I live in a very small town in Texas. This small town's main claim to "fame" is having old Route 66 running right through it. It's a quiet town just half a step away from being a ghost town. In the vicinity of what passes for the "Downtown" area, or perhaps to use an older term "Main Street", there is a movie theater. The Avalon. The state that it's in... well it's enough to make a strong person want to weep. The facade is barely intact with the box office standing like a forgotten sentry. I have no doubt that it was beautiful once, and I'd love for it to be beautiful again.
The other day while walking past the theater I saw a piece of paper taped to the box office. It gave an address for a crowd funding website and the sub link for a fund raising effort to restore the theater. I was beside myself with excitement. Then I got home, got online and looked at the page.
Right from the start I had reservations, not about the project which I'm sure is on the up and up, but rather about the person who started it. Specifically about his politics.
His profile picture from the start was worrisome. A close up picture of a bald eagle's head with the text over it proclaiming "A new age patriot with 1776 attitude." So I went and looked him up on Facebook. The first thing I discovered is that he's not only trying to save and renovate the Avalon but that he also runs a small local grocery store on Main Street. But then there were comments he'd made on various posts regarding assorted news items. I'll only quote one comment by way of example so as to not belabor the point...
"They should all be tried as adults and sentenced accordingly. If it were a group of whites that had beat a black mother it would be all over the news and called a hate crime before the police had time to press charges. Where are the big 3 race baiters (Obama, Sharpton and Jackson). This is getting really sad. Does Obama want a race war to break out in our country. I don't want this to go that far, but it sure is headed that way."sigh Now to be fair I've heard more bigoted and hateful rhetoric, but it's still troubling. I like the little market, I like being able to support local businesses (of which there are precious few around) and I'd love to see the Avalon restored. But, well, I'm strictly speaking a nobody, but I have a good mind and if this were someone that I could have felt comfortable with I would not have minded meeting him in person and maybe seeing what I could have done to help. But frankly I just don't know how comfortable I am giving much in the way of time, or energy, let alone money (of which I have even less of than time and energy) to someone like this. I really don't feel all that comfortable even promoting his efforts to restore the Avalon. On the one hand I don't think he's dishonest. I'm sure his desire to see the Avalon restored is quite sincere. But just from the glimpse I got from his Facebook page he seems like a narrow minded bigot and who knows what else. I just really can't say that I think it's worth having to put up with such a person even if the aim is good.
At the same time I don't know how I feel about my feelings. Am I being too narrow minded? Am I by backing away from this because I don't care for an individuals opinions missing out on the chance to accomplish something of value?
I wish I had a clear cut pat answer. But more than that I wish the guy had just been a bit less of a blatant Right Wing, Racist. I mean an opinion here or there I could probably have ignored but when it seems to be the only thing he talks about?
Keep The Faith My Brothers And Sisters!
(and keep a little extra for me because right now mine's at kind of a low ebb)