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Snellville Politics: Racism or Race Baiting?

Gwinnett NAACP Interim President Mark A. Williams weighs in on the racism issue discussed at the last Snellville City Council meeting.

Editor's Note: The following piece was submitted by Mark A. Williams, interim president of the Gwinnett NAACP.

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Over the years, I have kept abreast of the Snellville City Mayor and Council activities and interactions through the Snellville Patch and by way of what is shared with me from community members.  

Last Monday, I decided to attend the meeting and see for myself what some have described as racism, controversy, divided, etc.  The major discussion of this particular meeting centered on the Mayor’s attempt to appoint a black woman as city clerk to replace a white woman.

Upon entering the room, I saw a majority of Blacks on one side and Whites on the other and wondered to myself—“What is going on here?”  I quickly realized that most of the Blacks sitting together were members of a local black church.  Once the meeting started and the preliminary information was read, it quickly turned to the divide over the city clerk position and the appointment of the black woman.  During a discussion period, Tom Witts commented that he was more disgusted with race baiters than racists to which the Mayor remarked that she never mentioned race.   

As I listened to the reading of the city charter, the comments made by the city officials, the comments by community members and what I didn’t hear, I began to ponder the race baiting comment made by Mr. Witts.  I didn’t hear or have read a reason as to why the Mayor would want to replace the city clerk.  I will admit that I could have missed it since I don’t read every Snellville Patch email I receive.  However, I did hear the reading of the charter outlining the powers of the Mayor and during that reading it was quite clear to me that protocol was not followed. 

Upon exiting the room, I ran into Melvin Everson.  We briefly chatted and I left the building.  During the week, I continued to think about the meeting and the issue of racism or race baiting.  I decided to look up some stats on the racial make-up of the community when Melvin Everson served on the city council from 2001-2004.  The 2000 census data showed that Snellville’s population was 89.6 percent White and 5.4 percent Black.  

I asked myself, “Who voted for Melvin?”  Surely, Melvin didn’t win his city council position with all black votes.  Hypothetically, let’s say Melvin did win by receiving all the black votes.  We still have to consider that he served as Mayor Pro Tem for three years and was voted into that position by his council peers, who more than likely were White.  

Melvin later went on to win House seat 106 in 2005.  As of the 2010 census data, Snellville’s population was 61 percent White and 30 percent Black.  Again, did Melvin win as a result of a strong black voting block?  I remember seeing Whites standing on the corners of Highway 124 and Ronald Reagan as well as Highways 124 and 78 holding up Vote For Melvin Everson signs.  

Is Tom Witts correct?  Is this an attempt to race bait or is the city council racist?  Since I don’t know the city council personally and this was my first city meeting, I can’t speak to the latter or the former.  However, I can speak to the fact that Snellville, like the county as a whole, is changing in terms of its racial makeup and that people of color will play a part in shaping the outcomes of local elections.  However, as people of color we must not allow ourselves to become pawns in a political chess game. 

During this last city council race, there was an attempt to get a Black person elected to city council.  Will there be an effort to find a Black candidate for the upcoming Mayor and City Council seats?  Will those Blacks, in support of the Mayor, pit a black candidate up against the Mayor? Is Melvin Everson willing to run for Mayor?  I think then we will be able to answer the question of Racism or Race Baiting? 

