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!

 

The Hate That Hate Produced (Part Duex)

Dog Whistle Politics: It means putting out a message that, like a high-pitched dog whistle, is only fully audible to those at whom it is directly aimed. 聽The intention is to make potential supporters sit up and take notice while avoiding offending those to whom the message will not appeal.” – The Economist聽

History sure has a way of repeating itself… over and over again. 聽Especially in an area where honest聽dialogue never existed. 聽When it comes to race, America remains for the most part in a state of cowardly denial, is willingly senile, operating within a glass bubble, exposed, but unaware. 聽As the Trump train powers through American politics and discourse, I am most amused by the rock throwing/hand hiding of not only the other GOP candidates, but many of their supporters who ‘act as if聽‘they are put off with The Donald and his rhetoric. 聽I’ve spent the last eight years attempting to dialogue with them as the Obama presidency continued to reveal the obvious underbelly of white racial rage. 聽But all I heard was that I was making something out of nothing. 聽That I was race baiting. 聽I understand that in many cases privilege is a helluva blinder. 聽Anytime privilege of any kind is threatened, it feels like discrimination to the preferred beneficiary. 聽This is true with not only race, but gender, sexuality, class and so forth. 聽The Obama presidential campaign in 2007 brought to bear the threatened privilege of White America’s fear of Black progress in a post slavery post Jim Crow聽nation. 聽As the rhetoric spewed in the months leading up to November the scene played out in both a Twainian and Shakespearean fashion.

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968, you can’t say “nigger” 鈥 that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced聽bussing, states’ rights and聽all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me 鈥 because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”聽鈥斺塋ee Atwater, Republican Party Strategist 聽1981

Reagan

This was how it was during the Reagan era. 聽From the day he announced his campaign on Sunday August 3, 1980 聽in Philadelphia, MS of all places, he looked to perfect the art of Dog Whistle Code Speech. 聽In case you didn’t know, Philadelphia, MS in Neshoba County, was the same town where聽three young civil rights workers; a 21-year-old black Mississippian, James Chaney, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24 were murdered on June 21, 1964.聽The three young men were chased in their car, abducted, shot at close range, then buried in an earthen dam by the local Ku Klux Klan. 聽The very location indicated a message that Reagan was sending to his white conservative audience. 聽He chose a significant place where the empirical history of White Supremacy reigned. 聽In his speech he wasted no time in mentioning ‘welfare reform. 聽He continued to wax eager the virtues of ‘states rights.’ 聽

I believe in state’s rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. And I believe that we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment. And if I do get the job I’m looking for, I’m going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there. – Ronald Reagan 1980

States Rights/Decoded = A reference dating back to the conflict of the Civil War between the Union and the Confederate. 聽The Confederate believed it was the rights of states to decide whether they wanted to own slaves and endorse slavery as an institution. 聽Southerners who preferred slavery, and subsequently Jim Crow and segregation laws believe the federal government overstepped it’s bounds in undermining what they feel were their ‘states rights.’

Welfare Reform/Decoded =聽A term directed towards poor or middle class whites intended to focus them on poor minorities. 聽Its purpose is to describe said minorities as ‘takers,’ who are lazy, unmotivated and unproductive while draining the economy, thus making it harder on white people, who are in turn hard workers. 聽It says nothing of the statistics regarding the percentages of actual welfare recipients. 聽It only assumes minorities, specifically black folk are the takers. 聽It’s also limited to individuals, not taking into account any聽corporations聽or corporate聽executives who may benefit from government ‘subsidies.’ The difference in the words ‘subsidies’ vs聽‘welfare’ directly determines the response of the hearer.聽

Over the last 35 years or so, the dog-whistle style worked pretty well. 聽Nixon, Reagan, Bushes 1 & 2, and even Clinton benefited from using coded language to project a narrative. 聽But something happened when Barack Obama became a serious candidate for president. 聽Coded language slowly began to give way to a more bold and ballistic approach as White anger and fear that the person who would become the face and symbol of leadership in these United States of America could be a black male.

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One of the first series of racially motivated attacks was the so called ‘birther movement’s’ questioning of Obama’s status as a United States citizen. 聽Many Whites including now GOP front runner Donald Trump riled that Obama was born in Kenya, East Africa as opposed to Hawaii. 聽Trump went on to say that he had investigators in Hawaii that would prove conclusively that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii. 聽Hillary Clinton’s supporters jumped in as well questioning the origin of Obama’s citizenship. 聽In spite of there never being such evidence presented by Trump, so many White Americans latched on to the conspiracy theory, that it became a thing; so much of a thing that eventually the White House released a copy of the ‘long form’ certificate. 聽This would not satisfy those who were set on believing that since the day of his birth Barack Obama was raised from birth to infiltrate the White House, take White people’s guns and make America a Muslim state, overturn the constitution and replace it with Sharia Law. 聽That brings us to our next conspiracy theory; which is that Obama is not a Christian.

In spite of 2016 being the last year of the second term of the Obama presidency, 43% of Whites still believe that Obama is a Muslim.聽This despite all of the evidence that supports the opposite. 聽The Obama’s were members of Trinity United Church of Christ for years. 聽They were married there, and both of their children were baptized at Trinity as well. 聽Despite that fact that there is no way in hell in 2016 that Obama could possibly hide a Muslim connection, (past or present) this suspension of reality for these White naysayers are simply ways to ostracize Obama to a group that they despise and are afraid of. 聽They cannot embrace Obama’s Christian faith without embracing him as their spiritual brother. 聽To continue the lie that he is something other than a Christian, gives them a self deceiving legitimacy in not taking him seriously, rather dismissing every word from his mouth, his authority and even his presence. 聽No other president or presidential candidate has ever had his/her faith questioned. 聽Is Christianity even a question now among any of the candidates?

During the McCain/Palin campaign the racial overtones became more and more emboldened. 聽Palin spoke divisively accusing Obama not being an American, like the White crowds in her audience. She linked Obama with terrorists. 聽The crowd in turn shouted epitaphs such as, ‘terrorist, off with his head, and kill him!”聽聽 It got so ugly and threatening that even McCain himself tried to temper the racial rhetoric by defending Obama as a ‘decent person, a decent family man and a citizen,’ the crowd booed him.聽 McCain tried to reason with the crowd and get the focus on Obama’s views as opposed to his race. 聽“We want to fight, and I will fight,” McCain said. “But I will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments, and I will respect him. I don’t mean that has to reduce your ferocity, I just mean to say you have to be respectful.” 聽McCain was booed again. 聽What, respect a black man who has the audacity to think he can be OUR president?

Once it became apparent that Obama did indeed win the election and was going to be sworn in. 聽The rage was real and lay bare expressed through cable news channels. 聽Critics like Rudy Giuliani became one of the go to guys for disparaging anything Obama. 聽No matter what the issue was or what The President said or did. 聽Echoing the voices of White rage the GOP took note to follow the script of de-legitimizing Obama. 聽The racial rhetoric was starting to become less coded. 聽The utter disdain utterly vicereal. 聽Here is a round robin list of just a few examples.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” 聽2008

South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson“YOU LIE!”聽 * Shouted during the middle of Obama’s first State of the Union Address. 聽2009

Newt Gingrich“President Barack Obama deserves to be called, ‘the most successful food stamp president in American history,’ because “47 million Americans are on food stamps.” 聽2012*The food stamp reference feeds into the notion that Reagan fed into during his election that black folk were the major recipients of government assistance were poor black people. 聽This made white people resentful of their own perceived lack of success. 聽The poor people are takers. 聽The takers are black. 聽This despite that fact that when Gingrich made this statement in 2010, only 8 percent received cash welfare, while 30 percent had earnings. 聽Nearly half of food-stamp beneficiaries are children under 18, and about 8 percent are elderly. About 34 percent of beneficiaries are white, 22 percent are black, 17 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Asian or Native American, and 20 percent 鈥渞ace unknown.鈥 聽Gingrich knew that his audience would interpret the myth of who welfare recipients are. 聽The face of welfare is a black face.

