From the Anniston Star Newspaper
The Rev. Nimrod Q. Reynolds was born into the Old South, which had many charms and a great evil — racial segregation — a system that demeaned the worth of all individuals of color regardless of their talents or attainments.
Fortunately, he lived to witness the death of that civilization, and of the system nurtured by it. He had something to do with ending that system nationally and everything to do with positive change locally.
He was Anniston’s first civil rights leader as pastor of 17th Street Baptist Church, the historically prime leadership post for the black community. He was the first leader to make the daunting journey across the color line to open communications with the then-pastor of First Presbyterian Church J. Phillips Noble as a portal to the larger white faith community.
He was chairman of the Anniston Improvement Association, which initiated demonstrations to open employment to blacks in business. He was appointed to the first Human Relations Council, which together with the bi-racial leadership organization COUL (Committee of Unified Leadership) helped steer the community through the many crises from the 1960s through the 1980s.
His leadership was more than moral; he put his life on the line. He bore stab wounds, suffered when he was one of two black pastors attempting to integrate the public library —with approval and support from library and council leaders — and were attacked by a mob. As he admitted to friends, he was frequently afraid but his commitment to the “movement” never wavered.
“Leader” is a word used casually but it had a special meaning for Anniston’s relatively successful passage through the civil rights years. Rev. Reynolds was a leader in the sense that his people would follow him and, crucially, someone who had the authority to make an agreement — and to make it stick.
In recent years he lamented the fact that the old civil rights leaders, sidelined by age and time, had left a vacuum that was filled by bogus leaders, by demagogues, who could make noise but did not have the authority to settle issues.
A city whose growing irritation with the ineffectual noise of black and white demagogues on the recently ousted City Council had reasons to feel nostalgia for Rev. Reynolds’ brand of leadership.
When he passed from the scene it was not just the passing of an era but the passing of an epoch. There will never be another time like those, which tested his talents as a moral man and leader.
The civil rights movement was witnessed by millions of eyes and interpreted by millions of different, conflicting opinions, but only those who were on the front lines knew what the struggle was like and what it meant. The Rev. Nimrod Q. Reynolds was one of them.
by Robert Earl Houston
I worked for the Internal Revenue Service in Portland, Oregon many, many years ago. I worked in the Audit Division which allowed me to assist the Agents in building their cases for primarily conference with the taxpayer and sometimes against the taxpayer.
Every tax season the audit bureau would receive directions for this year’s audits based upon received taxes that were selected in what we called TCMP – the taxpayer compliance measurement program. For example, one year it could be clergy returns; another year it could be auto mechanics; another year it could be taxpayers with a high amount of charitable contributions.
Having said that, I think IRS has done itself and our President, Barack Obama, a disservice in targeted 501(3)(4) corporations with the words “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in this title.
An already sizable, anti-government, anti-Obama constituency in this nation is already looking for something, anything to harangue the President about. To his credit, we haven’t had to endure the scandalous hearings of the past administrations going as far back as Kennedy (Vietnam), LBJ (Vietnam), Nixon (Watergate), Reagan (Iran Contra), Bush 1, Clinton (Impeachment), and Bush 2 (Iraq).
Any of us who are black understand that when holding jobs that have never been held by “us” before, we are encumbered to be better, work better, strive better, negotiate better, and conduct ourselves better because of the eventual extra level of scrutiny.
Do I think President Obama initiated this? Of course not. Why would President Obama go after the Tea Party via the IRS? He’s already defeated them in the arenas of ideas. If all they have left is Sarah Palin as a spokesperson who has been banished to Facebook, he’s won. They have been supplanted by the NRA which was formerly known as the National Rifle Association and now could be labeled the National Republican Association, they are weaning in their influence. Their main lighting rod, President Obama, will step off the stage in 2017 and that will signal the end of crazies like James David Manning, Orly Taitz, Pamela Barnett and others of the un-loyal opposition, who have suggested terroristic responses to the President or arrest or him being transported to Guantanamo Bay.
However, whoever gave the direction to IRS for this year’s TCMP program to go after the Tea Party is not worthy to continue in government leadership and should be brought forward. They did not have the President’s best interests at heart, and wouldn’t serve his best interests by continuing in office.