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.

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.

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

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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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You Think I Don’t Know? You Don’t Want Us to Vote!

You Think I Don’t Know? You Don’t Want Us to Vote!

Our voting rights are always under attack. As black people, we have faced wave after wave of laws and actions designed to prevent us from voting. There has always been opposition to seeing us vote in large numbers. For a long time, this meant preventing us from voting altogether. Eventually, measures (like poll taxes) prevented us from voting in large numbers. Then, the idea that we chose not to vote led in “relaxed” measure to prevent us from voting. Fast forward to 2008 and 2012 when Barack Obama ran for President and you saw black people vote in record numbers.

You Think I Don’t Know? You Don’t Want Us to Vote!

Without Obama on the ticket in 2016, we did not vote in the same numbers and it resulted in Donald Trump’s Presidency. After four years of Trump, I can tell you every black person I know was on a mission to vote and get Trump out of office. If you prescribed to the pre-Obama notion that black people would stay home instead of vote, then you would have believed Trump would win. Yet in state after state, the strong turnout of black voters proved to be the difference that swept Joe Biden into office. Remember, there has always been opposition to seeing us vote in large numbers.

You Think I Don’t Know? You Don’t Want Us to Vote!

So now we are seeing voting laws enacted by Republicans in states all across the country. These laws are being presented under the guise of illegal voting. But, in reality they are designed to stop people of color from voting in large numbers. They know our votes matter and it scares them. Republicans understand this simple fact: by 2050 (and by some estimates a lot sooner) America’s minorities will outnumber the current white majority for the first time in our history.

You Think I Don’t Know? You Don’t Want Us to Vote!

This means, in their mind, members of the new majority will register and vote as Democrats in massive numbers. If this happens, they will be hard-pressed to win elections in the future. Their only way to stop this is to make it harder to vote. They are doing it by reducing polling places, limiting early voting, and purging voter rolls. These actions have a target: black Americans, and to a lesser extent, people of other ethnic groups and those seeking equal rights. My question to you is what are we going to do about it?

You Think I Don’t Know? You Don’t Want Us to Vote!

Here’s a blog post I wrote back in 2018 to discuss this issue in more detail…

Voting: Vote Suppression 101

Next blog post: You Think I Don’t Know? My Blackness is a Threat

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

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I’m Ready to Impeach THIS! Our Politicians Do Not Serve Us

I’m Ready to Impeach THIS! Our Politicians Do Not Serve Us

I am sick and tired of the political climate in the United States. While I still believe this is the greatest country on earth (with the greatest political system), it is definitely not due to our politicians and the way our government is run. “We the people” are not being served by “they the politicians”. In fact, we are being used, manipulated, and neglected all at the same time by our elected officials on both sides of the aisle. It has to stop, but I don’t see any way it will. We are too far down the path of bipartisan bickering, the influence of money in politics, a lack of term limits, and political tribalism to see any meaningful change. My friends, this does not make America great, nor does it strengthen our democracy in any meaningful way. I’m ready to impeach THIS!

It amazes me how our politicians are unwilling to compromise for the good of the American people. Instead, any flimsy compromise you hear about is for the benefit of the politicians and the philosophies of the party they represent. It’s damn near criminal! As an example, people have needed relief for a year due to COVID-19. Democrats and Republicans still cannot agree on how much and how it should be allocated. So they won’t compromise enough to help those in need. Instead they view it as a tug-of-war over government spending, taxation, corporate handouts, etc, not the needs of their constituents. Basically, if a piece of legislation doesn’t satisfy a political party (and it never does), then their votes will create gridlock. This is bipartisan bickering. Meanwhile, the unemployment rolls continue to swell, the food lines get longer, and our economic anxiety lives on. I’m ready to impeach THIS!

The influence of money in politics is disgusting. Don’t get it twisted, they are all on the take! Don’t assume your favorite Democrat is free of the influence of money. They need donations to run for office, right? This means the donors can have a “say” in policies put in place once your Democrat wins an election. Their donation is undoubtedly higher than the average American’s and probably tied to a corporation or special interest group. You can assume correctly they have more influence than Joe the farmer who donates $25 to his favorite politician. Not only that, who do you think gets access to our politicians? Good old Joe can’t call his senator and strike up a conversation, not for $25. But many rich donors can because they put more in the pot. If they don’t like what they hear they can withhold their money or donate to someone else. I’m ready to impeach THIS!

