Thursday, December 29, 2011
It's been several years since "Just a Season" and it’s time to move on. Generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope.
It's been said that there are no words that have not been spoken and no stories that have never been told but there are some that you cannot forget! "Legacy - A New Season" is the perfect complement to that statement. It is the sequel and the continuation of "Just a Season" and a stand-alone story rich in history on a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle.
This long awaited saga to the epic novel "Just a Season" will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever.
THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES is moving to WordPress.com. Please follow me there!!!
Friday, December 23, 2011
This day has been turned into a massive commercial holiday. If you count all the Nativity scenes displayed you would think Christmas is the most important date on the Christian calendar. I don’t believe that it is. Easter is the day on which Christians believe Christ rose from the dead, which has more religious significance than does Dec. 25. In fact, science would have us believe that the savior was actually born in the spring. Whereas Easter, the day of Christ’s resurrection means not just that one man conquered death, nor was it simply proof of Jesus’ divinity to his followers; it holds out the promise of eternal life for all who believe in him.
The Christmas season lasts 12 days ending with the Epiphany, a feast day in early January commemorating the Wise Men’s visit to the infant Jesus. The Easter season, on the other hand, lasts 50 days. On Sundays during Easter, Christians hear dramatic stories of the post-resurrection appearances of Christ to his astonished followers. The overriding importance of Easter is simple: Anyone can be born, but not everyone can rise from the dead.
Let’s me talk about the written knowledge from a Christian source; the Bible, more particularly, the four Gospels. We believe that the journey of Mary on a donkey accompanied by Joseph, the child’s birth in a manger surrounded by animals, shepherds and angels, with the Wise Men appearing shortly afterward. But two of the Gospels say nothing about Jesus’ birth.
The Gospel of Mark the earliest of the Gospels, written roughly 30 years after Jesus’ crucifixion does not have a word about the Nativity. Instead, it begins with the story of John the Baptist, who announces the impending arrival of the adult Jesus of Nazareth. The Gospel of John is similarly silent about Jesus’ birth. The two Gospels that do mention what theologians call the “infancy narratives” differ on some significant details.
Matthew seems to describe Mary and Joseph as living in Bethlehem, fleeing to Egypt and then moving to Nazareth. The Gospel of Luke, on the other hand, has the two originally living in Nazareth, traveling to Bethlehem in time for the birth, and then returning home. Both Gospels do however place Jesus’ birthplace in Bethlehem. This much they all agree.
Then there is the idea that Jesus was an only child. Catholics, for example, believe Mary’s pregnancy came about miraculously as a “virgin birth.” They also believe that Mary remained a virgin her entire life, although many Protestants do not. For the purposes of this writing I will not expand on the thinking of the thousands of religious philosophies.
Nonetheless, there are Gospel passages that speak of Jesus’ brothers and sisters which seem to confuse many. For example, in the Gospel of Luke, someone tells Jesus: “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” And in Mark’s Gospel, people from Nazareth exclaim: “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?” Saint Paul even calls James “the Lord’s brother.” Therefore, I agree with many scholars who maintain that Jesus indeed had brothers and sisters which might be explained perhaps through an earlier marriage of Joseph. Or not!
Dr. Ben, the noted African historian, points to a story thousands of years before Christ that is very similar that occurred in Upper Africa to Isis, the mother of Horace. If this is true, then the greatest story ever told is a recent phenomenon. For sure, the way it’s practiced today is a phenomenon that is not consistent with the true meaning of Christmas. However, worries about diluting Christmas’s meaning go much further back than recent memory.
Gift-giving, for example, was seen as problematic as early as the Middle Ages, when the church frowned on the practice for its supposed pagan origins. The holiday season has become so distorted that our children now think that Jesus was born at Wal-Mart.
This recounting of these few recorded facts is in no way intended to steal your joy or deter your faith. As we all know, faith is, believing to be true that which is unseen. No one really knows the truth of this miraculous event that resulted in a poor peasant boy changing the lives of mankind since his birth two thousand years ago. The point is this: in the mist of our joy and celebration lest not forget the true meaning of Jesus’ birth which is to love one another and humanity. After all, the purpose of our existence is to continue the species – mankind – which is what Jesus preached!
I am looking forward to the blessings and opportunities that the New Year can bring us all and wish you and yours a Happy Holiday Season, Abundance, Prosperity and an Extraordinary 2012! Therefore, I give the gift of love and empowerment. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Remember - Legacy - A New Season is Coming Soon!!!
To find out more about my novels visit:
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has done it again. Jackie offers her powerful commentaries on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on Spreaker.com with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us on the fastest growing political talk show on the air where we talk about the political news of the day. Oh, and all the crazy goings-on in our country. It’s a blast!!!
The Republican Party claims that the act of raising taxes is in direct violation of their solemn pledge to Grover Norquist, a man most recently described as “some random person” by speaker of the house John Boehner. They also tell us that raising taxes is a direct violation of their most sacred article of faith.
Their devotion to this belief is the reason that we can’t seem to make any headway in reducing the national debt or passing a modest bill to aid in job creation.
The Republican Party has told us for the last 10+ years that tax cuts are magical. They don’t need any budgetary off-sets because they pay for themselves. And while it would seem to any rational person that the huge tax cuts put in place during the Bush administration aided in exploding the national debt and hurling the nation into a cycle of deficit spending; Republican representatives assure us that that isn’t the case at all. We must have faith.
Given the manner in which the modern Republican Party has vociferously defended this article of faith, why have they failed to extend a payroll tax cut that will save 160 million Americans an average of $1,000 per year? Why does this particular tax-cut need a budgetary off-set so as not to add to the deficit? I mean, aren’t tax cuts magical? Have Republicans lost their faith?
Written by, Jackie Morganfield-Lambert my friend and that’s a Thought Provoking Perspective…
To find out more about my novels Visit:
Saturday, December 17, 2011
This is the season we rejoice with great celebration for Christmas is the day Christ our savior was born. Rarely do I share much of my personal being but in this post I want to pour my heart out because this is neither my favorite season nor one that I look forward to anymore. It is not due to a lack of faith or my strong conviction and belief in someone greater than I; who I call chose to call God. Rather, it is due to an event that will forever pain my heart.
Every year as the holiday season comes upon us I have to relive a dreadful horror. So I ask that you please forgive any tears that may stain the pages as I write. If you have experienced the greatest love of all and lost it. I know you feel my pain. Therefore, I will use this writing to express my feelings and pay homage to my late son - who I miss very much. I am blessed in that he left me a wonderful grandson who I cherish with more love than I can explain.
It’s been sometime since God called my only son home to be with him and the pain of his absence does not go away. No parent should have to bury a child, let alone the only child they’ve been blessed to have. It just doesn’t seem right for a child to go before a parent but this is not something that is unique to me. I know from scripture that others have endured such pain since time began. Able died before Adam and Eve and John the Baptist died preceding his parents. We also know for certain that Jesus died before Mary because she witnessed his crucifixion, and how painful that must have been.
It was a dreadful dreary cold day about ten years ago, early in the morning, when I lost my Rashad due to a tragic automobile accident. It was without question the worst thing imaginable and most certainly my darkest hour. This pain never seems to subside and I will tell you during this season it is more painful. Adding to the sadness of this situation his death occurred on New Year’s Eve and on the morning of his son’s first birthday as we were preparing a birthday party for my grandson.
