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Monday, May 14, 2018

News Boycott - Give me News On Demand (NOD)

I finally had enough of being held captive by television news shows.  These "news" shows typically include "stories" where a collective of people  have decided for us what we need to hear and see during the news hours.  Then the same stories are repeated every hour on the hour.  The topics are the usual.  Someone shot; a body found; traffic problems; etc.  All you need to do is change the names in the stories and the specific location and you pretty much have a template that can be used every day.

I am tired of being downloaded on every day with stories of life events that are predictable and of course always negative.  Is that what news is about?  Sharing negative information?  So if there are 40 "news worthy" events happening, why do stories about death and violence always have first priority?  Is it so we're thankful that violence hasn't come into our household or impacted us?  On occasion you hear a "positive" story.  ABC network news typically has a story on the evening news that is inspirational and somewhat positive.  But, why save that item for the end?  Why not put the inspirational item first and save the depressing violence for last?

My response to the negativity of the news has been to stop watching the news.  If I want to know what is going on, I will peek into an online news website, or quickly turn to a news show of my choice for a few fleeting seconds.  I no longer see how people can sit stationary in front of a television and be bombarded with stories you did not ask to see or hear about.  It's time for News On Demand (NOD).  We need something where if you want information or news on a topic, you type in the category and then will be presented with those stories.

I have a problem with some producer or staff determining what 15 items I should hear about in the course of a 30 minute news show.  Especially as a black male.  Most of my concerns are not even addressed in a news show.  Showing me how another police officer stopped and shot a fellow unarmed black male is not something I want to keep hearing about and seeing.  I would rather see information on what solutions are being put forth to avoid such incidents.  Show me the positive stories of black people overcoming the odds and performing positive acts.

It is time the delivery of news was modified.  Talking heads are no longer the best option.  News on Demand.  Somebody deliver it please!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Dear Police Chief

Dear Police Chief:
Stephon Clark of Sacramento, California.  He is the most recent victim in the reality that police departments across these United States of America have not called time out, or ordered a “stand down” to rethink how the police are taught to deal with black men during a police stop or police chase.  As a black man myself that tells me that there is a chance that I too might become the victim of being shot and killed by a police officer.  In addition as the recent incident at a Starbucks shows, black men can be called out for just sitting in a public place awaiting a meeting.
Question.   Has your office reviewed your use of force policy with your police officers?  If not, why not?  Are you okay that under current policies the death of another unarmed black male may happen under your police force during a police stop or chase?
Let’s pause.  I understand that being a police officer is a difficult job and requires on the spot decisions.  We are all thankful for those situations where the police actually protect and serve the public.  But, that does not mean police officers are allowed to make mistakes and kill people based on biased fear.  No one wants to hear about the death of a police officer in the performance of their duty.

We also do not want to hear about another unarmed black male being killed due to the biased “fear” of an officer.  If an officer fears for their life when in the presence of a black man, they may be in the wrong occupation.  Being a police officer does not mean you have the right to shoot first does it?
Incidents continue where police use the excuse of being in fear of their lives to warrant killing black men during confrontations.  It is as if Police Chiefs and Mayors of cities throughout the United States are okay with these incidents of black men being murdered by police under the umbrella of “fearing for your life.”  Just as students in school are tired of being victims of shooters, we as black men are tired of being victims of police who perform their job in a fearful “shoot first” manner.

The talk about implicit bias existing within police departments has apparently not lead to a review of how police are hired and trained.  Use of force procedures throughout the United States have not been reviewed and how to engage black men not reviewed.  It’s still the same “shoot at any opportunity to end a situation” especially if the situation involves a black male.  It appears as if the death of the black man is irrelevant as long as the police survive the confrontation alive.  In the case of Stephon Clark, shooting at a black man 20 times (several times in the back) for having a cell phone in his hand is on what page of your police training guide?

You fear the wrong people.  Have you not noticed that it is white teenage males who are killing people in schools?  Your police officers probably drive by these same white teenage males everyday without a worry or fear.   Why?  Because they don’t fit the “fear” stereotype that has become institutionalized against black males.

As the person in charge of your police department I have several questions for you.  Have you gathered your fellow police officers together and reviewed the use of force procedures to specifically follow when engaging a black male?  You may say why do so for a specific group?  Because police are consistently and methodically murdering persons in this same group time and time again.  Do you screen future and current police officers for their ability to engage a black male without killing them?  If you have not done so you will, if you haven’t already, be in a situation where you will be responding to the death of an unarmed black male by one of your officers.

