• Don Tassie is a long time supporter of the LGBT community in Jackson. (Youtube)Source: Youtube
Don Tassie made up the rap on the spot, becoming Michigan's new champion of gay rights.
Michaela Morgan

10 Feb 2017 - 11:23 AM  UPDATED 10 Feb 2017 - 11:23 AM

At at city council meeting in Michigan this week, a senior citizen broke a deadlock on a heated discussion about LGBT+ rights.

Don Tassie is an 81-year-old retired high school superintendent, who came to the meeting to support a non-discrimination ordinance that would protect the LGBT+ community in the absence of any federal or state safeguards in place.

Mr Tassie had originally prepared a speech, but as tempers flared and the discussion became quite heated, he decided to change his approach.

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Wearing a bright yellow jumper emblazoned with the words, ‘Be more kind’, he took the mic and broke into a grandpa rap.

“My friends they call me Mr T, well I’m here in a place where I love to be. Morning, noon-time, night or day, I hear all kinds of folks who say, Amen, inside out, just what are you talking about?

“Just be more kind is what I’m here to say, be more kind is what I’m here to say, to you, to me, ‘most every day.

“Kindness, caring, compassion too is what we all need to do. Don’t be afraid, don’t be shy, come on now let’s give it a try!"

Tassie lost his wife in 2001 and says he will always remember the kindness of the LGBT+ community after a lesbian couple supported him when he was in mourning.

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“They are my dearest best friends after that. How could I deny them, my friends, the same rights that I have?”

The 81-year-old says he quickly changed his original speech on the spot, improvising an old rap he used to use in his teaching days.

“I didn’t intend to do that when I came… I had a whole speech prepared. We got started and people said things I was going to say.

“There was a part of me that thought it was time for something different, I thought, let’s try another thing!”

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Hundreds of people at the meeting gave Mr T's rap a standing ovation.

Better yet, his rhymes did the trick, the council approved the non-discrimination ordinance 5-2, prohibiting “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.”

 Someone needs to give this banger a remix, ASAP.