Friday, June 15, 2012

At the end of the 'no compromise' road

Honest reasonable people disagree all the time. It's human nature. What happens next is what matters. How do they find common ground and deal with their disagreement?

When they refuse to even listen to the other guy's point, progress becomes difficult. When compromise becomes a dirty word and people start talking about "second amendment solutions," bad things cans happen. Such was the case in Richmond when Reconstruction ended, 142 years ago.
However, George Chahoon, who had served as mayor during the last two years of Reconstruction, refused to recognize the validity of the process. Although the transplanted New Yorker had a considerable following around town, he was seen by Ellyson’s backers as a lowdown “carpetbagger.” After all, Chahoon had served at the pleasure of the military overlords.

When neither man would give ground, the city itself fractured. As positions solidified, the split became a chasm; the result of which created two separate city governments. There were two police departments, two City Halls, etc. Brawls became commonplace as the supporters of both men sought to press their case on every street corner. Chaos, with gun-play aplenty, ensued.
 To read "Richmond's Bloody Interregnum" at the Fan District Slant click here.   

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