Zina Pierre Is Now A Private Citizen Once Again, But The Hurt Remains ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Zina Pierre Is Now A Private Citizen Once Again, But The Hurt Remains

Zina Pierre, in a dignified and gracious manner withdrew her candidacy. While her speech could have been a lot worse, it could also have been better. She suggested that the many blemishes on her record are not that big a deal, but are just normal problems that can happen to anyone. While I don't believe that, I also feel that everyone of us has the right to fully examine who might be our next mayor. Ms. Pierre took responsibility for her actions, at least the ones to which she admitted, but she completely ignored the potentially most serious concerns about her affairs that have just come to light.

I believe that Ms Pierre is a kind, compassionate and loving person who has trouble managing  her personal finances and wants to do too many things for too many people. One of her closest supporters  told me that Zina's fault is that she takes her willingness to help others too far, often at her own expense. While I agree with that view of Ms. Pierre, I continue to be bothered by her brush-off of all the questions raised about her background. She only referred to the judicial matters that were first uncovered and led to a more thorough review of her more recent campaign concerns.

Ms. Pierre did take responsibility but she tried to qualify it with how much she is trying to balance so many demands and caring for family members etc., etc. as if that would draw sympathy and put everything into perspective. I listened to her speech carefully and what keeps nagging me is that she has tried too hard to do much and somehow because of this she expects leniency from us. One has to get his or her personal house in order--wherever that house may actually be- before taking over the city comprising all our houses, and financed in great part by the taxes we pay on our own houses. If running a business is too much, why run for mayor? If money is tight why get another residence? If you are running a business and money is tight, and you are caring for an elderly parent, why run for mayor?And finally, if all of these things present challenges, why would you not come out in the first place, up front and tell us,  "Here is my record. Here is what happened. Look at me. Examine my record, but here I am" and then run for mayor. She never revealed to us about her background--AND IT IS RELEVANT.

When these things came to light, she could have taken that chance to tell us the truth. She did not. Had she controlled the situation, she might have cleared the air, stopped any further attempt to investigate her, and she might have stayed in the race--and might have been elected. Instead, we have seen one of the absolute worst examples of crisis management and crisis communications--and that is a bad thing to see in a mayoral candidate. More than anything, that may have doomed her candidacy. I have trouble understanding how anyone could still support her at this point, but I think it would be for reasons other than believing she is the most qualified candidate.

Rumors and accusations and innuendos are still flying about but facts are facts and those facts must be looked at and understood no matter who is the candidate. Ms. Pierre deserves, and I believe got equal treatment for mistakes and actions for which only she is responsible. If there were an organized or orchestrated witch-hunt of Ms. Pierre, I don't know a thing about it. I do know this--in some way, shape or form, her skin color, yes as in "race" has played some kind of a role. Depending upon whom you ask, you'll get a different answer as to how, but it all leads me to the same conclusion. Despite two generations having come of age since the Civil Rights Movement, despite decades of integration, despite having Barack Obama as president, we as the citizens of the city that proudly houses the Banneker-Douglass Museum and displays both a statue of Alex Haley as well as Thurgood Marshall have a long way to go before we can say we are all  truly equal.

If any good can come out of this whole unfortunate episode, perhaps it will be a more self-critical examination of our racial legacy and our racial divide whose lingering effects hurt all of us. We have never really had this community conversation. It's time for that to happen.

You and I could write and read and argue and debate and dissect this thing for years, but Ms. Pierre is once again a private citizen and that is how I shall treat the matter unless she decides to return to public life. I hope she can do what needs to be done and make that happen one day. I truly wish her well and I know that she will have the fortitude to weather this storm.
See the 14 minute speech for yourself at The Capital's web-site www.hometownannapolis.com/video/1253742793Pierredropsoutofmayoralrace

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1 Comment:

Paul A. Richards said...

This sad phase is over.

Lets hope that the appointed candidate is good enough to heal the wounds, and able enough to win.

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