The Charlie Bravo Story

Shave me from myself

Dad here; I hate, hate, HATE bullies. When I was younger, I was always the smallest, weakest, the last to get picked on any team. As a result, my heroes have always been those that championed the cause of the underdog; Teddy Roosevelt, who grew from a sickly youth to a president who took the time to reroute the mail around Indianola, MS until the townspeople agreed to reinstate the first black female postmaster. Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, who sang for the forgotten prisoners in Folsom Prison. Martin Luther King Jr, and his message that the content of our character is the basis on which we should be judged, not the color of our skin.

Did I mention I hate bullies?

When Charlie emerged from her crate, she was a timid, ragged dog that, although she is obviously a pitbull mix herself, was not the bully but the bullied. She soon blossomed into the black beauty that she is today, but more importantly, she found her message; that we all have our own crates, and the best way to escape them was to help others escape theirs. Male, female, black, white, canine, feline, we’re all in this together, and our well-being is inextricably linked; we have to hang together or we will hang seperately.

I have not a whit of tolerance for anyone, male or female, that would raise a hand in anger to anyone or anything less capable of defending themselves. So I was mildly annoyed when I saw a certain conglomerate put forth an advertisement seeming to paint men with a pretty broad brush as a bunch of boorish brutes behind BBQ grills, but hey, it’s corporate America; what did I expect? A little divisive pontificating in an attempt to sell a few more razors isn’t enough to get THAT worked up over.

No, what got to me was when I saw people I honor and who’s opinions I value greatly make blanket statements such as “if this commercial bothers you, you’re part of the problem”. Really? Any mutual respect that we might have had is to be tossed out with the bathwater because we disagree over an advertisement that was designed to generate controversy in the first place? I’ll be honest, that smarted just a bit more than I care to admit. I know and respect a lot of great men, and the vast majority were done a huge dishonor by those comments. Any civil discourse must at least first begin with civility

Mom’s off-hand comment, while rushing around the Casa getting ready for work this morning:”it sounds to me that the corporation is wanting to profit by placing people in crates of their making”. Bloody brilliant; if we can be so easily manipulated into feeling a certain way, then we can be coerced into acting a certain way.

For every Hitler there must be a Goebbels to manipulate the party propaganda, that some of us are less worthy than others.

There is a line in the movie The Last of the Mohicans: “Magua’s heart is twisted; he would turn others into what twisted him.” I get it; the constant bickering in the media over politics, sexual orientation, religion, how to pronounce the word “pecan”, etc, has started twisting me into a person I don’t like one bit, and trust me, you wouldn’t either.

So how to step away from this path that leads towards bitterness and disillusion? The answer is easy: get off of the dang path. The problem is that the path I question seems to be social media, the very medium by which Charlie’s message is spread, and Charlie will not be silenced. So I’ll just have to “suck it up, buttercup”, and focus more on the positive and strive to ignore the negative, but sometimes, it ain’t easy.

“There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us.”

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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