Selma has to change

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 27, 2006

To the Editor,

I am responding to the letter written by Frances Coles who responded to Councilman Cecil Williamson.

I do not think Councilman Williamson was saying he disagreed with the program only that he disagreed with the monies funding that program coming from the police department’s budget when it could have came out of a different budget that would not have “hurt” another department.

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As a former Selma native I was one of the young people who did decide to leave my hometown in search of a better life. I found it. I now have unlimited opportunities for employment and my child will not grow up learning from the “Adults” that it is a black vs. white or vice versa world. At the age of 26 there just wasn’t any opportunities in Selma that would have afforded me the life that I wanted. I live in the real world now in which blacks and whites work together and live next door to each other and actually get along very well.

I am a white female who went to a private school

and grew up watching how the adults acted and that is how the city of Selma never changes.

The children there hear the adults talk about change yet they never see any action by those same adults trying to make those changes. I was a youth in the era where the National Guard was called in to let the “white” children attend school at SHS.

Children do not always follow what they are told to do most of the time they follow the actions they see the adults do instead.

How do you ever expect the city to change if the adults aren’t willing to quit bringing the past into things and work on the future instead.

If you truly want Selma to progress and flourish it must start with the adults’ actions.

A black friend of mine that I work with on a daily basis told me one time some very wise words and I believe if we all would listen to those words and take them to heart this world would be a better place for our children and our future. He said, “Why is it that my people have to refer to themselves as African American and why don’t your people refer to themselves as European American for that matter, aren’t we all just Americans? Why do we have to label ourselves with titles such as those except to keep trying to prove how different we are instead of how alike we are.

If we truly want to be recognized as being the same and being equals then we shouldn’t use titles such as those.

Those titles do not distinguish us, it only describes an ethniticity and you wouldn’t walk up to most people and tell them you are a white person or a black person so why do you need to label yourself at all. Just say I am a human being who wants to leave this world a better place by helping others and doing the right things for our children. I mean all children – not just the black ones but the white ones too. They will all grow up to be adults and citizens so who cares what color they are

as long as I have taught them to be responsible, respectful, citizens who gives back to their community and their world.”

Wow! Can you imagine what a better place Selma and this world would be if we all lived by those beliefs. Please for the sake of your children and their future, adults please jump into action for all of them and

show them how to love one another and that you are fighting to make Selma a better place for all of them and not just a few.

My heart will always be in Selma and one day I would love to return and maybe even retire there but unless things change, Selma will continue to be nothing more than a place I visit sometimes and a wonderful childhood memory.

Angela Shy

O’Fallon, Mo.