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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WHY WE FIGHT: WHY SO MUCH RACIAL TENSION IN AMERICA LATELY

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“Why we fight.”


This past weekend, there was yet more race related tension in America. This time
Related imageit was a clash between Neo-Nazi and White Nationalist versus protesters on the other side pushing back against the Nationalists. The main site was Charlottesville, Virginia, where Nationalist were opposed to the removal of a Confederate statue of former leader Robert E. Lee. Another separate site of tension was at the University of Virginia’s campus, where a large group gathered with Related imagetorches. These were also people who were in alignment with the White Nationalists in Charlottesville. And both sights were places of not only verbal tension, but physical altercations took place resulting in dozens injured and three people killed. And even with the president making a statement regarding the matter, it still didn’t calm anything down.

Today, on this Monday morning, we now have reports all over news outlets, which will be covering these two incidents. Conversations will be taking place over the days, weeks, and even months regarding where do we go from here as a country. My last post I was asking the question about a possible secession from the Image result for charlottesville tensionUnited States by the South. And if this were to happen, the economic implications of a country could be gravely impacting. But me personally, I don’t see that taking place. What I do see is more and more of a racial divide. And I have theories as to why the divide is taking hold, as well as why you aren’t seeing more Black people involved in the fight as you might have expected to see.

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Average American expected to look like by 2050

Here is a theory of mine as to why America is having all these problems with racial tension. See, the total percentage of White people in America is 65%, while everyone else falls into the group that is the 35% (Black people 12%, Hispanic/Latinos 14%, East Asians and other is 9%. And as time progresses, the numbers will fall for Whites and increase for everyone else. Meaning, White Americans will become the minority in the United States. But to who? Black people were only 10% of the population in 1950. And by the year 2050 we’re only projected to be 15-16% of America. So this is a Black issue, yet as an entirety it is not. White Nationalists have an issue with an influx of immigrants to the country.

The numbers of Hispanics will climb as well as East Asians, who by the year 2050
will have almost if not fully surpassed Black people in America. So America is becoming what I call, “Hispasia” or “Latasia.” The prevailing Hispanic/Latino population and the growing East Asian population as well. Who, what Nationalist feel, pose a threat to the natural order of America because they feel with a new group in control the narrative could be rewritten. So through all this fighting I say to myself, where are Black people? Because like I said before, we weren’t in Virginia at either of the sites. So how do we fair out through all of this? And what I have been hearing is not what you might think.

I have been hearing Black people aligning themselves with some of the same Image result for black nationalismthought processes as the Nationalists. But our sentiment is on the opposite spectrum in regards to our own economic growth. I’ve been hearing that maybe we should form our own unions, and erect statues of our own heroes as well. You might ask why, why would we speak of the same sentiment. Because when you have seen the same imagery, the same song, played over and over again, you get tired. And some of us have hit a breaking point where it’s like, “Hey, you guys want your space, we’ll give it to you.” “Anything to keep us from having to put up with your bullshit, especially with the government not responding.” Now, I don’t know if that’s the majority, but it exist.

Yet, in the end, what is to come of America? Will we see more tension, or is this the sign of things worsening because we are going through change. I don’t know, but where I stand as an African American, I have no clue regarding us. I should be more confident, yet I don’t see a positive outcome for us. Will we go deeper into the abyss of America, or will we eventually have to leave and start over elsewhere? Whatever the outcome, America is headed in a backward direction, and the push is growing by the day.


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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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NEWBO: IS THERE TIME FOR A CULTURE SHIFT

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“We carved one out before, why not again?”


In the 1610’s, the African American population was forced to the United States as indentured servants. Later becoming slaves, losing names, religions, birth place of origin, and overall identification. Once freed in 1865, we went from slave labor to still no so full citizens. And with limited citizenship, and no real ethnic identity, we began to carve out a face for our community. And a lot of the culture that has made up the African American community is in the music and food. But what if we decided to take it a little further. Let’s say we made a full conversion from where we are now. I named the title NEWBO, which in today’s society stands for the New Black Overclass.