Why is it that our Congress does not have term limits? If the office of President is limited to two terms, then our Senators and Representatives should have term limits too. There is no way you can convince me that old ass Mitch McConnell-R (elected in1985) or Patrick Leahy-D (elected in 1974) thinks like this is 2021. Do they know their decisions require solutions that will work in 2021 instead of when they were first elected as Senators years ago. This is because they, and countless others in both parties have been in power too long. They have no business making policy for our country anymore. But here’s the catch. Guess who has to vote on changing our laws to create term limits to get these fossils out of office? Our senators and representatives have that power. Why would they even consider it? They have power, prestige, money and all the trappings of being politicians. As long as their “gullible” constituents continue to vote them in, they continue to stay in power. I’m ready to impeach THIS!

We can’t forget about political tribalism, which is an unwritten rule that says politicians support the views of their party most, if not all of the time. It doesn’t matter if the policy is good or bad, it will most likely be supported by the entire political party as a way to hold the party line. Where are the individual thinkers in our government? They are there, yet they do not have the courage of their convictions to break with their party for the sake of the American people. The impeachment trials are proof. Republicans, even those who knew Trump was guilty, would not dare vote against him and their party. While it is true there were a few defectors, they are many more who wanted to vote to remove him, but chose not to. This is because they refused to buck the party line, alienate many voters, and piss off their donors. God forbid that a politician would vote for the good of the American people because it would be the right thing to do. Instead, politicians overwhelmingly stay within their tribe even when its against their own conscience. I’m ready to impeach THIS!

So what do we do? I have several answers. First, we need either a viable third political party, or a group of independent lawmakers who will not perpetuate bipartisan bickering. This will help break the gridlock in Washington that hinders our ability to pass legislation to help the American people. Next, we need to weed out the influence of money in our politics. We should limit the numeric and monetary amounts of donations people, corporations, and super-pacs to reduce donor’s influence over politicians and policy making. Also, we should have congressional term limits. The easy way is to follow the term limits of the President. Politicians should be limited to two terms so new leadership gets a chance to lead. Finally, we should hold our elected officials accountable when they vote with their tribe instead of following the will of the people who elected them. We need to be more vigilant with monitoring how our politicians vote and how often they are for and against their party’s policies. I’m ready to impeach THIS!

I believe these are sound ideas, but none of them will come to pass. Let’s face it, the crooks have the building blueprint, operate the security cameras, know the safe combination, and put a getaway car on standby. If caught, they also write the laws, are friends with the police, eat dinner with the judges, and went to school with the attorneys. In other words, the politicians have all the power and advantages to keep the rules of the game the same. Unfortunately, for any real change to occur they would have to change things from within. Good luck with that happening. The entire political establishment knows they are in a “good” spot as long as none of them mess it up for all of them. They need to keep us in the dark about the rules of their game, how they play, and the results they want to achieve to stay in power. I’m ready to impeach THIS!

In my opinion, we have a few ways to influence change that our politicians can’t directly control. First, we must educate ourselves about our government. We call it civics: a social science dealing with the rights and duties of citizens, government, and how it affects life. If civics is not brought back into our school curriculum, they we have to learn civics “School House Rock” style, one video at a time. Next, we need to learn about the inner workings of our state and local government. Sure we know (to some extent) the roles of the President and Congress, but what about our local judge, councilperson, and school board member? They affect our lives far more than our national leaders, yet we do not learn who they are and what they do. Next, we need to educate ourselves about all candidates and vote. We do not have to vote by party affiliation. Instead, we should vote in our own interests regardless of which party agrees or disagrees. I’m ready to impeach THIS!

We are past the point of no return. We are beyond thinking government does not affect us. We are done with accepting what our politicians tell us. We are through with thinking our voices don’t matter. You matter. I matter. We matter. This is our country, and we need to hold our political leaders, on both sides of the aisle, to a much higher standard. We need to send the message that we are tired of politics as usual. While I don’t encourage storming the Capitol, I do encourage more education, more determination, and more consternation to help fix our political system. I’m ready impeach THIS! Our politicians do not serve us… yet!

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

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Stop the Steal

As we all know, the rallying cry for people in favor of overturning the 2020 election was “stop the steal”. Its short, catchy, and easy to remember and repeat. But what do these words really mean? Could their mantra “stop the steal” really be a call for something more sinister? I believe it is, and even if Trump and his minions don’t agree, “stop the steal” is more than just election talk. It is a last-ditched effort to, dare I say, “make America great again”.

