Tuesday, December 22, 2015

JIHAD-JIHAD-JIHAD! Vengeance! Holocaust! Slavery!

Wrath Makes Him Deaf

In William Shakespeare's play 3 Henry VI, Queen Margaret speaks of John Clifford, nicknamed The Butcher, the military leader during the War of the Roses... "Wrath makes him deaf". 

The play deals primarily with the horrors of the Wars of the Rose, with the once ordered nation thrown into chaos and barbarism as families break down and moral codes are subverted in the pursuit of revenge and power. 

This post is not about war, slavery, the holocaust nor power seekers. It's about the family legacies of the leaders of conflict and chaos. The children in particular, although in many cases do not share the opinions of their fathers and mothers, will forever be left with the task of bearing the burden of their parent's misguided journey. 

Take for instance the Holocaust, the Nazi leaders and their blind followers. The doctrine of the Nazi party was  favored and trumpeted by many. The loyal followers unabashedly pledged loyalty to its cause. However, when the leaders were exposed, leading them into hiding, trials and executions, their children, although they may not have shared their parents opinions, were left to deal with the horrible stains of their parent's misconduct, because many unfairly believe that the apple does not fall far from tree.

Another example of the family stain that's hard to wash away can be found in the horrors of slavery. 

It once was a popular opinion that some Americans were inferior, and thus not human beings. Consequently, said non-humans could be hung, sold, raped and forced to mate, all with the blessings of the law of that land. Some Americans disagreed with the law, which in part led to a civil war, which saw the deaths of over One Half Million Americans.  At the end of the war when "right" triumphed, unlike the Nazi leaders who were jailed and executed, the racist leaders merely adjusted their bigotry and hatred. They did so by various covert means such as hiding behind hooded masks and hiding out in dark secluded places in fear of being the newly scorned and unpopular individuals.   

They could run, they could hide but their children are left to deal with their parent's past behavior and opinions, which are not the most popular today. Again, regardless, right or wrong, some people believe the apple does not fall far from the tree, and thus, their children are left to pay for the indiscretion of their parents. We've seen such with the children of the infamous American political leaders who spewed hatred and bigotry in Congress and on the steps of major Universities. Granted, some children may even   agree with their parents past ideologies, however, in this new day of political correctness, it's not wise to flaunt ones association with "suspect" characters. Well, this post serves as a cautionary note to Donald Trump's supporters. When Donald Trump, who really has little in common with many of his supporters, is exposed as what he truly is...  his pockets still flush with cash as he leaves the spot light, he'll walk up to his Trump Towers and leave behind those who believed he was just like them. Don't get me wrong, it's true, some of his followers share a popular opinion that there is a particular kind of individual who is beneath them, and thus should be feared, alienated and disposed of.  So I understand the persuasiveness/effectiveness of  Mr. Trump's, trump card, "fear mongering".  

However, in the end, those Nazi supporters who listened to and believed in the rhetoric that they were a superior race and those who didn't look like them or who may hold different beliefs (i.e., Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, etc,) needed to be banished from this earth, soon found out that because of their misguided ways, they and their families had become the alienated and the hunted . 

And, those who in the developing years of these United States who believed similar rhetoric about individuals who didn't look like them, and who some thought were beneath them, and thus just as with Hitler, set out on a mission to brutalize, torture and murder them, soon found out they were, simply, mislead. Unfortunately, although their intentions may have been good, nevertheless, they and their children, present and future, were forced to carry a burden that takes generations to dispose of. 

In closing, I must reiterate, let this post serve as a cautionary note to those who unwisely and unabashedly follow and trumpet the words of a suspect, self-severing individuals who may not have their best interests at heart, such as the current Republican candidate for President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump. 

Question?  Do you love your children? If so, what type of parent would intentionally expose their children to future harm if it could be avoided, all for the sake of supporting a man who has little in common with the average American?

 Remember, it's unwise to harbor the ways of the military leader John Clifford, nicknamed The Butcher,  who let wrath make him deaf.  

Saturday, December 19, 2015


ADDENDUM: Its been a few years since I wrote this post, however, the message is basically the same. As our sitting president nears his final days, don't let anyone tear him or his accomplishments down. As a popular commercial once said... "We've Come A Long Way Baby!". Now, enjoy the post one mo' time.

