If you haven’t watched my show today, it’s a must-watch episode regarding the man of mystery Brandan Roneel.
As I explained recently, Roneel was a man who claimed to be a prodigious philanthropist and genius who wanted to donate to my organization Blext a quarter of a million dollars via check back in 2020. I had dinner with him, but my husband pointed out afterward that something was amiss. After doing some digging, nothing added up about his back story.
Then, he disappeared, almost without a trace. An obituary claimed he died. Was he part of the CIA? Was he a conman? Was he really everything he said he was?
Well, among the few clues left behind was a podcast interview with somebody named Ryan Griffith.
So, what did I do? I interviewed Griffith — who similarly has a story about Roneel that will leave you floored.
The question remains, who is Brandan Roneel?
If you haven’t watched part one, click here.
For part two, click here.
A condensed column can’t possibly do Griffith’s interview justice. Plus, tune in for part three on Friday with Roneel’s ex-fiance. Trust me it gets even crazier. I cannot make this up.
Okay, next topic.
On Thursday’s show, I answered a couple of questions from the audience. Here’s one that I wanted to share with you:
Hi, Candace. I was wondering about your thoughts on people receiving awards and positions and it being prefixed by “the first”? Reading the news this morning alone, I am told we now have the first black president of Harvard, the first black Filipino actress playing “Beauty and the Beast’s” Bell. Personally, I feel like this nuance undermines the accomplishments of these people. Like as if these people were only elected or chosen because of their race or whatever makes them not a heterosexual white male. Would love your thoughts because you know all! ~Mallory.
Well, first — I don’t know everything, but I do know a little bit and you are correct. I think it is so undermining to constantly have to announce the way somebody looks. It’s one of the things I also say, especially about black America, is that we should be able to get places based on merit.
I never needed to know whether Denzel Washington was the first person to play this or that to enjoy his movies. He’s an excellent actor. It doesn’t matter to me how many awards he’s won or whether he was “the first” or “the last” person to have won those awards.
The sad part is, because we no longer exist in a meritocracy in America, we do have a bunch of black people being given positions based on the color of their skin — not their own talents.
For example, as you all know I am a great consumer of ballet. I love ballet. So I have to be completely honest, I was so upset to recently come across a ballerina in the San Francisco ballet who was just terrible — on a typically inspiring Instagram page that highlights black people in ballet.
In watching her move, there’s literally no way, based on the merit of her dancing, that she got the position as the lead ballerina of a San Francisco ballet.
So, then I looked at her profile and I saw that she was super, super pro-George Floyd.
And I thought to myself, this is literally the reason the San Francisco Ballet awarded her that opportunity. It has to be. She’s just not the best. She just isn’t. There’s no way. You can’t watch a talented ballerina such as Skylar Brandt — who happens to be white — and then watch this person — who happens to be black — and think that these two people both deserve the same positions.
Now, that’s speculation, but it does seem to be a trend in society.
And that makes me sad, because black people are beyond capable of earning notable positions based on merit.
You should want to receive awards because you actually have earned them, not because you whined about George Floyd and it could be an opportunity for an organization to say “He or she was the first [insert race/gender] to do this.”