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Tom Witts January 20, 2014 at 05:33 PM
I would like to thank Mr Williams for his insightful remarks. I stand by my statement about Race baiting. I have watched it being perpetrated for the last 2 years. There is no place in our society, or our City for such divisive activity. I assure you it is being done for all the wrong reasons, none of them for the benefit to any race. Hopefully more citizens will see it for what it is, and we can all come together and inoculate ourselves against this virus of race baiting. As Dr. Martin Luther King said so eloquently we should all be judged by the content of our character, and not by the color of our skin.
Dave Emanuel January 20, 2014 at 09:25 PM
I join Mayor Pro Tem Witts in thanking Mr. Williams for his comments. Race baiting is unconscionable under any circumstance and it is especially onerous when a member of one race uses members of another race as pawns for political or personal gain. That has been the situation during the past two years. I think Mr. Witts is being far too kind in calling race baiting a virus. I see it more as a cancer. And it needs to be eradicated
Kenneth Stepp January 21, 2014 at 06:55 AM
Well said Mr Williams. And Melvin would make a fantastic mayor. Just not sure he would want the job.
Sabrina Mergenthaler January 21, 2014 at 07:54 AM
Granted this is a nationwide issue... as a member of the Snellville community, I would like to see our city do more to unite all people. The terms white, black, Hispanic, or any other differentiating term should NEVER be brought up especially in terms of politics. What a great time for a reminder that we are all created equally. Everyone has a right to celebrate their heritage and unfortunately, it is this very thing that the black community is thwarted by as it encourages people to say "why are you still distinguishing yourselves as outsiders?" This is because the community as a whole tends to get shut out of those celebrations. Let's stop this stuff for real. Pride in yourself is great. But when we let it plague our minds into thinking that our color is the only thing worth having pride in, it's statements like the ones being made in these meetings that dares us to "pick a side." Cut it out. We are all one ...proud to be Snellville. So why aren't we making Snellville something to be proud of?
David Brown January 21, 2014 at 08:35 AM
Dave and Tom, it was good seeing you at yesterday's Snellville King Day march. I like you both, but we have very different perspectives. We will have to agree to disagree about whether race baiting has occurred in Snellville the last two years. If we were honest with ourselves, both whites and Black folks in Snellville have a certain amount of hypersensitivity when it comes to racial issues. I confess to having a certain amount. There, I said it. How else can you explain folks getting bent out of shape when Mayor Kautz would announce she is nominating an "African-American". I also want to say, in my viewpoint, it is a form of race baiting whenever a white conservative uses the words of a Black person to buttress their agenda/opinion. And by the way, the actual Dr. King quote, from his "I Have A Dream" speech, was "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." I could say much more, but let me be laconic at this point. God bless.=)
Mark Pomeroy January 21, 2014 at 09:06 AM
Very well put Mr. Williams, it really says quite a lot when someone with no political "skin in the game" can come to a single council meeting and see right through all the games our mayor is dragging the citizens of Snellville through. I stand proudly and proclaim that I voted for Melvin before and will enthusiastically do so in the future given the chance. I remember Melvin, prior to deciding to run the very first time in Snellville when he was speaking with a number of people I know very personally saying that he did not think he had any chance in winning a council spot. One of the people Melvin voiced that sentiment to was my Wife Vicki and she emphatically told him that were he to decide to run and if he honestly wanted the job she would do everything in her power to make sure he won, and we all know the outcome. Were Melvin interested in becoming Mayor of our proud city, I know with all my heart it would happen. Snellville's people are by no means racist and anyone who is trying to convince others differently does not have the best interest of our citizens in their sights.
Vicki E. Pomeroy January 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM
After spending months and months watching "My City" and her character torn to shreds over elections and employee assignments I just want to throw up. I am grateful to my husband who clearly remembers the miles I walked and the hours we dedicated to getting Melvin elected and to Mr. Williams who apparently uses an educated, level head before just jumping into situations that he might not know all the facts of. I proudly donated my time and sweat to Melvin's campaign and I did it because Melvin is a fine, honest and well educated man whom I knew would be a blessing to Snellville. His legacy confirms my opinion. Quite frankly, I did not give a royal damn that he was "black", "African American" or whatever other politically correct definition, HE WAS AND IS STILL A FINE MAN. Back when he was elected, most people didn't even know if he was Democratic or Republican. THAT was not the weighing point of his candidacy. Snellvillians KNEW he would be good for our city!!! I spent a lot of time at the Fall Festival speaking with the husband of Alysia Boykin (without even knowing who he was). I explained to him that her public record of bad financial management habits were what was scaring the citizens, NOT her COLOR. I never thought, at