“Absolutely Not” was Norm MacDonald’s response to my question about whether the OHS would reconsider certain aspects of the “Leatherman” project especially the ones involving the DNA and forensic testing. I believe him. He explained to me that he knows of hundreds of people who fully support the OHS’s current plan, and thus far, he has only gotten one letter from a woman who disagreed with it. Based solely on that information, he is 100% within his rights to discredit the claims made here that there is “significant opposition” to the project as proposed. I agree to some extent with his analysis, because I recognize that data from Internet polls, and online comments are not yet in the same league as a letter in hand, a signed petition, a public demonstration, or a personal conversation. Case in point is Dr. Bellantoni’s willingness to listen to me when I met with him in person, and bring my concerns to the team. (He has since said they were working on paring down the forensic portion…waiting for more details)
Ironically, the same technology that has given this movement momentum, can also get it stuck in the mud.
It is now very clear that the kind of activism needed here is the “Old School” tangible, soapbox on the ground, community involvement type. Let’s face it, for some people (myself included), clicking a button to vote in a poll, or posting a comment is much easier than composing a letter, finding a stamp and an envelope, and bringing it to the mailbox. For what it is worth, the OHS will be getting their second letter of opposition this week, and I will post a copy of it here at this site.
We are at a nexus in the movement to “Leave the Leatherman Alone”, and it is one that mirrors societies acceptance of online movements as valid indicators of public opinion. If anyone reading this would like to commit to help in shifting the focus to local community activism, please post to the wall or guestbook, and I encourage you to get involved in this in the local community. I am an hour and a half away, and am thus limited in my ability to be “there”.
For the record, I continue to FULLY SUPPORT the OHS’s goals of making the cemetery safer for visitors and replacing the memorial, but remain FULLY OPPOSED to forensic testing that involves the taking and destruction of anatomical gifts from the remains of the Leatherman to expand the historical record. If someone asked me if I would reconsider that position, my answer would also be an emphatic “Absolutely Not!”