On August 2 one year ago, my dear friend Bill Moss passed away. We had talk about him running for governor this year and envisioned a three-way race with three black men: Bill Moss, Michael Coleman, and J. Kenneth Blackwell – sort of the good, the bad and the ugly of Ohio’s black politics, although Mike’s not really bad, just wishy-washy. That adjective was never associated with the only independently-elected black man in Columbus history. Moss, who ran for mayor as a Democrat and for State Rep, was elected to the Columbus School Board repeatedly without the endorsement of the Democratic Party.
I dedicated my book “A Schoolhouse Divided” to Bill, because he was the key source and the inspiration for giving all children a quality education. Before Bill’s tragic and untimely death, he was working hard to expose the corruption in the 2004 election. His last major performance before the Election Assessment Committee in Houston, Texas was a classic. There he confronted the Chair of the Carter-Baker Commission and asked them what they planned to do when they realized a lot of the suppression of voters in Ohio was pre-planned and criminal.
I wish Bill had lived and I was managing his campaign. All I can hope for now is to follow a few of his last words to me: “Stand in the gap.” Even though he had just suffered from a stroke, there was plenty of fight left in him and he was still planning to restore democracy in Ohio and America. Bill Moss was a warrior and a soldier, but what people didn’t understand – he relished the fight against the forces of oppression and what he called The Money Party.
To Bill, it was always the people vs. the Titans. And he always believed that the people would prevail in the end. He believed in his heart that the choice was between serving God or mammon.
Help me stand in the gap and continue the fight that Bill Moss started.