Mike Hill: Set Aside Pride, Embrace Common Good

Mike Hill FL GOP

Photo courtesy of Florida House of Representatives

Mike Hill: Set Aside Pride, Embrace Common Good
| Published February 28, 2014 |

By Earl H. Perkins
Thursday Review associate editor

America is still battling pockets of racism and discrimination in many parts of the country, but we should be stamping out divisiveness while bringing people together for the betterment of all, according to Florida State Representative Mike Hill.

In a recent letter to the editor in the Tampa Tribune, Hill attacked several subjects head on, including race, the preamble to the Constitution and the future of Florida.

He contrasted commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's speech at the 1963 March on Washington with Jesse Jackson's recent visit to the Sunshine State, when he declared the Florida an "apartheid state" and called for boycotting its goods and services, and asked that people not consider it as a tourist destination.

"The stark contrast between Dr. King's ‘Dream’ and Jackson's vitriol is evidence that modern-day race hustlers will declare themselves advocates for civil rights while they drive the nation apart," Hill said. "Sadly, their decision to divide us in exchange for money and publicity comes at precisely the moments when Americans need to come together."

Hill, whose full name is Walter Bryan “Mike” Hill, represents the 2nd district in the Florida House of Representatives, a district which covers parts of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties (the cities of Pensacola and Gulf Breeze are located in this district).

Hill, a Republican, is the first black state representative to be elected from the Panhandle Region since the Civil War. America has excelled for 237 years, always striving for a more perfect union while giving its citizens freedom and the opportunity to succeed.

A sure way to trample equality granted to us by God and enshrined in the Constitution is to segregate our fellow citizens through use of intentionally divisive language and labels, Hill said. Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Hill was introduced as the first Republican African-American elected to the state Legislature since the Civil War.

"On that broadcast, I told the hosts that I reject the label of African-American. After all, I am a natural-born citizen of the United States as were my parents and grandparents," he said. "I served in our military as did my father and my grandfather. I am an American. This is my country.”

"I believe the time has come,” Hill said, “for all of us to set aside whatever pride we might have in our individual heritage, to reject the labels that divide us, reject those things that set us apart from one another, and reject anything that fails to advance the common good."

In the coming year, Hill will represent his Panhandle district in Tallahassee, focusing on issues that lead to prosperity for all based on an equal opportunity to succeed, instead of a guaranteed outcome based on labels.

"To deal with serious issues, the time has come for all of us to join together, in the same spirit adopted by our founders, to create a society that respects life, freedom, and opportunity, striving for a more perfect Florida.”