I really enjoyed this. I hope you do too. This is from my sista Tracy who resides in Japan where her husband is stationed. Have a good weekend!
This looks to be an exciting and worthwhile project being put on by many committed men and hosted by “Shalom Church (City of Peace)” in Florissant. You can click on the pics for a better look at the details. There will be a panel discussion, workshops and a rally all coming up this weekend. Activities and workshop locations vary throughout the area. Call the number listed or visit the site for more information.
Keith Olberman sure does think so and he made some strong points in saying why. Senator Clinton’s supporters often tout her brilliant mind and fighting spirit while her detractors have called her polarizing. Even still some observers believe she is desperate. I happen to believe she posesses all of these characteristics. Polarization and desperation may be overshadowing her other qualities. If she used her words to plant the seeds that many like Olberman believe, this would only prove my personal belief that she would do anythig – and i do mean ANYTHING to be president – which is percisely why she should not be president.
A special happy birthday to the first love of my life. My momma! Mom you are 63 and you still look fly to me!
Love Ya Always, son
Don’t Just Pass The “Q”
As we take the time to enjoy this first national holiday of the year, please remember the purpose of the day. Enjoy your barbque by all means, but remember the heroes who sacrificed their lives for this nation. Appreciate those who serve now. God bless you all!
**Speaking of heroes!
What about Chinese police woman Jiang Xiaojuan who breast fed several starving infants in the midst of the devastating effects of the earthquake that struck China on May 12. In the midst of tragedy there are always stories of people coming together and doing incredibly unselfish things. Its the best of human nature. This officer who is also the mother of her own 6 month old stated, “I am breast-feeding, so I can feed babies. I didn’t think of it much. It is a mother’s reaction and a basic duty as a police officer to help.” Saving any children where its estimated at least 70,000 have perished in a nation, where by law a family can only have one child is especially important to the survivors. My Chinese brothers and sisters, you are in my prayers.
** We can’t forget about the people of Myanmar people who suffered tens of thousands deaths as well from the cyclone. Thank God the junta has finally agreed to allow all of the aid workers to enter the nation and assist the people there. So far the leadership has been horrible to their people. Hopefully the pressure from the world will break through.
** Prayers for Senator Ted Kennedy and family.
** I’m trying to leave this alone – but whats up with McCain and John Hagee? I mean more info comes out about Hagee’s idiotic statements – most recently about how God used Hitler and the Holacaust to return the Jews to Isreal. Wow! Well after seeking this guys endorsement McCain is now backing away from Hagee. And get this: McCain claims this situation does not compare to the Obama controversy surrounding Rev. Wright because Hagee was not his pastor or spiritual advisor. Huh? This may be fact. However, the truth is that Hagee made these statements years ago and apparently as a friend of mine noted, McCain at worst is such an “endorsement whore” that either he didn’t bother doing his homework before seeking Hagee’s endorsement, or it just didn’t matter till these sermons came to light. McCain is a mess! He reminds me of ’04 when all the Dems could come up with against Bush was Kerry. He may be worse. He sounds more like a bumbling idiot every time he opens his mouth. Its not a good time to be a Republican, especially when the current president is doing so bad, that the party has to pick the lesser of it’s hopefuls to represent the party and not “waste” a “good” canidate.
** Safe journeys to “The One And Only” and partner in crime and activism “Don Pablo” traveling to Iowa. God bless your family.
** Go Lakers!
** So my daughter had her an ingrown toe nail removed this morning. And in great anticipation she moaned and complained about having to have a numbing shot in the toe. “Oh my god, is this gonna hurt? Ohh ohh ohh,” as she grabbed my arm and acted as if she was giving birth. Her teacher calls her “The Queen of Exaggeration” and in keeping with that title, a few minutes after receiving the shots she says, “I don’t think the numbing is working. I can’t feel my toe!” Upon laughing and telling her I am going to put her in my blog for that statment, her expression changes immediately and she tosses her head to the sky and follows up with this classic, “Good, after people read about me I will be on broadway!.”
Have a safe weekend!
