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Plantation Room should be protected by Constitution

Editor:

Greetings! As one who has lived in, been educated in, worked in and loved the state of Georgia, I must comment on the article on the front page of the Friday's Herald. I expect for those in Washington, D.C., New York City and California in general to have the whiny, "government knows best" mentality that is at the source of the ire towards the Plantation Room. First, we live in a state that fought in the Civil War and those of us who had family who fought and, in many cases, were killed have within us the respect for those men and women, which they deserve for fighting for a cause that was — at the time — of great importance to them. Just as a reminder, the Civil War was about states' rights — the same thing that our government is arguing about now. Washington wants for all states to blindly follow along as they set out policy that takes from the taxpayer and then — without representation, and where possible, without Congress' approval — our chief executive goes about reshaping the Constitution.

While the spat over the Plantation Room is a relatively minor issue to most of those who reside in Bulloch County, it is a very important issue as it regards our "We the People" rights. If an individual, or a group of individuals, wishes to open a bar that uses the history of a time that is less than respectful, the fact remains that they have a right under the Constitution to have it open and, should enough patrons visit the establishment, it will succeed and stay open. The school, the city and the county should have no say so as to the business opening other than to require the same licensing that any other night club would be required to possess.

If the governing body of Georgia Southern University feels that they should "step in" to protect some group that is not specifically identified, then the school is doing exactly what the Constitution forbids. That I might agree or disagree with the Plantation Room opening does not matter. (I do not drink, nor do I go to places like the Plantation Room.) What does matter to me is that those young men and women who attend GSU are being taught that a war fought many years ago and that freed a large number of its citizens is now punishing that same group — as well as all other groups — by the fact of not letting a bar to open based on some supposed possible slight that might occur. Isn't it one of the jobs of a university to teach tolerance and the freedom to all students?

I am hoping that those with higher ideals and a respect for the Constitution will win out in this very disappointing stance regarding what should be a chance to practice the ideals that are obviously lacking. Should enough people not patronize the Plantation Room, then the people have spoken. However, should the Plantation Room be a success, then so be it.

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Grovenstein

 

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