Tobias E. LaGrone: Tea Party psycho-pathology and the bullying of Bernita Sims
When did it become a crime to be ranked among the working poor? The financial woes that Mayor Sims has experienced are common among those of us who live outside of the glass casing of the economic elite. Bounced check? I have bounced a few. Late on utility bills? I have a few I am behind on now, but that does not make me or others like me bad people, nor does it lessen our level of character and integrity. Living from paycheck to paycheck, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is common among the working poor.
Those who would bully Mayor Sims because of her real life issues and socio-economic status are totally disconnected from the realities of every day citizens. According to census data, nearly one in every two Americans, 146.4 million people, are now classified as either low-income or earning below the poverty line.
The vote to oust Mayor Sims was along racial lines, 6 whites voted ‘Yes’ to the motion and 3 African-Americans voted ‘No’. Those who voted to oust Mayor Sims don’t even realize that the very fact they were born white affords them access to financial resources, professional opportunities and places of privilege that minorities have been denied.
The vote against Ms. Sims is a vote against every black woman who makes sixty-four cents for every dollar that a white male makes, and every white woman who earns just eighty-two cents for every dollar that a white male makes.
The vote against Ms. Sims is a vote against every hard working American who has not chosen careers in banking, finance or real estate, where millions are made on the backs of the working poor, but have rather chosen careers in public service to enhance the public good.
The vote against Ms. Sims is a vote against every hardworking African-American whose household net worth is less than $6,000 while the household net worth of the average White American is $113,000.00.
The council persons who voted against Mayor Sims engaged in an act of socio-economic bullying, an act that they hope will tarnish Mayor Sims’ reputation in the eyes of her constituents. The vote against Mayor Sims carries no validity, except to tarnish her name and punish her for being a voice for the voiceless and an advocate for the powerless of High Point.
This unceremonious act of socio-economic bullying derives from a Tea Party psycho-pathology that is based upon frustrations that America is changing from a majority white nation to a more ethnically diverse nation. The shameful actions of the High Point City Council is a microcosm of the North Carolina Republican legislative agenda, which seeks to disenfranchise minorities and make sure that ‘majority rule’ is no longer the rule, now that the ‘majority’ is looking less like them and more like those who support Mayor Bernita Sims.
Rev. Tobias E. LaGrone from the Minister’s Conference of High Point and Vicinity