The Blessing in The Bulls#@!

This is a Facebook thread in which I was engaged in yesterday. 聽It’s long… but the ending is where the gem is!

It starts with the photo below posted from a previous friend of mine. 聽This was my attempt to work through it.

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Christopher McCaleb#disappointed聽馃槮

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Cari Atkinson聽Sorry…I will not leave myself in any situation that I could get injured.

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Christopher McCaleb聽But you would drive the truck or advocate to injure or murder those who are using their constitutional right to assemble and protest?

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Cari AtkinsonChristopher McCaleb聽Not advocating anything, but not ok with the protests that are blocking any persons right-of-way. Protests could be made without making people late to work, blocking medical needs, etc. Again, I will not leave myself in a possible situation to where I could be in danger.

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Christopher McCaleb聽One may or may not agree with the WAY a protest is done. The thing about them…is that by nature they tend to be uncomfortable. That’s kind of the point. That being said, regardless the image of the truck is saying… = those who protest run the over! It’s very explicit and prolific. The person posting, liking the photo are saying, “run them over!” That is the solution… to a specific group of people. This could be me, my sons, daughters, friends, (white and black) I’ve supported your fight to live at all cost. This is what supporters of protest are doing as well…fighting for the right to live and be protected. Making statement or posting images that they should be run over, that they don’t have jobs, is horrifically insensitive at best, hateful at worst. I’m speaking to you not as a critic, but a friend. I hope you will reconsider this position and take into consideration what I am saying… if you consider me a friend as well. Which I believe you do!

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Cari Atkinson聽I did not state any of the protesters didn’t have jobs! I stated I will not be late for my employment, late for a medical procedure or emergency because of the right-of-way being blocked. Protests can be done without shutting down highways! I again will not leave myself or my family in danger. I do consider you my friend, we just have different views on closing down highways or businesses!

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Cari Atkinson聽My fight against cancer and my life has not stopped anyone from anything!

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Christopher McCaleb聽I agree… but everyone I know is pretty united on standing with our friends who are fighting cancer. And if cancer treatment and research were to be halted, not fully endorsed by society and people died, you may find it worth interrupting the normalcy of life. Well, you would let’s just affirm that. I definitely don’t recall large numbers of anyone missing medical service because of a protest.

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Christopher McCaleb聽Jobless post you posted today…

 

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Cari Atkinson聽Let it go聽Christopher McCaleb…we have total different mind sets and will never agree. I would never block a highway or close down a business because of cancer!

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Christopher McCaleb聽Even if you wouldn’t聽Cari Atkinson, saying that protesters don’t have jobs, (which is a harsh, unfair and UNTRUE statement, and you DID post it though you denied it initially) and posting a truck photo that says it’s going to run protesters over… (does not mention emergency vehicles…it mentions being late for work) is therefore very offensive, is not misleading. These two photos paint a very insensitive and hateful narrative. Would you disagree in this light?

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Cari Atkinson聽I am ending this conversation…I posted what I posted because I will not be blocked from work or medical needs, etc and in potential danger due to protests. Everyone needs to get back to work and trust that things will work out the way it should. These protests are not peaceful and are causing more damage then good as far as I am concerned. I am one of the nicest people you will ever met and have never done harm to anyone! If you cannot accept this then please feel free to delete me…sorry!

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Christopher McCaleb聽End it if you must. What you cannot do is veil your so called niceness while dismissing the hatefulness withing the dismissal of a people who cannot wait and trust that things will work out the way it should. No change in the history of the world every happened that way. FOR ANYONE including women. Your words and photos speak for your character in this case. Meanwhile, if that bothers you, then you are free to do the deleting.

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Christopher McCaleb聽In a nutshell this is what those post say to me: All you black folk screaming Black Lives Matter need to go somewhere and get a job. Stop protesting. People like Philando Castille and Alton Sterling and every other one deserved what they got. If I had this truck and you were in my way while I’m going somewhere, I would love to use it to batter my way through you all inconveniencing my life!

