We can fix what is wrong

Published 10:12 pm Friday, June 3, 2011

I have been somewhat a student of politics most of my life. I’ve always been interested in knowing about the history of the Presidency, who the state leaders were and at least a little bit about the leaders of other states.

Unfortunately, politics has become such an ugly thing in this country that most of the time now I can’t stand watching our lawmakers in the performance of their duties.

I sometimes think we may as well resort to the ways of the British Parliament and just let our leaders yell at one another.

While the state of politics in this country is yet another sign the apocalypse is upon us, it is not true American; or at least I don’t believe it is.

I’ve been responsible for covering Bertie County for this publication for something like three years. In that time, I’ve covered ugly political scenes, arguments in public forums, floods, fires and tornadoes.

In most every instance, however, I’ve seen President Clinton’s statement from above ring true.

We may be a nation that is divided politically. The same nation that elected President Barack Obama elected a Republican-controlled House of Representatives just two years later.

But our political differences, while vast, are not what make us the people we are. It is the spirit Americana that makes this nation a great place to be every day.

That spirit has been on full display in our region for the past year. We’ve struggled and fought politically, but we’ve all come together when it was necessary.

When Bertie County was hit by its second “flood of the century” last year, people worked together to make sure everyone was safe. Folks put their own lives in danger to try to help others.

In the midst of the remnants of a tropical storm, friends and neighbors were out helping each other to safety.

Likewise, after the tornadoes that struck Bertie and Hertford counties in April, it was the people of the region who were there. Yes, we had help we needed from the American Red Cross, the Baptist Men and Samaritan’s Purse to name a few. Those people, however, depended on the local volunteers to help them do what was necessary.

The people of the Roanoke-Chowan region didn’t disappoint. They came out in droves – literally hundreds of volunteers. They were there cleaning up, cooking, donating blood, giving of themselves and their possessions for the neighbors.

It is true that life in Bertie County has been difficult for the past year. We’ve lost friends, neighbors and family members to awful disasters. We’ve mourned as a community at that loss of life.

The spirit of Americana, however, has prevailed.

The Rev. Vonner G. Horton, Pastor of Oxley Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Merry Hill, said in a community ceremony that we wouldn’t have believed we could survive what has happened if we were told beforehand it was coming; yet, here we are.

The spirit of America is alive and well in the Roanoke-Chowan region and, I believe, throughout this great country of ours.

Remember President Clinton’s words often. They are true.

There is truly nothing wrong in this great land that can’t be cured by what is right here – especially among her people. I’m grateful to live in such a wonderful place.

Thadd White is a Staff Writer and Sports Editor for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached via email at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or by telephone at 332-7211.