Tag Archives: African-American

R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore

R&B Soul

R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore

I long for the days when R&B singers used to sing. Not only did they sing, but they made timeless R&B classics that will live on forever. All you need to do is tune into the radio and find the Quiet Storm. You can dig into the crates and find your favorite tunes on wax. You can sort through your tape collection and find the artist and album of your choice. No matter how you do it, go find your favorite old school R & B music. R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

I’m talking about Marvin Gaye. I’m talking about Gladys Knight. I’m talking about Luther Vandross.

It’s time to go down memory lane. What made R&B music great was the effort that was put into creating music. R&B singers sang about passion and feeling. They sang with power and emotion. They sang about joy and pain. They sang about love. All of these artists captured feelings and emotions and turned them into forms of art. R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

I’m talking about Minnie Riperton. I’m talking about Freddie Jackson. I’m talking about Stephanie Mills.

It’s time to go down memory lane. R&B music of the past was accompanied by smooth, often sensual music. It set the mood for love and romance. When the lyrics of some of the greatest songwriters were added, it created the right mix of soul, funk, and rhythm. Music like this is affectionately known in the black community as “baby makin’ music.” In fact, I am sure a lot of us 70s and 80s babies were conceived while some smooth R&B played in the background. R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

I’m talking about Barry White. I’m talking about Shirley Murdock. I’m talking about Babyface.

It’s time to go down memory lane. I genuinely believe that our music reflects the times we live in. Like today’s society, our music (in general) no longer reflects the love we had for each other years ago in the black community. Male R&B singers of the past referred to women as treasures; not objects. Female R&B singers referred to men as providers; not takers. R&B music used to spread unity and love. We need to get back to hearing these messages in our music. R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

I’m talking about Stevie Wonder. I’m talking about Chaka Khan. I’m talking about Peabo Bryson.

It’s time to go down memory lane. All you need to do is tune into the radio and find the Quiet Storm. You can dig into the crates and find your favorite tunes on wax. You can sort through your tape collection and find the artist and album of your choice. Enjoy yourself. If you remember some of these songs, you know exactly what I am talking about. As a sample, I have provided a short list and links for some of my favorite R&B songs. Feel free to comment and add to the list!

R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

If Only You Knew- Patti LaBelle

You Should Be Mine- Jeffrey Osborne

Cause I Love You- Lenny Williams

The Morning After- Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

Living All Alone- Phyllis Hyman

Love’s Train- ConFunkShun

Between the Sheets- The Isley Brothers

Anticipation- The BarKays

Betcha By Golly Wow- The Stylistics

Let Me Be the One- Angela Bofill

The Chi-Lites- Have You Seen Her

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African American Cultural Norms

kente cloth

These are the cultural norms of African Americans…

The Extended Family

  • Cousins, Aunts, Mother, Father, Uncle

Informal Adoption

  • By blood relative and non-relatives… Play mom (Godmother, Godfather), play cousins, play nieces, play nephews, play grandmothers, play grandfathers)

Religious Orientation

  • Involved in some type of church religious activity

High Value on Children

  • Children come first

Respect for the Elderly

  • Always respectful to adults and especially to the elderly

Flexible Family Roles

  • Mother working and father taking care of kids

Respect

  • For self and community

Restraint

  • Not doing something that you know you should not do. Knowing right from wrong

Responsibility

  • To self, family, and community

Reciprocity

  • I keep the kids one day and you keep the kids the next.

 

Can you think of any examples of how these cultural values apply to you and your family?

kente cloth

Hill, Robert B. Ph. D 1999. The Strengths of African American Families- Twenty-five Years Later. University Press of America, Lanham, MD.
Sudarkasa, Niara. Ph. D “Interpreting the African Heritage in Afro-American Family Organization.” Pp 27-43 in Black Families, Ed. Harrielle, P. McAdoo, Newbury, Park, CA: Sage Publications, (1988).

Claim to Fame…Rise Up!

Claim to Fame: an excerpt from the book Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now, written by Gary A. McAbee

An important idea that African Americans can use is the concept of making claims. Making a claim is another way of saying making a declaration about something. The degree to which we believe in the claims we make is the conviction that we have when we actually make the claim. It is also all about faith. More faith means that we can make more powerful claims. More powerful claims are destined to become reality if we believe that they will come true.