What do these two sayings have in common? “Stop the steal” and “make America great again” can be traced to one idea: America is getting browner. Demographic shifts point to the fact that America is changing. Some estimates say that by 2050, minorities (when combined together) will outnumber whites in America. Translation: white people in America will become the minority and people of color will become the majority. But how do we know this is true?

I like to think of Barack Obama as the answer to the question (although it is unfair to him). Black and brown people have slowly penetrated American society and its cultural norms. It was gradual, yet undeniable. I think it was “accepted” because it was not overwhelming to some white people. Enter President Obama! He was, whether we admit it or not, the face of the demographic shift in America. A black man became President, and all Americans became witnesses. People of color were taking over!

After 8 years of Obama, America “needed” to get back its identity as a white, Christian nation. Enter Donald Trump! He was the candidate that embodied turning back the clock. Why do you think he used slogans like “make America great again” and “America first”? Both point back to a time when a white-male power structure dominated American society. It was, according to some, the time when America was great. But you can ask countless numbers of Americans about the validity of America’s greatness. When was America truly great for all of us?

Right before the Trump Presidency ended, we were introduced to a new slogan: “stop the steal”. While it refers to the so-called theft of the 2020 election, in reality it can also point to the demographic shift overtaking America. Seeing Barack Obama as President was a shock to the system, but Donald Trump temporarily eased those concerns. However, he lost, which means his momentous “make America great again” movement has to lose a little steam. In other words, we need to “stop the steal” now to prevent people of color from taking over.

Let me be clear. “Stop the steal” is more than a rallying cry against the election of Joe Biden. Instead, it is a call-to-arms! It is a rebel yell! It is a mantra to summon those who do not want the people of color to “take over” America. It is a call-to-action to preserve the white-male dominated society we have endured since 1776. It is a threat of a new civil war in America to keep the status-quo. As a side note: Isn’t it ironic that America broke away from a tyrannical government, only to acquiesce to having a new tyrannical government if Trump was allowed to “make America great again” .

What proof do we need? 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.

So how can we “stop the steal”? The answer is to acknowledge what has already been stolen: the idea that America is founded on the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How about stopping the need to always be in control? How about stopping the need to always be right? How about stopping the need to be “great”, even if it infringes on the rights of those who not considered “great”? How about accepting the fact that America is changing, and the only way to make America great is acceptance and tolerance? How about bridging the gaps between people to help everyone feel they are a part of America.

This would make America great for all of its citizens, and end the notion that the country is being stolen. We can stop the steal, by stopping, misinformation, lies, and falsehoods. We can stop the steal by following the Constitution. We can stop the steal by accepting our country as the melting pot and ethnicities it has always been. We can stop the steal by putting our hopes in ourselves and each other. We can stop the steal by accepting our differences, which are not greater than our similarities. We can stop the steal by working to heal our nation. By doing these things and more, we can stop the steal.

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

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Enough Is Enough: 25 Reasons Why Your president Must Go …NOW!

