Shortly after Heritage Days, people took to the nets complaining that Mike Faulk had folks out slapping his stickers on poor, innocent children (Hey, it worked for Phil Roe) and that he was acting as a greeter at the Price Public Soul Food Dinner. The dinner, which was held during the festival, was a fund raiser for Price Public Community Center and Museum.
Complaints about the organization’s fund raiser continued until the President of Price Public addressed the issue:
It is against the policy of the Price Public Community Center to endorse any canidate that is running for political office! Although we have allowed organizations, businesses and individuals to utilize the building, we have never endorsed a canidate, nor will we in the future. Price Public is not representative of any political party, whether it be black or white. Concerning the Soul Food Dinner……it was a very busy evening and I was unaware of the situation until someone called it to my attention. I immediately called Mike into our office and I explained our policy. Mike apologized and then left. Price Public has set very high standards, not only for the preservation of this historical site, but also of our officers and board members. Since our beginning, we have served over 30,000 citizens regardless of race, creed or national origin and have bonded with this community. We have received nothing less than compliments of our building and service to this community. Things come to us everyday of which we have no control, but, what is important is how we handle it. In the future, we will certain be more aware of any situations that would not be representative of Price Public. I am so very sorry that this happened and I apologize to anyone that was offended.
Despite Stella’s (Gudger) efforts here, I heard some folks at the grocery store this morning still grumbling about Faulk’s presence and voicing their displeasure with the Price Public board. Certainly, I can understand how people made the mistake of assuming the non-profit board supported Faulk: the Hawkins County GOP often reserves the building for their shindigs.
However, the center is also used by the Hawkins County school board, the Boy Scouts of America, the Mary Kay party people… and anyone else who can pay the rental fee. These fees help fund the maintenance of the property (which was little more than a boarded up building before Gudger joined the project) and assist with the organization’s ongoing effort to preserve the African-American history of Hawkins County.
Tennessee Guy (Jeff Bradley) has more info about Price Public here.
Furthermore, while non-profit organizations do not endorse political candidates, it usually not wise to wander around pissing them off either. Therefore, workers at the Soul Food Dinner were probably wearing “Faulk” stickers for the same reason Mike Williams’ supporters were wearing them while they dined. Peeling them off in Faulk’s presence would have been awkward, and they didn’t want to hurt his feelings or alienate the guy, who might be the next state senator.
Quite simply they were put on the spot.
You know, this is the stuff I hate about election years – and I’m starting to understand why Hawkins County Gas would no longer allow their community room to be used for political gatherings.
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