Trump’s World Is Coming, Get Prepared

Something hit me recently, it came to my attention that most people look at Donald Trump as a character, someone who we love to hate but everything will be okay once he gets out of office. The problem with the mindset is that it doesn’t account for the scale of the damage he can do with simply the stroke of a pen.

Let me give you a cliff notes version of just a handful of the decision he’s made that can literally change all of our lives in a heartbeat.

  • He lifted protections that were in place against banks and wall-street. In the Mid 2000’s when banks were going bankrupt and people were losing their homes. When banks were giving out sub-prime loans, that’s going to start happening again and when it does, there won’t be a bailout this time.

 

  • He’s lifted environmental protections against oil and gas companies drilling in the oceans. This was put in place after those oil tankers lost millions of gallons of gas and destroyed coastal areas in Mississippi and Louisiana.

 

  • This may be the biggest one. Trump will have the ability to shape the Supreme Court and these men and women will be relatively young, meaning they’ll be shaping laws in this country for the next 20 years. Most don’t believe this but there’s a chance Roe V. Wade gets overturned. I’m not even a man that believes in abortions but I do believe women have that right. Could you imagine a world where women had to go to backwoods towns and risk their lives for an abortion?

These are just a few, this doesn’t even mention the immigration issue and the separating of families. The alienating of other countries and aligning ourselves with world leaders that are for all intent and purpose, dictators. This doesn’t account for the school programs that are being shut down.

Trump’s world is coming and it will be a dark place.

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I Don’t Think Thoughts And Prayers Are Working

Today a high school on the outskirts of Houston was shot up. So far they’re eight children dead and four more seriously injured. By the time I post this those numbers could go up. It seems that the idea of gun reform is a lost cause so I won’t beat on that drum today. I also won’t offer thoughts and prayers because if I was a parent, that would do nothing for me. Your thoughts and prayers won’t bring their child back, your thoughts and prayers won’t take away the pain that will hunt them the rest of their lives.

As someone that has a child on the way, I can only imagine what it must be like to shelter and care for and nurture a child. To survive colds and child birth and hurricanes only to have that child gunned down somewhere where you thought they would be safe. Somewhere where you’ve been sending them since they were old enough to learn.

I’ve never seen a parent that didn’t worry about their child riding their bike in the street or getting home from school safely. I’ve never met a parent that didn’t keep one eye on that kid when they were at the beach or pool. I’ve never seen a mother bathe a toddler and turn her back for more than a couple seconds. These are all natural instincts and fears, what isn’t natural is worrying about your child at school.

We as a society offer thoughts and prayers to these parents, we set up GoFundMe’s and marches and as soon as a playoff game comes on or our President says something stupid; we’re on to the next hot topic of the day. We forget that these parents will never get to move on from this, they will never heal from this. You don’t think parents from Columbine still don’t think about their children, that was in 1999. You don’t think the parents from Sandy Hook don’t watch their neighbor’s kids playing in the street or see birthday parties on Facebook and break down? This is real life, real trauma, real heartbreaking stuff.

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When our grandparents pass away after living a full life surrounded by family and friends you can understand it, you can hold their hand and feel that they’re at peace. When children don’t make it into this world, it breaks your heart, you ask God why but it’s life. It’s not supposed to happen in the middle.

I have a little sister that’s in the 11th grade. I have countless cousins and nieces and nephews that are in High School. If I’m being perfectly honest, I never really thought anything could happen to any of them. There are over 20,000 high schools in this country, the odds of one of them being involved in a shooting like this is under 1%. I use to rationalize it that way until today. Until it happens in your city, until you realize Texas leads the nation in buying guns. Now I can imagine it, now I can imagine what these families must feel.

I don’t like what I see when my imagination takes shape. So I can only imagine what their real lives must be life after today. After all the days where something like this happens.

Confident Black Men and Women Scare America

I have written about LaVar Ball since he popped on the scene because in the beginning I felt like it was a click bait story. You want to get a couple shares, a couple retweets, write about LaVar Ball. So I stayed away from it but then something happened. I started to see the hypocrisy in the way we society views black men and independence. Let me give you a couple of examples.

  1. Nike exec George Raveling on LaVar Ball: “The worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.”
  2. Unnamed NFL Coaches, “Colin Kaepernick is a traitor and I would never want him on my team.”
  3. Republican Congressman, “Obama took 400,000 for a speech; we need to take his pension.”

What do all three of these things have in common?  The black men involved weren’t docile enough.

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Why is that whenever I hear about Lavar Ball I never hear that he’s been convicted of any crimes? Why is it that I’ve never heard of his sons getting in trouble or of him hitting his wife? Why is it that I haven’t seen one piece on him being a good father and mentor while I’ve seen two hundred stories on black boys and them surviving without fathers? That’s not the story they want to put out there, they’d rather focus on how bad of a guy he is because he doesn’t want to take their handouts.

