Author Archives: Motivationfortheworld

About Motivationfortheworld

Gary A. McAbee created Motivation for the World as the platform for his motivational speaking, writing, and blogging. The mission of Motivation for the World is to create a vast network of like-minded, service-oriented individuals who join together and work toward having a positive impact in our neighborhoods, communities, and society. He is the proud author of three self-help books: Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now! , Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now!, and Defining Success: One Word At Time.

What’s Black? Things We Need to Watch August 2022

August 5, 2022

Gary A. McAbee

Welcome to What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch by Gary A. McAbee. What’s Black is a monthly update about things of interest for black people to watch, discuss, and actively interpret. The time is now for all of us to get involved. These are conversations we need to have, and we will have these conversations. In this issue, there are some of the things we need to watch in August 2022

No greetings for you at Sesame Place…

You’ve seen the video of a character bypassing black children at the Sesame Place theme park. It was bad. I could somewhat accept it if the character had a bunch of kids in that spot and didn’t have time to greet them all (see sports figures when signing autographs on the fly). But this was different. It looked calculated. Add to it the fact that other videos show similar behavior, and one has to wonder how common it is to shun black children who just want to meet their favorite characters at this theme park? Who trains these character actors? Is it isolated to the one person who plays this particular character, or is it more widespread? My belief is the latter. Besides, we have camera phones now and things are being filmed. In the past, this type of behavior would go unnoticed, or at least unrecorded. It also points to another fact. We, as black people, are not inventing, nor exaggerating these experiences. We face more discrimination than we know. Thanks to the camera phone, now we can expose it, even at Sesame Place.

It’s because of the clause Kyler Murray…

Kyler Murray is a superstar quarterback of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. He is regarded as the best high school football player in the history of Texas. He won the Heisman trophy as a college football player. He was a number one draft pick. In other words, he has been at the top of his football world for the last 12 years. However, since he became o pro, he doesn’t study his craft like an NFL quarterback should. Who can blame him? Up to this point he has been successful without studying football. His team wants to change that, so they put clause in his contract which mandates that Kyler Murray must study for 4 hours per week, while not playing Call of Duty. Wait what? By adding this in his contract, it points to a question every black quarterback faces: are you intelligent enough to play the position? Mental abilities of black quarterbacks. It’s no secret the NFL has a long and storied history of questioning the mental abilities of black quarterbacks. This doesn’t help change that perception. Shame on you Arizona Cardinals for being insensitive to black quarterbacks everywhere, especially your own. Next time, handle that internally.

Mark, ponder your future in prison…

First of all, does anyone know Mark Ponder? Another question: did anyone see any footage of Mark Ponder at the January 6th Insurrection? I have seen countless clips of the crowd on that fateful day, but none have featured Mark Ponder. So who is he? Apparently, he is a Capitol rioter who assaulted police officers on January 6th. Also, he’s black so its no surprise to me that he has received the longest sentence for a rioter thus far. Did I mention he’s black? Like I always say, if you’re not careful, they will let you know who you are to them sooner or later. In this case, Mark Ponder is just another black man on the wrong side of the law. Let’s see how other Capitol rioters who assaulted police officers are treated. By the way, Mark deserves every minute of jail time he got. On to the next…

Brittney Griner gets grounded, but for what…

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been in a Russian jail for over 5 months for cannabis possession. Finally, she received her sentence of 9 years in prison. In reality, she is being used as a pawn by the Russians as retaliation for the United States support for Ukraine. As we know, Russia has invaded Ukraine, and American weapons are helping Ukraine survive. So along comes Brittney and a small quantity of drugs. Next thing you know, she’s the poster child for Russian “justice”. She’s also caught between two governments, who hopefully can agree to a prisoner swap to free her. Let’s not forget a question the arose out of the Brittney Griner saga: what if she was a male basketball player like Lebron James? I bet there would have been a far greater effort to end this situation. Free Brittney Griner!

Give our black heroes their flowers now…

I would be remiss if I didn’t pay homage to black royalty who recently passed away… Nichelle Nichols was a hero. I recall watching her on Star Trek years ago, not realizing the impact she, and her role had on television. She was the one of the first African American women in a television series, and she is most remembered for the first interracial kiss on television. While this is not new today, back then it was groundbreaking. Her role on Star Trek, and the spinoffs of the show, granted access and opportunities. Nichelle Nicholls opened the door for countless black actresses who followed in her footsteps. May we give Nichelle Nichols more flowers now that she has joined the heavenly angels.

Bill Russell was a hero. He is the greatest winner in the history of team sports. His 11 NBA championships are an American record, probably never to be duplicated. He was the first African American head coach in the NBA and the first to win a championship. But Russell’s on court activities may have paled in comparison to his contributions off the court. He was a staunch civil rights activist, who used his influence for social change in sports and society. Despite the challenges he faced in Boston due to his race, he refused to be silent. His voice opened the door for countless black people to gain access and opportunities. May we give Bill Russell more flowers now that he has joined the heavenly angels.

