by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism
Dr. Knight: How has the work you have done for The Hill Newspaper enriched your life journey?
Mr. Mwine: Most of my writing has covered the challenges African-Americans face when finding jobs and real platforms in politics. The GOP has had a number of problems: These include racism, discrimination, and segregation in the Republican Party. In my pieces, I have criticized former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie for the many mistakes he made with Conservative people of color running for office. There was so much backlash, but I took it in stride. Ed attacked me personally and professionally on a few different platforms for having the guts to print the truth. My mentor, the late Fr. Brunett, always said, “Have courage Wamara.” Simply recommending these African-Americans in my pieces sent Ed into a firestorm of anger and embarrassment. I found that to be ironic because he claims to be Catholic. My stories provide any politician a shortlist of the do's and dont's in recruiting and retaining African-Americans for both parties.
Dr. Knight: Your work in crisis communication and diversity has added a great deal to the depth and breadth of what you offer to the public. Could you tell us about that?
Mr. Mwine: Well, I have a certain mindset. I am centered, both in my personal and professional life. People gravitate to people who are stable and steady. I find that most of the public, especially in this time of Covid-19, has everyone running scared. Crisis communication should be the sound voice calming the masses who are scared and distraught.
There would come two times I was compelled to write President Bush about my experience with his White House and the diversity roadblocks African-American Conservatives faced. My first effort was on February 12, 2015. This was not met with an official response. As before, I had consulted with my team of political advisers regarding the language and depth of my letter.
My second chance involved writing President Bush's daughter Jenna. She was working at NBC News where I had been employed at three different times in my career. The heat from me as an African writing Jenna drew special attention and curiosity. How could someone like me address President Bush's daughter? So the letter was received by President Bush's Chief of Staff Freddy Ford.
After learning of Ed Gillespie's crimes, I received this email from Freddy at 11:14 am on February 7, 2019: Dear Mr. Mwine: On behalf of President George W. Bush, thank you for your correspondence. We appreciated the opportunity to review the materials you sent and can understand your frustrations with these circumstances. Regrettably, we are not in a position to assist with this matter. Thank you for your understanding. President Bush sends his best wishes. Sincerely, Freddy Ford, Chief of Staff.
This was an important intersection for President Bush to see how African-American Conservatives were treated during his years at the White House. My insights likely shocked President Bush, but he had to know the truth. For Freddy, this was far worse because he had to come into some news about blatant discrimination under his boss' administration.
In terms of diversity, I have been lucky to have mentors like George Swales, who I met at St. Augustine Black Catholic Church in Washington D.C. This goes as far back as 1996. George is a unique African-American man who is deeply religious and exceptionally sound in mind. So these encounters provided me a model to work towards and with George, the bar is high. Diversity really means listening to all voices.
I have also been blessed to meet people like Stella. She wrote this piece on diversity and hiring. It was groundbreaking, but again she probably got a lot of hate mail. I found her findings worth mentioning in my journey. I also found it amazing that she survived domestic violence, something I got to learn more about through her posts. I have never hit a woman or girlfriend, so this was a new area to explore and understand.
Dr. Knight: Your career in television news with the late columnist Carl Rowan as you delved into national politics. How did that fit into your mission as a writer and producer?
Mr. Mwine: Carl Rowan was a real renegade and trailblazer for African-American men like me. He faced high criticism from the late Charles Krauthammer. They both appeared on W-USA's political show Inside Washington. I was on the set and could see Charles staring at me. Much later, after Carl had passed, I was invited to appear on Sky News during the Wall Street Journal Future of Finance. In the Fox News makeup room, I saw Charles and could see he was horrified to see me going on air.
This is a very important measure of what we are seeing with this Black Lives Matter movement. Why was my commenting on the conference a threat to Charles? Carl warned me about this. He noted that the Raid on Entebbe, which happened in Uganda, where my family is from, would be an issue for Jews in America. Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu's brother, Yonatan, died during the raid.
So as I bounced around the television news world, I saw this play out with different Jewish bosses, who I could see controlled the newsrooms. Carl had warned me about this that they could literally blame for the raid even though I was six years old living in Virginia. Carl was right. In 2001, I would be confronted by Bibi and his security team. I was a reporter and copy editor at United Press International and walking back to their offices when Bibi and his security team surrounded me with hands-on their guns.
