Hundreds filled the Holiday Inn at 3700 Central as Dr. WW. Herenton kicked off what will most likely go down in Memphis history as the toughest political battle in the city's history.
The former mayor of Memphis entered the rooms to cheers as many in the crowd just wanted to touch him or let him know that they were present. Political leaders,Preachers, and political hopefuls and common citizens attended just to be part of the call to battle.
County commissioner and campaign manager Sidney Chism told the crowd "It's to clean up what we messed up" calling for the election of election of Herenton and the defeat of Steve Cohen with his millions. Chism went on to tell the crowd of mostly Blacks that "There is nothing wrong in being represented by someone who looks like us" Chism who at times sounded like a Baptist preacher excited the crowd who responded back "Amen" and "That's right".
Before the entrance of Herenton many in the crowd some who had been in the Cohen camp talked about how Herenton will defeat Cohen and how Cohen will not be able to take the blows of the former boxer who has no plans of giving the two term congressman any time to rest in the corner. Many spoke of how with Randy Wade running for county sheriff there is no "Good Negro" to save him from a knock out blow from the very aggressive Willie Herenton.
When Herenton made it to the stage the political event became spiritual as he took control of the audience who stood in awe as he spoke of his years of poverty as a child,His 12 years as the head of Memphis City Schools,And his 18 years as mayor of Memphis. The former mayor reminded the crowd that when he took office in 1992 there was only $3 million in the bank,But when he left there was $89 million.
Herenton spoke of how desolate downtown was when he was elected, but how he left it flourishing. He spoke of the appearance of housing projects such as Hurt Village, Lamar Terrace, Dixie Homes, and Lemoyne Gardens and how under his administration this projects have become homes that any citizen would love to live in.
Herenton spoke of how his years of service qualifies him for congress, How his years as a educator prepares him to serve on education committees, How he does not want to just names buildings after Blacks but serve in a capacity where Blacks can own buildings and place any one's name on them they choose.
Wendi Thomas who has a negative slant on anything a Black man does must not have been listening when she prints that Herenton did not state what his platform would be the statements he made on education and housing would be a part of a platform wouldn't it. Herenton who appeared on my show on Friday stated that it should not just be up to him to create a platform but to hear from the people to hear what there desires are for a platform.
Many Whites want to be insulted by the fact that Herenton is showing a picture of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation and stating that they are all White. But isn't this a fact? Isn't it a fact that no Black has ever been elected statewide? Isn't it a fact that the 9th Congressional District is the only district in the state carved out for black representation? So why can't Blacks have just one representative? Why do Whites and Blacks that don't want to hurt White folks feelings with the truth hide from the fact that what Herenton is stating is facts not racism?
Many Whites have the mindset of "Why can't we all get along" "Let's put our history of deceit,lies,and abuse of you behind. Many Whites want to declare that the racism of the past no longer exist that it's a brand new day. I can agree that we must go forward but why should I forget my past. Will Whites ask Steve Cohen to forget the plight of Jews, Hell Naw!! then don't ask the B;ack man to forget his.
Now that Blacks in the City and almost in the county make up the majority Whites want to get along after many years of total White rule. Now that Blacks are in powerful political positions term limits is the call of the day.
Don't get mad when Willie Herenton speaks of his history as an impoverished child who rose up to become a force to be reckon with, Who unlike Cohen has lived the same plights as the citizens of the 9th Congressional District, Who unlike Cohen has raised a family? Oh yes there will be those who will state that Herenton is unfit to be congressman because he fathered a child out of wedlock. But I wonder if Cohen will state that he does not want the votes of Black men who like Herenton have children out of wedlock.
Some will say that Herenton should have been indicted and went to jail thus he should not be congressman, But will Cohen ask for all those who in the 9th district that have been to jail or have family members who have been indicted and jailed not to vote for him? I think not. Whatever you think of Herenton he has a closer bond to the citizens of the 9th Congressional District then Cohen.
BY THE WAY WENDI YOU STATED IN YOUR EDITORIAL THAT YOU WERE GLAD YOU DIDN'T EAT BEFORE COMING TO THE EVENT ON SATURDAY, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FINGER FOOD I SAW YOU EATING THERE? GET OFF THE TIT AND BE YOUR OWN WOMAN