Op/Ed By Gloria Winston
I will be 71 in July, and I made a decision some time ago, since retiring, that I would not make myself available for community meetings that, although scheduled for the right reason, always seem turn into nothing but gripe sessions for those who talk more than they walk.
On June 16, I reluctantly attended a community meeting which was called in an attempt to UNITE the community.
What a mistake that turned out to be.
I knew in advance, that those in attendance would not necessarily be folks who know, like, or support me.
However, I went because of my respect for newly-elected Monroe County Legislator Vince Felder.
And, even though I felt he had been pushed into calling the meeting, I said nothing until it became apparent the location he had chosen proved to be politically unwise, from where I sit.
You can’t go into enemy territory, expecting that, when the head of the serpent surfaces, it does not have an agenda. The spirit of Judas lives on in much of whom he betrayed.
However, I digress.
I made up my mind to go when the meeting location changed to a church with leadership which has not demonstrated the greed of some in the religious community.
I have the greatest respect for Elder Patrick McNair, and his wife Regina McNair.
God sent Regina into my life during Lovely Warren’s campaign.
And, as the mayor’s office manager, if I had a capable assistant; one whom I could trust, and who remained loyal, it was Regina.
I have always believed God does NOT put people in your life for no reason. They come for a season, a reason, or a lifetime.
I believe time passing reveals it all, and that God will always reveal the spirits in your life that mean you no good, when you least expect it.
In fact, I also believe there are only two types of people in the world.
There are GOOD people, and there are BAD people.
And, those who choose to sit on the fence, I can’t call GOOD, if they repeatedly cause confusion.
They can’t claim they are serving my God to me.
That’s just the way it is.
Cream rises to the top in our community. However, lately, more than it should, scum has also.
We have more than our share of scum that sometimes means this community no good, and those individuals are only out for what they can get.
The scum in this community preaches, teaches, and mouths the words of UNITY, but, when all is said and done, they do not truly believe the words they are preaching, teaching or mouthing.
There were about about 40 people whom I perceived to have genuine concerns about the community who attended the meeting.
And, many of them probably want to be a part of the solution, no doubt.
They warmly received me, when I gave brief remarks, and I appreciated that.
Nonetheless, the one positive outcome that came from the meeting is that an action-oriented agenda item has been posted as a summary on Facebook.
But, still, the negative side, for me, was the one speaker who attempted to negatively comment about my mayor.
Not on my watch.
She works TOO hard for us.
He was talking about the same mayor who has made it possible for some people in his family to feed themselves.
How quickly some people forget they can CALL the mayor when they need a favor, but forget her phone number when white folks start writing checks.
And, in the same breath, the speaker also attacked the choice of an educated 35-year-old who has been tapped for a leadership role within the anti-poverty initiative.
Instead, I believe we should all be proud.
It’s so sad when gatekeepers preach about giving our young folks a chance, however, once they arrive, they are the first ones to degrade them publicly.
Later, when I got home, I received a call from someone who told me a person who is not a Facebook friend of mine had attempted to slander my name on their page, by accusing me of HATING someone.
And, the fact that I am not their Facebook friend is significant, because I would never have known the person made the slanderous remark, if it had not been called to my attention.
Isn’t that what SNAKES do?
Those of you who truly know me, know that I am more than outspoken, opinionated, stubborn and fearless, most of the time.
God has made me that way.
Those of you who know me also know I eat bullies for breakfast.
Usually, I make a bully sandwich for lunch, and bullies become my entrée at dinner.
I don’t run from bullies, and I was always taught that a LIAR is the most dangerous kind of person on earth.
I was always told that a LIAR is someone to fear.
And, when this person was challenged about the unkind words they had spoken about me, someone whom they had NEVER met, they offered as an explanation that they had sat behind me at the meeting, studied my facial expressions, and determined I HATED someone who was speaking.
The person who had been speaking was also someone I have NEVER met, or been introduced to, mind you.
Ok, stop laughing y’all.
These folks produced PICTURES that were supposed to prove I had been mumbling under my breath.
I know, I know, this sounds insane, but it’s a true story.
The question then became, for me, “Am I so important that you attended a meeting to watch me????”
Lawd, please let me bottle whatever it is that makes me so grand, so I can sell it.
This is just demonic and sick.
Space will NOT allow me to tell the entire story; however, it all began with me, and my tendency to tell it like it is.
In my opinion, if you do things behind someone’s back, it makes you a COWARD.
And, in keeping with that perspective, if you act like an immature person, and you are younger than me, I will call you a little girl.
Politically ignorant folks also don’t seem to understand that the word HANDLER is synonymous with the word ADVISOR, and that it has nothing to do with being an animal.
There was so much nonsense, and hanging onto EVERY word I said.
Am I really THAT important???
I am by no means perfect, but I will NEVER change the way I write, or communicate, because most people I know are fine with it.
Most young people I know, whether they are in agreement with me, or not, RESPECT me.
So, when a young person tells me, on Facebook, to “STFU,” I take it seriously.
When I was younger, ELDERS were held in high esteem.
And, I had been raised to respect mine, and not to attempt to qualify, or justify, ANY respect.
I was taught that, even if I disagreed with an elder, not to argue with them.
However, obviously, those days are long gone.
I can’t imagine telling my mother, grandmother, or any person who has lived longer than me to “STFU.”
And, the ONLY men who recognized how wrong it was were Vince Felder, my loving brother, Ernest Flagler Mitchell, and Adam McFadden.
They did not say it was none of their business, because it was.
I cried real tears more than once, in hopes that these folks attempting to berate and insult me, have not been raising children.
My fear is, and always has been, that, if they are, they are likely the children who are out here disrespecting public venues, and themselves.
They are probably acting out because no one is raising them.
However, if no one has properly raised their parents, who will teach them right from wrong, and respect for their elders???
It is so sad, and so painful.
As strong as I am, and as wordy as I can be, I don’t ever recall the need to use obscenities, or filthy words in response to anyone.
It’s not how I was raised.
We have all of these so called “Afro-centric” folks, with their new names, who supposedly and allegedly identify with our lost African ancestry; however, they obviously missed the lesson that said ELDERS should be held in high esteem.
Anyone who has lived longer than you, probably knows something more than you, and has traveled miles you haven’t.
I know I am a dinosaur, and that this is a new day, however the pain I felt after that meeting made me feel unwelcome in my own community. The community I have helped to build.
So, the bottom line is, don’t call me, or send me any messages about my attendance at these so-called meetings, to promote conversation and/or UNITY.
There is too much scum, and not enough cream at the top of some of these agendas.
Unfortunately, respect for our elders has become a thing of the past.
It used to exist in my community.
Now, I am done!!!