This is a letter to the editor from The Bolivar Commercial newspaper out of Cleveland, Mississippi. Didn't think much about the letter until I saw the statement "Fire departments are known to plagued with racial hatred." From the way the letter sounds in general, this person has NO fire experience whatsoever. Any comments???

Memphis, TN FD
Walls, MS FD


Indianola desires to become a tourist town. Before we can go forward, we must sincerely abandon our racial divisions, and we must decide or agree together. We were taught by our forefathers that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Knowing it to be true only shows how defiant we are. Having a black mayor and three black alderpersons doesn't help to address this problem. They are reluctant to make the call without first looking up into the bleachers.

We have expelled two members from the city's appeal board because they made calls without looking up into the bleachers. They were reprimanded by special interest. They refused to change their decisions, and they were terminated.

The last victim was Coach Elmo Hickingbottom. He was terminated from the appeal board because he refused to fire a firefighter because of some special interest person desired to terminate his employment. He has been with the fire department for more than 20 years, and he has a superior record.

Fire departments are known to be plagued with racial hatred. Indianola is unfortunate to have an alderman doubling as a volunteer fireman; therefore, he is perceived, and a I suppose he is a superior; although, he may be outranked by someone that is working for the fire department.

I was told that we have a retired marine on our fire department that served his country well. Now, he is wondering where his country is because he has been targeted to be fired by a jealous, racist supervisor that envies his knowledge and enthusiasm for the community and department.

Mr. Will Carttlidge was class captain of his class at Pearl Fire Academy. He graduated on April 2, 2005 and was the first firefighter from Indianola to successfully pass the new stringent state test. On May 2004, he implemented the first ongoing fire prevention program for pre-K through senior citizens.

In 2004 he provided students in all six schools with instructions on fire prevention, repainted the Main Street fire station and offered many other services at no cost to the city.

In December Mr. Carttlidge and his son, Ishmund Carttlidge, who is a 7th grade student at Merritt Middle School, prepared a homemade float for the Christmas parade. Mr. Carttlidge applied for and received a federal grant for 726 smoke alarms. He and his son installed them free to the citizens and offered many other acts of kindness too numerous to mention. The conspiracy is in progress.

This firefighter loves his community, is a family man and has character. He has the title of Fire Prevention Specialist. We must not allow these Jim Crow attitudes to plague our society.

This is our city, and we cannot become complacent and lose good, quality people to neighboring towns because of low intellects that hate intelligent, positive Black men. Mr. Carttlidge is a great asset to the department and city. We should applaud him for his resourceful ability.

We need independent minded people to combat racism here in city government. We need not just make history. We must make progress. People of good will do not frequent places that practice discrimination.

D.M. White