I have to admit, I have been a little disgruntled by some of the negative reaction from folks from our area about Kinston being named an All-America City. In my eyes — and those of most of the nation — winning All-America City status from the prestigious National Civic League is a pretty big deal.
I estimate our comments at Kinston.com are running about 60/40 in support of the city winning the honor, though.
But after looking at a few of the other cities that won, I feel pretty good about the positives that posters had on our site…
Here is a look at other city’s newspaper’s reactions:
- Statesville Record and Landmark: Evidently, skateboarding downtown is their principal beef, although there are several shots at other entities, including their senior center charging for old people to attend.
- L.A. Times (for Inglewood, Calif.): Racism is obviously not dead in California, as this poster lets you know when he types, “See what a black president can do? Turn a ghetto into an ‘ALL America’ city. Gee, I just hope nobody buys that lie. Can you imagine tourist thinking america looks like the Hood?”
- Arizona Republic (for Phoenix): Maybe not racism, but certainly some Haterade in Phoenix exhibited by this message board writer: “You have got to be kidding. This town is so full of crime, illegals, and misspending. If this is what America ia about we are in big trouble!” And how about this xenophobic remark: “This just in Phoenix has just been designated as an ‘All Mexico City’ We won! Film at 11, in both English and Spanish.”
- Wichita (Kan.) Eagle: By far, the most negative comments came from this Midwestern city; a couple of examples: “This should come as great comfort to the thousands of laid-off aviation workers. The Mayor did not have time to come to your defense when the aviation industry was being demonized by Obama, but apparently he had plenty of time to travel to Florida to bask in the glow of another meaningless award.” And this one: “Boy, The loser’s must of really stunk. And how much did the little award cost all the taxpayers. I can say one thing cost so-far about 350 million. Not bad for a piece of metal. Maybe next year. We can win a award for having spent the most taxpayers dollars on things that have failed. And the city owns now.” It’s so bad that four messages had been deleted by the site as of 6 p.m. on Monday.
- Richmond (Ind.) Palladium-Item: How about this from a commenter: “I am tired of hearing that Richmond is an All American City. If multiple empty factories exist, closed retail stores, an un-affordable golf course, a sky high unemployment rate, and a ‘drop-out factory’ for a High School are all requirements for an All American City, then what has the world come to???” Richmond was running about 80/20 negative in its comments.
- Somerville (Mass.) News: Somerville is a suburb of Boston and had a commenter at its newspaper say this: “Can they display the award at the meeting for all the employees getting laid off? Funny how they bragged about the 311 system. It is the biggest waste of money in the City. Call 311 to say a light bulb is out ! YIKES. But congratulations on pulling the wool over the Countries eyes.”
- The Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union, the Fredericksburg (Va.) Standard (for Caroline County, Va.) and the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette didn’t have a comment area under their stories.
So here’s the point — as I stated in my Sunday column — NO TOWN OR CITY IS PERFECT! Nowhere! Not in California, not in Massachusetts, not in Arizona and not here in Kinston!
With that as common sense, let’s applaud the people in our community who are getting out there doing their best to make Kinston a better place to live. THAT’S why we are All-America — people are trying to make us a better place to live.
Congratulations to them and congrats to us.