Meet in the Middle


Meet in the Middle

Tyler Perry spoke eloquently at the Oscars Ceremony last night. Rather than take the opportunity to lash out at “pick a group” he spoke about his refusal to hate. He was receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. In part he said:

“I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican or because they are black or white. Or LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer or because they are Asian. I would hope we would refuse hate.

“And I want to take this . . . humanitarian award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle . . . Because that’s where healing, that’s where conversation happens, that’s where change happens.  It happens in the middle.

“Anyone who wants to meet me in the middle to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and to help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one is for you, too.”

Yes, Tyler, I’m happy to meet in the middle and refuse to hate – to refuse blanket judgement.

Perhaps that’s the worst – blanket judgement. All (pick a group) are (pick a pejorative). We hear it from our leaders, from the media, from our educators, from anyone who can get a platform. And of course they are wrong.

Every time you hear a blanket judgement, In my humble opinion, it is based on a lie. Social media leads the charge. As Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” With today’s technology, a lie moves at light speed.

Tyler Perry is right – we must meet in the middle, listen to others. But that means everyone must listen. Not just some of those in the conversation. Screaming, accusing, pointing fingers, just doesn’t cut it. If you can’t calmly discuss differences, you aren’t in the middle.

I’m sorry so few watched the Oscars and missed Tyler’s short speech. It was so spot on.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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