Author Archives: Carl A. Cooke

We’ve come a long way…We’ve got a long way to go.

It is not an intrinsic part of human nature to be intolerant to another human because they differ in some way from you. Intolerance is taught as has been pointed out many times before if you watch two children of different ethnic groups play with each other you will see no sign of racism. These children do not see color and have no preconceived notion of who or what the other one represents other than a playmate. However as the children grow and their minds begin to expand they begin to both consciously and subconsciously pick up on the seemingly human culture of sticking with their own race because it’s comfortable, it’s familiar, Neighborhoods become ‘unintentionally” segregated, as children age their circle of friends becomes more and more homogenous. Job offers are made by identifying a person’s skin color, ethnic group, gender, religion, etc. rather than a person skill set. Intolerance leads to many things, the overwhelming majority bad, from workplace and housing discrimination, pay inequality, segregation, to an irrational fear of the unknown qualities of someone who shares the same basic human DNA structure but simply looks different, has a different belief system or was born on the opposite side of a man made line in the earth defining one country from another.

As we prepare to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this upcoming Monday one can only contemplate that he would no doubt be pleased with the many strides this country has made since his passing. The election of President Barack Obama a fulfillment of his dream that his four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. But as far as we have come as a nation we are still a long way from achieving the America that Dr. King gave his life for.

  • Income disparities have become so pronounced that America’s top 10 percent now average more than nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent. Americans in the top 1 percent tower stunningly higher. They average over 40 times more income than the bottom 90 percent.
  •  According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, as of 2017 there were around 554,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In 2017, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure, equating to 40 million Americans including more than 12 million children.
  • African-American unemployment remains about twice as high as white unemployment. In 2018, black unemployment averaged 7.4 percent, compared to an average of 3.7 percent for whites.
  • In every age group, current trends and policies are widening the ownership gap between African Americans and other groups. This gap reflects two fundamental factors: First, African American homeownership was particularly battered in the housing crisis, sharply reducing household wealth among African American families and dramatically lowering the long-term prospects for recovery for black homeownership at all ages. Second, African Americans continue to lag other races and ethnicities in employment, wages and income.
  •  According to FiveThirtyEight police officers are indicted in fewer than 1% of killings, but the indictment rate for civilians involved in a killing is 90%.
  • According to the Guardian people who are African-American/Black are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while being unarmed compared to a Caucasian/White individual.
  • According to Mapping Police Violence 69% of the victims of police brutality in the United States who are African-American/Black were suspected of a non-violent crime and were unarmed.

Sadly in 2019 a member of Peter King a representative of Congress told the New York Times “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” and King is unfortunately not alone in his ideas. When asked to comment on King’s comments President Trump did not denounce them instead saying he hasn’t been following the story. As Dr. King so eloquently put it: “He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” But this should come as no surprise as the President has consistently defended white nationalists; sought to exploit the census to dilute the political power of minority voters; described immigration as an infestation, warning that it was “changing the culture of Europe”; derided black and Latino immigrants as coming from “shithole countries,” while expressing a preference for immigrants from places like “Norway”; and generally portrayed nonwhite immigrants as little more than rapists, drug dealers, and murderers at every opportunity. All this to pander to a base in America that believes to “Make America Great” we need to harken back to a time before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Was even a thought in his parent’s minds.

However I remain hopeful. As I’ve said before I believe this country is headed in the right direction, ever so slowly. It is up to us as a people to raise our voices as one and drown out those who would have Dr. King’s dream become just that a dream and never a reality. We’ve come a long way but still have a long way to go. Let us not lose sight of the finish line and march to it together in brotherhood.

 

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Can I really be a part time Pesco-Vegetarian?

So I’ve been able to control my blood sugar over the last few months without relying on meds so in an effort to continue that trend. Plus it can’t hurt my heart health I decided to try and be a part time pesco-vegetarian, a diet which includes plant-based foods and fish. Because let’s be real I’m not going meatless full time, so two maybe three times a week I’m trying this.

This week was week one three of the dinner meals include:

Broccoli Rabe and Mushrooms sautéed in garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Along with Eggplant (cubed) sautéed in Hunts diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano No Salt Added.

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Swordfish, sautéed garlic asparagus and roasted cinnamon garlic butternut squash.

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And who’s says it just for breakfast. Scrambled eggs with kale and tomatoes.

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All very tasty. Wish me luck on this new diet and let’s see how this goes.

America’s Dirty Little Secret – Trump’s shadow base

How was it that Donald Trump, when all the exit polls showed otherwise, was able to capture the Presidency of the United States?

How is it that Donald Trump, when polls show he has one of the lowest approval ratings of all time, able to keep GOP politicians from revolting against him?

Why is it that Donald Trump has made such little effort to expand “his base” and seemingly is unconcerned about it?

I’m here to tell you it’s because of America’s dirty little secret.  You see when we watch one of the many “campaign rallies” Trump held before the election and amazingly continues to hold after, at tax payer cost, we see what many liberals characterize as his base. Low income, poorly educated white males and females. Liberals see a stereotypical person they likely refer to as Billy Bob with a smirk and his wife sporting Make America Great Again hats, spewing hatred and fear against people of color.  It’s why Trump constantly uses the wall and cherrypicks acts of violence and other criminal activities by immigrants in his speeches. Why he throws out lines like shithole countries. Liberals summarize Billy Bob is so poorly educated that he easily fooled by Trump because Trump appeals to their greatest fear. That they are losing a grip on “their” country.

But what Trump and the GOP know is there are a number of well educated, highly compensated, extremely polished individuals who deep down harbor the very same fears. They are Trump’s shadow base. They have friends who are people of color. They’re children play with your children.  They are registered Democrats and they never ever say they like Donald Trump. In fact their social media is likely littered with posts you’ve liked denouncing Trump.  But when they get behind that voting curtain and they are all alone they’re pulling the lever for Trump.

