Can We Stand in Line for More than a Chicken Sandwich from Popeyes?

Can We Stand in Line for More than a Chicken Sandwich from Popeyes?

By Wane A. Hailes

It is indeed a sad situation when three Black men can’t come together as brothers, set aside their egos, postpone their personal ambitions, and decide what is best for this community. I believe all three are God-fearing men. In fact, one of the individuals is a seminary-trained minister. So, it vexes me as to why they refused to heed the words of 1 Corinthians 1:10 which reads, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”

In all transparency, a group of faith-based and civic and social organization leaders tried to bring them together to share the importance of having someone of color as an at-large councilor. They were never able to get them together in one room for the conversation. However, each of the candidates was contacted individually. It was explained to them that by having more than one Black candidate in this important race they would split the vote. The leaders and their friends, fraternity brothers and concerned citizens implored them to collectively decide to back the candidate who would have the best chance to win. They didn’t listen.

We now know as we did then, the individual with the best chance to win was Travis Chambers.                                                                          

Travis Chambers                 7,694 votes   44.18%                                                         John Anker                        6,735 votes        38.67%                                                          Rocky Marsh                  1,792 votes        10.29%                                                          Patrick Leonard                    1,196 votes          6.87%

Although there is no guarantee that all of Marsh’s and Leonard’s votes would have gone to Chambers, one could easily surmise that a majority of their votes would have been cast for him, thus giving him the 50% plus 1 vote needed to win outright.

Because of their lack of vision, and total disregard for what’s best for this community, we now have a runoff with a candidate of color being opposed by a candidate who may be more concerned with the Biffs and Ashleys of our community than the Darnells and Aliyahs.

But as my grandmother would say “No use crying over spilt milk. What’s done is done.” Our only recourse at this point is to “Get Up, Get Into It and Get Involved” as James Brown proclaimed. Which, in this case, means get out and vote. As of today, 4,326 registered individuals have taken advantage of early voting. But that’s not nearly enough. Come Tuesday the 18th Travis Chambers is going to need those same 7,694 registered voters who voted for him and the 2,988 people who voted for Rocky and Patrick to show up at the polls.

My HBCU alumni we need you to show up at the polls Tuesday like you do for the Tuskegee/Morehouse and Fountain City Classic games. My young voters, we need you to come prepared to stand in line to vote like you do to purchase the latest pair of Air Jordans or a new Apple iPhone. Ladies I’m asking you to come stand in line to vote like you did while waiting to get in the Charlie Wilson and New Edition concerts last year. And finally, I’m gonna need “all ya’ll” to come stand in line to vote like you waited in line in the drive-thru when the new Popeyes Chicken sandwich came into the market.

People, it’s time to realize we are in a position to challenge every prime political seat in Muscogee County. The efforts to register Blacks in this community have been successful. As rapper/activist Killer Mike recently challenged us; “It’s time to Plot, Plan, Strategize, Organize and properly mobilize.”

But for this Tuesday we just need you to come out, stand in line for however long it takes and vote!

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