Editor’s Note: Mr. Willie A. Green, Sr. is a former NFL Football Player with two Super-Bowl Winner’s Rings to his credit. After retiring from a successful Pro-Football career, including playing on the Carolina Panther’s team and working several high-level executive and professional business positions, Mr. Green has settled in Cleveland County to finish raising his family and give back to the community. Only, in my opinion, to be greeted by corruption and prejudice because Mr. Green is an open and honest man who also happens to be black. I have Mr. Green’s permission to make this message public, which I am doing-with comments of my own at the end of this article.
Mr. Green’s Letter to me- dated January 13, 2019:
Over the past several years, I have had detailed discussions with you and other members of the community on my ideas to grow Cleveland County in job creation, economic impact of travel tourism, scholarship opportunity for the students who graduate from one of our local schools, the promotion of small businesses. And to close the gap in division of the community when it comes to race, social issues and fairness of our local government to all its’ citizens. We have also talked about politics when my wife ran for school board and my brief efforts to run for county commissioner. Most of those conversations were you giving me a chance to respond to false allegations and comments made towards myself and my family by someone(s) who had contacted you. And you wanted to give us an opportunity to state our case before you wrote on the facts and not false claims.
As it relates to projects that I have spearheaded to improve our county, I took the initiative to not just contact you, but to also contact other key stakeholders (i.e. community leaders and elected officials) of all racial background to educate those stakeholders of my projects, ask for their thoughts, input and finally ask for their support. The reason why I sought key stakeholders in the community, such as yourself, is because I was seeking public funding of taxpayer’s dollars and it was my belief that if I am seeking public funding, I should also seek public input and respectfully ask for their support by being open and transparent of my asking.
In my interactions with you on both projects, you drilled me with tough specific questions, mainly related to; funding, job creation, transparency of how public funds would be spent, who in the county would benefit from the implementation of my projects and who would be excluded. You made it clear to me that you were not opposed to using taxpayer’s money for projects where the taxpayers would see a return on their investment and that your only opposition to using taxpayers’ dollars is where there was a lack of accountability and oversight by our government agencies. I have been asked, why do I reach out to you for your support? My simple answer is, you are a Cleveland County taxpayer, I am asking you as a taxpayer to allow the government to use public resources to invest in my initiatives to improve Cleveland County and me seeking your support is no difference than me seeking leaders in the minority community for their support.
My father had a saying, “Everyone has a hustle” One of your hustles is government oversight, which means. You are someone who works to inform the community of what’s going on in our government agencies, who is the voice for the voiceless, someone who holds our elected officials and government agencies accountable for their actions by making sure all citizens are treated fairly and holding agencies accountable for wasteful spending and identifying possible corruption within our government agencies. What I have found in my conversations with people who claims they don’t read your articles (but knows a lot about the article) and those who dismiss your writing, is those people are focused on the messenger and not the message. And I must admit, sometimes I miss the point you are trying to make because I don’t agree with the name calling, since I have been and still am a victim of negative name calling and character assassination by those who them and I don’t see eye-to-eye on certain things and sadly by our own elected officials and government employees in leadership positions.
We need activist like yourself who is taking your valuable time and resources to advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves, because those people fear of losing their jobs or themselves being labeled as crazy or angry. Why you take the time to do it? Because that’s your hustle. I encourage you to continue to write the truth, lay phrase for those who are doing the right thing and offer criticism (with solid proof) for those who are operating in an unscrupulous manner. I also encourage those people who agree or disagree with you to also come from beneath the shadows and post their support or opposition to your reporting. We use other social media platforms, the neighborhood barber shop or hair salon, the Pancake House, Hub Café and Ken and Mary’s just to name a few locations where round table discussions about our community is discussed. So why not use your free platform as well to have those same round table discussions that affects our everyday lives? But please make sure there is proper oversight, and everyone is held accountable if they post false information about a person, a company or a public figure and that they pay for using your platform to make false allegations against another person. This way you keep an honest man honest and people’s lives are not destroyed by false claims, in other words keep it professional and keep us informed.
Willie A. Green, Sr.
Thanks for this letter.
I would like to remind everybody that during the 2018 Elections I offered local candidates the opportunity to participate in an “Online Debate Forum” where the various candidates could post their positions on issues, ask each other questions, make rebuttals, etc. without the hindrance of time limits and 90 seconds to make their points. Unfortunately, you and Sheriff’s Candidate Clyde Ledbetter (both Petition candidates independent from Partisan Party bosses, “who you know” politics and primaries) were the only two candidates who were willing to participate. I will get this started earlier at the next election-2020.
Also, to those who call me “crazy” and “angry.” What else can they say? You know I am seeking truthful answers to important questions. But in such a corrupt political “situation” as we have in Cleveland County government, telling the truth is something that would (or should) end up in prison sentences for some of those involved. Like I say, what else can they say but that Robert Williams is crazy and angry. It is called an “ad hominem” attack. When you can’t deal with the truth of the matter, you attack the messenger. You are no stranger to that kind of attack being pulled on you.
I am not afraid of ad hominem attacks and believe such to be sure signs that I am getting close to discovering the proof of the matter. My real concern (negative concern) is the people who can be swayed by such attacks. People who are either too simple (stupid) or ignorant (uneducated) that just saying Robert Williams is “crazy” or “angry” is a good enough answer for them to drop the issue. Or, they are too insecure in their own social standing to press the point of the truth on the “powers that be.” I suspect the latter is the biggest reason people will read my articles but claim not to know me or what I am writing about.
The results of the 2018 County Commissioner General Election indicate a good many voters are coming around to my way (and your way) of thinking. That the truth matters-no matter who is telling it. That our elected leaders should be open, honest and fair. And especially, that money can’t always “buy” an election in Cleveland County.
Again, thanks for your letter, comments and suggestions. The truth matters and my “hustle” is indeed to get the truth in front of the people so they can make informed choices at the ballot box. More such letters and comments are welcome!!!
Robert A. Williams