Meredith challenges elders to help youth
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:00 AM
James Meredith - whose entrance to Ole Miss in 1966 sparked three days of rioting and ended with two deaths, - told the Philadelphia Rotary Club Monday that "only the family of God can solve the problems of our times," including the problem with school shootings as witnessed last week in Newtown, Conn.
After his speech, Meredith signed copies of his new book, "A Mission from God: A Memoir and Challenge for America."
Since last summer Meredith has been on what he calls a Walk for Education and Truth to expose the moral decay of society.
He plans to promote his message at Rotary clubs across the state. He was joined here on Monday by his wife, Judy.
Meredith quoted scripture fromthe Bible throughout his speech to Rotarians, saying the Mississippi black church was the most powerful force in the world today.
"The Mississippi black church has the power to move Mississippi from the bottom to the top," he said.
His said God's message for our time was clear to him.
"Every black church in Mississippi should take responsibly for each child born within two miles of every church," he said. " Each should keep a record of every child from birth to age 21. What any human being can do in life depends on the foundation laid between birth and age 5."
He said the elders of the state, particularly among the black families, have to do their jobs.
"Prevention is better than a cure," he said of problems among the youth of today.
"To see and not to speak kills the elders. To be told and not to pay attention is the problem. The only way to solve the problems of the youth is for the elders to always do their jobs."
He challenged the elders in Mississippi communities.
"When you see a child in need of guidance we ask, 'what will happen to me if I help this child?' It should be, 'what will happen to this child if I don't do my duty.'"