Tag Archives: History

Why I Do What I Do: Knowledge=Power


Happy Belated Birthday Dr King & Happy MLK Day Everyone Else

Better Late Than Never: A Birth Worth Celebrating.

Pensive Dr King
The Birthday Boy: The late great Dr King Speaking of Late, Here I am waiting t ill his Holiday only to its kinda crazy that really happened

Hey, better late than never right?

On the 15th of January of 1929 MLK jr was born into this world.  He would grow up to become one of the most influential people ever born.  His lifetime left a fingerprint on the very fabric of society makeup and composition of this nation in a major and compelling way.  The fingerprint of his lifetime will be felt and seen, and may even pop up in the extremely rare instance that it’s needed. world, into this world ., easily one of the most influential figures in my own personal growth and development journey and that of so many others was born.

Who knows where this nation would be, were he still here if he were with us still today; would the protests and the #BlackLivesMatter or #BlackBrunch  #EricGarner and #Ferguson campaigns would still be going on?.


Tragedy Strikes @ The Lorraine Motel Memphis, TN-April 4, 1968

A Great Leader Is Taken From Us Far Too Soon.

Dr. King’s life, his wisdom, and his leadership were stripped from us that fateful day, April 1968, robbing us of what surely would have been a calming voice of reason, drowning out the angry din of the turbulent times that lie behind us, and those that lay ahead.  His moral judgement serving as a nautical star, always guiding us towards that promised land, the one he dreamed of; where all men are created equal and judged only by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

It Is His Day After All

In honor of his birthday,  his name day and his me-mo-ray(that’s memory for the illiterates amongst you), I shared some of his stuff below, beginning with speech about that dream his name came to become synonymous with.

Obviously Dr. King can’t take all the credit for the entire civil rights movement, much as the media among other people would like to just give it to him.  There were people and organizations fighting for the rights of African-Americans long before Dr. King ever got sent to Montgomery, or got the spotlight from the boycotts, but his pre-eminent role as the representative and face of the larger movement as a whole can’t be denied either,

He was merely upholding a tradition kept alive by all those who have fought for equality from the inside like A Philip Randolph who threatened to march on washington if African-Americans weren’t included to begin with.  No more of this playing  game and shit with your crappy ass little weaves or whatever the fuck you put in there. within their tribe or their own mind that we really don’t need to have any one there for it, because it’s just been one like

These Times, They Are A Changin:

From the time the Montgomery Bus Boycott began in 1955 until the his death in 1968 and even beyond; Dr King and the rest of the movement took the battle to the power structure and not vice versa, continuously applying pressure. in well thought out places   In attacking racism and discrimination where it existed and was most vehement; the lunch counters, the bus stops, and the polling place, of the deep south, they not only placed the entire practice of Jim Crow on display,  they put it on trial in the court of public opinion, a battle Jim Crow eventually lost.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Delivering Speech
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering one of his last speeches prior to his being assassinated at the hands of some backwoods simpleton who couldn’t plan his way out of a paper bag.


The Civil Rights Movement’s creative use of non violent direct action to frame and challenge the Jim Crow laws of the South met  with violence and repression at the hands of small town police,  members of the KKK, or just your garden variety, small-minded, red neck prick; most of which viewed by Americans across the nation were able to witness ignorance first hand at least once in their life.   Meeting non-violence with extreme violence backfired, leading to increased support for the demonstrators and eventually leading to Jim Crow’s demise with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

A Job Well Done?  More Like It’s Just Begun, Time For Phase Two:

Let us not forget this little tidbit either,  just before his murder, Dr King had been in the process of expanding his consciousness and understanding and taking riskier opinions than he had previously or at least in public.s .  Rather than basking in the major accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement, especially for African-Americans of  the South, he sought to do even more before he died, and  his last efforts weren’t limited  to the black community either welcoming all people regardless of religion and regardless of creed.  He also came out against the Vietnam War publicly in one of his speeches, something the old Dr King would never have done for fear of rocking the boat.  The Poor Peoples Campaign was open to all people regardless of race or anything like that, but it is probably my favorite speech of his .

