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Time to pivot

Mayor Gray greets Councilmember Bowser
Robert Vinson Brannum

This has been an interesting and exciting week in the District of Columbia.

College basketball enthusiasts are enjoying the final four in the NCAA basketball tournament. Washington Nationals baseball fans got to enjoy the opening day home game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Stadium located on “Taxation Without Representation Street” in Southeast. District voters (at least the small number that did) got to go the polls and vote. And somewhere young dancers continued to practice or were able to perform ballet routines.

In all these different activities, there is one common element which at some point would be shared.

It is called the pivot.

The focus here will not be the pivots in the NCAA final four, Washington Nationals home opener against the Atlanta Braves or the talents of youthful ballet dancers. The eyes here are focused on the pivot resulting in the District Democratic mayoral primary election.

In the spirit of unity District Democratic party unity, party officials, elected leaders, election winners and losers, and party activists came to make a needed pivot on the hopeful road to victory in the District’s general election in November.

In basketball, baseball, and in ballet, the ability to do a pivot with ease comes with practice and training.

In politics, a believable and skillful pivot toward success has to come from the heart.

At a time when an amateur or the untrained would have stumbled and fell, District Mayor Vincent C. Gray showed strength and character as he embraced Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser.

Following the District Democratic April 1st primary results, Mayor Gray is not boasting, but rather is pivoting with sincere leadership and profound honor. And because of Mayor Gray’s inner strength, his of sense of commitment to bring people together despite heartbreak, disappointment, and at times acts and words of hate, he stands among giants displaying valor and courage.

However, Mayor Gray’s authentic, genuine, and heartfelt pivot should not cause observers to be blind to the intellectual fouls committed against him by Ms. Jo-Ann Armao, District editorial writer for The Washington Post and Mr. Ronald C. Machen, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Ms. Armao and Mr. Machen are on a collision course with history. They have collided with principles of due process and fairness to smear an individual's name in retribution, intimidation, and for political purposes.

For the sake of a correct pivot and moving forward Ms. Armao and Mr. Machen should not be given a pass and certain journalists and columnists should not be held harmless.

Moreover, other supposedly seasoned self-described respected journalists who have known Mayor Gray for years and are aware of his life of service to the District of Columbia, should not be allowed to rest on a perverse, dishonest rationalization they were only reporting news.

The collaborating efforts of Ms. Armao and Mr. Machen against Mayor Gray and rules of decency is a clear illustration of their abuse of power and corruption. Ms. Armao and Mr. Machen need to be held accountable and other journalists need to face their professional demons.

Yes, the time has come for residents of the District of Columbia to pivot to help guide its future.

However, good people must stand and fight injustice - anywhere, anytime, and at all times.

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period ... was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Pastor Martin Niemöller

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”

President John F. Kennedy

“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”

Frederick Douglass

“Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.”

Elie Wiesel

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Twitter: @robert158

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