There Goes My Social Life

BOOK: There Goes My Social Life
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Copyright © 2016 by Stacey Dash

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, website, or broadcast.

There Goes My Social Life
is a work of nonfiction. Some names and identifying details have been changed.

Regnery® is a registered trademark of Salem Communications Holding Corporation

First e-book edition 2016: ISBN 978-1-62157-431-6

Cataloging-in-Publication data on file with the Library of Congress

Published in the United States by

Regnery Publishing

A Division of Salem Media Group

300 New Jersey Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001

www.Regnery.com

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Books are available in quantity for promotional or premium use. For information on discounts and terms, please visit our website:
www.Regnery.com
.

Distributed to the trade by

Perseus Distribution

250 West 57th Street

New York, NY 10107

To my Uncle Ferdinand and my Grandmother Olga—People who cared for me and encouraged me to go further than I thought possible

CONTENTS

Foreword
by Sean Hannity

Introduction
Starting Out Life in the School of Hard Knocks

One
The Tweet That Changed My Life

Two
The Pretentious Unpretentious

Three
Why Black People Should Vote Republican Every Time

Four
The Voice No One Heard

Five
The Decision Maker

Six
Education, the Great Integrator

Seven
The Power of Family

Eight
Searching for a Fairy Tale

Nine
Life and Death

Ten
Not Really Clueless

Eleven
God's Way

Twelve
You Shall Tweet the Truth, and the Truth Shall Set You Free

Thirteen
Love

Acknowledgments

Notes

I have a fury in me that would lay waste to Hell. I love madly with no bounds. My sorrow runs deeper than the ocean. And . . . that fury gives me strength. That love gives me courage and hope. That sorrow brings me to my knees for wisdom.

—Stacey Dash

I AM!

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows; My friends forsake me like a memory lost: I am the self-consumer of my woes—They rise and vanish in oblivious host, Like shadows in love's frenzied stifled throes And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise, Into the living sea of waking dreams, Where there is neither sense of life or joys, But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems; Even the dearest that I loved the best Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod A place where woman never smiled or wept There to abide with my Creator, God, And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept, Untroubling and untroubled where I lie The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

—John Clare

FOREWORD

BY SEAN HANNITY

I
first met Stacey Dash after she was attacked just for expressing her support for Governor Mitt Romney's presidency. Her grace and class in response to unwarranted attacks really impressed me, and we've been friends ever since!

I knew she wasn't like many of the other conservative women I'd ever met. If you're involved in politics at all—or talking about it, like I am—you know what types of conversations usually come up. People are frustrated with the president, sick of Obamacare, fed up with the IRS scandal, worried about entitlements, scared about the ever-growing national debt, and pretty hopeless about the future of our nation.

That's why Stacey stood out.

Here's a woman who has never had one political science class. She's a half black, half Latino, 100 percent American who grew up in tough circumstances in the South Bronx, unconcerned about politics. This is something people like me have to face: politics is downstream from most people's normal lives.

That's why I love
There Goes My Social Life
. It is not a political treatise or a rant. It's just a story.

Her story is probably your story. No, you may not have been abandoned as a young child or ended up in a gang—yes, you read that correctly—but you probably have faced your own set of challenges and have found yourself disillusioned with the way the world works. Instead of looking to the government to help her get her footing, she got a job. You probably know by now that her job was acting and included being able to work with Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and Alicia Silverstone in the most iconic movie of the nineties.

But Stacey Dash is not Clueless. She began making observations about her country and politics that you may have also felt. Why is everything suddenly about race, when we are supposed to have been ushered into a post-racial world by this president? Why do a majority of black Americans vote for a party that seems to thwart their success? Why would society tell a black American woman to shut up just because she tweeted out support for a presidential candidate who wasn't a Democrat—which Stacey had the gall to do.

If you are a fan of the movie
Clueless
, I guarantee you this is not like any other Hollywood tale you've read. If you are a fan of Fox News, I guarantee you this is not like any political book you've read.

Ultimately, this is not a political or a Hollywood story, but is instead one woman's triumph over adversity through hard-earned conservative principles and a merciful faith.

Enjoy!

INTRODUCTION

STARTING OUT LIFE IN THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS

I
was three years old when I saw my first dead body.

I was walking to preschool—alone—looking to my left and right as I tried to make my way to the dilapidated building that housed my early education.

A
,
B
,
C
,
D
. . . the teacher would say in a sing-songy voice.
Red
,
yellow
,
blue
.