Finger

After initially saying she would not meet President Obama at the airport, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer met The President with a never seen before confrontational finger to the face!

47 Republican senators committed treason against the United States by sending a letter to Iran intending to hinder Obama’s negotiations with Iran regarding a nuclear arms agreement. 聽2015

None of these extraordinary examples were credited to Obama’s color according to his White detractors. 聽Even the mantra of, ‘take our country back’ was said to be benignly focused on politics. Instead, any mention of race at all was turned on Obama’s head as being the racist. 聽Ben Stein called Obama, “The most racist president in American history.”聽 This despite the fact that previous presidents owned slaves, supported Jim Crow laws and had ties to the KKK. 聽Anytime Obama mentioned racial injustices such as the killing of unarmed Trayvon Martin, and the subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman, he was accused of stirring up racial animus. 聽If he showed empathy to anything black, he was accused of favoring Blacks. 聽The irony is, that when Obama聽acknowledged the dog-whistle style of criticism himself, saying, they (Republicans) are trying to scare you because I don’t look like the other presidents on the dollar bill,” he was accused of playing the race card.聽 In other words, it was perfectly acceptable for whites to infer to Obama as the Food Stamp president. 聽They could say, “let’s take America back,” as if he stole it and hid the nation in a crack house somewhere. 聽They could freely claim all day long that race had absolutely nothing to do with their choice of words. 聽And yet for him to mention race at all in a fashion that didn’t denigrate black people made him a racist himself, and therefore a threat to White people.

Now we have come full circle. 聽The conundrum that the GOP face today is that those racial undertones and sub-tweets of rhetoric have come home to roost. 聽What Donald Trump says openly is what the GOP has established itself on in code聽that Atwater so eloquently spoke of. 聽Though Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and others have tried to separate themselves from the niggerization of Trump’s politics. 聽But they can’t escape the liable they are responsible for. 聽Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father is responsible for some of the most racially charged diatribes on record. 聽As Cruz ran for the Senate in 2012, he said, “We need to send Barack Obama back to Chicago. Back to Kenya.”聽聽Ask Ted Cruz, or any other republican if his father’s statements have anything to do with race. Trump would not only acknowledge the obvious, he’s encouraging the white rage by asking his crowds to beat up black people at his rallys. 聽Law enforcement authorities are arresting the assaulted instead of the ones committing these assaults on national television. 聽Its to the point now, that as D.L. Hughley said, “If Trump says the N-Word, he going to be president tomorrow.” 聽Michael Eric Dyson noted that if LBJ’s motto was, ‘The Buck Stops Here,’ For the mainstream GOP the mantra has been for Obama, ‘The Buck Must Be Stopped.’

The GOP would like to make you believe this poisonous racial environment and Trump’s political success isn’t on them.聽 But it absolutely is.

Memo to those:

When you called Obama weak, while he is out here killing Bin Laden, as well as other key figures in Al Qaeda and ISIS. 聽You are ungratefully biting the hand that has kept you safe.

When you say that other nations don’t respect us. 聽What you are really saying is that YOU don’t respect the president.

When you say he is a con man, you are saying聽he doesn’t act like your stereotypical image of what a nigger is. 聽(And that he is smarter than you! For his accomplishments have surpassed yours by leaps and bounds) 聽 Those who haven’t had ONE good word to say about this president, in 7 years is fooling no one but themselves.

The birth of Trump is merely the product from 7 years of racially ejaculatory motivated hate. 聽Quoting Michael Jackson is not appropriate. 聽The the kid is definitely your son!

 

Race, Responsibility & Basketball Moms on That Spice (Explicit Language)

Those that know me, and those that read me are not surprised to know I am not afraid to confront so called controversial issues. 聽This includes the most sensitive topics concerning politics, race and religion. 聽Those who are closest to me know that I am just as active, aware and nuanced in my living.

When I first started officiating I had long dreadlocks. 聽And as a new official, many of the places I reffed were far away from home. 聽It wouldn’t be unusual for me to travel 40-60 miles away from home for 1 or 2 Jr. high school games. Some games would be in small towns in Southern Illinois or Southeast Missouri. 聽In many cases, I was the only person of color I would see until I was close to home again. 聽Most of those experiences were positive. 聽There were plenty of times I got funny looks. 聽Curious looks perhaps. 聽But I always focused on two things. 聽#1) Doing my job. 聽#2) Being myself. 聽Part of my personality is to have fun with young people. 聽Anytime there is an opportunity for a little laugh, or even a moment to insert some humor, I would do it. 聽It put kids at ease, some who may have not ever had any interactions with a black male. 聽It also made many of the parents, family and fans comfortable too. 聽Often many would walk up to me on the way out and say something like, “Hey ref, I really like how you teach the kids.” 聽Or, “It’s so cool how you interact with them. 聽Thank you.” 聽 Those words always encouraged me. 聽This is because I always felt that when it comes to meeting new people, or people who have different backgrounds and experiences, there is an opportunity to connect. 聽As a black man, I always believed it is my duty to be a part of the solution when it comes to race. 聽I know that if I am the one in a few people of color some white people come across, they could never say they didn’t witness a black man of grace and class… and dreadlocks.

Those that know me know that 聽I tend to practice what I preach. I don’t embrace sacred cows. 聽I can praise and support a person 100% in one area, and criticize a behavior of the same person in the next breath. 聽Mostly we are not the sum of one act or two mistakes. 聽There are many opportunities for nuance. 聽We all need to make improvements. 聽And then there are times when right is right and wrong is wrong.

Saturday,聽while officiating some youth basketball, a group of women walked into the gym and assembled along some bleachers underneath one of the baskets. 聽(They happened to be black) Soon it became obvious which 6th grade child on which team belonged to them. One woman in particular really got into ‘coaching,’ shouting instructions for all to hear. 聽My partner, who was white, (a man I had never met before) called a foul on her preferred team. 聽She shouted to the penalized player that he did nothing wrong and that the official made a bad call. 聽We ignored her.

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. 聳 Spice is originally sold as an incense, but has now swept the military community with controversy as a 聭legal聮 designer drug. However, Marine Corps Order 5355.1, issued Jan. 27, directly prohibits the use, distribution, sale and possession of it and others like it. (Courtesy photo)

At halftime he and I discussed the sideline ‘coach,’ and he told the tournament supervisor and myself that on the previous night, the same woman called him a ‘cracker ref.’ 聽We both noticed the smell of marijuana around the entire family where they sat. 聽If I wasn’t going back and forth, I would surely have caught a contact. 聽 I told my partner,聽“She can coach all she wants. 聽No worries there. 聽But if she calls you anything like that this game, she’s going to leave today. 聽And let me tell you up front, you won’t have to say a word. 聽I will take care of it myself.”

We got to the second half of the game and 5 minutes didn’t go by before this woman stood up, and while talking at the kids on the court said, “I don’t give a fuck!” 聽I paused for a moment, a bit surprised at what just flew from her pie hole. 聽I blew my whistle and told the sister she had to go. 聽She started to make a scene stepping towards me. 聽I told her that she was not allowed to stay in the gym while lobbing F bombs in the presence of these children. 聽The supervisor then came over and asked me what was going on. 聽After hearing me he concurred and instructed her to leave. 聽This is when things got really incredible. 聽The woman, in addition to saying that she didn’t have to go anywhere walks up to me and goes on a tirade.

You a punk ass bitch! 聽Yea that’s right I said it. 聽Whats up? *Walking towards me. 聽(I smiled at her but held my ground.) 聽That’s right you and your momma a punk ass bitch. You can suck my dick you bitch ass motherfucker! 聽(I smiled more waving my hand as she walked slowly backwards to the exit)聽You and your momma can suck my dick! 聽Bitchass! You too! (talking to the supervisor) 聽I’ll be back motherfuckers! 聽

***聽And here I was thinking that weed made you more lax, not psycho! 聽She must have been smoking that聽spice or something!