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
  • It affects virtually nobody. Over 200,000 Americans have died from a virus the president downplayed and said would magically go away… your president must go!
  • When asked about a peaceful transfer of power, you president responds if we get rid of the (mail-in) ballots, there will be no need for a transition… your president must go!
  • The commission to find widespread voting fraud did not find enough cases so it was disbanded, yet your president still believes voting fraud is why he lost the popular vote in 2016… your president must go!
  • Mexico is not, did not, and will not pay for the wall. Nor has much progress been made on building said wall… your president must go!
  • Your president has used numerous disparaging remarks about people of color and women who challenge his beliefs and opinions… your president must go!
  • There were very fine people on both sides… your president must go!
  • According to your president, reports show you can have ultraviolent light inserted in the body and ingest chemicals to clean out the lungs (as prevention of Covid-19)… your president must go!
  • On the world stage your president physically pushes other world leaders out of the way so he can be in the front… your president must go!
  • He only hires the best people, yet the turnover in his administration exceeds his predecessors and still has vacancies he can not fill… your president must go!
  • Your president disparages the military, its generals, and even gold star families via Twitter and while speaking with aides behind closed doors… your president must go!
  • The United States Post Office, which is a national institution, is being slowly dismantled just in time for the 2020 election so it can not handle mail-in ballots… your president must go!
  • A tweet for everything: your president said Barack Obama should resign because of 2 deaths caused by Ebola… your president must go!
  • According to him, hydroxychloroquine treats coronavirus and people should try it because they have nothing to lose if they take it… your president must go!
  • Members of his own cabinet and various government agencies question is competence and decision-making abilities… your president must go!
  • Police and Secret Service members use tear gas and other methods to clear out peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square so your president can pose for a photo op at a church he wasn’t invited to use… your president must go!
  • Your president asked why Joe Biden did not enforce a mask mandate, when as a private citizen Biden has no authority or responsibility to do so… your president must go!
  • Your president displayed a weather map altered with a sharpie to include Alabama after he mistakenly said that state was in a hurricane watch area… your president must go!
  • Your president is still fighting to withhold his tax returns when it is a common practice for every candidate in the last 40 years to do so and after he said he would release them… your president must go!
  • Officers in uniforms without any insignia arrest protesters on the street and take them away in unmarked vans… your president must go!
  • One vigilante goes to another state and kills two protestors and he says the gunman acted in self-defense…  your president must go!
  • Key witnesses for the impeachment trial were blocked from testifying even though their testimony should have proven his innocence… your president must go!
  • The coronavirus numbers would be a lot less if you take out the totals from the blue states, as if they (and those who get sick and/or die) are not under his jurisdiction at all… your president must go!
  • Poll after poll show other countries trust your president far less than his predecessors and barely higher than adversaries like Vladimir Putin… your president must go!
  • Children in cages will discourage people from coming to the United States… your president must go!
  • There are recordings of your president saying how bad the virus is, yet he publicly downplayed its effects and holds rallies where people can get infected… your president must go!

Enough is enough! Your president must go… NOW!

Who is Karen???

Kidz-Bop-Karen-780x405

Kidz Bop Karen

Who is Karen?

Karen is a name applied to a white woman who causes a stir because she feels slighted in some way. She may be upset because she feels her rights are being violated (see grocery store I refuse to wear a mask Karen). She may feel the need to antagonize someone from another race for simply existing in a place she feels they do not belong (see why are you in this parking lot Karen). She may feel empowered to call the police if she thinks her life is in danger (see call the police on the law-abiding black man Karen). Now that we are filming everything, Karen is now famous, or should I say infamous. We need to find out: who is Karen? Karen has been duped!

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who realizes she was sold the beauty lie. She is not the standard by which all other women are judged. Most Karens are “normal” women who are not the standard of beauty anymore. There is nothing wrong with that! However, society has told her that white women should be 115 lbs., blond, blue-eyed, and perky, which makes them the most beautiful women. However, Karen is not 115 lbs. She is not blond with blue eyes. She is not perky! Her husband knows it too, and he keeps the beauty lie going. Today, she is treated differently, and she knows it. She is treated as a second-class white woman. It is just is not fair! Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who realizes she has been sold the age lie too. The standard of beauty also includes being young and excludes being old. Karen is usually in her 40s or older. Check the news stories and the videos of Karens gone wild! Even if she was 115lbs, blond, blue-eyed, and perky at one time, she is not anymore. In her world, the young, skinny bitch has taken her place. Her husband knows it too, so he helps the age lie to have a negative effect on Karen. He wants younger women. He flirts with younger women. Hell, he even employs younger women. Karen is left behind. Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who has been sold the race lie too. Society over time has come around to the idea that women of color are beautiful too. She knows black girl magic exists, but she has been told all her life white girl magic is better. But where is it? She might have heard about melanin, even though she has no idea what it means. All she knows is she does not have it, and she feels she should! Her husband knows it too, and he is more open to valuing women of color. So, Karen is not the standard of beauty anymore, and no longer put on a pedestal because of her race. Her whiteness is no longer in vogue. Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Who is Karen?

(A side note while we are on the subject of race… For anyone to compare calling someone Karen to calling someone the N-word, please believe that is a ridiculous comparison. Once again, the name Karen has been reserved for a white woman who creates a stir to counter the actions of a person of color. The N-word has been used to slur a black person for simply existing. To be clear, the name Karen is applied when she starts the “problem”, and the N-word is applied whether there is a problem or not.)

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who has been sold the economic lie too. While her skin color has allowed her to progress, her ascent is still blocked by her white male counterparts. The higher you go, the less likely you are to see Karen. Even if she possesses the intelligence and experience to lead, she will not get the chance she deserves. Her husband knows it too, and he keeps her in her place economically. She is relegated to earning less than her male colleagues (even though its still higher than people of color in similar positions). By the way, this only includes Karen who is connected. What happens to Karen who is disconnected? She works a blue-collar job and struggles to meet the economic needs of her family. Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Who is Karen?