Now let’s talk about Kaepernick, teams were saying he’s asking for too much money and most people were happy to accept that was the truth. Meanwhile he comes out and says, “No one has talked to me or returned my calls so how would they know what I’m asking?” Guys have beat their wives, killed people drunk driving, fixed games and the worst person in the league is a guy that took a knee to bring awareness to cops killing black men and women?

Lastly, President Obama was criticized and attacked more than any President in history when there was no basis for it. The worst thing he probably did was wear that tan suit that time. After eight years of this Republicans lost their minds seeing him on vacations and smiling. They lost their minds that he and his wife got this huge book deal and they lost their minds even more when it came out that he was getting 400k for a speech. I live in Texas, ex-politicians and athletes have been getting paid for years to give speeches but now it’s a problem?

Confident Black Men scare America because they hate our strength. When Tiger Woods was winning Majors he was “Blasian,” I’d honestly never heard that term in my life. When he got caught cheating, he was a black man. When Kanye West said, “Yeezy’s will jump over Jordan’s,” we laughed and said no one buys Adidas. Now you can’t find a pair of Yeezy’s anywhere, they stay sold out.

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Lavar Ball says, “If the Lakers draft my son, they’ll make the playoffs next year.” He didn’t say they’ll win a Championship or that his son will be the best Laker of all time. He said a team full of young talent with a pass first point guard could make the playoffs. People are literally hostile at that. He has confidence in his son and that makes you uncomfortable? Just because Archie Manning wasn’t on TV every day doesn’t mean he wasn’t behind the scenes making sure his sons were taken care of.

Dear HBCU Presidents; Do Better!

trump blackDear HBCU’ Presidents,

Do Better!

There are very few institutions that represent what it means to be a black man or woman in America like the Historically Black College. It’s a place where kids had to go because schools like the University of Texas and Baylor wouldn’t accept them. Out of hate and bigotry rose Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M University and countless other colleges throughout the south.

Colleges that gave young men and women pride, opportunity, a place to be amongst their own and thrive. Where has that pride gone? Why can it be found in twenty three year olds but not in the men and women that have risen the ranks to run these colleges?

Donald Trump is the President of the United States and we have to accept that but we don’t have to accept is his policies, his child like behavior and the unqualified and ill-intentioned people he has put into office.

Explain something to me because I am genuinely baffled. On February 28, 2017 over 80 Presidents of HBCU’s met with Trump and they were treated no better than tourist. Given a small speech, given a couple pictures and some lunch. No real conversation, no real change. A month later the Trump Administration questioned the need for HBCU’s and just this week word has come out that Trump wants to either defund or reduce funding for HBCU’s but you still want to reach out your hand to members of his administration?

I respect the work ethic of the generation that came before me but I cannot and will not respect men and women that are selling out the integrity of their schools for a check or photo op. Stop allowing people in high places to use you.

These young kids are not willing to sit back and accept it. You can’t charge them for degrees and make them work and struggle only to tell them that they have to do as you say or else.

I Just Realized Donald Trump Is Joffrey Grown Up and Now I Need A Hug

pic-jointer I’m a certified Television Series lover. You give me a good scripted show and I will give you a good 48 minutes of my life once a week. Unless you’re Netflix and then you can get me all night and I’ll deal with the consequences later. Like everyone else in the country I have been looking at the news and social media in horror at seeing our new Commander and Chief bully, whine, belittle and mock his way into the highest office in the land.

It wasn’t until today that I realized who exactly Donald Trump is, he’s Joffrey all grown up. I have hated a lot of television characters in my life, I’m not sure I’ve ever disliked one more than I disliked Joffrey Lannister. He was spoiled, scary, evil, spiteful and felt as though he was above all laws and standards because of his last name and the family he was born into. Who does that remind you of?

There were women in Antarctica protesting Donald Trump. Millions of women all over the country united in their absolute distain for one man. There has never been a more disliked political figure in our history and I know why. It’s because him and Joffrey are the same person. Melania Trump and Sansa Stark had that same look of doom and gloom on their faces.

Those Secret Service agents walking down empty streets, they may as well have had on white cloaks.

I Don’t Want to Survive; I Want to Thrive

img_2103“Grab her by the pussy.” No matter how many times I hear it in my head I can’t help but to laugh. Not one of those gut busting, tears coming out of my eyes laughs, but one of those this is crazy laughs. I’m not laughing this morning and neither are most of the men and women I know.

