City Councilman Kenny Hardin: I Won’t Be Silent. The Truth Sometimes Hurts Those Unwilling or Unable to Accept It.

Posted on September 10, 2016

Kenny Hardin, Salisbury City Councilman

♦ I’ve read recently and have heard for years people say they don’t agree with the things I say and I’m ok with that. I don’t think we should ever always agree with each other because conformity stifles growth and progress.

What I don’t agree with and find a bit ridiculous are those who say they agree with my views, but not the way I express them. What does that even mean? I think people are more concerned about how my words impact them emotionally and make them feel more so than what I’m saying. If that’s the case, then that’s your mental and emotional deficiency to deal with, not mine.

People have difficulty in hearing and accepting the truth. I’m not in the rah-rah feel good business. If I see inequity and injustice, I will call it out. I don’t subscribe to blind allegiance either. If you’re Black and engaging in detrimental idiocy you deserve to be exposed too.

Not once in my 25 years of truth telling and fighting for the rights of others have I ever initially been disrespectful or out of control. Now, in response to that lack of respect directed towards me, yes I have tried to show as much verbal hostility as possible in return.

I find it interesting how people feel comfortable coming at you with attitude, heightened emotions and demeaning language, but get offended when you respond equally. I was told yesterday that a White business owner is upset with my vote in the last Council meeting and intends to call and straighten me out. I told the caller to explain to him that if he does call with that intention, he will get “cussed the f*** out.”

Cordiality and respect are hallmarks of my personality, but don’t ask something more of me than you expect for yourself. There are people in this city who need to understand I don’t subscribe to the theory of smiling when nothing is funny and scratching when you don’t itch. There are Black people here who are afraid to be a man, but I’m not one. I will afford you the same level of respect given to me.

I have strong opinions that I never force anyone to accept. But to summarily dismiss my opinions as illogical and irrational and try to mute my voice because it makes you uncomfortable, harnesses back to the days when Whites felt Blacks had no rights they had to respect. I’ve never been in a position of forced servitude and refuse to act as if I am now.

I’m all for unity and mutually respectful relationships but the weight has to be equally distributed. I will continue to fight and speak out for the undervalued, underserved and those in the margins so if that offends you, I’m unapologetic.

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