I have been saving a Three Way Dance for quite a while now. And it’s always needed. Matter of fact, it’s still needed. Even if the old blogs will be retired. More on that later. But like the title, it’s time to do a three way because of the situation right now even if you love calling on black folks doing right.

First Dance on the card: What is it about white folks, who call the police on black folks doing positive or civilized activities?

Barbecues, selling water, doing paper routes, cleaning up trash on a freeway, waiting to be serviced on meals, paying for meals, driving while being black, doing inspections and many other things doing WHILE BEING BLACK! What is the problem here? What is the real problem here? It seems to me that there are paranoid idiots out here that don’t know jack about a certain individual or groups that aren’t doing anything negative to get attention. When I was back in high school, one of my former band teachers used to say all the time, “do something constructive with yourselves.” And she was white. And its been about 23 years now.

Hmmm…….this got to be reminded that many of us have been doing constructive like Barbecuing, or whatever ideas that might get those riled up with cell phones calling the cops. Some said on Social Media that whenever a white person whom has the cell phone calling the police, there should be retaliation by saying that “we’ll sue them or put a fine on them for doing things that are constructive.” Yes, black folks can also be constructive and doing activities that don’t harm NO ONE! Somebody is probably saying what kinds of things they do? Open your eyes. Long time ago, when Fox 6 Milwaukee had their blogs going, someone whom was a white blogger at the time talked about or asked why can’t black people do things like dipping Doritos? No seriously! “Dipping Doritos?!” That was the most ungodly dumb question I’ve seen in my life. I know that “no question is a dumb question” means more in 2018 like 1995, but this was a dumb question as is. This whole thing is silly and dumb. And this keeps up, it’s going to be a problem. And I would not be surprised that retaliation of justice will come up. Mark my words. Remember those words about being constructive, or being civil.

Second Dance on the Card: I need to address this – Puerto Rico is part of the U.S.

On Facebook, I was looking at this footage about this white dude in Illinois kept going towards this young lady about her shirt, a Puerto Rican Shirt and stating that she shouldn’t be wearing that in the United States. The young lady’s name, Mia Irizarry recorded the entire footage about this subject and yes review the footage to refresh your memory.

The dude kept going on and on about the whole “she’s not an American thing” by wearing a Puerto Rican shirt and oh, the cop in the background looking at this, does absolutely NOTHING! No movements, no arrests, nothing. It’s almost like he’s standing there and not making any advancements or law and order to cease all this in a manner. Is this what the new normal of law enforcement work is now? Later on the rest of the squad showed up and told the man whom did all the harassment, was told that the park was a public place. Plus Mia was using the park area for a Birthday Party. As I looked at this, and yes there might be someone say that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. Actually – It’s long mentioned that it was a territory of the U.S. since 1898. We’re talking about to be exact: 120 years. That’s right, 120 years as part of the U.S. The United States as a whole is 242 years old as we know from the holiday of July 4th. And when Puerto Rico became a U.S. Territory in 1898, the U.S. was just 122 years old as it’s own nation. Like many in families, many of us have relatives whom may and are related being Puerto Rican. I too have relatives whom are mixed cousins whom are Puerto Rican. They are my blood relatives, my kinfolk and yes family! And for the record, majority of my family members are black. If someone were to approach them after what Mia experienced there will be an all out protection. Not because they are of Puerto Rican decent, but they are my family members. They are cousins of mine. I would defend them to the fullest. Period! If a drunk dude get at an angle of being hostile, the defense will be up. Oh, just an update here, word is that the officer had be relieved for desk duty and the guy got charged for the hate crime.

Third Dance on the card: Wisconsin’s Democratic Gubernatorial contenders.

Yesterday, the City of Milwaukee, really the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recently had the 1st and only Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Debate. Yes it was televised on TV and the Internet plus radio. The 8 contenders: Mike McCabe, Kathleen Vinehout, Josh Pade, Tony Evers, Matt Flynn, Paul Soglin, Kelda Roys, and Mahlon Mitchell. In the 1hour and 30 plus minute mark of the debate, the remaining 8 contenders referenced the various topics including Foxconn, Education, and Justice Reform. Many of the candidates had ideas in all, but one of them stood out the most to me was………Mahlon Mitchell. I’m going to say that Mahlon is becoming a fan favorite because the articulation of his ideas and philosophy really sunk in very well. I would best believe that Mahlon Mitchell is obviously a new fresh choice that would boost the interest of the state.

And yes, he is black. Remember what I said that in one of my “Scratching my head all this time” blogs that Wisconsin turned 170 years old in May, and about the 8% of African Americans living in the state? Plus I also said that Wisconsin in it’s history never had a black governor that led the state. That is a fact. But the question is, and I’m putting this out, is Wisconsin ready for a governor that is African Decent? Can it be done in a state that most of the folks locked up in jail happen to be African-American, which dictate the sentiment of the “Worst State for Black People” moniker? And the high unemployment of those living in the rough neighborhoods of Milwaukee?  This should NOT scare anyone with Wisconsinites. Maybe the rural/suburban folks. But “this convo” has been long discussed in the African-American areas of the state that many in Wisconsin will not go to. Or will not talk about. Does Tony Evers or Kathleen Vinehout go to the inner city area of Milwaukee? Nope! What about the other candidates whom have no Milwaukee ties? None. Oh, they might talk about it from afar, but not in person! And keep in mind that Wisconsin’s African-American Population is hovering around the 8% percent. It’s small. And the majority of the African-American population is in the South East Area of the state. Oh, the current Governor like Walker doesn’t really care about the Milwaukee Area that much.

I’m going to bet that Mahlon would be a “surprise front runner” for this election. And the thing is, here it is back in 2011-12 that he and Tom Barrett were going all over the state competing for the chair in Madison. Then losing to Walker. Now it’s his turn and doing it well with growth. So guess what, I’m betting on Mahlon on August 14th. And plus most recently, his fundraising status was boosted more than the contenders competing. And this was between January and June of this year. And unlike the other Democratic contenders, he didn’t use no loans to help boost his funds. NOPE! Not him! It’s self-funded. Old school self-funded style.

