Friday, September 30, 2016

Kneeling to the National Anthem - See all the viewpoints

During a town hall with American Armed forces, President Obama stated that as part of the general conversation he wants everyone to listen to each other.  He said this in regard to San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee when the national anthem is played.  President Obama stated that he wanted Kaepernick and others who protest to listen to the pain that taking a knee may cause someone who lost a child or spouse in combat, and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing.

Well, since President Obama wants everyone to listen to each other, listen to this Mr. President.  Think about the mothers, and family members of black men who have seen policemen receive administrative pay and then found not guilty of killing unarmed black men in the 8 years of his Presidency.  Think about the devastation and loss of hope those continued events brought to black families.  Think about the worry that black parents have when their son leaves the house each day.  Think about how black families feel knowing that even having a black President of the United States hasn’t made a difference in stemming the murder by police of black men.  Think about how black people feel standing to give honor to a flag representing a country where the death of black people by police is a common event.

Yes, it’s great to have everyone listen to each other.  But, give equal importance to the pain and fears of black families.   Let’s agree that the feelings and emotions of one group are not more important than those of another group.  So there is no hierarchy of feelings that places those of blacks in the number one pain position, and those of veterans in the number two position. 

The whole notion of people being emotionally tied to a song seems rather primitive.  It’s as though the song itself created life and we have to stand to honor the life the song created. Yes, in this world people have been taught to love their symbols.  Flags, songs, jerseys of sports teams.  We’ve somehow been taught that it’s okay to idolize these symbols and become emotionally attached to them, to the detriment of more important matters.

To those who get super emotional when the national anthem is played I only have one question.  Is the anthem your God?  It is not mine.  When the anthem plays I stand…in silence.  I don’t put my hand over my heart and sing along.  Why should I?   My thoughts turn to how black people are treated in this country.  

I understand President Obama attempting to cater to the various viewpoints.  But Mr. President, you also need to reflect again on the role of your office and how even the power of your elected office has not made it safer for a black man to walk the streets in these United States of America.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Comedic Chatter

I really hate those Viagra commercials that come on during sporting events.  Here you are trying to enjoy some quality sports time.  All of a sudden this heifer, wearing a blue outfit to symbolize the blue Viagra pill, pops up and tells you how convenient the 1 pill packages are to give you a 4 hour erection, whether you want one or not.  If you notice the female is doing all the talking in the commercial.  The man doesn’t say one word.  Do we know if he wants to have sex?  Is she forcing him into taking the pill so she can have 4 hours of sex?  We don’t know.  If the commercial is really for men, then let the man talk in the commercial!  We want to hear what he has to say about a 4 hour erection!  Put the man in a blue outfit.  Picture this commercial.  A man is a blue jumpsuit is walking along a crowded street.  He sees all these pretty women along the street.  He starts fantasizing about them sexually.  But his private body parts don’t react to his thoughts.  So he pops in a one pack pill of Viagra.  In less than half an hour he starts walking along the crowded street with a noticeable erection.  The women he encounters either smile at him or look revolted.  Then cut to four hours later with the guy leaving a brothel.  Fade out of the scene with the words “4 hours and $200 dollars later.”

I heard it from a reliable source that all the cops who kill black people save the administrative pay they get while under “investigation”. They use that money for travel arrangements to “White Town” an all white community in Montana where  all white cops who killed black people go to as a safe refuge.  At last count the population was like 740,000 people including the families of the cops.  What folks don’t know is that they also get checks, cash, gift cards in the mail from “American patriots” as an off the books reward for killing a Negro.

Another white cop filed a false police report.  You heard about that?  This one white cop showed up at the station all beat up and without his squad car.  So he says this black man, about 6 feet 11 or 7 feet, 295 pounds beat him up at a traffic stop.  Right away I’m thinking, did he stop Shaquille O’Neal?  The cop said the black gargantuan grabbed his taser and gun and crushed them both in the palm of his hand.  Then the cop said the black gargantuan threw the balled up metal into the sky where it kept on going and going up and finally exited the atmosphere into outer space!  Of course Fox News ran the story like 45 times within an hour of the cop reporting it.  The Governor called out the National Guard and a Negro Alert was issued to locate this Shaq look alike.  The story quickly fell apart when a video surfaced showing the cop being robbed by 3 prostitutes and their Pimp taking his police car.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Okay, Let's Start the Discussion About Race

In the background of life in these United States of America, two more black men are gunned down under suspicious circumstances.  American "patriots" continue to be offended by silent protests to our nation's flag.  As a side bar, you patriots need to talk to some Native Americans and compare your being offended to what they feel.

America needs to start the discussion of race and it's impact on our everyday thoughts, decisions and actions.  Yes, it will be a tough discussion as each "side" expresses their views, opinions and brings forth "facts" the other side may not have considered.  Until we begin that dialogue race relations will not effectively improve.  I will continue to have my biases and views about European Americans based on the history of this nation.  European Americans will continue to have their viewpoint of white entitlement, unless we start the dialogue and bring both our realities into the same arena.

Of immediate need is for police departments throughout these United States of America to start meeting and communicating with the black citizens it interacts with.  You need to get to know the people you say you are sworn to protect.  A black person's first encounter with you should not be at a traffic stop where you fear for your life, even though you are armed and the other person isn't.

Our national, state, and local political leaders need to be in the forefront of starting the dialogue about race.  But, we know they won't because most of their constituents do not want to discuss race.  Especially those who live in affluent communities with little to no contact with "minorities".  That's okay.  I understand you well and understand why you have the yard sign of the Republican Presidential nominee posted in your front yard.

