The Eyes Are Useless When the Mind is Blind

Sometimes I wonder, what's the point in blogging. There are factions that want to say I am what's wrong with Lumberton. Really??? The fact that I'm attempting to shine the light of accountability on those who said they are there to serve the citizens has turned me into a problem. Every time I feel discouraged, I recall an excerpt from The Soul of Black Folks by W.E.B. DuBois.

BETWEEN me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word. 1 And yet, being a problem is a strange experience,—peculiar even for one who has never been anything else, save perhaps in babyhood and in Europe. It is in the early days of rollicking boyhood that the revelation first bursts upon one, all in a day, as it were. I remember well when the shadow swept across me. I was a little thing, away up in the hills of New England, where the dark Housatonic winds between Hoosac and Taghkanic to the sea. In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something put it into the boys’ and girls’ heads to buy gorgeous visiting-cards—ten cents a package—and exchange. The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card,—refused it peremptorily, with a glance. Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil. I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt, and lived above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering shadows. That sky was bluest when I could beat my mates at examination-time, or beat them at a foot-race, or even beat their stringy heads. Alas, with the years all this fine contempt began to fade; for the worlds I longed for, and all their dazzling opportunities, were theirs, not mine. But they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I would wrest from them. Just how I would do it I could never decide: by reading law, by healing the sick, by telling the wonderful tales that swam in my head,—some way

It seems that voicing your opinion in a public format has been a problem for quite some time. DuBois penned his writing while addressing social ills back in 1903 and sadly, in 2014, people still have a problem when others refuse to conform to social norms. The other week, I blogged about the pending plans for a waste dump or recycle center. I penned a letter as a template for concerned citizens with the hopes they would submit a letter stating their concerns or objections of having the site in our area. There are those that took the letter as a condemnation of the proposed site and that was not the case. Since our elected officials were not forthright with the plans for the proposed site, I followed the instructions outlined in the notice. In order to get a public hearing, the residents of Lumberton had to submit their concerns, in writing, to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in order to get a public hearing regarding the site. There's a faction that refuse to believe anything I have to say because they are supportive of this person or that person, but this is not an issue that would affect one individual, this is a concern that could possibly have a pernicious effect on the entire City of Lumberton.

I could not believe the friction caused by my attempt to inform the residents of what could possibly happen in their own backyard. Please keep in mind, the members of the Lamar County Board of Supervisors are still working on a way to get the City of Lumberton to sign a waiver to release the county from their contractual obligation to economically develop the South Lamar Industrial Park. There were some that told me that it was not in the Sunday paper; so they did not believe there was any plans to situate a dump site near Lumberton. Well, I hate to inform you, but there's a lot that's left out of the Sunday column that's primarily dedicated to the calendar of events taking place at the Lamar County owned, Lumberton Public Library. I always read the Sunday edition of the Hattiesburg American and I have yet to see anything mentioned in the column that there's a public hearing scheduled for July 1, 2014 to discuss and approve a water rate increase. But since it wasn't in the Sunday column, I guess it's not going to happen. Well, that's the mind set of some of those that reside in Lumberton. The utter foolishness of the thought process some of these antiquated residents have regarding the disbursement of information. I guess if you don't like the messenger; you can always find a way to deny the message. But don't take your head out of the sand for my sake; just look for the increase on your water bill and keep telling yourself this can't be happening because it wasn't printed elsewhere.

For the record, I was just trying to keep you informed and give the citizens a voice because the process for getting the dump site is still in the certification process. There are those that tell me that there are more for me than against me and I often wonder if that's true. I know a willingness to publicize the truth is not a popular route. Sadly, those that dare to speak the truth, especially in Lumberton, are generally labeled with the Scarlet "T". I would like to thank those that signed the letter I presented to them and I would like to thank those that sent their own letters in for consideration. Hopefully, enough concerned citizens submitted letters so we can have a public hearing on this matter. In the recent edition of the Lamar Times there's a quote stating

"Despite the board's vote, the letter and permits still exit, and Martin's operation will still be carried out."
And that's the reason why I was reaching out to citizens. I wanted them to have a voice in the process. Martin claimed that he will have 15-20 jobs available once the site is up and running but when the site was in Purvis, they had roughly 3-5 employees and according to my sources, they were all members of Martin's family. When Tommy Dukes made the statement, "Lumberton is on the bottom looking up and we need the jobs", I partly agree. Lumberton is in dire need of jobs, but based on past experience, Fred Martin has no plans of employing anyone other than his family members. If that was not the case, he would have a business plan in place. Like attracts like. If you bring trash into the City of Lumberton it's going to attract more trash and that's the bottom line. So, don't try to fool us with smoke and mirrors and tell us the truth. It is alleged that Martin is leaving Purvis because of prior MDEQ violations and he will be closely monitored by the MDEQ if and when he relocates to the Lumberton area. The chances of Martin hiring locally, especially while under the scrunity of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, is slim to none.

If you don't want to hear what I have to say, then that's your choice. Please note, there's a photo at the end of this post, regarding the notice for the water rate increase. There's an old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink; I would like to update that saying. You can lead a human to knowledge but you can't make them think.


  1. Did the city ever run the water out to the industrial park? I remember many meetings ago when Ben Winston was still a Supervisor that the big stumbling block to the whole thing was that the city of Lumberton had not held up their end of the deal by getting water and sewer connected out there. I was at the Board of Supervisors meeting where it was discussed and Winston said that he would address it at an Alderman's meeting. I then attended that Alderman's meeting and many after that where they talked about it needing to be done. I never remember it actually being completed. It is pretty hard to market a site to industries when the site doesn't even have essential services.

  2. Keep up the good work. You are providing a priceless service to the citizens of Lumberton and an excellent example to the entire state. Reflect on the good you have done and the information you have provided since the beginning of your blog.


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