The word "Racist" used to be a word that was used to describe a person who had no tolerance for other peoples race or religion. If that word was used, there was no mistaking why.
Throughout the history of our nation were any number of pure racists in our country. We had them in our families and churches and we were represented by them in local, state and federal governments.
Then we were blessed as a man with a dream - not a plan for revolution but a real honest to goodness dream - arrived on the scene. His dream was that all men, regardless of their race and beliefs could, and should, be considered equal.
That man, Dr. Martin Luther King, had his dream became a reality, even though he died as a martyr when he was assassinated for following his dream.
After his death, that dream did become a reality. As a result, many people who were in fact racist in their beliefs, and were descendants of families who spent their whole lives being racist, began to change.
And for the last 25 years the word was rarely heard.
That has changed in the past few years. The word "racist" has come back out of the closet and it is being used against people for no other reason than the person being branded has a different point of view. Particularly, due to their political views.
A whole group of people is being branded as being racist by the NAACP because they have dared to challenge the status quo. That group is known as the Tea Party, represents people of all races, beliefs and political party affiliations.
We have no doubt that there are some bigots in this movement. We also have no doubt that there are bigots in the NAACP. We don’t think that Tea Party movement members as a whole are racists, nor do we think that members of the NAACP as a whole are racists.
Because of the loose use of the word "racist" by some people, the meaning of it has been watered down to the point that the real racists can hide behind its use with impunity.
This past week, in an editorial on the election, the editorial board wanted to make a point about the low voter turnout. We stated that if it was even lower during the Aug. 10 runoff, the reality would exist that we would have people elected to represent us that would be elected by the minority of the minority of the voters registered.
Our editorial staff thought by using the word "minority" we would be offending some of our readers and that the statement might be perceived as racist. We changed our editorial because of that discussion.
After further thought, and knowing that no one on the editorial board was either a racist or bigoted, we have decided to use the word. While the word "minority" is sometimes attached to race, it actually means "the smaller in number of two groups forming a whole."
We are also going to say this: if you don’t take time to vote in the runoff election being held on Aug. 10 here in Newton County, you by your actions, are going to insure that the people elected to office or elected to run in the general election in November, will surely be elected by the "minority of the minority of registered voters in this county." And that will be a pure travesty.