Business owner questions council over diversity plan, event center

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

49 Comments | Leave a Comment

A local businessman used the public comment portion of Monday’s City Council meeting to express concerns about a diversity study and a proposed event center.

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RM Economically Competitive

Since RM was selected as a city by the Federal Government to assist in making the city more competitive it should be a wake up call that we are not ready for this center whether it's in Nash/Edgecombe County or if white, black, purple or pink people attend the center. This is NOT about race. The argument is about what is best for ALL people in this area. I can't understand how some people make this about truly baffles my mind.


Your comment has summed up this whole discussion perfectly.


Your comment has summed up this whole discussion perfectly.


Curmulis, I have several things I need to say regarding this situation. Before I can begin I must first address that "ignant" is not a word. You have used it in almost every response. Based upon context clues, I assume you are trying to say "ignorant". If that word is too difficult, I would like to recommend a few synonyms: uneducated, illiterate, uninformed, ill-informed, naive about, etc. Andre Knight came as close as possible to calling the speaker a racist as he possibly could without actually saying the word racist. Andre Knight's behavior is despicable for that of an elected official, a public servant. If Mr. Knight would like to share his own racist opinion, then he should step down and become a member of the general public. He can sign up for his three minutes to speak. Now before you get your panties in a wad and start typing in all caps "white priv", I am Hispanic and I live in Mr. Knight's area. I do not agree with the Event Center. The study the City Council had done has too many red flags. It does not show progress in this city. It screams poverty. I don't want the event center on the Edgecombe or Nash side. It is a waste of money. I believe the City needs to examine the conflicts of interest that are being presented. If the Event Center is going to be placed on land that a Council member owns, then there seems to be some ethical issues. I would like to see where the call for bids was placed for the $67,000 Diversity Study that is going to Ms. Angela Bryant. I am certain it could be done cheaper and will take every race and ethnicity into consideration. As a definite minority in this town, I do not see the reason for a diversity study. Angela Bryant only helps her African-American constituents (as does Andre Knight). I can make this statement since I have been trying to contact Angela Bryant's office for quite some time now for some assistance. Obviously she is too busy to take care of the people she represents to conduct a meaningful diversity study. I believe in what the NAACP represents. I feel Andre Knight is a disgrace to the NAACP. His behavior is atrocious. I feel he should try to join the Black Panthers and see a counselor for his anger and hate of other races/ethnicities. Andre Knight is an example of what is clearly wrong in this city.

Hey Curmilus

Curmilus....What crack are you smoking? Maybe I shouldnt say that because it may be racist. Since when can any race other then black talk about another. They(We)cant because you run and cry and the next thing we know the NAACP is here trying to start a war. Black comedians all over talk about other races and make racial jokes and we all laugh. How many white/hispanic etc do you hear joking about blacks. The answer is 0. They cant even joke about it without people like you and Andre Knight crying to Rev Barber. Get over it and yourselves. Keep hanging with Mr Knight. He is a real winner in our fine community. You all make me sick. Its so sad that I have so much time vested with this city that I cant just tell the chief to kiss it! Early retirement cant get here fast enough! Let the city on the rise continue to fall. You cant say we didnt tell you so. Lucky 13

Don't smoke nor do I drink for

the RECORD. The rest of the paragraph is just too ignant to respond to.

Dancy !

I was wondering where Dummy Dancy had been. I knew he would crawl out of the woodwork for this one. I see the backwoods piece of crap still can't spell !

You know you read my blog daily so

don't go there. LMBAO! Can't spell? First of all I repeat I heard Steve Harvey use the word and I loved it. I knew when I used it "IGNANTS!" like you would post about it. I am the and you have been agitated again.

conflict of interest

Since Andre and a city employee in utilities have been buying as much property as possible exactly where the event center is going Andre should not be allowed to vote as this is no more than insider trading. The money he stands to make off of this has been in the works. Look into this cumulus fancy.

Why do I need to look into it?

White folks have gotten on boards and commissions to get what they wanted so why is it a problem if the black man does it? Makes good business sense to me. I remember when I told black folks years ago that the white man got on boards and commissions to buy up the land in the county but the black ones just get on the boards and commissions and do not attempt to do such. I was not mad with the white man so I doggone sure ain't mad with the black man.


