Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘youth’

Greed+WEB

Big Business (BB) runs America and the politicians are really their public servants.   The agenda of BB is making money and they don’t care who gets trampled in the process.  For example, the hip hop/bling bling culture seems natural or organic but BB is the wizard behind the curtain.

So, kids will kill each other over sneakers but these youth aren’t on the varsity.  They play sports on video games while kids in other parts of the world are preparing for the changing global economy.  We are not talking about the greatest generation that won the second World War or their children who pushed social justice in the 60s and 70s.  The kids today often seem like rebels without causes.  They will die defeating blocks and neighborhoods they don’t own.

$200 Gym Shoes

$300 Handbags with $10 cash inside

$2000 Rims on $900 cars

$100 Plain White T-shirt

And corporate executives laugh all the way to the bank.  The so-called ballers in music rarely own a recording company; they simply own record labels that are subdivisions of companies.  If the real money is in branding and merchandising, the hip hop guys (Jay-Z, Kanye, 50 Cent) are designers who make some good money but they don’t own factories that manufacture clothes in their old neighborhoods.  Master P from New Orleans is the main hip hop mogul who owned a record company and envisioned actually pressed the cds in his own plant.  Most of the others still have a plantation mentality and they aren’t the ones in the really big house.  I have never worn a chain—wrought iron, silver or gold.

The central theme of this blog post is that companies push a hip hop culture in which youth want to be hard, street and thuggish.  The youth are then untrained, unemployable (face tattoos) and unaware.  So, kids who want the most expensive items are least prepared to legally afford said items.  Some (not all) of these young people ended up wasting their lives away but they turn to the government for help in providing for their families.  The corporate agenda becomes a costly governmental expense.

“They are hiring at the fast food joints and those farmers need help harvesting their produce.”  Are you kidding me?  The kids from the hip hop culture don’t do work like that – it’s beneath them.  You can’t pop bottles of $300 champagne in the club with those wages.  Unfortunately, some youth turn to getting paid the fast way—ski mask way as Biggie rapped.

Now, those youth are in the prison system at an annual cost that is more than teachers, soldiers and policemen earn.  Oh, there are corporations running those facilities also.

 

In summary, we need elected officials who spend time explaining the limited role government to the people.  And yes, the liberals don’t seem to understand that there isn’t some big never-ending pot of money.   “The government should make sure everyone has a good house, a good car and a well-stocked frig”  That life would be socialism in theory.  We live in a democracy—your standard of living should be directly related to your actions.  Current lawmakers need to spend half of their time as law/budget explainers.  Oh, the corporations are the produce the campaign contributions that keep politicians in office.

I might be wrong but this is the beginning of debate we should have.

Read Full Post »

GOP Rep. Paul Ryan shouldn’t back down from his honest opinions on inner city young men living in a “don’t even think about working” culture.  The House Budget Committee Chairman and Romney running mate should double-down by acknowledging the culture in rural areas also.

http://news.yahoo.com/paul-ryan-meet-black-u-lawmakers-offensive-remarks-220153718–business.html

I like Ryan because he was a congressional staffer during my Hill days but if we ever bumped into each other, it would have been at his part-time job waiting tables at Tortilla Coast next to Bullfeathers.  He was a high level staffer yet he served nachos and pitchers to interns and receptionists.  That’s the mentality that built America.  Of course, some of the people who built this great nation did so in bondage and the Congressional Black Caucus considers themselves to be guardians of that heritage.

So, Ryan is meeting with the CBC next week and that’s non-sense to me.  The CBC should be making that important observation about the jobless culture before Ryan.  Oh, but a change is coming.  There is a new segment of CBC members and these new folks have budgets and fairness on their minds more than the old “we are suffering” crowd.

**********************

This blog is pleased to rollout a year-long theme/effort called “Changing Mindsets.”  An overview can be found on the tab on the top of this page.  Ryan’s comments are consistent with our contention that many of the problems facing struggling people start outside the range of governmental responsibility and the elected officials should say that.

An old, well-used Chinese proverb states “it’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”  Well, it’s better to start this important conversation involving all sides than to continue on the wrong path.

Read Full Post »

grass

While working in the yard, I drew a connection between weeding the lawn and outreach efforts.  We spend so much money and time lawn mowing but to me we cut the grass every three weeks but cut the weeds every ten days—get it.

The weeds and the grass are mixed in together.  Grass is the largest growing thing on earth and it will fight for itself if given the opportunity to put down deep roots.  If you have a bald spot, good grass will eventually crawl in to help.  If you cut the grass to low, rain will wash away the top soil and ugly sand will remain.

I enjoy a health friendship with many southern conservatives and wonder why they don’t expand into the moderate range by getting the craziness 5% to dial down their viciousness.  If they got rid of that 5%, they could gain 25% of the moderates in the center.

After pulling weeds for hours, I noticed that my lawn cart says “Scotts” on the front.  It’s a sign…I tell you!  The two most important congressional outreach GOPers from the South are South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Georgia Rep. Austin Scott.  Tim Scott is a traditional conservative who happens to be Black.  He could do this and that to bridge the racial and partisan divide…if he wants.

Austin Scott was a freaking rock star in the state house and he even caught heat from the Klan for pushing to change the state flag.  Of course, a young guy like that who defeated a Blue Dog Dem has the formula for outreach.  But, do they turn to him for the game plan?  Some southern bloggers fell that Austin has fallen in line to avoid a Tea Party primary challenger from the far Right.  I say he is the logical choice for U.S. Senate in the future if he returns to his statehouse brand of conservative leadership.  Those Scott fellows, no relations, could be Scotts Turf Builders if the GOP wants to weed out the uglys and get back on the important lawn…the one at the White House.

On a related note, growing stronger young men is also like a lawn.  We spend so much money reacting to the weeds (thugs) that we forget the actual grass (good kids.)  When you remove the weeds, it’s vital that you go down to the roots.  If grass has deep roots, it can withstand drought and flooding.  These kids today have short roots and they are therefore easily washed away.  We oldheads are the rich topsoil and topsoil hates supporting weeds.  In public policy, we should spend less time and energy on weeds and redirect those efforts to healthy stronger grass because without a strong lawn the foundation of the house/community is at risk.

Read Full Post »

220px-Allen_West%2C_Official_Portrait%2C_112th_Congress

former U.S. Rep. Allen West

NBC’s The Blacklist was sneaky to have doctored photos of former GOP Rep. Allen West and current Senator Ted Cruz on this week’s episode.  They were implying that an international spy/criminal was involved with them.  That was dirty.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2014/02/25/nbcs-blacklist-photoshops-fictional-criminal-socializing-tea-party-rep

If you never heard of  West, you need to google the brother with a quickness because he will be in the Albany, Georgia area tonight and in Columbus on February, 28.  Yes, the guy who seems to dislike President Obama more than anyone has, is and will always be my from Georgia Black brother and nobody tells me not to talk with other Blacks in the political/policy arena.  (Cue Willie Hutch’s “Brothers Gonna Work It Work” from the 1972 film The Mack.)

West’s current job seems to be slamming everything Obama to the delight of the far Right.  Goldie in the Mack told his brother (Walter Mosley/T.C. from Magnum P.I.) that no one was closing him out of his business and the far Right seem to feel the same way about their grind.

http://allenbwest.com/

Some Blacks will listen to the far left Dems say that West, Herman Cain, Condi Rice, Michael Steele, Colin Powell, JC Watts and all Black Republicans should be avoided—putting them on a blacklist.  That’s not going to happen and I think that brother Clarence Thomas is the most misunderstood Georgia brother of all time—read my blog post on Thomas’s book about his grandfather before you open your Black mouth.  (That’s how we talk down here…no harm.)

http://projectlogicga.com/2012/01/23/clarence-thomas-good-brother/

I bet West gets a packed house in south Georgia this week.   When I went to hear then RNC chair Michael Steele at congressional candidate Austin Scott’s headquarters, the GOP crowd was thin.  Oh, they didn’t want to hear that smooth, less rage style.  And I will always remember that the GOP bus didn’t come to Albany until someone other than Steele was on it.  Rep. Sanford Bishop barely defeated his GOP opponent that year and heaven knows that Steele might have tipped the balance.  The opponent was smart but he didn’t dare risk upsetting the Tea Party because obviously most Blacks are naturally liberal—including the RNC chair.  Geez

There shouldn’t been a blacklist when anyone is trying to solve the problems facing this state and this nation.  Allen West needs to be at the table and sitting between Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Rev. Al Sharpton.   I have always believed that Team Obama sent a “stay away for now” message to Sharpton, Minster Farrakhan and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Well it’s time for everyone to come together because it seems like open season on our youth. A smart sista tried to tell me last week (in her West Indian accent) that we shouldn’t teach our youth to adjust to those with a Stand Your Ground mentality.  Well, I have been a Black male for fifty years and being right on the side of a 7-11 store sometimes means that wrong people will end you.

