Put past behind, move ahead

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 28, 2007

The economy is doing well in every part of the state of Alabama, said an economist from the University of Alabama.

It may be hard to believe here in the Black Belt, but Dr. Samuel N. Addy told a group gathered for the Centre for Commerce annual meeting that is exactly what the data shows.

Addy is the director and associate research economist for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama.

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Many of the figures Addy used are based on the assumption that the I-85 extension is built through Dallas County.

But, even without that, the data shows increases in home sales, light vehicle sales, exports and employment.

There is, of course, a lot of room for improvement.

One area that local residents need to work on is Selma’s image, Addy said.

In order to get past the residual image of what happened here in 1965, residents must “change the image within ourselves.”

The outside world has moved on. “They’re not looking at race anymore,” he said. “The change has to be done right here at home.”

It’s up to us to change it. Each time a public official starts to bring race into an issue, that person should stop and think before opening their mouth. Is that really what the issue is about?

Same with attorneys who may be quick to use the race card.

The issue of classism is much more of a problem here, as it is in most of the country. If we worked together to close that gap, we might be surprised at how much progress is made.