Thompson’s Take: It’s time leaders step up

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When I returned to this city a few years ago, I had no intention of being a leader in it or the county.

If my personality type was based heavily on any type of character, it was always the antiheroes. 

This included Han Solo, the Green Power Ranger and Batman (aka rich man with mental illness whose activities just so happen to keep the crime rates down so city officials look the other way).


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The common trait among them being that they only became leaders or rose to the challenge when they were forced to.

I’ve led things; I know the heaviness of that. 

I wanted to leave that behind.

Right perspectives needed

Then, 2020 happened

And in the aftermath of everything from that year ⏤ watching how leaders did or did not react to things ⏤ made it clear that we don’t have the right perspectives to address our current problems.

We have some good leaders in the city and county. We do.

If you spend time listening to the City Council, County Board and both city and county committees, you start to see who the real leaders are. And who the people are who are like millstones holding those leaders and this city/county back.

leader; leaders; city; kenosha; commission; racial and ethnic equity commission; county; kenosha county

The truth is, I’m inspired by some of our local leaders. Some of them really rose to the challenges as best they could. They truly listened. 

And most importantly, those leaders truly cared about the people, all of the people. 

Infighting among leaders serves no purpose

But then you still have the community leaders who didn’t and don’t. 

I have passed the point of calling people out by name and using the more “bringing awareness” elements of change to the table. Infighting, even when the fight is valid, doesn’t move anything forward. 

That is a bitter pill to swallow, I know. Because we want to fight for “truth, justice and the American way” all day, every day. 

But we don’t have to reach the finish line today. 

We just have to take a step in the right direction. 

And then do the same tomorrow.

Full disclosure: I applied

Therefore, in full disclosure, I took my own step: I applied to the Kenosha County Racial and Ethnic Equity Commission. 

Do I particularly want to get involved in government or anything government-adjacent? No. Not even a little bit.

But do I want to see my community grow? Do I want to see my potential children and all of your potential children truly failing and succeeding based on their own merits? 

Do I want to see a Kenosha and Kenosha County where no one can claim that they were kept down because of the color of their skin or their ancestry?

Do I want to live in a place that can show everyone not only our darkest moment when an officer shoots a Black man in our streets, but how we rose far above the challenge to make it right, as well?  

The answer to all of those questions is a resounding “yes”. 

So commission service, holding a sign on the street or writing stories, I don’t care about the avenue it has to take in order to attain those things. 

It’s taken me a long time to appreciate and understand my grandfather, Arzell “Flukie” Thompson, and how his kindness is the most apartment trait he imparted on my family. Listen to this episode to listen to me explore that role of kindness in his life, and now my life.  — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/mind-of-daniel-thompson/support
  1. Ep. 07 – 'Flukie'
  2. Ep. 06 – 'Addiction'
  3. Ep. 05 – 'The Place Where I Can Just Be'
  4. Ep. 04 – 'Early Life: Reality and Fancy'
  5. Ep. 03 – 'Scattered Thoughts on Justice'

I know that I should have competition, hope I do

And, please, I encourage you to join with me in simply doing whatever it is you can to help make us a better, more compassionate, more equitable and more understanding city of Kenosha and Kenosha County. 

I know it’s hard to take a leap. 

So maybe just think of it like I described: just a little step in the right direction.

If you want that step to be in the form of applying for the county Racial and Ethnic Equity Commission, you can do so at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/2123/Racial-and-Ethnic-Equity-Commission.

I hope you do. 

I hope I have competition.

Because I know that I should. 

We have too many good leaders standing on the sidelines here right now.

And it’s time to step up.

Your community needs you. 


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