When you hear the words New Black Overclass, you think of wealth and abundant resources. And how did that manage to take hold? There are many different factors that have influenced that over the years. From young Black children growing up watching the Cosby Show to the electing of America’s first Black president. We have taken what was a bad situation in the past and made the most of it today. Yet there are still so many of us that are still below the poverty level. And not only the poverty level, we make up a disproportionately higher percentage of crime in our community relative to anyone else. So with that said, we are doing better than the past in the area of success, yet lagging behind in other major areas.

And as much as I love Black culture, there is an aspect of our culture that have taken hold in recent history that has cast a dark shadow over the community. And that has to do with the crime in the community. Because of the introduction of Heroine, Cocaine, and Crack Cocaine, from the 1970’s in the 1990’s, the face of the community has changed to much. And it has become so impactful, it is rapidly becoming our culture. Yet when you look at the overall history of Black people in America, this recent violent culture is new to us. So, how about we begin to design a cultural identifier that is us. And when I say identifier I mean clothes we wear, food we eat, music, and behavioral traits.

Having an identifier shows not only togetherness, but it creates a sense of identity outside another group. Our problem as Black people is that we are too concerned and defined by another group. And for the longest, it has been the predominantly White community. So our vision for what success looks like has always been someone in position who is White. Yet when met with resistance by anyone White it boils over quicker than anyone else. Which never happens to any other group because they create their own identity. So what another really has to say becomes irrelevant because they have defined themselves for so long feelings are trivial. But if you have no name, to language, no religion, and you adopt ones culture that’s not yours, yet someone else’s, it could become a problem if not accepted into the culture.

And in the end, that’s a real problem with why there need to be a cultural identifier. Number one, you eliminate the care for what any other group thinks about you; their views are not relevant to who you are in scoiety. Number two, you begin to take pride in something that not only you created, but you’re accepted within. Which brings me to number three, the need to fit into a group. And I think this is why we as Black people cling to Hip Hop music so much. When you create something versus forced to adopt something the sentiment is different. Christianity was never a choice, names given weren’t a choice, and language wasn’t a choice. But the music we create was a pure choice. Though not liked by many, it goes on deaf ears when pushed against because the one major thing we created that we are fully included within. And if we created something impactful and global as Hip Hop, we can create a new identity of acceptance and not tolerance.


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RACIALLY CONSCIOUS: HOW BEING IMPARTIAL IN A DIVIDED NATION CAN BE TOUGH

Gray Scale Photo of Topless Man Covering Face

“It exist, but to what degree?”


Growing up in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin, I never really thought about race. And when I say race, I’m not referring to the human race. I’m talking about being an African American male. I could visibly tell the students in school were different than myself, yet it was not much of a discussion. The schools were predominantly White, while I grew up in a majority Black and Hispanic neighborhood. I would hear things regarding issues with being Black. I heard how people would say it was harder to get employment, going to certain schools, or even dating in monogamous relationships. Yet it never quite sunk into my mind, until I got older. And that’s when the experiences started to take hold in my life.

Experiences ranging from looking throughout my childhood at how the teacher student relationship was different with the White students versus the Black students. Or even how walking up the street I noticed non-Black people were put off by my presence. But still, the relationships I had with students in school was quite enjoyable. No one treated the other person like an outsider. And all the kids in school would go over each other’s house on the weekends. So what was it that so many people were talking about really? Well, I began to see once leaving my mother’s house going to an out-of-state-college.

I attended two universities, the first being in the state of South Carolina. The school was a historically Black College in Columbia, South Carolina and most of the students came from the south. Attending this school was actually a culture shock because even though we were all the same ethnic group, I didn’t quite seem to fit in. And that’s when I realized, that even though I grew up in a majority Black community, I didn’t spend much time in the community. With so much going on that my mother didn’t want me apart of, I was in school and sports. So what happened, oddly enough, is that I lost a connection with other Black students at the school.

Feeling homesick, I returned back to Wisconsin to attend a university about twenty minutes from where I grew up. This rural campus was attended by multiple ethnic groups of students. It would be the campus where I graduated. But, while back in Wisconsin, I had a situation one time where I was eating in the cafeteria. Seeing a young White male I went to middle school with, we got our lunch and headed toward a table. Then I noticed a situation I had never come in contact with before. One table had mostly Asian students, one table had all Black kids, the Hispanics sat together, and the White kids sat together. My friend and I walked near a table that was mostly White, and for the first time in my life I felt uncomfortable.

