ATLANTA — If you stand on the wooden floors of the Book Worm used bookstore and look out the front windows onto downtown Powder Springs, Georgia, it is easy to see the Southern past lingering.
Store owner Susan Smelser stands by the window and points across the street to a nearby building. “That’s where the Ku Klux Klan used to meet,” she says.
But down the road a few blocks, at Powder Springs City Hall, history was made recently, as the city’s first black mayor, Al Thurman, took office.
He has not been alone this year. Only 10 miles south, Douglasville saw Rochelle Robinson, also its first female mayor, do the same. And a bit farther downstate, Fayetteville swore in its first African-American mayor, Ed Johnson.
This is what is needed.
Now, merely having black mayors does not mean that things are going to get better, no more than a black president did. Observe that long chain of black socialist mayors in Detroit, for example.
What it does mean that black people should finally take responsibility for their own destiny, for good or ill – instead of looking to the Great White Father (…or the Great Black Father…) to save them.
Power flows from taking responsibility: in your own life, in your family, at work, and then in the local community.
“But what about white-dominated towns?”
Let them elect who they want. So long as black folks in white towns are treated lawfully, I really don’t care that much. I have no interest in some sprawling centralized liberal empire – or conservative empire, for that matter. Local independence and local rule is where its’ at.
Naturally, whites have the right to the same lawful treatment in black-dominated towns. “There is only one law.”