As you can see, August 2022 promises to be a month where we will push our agenda, and meet opposition along the way. What else is new? This is why I started What’s Black: Things to Watch. We need to be aware of issues that affect us and our progress. We need to be more vigilant to protect our best interests. We need to be involved in the ongoing struggle for equality, exercising our fundamental rights, and our ability to live and be successful American citizens. As you can see, we are far from where we need to be. That’s why I will see you in September 2022…

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for February 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for March 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for April 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for May 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for June 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for July 2022

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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What’s Black? Things We Need to Watch July 2022

July 5, 2022

Gary A. McAbee

Welcome to What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch by Gary A. McAbee. What’s Black is a monthly update about things of interest for black people to watch, discuss, and actively interpret. The time is now for all of us to get involved. These are conversations we need to have, and we will have these conversations. In this issue, there are some of the things we need to watch in July 2022

Target practice in Michigan…

A boy scout troop visiting a Farmington, Michigan police station noticed images of black men on targets for firing practice. Apparently, the Farmington police department trains using these targets for shooting practice. Do you think this helps police officers associate crime with black men or not? Subconsciously, I am sure it has an impact, but how do we study this to find out? The official stance is that the targets are in different racial profiles, yet the ones seen by the boy scouts were mostly black. Go figure. We wonder why police officers can take down white suspects without gunfire, yet shoot to kill when encountering black male suspects. Using targets with pictures of black men may be a symptom of a much greater sickness.

Jayland Walker didn’t stand a chance…

The sickness of police officers unloading on black suspects reared its ugly head again. In Akron, Ohio suspect Jayland Walker was involved in an incident with police officers which resulted in his death. While many of the details are still forthcoming, we do know he was shot at over 90 times and hut with no less that 60 bullets. Can you believe it? I can. The police involved unloaded on Mr. Walker as he ran away from them for a traffic stop. I guess a busted taillight can get your ass busted if you’re a black suspect. Prepare for the character assassination of Jayland Walker. Prepare for the “he had a gun: defense. Prepare for protests to be silenced. Also, prepare for nothing to happen to the officers in question too.

Deshaun Watson needs another year off…

Deshaun Watson, the embattled NFL quarterback, is in the midst of civil suits about his abuse of numerous women. He was cleared of criminal wrongdoing and criminal sexual misconduct, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t guilty. If over 60 women say he did something wrong, then yes, he did something wrong. In my opinion, that smoke surrounding the allegations he faces means he should be on fire. The NFL needs to suspend him for a season. Period! The judge who is arbitrating the case should make that recommendation. And Mr. Watson should pay every victim of his abuse. He should also do a hell of a lot of community service and advocating for women’s rights causes. Then, and only then, should he suit up in an NFL uniform again.

Involuntary Relocation in Texas? Teach the children well…

Oh Lone Star State, you never disappoint me! But this one takes the cake. A group of Texas legislators proposed that slavery should be called involuntary relocation and taught as such to 2nd graders. Say what? Can you say whitewashing history? There is no way they should expect this idea to work. What do you teach them in 3rd grade? How about 10th grade history? At some point, these kids will find out about the horrors of slavery. Why try to shelter them from the truth? Could in be these Texas legislators want to change rewrite history, so the sins of their ancestors slowly fades away? Bingo! I’m sure they are tying teaching about slavery to critical race theory too. By the way, the idea was summarily rejected by the Texas Board of Education. There might be a little hope for the Lone Star State after all. Just a little!

The end of Roe vs Wade is not “supposed” to be against black women…

Now that Roe vs Wade has in essence been overturned, what happens now? First, abortion has not been eliminated. Instead, each state now has the power to decide whether or not to abolish abortions. Red states will. Blue states will not. So women across the country will have to make some decisions. While it appears this affects black women the most, nothing can be farther from the truth. Don’t believe the hype. Black women do not get more abortions than white women. Alas, we have found the reason for abortion bans! More white babies are aborted than black babies, and those who want to stay in the majority need every white baby to be born. If is means saving a few black and brown children too, then so be it. Make no mistake about it, the abortion issue is only about population control and controlling a woman’s right to choose.

Ketanji Brown Jackson finally takes a seat…

Outgoing Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer resigned, which means he opened the door for Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman on the Supreme Court, to finally take her seat. We have witnessed history! Now Justice Brown Jackson has a lot of work to do. Although her presence on the Court does not realign the balance of power, she can still have a tremendous impact on the Court. She can also balance the influence of the Court’s other black member, Uncle Clarence Thomas. He is really getting out of pocket now, and pushing the idea of decisions that will roll back years of gains by black people. Let’s hope Justice Brown Jackson puts a “stop” to the ambitions of her Supreme Court colleague Thomas.