There are different types of claims we can make and different expectations that African Americans can have for each claim. The first type of claim is what we can speak into existence. When we speak it, it becomes ingrained in our thoughts and daily routines. The claim becomes a call-to-action. The call-to-action puts us to work on what we have spoken. It is just a matter of time before the work we put in will produce the results we want.

If you want more peace in your life, speak it into existence. Your actions will lead you to find peace. If you want more money, speak prosperity into existence. Your actions will lead to greater wealth. If you want love in your life, speak it into existence. Your actions will lead you to find a suitable mate. We must be aware that the claim must be supported by effort or it will not come to pass. Faith without works is dead.

Another method of claiming is to know your best friend: you. Based on what you know about yourself, you can figure out how to make the right claims based on your talents and abilities. The idea is to use your talents and put them toward a goal that is attainable. Many people shoot for the moon with a slingshot, then question why their expectations do not come true. Instead, we should learn how to match our skill sets with our desires and claim what we want based on accurate conclusions.

What is your claim to fame based on what you know about yourself? Do you handle crisis situations well? Your claim to fame could be helping others. Maybe it is the care and concern you show for others. Do you handle your business effectively? Your claim to fame could be running your own business. If you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can make your claims based on your potential to be successful.

An example of the concept of making your claim to fame is finding your passion. Another way to look at passion is identifying what you are good at doing. Is there anything that you wouldn’t mind doing for free as long as you do not need it for financial support? Your passion is something that you do that makes you feel alive and at your best. It does not have to be work-related or tied to a specific job. Passion makes us commit all of our energy to what we want to accomplish.

cropped-rise-up.jpg

After African Americans identify their passion, we must claim it. Let the world know your talents and abilities. This is the reason why we are given our talents. It does no good if an African-American woman or man is blessed with unique abilities, but does not live up to their potential. As a race, we all suffer every time this occurs. We must build upon our talents to make a difference in our communities. It all starts with making a claim.

Those who do not excel when they know their passion are usually good at claiming failure instead of success. How many African Americans do you know who choose defeat before getting started? It is surprising how many people accept failure before making an attempt. Also, if they speak failure into existence, failure will be sure to arrive. The concept of claiming your fame works both ways.

The enemy of making a positive claim is fear. When fear is present, it prevents people from seeing positive outcomes. Instead, we close the door to success. There is a familiar story of a man who worked at the US patent office in the 1800s. He was confident that everything could possibly be created was already invented. He made a claim that humans could not invent any more things, so he quit working in the office. This man’s claim to fame was underestimating the power of human creativity, ingenuity, and imagination. His claim to fame is also having his story used as an example 150 years later!

The example leads us to an important part of the process. If we make the correct claim to fame and make it come to pass, we will be remembered for our accomplishments. The highest achievers in our race made their claim to fame. Benjamin Banneker’s claim to fame was mathematics and astronomy. Lorraine Hansberry’s claim to fame was writing plays and essays. Matthew Henson’s claim to fame was exploration. Madame CJ Walker’s claim to fame was invention.

Imagine what would have happened if these great African Americans would not have claimed their fame? What if they did not speak about their vision and goals until they became reality? Suppose they did not find their passion and pursue it until they realized their dreams. These people, along with countless other African Americans, claimed their fame. As a result, our race is better off because of their successes. Our world has reaped the benefits their achievements.

Just like we will be remembered for our achievements, we will also be remembered for our shortcomings if we do not live up to our potential. So once again, we end up back at the same starting point. Claim your fame and work to make it a reality. Claim positive results and positive results will come to pass. Find your passion and make it the driving force behind your success.

 

Identification: Who Said You are _______? Do You Believe Them?

 

The year is 2017 and we as people of color have more opportunities than ever. We have proven that we can compete in the classroom, newsroom, and the boardroom. We have a proven track-record of excellence across many disciplines. Many of these achievements are in fields of endeavor that our ancestors thought would never become open to us. In fact, they could only imagine living in a world full of opportunities like we have today. Ours is truly an amazing story, and an even more amazing journey.

Along the way there have always been obstacles put in our way for us to overcome. There have always been challenges for us to recognize and face. There have always been questions we needed to answer just to become qualified. I think we have overcome numerous obstacles, faced several challenges, and answered all of the questions correctly. Now we must take the next step by defining our true identity.

