Posted in My Soapbox

Growning up, Some of Best Friends Were Republican

My opinions on my social pages are mine. They are not on my page for you to start an argument with me or for you to spread your venom. You do not have to agree with me… I am totally cool with that… but if you decide, with your grown arse, to be nasty with your “point of few” you gotta go.

Today, I lost a long time friend because at 60, she continued to add her negative opinions about my support of BLM and disapproval of the current administration on my personal page… and in messenger. It seems so childish to me. When did this behavior become acceptable?

Growing up, some of my best friends were Republican. 😄

But seriously, I grew up with Republican and Democrat family and friends. When the elections were said and done, we put our heads down and continued to work together. My grandfather was a long time proud Republican with a picture of Ronald and Nancy Reagan on his buffet. I do not recall the nastiness I feel now when Bill Clinton was elected for a second term… the last election he voted in. Was he happy about it? Not at all! However, there was always a sense of working together no matter who was in the Oval Office.

Official Portrait of The Reagans, 1985/Mary Ann Fackelman-Miner/Public Domain

It was not until I worked for conservative Christian radio did I begin to see the divisiveness that has turned into straight up hatred between political parties. I actually heard a talk show host say that if you “voted for Barack Obama, you would go to hell.” Subsequently, there were callers crying and saying on the air that they wished they could change their vote. I was also nearly fired after the black folk in the building were too celebratory when Barack Obama was elected for a second term.

I felt like a square peg in a round hole being Democrat with the gall to be a Christian.  You can not possibly be both is what I gathered while working there. And why not? The God I serve is the same one you do. My prayers go the same direction as yours. And from what I am observing, I am no more radically liberal than some of the Republicans I see spreading hate, fear and division these days. And what I am also observing, this is not representative of Republicans in the past; especially with the antics of the current president.

So here is what I am going to do… Go ahead be a Republican… I will go ahead and be a Democrat… but I will draw the line when you feel the need, with your grown arse, to put any rhetoric or lies on my page. I would never do that to you… then again… I have more productive things to do.

Also Read: Dear Karen, Remember Me?

Posted in My Soapbox

Dear Karen, Remember Me?

I realize this is kind of passive aggressive because first… well your name is clearly not Karen… but because you insist on posting on my page and my inbox your feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement being about one person.  So, I thought I would remind you of some things we have experienced together in a movement during another time in our lives.

We went to high school together. You were there before me, but our school system relocated many of your brown and black “friends” to the school and that is where we became part of this movement.

Remember when we went on that Trust Retreat with Focus Hope? Man… that was a life changing moment for me. There we were, black, brown, and white, learning how to live with each other, fight for one another and love each other. When we got back from that retreat we were on fire! Remember, we formed a steering committee instead of the traditional Class President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer? Why? Because we wanted our graduating class to be representative of who we were… a diverse group of young people wanting to instill change in our world. Much like 2020 huh?

Redford High School Yearbook/First Focus Hope Committee 1978

Remember that same year we made that Focus Hope float for homecoming. We made it in my uncles’ garage… walked that thing all the way to the parade spot as little homemade flowers from tissue paper started falling off. But we did not care. The mission was clear… we work together.

I remember the Focus Hope walks, working in their food distribution center and even becoming part of the Explorers media group where I eventually found my life’s passion.

We planned dances, fundraisers, prom and our graduation day. We were even BFF’s contemplating being roommates before we went to college. We looked at that apartment building in Southfield, remember? I think I changed my mind because we were moving to two different cities for college and neither of us were in the position to hold it down alone or commute. Or maybe it was something different for you. Thing is, we believed in the same things… or so I thought.

Fast forward to our current climate; this has been an amazingly hard year. I have known many people who have succumbed to COVID-19; so many that I have lost count. For the longest, I had a prayer wall constantly growing with people battling the virus and families who have lost loved ones, and though the wall is getting smaller, the virus is still out there… and you know what Karen? The people who are dying the most are those we cared about as advocates for the dream Father Bill Cunningham, Eleanor Josaitis, John Staniloiu and Gil Maddox filled us with during that retreat.

When George Floyd was murdered (or as you wrote, “poor George Floyd”), the tipping point was reached. The divisiveness built by the current governmental administration has nurtured the unrest, distrust and pain that has brought us here. And I am not talking about the protests. I am talking about the point where I have realized that you have forgotten those dreams or never believed in them in the first place. I want to believe you have forgotten and just needed the reminder. But I am afraid it is the latter. So, for that, I will move on. I have changed so much in our years since high school but one thing I will always hold on to is that part of me that still believes in hope.

Bye Karen.