No more feel good politics

Maria Scruggs

Dear Editor:

I marvel in the fact that even though the book of Proverbs was probably written during the period sometime between 930-950 B.C., it appears that King Solomon and other writers of the book are sitting in the midst of our contemporary times.

The writings within the book of Proverbs serve as a constant reminder that even though our troubles and our failures can over whelm us, what is clear is that there is nothing new under the sun.

When those who profess to believe in the Word take that understanding to heart, it should come easier as leaders to understand the challenges we face when we accept the calling to lead God’s people. Whether we accept that calling from the pulpit, recreation center, not for profit or from the streets, God has done his part even before the dawn of time.

During the August Primary election, Wengay Newton and Darryl Rouson won their elections and will more than likely prevail in the November general elections. Congratulations to them both!

Whether we as constituents voted for them or not, we must pay them the respect in that they were the choices of the people. Inherent within that respect, we as a community must not send them to Tallahassee with an agenda crafted by them alone.

Simply electing our representatives, congratulating them and then reverting back to our comfortable places of complacency has not served this community well. While we can always point to a victory here or there, it is time that those of us who carry the titles of leaders understand that when we constantly find ourselves, as a community, the benefactors of mere drippings of public funds, victims of failed redevelopment efforts, our children receiving a less than quality education in many instances, it is time for those who lead to take a step back and take some lessons from the overarching theme of wisdom from the book of Proverbs.

One scripture in particular comes to mind is Proverbs 14:23, which states that in all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads to poverty.

In our perspective roles as leaders, we often find ourselves in conversations with those who will merely tell us what it is we want to hear, not necessarily what we need to hear. That is for good reason—it simply feels better!

As leaders within our community we must move away from feel good politics. While the short-term gain may feel good now, the long-term results of feel good politics never has and never will bring a quality education for our children.

Feel good politics will not ensure that redevelopment efforts in Midtown produce substantive socio-economic outcomes for the residents and businesses within its boundaries.  Feel good politics will not result in a community that creates opportunities for early childhood education programs to thrive.

The NAACP is once again calling on elected officials, anointed officials and appointed officials to assemble in a closed door session for the purpose of developing an agenda that is in the best interest of this community!

Please reply by email at or call me at (727) 798-5361! I will forward your email to Brother John Muhammad’s survey to identify a mutually agreeable meeting time.

Maria L. Scruggs

President, St. Petersburg Chapter NAACP

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