President Obama has a huge weight on his shoulders and so did my grandfather. At the beginning of their new voyage, each of them were up against the mighty Goliath. A formidable foe for sure. Sticks and stones could break their bones, but that was the least of their worries.

In 1865, my grandfather (above picture) of six generations past, was released from slavery. Since that time, there has been 28 white gentlemen seated as President of The United States. Over Fifty Three Thousand days ago, since my grandfather was released from slavery, except for approximately 700 measly days, there has been a white gentlemen sitting in the White House. For approximately EIGHTY THOUSAND DAYS, there has always been a white gentlemen sitting in the White House.

Lets move ahead a few years.

That little girl is my mother. Her parents didn't have an easy row to hoe. They had 10 children and were sharecroppers, but that didn't stop them from taking the time to dress my mother in her fine Sunday attire. The landowner wasn't very nice. Some of the other sharecroppers bowed to his wishes and helped him brow beat his tenants. However my grandparents knew they had to keep on, keeping on.

Come on, lets move ahead.

My mother made it through those days on the farm. That's her in the middle, with the glove on her thigh. Her life has not been a cake walk. Well, aside from being a black woman in America, the next picture will tell a more complete story.

She had me and my brothers. I am the confused looking guy on the left. Although I didn't have a nice bow tie like my oldest brother or a fancy pair of shoes like my brother in the middle, I am grateful for my mother and all my grandparents. My brothers and I fought amongst ourselves but we always fought harder for each other. If someone threw a rock at one of us, we threw 10 back at them. My grandmother is in the next picture.

Look at her, she's so proud. She made it through the hard times, and she's standing in the middle of a few good black men as they break ground for our new church. But the church wasn't about her, she was building something to pass down. She passed away a few years after this picture was taken. But if she had listened to some of the other naysay sell-out sharecroppers, the following event might not have taken place. She and my grandfather stayed strong, stayed together, pooled their resources and got off that man's property.

It's our family reunion! Grandma ironed a few white people's clothes and so did her mother, and so did my mother, but they didn't let that stop them.

My father lost his dad at an early age, but he didn't let that stop him either. In the next picture, see if you know where he's standing?

That's my father standing in front of the White House. Since 1789, there had been a white man living in that white house. Our president is now a black man. He's only been living there for a little more than 700 days. Forty three white fellas had called that place home. In their tenure, they managed to keep racism alive, and hope but a distant memory. For 80,000 days and several wars later, they've managed to build a castle in the sky for them and theirs, and yet, a few of my black friends are quick to point fingers at President Obama. They say he's not moving fast enough and he's staying mum on black issues. I wonder if my nay say friends can trace their family history, or the white president's history? I also wonder if they've read a few history books - about our history? More importantly, I've often wondered what rewards they are receiving from regurgitating negative opinions about our president? Could it be they adore speaking in a quasi intellectual tone, while missing the fact that they are being ineffectual? Frequently, their misguided "constructive criticism" is nothing more than 10 dollar words of bubbling babble that's used to stroke an inflated ego.

My father has gone home. I miss him, but I remember his words of wisdom.

He was my little league coach and I was a pitcher. One day, a player on my team dropped a fly ball which caused me to lose my cool. As he scrambled to retrieve the ball, another player stumbled over him. The opposing team laughed and ridiculed the players to a point they both started crying. I didn't make things any better with my mean look and foolish antics on the mound. Consumed by my emotions, I threw my next pitch with the fury of a Tasmanian Devil. I hit the batter square upside his head. My father called time out and approached the mound. His following words I will never forget... "look boy, don't ever play another man's game and don't be nobodies fool. Their job is to get you mad at your players and have you act a damn fool. Don't let them see you get rattled. Go out and tell Tommy it's alright and we are going to win this game. We don't need enemies on our own team"

President Obama has a huge task in front of him. He's standing on the mound and the ball is in his hand. We don't need enemies on our own team. If someone tries to engage you in negative criticism about President Obama, stop, look and listen, and then ask them where they are going? Don't play another man's game and don't be nobodies fool.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day and 43 white fellas have played in the white house for over TWO CENTURIES - THAT'S 200 YEARS YAWL! And that's a loooog time. Taking that into consideration, President Obama has been there but a blink of the eye. My grandfather didn't go back to slavery. He took the good with the bad, and kept on stepping. Step up... when someone tries to bring Obama down.

