Trent Schroyer's Interview with Zack Lyde
Introduction by Susan Hunt
Our experience in Georgia organizing the 2004 TOES conference was really bizarre, and Trent Schroyer and I are still trying to make sense out of it. This telephone interview, reprinted here in it's entirety is a part of that process. Trent had access to the equipment needed to tape the conversation, and then I transcribed. The plan is that I will edit it into an article. The Rev. Zack Lyde is the pastor of a small African American congregation in Brunswick, GA. He was kind enough to offer his church as a place to hold the statewide meetings of local organizers who were planning various events in response to the G8 Summit. Brunswick is the closest city to Sea Island, where the G8 Summit was held. Zack and his brother Harry Lyde did most of the heavy lifting in terms of going to court and getting all the organizers, including TOES, access to venues for their events. The bad thing about this is that anybody had to do it at all.
The good thing is that this year, for the first time ever, the actual poor and oppressed people for whom TOES is supposed to provide a platform, actually provided the platform for TOES! Zack and Harry Lyde also contributed to building the TOES program by providing a number of speakers, as well as entertainment.
Interview with Zack Lyde
Trent: When did this preparation for the Greedy 8 start in your state and in your town?
Zack: The preparation for the Greedy 8 alternative Summit began almost immediately upon my brother and myself, and the small community organization we work with, hearing that the G8 Summit was going to take place in our area. We approached the Green Party of the State of Georgia, since we are members o the, and said to them, "Something big is about to happen in Brunswick and we need to respond to it."
Trent: I have written down that you had said it started in September of last year, 2003.
Zack: Actually, the first request for venues started in September, but we had already made up our minds that we were going to actively work on behalf of making sure that we were working with organizations coming in before that. As soon as we heard by rumor, by any means, that there was going to be a Summit here, we approached the Georgia Greens, and they in turn took a response to a statewide meeting that we heard was happening in Macon that Harry and I resisted going to because we felt that it did not take into consideration the problems of poor people being involved in summits like this, and since it was happening in Brunswick, the planning sessions ought to take place in Brunswick.
Trent: I've been going over the articles I could find, and I found out that in the Fall of 2003 there was G8 legal subcommittee that was established by the US Secret Service, and that includes local, state and federal attorneys, and that they meet to review the legal aspects of planning for the G8 meeting. Was that before the Macon meeting?
Zack: That was after the Macon meeting. The meeting you talk about was some official action that was taken by people who did not include us at all. In fact, they had no intention of having us at any of their conversations about G8, and that's how we sort of began to get rumors that there was going to be a conference, and that's when we started making a request of people that we knew about our having the G8 Summit here.
Trent: Was that before September?
Zack: That was before September, yes.
Trent: Dan Drake, of the U.S. Attorney's office in Savannah, said that they offered a whole set of legal precedents and ordinances that they said had been passed in Augusta/Richmond County, in anticipation of the protests against the male-only membership rules of the Augusta National Golf Club. Are you aware of that?
Zack: We're very much aware of that. In fact, it as those very laws that we ended up challenging,. We didn't recognize that we knew that some greens and women and Rainbow Push, etc., had made an attempt to protest against the Masters Tournament in Augusta. And one of the people what was involved in that was a woman by the name of Denise Trainer, and Trainer is our co-chair for the Georgia Green Party, and they had passed these oppressive laws. However, we didn't know that we were going to be ending up in court challenging these very laws the Federal Government had recommended in terms of being used here, in terms of being used in Glynn County for the G8, and the one that was declared unconstitutional by the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta, and that they were the same laws that had been given here in terms of preventing any kind of dissent.
Trent: I didn't know the date when those laws were declared unconstitutional. But the effort continued to try to impose those ordinances on the six coastal counties. Because I understand they figured they could make it different (what the hell did they think they could do different?) from what was already being contested constitutionally?
