Lubbock ‘Funeral for the Small Businessman’ Canceled Due to the Coronavirus
Congratulations, Lubbock -- you rock.
We've avoided national embarrassment for our community while learning that there are people amongst us who would mock death during a killer virus outbreak in an effort to protect their own interests.
On Tuesday, April 14th, I wrote about an event called Funeral for the Lubbock Small Businessman. The response from the community of Lubbock to the scheduled event was not positive.
I couldn't be more proud of the many people who shared their sentiments about the event. Within a couple of hours, after the story was posted to the FMX Facebook page, a large swell of disgust had reached the event organizers and they began to do damage control.
I’ll admit that the headline above is misleading. The event has not been canceled, only renamed to be less insensitive and more coordinated to abide by local ordinance regarding public protests and the declared stay-at-home order, including having police present at the event. The protest in the form of a mock funeral is, for lack of a better word, dead.
Part of the effort to contain the blast of negativity about the event was to engage a man who owns and operates a local conservative magazine called, Caprock Patriot. The magazine is sustained by the advertisements paid for by small businesses, which is typically how most forms of media pay the bills. (If anyone tries to convince you that a magazine isn’t a form of media, they are not being honest.)
The same can be said about the medium of radio and, coincidentally, this new savior of the Funeral for the Lubbock Small Businessman, Paul McArthur, happens to host a radio program weekdays on a local AM station. McArthur, whether he wants to admit the fact or not, is part of the media. His business is to make a profit by selling advertising and providing a medium as an arm of the industry that is called media.
The message which prompted the event was lost on social media, as the comments and responses to others started to demonstrate the vile nature of the original organizer, while undermining the effort of the newly crowned “fixer” for the event. And the snowball kept rolling.
People from outside of Lubbock, particularly parents and students considering local universities for continued education options were observing the situation and some even shared their distaste for this sort of display, noting that this is not the type of behavior expected from this community.
I implored the Caprock Patriot to lower his sword and stop fighting with the community that will be able to help our local neighbors who own small businesses.
I can't believe that I have to remind people who are business owners that when they incorporated or decided to file as a sole proprietor, no guarantee was made to them that their business would always be profitable and never face failure. Part of owning a business is understanding the risk, planning for a rainy day, and being ready to adapt to changes in the economy. Sometimes, these catastrophic changes may lead to the unfortunate demise of a business and the owner forced to either get a job or to start again with a different plan.
Businesses prior to the coronavirus pandemic didn't have the government standing at the ready to assist if they were financially impacted by whatever cause, and yet, no protests were being organized by business owners who faced the devastation of failure. I agree that the rules for one open business should apply to all businesses, but I don't make the rules. I try my best to follow them.
Sadly, my attempt to break through the hard shell of stubbornness and my appeal to a fellow Christian was likely wasted. As I spoke to the man who claims that his business is a Conservative Christian Commentary, he kept iterating the sentiment that he trusts his neighbors who own small businesses to be better able to provide a clean and safe environment in their establishments than he does the “petri dish” he called local Walmart stores.
After my attempt to remind him that Lubbock's big box stores also employ local members of our community, no different than local small businesses, fell flat, I decided to give up the idea of having a productive conversation.
You cannot argue with someone who has decided that only the neighbors who own small businesses can be responsible for the safety and welfare of our community. I guess he’s going to the Walmart that employs people who don’t live in Lubbock? The argument is simply lame. Almost as lame as his attempt to separate himself from the media industry, while blaming the media for the response to the coronavirus outbreak.
I gave his radio program about 10 minutes of listening before turning it off because I was so annoyed with the arrogance of the host and his dismissive attitude toward those who disagree with him.
By Thursday morning, the event was better organized and considered the current climate of emotions as the world works to combat the virus and the dreadful consequences to an unprepared society.
Lubbock avoided a terrible display that would have become a national story, much like those of other communities with people who have decided to protest a virus rather than heed the advice of experts.