The Mayor of Dametown: A Conversation with Dixie Laite

New York City-based polymath and Renaissance woman Dixie Laite describes herself as “Writer, Bullshit Slayer, Mayor at Dametown.com.” Over the past four years, her blog by that name, which she initially started to celebrate dames of yore and the classic actresses of Old Hollywood, has morphed a powerful voice against Trumpism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other ills besetting our country. 

By way of biography, I can’t improve on Dixie’s own self-description:

Dixie Laite was born in a log cabin she built with her own two hands. She walked twenty miles to school, through the snow, uphill, seven days a week, all year long. As a teenager she invented many new and useful things including a dazzling array of reasons why 1) she cannot come to school today, and 2) you cannot get to third base.

Dixie spent her early years in Miami, watching Thirties movies and working at a variety of jobs including making hotdogs at the Orange Bowl and running a mechanical bull in cowboy bar in Fort Lauderdale. She attended the University Pennsylvania where she studied philosophy, history, and theology, where the big money is. After moving to New York City, Dixie taught second grade and Harlem and the South Bronx, became a bodybuilder and personal trainer, and went on to become National Project Director for Thirteen/WNET‘s National Teacher Training Institute. She morphed into a web evangelist and was recruited to work on the Oprah Goes Online website for the Oxygen Network, eventually becoming Editorial Director of Oxygen.com, as well as an on-air personality on its daily live show “Pure Oxygen.” Dixie went on to become an Editorial Director at Nickelodeon and then Senior Editorial Director at TeenNick. She has also worked as a freelance writer, speaker, digital content strategist, and branding and social media marketing consultant. 

Dixie lives in Manhattan with her long-suffering husband Jeff, an insanely spoiled dog named Dr. Waffles, five noisy parrots, and a stuffed two headed duckling called Bobsy. She will be very glad to pass away without ever having cooked a single meal. 

Oh, and she once smuggled  pair of sugar gliders under her sweatshirt on a plane.

I spoke with Dixie via Zoom in New York. 

THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM

THE KING’S NECKTIE: Let’s begin at the beginning. How did you become a teacher?

DIXIE LAITE: After graduating college I moved to the Bronx with my boyfriend—always a great career move, girls—and started teaching second grade in the South Bronx and then in Harlem. I loved being a teacher, but I did not major in education and I had never been a student teacher. I learned on the job. I was really good at it, and I think it’s because I didn’t know what I was doing. Every day I learned a lot about myself and about other people. There are amazing similarities between managing second graders and managing adults. (laughs)

I was young and very empathetic about children who were looking for love and affection. I still had the neediness and vulnerability that I felt as a kid myself. It’s cliché, but I got a lot of satisfaction out of giving the kids personal attention and love and compliments, because it was clear that a lot of them did not get that at home. When you feel like you need those things, the best thing to do is give it to other people. In retrospect, I think if I hadn’t had that job, I might have stacked on a lot more poor life decisions, but instead all that need for love and affection was channeled into giving it to those children, and having them to be compassionate to and engaged with.

TKN: So naturally, that led you to becoming a bodybuilder. 

DL: (laughs) Right. While I was a teacher, I needed money to supplement my income. There was a “help wanted” sign at a gym, and it was winter, so they couldn’t see under my coat, and I lied and said, “Oh yeah, I know all about bodybuilding and weight training.” So, I got that job and then immediately joined another gym so I could train there in order to look the part at the gym where I was going to be working. (laughs) We’re talking about early-mid Eighties when muscular women were not as common as today, so people would literally shout nasty things at me out their car windows if I was just wearing a tank top on the street….and I was maybe as muscular as like Serena Williams is today. It’s just that I was an anomaly back then. 

Weight training ended up becoming a consistent part of my life from then on. I worked as an occasional personal trainer, and I created and taught workshops on “bodybuilding for women” for The Learning Annex. I loved being able to do something that had a reliable “a + b = c” trajectory; it gave me a measure of control that’s so often missing from life. Frankly, it was also something about which I could feel genuinely proud. And—obnoxious—I confess to moving next to men in the gym when I did my 25-lb. lateral raises. (laughs)

TKN: And how did you come to start your blog, Dametown?

