by Cheryl Smith
I hope you’ve paid attention to the chatter following the “bombshell” announcement by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has decided not to seek another term this Fall. Full disclosure. I have mad love for the Mayor. On a number of fronts our lives parallel: roots in Crawfordville, GA; attended Florida A&M University; Journalism majors; pledged the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and, we are both mothers, but not by birth.
So, some may want to stop reading now because “Cheryl is going to be biased” and to those critics, I have two things to say: first if you think the majority of stuff you read and see does not have biases embedded within, well I say “chile please” and; secondly, the longer I live and the more I have to live with things like COVID, Trump, and self-haters who tear their people down, I say, “don’t come for me unless I send for you!”
In three words: I’m not apologizing. In another eight words, I’m sick of people tearing Black women down. We’re too strong, weak, mean, angry, et al. I can’t go on because I get sicker with every adjective. Black women catch hell from all sides and angles and then the ones who should be the most supportive are the biggest damned critics! OTHER WOMEN! No, let me call it like it is — OTHER BLACK WOMEN! Which brings me to my truth.
It was frustrating to hear and read comments as folks far and wide speculated about why Mayor Lance Bottoms would not seek another term. There was talk about President Biden, a large drugstore chain job, pursuit of another office, etc. Atlanta’s rising crime rate, jail issues, investigations of previous administrations, and more were fodder for those needing something to say. There was also talk of her being “tired, angry,” and yes, “salty.”
In her video, the Mayor talked about challenges and triumphs. She definitely had to face some situations that no one could have prepared her for because there’s no one else alive who has encountered a pandemic of the magnitude of COVID-19 and it is so disingenuous to hear people try to reason that COVID -19 is not having an impact on everything.
It’s been challenging for leadership and I know folks have to have something to do, so they speculate. It makes them feel good inside. But haven’t you learned anything from the death of actor, humanitarian Chadwick Boseman. Da 5 Bloods co-star Clarke Peters, following Mr. Boseman’s death, said he recalled seeing his co-star being pampered on the set and thinking, “maybe the Black Panther thing went to his head.”
Mr. Peters said he regretted those thoughts, because at the time he didn’t know that Mr. Boseman had been battling colon cancer for the past four years. We don’t know Mayor Lance Bottom’s journey. What we do know is that she has some serious receipts and if you do the homework her legacy is intact because she has served in numerous capacities throughout her lifetime and prayerfully she has many more decades to go.
Heck, if she wants to put her law degree to work to serve, joining the likes of Atty. Ben Crump; or if she wants to put that J-School degree to work, doors are open even right here at Texas Metro News; or if she wants to stay home with the children; teach at FAMU’s Law School or she can go back to the bench as a judge; assume a leadership post with Delta Sigma Theta; or, become a college, preferably HBCU, president; it’s her life, her journey.
Get yourself some business, because when your time is all said and done, will it have been spent talking about what others have done or will you have done something worth celebrating or sharing in history books? Wow! Yes, I am here in Texas with enough issues of my own as I am sure I am going to be accosted by some unsuspecting person who comes for Fort Worth Mayoral Candidate Deborah Peoples as she faces a candidate in a runoff election where if elected she will become the Cowtown’s first Black female mayor.
Heck. First Black mayor! Unfortunately Ms. Peoples, is dealing with some of the same hateration where folks just have something negative to say. I’m not saying don’t criticize. What I am saying is “know what you are talking about.” Bring receipts or shut up. If you want help living a life without regrets: you can begin by pledging to stop being so damned judgmental! Mayor Keisha is living her life. Live yours.
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