The only thing I want is for the various races to understand and respect each other's culture.  Celebrate all the cultures not just yours.  Truthfully describe the history of the American experience and admit the mistakes made.  Honor the accomplishments of all Americans, not just European Americans.  But, if you don't want to that is fine.  This world is big enough where I don't have to come in contact with you, and you can avoid being around me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Other Side of 9/11

There is another side to the memories of 9/11 beyond the flag waving you saw on Sunday.  The other side is the memory of how the intelligence organizations of the government failed miserably to prevent the attacks.  Back in 2001 the United States was still proclaiming itself as being the greatest country in the world in many ways.  That self appointed title did not save the lives of some 3,000 people killed by terrorists that infamous day.

9/11 was not an attack by a sovereign nation.  It was an attack by a well organized group of people who had a goal and worked hard to carry it out.  It did not matter how many weapons the United States military had on 9/11.  The attack proved that history can be impacted by only a relatively few people.  Who needs nuclear weapons when you can fly planes into buildings and inflict death and mayhem upon a nation?

On 9/11 I lost further trust in the United States government to protect me.  As a black man in this country I already knew that the police were not my protector.  I already knew the criminal justice system was not built to protect my rights.  On 9/11 it became clear on a global spectrum that the government didn't have the ability to ensure I was safe from terrorist attacks.

After 9/11 public hearings were held and the customary report written.  The question, "How could this have happened?" was mechanically answered.  It was bound to happen.  A sometimes arrogant nation was brought to the reality of the new world.  No one is afraid of the United States.  The aura of it being the "greatest" country in the world is fading.  The Presidential campaign and the police action shootings of black men over the past few years has highlighted that America has forgotten where it came from.

The flag waving, standing at strict attention as the national anthem plays, patriots of the United States do not know or they choose to ignore the history of the United States.  This is the United States that supported the forced takeover of land inhabited by Native Americans so that Europeans could build a life for themselves.  This is the United States whose government supported the enslavement of human beings to perform work for and to take care of the privileged. The same United States whom you think can protect you from terrorists.  Maybe that is why many continue to purchase assault rifles and other forms of self defense warfare?  Or is it that you truly know that when chaos occurs you will be on your own for awhile?

9/11 was a tragic day for numerous families.  It wasn't just an American tragedy.  It was a tragedy displaying how far we as human beings need to go to overcome the negative aspects of our humanity.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Defense Finance Accounting Services - Discrimination in Hiring?

Recently a Caucasian HR director within the Human Resources organization of Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) retired. That person was earning over $100,000.  Within 3 weeks of that person's retirement they were rehired as an independent contractor making some $92,000 a year.  The former HR director receives one check as a retiree and another check as an independent contractor hired back by the agency.  Legally the hiring system allows for this.  What the public is unaware of is that within DFAS the rehiring of retirees is highly slanted in the favor of Caucasian males and females.  DFAS rarely hires black male retirees and only hires black females they do not fear.

A quick look at the retirees hired back by DFAS HR would show few if any black males. Why is this?   It may be because select Caucasian HR managers consciously give first preference to rehiring to their Caucasian friends and acquaintances.  Is it fair to give only white former workers the opportunity to financially earn a second retirement income other than their retiree check?  Of course it isn't fair.  But no one is policing the rehiring of retirees.  Based on that lack of transparency, white managers are able to constantly abuse the hiring system and ensure "white entitlement" continues even after retirement.

What will it take to end this practice?   First it would take ethical managers to review the fairness of the hiring system.  Does the system favor Caucasians over other races?  The statistics would answer that question.  Hopefully it will not take the actions of a disgruntled person kept from being rehired to expose the discriminatory system.  Those black retirees not rehired have the option of filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  But, that system is slow at best and dependent on the complainant having to financially invest in fighting the discriminatory hiring system.

So what recourse does a person discriminated against have?  Publicize your complaint to as many government officials as you can.  Once you make an official aware of a problem, they are accountable for ensuring you have not been discriminated against.  Publicize your complaint to the press and the media. They are always looking for a good story to investigate.  Again if the media/press does not follow up they are taking on a level of culpability in supporting the system.  If you learn of others who have been discriminated against ban together with them.  There is power in numbers.

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Tee Shirt worn by a true "American"

My wife and I were at a restaurant buffet last week when I caught a glimpse of an older European American male wearing a T shirt with the caption "If this flag offends you I'll help you pack".  His shirt of course was his response to Colin Kaepernick's recent actions to protest the abuses suffered by black males at the hands of policemen.

I took the shirt for what it was.  It was the view of a European American who chose not to acknowledge or even give any thought to the underlying reasons for Kaepernick's statements.  It was the view of a European American who only wanted to believe that European American culture is based on correctness and doing what European Americans were designed to do.

In his world, Native Americans were caretakers of a land intended to be taken over by European Americans.  In his world Black Africans were designed to be slaves to help build early America and relieve European Americans of the arduous tasks that needed to be performed.  In his world the police can do no wrong.

This is the America I find my self living in.  I'm sure I have neighbors who think the same way as this tee shirt wearing "patriot",  This is the America where 40% and more of those polled say they would vote for the Republican Presidential candidate who is a throwback to George Wallace the former racist governor of Alabama.  I am glad European Americans are being honest about who they plan to vote for.  Well, maybe not 100% honest.  I'm sure there are some European Americans who will not tell you they plan to vote for the Republican candidate because they cannot reveal their true feelings for business reasons.  Making money over truth any day.

I understand the true American I saw would rather have a country where only people like him exist.  It would make his world so much simpler and pure.  But, that's not going to happen.  This is a multi cultural world.  People like this gentlemen need to understand that the pains of the past do not just go away and disappear.  The Unites States of American has not gone all in to correct the mistakes of the past.  Until that happens we will see more protests and statements about conditions that have not been corrected.  So that gentlemen I encountered needs to keep his tee shirt vendor on speed dial.  He will need many tee shirts as more dialogue about issues occurs.