'...THE MESSIER IT GETS....'

'...THE MESSIER IT GETS....'

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Subj: Important Update: Democratic Roundup 2003 Date: 5/29/2003 4:10:34 PM Central Standard Time From: shelbycountyexecutivecomm@earthlink.net To: shelbycountyexecutivecomm@earthlink.net Sent from the Internet (Details) "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." -Gertrude Stein In the political world, that’s called disconnect. Everybody is looking for alternative motives for everything that happens. But sometimes, things are real simple, even when it’s complicated. At the time I sent my email announcement yesterday of the event, Janie Orr had spoken with and received authorization from Commissioner Deidre Malone to be listed as a host of the event. About an hour later, Ms. Orr advised that Deidre had called back to say she did not want to be one of the hosts. As a courtesy, I am resending the invitation with her name removed. The call was received prior to the actual printing of the invitation, so the invitations that were mailed did not include her name. So it was, so it is and so it shall be. This event was quickly planned by the Congressman and The Mayor, in consultation with Ms. Bowers. As a member of both Gale’s 2001-2003 Committee and Kathryn’s 2003-2205 Committee, I appreciate their gesture to honor the efforts of the past, as well as the hopes for the future, especially during this time of emotional upheaval that so often occurs during political campaigns. They’re not actually doing all the planning themselves, of course. They are busy people. A number of volunteers are doing most of the work, as it always is, and properly so. But they are primary hosts and they are thinking of the needs of the Democratic Party. So, thank you Harold. Thank you AC. After all, the convention and selection of a chair is just another form of political campaigning, an expression of points of view and a desire to present and promote agendas that are heartfelt and believed to be important and worthwhile by the participants. Those of us who supported Kathryn were right to do so. Those of supported Gale were also right to do so. But, when the voting was done and all the arm twisting was over, we were 21, they were 20. Granted, it was close. But still. I may be confused, but I think that’s called winning the argument in a democratic society, especially a Democratic one. Some of the Twenty believed that the TwentyOne should feel guilty about that. I’ve given that argument long and serious consideration. And I’ve decided that I don’t feel guilty. In fact, I feel quite the opposite. I feel validated -- sad that the Twenty are so upset, which I understand, I would be too -- but validated nonetheless. When you’ve won a race, you are entitled to feel that way. It very appropriate that the Twenty should feel sad that their agenda was defeated. It is not appropriate for them to feel vindictive about it. So I will not be putting guilt on my agenda. So it is, so it was and so it shall be. I’m assuming the Congressman’s and Mayor’s goal was is to pay due respect to the 66 members of the 2001-2003 Committee, as well as to encourage and uplift the 41 members of the incoming 2003-2005 Committee. I assume, of course, because I haven’t spoken with them personally, I was just enlisted to help. There is an honoree list of 107 people, more than the membership of the Tennessee House of Representatives. There was also the co-host committee of 24, all our elected Democratic officials and presidents of the most active Democratic Clubs who had to be contacted before listing them as hosts. Mr. Burgess, President of the Midtown Democrats, was reached only five minutes before the deadline I had given (as print director of the project) before I punched the Enter key to send the invitation via email and a PDF to the printer. And that was just for the issue of approvals from the hosts. For those of you who had done much of it, you will realize that it takes a lot of time to work the phones. Time is a relentless enemy, it’s constantly advancing and it takes no prisoners. When time runs out, you are OUT. No reprieve. The March of Time ensures that you have to act if you expect to do. "Our chief defect is that we are more given to talking about things than to doing them." -Jawaharlal Nehru (first Prime Minister of India) Unfortunately, we are all children of the Star Trek generation, where we grew up with the subconscious belief that you poke at computer screens or whisper into hidden microphones to make things happen instantaneously. But we live in the real world, where a lot of time and effort has to go into doing even the simplest things. With only a small handful people working on the details, it was not possible to contact all the honorees in advance to clear their schedules. I was awakened this morning (that’s noon for me) from a very sound sleep to be advised of Deidre’s decision to withdraw from the host committee, and to learn that Ms. Carson, as an honoree, was expressing concern that she had not been informed about the event and would not be able to attend because she was conducting a workshop scheduled many weeks in advance. As the outgoing Chair, she should have been contacted as a simple courtesy. Gale, I apologize for that oversight. I wasn’t on the phone committee, but I apologize anyway. However, I also understand that Ms. Bowers has left numerous messages over the last two weeks on Gale’s voice mail in order to discuss several issues regarding the transfer of responsibility, and to make sure she knew about the reception. Ms. Bowers has advised that none of the calls have been returned. If you don’t return your calls before the fact, you get to find out things after the fact. If Gale had returned Kathryn’s calls, maybe she wouldn’t be so surprised as she claims to be on the The Flyer website today:
  • "Anyway, I can not believe that I am only learning of this event three days prior to it happening and that an e-mail invitation is going out with my name on it and no one has contacted me to see if I would be available." -- Gale Jones Carson Full Text At: http://www.memphisflyer.com/onthefly/onthefly_new.asp?ID=2376