Karen is a white woman who has been sold the safety lie too. She is convinced everyone, especially black men, are out to get her. She believes she needs to tread lightly around a black man. So, he cannot be too close to Karen in a store. He can not reside in her building. He cannot be in her space because he does not belong there. So, she must defend herself anytime she feels threatened, even if it is just her imagination. Her husband knows it too, and he uses the threat posed by men of color as a control mechanism. Karen wants her space, yet her efforts are not enough because today black men are more likely to frequent the same places as Karen. Karen must take her frustrations out on someone. She chooses to get upset, yell, and marginalize people to let her anger out.

Here is where Karen misses the point. She is treated just like a person of color: a second-class citizen. Instead of her being mad with the establishment, and the white men who uphold it, she is mad with the people who can relate to her pain. She is upset with those who are also marginalized. She is angry with the wrong people. She could align herself with people of color, or at least, people who have the same economic anxieties as she does, Together, Karen and her new allies could push for rights all marginalized people want: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. She might even be regarded as a leader, which is a status Karen never seems to achieve.

Instead, Karen chooses to fight her battles in a different way. She chooses to take out her frustrations by causing a ruckus when she feels her rights are being violated. She confronts people of color who are not supposed to be in a certain place or doing a certain thing. Karen will call the police if she feels threatened. All these actions point to one simple fact: Karen finally realizes the world does not revolve around her. She does not like it. She thinks she needs a scapegoat to take out her frustrations. I think she needs something else.

In the African American culture, the black man is praised when he protects his black woman, and vilified when he does not. Is the same standard true in white society? I do not see the same standards at all. I do not think white men are held to the protect the white woman or else standard like black men. Yet, this is exactly what Karen needs. Karen needs her man to stand up for her. He needs to end the lie about beauty. He needs to end the lie about age. He needs to end the lie about race. He needs to end the lie about safety. When he does this, Karen should feel more protected, and less likely to think the world is out to get her.

Just like so many people have been sold lies about their place in society, so has Karen. She recognizes the misconception of beauty is a lie. She gets older and learns the misconception of age is a lie. She observes the rise of women of color and figures the misconception about race is a lie. Her paycheck shows the misconception of her economic status is a lie. She cannot frequent her favorite places without noticing he misconception of her safety is a lie. Karen finally understands everything she has been taught is based on lies. She takes out her frustrations on those she believes are pushing her aside, invading her precious space, and violating her rights.

Who is Karen?

I know her. Now, you know her too.

Does she know herself? Does her husband know her?

Does she know what makes her Karen?

Will she stop acting like Karen?

 

If the YOU Fits, Wear It

baby Shoes

If the YOU Fits, Wear It

Colin Kaepernick (and countless others) tried to prevent the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by trying to get YOU to talk about police brutality. They tried to get YOU to understand, or maybe just show a sliver of empathy. It was done peacefully. In Kaepernick’s case, he went as far as contacting Retired Army Green Beret Nate Boyer to find a method of protest that would be appropriate. Mr. Boyer and Kaepernick settled on a taking a knee. Maybe they found a way that would get YOU to take notice. Maybe this time YOU would listen.

YOU chose to disregard the message. If the YOU fits, wear it.

The message was clear. We need to finally have a conversation about the way black people and black communities are policed. We need to address the issue of police brutality. We need to discuss justice for those whose rights are violated unjustly at the hands of the police. Finally, we need to improve police training and tactics so black people can feel safe in their own communities while seeing police as an ally, not an adversary.

YOU chose to twist the message. If the YOU fits, wear it.

Suddenly, Kaepernick’s protest was about disrespecting the military. How can that be true? He consulted an Army veteran to discuss a respectful method of protest. It was agreed that kneeling would be appropriate. Thousands of veterans from all races and walks of life support Kaepernick and his method of protest. But by your standards, kneeling in silence is too loud! YOU also said it disrespects the flag. In what way? Did he break any of the good ole American “revere the flag” traditions? He did not burn it. He did not let it hit the ground. He did not wear it as a garment. When did Kaepernick disrespect the flag?

YOU always use your privilege to define what is right and what is wrong. If the YOU fits, wear it.