We’ll see after August 14th. In which also that many will cast a ballot of their choosing to take down Scott Walker.

 

 

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PDVD_024

Happy 4th yet again, y’all.

We already know that the country has turned another age in all, but we already know that the ongoing struggle in America indeed continues. And yes if you’re Black, you probably had been called out being a sellout all because you wore the Red/White/Blue instead of the Red/Black/Green. Or you might have sang the National Anthem without any concern except the fact the third verse had a racial thing attached. But as we put away the fireworks and flags in all, I’m scratching my head again.

Ok, did anyone actually read the Declaration? I mean really? What was summarized?

Black folks, we already know about the slavery side of 1776, but what about those whom served in both armies of the Continential, and the British that guaranteed freedom? Yes blacks did served under the flags back then.

Here is a question: I was reading Sophia A. Nelson’s book, “E Plurbis One”, and two of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were against slavery. And slightly before the founding year, the idea was shot down. Did you know this?

With all the 4th of July parades and parties in America, why not enough black folks? (At least the parade side)

Frederick Douglass’ speech from 1852 “What to the slave mean to the Fourth of July?” is like a call out to the “hypocritical attitude” of being free for most, not many. Any questions on that?

Best movies to watch on the fourth happens to be ranked of all time? Must include Independence Day and The Patriot.

I hear black folks saying, “that flag wasn’t meant for us!” Well, what flag is?

Why do certain folks like to scream out “Fourth of You Lie?!” And also to add, “what are you celebrating?” Like really?

How come we didn’t point out the verse “No heirling for a slave” before like last couple of years in the National Anthem?
NATIONAL ANTHEMS RENDITIONS:

Was Whitney Houston’s version of the Star Spangled Banner from 1991 the best ever?

Was Marvin Gaye’s Star Spangled Banner from 1983 good? Like 35 years ago?

What about Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Anthem?
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL RENDITIONS:

Which “America The Beautiful” was and is the best to hear? – Aretha Franklin, John Legend or Chloe/Halle ? (Reference Wrestlemania)
USA DREAM TEAMS

Which Team USA Basketball team was better: 1992 or 2008? ’92 all the way!

Which team is America’s team deserving? I STILL say the Green Bay Packers!

And which “USA Dream Team” is in the making right now in sports that NOBODY is talking about but will have to examine? I might say the US Rugby Team. Who knows?

When will the real American businesses recognize “Made in America” like really?

Chris Rock once said, “Happy White People’s Independence Day”. Last year, Damon Wayans Jr said “Happy racist white people’s day”. Both got slandered and attacked after telling the truth. Well white folks and everyone else, had their punchlines “told the truth?”

Heard that the new San Antonio Spurs player, Lonnie Walker IV had to delete his tweet after he posted about not celebrating the 4th and telling everyone to stay woke. Umm………why was the tweet deleted after not standing his proof enough?

Is “every way” the American way?

How many Americans did not know what Juneteenth Day was about?

How many Americans did not know that Juneteenth Day came approximately 89 years total after 1776?

Speaking of that: Black folks, an idea here: we should wear the numbers 89 or 87 on July 4th (in either red white and blue; or red black and green) to symbolize the amount of years it took black folks to get the freedom we all talk about. Can that be done? And yes we can rock it for Juneteenth Day.

It’s 2018: you know you can be revolutionary by voting in the Midterms, right?

How many Americans did not know that the 4th of July is not always about fireworks?

How many Black T-Shirt makers can create a #MelaninPatriot shirt? or a “The Struggle Continues” in the Stars and Stripes and sell it?

Speaking of Juneteenth yet again, you know the official colors of the Juneteenth Day Flag is Red, White and Blue, right?

We know that Philly throws 4th of July Celebrations alot due to the birth of the nation. But can Milwaukee have a 4th of July party concerts with the locals musicians?

Speaking of Patriotic: which figures in American History seemed to be the most patriotic in terms of speaking out against racism, police brutality, white supremacy, and many other shameful acts?

Which zodiac sign is more like a patriot? I say……..my sign, Sagittarius.

Who is the more of the local patriots that knows the game in the local communities of the struggle, and I dare say the culture?

Milwaukee needs a 4th of July style laser light/fireworks/DJ Show. Who can do this?

Besides the Military, is the average community organizer, or everyday union worker or an everyday working person/volunteer that is very UNSUNG is also patriotic or revolutionary?

And now for the final question: Don’t be offended by the picture below.

Relax and breathe.

Black folks: we know already that many of us don’t really celebrate the 4th Of July by an example of the memes below. And yes, our ancestors were in shackles, branded, whipped, had no freedom, no liberty, no justice, no peace to be us. We were stripped from our former names to get the names like Toby out of Roots. We were forced to be bought and paid in auctions, but like Cicely Tyson said in one of Tyler Perry’s movie “Madea’s Family Reunion” in the line to the family: Now it’s time to take your place!” We also have this tendency to tell folks not to celebrate the 4th all because our ancestors were slaves. We weren’t beaten. But the legality of those beatings linger into police brutality, racism, sexism, discrimination among minorities, and others. We get sensitive when we see our brothers and sisters wearing red white and blue and shake our heads. Why?!!!!

If a black man or a black woman wants to celebrate the 4th in a way different, LET THEM CELEBRATE! Last year, I was listening to one of my local black radio hosts on WNOV 860. There was a black female caller who expressed about the celebrations of Juneteenth Day. However she also expressed about celebrating the Fourth of July. As we all know from her comment that this country was built on the backs of us Black folks either as slaves and freed people. We definitely know this and should know. And the thing is we always hear about us going back to Africa. Well many people forget, not too many in Africa like us African-Americans maybe because many of us haven’t been there! Many forget that part of the slavetrade, came out of Africa (partially sold by other blacks) which was a forgotten comment! And of course, America ate up the idea of slavery and served it up until 1865, when the slaves were declared free. According to Vibe.com, Roland Martin was on the Wendy Williams Show the year before (after she talked smack about the HBCU’S), cited that black people were “technically free”:

If you had to place a marker on when black folks were technically fully free Americans, it’s 1970.