Why? Because way more than “Billy Bob” this was their country. White men of power had a long uninterrupted run of success in this country. They were the majority, ran all the big corporations and controlled the country’s politics. But then census data projected the US will become ‘minority white’ in 2045. More and more people of color began showing up in the executive lunch room and on the country club golf courses. Then the unthinkable happened Barack Obama won the Presidency.  Not only did he win he and his family were looked at with the highest level of respect around the globe. It wasn’t so much about Obama’s politics, tough it would be naive to completely dismiss that, it was looking at a well educated, articulate man of color stand in front of the world as America’s leader. Sure there had been plenty well educated, articulate men and women of color in the spotlight before Obama but none had ever been President. Obama represented a glimpse into the future of this country and for some that was a frightening future

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think the vast majority of white people are arming themselves and storing canned goods in preparation for the coming brown people apocalypse. In fact I’m more hopeful than ever that this country is headed in the right direction, if ever so slowly, with respect to race relations. But there are still a few dinosaurs out there who hide in plain sight fearful of the future. They’re America’s dirty little secret. They’re Trump’s shadow base and it would be best not to underestimate them again in 2020.

ENOUGH!

I thought about this long and hard.  I wonder what type of country we are now.  Is this what defines us as country. Hatred, racism, intolerance. It saddens me when the death of seven year old Jazmine Barnes in what appears to be a racially motivated drive by is overshadowed by a government shutdown that at its core is really about appeasing the fears of those who would remain divided in hate rather than united in love. Our supposed leader constantly stirring those fears with divisive, hate filled speech. It is time we stop pretending, stop trying not to offend, stop looking to be politically correct.  It is time we stand up, time we speak up, time we make over voices cry out with a roar. ENOUGH.  We will not let hatred rule us and we will not allow those who preach the freedom to believe they can do so. 

Do not let this moment pass without showing who we can become not who we seemingly are.  Let us show the proper respect for a young life sadly taken from us to soon.  

Post the name and picture of Jazmine Barnes on your Facebook timeline, your twitter account, your instagram page, whatever social media you are on. Offer your prayers and condolences to her grieving family, let them know we are with them and let us pray to the Lord to give us the strength as human beings to begin to move away from these type of tragedies.

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A New Year

It is that time once again.  The ending of one year the beginning of another. 

A new year!  A call to action! The opportunities to be better tomorrow and each succeeding day than you are today.  

A chance to break free of the mundane, to refuse to paint in black and white and between the lines but instead wherever your imagination takes you.  To paint your future in the bold strokes and daring colors it was meant to be painted in

A new year is the chance to embrace the truth. The truth that nothing is impossible as long as your faith remains strong and you dare to dream. 

A new year,

A blank canvass,

A new beginning,

Seize it, 

Make it yours

Because after all the future is but what you make it

Can You Dig It

I say the future is ours…
…if you can count!
Now, look what we have
here before us.
We’ve got the Muslims…
…sitting next to
the Jews.
We’ve got the Christians …
…right by the Atheists

The Whites up against the Blacks and the heterosexuals back to back with the homosexuals.

Nobody is wasting nobody.

That…
…is a miracle.
And miracles
is the way things ought to be.
You’re standing right now
with nine delegates from every race, nationality religion and sexual orientation
That’s over 7 and a half billion humans.
Now, put that in perspective and you’ll understand there ain’t but a handful of racist, misogynist, intolerant hate filled humans left in this whole world

Can you dig it?
Can you dig it?
Can you dig it?

Now here’s the sum total.
Unity and tolerance could run this world.
We could make it a paradise. Because we got the Earth

Can you dig it?

The problem in the past
has been those committed to hate and division turning us against one another.
We have been unable
to see the truth,
because we’ve been fighting
for 10 square feet of ground,
our turf, our little piece of turf.
That’s crap, brothers and sisters
The turf is ours by right
because it’s our turn.
All we have to do
is see the good in each other
We slowly root out the hate from each corner of the globe
Secure our territory,
secure our turf
because it’s all our turf and this Earth would be a paradise.

Can you dig it.

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The Devil, The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz

The devil, he’s the hardest working man in show business. Where ever you turn there he is tempting you, taunting you. Trying to make you question your faith so that he can swoop in and get you to abandon your faith and switch teams. A good number of times he meets u[ with that lost soul who either doesn’t believe or has had something happen that makes them waiver and question their faith.  I know because he has tried to shake mine.  It is not always easy to simply let go of the worry and sorrow and say to yourself God has me.  To turn away from temptation and believe that no matter what you are going through at present it is nothing compared to the abundance of blessings that the Lord has waiting for you at the end of the road.  The devil knows he can tempt you, that he can make you question your faith but that he will never, on his best day, have the power to shower you with the blessings that the Lord will rain down on you if you simply stay the course.  That’s why he’s out here with his nose in everything, attempting to nurture the evil and doubt with-in us to prevent us from reaching that end of the road where the Lord awaits us.  He is especially active in the holiday season, looking to take advantage of the lonieness and sorrow many us may be experiencing having suffered through the loss of a love one or difficult times we may be going through.  But the holiday season is a time to remember that the Lord gave us his greatest gift of all, his son.  He gave us his son so that Jesus in his death would set us free from eternal death. God saw fit to make the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus Christ, as a seed sown for the harvest of our souls for eternity and so we could be redeemed into the family of God. And with that in mind I simply laugh at all the tricks the devil tries to get me to question my faith. My faith is strong My Lord God is strongest so the devil can move on look for another soul to try and turn because he is wasting his time trying to turn mine because this soul knows that God got me and that’s all I need,