YES YOU MAY: AMERICA AND OUR PERMISSION TO FIGHT BACK

“Speak when allowed, how come?”


In America today, we are constantly surrounded with controversy. Whether it’s the president or some other person in the public eye. But what I will never understand is how come we need so much permission to have a voice for ourselves. It’s almost as if the people can’t think for themselves. In the recent news we have been hearing about Hollywood Executive Producer Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct over the years. And people have been coming out stating how they knew he was this type of person for years. But how come no one openly spoke about it. We hold truths inside and then when we get permission to speak we speak. And the only reason why this has become irritating is because of the self-serving attitude of Hollywood’s elite public figures. How could they be so social and yet so protective of Harvey. And its because they get permission.

But, you’re getting permission to speak, what about the issues. You always hear celebrities speak out against bad behavior, but they always find themselves in the middle of controversy for those same reasons. They attacked Trump for sexual comments he made and stated their upset with rape culture. But rape is bigger in their environment. And what will they say, my career is on the line. So were coaches jobs at Penn State, but you can’t protect pedophilia. And that’s when you realize as an adult you have to make immoral decisions to survive in America. You have to see things going on and keep your mouth shut. Crazy because as a child you are taught that when you see something say something. But no one prepares for a life of falsehoods. No tells you that there is no honor in being honest. That at every turn, honesty will get you killed. And why do we do it again: survival.

That’s right, survival. Since the beginning of time, man has made numerous attempts at surviving on this planet. And we have done just well for ourselves. But as it pertains to living with each other, we continue to fail one another. And we lie for each other because no one wants to feel ostracized. So we do things to each other and for each other that is out of character. Sometimes it could leave our better judgement under question. And that’s how wind-up back  having to survive, we don’t want to lose a gig. So we sacrifice better judgement for a check. And it’s because if we do take a stand, few will back us, and even fewer will fight with us. So we keep quiet, not realizing that our silence at times is just as dangerous as the person’s lies we’re covering.

And in the end, we get permission to speak out against someone. And that’s when we can open up about all the bad things they have done. And the populace is stunned, and you become relieved. But relief is short lived because you know that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more bad guys, a lot more.


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KEEP QUIET AND KEEP WORKING: WHY WE PROTECT PEOPLE IN POWER WHO DO WRONG

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“Power can corrupt to be covered up.”


The photo above is of legendary film producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein has been in the news over the past week since the allegations of his sexual misconduct over the years emerged. Now that he has been removed the Weinstein Company, the conversations are starting. So many people are now saying that they knew something was up. Actresses are stating to now come out and share their stories. But, how come no one came out sooner? And it has a lot to do with having a position of power. A man like Weinstein is at the top of the heap in the entertainment business. So no one would dare come out and state how they genuinely felt. Only a chosen few have stated how they felt and the rest kept quiet. And now that he is ostracized, it’s in the books that we can all now talk about Harvey. So what is about power that keeps people quiet?

As children, we are raised to be honest and stand-up. Then once we become adults, all the rules go out the door. We find ourselves defending people that we would otherwise never defend. Because it’s easy to say that we are these stand-up people when there is nothing on the line. But in that space and time, it’s harder to go against the grain. And the higher the person sits on the totem pole, the harder it is to talk. So if you work a regular 9-5, and see misconduct you get nervous. But at this level you can anonymously give the name of the person/people involved. On the other hand, when looking at a company the size of Enron, you can understand why it’s a tougher go. But a woman did flip on Enron, yet ever since then, she has been a pariah in the financial sector, even though she is a hero to the masses.

Which is a main reason as well that people don’t talk and protect the ones in power. It’s also because when the time comes to testify, you will be ostracized later on. Why, well because so many people might be conducting the same type of business. So they applaud because they are happy it’s not them getting penalized. And in the end we all keep quiet when we see things happening. Because no one wants to feel the repercussions of being ousted for talking. So keep quiet, and keep your job; then talk if something is ever uncovered. It’s ugly, but that is the harsh reality of living in our society where power reigns supreme.


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OH SAY CAN YOU STAND! WHAT COULD BE THE REAL ISSUE WITH NFL PROTEST

Image result for nfl protest

“Stand for something.”


