Slow down people, See what was truly meant, Don’t be so quick to see the worst
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson heard what she wanted to hear when Trump offered sincere condolences, just as General John Kelly heard what he wanted to hear when Congresswoman Wilson offered her sincere tribute to fallen FBI agents
In 2015, when Congresswoman Frederica Wilson spoke at the FBI dedication of a new FBI building in Miramar, Florida, she spoke about one aspect of that building. She spoke about who the building was to be named for, namely, Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove. She related a story about how she was contacted by the FBI and asked to help name the building. She retells a story of how she, together with many others in the House of Representatives and in the Senate all joined together to push the bill through Congress so the building could be properly dedicated to these fallen heroes at the already date-set opening in just four weeks. This was her way of showing how much everyone, Democrat and Republican, all wanted to honor and show respect for these fallen FBI agents. This story was her way of showing the families how much they meant and how everyone jumped quickly to show their respect by making sure Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove were honored in the State they had laid down their lives. The video of her tribute speaks for itself.
Likewise, when President Donald Trump spoke to a Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson earlier this week, in his attempt to offer condolences to the wife of Sergeant La David T. Johnson. He spoke about the sacrifice that Sergeant Johnson made. He tried to relay how the respect that we all feel for those who put themselves in harms way for us. He tried to convey the same message that General John Kelly felt when his friend General Joseph Dunford, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tried to offer condolences when he told General John Kelly about the death of his son Robert Kelly. General John Kelly’s intentions when advising the President on how to be most respectful when offering condolences was sincere and so was President Trump’s attempt to offer a similar condolence by doing what he thought best.
What I think both the Congresswoman and the General have in common is that they, thus far, they have been unwilling to see the better view of someone else’s heartfelt words. Yes, we can put the worst possible intention behind them. And that is what President Trump’s Chief of Staff, General John Kelly did to Congresswoman Wilson’s tribute to fallen FBI agents. And that is what Congresswoman Federica Wilson did to President Trump condolence call to Myeshia Johnson for the loss of her husband Sargent La David Johnson.
I am not going to focus at all on the negative interpretations they each gave of the words of condolence or tribute. We must do better.