When I was in the 11th grade I was still pretty much a virgin. I mean I had experimented with sex but it never really worked out. Nevertheless I had a long relationship with a girl the year before. She was a senior and I was a sophomore. Her name was Tina. Anyway we never really got through doing the “grown up” but nevertheless I bought a single condom at a local confectionary “just in case.” I kept it in my wallet.
We did the prom and everything – no sex. Even after she graduated we agreed NOT to have sex as a way of saving and respecting ourselves. However, this guy she met who lived next to her dad’s house convinced her otherwise. They were hitting the sheets on the regular behind my back – and soon she was pregnant. I was in pieces – but we remained friends. She married the guy and he went to the Army to support his new family.
The next year I was a junior. I had no girlfriend but I was cool enjoying my time at school. During that time my niece Crystal was born. I was so proud of her. One day I was walking the halls and I ran into one of the hall monitors at the time – an English teacher named Miss Bonner. We got along great! I figured she was looking to bust me for not having a hall pass during class. So I was ready to proudly display it. She didn’t go there. She asked how I was doing and I said, “GREAT!” I told her about my new niece and asked if she wanted to see the picture. “Sure!” she blurted out sharing my excitement.
I pulled the wallet out of my back pocket and began to flip through the pictures – the thing turned upside down and I showed her the picture. To my surprise however her eyes darted to something else. Unknown to me while I was flipping the wallet looking for the pics, BAM! The condom hits the floor. Mind you there is no one in the hallway but me and the teacher. MY TEACHER whom I had to see everyday! She said, “Uhhh, you dropped something.” I looked down and saw the poor unused thing that was of no use to me. The jenk was so old and crusty it was starting to come out the packet. I had forgotten all about it. It was hidden in a secret department mind you. Needless to say, as a friend of mine likes to say, “You could have bought me for a penny!”
The look of embarrassment on my face was evident. To get busted by my teacher by telling her I was having sex was bad enough. She simply smiled and said, “Thats ok, at least your using safe sex.” I sure as hell wasn’t going to bother trying to explain to her that, “No this old thing was something was gonna use had I had the chance to have sex with the girlfriend I had last year.” I didn’t even know how to put the thing on I was so inexperienced. It was a no win situation. No explanation needed.
As I began to sweat and feel the weight of the world upon my shoulders, I said something about having to go to class and tucked my tail between my legs and got ghost! And what is the moral of this story? I don’t know if there is one. But I did learn that sometimes you just have to walk away and be misunderstood.
Growing up I was always facintated with astronomy. I loved reading and learning anything having to do with outer space. I even watched Star Trek faithfully and the less imaginative Battlestar Galactica. Of course Star Wars was stirred my imagination as well.
I found it quite interesting that the Catholic Church by way of The Vatican recently announced that it was acceptable to believe in “extraterrestrial brothers. ” I feel so relieved now. If it wasn’t for that announcement I would have had to remain an non-believer!
Seriously though; personally I believe it would be shortsighted and quite arrogant to believe that as much as know about the vastness of the universe – that we are the only forms of life or intelligence. But truth be told, just like issues of race we are not ready to seriously tackle the possibilities of life outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Imagine questions about ET sightings being asked at a presidential debate. Or how about this.. if your Catholic or Christian and believe in the existance of life beyone the Earth’s atmosphere and that they too are God’s creatures – well did Jesus die for their sins too? With that said unless we have a serious encounter that is too much to avoid, we are prone to avoid these questions as a nation for fear of among other things, the facts possibly throwing a monkey wrench in our theological dogma.
Well, since I have been reminicing about childhood things lately. I figured I would start from the beginning. I think about my life sometimes and how I think about the early things that have shaped my references and points of origins. The images that come to mind are the first that I remember that are still with me today – but in no particular order.
1) First address – 1462 Gaty, East St. Louis
2) First Church – Mt. Siani Baptist Church – Rev. White (A dark black man with a bald head that sweated when he preached.
3) Wrestling at the Chase – with Dick the Bruiser, Nature Boy Rick Flair, Andre’ The Giant
4) Fisher Price Toys – Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down
5) First Easter Suit – a white suit with a red shirt and white tie – and a brim my dad called, “His Godfather hat.”
