Social Illusions

“White Privilege is a real fallacy.”  

What is the held definition for what White Privilege means? The meaning for this is the privilege afforded to one group of people that is not similarly given to another group. One group may be given the benefit of doubt over another because one group of people is seen of having the upper hand over another. This has been a subject of debate whether or not this even exist. I have my own theory as to what White Privilege means.

From my understanding as to what White Privilege means, I look at it as an illusion. It’s difficult to understand if you are not in the know. Putting yourself in the know is very important. So it goes like this, a White female is assaulted and says a Black guy did it. The police quickly arrive. Black people’s upset comes from the idea that Blacks are not afforded the same protection; White Privilege. The next example is when the White Privilege becomes the illusion.

In New York City was a protest called, “Occupy Wall Street.” The protest arised from the collapse of the market due to the 2008 economic downturn. People showed up with tents and camped out near the economic epicenter of America. These protesters comprised of mostly White males and females. Eventually the protest was broken up by the police of the NYPD. Protesters came across the Brooklyn and was met by officers with batons and pepper spray. The outcome was in newspapers and televised across the country.

What everyone failed to realize was that White Privilege was not brought up during this violent exchange. What’s odd is that this was time to address the illusion of White privilege. This was the time for people to come together, but it didn’t happen. Why didn’t it happen because people were sleep and distracted. All they had to do was open their eyes and see that White People had confronted the same system Black people have fought against. The problem is that for some reason the collective don’t believe Black and White people are in the same boat in America.

We say we see each other in the same position, but we still don’t believe it. The real problem is that few want to be the voice over the masses. Race socially is used as a tool to distract the people from the real problem which is the leaders in a country. Another problem is that the face until Obama, and still for the most part has been a White face attached. This confuses the people racially. Basically, White and Black people may have ended problems with each other in the past if another group of people gained control of the country over both of us. But since the power structure has always been mostly White males, it appears White people are the issue, but it’s a human thing. Man wanting control over man.

America is such a tough place to live because we accept so many social aspects of this country that actually mean nothing. Our society is so built to make people have conflicts that are so unnecessary. Once people realize how irrelevant it truly is, then they’ll feel awful about how much time we’ve actually spent focusing on nothing. But, see me, I don’t think that people are that oblivious. I think people know the game we play regarding race is garbage. But who has the guts to go after the politics head-on. No one wants to die nor lose anything else they’ve worked for. So what now, we live distracted; distracted by the things that go on around us with blinders. Blinders over our eyes until the country can no longer remain blind folded and are forced to face the harsh reality that our society was built to keep people separate. And that our beliefs are nothing more than an extension of what our system has built to keep us separate.

Lost Hope Landscape

“When will it end?

Approximately 365 murders in Chicago; one for every day of the year. What’s crazy, is that this number is not for the year, but midway 2016. We are only in the month of July and the city could hit 700 at this rate. Over the past five years, there have been between 2,000 and 3,000. Since the end of the civil rights movement, especially with the death of Martin Luther King Jr., the community have taken a turn for the worst. Not long after his assassination the narcotics started to flood into the neighborhoods. Starting with Heroin in the 1970’s and Cocaine in the late 1970’s into the 1980’s; then Crack Cocaine from the 1980’s into the 1990’s.

You ask yourselves, why is this bit of history important? Because it aims at understanding how the violence in a city like Chicago took place. With the drugs into the community in combination with the destructive welfare system, a generation of came from it. A generation that seems has lost all hope in the world. Bring that I have a father from the city, he has informed me that the death toll does not look like slowing down. An uncomfortable topic considering we are toward the end of the presidency of Barack Obama, America’s first Black president.

Now, is this more of Obama’s job to address or not? Some say yes because not only is it for the racial attachment, but that he served as a Junior Senator in Illinois. He was also a community organizer in Chicago. But the other side of is that Chicago has been like this for years and may continue after he leaves office. The city has always had this rouge, cowboy like mystic about it. Nonetheless, it has been a killing field over the recent years. Signs point to everything from lack of employment to gangs and drugs.

We are witnessing a generation in peril, with not a sight of change in the foreseeable future. With everything going on with law enforcement as well as Chicago, the question of when will it end comes to mind. What does it all mean? Why has it gotten so bad? Is it bad because it’s getting better? How long will it go on? Has it always been this bad? Unless it is fully addressed the problems will persist.

Cherish Today: Moments You Can Never Get Back

Have you ever been sitting around thinking about the person close to you who is deceased? Have you ever asked yourself, “If only I had one more year, one more month, one more week, one more day, one hour, even a minute.” “If only I had said what I wanted to say before they left.” “If only we would have reconciled.” The regrets continue to pile up because people realize that we are not here forever, yet we never take the opportunity to fully be apart of each others’ lives. We say, “I want to call this person, but I’ll contact them later.” Then, once the person passes and tomorrow never comes, we regret. “How come I didn’t pick up the phone and call that person.” We never pick up the phone just to say hello, how are you doing.

In my life, I have lost a few people that were major in my family: my father’s mother, my mother’s mother and grandmother. When someone is alive, visiting them is not of immediate concern because what the hell, I’ll see them this weekend. I remember when my mother’s mother passed we were planning for Thanksgiving. Bringing together ideas for food and where it would take place. The night of Halloween, she passes away and the next month is the first holiday without her. I often think about her as well as her mother who passed less than a year later; and my father’s mother a few years after. So when people pass, what you have from them are photos, memories, and hopefully a remembrance of their voice. But it’s never the same as when they were here.

This post does not only extend to parents and grandparents, but other family as well. Married couples who have been with each other for years rarely cherish those days themselves. They figure, “Hey, that person is in my life.” “We’ll see each other tomorrow.” You lose your spouse and now there is no tomorrow because you just thought they were going to be waking up next to you everyday. Not once did it go through your mind that it’ll come to an end. You knew it would eventually, but not so soon.

But why are we so regretful toward the end. A lot of it has to do with not spending enough time with them while they are here. It can’t all be about them dying. Because think to yourself, when is the best time to die? What, 40, 50, 100 years of age. You’ll be unhappy at anytime. My great grandmother passed and she was almost 100 years old, yet no one was ready for her to pass. My advice in the end, do what you can while the person is alive. These grandparents were individuals who played a vital role in raising me growing up. I miss them, but I have so many memories because they played part in my upbringing. From the minor things they did to the major, I remember everything. I have memories that will last a lifetime. I miss them, but I have no regrets. Just about everything I wanted to ask them in life I got a chance. So, make the most of today because it could be your last. Tell the ones’ how much you love them now, so it won’t follow you later.

What’s Black and White?

Recently in the news, the topic of race and racism has popped it’s head once again. Let’s first be clear, Race is the classification of a species with similar physical characteristics. We as humans are one race that belong to the same group. Now there are other species that are similar to humans; the obvious being Apes. There is a one percent difference between us and our Ape friends, which is fairly close. Racism is the prejudice against a race that is different than your own, more often seen as ones’ superiority over another race. So let me get this straight, Humans are racist against chickens. No, humans are racist against cows, but that doesn’t make sense either. So how can two people from the same species be seen as racist against another. Well, that’s where social relationships come into place. A human is not capable of being racist being that we belong to the same race. But man has figured out a way to get the same species to feel that one group within the same species is better or the lesser in comparison to the other. How does manage to happen? If we evolved together how do you convince people that race is different? Well, from the out of Africa theory that stated we evolved in present day Ethiopia, and later ventured out into the world. Given that we didn’t have internet to connect us, as time went on, and we evolved, we eventually met up with our long lost ancestors. But there were no records of the out of Africa theory, they just ventured out. So with that said, there’s no wonder why groups of people clashed and fought with each other. Eventually conquering lands and forcing each other in slavery and other forms of subjugation and persecution.

As far as America is concerned, we have a color construct that exist in our nation. This color line has been in this country going back a few centuries. It didn’t start with the Native Americans, but with the Trans Atlantic Slave trade. There had to be e method to keep people from blending together because had this had happened, the slave owners would be wiped from existence. How, well for example, Black and White gives way to a more Black looking child. When that child is with Black, then the is still related to the White relative by blood, yet the stand a chance of being full Black. Now those words pop up again; Black and White. What is Black and White? Is it a color or more so is it an idea of some sort? Because yes, skin color can be classified as White of Black, but the idea of Black or White in America or the Americas is a social construct. For example, a man from France and a woman from Italy are actually interracial because they belong to two separate groups within the race that is human. But in America, they are seen as a White man and a White woman. How and why does this happen is a topic of discussion. From my understanding this is done so as to make people think they are different for self preservation reasons. Ethnically, America is extremely diverse, but color boundaries make creates fewer groups in the country. This is where you get the fight between Blacks and Whites.

Black people for the most part, due to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade are unable to trace their ancestry. So anyone who bares our resemblance typically falls under that category. Germans, Polish, Dutch, Irish Italians, Sicilians, Spaniards, English, Portuguese, Swiss, etc. fall under White. Now Asians are different than Europeans, but Russians who are Asians, fall under White in America. Africans new to America fall under Black, and anyone East of Russia and the Middle East are considered East Asian. Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Tai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, etc. belong to the East Asian community. Now Latinos are interesting because Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Chileans, Argentines, and Brazilians all are under this category. But some of these people look more African so they fall under Black in the Americas and those that bare the resemblance of Europeans fall under White. So a Cuban that looks European is White in the United States and a Cuban that looks African is Black in the United States. Now both of them are from the same country, but become different as they come to the U.S.A. And why is this you say, once again self preservation.

But not also self preservation, but also as a way to designate your enemy. We place a color label so we can keep almost like a tab on groups of people we perceive to be different that ourselves. What ruins this whole plan is Latin America in the United States. Because a Dominican can be considered Black in America or White in America, but are of Mixed ancestry. You see how confusing it all is to someone who is from America, so understandably it will be to a foreigner. Another wrench throw into the game is religion. The United States has become so enthralled with labeling by way of skin color, we try to capture this same judgement with religion and it can fall short. This is why the fight against radicals using Islam to push their cause can be tough. Religion is a belief, with less than 1/3 of Muslim from Saudi Arabia and over 1 billion worldwide it’s nearly impossible to label. In the U.S.A., color constructing allows for you to go, this group is to blame for this and that group is to blame for that; how can you do this with religion. For example, Islam states that if life is threatened and death is imminent, act as your enemies to stay alive. How do you label a group that can easily blend into society if worst comes to worst. I’ll tell you how we come up with labels because we do it through Black and White. We use Black and White to categorize so much that we try to implement it via religion and it falls short.

The confusion of not being able to label puts some groups at what they consider a disadvantage. If we can not say what’s Black or White or Brown, how can one continue to oppress or place blame on another. Well Black and White are slowly moving away from color to an overall idea. Black is perceived as the lesser and White is seen as more in charge. With these color constructs slowly fading, eliminating into nonexistence, man must now choose a new paradigm. The new paradigm socially is class to place people in groups. Black and White will still be the idea for what’s rich and poor, good or bad, but social class will make it so that a poor White person (skin color) is Black (socially) and a rich Black person (skin) is White (socially). The confusion will forever exist as long as man continues to find ways to control the masses by making us feel we are more different than we are similar.

ALIENS: WE WAIT, THEY WATCH!

As I sit here, I think to myself how interesting it is to me how much we sit and wait for the return. If you think I’m referring to religion, then no, not the return of God. I’m talking about the aliens on this planet. All my life, I’ve heard about the aliens that are supposedly out there in the universe. Watching and waiting for an opportunity to come to earth. But then I started to think about who the aliens could be. Maybe they are not coming in peace nor wanting to war with earth. Maybe just maybe, they feel we are far too boring to deal with, or they’re far too advanced for us. That’s right, as much as people think we are so special, aliens might feel there is nothing special about us. We build homes, cars, manufacture cars and clothes, build skyscrapers, even put man on the moon. Aliens probably look at us like, “Awww, look at these cute little humans.” “They’re building these little engines for carrying humans.” “Oh look, they even built an aircraft; even reaching space.” Our genius could be seen as something futile to an alien. Or maybe it’s something more humorous than we know.

That’s right, I said humorous, like entertainment. Aliens might look at Earth as cable television with countries as the television networks; meanwhile country’s conflicts are like television shows. For instance, Israel and Palestine is the channel while their conflict serves as a television show. These two groups of people throwing rocks and shooting at each other is like humans watching the discovery channel as Cheetahs chase down Gazelles. To us as people, we see the conflict as serious, but it’s entertainment to them. America is another channel, while our race for President serves as another show. The Presidency could be seen as a new season of television where main character changes every four seasons. Aliens look on and go, “Wow, didn’t see that coming.” “Americans are making some odd selections this season.” “These characters are not as interesting as the past.”

Even our entertainment might serve as entertainment to them. Or it might even be seen as something odd and confusing. Aliens might think to themselves, “What are they doing?” “Sitting in front of a box and watching each other run around with balls and sticks.” Arenas could be seen as just as confusing and odd. “Why are these humans watching other humans run around and put balls in hoops?” Sports, if not odd or confusing, might even be seen as a bit of a dumb activity. Oh, and don’t bring up our science. The Hubble Telescope and other space endeavors might be another confusing aspect of humanity. They could be thinking, “What are they doing with that telescope (assuming they even call it a telescope)?” “Then they go, “Awww, they’re trying to take pictures of the Big Bang.” “Only if they knew, they’re not even 1% close to solving anything.”

In the end, maybe there is someone who will eventually, if not a group of people that will come close to finding extra terrestrial life. This life could be something super intelligent or maybe they’re not that special themselves. Maybe we’ve been seeking other life and the life is already here. Asteroids hit Earth that killed the dinosaurs. Asteroids carry cells made capable of evolving. In that case, maybe we’re the aliens. Maybe we’re the ones from another planet that evolved into what we are today. Well, we won’t know, well at least no time soon.

Oops Mom and Dad, Sorry To Disappoint

Graduate from high school, go to college, spend four years trying to figure out what to do. Leave college get a job while working on your Masters Degree. Attain your degree, try to get a better job afterward. Settle into a job, wake up early in the A.M., get to work by 9:00 A.M. Work until your lunch break at 12:00 P.M. Come back form your lunch break, work until 5:00 P.M., then come home. Cook dinner, go to sleep; do this for five days per week. Wake up on Saturday and lounge around, or do shopping. On Sunday, go to church, leave service and go out to eat. Come home and rest until it’s time for you to go to sleep. You do this from your mid/late 20’s until you retire at age 65 years of age. Once you retire spend your days sitting in a rocking chair and then you die. You are expected to live like this and if you don’t, you’re considered irresponsible. But to me, I felt this was not how I want to live my life. I am embarking on my journey of prosperity as well as happiness. I wonder how may people are happy living their day-to-day existence.

My life is something different and sets me aside from the norm. I did all the things up until the point except after undergraduate school, putting myself on a collision course with another path. I graduated high school, went off to undergraduate school, but veered off course once I got to graduate school. Entering graduate school pursuing my MBA, I was still up in the air regarding my future. Finishing my first screenplay during this time period while going on job interviews made me realize my true passion. Filmmaking made me understand this is where I belong as well as writing my books. It gave me the ability to do something that I could not do on a daily job; and that was being honest and open. When you work a day, there is so much censorship that you don’t worry about being an independent writer. You are expected to put on a suit and tie, and conform to the control of a supervisor; who by the way has the freedom you are restricted form having. That freedom they have and control over your life made me realize the construct I would have to work within. It has nothing to do with real structure, but more about a few individuals having a position of control over the majority. And if you even question something you disagree with, you are reprimanded for insubordination for the questioning.

So what do parents have to do with all of this; simple, following your passion is highly discouraged. Parents want their children to go to school, get out, shut up, follow the status quo, get your pay check, and go home. But when you are unhappy regarding your situation, they are puzzled. Everyone expects you to fall in line, but can’t figure out why it’s so depressing. Unlike most, I have decided to follow my passion: filmmaking, writing novels, and photography. You would think people who be behind you, but you receive more discouragement than encouragement. What’s shocking is that your are not hanging around doing nothing, yet you are looked at as some young person wasting your life. Stepping out and creating a career rather than taking a job is seen as some sort of let down. You have not chosen the road most take and because of that you have failed; failed your parents, your family, your friends, and society. How come no one sees your vision? Why is it seen as a waste of life? Because people assume they can’t do it so you can’t, or the difficulty is such that most fail and few succeed.

The reason for the most part that parents are resistant is because taking a job is an easier way out. There is not only a plan, but a process from school to work to retirement. “Play life safe,” they tell you. The only problem with this, is that playing life safe won’t lead to satisfaction in life nor will it lead to higher returns in your career. It’s tough coming from parents because that is what they are suppose to do. It’s their job to be that overbearing because they have been through the greater portion of life. They know what comes with entering the world and what will be expected of you. What’s funny about all of this I have explained, is that in the end, they respect you more when you carve out your future. It’s confusing because not listening to your parents is a sign of disobedience, yet you have to veer off from their guidance sometimes. Why, well they are not living this life, you are. You have to do what makes you happy because your happiness is key to your stability both financially and economically. Trust me, when do succeed at what it is you’re pursuing, they will respect you more. They will know that what you have talked up is not just some pipe dream, but yet a future you have so diligently worked at. And for that they will say I am proud of you.

Don’t Be Afraid, Just Leap

Standing on the edge of a cliff looking over into the distance, you observe the scenery. The waves ripple on the surface of the water in combination with the wind creating a cool breeze onto land. Down below waves collide with boulders projecting from the ground as well as in the water. Green moss and other plant life cluttered together, surrounding and growing on the boulders. Life from the sea emerges from the waters; some crawling onto land others popping their heads just enough to get a quick breathe of air before going back under. You take a deep breathe as you observe life around you, then you hear a noise from behind. You turn around to see someone running in your direction. You quickly move aside and the person leaps off the cliff. Your hands clasps together over your mouth and your eyes widen. The shock of what you have just leaves you concerned for their safety. You slowly creep toward the edge looking over, and you see them gliding safely with a parachute of their backs. You think to yourself, “Wow, how the hell did they do that?” “What would make them do something so crazy?” “But most of all, I wish I could do the same.” You know what I say, stop wishing and start living. Stop observing the scenery and get into the scenery. As you stand at the edge of the cliff, the base jumper gliding adds something that much more artistic to the backdrop.

These people are so inspiring; the jumpers. We think to ourselves I wish I could do that, I wish I had the courage to jump. But you can’t hope and wish, you have to just do it. See the fear comes from not succeeding and failing the first time you jump. We’re afraid of the bumps and bruises you’ll get when you jump. Let me tell you, the jumper got all those bumps and bruises at first as well. The problem is that we don’t see their bumps and bruises, we see the success of the jump. Sometimes we want to live vicariously through these people because they give us the opportunity to be dangerous without taking the risk ourselves. That’s fine and all, but we want to be more prosperous in life. And in order to prosper, you have to put yourself in position to make things happen; you have to create opportunity for yourself. This means putting yourself in harms way. And that’s when people have a hard time taking that leap of faith. No one wants to smash off the cliff, hit the rocks below, or risk drowning if falling into the water.

Well guess what, these are the risk that the jumper assessed and faced when jumping the first few times. Then, the more they jumped, the more successful they became. Something I hate to hear is, “I’m thinking about,” or “I’ve been meaning to.” Don’t think, do. You say, “Well I have to work a day job.” Fine, then work on your dream on your lunch breaks and in the evening when you get home. You say, “Ok, well I have children.” Fine, work on your goal during lunch break at work, then after your children have been put to sleep. You will be running off of limited sleep, but how bad do you want it. How bad do you want to parachute as well? “Well what about….” and that’s when I look you in the eyes and go, you really don’t want it do you? When you have so great you will do anything to protect it. When you are running on four to five hours of sleep and eating snacks on the go, that is when you will succeed. Don’t get me wrong, I understand your fears, most people can take fear, you don’t want to fall too low that you can’t get recover.

You know what, that is the worry of every successful person. Like I said before, putting yourself in harms way is what you have to do to succeed. Creating value for yourself can’t be done by hoping and wishing. You have to go out and jump; take that leap of faith. I gave you the encouragement to jump. Now, if you don’t mind, I have to go. Oh, you wondering where I’m going, I have a cliff to jump off of; bye.