F*CK YOUR WAR ON DRUGS

OFF THE BLOCK

Last night, I had a chance to watch the “Smoke” documentary on BET.  Not much of the information was new, but still as appalling as when I first start really paying attention to the marijuana industry.  However, it just made me think even deeper on the drug that is locking our black men away while the government and elites capitalize on the very same transaction.

Nickels and Dimes

The documentary mentioned a man from California, who is actually serving a life sentence for alleged marijuana sales.  I’m willing to bet if you sold marijuana for your entire adult life, no one would imagine being imprisoned for life because of it.  Especially now that the growing and retail of cannabis is legal in several states at this point. The necessity of releasing prisoners with minor, non-violent marijuana infractions is more than evident and it saddens me to see how slow legislation is moving to make this a reality.  Of course in the grand scheme of things, it would be against the engine of systematic racism that most politicians and white privileged people ignore or claim ignorance.  The documentary went on to acknowledge that the industry is easily making trillions with little to no representation of black owners of dispensaries or operating facilities. Yet, there are thousands behind bars for less than.

The Re-Up

Some places, including Illinois have implemented legislation that does in fact release minor marijuana from prison with expunged records.  This is definitely a move into the right direction.  However, I want…no I need for there to be more.  There is a lopsided scale consisting of black ownership and others.  To unequivocally discern the appropriate measures to reconcile this difference, there must be a realistic opportunity for black owned business to acquire licenses to grow and sell marijuana.  It is ridiculous to believe that there is an even playing field when the initial cost in some states to even apply for a license is about $20,000.  Now you have an opportunity missed to change the trajectory of generational wealth.  An opportunity that we no longer can afford to miss.

High Intentions

While several states have legalized recreational marijuana, it is still classified as “Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.”  This means on a federal level it is still considered illegal.  But, why?  Great question.  A question that no politician has been able to give a suitable answer.  I think subconsciously we all know that the main reason is to be able to control the market and continue to control population by filling the prisons.  Unfortunately, we are always the highest percentage of these incarcerations.  A genuine move toward making weed legal federally and allowing better opportunities for black business owners to capitalize off of this burgeoning industry is what is needed.  And we should be aggressively pushing this agenda.  It is overly imperative for us to pressure local politicians to get our message to those who can make these legislative changes.  The emergence of the cannabis industry is not much different than the end of prohibition, but this time we want to be able to create generational wealth as well.

The New Normal

OFF THE BLOCK

I had a friend send me a link with a video attached. I watched the video and was somewhat alarmed at what I’d listened to from the orator. Essentially the State Bar passed a “mandatory COVID-19 vaccination recommendation” for New Yorkers once the vaccine has been approved. The resolution states that the state’s government should only consider making the vaccine mandatory if there are not enough volunteers. This was according to the New York Law Journal. So what does that mean? And who decides how many volunteers are enough to avoid such a measure?

Needle in a Haystack

While I’ve heard several conspiracy theories about what may actually be transmitted via these vaccinations, I have yet to make a decision of my own completely. I have witnessed people dying from complications resulting from COVID, but I have also witnessed people who fought through it and won. Everything is so confusing and the government has become so untrustworthy that deciding what to do may be enough to drive some people mad.  Especially for black people who are constantly reminded of the Tuskegee Experiment, we have become petrified with accepting vaccinations.  Where does that leave us then?  Do we become carriers and agents of destruction like the many Trump supporters who paraded around as if there was no pandemic?  Do we wear two masks inside the vehicle alone then pull it down around our necks to smoke a cancer-causing cigarette?  I’ve got too many questions.

Fear of the Unknown

It can easily be said that the anxiety of the future’s uncertainty will more than likely begin to take toll on us physically.  This anxiousness is what makes the vaccination even more perceivable. When state governments start considering making them mandatory though, I become more weary.  I, along with millions of others, are not keen on being forced to do anything by the government.  To the contrary though, it may mean an avenue back to “normalcy.”  I use quotes because I say that loosely.  At this point normal doesn’t even seem normal so where do we stand?  Honestly, when I started writing this blog, I thought I might come up with some convincing argument as to why you should certainly never take a vaccine especially if the government is trying to make it mandatory.  Then something changed.  I started thinking of all the selfish, privileged folks that fill the brims of our nation’s state lines who refused to wear masks and continue to deny the validity of the virus.  Had I become one of them?  So tied up in my self-righteousness that I disregard the health and well-being of others? If I’m offering complete transparency, I’m afraid of both.  I’m afraid to live in a society where my lungs get overwhelmed with fluid because I didn’t wear a mask all week and I’m afraid that whatever they are pumping into us via a vaccine may very well be killing me as well.  Pharmaceutical companies being publicly traded and being worth millions, probably billions of dollars makes it even harder to trust them or the process.  As we venture into 2021, I’m not sure what to expect.  However, if there is a decision to make the vaccine mandatory, I would seriously consider living off the grid.