6) Cardinal games – with my father sitting in the bleachers with the old men who talked much smack!
7) First Heartbreak – Some girl I liked in the first grade named Lisa. But she liked Jerome Malone. One day I saw them walking home from school with his arm around her. Sigh! Jerome was a pretty cool guy. Still is the last time I saw him in the mid 90s.
8) Wanting to run away from home – cause I didn’t want to eat brussel sprouts. My mom told me that I had to eat them before I could leave the table. I sat there horrified, and told my dad that I would run away if I had to eat them. He said, “Well just let me know when you are ready to run away.” When I said I was ready, he tore my ass up!
9) First favorite song – Soul Man, by Sam & Dave. My mom and grandfather say I would go nuts when that song came on and would sing, “I’m a soul man!” everytime the chorus came on.
10) First favorite teacher – Mrs. Jefferson 2nd Grade at Lilly Freeman Elementary School in East. St. Louis
11) My first memory period was sitting in my mothers lap with a bottle in my mouth as she watched the soap opera, “Search for Tomorrow” Believe it or not I was wearing diapers and I was probably 2. We were in my mom’s room. I will never forget that.
And finally my first lesson in subliminal race awareness – one Christmas Eve my dad asked me if I would mind if I had a “Black Santa Clause.” I said, “Heck no! I wanted the “real one” because he had all the “good stuff!” My dad kinda laughed but I can tell he was taken aback. I was only 5, so where did I learn to hate myself so early on? Hmmmm.
As much as I am an “Old Head” when it comes to music. I definitely appreciate the artist today who are original and soulful. Jill Scott comes to mind among others. Performers are cool and they serve their purposes for entertainment – but there is something about the “artist” of the world who inspire and make me feel things on the inside that words just can’t describe. Artist move you, make you think, feel, reflect, they touch you whether it’s through acting on a screen or theatre production, through painting on a canvas, through instrument or dance. With all of the technological advances and quick fix ways to imitate, I am thankful that there remains within our midst the artist who shape hearts and minds in ways that transform spirit through creative expressions. One such artist is Raheem DeVaughn who released his second CD called “Love Behind The Melody”. DeVaughn is poetic, soulful, sensual, sexual, bold, imaginative, and tasteful in his mix of old school melodies and new school innovation. I can clearly sense his love for the craft of music and the message he is looking to offer the world. He is currently on tour and I was blessed to see him recently as an opener for Jill Scott. He is headlining his own show as well so check him out in a city near you. I recommend this artist to anyone out there who loves great music. He is on my short list of potential greats for the 21st Century! Thanks Raheem! Keep on doing what your doing bro!
Supreme Court in California Overturns Gay Marriage Ban
This is a fight that is not going to go away anytime soon. One court rules over another in this politically charged issue. Certainly the issue will be back on the forefront in the upcoming election as the canidates will be questioned about the federal or supreme court judges that either Senators McCain or (more than likely) Obama will choose. One thing I know for sure, the nation was blindsided the last couple presidential elections because the gay issue took precedence over other issues that pertain to life outside one’s bedroom. As a nation we cannot affored to allow poverty, high energy and food prices, an economy in recession, unemployment, housing crisis etc. to be placed on the backburner. Let’s keep our eyes on the bigger prizes this time ya’ll!
A very special happy birthday to my main man… Alex McCaleb holding it down in the ATL! He turns 15 on Saturday. From what he tells me he is 5’9 now which would make him taller than me! Wow! I miss you and your brother so much! I hope you have a great birthday! I love you man!
Ahhhh, it’s May and time for graduations all over the nation. Congratulations to my little cousin Bre’ Fields who will graduating from Collinsville High School in Collinsville, Illinois Saturday. Sorry girl I’m gonna be working when you “walk” but I will be thinkin bout ya!
