Tag Archives: unity

The game plan is transparent, tired and old.

Hey Trump your game plan is transparent,
tired and old.

You say Law and Order
You mean People of Color
are out of control but I’ll
put them back in their place.

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You say Protect our History & culture
You mean people of color want to
stop glorifying men  who fought
to maintain slavery.
Not on my watch.

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You say you didn’t hear them yell white power.
You mean of course I heard them say
white power. I was just confirming
to my base where I stand on the issue.

But you better look again.
Your base Is shrinking.
The Coalition of the Righteous is growing.

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We’re tired of you trying to divide us
based on ethnicity and skin color.

We’re not going to stop saying
BLACK LIVES MATTER

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We’re not going to stop demanding
meaningful police reform that roots out bad cops and ends police brutality.

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We’re not going anywhere but
come November you are.
Out of the White House because
we’re not going to give you
four more years to spread
your division and hate.

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A Few Bad Men

Donald Trump we live in a world that has walls of racial inequities and injustices and those walls have to be torn down by groups like ours. Whose gonna do it you? You Mitch McConnell? We have a greater responsibility that you can possibly fathom. You fight to “Make America Great Again” and you curse Black Lives Matter. You have the luxury. You have the luxury of not experiencing what we do everyday, that Racism while seemingly invisible to you is an inherent part of American culture and our existence while grotesque, and incomprehensible, to you, is about making America live up to its promise that all people are created equal, about FINALLY MAKING AMERICA GREAT. We have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain ourselves, to a man who rises and sleeps under the freedoms of white privilege, and than questions why we demand equality! We’d rather you just said ‘thank you’, and went on your way. Otherwise We suggest you wake up and join us in the ever expanding Coalition of the Righteous and stand for equality. Either way, we don’t give a damn, what you think you makes America great.

My Personal Coalition of the Righteous

We are living in turbulent times gripped by a worldwide pandemic, dealing with racial injustice, unemployment levels not seen since the depression, burgeoning homelessness, food scarcity and the lack of adequate healthcare for not only our most vulnerable but more and more the so called middle class. Through it all we are trying to navigate these tough times with a leadership that is bereft of empathy and looks to divide rather than unite.

Yet despite these troubling times the last week has brought something remarkable. We are seeing a significant portion of Americans coming together, refusing to allow themselves to be torn apart by the devise minority that sadly refuses to let go of the hate in their heart. Those that seem to exist on hate. I call this The Coalition of the Righteous and it is growing more powerful everyday. As a people we appear to finally listening to each other . To be willing to put aside our differences and to take the first steps as a society to understand each other.

For myself personally I have been experienced racism and seen the ugly side of policing but I have also been fortunate to say I have friends of all colors, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations.

I grew up attending a grammar school 95% Italian in the little Italy section of the Bronx, during a time when tolerance was not the word of the day. Yet I made life long friends I met there. We do not look like each other, we do not share the same culture but we do share a bond of brotherhood. We have always been our own Coalition of the Righteous and each of us is keenly aware that above all we can count on each other and we are not afraid to say we love each other. In my darkest days, when my heart literally stopped beating, when my recovery was long and hard they were right there. I did not have to ask them to be, I did not have to wonder if they would be, they were my family so I knew they would be.

We don’t look alike
We don’t share the same culture
But
We are brothers
The Coalition of the Righteous – it’s a beautiful thing.

The World is Talking… But Are We Listening

The world is speaking to us yet so many of us refuse to listen. The coronavirus does not discriminate based on color, gender, religious belief or anything else. It does not care what piece of dirt you have artificially drew lines around to claim as your country. It does not care if you are famous or not, rich or poor. Yet as a species we continue to let all those things divide us in hate instead of embracing our differences in unity.

The Bible says in Galatians 3:28:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

The Quran says:
“And among His wonders is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colors. For in this, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are possessed of innate knowledge!

The Torah explains “You were once strangers in the land of Egypt.” You have known what it feels like to be disrespected, to be hated, marginalized, disenfranchised and disempowered, to be cast aside as “other.” You therefore must make sure no one else is ever treated as “other” again.

We can choose to continue to not listen and as species ironically perish as one or listen and flourish as one.

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.

America has no Face – America has many Faces

America has no face.

America has many faces.

How refreshing it was to watch the democratic debate on CNN last night and see so many of faces. White, Black, Latino and Asian; Men and Women; Straight and Gay; Young and Old, Progressives and Moderates.  All vying to be the democratic nominee for President.  Now you can agree or disagree with their politics, but you can’t deny that almost everyone in America could look at that stage and see someone they could personally identify with and that’s what makes America great. We are a country of many different races, ethnicities, beliefs, religions, sexualities, economic levels and social beliefs, an incredible mosaic woven together to form very fabric of America.  It was the founding fathers who imagined this America when declaring independence from British rule proudly stating:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

At the time it was more of an ideal than something that was practiced, there was still the little issues of slavery and displacing Native Americans from their home land, but it was an ideal never the less of what America could and should be. Today there are still those among us who would have you believe America was at its greatest when segregation was the rule of day, when opportunities for women in the workplace were far and few between, when being gay was meet with societal shame.  That America is no more.  America is changing, some may think not fast-enough, but it is changing. Evolving beyond its past prejudices. We are now the majority, we are the coalition of the righteous. It is why I believe you see individuals who turn a blind eye to alleged corruption by our current President and cling to his mantra of hate and division and a time when as a Americans we were less enlightened time fighting so hard now.  They are afraid of the new America, unwilling to open themselves up to anyone or anything that is different from themselves and what they believe to be right. This is their last stand and they know it, but it is to late momentum is against them, the new America is here, and it is many faces coming together to form one voice and shout:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

It is after all the ideal that America was founded on.