As you can see, July 2022 promises to be a month where we will push our agenda, and meet opposition along the way. What else is new? This is why I started What’s Black: Things to Watch. We need to be aware of issues that affect us and our progress. We need to be more vigilant to protect our best interests. We need to be involved in the ongoing struggle for equality, exercising our fundamental rights, and our ability to live and be successful American citizens. As you can see, we are far from where we need to be. That’s why I will see you in August 2022…

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for February 2022

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for March 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for April 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for May 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for June 2022

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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What’s Black? Things We Need to Watch in June 2022

June 5, 2022

 Gary A. McAbee

Welcome to What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch by Gary A. McAbee. What’s Black is a monthly update about things of interest for black people to watch, discuss, and actively interpret. The time is now for all of us to get involved. These are conversations we need to have, and we will have these conversations. In this issue, there are some of the things we need to watch in June 2022

Buffalo mass shooting. What else is new?

In Buffalo, ten Black people were killed, and three other people were injured when a lone gunman traveled to a predominately black neighborhood to commit an act of terrorism. Yes, I call it terrorism even though some in the media and society will not. The gunman searched in this area and realized a supermarket would be a place where he could go on his rampage. So, he selected the store to kill black people, and that’s what he did. No we must ask ourselves if he was just one misguided soul, or are there more where he came from? We also must wonder if there is a copycat, who was inspired by this coward’s mass shooting. What else in new in America?

Georgia is not on my mind. Just ask the Delaware State Women’s Lacrosse Team

You might have missed it, but there was an incident where a bus containing the women’s lacrosse team from Delaware State was stopped on a Georgia highway. Georgia is infamous for its police activities on the roads leading to Atlanta, so this is not surprising. What is surprising is that state police officers not only boarded the bus, but then commenced a search of the team’s luggage. Why would they do this to a college team on their way from a tournament? I’ll tell you why. We call it racial profiling, and in 2022 black motorists are still subject to this behavior based on the color of their skin. Of course, the search produced nothing, except questions about how police officers can get away with this nonsense. We’ll see what the legal process has to say about this going forward.

Another Juneteenth has arrived. What do we have to celebrate this month?

I think we should take a deep breath and be thankful, yet vigilant. We should give thanks that we are more aware of the things the affect the black community. I see more unity and a clearer sense of purpose among black people. Don’t let the bad news tell you anything different. This means we also need to remain vigilant. We must continue to demand that our voices be heard. We must continue to participate in the voting process. We must continue to fight for our freedom. After all, isn’t that what celebrating Juneteenth is all about?  

This is Black Music Month, so treasure the history of black music.

June is designated as black music month. It is a time to celebrate how important music has been in our lives. Our music has influenced the world, so we should take pride in all the great music and the artists who create it. We should also say thanks to the all-time greats, both alive and deceased, for all they have accomplished. I can’t say this enough; it is time to get our great musicians their flowers while they are still with us. I salute you, Patti LaBelle. I salute you, Stevie Wonder. I salute you, Gladys Knight. I salute you, Ronald Isley. I salute you, black music artists. This month is when we honor you, and we will continue to celebrate you this month and every month.

As you can see, June 2022 promises to be a month where we will push our agenda, and meet opposition along the way. What else is new? This is why I started What’s Black: Things to Watch. We need to be aware of issues that affect us and our progress. We need to be more vigilant to protect our best interests. We need to be involved in the ongoing struggle for equality, exercising our fundamental rights, and our ability to live and be successful American citizens. As you can see, we are far from where we need to be. That’s why I will see you in July 2022…

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for February 2022

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for March 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for April 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for May 2022

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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STAY CONNECTED WITH GARY TO RECEIVE THE LATEST NEWS! JOIN THE MOTIVATION FOR THE WORLD NEWSLETTER TODAY! EMAIL GARY AT MOTIVATION4THEWORLD@GMAIL.COM

What’s Black? Things We Need to Watch in May 2022

May 5, 2022

Gary A. McAbee

Welcome to What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch by Gary A. McAbee. What’s Black is a monthly update about things of interest for black people to watch, discuss, and actively interpret. The time is now for all of us to get involved. These are conversations we need to have, and we will have these conversations. In this issue, there are some of the things we need to watch in May 2022

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson makes history, and the accusations start flying!

As we all know by now, Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first black woman to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. It is an accomplishment that we will celebrate for years to come. Her influence on the Court will be undeniable and her critics know it. So much so that she has already been accused of leaking information privy to members of the Court and select politicians. Judge Brown Jackson was accused of exposing a plan to overturn Roe vs Wade, and some of her Supreme Court colleagues are said to be leading the charge. Their goal is to overturn Roe vs. Wade and make abortion illegal in the United States. The information is real, but the involvement of Judge Brown Jackson is not. It didn’t take long for the critics to pounce on the new Supreme Court Justice, did it?

