Whenever I write in the first person, I’m about to tell a story, a story that I hope will resonate with at least a few. This is a story about our desire to be treated equally, while not being willing to afford the same to others. We want to be included, yet we are the ones who sometimes exclude. I’m talking about Black folks, one of which I am. I grew up in the 60s and experienced the racial turbulence firsthand, so I’m not talking about something about which I have no knowledge.
Bee Nguyen ran in the Democratic primary for Secretary of State in Georgia. She is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who has more than paid her dues. Nguyen was supported by some powerful organizations, including the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State and EMILY’s List. She has been on ground zero in the fight against Republican efforts to limit our right to vote. Nguyen’s campaign manager is a Black female, Maria Banjo, and Nguyen was endorsed by Black politicians Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Congressman Hank Johnson. Yet, some would rather support a Black candidate. One woman at Nguyen’s rally told a reporter: “If there’s another Black person running, I’m voting for them.” Why? Because they’re Black? I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. What is more important: a candidate’s qualifications or his/her skin color? We demand this type of respect, and it is only fair that we give it. Hank Johnson chose to endorse Nguyen-bypassing four other candidates, all of whom are Black-because: “She is our future.”
Our futures are inextricably linked; race has nothing to with it. The only race that matters is the human race, and we need to care for each other as humans and look beyond things that shouldn’t matter. When we fail to do so, we are no better than those who treat us poorly because we’re Black. Bee Nguyen has been part of this community her entire life, and she has fought for the right to vote for everyone. We should show her the same respect that she has shown us. I try my damndest to do that in my other jobs (yes, I have several).
One of my most important jobs aside from writing for Palmer Report is working with musical artists. When my new artist came to me, I did a little “research” on him and stumbled on a video he made. After watching, I emailed him: “You’ve got a lot of balls to do that song and include the Black Lives Matter emblem.” It had nothing to do with balls; it is who he is as a person, and we can learn from him. The George Floyd murder so touched him that immediately after seeing the video, he sat down and wrote and recorded Live As One. I encourage everyone to watch and listen as you wrestle with any abilities to be fair and consider that we are all one. I hope it touches you as it did me. As Dusty says at the end, “peace and love, y’all.”
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years