Hampton Roads / Local / National / Politics / Virginia

ICYMI: Be a martyr for the cause

op-edYes, I’ve been buried again 😦 I keep hoping that things will settle down and I’ll have more time to post here but it just hasn’t happened yet. Not that there is any shortage of things to opine on – because there isn’t. After all, between Norfolk and Richmond, to name a couple, there’s plenty to talk about 😉

In the meantime, I’m still doing my thing for The Virginian-Pilot. My latest op-ed, title above, appeared last Thursday. When I read the eulogy of his protege by former Senator John Danforth, I finally got the chance to use my godmother’s regular admonishment to me: don’t be a martyr for the cause.

I’m not sure exactly where I got it from – maybe through osmosis from my Daddy – but I’ve always believed that folks had to stand up when there was a wrong being perpetrated. My godmother – who really wasn’t my godmother, but that’s a story for another day – grew up in a very different time than I. She graduated from college in the 1920s, a relatively rare event for a black woman. She never had any children and I sort of became her adopted child, living as I did three doors down from her from the time I was 8. She had been retired about 4 years then and I guess she needed a project 😉

I learned a lot from her, particularly about black history. She had lived it – and I was amazed by it. She had me memorize and recite Langston Hughes poems – one I can still recite today – and listen to jazz, taking me to a Duke Ellington concert. But she wanted me to stay out of trouble, thus the constant reminder to be quiet.

But that’s just not me. And if Danforth has his way, that won’t be any of us.

Let’s decide that what may have been clever politics… will work no longer… politics as it now exists must end, and we will end it. And we will get in the face of our politicians, and we will tell them that we are fed up, and that we are not going to take it anymore.

Yeah – be a martyr for the cause.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot every week, usually on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot nor am I paid for my contributions to the paper.

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2 thoughts on “ICYMI: Be a martyr for the cause

  1. It sure would be nice if some elected officials in the region would take your advice.

    Instead they’d rather let the public bust their butts to fight tooth and nail for change that should come in the form of indictments as opposed to elections or petition drives.

    Maybe we should make martyrs out of the “good” elected officials who refuse to blow the whistle on the corrupt ones. Maybe not.

    But until we start treating the good people who let the bad things happen the same as the bad ones, we shouldn’t expect change.

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