Oh no,  no more Roe?

Speaking of the Supreme Court, a majority of Justices who support a certain viewpoint can impact our laws for years to come. So when a conservative majority of Justices put their eyes on overturning Roe vs Wade, there is a real possibility they can end abortion in America. What would this do to the black community? We can start with the fact that abortions do occur at a higher rate among black women than women of other races. We can partially attribute this to a lack of health care, including limited access to contraception and health-based education. If Roe vs Wade is overturned, black women may seek other means of ending their pregnancies. Of course, this is a problem all women will face, but the numbers will show several disproportionate effects for black women in general.

Ben Simmons, black men, and our mental health struggles…

Speaking of health-related concerns in the black community, we must take a look at the plight of NBA superstar Ben Simmons. Simmons has been plagued by mental-health issues that have a negative impact on his performance on the court. Or does he have mental issues at all? It is easy to accuse Simmons of lying, or simply being weak. Black men are often saddled with the burden of being strong, masculine, and emotionless. Add to this the fact that Simmons is wealthy, good looking, and very talented, which leads many people to think he couldn’t possibly have mental issues. Why not? He’s human, and he has to deal with the struggles of daily life, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, he, like countless other black men, cannot show vulnerability out of fear of being labelled soft. Let’s hope Simmons, and all black men who suffer form mental challenges, are courageous enough to come forward and get the help they need.

Now that Juneteenth is a holiday, what does it really mean?

This is a pre-emptive strike about the Juneteenth celebrations and holiday next month. Recall 2021, when racial tensions were still simmering, and many institutions felt the need to do something. So we got a few token gestures to move to needle of equality. One of these was the somewhat unexpected creation of a national holiday for Juneteenth. The idea actually caught fire and opened some dialogue about the significance of Juneteenth. Bravo Joe Biden. But what did it really accomplish other than a day off for some who don’t care to observe it? The first year with the new holiday was greeted respectfully, in part because Juneteenth was a mystery to so many people. As the new holiday rolls around in 2022, we need to watch, listen, and learn to find out what difference a year makes. Will Juneteenth be celebrated, or scorned in 2022? We will know the answer soon enough.

As you can see, May 2022 promises to be a month where we will push our agenda, and meet opposition along the way. What else is new? This is why I started What’s Black: Things to Watch. We need to be aware of issues that affect us and our progress. We need to be more vigilant to protect our best interests. We need to be involved in the ongoing struggle for equality, exercising our fundamental rights, and our ability to live and be successful American citizens. As you can see, we are far from where we need to be. That’s why I will see you in June 2022…

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for February 2022

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for March 2022

Review… What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for April 2022

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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STAY CONNECTED WITH GARY TO RECEIVE THE LATEST NEWS! JOIN THE MOTIVATION FOR THE WORLD NEWSLETTER TODAY! EMAIL GARY AT MOTIVATION4THEWORLD@GMAIL.COM

What’s Black? Things We Need to Watch in April 2022

April 5, 2022

Gary A, McAbee

Welcome to What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch by Gary A. McAbee. What’s Black is a monthly update about things of interest for black people to watch, discuss, and actively interpret. The time is now for all of us to get involved. These are conversations we need to have, and we will have these conversations. In this issue, there are some of the things we need to watch in April 2022

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is almost on the Court

After days of confirmation hearings, it looks like Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is on the way to being appointed to the Supreme Court. Of course, her opponents and detractors put her through the wringer during her confirmation hearing. Hidden in some of the questions was the idea that she was soft on crime, and more likely to sentence defendants on the basis of their race. It’s an old trick: trying to show that a black person is sympathetic to another black person who breaks the law. The good news is Judge Brown Jackson wasn’t having any of it. Instead she kept her composure and impressed many during her hearings. She even convinced a few Republicans to break ranks to support her nomination. It will be great when we can finally call her the first African American woman to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justise Clarence Thomas has some explaining to do.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas has a problem. His wife has been in cahoots with people hell-bent om proving that Donald Trump won the last election. In fact, Ginni Thomas exchanged texts about changing the outcome of the last election and others about supporting the Jan 6th insurrection. Why does this matter? It matters because her husband Clarence is on the Supreme Court. How do you think Justice Thomas would have voted on any Supreme Court case that involved Trump and the legitimacy of the election? Now I don’t know if Justice Thomas should resign, but I do know this exposes a serious conflict of interest for him and his wife. There is no doubt his wife influences his thought processes, which could infiltrate his court decisions. There is the problem! We should be watching to see what further investigations prove and what it means for Justice Thomas.

Wait, in 2022 we still didn’t have an anti-lynching law to make lynching a federal crime?

