Voices

Talk Back: Are we too soft on Patrick Cannon, and how local is the Charlotte Jazz Festival?

A reader suggests that Charlotte’s black community is too quick to forgive our former mayor. Another raised questions about this week’s Charlotte Jazz Festival.

Talk Back is a series that lets our readers join the party. Add your voice at editor@qcitymetro.com, or hit us up on Facebook.

In response to Patrick Cannon returns to radio with Saturday morning talk show

Former Mayor Patrick Cannon returns to Charlotte this week to face a charge that he voted illegally in October 2014, months after he pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge. (Photo: The Charlotte Observer)

(File Photo: The Charlotte Observer)

“Why isn’t anybody saying more about this Patrick Cannon radio show? Is the black community just going to give him a pass? Or am I the only one who thinks this just all goes to show not even prison can shrink his over-inflated ego? I’m curious to see if he will address the obvious elephant in the room. I think it is ironic that he will have a show talking about the issues and concerns in our community when I feel that he as mayor had an opportunity to do something about those concerns, but he obviously messed that up with his corruption scandal. I just wonder if that will be addressed. I think it will be hard to listen to him give his opinion on things in any authoritative fashion without first addressing that. It makes me wonder if we, as a community, are giving him a pass because he is black. I think if he were a white mayor or Donald Trump, nobody would be giving him a second chance.” MD

Glenn writes: First, I can’t blame any man for accepting a job that would allow him to provide for his wife and children. It would serve our community no purpose to see Cannon perpetually contrite if that also means seeing him perpetually unemployed. He has acknowledged his guilt and accepted his punishment, so now we must allow him to get on with his life. Yes, it strikes me as bold that he would return to the public square in such a high-profile way, but every person must decide for himself, I suppose. Is the black community giving him a pass? I think it’s too soon to say. I don’t imagine that people are up at night fretting about a radio show; we have far bigger issues to keep us occupied. The test would come should Cannon ever decide to re-enter politics. (I cannot imagine a scenario in which I would give him that trust again, but life is complicated, and I’ve also learned to never say never.) As for the “elephant in the room,” yes, in his first show on Saturday, Cannon did apologize for his crime – “What I did was wrong and not in keeping with my character over the years that I served in office” — and several people called in to say they forgive him.

In response to Charlotte Jazz Festival returns with lots of free fun

charlotte-jazz-festival“I am disappointed.  How can you have a local (Charlotte) jazz festival and not invite the musicians that set the bar in Charlotte for jazz all year round!! Bill Hanna, Ziad Rabie and Andre Ferrari. These people are seasoned jazz music men that have entertained the Charlotte area for decades. Whoever is putting together this local venue for Blumenthal must not be a local resident.” LR

Glenn writes: I asked the folks at Blumenthal Performing Arts to respond, and I got back a note and spreadsheet from President/CEO Tom Gabbard. The spreadsheet contained a dozen time slots (noted in green) that will feature local groups or local artists. “These slots were curated by 3 well-respected local jazz promoters, Lonnie Davis, Tammy Greene and Mike Kitchen, who we are honored to have as partners,” Gabbard wrote. In total, he estimates that 45-50 local musicians will play various roles in this week’s festival, which kicks off today with free lunchtime entertainment at Levine Center for the Arts.

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