After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut where 18 six and seven year-olds were shot and killed by a single armed individual, President Barack Obama took to the airwaves and we all heard his emotional condolences to other affected. Back in 2008, when Candidate Obama was being honest he said that cultural changes will make people “cling to their guns and religion”, he couldn’t have been righter. In fact some would say that the gun is a religion. The United States of America has more guns than any other ‘civilized” country in the world. We have more people in prison than any other civilized country, prison is supposed to be a deterrent–obviously what we have been doing isn’t working. It can even be argued that the violence we do abroad is merely an extension of the violence in our hearts that sometimes spills out at home…

You will hear the terms “Kids killing Kids”, “Boys will be Boys”, “Guns don’t kill people”, these are paid for slogans that turn shooting tragedies, like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School into nothing more than nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes right along side other rhymes like “babies having babies”, “Just say no”. Slogans that make you feel better, as if someone has a handle on it enough to craft a catchy slogan for it, while another avoidable shooting becomes nothing more than a parade of faces and a footnote in history. Disregarding the warnings from these events, the media and political framework from these events have become common. They pick sides, cloud the issues only to keep the same ways of thinking in place, year after year, incident after incident, half-measure after half-measure. Why half-measure and promises, because this is the culture of violence that we have created…all of us.

You will also hear words like “troubled”, “problems” and if no on is troubled or has problems. These media slick personalities will cloud the issue by making it a mental health debate. If the individual “snapped” how an examination beforehand reveals that is beyond any psychologist. They will also turn any remedy it into a privacy issues, or a rights issue. One as arbitrary as, at 18 one can smoke and at 21 one can drink alcohol, how is that working out?  They aren’t working, they don’t work. We as a society have not revisited those issues either, but it makes us feel better that we did something, maybe not the right thing, but we did something. “But it’s our right” they’ll scream, but since 9/11 the same screamers have allowed their right to be taken and twisted and their privacy to be intruded upon, without so much as a whimper—why? Because it was for the “Greater Good”. In the case of guns, finger pointing usually follows a shooting like this, but taking money out of the pockets of elected officials can save lives.

This tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut will be tied to false arguments and false conclusions, just as all the tragedies before it were. You hear the questions being asked: What happened to the shooter to make him act in this manner? This can’t be normal, he’s a monster, a monster really–so is America raising monster? This is all done to prevent us from squaring look ourselves in the face. Looking at the society we have created for ourselves and for our children to grow up in. Arbitrarily putting people on a ‘not eligible’ list, stopping the poor for getting guns, preventing minorities from getting guns, ect… none of it will work. We all know it that’s why we pray, we hold vigils, and we debate.

A week after the Sandy Hook shooting the NRA held a national press conference that blamed 1980 and 1990 era video games Splatterhouse, Bulletstorm and Mortal Kombat, and sports for America’s violent culture. The NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre urged congress to create a national database for the mentally ill, he also blamed the media for being complicity in misinforming people and President Barack Obama for cutting funds. The NRA proposes that every school in America has a police officer. The press conference was so out of touch and so sickening the only thing missing was the Wayne LaPierre brandishing a gun, and metaphorically he was. However, the NRA’s proposal seems like a great solution until the armed protector is the shooter. Make it tougher to get a gun won’t work, because the capitalist will find something else deadly to market and sell to the violence hungry masses. Scenes like the ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School have become as common as law enforcement police shooting unarmed people,and  as normal as the violence from our unmanned drone strikes in other countries. We the so-called educated masses, have lost the clarity and the fortitude to do the right thing.

How many guns does a person need? One for upstairs, one for downstairs, one for the car and one for the white tail deer. I know hunting is a way of life. Yes hunting defenseless animals with high powered weaponry for sport, is a way of life that desensitizes us to the value of life as a whole. We as a society hold the power to take life as our absolute right if someone, anyone offends us, unfortunately the taking of life is in direct conflict with the constitution the evangelist praise so highly, but just as so many religious do with their text, the constitution is left largely unread. Thinking that one right can take another right has to be a mental condition.

Here is what you won’t hear.

There have been 28 mass shootings since Columbine and 19 mass shooting since the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, 30,000 gun deaths yearly, 100,000 people get shot yearly, 18,000 people commit  gun suicides each year, yet there has been no meaningful change in the gun laws or the gun debate. Unfortunately, American citizens will fork over trillions of dollars and  the wherewith all for wars, but they no longer have the guts to do the right thing here at home. Any of these numbers should have indicated that our culture is in crisis, has been in crisis and every decision we make stems from the bad ones before it. This time, this incident in Connecticut, involved so many children and females in particular involved that the assault weapons ban might get a national tweak, might.  What if the next mass shooter’s are girls would that be enough to make us think? Probably not.

