Yo… so THIS HERE really blessed me! I remember every teacher who treated me with love, discipline and care starting with my kindergarten and first grade teacher Miss Jefferson at Lilly Freeman elementary, in East St. Louis, (ESL) Miss Powers who became Mrs. Horvath when she married Mr. Horvath my 7th and 8th grade science teacher and baseball coach at Harrison in South Bend, Indiana , to Miss Luster my English teacher at Hughes Quinn (back in ESL) who never seemed to smile until I raised my hand to congregate the verb ‘Go,’ and I belted out with authority, “GO-WENT-LEFT,” (She busted out laughing with the rest of the class, (It’s go-going-gone kids) to Miss Massenburg at Lincoln (ESL) who’s demeanor reminded me so much of my mother’s (cool, laid back and never raised her voice but could look a laser beam through you if you didn’t act right… (I NEVER got on her bad side. I only wanted to impress her!) I took English AND Creative Writing as a Sr. so I was in her class twice a day when many tried to avoid her for one! Her classes weren’t easy but I wanted that challenge.
Though officiating sports is not on the same level as teaching a class day in and day out, I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ll drudge my way out the door to go do a baseball game or a Lacrosse match and as soon as I see the kids line up to do stick checks, their bright smiling faces perk me up and remind me WHY I’M THERE! Youth officials ARE an extension of the classroom. They look up to us, rely on us to do right by them. To care about them. I get so much energy and JOY from these adults in training. With all the crap in this world that our children have to deal with I’m honored to be a part of the solution! And I praise each and every one of my officiating partners who care like I do! You damn sho know who you are!
Last night was really scary. I came extremely close to having an all out panic attack/nervous breakdown. I shaked uncontrollably and there were these audible sounds coming from my mouth as if I were an animal or something unable to speak a human language. I had never been that bad before, not even in 2009 when I went to the hospital for a mental breakdown. This was much worse.
I don’t know man. I honestly feel as if this will be my greatest achievement to come back from and survive or the ultimate crash and burn that was meant to be all along. Have I been fooling myself this whole time? Just kicking the can down the road pretending to be someone I’m not. If you ask me, I’ve been pretty damn true to myself on a day to day with all people. Still at the end of the day, it’s never enough is it? I’m never enough.
A close friend of mine planned her home going service. By this I mean she wrote down all she wanted down on her behalf for people to remember her by. She has the music, the themes and all of that. I’ve been meaning to do it but never have. It’s definitely time to do that whether anyone actually follows up on it or not. Through some big time discipline, investing and savings I have amassed more money than I have ever even seen in my life. Like what the hell am I going to do with it? I’ll have to think of something.
Needless to say these are some very dark times. There is a battle raging in me. A fire. I fight and then I flight. Sometimes at the same time damn near. I’m scared. I’m afraid of many things. I wish I could just disappear into thin air right now. Never even to be remembered for anything at all. And by the way, one song I would have in my service, if anyone cared to show is, April In Paris by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
Being at work is easy. Leaving is hard because my time is not narrated and focused. I cannot believe how discombobulated I am right now. And no one has any idea. Well, someone does. I shared just a little of this with a friend. But they really don’t know the depths. I couldn’t explain it.
There are times when I have though to myself, I am really glad to be alive. One of the funnest parts of life is growing (funnest is that even a word LOL) – yea I said it – FUNNEST – and learning wisdoms that only time and experience teach. Sometimes it’s art, a song or the ability to make a great difference to someone. I don’t know which one of these will ultimately win. The dark side is definitely winning right now. There are definitely some things I want to see through. And I hope I have the strength and capacity to do them.
So I have had this blog spot for well over 10 years. And it’s true that I haven’t been the writer I wished to be. The thing is, I have to really be motivated and passionate about my writing. Not necessarily a bad thing but definitely can add to the lack of words. Not to mention I have been rather active on my YouTube channel podcast. (Click like and subscribe to 4RealThoShow.) Anyhoo, I have the itch at least temporarily with this brilliant idea of mine.