DL: I’ve been an old movie aficionado since I was like eight or nine, and I was very inspired and comforted by women in Thirties and Forties movies because the 1970s zeitgeist just rubbed me the wrong way. Most people don’t realize how much agency women have in those 1930s movies—a lot more pass the Bechdel test than the movies and TV shows from while I was growing up. Compare any Barbara Stanwyck or Claudette Colbert movie to The Love Boat or Charlie’s Angels and you’ll see what I mean. 

So I thought I would start a blog that celebrated old Hollywood and dames of yore that people didn’t know about, and then expanded it to other women like Dorothy Parker or Anita Loos. Because it’s one thing to be a cool chick today—like your wife, Bob—and be strong and funny and courageous and fight for what’s right, but all of that is a hundred times more impressive in the patriarchal world of the Twenties, Thirties, and Forties. 

TKN: So give me your definition of a “dame.”

DL: A dame knows it takes balls to be a woman. She knows the ropes, she’s proactive about negotiating life in every sphere: career-wise, relationship-wise, everything. She’s not flawless and she’s not necessarily tough, but she wants to become her best self. She’s independent, she’s self-reliant, she’s smart. Ideally, she’s funny, ideally she’s brave. I mean, she’s Barbara Stanwyck. (laughs)

TKN: But your blog has expanded a lot beyond that. It’s really covered a lot of cultural ground.

DL: Yeah. I knew that what I should do is have the “thousand true fans.” I don’t know if you’re familiar with that expression, but the idea is that it’s better to have a thousand true fans than 10,000 sort-of fans. So, the smart thing to do would have been to make Dametown about the women that we just talked about and really promote it to the psychographic that might enjoy those stories. But I’d  get distracted with, “Oh, they got rid of Al Franken? Fuck that!” And I would write an essay about how mad I was and put that up on the blog. And when I met my birth mother I thought, I have to just write something about that. So, I’d put that there. I’m going to be 60 next year, and I’ve noticed a lot of things about women my age and older, things about navigating life that don’t get talked about a lot in mainstream culture. That led to me getting asked to write a column about that – “Age Against the Machine” as well as an advice column, “Dear Dixie”, for Jumble & Flow, and I tackle that now on Dametown, too. I knew what I was doing was wrong branding-wise, but I just started writing about anything I wanted because it wasn’t a business and I wasn’t disciplined enough to turn it into a brand. 

TKN: I can relate.

THE PARADOX OF ABUSE

TKN: Talking about the empathy that you had for your schoolkids, do you want to talk a little bit about growing up and your childhood?

DL: I was adopted because my parents thought they couldn’t have children, though they had a biological child, my younger brother, less than two years later. It gave me a sort of “Thanks for playing—we’ve got Adam now” feeling.

My being adopted really affected me but it was a topic I wasn’t really allowed to discuss, and that made my sense of isolation and alienation all the worse. One of my earliest memories is being at a mall with my parents and desperately trying to steer them away from seeing this little girl with straight blonde hair. Mine was curly, though they straightened it when I was little. I was terrified they’d see this other little girl and think, “Oh, we could have had one like her.”

I got some attention in school for being intelligent, but I didn’t feel like it was valued at home. I was put into a gifted school, but since my brother wasn’t, I felt guilty, like it was something I should hide. I was also kinda weird, you know, being into old movies, wearing nightgowns to school so I could channel Jean Harlow. I guess every kid has issues, but this feeling of being abrasive, weird and unlovable is still something I struggle with to this day, a half a fucking century later. 

When I was about eight my mother had what was then called a nervous breakdown and was sent to a place where they gave her electroshock therapy and stuff like that. Now, as an adult woman, I have a lot of sympathy for her because I can see that she didn’t want to become a mother, or even have gotten married. Even as a five-year-old, it just made no sense to me. Later she told me that she married my dad because she was 21 and she felt like an old maid. 

