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When Opinions Cross the Line


Two literary topographies brought this historical commentary together; a social media Headline asserting some books are irrelevant, and Stacey Dash’s memoir, ‘There Goes My Social Life’. (My other thoughts here).

I didn't pause long enough to so much as note the social media headline, but did pause after catching wind of Stacey Dash's outspoken stance on supporting American businessman and Republican politician, Mitt Romney. Stacey is an American Actress notable for her role in the film CluelessSIGH—I’ve never seen Clueless, but have seen this actress in other films... which was what inspired me to want to read her memoir. Being a Big Picture thinker, I couldn't make heads or tails out of the hoopla behind her outspoken political views.

My great-great grandfather, born in America in the mid 1800’s, was a Republican. Per my father, historically the American working class primarily voted Republican, though he, and then me, marveled about my great-great grandfather's refusal to follow the ‘party switch’ when the working class switched parties. He said he couldn’t shake the Red Shirts, known for voting Democrat, for burning down his home and running the family off the farm; how our family...and many other families became a part of that great (1914) migration North.

At any rate, and fast forward to today, whenever I hear Republicans and Democrats duking it out, more frequently now than I ever recall, I think about my great-great grandfather, understandably being so jaded by his life events that the mere mention of Democrat became more symbolic than him actually supporting the agendas behind political parties.

I’m sure he isn’t the only one, even in this fast-forwarded current day. Scouring for ‘the devil in the details’ can get convoluted, obfuscated by a melded unsophisticated knowledge of factors such as economics, the laws of physics, and none withstanding ...humanity. Reminds me of once hearing what a breeze-o-breeze it ‘would be’ flipping houses. ‘Mils upon mils could be made while collecting cents on the dollar sitting at a 9-to-5 "real" job.’ It didn’t take but one raised brow to know flipping houses (alone) was one full-time piece of employment requiring a devoted focus to be successful.

Understanding politics and people is no different, the former being one I’m none too shamed to admit my ignorance. I don’t know why the political parties switched, but only wished I could have picked my great-great grandfather’s mind to learn more about his life that goaded his holding his ground. Perhaps, those in his time might’ve discredited him for wanting to write about his life then, like some discredit the relevance of publishing a select group of memoirs in current times, but without a doubt I know his story would be worth a mint today.

Staying in my lane, in a general sense I get politics, in the similar sense I understood the premise behind books like Thomas Friedman’s ‘From Beirut to Jerusalem.' Though political debates surge, criss-cross and swerve, one argument is clear. All of us have a past and every one of our stories are valuable.

Now, whereas in books like Robert C. Post’s ‘Who Owns America’s Past?’,  nonfiction work that primarily addresses who decides museum curations, it’s logical to construe that every single event, or story, cannot possibly fit in one museum... unlike the practicality of memorializing our stories in books.  

We cross the line when #CensoringBooks, #BanningBooks or publicly deeming certain beliefs, classes of people, vocations, places, genres of music, or events even, and positively by asserting certain stories unworthy of circulation.

I might not always agree with other perspectives in books I read, much less the content, yet the understated value of sharing our stories cannot be overstated.

#BlackHistoryMonth #JustBlogged #ReadAnotherGreatMemoir #ILoveMemoirs #CensoringBooks, #BanningBooks #DontEverGiveUp #Amwriting

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