The Eyes In The Sky

OFF THE BLOCK

Last week I was hanging out with a few of my cousins and we started talking about Ancient Aliens.  You know the one show where the white guy with the weird hair talks about historic events and places and suggest there was an alien presence?  There are a few places and events that the show covers, but we focused on Egypt that night.

Ancient Egypt

For some time now, even more so after my buddy Bo traveled there, I have wanted to see the pyramids with my own eyes.  The construction of the pyramids have always amazed me because it just doesn’t seem feasible that such heavy lifting and precise mathematical engineering.  There are many theories as to how this was accomplished.  Ancient Aliens presents the theory of alien encounters.

Mile High

I remember the initial viewing of this series took place when I was in Colorado.  Ducked off in my micro-mini apartment, I was flipping through channels and I ran across an episode about the pyramids in Egypt.  I was attached from the start.  I think I watched about 6 straight episodes and I was completely enthralled.  The following day I called my friend Mel back in Detroit and I was excited to tell him about this series I’d been watching.  As I was describing what I’d saw, I could hear him chuckling a little, but he never interrupted me.  Finally, when I was done, the phone got silent. He broke the quietness that was screaming through the receiver with one question.  “You know they are just trying to discredit the work of the black people who built them, right?”  And with that, my 6 episode genius perception had been destroyed.  I laughed at how excited I was thinking that aliens helped the ancient Egyptians build not only pyramids, but build their entire existence. The host was quite encouraging though and some of the rationale made sense.  It is an amazing phenomenon how the positioning of the pyramids align perfectly with celestial figures creating ways of telling time and seasons.  Then thousands of miles away, more pyramids line up perfectly, not only with celestial clusters, but with other pyramids around the globe.  How was this possible before the creation of tools that would measure them?

Traveling Through Time

Fast forward back to my conversation with my cousins.  Our gears had shifted now to the assertion of aliens somehow defying the idea of God.  Can we believe there were aliens assisting the ancient Egyptians without sounding blasphemous?  Perhaps the deities depicted in many hieroglyphs were indeed aliens? I am not well versed in the bible, but I was made aware that there is a descriptive text in the bible explaining the dynamics of Noah’s Ark.  Details even down to the type of wood that was used.  Where are the details for the pyramids though?  I cannot claim to be well versed on the bible by no means, but I am just curious.  Why is such a phenomenon not fully explained in a book that is deemed as the foundation of our life?  Were the pyramids built for reasons negating God’s favor?  I’ve got questions.  Unfortunately, because I am curious, the wild haired guy from the History Channel can fill the gaps with his alien theories and I believe them. In retrospect, I am not trying to take credit from God or the Egyptians who labored to put these gigantic fixtures together, but the idea of aliens’ involvement intrigues me. In essence, because I have always figured that aliens were nothing more than us. I believe alien encounters could possibly be us as time travelers who learned to go back in time.  That could possibly explain the advanced technology used by people who at the time were primitive.  In either case, I still would like to lay my eyes on the great pyramids and touch them to feel the energy that I am certain they possess.

For Colored Girls

OFF THE BLOCK

I’ve been struggling with this idea for a while now.  Amidst the memes and social media scrutiny, I’ve remained silent.  Perhaps, I didn’t find myself to be qualified to comment.  Somewhere in this internal questioning, I’ve mustered up a voice.  A voice that may or may not be received well, but one thing I have learned as an adult is that few people resonate with ideas until the masses concur. It somewhat makes people at ease with supporting an idea in unison.

