This Cleveland bus incident, where the bus driver uppercuts a woman has been played and replayed in all of it’s entertainment value glory. What has been lost in all of this is the discussion. I have been hit while driving. I mean slapped, punched, steering wheel grabbed and I felt that she was really trying to kill me…us. So I know how Chris Brown felt and how this bus driver may have felt. Without passing judgement on the bus rider for spitting and hitting or on the bus driver for his rising dragon punch, what is the real issue…

Why did it take getting hit for this woman to realize that she can’t hit?

Why after 22 years of taking similar punishment from passengers did the bus driver react in this manner?

The Full Story

This is not uncommon nor an isolated incident, why? Because our society allows women to get away with hitting. Women carry the banner of “the weaker sex”, when nothing could be further from the truth. We already know who hits more…women, yet every woman is sugar, spice and everything nice and every man is a potential villain. What that approach has done is cultivate a culture of violence and victimization. Now all of a sudden he’s head butting her, choking her, hitting her…all of a sudden and she hasn’t done anything, she isn’t violent at all and she isn’t teaching these very same methods to the children, no not at all. We have become a society inequity, a society of  one law and two different rules, two different standards, which is probably why our foreign policy is one of a bully who speaks of victimization.

When the authorities respond to a domestic violence dispute and, in general, do nothing to the hitter, but remove the hitee what does that do to a child seeing it? How does that ultimately shape their view of society, their view of relationships?

You look at this cartoon and think he had it coming?
He must have said something.
That isn’t you, but deep now you know it is.
You have a problem and so does America.

What has this dual standard done to children, who have internalized these types of behaviors? It has made them adults who are violent, made them adults who hit, Adults who fear no repercussions. It has made the ledger unbalanced and therefore unequal. It has made males feel at times caged and constantly under pressure from society and in their relationship. It has breed a culture for men, that says being hit is normal. A culture that says if you are a male you should expect to get hit.

Are men violent? Men are not violent, which is contrary to what those with an agenda, and many a female blogger might say. However, males can be made to be violent. Here is an all too common example: A young man beats his girl for slapping him and we all get down on him trash him and cuddle her and everybody else that he’s ever been with. Now,here is the what you didn’t see. That young man grew up with a mother that hit. She hit his father and she all the other dudes after the father left. She hit his brother. She hit him. She allowed female cousins to hit him. As he got older he was a relationships where he was hit. The authorities who grabbed him hit him. For his part, this young adolescent, he has to take the hits because she is the weaker sex and speaking out makes him weak, speaking out makes him a punk. Expressing his emotions is something that just isn’t done, because it scares people, which is why the authorities were called in the first place, so he learned that lesson.

One day this young man’s woman decides that he didn’t answer a question correctly, or she isn’t getting enough attention, or whatever the case may be and she decides to test him by hitting him and he goes off on her. We all know the story “I just touched him and he went off.” Guess what your ‘touch’ was hit number 3,476 and that was the one that set him off. That was the one that he could take. That was his societal rebel yell. What society sees is the what came after. We see the elephant rampage. We witness the killer whale attack. We don’t see the role we played in the action. What would have happened if didn’t condone hitting in our society?  You can not give one group carte blanche to assault and hit with virtual impunity, while the companion group has to absorb all of it.

Why has society allowed women to be violent? Perhaps it has to do with men not wanting to look at our mothers as being anything but nurturers or since women represent the best of us, men don’t want to show the rest of the world that the word best’ may have been misused.  Most women who hit, do so because they can.

It’s not okay, it’s not. I tell my daughters just like I tell my son, “no one should hit”, but more importantly than telling them…I show them.

Mothers stop hitting.

Girlfriends stop hitting.

Everyone stop hitting… Hugs go a lot further.

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Momma Cried and Wouldn’t Stop Crying

There is a Santa Claus because momma cried and wouldn’t stop crying. When we couldn’t pay our bills and we got put out that, Christmas momma cried momma and wouldn’t stop crying. It wasn’t even our house it was Grandma’s and I tried. I tried to be to be good, but I was just a kid full of questions and momma cried and wouldn’t stop crying. That winter was the first time I wondered about my skin color because Grandma made us watch Roots.

It wasn’t so bad because my cousins were there, but it still didn’t feel like home. My brother and sister didn’t know why daddy left and momma cried and wouldn’t stop crying. Momma tucked me in with smile, but I heard her leave that night. When I ran down the stairs in the morning I saw my name on some gifts. I ripped them open. I can remember having G.I. Joe in my hand; it was just when the Classic Collection came out. And I asked momma how did Santa Clause find me? And momma cried and wouldn’t stop crying…

MG Hardie

The Penn State scandal has not only rocked Pennsylvania, it has shaken America to its very core. There will be those of us who will say that this was an isolated incident, but deep down inside we know that’s not true. There will be those of us who think the Penn State university officials, and law enforcement, didn’t drag their feet on these young male rape charges because of race, but deep down inside we know that’s not true. There will be those of us that will say we are doing everything possible to protect our children, but we know this is also not true.

