Letter: Macon Maligned

Letter: Macon Maligned

As rabbi of Temple Beth Israel, I wholeheartedly encouraged and supported the Reform-led endeavor to safeguard the voting rights of every registered voter here in Macon, and I am exceedingly grateful to all of you who took time and effort to spend Election Day poll watching here in Middle Georgia.

However, in my role as the duly elected District 2 commissioner of Macon-Bibb County who supervises our Board of Elections, I, as well as others in our local Jewish and greater communities, take serious umbrage with the egregious portrayal of our county by my Reform rabbinic colleague as reported by the AJT on Nov. 4 (“Macon Polls Draw Jewish Monitoring”).

I can readily attest that Rabbi David Spinrad’s misguided but all too public linkage of “racist” and “colorblind” epithets with the operations of this county and his imaginative but utterly absurd notion that a purposely disguised “de facto poll tax” was afoot here are both far, far cries from today’s reality.

Moreover, as the chairman of our county’s Economic and Community Development Committee, I must also confide that publicized misrepresentations like these serve only to impair and impede the progressive nature and momentum of our current Macon-Bibb County economic and community development initiatives.

My years of elected public service suggest that the Talmudic adage “All Israel is responsible for one another” ought to apply to our relations as Georgians too, for whenever any one of our civic entities is unjustly shamed and publicly maligned in this way, it adversely affects the impression and perception of our entire state as well.

Rabbi Larry Schlesinger, Macon

See Rabbi Spinrad’s post-election column about Macon.

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