The Search for COMMON GROUND eps. iii The Boogeyman Theory

The Boogeyman Theory

Goodnight. Don’t let the boogeyman bite. – Kate Danley, Maggie for Hire


from San Diego, 
Slightly Stoopid with No Cocaine


1692, Salem Massachusetts

In 1692, the town of Salem, Massachusetts was overwhelmed from one of the most infamous cases of mass hysteria in recorded history. Pinpointing the exact cause, leading to such a bewildering effect, is a task that historians still debate. A family feud, a beggar woman, pirates, and an unsanctioned government, seem to have set the stage, in what would become an out of control, game of death. The first domino fell when four young girls became violently ill. Rather than investigating the nature of the outbreak, or questioning a possible ruse (one of the sick girls was a part of the family, feuding with the family of one of the accused), instead they would buy into The Boogeyman Theory, which led to the arrest of three women, who were all charged with witchcraft.

During the 17th century, belief in the supernatural was not uncommon, making the initial accusation understandable when put into context. When word of the arrest spread however, the opposite happened of what a reasonable community would anticipate: the nonsensical Boogeyman Theory became a hit and soon it was law of the land. The townsfolk of Salem, not only believed the jailed women were witches, but they convinced themselves – that their friends, families and neighbors –  were all witches too.

The unfounded accusations, morphed into a ‘we believe anything and everything’ mindset, producing a lynch-mob mentality, whose thirst could only be clinched by a blood-let. Witch testing consisted of tying the accused to a ladder and dunking them in and out of a body of water. If they survived, then they were witches and burned at the stake. But none would survive… because the boogeyman does not exist.


The Search for Common Ground
Produced & Developed by Kendall F. Person
all things COMMON GROUND

The 2nd Question

From actual experience, has their been a time that you have heard false information and addressed a person’s unwarranted fears about a demographic different than you?

If not, over the years, have any of your views changed in a positive way about a demographic different than you? You can note a specific experience or in general, based on acquired knowledge.


Ryan Black


I write to you from somewhere on a dark highway in New Mexico. I am currently on a move back to Indiana from Phoenix, so this answer comes via mobile.

One of the best forums I had this year for political discussion was found in a very unlikely place: fantasy football. My dynasty league has existed with the same group of guys for 5 years or so. We have an intensely active Facebook group where the entire league communicates on a daily basis. It’s fun, and has never caused too many problems… until this year.

Many members of the league came out strongly in favor of Trump. One member of the league must have felt legitimized, because before long, he started casually using the n-word in posts and comments. He used it aggressively and occasionally with an -er suffix. He would post things about Mexicans ruining the country and maintained that trumps words couldn’t possibly affect anyone.

Me and another league member continuously called him out on the racism and misleading articles , but the rest of the league didn’t seem to mind him. We called him racist, and he called us stupid. It got so bad that after a one-hundred-comment thread, I sent him a 1-page essay on a prompt that he asked me to answer: why does racism make me dumb?

The question blew my mind. He had taken a perspective that I had never imagined. He looked at racism as simply a label put on “smart people with common sense”.

My essay answer to the unbelievable prompt included historical facts related to policing, the school to prison pipeline, legal housing discrimination throughout the 60s, No Child Left Behind, and more.

I was respectful and thought I had maybe taught him something… I was wrong.

He not only responded, he rebutted.

He went full on white nationalist on me and it scared me.

I tried to attack racism head on. It didn’t work. But I did learn something. For some whites in the Midwest, the word “racist” isn’t powerful. Not only that, they shut off all ability to learn once the word is used.

My new strategy is to be much more passive. Instead of calling him racist, I suggest new perspectives, humanize people in YouTube videos that are posted, talk about the plague of mental health problems, or suggest ways cops could have dealt with a situation differently.

The relationship has improved, which is good. I think I’ve made a little progress with him too. Either way, next Sunday I’ll most likely be watching football with him and the rest of the league .

I’ll be with a man whose views I despise. And we’ll have a beer together. And we’ll watch football. And it will be okay.- Ryan Black THE 2020 PROGRESSIVE


Lisa Troedson

tenacity goddess

I want to make one point crystal clear before I get into the meat of this subject. Not one single demographic including mine, which happens to be white, is at all whatsoever exempt from any prejudices period. I will also say that clinging forthright to stereotypes are precedent to what fills our heads with cajolements in which a certain demographic “typically” has been or still is. I have witnessed on more than one occasion that blacks in particular have always placed more judgment on whites than on the flip side. They play the race card many times over and have been for years. It is simply my open and honest opinion from what I have personally experienced in my 40 some years of living this life on planet earth. Please don’t misconstrue my thoughts or words here. I am just saying it like it is in my eyes then and now. All I am telling you is that I don’t and won’t let any demographics color my perceptions of anyone.