Zack: I think they were simply doing what oppressive regimes do - trying to save face. They in fact know that whey had been declared unconstitutional. They in fact knew that they were not going to be upheld by the federal judge here. They in fact knew that we were already in court without knowing that they were going to be declared unconstitutional. They were declared unconstitutional at the time that we had already challenged in court the laws that were set up here.
Trent: When did your court procedures start, Zack?
Zack: We started the actual proceedings What had actually happened is that they themselves would have to be Š
Trent: Just approximately.
Zack: Verified by the ACLU out of Atlanta.
Trent: Okay. I need to get a sense about where in the hell this top-down repression comes from and I want to go back a bit and ask you about Georgia, because I understand that Gov. Sonny Perdue was the first Republican governor to be elected in Georgia since 1872.
Trent: And that Max Cleland, a Georgia State Senator who had lost both legs and his right arm in Vietnam, was defeated by charges that he stood in the way of the new Homeland Security bill and didn't "get" the degree of danger the country was facing.
Zack: That's true.
Trent: And did that represent a real turn toward the more repressive in Georgia and do you think that's a part of the climate out of which this stuff we encountered in Brunswick came from?
Zack: I would have to say that, no, that was not the start of the repressive actions. The repressive actions in Georgia have been maintained throughout the history of Georgia in a very clever way. My brother and I like to make the statement that Georgia seceded from the union in 1861 and has never returned and does not enforce federal law. The actions against Max Cleland was typical of the kind of politics that exists in this repressive place, and that was one of the reasons that we believe the Greedy 8 Summit was proposed for this region in the first place.
Trent: Yeah. That's what I'm trying to Because Ashcroft, I understand, on May 24, came out with a press statement saying that there is the potential for terrorists attacks in three places: the G8 Summit, and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. But when he came out and said that as a press release, on the very same day, Gov. Perdue announced a State of Emergency? Was it the same day?
Zack: It was kind of curious to us, here, working as activists in therole that Sonny Perdue played in all of this. We knew that Georgia was having fear spread over it, especially where we live at here in Brunswick. Fear was being spread like mayonnaise. We had such a repressive and fearful attitude, that even churches were talking about suspending their activities for the days that the Greedy 8 were meeting. Ashcroft actually, in his work of spreading fear the way he did, even called on the so-called Christian and religious institutions, to not be involved.But our reason for having the curiosity about Gov. Perdue is that it was Perdue that had actually, before he declared martial law in the community, had actually been the catalyst to insure that there was an outlet valve, that he was the outlet valve, for the courts to use to be able to see to it that we got the very venues that we ended up having. It was Perdue who faced the president of the college, who me and my brother had already approached and asked to give us a venue especially for TOES, because we were delighted that TOES was coming into our community, and we felt that TOES has so much to contribute in terms of the void of knowledge that existed about economics, and what was happening with the G8. So were delighted to go to her and say that we have so many PhD's coming into town with the kind of information we believe that all intellectuals in this particular state ought to be exposed to. And she almost spit in our faces and run us off.
Trent: Good God!
Zack: It was Perdue that caused her to sign the document that eventually allowed us, based on the conversation at the federal court, that allowed us to be at the college.
Trent: But you know, I wanted to ask you, is this Sonny Perdue a two-faced character who, on the one hand, produces a State of Emergency, and on the other hand, intervenes at the last moment to be the hero. How do you put those who faces together? Who is this guy?
Zack: He is the face of Georgia.
Zack: That's what I meant about the ability of Georgia to be able to demonstrate, on the one hand, that it is a state bubbling with the idea of freedom for all its people, but underneath its surface is the conservative, political Dixiecratic, hard core that prevents progress from taking place in this community, especially for black and poor people. As a result of that, all he did was mimic what has been happening through the ages with governors in the State of Georgia. If you want to hear what I'm talking about, look at Senator Val Miller. He was our Governor, and stayed on the fence for over 16 years as the Lieutenant Governor, to get his chance at repression, and he probably came up with more repressive laws than Perdue has been able to muster within the time frame he has been governor. Perdue is just following a habit that has existed with all the governors in the State of Georgia except - maybe - Jimmy Carter.
