If Lumumba faced serious competition in the general election, such an acceptance speech would be expected and even appropriate. But in this particular case, Lumumba was essentially standing before the people as the mayor-elect. He should have struck tones of unity, restated his vision and called for people to rally behind common concerns of fixing the city’s infrastructure, creating jobs, reducing crime and attracting more people to the capital city.
It would be easier to overlook Lumumba’s acceptance speech as just the emotion of the night were it not for him telling a local television station two days later that he had talked to leaders at Jackson Public Schools about changing the curriculum regarding Christopher Columbus discovering America.
We readily admit that Christopher Columbus was not the first foreign visitor to step foot on North American soil, and certainly there is a case to be made that more discussion of the subject should be had in our schools. It many ways, this argument mirrors that of evolution and intelligent design. On the other hand, it was Christopher Columbus’ voyage that opened up North America to exploration and settlement, which is why he is largely credited with “discovering” America.
Clarion Ledger Editorial