As students in schools have recently said, enough is enough.   Well that applies to black men also.  We as black men apparently are lower on the ladder of importance in these United States of America.  We want a change.  A change that allows us to have a better chance of staying alive after an ecounter with a police officer. 

We believe that there are many good policemen and women among your force.  We also believe that there are many police who should not be on the police force.  The time has come to retrain and weed out the worst of those on the force.  Doing so will save the lives of black men and keep families from being torn apart when a black man is killed.

Dialogue is better than conflict, do you not agree?  What are you doing to ensure the situation improves?

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Comedy rant!

No Hope

I am a firm believer in some type of God.  I’m not a big bang creation theory person.  At one point I started my own church.  You’ve heard of churches with the name “New Hope”.  Well my church name was “No Hope”.  Cause I didn’t know what I was doing.  Preaching stuff wrong. Saying stupid stuff.  It  was messed up.  I finally quit when on Communion Sunday I served Vanilla wafer cookies with pomegranate juice.  That didn’t go over very well.  That was a messy Sunday.

Black Cruise Ships
After years of paranoia and fear, I now love to go on cruises.  They feed you at an endless buffet, entertain you, clean your room every day.  Can’t beat that.  I was trying to imagine what would an all black cruise ship look like.  You know how we can be.  Instead of pool areas, there would be a deck full of  bbq grills.  BBQ grills lined up in rows, bags of charcoal  and cans of lighter fluid all over the deck.  There would be all day bbq cook off contests.  BBQ sauce flying everywhere.  Fish fry stations with boiling vats of vegetable oil.  Rows of dominoes and cards table.

2016 election
It’s been two years now since the election.  We’ve had time to think about the results.  The 2016 election was about white people saying, you Negroes had your way.  Now it’s our turn.  We’re going to elect the dumbest ass person we can. The worst of us.  So now we just have to endure 6 more years of bullshit.

Shopping time
I live in a neighborhood mostly surrounded by white people.  So that means I do my shopping in the hood for black people’s stuff.  The stores where I live might have an ethnic section.  But, if they do it only has one tube of shaving cream, one tube of bald head oil.  It’s like we have to share one tube of stuff among all the Negro men in the area.  So, if you buy the tube, you gotta let folks know on social media and give out your phone number so other brothers can call you to borrow that one tube.  So to buy my own stuff I gotta drive like 15 miles to the hood.  I have to change clothes, put my hard looking clothes on.  My sagging pants.  I stop talking proper and go back to my street language.  What’s up negros.  What’s up OG!  What’s up dog!

Gas Pump Questions in 5 below weather
I hate to pump gas in cold weather.  If I could find a full service gas station in the winter time, I would drive for half an hour to get my tank filled up. You know.  You pull up to the pump, call a number and tell someone to come the hell out and fill up your car with gas.  I’m serious.  I would tip for that. The way it is now, they have the gas pumps set up to ask you like 12 questions before you can even lift up the gas nozzle.  You out there freezing while being asked some stupid questions by a machine. You slide your card in the machine. Then it asks you is this a Credit card?  Debit Card?  Rewards Card?  What is your zip code?  Who’s your momma?  How much do you weigh? Are you Black?  Are you Latino? Then the dumbest question is, “Do you want a receipt?”  If I have to get my behind out in 2 below zero temperature to pump 10 gallons of gas and answer 12 questions for 5 minutes you damn right I want a receipt.  Who thinks up those questions?  A gas pump needs to say only 3 things.  Slide your payment card in. Pump your gas.  Take your receipt and go.  3 questions in less than 30 seconds.  Getting gas should be like a pit stop in a stock car race.  They should give rewards for the quickest gas pump stop.  If you break the record your gas is free!

Cold Christmas Donation to Bell Ringer
Yeah, when it’s cold I avoid making too many stops in my car.  I remember one day around Christmas I was driving past this Salvation Army bell ringer.  I was in the giving mode but it was like 6 degrees outside with a wind chill of 7 below.   So, I roll down my window and threw money out in the direction of the bucket.  It’s the thought that counts.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Television's Gay Depiction of Black Males

I was watching a Netflix original series last night.  The story line involved the investigation into the death of a teenage black male.  For some reason the writer chose to create a back story that the dead black male had been involved in a gay relationship with another black teenage male.  In the past 2 years it seems as if television has been pushing stories where characters are gay.  Especially if they are black.

Being gay is not a typical trait of being a black person.  If you were to use television's depiction of black characters, you would think that at least one third of black people are gay.  I am concerned that young black people are encouraged to experiment with gay behavior by these images thrust into their faces.

I don't think it is "normal" to be gay.  The media, television, and the movies would make you think that being gay is normal.

There is nothing wrong with being a "straight" heterosexual person.  Just as there is nothing absolutely "normal" about being gay.  The homosexual choice sometimes is just that.  A choice that someone decides to make in terms of their personal and sexual lifestyle.

So media.  Stop pushing gayness upon us, especially in the area of entertainment.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Immigration Policies made by Human Caretakers

Sometimes we need to pull back from the  notion of human superiority/invincibility.  When we believe that we as humans control our existence and are the sole reason for our existence, we lose focus and ignore the truth.  Human beings are not responsible for our own creation.  We need to reflect on that fact daily as we make decisions impacting other people.  In pausing for reflection we provide the means to make better decisions.

It's from that foundation that I discuss the notion of people labeling other people as being immigrants, or illegals.  Our Creator conceived us and provided us with the means to sustain ourselves.  Food, materials for housing, products to keep us warm and cool in various climates.  Methods to entertain ourselves.  Yes, our Creator even developed a set of original rules for us to follow, which we continue to ignore.  Yet that same Creator is giving us time to correct our behavior before ending the madness we have chosen to create.

On this planet made by our Creator, people have developed a system of geographic borders,  ownership (over land given to us as caretakers) and developed symbols (flags and anthems) to separate us from each other.  We have countries, states,  cities, etc.  We develop armies to protect ourselves from other countries.  We have created layers of systems and rules that take us further and further away from the original notion of a Creator owning everything and giving us the right to use what our Creator made.  Now we think it's "our world", "our country", "our food", "our resources" and "we" will make decisions on how other people can use what is not ours.

Within our human system we now label people not part of "our" country as being "immigrants" or as being "illegals".  As a creation of our Creator, there is nothing illegal about them.  In the scope of our Creator's plan, they have every right to travel and live in any part of the world. As long as people peacefully journey into another land and respect the customs of that land they should be allowed to live in harmony with others.

I heard a story about a government agency that has decided to start actively seeking out "illegals"  Once found the people would be deported out of the borders of the United States back to the geographic border from which they came.  Although they had established a life in the United States, because they did not follow the human rules for being able to live in the United States, these people are now being forced out.  Our Creator didn't say only let certain people inhabit specific parts of the world.  That decision seems to have been mostly dictated by those of European American descent.  Ironically the descendants of European Americans also earlier made a decision to forcefully take land formerly inhabited by Native Americans who did not have a keep out immigration policy.

Imagine yourself living day-to-day knowing that at any time representatives of a governmental agency were looking to catch you and send you away because in the country's eyes you are illegally here.  What gives us the right to label anyone as being illegal?  We have created governmental institutions designed to keep people away that we do not want around us.  We don't want to share the resources of this country with anyone else.

Immigration and labeling people as being "illegals"  is an erroneous concept.  It does not recognize that we really do not have the right to dictate how the Creator's resources will be shared.  Breaking down the immigration barriers and rules around the world will be a step in this world moving toward it's final destiny.  It's all part of our Creator's plan.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Christian Fellowship - Church Borders

I recently attempted to continue a friendship with a fellow "brother" whom I had met at a church I and my wife had joined in 2016.  The brother and I socialized at church Men's Ministry meetings once a month.  I was seeking Christian friends who I had something in common with.  The common theme was to interact with another brother trying to live a Christian lifestyle.

I left that church midway during 2017 due to my perception that the church was not attempting to grow as were the pastor's stated written goals.  Originally the "brother" offered to continue talking to me during weekly phone conversations.  I declined but still periodically stayed in touch with him via text messages.

I had asked him and his wife to meet with me and my wife for lunch one day.  I felt that fellowship could continue despite us not attending the same church. Prior to that happening he sent me a text stating that something was happening with the church that involved the health of the church.  Based on whatever was going on he cancelled the luncheon meeting with me and my wife. I never heard from him again, even after I sent him a follow up note expressing hope that all was well with his church.

Without talking to him, I am disappointed that this Christian man felt he could no longer interact with me because he felt interaction with me and my wife socially would not benefit his church.  Apparently he felt it was not in the best interest of his church to fellowship with me, someone who had left his church.  I mistakenly felt that it didn't matter that we were not members of the same church.  But, apparently he feels it does matter.  Church walls apparently are borders to Christians being friends?  That's a new concept I'm still trying to process.

I have moved on and am active in the new church I joined along with my wife.  Initially my wife remained behind as a member of the church I left.  She finally decided to also leave and we joined the church she had left when we married years ago.  I believe my wife and the 'brother's" wife remain friends and try to interact at lunch sometimes.  What I have learned is that Christians remain humans and cannot be counted on to put away human feelings and beliefs.  We all believe in the same God but staying friends with only members of your church is a priority?  Is that Christian Fellowship?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Why Can't More Asians Have Nuclear Weapons?