President Obama launches an effort today called “My Brother’s Keeper” aimed at helping young men get the skills to attend college and get good jobs.  Who can be against that?

I hope GOP primary voters in Georgia’s second congressional district will select Vivian Childs as their nominee because she and Rep. Sanford Bishop would have a healthy and helpful six months dialog about building bridges.  I am sure we would learned that most southern Blacks really want the same things.  It’s going to be the summer and fall of Changing Mindsets and everyone should be there.  Helen Blocker Adams, mayoral candidate in Augusta, always promotes having everyone together; get to know every street, corner, country club, church and teen center.  Helen is wants right about our lovely state.

Read Full Post »

To me, video games and hip hop music are eroding the foundation of my community.  What are we going to do about it?  First, I love art and hip hop, like blues and jazz, is an original American art form.  When the kids on the corners and in basements in Brooklyn and the Bronx created rap, it was a creative way to express themselves.  Later, rap music was medium to communicate concerns about inter-city life and issues with the police in places like Los Angeles.

But, I draw the line with NWA, Ice Cube, Easy E, Dr. Dre and Tupac.  Those guys were urban poets who use lyrics to reflect hardship and pain.  The hardest segment of current hip hop is glamorizes and promote thuggish ways.  The little fellows want to be thugs and prisoners more than scholars and businessmen and the teen girls are setting the women’s liberation movement back twenty years.  Hey, I guess liberation includes the right to be a garden tool who emphasizes body over heart and mind.

Dig it; the inmates are running the asylum literally and smart kids are acting dumb just to fit in.  Students study English in school but use this street dialect at all other times.  While the hippies of the 1960s were a counterculture, the hip hop culture is at the rotten roots of much of the main culture today—Black, White, Red and Brown.

What about Yellow?  Our friends in the Asian community have a long history of requiring obedience and achievement from their youth.  Yes, the hip hop culture is in their community as well but let us lighten the discussion by humorously looking about the effect of video games on American youth.

In school, we learned that parts of Asia were once forced to import opium from the British and Americans after the drug was illegal at home.  Well, the big payback might be video games.  While these games are enjoyable, American kids and young adults are playing them too much; playing games while youth in other parts of the world are preparing for the next wave in the international commerce and technology.  When a kid grows up on the flashy visual stimulant of video games, holding their attention in school or church becomes difficult if not impossible.  And no, the solution shouldn’t be making education more video game-like.

From church to karate to fishing to boot camp on Parris Island, young people need to learn to calm down and focus.  Church kids, eagle scouts and kids with chores do better in life.  Look, sophisticated people have different modes because they vibe differently at different times—church mode, school mode, vacation mode, chilling with my crew mode, family mode.  The worst kids have little flexibility because they are primarily in me mode.  They must learn selflessness and a sense of community.

Most importantly, they must learn to be deliberate in their actions.  Life plans must include short-term objectives and long-term goals.

 

Read Full Post »

So, the political comic strip Doonesbury spent this week messing the GOP regarding sensitivity training.  They should have hired me because I would have made it simple: love thy neighbor as thyself.  Secondly, the Left and Right should try to know as much as possible about others (the opposition.)  Finally, you learn about the other side from members of the other side.

As kids, we loved Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett because those White guys were smart enough to learn the ways of the Indians.  Of course as teens, we discovered that that knowledge was useful in robbing the natives.  I tell young guys to keep several women in their circle of close friends because no one knows about women as much as women (but you still can never understand women.)

At times, people don’t know what they don’t know and the righteous way to handle those situations is to enlighten them.  The guy from Duck Dynasty isn’t a bad guy; he isn’t knowledgeable of people and groups outside his comfort zone.  The same can be said for those liberals who don’t live in rural areas.

However, we do have people in politics that know better and are acting to maneuver in the political arena.  Readers of this blog know that Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah is one of my favor members of Congress from my Hill days; I spent some time hanging with his staff.  Kingston is currently running for the U.S. Senate and I wouldn’t mind seeing him as the GOP nominee because he has a deep knowledge of regional issues and a long relationship with the Black community in Savannah.

So, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that Jack was saying that kids who eat free lunches at school should maybe work off the free meals by cleaning at the schools.  (Crickets)

Okay, I could have heard that parents worked at school for that reason but kids.  Clearly, Jack made that statement to make himself appear to be the most conservative badass in the GOP primary.  Hell, I like my idea that only healthful foods are purchased with food stamps but Jack’s lunch plan is too much.

I have a close friend who worked for Jack and she should be in the middle of his campaign at night and on the weekends because a Spelmanite would have put the kibosh on that cleaning kids stuff.  She knows that statements like that would energize the Dems voters who might normally blow off a non-presidential election.  Why upset the hornets’ nest?

My area is represented by cool young Congressman “hey, man, how are doing” Austin Scott.  Who would have “tunk” that Scott has the second most conservative voting record in the House?  Austin could learn a valuable lesson Jack’s schoolhouse drama because Atlanta and Georgia’s other urban centers will be motivated to learn that conservative candidates said some interesting things.  Politics is like chess and you must think three moves ahead and if my conservative friends need some risk management eyes, they should call me.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/comics/doonesbury-slideshow/

 

Read Full Post »

Abusing drugs might be at the root of most of southern communities’ problems.  However, we should consider drug abuse in its totality.  Yes, alcohol is a drug and many people drink in their (our) youth to mask the pain and disappointment of not having the life they wanted.  Everyone can’t be Miss. America, driving for NASCAR or score a touchdown in the Sugar Bowl.  You plan and life laughs—get over it.

I think that college kids and young adults smoke weed rather than drink alcohol because in many cases it is easier to get. First Lady Nancy Reagan said just say no to drugs and she was so right. In the 80s, crack dam near destroyed urban America.

As quiet as it is kept, prescription drug abuse or doctor shopping is tearing up another side of town and it is time to talk about it.  Secretary Colin Powell’s and Senator John McCain’s wives both had legal drug addiction problems.  If you have a car accident and are in pain, these drugs will help in the short term.  But, using them after the pain is gone is a mess.  The body has a habit forming need or a chemical dependency.  I don’t know all of the names of the drugs but it’s the stuff of mid-class women—the real desperate housewives.  These drugs are currency in certain circles.  Have you seen that show called Intervention?

Doctor shopping occurs when a person uses several doctors and the emergency room to get more and more of the stuff.  One pill “as directed” isn’t the norm.  People are taking several at one time or mixing them with alcohol for a dangerous cocktail.   An article in my local newspaper features comments on the subject from an emergency room doctor who attended undergrad with me.  The article says emergency room doctor shoppers are more likely to be White.  I don’t want to see anyone hooked on anything.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2013/oct/27/emergency-room-drug-seeking-a-growing-problem/

Local officials should work with state and federal governments to determine and address this problem because it is costly to the healthcare and criminal justice systems.  How much crime is drug related?  It actually cost more money to put someone in prison for a year than the average person earns in a year.

Here is the kicker: the SSI disability program treats drug abuse as a disability.  Huh?  Is that the classic definition of a vicious circle because the money from “the check” often funds more abuse.  What they really need is some sweet Jesus.

Getting to the root of the abuse problem will require giving people something positive to do.  While most local elected officials will say that utilities and fire trucks are their duties, they must work to attract more jobs, support the local education system and tell state and federal officials that funding positive activities and treatment programs is spending a dime now rather than spending a dollar later on jails.

