To the Editor,
As you recall, as the chairman for BUILD — Brothers United In Learning & Development, which is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization — I wrote a letter to you this past June regarding City Councilman John Cantey’s irrational opposition to a community development plan for youths and underprivileged citizens of Lumberton. And I further elaborated on the fact that he had been charged with rape and pleaded guilty to several counts of fraud.
The fact that he never responded to the allegations should be self explanatory to the voting citizens. Since it’s now election time, I am eager to see if the people of Lumberton will re-elect a person who has a criminal background for a third term. My efforts to provide a community based program at 3150 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was to offer all people a chance to improve themselves and the quality of life for all citizens, inclusive of ex-felons, which formed the basis for Cantey’s opposition to our special use permit for the property. He insisted that I promise not to allow ex-felons on the premises, when the program is designed to help ex-felons as well as people with criminal backgrounds.
Nonetheless, the relevancy of this letter is to express that all ex-felons who are citizens in Lumberton are eligible to register and vote in this election. Where I come from, the vast segments of African American people have had some kind of run-ins with law enforcement for one apparent reason or another, including John Cantey. For Mr. Cantey to place restrictions on this segment to have access to a rehabilitation program that was designed to provide them with assistance, puts to question if he really cares anything about the totality of the people he represents in the African American community.
Now I understand why things have not changed in the African American community here in Lumberton over the past eight years. I hope that the people of Lumberton will wise up this time around.
Mr. Cantey was charged with rape at one time, but the charge was dismissed by a judge without ever going to trial — editor.