Personal Life

You’ve Got To Stand For Something or You’ll Fall For Anything by Malia May Johnson

Malia Caroline Grace and Michael MJ The Terrible Johnson Black and White Collage

Dedicated to my loving husband (with some side notes for explanation and perspective purposes).

MJ,

I was born in South Africa, and I lived in South Africa until I graduated secondary school (high school) and came to America to go to college. Most of my family still lives in South Africa. 

I had a very happy childhood. I am proud to be from Cape Town, South Africa. That said, the unemployment rate is 33%, and the poverty rate is almost 60%. 

One of my passions is charity work. My passion charities are animal related causes and South African aid and improvement.

I was told for legal reasons not to mention the name of the charity, or to give specifics about the emergency meeting. I can say that the charitable organization I am referencing relates to South Africa, and the rerouting of money earmarked for food security for children living in poverty, into a startup energy company with no history, and no track record.

I know energy is important, but charities are not investors. Taking money away from starving children to fund a startup company that may or may not succeed, I knew was just wrong. 

Here is what happened last week. A rogue board member called for an emergency vote, in secrecy, to try to divert money for earmarked to buy food for poor kids in South Africa, to pay for an energy startup company. I had heard the board member pushing for the energy company was up to no good, and he was using intimidation tactics to try to get what he wanted. 

When I told MJ about it, he was worried about me going to the meeting. I told MJ I wasn’t going to let a greedy bully take food out of starving children’s mouths. MJ insisted that I not go alone. I told him I was going to take our family lawyer with me, and a bodyguard. MJ insisted that he wanted to go with me several times, but I told him no. I wanted to prove I could stand up for what was right all by myself. I was determined to show how “girl power” tough I was. MJ kept insisting that I bring more people with me, and/or that he be allowed to go with me.

MJ insisting that he go with me made me feel like he didn’t believe in me, and that I couldn’t handle it. MJ kept telling me that he believes in me, but he was worried about what a greedy, selfish bully might try to do if I was the one standing in the way of him getting what he wanted. I thought he was overreacting, because after all, this is a charity, with charitable people, so what’s the worst that can happen?

Before I left for the meeting MJ begged me to let him come with me. I told MJ to stop treating me like I was a little girl, because I am a woman. Then I turned it back on him. I asked him if he would go by himself if he had to, to stand up for what was right, to protect starving children from a greedy, selfish bully trying to take their food away from them. MJ said that he would go by himself if he had to. I then asked him why he was against me going by myself if he himself would do it. He said- “Baby, I believe in you. I know you want to stand up for what is good, and what is right, but bad guys don’t play fair, and sometimes they are willing to use aggressive/dirty tactics to try to get what they want.” He also said- “I realize it may look like I am setting a double standard here, because I told you I would be willing to go alone if I had to, but I don’t want you to go alone. It’s just that you are carrying our unborn child, and sometimes shitheads in some countries don’t believe in equal rights, and they think they can intimidate women.” I could feel myself getting pissed off as those words were coming out of his mouth. I was thinking, how dare he be sexist like that, and how dare he doubt my abilities, especially since he admitted he would do the same thing I was doing. Right before I walked out the door, I said- “Don’t say another word, except you support me and you love me.” He said- “I support you and I love you.” Then he kissed me, and I walked out the door. 

It took us about 45 minutes with traffic, to pick up my/our lawyer, and to get to the meeting in Washington D.C. Bethesda Maryland, where MJ and I live, and where our family attorney live, is give or take traffic, about a 20 minute drive. We practiced on the way. I felt prepared and ready for the meeting. When we arrived, I noticed immediately there were no other board members/charity members there, except the rogue board member and me. For the resolution to pass, to divert the money from the food for kids’ program, to fund the energy startup company, all attending board members had to approve the resolution. Usually at important board meetings like this one, there would be at least 8 to 10 board members present, but at this meeting, there were only 2. There was one board member supporting funding the energy company, and one board member not supporting the funding the energy company (me).