You might have missed it, but President Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act of 2022 into law. After 100 years and over 200 attempts at passing such legislation, we finally have a law. The shameful part is it took so long and so many attempts for this to become a law. So we have to ask who opposed this legislation for so long. Of course, we can start to look south, and to members of the Republican Party. In fact, when the House passed the bill, 3 Republican southern lawmakers STILL opposed it in 2022. They wonder why we don’t vote for them! They claimed the law is unnecessary, yet it is proven that lynching still happens in America. The good news is their opposition has finally been broken, so this piece of legislation can become a step in the right direction to prevent lynching in America. It is far overdue and definitely good for our county.

I thought he isn’t a good leader for young black men. Juwan gets it right.

As we know, March Madness refers to the college basketball tournament to crown a national champion. In this year’s tournament, Coach Juwan Howard led his Michigan basketball team. Remember, just a month earlier Howard was suspended for a post-game altercation with coaches from an opposing team. He was labelled as the villain, and many questioned his ability and authority to remain as Michigan’s head coach. Fast forward to the tournament when Michigan upset Tennessee. In the post-game handshake line, a Tennessee played cried uncontrollably. Howard saw this, and took the time to embrace and console this player from the other team. It was a moment of humanity that did not go unnoticed. Howard was praised for this gesture, and he proved that he is worthy of leading young men by coaching the game of basketball. What a difference a month makes. Thank you, Juwan, for being a positive role model after all.

Will Smith thought he slapped the devil. He should slap himself!

While one role model got it right, one did not. The event between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars will live on forever. Will Smith will be stained forever. Chris Rock will be stained forever. None of it should have happened. Smith showed an incredible loss of self-control on the biggest stage imaginable. In one minute he emasculated another black man, perpetuated the stereotype of the angry black man, and nearly ruined the first Oscars presentation produced by a black director. He gave our critics all the ammunition they needed. For that alone, he should be ashamed. Sometimes in the black community, we have disputes. Some of these disputes should be handled in house. We don’t always need spectators. We need answers and solutions that only we can provide in certain situations. Will Smith broke this, and several other codes we live by in the black community. Not cool will, definitely not cool.

Chris Rock will need a lot of understanding and support.

Far too many people talked about Will Smith’s role in the Oscars incident while ignoring Chris Rock. He has become the butt of all jokes- how ironic. He has become the subject of meme after meme that will be circulated online forever. He will be remembered as the man, make that the black man, who was slapped and punked at the Oscars. I can only imagine what he must be going through. Now he has disclosed his childhood issues of being bullied and harassed, and it makes this incident seem even more callous. Chris Rock needs our help. In our society men, make that black men, are not supposed to show weakness or share our emotions. This is wrong on so many levels. Yet our society wants us to soldier on and suffer in silence. Hopefully, one slap changed that. Now, as black men, we have to open up and let our feelings out. We also need to support each other during these times of need.  Chris Rock deserves it, and we should provide all the support he needs as he deals with this situation.

As you can see, April 2022 promises to be a month where we will push our agenda, and meet opposition along the way. What else is new? This is why I started What’s Black: Things to Watch. We need to be aware of issues that affect us and our progress. We need to be more vigilant to protect our best interests. We need to be involved in the ongoing struggle for equality, exercising our fundamental rights, and our ability to live and be successful American citizens. As you can see, we are far from where we need to be. That’s why I will see you in May 2022…

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for February 2022

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for March 2022

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

LINKEDIN: HTTPS://WWW.LINKEDIN.COM/IN/GARYMCABEE

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FREE APP FOR ANDROID: TO DOWNLOAD 2MOTIV8U: THE MOTIVATION FOR THE WORLD APP VISIT THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE- SEARCH: MOTIV8

STAY CONNECTED WITH GARY TO RECEIVE THE LATEST NEWS! JOIN THE MOTIVATION FOR THE WORLD NEWSLETTER TODAY! EMAIL GARY AT MOTIVATION4THEWORLD@GMAIL.COM

What’s Black? Things We Need to Watch in March 2022

March 5, 2022

Gary A. McAbee

Welcome to What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch by Gary A. McAbee. What’s Black is a monthly update about things of interest for black people to watch, discuss, and actively interpret. The time is now for all of us to get involved. These are conversations we need to have, and we will have these conversations. In this issue, there are some of the things we need to watch in March 2022

We have our first black female nominee for the Supreme Court. How will she be treated?

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been nominated for the Supreme Court by President Joe Biden. Her experience proves she is a qualified and worthy candidate for the Supreme Court. However, like all nominees Judge Brown Jackson will go through a rigorous confirmation process. Her record will be reviewed. Her court decisions will be analyzed. Her answered will be interpreted. This is typical. However we need to watch how her confirmation process goes. Will she receive fair or unfair treatment? We have already heard she was only nominated because she is black and that is not the only reason why she should be picked. We have also heard that her record will be viewed differently than it was when she was appointed as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2021. By the way, the same Senate who confirmed her in 2021 will accept or reject her nomination.

Not Kaepernicked yet! Did Coach Brian Flores avoid being blackballed?