Bibi would pull at my credentials around my neck and ask, “What part of Uganda are you from?” The soldiers that killed his brother in the shoot out were from Northern Uganda. I told him I was from the West, but also mentioned I was born in America. They moved on but it was a chilling moment and again had some elements of Black Lives Matter. As a U.S. citizen, a prime minister of another country had detained me less than 200 yards from the White House.
Dr. Knight: You moved into television commentary. What did this add to your career?
Mr. Mwine: Television, and in particular my Sirius XM Radio interviews, provided a great platform to get my name and appearance out there. Winning public opinion is not a given for an African-American man, as Carl and George had taught me. The Sky Interview taught me to focus my eyes on the camera despite the heavy sun that hit my face from the Fox News rooftop. Being in that building was a reminder of how far I had come to comment on news of the day. Reaching 91 markets with the National Examiner was helpful, but then abruptly, the National Examiner took my gallery of work down. They said my Obama coverage was outdated. The Obama presidency was not outdated.
Dr. Knight: You had a series of letters published in USA Today that were mostly on race relations. You have surrounded yourself with people who are able to network effectively. Could you tell us about your investment in issues of race relations?
Mr. Mwine: I had been a long hard road, Eileen. Every time I publish a story on race and injustice for people of color, there is a backlash. The White Supremacists came after me for the Fair Observer piece. They posted pictures of me that I knew were not on social media. White Supremacist Richard Spencer lives in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. I had gone there to share my published story with a friend. On the street where he lives, I was confronted by his security team. I was also alarmed to see the Alexandria City Police protecting Richard as if I were a threat to his personal safety. Remember, I am a professional journalist and not Antifa.
During my time at the White House, I met many journalists who made my platform look like a 25c kiddie ride at the local grocery store. Radio personality Bill Press announced in the White House briefing room that I was, “the next generation of Civil Rights Leaders.” This was amazing and humbling, especially because Al Sharpton had been moonlighting at our briefings and trying to push his way into Obama's circles. Sharpton often asked me what my questions would be at the briefing.
I was again forced to look back at the mentors who had carved me into a well oiled civil rights machine. Remember too, there was a lot of money that paid for my coverage of President Obama. $75,000 was donated into my housing, travel, and materials to do my stories over 2 ½ years. I must also mention Civil Rights giant Julian Bond. He and I were in touch via email and by phone for years. His efforts to connect me to civil rights leaders at the NAACP was important. Bond pushed me in the right direction and that was important.
Dr. Knight: Could you please tell us what it was like to cover the 2008 presidential campaign?
Mr. Mwine: I had a Dell computer provided by my friend Adam Shorter. My computer was routinely slammed by security people when I was entering media tents. I was shocked that it survived but recently died 4 months ago. As a writer, losing your computer is like burying a life long relative. Everything I had done in my career, led me to the 2008 coverage. It was an amazing time with the stock market crash and Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. I was younger and faster, reading 3 books a month for a year about world leaders to prepare for my potential to cover Obama's White House. Sometimes covering the campaign, I would be trying to get closer to Joe Biden, but security physically pushes me away while other white journalists were allowed to get near him.
Dr. Knight: You covered the Obama White House 2009-2012 and wrote for various news magazines. What was significant to you at this time?
Mr. Mwine: I felt Obama was attacked, even literally with people jumping the fence at the White House and death threats. Trump has not had people shooting at the White House like when Obama was in office. I did a five-part series about Michelle. We stood together not too far, but there was a rope, and I was told I could not be photographed with her. This was remarkable but also demonstrated that she was protected from me as if I was someone who could instantly hurt her reputation. Again, we are talking about Black Lives Matter, where my face is a warning sign.
I never met Barack Obama, despite being in the third row of his national press conference. So there was some injustice going on, but I had courage. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was on my case. I could see him look at me with anger. But why? We had no history so there was no point of reference to something I had done to him. Every day Rahm saw me on the White House grounds, he would turn around and walk the other direction. Again we are back to what Carl said by virtue of being born to Ugandan parents, I was targeted and my access to the Obama's limited. This was a special kind of baseless injustice that was a hard reality to accept or even embrace as I was completely innocent.