The truth is that we as a society have failed our children. Not just in this case, but in general and the sooner we can admit that, the sooner we can pull out of America’s obvious moral recession. When the Penn State case first broke and I read that the alleged claims of wrong doings by Jerry Sandusky stemmed from the mid-90’s, yet he was not arrested, I knew that most likely the entire sickening scandal was only allowed to continue due to race (I haven’t sugar-coated this on Facebook, nor my tweets which many well-known bloggers have conveniently saw fit to pilfer) Sandusky was tampering with 10-12 year old boys, adopting them, even sharing them with other sick people, mostly in plain view for 15 or more years and no one took any real action…this would not have went on as long as it did had the victims looked like Justin Bieber, had dark skin or if the victims had a fathers. People with this sickness generally don’t care about race, but Sandusky allegedly had a preference, not that it matters much to the victims. This trail of sex-abuse was far reaching and wide spread there were many people who could have stepped in, but didn’t, many of them made conscious decisions to do nothing.

If race was a consideration to those who could have intervened but didn’t, then America has a huge problem, because most serial rapist and multiple molesters are white and educated, there is no coincident. As of this season Joe Paterno is the winningest coach in college football history. Over the years he has gained millions of fans, personally I thought he should have been out of the game a decade ago. Penn State had horrible football seasons, yet JoePa (as he is known) held held on, mostly because of his contempt for little known Eddie Robinson (Grambling State), who previously held football’s winningest college record. Eddie Robinson, regardless of  having the record, is viewed as an inferior coach, because he’s black.

And here on the happy valley campus of Penn State university 6,000 student rioted to save Joe Paterno’s coaching job, apparently being college educated doesn’t mean much these days. Even in the face of the Freeh Report stating that Paterno was an integral part of the the Sandusky cover-up. The freeh Report states that Joe Paterno and others made conscious decisions to assist in he cover-up of Sandusky’s behavior since 1998, because the fear of bad publicity. When Sandusky is a long-time friend of Paterno’s and in the early 200o’s sexual abuse scandals were daily being levied against the Catholic Church. When grad student told Paterno of what he witnessed Sandusky doing to a young boy in the shower, those church scandals weighed heavily on Joe Paterno and the university’s actions and the inaction by the many others thereafter. Also at the time Joe Paterno was pursuing this storied record he would allow nothing to deter him.

Paterno claims to have told the V.P., both of whom first thought to preserve not only their image and reputation, but also the image and reputation of a mega-million dollar sports giant, Penn State Football. Penn State officials state that Sandusky was told not to bring his youth camp onto university campus. But Sandusky took his act on the road and he remained a Penn State coach, by doing basically nothing his program for at-risk youth continued to flourish. Paterno, the university Vice President, the university President and others made the decision to allow more children to suffer, somewhere else besides campus. Idol worshipers can not fathom how Joe Paterno, a man who exhibited so much courage on the field demonstrated so much cowardice off of it. Eleven victims have come forward and Sandusky, The Athletic Director and Vice President of the university have been charged. Joe Paterno offered to step down at the end of the season, but the Penn State Board of Director terminated him and the University President immediately.


In order to cut through the noise and rhetoric, here is some perspective:
6,000 coaches in the U.S. have been found guilty of sexual offenses, far more have been alleged in some improper touching. I wont fool you by using cliches terms like “these men are monsters”, because as unbelievable as it sounds 60% of the perpetrators of sex abuse, child abuse and or neglect are women. 12% of your trusted psychologists have had sexual contact with their clients. You hardly think about sending your children to school, where 15% of all students have experienced some kind of sexual misconduct by a teacher between kindergarten and 12th grade. Deep down inside we know that incidence of the sexual abuse of a minor is higher among the Protestant clergy than it is among the Catholic clergy, yet we focus on Catholics because they so publicly like to tell people what to do. We also know that these incidents happen far more with public school teachers than among ministers and priests, but the media chooses to focus on the church, because of agenda. Parents do not get off the hook either, stop sleeping with trifling, no job having, good for nothing males who will leave you with two kids and bad genes, thus making your children easy prey for America’s dark underbelly.

Note: Sandusky lives by an elementary school and has been released on $1,000 bond.

