Arguments must be supported by facts

Published 8:34pm Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear editor,

During the 1988 presidential primary campaign, the Rev. Jesse Jackson told the following humorous story: President Ronald Reagan and I went fishing one day. While we were both in the boat, a strong wind blew the president’s hat off of his head. I politely stepped out of the boat, walked out across the water and retrieved it. I put it on the president’s head completely dry. The headline in the next day’s newspaper read, “Jesse Can’t Swim!!!”

Internet access has made it possible for almost anybody to reach out and touch people all over the world without opinions, however void of truth they may be. The rapid emergence of self-proclaimed cognoscenti of every issue that affects it has produced a deluge of talk shows, blogs, tweets and other forms of obnoxious offerings to sway us to buy whatever is being peddled.

I listened to a radio talk show recently that was inundated with innuendo, conjecture, and downright lies. Several callers lambasted two Selma City School Board members for joining the lone white board member in his chastisement of the superintendent of schools, perhaps it is because of their ignorance of the material facts. Trusting that the station manager, the Rev. Franklin Fortier, will do the right thing, I requested that he investigate and find out what the facts were.

A former employee (for Mr. Rembert) of Selma City Schools, who happens to  be African American like the superintendent, was notified that her contract would not be renewed. Whether her job performance warranted that decision by the superintendent is on the issue. The real concern by a majority of the school board members is whether the superintendent followed established policy and procedure in terminating the employee, this ensuring due process for that individual.

When the board meeting was over, I questioned board member Holland Powell about the public rebuke of the superintendent. I was told that all discussions about the superintendent’s performance must be done in a public forum.

Had the president of the school board employed the several tools available to him in Robert’s Rules of Order, there would not have been a vote on the letter of reprimand during the July 25 meeting.

If it is fact the superintendent acted in a way that denied due process to the former employee, this putting this board in jeopardy of a possible lawsuit, the board should have addressed that. However, they must ensure that they do not violate his due process by their actions. I hope that it doesn’t cost Selma taxpayers another $500,000 to settle the issue.

Attorney Faya Rose Toure gave excellent advice to a talk show host on the same station today. She told him to be sure he can back up his claims relative to a lawsuit with facts. Veracity must spring forth as an ever-flowing stream during our verbose rants about the issues that affect us.

John Rembert


John Rembert


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