Column: Day of Reckoning

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With his many years of wisdom and knowledge, Norm Kent might just be our own enlightened guru guiding us on a more righteous path. Norm’s opinion piece in the last edition of the “Wilton Manors Gazette” might seem to some as a callous, vindictive and juvenile attack on my many years of reporting on life here in our Island City. However, perhaps there lies a much deeper and profound purpose behind his madness. 

In retrospect it is conceivable that my words have become too harsh and critical. My writings fueled by the addictive nature of sarcasm may now be less witty commentary and more expressions of hostility and anger. 

Masking witty commentary with sarcasm can easily move beyond my honed skill as a writer into a literary weapon used to mock others in our community while perching myself on some moral high ground. 

Divine intervention disguised as mockery in Norm Kent’s opinion piece has made me take pause to ponder, and to alter my path. 

Thank you, Norm, for triggering this moment of contemplation. This period of inner soul searching has led me to understand the negative and addictive nature of sarcasm, and how suppressed anger can fuel such an embrace. 

Unfortunately, my articles do not materialize out of a vacuum. They come from conversations and comments many in our community discuss and express to others in various settings. How those thoughts and comments are woven into articles is my own culpability, but one cannot deny the alarming levels of anger that have permeated our community and our nation. 

Thinking about this suppressed anger and how it fuels both myself and others, I begin to see its many sources. 

Anger from having to endure Donald Trump as our president. 

Anger at the fact that healthcare for all American citizens is still based on corporate profit. 

Anger that the Democratic Party has resurrected Joe Biden as some type of savior moving into the 2020 election. 

Anger that some in our community seek to exploit their position as community partners for personal gains. 

Anger from encountering shocking displays of homelessness and mental health neglect at every intersection when I drive to work. 

Anger at having to struggle as a working-class American in a nation that rewards billionaires with tax cuts and additional wealth. 

Anger from watching young innocent children torn apart from their parents at our southern border and placed in for-profit prisons. 

Anger that in 2019 we are still having a national debate on the right of a woman to choose. 

Anger over how certain projects and initiatives here in our city have failed to happen after many years of advocacy. 

I, like many others, have much to be angry about. 

Letting that anger consume and darken how one interacts with the surrounding community is not healthy and offers little hope for the change we so drastically need in our society. However, expressing anger is not always negative. Righteous anger on the night of the Stonewall Riots and during the fight for civil rights in this country brought about much-needed change for the betterment of our society. 

Expressing righteous anger and highlighting the many good tales of our community is a healthy endeavor for me to embrace further. Over the years, I am proud to have written many articles highlighting the wonders of this great community we call Wilton Manors. From praising our community activism and participation to the wonderful work being done by nonprofits such as Wilton Art, neighborhood associations and others, I have written more of what makes our city great than what divides us. 

This past week saw a perfect example of what makes our city so wonderful. 

To cap off a month of pride celebrations throughout our city, Mayor Justin Flippen and Commissioner JulieCarson hosted the second annual Children’s Book Reading at our very own free and independent municipal library. Rob Sander’s children’s picture book, “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag”along with his new book, “Stonewall: A Building, An Uprising, A Revolution,” were read by our two elected officials to a room full of young residents, young parents, and many of us older folks as well. The children’s excitement and participation during the reading was much to be proud of here in our community. The unveiling of the rainbow frosted cupcakes after the reading was the perfect way to end the evening and the entire month-long celebrations throughout our Island City. 

Seeking to talk about what is right as well as what is wrong, to offer hope to make things better, and to highlight what is great and wonderful about this community we call Wilton Manors will always and forever make life just better here.


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