Political roast brings appreciation

TOGETHER WE STAND: Newly elected State Sen. Bobby Powell, left, and this year’s honoree, Palm Beach County School Board member Debra Robinson, shared political humor, unity and admiration during the 8th Annual Community Roast on Nov. 5, days before the 2016 general election.

Palm Beach County School Board member Debra Robinson, long recognized as an advocate for high-quality education, endured loving abuse from her political friends and admirers during the 8th Annual Together We Stand Democratic Club (TWS) Community Roast at the West Palm Beach Marriott on Nov. 5.

Her political roasters shared wisecracks about Dr. Robinson’s eyes, her being a thug, and her family members — including her grandbabies — being either doctors, lawyers or psychologists. She even suffered jokes about being the “Best Cusser,” and received an award for it — along with a bottle of mouthwash — from DeAndre Poole, community organizer, educator, and chairman of the Coalition for Black Student Achievement of Palm Beach County.

“As many of you know, I’m a peacemaker, but Debra on the other hand is a peace breaker,” said Roseanne Brown, Riviera Beach Police spokeswoman and another longtime friend of the roastee. “One thing Dr. Robinson does not play about is children’s education,” Brown said.

Brown added that a quote by Clarence Darrow hinted at what might happen if someone disturbed Robinson’s children or grandchildren: “I never killed a man, but I’ve read many obituaries with great pleasure.”

“In all honesty and all truth, Debra is a phenomenal woman and nothing but the truth,” said State Rep. Bobby Powell Jr., a former TWS roastee who was elected to the state Senate in the Nov. 8 general election. “She wears her heart on her sleeve, and it’s not too often we have elected officials like this in our community.”

The roomful of notables included TWS  founder James Drayton, who underscored the organization’s goals of promoting voting and interest in the Democratic Party; TWS President Joseph Anderson; Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard; Riviera Beach Councilman Terence Davis; Port of Palm Beach Commissioners Jean Enright and George Mastics; Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks; Palm Beach County Sheriff candidate Maj. Alex Freeman; and the event’s emcee, West Palm Beach Commissioner Cory Neering.

“Somebody was bold enough to run against her in the last election,” Powell said during his closing shots. “Now you know most people are afraid of Dr. Robinson. And that’s why most of you are here today.”