Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

November 30, 2013

Black Friday: No Thanks or Giving

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Welcome back!!! I know it’s been a while but I had some recent changes in my life. I am living in state of newness: new city, new marriage, new car, new job, and a new school pursuing a new master’s program. With all these new beginnings I haven’t had the time to post anything. But lately there has been something weighing on me. It’s the holiday season and and ’tis the season to be cheerful and giving but lately I’ve been seeing videos like this.

It’s becoming apparent that we no longer remember what this time of year means. I find it amazing that not less than 24 hours from giving thanks for everything that we have, big or small, we go out and push, shove and  knock one another to the ground to obtain discounted luxury items. We must seriously ask ourselves why the prices for these coveted items are now significantly discounted. The simple (or complex) answer is the principle of supply and demand. Moreover, it is a fact that the items that we purchase are significantly marked up. Therefore a supposed sale for the common man is actually a reduction of inventory and increase in profit for a mega-store.

The mega-store is the nemesis or even the antihero to America’s economic structure forcing people of poverty into a “catch-22.”  Impoverished people are coerced through the promise of cheap(er) goods from a billion dollar corporation who oppresses its workers by paying them less than a living wage. It is a shame that a Wal-Mart in Ohio has to organize a food drive so that their workers could eat this November.

As a preacher and public servant I know that it is important that whenever you point out a problem you must also seek out it’s solution. So I have enclosed a list that could help us all  in this quest for morality over materialism:

1) This holiday season let’s find a small business to support. Hopefully they are paying their employees a living wage.

2) Visit daveramsey.com. Dave Ramsey is a nationally known financial guru who uses biblical and economic principles in order for people to decrease debt  and increase wealth through self-responsibility.

3) Instead of standing in line to stampede a Wal-Mart at 5 AM, let’s use the  same time, money, and energy to help the people standing in line at the soup kitchen.

4) Let’s how civility and respect to one another. Go smile at a stranger, assist the elderly, encourage a single-parent and give to the homeless. Proverbs 22:1-29

 

 

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April 29, 2013

First Openly Gay Athlete in Major Professional Sports

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On Monday, April 29th, 2013, evangelical sports enthusiasts went ballistic as their golden boy Tim Tebow was released by the NY Jets while “progressive America” rejoiced in their new  “hero,” Jason Collins. However, this term hero has been rejected by the religious people and embraced by pro-gay citizens. A hero can be deemed as someone who is a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. However, it is maintain by people who are against the homosexual lifestyle that being openly gay isn’t heroic or noble, but proud and unrepentant sinner (i.e. fornicator, adulterer, etc).

Homosexuality is a very divisive issue in America. It is so polarizing and such an emotional issue that people are afraid to openly express their opinion. Even as a blog writer I am very cautious in my wording to prevent being ridiculed while exercising my first amendment right. It’s weird that in today’s society if you stand on the principles of your religion you are deemed homophobic or outdated. Moreover, if you take the opposite stance you are considered abandoning your faith or considered a closeted homosexual. I have personally been on both sides of this issue and will not state (on this blog) where I stand.

The dilemma with this position is that apathy is considered compliance. In this catch-22 if you say nothing about homosexuality you are either in supporting their lifestyle or depriving their rights. Ultimately, it is in my opinion that we should just let the man play ball. But here are some other opinions by Chris Broussard and LZ Granderson of ESPN.

July 20, 2012

Batman Movie Massacre

(CNN) — A heavily armed gunman killed at least 14 people and wounded 50 more during an early Friday morning screening of the new Batman movie at an Aurora, Colorado, theater, police Chief Dan Oates told reporters. Police arrested a man believed to be the shooter in a rear parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman, told CNN. The suspect was not immediately identified, though Fania said he was believed to be in his early 20s. “He did not resist. He did not put up a fight,” Fania said. Police seized a rifle and a handgun from the suspect, and another gun was found in the theater, he said. Oates said there was no evidence of a second gunman, and FBI spokesman Jason Pack said it did not appear the incident was related to terrorism.

Read More Here…

 

July 19, 2012

George Zimmerman: “I’m Sorry”

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman charged with murdering unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, said during his first televised interview: “I’m not a racist. I’m not a murderer.”

Zimmerman, joined by his defense attorney Mark O’Mara, sat down with conservative Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity and discussed the events that unfolded the February night Zimmerman shot and killed the 17-year-old Martin, the national outrage the shooting caused and what he perceived as the media’s rush to judgment.

“Is there anything that you regret? Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayon that night?” Hannity asked. “Do you regret that you had a gun that night?”

“No, sir,” Zimmerman, 28, replied. “I feel that it was all God’s plan and not for me to second-guess it or judge it.”

At times Zimmerman seemed to eke out a nervous smile, with sweat gathering on his upper lip. He spent much of the one-hour interview recounting the moments just before and after the shooting. But he also addressed Martin’s parents. When asked what he would say to them, he answered, “I would tell them again that I’m sorry.”

Read More Here…

July 17, 2012

Pandering 2012

Recently the NAACP had their annual convention in Houston, TX. Several prominent figures including Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Vice President Joe Biden were present to campaign. Much criticism came upon President Obama, who was in the swing state of Virginia during the convention, for being “unavailable” to speak one of the premier organizations for African-Americans. Some pundits have said that Obama has taken for granted the support he has received from the Black community because of his scheduling conflict.