Trent: The legal dimensions of all of this are not yet clear to me. Why was it necessary for Perdue to declare a State of Emergency, given that this G8 legal planning committee had already proposed several ordinances which they enacted, and I assume they did enact them in Glynn County and so forth, why was the State of Emergency needed?
Zack: The State of Emergency was needed because the fear that had been spread like mayonnaise reached proportions that were so vulgar that I can imagine being that that which we so-called was fighting against with the countries of Russia in the cold war, and China presently, and in other engagements such as Vietnam and Korea. It was necessary, I think legally for a lot of reasons, for one, the amount of armed men and women in this community had to be justified with the biggest lie that ever existed in terms of fear. It was so oppressive in terms of the number of armed soldiers that confronted even our church that they had to come up with a statement that the only way that this turned out well was the effect of declaring martial law within our community. However, he didn't declare martial law until after he had got involved in having the documents for the venues almost guaranteed, in negotiations that were going on in the federal courts with the ACLU, myself, and all the local government entities that were not going to allow us to have you at TOES in the community, or anyone else.
He, on the one hand, signed a document to let the state________________________ The line that my brother and I had drawn in the sand and said without legitimacy from the government, we were still going to, in fact, we were going to exercise our First Amendment Rights and we took that position early on, and as a result of that, we ended up in court. So that's where he came in -- as a relief valve. What he did was, he then went and declared Martial Law.
Trent: When did you start the court cases, approximately?
Zack: The firth thing that happened with us was I don't think anyone was interested in what my brother and I, we said. I think they had just written us off as being imbeciles, crazy, loud-mouthed nigro boys who weren't going to be of any consequence, standing up for their rights. And so when the planning sessions went on without us and we had sent our regrets about not being part of the planning session because we felt we needed to do whatever we had to do by drawing line in the sand against all repressive movement in the community. They didn't take us very seriously, until the third or forth week prior to the Summit. And so after folk found out that we existed and that we weren't going to do away and that we were going to defy the government, no matter what it took for us to do that, and they had made all of their plans for this repressive, for this content, for, for this dissent to happen in Savannah, the federal government steered everything in that direction. All activist groups had basically bought into going there. The major media definitely bought into going there. And then they had a meeting and had it in Brunswick, and then folk found out that we were serious, and that we were not going to be intimidated by anyone, and we had already set the plans in place. Then, and only then, did everyone start taking us seriously. And once we had that first meeting, here in Brunswick, then things began to happen very rapidly after that.
Trent: So the governor really was informed that you guys really weren't going to go away when he made that State of Emergency Declaration.
Trent: I'm kind of interested in some of the intimidation that was used. For example, is it the case, that the commander of the police forces announced that a "shot to kill" order was associated with the State of Emergency?
Zack: Not only that. The only briefing that my brother and I attended was being held by the so-called Committee on Homeland Security, where the police of the City of Brunswick and the fire folk of the City of Brunswick got up and talked about the procedures to prevent local folks from getting hurt. [Their plan] was a derivative of what the military call "march in place", and this derivative is called "shelter in place". [They said] that they were going to, in fact, come up with an "alarm scheme" whereby they would alarm people and once they blew a whistle or tinkled a cow bell, whatever they were going to do, because they didn't announce what exactly that particular whistle or alarm system would be, that everybody needed to make sure they were in place in their shelter.
Trent: I am kind of confused. All the forces that were deployed because of the State of Emergency... It was possible to bring in the army, the National Guard... And getting around an old law that says you can't use the military in interaction with the police. But there were also other units involved, too. The Coast Guard, the Secret Service Someone told me the Navy Seals were there. Can you confirm this whole spectrum of military police forces was deployed and integrated in some way?