So as I look at this meme with the word Independence spelled wrong, (don’t blame the Public Schools) a Tupac pic, and all the talk about Juneteenth Day being celebrated and something forgotten, and with the ongoing crimes, racism, sexism, discrimination, police brutality, war against blacks lives, undocumented murders against black folks and many other concerns, I must ASK this:

Have we fully gained our Independence so far? And after celebrating Juneteenth, did we fully gained OUR freedom as of right now? Let that sink in.

Callout: Freedom is still not free. Even after 242 years and even after 153 years. Let’s be real, the struggle to get to that freedom thing is going to take a ongoing four letter word of WORK!

And by the way, I need to say this: If a black man or woman or a black kid wants to celebrate BOTH the Fourth and Juneteenth, even if they fly the flags, or decorate the house, man let them. Just let them! Stop the calling out the coon or sellout names. That can somewhat die now. Some folks celebrate their birthdays on those days. Or a anniversary. Or whatever. Malia Obama’s birthday is July 4th….Hello! Let’s be clear, for those of us whom are so “conscious and woke”, look: your opinions are just that. Your own! Let the folks whom are so “Melanin Patriot Powered” have their day. Leave them alone! Let them reclaim their time. No one is not forcing you to celebrate the holiday, where as you should not force anyone to say: “Remember and celebrate Juneteenth Day!” Trust me you will not win that argument at all. I’m just saying, you say that forcefully and folks will still sleep. I mean correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t one of the Bill of Rights has the words, “Freedom of Expression” in it? Hey, let that sink in! And this applies to us like everyday.

Can I get a “Hotep” peace mixed in with a thanks of God Bless America?

Thank You.


PDVD_038

Oh, is it Independence Day? The day of the 1776 that many were “partying?” Oh yes, it’s July 4th. The 242nd Anniversary of the Independence. And yes like before, we can celebrate in all. Plus I dare say to comment this: The Struggle Continues!

Why do I keep saying, The Struggle Continues? I keep it as a reminder that no matter what happens in life and in our daily lives, the struggle of the ideas, objectives, faith, financial, manhood, womanhood, your sexual preference, voting ideas, marital status, and other things we hold dear like a musket still continues with this struggle. Even being black and conscious about our black-selves is a struggle EVERYDAY.

Black folks: we know that already that a day like this may or may not favor us likewise. When this day of Independence was established as we know, our people was not partying like everyone else. Others may ask why, we know that SLAVERY and BONDAGE were a factor of us not celebrating the fireworks. It took 89 years, (that’s right 89 years) for us to have our share of freedom when Juneteenth Day was created. For you the non-black audience this is part of history that many (and MANY) slept over. We get caught up in the hype and we forget that there were cracks in the ground that didn’t get covered. Think about this, the next 4th of July Holiday will be in 2019. The same 2019 when we will summarize the last slaves arrived from Africa in 1619. We’re talking on the real: 400 years. We will be saying 400 years alot next year. But when that happens, we’ll recognize it and surely it will be summarized that will make 45’s hair snap out! We can talk about the use of Patriotism in the country. But for us Black folks here me when I say this: We are Patriots too! When someone on our social media folks says that black people aren’t patriots, they are lying. We are patriots due to the speaking out of Police Brutality. We are patriots speaking out on our Black Lives Matter every time! We speakout on the hate on us being denied of jobs, homes, assistance of medical and finance, where to shop, having our say of education, voting, innocent lives getting killed, and many others with the moniker “Amerikkka” in all in the addressing the thought and issues and concerns about this country that really affects us! We have to address it! And the reason being because is if anyone is not going to address our issues, we have to do it. That is OUR patriotic duty as citizens to upkeep the words that Dr. King once said as an example: “Be true what you say on paper!” That is just not being patriotic in our way, but it’s also being held accountable for the things and issues that get put out there! Yeah, we have a patriotism in our own right. And you don’t necessarily have to wave the Red, White and Blue all the time. The real patriotism is in your heart and your viewpoints. I just had to say that.

Frederick Douglass even questioned that when he asked, “What to the slave is the 4th of July? Martin Luther King even ask that question more than just “I Have A Dream”. Rosa Parks even asked about that question when hanging a banner about those being lynched. Malcolm X was questioning that very often about the formality of Black Excellence/Nationalism being questioned along with peace and freedom. And many countless others said the same thing whom were and are African-American and having the balls to do it. In his last 4th of July as President, Barack Obama commented about “imperfections in our union”. And he was right. And still there are imperfections today that still need to be tackled right now.

Currently, we are still speaking out. Even Rep. Maxine Waters of California still criticized the antics of Donald Trump. Yes, Auntie Maxine is speaking the truth like it or not. And many can hate all they want. Even some Democrats need to shut up and listen of what’s really going on. And oh, they and others want to her to stop talking that jazz and having civility. You want to talk about civility?! And all that talk about her inciting violence? What a joke! The real joke is the 45 acts of stupidity. The real joke of seeing that stars and stripes side by side with the North Korean Flag which almost make me puke. The real joke is hating on Harley-Davidson Motorcycles for the criticisms about this American made product that is Milwaukee Born being some of the jobs being shipped overseas and of course some of the employees probably favored Trump. Plus would this act stains the 115th Anniversary? And even rolling back the ideas that Barack Obama placed regarding the Affordable Care Act, College Admissions and others were classified as a joke for Trump. And all that so-called “Make America Great Again” stuff is nothing more that a fake revolution to bring to light. It’s a farce! Even separating families at the border for no apparent reason. And black folks we know the feeling of separation as many times explained how our people were on auction blocks being sold into slavery. And generations in the future are putting the links together to assemble our family trees.

Why I am saying this on a day like today? Why many are saying, “Stephen this is our country’s birthday. Leave it alone”. WHY?! Come on, now! I am like a Patriot that is addressing the concerns that many are afraid to touch just like everyone else. And no I’m not hating the Vets like many of you. My father served in the Vietnam War, an UNPOPULAR WAR mind you that was hated by many. This year would have reflected 50 years since he came home from Vietnam and when he got back, he like many others were disrespected by being called “baby killers” from the same folks who probably then waved the flag for support. Even though that the Vietnam Vets that I know and knew served in the was that wasn’t all that, they still served, period! And now 50 years later, they are just getting their just due for service. Well, I need to ask where was that love for them 50 year ago when they returned? I’m just asking and saying at the same time.