During our journey, we have been identified in many ways. We have been called many names. We have been given many titles. Our character and worth as a people has been defined for us, and often not in glorious terms. We have been told we are inferior, unworthy, incapable, unlovable, unredeemable, ungodly, unlawful, uneducated, unteachable, unreachable, lazy, and ugly.

Now I ask a simple question: Who said you are _______? Do you believe them?

If you believe them, then they have won. They have defined your character for you. I am here to refute everything they have said. I am here to break every stereotype they can find. I am here to correct every false opinion about us.

Question Mark

Now I ask a simple question: I say you are __________ . Do you believe me?

If you believe me, wake up and seize your victory. Use self-identification to define your true character. Live up to everything I am about to say. Break every stereotype about who you are. Correct every false opinion they have about you.

 

Who said you are inferior?                                         I say you are superior!

Who said you are unworthy?                                     I say you are worthy!

Who said you are incapable?                                      I say you are capable!

Who said you are unlovable?                                     I say you are lovable!

Who said you are unredeemable?                             I say you are redeemed!

Who said you are ungodly?                                         I say you are God-fearing!

 

Who said you are unlawful?                                       I say you are law-abiding!

Who said you are uneducated?                                  I say you are educated!

Who said you are unteachable?                                 I say you can be taught!

Who said you are unreachable?                                I say you are reachable!

Who said you are lazy?                                                I say you are energized!

Who said you are ugly?                                                I say you are beautiful!

 

Now that you have been correctly identified, rise up and find success! The year is 2017 and we as people of color have more opportunities than ever. We have proven that we can compete in the classroom, newsroom, and the boardroom. We have a proven track-record of excellence across many disciplines. Many of these achievements are in fields of endeavor that our ancestors thought would never become open to us. In fact, they could only imagine living in a world full of opportunities like we have today. Ours is truly an amazing story, and an even more amazing journey.

 

 

Tearing Down Barack Obama: Who Will Finish The Job of Erasing His Legacy?

The Presidency of Barack Obama was historic for so many reasons. The most obvious is that he was the first African-American to serve as President of the United States. As a black man, I gushed with pride knowing that the ultimate glass ceiling, the office of the President, has been shattered by Barack Obama. Now young black males can look to the example of Barack Obama and dream of one day becoming the second African-American President of the United States. If you do not understand the importance of this, I suggest you think about it and try to find some empathy to comprehend the magnitude of this achievement.

Of course, the Presidency of Barack Obama had to come with a price. The price was the typical back-and-forth debates that happen constantly in Washington. Members of both political parties, Democrats and Republicans, play a significant role in these occurrences. Both political parties would like to limit the power of success of the other, all in an attempt to push their agenda through. It was under this backdrop that Barack Obama took office eight years ago. Naturally, he would be subject to the political wrangling and scrutiny that all Presidents must face while in office. However, upon careful review, I am one person who wonders if the scrutiny President Obama faced was typical, or greater than previous Presidents.

(…if you lean Republican, have conservative ideologies, or possess another motive not to be discussed here, I hope that you continue reading anyway. I am sure that your natural tendency is to immediately dismiss the premise I am about to present. I will give you that. However, I will not give you the right to discharge my point-of-view without at least trying to understand it. Without trying to frame his Presidency within the historical terms of black people in America, It will be difficult for you to accept what I will say next, nor agree with it at all. I only ask that you proceed and make an honest attempt at gaining some understanding…)

Post-election, was there a concerted effort to tear down Barack Obama, his Presidency, and the legacy he would leave behind? Let’s tart from the beginning and see where we go. It is known and proven that leaders of the Republican Party met behind closed doors immediately after the first election of Barack Obama. Their mission was laid out. They would obstruct President Obama at every turn, as well as try to render him a one-term President. I suppose this is normal and a method both Republicans and Democrats use once the other party wins the Presidency. However, was this the first time such a meeting was confirmed to have taken place?

I could be wrong (and feel free to provide facts that will do so), but I have followed American politics closely since the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election fight. I do not recall immediate opposition to President Bush, or at least not a backdoor meeting that went public. Nevertheless, the stage was set for opposition and obstruction of President-elect Obama. This is undeniable.

Now back to my original point: how does it look when the first African-American President faces obstruction and purposeful attempts to “sabotage” his Presidency from day one? How am I, given all of the obstruction black people have faced in America, supposed to feel  when I know there are member of our own Government dead-set against this President?