Zack: We can, from our limited point of view, from our own personal experience as people who have served in the armed forces, tell you that from the experience I had in Vietnam as a platoon sergeant, that there was no greater sized force that I personally witness in terms of a military operation during the whole twelve-year period that I was in the service. That included actual active military operations that I was involved in. I never saw that many men deployed in one place, in one location, in my entire life. I can tell you that when they announced this thing, they had flights that seemed to me marking every inch of the community from both helicopters and so-called intelligence aircraft that seemed to be mapping day and night. I can tell you we were warned that there was some kind of aircraft carrier off the coast that had fighter planes that were buzzing this community daily. I can tell you that we actually experienced military personnel driving to our church where we had Independent Media, getting out, coming to the church, saying that the only reason they were coming was to worship with us. Stayed three minutes after we told them that they couldn't bring their weapons in the church. That we in fact greeted them, and told them that we wanted them to come to church with us, and the only purpose we believe that they wanted to come inside the church was to make sure that we were not housing bazookas and tanks. I don't know what they were scouting for. We did have a number of people who was active out of our church during that period of time, so I guess needed to do that. We had the police chief come and talk about reports that they had received, I guess, from the CIA, FBI, National Guard, etc., that we were in face harboring, and that was the word that was used, anarchists, and we had to talk to them in terms of our mission. Told them that we, in fact, that we had a mission of housing the homeless, the lame, the crazy, the despondent, the derelict, the ones that were on drugs, naked in any way, any form and fashion, we had that responsibility at our church, and if that was who was an anarchist, they probably was in our church.
Trent: What do you make of that kind of overkill? Were they really sincere? Or were they realizing that what they were doing was scaring people away?
Zack: Oh, they were very effective with it. The overkill had reduced our city to a ghost town and the participation to a minimal from all over the nation. The statement I made to you about churches talking about closing their doors The overkill had reduced the leadership in the African community, who we tried to reach all over the world, to the point where they were either bought off, or scared off, Me and my brother made an assessment that they probably had scared the African leadership to the point that they just gave up and said, "This is the counting of the profits by the Greedy 8 nations, the money that they have gotten from all over the world, this is a division of that profit, and that is white man's business, so we ain't going to concern ourselves with it. And that's why they did not show up.
Trent: Someone told me that there were flatbed trucks with missiles on them. Did you see any of those?
Zack: I didn't see those. I was also told that there were places where there were tubes of missiles all over the place. I personally did not witness it, but I can assure you from my own vantage point, there probably was very very very serious missiles and tubes everywhere all over this community.
Trent: Did you hear what I heard, that there were announcements on TV and radio that 2000 body bags had arrived?
Zack: That was before the Summit itself. That was part of the preparation based on the so called experience of the CIA, the FBI, the federal government, military people, that they expected. That's what they were going to be prepared for. I heard it was more body bags than 2,000.
Trent: My wife and I went out to Jekyll Island on the 10th. We got a room out there because we wanted to walk along the beach. And we noticed that there was all kinds of Š The courts, the volley ball courts, the tennis courts, were all filled up with all sorts of equipment. We were also told there that they had reserved refrigerated capacity to store dead bodies.
Zack: I would think so because this place was absolutely under siege. The federal lunch program that was supposed to start several weeks prior to the G8 that was suspended Š Those who were supposed to be fed didn't get anything to eat from that program until we had made a big stink of it. The only pool we had open for poor people in the city of Brunswick proper was closed for that period. The recreation facilities that were around the pool, like the gymnasium and that stuff that would cause kids to be put in a situation to be given supervision for the summer, was taken as a means for what they called processing centers for the people who were going to be chained and locked up. So everywhere we saw a space, they had a military purpose.
Trent: I understand that Georgia got $25 million from the Iraq fund to provide homeland security, and that all went for this over capacity. In fact, someone told us that it was necessary to deploy only 2% of the troops at any one time, that basically the police were bored out of their minds sitting in these motels and encampments. Does that line up with Š? I mean, they were so successful with overkill that they bored the hell out of their own people!