Despite of all this, yes we are lucky to have this time. But however we also recognize that it has not been easy. We have to grind every time to get to our objectives and goals. We can still be bold of our Independence but we still have alot of work to do. Even with this crazy So-called President that many right are realizing that Hillary might have been a better choice. There are many of us have been saying it. But……like Roland Martin says on Twitter: #WeTriedToTellYa!

So with all that, we still got work to do. We still got to weed out the wickedness that plagues us very badly. What that means is we got to do better. Like former VP Joe Biden once said that America is a better country that this. We can be better and will be better. Not just with a catch phrase. But with the actions behind it.

Well, as they say: The Struggle Continues!

#Happy4th

#IndependenceDay

#242

The Struggle Continues Red White and Blue


Almost forgot to do this, but this is for the Class of 2018. By now, you just completed your degrees, walked with your classes, heard the commencement speeches, and many of you totally admit that this was the last time you saw each other. This part is sad. But you have to stay in touch with your Alumni to keep up. For all of that, this is your blog letter.

Dear Class of 2018:

It’s me, Stephen. And you know who I am. First to the class of 2018, I say congratuations! You made it! Welcome to the club of the Alumni! Or for some of you, the Real World! I know the feeling of walking that stage and being admired of my educational accomplishments. But I have heard that you all had a tremendous year based on sports, academics and yes, getting to this point in your lives that will be remembered as long as you live.

Even though that this moment in your lives in your educational history is very sufficient, don’t be alarmed but many of you are probably influencing the next class or the next member in your families that is willing to go to that next level to be the best in your efforts. I’ve mentioned this before with a different class, but the reality is you established something that will be very influential. No matter if its your High School Diploma, Colleges Degrees of Associates, Bachelor’s, Masters, or Doctors, somebody is watching you and saying that “I’m going to do this!” My thing is: GO FOR IT! Do the thing that will get you famous with the pictures on the walls and comeback in 20 years to get another generation of graduates to hype them up for the next level.

But I want to take a moment to reflect on your Graduation Ceremonies. Many of you had great ceremonies in which you weren’t dancing. Some of you did. And some of you almost got yanked off the stage. Some of you High School Valedictorians that graduated wanted to say your speeches that included some concerns about Sexual Acts of Harassment and other acts of concerns you wanted to say, was cancelled by the administrations of pulling your microphones away. This crap of what you experienced was nothing of fear! The administrations of your schools were full of BS. They didn’t care. All they cared was like again: let’s talk about the good things, pomp and circumstance, speeches, congrats, walk on the stage, tilt your tassel and go home.

WAIT A SECOND! I written about this before years ago about top seniors in High School almost got yanked off the stage for the concerns about the violence, sexual harassment, and many other FEARS that many will talk about after leaving school. My thing is, you should be concerned! This happens almost EVERYDAY in the real world! You read about it online, read it in the papers, the news, and yes you hear it from other folks whom have their problems in the families in school! But alas: it’s graduation season. I need to tell these so-called Superintendents, Educators, Secretaries, Principals, Vice Principals, Dignitaries, and yes so-called supporters who favored the yanking of speeches: YOU ARE SO STUPID! You’re all about the one-sided affairs. But not about concerns! When I heard about the students making their speeches about the violence in Florida this year and many others across the country: where were you administration? Were you listening to the students?! If you were NOT LISTENING to the kids and those whom were Seniors, there is something wrong with you! This is our future! This is our next leaders to might be better than us in which they will be in control of the ship. And oh, you stripped their right to speak about the concerns. You all need to WAKE THE F//**+ UP! Yeah I said it! Many of you are worried about your wallets instead of your instincts! I thought the schools are a part of the community. When the community of Children and Youth are concerned about the world of Donald Trump insults, and the violence of innocent people being harassed, bullied or even traumatized about their classmates’ experience, WE THE SO-CALLED GROWN FOLKS need to LISTEN! They are our future! They are not just on Facebook or playing Fortnite! And as far as the University Commencements are concern. When the graduates in Florida were dancing around after hearing the names called, one of the folks put their hands on the graduates (black ones) and try to get them off the stage! REALLY?! I get it. Its a day full of joy. And yes the University had apologized to the graduates for the act. Lucky some of the HBCU’s (the Black Colleges) didn’t see that as a distraction or a problem!

Class of 2018: DON’T LET NOBODY STEAL YOUR JOY! If I had to come to a graduation and speak to most of you, I’m letting those words be the anchor. Not just for graduations or commencement services but everyday! You’re going to put up with folks whom don’t care about your academics, your sports, your family background, your heritage, your gender, your issues of whatever, religion, history, and etc. THEY WON’T CARE. It might seemed racist, sexist, shaming, in all. They will. Although they might acknowledge them, but many will not care about it! But I say this, be proud that you made it. Let the haters hate, sulk and suffer!

If they hate that you got a masters or a bachleors from a crappy school that they couldn’t pass, SORE LOSERS! Same thing with the High Schools. They couldn’t cut the mustard then. That’s why they complain. That’s why they go on the blogs (not this one) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others piss and moan about guys like you making it. And here is a shocker, some of them could be your former classmates, and I dare say: your church, your other friends, and even this might hurt, your kinfolk family members. It’s a well known fact of hate!

2018: Always continue to be the best in all what you do! Be real in all what you do! And don’t let NOBODY or anything stand your way towards that goaline. You have made it this far. Keep going to that next level! Oh, one more thing: since many of you got your degrees, and got all that grad money and I’ve mentioned this before. Get involved with your school’s Alumni Associations. Get involved with them. Attend a board meeting, receive newsletters, email blasts, view social media posts about your class or school. Tour the school for an open house, attend a homecoming game. Just to clarify that Homecoming is really for the Alumni! And for those whom are way younger than 41: I was told to do this at 18, and I’m telling you here: Go to your reunions. And also, donate back to your schools that gave you love in the first place! Now a days if you have not heard, Alumni Groups or Alumni in general now wants to give back to their schools. The schools want to reach out to the Alumni. GET INVOLVED!