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has been hired as a special assistant for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Remember, he is the coach who filed a discrimination lawsuit against the NFL. Once the lawsuit was filed, it was assumed that Flores would be blackballed for filing the suit. Doesn’t the NFL have a habit of “Kaepernicking” black men who take a knee instead of going along with the system? At first, it looked like this would happen to Flores as well, especially since he interviewed unsuccessfully for head coaching jobs recently. However, he got a job. But isn’t it ironic that the only black head coach (Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers) at the time in the NFL gave Flores a job? This lifeline temporarily keeps Flores in the game. Let’s see how long it lasts and let’s see what happens as his lawsuit is still under review.

Michigan’s head coach takes a swing. Is he too angry to be a leader of young men?

You may have missed the incident between black head coach Juwan Howard of Michigan and his white counterpart Greg Gard from Wisconsin. The college basketball game between Michigan and Wisconsin ended with controversy. As usual, the two teams walked to exchange handshakes post-game. This is when Coach Gard grabbed Coach Howard. An argument ensued, and Howard threw a punch at a Wisconsin assistant coach. Both teams scuffled. The result of the altercation was a five-game suspension and $40,000 fine for Howard and a $10,000 fine for Gard. Both were warranted. But only Howard was labeled as the villain. People questioned his temperament and ability to lead young men. We need to ask what would have happened if Howard was the instigator? My guess is he still would have been vilified and his reputation sullied, just like what is happening now. Either way, he would have been at fault. Let’s watch and listen to the response when he returns for tournament basketball.  

Why should we avoid teaching uncomfortable lessons in schools?

Throughout Black History Month, the backlash increased against Critical Race Theory and teaching topics that make people feel “uncomfortable” in schools. Let’s keep in mind that most people do not know what Critical Race Theory is about. I am a black man, and I don’t know! So how can people immediately reject it? It is dismissed because the perception is it will paint white people in a bad light for things they have done. Could it be that these transgressions throughout history have not been taught enough? This leads to the “uncomfortable” lessons that could increase in schools. The solution then is to simply ban these lessons so they can’t be taught. Isn’t having freedom a bitch? It’s all good when the things we are taught are favorable, but when the light of truth is shown, now we have to ban unfavorable parts of our history. I suppose some people want us to live in a state where the government gets to mandate what we are taught and not taught. Sounds a lot like Russia to me.

Racism rises again. Will black refugees receive equal treatment?

Speaking of Russia, their assault on Ukraine is a clear violation of international law. Ukrainian people are fleeing their homeland and the world is watching. Imagine my surprise when I noticed how many black people also tried to exit Ukraine. Then the pictures and commentary hit. Some black Ukrainians were not being allowed to cross borders. Others were being delayed while catching trains, as white Ukrainian citizens were allowed to board. At first, I thought this behavior was limited. Then more and more reports poured in from across Ukraine and neighboring Poland. Even during a war, racism doesn’t stop! My guess is the practice of slowing these black refugees will stop, but only because it has been exposed to the rest of the world. Isn’t it ironic that black oppression does get reduced when the world finally sees it. Let’s keep an eye on the plight of black Ukrainian refugees, while praying for peace and safety for all of the citizens of Ukraine.

As you can see, March 2022 promises to be a month where we will push our agenda, and meet opposition along the way. What else is new? This is why I started What’s Black: Things to Watch. We need to be aware of issues that affect us and our progress. We need to be more vigilant to protect our best interests. We need to be involved in the ongoing struggle for equality, exercising our fundamental rights, and our ability to live and be successful American citizens. As you can see, we are far from where we need to be. That’s why I will see you in April 2022…

Review…  What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch for February 2022

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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What’s Black? Things We Need to Watch in February 2022

February 5, 2022

Gary A. McAbee

Welcome to What’s Black: Things We Need to Watch by Gary A. McAbee. What’s Black is a monthly update about things of interest for black people to watch, discuss, and actively interpret. The time is now for all of us to get involved. These are conversations we need to have, and we will have these conversations. In this issue, there are some of the things we need to watch in February 2022

Will we recapture what Black History means to us?

As we all know, February is designated as Black History Month. When growing up, learning about Black History was done every month. We learned about influential black people and the trailblazers who made a way for us. We learned about black-firsts and the achievements that pushed our race forward. That was then, this is now. Thanks to assimilation and integration, I believe we have lost the energy and passion to learn about and celebrate the best of being black in America. We sure do get a daily dose of the worst of being black in America! So this month, one thing to watch is our commitment to learning about our history, not just in February but all year long. Another thing to watch is the opposition we will face in February just because people know it’s Black History Month.