Lastly, marijuana seems to have pain management benefits but we should pump the brakes on legalization; the experts on this matter should speak first.  We must remember that there was no real organized crime in America before prohibition.  The trafficking of illegal weed is a big problem but legalization might create a subculture of mellow zombies.

Read Full Post »

thathn-full-cast-600x250

From ABC’s Scandal to OWN’s The Haves and the Have Nots, I see two lovely and brilliant characters who look like me chasing weak men who don’t look like me.  So, it’s time for a blog post full of wild theories.  A post designed to stimulate healthy and interesting discussions more so than to offer solid facts.

We have a plantation mentality (PM) and by we, I mean all of the sons and daughters on the South.  Scandal takes place in D.C. and that is a southern city.  I could see General Robert E. Lee’s beloved Lee/Custis Mansion from my southwest D.C. balcony; a house that became Arlington National Cemetery.

A plantation mentality occurs when people, longer after the Civil War ended in 1865 and after Jim Crow ended in 1975, still think and function with the mindset that one group is better by nature than the other.  Under that mindset, some older Blacks did vote for Barack Obama for president because deep in their minds we can’t do what others can do.  The oppression continues but it’s not others doing it.  No, we are on oppression/self-hate autopilot.

Joe Morton plays Olivia’s father on Scandal and I still remember this gentleman from playing the candidate with whom Whitley was involved on A Different World.  While Sonya Rhimes generally avoids racial references in her shows, she started this season of Scandal with Olivia’s father reminding her that we must always be twice as good at everything we do.  It isn’t fair but it is true and if he had a son, he would have told him the life sessions that would have saved Trayvon on that rainy Florida night.  Oh, you might be right and you might have rights but know how to be a Black man in America—from sea to shining sea because the South doesn’t have a monopoly on racial drama. National PM

All high school kids should pay attention in psychology class because that Electra complex stuff about girls with daddy issues is too true.  They trying to find a guy like dad or striking at men because their pops wasn’t around.  Olivia and Candace could fill a season of Iyanla Fix My Life.  So a girl grows up loving her father as a rock but then watches the world treat him as less than a man…a boy.  That must be rough.  PM 

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-electra-complex.htm

 

The same girls are excited in college, on a cruise or in Vegas when a guy from another side (a guy from the plantation big house) finds her attractive.  It has always been my theory that southern White men of means had a thing for sistas because many of them were raised by loving maternal sistas and held them in the highest regard until they got to the frat house in Athens or Auburn and began racial reprogramming. PM

 

PM is not only a Black thing.  Oh, no.  The plantation mentality tells a below average White dude that he can holla at the sweetest sista in the world because everyone in one group is automatically better than everyone in another group.  It is in the Bible…bla bla cursed people…bla bla obey your masters… waterbearers.  Lawd have mercy.  Jesus died for all previous everything so let’s move forward.

 

And Black people need to stop lumping all White folks together.  Some of the sweet people I have ever known are White southerners and some of the meanest look just like me—I can be pretty rough my dam self.  The coolest Americans might be those in the Midwest of Scandinavian descent—think the people on the movie Fargo and Rose from the Golden Girls.  While southerners evidentially coming from places where they wanted someone to do their work for them, the Scan mentality is salt of the Earth. 

 

At the U.S. Congress, many Midwestern members did like USDA farm support programs because these people functioned with the simple notion that you put the crop in the ground then take it to market with no help from anyone.  If you couldn’t do that, you should find other work.  Barrack Obama was raised by sweet folks like that and I know that he is actually a conservative in his heart.  If you think about it, Obama did it the hard way, the old fashion way, and that is why it hurts me to see people attack his character and that of his lovely wife. 

 

That old plantation mentality had people thinking that this shady negro has conned his way into the White House with a desire to ruin this country in his Black head.  PM has some Blacks thinking that Obama isn’t one of us because he never really interacted with us until he got to Chicago. 

 

Can we give it a rest?  If the sista on T.V. or in actuality wants to love someone who doesn’t look like us, I am happy for them because there needs to be more love in this world.  The kids (and by kids I mean anyone who can remember life before T.V. remote controls) have the right idea.  Oh, they will hang, kick it or chill with their buddies with no consideration of race.  But, parents on both sides still have their heritage deep in their minds. 

 

So, Candace “be” kissing on Bo Duke.  Boss Hogg must be rolling over in his grave. On the Dukes of Hazzard, Roscoe P. Coltrane and Boss Hogg ran that southern town into the ground.  The plantation mentality subjugates poor Whites also.  But, old Bo married a sista with tens of millions, has a strikingly beautiful sista as his side thing, has a bro doing his dirt work and is about to be governor.  Modern PM..some things never change. 

Here is a fun social exercise.  When the Haves and the Have Nots is on the box and Candace is on with her roommate, ask an old Black person which woman looks better.  Nine times out of ten they will say the lighter sista when Candace is clearly one of the most beautiful women on earth.  But, old heads don’t like that brown skin…even brown old heads.  When Mrs. Cryer is on with her lady lawyer friend, an old head would say the same thing again when the lawyer is much better looking.  PM  

 

That old plantation mentality is also the reason we hold our candidates to crazy high standards during election season.  We simply don’t believe in us as much as we believe in others.  Sad PM

Read Full Post »

5:10 a.m. is before the dawn of a new southern day or as we use to say “ ‘fore day in the morning.”  It’s also the dawn of a new day politically and the beginning of a new season.   Change is obligatory.

The local elections this year and the wider elections next year are good times to lay the foundation of what we need in your southern communities.  We need leaders who speak openly and honestly about bringing us together and improving our conditions.  Co-founder of this blog Helen Blocker Adams is such a leader and Augusta, Georgia, should make her their next mayor.

Helen and I have spent countless hours discussing the importance of bridging community divides and that is the reason I chose a southern bridge for the cover art of this blog.  The rock band the Police had a reggae song called “One World Is Enough For All Of Us” that includes the line “we can’t sink while others float because we are all in the same big boat.”  In Augusta, the medical college recently continued it’s land acquisition but fairly created new housing for displace citizens.

We need similar changes in my town and the changes could apply to a thousand American communities.  We are a proud agricultural community; we grown produce.  Only a few percentage of Americans work directly in ag but those hard working people feed everyone else.  While I generally have no stomach for Donald Trump, he is correct in stating that America doesn’t make things anymore and making things will be the return of jobs.

The new mission for my community should surprisingly be based on towns like Mayberry from television.  See, some people like to raise families and grow old in peaceful, friendly places where everyone knows and cares for everyone else.  My town is sandwiched between two larger cities and to me, we are a bedroom community for those who don’t mind a short drive for some peace.

We need leaders who are concerned with every little corner of the community because problems and trouble know no boundaries.  In our local elections, every candidate is personally cool with me and I would be lying if I said that basic municipal services weren’t fine.  They are.

However, there comes a time when talented leadership should step up to the next challenge…when your services and skills are better required on a different level of government.  For example, New Jersey has two bright rising stars and I personally like their new style of leadership.  Newark Major Cory Booker is running for the U.S. Senate and this guy earned his stripes.  He is a Sanford/Yale guy whose parents were two of the first Blacks at IBM but he lived in the projects as mayor to better understand the lives of his citizens.  The guy doesn’t talk in generalizations; he gets down to details of what is wrong—straight no chaser.  He speaks directly to the people about what they should do to improve their communities.

President_Barack_Obama_Tours_Storm_Damage_in_New_Jersey_7

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is clearly running for president and if Hillary isn’t the next POTUS, it should be him.  The big guy tells it like it is and doesn’t might stepping on a few toes if needed.

In southwest Georgia, the Chamber of Commerce types have done an admirable job of marketing our communities with emphasis being on the good qualities.  However, it’s time to address (deal with) the rest of the community.  Where are the leaders who can comfortably and firmly bring out the best from the rest?  Countless sons and daughters of the rural South dream about retiring to these piney forests but two main concerns are the racial climate and the growing actions of the thug element.

We need to grow our youth with the care we have traditionally used to produce our crops.  We must prepare the soil, plant the seed organically and monitor until ripeness.  But, we must also root out weeds and remove pests.

