A Letter for My Mama
Because she’s the best of all mamas. The government may not treasure your words, but I do!
A few months ago my beautiful mama wrote a letter to Senator Tim Scott, but was unable to submit it because it was too long. I don’t even want to get started on how problematic that is because this will turn into a roast of our government instead of what its intended to be: a tribute to the beauty that is my mama.
She told me months ago that I could share her letter, but I’ve been hesitant. Not because I don’t trust her words or fear the wrath I will have to hit people with if they attempt to come for my mama through the comment box, but because I have been hesitant to post anything for the past few months. If I’m completely honest with myself (and all of Medium), I have been hesistant about doing a lot of things for a long time. A year ago something tragic happened in my family that I never could fathom being our reality. There’s no need to share the details here, but I can say that it caused me to be frozen in time. I was overcome with grief, and that grief took away my will to walk in my purpose. Now that I’m coming out of this intense period of sorrow I find myself wanting to honor who I am, but fearing that I no longer can. But on this day, as I reflect on who my mother is and who she raised me to be, I recognize that I can’t allow myself to operate from a place of fear anymore.
When we talked a few days ago, I told her how tired I’ve been the past week and she lovingly said “well baby, that happens sometimes when we’re depressed.” I had shared with her weeks before that I felt myself drifting into a depressive state, but for my family April is always a trying time. So I convinced myself that May would come and I would instantly be better. But then I talked to my mama and with eight words she stripped me of every wall that I had built up and unbeknownst to her, forced me to deal with my denial. It really is the best part of our relationship — that my mama knows me so well that even when I refuse to acknowledge something, her words always pull me back to center and put me back on a path to restoration.
So I’m selfishly using her to place me back on that path and honoring the role her voice plays in my life by sharing her words with others. Her letter is representative of her strength, intellect, super blackness and resiliency. All things that I love about her and will honor in my work moving forward.
If you don’t like what she has to say, do yourself a favor and tell someone other than me because as you can see and read she’s my world and the clapback won’t be pretty!
I have been really disturbed by so many things that have happened with our politics since Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for President. But, I have only spoken to friends and family. I haven’t responded in the public arena. I saw a report of you reading Tweets that you received after your support of Jeff Sessions and generally bemoaning your treatment from “liberals”. I admit, I turned the channel like I normally do when you are on air. But then I saw a report in The State Paper and I read your speech. I couldn’t take it, I had to write.
It’s a right and a duty of South Carolinians to contact you about things important to us. I sent you an email when I saw you supporting Betsy Devos, a person that I feel would be terrible at the Department of Education. She does not know the difference between growth and proficiency, she wants to destroy public schools, and worse, she plagiarized her statement! I also referred in my email to your vote against Elizabeth Warren while she was reading a letter from Coretta Scott King. While I did tell you to “stop going along to get along”, I did not call you a name. I totally disagree with anyone calling you or anyone else the “n” word. I believe that you said in your support of Sessions that you would vote for him but you would hold him accountable. That’s fair so let’s look at your record of holding people accountable throughout your career in South Carolina and in the Senate.
Mitch McConnell vowing to make sure President Obama was unsuccessful.
Joe Wilson calling the President a liar as he addressed Congress.
Nikki Haley in a debate saying it was ok for the Confederate Flag to remain on State House grounds because business leaders weren’t offended by it.
Voting in favor of reinstating the Voting Rights Act.
Speaking out against those in your party attempting to take away the voting rights of minorities.
Donald Trump lying every time he speaks.
There are many more examples.
I would give you credit for speaking out on the treatment of African American men by police, but admit it, you did that because you experienced ill treatment yourself. You mentioned Civil Rights giant John Lewis in your statement, but you did not mention that you did not support him when Donald Trump insulted him on MLK Day.
You think that you are attacked because you are a Republican. I believe that Republicans are misguided, but I respect them. Especially those that unfailing stand for what they believe. John McCain and Lindsey Graham did not speak of the atrociousness of Trump and then speak his praises when he won or when he began filling his cabinet. I can respect them.
You mentioned that your friends are surprised by the animus that you experience. I assume non of your friends are African American, definitely not southern African American. A lot of us have been called the “n” word and other derogatory terms. Most of us realizing that we are not, we shake it off and move on. What you have experienced does not compare with what President and Mrs. Obama experienced. They have not whined about it.
We are judged by the company we keep. 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us: Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners. You are not going down in history as house n. You are going down as someone who supports an administration led by lying, deceitful, unethical racists fear-mongers. You can shake-off being called the n word. Support of these people, you have to live with that.
Let us see some of that anger when conservative pundits ask why there can’t be more African American Republicans like you. That is their way of calling you a house n too. But instead of your having the perception to realize that, you do what most African American Republicans do. You stand up in a group and complain about being picked on in an attempt to prove that you are taking one for the home team as if you are begging them to like you. It’s sickening.