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Friday, July 27, 2018

The National Football League and the "flag" controversy


Jerry Jones and son, team vice president Steven Jones, have made themselves clear.  Players are expected to put aside their feelings regarding police brutality, social injustice and racial equality.  When they come to “work” to entertain football fans and television viewers, all players are expected to put their feelings in a box in the locker room and come out to the field as if “all is well” in the real world. The youngster Ezekiel Elliott and his views on standing in unity just underscore that many of the new generation of black people have no real understanding of the journey of black people in this country.  It's a fact and it's a shame.

The history of standing for the anthem dates back to traditions established for military personnel before the year 1900.  Over the years the tradition/ritual has cascaded down to the general public at sporting events.  The fact is there is no need to play the anthem at sporting events.  It was pushed upon us quietly and now has become a ritual that we blindly just follow.  Playing the anthem has now evolved through a careful campaign as being a way to show support for the nation and has been construed now as support for veterans, especially those who have given their lives.  Of course when someone ties in support for deceased veterans it becomes an emotional issue.  Who would dare disrespect a military veteran who died “for the country”?  It was a brilliant move to relate standing for the national anthem with support for those who died in military conflicts. 

So instead of playing the national anthem why isn’t there some type of common prayer done before sporting events?  Or a moment of silence where people can contemplate emotional issues?  Maybe someone wants to reflect on the impact of cancer on their loved ones.  The impact of the opioid crisis.  A time for reflection and quiet prayer by parents and students that they will not be impacted by school shootings.  Time for black people to reflect on how ancestors were killed in race riots and no one held accountable for the murders.  Time to ensure your Native American costume is in order so you can make ridicule of a culture annihilated by your ancestors.

We could reflect on and do so much in those minutes that are now used to continue a tradition we follow as if we are all Nazis in the Germany of Adolph Hitler.  Stand, put your hand over your heart, take off your hat, and sing dammit!  40,000 plus captive robots.

Me.  At basketball and baseball games I just stand silently and think of how in these United States of America Black people were; kept in slavery for hundreds of years; families not allowed to follow natural patterns of growth; men, women, and children lynched; people denied equal treatment based solely on the color of their skin and perpetuated stereotypes; and of how there is little concern when unarmed black people are killed by the armed police?

Jerry and Steven Jones say forget all about that!  Players, put your toe on the line and let’s play this game!  It’s all about control.  What I can make you do by constructing rules, traditions and rituals.
I’ve stopped watching NFL football and purchasing any items sponsored by the NFL.  I’ll try to ensure I find out what companies are sponsoring the NFL and stop feeding my money to those companies.

There are different types of slavery.  Mindless slavery to rituals and traditions is just one form.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Time for the Police to follow Nationwide consistent Policies


I read in a “news” item recently that a local metropolitan police department was reviewing its “use of force” policy.  The thought occurred to me, “you mean there is no general nationwide use of force policy that all departments agree with?”  Apparently that would make too much sense.  Who needs to have armed police forces across the country following consistent policies and practices state to state?  Instead we have hundreds of police departments establishing and following their own criteria for when the police can cross the line and shoot people or beat people senseless for minor offenses.

Since use of force policies impact the lives of people, it would be prudent to develop a basic nationwide policy that all police departments adhere to.  Develop a set of principles and implement them nationwide.  Why is it necessary for each police department to develop locality based use of force policies?

In addition there are no national requirements for body camera use and which technology is best to use.  The use of body camera technology also differs among police departments.  One technology turns on the body camera when the police officers gun is removed from the holster.  Finally only twenty six of the 50 states give de-escalation training to police officers.

 It is highly likely that when hiring police the criteria that weed out the bad candidates is different depending on the criteria of each department.  There is nothing to prevent a policeman or policewoman who resigns from one department from being hired by another department.

As you see there is a pattern of inconsistency.  Having inconsistencies in an occupation where the employees carry weapons that can kill someone is not a good situation.  Especially for those who are the victims.  Once more and more people are victims of deadly mistakes by the police is when a call for action and consistencies will occur.  It’s our human nature.  Unless someone dies from a situation we do nothing.  Let’s change course.  We know what the problems are, so now let’s develop the solutions.  It’s time for nationwide basic standards on use of force, hiring practices, and training of police.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kirkpatrick Management Company - Poor Customer Services


“I don’t care customer service.”  That is the type of service I have come to expect from Kirkpatrick Management Company of Indianapolis.  On May 2, 2018 I sent in a simple request to Kirkpatrick to have the shutters treated outside windows at my condo.  Kirkpatrick did so last year in response to my request to treat the shutters so birds would not build nests behind them.  In addition the birds had started to peck at my window screens for nesting materials.

After May 2nd I waited for notice that the shutters were treated.  We went out of town several times.  Each time we returned I noticed that the birds were still trying to build nests.  I would have to remove the materials from behind the shutters.  I finally contacted Kirkpatrick and asked them if they had treated the shutters.  The answer was no and they would follow up.  Yesterday, July 10th I sent Kirkpatrick photos of the nesting material I had removed yesterday along with photos of the window screens that had been damaged by the birds.  The response from Kirkpatrick was that they could not send anyone out this week, but that he would look for a contractor to deal with the issue.  That is 2 months and 2 reminders since my initial request.  No sense of urgency to respond to a request that was not honored months ago.

In addition I have not received any support from the HOA Board regarding Kirkpatrick’s lack of efficient services.  But, that is another story.  If you are looking for an efficient property management company, Kirkpatrick is not the one for your property.  I recall when we first hired Kirkpatrick.  They sent their best person to go over what they had to offer.  Then we were assigned a first year property person who had no experience at all.  He did not last long and his services were not very responsive.   It was a classic bait and switch.  Tease the hiring organization with a professional person during the presentation and then assign someone with no experience to provide day to day support.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Fishers, Indiana Library - Culturally Diverse Books Not wanted?


Diversity is not something that all communities value.  One way to determine how much your community embraces diversity is to see how culturally diverse are the items in the public library.  In the past year I have sought books by black authors or on “black topics” at the Fishers, Indiana public library.  Somewhat surprisingly the items I was seeking were not at the Fishers library. Fishers touts itself as being an upcoming and modern city.  Unfortunately that pat on the back does not extend to it being a culturally diverse city.

I sent a request for the items I wanted to be purchased as part of the Fishers library holdings.  Each time the response was met by the library borrowing the book I wanted from another library.  I was then given 30 days to read the materials.

I commend the effort to find the book for me, but cannot commend the library for not purchasing the books for their permanent collection.  Are topics about black people or issues related to black people not worthy of being in the Fishers’ permanent library collection?  Does the library suffer from funding issues?

No one ever responded from the library as to why the books I requested could not be purchased outright.  Maybe one day the library will actually have in their collection a full range of books by black authors or books on topics of interest to more than one culture.