You now how people say you should journal? Well I have started more than a few. I used to fuss over whether it was better to type, or write out the words. And with few exceptions, most of the time when it comes to the doing one way or the other I come up blank. But this time…. I said this time I may be on to something new. It’s not exciting to me when I think of writing on some blank paper or type into a word document thoughts that only I would see. Not to say there isn’t a place for that. But right now, I would like to start journaling again for the umpteenth time with the exception of I will share my thoughts with the world. The reason is simple. For years the bulk of my motivation in life is to leave this world a better place than where it was when I showed up. I find in my podcast people relate to my honestly and vulnerability. I’m that guy that often says things that others just think. There are levels to this and there are even things I wouldn’t say that others do. I find those freeing. With that as this journey begins my hope is that somewhere someplace someone will get some something they need. It can be a laugh, (yes you may laugh with or at me) or something to make you think, perhaps be inspired, encouraged or simply recognize you are not alone. I’m going to keep it 100 with the intentions of not vomiting all over the pages. Hope you enjoy!
For my first journal entry I want to discuss something I have noticed about myself before but never really addressed it thoroughly. When I am tremendously challenged, troubled or depressed, I don’t eat. I mean I go straight hard cold turkey from the moment the dreariness sets in until I come out of the fog. There have been times when I wondered in the back end corners of my mind why I react this way. Well, I think I’ve come up with a few answers as I am in that cycle as I write.
Self Punishment – This goes all the way back to decades and decades of depression, low self-esteem and self worth. Food to me is pleasurable. As a matter of fact, I really enjoy the anticipation of a great meal. It can be a fun ritual especially after a long day/evening at work. I get my little set up together, the meal is hot, the drink is the perfect companion and the combination is fit for the Great Wind Down. That’s what men call exhaling and relaxing. The Great Wind Down also may call for a toasty and tasty cigar again with the perfectly selected drink to accompany it. There I am, munching or puffing away while watching something entertaining on one of the assorted channels. Maybe sports, maybe comedy, maybe a drama. Either way, this process is a big ole A+ when it comes to reward centers in my brain. When I am sufficiently down, I don’t want the reward. I want to suffer. Not to mention the hunger pangs keeps me in remembrance of where I am in the first place. Keeps me mindful, sharp and cautious while observing my surroundings.
Quietness – When I’m in this space my spirit tends to really settle down too. Well that’s after the initial mounds and mounds of anxiety that may or may not keep me up all night. This was the case just two nights ago. As tired as I was I just couldn’t fall asleep. I was surprised at how the next 16 hours went after getting up for work again. Anxiety can both wear you out and keep you up at the same time. It was only my utter fatigue and ganja gummies that assured my rest the next night. After the initial constant barrage of anxiety subsides some and I start to ‘think’ and observe what is going on inside my brain, I start examining why I feel the way I do a bit deeper. I try to decide if my feelings are righteous or reactionarily human. There is good food for thought when it comes to this exercise. I step away from being in the midst of the thing in my head and watch it from the outside. I try to be curious as opposed to critical. Where is my opportunity for growth? Especially since I know that deep inside my feelings of being hurt, feeling betrayed or whatever the case, my reaction is as primal as any wounded creature looking to survive a mortal threat. I’m a grown man, but the securities and protection methods I use were there as long as I can remember. Oh, and another thing… all of this going on is totally private. No one knows that I am not eating. If I am in a situation where it’s impossible to avoid a meal without questions, then I will choose to eat something to keep my inner matters to myself. In this quietness I focus real hard on my mental capacity. And most of all I don’t want to say or do anything to reveal what’s going on to anyone. Also and just as important, I don’t want to act or react out of the pain that I am suffering through. Doing that would just make things way worse. I would rather chill and lay in the cut till I figure out something intelligent and meaningful as a way to respond or move towards a resolution.