Wednesday night I got to spend some time with Rev. Michael Eric Dyson as he spoke at the St. Louis Public Library to lecutre and promote his new book, ,”April 4, 1968″ Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America. It was a great crowd and though I have met Dr. Dyson several times hearing him speak in St. Louis and Detroit, this was probably the most memorable as he preached and broke down the last few weeks and days of the MLK’s life, his obsession with death, the political climate, and how it relates to today’s voices such as Barack Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. As always Dyson was insightful, humorous, enlightening and above all else truthful. From what I can see this book is a great read and I plan to dive into it soon. I enjoyed it immensely in the front row with my boy Rich from http://www.the-rich-house.blogspot.com/
But Mike, I am still looking to get that interview from you for MY book! I got all of YOURS and six of them are signed! Holla at your boy!
~Have a great weekend!
After all of that BS that went down with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his words/associations with Senator Barack Obama, John McCain for the most part has been given all but a free ride with the endorsement of John Hagee. Hagee, a long time evangelical zealot nutcase gave a few choice words regarding the Catholic church in calling them “the apostate church” or “the great whore.” McCain glady took his endorsement anyway and claimed to be ignorant of his remarks. This is because McCain is trying to shore up as much of the republican base as he possibily can. It is interesting to see him play this game of conservative musical chairs, as on one hand he plays to his past as being an adverary of many of the ways and policies of W, and at the same time embracing many of W’s policies such as the war in Iraq, the disdain of anything Islamic, and making permanent tax cuts for the rich. Like many politicians he’ll say anything to get elected and because Hillary and Barack have been kicking each other’s asses in the headlines from state to state, he has gotten a free ride.
In addition, I believe that in addition his ride has been easier because to a degree white people can afford to be more polarizing than people of color. You’d be hard pressed to convince me that there would be that many Catholics who lean towards conservative politics who wouldn’t vote for McCain regardless of some crackpot preacher comments. But Obama’s relationship to Wright who didn’t call any religion any names has to be exhausted to the point where we are tired of hearing about it.
But what is with the generic apologies that people make often in the media? Rarely do I hear these people take responsibility for what they said – or speaking directly to the core of what was done or said.
For example, what about a racist comment like Fuzzy Zoeller’s years ago at the Masters:
“That little boy is driving well and he’s putting well. He’s doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not serve fried chicken next year. Got it?”
Then Zoeller smiled, snapped his fingers, and walked away. Then he turned and added, “or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”
After the outcry from fans who found those statements racist and stereotypical – Fuzzy’s apology went like this:
“My comments were not intended to be racially derogatory, and I apologize for the fact that they were misconstrued in that fashion.“
He apologized for our dumb selves misconstruing his comments – Imagine that?
Hagee chose a similar reprive:
In a letter to William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, Hagee wrote: “Out of a desire to advance a greater unity among Catholics and evangelicals in promoting the common good, I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.”
Uhhh does that mean he no longer thinks the Catholic church is an apostate or the great whore? And perhaps others who are not Catholic found those remarks to be offensive. He continued…
“In my zeal to oppose anti-Semitism and bigotry in all its ugly forms, I have often emphasized the darkest chapters in the history of Catholics and Protestant relations with the Jews,” Hagee wrote. “In the process, I may have contributed to the mistaken impression that the anti-Jewish violence of the Crusades and the Inquisition defines the Catholic Church. It most certainly does not.”
“I may have contributed????” What is that? It’s a poor excuse and a lame ass political statement is what it is. Can you imagine telling your significant other, “In the midst of arguing in the kitchen last night, I apologize for words I may have used that may have given you the impression that I called you a bitch.” This would never fly in real life – but in the life of media and politics it seems to be just fine.
When it comes to race or hate politics, whites who are racist tend to effectively dismiss such comments by Hagee as being a part of the process. They know that McCain probably does not have an opinion on Catholosism one way or the other – other than they vote. Therefore Hagee’s comments won’t stick to him like a leach sucking his political hopes away. As long as he holds to their political views when it comes to abortion, gay marriage, the economy, the war and a prevailing dose of subtle white superemacy.
If there was no election at stake and McCain wasn’t pining for every vote there would be no apology. clearly they got to Hagee. Meanwhile McCain never disassoiated or rejected Hagee’s endorsement anyway. And it was cool – unlike Obama who had to run the hell away from fellow Chicago resident and political firestormer The Minister Louis Farrakhan who is still getting raked over called the Jewish faith “a gutter religion” after so many years have passed. Look at how Obama responded to Tim Russert’s questions about Farrakhan’s support of his candicy:
“You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments. I think that they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally, with Minister Farrakhan.”
