BHM: Hidden History

We are amid Black History Month, this month we take the time to honor our heroes and teach others about our heroes. The main reason I enjoy Black History Month is that every year I learn about one person who I had no previous knowledge of, I am no spring chicken so learning about these people now is not something I am proud of. Knowledge of these great black people should be common.

Through my school years and my children schools’ years during Black History Month, we would discuss mainly the same individuals. The individuals discussed are extraordinary people, but the list of people was limited. The people we would discuss were Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass; I enjoyed learning about them but each year it was basically the same information being regurgitated. I think it is a shame that our children are not taught about the vast number of great Black people in this world. Take the movie Hidden Figures, I knew nothing of these great women, oddly enough many well educated Black people knew nothing of them as well. Can you imagine our little black girls being taught about these extraordinary black women for the last 50 years, the impact of this knowledge may have had on our community? There countless other Black people who are not well known and should be. People such as Frederick Douglass Patterson, Bernard Harris, Reginald Lewis, Guion Bluford, Bessie Stringfield, Dr. Shirley Jackson and Lonnie G. Johnson just to name a few. There was a time when Black people could not hold a patent, so who took credit for all those inventions? What would Black wealth look like if Black people did hold the patents to their inventions?

My point to this is to say it is truly a shame that we do not know about our heroes in the same way we know about other race’s heroes. There people who idolize traitors to this country like, General Robert E. Lee but these same people dismiss Black people with great accomplishments. I believe there is a reason to hide this history from us and the rest of the world, by allowing this information to become common knowledge we would realize the greatness in ourselves and America would have to admit it would not be great without us

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The Central Park Five’s Yusef Salaam calls Donald Trump “the devil”

TheGrio interviewed Yusef Salaam to find out more about the Central Park Five’s relationship to the 45th president and why he considers Trump a hypocrite.

Source: The Central Park Five’s Yusef Salaam calls Donald Trump “the devil”

A Conversation About Racism

My family is from a small town in South Carolina, my grandfather was born in the early 1900s, so I know that members of my family have had experiences racism, discrimination, and evil. Having said that growing up my family never spoke about these experiencing, I believe that it was never spoken about for several reasons. One I think they wanted us to come to our own conclusion about people, they would warn us about certain dangers or how to approach situations, but the conversation was never presented with racial overtones. Another reason I believe it was not talked about is they did not want it to be a mental obstacle. No one has ever said these are the reason, I do not know if this was the correct way to handle the situation, but everyone is successful and good human beings.

I remember as a little boy going to my grandfather’s retirement party and at the party, all these white men were giving these speeches glorifying my grandfather. I was so proud of my grandfather, but I could help but think how any man of any color could have a disparaging word to say about my grandfather. I could not imagine a man disliking my grandfather based on the color of his skin, so I resigned myself to believe my grandfather did not experience racism and I left the subject alone. Fast forward over 30 years, now I am at a funeral of my uncle and again I witness these white men speaking favorably of my uncle. Once again pride filled me, but those old questions came back to mind, how could someone hate or treat these great men differently based on their skin color. So, when we got back to the house I decided I want to have a conversation about racism.

Started by asking my mother and uncle about their experiences with racism growing up in South Carolina, they began to tell me stories about having to travel to school through the woods because they would see the Klan coming down the road. Instead of having to confront the Klan they would rather travel through the woods. My mother told me a story of her childhood friend, whom I have known my entire life, her friend was being harassed by a white girl, the girl was their age but one day the friend could not take the harassment anymore and beat the little white girl’s ass. After the beating, they were so scared that the Klan or the Sheriff would come looking for them even though her friend was defending herself. I heard a similar story about my wife’s grandmother, but her grandmother had to leave the south because the Klan did come looking for her. I believe she was 13 at the time, so imagine a child having to leave her family because she may be killed and/or raped by white men.

My uncle decided to discuss his experiences while serving this country, my uncle was in the Navy and he was stationed on the USS Intrepid. He told me how he would not be allowed in places while in uniform because he was black, I know we have seen this happen in movies but to hear it from someone’s mouth offers a different experience. He did say that his white shipmates would refuse to patronize any establishment if he and the other black Navy men were not allowed in. The feeling of risking your life for a country and the people of this country and they do not respect you or the uniform you are in is heartbreaking.

After witnessing the pain, the horror, and the disappointment on their faces I now understand why in the past we never had a conversation about racism. I decided to end the conversation because them reliving their pain began to hurt me and the conversation was no longer productive in my opinion. You know things must hurt a person when they can remember every detail about an event that happened 50 or 60 years ago.

The Game for the Green?

A few weeks ago, news came out the Boston Celtics rookie Jason Tatum has a child with his high school sweetheart, but Tatum is currently dating a college classmate. Now you may say why I am writing about a pro basketball player, the reason I am writing about this is that Jason Tatum current girlfriend is a white woman. After reading this story I started to wonder are white women targeting black athletes? I am not accusing Jason’s current girlfriend of this because I do not know her or the circumstances surrounding his relationship with her or his son’s mother. I am just curious.

