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UPDATE:  PATUXENT RIVER NURSING HOME COMMITS FRAUD:  DECLARES PATIENT INCOMPETENT WITHOUT NOTIFICATION OR JUSTIFICATION!

In December 2012 my brother Earl K. Bell a resident at Patuxent River Rehab in Laurel, Md. signed Power of Attorney papers giving me permission to oversee his health needs at Patuxent River Rehab.  His 2 adult children had abandoned him.  Since their shameless act I agreed to take on the added responsibility for the simple reason, he is my brother. 

Earl Bell is a former U. S. Army Military Policeman (8 years) and a former cop on the DC Metropolitan Department (13 years).  A head-on automobile accident on his way to work ended his career in 1978. He was a Sgt at the time of his accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

He has been at Patuxent River Rehab for over 5 years. The staff has been rude and unprofessional during his entire stay. They have dropped him from a harness while trying to put him in a wheelchair that does not meet his physical needs.  They pretended that it never happen (cover-up).

I have spoken to the Administrator Jodie Dyer and her staff in the Rehabilitation Office as it related to his wheelchair. They claimed his insurance would not pay for a wheelchair and would only do so if he was out living outside of the facility? 

They are taking money from his police retirement, Army retirement, Social Security, etc.  I don’t understand how is it that they cannot afford to get him a new wheelchair!

His "Wound Doctor," Dr. Ernest Scruggins has been playing a game of Russian roulette with the sores on his backside.  He changes his scheduled visits from weekly to bi-weekly whenever he sees it meets his needs.  He leaves residents like my brother in jeopardy of developing infections from his bed sores. 

It is a known fact that anyone whose mobility is hampered or who is confined to a bed or wheelchair is at risk of developing bed sores (also called pressure sore or decubitus ulcers).  These wounds are serious injuries that can lead to sepis, infection, and death.

To prevent bed sores, the nursing staff is responsible for regularly adjusting the position of residents to encourage adequate circulation.  According to experts, this is often not done.  Staff members often fail to take the time to adequately move residents.  They are mostly overworked and underpaid and they develop “I could care less attitudes.”  I have personally witnessed these type of attitudes on my brother’s unit.  I have heard Dr. Sruggins remind the staff nurses (Mariann and Oloue) that they are to clean my brother’s wounds.  These nurses allow residents to sit or lay in bed unattended for hours causing these serious sores to develop.  What makes matters worst the nursing staff lies to him about the status of his sores. They are telling him the sores are getting better.  He can’t see or feel them but I can.  This is negligence and a criminal act!    

In November 2012, my brother did develop an infection and had to be isolated from the other residents.  He was moved from room 202 to room 301 on the unit where his friend Harry Horton and I witness the transfer.   They denied this ever happen also!  What makes this so appalling is that Dr. Sruggins was outside of his room 4 days earlier and never bothered to examine his wounds. When I question why he was not examining my brother's wounds, he said "Your brother is going to the DC VA Hospital next week (November 11th) for an evaluation and I will examine his wounds then.  I want the report to be fresh.”  Four days later I was called and told that my brother had developed an infection---once again an act of negligence.

Journalist Jackie Jones in an interview with Ombudsman Ms. Alice Hedt was told that an Ombudsman from her office had visited my brother.  The Ombudsman found him in good spirits and he was never isolated from the other residents---another lie.

In a visit with Ms. Jones on Thursday, March 7, 2013 I recorded a videotaped interview with him and Ms. Jones.  This marked the first time he had been out of his bed in 2 weeks.

I have alerted the local politicians, Steny Hoyer, Ben Cardin and Donna Edwards.  They are so busy passing the buck from one to the other you would think they were in a relay race in a Track & Field meet!  The senior citizen vote continues to be the most loyal vote in politics; hopefully they will remember to forget Hoyer, Cardin and Edwards at the polls next time around.

Evidently, Jodie Dyer and Corporate VP John Spadaro think they are immune and can get away with this type of abuse and negligence.  Their act on Wed February 6, 2013 made me realize what a really dangerous place Patuxent River Rehab really is not only for my brother but for the entire residential population.

During a mandatory "Family Meeting" on Feb 6th a meeting that should be held monthly (the last one for Earl was October 2012). Conducting the meeting was a Social Worker I had never seen before.  She brought to my attention for the very first time, "Patuxent River Rehab had declared Earl K. Bell incompetent."  By the way the Social Work Office in Patuxent River Rehab has become an office of 'Musical Chairs.'

First, there was Crystal King, who told me in 2012 she didn't go to college to get a Master's Degree to have me question her about her duties as a Social Worker.  She has since disappeared!  Following her would be Diane Wilson who didn't seem to have a clue.  In the last "Family Meeting" in October 2012 Ms. Wilson made it clear to me that if I kept being augmented (I was trying to get some questions answered about the cover-up of the staff dropping my brother) she was going to cease having Family Meetings for my brother.  She was true to her word another meeting was not held until Feb 6, 2013.

On Feb 6, 2013 she was a no-show and the news that my brother had been declared "Incompetent" was delivered by a NO-NAME who had been assigned the duties once held by Ms. King and Ms. Wilson. 

What this state needs is another courageous prosecutor like Emmet Davitt who is not scared of these corrupt politicians and greedy nursing home administrators.  While elected state’s attorneys and the attorney general pass the buck he follows the bouncing ball that leads to corrupt politicians who think they have a license to steal from its constituents.  Mr. Davitt recently took down powerful Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold.

Pat Carter in the Prince George’s County Office of the Aging and Alice Hedt in the Ombudsman's Office are all frauds and major players in this shameless charade of nursing home abuse.

There is little doubt that the paper work and the doctor that they claimed was used to declare my brother incompetent are all a part of this fraudulent act.  They back tracked the paperwork to make my Power of Attorney (health) null and void.  I have yet to see the paperwork!

The nursing home staff and administrators have left a trail of fraud and negligence that Ray Charles could follow.  Family members and friends of nursing home residents are now calling me with other incidents of abuse in the facility.

I have since videotaped my brother in a conversation with witnesses proving he is anything but incompetent!  I have advised him not to take any medicine he is not familiar with.  I don't put anything pass this staff.  I have asked several of his police buddies to check on him on the weekends and let me know if they notice any change in his behavior.  I watched my brother beat prostate cancer, colon cancer, racism and he now  fights for his life in a nursing home that has anything but his best interest at heart.  But it ain't over until God says "It is over!"  God does not like ugly.

I agree with Dr. Ben Carson when he asked:  "Whatever happened to common sense?"  Dr. Carson, I think the NEW COMMON SENSE is now spelled ‘DOLLARS & CENTS’ all in the name of the GREEDY!

For more information / contact number 240-705-3447.

Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 40 years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site The Original Inside Sports.com.

 

 

 

Black Americans Betray Forefathers with use of the N-word

mooneyp
 

By H. Lewis Smith

When Samuel L. Jackson sat down with film critic Jake Hamilton to discuss Quentin Tarantino’s  Django Unchained, Hamilton had a question that he wanted to ask Jackson relative to the n-word. But Jackson, who plays a Sambo, Uncle Tom prototype in the film, refused to answer the question unless Hamilton actually said the word “n**ger” in its full enunciation—and not a censored, more politically-correct, less offensive metaphor of the term. After Hamilton refused to say n**ger several times, Jackson retorted: “We’re not going to have this conversation unless you say it.” The nervous Jake Hamilton still refused to be coerced into saying the vile and sinister term. Jackson finally relented and asked: “You want to move on to another question?”  A deeply-relieved Hamilton responded affirmatively.

Sam Jackson Nigger Poster
 

Any self-respecting Black/African American who is proud of him/herself and their ancestry is incapable of seeing him or herself as a n**ga/n**ger, and would become appalled almost (if not certainly) to the point of physical contest if anyone referred to them as such. It is because this type of enlightened, self-dignified individual has transcended such an inferior state of mind, and now, instead, owns the rightful higher perception of self and toys with no one who approaches them at any other affirmed level of understanding. On the other hand, only an Uncle Tom sellout and/or ignorant inferior-minded individual lies fully relaxed and engulfed in the idea of being a n**ger/n**ga, and finds it humorous and acceptable to encourage others to the same.

Lisa Lampanelli, a white stand-up comedian and insult comic known for her racy and controversial style of comedy—same as Chris Rock and Katt Williams, recently tweeted on Twitter: “Me with my n**ga @Lenaham of @HBOGirls – I love this beyotch!!” (sic)

The Black community understandably so was outraged and all up in arms about Lisa’s blatant and contemptible act. But, in retrospect, Black America’s response is also hypocritical, profoundly irrational and infantile.  Black America’s actions, which shall be referred to as the Jackson Syndrome, on one hand unsoundly gives everyone in the universe a pass to use the n-word, but then when someone outside the Black community uses the word, African Americans have the audacity to become indignant. Truly, something unnatural and abnormal exists when it comes to this scenario; this line of thinking is tantamount to an individual throwing a rock through someone’s window, and then when someone throws a rock back into that individual’s window, they cannot understand how something of that sort could have come about.

The stage has been set for some time. Just dating back to as recently as Michael “Kramer” Richards and Don Imus, to currently, nothing has changed.  The alarm was sounded back then, but evidently Black America was not listening, failed to pay attention to the significance of these acts, or was simply indifferent to the matters. Black America must wake up and realize that even small pebbles—if thrown often enough, long enough, and with enough force—can have significant, irreversible effects. Situations that seem to be one-off’s and carry no impact at all will eventually be the exposed Achilles tendon that brings down the black community once and for all.

Black/African Americans continually refuse to hold one another accountable for their own actions—thinking nothing of always pulling a Jackson Syndrome, and continually come up with something asinine to support use of the n-word. They go so far as to say that it’s okay or acceptable for blacks to use the n-word, unacceptable for non-blacks to use it, but then all at the same time encourage others to use it ANYWAY through their own use of the term in daily interactions, music lyrics and other forms of entertainment.  If someone was to create a situation comedy based on the actions of Black America and its use of the n-word, it would make the all-time ding-a-ling list.

This is the 21st century but yet racism still exists, and it seems as though Black/African American proponents of the n-word insist on feeding the flames of racism by promoting, marketing and commercializing the term. Truth be told, their use of the n-word keeps the hate, inferior-superior mindset distinction, and inequality and racial disrespect at the forefront of everyone’s minds that the term long ago was created to represent. Recently, a white passenger on board a Delta Airline flight was annoyed by a crying black child sitting next to him on his mother’s lap. The irate passenger had the unmitigated gaul to reach over and slap the child in the face, calling the child a n**ger in the process.

Everything about the passenger’s actions was unacceptable, but he did it because he felt he had the right to do so. This proves the point that so long as the Black community continually disrespects itself, others will continue to view the collective black community as inferior and will handle the group of people as insignificant, non-humans they can treat any way they see fit at will…that idea of careless treatment sounds a lot like the real definition of a “n**ga”. The word n**ger/n**ga is linked to a racist past and that is NEVER going to change. To entertain the ridiculous idea that the context of this word can be changed—let alone the desire to want to even try—is ludicrous and asinine at its best. The context of its history is going to forever remain intact.

Nigger T-Shirt
 

Many twisted and irrational arguments have been advanced in a feeble attempt to justify use of the n-word.  One of which is that those who fight against its use live in the past and are unable to let go of it, while proponents of the term say they have freed themselves from the past and given the n-word a new meaning.  The truth of the matter is those proponents of the term will go to any length to cover up their act of ignorance for their use of the vile word. Their justifications for use of the term shows that they are in DENIAL about all that took place relative to the sinister baggage that comes along with this word.  If any argument can be made, it should be that proponents of the term are mentally incapacitated and too inertia to overcome their use of it.

Black America’s present day use of the n-word is symbolic of an 18th century slave mentality and has no place in this 21st century for liberated-minded people. Descendants of those victimized and dehumanized by this pejorative term who want to keep this word alive in this 21st century by embracing it are committing blasphemy to the sacred memories, struggles and sacrifices of their forefathers.

As a GROUP, the non-use of the n-word should be a no-brainer. Black/African Americans should ALL be on the same page about this because, collectively, whenever that word is openly used by any person of color, it serves as a reflection on the entire race of people. No matter whose mouth—black or non-black—the n-word idiom flows from, nothing cerebral, honorable, dignified, prideful or self-respectful exists from being submissive to and tolerant of its use.

While many in the Black community work to try to become a once-again united, self-respecting race of people with a positive perception and conviction of self within and without the community, others have sold out at the expense of the collective group. As this internal conflict wages within Black America, slick-teethed businessmen like Quentin Tarantino are laughing all the way to the bank with his highest grossed money-making movie ever. Offering a very veiled perception of slave life and a million and one more ways to allow the n-word term to roll off one’s lips, Black America was left with a feel good moment about a make believe Django’s prowess who rides off in the sunset with his woman after ethereally shooting up a bunch of white folks.  Where was the real homage paid to the Black/African American and his survival of a gargantuan struggle?

Flava Flav2
 

Taking its cue from the music industry’s global promotion, marketing and commercializing of the n-word, the door is now open for more such films to be made once again using Black America as sacrificial pawns and all with Black America’s approval.  Black/African American forefathers have to be rolling over in their graves with utter disgust at the behavior of their descendants.

H. Lewis Smith H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (www.theunitedvoices.com),  and author of "Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word". Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescoop1

 

AN OPEN LETTER AND PLEA TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Who Should Have A Vote?

By Harold Bell

Barack Obama

During your State of the Union Address you made a plea to Congress that Gabby Gifford, and Newtown should have a vote as it relates to gun control in America.

Mr. President, I totally agree the time has come to reduce gun violence in America-- it is long overdue. 

The vote that you proposed should not stop there, senior citizens living in nursing homes in America should also have a vote.  The abuse taking place in nursing homes across this nation is appalling. This is a National Crisis.  The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fox News, and ABC News have all echoed the same reports.  During your State of the Union Address I did not hear you cry out to give senior citizens a vote! 

My question to you and the Congress of the United States is: “What is the difference in the gun violence and the nursing home violence taking place in this country?  

Evidently, nursing homes have a license to kill!  There is a nursing home, Patuxent River Rehab in Laurel, Maryland that should be shut down immediately and the whole system overhauled.  Among the abuse there is fraud and criminal negligence. They have left a paper trail that Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder could follow.

Patuxent River staff tried in vain to have my niece to give them permission to administer a drug that would make him sleep much of the time—she said, “No.” I have been trying for two-years for them to get him a new wheel chair.  They claimed his insurance does not cover a new wheelchair. 

In the meantime, they are taking his checks from his Army pension, checks from the DC Police Department, Social Security and Medicare benefits and claiming they cannot afford to buy him a wheelchair?  Something is wrong with this picture.

When I was first introduced to “The Wound Doctor” Dr. Ernest Scroggins he was seeing my brother weekly and it has since changed to bi-weekly.  My brother’s bed sores have taken a turn for the worst.  It looks like they are rarely clean.  Dr. Scroggins had to remind the Unit Manager Oloue and his assistant Mariann in my presence that the patient’s wounds needed to be clean regularly.

After his children had abandoned him in September 2012 I applied for Power of Attorney for his Health.  This meant that with his permission I was to be notified on all health issues pertaining to him.  The facility has not had a “Family Meeting” since October 2012 to update me on my brother’s progress or lack of progress on any of his health issues. 

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I attended “The First Family Meeting” since October 2012 with 3 witnesses.  The meeting was held Wed February 6, 2013.  For some reason his son Kenny was in the meeting (remember this date).  I suspect they called him even though he gave them notice to never call him again.  Their main objective was for him to counter-act any position or complain I made (divide and conquer).

It was in the meeting on February 6, 2013 we found out that they my brother had been “Declared Incompetent” in October 2012?

The last ‘Family Meeting’ was in October 2012.  This meant that no one from the Administration or staff had made me or his son and daughter aware that my brother and their father had been declared Incompetent.  This leads me to believe that they had the paper work forged and backtracked to the October date to make my Power of Attorney void!   This is criminal negligence.

The following Wednesday February 13, 2013 I returned to the hospital to see if the “Wound Doctor” Dr. Ernest Scroggins would be making his rounds (his visits have become like Russian roulette).  The doctor made his way to my brother’s room at exactly 2:30 pm but could not examine him right away because his wounds had not been cleaned.  The unit nurse Marriann followed the doctor into the room to clean his wounds. This was supposed to be done before the arrival of Dr. Scroggins.

What I witness next made me sick to my stomach.  The bandages removed by the nurse were filthy. The 2 open wounds on his buttocks were the size of quarters (I remember when they could hardly be seen).  I watched as the nurse put her finger into one of his wounds and pulled out a piece of gauze.  Dr. Scroggins asked “What was that” and response was ‘nothing!” 

The open wounds if left open will surely become infected because his urine and feces will eventually find their way into the open spaces.  Patuxent River is a dangerous place to live!     

I knew this was a dangerous place for my brother but when they recently declared him incompetent made me realized how corrupt and dangerous they really are.  It reminds me of the NRA and how they have the politicians in their pockets it looks like the nursing home industry may also maybe in the same politicians pockets.  Mr. President I have heard you and others say, “I am the President of all the people!”  What about senior citizens?

I have contacted your Vice-President, Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their only response has been e-mails asking for a monetary donation or soliciting some type of support against the Republican Party!  I have written Rep. Steny Hoyer, Congressman Ben Cardin and Congresswoman Donna Edwards and there has been no response from neither?  Do you only care when we go to the polls to vote?

Call Rep. Steny Hoyer now!

L to R:  Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Steny Hoyer, U. S. Senator Ben Cardin

Anytime, the Nursing Home industry as reported in USA Today Newspaper offers cash incentives on top of the salaries already paid to nursing home staffs to treat the residents fairly---you know you really have a problem!

Mr. President, I never dreamed in 2010 I would go from working with at-risk youth to fighting for at-risk seniors like my brother.  We fought our way out of a single parent household in a NE housing project and pulled ourselves up by our boots with no straps.  We did this without the baggage of drug addiction, police records and academic inferiority to be all that we could be!  We didn’t earn our way through this Game Called Life for him or me to be mistreated and disrespected in the twilight of our lives.  The Patuxent River Nursing Home mentality reminds me of what the Plantation Mentality must have been like in the 1800s.  This nursing home experience reminds me of something right out of the Twilight Zone.   

Mr. President, has integrity, honesty and fair play become a lost art in America?

I now think back to 1978 when I received an early morning phone call from my brother’s son saying that I needed to go to the SE Community Hospital right away. My nephew was calling to tell me that his father had been in a bad automobile accident.  My brother, a DC cop was on his way to work and hit some “Black ice” and skidded into a 16 wheeler truck.  The accident ended his 13 year police career.

Sgt. Earl K. Bell had been re-assigned and was headed to his new assignment when the accident occurred.  His re-assignment was the result of him reporting two rogue DC Cops who were physically abusing prisoners in their jail cells on his watch.  He first warned them to back off from the abuse.  Despite his warnings they continued to abuse black prisoners only.  When he turned to me for advice I told him to write them up and turn them into their superiors.  His superiors tried to sweep the incident under the rug.   He then turned the abusive cops into the U. S. Attorney’s Office. 