Black Girl Lost

There have been many odes to Kamala Harris being the first black vice-president.  Memes declaring what appear to be success for the black race.  Conversely, naysayers fight the idea of her blackness all together.  In fact some have taken it upon themselves to scream it from the mountain tops, peaks and valleys and wherever anyone will offer a listening ear.  Black women seem to be at the forefront of this argument.  As I mentioned initially, perhaps I am not qualified to even comment.  I’m not a black woman or a woman at all for that matter, so I’m probably not seeing things from their perspective.  It is peculiar, however, that her blackness is being questioned as if we are not dealing with a pandemic, an unstable economy, a socially awkward racial divide and a sitting president who is defiant in his departure.  Yet, we are comprising our minds with whether she should be identifying as black because her parents were immigrants.

Identity

Sometimes, I think our extreme angst in denouncing someone’s blackness is our own toil with our identity.  ADOS, a term I only became familiar with today, is the qualifier.  American Descendants of Slavery.  This term suggests that any other proposed or perceived black person that does not fall beneath this heading does not deserve to utilize or even acknowledge their blackness.  I know right?  It sounds asinine to me as well, but after many years of oppression and a yearning to belong to a culture that we can’t really identify with, we’ve become constant dividers.  Of course I recognize there is a difference between products of immigrant parents and those derived from descendants of slavery, but is that enough to rant repetitively about the lack of blackness that Kamala Harris possesses. In all honesty, women have an ever-present deficit regardless of race.  With this in mind, why are so many black women using their platforms to denounce the credibility of Harris and her position in black America?

It’s a Man’s World

James Brown said it’s a man’s world…but it’s nothing without a woman or a girl. We all know women are the pathways for souls entering this world, so with that comes great responsibility.  I am proud of what our black women have accomplished, both those who are ADOS and those who may be products of immigrant parents. I don’t see the necessity of separating the two.  It makes it seem as though slavery and poverty is the qualifier for speaking for the black race.  If the voices of the downtrodden are the only voices that count, how will we ever succeed?  But then again, that’s why I mentioned twice and I’ll mention it again….I may not be qualified to comment.

Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President

Drama And Comedy

OFF THE BLOCK

I spent several hours tonight watching reruns of the Dave Chappelle Show.  Every time I pulled up the laptop to start writing tonight’s blog, I got trapped into another episode. It was then that I remembered everyone talking about his latest SNL monologue.  So, of course, I had to indulge.

The Not So-Funny Truth

Chappelle has been a master of making people uncomfortable.  It is something quite peculiar about truth and how it makes us uneasy.  Comedians, especially Chappelle, possess an amazing quality that allows them to suggest this truth while wrapping it in humor but still causing you to walk away contemplating what they just said. Undoubtedly, this latest monologue produced the very same effect that I just spoke on.

Racial Unrest

There’s no denying the racial overtone of the previous four years while Trump has been at the helm.  Chappelle mentions this great divide, but leaves us with a task.  Not just a task of voting in a new president.  But the task of figuring out how to find happiness in times that seem so bleak.  I suppose you might figure this is the sole purpose of a comedian, but I may be looking a little deeper. After watching his 16 minute monologue I was left urging myself to figure out my own happiness in spite of the trappings of a society that sometimes appears not to care.  Not to care how I am doing, where I am headed or even that I exist.  How difficult is that?  How difficult is it to exist in a world that not only doesn’t want you to exist, but conjures up elaborate plans to convince you that your existence is indeed useless?  I laughed at his jokes and cringed at his pain.  The pain that perhaps can only be felt by being a black person in America.

Saturday Night Live

I watched the monologue twice.  Similarly I’d watched his previous stand-up, 8:46, back to back as well.  I have always been intrigued by the mind and words of Chappelle and while he makes me laugh, he certainly additionally makes me think. There is something about the hard uncomfortable truth that makes people squirm and become somewhat dismissive, but it is not until we confront those things that life can truly take a turn for the better.  He opened up the monologue talking about his great grandfather who had been a slave for 10 years before being freed.  He made mention of how he became a great man in his community who was steadfast in education, the freedom of black people and his connection to Jesus.  With that being said, he wondered what he would say to him in this moment.  I think of things like that often.  I would like to think that I move in such a manner that the ones who have come and gone before me are proud to see the maneuvering I have done to realize whatever dreams I set forth as goals.  All while trying to escape the anchors of being black in America.  So, I agree with Chappelle, we must find away to move forward in spite of our anchors.  In spite of our president. In spite of it all.  The reality is that we have lost touch with humanity.  Race, economics, politics and bureaucracy have made all of us forget the very basic ideal of unity.  It’s time to get back on track.

