City should be represented with equality

Published 11:11 pm Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lately I have been doing some serious thinking about the working relationship of our city and county leaders; in particular the board of aldermen.

There is too much division in these bodies, according to the word of God, and it is a shame before heaven. The God of heaven and earth provides provisions for all, and those in leadership positions ought to consider very carefully how we dispense with them.

You people call for the clergy to come down to your chambers to call on the God of our forefathers, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, to bless your efforts to make just decisions that will equally benefit all citizens of Natchez.

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What I am seeing in these chambers, reading in the media and hearing with my ears is not good for our community.

As a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, I don’t like to see anyone play the race card (black or white). But the action of our mayor on his recent trip to Washington, D.C., is outrageous and preposterous. The thought of lobbying at the nation’s capitol for money to help the City of Natchez and deliberately not carry any black city leader is blatant slap in the face to blacks and other right-minded citizens of this community.

The word of God says where there is unity there is strength, but the mayor’s decision to not carry a black member of the board of aldermen sends a clear and concise message to this community on where he and some of the other aldermen stand for unity and friendly relations and harmonious cooperation.

I do not advocate violence, but this community (black and white) ought to speak out vehemently against the mayor, because his actions were wrong, wrong and still wrong.

There ought not to be any hint of payback on the part of any new administration, but what I see, hear and feel thus far about this administration, I don’t like. We can speak one thing from our lips, but our actions will clearly show what’s in our heart.

The Lord Jesus Christ said it like this: A tree is known by the fruit it bears (Matthew 12:33).

I say this with tears in my eyes as I think of the martyrs for the cause of justice and equality. Mayor Middleton, we, the black community, will not stand idly and allow you to continue this kind of leadership practice.

We as a people have made great strides in race and community relations and I hope concerned citizens of this community will make their voices heard loud and clear for fairness.

There is no turning back now or deals being made under the table.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it in plain words: Any man not willing to stand and die for something he believes in is not worth living.

My fellow citizens of Natchez, do you believe in the cause of justice and freedom and equality for all?

Rev. Clifton Marvel Sr. is first vice president of the Natchez chapter of the NAACP.