Let’s fast forward to how many times during both of his terms that Barack Obama was “delegitimized” as President. In other words, how many times did his critics act as if he never won, or should have won the Presidency twice? Obama has been called weak at foreign policy, yet a dictator over us about domestic affairs. He has been questioned about his use of executive actions, when he has done this fewer times than his predecessors. He has even been about his vacation time, even though he was away from Washington fewer days than other recent Presidents. Again, these things are always things a President, regardless of political party get scrutinized for doing. But it seems to me Obama got a little more backlash than other Presidents…

Remember in one of his first reception lines, how Russian dignitaries skipped over President Obama by not shaking his hand?

Remember former Governor Jan Brewer, and the time she stuck her stuck her finger in President Obama’s face?

Remember the congressman, who interrupted the State of the Union Address to say the President lies?

Remember when President-elect Trump delegitimized the President by asking for Obama’s birth certificate time and time again…

I could go on and on with example after example of attempts to delegitimize the Presidency of Barack Obama. 

Now back to my original point: how does it look when the first African-American President faces obstruction and purposeful attempts to “sabotage” his Presidency while he is in office? All of these slights play out in the public eye, so the world saw and paid attention to these things. Not only that, but people of all races, supporters and non-supporters, friends and foes, also saw the treatment President Obama received. None of these things should have ever happened to the President of the United States. Personally, I do not care who is in office, Democrat or Republican. There is a level of dignity and respect owed to the President at all times.

So what was I to say as I witnesses outward expressions of “hostility” toward the first African-American President? How was I supposed to feel, as a black man, as people tried to tear down President Obama? Please provide me with tangible evidence that warranted this “hostility” as proof that his Presidency was such a disaster. In the meantime, I will share this…

For the record, Obama was reelected in 201, but unemployment did not stay above 8% as predicted by Mitt Romney

For the record, gas prices did not shoot up to $6.00 per gallon as a result of Obama’s reelection…

For the record, the stock market did not crash during either of Obama’s two terms in office…

For the record, Obama did not plan to suspend the election of 2016…

For the record, Obama did not vow to stay in office after 2016 (if Trump won)…

All of these “stories” were either outright lies, or distortions of the truth to make some people fear the first African-American President even more. What makes this sad is the people responsible for the untruths knew they were lies, yet they told these stories anyway. Their goal was to play of the fears of people who are uneducated about civics and the functions of government. It worked! Yet Obama continued to serve as the President of the United States with dignity and class.

Let’s fast forward to the election of 2016. Even though most economic numbers have improved dramatically during his Presidency, this election turned into an indictment to some degree of Barack Obama. As a result, we saw the rise of Donald Trump and his appeal to those who rejected Barack Obama from the start. President-elect Trump rode this wave all the way to the White House. Of course, he used his platform to bash the President and claim how much he has failed after eight years in office. While this is normal during an election season, who can explain why this happened while the President’s approval numbers are at their highest point right now?

Now back to my original point: how does it look when the first African-American President faces obstruction and purposeful attempts to “sabotage” his Presidency as his time in office comes to an end? Given the treatment of so many of my ancestors (and myself and countless other African-Americans), this feels like the ultimate slap in the face. I understand the nature of politics and the desire to downgrade members of a different political party, but really? President Obama’s successes and failures will be scrutinized objectively by Presidential scholars. This treatment is to come later. Right now, to me it feels as if someone is ready to finish the job of tearing down Barack Obama, once and for all.

A wise man posted this on social media back on November 7, 2016, one day before the 2016 election…

obama-hootsuite

An even wiser man (Van Jones) made a compelling statement concerning the treatment of Barack Obama, especially as a result of the brilliant victory of President-elect Trump. Van Jones could not have said it any better. To paraphrase his comments, he called the victory of Donald Trump (in part) a “whitelash” against President Obama and the demographic shift occurring in the United States. Once again, to fully understand his (and my) point-of-view, you should take into consideration the treatment of black people in America. What are we supposed to tell our children?