This brings to mind words from scripture. Rather, a question I was asked a long time ago. “Why Jesus wept?” As the story goes, Jesus was so moved as he witnessed the pain of Mary and Martha weeping for the loss of his dear friend, Lazarus, that he also wept. Today, I understand that emotion because I have felt such pain. I wrote a few books which might very well explain why I was chosen as the vehicle to share such a powerful story within the pages of “Just a Season” that will surely live far beyond the season I’ve been given.
From this nightmare I have come to understand that adversity can either destroy or develop you. Unless and until you have suffered enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny. Now having said that my salvation was to take this lemon (for lack of a better word) and make lemonade. What I have learned from this tragedy is that there is a definition of service that is not written in Webster’s Dictionary that says “I can heal by giving of myself to the benefit of others.”
In spite of this never before known pain that resides permanently within my soul I am very grateful that God saw fit to bless me with a wonderful grandson whose name is Elijah. So as each year passes and Elijah resembles my son more and more. The pain eases and the season becomes more bearable. With that said, I have a new novel coming soon dedicated to my son called “Legacy – A New Season”. Therefore, it’s time to move on as generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope.
I pray that my son is rejoicing in the bosom of our Lord knowing that I am here for his son in his stead. I am looking forward to the day when I see him again so we can walk around haven all day reveling in wonders of God’s kingdom.
The tears are flowing uncontrollably now. So I will close by saying to anyone experiencing adversity whether it is from health, financial issues or the pain of missing a loved one. I offer my deepest sympathy to you, particularly those who have joined this unwelcomed fraternity of losing a child. The Christmas holiday season and welcoming the New Year will never be the same.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever… believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26
And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…
“RASHAD ALI WILLS”
1981 – 2001
To find out more about my novels Visit:
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has once again offered another empowering and insightful gift of wisdom. Jackie offers her powerful commentaries on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on Spreaker.com with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air talk where we talk about the political news of the day and all the crazy goings-on in our country. It’s a blast!!!
The Middle-Class Tax
(Or, How Financial Markets Affect You)
My favorite coffee shop is a small business locally owned by “Mom & Pop”. Today, while getting my morning pick-me-up, “Pop” and I began to discuss the high cost of living. He told me that the cost of coffee beans had gone up more than 300% this year. Was there a particularly bad harvest in coffee producing nations around the world? No, the spike in prices, he said, was caused primarily by rampant speculation in the commodities market. And, since he could not raise his prices by 300% and expect to keep many customers, he and his lovely wife decided to do their best to absorb the higher costs and hope they can hang on to their business until their costs go down.
Now, the folks who are bidding up the price of coffee beans could care less about the problems of a small, but very popular, business in a little California town. They are just out to make a fast buck. The buck that they are making, however, does not employ a single American. This buck doesn’t build anything or make anything. This buck simply goes into the pocket of some hot-shot, Wall Street financier who will pay less of his income in taxes than you will for going to work every day.
Now, let’s apply the coffee bean principle to the price of gas, groceries, electricity and the like. We certainly can’t expect a large oil company to do what “pop” did, especially since big oil is helping to bid up the price of gasoline.
As the Republicans continue to defend tax cuts for the richest among us, just remember that you, and I, and every working person in this great nation are subsidizing the rich not only through the tax code but through the prices we pay.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Please join my friend every Thursday night at the Booga-Loo Cafe from 9:00 PM-12:00 AM (EST) at www.spreaker.com as I bring to you the most unsung/unsigned talent and old school musical greats from around the world.
Also, if you'd like to give a holla' on air, and let me know that you are "up all night wit Brenda White", please call (321) 236-7470 and give me a "shout" and give your friends a "shout out." I'll see you in the "CHAT ROOM" where it gets CRAZY!!
Take a listen:
Oh, don't forget to tune in every Tuesday night for "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM on SPREAKER.COM.
It seems like I can remember so many things since I have, as I call it, mentally matured with what I perceive as real. Some call it thought-provoking. This post is intended to be thought-provoking because I want to capture words once spoken by a King. They were said almost a half century ago and they resonate as clearly today as when they were spoken. Now, let me make it clear from the beginning - if you have heard them before great! If you have not; pay close attention because they speak truth to morality. Let me also add that the words are captured and inspired from a speech by the immortal Martin Luther “the King”.
I see war as an unjust, evil, and futile. The time has come for America to hear the truth about the tragic wars in which they are now engaged. The day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free." I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.
Even when pressed by the demands of our inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing government policies, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own soul and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing, as they often do in the case of these dreadful conflicts, we're always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty.
Millions have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism, to the high grounds of firm dissent, based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Now, one of the difficulties in speaking out grows from the fact that there are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty. It's a dark day in our nation when high-level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent, i.e. the 99’ers. The truth must be told. It appears that anyone who opposes war is a traitor or an enemy of our soldiers. Understand that war does not always mean military conflict.
There is an obvious and almost facile connection between any war and the struggle many have been waging in America. Once there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed that there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through Poverty Programs. I watched these programs broken as if they were idle political playthings of a society gone mad. America will never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as these insane adventures continue to draw men and skills and money, like some demonic, destructive suction tube.
You may not know it but, it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we do not spend a hundred dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that goes for salaries of people hired to, supposedly, help the poor. Therefore, I am increasingly compelled to see war as an enemy of the poor. Do not consider just the wars in the Middle East but look at the war being waged against you and your community. They continue to tell us that this nation is the greatest nation in the world. I say that measure should be judged by how the nation treats her old, young, and poor.
This great country takes our young men, and women, sending them thousands of miles away under the guise of guaranteeing liberty others. Who've been crippled by society because there are no jobs; before or after the conflict. Yet, they have not found peace or given liberty to citizens in Mississippi, Georgia and New York or, in the slums of Washington, DC. Frankly, this is a cruel manipulation of freedom and justice while, in the meantime, the political arena has become a disgrace.
The only change that came from America were increased troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept and without the popular support of their own people. All the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace, democracy and land reform. Now, they languish under our bombs and consider us the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into jails and camps, where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs.
So they go, primarily women, and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their land and weep as the bulldozers roar through the areas where they live. They wander into the towns and see thousands of children, homeless - without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers and soliciting for their mothers. We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. Please remember this: “You cannot free anyone if they do not want to be free”. Yet, our government tells us we would be treated as liberators.
This is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolutions impossible while refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I'm convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution we, as a nation, must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit-motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation cannot be conquered.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. On the one hand, we are called upon to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that is only the first step. One day, we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be beaten constantly and, then robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation.
The Bible says, “You shall reap what you sow”. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when the lion and the lamb will lie down together and, every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and, none shall be afraid because the words of the Lord have spoken it. And nations will not rise up against nations; neither shall they study war anymore. And, I don't know about you, but I don’t want to study war no more.
This article was captured and inspired by “A King” and that’s my THOUGHT PERVOKING PERSPECTIVE…
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has once again offered another empowering and insightful gift of wisdom. Jackie offers her powerful commentaries on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on Spreaker.com with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air talk where we talk about the political news of the day and all the crazy goings-on in our country. It’s a blast!!!
The Dangers of Reality TV – Part Deux
In last week’s commentary, I poked fun at the Republican Presidential Debates – comparing them to a tacky reality show. It is horrifying to think that my snarky comments of last week have now found expression in the person of Donald Trump.
