To the Editor,
Who is this guy, John Beauregard?
I attended a North Smithfield Town Council meeting on Sept. 11. (You may have heard about it?) I rarely attend meetings, and even more rarely speak. But when I heard about a proposal suggesting the town should refrain from buying Nike (Nike had just made Colin Kaepernick their spokesman) I felt a need to speak. About 25 or 30 others also felt the same need to speak. I don’t think I have ever seen or attended a meeting where there was so much passion, and where all of the passion was on the same side of the topic. In truth there were two hate-filled rants, one of them at the podium. But the one at the podium was so obviously driven by bias and hate – the person screamed the loudest, was the angriest, and was not from North Smithfield. But I believe that one case was more driven by a motivation for their personal monetary gain, so I tend to discount it.
Mr. John Beauregard, the Town Council President, was proposing the resolution. I don’t know him, never met him and have never spoken to him. But I made assumptions on my way to the meeting. Mr. Beauregard ran the meeting, opened it to comments, read a statement and then there was a vote. I had made up my mind to not vote for him again, if he ran again. I didn’t hate him, I just didn’t approve of this becoming a town matter. But I do recognize that my greatest protection from making mistakes is accumulating as many facts as I can. So I listened that evening as the facts were revealed.
I then discovered that I have never seen a fairer man than Mr. Beauregard. He had stated we had to limit our comments to two minutes. Everyone who spoke was against his proposal, yet he still let everyone speak more than two minutes. Mr. Beauregard patiently listened to everyone speak against his proposal (and sometimes against just him), and do so with much emotion. However Mr. Beauregard never called time, everyone got to speak. He than read his prepared statement. I took it all in, went home, and continually evaluated what I had seen and heard.
This is who Mr. Beauregard is. A very fair-minded, professional, polite individual. He was never biased nor mistreated those who disagreed with him. And the man whom I thought was biased, prejudiced, and maybe even a little hateful, revealed that he was the complete opposite. Actually, he was never driven by hate, but by love. He doesn’t have a dislike for Kaepernick because he is black, he would feel the exact same way if Kaepernick was white. Mr. Beauregard loves his fellow law enforcement officers with whom he has served. The more I thought about it, and listened to and observed the TRUTH as Mr. Beauregard revealed it that night, the more I respected and admired him.
As I do, Mr. Beauregard also listens to facts and makes decisions based on those facts. John quickly recalled that vote because of his absorption of additional facts. Some news reported that he backtracked, or retreated, or whatever. There was no fear or backtracking in John’s actions to recall that vote, only courage and willingness to be led by what is right.
Mr. Beauregard, 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 respectfully (in almost all cases) took a stand for what we felt to be the better good. I think we were wrong in assuming hate, but we took a stand against what we perceived to be hate. And then some in my town, and other towns, showed that we can hate with the best of them by threatening Mr. Beauregard, his family, his house, and even all of the kids in North Smithfield who play in organized sports. What happened to our stand against hate?
Stephen Hoyle Jr.