I think that’s what I got right now. As I sit here trying to think of more, they ultimately come back to one of the first two reasons. Just more details but pointing to the same picture. Less seen, less heard, more listening and doing what I can to deal with the tensions. May listen to a book, listen to music, (very specific made to the mood music) a podcast or silence. There does seem to be something pure about these moments though. They are truly intentional and shows some discipline.
If the thought crossed your mind and you’re wondering if I ever reach out for help in such situations, the answer is sometimes yes. I can recall feeling some type of way as folk say, and calling several people in my closest circle for comfort, advice or an ear. Several times I couldn’t get ahold of any of them. I always took that as a sign that I am supposed to deal with this challenge alone. So I do. There are some times when things are so bad, that only that one special friend will do – that’s cause he knows me, gets me, accepts me and never judges me. Even in that I am mindful not to pull that emergency card often. Only the worst of the worst. I do not take my friends for granted.
So that’s all I got for now. Feel free to comment if you like – or ask questions. Only positive vibes allowed.
When the verdict came through I was surprised, that justice would be done. And then I caught myself saying, ‘justice is done.’ And then I realized that one verdict, one conviction of the murder of an unarmed Black man in the scheme of the 140 so who have been murdered unarmed in America, and all those harmed in custody across the United Kingdom as well; One conviction is no more justice than eating one salad is a diet. Accountability perhaps. This is accountability. It’s funny how I don’t imagine that to be any solace to the family members with a hole in their heart.
None of you are responsible, perhaps, for this. …But I imagine this is very detached from your reality. But I have been saying again and again and again that we must understand that the narrative that the police use and that many organizations use about ‘bad apples;” that’s 15th Century, ‘A Cox Tale,’ it’s from Chaucer’s Cox Tale about bad apples. We’ve been using it wrong. It’s not a good thing to say we’ve only got a couple of bad apples. Because Chaucer knew something that we’ve should have known by now is that one bad apple spreads it rot throughout. But what will you do? …across the course of your day. This Stephen Lawrence Day? There will be an opportunity for you to witness incivility. It might be racism or sexism it might be something nothing to do with a protected category but you will spot it. And the question will be, ‘If you are interested in justice this systemic justice where the meeting out of what is right is normal and habitual. What will you do to sustain that? People like to think that culture is defined by the most common behavior. Or by our rightful conviction of the egregious offenders. But it is not. Culture is defined by the worst behavior you tolerate. On your next team’s meeting, your next zoom meeting, your next in person meeting, what will you do to ensure a culture of inclusion and justice? People never talk about what we lose. We imagine the people murdered by the police are somehow unworthy. But we lose so much. As if we’re an ancient civilization sacrificing Black blood to the earth in the hope that enough of it will create justice.
When Henry Charles Albert David and Rachel Meghan Markle, aka Harry and Meghan, decided to pack up and leave the majesty, the pomp and the trappings of the Royal Family I knew it was ultimately about racism. Not because I was a cynic looking for a fight. In fact, I never gave a rat’s ass about The Queen or any of the madness surrounding it all. I remember asking someone to explain to me what it was all about in the first place. Didn’t America become ‘American’ in part because they wanted to get as far away from the monarchy as possible? I was surprised to learn out the Queen didn’t actually run anything policy wise for the UK. Yea, I was really informed.
Still, when Meghan and Harry became an item I noticed early on the code words and dog whistles surrounding them in the media. Especially in Europe. The realist, not the cynic in me knew white folk stuck up on the gravitas that is all things Queen and royalty would view Harry’s choice as something taboo. It’s one thing to sew one’s royal oats through youthful shenanigan’s and discrete indiscretions. It’s another to bring those indiscretions home… and for all the world to see! Well I never!
When the couple left for Canada in early 2020, during the beginnings of a pandemic no doubt, in my heart I knew Harry was in essence choosing his wife over his position and subsequently his family. Watching Oprah Winfrey’s interview brought it all the way home for the world to see. Watching that interview brought many thoughts and few emotions to bear for me.
