SEXUALITY ORIENTATION: THE NEW BUZZ WORDS

Selective Focus Photography of Scrabble Pride on White and Multicolored Background

“My life, my choice.”


give me an L, give me a G, give me a B, give me a T

In the United States, there has always been some group of people who are marginalized. Whether it’s concerning race, gender, or religion. In today’s society you can add another to the list and that is ones’ sexual orientation. The government has made it a concerted effort to make it illegal for people in the LGBT community to live life as they wish. And this is how movements get started and slowly but surely turn into a full on fight for rights. Now one may ask, does it matter who you choose to date and marry? It does once there is a state and federal mandate against it. But the title of the topic today is buzzwords. Which leads me to believe one thing. Are we now still in the fight or weaponizing movements?

you don’t agree you must hate

Does disagreeing with someone automatically equate to hatred for that person? Well, let’s take a close look at what is meant by hate. Something is a strong and intense dislike for something, somewhere, or someone. But if wanted to look at it from a less broad perspective, then fine. Hate is a member of the dislike community, but they are not quit family. Because I don’t like plenty of things that I don’t necessarily hate. Because dislike means it’s not for you, and hate is on the verge of eradication. I don’t like grapefruit, but it should never be wiped off the planet as a fruit because someone likes eating it. Only reason why it’s hard to understand this is because Americans have become too reactive, and never look at the context of what’s being said. Simply put, we sometimes want to have our anger no matter how rational the statement.

a knee jerk society

We hear the statement, or better yet, hear about the statement and next thing you know, trouble for the person. We don’t want to hear what was really said. Because now we have to change out minds and admit we were wrong. So it’s better to be mad at someone, even when they have said nothing. And in America at the moment, you better say you agree in respect to the LGBT community. It better be positive and right down the middle. But is that what we really want? Do we want people to say they agree even when they don’t? Do we want fake supporters of the community, or a bunch of compliant people? Because the truth of how people feel always comes out. Then we are shocked to hear how people really feel.


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OH SO PRIDEFUL: THE GREATNESS IN HAVING PRIDE FOR ONES CULTURE

Person in Traditional Dress at the Street

“We’re all cut from something great.”


ones own identity

We all like to think that we are the same. But the reality is, throughout human history we have built these various civilizations in the world. And with that a great culture have come from them. And there is this great pride that comes out of having an identity that stems from ones self. And today we live in a society where pride in self can be misconstrued to mean something else when you start to say cultural pride. You are quickly labeled separatist or racist, but we have to put things in its proper context. When you say ethnic and cultural pride are you talking regards to destroying another person’s to prop yours up. That is a form of racism, but are you just proud of the cultural leaps your group have accomplished.

when it’s gone

Coming from a group of people who have lost and identity, you know how important it is to have some form of recognition. When I look at groups from around the world, I often go, “Wow, I must be nice to have a cultural identifier that defines your group. Coming from America, I am African American, and we lost an identity due to slavery. No names, no real homeland, but only the names of another culture that we don’t belong to. And you will never no matter what be a member of that group. Meaning, I can never pick up a flag of Italy and fly it, yet on Columbus Day in New York Italians line the streets of New York to celebrate. And when you don’t have an identity of your own, you will never be a fully embraced by another group.

human evolution changes

As the world becomes more and more close, we are going to start to see the merging of cultures. And when I say close, I mean, countries continuing to expand until the point where groups will begin to make new cultures out of the current cultures. Meaning China continuing to expand into Africa. What does that mean as more people start to come in from the outside. Will there be an Afro-Chinese creation? Or will groups start to conflict because one feel they are losing their identity? For these reasons alone, it make you want to live forever to see the many changes of our civilizations.


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SINS: ARE THEY REAL OR ARE THEY DEEPER INSIGHTS INTO WHO WE ARE

Image result for sin

“A look into yourself.”