The 2 officers one black and one white, Tommy Musgrove the black officer was convicted and the white officer (name unknown) walked away free and clear.  Musgrove with his conviction under appear won his appear and his conviction was overturned 5 years later.  He was given 5 years back pay and obtained the rank of Inspector before he retired, proving that crime does pay at least in the DC police department. 

When I arrived at the hospital the doctors told me they were not expecting him to live but they didn’t know “Bull Bell!”  He was a former heavyweight boxing champion during his military stint in the U. S. Army were he also fought racism head on. He returned home to discover racism didn’t end when left Germany.

Sgt. Bell (MP U. S. Army) Heavyweight boxing champion U. S. Army

In the meantime, my brother faced “The Code Blue and silent treatment” for turning in 2 ‘Rogue Cops.’  I met with two guys that I knew from the neighborhood to get an update on my brother’s status; Assistant Chiefs, Marty Tapscott and Ike Fullwood (soon to be named Chief).  Marty ran for cover and Ike told me, “Harold, Bull is okay I got his back,” famous last words.  Two months later Fullwood took my brother off the beat and assigned him to the Police & Fire Clinic it was payback time for Musgrove and the department.  It was his first day on his new assignment when the accident occurred.

DC Police Chief Burtell Jefferson (Good Cop) / DC Police Chief Isaac Fullwood (Bad Cop)

During my work in the streets and courthouses I encountered some good cops and some bad cops.  One of the Good Cops was an FBI agent by the name of Wayne Davis.  We had a common thread.  We both were trying to save young black men. Wayne would later become the first black to head the Detroit Office of the FBI.  He never forgot who he was and where he came from!

FBI Agent Wayne Davis

In the 70s my brother teamed up with me, DC Superior Court Judges, and pro athletes to help save at-risk youth from the mean streets of the Nation’s Capitol.  My work as a Roving Leader (Youth Gang Unit) for the DC Recreation Department combined with my work with the Department of Defense and my non-profit organization Kids In Trouble means I have spend the last four decades working in the war zones of the inner-city which included the streets, alleys, playgrounds, schools, courtrooms and jail facilities in the Nation’s Capitol. 

Judges Luke Moore & Gene Hamilton/(Redskins) Dave Robinson, Roy Jefferson, Harold McLinton, Dave Bing (NBA)

We tried to save at-risk children from gun violence.  It was a hit and miss proposition much like you we could not be everywhere.  In the 70s while working for the Department of defense (Domestic Actions) I found Bolling Youth Base.  The program was located on the Air Force Base at Bolling Field in the Nation’s Capitol. The facility housed juvenile delinquents from overcrowded DC facilities.  The Youth Base was the first of its kind on a military installation in America.

Bolling Girl’s Base???

Yes I agree, Gabby Gifford, Newtown, Denver and Chicago school children should all have a vote, but so should the thousands of victims like my brother in nursing homes across America.  They should also have a vote asking to abolish nursing home abuse.  It will be easier to clean up these corrupt nursing homes then to wipe out gun violence in America, but both deserve your undivided attention. 

Mr. President this is one of those times when silence is not “Golden.”  This is definitely not the America we grew up in and definitely not the America we have known and loved.  I was reminded of that fact this morning when I woke up to discover that a 15 year old child was found murdered on the streets in my community.  He attended high school in walking distance of my residence.  It gets worst he is the 5th child to be murdered in his high school this school year.  There is a rumor that he was murdered over a pair of tennis shoes.

Mr. President as my day moved forwarded it took another turn for the worst.  Kids In Trouble, Inc uses Black History Month to enlighten as many students as possible. 

We have coordinated a field trip to the Verizon Center next week and XM Sirius Satellite Radio for honor students.  In a visit to one of our Middle Schools to make confirmation I walked in on a counselor who had a student in distress.  The 12 year old child was threatening to commit suicide.  I was blown away by this revelation.  I have been a youth advocate for a long time and I don’t ever remember a child I have worked with threaten to commit suicide.  I have had several threaten to kill me but that was all part of the territory.   The counselor got the child’s mother on the telephone to talk to him but once the child heard his mother’s voice  he began crying hysterically.  I quietly excused myself from the room because I knew I was in over my head.  The counselor followed me out of the room while the child talked with his mother.

I looked at the counselor bewildered and I said “I have never had that kind of experience.”  He looked at me and his departing words were ‘Mr. Bell, welcome to my world’ and disappeared behind his office door.

Mr. President, with all due respect someone has completely dropped the ball.  You can start with our politicians (Donna Edwards, Steny Hoyer and Ben Cardin) in my Maryland District.  They have dropped the ball with our senior citizens and it has spilled over to our children.  You never see them until they are looking for a vote.  Something is wrong with this picture and if you don’t think so---we really have a problem. 

In closing, we didn’t live to get this old by being stupid!  I am looking forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Harold Bell

(240) 705-3447

Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 40 years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site The Original Inside Sports.com.

 

I REMEMBER EMANUEL STEWARD: FAST and FURIOUS---A PRINCE AMONG THIEVES!

By Harold Bell

The out pouring of love showered on Emanuel Steward after his surprising and sudden death was well earned.  His death shocked the boxing world.  He was a genius in the confines and corners of a boxing ring on any given night or day.

He was affectionately known as Manny to some but I preferred to call him Emanuel (I liked Emanuel because it was biblical). 

His friend and colleague the late boxing historian Bert Sugar once described him as being “The Energizing Bunny” of professional boxing.  To me he was much like the character starring in the epic television series Richard Boone “Have Gun Will Travel,” instead of a gun he had boxing gloves.  Emanuel was always just a telephone call and plane ride away from his next boxing assignment. 

There was always some champion, former or potential champion who needed to have his “Mojo” fixed and he was the man often called on to fix it!

His roots were in West Virginia but his heart was in the Motor City of Detroit.  He moved to the city with his mother when he was 12 years old.

Emanuel easily adapted to the bright lights and big city of Detroit.  He quickly learned the language of the streets.  He became a boxing hustler of young men in the good sense of the word.

He had an outstanding amateur boxing career with 94 wins and 3 losses and he quickly learned pro boxing was not his calling and turned to coaching.  The rest is boxing history.

The three biggest institutions in Detroit in the 70s and 80s were General Motors headed by Lee Iacocca, Motown Records headed by Berry Gordy and the Kronk Boxing Gym headed by Emanuel Steward.

I met Emanuel in the late 70s when he was making his mark as one of the great trainers and forces to be reckoned with in boxing.

U. S. A. amateur boxing.  The first thing that attracted me to him was his outgoing personality which made everyone around him a friend.  It took him a little while to warm up to me. 

My personal relationship with Emanuel grew out my friendship with his partner Prentis Byrd.  Whenever I would enter in their space Emanuel would yell, “Prentis, here comes your man Harold Bell” and this big smile would break out on his face!

Emanuel knew I was closely attached to Sugar Ray Leonard and maybe this was his way of saying “no secrets discussed please.”

There was definitely a distinct difference in the two camps.  The Kronk Gym was built on a foundation of love, family and loyalty. Team Leonard’s foundation was built on one of mistrust, lies, theft and “Player Hating."

Emanuel was flawed like most human beings.  He was not tall, but he was dark and handsome and two out of three is not bad. 

These characteristics along with his taste for fashion, quick wit and infectious smile made him a lady’s man.  He had a girl in every port.  He never saw a crap table he didn’t like and a pipe he could not smoke.

This was the fast and furious world of boxing, but these character flaws did not make him a bad human being, but I do think they shorten his life.  I had his cell phone number and it was very seldom that I called when he was not on the run to an airport or meeting.  It seems like he always had a cold; we would be talking and he would be sneezing and coughing.  I would say “Emanuel you have got to slow down and take better care of yourself.” His response was often, “I am okay.  I will call you when I get back in town.”

His heart was as big as the boxing ring when it came to his fighters and the people he loved.  He would literally give you the shirt off of his back (if he had not already lost it).

I remember after one fight in Vegas when Tommy's younger brother Billy got a hot hand at the crap table.  Emanuel and Tommy walked away with a bundle (I won over $1,000 betting scared)! 

On the way to get something to eat he put another $1,000 in my jacket pocket.

It was business as usual for him to take one of the fighters off of the mean streets of Detroit.  His home would become their home.  According to him, this and other missteps cost him his first marriage.

Television personality Geraldo Rivera once described the world of pro boxing as a place where the rats were bigger than the lions (Don King). 

There was a lot of stress connected with Emanuel’s boxing success.  For example; I remember one year in Atlantic City he was working the corner of Mike Tyson for Don King Promotions. After the fight Don had him running back and forth to his room and made him wait in line for his money. 

When you work for DK (Don King) there are a whole lot of mind games played devised by him and a lot of going along to get along! 

Emanuel often had money problems and during preparation for the Tyson fight he asked DK for and got a “Pay Day Loan.”  Big mistake.  After the fight DK acted accordingly--like a jackass.   Despite his human flaws, Emanuel Steward was one of “The Good Guys.”

His very first champion out of the Kronk gym was Hilmer Kenty (a gentleman and class act).  However, his crown jewel and meal ticket was the warrior known as “The Hit Man” the one and only Thomas Hearns.

I was in Detroit covering the fights when Hilmer and Tommy won their first titles.  Tommy and Emanuel were as close as brothers.  They were like shoes and socks, one could not go anywhere without the other!

Hilmer stopped Ernesto Espana in the 9th round in March 1980 to win the Lightweight World title at Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit.

Five months later I would return to Detroit to watch Tommy knock out Pipino Cuevas in two rounds to win the Welterweight title.

It was during this visit to Detroit I would introduce Emanuel to my friend Wayne Davis who was the Director of the FBI field office in Detroit.  Wayne and I had become fast friends when he was working in DC during the late 60s. It was that same time period I was working in the streets with youth gangs for the DC Recreation Department.  

I knew Wayne and Emanuel would like each other because of their outgoing personalities.  Neither man was a phony in any sense of of the word.

Wayne would later write and thank me for introducing him to Emanuel.

http://theoriginalinsidesports.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/FBI_WAYNE_DAVIS.301141256_std.jpg

Left to Right:  Detroit FBI Director Wayne Davis takes me on a tour of Headquarters

When I became a trusted member of the Kronk Family Gym it was nothing for Emanuel or Prentis to call me and say “Harold we are going to be in DC this week and we are bringing Tommy and Hilmer, line something up for us to do in the community!”

I think they got a kick out of coming to DC and pissing Sugar Ray Leonard off and exposing him for forgetting who he was and where he came from!

http://theoriginalinsidesports.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/THOMAS_HEARNS.301135020_std.jpg

Left to Right:  Kronk Gym's Thomas Hearns and Hilmer Kenty (background) and Harold Bell in DC supporting Kids In Trouble, Inc

In 2007 at the 37th Annual Christmas toy party for needy children we honored Emanuel with the Kids In Trouble, Inc Life Time Achievement Award for his support of Inside Sports and our many community endeavors.

Emanuel had a lot in common with the great boxing guru the late Angelo Dundee.  They both were class acts and generous with their time.  Emanuel was definitely the Godfather of boxing in the Motor City.

When Emanuel’s passing was officially announced, words of love came in from around the world.

HBO Sports president Ken Hershman said, "There are no adequate words to describe the enormous degree of sadness and loss we feel at HBO Sports with the tragic passing of Manny Steward. For more than a decade, Manny was a respected colleague who taught us so much not only about the sweet science but also about friendship and loyalty. His energy, enthusiasm and bright smile were a constant presence. Ten bells do not seem enough to mourn his passing. His contributions to the sport and to HBO will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Washingtonian and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said, "With the loss of Emanuel Steward, we have lost a true Detroit icon.  Emanuel Steward embodied our city's toughness, our competitive spirit, and our determination to always answer the bell. We are grateful for Emanuel Steward's many contributions to our city and his impact on generations of young people."

There were words of condolences from former heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis and reigning heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

Klitschko said, “I will miss our time together. The long talks we had about boxing, the world, and life itself. Most of all I will miss our friendship, rest in peace Emanuel.”

"(My brother) Vitali and I, along with the entire Team Klitschko, send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Emanuel's family and friends," Wladimir Klitschko said in a statement. "It is not often that a person in any line of work gets a chance to work with a legend. Well I was privileged enough to work with one for almost a decade.

"I will miss our time together," Klitschko said. "The long talks about boxing, the world, and life itself but most of all I will miss our friendship. You will be greatly missed.

My team and I will carry on with the goals we had set while Emanuel was with us because that is exactly what Emanuel would have wanted. I know he will be with us in spirit along the way and we will accomplish these goals in his honor, until we meet again my friend."

Klitschko, is training in Austria for a November 10 title defense against Mariusz Wach, knew the gravity of Steward's illness and was forced this week to announce a replacement for Steward for the fight, tapping Steward Disciple and pro heavyweight Johnathon Banks, a Kronk Gym product.

Emanuel began working with Klitschko in 2004, and their first fight resulted in a knockout loss to Lamon Brewster. But under Steward's steady hand, Klitschko rebuilt himself into a heavyweight force and one of the most dominant heavyweight champions in history.

He got a lot of the credit for helping Klitschko mentally as much as he did for training him physically. Klitschko and Steward shared a close bond that went deeper than simply trainer and fighter.

The words of Lennox Lewis I think summed up the feelings of those who knew and loved Emanuel Steward when he said:  "I'm completely devastated by the passing of my long time friend, mentor and trainer Emanuel 'Manny' Steward, Manny has helped me get through some of the biggest fights in my career and I only regret that I couldn't return the favor and see him through his biggest fight.

We've maintained a close relationship and the last time we spoke he seemed his usual upbeat self so it was very disturbing to hear about his illness and rapid decline. It is with a heavy heart that the realization of what I hoped were just rumors, are now in fact true. Manny always told me I was the best, but the truth is, he was the best and I'm grateful, privileged and honored to be counted among his many historic successes.  We've truly lost one of boxing's crown jewels. Manny was giving, selfless, compassionate and stern. He always gave back to the community and never forgot where he came from. He was an institution unto himself and I'm proud to have had him in my corner for so many years.

I'm extremely grateful for the time that I was given with him and he will be severely missed by all who knew and loved him. I'll miss his smile, his frank no-holds-barred truthfulness and our discussions on boxing and life. My prayers and condolences go out to his family at this very difficult time."

In this time where a lot of attention is being focused on sports figures and their struggle with finances, I hope Emanuel's decade long employment with HBO, his relationship with Lennox Lewis and the Klitschko brothers will mitigate any potential financial woes.

Muhammad Ali, I think described Emanuel best.  I remember asking Ali how he distinguished his true friends.  Ali said:  “Friends are like our shadows they are with you as long as you are in the sun, but once you cross over into the shade your shadow disappears.  A friend is always doing something for you and never expecting anything in return.”  Sounds a lot like my friend Emanuel Steward!

Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 40 years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site The Original Inside Sports.com.

 

 

Prophet Abraham

By Cheryl Myrie

10/18/2012

One of the most talked about Prophets is Abraham. I was reminded of Prophet Abraham most recently due to the concerning issues reported by the foreign press regarding one of the pillars of the Islamic religion. All Muslims at least once in their life time are expected to go to visit the Holy Kaba. The Kaba is the Holy Structure that Abraham and his son Ismail were instructed by God to build. The most repeated stories about Abraham do not include the story about the Kaba. One of the most repeated stories is about Sarah the wife of Abraham. Because Sarah had come to the conclusion that she was barren, as the story go’s she suggest to Abraham that he conceive a child with their slave Hagar the includes how Sarah became bitter towards Hagar and requested that Abraham through both his son Ismail and his mother Hagar out into the street. Another story that is repeated often is the story of God commanding Abraham to slay his son Ismail, who he conceived with Hagar as an offering and just as Abraham reluctantly was about to slay Ismail God order Abraham to stop.

There are hundreds of thousands of Muslims that make the holy pilgrimage to the Kaba every year. This year it was reported that a group of Nigerian women were not permitted to take part in the pilgrimage. Women under the age of 50 are not allowed to go on the pilgrimage to the Kaba without their husbands. A long time friend of mine who has gone on the pilgrimage told me that on his last visit, they had been told that women age of fifty and older could go unescorted.   

So I was very taken back by the statement that Joel Olsten, who I have watched for years, and who I have been in agreement with his statements and inspired by his preaching, however a few Sundays ago he said something I could not relate to at all. He was speaking on the topic of set time. Basically what Joel said was that we have set times in our lives when the manifestations of our prayers materialize. He said we should learn to be patient and not take matters in our own hands.  Which, I agree with Pastor Olsten on the statement of there being a timeline in which God has ordained for condition to take place in every human beings life.  However the next statement Pastor Olsten said was totally out of line. He said that we should not produce Ismails and that we should wait for Isaacs. Isaac was conceived by Abraham and Sarah after Ismail was born. I am not sure how the Ismails and the Issacs watching and listening felt about that statement.  From what I understand, God is all powerful and nothing comes into existence without his permission. What I would have like Joel to explain is why of all of God’s prophets, why God did chose Abraham and his son Ismail to build the Kaba.  I would like to know why did Jesus when speaking to the Phrases say that “before Abraham he was” (John chapter 8:58).

Joel Olsten seems to at the worse, to make a judgment and not a revelation regarding Ismail or perhaps the wording he used was not up to par with the meaning he was trying to get across. There are people in this world who try to impede on the next person’s blessings by redirecting that individual personally and/or by changing the atmosphere around that individual or individuals, which can cause them to miss out on what is in store for them.   We all know that saying being in the right place at the right time.  There is also that saying what God has in store for you cannot be taken from you.

 

 

The Arms That Offer No Comfort

By T. Duffy

I’ll begin by saying I truly believe today’s young black men retain a great amount of personal fear as they grow to adulthood. Although not by choice, it’s a condition that shares doubt about his future, so it gives him few reasons to believe in his chance to accomplish most things. Listening and sometimes being told he will fail or be killed within the time frame when he should be developing himself, most often fail to search for solutions to disprove it. Since it wouldn’t be an assumption hearing it over and over again, it can sometimes give rise to anti-social behavior. So most are often disagreeable as a way of shielding them from what they may hear or experience not only from the system, but their people also.  

If they begin life with less social or economic strife, it supposes to give them a better chance. But still not able to disconnect from the basic stereotyping of black males, they can get caught up in the same as well. On the other hand those whose life starts with more difficulty, will sometimes mature to exhibit some lack of confidence, besides grow less trusting of others, even family, which could be the reason parents and innocent people have ended up in their cross-hairs.    We are expected to praise our children when they try hard to make us proud, but regardless of effort, economic or social condition, all black children still has to grow up in a society where bigotry is still their more challenging obstacle.

Since this type of unfairness have never had any distinction who should feel its hurt, many adults trying to subsist in their domestic lives as well, sometimes unintentionally cause even  children who follow the rules to fall to the wayside. Unfortunately this is often seen in single parent homes.  

