Monthly Archives: December 2019

It’s 2020 and it just a matter of time before we defeat you

I have always identified myself as African-America. I embrace who I am and where I come from.  I proudly tell anyone who listens to me that despite being stripped of our culture, our language, our very identity and sold into slavery, despite Jim Crow, despite the KKK and other groups that hate us, despite the economic and social inequality thrust upon us and a host of other roadblocks African Americans are as responsible as any other people in the shaping of America into the country it is today.

Unfortunately like many African Americans I have been called a nigger, I have had the barrel of a police officer’s gun pointed directly at my face simply for throwing a football in the backyard of a friend who happened to live in an all-white neighborhood. Despite never being in trouble with the law and not really dressing like the mythical stereotypical “threating African American male” I’ve been stopped for driving while black, stopped and frisked for no apparent reason and seen white women cross the street at night when they have noticed me. Yet my story is a little more complicated than just the color of my skin.

Adopted it wasn’t until my late 30s did I discover I was basically half white. A DNA test courtesy of 23 and me confirmed that my DNA profile is mostly Nigerian, twenty seven percent, followed closely at twenty four percent Ashkenazi Jew.  So, for the KKK I’m basically the jackpot, you know lynch one get one free. In totality I’m Fifty four percent Sub-Saharan African and Forty-three percent European. Bottom line is that no matter who my DNA traces back to I’m always going to be who I am and anyone who knows me or meets me should judge me based on my character, not the color of my skin, what religion I practice, my sexual orientation, country of origin or a host of other factors we have invented to separate ourselves from one another.

In the very beginning of the 1968 classic Planet of the Apes Charleston Heston’s character Colonel Taylor wonder if that throughout the thousands of galaxies, millions of stars, if there is only one, a speck of solar dust we call Earth that has been graced or cursed by human life. He wonders if man, the marvel of the universe still makes war against his brother and lets his neighbor’s children starve. At the end of the movie the Dr. Zaius informs Taylor that he has always know about man and that he must be a warlike animal who gives battles to everything around him, even himself.  Science fiction from over fifty years ago or reality from today? Because as we are get ready to usher in the third decade of he twenty first century we are still waging war against each other, still letting our neighbor’s children starve, and still looking to give battle to ourselves. The ending of Planet of the Apes doesn’t paint a bright future for humanity, YOU BLEW IT UP, and it does not take much to suspend belief very much to see our future playing out the same way.

In the last few years America has seen a rise in hate crimes as a percentage of Americans increasingly feel threatened by anyone who does not look, sound, live or worship the way they do. It has always been a simmering but now with an administration that tacitly endorses it, remember a group that walked the streets of Charlottesville chanting the Jew will never replace us was said to have good people, it seems ready to boil over.

Now is a crucial time we as a people must guard against our own prejudices and make no mistake no matter who we are we all have some prejudices dwelling with-in us. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided.  I have heard a few of my Jewish brother and sisters. dismissing Black Lives Matter with comments as if they don’t want to be targeted they shouldn’t commit crimes.  I have heard a few of my African brothers and sisters dismiss anti-Semitic violence as overblown angrily wondering why bigotry is seemingly only deemed a problem when it happens to the Jews and not when it happens to the African American community.  I have heard both groups go after one another over the nonsensical debate about what was worse holocaust or slavery.  I have witnessed African Americans and Latinos who loath each other as they fight over the limited resources afforded to them because of inherent social and economic inequality.  It is precisely these divides that play into the hand of those who preach racism and bigotry. Keep them divided and fighting among themselves they say it makes it easier for us to keep them down.

Yet despite all of this I truly believe as I have said many times in this blog as time goes by those who preach racism, bigotry, sexism, judge people based on their religion or are homophobic are a dying breed and we must not give them any life by falling into their trap of fighting among ourselves.

We are the voice of the many.

We see no difference in each other.

We judge each other for who we are and what we do.

We unite as one people.

We are America!

And we are gaining in strength everyday and it’s just a matter of time before we defeat you.

First Love…25 Years Later

I looked across the train and there you were head down reading a book, an actual book no iPad or kindle but an actual book with actual pages. A little more mature but you were just as beautiful as you were 25 years ago when I first saw you in that bodega. I wanted to walk over and say hello but for some reason my feet wouldn’t move.  Maybe I just wanted to remember you as you were. Maybe I didn’t want to hear about a husband or children. Maybe I just wanted to remember when it was just you and me. Sure, there have been others after you some just passing through some who I thought I loved, but they say hindsight is 20/20 and in hindsight there was never really anyone like you.  We were young, maybe too young, we didn’t have much, we didn’t even talk the same language but somehow, we made it work. Our love lasted only a few years, but true love has no clock, and it burned bright but then just like so many bright stars it exploded into a supernova. With one last kiss you looked at me and said I love you but we both know we can’t be together and just like that you were gone never to be seen again I thought.  But there you were today and while deep down I hope you found love I know whoever it is they could never love you the way I did. After all you will always be my first and one true love.

As long as There is Racism My Voice Will Never Be Silenced

So today someone ask me after reading one of my social media post about Tucker Carlson why am I so angry? We get it there are still people who do things that speak to either blatant or implied racism. Ignore them, let it go, don’t let them consume you they said. Well that may be easy for you I said but I can not mute my voice in the face of any type of racism. I will never allow my voice to become a whisper to their screams simply to make others feel comfortable when it comes to race. As my Jewish brother and sister say never forget and I will never forget that we were forcibly took from our home, stripped us of our culture and told we were not people but property.

I will never forget that sheets were donned, crosses burned and men rode through the night to strike terror into our hearts.

I will never forget our voices were silenced at the voting booths with violence and intimidation.

I will never forget we were turned away at the lunch counter, the doors to the school were locked, the dogs were set free and the hoses were turned on us.

I will never forget that one leader after another was assassinated for daring to ask we be treated as equals.

I will not go quietly into the night because my patriotism to a country I love and my people helped create as much as anyone else is questioned if I dare protest its continued racial inequality.

I will not go quietly into the night as they attempt even to this day to hold us down, strip away our dignity, our pride and our self-worth.

So I told him no I am not mad I simply am one of many of all races, colors, religions, creeds, genders and ethnicities who refuse to be silenced. A group that is rising up now together as one. A group determine to ensure America marches forward and not back even if there are those that believe that was when America was great.

One Random Act of Kindness

You know who is the most excited about this time of year?

Satan that’s who!

You see Satan loves all the happiness and joy being had by so many.  It is precisely that joy that brings sadness to the hearts of so many others.  Individuals who have lost a love one.  Those who are dealing with health or family issues.  People struggling with a housing or financial hardship or just those who truly have no one to share the holidays with. For them the holidays can be a time of sadness and loneness and that’s the window of opportunity Satan see as a chance to break their faith.  But as a Christian we are warriors for Christ and we can help keep old Satan at bay.  Try being extra nice to those around us, friends and strangers.  Smile at a stranger.  Take a day and volunteer at a homeless shelter. Take an afternoon and spend it with an elderly person who has no one else to spend time with. Call up a family member or friend you’ve haven’t spoken to in a while just to see how their doing.  Do whatever you can because if you are lucky enough to know joy and happiness this holiday season by committing just one random act of kindness each day between now and Christmas you would be amazed at just how much of an impact you may have on someone’s life.