Status Report: Where We Stand At Now


The Poor People’s campaign The plan was for a large multicultural group of poverty activists to march on the washington memorial plaza whatever and camp out there as a reminder of poverty that Congress wouldn’t be able to ignore it anymore.  Sadly, Dr. King would not see this one through to completion James Earl Ray’s 30.-.06 cut his life short, and for no apparent  reason other than who he is.  At the time of the shooting, Dr. King and his entourage were in the middle of doing something with a document, it looked interesting

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/3816635″>Martin Luther King, Jr: “Mountaintop” speech full length</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user907438″>Filip Goc</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I think it’s pretty safe to assume everyone else feels the same as me when it comes to whether we feel as though we have to really put in very much effort .get up for anyone  about our sloppy levels of play lately not being acceptable anymore.  Everything has been all out-of-place I’m confident in saying I still don’t recognize the idyllic locale of his dream; guess we’re all still waiting on those two tickets to paradise as it sits now and you better believe this guy desperately is in need of a tan.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Luckily, I’m not the only one whose life the great Dr. King has touched.  We can rest assured that his memory will live on, the light he used to combat darkness will continue to illuminate the way for each of us committed to making this world a better place, a righteous one filled with love.

Only question is, who will join me?


Sources Consulted:

Wikipedia: Poor People Campaign


Related Goodies

The Passing of Rodney King 

Are We Guilty of Bigotry

All may take solace


Both sides standing off
Red Rover Red Rover…
Officers Regrouping
Officers regroup as protestors continue marching towards them.It would appear that the police act the same regardless where you are.


Hands up dont shoot
She’s still fightin!


Never too  old to protest.

Man with sign Police Violence is Terrorism
This picture is actually from a Canadian protest against police brutality and violence that took place several years ago.



All may take solace in the sure knowledge that with every new revelation, every new government scandal, and every new government lie, a weight is added to God’s Unseen Scale of Justice, tipping this ever-present scale toward the ultimate consequence of eradication. from Food for Thought

Obamas Got Guts


It really makes me sad to see many of the responses relating to this decision. We all have the right to agree or disagree with the President coming out in favor of gay marriage, that is the beauty of our system. If you disagree with it, you know who to vote for, the Waffle King himself, Mitt Romney.

What’s not OK is for closed minded and just generally negative people to sit here and drag religion into this political decision; Please, stop me if I’m wrong but, didn’t the people they teach us about in history class come here fleeing religious persecution? Is the right to practice your own religion as you so choose not written into the very fibers of our nation? Even going beyond a discussion of “GOD” being somewhere it has no business being (politics), why are the people who are most vocal about it typically the most racist, sexist, homophobic?…(and usually hypocritical a certain bathroom stall and excessively wide stance come to mind).

Why is religion, which is SUPPOSED to be about bringing people together, in shared worship of a higher being as they can agree on it/him/her right? Why then, is religion spending so much time and energy, not to mention money, on keeping people apart? Didn’t Jesus preach a gospel of love and forgiveness, is that not why you almost have to whisper mention of his name out of reverence? Did he only love straight people?  NEWSFLASH PEOPLE homosexuality has been around since people learned to group together, it actually served as a form population control in some native american societies with people becoming eunuchs so you wouldn’t outgrow your resources. But that was before we said to hell with the being part of the ecosystem thing…(no pun intended). I mean your hero himself had a club full of guys, who then wrote books about him…glowingly almost…like a lover……

Im not saying that its true, but its possible, especially considering the social mores of the time period in question.  But that must be out of the question, because it just wouldn’t jive with the message they’ve twisted from him, right? if Jesus is basically a deity to religious people, being the son of god and all, or whatever it is they believe;  how would he feel about his name being used in vain? I’m pretty sure that the peace-loving, sin forgiving, cross bearing J man himself wouldn’t really appreciate the whole perverting his message to persecute any given population thing, but I obviously am no expert in that realm; religion; I don’t have enough HATE to apparently.

