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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ron Carroll compares Stokes County's tobacco heritage with slavery and segregation

Dr. Ron Carroll
(The Stokes News) - Another controversial subject on the discussion agenda was Division of Social Services Director Jan Spencer’s request to ban smoking in her building. Carroll stated that this was a taboo issue in Stokes County. Walker’s opinion was that directors of each department have the authority to make the executive decision.

Smith and Lankford both stated that they did not support a smoke-free policy when Stokes County had depended on tobacco for so long. They supported the idea that there should be designated areas where both employees and visitors could smoke.

Carroll disputed the thought that the county’s tobacco heritage should be considered in a decision. He mentioned that slavery and segregation were also part of our heritage but that he couldn’t support them. He agreed with Spencer’s request to make DSS smoke-free. Inman noted that most of the people in the room probably had emotional ties to tobacco, but that secondhand smoke was also an issue for many people. He, like the majority of the commissioners, supported a designated smoking area.

It was decided to put the issue on the action agenda for the next meeting, giving the county’s attorney some time to research smoke-free options.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I agree with Carroll that Stokes County's tobacco heritage shouldn't be a consideration in this decision. It's really just a silly emotional appeal.

That being said, Carroll's comparison of this with slavery and segregation is just as silly and emotional. It's also historically ignorant. While slavery was practiced in Stokes County, it was widely disdained there as well. Remember that Stokes County had (and still has) a large Quaker population. The Quakers were morally opposed to slavery and almost all of them had freed any slaves over which they had influence before the Civil War even began.

This also would not be the first time that Carroll babbled nonsense, so no one should be surprised by it. It makes good copy for the Stokes County fishwrap, and that's about as high on the importance scale as it needs to get.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 6:20:00 PM  

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