Your privilege says YOU still have the “right” to define right from wrong. Your privilege “allows” YOU to redefine the protest, push the wrong ideology, and garner support by using a false narrative. Your privilege “warrants” the ability to tell everyone else how to protest, when to protest, where to protest, and why to protest. If any protest falls outside your views, then YOU also decide we can not and should not be allowed protest. But isn’t it ironic that YOU always defend your right to protest as it is written in your Constitution? That is privilege. It says to me, your Constitution was not written for us.

YOU chose to (dare I say) shoot the messenger instead of reading the message. If the YOU fits, wear it.

It is unfair to discuss Colin Kaepernick without mentioning protesters and leaders who preceded him. The United States of America has shown an interesting pattern: vilify the leader of the protests if they are black. Regardless of the protest or the real reasons for the protest, the response is always the same. YOU choose to discredit the messenger to twist the message. YOU did it to Frederick. YOU did it to Harriet. YOU did it to Sojourner. YOU did it to Marcus. YOU did it to Martin. YOU did it to Fannie. YOU did it to Malcolm. YOU did it to John Carlos and Tommie Smith. YOU did it to Sharpton. YOU did it to Colin. And the sad part is, YOU do not know more than 2 or 3 names on this incomplete list, nor do you know the protests they led and the messages they tried to deliver.

YOU do not allow us a remedy when we have a problem. If the YOU fits, wear it.

Each of the people referenced had an agenda. Each had a message. Each had a concern. Each had a remedy for the issues they tried to discuss. In fact, all these messengers and the protests they led pointed to a fundamental truth about America. Your country has never lived up to the promises it “made” to us:

  • Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  • Equal protection under the law
  • Rights protected and defended in the Bill of Rights and amendments to the Constitution
  • All men are created equal
  • Government as the protector of the people and the rights bestowed upon them as Americans

Believe it or not, America has not fully lived up to these basic, fundamental principles as they relate to black people. I know this is the part where, once again, YOU get to tell me I am wrong. YOU get to define my experiences in this country even though I live them daily and YOU do not. YOU have the right to tell me to love America or leave America even though neither of us started here. YOU get to defend your beliefs, while I do not get to defend mine.

YOU choose to ignore the problem yet again. If the YOU fits, wear it.

YOU choose to stick your hand in the sand, while we tell YOU repeatedly that we do not feel like we are full-fledged American citizens. YOU choose to disregard our challenges, many of which are as American as apple pie: racism, economic distress, basic and human rights, lack of protection under the law, poor education, incarceration, destruction of our families, and police brutality. By the way, this is NOT an exhaustive list of the challenges we face. Why does it take protest for YOU to understand these issues? Why does it take protests for YOU to “hear” us? I have a better one. Why have Harriet, Marcus, Martin, and Colin had to protest the same problems over and over again, yet YOU still choose to ignore them?

YOU are surprised that peaceful protests become violent protests. If the YOU fits, wear it.

YOU think our protests are riots. Not true. YOU think our protests are about looting. Not true. YOU think protests are bout violence. Not true. Let me be clear: our protests are an attempt to get YOU to at least hear our concerns. Yet YOU chose not to be concerned. YOU choose not to learn. YOU chose not to show empathy. YOU choose not to care. YOU choose not to listen. Human nature leads the messenger to turn up the volume of the message until YOU can hear it. When protests become violent, it is because your ears are closed. Your mind is closed. Your heart is closed. Honestly, I am amazed there are so many peaceful protests because they have not been “effective” yet. YOU still do not hear the message.

YOU do not listen regardless of how the protest occurs. If the YOU fits, wear it.

We protest by negotiating, ask Frederick. YOU do not listen. We protest by sitting, ask Rosa. YOU do not listen. We protest by giving speeches, ask Martin. YOU do not listen. We protest by marching, ask John (Lewis). YOU do not listen. We protest by taking a knee, ask Colin. YOU do not listen. Do YOU notice a trend? We protest, and YOU do not listen. Each of these protests were peaceful, but still YOU did not listen and I know why. In your view, we do not have the right to protest. Remember, your Constitution was not written for us. We should be happy to be American, right? We should be happy to live in the “greatest country in the world”, right? We should respect all things American, even though most of those things never respect us, right? We “are” American so why should we even consider protesting? To YOU we should, dare I say, get on our knees and thank our Creator for being “American”. Under these false beliefs, I can almost understand why YOU believe YOU do not have to listen to us.

YOU want acceptance of the status quo because it benefits YOU. If the YOU fits, wear it.