The thing that really ticks me off about the situation is this;
For the most part, chances are that every one of you out there not only knows someone who is gay, but you probably care about them a lot. Maybe its a childhood friend, or a family member; in the case of the most outspoken critics; maybe its you. Why then is it so easy for you to remove their face from this debate for yourself? Why is it ok for you to say that somehow you are better than them or deserve more than them? Because you put your peepee in the whoowho? If that’s the case, I’m sure you could ask most women out there and they’d tell you that you’re probably overestimating your abilities….just a bit…

I know that I have several family members who are gay. Personally, I grew up around it and it was never really that big a deal to me why I had two aunts (meaning my aunt by blood and her partner).  Nor did i question why my uncle never had a girlfriend, or blame him for why he was taken away so early by something so cruel as HIV/AIDS. You want to know why? Because they’re genuinely amazing people and I love them, sure sometimes they may upset me but it’s not because their choice to be with each other or because they’re gay, it’s because they’re family. They will always be my family and honestly Im proud to be related to them. Having said this, how can people justify going against their own family members right to wed their partner legally such as the case of Gingrich or more despicable yet Dick Cheney.  It makes me think either they are the most opposite of Christian or religious in any sense; or they don’t believe the very trash they fan the political flames with.  Which is worse?  I wonder how that Christmas dinner went…


Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States.
Dick (emphasis on the DICK) Cheney, Vice President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are we truly that miserable of a society that we generally have to fight equality, justice and decency and tear other people down at each chance we get? Are we so unhappy that we would contest this act which should hold no importance to anyone other than the parties involved? Why do the people most appalled by the act of “gayness” spend the most time thinking about it? I think they think about being gay more than gay people do,

now think about that…..

President Obama did something courageous yesterday, nothing really to gain in terms of the electoral politics and everything to lose, yet he did it anyways. It was the right thing to do… On behalf of my family and everyone else who cares about someone who just happens to be gay…


American involvement

A pictoral dedication of sorts to the veterans of Vietnam. Please believe me when I say that I am about as anti-war as they get, however that does not influence my view necessarily of the individuals who served in it.  Despite the way we currently view that war or its motives, we must ensure that we treat all of our veterans with dignity and respect.

An Attempt to Write These Wrongs

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Attempt to Write the Wrongs:

Let Me Step Outside My Comfort Zone Here;

In fact, its far outside many people’s comfort zone.  Allow me to introduce the elephant inside the room, boldly standing there, stoic, and proud.  It is comforted in the knowledge nobody will say a word.  Despite the collective discomfort of its presence, nobody is willing to acknowledge that it even exists.  Better to just pretend it away, put a tablecloth over it, hide it “for heavens sake”, a cold hard truth to face another day.  Those with the access to the news mediums or the very mechanisms of government, do not speak of it.  Those who we need to be strong, our leaders and role models are anything but. The nature of the beast has made them fearful, of becoming unpopular, offending someone, committing some social faux pox, saying some unpleasant thing.

This thing I speak of is racism.

Yeah, I said it, R-A-C-I-S-M, not only does our little melting pot have a history rife with it, we’re still just as guilty of it today, a fact that transcends ALL borders, exclusive to none.  Many of us do not even know that we do it (at times), others, maybe only in bursts, misguided anger, and still others are all too cognizant of it, allowing it to consume their very being. Saturated into their very essence, seeping from their pores, is hate, pure unadulterated hatred.  A cold, consuming fire burning inside, passing judgment on entire populations of people, without cause.

Sadly, this behavior is not restricted to a certain type of individual, whether it’s a bad apple or a native of the South.  Racism is embedded into our very culture, despite hard-fought gains made during the Civil Rights Movement, discrimination DOES still exist, inequality IS real and race certainly plays a major factor in determining a person’s life prospects.  While I am by no means saying that our society is on par with the Third Reich we must open our eyes to the fact that racism exists at every level of government, in every institution of learning and every home.

