In my column today, I offered to introduce Chris Malone, a member of the Wake school board, to the Rev. David Forbes, the pastor at Christian Faith Baptist Church. At a rally last week, Forbes was critical of the board majority, which is ending a diversity-based assignment policy in favor of neighborhood schools.
N&O reporter Thomas Goldsmith called Malone for comment. Malone said he was not familiar with Forbes. "This guy has a right to his opinion but he's wrong and we're right," Malone said. I think Malone and Forbes should get to know each other. In my column, I offered to get the three of us together and offered to pay for lunch.
That prompted one of favorite anonymous online friends, AgentPierce, to post a comment on my column saying, "Fine sentiment John. When's the last time you and Art Pope had lunch together?"
Art Pope and I had lunch together on Monday, April 19. We had sandwiches from Cafe Carolina brought to The N&O. I was the host and paid for lunch. We were joined by John Hood from the John Locke Foundation and David Riggs from the John William Pope Foundation. I invited them to talk with the staff here about the groups funded by the Pope Foundation and how they relate to each other. They graciously accepted my invitation and we had a good conversation.
AgentPierce is a good fellow. And he's brilliant (just ask him). I know his true identity but the whole world should know his name. Now that I have answered your question, AgentPierce, I have one for you. I will buy your lunch at The Pit, your favorite downtown restaurant, if you will use your real name when you post at newsobserver.com . Will you state your real name and town? Don't let me down.