All of us are human, and humans are innately flawed. Each and every one of us is bound to make a mistake or two … and probably far more than that … during our lifetimes. That said, human or not, people in positions of power have to be held to a more rigorous set of standards than the rest of us. By virtue of their positions, for good or ill, they have more sway over public perception. Their words carry more weight, their actions more significance. It’s not that they shouldn’t be allowed to falter every now and again, but when they do, they should take the necessary steps to make amends.
Which brings us to this week’s news of a fight between Fulton Mayor Barry Childers and Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department deputy Andy Graham. The details of why the brawl started are, as of the Monday afternoon in which this is being written, unknown. For our purposes, they also don’t matter. What does matter is an elected official and public servant engaged in behavior unfitting of either of them, video footage of which was subsequently shared to WTVA, then to social media, where it unsurprisingly made the rounds.
While we here at The Times don’t know about the circumstances that resulted in the fight, we do know that neither Childers nor Graham should have been involved in it. Both men are public servants and are, despite whatever grievances they may have with one another, expected to behave in ways that are respectful of the positions they hold.
While we understand that both men are only human and, by nature, due a blunder or two, we also believe they should issue apologies, not to each other, but to the communities they represent.