Category Archives: African-American Experience

We Keep Moving Forward

The movie character Rocky Balboa said It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.

You have hit us hard.

Shackled us in the chains of bondage

Lynched us under cover of night

Brutalized us for the color of our skin

Beat us when we demanded to be treated as equals

Oppressed us economically

Marginalized us socially

Devalued our lives

But we keep moving forward.

Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. We are a unique people; our indomitable spirit keeps us moving forward in the face of all things done against us. It is a spirit that not only keeps us moving forward; it has protected and strengthened us. It is a spirit that screams WE ARE BLACK EXCELLENCE!

Why We Say Black Lives Matter

The echo of gunshots filled the air.
And the young man’s lifeless body fell to the ground.

The cries of I can’t breathe filled the air.
And the young man’s lifeless body fell to the ground.

The howls of disbelief filled the courtroom.
And the defendant walked free once more.

The sound of silence filled the halls of the city, state, and nation’s capitals.
And those in power did nothing yet again.

For centuries, our lives have been devalued by those who see only the color of our skin. 

Have we not helped build this nation?
Have we not fought for this nation?
Have we not shown time after time our love for this nation?
Have we not been every bit the American that you believe yourself to be?

Because of your hatred, your racism we must scream for the world to hear that Black Lives Matter because, for 400 years, you have demonstrated that to you it doesn’t. It isn’t a logical mentality, but it is true.

That which is truly ours can never be broken

The chains of bondage could not break us.
The whips could not break us.
The burning crosses could not break us.
The dogs and fires hoses could not break us.
The knee on our necks could not break us.

From the moment you saw us, you have tried to break us.

Why?

Maybe it’s because the moment you saw us, you knew we didn’t walk, we didn’t run, we soared. You knew we would never get caught in the rain because we soared high above the clouds, and there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish.

Did you fear that?
Did you think your hatred and violence would make you better than us?
Did you think we would simply go away?

Have you not seen that we are a people of extraordinary character?
Have you not recognized that after centuries of trying to break us, we are only getting stronger?
Have you not realized that our hearts, minds, and souls, that which is truly ours, can never be taken from us, can never be broken?

Do you not see
We are Black and
We are beautiful.

HOW DARE YOU!

How dare you believe that you can question our patriotism when we kneel to bring light to the killing of our people. When we have fought, bled, and given our life in EVERY war, this nation has seen.  Only to return home and be treated as a second class citizen. 

How dare you suppose that you can tell us it’s not Black Lives that Matter; it’s that All Lives Matter when you have shown a disregard for our lives for over four hundred years.

How dare you assume that you can tell us how I should protest when yet another person of color has been struck down while you dress up in paramilitary outfits with automatic weapons and storm state capitols to protest a lockdown designed to slow the spread of a deadly virus so that you can get a haircut or go to Starbucks.

How dare you think you can infer we are anarchists when you applaud a 17-year-old boy with an automatic weapon roaming the streets and call white nationalists very fine people.

How dare you presume you can say anything when for over for 400 years you have benefited from our oppression

You cannot begin to know the extent of our sorrow, pain, and anger due to the systematic racism you have cultivated for four hundred years.

How dare you! 

Restless Souls

Things that make you go hmmm.

Hurricanes normally originate in the Atlantic basin.

It is estimated at least 2 million captured Africans died during their transport to the Caribbean and Americas. Many of their bodies dumped in the Atlantic Basin.

Maybe Hurricanes are the restless souls of lost Africans?

BOOING A SHOW OF UNITY?

“A smile or a tear has no nationality; joy and sorrow speak alike to all nations, and they, above all the confusion of tongues, proclaim the brotherhood of man. – Frederick Douglass.”

On September 10th, the Kansas City Chiefs prepared to defend their NFL title against the Houston Texans.  Before the game, the players in a sign of unity decided on their own to stand together and lock arms in support of Black Lives Matter.  It was a moving tribute and one that you would expect would be universally applauded by a so-called enlightened society.  Yet as the cameras rolled a nation heard boos emanating from the crowd.

Sad yes, unexpected no.  There remains a segment of America that does not or wants to relate to the tears shed when a person of color’s life is needlessly taken, or the sorrow when yet another incomprehensible acquittal is met with indifference.  To that segment of America, the tears and sorrow are not theirs and as such have little importance.

It is only when the tears and sorrow turn to anger do they see it but make no mistake they do not see the reason for the anger, they see only how it impacts them. Their level of comfort interrupted by those they label as troublemakers’ anarchist. 

“The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.” – Frederick Douglass.

Those who booed the moment of unity are a relic of America’s past.  A time when segregation was the rule of the day.  When the desire to learn about other races, cultures and religions was deemed unnecessary.  When the pain of one group was looked at as their pain and not America’s pain.  In 2020 the Coalition of the Righteous, a group of all races and nationalities coming together to rebuke this thinking is starting to change this mindset.  However, this mindset still simmers beneath the American surface and is stoked by President Trump.  His agenda is one of fear, hate, and racism.  Designed to keep Americans divided.  To ensure that they fear and hate each other to such a degree that they will never look to understand each other.  To never appreciate the pain and sorrow one group feels when faced with racial and social injustice.

“the prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.” – Captain Kirk, Start Trek

On September 10th they booed a show of unity, they are the past and one day the future of America will boo them for their booing.  