On December 27th, Donald Trump will moderate his own Presidential Debate - one week before the Iowa Caucuses. He staged an announcement with none other than Republican front-runner, Newt Gingrich, standing at his side. He and Newt apparently had a wonderful meeting. They found a way to help Donald sell his new book and promote his reality show, while helping Newt to hawk his books and DVD’s. I mean, that’s what the 2012 Presidential contest is for, right?
This stunt demonstrates a total lack of respect for both the political process and the American electorate. How can the voters take any of these people seriously? When did the political process become so incredibly ridiculous? How can we save ourselves from this foolishness?
It has been said that you can fool some of the people all of the time and, all of the people some of the time but, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Let us hope that this time, NONE of the people will be fooled. Let us hope that informed voters will reject these cynical ploys.
Yes, last week I compared the Republican Presidential Debates to a reality show. And, this week, I am reminded that God truly does have a wicked sense of humor.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
For all that I know about faith I have come to understand that we all have a cross to bear and I mean that in terms of the burden race. Let me make that statement more direct – being black. From the first day we were dragged upon the shores of this land people of African decent have had an intense desire that we mind our manners and avoid personal acts and activity that would make the entire race look bad. Of course, or should I say, there were those images we did allow to represent us as buffoons to entertain those of the other hue, which left an impression of our worthlessness.
You know what I mean like the bad hair thing, chitterlings, water mellows, and such! Even when we were made out to be fools on television and in the movies most of us abided by the unwritten rules of deportment. I did say most of us! Well until this year’s human, and I use that loosely, a guy who will inevitably become known as a disgrace to our community and beyond. Let me put it differently; we have progressed to the point where, in my opinion, the buffoonery of a Herman Cain will make us shudder and shrink into the shadows to hide our faces.
For him to suggest that blacks should have gone to the back of the bus and not caused no trouble. Or, to say that African Americans were brainwashed is an unforgiveable insult that has frankly relegated this guy to a place far outside of the antics comparable to Amos 'n' Andy or even a Stepin Fetchit character. He so far as to tell the world that the ultraconservative billionaires the Koch brothers were his "brothers from another mother" and describing himself as "black-walnut ice cream" only drew disdain from our community.
Then came his ignorance, and I meant to use that word, of foreign affairs. Like the most talked about event this year - the war in Libya or the fact that China has had a nuclear bomb for years and lest not forget his long pauses and poor answers to questions about policy issues that presidents confront daily which reflected solely on him and all he could say was 9-9-9! Shocking!!! Calling him an embarrassment is too kind.
And his 999 tax plan is simple-sounding enough that Mr. John Q. Average can feel secure in it because he doesn't think he needs to do the math and not realizing that he would potentially pay more than he does now. Cain sees water-boarding as an "enhanced interrogation technique" and homosexuality as a "choice". Of course he has flip-flopped on abortion depending on the day of the week he is asked the question. Frankly, he was a good ol’ uncle who did what he was told and the ideological Tea Party-esque Republican wanted to hear. He was just a man with a black face belittling President Obama.
I've found no one who pays much serious attention to his comments and behavior, certainly no one in the African American community. Maybe I should digress because “they” seems to always find someone like him who reminds me of my uncle whose name is Thomas but we call him Tom for short. Then came the “jump-offs”, which made his sorry character seem as if it came straight out of central casting for black exploitation. Negro please!!! Did you not know they would dig up all of these white women?
"He's just stupid," a black, politically savvy grandfather in Chattanooga was reported as saying. "He knew he had all that baggage in his background before he ran. He is not qualified to be president." I could not have said it better. So I guess the million dollar question is what does Herman Cain get out of it?
A lot of attention to grease his outsize ego, a lot of money from speaking engagements and book sales, and bragging rights to say that not only did he run for president, but for a brief moment, he was actually the leader in his race. But now he'll have to assess, with his family and us, whether the ride was worth it.
This clown who really had no chance for the Citizen Council to make him their candidate even though he thinks that the unemployed are in their situations because they just don't try hard enough and that blacks are "brainwashed into not being open-minded" about conservative positions; according to him racism doesn't hold blacks back. He believes that God told him to run for president, sort of like the way God told Moses to lead the Hebrews.
Being what Malcolm described as a House Negro allowed him to use his populist charisma, managed to get conservatives to anoint him the Apostle of the Negro Right. One popular conservative said, he’s one of our blacks and he is better than there blacks. I am still trying to figure that one out but where I come from that is code for uncle.
So with Election Day less than a year away the Citizen Council has thrown their boy under the bus and we are left with the prospect of the likes of Michele Bachmann, the flip flopper Mitt Romney who they call “him”, Ron Paul who would rather revisit Jim Crow, Rick Perry whose family owns a ranch called “Nigger Head” and the serial fibber Newt Gingrich. Maybe with a cast of characters like that Uncle Herman should have remained. Wouldn’t that have been a good thing? Not really. One thing history has taught us is that people who can appeal to masses but who avoid the scrutiny of individuals are dangerous. Hitler comes to mind.
There was a line in the movie Men in Black, and I’ll paraphrase, individuals are smart because they are discerning, but people - meaning groups - are fearful, nervous and easily manipulated. That, to me, explains why Cain was doing so well in the polls.
I guess that’s why I have such distain for black conservatives such as Cain. They can hold high the ideals of what America should be. But then they've got to deal with the next cringe-worthy thing they are told to say and there is no place for them when they are abandoned by those who run the plantation. Cain and all his foibles deserve to be in the place he’s in and may he find peace in knowing that he is all alone.
I seem to recall Jesus said in the synoptic gospels that “tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. …it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24
And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I am so honored to have my very good friend the incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert who happens to be the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters. Thankfully, she has so graciously offered to empower you with her insight and wisdom. Jackie offers a powerful commentary on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on Spreaker.com with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air talk where we talk about the political news of the day and all the crazy goings-on in our country.
Click to listen: SPREAKER.COM
The Dangers of Reality TV
On May 31st in the year 2000, Americans were introduced to a television show called “Survivor”. It was the first program in the TV genre known as “reality TV’. Since “Survivor’s” debut, a slew of shows following this format have flooded the American airwaves. And, even though these shows aren’t real – reality – they provide entertainment to millions of American households.
This year, another reality series has hit the airwaves. This series is called the Republican Presidential Debates. This series has given us a lot of memorable dialogue. For example, reality TV star Michelle Bachman declared that no American should have to pay taxes. And in his supporting role, Rick Santorum told us that racial profiling is necessary to good order and peace in the kingdom. Series co-star Herman Cain gave us 9-9-9 and guest star Rick Perry gave us, well, um - a performance memorable only for its forget ability.
Yes, the Republican Presidential Debates have given Americans hours and hours of entertainment. The sad part is that as the “stars” are voted off the list of presidential contenders in the upcoming Republican primaries, the candidate that remains will be running for the highest office in the land. With the serious problems facing our nation, do we want “reality TV” spilling over into our reality? What would the very REAL consequences be to our society? I cringe to think of it! Let’s talk about that!
If you missed it!!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Since the year of our Lord 1619, when African’s were first dragged onto American shores of this place they called “merica”; our people have been chastised, criticized, punished, beaten, robbed, and murdered. These atrocities where done while the culprits enjoyed wealth and prosperity as a result of our never ending allegiance and patriotism, often blindly. Even today when we have ascended to the White House there are those who castigate much vial abuse upon this uniquely qualified man of African heritage or at least he looks like us.