I have noticed that some professional black athletes are in relationships with white women. Now I do not know if a black athlete with a white woman just sticks out more or that black athletes with white women exceed societal norms. We see athletes such as Ezekiel Elliot, Robert Griffin, III, Reggie Bush, and Andre Drummond in relationships with white women. People will say to me, people should be allowed to marry who they want, love has no color, and it is none of your business. All these statements may be true in some context but the lack of wealth and generational wealth in the black community is what concerns me. Let’s take OJ Simpson case, for example, Nicole Brown Simpson came from a modest family but after marrying OJ her family was now rubbing elbows with the upper class. Her family members were residing in upper-class neighborhoods and her father had his own Hertz business all because of OJ. The Jason Tatum situation just seems odd to me, here is a black young man from St. Louis who has been with his girlfriend throughout high school, he attends Duke University for 10 months now he is no longer with his high school sweetheart. He started dating the new girl all around the time he is projected to become a lottery pick. People will say this all a coincidence, it may well be, but I keep thinking of the book “Killers of the Flower Moon.” In this book white men marry into Native Indian families who have a wealth of oil, the white men then kill the members of the Indian tribe so that the white men will now have all the wealth generated from the oil. My point is history repeats itself and never underestimate the levels people will stoop too.

Maybe this is all in my head, a by-product of watching the movie “Get Out” too many times, but many of these athletes grew up in black home, black neighborhoods, with the support of the black community I just have a problem with another race benefiting from a person struggles without having invested in him or her. Something somebody told me years ago once you become successful you must ask yourself would this person be in my corner or in my life if I did not have this success?

The Black Super Hero

There is a lot of hype surrounding the movie Black Panther and this week the television show Black Lightning premiered. Black Lightning had a large premiere audience and the Black Panther has set a record for pre-order tickets sales. I am sure if the Nielsen television rating systems will accurately illustrate the success of Black Lightning but through social media we the show was being viewed and talked about by a large audience.

These shows feature a predominately Black cast, the characters are people of wealth, highly educated and/or of high moral character. I have witnessed several complaints or negative comments regarding the movie Black Panther. A few of the things I have read is the movie was not filmed in African, this argument is being made because the Black Panther movie takes place in a fictitious country in Africa called Wakanda. My response to that is SO WHAT, there are films that are supposed to take place in New York City, but they are filmed in Canada. Then there is this rumor that Black feminists are calling for a boycott of the movie because one of the actors Michael B. Jordan is dating a white woman. I said this is a RUMOR because I can not believe this to be true, people would try to derail a major movie with a black cast that will be a stepping stone for greater things to come because one person is dating a white woman. You would want to cause harm to several people career because of one person’s dating choice. I also hear people saying we do not need Hollywood, we can make our own movies. This is my opinion, who is WE because many of the people making this statement will not attempt to make a movie, they want someone else to do it. And when someone does make their movie, with as little as help as possible from Hollywood people complain about the movie he or she has made. Black people are not monolithic, we can try to gain more power in Hollywood while others create a separate Black Hollywood.

Black people have been marginalized in this country for over 400 years it is going take some time to overcome that 400-year head start. The Black Panther movie and Black Lightning televisions shows are stepping stones in a greater cause. We can not build anything if someone keeps tearing down what has already been built. The success of these shows will open the door for other shows with a black cast to get made regardless of how you feel about these black people who are actors will benefit.

Wake UP!!!! They Don’t Love You

The trending news is Donald Trump’s comments about Haitians and people from the continent of Africa migrating to America. His criticism of the state of these countries is harsh, some will argue that these countries are in the state he used to describe them, but they will not admit the cause or the reason these countries are in the state is that of European influence. To argue with them about this is futile because facts do not matter to racist.

My point of view on this topic is why are people surprised, the only people who should be surprised are those white people who do not believe they practice racism and do not realize white privilege exists. All people of color should not be surprised by these comments. A Fox News commentator, I do not remember his name, he said, and I am paraphrasing “this how people talk when sitting in a bar.” He is telling Black people this is how we talk about you behind your back. Trump denied using those words 15 hours after the statements were reported, he tweets about other dumb shit but nothing about these comments. This tells you he did not want to deny making these statements and he believes he was correct in using this descriptive language, someone had to convince him to tweet something about the reported story. Have you noticed the individuals in the room have said anything about the comments? The Senators could have said, “That language was not used, and I would not tolerate that language being used in my presence.” Instead of doing that we get silence which indicates the comments reported where the exact statements he made.

All people of color must realize the direction of the country has changed, White people clearly understand that within the next 25 to 50 years they will be the minority in this country and this scares some of them. The problem is many people of color want to be white, but it is coming closer to the point will the line will be drawn, and people of color will have to choose which side of that line they want to be on. I am one who believes there are some good white people who are sensitive to our situation and want to help. The problem is they may be the minority, but this too seems to be changing with more and more realizing racism is hurting this country.

The racists are no longer hiding underneath sheets, this President has emboldened the racist which may be a good thing because it will force Black people to wake up.