Nicole Richardson聽Protesting is fine when it is not keeping others from getting to where they’re going. It is not OK to block roads, why do protesters feel that what they are doing comes before others and where others are going? Smh…this is not peaceful protesting goi…See More

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Tompall Gibson聽If law biding citizens were protesting, there would not be a need for such a truck. With that being said, over the last couple of years we have all witnessed these protests being more about criminal actions rather than a well-educated debate on fairness & equality.

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Cari Atkinson聽Well stated…thank you!

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Christopher McCaleb聽Let’s examine this a bit before I go about my merry way. #1) There is NO data that says that the protest do more harm than good. That seems to be theme with you guys but its unsupported. The same goes for the protest not being peaceful. Again looking at DATA, not hyperbole and bullshit 鈥 of the hundreds of thousands of protestors nationwide, the number of incidents and individuals who protested in anyway but peaceful is miniscule. That鈥檚 just a fact!
#2) What you are really saying鈥 by not acknowledging these law abiding citizens as relative and relevant is that you look at them and their mere presence as an affront to your own comfort zone.
3) Imagine if someone had said, 鈥淚f police didn鈥檛 kill unarmed innocent black boys and men, there would be no need for a sniper to kill 5 police officers? YET you are totally comfortable with speaking of the need for the truck. This is because you don鈥檛 value the lives of black people who are fighting for survival.
4) And this is the best point of all. Today in my class where I teach Critical Thinking Debate Skills, I taught my young students, (only ONE who happens to be black) the concept of sacred cows. After explaining the origins and definitions, I used examples of people worshipping their sacred cows using examples of police and BLM. Then I showed them the photos of the truck, and the frog, and read each of our written statements to the class. I didn鈥檛 make any judgements but I did ask them to make sure to let me know if I was in anyway sassy, threatening or unreasonable. I did NOT ask them to comment on anything any of you said.

As it turned out, each student found the truck photo horrifyingly hateful. They were disgusted. I never commented one way or the other. Upon reading your reasoning and responses, to a person they commented that your comments were condescending at best, racist at worst. They were surprised that I reacted with reason in stayed the course in an attempt to gain at least a small bit of consensus鈥omething we could all agree on.

Afterwards, and after they shared their own thoughts without my comments, I told them the story of how I met Cari, how we helped raised over $100,000 for Backstoppers. I told them how we remained friends and how I supported her along with many others during her fight against cancer. Then I explained that when it comes to MOST of the white friends I met during this event and others, they were good with me as long as I was with them and supported their causes. But when it came to my life or the lives of those who look like me, they were not willing to stand with me at all. Not only that, but when I tried to have intelligent and heartfelt conversations with them, they would prove like Cari, dismissive, combative and put off. My students recognized that the cops for you guys are sacred cows. That you disdain anything that comes between your concepts of challenging your comfort level of white superiority. THESE WERE WHITE KIDS! I explained that whenever I am having racial conversations with these particular set of white friends, they never give an inch about anything. For instance, though I have protested before, I wouldn鈥檛 block a street or a highway. But I can empathize with those who would. I鈥檓 willing to concede that this may not be the best way to get a point across. But Cari nor any of you are willing to back off this image and message of a truck running over American citizens as if this were Tiananmen Square. Not even one鈥 聽鈥漌ell Chris, I can see what you mean by the image being threatening and offensive. 聽NOPE鈥 can鈥檛 give an inch. NOT ONE BIT. 聽So next time people say WE should come together, remember it takes two people. Its easy to see from the thread, that my friend Cari does not value my life nor is she concerned about police violence as it relates to people like me. She鈥檚 refuses to VALIDATE me or my experiences or engage in a serious discussion. My students should do better. Kill their sacred cows and argue from a position geared towards respect and solutions.

One white student in particular came to me and said, Mr. McCaleb this was really great. My parents are like those people in the post. They are really sacred towards the police. Won鈥檛 give an inch in any discussion. I used to be that way too. I鈥檓 white, middle class, private school. This issue really bothers me. 聽And this entire environment scares me! 聽 But I was so afraid to talk about it. This class was a safe place to do so. I feel so much better.

