By Ronda Watson Barber
The rallying cry continues. There has been so much in the news recently about injustices and inequities. Folks are expressing their rights to protest and voicing their opinions. Ours is not a perfect union and as responsible citizens we have the obligation to make it better. Protesting is patriotic. James Baldwin said, “”I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
Members of the National Football League are taking a knee or locking arms with their teammates during the playing of the national anthem. They are protesting police brutality and the crazy crude comments made by the President about citizens exercising their First Amendment Rights.
Contractors in Cleveland are boycotting the construction of a local Amazon distribution center because they are not included in the project.
Columbus activists are making their voices heard at City Council meetings about recent incidents of misconduct of Columbus police officers and Black residents.
The Columbus NAACP is championing Black businesses and advocating that they are included in construction projects with Franklin County, the Columbus Urban League and Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority.
How are you making your voice heard? How are you protesting? Are you a member of an advocacy group? Are you a registered voter? Voting is one of the strongest ways to make your voice and opinion heard. Are you satisfied with your present school board and how they are spending your tax dollars or educating the children? Is city council being responsive to your neighborhood? Participating in the voting process can hold elected officials accountable. If they aren’t getting the job done, they shouldn’t hold the position.
If you are not registered to vote, the deadline is Oct. 10. Voter registration information is available online at
Update: I have surveyed the public entities in Columbus that procure goods and services. I still need clarity on why Columbus City Schools still requires vendors to provide proof of general liability insurance in order to receive bid notices during the vendor registration process. No other public entity has this requirement. Is this mandate a way to keep Black businesses from participating in the district’s purchasing program? I just don’t understand. I have received conflicting information from the Chief Operating Officer, Maurice Oldham. This policy doesn’t make sense to me and doesn’t appear to promote inclusion. Having business insurance is a good business practice but is not a requirement to do business in Ohio.
Just my thoughts…rwb