My lawyer and I were nervous/scared, even though my bodyguard was with us, because on our side of the table/room, was only my lawyer (a woman) and I (a woman), and my bodyguard (a woman). On the other side of the table/room, was the board member supporting the energy company (a man), and 16 other men, yes, I counted them, who were there with him. Only one of the 16 other men that were there with the other board member was carrying/had with them any paperwork/documents/files. I asked my lawyer why the other board member had so many people with him. She said- “To intimidate me into supporting the startup energy company.” I asked her if she was intimidated. She said- “I’m a little bit on edge. It is concerning to me that no other board members are attending, especially considering the magnitude of the meeting.” 

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 9:00 am. The other board member tried to call the meeting to order at 8:50 am. I asked that he wait until 9:00, to see if anymore board members showed up. He agreed to wait, but you could tell he was anxious to get started. Both sides were scheduled to present their case, and then the attending board members would vote. A unanimous vote would be required to divert the money for the food for kids’ program, to fund the energy startup company. I was against funding the energy company, but I was willing to hear the other side out, because you never know.

At 8:57 am, we heard a commotion in the hallway. My lawyer and I looked at each other, and she said- “I bet it’s MJ.” I said- “I hope so. I told him I didn’t want him to come because I wanted to do this by myself, but he didn’t want me to, because he was afraid they would try to bully me into agreeing to fund the energy company.” She said- “I think he was right.” I said- “Me too, but now it is too late.” She said- “If that is MJ in the hallway, you are not going to make him leave, are you?” I said- “No.” She said- “I think we can both tell they are up to no good, and you know MJ would never let these guys bully you.” I said- “I hope he shows up even though I told him not to.” 30 seconds later the double doors swing open, and it’s MJ standing there with his bodyguards and a half dozen of his FBI buddies. One of the security guys standing in the hallway said- “I tried to stop them boss, but there were to many of them.” At that moment, I knew for a fact the other board member was up to no good. 

MJ walked up to me, kissed me, and whispered in my ear- “You can hate me for coming to your meeting, but at least I will know you are safe while I am sleeping on the couch tonight.”

Then I whispered in his ear- “I’m sorry I was a bitch to you. I love you.”

Our family lawyer said- “I am glad you showed up. It doesn’t look like they are willing to take no for an answer.”

MJ said- “I am not here to interfere. I support and believe in Malia all the way. I am only here to make sure this is a fair fight.” Then he kissed me and walked to the back of the room.

I whispered to my lawyer- “I love that man.” She whispered back- “Me too today.” Then I turned around, and with complete confidence, because I knew the other board member couldn’t bully me now, said- “That is my husband “MJ The Terrible”. He is not a board member. He is just here for support, like your group is here to support you. I’m ready to get this party started if you are?” Then I sat down. 

The other board member stood up and called the meeting to order. He proposed canceling the vote and rescheduling it for another time. His reason for proposing to cancel the vote was only 2 board members were in attendance, but I have a feeling he proposed canceling the vote because he knew he couldn’t bully me into approving what he wanted.

After the 2 minute meeting was over, I walked up to MJ, and told him he didn’t have to sleep on the couch tonight, on one condition. He had to take me and our lawyer out to a nice breakfast/brunch, to celebrate. He agreed, and took us all out, including his FBI buddies, to a celebratory breakfast/brunch, at The Lafayette restaurant.

MJ, you are an amazing husband and father. I am lucky to have you as my husband, and our babies are lucky to have you as their father. You might not always know the right answers on my Cosmo relationship quizzes, but I know you will always love me, support me, be there for me, and always have my back!

All of my love and devotion,

Malia

P.S. MJ, when we were talking about my upcoming charity board meeting vote, you said- “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.” Well, I stood up for what was right, and I fell even more in love with you. It was a win win.

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About Michael "MJ The Terrible" Johnson

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