The Octopus Conspiracy
The Octopus Conspiracy
While running for City Council I started to hear about several conspiracy stories. Let me say for the record that I am not big on conspiracy theories. From stories that the United States government blew up the World Trade Towers, to the government having a UFO hidden at a secret military base, to who killed JFK, I just don’t put much stock in them. But people everyday are swept up in the next theory on why this happened or why that happened. In my humble opinion the reason people are so willing to believe in such things is that real life can be boring. Conspiracies offer an exciting reason to why things are happening and justification to someone’s personal failure, “They’re keeping me down.” People will turn off rational thought, add their two cents to the conspiracy and then pass it on to the next person as if it was a fact. I don’t know about other cities but in Memphis there are three ways to pass on information: telephone, television and tell a whopper.
Being so busy campaigning, diabolical plans were the last thing on my mind. Not until I started to hear about a conspiracy that involved me. I, like many other candidates was busy trying to shore up support for my campaign. The reason I ran for office was that I honestly felt I had something to offer the citizens of this City I love so much. I prided myself on the fact that I had spent so many years working behind the scene fighting for community residents. In doing so I felt I understood politics. Over the years I thought I had seen politics from every point of view. But even I was not prepared for this one. I had known of a group of young men and women who had formed a campaign consulting firm called New Path. The mission of New Path is to support bright, honest and community focused candidates for office. I decided to approach them for support. It turned out that nearly all the other candidates in my race had already sought this group’s support. I gave my best speech and waited. A few days later New Path contacted me and said, “We’re going with you.”
It is important to note that at no time before or during the campaign did New Path staff suggest or even hint to me that they expected something in return. I was very impressed with their professionalism, and dedication. This being my first time running for public office New Path helped me put together a campaign strategy. I truly appreciated their support. That is why I was so offended when I started to hear lies being told about them.
The conspiracy went like this. A group of powerful (It always starts off this way with powerful figures lurking in the shadows.) business people who decided if they could not control the Mayor's office they would take over the City Council. Somehow they were able to get control of the Commercial Appeal, The Coalition for a Better Memphis (which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group composed of a diverse group of over 100 Shelby County individuals, businesses and organizations that works to educate the voters by having candidates for public office complete a lengthy questionnaire and be questioned by a volunteer panel on issues such as: Economics, Ethics, Experience and Vision. They then rank the candidates and present the results to the public. This is something that has been done in other cities for years. Regrettable Memphis is so far behind on issues of civicness that groups like this are just taking hold here.), and as I said earlier New Path. They would, by some means unbeknownst to the rational mind, control all these people and make them hand pick a group of mostly well educated and civic minded candidates for City Council and with skills greater than Houdini hypnotize these candidates into doing their bidding.
This conspiracy for the most part was only being spread in the Black communities. And sadly enough it was being spread by Blacks. In fact I personally heard a couple of candidates in my race spreading this lie. It’s strange these same candidates had gone to these same groups earlier seeking their endorsement, and the moment they didn’t receive their support somehow these groups became corrupted. Do you think if they had gotten these groups’ backing that they would have been singing a different tune? Of course they would have. Well I can tell you why some received the support from New Path, the endorsement of the Commercial Appeal and the highest ranking from the Coalition for a Better Memphis, and that is because they earned it.
I am certain that some will feel I should not bring this up. I should just let it go. Well if I wasn’t a civic activist I might, but I am, so I can’t. What these people who were spreading this LIE were trying to do is manipulate YOU! In their desperate attempt to gain office they were willing to do anything, even lie to people who looked to them for the truth.
Another reason I decided to talk about this was that on an earlier post of mine someone had made a comment that he/she knew for a fact that there was a conspiracy and he had “the paperwork to prove it.” Well I challenged that person to send me a copy of this so-called proof. I waited and waited and it never came. I guess his proof went poof.
You don’t have to go looking for the evil white man trying to control us poor color folks. The truth is they are a lot close than you think, in distance and in color.