Black men and PoliceHave my views changed? No. I will say that over the years I have become so much more open minded to actually hearing and seeing every angle spun that there is in the given situation at hand before I will say anything negative. For that matter positive as well. I tend to often look for the positives anywhere I can. Even if it is the slightest chance I could possibly find to out weigh the negative input. To whereas before, in my younger years when I thought I knew everything, I didn’t have an open mind. My heart wasn’t fully open and I’m not reluctantly being true to you or myself either. I mean what I say. Part of the reason being is because my dad was a deputy sheriff for 23 years. He worked for a county that was predominately black. Now, with that being said, I am not saying that all blacks are bad.

I will tell you that my dad being in the line of fire has had a huge impact and affect directly on me. Right or wrong that’s my stand. My dad took an oath.

It’s the OATH OF HONOR and it states:

“On my honor, I will never betray my profession, my integrity, character, or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the laws of my country, my community, and the agency I serve.”

He had a job to do no matter what the price amounted to in order to get paid so that he could support his family. I was so fucking scared one day my daddy wasn’t going to come home because of all the bad people in the streets and jail surrounding him everyday. There were traffic stops. The streets were hardcore, lined with drugs and violence was everywhere in between.

I’m 100% sure that my dad didn’t really want to be in most of those types of places even with a badge, gun and protection. And, I only knew a tidbit of the things my dad had to endure as a man, husband, father and the career that he worked so hard to make. He was faced with split second decisions that may or may not have cost him his own life. But he never knew ahead of time what way it would turn until the moment he was in it.

He spent 23 years putting his life on the line to serve and protect all demographics alike and for that alone, my views will never change. – Lisa Troedson, tenacity goddess


Michael Og Law

Og Law

I have been forced on numerous occasions to represent God as He feels about Homosexuality. So many spiritual leaders have made it seem as if God hates THEM and not the sin, when in fact, I can prove that the reason why He hates the sin is because He loves them. God said, any tree that does not bare fruit will be thrown out and cast into the fire. In short, any person who chooses not to reproduce will be allowed to follow their passion. The price to pay for that decision is the inability to step into the future. In Jude, the place reserved for those who are controlled by their lust, following strange flesh, is ETERNAL DARKNESS. Is that hateful or truth based upon the decisions of the people in question? No, just straight facts.Michael OG Law TaBon

God planted a family tree, we are all leaves on the tree, if a branch does not bare fruit in its season, produce children before the biological clock stops ticking, that branch is dead. It loses its ability to exist by default of the decision. Each sperm is a potential person who could fix the world. What if Mary was gay? Abraham? When people choose to homosexuality as a lifestyle, they are refusing to allow themselves to step into Gods tomorrow’s. God love us so much he wants to see us again and again, it hurts me that I will never have nieces and nephews by my sister, my children will never know what it’s like to have cousins to grow up with. I love my sister so much it saddens me that there will never be another like her.

Her bloodline will be extinct, BECAUSE of her choice. God gave her the will to choose, I don’t hate her, just disappointed. God doesn’t hate Homosexuals, He is just disappointed that you choose eternal darkness (end of life of a bloodline) over eternal life (natural reproduction). Love y’all – ALL OF GODS PEOPLE, OG Law

I pray my words are taken in proper context – Michael OG Law Tabon


Mac Aguilar

Mac Aguilar

While attending Grant High School I was on more than one occasion looked down upon by the parents of girls I dated, one being Bishop Monogue and other schools. I had to explain that I chose that school over Christian Brothers and Norte and that I didn’t live in Del Paso Heights. Now I didn’t realize what I had done until I dated a girl from Burbank’s Cheer-leading group and there wasn’t a problem with my school but there was because I was Mexican.

I also need to state that I was judged with a reverse racial opinion to me being Mexican and that to didn’t feel good. The white girl I dated from Bishop, her father was also racist, or back in our day it was said they just wanted their kids to be with their own nationality.

I had two lessons, one is I was judged on where I went to school and the other because I was Mexican dating a black girl. That is something I learned to deal with over my four years of high school and in looking back it was a horrible feeling but I also shouldn’t have explained that I was from the other side of the tracks, because I was basically doing the same thing.  Its not where you live, but how you live. We shouldn’t judge or be judged as kids where our parents could afford housing but how we carry ourselves in where we are at. – Mac Aguilar


Lawrence Pierce III

Lawrence Pierce III

I count myself fortunate to not have had to defend a certain demographic group from discrimination. Given that I live in Alabama, many people consider most southerners to be sort of racist or stereotypical towards the African American community. From personal experience I can tell you that as a general rule in this modern day society, I rarely hear anyone make any negative comments towards that minority group. Certainly no one I am associated with has done so and I am grateful for that. With that in mind, to answer the question I would start by saying that when I was younger I did not know many African Americans.