After all the madness we finished the game. 聽Many parents came up to me and thanked me for ridding her from the premises. 聽It’s as if they were waiting for someone to step in and remove this cancer of presence. They said she disrupts the games every weekend. 聽The coach of the team she favored asked to speak with me privately. 聽He thanked me profusely. 聽Said it embarrasses him as a coach as well as her son who has to put up with it in front of his teammates.

The supervisor of the gym (who happens to be white,) and who happens to be a friend, felt comfortable enough to say to me, “And people wonder why there are problems sometimes between blacks and whites.” 聽Though the fan could have been any color, I knew what he meant. 聽She exemplified every single negative stereotype known to man about black people. 聽What I told him was this however, “This is the bigger point. 聽As I told my partner, he wasn’t going to have to deal with her if she acted a fool. 聽I would. 聽This is all I ever ask of white people. 聽When they see their own acting out a certain way, handle it! 聽Don’t leave me out there by myself. 聽I’ll stick up for you when you are right. 聽She wasn’t going to be able to say, “the white cracker ref” did anything to her. 聽I need that same support. 聽So stick up for me when I’m right even if others who look like you may think you’re wrong!” 聽(Cause her entire family mother-fucked me on the way out the door.)

I’m glad my supervisor and friend had my back this day.

 

 

 

Evaluating Officiating in Black & White

I’ll get to the point:

Sports officiating is one of the most fulfilling activities I’ve ever participated in. 聽It’s fun, exciting and challenging. 聽The fun and exciting part is because of my love for sports and the even deeper love I have for the mostly young people who play in the contest. 聽Outside of men’s league basketball, 99% of the 4 sports I officiate are middle or high school age. 聽Young people are special in my eyes. 聽I respect those who participate as well as the coaches who spend time molding them into better people through organized sports. 聽Facilitating a contest so that the rules and spirit of聽fair play are enforced is vital to the games. 聽While there are rules, there is also game administration. 聽In other words it’s not just about calling violations, it’s also understanding what not to call. 聽There is a certain feel to the game officials have to understand. 聽Show me an official who administers 100% by the book, and I’ll show you an official that no coach, player or fan wants. 聽And this is 聽the focus of this blog… coaches and fans. 聽Namely my coaches and fans of African descent.

In officiating, conflict among players and coaches is something that goes with the job. 聽We expect it. 聽Where there is competition, there is often intensity as a group of individuals collectively fight for pieces of real estate on the floor or field of play. 聽Resolving conflict and fostering an environment where communication is open and respectful is one of the responsibilities officials have which have nothing to do with the rules. 聽It’s a give and take. 聽When lines are crossed, its up to officials to be the arbiter of what is no longer acceptable.

I’ve noticed over the years that there is a general difference in the kind of flack I get from White folks vs. Black when it comes to youth sports.聽聽 Again generally, if a white person doesn’t like my calls, he/she criticizes my performance, my aptitude, my judgement. 聽They may say something like, “That was a horrible call! 聽What are you looking at?” 聽Or one of my favorites, “Hey! There’s a game going on out there. 聽You may want to try watching it!” 聽These are par for the course. 聽Any official worth his whistle won’t take these things to heart unless things go overboard. 聽Don’t get me wrong, there are some white coaches that I know going into a game are going to be jerks for the sake of being a jerk. 聽For me, the tone is much more important than the words.

But then there are my brothers and sisters. 聽African-Americans; Black folk. 聽When things aren’t going their way, the phrase that far too many of us go to without nuance or consideration is, “YA”LL CHEATING!”

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Listen, to a certain degree, I get it. 聽Black folk are marginalized in society. 聽The history and legacy of White supremacy is a prevailing reality that affects most every area of our lives. 聽When it comes sports, its one of the few areas modern day where we have been able to successfully and compete with the masses聽consistently.聽聽Many African-American parents see sports as one of their child’s avenues聽to gain success where there is no subtle or flagrant bias; understanding the bias most black people will face as they get older. 聽Then there is the passion that just goes along with being a fan. 聽Fan is short for ‘fanatic.” 聽Therefore, by definition there is a certain expectation of a lack of logic when it comes to observing athletic competition. 聽I can be as hyped as anybody yelling at my television when the Lakers or Steelers are on. 聽Sometimes that includes yelling at the referees. 聽So again, I get it. 聽Unfortunately there are those among us who take the ‘cheating,’ accusation (a premise that is often flawed) to a disgraceful level.

I officiated a football game a while back. 聽The teams consisted of a mostly black populated school vs a majority white populated school. 聽In my position as back judge, 聽I threw penalty flags on 3 long touchdown scoring plays back against the mostly white team as a result of ‘holding’. 聽That team’s White coach wasn’t too happy with me. 聽He yelled a few things at my direction as football coaches do. 聽The fans were also disappointed and expressed their displeasure in the forms of “Ohhhh” and “Arrrrrrggghhhhs” 聽Later on, I called the same type of holding penalty against the mostly black team. 聽Not only did the fans and assistant go ballistic, the fans started accusing me and our crew of cheating. 聽I don’t mean ‘cheating’ as hyperbole. 聽They were actually serious! 聽All of a sudden every move I made was heavily scrutinized. 聽When I explained my call to the coach, they mocked and scorned my words to the coach if I were addressing them. 聽As for the rest of the game, every subsequent penalty against their team was in some way an attempt to take something away from them. 聽As a matter of fact, even as their team won the game, instead of celebrating the victory of the players, they taunted the officials that we were not able to ‘cheat’ them out of victory.

This isn’t the only time. 聽I’ve been in basketball games, where it was an all white team playing an all black team; the white teams are winning, and the black coaches and fans are screaming at two black officials accusing of of cheating. 聽How ridiculous is that? 聽Often the reality is that the other team is shooting, passing, rebounding, and defending better than the other. 聽Sometimes the black kids are imitating 聽Lebron James and Kobe Bryant with their moves, but haven’t put in the work and developed the skill-set to succeed like their hoop heros. 聽Sometimes it’s as simple as the coaching is suspect. 聽Regardless of the sport, I can normally tell within the first few minutes how good a team is, whether they are well coached, and their level of potential competitive success in a given situation. 聽I can say for sure, that the officiating generally has so little to do with an outcome of a game, you’d have to be Tim Donaghy to notice discrepancies.

That being said, there are crappy officials. 聽 I know more than a few who do it just for the money. 聽I hate working with them. 聽There are also officials who have biases. 聽There are even situations where black teams from certain communities have a harder time succeeding in other communities when they compete. 聽Equally true, is that no player or team has calls that they will always agree with. Officials, like players and coaches make mistakes. 聽We miss the mark. 聽Still, the vast majority of us really care about doing a great service to the game and the young people who play them. 聽We attend training camps, study, test, watch film, critique ourselves and one another every day. 聽When I am with some of my good friends who are officials we openly discuss our blunders. 聽We use these our mistakes to help one another better. 聽We seldom ever talk about ‘that great game’ we called the other night. 聽That’s the truth!

So to my people, you know who you are, please stop! 聽We aren’t out here trying to take nothing away from your kid. 聽Accusing us of cheating, especially within ear shot of the youth who are playing, gives them a false sense of victim-hood that is in no way true, nor will it prepare them to differentiate and navigate the real bias they face now or will face later. 聽Winning games are about talent, strategy and execution. 聽In most cases, these decide the outcomes of games even if the officiating is suspect. 聽The cream always rises to the top. 聽I don’t give a damn about who wins or loses a game; unless you are the Lakers or the Steelers. 聽And honestly if I officiate those teams, because I care about my craft so much, I wouldn’t give Kobe or Big Ben a damn thing they didn’t earn.聽So stop thinking its my聽job to compensate for your child’s lack of athletic achievement?