For that I say, THANK YOU to you all for giving me content to teach our youth. I have hope for them. And while you may dismiss me, I am out here making a difference and changing lives for the better鈥or all people INCLUDING my own.

Like聽路聽Reply聽路聽Just now

 

…..AND WITH THAT SHE DELETED ME! 聽And she took down the post… not because she thought better of it, but because her racism was exposed and undeniable!

 

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A People’s History of Pots, Kettles, Finger Waggers, Bullies, and Accidental Amnesiacs

The wonderful thing about being in America is having the ability to speak one’s mind. 聽Not only that, there are so many ways an individual can express his/her thoughts these days via social media. 聽Add to these traditional media such as newspapers, magazines and television, we find ourselves surrounded with 24/7 access to thought and opinions on all subjects political, social, religious and so forth.

What I do find particularly frustrating at times is the simplicity and lack of nuance and imagination within many thoughts and opinions. 聽With the tools we have to communicate with one another, there is so much opportunity to discuss, debate, and grow as a society. 聽But what seems to happen on most occasions, is that the simplest, most unsophisticated thoughts are the ones that not only get the headlines, but are also leading the discussions. I plan to follow that thought up with another blog post soon. 聽But for this thought, I will direct my attention to the trending topic of Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams.

Personally, I don’t care what people think of Sam in terms of his sexuality. 聽You can be for it or against it. 聽In this world, and certainly in this country, people are going to have an opinion on what they think is right or wrong for whatever reason. 聽As we can see via many comments on Sam kissing his boyfriend on ESPN as he spoke to Rams’ brass, 聽there is no shortage of opinions on either side. 聽I’ll address my thoughts on it shortly.

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People who know me understand that I have no sacred cows when it comes to my perspectives. 聽All of us individually and as a group deserve a basic level of respect. And we all deserve our fair share of criticism. I love being black and I love black people. 聽That doesn’t mean I vouch for everything black folks say and do. 聽I am pro equal rights for all, regardless of ethnicity, political, religious preference, sexual orientation and so forth. 聽Still, I don’t blindly endorse what any political party, Christians, Muslims, atheist, the straight or gay community says and do either. Unfortunately, far too many have a ‘you’re for me or against me’ victimization mentality,聽when they are called on the carpet for inconsistencies or hypocrisies.

With this in mind, on the subject of Sam’s PDA with his male partner, I have a message to all parties who care.

The Religious/White Folk: I’ve already spoken to you about this before. 聽Be anti-gay. 聽Just don’t talk to me about morality and your kids seeing Sam and his boyfriend kissing on TV. 聽Fact of the matter is, Ray Rice knocked his fiancee’ the hell out and I don’t see any of you protesting that. 聽Straight players have聽publicly cheated on their wives, laid pipe all over the country, objectify women in strip clubs making it rain… and again, you never mentioned that in your pulpits or your social media formats. 聽What trips me out the most though, is that for every preacher, politician and anti-gay public figure, a certain percentage of them are closet drag queens, or somebody on the down low having sex with men. 聽Seriously? 聽

The Religious/Black Folk in General: See message to white folk. 聽But add to this that as you say things like, “I’m tired of this being thrown in my face; when you say, “Yuck!” or “Gross” or “I don’t want my kids to see this on TV…,” remember that Dorothy Dandridge got in a pool at a hotel, and the same white folks who said they don’t have a problem with black people had that pool drained. Traditionally, racist聽white folks have always had a use for black folks. 聽As slaves, mistresses, servants, entertainers, or even as a ‘friend.’ 聽JUST NOT AS EQUALS. 聽There are layers. 聽I don’t expect everyone to accept me for who I am. 聽But not attacking me is not the same as respecting me and protecting my right to exist as an equal! 聽For a person to say I have gay friends/family, 聽but I wouldn’t teach my kids that it’s OK, is like saying, I don’t have anything against black people, I just don’t want my kids dating them. 聽It’s still bigotry. 聽At least admit that. 聽That doesn’t make you a criminal, it just means there is some potential for growth.