Zack: I would say that not only should they be bored, that is, the soldiers themselves, but their military leadership, including Ashcroft and Rumsfeld and all of the hawks that put up with kind of military presence, should be EMBARRASSED by what they accomplished in moving this country one of expected democracy to complete and total oppression. It was embarrassing. It had no real purpose other than to demonstrate that folk at the top are frightened of their own citizens. But that's nothing new to me and y brother and African people because there has always been this hysteria about our existence as black people in this country. So it was kind of refreshing to us to see the repression extended to other people, even though it was, at the same time, a very sad situation to see.
Trent: Michelle Goldman in a Newswire release of June 12th says that she wasn't clear why the police felt compelled to swarm all over Brunswick. Why was there such a need for so many police cares running up and down the road in Š What did they call them? Š rolling road blocks? What was the purpose of that kind of? I mean, that's overkill, big time!
Zack. The "overkill big time", it frightened some of the immigrants that have come from Mexico. It frightened them right out of the neighborhood. They walked off their jobs and went to other places until this thing had, as it were, blown over.But we don't really want to take credit for them being rolling up and down the roads of Brunswick the way they did. I think that one of the reasons may be that Brunswick was a strategic point because you had to cross over bridges to get to certain locations [e.g., Sea Island, where the G8 were meeting]. It may be that they could block the river off from this location, even though it's strategic. But even though Brunswick may be strategic, I think that the display of police force was also part and parcel of what you see in cities of color all over this nation. Even with black police chiefs like we have, you always have a repressive action to set the tone based on one of the beliefs of certain people that we're criminals, and therefore, that this is the place you have to do your dirty work in order to keep crime down. This town had a statement, in July 2000, from our confederate soldier mayor, that actually declared all African Americans in this place, under his jurisdiction, were basically prostitutes, whores, drug dealers, drug users, immoral, and we needed to be dealt with in the kind of way you saw them rolling up and down the community.
Trent: Who is this guy?
Zack: His name is Mayor Brad Brown.
Trent: One June 9th, the second day of the G8 Summit, there was an environmental justice march. Jeffrey Keating, in an article "Notes on the G8", says that you met at an elementary school which was built without windows in an attempt to protect the kids from a nearby Hercules chemical plant. Would you say something about that? I wasn't at that march and I didn't see this horrible thing.
Zack: Being an environmental justice activist in this community since 1991 [I can tell you] that the school that they're talking about is Goodyear. It was a school that we had brought to the attention of the federal government that was blanketed with a pesticide by the name of Toxaphene. It was one of the two elementary schools in this community that was blanketed with that particular poison. We had challenged them to move our children out from that particular school. Their response was to tear the old school down in seven days and rebuild it the way it is now, and to put a mound of dirt over the Toxaphene that exists there. And that was, I guess, why they chose to meet at that particular school, to dramatize the problem of environmental injustice in this community. This community is the most polluted zip code in the State of Georgia. This community has 27.5% of the Superfund sites in the State of Georgia in it. And so, as a result, you were in one of the most poisoned places in the State of Georgia. We have 17 _____________[ recall?] Sites, and hundreds of illegal dump sites. One of the things that did not get coordinated very well, because of the fact that we spent so much time drawing a line in the sand about not moving from this spot in order to let folk know that there was a problem here in our particular region, was the environmental justice piece. We should have had a lot more activity to tell the story about environmental injustice.
Trent: We ain't done yet, Zack.
Zack: Well, I'm glad to hear that, Trent, because I tell you what. We've been hankering for the kind of leadership, of association, that
would help us get it done.
Trent: The school, they really built it without windows?
Zack: Yes, they did.
Trent: And also, Keating says that "not satisfied with keeping the African American community poor and dependent on the factories, factory owners brought in low wage immigrant workers and put the African American community out of work." Are those the Mexican workers [you mentioned earlier]? Talk about that a bit.