By all means continue to critique us on performance if you see fit. 聽Engaged and KNOWLEDGEABLE fans keep officials on our toes. 聽In my profession, we are expected to be perfect and we strive for perfection. Unfortunately, most of you don’t understand the rules like you think you do and couldn’t referee yourselves out of a paper bag if it came down to it. 聽 Screaming obscenities and accusing us of cheating makes YOU look bad. 聽And sometimes YA’LL embarrass me! 聽I’m throwing a proverbial flag for unsportsmanlike conduct and feeding black youth misinformation. 聽STOP IT!

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Message to Black Lives Matters Critics … who happen to be Black

Black folk are not monolithic. 聽 I know that there are some in America who believe we are. 聽But we didn’t all agree in Africa before we were sold into slavery. 聽We didn’t all agree while in the state of slavery. 聽We didn’t all agree upon emancipation. 聽We didn’t all agree during Jim Crow, during the civil rights movement, even about having civil rights. 聽Like any other group of humans, our views differ from liberal, conservative, ambivalent, apathetic. 聽We are engaged, passionate and absent. 聽And just as we don’t agree about who is the best MC, the best basketball player of all time, or whether peanut butter is better than chocolate, we don’t all view the Black Lives Matter movement as it relates to police brutality, systematic racism and so called Black on Black crime within our neighborhoods.

Locally speaking, since Michael Brown, many of my friends have been on the forefront of protest, civil disobedience or spreading the word via social media regarding police brutality as it relates to the St. Louis Metropolitan area. 聽They have fought hard through the midst of resistance from many of their White counterparts, White police unions, and administrations resistant to give up the power of their privilege. 聽Equally true is that St. Louis is enduring a sickening amount of shootings and murders this year. 聽There are many reasoning and debates聽for the escalations of violent crimes, from lack of policing in certain North Side areas, to a mindset among Black youth that they just don’t give a damn about taking a life. 聽As mentioned in the first sentence, we don’t share all of the same views, therefore we don’t share the same passions. 聽But unfortunately, instead of respecting one another’s passions for a common goal of bettering the community as best as we can, some of us are at odds in direct conflict against the other. 聽Specifically, some who are righteously frustrated with the crime being committed against one another, are upset at protesters of police brutality and Black Lives Matter. 聽The video below from Ferguson resident Peggy Hubbard is an example.

Hubbard isn’t the only one who has expressed these sentiments. 聽Many of my African-American friends on social media have asked after a murder, “Where are all the protesters now? Why aren’t they protesting or holding a rally for this?” 聽These are similar to some of my White counterparts who refuse to acknowledge or even justify their lack of interest and subsequent support of police brutality because there are Black criminals; as if there aren’t criminals within their own group. 聽The difference is that White folk generally aren’t shot, chocked, tased, or mysteriously found dead while in police custody. 聽I’ve had those conversations with my White friends. 聽I’ve explained to them, that there are differences in community concern about criminal behavior vs state sponsored oppression and brutality. 聽My neighbor is a citizen, my police, prosecutors and judges are compensated with tax dollars that I participate in contributing towards. 聽These have taken an oath to protect and serve righteously for all of it’s citizens. 聽Contrary to popular belief, we can actually care about both equally. 聽Not to mention if there is a murder or a robbery in my neighborhood, more times than not we are looking to those same police to solve those crimes and remove those criminals from among us. 聽Some of us believe these crimes aren’t as vigorously investigated in our neighborhoods as they would in a White neighborhood; thus the cycle continues.

What is missed however, is that there are and have been activities standing up for victims of violent crimes. 聽They may not be as prevalent or publicly covered as those against police brutality. 聽 But they are there.

http://http://http://www.wsiltv.com/home/top-story/Hundreds-March-to-Stop-the-Violence-in-St-Louis-321964351.html

http://http://fox2now.com/2014/06/01/prayer-vigil-held-to-stop-the-violence-in-st-louis/

http://http://fox2now.com/2015/07/29/funeral-directors-and-morticians-to-hold-stop-the-violence-rally-this-sunday/

Thus my message isn’t to my White counterparts who are anti-Black Lives Matter or anti-police brutality against people of color; though they can get some too if they like. 聽But specifically to those who like Ms. Hubbard, single mother with a son who is incarcerated, to my Black friends who poo poo the folk fighting the system of government oppression because they think聽these protesters should protest all things Black struggle, is get off your asses and do it yourself! 聽If there aren’t enough black protest and rallies against crime in your view, then dammit start one. 聽Gather like minded individuals, organize and get your asses out in these streets. 聽Why 聽be in conflict with your brothers and sisters who are fighting for your right to be equally valued lawfully in the system in which we all rely to a certain extent. 聽If I am in danger and I can’t solve the issue, I’m calling the police. 聽I have police who are good friends of mine. 聽But that prevent me from having a passion against police who are out to kill me. 聽There is no conflict for me to love my police friends while jamming Fuck The Police in my ride simultaneously. 聽It seems to me that the folk who DO have the problem are sitting at their computers or making videos or posting empty challenges to folk who are doing something, because they aren’t doing a damn thing.

I have given three examples of people who are making a difference in partaking in efforts that are related to our community, though not the same exact focus. 聽Hell I’ll throw in a fourth just for good measure.

http://http://fox2now.com/2015/04/29/homicide-in-north-st-louis-highlights-we-must-stop-killing-each-other-campaign/

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The point is, even if you are not a good organizer, there are some people doing some things in the area of crime in Black neighborhoods. 聽Join them. 聽It’s just plain ignorant and unproductive to ask those who are focused on police brutality to do your damn passion too. 聽Get off the sidelines, and do something and make us all stronger. 聽If not, then by all means stay in your lane and STFU!

A Twist of Process, or Why We Don’t Trust Them

“Mark Geragos (CNN contributor) is going in about the results of this autopsy! 聽It doesn’t sound good for the cop’s argument!” 聽 That’s what my wife yelled to me as she sat in the living room, and I in the basement. 聽We were both watching different news stations as they covered the events in Ferguson and the case for Michael Brown vs. Officer Darren Wilson. 聽I said to her, “Well that may mean something to The Feds.”

“What?,” she questioned. 聽“Well, (I elaborated), federal officials are聽the only ones who would seek to use such information as a means of why they should or shouldn’t prosecute. 聽Certainly The County isn’t. 聽They aren’t looking to seriously investigate a case that would hurt Wilson regardless of any facts.” 聽 Then it hit her… “Oh yea,” she said.

This conversation brought to bear the inward struggle that many of us are facing in the midst of this ‘investigation’ and ‘waiting for all of the facts’ to come out from the state. 聽You see if Michael Brown had shot officer Darren Wilson under any circumstances whatsoever, he would have been arrested at the very least. 聽He wouldn’t be home receiving a pay check with enough benefit of the doubt 聽by authorities to keep Al Capone 聽out of court for tax evasion. 聽There wouldn’t be cries from authorities telling his family, friends and supporters to calm down, and wait for the investigation; all while strategically releasing information to defame the officer’s name and reputation. 聽There would not be a militarized police presence in Wilson’s neighborhood telling angry residents to go home, shut up or be pelted with rubber bullets and smothered with tear gas. 聽There wouldn’t be tanks in Wilson’s neighborhood. 聽There would be no photos of white friends of Wilson’s holding their hands up in surrender while several officers point automatic rifles at them. 聽No, in essence what we have if a reversal of fortune, a twisting of the process. 聽Those who are supposed to advocate for the death of an unarmed man and his family, are in reality doing the total opposite. 聽They are working 24-7 to convict Brown of being a menace to society; 聽A worthless thug worthy of at least 6 bullets including two to the dome for simply existing. 聽They don’t see Michael as a young man with a future ahead of him, on his way to college. 聽They see him as a wretch to their America; a nuisance to be tolerated only when totally necessary. 聽After all, they can no longer legally be enslaved and they can’t be made to go back to Africa. 聽What an inconvenience.

