JayMac: Bullhorns don’t change hearts or minds

Apr 25, 2019, 4:33 PM
Katie McKellar, Deseret News
Protestors interrupt the Utah Inland Port Authority's monthly board me...
Katie McKellar, Deseret News Protestors interrupt the Utah Inland Port Authority's monthly board meeting at North Star Elementary School in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

DISCLAIMER: the following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.

The Utah Inland Port Authority was all set to open its monthly meeting Wednesday inside a gym at North Star Elementary School in west-side Salt Lake City when protesters disrupted it. The board chairman tried to speak over the group to tell them about the opportunity for public comments, but he was drowned out.

“Abort the port, abort the port,” they intoned, over and over. The roughly two dozen protesters, shouting into bullhorns, ultimately hijacked the meeting, which was postponed.

My parents taught me about the and-then-what game, so I could think about the consequences of my actions. You shout down the meeting — and then what? The meeting is rescheduled, but you drown out that meeting — and then what? Another meeting is scheduled, but public comments are banned because your actions put an end to that. And then what?

No other opinion counts but mine — so there

Is anybody going to listen to the protests of “Abort the port, abort the port” and end up switching their position? No. Protest and disrupt until the other side relents and changes their opinion? Not going to happen. This gets under my skin like few other things do.

I believe in the power of protest, but there is a right way, a right time and a right place to do it. The United States has a long history of protests. But I do not support shutting down the people’s business because someone disagrees with the idea of holding a meeting to discuss alternative ideas.

Protesters are thinking that there can be no place for any other opinions because you are right and everyone else is wrong. Shout down any other point of view. Yell into the bullhorn. Afterward, the tactic is the news, not the issue of the Inland Port, which is what the meeting was supposed to be about, but, regrettably, it was shut down.

I once went to a school board meeting in Texas. I was nervous, but I said my piece and told the board why I thought their policies were wrong. Afterward, several people in the hallway said to me, “You know, JayMac, I had never looked at it that way, in those terms.”

I could have yelled into a bullhorn, but that changes no hearts and no minds. I chose to engage in the arena of ideas, not intimidation.

Unfortunately, the school board did not change their position, which is their right, because the board is comprised of elected officials. That’s the way democracy works, folks. But, hey, I was given an opportunity to state my position, alongside others who disagreed with mine.

Instead of winning others over to your point of view, you turn hearts and minds against you when you are a belligerent, blaring bully shouting and disrupting the people’s business.


Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show, weekdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on KSL Newsradio, as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Today’s Top Stories

Jay Mcfarland

Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: The time for talk is over

JayMac: My favorite thing to hear from listeners is "You know, Jay Mac, I don't agree with everything you have to say, but I understand how you got there."
3 years ago
trump parade tanks...
KSL News Staff

JayMac: Will July 4th military parade salute America or Trump?

Will president's July Fourth military parade in D.C. be a salute to America or to Trump?
3 years ago
Nike is canceling a sneaker that featured a version of the American flag from the late 18th century...
KSL News Staff

Should Nike recall its Betsy Ross flag sneaker?

The Nike Air Max 1 USA has a retail value of $120 but is selling for more than $2,000 on resale site StockX after the shoes were pulled from retail shelves.
3 years ago
mackenzie lueck investigation...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: A cautionary tale from a young woman’s death

A young woman's death exposes dangers lurking online
3 years ago
mackenzie lueck missing...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: Don’t blame Mackenzie Lueck for her disappearance

JayMac: Resist the urge to blame the victim until all the facts are in. Mackenzie Lueck and all victims deserve better from us.
3 years ago
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: Sick of babysitting parents, kindergarten teacher quits

A Virginia teacher says it's not her kindergarten students who are driving her away from the profession. It's the parents.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
JayMac: Bullhorns don’t change hearts or minds