“The issue is not just violence in the media but the construction of violent masculinity as a cultural norm. From rock and rap music and videos, Hollywood action films, professional and college sports, the culture produces a stream of images of violent, abusive men and promotes characteristics such as dominance, power, and control as means of establishing or maintaining manhood.”

For one segment of American society the gun itself is a symbol of honor, human mastery over nature, authority, individual self-sufficiency and history. To that segment by opposing gun control affirm the value of those symbolic meanings and the vision of the good society that the gun helped to construct. However, to the other segment of  society guns perpetuate illicit social hierarchies, the elevation of force over reason, the expression of collective indifference to the well-being of strangers, and the only way the the fearful can sleep at night. To this segment supporting gun control means repudiation these things, meanwhile one sides interest’s are realized at the detriment to the other side. The truth is that injecting partisan cultural values into this debate are inappropriate. People have a tendency to adopt views shared by others of their cultural orientation, this is self-reinforcing. We need a new vocabulary, we need new voices on the matter and no compromise, or middle ground solution will remedy this. We must change our thinking completely.

What would the forefathers think? Where is congress on the matter? Who is paying who? It’s too much for the busy citizenry to deal with, right? So lets put it to a vote, and watch every year as the numbers for a ban grow, but that’s when the real violence will happen. The shooter could have used an SUV and ran down just as many young victims crossing the street to school. Why didn’t he? Because guns and ammunition are far cheaper and more effective ways to kill, when you are killing for power. So why not make guns more costly, but then only the wealthy would have them. We could make it into War on Guns, but how have the wars on Terror, Drugs and Gangs turned out? Why not just ban the firearm and keep the 2nd amendment, which is doable, but the capitalist would never allow that.

The numbers and our actions just don’t add up, what would happen if we as a society were to take firearms out of the equation?

MG Hardie

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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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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For the last few decades the world has been blanketed with digital technology, it has been called the digital age. It is not news that technology and computers have gone global, but is this digital age what was promised to us? Sure we have devices that can process ten terabytes of data per second, but it also freezes every other time we press a button. Caller I.D. fooled us into think that this was the best way to go, and we welcomed them into our homes. There were grand promises of a utopian paper-less society, but all studies have concluded that even more paper is being used. These machines were supposed to make our lives easier, our jobs more productive, our homes happier. There were pedictions that they would make going to the DMV and court effortless. What really happened is more lawsuits, more food, drug and product recalls than ever before. On top of that just about everyone is depressed, unhappy or in denial of the need of therapy. Sure you can fall in love, date, break up and get divorced all online, but it appears that society is crumbling around us. You can see it, sense it and feel it. We have communication devices, but seemingly we are still unable to communicate with each other. What is really going on?

Screws still fall out. Drones still kill people in error. We still don’t know who in sports is taking PED’s. The media is still largely devoid of emotion, passion and intelligence. Facts are still unverifiable. The tax code is still not simplified. Cars still use roads. The political left and right are more akind to the Crips and Blood gang  fueds of the 1980’s. Journalistics standards have still not returned. The Palin’s are still popular and Dennis Kucinich is still mired in obscurity. Live shows still aren’t live. The police can go through your cell phone without warrant. Cell Phone companies still charge you and call HSPA+,WiMax, and LTE, 4G (when they really aren’t), World conflicts still kill hundreds of thousands of people and seem like video games, to those not involved. Blended classrooms only show different learning, not better learning. Earlier adopters continue to make you feel like you are missing something, as if you’re not cool because you don’t have the latest noise cancelling ear buds. Technology is still the god of many and they must submit to it. They are afraid to turn it off, they will even have accidents because of it. They will destroy relationships because of it even though the device works correctly 70% of the time. Have we forgotten that we leave bits and piece of ourselves online every time we turn on a computer device, or that to this generation privacy is now mythical a Middle Earth. With button press consent, our private information is now public? Haven’t we lost freedoms? Just to click a post.