Growing up, my mother raised me with the impression that you had to deal with every group of people. Yet now, I was forced to make a racial decision. Everyone else sat with what made them comfortable, but what was I to do in this space. So, for me, throughout undergrad, I kept my distance from a lot of people. And actually, I never really experienced a college life. But even after college, and entering graduate school, I started to see more of a divide. But not only the divide, but how important it is in society. I have sense taken on views that are different than how my mother raised me.

One of which is the idea of interracial dating. Growing up, I probably would have said sure, but seeing the strain of an interracial relationship, I’m not sure I could handle it. I couldn’t handle the family tension, nor making the woman choose me or her existence. My views changed where I live because I still live in a Black neighborhood. That feeling of safety is why I have decided to stay. That common bond that you share with the people. And it’s a whole lot easier socially as well. Yet I am trapped between how I was raised and the society I live in today. I was raised to be more impartial, but that’s not my life experience in our country.

And in the end, no matter how you’re raised you have to live in this society. It’s great to have these idealistic views of the world, yet they are not fully true. It shouldn’t, but ethnicity matters: where you live, who you date, friends you tend to make, and how you view society. It’s an imperfect society, but it’s the only society we have. Do I see it changing, maybe, but not in the foreseeable future.


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BLACK MEN REVEALED: WHAT WE REALLY FEEL IN LIFE

Gray Scale Photo of Topless Man Covering Face

“The fear of being me, that only another me understand.”


Growing up for me, I was always scared to walk outside. Whether it was the gang violence or police officers, it always left me shook. As a Black male, when you walk out the front door, you never know what you may be confronted with in society. So you begin to develop this outer Teflon skin that makes you desensitized to a lot. You learn that being a villain is easier than being loved, and you are able to live with that. Because you are prepared to be hated, you’re not prepared to be loved. So sometimes, you tend to sabotage your own life by engaging in activities that are not the best choices. Why, so you can operate in that space of hatred that you’re used to; that comfort zone.

But what is the real feeling when you walk the streets everyday. Fear; but I don’t mean fear in the context of I can’t leave the house. Fear in the sense of I am afraid of what you might possibly do to me. So I’m going to get the drop on you first before you get me. Because I know that whatever is done to me, will be justified. So it’s better I come prepared to go into battle, even Man's Hand in Shallow Focus and Grayscale Photographyif battle is not warranted. That is the definition of an unfit way to live. Yet for me, it’s perfectly normal because it’s the only life I and many other Black men know. Now, I am not going to go into the history because we all know. But the effects of that fear causes a strain in life in more areas than just walking up the street.

We fight against, and yet sometimes wish death upon any and every man and woman in a position of power. We’ll sometimes call out other Black men simply for not joining in on the disdain. And part of it comes from wanting someone, anyone to feel just as fucked up as what we are feeling in that moment and about life. Problem is, it is so long standing and so generational, it hurts our own community more than anything. Playing stoic to survive has made us detached at times from our own Black women. When in reality you just want to sit back and chill, not really having to care about much of what you could potentially experience that is negative in life.

Our views start young being shaped about people around us, real young. As a matter of fact in my own life going back to elementary school, I had low regard for non-Black people. Going to school where I felt the Black boys misbehaving were treated a lot differently than the White boys misbehaving the same way. So it actually caused me to Man in T Shirt and Shorts Standing on Grass Field Grayscale Photographyhold animosity toward the White males I went to school with because of it. When in reality, they had no control over the behavior of an adult and were just living in the environment they knew. It wasn’t until I hit middle school my viewpoint changed as I came into a more diverse environment. While many other Black boys went to other public schools where their experiences were continuing to be shaped in a negative way.

Our perception of the world as Black males especially is when we’re young is one that is conflicted. Wanting to be open and meet new people. Wanting to trust people and enjoy. And on the other side, waking up with a fuck the world mentality. Fueled by rage, yet tired out at the end of the day. Wanting
to harm others who are in no shape or form responsible for whatever social situation we go through. And then feeling bad the thought came across your mind. Admitting when we’re wrong is damn near impossible, especially in a world where everything you do is considered wrong. So you’re in attack mode the first person tells you, what you can’t do or have.

