Response to Williamson letter

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2006

To the Editor:

Selma is an amazing place, filled with history, promise, and possibilities. It is important to visit the past, but if we live in the past, Selma’s promise and possibilities will remain dormant.

Cecil Williamson’s attack on the Mayor, Chief Martin and Ted Quant, (three African American men) exemplifies his irrational determination to live in the past.

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He, like some of his “silent counterparts” cannot accept black competency and integrity, except when it serves their warped rightwing agendas.

I really pity this man’s inability to embrace Selma’s first African American mayor and his agenda of “truth and reconciliation,” which is grounded in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Is he perfect? No.

Should he be subject to righteous criticism? Certainly. Compare him to his segregationist predecessors, before you judge him. It’s really not about Mayor Perkins, however, it’s about white power. Unfortunately, some people can’t accept the fact that the Civil War is over and the captives have been set free.

When Rev. Reese, Rev. Harrison and Ed Moss were elected to the city council, Cecil Williamson distributed a leaflet calling them monkeys.

This after 200 years of blatant discrimination in the early sixties. Back then he could not disguise his prejudice and need for white male denominace.

Now, he uses code words like leftist and incompetence.

Cecil never criticized or even mentioned the incompetence of Chief Lewellen and other white citizens who stole thousands from the city treasury.

Lewellen’s light sentence and release from jail didn’t even provoke a “whisper” from Cecil. His silence in the face of ‘white corruption is appalling.”

Cecil lead the ethics attack against Senator Sanders for alleged nepotism and property holdings but participated in the scheme to give a company controlled by Smitherman a 120-unit public housing complex for one dollar.

Moreover, Smitherman and Lewellen made a cash purchase of two condos in Orange Beach for over $600,000 as he attacked Senator Sanders. And he didn’t say a word.

His attacks on Mayor Perkins escalated when the Mayor pursued the removal of the Nathan B. Forrest from public property, after the mayor discovered that Nathan was a slave owner and grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

His organization and/or efforts caused the City to spend over $200,000 in legal fees in an effort to keep this Klan hero on public property in a majority black city.

Yet he objects to $2,000 being paid to a black man who believes in justice for all people, even the Klan.

Ted Quant, a Katrina survivor has dedicated his life to helping people of all races and religions.

For the past 20 years he has come to Selma to give conflict resolution training to youth because of the escalating violence in our community.

Last week, 40 teachers and parents attended his conflict resolution sensitivity training in Selma. If public school teachers benefited from Mr. Quant’s workshop,

police officers will surely benefit.

There are good police officers but they are not perfect; there have been several complaints of police misconduct.

The New Orleans PD has used Mr. Quant’s services because of escalating violence and the police response. Mr. Quant has a track record of success.

Cecil called Ted Quant leftist because of his social justice work. “Let justice roll down like waters” is biblical. By Cecil’s definition, Jesus was a “leftist.” Rev. Williams is a minister and a city councilman.

I believe he would greatly benefit from Mr. Quant’s Sensitivity Training. I can truly say it helped me.


Rose Sanders