She was in that institution for a year while my brother and I lived with our dad. Unfortunately, when she came out, she’d made a few shady friends there and that led to my being sexually abused. Of course, I didn’t know I was being sexually abused; that wasn’t “a thing” back then. As far as I knew, I was the only girl on Earth to whom any of these things ever happened. 

Like a lot of kids that are sexually abused, I had mixed feelings about it, because it hurt physically and I felt transgressed, but on the other hand, these abusers were my friends, they were nice to me, they gave me attention, they gave me affection. I felt like they were my best friends; I looked forward to spending time with them and the attention they’d give me. They thought things I said were smart and clever. They asked to look at things I would write in school. It’s a complicated situation, just like women who stay with abusive husbands. It’s a braid of love, affection, abuse, and trauma. 

I tried to have closure with my dad about it, years later. The only time I ever mentioned the sexual abuse to him was when I was maybe 24 and the subject got changed really fast. I could see that he didn’t really want to talk about it. I never brought it up again till one day I was on the phone with him when I was about 50 and I mentioned that I was going to see the gynecologist, but that Jeff, my husband, had to come with me. And he said, “Why does Jeff have to come with you?” And I said, “Because those exams are very stressful for me. It’s like I have PTSD.” And he was like, “What are you talking about?” And I said, “Dad, because of the thing,” and he’s like, “What thing?” and I said, “The thing I told you about, about being sexually abused.” And he said, “Oh, are you still harping on that?”

It was only the second time I’d ever brought it up in my life. I might have even dropped the phone, I was just so hurt. 

THE END OF OL’ BLUE EYES

TKN: So that’s a perfect transition to talking about where we are as a country. I feel like we as a nation have been in that kind of abusive relationship.

DL: Yes. Except for the love and affection part. Except for any positive things whatsoever. 

TKN: On the one hand, I feel like there’s this grief and the sadness for what has happened to the country—this revelation that 74 million of our fellow Americans are cool with white supremacy and racism and everything else. So it’s a kind of soiling of the country. But then the other part of it is, is whether what got soiled was really true in the first place.

DL: I don’t think it was soiled. It’s like that Nathaniel Hawthorne story “The Young Goodman Brown,” set in Puritan times, where the main character goes into the woods one night and discovers that basically his whole town is actually in this secret Satanic society. When he wakes up in the morning he has no way of knowing if it was all a dream or if everyone one he knows and everything he’s come to believe about his Christian village is all fake. It’s a secret society, so no one will ever admit to it. “Is my mother in that thing? Is my neighbor? Is my wife?” 

When I was a kid and I read that story, it really spoke to me because I knew what went on behind my closed doors. Nothing about life was the way it had been presented to me. 

For me, I feel like the end of my innocence was not the sexual abuse: it was seeing Frank Sinatra in concert when I was like 13. I had seen him in old movies as an inexperienced, skinny guy with a beautiful crooning voice who had to have the girls take the lead. And then one day in 1974, when I was 13, a neighbor got me a ticket to go see Sinatra in Fort Lauderdale or something, and I snuck out of the house and took like three buses to get there, and the Frank Sinatra I saw there was an older bloated Frank Sinatra who made a lot of sexual jokes and was just the opposite of what I’d had a crush on. He was the Sinatra we all know now: the gross, Rat Pack Sinatra. But I wasn’t aware of that, and it was like being punched in the gut.

That Frank Sinatra thing was just like the cherry on top of like the sundae of all these things that I thought were good and true and that you could depend on were not in fact reliable and not what they seemed. It sounds so silly, but I would call that night the end of my innocence. I left there so depressed and had an entirely different view of the world from then on. 