This kind of abuse extends across socio-economic levels, but for the children of poor women; her family, friends and acquaintances are the largest group of perpetrators (28%), relatives such as uncles and cousins (18%), stepfathers (12%), fe/male siblings (10%), biological fathers/mothers (10%), boyfriends of the child’s mother (9%), grandfathers and stepgrandfathers (7%), and strangers (4%). These numbers mean that 86% of the perpetrators were known to the family, but were someone other than the child’s father. What we are seeing involving Penn State and other highly publicized incidents is the 4%, so what do you think is happening right under your nose, without media attention? Americans don’t really want the truth, we only want to be pitched it.

Sandusky and people like him are not monsters, they are reflections of our own unchecked immorality and humanity. America has a sickness of absolving idols from wrongs. This happens because the system we created coupled with our worship of idols, even the low level ones, is unjust and often immoral. Sandusky was an idol in Pennsylvania, Joe Paterno was an idol nationwide, clearly idol worship comes with blinders. There are many university’s that have idolized stories football programs, there is no telling what those “leaders” have been getting away with or covering up. 35 miles from Penn State at a small High School, Sandusky was allowed by school administrators to pull certain kids out of class and leave school with them. The woman who are married to these ‘monsters’ failed a moral obligation as well. Do you think this wife didn’t see the sleepovers, the pool horseplay or hear the screams? Where were the wives of these “monsters” when the children needed them. The truth is that the wives are the victims 1st line of defense. the Free Report states “Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”

When it comes to our children any and all dangers to children are things we, as parents, are supposed to see. We didn’t see them because we have sold our children to the idols of stage and screen. We have auctioned them off to the gladiators and heroes. We have mortgaged our very future for electronic images and input prompts. We have allowed bad decisions and selfishness to rule our households and We have allowed agendas and pride to cloud and ultimately change our humanity. Where were we, when these children needed help?

“Sex abuse is a problem in all of societies institutions and not just the church.”- The Pope

We have fostered a culture of unwed mother and cultivated a culture of  fatherless half-raised children. We proudly harvest children from this subculture of marginal invisible folk, a culture than can be easily manipulated, abused and pimped for profit on fields and courts. We as a society have chosen to sexualize our children, we have allowed advertisers access to our youngest and most fragile minds. We have allowed our children’s idols to be half dressed, shirtless crooners and sirens. We have warped our children’s thinking and at the same time convinced ourselves that sports and material possessions are more important than our larger social issues. We had allowed the mindscapes of children to be violated for the sake of sustaining industries we never needed. Where are the laws that prevent this? Where are the Democrats and Republicans on the matter? When will the senators and lawmakers stand up for our children instead of the corporations that line their pockets? When are we going to “Occupy” our own homes? Where is the outrage over the obvious corporate mind control that is occurring every day, every minute on every channel?  Where are the regulations to prevent radio stations from playing sexualized music? ….Where?

“The Penn State sex-abuse scandal should lead to soul-searching by all Americans, not just Penn State.”- President Barack Obama

Football is still king to Penn State, they wont shut down the program and right now people are devising ways to profit from this horrible situation. They will sell parents devices to protect children, services to investigate people, chips to implant, money will be made from books and lectures, even political careers will be made from this sex-abuse scandal. Yes, our society will pay and pay dearly, there will be profits made from all the ways that We as Parents and as a Society don’t want to look ourselves in the mirror. When the only thing we really need to pay is Attention.

On January 22, 2012 Joe Paterno died. He always feared that when football was over, his life would be too. He fought hard for his coaching career because he was literally fighting for his life, unfortunately he didn’t fight hard for these under privileged youths that were abused by his friend. On June 22, 2012 Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 counts. According to 2001 Penn State’s internal e-mails, Joe Paterno talked the athletic director and others out of turning over Sandusky to authorities.

On July 20, 2012 Penn State board of governors took down Joe Paterno’s statue from in front of the stadium

On July 21, 2012 the NCAA fined Penn State 60 Million, banned from bowl games for 4 years, reduced scholarships from 24 to 15 (40 in total), vacate all wins from 1998 to 2011, 5 years probation as well as other provisions. Monies would establish a victims fund. This was done to bring the culture of college football back in balance with social values and morals.

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My voice has returned
Now, when it is too late

I realized that I was not adored as a child.
My mother had long ago beaten
the confidence out of me.

She pounded Bodies
Yelled at Cries
Suffocated Dreams
Pummeled Aspirations
Lynched Creativity
and Silenced Rebellion.

She pounded Time
Until the echoes of silence
resonated only within an adolescent mind.

She pounded Minds.
While her negativity dominated me
without the smallest ounce of compassion
“Shut up stupid”, “You ain’t gon neva be nothin’”,
“I neva wanted you!”

She pounded Life.
And I was forced to bloom out of season,
years later than otherwise.
She always told me that she never loved my dad,
so how could she love me?
“I am not him!” would not be heard.
That phrase choked with my larynx.
I could only show her that
Fire can light ways and burn shit down….