However, humans can determine group themselves together there will be some form of preference or bias in place within those groupings.   It may upset some of you if you have taken the time to read this but this is one of my core beliefs to some extent there is a form of social bias at play. It is also my belief that the sooner we accept our faults; as individuals, as a society, the sooner we can move past it.  Lessons are not gleaned from mistakes you “didn’t” make.  Likewise, true growth from your mistakes can never happen without you taking the time to evaluate your behaviors, and having the want to figure out how to change.  I feel like to a large extent this hasn’t happened in the United States, at least not to the degree necessary for closure to occur, not to the degree that we’re capable of.  As it now stands overt racism and discrimination were not eliminated, they just picked up a “C” and are no longer mentioned, they fell off the radar…..still there,  just  unspoken of.   One giant, peanut eating conversation piece minus the dialogue.

Civil Rights March on Washington, leaders marc...
Civil Rights March on Washington, leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The greatest shortcoming of the United States of America as I see it, is people with questionable moral standards don’t just occupy the highest echelons of power, they are often actively sought out for them.

Instead of doing the right thing, they like to hedge their bets and do the safe thing, unless of course they’re playing with your money, when that’s the case anything goes, just don’t be expecting any kind of guarantee on return, or any kind of refund, recourse, or redress if (when) something goes awry.

 Those in office lack the necessary courage to do what they must, to put their own personal gain on the back burner or off to side so they can focus on the public good while in public office, to admit when they were wrong, to just downright own it, and without a scandal or a preplanned press conference either.  I wanna see someone just level with a constituent, person to person, off the cuff and unscripted.  The person who did that would have a lifelong supporter in me.

I guess that’s what happens when you incentivize being a civil servant the way we have, only recently having restricted congress’ ability to use information gained through their work for personal financial gain, you are bound to see people enter the arena with less than the public good in mind, they’re looking to get rich quick as opposed to growing wealthy.  Politics is impossible to divorce from lobbying in our current system.  Lobbying is big business, and let me tell ya, business isn’t just good, it’s never been better, the cozy relationships businesses enjoy with elected officials is at an all time high either through the lobbyist as a middle man, or in the form of campaign contributions so large they can’t be ignored and they don’t come without a price either.

I mean one of the greatest political gambles in history, made by Johnson to force through civil rights legislation to honor Kennedy’s legacy  This is perhaps the greatest shortcoming of our nation, as I see it.  Not that these terrible things existed or still exist, but that when presented with the opportunity to fix it, (or opportunities, I should say) to grow from it, to put an end to it, or come clean with it, it doesn’t happen, we refuse to make good use of what are solid teachable moments.

All too familiar is the desire to deny, to cover up, or brush shit under the rug because company is coming and could arrive at any time, or we’re otherwise in a rush for some reason, and did I mention deny, deny, deny?   Only when presented with evidence so air-tight and insurmountable it can’t be squirmed out of with half-truths or white lies that they are willing to admit they’ve been lying.  One great big and never ending “Ok, you got me, the gig is up”, which typically transpires after the most vehement denial up to that point in the saga. This is a sad state of affairs, based on incontrovertible fact, and it’s plagued administrations on both sides of the isle.they can’t squirm out of it do they acknowledge the fact that indeed the whole time they had been lying.  Every administration it seems has some sort of scandal and none of them when given the opportunity did the right thing.

Disgraceful. I say we deserve better.

People in power are too worried about their popularity contest to do the right thing, to admit this thing we try to ignore, impossible as it may be.  Never directly saying “hey we screwed up” “we were wrong”, it makes me think of a selfish ex I had once, she just couldn’t quite bring herself to ever say sorry. instead, they claim it’s a thing of the past, a bad dream we have awoken from. Now that the Civil Rights Movement is taught in schools which are desegregated for the most part, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed, you assume it was a complete success, movement over…, The CRM  can now be relegated to its appropriate side-note in history. Now everyone;  ALL Americans; African-Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, and we certainly can’t forget our better halves (whatever sex they may be, whether they are of the same sex as us, or identify as being gender neutral, it’s all good) can all vote in elections, that whole equality problem is solved. …….

ahhhhhh…….If only this were true……

A replication of a pin made by the SNCC for th...
A replication of a pin made by the SNCC for the civil rights movement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Perhaps if teachers and the rest of society were a little more willing to talk about these ugly truths which account for the better part of our history, it would be more obvious that discrimination, segregation, and inequality are still alive today.

