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Straight No Chaser: Orchids and Onions, January 2015

Editorial by Gloria Winston Al-Sarag

gloria_winston_al-sarag2Orchids: To the NEW Year! Hopefully, 2015 will usher in new strategies, new attitudes, more love, and acceptance from those who may not share our culture.

If we could find the time to sit down, break bread, spend time with, and familiarize ourselves with people who may have different religious beliefs, and pigmentation unlike ours; we just might be on the way to finding peace on earth.

Many of us live like islands, and have built barriers which may have led to the misunderstandings which are prevalent in today’s society.

However, I believe we can DO better, if we try.

Orchids: To all first responders (police officers, firemen, emergency medical technicians and more), and those serving our country in ways we sometimes take for granted.

Onions: To those who have elderly family members whom they never check on.

Especially this time of year, nothing pains me more than to see an elderly person attempting to shovel snow from a sidewalk, or driveway.

Sometimes, kinfolks may not be available, but these people are also someone’s neighbor, and should be checked on, accordingly.

Onions: To those who have constantly used social media as a platform to spout their ignorance, and stroke themselves.

If you are all SO grand, actions should speak much louder than your empty words! (IJS)

Orchids: To those who have refused to bow down to bigots, and media critics who love to stir the racism pot in search of a Pulitzer.

Orchids: To Jim Lawrence, who has recently retired as a distinguished editor of Gannett, the Democrat and Chronicle, in particular.

Even though he had, at times, been shackled; I applaud him for his attainment of being fair and objective to the black community.

Orchids: To the family and friends of three people who left his dimension in the latter part of 2014; those I worked alongside and/or for in Washington, D.C, in another life.

R.I.P. Mayor Marian Barry (mayor for life); Sylvia Branch (Rev. Jesse Jackson’s former executive assistant) and Florence Tate, (former press secretary for the Rev. Jesse Jackson Campaign)

Onions: To parents who seem to have found it cute to post videos of their preschool sons or daughters twerking, or grinding, like some sex-craved adults.

Make sure your child has some BOOKS to read.

When they have been shaking their little booties, it has been disgusting, and not cute.

And, it has only blatantly demonstrated the values of their parents.

That would be you!

Onions: To Rosemarie McKinney, for not sharing her Red Velvet Cake and chocolate chip cookies.

Meanie! (I really am not supposed to have ANY of it, but if they tasted as good as the pictures looked on Facebook, I feel slighted!)

Orchids: To my first great grand, Xavier Javon Nelson (who WILL call me Gigi), on celebrating his FIRST year on planet earth at Chuckie Cheese.

I especially loved the way he looked at Chuckie Cheese while sitting in his lap, with a look on his face that said: “Hey, You’re not MICKEY MOUSE!”

Orchids: To my embattled mayor, Lovely Ann Warren, for surviving her first year in office.

I have admired your strength, courage, and ability to keep smiling, even when your critics and detractors had been slicing and dicing you every chance they had gotten.

Those who have supported you have been standing firm, and understand many others are still in denial about the fact that you beat the status quo to the finish line.

Keep your head high; look up and not down.

And, remember, they cannot mess with HIS anointed!

Onions: To anyone who can’t accept the TRUTH.

Yes, it is painful at times, but it will shed light when all is said and done!

Onions: To those who have been so blinded by POLITICS, they could not see the benefit in having Councilman Adam McFadden as executive director of the Rochester Housing Authority.

I don’t think he would be interested, but maybe he should really give someone a run for their money by applying for the secretly-advertised vacancy to put a new face at the helm of the United Way.

In its history, there has only been one of US leading the organization.

Do we have to wait another 400 years?

Onions: To those who have mistaken my pro-black agenda, and concern for my community, as racism.

I am not a racist.

Some of my best friends are white, Asian and Arab.

Get over yourselves.

There have been those among us who have tried to make me feel GUILTY about supporting my own people, while they’ve supported THEIR people, but remained unapologetic in their attempts to eliminate mine.

Onions: To all of the HYPOCRITES who would denounce scandalous and degrading remarks made by yellow journalists, with more negative things to say about folks in our community than positive, but would uphold, support and praise someone else who did the SAME thing, just because they may have a hint of color in their skin.

Wrong is wrong!

Orchids: To all who have taken the time to organize donations, and make sure the homeless have been kept out of the cold when the temperatures have dropped below zero.

To all shelters, hotels, churches and others who have made warm beds available.

However, what has seldom been reported is why some have refused the offer to come in out of the cold.

Many have refused to obey the rules that go along with such a decision, particularly if they abuse drugs and/or alcohol.

Some may also have mental health issues which may have gone undiagnosed.

Onions: To homeless “advocates” who have been more interested in making statements to the press, than actually seeing that people are warm and safe.

We do have some so-called “social workers” who have encouraged places like “Sanctuary City” to remain intact.

But, seldom have the unsanitary conditions been considered to be the health risks they are to the entire public.

Safe and sanitary conditions have sometimes been swapped for people’s political agendas, and potential funding.

You will convince me you have sincerely been concerned when you take a homeless person home to sleep in your warm house.