You Are Black First

BLACK MAN

BLACK WOMAN

BLACK LAWYER

BLACK DOCTOR

BLACK TAXI DRIVER

BLACK TEACHER

Today there seem to be more people woke, and there is a need for more people to wake up. Racial tensions are high around the world but especially in America. At some point, this heighten racial climate will come to ahead, but I believe the black community will not be ready when the racial divide comes to the end of the road. The end of the road maybe peaceful existences or a race war, the black community may not survive either scenario because we are so busy fighting amongst ourselves.

The reason I have this list at the beginning of this post is that there is one similar thing that is the word “black”. People must understand however you are described, or you describe yourself black or African -American precede everything else. When you walk in a room the first thing that comes to people mind; consciously or subconsciously; is your blackness. If you are a doctor and you walk into the room to examine your patient the first thing that crosses the patient’s mind is, you are a black doctor. You notice if your waiter is black, your nurse, the valet, the theater usher and so on. My point to is that being black is the common denominator and the primary factor, therefore, our blackness should be the primary subject, focus or key to our resurgence. On social media, I see an abundance of black women blaming black men and vice a versa. You have straight black men and women lashing out against black gay men and women. All these issues that exist in the black community can be settled once we arrive at the end of the racial divide, we are about 14% of the population in America that means there is 86% of the population that may not have our interest in the forefront of their life agendas. With us at war against each other, we are decreasing that 14% even further. We are clearly outnumbered, there will be traders, but we must be unified and not divided based on religious beliefs or skin tone. The people who wish to keep black people oppress relish in the fact that we are fighting amongst each other and implement things to ensure we keep fighting amongst each other. Everyone knows about the Willie Lynch letter, but we are active participants in his theory and ensuring that it becomes a fact.

It is my belief that once the black community separates ourselves from the oppressor or we co-exist as equals most of the issues we fight amongst ourselves over will no longer be an issue. If these issues do still exist at that point we can deal with them then but first we must deal with the primary issue, the unfair treatment of all black people.

 

The Fight for Justice has Begun: Where Y’All At?

Sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, and pedophilia cases have been running ramped in the few months. We have seen newscasters, comedians, actors, music executives, movie executives and politicians being accused of these infractions. Many of which have been fired or resigned from their current positions because of these allegations. The Time magazine persons of the year are the women who have spoken out against these sexual deviants. For some reason, the woman who created the #metoo movement, Tarana Burke was left off the cover but anyway. This movement or moment has given life to conflicting feelings about this phenomenon.

People will ask why would I have conflicted feelings but there are several reasons why. I believe many of these men are criminals and should be punished but there are some situations where I believe the men should not be judged as harshly. The ones who have raped women should be in jail, the ones who exposed themselves should get professional help, the ones who groped should receive a combination of both. The problem I have is with the ones who may have just been a little too aggressive with the women, were they fully aware of how the woman would feel about these tactics. If this behavior has worked on women in the past how would you know if it offended a woman?  I am not saying it is right, I am saying I am conflicted. It causes me to think about my interactions with women. A time when you are trying to get a young lady’s attention and you grab her by the arm. I may think I am being smooth but to her, I might be aggressive. The other problem I have is this may cause the pendulum too far in the other direction. How do we know who is telling the truth, if they’re just the two people involved, and they are the only witnesses? What if the woman exaggerates the incident? How do you handle this? My other issue is Rose McGowan, she is listed as one of the silence breakers and I am not sure I agree with this. I know some women will not like this statement but if I am wrong please enlighten me. She said Harvey Weinstein raped her, she initially took money to be quiet, when the other young lady filed charges against Weinstein, Weinstein people offered her more money not say anything when asked. Rose agreed to take the second payout, the next day after she agreed she changed her mind and decided to speak out against Weinstein. My issue is why take any money let alone agree twice to take the money. Was it only after you saw how big this was going to be you decided to change your mind about the second payout? After Weinstein was exposed she attacks Ben Affleck stating he knew and did nothing. My thinking may be off but as a father, I would be mad if Weinstein did this to my daughter and I find out this may have been prevented if Rose did not take the initial payment and continued to seek justice. Just think if she had fought, Weinstein might not have had the opportunity to do this to other women.

My final issue is the feminist. Why are the feminists more visible on these issues? Roy Moore, an accused pedophile was running for Congress, there should have been thousands of women in Alabama protesting this, Roy Moore called the accusers liars and no uprising. Donald Trump stands accused by 19 women for many of these same charges as the other men and nothing for the women. On January 21, 2017 over a million women march in Washington DC to protest for women’s rights. There should at least be a fraction of that crowd protesting Donald Trump. I have seen protest Nate Parker and Bill Cosby why not Roy Moore and Donald Trump? This is the real fight these men influence laws and have serious affect on the nation, if there are criminals they should be checked. Where is the support for Cyntoia Brown? The world is watching why aren’t feminist leading the charge?

I want justice for women, I believe there needs to be a national discuss to let man know what is not acceptable and women should let man know on an individual level what is not acceptable. I would go crazy if something like this happen to my daughter and it would driving me further insane if she felt she could not tell anyone what happened to her. My point of view is from a male perspective, so it may be wrong, but I am in full support of women. The most important people in my life are women and I will die before I allow someone to get away with hurting them.

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