Opinion

By Greg Jackson

Week after week, just before I put pen to paper — or more aptly stated, just before I place my fingers on a keyboard — I clear my brain for a few seconds and think about what has caught my attention over the past 24 to 168 hours. Quite frankly, those few seconds are not spent researching topics, calling people for more detailed information or interviewing sources; I just let my mind go to a certain subject, place my fingers on the keyboard and let my fingers do the walking. So whether it is the upcoming elections in Orange County, the poor spending decisions of Apopka’s CRA, questionable actions of people within the community, gun ownership, protests by pampered professional athletes, holiday plans, you name it, I allow myself to just write what I feel. In other words, I share with folks who read this opinion column, my opinions — nothing more, nothing less.

So, imagine my surprise when I learned that someone who read my “opinion” in the opinion column last week admonishing the City of Apopka for its poor decisions in not supporting the Spirit of Florida Gospel Festival and for also leaving the Amphitheater in a deplorable state for the Festival, wanted me to retract my opinion. I admit I was a bit confused because I was not quite sure how I could take back how I feel about something. But, for some reason someone wanted to silence my voice because they either a) did not like what I was writing, b) did not believe what I was writing or c) believed that my words were powerful enough to sway others’ opinions. Let’s operate off of the assumption for a moment that “c” is true; under any circumstance, it does not change the fact that I, like every one of you, am entitled to and have my own opinion. It just so happens that thousands of people either read my opinions each week in The Apopka Voice or on my various social media platforms, or they hear my opinions ever Monday from 7:00pm to 8:00pm on one of Central Florida’s most listened to and talked about evening radio talk shows (in my opinion), LET’S TALK ABOUT IT with Rod Love and yours-truly.

But here’s the rub, having an opinion means that I can be passionate, I can be brash, I can be entertaining, and I can be thought-provoking. Having an opinion allows me to challenge authority, tempt fate, facilitate the birth of new ideas by others and in some instances influence folks to agree with my way of thinking.

With an opinion, I just need a few moments with my thoughts, a pen and a piece of paper.

This past week I also learned that opinions matter. Opinions are powerful. Opinions are divisive. But, most importantly every one of us has opinions that we can express to help bring attention to issues that are of importance. With my opinions, not only do I speak what is on my mind, I also point out things that thousands of other people are thinking, but they either lack the courage, ability or platform to express their opinions. But in no event do they lack the right to express their opinions.

In a nutshell, here is my point: where deemed necessary I will express my opinion openly, unapologetically and boldly. I will do so not to upset folks, lose friends or create new enemies, but to exercise my right because as I learned this past week, my opinion is indeed powerful. It empowers others and it helps to shed light on issues that would otherwise be forgotten. But the beautiful thing is that like me, your words are equally powerful and equally impactful. Your words too can bring about much-needed change in places far and wide. So, if I were a person who did not like my opinion of me, I would do all I could to convince me to have a different opinion of myself, so that I could convince others to develop a positive opinion of me – in my humble opinion.


Greg Jackson is a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida, a military veteran, current Orange County District 2 Representative on the Board of Zoning Adjustments, and General Counsel for the Community Redevelopment Agency. He has been as an active member of the Central Florida community for nearly 20 years. He was most recently a candidate for the Florida House District 45 seat.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Right on Greg, don’t let them do to you what they did to that church in Va, because that is what is happening in this world, one idiot doesn’t like what you do and say, they try to remove you, if we don’t stop this soon, we are going to lose all of our heritage. It’s being done at the museum of the Apopkans and what was done is disgusting, I always read Perrine Slims columns in the paper and I would have been happy to see the book for sale in the Museum

  2. Call me out on it, if I am wrong, but I believe they also sold Mr. Jack Christmas’s book in the museum previously. Somewhere here at my house, not sure where it is right now, but it is here somewhere, I also own a copy of Mr. Mac McGuffin’s book that he wrote, but I purchased it at the Apopka Office Supply, at their old location on 441, instead of at the museum.

  3. Yes, I read Perrine Slim’s articles when they appeared in the Apopka Chief Newspaper also. He had a very unique way of wording his writings, that were so different, from other people’s writings. His writings were so unique, in fact, that I would have known his work from anyone else’s, just by the way he worded his writings, even if they had appeared somewhere else, and had not of had his name at the top….true.

  4. I don’t know if it is true or not, whether the black memorabilia has been removed from the museum because I really can’t remember what all was in there. It must have been about a year ago, that I went and visited the museum. It was around the time that the “ancient statues” were found at Highland Manor and taken to the museum….LOL I don’t want to accuse someone of something that nasty, because it was said that they were remodeling, but I have to wonder, if that is the whole truth and nothing but the truth???….maybe someone else needs to raise their hand up and swear to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, like some of the people at the city council were required to do, there in public, there at the city council proceedings…..LOL

  5. I have been over to the Orange County History Museum. We went a couple years ago, it was free for a selected time, and we got in free, but of course, had to pay the parking garage fee downtown Orlando. It also happened to be Black History month there, at that time, and they had special displays in honor of Black History Month. We started looking at all of the displays, and let me tell you, they did not sugar coat the racial past of this area in their displays! There were all types of slavery displays, of KKK activity here in Orange Co., in the past, items of nooses and lynchings without trials of the accused, and of all types of racial happenings, here in this area, in the past of Orange County, including our own town. I watched as I saw some African Americans viewing the historical documents, photos, and flags, etc. and I did really feel badly for them, and honestly, I felt uncomfortable, viewing the items myself, along with them. However, it is the history of our country, and to erase such items, is wrong, in my opinion. How are we ever going to learn from history otherwise? This is my opinion. These items displayed there were not just black baseball team items, and such as that, like what I have heard has been taken down at the Apopka Museum, and Perrine Slim’s book, but these items at the Orange Co. Historical Museum were ugly racial historical items from the past. You can deny history, hide it, or whatever, but it is still history that happened. As far as the Apopka Historical Museum, the African American items and the book, need to go back in the museum. I don’t know whether they will or not, I can only tell you what I think, and my opinion, as it is certainly not up to me. I think it is more of a rift than racial, but still, I would encourage those involved to get over it, and move on, and put the items back in the museum.

  6. The Orange County History Museum is where the old courthouse is located in downtown Orlando. We viewed the old courthouse, and in comparison to the newer, currently used Orange County Courthouse, that is downtown on Orange Avenue, and which is nearby to the other old courthouse, the two buildings might as well be world’s apart. I actually liked the old courthouse better.

  7. They also had some old yellowed photos of some notoriously mean swans that were huge in size, and terrorized downtown visitors and workers there years ago in downtown Orlando…..I forget the swan’s names, but they were famous to everyone back then, as you didn’t want to go near them, and irk them, as they wouldn’t hesitate to make you regret invading what they considered their territory…..LOL

  8. Come on Greg, tell us who wanted you to retract your opinion, that you mentioned in your above posting. I am sure people are assuming and guessing who it was, but they could be wrong, so who was it, dare you say?

  9. Attorneys are so slick! LOL, just playing with you Greg, amusing myself, that is all, just havin’ fun….how is your day going?

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