In 1991 I would never have thought that I would be saying this about the first African American mayor of Memphis, but I feel a sense of betrayal. I feel this for an entire city. For those who voted for Herenton and for those who did not. I feel a sense of loss and a sense of relief. I feel sadness and anger, but mostly I feel betrayed.
Herenton stood before this Great City and its people and asked for one last term. He said there were things he wanted to finish, that he wanted to continue serving this City as Mayor. Many fateful Memphians, people who refused to join the choir of naysayers, listened and once again gave Herenton the most precious gift an American can give, and that is their vote. What did our Mayor do with this gift? He cast it away like a used wad of paper, no longer needed now that it has served its purpose.
There were many speculations to why Herenton decided to run for a fifth term. My view was it had nothing to do with me, you or the City of Memphis. Herenton ran for Herenton. He ran to show those who had had enough of “Willie” and wanted him to leave, by choice or by force, that no one could push him around. I feel this was the ultimate reason for him seeking a fifth term.
In the end it is the City that will suffer the most. In a time where every moment wasted not focusing on the daunting problems we are facing is the loss of another child lying in a pool of blood, another family loosing their home, another senior going without needed care and another former Memphian leaving our City out of frustration, and fear.
I feel betrayed.