King of the Hill

OFF THE BLOCK

The smell of fresh cut grass fills the air as the sun breaks through the clouds on the gold jerseys with black numbers.  If you’re from the city of Detroit, chances are, you already know what I’m referring to when I say black and gold.  Those are the colors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School Crusaders football jerseys. There is quite a legacy at 3200 E. Lafayette.  An address that proves to be historic in the city and rings bells nationally now. 

Field of Dreams

It was the summer of ’94 and I was walking onto the practice field for the first time.  Unlike many of my soon to be teammates, I’d never played little league football.  So, for me, this would be my introduction to the gridiron.  I was 15 years old, a sophomore eager to play football.  I am not sure if it was because I truly wanted to play or if it was because my friends played and suggested that I play as well.  Whichever the case, here I was.  Not a clue as to what to do and a nervous wreck inside, while trying to conceal my fear with a tough exterior.  But, enough about football.  That’s not what this is going to be about.  In fact, the lessons I learned at 3200 hardly involved the game of football at all.

1st  and 10

The first summer practice was horrid.  I’d never ran so much or been yelled at so loudly a day in my life.  I was ignorant to organized football and had not once even put on a helmet.  However, after enduring the summer workouts and finally making it to the season, I’d actually become a decent football player.  As a sophomore with zero experience, I found myself on junior varsity.  A few of my friends were on the team with me, so it turned out to be pretty fun.  The coaches saw my potential as a defensive lineman, so that is where they placed me.  After getting trapped and blocked a few times, I wanted to quit, but that’s when it happened.  Between the team camaraderie and the coaches efforts, I fought on and eventually became a starter for the rest of the junior varsity season.  I even was the lucky recipient of a fumble that I returned for a touchdown.  It was then that I was offered a chance to run the ball for the offense.  I was really excited then because I was a fan of Jerome Bettis and thought that I could be him one day. So my first lesson learned was to fight through adversity and overcome obstacles and you can achieve your goals.

2nd and 10

The following summer, I’d been working out with seniors and some college freshmen so I was really feeling myself.  Although I was working out all summer and getting ready for my junior year, I literally hated going to practice.  I missed quite a few practices and tried to blame it on my summer job.  Honestly sometimes it was the case, others I’d just be too lazy to go to practice.  Finally it was the day before we were going to receive our helmets and I decided to come to practice.  Coach Reynolds, my head coach at the time, told me that if a man doesn’t want to come to practice then a man doesn’t want to play on his team.  Right there, he told me to go fishing!  Yes…go fishing. This is the term he would tell kids who were being kicked off the team.  My heart sank.  It was my junior year and I was going to be on varsity for the first time.  But because I was too lazy and not focused, I’d lost my opportunity to shine.  I pleaded for another chance and got denied. Now I was going to miss my entire junior year of football due to my own foolishness.  I understood then that o matter how good you think you are, there are rules for a reason and when you don’t follow those rules, you are subject to failure.  Lesson learned.

3rd and 10

The following summer, just before my senior year, I came to every practice.  I studied the playbook and watched films of great defensive linemen.  Before the season I’d earned the 3rd defensive tackle spot.  While there were two starters, this meant I was second string, but our defensive line rotated so often that I knew I would get playing time. My aggressiveness and heart earned me much more playing time than I imagined.  I was even able to start in a few games during the season.  I didn’t have division 1 recruit stats, but I contributed to a winning team defense that was one of the tops in the city my senior year. Going to war with my teammates was an undeniable adrenaline boost and an experience I would not exchange for anything on this earth.  It was after that season that I learned the invaluable lesson of accountability.  There is a level of achievement that must be met when others hold you accountable.  And the accountability of your teammates in the game of football is immeasurable and must exist for you to succeed.

4th and Goal

Following my senior year, I went on to college.  I played two years of college football at Adrian College.  Well, I was on the team for two years, saying I actually played would be a complete fabrication. But it was the lessons that I learned through the game of football at 3200 E. Lafayette that prepared me to score in the biggest game…the game of life.  RIP to Coach Harvel, my defensive line coach at King High, you taught me a lot. HIT SQUAD!!

Getting Pass the Past

OFF THE BLOCK

Taking a break from all of the political banter surrounding the election, I perused the endless amount of useless channels dumped on us from Direct TV.  I stumbled upon an Alfred Hitchcock movie that I’d first seen in a literature class in high school.  A few years later while in college, I watched it again.  This time it was not school related, I just wanted to see it to get some adult understanding.  Nearly twenty years later we crossed paths again. Me, James Stewart and Kim Novak would spend another two hours and some change together tonight and it was a wonderful escape from waiting on votes in Pennsylvania to be counted.