Issues that local candidates should be addressing included:

1. Police: It’s wonderful when the local police achieve that delicate balance between firmness and compassion.  During the Clinton Presidency, the Congress passed a Crime Bill that promoted Community Policing.  The best officers (we have some good ones) know their patrol areas and greet people.  They use knowledge of and relationships with citizens to serve and protect.  Unfortunately, some officers develop a hard spirit from constantly dealing with thugs; they should remember that the vast majority of the people appreciate and support them.  Cops should smile and walk more.

2. Economic Development: We know that real E.D. begins in the homes, the schools and the churches.  Hey, the Chamber can’t attract industry to a town if those industrial leaders read rough stats about the educational abilities of the workforce.  An unofficial duty of elected officials is encouraging citizens to be fully focused on achievement—get in their faces like Booker and Big Chris up Jersey way.

3. Downtown Revitalization: Madison, Tifton, Moultrie, Americus, Thomasville. Even Hahira.  These Georgia towns have cool downtown areas.  The granola-eating, bicycle-riding, wine-sipping types love to live in and visit towns with preserved character.  I still don’t get antiquing because it reminds me of rough days for us but hey, if it brings dollars to town, roadshow your blank off.  I do love old buildings with character and retrofitting them with lofts brings life back to downtown.  Paris, Napa Valley and Barcelona have a café culture and so can south Georgia but rather than sitting outside on the sidewalk sipping Riesling we might preferred sweet tea or a cool one from a Mason jar–Duck Dynasty style.  This would be a nice way to watch the Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets or Falcons give a game away…again.

4. Crime: We need leaders who will work with state and federal officials to address the growing cost of criminal activity.  Of course, it starts with education, faith and better parenting.  The next crop of leaders needs to be familiar with regular folks—dare I say that they should have street cred.  You must know the streets to fix the streets.

5. Housing: Homeowership anchors a taxpaying family to a community.  Whatever happened to starter homes?  Let’s be honest, item number four (crime) has people moving out of town.  The thug element frightens people…me included.  But, hell no.  The houses in my community were built my farmworkers who moved to town.  These people work so hard (making money for someone else) to purchase their slice of the American dream.  Today, most of those men have gone to glory and their widows live in fear from half-raised boys…raised more by hip hop videos than family and church.   You can’t be a new community leader if approaching those young men isn’t in your nature. At some point, we need to secure federal funding to relocate some ag operations from the town’s center to the outskirts and replace that area with mixed-use housing.  I want to hear “let’s walk to church” again.

6. Resourcefulness: we have a fine crop of local candidates.  If they play their cards right, those who don’t win can’t run for the Georgia General Assembly next year with the support of the person who beat them.  Our statehouses need new blood because the political parties seem out of touch.  They put party over people.  I take my hat off to Governor Christie for working with President Obama when New Jersey got hit my a super storm.  That’s what leaders do to be resourceful.

Read Full Post »

Local elections have statewide and national consequences because they echo the word on the street to the statehouse and the White House.  To me, we are experiencing a disconnect in Georgia because the conservatives who run state government do so with little input from rural Blacks.  Yea, Atlanta and the other cities have urban legislators run down the urban agenda but who speaks for the relatively moderate to conservative rural Blacks who conservative lawmakers are forced to ignore by that far Right (Tea Party) segment of the Republican Party.

 

It’s good seeing young Black conservative Democrat (not an oxymoron) blogger Keith McCants running for local office in middle Georgia.  Folks like Keith because he is down to earth and to me improving our community will start when leaders like him explain the limit role of government in a compassionate way to the people.  His blog Peanut Politics is a must read and Keith has the right ideas for bringing some of the rural South back to the Democrat Party.  Hell, southern moderates should come back since they have been ceremoniously kicked out of the GOP by the Tea Party/”purity test” crowd.  For those who don’t know the GOP has a recent history of creating a list of 10 or so questions for their faithful and if you aren’t with them on a few, don’t let the door knob hit you….

 

http://www.peanutpolitics-keith.blogspot.com/

 

Don’t sleep, Saxby is “retiring” from the U.S. Senate because he doesn’t like the constant threats for dialoging with Obama and the Democrats.  The next target is on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  I am convinced that former Senator Bob Dole was right when he said that President Ronald Reagan and he wouldn’t pass the current GOP purity test.

 

What do good people do when crazy people in their organization start going off?  They get up and leave because sitting quietly is condoning the ugliness.  Keith has bunch of old political pictures and posters on his blog and I give him a hard time because we know that every pre-Jimmy Carter elected official in our state was basically a segregationist.

 

Today, we have the new segregationists who divide the South based on political parties.  But, I am puzzled by Democrats in general and Black Dems in particular who don’t question local officials about the outlandish spitefulness coming from their supporters on the other side of town.  See, a servant can’t have two masters.

 

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

While looking for that quote, I came across someone’s Bible references to it.   http://www.padfield.com/1997/goodmen.html

 

Voters should ask candidates for local offices the following questions during the campaign season.

  1. When they said Barrack Obama was born in Kenya, what did you think and what did you say?
  2. When they falsely label Rep. Sanford Bishop as a crook, what did you say or think since you have dealt with him for years and know him to be good people?
  3. Do you think Georgia’s version of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws should be repealed?  Was George Zimmerman profiling Trayvon Martin?
  4. Is “Stop and Frisk” a good police procedure?
  5. Is Michelle Obama a great role model?
  6. Were you against your area receiving stimulus money from the federal government?
  7. Are you bold enough to tell citizens that the government isn’t their daddy?
  8. Do you support the Tea Party movement?  Do you support the Occupy movement?

Wow, writing those questions was fun in a naughty way because some issues involve one level of government primarily.  But, I get a little squeamish when hanging with people from the far left or far right.  I love being cool with people from the entire political spectrum because dialog and communication are vital.

 

You know what, we are talking about a double standard because moderate Democrats support conservative lawmakers regarding important regional issues but conservative voters rarely give love to Blue Dog Democrats.  Be like that and maybe your Dems friends will be ghost when you need them on the legislative floor.

 

In my local elections, we have some quality candidates but I need to know what they did or didn’t when those around them privately were saying horrible things.  That s— isn’t cool because people had gotten so pumped up that they were talking about hurting the president’s family.  You never never go there…I don’t care who the president is or was.  Yea, ugliness echoes and good people can’t sit idly by.

Read Full Post »

Derrick_E__Grayson

I came across Derrick Grayson, a U.S. Senate GOP candidate from Georgia, on Peach Pundit blog last week and this guy’s logic was refreshing. As a moderate, I can be easily put off by angry talk from conservatives but Grayson sounds familiar.

 
After a few days, it came to me; I remember the two places where I heard Grayson’s approach.   First, he sounds like Clarence Thomas’ grandfather.   Justice Thomas wrote a book about his grandfather’s distain for governmental involvement in people’s lives.   The book showed me that Thomas and his grandfather were simply old school—they came from the pre-LBJ period when our community was more about achievement and hard work than searching for government money.   That money actually made us softer.

 
The second place where I have heard discussions like Grayson was in the barber shops of my youth.   Those shops were much more than grooming centers—no, wait- they were grooming centers.   They groomed young men on how to be upright walking men.   The classes weren’t formal but we heard real talk about life, family, church and work.   You also were charged with moving the community forward.   As Colin Powell said, “We need to reinstitute the concept of shame.”

 
In those barber shops, men didn’t walk with the heads up if they weren’t doing everything they legally could to care for their current families and honor their birth families.   A wild theory might contend that home haircuts and growing out hair for braids has reduced those trips to the barber and therefore our young men are getting the information that supplements home training elsewhere.   I thinking that “elsewhere” is from the hip hop culture that glamorizes thug life and laughs at hard work.   When I worked in the barber shop on South Main Street in my hometown, I knew I was going to hear about my good and/or bad “street committee” regarding how I was carrying myself.   “What is this I hear about you…”

 
That Derrick Grayson seems like Neil from those Matrix movies.   Could he be the “one” who starts the conservation that bridges old school Blacks with the next generation—the one who is more interested in improving our condition by simply telling the truth about the limited role of government in our lives than personal fame?

