Coleman Letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Letter to the editor

Race relations are ‘elephant in the room’

I often wondered what I would do if I woke up to discover there was an elephant in my living room. Would I panic and scream, or would I be so frozen by its presence that I would do nothing?

Far be it from me to conclude that there is no elephant in my living room: there is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.

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One thing I learned from the discussions and emotions that preceded the appointment of Chief Deputy Otis Griffin to the position of interim sheriff is that the larger-than-life size elephant in the room surrounding the issue of race relations is alive in Panola County.

The elephant is there, but what will we do as citizens to address its presence? Will we identify that the issue of race relations is there and needs to be intelligently discussed, or will we avoid this elephant of a subject, and hope that it will one day miraculously disappear.

I believe there are enough Christian people in our beloved county to move the elephant from the confines of each of our living rooms to an open space where everyone can be partners in a discussion that can result in replacing the elephant with a centerpiece encompassed with different flowers that reflect the beauty of our diversity.

Let’s not wait until an election season or untimely political appointment to talk.

We can have a conversation that is welcoming and not abrasive, objective and not subjective, and understanding without being combative.

The elephant of race relation is in the room, and if we do not discuss its presence it will continue to grow and bring disorganization and destruction to the living room, the one area in each of our homes that we should enjoy.

Pastor Marlon Coleman