I keep hearing how African Americans survived slavery and survived Jim Crow and survived the harshness of the Civil Rights Movement and the Reagan era. Stop telling me how we survived mass incarceration. “We survived all that, we’ll survive Donald Trump as President.” It’s not Trump I’m afraid of, it’s Trump’s America that scares me. A world of racial profiling and 4 dollar a gallon gas. I am not my ancestors and I love them for surviving and living but I choose not to survive. I choose to thrive. I choose to not sit at home behind my computer and sulk and be afraid and not cause trouble at work. I choose to hold my head up high, walk into my office and remind anyone that’s jubilant about last night’s victory that we have HR for a reason and I won’t threaten you are curse you out. I will simply write an email getting you fired for discussing politics at work.

Last night was my youngest sister’s 15th birthday. When we were having dinner she told us she got a letter from Stanford University to come visit the school and be a part of a program. She is incredibly smart and mature, she writes short stories and loves photography. Her future is as bright as she wants it to be, that doesn’t stop because of Trump or his supporters. Today’s weather mirrors how my heart feels. Dark, cold, unsettling but with a new day comes a new sky and with a new sky comes the ability to rise above this America we are now living in.

I don’t want to survive. I don’t want to get disrespected and marginalized and not get the same opportunities and be okay with it. Surviving is what our ancestors did because they had no choice because it was survive or die. We have a choice, not just to survive but to thrive. We have a choice on whether or not we want to build something and make something of ourselves or survive. On whether or not we want to accept racism, sexism, elitism and survive or look racism, sexism and elitism in the face and say, “Move or get ran over.”

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Stop Asking Us To Respect the Flag When You Can’t Respect Our Lives

Stop.

Just stop.

Stop asking me to respect the flag and respect the military and respect police when it seems no one seems to have much respect for us. Today I saw a guy that was blowing things up in New York and that shot at two police officers walk away with his life. In the same day I saw a guy who’s car simply broke down shot dead in the street like a wounded dog. Wait, we don’t shoot dogs. Shot dead like a black man.

I’m not a rapper, I’m not a thug, I’m not a politician. I don’t have anything noble to say and I don’t have anything ignorant to say. I’m just a man that is tired of feeling like I have to justify why my life matters? A cop shoots a man with his hands up and the narrative is, “Black guys kill black guys all the time; you aren’t whining about that.” I do talk about that and I also hold men and women that talk oaths to serve and protect us to higher standards.

I’m 33 years old. I have never been in a set of handcuffs in my life. I don’t disrespect police when I’m pulled over. I don’t believe that all cops are bad. I don’t hate America or those that protect her. But I do hate that I and those that look like me will never have the same protections as others.

Last week Sandra Bland’s family got paid 1.9 million dollars for her life. She’ll never laugh at Thanksgiving or take her children to orientation at college but 1.9 million should calm the natives. Today I watched a man with his vehicle stalled and his hands up get shot down, how much is his life going to be worth?IMG_0109

Why Are We So Quick to Demonize Black Women? Why Are Black Men So Silent? The Korryn Gaines Story

korryn You know what I’ve noticed these past couple months, with almost 100% certainty if I say anything praising or defending black women I will get a get a man that disagrees with me. He’ll say something like, “You’re pandering to them” or “You’re just telling them what they want to hear.” I’m often confused because most of my statements aren’t the kind of statements that cause friction but none the less these guys come at me guns blazing.

I know four things about the Korryn Gaines story.

1. She has a 20 minute video where she was pulled over and it doesn’t make her look good. People have seen that video and decided she deserves whatever happened to her.

2. The police lied about getting the key from the super and kicked in her door. They shot first when she was holding a child.

3. In Houston about a month ago the police were shot at and after an 8 hour standoff things ended peacefully. In Norfolk, Virginia there was a 7 hour standoff with a gunman and police and things ended peacefully. But after 6 hours the police that accidently broke a guy’s spine decided this woman was a threat.

4. A woman that lived on social media has all her social media deleted right after she’s gunned down?

I’m a smart enough man to know two things. The first is I’m not going to sit on this computer and condemn police for a murdering a black woman when I don’t know what happened in that apartment. The second is I’m not going to condemn a black woman for provoking police when they kicked in her door over parking tickets. I have a ticket for an expired inspection sticker, should I expect a SWAT team to kick in my door, shoot my dog, pull my girl half naked into the front yard and handcuff me? That’s what we’re doing over parking tickets? We get so caught up into wanting to make people victims or heroes that we tend to forget most of these violent encounters start over the smallest things. Parking tickets? Selling CD’s? Selling DVD’s? A broken taillight? When does common sense overtake the need to be right?

