“Jimmy V” Racism

Slogan

I was watching College Gameday on ESPN recently and they began the program with a discussion on cancer and the ongoing fight to find a cure.

In the process of that conversation they rolled out a myriad of ESPN analysts and reporters and even head coaches of MAJOR college basketball programs who openly discussed their support for the cause and the battle to defeat the dreaded disease. Clearly this was a common objective that everyone agreed upon and one they all felt was much needed. And, I guess it goes without saying that I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. This is especially true and also extremely personal for me since BOTH of my parents (one of them twice) have been diagnosed with cancer in the past and battled through to remission. Not only this but I have also lost family and friends to various forms of cancer over the years and my wife’s uncle who has two young kids was just recently diagnosed with brain cancer and is in battle for his life as we speak.

Having said all of that – as I was watching this program that was highlighting the “Jimmy V Foundation” which is dedicated to finding a cure and whose famous slogan is in the image above – I wondered to myself: Why doesn’t ESPN and any other given network ever highlight the fight against racism in America? After all, much as is the case with cancer, we desperately need to find a cure for racism – another dreaded disease in this country and around the world. Despite the protestations of many Americans, we need to talk OUT LOUD about racism the same exact way we do about other dire issues that are not labeled as being “controversial”. And, you know, as I think about it…racism in our nation is really only a controversial topic where White Americans are concerned. After all, and in case you were unaware -you are never going to hear black people complaining about that discussion taking place in a public forum!

During the recent debates that ensued on ESPN in the aftermath of what is an ongoing “controversy” regarding NFL players kneeling during the anthem – I would hear a lot of comments from White Americans (or see comments on social media) saying things like: “Can I please just watch sports without hearing sportscasters discuss racism”?? “I just want to get away from the issues in the world for two hours”?! And, yet in the midst of the aforementioned Jimmy V Foundation campaign (which is an ANNUAL effort by the way), I have not heard ANYONE say: “Oh my God, do they have to talk about cancer again…I just want to watch sports, ok”?? Or, when our troops are regularly brought up during NFL Games no one says: “Do we have to talk about veterans and the problems they are facing or supporting our troops when I am watching the Steelers play”?? 

So apparently we CAN talk about THOSE types of issues during a sporting event or on a sports show

and we can discuss other issues like bullying or misogyny as well while we watch the playoffs – but for some reason issues of race being discussed during “the game” bothers White America. And the question America must look into the mirror and ask itself is, why? Whether it is guilt or bigotry or stereotypes or ignorance (or maybe all of the above) that is causing individuals to want to avoid that conversation – the root of their disdain and avoidance of discussions on race needs to be identified and addressed.

The battle against the disease of racism – much like the battle against the disease of cancer – must start with an actual diagnosis. We cannot treat what has not been diagnosed. And that is a point that is absolutely critical. Because as is the case with an undetected cancer that has invaded the human body – racism will spread and deteriorate – and attack the vitality of our corporate body if left to roam unchecked. In fact, it can be absolutely deadly and shut down the vital organs of our democracy. And it would not be too much of a stretch to say it has invaded far too many sectors of our society already – so time is of the essence.

Let’s “Jimmy V” racism in America. I want to turn on my TV one day soon and see Jay Bilas talking about ridding our nation of racism. I want to hear Dick Vitale speaking openly about its hideous effects and calling on all Americans to help find a cure. I want to see Mike Kryzewski (aka Coach K) saying “we will not stop until racism is completely eradicated”. This is a no-brainer, dear reader. It is a cause that we should all – each and every one of us – be unabashedly behind. There is no way that as we head into 2018 – ESPN (or any other network) – or head coaches of college or professional teams should be terrified to roll out an anti-racism campaign because they are fully aware and scared to death that the ignorance of viewers could cost them ratings and therefore advertising dollars. The fact that they are in fact concerned with that scenario can only mean one thing: the cancer of racism is alive and well in America. And it is well past time that we diagnose – identify – and eliminate this treacherous disease.

 


 

Oreos to go: Racism is a disease.

 


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

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American Idol

Idol

Pride in one’s country is a good thing. In fact, I would argue that in some cases in particular it is almost necessary to excel and be the best.

For the Olympic athlete for instance – or for the politician – and certainly for a man or woman serving in the armed forces…it is a distinct pride in one’s country that can be the motivating factor and/or the driving force to be elite and to act selflessly; especially when a given person recognizes they are a part of something that is bigger than their self. However, as is the case with ANYTHING in life, no matter how noble this idea of pride might be, there is always what is known as too much of a good thing.

Whether you are religious or not maybe you will be familiar with one of the “Ten Commandments” found in the bible that reads: “Thou shall not have any other god’s before me”. That verse is essentially a reference to not succumbing to the ever present temptation of idolatry or of worshiping a “false god” – particularly in a society like America where let’s just say we have a lot going on! The “gods” or “idols” we erect in our individual lives could be money – prestige – status – a person/celebrity – a house or car – and so on. And the reason I mention that verse is because I believe that Americans have collectively created a “false god” in the form of what we might call “fanatical patriotism” or an “American Idol”; which is much different from a healthy pride in one’s country. In fact, the general public has done so to the point of becoming a cliché of sorts whereby citizens of this nation regurgitate scripted lines of which – to be quite honest – we have all been indoctrinated with from birth on some level.

There are SO many layers to this subject matter and I really wish I had time to unpack this further than I will be able to today. But, in the interest of time I want to talk about the particular fact that what some people call “Patriotism” (the kind that is built upon a false reality) is actually a tool that is utilized by those in power to – among other things – oppress people of color and ironically emboldens people to behave in a manner that is detrimental to the very freedoms they themselves hold so dear. All of this while believing their cause to be a righteous one, no less.

A perfect example is the “untouchable” pedestal that police officers or “first responders” – are placed upon. It’s true – police officers have a dangerous and often times thankless job. And if somebody breaks into the home of yours truly – you better believe I am going to dial 911 with the quickness! I appreciate what first responders do on a daily basis and believe that they ought to be commended for their service to the public. But, does that mean that police officers (for instance) are infallible? Incorruptible? Or, most importantly, are they impervious to the tenants of White Supremacy that infiltrate ALL other facets of society? Of course not.