(Cont)…

During the process for writing my new book I had the privileged and opportunity to speak with hundreds of diverse people. I spoke to many immigrants illegal and naturalized.  I had numerous conversations with many Hispanics on the issue of immigration, but more importantly on the issue of  illegal immigration. What these many individuals imparted to me, for my book, was enlightening to say the least. I won’t say that the Arizona Bill is right or wrong, but here is what I will say. The Media has been all over this topic reporting this, investigating that, showing numbers and stats. And we, the masses,  are tuning in and posting. Even our “leaders” and elected officials, who haven’t done anything of note in their city and who we haven’t seen or heard from in months, have also chimed in with their own share of face time about SB 1070. Even Los Angeles’ misguided Mayor Antonio Villarigosa convinced the city of Los Angeles to have all businesses boycott Arizona, but somehow the boycott didn’t extend to businesses, colleges or professional sports teams.

There is so much misinformation on both sides of this issue. Are illegal immigrants employed in the low tedious work that a lot of Americans don’t want to do? Yeap. Is there a difference between illegal immigrant and an immigrant? Yeap. Why does the media and spokespeople seem to put them all in the same barrel? Coalition politics. The fact of the matter is that America, like it or not, is a nation of immigrants. And what that means is that the person next to you, the person you call friend, the person you know and love maybe an immigrant. However, the immigrants who have legally come to the U.S. do have a problem with the illegal immigrants from the Western border…and rightly so.

Many immigrants that have come to the U.S. by boat or by plane and they had to wait in line, or they had a work/school visa. Many of them have taken naturalization classes and fulfilled all of the necessary steps to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. The fact is that most immigrants are white collar workers and and thus pay a large amount of taxes.

The majority of American’s either supported the Arizona bill or something legislation close to it. There have been many assertions concerning potential police abuse, but doesn’t every law have the same potential? If you don’t trust law enforcement officials, then why trust them on anything. Why pass a bill at all? Why not just make the federal government enforce what is already the law? They are elected by us, so that means that they work for us. We don’t want them on television, we don’t want the sound bites and we damn sure don’t want the politics. What Americans want, not let me rephrase that, what Americans demand is action. Politicians will use the public emotions to get elected and then do nothing about the issue.  Arizona appears to simply be one of the many battle grounds for a much larger American issue.

What if the Arizona Legislature were to pass a law saying that Arizona would be an “English Only State”? And by English only no non-English store signs, no DMV with 11 languages printed forms, no banks using your money to print things in who knows how many languages, would that be divisive or unifying? President Bush sent 6,000 troops to the border and the problem became worse, so why is President Obama is sending 1200 troops to the border? Politics, and  to generate good headlines that galvanize the base and Hispanic voter incase of a low voter turn out election.  The United States deports over 1000 people per day, so even if immigration reform were done, it would only be part of the solution. The DREAM act, would provide amnesty for many illegal immigrants living in this country, has been tabled by congress. As other states follow Arizona’s lead the federal government waste tax payer monies by filing a lawsuit against Arizona. The bill wont solve Arizona’s problem, if anything SB 1070 is a cry for help.

Now here is the Truth. The border and immigration issue will nver be properly addressed because many non-latino illegal immigrants, who are in America have families with deep pockets. This is especially true on the East Coast, which enjoys a healthly amount of illegal immigrants from Europe. Also many illegal immigrants come from Asian countries and now live hear with their well-to-do children. The media chooses to focus on the Hispanic community because they have the least amount of in-country power. There are many illegal immigrants in America and only 70% of them are hispanic. The most important reason the border issues with not be resolved is because the FAA does not track airplane flights below a certain height. This means that if your airplane is below that height you are not tracked, don’t need to have a flight log and do not have to register your flight with the FAA. This is how the majority of human trafficking and drugs gets into the country. This is one of America’s dirty little secrets… The Border Issue extends to the sky. As long as the powers that be can keep the citizens and congress focused on what is happening on the ground, the skies are and have been wide open. The FAA has admitted that they have not been about to track 120,000 planes in the United States, but somehow news agencies always reports the one commerical flight that has a problem. I don’t think that the people we see being  arrested on T.V. and running through fields own a single plane, do you?  While Home Land Security puts out warning and squeezes the average traveller putting them through invasive pat downs, making them wait in long lines, scanning them with radiation and repeated questions and searches, they have been letting those who own planes come and go as they please. I was shocked when I discovered this fact during the course of research for my book It Ain’t Just the Size. Furthermore, all of the immigrants legal and not that I honestly spoked to advocated Closing the Western Border, for a limited time period, “it’s chaos, if they don’t vote to close it then you know who they really work for”.

That's Mr. President to you...