**Most bigotry is in some form or fashion related to sexual fears and myths. 聽That’s another story.**

Look, we all have biases to overcome. The first time I saw Omar Little kiss his partner on The Wire, I was like, “Whoa WAIT! 聽What just happened? 聽It wasn’t a shock because it was sickening. 聽It was shocking because I hadn’t seen it before.

Black people especially should be mindful of our own history with biases against us and the imagery that was important towards our own progression as a people. When I was a kid, I remember my parents gathering us around the television to watch The Flip Wilson show because there wasn’t another show like that for black people. 聽There were hardly NO shows for black people. From ‘Good Times’ to ‘The Jeffersons,’ we were able to receive images on television about our families, our values, often referencing issues that were important to us. 聽Many times in Southern states, they refused to show black people in a light that was integration friendly. 聽They lost their minds when Petula Clark touched Harry Belafonte’s arm in 1968. 聽Can you imagine what it was like when Jim Brown (who was then the personification of black male sexual power and prowess) did a love scene with white sex symbol Rachel Welch in “100 Rifles?” 聽Talk about an OMG moment! 聽This struggle has continued despite many strides. 聽Even when the Cosby show was on, many criticized the show because they felt a black family with a father who was a doctor and a mother who was an attorney was ‘unrealistic.’

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Naturally, the gay and lesbian community is going to support images on television that reflect a celebration of their value and right to exist. 聽So seeing Sam kiss his boyfriend at the pinnacle point of his life is a big deal. 聽There is no gay conspiracy to force acceptance upon the straight community. 聽Will and Grace is for them is what Sanford and Son was for us.

Acknowledging this puts me in the cross hairs of many of my straight friends. Even now, on social media when I defend gays, I am聽often聽assumed to be gay. They say things like, “I don’t care about what you do with your life.” When I try to show them the parallel between our plights with bigotry, I’m told, “Be gay and do you! 聽Enjoy your lifestyle… but don’t force it down my throat!” 聽 Remind me of how many whites were and are called “nigger lovers,’ when they stand up for our rights as a people.

I believe the topics of free thought/free speech is a wonderful thing to discuss. 聽Donald Sterling’s fiasco as well as Michael Sam’s coverage are just the latest opportunity which brings that subject to bear. 聽I just hope that we maximize all these thoughts and speeches to do more than hyperbolize.

You know what came to my mind when I first saw the kiss? 聽I thought, “Look, Michael Sam is just like most other African-American big time athletes. 聽They get to college and go white! 聽No different!

See,.. now there is a bias for you!

 

 

 

What’s Wrong With The Christian Church?

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Well that would take all day.聽 Not that the church has the market cornered on ungodly beliefs and actions.聽 Every religion I know of has its flaws.

But since this is a mostly Christian nation and many Christians sects especially those of the Evangelical modes like to pontificate loudly when it comes to certain “choice sins”, I am always amazed when a preacher like this one can…….

here it comes…..

wait for it…..

pray for the death of the president!

Now this is a little surprising to me but certainly not shocking.聽 The fact that Rev. Drake – the little ball of hate said what he did is one thing.聽 Neither Christianity in general nor the church specifically can be responsible for one preacher’s words.聽

The question I have is why is not every Church in and out of his peer group calling for this guy on the carpet?聽 Why is he allowed to stand in the pulpit and preach the “Word of God”?聽聽 Where is the leadership?聽 Where is the righteous indignation?聽

And some folk like to say that the President’s election has made us post racial?聽 There will be foxes and wolves in any organization.聽 I get that.聽 But the church has to police itself.聽 And silence on the part of those who don’t believe Jesus is calling for the death of the president is just as harmful as an endorsement.

I believe it was a Christian who said something to the effect of,

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing.”

Personally, I tend to wonder how good the good men are these days who are leading the pulpits and allow one of their own to spew this kind of rhetoric.