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Straight, No Chaser: Orchids and Onions

Gloria Winston

Op-ed by Gloria Winston –

Orchids: To all who recognize the need to think about others instead of themselves so much. Be a GIVER not a TAKER!!

Orchids: To all who made it through and celebrated the NEW YEAR—so many lost the benefit of having the pleasure of hugging their loved ones and friends. One thing we should all recognize by now is we are only passing through this life and tomorrow is definitely not promised.

Onions: To the yellow journalists who continue to target our Black elected officials and leadership in this community

Orchids : To Brother Kenneth Muhammad who has organized an event to discuss and hopefully come up with a strategy to deal with those so called journalists who continue to make a reputation by insulting, berating and failing to respect and acknowledge the intelligence we call leadership in our community.

Orchids : To the Minority Reporter Newspaper, published by Dave McCleary. For 11 years he has supported my madness and sometimes controversial opinions. Some get uneasy, but I always tell the TRUTH!! Can’t handle the heat?? Get out of the kitchen!!

Onions : To those who feel they can say what they want to say about our community and who have the nerve to get indignant when they are served with their own kind of justice. The truth really does hurt some people. If you didn’t like what I wrote about you, you should have seen what was left on the editing floor. BTW, you are not worthy of an apology!!

Orchids: To the former Jefferson County, AL Commissioner, former Mayor of Fairfield and Birmingham, Alabama Larry Langford. He was released early from prison due to his failing health and is now hospitalized in Birmingham with family around him.

Onions: To the young millenniums who did not show up to pay their respect to a community icon, Connie Mitchell. She left this dimension at age 90 leaving a legacy that would have helped many understand better whose shoulders they stand on. Some think they have ARRIVED on their own. We have too many who THINK they are leading with no knowledge of the history and the soldiers who fought in the trenches to help get them here.

Orchids: To Royal Broadcasting Company for offering me a Program Manager position for their upcoming online TV shows that will be broadcast this month. I will also be hosting a weekly show called “Liberation” with invited guests to discuss issues in our community the main stream media ignores. More to follow.

Onions: To those who see the Homeless and render them invisible. Always remember most of us are a paycheck away from joining their plight!!

Orchids: To MC Lyte and the time I was able to be in her company along with her husband, John recently. She is a genuine, pure delight!! Welcome to the “Family!!””

Orchids: To my Sister Mary Hill and her husband Reggie for always being such gracious hosts. They are among the warmest, kindest people I know.

Orchids : To my sis Constance Mitchell Jefferson for being “Daughter of the Century”.. It has been suggested that she hold workshops and teach others on how they should treat their parents with love and devotion when they age. Well Done, Sis!!

Orchids : To the Family and friends of Rufus Fairwell, Jr, who recently left this dimension. Even though I know his daughters, Ebony Khandi Fairwell Hall and Nikki Siplin, it was not until his death that I realized who his father was. Rufus Fairwell, Sr. was the first Black man I can remember who became a victim of police brutality when I was a kid.

Orchids: To Ella Dean, a kindred spirit who has always had my back; even from AZ!!

Orchids: To Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Parson, who recently tied the knot in AZ in November. They are such a beautiful couple who are doing things the right way!! They are the epitome of LOVE!!

Onions: To the first lesson I learned in 2019. NEVER send a group text. My current LOVE responded to my Happy New Year Greeting with a re dedication of his love for me. Unfortunately a former beau from 45 years ago was in the group and received the text, assuming it was from me to him and that I was trying to revisit some old feelings that were burned out years ago. . The rest became a comedy of errors.

Orchids: To James Patrick smith in his new position as Deputy Mayor of the City of Rochester. Great choice!! His shoes will be hard to fill. As former Director of Communications

Orchids: To Doc Melody Cofield and Matt Augustine for doing such a professional job on the program dedicated to the life of Connie Mitchel. It read more like a magazine instead of a normal funeral program. Great job!!

Orchids: To Lenora Lott for doing such a great job of food preparation for Connie’s Repass at the Coffey Brew Haus. (Now owned by Dana Miller). Lenora is a Contractor focused on Asbestos Removal, but needs to get another Restaurant open.. The Gurl puts her foot in it!!

Onions: To all the pedophiles and grown folks in this world who insist on assaulting little children and babies. The world is getting sicker and these perpetrators need to be banished or worse.

Orchids: To the historically largest Class the Congressional Black Caucus has sworn in. Progress may be slow but it is progress none the less.

Gloria Winston is a Community Activist, Writer, Communicator, and Political Activist. She is a native Rochesterian and has been involved with numerous community organizations in Rochester. Contact Gloria at:

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(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)