We are a unique people, a forgiving people, a steadfast people, and a brave people unlike any known to the world. It was our labor that built this country and is responsible for the great wealth America enjoys to this very today. When you look upon America’s enormous wealth and the power derived from its tremendous control of resources think about the sacrifices our families made to make all of this possible. We have looked out for this country for hundreds of years and still doing so today, which is simply amazing.
Upon our backs, laden with the stripes of punishment for what they believed was for discipline and in spite of our loyalty, diligence and tenacity - we loved America. Even when America refused to allow us to even walk in the shadows - we followed; believing that someday we would come to be accepted and be treated like men and women. Our strength in the face of adversity is vastly understated.
Our history is one of unbelievable struggle. We’ve been brave on the battlefield despite being classified as three-fifths of a man. This was and is outstanding and frankly beyond the call of duty considering that we have lived through slavery and under an Apartheid like system through most of our time here. To be honest we were considered a race of people living in a nation without a nationality. We have raised America’s children, attended to its sick, and prepared their meals while those forefathers were occupied with the trappings of the good life.
Even during the times when they found pleasure in our women and enjoyment in seeing our men lynched, maimed and burned - we continued to watch over America’s soul. We labored in the hot sun from can’t to can’t to assist in realizing the dream of wealth, good fortune, and made America a great world power. We were there when it all began, and you are still here today, protecting the system from those Black people who have the temerity to speak out against America’s past transgressions.
It was us who warned about Denmark-Vessey, told you about Gabriel Prosser's plans, called your attention to Nat Turner, Malcolm, and yes Martin too. It was us who sounded the alarm when old John Brown came calling on Harper's Ferry and there are still some sounding warnings today. Black Nationalism has died and as result our community brings 95 percent of what it earns to other businesses while keeping little for itself in spite of the fact that other people controlled at least 90 percent of all the resources and wealth of this nation.
We purchase things like Hilfigers, Karans, Nikes, and all of the other brands that I assume make people feel as if the system is giving back something for their patronage. After all, in the past, the brands and scares placed upon us were worn quite painfully but those of today are proudly worn because they give a false sense of self-esteem. Our community’s super-rich; athletes, entertainers, intellectuals, and business persons, both legal and illegal, exchange most of their money for cars, jewelry, homes, and clothing. The less fortunate among us spend all they have at neighborhood stores, enabling other cultures to benefit by opening more stores and taking our wealth; this is the result of our not doing business with each other.
In today's business environment we sadly do not support each other and just keep doing business with the larger community; in fact any other community. Some say we, as a people, were very successful doing this after slavery ended and even as recently as 1960 but you know what happens when you began to build your own communities and do business with one another – you’re pitted against one another and destroy ourselves. Notwithstanding, we dance, sing, fight, get high, go to prison, back bite, envy, distrust, and hate one another.
Oh, less not forget we pray a lot hoping that when we die you will find a place where there is a mansion waiting for you with streets paved with gold somewhere in the sky. We resisted the messages of trouble making Blacks like Washington, Delaney, Garvey, Bethune, Tubman, and Truth for fighting and dying on the battlefield for us. Yet, most have forgotten the names and take no reverence in their sacrifice due to a lack of reciprocity and equity.
This includes our acquiescence to political agendas, abdicating our own economic self-sufficiency, and working so diligently for the economic well-being of other people. Even though the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were written and many died for the rights described therein, we did not even resist when they changed Black Rights to Civil Rights and allowed virtually every other group to take advantage of them for their progress. This goes beyond the imagination, irrespective of the many promises that have been made and broken.
Moreover, we went beyond the pale when we allowed our children to be turned over to the American educational system. With what is being taught to them, it's likely they will continue in a mode similar to the one we have followed for the past 45 years. Remember, Mr. Lynch when he walked the banks of the James River in 1712. He prophetically said he would make African’s slave for 300 years; little did he realize the truth in his prediction because next year his promise will come to fruition.
But with two generations of children going through this education system, we can look forward to at least another 50 years of despair. We can change that come to understand that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. When you continue to do what you’ve always done; you will get what you always got and that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
In a past life, one of many that I have enjoyed, I taught a college course called the Psychology of the Black Family. From time to time I go back and look through some of those old term papers from that class to which I become enthralled by the content. The assignment given to each student was to write a term paper on “The Breakdown of the African American Family”. As I read through some of the thirty or so papers I found several very significant points and a common theme throughout the papers. I decided to capture some of the key points from those research papers to share with you.
I know this “Thought Provoking Perspective” may cause some controversy and maybe some hate mail. Nonetheless, my intent is to, maybe, create some dialog within our consciousness as to why the black family, our community, and black people are the least likely to work together as a solid unit to the benefit of each other as other ethnic groups do.
During slavery, and from the 1800's through the 1980's, the concept of family was tight knit, strongly woven, and the envy of most cultures. The African American family unit survived in spite of unimaginable cruelty and adversity. It is only recently, during the last thirty years or so that the African American family became dysfunctional and lost its direction. One has to think for some twisted reason we do not feel whole because in many cases we allow others define us.
I can recall a powerful statement made by one of the students who expressed that she thinks the different social pressures on black men and women have contributed to the weak traditional family structure. Black women have been able to achieve more economic and educational success than black men, leading to them being higher wage earners. This inequality has eroded black women's reliance on men and their willingness to compromise on their needs or expectations, which in turn has led to resentment and disappointment on both sides.
Black women raise children, too often alone, and the bitterness that difficult task creates causes some women to make derogatory complaints against men in general, tainting their daughters and shaming their sons. Also, it seems that black women do not often hold their sons to as high a standard as their daughters, making them further vulnerable.
If proper behavior is not modeled for young people, they have difficulty fulfilling those expectations. This creates the perfect ingredients for the dismal situations to occur in our community. She went on to say that a lot of that has to do with our values, and the lack of knowing the importance of loving our communities, our families, and ourselves.
These are 12 key factors expressed from my student’s outstanding research papers:
1. The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hardworking black men were shipped abroad to be murdered, returned home shell shocked, severely damaged, or addicted. Many of which were unable to get back on track after returning from war because the government abandoned them.The next time you look in the mirror or just look at the picture I have inserted which might give you something to think about. And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!
2. COINTELPRO: The covert actions of J. Edgar Hoover in the wake of the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movements all but insured that anyone speaking out against the governments wrong doings would receive either long prison sentences or bullets. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust, and removing many of our leaders as well as potential future leaders.
3. The Assassinations of the 1960’s: Left a huge void in leadership that has yet to be filled, particularly within the Civil Rights Movement to include within the community. Instead, a universal acceptance of the pimp/hustler image in popular culture that presented alternative heroes to black youth, which resonant in the form of Gangster Rap. This genre leads to the glorification of the criminal element amidst immature minds that lack familial structure. In addition to black on black crime and staying silent while black youth are murdered by other black youth.
4. The Feminist Movement: Backed by liberal white women to fight for the equal rights of women; the same rights most black men had yet to fully be granted. A lot of black women got lost in the rhetoric of how men were keeping them down, losing sight of the fact that black men were down there with them. To this day, the power exchange and infighting among black men and women, is sadly considered the norm, a tool enumerated by Willie Lynch.
