No need for Section 5 in Selma with majority black representation

Published 6:33pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dear Editor,

In a city with an 80 percent black population, does anyone think that Selma Mayor George Evans, city attorney Jimmy Nunn or Selma City Council members Corey Bowie, Angela Benjamin, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, Michel Johnson, Samuel Randolph and B.L. Tucker would discriminate against their own people — I certainly do not.

Therefore, I have asked attorney Nunn to set forth steps necessary for the city of Selma to bailout the onerous Section 5 pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act. When city government had to move a polling place from Northern Heights Church to Broad Street Fire Station, we had to get permission from Washington to do that even though city councils in more than 40 states can move their polling places by a vote of their councils without Washington’s permission.

Given the demographics in Selma and the almost total black control of city government, there is no logistical reason that the city of Selma should be under a law designed to prevent discrimination against blacks unless people believe black elected officials are going to discriminate against their own people.

The Obama administration has permitted 127 city and county governments to bail out of the Section 5 provision. Selma should be the 128th.

Cecil Williamson

Councilman, Ward 1

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