Keeping It Right

Keeping It Right is for thought provoking conversationist. It's for those who love to talk about today's issues, yesterday's history and tomorrow's future.

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Location: Moreno Valley, CA

Monday, January 19, 2015

RF23 - Fighting For...

Today I had the privilege of attending the 30th Anniversary of the Rialto Black History Association's MLK Luncheon in San Bernardino, CA.   I have to admit, I've never attended these types of events and although Dr. King represented all races and backgrounds, these groups tend to not represent all. 

I am a black man, with a majority of Black Americans in a room, honoring the memory Dr. King.  However, I knew deep down, I was the minority, in a room of like skinned folks who wouldn't see my point of view if I drew it up and had it executed by the Oakland Raiders.   Although my point of view is reasonable and easily discussable to those willing to listen, just listen to a different point of view, maybe at one point we as blacks could stop the log jam of overwhelmingly giving their vote away to a politician who only says and never does the right thing in interest of its constituents.

I'm not going to down the event, because like all MLK day events they're well meaning and it's only appropriate to honor a man, who gave all and then with his life gave more.  

What I'm going to talk about is the willingness to accept one's interpretation of history and advocate it as truth.   The movie "Selma" fits that queue, I think it's important for our young people to know and even see a movie that tells just a part of a story of their now great great grandparents and great grandparents lived.  Let me retype it..lived it.  They put up with in your face racism, open discrimination and a stupid test that even the most reason white person would fail just to vote.

The event's keynote speaker was articulate and had a very thought of speech, which asked, "Are You A Fighter?" meaning are you willing to fight for not just civil rights, but for hell, what's right? Our world is changing and it's to a point that we're told that right is wrong and wrong is right.  

Who is willing to fight for that?  If you were to tell me twenty, thirty years ago, that in my lifetime that Christianity would be under fire as if it were the Roman days, when the Romans had Christians executed for rejecting their secular Gods.   Today, in our country, a Christian cannot stand up for his or her beliefs and rejecting what the world says we need to accept.   Outside the United States, Christians are once again being executed for rejecting Islamic beliefs and the world telling us, we ought to stand by and see the terrorism a few radical islamists bring.  

Who is willing to fight for that?

One of my biggest critiques of "church" and specifically the black church is that the once beating drum of the community is now silent and stagnant.   Today, or all weekend we were supposed to reflect with our parents and grandparents, if they're still with us on the great struggle to cash a check that was written by our forefathers that each time, we came to liberty's window, the check was deemed insufficient funds and each time we as blacks came back to liberty's window until slowly but surely funds in the form of civil rights were coming in.   The black church fought for that and paid for it with interest each visit to liberty's window.    Today, the problem is not the insufficient funds that justice and equal rights that evaded blacks for so long.   Today, we as blacks know what the problem is, but refuse address it.   The problem.

Truth.

And it's the black church that is withholding that truth and allowing the moral decay of the black community.  During the time of Dr. King, the black home consisted of two parents, a father (man) and mother (woman).  Today, the mother is wearing both hats or if you want to agree with society, the new two parent home may consist of same sex parents.   But lets talk about before parenthood, during Dr. King's time on this earth, the word abortion was not spoken of in most black homes, nor was it an option.  Today, Blacks, make up 12.4% of the United States population, but are responsible for 32% of all abortions.  The black church, the beating drum of the community.  Is silent. 

So if the black church won't fight for that, maybe they'll take a stand against crime.   Again, blacks make up 12.4% of U.S. population and some how make a good percentage of crimes committed in this country.  The black church, the beating drum of the community.   Beats silent.

So what would the black church fight for?   

Good question.

Monday, November 17, 2014

RF23 - Just Bad

Okay by now everyone has seen the Aaliyah biopic produced by Wendy Williams and although Williams may have wanted to do something to remember the singer, who lost her life at a early age of 22.  It was bad.  Real bad, so bad that I might have to cancel the Frasier shows that appear on the Lifetime channel bad.  I'm not going to touch on the content, because  I read one positive feedback on the movie and the rest were negative. I wanna touch on the issue of R-Kelly.   Most of you don't know, but I just start putting his music back on my Ipod or phone.  I think he's a sick man, I think he's a child predator and I have no problem with him serving a prison record.  He wouldn't be the first, we all had to see the image of Rick James going to prison, so Kelly doing the same perp walk would not be shocking or heartbreaking, especially for a man that preys on young girls.   The show romanticized his crime, the show made it seem like it was a Romeo and Juliet play, when in fact, it was a crime.   Williams should have pounded and made R-Kelly exactly what he was/is...A child predator.  It failed to do that and R-Kelly got off unscathed and Williams is taking the brunt of all the criticism of putting on a bad biopic.  And that's unfortunate, because not only did Aaliyah have the beauty, the talent and business sense to take chances...We could only guess where others like Beyonce' would be if she had lived...

Thursday, September 04, 2014

RF23 - ALL MONEY AIN'T GOOD MONEY

Here is my conversation with a "Fight for $15" Protester...

