The problem with Calvin Walker is not that he does poor work or good work, or that he’s honest or fraudulent, or whether he over bills or under bids. The problem with Calvin Walker is not that he’s black. It’s not whether he’s a master electrician or just a guy who sticks his tongue into light sockets because he likes the way it tickles. The problem with Calvin Walker isn’t even Calvin Walker.
The problem with Calvin Walker has nothing to do with Calvin Walker. As a man, as an electrician, as a business owner, as a minority and in every other way imaginable, Calvin Walker is completely and inescapably insignificant. He’s window dressing in the corner of a room near a chessboard filled with pieces in a game he neither understands nor notices. He’s not a pawn in a grand game played by masters of strategy. He’s nobody, and his part in the BISD drama could be played by anyone. Because he just doesn’t matter.
No, the problem with Calvin Walker is much simpler. The problem with Calvin Walker is Woodrow Reece. And Janice Brassard. And Zenobia Bush. And Terry Williams. And Gwen Ambres. And Jessie Haynes. And Timothy Chargois.
The problem with Calvin Walker is a royal court of idiots led by a tin-pot dictator in a Frank Sinatra hat. But beneath the quiet voice emanating from a mouth crowned by underachieving facial hair that might’ve been a mustache if only it had tried harder in school, lies the mind of a man with his head so far up his own ass that it’s come back out his neck.
At best, Woodrow Reece is the President of the School Board, which means he’s the one who gets to use the gavel. And that’s about it. It does not make him Lord Protector Of The Realm, His Majesty King Of BISD. It does not give him any authority beyond the bureaucratic duties of running meetings, signing papers and fapping about with his tiny hammer. But in his mind – oh, in the glorious delusions of his fevered, waterheaded mind – he is the father of us all, the giver of law and the punisher of the wicked. He is Zeus. He is Osiris. He is Moses and Jesus and everything in between. And he is a madman.
Because behind the title and the little hammer sits a swivel-eyed lunatic on his throne of delusion, where he rules with a soft voice and an impotent fist. And he thinks - believes - we all respect him. Or that we should. Or at least The Chair, at any rate.
But getting back to the problem with Calvin Walker, it’s important to recognize that the situation is not what the media is telling us, and it’s not what BISD is telling us. It’s nothing to do with what’s right or wrong, or what’s black or white. It’s nothing to do with ancient racial grudges or recent slights. All it is – and write this down so you can remember it later – is the very old story of Those In Power Wanting To Keep Their Power. And what do dictators do when their power is threatened? They assert their inherent rightness, usually by doing something stupid.
But not just normal stupid. No, it has to be stupid on a level that defies comprehension. When threatened, they must assert their power by doing exactly what everyone – including them – knows they shouldn’t do. Because it’s stupid.
And that’s exactly why they must do it, because they know it’s stupid and they know that you know it’s stupid, but what they need you to know is that they’re in charge. And nobody is going to push them around, least of all an unwashed horde of…the People.
And that is the problem with Calvin Walker. See, he doesn’t matter. He could be an old, fat white plumber for all the significance he plays. Sure, Reece and company exploit the fact that Walker is a black man to ignite racial fires and stir the electorate into a frenzy, pitting whites against blacks, Us against Them, Democrats against Republicans, Toilet Paper Under People against Toilet Paper Over People. The list goes on. It’s theater. A distraction. Something to keep people’s minds off the facts, the reality and the truth.
And the truth is Woodrow Reece knows that, regardless of whatever way he spins Calvin Walker’s plea deal and whatever technicality he uses to rationalize Walker’s guilt, the man should not continue to work for the school district. Reece knows this. Bush knows this. Williams knows this. Brassard and Ambres and Haynes and Chargois know this. And they know that we know this. And that’s exactly why they must keep him. Because to admit fault, to allow the People to have a voice with the ability to directly influence district policy would be to abdicate their absolute authority to the democratic process. This is not something that dictators do.
This is the great unspoken truth of the problem with Calvin Walker. It is nothing more than a symptom of the disease of corruption that has permeated this school board and continues to trickle down through the BISD administration every day. The Powers That Be are manipulating their constituents into believing much more is at stake than the simple truth: that they think they’re better than you. The board is at a leadership conference right now, to learn how to better lead us, the people. But this is America. We elect public servants to represent us, not tie a leash around our necks and lead us where they think we should go.
So let Reece flail his hammer around and threaten every voice of dissent. This is what dictators do. But do you know what the greatest thing about dictators is?