Nov 13, 2022 - Issue 931


In November of 1981, Wes Moore Sr. and I were reporters for a Washington, D.C. radio station. We were sent to Richmond to cover the election of Virginia’s next governor. As we we drove south down I-95 we talked about the election but we also talked about our families. Wes had three children, two girls and a boy, Wes Jr.

Chuck Robb won Virginia’s governor’s race that night. Last night Wes Moore’s son, Wes Jr., was elected governor of Maryland, the first Black person to govern the Free State, as it calls itself. He beat a certified MAGA nutbag by a big margin. It’s hard to express how moving that was for me and everyone who knew Wes Sr. He died not long after our trip to Richmond, leaving his widow Joy to raise their children by herself. She did an outstanding job.

Joy is the daughter of a Harlem preacher and lives by the standards she grew up with: Toe the line, no slacking, earn your way in the world. When Wes Jr. acted out as a teenager, she shipped him off to military school. He earned a ROTC scholarship to Johns Hopkins. He was a Rhodes scholar. He served as a company commander in the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan and is a distinguished combat veteran. He came home, earned a fortune on Wall Street and then headed a major non-profit. He wrote a best selling book, The Other Wes Moore, another Maryland kid with the same name but whose life went the other way, to a long prison sentence.

It’s hard to overstate how outstanding he is or, for that matter, how outstanding his entire family is. His personal history, the values he grew up with, his magnetism, his intelligence are now in service to the people of Maryland. Fairness, equity, justice.

If you are looking for a bright spot in today’s toxic political environment look to Wes Moore. He is a rising star in the Democratic party and if he one day makes it to the White House you can say you read it here first. We would all be better for it.

BlackCommentator.com Guest Commentator, Larry Matthews, is a veteran broadcast journalist. He is the recipient of The George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcast for his reporting on Vietnam veterans. He is also the recipient of a Columbia/DuPont Citation, Society of Professional Journalists, Associated Press, and other awards for investigative reporting. He is the author of eight books including, I Used To Be In Radio: a Memoir. Contact Mr. Matthews.

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