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.

Stop Blaming Social Media or Outdated Stereotypes for Bad Behavior

385448_213663785373354_118911191515281_532154_1408080341_nI’ve been in a relationship for about two years now. You know how many women that I was friends with or that I knew casually have approached me in a manner that’s flirtatious or disrespectful? None. Not one. Every text, phone call or message has been to congratulate me or simply to catch up or say hello. Women don’t find men in relationships more attractive; often times men in relationships let the world know they’re still available.

There’s perception and then there’s reality. You can’t flirt and be accessible and friendly and then complain that women or men aren’t accepting of your relationship. I have some amazing friends that I’d hang out with. Happy hours, long conversations, dropping them off at the airport. Once I got in a relationship or they got in a relationship that friendship dynamic changed. They had a long day, they call their man. They go to happy hour or talk about it, with their man. The same for me. They aren’t acting funny or being fake friends, it’s just called growing up.

I want to ask a serious question. Have you ever seen someone that was in a dope relationship talk about other people’s relationship or problems? I don’t mean casual pillow talk with your man or woman. I don’t mean casual gossip with your girls. I mean, it’s every day and it’s not just one or two couples but it’s all the time. You don’t see that type of behavior out of people that are good. But you see it out of people that are lying to themselves.

If a woman compliments my writing at 2am and I respond in her inbox, “Thanks, I love when women are up late reading my words.” With that one sentence I just told her I was available. I can try and tell myself I didn’t do anything wrong and that’s the problem with women these days, they think every guy is flirting, etc. But I’d be lying to myself. There are lines you don’t cross and you shouldn’t want to cross. Not if you’re happy with what you have at home.

Why Is My Generation Producing So Many Weak Men?

dwhiteI remember sitting in the garage as a kid and listening to my grandfather and our next door neighbor talk about everything from their wives to work. Men have always talked to each other and has conversations, gossiped but it was usually with each other. One man to another, not six or seven guys in a group chat.

I’m not going to sit on this computer and be that guy that’s mocking men for wearing skinny jeans and sweat pants that look like they belong to a 12 year old girl running track. Maybe that’s the style now and it’s a generational thing but I am going to condemn men for no longer wanting to be men.

This isn’t about being gay or straight or transsexual. That’s not what I mean by not wanting to be a man. I simply mean, we have too many guys out here that take more pleasure in taking selfies or arguing online than they do taking out the trash.

I’m sure women get messaged on social media all the time but ask most women when is the last time a man walked over to them, introduced himself. Started a conversation and was interesting and funny and at the end of that encounter, asked for a phone number or a date? It rarely happens anymore, guys would rather argue online about why women suck than actually pursue them. Comment on pictures and get mad when they don’t get a response. It’s not okay and it’s getting worse.

My father’s generation of men dropped the ball. I know too many men and women in their late 20’s to early 40’s that have no relationship or screwed up relationships with their father’s. Men that don’t know what it means to be strong because they never saw it. I know too many guys that have moved from their mothers house to their woman’s house and the only difference is they respect their mom.

It doesn’t make you weak because you don’t make the money your woman makes or because you’re going through a hard time. It makes you weak when you aren’t trying and when you’re too proud to accept help and it’s at the expense of your relationships well being.

You ever been siting on the couch watching a game and your women comes out the room and asks, “How do I look?” She does a little spin and smiles and you give her that look like, “You aren’t wearing that out this house or if I’m not with you.” She knows it’s not coming from insecurity or being controlling. The respect she has for you and your opinion makes her go in that room and change, she respects your strength, even if she feels like the dress isn’t that short or tight. She’ll do it for your peace of mind. When you’re a weak guy, you can’t make those types of request. Asking her to change, to cook when she’s tired, to come home early because you miss her. You can do that when she knows you hold her down.

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

An Open Letter to the Father’s That Weren’t There; It’s Not too Late

img_0173I didn’t want to post this on yesterday because I believe that Father’s Day is reserved for the men that deserve to get recognition. The ones that takes turns getting up at night when the baby is crying. The dads that have to rush home from work to get to little league practices and then help with homework because mom has to cook dinner. Those men deserve all the days of being spoiled they can get.

Life isn’t lunch meat or milk. There’s no expiration date on when you can say, “I need to start over,” or “I want to make things right.” There are so many father’s out here that weren’t there when their children were kids and they don’t know how to make that right. It’s too late for ice cream and Barbie dolls or GI Joes. It’s too late for camping in the backyard and little league games. So they just let year after year go until they’re strangers to the people that share their DNA. Not realizing it’s never too late to at the very least have a friendship.

Holding grudges against your father for not being there only hurts you. I spent years trying to be a better man than my father and in the end I’m no better than him because the ultimate character of a man is to be able to forgive. A lot of our father’s just weren’t ready for fatherhood. They didn’t know how to be dads and by the time they were willing to try or realized their mistakes it was too late. At least in their eyes. So it’s up to us to reach out to them, maybe we’ll never have the father/ son relationship we craved as children but there’s value in becoming their friend. In getting to know where you came from. There’s value in your children knowing where they came from.