As we all know one of the social issues at the forefront of the current fight for equality in America is police brutality against people of color. We have all seen video footage of black men being shot in the back: which is indisputable proof that policemen are not perfect. However, what happens in the midst of the discussions which transpire after many a police shooting is that a lot of Americans who are over-zealous about the ideals they “grew up on” – REFUSE to accept any possible wrong-doing on the part of police officers in our country and instead regurgitate lines that they have heard all their lives: “Policemen are the best”. “America is the greatest”. “Black people shoot other black people so they can’t talk”. Oh and then there’s the ridiculous line that is often repeated as of late: “Go live somewhere else if you don’t like it here” or “Go back to Africa”.

And I get it (not patronizing) – some individuals have been told all their lives that America is the land of the free and home of the brave. They have been told that you can NEVER criticize the police or soldiers who put their lives on the line for you. NEVER….EVER do you do that. And what’s more is that those “ideals” they have been taught match THEIR reality as they walk down the street. Meaning that they have NEVER had to worry – not even for a second – that they may be discriminated against or possibly killed based on the color of their skin. The very idea that someone in a position of authority would harm them without due cause is inconceivable – especially not the “good old “boys in blue”! So therefore when those individuals see that NFL athlete – that “son of a b&$@h” as Trump put it…kneeling during the anthem??! It goes against every idea of America that they have ever known or experienced – ideas they have been dutifully trained to love and revere.

My response to those who take that approach is to begin by stating that NO ONE and NO THING is perfect.

And that goes for America as a whole – the Flag…Soldiers…Police Officers…you name it. We are all imperfect and so that means that since WE are America – America must be imperfect too, right? And what I want those individuals who have not considered this perspective to understand is: Your reality is not this writer’s reality. Nor is it the reality of millions of other Americans. And, yet, America has cultivated a particular and peculiar type of jingoism that has led to an idol-like perspective of a country whose ideals do not match the reality experienced by ALL of her citizens.

Instead of actually adhering to the principles put forth by our founding fathers, America is currently engaged in the overzealous worshiping of an “idea” (freedom for all) that is not even real to begin with and never has been given the overtly racist track record of our country. The antidote: we must take down or remove these false gods and begin to focus on the humanity of every person everywhere. If we truly want America to be as special as some have portrayed it to be today – we won’t start with a worshiping OF the flag – we’ll start with insisting on equality for all which will give true validation TO the flag…or any of the other American Idols or symbols at whose feet many have fallen prostrate.


Oreos to go: 

17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel (Chapter 3)


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

Racism 101: Class is in Session

Class

I often hear individuals who offer up the idea that the solution to racism is in the hands of people on all sides of the equation.

These are the people who say stuff like: “Hey, let’s all just put hate aside and love each other”….you know neat little axioms like that. The problem with that philosophy is that while it sounds nice it is actually misleading. What that line of thought does in so many words is: it suggests that we are all equally to blame @ issues of race in America – which if you study our nation’s history or analyze our current state of affairs you know is not true. After all, that would be like if all the victims of rape were to be placed in a room with their assailants who had never been held accountable or admitted any wrong doing – and a mediator walks in and says to the angered and suffering victims: “Everyone just calm down”….”Let’s all just listen to each other””We all have some blame here””ALL LIVES MATTER”…”Let’s all just learn to love one another ok”No, it’s not ok. And to be clear there is only one side @ racism in America that needs to listen and FINALLY accept its role as the perpetrator of this crime against humanity that continues to this very day.

Let me be frank. White America (collectively) does not have anything to teach Black America (collectively) about racism in America. No more than a random dude flipping burgers at Mickey D’s has something to teach a Rocket Scientist at NASA about jet propulsion and abstract algebra. And the reason I can say this with absolute certainty is simple: The majority of White Americans living in the U.S. (many who are good people) do not even realize racism is a problem to begin with (disqualifier)! Nor do they understand that White Supremacy has enveloped our ENTIRE society. In fact, the very words I just spoke are completely foreign to the lion’s share of White Americans. They are appalled at the suggestion – indignant at the mention – and in complete denial about a truth that is as evident as the nose on their face. I don’t say that with even an iota of disrespect. I say it because that is literally how deep rooted and blinding White Supremacy is in our country. And the more you learn about White Supremacy’s insidious and detrimental effects – the scarier it is AND the harder it is to believe just how indoctrinated our culture has become with its tenants and ideals.

This is why we quite literally need to incorporate a course called Racism 101 on some level (in our schools – on TV – in our books: or in all of the above!) – in which we start with the basics. We need to go back to the beginning of the American Experiment so that America as a whole can be educated (schooled if you will) on what has transpired since the inception of this nation and the harmful effects that that history has had on people of color. More importantly it needs to then OWN that history. The fact that America has not done so to-date is the precise reason we have a division among races today. And that’s why it is White America primarily speaking (though not exclusively) who could benefit the most from a course on Race.

Rodney King, the beating victim in an infamous case involving police violence, once asked the question: “Can’t we all just get along”?

Though the general public (and probably Rodney himself) did not know it: King was being used as a prop or puppet by the “powers that be” to help quell the widespread riots that had broken out at the time in reaction to the not guilty verdict handed down by the jury despite indisputable evidence. And his case provided a prime example of why the answer to his question is actually NO we CANNOT just “all just get along”. Not in the socially hostile environment in which we currently live, that is. The fact that the jury could watch a gang of police officers – ON VIDEO – beat an unarmed man to a pulp and still proclaim them “not guilty” is not mere happenstance (or a “one-off” scenario). Their minds had been dutifully programmed long before they ever sat on King’s jury. They’d been programmed to view black people as less than – to see them as criminals and conversely to view all police officers as innocent and pure. And so long as that type of scenario exists it will be impossible for us to create a harmonious society @ our current racial divide.