Dr. Knight: CBS Correspondent Bill Plante says, “Mr. Mwine has written extensively on the political and social impact of the race question in contemporary life.” Could you expand on this statement?
Mr. Mwine: Well, I had my pieces that touched on these points. As a Ugandan-American, I was shielded both by family origin but also by growing up in a nice home in Burke, Virginia. A big part of Black Lives Matter is the system that prevents African-Americans from living in safe, secure homes in crimeless neighborhood. This is a big problem, African-Americans living in a middle to upper-class neighborhood, especially for the likes of social engineers like Ed Gillespie. Ed would stand directly in my way from being a homeowner as this interview further reveals. So essentially, I had a secured upbringing which gave me a foundation that most inner-city African-Americans never see. There are no jobs in America's inner city projects, but the prosperity of drugs and crime flourish. My chances of being a victim or participant in crime did not really exist in the tranquility of Burke, Virginia.
In 2019, I spoke to students at Baltimore's Kipp Academy. In Baltimore, Maryland, teens are having 1,000 babies a year. This creates an entire generation of kids having kids. I spoke to this classroom and covered dietary issues, life goals, respecting authority and public behavior. I saw an important opportunity not to talk about my career in journalism, but instead focus on public behavior and attending college. My speech was well received.
I was then asked to re-broadcast it to seven Baltimore High Schools. This is an important subject as over 2,700 Baltimore teens have been arrested in 2019 alone. Baltimore Schools CEO Sonja Santelises stood in the gap of me reaching the other students. It was impossible to reach her directly because she is too important. Sonja now commands a salary of $315,000 a year. This kind of salary has Sonja living in a different world, meanwhile, all the kids in her system are left behind. After several attempts to give my speech in her system, I gave up, for now.
Dr. Knight: You have been interviewed on many radio stations. What has this added to your career?’
Mr. Mwine: It is all about credibility. Journalists need to be visible to the public and XM Radio gave me that. Those live interviews changed my life and allowed the entire country and world to hear my perspective. The interview about Trayvon Martin was groundbreaking. If you listen to it, that was a real dog fight with Tim Farley. I was well prepared as my notes demonstrated. Also, my IT friend made all of the YouTube links. This was important to have them readily available for the public. Ultimately, you don't want to do your own publicity. It is better for others to recognize you like Profiles in Catholicism has done for me. I am humbled and grateful, but also eager to share my perspectives and experience for the next generation.
Dr. Knight: What are some of your hopes for race relations of the future so that we can heal as a country?
Mr. Mwine: This is a challenging question to answer Eileen. I have witnessed many atrocities during this Trump Administration. I have lost two of my best friends to this White Supremacist movement that follows Trump. In both cases, my friends (who I will call Tom and Jason to conceal their real identity) I knew for over 20 years, had not never mentioned Donald Trump before he was elected. But seemingly after the election, they both jumped on the bandwagon.
Tom and Jason would watch Fox News daily for at least 4 hours a day.
Then, they watched Fox News all day on Saturday and Sunday. Both friends started complaining to me that they felt like they were being victimized by society as a white male. Suddenly, Tom was saying that he was a born again Christian but declined to join a church. In both Tom and Jason, they had experienced DUI's and abortions. Like a fever, Tom and Jason were badgering me about the Latino population and how they were ruining America.
The irony was our other best friend was Latino and Tom had known him for years before me. When I got my stimulus check after Covid-19, Jason called me to say that, “Trump personally signed my check.” The implication was clear that he was trying to credit Trump, but his next statement baffled me. Tom said, “Trump personally paid you out of his own money.” Soon after that, I had to end our friendship. It was a daily barrage of insults and other crazy conclusions that made no sense.
Jason was from Northern Maryland, which still has an active KKK. To my knowledge, I was Jason's only best African-American friend. As Donald Trump's presidency started, Jason started criticizing African-American people to me. The many examples he gave me, let me know he was also associating me with them. Jason was also an Alex Jones fanatic. Alex, like Charles Johnson, is a conspiracy theorist and social media fan. Jason called me after George Floyd died. Jason then asked me, “Don't you think George Floyd could be alive and living in South Carolina?”
