Let’s pull together and unite Port Arthur

Published 12:40 pm Friday, September 16, 2016

By Carl Parker

Unfortunately, today our nation is troubled by great and hard divisions of our citizens as well as our congress and state legislatures. The division has caused too many impasses in our leaders’ efforts to govern and improve our lives. Unfortunately, in the city of Port Arthur there are those who thrive on separation rather than unity; discord rather than harmony; and unfortunately, in some cases, sheer bigotry. We should all remember that bigotry knows no color, national origin, or gender. There are bigots of every stripe; all of whom should be disavowed and ignored.

Unite Port Arthur was a group formed to try to combat such thinking and bring Port Arthur together if at all possible. Unite Port Arthur is an informal group made up of Anglo Americans, Hispanics, African Americans and Asians. No action is taken by the group unless there is a clear consensus of a super majority of this group.

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Unite Port Arthur has no other agenda other than discouraging divisive and non-productive behavior, encouraging unity and civility on our city council, and rejecting the thoughts of those who without proper investigation or evidence would deter future growth of our city.

There are those in Port Arthur; particularly, a few that are active on social media, attempting to picture members of Unite Port Arthur as simply a group of well-to-do folks who want to run Port Arthur. Nothing could be further from the truth. While this group and its primary spokesman on Facebook and other social media outlets continue to engage in name calling and baseless allegations of wrongdoing by city officials as well as active citizens in the community. As an example of late, because of this small group’s disagreement with recent actions led by Councilman Swati, Facebook posts describe Councilman Swati as a Muslim terrorist. Nothing could be further from the truth and Port Arthur should be proud to have a Councilman with the level of education, business acumen and dedication as Councilman Swati. This group, led by a Councilman or two and recently unsuccessful candidates for Council, offer little if anything constructive but can find fault with every proposal brought before our city government.

Responsible voting citizens of the city of Port Arthur at election time should make adequate inquiry to determine those who seek to be on the city council of Port Arthur at least disclaim and condemn those who continue to publish such slanderous postings as the one described above concerning Councilman Swati. These people are cowardly in their approach, do not have the fortitude to publicly state such vile allegations, and know very well the difficulty of a public officeholder in holding slanderers responsible in a court of law.

While Unite Port Arthur’s group is made up of people who have invested in Port Arthur, created jobs in Port Arthur, participate in almost every civic endeavor to help Port Arthur grow and prosper, the critics offer, and have never offered, anything of lasting value to this community. The people of Port Arthur need to consider carefully whether or not the future of this city will be best served by builders or critics; people who want to unite or those who would divide us. Port Arthur voters should always inquire of those who criticize, “What have you done lately that betters our city?” In the future our city will only grow if we begin to exchange ideas instead of insults.

Carl Parker