by Jessie Wright

Eric Stringfellow and I are usually on a very different page as it relates to issues surrounding Mayor Johnson and his management of the City of Jackson; however, I was glad to see an article from Stringfellow (April 10, 2005) posing the question: “Why back a candidate who does not vote?” The article was well written and speaks to the undisputed facts of Mr. Melton’s voting record.

One thing that we must agree on, there are certain issues that are neither Black nor White: They are issues that are Right and Wrong. I have listened to Mr. Melton for many years and I have mental tapes of the venomous labels and just plain “dog-out” statements he made about people (Black People) in this community. For the most part, these were people who were trying to do a decent job. The statements he made were things that historically, whites have said about blacks, i.e., lazy, stupid, fools, and then ending these negatives about Blacks stating, “AND THAT MY FRIEND IS THE BOTTOM LINE.”

With Melton’s limited time with the Bureau of Narcotics, he brought to the State of Mississippi eight (8) lawsuits and is also being sued personally. This is an even greater problem. Because of his “Kick A–” attitude and behavior, many people have experienced violations to include the seven youngsters at the Alternative School who were hand-cuffed and escorted off the campus and carried to the police department. Parents of these youngsters felt helpless to do anything about these violations. Another example of his Wild, Wild, West behavior was watching him at Provine High School – running up the stairs pretending to be in pursuit of a criminal. I fear Melton’s macho-bravado activities. While listening to his plans for dilapidated properties, Melton promised to tear down three hotels and all of the run-down structures they passed on his “Shame Ride”. Did he not know that some of these properties are owned by white Mississippians who deserted the city and whose heirs put no money into the up-keep? Some of us grew up in these properties or similar ones throughout the state. Many of the residents who continue to live in these homes are hard working, law abiding, contributing citizens who are struggling to educate their children. HOW SOON WE FORGET!

Lord, please help me with this. How many more lawsuits can we expect if Melton is elected? My point here is that this man has disrespect and a total disregard for principles of law and just plain common sense thinking. What was that all about – his walking around town in a FBI boomer jacket? Who was minding his watch as the head of the MS Bureau of Narcotics agency as he performed duties of line officers?

Please let the record show that the reputation that Mr. Melton has in this community was earned by him through his own negative, verbal and reckless behavioral actions. Neither Mayor Johnson nor his supporters GAVE him these titles – Mr. Melton EARNED them on his own.

Jessie Wright is a Jacksonian who came to us through our open call for Editorial Pieces. She can be reached at [email protected].