Seeking a positive change for all people

February 20, 2005|by Alesia Parson

I need to make clear to you and the readers my feelings about Bob Maginnis' recent article "Black candidates face an uphill battle," which was full of open-ended questions and one grave error.

Although you've made your correction about my position, I feel compelled to state my position once more. As I stated in my farewell column, I was asked to run by members of my community - a community of God-fearing, hard-working voters.

You said so much in that column that invites one to make inferences that, in my opinion, have the potential to do more harm than good to any of the "black" candidates and paints a picture of hopelessness to the would-be black voter.

Those who have embraced my style of writing are aware of how seriously I take my heritage as an African-American, and through my column I've come to realize that my writings have found a place in the hearts of many and have had the ability to cross color lines. Of this I am proud. There are many of us who are not jaded by color and know that we are nothing without one another.


So yes, I do agree that it will take more than blacks voting for blacks to bring diversity to the City Council, but I have faith in those who are champions of change. Those who believe, as do I, that in order to really say you're open minded, you must allow and embrace understanding and change. My run for city council is no different than all the issues I've embraced during my run as correspondent of "Around Jonathan Street."

My run "as a black candidate" for City Council is taken on with great sincerity. It is one that I do not take lightly; nor do I ignore the impact that such an undertaking will have on our people, yes, including those children of which you spoke, or the positive impact that having a person of color will have on the overall fabric of our city's council.

In speaking as an African-American who knows viscerally what it's like to be "black in Hagerstown," I can only say that I've experienced the "uphill battle" of which you speak and could address the issue all day.

But I choose not to. Instead I will lend my support to making a positive change for all people. And yes, in the interim, because I am "black in Hagerstown" and a native of Hagerstown, I will be able to speak as such and lend my experience to the council, thus bringing recognition for our contributions to the city.

In the process, I shall open the doors of acceptance for all people, thus obliterating any further need for articles that leap off the page and exclaim such ugliness as, "Black candidates face an uphill battle."

Alesia Parson is a candidate for Hagerstown City Council under the platform, "Voice of the Citizens - Not Business as Usual."

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