Author Archives: Carl A. Cooke

We Are The Coalition Of The Righteous

So GOP politicians are lining up to defend Trump’s racist treats some going as far as too call them patriotic and informing us that we should just move on from this and get back to the business of governing. 

REALLY? You’re going to tell US what is racist and what isn’t. Just like you told us Slavery wasn’t racist. Just like you told us segregation wasn’t racist. Just like you told us red lining wasn’t racist. Just like you told us the shooting of unarmed black men of color wasn’t racist. 

Believe me when I say now more than ever we have a difficult time ahead of us. But if we are to be prepared for it, we must first shed our fear of it. I am truthfully unafraid. Why? Because I remember that I am here not because of the path that lies before me but because of the path that lies behind me. I remember that for 400 years we have endured slavery, racism, sexism, homophobia and the denial of basic human rights. 

For each of our achievements we only produce fear among those among us who still preach hate, who look to divide, those who do not believe in the brotherhood of all but rather hold onto the old ways of subjugation and bondage.

We are rising up now, together as one, race, color, religion, creed, gender and national origin .  We are a coalition of the righteous and we are gathering momentum each and every day. We are going to create a world where color, gender, religious belief and country of origin doesn’t matter. A world without conflicts and killings. A world without borders and boundaries. A world united not divided, ruled by love not hate. A world where anything is possible.

Today we send a message to those who still cling to the past, those who still preach hatred, those who still wish to divide this great nation not on the content of our character but on the the color of our skin. Today we take OUR country back from the racist and bigoted. Today we tremble these amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties from sea to shining sea. Today we remember, this is America where we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and all women regardless of color are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.

Today we make them remember we are still here

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GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM? REALLY

GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM

African-Americans have long heard those words of hatred spewed in their direction by racist and bigoted individuals but they are not alone

Italian American immigrants heard it

Irish American immigrants heard it

Polish American immigrants heard it

German American immigrants heard it

Japanese American immigrants heard it

Mexican American immigrants heard it

Immigrants from various Caribbean Islands heard it

Catholics heard it

Jews heard it

Muslims heard it

And many others have heard it

Ellis Island officially opened this week in 1892, and would subsequently process more than 20 million immigrants from around the world, all seeking a better life in America.  Just as our Founding Fathers intended.  Millions of immigrants would travel to America, leaving the only home they ever knew behind. Many times leaving family and loved ones and in some cases risking their lives to experience this new nation and idea. To be a part of a society birthed in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all citizens are created equal, theoretically if not literally. For the Founders, immigration was a mutually beneficial process.  The goal of which was to create a “melting pot,” in which immigrants successfully assimilate and become representative of our national identity, while also proudly retaining key aspects of their ethnic past.  We are all Americans, but in this country we are free to honor the many traditions and customs unique to our ancestral homelands.  It is without question what has made America great. 

This Sunday a President who ran on the slogan of make America great again, but seems to believe that means dividing Americans more than any President ever has and turning his back on diversity, tweeted that a group of four minority congresswomen feuding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi should “go back” to the countries they came from rather than “loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States” how to run the government. Predictably his base ate it up.  Commenting that President Trump is the greatest ever because he’s not afraid to tell it like it is. This group of Trump supporters, the lowest common denominator, haven’t a clue as to what makes this country unique and special among the countries of the rest of the world. America’s greatness has always been rooted in its embrace, sometimes kicking and screaming, of diversity.  As Speaker Pelosi bluntly said recently Ms. Pelosi may have offered the bluntest take on Mr. Trump’s comments when she said his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” “has always been about making America white again.”

The silence of so many Republicans on Trump’s blatant racism, sexism and bigotry dating back to the 1970’s when his real estate company was sued by the Department of Justice for racial discrimination to his administration’s systematic attempt to dismantle much of the gains made as a result of the civil rights and women’s movement is unacceptable at best and morally corrupt at worst. Their silence reminds me of a scene from the movie Star Trek Nemesis, it’s true if you look for it Star Trek always has the answers, when a Romulan commander says: Are you truly prepared to have your hands drenched in blood? He’s not planning to defeat Earth. He’s planning its annihilation. …And his sins will mark us and our children for generations. Trump is not planning to defeat the dreams of our founding fathers as it relates to immigration he’s planning its annihilation. And his sins will mark the Republican Party for generations. 

It’s not injustice until it happens to me

Wow can’t believe some people still don’t get the kneeling during the National Anthem protest. That they still allow themselves to be bamboozled by those who have hi-jacked the real reason for the protest and turned it into a protest against America. Hi-jacked it because it is uncomfortable to address the social and racial inequalities this country still has. Their desire for us to remain quiet on the issue is misplaced as E.A. Bucchianeri states 

“It’s not unpatriotic to denounce an injustice committed on our behalf, perhaps it’s the most patriotic thing we can do.”

For us to do nothing may make their life simpler and more comfortable. Harkening back to a time when “America was Great” and minorities and females knew their place. But trust me we love America as well, maybe more so than they do because after everything America has thrust upon us we are still here fighting to make it a better place.  Doing nothing will most certainly net us nothing. Doing nothing will not force this country to take on the issues that prevent it from being the idea on which it was founded. The idea that all men are created equal and is what is more patriotic than that. As James Baldwin said: Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

For many that have twisted and contorted the real idea behind the flag protests I can only assume the only time they think about injustice is when it happens to them or to paraphrase N.K. Jemisin they never had to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.  It easy to wrap yourself in the red, white and blue and scream to the world you are a patriot. It is however difficult to fight for what is true idea of America. 