5. Oliver North & the Contras: The volume of drugs, mainly crack cocaine that flooded the black community during the 80 to which most of the drugs came in on U.S. ships with the support of the Government. The CRACK era escalated death and incarceration rates, unwanted pregnancies, neighborhood prostitution and a culture of violence. Folks were selling their kids to hit the pipe, and selling their souls to sell what went in that pipe. This epidemic destroyed our community in ways slavery could never have done. This form of contemporary was the cruelest type of slavery imposed upon our communities.
6. Mass media brainwashing & mind control: The influences of propaganda and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Life Styles of the Rich and Famous, Dynasty, Different Strokes, and the Jefferson’s for example. The American conscious during the 80's was money driven. Materialism became the idea that stuff defines you and others.
7. Education: The lack of proper education, financing support, and knowledge being taught by African American professionals. In addition our leaders and academics failed us as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80's. Prior to this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. Yet the great migration to greener pastures left a void in the community leaving it to be filled by the image of the hustler-pimp-thug, ruthlessness, and violence.
8. Communication: This speaks to education of self and listening to the wrong messengers. The communication of values - parents became unavailable to hand down family legacies, traditions and value systems. We're like POW's locked in the same building for 20 years, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our personas, egos, insecurities, isms etc.
9. The Black Church: Many churches have lost their way. The business of religion is bankrupting our communities. Many churches are not touching the lives of those outside of the church most in need. Just like back in the day when it was the design of slave masters, who did so much wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and a promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as faith which was necessary to survive our struggles.
10. Urbanization - work and home were once connected. Parents were near their families and children understood work as a way of life. Urbanization helped create “latch key" kids and images of hard work disappeared while replacing it with material objects.
11. Social Services: The advent of the system of welfare that demanded the absence of the influence of the black man in the home. Before Claudine during the early 50's welfare was a Midwestern farmer hook up and back then you HAD to be a complete family to apply. So the laws for welfare changed in the inner-city while many in the farm lands of Mid America started to change in culture to fit the application for welfare. For decades to follow, trillions of dollars in government spending on ineffective social programs in our cities have not by enlarge benefited the mobility of the family.
12. Segregation: Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes that prevented legal marriages, dehumanized people, and discriminatory practices in work/education left many African Americans unable to access resources necessary to build strong family bases causing disillusioned men/husbands/fathers to abandonment rather than face daily reminder of their "failure".
TO BE CONTINUED…
You are welcome to add your comments, views, and perspectives.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I have been very busy with my new projects and my friend the incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert who happens to be the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has so graciously offer to empower you with her insight and wisdom.
Jackie offers a powerful commentary on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on Spreaker.com with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air.
What, exactly, is a Congressional Super Committee? I would describe it as the bastard child of ideological intransigence and legislative cowardice. If you find that assessment somewhat harsh, consider this. The fiscal problems that the nation faces are known. We know how we got into this cycle of debt and deficit and we know how to correct it. Because the cure for what ails us may be of temporary inconvenience to a few powerful interest groups, there appears to be an appalling absence of political will in our Congress to set things right.
The intransigence comes from elected members of Congress who cling to old ideas that have been proven to be destructive and unjust but, for some reason, they cannot let these ideas go. Heaven forbid that any of these members of Congress would take the radical step of thinking for themselves.
The super committee was supposed to save us all from these twin evils. Imagine my surprise when I heard that the Congressional Super Committee that was charged with the task of pulling our nation away from the edge of the abyss of financial ruin – FAILED. It failed so utterly and completely that one must wonder why we have a congress at all? Will someone please remind me of what’s so super about the committee? Let’s talk about that!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Well Mrs. Cain finally made an appearance – of sorts. Gloria Cain appeared on the network of Fox and Fools recently to be interviewed by Greta Van Susteren and was asked a very simple direct question; if her husband would be a good president? The answer may have been of course not all that surprising if you were to read it in print. But if you watch her response it’s a whole different matter … not exactly a ringing endorsement of Herman.
I'm pulling for Cain and I really hope he get the nomination. If he does I can guarantee President Obama another term in office. Let me just say, I was taught by my mother that if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone – don’t say anything! So I will end this piece with this: learn something about the world, like if China was a nuclear power or who the President of Uzbekistan is. Oh, how about that Libya is in Africa! Its clear Cain’s thinking or lack thereof is the same old conservative song and dance; it's everyone else fault that he is ill informed, not knowledgeable, ignorant, and just plain buffoonishly stupid.
I'll add that I am sure Gloria is a sweet woman and from what I have read she voted Democrat last time, which says a lot. But let's be honest, this woman probably have never told a lie in her life until that question was asked and it appears as if it was the hardest thing in the world for her to do; unlike her husband, she's not a natural liar.
She gave a look that said, “Negro Please!” And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE…
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I have become enthralled with this year’s Republican cast of characters. It might be more accurately stated as circus or sideshows. After the last debate I asked myself; has it come to this? I’ve been trying to recall when the mentality or the lack thereof represented on the debate stage was, if ever, more comedic. I have lived long enough to have seen many things, and frankly this group takes the cake.
I really thought I’d seen the worst during the last presidential campaign with the War Hero and Caribou Barbie. Remember them, one could see the future and the other could see Russia from her house. The only way I can describe this current group of fools is to compare their insanity to it being on steroids.
I have really enjoyed the debates because they have been ridiculously hilarious. In the last one I got the biggest laugh from the presumed frontrunners. These people want us to believe they are ready to be the leader of the free world. Hmmm! I’ll start with the guy who had a mortifying episode of brain-lock during the debate and of course I will talk about his opponents who somehow managed to remember their lines but honestly didn’t do any better making sense.
Let’s say Mr. Perry’s Meltdown was a human episode. Ok, I’ll admit I am compassionate and understanding but really with his political background, do we really want this guy to have the black box with his finger on the button. I don’t! This plus the “N word Lodge” thing gives me reason to suggest perhaps he should head back to Austin. It was embarrassing for me to watch. So I know it was embarrassing for him and frankly, his plunging poll numbers suggest that he has little chance of winning the nomination; and by the way, um, let’s see, wait a minute, it’ll come to me. . . . Oh, I forgot; um, um.
He tried for 43 humiliating seconds, which is an eternity when you’re in front of a television camera, before finally giving up. Now, it was not like he was trying to remember the formula for dichotomizing the atom. He was merely trying to remember the three federal agencies he would eliminate if he became president. He named the Commerce Department and the Education Department — then blanked on the third. WOW! To his credit he did remember it about 15 minutes later, at his next opportunity to speak - the Energy Department. But the damage had been done.
I myself just had a momentary mental lapse, a couple of paragraphs back, but on national TV when he should have been prepared. Shocking! Now, its one thing to misstep when the list is 10, 15 or maybe 20 items - but three? If you look back at his other performances in previous debates they were not much better, which begs the questions about his intellectual depth, not to mention basic grammar.
Ok, time to move on. Next there was the one they, meaning Republicans, call “Him” - Mitt Romney. Most talking heads seemed to think that “Him” was the winner by default. Romney has mastered the art of surviving these multi-candidate encounters: Speak fluidly and with conviction, secure in the knowledge that with so many others on the stage and so little time for each question, there’s hardly any danger of being caught in any of his obvious contradictions, flip-flops and non sequiturs. Actually with “Him”, there is just a noun a verb and Obama.
Then there was Newt! He is, by some, considered the intellectual of the cast as he often remind us that he once was a professor of history and a historian. I recall reading somewhere that his PhD thesis at Tulane University was titled “Belgian Education Policy in the Congo: 1945-1960.” If you don’t know that’s about the history of colonial Africa, which might be a sign of the times if he were to get the job as president. Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and Ron Paul were merely present and accounted for or maybe props would be more fitting.