Around the time I hit my late teens until now though, I’ve become acquainted with many and some I consider to be some of my greatest friends. I work for a Coca Cola warehouse and manufacturing plant in Mobile. I am the only white person on my shift, and I have to say that I never really felt on uncomfortable or different about my job in that regard. We share a lot of the same interests in sports, music, and religion especially. In fact, we work really well together and are all great friends. In high school, I went to a boarding school and many of my friends were African Americans and we had a wonderful time and I consider them to be lifelong friends.

So to summarize, I have gone from a point in life where I did not know much about a demographic like being African American, to really having a tremendously positive attitude towards these people. – Lawrence Pierce III


Joe Flower

Joe & Harmony

I was standing at a bus stop in Sydney when I heard a man’s voice behind me ask, “When’s the next bus, Miss?”

I turned around to see a thirty something Australian guy in a casual business suit. The smile quickly ran away from his face when he saw I was a guy too. “About 5 minutes,” I said.

“Sorry, mate, it’s your long hair, I thought you was a girl.”

I shrugged. “Cool man…”

His brow knitted. “Are you a Yank?”

“Well, it’s been a long time since Atlanta burned, but yeah,” I confessed, “I’m from California.”

“That accent’s a give-away, but I thought you can’t be a Yank – you’re too skinny.”

“We don’t all weigh 300 pounds,” I smiled.

“So what are you doing down here? Holidays?”

“We’re working actually, making music.”

“Musician are you?”

“Yeah, guitarist.”

“What sort of music do you play?”

“Songs from the 60s.”

“That explains it,” he grinned. “I thought you were going to a fancy dress party as Ozzy Osborne.” My long brown hair had a red bandana tied around the forehead like a headband and I was wearing a tye-dye Byrds T-shirt, John Lennon glasses, black & white flares and the usual jewellery and beads. A normal day for me. “You’re a performer,” he continued, “I thought you had to be – that or a fag.”Joe & Harmony

“I can dig how you might think that.”

“You drink beer?” he asked, apropos of nothing.

“Budweiser, sometimes.”

He curled his lip, “Bud’s a bit soapy….but mate, I’ll drink anything so long as you bastard’s don’t start a world war.”

“Well, I’ll drink to that, man. No one sane in America wants a war. Most American’s actually dig the expression: Hold Your Fire!”

“Yeah, but you have a bit of trouble with “Cease Fire!” don’t you, eh? I mean, I get you’d be into all that peace, free love and mung bean shit? But Woodstock didn’t stop you Yanks land grabbing oil, did it? There’s been a lot of war since Vietnam.”

“Oh, there’s as many good people in The States now trying to stop the military madness as there ever was in the 60s, more in fact.”

An awkward pause followed.

“I’m Joe,” I said.

“Steve, Joe.” We exchanged a serious man hand-shake. “You by yourself? You said WE before…”

“I have a partner – Harmony…”

“Harmony? She a Yank as well?”

I nodded, “LA, Laurel Canyon…you know that place?”

“Isn’t that where Charles Manson lived?”

“Not exactly, more like Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Eagles.”

“You sing Hotel California?”

“No…our thing is 1960 to 1972.”

“Is that when The Beatles broke up?”

“The Beatles broke up in 1970. Nixon was re-elected in 72.”

“You do any Neil Young?”

“We do the “Ohio” song about the shootings at Kent State University…”

“When was that?”

“May 1970, The National Guard shot 4 dead, wounded 9, just kids protesting Nixon bombing Cambodia. Conservatives these days might call them #Snowflakes…”


“Yeah, Special Snowflake Syndrome…the idea that every snowflake is unique, as in these kids think they’re special and their protest just a temper-tantrum…”

“I recon Donald might be a bit of a snowflake, then, eh?”

“Trump’s just the democratic process playing out in real time, that’s all.”

“Your religious nutters are a bit snow-flaky too, and those anti-abortion dick-heads. And the Klan! They like Trump, don’t they? I read on Facebook he was KKK endorsed. And now he’s got the keys to all your nukes.”

“Yes he does.”

“Do you support him?”

“Did I vote for him? No, I voted none of the above. But I do support democracy…even its corruption…ironing out corruption is of itself democratic.”

“Well you sound like a hippy!” Steve smiled. “But you don’t stink like one; are you wearing patchouli?”

“Not all hippies wear patchouli….”

“Hey,” said Steve, leaning in to whisper in a conspiratorial way. “Where do you hide your money from a hippie?”

“Umm…under the soap?” I sighed.