Younger alums: I know that many of you will be busy with family and college. But the Alumni Committees needs to hear from you about what you want to see in your alum orgs. My advice, get to know your Alumni Committee. Get to know at least one member. Visit the schools, get the info that is current! Buy a T-shirt, form your own Alumni groups and events/reunions, and have the elder alumni to talk to you about why you should be a future Alumni Board Member. And like I said in many Graduation Blogs years ago, you might be on the stage in the future giving a keynote address to a future class that might be looking at you as an example while getting an Alumni of the Year Award. Which would echo your work in the community.

2018: You made it this far. Congrats to all of you. Like I said on the night of my father’s wake: Stay in the fight!

Sincerely,

Stephen


I think it’s time to retire some blog stories here. Don’t know which one but it’ll be within the near future to see which past blogs I’ve written in the past might be archived.

Stay tuned.


Well readers, the rules are back. My rules in which many must follow, or to simply just to give advice. For this it’s the new traditional Stephen’s Spot Rules of Summerfest. Reviewing again for 2018. By the way, we all know last year that the park celebrated 50 years. But it’s the 51st year in it’s Golden Age, the fun is still the same. As always a reference: consult Summerfest’s rules of the park here. By the way, I am crediting the park with most of the information I know just to clarify.

First, let’s go over what I said last time in a long sentence mixed with something new. Many of you veterans of the park already know, yet again. Rookies, pay attention!

Since Summerfest is very well known in Milwaukee, I know about the place well. I first volunteered at the place at the then African World Festival in 1997, saw some shows, and worked in the late 90’s plus the year of 2000. I know the gates, security things, and the places to park near and far from the venue. So if you ready to party like crazy, start learning and reviewing. By the way, I don’t currently work for the company, BUT I KNOW the rules and regulations for my experience.

1) Summerfest is 11 days starting June 27th to July 8th. Except July 2nd. And everyday there will days where you can get in free. Learn it! Especially the timeframes given. Like today, there was free way to get in for donations for the Hunger Task Force from Noon – 3:00pm . Please PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIMES! And pay attention (PLEASE PAY ATTENTION) to the news, internet, social media platforms and radio promos about Summerfest as well. Oh, Summerfest will be open on the 4th of July.

2) The park does have information booths. Need a program? They have them. Or for you mobile folks, you can download them via the net or straight to your smartphone. Your choice. Oh if you got the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this past Sunday, you might got a program with the paper.

3) CALLOUT WARNING: Listen Up! If you are an out of towner and have been stuck on the Wisconsin highway for about 2 and half hours getting to the park, that is your loss! The reason why I’m saying this, because when I was working for the company, I got hollered by a man (a white disgruntled man from Illinois mind you) about him being stuck on our highways for two hours. He verbally asked for the manager and the freaking former mayor John Norquist of all people. I am not making this up. This is a true story working at the main gate back in ’99. Keep in mind from my experience, Summerfest Security doesn’t control the freeways for the patrons to get to the park. My advice for you Wisconsin visitors (that yes the traffic will be hectic due to construction mostly, or the 1st shift folks going home, 2nd shift folks going to work), get there early!!!!! Like a day early. Or hours early when traffic is not huge!!!

4) If you ever think that you’ll be videotaping for your own personal use in or near the park (i.e. camcorders/video equipment), don’t record nothing! Knowing security they will take away the recording devices. They got rules for that. And the same goes for the Amp! Leave the camcorders at home. But there is one exception: If you have credentials from a performer or media organization like Fox 6 or the Milwaukee Courier Newspaper that might be fine.

5) If you’re about to pick up a ticket for a concert and if you run into a member of Security or Admissions personnel to pay them for the assistance to wait or ask questions to assist, don’t even try it! Buy the ticket and get an early pick up, or a mailing.

6) Cameras (mostly small cameras) are allowed on the grounds. It’s cool. But in the Amp, Nope. They won’t allow it. Don’t try it. BUT, like camcorders if you have credentials from a performer or media that might be fine. Also, and no selfie sticks. They won’t allow them. Sorry!

7) Like bathrooms, and merchandise areas, there are ATMs on the grounds. Be sure to spot them just in case you need that extra green.

8) Leave your weapons of Swiss army knives at home! The red shirts will take them, as well as any other suspicious item that is deemed dangerous. Just a word of warning.

9) Usually the workers in the colored shirts don’t reveal their names. Best advice, know their numbers! Like 563. Or in this case: Red 563. or Yellow 450.

10) CALLOUT: For the first time goers: Summerfest attracts big crowds. Just a word of warning. Again the park attracts crowds!

11) Best thing to ride at the grounds: Besides the arcades and the interactive stuff, the Skygliders. Take them. It’s legendary and use your cameras for sky pics!

12) Don’t be afraid to help those who don’t know much about the park. Give them some pointers! Now, if you can’t be at Summerfest, but know what the day schedule is, and if your bestie needs that social media assistance: Tweet it. Facebook it. Instagram it. Text it. Google it. #Hashtag it. You know the routine! Help them out.

13) For the bus folks, as you know Summerfest got shuttles (MCTS, Restaurants, Bars, etc) . You know the deal. No need to tell you. And that goes for the Uber/Lyft folks.

14) They say that Summerfest has nothing for the kids. Um……..they do. Look at the children’s theater schedules, and they have a Children’s Fest day. Take them to that. Usually between Noon and 3pm on the day after Independence Day. Speaking of that, if your child gets lost and it happens often let the security folks know! Summerfest does infact has an Lost Children’s Area for those who don’t know!

15) Yes, you can buy food and drinks at the park. BUT…………if you buy food on the outside as well as drinks trying to get in, can’t do it. Just like having cans and/or glass bottles. Nope can’t bring them in. Sorry! (Just a thought from my Security days) If you have an empty bottle, that is acceptable to bring in.

16) If it’s raining and if you have an Umbrella, yes you can bring it. BUT…….not in the Amp. If it’s hot, better take a towel just in case. If you get hurt, injured or get sick, Summerfest does have First Aid Stations and MFD will be on stat. Plus don’t be surprised if you see cool tents to take a break from the heat. For you with kids, the splash pad will be in effect.

