The war of words needs to end

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 21, 2009

The finger painting that was displayed at Payne Elementary during a Kaleidoscope of Art presentation was a great distraction from the finger pointing that goes on without ceasing on talk radio shows, in churches, on the underground Web site and other propaganda pulpits in the Selma area.

I take the unpopular position of refusing to take the side of the erudite commentator of conservative causes on the 1,000-watt radio station, or the side of the episkopos of the airwaves on the 50,000-watt station. Each seems to believe that their show is what Selma needs to hear. They are both right to a large degree. Neither talk show personality can afford to ignore the fact that each represents a Selma much different than the other. Neither should suppose that he is a cognoscente of what kills and heals a city.

Mr. Randy Williams and his ilk accuse the FM station of hurting the economic opportunities of Selma with its many ranting personalities; yet, they never speak out against the rabid ranting of Laura Ingram and Rush Limbaugh against the U.S. President on the AM station. Their shows are heard across the nation.

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The notion of a co-councilman is not that dangerous; it’s just absurd. Former city councilman Johnny Leashore offers good insight on many issues. He should continue to do so, but not as a councilman, unless he is elected again. If the trend catches on, we’ll have to live with a co-president Bush. I appreciate the character of James Perkins Jr. as he rightly removed himself from the mayor’s office. I was not here long enough to evaluate his service as mayor, but I did witness him leaving the post with dignity. I applaud Mayor George Evans for using his time and energies to find solutions to Selma’s problems and make this a better city for all of our citizens.

Those who are now at the helm of government must not think that they have won the political war. There is an old adage: Minority hates majority, minority seizes authority, minority becomes majority, minority hates majority.

Bishop Franklin Fortier stated on a recent show that it is time for us to move beyond articulating the problems that confront us. We must begin to offer tangible solutions to the problems. To that I say, without equivocation, amen.

It is very incorrect to believe that I am taking a position of neutrality in the war of words and ideas in Selma. To the contrary, I place in the middle of warring factions to say, “Give peace a chance.”

I call on all of us in Selma/Dallas County to work in constructive ways to find common ground to lift our citizens up. Wars don’t determine who’s right. They determine who’s left.

Joseph Rembert Sr.