All of the above notwithstanding – I hope the day does come when we CAN all sit down and have a civilized and INFORMED discourse on race in America. One in which all sides have helpful insight to offer. As it is today, however, this would be an impossibility as White America as a whole has been the recipient of a severe mis-education on this subject matter. Yes, we must love one another – we must treat our neighbor with respect – we must learn to listen. BUT NONE OF THAT WILL BE ENOUGH – nor can it be completely authentic – so long as blatant lies and misnomers about the facts @ this nation’s past are allowed to remain intact within the collective psyche of White Americans. So pull up a chair White America – would you (?) – and give us your undivided attention. Class is in session.


Important: I do not want the preceding to be taken to mean that we cannot ALL (no matter what race) have a discussion – TODAY – on Race in America. In fact, I believe we MUST do that. And White Americans ought to be made to feel comfortable participating – expressing their feelings – asking questions etc.

However, there is a difference between discussing and teaching. And what I am suggesting in my post above is that when it comes to teaching – that is when White America needs to become the listener – which it has ALWAYS refused to do. White Supremacy has been silencing undeniable truths since 1492 – truths that White America has NEVER been able to hear – accept – or had to grapple with. Therefore many White Americans have no concept of or realm of understanding @ what I discussed in today’s post. It is completely foreign to them. And that truth is the very crux of the problem we must overcome if we hope to EVER make progress @ Race in America. Here’s to the day when that moment finally comes.



 Oreos to go: Harvard Professor and Philosopher…Dr. Cornel West whom I was fortunate enough to meet – speak with – and have to sign my copy of “Race Matters” (which he references in this video below) breaks down why an education on Race in America is not just important but necessary:


 

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More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

A “Hip-Hop” Culture

Hip Hop

I am a fan of what I refer to as REAL hip-hop. In particular the 90’s brand which is widely known in hip-hop circles as the “Golden-Era”.

This was an era that saw the debut of artists like Tupac and Biggie (R.I.P). Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest. Jay-Z – Nas – Outkast – The Fugees – The Roots – Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg- and the list goes on and on. In that era the art form was fresh – it was original – and it was that era that was the launching pad for what has now become the number one selling genre in the world. While the lyrics of rappers in the “Golden Era” could be crass at times it was because the artists projected onto the track their reality which often times was not pretty. And that is why in most cases the genius MCs of the 90’s had something significant to say if one took the time to actually listen. The production of their albums was on point because the lyrics and the beats had a living breathing soul…for which the bass line was the rhythmic heartbeat that left the pulse of its listeners thumping loudly in their necks.

Not long ago Lonzo Ball – rookie point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers – crystalized the point that I am headed towards today when he made the inexplicable statement that Nasir Jones (aka Nas or NASTY Nas if you please) “Is not real hip-hop”. For those who are not familiar with the genre this is tantamount to saying that Mick Jagger is not rock n’ roll – or Michael Jordan is not basketball – or Rocky Road is not ice cream. We are talking about a LEGEND in the game. If Nas is not hip-hop…NO ONE is hip-hop. Just like if Muhammad Ali is not boxing no one else is either.

This disregard for Nas by Lonzo (who seems like a nice enough kid) is directly related to an important point. One that speaks directly to a glaring deficit in black culture in general through the microcosm of today’s version of “hip-hop culture”. Whereas in today’s hip-hop culture…burgeoning generations have no concept or respect for those who came before them. If you notice, Hip-Hop fans are the ONLY fans of any major cultural phenomenon who disrespect legends of the art form they supposedly love in that manner. Even in a cut-throat arena like American sports where the mantra is “win now or be fired” – the jersey of former great players are hoisted to the rafters – their names placed into the “ring of honor” – statues of them are put in place with the specific intent to never forget their contributions to the team’s legacy. And, yet, in hip-hop for some reason, young fans have no problem throwing legends to the side like they are mere trash to be collected on Wednesday. And I believe we ought to ask ourselves why that is (?) – because for me the answer to that question leads to a much bigger issue. That issue: My generation and on forward, does not have a healthy respect for black culture or black history in general.

Black culture is a culture generally speaking – that has come to be one that asks: “What have you done for me lately”?

We have no concept of what happened three days ago – let alone 50 years ago and consequently we lack the ability to see outside of the here and now. Instead, we chase after the latest fad or trend or trinket that became hot in the last three seconds on Instagram – believing that that will validate our self-worth. This suffocating and small-minded mentality has made our community – in large part – prisoners of the moment and hindered us from the ability to see the big picture. And while it’s true that part of this unfortunate reality is a direct result of systemic racism and a society that is dominated by a majority that places no emphasis on our illustrious history (as I recently posted about in “Hidden Figures”) – WE are still responsible for our own actions. And if we don’t respect our own history why would we expect others to??

For much of Black America the entirety of our breadth and depth of life can be summed up in a few short sentences, whereas we have the potential to write an entire book if we should come to understand that we MUST broaden our horizons. And what’s really interesting is that upon an in-depth analysis of modern day hip-hop – I think one would agree with me that in many ways the shallow and trivial state of the current version of that art form is simply a manifestation of the MINDSET of our actual community. True there are still some dope artists carrying the torch like…Kendrick Lamar…J. Cole….Chance the Rapper…Rapsody…Childish Gambino…but they are few in far between. And I think the reason for the disintegrating state of hip-hop is our “mindset” in general in the black community. I am HUGE on that word mindset as some who have read my previous posts in the past may have gathered. And my mindset is this: I will not be relegated to the confines of a small box in which there is no room to be an original. I want to LEAD not follow.

We have such an august body of unparalleled pioneers who have blazed a trail before us as they strived for excellence and equality. And my challenge to Black America is to learn about them and absorb a depth that was refined in the white hot flames of suffering and oppression. Then weaponize that knowledge and utilize it to lay claim to your future. A future that has no limitations so long as we assume the ability to critically assess the status quo. Whether we realize it or not, the lack of respect we have for those whom we ought to hold in high-esteem speaks to a mentality of not having respect for OURSELVES. It speaks to the fact that we have no vision since we pay no attention to those who spoke a prophetic word in our past. We are not rooted in anything, so we don’t stand for anything. A fact that leaves us chasing after simple ideas and trivial aspirations that lead absolutely nowhere.

