The curious case of Dorothy Tillman and an intern with an opinion

Wait your turn young fella!

How old are you??

You young people just don’t get it.

At some point in our lives someone a person in a position of authority told us one of the aforementioned phrases.

How did it make you feel?

Did you feel like that person was undermining your efforts?

I bet you probably said “When are they going to step out of the way and pass me the torch?”

The incident during the Perri Small show yesterday in the studio at WVON was disheartening on so many levels.

On Wednesday night Minister Louis Farrakhan and members of the Nation of Islam  walked through the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood hoping to stop the random shootings .

The next day on the show, a question was raised: Is the Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam still relevant in the community?

Media Intern and occasional on-air contributor Aven Deese believes that the Nation of Islam no longer resonates with the community.

Former 3rd ward Alderman Dorothy Tillman got wind of Aven’s statements regarding the relevance of the NOI.

Tillman came into the studio to tell Aven that she disagreed with his statements.

From all reports, a verbal disagreement ensued.

Former Alderman Tillman hosts a weekend show at WVON called Coffee, Tea & Conversation with Dorothy Tillman.  

Tillman’s accolades are well known (Being instrumental in getting the city’s first black mayor Harold Washington).

Also, her missteps are well-documented (click here to see).

In 2007, more than half of the 3rd ward residents thought that Tillman should no longer be their Alderman. Many felt that she was out of touch with reality.

As I have gotten older, I have realized that the people who have been in leadership positions for decades have a hard time letting go. They are also reluctant to let younger generation to take the helm.

Remember when most of the long-time civil rights leaders (I don’t need to name names since we know who they were) initially backed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama?

The long-time leaders in our communities need to realize that the new generation of leaders will not wait to be told that they can lead. They will take these leadership positions however they see fit.

Like Tillman and the other people from a previous era in our community, my generation has their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

My generation should not be dismissed because of our youth.

Our generation is smart, educated, and tech savvy.

I honestly thought about writing a blog chiding the former Alderman for what she did.

I thought better of that idea because I did not want to play into the hands of the people from the previous generation who would have no problem reading me the “Young people are so disrespectful” riot act.

Aven isn’t one of the Fast Eddie’s (Burke and Vrdolyak). He is a person with an opinion.

I am not sure why former Alderman Tillman treated him as such.

He only said something that most in our peer group already believe.

Contrary to popular belief, my generation has no problem taking advice from our predecessors.

We welcome it. We’re going to need it at some point.

We draw the line when we feel that we are being undermined.

Dorothy Tillman has a weekend show on WVON. Let’s see if she invites Aven over for tea and coffee.



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  • -when your comment screen first hit my eyes, I said aaaah, this person has something to say, so I read on, and I read on, and after awhile I realized that this was a nothing article, you really didn't have anything important to say!! Next time try to" knock it out of the ball park" so to say!! It seemed Aven Deese had something to say, but it came out sounding shallow. It seemed Dorothy Tillman had something to say, but you didn't expound on it!! Maybe your blog size constraints, rendered your opinion blast down to the size of a one handed clap!

  • Thanks for reading!!!

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    I won't comment on the informational content of your post, because I cannot speak intelligently when I know nothing about the characters involved. However, you mention that your generation is smart, educated, and tech savvy. In the most tactful way possible, allow me to encourage you that the quality of your writing in a public blog will go a long way toward either supporting or contradicting that statement. This particular piece, (and I have read no others you have authored), is fraught with grammatical and syntactical errors. Nothing major to be sure, but there are numerous places where you have blended tense and misconstrued punctuation.

    If you want to be taken seriously by those who are serious, you might want to put a bit more effort into editing your writing or asking someone else to lend you a hand in that process. Your opinions will project more credibility with a wider, educated audience.

  • In reply to Scott Sipe:

    I had the same thoughts you expressed, Scott. I'm something of a tweener at 40 years old but find myself empathizing with Baby Boomers more and more when those who are younger than I consistently fail to express themselves in a way that allows them to be taken seriously.

  • In reply to KatcherNTheRye:

    You can't put us all in one group.