Me to a minimum wage hike protester:  Fight for 15, what's that about

Protester:  Umm, man we trying to get paid more money for where we work

Me: Where do you work?

Protester:  I work at Jack in the Box, I'm a cashier and cook

Me:  Oh, how long have you been there?

Protester:  Man, I been there, let's see, I been there for a year..

Me:  How old are you, if I may ask

Protester:  28

Me:  What did you do prior to working at Jack in the Box?

Protester:  I worked at Popeyes, then KFC and now Jack..

Me:  Wow, okay, are you in school? 

Protester:  Naw, man, I don't have time school, If I get this raise, maybe I will go back to school..

Me:  Go back, did you start and not finish?

Protester:  I dropped out of High School and never got my GED

Me:  Good luck in that...Let me ask you one more question and I'll let you go...Why do you feel entitled to whatever amount minimum wage?

Protester:  Man, for all we do, we deserve that raise, we bust our asses for small wages, low hours and the companies we work for our making mad profits.

Me:  So what happens if the minimum wage is increased and your employers lays people off?

Protester:  Then we'll sue they ass, they can't do that, that's like taking your ball and going home after finding out the rules have changed, that's bullshit! I wish they would, I'll burn it down...

Me:  Well good luck, and remember all money ain't good money..
Protester:  Fo' sho

Monday, August 18, 2014

RF23 - But Don't Hate On Us....

The city of Ferguson, Missouri has been under the nation's spotlight with the police shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown, on August 9, 2014.   Brown's shooting sparked huge riots which turned into looting and assaults from the demonstrators seeking answers and quick justice as to what they deem as a continued occurrence with local police or law enforcement in Inner City, America.   

Brown's shooting also sparked up an one sided debates within the Black American community inquiring as to the backlash and cries for justice when a young black male is gunned down by the police but near hush when it 's black on black.  It appears that no one who is seeking justice over this death can answer with a straight face that both deaths are equally tragic, but it's more attention, when it's other race v. black.   And we can forget about inquiring if it's black perp v. other race.

The death of Brown is not unusual and it often ends with different results as the true facts come out.  Already 9 days after the fact, we find out more about Brown and what he was doing prior to his demise.  Talks about his over-all character come into question as folks say he was a good boy, never needed no harm and was looking forward to that college education.  When in reality, it appears he had no sympathy for a white victim that was raped and murdered, took pictures throwing gang signs and last but not least shown on video robbing a liquor store for a box cigars and manhandling the store clerk.   I'm assuming it's this action that caused the Ferguson Police Department to respond to a call made by the owner about the incident.   

According to police, an officer made contact with Brown and his friend, while they were walking in the middle of the street, according to some reports the officer told them to move from the middle and walk toward the curb, so he can question or obtain the identity of the two men who recently entered a liquor store, assaulted a clerk and stole cigars.   While in progress of this initial investigation, the officer attempted to get out his vehicle, when Brown obstructed his progress by trying to keep the officer in the car.  For some reason, Brown according to the police, entered the vehicle and attempted to disarm the officer's service weapon.  With this action, Brown was shot and then fled the area.     It's this part where we see the video of a dead Brown laid out in the street with multiple gunshot wounds, which included the kill shots to the head.   On lookers and witnesses who saw the latter part of the incident insisted that Brown was shot down while in compliance, with his hands up and the police still shot him.  Some reports have the police shooting Brown in the back, which an autopsy has now disproved.

So what do we have?  conflicting reports from both sides, some of the witnesses' story are now being  debunked and we have a city burning with angry blacks seeking justice for a killing that should not have happened and could have been avoided by both sides.   I said it, both sides! I didn't know Michael Brown and although he has the same last name as my mother's maiden name, I don't know if he was family or not, but I do know this, if the reports are true that he attempted to take an officer's gun, the results are inevitable.   If he attempted to do bodily harm to the officer, the results are inevitable.  

Are there bad apples in fill in the blank police force?  absolutely

Are there bad apples in the black community? absolutely and for some reason, the bad apples are the ones who are martyred, while the innocent young black males are non-news stories, the value of their life is minimized if killed at the hands of other young black males.     Something isn't right about that and folks should be equally angry and ready to riot for those lives instead of the bad apples who within the inner circle,  knew their death or incarceration was going to happen anyway.   It's inevitable that those who choose to do harm within the same community, should suffer the same fate, they imposed on the community and all the community should do, is just shake their head, save the next generation and move on.

The problem and solution is already known, it's been known since LBJ's War on Poverty and it's been absent like a father figure in the home, absent like the black community church seeking to pad their pockets with feel good sermons and absent like effective civil rights leaders...

But don't hate on us....We're Fabulous..