Zack: The globalization thing has affected us very deeply. Basically, since the enslavement of our people from West Africa, [we?] have been made the first, and only, organized labor force at [since] that time, that existed in the South. So, to displace us is not a new game in town. In fact, when Vincente Fox and the President were making their deal for slave trades coming out of Mexico, we knew it would not be long before they would start oppressing that same worker in this particular community. They have displaced us, but they have not displaced us to the point that it really has costs us a great deal because we weren't making that much in the first place.
Trent: Can they really save any money bringing Mexicans in and putting them in?
Zack: Absolutely they did. Because what they have done, we were in fact, according to the U.S. census of about 1996 or so, Š The US census had made a declaration of the income that we were making in this community, and it was a mere $6,000 per year around '92 or '93 or '94. So in the South, this place where enslavement has been the order of the day, that's why people fight so much for states' rights -- to be able to oppress its work force. We ain't mad at the Mexican people. We just wish them well, and if there's any way we can help them But they are being exploited at this time, with the kind of wage decrease that has come about as a matter of them being here.The way the do it is, since the majority industry here, the largest industry, is tourism. And so that is where And building facilities for the rich and the famous and the middle class. And so the way they save money is in using part-time workers to do full-time jobs. Bring in a worker working for 20 hours, and bring in his son to work for the rest o the 20 hours. That's how it's done.
Trent: Good God! Is this just in Glynn County or is that in all the coastal counties?
Zack: It's in all the coastal counties, but in particular, it all over Georgia.
Trent: How does this? There is an article that mentioned that people were yelling to you that the Gullah Geechee tribe was dead and I didn't get a chance to go back to that article. Would you comment on the continuity of this reality for the Gullah Geechee people and how'd they lose what they supposedly were given by Sherman?
Zack: Oh, that's some big stuff right there. What happened is that we had effective, we had a Gullah Geechee performer, we, we had several Gullah Geechee events that was actually helped by TOES coming into the community for us to be able to put those on. One of them was, we had a live historian every night to perform every night during that particular conference. And on the first day we had a festival over on St. Simons in the spirit of making sure they knew that we were not going to let them prevent us from using our parks and all parts of the governmental operations. So that's why we went to the county facility on St. Simons to have that festival and to have the candlelight vigil. At the vigil itself where this was performed, there was this racist that was absolutely INCENSED by our presence. We just ignored him. But the very things you talk about has been the kind of insensitivity towards African people in our existence here since I've been born, and that been 65 years.
Trent: How many people in South Carolina and the coastal area of Georgia trace their heritage from the Gullah Geechee people?
Zack: One of the things that happen, and that's why you saw so much effort here at the Summit to make people aware of who they are, and what they are, [is that] the Gullah Geechee people, based on Sherman's locking us into a land mass, and our having been locked into a land mass during the enslavement of our people on these barrier islands, maintain a relationship with West Africa, by the way we ate, lived, breathed, and had our cultural events, even burials, and some of the songs. So most of us in this area that was born and raised here trace our roots to a Gullah Geechee existence. A tremendous number of us have fled, however, to other communities - Boston, New York - in the great migration. But there is a revival of such, of people now recognizing their value and their worth in terms of what has happened with us holding onto some of the cultural aspects of our relationship with West Africa. And with the fact that what we have done is that we've been through and we've carried off some o the most amazing feats related to trying to become free people in the community. One of them has to do with the Igbos from Southeastern Nigeria who refused to go into slavery. They walked into the water chained together singing "The water brung us here; that water will take us home." That's where we get our tradition that says, "Before we'll be a slave, we'd rather be dead and buried and go home to God and be free." That's where we got that tradition from.
Trent: So is there a connection between the Igbo people and the Gullah Geechee people?
Zack: Yes, there is.
Trent: They are incredible people.
Zack: Yes, they are. The Yoruba out of Nigeria, the people out of Sierra Leone, there is a lot of information that has tied us to these particular areas.
Trent: As you know, TOES is interested in bringing a group of professors and activists south to learn about your heritage. I hope you'll help us set that up in the next months.
