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Remember ‘all have sinned…’

Dear editor,

Show me any person from George Washington to Martin Luther King, Jr. that you wish to honor and I will show the imperfections in his life. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

In Selma, in January we have the Martin Luther King birthday celebration. In February, we have Black History month. In March, we have the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. In June, we have the Juneteenth celebration. In August, we have the Voting Rights Bill signing celebration. Those events are fine with me. Why then can we not have out in Dallas County a re-enactment of an old fashioned southern birthday party for one southern General?

Each year for the past 11 years, I have attended the re-enactment of a southern birthday party to celebrate the birth date of General Forrest. The typical birthday party included music ranging from gospel to spirituals to period songs, an inspirational speech, a historic speech, a fish fry with all the trimmings and a watermelon cutting. I have attended and, the Lord willing, I intend to continue to attend re-enactments from Gettysburg to Vicksburg and from the Battle of Selma to the Forrest birthday re-enactment.

The Forrest birthday re-enactment i sopen to the public and admission is free. It is generally attended by 200 to 300 people from across the South. Everyone is invited to attend, bring your cameras and see for yourself what it is. While admission is free, donations are accepted to be used for the construction of a Confederate Museum and Park. We in Selma are foolish is we do not empathize all of our history to bring tourist dollars to our city.

Those who re-enact Forrest’s birthday are celebrating his gallant exploits as a military commander. As for the Ku Klux Klan, Ms. Sanders knows that Forrest did not start, found or organize the Klan. If she does not, she can read her own book on the Klan by the Southern Poverty Law Center which she recently gave to city council members and find out who started the Klan in 1865. She does know the inconvenient truth for her that Forrest was responsible for disbanding the Klan in 1869.

Why does Ms. Sanders have an obsession with the Klan? People of Selma and Dallas County: Think for yourselves! Have you seen anyone dressed as a Klansman in Selma in the past 30 years? Have you seen a Klan rally, meeting or parade in Selma in the last three decades? To talk about the Klan and to look for Klan members in Selma is like looking for unicorns in Ireland. There aren’t any!

I beg her and her few followers from the Colorado cult to give their energies to solving problems which actually exist here: unemployment, crime, violence, poverty, miseducation and illegitimacy. If I were to leave Selma today, these problems would be just as prevalent tomorrow. Berating, castigating and hating me for attending southern heritage events only diverts attention from the actual problems here.

Fortunately, all people of good will, black and white, do not hate one another and want to live together peacefully in a growing Selma. Unfortunately, the 30 or so who follow Ms. Sanders have forgotten that “all have sinned and come short of God’s glory.

Cecil Williamson

Selma