See full clip here: Van Jones- CNN November 8, 2016:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdgewCeLtrU

As a final thought, I say we should just let this play out. If you are concerned or need to find additional evidence, please stay tunes and watch how soon the attempts to erase President Obama from history start to occur. Remember that you read about it here “first”. Let’s see, repealing ObamaCare, whether you like it or not, is already the first of Obama’s accomplishments in the crosshairs of the new Congress as soon as Donald Trump takes office? What will be next? I am sure it will not take along before we see several additional attempts to tear down Barack Obama. Who will finish the job of erasing the legacy of Barack Obama? Time will tell… 

 

Voting Rights: Yet Another One of the Remaining Great Disqualifiers

Voting: Yet Another One of the Remaining Great Disqualifiers

Vote

There are still a few barriers that tend to disqualify certain groups of people from participating in our democracy. Restrictions to voting and voting rights are one of these remaining great disqualifiers that negatively affect far too many people. The interesting part of this issue is the fact that voting rights are established for all citizens as a birthright. The only restriction that should prevent American citizens from voting is age, and once that barrier is passed the right to vote should no longer be an issue. However, even though it is 2016,  the fundamental right to vote is still not guaranteed for all American citizens. It is one of the remaining great disqualifiers.

To effectively make the point that voting has always been a disqualifier, we must look back through the course of our history. When our nation was founded, voting was an exercise that only white male wealthy landowners could do. Over time, voting rights were gradually extended to other segments of the population thanks to adding amendment after amendment to the US Constitution. Take a look at the timeline that nearly ended voting as a remaining great disqualifier. Then think about the continuation of the discrimination that remained despite of the amendments created to prevent it…

  • Fifteenth Amendment (15th) 1870: non-white males, regardless of property ownership received right to vote
  • Nineteenth Amendment (19th) 1920: women received right to vote
  • Twenty-fourth Amendment (24th) 1964: ended poll tax as a disqualifier from voting
  • Twenty-sixth Amendment (26th) 1971: reduced voting age to 18

Despite the ratification of these amendments, major pockets of resistance to voting rights remained. These included denying the rights of freed male black former slaves from voting, even though the 15th Amendment allowed it. Females of all races could not until after the 19th Amendment allowed women to vote. Poll taxes, which were a pay-to-vote scheme, prevented many people from voting until the 24th Amendment made the practice illegal. Finally, the age barrier was reduced by the 26th Amendment, thanks in large part to opposition to the Vietnam War.

One must ask why these pockets of resistance to voting, otherwise known as remaining great disqualifiers, existed even after laws were put in place to abolish them. Something more sinister was taking place, and history has a way of documenting injustices for the record. At various parts of our history, the following groups of people were not allowed to vote: women, poor white men, slaves and free blacks, Native Americans, and in some cities, Jews and even Catholics. It would take two sweeping pieces of legislation to “end” voting inequalities: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Both of these laws included various parts which, in theory, should have ended all forms of voting discrimination.

After the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, we must ask ourselves why court cases and laws created by individual states still to this day challenge the voting rights of so many groups of people. The door that closed on voting inequalities in the 1960s was opened by the Supreme Court in 2013 when it struck down a part of the Voting Rights Act. The Court determined that many of the safeguards put in place to protect voting rights for African Americans in the South were outdated and unnecessary. You would think that would be the case in 2013. However, soon after this ruling several states in the South and others controlled by Republican legislatures enacted laws that make it more difficult for some people to vote in 2016!

In 2016, many people face barriers such as reduced early voting times, new ID laws, and stricter registration dates and rules. Voting is still one of the remaining great disqualifiers. The recent headlines from the past week prove this is true. The good news is courts around the country are knocking down laws that put unreasonable restrictions on voting. For example, on July 29, 2016 a federal court struck down a North Carolina Law that included strict identification guidelines for voting. Other states, such as Texas, Ohio, and Wisconsin have similar laws that are currently being litigated.

As we complete this brief examination of voting in America, we must ask again why so many restrictions have been placed on the voting rights of so many people. The truth is that some people simply do not want others in our society to vote. This crosses over issues of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, and political affiliation. Therefore, the only way to finally end challenges to voting is to adopt common-sense measures that can be applied equally and fairly for all American citizens. The following list is a good start:

  • Create a national voter ID, offered free of charge, that could also be used in state and local elections for identification.
  • Distribute free voter IDs at driver’s license centers as an option for those who cannot obtain a driver’s license for various reasons
  • Switch the national voting day to a Saturday so less people would have to make arrangements to get off work to vote, or keep Election day on Tuesday, and allow all workers to have two hours of paid time to vote.
  • Allow national early voting days to be uniform in all states.
  • Give voter registration cards to all high school graduates  so they can start the registration process immediately.
  • Develop a better system similar to airline screening that eliminates voting fraud.