This was my breaking point and I had to end our contact. Jason would repeatedly try and get back in touch, but I avoided those efforts. I still care about Jason, but cannot forget our call during the riots and looting that happened after George Floyd died. Jason called and said, “The government should shoot those black animals who are looting.”
These two incidences are a real measure of where we are in America in terms of race relations. I know that this pattern can simply not change in my lifetime. At 50, I have not had the kind of success in my career to have a wife and family. I hope to buy my first home at this age and that is a measure of what I have had to endure. Also, as noted in my first question, I have acquired these white supremacist enemies for writing about potential African-American leaders.
Ed Gillespie, a former RNC Chairman, was on a collision course with my ideas from 2000 and beyond. I was very active those days in identifying African-American leaders, but Ed did not want them to succeed. Ed went on a path of destruction, literally ruining my life. A good example was when I was working for a law firm in Philadelphia in 2002. I was lured to Washington to have a Presidential Personnel interview where I was made a verbal offer to work in the Department of Defense.
I was excited, but when I finally moved back to D.C., the Office of Presidential Personnel would not take my calls or respond to my emails. I remained unemployed for more than 10 months. By the sixth month, I would receive a call from Katja Bullock, who was the person who interviewed me. Katja was very angry when she told me that my presidential personnel offer was rescinded by Ed Gillespie.
The years that followed remained a challenging time. I did write a number of editorial pieces highlighting Ed's various efforts to upend Black Conservatives. Meanwhile, the same people I wrote about were very aware that I had taken one for the team. My various life challenges were a glaring example of Ed's power trip. In 2005, I was working for a law firm and walking back to my offices when Gillespie and his posse of bodyguards emerged from Ed's offices at Quinn & Gillespie Associates. As this line of men walked by me, one of the bigger guys leaned out and knocked me to the ground with his shoulder. I sat on the pavement, elbow bruised and holding my head which had hit the ground. Gillespie and the other men continued to walk, then looked back and laughed.
During 2007, I had moved to Baltimore from Washington. This was a typical transition for me when things were not working out. I had met Cardinal Keeler in 1993 as a Loyola College undergrad. I was a student leader and had been attending the Mass of our President and my mentor Fr. Sellinger. Cardinal was leading the Mass and we shook hands. So by 2007, I had known Cardinal Keeler for 14 long years.
Then we met in the Baltimore Basilica where Cardinal lived. He would push me to serve as a Eucharistic Minister at the Basilica. Since I had also served at five parishes in similar roles, I did not go through the usual training or even fingerprinting. I would simply show up at the Basilica on Sunday and serve Mass.
This caused something of an uproar in the community surrounding the Basilica. How could I as an African-American know someone as worshiped as Cardinal Keeler? How could I be invited to the rectory for one on one conversations with Cardinal Keeler? The Archdiocese of Baltimore rebuffed my efforts to write Cardinal's biography. I was the wrong color to do this kind of work. That was my impression from the response.
Meanwhile, I would attend Mass at St. Ignatius Church, a short walk from my two-bedroom apartment on St. Paul Street. Cardinal Keeler had recommended me to T-Rowe Price, a financial firm in Baltimore. One of their executives Ted Wiese attended Mass at St. Ignatius. The Jesuits who knew my mentor Father John Brunett were eager for Ted to get me a job too. This all seemed normal, but Wiese was an undercover hater of people of color.
Father Brunett was the first person I met on Loyola's campus in 1991. He asked me to be the first African-American orientation leader soon after. The black and white students had been in separate orientations up to that point. I did a great job of interacting with my Freshman “Shrubs” who were all white. I took especially close care of the girls. I would learn they could be harassed by aggressive white guys. Living off-campus, I would attend classes and then stay on campus for hours to watch over my group of students. They would all graduate. In 1994, Fr. Brunett and I would go to lunch off-campus. It was a rare moment to see him in my car, a Saab Turbo.
In 1994, after my graduation I took Fr. Brunett to the Colannade for lunch. It was very special and my Dad wired me money to cover the meal. I thought of all those late night runs to pick up drunk Shrubs piled in my Saab while Fr. Brunett sat up front in my car for the very first time. Some memories last forever because of the ironies.