Vast inequality DOES exist within our infrastructure, the achievement gap is real and it widens daily much like the gap between Mitt Romney’s income and that of myself.  The only difference between the problems faced today vs. yesteryear is instead of the rural south, the worst schools are within the large urban centers, overcrowded and underfunded,  examples of some of gentrifications very best work.  While slavery was abolished under Lincoln, the gains made by African-Americans during the Reconstruction were undone.  It actually happened quite rapidly as soon as some of the legal restrictions and vigilance were relaxed in 1877. The South became a Bastion of Democratic ( clarification; Party NOT principle)voting and the seat of its power.  They even had their own name, the “Dixiecrats”.

Despite several things for which I am unable to forgive him, (Gulf of Tonkin and general prosecution of the war come to mind), I must say this; LBJ was the last politician with some cajones on em.  Big brass ones at that, if nothing else I’ll at least give him that.  Johnson knowingly kissed the South goodbye and threw the Democrats lot in with the African-American vote when he pushed to finally pass the civil rights legislation previously pigeonholed by the powerful Dixiecrats within his own party, fulfilling the assassinated Kennedy’s legacy.

This decision was far from being the politically expedient one, but it was the right one, “consequences” be damned.

Find me a politician willing to do that these days, in either party; you can’t…

Unfortunately, the politicians of today more resemble weather vanes going whichever way the wind blows.

Sharecropping replaced slavery, the nation not yet ready to take the responsibility to care for its own.  When African-Americans fled to the North in search of jobs and to escape the institutionalized racism of the South, *de-jure*, or legalized segregation, otherwise known as Jim Crow, so too fled white capital once racist housing practices were no longer enough to keep their neighborhoods sufficiently homogenized, fearing decreased property values, which is really just a nice way of saying they were just that petty and just that racist and just that chickenshit that they tucked tail and ran at the first sign of neighbors who didn’t look like them.

Unfortunately, due to the historic legacy of racism and slavery which ensured there could be no truly equal playing field between the races in terms of income, as white capital fled, it took with it much of the public funding which is used for things like public education and things of that nature, so it wasn’t long before the condition and the quality of the institutions and the offerings available in minority communities began to actively reflect this fact also.

Instead of meeting the needs of these increasingly dilapidated, underfunded and outdated institutions and the communities they served with the necessary increased funding to meet these challenges, or adding support services they opted to double down on slashing services and funding while increasing the police presence, effectively criminalizing entire generations of black youth in the process, especially young black males, forever the target of institutional oppression it would appear.

When is enough enough?

You often hear about the school to prison pipeline, and that’s how it operated then and still operates today despite the fact it costs over 3 times as much to jail these youth as it would to send them off to college or provide them with a quality education.  With as much as we like to talk about fiduciary responsibility in this country, or bicker about the budget, something as common sense as that be actively pursued for any reason other than pure and simple racism, that ever present fear of the “other”.

Today, prisons, which dispro have replaced sharecropping, which in turn replaced actual slavery as a way to get cheap or free labor out of the same population its always historically been taken from African-Americans.  This isn’t a recent development folks, merely the continuation of a well documented historical trend.

Racialized drug laws disproportionately send minorities to jail with longer sentences for similar possession crimes.  The most notable example of such laws would be those on crack cocaine, a drug prevalent in urban communities vs. Cocaine   predominantly seen as a white, suburban drug.   Crack cocaine carries a far stiffer sentence, it and other non-violent offenses are a direct cause for the staggering statistic that in the United States, a nation that imprisons over 2,000,000 members of its population, more than even China by nearly 1,000,000.  Of that population, African-American men constitute a disproportionate percentage, approximately 31% according to this study. (Sentenced State and Federal Prisoners by Gender and Race, 2006 — Infoplease.com).  The prison industry is just that, an industry, and business is booming.

My point is this; history is important because it’s a part of us.