that time, that this race baiting would become an ugly fire breathing dragon that would tear my city apart. Putting all that aside I have a couple of questions...1) WHY did the Mayor even feel it was necessary to mess around with a well working arrangement and replace Melissa? Melissa has proven herself to be a fully capable and dedicated employee for over 20 years. WHY did this issue even come up? 2) IF there was a job opening for the city, was it properly posted? Who else was even considered for the position? What special talents does Mrs. Robinson hold that made her the one and only choice to be placed in Melissa's job? There are many, many other ways the Mayor could have "integrated" our city staffing if that was her intent. Why does she choose to create such strife and place poor Mrs. Robinson in such a situation? Mrs. Robinson, on behalf of us Snellvillians who have had enough of these political games and are embarrassed by our Mayors actions, I apologize to you. 3. Why does Pastor Collins feel it is necessary to turn this matter into such a huge "Race Battle". I can understand his supporting one of his parishioners, but pre planning a divisive and racist display of his opinion (power) is a bit childish I would say and certainly did not earn him any respect or Brownie points. WAKE UP SNELLVILLE!! This is NOT our special city (why ELSE would so many people have moved here) and certainly NOT what many of us have worked decades towards. CRIME IS NOW THE problem in Snellville we NEED to work and spend time and effort on, NOT what color the latest city employee is. People, LOVE your neighbors, children and city BUT get your priorities straight!!!!
Claudette Forbes January 21, 2014 at 01:13 PM
Mark, I notice in your blog that you never once mentioned the word “peace” or “unity”. As the Interim President of the Gwinnett NAACP I thought you should show some leadership and reach out to all sides instead of throwing gasoline on an already burning flame. Ironically, you posted this on the birthday of Dr, Martin Luther King Jr. one of our greatest leaders who gave his life for peace and unity among all people. And you didn't even bother to join the people of Snellville to celebrate Dr King's birthday. I did not grow up in America, so racism is not a part of my culture, nor did I experience it in the countries where I lived . However, I came face-to-face with it three months ago right here in Snellville. But I have forgiven the man, I have moved on because I know he has the problem, not me. I wish you had chosen a better topic for your blog. Prior to the last City Council meeting, I had seen you only once at a meeting when you came to collect an award from Mayor Kelly Kautz. If I recall you left the meeting immediately after receiving that award and never returned until last week. By your own admission, you have not been keeping up with the the politics in Snellville, but you formed your opinion after one meeting and talking to one person. Snellville does not need “flame throwers” Mark, we need peacemakers. Remember the bible says “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” I am sure you did not hear the pastors calling for unity and even suggesting that we should split the seating arrangement to start the process. I live in Snellville, I listen to the people of Snellville and they want peace, unity and respect in City Hall. Again, I am calling on our leaders to sit down, have a discussion, resolve your problems and lift our city from under the veil of hate and shame. Mark, if there is peace in your heart for Snellville, join the table, otherwise step back.
Tom Witts January 21, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Mr. Brown, I apologize for misquoting Dr. King. I was under the impression that what Dr. King wanted for his children is what he wanted for all mankind. Regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. If you were offended, once again my apologies.
Carol Hall January 21, 2014 at 07:02 PM
I find this matter of Snellville politics to be so very disturbing. I, too, have been following the series of events that have been unfolding and it is just so very sad. First of all, Mark Williams! You are speaking as the Interim President of the Gwinnett NAACP. But it sounds like you are choosing sides. The tone of your commentary is leaning and biased. I believe that as the leader and spokesperson of such a key organization as the NAACP, you should be very careful about what you post publicly. What you had to say, before you published it with your title as interim president, did you seek consensus and approval from the NAACP membership to post under the organization’s name and title? I believe you should be very careful about how you represent the organization since I’ve never seen or heard the Gwinnett NAACP be active in any part of the Gwinnett community. First of all, when I first sought to get involved in the community, I sought out the Gwinnett NAACP. You were so hard to find. Then I reviewed and studied your activities. And your activities aside from your monthly meetings were nill. So really and truly, is this the way you want to introduce the Gwinnett NAACP to the community? Is this your debut? If so, this is sad. You should have picked another way. Perhaps you should have had a representation in the Snellville MLK Parade yesterday marching along with “that” church who you mention in your ad which as a community leader you should know the name of “that” church along with the leader of every congregation in the community in which you represent. Perhaps you should have shown up more than 1 ½ times at the city council meeting of one of the cities which your territory represents. To be continued…… have a dance class now…. Hence the reason why I never post, my life is way too busy and full. But I can stay quiet no more!