I am sorry for all of the negative things I have said regarding your policies and possibly you personally. But you know me I have to comment on America’s newest favorite pasttime… Politics. I have to comment on the political moves of the week, the day, the minute. I am obligated to shed light on issues and things that may be overlooked, but that is what I do. Sure there are things I wish you would have done and things I wish you hadn’t done. You have your critics, but you also have your supporters. In all honesty, you are presiding over America at a time of true change. At time of divison and progress. You made us push forward when it would have been much easier to turn back. I want you to know that whether I was critical or supportive of your decisions it was not because I am black, or to become popular, or gain a following or even to use controversy as a platform. However, I can only apologize for myself I can not do so for others, they should take it upon themselves to come out of their glass houses and be counted, but most likely they wont.

I thought that congress acted stupidly when you saved the country three trillion dollars on the budget and then you asked for one trillion six months later to fund health care and they just told you No. You did the right thing you and expected them to act in kind. Yes, I chided you on repeatedly using these prime time speeches to get your point across. And privately I wondered if your constant emails to me could be considered Spam. Yes, I believe that you should have gotten rid of the blood sucking insurance companies all together and socialize health care. It looks all good now, but I still think you should have let the banks and automakers fail. If they were using predator lending practices, why are they not up on charges or fined. And the car has been obsolete for years, we should have moved on. I called you out on the call bring the troops home, which looks more like a move to relocate the troops. When California started issuing I.O.U.’s and saying that it was broke, I wanted you to do something! I wanted you to say that you would send those accountants in The White House to Sacramento to officially let everyone know, that it’s all a lie. I wanted you to say something about the Jena 6. When a policeman in Oakland California shot an unarmed black man, who was faced down, and Oakland residents rioted I wanted you to say something. When that officer was sentence to 2 years in prison the entire black community wanted you to say something. I wanted you not to pay attention to radio hosts who don’t write their own material or read. I wanted you to bankrupt BP for that oil spill. I didn’t want you to play politics in Washington. I wanted you to call out everyone one in congress who thinks that politics is a game and believe me Big O (if I can call you that) I am not the only one, but that would take all year.

I will say what most likely no one else will, Barack you’ve got guts! Not those quarterback we celebrate, Not the athletes that are on our children’s walls. Most of these so-called pundits can comment and afford to be wrong, but Barack in addition to your job as The Leader of the Free World and you have the unenvied honor of being member of a disenfranchised group of people. There are many African-Americans who want you to get rid of decades if not hundreds of years of oppression, injustice, and pain. Aside from that you have Whites watching you, looking for any hint of bias. Not many of the previous Commander in Chief’s ever have cared about minorities. For this reason you have been scrutinized and polled Ad nauseam and it wont stop now. I now realize that although you are a Black Man, and that these injustices and incidents must really, really eat at you, you can not be a Black Man in the White House. You are not a Black Leader. You are The President of the United States and from the way it looks apparently you can’t have any friends.

 All I have to say is that Barack you’ve got the hardest job in the entire 1st World and the fact that you are a Black Man makes that job harder than any other President before you. No one really wanted to be President at a time when America was so torn emotionally and economically. Yes, the Democrats pretended and the Republicans postured and derided you, but all of them are glad you won! They really are. Think about it they can target you all they want and offer no real alternative plan, no solution at all… and that has to be the biggest giggle in Congress. They wanted you to win as evidenced by the candidacy of McCain and the selection of Palin, privately they knew that no one wanted the job. If McCain had won when you be occupying Iran and North Korea right now and that’s no joke. He would have personally kicked all the gays out of the military. Bristol would have won Dancing with the Stars and no minority would have healthcare. Whew, the wool wasn’t pulled over my eyes that’s for sure. No one had the balls. No one had the guts. No one except Barack. Well Barack this is my apology to you, and I don’t do this often, but I am sorry for not realizing that your job is a hell of a lot harder than any of us will ever know…

You should be able to be human. You should be able to misspeak. It takes a very big person to give an apology and an even bigger one to actually mean it. Meaning things is a practice that has been lost in our society. It was not long ago it seemed that law enforcement were allowed to break one black man per week, alright sometimes two, or three, but where are we as a people now? That’s the question we all should be asking each other before be ask The President. We are the ones that should be inviting each other for beers.  Yes, this is clearly a learning and teaching moment, but not for you Mr. President, no sir, you’ve got bigger things to worry about. Barack you may not need it, but I will tell you what my grandmother told me long ago, … she said “Baby, you can’t please everybody.” Hey you’ve got a job to do, a job that no one else has… the job of running the country and I for one appreciate it because we are the ones who sat here and let it get messed up in the first place. On a side note I will be waiting on my beer invite to The White House.