Ferguson

This sobering reality came crushing down to my wife as she pondered the thought. 聽Not that she didn’t realize it before. 聽For there is still something inherent in black folk that says, “If the evidence is there ‘they’ will pursue it and “they” will follow it where it leads. They have to!” 聽 That county prosecutor Bob McCullough would actually do the job of pursuing the truth in the shooting of Michael Brown. 聽 Alas it is not to be. 聽McCullough, the man who publicly scorned Governor Nixon for replacing his merry band of trigger happy police officers, the man in charge of leaking information condemning the 18 year old dead kid, is in charge of the evidence presented to a secret grand jury as opposed to public preliminary hearing.

As we talked more about the predicament we find ourselves in, we discussed our Caucasian friends, some who happen to be conservative and their reactions to what they are witnessing since August 9th. 聽As events have passed and information has been revealed, they have conferred with us to tap our hearts, to get our perspectives. 聽They see us as people who lean to what we believe is right regardless of one’s ethnicity. 聽She explained in this case some of our Caucasian friends seem to vacillate between, ‘Maybe the cop was wrong,’ and ‘Gee he may have been justified. 聽They are struggling with admitting that a police officer could聽actually be a sinner and do something sinful while in uniform. 聽That he could have biases, prejudices, and that he would act them out in the line of duty. 聽I told her that is absolutely the truth, but equally true is that people who feel this way also have a difficult time believing that the black people who are victims of these cops are legitimate people, citizens who are worthy of such considerations. 聽The first is easy to get them to admit to, the second, no so much. 聽But in uplifting the cop’s moral standing in one’s mind, you must downgrade the target of his affliction. 聽Can’t have one without the other.

Much has been made of the military-like presence with the police. 聽Some dress in fatigues as if they are in Fallujah and 聽many have removed their name tags so that they couldn’t be named if they themselves commit crimes against the citizens. 聽Are they attacked before they shoot, or are they challenging those in the streets protesting peacefully? 聽Regardless I question the tactics. 聽Why are they patrolling the streets anyway? 聽While they were in the streets Sunday night there was looting. 聽There hasn’t been any fighting in the streets. 聽The only conflicts have been between people and the police blocking paths and drawing lines in the sands. 聽If they are concerned about looters, who not stand in front of businesses instead? 聽I suppose that isn’t as much fun and confrontational. 聽After all, how often does one get to use the military equipment they got from the Pentagon for the ‘war on drugs?” 聽How often does one get to scream “Bring it on you fucking animals!” to a crowd of black folks he’s just waiting to聽sink his teeth of 聽hate and rage into?

Then there is the history. 聽If white people honestly think that this case and the anger of Black America is solely about Michael Brown they are deceiving themselves. 聽This case is on behalf of every black person who has been pulled over, arrested, beaten, or killed for merely being black, and the officers who gets away with it. 聽Locally speaking, go to any municipality among St. Louis County on traffic court night. 聽All you will see is black folk standing in a line long enough to wrap the building. 聽These municipalities get the majority of their revenue by giving out traffic tickets. 聽Doesn’t matter if it’s Ferguson, Florissant, Dellwood, or Hazelwood. 聽And don’t talk to me about population, because that would assume that the only drivers in their towns are residents. 聽And though every police study in these United States show that Whites are more likely to carry contraband, stops by the police don’t reflect the data.

As for this case, so far we know a few important facts. 聽In the biggest case of St. Louis County Police history, they not only are choosing to use a grand jury (secret) vs a preliminary hearing (public and standard for a felony potential crime) county prosecutor McCullough is assigning his assistant to do the case. 聽**Now we KNOW McCullough is pulling the strings and making all the decisions on whats presented and how it’s presented.** However, he聽won’t be the face of it. 聽In addition, Darren Wilson IS BEING ALLOWED TO TESTIFY TO THE GRAND JURY… (which I repeat is in secret)… (How often does THAT happen) 聽Consider too that McCullough has been legally challenged for decades regarding the amount of jury strikes he’s used against African-Americans. 聽What do you think the grand jury will look like? Lastly, 聽McCullough has said this process will take weeks or months. 聽Why is that? 聽This is not a whodunit, but the contrary. 聽Not to mention, if Michael Brown ‘bumrushed’ Wilson and beat the hell out of him as the county officials are alleging, that should聽be easily proven with hospital records and photos. 聽 McCullough could end this quickly! 聽One would think anyway right? 聽I’m reminded of the Kermit Meme when he sarcastically says, “But that’s none of my business.”

As of Tuesday night supporters of Darren Wilson have collected over $25,000 for him. 聽The question is why? 聽He’s on paid leave. 聽In addition, he won’t be charged with a crime by the county. 聽In essence Wilson’s defense is already being paid by tax payers. 聽Seems to me the money is a reward! 聽A thank you for his part in keeping the tone and precedent alive regarding black male life. 聽As I told my wife, “This isn’t about Mike Brown to McCullough and county officials; 聽They do NOT want to send a message that any unjust shootings by a White police officer to a black male/female could be challenged in a court of law. 聽McCullough has the support of police for a reason. 聽It’s a long standing relationship. 聽Question one, and they would have to question every fatal shooting or beating going forward. 聽They are going to stick together on this one like they have previusly. 聽This is about precedence and a tone set throughout the area. 聽He is not going to be ‘that guy’ that prosecutes his own.

Some of our聽well meaning white friends are having a hard time with resonating with our position. 聽They love my wife and I. 聽They think highly of our character. 聽They feel we are exceptional. 聽We continue to try to dismiss that myth. 聽That we are not exceptional and more important, we are not the exception. 聽We are in the same boat as Michael Brown. 聽And truth be told, no matter what they think of us, if we were to be confronted and shot dead in the streets by a white police officer, they too along with many other white folks who don’t know us will believe it justified regardless of the circumstances. 聽What will it take to open their eyes? 聽A courageous exercise in self awareness and American history. 聽It’s a challenge for humans to perform. 聽For in doing so they would have to consider reevaluating so much of what they have inherently believed their entire lives. 聽Its the same challenges that exist when it comes to opening ones mind about their life long religious beliefs. 聽And that’s hard. 聽Especially when our White conservative friends are used to having their interest represented in a court of law. 聽They haven’t been hurt or labeled in the same vain as their Black counterparts in the justice system.

I mean… just look at this satirical yet truthful summation of events. 聽If this doesn’t confirm the hypocrisy, I’m not hopeful. 聽And I can tell you this, when they let Darren Wilson off, preserving the precedence, 聽history will yet again repeat itself. 聽Another black youth will be murdered by white police, and the same song and dance will be sung and danced by the same white people who have not confronted their prejudices favoring the cops聽while cursing the value of Black life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sermon on The Mount, or Cee-Lo’s Revenge!

I do not plan on speaking much on this election.聽 I hope to say what I have to now and not much after this.聽 Truth is, regardless of who won we have great challenges in our nation and we have a lot of work to do.聽 No need to recite all the details regarding the economy, jobs, education, the military and so forth.

Still, I don鈥檛 mind acknowledging that this election was different than any other I have been involved in. The first time Barack Obama was elected it was special.聽 It was unbelievable to me. I never thought I would see a person of color in the White House.聽 And for those thinking that鈥檚 all I鈥檓 about, you would be wrong.聽 In other words, I could have voted for a Colin Powell presidency, while Clarence Thomas鈥 supreme court appointment and Herman Cain鈥檚 candidacy can go kick rocks!聽 Most people who look like me can joyfully celebrate accomplishments by people of color from a historical perspective of where we鈥檝e come from, but we are not hung up on color for the sake of color sake.聽 As the old folks used to say, 鈥淓veryone who鈥檚 my skin folk, ain鈥檛 necessarily my kin folk.鈥澛 I voted for The President the first time because I believed in his vision and what he stood for.聽 His skin color was a caveat, not even close to a deciding factor.