I loved school—the crayons, the carpet squares, the plastic scissors with blunt tips—but I had to get there first.

It was a short walk, maybe five blocks, past the once elegant buildings that had long been abandoned, re-inhabited by squatters, and turned into shooting galleries. I didn't know what drugs were at the time, though they were all around me. In fact, it was drugs that had caused my parents—heroin and cocaine addicts—to leave me with another family who let me live with them for a few years. They gave me food and shelter, but did little else to protect me from the harsh realities of our neighborhood.

That's why I was meandering to school on my own that crisp autumn day. I looked up into the sky, above a building that had holes in the walls and boards where windows used to be. But when I got to an intersection, I happened to look down on the sidewalk, where I saw a boy, just a teenager, stuffed under a car.

I looked more closely.

His eyelids were open, and I glanced—just for a second—into his sightless eyes. I wished I hadn't. A chill ran over me. It was as if he was staring right at me. Brown skin, beautiful face, a short afro. Handsome.

Instead of running, I slowed my pace. The rest of the way to school I walked deliberately, past people still passed out from the night before, by a group of dogs who'd tipped over a garbage can, and over the filth of the streets that had accumulated for years. There was no reason to run, because there was nowhere to run. The air smelled vaguely like the unquenchable fires that were always burning because of arson, faulty wiring, and broken fire hydrants. In my entire time in that neighborhood I never—not even once—saw a police officer on my block.

The South Bronx would teach me many lessons that would shape the rest of my life—my relationships, my politics, and even my faith. My friends were the hustlers, hookers, and gang members who struggled in the face of futility, who sold drugs instead of living on food stamps, who settled matters with fists, knives, and guns because it seemed their only option, who stood tall against broken promises, who chose to be mad rather than sad. Some died violently, some rose above it, most muddled through life with dashed dreams thinly veiled by bravado and pride.

Their story is my story.

It's hard for some to imagine that a Fox News contributor, a—gasp!—Republican could come out of such circumstances. But what I've found is this. The school of hard knocks tends to teach you lessons in conservatism. As Irving Kristol famously said, a new conservative is just “a liberal who has been mugged by reality.”

Well, over the course of my life, I've been mugged a lot.

I never went to college and couldn't tell you about the philosophy of Edmund Burke. But I have seen—over and over and over—the way liberal policies and conservative principles play out in the real, unforgiving world.

In a way, I wanted to write a book to bear witness to my neighborhood, to my friends who've died, to my family members who've been put in jail, to my buddies who never could quite fight their way out of the tragically flawed system that is derisively called “the ghetto.”

There is a better way. Black people have the chance, the abilities, and the responsibility to take advantage of the amazing opportunities afforded by this nation.

That's why I'm telling my story. Amidst all the heated racial rhetoric and the divisive language that flows from the television, the Internet, self-appointed black spokespeople, and even our president, I want to take a moment and challenge the deeply held beliefs of my brothers and sisters. I want to speak out and say something true about race, politics, and America.

My whole journey in speaking out about issues that matter to me started back in 2012, with one little tweet.

ONE

THE TWEET THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.

—Winston Churchill

I
drove my BMW into the parking lot of St. Victor's Church and looked in the rearview mirror to apply my lipstick. Chanel lip cream, in the shade of “Coquette,” which I've used ever since I learned about it from a makeup artist on one of the sets I've worked on over the years. I checked out my lips in the mirror, stuck the lip color back into my purse, jumped out of the car, and looked back at my parking job. A little too close to the line, I thought. That's when I noticed the worn bumper sticker that had faded in the California sun over the past four years.

Obama '08.

I sighed, headed across the small parking lot, and pulled open the heavy doors of the church.

I'd been “blacked” into voting for President Obama, I thought as I walked into the church. It was darker inside than it was outside, because the church was lit only by candles. While my eyes adjusted, I inhaled deeply the aroma: frankincense, the sweet, honeyed smell that I now associate with God Himself. The church was empty except for one or two other souls who'd come in for prayers.

I quietly walked over to the bank of votive candles, whose light was dancing on the wall behind them, and lit one for myself. In Catholic tradition, people often light a candle as they pray a specific prayer.

That's why I'd come.

Feeling adrift and a little nervous as I lit the candle, I got down on my knees and talked to God. It was October and the country was in a hotly contested presidential election. President Barack Obama was running against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, and election news dominated every television channel, every newspaper, every bumper. In California, the bumpers were pretty united for Obama . . . including mine.

