Fear Doesn’t Drive Me — Determination Does!

There are many driving forces in the lives of most people — insecurities, loneliness, hatred, bigotry, fear, and determination — to name a few. I’ve had a number of people ask me why I think I’m qualified to be President of the United States and if I can stand up to the nasty, corrupt Republicans who will do anything to smear their opposition.

For those who have been reading any of my articles either on Medium or Wordpress, posts on Facebook or Twitter or Google — they know my heart is with the Everyday Americans for whom very few elected politicians are speaking. I plan to change that. I’m not a career politician, nor an old white man, or a member of the rich and famous club. I am an older Black Woman who is determined to make a difference in the lives of all Everyday Americans and not just those who vote for me! This is what true governance means — governing for the benefit of all, not just a handful who support bigotry, hatred, and negativity or foolishness in the White House.

As a catapult for my bid, with regard to my qualifications, I remind most that there are only three criteria for anyone to run for President of the United States: Being 35 years-old, a citizen of the United States and a resident of the United States for 14 years. Though I’ve not been a politician and have actually had little interest in actively pursuing an elected position (community activist for years), I am more qualified that the current resident in the White House. I have a BA in Sociology and English, an MA in English and Speech, and currently have completed all coursework towards a Ph.D in English and Special Education in Instruction and Curriculum (teaching teachers) — ABD (all verifiable through transcripts I will gladly submit for public inspection at the appropriate time). A change of mind because I could no longer see myself encouraging others to enter a career field that was not viable, precluded my finishing a dissertation.

I understand how government works (legislative, judicial and executive branches) — attended my civics class in high school and actually paid attention. I understand the history of the nation, who our allies are and who our adversaries are. I can read maps and understand geography — waterways (oceans, rivers, seas, streams, creeks and puddles), hills, mountains, valleys, and tunnels. I understand the importance of protecting the planet and hopefully reversing some of the damage we’ve caused with global warming. Though I am not a scientist, I believe in science and all the important work scientists do. I’m also not a mathematician, but I understand that government needs tax revenues to keep the government afloat and that tax cuts for the rich, jeopardize our ability to take care of the needs of the poor and vulnerable, military operations, and the safety of every consumer in the United States.

I understand the NEED for America to maintain its prominence on the global stage and in maintaining constructive relationships with other world leaders and no matter what corrupt, greedy, hateful people do in an attempt to deter me, I will not allow fear to drive what I do — determination will.

Now, on a personal level, I’ve never allowed fear to determine what I do and I’ve done a lot of things in life — which some may have thought foolish — but determination is the driving force in my life and I always plan to succeed. It is with boldness and courage that I raised my two children in the heart of Detroit’s roughest neighborhoods, daring anyone to mess with them. I’ve stood toe-to-toe with neighborhood bullies — when they were bigger than me and there were more of them; I’ve stood up to the drug dealers and the thugs forging change for a safer environment for the neighborhood. My daughter once told me that I’d be the last house surviving the neighborhood where we lived and she was almost right. My son is still living here, but I’ve left — because sometimes, as we get older — we just need a change of scenery. But I was there for over 20 years — and never feared what others would do, though they tried to run me out. My house was broken into several times, set on fire and none of that made me leave — it made me more determined. As a result, I stood in the middle of the street and preached to people with the aid of bullhorn; I woke people up at 6:00 a.m. preaching from my porch with a portable PA system that could be heard two blocks away. I gained a reputation as “the crazy lady on Park Grove” and I didn’t mind one bit. Fear doesn’t drive me — determination does!

As a high school teacher in one of the toughest schools in Detroit, I earned a similar reputation as being “the crazy lady on the third floor.” I didn’t take any crap from students, didn’t allow administrators to bully or intimidate me and I accomplished much with the students who wanted to learn. Fear doesn’t drive me — determination does!

As a volunteer chaplain with the Metropolitan Jail Ministries, I spent five years with male inmates on the psychiatric ward in a room, by myself and never gave a thought about anyone trying to harm me. Then, when working for my CPE (certification in pastoral counseling)— I served at a veteran’s hospital in Michigan, on the chemical dependency ward — almost predominantly male patients — and held my own, gaining their respect. Fear doesn’t drive me — determination does!

I’ve often found myself in places where I was the only Black person or woman — with people eyeing me suspiciously — but after hearing me, applauding my efforts and in a few cases — handing over checks to support the work I was promoting. Fear doesn’t drive me — determination does!

I’ve worked for a non-profit and founded a non-profit — both of which helped the poor and needy with housing, landlord-tenant issues, and with resources for food, shelter, and counseling. I visited areas that most people wouldn’t have gone into for any amount of money — alone. I have taken buses to work — leaving in darkness and coming home in darkness, never concerned about what someone would do. Fear doesn’t drive me — determination does!

Like so many other average Everyday Americans, I didn’t go to college when I first graduated from high school, but I went — over 20 years later. I started teaching when I was 48 years-old, after I had raised my own children and in the interim, I worked as a bank teller, a secretary, a telephone service representative, pumped gas at a gas station, and so much more through temporary agencies. I KNOW the challenges and struggles the average Everyday American faces — I’ve lived them and I never allowed fear to drive me — determination always won the day.

In the coming months, I will periodically post articles on Medium as I continue my journey on the way to White House and eventually — win or lose — every article will be included in a book — detailing the experience. Fear won’t drive me to a win — determination will.