First and foremost Tanya and I miss Albion so much. In 2016 we moved to town with no hopes of becoming world famous musicians at all, but rather to find ourselves as we were both in a dark place of fear, failure, and loneliness.
What we found was family, courage and more love than any neighbor could ever ask for. We found community in Albion. We found joy and hope for a future of unity and strength forged in solidarity that the past pains of our town won’t cripple our present making our future non exist. Yes we found all of that and more.
We’ve seen our town bond together in frightful times over and over again, and in the midst of those threatening times our children were our hope. Some of those same children would grow up and attend our college, Albion College and we stood proud once again.
Although Hazel Lias is our community and the pillar of hope in our community she is also the support beam of the very structure of Albion. As I understand the facts to be evident that disrespect to her has been administered a second time by the leader of our very own hometown college, I also understand that this man has also not been disciplined properly for his ruthless behavior and demeaning spirit.
Albion, we all need to consider the message we are sending our children and our youth at Albion college. Messages that say it is ok for you to disrespect someone when you are angry. Messages that say it is adult to throw a temper tantrum when you can’t get your way. Messages that say point at or yell at in a hostile way when you want to intimate someone. Messages that speak to our young men that say this is the way you keep a woman in line or in compliance with your agenda.
I say no! This is not the thriving spirit that flows through the rivers of our town. This isn’t the courageous spirit that birthed Down To The River and the music video that accompanied. This is not the overcoming attitude that rebuilt and reopened the Bohm Theater and invited its entire community even the part of our fabric that bled racism but now breeds inclusion.
This spirit that the president of Albion college, Dr. Matthew Johnson possess is the same disheartening evil spirit that divided us once and will always divide us. Tanya and I stand with the many people who are calling for the dismissal of Matthew Johnson and we pray that our town will rise above this.
Michael and Tanya Trotter
The War And Treaty