As I end today’s post I would like to ask Black America to consider this formula: Learn to be an original. Create your OWN swag (your own style). Think outside the box. And just for the record…though this subject matter is much bigger than music…individuals who follow that formula KNOW that that…that right there…is REAL hip-hop!


 Oreos to go:

 I get it…19 year-olds listen to current artists. But in the video below Lonzo tried to put MIGOS over NAS??

My point: Michael Jackson is ALWAYS going to be Michael Jackson – no matter what decade it is – and Nas is ALWAYS going to be Nas 🔥💯 !!

 


 

Nas

 

 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

Free Meek Mill

Meek

Here we go again. Another young black man who finds himself the victim of what is an unquestionably corrupt criminal justice system in America.

Robert Rihmeek Williams, aka “Meek Mill” is a well known hip-hop artist who was recently sentenced to a 2 – 4 year prison sentence for a “probation violation” regarding a crime he allegedly committed ELEVEN years ago when he was the tender young age of nineteen. And what was this egregious violation that led the judge to come down upon Meek with such a heavy hand of justice you may wonder? He made the insanely inconceivable decision to “pop a wheelie” on a motorcycle. No really, that was it. Quick…grab the women and children and rush them inside! Lock your doors and throw away the key America, a mad man on a motorcycle is trying to have fun! What are we to do – what with such debauchery and hoodlum-like activity unbridled and running amuck on our streets?!

This is so obviously ridiculous. It is…within a nutshell…everything that is wrong about the prison industrial complex. And that complex is incidentally – an institution with a binary purpose that clearly defines its ultimate objective: 1) Make money 2) Enslave young black men. After all more black men are in prison today than were slaves during that period in America. But wait it gets worse. The probation officer and THE PROSECUTOR in Meek’s case informed the judge that he did not need to see ONE DAY – let alone two to four years in prison – and yet the judge ignored their advice and decided to exact this severe punishment upon him anyway. MEANWHILE – just last week – the parents of another unarmed black man who died at the hands of the police had to sit and watch a “not guilty verdict” handed down by a jury of their peers as justice once again leaped out the window of a another courtroom of supposed “law & order”. This was a reenactment of an all too familiar scene or a really bad movie for the families and friends of black men and women who cry tears of pain upon a loss of life and then again for a second time after witnessing the assailant walk away scot-free.

And, what about this opioid epidemic that is sweeping through white communities around the nation? The response of the current administration in the White House to stories like the one I just read the other day in which two white women were found passed out in the front seat of their car (Click here for story) with the infant baby of each respectively in the back seat…is empathy. We need to HELP White Americans not JAIL them apparently. Therefore Trump is suggesting programs of rehabilitation and assistance for those hooked on opioids which he calls a “Public Health Emergency” (a program that since he labeled it “Public” will cost upwards of a billion dollars out of the pockets of tax payers by the way – I thought his crowd hated socialism??). Meanwhile, if a black mom should be caught – AWAKE – with a nickel bag of marijuana – a much more benign drug – she is headed to jail. We don’t need to help her – she’s just a bad mother and a degenerate drug addict.

The double standard in this country is as evident as it is appalling. So when I say “Free Meek Mill” in the subject line above, I don’t just mean from prison (although somebody DEFINITELY needs to step in and let that negro out). I am actually referring to something I’d like to think is much more profound. What I am suggesting is the cultivation of a society in which he is truly free. A society in which such an egregious miscarriage of justice is unthinkable not just for some but for all. A society in which a black male cannot be killed by individuals who are sworn to protect him. And if he is – one in which that officer KNOWS justice will be swift and impartial. It is in THAT type of society that you TRULY free Meek Mill and all who share his pigmentation. Whereas in this society Meek Mill can be released from his physical incarceration TODAY, and yet he still will not be completely free. Because to be black in current day America is to live in bondage and to be subject to an unjust system economically – socially – and politically. God speed the day when that is no longer the case. Until then I guess no “popping wheelies” Black America. If you want to commit a crime – overdose on heroin with your kids in the car because that will elicit the sympathy of our Commander-in-Chief.

 


FREE MEEK MILL


 


 Oreos to go: Black Americans don’t get treatment via “Public Funds” they get locked up:


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

Hidden Figures

Hidden 3

Not sure if you have seen the movie Hidden Figures which details the contributions of three women in particular

who were among those that contributed to NASA’s storied and by now iconic “race to the moon”. The film compellingly depicts the adversity that these ladies had to overcome primarily as women of color but also as women in general in the extremely racist and misogynistic era that was 1960s (and before) in America. However, what may have been lost on some is a much more profound and suggestive perspective that was for me the underlying meaning of the film’s title. Which is to say: one of the greatest and most unfortunate consequences of white supremacy’s legacy in America is the historical veiling of not just black contributions to the American story (for instance I had no idea about the ladies depicted in that film), but the distortion of the beauty and brilliance of black culture itself in America.

Black people in many ways both subtle and not so subtle – are indeed hidden figures. On the not so subtle side: Did you know for instance – that a black man by the name of George Crum created the potato chip? I didn’t either! Not until just recently, that is. I been eatin’ chips all my life and had no idea! How about the three signal traffic light (Garrett Morgan) or the “street letter” mailbox (Philip Dowing); you know the mailboxes various mail carriers have in place that you can walk up to on the street and throw a letter or package in to ship off to your desired destination. Or what about the name Mark Hannah – does that ring a bell? Yeah, it didn’t for me either. Mark co-founded Silicon Graphics and his computer programs were instrumental in the 3D effects of ground breaking films like Jurrassic Park and Aladdin which revolutionized the cinematic experience for audiences around the world. These are just a few of the creative and innovative geniuses counted among the ranks of black people in our nation – past and present.

