Thursday, January 22, 2009

Black pastor calls on African-Americans to remember 'colored-only" and vote against EnglishOnly referendum before people today

The Rev. Enoch Fuzz -- in a last-minute press conference 90 minutes before the polls closed here -- called on African-Americans in Nashville to vote against the EnglishOnly referendum.

If passed, the measure would make Nashville the largest city in the nation to adopt English as the official language to the exclusion of others in government operations. It also would confirm deep political divisions between black and Hispanics, not only here but across the country.

Fuzz has been one of the few black pastors speaking out against the referendum. He also used an inaugural ball he organized for a diversity of clergy to speak out against the referendum.

He called the late press conference before the city's Big 3 TV stations to address a trend he had been following during the day: strong support in the African-American community for the referendum.

Unofficial polls had showed 70 percent support. That's why he had been working so hard in the past two weeks against the referendum. It was only at 3 this afternoon that he felt the need to go before TV cameras to perhaps switch a few votes that could make a difference.

Fuzz told the TV reporters that it was ironic -- that after only a full day of celebrating a black president who called for unprecedented unity across the country -- to now embrace such divisiveness.

Americans of Hispanic descent overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama. Today's vote would be seen as a betrayal, not only here but across the country.

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