And that’s how I feel about America now. You grow up your whole life…..indoctrinated is too strong a word, but you feel patriotic, you feel like “I’m an American, this is my country.” And now I feel like a woman without a country, just like I felt like a girl without a family. All these years I’ve teared up at the National Anthem or “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” but now I just I feel nothing about being an American. Now I think of the genocide that gave us the land itself. I think of slavery. I think of 74 million people voting for someone who is okay with white supremacy. It’s like “Young Goodman Brown,” because it was there all along. Yes, people get further indoctrinated through Fox News and stuff, but if it’s not already there, you’re not going to get brought along. I don’t care how much Fox News you watch, if  you go around saying “White supremacy is fine,” you can’t blame that on Fox. That’s on you. 

THE BLACK BALLOON

DL: People who voted for Trump the first time around were scary enough. When I asked about the Access Hollywood “grab ‘em by the pussy” tape, one relative told my husband, “Well, that wasn’t supposed to come out.” 

TKN: Like that was the problem. 

DL: Exactly. That very response encapsulates a lot of the problem for me. It’s all about the willingness to turn a blind eye and just shrug your shoulders at such flagrant racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and homophobia. Trump couldn’t be a more brazenly imbecilic. You can’t just blame media outlets or op-ed pages or your pastor, because it’s right there for you to see for yourself—it’s on videotape. He shows you constantly how stupid is, how bigoted he is, how anti-science he is, how much of a sociopath he is.

TKN: But that’s a feature, not a bug, as the saying goes. People took a long time to realize that his supporters were not put off by the Access Hollywood tape. They loved it; they thought it was great. That made them like him more

DL: But the people that shrug it off scare me more than the people that actively like it. 

Look, Trump happened, and I heard his dog whistles of anti-Semitism and racism—and not even dog whistles but just flagrant misogyny and all that—I knew there were going to be people who would embrace that. I’m from the South, I’ve known racism and anti-Semitism all my life. I’m more scared of people that I didn’t think were racist, who would get mad at you if you called them racist, but who were all too eager to vote for a racist……to vote for Trump twice, even after he told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” People who identify as super Christian, but are happy to shrug their shoulders at pussy-grabbing and rape and all these other things.

So I’m repulsed by Trump voters, but I’m just as scared of, and truly disappointed in, non-Trump voters who act like this is all no big deal. People forget that Hitler and the Nazis were voted into power. 

TKN: Well, this is the famous banality of evil. There is the tiny subset of Stephen Millers who are really truly evil, but they are far outnumbered by the sort of passively complicit folks you just described. And we’re all in danger of being that person, of being complicit by shrugging our shoulders and looking away and not standing up when we see this sort of thing happen. And that’s how the Stephen Millers and his ilk get away with it.

DL: Silence is complicity. That’s my mantra. 

TKN: Were either of your birth parents Jewish?

DL: My birth father’s name is Tom Sorenson. His brother, Ted Sorenson, who was an advisor and speechwriter for JFK, is my uncle. I think it’s a pretty open secret that he ghostwrote Profiles in Courage. My birthfather had a Jewish mother, so that makes him Jewish according to Jewish tradition, and it makes me a quarter Jewish, biologically. But culturally, hair-wise, “Don’t put too much ice in my ginger ale” wise, and in pointing out to my Gentile husband everyone who’s Jewish while we’re watching TV  (“Julie Newmar, totally a Jew!”), I am 100% Jewish. 

I was adopted into a Jewish family, so I identify as Jewish. I learned about the Holocaust very early in life. The Holocaust has been like that movie The Red Balloon, where that balloon follows the kid everywhere. I have a black balloon that’s following me my whole life, and that is the Holocaust. I’m never really able to shed it. 

I have such bad dreams at night about them coming for the Jews again that I sleep with a big sharp knife in my nightstand. It’s probably just a primitive thing that makes me feel like I have some token of control. I know it’s stupid—like I’m gonna fight off these attackers. But at least one of them is going to go out with me.

