BLUE CODE, BLACK CODE

“Will it ever end?”

It has ben a little over 5o years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 48 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1968. And I ask the question, how much has really changed since the 1960’s. And I am not just speaking of the laws, but a relationship. A relationship between two groups of people who have shared land with each other spanning a total of 300 plus years. Yet the relationship between the two is still polarizing. And what do I mean by the two groups; I’m speaking of Black and White Americans.

Let’s start with the term White and Black Americans. I focus on this first and foremost because these two colors have been used as more of a social construct rather than a real ethnic focus. In this country we like to place emphasis on skin color, not to promote diversity, but it’s almost as if we use this to designate enemies. This is why the whole idea of radical Islam terrifies people because you really can’t put a face to the belief. But in the case of Black and White, where does this fragmented relationship come from.

I ask this question because there has been yet again another shooting of a Black male this time in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Now you’ll get some Black people on one side that say he disobeyed the police orders. And on the other side, you’ll get a few White men and women that will be on the side of the Black male shot. But for the most part Black will say innocent Black male was shot and Black Lives Matter, White will say do as you’re told and Blue Lives Matter.

I tend to believe that this reaction is more than just a coincidence. In addition, as much as the media places emphasis on this issue, it goes deeper than the television or internet. My belief is that racial bickering (and when I say race I’m not talking human race, but race socially), comes from how this country was designed. Black and White fighting isn’t the failure of America, but it’s actually the success of what the building of this country was intended for in the beginning.

To better gauge why the two ethnic groups still differ we must look at the beginning and work our way forward. In the early 1600’s, there were an original few Africans brought to what is now the United States as Indentured Servants. What does that mean? That means that they had to serve for a small period of time, serve meaning labor. After that time period was up, the indenturee was not bound by the indenture. Now what’s interesting is that there were White men and women bound to the same indentured servitude. The only problem is that the market viewpoint was that Africans were cheaper. Because slavery was coming to fruition. This meant that the Europeans who were indentured were not held forever and it was merely choice. Why invest money in them when there is a system of forced labor against ones’ will taking hold? Economically it made since, so White indentured servitude declined, while Blacks in slavery increased.

All throughout slavery, the relationship was outlined and accepted. Blacks were the underlings who served and bowed to Whites. The Whites were the masters who enforced their will and beliefs. Even the poorest of White men and women in America were still above the Blacks. Very important this previous sentence.

Why was that sentence so important about poor Whites being above Blacks. This is why. Once slavery ended, there was a lot of animosity. Not just at the idea of Black people being freed, but at the Union from the Confederate South. Confederates saw the Civil War as nothing more than a way to cripple the south and not about freeing Black people held against their will. Also very important because Abraham Lincoln himself owned slaves, yet they were not freed even with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Now how does this all fit into poor Whites.

Well after slavery, at least being White meant they had an upper hand over Blacks. But with slavery over now there is this feeling of, “really.” “You mean to tell us we are no better than them.” Factions of Whites broke off, mainly individuals still with a bitter taste over the war and the freedom of slaves. From this you have such organizations like the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan that born and rapidly spread. We see them today as a group of poor angry White men and women who can’t get over the past. But what we must realize is that in their heyday, these men and women had power, so much power that they could politically influence the presidency.

Yet, that too came to pass with the signing of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968. Once again, another monumental documentation that left mixed feelings not only from White people, but Black as well. Keep this in mind about Black people getting angry. We will discuss this later in detail as to why Black people might be upset about the ending of Jim Crow. As for now, with the ending of Jim Crow, there was also another problem brewing. This problem was something no one saw coming. That was the issue of narcotics entering the Black community. After Jim Crow ended, prosperity looked promising, but instead there was an era of drugs and crime taking shape in Black communities nationwide. Mixed with the lack of jobs and various other opportunities post Jim Crow, young Black males turned to selling drugs as a way into generating an income.

Well you ask yourself, what about all those good Black fathers? Around this time another problematic systemic policy took hold in the Black community, and that was the welfare system. A policy that doled-out government funding to working poor mothers. The catch was the father couldn’t be present. So now you have narcotics, fatherless homes, and young boys with no guidance. This was a perfect recipe for disaster. This was an in, an in for what would be described as a new era of Jim Crow relationships.

Law enforcement was brought into the equation, and not just any. Cities like Los Angeles and Oakland recruited police preferably from southern cities who had experience dealing with Black people. Note how I said experience with dealing with Blacks. This was not a very good relationship and would create a new host of problems. After heroine hit from the late 1960’s to the late 1970’s, powder cocaine in the 1970’s into the 1980’s came next. From the 1980’s into the 1990’s a new drug hit called Crack Cocaine. So here you go, young Black males with absentee parents, policed by predominantly White male cops, and both having views of each other over throughout history already. Black males finding themselves growing up in the middle of gang and drug zones and police who didn’t discern between those who were criminal and those who weren’t. 