I’m in no way making excuses for what these young men have done or could do, because few would believe if I told them weathering a storm could give them the ability to deal with the next. So I understand why blacks, who have been through some of the worst of times and accomplished many things, may have less empathy for them. 

Just as significant, I believe I understand why rational has no place in their demeanor. If you trust no one, you must be in a position to monitor those or what you fear and the only way many have dealt with this, is to possess what I feel has unfortunately become his signature.  

It’s the only reality to cope and remove all that he fears and mistrusts, which gives no respect for race or age unfortunately.  So since many are convinced the most significant thing to insure this is weaponry above challenging the stereotyping, their future remain bleak. Besides that most are oblivious their greatest threat comes from men who think and live like they do.

But I will add this, hypothetically speaking who would be next when all are dead? I’ll leave the answer for that with those who may often pray for it to occur, as a solution to end what many have done, or could do in the future.  

Even if we have a fair amount of optimism about it changing, until it occurs at what point do blacks step up [as a concerned group] to not remain silent or just complain, but to confront those we can, to understand any connection with guns is more tolerant to a system who’s been successful putting them in prison or better yet make sure all are eventually buried. Since any chance of improving the race lies on our youth, we must append more time trying to save those who we can. But for others should they care innocent blacks is often the victims of their gun play? Secondly if they have children since many do, do they care their own children or loved ones are susceptible to being gunned down in the playground or walking the streets by guys who act and think like them?

If blacks can vision their lives to be somewhat better because of the present president, they should also feel the same about attending to any bad element that wouldn’t ensure it would happen. Metaphorically speaking if you’re sickly, your life or happiness is still questionable.  Considering what would be a normal response in this society, we would expect our concerns to be as important as other communities, because in most areas of the country when growing problems begin to affect people, in most situations they’re given immediate attention. So when folks in areas not affected by similar situations as often, read that another black child or innocent person was shot unnecessarily, do they care to the point where they rise up to confront the authorities to clamp down on those situations or gun control? Probably not, because general concerns will show most are more concerned about keeping it out of their neighborhoods.

So anything and everything that in some way would or could affect us in negative ways, we must handle with vigor and totally as a group. Remaining silent has hushed many voices permanently who will never grow to be an adult or those who may have chose to make a difference.  I sometimes suggest we keep an eye on what’s going on in our neighborhoods, as we listen closely to any unfair conditions or rhetoric many blacks forth against often in the courts, decades before many of these men were born.

My reason is because it could cause those who remembered because they lived during those times, to now believe we have to go through the same thing again.  We may believed we’re more aware of our future using cell phones or tablets, smarter judging this example by the things we are seeing now, or even richer using another examples, but are we prepared to face obstacles still dealing with the vulnerability of our race, that could take us back to square one. Two things I believe would make it difficult, is contentment and the lack of support for other blacks.

Although I believe we’re heading in the right direction, there is still some who has yet considered it’s harmful to ignore the negative element of individuals who’s often problematic to the safety of the community, to express their limits of tolerance for their transgressions. Although it has a broader meaning for us, it has no significance for hatred. It’s just our preference for safety. Is this form of criticism a way to trounce on blacks again? Of course not, it’s sometimes the only way to alert us to what’s necessary to be safe to have some peace amongst the race, so positive things can rise to help better the chances many are still up against.

 

 

The Consequence of Exploitation is Long term Repression

By T. Duffy

When historians or devoted religious men speak of mankind, it usually means all people. My question to this is why the emphasis of man should be the only inclusive way to identify all people. Was this significant for scholars who were men, to further man into a position of governance?  Furthermore no group, or society, have rarely if ever proclaimed men to be sovereign. History will show his dominance only faced little chance to be disproved, because of his methods of launching control or religious manuscripts re-written by men conveying pious consequences so even reluctant believers would still be fearful of challenging. 

Observing so-called democratic societies such as America, this characteristic wouldn’t expect to exist, since the ancestors of most asserted they left homelands to get from under such systems, yet it has risen here in subtle ways amongst their offspring. Regardless of rationale, white men who choose to identify themselves as such, over their true European characteristic, have assumed it to be his entitlement. But men with lesser status aren’t included, because of an assumed innate blueprint regarding privilege, which affix majority status to make it more credible. That notion, which I believe is psychologically inherent, is what allows him to build social and economic barriers to make it difficult for development amongst anyone he sees fit to exclude. Be it legal or illegal, many received their economic boosts to status because of forebears, so using the only protective way to maintain control is to downplay lesser groups, besides to demonstrate a minimum significance for women and children. But to his ignorance white women have learned to use learned methods against him to show his vulnerability. Black women may show similar aptitude amongst men of their own race, but since support for them is often imperfect, any resolution sometimes ends up becoming a setback. The lack of finances is usually an added problem. 

Adding to that blacks or African Americans as a group has yet learned how to maximize their chances by minimizing the course of action brought on by him. But just from observing his recurring conduct, should have made that possible. In fact many won’t be aware of the subtle applauds because [they lost the most] after the economic fiasco. Some may accept it be the norm since they are part of a so-called minority. But others could feel regardless what they did that was right they still got caught up in the dilemma, so if and when things get better theirs will also. Since many were part of the middleclass, they could believe any help that would give the middleclass a boost, would include them also. In spite of what they believe their chance of recovery could be limited. There may have been many reasons for the financial debacle, but since the black middleclass were frequently observed for decades growing to become more vocal politically about everything, besides generating an obvious measure of financial growth, learning how it had lifted up blacks in that group, became a valued return. The same way day after day people in other countries watch what takes place here to have an opinion; blacks are being watched by closer neighbors.  

I know this idea could be far-fetch, but since blacks are the most noticeable because of their sinister beginning here, they must find a way to bring into play men and women as balance and reject those who damage those chances, since you can’t succeed if there’s no unanimity. Because I also conclude we’re living in a society where ethnicity clashes, we must learn to be more vigilant in our relationship with others yet more sincere dealing with our own. It’s not separation, its awareness. The reason is blacks are being scrutinized more frequently by everyone.  

But here are reoccurring obstacles for the doubters. I would ask why have [voter rights], become the most political soon after blacks suffered their financial setback. On the other hand, what may help to level the playing field are the demographics of the county, which could give us some relief, because they have to now direct their efforts to people whose political concerns has to be stirred, if they expect to gain their support.   

Listening how self absorbed some can be they wouldn’t believe the prevailing face of America would eventually change during their life time. I believe they felt it was the decrease in nuptials   and birth rate of white women decreasing that allowed it to happen, which stirred the climate of panic to bring forth restrictions in abortion again. I also believe further politics is to try to remove the decision of Rowe versus Wade, which to me would make no sense long term.  

Although there would be no truth to how they feel or react, it still caused them to try to monitor the lives of women, with emphasis again on their women.  

But reviewing the age of some of these men, they could be dead or less severe retired when and if the population of whites in this country would place them back into the majority. If they quietly tried to solicit people from Europe to come here with some hidden rewards to help change what’s going on. But the problem with immigration would become something they would never be able to resolve.  

On a different note, these same men believe money to be the instrument to change things in their favor. Today more are not only putting money in foreign banks, but some are even establishing residents in those same places also. Oddly enough they fail to believe an impasse could suddenly happen no matter where they live, especially if similar self serving individuals feel it’s their opportunity to nationalize their holdings. But being more factual, it could come sooner, because few if any taxes were paid on that money. 

If we have some general concerns for what happens in those places and we should, we must observe how the rhetoric of politics is no longer accepted to be paramount; people only want what they lost, since many are the recipient of a failed economic growth as well. The difference is a great percentage of people in this country who are still stuck on bigotry, yet may have almost nothing to live still feel obligated to follow politicians on likeness, rhetoric and promises.  

Men are generally perceive and expected to be leaders, even if he doesn’t have a reason to over emphasize it. But any reason above this norm is detrimental to a society who can only successfully sustain itself by the personal efforts of all people. Which would means those at the bottom expect some compassion and support from those in the middle who are often better off, as each fragment react in harmony with further contribution from those at the top. Societies who failed to commit to this or maybe care usually has a greater populace of poor, in constant internal turmoil and usually only sustain those who use underhanded methods to maintain power. It took a civil war and slaves from Africa who also fought although being forced to labor, besides the efforts of other non whites who also labored to raise this country to greatness, yet it can be a few who can destroy it. Ironically they are all men.  

To make this more believable I’ll give two scenarios, the first is how young black men have create a negative atmosphere that’s not only detrimental to the people who live there, but doesn’t allow black or white businesses to established themselves within the community to support growth. The second is Penn State University. Considering what some said occurred there by a group of men for many years, money from past or future donors, parents choosing to send their children there in the future, or the institution just continuing to maintain its prominence, will probably eventually dissipate over the years. Adding to it are the blameless people who own and work for the businesses the university supported for decades, they could suffer severely also.       

 

SETH MITCHELL: HEAVYWEIGHT MADE IN AMERICA!

When you hear the name of boxer Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell and look at his record 23-0-1 with 17 KOs you wonder where did this guy come from and how did he get here so fast?

Seth is 28 years old and began boxing at the age of 25 and on Saturday December 10th at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC he will be the co-feature in a HBO boxing extravaganza called the “Capital Showdown.” 

Lamont Peterson of the fabulous Peterson brothers will be the other half of the co-feature.  Lamont is the IBF’s No. 1 rated contender.  He will face Super Lightweight World Champion Amir Khan from Bolton, England.

Native Washingtonian, boxing historian and HBO analyst Bert Randolph Sugar said, “That is a great card.  I wish I could come home for that one.   Amir is a great talent and Lamont will need to bring his A Game.”

Bert is recuperating from a health setback and will watch the show on television. 

Seth grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia it was there he got involved with athletics at an early age.  He was big for his age and played football and basketball with guys much older and he more than held his own.  He was 12 years old when his mother Jeanette moved the family to Brandywine, Maryland.

In Brandywine he grew into a six-foot 200 pound All-American linebacker at Gwynn Park High School.  Seth was considered one of the 20 top high school linebackers in America.  He was named Maryland Defensive Player of the Year, Washington Post Defensive Player of the Year, USA Today Maryland State Player of the Year.  He had college scholarship offers in the double digits.

Winning the praise and recognition from the media is great but nothing is more important than when family and friends say “Job well done.”  In 2005 Seth became the first player in Gwynn Park High School history to have his jersey retired (No. 48).

After high school Seth chose to attend Michigan State University.  He was redshirted as a freshman and as a sophomore middle linebacker he was second on the team in tackles.  The next year he led the Spartans in tackles averaging 10.6 a game.  He saved the best for arch-rival Ohio State when he recorded his career high 17 tackles.  In 2005 his promising NFL career was cut short due to injury.

When you start to talk about role models for young student/athletes Seth fits the mold, instead of sitting around talking about his misfortune he literally pulled himself up by his bootstraps.  He continued his education and received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Security Management.

He is unique in the boxing world where fighters have used their brawn and not their brains for their ticket to success.  

Seth brings back memories of boxing back-in-the-day when the heavyweight division was made up of one great heavyweight after another.  Those were the days when fighters took on all contenders and pretenders bar none.  Heavyweight Champions like Joe Louis and Ali even had a “Bum of the Month Club” meaning they fought at least once a month.  Today’s champions-----you are lucky if you see them once a year!

Seth has been fighting for only 3 short years but he has had fought 24 times already!  He is definitely on a mission to become Heavyweight Champion of the World. He won’t allow anyone to stand in his way.

 His style and demeanor reminds me of the great 5 time world champion Evander Holyfield.  He was a gentleman and a man of very few words.  Leading up to Seth’s fights there will be no poems, or “I am the Greatest” coming from his lips, all of his talking will be done in the ring.    

His introduction to boxing didn’t come while watching old footage of heavyweight boxers like Ali, Frazier and Foreman.  Seth was inspired by watching former NFL player Tom Zbikowski turn to a boxing career after a short stint in the NFL.   Seth remembers playing against Zbikowaki while he was in college (Notre Dame) and said to himself “If he can do it why not me?”

Seth got his nickname “Mayhem” from a former college teammate because on game day he was a human wrecking ball.  Webster dictionary’s definition of the word is “Willful and permanent deprivation of a bodily member resulting in the impairment of a person’s fighting ability!”  Evidently, Seth has transferred that ability to do bodily harm from the football field to the boxing ring.  

 It is easy to understand why he has his priorities in order and where he gets his drive to succeed from.  All you need to do is meet his mother, Jeanette.

I met her while she was on her job at Gwynn Park High School recently.  She reminded me of my heroes and role models, Grandma Bell and Mattie Bell (mother)---no nonsense!

Her philosophy, work ethic and no nonsense attitude about the Game Called Life is the reason why her children try to be all that they can be.  She said in so many words “You get out of life what you put in to it.  There are no shortcuts.” 

Seth’s academic success is what she is most proud “Because education is something that the system or others cannot take away from you,” she said.

Listening to his mother talk about him, it was also clear Seth will never forget who he is and where he came from.   The USO tour to Kuwait and Iraq to visit the troops with other boxers gave him a new perspective on life. 

He said, “Just to go over there was so special and to spend time with the troops and see what they go through day to day was a very humbling experience for me.  It made me appreciate some of the things I take for granted.  It’s just something I will never forget.”  

I remember when it was unheard of the Heavyweight Champion to be anything other than an American.  When Nazi Germany’s Max Schmeling upset the great Joe Louis and took the title back to his homeland in 1936, the outcry in America was so loud Joe Louis had to go into hiding.

Ingemar Johansson of Sweden knocked out Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson in June 1959 to become his country’s first World Heavyweight Champion.  Patterson was so vilified by U. S. boxing fans he turned to wearing wigs and dark classes trying to avoid the public.

Today the Ukrainian brothers Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko control the heavyweight division.  Wladimir holds titles in the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine.  His brother Vitali holds the WBC title.  Bert Sugar calls these divisions the alphabet soup divisions of pro boxing! 

The Heavyweight Champion of the World is American as apple pie!

Seth clearly understands that he was in the right place at the right time when Golden Boy Productions (Oscar De La Hoya) gambled and signed him to a contract only after 2 pro fights. 

Thanks to Golden Boy Promotions, Seth Mitchell could be the next heavyweight champion made in America.

 

Do Men Fail To Exploit Understanding In Positive Ways?

I could have asked if only a percentage of men fail in this, but that proportion would be growing according to the present ways we are seeing politics being played in this country. Maybe it would be easier to believe if I were pointing in the direction of men of lesser socio-economic circumstances to be probable. But this isn’t to beat up on men on either side, so there’s no opportunity to compare one group against the other, because undoubtedly it’s the characteristics of these men that are affecting many people. Not incidents or circumstances of a personal nature that sometimes show their inability to control what they do. Nevertheless it’s necessary to have some since of compassion for those they are supposed to serve besides their responsibility of doing it. But it still seems to be touch-and-go effort most still gravel with or downplay maybe because of things they are still emotionally dealing with. So maybe looking at it from a different perception would give it more of a chance to have meaning why these men fall short of their expected credibility.  

From the beginning of time men have tried to sustain the image of their father, great kings and ordinary, yet many have succumbed to the point of obscurity or exile in that endeavor. Why? Since I’m not a social psychologists or analysts of human behavior I must ask that question, since I’ll be writing this from the hip so to speak. Of course there will be a difference of opinion; if some proclaim their character has little or nothing to do with their relationship with their fathers. Of course this is contrary to my beliefs, because most men will generally confirm my assessment. First I must be clear about my thoughts on obscurity or exile, because I see it to be someone of less significance who means little to anyone based on their past deeds, which would categorize many men today. Anyway regardless of the studies or concerns about the failure of fathers/men especially in regards to relationships of family, the beat goes on with little improvement and ongoing statistics have shown it has gotten worse. If I begin with men and even adding women who were successful because of their fathers, most have or will eventually have some negative circumstances to cause them to separate during that relationship. On the other hand women seem to continue their successful exploits, but still harness positive attitudes towards other’s with minimum criticism about those relationships. However men even maintaining some success will often deal with their own demons while innately trying to cast off the past; although oblivious in most situations they still retain some of their father’s basic rudiments. So they may also fail to see their character development, to be almost the same as the father they detest. Then again those using some forethought, may realize all circumstances must be well thought-out before putting it to rest, to understand their abilities are partially a combination of their father’s personality that got them to their point in life. This should allow most to have some concerns for the father although issues may still exist. Of course this may help to ease inner feelings to preserve the relationship in the future.    

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, the question is what is the significance of the male’s failed chance of eternal excellence that seems to stem as far back as biblical times? I believe if we could uncover or just be able to touch on the answer, we would discover why many other things about men seem to need some questioning. Since most will cross the line in unconstructive ways even with obvious consequences ahead, there could be no uncertainty it could be associated with some integral form of instinct separate of the female. Not as definitive as an animal with no known capacity to use basic judgment, but as natural as man’s apparent prerequisite to mate. Since procreation seems to be his primary and most ardent endeavor, although often with no prior intent in the results. Maybe that’s why many have been accused in scandalous circumstances at all social and economic levels, in situations above but more often below the line of decency. So putting aside his ability to create or develop many  things, his greatest energy seems to lean towards producing more of his kind, although in some situations he may demonstrate he has less knowledge of why he should. Maybe in reality he has no perception of the role he must embody, besides being uncertain if his involvement would be a factor without some expected posture which he may also feel is only distinguished in men.   

So since most could say it has never been made clear using this example, he may innately believe his responsibility is debatable seeing only limited concerns from the female. But I see that assumption often causing these results. If you just look at the word LOVE that’s often misused and misunderstood and then look at what I have determined to be a more obvious meaning, you will see its uncontrollable conditions [L-ust O-f V-olatile E-roticism] which have and probably will contribute to the demise of many men especially in a society that usually stresses ethics and morality. If he often fail in this endeavor, why does he push harder in that objective and not in situations where he would have the chance to assess his chances of excellence to survive often ridicule? We can assume understanding in the true sense of the word would cause even the most volatile of men to think first, but most will question when and if it would be personally useful, and only if it removes consequences. Since consequences can vary, even the most merciful can be so damaging it doesn’t allow him to reach back to recover or do what’s right for him or those he may or planned to offend. Somehow this scenario may have been what caused the separation from their father because he showed many of the same characteristics. So both believing they have little reason to address this will eventually face some degree of exile or obscurity with difficult periods trying to restore their image. Women will usually help or aggressively approach other women to correct many of their shortcomings, even if they receive a gross amount of negative feedback. On the other hand men fail to believe they need the same and often the worst of attitudes comes from those who are the most vulnerable. 

Written by Thomas Duffy, Prior columnists Afromerica.com

 

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Due to space constraints, the editorial posted in the New York Times was shortened.  Read Grant’s full, unedited response to the Fab Five’s comments and follow other people’s responses on his official web site www.granthill.com.