That being said it wasn鈥檛 hard at all to recognize and understand all of the racist vitriol surrounding the White House since Obama was elected four years ago.聽 From the beginning as surprised as I was that he was elected, for racist Caucasians, they were equally enraged.聽 Rush Limbaugh exclaimed, 鈥淚 hope he fails!鈥澛 Joe Wilson went ballistic with his 鈥淵ou lie!鈥 blast in a display of disrespect to the office never seen before.聽 Mitch McConnell let it be known that his #1 priority was making The President a one termer.

jan-brewer-points-finger-at-obama

John Boehner stood opposite whatever President Obama stood for, even if Obama changed to Boehner鈥檚 position.

The First Lady couldn鈥檛 even promote fighting childhood obesity without being attacked.

Jan Brewer put her finger in the face of The President as if she was ready to scrap!

I could go on.聽 But let me get to my points.聽 I鈥檓 exhausted.聽 The President, myself and a whole lot of black folks, progressives etc. have taken a lot of shit over the last four years.聽 We have heard it all.聽 Now it鈥檚 our turn.聽 Others can say what they need to, but I will speak for myself!聽 In my Cee Lo Green voice, I present 鈥淔#@! YOU鈥 notices to the following:

Mitch McConnell: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!聽 Try working for the American people and not against the black guy for a change!

John Boehner: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years! Focus more on helping our nation and less on your tan!

Rush Limbaugh: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!聽 Looks like YOU failed! Send your Mexican nanny to the pharmacist for more drugs you fat assed blubbering dope fiend!

Todd Akin: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years! Guess the women of Missouri 鈥渄id that thing鈥 to shut your ass down!

cat

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!聽 Yep I said it.聽 You have toured the nation perpetrating the fraud about a 鈥淏lack Agenda鈥 while you never asked Bush, Clinton or any other president to do the same. My president cares for all people鈥 including black people.聽 It was insulting and ignorant that you tried to lay ever problem within the African-American community as his feet and expect him to focus on those and those alone.聽 You both are frauds!

Fox News: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!聽 Hey look at it this way, your ratings will remain steady with the racist who will tune in and hear you whine, lie and avoid the real issue which is that White male domination is blowing away with the wind.聽 Another generation and a half, and you may only have 7 viewers listeners using a CB radio!

Sara Palin: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!聽 How鈥檚 that for 鈥渟huckin鈥 and jiving?鈥

Business Owners who threatened their employees: That what foul what you did trying to intimidate your workers.聽 Quite desperate too!聽 None of Obama鈥檚 policies hurt your businesses especially.聽 You get every tax break in the world!聽 If you fail, its more likely because of your shotty business decisions. F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

People who said Colin Powell voted for Obama because he was black:聽 Yea, how many of you voted for McCain and Romney because they were white?聽 Yea that鈥檚 what I thought鈥. F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

Republicans, those who tried to disenfranchise minority voters:聽Them days are over!聽 We aren鈥檛 allowing you to get away with that any longer!聽 Get a clue!聽 You lost in every court, including the Supreme Court!聽 And the only people who were caught attempting to commit voter fraud were REPUBLICANS!聽 F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!聽

Franklin and Billy Graham: (And all the other radical white and black evangelicals)聽You actually sold out your Christianity for racism. 聽I guess you can put Mormonism back on the cult list now! 聽F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

Mitt Romney: Oh yea I ain鈥檛 forgot about you geechie!聽 F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!鈥 sincerely the 47%!

Now if you鈥檒l excuse me, I have a 4:20 flight to catch to Denver.

FirstFam

Holla!

To Hell With Politics, This is WAR!

Several months ago I thought to myself, 鈥淵ou know, I hope President Obama wins a second term and I believe if he does he can get more things done than even his first.聽 But if Mitt Romney becomes president, it won鈥檛 be the worst thing that could have happened.鈥

Sure he鈥檚 pretty slick, but he certainly didn鈥檛 appear to be an off the chain loony like some of the previous candidates, i.e. Rick 鈥楴iggerrock鈥 Perry, Rick 鈥楴o Birth Control鈥 Santorum, Michelle 鈥淏lame Obama for Everything鈥 Bachmann and Herman 鈥999 White Honeys I Screwed鈥 Cain.聽 Romney seemed like the reasonable choice among republicans.聽 Much of his policies and politics in Massachusetts were fairly moderate for a Republican.

Since becoming the Republican nominee, I鈥檝e done 180 on Mitt.聽 I鈥檝e always said I don鈥檛 mind having a president whose policies I may differ with as long as I believe he/she truly cares about the nation and wants to serve it鈥檚 citizens.聽 Yes, one has to be ambitious to want to be the president, but ambition as the sole motivation presents a clear and present danger to the citizens of whom this person seeks to govern.

Mitt Romney is very rich. I鈥檓 perfectly fine with that.聽 However, when one has such a monetarily prosperous upbringing, it can be difficult to be in touch with or understand the plight of those who aren鈥檛 so prosperous.聽 Even that in itself shouldn鈥檛 be punished.聽 What is problematic instead, is when that same person has no interest in being made aware this plight.聽 What is downright unacceptable and morally reprehensible is when this same person goes out of his way to judge, demean and attack said people.聽 This is what we have in Mitt Romney.

Every time Romney opens his mouth regarding the majority of Americans he says something that either shows his willful ignorance or complete disdain for those who are not like him.

To college students at Otterbein University in Ohio he told them that if they don鈥檛 have the money to start a business to, 鈥渂orrow money from your parents.鈥

****Keep in mind that the median family income for the 89 counties in Ohio is less than $60,000 per year.

When he showed up in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, (I have no idea why because he couldn鈥檛 do anything about it) he consoled Jodie Chiarello, 42, who lost her home in Isaac’s flooding by telling her, 鈥淭here’s assistance out there,” go home and call 211.”

**Well, he must meant her SECOND or third home.聽 Well as it turns out she doesn鈥檛 have one of those.

Now in speaking at a private fundraiser he really let his true feelings known.

Exhibit A: On the disadvantages of being a rich White male in America:

“My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico. And had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this鈥 But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there a number of years, and I mean I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.”

**Apparently he believes this so much he painted his face in such a dark brown so that he can look the part!.聽 It鈥檚 hard to imagine this rich white man actually wants us to believe that he think he would be better off if he were Latino.聽 How amazing is that?

Exhibit B: On people who are not the wealthiest and richest in America:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.鈥

鈥”So my job is not to worry about those people, I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what he looks like.”

Juxtapose that to what President Obama said about those not voting for him in 2008, 鈥淲hat I said on election night was, even though you didn鈥檛 vote for me, I hear your voices, and I鈥檓 going to work as hard as I can to be your president.鈥

Look, this guy doesn鈥檛 want to show us his own personal tax returns over the last decade because he鈥檚 afraid of what they will reveal.聽 He has a shitload of off shore accounts to hide his personal fortune, and not only criticizes 47% of Americans who cannot afford to hide what little money they have in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands, but admitted that he doesn鈥檛 cares about them anyway!

As far as I鈥檓 concerned, the dye has been cast! 聽This is a guy who after passing universal healthcare in the state he governed, that the emergency room is an acceptable plan for folk who don’t have insurance now. 聽This is clearly THE most expensive way to handle ‘healthcare’. 聽Not only that, this defeats the purpose of the emergency room…which is to treat emergencies! 聽It’s not healthcare!

So memo for a few groups out there.

Racist White Conservatives: You can continue to believe the hype and buy into this racial crap if you want to.聽 But if you aren鈥檛 making serious bank Mitt鈥檚 policies are not going to pay dividends for your family!聽 Would you rather have a money in your pocket with a black man as president, or be broke as a joke with a white one?聽 I know many of you would take the former, but I鈥檓 appealing to some of you who have better sense and will think about your finances and get over losing the Civil War!