Over the past couple of weeks, the news has been tracking the controversy over the protest by athletes over the national anthem. A move which have sent fans of football over the top. People feel that the protest is disrespectful to the flag and others feel it is disrespectful to the military. While you have a collection of people who feel both sentiment. Then there the viewers on the other end of the spectrum who feel that the players should be protesting the anthem over police brutality. But my question is, How many of these people are really upset over the national anthem?” Is it just the anthem, or is it more of a conversation that people don’t want to have? Are people stating that it is the anthem as a way to hide behind their true feelings? I have a few theories as to why, but I also have observed why it has to be more than just disrespect.

Fans of sports are saying it’s disrespectful, but there are much worse acts that go against the flag than an NFL protest. And for the most part, all we do is ignore the act. Yet, when an athlete kneels, you would think the world was going to end. If you are against the desecration of the flag, then why are you only compelled to act now? Why wait until a player kneel then go on the attack. It seems just as self serving as the athletes at this point. Especially not even a full month ago men and women marched holding Confederate flags and Swastikas in the streets of Virginia. And countless troops lost their lives during World War 2 fighting the Nazis. So for people to not come out in droves, it was quite odd to see it now. But I have three reasons why people are not as interested in the anthem; yet using the troops as something to hide behind.

Number one, you have the group that knows police brutality and racism exist, but just want to ignore it. They figure, maybe if I ignore it, it will go away. Just act like it is something that is just an isolated incident, then we can go about our daily lives. Because I work all week, and the last thing I want to hear is more politics. Now what I want is to come to the game and or watch it at home with my family. We get it it, you hate Trump, can I just watch this game in peace. This is to me the first level of people you have in America that are against the protest from the players. And then there are the second wave of people that exist who are against the National Anthem protest. And they are the I know it exist types of people, yet it’s not my problem.

The it’s not my problem people are the ones who say, “I know that it goes on, but it’s not my community.” They don’t care if you are getting abused by law enforcement or treated fairly because it isn’t reflective of where they live. To this group they are more concerned with what ales them and that’s it. They know when you walk up the street you’re going to deal with a degree of hate from someone if you’re a minority. But hey, when I walk throughout my community, it doesn’t look this way. And the police that are in my neighborhood are usually officers that live here in this neighborhood. So they way I see it, play ball and shut up. So this group feels this way, yet are they the only group outside the first group I explained? No; the third group are the real cynical people. They not only don’t care, but agree with the nature of the offense that is being protested.

They are the people who say, “I know it goes on, and you’re lucky it isn’t worse.” “Be happy you’re free in America to any extent because you shouldn’t have that much; now shut up and play football.” They are the people that would love to express their sentiment of how much they truly hate you, but can’t. So they hide behind fake profiles on the internet and talk trash. These people just want to be mad at anything, and at times they themselves exemplify disrespect for the flag. Yet now they can have a reason to be in on the hatred under the guise of the flag and military troops. And in the end, this is the fan base of football and how people feel. People love the flag and the troops, but to the extent that fans are going to, no. Because there are too many symbols that actually do spit in the face of America’s existence that we give a pass to, or ignore that are worse than the protest. But in this country people don’t express true sentiment, unless it’s in the comforts of their own homes.


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DACA: HOW THIS IS MORE ISOLATED THAN SPREAD OUT

Image result for DACA

“What will be the outcome?”


For those of you unfamiliar with what has been going on in the recent news surrounding Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA, it concerns immigration. Former President Barack Obama signed this into action to protect minors for a temporary basis looking to seek work permits/right to stay in America. Image result for daca obamaDonald Trump now wants the bill killed via Congress. A move that has sparked once again, protest across the country. And if you don’t know what DACA stands for, it stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival. Now, with the decision to kill the act, we could potentially see nearly 1 million people deported in America. But is this an America issue, or more of a states issue. Because if you live in certain states, this is a bigger concern than if you live in other places. And nowhere is it bigger than in the state of California.

California has nearly 223,000 people under DACA, which constitutes for 27% – 28% of the DACA recipients. So the protest are massive in California against the DACA end. But not all people are against the move to end DACA. Donald J. Trump still has his strong support that feel that it is not the job of America to care for illegal immigrant’s children. These are also the same people who feel that their jobs are already threatened by illegal immigrants coming into America. Image result for daca trumpNow their children will be allowed to stay and retain work permits in an already tough to find work economy. So my question is, “What will be the decision from Congress?” Will they side with Trump or will they uphold Obama’s previous decision? And once again be another policy that Trump has tried to pass and was unsuccessful. There has been so much going on lately, that I have not had too too much to process this policy in its entirety. But the outrage from the predominantly Hispanic community has been great.