I am a fan, friend and long time competitor of the Fab Five.  This should not be a surprise because I am a contemporary of every member of that iconic team.   I have competed against Jalen and Chris since the age of 13.  Jalen, Chris, and Juwan are my friends and have been for 25 years.  At Michigan, they represented a cultural phenomenon that impacted the country in a permanent and positive way.  The very idea of the Fab Five elicited pride and promise in much the same way the Georgetown teams did in the mid-80s when I was in high school and idolized them.   Their journey from youthful icons to successful men today is a road map for so many young, black men (and women) who saw their journey through the powerful documentary, Fab Five.

It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke “Uncle Toms” and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me.  I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when Jay Williams and I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its airing.  And, I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them.

In his garbled but sweeping comment that  “Duke only recruits black Uncle Toms,” Jalen seems to change the usual meaning of those very vitriolic words into his own meaning, i.e., blacks from two-parent, middle class families.  He leaves us all guessing exactly what he believes today.   And, I wonder if I would have suggested to former Detroit Pistons GM Rick Sund to keep Jimmy King on the team if I had known, back then in the mid-90s, that he would call me a bitch on a nationally televised show in 2011.

I am beyond fortunate to have two parents who are still working well into their 60s.  They received great educations and use them every day.   My parents taught me a personal ethic I try to live by and pass on to my children.  They remain committed to each other after more than 40 years and to my wife, Tamia, our children, and me.  They are my role models and always will be.

I come from a strong legacy of black Americans.  My namesake, Henry Hill, my father’s father, was a day laborer in Baltimore.  He could not read or write until he was taught to do so by my grandmother.   His first present to my dad was a set of encyclopedias, which I now have to remind me of the importance of education.  He wanted his only child, my father, to have a good education, so he made numerous sacrifices to see that he got an education, including attending Yale.   This is part of our great tradition as black Americans.  We aspire for the best or better for our children and work hard to make that happen for them.  Jalen’s mother is part of our great, black tradition and made the same sacrifices for him.

It is unbeknownst to me what Jalen meant by his convoluted reference to black players at Duke considering how little he knows about any of them.  My teammates—all of them, black and white—were a band of brothers who came together to play at the highest level for the best coach in basketball.   I know most of the black players who preceded and followed me at Duke.  They all contribute to our tradition of excellence on the court. It is insulting and ignorant to suggest that men such as Johnny Dawkins (coach at Stanford), Tommy Amaker (coach at Harvard), Billy King (GM at the Nets), Tony Lang (coach of the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins in Japan ), Thomas Hill (small business owner in Texas), Jeff Capel (former coach at Oklahoma), Kenny Blakeley (assistant coach at Harvard), Jay Williams (ESPN analyst), Shane Battier (Memphis Grizzlies) or Chris Duhon (Orlando Magic) now or ever sold out their race.   To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous.  All of us are extremely proud of the current team, especially Nolan Smith.  He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him.  He is the quintessential young Dukie.

The sacrifice, the effort, the education and the friendships I experienced in my four years are priceless and cherished.  The many Duke graduates I have met around the world are also my “family,” and they are a special group of people.    A good education is a privilege.   At Duke, the expectations are high for all of us.   Just as Jalen has founded a charter school in Michigan, we are expected to use our education to help others, to improve life for those who need our assistance and to use the excellent education we have received to better the world.   The total experience at Duke taught us to think before we act, to pause before we speak and to realize that as adults we have a responsibility to do good, not just do well.   A highlight of my time at Duke was getting to know the late, great John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History and the leading scholar of the last century on the total history of African Americans in this country.  His insights and perspectives contributed significantly to my overall development and helped me understand myself, my forefathers, and my place in the world.

Ad ingenium faciendum, toward the building of character, is a phrase I recently heard.  To me, it is the essence of an educational experience.  Struggling, succeeding, trying again and having fun within a nurturing but competitive environment built character in all of us, including every black graduate of Duke.

My mother always says, “You can live without Chaucer and you can live without calculus, but you cannot make it in the wide, wide world without common sense.” As we get older, we understand the importance of these words.  Adulthood is nothing but a series of choices:  you can say yes or no, but you cannot avoid saying one or the other.  In the end, those who are successful are those who adjust and adapt to the decisions they have made and make the best of them.   I only hope I can instill in my children the same work ethic, the same values, the same common sense approach to life and the same pursuit of excellence my parents, Coach K and Duke gave me.

I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped you back then for your appearance and swagger.  I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.  I hope you reach closure with your university so you will enjoy all the privileges of its greatness.

I try to live my life as a good husband and father.  I am proud of my family.  I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates.  And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.

Grant Henry Hill
Phoenix Suns
Duke ‘94

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 at 11:27 am and is filed under HillTop. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Welcome To My World

By Susie Taylor Miller

Today I have a negative balance in my checking account, the cable/Internet has been turned off, my ex husband is 4 months behind in child support and my gas tank is on “Empty.”

I don’t like this…    

“Welcome to my world”… my husband says. 

A few months back, at my place of employment, I protected my employee from the harassing remarks of a guest (I manage a multimillion dollar chain restaurant)… In the process, I was called every nasty name in the book (including “stank as _ ghetto bit__”), I was kicked and then… she spit on my face… 

I didn’t like that…   

“Welcome to my world”… my husband said. 

A few years back, my husband and I were driving through downtown Santa Barbara, CA (primarily “Whiteville”, as I say) and I quipped, “Why are you driving so slow?”  “We are being followed by the police,” was his reply…  I whipped around quickly to take a look, which I was readily reprimanded in that loving husband-like way…   

“Why are we being followed?” I asked. 

 “Don’t you get it?  You are a white woman in the car with a black man and the police are suspicious.”

 “Suspicious of what?” I (truly) asked innocently.

 “Any number of things… Kidnapping, domestic violence, rape… you name it!” I got that steel-eyed glare… 

I didn’t understand that…    

“Welcome to my world”… he said again. 

My husband and I went into a well known coffee establishment in San Marino, CA   (no “color” there!) and every person, young and old, turned to look at us… well, him, rather.  It was as if Godzilla walked into the room…    

I had never experienced that before…  

“Welcome to my world”… he said, rolling his eyes… 

In recollection, I am utterly ashamed of my race.  The “caucasians”… Humph. 

One can never know the experiences of another until they truly “walk in their shoes”, or at least walk with them.  People are still messed up about race.  They don’t think they are, but they are.  They might not want to be, but they are… 

There are a couple of “pre” words that factor into my life, now that I am married to a black man.  

Presumption and Prejudice. 

Presumptions and Prejudices about my husband

1.     Unable to get a “real” job

2.    Sits around all day in his studio, “playing around” with his music

3.    Not willing to go out and get “any type” of job

4.    He is just like my ex husband

5.    He “stirs up the pot” and causes division in our family because he’s bold and outspoken

6.    He sits around all day and let’s his wife work the “real” job 

These presumptions and prejudices were in the heart and mind of those who say they “love” me before they even met my husband!  Now, that’s wrong, silly and just plain ignorant! They wouldn’t stand for someone to presuppose anything about THEM before meeting them.   

Why was that OK to do with my husband?   

Because they thought they already knew what they needed to know about him…  

Based on what?  The news, music, hearsay, personal relationships with black folk (if any)?  That, to me, is foolishness and downright prejudice. 

It is all very black and white (pun definitely intended!) 

I am ashamed and embarrassed by many people who are white.  People I know.  Those I don’t.   

I can never say to a person of color, “I know what you’re going through”.  How can I?  I have no idea, but I’m beginning to get a glimpse… Praise God!  I do not want to go through life thinking I know, when I don’t.  I want my children (from my first marriage) to know and experience things in the life of a person of a different race, for this will bring about the change that I believe Dr. King, Ralph David Abernathy, Bernard Lee, Fred Shuttlesworth, and C.T. Vivian spoke of over 40 years ago, and those many years before… 

If I allow my kids to live life in a “white bubble”, then the attitude of prejudice, and dare I say, “white superiority”, will never wane, but perpetuate into the generations to come.  This scares me and I cannot sit by the sidelines watching the parade of faux “civil rights for all” go by… 

Although I can never say I know the sting of discrimination in the manner which many black people have experienced, I can say I am beginning to feel a pin-prick of it…  

For example, as our blended family, consisting of a black dad, white mom, two caucasian children and two bi-racial (black and caucasian) children, enter a restaurant, I get the strangest looks, particularly from elderly white folks.  They look at me as if I have “let them down” by being married to a black man. Well, they need to pull their heads out of the “sand of elitism” and deal with it!  I couldn’t find a decent, honest Christian white man out there.  I was blessed to find a real MAN… 

My husband, who is obviously black, is accomplished, committed, loyal, dedicated, honest, loving, sacrificial, hard-working, respected and amazing!   

Perhaps, if those folks who think they know what they really don’t know, could, for a moment, embrace this man I call “my husband”, they would find out that this Black Man in America is something else… and I could say to them… 

“Welcome (with open arms and a loving heart) to MY world…” 

PS: As I was writing this, I did a “spell check” and the “spell checker” kept telling me to capitalize the word “caucasian” (it just did it again!).  Until the word “black” becomes capitalized in reference to a race of people, I will continue to lower case the “c” in caucasian!  Yes… “I’m just sayin’”…

So what do you think?  If you would like to respond to this article click here and sign our Guestbook to leave a public or private statement, comment or reaction. 

 

 

My Only Reasons To Question The Gender Of God

By Thomas Duffy

Looking at the title and not seeing immediately what it’s about. I would expect some readers to believe this has no real concern for them. Or maybe if they read further, they suddenly believe it only has something to do with how I feel about women, although religion may have been assumed to be part of the subject matter also. But this has nothing primarily to do with religion or women. It does have an importance to women and men also, as well as conditions relating to the behavior of both. Maybe not in the sense of general conduct, but in ways that must question the logic and integrity of both. But I may be more critical of blacks because any transgression that’s perpetrated against our own people only pushes us further back to allow more criticism.  

First of all I’m apprehensive about some of the so-called indelible characteristics blacks claim to have continued a mountain of problems for them. So I direct my first thoughts to my people. But first to black women since they’re often in the forefront to often claim they usually deal with most socio-economic problems. Feeling it’s just an assertion, it may also give some a reason to believe it’s their time to lead, and especially if they feel black men haven’t done their part. But speaking hypothetically, if they’re leaning in that direction, they shouldn’t forget the flock again, since they were given or some say forced upon the task way back, but fell short on success. This isn’t blame, its fact. So still maybe having a reason to feel nothing has changed in her life for the better. I must understand was more trying is how she took care of black children while in some situation monitoring his life. Of course this could be a slight overstatement on my part. But I must bear in mind there’s some reality to it. Few blacks would disagree they expect whites to be more truthful about their behavior, yet some of us don’t want to deal with our own lies.   

With that out of the way, I’ll continue. I strongly believe the fate of black women is their mistake following white feminists, not their relationships with white women. Since the difference should be apparent, my claim isn’t in favor of either or racists. I say it to also calm the mind-set of black women who feel white women is beginning to invade their space, especially when it comes to black men. But that would be confusing, if many still believe few black men has or will have monetary value, so in truth he probably won’t matter to either. So it makes me wonder when and why have it suddenly become so important to black women, since a percentage of black men haven’t gained or sustained himself in that area. Anyway the difficulty for black women, will be tuning their lives to contribute to feminists ideologies, not realizing the last thing on the feminists agenda is sisterhood. Their real objective is to modify the social and economic configuration of the society to gain more independence and power, just look at the great Sarah Palin. However looking and listening how slanted language, greed and the politics of petty white men have screwed things up, feminists are probably happy they may not have to work too hard to get there. So even with that possibility, it would still limit the future chances of black women much more, because some could also be considered a source of competition. If they are seen to be antagonists that would slow feminist’s intentions, only the elitist of black women who’s preference has been to follow their trends, would be allowed to function without some measured obstacles or deliberate scrutiny. Of course this should sound familiar and with some truth, just from remembering how white men systematically dealt primarily with black men for decades.  

Moving to something else for the moment, I believe this society generally favor women over men. I don’t have to prove it, all you have to be is observant. Is it because the vagina has power over the penis or women being the starting place for life makes them more divine. Or is there some innate quilt that exists amongst the male psychic. Since some may agree with the first part, they could still be stuck on that possibility, but I’m speaking figuratively, not literally.  

Maybe I should first clear up something before continuing. Please don’t misinterpret my lead question to be my religious beliefs or lack of.  *But I still had to wonder, because who wouldn’t protect their kind regardless of the things they do and then reward most with long life. It’s like white men denying there’s an alliance called the “good old boys club”. Since few on either side would dispute either, I will try to reveal some of the bad habits, attitudes and characteristics which affect the lives of innocent people sometimes and try to show reasons and conditions for why it continues. For now I’ll give the benefit of doubt to black women, although they are partially responsible for chiseling away part of the foundation of blacks in a transitional way. Of course saying this won’t help my chances of not being called a hater of black women. Knowing this could also upset those who are quick to be adamant, even when the criticism isn’t personally directed at them. But mother used to say to us kids, “if she had a reason to scold us and during that session we continue ducking, trying to get our point across to show our lesser reason for guilt, we must have done something wrong. So each one of us must stand up and accept the blame. If I said Whitney Huston was as guilty for her failed circumstances as her ex-husband Bobby Brown has been accused of, the language would still change in her favor. But we see a difference response from white women, when some media person is criticizing the same ex governor of Alaska Sarah Palin for her misplaced political and social rhetoric. Is it because whites have less of a fostered neurosis, they have few reasons to defend her? But having a reason to continue with Sarah Palin for the moment, why has she gotten a free pass? Where is the public outcry because of her lack of accountability? Is she any better than the women who slept with Tiger Woods knowing he was married and would probably have a big divorce bill later?  Aren’t they prime examples of what moral principles say’s we should never be? 

Anyway I always believed people would normally treat me the way I treated them. I don’t remember if there was a reason or period when it became important. But I thought it would protect me from anyone who could incite a different side of me. So getting closer to further examining these and other characteristics, maybe it will show why there’s a lasting stalemate between men and women over what should be expected. Listening to many things women get upset about that often ends up becoming confrontational. I realized there’s rarely any effort to get things solved. Regardless why it happens or my certainty about this, if I was in the middle of it, it made no difference if I conceded, especially if there was a man standing nearby who felt they should put in their two cents. Of course it was more brainless than peculiar, but often it was a guy who probably forgot he was dealing with his own problems because of a woman, or women. Maybe he felt she was a better prospect for what he hoped could be ahead for him if she accepts his intrusion. So I had to protect myself from not only becoming a dog [spelled correctly] of women, as I had to keep an eye out for men also, knowing some would even beat me down [sounding less physical] just because of her. This is why I sometimes wonder about the inner workings of my gender and wonder if God has many of the same deficiencies as men who believe they are somehow an image of God. Some remind me of the male insect attacking another male for the female only to win and then be devoured by her soon after fulfilling his urges.  It was never unusual for some guy whose intent became obvious, to try to make me look foolish jumping in the middle of my situation, not knowing why it started or the seriousness of it.  But changing times have caused men to complain about being mistreated by a woman, especially if they’re in the middle of a domestic storm. His past reluctance to do it, somehow made him feel weak or probably look weak, so most dealt with it until they found some other way to get it off their chest. But was weakness really at the center of it, or did he concede to avoid what he thought the penis would be missing. But senselessly most forgot if she accused him first even showing no scars, next follows the order of protection and then the judge, who’ll charge him with contempt because his eyes lids were blinking rapidly because of disbelief. Even getting smacked in the faced sometimes, he still has to be forgiving and mindful of the so-called fragileness that exonerates her actions. Oddly those guidelines were set aside legally in the courts by men. So speaking about those circumstances, I continue with the probability of the vagina ruling over the penis, since men are usually in defense and pursuit of it sometimes to their demise. Note: Although men aren’t the primary participants in the pornography industry, dealing with it as just something common since men are the main contributors for its success, it has become their nemesis. On the other hand so-called women of ethics have declared it degrades women. If that’s true, why are more young women progressively trying to move into that industry, than those trying to do things that would show women in a better light? 

Reading the bible or any other historic spiritual manuscript, made me recognize why the scribes believed just from her present’s things would change, since many stories have minimized her significance as they also limit her uniqueness. Most men can remember when they were boys and the prettiest girl in the neighborhood walked up while they were playing, their game ended up becoming a fight to prove their supposed manhood. Anyway, she’s still been able to survive for thousands of years, manipulating situations and men who defend her so-called honor, while  letting them believe they were superior to everything that exist. But I’ll ask, who can say for sure, woman who carry and birth a life is more superior to [man] the donor?  Furthermore I often wonder if men were really convinced about their dominion, why they show no measure of humility and consideration for other men. If they believe they are a conceptual vision of God where’s the compassion? Although I’m not letting the male off the hook, I still have a deeper reason to search for why women generally get away with most transgressions. As a man I know men sometimes have unclear reasons for bad behavior. In some situations not caring death could happen during a minor disagreement. But a woman damaging a man’s life is often worse than death. Some will patronize them as they plan to take anything and everything that’s important. When compromise would suffice, they still impound his children after destroying personal things. Yet will still demand a sizable part of anything he has left. So I always felt, “What’s mine is hers and what’s hers the courts will say I have no right to anyway”. Maybe it was ordained and written in their ledger, hidden in a place of female antiquity that remains sacred and absolute. So because of his minimum amount of reminisce to protect himself, he rarely keeps most of what he has acquired. Oddly it begins during an unspecified period, since few believe there will be unexpected conditions they could face. Usually believing what head he’s usually thinking with, she also knows he rarely feels he needs to probe the strength of their relationship, since his personal assurance is measured by what he’s able to provide for her. Only there would definitely be a test in the future. So I’m still stuck on who I feel has savvier, observing how man’s time on earth have been calculated  and built into the way women perceive men and plan their future. 

When I was trying to build my business years ago, I never thought it would be gangster women walking in one day to extort me or threaten to take over. Any interaction with them would only depend of my success. If I did okay, I would expect some to sashay through the door “backing that thing up”, trying to charm their way into my pockets, regardless if I was pleasing to the eye or not. If I fail, they would rank me out to be some wannabe player dawg [now with a different spelling of dog] their home girls should also watch out for. But I’ll give credit to the few who were more interested in helping and place the blame where it should be. It was the jealousy and pettiness of some male partners who caused things to eventually decline. So why would I not believe envy and malice would be more sacrosanct amongst men, since we are seeing and hearing more of it politically today. But even discovering what was going on, I still wouldn’t believe within my own circle there still would be a woman who would try to move in. Only it was how she suggested it was her who encouraged me, so her entitlement was being the motivating force. Since most women can rarely put aside their instincts to be in the forefront besides maternal. I was constantly perused, which almost caused me to mutate into someone ruthless enough to bring out the other side of my character that could have got me in trouble. I always felt it should give men something to think about, especially if women become so self-absorbed they start to believe they are the driving force that keeps them focused. It’s understandable why men are being traumatized, its karma setting and changing their lives. But watching women rising to attack from all directions to vilify the reputations of men, who are sometimes innocent, makes me wonder about my own future even at my age.  