Another facet of this discussion are those who fought for Civil Rights. Do you know the name Fannie Lou Hamer? A. Philip Randolph? How about Ida B. Wells? Are you familiar with the story of Emmitt Till and his mother MamieWhat do you know of the Reconstruction period and the role Frederick Douglass played in meeting with Charles Sumner – Thaddeus Stephens – and others -during the 1860s as they attempted to reconstruct the Union which the Confederate Army had torn apart? You know the name Martin Luther King, but have you heard of Andrew Young or Ralph Abernathy? This is the type of history that should be included in our history books in grade school, but has instead been hidden by those who do not want to allow for the debunking of myths that have been constructed about the inferiority of black people. Myths that have been dutifully inserted into the collective American psyche for centuries. The recollection of our nation’s past – the story of America is therefore decidedly one-sided.

Perhaps the most unfortunate piece to all of this – the more subtle aspect – is the misdiagnosis of black culture in general. On the one hand you have stereotypes that are meant to malign black people and paint us ALL into a dark corner or present us in an unflattering light. So that Americans – many whom have never spent any significant time in our presence – have bought into the depiction of black people as: unintelligent – lazy – criminal minded – uncivilized or unruly – and looking for a hand out. On the other hand Americans are more than happy to appropriate the undeniable genius of black people without giving credit where it is due: the style – the creativity – the intellectual offerings – the innovative ideas – the language (like the word “cool”. I know you don’t think a white dude came up with that word as his wife was doing a little square-dance sixty years ago(!): “Honey that is SO cool“!) – the music & dance – the ground-breaking inventions; all these things and more have been exploited for personal use or gain at every turn in American History by the dominate majority. A majority that says: “We don’t like you but we’ll take the parts of your culture we like and make it ours”.

So it is that to date we have indeed been hidden figures traveling through the dark night of white supremacy. Our brilliance shaded over like the undetected gleam of an unpolished 24 karat diamond. Ours is an epic story of which the “half has never been told”. HOWEVER, among ourselves, we revel in the beauty of a rich culture. Unlike some of our fellow citizens when we are at the church or at the club – when we see ourselves on tv or in films (like Hidden Figures) – when we absorb the modern day brilliance of black intellectuals like Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson – when we hear a quote by Langston Hughes or W.E.B. Du Bois – when Frankie Beverly & Maze or A Tribe Called Quest comes on the radio and we say “that’s my jam!” – when we are in the backyard ‘BBQing’ THEM ribs with the SPECIAL sauce and cracking jokes – when we watch the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha or Omega Si Phi – OR – the sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta stepping in unison – when we are rockin’ that clean outfit and you can’t tell us NOTHING – when we think and we lead and we strive and yes when we excel – in ALL of this and so much more we KNOW – we RECOGNIZE the beauty of Black America. And it is WELL past time the rest of country began to recognize it too. Recognize those hidden figures that have long been traveling in the dark and dreary night.


 Oreos to go: Katherine Johnson – one of the women depicted in the film Hidden Figures receives recognition that was long overdue:

 


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

The Aftermath (Part II)

Hurricane

On the heels of (Part I) posted on Monday I want to discuss Black America’s role as I see it @ the rebuilding

of our community as a whole in the Aftermath of the debilitating “natural disaster” that has unfolded here in America.

To begin with I want to reiterate that the steps outlined in part one MUST be seen as a prerequisite to what I want to share @ the part Black America has to play in this dilemma. In other words, we must finally reach the point of a universal agreement that there was indeed a natural disaster (destructive racism) that took place in this nation. Secondly, we must also agree that the perpetrators never took responsibility and therefore did not act accordingly. In fact, to the contrary, they denied having played any role in bringing about the tragic circumstances that ensued as a direct result of their very own actions and even worse were successful in intervening and preventing any attempts by those who were seeking assistance in rebuilding or being compensated for what had been taken or destroyed.

It is vitally important that we start from that place of truth as Americans of all races. It is not ok for America to continue to perpetuate the lies it has to-date about how we arrived where we are at present. Those lies affect this entire rehabilitation process and cloud the judgment of the public at large. This has allowed ignorance to prevail in a form that is counterproductive to progress and has for decades prevented the sorely needed dispensation of public policies – resources – and basic tenants of human decency across the board; leaving large pockets of Black America to sink into the quicksand of hopelessness and despair.

Having said all of the above – there is an immensely important facet to this scenario that sits squarely upon the lap of Black America. Which is to say that once we are able to hopefully reach the moment of truth when America ultimately recognizes and is therefore prepared to right her evident wrongs – Black America must be ready to take advantage – and right now… generally speaking…we are not.

You know one of the greatest travesties of all of this unfortunate history is not necessarily what it has done physically or economically to black people – though it has been truly destructive in each of those regards. But, it is the mental toll or the warped mentality that this has produced in our community (again I am speaking in generalities) that is the most harmful aspect in my opinion. The trauma – the lack – the impact upon our self-esteem (and much more) has collectively speaking led to a scenario in which far too many black people have turned away from education to crime – turned away from loving ties and brotherhood to violence and distrust. And, perhaps worst of all, we have turned away from hope to apathy and despair due to an environment that breeds a “dog-eat-dog” mentality.

All of this has happened in neighborhoods where our children have been left to walk among the broken glass – the felled trees – the twisted metal of the Aftermath of White Supremacy in America. This Aftermath has crippled the black community in ways which are simply indescribable and it has produced a myriad of unhealthy habits and backwards ways of thinking that now must be reversed. Our narrow perspective – our limited worldview has been brought to fruition within the confines of a small box constructed with the limited space of four enclosed walls that are suffocating and have left various communities feeling woefully claustrophobic. And to survive those dire circumstances far too many among us have hardened a carefully constructed shell around our individual persons and turned to detrimental vices as a coping mechanism to deal with the traumatic results of being left behind to fend for ourselves in the Aftermath.

This is precisely why we see so many shootings on the Westside of Chicago and in the “Pork n’ Beans” in Miami and in South Central Los Angeles – where even innocent children are not spared from the stray bullets of the guerrilla warfare known as gang violence. This is why in my own city two eighteen year-old black kids were recently arrested after going on an epic crime spree which included armed robbery and a carjacking of a lady with her kid in the car. This is why too many fathers are absent and domestic violence is a regular occurrence in our communities. Rather than making positive choices that can revolutionize our communities like pursuing an education – business ownership – pursuing political empowerment; we instead witness countless young souls filled with untold and untapped promise being lost to “the streets”. And so we must take a LONG look in the mirror as we attempt to proceed in the right direction.