“Korryn Gaines used her son as a shield?” “Korryn Gaines should have never had a gun?” Even though she was in her own home. Korryn Gaines wanted to fight with the police even though they kicked her door in. Do I believe black men need to stand up and scream Black Lives Matter and get angry over Korryn? No, not at all, but I do believe that we should just accept she was in the wrong and move on? When police shoot someone they often lie about the circumstances, especially when there’s no video. This is a fact. So why are we so quick to throw this woman away?

People will accuse me of pandering to women for saying what I’m about to say but I know it’s the truth. Had that been an attractive black man in a room protecting his cute son with a shotgun from officers that kicked in his door over parking tickets black women all over this country would be shouting his name! Black men would be posting Malcolm X quotes and talking about how he went out protecting his family! We would give him not only the benefit of the doubt but even if he was in the wrong we’d make him a legend. Not only are people not waiting for the facts to come out but they are calling this woman everything from a fool to a coward to a crazy person. I don’t need anyone to answer me but I’ll ask anyway. If the roles were reversed would black women be this silent for us?

How Much Is A Life Worth?

batonThis past week has opened up my eyes to what so many people see me as. When you get caught up in being in your bubble you tend to forget that there’s a world out there that will always see you as a nigger. In my 6 years of writing this blog, this may be my first time saying this word.

These past two weeks have opened my eyes to something I was ignorant too. No matter your education, your intelligence level. The way you speak or the way you dress, too certain segments of this population seeing a black face means the same.
The moment I walked into my doctor’s office and told them I had an accident the first question they asked me was, “What lawyer sent you?” Thought that was odd but okay. I go back a week later and tell them I need a refill on my prescription, they ask, “You sure you’re in pain?” Thought that was odd but okay. I tell them my job needs an update and I’m told, “We can make sure you’re off work for months if you don’t want to work. They’ll pay for it.” Now it’s not odd, now there’s no okay. I want my fingers to heal so I can write, I want my shoulder to not feel like it’s in a vice grip every time I sit down or lie down. These implications that I’m a scammer or junkie or don’t want to work are offensive. “But sir, we didn’t ummm…” You didn’t what? Realize that these dumb ass assumptions are either racist or ignorant?

We can tell these boys and men out here to speak better English. To present yourself better, to watch how you talk to people, hold your head down, don’t make them feel uncomfortable. Don’t ask questions, don’t put yourself in a position to be misunderstood and shot. What is it going to take for us to stop asking these questions? To stop going at each other and realize we need each other? Would it be easier if a man like me was shot? A guy with no criminal record and no questionable pictures, a guy that has hundreds of blogs and articles people can quote? Life is life and not everyone’s life comes in a pretty package but they still deserve that life if they haven’t done anything to lose it.

Today I Sold My Guns and I Feel Safer For It

sandy-hook-638x458A part of me wanted to google dates of mass shootings and tell the story of where I was when each one happened but if I’m being honest I’ve become desensitized like most Americans. I see the news, I imagine the horror but it no longer shocks me. That is until this weekend. That is until I was on Instagram last night and I saw that one of the people killed just graduated high school. I started to think about my little sisters and cousins that are around that age, that probably go to clubs and parties and I just take for granted that they’ll come home safely. The same way those victims’ families thought they would make it home safely.

When Sandy Hook happened I cried for the first time in a long time over something I saw on the news. I remember being at work driving and they said on the radio that an elementary school was under attack. And then I remember logging on Facebook and seeing the live time updates and seeing this picture of a little girl that was murdered. I remember looking at that picture and thinking, “Why do I feel like my daughter would look just like that?”

Today I was sitting in my bedroom and I looked over at a .32 Smith and Westin I keep on my nightstand. It’s a simple gun, six shoots, it never jams. I keep it on the nightstand at night just in case some criminal and group of ninjas kick down my door and I’m forced to defend myself. It’s been on that nightstand since I moved into this house and I’ve never shot it. Not at the gun range, not in my backyard on New Year’s Eve, not at a person. As I’m watching the news yesterday and I’m hearing about all the murders and all the violence, it hit me. I don’t know anyone that’s been murdered by a gun. .I’ve never had a family member shot. I’ve never been car jacked or shot. I’m more likely to die in a car crash because I’m texting than I am in a mass shooting.

Today I sold my guns because they’re more likely to be used by my future children to kill each other than they are to be used by me to kill an intruder. Today I sold my guns because I don’t go hunting, because I’m not going to be sitting in a restaurant and a man comes in shooting and I decide to be Rambo. Today I sold my guns because I’m tired of hearing about these mass shootings and just talking and writing. I’m tired of letting the media make me believe that at any moment I’m going to get 11 bullets put in my body when it rarely happens. Today I sold my guns because I’m not a gangster, because I don’t want another mans’ blood on my hands. Today I sold my guns because I feel safer with them outside of the house than I do with them inside of the house.