So Gale will not be there Saturday. She has a workshop that she has worked long and hard on for many weeks. I’m sure she was planning it before the reception was even conceived. By the way, I am equally surprised that there’s a workshop going on this weekend. I haven’t heard anything about it. So it was, so it is and so it shall be. It’s an unfortunate coincidence, but coincidence nonetheless. I’m sure that a number of committee members, past and present, may not be able to attend for any number of reasons. Gale is an honoree of the event, along with 106 others, and her understandable absence will not diminish the Congressman’s and Mayor’s honest intent. Why Deidre chose to be the only elected Democratic official to not agree to be a host is also unknown to me. Maybe it was a misunderstanding in that she thought agreement compelled attendance (I understand she is also involved in the workshop). I will assume that was the case. I’m having to assume a lot of things because I’m in no position to take the lead in every activity being planned. I’m not on anybody’s “contact first” list. I’m just a grunt and party trench warfare specialist, and I don’t hold any public office. I’m just the lousy little party Secretary, an office I haven’t held a month yet. I could assume that everything being said is being said with evil intent. I haven’t made that assumption so far. I’ve been waiting for evidence, and evidence of evil intent is beginning to accumulate. We will raise a glass to the absent in their honor regardless (by the way, I am told that wine and soft drinks are being provided, otherwise it’s Cash Bar -- I’m not on the event planning committee either). We should not be dealing with issues of transfer of party records from one administration to another at this point. It should have already been done, at Gale’s order, not Kathryn’s request. You want us to contact Matt Kuhn for the financials, fine. If you want us to contact Shirley Mason for the meeting minutes, fine. If you want to drag your feet at every opportunity, fine. If you’re depressed over the events that have transpired, fine. Go to your doctor and get a prescription for Prozac. You’ll feel better, I promise. By the way, we also need the contact info and access codes for the party website. Maybe everyone else has been to tentative for asking for this info in fear of getting their butt chewed. So while we’re at it, I’ll make this an official request. Send me the information, in email, ASAP. If you want to chew my butt for asking, fine. I got a big butt, I can take it. Some people fear a public viewing of differences. In general, I’m in favor of it. The strength of arguments carries the day. The wheat from the chaff gets sorted quickly that way. I’ve been hearing reports about appearances on black talk radio by Gale and others over the last few weeks that compares the whites on the new committee to slave owners and the black members as slaves. That’s the kind of analogy that doesn’t win any arguments. See what I mean about evidence? The laws of physics teach us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So let the rumors fly. Democrats in Shelby County and the new Executive Committee don’t have time to dwell on the past, very little time to act in the present, and the Great Enemy Time to fight against for the future. Because of the brouhaha of the Chair’s race that should have been decided by the majority of the 21 members elected on April 12, we will already be two months behind in getting the new committee and it’s standing committees properly constituted and functioning. From my point of view, given the pressure of the Great Enemy Time, that is a more than adequate period to suspend action in order to hold folk’s hands and tell Ôem that everything is going to be alright. From this point forward, you’re either part of the team or you ARE NOT. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” -Eldridge Cleaver, Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party, who eventually became a born-again Christian and a Republican. Go figure. Anyone that doesn’t want to be part of the solution is free to sit on the sidelines. That’s another common and understandable human reaction, and I won’t fault anyone who chooses that option. I’ve done it myself. Sometimes the best thing to do is to sit out. It gives one an opportunity to reassess things, gather energy for the future and center your chi. I’m one-eighth Cherokee Indian and I’m going to call on my animal totem, The Bear, to give me strength over the next two years. The shaman that read my animal sign told me not to get too excited over my totem. “You’re not a grizzly bear,” he said. “You’re a black bear. You’re way too happy to be a grizzly.” Obviously, the shaman never saw me in a political fight. And he was Choctaw, not Cherokee, but he assured me that wasn’t a problem. But he is a shaman, so maybe he knows more about me than I do. Let’s just accept that I’m a Happy Black Bear. But even a Happy Black Bear has its limits when it comes to provocation. As every animal keeper will tell you: Look but don’t Touch. I’ll bounce balls on my nose, wear silly hats and do all the things that entertain at children’s birthday parties. I’ll even let you poke me once in a while, but if you poke too often, understand that there’s a bear paw at the end of this arm. And I can bite, too. So on June 5, this Executive Committee is going to don our hard hats and go to work. The hand-holding is over as far as I’m concerned. Everyone else is free to make their own judgments. We are all individually responsible for our individual actions. So it was, so it is and so it shall be. I’ll see you Saturday at the Racquet Club. Or I won’t. "The world is a messy place, and unfortunately the messier it gets, the more work we have to do." -KOFI ANNAN, the United Nations secretary general and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. (NY Times) ------ Forwarded Message From: ExecCom Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 14:25:30 -0500 Subject: Democratic Roundup 2003: Saturday at 4 p.m. You are invited to attend Saturday, May 31, 2003 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the The Racquet Club Walnut Room Democratic Roundup 2003! Hosted By Congressman Harold Ford Û Mayor A.C. Wharton To Honor New Democratic Party Chair Kathryn Bowers and the incoming 2003-2005 Executive Committee and Party Chair Emeritus Gale Jones Carson and the 2001-2003 Executive Committee Co-Hosted By: State Senators Steve Cohen, Roscoe Dixon, John Ford and Jim Kyle State Representatives Henri Brooks, Carol Chumney, Barbara Cooper, John DeBerry, Lois DeBerry, Ulysses Jones, Mike Kernell, Larry Miller, Joe Towns and Larry Turner Assessor Rita Clark County Commissioners Walter Bailey, Jr., Julian Bolton, Joe Ford, Michael Hooks, and Dr. Cleo Kirk and Felicia Boyd, President, Shelby County Democratic Women Dick Klenz, President, Germantown Democratic Club Melvin Burgess III, President, Midtown Democratic Club -- Oran Quintrell Secretary Shelby County Democratic ExecCom 901.327.8655 shelbycountyexecutivecomm@earthlink.net Memphis, Tennessee ADDENDUM ...Date: 5/30/2003 7:59:37 AM Central Standard Time From: galecarson@peoplepc.com ...[T]he references about me appearing on Black radio talk shows and making racial attacks on the White members of the Executive Committee [are] not true and I have an appointment with an attorney today to consider filing a slander suit. Also, I have received no messages from Chairman Bowers. The cell number that she has for me has been cut off for a while now and I have no voice mail on my home phone.... Gale Jones Carson

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