By Ida B. Torn/Opinion
I’ve been binge watching “The Newsroom” this past week. The show is about a fictional news show but the events that they cover were real. I’m fascinated by the show for two reasons. First, it demonstrates just how difficult it is to convey what is going on in the world without interjecting one’s own biases. Second, it’s a great reminder of the events that have transpired within the last decade and how much those events did or did not change the trajectory of America’s future.
One of the story lines for the show was of the longest lasting protest in America’s history, which started in September, 2011. Without getting out your device and Googling it, can you remember the name of the organization behind the protest? If you can name the organization, would it surprise you to know that the group is still in existence?
Protests are generally sparked by a great sense of ANGER. Anger can be a great motivator but it can also be dangerous. Too often, anger is not properly channeled and it morphs into APATHY. Our local news has been filled with events that have a direct impact on our daily lives that we should all be greatly concerned about yet there is no clear plan for changing the trajectory of our Parish.
The Louisiana Economic Development announced this past Friday that Geismar, LA is getting a $10 million packaging facility. In its initial phase, the facility will create 28 new jobs with an average annual salary of more than $58,000 plus benefits. It’s anticipated that the facility will generate an additional 47 indirect jobs.
The press release really angered me. Get out a map and look for Geismar and you will know why. Why didn’t Natchitoches Parish get this facility? Could it be that our School District is on the verge of financial ruin and there is the very real possibility that we’re going to see schools close in the next year or two? Maybe it’s because the Parish struggles month after month to come to a satisfactory resolution over the performance and employment of one person. Or maybe it’s because the digital image that emanates from our Parish is one of anger and apathy.
All around us, communities and parishes are benefitting from economic development. It seems to me that they all have one thing going for them that we don’t – ACTIVISM. We can choose to get together and actively campaign for the future of our Parish or we can let our anger get beaten down to apathy and we’ll one day be just like that group of protestors that everyone remembers but can’t call by name – still in existence but completely irrelevant.
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