 

 
The U.S. Senate is the most exclusive fraternity in America and it is rare for someone to enter before serving on a lower level or in the U.S. House.   But, boy on boy, he is one Black Republican who has a message than we need to hear.   He could get load of votes not in his capacity as a GOPer but in his capacity as a common sense fellow.    We should keep an eye on his guy.

 

 

http://www.grayson2014.com/issues_home

 

Read Full Post »

The horrific, cowardly acts in Boston last year were carried out by young men who were brainwashed and/or radicalized. An argument can be made that all or most of us could be or have been radicalized on some level when inundated with too much of a particular point of view.

Blacks in America would be a good place to start this discussion. We knew upon arriving on these shores that wrongful actions brought us here. But, we had to patiently wait until the mid-1970s to experience the freedoms of this free nation. Americans who believe in the Christian Bible know our book is filled with references to waiting on the Lord and to me, being humbled by suffering prepares us for heaven as a proposed to those who think they have heaven on earth. Those cats might have a dated with a fire on the other side.

My friends from the Taxed Enough Already Party (TEA) are correct in many ways on taxes but they don’t have the patience of Black folks. If these guys don’t get what they want now, they are ready for an actual revolution…now.

People on both ends of the political spectrum often constantly listen to and read information from pumped-up sources. Too much of these opinions at one time can lead to an overdose. For example, viewers should know how to watch T.V. shows in their proper entertainment context.

Seinfeld doesn’t reflect all of my Jewish friends; Homeland doesn’t reflect all of my Muslim friends and the Real Housewives of Atlanta only reflects the lifestyles of about a dozen families in the ATL.

Oh, we should talk about Married To Medicine, the latest effort of the gay agenda at Bravo to make everyone else look foolish. (Kidding)

When I was a child, people said that politics was show business for ugly people. But, reality television has blown that out of the water…like blowing stumps on Swamp People. Today, the music T.V. channels have no music videos and the history channel has little history on it’s main channel. It’s all about reality shows and the affect of American culture could be cancerous.

The fight between lovely sistas in ball gowns last week on Married To Medicine should in no way reflect the behavior of Black professionals in Georgia. Bravo searched high and low (really low) for people who would trade dignity for instant fame. Oh, I knew as a child that lawyers, bankers, professors and physicians were regular people away from work and subject to the same drama as anyone else. Actually, my college sweetheart contends that her colleagues in the medical profession are socially awkward because they spent so many years in the books while others were learning social skills.

An old adage states “just because you paid for college, doesn’t mean you have class.” We have a problem in the Black community that centers on the desire for wealth. We like people to see us with shiny stuff in shiny cars heading to fancy meals at fancy places. If your natural abilities didn’t provide you the means to get this stuff, you can always marry well if you are smoking hot.

The Mariah lady to M to M is simply hood and will always be hood. The show is produced in some way in association with her production company. So, she sat in a board room at Bravo and pitched this product with promises of cattiness, ugliness and fights. The two lady doctors are classy as is the attractive woman Toya, who was basically jumped by Mariah. Of course, the hood has people without money who have class and they lack of money could be based on their refusal to compromise their integrity wealth.

So, people across America watch messy T.V. about groups of Americans they don’t know and formulate faulted opinions. “He is not this child’s father…either.” Then during the news hour, Fox News tells you that you are paying for these people to hang out all day while you are at work making money that a Kenyan born president will take from your check. On the other side of the extreme, MSNBC is doing the same thing from the stay point of “the government can fix all the problems in the nation with enough tax money….no one in America should be outside the middle class.” Huh? Can everyone be middle class? Isn’t the government ensuring a minimum quality of life basically socialism?

Fox, MSMBC and Bravo don’t brainwashing as well as the hip hop culture. Did I love hip hop as a college student? Yes sir, I was proud that urban youth created an art medium to reflect the realities of their situations. But today, life is imitating art because youth are glamorizing thugs and strippers while some students are actually downplaying their academic success. On his quality reality show last week, rapper T.I. told his kids that he never met a thug who wanted to be a thug. My man told them to rap about having a nice life. T.I. is the king of the South.

In summary, we need to be careful what we watch and hear because forces can radicalize you before you know it. In a diverse nation, there is no substitute for getting to know (humanizing) others. When we know each other, we can start the process of explaining now personal choices and decisions have consequences. If not, the next generation of Black southerners might include people that some people (including positive Blacks) will want to rightfully avoid.

Read Full Post »

I have had it up to here with half-raised folks and don’t want to hear about rights and bla bla bla. Yes, in our free society, people have a right to have kids when they want and with whom they want. But, someone must say that developing a baby into a productive, responsible person is one of the hardest things in life. Young people who terrorize senior citzens are actually domestic terrorists to me.

In my Sunday morning newspaper, columnist Carlton Fletcher of the Albany Herald details a story about a group of young punks being disrespectful to an older couple. We must have a new type politician/policy maker that design public policy in a way that encourages people having kids when they are really ready.

The passage of time is the ultimate neutralizer in life

 

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2013/apr/13/passage-time-ultimate-neutralizer-life/

Carlton Fletcher

Time waits for no one, and we’re running out of time.

— Friends of Distinction

My blood started boiling as I surveyed the scene, and I found myself amazed anew at the human race’s capacity for cruelty.

A pack of young men, four strong, walked away from where an older couple stood looking warily after them. The four were laughing uncontrolably, pointing at the couple and falling all over each other in their mirth.

The old couple looked wounded, but not in any physical way. It was more a look of embarrassed resignation, of stunned disbelief. I noticed tears on the woman’s cheeks.

Trying to size up the situation, I asked the couple if they were OK. The man waved off my concern.

“No big deal,” he said. “Just some young hoodlums showing off and letting off steam.”

The woman, though, said nothing. She silently walked away, the tears flowing freely. I watched her slip quietly into their nearby vehicle and asked the man again if they were really all right.

He stood looking at me for a moment before saying anything.

“You know how it is with young kids,” he said with a long sigh. “They’re out roaming around with all that energy and nothing to do, and they have to let it out somewhere. I figure we’ve all done that at some time in our lives.

“But that doesn’t stop their words from hurting.”

The man stopped talking abruptly, as if he’d said too much. I actually looked around to see if the kids were coming back, then let the silence linger for a moment before asking if he wanted to talk about the incident.

“Oh, it’s just kids being stupid kids,” he said. “They made some cracks about us being old and used some language that got my dander up. I said something to them — told them to have some respect — and that got them going.

“They ran at us like they meant to hurt us, then stopped and said some real mean things.”

The man stopped again, and this time a look of hurt enveloped his face. It’s a look that touched my heart.

“They called my wife things like ‘pig’ and ‘sow’ and screamed how ugly she was,” the man said quietly. “They called her some nasty things that I wouldn’t repeat. I wanted to go after them, but I was scared they’d hurt my wife.”

Tears welled in the man’s eyes.

“That woman is the sweetest, kindest woman God ever created,” he said. “She’s been through more than her share over the years, put up with just about every kind of hardship you can think of. She just doesn’t deserve to be treated so mean.”

I offered my condolences and asked the man if he wanted me to contact law enforcement.

“Nah,” he said, “ain’t no need for that. We’re just gonna head on home now. I’ll have to see if I can’t find a way to make my wife feel better.”

I offer what I know are insufficient words to try and bolster the man’s feelings, but he waves me off.

“Son,” he said, “I’m not really concerned about those young punks. It makes me mad that they hurt my wife’s feelings, but she’ll get over it in time. I probably would have fought all four of them in my younger days, but those days are long gone.

“That’s one thing about life: It marches on. I was like those boys in a lot of ways when I was their age, but look at me now. And my wife may not win any beauty contests, these days, but, son, back in her day she turned every man’s eye. Heck, she’s still that beautiful young woman to me.”

He smiled at the memory.

“I figure time will catch up with those boys like it does all of us,” he said. “I won’t be around to see them get theirs, but I can rest easy knowing that, sooner or later, it will happen.

“Time gets us all.”

As the man shuffled off to join his wife in their car, I watched him with mixed feelings of respect and sadness. I was thankful that I’d happened upon him — in spite of the circumstances — but I couldn’t help but think about that look of bewildered hurt on his wife’s face.

