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I recently traveled to Elizabeth City to celebrate a belated Christmas with my boyfriend’s family. I have a huge black and blue welt below my right shoulder from improperly holding a 12-guauge shotgun in a rather pitiful attempt to shoot skeet on the farm, but all in all it was a fun time.
At one point, my boyfriend’s 4-year-old niece, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite people ever, was sent to time out for some boisterous behavior. I watched as this fiery redhead surveyed her time-out room. She turned around quickly. Clearly, in her 4-year-old mind, it was a sub-par location to serve out her sentence.
She came bounding back into the room where her parents were, streaks of curly auburn locks flying, planted her little feet, put her hands on her hips and pronounced, “Mama, you better whip those boys. There is food all over the place.”
Little Mary Grace was referring to her brothers and cousins making a mess as they ate their dinner in the room earlier.
How could she be expected to serve out the terms of her punishment in those conditions?
With six children, her mother knew what her little darling was up to. She didn’t flinch, and sent her right back to her time-out.
At just 4 years old, little Mary Grace had fully grasped and artfully executed the concept of misdirection.
When a 4-year-old does it, it’s funny. When an elected (and grown) official does it, it’s pathetic.
At the moment, I happen to be the target of the aforementioned political misdirection.
Oh, and a racist.
This column will be the first and last time I address this matter. That’s it.
My name, my reputation and my character—all of which I have worked incredibly hard to establish and maintain—have been drug through the mud for more than a month.
I have been called a racist.
Horrible lies have been written about me; horrible things have been said about me.
Why? For protecting the First Amendment, for protecting the Open Meetings Law and for challenging a local elected official.
Classic misdirection. For writing thorough stories outlining the behavior and actions of commissioner Charles Warren, I have been called a bigot.
For challenging Warren on the law I have been called a racist.
In addition to Warren, Bernest Hewett, a political ally and president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has followed Warren’s lead.
Hewett’s called me a racist in this newspaper, in the State Port Pilot and in the Wilmington Journal. Well, at least those are the ones I know about.
It’s been on TV and on the Internet.
I’ve heard the words come out of Hewett’s mouth.
Time and time again.
Over and over and over.
Y’all tired of reading it yet?
Let me know when you are, and then we can all get back to what’s really going on here.
You know, my Irish-Catholic, Notre Dame football-loving family has adopted a trademark response when people make false and slanderous claims about us—two words in fact, and they aren’t “Go Irish.”
Caroline Curran is a staff writer and columnist at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at (910) 754-6890 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter at @cgcurran.