Home Editorials Working together to win

Working together to win

by William T. Robinson, Jr
William T. Robinson, Jr.

Nashville is growing and prospering at an exponential rate. The city has a diverse population that reflects a need to welcome an administration reflecting the concerns of all its citizens. We need leadership that is open and inclusive to allowing everyone at the table to work together to decide and implement what is in the best interests for the city. It would be to Nashville’s advantage to have leadership that has knowledge and experience in the problems affecting the city when it comes to exponential growth, affordable housing, traffic, and crime.

We need leadership that can work effectively to combat or balance the needs of citizens as well as that of big businesses bringing jobs and growth to the city. We don’t want elected leaders with no experience, whose only interest may be in securing a name for themselves or pushing or supporting private entities working against the interests of the average citizens.

At this time, we have Sharon Hurt publicly announcing as a candidate for mayor of Nashville. Hurt is no stranger to Nashville and has put in the work with 23 years as CEO of JUMP (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership) and serving two terms as Council Member at Large for the city of Nashville. During her race for Council Member at Large, she won with a significant and impressive affirmation from all Nashvillians as the highest vote-getter in the run-off, especially with the African American community.

Sharon Hurt has been a valuable, committed servant in advocating for the public she was elected to serve. It is unlikely that anyone has the experience or better knowledge of the workings of Nashville and ideas to make this a better city. Sharon is an African American that if elected would make Nashville proud and manifest and reflect the progress this city has made in promoting diversity and inclusion. She would be a win for all of Nashville.

Sharon should and could win if her efforts are not sabotaged by clandestine forces using divisive tactics to divide and conquer. Such tactics have been used several times to keep African American candidates from obtaining victories in many elections. This involved African Americans running for the office of the mayor who had no experience, willfully running—knowing they could not win for whatever reasons. That split the African American vote, literally allowing a White, unqualified candidate to walk in. This is a well-used tactic. Make no mistake, the African Americans being used know it and were probably being compensated. In the Black community, Blacks that are part of these diversions are called ‘sellouts.’

We, as African Americans, must wake up and get behind the best African American running for an office and support that qualified candidate if we are going to be successful in getting more competent African Americans elected to offices such as mayor or governor. Common sense dictates that an influx of African Americans running for the same office divides the Black vote. For the most part, that secures it for a White candidate who may not be qualified or acceptable.

It would be wise to suggest that if there are African Americans who are serious about running for mayor, they should meet and reach a consensus on who is best qualified to represent and serve the community based on experience, exposure, and electability. For some competing Blacks, this means bowing out, dismissing egos, and supporting who is considered the best electable candidate for the office of mayor. This would show the motives of those putting the community first, and not themselves. Sometimes a potential candidate should consider that maybe it is not the right time for them to run for an office. Perhaps they should consider a future run.

If you are an African American determined to run for the office of Nashville mayor regardless of conventional wisdom or rational thinking, just be aware you are playing a divisive role and are complicit in depriving potential, qualified African Americans from holding a job that could make us all proud. If we have the potential of having an African American mayor it is paramount that we all get behind one qualified Black candidate. It was the Black community that has elected the past four or five mayors in Nashville. In Nashville, it is evident that Sharon Hurt is that candidate. Let’s play to win!

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