TKN: The analogy to the Nazis has been a fraught one throughout the Trump years, because it invites right wingers to scoff about liberal hysteria and Godwin’s Law and all that. But it’s instructive in terms of the slippery slope, even if we’re not making a direct comparison, which we’re not.

Along those lines, in a recent post on your blog, called “YOU Have to Step Up to Save Our Fragile Democracy,” you wrote: 

You think I’m an alarmist? If I said a year ago that half the country would believe an election was stolen, that domestic terrorists would break into Congress at the behest of an American President who would then go unpunished, you’d have called me hysterical. Less than a century ago sophisticated civilizations participated in widespread genocide, or largely turned the other way. Can it happen again? Yes. The initial signs and steps are happening right now, before our eyes.  

DL: Right. We were very close to Trump just staying there and never leaving.

TKN: I agree— it’s a cliché, but we dodged a bullet. It could have gone the other way, and we’re not done yet: it could come back, and if it does, I think I might get in a knife of my own to keep in my nightstand. Because after they come for the Jews, they’ll come for the bloggers. 

DL: I think the bullet we dodged is very temporary. Look what they’re doing with all the Jim Crow stuff designed to keep black people from voting. Remember, Biden only won Georgia by about 11,000 votes. These anti-democratic disenfranchisement things make all the difference. And corporations just caved, because they’re afraid of not getting what they need or want from the Republicans in power, even if it means sacrificing all ideals. I see the same thing with corporations and people. Sure, they’re all against racism and they’re all for democracy, but they’re all talk. “All hat, no cattle.” 

I have relatives who know what’s happening in our country, but they don’t say “boo” to their relatives or anyone who supports what are essentially white supremacist and autocratic policies and ideology. It really bothers me. I’ve said to my husband and mother-in-law how hard it is for me when they just shrug their shoulders about their relatives who embrace these things. I guess they think as long as you’re not actually wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” t-shirt it’s OK. But keeping mum around those you know who support laws and people and policies is leading us down a very dangerous fascist road. I mean, do you only stand for things when it’s comfortable for you? Are you going to speak out against bigotry and autocracy when it’s too late?  

They say it on Fox all the time. They actually say it. “You Antifa, Marxist and BLM people are forcing us to have to choose fascism.” And they will choose it, and with all their rigging of districts and voting rights, they’ll win. And the next guy won’t be as clownish and ineffective as Trump. He’ll be smart and very, very dangerous. 

ONE OF THESE DAYS, ALICE

DL: Here’s why I think it’s important to speak up. When I was a teenager I saw a TV movie, Intimate Strangers with Dennis Weaver and Sally Struthers about domestic violence. Now, this was a looong time ago, but I remember Dennis Weaver and his cohorts at work would make jokes about belting their wives, like Jackie Gleason, you know, “Pow, to the moon, Alice!” But Dennis was constantly beating the shit out of Sally and at one point he gets in trouble for it, and his co-worker, played by Larry Hagman, asks, “What happened? And he says. “Well, I hit her—you know, how we get our wives?” And Larry Hagman says, “No, we don’t actually hit our wives. That’s terrible.” He was surprised and taken aback by the disapproval of his co-workers and the guys he plays golf with. Them saying, “That’s not cool, buddy” seemed to have an impact. And that always stuck with me as being a powerful change agent: peers expressing intolerance of bad behavior, or bigotry, homophobia, sexism, etc. 

In our country—and I’ve read this in your essays, too—I really don’t think there’s going to be any kind of unity or a kum-ba-ya moment with those people who go on and on about how Colin Kaepernick was a hateful disgrace to our flag but we’re totally fine with the insurrection. Because of Fox News and Breitbart, the country mice hate the city mice. Even if Biden’s poll numbers stay good, even if he does the greatest things, I think there’s just two universes, and no matter how well Biden does, I don’t think we can win Republicans over via policy change, or Biden’s effectiveness, because Trump’s ineffectiveness didn’t seem to turn them off. The fact that a lot of Democrats feel like they can earn respect and create bipartisanship through their policies and their effectiveness—I really think that’s impossible. 