He threw his head back and laughed. “You’ve heard that one?”

“Once or twice. But, I actually dig bathing.”

“You mean skinny dipping…hippies like skinny dipping, right?”

“Not me personally, no, but hey, if that’s yer thing, groovy.”

“You’re stoned now, aren’t yah?”

“No,” I said, noticing my bus approaching.

Steve curled his lip. “A responsible hippy, eh?”

“Anything to crush a stereo-type,” I said. – Joe Flower, Joe & Harmony 


Shirley Newman

Shirley Newman

Shirley's PhotoIn the news every day there are women who have decided for whatever the reason that children were better off out of this world than rather than have them apart of this world they’re minds stop working husband left postpartum depression depression period reality has taken its toll and they “simply” decoded to end it by taking the lives of the children and some say not of their own

Unlike the child these women are still living if you call that living in certain cases these women have altars but nobody tries to understand that part of her leaving now with the aches and pains of that dilemma to deal with the rest of her life there is help out there one should never take a life unless it is to save a life. – Shirley Newman


Jamal Miller

Gays in the Life

Swirl With Me

I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. A place of many religious backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. I was never given an opportunity to experience the other side of The Boogey Man theory – being the feared one – or any type of racism growing up there. From kindergarten through high school, all of my friends varied in culture and background and I continued to seek out diversity in college – Not collecting people based on race, but letting friendships occur naturally, and learning as much about the other individual as I could.

My parents are to thank for this. I’ve always been so open to people, despite having a father that always talked to me about “The White Man.” I get what my father was trying to do. He was only trying to prepare my brother, sister, and I about the ways of the world and how some may view others just because they’re different. My mom didn’t shy away from opportunities to educate us on the topic of race, but my dad was an Army man; so his lessons were always very direct and didn’t give way to softness.

Once I moved out of my Alaskan bubble, I began to notice the things my parents had preached so many times about. “Wow there’s black people up there?… For a black guy, you’re pretty attractive!… Why isn’t there a white entertainment television channel, or white history month?… You speak so well!” I would come to learn that these are called microaggressions. Because I’d had such good experience with a variety of people growing up – experience with people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds – I never reacted negatively to comments or questions like these. It bothered me that my dad was always talking about “the man keeping us down” because I wanted to think so badly that I got to where I was going because of me; not because of anyone else’s views or decisions.  It bothered me because I realized he wasn’t wrong.

My view of white people has changed because I see that they aren’t all my friends. I’ve been “woke” – aware of race relation issues that exists across our nation – for a very long time. An opportunity to educate is always something I take advantage of. I don’t go around marching and protesting – that’s just not my style and I have nothing against it – but I will engage productive conversation if the subject presenting any microaggressions is open:

“There isn’t a white entertainment television channel because all I see as a black man, is white television. BET (black entertainment television) isn’t my favorite channel, but it’s nice to see my race and culture represented on a larger scale. There’s a black history month because all we’ve ever been taught is white history. We’ve never been taught that black lives matter, so all lives will matter once we understand the black and brown ones matter too.”

Moments like those have the potential to broaden a person’s understanding and make them a better person. My view of white people has changed for the better because I see that you have to work for friendships sometimes. It won’t always be easy, but I see that there are people that need people like me – a black, gay man, married to a white man – to help them understand lives beyond their own.
If both parties can work through these conversations, the benefits are beyond worth it. I welcome the challenge and will continue to educate – more than just white people – through my experiences as a double minority in this world.- Jamal Miller, Gays in the Life


Wa'Derrious Sellors

Aim High Universe

Aim High Universe


David Tapscott

David Tapscott

I am afraid i don’t know any better way to answer than this… I was always of the belief that republicans hated democrats and were out to destroy the nation. They are not. While they choose to vote differently they are filled with the same demographic (ages, races, sexual orientations) as democrats all people who just think differently. So i now believe that most republicans are not monsters even though there are a few who may be. – David Tapscott 

The Polls are now open. Please vote for up to 3 demographics that you believe represent the spirit of finding common ground. You are not expected to agree, and may never will. But if they answered the question with honesty and integrity, cast your vote so that they remain in the search.


At Peace with Torment: Elimination Day

7 Comments on “The Search for COMMON GROUND eps. iii The Boogeyman Theory

  1. Pingback: The Warrior Inside | The Neighborhood

  2. Pingback: AT PEACE WITH TORMENT: Elimination Day | The Neighborhood

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  4. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    Tonight’s episode of Common Ground in The Neighborhood. Tonight’s question is: have any of your views changed in a positive way about a demographic different than you? You can note a specific experience or in general, based on acquired knowledge?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa, I desperately hope you see the irony in basically saying, “blacks are always more judgemental”.

    Liked by 1 person

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