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We Have to Prevent the Tragedies in our Communities from Buffalo to El Paso and Save Our Democracy

Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s greatest gift was the back porch lessons given to the family.

My grandmother consistently and quietly challenged our personal efforts and spiritual alignment. She steadfastly believed that everybody in her path had to do their best.

Big Mama would see good, shout and tell you, “You put your foot in it,” then give praise to the community about it tenfold!

Why? Big Mama knew that any special praise would create do-overs. What does it mean to put your foot in it!

What I know for sure, when someone says “you put your foot in it in our community, they mean you did an excellent job.

That you always may do good work, but THIS TIME you went beyond the call of duty. You nailed it.

I believe no one knows the origin of that saying and how it got started, but it’s been around forever. I explained what it meant in our community because in “other” communities, in the early 1700s, there is mixed history for it. It alludes to stepping in something unpleasant or a big mess has happened. In ‘Polite Conversation,’ Jonathan Swift wrote, “The bishop has put his foot in it.” But in our community, it means the opposite. It is a lesson in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for sure.

I am pleased to know that Big Mama was a DEI expert before it was in fashion. Big Mama’s DEI scripture would be, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28 (NIV)”

When the men of City Men Cook give up their Fathers’ Day to serve food because the attendees affirm with the cooks that the men “put their foot in it” through their smiles, moans and praise. It never fails that this statement is replicated table by table.

No matter how optimistic we are about this success, life sends us things that shake our faith. I call them faith shakers.

The 21-year-old white man, Patrick Crusius, accused of driving more than 11 hours through Texas to kill 23 Hispanics at an El Paso Walmart and an 18-year-old, Payton Gendron, the Buffalo shooting suspect, walked in and killed 10 people while wounding three others in a public space in the community.

These are faith shakers, Family! We are too silent for too long. This is now where we have to “put our foot in it” at all levels. We have to do our best to eradicate the current erosion of freedoms and equity. Today Not tomorrow.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr spoke about our “appalling silence of good people” in the face of racism. It is not an option for us to be silent. We must “put our foot in it.”

Our democracy is in danger of imploding if we don’t put our foot in it!

Are you, foot soldiers, ready, if so, email me at

Terry Allen is an award-winning media professional, journalist, and entrepreneur. He is also the founder of City Men Cook and 1016 Media. Reach him at
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Written By

Terry Allen is an award-winning media professional, journalist, and entrepreneur. He is also the founder of City Men Cook and 1016 Media. Reach him at


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