Alisa D. Boykin January 21, 2014 at 08:19 PM
Vickie Pomeroy, with all due respect, my name is spelled Alisa Boykin and please do not try to justify your vote in the past election by making me an example in this blog. You are quite mistaken as to my financial credibility and do not know the facts. There were quite a few untrue statements made about my finances, so let me set the record straight since you never took the time to ask me. I have never written or have been arrested for bad checks, and I have never been evicted out of property. My foreclosed property was a result of the negligence of the bank which by the way was settled. Yes, I started bankruptcy proceedings on a chapter 13 which means I was setting up a consolidation plan to pay off all of my debts due to financial hardship. However, the form of bankruptcy that was showcased was not shown in its entirety which clearly states that I cancelled the filing procedure and chose to work things out with my creditors. I never even went to court for it. There is a difference in filing chapter 7 which means you pay no one back and chapter 13 which does pay creditors back. This was only filed because of the initial foreclosure proceeding. It amazes me that Donald Trump and so many other wealthy, successful businessmen have actually filed bankruptcy, but it was made a bullet point on this blog during the election. Life can present many unexpected turns and WE ALL have had some type of financial issues. However, it is not so much of what we have gone through, but rather the character in which we resolve our issues. The point is to make things better for ourselves and the people around us. We can only change the world one street, neighborhood, community, city, county, state and country at time. I am only responsible to be accountable to God, my family and then to others. I don’t make excuses because I work too hard on finding solutions. So I can appreciate that your vote was not based on my color, but please don’t misjudge me either. Get to know me like so many other wonderful people have chosen to do in Snellville. You can email me, friend me on facebook or even call me if you want. It is wonderful that so many support Melvin, but he is ONE great individual. There are more of us that would like your support too. The City of Snellville has some good and passionate leaders that I know will help this city to thrive past all of things going on.
Brenda Lee January 21, 2014 at 08:28 PM
Ms. Hall, Mr. Williams is as entitled to his opinion and observations as you are. The discussion isn't about Mr. Williams, it's about the mayor of Snellville not following the protocol outlined in the Snellville City Charter. It does appear that Williams took the time to read the charter, have you. That charter is designed to protect you as well, if you are a citizen of Snellville. Can we get back to the topic at hand?
Claudette Forbes January 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Miss Lee, you are correct. Mr. Williams is entitled to his “opinion and observations”, and no one can deny that. But that is not Miss Hall's point. She specifically asked “did you seek consensus and approval from the NAACP membership to post under the organization's name and title? And that is the question for Mr. Williams to answer and I am guessing he will soon. In other words she wants to know if this is the consensus of the NAACP or is it the opinion of Mr Williams.
Donna Glover January 22, 2014 at 12:22 PM
My first thought is to suggest that the council and mayor attend either of the fine pre-schools across the Highway 78 and learn how to play with others. I realize that that the political arena is not know for that and may not be possible. Maybe we should take their toys(wages) away and see if that helps. Residents have lost enough with housing costs being so low in Snellville, crime on the rise, unemployment sky high and families depending on food banks. I am sure all of which affect all race and religions of our Snellville citizens. I am not sure when our citizens were "tagged"? I thought that our council and mayor were elected by the citizens of Snellville and worked for all of the residents. In closing let me say just this ---Grow up people! You are not helping those that you serve only embarrassing those that may have elected you to serve.
Carol Hall January 22, 2014 at 02:57 PM
Continuation: And since you are such an excellent statistician, can you tell us how many positions throughout the city infrastructure of Snellville including appointees to boards, hired employees and elected officials are African American? What statistics does the Gwinnett NAACP keep in order to stay abreast of inequalities and unfairness that still continue to exist in our community? In other words, is the NAACP doing its job? Are you doing your job! I have lived in Gwinnett County since I moved to Georgia and it has always troubled me that the faces in my government is not a representation of the population. Even three years ago there was a huge televised news report about Gwinnett having become a majority minority county but yet and still the population is not represented fairly in the county and municipal government. What are you doing about that as Interim President of NAACP? Instead of seeking to align yourself with constituents who would increase your chances of you succeeding in your next political endeavor, why don’t you focus on the blatant and obvious disparities that exist in our county? In the City of Snellville, I don’t know or see any minority anywhere that’s a representation of the minority population in Snellville. How many minorities work at city hall? How many minorities are currently sitting on Boards right now? I would like to know? So why don’t you and all the other expert on topics who like to post their opinions here inform me? I welcome the dialogue!
