Not changing history, just a Tyrone mural

As Americans, we should all take the opportunity to listen before immediately responding from a typical perspective, regardless of topic.

This is NOT about history or heritage. When do we as a society get to the point of honoring and respecting all taxpayers’ requests, their tax dollars, and rights too?

It is incredulous when everything is considered or viewed as political correctness or partisan warfare or identity politics, especially when Americans genuinely voice their thoughts or opinions under the same First Amendment. In fact, it is appalling for some Americans to believe that their history and heritage may be entitled or under attack, because other Americans would like for their history and heritage to be publicly shared and accredited, and similarly, their inalienable rights to be acknowledged.

Here’s a thought: Could we have civil discourse without someone saying, “Go back to Africa?” or “Why are you trying to change my town?” or “Why now?”

Nonetheless, let’s be absolutely clear: At this point, Tyrone’s repugnant mural is the source of contentions today because there are Tyrone taxpayers that do not desire for their tax dollars to preserve an insensitive mural that was painted in 1996 and does not reflect Tyrone.

Speaking of 1996, Tyrone’s population was 3,744 and today it’s approximately 7,215, almost doubled. Thus, Tyrone is changing for the better and this change for those that have been here for many decades is a conundrum, especially when their endeavor is to preserve the past, inaccurately.

Even so, this is NOT a debate about one’s history or heritage. This is about requests from Tyrone’s taxpayers that would like for their tax dollars to characterize today’s Tyrone. Furthermore, how the inhospitable and unwelcoming mural will generate a different response every time Tyrone’s taxpayers address their elected officials or future presenters of multi-million dollars business projects are respected.

As a public servant, all elected officials have the responsibility/accountability to listen and respond to their constituents, as I have done with this situation. It remains to be perplexing and very disappointing that Tyrone Council decided to vote on the contentious mural, especially when a vote was not required or expected.

I would suggest that all taxpayers in Tyrone to call the mayor and council members and attend the council meetings to voice their opinions, as we move Tyrone into the 21st century in respecting all taxpayers and not jeopardize prospective economic development projects.

Derrick Jackson
Tyrone, Ga.

[Rep. Jackson (D-Tyrone, District 64) was elected last year and took his seat in the Georgia House of Representatives in January this year.]