See the difference? We have a long way to go in this country when it comes to sincerity and acknowledgment of these subtle nuances. When we are honest with ourselves and our prejudices – then we won’t accept these lame apologies and hypocritical philosophies.
Ok – so I wrote this blog about my relationship with Jose Cuevas who didn’t speak English – that is till I caught him hitting the “hippie lettuce” in the garage – But I mentioned during that story that my other Mexican friend Alfred Hernandez (who spoke English very well thank you) had a sister that I liked named Leticia.
Leticia or “Letsy’ as her family lovingly referred to her was in my 5th grade class. She had fair skin and long brown hair. She wasn’t necessarily the prettiest girl in the class – she had a serious look about her though and she was quiet and yet smart. I was smitten. She was shy so she didn’t socialize much. I never had a real reason to like her for real cause we never talked about anything. It was just a crush thing I suppose.
Anyway somehow it got out that I had eyes for her. But no one really said anything out loud. That is until Robert Sanchez decided to blow up the class. I don’t remember the details exactly, but the teacher was out of the class and we were all joking around and talking. Someone said something about Leticia that had nothing to do with me or boys, but Robert took it upon himself to blurt out… “Leticia? Oh that’s McCalee’s lady.” My mouth fell open and as I darted my head over to her seat I sighed cause I knew she was terribly shy. She was not the subject of any classroom kid conversations and this was the worse one to start with. I could see the fury in her eyes and she must have thought I was the one who spread that rumor. Well I didn’t. I never talked about Leticia - I think I told Ivel Jennings or Rob Laskowski but definitely not Sanchez especially.
I wasn’t savvy enough to approach her and assure her that it wasn’t me. I was handcuffed without knowing it. But I hoped it would blow over. It didn’t. I called Leticia from time to time. I would be so nervous that I would write down the things I should talk about so I wouldn’t be holding the phone as if I was playing a game of ‘silent chicken.’ But the tone was always set negatively from the go.
ME: Hello. May I speak to Leticia?
Brother Hector for instance: Hold on…. Letsy – telephone.
Me: Hi Leticia how are you?
Leticia: What do you want?
Me: Uhhh, just wanted to see how you were doing. That was some spelling test today huh?
Leticia: I gotta go… bye. CLICK
Thats how it went on more than one occasion… or whenever I had the guts to call her. And don’t even think about speaking to her at school. Cause that was out. I thought for sure that she hated me. That was until I stayed the night at her house as a invite of my boy Alfred’s. We did a home and home Friday night stay and when I came over to my surprise Leticia and I got along great. We ate, watched TV, laughed till our stomachs hurt, ran around the yard and at night chased each other around the house having pillow fights. I couldn’t believe the girl I was seeing. She was smiling, laughing, more talkative than I had ever heard in school. We had a ball. Nothing romantic at all – but big fun as kids just being kids.
Upon getting back to class on Monday I spotted ‘Letsy’ and thought of speaking or telling her again how much fun I had at her house with her family. She shot me a subtle look as if to say, “You better not!” I got the message. Leticia never had anything against me. She thought I was an OK guy. But the thought of it appearing that she had ‘a thing’ with me was not going to be acceptable. Nevermind that we never had anything romantic goin on in the first place. It was just the appearance of it. If she was like my youngest daughter is now at the age of 10/11, she didn’t even like boys yet. My kid loves her some Chris Brown but that doesn’t count. My point is that Leticia wasn’t messing around with any of the little cats in the school yard.
It was all good. I never called Leticia again. I avoided her at school. And she in turn didn’t give me the gas face anymore if we happened to bump into one another. We had an “understanding.” It was my first lesson in pupply love and 5th grade politics.
**I had not spoken to Alfred or Leticia since I left South Bend in 1981. I did speak to their mom about 3 years ago. I called their old number just to see if it was still good. Alfred’s mom remembered me and gave me his number, but he never answered and whomever answered the phone didn’t seem to care to give him the messages. Leticia – married with at least four kids at the time.