So since my feelings about this are getting stronger, I hope the true God won’t be as tough on me as I continue. Unfortunately men are insistently short-sighted. They usually go from one extreme to the other, so it’s not unusual instant gratification sets precedence. It’s the same way mostly white men chose to play down the real reasons for the clear disgrace of Jim Crow. One period they were imprisoning, denying, criticizing and sometimes hanging blacks for trying to change their conditions. Decades later they were carousing with blacks in the most illogical ways. Instead of expressing some civility even with reluctance, what has kept racism solvent is a cross between their personal interpretation of integrity towards people they believe are inferior and their earnest belief they will always be superior. 

On the other hand for women, I see a new more complex conclusion. Besides that I also see more serious consequences for some, since many young women are becoming as callous, uncaring and unbearably out of control as men, to suggest the latter never existed in older women. But statistics will show alcoholism, and drug use has caused families and children to suffer, as the prison population of women has also increased. Of course the most cunning still find ways to beat the odds by using the system, such as the methods they use to weed out the most vulnerable and successful men and then tally up their bounty.  

Maybe the question from here is what makes me an authority. First it’s life and secondly I can assure them it’s not for the same reasons some women often probe into the lives of men. It’s not like the notion where a woman would suggest she knows better than a man what it takes to be one. If I should suggest the same regarding a woman it would be sexists, since most would feel I was putting them in roles I believe are primarily for them.  But even being a father, I know there’s nothing so significant about me that would make me believe I have the right to tell my daughter how to be a woman. Yet mothers will constantly remind their sons to be men, although what could be needed are the same concerns that often becomes over bearing in less one on one family situations. So the reason I can do this with less disparity, is because of empathy for the least guilty and awareness of those who are.  There’s no failed affair to encourage it, although I’ve had a couple. Most important, I don’t blame all women for my troubles or men in general. On the other hand women will blame men with no forethought. Some will knit together situations of their past and use it as comparison to bring in other unhappy women.  Sadly the things I’ve known some to do would probably get most men convicted. It’s how they would do it and then blame it on some deficiency. That’s why it’s not difficult to believe this country functions with a subtle degree of feminine sentiments. Do I agree with how women are treated in other parts of the world? Of course not, because the same double standards are accessible to men to avoid penalty. But this society should be far removed from it, since that characteristic isn’t imbedded in our religious philosophy. Oddly things that should or would help to unify and sensitize the need for relationships are usually centered on the lives and circumstances of women only, until the season arrives when it’s time for men to go to [Jared]. 

Moving on, since what’s written ahead will entail more direct specifics and circumstances, I’ll give a fair amount of consideration to black women. I do this knowing white women have faced less of the same things they have; besides the arrogance of some is often the direct result of rarely falling off their pedestal. At any rate other than not being able to vote many years ago, white women always had some latitude, even black women who may deny their guardian has always been white men had some flexibility. I always felt if there were subtle conflicts about race amongst black and white women, why it never created a distance between them, instead of a defining gap between black women and black men. But I will say this quickly; black men may have given up. Perhaps disbelieving of the development of the conditions they were heading into. Aside from that, many decline to ask why things rarely work for him. For many the moment of annoyance usually came after discovering the most analytical of the establishment, was again comparing him to what they see is improving about black women. There’s one thing black men could learn from her, learn to lend a hand to other men as freely as women often do towards each other. Furthermore question his reluctance, since it’s often concealed within a configuration of suspicion and speculation. So in some situation it has caused men to harm other men, although it was to offer help, few realized they were still crossing the line. But more significantly it has sadly damaged the chances of black men who don’t possess such mistrust to make sure their estrange children [if they have them] not believe or be told they’re dead or abandoned them. Most know how important it is to avoid being stigmatized. Generally these men with a positive outlook on life are still looking for ways to make any union happen without too many concessions. Since any other decision made from what should be normal could get them included with gents of the down low.  

I shouldn’t need to repeat myself, but remembering what I said earlier I should. As far back as I’m able to remember a black man criticizing a black woman; was a hater. I always felt it was strange there was a repressed concern, when it came to black children and men getting some verbal heat from them. Many times both had to deal with what I call the “kick the dog syndrome”. Although these women generally can’t take the blame for all that happens, but the most damaging is causing an upstanding man to become someone with numbers across their chest.  

Setting aside other men racially for a moment, I have a need and reason to criticize the regular sermons about black men from individuals like Bill Cosby, although I respect his candor. He should be thankful he’s survived the tyranny of women and the system, which could have caused him to be broke and a statistic. [Oops it almost happened] Being allegedly well educated he should be familiar when the worse started for those he’s been critical of, to comprehend its cause and effects. He should know there are black men who try to avoid most of the social pitfalls other’s may not see or be cognizant of. He has to obviously know they decisively steer clear of anything that would also get them labeled as being typical, since he’s been part of that group most of his life. On the other hand he could become an enabler, since he keeps black women believing they could be the redeemer for what would be essentially better for blacks. But that assumption is definitely amiss, because he has also excluded black men. Maybe it should be something he thinks about first, especially if the piety of black women is required to successfully go-forth. But even if women in general thought it was necessary to reinvent themselves and repent, believing they are better to rule. It still would be uncertain, since the past has a way of revealing many of the heinous things men have done were either provoked by women or in their name. 

I could quote many articles I’ve read of feminists, who say the motivation of certain protagonists in their circle is often more personal and vindictive. This gives me a reason to wonder why black women haven’t changed their thinking and choose to follow their own path. In spite of the gender of God, which I still question reluctantly for now, God keeps better records. So when the timely events of life begins to turn the pages more rapidly sometimes before or as some believe the cross roads in life. If they live through what some may believe is midlife crisis, menopause or just a change of life. It could feel eternal as they ponder their past, unable to change what they’re going through. Often facing it alone the outcome can be emotionally, physically and sometimes devastating depressing. 

Sometimes the things we choose to connect ourselves too are to satisfy our need for humor. But often during our moments of indulging ourselves, we miss seeing the reality of it. Women, who complain about men’s lack of ambition, may not realize it’s a mutual condition. I remember watching a program on television called “Married with Children”, which is one of many kinds of programs that would prove my point. I knew why my late wife didn’t like it, as she observed the way our younger daughter’s eyes were fixed on the screen. But I chose it to show they rarely had an episode where there wasn’t something sexual or negative directed towards each other. Of course most of the innuendoes and put downs got laughs. What got most of the laughs, was the pivotal part of the program where the screaming audience sometimes caused the actors to wait for them to calm down enough so they could continue. It was when the wife made fun of her husband. Although it was her who never worked, cooked, cleaned or showed she should be sharing in any family responsibilities. She was usually seated on the couch in front of the television, ironically watching Oprah, sometimes eating bonbons, meticulously dressed in spandex, as her husband walked in from work. It seems to have been her favorite time to ridicule him about his job and salary. Although she really had no reason to complain, it didn’t stop her from laughing about the amount of his paycheck selling shoes that she often stole from his wallet, to buy clothes only for herself. Strange but her frequent complaint was about his lack of interest having sex with her and him not being as good at it as she wanted him to be. They had two children. The older of the two a girl was missing a few screws and rarely used any judgment choosing the kind of guys she got involved with, knowing most of them usually wanted sex. The boy who seemed to be smarter than the entire family, was a schemer and was also always in pursuit of sex also. I always saw many forms of abuse in this scenario and the most subtle is how their children mirrored the character of their parents as they grew. What was even stranger, the few friends they had showed many of the same characteristics. So I couldn’t pass this up, because I believe it to be a likeness of individuals and families today. The other reason was to make you wonder why the series never had a final show. How would the writers have ended it on a positive note or was there a message in the final decision? 

Ridiculous Observation

When what [I’ll call] a special elite group of black women felt the dialogue within the hip hop community was directed at them, they suddenly had a need to confront it. Although most were upscale and distant from it, few were capable of looking beyond it being personal, to accept it to be a genre of entertainment that really had no significance to their lives. It’s the same way whites chose to minimize the disco craze, mainly because black men were becoming increasingly involved in that industry. [Never thought that was the reason huh?] So these women were no better than the system that assess the entrepreneurial workings of black men, and then tally up reasons to bring them down or take over. Nevertheless further public complaints caused it to become news worthy. So shortly afterwards there came criticism and analytical dialogue from the media, where some probably shook their heads, when they saw them using the elder Rosa Parks to give it some legitimacy. 

From here I thought I would tone down my feelings about the vagina and the penis, but certain state-of–affairs lying before you have made me cling to it for a while. They will show how some women are skillfully finding new methods to obtain money from men, [who often know nothing about their existence.  

Specifics

In an article “Child Support Gold Diggers” written by Carey Roberts a staff reporter for the media alliance dated April 5th 2006. The article tells how “That’s Life” magazine polled some 5,000 women to find out what percentage would lie to get pregnant. 42 percent of that group said they would. Since each year approximately 4 million babies are born in the United States, it was determined that 80,000non biological men become victims of paternity fraud, Just by using the midrange figure.  Other situations that often involve predominately black women, is seen on television shows like Maury Povich. These women also make claims against men, but soon find out who’s the most astute in the game. Most results showed no improvements for the children, whose futures were already in limbo. So they not only increased the ranks of black single mothers, they also added to the 50 plus percent of black children that are now in those single settings. Unfortunately these are women were more susceptible to aids, poverty and abuse on them and their children. So “my child”, as most insists became more of a fact, as evidence was brought forth from DNA that revealed few of these women, really knew who the father of their children was. So should “mama’s baby, daddy’s maybe” just be a catchphrase for laughs? Of course harden feminists don’t support any of this anyway, although I have no doubt they are a fraction of the reason it continues. But their lack of awareness about this is like a police commissioner knowing which of his officers would cross the line.  But I’m sure most partake in those situations because of that link. Finally if things work in behalf of the woman where the father is discovered, he’s automatically ridiculed, as the woman’s guilt is played-down. Many times, the woman is seen screaming as she points finger and blame. But since few have ever complained they were raped, we can assume most were consensual. Anyway should it be an automatic decree for public humiliation or future punishment as many men are known to face in the domestic courts? 

I read some time ago where a black woman was upset hearing someone white say black women were loud, sassy and out of control sometimes. [I said sometimes] I wonder where she’s been most of the life and why she’s offended unless it was directed at her personally. As I said somewhere in this article, it seems to be more acceptable for allegedly overburden black women to complain about men and children, then accepting they are also flawed. Of course it’s not all of them who function with apathy, but that demeanor was coin by black women long time ago; to where it’s become a comical way to even mock themselves. But to be fair, although white women may not be as boisterous sometimes. They often extend themselves to be the savior of women in other parts of the world. Yet the example they often bring to light, is to show if a man shows he has anything that would benefit them, they will find a way to extort it. Other than women in certain parts of the world who are unfortunately forced to yield because of the conditions regarding religious customs and beliefs, I wonder if any ever wondered why women in places where that don’t exist are also dealing with some form of inequality. Furthermore events of historic proportions have shown many have worn cloak holding crucifix to confirm they were God fearing religious helpers, but under the garments reveled they would eventually shed their gear to move in on the lives and culture of people. What keeps them from being cognizant of this behavior is the subtle way they suggest when you’re involved with them your situation changes instantly for the better, even if in normal situations it could be true. What usually allows many to thrive is the way they use their right of privilege to set new legal precedence for laws that work in their favor, since it’s usually an assertion sponsored by a special interest group or just for women. So regardless if there’s a real difference between feminists fighting allegedly for women’s rights or blacks fighting for civil rights, they still use Affirmative Action as a way to challenge the courts. But any [Action] relating to them have always been [Affirmative]. Furthermore, the most calculating are often the most foolhardy yet manipulative on the planet.

I’m happy to say from this point God is probably allowing me to continue since I haven’t lied.  But I still have to be careful not to suggest God gives favor because of gender, so I’ll continue. Organizations that’s set up to protect women, usually offer some help for children, but in most cases none for men, yet men are known to be foremost in the advocacy of governing the conditions regarding domestic violence. Unfortunately these organizations rarely if ever use a portion of taxpayer’s money to expose how many cases of claimed abuse were inflated. So since I’m now looking at this more thoroughly, a study in 1997 may reveal something that may often go unnoticed or minimized.  

A Study  

This dated May 4th 1997, “Assaults by women on their spouses or male partners”, conducted by Martin Fiebert of California State University at Long Beach. He and his associates discovered after reviewing and investigating numerous situations from many areas over a period of time. Women were the most likely to strike first. Why do I believe this is important? Regardless if it wasn’t her intention, knowing the results could end up not being in either’s favor, it shouldn’t allow her to assert any reason to not be as guilty. Shouldn’t the guy driving the getaway car, be as guilty as his partners inside robbing the bank?   

Domestic Sadism 

In an article ”California Domestic Violence Lawsuit”, written by Marc Angelucci of the National Coalition of Free Men and Glen Sacks commentator and nationally known radio host.  It shows how real issues of abuse, often fall on deaf ears. Maegan Woods age 11, tired to stop domestic disputes between her parents, only to find herself looking down the barrel of her father’s shotgun one day. She was abused and witnessed violence in her home most of her childhood. By the age of 7, there were knife attacks, punches, kicks and more. It was difficult for the person who was being abused. Besides being disabled, the abuser was the one who earned the money. The request for help was refused. Why? The obvious reason, the person who was being abused was the father and the battered child abuse was also perpetrated by the same person. It would be plagiarism for me to continue, since it would also be difficult to add my own thoughts. But the reason this is important, is because abuse creates no alarm unless it’s claimed by women, which in numerous legal situations was never proven to be true.  

Although I’ve been as critical of men as women, some women may still feel most of it was directed at them, so I must be bitter. If I would open up some means of communications, it would assure the argument wouldn’t end here. But in my own defense, most conversations I’ve had with women who wanted to talk or rather chose to complain about their relationships. Few could tell me why it was difficult to put what they thought was the worst part of their mates aside. In fact some were still dealing with old demons and angry enough to act out in revenge. But nowhere in any Holy Book, would it say woman or man had the right of retribution. Besides, wouldn’t it be counterproductive? The rules are explicit and the failure to follow any has begun to show the results of mistrust leading to depression. Every day we read and hear about people afraid something could happen to them, as they cringe hearing people being murdered, children abducted, as others are still trying to recover from situations of Mother Nature, asserting lord why me. Politicians who’s suppose to create better things for the country, believe without effort they can correct the worse through laws, as other’s who perform on the fringe of hypocrisy put the blame on someone else, just before saying we still need morality and prayer. But praying or laws can’t change any of it, because any chance of getting God’s help has been canceled-out because of how most think and act consistently. The contempt and constant bickering between men and women have never proved whose the most creditable, who should be in power or the godliest. What it has shown, is how both have failed to coexist to appreciate what’s unique about them. On both sides, some spend their lives complaining about others and how they have been wronged from birth. Somehow expecting parents or those allegedly guilty to suddenly walk up one day and apologize. Since it rarely happens, their resentment almost becomes a disease that infects their minds, as they try to bring in more people to confirm it. But few may understand the only concern other’s may convey, is hoping they don’t revert any of it on them, especially if there was some minor disagreement they had in the past. 

I believe I’ve given the best I could so far and that is truth. Clearly it doesn’t matter what gender God is, it won’t change how God deals with all human behavior, unless those driven for personal reasons start to show some empathy for others. But I’ll say this with bias yet humility. When “Hi dad”, starts to mean as much as “Hi mom”, maybe it will finally show love and respect has no preference to gender, especially in a country where we hear the latter most of the time. 

But now I want to return to black women, since many get in the middle of situations of women simply because they’re women. Unfortunately they may not believe they are more susceptible to being used, as the white population has been and still are being used by religious deadbeats, slanted bigoted rhetoric and white politicians who are leading them down the slippery slope to their end. But since black women again are more often in the forefront than black men, they should always evaluate the benefits or it may continue making the lives of the troops [black men and children] problematic. Reiterating they often insist they often has difficulties with both. But more clearly, since they usually claim they were forced into that responsibility long ago, accepting many have failed could make a difference for the future. Is it truth or lie?  

This is the double edge sword. Most people regardless of race believe they are familiar with the state of affairs of black men, although most really know little or maybe not caring about the reasons. But it’s simple as showing how removing of the head the body will die, which have had some obvious consistency for the condition of a percentage of blacks in general. What should enlighten most is learning how it started during the period of their progress after slavery. There may have been little or no reason for black women to eventually be brought to the forefront, but generally they had more opportunities for that to happen. The transition was simple, because it was white men who only saw woman not her blackness. That’s why I’ll always believe racism in this country was and still is intensely directed towards the black male not the female. She may have experienced some; it gave her the opportunity to exploit her feminine prowess and resilience to survive. Those strong points were what really allowed Rosa Parks to make history, since it really wasn’t a protest. So with subdued and sometimes daunting fervor, black women ended up becoming the head of the master’s household. If there were no obligatory reason, some even had socially forbidden relationships, cooked the master’s food and raised their children. So in many ways she had become the other woman even though most were still attached to some structure of their family. With her learning to apply logic and sensitivity when needed helped many to avoid situations their men were unable to escape. 

Moving briefly to domestic courts where most advocacy stand-ins go to convince the courts that women are better for, or with children. Looking at statistics of women in the last 5 years, who murdered, neglected or allowed their children to be abused. I would think this notion would have better merit if all conditions were brought forth. Most women get fewer penalties, probably asserting it was ESP [Exclaiming Self Pity] that was more like PMS [Post Malice Syndrome]. Funny, of course not but female disorders are often used to reduce the guilt in situations where they should face some penalty. When children are mistreated sometimes in homes of single women, it’s usually their carelessness bringing the wrong men into their lives.  

Debatable or Distorted  

In a crusade that was most likely promoted out of the feminine camp called the, “stop it now campaign”. A billboard showed a man/father holding the hand of what could be assume to be his daughter. The most frightening part of this publicity is the caption that’s printed across it. [”It doesn’t feel right when I see them together”] In no way does it weed out or prevent children from being sexually abused. What it does is set up all men to be potentially dangerous. But I wonder if that ad was posted in the state of Georgia, where a woman was arrested and convicted for pimping her goddaughter and her friend for 40 dollars. When men are allowed to be in the lives of their children [with emphasis on allowed] they have shown to be just as caring as women. In fact many successful men and women owe their success, more so to the father than the mother. But hypocrisy is still alive and well and men are usually behind it. When law enforcement use undercover female officers to entrap men soliciting prostitutes, the seriousness related to their efforts, seems to be as important as catching someone whose the head of a big drug cartel. But since few men rarely use caution in their attempt to win over the vagina, when they get caught they are sometimes publicly humiliated, even in community newspapers. Many have complained they were also harassed by male officers, who I feel should realize they are also susceptible to the same. But shortly after prostitutes are escorted to court, they are usually fined and let back out on the street to most likely continue business. Question; why should a woman selling sex, be less guilty than a man trying to buy it? 