Romney made a bold choice by going to a place where his message would be unlikely to be received. It was great that Mitt presented his platform to the NAACP to recruit more Black voters (or even  convince them not to vote for Obama). Former Governor went so far as to fly supporters to Houston in order for him to have his personal “amen corner.” Even though he went to great lengths to look favorable, Mitt was booed and heckled  for vowing to appeal Obamacare.

Vice President Biden received a positive response from the NAACP. There were times when Biden, resembling a Baptist preacher on a Sunday morning, elevated his voice several octaves to energize his congregation.  Obama’s right-hand man was shown to be a seasoned politician by shaking every hand in the front row before his departure. This was truly campaigning (or pandering) at its finest. 

June 29, 2012

What does the Supreme Court’s health-care ruling mean for me?

Click here to see what this rulings means for you

June 26, 2012

Two Laws Every Black Man Should Know

I’ve been meaning to write about this article for so long. With African-American males being arrested at a disproportionate rate and black females having the fastest growing incarceration rate, I figured it was time to impart some much-needed knowledge into the community. However, it wasn’t until my colleague posted an intriguing post about the importance of knowing your Fourth Amendment right that I decided to pursue this PSA completely.

Through my career experiences within the criminal justice system, I’ve seen too many brothas taken advantage of simply because they did not know their rights. Most people think they understand their protection from searches and seizures because they watched a few Law & Order episodes and listened to verse 2 of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” But after reading this law article breaking down the nuances of the song, I see that Jay-Z has a good grasp on the idea but misconstrued a few concepts.

To be honest with you, it is rarely in your favor to speak to the police. Every individual is entitled to “plead the fifth.” The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to shut up. If exercised in the right way you can protect yourself from a lot of trouble. Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth will have you on First 48 snitchin’ on everybody and trust me it has its consequences. However, if you lie you can be charged with perjury (just ask Lil’ Kim).

In order to successfully manuever the country with the most incarcerated citizens, you may want to know your Fourth and your Fifth. Trust me you are going to need it!

June 20, 2012

Joe Walsh, GOP Congressman, Introduces New Federal Voter ID Bill

 

Tea Party-backed Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) on Tuesday unveiled a new push to enact a national voter ID law ahead of the 2012 elections.

His proposed Federal Elections Integrity Act would require voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote in federal elections.

“Current federal law requires those voting in federal elections to be American citizens,” Walsh said in a press release. “This long overdue bill simply enforces that requirement and will be a huge step towards combating voter fraud in this country.”

Walsh said voter fraud was a “real issue” in the country, using an oft-repeated Republican refrain about the supposed prevalence of the problem.

“We have seen plenty of examples of people lying about who they are, and convicted felons, dead people, and illegal immigrants voting. This bill is just common sense,” he added. “The American people understand that it makes no sense that a photo ID is required to get a library card or board an airplane, but not required to do something as sacred as voting.”

While Republican-led hysteria about alleged efforts to sway elections through illegal voting efforts has remained at the forefront of political debate — fueled by misleading documentaries and controversial voter purge efforts in Florida — voting rights activists maintain that the trepidation is unfounded.

According to a 2007 report by the Brennan Center for Justice, many of the examples Republicans have sought to highlight in their advocating for voter ID laws are often over-hyped and easily sensationalized, while actual instances are “more rare than death by lightning.”

Opponents of voter ID laws have meanwhile argued that potentially disenfranchising minorities and the elderly in order to rectify a voter fraud problem that recorded statistics suggest is virtually non-existant is unjust.

For more on how proponents of efforts to combat alleged voter fraud explain their view, check out the Daily Show’s recent segment on the Florida voter purge here.

June 12, 2012

When the Church Fails Its Women: 7 Truths We Need to Tell About Creflo Dollar, Black Daughters and Violence

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I walked out of church in the middle of service. I grew up in church; my stepfather of 15 years is a pastor; as recently as 2009, I led a ministry team  at one of Atlanta’s Baptist megachurches. Thus, my choice to get up and walk out while the pastor was speaking defied every notion of decorum I have ever been taught.

But when he stood to express his unequivocal support for Atlanta megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar who was arrested late last week for committing simple battery and cruelty to a child on his fifteen year old daughter, I had to go. 

I have struggled in recent years to reconcile my long-standing faith, to my relatively more recent feminist commitments. And it is precisely because of the Black Church’s continued willingness to advocate problematic, violent, hierarchical stances against women and gay people that I continue to struggle.

Read More Here…

May 4, 2012

2 Chainz says ‘Respect My Vote’

I’ve had a felony record since I was 15 years old. I made mistakes when I was too young to know different or better. I, like many, thought that because I was once a felon, I had lost my right to vote forever. Then I did some research, and I learned that wasn’t the case. Every state has somewhat different laws, but in most cases ex-felons can vote.

When I realized I could vote, it was a major moment. I really tripped over the fact that I could vote. It meant I had another chance. It meant I had a say in the course of this country.

Voting is something that we are told is part of what being an American is. I thought for much of my life that I would never have a voice in our democracy, that I would never be listened to at the most basic level of what it is to be a citizen of this country.

If you have never lost your right to vote, you can’t understand. But for those of us who have been disenfranchised, getting a second chance at having a voice and being respected means everything. It changes how you feel about who you are in relation to this country. You go from thinking you are powerless to knowing that you have a role in influencing the system.

Many of my friends have records, but we are all onto other things now. It is a core American value that people have access to a second chance. Once I knew I could vote, I made sure every single one of my friends knew they could register to vote too, and they did.

Read More Here…