Statement by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP
DETROIT (October 21, 2019) – “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” Ecclesiastes 3:1. No, I am not necessarily trying to go biblical, but I am trying to recall a more harmonious time of the political. Former Governor William Milliken served our state and the nation in a season that possessed not just the harsh and cold indifference of winter, where hearts and minds were frozen. He also served as a bit of sunshine. He had the ability to warm the heart and to cause a spring like birth of a different political discourse. He brought new life into an old game. As a teenager, when Governor Milliken took office, I didn’t always understand the nature of the political games. Yet, as an activist student I understood who was for our community and who was against it. Governor Milliken always impressed me as someone who was for the people and the city of Detroit.
It is indeed worth noting that two political giants have passed within one week of the other. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings of Baltimore and Governor William Milliken of Michigan. One was a Democrat and the other was a Republican. One was the son of South Carolina sharecroppers (Cummings) whose parents were poor and according to him “not well educated but yet still brilliant.” The other was the son of northern Michiganders (Milliken) whose parents were wealthy. His father was a mayor and state senator from Traverse City. His mother was a member of the school board. She was the first elected woman to serve public office there. Both Milliken and Cummings reached beyond themselves to work with and to deliver for all of the people. It was not just about party. It was really about principle.
Click here — Press Statement — Governor William G. Milliken, A Gentle But Strong Political Leader — to read the statement in its entirety.