So while they will continue to scream USA USA at those individuals brave enough to stand up in public to inequality and call them unpatriotic. Remember they are likely doing this as they stand on line for their hot dog and a beer during the National Anthem. 

Embrace the Positive. Discard the Negative.

Take a minute to take stock of your life. Identify who and what is a positive influence. Be that by their guidance, friendship or love. Embrace them and move forward with them. Then negative influences? Discard them and move on. Everyone and everything can not come along with you on your path. Reaching for the stars is hard enough by itself don’t let yourself be weighed down by those that bring only negativity to the table.

They Don’t Really Care About Us

They don’t really care about us.

This statement could be attributed to the attitudes of many so called American “Christians”. Many of whom have decided, led by Pat Robertson, that our current President was sent by God to save America. The same President who rose to power by preying on the baseless fears of many. Campaigning on a platform of hate, fear and division.

A President who turns his back on the concept of global unity for a doctrine of America first.

A President who appointed an Attorney General in Jeff Sessions who once said: “We are a Christian nation. We should only be accepting Christian refugees.” This at a time when some twenty-two million people are displaced and the world is in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. Almost a quarter who are refugees from Syrians. Yet each iteration of Trump’s travel ban has sought to block travelers trying to enter the U.S. from Syria, and to restrict refugee admissions from the country. A country whose people are so devastated Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in May of 2018 “I’ve seen refugees from Asia to Europe, Kosovo to Africa. I’ve never seen refugees as traumatized as coming out of Syria.”

A President who has submitted proposed budgets that hits the poorest Americans the hardest, slashing billions of dollars in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies. A budget that would gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, by $17.2 billion in 2019 — equivalent to 22 percent of the program’s total cost last year. It calls for cuts of more than $213.5 billion over the next decade, a reduction of nearly 30 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

A President whose policies are applauded by many of his “Christian” supporters as Making America Great Again.

But Matthew 25:41-46 is clear in saying:

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

This is a resounding answer to the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9), The person who helps those in need will inherit the kingdom. The person who fails to do so will be relegated to fiery punishment.

It has always been easy to say to the world I am a Christian. It is not so easy to live your life as a follower of Christ and his teachings.

Are you ready to show through your actions that you can love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39)?

Are you ready to show through your actions that you can feed the hungry, clothe the needy, visit the sick. (Matthew 25)?

Are you ready to show through your actions that you are ready to love your enemies (Luke 6:27).

Sadly, for many of those that love to brag America is a Christian country, founded on the principles of Christianity it seems want their religion to be is easy and simple. A religion that affords them a comfortable living with no room for outsiders unless they immediately become like them.

The time has come to choose. Are you a person who simply gives lip service to the teachings of Jesus?

A man who gave his life willingly as he said:

 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”  John 10:17-18 NLT

A man who died willing for our sins, to save us and purchase us from death.

Or are you a person who chooses to follow a President that many have turned into a false god.

A President who preaches hate and division.

If you truly are a follower of the Lord it shouldn’t be a hard question at all to answer.

Because as a follower of Christ the world should be saying:

They really do care about us.

He Woke Me

Woke up today to another Monday and could hear the rain as it fell upon my window sill. My first thought was ugh!! Monday and to make things worst rain.  Than I thought about it and realized I woke this morning! 

Yes I woke! Thanks to the grace of God my eyes opened to a new day.  

The rain? Well the rain I realized was symbolic of the Lord raining down his blessings upon me. Keeping me one of his children safe as I begin another week!  

Yes the Lord has allowed me to experience a new day and he woke me and for that I am truly blessed. 

Have a blessed week everyone!

Nothing Compares to U Lord

It’s been 12 months and three days

Since I found my way back to U

I used to sin every night and party all day

Without you I could travel the less righteous road

I could care only about myself

I could worship the dollar while in a fancy suit

But nothing

I said

Nothing can save my spirit

Nothing can save my soul,

Nothing can save my heart

Nothing could give me the happiness you could

Cause nothing compares

Nothing compares to U

I was so lost without you in my life

Like a bird without a song

Nothing could stop the tears from falling

Tell me Lord where did I go wrong

I could grab for every dollar I see

I could have every comfort money could buy

But they’d never give me the happiness of knowing U

I went to the doctor guess what he told me

Guess what he told me

He said boy even with all the money in the world there’s nothing we can do for you

but he’s a fool

Cause there’s nothing U can’t do

Cause nothing compares to U

You saved me

You breathed life back into me

I know that following you won’t always easy

I must be willing to sacrifice

I must be willing to forgive

I must be willing to embrace my enemies

I must be willing to serve the poor

I know it will be hard because I know I’m flawed

I know I am not perfect

Yet you still love me

So I’m going to give it my best

‘Cause nothing compares to the love you rain down on me

Cause nothing compares to the blessings you bestow upon me

Cause nothing compares

Nothing compare to U Lord