Who said I was white. All colors of the rainbow make up this world that we live in. Stating an opinion does not relate to what color one is. A multiracial family is a great thing, but being an idiot is not!

How ignant! Races

speak to their culture the majority of the time so show me one that does not. A multiracial family is a great thing, but being an idiot is not! (Really?) I bet more white folks have a problem with multiracial families than black folks.


What rock did you crawl out from, apparently the same one that Knight did. People should live by common sense and it is clear that is something that you and Knight lack. You have won, in succeeding making Rocky Mount the cesspool that it is today. As of today Rocky Mount, NC ranks 40th in the United States as being crime ridden. The likes of you and Knight are what has brought us to that great honor, and throwing $67.000 to Angela Bryant, well maybe she could use the money to get a new hairdo.

Got a problem with

how the black woman hairstyle and then talk about being a RACIST. I love it how ya'll think ya'll can say anything to and about a black elected official. WHITE PRIVILEGE! Well!

Knight was on!

Race is a factor, Knight black and Daughtridge white. Two opinions but the black man can't say what he wants to say but the white man can. LOL!

Event Center

The City Council along with Mayor Combs are convinced the event center will be a great for the citizens and the economy. They need to step back and examine the potential for failure. Ford's Colony and the Roanoke Rapids Theater did not do well. Despite optimistic predictions from consultants, city leaders, and business people. And even the Rocky Mount Telegram was on the Ford's Colony bandwagon. Calling it the largest economic project the area has seen for a long time. Or words to that general affect. With event centers located close by in Raleigh, Greenville, and Fayetteville is there going to be enough demand for one in Rocky Mount? Are Greenville, Raleigh, Concord, and Fayetteville really good comparisons with Rocky Mount? These are the type of questions city council members along with Mayor Combs should be asking and debating.

Listen to Knight on WHIG's website!

No one with half a brain would ever give Andre's incoherent comments any serious credibility. But folks this was a Rocky Mount city council meeting! Where was the mayor and/or the council members calling for a Point of Order to at least attempt to use parliamentary procedures to quiet this racist fool. Mayor Combs was right not to allow the public speaker to engage in a back and forth but what a sad commentary on the rest of the group for allowing that mumbling pea head to attack a public speaker.

How Ignant!

Andre Knight speaks truth to power and is very much credible. Didn't you hear the Mayor tell Daughtridge that the Public Comments were over that he couldn't speak again? Oh that don't matter because that is where some wants to use WHITE PRIVILEGE. Not! The council has an agenda and they go by it but nope ya'll want to run the council. Ya'll learned yesterday! LOL! You need to learn how the council operates and you would not make ignant comments. WHIG has tried to discredit Knight for years and has lost every battle but they too continue to show their ignance. LOL!

A Folly Backed by Stupidity

Rocky Mount needs a civic center about as much as Detroit needs another auto factory. We have the Dunn Center, the Imperial Center and the Gateway Center. It is questionable whether any of these are self supporting. So, our astute city council is proposing a civic center that will undoubtedly compete with these centers and expect it to succeed. It sounds a lot like Einstein’s definition of insanity: “. . . doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” Maybe our council should contact Roanoke Rapids and work out a deal to move the Randy Parton Theater to downtown Rocky Mount. “Build it and they will come.” I think that used to be Roanoke Rapids’ slogan. The taxpayers of Rocky Mount do not need to hear that the civic center will generate revenue for area businesses, because we already have sufficient centers to handle such activities. However, as proposed it will generate higher taxes on the patrons of those businesses, which will include local patrons. Really, how did this idea originate? If from Councilman Knight, I rest my case.

Event Center (Andre Knight)

Andre Knight has a clear pattern of accusing people of racism when they don't agree with the city council or City of Rocky Mount. According to Knight "I think the council has really researched this event center and it is something that is going to bring quality of life to all our citizens. It sounds like the city council has done all the research that is needed and does not need to hear any opposing views. The city Council along with Mayor Combs should allow more than 3 minutes for people to speak. I do not believe the event center is a good idea. Downtown Rocky Mount is not an ideal location either due to its lack of hotels etc. Regardless, I am opposed to an event center anywhere in Rocky Mount. It is not going to attract as many people/events as predicted and likely will operate at higher deficits than predicted. My view would be the same if the city council were majority white. Andre Knight may believe his rhetoric. But his attempt to make this a racial issue is also an easy way to dodge criticism and debate.