Now before I said California was a major state for DACA. But there are a few other key states that are in the line of fire. Texas is the second highest of DACA recipients, with Illinois, New York, and Florida rounding out the top five states. What sticks out to me besides Florida, which has a lot of Hispanics, as well as New York, and Illinois , is Texas. Texas has been in the news for other reasons outside of DACA; the big story, Hurricane Harvey. Image result for daca cityNow the question remains, “What will Texas do now that this natural disaster has happened?” Families are struggling to regain their footing because of this storm, so what will come of them maybe having to compete for aid from the federal government knowing they are the state with the second highest DACA recipients? This could be another situation that starts to get dicey once the water has receded. Once people have to rebuild their lives in a disaster zone.

But in the end, another major concern is not only the issue of DACA, not just the high numbers centralized to a few states, but the average age of DACA recipients. The average age is about nine years old. A nine year old, that has spent much of their years in America. So now, you’re dealing with children that have no connection to Mexico, a country where the majority are coming from, besides their ethnic and cultural makeup. Young people who could potentially be thrust into a land of high crime and poverty. In a land they know absolutely nothing about because they are now more American than Mexican citizens.


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LOOKING THROUGH NEIGHBORS WINDOWS: HOW WE HAVE BECOME A NATION OF SPIES

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“We have become a nation of spies.”


In the recent years, more and more people have found themselves in constant trouble for their personal lives and personal views. But there is a catch to what I just said, “Their lives.” Yet how do they get into trouble for their personal lives and views? Well, it’s because we as a society get each other in trouble. We as American people have become a nation where we love to get each other in jams. It usually ends with someone losing a job or some other opportunity in life. And to top it off, the people who want you in trouble the most are just as awful at times as the people they attack. We sit and wait, especially for a public figure to say or do anything remotely bad, and we pounce on them. As if we are perfect and have never done anything in life.

But where does it all come from; where did it start? What has turned us into these type of people? Have we always been this way, or is it new because of this new social media space. There have always been the nosy neighbor, but at this rate at which we turn on each other, I think not. The attacks usually come from people whose lives are not where they want them to be. They are people who represent the down and out, the shut out; and now they have a voice. It’s almost like these people have formed a coalition and have forged ahead against anything that is seen as in a better position than themselves. And instead of ignoring it, we feed into to it, then it gets worse and worse. So why do people feel the need to ruin your life because their lives are so bad? Because no one in a good space is going to want to see you falter the way this group does.

We are in a nation where people feel so broken and down. Jobs have been hard to come by, so anyone in a better situation is seen as having an easy life. And if you get upset about anything, then you’re not grateful because how can you have problems, you have money. So whenever someone says or does anything that is unpopular and they’re in a position, let’s attack because my life sucks. I want someone to feel the same pain as me. These people in a higher position are forced to apologize while that apology gives the upset person a bit of gratitude and power in a world where they are usually powerless. And that’s what we’re doing in society, we are giving power a lot of times to the powerless. And you start to introduce all these emotions into the equation.

And in the end, it’s a problem because we are slowly but surely losing our rights. And we are losing rights because of each other. The government is not stepping into our lives. We are enforcing our will on each other. You let me look into your window and anything you do inside your home that’s my business I will look to get you into trouble for doing so. I just wonder what the future holds as more technology enters our lives. Will we see more people in trouble? Or will so much about another be in our society that it can’t be used against us any longer.


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DYING SENTIMENT OR THRIVING HATRED: HOW MUCH OF MY ETHNICITY REALLY PLAYS A ROLE IN MY SUCCESS

“Sins of the past don’t have to be the future.”


The above photo is of a woman by the name of Vivian Malone. Vivian Malone was the first African American student to register for classes at the University of Alabama as an undergraduate student. The university was racially segregated, and up to this point no had been successful in entering the school. Even the governor at the time, George Wallace, stood at the door, blocking her entry temporarily before she was allowed access inside. Now, this topic is not about Vivian Malone, this topic is in reference to how much has changed since that time period. That was back in 1963 when she was denied entry, and my mother was only 3 years old herself. Since then, a lot more students have been admitted to Alabama, and no one thinks twice about Black children attending. But we still have conflicts in America today, as exemplified in Virginia a few weeks ago.

