My Truth: Critical conversation Time

My Truth: Critical conversation Time


When Judy Foston Stanford of Foston International Communications, Inc., reached out to me about a program hosted by Texas Voters Forward and the Houston NAACP; I was immediately intrigued. As the media coordinator, she explained that there would be a “crucial conversation” with Texas Black Media and members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus; and I got excited because as mid-term elections rapidly approach, I was of the belief that there needed to be many “crucial conversations” or there was going be hell to pay for some, in the very near future.

The fact that she also said there would be world-famous Frenchy’s Chicken served at the beautiful Buffalo Soldiers Museum, was worth a pause for the cause. But seriously we needed to have some candid discussions that needed to begin right where organizers said, with the review of the 2021 Texas Legislative Session and an analyzation of “the impact this session will have on the Black community.”

We were told the event was held because, “The media must help educate the Black community on the profound consequences of a flurry of bills passed and bills that will potentially be passed during the upcoming Special Session, such as, HB-1927 – Permit-less Gun Carrying Bill, HB-3979 – the Critical Race Theory Bill, SB-7 – the Voter Suppression Bill, and others.”

Further, organizers wanted “to engage elected officials, Civic and Faith leaders in a statewide discussion that helps to inform and educate our community concerning the impact of passed and pending legislation, which will result in more effective planning by leaders and organizations that are committed to the well-being of the Black community as well as the community at large.”

The organizers were Dr. James Dixon, II, Claude Cummings, Jr., Shuronda Robinson, and Robert Williams, and participants, along with all TLBC members and Texas Black Media, included: Senators Borris Miles and Royce West, Representatives Ron Reynolds, Senfronia Thompson, Shawn Thierry, Alma Allen, Joe Deshoetel, Jasmine Crockett, Rhetta Bowers and Carl Sherman, Dr. Samuel Gilbert, II, Dr. John Adolph, Dr. John Ogletree, Bishop Destry Bell, Bishop Shelton Bady, and NAACP Texas President Gary Bledsoe.

So I took the trip to Houston, about 400 miles total – one way. After all, any effort to prepare voters for what could be one of the nastiest election cycles in modern history; well, all hands needed to be on deck.

Sure we could have the debate about the lack of support from some elected officials who now see the value in engaging the Black Press, but we’ve had those talks. Hopefully those Black Elected officials, clergy members, organizations and institutions finally realize that they need the Black Press.

Equally important. We need the Black Vote.

Which brings me to my truth.

I really felt almost sick as I listened to tales of the shenanigans in Austin. It wasn’t because I was surprised. I felt sick because no one should have been surprised because over and over again at least for the last two decades, voters have sent Democrats onto the battlefield severely handicapped.

More ammunition is needed. Now what does that ammunition look like? Well some owl say it begins with the almighty vote.

Let’s say that again for the Democrats who want to keep Dallas County blue but they are lining up to annihilate one another, instead of going after the “bigger threats.”

On any given Sunday, the biggest and baddest go down. We need to develop an Allen Iverson/Kobe Bryant-type mentality in the ballot booth and in any and all branches of government.

In any given game, if the biggest man on the court let his guard down, that little man, Iverson, was going to take his heart!

It was said, that when the great Shaquille O’Neal told Kobe that there was no “I” in team, Kobe responded totes effect that, there was an “M” and and “E!”

Now, if you are going to play like a winner and give like Kobe played; well, I say welcome to the team!

One Republican told me that Democrats are “scared” and Republicans are more “strategic as they play to win.”

As an example, she said that Republicans will have potential candidates stand down so that one Republican will get all the money and use it to run a better, winning campaign.
Democrats, on the other hand, she said, would put five or six up against one another, knowing full well they don’t have the deep pockets or war chests; therefore the eventual winner in the primary comes out battle torn with little funds to compete.

Sound familiar?

I’m looking forward to more critical conversations and results. The updates, once we got past all the praising (which I understand is important to let folks know who is doing the work — only thing is some folks aren’t doing too hot and they should be called out also), were very informative and empowering. Just what we need moving forward so we must keep the momentum going.

Let’s get the right candidates, raise the funds and spend them wisely, and get out the vote!

Cheryl Smith


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