Beauregard was reasonable throughout Nike bill, repeal

Beauregard was reasonable throughout Nike bill, repeal

I attended a Sept. 11 North Smithfield Town Council meeting presided over by Council President John Beauregard, who was proposing that North Smithfield refrain from purchasing Nike gear. Everyone that spoke was against his proposal, except for two hate-filled rants, one of them at the podium. The comment from the podium was driven by bias and hate; the person screamed the loudest, was the angriest, and wasn’t from North Smithfield. But I believe their comments were motivated by desire for monetary gain.

I don’t know Mr. Bauregard. However, I made assumptions about him when I learned of his proposal. Mr. Bauregard ran the meeting, opened it to comments, read a statement and then took a vote on the proposal, which passed. I had decided not to vote for Mr. Beauregard if he ran again. I held no animosity against him, I just didn’t approve of this becoming a town matter. But I know that the best protection from making mistakes is to continually search out truths. So I listened that evening. I discovered that Mr. Beauregard is fair; he gave everyone a chance to express their feelings. He limited comments to two minutes, but never cut anyone off. John then read his prepared statement, which revealed much.

John is fair minded, professional, and polite. The man, who I thought was biased, prejudiced, and maybe even a little hateful, revealed that he is the complete opposite. He was never driven by hate. He doesn’t have a dislike for Kaepernick because he is black; he would feel exactly the same if Kaepernick was white. John loves his fellow police officers. (He is a retired state trooper). There is no color line for John; officers are black, white, short, tall, male, female, etc. John loves and respects them all. (Not the evil ones, but they are the minority). John would not feel any different if Kaepernick was white and police officers were 95 percent black. The more I thought about it, and observed the truth as John revealed it that night, the more I not only respected John but admired him.

In a few days John recalled the vote. Some news agencies reported that John backtracked and retreated. There was no retreat or backtracking in John’s actions to recall that vote, only courage and choosing what is right. John and I might still differ a bit on our interpretation of Kaepernick’s motives, but resolving those differences only requires us to gather more facts, not a change of heart.

John, if you decide to run for this thankless job again, my no vote has turned into a definite yes.

I was proud of my town that night. We were wrong in assuming a presence of hate, but we took a stand against what we perceived to be hate. Then some of those same people showed that we can hate with the best of them by threatening John, his family, his house, and even the kids in North Smithfield when they play in organized sports. What happened to our stand against hate?

Stephen Hoyle Jr.

North Smithfield