 

The Revolution Has Begun

“Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete” – Rod Sterling

President Trump has repeatedly claimed that those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement want to strip America of its heritage, wants to abolish police.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The truth is that the Black Lives Matter movement is the new American revolution and it is being fought not by just people of color but by a coalition of different races and nationalities.  A coalition that looks a lot like America of the 21st century.  A coalition who reject the hatred and racism of the old guard, who have tired of America’s racial and society inequalities and who demand change. 

As with any revolution the goal is not to continue the status quo but to defeat it and replace it with a better system.  The American heritage that those on the wrong side of the revolution fight to maintain includes displaying the confederate battle flag, protecting statues honoring confederate “heroes”, maintaining the names of military bases named after traitors who fired upon and declared war on America.

The police system that they cling to has an unfortunate history, despite the many decent officers who risk their lives every day, of unfairly of targeting and punishing people of color many times with deadly consequences.

It would be foolish to believe that the hearts and minds of those who wish to continue the status quo can be changed as racism and hatred is imbedded in their soul.  It would be equally foolish to believe that a culture and systems that have been developed and nurtured by those same individuals for centuries can be changed from with-in. 

To achieve real change, it is necessary to eliminate the so-called heritage that celebrates America’s racist past.  To educate all Americans of not just the many achievements people of color have contributed to this country’s history but the truth about the oppression that America has perpetrated on people of color for over four hundred years and the advantage of white privilege it has produced.

To achieve real progress the current police and justice systems must be stripped down to the studs, and that does not mean eliminating it as some would have you believe, before it can be build  back up with meaningful reform that ensures that it treats all people equitably.  That is not an attack on police in general, it is a long overdue call for reform that ensures the end of racial profiling and makes their jobs safer

As Frederick Douglass said: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” After 400 years it is obvious America’s treatment of people of color is beyond repair it is time to eliminated that heritage and build a new one from scratch.  

The revolution has begun and while some may cling to Donald Trump and his agenda of hatred and racism, they are about to find themselves on the wrong side of history

Listen To It America – Look At It America

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe, pleased please”
“Don’t kill me”
“Mama, Mama… I’m through!”

The words of George Floyd moments before his life was taken from him by an officer casually kneeling on his neck

Listen America as he begs for his life as the officer casually kneeled on his neck.
Listen America as he cries out for his Mama as the officer casually kneeled on his neck.

Look America at his last minutes as the officer casually kneeled on his neck.

Look America at the callous attitude, as the officer casually knelled on his neck.

Take note America of the silence emanating from the White House about the officer casually knelling on his neck.

America you hear it, you see it yet some of you don’t possess the compassion to care about it. 

Where is your soul?
Did you ever have a soul?

America your fear, hatred and disregard for our lives is well documented and we are not asking that the hate that lives in the hearts of some of you magically disappear. But make no mistake America the time is coming, and you will:

Respect us.
Treat us equals.
Stop killing us. 
Be held accountable for your actions. 

Because America we are not going anywhere.  This is OUR country, just as you much as you imagine it to belong to you alone.

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe, pleased please”
“Don’t kill me”
“Mama, Mama… I’m through!”

Listen to it America
Look at it America

.………..

Good Morning America

Good Morning America it’s us your sons and daughters of color, we know today will be no different than any day the last four hundred years, but we still like to believe maybe it will. 

Since that day four hundred plus years ago when you came to our homeland and stole us, stripped us of our names, religion, and culture you have done everything in your power to deny us even the smallest sip from the tree of equality. To reject who and what we are to you.

You have

Shackled us in chains,
beat us,
raped our women,
separated our families,
hunted us down and hung us from trees, in front of your burning crosses,
denied us access to equal educational opportunity,
intimidated us from having our voice heard at the voting booth
created two separate and unequal justice systems to disproportionately incarcerate us.

You have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the indisputable fact that we are now and have always been an essential part of what makes this country great. 

You reject the notion that we are just much a part of the fabric of America as you ever were.

We should be furious at you, yet we remain drawn to you.  We should seek retribution, yet all we ask is that you see us, not the color of our skin, but us. That you treat as equals.

Why you may ask?  After everything you have put you through? It’s because we still love you.  After all you are our country. You may not know it, but you are.  And as James Baldwin said, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” 

One day hopefully our criticism will awaken your soul and when we wake up and tell you Good Morning, you will smile back and say Good Morning sons and daughters of America.  I cannot express how sorry I am for how I have treated you.  But know this, I am proud of the amazing resiliency you have shown and thank you for being a part of the soul of our country. America would never have reached the heights we have without you or your vast array of contributions.

WHY DO THEY HATE US? WHY DO THEY FEAR US?

We have bled with you in war.
We have raised your children.
We have love for this country despite centuries of oppression.

Yet you still hate and fear us.

Why?

Is it because you fail to accept the sins of your past?
Is it because you refuse to confront the racial and social injustices you have subjected us to for 400 plus years?
Is it because rather than understand who we are as a people you choose to live in the dark and fear imagined dangers?
Is it because you are amazed that after all we have been through we are still standing, still rising, still every bit of the American fabric you believe yourself to have exclusive rights to.

Or is it simply because you fear that if given the opportunity we would treat you as you have treated us?

It doesn’t matter because look around you your hatred is being rebuked, your ignorance is being laughed at, your time is coming to an end. We Are The Coalition Of The Righteous and our time is now.