raceAhead: Nielsen Report Puts Black Buying Power at $1.2 Trillion | Fortune

Consumers of color now have an outsize influence on spending and product development.

Source: raceAhead: Nielsen Report Puts Black Buying Power at $1.2 Trillion | Fortune


Speeding Off-Duty Cop Slams Into Car, Killing an Infant, but the Child’s Mother Also Faces Homicide Charges: Report

A Baton Rouge, La., police officer was arrested almost two weeks ago on charges of negligent homicide after being accused of causing a crash that killed a 1-year-old infant and injured multiple other people.

Source: Speeding Off-Duty Cop Slams Into Car, Killing an Infant, but the Child’s Mother Also Faces Homicide Charges: Report

Books and Bullets

By now everyone has heard about the tragedy that has taken place in Parkland, Florida regarding the shooting death of 17 people. The bright side that has developed, if anything regarding this incident can be considered bright, is the way the students have reacted. Students from the school and all around the country have taken a stand against gun violence and have called for tougher gun restrictions. After hearing their cries and the horror stories from these children you would assume the adults in charge would act to easy these children’s fears. But no, the response that is given is to inject more guns into the situation by arming teachers and other school staff members.

One of my concerns regarding arming teachers and school staff is how will this affect black school children. Recently, we have seen police come into schools and physically assault black children, we seen teachers assault black children and teachers have been discovered to have an affiliation with hate groups, alt-right groups, or white supremacy groups. Now they are talking about arming the same people who hate our children, it is bad enough they maybe miseducating our children now you are giving them a license to kill. For those who believe the teachers are only to use their guns in a situation such as a mass shooting or when the lives of the student are in jeopardy remember threats they may be life-threatening are subjective. People must remember Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, they were perceived as threats by their killers or at least that what their killers said. So, what happens when a teacher perceives a student is a threat and shoots a child? We know if this happens more than likely the child shot will be a child of color. Now people when say if there is another mass shooting won’t it be better than the teachers are armed. I just read a stat that trained police officers when shooting hit their targets 34% of the time. With what will the percentage of teachers be? The shots the miss the intended target, what will they hit? So now I children may be casualties of friendly fire.

There is absolutely no need for people to have assault weapons, police departments, and military personnel believe assault weapons should not be in the possession. So, people must understand that money trumps their children lives. As gun manufacture you make and sell several different guns so why make assault rifles. I do not have the proof, but I am willing to bet that the manufacturing of AR-15 rifles have increased since they have become the weapon of choice by mass shooters. If I am right that means they the gun manufacturers are profiting off the deaths and are betting, there will be more

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

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?

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