Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tennesean of the Year: The Rev. Enoch Fuzz

If you think the Rev. Enoch Fuzz is simply organizing a one-time, inaugural charity ball for Nashville to recognize the inauguration of President Barack Obama, then you don't know the most courageous voice in Tennessee.

Rev. Fuzz is re-creating the Tennessee political landscape -- and perhaps even the national one -- with his four prominent organizers of different ideologies and 44 community hosts for the event Jan. 20 at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. This desperately needed effort is not being crafted toward any ideology or party, but a unified agenda of action across racial, political, ethnic, religious and class lines.

The Ball is just the beginning for the brave, new coalition to make a statement and difference for the voiceless in our land.

It is ironic in the shadow of this new group's creation that several events locally and nationally have emerged at the same time to show the great need for a unified coalition of the willing.

* Tennessee Republican leader Chip Saltsman shocked the nation and Tennesseans with his "Barack the Magic Negro" CD sent to members of the Republican National Committee as a Christmas gift. Saltsman thought it would help his campaign to be elected chairman of the RNC. Instead, it has again revealed the GOP's Achilles heel among minority voters and the cause of tolerance.

* Early voting begins Friday on a Nashville referndum to make English the only language for government operations. The ballot is a direct slap to the faces of immigrants here, legal or not. And nationally, Nashville could become the only major city to adopt such a backward step. Such a law would devastate the city's image.

Fuzz on a personal basis is preparing to come out against the referendum and encourage other African-American pastors and church goers to do the same. African-Americans make up a quarter of Nashville's population. And their relations with Hispanics in particular here have been mostly negative. Hispanics are seen as taking jobs from blacks and not deserving of the fruits from the Civil Rights Movement. Hate and fear for any reason is wrong.

* Budget cuts begin here in January and in other statehouses across the country that will target the most vulnerable, beginning with the working poor state workers and the barely surviving recipients of TennCare.

* In Illinois, corrupt Chicago politics have resulted in Obama's Senate seat being put up for sale by the governor, who now has chosen despite the scandal to appoint a person to fill the vacancy.

* In Washington, Wall Street fat cats and the Big 3 automakers have been rescued ahead of any help yet for middle class and lower income families beset by layoffs and home foreclosures.

How do all these things tie back to Fuzz? They connect with a hunger for hope in every household, that business and politics as usual will no longer triumph. People are hurting more than in their lifetimes. They are losing jobs of 15 years or more. They are losing their homes and their dignity. They are tired of being fed hate that all the bad and ills are someone else's fault.

The wrong lies with our leaders.

Fuzz's coalition of the willing is gathering for its first effort -- to hold the biggest inaugural ball outside of Washington, D.C. After that historic event, however, its work will not be over. It will only have begun.

Thank God for hearing our prayers and people such as Enoch Fuzz.

To meet and talk with Rev. Fuzz and other members of the coalition of the willing, go to for ticket information. All purchases are tax deductible.

Inaction and politics as usual amid a crisis across several fronts are not.

1 comment:

Elyssa D'Educrat said...

I love it! Elyssa Durant, Nashville, Tennessee.