If this truth is not addressed we will not be prepared, Black America, and therefore we cannot advance. Which means we need leadership in our own right that has in tote a game plan of preparation and revolution. We need a person(s) with a plan to redirect our attention – our focus – and to recalibrate our mentality so that we can in fact be ready to utilize and not squander the opportunities that are hopefully forthcoming (and so that we can also – even now – create our own opportunities to the extent possible). The truth we must understand is this: We can have all of the resources in the world…money…new public policies…free healthcare….you name it. BUT if our minds are not free we can NEVER be free either.

And for me that is the key to all of this on both sides of this equation…meaning black and white America. Both sides respectively must free their minds from the confining and destructive effects that White Supremacy has had on their way of thinking in order to deal with the Aftermath – pick up the pieces – and move forward in a positive direction in this unparalleled effort known as the American Experiment. NONE of us can truly be free until we have done that. In that sense, both sides have a critical role to play @ moving forward in the Aftermath. And it is the cooperation of each side respectively @ their role in all of this – that will allow the American Experiment to be successful. To that end, MLK was right when he offered the quote I leave you with now:

 

“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…

This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

 


 Oreos to go: 

Aftermath Clean-up Effort:

Step 1) Remove the harmful effects of White Supremacy on rebuilding.

Step 2) Black America must be prepared to take advantage of that removal.


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

The Aftermath (Part I)

Aftermath

Want to try and address a popular stance taken by far too many people OUTSIDE the black community.

There are many Americans who believe that regarding what is undeniably a vicious and profoundly ugly legacy of racism in this country: that that was THEN and this is NOW. What they are essentially saying is that one period of time has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Once a few laws were changed Black America was “good to go”. “Stop complaining”“My ancestors did that – not me”. “I can’t change what they did alright so pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and get an education”. This is not just “an opinion” held by some of America mind you – it is an indoctrinated culture that is almost as American as apple pie where many White Americans in particular are concerned. And what this ideology does is – it attempts to completely wash the hands of those in a place of privilege by using a “my bad, but what can you do?” escape route. It attempts to place the blame and the onus for the desperate and dire circumstances found in devastated communities squarely upon the shoulders of individuals who are experiencing the direct consequences of centuries of decimation enacted upon it at the hands of a nation that wants to simply walk away after delivering a “haymaker” straight to the face.

But the truth is that the consequences of all the chaos performed against black people did not magically disappear once the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was signed into law. In fact, that would be impossible, wouldn’t it? After all, it’s impossible to erase the destruction of 400 years over night. If one thinks about that logically – I mean to say with basic common sense – that truth would be evidently obvious or elementary in nature. This analogy will not do it justice – but I liken it to an F5 tornado that flattens a town or an earthquake measuring 10.0 on the Richter scale that disassembles an entire city. The federal government would not then say: “that sucks but hey the natural disaster is over now so pull yourself up by your boot straps you’re good to go”No. We are not good to go. We must actually deal with the AFTERMATH of what has transpired. People are devastated – destitute – homeless and hopeless. We cannot pretend that it’s just “all good”.

A specific and strategic response to what has transpired must be employed. Similar to the response from FEMA after a hurricane when they come into the area that has been hit and assess the damage and then report back to Washington. The federal government even puts boots on the ground to help those who are in need and provide services to those who are suffering. Congress – along with the President – as we have even seen in recent months – will then put together aid totaling in the billions of dollars based on the information relayed back to them from FEMA representatives; and this without much of a back and forth because “Americans are in need” (is the popular refrain). Why did ALL of this not happen for Black America when the destruction of our community was FAR more devastating than any hurricane could ever be? Why was there no assessment and no OFFICIAL plan of action to rehabilitate and rebuild what had been torn down on a scale never before witnessed by mankind? I guess I have to admit that those questions were rhetorical in nature because we all know the answer. The very same RACISM – the very same avarice and greed that caused the destruction in the first place – prevented America from sending a “FEMA” to help black Americans in the aftermath of what was undoubtedly the greatest “storm” of all time.

Instead of making amends – instead of displaying a contrite spirit for its many wrongs – White America found clever ways to avoid dealing with the aftermath of White Supremacy. It hid behind what were conveniently labeled “American” principles. It said to help the black community is tantamount to “socialism”. It said “All those black people want welfare”. “They don’t want to work hard like us, they’re lazy”. And then once some time had elapsed the majority began to insist it was not their problem: “That was my grandpa who did all that not me”?? Consequently the black community has been left empty handed and hung out to dry in an environment that to this day is discriminatory and told to fend for ourselves by the very same individuals who enjoy every conceivable privilege possible as they meanwhile refuse to concede the truth of all of the above.

I’ll leave you with this anecdote which I hope will help to bring this idea on home. Say an individual is charged with murder – convicted – and sentenced to life in prison at 19 years-old. And fifty-one years later – at the age of 70 years-old it is found that the prosecutor hid or destroyed…at the time of their conviction…evidence that this person was in fact innocent. I think it would be sufficed to say that this is undeniably an inexcusable and unspeakable crime against humanity. Fifty one years this man languished in jail while his youth was taken away from him – while he could not get married – have children – while he could not see the beach or climb a mountain – or just simply walk free in the street and embrace his family and friends. FIFTY ONE Christmas(s) went by while he sat in a jail cell. FIFTY ONE Thanksgivings and birthdays that he can NEVER get back.

What would you say is owed to this man upon the discovery of this evidence that was intentionally withheld? A WHOLE LOT right? Maybe the sincerest of apologies from the head of state? A hundred million dollars perhaps? Mental help for PTSD and a beach house in the Florida Keys? Words cannot even begin to express what he has lost nor what he deserves. And by the way: it does not matter if the prosecutor who convicted him is dead and gone that man deserves his just due from the NEW prosecutor – which still won’t be enough.

