Why the divide?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

All right sportsfans, I know I’ve been here a year, but I’ve noticed things.

Some things, however, didn’t hit me until I was reading the Associated Press’ Web site.

According to an article that was originally published in the Valley Times-News, the LaFayette, Ala., City Council has frozen funds for LaFayette’s Dixie Youth baseball program following accusations that two of the teams were racially segregated. Basically, an all-white team and an all-black team.

Wow, think about that, sportsfans &045; a city council being proactive and encouraging integration.

“It’s our obligation to see that there’s no segregation,” said LaFayette City Councilman Cornelius Reece. “If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck and walks like a duck &045; then it’s a duck.”

Wow, can you imagine that &045; a city council that can put aside petty differences to focus?

Now, sportsfans, before you start saying that we don’t have that problem here, we do. It’s not during rec league, though.

Children in the city of Selma grow up integrated in the school systems for the most part. However, once they get set to high school, then they segregate.

In the year that I’ve been here, I’ve only seen two integrated schools. Think about it, sportsfans. I have a coverage area of 16 high schools.

Only two schools in 16 are integrated &045; Dallas County and Central Christian. Every other school that I deal with in this area looks like it did during the 1950s.

Integration is something that has always been a part of my life. I went to a public high school and an even more public college.

We here at the Times-Journal are going to be doing our part to help promote this city all throughout the summer as we work to promote the first ever Times-Journal Winter Classic.

The Winter Classic is going to be an eight-team basketball tournament held at Concordia College Dec. 28-30.

Right now, I have gotten verbal commitments from Selma High, Southside High, Dallas County High and Francis Marion from this area. I also have gotten verbals from Central-Coosa County High, Alma Bryant High and most recently Briarcrest Christian out of Memphis, Tenn. I have one slot left to fill in the eight-team bracket.

Sportsfans, this is going to be a great opportunity to bring the community together.

But that’s not until December. The real challenge is going to be finding ways to bring the community together and begin the process of making this truly the “Queen City.”