Lets build something to pass on! I say, move the petty indifference's out of the way and look ahead to a better day. If not Obama then who? Don't be led astray.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Sweet Drops Of Rest

Patience is man's best virtue - that's what they say. Well, I doubt if I'd be considered of moral excellence, but I'd like to think I have some admirable qualities. Yet, patience is not my best virtue. I've known for some time that it's been hard for me to accept delays and inconveniences without complaint. I hate waiting in long lines.

So I love sweet drops of rest. I love a good thunderstorm. When it rains I sleep like a new born baby that's nursing on it's mother's breast milk. I am full and content and the world is my oyster. However, one day, many years ago, a thunderstorm caught me by surprise. I lived in an area called the corn belt. Life was good, jobs were plenty; everyone could get a job. The home offices of major farm implement companies were in the area. John Deere was there and so was International Harvester. The Case Company was nearby. They all make tractors and combines. I could look out my window and see the smoke billowing from their foundry's. Blacks folks could even get a job. Some of the work was very hot and very dangerous.

The Companies raw materials and finished products were transported by railways and river barges. The barges could be a nuisance. The bridges on the Mississippi river had to be raised so they could pass through. I hated the trains, there were hundreds of them and many of them passed through the city.

Having lived in the area for some time, I sort of became accustom to delays, sort of. Well, I knew the times in which each manufacturer would likely be shipping out large orders. Train traffic slows down at night, the loud whistles can disturb the peace. Without failure, early in the morning the loud roar of train engines and their warning whistles permeated the air. On my usual route I had to cross three different train intersections but I had a plan worked out. A plan of action was necessary because these were not small engines and several were used in unison to pull hundreds of box cars. Waiting for a train to pass could mean being late for work and the boss didn't play that. My plan involved timing.

One day my lover, Mrs. Thunderstorm didn't love me anymore. Well, she threw a wrench in my game. Did I mention the fact that the area is frequently visited by tremendous tornadoes? Yep, it is. One morning while I was on my way to work, my progress was impeded by trees in the street and downed power lines. I could weave through the down branches and drifting garbage cans but trains were stalled across several tracks. A tornado had come through overnight - my time schedule was shot. I became annoyed waiting in line and decided to take a different route. My lack of patience took me to a place I will never forget.

I thought I'd be clever and go through the white part of town where the trains were not so prevalent. It was a longer route but I thought I could gain time if I didn't get arrested for being a black man on the wrong side of town.

Don't most funerals take place in the afternoon? I didn't know what was going on but I turned a corner and again I was stopped by a long line of cars. This time a funeral procession was passing. The deceased was in a horse drawn carriage. I didn't know the name of the deceased but the person was popular -very popular! There must have been five hundred followers. So, while waiting, I noticed a pay phone. I got out of my car and called my employer. I told him I was going to be late and might as well take the morning off.

As my patience wore thin, my curiosity peeked. I was wondering who this person could be that had so much family or so many friends. I decided to follow the procession to where ever they were going. After driving several miles it was obvious this was not your ordinary run of the meal type person. I found myself in a secluded area. I parked away from the gathering crowds and slowly approached them. They all were dressed in strange attire - several were crying. One said if the deceased had only waited he'd still be alive. Others questioned if he jumped to his death. I stuck out like a sore thump but I had to find out the identity of this person. I walked closer to the crowd that had gather around an open casket. At first I thought the person had died from a broken heart because I heard one saying "all of those men couldn't put him back together". When I heard another say that he had no business going up there, I realized he had fallen to his death .

As I was about to peek my head through the crowd to get a look at the person, I heard children begin to sing. I thought I heard the words king and horses, then I heard the sounds of car horns. The children continued:

..." Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall/ Humpty Dumpty had a great fall/ all the kings horse and all the kings men/ couldn't put Humpty back together

I woke up to the sounds of someone taping on my car window. I was still in my car waiting at the train tracks. Sweet drops of rest. The thought of a passing thunderstorm must have put me to sleep and my impatience took me on a ride to Humpty Dumpty's funeral. I can't wait for another thunderstorm. Maybe next time I'll be the president of the United States. Well, maybe I should think about that?