Bomb Threats at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Speaking of opposition during Black History Month, at the beginning of this month there were a rash of bomb threats at Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the United States. Was this a coincidence, or a carefully executed plan that just happened to coincide with the start of Black History Month? We all know the answer: this was a continuation of a longstanding tradition of actions designed to target and intimidate black people, black institutions, and our progress. In the case of HBCUs, this is low hanging fruit for the perpetrators of these crimes. Add to that the fact that HBCUs are gaining fame by attracting top black athletes (which takes them away from “traditional” universities) and we can see another reason to threaten our black institutions. Let’s watch to see if arrests are made, and if these threats subside. Let’s watch our government’s response to these heinous, terroristic threats to our HBCUs.

January 6th Insurrection Arrests and Trials Continue

We also need to watch our government’s response to the ongoing investigation of the January 6th Insurrection. Why is this so important to us? First, the arrests, trials, and sentencing patterns should set a precedent moving forward about how law enforcement will handle civil unrest and protests. As we know, black people will be in the streets soon protesting something again. Will we get the same level of treatment as people who stormed our Capitol and attacked police officers? Or will we see the same old tactics using to suppress our protest efforts? You and I know all of this leads back to the question we always ask: what would have happened if the January attackers would have been black? How would they have been treated? We know the answer, and this is why we need to focus on the outcomes associated with the Insurrection so we can protect ourselves and our rights going forward.

Will Joe Biden Keep His Promise and Select a Black Woman for the Supreme Court?

You heard it. I heard it. During a Presidential debate, then candidate Joe Biden vowed to select a black woman for the Supreme Court if he became President. Well, Joe Biden is President, and a spot on the Supreme Court opened during his Presidency. We get to ask a question: what’cha gonna do now Joe? The good news is he went on record again and said he would select a black woman. What else could he say? There are many qualified candidates who should be considered to be the first African American woman on the Supreme Court. Ketanji Brown Jackson is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. J Michelle Childs is on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. So what’s the problem? Once, again we already see the opposition to the idea of solely picking a black woman. We already see the calls of affirmative action and reverse discrimination in opposition to a black female nominee. If a black woman is selected, we need to focus on the confirmation process all Supreme Court nominees must face. I predict it will be an ugly conformation process for any black woman candidate for the Supreme Court.

The Brian Flores Lawsuit and NFL Coaching Hires

We know the torrent of opposition to our progress is not solely reserved for black women. NFL coach Brian Flores, and countless others, have experienced it for years. Only this time, Coach Flores is fighting back and putting his career on the line as well. He has filed a lawsuit against the NFL and its teams for discriminatory hiring practices. In short, he alleges he was treated poorly during one interview for a head coaching position. Then as a head coach, he was unceremoniously fired due to a lack of cohesion between himself and team management. Finally, Flores claims he interviewed for a job already promised to a white candidate as a way for the team to check the quota box for minority interviews. Now black coaches, commentators, and athletes are speaking about an unwritten policy we all know exists in the NFL. The good ol’ boys network still slows, and in too many cases, prevents qualified black coaches from advancing in the NFL. The outcome of the Flores case may impact discriminatory hiring practices in all industries, not just the NFL. For this reason, we need to pay attention to the final outcome.

As you can see, February 2022 promises to be a month where we will push our agenda, and meet opposition along the way. What else is new? This is why I started What’s Black: Things to Watch. We need to be aware of issues that affect us and our progress. We need to be more vigilant to protect our best interests. We need to be involved in the ongoing struggle for equality, exercising our fundamental rights, and our ability to live and be successful American citizens. As you can see, we are far from where we need to be. That’s why I will see you in March 2022…

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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In 2021, Some Things Changed, and Some Things Stayed the Same

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

2021: Some Things Changed, and Some Things Stayed the Same

On January 6, 2021 armed protesters violently stormed, and occupied the Capitol of the United States of America. They wanted to “stop the steal”. Pictures don’t lie. 99.9% of the thousands of people involved were white. I would guess 75% or more of them were male. They were not protesting, marching, and rioting to move America forward. They were storming the capitol to protect their way of life and their freedom. Both ideas reflect their need to keep America the way it has always been, great for them, but not so great for everyone else.

Could you imagine what would have happened if the Jan 6th “protesters” were people of color? They would not have been able to get within a mile of the US Capitol. I’ll take it a step further. They would have been met with the same fury it took to clear Lafayette Park, which occurred on June 1, 2020. In that incident, protesters who were primarily people of color, were there to protest of the murder of George Floyd. They were met by pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets. There was no hesitation to clear out “those”  protesters by any means necessary. But on Jan. 6, 2021, protesters were allowed to storm the US Capitol with little resistance at all.

In 2021, some things changed, and some things stayed the same.

Speaking of George Floyd, we did get a break when his murderer, Officer Derek Chauvin, was put on trial in March. For once, video evidence was indisputable. The world saw the execution of Mr. Floyd, and reaction to it was swift and overwhelming. There was no conceivable way that Chauvin could get off, or could he? Let’s be real, he had 18 complaints against him over his career which brought insignificant  reprimands here and there. Plus, he was “protected” by a blue wall of silence that is very high in the state of Minnesota. So we waited for the theatrics of the Chauvin trial.

