Portrait by: Karl Staudinger
There you were.
No one really knew you back then. Shit…we still don’t. You had just dropped a single and garnered a little bit of fame from it. We were in L.A. for a music and awards luncheon celebrating Earth, Wind, and Fire. No big cameras out in full force, no autograph seekers. It was cool. I had my drink and was mingling. I nodded my head in true bruh fashion. Not downward toward the thin, outdated, wine-stained carpet that almost seemed as if it didn’t belong with the rest of the surroundings in the Beverly Hills Hotel, but toward the sky.
“What up.” You nodded back. “What up.” Continue reading “Who’s Next?”
I swear I get the best inspiration from Facebook comments.
A guy who worked under my charge in the Marine Corps was at it again yesterday. As a matter of fact, from here on out, I’ll contradictorily refer to him as – Buddy. I posted an article about supporting Black businesses and the fella had a meltdown. In real time. With each passing statement, Buddy made sure to put on public display his lack of knowledge and inability to comprehend the simplest of concepts as if ignorance coupled with being unread were a badge of honor. The tragedy of his crash and burn was Shakespearean in a theatrical sense, only because his slow demise was of his own doing. The nobility associated with characters such as Hamlet, Julius Caesar, or Macbeth would have to be omitted.
He might not appreciate being compared to Othello, either.
I know of another noble comparison that’s right down his alley.
“Many years ago there lived an emperor who loved beautiful new clothes…,” so the story begins. Continue reading “An Emperor, Shakespeare, and Forrest Gump Walk Into a Bar…”
I was told I have no idea.
A white teacher in Beaumont, Texas, was shown on video violently and repeatedly assaulting a young Black student and I was told I don’t understand. I was told, “it’s hard to keep your cool.” By a teacher, mind you.
Mary Hastings, a teacher at Ozen High School, was arrested after a video showed her slapping a student. (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)
I was told the kid “wasn’t even mad.” That he was smiling right after the uncontrollable, enraged, and violent teacher, Mary Hastings, physically attacked him – all the while being called “an idiot ass” and mocked afterward. Yeah. Why would he be mad, right? I would confidently argue that his reaction did not mean that he wasn’t even mad. More than likely, it meant that he was embarrassed and in order to mask his true emotions, he smiled. Those type of responses happen, tu sabes?
I was told that she must have been provoked to assault her student with the fiery aggression that she wantonly displayed. Provoked? Hey, don’t kill the messenger. Provoked was the excuse they told me. Continue reading “Don’t Kill the Messenger”
I was going to respond to a post on the ‘book yesterday but I didn’t. Considering there was a good chance it would lead to frustration (but also not wanting to spill this opportunity in the comments section), I decided against it. Instead, I chose to write in depth about it in hopes that the reader would learn something new by examining this short discourse.
The title of the article I was reading earlier in the day and posted on my timeline was in reference to an 18-year-old white woman by the name of Breana Rachelle Harmon: “Woman Who Lied to Police About 3 Black Men Raping and Kidnapping Her Faces Zero Years in Prison.”
A fellow Marine with whom I served replied to the post saying, “She needs to go to prison for however [long a sentence] those men would have [received].” While I can fully understand his view, I can also say with a large degree of certainty that, from a historical context in America’s not-so-far-removed past, he was only thinking on the surface by solely mentioning a prison sentence. And understandably so. Conversely, when I heard of Harmon’s lie, my mind immediately recalled that in times past (and present, truth be told) the sentence for Black men being accused of raping a white woman was death by lynching.
The reaction to Harmon’s story is typical of how whites are treated in a white supremacist society. Continue reading “Just a White Lie, That’s All”
It’s going to happen again, fam. Another innocent Black person will be murdered by the police. We bear the scars of a nation that has proven itself to be the antithesis of justice and has given us no reason to believe it will change anytime soon. Handcuffed by a system and a government that refuses to do anything that will alter the outcome of innocent Black lives being taken by so-called law enforcement, I write. By choice, yes, but in large part by necessity.
We’ve heard it all before:
- Do what the cops tell you and you won’t get hurt. Lie #1.
- Keep your hands where they can see them. That’s a lie, too. Just ask Charles Kinsey.
- Don’t make any sudden movements. FOH. Even when we’re still, we’ve been shot. So what’s the right thing to do?
“Fuck the right thing. If black, shoot them.” These were the exact words last month from an assistant police chief in Kentucky while discussing a training scenario with a recruit. Continue reading ““If Black, Shoot Them””
Donald Trump. Gunnery Sergeant of Marines. Just the thought makes me cringe.
Usually, I don’t like to deal in hypotheticals as it relates to sociological perspectives from a racial standpoint (e.g., what do you think would happen if Barack Obama said/did the same things Trump is saying/doing? We know the answer to that), partly because a simple romp through history shows us the clear response every time.
But allow me to have a little fun at the expense of Gunny T, along with the added purpose of making a point. We’ve got Marines who fully back 45, claiming that he is their kind of leader. Need I remind you, Devil Dog, that the Corps is built on the core values of honor, courage, and commitment – which are clearly not on display from your Gunny. Don’t get me wrong: no Marine is perfect. But damn son… Continue reading “If Trump Were a Gunny”
We knew that from the jump.
You knew it, too.
He’s made it unmistakably clear in the past and continues to do so. If you support the infamous remarks he made yesterday and still claim he is not a racist, you can kiss my melanated ass there is nothing you can say that will make me take you seriously. Ever again.
There are times when eloquence should prevail; rational thinking take the forefront; responsibility lead the way. A prestigious office should produce a prestigious leader. That is not who (or what) is residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; however, you continue to support him and make excuses for his childish and irresponsible ramblings. It makes me question you, your values, and your social intellect in relation to grasping the reality in which we live. Continue reading “Your President is a Racist”
The year was 2014. Sounds of J. Cole permeated the light, yet crisp morning air, performing an impromptu duet with the melodious crooning of a bird sitting outside of my window. It was a welcomed change from the bellowing of cadence and the blaring of reveille; a soundtrack beautiful in its own unique way, for it solidified the fact that I was here in the present; the absolute; the now. But there was another change for which I was longing – one that no amount of music could provide. I was leaving America. For good.
I was retired now. Traveling as a United States Marine for a portion of my 20 years of military service proved to be a learning experience for me and a great influence to pursue a life outside of the norm. If I chose not to limit my mind, my mind would reciprocate the favor to me in the form of cultural as well as intellectual gratification. Continue reading “In Medius Res”