It seems like many moons ago when East Rome and Main high schools became one. It was not one at the beginning. It was truly two schools housed in one building. The conditions were rocky and rough for the Black students.

They were being tossed and turned in every way that one can name. They wanted to be represented in some aspect, and one in particular was to have a Black homecoming queen. For the first four years they, not knowing any better, took the notion of putting in six or more Black nominees for homecoming queen. Every year they would lose. It took them a while to figure out why they were losing.

Finally, the students concluded that their number was too small and they could not win the battle with just their votes alone. They began putting their votes behind one candidate who could also win some white votes.

Success followed and the Black student population became more acclimated to the world of politics in high school.

These are the adults who are voting now. They were young 14- to 18-year-olds then, learning the political game. What they must realize now is that the political game is the same. Did they not learn anything? It is about numbers.

Just as you were in the minority then, so you are now. It is not time to throw your weight behind a candidate JUST because he or she is Black. You must make sure to know the candidate and what he or she truly stands for. Do not take a chance on putting your vote behind an unknown. Go for what you know and who you know.

I have five different family households in the Paulding/ Acworth/Smyrna area and none of them are familiar with the Black candidates who are running for Congress from their districts. Everyone reading this column knows Wendy Davis. You all know that Wendy comes with experience.

If you have taken the time to know her, you will find a very decent human being with high standards because she comes from a long line of politicians. I did research about the Davis politicians of Georgia and I could not find anything negative about any of them. Wendy is a part of that legacy and represents decency, honor, integrity and shows compassion. She is always willing to listen to the other side.

I personally have tried it and it works. She not only listens to the other side, but she seems to understand and is willing to help make a positive difference. She also carries some clout in the world of politics. People, let me tell you that political clout is of great significance these days.

Most of you know that I realize that we must speak truth to the powerful. It is not time in this region and atmosphere to cry Black power to the people. This is the time to say power to the people who walk with decency, honor and integrity.

We need to cry power to the people who have not been bought. Those days are over and shall be no more. The only thing that we should be bought with is righteous indignation for the wrongs of the past and present.

Herschel Walker has been thrown in the pot by some Republicans to split the vote for U.S. Senate. Those who worship the football ground that he played on must know that he only brings what he has learned from his greatest supporter, Donald J. Trump. He has never become his own man, and at this point it seems he never will.

My oldest son, who loves football it seems more than anything in this life, worships Herschel. He warns others about getting politics confused with sports, and he reminds me that the love you may have for one cannot be exchanged for the other. He says it is hard for him not to stand with Herschel, but he said standing with him would simply be for who he was and not who he has become.

This is the time to realize that there comes a time when one must get in the game to win. This is no time to play.

If a team plans to win, that team must check their roster and make sure their players are healthy and have the right mindset to win the game. There are times when fairly good players must sit on the sideline because it is not their time yet. There is nothing wrong with that. They must practice with the team and, when they get more skills under their belt and will be able to help the team win, they will be called off the bench.

When a coach is playing to win, he has to go with his first-string players. They are the ones who know the rules. They are the ones who have great sportsmanlike qualities and conduct themselves accordingly and will not throw the game for a dollar.

The political dilemma in which we find ourselves is one calling for all hands on deck because the ship is sinking. Bring your buckets and help to dip out the ugliness, the degrading, the humiliation, and the vile attitude and behavior and toss them overboard. Remember, the game plan for some is to divide and conquer. Since we know how that game is played, let us not be divided like we were when we were children.

The time is not right for division in the Black community. I was told by one of my Caucasian friends that Black people play to play, but she said that they also play to win.

Willie Mae Samuel is a playwright, founder and director of the African American Connection of the Performing Arts Inc. and a 2020 Heart of the Community Award recipient. She can be contacted at artsnow2019@gmail.com.

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