YOU need law and order to protect your interests, not mine. IF the YOU fits, wear it.

YOU have the inherent right to force you views upon me and I must agree. If the YOU fits, wear it.

YOU cannot possibly be wrong under any circumstance. If the YOU fits, wear it.

YOU are not concerned, as long as my issues do not affect YOU. If the YOU fits, wear it.

YOU have been conditioned to think a certain way because of your privilege. If the YOU fits, wear it.

As a final thought, because YOU choose not to listen, YOU can expect more civil unrest. Because YOU choose not to care, YOU can expect more peaceful protests. Because YOU choose not to help us, YOU can expect more violent protests. Because YOU do not feel the need to see things from our perspective, YOU can expect deeper divisions in our country. We tried to tell YOU. Harriet said it. Marcus said it. Malcolm said it. Colin said it. In fact, he even asked BEFORE he said it. Still YOU do not understand. YOU do not support us. YOU do not respect us. YOU do not want us here. YOU do not accept us as equal. YOU do not listen.

If the YOU fits, wear it. At least we will know who YOU are.

Do YOU know who YOU are?

 

Gary A. McAbee created the Wake Up/Rise Up Black America blog to have a powerful voice and positive impact in African-American neighborhoods, communities, and society. The articles posted are not only for African-Americans, but for all people due to their relevance and cultural significance. Along with his other blog, Motivation for the World, Gary can get people talking about issues that affect us all. He is the proud author of three self-help books: Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now!, the follow-up Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now! , and Defining Success: One Word at a Time.

 

Join Gary A. McAbee on social media!

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garymcabee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wakeupandriseup

Twitter: https://twitter.com/McAbeeGary

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garymotivation/

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

 

Just Pass the Damn Bill!

Bill

Just Pass the Damn Bill!

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, several things have happened to wake up Americans. One of these things is our government’s inability to pass the damn bill! There is always bickering back and forth between the two political parties about their reason for and against most bills. The process is then drawn out, and it could take months for a “sensible” bill to become a law. It is what pisses me off about politics: they take too long to pass the damn bill!

In the midst of the debate over the merits of a bill, the political spin and gamesmanship takes center stage. Both Democrats and Republicans exchange shot after shot at each other, while an important piece of legislation hangs in the balance. It’s all a game, but do we really understand how the game is being played? The best way to explain it is with a simple example with a few exaggerations just to prove the point…

There is an intersection in your city without a stop sign. The street leads directly into a school zone. Cars speed through the intersection and a lot of drivers speed through the intersection, blow past the warning signs, and pass the school. One day, a crossing guard and a child got hit and killed by a motorist. Now the community wanted action to fix this problem. A local congressperson in the Orange Party decided to write a bill to pass a law to add stop signs at this dangerous corner and regulate speed in a new school zone.

Another congressperson in the Purple Party knows an owner of a liquor store chain. He donates money to her campaign and the Purple Party. The owner has an eye on opening a store on corner of that same intersection. He calls the congressperson about the store and reminds her of his generous donations. They will help her get reelected. Now the congressperson wants to add provisions in the stop sign bill that would allow the liquor store to open on the same corner. These are two totally separate issues, but somehow they are associated with the same bill.

The leaders of the Orange and Purple Party argue the merits of the bill. Eventually, they work out a compromise and both measures are included in the final version of the bill. Now it goes to a vote. Officials in the Orange Party want the stop signs, but can’t vote for the bill because of the liquor store. Since they have the majority, their votes override the members of the Purple Party, who favor building the store to satisfy their party member and her generous donor. Now that the bill has been defeated, the games begin. The Purple Party broadcasts the following outcome:

The Orange Party is anti-child safety because they voted against adding stop signs near a school zone!

Because the bill in this simple example is really 1400 pages long, (1350 of those pages are about the stop signs and 50 pages are about the liquor store), it is hard for the public to “see” why the Orange Party struck down the bill. It is also difficult for the Orange Party to refute the anti-child safety claim. The narrative sticks and the public blames the Orange Party every time another incident occurs at the intersection. Meanwhile, the Orange Party voted against the bill because it did not want a new liquor store near a school. At least they “won” that battle.

While this example is purposely far-fetched, it is a snapshot of what happens in our government. There is no such thing as what I call a “clean” bill: short, sweet, and to the point without extra provisions. In my opinion, they should vote on single-item bills. In our example, there could be two “clean” bills: one for the stops signs and another for the liquor store. Then we can get the votes, accept or reject each bill, and implement any laws that pass. Instead, we get 1400 page bills stuffed with pork: extra provisions that are added to satisfy all parties involved in the bill. The pork in our example is building the liquor store. Notice that the will of the community is never addressed after the problem is identified.