This all brings us to today. With the recent shootings from the police we ask ourselves, what’s the end game. There seems to not be one because every time it seems the White, Black relationship is getting better something else pops up. But remember when I said after Jim Crow, there were Black and Whites upset. Well for the Black people who were upset you look back. Blacks had their own schools, hospitals, banks, small businesses, and host of other jobs during segregation. Fast forward to today, and it seems things are worst now. So in a way there seems to be this discontent feeling. Maybe ending Jim Crow was a bad idea considering we had our own stuff then. Once we became equals we relinquished a lot and became fragmented.

Whatever the case may be, with this latest shooting, it seems like that clock has been set back yet again. From my understanding, it has to do with a feeling. To change people’s mindset, you have to change sentiment. That is a lot harder to do. How do you get Black and White people on the same page? You have to eliminate the terms White and Black from the American psyche. So much so that when a Black or White person look at each other we see American, and not a hue. How do you do that in a country where we have been made to feel like opposites for so long. I wish I knew; I truly wish I knew.

Bullying: Sorry Kids It Doesn’t Stop At Childhood

The topic of school bullying has been a subject of debate over the recent years. But it’s not your conventional that has taken hold in society. Cyber bullying is now added to the list of bullying categories. That’s right, now children are resorting to attacks via social media as a way to further ostracize and embarrass their fellow schoolmates. For the longest bullying has been a bigger stronger kid takes your lunch money and/or chases you home from school. Now kids are creating Facebook groups and posting Instagram photos of their schoolmate in compromising positions. Because it’s not enough for kids at school to see, now the world has to know.

You would think I would write about the negative impact this has on a child’s life. But I have chosen to write about the fact that it doesn’t stop after you leave school. The bullying doesn’t stop there, it continues into adulthood. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not bullying like loosing your lunch money or getting beat up, but people screw with you on more of a business level. Let’s take a look at celebrities for a moment.

A woman like Hollywood actress Leslie Jones faced such harsh criticism for her role in the new Ghostbusters film. What’s crazy is that people ganged up on her, but they would never attack a major boss at a studio. People attack those they feel they can touch.  We go after the athlete of entertainer because it’s an easy attack. We know we’re powerless to effect change at a much higher level. So in this regard it becomes easy to attack the face, rather than the boss. It’s easy to tell the public figure apologize, but not the guy higher up. That’s because it’s a bully mentality; only bullies go after people they feel they can touch, never anyone bigger.

Then that means bullying exist in other realms of society, like the workplace. The workplace has a high school sort of feel where everyone has their nuclear group. These individuals clique together, and disassociate from those not in their inner circle. They’ll at times get together in their group and gossip about those not in the group. Yet they utter words they’ll never say to the person’s face. But for some reason people feel since it’s impersonal and indirect it’s ok. But since we’re on the topic of work, why not upper levels of the workplace. That’s right, in the workplace, sometimes it’s not your coworkers, but rather the boss who screws with you on a more business level. For example, I was once asked on a job what process was I comfortable using. I wasn’t choosing a comfortable process, but one that was told to me. But confronting the matter could have gotten me written up. So you have to deal with the fact that your employer tries to make you feel incompetent.

Well let’s go a little bit deeper, how about relationships. Is their bullying in a relationship; of course there is? In relationships, your job is not to tell someone what they better do or don’t do, rather what you don’t go for in the situation. But for some reason men and women are dealing with someone controlling them; what they wear, what they eat, and when they leave the house. Yet since it comes from a loved one, we don’t perceive it to be controlling. When in actuality, they would never go attack someone seen as stronger.

So as you can see, bullying is not only in school, but other facets of life as well. We try to dismiss these occurrences, but they effect you more than school because it lasts longer. School is a small part of your life, but work, relationships; these are much greater in life. So I am not saying allow school bullying, all I’m saying is teach kids that these people will come bac full circle. And once you become an adult your life will encompass dealing with them. Maybe not fighting and having valuables taken from you, but more personal and business matters.

Losing Mentalities

“I’ve been meaning to, I’ve been wanting to, I’ve always wanted to, I’ve been thinking about….”