Meghan Markle is a G! For those who don’t get the lingo that’s short for ‘Gangsta’, (spelled correctly) a Boss, one who fully understands the situations and circumstances presented to her and has perfected the art of perseverance and stamina to become the winner! She is poised, peaceful, vulnerably and authentically human. Seeing her talk about the utter lack of support from the press and Harry’s family, as well as the betrayal of her father was heartbreaking yet familiarly typical. Rejecting her was typical. The heartbreaking part was seeing the pain of rejection and back stabbing after giving her most ardent attempts to broker peace through some compromises understanding the traditions of the institution. An institution which foundations are grounded upon caste and a total unwillingness to cede space for her humanity. She never had a chance. Her father, also a white man found pleasure in her mother’s body yet betrayed the seed his private joys produced when he saw an advantage for himself. Oh how so typical. Thomas Jefferson would be proud. Markle was broken to the point of not wanting to live any longer. Seeing her victorious now, is as much a triumph as was the evil attempts to destroy her from within that system.
Harry is also a G! A remarkable young man who no doubt learned from the events pre and post the death of his mother. He could have easily chose the status of his birthright and lived the ultimate celebrity welfare experience like the rest of the clan. And yet he honored a commitment he made to his wife and infant son choosing love and freedom in circumstances most would never have the courage to overcome. It was refreshing hearing him admit he had blind spots when it came to the racial/caste systems and how he had to learn to see through his beloved eyes. Instead of encouraging her to deal with it, he got her the hell out of there. Now estranged from his father, his brother and many other relatives he moved to another country, escaping the welfare system having to figure out how to provide for his family; not only for food and shelter but for basic bodily security. Though he wouldn’t say who had the audacity to talk about the skin tone of his potential offspring, one can still see the disgust in his eyes just thinking about it.
Hearing Markle address Buckingham Palace’s system as ‘The Firm;’ describing how her passport and keys were taken, her freedoms heavily restricted, it sounded like some Skull and Bone shit to me! A syndicate, an underworld of puppet masters lording over its inhabitants. At all cost the business, the machine of the Queen and the systems it supports must be continually reinforced to sustain its power. The palpable relationship Harry spoke of between the Palace and the British Press was also telling. With hands scratching one another’s backs I can only imagine the debauchery within the Palace walls during those Christmas parties.
Speaking of The Queen. Both Harry and Meghan speak adoringly of her and vouch for both her guidance and support. This leads me to believe she has no say in a damn thing that goes on around there. Or at least she believes she doesn’t. If she is as supportive and loving of her grandson and his family, how in the hell was his security detail pulled? Is she is a literal figure head ruled by The Firm? Or is she quietly complicit with her own situation?
Ultimately these are personal matters though limited details are played out in the public. I am very happy that Harry and Meghan spoke their truth. I am happy the race/caste system in the Palace have been exposed and revealed fully enough. Most of all, I am glad Harry was strong and courageous enough escaped the bullshit that killed his mother and with his wife able to raise two healthy and well balanced children. Good for them! Love wins!
Ya’ll remember when they got mad at NWA for singing “Fuck Tha Police?” They arrested these dudes in Detroit for singing a song. They group never harmed actual police. Remember when Ice-T had to concede to drop the distribution of the song “Cop Killers?” Body Count never did harm to any police. On January 6 these defenders of Whiteness actually KILLED and maimed COPS! But in the Whiteness Manifesto, these murders are merely casualties of war. They rap themselves like Vanilla Ice:
Fuck the police coming straight to The Capitol
My guy lost the election and it’s bull!
Stand by until the leader speaks
We have the authority to kill a Pelosi!
THIS is the game! They never actually cared about POLICE! They ONLY care about the power the police have to enforce Whiteness. As long as Black bodies are being battered and murdered it’s all good! Otherwise… seriously, fuck the police!
We welcome special guest and friend of the show Shonte’ Harmon Young to discuss local and national politics; Protest, Police Unions, Defunding the Police and Elections. We end the show with a little St. Louis fun.