And still She Pounded.

by

MG Hardie

 

It has been said that prayer changes things, well here is my story. My four year old son has always been a free spirited soul. He runs and jumps with reckless abandon. Whenever we go shopping he always gets to get underneath our shopping cart, who knows why.

Going to school and playing in the sand are major parts of his daily activities as they should be. However, things have changed he is no longer allowed to run, throw, or hide underneath shopping carts. He is no longer allowed to play unsupervised. As parent, little did we know that something was looming undetected, something that changed everything for my son and everything for us.

A few months ago my four year old son was diagnosed with a rare eye condition. Diagnosis: Extreme Amblyopia, refractive myopia… basically he is blind in his right eye. Although this news was shocking, his mother and I developed a plan as an effort to reverse this condition. This plan includes “patching” his left eye (the 20-20 eye) for up to six hours a day, contacts, glasses, poly-carbonate lens, a lot of heart-ache and even more prayer. Needless to say the remedy and therapy were tough for the little fella, as well as us. After a few months, my son could only see about four feet in front of him and what he could see was blurry. Why was it necessary to take these extreme measures with his therapy? Because eye input controls brain function, no eye input equals no brain function. By patching the left eye it forces his brain to sort of rewire itself to make use of his right eye.

Every time I  “patched” my son, I would ask him what can you see? With a smile he would say “Dad I can see everything”, something I knew wasn’t true. If he were left unattended for any period of time he would peel off the patch so that he could peek out of the corner, or he would take out his contact because he couldn’t really see.

After two months of fighting, crying, spending and praying my son’s response changed to “Dad I can’t see” usually followed by tears.

My son’s condition is said to be so rare that he is 1 out o 125,000 children. Mind you that all of this is happening as my new book is making the round, I have been invited to do radio show, I have a regular job and other children, so what is a father to do. My son is no idiot, we often have to restrain him to put the contact in his eye. Dealing with a four year old and fear can be tricky, the first facility we went to said that they were not equipped to handle him. As parents to say that we were helpless in this situation is an understatement. I became hardcore, because I knew what was at stake for my son. So I decided to toss away my sorrow, and I remembered how I cured asthma a decade earlier and the difficulty and negativity I experienced during that process, but more on that later.

The contact goes in… no compromise and a song is born… “Don’t touch the glasses, don’t move the glasses, these are my glasses”, a melody that is sure to be a household hit.

My question to the experts was what is his prognosis? There answer: Basketball-out, Soccer-out, Football-out even Water Polo was out as well as a lot of other activities. Okay, no problem, that just means more reading and writing… Did I mention the dyslexia? Because on his eye condition my son  interprets  letters and number incorrectly.

Side note this condition also causes my son to behave what what I deem somewhat “Neanderthalish”, which is equally frustrating for everyone. He falls a lot. He gets injured every day. I don’t even know how he plays like the other kids, but my best guess is that he is using the force.

“Patching”  his good eye basically renders him sightless and forces the brain to use the unpatched eye.

1-Month: No noticeable improvement in vision, still fighting us. More singing. His 15-years old sister decides to call her older sister to apologize for all the pain she caused her when she was younger.

3 Months: Less fighting, still singing. Family members begin to realize the depth of the situation. His mother deserves a whole lot of credit.

6 Months: Hugs are given. Hope is found, routine established. The song is family wide now. Slight improvement in vision is noticeable. Attitude is up and down.

We return to the doctor. My son, with his eye patched, sits down in the chair. The doctor displays a large image on the projector and before the doctor could asked what do you see, my son excitedly exclaims “An Airplane!” His mother smiled. The doctor said “Remarkable”, I shed a single tear. six months a ago he saw four feet in front of him. The doctor said that his improvement was exponential and he was amazed at how fast this approach seemed to be working.

I held my son’s hand as we left the doctor’s office. As we walked back towards the car he asked me for some gum. I said “No gum”. He said, “But dad I listened to the doctor, I didn’t cry and now we are leaving the doctors. I need some gum.” His response stopped me in my tracks because I realized that he recalled the conversation we had when we initially tried to put the contact in six months ago. He actually remembered the conversation verbatim. He would later performed the same memory trick on his mother, in regard to when his patching for the day would be over. Perhaps,the side-effect of the therapy is an improved memory. I picked up my son, hugged and kissed him and said “You know what son… you can have some gum”.

Prayer really does change everything.

*Make sure you get your child’s eyes checked early as possible*

Update: a year into the patching and eye improvement has stunted. Decide to patch 20 hours a day. Kindergartner is extremely trying.

Update: A year in a half into patching Experts agree to abandon patching is no longer working. We decide on whether to hold him back or push him forward in school.

Update: We decide to push him forward. He is slowly catching up.