Racists keep Selma from coming together

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2006

To the Editor:

Tonight I have been to my first city council meeting and I am writing my first letter to the editor of The Selma Times-Journal. Two such exhilarating achievements in one day. I am breathless and very disturbed.

Friend and I went to the council meeting to lend support to someone on the citizens-to-speak agenda. After sitting there for two and one-half hours, on very hard benches, and bearing up through several ugly skirmishes instigated by Ms. Crenshaw, the meeting broke down to a shouting match when Ms. Crenshaw refused to submit to the authority of the president and kept hollering over his insistence that she was out of order. Where upon, of all people, Ms. Rose Sanders, in the audience, no less, started screaming that Ms. Crenshaw was not out of order.

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So, thanks to the two of them, an early adjournment was made and those of us who had been patiently waiting for our business to be brought up now have to try again at a later time. This is civilization?? This is educated adults?? Unbelievable!

I must say Ms. Crenshaw is a master at stopping the orderly process of parliamentary procedure. She works the others like a pro – constantly making aside remarks and asserting herself at the expense of others.

After Ms. Sanders and Ms. Crenshaw had broken up the meeting, my friend, who had never met or seen Ms. Sanders, went over to her and introduced himself and asked why she felt she ad the authority to start shouting her opinions from the floor when the rest of us had been waiting quietly and patiently for our turns. At that, she jumped up and accused him (in a loud voice) of being a racist and turned around and started running for the elevator, calling all white people racists and yelling that we want to bring back slavery.

I’m not quite clear about the connection between racism and her lack of manners, but apparently she thinks there is one.

Now, I’ve never met Sen. Sanders or Ms. Sanders. I’ve thought that the Senator seems to be a conscientious man. But I’ve heard that Ms. Sanders is responsible for the destruction of the school system, that she is the biggest racist in the state, that her hate of white people is unbounded, etc.

Until now, I’ve thought that no one person could be as bad as that. Well, let me tell you! As she went by me, breathing insults, I said: “Ms. Sanders, I am not a racist!” She yelled at me: “Oh, yes, you are! All white people are racists! You want to bring back slavery but you’re not going to do it.”

I’ve never been called a racist before. I’ve spent my life trying to get along with all people and trying to help all people, financially and otherwise. Such hate I’ve never experienced before. Obviously, this woman is mentally unbalanced or the worst racist on the planet – or both!

How can a community of people come together, work together, heal and care about each other with someone like this on the loose? After considering, recently, the legacy of good that the Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King have left our nation, what a horrible legacy the Sanders family is leaving us. What a pity!

Cecil Gayle