Editor, Commonwealth:

The debate about the installation of speakers versus the pressing needs of Greenwood opened the floor to state the issues that plague the city. Not only did the debate cause alarm, but the views of Councilman Johnny Jennings are more eye-opening.

This debate about the installation of speakers versus the pressing issues of Greenwood is nothing more than the moth-and-mosquito effect. If you walk into a room with a moth and a mosquito by the far wall, your eyes will immediately lock in on the moth. You’re zeroed in on the moth’s every move. As it circles the light and bounces of the wall, you want to remove the moth by any means. Although you know the moth does not present a threat, you still want it removed. While the mosquito sits idly on the other side of the room and has the potential to be a nuisance, your focus is the moth.

Every person who disagrees with anyone who has reservation about the speakers is trying to make the moth (speakers) an issue while the mosquito (issues of Greenwood) is draining them lifeless. The speakers are not the issue. The issue is the constant overlook of more pressing needs, such as the potholes Raymond Prince mentioned.

The second issue is Councilman Jennings’ use of dog-whistle politics. The councilman’s choice of words about what Keke Williams wishes to do with her hard-earned money may come off harmless to the masses, but to a targeted group of people it has very derogative undertones that are offensive. Councilman Jennings must be reminded that he represents the city of Greenwood and not just his ward. He stepped into the light and campaigned for the position. He must accept the good with the bad, highs with the lows, because it is his job to be for the people, to listen, understand and find solutions to make life more suitable for them, and not to berate them about their way of living. As an elected official, we expect him to act with dignity and class.

The third issue: Councilman Jennings stated, “It is not Greenwood’s job to feed you.” It may not be the city’s duty to put food directly into the mouths of it citizens, but its job is to provide the most conducive living atmosphere possible. Mr. Councilman may frown upon how certain consumers wish to spend their money, but their spending is keeping the city afloat. Ms. Williams and other consumers like her can relocate if they feel the city is not providing them the living experience their hearts desire.

The last issue that I wish to speak on is the aura of downtown Greenwood. Downtown has become the holy grail of the city. When you mention Greenwood, it’s downtown and whatever else. The city has become obsessed with making the area the best that it can possibly be with a monotone atmosphere. It’s either you accept it or go eat Mexican. The citizens want variety. Tourists want variety. The city may be making thousands of dollars from the downtown area, but it would make a whole lot more with expanded options for its citizens and visitors.

Kenderick Cox

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