A farewell more bitter than sweet
COLUMBIA, Mo 2/19/23 (Beat Byte) -- "People are assholes and cowards," Columbia School Board president David Seamon wrote in a widely-circulated Facebook post this month, about what he has learned from three years in public office.
Seamon, who also ran for Boone County presiding commissioner and Columbia mayor, won the school board seat in 2020 but is not running for re-election this year. His 11-point condemnation of Columbia segregates "the crazies" from "the people you work for," in a community that "has no idea what it wants to be when it grows up."
"Instead of having the difficult conversations, we've decided the best course of action is to shit on public officials and activists," Seamon concluded.
Though Columbia has had more Black elected officials of late, they are still unique, and Seamon believes, uniquely misunderstood.
"Your status as a minority will be celebrated until people disagree with you. Then it's fair game for you and your family to be treated like dogs."
Seamon's list took an even more controversial turn when he brought up a demonic image from the past. "There will come a moment when you think, am I going to have to be lynched before someone does something to help us? For me, it was 2020. That's when I decided everyone can eat shit. I'm doing what I think is best."
In maybe the most ironic passage given the school board's recent actions to constrict public comment and the candidacy filing deadline, which shut out 2023 candidate Chuck Basye until he won a court challenge, Seamon wrote, "Our institutions, to include the public school system, were deliberately designed to exclude, if not harm, most people."
That exclusion, earlier manifested as racial segregation and the basis of equity and inclusion efforts, remains far from a problem solved. "Most voters don't care as long as people from their preferred political party are in control," Seamon wrote. "You're included in this, liberals."
Worries last year that Seamon was being deep-faked through emails to fellow school board members and administrators prompted this writer to contact him for confirmation. As a supporter through his three elections, I was surprised, if not shocked, at the blanket condemnation.
"I did write that. It was on my personal account; the post about being impersonated was on my political page, warning teachers to be wary of suspicious emails from 'me'," Seamon told the Heart Beat. "I’ve appreciated your support."
Voter support notwithstanding, Seamon strongly advises future candidates against running for elected office. "It isn't worth the trauma. But if you're foolish enough to run, I'm telling you to force the public to feel your anger, to see your tears, your frustration, your hopelessness, your sadness, your depression, your rage. Make them witness your humanity. I've done so much and endured so many slights over the past three years so that no one could ever point and say, 'see, I told you he was just another angry negro.'"