greenwald

          It was an inappropriate choice of words. People complained and I made the call to remove it. Anything else and you can send a formal protest to the editorial board.

  10. Misanthrop

    I guess like Clint Eastwood taking to an empty chair our mayor spoke to a statue. Both speeches failed. Probably better in the future to speak to the actual people.

  11. ryankelly

    What if these protestors were from Westboro Church?  Their printed posters seem similar and their message seems similar in their level of anger and hatred.  Would we excuse their behavior so much?  My impression of the Sikh religion has been altered by such a display.  Education and dialogue would go farther to bring the issues to light.    This is just a turn off.  The only positive thing was that I was prompted to research what the issue was about.

  12. Tia Will

    ryankelly

    What if these protestors were from Westboro Church?  Their printed posters seem similar and their message seems similar in their level of anger and hatred”

    I agree that some of the anger and hatred on display are reminiscent of the tactics of the Westboro Baptist Church. Because of my job, what came to mind for me was the more vitriolic abortion opponents who attempt to influence by intimidation, shaming and anger instead of by reason and the offering of reasonable alternatives.

    While I think that these tactics are counterproductive and bring about further dissension rather than the peaceful collaboration that I hold as the standard for public behavior, I am torn because as much as I abhor these tactics, I also strongly believe in the right to peaceful dissent. I just fail to see how that could not have been achieved without the interruption of speakers and disrespect for the strongly held views of others.

  13. tribeUSA

    Wow, pretty intellectual speech by Mayor Davis! I wasn’t at the event to hear it, but was pleased to read it here on the Vanguard (is the Davis Enterprise going to publish the transcript?) Nice to see that there are those who continue to carry the torch of the western tradition of humanistic studies and philosophy (forgotton by most of the public, from what I can tell) in our increasingly techno-centric world; in which most of us spend more or our free time learning the latest apps for our techno-gizmos (increasingly more as a matter of survival in the working world than for optional social networking with friends, or for entertainment or tech-hobbyist interests).

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