It’s taken a “minute” for me to come to a decision about sharing details about an act of disobedience I’m committing. I was prompted spiritually, and rationally aided and abetted, by two men I have known near 30 years: Dr. Carl Spight, and Deacon Wiley Samuels — we go back. 

We named ourselves AMENS group and formed a mentoring group some 23 years ago. Since that time, we have continued to advocate for the view that everyone in the community adds value to the community. Over the years we have participated in community policy-making activities, to helping children discover and use their gifts. But that’s another story.  

The Veracity Project, sponsored by AMENS Group invites you to think about the importance of the phrase, “Tell the Truth.” The goal of communal action through dialogue is an old but venerable democratic tradition. Whenever democracy is endangered by the intentional dismantling of its most critical functions and basic social practices, citizens are justified in responding to executive decision-making that puts us at risk. We are taking this action to engage our community in authentic discussions about the rhetorical force the phrase “Tell the Truth” makes possible. 

Our country is experiencing inflection points that could very well disable traditional mechanisms by which we have navigated our great “American Experiment.” The prospects of deepening and sustaining our “more perfect union” are increasingly imperiled, and the center posts of our democratic republic are in danger of being overthrown. 

We are being challenged by four simultaneous pandemics: a highly contagious, deadly virus; an economic collapse exposing deep social disparities; the ravages of human-induced climate change; and the social split of a long-deferred racial reckoning. 

Our current national leadership appears unable or unwilling to attend to the interests of the people. Our once-vaunted national decision-making apparatuses are in disarray. Intentional, misleading confusion has been weaponized to political ends. We need our government, and the politicians who serve it to be transparent and to “Tell the Truth.” How do we encourage and support them to do so? 

Oh yeah, the disobedience part — you may see this phrase affixed to a few light poles around town.

George Bailey

Oak Park                                 

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