Vertigo

If you have not seen Vertigo, I will give you a quick synopsis. Basically, Stewart’s character gets caught up in an intricate murder plot of a colleague who wants to get rid of his wife.  The murderous husband makes over his side-chick to look like his own wife.  He then convinces Stewart’s character that his wife has suicidal tendencies and asks him to keep an eye out for her.  During his investigative work, he falls in love with the murderer’s side-chick double who he thought was the wife.  She is killed and the incident is made to look like a suicide.  Some time later, Stewart’s character runs into the side-chick and is warped back into the trance of love he’d once experienced with the dead damsel because they looked astonishingly alike. Okay, so now that you’re caught up, I’ll explain why I’m even writing about this in the first place.

Moving On

Much like Stewart’s character, we often find ourselves captured by our pasts. In his case, it was a deranged murder plot, so hopefully you haven’t experienced that.  Once he ran into the body double later on in the film, he began to dress her up and fix her make-up and hair so that she looked exactly as the murdered wife looked.  Then I thought… how often do we do that?  We find something that reminds us of something that we loved dearly in the past and dress it up to make it the same thing that we’d lost.  That could be a partner, an experience or even an event.  It is our obsession with holding on to the past that restricts most of us from moving forward. What we once loved, perhaps is no longer good for us, but hidden by the vale of the past, our sight is no longer focused on the future.  Hitchcock, who I’ve always felt was ahead of his time, depicts this obsession perfectly. 

Reminisce Over You

You only live once or YOLO  as the youngsters used to say.  While we know this to be true, we always concern ourselves with do-overs.  It is important to take past events and build upon them to create new futures.  Although it is easier said than done, especially romantically, it is imperative for growth.  This obsession is sometimes what leads us into endless relationships of the same caliber because we have taken bits from the past and attempted to dress them up to remind us of the parts we loved so dearly. Watching Vertigo again at this stage in my life brought me to this point.  Reliving the past is not effective for anyone.  Spoiler alert!  In the end of Vertigo, the other woman also dies.  Ironically she dies in the same manner as the murderer’s wife. One thing is for sure and two things are certain.  The past is cool to remember, but no matter how you dress it up and try to revive it, your future will be killed in the process if you get stuck in the past.  Thanks, Hitchcock!

Dear Angry Drunken Republican

Photo : Chad Crowe – courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

OFF THE BLOCK

It was 50 cent wing night at the Easy Street Saloon last night. Like many Wednesdays, I’ve taken advantage of the chickens who lost their wings for half of a dollar. This time was a little different.  While sitting at the bar an older white man entered the bar and stumbled upon a barstool. I glanced up and offered a slight nod.  The bartender rushed over to greet him and ask what he’d be having.  I wasn’t completely ear hustling at that point, so I’m not sure what he ordered other than the tap beer that she brought back to him shortly after.  I did hear him ask was it often this slow during this specific time of the day because there were only a handful of people inside the bar at the time.  Creating small talk, the bartender chuckled and said maybe it was because people were keeping an eye on the voting results and stayed in for the night. And that is when it happened.