Many television programs today portray men to be village idiots. Unfortunately men will laugh at them, not realizing commercials are reflections of real time thoughts and practices. Such as a commercial showing young men who look like pigs talking to sexy alluring young women in a nightclub. Only after one of the pigs goes to the vending machine to buy a condom, does he suddenly change into a guy. Somehow it was to show all men are pigs, if they approach women for sex without a condom. I wondered what animal they would use to describe the women, who seemed to be willing to give it up freely? Of course it would be easy to believe I was over reacting, maybe I would agree if I wasn’t wise enough to understand the underline meaning.    

Situation 

November 2002, a protest was launched against Verizon about a commercial that showed a father trying to help his daughter with her homework. When his wife walked in his daughter told him to forget it, “go wash the dog”.  Of all the things he could have done, why it should be washing the dog. It was to show his level of importance and intelligence.  In a non commercial situation, tee shirts were sold with words across the front, “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them”. Since it sounds like they were primarily for girls, were it a joke or do it have some other intent. Of course I could continue showing similar situations, but I hope the independent thinker male or female would see how feminists are trying to damage the relationship even between boys and girls, just to move their agenda forward. 

I must say again, men of many cultures throughout the world prefer to keep women in their so-called place. But even facing certain limitations for hundreds of years, it hasn’t stopped her from exhibiting some form of pre-eminence. Not that she’s able to rule, but her ability to be ultimately pardoned for all and any transgression, even murder in some situations. [Most should remember the woman who killed her husband with a shotgun while he slept, only to be exonerated later, since she said he had done some heartless things to her over the years. Oddly there was no way they could have proved it to be true. So it shows how some women will even take the chance of consequence, as a way to calculate and forecast their future. 

Since I believe few men really think sincerely about their future, I’ll probably make an unfavorable statement to say it’s because more are interested in sports data, beer, guns, cars and the conquest of many vaginas they can get. Of course I don’t avoid questioning my own perception or vulnerability. But adding to this, I realized most are blind to their mate’s recurring moments of objectivity. [It’s that test I was talking about] It’s the period when women are secretly contemplating other circumstances they feel are better. It’s that period when he hears fewer complaints, yet missed hearing different concerns. Women may have little knowledge where it’s going to take them leaving, it’s often matters not if they feel they’re getting nothing from the relationship they’re in. So from that point her plans are still to move on, even if children are included. On the other hand if a man has similar thoughts he can rarely conceal it, since it’s usually about an affair in many situations, nothing more. So the reason for his sudden posture is often discovered, because he looked earlier for no way to weigh what can often leave him vulnerable and near homelessness sometimes. Infidelity is the get out of jail card for women, since it’s often the reason women leave men financially sometimes bankrupted and emotionally traumatized for life. Some will even admit it is something they generally expect to happen to all women. Many say it’s soon after children are present. Of course the cleverest don’t care, they are patient and will sometimes hang around for years regardless, as a way to prepare her for the future. It would be great to show the positive things men and women are capable of, knowing there are many things both have done and still can do that’s admirable. Regardless what race, men and women are becoming less loving and tolerant of each other. It’s the same for what’s causing the decline of this nation. Since there is no desire for tolerance, each person’s decision to live with subtle and pretentious limits, have allow most to believe it’s necessary to protect their space. Question; what space? So that internal conflict adding their narcissistic character, is what’s causing lives and the foundation of this country to weaken and it’s continuing as I write this. 

Anyway, the choices that allowed greed and the quest for instant gratification to take possession of lives that damage the focus of purpose and creativity of people especially blacks. Is only to believe some may feel it’s a way of assimilation or to gain some equity. But it being the focal point of many things gone awry within the black community, shows it was never a good choice. Maybe getting a fix on long standing problems before hand should have been more crucial, than the upscale lives that may have cause some to lean in that direction. Unfortunately “doing your own thing”, wasn’t enough of a justification for trying, since that idea seem to have also become a philosophy for black youth, instead of an inspiration. Oddly since a great percentage of blacks conceded to believe they have no place else to go to reconnect their lives, they shouldn’t get involved in situations that keep us broken and cause other blacks to be victimized in the only place they believe they can connect too. It’s their responsibility to not allow their frustrations to add to the troubles already at hand, choosing deceit as a better way to gather foreseeable riches at the end of a fading rainbow. Although blacks aren’t the only so-called minority who should face some reprimand for their misdeeds. I chose not to include others; since I’ve learned from past experiences some are often in agreement with the status quo, for reasons to avoid controversy or scrutiny. But I’ll end this segment with a fair and equal evaluation of both men and women. Again it’s not unusual to hear black women grumble about their lives, needs or troubles; although many have built-in retorts that have made it difficult to break through to examine the validity of their gripes. So I feel it has always been a diversion that redirects the attention away from what some were planning or already doing. But regardless of a woman’s supposed righteousness or a better word godliness, which may have subconsciously allowed many to avoid penalty for transgressions, there is one imperfection that exists in all women. It’s the inability to birth someone who’s perfect as many suggest they would be. On the other hand white women may believe they have certain entitlements, because they have a right to choose until they are satisfied. In general their future still depends on the behavior and permanence of white men, who are now facing a quandary of inflexible human growth as other whites begin to question their own entitlement. Even today with some exhibiting subtle forms of bigotry as a way to return to almost similar conditions of the past, has had minimum effect on people who choose to be uncommitted to follow over forecasting their own future. As far as black men, in most cases I believe the vagina [figuratively] will continue ruling over the penis until they allow unity to become the driving force to change it. Those men, who have dealt with some of the worse in and out of the system, must inform other men to how it could limit their chances also. They must enlighten themselves to show how they and others may have lost the confidence that would have provided a sense of loyalty to bring success amongst them.

Maybe this quote from Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop the authors of Can’t live with’ Em, Can’t live without ‘Em, is clearer. A man who doesn’t have at least one other man he can be accountable regarding his failures, hurts and temptations is a prime target for masculine anger. But here is something to ponder; persons, who became initiates or forced to be as some may declare, are sometimes too recognizable to be removed. 

Finally should men evaluate the circumstances of their fathers before criticism?  With most rarely wondering why that relationship failed, few would believe their role of responsibility to their children could or would be problematic as their fathers. On the other hand even if there were some degree of abuse or neglect, the mother will usually and always receive some amount of emotional concessions from her children. But the competence needed for men to perform and benefit those he’s responsible for, usually depends on environment, which often determines economic stability also. With both conditions helping to create a personal since of security, most do better in their relationships. In many other countries where men are seen only as providers, they are only expected to make available resources and also protect family members who benefit from it. Only in this country are men expected to share many roles and also be mates, which have frequently shown to fall short of that expectation. So it’s not peculiar to see that the true meaning of mate have met a stalemate, since we live in a culture where couples participate in circumstances that often don’t include the other. Furthermore it has become the prerequisite of American women to have lives that are separate, even if children are present. If what I’m saying is believable, does it removed the significance of fatherhood? Are men beginning to be perceived to be no better than the male animal whose life is usually solitary until mating time of the female? Are we really forcing ourselves to believe we’re emotionally attracted to each other, although most end up physical? If love is supposed to be everlasting, why are most affairs short lived and stacked with resentment? To play the devil’s advocate, why does the male stand to receive most of the ill feelings in most of those relationships? In many unstable situations between boys and their fathers, it’s the lack of a one on one bonding that’s often claimed, over most other things that would be expected. So why are the most noteworthy between fathers and daughters? Is it because fathers relate to their daughters as he would to his mate and only see sons as competitors, although both could be his underlings? Looking at certain situations in general there could be some truth to it, since men are usually reluctant to share; besides combat seems effortless for the slightest reasons. So we’ve learned to accept a more positive outcome between mothers and sons. Is it her ability to uphold emotions, even if there was some reason to discipline? This could be true, but the argument especially amongst blacks, is mothers have shown they can’t raise sons to be successful fathers, so does this also contribute too many failed son and father black relationships? But on a wider spectrum, which seems to be racially based, even when black fathers are the reasons for their children’s success, there comes a jolt of dissention in some strange way trying to take it away. Although I knew very little about my own father for reasons I’ve yet to question. But even if things were different and I still had some feelings of his inability to partner a relationship, it would be impossible for me to be different in a so-called better way, unless I was able to acquire the things that would socially put me in a position to service all aspects of responsibility to myself for my children. On the other hand women don’t have to unless they choose to do it, since most have a broader spectrum of men to choose from to lift them up or determine their future. Unfortunately the downside of this is those with children who have chosen to go it alone or in some situations get little or no help has left them stressed to provide their needs. Ironically there’s still a quandary for most men. If circumstances such as the death of his spouse suddenly obligate him to raise his child or children alone, trying to do it is sometimes met with some criticism. Although the most understandable difficulty he could have trying to get a son to obey the rules, suddenly being in a single parent male situation, it could be more complex for him if the child is a girl. Since most men will have limited options in this area, sometimes marrying is second thought to help level his playing field. But many are still reluctant because societal idioms sometimes identify him to be less of a father over a predator. The fear is they could end up in dire circumstances, since the rhetoric regarding his relationship or expertise to parent her is often slanted and sometimes indicting. So the complaints about fathers and their lack of parenting that sometimes damage relationships with their children continues, yet few would admit many of the other things that also contribute to it. But living in a world where the only thing we can be sure of is not being here forever, we all should be accountable for the things we should be doing to help those who need our help. We can question if there’s a place after our end, but no one has been able to disprove it to be so, so we must not take the chance of disbelieving if we’re to be judged by something or someone who have the power of significant penalty. 

Article by T. Duffy

Former lead columnists……. Afromerica.com

Published article, “In Search Of Fatherhood,” magazine, “A Man’s Dilemma,” Volume 5, No. 4, 2003

Contributing writer, “Afromerica,” the book.  Published 2005.  Compiled by CR Hamilton.

Recent work, “The Projects,” published by Publish America 2009.

Information and References

That’s Life magazine, “Child Support Gold diggers”, April 5th 2006; Carey Roberts, California domestic violence lawsuit, December 28th 2005.  Marc Angelucci, National Coalition of Free Men and Glen Sacks, KABC radio. 

Assaults By Women On Their SpousesOr Male Partners, May 4th 1997; Psychologists Martin Fiebert and Associates; California State University at Long Beach (Article not including information or references rewritten 2010). Original article, “Could God Be A Woman.”

 

A RED SEA OF HATRED:  U. S. NAVY STYLE!

By Harold Bell

The 4th of July is celebrated by millions of Americans annually.  On this day many celebrate Independence Day.  We honor those who gave their lives and those who are still giving their lives to make and keep America free to insure that there is equal justice for all.

Frank Knox comes from a long list of military family members that have served proudly, honorably and with impeccable distinction for this great nation of ours. 

Many of his family members have served in World War I, II, Korean, Vietnam and the conflict Operation Desert Shield/Storm. 

Some family members were led to believe that other relatives may have served during the civil war. 

Frank's quest for a military career was inspired by those family members. 

He adamantly wanted to serve with honor and distinction for the country that he and his family love so dearly.

Frank boarded the ship USS Saratoga in 1973.  Prior, to boarding his squadron, there had many episodes of racial tension and abundance of hatred aimed directly at black enlisted men. In witnessing and seeing this, it put a tremendous amount of stress on him. 

His assistant supervisor was a man called Red (as in Redneck).  Red made it his position known as it related to Frank and his kind from the very beginning, he said, “Me and my Klan boys are going to kill all the Niggers and anybody else that don’t look like us when we get out to sea.  You won’t be coming back”. 

Reds’ words reminded Frank of the many thousands of his ancestors who were thrown overboard during “The Dark Passages” from Africa to the United States.  They were thrown overboard just for fun and games.

Overall, he was fearful of Red’s words because there was no one to speak up for him.  He knew if he said anything regarding the issue of racism he would have been disciplined in the harshest manner. 

Frank feared he would have been kicked out of the Navy which almost occurred on several occasions.

While on the flight deck, he tried desperately to focus on his job because the flight deck was a very, very perilous place, especially, at night.  He remembered there were no lights on deck just miles of an endless Dark and scary ocean.

On many occasions he got blown into flight equipment because he expended a tremendous amount of energy worrying about his situation and fearing for his demise. 

In addition, all the overwhelming stress led to fatigued, sleeping problems and eating irregularities.  He had reduced emotionality from thinking about Red’s fearful threats and throwing him off the ship or Red and his boys killing Frank when he went ashore for liberty.

Sometimes, he felt as though he was walking on thin ice, and the situation only exacerbated his stress when he saw his first plane crash.  It was an A-6  that crashed right into the ocean and killed the pilot. 

He had to pull himself together and re-group and do his job professionally and competently even though he lived on the edge and with intense fear.  Frank was hassled daily and this situation was compounded by his lack of sleep and seeing planes crashes intensified the situation. 

To make matter worse, he was assigned to the night shift after complaining that he was having problems with Red.  He was then assigned to the day shift, which was not much relief. 

Overall, he was never able to relax the entire time he stayed attached to VF-103.   On several occasions, he endured a long-grueling-16-20 hour shift, 7 days a week, and in his case, 30 hours. 

In preparation of his shift change, he was told that his plane was never secured properly.  He was made to stay over many times, even though his plane was secured! 

 Many of his colleagues knew his plane was secured professionally and competently but never spoke up on his behalf. Painstakingly, this was just one of many of the examples to ostracize him and debased his credibility as a man. 

For example, each plane is secured with 16 chains, as a tie-down and he carried chains and did the work of 3 and 4 other people.   During his extra working details, he participated in morning operations and witnessed another A-6 crashed right off the flight deck, fortunately, they were able to recover the RIO, but the pilot died.

After the plane crashes, it would take him 3 weeks before he began to slowly get back into the routine of things. With a steadfast desire for success and thanks to mind over manner, Frank maintained positive thoughts such as being with family and close friends.  His faith in God helped him through this ordeal. 

However, he was always fearful and looking over his shoulder for Red and his gang.  Working on the flight deck, was a dangerous job. 

Despite the danger, he was not going to let anyone jeopardize his strong patriotic values that he held in the highest regards for his country, and values taught by family. 

While all this was going on, he maintained his equanimity and esprit de corps in helping co-workers stay focus during night operation even though he was tormented by his own oppression.

One particular night, he was waiting for his plane to return when an A-5 tried to land on the flight deck and crashed.  The pilot missed his mark, the plane ended up into a big inferno ball of fire that killed the pilot andRio instantly. 

Shockingly, everyone stood still and couldn’t move at all!  Frank jaw dropped to the floor and his legs were immovable. Frank said, “My entire body was shaking from incredible trepidation.  Eventually, I told myself to snap out of it and secured my plane.  However, others stated that they were not going back on the death zone (flight deck).” 

It was no surprise, Frank ended up securing their planes as well.  He carried their chains on his already delicate and fragile back.

 The latest plane crash did not allow him to sleep for months and the little sleep that he did get- he woke-up with frightening dreams.  Prior to witnessing the plane crashes he barely got 3 hours of sleep. 

Additionally, he worried about Red’s ignominious and scurrilous reclamations, which only compounded his situation.  Frank said, “Red had my body working triple over-time.” 

When he finally got liberty, most of the time, he stayed on the ship, it was the safest place to be.  If he took liberty it would only provoke an already intolerable malevolent and agonizing situation.   There was no telling where Red and his boys maybe lurking. 

He decided to take other co-workers’ watches/off-duty assignments for extra money and saved it for his college education. 

However, he decided to set his fear aside , the next time liberty came around he had made up his mind he was ashore.  He took liberty with Aean Wells.  Aean was his dear friend from Alabama and he had been an eye-witness to the trials and tribulations Frank had to endure under Red.  

Frank warned Aean that they would avoid Red and his boys at all cost.

Unfortunately, Red saw Frank before he saw him.  He called him every inhumane and nasty name he could think of and than followed that up with a brutal physical attack.

He grabbed Frank by the neck and began squeezing and choking the life out of him. 

Frank could see several shipmates standing by but no one came to his aid. 

He said, “This kind of pluralistic ignorance is the worse case of uncompassionate and shame towards humanity.”

Frank remembers gagging and experiencing breathing problems.  He grasped for air and began to pass out, but still no one step-up to stop this horrifying act of attempted murder! 

Only by the grace of God was he able to extricate himself from the stronghold of Red’s vise-like death grip.

Frank survived this nefarious and vicious act of physical lynching.  He was terrified by what had just happen to him and ran for his life, gagging and coughing all the way. 

As luck and God would have it he came upon the Navy Shore Patrol (military police).  He explained to them what had happened, while trying to regain his breath. 

They ordered him back to the ship.  A few minutes later, his friend Aean Wells came along later and said, "Frank, I thought they were going to kill you."  

 Frank said, “We must remember during those times (70s) if a black man was involved in any form of altercation with a white person in a supervisory capacity, we (African-Americans) received the maximum punishment, even if we were right.” 

He tolerated the cruelty and profound humiliation the best way that he could for him to survive. 

Frank sustained emotional fatigue, tension, fearfulness, anger and constantly looking over his shoulder for “The Boggie Man” named Red.  There was no cultural sensitivity, racial training or political correctness.

African-Americans and minorities had limited rights and resources. He was reminded on some occasions that the Navy was for white men and not place for monkeys and apes. 

Those debasing and derogatory words were harsh reminders that hurt him deeply.  These deplorable actions by his shipmates made him reach down deeply to muster all of his strength to upheld his diligence and dedication to duty.  

Frank refused to let this chapter of his life be impacted with profound hatred and negativity.  After all, they were kicking out minorities in record numbers and all he and other blacks wanted was to serve this great nation of ours honorably and with admiration. 

There were also riots in the chow hall because of racial tension and hate.  He stayed away from the chow hall just about the entire deployment. 

Frank lived on box lunches and sometimes just drank the water which was always tainted with JP-5 fuel.  He believes the poison water at Camp Lejeune and tainted water on the ship caused all his abdominal problems. 

Red continued to make his threats up until Frank got out of the navy.  Red’s bigotry was well known but it was always business as usual in his Navy. 

 Frank continued to get little sleep and when he did get to sleep he would have nightmares about Red choking the life out of him.  Plus, the last horrible inferno plane crash on the flight deck was additional.

After his departure from the navy, Frank still could not sleep and barely ate anything for months.  He started working out and that gave me some relief from his anger, frustrations and being on edge.  Once home he told of the horrendous atrocities to his family members. 

There were many that cried with disgust and wondered how a fellow Navay man would treat  another human being of a different color worst than they would treat a wild animal. 

Frank's family advised him to go to the VA and get some immediate help for what he had horribly endured.  The nurse told him to file a claim, if he thought the Navy was at fault for all his problems. 

Frank told her he did and she directed him to go and file the proper paperwork.  He filed in 1976.

Upon filing his paperwork, there was no help at the VA it was a “Dead End Street.”  He completed the paper work and was interviewed by some of the most unprofessional, uncaring, and unsympathetic individuals that he ever encountered. 