When I see CPAC and all this other stuff, I think we’re now living in two divergent realities, only one of which cares about facts. You can’t have unity when one side has facts and the other side doesn’t. You linked to that Rebecca Solnit article. Facts and delusion can’t meet in the middle. There’s no standing shoulder to shoulder for an abolitionist and a slaveholder. And I’d like to think there’s no middle ground when it comes to white supremacy and those who oppose it. 

Apropos of that Dennis Weaver movie, my personal belief is that it would make a difference if people would let Trump voters know, “Hey, I’m disappointed in you.” You can stay friends with them or whatever, but just let them know that embracing white supremacy or white supremacy-adjacent ideology and behavior is not something we admire. I feel like that is the only hope we have. We don’t have time to screw around.

In my lifetime, homophobia has dwindled not because of PSAs or TED talks and even laws, but just because after a while, if you called someone the “f-a-g word,” other people would look at you askance. And that’s what largely changed the behavior, even more than policies. Now a lot of people get that it’s morally wrong to be prejudiced against gay people and they speak up when peers say something homophobic. Or at least, they should.

TKN: Well, with Trumpism, it seems to have gone backwards. As recently as a few years ago, you couldn’t go around espousing openly racist views in polite society. If someone felt that way—and I know that plenty of people still did, despite our wishfulness to the contrary—they had to keep it subterranean. And then all of a sudden it was above ground again.

DL: Trump allowed them to give voice to this thing. A lot of people that live between the coasts feel denigrated or condescended to by people who know how to spell. They embraced Trump because he was anti- what they were anti-. It’s not so much that he was pro what they were pro, because Trump’s not really pro anything. But he was anti-intellectual, and he was anti-equality, and he was anti-science, and he would make fun of climate change. He made them feel good about their own dumbness.

TKN: He said, “I hate the same people you do,” and a certain segment ate that up.

DL: I hear people say all the time, “I’m not smart, but I’m street smart.” But they’re not street smart. I don’t know what street it is that they think they’re street smart on. They’re constantly making choices, political choices, that do not serve their interests. They vote in ways that fuck them over. That’s not smart.

Personally, I like smart people. I want a smart person, with a medical degree, to operate on me. I don’t have fear and antipathy towards people who are smart. 

TKN: Yeah. I don’t resent the pilot because he or she knows how to fly the plane and I don’t. Believe it or not, I actually prefer a pilot who knows how to do that. 

UNCOMFORTABLY NUMB

TKN: In that same post on Dametown, you wrote: “This is not a friendly disagreement. This is not the same ole time-worn battle between two political parties. We cannot afford to avoid uncomfortable conversations or send strongly worded letters. Our country’s democracy is on the brink.”  

DL: Yes, and the fear of having uncomfortable conversations is a very slippery slope. I don’t think that every German who wasn’t Jewish hated Jews. But the Holocaust happened because too many Germans were willing to go, “Yeah, well, that’s sad about the Rosensteins, but what are you going to do?”

TKN: Well, that’s your whole point: that the silent but complicit folks are more dangerous ultimately than the vanguard that is truly evil.

DL: Yes, if I have a thesis at all, that is my unpopular thesis. Because I know I’m supposed to be mostly mad at Trump. I’m supposed to be mostly mad at his cronies. I’m supposed to be mostly mad—and I am very mad—at cowards and quislings like Mitch McConnell, and men like Ted Cruz who went to Ivy League schools and who aren’t stupid and who know better, but just for their own self-aggrandizement are willing to be the evil henchman. I despise them, but they can’t exist without the 74 million voters for Trump. But as I said, the people I’m most scared of are the people that shrug the evil off. So it’s like a daisy chain, each person in the chain shrugging off the evil that’s ahead of them. 

I’m not saying people have to ostracize or shun Trump supporters, but I’m saying just let the wife beater in the cubicle next to you know, “This is not cool.” Just have those uncomfortable conversations. We’re at a point in history where we can’t afford not to. 