Gosh Darn Socialists

As the silver haired Republican began to slur words from his mouth in between chugs of beer, I was able to pick up a few words.  He started to rant about how the people of Michigan were idiots for voting for Biden and how the Biden/Harris administration would surely push us down the road of socialism in the next 10 years.  He raved about how, under their administration, China would own us.  And thanks to Trump, who he obviously endorses, we are controlling China and not allowing them to take control of our entire country and force us into socialism.  I looked away and avoided eye contact as not to engage. I am certainly not the one to talk politics at the bar, especially with impaired individuals that believe the Biden administration would be capable of destroying a capitalist society that has sustained existence since the creation of American ideals.  Capitalism, even at its worst, remains a constant fabric of America.  His claims of a society headed toward socialism sounds asinine to me, but it wasn’t my conversation, so I said nothing. The fact that he was so adamant about a vote for Biden seemingly meaning a vote for socialism, was both amusing and frightening.  Amusing, because the way large corporations have intertwined funding with political parties, the aspect of a “free market” seems to actually be manipulated by the government anyway.  This may be due to the relationship between big business and government. These relationships become tarnished with government bailouts and big business funding in exchange for political favors. These things sound like state-controlled production, resources and a disrupted free market.  So, not too far off from the socialism that the drunken Republican claims we are headed into.  Amusing.  In that same instance, though, it is frightening because of the masses who feel the same way he does about our perceived descent into socialism will act out defiantly because of the fear of missing a chance at superiority. Yes.  A chance at superiority.  Because we live in a society where laws, institutional oppression and loop-holes have been woven into the American Dream so tightly that if any of these concepts were to be undone, the fear of equality is a bit overwhelming for some. And the response of those who feel they will be at a loss if some sort of equality exists is what frightens me.  Apparently not just me either, since businesses have boarded up their windows in anticipation of social unrest following the election.  The unrest will undoubtedly come from Trump supporters who have tasted the blood of yesteryear when cotton was the pinnacle of free market trade and the black bodies used as field equipment were equal only to 3/5 of a human being and are not willing to give up that pleasure for the benefit of the common good.

The Aftermath

Somehow after blabbering on about politics and people beginning to walk away, he caught me looking up from my wings and struck up a conversation about the good weather.  Oddly enough, after I reluctantly engaged, he appeared to be nothing other than an elderly man who had a few too many drinks and was taking carry-out home to annoy someone there until he fell asleep.  We exchanged a few joking words and he staggered out of the bar.  Had I not heard him and his original rant, I probably would have never written this blog.  I would certainly not have been trying to explain socialism or make people aware that trade wars with China have been going on since the 10th president John Tyler signed the Treaty of Wanghia.  But maybe this conversation was necessary.  Perhaps necessary to explain the right-winger’s mislead fear of losing control.  Certainly necessary to understand that politics is all smoke and mirrors regardless of what party you associate with. I finished my wings and my Miller Lite while I thought of the Angry Drunken Republican and sort of laughed to myself.  This is America….

What’s Next?

OFF THE BLOCK

It is 11:46 pm EST as I sit in from of the black screen writing this blog.  Biden is currently leading 209 to 118 on the race to 270 electoral votes and the cursor is blinking on the screen looking agitated that I have not began to start pecking the life out of the keyboard.  Yes pecking.  For as long as I have been writing, I am still a pecker.  I look at the keys as I type and I use two maybe three fingers max while doing this.  But, this isn’t about my lack of typing skills. This is about my fear of what awaits us in the morning.

Over the Horizon

I was in Pigeon Forge, TN a little over a month ago and two things frightened me while we were there.  The first thing was the presence of countless Trump 2020 signs that littered lawns on the way to our cabin.  The second were the hills.  Have you ever driven up a hill that was so steep that you couldn’t see over the top, so it’s nearly impossible to see what’s ahead?  Who knew that trip was somewhat of a foreshadow of election night.  The fear of Trump supporters and the inability of seeing what is ahead after we overcome this hill. Did I mention there was a Trump Store on the main road?  That probably wasn’t even important, but I just wanted people to know.  What is important though, is that we don’t let the President Elect deter us from what our original focus was in the first place.  And that is to push forward a black agenda.  This means law enforcement training and reform, allocating more funding into urban school and infrastructure development and a serious consideration of reparations.  I know non-blacks and some black folks cringe at the word, but for me, I can take no administration serious until reparations becomes a focal point.  I have voted, in hopes of ushering in a new administration that will hopefully bring some sort of harmony socially, but I realize that our work does not stop there.

Now What?

Between posting IG pics and watching Good Times reruns, the time is slowly ticking away.  It is now 12:37am EST and Biden is in the lead 223-174.  With all of the early and absentee voters, I’m not even sure if there will be a conclusive winner any time before Friday or maybe even next week. In any case, we must remain focused on moving our culture and community forward with or without the assistance of the White House occupant.  A strong focus on the local governments and grassroot activists within our community is necessary to press politicians in Washington to do what we need them to do, even if they don’t belong to the party we support.  I’m not interested in politics or parties, I am interested in the advancement of my community.  And we need to press forward with the same intensity before, during and long after this election process.  Also, I know I hinted at reparations and you’re probably curious about my intentions.  We’ll talk about that next time.

F*CK YO VOTE!