Frank said, “I thought the VA had played a cruel joke on me and hired Red and his boys at the hospital.”

The VA staff had had the same hateful and disgusting traits and characteristics of Red and his boys.  There was no compassion whatsoever for black veterans.  After about 20 minutes of intense humiliation, he still was not allowed to tell what had happen to him. 

The insensitive hospital personnel were only concerned about whether he heard voices or hallucinations?  He was hurt and felt deeply disrespected from ship to home.

Frank blurted out, “Sir, I was almost killed and choked to death.” 

The doctor stated that he was not interested in hearing about his personal trials and painful tribulations.  

Frank remembers saying ‘Enough is enough’ and got up and left the room.  He remembers vividly laughter as he exited the room. 

He had an ace in the hole, the Reverend Goodman would be his spiritual savior.  Frank would tell him about his horrible military life, the racial strife and profound indignation and attempted murder from his supervisor and military members. 

He found Reverend Goodman comforting and a strong supporter of his situation. 

Months later, he got the “Bad News” he received a letter from the VA denying his claim and minimizing his deeply-rooted traumatic/anxiety situation.   His story of horrific and terrifying acts of attempted murder he endured from another service member had fallen on deaf ears. 

The rejection hurt deeply, and for months he wondered how he would get the necessary medical treatment to help him cope with all the problems.  Especially, when he was denied and coldly turned away by the VA.  

The traumatic military experienced did not hinder Frank’s feelings to overtake his ambition for success.  Frank refused to allow Red and his Navy cohorts to disrupt his return to a normal life.

Frank, with a little help from his Pastor, friends and relatives began to map out a positive course of action for his return to civilian life.   

There were times it was a bitterly and difficult road of uncertainty and there were moments of anger, agitation, overwhelming nightmares, sleeplessness, and frustrations.  There were days and nights he fought fatigue but decided failure was not an option despite the laughter he heard from doctors as he left the VA hospital.

It was God, family and friends who directed his destiny. 

In addition, some of Frank’s veteran friends were also seeking immediate help from the VA but they also hit a brick wall while applying for the same claims and benefits. 

Unfortunately, many of them chose drastic measures while coping with their profound disappointments.  Many black vets were left homeless and some lost their minds and souls from uncaring doctors they thought would provide for then the necessary intervention that many so desperately cried out for and needed.  

This was a harsh reality of life in the “Real World” no one cared for veterans of color.

 “The system failed them and me horribly.”  Especially, when we needed them” said, Frank.

Frank chose a positive course of action, even though the VA did not.  

Today, he can still see that plane crash and a big ball of fire crashing into the ocean and, on many occasions, there are nightmares when he would wake up thinking Red’s hands around his neck, choking the life out of him.  He says, I still have my nervous moments but I am coping.” 

Painstakingly, he has been dealing with this situation since 1974 and the VA regional office in Ohio, since 1976 have not resolved his and other veterans’ situations and continue to play games with our lives.   

Even today 2010 and he still has those same hateful and bitter individuals whose intentions are not to help the veterans.  But instead, they profoundly procrastinate and hope that all veterans just go away and die.  This is the American way when it comes to settling claims, especially, by and for African-American veterans.

Frank’s medical conditions only worsen from working on the ship doing paint chipping that involved removal of asbestos materials from the floors, ceilings and walls. 

To make matter worse, he was placed on a recalled medication, Reglan, which caused him all sorts of problems.  Furthermore, he was hospitalized for severe chest pains and he brought it to the VA medical staff’s attention that he had taken Reglan and they dismissed his claims.  The associations of Reglan and his heart problems are all related.

They clearly never gave him a definitive diagnosis.  Instead, they just made one up. 

The Veteran Administration is a broken system that needs immediate revamping.  The Veteran Administration does not facilitate a viable and caring process to hire veterans first or provide top-notched immediate resolution of all veterans’ claims. 

Frank is in favor of the Veterans Administration’s Regional offices having an outside independent entity that can resolve the veterans’ claims expeditiously and accurately. 

There are Veterans' Regional offices that act like it’s their money and they play games with the veterans prior to dispensing them their money regarding their claims, especially, black veterans.

It has taken Frank 34 years to resolve some of his claims.  He hopes and prays that the people involved in the gulf oil strickened areas do not have to wait as long for their claims like most veterans do. 

“Something is awfully wrong with the Veteran's Administration and Congress.  They need to immediately do something about this horrible situation," says Frank.  

According to a study in 1978, if Frank's prolonged stress persists, the pituitary gland and adrenal cortex will lose their ability to maintain elevated hormone levels.  The physiological processes will begin to break down, causing fatigue, depression and can affect all other areas in his body and even cause his demise.  

He wondered why had his case lingered for over 34 years and why are veterans like him being treated like 4th class citizens?

One reason is hatred, our country is on the verge of increased racial strife with an increased of hate and militia groups participation, only because a bi-racial man occupies the white house.

The stories found in the media about all of this negativity as relates to racial hatred reminds him deeply of all the overwhelming hate that he and others endured on-broad the USS Saratoga.

Frank Knox joined the military because he loved his country, but it is now evident his country does not love him.  It allowed racist like Red to exist and excel in a United States military environment without consequences.

He was totally ostracized and never accepted as Red’s equal, despite the historical Civil Rights march on Washington, DC led by Rev. Martin Luther King in 1964. 

The 1960’s assassinations of President Kennedy and his brother Bobby, Rev. King, Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers all sacrificed their lives fighting for equal justice for all.

Almost 5 decades later despite a black President occupying the White House justice for all still eludes people of color.  From “The Dark Passages to the USS Saratoga” we are still being thrown overboard by a system that still operates on Justice and Just-Us.

 

Keith Olbermann's Video Commentary On The Shirley Sherrod Controversy Is A Winner

 

What's Going On?:  A Tribute To My Friend Marvin Gaye

By Harold Bell

“Mother, mother there are too many of you crying, brother, brother there are far too many of you dying. We got to find a way to bring some loving here today, war is not the answer—Whats’ Going On”

Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield were far ahead of their times when it came to message music as it related to the plight of America’s down-trodden. The word genius does not do either justice.

Marvin’s masterpiece album “What’s Going On” did more to expose racism and social injustice in America than any march, demonstration or documentary. Curtis Mayfield’s music messages were equally as important.

Oscar Brown Jr., Gil Scott Heron, Curtis and Marvin were the “Original Rappers.”

I met Marvin in the early 50s at Mount Airy Baptist Church in NW Washington, D. C. My Great-Grand-Father the Rev. Alfred Johnson Tyler laid the first brick and helped to build the church in 1893. My Great-Uncle the Rev. Earl Tyler and Marvin’s father were friends.

Marvin was singing in his father’s choir and they were the guest choir at the church on that Sunday. When he first saw me his eyes got as big as flying saucers. I new Marvin’s secret. He was a street corner messenger of Do-Wop. I would often see him singing under the street lights in my NE housing project. This type of street corner harmony was not allowed in the Gaye household.

Marvin’s Do-Wop group was very popular and performed at my alma mater Spingarn High School’s annual Spring Festival talent show. Parkside resident Robert Neal and Lincoln Heights resident Billy Bess were a part of the group.

Marvin and I had a lot in common, he had a church background. He caddied on the weekends at Indian Springs Golf Course in a Maryland suburb and I caddied on the weekends at Burning Tree Golf Course in Potomac, Maryland. He had always wanted to be an athlete and I always wanted to sing. It was wishful thinking by us both.

Our encounter was like “What’s happening man?” He gave the signal by putting his finger over his lips meaning ‘Don’t say anything about me doing Do-Wop on the street corner.’ I read him loud and clear.

After church we enjoyed Sunday dinner together in the downstairs dinning area. We talked sports the entire time.

During our high school days he always wanted to talk about ball, but I never ever saw him play pick-up ball on any city playground!

Marvin attended Cardozo High School at that time and I remember asking him why he had not tried out for the team. His response, “My parents won’t sign the permission letter.” I told him my mother would not sign the same letter either but I forged her signature. He wanted to be an athlete in the worst way.

During Marvin’s Motown singing career he could often be seen hanging around and working out with the pro teams of his adopted hometown of Detroit. The Detroit Lions (NFL), Detroit Pistons (NBA), Detroit Tigers (MLB) and the Kronk boxing gym. He would work out on the heavybag and speedbag. Sometimes he would spar with Thomas Hearns and Hilmer Kenty. These were some of his favorite hangouts. He was living out his athletic fantasy.

Marvin grew up in northwest section of Washington, DC and I grew up in the northeast section and we were like passing ships in the night after that church encounter.

Several years later my family moved to 58th and Blaine Streets NE, another housing project on East Capitol Street. My next encounter with Marvin would be on those same NE streets.

I was headed out to school one morning and waiting at the bus stop was Marvin, once again the shout-out was “What’s happening man?.” I remember saying ‘What are you doing out here man, you are a long ways from home?’ He said ‘I am just staying with some friends for a minute.’ The friend was Peasie Adams. Peasie lived down the street from me and she baby sit me when I was just a puppy in Parkside.

He said he was on the way to the golf course to see if he could pick up a few dollars. I found that rather strange since this was a school day. Marvin had moved in with Peasie because of some conflict with his father which he never elaborated on. As I was getting off the bus at 24th and Benning Road, his last words to me were “I am thinking about joining the Army and if not I will see you around.”

In the meantime, Marvin had disappeared and I would later discover he had joined the United States Air Force.

I remember Marvin as a quiet and thoughtful brother who loved to laugh, but always seem to have a lot on his mind.

In 1957, I was coming into my own as an all-around athlete at Spingarn High School and I started to smell myself (I began to think I was “all that” and a bag of chips). I played football, basketball and baseball. I drove my coaches and teammates crazy because I had troubled understanding it was about the team and not Harold Bell.

I was not a great athlete as some would claim but I wanted the ball when the game was to be won or lost! I took the risk of making or missing the shot that was my competitor side.

My baseball coach Dr. Leo Hill kicked me off the team my junior year, Coach Dave Brown (savior) locked me in the bus at half-time of a football game during my junior year and basketball coach Dr. William Roundtree said “No Mas” in the middle of the season during my senior year.

I would steal home with the ball game on the line, take the last shot to win or lose the basketball game and demanded the ball be thrown to me regardless of the double team!

I took the same risk when I hosted and produced “The Original Inside Sports,” my radio talk show in 1972. Inside Sports set the standards for radio and television sports talk shows in America. Every talk show now aired has copied the format of “The Original Inside Sports.”

Marvin Gaye had those same characteristics as an artist he took risk that others dared not take in the music industry (Curtis Mayfield was the exception). Motown founder Berry Gordy refused to release “What’s Going On” because he thought it was too radical!

In 1958, I was going to hell in a hurry just as my Brown Middle School Principal William B. Stinson had predicted. One night I was hanging out on the corner of 7th and T Streets at the landmark Howard Theatre when Marvin appeared out of nowhere. I joked that someone had told me he was in jail. His response, “Almost, the U. S. Air Force but I am getting paroled.”

He wanted to hear about what was happening in my life. I tried to put on a happy face that I was doing well too proud to say “Marvin my life is in shambles.”

The truth was that my mother had just had a nervous breakdown and had to be institutionalized. I was sleeping in my Aunt Doretha’s car and playing musical chairs in the DC Public Schools. I had just transferred from Spingarn to rival Eastern after getting kicked off the basketball team and graduation was not looking good.

After that sighting Marvin and I lost contact with each other for another decade. The next thing I knew his career had taken off (Moonglows) and again we became like ships passing in the night. We would run into each other occasionally while he was in town to see his family. He was much like me a mommy’s boy. He would later tell me his mother was the only thing that really brought him back to DC.

Marvin kept a low profile when he was in town but he never let success change him. He stayed close to family.

He would always say to me, “Harold we have got to get together the next time I am in town.” We would exchange numbers but we never called each other. I would always hear after the fact he was in town, but I never took it personal that he didn’t call.

It always looked to me he went out of his way to say ‘I have not forgotten.’ There were also the “he said, she said” rumors about him and his father having major problems.

In 1971, I had done my college tour and was playing semi-pro football and had received a Presidential Appointment. I was using my White House contacts to open a Half-Way House for juvenile delinquents on Bolling Air Force Base, the first of its kind in the nation. Around that time Marvin had released “What’s Going On.”

I was so proud of the brother I called the Motown office in Detroit and left a message congratulating him. The song hit close to home it reminded me of our early struggles and little had changed. It was still an uphill battle.

In 1972, Marvin came home to perform at the Kennedy Center. Petey Green, the legendary radio and television personality and I managed to work our way backstage to say hello. The first thing he said when saw me was “Now you are a politician, I am looking for you in the NFL and you show up at the White House. I still love you anyway.” We laughed and hugged and he moved on to the next group of well wishers.

I remember going to Detroit in August 1980 to cover and watch Thomas Hearns knockout Pipino Cuevas to win his first title. My first call was to an old friend Wayne Davis. Wayne worked as an undercover agent for the FBI and hailed from Newark, New Jersey. We met on the streets of DC when I was working as a “Gang Buster” for the Roving Leader Program under the DC Recreation Department.

We became fast friends and stayed in touch even after his job moved him from one city to another. His brotherly advice and wisdom helped me out of some tight spots on the mean streets of DC. If one public official had heeded my advice “The Bitch would have never sit him up.”

Wayne’s final destination was Detroit, Michigan, where he became the first black to be named Director of the FBI Field Office. When I got the hotel he picked me up and took me on a tour of the FBI Office. This was a brother who kept it real and never forgot who he was and where he came from.

I called Marvin and invited him to join us on the tour but when I told him we where going to tour the FBI Building and who Wayne was he begged off and said laughingly “They might keep me. I will see you guys tonight.”

It would be in Las Vegas in September 1979 Marvin would surprise me at a weigh-in for Sugar Ray Leonard. The fighter Ray was facing was undefeated, Andy Price was owned and managed by Marvin.

Marvin was riding high and talking shit that his fighter was going to knock Ray out. He even said, “Harold after Andy knocks out Sugar Ray you can come and work for me.” We laughed he was in such good spirits. He loved being in this element. After the ceremonial weigh-in we made plans to meet for breakfast after the fight and hang out for a minute together.

With all of his success Marvin was still a loner there was no entourage or groupies following him around. The night of the fight Marvin was scheduled to sing the National Anthem. That would be his highlight for evening. Sugar Ray knocked Price out in the first round. Marvin was stunned and so was the crowd in attendance. I figured Ray would beat Price but I never expected a first round knockout.

Marvin’s next move surprised me further. He found me at the press conference and said “Don’t forget we are having breakfast in the morning.” I could see he was hurting and embarrassed by his fighter’s performance but he wanted me to know breakfast was still on. Marvin was still for real and had a heart of gold.

We had breakfast the next morning in one of Caesar’s Palace’s restaurants at 10:00 am. It would be close to lunch time when we finished talking about DC and how far we both had come from the East Capitol street projects.

We laughed about him hearing me on radio one Saturday evening as he was headed out of town and how proud it made him feel. He again brought up seeing me on television at the White House with President Nixon. He said “I could not believe my eyes.” It was then I told him I was seriously thinking about running for the DC City Council seat in Ward 7 where we once lived. Marvin’s response was ‘If you feel it do it and if I can help just call me. We need our own people in office.’ He said, ‘Harold I have traveled the world but it is nothing like home and family.’

I reminded Marvin in Vegas about the Detroit trip and my conversation with him, he said “Harold I don’t even remember talking to you and I thought I made the fight. I was probably in my other world.”

There were two things we never discussed, his drug problem or his strange relationship with his father. The topics were never broached, I didn’t do drugs and I had no relationship with my father. Case closed.

After breakfast he invited me to attend a Diana Ross concert with him later that evening. We met in the hotel lobby for the first show and Marvin had an usher take me to a seat right in front of the stage. He disappeared after giving me his numbers where I could reach him if I needed him.

I thought he had left the theatre until midway through her show Diana said “I want to introduce my baby who has joined us this evening.” I was looking for her to introduce one of her children, when she said ‘The one of a kind Marvin Gaye.’ Marvin was standing in the back of the theatre in a corner by himself when the spotlight found him. He received a standing ovation.

Once I got back to DC I called to thank him for his hospitality he had shown me in Las Vegas. He said ‘It was about time my brother, I also enjoyed the quiet time we spend talking about our hometown. By the way I am getting out of boxing, this shit is too hard’ we both laughed. That was the last time I spoke with him.

I will never forget where I was when I heard that Marvin’s father had shot and killed him in Los Angeles. I was driving on Southern Avenue in southeast Washington, DC listening to WHUR Radio. There was a news flash that said “Marvin Gaye shot and killed in Los Angeles.”

I was on the way to Southeast Community Hospital. My brother Earl a 16 year veteran of the DC Police Metropolitan Department had been involved in a head on collision on the way to work a week earlier and the prognosis was he was not expected to live.

Now I am getting more bad news that Marvin was dead. I pulled off to the side of the road and cried for several minutes until an ambulance siren brought me back to reality. Marvin’s father had made himself, the judge, the jury and the executioner.

“Brother, brother, brother, everybody thinks we are wrong, but who are they to judge us simply because we wear our hair long. What’s going on?”

 

 

 

Frank Williams: When Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last!

By Harold Bell 

Former fiery and controversial major league baseball manager Leo “The Lip” Durocher was once told by a reporter that he would win more games if he was nicer to the umpires and his players, Leo’s response, “Nice Guys Finish Last.”   

Leo never met Frank Williams.  Frank never finished last in his life.  He was a class act as a father, athlete, coach and teacher.  Unlike former NBA player Charles Barkley who never wanted to be a role model,  

Frank relished and loved the idea of being a role model to his two daughters Ryann and Randi and to the hundreds of student/athletes he touched during his short coaching and teaching careers.   

If you met Frank Williams and you didn’t like him it was a good bet you didn’t like yourself.  He led by example on and off the basketball court. 

He was a product of the DC Public School system where he excelled as an outstanding basketball player at Coolidge High School and later as a starting guard at Howard University. 

Frank was a devoted teacher, coach and father who instilled in his students the importance of receiving an education, working hard and being a leader in the community. Throughout his childhood, these ideals were fostered in Frank by his parents and teachers in the District of Columbia Public Schools. Eventually, they would become the focus of his work with young people and lead him to a life dedicated to serving others. 

It was never about him even when he won the city championship.  He was a guest on my talk show Inside Sports and all he could talk about was the contributions of his players and the support of the Coolidge High School family.  He even praised his beaten opponent.  I was impressed because we were living in “The Me Generation.”  

Frank Williams understood that when you help others you help yourself.  Some folks just don’t get it. 

Throughout his life, “the pigeon toed ball handler and flashy playmaker” was known as a hard worker and an excellent teacher of the game of basketball. During his tenure as the head basketball coach at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, DC, 95% of his students attended college and went on to serve the community in a variety of capacities.   

For Frank, this was more important than any of the other honors bestowed upon him. In May of 1987, at the age of 43, Frank lost his life to brain cancer.  There is some truth to the saying “the good sometimes die young.” 