Most of us are familiar with the seven deadly sins. The cardinal sins that would most definitely banish man to hell. They are pride, lust, greed, sloth, gluttony, envy, and wrath. And at least once in our lives we have come across one of these sins, if not all of the sins. But what I want to know regarding these sins is are they real, or just deeper insights into man. Was there something man knew about ourselves in the past, that is only being magnified in the world today? Because life was quite local in the days of early Christianity. So how did man know so much about us? But human nature is a universal characteristic. How do these sins tell us who we really are in life?

In the case pride, one carries an excessive sense of accomplishment. They are quite boastful in what they have achieved, almost to an intoxicating level. They Related imagenot only have to let others know, but they also have to accumulate tangibles as a means of showing themselves off to the world as well. But, don’t we all have some form of pride? Pride is the satisfaction you get out of winning a race. Pride is the fulfillment you get when you lose weight. And pride is the gratification you get when receiving a gift from someone close to you. So why is pride such a cardinal sin? Because pride is only a problem when it takes over your life. Or, it becomes a sin the moment you have allowed your pride to turn into hubris.

Well, what about lust; lusting is a sin. But how much lust is bad and how much lust is good. See, I lust, but to what degree makes it a sin? Is this lust going to lead down a road that will hurt me in the end? Or is the lust the yearning and wanting I get from seeing a box of chocolates. You see, lust is yet another Related imageambiguous sin that only becomes problematic once it grips you where you can’t shake it loose. Lusting over strawberries is different than lusting over a woman I might see on a job. Because those strawberries will satisfy my hunger pains and keep me until I consume a meal. That women might get me fired if it goes too far.

Next comes greed, which is the need to want something in excess where it leads to selfishness and control. Well is it wrong; once again, it’s all in context. Wanting to make a lot of money to leave for your descendants so they are not thrown into Image result for greedpoverty is greed. Why because you are taking more than you need. Yet, is it really sin if you are trying to protect family. Difficult to say considering money is a tough topic. Anyone that makes a lot of money, yet reworks their portfolio to make more can be seen as greedy. But true greed is taking more than you need for the sake of having. There is no use for it, you just don’t want anyone else to have it.

Then there is envy; which is the longing to have something that someone else possesses. Yet another sin that can be both bad and good. For example, I grew up in a poor household. I often wanted the lives of friends I had went to school with as an adolescent. But in the bible that can be seen as sin. Or is it really a sin? I Image result for envydidn’t wish to be them, just had a desire to have more than barely surviving. And that is the difference between the good envy and bad envy. Sinful envy is you have it, I want it, I’m going to get it if I have to take it from you. There is nothing wrong with seeing someone with something you want and don’t have; it’s human nature. Yet, there are limits to how far you can go before it’s a sin.

So let’s continue on down to sloth. The lazy and the indolent. Those who sit back and want everyone else to do their dirty work without putting in an effort. They let themselves go by the waist side. From their home life to their outer appearance; Related imagenothing is kept together. Then there is the good sloth which is, being tired. You work all day and sometimes don’t want to clean or move. You are not of sin because you have a legitimate reason for not getting up and making a move. But this is what we describe as taking a load off. Resting until you get up to make moves, which is sloth on a low level. Sloth on a high level is trouncing around in filth; almost in comparison to a pig.

Image result for gluttonAnd of course we all know gluttony. The overindulgence in eating, almost to the point it will cause you to develop an ailment. There is a difference between eating to live and eating just to eat. Eating to eat leads to health problems; while eating to live keeps you in line with having good health. And of course from time to time you indulge, yet you never veer off course too much. So as to not be led too far astray where you have hit the point of no return.

 

And last but not least, wrath, which is that strong wanting to punish someone. That inner hurt you feel that someone else must feel in the moment. Now wrath is tricky because is there ever a time to want to dole out punishment without sin? And the answer is yes. In the case of being a parent, the wrath is often brought down and is justified. Not only in biblical text, but even among non-denominational people. But when you want someone to feel pain because of your Image result for wrath sinown internal struggles, then you become the true face that is wrath. See, in the end, all seven sins not only are of biblical context, but they say something about us all. Interestingly enough, you can’t go through life without having one or more seven sin qualities. But it’s not having these sins, but more so an excessive sin trait that becomes problematic. Because that is the point where you start to lose control.