We need to embrace and understand our collective history just as much as we need to do so with our own personal story.  That is why I will not apologize for the length, or the details, because they’re the truth.  That is the REAL scoop,  maybe I went into a little more detail than some would have liked, there will be no sugar-coating from me ever.  I promised myself a long time ago that I would always keep it R-E-A-L, especially with myself.  Future prospects are far better if we address the problem and not accept living in that awkward space, one of silence.  The best analogy that comes to mind is a victim of abuse.  We’re a nation of abuse victims, too afraid to face the abuser, leveling them with our accusations allowing the chips to fall from that point on where they may.

Perhaps we’re scared of giving it a sense of “realness”.  Going through life trying to convince ourselves that we’ll be ok, so long as we don’t think about whatever terrible things happened, and no emotions flare up, we’ll be fine…..when we clearly aren’t.  Until we face our fears, and overcome our shame, there can never be closure.  In that case, we’re talking about an entirely different form of slavery, having already enslaved our minds.  I don’t love our history DESPITE the bumpy road we took to get here.  I love the study of history BECAUSE of it.

The thought of a story without struggle does not appeal to me, nor does it exist anywhere; even in the land of Walt Disney.  I like a story with wrong-turns, suspense, and scars.  The more we look the other way denying racism existence, the longer the behavior is left to propagate itself amongst our youth,  amongst ourselves rotting from the inside out.

Cheating our youth of contacts left unmade and potential dreams left unfulfilled.   The longer we continue ignoring a system which has seen an increase of something like 600,000 African-American men become incarcerated while the  number of college enrolled continues its steady decline, (now less than the incarcerated) then the more militant, the more vocal, and disenfranchised they will feel.  Hard to blame them for feeling the system has NEVER worked for them, the less we care about having already failed them, and the rest of our youth for that matter, the more we implicitly condone tragedies such as Treyvan Martin,  FEMA’s reaction to Hurricane Katrina, the treatment of Muslim Americans following 9-11.  We are all aware and yet we do nothing, just standing around playin with dynamite.  I guess my question to you is, Are you OK with this?  Cause I know I’m not.**


Words of Wisdom

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...
Image via Wikipedia

“It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.”

Albert Einstein, ‘Treasury for the Free World,’ 1946
US (German-born) physicist (1879 – 1955)

I just wish I felt that my generation saw it this way.  It seems like most people I know who are political have checked out of the society we live in, hoping for that perennial “revolution” that will never come.  Either that or they just don’t care enough to be incited into action at all.  I liken that to the Puritans or some other ultra strict religious group.  Living their whole life in modesty, depriving themselves of certain pleasures, all in hopes of being rewarded in the afterlife. The only GIVEN that we have is the life were living or not living right this moment.  Sure, all that other stuff may be possible, who knows…. certainly not me.  How can people complain that the system’s broken, or corrupt, their lives and their environment are not to their liking and then do nothing to fix it?  I don’t know about anyone else, but personally, I’m more of a solutions guy.  Even in my relationship, if something comes up which its bound to because neither of us is perfect (she’s pretty damn close though.) I try to attach a positive, or alternative, to it.  How can we make this better, or fix this, not oh well, were just never gonna agree.  It shows the other person that you at least care enough to try making it work.  Otherwise its complaining just for the hell of it, no thought put into making it better,

just “waaaaahhhhh”…..”waaaaaaaahhh” .

My Response to that?


Shady Business when the CIA is involved. End of point. No exception

Big Surprise! CIA Responsible for Che Guevara’s death

English: Che Guevara smoking a pipe at his gue...
English: Che Guevara smoking a pipe at his guerrilla base in Caballete de Casas, Cuba (in the Escambray Mountains) during the final months of the Cuban Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In what isn’t really a surprise at all, it turns out that the CIA was instrumental in bringing down the Cuban revolutionary figure Che Guevara during his failed attempt to bring revolution to Bolivia.

Yet another figure who had the shine of their life cut much too short by a scared and cowardly government that doesn’t fight to uphold the rhetoric of its words.

Are We Guilty of Cultural Bigotry?

I think It’s High Time We Told Congress To Wake the Eff Up