4 min

2009 - Confusing real negativism with valid criticism

(From my 2009 post at ToledoTalk.com)

"In my opinion, this myth that Toledoans are negative was created by public officials and is advanced by the media in order to guilt the citizenry into not speaking out against moronic actions by public officials." - June 2007


This post is not directed at anyone here. It's a general post because the word "negative" is fashionably and incorrectly tossed around in Toledo. And I'll use a couple old posts to explain my opinion of the differences between a real negative attitude about Toledo and valid, logical criticism toward obstacles that prevent the city from getting better.

Investigative or negative news stories?

Excerpts from a June 2007 comment

The local media and the local public officials have pounded into the citizens' minds the perception that Toledoans have a negative attitude. And this phantom attitude is supposedly harmful to the city. The "Don't be negative" ploy is a shield used by government to protect itself from an informed and concerned citizenry.

And I have the feeling that the local media has harped on this "negative" aspect so much that they are concerned about the types of news stories they produce. Is this "negative" notion affecting the investigative work by our local media? Is the local media dredging up so-called positive stories and ignoring real local issues because they fear being labeled "negative" by government?

Government with help from its sympathizers deflects blame away from itself by attacking opposing voices and labeling the opposition "negative." And what is "negative" anyway? Is questioning stupid decisions made by government and the public school system considered negative? No.

But I would say calling Toledo a boring place and claiming there's nothing to do is an example of being negative or at least being lazy. Statements like this are made by citizens so they can justify why they watch eight hours of TV a day.

Former Toledo City Councilman Bob McCloskey is in prison. The Blade reported on McCloskey's shaky dealings long before McCloskey was indicted. Was the Blade being negative? If you asked Bob, he would say yes. In fact, he did. Should the Blade have been concerned about Toledo's national image and chose not to publish the McCloskey stories?

And what about the Blade's unmasking of Tom Noe? Tom may have been a Maumee resident but he had ties to Toledo politics too. Was the Blade being negative towards Toledo by its investigation of Noe?

Should failing government-led development projects and worthless and wasteful symbolic government ideas be ignored by the citizens and the media? Should the bunglings by the Toledo Public School system not be reported on in order to protect Toledo's image?

Basing concerns on how you will be perceived by others is a poor way to go through life. It's also cowardly.

Pay no attention to what's behind the curtain

From a June 2007 post titled Another example of confusing real negativism with valid criticism that pointed to a Toledo Free Press "Brain Gain" article. From the article about the person featured in the "Brain Gain" article:

He said he hears pessimistic attitudes toward efforts in city affairs, including from some radio programs. "That's the most frustrating thing to me is these negative attitudes," David said.

A supposedly intelligent person doesn't have the ability to differentiate between a pessimistic attitude about Toledo and criticism of stupid actions by public officials.

Apparently, this brain-gainer has no problem with city government stealing business from private ambulance owners. Apparently, this brain-gainer has no problem with the dolts in city government being unable to balance a budget and being forced to put a new city tax on the citizens. A new tax that is code-named "garbage fee." The new tax was called "garbage fee" to bamboozle the public.

But according to this brain-gainer, speaking out against hostile and idiotic government legislation is being negative "toward efforts in city affairs". This brain-gainer is implying that we should become sheep and take whatever abuse government dishes out. Remain silent. Ignore the buffoons behind the curtain.

I say, we don't need the "submit-to-government" mindset of this brain-gainer.

In my opinion, this myth that Toledoans are negative was created by public officials and is advanced by the media in order to guilt the citizenry into not speaking out against moronic actions by public officials.

We're suppose to accept explanations from the government, such as:

  • It's always been done that way (or something similar related to over long period of time)
  • It's not that much money

Those are not valid reasons for government continuing to do something stupid. Just because it wasn't until 2007 that the citizens first became aware of something stupid that government had been doing for a long time, that doesn't mean the citizens cannot speak out against it now and demand change.

Be wary of people who use the word "negative" when referring to the citizenry. They are probably agenda-based. Naturally, people who work for an org that receives taxpayer dollars don't want the public to be speaking out against government's wasteful spending of taxpayer money.

#toledo - #media - #politics - #blog_jr

By JR - 853 words
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