As the couple drove away, I found myself dwelling on the man’s parting words: Time gets us all.

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.

Read Full Post »

loans

Is every college really a college? An industry has developed around funneling unwitting people into a questionable segment of the educational system and the federal government could be directly or indirectly involved.  Today the for profit higher education sector is mired daily in controversies and its benefits to those it purports to serve is questionable at  best.  This press release is an example of the problem.

http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/education-management-corporation-nasdaqedmc-accused-by-employees-of-concealing-evidence-in-billion-dollar-fraud-case-231823.htm

 

Firstly, college and technical college, like anything worth doing, should be hard. In my day, students said they “took” this degree and that degree from creditable institutions. You knew the creditability because the schools were state institutions or private ones accredited by known sources. While I loved President Obama, I disagree with his effort to have everyone go to college (higher training and life-long learning, yes) but college is different. I hate commercials about making college easy and working around busy schedules. If I spent the first six years of my adult life eating noodles and writing papers, a person who went directly into the workforce to make money is in a different situation. Many of my friends who make six-figures simply took a job weeks after high school or went into the military and worked their way up.

To be honest, people who are “between opportunities” often consider school as an educational option that brings money into the household and there is nothing wrong with that. They should enroll in the local state college or select a major at the state-run technical colleges.

However, proprietary or for-profit schools are signing up loads of students from minority communities who aren’t familiar with the financial aid process. “Just sign here and you will have some cash in your hand every few months.” These students don’t know that most of this money is simply a student loan, the cost of the school is higher than a state school and some of the diplomas they might receive wouldn’t be as accepted as traditional ones. The wiki page on this topic is a real eye opener.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprietary_schools

“If this problem was true, surely my congressman would be on top of this matter.” Child, please. The Wall Street firms behind these schools are some of the biggest contributors to both political parties. The student loan default rate for these schools is astronomically high and taxpayers’ money ultimately secures the loans. We are starting to hear more and more from former employees of the corporations behind these schools and the federal investigators are learning the real deal.

Read Full Post »

hill harper
Between Barrack Obama and his Harvard Law School classmate actor Hill Harper, I surprisingly think that Harper could have as big an impact on young Americans of all colors.  Hill has dedicated his life to sharing positive information with others.  Below are my notes from his first book.  The underline sections are the beings of paragraphs that I really found useful.

Letters To A Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny         Author: Hill Harper

Xii           I want young men to have knowledge of the things that bring them true empowerment: education, a strong sense of purpose, compassion, confidence, and humility to name a few.

Xvi          It is no coincidence that both my mother and father became doctors just as it is no accident that I graduated from Brown University magna cum laude and received graduate degrees with honors from Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.  My family taught me that doing my best, educating myself, and being in service to others were not optional and that having values and being truthful were not negotiable.

p. 5         You will live longer, become better educated, make more money and be happier than the previous generation.  You are here to improve the human race, and you need to embrace that.

p. 8         A good man is honest, lives his life with integrity, and behaves responsibly.

p. 9         Be Balanced

p. 13      You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends.

p. 14      While it is important to have friends, it’s also important to realize that you, completely on your own, have to be able to make yourself happy.

p. 17      There is nothing wrong

p.  20     Luckily, as I matured

p. 21      Rejection is God’s protection

p. 21      So the most important thing I learned is that my absentee parent didn’t leave me, she left the situation.  My mom left the relationship with my father because she felt she had no other choice.  Even though your father may have left when you were a baby, it’s important that you realize he didn’t leave you.  He didn’t even know you.  Your father left for reasons that had nothing to do with you.

p. 24      Truth be told

p. 24      Also, you may not

p. 33      Will Smith: Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.

p. 34      School, as hard as it may seem, is easier than the real world.

p. 36      The only two areas in your life where you should allow yourself to owe someone else money is for school (education debt) and when you buy your house – and notice I’m saying “when” you buy your house not “if” – that’s what we call “mortgage debt.”

p. 42      Hey, man

p. 44      General Colin Powell: “There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

p. 44      “Working smart” means using your brains first to formulate a plan of how to “work” most effectively.  If you are working smart, you are first very clear about what you want to achieve – that’s your goal. Then, before you take the first step toward achieving that goal, you use all the knowledge and information you have at your disposal to decide what the most effective route will be to get there.

p. 66      “There are some things that money can’t buy.”  In fact,, if you break it down, money can buy one thing, and one thing only and you know what that is?  Options.  Money cannot buy you freedom or happiness or love.  If you have enough money, it gives you options as to what you can do in your life and with your life.

p. 68      More focus needs to be put on developing an inner happiness, doing what you love, and having faith that if you do these things, the money will come.

p. 69      For instance

p. 74      The first car

p. 79      Girls are attracted

p. 81      Women care about much more than just external things.  A woman wants a man who will treat her with respect and wants to do fun things with her and make her laugh.

p. 82      Sanaa Lathan: All I want to know is can I talk to him?  Is he really interested in getting to know how my mind works?  Does he truly listen when we talk?  Do we have fun, do we laugh, and ultimately how do I feel when we’re together?  Be careful of wearing too much bling cuz it might outshine your better qualities.

p. 87      Throughout the history of the world more men have been brought down and had their lives destroyed because of their irresponsible sexual activity than by any other single act.

p. 88      Sex is not a bad thing.

p. 89      And remember, just because a woman wants to have sex with you, it doesn’t mean you should feel you have to have sex with her.

p. 90      Men have lost

p.  92     Gabrielle Union: Oftentimes as girls and women

p. 99      Let’s face it-mistakes

p. 101    Mistakes are decisions we have control over.  And you can make a mistake in an instant, which is why it’s important to know who you are and what you stand for before you find yourself in a situation where you make a wrong decision.

p.  103   It seems a recurring theme

p.  111   So let me set you straight- making money is not a goal.  Making money is a result.

p. 114    If you find what you love to do then, ‘hard work’ becomes easy – it’s more fun than just chillin’ or doing some job just for the money.  If you’re doing something you love, working hard at it is more fun than working just to work; now that’s hard!

p. 116    Venus Williams: School is very important

p. 122    Here are some questions

p. 128    I’ll give you an example….Barrack Obama

p. 129    You have to first, dream; and second, work hard to achieve those dreams.

p. 135    “There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen; those who wait for things to happen; and those who sit and wonder what happen.”

p.  155   Every day we are faced with challenges and choices.  Some are harder than others.  And sometimes, what seems like a big deal at the time doesn’t matter at all a week later.  The one thing I’ve learned is that if I approach each day with an attitude of gratitude, even the most difficult challenges fail to bring me down.

p. 156    Obama: Life appears to be hard

p. 161    Wealth comes from knowing both your value in the world, as well as the value of the blessings life has brought you- family, friends, future opportunities, health, and the opportunity for true unreasonable happiness.  You win when you embrace all of these and look toward the future with a positive attitude.  So yes, you are wealthy already if you just look around you.

p. 163    Another wealth component

 

p. 167    Mantras and affirmations are strong tools that have been used for thousands of years in prayer and meditation.

I promise:

-          To be strong so that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.

-          To make everyone feel that there is something special in them.

-          To look at the positive side of everything and make my optimism come true.

-          To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

-          To learn from the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

-          To have a cheerful presence at all times and give every living creature I meet a smile.

-          To give so much time and effort to the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize others.

-          To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

-          To be a light for others, not a judge of others.

Read Full Post »

I could do more for the future of young Americans with this blog post than Obama and Romney combined.  The central concept is live a simple life.  With secondary regard for whom is or isn’t president, folks need to develop their faith, eat right and exercise, grow their career and minimize lust for material things.

Obama is the key—Michelle Obama.  The first lady’s personal history is the story of a Chi-town girl who got her homework, focused in class and honored her parents with her actions.  As we would say back in the day, I like how she “carried herself.”  We spend billions of state, local and federal governmental dollars addressing personal problems that some Americans went out of their way to create.  They should have been living the simple life. 

Last week, a country song came on the truck radio called “Alright” and it was all about enjoying a basic existence.  I don’t want to get side tracked about how country music is really blue-eyed blues, and rock and roll is blue-eyed soul which was stolen. 