So my question is, how much does my ethnicity even in today’s society contribute to my success. Because I see so many men and women that look like myself that are successful, but then you see what has been going on in the country today. There are marches for White Supremacy in America, yet there are counter protest on the other side. And the counter protest are bigger than the supremacy groups. So yes, racism does exist, but on what scale. I have experienced it in life and still do. But what role does it and will it play in future success? A lot of the sentiment, I am not concerned with at this point in America. Because if you don’t like me by this time, then you never will. My only obligation is working to succeed how I want to succeed. I’m not in this world to convince everyone to love me, that’s not practical.

Yet, you have to deal with these types of people. I was reading somewhere that only 10% of the American population are supporters of these Neo-Nazi groups. Now, looking at this from a percentage basis we say, “10% is not a lot of people. But the American population is close to 320 million people. With 10% of these people following hate groups, 30 million people are a lot of people. But see, I am not trying to win those individuals over. I know they have and never will like me. My goal is I don’t want to have to come into contact with them. Yet when you see the Virginia march with tiki torches, you say to yourself, some of these guys were professors and even worked in the medical field. It creeps me out that some of these people could be my doctors. Black men already have and adverse feeling when looking at doctors.

Yet, in the end, I still look at my life with hope. Though in the back of my mind, the thought never leaves. When I come across someone and have what I perceive to be a racial experience, and I say to myself, “Did they because; nah, maybe not.” Nonetheless, I am hopeful; for my future and the country. We like to look in the past and say that people were so awful. But I think there were just as many good people today as in the past. It’s just that we all excepted life as what it was then. And the more we pushed against the grain, the more we look back and say, “You know, this wasn’t ok at that time.” For me, I look at photos of separate water fountains that said, “White Only and Colored Only.” It seems weird to look at, but for older people in my family that was life at one point in time. I feel life is changing, it’s just in real time we don’t see it. We never see life while in the paradigm of living it; humanity never will. Only when you look back over time we become convinced of the changes.


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I JUST WANT TO LIVE: WHY MOST DON’T FIGHT AGAINST THE GRAIN

People Walking on Pedestrian Lane during Daytime

“I know things are wrong, but what can I do?”


Observing the issues that have been in the news lately, you have to ask yourselves, “How do the masses feel about all this socio-political tension.” Because we see the people outside protesting. They are the fearless few who don’t think twice before stepping out and fighting. They are the ones not afraid to go to jail for what they believe is right. The chosen few that if not for them a lot of things in life just would not change. When I walk around, it’s as if we live in two separate countries. The country that fights for rights and the country that just exist. And that portion that just exist is know as the silent majority. The silent majority would much rather go to work , come home, and act as if life around them is not happening. Well, why do they do it?

I can’t look at people who don’t fight hard for what they believe in as cowards. As you age, you understand humans as a whole. And then you learn that most people just want to exist. They don’t want trouble, they just want to work and make it home in time to feed themselves and their families. But there are problems in your society that if not for the chosen few who fight, where would so many be today. We always like to look into the past and say the bad people were then, and now is different. But to me, I don’t think there were worst people in the past as a whole. I think that most people felt even slavery was bad for society. It’s just that we accept things as a nation and for the most part the world at large. Almost like this self-defeating, “Oh well, that’s how things are I guess.”

If people felt they could overthrow subjugation, I think they would have done so. But for some reason, one person says, “I’m just a regular guy, what can I do?” And then 5 people say that, then 50, then 500, and so on and so forth. All the way until it is the narrative driving a civilization. Until someone stands and speaks out, then more join. Now, is that enough for the masses to involve themselves, no. Because they are afraid; no. Maybe it’s because they disagree with the fighting; no. People don’t involve themselves because they are concerned for their own well-being and employment, but they do agree with the protest against the status quo. We might see that and say, “Well protestors are risking their lives.” But the human element of what we are is self-preservation. It all comes down to the whole fight or flight mentality. Who will stay and fight opposition and who will run away?

In the end, like I said before, the masses could be mistaken for cowardly, but just because someone is scared does not necessarily make them a coward. To me a coward is someone who prays on others weaker than them but wouldn’t dare take on a person who is their equal. You see, a lot of people not fighting back has to do with that ingrained things that lies inside of all of us. We step out into the world all hoping that nothing bad happens. We just want to work and exist. Some people don’t even care if they are barely existing because everyday above ground is great day. But as for the chosen few who fight back, they do so even if the masses don’t get involved. They fight and ultimately we all benefit from their hard pushback; and for that we thank them. Even if at times it is a silent thank you.


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