This was a regular late night event on Friday and Saturday, which sometimes forced me to wake up at 2 am to pick up my kids at the bar when they called my home number from a payphone. There were no cell phones those days.
Fr. Brunett then gave me his Jesuit Medal. He said it was given to Jesuits for leadership. I wear it still to this day and have not forgotten the 13 years of mentoring. Ted would stare at the Jesuit Medal and attack me after Mass about being “too proud” and as he would say “entitled.” The Jesuits at St. Ignatius really were proud that I was serving at the Basilica, but Ted noticed this and proceeded to become a sharp blunt force object behind the scenes to erode my otherwise excellent relationship with the Maryland Jesuits.
The problem was I had already served at five other Catholic parishes in multiple roles. I had been formerly trained as a Eucharistic Minister by my other mentor, the late Flavian Bonifazi, SAC. Cardinal Keeler knew Fr. Flavian for years. Ted could care less. When I invited Ted to see my nearby spotless apartment draped with Jesuit pictures, he abruptly said "no". Then I noticed something more serious. The Jesuits at St. Ignatius would also refuse to visit my residence. It was important to keep their own narrative about how I lived, with no empirical evidence. Yet, Cardinal Keeler had been there and walked through each room. While Ted could not get in between me and Cardinal Keeler, he did create an environment where Cardinal had to watch me suffer.
My Op-Ed on T-Rowe Price tells the larger story of how Ted used his position at T-Rowe Price to hurt my career and life. Sadly, my service at the Basilica caused a backlash. Cardinal Keeler had promoted me without the archdioceses' approval. I met Cardinal Keeler at my Mentor's funeral in 1993, Loyola legend Fr. Joseph Sellinger, SJ. The Board of Directors for the Basilica were angry about Cardinal's decision and he told me during one of our private meetings in the rectory.
Nearby at St. Ignatius Church, I had acquired new enemies who hated my relationship with Cardinal and me, serving Mass at the Basilica. Ted Wiese of T-Rowe Price led the contingency against me. His co-workers, including President Bill Stromberg, would join Ted to make sure I could not work in Baltimore while serving at the Basilica. When the market crash happened, I faced an eviction in my St. Paul Street apartment. My demise was an ideal scenario for Wiese and his minions. So my mentors mobilized, including Ed Smith, a Baltimore lawyer, and partner of the late Congressman Cummings. Ed and others moved quickly to save me. It took $7,000 of Ed's money to get me to Washington D.C. and out of Ted's trap. I still lost a number of treasures from my late Dad's property in the eviction. Ted hated my Dad because he attended and graduated from Dartmouth College before Ted. Malcolm X had visited Dad at Dartmouth and there was a famous picture that was taken of them together before he was assassinated. The new Obama White House would give me credentials for an unknown African-American publication called, Politicsincolor.com. Those days were hard and my life resembled the thriller movie Enemy of the State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman. Ted's demeanor has an uncanny similarity to the NSA lead sinister character Thomas Reynolds, played by actor Jon Voight. Like Ted, Reynolds would lose it if he did not get his way, both personally and professionally. There were other characters like T-Rowe Price Executive Joe Crumbling who claimed my lack of financial knowledge made me a bad fit for any role at T-Rowe Price.
My response was simple. I had interviewed Larry Summers, Peter Orzag, and Tim Geithner who made up Obama's economic team. I was one of the only African-Americans to be invited to the Peterson Institute of International Economics. These were expensive invite-only lunches with the greatest economic minds in the world and that is when I posed my question to Larry Summers about the bank industry closings. Everyone was surprised to hear my challenging question and of course my command of the language. For T-Rowe Price CEO Bill Stromberg, he had simply never been on the "A" list like the Peterson crowd, but he would never see me in person, despite Cardinal Keeler's strong recommendation.
For my interviews in a small town like Baltimore, I could feel Ted's anger present. Like Obama, my American citizenship was challenged. Being born in Boston and Massachusetts, one of the first U.S. colonies, did not matter. A recruiter asked me, “What is your visa status? If you are illegal, we can't hire you.” My birth in Boston became something of a casual joke during interviews. Then the recruiters asked about my work experience at T-Rowe Price. I had never worked at T-Rowe Price. I had never worked at T-Rowe Price and their firm was not on my resume. Another Baltimore Recruiter asked me, “You were fired from T-Rowe Price, what happened?” To me, that was an indicator of the far reaching defamation that had occurred.
