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Monday, September 11, 2017

My NFL Boycott Due to the Blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick

Prior to Colin Kaepernick being black listed by NFL owners, I purchased tickets to go see the Cincinnati Bengals play the Baltimore Ravens. For a period late this summer, Baltimore looked at signing Colin as a back up quarterback.   During that period I anticipated going to the game in Cincinnati to see protesters against Colin being on the Ravens team.  But the signing never happened. The Baltimore Ravens owner made sure that wouldn't happen by not agreeing to bring Colin onto the Ravens squad.

Yesterday around the NFL the play of a variety of "starting" quarterbacks were simply atrocious.  The Indianapolis Colts were a prime example of where Colin could have played if he were not black listed by the owners.  The Colts starting quarterback had a horrid game which assisted in the Colts losing by a score of 46-9 with the starting quarterback throwing for a total of 128 yards with 2 interceptions. So has Colin's phone rang to bring him in for a tryout?  Of course not.  That would be too easy.

The Bengals game I attended was mildly entertaining, but I had already decided that if the NFL continued to black list Colin, I would no longer spend my time or money on the National Football League.  For those black players in the league, even those stars who refuse to jeopardize their careers by joining any political protest, good luck.  I hope you get the biggest contracts you can from your team's owner and subsequently use some of those funds to assist others in escaping poverty and to gain an education.  As we all know for some education is the great equalizer.

If a qualified "brother" like Colin isn't allowed to pursue his career, I feel the least I can do is not support a "professional" football league that will not give him a job.  There is plenty of college and high school football to fill my football watching void.

I don't expect many fans to boycott the NFL.  We've been enslaved for years in many ways to the point that it's hard to not be enslaved.  We were probably better off when we had the old Negro League in professional baseball.  We didn't need European Americans to give us jobs in sports.  We made our own jobs and entertained ourselves.  We've moved past those years of self sufficiency into a pattern of wanting to be a part of the culture and businesses owned by European Americans.  We somehow believe that brings us the total freedoms and choices we didn't have before. Such is not the case. We don't need European American institutions that do not value our opinion, because our opinions conflict with theirs.

I'm sure there are some owners who proudly say that they would never hire Colin because of his past protests.  I hope you enjoy your 4 win 12 loss season!  I"m sure if hiring Colin would guarantee you massive profits this year you would change your mind.

There are plenty of alternative choices to watching professional football.  Yeah, I'm sure I'll miss some exciting games.  So what?  It's still a game that I am not enslaved to.  I have choices and I'm making mine regardless of what friends, family or others do.  It's great to not be a enslaved!  I do what I do and make the decisions I do to honor those who came before me who did not have a choice, and who never enjoyed any type of freedom.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The North Korea Missile Saga Continues

The latest in the continuing mini series that is North Korea and its quest to upgrade its military arsenal.  The North Korean goal apparently is to join the nuclear war club of which these United States of America is a charter member.  It was reported and not denied by North Korea that another  "test" missile was launched by North Korea with the missile traveling over a part of the country of Japan.  Not exactly an act of friendship by North Korea or a show of concern that something could go wrong as the missile traveled over part of Japan.

The antics of the North Korean leader cannot be seen as being responsible.  Missiles are not toys.  Testing weapons of war in or over populated areas is not something that you would expect from a caring leader.  Yes, in this uncivilized world of ours a country does have the right to test weaponry as long as their is no adverse impact on others.  People forget that the United States had extensive above ground and underground nuclear weapon testing for years before finally stopping the practice.

It would seem prudent for all the nuclear club members to call for a meeting with North Korea to work out a humanistic solution.  Telling North Korea to cease and desist is not the solution.  They have no reason to stop their efforts.  In this world those who possess nuclear weapons command much respect.  Nuclear weaponry does serve as a deterrent to others.  Just because the nuclear club already has one Asian member does not mean another cannot join the club.

