There has been a lot of talk about Councilman Tarrlok. Though I have equalized him, his influence will be felt for a long time. His task force, curfew, and oppressive policies have set a dangerous precedent.
The former Councilman is the topic of today’s discussion.
((New strategy: Answer as many questions as possible before the season finale.))
((Under the cut: Answers about episode 9 and why benders and non-benders cannot live in harmony.))
On this question:
Can there be harmony between benders and nonbenders?
I believe there can be, but it was impossible with Tarrlok. Now that he is out of office, I will make it my goal so there can be.
((This commentary is super-cool! …I’m going to take this as an invitation.))
Why, hello! I see the esteemed Councilman Tenzin has joined this debate! What an honor. The Lieutenant told me about your… run-in with my men in the factory. I fear you will not find our arguments an easier adversary than our technology.
Let’s hear your rebuttal.
While you were right in saying Tarrlok has done the same thing as the Triads and Yakone, and everything about the fire nation and the Dai Li, they are all admitted mistakes. Avatar Kyoshi admitted to my father the Dai Li was a mistake.
“Mistakes?” How many more such “mistakes” must we suffer? Ah, but Avatar Kyoshi apologized, so that makes it all better, right? No lasting consequences at all.
Surely, you of all people know how destructive benders’ mistakes are. Need we bring up Sozin’s mistake one hundred and seventy years ago? Does Fire Lord Zuko’s apology erase that? None of these “boo-boos”, would have happened if benders did not have this power. There is no need to clean up a mess that never happens.
The university still accepts non-benders for their medical programs, while simply offering a separate degree for waterbending healers. Lin hires the strongest earthbenders, as she believes that is the best way to carry on her mother’s legacy. It has nothing to do with discrimination.
Her mother’s legacy of arrogance and excessive force is hardly something worth carrying on.
And denying somebody employment because of something they cannot control… That is the very definition of discrimination.
There are some high ranking police officials who are other benders, and even some non-benders.
Those non-benders had to work harder and longer than their bending contemporaries. The very structure of the police force makes it harder for them to succeed.
Some may use bending to corrupt and oppress, but that is hardly a goal of ours.
Nobody oppresses for its own sake, but it still happens.
Some used to think the Metalbenders would protect us. Now, they round us up and throw us in cages.
When you begin to attack innocent benders for just being what we are, and denying us that part of us we will become enraged. I will take full responsibility for Tarrlok’s ill actions against innocent non-benders. He was a corrupt official, and I hate to say it, but I’m glad his waterbending is gone.
Here, we agree. I am also rather happy his bending is gone.
Some used to think waterbending healers could do no wrong. Now, we know that same power can crush our lungs and make us drive blades into our own flesh.
Again, this was Tarrlok’s doing. As Yakone’s son he exploited his ability to commit these heinous crimes, as my uncle stated at the trial. Most waterbenders cannot bloodbend, and only know of using their bending for healing.
Tarrlok concealed his bloodbending. Why should we trust other waterbenders to tell the truth about their own abilities? Even on its own, waterbending is hardly a harmless art.
Some used to think Tarrlok was just a politician, but see what he really was!
I was the first to be against Tarrlok when he was elected to the council. We clashed heads on nearly EVERY issue. Now I understand why.
Elected? By whom? The political elite? He was not elected by me.
And yet he stayed on the council. You could not remove him. The rest of the council could not remove him. And, as much as we would have liked to, the people of Republic City could not remove him.
The council you serve is a rotten, corrupt body by nature. It is little better than a dictatorship. The people have no voice, no influence. The Council is king, general, judge, jury, and executioner. Tyrants like Tarrlok stay there forever and rot it further.
I will present myself as a peaceful bender. I am one of the most influential politicians in Republic City. I am acting chairman of the council as well, and will likely end up being chairman.
While would choose you over Tarrlok, it is like choosing between a broken leg and a crushed skull. I am familiar with your record, Councilman Tenzin. It is a relief to know that, instead of suffering outright antagonism from the government, non-benders can look forward to simply being ignored.
I use my bending for necessary defense, and mainly just as the air nomad way of life. I will also present my father. As the Avatar, he was the most powerful man in the WORLD, yet he created a city, and a nation with the sole intent of benders and non benders living in peace and harmony, and did everything he could in his life so that dream was realized.
Except, perhaps, ensure our civil rights.
Benders may be the government now, but keep in mind, non-benders were allowed to vote. It is the public’s own choice to have an all bending council. The original republic city council included an Air Acolyte, a non bender, and my uncle Sokka, another non bender. My first act as acting Chairman is to abolish Tarrlok’s ridiculous laws. We will also be holding an open council to make the city more fair for non-benders. As long as you do not threaten any of the benders present, you are invited to this open council.
I will believe it when I see it. You have no reason to keep your word— and besides, you have every incentive to make our voice present, but useless.
We may have physical power over you, but most of us do not abuse this power. And most of the air acolytes are more spiritual than most of the benders of this city. If one wants to become close to the spirit world, once must learn to detach themselves from the world so their spirit can be free. This applies for ALL air nomads, not just airbenders.
I do not believe most benders are Air Acolytes.
We do not wish to dominate. My goal is to return Republic City to how my father, Avatar Aang wanted it to be. The center of peace and balance in the world where benders and non-benders could live together in peace and harmony.
The peace and balance you speak of never existed. Non-benders were simply quieter then. We feared men like Yakone, Tarrlok, and— yes— you.
But now we speak. You call this imbalance, but we call it justice. Now, you must learn to fear us.
You are right that things need to change, but spiritually violating people to remove a natural born talent is not the answer. I believe there is a peaceful way to resolve and end the war without anyone else getting hurt.
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