Zack: We would be so delighted because we have struggled so hard to raise our people up. A lot of folks have been deathly ashamed of being Gullah Geechees because we talk funny, we eat funny, and a lot of times we look funny. As a result of that, people have caused a most of us to try to run away from our heritage. But now no longer is that going to happen because of the generous action of folk like yourselves wanting to come down and get to know us.
Trent: Well, we'll set that up. Listen, what's your final thoughts on this series of, I don't know what to call it, this incredible stuff that we were both involved in, but of course you were much more involved with than I.
Zack: My thoughts are not final. My thoughts are at the apex of really beginning to think things over, and with your help, I would think that what we can do is reconvene here, because if what happens here is allowed to be forgotten, then repression will become a more general practice all over the United States of America and other places in the world. Because we have heard that they are going to export this model, in which they [need 25,000 troops to secure] the City of Brunswick, when only 14,000 people who live in the area where you had the TOES conference, [and which normally employs only two uniformed policemen], and they're going to export that model to New York and to Boston. That was written in the paper the very next day. Folk forgot that they had arrested 17 people and that there was a hunger strike by five of them. So I don't think that we can even begin to think about final thoughts. I can only think about corrective actions that need to be expressed and developed. And with people like yourself and activists like me, we can come up with a response that can reintroduce democracy back into this country.
Trent: You may know that Carol Bass and myself are going to talk about this at the Boston Social Forum on July 22nd, just before the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Zack: That is wonderful.
Trent: So we're going to put the word out about what happened. We're going to shout it loud and clear. The other thing that occurred to me is I have this vague remembrance that, was it Ralph Reed that organized the 2000 election by mobilizing all kinds of church people to get out and vote Republican? Is there any way of getting sort of a counter edge to hat sort of, what? fundamentalist nonsense?
Zack: Ralph Reed came back to his some state, Georgia, after having established his kingdom in the Christian right, and made a bold declaration that what he would do is deliver especially the black churches into the hands of the conservatives of this country by any means necessary. But in particular, he had a plan. And that plan was to embrace the African Church in matters that had no budgetary result (implications) to 'em. Have us to be on their side with abortion, prayer in schools, things that have no intrinsic value in bringing about a change fundamentally in the quality of life of people. And I'm here to tell you that he is succeeding at a very rapid rate, especially with purchasing these churches with what they call "Faith Based Projects" and money.
Zack: So I think we're going to have an uphill battle for at least a decade or so with his initiative. I don't think he has fully succeeded. But I can tell you that from my vantage point as a pastor in this particular community and in the State of Georgia, he has made major leaps and bounds. Some of our One of our major problems with bringing about a difference in the community was the churches' role in being silent and remaining ignorant of the issues that were raised by the G8. So I think we're going to have an uphill battle.
Trent: I don't know if I told you, but Walter Wink commented to me that he thought the upcoming election was going to be determined by who controlled Biblical interpretation in the country.
Zack: I can assure you, and I'm going to tell you, I heard rumors the other day that somebody was about to go to these churches and they were going to the pulpits to influence the election with the oppressor that we got in place here.
Trent: Well, I think that's most of the questions I had.
Zack: I hope I did a good job.
Trent: You did a good job. Susan's going to produce an article out of this which is going to go right in front of a book we're going to create. So if you have any follow up thoughts on this, just give us a call.
Zack: I'll do that. And I certainly am glad that this isn't the last time we're going to work together, and I'm looking forward to that Gullah Geechee exposure that we can make here. I also would hope that what happens is After this election this year, that we don't take whatever the result is and say "Oh, well." I would hope that whatever the outcome of this election is, that we just continue to focus on getting busy and doing what we have to do. Finally, I hope you can help us to do some writing about our own documentary that we think that must be put out about this.
Trent: That's one of the reasons why I can mobilize professors and activists, and they'll do the writing.
Zack: Very good.
Trent: I take the groups to India all the time, and What do intellectuals do best? They write!
Trent: So we'll bring a whole team down there, Zack.
Zack: Thank you very much.
Trent: Take care. Bye.
©2004 The Other Economic Summit