November 8, 2006
Dear Freedom Fighters,
I have been going over and over in my head about what to say the
morning after. What do I tell my children? They were a part of the
movement, in marches, rallies and passing out literature at the polls,
even running to catch anyone who had gotten past them. Being
disappointed when seeing the literature thrown away in the trash and
encouraged when I told them it was ok, they voted "NO ON 2" they
didn't need it anymore. This morning before I had a chance to explain
my son shouted from the living room we won! He had turned on the News
to follow up with the numbers as he had done before he went to bed,
while I was at the One United Michigan and Democratic Parties. I had
to explain to him, he saw the wrong proposal. We lost that battle.
I want to thank everyone who called and checked on me or dropped me an
email between last night and this morning. As you can tell, no I am
not on the edge of a cliff somewhere. I am on the edge of GREATNESS!
As I told my son we lost the battle. We are still in the war. When I
called my sistah in the struggle as I watched the numbers at the
Detroit Election Commission and gave her the percentages from Detroit
after midnight and let her know that over 12,000 Detroiters were
deceived and voted "Yes" she began to weep profusely. No need to cry
all, we're soldiers!
Am I surprised the proposal passed? Sadly no…disappointed yes, but not
surprised. The tone from the Liberals, Macomb County, Oakland County
and even my Caucasian friends was, that even if they planned on voting
no, their family was going to vote "Yes". I stood in the crowd of 500
white women this summer at an event at the Ritz called Remarkable
Women given by Florine Mark, President of Weight Watchers. The panel
was filled with media who were talking about women's health and
women's issues. They opened up the floor for questions and I
challenged the media, what are they doing to get the word out to "VOTE
NO ON 2" because it is more than a racial issue, people don't
understand the funding women's programs will loose. When women in the
audience asked Florine how to vote on this, she began chanting "NO,
NO, NO"! Last night in class after taking my mid-term I made a
student leave to go vote before the polls close so she can vote "NO"!
She said she would vote "NO", but her husband had voted "Yes".
I want to encourage everyone that we lost the battle, yet we did not
loose the war. History repeats itself. We are in the modern day Civil
Rights Era and this exactly what it is…an Era. The movement didn't
start because of one act and it certainly will not stop with just one.
We live in the most segregated, racially charged city in the Union.
Are movement is continuous. My 11 year old son asked what can we do
now, others have asked, what now? My son said that he wants to move
from Michigan. I let him know that the proposal cannot be voted on
the ballot for another 10 years. The problem is that after the first
Civil Rights Movement, a lot of us slept. We weren't satisfied,
however we thought we had accomplished enough and became complaisant.
I am here to tell you, it is NOT enough and we CANNOT sleep for the
next ten years.
Last night when I was dropping a friend off, coming up 8 mile getting
on the Southfield Freeway the Southfield Police, two Caucasian men,
followed me and pulled me over. I was past 7 mile and well out of
their jurisdiction. After they found that I was clear, they shined the
flashlight on my passenger, asked him for his information and ran his
name. They had no choice but to let us go, I had made no traffic
violation. It was simply a message that we won! While you all slept,
we took back from you something you thought was so precious. We
cannot sleep anymore!!!
I want to thank everyone who worked so hard in that battle Detroit
Parent Network's Affirmative Action Committee, One United Michigan,
the NAACP, ACLU and especially the people that fought side by side
with me…Khaled Beydoun, Jeanean Bryant, Brandon Jessup, Jamiel Martin,
Adwoa Muwzea, Kim Trent, Heaster Wheeler, Donnell White and my
children Tony and T'elay. We marched, rallied, had forums and speakers
bureau trainings. I got on some of your nerves because I constantly
demanded your time and pushed you to your limits fighting for this
issue. However, our fight is not over, as you all know, they will try
and take this to other states and we cannot sleep on that either.
Most of all I want to encourage those of you who are not as active as
you could be to become more involved! Because if you don't stand for
something, you will fall for anything and the whole state can fall
Peace and Blessings from your Sistah in the Struggle,
Tiffany D. Tilley
People Actively Taking Chances and Helping to Educate Society
"Am I my brother's keeper?"