The Greensboro City Council discussed at length how to respond to the protests, vandalism and looting that took place over the weekend.
At the end of the virtual meeting on Tuesday, June 2, councilmembers got into a long discussion about what to do, but reached no consensus on a course of action.
Councilmember Tammi Thurm said, “The events of the past weekend have brought to bear subjects that we have danced around certainly at least since I have been on council.”
She noted that for over six months she had been trying to get some discussion going on consent searches by the police, “one of the many areas that appear to have adversely effected communities of color in our community.”
She said, “I would love to see us put together a task force.” She said the task force would include some of the people demonstrating, members of the Police Department, councilmembers and others.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said it was a good idea but would need to wait until people could all get together in a room to speak.
Thurm said, “I don’t think we can wait for COVID-19 to be over to start the discussion.”
Councilmember Goldie Wells said, “Just let folks talk. We need to hear what their frustration is.” She added, “Time is important. Folks are mad about the curfew.”
Councilmember Michelle Kennedy said that holding another meeting and having the same conversations was not the solution.
She said, “We know what the problem is and it is us. And until we own that and we recognize that we understand that white people in particular have to take an active stance in dismantling structural racism it is never going to change.”
She added, “It’s time for white people to get off our asses and our couches.”
Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “It’s time to stop talking and time to start acting.”
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said, “I’m not sitting around any more meetings unless it’s about something that is going to bring change about institutional racism.”
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “We all need to open our hearts.”