Things got a little testy—good–at last night’s Greensboro City Council debate and discussion over the International Civil Rights Center and Museum’s ongoing financial problems.

What made the discussion tense was a motion by council member Jamal Fox —seconded by fellow council member Sharon Hightower, who said there was a “media witch hunt” against the museum (yeah right)—-to simply write off the remaining $800,000 owed on a forgivable loan from the city. The motion failed by a 6-2, with only Fox and Hightower voting in favor.

But the most interesting part of the debate was when council member Mike Barber asked museum attorney Doug Harris who owns the museum and would stand to profit if it were sold:

Barber broached the subject of who owns the museum and who should stand to profit if it ever were sold. He pressed Harris for the answer several times, phrasing the question in many different ways.

Harris said the museum could never be sold.

“I personally would sue if anyone were to suggest otherwise,” he said.

Barber asked whether a document exists that can prove his point.

Harris said there is.

“A document that outlines that it can’t be sold? I’m going to forget about every document I’ve ever wanted from the civil rights museum,” Barber said.

“I just want that one document.”

That’s the problem with the museum—they have consistently acted as if they are above transparency and accountability and anyone who questions them is out of order. As for Hightower’s suggestion of a “media witch hunt” against the museum–believe you me the N&R wants nothing more than for the museum to succeed. Honestly, I want the museum to succeed. Unfortunately it is blatantly obvious that the museum’s leadership is not charting a course for success.