On the local front – the actual core of my column – is that our community is evolving more and more and more into a political cesspool, and special-interest groups are having their way. Several people have come forward with their intention to run for mayor, and have every right to do so. I would ask any of these candidates to state clearly what he or she would do regarding the
racial divide among our commissioners.
Why haven’t they helped facilitate an atmosphere of unity and, not least of all, spoken out against this same divide? How can anybody explain voting on important public issues strictly on a racial guideline? You cannot legitimately explain biased voting except to the people that you seek to appease. Yes we are divided in the community – churches included. There are a number of important issues that our city is facing. Downtown development, illiteracy, budgetary shortfalls and violent crimes are but a few.
ANYBODY WHO HAS demonstrated time and again the propensity to vote with the status quo – i.e., racial voting – should have the decency not to run for a higher post, as this same type of individual often would be viewed as a compromised leader. Can one honestly say that he will be a team player after years of contrary voting tendencies?
W.E.B. Dubois once challenged our sense of urgency to address dire problems right now, not next week or some convenient time in the future. Citizens should not have to wait a whole year for new ideals and certainly not leadership.
We had better wake up now and become more involved and informed. Take a look around and see who’s pushing what project or agenda, and notice their votes on said issues. See who’s curiously silent while the little people in this community get pushed around and often overlooked. See how neighboring communities continue to grow while we choose to walk down the same old dusty trail of division and pettiness.
Now is the time for strong action from parents, clergymen, elected officials and all others. Otherwise thugs will ruin our neighborhoods; negligent parents will ruin our public schools; and the status quo will ruin the integrity of our community. Stand up!
(The writer is a self-employed painter and landscaper. He lives in Augusta.)