I don’t like being confrontational. I’m a huge coward. I’m really a fearful, insecure, want-to-be-liked-by-everybody kind of girl. I don’t even want the receptionist at the hair place to be mad at me. But when it comes to these philosophical and political ideas, I cannot afford to keep my mouth shut.

I was going to a chiropractor who turned out to be a Trump supporter. I was seeing him twice a week, and I said, “I’m not coming here anymore because you being a Trump supporter makes me uncomfortable and I can’t give you my business.” And he tried to talk me out of it, and I said, “It’s not like I hate you. But I really don’t like your decisions, and you don’t realize it, but your decisions have a personal effect on me as a Jew and as a woman and as a person who lives on Planet Earth and the country can’t afford your unwise, ignorant political decisions. So, you do you and I’ll do me, but I’m not cool with it.”

TKN: Well, you’re braver than me because my wife and I found out early in the Trump presidency that our dentist had been Trump’s dentist when he lived in New York—and beyond that, was a supporter and even an advisor on his healthcare panel, such as it was. So we left. But we didn’t have a confrontation, though we probably we should have, like you did, we probably should have said, “We’re leaving because of this.” We just ghosted him.

DL: Well, I don’t think you should beat yourself up for that, but even now you could send him an email, in a gentle way, like, “You’re a kind person, a good person. But by making this choice, you may not realize it, but you’re supporting A, B and C.” And we don’t have to argue about it, but think about it for a while. This is what you support.” 

I believe with every fiber of my being that at this moment in time, it’s really important for everyone to step up and have those uncomfortable conversations: with friends, family members, neighbors, chiropractors. If you live in New York City and you vote for a Republican for president, or if you live in Kentucky and you vote for a Democrat, you could argue that your voice wasn’t really being heard because it’s not going to make a difference…but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote for who you want to vote for. So even if I doesn’t do anything if I switch chiropractors, I still have to do that because of the person I want to be, and because of the country I want us to be. Too much hangs in the balance not to have those kinds of conversations. And maybe that conversation will just stiffen that person’s resolve to like Trump even more. But I think each person has an ethical responsibility to speak up for what’s right. I just feel so strongly about that. Sometimes conversations can’t be pleasant. I learned that early in life. And it’s not for everybody, but that’s how I feel about myself, and that’s how I feel about the country, and that’s how I feel about democracy, and the fragile place our democracy is in. 

I can’t fuck around by going to a Trump-supporting chiropractor.

***********

Photo courtesy of Dixie Laite

4 thoughts on “The Mayor of Dametown: A Conversation with Dixie Laite

  1. Dear Dixie, I wish I had your gift of eloquence…you managed to say everything I have felt for so long, but was unable to give voice to. I, too, am nonconfrontational and have spent a lot of time beating myself up because I coudn’t stand up to family members and friends who have “gone to the dark side”. You have given me the words and hopefully the courage to do what is right. At this age (80 is right around the corner!) and stage of my life, I think about what I will be remembered for. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your life with us. You are loved by many.
    Your invisible friend,
    Donna Kaufman

    Like

  2. Dixie ,

    I just finished reading this . Just brilliant ! I completely agree with your statements .
    I commend you not only for leaving your chiropractor but for calmly and logically explaining why you needed to do so . Bravo !
    I have not yet had to do this . Almost all of my physicians are women and were / are as anti Trump as I was / am .
    I completely agree that we are living in dangerous times and that it is our job to speak up , in a calm and logical way , at each and every opportunity that we have .
    Thank you for posting this . I hadn’t thought about saying “ I’m disappointed in your decision and
    explaining why “. Thank you for this suggestion .
    I know that your interview was about more than trump …sorry to focus on that . I enjoyed the whole interview . ( I an biologically only half Jewish …but I too am 100%j Jewish . I wear the black balloon too )
    ❤️Sarah

    Like

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