Maybe one day we will no longer have nuclear weapons. But unfortunately that day will be the end of our world as we know it today.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Why Are Flags, Anthems, and Monuments So Important?

Last year a professional football player chose not to stand when the national anthem was played.  In response people were upset with the player.  This year owners of professional football teams refused to hire the player to fill open spots on their teams.  The player's resume includes leading a team to a Superbowl.

Some people are upset because statues honoring the Confederate era in the United States are being taken down.  The fact that the Confederacy supported maintaining the institution of slavery in these United States apparently is irrelevant to those people.

Refuse to hold your hand over your heart when the flag of the United States is raised!  You will be treated as if you are Satan himself.

People historically have been emotionally enamored by flags, anthems, and statues.   We post our flags, stand for our anthems and of course love to honor certain events and people by creating monuments or naming streets, buildings, etc. for them.   Not everyone who deserves a statue or some form of honor has received one.  We all know that.

How many monuments to Native Americans have you come across lately?  Until 2016 there was no national museum honoring the contributions of black people in these United States of America.  The textbooks in schools have historically only covered the accomplishments and events surrounding European Americans.

What would happen if we stopped having flags, anthems, and creating monuments to human beings?  Do we really need flags, anthems and monuments?  No we don't.  These symbols and instruments of "honor" are all reflective of how we as people love to focus on our human nature and create our human idols.  We love to self promote our greatness as people. We want to take time to look at the flag of "our" country and sing a song about "our" country.  It's all just misplaced adoration.

I'm reminded of one "monument" that I would see while driving westward through the state of Indiana.  It is a large cross constructed near highway I-70 near Effingham, Indiana. It speaks for itself without having any words to explain its purpose.  The large cross lets all those who see it know what really is important.  It lets us know who created us and what we should be doing in terms of our behavior.  But, we have gotten far away from the message that cross gives us.  Instead we have become enamored by our own human importance as displayed in the flags, anthems, and monuments we create to ourselves.  These self honors may have good intention, but they present barriers to our understanding what is really important.

Why do we need flags representing countries?  Is it because if we are traveling we don't know where we are at unless we see the country's flag?  I don't think so.  Flags support the development of boundaries between people.  Flags help to keep us divided. Is it not enough that we all exist on the same planet?  No, we have to create a symbolic flag that separates us by the land we live on.  Then we have to create an anthem to go with the flag.

We are far from reaching the potential that our Creator intended for us.  Instead we're arguing about the "things" we as people have created.  Flags, anthems and monuments; our idols and man made Gods that we have been taught to adore and honor.  If I never saw another flag, heard another anthem or viewed another statue my life would be just fine.  Maybe one day we'll stop all the focus on our selves.  Until then it's up to each of us to break the cycle of devotion we have placed in our flags, anthems and monuments.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Trump Escalates The Conflict With North Korea

Let's be clear.  There is no conflict between the American people and the people of North Korea.  We have no reason to be in conflict with each other.  So where is the conflict coming from?  The "leaders" of North Korea and these United States of America are the source of the conflict.  The drama was escalated recently with the comments of United States President Trump when he went into a "fire and fury" monologue several days ago.  Of course this required a comparable response by the leader of North Korea.

Here we have 2 boys in their sandbox playing war.  They are making statements that are supposed to represent the governments of each country.  Little boys with their toy tanks, missiles and soldiers. "Civilized" nations with leaders who are acting uncivilized. What an embarrassment to the human species.

Hopefully the surrounding bureaucracies of the governments will reel in the deranged talk of the "leaders" of the two countries.  They have shown that they do not deserve to lead their nations. War talk is not what the people of the two countries want.  I would like to see these two world leaders stranded together on an isolated island together. The only resources at their disposal being those that nature around them provides.  The only human company being each other.  Then let's hear you talk about "fire and fury" and attacking another country.

