The first Mayor of our new consolidated city/county will have to be a messiah. Really. What we need now is a man (there are no women in this six-man race) who can walk on water -- the water that divides us; who can raise the dead -- the dead prejudices that keep us yelling at each other in the City Council meetings; who can give sight to the blind -- the blind hatred that keeps us focused on the Trayvon Martins instead of on the issues that can move us forward.
We don’t need a black man. We don’t need a white man. We don’t need a Latino or an Asian. We need a messiah. Look carefully at these six men before you vote. This will be the most important ballot you cast in your entire lifetime. Macon’s future is the future of Central Georgia; what happens in Macon affects Monroe, Jones, Twiggs, Crawford and Peach, and even out to Wilkinson, Laurens, Dodge, Bleckley, Pulaski and Dooly, and let’s not overlook Houston County that stands tall now with Robins Air Force Base, but would crumble with a BRAC. All of us need Macon. And Macon needs a messiah.
Macon is a charming, graceful, Southern woman with cancer. Her medical, musical, educational and historical beauty attracts thousands of visitors every year, but she’s slowly dying. Her cancer is easily diagnosed and everyone knows where it’s located. For many years, we’ve tried one “cure” after another, but nothing has worked. Two years ago, we thought our messiah had come with his “Macon Miracle,” but we were wrong. One “miracle” cannot cure this disease; it will take years and years of thinking “unity” and not “division.”
Macon’s cancer is not poverty, teen pregnancies, race or education -- although all four of these are cancer cells; our real cancer is our inability to look beyond color to character. That’s what’s killing us.
We need a messiah who can unite all of Central Georgia to think as one. We need a messiah who can speak without blaming others, who can disagree without shouting, who can listen. We need a leader who will lead us, not divide us.
Once we’re united we can focus on crime and not call it: “black on black” but rather, “Our problem.” Once we’re united we can look at the wealthy and not hate them, but learn how they did it. Once we’re united we can speak with one voice about all the problems that plague us and threaten to kill us, and we can solve them one by one.
Where is our messiah? Which one of the six can bring us to this Promised Land? Well, let’s look at the four characteristics of a messiah:
Honesty. Does he tell the truth as he sees it, or does he spin the facts to fit his fancy? We are very familiar with presidents and governors who have lied to save face. Once a man gets a little power it can go to this head and he thinks he’s infallible -- even when he’s dead wrong. Does this candidate admit his mistakes or blame others?
Forward Looking. This is a new era; a new Macon. We need someone with new ideas, new ways to unite us. We don’t need the old “race-baiters.” We need someone who is beyond that and can think of and speak about the future in a way that includes all of us.
Competence. What has this man done in the past? Does he have a record of bringing people together? Can he unite this torn and prejudiced community or will he tear it further apart? Does he have the ability to unite, or is he just a divider who speaks loudly? Is this candidate competent enough for this messianic role?
Inspiration. Honesty, vision and competency are not enough. This man will have to inspire us to give up our old way of thinking -- and believe me -- we all have skeletons in our brains that need to go. Does this candidate really inspire us when he talks and walks among us?
We need a messiah. Vote very carefully.
Dr. Bill Cummings is the CEO of Cummings Consolidated Corporation and Cummings Management Consultants. His website is digitallydrc.com.