“If you can not explain it now, to those involved, and present, here on the mid-watch, then how will you ever defend it later when called to account at the long, green table.”
‘The long green table’ is associated with a Naval Court Martial or Court of Inquiry. The purpose of a Naval Board of Inquiry is to examine all particulars concerned with the event in question and to determine facts and cause, corrective action, and disciplinary action called for by the findings and suggestions of the inquiry. Traditionally, the accused sat at a table covered in green felt. The green felt was used in wardrooms on ships to help keep objects in place when the ship pitched and rolled. In the upcoming November election, let there be an inquiry to determine the corrective action to be taken in the case of Councilman Knight.
I find myself asking ‘why’ a lot. “Why does Ward 1 continue to elect Councilman Knight? The shenanigans associated with the Councilman are talked about everyday. Yet he has served twenty years this November.
The last time Mr. Knight was elected, his community had a total of 2,196 REGISTERED VOTERS. In a hard-fought contest for the Ward 1 seat on the Rocky Mount City Council, Andre Knight defeated challenger Tarrick Pittman by 168 votes.Unofficial results showed Knight with 748 votes, or slightly more than 56.1 percent, and Pittman with 582 votes, or slightly more than 43.5 percent. Five people cast write-in votes.
I wouldn’t bet my life on these numbers but they were what I could find when doing the ‘Google Shuffle.’ My point is, Mr. Knight DOES NOT HAVE A MANDATE. Question: why aren’t people voting? I’ve written about talking to an older black woman on Washington Street who told me, “It has always been this way and always will be.” Is this the reason for not voting, “Why bother?” This attitude MUST BE addressed in this race this year for Councilman Knight’s seat. Those who didn’t bothered to vote last time around are critical to replacing Mr.Knight. Stick to facts, statistics, photographs of housing, the truth of things will win the case that it is time for Mr. Knight to be replaced. It is not only his constituents but the entire community being affected by those who have learned how to ‘rig the system.’
I am a political junkie with experience. I have been a Republican County Chairwoman, State Republican Teenager Director, I’ve been County Chairwoman for Marlow Cook’s Kentucky Senate Race (he won). Unlike Lucy, who charges 25 cents for sound advice, I’m offering this for free.
A candidate to oppose Mr. Knight can not win if running around trying to do everything by themselves. There must be a black campaign committee so the opponent can’t mount a distraction called racism. A campaign manager, he or she, must know the power of social media. Find a young person who lives in this world to create the content. You need a financial person directing how contributions will be spent in order to reach the residents of #1 with the most bang for your buck. There must be a scheduler directing the candidates time where it counts. Someone needs to set up ‘Meet and Greets’ with the candidate including events downtown so the entire community can get to know this new candidate too. There should be a viable candidate announced this month. November will be here too soon. There is a respected member of the community who can win as long as the campaign is not run in a loosey-goosey fashion.
How do I know this? Because loosey-goosey is why Mr. Knight keeps winning. I know a lot of you want this change. Get a candidate out there to say, “We mean it this time.” Get this campaign staff together, named, in business. Those of you who have a lot on your plate cannot run the campaign but in the background, do what you can to help. Recruit the young black voices who are the future.
I offer this ‘advice’ to encourage those of you who can mount a campaign to go do it. Afterwards, have a parade to thank Mr. Knight, or name a street after him, but vote him out. Nothing changes otherwise. I have this image of walking on a tread mill and letting go of the handle bar as the tread mill sends me backwards off the machine if Councilman Knight is not replaced. It seems that what is broken stays broken unless there is money to be made under the table. This 2023 campaign should be an inquiry into Mr. Knight’s long-term seat on the Council. It should be about accounting for himself at ‘the long green table.’
Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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