by Andy Weddington
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. Peter Drucker
Watching the morning news over coffee, a segment from Charlotte, NC, caught my attention.
The mayor spoke about a police shooting last night that left a man dead.
The mayor, a white female, did not, during her brief appearance and remarks, seem a pillar of confidence nor strength.
She called for calm after a night of rioting that included a mob shutting down the north and south bound lanes of the Interstate - I-85.
There was report of at least one semi being looted.
More than a dozen police officers injured. Police cars destroyed.
The mayor introduced the Chief of Police.
The Chief, black, gave a brief statement about the shooting noting the investigation continued.
What he did say was the deceased had a handgun, it was a visible threat, and he disobeyed police officer instructions to drop it. Consequently, he was shot.
The deceased is black. The police officer who shot him is black.
Soon thereafter aired supporters of the deceased with counter statements. Note they do not have the facts (still under investigation).
One of the first to speak, fueled by emotion not fact, called for the boycott of businesses.
That a tactic akin to a child throwing a tantrum and holding their breath.
A few questions for that genius: 1) On what grounds?; 2) Does that include grocery stores?; 3) Drug stores/pharmacies?; 4) Utility companies?; 5) Gas stations?; 6) Other life necessities?
And, please explain, sir, how hundreds, if not thousands, disrupting society in the middle of the night have time to do so? Do they not have jobs? Or other responsibilities of productive citizens? What kind of example is that for children and adolescents?
Another spoke to a pattern citing Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, et al.
There's a pattern alright.
Without fail, mayors cower - to appease the "angry" who choose to vent, without facts, behaving as hooligans not civilized residents.
Mayors have a duty to protect their city/community and the residents and any others who happen to be in or passing through. That is, a duty to maintain civility.
Granted, citizens have a right to peacefully assemble and protest.
Citizens do not have a right to mob; disrupt law and order; shut down roadways; assault and batter innocents; destroy public and private property; partake in looting and arson; and whatever other nonsense goes on.
Therefore, the mayor's (any mayor's) speech ...
"An armed citizen was shot by police for failing to comply with police instructions to drop their weapon. That citizen is dead - regrettable but, for their decision, preventable. The shooting is under investigation and I will report the facts to you as they become available and again report when complete. In the meantime, my duty is to preserve law and order and ensure public safety. And that I am going to do. To assemble peacefully in protest is your right. Rioting and violence and disruption of other's lives is not your right, is not part of due process, and will not be tolerated. I will not beg nor plea of anyone for civil conduct. That is expected and your responsibility. Choose to the contrary and, regardless of numbers, there will, without further warning, be serious consequences. We will employ whatever force necessary. Thank you for your attention. There's nothing more to say."
It's good to be King. And make speeches.
It's good, too, to be mayor. And make speeches. But speeches, when necessary, better remind of and lay down the law. In other words, lead.
Like many, I await, civilly, the investigation findings and mayor's report to the public.
There's nothing more to say.
The author was raised in Burlington, NC - less than 150 miles northeast of Charlotte.