I don’t need no politics to make me dance.
— The Damned
No one likes to have his or her hypocrisy pointed out — we tend to want to revel in it — but given the current — make that latest — mess surrounding the Dougherty County School Board, I thought it worth mentioning the ironic reasoning of a vocal few in this community.
Setting the scene: Political newcomer Lane Price outpolls Anita Williams-Brown, easily one of the most disappointing elected officials to have held office in a community known for its disappointing elected officials, and there ensues a massive outpouring of “na-na na-na boo-boo” rhetoric from some in the community.
To wit: “There’s a new sheriff in town” ... “Now it’s 4-3 our way” ... “The James Bush (speaking of disappointing elected officials) Bunch is breaking up” ... “Maybe now we’ll start seeing something done for the children in our school system” ...
That last statement is, perhaps, the most ironic of those being tossed about by the group celebrating Price’s victory because it’s obvious their concern for the students in the Dougherty County School System ranks somewhere up there with whether Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton ever put their differences aside and reignite that vampire/half-fairy love that seems so right.
Here’s what I wish some of these folks would do: Just come out and say what you mean: “Ha-ha, because Lane Price is white, now there will be four whites on the school board to three blacks, and that means all that is right in the world will magically fall into place.”
There are two things about that, only one of which is a reminder that cloaking your racism in “doing what’s best for the children” or “that’s what THEY did” does not make it any less racist. You can deny it and lash out at the messenger, but it doesn’t really change anything other than maybe making you feel better.
The other item deserves further discussion.
What some people don’t understand about Price — and I am basing this on discussions with the lady, not on what her campaign team says or what some people who know she’s a good lady because of her complexion think — is that she is probably the one person who will (maybe) be on this board who is most likely to vote for or against an item because it’s what is best for the children and not because she wants to break some white-black 3-3 tie.
(The wild cards in this, by the way, are newcomer Robert Youngblood, a worthy administrator in the system, and whether or not Velvet Riggins is removed from office. Those are unknowns that are yet to be determined.)
But for all those people sticking their tongues out and wagging their fingers at the School Board’s “Gang of Four,” I think you’re going to find — unless she proves to be another politician who fails to deliver on her promises — that Price is going to be one person on the board who does not look at race as a determining factor in her decisions. She is one of those people whose actions so far indicate that she does not judge based on color.
All you needed to do was follow Price as she campaigned on Albany streets that police officials are afraid to walk down alone and you’d get a glimpse of her dedication to the idea that all children in the school system deserve representation.
Given that reality, it’s equally as telling that Lorenzo Heard and a group of black ministers are targeting Price for her seat on the School Board with a last-ditch independent candidacy. Given Price’s campaign — and, yes, it’s unproven, but I tend to take people at their word until they give me reason not to ... hello, Mrs. Williams-Brown — you’d think they’d want a board member who has committed herself to helping all students, not someone who is running as an afterthought but happens to be black.
Oh, wait ... I get it. This election thing IS about race. Oh, well, haters, never mind all that stuff up there at the top. Hate on ... you’re in good company.
Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at email@example.com.