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Forum no-shows exhibit lack of understanding
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The Liberty County Branch NAACP is calling all citizens to hold candidates accountable and to elect leadership that will be inclusive and responsive to the needs of the county. There were several candidates in Riceboro and Walthourville who were nonresponsive to their invitation to the Joint Political Forum held Oct. 5.

Riceboro Mayor Bill Austin sent a letter to the Liberty County Joint Political Forum Committee stating that the mayor and the Riceboro City Council would not be attending the countywide political forum, as they intended to have a forum of their own. The buzzword in the Riceboro community among its elected officials was that they were not coming to “Hinesville” for a forum. (They were informed of the event’s location in Flemington).

As president of the Liberty County Branch NAACP, I am calling on citizens across the county to elect leadership of inclusiveness and not leave leadership to an individual who thinks that they sit on an island by themselves. It is important for us to understand that what happens in one area of Liberty County affects the entire county.

Riceboro is one of the gateways, and we are in this boat together. No more can we sit by silently and say what happens on one side of the boat does not affect the other. If I use the concept that what I do on my side of the boat is my business and what you do on your side of the boat is your business, what would happen if one day, I decide that I want to shoot a hole in my side of the boat? Could I then assume that your side of the boat will not go down?

This type of thinking is indicative of naïveté and poor leadership. It is time for us to think inclusively and to elect leadership that understands the value of coming together.

Thanks to Mr. Joe Harris and Mr. Gregory Richardson, who are running for mayor of Riceboro, and Ms. Louise Brown, who is running for Riceboro City Council. We also thank Riceboro City Councilman David Miller for communicating with the committee his obligations that prevented his attendance. These individuals, along with other attendees, demonstrated the concept of county unity and understand that if there’s a room in the house on fire, it affects the whole house.

The NAACP does not endorse any candidate, but it does endorse good leadership, which is required in this day and age.

Respectfully submitted,
Graylan Quarterman
Liberty County Branch NAACP president

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