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

  • rvmoore

    It’s very simple minded for Cecil Williams or anyoneelse to think that sec. 5 removal is now warranted simply because the city of Selma is majority black. Just look at the recent Presedential race. Mitt Romney had not one policy that would benfit the vast majority of whites in Alabama nor the majority of black voters in Selma. Nevertheless Romney carried Alabama. I’ve had plenty of dealings with good ole boys like Cecil. His request or position that the provisions of sec 5 is no longer warranted is not based on the demographics of today but the growing demographics of brown people in Alabama and the rest of the south and the United States. Old slicks like Cecil know that in a few more elections the minority vote will surpass that of the majority white vote and the GOP will no longer have the lock on the south that it presently holds. These old tricks of making a point by applying a fact of one situation, such as the city of Selma being a majority black voting demographic as proof that sec 5 is no longer necessary but overlooks the intentions for pointing out that fact is to maintain the majority the State of Alabama’s demographic is still white but dwindling. The old south will not stay the old south if sec 5 is upheld. Only if the Justices overturn it, will it remain the same, so let me surmise that Cecil you only are telling a half truth, which makes your entire premise a lie.

    • MO-OF-IT

      You really should visit the latest census data!

  • MO-OF-IT

    Perhaps Section 5 should start giving the minority in Selma
    an advantage…. It is obvious from past elections that the vast majority of blacks prefer an unqualified black person to an overly qualified white.
    Who is the racist now?

    This country was founded on a revolution spurred by taxation
    without representation. It could happen again. Just glad to see Goat Hill now making good decisions statewide. I for one am,

    Keeping Hope Alive

  • popdukes12

    Fact: Selma will have elections every two years for congress positions and the like, but, city ward lines will not need to be redrawn until spring of 2024. The next census isn’t until 2020 and that is an election year; Therefore, the ward lines won’t be required to move until spring of 2024. Ward one is the only majority “white” ward, yet one third of the city council is white. Why, you ask, if the city is 80% “black”? Voter apathy. Had Obama been on the ballot at the same time, Mayor Evans would have never been re-elected and there would be one “white” city councilman. Only a concerted effort in the absentee ballot box re-elected mayor Evans, as 10 of the 16 regular boxes went to his opponent. Two other boxes were decided by less than 30 votes. No amount of section 5 efforts or gerrymandering will offset “voter apathy”. Voter participation is usually based on income, education,and age. I’ll let you apply that to the current ward lines, and come to your own conclusions. pops .

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