To say that 2020 has been one hell of a year would be a vast understatement.  We have been quarantined for months, people are wearing masks inside their vehicles and still smoking squares.  Yes, think of that visual of fighting COVID but welcoming lung cancer.  Let that sink in for a moment. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming of just that…programming.  In the wake of an election that has seemingly been going on for months, today actually marks the specified election day.  Amidst the millions of people who have mailed in or physically cast their votes early, the few stragglers will have to strap their masks on today and do their “civic duty” of voting for our incoming president.  I used quotes, which would have been air quotes if this were a YouTube video, but alas….I was too lazy to do a video.  Perhaps people are lazy.  Too lazy to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and make things happen. Have you heard that saying before?  I’m hopeful that you have.  I am even more hopeful that you know that statement is one of those bullshit quotes from politicians and privileged folk who strive to insist that this conglomerate of geographical puzzle pieces house equal opportunity within their city limits. Hogwash! I figure since we’re using old ideology, I might as well add in some old lingo.  Nevertheless, here we are in the deciding day and the determining moment that may well be a pivotal moment in our American history.  And I say FUCK YOUR VOTE!

DOES YOUR  VOTE COUNT?

Depending on who you ask, you may get varying answers for this question.  If you ask me, I say no.  But I’m figuring after you read the title of this blog, you probably wouldn’t ask me.  Okay, I’ll retract that.  Perhaps our vote does count, but once those votes are counted, do I count?  I’d believe this to be a more qualifying question.  Once the Republicans have made mockeries  of our celebrities and Democrats offer us the world and the electoral college makes their decision devoid of our popular vote, I’ll get to go back into the pecking order of grinning and bearing it. Read that last line again.  If you didn’t actually re-read it, you might be understanding where I’m coming from… or you’re just not good at following directions.  In either case we’re moving forward, much like we will have to do once this election is over. With all that being said, I am undecided.  I can be honest in saying that I sincerely don’t know if my vote counts. I’ve voted in all of the past presidential elections since I’ve been registered to vote.  Only one president that I chose in those elections actually won. And that one didn’t really… never mind.  So I’m a bitter voter.  A voter who is a sore loser.  I’m a sore loser because even when I win as a voter, I’m seemingly a loser.  That’s probably a defeatist attitude, but America has a way of defeating you sometimes.  Especially when you’ve been begging to even be considered American for so long.

AMERICAN DREAM

This year I’ve seen countless black bodies consumed by America’s rage.  The country’s undying willingness to make waste of our bodies but make haste to emulate our culture.  Many have become fed up and protested.  Those protests were deemed to be riots and those riots brought about the need for LAW AND ORDER. And that has turned into the platform for current president, TV star, business mogul, Donald J. Trump.  Okay, so rewind that really quick.  People died at the hand of government sanctioned law enforcement with no repercussions, those communities were outraged because the same thing has been happening for generations, that same government that created  the laws that systematically oppress said group now presents the solution of LAW AND ORDER and the masses get behind this theory. Sounds like an endless loop.  On the other hand you’ve got a party who, for whatever reason, my community has been backing for years.  Supposedly, they identify with our struggle and want to even the playing field.  At least they always do up until the election.  Not sure what happens after that because we still end up back in the same position of begging to be equal.  Not even begging to get ahead, but begging to be the same.  Now the ballot is available and I’m forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.  I hate that term because it is so overused, but it kind of is what it is. So I’d determined in my head that I was not going to vote because I am tired of voting for candidates who don’t have one single interest of mine on their agenda.  So, I said FUCK YO VOTE!

DEMOCRACY

At the end of the day, I can’t honestly say that the Trump administration is any worse than any administration I’ve lived through.  Before you frown up, let me explain.  Legislatively and presidentially, our government has consistently failed us.  So, saying how bad one individual has done just adds to the stockpiled failures that came before him and the countless ones to come after.  My concern is the social climate though.  We currently have a regime…I mean administration that incites conflict.  Bigots and racists have become quite brazen and racial intimidation is returning as useful tactics for these citizens.  To a degree, I’m not certain what is most disheartening.  Is it the current president’s willingness to allow the social unrest to boil over or is it the reminder that this was exactly the foundation in which this nation was created in the first place? And with all of that anger, distrust, fear and resentment, I’m supposed to vote for the lesser of two evils.  A very daunting task. A task that will be completed by all the citizens of America who believe in the government and truly believe their vote counts.  And to you all, I say FUCK YO VOTE!! In case you’re wondering….yes, I voted.