Brenda Lee January 22, 2014 at 03:45 PM
Ms Hall I thought we were equal. I don't and would not vote for a woman just because she was a woman. I see no reason to place an unqualified woman in any position just because she's a woman. Why on earth would you beg and plead for fair and equal representation and then be satisfied with less than the best qualified person? Frankly I think you are better than what you have presented so far, here, at the council meeting and when you posted on FB.
David Brown January 22, 2014 at 03:56 PM
Carol, I think I can answer one of your questions. To my knowledge, of the 43 seats on Snellville's boards and commissions, only four are currently occupied by minorities. I am proudly one of them.
Chris January 22, 2014 at 09:52 PM
Carol, are you suggesting people get put in positions based on their race? While it doesn't happen all of the time, people should be placed in positions based on qualifications. Just because an African-American doesn't get hired for a position they applied for, it doesn't mean it's because of racism. Sometimes people are just more qualified. Your focus seems to be on how many minorities are doing this and how many minorities are doing that. It seems quantity is more important than quality in your eyes. The race card gets pulled out more and more in our society...heck, our president pulled it this week when answering a question about his dwindling approval ratings. Also, I think Vicki makes a great point about if there was an opening, was the job properly posted. If so, why weren't other people brought in? It seems all of that happened very quickly. It does bring up the thought as well, did the mayor hire Mrs. Robinson based on her race, hoping to bring up a race debate?
Carol Hall January 22, 2014 at 10:06 PM
Here is a fine example of disparities in our government and favoritism of one race over another. Vicky, you bash Alisa Boykin for having filed bankruptcy and having experienced the fall-out of the second greatest depression of our country like the rest of America but you take a bow to the daughter of our Governor who had also filed bankruptcy and had been involved in messy business. And you elected him as your Governor. You curtsied to the former chairman of the Gwinnett County Commission for her criminal actions. You re-elected Tom Witts even though he’s been delinquent on his taxes! Shame, shame, shame on you people for being so down-right dirty bias! BIASED! BIASED! BIASED! Bankruptcy is a law and a right that YOUR forefathers put into law. It’s not even state law, its federal law. You guys made bankruptcy a law because all of your ancestors who fled England’s debtor’s prisons said we never want to be thrown in prison again for owing any one. Your ancestors who had been indentured servants because of their debts were the founders of this law. You people have benefitted from this law for many many generations. Now that other types of populations of America have begun using their bankruptcy rights, you suddenly find it shameful and you want to shun people!!!! Go back in your history and shun your own people for not wanting to sit in debtor’s prison for their debts or work for 7 years as an indentured servants to pay off their feudal lords!! Come on! Give me a break! Woe to you and the day that will come in your life and the life of your loved ones when you will be taken by an illness, let’s say cancer which chances are very likely because of most of America’s unhealthy lifestyle and your medical bills rack up to the tune of millions! And you can’t work! You can’t pay your mortgage because you’ve been back & forth with chemotherapy treatments. The bill collectors are ringing your phone off the hook! You are totally stressed and at your total witt’s end and don’t know what to do!!! Then while watching t.v. on your dialysis machine at the dialysis center, the Debt Stoppers commercial comes on. And you see a light, a way out, a solution. Now who’s the bad person now?? Where I work, I talk to homeowners daily who are way behind on their mortgages because of various reasons for default – job loss, illness, divorce. Some have the audacity to say it’s the recession! But do you know what most of the smart ones do? Before they let their homes get sold on the courthouse steps, they file bankruptcy and stop the action in its tracks. Some go the way of Chapter 13 which many believe is the most integruous way because you’re not throwing in the hat completely, you are going on a plan to pay back all of your creditors, well at least the “priority” ones. How do I know all this? I’m a paralegal and like I said this is what I do every day.
Carol Hall January 22, 2014 at 10:08 PM
Continuation: Hell, I’ve been pondering long and hard about filing bankruptcy myself! Guess why. Because I own a rental property that is upside down! You guys know what that is. Seventy-five percent of you are upside down on your mortgage! The market caused your property value to plummet. You hate it, you mope about it every week. I tried for years to get my lender to reduce my principal balance. Our current President who most of you love to hate, tried to push legislation through about 4 years ago that would require lenders to reduce principal balances to the current property value. But the lobbyists of the money-hungry mortgage bankers association blocked it viciously. We all must reside happily in our under-water mortgage homes. Yeepee! Well there’s an instrument in the bankruptcy code that allows you to cramdown your mortgage. I have this option in high consideration make sense out of recent fall outs resulting from this recession that makes no other sense. The bankruptcy court will cram down my principal balance to the current value of my property and they give me 3 – 5 years to pay it off. For me, that’s a cramdown of over $60,000! Tell me, now that I’ve educated you and you know about this, I wonder how many of you will be picking up the phone to call Debt Stoppers now! Just food for thought, my friends!! Not even the federal government or any employer can discriminate against a citizen for filing bankruptcy. What gives you the righteous authority to discriminate against Ms. Boykin for asserting her right to file bankruptcy?