Both of these "leaders" need to understand that the power they have is only what the people allow then to have. They are both entering territory where the people need to protect themselves from these militaristic crazies.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

North Korea Missile Launches - No Need for Fear

I was 5 years old back in 1962 and don't remember the drama and fears of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  From what I understand the United States and Russia were on the brink of a nuclear confrontation due to nuclear missiles being placed in Cuba under Russian guidance. Today, almost some 60 years since that time, North Korea has drawn attention due to their testing of ballistic missiles. The fear is that a successful testing of the missiles will enable North Korea to attach a nuclear device to these missiles enabling them to launch a nuclear attack on another country.

This fear seems a little one sided.  The media has been stressing what cities in the United States can be reached by the missiles.  I thought to myself does that mean back in the 1940s and 1950s when the United States was testing nuclear bombs, that other countries in the world were living in fear of the United States launching an attack on them?

To my knowledge there have been no stories from Russia, China, or North Korea over the years expressing fear of the United States unilaterally attacking cities in those countries. So, why are we assuming that North Korea plans to attack the United States once they have nuclear launch capability?  Why would North Korea begin a scenario that would initiate a nuclear holocaust the world might not recover from?

I agree that military based nuclear devices whether owned by a country or a small terrorist group are weapons to be feared. But, does a country have a right to develop nuclear launch capability?  As a deterrent it definitely presents an imposing presence.  In having nuclear launch capability, something could go wrong and eventually will, whether it be an accident or a deranged act by a leader or a group with access to the nuclear weaponry.  The nuclear capability club consists of nine known countries with Israel and North Korea being part of the group.  One understands the fears of Israel in wanting to keep some countries or entities from achieving nuclear capability.  Until those countries or entities withdraw their stated goal of seeing Israel eliminated, self preservation is the motive for Israel to destroy the nuclear capability of a threatening country or entity.

For the United States to arbitrarily decide that preemptive military action would be warranted to prevent North Korea from achieving nuclear launch capability would seem to be a strong leap to a final judgment.  Does North Korea have a right to create nuclear launch capability? Well, the United States thought we did back in the 1940s.  So why should the current nuclear club members be able to dictate who else can join the club?  Is it correct to take military action against any country that tries to join the nuclear club?  Such an action in itself seems to support a country wanting nuclear launch capability to keep other countries from trying to dictate military terms to them.

One thing we need to be conscious of is to not buy the hype that North Korea's missile launching ability means we are being targeted for annihilation. Mistrust builds more mistrust and initiates the actions leading to an eventual conflict.  Japan, the only country to feel the wrath of nuclear bombs is not a member of the nuclear bomb club. Despite the United States killing thousands of innocent civilians in two major Japanese metropolitan areas, the United States and Japan somehow have good relations with each other. The military views of the current North Korean leader should be an area of concern, but not the sole reason for these United States of America to go into full military defense mode.  When the media starts publicizing stories about how residents of Alaska and Hawaii should be concerned and fearful of being attacked, it's time to reel in the media fear machine from inciting mass panic.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Biggest Lies I was Taught In Grade School

The United States educational system is probably similar to those of other countries.  Our American educational system describes the country's historical events in a positive way as to not admit the sins, mistakes, and negative actions taken within the country.  Other countries also probably take the same approach.

One of the biggest lies I was taught while growing up in the American school system was that Christopher Columbus discovered America.  That has to be in the top 3 of lies taught to kids when I was in the school system in the 1960s.  Somehow the American educational system had been taught to ignore the fact that there already was a Native American civilization prospering in what would become the United States of America.  Although in grade school we may have been taught about "Indians" already being in this country, our teachers had already been trained to brainwash us into accepting that despite that fact, Columbus "discovered" a land that people already inhabited. Teaching us that Columbus discovered America  has to be one of the great salesmanship jobs in world history.
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The history I was taught never admitted that adopting slavery as an institution in the United States was a mistake and just wrong.  Kidnapping people from another country and devastating the lives of those families apparently was seen as being a good practice.  For the good of the country slavery had to exist?  The hard labor needed to be performed by someone else?  The history I was taught did not admit how the words in the United States Constitution were written only for the benefit of land owners, specifically white European American ones at that.  The Constitution was basically a racist document designed to support only one segment of the United States, that being white males who owned land.