As usual, the tactics of character assassination were on full display during the trial. First, the trial was referred to as the George Floyd trial. He wasn’t on trial: he’s dead. Next, the defense pointed to every character flaw they could find, in hopes it made him “deserve” his fate. Add the coverage by certain segments of the media, who were still able to give Chauvin a fighting chance for acquittal. The outcome was in doubt and the fix was in. Wait, Chauvin was guilty! However, his sentence was still considered light, given the charges. By the way, this marked only the second time an officer was convicted of murder. What was the other time? It was when an officer of color was convicted for killing a white woman.

In 2021, some things changed, and some things stayed the same.

Shall we move on to the Wisconsin vigilante, whose trial shows that privilege in alive and well in courts around the United States? I give you exhibit A: Kyle Rittenhouse. I give you exhibit B: Judge Bruce Schroeder. Rittenhouse is the white kid whose mother thought it was a good idea to take to protests of yet another police shooting: Jacob Blake. The catch was that Rittenhouse brought an automatic rifle with him. He felt so threated while playing Paul Blart that he used it to kill two people in the process. Surely, he would be found guilty right?

Not if Judge Schroeder had anything to do with it! He made the Rittenhouse trial quite comfortable for the defendant. Guess what? Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges. Apparently, it is legal to transport a weapon across state lines, pretend to be helping law enforcement, and then shot people when they confront you. The underlying principle in the case is a tried-and-“true” conclusion: we should not throw away a young white male who gets into trouble at an early age. Meanwhile, black kids are sent to the gallows, or worse, for offenses far less than Rittenhouse. On top of that, he’s a celebrity now. He has offers to work with Congresspeople, and he’s even met your former leader who shall remain nameless here.

In 2021, some things changed, and some things stayed the same.

I recently had a conversation with two people, one white and one black, concerning the verdict in the Gregory and Travis McMichael Trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. It struck me because of a few things. First, we referred to the trial as the Ahmaud Arbery Trial. He wasn’t on trial: he’s dead. Yet all references made it seem like Mr. Arbery was on trial for murder. All over the media, you heard Ahmaud Arbery’s name attached to the case far more than the McMichael’s, which subconsciously painted Mr. Arbery as the criminal. Sound familiar?

Next, the conversation I had swirled around one fact, the jury only had one black person. The rest of the jurors were white. Both parties I was speaking to came up with the same conclusion, the McMichael’s should be guilty, but they would get off unless the black juror speaks up. I offered a different scenario. I said the McMichael’s may get off unless one or more of the WHITE jurors spoke up. Of course, we can’t assume innocence or guilt because we were not privy to all of the information, but our surface assumption is the duo should have been found guilty of the charges. Guess what? The McMichael’s were found guilty.

In 2021, some things changed, and some things stayed the same.

If you’re keeping score, you will probably agree that in 2021, some things changed, and some things stayed the same. White protesters were allowed to desecrate the Capitol of the United States: a loss. Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder: a “win”. Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges: a loss. The McMichael’s were found guilty of all charges: a “win”. Yet I am saddened by the fact that I have to keep score at all. I am also saddened by the fact that my score card is ready for 2022. The only question is, who will be a part of the final tally?

IN 2022, WILL SOME THINGS CHANGE, AND SOME THINGS STAY THE SAME?

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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The Most Beautiful Woman in the World…

You might wonder who I am talking about, but I already know. She is the black woman, also known as the queen and mother of this earth. I was born of a black woman, so I know first-hand how incredible she is: do you? She will always be on a pedestal, positioned high above all others. She is my hero, and I wrote this especially for her. I thank God for you, black woman.

She is blessed.

She is highly favored.

She is thankful.

She is anointed.

She is spiritual.

Yet, she is also underappreciated. She is often the last one to receive, but the first one to give. She is often forgotten, but the first one to remember. She is burdened, yet she is expected to carry the entire load. Despite all of this, she is still strong. She holds her head high and keeps moving forward. Why does the world often mistreat her?

She is honored.

She is respected.

She is admired.

She is underrated.

She is unmatched.

I write this tribute to my black queens everywhere because you are amazing. You deserve all the credit in the world. You are mother, wife, sister, grandmother, aunt, niece, cousin, godmother, lover, and friend. You are worth your weight in gold and so much more. Where would we be without you?

She is intelligent.

She is sexy.

She is special.

She is gifted.

She is love.

You might wonder who I am talking about, but I already know. She is the black woman, also known as the queen and mother of this earth. I was born of a black woman, so I know first-hand how incredible she is: do you? She will always be on a pedestal, positioned high above all others. She is my hero, and I wrote this especially for her. I thank God for you, black woman.

She is the most beautiful woman in the world.

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Let America Be America Again

Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

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