As Jacksonians close this chapter of Mississippi politics 101, I find that many people are saddened by the ignorance of many of the voters in this city. Why else would they elect Frank Melton, a former television executive, to run the city.
First, Melton made promises only God can keep. Secondly, he was deceptive regarding his party affiliation. He was, is and forever shall be a Republican. I have no objection to any person being a Republican or a Democrat. My criticism is towards his dishonesty. If he is dishonest about his party affiliation, how can anyone expect him to deal fairly and justly with the city of Jackson?
The citizens who voted for Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. recognized Melton for who he is. But, the citizens who voted for Melton had no idea who he was, is, or will be. But you will soon find out. I wonder why Jacksonians could not be as politically astute as the people in our sister city of Canton?
Canton mayoral candidate Dr. William Truly made all kinds of promises that sounded good but the citizens of Canton realized that he could not keep many of his promises and maintain his medical practice. They did the rational, reasonable thing by re-electing Mayor Fred Esco, Jr. This is what Jacksonians should have done.
I always thought that the citizens of Jackson collectively were some of the most politically advanced people in the state. Now they have proven that they will follow and believe the political white power structure without thinking for themselves.
Now let me turn my attention to the city council. I want to express my gratitude to the people who will not be returning.
William “Bo” Brown served Ward 4 to the best of his ability. Although I question, based upon the information that I received, the validity of his election. But based on my experience with Brown, he did his very best.
Bettye Dagner Cook served Ward 5 well. She went to see about her people whatever their problems were day and night. Although some will forget the service that she rendered, her labor will not be forgotten because it is recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Wards 4 and 5 have lost great people. They got what they wanted but they lost what they had. They must now look to the future with patience and understanding and realize that new councilmen are just that, new. Give each man a chance to first learn his position and also an opportunity to make some mistakes. The position itself is a matter of trial and error.
Politics is a matter of knowledge. The more one knows, the better he or she can serve the citizens. Let me congratulate Frank Bluntson of Ward 4, and Charles Tillman of Ward 5. Both Bluntson and Tillman bring to the city years of interacting with people, but neither of them have ever served in this capacity.
These men have a chance to contribute to Jackson becoming the kind of city that many hope it will be. With them leading the way, and with our support, this city can be the citadel of justice in spite of the newly elected Republican posing as a Democrat. Remember, we are collectively counting on the city council to give us the quality leadership, commitment, sensitivity and understanding that they promised in their campaign. If they not, I will be there to remind them of their promises. Always understand, although they represent their respective wards first, their votes impact all of the citizens of Jackson.
I must admit that Mississippi politics is most perplexing, but I also believe that with men and women who commit themselves to justice, this city can be a better, stronger city; a city that advocates justice for all and not just for some.
Dr. L.D. Horne