But I had begun to disagree with my own bumper sticker. To be honest, I didn't know anything about Obama when I voted for him the first time. Like many other Americans, I looked at him, wanted America to be great, and pulled the lever.

Naive.

I needed to pray.

“God,” I said. “Should I do it?”

Whether anyone's ever prayed about sending a tweet before, I don't know. But I had composed a tweet before leaving for church and just couldn't decide whether to send it.

I'd never gotten political, which is why Gina—originally my personal assistant, now my friend and even my sister—was against it.

“Don't do it,” she advised. “Stay away from getting people angry. You're not known for politics, so there's no reason to get half of America mad at you.”

But I had grown so tired of President Obama's shtick.

He had the opportunity to unite this country in such a profound way, but instead he did the opposite. When he accepted the Democratic nomination for president, I had so much hope. I was so sick of people complaining about race, prejudice, and bigotry—I feel like my whole life has been dominated by those kinds of accusations. I was ready for a black president who—once and for all—would prove that America had moved past its history of slavery and repression. If a black man could lead the free world, surely we as Americans had evolved into something better.

He sounded good.

“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth,” he had said with such grandeur. “This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.”

In retrospect, I felt like a fool for actually believing that shit. A mere man was going to make the oceans recede? Please.

He couldn't even make good on his promise to cause America to “come together.” We were more divided, angrier, and more partisan than I've ever seen in my lifetime. In fact, since Obama had taken office, suddenly everything was about race.

I hadn't paid too much attention to the last campaign. But any casual observer could tell, Obama was taking advantage of uneducated people by betting on one single fact: people would vote for him because his skin color was enough.

Black people agreed. More than once, I heard this sentiment amongst my black friends: Let's vote for him. He's black. It's enough.

My white friends agreed. Let's give him a break, they said. He's black. It's enough.

When he was elected, everyone was so excited. I remember his inauguration, when I gathered with friends to watch the momentous occasion . . . when suddenly—finally!—we were united.

I have to admit a tear came to my eye when I watched Barack Obama being inaugurated.

But when he actually took office, the soaring speeches faded a bit into our memory. We had to look at what he actually was doing instead of what he was saying . . . and it was a harsh reality check.

For the first time in American history, people wondered if their kids would be better off than they had been. In fact, President Obama seemed to have contempt for successful people. His 2012 challenger, Mitt Romney, was a successful businessman. But instead of acknowledging Romney's success, Obama seemed to hold it against him. Weirdly, the president held his opponent's success out as a reason for blacks
not
to vote for him.

He's not one of us, Obama seemed to be saying with every snide remark. He's just a rich white guy.

Of course, Obama—who had made millions off his books and other investments—wasn't really “one of us” either. But his skin camouflaged his Ivy League pedigree and liberal elitism.

His skin, however, wasn't enough to hide the economic realities we were all faced with—at the gas pump and when we got our ever-dwindling paychecks back. President Obama was doing a terrible job. In fact, he was leading our nation in the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.

I wanted someone—anyone—to address the elephant in the room. I wanted someone to point out that skin color—no matter how pigmented—is not a qualification to be president of the United States of America.

Romney, on the other hand, had a resume that deserved respect. He had turned Massachusetts around when he was governor. He was obviously a good family man with a loving wife and a solid family.

I was at my home when he and Ann appeared on
Meet the Press
with David Gregory, and their message resonated with me. Ann responded to the constant criticism that her husband was out of touch because of his wealth by saying, “Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives, but I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they've been with health and with difficulties in . . . different things in life.”

I loved how Ann defended her husband against all the attacks. I loved how she and Governor Romney spoke about the need to move forward.

I was sick and tired of the accusations against the man. He was a businessman. That's what we needed.

I looked at the Twitter app on my phone and read the tweet I had written—but not sent—that morning before I left for church.

         
Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future.
@mittromney
@teamromney
#mittromney #VOTE #voteromney

“Should I send this?” I prayed, and tried to quiet my mind. As the lady who'd been praying near the front of church shuffled by, I picked up my phone. The blue rectangular button at the top of my phone read, “tweet”—which is exactly what I did. In sending that tweet, I was going against the beliefs of 96 percent of black women in the country. But I've never gone with the flow. I had to take a stand, I thought.

A few hours later, I woke up from a Sunday afternoon nap, turned over in my bed, and turned on my laptop.