It’s interesting how so many people want to be successful, but they are not willing to put in the time. The same line comes from their mouths: I’m thinking about or I’ve had this idea to. It never formulates into anything that leads anywhere. There is a reason why because they never were going to do it anyways. For some odd reason people have this mentality that is either a losing mentality or the idea of living in this fantasy world. They sit around and daydream about what they could be, yet never put in the time to make it work. It took me until I became an adult to realize that some people are not meant to do well in life. Some people need the conformity in their lives where they’re being told what to do.

Then you have the bunch that just won’t do anything even getting a job being bossed around. What do I mean a job being bossed around and told what to do. I’m talking about not following your passion. Where are you here on earth? What is it you’re meant to do. There are so many who will live their entire lives; their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s never knowing what their life truly meant. But you have one life on this planet and one life only. Make it count because when those lights go out they go out forever. So what is keeping people from pursuing their true passions.

A strong reason that points to so many people not living to their full potential is family and friends. You would think fear plays a role, yet that is such a small aspect. We live in fear, mainly of failure. But failure is one of those things that only is a given, but expected and accepted. Plus that failure is worth it if you learn from your lesson the second time around. The thing with family is a few hurdles you run into. Number one, you assume that since it’s coming from friends and family, then they must be giving you advice that’s good for you. Yes and no. Yes because these are the people in your life who look out for you most. On the other hand friend and family or neither; no one should push you into a path unless they know you internally. Meaning, if they don’t know what drives you as well as you skills you possess, then it’s an assumption. Now you can follow their guidance, but if you do and aren’t content with the outcomes it’s your fault. Because ultimately it’s your life. And no one wants to claim responsibility for your unhappiness.

Number two reason, if you are taught to listen to your family, especially parents, disobeying your family may be a good or bad decision. And that is something no one tells you about being an adult and following your dreams. Sometimes you may have to disobey to be happy in life. That ultimate freedom and happiness cannot be replaced with any amount of money on earth. You want ti still be able to care your yourself, but no amount of money is worth your happiness.

Who Really Owns Our Country?

“United States of Saudi America.”

Congress met and proposed a bill that will allow September 11th victims access to file lawsuits against Saudi Arabia for harboring those linked to the World Trade Towers, The Pentagon, as well as the passengers deaths on the airlines. Saudi Arabia came back and decided to put out a statement saying that if America passed such bill, they would unload as much as $750 billion of American assets into the open market. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I have some questions regarding the Saudi’s response. Why do they own three quarters of a trillion dollars of American assets? And what are these assets connected to: land, natural resources, currency, our debt of other nations, or us the people. Could it be our land?

Land makes a lot of sense to me. Since America was founded, the land has been in use to mainly grow crop and sell domestically; occasional international sales. Is it possible that they own the very land we are living on? Interesting because I’ll see these men walking around with their rifles in hand saying going on about their first amendment. Stating that no one will take their guns nor their land. But if the land is the most valuable resource, then what land on yours are these men with guns referring to? If the Saudis own so much money in assets, and the land is the asset, are they majority American land owners? Maybe the reason the militarization of the police is such because the government has to protect it’s debtors assets. Can’t have groups of Americans running around town with guns, ruining the investment of it’s Allie.

Well, what if not land and instead the asset is natural resources. I mean America is leading the world in the production of so many minerals like copper, iron, bauxite, and coal. In addition the USA has large quantities of nickel, gold, and silver. Saudi Arabia on the other hand is also a major in the production of copper, iron, gold, and petroleum. So if the assets are $750 billion owned, how much are in our natural resources? so much of our infrastructure is dependent on the construction industry, energy, and forestry. But wait a minute, America has oil fields as well; with fishing as a major industry as well. What if a great deal of these resources are owned by the Saudis? This means they are the drivers behind so much of our employment in these various industries. What does the future of America jobs means under this type of ownership?

What about for instance our currency? The American dollar has been strong for decades, but has been surpassed by a few currencies (Euro and British Pound). Could that be the asset? The Saudi Arabians may own a lot of our dollars. With this being true, it could mean all kinds of financial implications for the United States. Our dollars being effected could mean the market place going haywire. As a matter of fact when the Saudis threatened to release $750 billion of US assets the US government also warned of the windfall on the world economy if this were to happen. This also means our dollars as well as global dollars of other nations as well.

But wait a minute, did I say other nation’s currencies. In addition to owing debt, Americans are debt holders as well. Well, who are those debt holders? The majority of the countries that owe the United States in debt are European nations. But the biggest countries are China and Japan. The total global debt owed to the USA is around $6 trillion. With America holding so much debt and Saudi Arabia holding our debt, then I understand the American government’s concern. This could not only cause global problems, but adversaries for Saudi Arabia as well. Some which Saudi Arabia may not want.