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

RF23 - For The Hell Of It

Unbelievable, some yahoo was successful in getting enough signatures to put on the November 2016 National and State ballot to break the State of California into six, count 'em 1,2,3,4,5, 6 different states.   I can see breaking it into two, a Northern and Southern California, but six?  really? and get this according to an article I read, one of the states is going to be a poor state.  Most likely where most of the tax users will reside and although it won't affect me because of where I presently live, I will still live in Southern California, but not attached to what is now Los Angeles County, which will be called West California which consist of L.A.,Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.  One portion of the six states has proposed to call itself Silicon Valley and another proposed to call itself Jefferson.  I don't think the creators of that, thought that through clearly.  Surely the names Silicon Valley and Jefferson sounds like counties or better yet, cities!  Look the whole thing appears to be a pipe dream and if the people vote to break up the state, it has congress to hurdle and that's where the dream ends.  But it sounds like fun and I for one will for it, just for the hell of it...

Sources:
1.    http://time.com/2983496/california-six-state-proposal-vote/

2.   http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbrown/2014/02/28/california-split-into-six-separate-states/



Thursday, May 01, 2014

RF23- Golden Rules

RF23 - Golden Rules



This past weekend an illegal phone recording shook the NBA world to its knees, cost one team a chance to take a commanding lead in a NBA Playoff Series and when the smoke cleared, possibly a long tenured owner his team.
Long- time owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling was heard by the nation about his views on blacks, his views on their culture and his culture and the whole country was angry that in this day and age, a man who employs by contract 75% blacks to run, jump, pass, shoot and dunk a basketball could have such opinions.  They were angry at a man, who kept at his employ for over 20 years one of the greatest basketball players in Elgin Baylor as a general manger.   They were angry at an owner who employed minority coaches, only to hear that it was a rouge. 

A lie.

They were deceived.

When in reality, Sterling hadn’t changed.  He was the same cantankerous man who collected money from fans to see his bad basketball teams or see players at the end of their careers collect one last paycheck.  He was the same man, who ignored the jokes about how bad he is or was as an owner and he didn’t care.  He didn’t care about the number of discrimination claims filed against him in court and the number of depositions that said, this man is a racist.   

He didn’t’ care.

Racism exists, it will never go away, you can pass all kinds of laws, put on public service announcement after announcement and still find that one group of people dislikes one group of people.  Like bullying, it will never go away.  One could say, no one is ever born a racist, well true, but here we are.   Lets get this out, Sterling committed no crime, nothing than can convict him in a court room for expressing his opinions or thoughts.  If that was case, I would be locked up and need help to find the damn key.

As we grow up, the Golden Rules seem to be something that got us by in elementary school, it’s not practiced in our everyday adult lives.   If it were, Sundays would not be the most segregated day of the week.   If it were, we wouldn’t be reading or hearing opinions about interracial relationships or marriages.  Oh by the way, it appears that Sterling was down with interracial relationships and against his own marriage.   I guess he married culturally and screwed around with his true preference. 
So, we’re down one man, who was found and labeled a racist.   

Who’s next?   

You see the world is diverse and so is racism.  
 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

RF23 - Perception Is The Key

During the 2013 NFL season a story broke across the nation that a NFL player left his team because he could not take....

Bullying.

That's right, bullying.   According to reports Miami Dolphin Offensive Lineman Jonathan Martin quit the team because he was being bullied by another offensive lineman, Ritchie Incognito.   The news stories took off  like a wildfire with the media almost crying over Martin.  They were looking to make him the national face of the man who would be bullied that he walked away from his NFL contract because there was no one to.

Fight his battle.   That's right, no one stepped up to fight Martin's battle.  So the end result is Martin leaving, Incognito suspended and a coach buying boxes from U-Haul in preparation of being fired for this story.

I may be a little old school, but I remember the days, when a kid was bullied, they either fought back or it persisted.  If they were lucky, they'll have a friend to step to the bully and let the bully know that the person is their friend and if he/she messes with them, well you know.  But not today, today, we are bombarded by radio and TV ads.  We're hearing stories of kids actually committing suicide! because they didn't stand up for themselves or no one fought their battle.  Is it sad?  absolutely.  No one, including me wants to see parents bury a child because of bullying.  However, Jonathan Martin is no child! according to reports he gave as good as he got and when the kitchen got just little hotter. 

He quit.  he quit on his teammates and he quit on his offensive line brothers who are in the trenches.   I never played a down of NCAA or NFL football, but I do know that the fraternity and brotherhood amongst that group is close knit.  "All for one and one for all" if that was the creed.   In my opinion, Martin was for one, him.   The issue of Martin also resulted in finger pointing and accusations towards other teammates such as Mike Pouncey.  Pouncey defended Incognito and was immediately lambasted by black journalists, this is the same Pouncey, who wore a "Free Aaron Hernandez" T-shirt, Hernandez played for the New England Patriots and now sits in jail accused of murder.  Now what does that say about Martin? when a teammate would rather support another player on a different team! accused of murder! than Martin.   It says alot and Pouncey wasn't by himself, out of the 53 men on the Dolphins' roster the majority of them supported Incognito, why? because the locker room knows what going on and some of the players even said so, Mike Wallace said that if Martin was having that much of an issue with Incognito, he should have handled it and we're all grown here, we know what he meant!

Martin chose not to.

Tonight, NBC will air Tony Dungy interviewing Martin and one of the quotes from Martin was that he didn't have tools to handle the situation.

You right about that Jonathan. 

A pair.