I am sure it is impractical to have “clean” bills because of sheer volume. Our representatives would be expected to read and understand all of those bills before they vote. By the way, a lot of them don’t read the 1400 page bills they vote on now anyway. Maybe writing short, “clean” bills a few pages long would change that fact. But I suspect they still wouldn’t read. Instead, they would continue to vote based on their party affiliation, while supporting their colleagues and donors, rather than doing what the community wants and needs.

There has to be a better way to pass the damn bill that someone much smarter than me can figure out. In the meantime, our only hope is to take more interest in what our officials vote for and the reasons they do it. If they hold to the party line or satisfy donors without helping to pass “sensible” legislation for us, then we should notate it, remember it, and vote their asses out during the next election cycle. It is much easier said than done, because they know we do not hold them personally accountable for their votes. We must take back our voting power and get our official to break the gridlock to get things done.

To our elected officials across the country:  just pass the damn bill!

 

Gary A. McAbee created the Wake Up/Rise Up Black America blog to have a powerful voice and positive impact in African-American neighborhoods, communities, and society. The articles posted are not only for African-Americans, but for all people due to their relevance and cultural significance. Along with his other blog, Motivation for the World, Gary can get people talking about issues that affect us all. He is the proud author of three self-help books: Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now!, the follow-up Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now! , and Defining Success: One Word at a Time.

 

Join Gary A. McAbee on social media!

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garymcabee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wakeupandriseup

Twitter: https://twitter.com/McAbeeGary

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garymotivation/

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

Coronavirus Exposes the Truth About America

42446260 - 3d rendering of the retro black bomb

The coronavirus outbreak reveals a truth most Americans already know. There is a divide in our country driven by inequality that exists in plain sight. Our systems cannot, and do not support all Americans, for various reasons. Our politics has not worked to reduce the problems confronting many Americans. Just look at SOME  of what this crisis has “uncovered” …

  • Our health care infrastructure is inadequate. Too many people cannot afford healthcare. Others cannot afford to take time off work to receive healthcare.

 

  • Many people live paycheck to paycheck. They cannot afford to take a day off and miss a portion of their paycheck.

 

  • More children rely on school meals than we thought. They need meals provided by schools just to avoid hunger. Even with these meals, far too many children still go to bed hungry.

 

  • Many people cannot afford daycare. As a result, so settle for smaller day cares that barely meet the standards they should uphold. Other people chose to let their kids stay home alone.

 

  • Many people do not have adequate savings to handle a disruption of daily life. They will have a hard time should businesses and workplaces shut down.

 

  • Many people do not benefit from the tax structure in our country. While some receive tax breaks from their tax status, others are penalized for various reasons.

 

  • Many people suffer from inadequate access to affordable housing and rent control. Inability to afford rent relegates millions of people to high-density, yet low quality housing.

 

  • Our regulatory systems do not benefit enough Americans. Businesses can take advantage of holes in regulations that negatively affect people in ways they will never know or understand.

 

Unfortunately, the coronavirus has exposed the truth. Compassion and empathy should prevent people from finger-pointing. Instead, we need to work together to support each other. We need to work together to end the threat of the coronavirus and prevent future pandemics. Our work begins with knowledge and awareness of these (and countless others not mentioned here). Our next move is to work on bridging the gap between those who have and those who have not by tackling these issues.

If nothing else good comes from this crisis, think about the fact that maybe, just maybe, all Americans now know what was “hidden” in plain sight: there is a divide in our country driven by inequality. Until we address the inequality in our society, events like the coronavirus will continue to pull our country apart. Let’s work together to keep us together.

 

Gary A. McAbee created the Wake Up/Rise Up Black America blog to have a powerful voice and positive impact in African-American neighborhoods, communities, and society. The articles posted are not only for African-Americans, but for all people due to their relevance and cultural significance. Along with his other blog, Motivation for the World, Gary can get people talking about issues that affect us all. He is the proud author of three self-help books: Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now!, the follow-up Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now! , and Defining Success: One Word at a Time.

 

Join Gary A. McAbee on social media!

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garymcabee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wakeupandriseup

Twitter: https://twitter.com/McAbeeGary

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garymotivation/

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