The America From Whence He Came

The United States has never been a society that embraces social equality. Any measure of perceived equality obtained has come begrudgingly and with shedding of blood. Contrary to documented history that supports this fact, white people still don’t feel they have an advantage in an America that caters to their every need – indeed, their every word. Or, in this case, lack of words. They’ll argue as if U.S. history (dare I say world history?) murdered them for the slightest of white-public-perceived offenses, or oppressed them with racist legislation. As such, this is precisely the kind of autonomous thinking whites employ that opens a portal to their ignorance, brazenly displayed in their inability (and unwillingness) to understand the type of world they have egotistically constructed. Continue reading “The America From Whence He Came”

Walls, Lies, and Cashews

 

Almond Blossom (Vincent Van Gogh)

I can make a pretty decent argument in regard to how white privilege, white supremacy, and the disdain for a Black president are some of the major reasons why Trump even occupies the White House but I want to show you a different angle of that today. Oh, those truths certainly still apply. They always will. But I also want you to realize that there are other ways in which these same facets are connected and maneuvered through attitudes and behaviors that if weren’t so true would be comical.

A friend shared a post not too long ago comparing a supposed 10-foot wall  around President Obama’s home in D.C. to border wall funding, wondering why no one understood the similarities – even to the point of calling those who didn’t comprehend the message “stupid.” I started to leave a comment but thought, why would I try to explain the intricacies of a secure border and all that comes along with it to someone who thinks that home security and homeland security are the same thing? This query entered my mind but only after questioning aloud their fascination with always wanting to be on Obama’s nuts. But that is what we are dealing with in these days and times. A lack of critical thinking, I mean. Not Obama’s gonads.

But I digress. Continue reading “Walls, Lies, and Cashews”

The Familiar Look of Racism

It starts with a look.

It’s a silent gaze that screams from yesteryear the same way its daddy and granddaddy screamed: What are you doing here? Where do you live? Why are you in my store? Doesn’t take much to recognize it. I’m watching you. The scream is voiceless but it is immediately understood. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. Hard to describe especially in the middle of knowing exactly what “the look” is really about and from whence it comes. It’s really undeniable. It truly is. It can be deadly. I’ve felt it too many times to count. The awareness of that scream envelopes me with a mix of anger, frustration, helplessness, and a few more ingredients that unless you’ve been the recipient of that discriminatory, racist stare, you will not understand. Not that I don’t want you to understand, it’s just that you won’t.

Jermaine Massey was kicked out of a DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Oregon, this week after making a call in the hotel’s lobby. He was deemed a safety threat and accused of trespassing…in the hotel where he had a room…that he paid for…in the lobby that is open to guests…where guests are allowed to be. There’s got to be more to the story some might say. Oh, yes, indeed – there’s more to the story, alright. There’s a whole history lesson involved. But on the surface, nah. I know what it is. You do, too. His account of the incident reads like a familiar book to me. Continue reading “The Familiar Look of Racism”

Black Really Is…

I’m outspoken,
My language is broken into a slang,
But it’s just a dialect that I select when I hang  

– Edward K. Archer

It is difficult to imagine a white person feeling the same anxiety a Black person feels when we are involuntarily thrust into a situation where trumpets constantly blare the racist notes of olde – but in present day arrangements.

It carries a tune that is harmful to more than just our ears, for within it lies the conscience of a feigned supremacy. Like Elvis trying to sing Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.
It is a fascination that in a twisted, delirious way evokes a self-concocted reality that only exists in the minds of the unlearned. But we all know there’s only one David Ruffin. Continue reading “Black Really Is…”

America Keeps Plowing Forward

Brett Kavanaugh (Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Someone needs to check Lady Justice’s blindfold. I’m not totally convinced she can’t see through that jawn.

We’ve recently been inundated with news about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault as well as views concerning the veracity of his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Opinions from every direction abound but what we know to be factual is this:

Kavanaugh’s  lawyers turned over five pages from his 1982 calendar to the Judiciary Committee.
They may be hoping his calendar events clears his name because, get this: attending a party that night wasn’t on his schedule. This attempt by Kavanaugh and his lawyers leaves them scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel, not only exposing the desperate nature of his defense but sending a hearty insult to our intelligence. Continue reading “America Keeps Plowing Forward”

The Blueprint

(Photo: CBS News)

Botham Shem Jean is dead.

The woman who murdered him, Amber Guyger, is a cop. Hopefully, she doesn’t walk; however, there will be a lot to overcome to ensure that does not happen.

Guyger was off duty. She clocked out. Every rule of the law that applies to you and me should then have applied to her with no special treatment attached.

But… Continue reading “The Blueprint”

Silent Sam’s Club

Silent Sam (Photo: WBTV)

History in its complete, contextual, and unabridged form can be devastating. Educational, yes, but devastating all the same. It is the great equalizer. When one denies truth, point to the undeniable evidence of history then sit back and observe. Don’t take my word for it, though – ask ol’ Silent Sam on the campus of the University of North Carolina. He was in the news again over the weekend.

The truth hurts. When you look in the mirror in the morning after first rising out of bed, that’s the truth. You can freshen up, make yourself look nice, and go about your day but that dopeness will be there tomorrow morning waiting on you.

Let America tell it (or America’s classrooms, theatre, and books, more specifically), and they would have you believe that the Civil War was a fight that simplistically pit one zealous brother against another, their mother softly crying, pleading with her sons to reconcile their differences before being called on to fight. Continue reading “Silent Sam’s Club”

A Not-So Simple Request

Earlier this week, I saw a friend request from years ago. It was from when I was registered on social media but not on social media, so I never realized it was there until recently. I looked at it for a few moments before moving on. As I skimmed my timeline, I went back to that invite.

“Brian, wake up! Wake up! Let’s go!” my father said as he shook me from my slumber. Pop always had things under control, so I could tell from the excitement and the tad bit of nervousness in his voice that this was serious. I woke up to see him helping my pregnant mother to the door as my brother hurriedly grabbed my arm and both of our coats – his was the green one with the gold and white stripe that went halfway down the sleeve; mine the brown one with the hood. “Mom’s about to have the baby! C’mon man, hurry up!” I was in my pajamas. And sleepy. Hurry up meant nothing to me. Continue reading “A Not-So Simple Request”

Englewood Doesn’t Deserve This

It doesn’t make sense.

I was sitting outside this Saturday morning in Panamá enjoying a fresh cup of coffee, listening to some morning jazz, getting my thoughts together for the day. As you might imagine, birds are singing and aside from the occasional bark from Jojo, (who got up early with me and sits at my feet), it’s quiet. It’s relaxing. It’s necessary.

I decide to break my personal protocol, interrupt the music, and look at my timeline. I know I shouldn’t. Not right now at least. Not only that but…how disrespectful is it to interrupt Miles?

But I do.

There it is again. Englewood. Right there in the Chi. Just two days ago, I was reading about the same area and what occurred there. The backdrop of jazz is in such contradiction to the video I am watching that I decide to turn the music off. It’s not fitting. It’s out of place. Normally, I can find beauty in contradictions – from an artist’s standpoint, that is. There is nothing beautiful about what I am watching. This is not art and the contradiction is repugnant. Continue reading “Englewood Doesn’t Deserve This”