Anyway, I searched the net for the song and it is actually by Darius Rucker, the brother who turned to country after fronting the pop/rock group Hottie and the Blowfish.  Peace, love and happiness to Brother Rucker and his song is similar to the rural vibe of many tunes in that genre.  As quiet as it is kept, my favorite cd of all time is Lynrd Skynyrd greatest hit compilation called “Gold and Platinum.”  Rucker’s song feels like Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” and both songs seem to be based on what you tell kids at home and at church. 

On that same cd is the mellow cut “Comin Home.”  It’s all about missing being at home.  While cities are nice to visit, living 10 to 15 miles from an urban area is cool to me.  As more rural Americans move away from direct involvement with agriculture, opportunities persist in food inspection, processing and distribution.  When people grow weary of the congested North and the struggling Rust Belt, they should consider Georgia other than Atlanta (someone needs to pick up that city and shake it until some of those people fall out.) 

Bottonline: if you live a simple life, you can limit drama, stress and strain.

Read Full Post »

School choice and family planning are two topics I would love to hear discussed in my community because they are at the foundation of our futures.  However, I want that discussion to take place around a discussion table sixty or seventy years ago. 

A.G. Sadler Sr., third seated from left

A photo of my father and his fraternity brothers meeting at the local Black college hangs in my mother’s den.  The organization wore Black and Gold and he was old enough to actually know founders personally but it could have been a meeting of any Black fraternity or sorority of that time because they were all committed to moving the race forward.  You can see the steely determination in their eyes: we as a people would have the opportunity to learn, earn and prosper in this great nation and the sky would be the limit once those doors of opportunity opened. 

If we had a time machine or a portal to the past (like a smart phone app), we could tell these gentlemen that we were from 2012 and that a Black man was in the White House…a Black man without a mop.  Since most of the men in that picture were college professors or public school educators, I want to know their opinions on school choice.

Today, we recognize that public school K-12 education needs a top to bottom overhaul.  I personally think that the teachers enter the profession ready to teach and that the facilities are generally acceptable in my area.  For a myriad of reasons, some of the kids just aren’t ready, willing and able to learn.  I think the foundation of education is discipline or obedience learned at home and church. 

Those guys in that photo didn’t question their parents in their generation and neither did we in my generation.  Today, I hear kids ask their parents “What?” and “Why?” with a tone that would have never happened in my day.  One of the men in that photo was likely the dentist that my father would have taken me to see after he knocked my teeth out for saying “What.”

We should discuss parents having a tax credit or voucher to put their children in the best quality educational situation.  When schools in the South were integrated, White private schools popped up in every county.  But, I can remember the dedication of the educators from the all-Black schools.  A period of “separate but equal” would have been fine with many Blacks because they wanted fairly funded schools more than forcing us to attend school with people who thought of us wrongly. 

When we debated school choice as congressional staffers in the 1990s, I would always argue that private schools would cherry-pick the best students and those remaining in the public schools would be students from families that couldn’t afford to get out.  If the best 20% opted for private schools, the worst 20% should have a voucher to attend a special school after getting kick out of regular school. 

Public policy can’t solve the education problem because the ultimate problem is that some people are having children before they are prepared to raise and nurture them.  To me, people shouldn’t get married until they are around 24 years old and they should then wait 24 months before having kids (a waiting period to ensure that the marriage is viable.)  Before 24 years of age, people could be finishing their education and training, moving up in the workplace and having fun socially.  Children should come into the mix when folks are ready to be parents like those Alphas in that old photo.  Instead, we have kids having kids and early grade teachers are half educators and half parents. 

Current conservatives trip me out with talk of abortion and welfare.  The guys around that table never envisioned people having the government deeply involved in their lives. They were concerned more with anti-lynch and opportunity.  The conservative men in that photo would have a lot to say about the long-term effect of LBJ’s policy that would come in a decade or two. 

A recent study indicates free birth control dramatically reduces abortion and teen pregnancy.  Since the far Right conservatives are rightfully concerned with governmental spending, they should know that abortions and public assistance goes down if fewer pregnancies occur in the first place.  The guys in that picture could discuss the wrongness of abortion and premarital sex as well as the wrongness of hungry children and struggling families.  Reasonable people know that you can’t always push your faith’s beliefs into the public policy of a diverse nation. 

http://news.yahoo.com/study-free-birth-control-leads-fewer-abortions-210623724.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CabFnBQvlUAOf7QtDMD

The achievement-oriented Blacks of my fathers’ generation would be disappointed to learn that music is crime and sin-based and hip hop shapes the mindset of our youth more than parents and church.  If those guys in that picture were transported into current times, they would figure out a way to get the best education for their families.  Unfortunately, those pioneers in education would be compelled to seek schools for their families that kept their kids away from certain elements without regard to race.  Oh, I would teach government and tennis at an all-male school that brought academic heat all day every day–a place where gentlemen were built.

Teaching the guys in that photo was easy because they were enthusiastic about learning; it was learn or be an unofficial slave during Jim Crow.  If they had a window on today at that table, they would be flabbergasted with the way our youth are carrying themselves and disappointed with the squandering of opportunities.

I enjoyed hearing this speech by Kappa founder Edward G. Irvin.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P7rpu-0Tf4]

Read Full Post »

Makenzie and Susan Taylor

My niece Mackenzie Kerry wrote and gave the following speech.  She is very insightful for a high school freshman and did a great job on it.  In the picture, she is with Susan Taylor, the former editor of Essence Magazine.  When I was about Mackenzie’s age, I started reading Essence monthly because guys should learn about cool women from cool women. 

Mackenzie Kerry: Charlotte Cares Event

If I were a predictable person I would write a speech about the typical drugs, violence and sex.  But you can tell us teens to quit these things all day long and it will go in one ear and out the other. So I had to dig deeper way down to the roots of these problems. What did I find? Better yet who did I find? Insecurity. Insecurity walks on stilts and wobbles wherever she goes. Her nails have been bitten down to stubs and her eyes are glued to the ground. Insecurity may be small and unconfident but don’t let that fool you. She can cast a very big shadow. She can get under your skin and mess your brain.
 
Insecurity is what has the youth of today messed up. Nobody wants to be that one kid who is bullied and destined to spend every lunch at that empty lunch table and their Friday nights at home alone. Everyone wants to fit in. 
 
But you know there can’t be fitting in without peer pressure. Those two are best friends. Peer Pressure only knows one way and that is the way of the world and Peer Pressure will do anything to get you to conform to it. Peer Pressure has the mesmerizing eyes of a snake and a voice a smooth as silk. He will slither like a serpent and whisper right into your ear.
 
Peer Pressure is the one who will convince you to join gangs; the gangs that will provide you with protection, a family, a superior title and plenty of money. The same gangs that will get you injured, put your family in harm’s way, land you in prison. The same gangs that could end your life.
 
Peer Pressure will persuade you to try drugs, because it’s the cool thing to do. They let you escape reality for a period of time. The same drugs that can cause hangovers, depression, seizures, diseases and even death.
 
Speaking of depression, did you know peer pressure can do that too? Peer Pressure a jack of all trades can create violence, gossip and bullying. These are all things that cause you to feel stressed and isolated. Stress and isolation can lead to depression and depression can lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse and yes even suicide.
 
Do you see the theme here? All of these things Peer Pressure does can lead to death. If all of the youth die out then there is no future because we kids are the world of tomorrow.
So how can we build self-confidence and blow insecurity and peer pressure out of the water?
 
Parents you all play a huge role in our future. Although we may not show it all the time we need you. There are many things you do to help us build self-confidence. Recognize our achievements. When we finally reach that goal or get an A on that test any accomplishment, big or small, show us that you care and that you are proud.
 
Secondly, believe in us. It is a lot easier for us to believe in ourselves if we know our parents believe in us. Let us know that you expect us to do everything to the best of our ability and make us believe that failure in not an option.
 
Thirdly be a good role model. Not just for your own child but for any child you come in contact with. There is a shortage of good role models in our communities. Us youth are always going to be looking for role models and if we can’t look to you then we turn to look up upon celebrities. And imagine where the world would be if all of the youth copied celebrities. 
Yes it would be a mess. 
 