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NO TRANS: ISSUES WITH TRUMP’S DECISION TO NOT ALLOW TRANSGENDERS TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY

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“To serve or not to serve.”


President Donald Trump announced his decision yesterday that the United States military will not be allowing transgender men and women to serve. This comes as a shock to most, considering not long ago, under President Obama, the LGBT community won a victory with the legalization of gay marriage. Now, a year later, we are seeing reversals of decisions being made. It seems as if everything that Barack Obama did during his reign as president, Trump is working to undo. So as gays now have the right to marry, transgender men and women can’t serve in the military. What was once a victory is now short lived because the community iS right back where they started. A sign that more work is still to be done.

Well, what are some repercussions, if any, from Trump’s decision. For starters, every male must sign up for selective service. It is a requirement for being a citizen in the United States. If you identify as transgender, does that mean you still have to sign? Or, are you exempt? And what are the guidelines for saying you identify as the opposite gender? How do we know to get out of selective service, there won’t be people who use this as an excuse to not enlist? Then there is the flip side of keeping transgenders from serving. And that is if you are willing to fight and protect your country, you should be able to do so. Are we going to keep that same sentiment if a war breaks out?

People at home have all these reasons they agree with the president. Yet when people start dying and drama is all around you, the last thing you think about is the sexual orientation of the person fighting with you. It must be a deflating feeling to know that a country where you are told to pay taxes and follow the laws you can’t protect the freedoms you have. This is yet another decision that could be overturned by our government. Trump’s views were aimed at not incurring costs for rising medical windfalls by the military. And this is when I started to question, “What costs? Are transgender men and women’s surgeries and enhancements being financed by the system? Do they need specialized physicians unlike everyone else? When you transition, do you need special medication because you are no longer who you once were? All of the above questions are not true.

And in the end, that is people’s problem with this decision so far. The transgender servicemen and women is so small, this seems more personal than fiscal decision making. Our military defense budget is between a range of $500 – $700 billion, with medical expenditures being around $50 billion. Any real cost incurred by the transgender community is a few million dollars. It’s so insignificant, that it could be mistaken for personal preference. But like I said earlier, the government may react quick to overturn this decision as well. This will just add to the ongoing tension between Trump and his adversaries in and out of government. Meanwhile he has not lost support from his voters.


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DIVERSITY: ARE YOU REALLY OPEN AS YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Image result for DIVERSITY

“We are not as open you may might think?”


The topic of diversity today has recently been on the forefront of the fight toward equality in America. Everywhere you turn, you hear we need more diversity, we need more diversity. We need more representatives of people in varying ethnic groups. Then we say, well what about women of all ethnic groups. And you also hear, we need more representation from the LGBT community. And lastly, of course you have the religious side stating how much they need the freedom to worship how they please. But how much diversity does society really want? It sounds good to say we are all tolerant of another group of people. Yet, are we really tolerant, or is it just another buzz word that will eventually go away.

Let’s observe what it means to be diverse in America. That term diversity is ambiguous depending on who is formulating the opinion. If you are speaking with a liberal White female, the topic of gender is the diversity argument. If the person is an African American man or woman, then diversity might fall along the lines of ethnicity. If the person is gay, then there need to be more LGBT geared initiatives. And if you are Muslim, then religion is big on your list. But how far do people really want to stretch their diversity? We all have these open views until it’s time to make a few choices in life: dating, raising children, choices for college, and choosing what neighborhood to live.

For starters, let’s observe the dating scene. People always say diversity, then when choosing to date outside of their ethnicity, the diversity claim starts to come under question. When it comes to employment we jump for joy, but not dating. And I know we have become more relaxed to the idea today than the past, but don’t be fooled, it’s still a problem to a lot of people. If we’re going to talk diversity, why not go all the way. We just had Barack Obama, our former President of the United States, who was a product of a biracial relationship. Yet there are still have people who even voted for him, preaching diversity, would prefer their children marry within their own ethnicity. That hypocrisy is hard to understand. But does it only extend to dating.