One of the most revealing encounters with Ted and T-Rowe Price recruiters and HR happened through a placement agency Creative Circle. I had interviewed with recruiter Meghan Cashen in person. Naturally, I had never been in the T-Rowe Price building for an interview, despite all their boasting of diversity. Meghan was a nice young white professional woman with roots in the Baltimore area. Meghan said I was a good fit for the T-Rowe Financial writer position, but the overwhelming experience proved just the opposite.
On August 2, 2016, Meghan would send me an e-mail about my communication with Ted Wiese regarding a job they were advertising at Creative Circle. Meghan's e-mail stated verbatim: “Their HR team at T-Rowe reached out to me late last week confused as to why you reached out directly as it put everyone in a bit of an awkward position. On our end, this job is on hold per the HR team on 7/25 so we’re unable to work on it moving forward.” This was a Ted slam dunk and I was out of the running for the job. It was clear Ted was running interference that actually made Creative Circle think twice about placing me. Conveniently, I was to be blamed for the whole episode.
For Ed Gillespie's part, stripping me of the Presidential Appointment came at a huge financial cost. I had already spent thousands on the human capital initiative that Presidential Personnel asked me to create and demonstrate my unique qualifications. I was never compensated for the work that someone else could take credit for. A Presidential appointment in 2002, would pay a minimum of $125,000 and for cabinet-level (as I would have been assigned to work with Donald Rumsfeld at the Dept. of Defense) would pay $145,000. On the lower end, if I had served from 2002-2009 under President George W. Bush, that income would have been $875,000. At the Cabinet level, the combined years would equal $1,015,000. That was a lot of income lost. Remember too, I was working at a Philadelphia law firm and quite happy before Ed plotted to disrupt my life.
Two months before my presidential personal interview, Black Conservative Nic Lott had also been lured back to Washington D.C. for a far more sensitive position working in the White House with Senior Bush Advisor Karl Rove. Like me, Nic was given a verbal offer, then was encouraged to move back to D.C., while the process was completed. Yet, neither of us would be hired and were abandoned and unemployed by the Bush
White House in D.C.
My conclusion was Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie were well aware of both Nic and I being qualified candidates of color and decided to deep six our candidacies in a quiet, but disorganizing way. Luring us out of secure jobs in our respective states was a rather sneaky trick to further disable our otherwise smooth transition into high profile political jobs. Gillespie's plot caused unique hardship and discouragement. Nic and I were at the top of a shortlist of Conservatives of color in the U.S. at that time. There were so few Black Conservatives, less than 10, in my view, who were viable for these highly visible roles. Karl and Ed were sending a strong message to other Black Republicans. There was no doubt that Presidential Personnel Director Dina Powell, who worked closely with Katja Bullock, was in on the devious plan to disrupt our appointments.
We all saw some of this coming. I had received other emails in confidence warning about Ed and his tactics. “PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD, COPY OR DISTRIBUTE TO ANYONE ELSE,” was one headline. My personal favorite came from a female African-American Conservative politico. Her exact words were: “Who are you? What is your name-background-you should be careful-these are nasty nasty people. Trust me on that-they will hurt you. . .” -------------------------- Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld. This warning was factual and prophetic. These are chilling moments and during the appointment process, Nic and I were in touch, because our very lives were at stake. Nic Lott would eventually lose Mississippi's 34 District State Senate seat by just 68 votes in 2007 because of a lack of RNC funding. The larger problem is the GOP was saying publicly that they would support Conservative people of color running for office. This would prove to be another one of Gillespie's lies.
There was one glaring incident with Ed at the RNC. I had been invited three times to give presentations at the RNC. Some of these happen before Ed was appointed. Chairman Marc Racicot had given me a real platform and that had led to my receiving such strong consideration for the presidential appointment. More importantly, Racicot was liked and admired by other Black Conservatives. There would come a time when I was scheduled to meet with Ed when he was chairman. Remember, I had already been to the RNC Chairman's office with Racicot. I sat and waited 1 hour in the lobby, as Ed planned his escape. I had brought 300 pages of documents and profiles of several Black Conservatives eager to serve under the Bush Administration.