Last but not least is the star of the circus or the GOP’s token shade of color; the pizza man - Herman Cain. With all the alleged sexual harassment claims coming from so many white women he had the nerve to refer to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “Princess Nancy.” I know he has spent the past week trying to convince the nation he’s not guilty of chronically self-indulgent behavior toward women. Belittling the first woman to become speaker of the House with a flip, sexist insult was appalling.
Well this is my view of the debacle that was the last sideshow they called a debate. If you don’t know, I am a huge boxing fan and at the end of each boxing match the referee will raise the hand of the victorious fighter. Let’s say they would do this for the fight to be the next president of America. It would sound like this: “The winner and still president of the United States – Barack Obama!”
And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Elections are being held all over the nation, today. Most of these elections are on state and local issues that have national implications. The issues before the voters encompass a wide range of concerns including: union rights, voting rights and women’s rights.
That these issues are being placed before voters in the year 2011 seems, to me, ridiculous. Consider this, weren’t the rights of workers to organize collectively and negotiate for fair wages and safe working conditions determined long ago? If you like 40 hour work weeks, overtime pay, weekends off, sick leave and paid vacations, you have no one to thank but union organizers who brought workers together to demand these benefits.
What about all of the people who sacrificed their time and treasure and some, who sacrificed their very lives to ensure that all citizens could exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote?
And, isn’t it settled law that women – as full citizens of this great nation – have the right to be secure in their own person – without government intrusion into the difficult and personal choices they make in respect to their own bodies?
One of the greatest difficulties we face by living in a democracy is that sometimes you lose the argument. Who does it serve for us to continue to contest the same issues over and over again? Let’s talk about that.
Now that is a THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!
I am in the process of completing my new novel "Legacy - A New Season" that will soon be released. I offer my sincere appreciation to my dear friend and co-host of the talk show “Let’s Talk About It” the incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert who happens to be the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters. Jackie’s powerful commentary can be heard each week on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on Spreaker.com with me and the Wild and Wonderful Brenda White.
You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I would like to introduce my many avid readers to my friend the incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert who happens to be the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters. Jackie, as I call her, offers a powerful commentary each week on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on Spreaker.com with me and the Wild and Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air.
Taking our country back?
As this political season makes its inexorable march to the 2012 elections, I’ve noticed a common theme among the republican candidates – “take our country back”. I’m sure that many of you have asked yourselves the same question that I have, take our country back from whom?
Upon further reflection, I’ve determined that it is not that the republicans want to take our country back from someone in particular. It’s more a matter of taking our country back in time.
If you can bear to listen to the rhetorical thunder coming from republican presidential candidates you will notice a common thread. They all rumble that abortion must be illegal. And, in some places, they are working very hard to criminalize most forms of birth control to boot.
Government should not regulate anything. Wall Street Robber Barons should be free to extort profits in anyway they choose. In pursuit of greater profits, manufacturers should be free to pollute our environment as much as they like.
Government should not care about or, have any involvement in the general welfare of its citizens. Medicare, social security, food stamps, health care for poor children, early childhood education, public education and any other program designed to give citizens a modicum of security or a chance at upward mobility should be abolished.
And, my personal favorite, wealthy citizens should not be asked to contribute a little more in taxes. Actually, the very rich should be exempt from taxes entirely because they’re just superior to the rest of us. Who knows, they may take some of their massive wealth and create a minimum wage job or two.
So, you see it is not so much that the republicans want to the country away from some one - they just want take us back to say 1920. What a novel idea - time travel through legislation! Let’s talk about that.
The Politics of Fear
While using the emotion of fear to sway the electorate is nothing new, it does seem to have reached a fever pitch over the past several years. The rise of the so-called “Tea Party” is the most prominent example of the emotion of fear driving a portion of the electorate.
Instead of using the current economic down-turn as a spring-board to bring out the best in us; the republican tea partiers are using it to appeal to the lowest common denominator in our society. In their America, each group of citizens is required to retreat into a small tribe, tribes defined by race, tribes defined by religion, tribes defined by sexual orientation, and on, and on and on. In their America, there is no such thing as the common good. In their America, citizens must view one another with fear and suspicion. This is the only way they believe they can stay in power.
This tribal attitude is not merely a symptom of the thinking of small minds; it serves to starve the spirit of a great nation. It is imperative that no matter what’s going on in our lives, we do not succumb to the politics of fear. The emotion of fear in the political process serves only to divide us and prevent us from realizing our true greatness as a nation.
You can catch "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday on SPRAKER.COM
Now that is a THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
I listen to a nationally syndicated radio host sometime in the afternoon. This guy has a show from time to time called “Pimps in the Pulpit”. It sounds bad, I know, but is there a hint of truth to that description. Trust me, I know that talking about religion or the church is never a good idea. Having said that, I’m sure I will be berated for this writing but I hope most will understand that my point is this: when will the black church community take an honest look at itself?
Don’t get me wrong. I love the “lawd” as much as the next person who claims that they do. I also love and can appreciate “The Word” and I respect pastors, and there are many good ones out there. I think we should do more to support and honor the good ones. I have several in my family. I also know that there are some who have raised hell all of their lives, gone to prison and worse, who now claim to have been called. So I know, in many cases, all are not what they seem or claim to be. Lest, be careful and not confuse the man or church with Christianity or Spirituality.
Let’s be real, you know the scenario – I’ll call it the drama. A pastor gets caught in some scandalous behavior like stealing money, committing adultery, having a child by a member or worse. The word spreads, a few fed-up members leave the church. The “incident” is down-played or swept under the rug and eventually the congregation moves on as if nothing ever happened. Black churches are notorious for their unwillingness to shake bad leaders. Even in the face of undeniable evidence of gross sin, some congregations maintain their commitments to shady characters with an almost addictive-like quality.
When this happens it tends to inflect damage far greater than their collective work. Frankly, it spells disaster for its mission, its people, and its community. The little country church I attended as a child had a preacher that I always admired because he told the truth. He once said, “The bible has been rewritten 28 times. If the first version was God’s word; Why then would man need to rewrite the order God left for us?” When I got older and saw him outside of the church in his Caddie, he told me that, “There is a lot of money in Jesus name”.
I thought then, and do sometimes now, that it is like the wolf guarding the sheep. There was a time when the church was there for the community and now it seems the people are there for the church. Think about that for a moment. During the Civil Rights era, black preachers changed the world; put their lives on the line, and many died for their community and the people of it. Do you know one preacher who would do that today? Probably not!
I went to church a few weeks ago - a mega church. The first thing I saw was an ATM machine and the pastor that day was ten years old. What came to mind was the day Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple and with respect to the ten year old preacher – Negro Please! My point is this; let thee be guarded with respect to the messenger. Some churchgoers believe pastors (even bad ones) are virtually untouchable or they are all knowing like God speaks through them. They are human and most have an agenda. Let me add that in most cases it’s not you.
Because of their position and function within the church, they are seen as being above any charge of indiscretion. People who hold this view will protect a corrupt pastor by immediately denying and dismissing any allegation of misconduct before careful consideration. Sometimes the congregation will blame the victims for their own victimization. For instance, many women find themselves blamed for having been sexually harassed by a corrupt pastor. Should they find the courage to speak out, they are often branded as “trouble makers” and/or demonized as a part of the devil’s scheme to bring down the ministry.