Why can't more Asian countries have nuclear weapons?  That's the question I want "45" to answer.  It's not like North Korea is  a new country inhabited by descendants of Native Americans who have a grudge against the United States! Who said only the nuclear weapon club is limited to European Americans only?  This isn't an exclusive private golf club that limits and screens who can be a member.  Plus, China and a few other non European American countries are already part of the club.  Those non European American members aren't trying to sponsor a new Asian member.  As a matter of fact they are trying to stay quiet even though they no what the deal is.  They are saying to themselves, those American's don't want any more people who look like us in this club.

So what do the other members of the club do?  They quietly help the wannabe member get their act together so they are fully qualified to join the club.  So don't be surprised that any past technical issues North Korea was having were "fixed" quicker than expected.  It's all part of the nuclear club game.  The other members of the club benefit by any new country joining the club.  It levels the field of play.  It spreads the power with a nuclear butter knife.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Start of the Year 2018 - Random Thoughts - People do What People Want To Do

As this "new year" begins I have pretty much come to one conclusion.  No matter what we do, good deeds or bad deeds, the Christian conclusion is that this world is doomed.  A perfect humane world will never happen in it's totality.  We may encounter some periods where living in peace, love, and harmony may appear reachable.  But, apparently the plan of our Creator is that one day life as we perceive it will come to an end.

If such is the case, what motivates people to behave and perform acts of kindness?  Basically it comes down to having a choice to do right or to do wrong.  The motivating decision in which direction we turn depends on what we want?  People do what people want to do.  Yes, it's a simplistic statement but no matter what laws exist, or what religious directives and guidance exists, the final act of a person comes down to each person making a choice.  Some of us may consider religious laws and human laws in making our decisions.  Some of us just don't care what directives or laws exist. People do what people want to do and accept the consequences of their actions (especially if they can avoid getting caught when making "wrong" choices).

With that in mind is there any possibility that racism could be eliminated in the United States of America or in other countries.  No.  Some people will always maintain racist views.  They will be taught to believe in racism by their relatives or organized groups that are allowed to spread racist views under the broken umbrella of "freedom of speech".

I saw a news reference this morning that the leader of North Korea reached out to the leader of South Korea in an attempt to diffuse tensions between the two countries.    A united Korea would be a nightmare scenario for some elements within the government of these United States of America. Some elements of the political structure exist based on being able to point to enemies of the United States.  A strong military bureaucracy needs a poster boy country or group that can be pointed to as being a threat to the United States.  What would "45" do if he lost North Korea as a subject to Tweet about at 4 a.m. in the morning?  A United Korea with nuclear power?  A united Asian ally to China with nuclear power?  The industrial military complex in the United States would find a way to garner support for increased military spending for the "defense" of the country.  I really don't see why some believe everyone wants to attack the United States.  Such an attack would only be the beginning to the doom I mentioned in my first paragraph above.

Last year I heard much about the "opioid crisis" or "opioid epidemic".  Their has been some discussion that some pharmaceutical companies are purposely supporting the crisis. The more drugs are produced the more money some pharmaceutical companies make.

As I get older I find myself devoting more time to exercising and practicing good health habits.  I try to eat more nutritional and healthy foods.  It occurred to me that if the government can come to the rescue of people caught up in a crisis or epidemic, why can't that same government do more to support my healthy habits?  A healthy person means less need to cash in on health insurance that drives up the prices of health care.  If people stayed healthier, maybe that would drive down the cost of health care premiums?

Before the playing of the national anthem and patriotic flag displays at all the NBA, NFL, MLB, college, high school and grade school sporting events begins this year; I want to pause and reflect. I pause and reflect and before the anthems are played take a knee and a moment of silence for all those who were lynched in these United States of America just because they were black; those who were enslaved; those whose normal family life was disrupted by the American institution of slavery; those killed by police unlawfully; those police killed while just doing their job; and lastly I pause and reflect on the indigenous people of this country (Native Americans) who were annihilated by European American policies and actions.

A few closing thoughts.  The Grammy's and Oscar's are not called the "European American" awards.  So why is it necessary to create music recognition shows such as the Latin, Hip Hop, or R&B music awards??  Is it that the Grammy's and Oscar's generally don't recognize diversity of talent if it's not European American talent?

Why do people organize into hate groups?  Because we allow them to.  Somehow freedom is equated with allowing people to express and act on their hatred. 

People do what they want to do.