Now let’s think for a second, we have went through all the checklist of what they could own. But there is still something open. That open asset that Saudi Arabia could own would be manpower or us as the people. Now I know you’re thinking, come on, why would America give it’s people to their allies. Well, let me give you a little bit of a history lesson. There was something called slavery in which people were owned and forced into subjugation. Forced to work the land for free making America the richest nation on Earth when it ended. Could it be that slavery is still here, just in another form. Could it be that our hard working time put into our jobs is really to make Saudi Arabia a better nation? Hopefully not, because if so, we are nothing more than slaves, given the illusion that this is our country. An illusion that has been kept up by speculation and promises. Promises that will never be delivered.

Our Deepest Fears: What Marianne’s Words Meant To Me.

“Our Deepest fears are not that we are inadequate…”

The author Marianne Williamson stated in her novel A Return to Love that, “Our deepest fears are not that we are inadequate.” “Our deepest fears is that we are powerful beyond measure it is our light not our darkness that’s most frightens us.” The entire passage is one that I have come to know by heart because the meaning behind the words resonate so much with me. The quote prior resonates because you would think people would be afraid of their failures in life, yet it is success that scares them the most.

Well why does success scare people so much? Is it that they won’t be able to handle the attention that comes with it? Or is it the idea that the more you give to people the more they want; and you fear not being able to satisfy their need? Marianne went to answer these questions by saying, “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous.” “Actually who are you not to be?” Which only meant, when you look into the mirror, why second guess the reason you are in the position you’re in or was given the talents you possess? Why not you?

Marianne went on to state, “Your playing small does not serve the world.” “There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure when they’re around you.” We who possess such skills that set us apart from everybody else forces you to want to take a step back. We want to run with the pack even though we run faster than anyone in the pack. Why? Because we don’t want anyone else to feel insecure because they can’t keep up. So what do we do, we run with the group because we think it makes us noble. But it actually uncovers a character flaw that exist inside of us.

She let us know that, “You were made to manifest the glory of God that is within you.” “It’s not in some of us, it’s in everyone.” “And as you let your own light shine, you can unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” “As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” These quotes let us know that your power that you possess is not just in you it’s in everyone around you. The only difference between you and them, is that you actually will do what they only dream of doing. But once you step out into the world fearless and confident, this confidence frees up so many other people seeking to be just as great as you.

What’s interesting about Marianne Williamson’s novel, A Return to Love, is that our deepest is only a passage in the book. The book contained so much more than our deepest fears, yet our deepest fears are the constraints which harbor so many people from being the greatest version of them they can be. How did this passage help me? It freed me up to pursue my dreams in life. Dreams so many will never attempt; becoming a successful author and filmmaker.

You see, growing up for me was about going to college attaining your education. Upon leaving school, finding a job that not only pays every two weeks, but hopefully one which will assist in paying for graduate school in the process. Well, while going to graduate school, I found myself looking over my screenplay which had not been completed. Writing the script was a daunting task. So difficult I tossed it partially finished and continued to pursue my MBA. It wasn’t until I was almost complete with my degree I felt a lack of accomplishment.

Why? Because I was not pursuing anything I was passionately willing to do for the rest of my life. It was while finishing up my MBA I began to work more in New York City’s theatre scene that I picked-up my script once again. Finishing the script I took on new ideas and a new way of thinking. It was then I knew I didn’t belong in a corporate environment. Because the stories I have to tell, people need to read and listen to. That’s when Marianne’s passage started to resonate with me. My only reasons for not pursuing my dreams is not out of failure, it was fear of what comes with the success.

But the cost of me doing nothing felt like much more hurtful than doing something. I can live with working toward something and failing. What I cannot live with is the idea of reaching the age of 70, 80, or even 90, looking back going I should have. Because if you ask any man or woman in their elderly years what was their biggest regret in life they’ll tell you it’s no being reaching for the greatest them they could be. And that is more of a fear for me than anything in life. Getting to the end of my life and realizing it was for nothing. People might look and go, it looked nice to me, but what was it for me. Regret is one of the biggest pains of anyone in life. So in closing I say thank you Marianne, those words have been that bit of logic that have stuck with me for the past few years now. Those words as I journey through this tough terrain as a novelist and filmmaker: “Our deepest fears are that we are inadequate.” “Are deepest fears are that we are powerful beyond measure.”

TRUMPED!

America is at a critical point today, especially with the election of our next president. We are now down to two candidates: Hilary Clinton and Donald J. Trump. Hilary Clinton a Democrat, who is the wife of our former president William “Bill” Clinton and former Secretary of State of Barack H. Obama. The next candidate is a businessman and television personality Donald J. Trump who is representing the Republican side. You may ask yourself, if we are dealing with two politicians why call the article, “Trumped.”