What a shame that many in the congregation feel that as long as he/she shows up on Sunday, in his Caddie, and performs all the public duties of a pastor, their private life should be virtually off limits in spite of it sometimes being masked with sinister intentions. Some people tolerate pastoral misconduct because it gives them political leverage over a compromised pastor or secures their position within the church. They keep pastoral indiscretions a secret in exchange for certain favors from their leader or out of fear that if he should lose his power, so would they.
For the record, the Bible does offer human protections for congregations in the form of multiple pastors. It also promotes real pastoral accountability from a group of people who know the day-to-day ins and outs of that particular congregation and who are qualified to recognize and call out pastoral misconduct. I know this is a HUGE paradigm shift but before you prejudge it, check out these biblical references to see if they support a single or a multiple pastor model for local churches. (see Acts 11:30, 14:23, 20:17, Philippians 1:1, Titus 1:5, 1 Timothy 5:17, James 5:14)
The Bible never says that Christians should remain loyal to corrupt leaders. In fact, the Bible clearly forbids churches from clinging to such pastors. 1 Timothy 5:20 says “As for those [pastors] who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” There are precious few congregations willing to obey this biblical command. Can you imagine a local Black church publicly reprimanding a corrupt pastor by bringing him before the congregation, calling out his sin, and “sitting him down?” I doubt it!
However in many cases, this is exactly what God’s word calls us to do. For you haters who will offer negative comments concerning this article. I simply ask that you judge not. This can be done by looking in the mirror. Further, you need look no further than your local or national news to see that there are wolves preying upon their flocks. 1 Timothy 5:21 insists that even pastors should receive no special favors or leniency when it comes to sin. It says “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.”
Pastors aren’t above God’s law– Churches dishonor the Lord himself by acting as if they are. In cases like Eddie Wrong and others, and you know some, I say, we need to take pastoral integrity very seriously and avoid the physical, psychological, and spiritual devastation to our communities and ourselves, simply by demanding that pastors obey the Bible’s clear direction in this area. If you noticed I stopped short of agreeing with the radio host but “game knows games” and most are playing a game with your soul. I know this is lengthy but that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective.
Monday, October 24, 2011
I love to praise the most powerful man on the planet, particularly because he looks like me. Our president is strikingly handsome, articulate, likable, a family man, and accomplished as the incumbent in the White House that the fools who call themselves Republicans want to defeat? They make stuff up, which is exactly what the GOP has been doing since President Obama took office in 2009. I get the sense that before this campaign is over he will be called the “N-Word”; after all one of those guys had a lodge that was called the N-Word Head. Hmmmm.
We know they have tried to do everything they could to make sure the history making event that made him president is over with this term. Now, it is my opinion that they want to make sure that no other black man or person of color ever lives in the White House again. This man, my hero, has done more than the last several presidents to save us from destruction. Yet, it is the GOP who would rather see American destroyed. They went out and found this Negro who I call the insane Herman Cain. Then there are the rest of the clowns trying to defeat him – wow- what a pitiful lot but I have seen them before. They were once called the “Citizens Counsel”.
I can go on and on but I won’t because we can all see this power play. They have been doing it since they stole the land from the Indians. His opponents will go so far as to prevent job creation to put the blame on President Obama. They have not presented a jobs plan that would actually create jobs since taking control of the House of Representatives in January. They have been too busy trying to prevent women, gays, and unions from having rights of their own. They have unanimously voted against any bill that would create jobs presented by President Obama, simply because it has been presented by President Obama.
Many parts of his jobs plan include old Republican ideas that the GOP has been quick to disavow now that Obama presents it back to them. When the only thing you have against Obama is something that you have to manufacture to make him look bad, you will be the ones to look bad in the end. President Obama was indeed born in the USA and it has been proven more than once. President Obama is certainly not a Socialist, as evidenced by his love for capitalism and how he helped save it. He doesn’t want the government to run your life; he simply wants a government that enables people to be able to run their own lives.
Obama actually granted more gun rights by allowing individuals to be able to carry a weapon into national parks. President Obama’s health care law simply holds insurance companies accountable to actually care for the people they insure, and to provide a mandate that will end up being cost-effective because fewer people will be reliant on the government dime. The Affordable Care Act also prevents insurance companies from neglecting individuals that need care the most.
Saying that Obama hates white people or rich people is about as useful as throwing sand in the sand box… it’s obviously childish, and holds absolutely no proof or clout except for being a nuisance. Obama has undoubtedly proven that he is not soft on terror by his recent international take-down of the world’s most sought after terrorists.
He has also proven that he is not weak on immigration with record numbers of deportations every year since he has taken office. Obama has opened the lines of communication up further than most Presidents in the past have been able to between Israel and Palestine. He has also made it clear that he believes it’s a woman’s right to choose, and his choice is life.
THE BEST THING WE CAN DO IS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT AND VOTE.
Lest they not forget he got be Laden and a whole lot of others. That is really something to consider as they make up or manufacture “Bull S###”. Get used to it the jig is up; he will be reelected. And that is my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!
Thank you Sarah Wood
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
It’s been several years since "Just a Season" and it’s time to move on. Generations have and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope.
It's been said that there are no words that have not been spoken and no stories that have never been told but there are some that you cannot forget! "Legacy - A New Season" is the perfect compliment to that statement. It is the sequel and the continuation of "Just a Season" and a stand-alone story rich in history on a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle.
This long awaited suga to the epic novel "Just a Season" will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever.
I would like to thank the great Woody Woods for the background music.
If you were to reexamine the time in which you’ve lived, you will come to know that the reason we live is to die. The question then becomes what happens between the years of one’s birth and death. This is without question a quandary that each of us will face. In the novel I referred to this specific period of earthly existence as the dash that will be placed on our final marker between the beginning and end dates of life’s journey. This period of time can only be characterized as a journey because this tiny little dash represents the whole of your life.
It’s been said, there are no words that have not been spoken and there are no stories that have never been told, but there are some you will not forget! Legacy - A New Season is that story. It chronicles what has been called a contemporary “Roots” with a reviewer saying “this is the stuff movies are made of... I have not read anything that so succinctly chronicles an African American story.” Another reviewer said, “Not since The Color Purple have I read a book that evoked such emotions… transports the reader directly into the life and struggles of the main characters..."
I am honored to have been chosen to channel such an epic saga. With that said, I am reminded of a powerful statement once made during a sermon by my childhood pastor - Reverend Cole. He said, “Unless and until you suffer enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny”. I’ve pondered that profound statement my entire life and it continues to deeply impact my life.
It could very well be because I lost my only son that I have come to embrace this message so profoundly. There have been a number of reflections from those early days at Friendly Church that continue to touch my spirit. Specifically: “Why Jesus wept?” As the story goes, Jesus was so moved as he witnessed the pain of Mary and Martha weeping for the loss of his dear friend, Lazarus, that he also wept. Today, I understand that emotion because I have felt such pain. This might explain why I was chosen as the vehicle to share such a powerful story that will surely live far beyond the season I’ve been given.
Just a Season is a historical narrative that began with a grief-stricken father visiting the gravesite of his beloved son who was killed in a tragic automobile accident. A dreadful moment no loving parent should ever have to face. The story begins with the main character, John Wells, asking himself a philosophical question as he views his late son’s final marker. “If the tiny dash placed on my marker were to tell my life’s story, what would it say?"
