Aug 28 2017

OPINION: Advice for Jeff Wieler

Jeff, your point is well taken that people on both sides of the political aisle can and should do a better job of listening to each other and that this would be a better way to achieve goals that accomplish results reflective of shared values.
But a key ingredient of good listening is compassion and a true desire to understand the needs of the other human beings in the conversation.

While you have explained your facebook postings as simply being re-posts from other sites, the fact is that those re-posts show a total lack of compassion; in fact they venture far into the territory of classic bullying behavior.  Name calling, labeling, colorful insults and grouping of individuals into categories are all behaviors that are so destructive of effective communication and community participation that we begin teaching even our youngest children not to engage in them.

Your two plus decades of community service are commendable.  However, I can’t help but feel that the missing element at this point in time is care and concern for the individuals who make up the full spectrum of your constituency.

National politics, talk radio, internet & facebook groups are quite abstract. Getting to know the fellow human beings of Piedmont (PADC [Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee] is a great place to start) and building some friendships outside the realm of politics is a much more ‘real’ and useful approach for local leadership.  While there is no doubt that the national political arena creates absorbing, outrageous and even terrifying ideas to consider – our local community must put all that aside in our day to day lives. Local leadership is at its best when the focus is on the needs, cares and concerns of the individuals who make up our shared community, and through compassionate consideration of these concerns arrive at agreeable solutions to the problems at hand.

I hope you will find a way forward, possibly by remembering why you were drawn to public service in the first place, and hopefully by leaving toxic national politics out of the equation when it comes to local concerns.

Respectfully submitted,
Katie Korotzer

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.

3 Responses to “OPINION: Advice for Jeff Wieler”

  1. The comments about Jeff Weiler are mostly hateful and show no tolerance for diversity of opinion. What has happened to love and respect for free speech in Piedmont?

  2. Freedom of Speech in this country entitles one to be free from prior censorship. It doe NOT ensure that you will not be subject to the free speech of those who disagree with what you had to say. Are you suggesting that Jeff Wieler is free to spew nonsense but the rest of us are not free to call a spade, a spade?

  3. While many of us deeply respect the First Amendment, the alarm concerning Wieler’s comments is not a Free Speech issue. I believe Jeff Wieler has First Amendement rights to post: “Black Lives Matter encourages cop killing.” “Transgenders are mentally ill.” “The Left is dangerous and un-American.” “Having a vagina is not a vision that inspires (concerning Hillary Clinton).” The issue is that Wieler’s comments have no basis in science, perpetrate White Supremacy and are hateful, demeaning, divisive and offensive. I do not want an elected official with these radical biases to serve on City Council.

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