Mayor Jim Strickland has yet to learn about feeding alligators. You can fend them off by throwing them carcasses, but eventually they will eat you.
That’s what I thought when I saw this story in the CA:
Leaders of a weekend rally at the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Health Sciences Park had strong words Sunday about the city administration’s response.
Earle Fisher, pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church, said Mayor Jim Strickland is not offering leadership when it’s needed most.
“The city administration has, at best, attempted to be moderate and centrist at a time when people are desperately in need of more clear and supportive leadership,” said Fisher, who was present throughout the Saturday event that resulted in seven arrests as protesters attempted twice to cover the monument.
Fisher said the mayor and his administration are “with each passing day, leaning closer and closer toward white supremacist apologetics and sympathizers. In the mayor’s attempt to not necessarily pick a side, he’s picked a side,” Fisher said.
Strickland appeared shocked at this turn of events and posted this on facebook about the story, scolding everyone:
I want every Memphian to read this article.
I want every Memphian to see the divisive, empty rhetoric that the media chooses to highlight. I want every Memphian to see the absurdity of someone accusing a mayor who is actually working on removing Confederate statues as being an apologist for white supremacists.
Think about that for a minute.
I want every Memphian to know what I have been doing. I am a life member of the NAACP. I’ve volunteered to feed the homeless for 30 years. I mentor a kid. My administration has improved our minority business performance by 69 percent. My administration has improved opportunities for young people. My administration has connected people to jobs. My administration is working to reduce crime.
And my administration has worked to find a lawful method to remove these statues, which have no place in our city. My administration is the only one in the history of Memphis to not only vote to remove these statues — but to take real action to do it. We don’t see interviews with members of the legislature, or members of the Tennessee Historical Commission, or our partners working to find a real solution.
We do, however, see people criticize the very mayor who is on their side.
To make the statements made in this article is insulting to the hard work of our staff and is an affront to all of our citizens. The comments in this article are a lie at best. At worst, they are an attempt to divide this city with the kind of racial politics that we should all reject.
I am not surprised by this. Strickland, being a Democrat, thinks that gives him an immediate pass on all race issues. He is sadly mistaken. Once his opposition gets a scalp, they will become more bloodthirsty – hopefully not literally – and they will work to get more and more concessions. What next? Change the name of downtown streets like Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Adams? Will he let them riot as he did on the bridge last year? What about the statue of Columbus now at a park out east? Will that go, too? Will that satisfy them?
No. He can proclaim he’s not racist, but you can’t prove a negative, which is what Democrats have counted on, used and been successful with against Republicans for the past 50 years.
He will fight to get reelection. He’s lost many whites and blacks because he hasn’t done anything about crime. He’s let taxes go up. We’ve seen little improvement in the quality of life.
Good luck on that reelection because you’ve painted yourself into a corner and the gators are coming for you.