17) Like any other venue, there are areas that you can lock up your stuff. Ask the personnel in the info booths for that. Usually it’s for the special needs patrons, but feel free to ask questions.

18) Upon entry, you will be searched. Just a heads up. Bags, strollers, etc. Expect the pat downs and maybe the overhead security things. Summerfest will have metal detectors and wands. Just like in high school in the 90’s with the searches.

19) Now check this, if you bought a concert ticket to see or any other headliner at the Amp, yes, you can get through the gates with that as well. Mostly the South Gate.

20) Keep in mind, Summerfest does have cameras all around the park. If you mess up, don’t expect to be spotted or thrown out! Warning for those who might be drunk in all. I’m just saying!

21) For the record: Pets are NOT allowed at the park. BUT……….service animals are acceptable as well as many other needs for the elderly and disabled.

22) And as far as parking: Many know well that parking can be a hassle for a good spot. My advice, look for the areas near the park, like parking lots near Michigan or Jefferson Streets. The U.S. Bank Building near Cass Street has festival parking available for those who want to use it. Yep, pay the required amount. Plus also if you have a concert ticket plus a parking validation with it, you are straight. Also if you’re lucky per say, there are parking spots close by the park near the South Gate that you could try. But, it’s a slim chance though. The r

23) For the record, Summerfest does have urban acts lined up for 2018: J.Cole, The Weeknd, Janelle Monae, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Lil Uzi Vert, Nelly, The New Power Generation, Maze/Frankin Beverly, Sugarhill Gang. Local artists like Yung D. Rhodes, Streetlife, Eddie Butts Band, and the Charles Walker Band are also on the list. Just to name a few. PLEASE CHECK THEM OUT MILWAUKEE!!!!!!

24) Currently, Construction right now is a beast. Take real caution and be safe. Plus think ahead before planning to drive please!

25) As far as Fireworks: No need explaining. You all should know that the first night of Summerfest and July 3rd. Pick a spot and view with the cameras and smartphones on stat.

26) Now I shouldn’t point this out, but I should. If there is an issue with a Summerfest employee, volunteer or a worker that you might disagree with, the staff does have supervisors on site. Talk with their managers!

Caught up yet? Good.

NEW STUFF THIS YEAR: or the extra reminders you already know.

Hand Stamps are always plentiful. Between Noon and 3:00 that is.

BAG POLICY: New this year, like the stadiums, other entertainment parks, Summerfest has a new bag policy. Please pay attention to this very carefully! – 9″ x 10″ x 12″. When coming to the park, the carry ins of Tote Bags, Cinch Bags (or Drawstring Bags) and Small Purses/Clutches are allowed. If you have a Fanny Pack, that will be acceptable. BUT: If you have a Backpack, Camera Bag, Large Purse or a Cooler – THOSE ITEMS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE! They cannot be brought into the park. What might happen is either you take the bag back to your parking spot nearby or donate it. That’s what they said! And plus, Summerfest will give you a bag to empty the contents of your original to put in. And they have made this mandatory for everyone, even those who work at the park to follow the same examples as everyone else. If you take the Bus, Uber, Lyft or a buddy to drop off, make sure they pack small with the bags acceptable! If they get dropped off with the wrong bag in all, it’s a wrap. Also, there is an exception that if you have a bag that is for needs like medications, or baby diapers/wipes. This rule has been brought to our attention last month. And I know many will forget and get angry about a bag that they can’t bring in, and their car is parked in Greenfield or Chicago!
BOTTOM LINE: Just a word of advice, read the rules AHEAD OF TIME! All of this is part of updated security. Just to be safe.

Look for the Summerfest Street Team. They are always around. Matter of fact, they might be looking for you!

For all you UBER drivers or Lyft Drivers, I hope you got your plans set up for the extra green. No need to tell you. Or those Ubering a chance to earn money for the first time big gig rides. Feel free to sign up here. Lyft Drivers, I’m assuming that many of you are probably making ideas for your drivers to set up the schedules. Get the Apps out! Make that money.

Even though it’s relatively new, feel free to leave your mark on the festival with a brick. No really, you can! Check out the “Brick Order” on the Summerfest website. It has a variety of prices on it, but it is worth to have your name etched in stone for life!

For the Power Pass Users, you’re lucky! Use that pass to get in for the days and shows of your choice.

The Summerfest Store on the grounds has many merch for your spending. And it’s homegrown. Don’t be surprised with a Summerfest State of Mind shirt on your idea list to buy. (Spoiler Alert – those state of mind shirts are made by the same company that does these “state of mind” ideas to print.

If going to the BMO Harris Pavilion Stage for a show, you might have a “Blue Circle Seat Pass” for the acts. Some of the passes might be sold out, but there are those you can get depending on the shows. For more information, click here.

The Miller Oasis Stage is so new now. Please make a note of it. They have a sale going for some of the performers making that music. Plus, new for 2018: The stage has a Level Up Viewing Deck for your viewing pleasure. Check it out.

The North Gate area is new. All decked out.

On June 28th, between Noon and 6pm, get into Summerfest for $5.00! It’s a TBT special with Pick N’ Save.

June 29th is Show Your College Pride Day. Wear your college shirt or hat to get in between Noon and 3pm. Oh, just for clarification: the colleges are comprised of these schools only: Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, Concordia University, Herzing University, Lawrence University, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Area Technical College, MSOE, Upper Iowa University, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Other schools, sorry. That includes my UW-Stout.

Everyday at Summerfest, there will be an Emerging Artist Series shows that will take place. And word is you can vote for an artists that are coming up.

Like last year, Jimmy Kimmel Live will feature some of it’s concert series from Summerfest.

For other info that you need to ask, comment or question, either business or personal, consult the Summerfest Website for details.

Now, go party and be safe!


Just now ,this has been popped in my head. I’m scratching my head again about Milwaukee’s Big Gig. Summerfest is coming on June 27th this year kicking off #51. And yes, you fest goers need to get your gear on and being the attendees you are: Curious, interested, ready, happy, drunk, and yes going for a good time. Not exactly in that order. I’m not just scratching my head here. I’ve been scratching my head about this for a LONG WHILE! And yes, I used to work there. Oh, if you are a current Summerfest management worker, start taking notes.