STEP INTO THE GAP

On May 12, 1961 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. John Lewis, an African-American seminary student and Albert Bigelow a World War II veteran and white Freedom Rider were viciously attacked as they attempted to enter a whites-only waiting area. Two days later in Anniston Alabama a vicious mob of about 200 people bombed a Greyhound bus and brutally beat the Freedom Riders as they fled the burning bus. Later that day in Birmingham Alabama a Trailways bus carrying another group of Freedom Riders was meant with a similar fate These Freedom Riders were aware of the dangers they would encounter and over several months they were attacked repeatedly yet they persevered so that the racist practice of segregated bus terminals would come to end and in the fall of 1961 their perseverance bore fruit as the  Interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations that prohibited the segregation of interstate transit.

THE FREEDOM RIDERS STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Liu Xiaobo was a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate from China who through nonviolent protests fought against communist one-party rule in China. For his efforts he was imprisoned in 1989 to 1991, 1995 to 1996, 1996 to 1999 and 2009 until his release in 2017 after he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. He died less than 3 weeks after his release. Despite his multiple imprisonments he continued to fight until his death for the betterment of the Chinese people.

LIU XIAOBO STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Razan Zaitouneh was a Syrian Human rights activist who was involved in the Syrian uprising. She acted as a lawyer for political prisoners, was one of the founders Human Rights Association in Syria and the Syrian Human Rights Information Link through which she reported about Syria human’s rights violations. Razan Zaitouneh worked tirelessly for years to bring light to Syria’s oppress regime despite the obvious dangers involved with doing so. On December 9 of 2013 she was kidnapped and has not been seen since, presumed to have been killed.

RAZAN ZAITOUNEH STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Michael Todd has been getting bullied at his new school since the year began. He would wear the same clothes every day and students at MLK College Preparatory School would make fun of him for it. High school football players Kristopher Graham and Antwann Garrett didn’t just go along with their class mates to be part of the crowd and on September 10, 2019 they surprised Michael with a bag full of bags full of shirts, shorts and shoes and apologized to him for previously laughing at him.

KRISTOPHER GRAHAM AND ANTWANN GARRETT STEPPED INTO THE GAP

Everyday countless number of individuals step into the gap. But sadly many in a position to do the most good lack the courage to step into the gap Last week at church my pastor preached to us from the book Ezekiel 22:30 “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

In Bible times, cities had walls around them to help defend them from attack. Broken parts of the wall created a physical gap in the city’s ability to protect itself from invading armies.  In this Bible verse, because there is a gap in the wall, God is looking for someone to step in and guard the broken, vulnerable territory.

Today God is still looking for us to step in and guard the broken and the vulnerable. Victims of violence, oppression, discrimination, bigotry.  Those who are denied fundamental human rights such as medical care, food and shelter and education. Yet when we turn our eyes to Washington D.C. we find there are far too many concerned with their own self, maintaining their power and reaping the benefits that come along with it than with stepping into the gap.  We see children, the Lord’s most innocent souls, gunned down in mass shootings yet no action has been taken to enact sensible gun control to protect them. We see mothers and fathers working two and three jobs, sixty and seventy hours a week yet still unable to earn enough money to put a roof over or adequately feed their families. Yet at every opportunity the very social programs designed to help them through these troubled times are slashed, and more and more money is appropriated to building weapons of war.  Racism is unbelievably on the rise again in this country but far too many in power either pretend it doesn’t exist and simply ignore it or worse tacitly give their approval, so they can appeal to a base of unenlightened individuals they believe will allow them to maintain their power. Education budgets are cut and college tuition soars while tax breaks for the wealthy are passed into law. Prescription drugs prices rocket, inflating the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies while the affordable care act remains under constant attack. The gap between the haves and have not continues to expand as CEOs take home millions and workers struggle to survive yet steadfast opposition to raising the minimum wage continues.

We are witnessing the abject failure of the very individuals we have tasked with stepping in the gap. However, it is never too late as a people to change things.  United each of our whispers becomes a mighty roar for change. We can demand that change takes place and we can start at the voting booth. We can educate ourselves on the issues and not let some 24-hour news network “opinion” show host skew our perception of reality. We can protest racism and social injustice and when those in power try to change the narrative and quiet us we can roar louder.  We can rise as one and let our voices be heard.  We can let them know that it is we not them who are the coalition of the many and if they won’t stand in the gap we surely will find someone who will!

We The People

Captain Kirk once said: 

Look at these three words written larger than the rest, with a special pride never written before or since. Tall words proudly saying We the People was not written for the chiefs or the kings or the warriors or the rich and powerful, but for all the people! …They must apply to everyone or they mean nothing

Donald Trump cannot comprehend that. He wrongly believed it applies only to whitemen in MAGA hats. As Americans how can weask someone who is sworn to uphold the Constitution to do so when regrettably they do not appear to have the capacity to grasp the meaning of its first three words. 

WE THE PEOPLE