Brenda Lee January 22, 2014 at 10:38 PM
Ms. Hall. The topic of this conversation and the issue at hand was whether the mayor of Snellville had used race to accomplish what many of us believe was in violation of the Snellville City Charter. Apparently Mark Williams had a similar opinion. It is obvious that you need desperately for somebody to feel your pain. I understand but this isn't the time or place to vent your personal business and frustrations. There are pastors, financial professionals, etc. that might be able to help you. I wish you well but I’m done with this thread.
Carol Hall January 22, 2014 at 10:53 PM
Since you all have a memory of convenience, let me remind you all how the discussion of race came about. Tom Witts made a very incendiary statement at last week’s city council meeting uttering in open session the words “RACISM”. Then the Interim President of the Gwinnett NAACP in his short-sighted and self-serving wisdom, issued a statement highlighting and punctuating the matter now making it a conversation. At no time did the Mayor ever say she was recommending any one for appointment or position based on race. She simply appointed a qualified individual. While I’m happy to continue the conversation on race forever and ever because it is one of my favorite topics because I feel that the current disparities that exist should be corrected and the suffering of my ancestors at the hand of your ancestors should never be forgotten just like my Jewish brethren never lets the world forget the holocaust, we must remember who first uttered the words – Racist! It was Tom Witts! The television cameras were there if you want to go back and check. Then the Interim President of the NAACP highlighted and punctuated the matter further. So while we are on the topic of racism, let’s continue the conversation. Please let’s do into perpetuity until all disparities are eradicated.
Carol Hall January 22, 2014 at 11:27 PM
Now for Brenda Lee and others of you to say that there are no qualified minorities in this whole entire city to fill positions is ignorant. This city is full of Doctors, Lawyers and Chiefs. Folks are walking around here with MBAs and Doctorates. Folks have served their country, managed major entities. There are qualified minorities every where you turn. Why then of the 48 positions in the city only 4 positions are occupied by a minority? It seems to me that this is a matter for the NAACP to investigate. Did the City of Snellville miss the integration memo issued in 1964? You can’t have majority white anything anymore, people. You’ve got to have a fair representation of the masses. Now if this is what the Mayor is doing, whether she knows it or not, I and I hope many others with me will commend her on this. She deserves an award for being a pioneer for the integration of Snellville city government. Snellville which just might be the last frontier for integration of its government workforce. Now is where we need the expertise of the NAACP. Mark Williams, please put yourself to a more instrumental use and educate us. Can you tell us… Now before the civil rights movement all government jobs and all positions were held by white people, right? That was coming out of the Jim Crow era where they treated us no better than slaves. We were not allowed to hold their caliber of work. The only work we could hold was domestic, field labor, menial labor of the like. Then the civil rights movement came about and our ancestors shed blood, many were arrested, locked up for asserting their human rights, beaten to pulps, lynched, cut up and left to die in the streets like dogs, their carcasses kicked and spat on to seal the atrocity. Our forefathers fought to integrate everything, from buses to lunch counters, to schools to hospitals, to neighborhoods, to jobs. Now, Mark, even after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, didn’t the south refuse to follow the law? Very much like they are doing with the national healthcare act? And didn’t the President at the time, was it President Johnson who had to send troops to states like Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama to enforce the law? And the NAACP, weren’t they the key organization advocating for the advancement of colored people in everything to include the workplace?
Carol Hall January 22, 2014 at 11:28 PM
Continuation: Okay, keep following me on this Mark. Now when it came to employment, weren’t we still barred from employment even though we were well qualified, some of us even over-qualified? Because the rule of the day was back then and still is today…if a white person is considered qualified to do a job solely with a high school diploma, you, the African American must come equipped with a Master’s Degree because of the rule of the double standard. That means that whatever qualifies a white person for a job, double that qualification and then the black person would then qualify. Now keep following me, I know this is difficult for some of you, but stick with me. Now in the same fashion the President had to take assertive action to enforce the civil rights act, now Mark is where I really need you…. Didn’t all government agencies and the majority of private companies put assertive measures in place to actively seek out “QUALIFIED” minority candidates to reduce the disparity of unequal labor opportunities in