Thursday, November 19, 2009

"The Price of Freedom: A Forgotten Charge"

I struggled with my decision to bring children into this world. A world that is so filled with ignorance, hatred, and prejudice. A world that's poised to judge them, my beautiful black boys, simply on the color of their skin before they even speak their first articulate, carefully chosen words. I often wonder what our ancestors were made of. I'm already tired of fighting. I'm tired of the dualism; I'm tired of having to be "Billy" at the office, or at work functions, and switching to my natural self when I'm at home, or in the car. Now one else has to do this delicate dance between social standards in subcultures and communities at large but minorities, and I'm tired.

As I watched "The Great Debaters", I was gripped by the intensity of the clashing scenes between the white and black actors. I was taken back by my tears because I didn't think it would affect me the way it did. At the end of the movie, one of the main characters quoted St. Augustine. He stated that according to St. Augustine "an unjust law is not a law at all". He went on to say that we have a duty to meet unjust laws with violence and/or civil disobedience, and that the audience, mostly white, should pray that he chose the latter. At that moment when those words were muttered, I started sobbing. It was a quiet intense I understand sob. I sob that said we are still fighting and resisting. And it also said that we're getting tired. Those emotions threw me in a tailspin, and I began to think about the number of minorities in jails, or hooked on drugs, etc. Have they forgotten who they are? Were they ever told? Do they not know their legacy?

We are the ultimate team, who were and still are the underdogs; however, we have started to gain ground and it looks like the game is about to be tied 3 to 3 in a seven game series. We are the only people in history that has had to ascend from the bottom to the top, and we have met that challenge in less than 4 generations. To achieve that enormous feat, we have incurred tremendous casualties, and we have lost several MVPs that were critical to our ascension. It is that price, paid for by the fears, tears, and blood of our ancestors, that we have forgotten. The charge for such a tremendous feat has been simply marked paid with no thought to the check writer, and no reconciliation of gratefulness, humility, and gratitude with the Bank of Spirit that has kept us for being insufficiently funded, and has allowed us to enjoy a bounceless freedom. It is a bank that doesn't charge us for our inactivity, or a dormancy fee for our lack of deposit of community service, agitation, and selflessness.

The above my friends is the price of freedom that we're riding on daily. Quite simply, not having to pay the toll in awhile is no excuse for not knowing the charge and reconciling one's soul with the Bank of Spirit because after all, the spirit is suppose to abide and rest within us. People often wonder how our community has gotten into this situation. It's not a mystery to me. If you don't reconcile with your past and deposit something into the Bank of Spirit, you have nothing to sustain you, which leaves you where most of us are, hopeless and bankrupt.

Remember this, when you're bankrupt, and you get that slip from the bank that states NSF, don't be surprised. After all, spending what others have saved without depositing anything yourself leaves Nothing Stored for the Future! And we're worried about acquiring a "Jesus Piece"? How ironic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Wake Up"

Two weeks ago, I took my wife to see the movie "Good Hair" presented by Chris Rock. Rock talks about the black hair business as a whole and the billions of dollars that it generates. He then goes on to show the flow of these billions of dollars out of the black community and into the pockets of the Koreans, Indians, Malaysians, and Chinese. As stated in the movie, no where in American culture but in the black community is another ethnic group allowed to set up shop and make millions off of another group. Rock went on to say that typically, if any other group tried to set up shop in a Korean, or Chinese neighbor, they would be forced out after being petitioned against. If that method to stop the business opening did not work, the neighborhood would simply not patronize the store, and force it to close. In the case of the hair "weave" business, a black person can not even get into the business if they wanted too because the Indians will not even sell hair to a non-Indian. It is important to note that India is the biggest exporter of hair, and that the mark up on the hair is 125%.

Wake up people! We have been taught to hate ourselves by buying into the European concepts of beauty. That concept of beauty is not natural. In many cases, they have paid to get Brazilian tans, African American lips, butts, and hips to comprise their now "European look". It's simply not natural. We have to start embracing ourselves, culture, and beauty. Wake up people! Understand that there is nothing wrong with having different concepts about beauty, however, having an entire culture lose it's identity to assimilate is dangerous. We are all made differently and uniquely for a serious. Diversity breeds strength.

Let's see if I understand correctly; billions of dollars leaving the African American community in the haircare business not making anyone in the immediate community wealthy, and black people themselves can not get into the business if they wanted to because most of the hair exporters refuse to sell to people outside of their own ethnic group. Wow.

Wake Up!!!!! People, Wake Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

God's Talking to You

I went to bed early tonight. Around 8 o'clock to be exact. At 2 o'clock in the morning, I found myself wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. My wife woke up and asked if everything was okay. I told her it was; maybe I had gas or something since some pains were shooting in and around my abdomen and chest. Sure enough, the flatulence come and went, but I still come not sleep. Then I thought to myself, grandma and grand daddy always told me that if you can't sleep, or find yourself alone in the silence of the night, listen because God is trying to talk to you. I immediately started praying and initiated a conversation with God on my own because indeed we needed to talk.

This week was a pretty jam packed week for me at work, and so was last week. I have been going to the YMCA constantly and trying to stay healthy by eating healthy. I also have been dealing with my mother and all of her problems from unemployment to her pending foreclosure which are all problems caused directly by the bad choices that she has made. My brother and I have done everything we possibly can to get her to see she needs help to fight her alcohol addiction; however, most of those attempts fall on deaf ears and her harden heart because she feels that we, I, have abandoned her in life.

She is always the victim. According to her, not only does she not do anything to warrant so many atrocities, she feels that everyone has a problem with her because they are jealous, or don't like her because the didn't like her mother. I'm just tired of listening to the excuses and seeing the ignorance that has encapsulated her life. So my brother and I struggle now with being okay with allowing her foreclosure to happen because were are in a position to stop it. We bailed her out some many times before, and she has done nothing to change her position in life. She is still drinking and drunk most days of the week. She still has no job, but manages to afford her liquor. Meanwhile, most of her bills are two months behind along with the mortgage. We're listening God. We need your guidance.

That's just my family's saga; I have not even touched on the issues I have to be supportive of my wife on regarding her family. We simply don't have enough attention for me to go in to it all. We're listening God. We need your guidance.

I don't know what life holds for me, or my family, but I hope it always includes guidance and conversations with our heavenly counselor. And though sleep may suit me better, the day that I am not awaken in the night by the need to listen to God, I most surely will be frightened and worried about it. We all have to listen to our inner man, our spirit, that intuitive guidance that comes from within. It is important to note here that first, we have to learn to recognize what that voice sounds like. We cannot be so earthly that we forget that there is a battle going on between spirits and principalities. A battle for our souls and eternal life or eternal damnation. (Okay, that gave me goose bumps after I typed it) Listen to your inner person. Pray and learn to recognize when something better than yourself is trying to intervene in your life and impart wisdom for your benefit to edify God who may do a work for you, in you, or through you. Claw your way to his heart, or to the point in your life where you at least can recognize that God is talking. At that point, at your moment of clarity when the noise becomes a voice, it will be your choice to listen.