As tragic as that scenario is – it does not even BEGIN to compare to what has happened to black people in America. And it does not matter if the worst of what happened was in the past (though racism is still a problem so don’t get it twisted) and whether particular acts were performed by others who may have even passed away (like the prosecutor in the analogy above) – the just due needs to be forthcoming in the AFTERMATH of these tragic circumstances. It is one hell of an epic crime against humanity to be sure – that the recompense – the effort to rebuild and rehabilitate – to make right the egregious wrongs – ALL of this has PURPOSEFULLY been withheld in the very same America that many purport to be the greatest country on earth.

This truth about what has transpired in America is clear…the only outstanding question…as with the man wrongfully convicted in the story above: Which generation will be the one to finally accept the evidence and act accordingly?


 Oreos to go: In Part II this coming Thursday…I will be addressing Black America’s role in the Aftermath.


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

MJ is the Solution to Racism

Jordan

Michael Jordan is not only the greatest basketball player to ever live, but he is probably also the greatest athlete of all time.

Although I would not argue with those who might offer that Muhammad Ali would have something to say about that. No one could argue, however, against the fact that MJ has to at the VERY LEAST be a part of that conversation. To put it into as simple of terms as possible: Michael Jordan was a bad boy!

Dating back to the days when he took the NBA by storm in the 80s, Jordan was a force to be reckoned with. And we are talking from the moment he stepped onto the court his rookie year when he AUTOMATICALLY began electrifying audiences with gravity defying moves and cat-like quickness never before witnessed by basketball fans. Oh, and by the way, when the infamous tongue came out, whoever was guarding him KNEW they were in serious trouble! To this day Jordan apparel – especially items from his sneaker line – are a hot commodity. His brand is as monumental as it is universal. A fact which has transformed Jordan into a billionaire mogul of epic proportions.

Having said all that I wonder if you have ever thought about the Jordan brand from the stand point of what it has to say about race in America? What’s interesting about the Jordan Brand is that its overwhelming success must mean that people of all races dating back to his playing days are enormous Jordan fans. The American public bought tickets to his games (home & away) – it has bought untold amounts of paraphernalia – middle-aged men have even attended the Michael Jordan Senior Flight School that cost upwards of fifteen thousand dollars a pop to spend three days with Mike. And you know what all of that proves to me? It proves that people can and will indeed put race aside when it is in their own perceived best interests or given the right circumstances.

This is a complicated idea that has actually been floating around in my mind for some time now. The idea…that is…that people who are otherwise racist according to thought – word – or deed – somehow manage to flip a switch when it comes to cheering for black athletes. A fact which makes those individuals a curious enigma in that they wouldn’t have their black neighbor down the street over for dinner – they will refer to black people as the N-Word when in private company (or maybe even to their face these days!) – they will teach their kids the same ugly mentality their parents taught them; but if they see the star running back of their favorite football team (a black player) walking down the street they would without hesitation run up to him with their children in tote to get an autograph!

The exceptional approach to black athletes on the part of bigoted Americans is one of those odd scenarios that is nonsensical and counter-intuitive – but at the same time is worth considering because I think it speaks volumes about what racism is and more importantly what it is not. For instance – if you think about it – the perplexing scenario spelled out above has to mean that on some level racism is an illusion. It is not all-together real or concrete – otherwise the white guy who supposedly can’t stand black people could not bring himself to run up to Michael Jordan when he sees him out in public. He is supposed to be a racist but newsflash: Michael Jordan is black!

I understand the idea that Jordan may appear super-human or become “colorless” in peoples’ eyes (if there really is such a thing) due to his tremendous abilities – but still they KNOW he’s black at the end of the day. And, if their racist principles and beliefs about “all black people” are REAL or have merit – then they would apply to MJ as well – no matter how sweet his jump shot was or how high he could jump back in the day. That is to say that either you ARE allergic to peanuts or you are not. And if you ARE allergic to peanuts and you eat ANY peanut you ARE going to the hospital. Whereas @ “racist beliefs”: the fact that people who supposedly believe in its tenants are able to suddenly embrace and even admire a man with brown skin means those aforementioned racist tenants cannot actually be valid either in theory or principle. It also means people who think that way do in fact have the ability to approach people of other races with respect – they just CHOOSE not to unless of course they’re famous or if there is any other exception or qualifier that suits their desires.

Which leads me to my second point which is that this scenario also proves that racist ideals – ideals that are TAUGHT – can be overcome. But, the key as I mentioned above is that the possessor of said racism must perceive that the need to do so is in their best interests. So the question then has to be: How do we create a society in which “the majority” decides that laying down its racist tendencies – which is clearly possible based on all of the above – is in fact in its best interests? And for me the answer begins with education by way of a critical assessment of the nuances of race: similar to this discussion we are engaged in as we speak.

I can almost guarantee that as you are reading these words it is causing your brain to process and consider a perspective that is at least thought provoking. And, as you and I are doing so, we’re challenging centuries-old theories of race that make no sense. Therefore light-bulbs begin to go off in rooms of thought that have been intentionally enveloped within the dark past of a country that has always been dominated by the tenants of White Supremacy. To-date there has been no pursuit of a public discourse on race from a diverse perspective. Instead, America has allowed for a one-sided perpetuation of myths that has guided us down trails that lead to absolutely nowhere.

So you see – though it sounds funny – Michael Jordan is the solution to racism. The Carolina Panthers are the solution to racism. The L.A. Lakers are the solution to racism. In other words, whatever that “thing” is that causes people to cheer for teams or revere players – no matter their race: that “thing” is bigger than whatever it is that has been able to divide Americans based on the color of our skin. By jumping up in down in the stands at the game or on the floor of our living room…for a player who does not share our same pigmentation…we prove that it is possible to root for one another. We prove that when we have a common cause before us – when there is an object of our affection that is of supreme importance in our eyes – those ideals – not whatever issues of race we have managed to concoct as a society – are what motivate our actions. If this were not the case after all, Michael Jordan would have had a REALLY hard time selling all those shoes.