The easiest thing in the world is to make a mistake or screw up and walk away. Saying to yourself, “They were good without me as children, so why would they need me as teenagers or adults?” Just because a child grows up doesn’t mean he or she ever stops being your child. Even if it’s just a phone call once a week or Sunday dinner at Popeye’s, that quality time does wonders.

Baylor, Rape and a Culture That Doesn’t Respect Women

baylor“Actions by University administrators directly discouraged some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes and in one instance constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.”

The above statement is part of a statement released by Baylor. A school that just fired the most successful football coach in its history. There was a lot in the statement that made me cringe but the part I’m writing about today is the part that makes this almost unforgivable. It’s the part where Baylor not only told young women to not report the abuse but it’s the part where they retaliated against one of the women for reporting the abuse.

This wasn’t a football coach that told a player’s girlfriend to take it easy on him for cheating on her. This was a football coach that ignored his peers advice and brought football players into Waco, Texas that were nothing more than sexual predators. In one instance Art Briles said he’d never heard of off the field incidents with some of the transfer players he’d brought in. That was disputed by then Boise State head coach Chris Peterson who said he told Briles about the incident in which Sam Ukwuachu beat his girlfriend.

The same Sam Ukwuachu that while at Baylor was convicted of raping a female soccer player at the school. The same Sam Ukwuachu that was a known bad guy. He wasn’t one of those, “He needs a second chance” guys. It wasn’t until the guy was arrested that they finally decided to put him off the team.

Then we have Shawn Oakman. Maybe the most intimidating looking man in college football. Standing almost 6 feet 7 inches and muscles everywhere. He’s currently facing charges of sexual assault. According to reports he met a Baylor grad student out, took her to his apartment. Forcefully removed her clothes and raped her. Even before this case there were whispers out there about him and his past.

School officials, not football guys, but actual suit and tie academics decided to sweep all this under the rug. Why? Because for the first time in school history Baylor Football mattered. They were tired of getting stomped on by Texas and Oklahoma and they wanted it to continue. It continued alright, it continued at the expense of women all over campus.

It’s hard for me to call college girls women because most of them are coming straight from their parents protection and are still children. Baylor literally served them up on a platter for no reason other than wins.

5 Life Lessons I Learned In the Last Week of 2015

photo(1)This has been a tough week. My grandmother passing hasn’t really hit me yet, at least I don’t think it has. So, I’ll do what I do best and write. Even though it’s only Tuesday, we only have two days left in 2015 and these are the life lessons I’ve learned.

5- Life isn’t about what happens when someone is sick or dying or gone. Life is about the moments when they’re here. The moments you have an opportunity to do right by them. It’s easy to cry once their gone but it’s even easier to talk to them and make them laugh and be there for them when it’s inconvenient. Anyone can be a good grandson or husband or boyfriend on a beautiful Sunday afternoon when the Texans aren’t playing. Can you be a good person when you’ve just gotten off work, your feet hurt and you have to fight traffic? Give people their flowers while they’re living or you will regret it.

4- Character is who people are when they’re scared. You ever see the zombie movies where two people are running and one of them pushes the other down so they can get away. That’s sort of what life is. You’re either willing to be a good person and do the right thing when your heart is beating out your chest and you feel like your back is against the wall or you’re not. Sometimes being a good person won’t pay off right away but it will pay off. Karma is a living, breathing thing.

3- You should always be honest but not everyone deserves or appreciates it. Giving someone a piece of your mind or checking someone may make you feel good for a moment but we don’t always have to keep it real. Sometimes smiling and walking away hurt people so much more than yelling at them or “checking them.” It won’t feel good to bite your tongue. It won’t feel good to see someone doing wrong or going down a wrong path and knowing you can’t stop them. That’s life though, some people only learn by getting burned.

2- Build your own home before you try and help others. I see so many good natured people that give and give and give and then they look up and don’t have anything? You can’t help people if you haven’t taken the time to look out for yourself. My grandparents weren’t wealthy, my mother and father aren’t wealthy. Anything I build in this life, I will build not because of handouts or luck. I will build based off the life lessons I was taught. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither are wealth, families, friendships. You want a garage, start with a screwdriver. You want a office, start with a pen. No one is obligated to help us. We have to help ourselves.

1- Be a man that gives more than you take. I can’t take care of a woman at this point in my life. I’m okay with that but what I can do is take on a bigger burden. Maybe I don’t pay all the bills but I pay the biggest bills. Maybe I don’t always clean up but her car stays clean and I take out the trash. Have a home, don’t move in a with a woman. Go to work and if you have children, let them see you treating their mother like a woman that means the world to you.