Black Conservative Christians: I鈥檝e already talked to you before.聽 The bible says to get wisdom, and with that get understanding.聽 Mitt isn鈥檛 going to overturn abortion. And he can鈥檛 outlaw homosexuality.聽 That horse it out of the barn!聽 You鈥檙e going to have to deal with gays and lesbians for the duration.聽 Regardless of what you believe personally or scripturally, you still have a responsibility to vote on more than social issues.聽 We are already making less than white folks as it is for the same jobs. Unemployment and incarceration hurt us more than anybody else.聽 Don鈥檛 be fools and end up more jobless and broker than ever, only to end up praying in church to God about delivering you from financial ruin!聽 So many of the challenges we face are not the devil, it鈥檚 you and us making decisions totally opposite of what is in our own best interest.

Pastors, if your congregation ain鈥檛 working, ain鈥檛 no tithes and offerings coming through the door!聽 Smarten up and lead the people with a purpose beyond what mainstream White Christians and White Christian radio is telling you!

To the rest of us, I say make sure you get out there and vote for Barack Obama.聽 Make sure your friends and family members are registered to vote and do the same!聽 Don鈥檛 take anything for granted.聽 Mitt, the hard right Republicans and The Tea Party are not playing with you.聽 You better take this seriously and understand the ramifications of the times we are living in.聽 This is indeed war on American and American families!聽 You best to soldier up unless you want to get run over!

Think about yourself and your families! Participate in the destinies of our lives so that we can have the best possible chances at thriving in our America too!

Things of Faith, Man and the Search for Universal Truth

My faith journey has come a long way.

From a theological perspective, I was raised in the Judaea Christian traditions within various denominations. Through the years I have been taught by the church, inspired, motivated, fooled, disillusioned, angry, resentful, ashamed of, and even restored.

Regardless of my personal experiences with dogma and the organization of religion my faith in the Supreme has never diminished. My belief system is simple and complicated, spiritual and natural, scientific and unexplained.

I could never subscribe to the atheist belief that there is no Supreme Being. To me atheistic thinking dismisses a serious explanation for the origin for life. In other words, I haven鈥檛 seen evidence of any life form without their first being life to reproduce itself after its kind. Even if creationism from a religious perspective is not a viable option, just a look at the sun, moon and the stars, all of the living creatures, the way the cycles of the earth rotates, lives, nurtures, replenishes and sustain itself with its inhabitants; I find it illogical that all of that which we behold and witness is without thought, planning and design. In this way I don鈥檛 judge the concept of atheism. What I can say is that I don鈥檛 get it.

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As much as I like Bill Mahr and admire his political satire, I think he sounds like a fool when he arrogantly dismisses any possibility of a higher power. His brain is so creative, that he can actually talk himself out of acknowledging his own lack of having anything to do with it. He depends on air he breathes to live, and yet it does not keep him alive. Think about it. Oxygen is all around those dying every day. At some point everyone will take in their last breath. And all the oxygen on the earth can鈥檛 give you another breath once that last one has been exhaled. With all the riches, wealth and resources in the world one cannot give him more life. Nor does anyone have the power to ask and receive it initially at the beginning of a natural life.

A study of the massive sophistication and depth of DNA alone should prompt one to believe that this world, this universe, even our humanity was intentional. This is why I believe the atheist argument comes up horribly short. There is just too much genius around us that we had nothing to do with to call it all random.

What Mahr and I share along with others who believe as he does however, is the disdain for those seeking to validate and promote 鈥楪od鈥 only as they see Him in such a fashion that it boxes his breadth and scope down to moral, theological and geo-political bents. I too scoff at the limitations and lack of critical thinking skills people subject themselves to in order to follow a bunch of laws and standards written by mortal, flawed, and often agenda driven men. I can resonate with his frustration of people who refuse to observe and work through critical issues with a reality based point of view as opposed to choosing to hide head-in-sand and quote scripture so as to eliminate the need of such deeper or even more simplistic considerations.

I get it. But that doesn鈥檛 answer the questions of life, the potential and capabilities of the human mind and body, the spirit world, and the universe. The fact that in the wild a lion and a deer will drink from the same water brook and if the lion is not hungry, not only will he not so much as bother the deer, but that the deer instinctively knows it. Man, in all of his ingenuity, intellect, skill and passion have only learned and understood so much of it. He certainly hasn鈥檛 been able to define it.

My basic understanding of myself, my surroundings, my instincts, makes me curious, and awestruck on the subject of the Supreme Being. Though I have identified my beliefs through Christian lenses most of my life, I have studied various religions and beliefs among men. Lessons from Christianity as well as other faiths have helped me greatly. Still I鈥檝e rejected many pieces of doctrines. Through it all here I stand; still seeking, still desiring, and still stretching to find the source of my own significance.

black-jesus

As of now I don鈥檛 really claim any specific religion. Though if you pushed me, I would still lean towards a very loose and selective portion of Christianity. Not for any special reason. This is simply the environment I was brought up in and therefore most familiar with. It鈥檚 second nature. I love gospel music and can often find myself blissfully swept away in its messages of worship, submission and hope. One of my mentors the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was a Christian man who lived the most dedicated and faithful life I have ever seen in a human. Yet I admire and respect the life of Malcolm X especially after he split from The Nation of Islam and went in a direction that he believed was more beneficial to his perspective of the way he saw his Creator. Am I to say that Shuttlesworth knew God because he called him Jesus or that Malcolm鈥檚 aligning himself with Allah did not? There is hardly no religious sect that does not have within it members who believe and have evidence that their prayers have been answered. There are unexplained 鈥榤iracles鈥 happening everyday regardless of faith type. Thing begs to question, 鈥淒oes the Supreme have an exclusive name?鈥 Only religious people think so. Or is He so awesome and self-assured that He is not hung up on and limited by that kind of thing? – Man actually giving Him a name that will sum Him up. Even as I write this I only say 鈥楬im鈥 as a reference point. I don鈥檛 know that The Supreme has a gender.

This proves that the biggest hindrance to understanding The Supreme is defining the revelation of His presence and purpose solely through a religious bent.

I have learned to settle in and take what I believe one step at a time; one lesson at a time; one experience at a time. And with those I focus on that which I am comfortable with. Which are a basic set of principles that I live by. (At least try to live by most of the time.)

Faith

Faith is first just an acknowledgment and recognition of a centralized presence. I don鈥檛 believe He/She/It needs to be called Jesus or any other religious or secular name. I believe in this Power that is so brilliant beyond measure, beautiful, and peaceful. The Universe has been created in such a way that it would take perhaps a million lifetimes just to scratch the surface of what is really going on out there. Names are too limited to describe The Ultimate. That is about as far as I am willing to take it as of now.

Do I believe this Universal entity cares about what happens to me personally? Yes. This is because I don鈥檛 believe all of this is by chance. If I鈥檓 correct then there has to be a purpose. Anyone who is aware of his purpose cares about fulfilling that purpose. With that I am able to give thanks and blessings many times per day to The Supreme for all that I am blessed to behold. 聽Sometimes, I even submit a few prayer request along the way.

Personal Purpose/Destiny

This is a tough one. Because most people either believe that they have a specific purpose on earth that a higher power has in mind or they don鈥檛. Others believe we make our own decisions no matter what. I fall in the middle of both world views. For example, none of us had anything to do with us being here. That includes when we were born, where we were born, or to what family. We couldn鈥檛 decide what color we were going to be, whether male or female, and so forth. There are so many things that were not in our original control.

And yet as the species on earth we call mankind, we have the ability to create, build, reproduce, expand, grow, and it goes on and on. Our decisions shape the direction of not only our lives, but those around us as well as those who come after us. Decisions made by only a few throughout history have led to generational worldwide rewards and consequences.

With this I believe that many, but not every aspect of my life has been fully intentional. I am thankful for my time, my space, and my opportunity to do whatever it is I am supposed to do. I am abundantly grateful for everyday believing that my universe is saying something to me and beckoning me to respond for my own benefit, and the benefit of others. I believe that if enough of us do that, we will experience even greater awakenings, recognition, and access to this Universe.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Islam7

Morals

Morals are a very subjective from person to person. I believe that morals must come from within, not just what is taught within a society to preserve order; though order is necessary. Some people are comfortable with doing things and living by certain principals that others are not. My morals are a combination of what I have been taught as a youth, as well as what I have grown to understand as an adult. Since I am still growing, segments and pieces of my moral code are still being refined. What has remained consistent is to live by a standard in which my conscious remains clear of guilt and that my life is one of freedom and not bondage. I believe that many of the unhappy, unsatisfied and destructive people on earth are ones whom live against their own conscious. I can鈥檛 speak for those whom seem not to have a conscious at all. Still I have to live by my own. I desire that my life continues to project that which is less harmful but more liberating to me as well as my environment.