America? With this being the case and with Snellville being the last frontier in this millennium year of 2014 to integrate its government workforce, isn’t the Mayor by intention or just driven by a feeling of equality that may reside in her, doing the right thing by taking assertive action to diversify the city government? And shouldn’t the Gwinnett NAACP guide her and assist her in the same fashion that the earlier and evidently stronger and more aware of their role and responsibility NAACP did? I know the concepts I’ve outlined here are hard for many of you to comprehend with just having a high school diploma if that and what not but try to understand. And Mark Williams, as Interim President of the Gwinnett NAACP, please explain to us the historical progress of integration of the American workforce and the key role that the NAACP played in it. Please take all the space you need here. And if you need to write an editorial on the matter, I know the Snellville Patch will oblige you.
Chris January 23, 2014 at 12:33 AM
Carol, let's be honest as is very evident in your posts—you have a personal vendetta against white people. What you're failing to understand is that the mayor appointed someone to a position that wasn't open. It has nothing to do with Mrs. Robinson's race. Your statement that you are happy to "continue the conversation on race forever and ever because it is one of my favorite topics" shows you want nothing more than to start a race war. You want every white person to suffer for atrocities committed by our ancestors. I shouldn't have to suffer backlash for what my ancestors did. My character and success in life stands on its own. My father or grandfather don't pave my way...I forge my own path. Stop blaming all of the world's problems on the fact that there was slavery in this country. If you remember, slavery goes back to biblical times. Slavery still exists today, but nobody wants to talk about that. You want to talk about atrocities going on, let's talk about the epidemic of human sex trafficking in the metro area, children being forced into being soldiers in Africa, the human rights violations in North Korea, etc. Those are real atrocities in our society. Slavery was a horrible thing in our nation's history, but many of us have moved past it, while others still use it as an excuse. In your post, your advocating for people to be hired based on their race. There are qualified minorities to fill jobs, but you're saying that because of the city's makeup, minorities should be hired just because their minorities. So, should we just fire people to get more minorities into city government? Let me also ask you something, was Pastor Elijah Collins not being racist when he had all of his church members sit together on one side to separate the room between races? His words were, "We can't continue to look like what's behind me." But yet, it was he who directed his congregation to separate themselves. Why not spread out to the other side as well? You've done nothing but show anger towards white people because of what you feel are injustices. I equate you to Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. All you want to do is scream racism every chance you get. As far as your comment on the president we love to hate, I hate to tell you, it has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with failed policies, lies and scandals that have gone on. The race card just happens to continually get played there as well.
David Brown January 23, 2014 at 09:56 AM
Some clarification is needed about the two ladies in the City Clerk discussion. The proposed replacement is not "Mrs. Robinson". It is Phyllis Richardson. Also, the correct spelling of the current City Clerk's first name is Melisa, not "Melissa".
Phillip S Wallace January 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Ms. Hall, I can only presume with an intellect so vast and staggering as yours that you went to Harvard's School of Paralegal Studies. Myself, however, after four masters (and some other things), I still find value in those with a mere high school diploma. But I'm silly like that. On a different subject--in minor defense of the New Jerusalem members--it is somewhat human nature to gravitate towards sitting next to people you know, especially if you arrive before others.
Ron Schad January 23, 2014 at 11:43 AM
Thank you Chris. Mr. Wallace, if you happen to arrive at a meeting before others; would you sit in an empty section of seating or would you gravitate towards another section of seating where other people are sitting? Actually, the Mayor did herself a favor when she used the phrase African-American in the presentation of her appointee. I believe she knew the controversy the phrase would create and counted on this to distract away from the focus of the Mayors illegal actions. Let us (Snellville City) get on with the issue of Mayor vs. Council and get it settled and soon as I can see a lawsuit coming and it will cost us taxpayers a bunch of money.
Phillip S Wallace January 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Mr. Schad, I actually usually gravitate away from sitting with others if I don't know them already and there is space available, but that is me. On the other hand, if it was a group I was part of, to that group would I naturally go. I mean, they do all go to church together. So I cannot find fault in New Jerusalem for how the seating arrangements turned out--though I am assuming they dribbled in two by two. I also assume, though, the leaving was pre-arranged; I wonder if it was the sermon on the Sunday before--"Righteous is the man who makes an a** out of himself"?
Chris January 23, 2014 at 01:55 PM
I apologize, it is Mrs. Richardson. I was thinking another name at the moment.

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