Now want to change the rules

Dang! Change the rules want more than 3 minutes. LOL! "It sounds like the city council has done all the research that is needed and does not need to hear any opposing views." How ignant. I would think that a Public Hearing would be held like in the past when doing things to hear what the citizens have to say however they know that they have the final say so the vote. But that is just my opinion just like those racist who are opposing it talking about the cost but then talking about putting it on the Nash Side and in a building that is already existing. Dodge criticism and debate. He has been criticized since he had been on the council so how ignant! There is nothing to debate, just hear what ya'll have to say and then "they" gets to vote.

Event Center

I am opposed to putting the event center anywhere in Rocky Mount. It doesn't sound like Knight is interested in hearing opposing views. Knight may have been criticized in the past but the discussion is about opposing the event center which appears to be supported by the city council, mayor and City of Rocky Mount. If you don't want to hear opposing arguments then it is easier to call someone a racist as a way to deflect criticism. That is what Knight did.


What next can come from Mr Knights mouth before we all cime togethet and get him out of office. He is a racist and will never have a positive input for the city of RM. The tax paying people of RM know how bad the city has gotten and we are raised to always have hope for your hometown but Im sad to say there is no hope. Our leaders have failed us and continue to cause more damage. The city must do something to bring people here because the ones that live here or have lived here know the bad in the city. It has trickled from the city into our surrounding county towns and people are scared to go places after dark. Racial tension is among all city departments. Churches throughout the city preach about it weekly. The police and fire department put on a good face for our public but we all know their own race issues within dealing with promotions and segregated groups within(for example the all black bucket bregade in the fire dept) It makes me sick to know that this crap keeps going on and nobody wants to do anything to stop it. Take your money elsewhere because this city is using up its last helpings to try to save itself but im affraid its a little too late. Mr. Knight needs to be removed from the council immediately

Dang! It was ALRIGHT!

when everything was all WHITE!

Being as andre called for a

Being as andre called for a boycott of Roses because basically it is white owned thus should this folly of his be built I say that it should be boycotted as well. Not a day goes by that andre does not conduct monkeyshines of some nature to get his name in print


Called for a boycott because this WHITE MAN actions running "Our" Governor and has the money to do it. WHITE MONEY AND WHITE PRIVILEGE! Even "IGNANT" other folks don't understand what Pope is doing but then again you do but you support him because he is WHITE but he don't care anything about you either.

It's 2014

Somebody needs to tell Mr. Knight that the 80's and 90's called, they want their race card back.

Foolishness - both study and center

As long as Andre Knight stays on the Council, with his racial bias, this City will be divided. He is an embarrassment to Rocky Mount. Of course we don't need a diversity mumbo jumbo study. Money will feed into an out-of-town agency's pocket, and those locally setting it up will feel important/almighty - doing their race a favor as the study, in the end and $$$$$ later, will say hire based on the racial make-up proportionate to constituents. That is tax money very poorly spent to perpetuate nothingness. As for the downtown center, I won't use it and don't want to pay for it in add'l taxes placed on meals I eat at local restaurants, and later with property taxes when more money is needed. As another reader pointed out, companies are not holding the large conference meetings as in past due to financial constraints, especially upcoming, due to mandatory healthcare. We have the Dunn Center (foolishly located at the back of the Wesleyan campus), the Imperiale Center and Gateway Center. Are they self-supporting? I venture Rocky Mount doesn't support what facilities we have already. No more foolishness!

Actually Hoot Owl the $67,000

Actually Hoot Owl the $67,000 isn't going to an "out-of-town agency's pocket." That would have made better sense. The consultant selected to do the plan is Visions Inc., co-founded by former RM Councilwoman & NC Legislator Angela Bryant. Visions supposedly has three offices nationwide, but you can rest-assured that the specialization in diversity is indeed home grown. So, we're paying 67 grand to a Rocky Mount resident and former RM councilmember to tell us how to be mo' tolerant. Yup, sounds like a plan to me. A better "plan" for $67,000 would have been to install more gun-fire detection devices in and about the proposed location for the event center.

Was alright when

they were able to do the studies and get the monies. Now because Angela Bryant is black here we go. LOL!

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