 Oreos to go: I can almost guarantee you some of these people in this video harbor some suspect and/or racist ideas about Black America:


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

Fake News

Newspaper

At the risk of stating the obvious I dare say: we live in strange times.

A time in which the truth is now open to interpretation and any particular subject of fact is now “up for debate”. To begin with – atop our society – sitting within the auspices of the highest office of our nation – we have an individual who is willing to make any statement that pops into his head irrespective of the truth in order to appease his inexorable ego. It is extremely odd to watch the leader of this nation try to substitute absolute truth with what White House counselor Kellyanne Conway coined “alternative facts” at the onset of the Trump presidency. And even stranger when the individuals who follow him KNOW that he looks foolish as he dispenses these imaginary tales – and at least to-date – still refuse to admit as much. Let me give you just a few examples.

If you recall…after photos and videos showed a relatively diminutive crowd at his inauguration he went on the record and said: “There were (according to his naked eye you understand) what looked like at least 1.5 million people there that day”. AND THEN he proceeded to have now terminated press-secretary Sean Spicer come out and say: “It was the largest crowd to EVER witness an inauguration both in person AND on TV” (SO BIZZARE 😂!!). Or how about after we ALL saw THE video tape of him on THE bus talking about female genitalia 😳? Trump subsequently addressed the now infamous controversy in the third person: “The lying media is saying Donald Trump doesn’t respect women…I can tell you, everybody knows Donald Trump respects women, ok folks. Nobody respects women more than me….FAKE NEWS”. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico – which he clearly dragged his feet on – he said verbatim: NOBODY could have done what I’ve done for Puerto Rico and with so little appreciation”.

The very audacity to openly offer what are all clearly egregious lies that presuppose the stupidity of his audience (oh that would be us by the way!) is a slap in the face. It undermines Trump’s integrity on just about everything. If he can’t tell the truth about that for which we have clear evidence – or even be able to speak the truth about subjects like “crowd size” which is inconsequential and trivial – how then can we trust him on the issues that actually matter like tax reform – healthcare – military engagements or the hot topic of today regarding the ongoing investigation into Russian ties to his campaign? The irony is that the guy who goes around screaming “Fake News” lies through his teeth on an almost daily basis without even blinking and consequently we have absolutely no idea when he is being truthful.

Now, in the interest of fairness I must admit that although our President is certainly a historically fantastic conveyer of falsehoods and mis-information he is not the only guilty party in this epic saga that is unfolding before our eyes. The mainstream media – as it were – is entirely complicit in this scheme to mis-lead the American public and/or at the very least control the everyday narrative in order to achieve its own desired ends as well. That is to say that if the media has an agenda it wants to push @ any particular cause it fancies: that is precisely what it does. The media will choose said cause – personify it in the form of an endearing “character” – and then appeal to the bleeding hearts of its enraptured audience. This is particularly true in our current political climate where it has declared war in a reprisal against a President who began launching missiles in its direction from the word go; and a President who to its great dismay was successful in deploying dubious but effective methods of undermining their espoused integrity from day one.

So what we have then is a scenario in which we are witnessing – what is in fact an at least sometimes dishonest media (with an established agenda) that has been assaulted by an all too often dishonest President (the likes of which we have never seen). And this just so happens to be a President who also has the most frightful political agenda of my lifetime…one that is unfortunately built upon a racially discriminatory platform that should no doubt be labeled as white nationalism. This I am afraid is a recipe for disaster. When you have a narcissistic commander-in-chief who is also bigoted – stoking flames of hatred that not only embolden individuals who are white supremacists but that also fosters an environment conducive to that ideology – AND – meanwhile a mass media that essentially can do nothing to combat this alarming state of affairs as it itself has been exposed as a pawn in the hands of those who command it do their bidding…things are not going to go well in the intermediate future.

Noam Chomsky may have said it best: “Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self-defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy.” (Please read that quote again). There is a sacrificial lamb that has been slaughtered on the altar of public opinion in the midst of this circus and its name is “the truth”. Truth – integrity – morality – NONE of that matters anymore – at least not to those in power. And to be frank, the reason they all get away with their “wicked schemes” is because we as an American public are collectively the “ignorant masses”. Like sheep being led to the slaughter – we blindly follow the pied piper as he plays his tantalizing tune. We sorely lack the ability to critically assess the issues at hand or the requisite fortitude to educate ourselves and to question the status quo. If Fox News or CNN said it – it must be true. Even worse if Donald Trump had said FIFTEEN million people were at his inauguration – I guarantee when the rest of us looked at his followers with an incredulous look on our faces they would have been like…”What”??

I’d say it’s time – wouldn’t you – to start seeking the truth in ALL these things? It is time for the ride to stop and for each of us to get off and start dealing with the reality that America is nowhere near a perfect union. To the contrary – though some like to pretend that America is a magical kingdom of freedom and justice…filled with edible red white & blue pixie dust – we have to-date forged a society in which many face the severe consequences of inequality. A fact which can only be rectified if we begin to accept the truth about our current state of affairs. Once the majority FINALLY comes to grips with that reality – then and only then can we elect qualified officials and hold those officials accountable and to an ethical standard that is beneficial to all Americans regardless of race or tax bracket. But, this can NEVER happen if America continues to accept the copious lies spoon fed directly into the mouths of the unsuspecting proletariat from the crooked tribunes of our nation.

 

Final thought: There is only ONE President of these United States. And, when he or the people who are followers of his try to equate his copious lies with that of ANYONE else it is a non sequitur or false equivalency.

For instance: whether or not Hillary Clinton spoke lies last year or used a private email server is irrelevant to Trump’s current job performance because she is not President. Donald J. Trump is and HE is the singular person whose lies are the most dangerous and relevant to our nation given the office he holds. He drives policies – he literally has the ability to start wars at the push of a button – and HE is the person accountable for the direction of our country as President. That is what he signed up for. He said HE was going to “drain the swamp”, so we must hold him accountable for HIS actions. The buck stops with him and him alone.

 


 Oreos to go: Remember this jewel?


 

signature-4

 

 

More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos.