I OWE IT TO YOU: WHY NEVER FORGETTING THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS IS IMPORTANT

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“For those who died, I thank you.”


As a young man born in the year 1987, I did not experience those turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement. Now my parents on the other hand saw the tail end, and there’s of course the generations prior. So as a child, I grew up going to school, eating where I wanted, and using public restrooms. Not once did I understand how I got to that point. All I knew is that when someone needed to go to the bathroom, you went. But what I didn’t know until my mother sat down and talked with me, is that it was not always like that in America. And that I should never forget why I am able to do what I do.

And she reminded of this because for the longest there were not only demographics of citizens, but an entire systematic push to keep me from having the basics of necessities. So as I went to school, I always performed well academically because she reminded me at one time how illegal it was for me to go Image result for white onlyto the schools I went to in America. Whenever I used a restroom, she not only told me, but we watched the video footage of Black men and women being attacked just for trying to consume a meal or urinate at public rest stops. So my reason for not getting into trouble is not mainly because of the enforcement of the judicial system, but more so by way of these men and women who died. There are unmarked graves of countless Black people who gave their lives, a lot of which you will never know their names.

So now as an adult, I do so much because they really didn’t have to pave that way. Still today, some of those individuals from that time period are here with us. People who were either teenagers or adults in the fight. And even at times when I see things differently than they do, I can never hate. I can never hate those who Image result for civil rights movementsacrificed so much for me. And no, these men were not the reason I got into my college of choice or landed a job I wanted. But it was because the pressure they placed that made companies even look in my direction. America didn’t want me to have those rights, and had it not been for these men and women, how long would Jim Crow have really lasted. 90 years,  100 years, 200 years; when was the appropriate time to end segregation.

We all would like to think that those types of events had to end, but why? If not for fighting for rights, whose to say? You have of course the critics, yet their voices are to a great degree irrelevant to me. A country tells you to go fight and defend your country, but when you return don’t sit at this table counter. Then you can’t Image result for al and jessesay my country, because in my country you eat where you choose. Otherwise it’s your country, and if I am the lesser, then why are you depending on a lesser to fight for what is yours. So thanks to the men and women who challenged the ideologies of what I am and what was expected of me. For it was you who reminded me before you’re Black, you’re a man, and before that you’re human. You weren’t fighting for my freedom of speech, but my freedom to exist. You did in the past, and still in the present. So despite what the critics think and feel you have my love and respect.

In the end, I dedicate this life of mine to you. Those who fought who are still alive and to those who died in the struggle: Al Sharpton, Alex Haley, Andrew Young, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Barack H. Obama, Bobby Seale, Booker T. Washington, Cornel West, Denmark Vesey, Dick Gregory, Dred Scott, Eldridge Cleaver, Elijah Muhammad, Fred Hampton, Frederick Douglass, Gabriel Prosser, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Harry Belafonte, Huey P.Image result for black historyNewton, Ida B. Wells, Jackie Robinson, James Baldwin, James Meredith, James Weldon Johnson, Jesse Jackson, Jim Brown, John Lewis, Kathleen Cleaver, Louis Farrakhan, Madam C. J. Walker, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, Maya Angelou, Maxine Waters, Medgar Evers, Muhammad Ali, Nat Turner, Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Stokely Carmichael, Thurgood Marshall, W. E. B. Du Bois, and many others who were lesser known or even unknown, yet gave their lives for me. I love you, “WE” love you.


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BEING THE OPPOSITION: HOW YOU BECOME THE VERY PEOPLE YOU FIGHT AGAINST

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“Becoming what you fight against most often tends to be the outcome.”


I am only 29 years old, yet in my lifetime I have seen so many agendas pushed in our society regarding human rights. Yet when these groups get what it is they want, what do they become? They at times become the very people they fight against. Meaning if you are fighting for women’s rights in this country, now there is power behind the movement. And with the power comes individuals staging a protest over every comment made about women. Now you’re dipping into your popularity. And once this happens, you become the same as the people you once fought against. But why do we do it? Why is it so easy to become the people you fight against?

Well, for starters, it’s easy to become the people you fight against because you are fighting to be equal  initially. Yet, what human really want to be equal to the next person. This isn’t a Communist country, we fight against that, so what do we really want? We want to actually receive equal treatment under the law. So if I get Image result for rebelcharged with a crime and I am a man, women don’t want to expect to receive a more harsh punishment. But is that even remotely real as it pertains to us as human beings. See, I like observing us in our natural state. And in our natural state, the moments when we are unaware of our behavior, we act a way not conducive with our conscious selves.

Meaning, when we don’t feel like anyone is watching us, we act as if we are better than those not on our level. Then when we are asked a series of questions pertaining to our sentiment, we become aware. And then it does not align itself with who we really are in society. So in all, the fight against the people who we once felt were in our way of whatever it is we want is real, yet the fight takes on different forms. When we don’t think anyone is watching, we start to, as I say before, dip into our popularity. We hold success over the heads of the people we once fought, and now they are under our control. Do we treat them fair and equal? No, we become what they once were, and now the cycle starts over. Only this time the oppressors are a new generation of oppressed, by the very people their parents or grandparents oppressed.

Why do we operate this way? Is it something about us as a human species where we can’t help ourselves. In my opinion, humanity did not evolve to reign over each other. We built societies where there needed to be control over the populace. Because humans in our most natural state is on par with other creatures of the planet. So we have to design social norms to live by. Yet the norms we create have always been challenged by way of movements from people the construct hurt the most. And in the end, with each movement starting up, and attaining rights; this new power structure will be fought against by future generations. For the simple fact that once the group has their rights, now what? Do the people who once fought vanish; no. They just take on a new form, and a new movement arises from which these previous fighters once came.


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TRAVEL ADVISORY, STAY SAFE: HOW TO BEHAVE VISITING OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY

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“You’re not at home, act like it.”


Recently in the news, another American has been killed overseas, this time in Greece. He was a recent college graduate who was traveling with some friends. They found themselves out on the town in Greece. And the next thing they knew he was in a fight. But not just any fight, a full on brawl country, flag, greecewhere about ten to fifteen people had attacked him. He died as a result of his injuries. Prior to that, a young man died by the hands of the North Korean government after being imprisoned there for trying to steal a poster. So my question to us as Americans is, do we need special protocol when traveling outside America?

Because we have this freedom in America, but that freedom stops at the gate once we board a plane and leave this country. But for some reason that does not seem to sink into our heads. We walk around there in whatever countryarchitecture, buildings, city we’re in like we own the place. Not a care in the world, unaware of the dangers out there for us. And we don’t realize it until it’s far too late. The two instances with the college kid in Greece and the young man in North Korean, they both died. But is there something more to the way we behave as Americans that place us in these types of predicamenst? And my answer to that is yes, we do act certain ways that could put us in a dangerous situation. It all stems from the arrogance of us as people.

Now, I am not saying the Greece situation was arrogance because we don’t know that much from the video released. But the accounts of the people around says the college student was pestering the bartender. The young man took a poster in North Korea clearly when he was told not to do sodark, passport, united states of america himself. A lot of people have stated that these are not reasons to kill someone. Yes, in America it’s not a reason. But in other countries, you don’t know what the daily life is like, you’re just visiting. Or even when you’re given strict instructions, why go against them. It’s almost like you’re asking for something to happen. Which goes back to that arrogance.

There are some countries that if you mouth off to the police, you might get robbed for doing so. Or you might even have to bribe the officer into letting you go. Sounds crazy, but that is the positions you could find yourself in if not careful. Now, there is still no guarantee that you’ll be safe, but still carry yourself with a certain level of decor. Because that land of free, home of the brave exist in this country. The laws and ways of life shift once you leave America. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about. Teaching our citizens that they must be better. Not just because they are representing the United States, but because we want them to be safe.


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THE KINGDOM IS FALLING: HOW AMERICA COULD BECOME NAZI GERMANY

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“If politicians don’t stand by their word, someone else will.”


We promise to build schools, create jobs, fix the healthcare problems, stop crime, and keep our borders safe. These are the same old words spoken from the mouths of politicians every election cycle. They stand in front of the podium, make promises that will never be delivered. They collect our tax dollars, then tell us to give back to our communities. Then they get elected and you never see them again. This has become all too common, but no matter how much they lie, we continue to follow them. We run out and cast our vote, then wait for things to happen. But nothing of the like transpires. They sit in their comfortable positions and retain the job until the next person comes along.

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but this madness has to make you stop and think to yourself, “Why vote?” But is there something that could eventually take hold from all of these promises that are never delivered. What about the leadership of a person who is far more sinister than anyRelated image other leader we’ve had past of present. Everyone is going crazy over the presidential election of Donald J. Trump, but is he the real problem. In my opinion, he’s not the real threat. The real threat is the guy who may pop up next. People are getting more and more desperate. Could we see another dictator, this time rising into power in America?

Now it sounds crazy, but when people are desperate they make some pretty crass decisions. Trump was that guy people voted for out desperation. You might ask yourself, why would a country vote a man with no political experience into the White House? Because America for the longest was a leader in manufacturing. We produced automobiles that were the backbone of a nation, as well as coal and other mined minerals. But in this modern era, there is no room for this old school method of growing a nation. We are more in an automated global economy. But what happens to all those people who depended on these industrialized jobs?

I’ll tell you what happens to these people, they lose out. They don’t know how to work a computer, or build anything that is of use in this new time period. So what now, entire regions of the country, mainly the Midwest, depended on these jobs. So here is where Trump steps into the equation. He

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says bring back manufacturing jobs from China, and everyone cheers. Yet they don’t understand the global economy. And if they did, they would know that this is impossible. So what happens if he can’t bring those jobs back to the country? And now you have even more desperation from people.

You would think people would rush to learn and understand the new methods. But they are so set in their ways, it’s hard to learn anything new. So what do they do, sit and wait. Hoping something will change, but it won’t. If the wrong person is able to speak, almost in a Hitler esque manner to the people, he could rise into power. Because people are starting to get that desperate, that even a fascist dictator could be leader as long as he stood by his word. And you never want people electing this type of person, just because he’s honest in speech, yet hateful in intentions.

And unlike the continent of Europe, where America and other allied forces intervened. Who would intervene into our crisis? It sounds crazy, but we also never thought Trump would be the leader of the country either. So watching him grace the stage proves people’s desperation. He in my opinionImage result for american divide is not a fascist by any stretch of the imagination. But the idea people would elect him out of desperation leads me to believe we are heading in that direction. And in the end, that’s my discomfort. We like to say oh well, people have to adjust to the new changes in America. But if they can’t and stand behind someone not in the nation’s best interest, we may all suffer.


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BRING ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES, YEARNING TO BE FREE

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“People died for rights to be and stay protected.”


For the longest throughout American history we have always had people coming into this country from some place else. They arrive to escape war, famine, poverty, and religious persecution. America is just that place where they can be themselves without fear of persecution. America is that country where their hard work and determination will speak for how far they’ll go in life. But my question to you is have America, or are we starting to lose the allure about this country? Are we becoming what all these other nations have been which brought people here? If so, why have we changed or why are we changing?

In my opinion, we have not fully changed, but we are changing as a nation. The image of your children coming to this country pursuing their endeavors is diminishing because the people who have been here for so long feel slighted. Their feelings are that if these groups continue to flock over here then what is left for them. But if this new group just emerged, Image result for us immigrantshow is it possible that they have replaced you? They can’t replace you if you are already here working. But they do replace you, and part of that is not necessarily because jobs are leaving the country. One aspect has to do with politics. The political landscape in America plays in a role in their success.

You might ask how; how does politics play a role? Because they don’t look at America as Democrat or Republican. To them, it is a land of great opportunity despite whose in power. They understand that American Related imagepoliticians are policy makers not job creators. So they’ll only make it easier or harder for an organization’s ability to hire. Meanwhile American born citizens are looking for a party to make their lives better. Hilary was supposed to make life better. Then some say Trump is the winner, he’ll fix it. But in reality neither will. They just create the policy for you to make your own life better. So immigrants understand they must work and not sit back waiting for work to come to them. They go out and create opportunity.

Another aspect of why immigrants are more successful than Americans is because they also are willing to learn the new thing in our society that is where success lies. Meaning, if tech is the new America, then it’s tech they learn. We, being born here, say we prefer the same old method because we don’t want to learn something new. We get complacent where they don’t. Mainly because complacency where they come from is complete failure. And, they have fought so hard to get here, why. Why spend years getting here, just to be lazy when you get here. There is no expectation of being handed anything, just move out the way and let me create my own lane.

See, in the end, people yearning for freedom is what makes this country great. Because in return, they contribute on such a large scale. In the medical field today, so many Indian Americans dominate the field. Not because they are born that way. They are raised to pursue careers in areas Image result for american identitywhere people are needed and where there is job security. Meaning a great garbage truck driver can be replaced, but a great physician can’t. People need doctors, but you can remove the human element eventually from picking up trash. So in opinion, we should always remain open to those legally going through the process of being an American. Because once we lose that, we lose part of this nation’s identification.


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A LONG STANDING DIVIDE: HOW POLICE AND COMMUNITY BICKERING EFFECT THE UNITED STATES

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“The divide that can cause a collapse.”


In the recent years the topic of police brutality has come up in America. But on the other side police advocates are stating that they are just doing their jobs. Now my question is, is this really a problem, or because we have so much social media access, it’s bigger now? Because this has always been going on (the relationship between the community and police), but now it’s bigger because we can instantly see the problem. Now, previously I said community. The bad blood is not in just any community, it’s the predominantly Black community. This has been a long standing relationship in this country for decades. Longer than I have been alive, my parents, and grandparents.

But my topic today is not to discuss why it goes on or who is to blame. My topic today covers how it could ultimately effect the country. You might ask how so; how could the community and police relationship effect America? Image result for criminalityFor starters, it will give rise to the criminality in society. Once the police become pariahs, then the criminal element is able to take more control. With the relationship fragmented, they have more voice. Because the community’s way of punishing the cops is to make their job hard by not cooperating. And the police become fed up and allow the criminals to reign supreme over law abiding citizens.

And think about what it does to a younger generation when watching all this television coverage. A age group is growing up witnessing killings before their very eyes. Now, they will grow to have an even higher level of disdain for the police than previous generations. Just think about it, posted videos of the shootings on top of a 24 hour news cycle. We are engineering a Related imagegeneration where you are made to fear those sent to protect you. Imagine growing up a young Black male right now in elementary school. Nothing but live coverage of Black males shot by cops. The respect and trust in the law will diminish. And you’ll create a new era of rogue individuals in our society.

Lastly, what about keeping our borders safe in America. We live in a country where terrorist threats from outside are all around us. So when we have in-fighting, it can put us in a very vulnerable situation. Police officers are our first line of defense in case of a terrorist attack. So if the community and police are fighting that is an in for outsiders. For instance, while the people and police fight, the real threat could be operating within the community. We are so programmed in America to watch each other, we’re not watching outsiders. What’s more interesting is that outsiders see us as more of a collective than we see ourselves.

In the end, having fighting between the community and the police is more of a problem than issues within. We have to to now make sure that people from outside don’t use this against us. Because no matter what the fight, there can’t be fighting between the citizens, and the men and women hired to protect them. This nation becomes too susceptible to homegrown and outside potential threats. So what is the solution because this is not some fly by night problem. It has been a long-standing issue for generations. But whatever the case may be, continuing will create a divide that only hurts the people and law enforcement. Thus giving rise to real outside threats.


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FRIENEMIES OF AMERICA: WHEN YOUR ALLIES MIGHT ALSO YOUR ENEMIES

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“Ever get the feeling they hate as well?”


The United States have always been a place of constant conflict. No matter if it were related to ethnicity, religion, or gender. We have had these various social issues going back to when this land was under the control of Great Britain. But in today’s society the issues have been just as social, and directed at our new commander in chief. Since Donald J. Trump was elected president, there have been constant protest against him. The most recent controversy was last week when comedian Kath Griffin was pictured with a headless bloodied-face Trump. She has not only lost her CNN New Years Eve gig, but also a few sponsorships. But, pertaining to the people who dislike him, you ever get the feeling they are dishonest as well.

And when I say dishonest, I mean as it pertains to the same reasons they dislike the president. Trump is disliked for a number of reasons, but a few stick out the most: racial, gender, and religious. So are the people who hate him for these reasons, are themselves against the very groups that they accuse him of not liking. I pride myself on being a little more liberal than conservative, but I get the feeling the liberals are no different. I get the feeling that these liberals dislike Trump because they are afraid of their own disdain for groups poking through. What do I mean by their own held feelings about certain groups.

Well, for starters, the racial aspect of America. And when I say racial, I am obviously not pertaining to the human race, but more so how we use racial socially. You have these liberals that don’t like Trump, yet they are gentrifying Black and Latino areas, moving out groups. They are not built on keeping people and preserving culture. They remove the current culture, and adopt their own in the name of cool or trendy. Like changing the name of parts of Harlem to SOHA or Washington Heights NYC to Upper Manhattan. Yet these are the people with anti-Trump signs. They can’t see that they are the same as him, maybe even worse. They attack him for language, but their actions are far more detrimental.

What about the religious angle people on the left try to take. He is seen as xenophobic as it pertains to Muslims. But when I walk into the airport, even before Trump ran for president, people get uncomfortable with Muslims. And when I say uncomfortable, I mean the attire they sport. Mainly how the women are expected to dress. But the moment he comments on it, people get upset. But when I see the discomfort from people, it throw me off because he is supposed to be the xenophobic one. Not the liberals, they should embrace the diversity of people. Yet, there is something that is triggered when Muslim women and men are around wearing traditional garb. But what about the gender conversation?

In the United States, gender has always been a debate. But when Trump was caught in conversation regarding women, it became that much more controversial. It even prompted women in fashion to not sit next to his daughter Tiffany because of him. But then I started to think, don’t the fashion industry get criticized each year for campaigns that place unrealistic physical expectations on young women. Or the fact that they push against the use of women like Ashley Graham, a plus size model, on ad campaigns. That hypocrisy is something they have to be willing to shift as well. Can’t attack him, and continue to push into young women’s minds that they are not good enough because their bodies don’t look a certain way.

In the end, you are going to always have people who tell you not to do something, that they do themselves. We all use the excuse, “You’re held to a higher standard.” And that is true, but you’re also held maybe not to that equal standard level, but more so to that standard obligation. Meaning you shouldn’t be doing it, but he really shouldn’t be doing it. So on a scale of one to ten, he is a ten, but you’re still like a two or three. Don’t use someone else’s standard as a means to be rude yourself. If you feel he hates Muslims, don’t get uncomfortable around Muslims for that same reason. Attack is meant for things that he does that we don’t deem acceptable. Because a leader represents your country. Yet, if we are just as uncomfortable as Trump, he actually does represent the sentiment of the nation.


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