Why there are folks wondering that Summerfest is 51 this year, and not 50? (Originally Summerfest actually had it’s planning ideas in 1966-67).

Summerfest as many knows attracts all kinds of music. How often does it attract Gospel music? For you the unfamiliar crowds, go to a Black Church to hear a gospel music choir or buy either Kirk Franklin or John P. Kee. Or Snoop Dogg’s Bible of Love. And by the way, I’m not a Gospel fan, but I’m doing you Gospel heads a favor here.

Why was it really hard to get Hip Hop/Rap acts to Summerfest, like in the last couple of years? Now it’s not a concern. And not many in the black community can’t relate to RATT or Whitesnake. Or even George Thorogood and the Destroyers. I’m just saying.

Is it really hard to get to know the free days? Especially if you coming home from work!

Just for the record, if you buy a piece of merch from the big gig, you know you are supporting local stuff, right? Just like the pins. I need a Summerfest pin from the 50th to my collection!

This is what Summerfest needs: Have a free networking day for the FORMER Employees. Can that be done?

What is that music thing with the headphones and folks are dancing around to DJ Music? Can Summerfest do this?

It appears that the change in music scenes around Summerfest go from old fashioned to the rave like style. Agree or disagree?

I need to ask this: when looking at the fireworks for the Big Bang, can DJ music be a factor? As well as fireworks on top of the US Bank Building like before and maybe…….The Northwestern Mutual Tower or the 833 Building?

Speaking of Black Music Month: by the way June is Black Music Month for those whom don’t know; who were the well known Black acts to perform at Summerfest? Local or famous?

And who is the latest well known now Black act to perform at Summerfest? Local or famous?

Should Summerfest have a free day for the American Legion Family? Like the free day for the Military and Veterans?

Wait a minute: This also came to mind. Summerfest needs an MPS Alumni Day and MPS Proud Day to support the Milwaukee Public Schools. Should this be a good thing? As well as other schools that are not MPS? And I’ll best many of the MPS Alumni probably got one of their gigs at Summerfest doing work long ago. Probably, still doing work!

Why hasn’t any member of the faith community offered or asked to do Communion to the patrons at Summerfest? Just a thought in asking. Not to bug those whom are not so religious. Look, Summerfest goer folks need prayer too. Getting to, in, and from the park!

Can Summerfest really put up a networking area for those looking for work for any job? Or just simply network with other businesses?

I don’t really have to ask this, but could Summerfest provide internships for those who want to get started in the management entertainment business? In any field? In any area? Plus ANY age?

Break Dancing, Dance Battles, Soul Train Lines, and/or Clean Rap Battles needs to happen at Summerfest. Who likes this idea? Consult the Rap/R&B Stations or True School.

Summerfest should need “throwback” sales. Like really. Is that possible?

Another crazy idea here; Summerfest needs drone photography. Yeah I said it. They’re everywhere. Who are the BEST drone pilots in the city that can do this?

We know The Hop is coming. That’s the Milwaukee Streetcar by the way. Will it be “Summerfest ready” say………2019?

Next question: This is for all of the Fraternities and Sororities. Should there be a Fraternity/Sororities Greek day?

Last question to think about: Should Summerfest have a “lifetime pass” for the patrons (or family members of patrons) whom been so loyal?

Later today, my survival tip on mastering the Big Gig is coming!


@StephensSpot

With the expansion of Tumblr and Facebook, I have begun the process to extend the line to the Twitter Universe. Stephen’s Spot On WordPress is on Twitter so I can hashtag #MyTake, or #AStephensSpotExclusive, or #ScratchingMyHeadAllThisTime. Guess what? It’s time to have fun with this. So if you’re still slow speeding from the old stories stats and just finding out what this is? Really? It’s time to speed up!

And it’s time to get serious!


I’m afraid that I shouldn’t write this blog story but many probably won’t care. You probably might read something else and that’s fine. But I want to summarize something that’s been on my mind since. It appears of a news info about the Wisconsin UMC is looking at the up and coming congregations about the areas that are mostly African, Hmong and Hispanic. It’s really apart of the “Wisconsin Anew” thing that the Conference has been pushing for quite sometime. However, I think there is one element that does not seem to weigh in and forgotten the most is the African-American UMC Voices.

I need the Wisconsin Conference UMC to hear me out as a 4th Generation African-American Member: if it’s true that the conference is trying to somewhat “silence the African American voices” regarding the all black churches in the Milwaukee Area that is a blatant mistake! It’s a mistake that the from what I hear that the Conference is not interested in the voices of the African American Community regarding it’s flagship churches! One of them is my home church since it’s founding of the year 1949.

Why do I feel that this is necessary to keep the African American UMC Voice in Milwaukee? Why is it necessary? It’s our right to maintain a voice to support our African American congregations, and with that, comes our issues, concerns and objectives. One of our ideal objectives is to launch an “African-American Worship Center” on the grounds of one of our sister churches. The building would serve a purpose to maintain, grow and stimulate ideas of membership, services, events, and concepts to maintain our voice with the African American Community in the United Methodist Church. Particularly in the Milwaukee area! Everyone knows that the Milwaukee area is 40% African- American. That is a fact. Wisconsin is only about 8% when it comes to the African-American population. That also is a fact!

But why this? What is the reason of trying to do this?!

It’s somewhat obvious to me that the Conference as positive as it is, is using this mark to silence the black folks. Once we go silent we can’t say much or do much as we set out to do. I hate to say this, but as a black man…excuse me, African-American male that does care about the objectives and ideas of the church, I find this disturbing and somewhat, hold your breath: racist.

This is what this is sounds like almost. Racism. Picking apart the strongholds to make them weak. Now I’m not into hating the Hmong, Hispanic and African here. I got friends in those groups and have no hate on them. HOWEVER: when it comes to the harm of the black community and the dealt of the being driven out because of the Anew idea doesn’t fit in all, that is what I have an issue with it.

