Editorial: Mount Airy shows world it ain’t really Mayberry

Editorial: Mount Airy shows world it ain’t really Mayberry
January 26
06:00 2017

Mount Airy is known to the world as Mayberry from “The Andy Griffith Show.” The show seemed to highlight a North Carolina town. We heard about places we know about, such as Raleigh. We knew about Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bea and the gang as they went through their day-to-day struggles. Reruns are seen on TV today.

Mind you, black people were rarely seen on the show, but that didn’t stop many from looking at it.

Mount Airy has a celebration of Mayberry every year, and no doubt some black people attend, if not but to check out the town that Andy Griffith grew up in.

But now that Donald Trump has been elected president, the truth is out for black people. No one on “The Andy Griffith Show” talked about black people in the manner of the current mayor of Mount Airy, David Rowe, 72. The town is struggling amid its affinity for tourism, but the only thing a Washington Post reporter reported in a Jan. 5 story that Rowe said about black people was about the young black men who wear their pants low.

From the Washington Post:

“But the mayor acknowledges that the 1950s and ’60s were not idyllic for all Americans. He wouldn’t, for example, want to go back to the days when there were separate water fountains at the local Sears for whites and blacks. At the same time, he said, African Americans often bring hardship on themselves. Asked to explain what he meant, he amended the statement to mean young blacks.

“’When you’re my age and you see an African American boy with pants at their knees, you can’t appreciate them,’ he said, noting that he would never employ someone who dressed that way. ‘I’m worried about when a person chooses to dresses like that, what kind of effect will that person have on society.”’

Mount Airy is 84 percent white, 8.2 percent black and 6.7 percent Hispanic, according to 2010 census data, The Washington Post says.

What about the black tourist who brings dollars to buy items in Mount Airy? Even if the tourist brought cash, would Mount Airy not welcome him or her? Then there is the question: What did you do to help that young man?

And a pastor and his wife were quoted as saying they want African-Americans to help themselves, not come to them because they think they are owed something. The pastor and his wife want to worship Jesus as they see fit.

So, Mount Airy is not really Mayberry. As its mills closed and it has gone downhill, the people in the city of about 10,000 put their bets on Donald Trump, who says he will “make America great again.”

The Washington Post said an overwhelming number of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, 81 percent to 16 percent, according to exit poll results.

We believe in what Ron Jessup, 68, said. The Washington Post said he grew up in Mount Airy during the 1950s and ’60s, and thought the place was generally friendly — as long as he and other blacks obeyed the racist laws and social mores of the time.

“Sometimes we use Christianity when it’s convenient for what we want,” Jessup said. “You can’t allow someone to have racist remarks and then go to church and talk about Jesus as the center of your life.”

And we believe in what Apostle Paul said in the Bible:  “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” Romans 14:13, New International Version (NIV)

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