Over the last few days, as I have revealed that I am the mysterious white person who offered Arthur Woodson money to run the recall effort against Karen Weaver, many citizens of Flint have had questions for me as why I would do something like this.
First of all, I’d like to clarify that I do not know Arthur. I am not connected to him in any way, and I have not spoken with him since last year. I not funded by Rick Snyder, nor am I part of some secret white man’s plot to take out the mayor, as she has suggested. I am an activist that fights against corrupt government officials, from local Mayors to corrupt federal officials, using my own money, all over the country.
During the Dakota Access Pipeline protests I began encouraging activists to run recall efforts rather than gather in large groups and protest, because recalls are a much more effective way to stand up to power and actually win. Rather than hope that public outcry will solve complex problems, a recall effort goes right to the heart of the matter and deals with it in a way that leads to real change.
When I saw in a Facebook Group that Arthur was considering running a recall, I sent him a message explaining that if he took the path he had chosen that he was going to endure vicious smear campaigns and even potential legal trouble, because political officials are ruthless when a citizen enacts their rights to stand up against the government.
All over the country, during recall efforts, including in my own home town of Akron, Ohio, I’ve watched corrupt elected officials run the recall organizers through the ringer, slaughtering their opponents names and reputations, all in the name of keeping themselves in power. I have even been a personal victim of the exact same kinds of smear campaigns, so I know exactly what it feels like when a local government is willing to sadistically crush a human life for their own personal gain.
I knew that if Arthur did what he was going to do that he was going to need money to defend himself, because I knew exactly what Karen Weaver and the local media were going to do to him if he stood up and asserted his rights as a US citizen to organize. The money I offered him had no political motive other than to help protect him if he became dominated by corruption. I simply offered him the cash just to be a nice guy and so I could pitch in and do my part to help the citizens of Flint, Michigan.
However, Arthur turned the money down. In fact, he was down right rude about it, so the Mayor’s statement that Arthur is somehow “bought and paid for by the white man” is nothing more than an example of the dirty politics she practices, attempting to brand a fellow African American as an “Uncle Tom,” trying to undermine his ability to lead in the African American community, which is a sample of her ruthlessly manipulative nature.
Her use of the police to intimidate people who have signed the signatures and hiring crooked forensic investigators to investigate a matter in which she party to, filing a bogus restraining order which was later dismissed, is absolutely deplorable and reeks of big boss thug tactics, but her actions also expose the corrosive underbelly of her own political machine.
From what I have been able to gather, Weaver seems to feel that the people of Flint aren’t smart enough to know what is best for themselves, so extreme measures are required to make sure she doesn’t get thrown out of office. After traveling to Flint, myself, over the last few days, I beg to differ. I’ve met nothing but intelligent and free thinking individuals who are unhappy with their local government.
And while I certainly have my own political opinions about Flint, I am not a resident, but since the Mayor decided to drag me into this without asking me, I feel that I more than have the right to correct the record and that the people have the right to know the actual truth about Arthur Woodson.
The bottom line here is that it’s elected officials who didn’t have the best interests of the people of Flint in mind when they switched the water supply from Detroit to the Flint River. Even though Arthur acquired the signatures of over five-thousand people, Karen Weaver seems to have decided that what the people want doesn’t matter, and in that moment she ceases to serve the residents of Flint and works only to serve herself.
Someone asked me if this was an attempt to promote my name, to which I respond that I will gain nothing from this effort but to become a target of attacks and smear campaigns myself, something I have endured all over the country, to my own personal detriment. The reality for me is that the more I stand up for the rights of the people, and fight the status quo, the more and more my name and reputation become damaged by the very types of smear campaigns that Arthur is undergoing, so I really have nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing what I am doing right now.
But to get down to real talk, I am watching what is happening right now, and it hurts me to watch what Arthur is going through. I feel for his situation, very deeply, because of my own battles. These elected officials view Arthur’s life as collateral damage in a war. Hes not a human being to them, he’s a target.
I’ve felt the fear, the crushing depression, the confusion, the anger, and the desire to crawl into a hole and die, just because I chose to stand up and be a good person, and if Arthur is out there reading this, I hope that some day our paths will cross and we can break bread together, but if that never happens, I just want him to know that I’ve felt what he is feeling right now, everything he’s going through, he is not alone, that there are more of us out here that have endured this inhuman annihilation of everything that is fair and just, for standing up for what we believe in and exercising our rights as US citizens to speak truth to power.
For the people of Flint, for those of you who are just learning of all of this, you need to stand up and form a wall around Arthur, protect him, and tell this official that is enacting this madness to get the hell out of your town. You need to sign his petitions, back his causes, help provide emotional support, and prop this man up on your shoulders, because if you don’t stand up for Arthur Woodson, when they come for you, there will be no one left to protect you.