Who is The Supreme Being/God?

I absolutely don鈥檛 know the answer to that. I believe that God is spirit as I am though much greater. I don鈥檛 believe God is fixated by what we call he/she/it like most organized religions i.e. Christianity, (Jehovah, Christ) Islam (Allah) and so forth. I believe that mankind has had various reasons for wanting to segregate God into something they are comfortable with. Certainly having a book such as the bible for instance, makes following God or expressing faith more focused. For now I choose experiencing and receiving whatever it is I may learn and absorb whether it be from a religious context or not. My trust is that The Supreme knows how to get a message to me when it鈥檚 time. And that I will receive it as long as I stay open. I鈥檓 not afraid to fail at this. I embrace all of the possibilities and resources imaginable at this point.

Organized Religion

In spite of my critique, I am not down on organized religion as a whole. I believe that Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Zen, and many others has served millions well over the centuries. Organized religious morality has influenced many peaceful societies as most of them promote treating one another in a loving and civilized way. Most promote growth and spirituality. Most promote submission to a higher authority and less self-seeking. Most emphasize sacrifice and giving towards something much bigger than the individual person who claims its faith.

Most have had their downfalls as well. So many wars, forms of oppression, and crimes against humanity result from religious beliefs and zeal. This is not only true of Christianity and Islam. Human sacrifices for instance took place long before Columbus set foot on the shores of the Americas. Nobody鈥檚 hands are clean. There has been and continues to be both good and bad.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Tian Tan Buddha

Afterlife

Since I don鈥檛 believe that our lives are our bodies, I don鈥檛 believe that life ceases without the body. I believe our bodies are Earth suits. With them we move about upon the land or the sea. The earth is our bodily home. We live here for a time and season. It is here that we eat, sleep, love, share, learn etc… Perhaps our earthly time is training for something else that has nothing to do with our bodies. I just don鈥檛 know. And I don鈥檛 know that anyone really does.

I know many people whom I trust said a relative who have died or have been released from their natural bodies visited them in a spiritual form. Perhaps those who are 鈥榙ead鈥, in body, help watch over us who remain. Perhaps there are differing dimensions that continue in cycles past our earthly lives. I don鈥檛 have a clue!

But I鈥檓 OK with that right now. For now I want to concern myself with the form of life I am experiencing now. And I will have to let the other work itself out. It鈥檚 definitely outside of my pay grade. If I can make this one count for something good, then I trust things will work out in the end鈥 well, if there is one.

In Faith, Me

Random Thoughts & Mini Rants

Michael and Murray

One of the things that really bother me about the Conrad Murray trial is the total denial on behalf of the Jackson family and friends. 聽Let me be clear. 聽I grew up loving me some Michael Jackson. 聽He is a musical icon beyond measure. 聽I have respect for the King of Pop and the hurt that the family has for losing their most talented son, sibling, and friend. 聽But for his family and friends to get on TV and act as if the same Michael Jackson who totally lost his childhood; had multiple plastic surgeries to the point of totally restructuring his face, (and lied about it on TV saying he only had one) clearly the most eccentric and driven figure in the history of show business with all of his ups and downs with the Pepsi accident, multiple child abuse allegations including a trial, that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for him to be hooked on drugs; “He’s such a caring person. 聽A great father. 聽He’s not the type,”聽 I’ve heard it said from Jermaine Jackson to Kathy Hilton and Dionne Warwick. 聽Well caring people who love and are attentive to their children can indeed be drug addicts.

Conrad Murray’s role as a physician was reprehensible, and he shouldn’t be able to practice聽medicine聽again. 聽Still, being the personal physician and catering to whatever Michael Jackson wanted for 150K per month is something many other doctors would have busted the door down to do if he hadn’t. 聽Michael Jackson was the boss. 聽And for these folks and fans to act as if they want to put all of this on Murray is ridiculous! 聽We’ve all dealt with family members who did their own things and you couldn’t tell them anything. 聽I was one who fit that mode a time or two in my life. 聽I find it too hard to believe that they didn’t know what was up. 聽The Jackson family could have had an intervention when Michael shrugged away from them. 聽I think the bottom line was that that cat was paying too many bills for them to confront him. 聽And like the rest of us they didn’t think the very worse case scenario could happen to Michael. 聽As a result, now they are just looking to blame someone else for their own lack of action in hopes that it will cover their hidden shame and perceived failures.

**PS… Media please stop showing that picture of MJ deceased on the gernee. 聽It’s wrong and disrespectful!

Obama vs the CBC

Sometimes the POTUS kills me. 聽I never expected him to be president of black folk. 聽He should govern the United States accordingly without leaving black folk behind as most presidents have. 聽For all intents and purposes he’s made it clear in one way or the other that he doesn’t want to appear to appease to Black Americans. 聽He’s tried his best to be聽Teflon Don. 聽But for whatever reason he feels the need to lecture and speak maternally to groups of black people as if they owe him something. 聽This past week wasn’t the first time.

He sounds like a man who pays no attention to his wife and kids and then chews them out for ‘crying about it.’

Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do.

I mean who wrote THAT speech? 聽Were ‘Lazy and Shiftless’ too busy last weekend to make it in?

Suffice it to say I think his tone was kind of shitty. 聽But I will accept it as soon as he starts talking to white folks, Hispanics and Jews with that same tone. (Speaking of my Jewish peeps… Happy Rosh Hashanah! ) Critique of policies or lack thereof is part of being any politician let alone POTUS. 聽And loyalty is a two way street. 聽We are sophisticated enough to be both loyal and critical. 聽I’m not on that Tavis Smiley kick either cause he and West are working my last nerve. 聽If the POTUS want’s some, he has to give some. 聽Hell I don’t know. Just treat us like you do Boehner and the Republicans. 聽That’s a start! 聽If you don’t that’s fine. 聽Just don’t come up in the spot talkin mad sh*# like you’re the pimp and we’re the hoes that better get in line!

***Now the other side to that is this. 聽I don’t see big business hiring until Obama is out because they don’t want things to get better while he’s in there. 聽They’d rather wait till Romney or Perry gets in whether it’s next year or an additional five. 聽To say they don’t hire because of ‘uncertainty‘ is a crock of sh#! 聽Name me one business that has total certainty that isn’t named the NFL with it’s astronomical聽guaranteed聽TV revenue? 聽Part of being a business organization is operating in a way that is proficient and profitable. 聽Bush sure as hell didn’t make anything more ‘certain’ when he was in office when this recession got started. 聽I’m just keeping it 100!

David as Goliath!

So the latest I hear about the NBA negotiations is that the owners are asking for in addition to more overall revenue, for current player salaries to be cut聽by聽聽five percent on all existing salaries for this season, a 7.5 percent reduction of all 2012-13 salaries and 10 percent reduction of 2013-14 salaries. It’s ain’t my money or nothing, but Stern must be crazy. 聽Or is he?

I guess the tale-tale sign will be whether the players who are not stars and who have not already signed a deal with a team overseas have not spent all of their money and are able to hold out. 聽Only an idiot would spend all of his money knowing this lockout was looming for the last couple years. 聽But we all know there are plenty of those in professional sports. 聽We’ll see.

***Pac Man vs. Money May… let’s get it. 聽Enough already!

Time Machine Chronicles

Somebody threw a banana at Philadelphia winger Wayne Simmonds? 聽In 2011?聽聽REALLY? 聽I guess he couldn’t get a watermelon past security.