Bowens: Stolen yard signs aside, this was a good election in the Grosse Pointes

November 13, 2020, 3:34 PM by  Greg Bowens

The writer, a former Detroit News reporter and press secretary for Mayor Dennis Archer, is a local political and public relations consultant.

I’m miffed. Shortly after the general election, someone tried to steal a Biden-Harris sign off my lawn in Grosse Pointe Park. I know because the metal frame was bent in the middle from a heave-ho that couldn’t quite get both steel rods out of the frozen ground, but left my treasured statement of political support wrinkled and disfigured.

“Loser,” I grumbled as a list of neighborly suspects flash through my mind.

Greg Bowens: "Real progress is being made."

Was it the neighbor with the super-sized, gas-powered leaf blower who argued with the other mega-sized leaf-blowing neighbor about the outcome of the election? One happy, the other mad – nice guys, both Republicans. The angry one was so loud I went to the door to see what the ruckus was all about inches from my pristine lawn sign. 

Or maybe it was one of the dog walkers? They are always pleasant with a chipper greeting, but could be hiding seething resentment.

Maybe it was a kid goofing around or a roaming political hack trying to cash in on the rumored bounty per sign? 

My list of suspects was growing faster than a QAnon conspiracy, and making me crazy in the process.

I stop with the crazy thoughts. I remind myself of one of my core beliefs – I have more neighbors of good will than not. Most are kind, generous and helpful.

They supported establishing an NAACP branch, created WE (Welcome Everybody) GP, marched for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and pushed back vehemently against every instance of racism in the five Pointes. There were no fewer than five Black Lives Matter marches in the Grosse Pointes this year.

And today, real progress is being made for Black people in the Pointes.

This week the Grosse Pointe Park City Council appointed Darci McConnell to fill an open seat, the first African-American to serve on the council. She joins City of Grosse Pointe’s Terence Thomas, the Pointes’ first and only elected Black council member and follows former Grosse Pointe Farms Councilwoman Sierra Donaven, the first black woman appointed to a city council in the Pointes. The school board’s lone Black man, Joseph Herd, was just re-elected, after being appointed to an open seat in January.

In addition, Park voters supported Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with 63.6 percent of the vote, according to the latest unofficial figures from our clerk’s office. The Park is arguably, reliably Democratic, leading three of the five Pointes going for Biden this last election.

Yes, the times they are a-changing.

Even with a raging pandemic, schools returning to remote learning and a crop of anonymous, anti-Black Lives Matter letters sent anonymously to families who display a BLM sign, things are definitely looking up for Democratic-leaning, social-justice, activist liberals around here.

So, I fix my Biden sign as best I can and move it closer to the window, where it will stay until Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. And I’ll order a Black Lives Matter lawn sign, too.

Because when a white family puts a BLM sign up on the lawn, it’s a statement of support for a cause that says, yes while all lives matter, Black lives are the ones being killed and we need to stop that. But when a Black family puts up a BLM sign, it’s still seen as a statement of defiance. I’m feeling defiant.

So, take that, you sign-stealing, letter-writing busybodies with nothing better to do.


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