No, when it comes to raising children we are complete opposite. We are these liberals, until they are born. Once children are born, then everyone of us becomes raging conservatives. Living here in New York City, there was a story on the news where parents in Brooklyn were worried where their children would be going to school. None of them were screaming, “Yes, our children will be in a diverse school.” They were shook by how their children would be effected going to school with kids from the inner city communities. But why not send your children to the school? Because they’ll get a real diverse experience: lower, middle, and upper class students. A kid from every ethnic background. Yet it’s tougher than that because reality set in, and you know how detrimental it is to send your child to a rough school.

Well, what about education, and I when I say education, I mean college. We really hear liberal views coming from college. But I have heard in the Black community the idea of maintaining the HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). But if we are on the diversity wave, there is no use for the HBCU’s. Why, well, HBCU’s were for a time when Black kids could not attend predominantly White institutions. Now, we are able to enroll at schools where we were once rejected from. So, the HBCU’s are now failing because of the lack of enrollment. Meaning, if you are from California and want to go to college, you can attend UCLA, USC, Cal U, or Stanford. Why travel all the way across the country to the south when a state school is right there; and the damn good one at that. So, diversity opens the door, yet it closes others.

But there is still one more area where we preach diversity, and that is living arrangements. We all talk about living in diverse communities, yet cautious to actually move to them. Like I said before, I live in New York City, and there is diversity in The Bronx. But so many people don’t want to move there. As a matter of fact, these same open liberals. Why not, The Bronx and Harlem are very diverse communities. Yet, the energy of the environment has a lot of people nervous. Me, I like the neighborhoods, but I see the caution on so many faces. Faces that have attacked Trump for his comments, don’t want to live around certain groups in certain neighborhoods themselves.

You see, in the end, we all say the words, yet how many actually live that way. Diversity is one of those overused words in America today, but when we actually make a move, then people become irritated. As a matter of fact, some of the same people who push the agenda. I myself am not against diversity, my only opinion is people want you to believe when they don’t. I say be the example, and be the first to jump out there. Don’t just state a feeling, live it.


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GLORY BE TO CUBA: What Now After Fidel Has Died?

Image result for fidel

“Where do they go from here?”

November 25th 2016, Cuban leader Fidel Castro passed away at the age of 90 in Santa de Cuba Province. He has been out of the spotlight for some time now, passing the reigns over to his brother Raul Castro. Why, well his health has been deteriorating over the years. But that is not what’s important at this point in time. The most important question is, “What do the people of Cuba do moving forward?” Do they continue with the Communist country or do they start cutting deals now that he has passed? I have some views regarding the next move.

My first view is, maybe they should go ahead and open up flight availability to other countries, mainly the United States. Since he was the man standing in the pathway of families visiting long lost relatives, maybe this is good. Maybe this will mean that the longstanding issues that have kept the United States and Cuba at arms length will be mended. What could come of this new relationship? How about a new form of commerce for the Cuban people? How about knocking down yet another Communist system? This was one of the last places on earth that have held on to their political ideology, with exception of North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, and China.

But on the other hand, are there some issues that could actually hurt Cubans. Cubans are a proud group of people. If America comes into the country, there could be a hit to the culture of the country. In China, you have Starbucks coffee houses not too far from ancient sites that are close to the people. Have the franchises moved, no. Why is culture at risk? Because Cubans are not America, so there is no real reason to preserve the culture. Ask Native Americans about all the treaties they signed. Yet look at what they’re dealing with out west at the moment with the building of an oil pipeline. Cubans might wind-up with the short end of the stick.

So what do they do. There are mixed emotions among Cubans: in Miami, there are celebrations, but crying in Cuban for Fidel’s life. How will this effect the relationships between Cubans. Especially if the ones in Cuba feel he was doing good things for them. President Elect, Donald Trump stated that we can open up communication, but only on his terms. That could mean a lot of different things. It could mean, allowing American companies into Cuba to capitalize. Or it could mean allowing the FBI into Cuba to retrieve Americans such as Assata Shakur who was convicted in New Jersey of killing a police officer.