My home church was founded yet again in 1949. In an area of Milwaukee that many are “afraid to go” to and it was near the Carver Park Area. The Original Bronzeville district! And in the homes of the one of the founders, the members started out with 5 members. 5! It wasn’t no upstart! And stapled as the first African-American United Methodist Church established with a resume of 15 Pastors combined nearly 70 years of experience of service. Even though we are a small bunch, but we maintain our status, objective and beliefs to effectively GROW as a church! This is what we want to do. And in the spirit of our predecessors and ancestors we want to make this happen for the future of the church. Specifically our members whom are African-American and needing a voice to support in the community!

I really hope that the Conference does not take this thing of my message the wrong way. They must hear about our concerns and objectives. We are apart of this team of United Methodist whether they like it or not. I say this to the Bishop and the Cabinet members on down. Even though that I don’t hear alot of the meetings and messages as much: I do know what the heck is going on! I can’t speak for the African-American Community that are United Methodists in Milwaukee, but I can speak for myself that this idea of suppressing our voice is stupid! We deserve a right to be heard and to summarize our ideas to not only support our own, but in fairness to support the Anew stuff with the Conference.

We’re trying to make things anew to get ourselves straight. Again, our membership needs work, the youth, young adults and children’s group needs to be revived. Already the United Methodist Women’s group mission work is going well so far, and soon to be: the United Methodist Men along with other United Methodist Men’s personal will engage in the community.

CALLOUT: This needs to go viral!

Not just in Wisconsin but it needs go viral EVERYWHERE! Even if you are a Black UMC in another state that understands the situation we’re going through. And the “rally” needs to come to Wisconsin and asks the BLACK UMC CHURCHES what needs to be done?! Real simple. Time to organize and get off the clock!

It’s getting real now! This “so-called suppression” must stop! We don’t want to sellout, turn back, nor be tokens for anything deals with this matter!

Word on the street that the 2018 Annual Conference had little representation of the African-American Members. I want to make a idea that should go VIRAL. Bring the Wisconsin Conference Experience to where we are. Bring it to the Greater Milwaukee Area. MAINLY MILWAUKEE! I am dead serious.  If you want it, be real about it. Not everyone is not going out to Middleton or Sun Prairie to get things done. You need to bring it over here. This is my thing. 

Sidenote: I do have access to a Black Methodists for Church Renewal page on Facebook. Maybe this story that I’m writing needs to be picked up there. Also the black stories in media needs to follow this as well.


Truth be told: It’s June 19th. AKA – Juneteenth Day.

And the thing is there is a scratching of the heads from those whom feel that they never knew the holiday, or the occasion why this day exists.

It’s always been here. And it’s been around since June 19th, 1865.

If those need a history lesson on why Juneteenth Day is here and why it exists, let this enlighten you.

I’m assuming that many woke up this morning and asking what’s Juneteenth Day? I’m assuming that many didn’t get the memo about the last of the black slaves that were set free on this day in 1865 in Galveston, Texas. I’m assuming that yes, Abraham Lincoln scripted the document, the Emancipation Proclaimation on January 1st, 1863 in the idea of setting up the plan to free the slaves and the use of the word FREEDOM. Yes, that is what Juneteenth is in a sense, the freedom day that blacks heard the news that the last of the slavery portion was indeed over.

Why is this holiday since 1865 really matter to……let’s say the 4th of July? You know that the 4th of July in which many will dress like Lady Liberty, and fireworks in your local parks? Yeah, that one. But it’s also the same 4th of July that my ancestors were in bondage. They were slaves. They didn’t get all the freedoms that the rich white folks and their associates had to get. The ONLY way that the Slaved Men of African Decent had to get freedom back in the 18th Century in all, was to do one thing: serve in the Continental Army for one year and after that service is up, they will be guaranteed their freedom. Even the British Army were given the same option! The whole Fourth of July, or the “Fourth of YOU LIE!” thing was really about the freedom thing being denied due to the black folks being enslaved of no rights! From 1776 to 1865, black folks had to endure approximately 89 years of being enslaved with the words: tyranny, oppression and persecution. Oh they couldn’t enjoy the fireworks.

We all know that. I think we know it without all the googles.

Now to the crowd is asking this question: “Why didn’t I learned this in school?” I can answer that: it was never taught to you. The teachers you had probably never taught you that part of black history that should have been part of the curriculum. The real blame in my view is on the curriculum. Not just the teachers and authors of updated history books! The reason I picked the curriculum because I think it starts at the top of the educational food chain in all of the schools. And yes, as an Alumni of a School District like Milwaukee, and colleges like Milwaukee’s MATC and UW-Stout I agree with this message.

Juneteenth Day is important to summarize like the 4th of July in a sense because it was and is a monumental event in history of gaining independence. Gaining freedom. Gaining prosperity. And yes, gaining a thought to be equal for all. The late MLK as many like to quote alot, had often said “be true what you say on paper!” Be true! Don’t just be like, “oh, I like the blacks and I got black friends!” Or bringing up about Black on Black Crime, or the dumb question of “what are you celebrating?

Spoiler Alert: You will be asked that same question about celebrating the 4th of July. Just wait.

Now folks, can we please stop? Just stop right there.

If many really have black friends that dealt with police brutality, racism, being discriminated due to financial, spiritual, health related matters in all, even shot in the back while running from the cops for no reason, what is the deal?!

The deal is, in my opinion, even though that Juneteenth Day 2018 is coming to a close for another year, between now and next year, what’s next after all of the parades, food, merch, and red drinks like kool-aid?And how come Juneteenth Day doesn’t have a fireworks display? Come on, now! Propose an idea to get a fireworks display on the week before or after June 19th! Just like in the local festivals.

America must continue to deal with the grip of facing the realities of racism. Mainly of race. Juneteenth Day may abolished the thought of slavery, the reality of this is that spirit of slavery in such of Jim Crow, and up until now: the struggle continues! Even I say this after the Fourth of July will be concluded with the last blast of fireworks and picnics, and many may forget, guess what: THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES! Even in the era of 45 making a fool out of us and the world is probably asking what is wrong with America?

Oh you don’t hear me!

So yes: Happy Juneteenth Day! And also – the struggle does indeed, continues!