  • In reply to KatcherNTheRye:

    By saying that you justified everything I said. Who is really responsible for such a wide generation gap?

  • In reply to Scott Sipe:

    Thanks for reading. Yeah I'm working on that. I've come a way even though I'm still a work in progress.

  • In reply to Evan Moore:

    --wait ---let me get this straight--your a "freelance journalist"??
    A journalist--and your are "working on that"?? sheeesh!!
    If your good then you don't have to apologize to anyone!!
    But if you are "STILL a work in progress"--then heaven help us!!

  • In reply to norm20:

    Yeah heaven should help you. There will be more blogs to come.

  • How can any group who visibly steps out and speaks out against the senseless killings be considered irrelevant?

  • In reply to jkatze:

    Well most in the community aren't really sure what the Nation of Islam does exactly. The younger generation only knows them from selling their newspaper at the stop light.

  • I'm bored with the "relevant" discussion that black folks have because it's usually much ado about armchair quarterbacking. It's also indicative of a lack of appreciation for patience and process. In the meantime, who among those who dismiss people such and Minister Farrakhan and Rev. Jackson as irrelevant is doing anything meaningful and constructive?

    I tend to be leery of Farrakhan because I believe he's a dyed-in-the-wool racist, but if he's doing something other than pontificating to try and stop the murders that have turned black communities into kill zones, he's relevant. Dorothy Tillman isn't the best person to make that case because while she was relevant at one time she was also a Chicago-style pol who steered business and building permits to family and friends.

    Young people who want a seat at the table of influence and power have a golden opportunity sitting right before their eyes. Calling those who, their flaws notwithstanding, have paid their dues irrelevant isn't the way to claim it.

  • In reply to KatcherNTheRye:

    Thanks for reading. See that is what I mean by the riot act read by those folks. They are quick to remind us about the old days. That's the generation gap.

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    Thanks Evan for being bold enough to state an obvious problem We have black politicians serving 30 to 50 years in public office, yet, our communities are NOT thriving.

    Can you count how many black elected officials have gone to prison for stupid stuff?

    Don't give up. But as JR Ewing once said, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer".

  • Thanks for reading. And that's true by the way. These people need to realize that no one is going to kiss there ass because of who they think they are.

  • I listened to that show when Aven made the comment with Matt. I understand exactly would he said and I agree. I see the FOI selling Final Call and Bean Pies on the westside and that is all that I see. I do not see workshops on teaching young men how to create their own legal business as opposed to the illegal ones, job training, etc. Many of WVON’s listeners felt personally insulted by his comment. However most of those listeners are predominately older in age. I am on the other hand am not. I believe that Aven was attempting to say that since the Million Man March the FOI have not had any significant impact on the African American communities which is absolutely true on all levels. Considering that FOI home-base is Chicago it is sad that they do not have a stronger presence. Aven’s comment was not an insult to Farrakkan. Concerning the above comment about Jesse Jackson, I would say that he is even more irrelevant than any person or organization that exists. And again, for some older African-Americans JJ is a “god-sent” and is placed on a pestal made of gold. Give me a break. Dorothy action’s was out of control just like her mouth. She had no place entering the studio because she did not like a comment. How would she have liked it if Aven did the same thing on her show? Continue to work on your journalism skills and keep on keeping on. See at the Taste Evan

  • In reply to sjfin:

    Thanks for reading and for seeing the true meaning of my post.

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    "I honestly thought about writing a blog chiding the former Alderman for what she did.

    I thought better of that idea..."
    - Evan Moore

    If this isn't "chiding," then I'm not sure what is.

    As for "the people from the previous generation" ... "reading (you) the 'Young people are so disrespectful' riot act," get off your high horse, Evan. This isn't the New York Times. This is one of billions of blogs that no one from "the previous generation" will ever read because it doesn't leave ink stains on finger tips.

  • In reply to Jorge Johnson:

    Thanks for reading and also proving my point.

  • To really understand what makes the former alderman tick you should read the following. Enough said:

    Oh yeah--the staff at the herald won the prestigious George Polk Award for Investigative reporting for the series:

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