What emerged from the pages is a legacy of true benevolence and grace that I believe is destined to be become a literary classic. This luminous story is a riveting portrait into the life of an African American man who, in the midst of pain and loss, journeys back in time to reexamine all the important people, events, circumstances, and intellectual fervor that contributed to the richness of his life. Moreover, the main character relives all of the significant events affecting the African American Diaspora, over a fifty-year period, providing a perspective of reality to the unfolding history.
As the story ends, as if in the blink of an eye, John reflects upon life’s journey realizeing that it is very interesting how we come into the world crying while all around us are smiling. Then we leave the world smiling while everybody around us weeps. This thought causes him to recall another powerful sermon Reverend Cole gave explaining this phenomenon in the simplest of terms. The Good Reverend said, “This period of existence we call life in the final analysis is "Just a Season.
Then with a deep sigh realizing that the story must end, as stories do, he leaves the cemetery slowly walking past his loved ones resting for eternity; pausing briefly to look back in the direction of his son’s resting place and say, “I will always love you.
As he nears the crest of the hill walking into the abyss of time, pausing at his grandfather’s resting place, seemingly unable to take the next step. With tears flowing down his face, he gently touches the headstone of his grandfather and quietly asks him “to look after my son”. At that moment, he fondly recalls the last thing his grandfather said; “life is not just a race you run. It is a relay. It is now your responsibility to pass the baton.” Somehow, John finds the strength to look toward the heavens saying softly that “I have to be Granddaddy now. I just hope my grandson will love me as much as I loved you. More importantly, I must make sure that he tells his grandchildren about me.
It’s been several years since receiving the epiphany leading me to tell the story of this man’s epic journey that many have wondered if it was a true story, miracle, a blessing, or simply a fairy tale. I will only say "Just a Season” is a must-read story that reflects the audacity of hope, pain, and struggle of a people that will most assuredly touch every emotion as you travel through time, as you relive a life through the eyes of an African American man living in America.
In the end, John sorrowfully leaves the cemetery at Friendly Church that day feeling as if God has forsaken him. But his conviction is strong in faith and he knows that faith is the instrument to believe true what is not seen. With all the strength within, he refuses to drown in his tears; rather he is committed to swim in his blessings because God has not forsaken him and the wonders of life spoke loudly. Blessed are those who believe and have not seen which is tomorrow and tomorrow holds his Legacy and A New Season...
John T. Wills
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Let me be clear, I am for anyone who is successful and trying to do positive things but this guy! This is the first time in a long while that I am assumed for him. He recently said that during the wretched segregation period he would go to the back of the bus rather than cause trouble. I was never more shocked in all my life. My issue with him is that he disrespects our president, yet calls himself and American. Frankly, he has no more chance of being the Republican nominee for president for the GOP than I do.
There is nothing that distinguishes him from the rest of the republican candidates other that their rage for Obama. Cain has had a couple of victories and that has caused him to lose his mind. This week, Herman Cain made the comments that “Racism in this country today doesn’t hold anybody back in a big way.” He acknowledges there are some racist elements in the society but suggests that the so-called level “playing field” is only screwed during weak economies. He can’t be that unconscious.
With that statement, he just earned my nomination for the most insane Negro on the planet. Only a fool would believe that the vestiges of racial discrimination are not only present in today’s society, but some of the disparities they created are worse than they were nearly 60 years ago. Just because a few more are doing better doesn’t it does not exist. That’s why the black bourgeois who escape the realities of black misery have never been able to speak for the masses. It this false intellectualism or insane and I chose insane.
National columnist Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D. wrote a great column where he sai: “Well to do blacks like former BET owner, Bob Johnson, and Godfather Pizza giant, Herman Cain, distort and misrepresent the racial complexities of American culture today. To dismiss the reality of racism, after knowing the sting of racism — just because you got a break—to win an election or carry favor with a white electorate, suggests you have no conscience about who you step on to get to where you want to get to. Cain is a Morehouse Graduate, who came up in the Civil Rights Era South, but somewhere along the way — someone stole the soul.”Do I believe racism still exists: Yes! Is it as overt as the Citizens Counsels of old, hmmm, but it certainly is in evidence by omission, as blacks are disproportionately left out of social and economic mainstream. My Granddaddy use to tell me and I will share this with the man whose name should be removed from the minds of mankind. “You can be on top of the world today and tomorrow the world will be on top of you. So be careful what you wish for because you may have to come back to us and guess what we don’t want you.
Samad, also said in this article, “It has nothing to do with holding them back, and everything to do with leaving them behind. Blacks are expected to “pull themselves up” without a rope, and America won’t throw us one. Even though they throw themselves one every day. Economic stimuli and corporate bailouts, are ropes thrown to the wealthy to pull themselves up.
Twenty years ago, blacks were told, “pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps”…even if you didn’t have boots. Another Negro spewed the same line as Cain suggesting there was no such thing as racism. His name was Ward Connerly and he was the face of the anti-Affirmative Action movement in America. It led to the elimination of affirmative action in many states. We have witnessed, firsthand, what the absence of conscious can do. It can make you lose your mind, forget the truth and steal the integrity of a true movement.”
Twenty years ago this week, America sought to confirm the most unconscious black man in America history, Clarence Thomas, when a sister of conscious, Anita Hill, stood up and suggested that Thomas was not fit of mind to serve on the Supreme Court. We have not only found out that he wasn’t fit of mind but he is out of his mind and is absolutely soul-less when it comes the racial experience that positioned him to be where he is. Clarence Thomas is the “Who Stole The Soul” poster boy for where you can land if you’re willing to say and do anything, including put down your own people.
Malcolm X once said, “I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.” That’s what people like Thomas, Connerly, Bob Johnson and Herman Cain do. They dismiss what America has done to the masses of black people, then criticize black people for not being able to stand up to the weight of centuries of racial oppression—just because they escaped it. Then they make excuses for why conditions remain the same.
They say things like what Cain said, “If you’re poor, don’t blame America. Blame yourself.” Really? Even if you believe that, saying it is a false assertion that exploits racial circumstances more than it helps because those who want to believe it, use it as an excuse to do nothing to change the racial disparities we all know are real in this country.
It’s unconscionable that black folks lose their minds like this, but obviously it happens when someone or something steals your cultural conscience, what we call, soul. Other people fake the conscience and steal the soul, just to remain relevant with black people when they need to be. There is a modern day Niggerati in our midst. We see it and allow it to move about us, but we need to be clear about the compromise it represents because its not about us—its about them and only them. One who steals the soul from his community is no better than the one who loses his soul, forsaking his community for another. Both have lost their conscious minds and will say or do anything to promote themselves.
Speaking of losing your mind, the Taste of Soul festival is in Los Angeles this weekend. The Taste of Soul was created by radio executive, Ron Turner, who was the National Sales for KKBT. “The Beat” was planning a street fair in the late 1990s before they sold the station to Cathy Hughes. The name of the concept…”Taste of Soul.” Turner met with several community folk, including myself, to start the street fair under the new management but Cathy Hughes sold her station before the fair could be implemented. Someone else has implemented it, but they didn’t create it. Didn’t even change the name. I hope my baby brother, Ron Turner, strolls down the boulevard this weekend to take in his creation. But it says something for someone who won’t acknowledge when they get their “ideas” from others and refuse to give credit to them.
And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES…