From slap to mend

Published 8:20 pm Friday, April 16, 2010

The search committee to replace retiring Bainbridge College President Tom Wilkerson has a big order—find someone who will take the college to new heights while at the same time filling some big shoes.

Those 10 members on the committee are more than capable—they each have talents and backgrounds that will serve this community and the college well in its search for Wilkerson’s replacement.

However, there’s one problem, whether a slap or an oversight—the names solicited and forwarded to those who made the appointments didn’t include anyone who would so-call “represent” the county. There are three persons who “represent” the City of Bainbridge—Mayor Edward Reynolds, and Council members Glennie Bench and Luther Conyers, who also serves on the college’s foundation.

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When their names were forwarded, Board of Regent member Doreen Poitevint said they weren’t trying to gain a mixture of “representative” members of certain governmental bodies. They were trying to formulate a good committee.

Rob Watts, chief operating officer with the Georgia University System, said the committee’s make-up is set, and that no more than one-third of its members can represent interests outside of the college. Those three members are the three Bainbridge City Council members.

But now, unfortunately, before the search is really in full swing, there are some relations that must be mended.

And now, unfortunately, an exercise in inclusion has turned into one of exclusion.

Don’t play that card

Thursday’s Tea Party rally—whether you agreed with its message or not—was a breath of fresh air.

Lenny McAllister, a national conservative commentator who also is an African-American, broke some myths Thursday.

Can you be black and be conservative? Yes, he said.

Can you be black and support an agenda that is critical of the first African-American president elected? Yes, he said.

And can the hopes and dreams of America be just as eloquently expressed as a president seating on the left as a commentator on the right—but who are both African-Americans. Yes.

As he said in response to a question, McAllister said President Obama and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and the last three of the four Secretaries of State being women, “We are making history, and some people are afraid of making history. Some people focus on the wrong things as you are making history.”

McAllister said America is going through that process where a man’s color is not the focus. Maybe we’re moving to where a man’s ideas, character and presence are the focus, and what a breath of fresh air that is!