In the end, we don’t know the future of the country. Who knows, Raul might stay leader in the country and continue Fidel’s policies. Or, Raul might make some deals that his brother would not make. All we know is there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the future of the country. I myself would love to go to Cuba; something I wanted to do all my life. Well, hopefully, this will be soon.

I (Un)Pledge Allegiance

Image result for colin kaepernick protest

“You say stand, I’m taking a stand.”

Quarterback (QB) for the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick made a strong statement for what he called and “injustice toward minorities,” for recent police shootings. During the national anthem of a football game, the NFL QB decided to sit on the bench instead take part in the pledge. Once the game ended he conducted an interview with the press stating why he decided to sit. Immediately there were mixed feelings from many who agreed with his decision as well as the criticism. But what fueled him to do so. What really got to him? This has been a topic for the past couple of years and now he’s coming forward; why?

One theory is one that popped  into my mind immediately. Colin is a native of Wisconsin, where recently another shooting took place in Milwaukee. The police shot and killed a young Black male which set off protest across the city. Police squad cars and other vehicles were turned over and set on fire. Giving that Colin is a native to the state, he could have felt the topic now hit close to home. Or maybe it was the result of held in frustration over time, almost like the powder cafe effect.

But does the mass media play a role in the mental anguish that leads to these various forms of protest. Because these types of interactions have been taking place with law enforcement and the community throughout history, but never has it been part of our 24 hour news cycle. When something on on television is consistently played over and over again, it can make a matter appear worst than it really is at the moment. Still, Colin is not an anomaly. He just gets added to the many public figures that have come out recently in light of shootings by the police.

Now, on the other hand you have the critics, who counter the sentiment toward the police. One argument states that police are on edge because of the environments they are forced to service. The neighborhoods are rot with criminal elements and behavior that can rival the death toll south of the border with Mexico’s drug cartels. Police and their supporters would go on to state that police are responding to the growing violence in these high crime areas. Another view is that more Black males kill each at higher rates than police. Logically and logistically this makes sense, especially when looking at a city like Chicago. Which at the moment has a crime rate higher than it has seen in over two decades, as well as higher than some poverty stricken international cities.

But does that mean the deaths are justified. Are the police killings justified because someone in the community kills. Meaning, “Hey, they shoot each other, why is it such a big deal when I kill ’em?” Well the other side would say, that one death never justifies another death. But the most obvious reason is that the guys who shoot in the community are not protected by the state. Their shootings are not upheld by the law. These men kill, yet they are thrown in prison for lengthy sentences if not given the death penalty for their crimes. In the opposing view of the police, people would state cops never get into trouble. If they do, it could only be described as a slap on the wrist or amount to an unpaid vacation.

But should we be prompted sit for the pledge of allegiance? Should we not view the United States flag as a symbol of freedom? Let’s analyze this pledge. The end of the pledge states, “With liberty and justice for all.” The justice for all is the portion of the pledge which prompted Colin to sit. So how did the military troops get brought into this equation. Aren’t they fighting for our right to stand and protest. Don’t they fight and die so we can have those unalienable rights to express how we feel when we feel social injustice has taken place.

Or is there another aspect to the pledge and the flag. Because the pledge also states the we shall remain, “Indivisible with liberty.” We are more divided now in America both socially and politically than in what seems like decades prior. What is that saying again, “A house divided can not stand.” But what good is a house standing if the foundation is rotten to the core. And if there is injustice, than Colin would have a point. Because whether you like what he did, he is in full alignment with the Constitution. He expressed his freedom of speech and freedom to protest. Some may feel just because you have the right it shouldn’t always be expressed. True, everything that is a freedom does not technically need to be outwardly expressed. Yet, he has done no harm. He has physically assaulted or called for the deaths of anyone. This is not like saying fire in a crowded movie theater, but more so like saying,” Hey, this movie theater has faulty wiring, which could lead to a  serious fire.”

However you view this, both critics and supporters of Colin both are in alignment with freedom in America. He has the right to sit and not stand. But understand, that just as much as he has the right to protest, the opposition has a right to disagree.