The reason the article is called, “Trumped,” is because his effect on the election process in America. Donald Trump, whether you’re a fan of his or not, has really tapped into the psyche of citizens in America. While on this campaign trail he has been labeled a racist and gender bias; pushing a campaign that many consider to be quite divisive. Well why is he considered to be such a polarizing figure. Well let’s start off by  discussing the comments he made regarding illegal immigration.

In his initial run, he made comments early pertaining to Mexican men and women flocking to the United States over the Mexican/American border. His views on the matter were that, “Mexico is bringing over their worsts.” “They’re robbing and raping, some of them are good.” These comments sent a wave of criticism through the news outlets. What could have easily been disregarded as a verbal faux pas had he explained what he meant to say, he refused. In addition to being labeled racist, he would go on to state his disdain toward radical actions from the Islamic community. These comments were also seen as insensitive and xenophobic by members of the general public as well. In addition to these two comments, his perceived gender bias comments toward news anchor Megyn Kelly just added more kerosene to the fire.

Yet, even though he was losing in one area, he was steadfast in his gain with the opposition to these criticisms. The ones’ who stood beside him felt upset and letdown. They harbored these feelings for what they felt was a mistake electing the current president. People expected more and felt as if they received the same status quo as every other leader prior. Barack represented change in his first election, but Donald Trump represents the upset at what Trump voters believe to be a lack of change. Trump voters felt the lack of transparency only continued from the last administration into the current one; and Trump spoke from the heart. You may not like what he says, but you can understand his sentiment. This resonates with the masses because the pervasive dishonesty that permeates our system has finally hit a boiling point.

Now do I think Donald Trump is racist, xenophobic, and gender bias? Even with his comments, tough to really say because racists, xenophobic, gender bias are more personal attacks. The fact that I don’t know him personally, I can only go off of what I see and hear. I do feel a detachment from reality. Now you may say, isn’t that a personal attack. Yes, but it’s not if there is circumstantial evidence. For example, in his interview with Matt Lauer he stated his father gave him a small loan of one million dollars to jump start him in business. Lauer was shocked, not mainly by the amount, but the matter of fact way in which he spoke of one million dollars. The way he expressed what his father had given him gave people a chance to see to an extent the personal aspect of him. He has been wealthy for so long he doesn’t realize how extreme it is to have one million dollars in hand as a start. Getting access to a $5,000 or $10,000 loan is a stretch for most people.

So this is where the detachment comes from. Another reason I say detached because him eating a taco bowl on Cinco De Mayo as a means to connect to his Hispanic voters is another case. I grew up with those type of individuals who were raised so detached from everyone they thought saying how much they like hip hop music was a means to connect to me because I am African American. But all they had to say was, “Hello,” “How are you doing?” So, my views touch on the personal, but my reasoning comes from the non-explicit comments or actions. What he said about Islam and Hispanics could have easily been dumped. But he tries so hard to not be politically correct guy, he starts to teeter on that line between honesty and ignorance (just because you’re honest doesn’t mean it’s something that should be coming out of your mouth).

Which is why he states that the Hilary Clinton’s campaign is baiting him. You know what, yes they are baiting him. Doesn’t mean you chase the bait. It’s like they dig a whole, every other politician goes to the edge and goes not I. Donald jumps in the whole with his feet kicked-up saying, “See, they trapped me!” It could ultimately be his demise as president. But whatever the outcome he has changed this entire process. Speaking in soundbites and coming off as disingenuous could hurt future candidates. Why? Because Trump has touched on something; not just racial, gender, and religious, but personal. And it’s quite interesting how this process will pan out moving forward.

Symbols: How We Change Their Meanings

Symbols represent an abstract meaning for something that we attach to an image or an idea. Images have been used as representations throughout history, some good and some have lived in infamy.  There have been some symbols that have stood for one thing and over time have been changed. For example the rainbow flag is a representation for the Gay community, but in the past it has had other meanings. The rainbow flag in the past was used for peace, and carried biblical interpretation with Christianity in the far past. Ironic how the flag of the gay community is synonymous with a religion such as Christianity. Other symbols have a more sinister meaning such as the Swastika, which has stood for the Nazi Party. Something that many people don’t know is that this symbol stands for luck and prosperity in the Indian culture. It’s not always a flag, but another symbol is the number 666. This has forever been the number for the devil, but it has been become popular in recent years by younger generation that don’t believe in the religious aspect.