Now youth we of course have to do our part. When we are trying to reach a goal, we should strive for an accomplishment rather than perfection. Nobody is perfect except God. When we do make mistakes we should think of them as lessons and opportunities to learn. We should be proud of ourselves for attempting and then let it go because if you hold on to those mistakes they will stay in your head and torment you which will not help build self-confidence at all. 
 
Next, take pride in your opinions. If your friends engage in something that you know is wrong, don’t hesitate to say no. Do not lower yourself to their level. We are children of God and he would expect much more of us. 
 
Lastly, stop thinking those negative thoughts. The dance teacher at my church taught me there is a way to compliment yourself without being arrogant. Replace those thoughts of “You are ugly, and dumb and you could never do that” with “You are beautiful, you are smart and you can do that”.
 
I used to be the shy kid in the corner who constantly worried about what people thought of me. But then something in me changed. Insecurity and Peer Pressure were thrown to the curb and something else took residence in my soul. An explorer committed to following her own direction. The one who exceeds everyone expectations and writes out stereotypes. The one that doesn’t need people to tell her she is pretty and isn’t hurt when people call her ugly because she is perfectly content with herself just the way she is. The one who is strong enough to resist being crushed and molded to fit into what the world thinks she should be. The one we walks down the street with her head up because she is proud to be a child a God. And her name is Confidence.

Read Full Post »

Georgia is a possibility for Team Obama if we get young people registered and prepared to vote.  Chuck Todd with MSNBC keeps pointing to a map with Florida, North Carolina and Virginia as the only swing states opportunities in the South.  The president won these states in 2008 and Florida is the big prize because it had 27 electors (electors are the people voting in the electoral college and equals the number of members of congress.)

In 2008, Senator McCain won Georgia by 52 to 47 (a margin of 5.2%.)  That’s peanuts or should I say there are enough guys in rural Georgia named Peanut, Dirty Red and Man to sway the 2012 election.  Actually, the 204,607 votes need to change that election and maybe the 2012 election could be found easily in Atlanta, our five next largest cities and dozens of rural towns.  The congressional races of Rep. Sanford Bishop (Macon, Columbus, Albany) and Rep. John Barrow (Augusta) cover the non Atlanta population centers except Savannah so turnout in these areas is important.  Look at it like this: on the first full night of high school football, stadiums around the state will have thousands of unregistered young Black adults. 

If you can sit in a ball park for three hours, you can take 10 minutes to register and 10 more minutes to vote.  Many of the young men on that field, the cheerleaders and the band members  will decide to serve our nation in the armed forces and we should elect leaders who view them as people—someone son or daughter.   

October 9, 2012, is the last day to register to vote for those wanting to vote in the presidential election.  How would Obama supporters feel if the election turned even nastier after that date but thousands of then-concerned Georgians couldn’t vote because they missed the deadline?  Before someone trips out about race, I wanted to remind people that our community was seriously loving on southern White guy Bill Clinton;  that’s my dude.  Actually, I voted for Romney in the primary because he was the best in a jacked-up field after Jon Huntsman left the GOP primary contest.  If Huntsman won the GOP nomination, I might be 50-50 between the president and him at this point.  So, supporting Obama isn’t about race as much as it is about keeping the crazy part of the consevative movement out of the White House and the fact that the president has done a good job.

We know that the Democratic Party of Georgia and the national DNC isn’t as crafty as the GOP.  The boys in Chicago and D.C. don’t know the kudzu covered rural South like we know it.  Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and even Georgia can be won by President Obama if we mounted a serious GOTV and registration efforts before and/or after high school football games.  

Social media and smart phones are the tools and wouldn’t it be nice to use these devices for something positive.   Hey, we need to fire up the grills and get the best old school D.J.s to pump Maze, pfunk and Tina Marie. It’s time to talk with the young folks about history and it’s way of repeating itself. 

My friends in the GOP have a way of ignoring those who vote for someone else (Dems listen to everyone.)  While Obama and Romney will be rich and happy no matter what, we need to show some political muscle so the federal, state and local elected leaders will remember our side of town when making policy and laws.   

http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/Voting_information.htm#Registering to Vote

Read Full Post »

My June was spent in a small summer program called the Youth Exploratory Initiative.  We created this project because kids today seem to spend too much time on video games rather than playing outside like we did.  Let me tell you, those video games have given them an understanding of basketball, football and the military that is vastly superior to our old school childhoods.  They read defensives and select plays in football like N.F.L. coaches.  But, all the videos games in the world still can’t replace their excitement with hitting in the baseball batting cage, facing an opponent in chess, hitting a golf ball 100 yards or conquering the water by swimming or boating.  They went from Wii to “We.”

These young men, who all do well in school, get in their early years what some folks don’t get until high school or college: you gain knowledge to use it in life.  For example, grammar isn’t store in your mind to be use only in actual class or at work.  One should speak well 24/7.

 On this Fourth of July, no fireworks or backyard barbeque spark a young person’s appreciation for the blessing of being an American like the History Channel’s documentary “America: the Story of Us.”  Oh, whoever made this film came from the action movies genre because George Washington looked like Brad Pitt.  Commentary about grit and perseverance was offered by everyone from Rudy Giuliani to Colin Powell to P. Diddy—I got cool points with the Y.E.I. guys because I have a picture with Newt on my blog and the speaker was featured in the documentary.  Yes, moderate Democrats know some conservatives.

Of course, some might say that a summer program with good kids is like preaching to the choir but sometimes it seems like we spend too much time, energy and resources on “other” kids and that is not fair to those doing what they are supposed to do.  Remember in the original “Longest Yard” movie when Burt Reynolds’ character was looking for football players for his prison team and someone said that a guy played at Florida State—to which Reynolds replied, “Florida State University?”  “No, Florida State Penitentiary.”  The late Biggie Smalls rapped that he was more familiar with the state penn than Penn State.

Well, the boys in the Y.E.I. program are more interested in Duke for academic reasons than being gladiators of the gridiron.  Oh, don’t get it twisted; they would love balling in the NCAA, NBA or NFL.  But, their parents have them focused on books and character.  We visited FSU and FAMU and they walked into Doak Campbell Stadium.  I ask them where they wanted to be in this arena in the future: a benchwarmer for national power FSU; a football starter and honor student at visiting Duke; or eventually the guy eating pasta salad in his corporation’s skybox.  Of course, they said a former FSU national champion who was an honor grad and is now in the skybox because he went to grad school at Duke.  

We were lucky that it was orientation week at FSU and FAMU so the guys could imagine their parents walking the campuses with them in a few summers. 

To be honest, the Y.E.I. program was basically a reward for their hard work during the school year and we should do more of that.  You would be surprise by what these kids already know.  Coach A.J. and I played a You Tube video of the greatest music composers of all times and the guys knew most of the music from action movies and cartoons.  But hey, we to introducing them to the classics: jazz and Motown.  To our surprise, the know Motown and old school R&B because the rappers have sampled them to death— keep the legal and your money right.

They also know that rap is a medium of art and that art should imitates life rather than life imitating art.  In other words, thug rap is a corruption of real hip hop, which was mostly positive.  The hardest rappers of the past now have their kids in prep schools because no community should glorify a hard life.  Since parents work hard to give you a comfortable life, those parents are more heroes than some guy with “a condo on his wrist” who is proud of his police interrogation   (FYI “Cashin Out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GbolQtl17o&feature=related ).  Y.E.I. kids’ families are local law enforcement and military veterans and that is real “Call of Duty.”

The web-based information we cover is on a tab at the top of the Project Logic Ga page and pictures are can be found on the Project Logic Ga facebook group page.   Thanks to the sponsor of the project—who actually came up with the idea.  President Obama and Governor Romney would agree that real health care improvement starts with diet and exercise.  Some folks talk a good talk but the team at S.P.A.M. truly is about getting our youth of the path to better health.  (Come on now, The Y.E.I. guys ate four pizzas a day… but washed it down with bottle water rather than soda.)      

The billions of dollars that will be spent on political campaigns this year could be better utilized thanking good kids and the long-term benefits would be amazing.   As professor Aaron Johnson taught them during a brief visit to his econ class at Darton College, it’s all about cost benefit analysis and risk/reward.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers