Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia


February 20, 2012

Your Opinion: February 21, 2012

AMERICUS — Will no longer be silent

Listening and watching others have always been traits of mine. As a teacher, studying people helps me to understand how they function in daily activities and why they react in certain situations. Right now after listening and watching the BOE and its recent actions, I feel like our whole community is in an upheaval. This mayhem with the BOE has laid many items on my heart. God has been pushing me to be a speaker now and not just an ear for listening.

Here are the items on my heart:

1. Everyone needs to remember the MAIN reason we have an education system ... our children! If they are not first on your list, step down or step aside.

2. Don't try to fix something that's not broken, however, there's always room for improvement.

3. Stop listening, reading, and believing others who try to act as if they aren't starting conflict and have the best interests of only one group in mind.

Among these issues, I decided to read another local newspaper last week to help better comprehend the issues about race growing in our community. Never in my life, have I read some of the most demeaning articles written especially those by Christian writers. I'm not saying that other local papers are perfect either, but I've read each and others didn't come close to this type of prejudice. How can pastors, churches, and others support such media when they are obviously for the betterment of one group and one race only? Aren't we who are saved called to be the body of Christ? Shouldn't we join along with our brothers and sisters as the body of Christ? How can we do this when excuses are being made for actions taken when color and race are at the heart of it and not for what's truly important? Don't say they are not when it is apparent after hearing some intolerant leaders speak. How can we as a community move forward and leave the days of unfairness behind when others are unmistakably not letting go of the past?

When Civil Rights were fought for, it was not meant in this manner. Our community should look at the BOE members and not judge them by their race, but for their actions. It should not matter what race has the majority. As adults, we should practice what we preach! I want my children to grow up in an environment of diversity and acceptance. I want their teachers, like myself, to look into their classrooms and not judge children by the color of their skin. I have the mindset of embracing everyone because I truly care about them. If I did not, I would not teach in this system where I see hope and positive things happening daily. I could never take a stand for one child without standing for them all.

I encourage our community and YOU to come together to fight for the future of the Sumter County Schools, the betterment of our community, and what's truly right. Color should not matter.

Our superintendent has done an amazing job with the financial constraints and decisions he has made that have drastically improved our system. Now, he is the next one on the ousted list for the BOE. I will continue to support him. I will continue to support those whose actions display an example of true compassion for our children. I will speak up against those who decide to be puppets of special interests groups and have personal conflict of interests that will have dire, destructive effects. We are all God's children and looking at the color of skin as a barrier or crutch must stop.

I choose to no longer be silent.

Cadie Dukes


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