Now how did the original European Americans obtain the land from Native Americans? Well truthfully they stole, connived  and cheated Native Americans out of what had been theirs for many years. Some of the richest families in these United States may be benefiting from that thievery.  But will they admit that?  Of course they will not.  That would spoil the image that they simply worked hard to achieve all the family has now. You have to admit that Native Americans were forcefully made to give up what had been theirs.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, black people also had property they legally had obtained taken from them through violence, often leading to the death of black people who had owned the land.  This part of American history is low keyed as it does not fit with the image that the United States wants other countries to have of us.

Negative history is kept away from us on purpose.  It truly takes a great country to admit to the sins and travesties that occurred over the years.  The annihilation of Native American culture and the incorporation of slavery into the development of the United States are parts of history that should be covered in detail in our educational system.  Instead an obligatory paragraph or two may be all you find in the textbooks if any coverage at all.

I have read some articles that there is less emphasis on teaching children about the early years of the history of the United States.  One wonders if that is to avoid the embarrassing details of the Native American experience and how slavery was once supported as an acceptable practice in the United States?

I recall an early historical "fact" we learned about George Washington, the first President of the United States.  The tidbit was about how as a boy George confessed to cutting down an apple tree in his yard. Why that was a historical fact of significance puzzles me to this day.  There was no mention that George was also a person who willfully owned slaves, even as President of the United States.

The lies we were taught often were to the neglect of our being shared factual information about the accomplishments of black people over the years.  There are many stories to tell about the journey of black people in the United States. Some are just now coming out after years of being kept quiet. They are all positive stories about the accomplishments and sacrifices of black people that European Americans had no desire to publicize.

I'm always glad to read or hear about positive accomplishments of black people in the present or past. Such information overcomes the opening 5 minutes of negative news about actions taken by black people that you are guaranteed to see on your local news shows.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Implicit Bias Training for Indianapolis Police?

In response to a recent late night fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, the mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana recently announced that "Implicit Bias Training for police" will start in Indianapolis.  This training allegedly will be the first of its kind in these United States of America.

What is Implicit Bias Training?  Implicit bias refers to the stereotypes and attitudes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner.  In other words, all of the things that we have heard, seen and witnessed in life both directly and indirectly play a part in who we are and how we view the world in our subconscious mind.  All of those things play a part in our worldview without our even realizing it.  In high-adrenaline situations, especially involving threats and fears, it's the subconscious mind that takes control more often than not.  It is these biases that are activated involuntarily and without the awareness of the individual.

After recent video recorded incidents of police killing unarmed black men, you would have thought that police departments nationwide would have gathered to discuss the issue of training for police.  Apparently if Indianapolis is the first city to initiate this kind of "implicit bias training"  that national discussion did not occur.  So after decades of incidents of police killing unarmed black men it seems the police are okay with maintaining that their code of "I feared for my life" is good enough to keep killing black men and others whom they have been culturally taught to implicitly fear.

In other words a European American police officer uses deadly force against a black man in any situation because they have been trained to believe a black man will kill the police officer if the officer does not kill them first.  That logic extends to scenarios where the black man is unarmed.

What if black men reversed that logic?  A black man is stopped by the police when the black man has not done a thing to warrant a stop.  So from past events and history shouldn't the black man fear for his life and take all steps to ensure his life as a black man continues?  Do police officers have unlimited rights to draw their weapons and fire their weapons at black men?  If so, don't black men have the right to defend themselves under the logic that they were protecting their right to life and liberty?  Of course in these United States of America we know what the answer to those questions would be.

The best thing we as black men can do is to not put ourselves in a position where a police man has the opportunity to even stop us.