In the end, we bury our emotions. Part of it comes from the fact that very few people care. And part of it comes from the fact that you will be seen as weak. So we at times become dictators when we really don’t have to be. Stay paranoid and looking over our shoulders. When in reality no one is even looking at you. Everything I have said would drive the average person crazy. Yet the vast majority of us manage to live on Earth everyday just fine. Our african ethnicity, beard, blacklives are by far not normal, and experiences are even more abnormal. We are considered threatening, lazy, insecure, predatory, and flashy. Yet we really are humble, fun, hard-working, and laid-back. We have a narrative that is generational; funny thing is that only we can change that narrative. No one else cares and no one else will attempt to aid. But until then, we awake everyday, we survive, and we pray we make it home alive. And if we do, hopefully we’ll get another day.


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1619: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME AS AFRICAN AMERICANS

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“What happens when identity has to be recreated?”


Two years from now will be the year 2019, which will mark the 400 year period since the first Africans were brought to America. So much between then and now has happened, and the question now remains. How far have Black people come in America and how far do we still need to go? Let’s take a look in the past for just a moment. Imagine, each person, coming from their respective tribes, with their respective cultures. Being dragged to a new land, not knowing what was in store once you got there. Trying to understand why looking out into the sea you can’t find the river banks from which you came to return back home. And now you’re in this new place for life, with people you don’t know.

Fast forward to today, where we have been for almost 400 years. But, we have really only had rights since about the early 1970’s. That means African Americans have been experiencing freedom for roughly 45 – 50 years. You america, architecture, famousmight say, how so? Well, freedom allows you to vote, which we couldn’t do until coming into the 1970’s from the 1960’s. Freedom says you can go to any school you want to attend. But in the 1970’s and even as early as the 1980’s institutions were resistant in letting Blacks attend. Freedom grants you housing wherever you want to live, which is even more recent than the right to vote. Freedom grants the privilege to marry who you want without question. Laws on books forbid interracial marriage in various states in this country. The only progressive environment that has moved with more pace has been sports and the United States Armed Forces.

But what still needs to happen. Because we have poor education in inner city communities. There is a disproportionate number of violent crimes and a breakdown of the family. What’s interesting is that this is more of a recent phenomenon. If you look into the past, two parent households were the norm in the Black community. Black people had close nit communities, crime was nearly nonexistent, and overall morale was in tack. So what does that mean, we have to back track and lose our rights again to have control over our communities. Is there some sort of trade off, “You go back to segregation and then life will change.” Or is it more simple than that?

For example, I look at Chicago, a city that is plagued with crime, and also my father’s place of birth. And he has stated that it is a mixture of heavy Whtie and Black Police Car on Roadgang recruitment and lack of establishment by the law because of politicians not doing their jobs. It has been a rogue city for quite some time and with more and more schools closing, yet children are not being placed in other districts, problems are going to really climb. Which brings me to my next question. If schools are closing and countless kids are left in these inner city areas without a school home, should we start to home school as a community? Should Black people disregard the public school system in cities like Chicago? I mean, they’re shutting them down anyways, why not.

And that is the lead in to my next question, What is in the future? America is changing more and more everyday, and if we are not prepared issues will worsen. And not really on just a racial side, but economic. In today’s society, there is still not adequate access in poor areas to a lot of opportunities. Or is it? Black people are one of the largest demographics of smart phone users. That is a tool for learning all on it’s own. Which brings me to the next phase, putting yourself in the know. Those who are willing to put themselves in the know can and will elevate no matter what their economic circumstance or ethnic background. Having that mobile device means you do now have access to a lot of opportunities.

You may say how so? Well, this is not your mother and father or grandparents generation. Google search engine and YouTube has allowed access to what was once the unknown the know. For example, I Black Samsung Tablet on Google Pagelearned to write screenplays, my books, setup my website, and build social media all through tutorials on YouTube and searching through Google. So if we are big smart phone users, then we have the access in hand. All it takes is the attempt to sit and learn. Open yourself up to the opportunities that lie ahead. So, in the end, we have to do something. Life is getting harder by the day; and not just for us, everyone. Adjusting to the major technological shifts that will happen is a must in succeeding in life. If you are not bent on learning and broadening your base, then that America dream you want will no be anywhere within your sights.


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