These are only some ideas that may be developed in the future. For now, we have to rely on the court systems, as well as our elected officials, and everyday citizens to help ensure the voting rights of all Americans. Hopefully someday soon, this will be  this will no longer be an issue for any American citizen over the age of 18.Voting has been one of the remaining great disqualifiers for far too long.

This is a follow-up to my original posts:

Credit: One of the Remaining Great Disqualifiers

Education: Another One of the Remaining Great Disqualifiers.

Be on the lookout for my next post… Mass Incarceration: Maybe the Last of the Remaining Great Disqualifiers

Black Lives Matter Explained Yet Again

One house in a row of five houses is on fire. One of the houses that is not on fire is a blue house. The fire department is called to the neighborhood. They immediately rush to the house on fire and commence to their spray water. As they do this, are they saying the hell with the other houses that are not on fire? Ask yourself, are they neglecting the houses that are safe? Are they making a conscious decision to disregard the people in the blue house?

No, they are addressing the problem: one of the houses is on fire and we are here to address the problem. The house on fire is #BlackLivesMatter. The houses that are safe are #AllLivesMatter. The people in the blue house are #BlueLivesMatter (#CopsLivesMatter). In the case of the blue house, things appear to be normal, but maybe a closer inspection will uncover that their house needs attention too. But even in this case, is the blue house in more danger than the burning house?

I can’t understand why it is so hard to understand this. If you are reading this and you still don’t get it, let me try to explain it again because this issue is so important to me…

  • October will be Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Does this mean in October we will say who cares about lung cancer awareness and those who suffer from that illness?

  • Save the rainforests and save the whales? So I guess the other forests and sea animals don’t matter.

  • A doctor is an eye surgeon. Does anyone have the right to tell her or make her also perform root canals?

Each one of these examples is utterly ridiculous. They are so ridiculous that they can be dismissed immediately. Yet when we discuss #BlackLivesMatter, critics can’t seem to comprehend that these examples are the “exact” same thing. Again, black lives matter DOES NOT MEAN we say who cares about white lives. Black lives matter DOES NOT MEAN other lives don’t matter. Black lives matter DOES NOT MEAN their cause can be told or forced to perform a different action, such as address the false narrative that is black-on-black crime.

Not clear enough yet? Let me politicize this for those who might choose to ignore or disregard those examples…

  • For the military crowd:
    • Support our Troops in Afghanistan… does this mean forget about the ones in Iraq? How about the ones in South Korea?

  • For the gun control crowd:

    • We want to protect the rights of handgun owners, so the rights of shotgun owners do not matter.

  • For the support the veterans crowd:

    • Unfortunately, many of our veterans are suffering from combat-related illnesses. Should we concentrate on them, and let those veterans who are just homeless fend for themselves?

To be clear, I do not consider myself the smartest man in the room. I might think I say brilliant things, but never have I considered myself a genius. Honestly, I just consider myself an average person who has a pen, blog, and something to say. So I do not say this lightly…

…if, after all of these examples, you still do not understand #BlackLivesMatter, then something else must be going on. I have two potential explanations.

Explanation #1: There must be something more sinister that is directing your misunderstanding. If this is true, it is probably because of the inclusion of one small word. The inclusion of this word, dare I say, (Donald) trumps all ability to use reason to see what this issue is all about. The word is BLACK. Somehow this word, when it is used to discuss issues related to black people, is always perceived to be a threat (see Black History Month, Congressional Black Caucus, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, etc.). We are talking about a word! Can you imagine how some people feel when using this word is not enough, so we start marching in protests (aka #BlackLivesMatter) in cities across the country?

Explanation #2: There must be an intellectual gap that is directing your misunderstanding. This could be as simple as not understanding words or the analogies presented here. It could also be as simple as adding personal opinions and biases to this issue. Or it could be listening to those who are purposely and intentionally telling you not to use your ability reason and use common sense (this is called intellectual dishonesty). They tell you #BlackLivesMatter is a hate group, so you listen without investigating for yourself.

I will let you decide which explanation works for you if you choose not to understand. For some, nothing can convince them that #BlackLivesMatter does not mean “all lives” or “blue lives” do not matter. I guess we let those folks wear the shoes that fit them.

By the way, because I just mentioned shoes, does it mean I am anti-work boots?

Ferguson

Let me know what you think! I welcome your opinions and encourage meaningful dialogue…