Ed failed to show up at his own scheduled meeting. It took me six months, all while I was already unemployed and living in my brother's living room on an inflatable bed, to reach the RNC appointment. At that time, Fr. Brunett was nearly at the end of his life. He called me one evening coughing. He said, “Please come and visit, soon. Hurry Wamara!” This would be our last conversation. I did not have the resources to travel to see Fr. Brunett at a Jesuit infirmary in Philadelphia. Ironically, I could have still been living in Philadelphia and seen Fr. Brunett regularly, but Ed had other nefarious plans for me. In my razor focus for the RNC meeting, I had lost touch with Fr. Brunett as he transitioned to the other side. I would then miss Fr. Brunett's funeral. I would cry every week filled with sadness and guilt for missing the chance to see Fr. Brunett and pay respects for his life at the funeral. I also felt red hot anger towards Gillespie for his interference and wasting all of my time and resources.
Ed Gillespie and Ted Wiese actively discouraged my financial independence with real roadblocks that interrupted my progression and ability to get married, buy a home and have a normal happy existence in America. My American dream had been turned into an American nightmare. Days and months turned to years then a clear decade of harassment and discrimination came into focus.
Ed's callousness in the case of Enron really concerned me and hurt the future of investors in the company, while he profited handsomely. In multi-year fights with these enemies, you can lose hope and even perspective. Ed was the Bull Connor of the GOP. The African-American Conservative Movement would die like George Floyd during Ed Gillespie's era. A number of racists like Laura Ingraham and Rusty Depass would emerge, as a result. Rusty compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla in the zoo.
Years later, Trump has put the icing on the cake by having demonstrative stereotypical minorities like Diamond and Silk in his camp. These two African-American women know nothing of politics except to praise Trump. Even Fox News broke ties with Trump's sad duo. Having any association with these women has its own problems. For former Republican Sophia Nelson, the only way to shield your reputation is to leave it all behind and join the Democrats against racist Republican policies.
Both Conservative and so-called Catholic, Ed and Ted targeted me for destruction as I demonstrated leadership in highly visible roles. When I happen to be African-American and trying to use my intelligence to solve societal problems and this is the result, then we are still in the dark ages.
On July 13, 2020, I was compelled to file a Maryland Peace Order against Ted after he was stalking me at a Baltimore Pratt library event. I was dressed well that day and Ted picked me out of the front rows. He sat behind me and leaned forward to listen in to my discussion with an elderly white woman. As she leaned sideways to hear my talking points, Ted leaned forward in a way that demonstrates that he was brazenly overhearing our conversation while also scribbling notes. I refused to look at him but the older lady did look back at Ed, then touched my hand as I continued.
This look from Ted, I had seen many times before in church. It was an angry look that American Philosopher and Emory Professor George Yancy described in a life and death incident he had with police in a New York Times Op-Ed as the “white gaze.” In the piece, Yancy summarizes his encounter as, “This officer had already inherited those poisonous assumptions and bodily perceptual practices that make up what I call the “white gaze.”
It was not long after the incident at the library with Ted, that I made a hard executive decision. The history with Ted and his siphoning personal information about me from the Jesuits was a major problem. Ted would then use those notes and information to work against my social justice causes and interfere in my personal life. This occurred in multiple occasions and over several years. As a result, I was forced, in haste, to break ties with all Maryland Jesuits and also former President of the Jesuit Colleges and Universities Association Michael Sheeran.
Like Fr. Brown at Loyola, Fr. Sheeran had bailed me out of some housing emergencies that Ted Wiese had caused. It was with great sadness that these friendships would end over Ted's behavior. It was Ted's inability to stay in his own lane and let me live my life that this separation was made. Ted was asking Jesuits about me to find out where I was living and working. My breaking pointing was my weekly trips to physical therapy this spring 2020, when this man appeared to be watching me both in and out of my trips to Washington D.C. from Baltimore.
