Stormin' Norman Oliver, a well respected man from Wilmington hosts as 9PM Sunday cable access TV show called "Community Crossfire". He has had Governor's, Mayor's, Senator's and some of Delaware's most influential people on his show which is heavily watched especially in the city of Wilmington. His shows are often controversial and always entertaining. Last night's program was no different and if you missed it, you missed A LOT.
Oliver is not one to shy away from confrontation which is what made him a great Councilman for more than 10 years. His callers are not afraid to mix it up either. I joined Lee Tirado, a fellow member of Founders Values, on the show which was already recieiving plenty of attention. In addition to blog posts asking people to "ask some wingnut related questions", Mr. Oliver recieved a number of emails and phone calls questioning him having on members of the "racist" TEA Party. Needless to say, we understood what we were up against. Lee and I were steeled in the fact that most of the people calling us "wingnuts" and "racists" had never met us, knew nothing about us and relied on a heavily biased media for their information. This is the same media that has constantly and consistently demonized the TEA Party without substantive proof. And yes, the issues of the "spitting" incident during the healthcare debate passage when Democrats mocked Dr. Martin Luther King's march by nearly skipping through the protestors with glee, which not one media outlet can produce proof of, was brought up.
Mr. Olivers phone began ringing before the phone number came up on the screen and we knew that we were in for quite a ride. There were so many calls in fact, to the live pick up show (there's no call screener) that it was difficult to expound on points being made. We were able to dicuss who the TEA Party is, what it stands for and what it does. While we were asked to define the number of African-Americans and militia members in our group, there was also thoughtful commentary on education, job creation and limiting the size of government. Mr. Oliver was fair and in conversation before and after the show there was much common ground between us. While both Lee and I wish we had a little more time to get our points across, I think that people realized we had a difficult task to overcome months of mainstream media angst.
In the end we made our case for a voucher system that allows parents to control where their kids go to school and that includes vocational, private and public schools. We talked about how to create jobs in the city and turn the economy around and we made our case for limited government. We plugged our website, our meeting and our candidates for school board. We also asked that people try coming to a meeting before they make a decision. Response after the fact has been positive by and large and we're looking forward to going back on the show in the near future. Also, a little bit of interesting information, Mr. Oliver is fair and and he has invited the NAACP on his show as well, to give their side. They have so far declined or not taken his calls. Lee and I thought it was interesting that the TEA Party went on a show that broadcasts to a large segment of the African-American community to discuss the media attacks against them and the outrageous claims of racism but the NAACP wouldn't appear. That alone should prove that these allegations are completely baseless.
We discussed the reality that faith plays an important part in fixing much of what is wrong with our state and our nation. I am proud to be part of this enlightenment that I see happening around the country and I hope that more, across the spectrum, will come to realize that we can disagree on some things, but that there are certain basic truths and basic ideals, like freedom, liberty and opportunity that we all hold dear. We're thankful for the opportunity to be on Mr. Oliver's show and we recommend that more of us watch Community Crossfire every Sunday night at 9PM to gain perspective.