The Madison County Journal
January 3, 2001
NAACP boycott of South
Carolina a total bust
Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young is attempting to quiet the
storm over the Georgia Flag. In a sermon at an Atlanta Church,
Young called for "thoughtful" discussion between the
After his sermon, he was asked if he supports changing the flag.
"I don't give a damn," was his reply.
Is Andrew Young really that indifferent about the Georgia flag
or has he discovered something the media has failed to report?
The major media have never reported a significant component in
the Confederate Flag dispute. The NAACP boycott of South Carolina
was a total failure!
Here are a few figures from the South Carolina Government web
Tourism for the 1999 season was up 11.1 percent for a total of
$15.6 billion. Some 126,395 South Carolinians were employed in
the tourism business, up to 3.9 percent. Tourism in South Carolina
generated $409 million in state taxes and another $152 million
in local taxes.
The list goes on, showing positive growth in South Carolina's
tourism industry during the so-called NAACP boycott.
There were a few businesses damaged in South Carolina. But they
were limited to black-owned businesses that catered to black-only
clients. That's right. The National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People staged a boycott that hurt only colored businesses.
At the same time, a backlash against the boycott sent thousands
of supporters of Southern symbols pouring into South Carolina,
boosting the businesses of those who refused to attack the flag.
The same thing will happen in Georgia. Any NAACP boycott in Georgia
will only hurt black businessmen in the Atlanta area. The rest
of the state will not be affected - or will benefit from another
These people are not dumb. They have achieved economic power
by being aware of all factors that affect their businesses. They
can, and probably have, read the results of the South Carolina
boycott. They know who will be hurt and who will benefit.
Andrew Young may be sincere in his efforts to cool the fires
of the flag fight. I hope he is. But it is clear that a continuing
battle over the state flag will harm the black community much
more than the rest of the state and I think Young has figured
Now, someone needs to explain it to Tyrone Brooks and his buddies.
The sooner we can put this false battle aside and get busy making
this a better state, the sooner all Georgians will benefit.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.
His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net.
The Madison County Journal
January 3, 2001
From the Editor's Desk
Newsmakers of the
Like years past, 2000 was a busy one in Madison County politics.
Here's a look at some of the top newsmakers of the year:
·Dennis Moore - The resignation of Dr. Moore and the subsequent
revelation that the county school system was in dire straits
financially shocked many. Moore was ambitious in his two years
as superintendent, trying to tackle many projects. But he managed
school funds irresponsibly and left county taxpayers in a deep
hole that will take some time to escape.
·Allen McCannon - As interim superintendent after Moore's
resignation, McCannon had the difficult task of trying to provide
answers about school finances after Moore's sudden departure.
Many have felt frustrated with the lack of understanding about
what happened to put the school system in such a bind financially.
The issue has proven complex and questions remain. But McCannon
has not ducked for cover amid the controversy.
·Bruce Scogin - Scogin has been the most outspoken county
commissioner on a number of issues since he took office in 1999
following Jack Fortson's resignation in District 5. Most notably,
Scogin pushed for a change in county policy to make commissioners
foot their own legal bills to defend themselves against recall
efforts. Scogin's candor has rubbed some the wrong way at times,
but his frankness has been a positive for the board. On more
than one occasion, Scogin has admitted mistakes at the commissioners'
table. And there are a number of citizens who feel more trust
in the BOC thanks to him.
·Elaine Belfield - Like Scogin, school board member Elaine
Belfield has been frowned on by some for voicing her views. But
people should remember that Belfield was questioning Dr. Moore's
spending long before the public knew something was wrong. Some
criticized Belfield for trying to "micromanage" school
business. But if other school board members had been as willing
to ask questions as Belfield, a lot of the schools' fiscal strife
may have been avoided.
·Jesse Martin - Martin proposed a county drug counseling
program to the BOC in July. And the issue proved one of the most
volatile of the year. The commissioners approved $25,000 to Martin,
but that money was returned by the drug counseling committee
as questions about Martin's past fraud charges in Texas were
posed. As a result, Martin and his committee divided into two
competing boards, then the second committee disbanded. Meanwhile,
Martin insisted that he is a reformed man. While a drug counseling
program is a worthy endeavor, the commissioners should have a
real question of trust concerning Martin.
·Wesley Nash - Nash narrowly defeated his distant relative
Nelson Nash to retain the chairman's seat for four more years.
The chairman has his critics. There are those who feel he is
too willing to bypass the authority of the board to get his own
way. But most will agree that his management of county finances
has been sound. The county has had a balanced budget and not
raised taxes during his tenure. Nash keeps county improvements
a priority without overextending the budget.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.