Column/Letters – lots lots lots of letters

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 10, 2007

I would almost bet that the most popular section in The Selma Times-Journal is the “Letters to the Editor” Opinion Page.

It is interesting to note that in addition to the local subscribers, a fair number of “letters” are posted from out-of-town/out-of-state readers who either subscribe or pick up the Selma news on the STJ Web site.

The incoming letters cover a variety of topics – with city government issues being one of the more popular subjects of interest, as well they should.

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One of the more recent letters was sent in by a new Selmian, although this person claimed to have been “in-and-out” of Selma for the past 30 years.

This “newcomer” posed the question, “What’s going on with our elected officials?” Damned cogent inquiry!

This reader qualified his question by stating that he has attended every City Council meeting since living in Selma, plus reading several books about Selma. This is an amazing individual, because anyone who could sit through every Council meeting in the past eight months most assuredly has the patience of the biblical Job.

When asked about his thoughts on Selma’s City government, his response said it all: “Some Council members show no respect for each other, there is no evident display of professionalism, and there appears to be a power struggle going on.”

Very astute observations!

Another letter with the title, “Tragedy, Tragedy, Tragedy” described an incident during a recent Council meeting whereby a certain Councilwoman posed the question to a certain Councilman, “Are you a member of the League of the South?”

Council President Evans appropriately ruled the question out of order. However, the letter-writer characterized the organization as a “hate group” – an attempt to smear the Councilman – to whom the question was aimed.

The Councilwoman and her letter-writing advocate should take a hard look at the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, if they want to see to see what a real hate group looks like. For starters, their venom is directed at President Bush and anybody else who does not embrace their radical, racist ideology.

And don’t forget, these people are our ELECTED officials, and they are paid to fairly represent. All citizens of the United States – not just their districts/states. Also, you can be sure that there is some racial-bias hate going on in the NAACP and the SCLC organizations, as well.

The STJ letters cover many subjects – both

positive and negative – attacking, praising, defending and criticizing.

Recently, a son penned a well-written letter, defending his highly controversial, high-profile, lawyer mother vs. a letter-writing citizen critic.

The subject of the critical letter was the mother’s disruptive behavior in several recent incidents, suggesting that said person is even into a bit of slap-stick comedy.

Perhaps so, but the 1990 Selma High School debacle, in which she was the key player, was not very funny as it has effectively and probably permanently segregated our public school system, in reverse!

The same City Councilman accused by a Councilwoman in a recent City Council meeting of being a member of a “hate-group,” has posted a couple of letters, entitled, “City spending us into bankruptcy” and “Things must change at City Hall!”

Of course, it’s common knowledge that the City’s finances are in disarray, and the mayor is opposed to full and detailed disclosure of expenses, revenues, inventories, balance sheet, etc. on a regular basis. It’s the Selma taxpayers’ money, Mr. Mayor!

The “Things must change” letter related to the paranoid behavior of the mayor and police chief, concerning directives prohibiting City Hall and Police Department personnel from talking or going to lunch with each other. Another issue covered in this particular letter was the suspension of SPD Certified Evidence Technician Clarissa Cole by Chief Martin – for no known legitimate reason.

Friends and neighbors, please keep your cards and letters zipping right along to the STJ’s editor, Tammy Leytham.

Your thoughts, comments and ideas are important and can make a positive difference. And remember, you are participating in two of our wonderful country’s greatest freedoms – Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press!!

Byrd Looper is a regular columnist for The Times-Journal.