Oh yeah, I will be calling you out again sometime in the future.

MG

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APTOPIX Harvard Scholar Disorderly

As I watched the spectacle that CNN’s Black In America series has become. I wondered has the racial divide in America once again reared its ugly head? Have the years of injustice toward black men at the hands of law enforcement reached a tipping point. While many citizen have given unquestioned support to law enforcement and particularly White Police. Was Gates wrongly arrested it sure looks that way, but is Gates playing the race card?

None of us were in the room with Sgt. James Crowley and Dr. Henry Gates. And from what I have read and seen this unfortunate incident may not just be about race it maybe about the frequently overlooked masculinity as well. The Police officer was called out on a legitimate call of a burglary in progress, with the reporting party just outside. The officer responded with a heightened since of duty and confirmation from the RP (Reporting Party) of two black males breaking in to her neighbors home. So Dr. Gates, picked his own lock because he left his keys, happens all the time. I am sure that when Sgt. Crowley saw Gates inside the resident he had a series of questions for him. Like who are you? What are you doing here? This is Harvard so all Gates had to do was not move too fast, answer the questions and show an I.D. All Crowley had to do was check the given information. Simply enough we all know the drill. I also know that as soon as someone gets mouthy with the po-po, they become more suspicious of that person. Here is where race and masculinity collided Gates a proud man has probably been proving himself to whites for quite some time, the man’s a legend for goodness sake, a trailblazer. I am a professor at Harvard and you don’t know who I am. I am in my home. This is my kitchen. My knives. My spoons. My door. Now get out! And that is probably how it came across. Maybe it’s me but if that is how any of us came across to any officer responding to a burglary call I think that nine times out of ten we’d be arrested also. If you inject race and or masculinity into any law enforcement call you can be sure that it will escalate. So now you are having words with the officer and he says something like, step out on the porch sir and you refuse. Two things: One Sgt. Crowley isn’t asking because he knows who you are and two if you are outside he can arrest you, and you don’t need an advance degree to figure that out.

If the officer were black this situation would have never happened that’s for sure. Why? Because he would have recognized who he was immediately. If Gates were white would this have happened? Who knows and they could have really been robbers, but we sure as heck wouldn’t be talking about it. What if this had occurred in Compton? If it had Gates would be lucky to be alive, really. To many African-Americans Gates is top-tier, but this White officer’s tone showed that he was not impressed. Clearly Sgt. Crowley did not know who he was messin’ with! Sure there have been many times where you may not hand over your information as soon as asked, but police are trained to respond in a negative fashion to this noncompliance. Yes, this was a black man and white man, but more than that they were two agitated men face to face. I guess the officer wasn’t supposed to respond to the call. Should Gates’ credentials matter in this situation? His social Class? Do Black’s not have cause to be wary of systemic racism?

Blacks have gone to school to demand equal treatment, respect and now it appears that even with the surname Dr. isn’t enough to overcome a slave heritage. You would think that the election of President Obama would have lessened any ongoing racial injustices… it hasn’t, which only goes to show that the election was about Green and not Black. Was Dr. Gates, who sometimes walks with a cane, a threat….sure, intellectually. One thing I do know is that Dr. Gates is aware of what the police do, but what is not clear is that in America, no matter how many shows CNN chooses to run on race, whites simply will not understand the daily humiliations that blacks have suffered at the hands of whites for decades. Suffice it to say “It’s a Black thing, you wouldn’t understand.” Cooler heads could have prevailed and Dr. Gates could have said “Thank You I appreciate your thoroughness officer.” And the Officer Crowley could have said “Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation, goodnight sir.” but that is not what happened. Here is where I am drawn to Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 movie Pulp Fiction, the scene where Marsellus Wallace is talking to Butch about pride. What was it he said about Pride?

Even Barack Obama has commented about the incident by saying, “Race Remains a factor in society”, thank you Mr. President for telling us what blacks already know and no one else wants to hear. Doctorate, Ph. D and degrees be damned nothing compares to Being Black in America, nothing. I hear many people throwing around terms like Racial profiling? Stereotype? Racist thoughts? But no one is throwing around the term that applies…Human Being.  Are those terms issues? Of course but I think that both of these Human Beings erred and both could have done something different to change the outcome. However, if they had we would not be having this racial discussion now, or should I say finally be able to voice our frustrations. This incident only goes to show how Post-Racial America isn’t, sorry Gates no street cred for you, and there is nothing  orderly about that.

MG

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