His hard work and devotion to his student/athletes was never more apparent than when a who’s who of the DC basketball community came out and paid their last respects to him at his home going service.  It was one of the hottest days of the month and you could hardly move in the sea of people who lined the block where his services were being held. 

His colleague, community advocate and native Washingtonian, Sam Newman, said it best, “Frank Williams epitomized all of the characteristics outlined by his family for successful awardees-success on the field, exhibit strong leadership qualities, a commitment to education and serving the community.  I had no business on a basketball court but got to know Frank, well, while playing football with a group of guys calling themselves The Wild Bunch during the early 70s.  Frank’s commitment to be one of the best on and off the field was readily discernible.  The scholarship Fund and the Two-Mile Walk are fitting tributes to a fine and devoted teacher, coach, father, husband and a friend to all.”  

Frank’s legacy was honored through the naming of the Frank R. Williams Activity Center at his alma mater, Coolidge High School, and inductions into the D.C. Coaches Association and the Howard University Athletics Hall of Fame. 

On Saturday May 15, 2010 the Frank Williams Scholarship fund will sponsor a two-mile walk at his alma mater Coolidge High School.  

His wife, Helen Williams, and daughters, Ryann and Randi, started the Frank R. Williams Scholarship Fund, Inc. to share his ideals with future generations of student athletes.  

The mission of the Fund is to provide financial support to Calvin Coolidge High School (Washington, D.C.) senior student athletes who are seeking higher education. Awardees must display success on the field, exhibit strong leadership qualities and a commitment to education as well as servicing their community.  Instead of being like Mike be like Frank Williams.

For more information on how to participate in this worth while endeavor or to make a donation follow the link to frwsf@frwfund.com and keep hope alive for some child who does not wish to finish last in the Game Called Life.

 

A Mixed Bag: Devil, Angel and Mayor!

By Harold Bell

In the month of April I watched three friends of Kids In Trouble, Inc., and Inside Sports profiled on local and national television.  First there was former boxer Dirrik Holmes and singing phenom Stacy Lattisaw stories aired on Fox TV 5 News.  On Sunday April 25th Dateline NBC spotlighted Mayor Dave Bing and how he plans to save his “Dead On Arrival” adopted hometown of Detroit. 

All three stories are the spiritual rewards of people reaching out to help others.  In the 70s and 80s Dave, Stacy and Dirrik were all affiliated with Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports.  One was a kid in trouble, and the other two were just reaching out and back to help kids in trouble. 

Back in the day (any time before the 90’s) a do-wop vocalist group out of Washington, DC calling themselves The Clovers released a classic titled “Devil or Angel,” which inspired the title for this story.  

The interviews on Fox 5 television with Dirrik and Stacy brought a smile to my face and memories of days gone by.  The Dateline story on Dave Bing made me a proud mentor and friend.  In the 70s and 80s Dirrik and Stacy were at the top of their games and professions and Dave was an NBA All-Star.   

Inside Sports was the #1 sports talk show in DC and Kids In Trouble, Inc., was the #1 community based youth advocate group.  The two programs were the first to encouraged pro athletes, entertainers and radio and television personalities to get involved to help improve the plight of inner-city children. 

Celebrity tennis and golf tournaments and fashion shows sponsored by Kids In Trouble, Inc., and Inside Sports evolved from the two programs.  Dirrik and Stacey were two of the program’s fashion show models and Dave reached back to take several kids in trouble to his basketball camp in the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania.  All three were the faces of hope for Kids In Trouble. 

Other personalities and participants included Red Auerbach, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Sonny Hill Adrian Dantley, Sam Jones, Austin Carr, Adrian Branch, Len Bias (NBA), Roy Jefferson, Freddy Scott, Tim Baylor, Doug Williams (NFL), Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard (Boxing), Johnny Gant (Boxing), Robert Hooks (Actor), Martin Wyatt, Fred Thomas, Paul Berry, Maureen Bunyan, Jim Vance (TV Media), Donnie Simpson (Radio), John Thompson (Georgetown U.) and the list goes on and on. 

WETA television producer Jacqueline Toldt  produced “Washington in the 70s” during Black History Month 2010.  The show was misleading in that it had nothing to do with Black History.  In fact, it appears that she made every effort to exclude Black History.   

Ms. Toldt must have had her head in the sand.  The content of the show proved she knows nothing about “Washington in the 70s.”  Anyone living in DC during that era (black or white) was aware that the Nation’s Capitol was known all over the world as “Chocolate City.”  It was never mentioned during the hour long program.  The impact and contributions made by the above personalities were never cited. 

How could you be in DC during the 70s and not know that WOL Radio was the flagship station with WHUR running a close second with “The Quiet Storm” radio show host Melvin Lindsey?  WHFS FM in Bethesda, Maryland was not even on the radar screen. 

How could you not know that Kids In Trouble was making a difference all over the city with Washington Redskin players Larry Brown, Roy Jefferson, Harold McLinton and Ted Vactor?  Warner Wolf (TV 9) and Harold Bell ruled on air sports talk in the 70s! 

It looks like the only qualification to be an Executive Producer at WETA is to have a driver’s license!  She is further proof we must keep our own history. 

In the 70s, Dirrik Holmes and Sugar Ray Leonard were the darlings of amateur boxing in the DC area.  Dirrik was a champion right out of the box.  He won the Junior division of the Golden Gloves in 1969 his first year on the boxing scene for the Kentland Boxing program.  He then moved from Kentland to the Palmer Park, Maryland program.  

His success led his friend and now boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard to join him on the team.  Ray’s brother Roger Leonard was also a member of a program that was considered one of the best in the country.  Dirrick and Roger were considered the best boxers on the team during that era, but Ray was coming on fast. 

According to boyhood friend Irvin Millard the workouts between Sugar Ray Leonard and Dirrik Holmes were toe-to-toe knock down and drag out classics.  There were many times Dirrik gave better than he received.  There was little or no animosity or jealousy among the fighters during this era.  They were just two great competitors who were close friends in and out of the ring. 

Dirrik was riding high after winning a Gold Medal at a pre-Olympic tournament in Montreal in 1975, but his life would never be the same after the 1976 Olympic trials.  He would make a bad decision that would turn his world upside down.   

The name Charles Mooney an Olympic hopeful will forever be etched in the mind of Dirrik Holmes.  Dirrik would lose a controversial decision to Mooney leading up to the U. S. Olympic Games in 1976. 

The devastating lost to Mooney still haunts Dirrik  today some 34 years later.  He keeps the photo that shows Mooney looking like the loser that he was but miss guided officials gave him the decision anyway. 

One bad decision would lead to another.  The next bad decision by Dirrik was of his own doing and would cost him 23 years of his life in jail.  He turned to drugs after losing to Mooney and the drugs would become his sparring partner, trainer, friend and his biggest opponent. 

In the meantime Dirrik along with Ray got involved with Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports via celebrity fashion shows. 

The lost to Mooney was nothing compared to watching his close friend and sparring partner Sugar Ray Leonard go on to win a Gold Medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.  Sugar Ray’s boxing success would lead him into the boxing Hall of Fame and Dirrik’s boxing failure would lead him to jail. 

Sugar Ray Leonard had his own problems after his fairy tale win in Montreal.  On his return to his home in Palmer Park newspaper headlines screamed and read “Sugar Ray Leonard has baby out of wedlock with high school sweetheart.”  Ray hid in his home for weeks and refused to come out until I went over and coaxed him out. 

Dirrik problems led him to drugs and he became a kid in trouble.  He had a flair and confident air about him and he took pride in being one of the fashion show’s top dressers.  In 1983, all hell broke loose when I heard he had been arrested and charged with attempted murder and armed robbery in Clinton, Maryland.  I called his friend and promoter Nat Williams and he confirmed the story.  I felt responsible because I never saw it coming. 

He was found guilty in 1984 and he would spend the next 23 years in jail, 5 of those years would be served in the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore, MD and 18 years in the Maryland Correctional Center in Hagerstown, MD.  Baltimore and Hagerstown are in the top ten of the worst penal institutions in America.  He has really been to hell and back. 

The sentence never made sense to me.  I have seen some first degree murder convictions and the accused were never given half the sentence Dirrick was given for attempted murder.  This is known as Just Us and Justice in America’s judicial system.  Money buys Justice and a court appointed attorney buys jail time for Just Us.   

Black men in America make up over half of the inmate population and we are only 13% of the entire population!  America has the highest prison population in the world and black men are the backbone and foundation of the penal system. 

Dirrik wants to try to save kids in trouble by giving advice and teaching lessons in the Game Called Life using boxing as a vehicle.  He does not want children to experience the hard knocks that await them in the criminal justice system.  He has already been there and done that.  There are not many of us who could survive 23 years in two of the toughest prisons in America.  His story can save lives. 

He believes by going up stream to fish the children out he will save and catch more children than having to wait to fish them out at the river’s end.  Dirrik says, “We must be more about prevention instead waiting around and re-acting after the fact.” 

Long before Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna there was Stacy Lattisaw.  She was a star at the tender age of 10 and at the age 12 she had signed a recording contract. 

She was never a kid in trouble thanks to her two parents (Jerome and Saundra Lattisaw) who had her back.  Jerome and I grew up together in a housing project in Northeast DC called Parkside.  Stacy’s success never carried her far away from the NE community her father grew up in just to the other side of the railroad tracks by choice. 

Jerome and Saundra are the prototype parents who are missing from our homes today, parents who have their children’s best interest at heart.  Stacy has found peace of mind in the spiritual sounds of gospel music.  Stacy’s first big hit was “Let Me Be Your Angel” and she has been that and more. 

Dave Bing grew up in a tough Northeast DC neighborhood and barely escaped the pitfalls (drugs and jail) of many of his friends.  Today he is the Mayor of a city in crisis but he thinks he can make a difference and bring a dying city back to life.  His task can best be described in basketball terms, he is driving to the basket and there is Bill Russell on one side and Wilt Chamberlain on the other!  Don’t count Dave Bing out.  He has always found a way out of no way. 

Dave, Stacy and Dirrik are role models in the Game Called Life.  They are reaching back to help others in their own way---each with the style of a champion. 

KIT Celebrity Fashion Show: Stacy and Dirrik 

Dave Bing and Harold Bell

 

My Love/Hate Affair With My Country


 

By Scottie Lowe

I am to be counted among the small percentage of the population who harbors a simultaneous deep love and a heart-wrenching disappointment with my country.  I can’t say that I hate my country by any stretch of the imagination because I adore the people, places, and events that have shaped my identity but to suggest that I have a God-Bless-America-Of-Thee-I-Sing blanket patriotism would be disingenuous as well.  I love my nation but I see her flaws and shortcomings.  I do not hate my country but I hate some of the aspects of it that taint its supposed greatness.  I see myself first and foremost as a citizen of the world; my life and my story are reflected in the eyes of people from all around the globe.  I’m not of the belief that man-made borders make the particular land I was born on more sacred; more deserving of peace, or that this soil somehow grants its inhabitants greater rights than any other human being.  I can’t wear red, white, and blue colored glasses and wrap myself in Old Glory, blinded by visions of apple pie and baseball that distract me from the harsh realities of this country’s past, and present injustices.

I live in a country that I willingly acknowledge affords me personal freedoms that I take for granted every minute of every day.  I love that I have a constitutional right to practice any religion under the sun in this country.  Hell, I can create my own religion, recruit members, and be tax-exempt in this country if I so choose and it’s perfectly legal and I don’t have to worship in secret or fear late night storming paratroopers arresting and torturing me for my beliefs.  I detest the fact that the commonly held perception is that this is a Christian nation and that oppressive, repressed, and tyrannical religious zealots have decided that their moral misinterpretations of the bible are the standards by which I should be judged.  The only voices considered valid in discussions of faith are those who claim that Christianity is the only, true, and right religion for America and that the vast majority of my fellow citizens have no respect for my first amendment rights to religious freedom.

I love my country and the unparalleled sense of community and togetherness that arises when we face collective tragedy.  I also love that I can speak my mind without fear of prosecution.  I hate the fact that when I use my God-given common sense, logic, reason, research, and information to suggest that there are factors that surround September 11th that don’t add up, I’m persecuted and labeled a lunatic, conspiracy theorist, and unpatriotic.  I will never forget the innocent lives lost on that fateful day but I don’t think those lives have more value than those lost during Hurricane Katrina or those lost en masse anywhere else in the world for that matter.  I mourn for the families of those that died, and even those that survived but I recognize that millions upon millions of enslaved Africans who were kidnapped and enslaved and brought to this country have no monument, have no movie, no lobbyists in Congress, have no yellow ribbons on SUVs for their loss of life, liberty, and their pursuit of happiness.

I feel safe in knowing that I have the right to own a gun to defend myself even though I have not even the tiniest inkling to do so.  Gun violence has proven itself to be an epidemic in this country and radical militias are plotting at this moment to kill people like me because their particular brand of patriotism deems me expendable in their pursuit of a purer nation state so that safety seems a tad bit misplaced but I accept that I have the right to bear arms.  I’d much rather live in a nation where differences are celebrated and respected, where people can live comfortably in their own skin without the need to try to control, dictate, or annihilate anyone who makes them mad or disagrees with them.  I understand that there are nations in this world where I couldn’t even express my displeasure without imprisonment or worse so for that I love my country.

I appreciate the fact that I can live freely as a woman in the United States without fear of having my genitals mutilated, state sanctioned rape, or being considered a second class citizen just because I possess a uterus.  I’m troubled by the fact that I can’t turn on the television or radio without being insulted or denigrated for my gender.  I hate the fact that misogyny is a multi-billion dollar form of entertainment in this country.

Unlike some other places on earth, I have the right to love anyone I desire, regardless of their gender here.  Regrettably, I don’t have a right to marry whom I choose because some people believe that I will infringe upon their heterosexual rights if I do.  I’m not gay.  I’m not even sure I will ever have an overwhelming need to get married again.  I just can’t stomach the fact that a country that proclaims to want the tired, poor, and huddled masses from all over the world doesn’t have tolerance and acceptance for our very own neighbors who want to share in a committed, loving relationship with all the benefits and privileges thereof.  The very same people who claim that homosexuals are immoral and promiscuous are the ones who are working to ensure that they can’t ascribe to matrimonial monogamy.  It’s difficult to understand why in this great land, we can’t live and let live.

I feel incredibly blessed to live in a country where I have a right to choose what to do with my reproductive body.  Right to lifers in this country not only want to take my ability to control my body away from me, they also want to ensure that my child and I won’t have access to adequate affordable healthcare, housing, education, and opportunity.  Their concern for my fetus ends when I give birth.  Then, it becomes their mission to see that I’m denied every social benefit that ensures the well-being of my offspring and the community at large.  It’s precisely that hypocrisy that infuriates me about the USA.

There can be no question that the U.S. stands alone as the richest, most alluring country in the world.  People from other nations see this as the Promised Land.  It’s here they want to move and migrate in order to realize their dreams of wealth and prosperity with vision of streets of gold and the land of milk and honey.  My country has laws in place to ensure that I don’t have to toil in a sweatshop for a month and only bring home $7.00.   The United States protects my rights if I’m injured on the job, if an employer harasses me, if I lose my job, and when I retire.  The people of the United States, a very large portion of them rather, want to demonize people who come to this country in pursuit of a better life in this country.  The disdain and hatred for undocumented workers, who work in jobs no one else would want, who receive a mere pittance in exchange for back breaking labor, and who have no rights as even human beings let alone employees is was makes me ashamed of my country.  With all the wealth, with all the resources this country has, the greed and selfishness of people who think there isn’t enough to go around and who actually feel justified in their beliefs that we should build a wall to prevent people from having access to providing for their families is despicable.

I love that here in America I have access to museums and libraries and some of the best educational institutions in the world.  I am incredibly blessed by the fact that my friends are from virtually every corner of the globe; I belong to a community of activists and artists who are passionate about fighting for justice, diversity, and truth.  As an American citizen I can vote and participate in the political process however liberal my agendas.  I hate that my ancestors had to shed their blood and in many instances, give their lives in order for me to be a part of that process.  My heart soars that I could be a part of an election in a country with such an odious history of racism elected an altogether brilliant man of color to this nation’s highest office.  I hate that racism is at the core of the right-wing criticisms against him.  I love that I reside in a country where the freedom of speech is protected.  I hate that Fox News isn’t seen for the hate-filled, racist, liars that they are and shut down with public outrage and a demand for more fair and accurate reporting.    I love the sweet summer peaches of Georgia and the electricity of New York City at 4 a.m.  I love the heartbeat of Washington D.C. and the shrimp etouffee of N’awlins.  The music and culture of Miami’s Latino population infuse me with vitality and I’m equally moved by the traditions and food of the Chinese people of San Francisco.  There’s nothing better than waking up on a brisk Chicago spring morning and going running by the lake.  I love the Midwestern fields flowing with amber waves of grain and the purple mountains with their majestic views of my homeland, I love the Redwoods, the Grand Canyon, and the flowing Mississippi River.  I hate the fact that the indigenous people of this land have been marginalized and disenfranchised with the acts of genocide that have been ignored and erased from the history books.  I love Florence, South Carolina where I would go in the summer and spend time with my cousins and get bitten by mosquitoes the size of quarters and eat the best food I’ve ever tasted at The Thunderbird Inn.

I hate the projects of the inner cities where people are piled on top of each other like rats with no plan to provide them with affordable, decent housing, as if they deserve to live like that simply because they are poor.  I hate the segregation of the south where Blacks are kept in their place with imaginary boundaries and intentional mis-education.  I hate that the soil of the south is stained with the blood of my ancestors who hung from the trees like strange fruit for the entertainment of others.

I love my country because it is my home.  To be born in this time, in this place is to be considered fortunate.  Simply because I am a United States inhabitant, I know that my voice has a greater opportunity to be heard and, moreover, respected around the globe.  Listening to the American art forms of jazz, the blues, and Negro spirituals soothes my soul.  If only they weren’t born of the horrendous history of chattel slavery that has been sanitized to appear little more than a mistake and not one of the most egregious acts of terror against humanity that it really was.

Our founding fathers saw fit to ensure that each and every person born in this nation had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  The irony that plagues me is that during that very time individuals with beautiful black skin were considered 3/5ths of a human being, little more than animals, who labored to make this country the wealthiest in the world.  I want desperately to love my country because it is the bastion of principles that it proclaims. Oh were it truly the land of the free and the home of the brave with liberty and justice for all.  Sadly, they are empty clichés.  Injustice reigns freely from sea to shining sea based on race, gender, income level, physical ability, age, and sexual orientation.  I can’t, in good consciousness, give my unconditional love to a nation that perpetuates wars on concepts where innocent people are victims of capitalist agendas but I can love the potential for my United States of America, a beautiful jewel with flawed facets, to live out its mission so that all its children might be one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Scottie Lowe is an author, activist, and she is also the creator of www.AfroerotiK.com.

 

 

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