“Oh my God,” I said. Normally, when I logged into Twitter, I'd see a few tweets and mentions. People would say something about one of my movies. Someone might ask about my life now. But now my Twitter feed was brimming with notes and messages.

Had I hit upon an enormous Romney-supporting demographic in Hollywood?

         
i unfollowed stacey dash dumb ass

That's how the first tweet read. Hum. So I guess you win some, you lose some. Everyone's entitled to an opinion.

         
so Stacey Dash supports Shitty Mitty . . . more power to her.

That was a bit better, I guess. But as I scrolled down my feed, I realized the reactions were overwhelmingly critical.

         
I'm just going to hope that Stacy Dash (
@REALStaceyDash
) has had her Twitter account hacked . . .

         
Stacey Dash need to start coppin pleas ASAP.. say she was hacked, popped a Molly something

         
@REALStaceyDash
just want attention because your career is played out.

         
An to think u were my favorite masturbation fantasy as a child
@REALStaceyDash
. I'm so disappointed in you!

         
Shut up bitch.

         
There was a time when I would walk through fire for
@REALStaceyDash
Now I wanna throw her in a volcano

         
Bitch, you rich. Fuck them n-ggers.

         
@REALStaceyDash
. . . . . . .how can u..as a woman. . . . support Romney? All racial issues aside . . .

         
@ guess u didnt read the black bible

         
Doesn't matter one way or the other. Stacey Dash is irrelevant . . . and has been irrelevant for SOME TIME NOW.

There were several that wished me death by suicide . . . oddly, the sentiment was always the same, but the spelling and capitalization wildly varied:

         
kill yourself

         
Kill urself!

         
Kill yourself

         
Kill yo self

Others got personal. Really personal.

         
This hurts but you a Romney lover and you slutting yourself to the white man only proves why no black man married u
@REALStaceyDash
.

         
She's an indoor slave. You know that Sis. You ready to head back to the fields, jiggaboo?

         
Stacey Dash has probably been thinking she's white since her Clueless days. All the signs were there.

         
So Stacey Dash buck tooth ass really voting for Romney!! Bitch, you black and Mexican . . . do yo think yo bloodline gone survive or something

The famous actor Samuel L. Jackson even piled on.

         
Wait, did Stacey Dash Really endorse Romney today?! REALLY????! Is she CRA . . . . . . . . . . .??!

I pulled the covers up to my chin. My home was located in Studio City, a neighborhood in Los Angeles named after an old 1927 studio lot. The San Fernando Valley has been home to many celebrities, such as Ed Asner, Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, and William Shatner. My home was tucked safely behind gates and was very private, but I could hear the wind blowing through the bamboo trees I had planted outside my window for privacy.

The autumn afternoon sun poured in through the window, warming the room that suddenly felt cold. I got up and lit the logs in my fireplace before sitting back down and reading more messages.

The more I read them, the angrier I got.

“Don't read it anymore,” Gina said. “It's not good for you!”

What had I done?

The vibration of my phone snapped me out of my reverie.

“You okay?” I heard on the other end of the line.

My attorney, Darcy.

“People are calling me Uncle Tom. Oreo Cookie,” I said.

“Tell them to come up with something you haven't heard before.”

It was true. Over the course of my life, I've been called every racial slur, I've been insulted, I've been mocked. But this?

“I'm used to criticism, but I can't believe how . . .
much
there is,” I said.

“You're ‘man bites dog.'”

“What'd you just call me?”

“You've heard of that phrase,” Darcy said. “It just means that unusual events will get more attention than ordinary occurrences.”

“What's unusual about someone talking about the presidential race during campaign season?”

“If a black woman had tweeted out support for Obama, that's ‘dog bites man,'” she said. “No big deal. But a black woman tweeting support for a Republican against America's first black president?”

Darcy paused, so I filled in the blank for her.

“‘Man bites dog.'”

“You got it.”

I tucked the phone between my shoulder and my ear and reopened my laptop. I clicked on the notifications tab on Twitter and watched in awe as the tweets kept coming and coming.

“They're saying that I'm just doing this for the publicity,” I said.

“That's actually why I'm calling,” she said. “My phone's been ringing off the hook. Everyone wants you on their show—Fox News, Piers Morgan,
The View
,
Good Morning America
, everyone.”

“But I
didn
'
t
do this for the publicity,” I said.

“I know,” she said. “But the media wants to hear from you. They want to understand.”

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