My Mom taught us early on not to stare at people. This man was trailing me at Union Station and Baltimore Washington Airport MARC Train Station and was bigger in size, more of a Marine look than a civilian. As I caught the circulator bus back, he appeared. I quickly moved in and asked, “Do I know you?” He responded, “Didn't you work at T-Rowe Price?” This same man then darted out of the bus and ran away. These things remain in your mind and can torture your spirit. I mostly pray and take out my frustration on the gym machines and cool down in the steam room and sauna. However, this man, who clearly knew my identity, was watching me closely over state lines. The same man was in a good position to attack me. If he did take my life it is clear that Ted Wiese and Bill Stromberg, without a doubt, would enjoy that result.
The plight of race relations in American has suffered because of this white male fear and fury with educated African-Americans. So the Black Lives Matter is not just about police killing unarmed African-Americans. It is about the top educated African-Americans facing discrimination on the job and hiring process, according to a two-part series in the New York Times. Yoland Young, a Georgetown Law graduate faced a battle with the international law firm Covington and Burling. Unlike my LinkedIn story about T-Rowe Price, Yoland's Huffington Post Op-Ed was a high profile national Op-Ed and direct hit on Covington's segregated system. I identified with Yoland on a personal level as we both had Jesuit Mentors. Her's was Father Robert Drinan S.J, who had served in Congress.
Like me, Yolanda's battle with Covington was a David vs. Goliath legal fight with no winning or settlement. While Ted Wiese defamed my good name to Maryland employers statewide, Yolanda fought valiantly in court but ultimately lost her battle against to a much more well funded legal team. I too had worked, as Yolanda did, at law firms. Those years offered me real income and some semblance of financial security which brought me to a very familiar life of spiritual sanctity and centeredness.
Ed Gillespie and Ted Wiese actively discouraged my financial independence with real roadblocks that interrupted my progression. Months turned to years then a clear decade of harassment came to focus. Ed's callousness in the case of Enron really concerned me and hurt the future of investors in the company, while he profited handsomely. In multi-year fights with these enemies, you can lose hope and even perspective. Ed was the Bull Connor of GOP politics. The African-American Conservative Movement would die like George Floyd during Ed Gillespie's political career as a Republican. From the ashes rose a small cadre of intense and highly visible racists in the GOP. South Carolina Republican Activist Rusty Depass is an excellent example of the monsters Ed created. Rusty publicly compared First Lady Michelle Obama to a gorilla in the zoo.
Black Conservatives like Erika Harold would lose by small margins after being lambasted by GOP officials. Years later, Trump has put the icing on the cake by having demonstrative stereotypical minorities like Diamond and Silk in his camp. These two African-American women know nothing of politics except to praise Trump. Even Fox News broke ties with the Trump's duo. Having any association with these women has its own problems. For former Republican Sophia Nelson, the only way to shield your reputation is to leave it all behind and join the Democrats against racist Republican policies. It was never this bad, except for perhaps the 60's or Ed's years in the White House. When Dina Powell was promoted to a role in the Trump White House, the entire Republican system of evil had come full circle.
Dr. Knight: According to Reuters News, U.S. deaths are expected to double in January 2021 from the Covid virus. That is 410,000 deaths anticipated that could have been avoided with this herbal alternative that is within American's reach. Why pay $100 or more for a vaccine, when the local store or a national chain like Walmart could sell you 30 pills of Ashwagandha for $7.88? Can you explain to us how this new discovery came about?
Mr. Mwine: Yes, Eileen. I think my relationship with Bill Buie was the catalyst. I really love Bill. He is one of my best friends. So when he told me about Ashwagandha, I was intrigued. I felt a responsibility as a Christian and Catholic to share these details with the public. So there are other Christians who count too, even though we are Catholic we must recognize other Christians. They may have other solutions in society. America needs a ton of help in social justice help and we have a heavy responsibility to meet these needs. The spreading of the virus, in my opinion, is just as important and significant as the virus itself. So when I could confirm the ashwagandha could stop it, I was compelled to write about it. By sending the Profiles in Catholicism piece to any number of journalists I know was important. But at this point, no one has put my story front and center also shows there is some corporate conflict of interest. Bill Gates is leading the way. I am disturbed that these corporations are ready to see almost one million deaths by next summer. CNN Health Correspondent Sanjay Gupta is from India, so why would he not know about Ashwagandha? Americans deserve better.