It’s a been a minute, but I’m back fresh and new with a Three Way Dance. For this, it’s all about the three things I’ve been reading about lately. As well as everyone else.

First: The saga of the kneeling, siting down during the National Anthem of Colin Kaepernick.

Yes, the same Colin Kaepernick whom was a dominate player when running the Pistol Plays with the 49ers, member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity of the Divine 9, a guy that was beating the Green Bay Packers twice, and oh, here’s something: He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And grew up a Packers fan. Yes, Colin was a Packers Fan when Brett Favre was running the show. In the recent Preseason game between the Packers and the 49ers, there was a scene during the national anthem in which usually every stands during the playing of America’s Theme Song. However, there was only one player who did not stand, and that was Colin Kaepernick. Colin was sitting down during the anthem. And when that shot of him sitting down was shown on pics, oh guess what: You so-called Americans had to go in on him just because he didn’t stand up. Wow. Oh, when the Niners were in their next game, he kneeled. Another Niner player kneeled also. Plus one of the Seattle Seahawks, Jeremy Lane sat on the bench while the national anthem played on. Yes, as crazy as it seems, there are those who are using the sitting and kneeling thing to exercise their constitutional right to protest about the injustices about the effects of People of Color that goes on everyday.

Now let’s talk about Colin’s thing. He says and I quote: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

That was the lighting rod. Of course that many who heard that didn’t sit well with being “OVERLY PATRIOTIC” in a sense that yes it’s about the recoginition of our military who fought, served and died for our freedoms that we dance around like Pokemon Go fans in a park. I’m just kidding on the Pokemon thing!  Hey, if you like Pokemon Go, nothing against that. But what I’m saying is that the flag/anthem protest thing in athletes have been done before. Espeicially Black Athletes! Remember Mamoud Abdul-Rauf: Who was formally known as Chris Jackson before converting to Islam of the Denver Nuggets, yeah that guy. When he was with the team way back in the 90’s, he was standing during the anthem but was not looking at the flag. He was praying with his hands close to his face. And yes, there were folks were mad at him for the disrespect per se for the flag. Tommie Smith and John Carlos were famous for the Black Power Salute in 1968, but also got targeted because of their protest. Keep in mind also, that 1968 was also the year that Martin Luther King was assassinated. And segregation was still running amuck. So stuff like this is nothing new, but with those who are just now new, and being recent, you are getting a first hand education on why stuff like this happens and will appear in your textbooks. And yes, school is back.

When I was listening to the commentary about Colin Kaepernick here in Milwaukee, on the black radio stations via WNOV and other black related outlets, I’ve been hearing the callers pouring in their commentary about “Oh, Colin Kaepernick did it for all the black people in America!” “Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee….” And many others. Folks in Milwaukee: I’ve mentioned this years ago when Colin was on scene with Pistol Plays, and making the Packers miss, and couldn’t win a freaking Super Bowl, what has Colin Kaepernick done for Milwaukee?  What has he done? What has Colin Kaepernick done for Wisconsin? Yes, Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, but NEVER CLAIMED Milwaukee as his home! Never! His family of course moved when he was young due to high school and college. But never claimed the city as home! The late great Gene Wilder, whom recently passed was born in Milwaukee, and went to one of my rival schools: Washington High School. And  yes there was a movie reference about Milwaukee in one of his films. What does it take to give back to Milwaukee you ask? Try volunteering in an area that you know VERY WELL in Milwaukee.  I don’t care about the schools or community centers you know because of your childhood or where you used to hang out in finding some dude /chick for a date. If you know that Church that you go to for volunteer work, or neighborhood or whatever thing you know well in Milwaukee to go to, THAT IS WHERE YOU START! You start that and build up. Real talk folks! Yes, I see the famous folks whom were Milwaukee born, raised somewhere else, but some of them do come back to give back. Eric Benet was here years ago to make an album in the same neighborbood that he grew up in Milwaukee. He even helped served food at a local McDonalds and that restaurant was jammed pack!  Tank, the R&B singer that you see on the show, Born Again Virgin on TVOne, he came back to a concert here in Milwaukee to perform. He was born here. Now I probably might in the future that I might get those “I’m sorry you were born in Milwaukee”quotes but I’m going to comment that later on in the third part of the story. But seriously folks, what has Colin Kaepernick did, was for himself. HIS constritutional right. Not for all in the black community in the country, per se!

The second dance card: The Truth of ITT Tech.

As many around  the country know, yes, school is back in session. But however, ITT Tech recently has been coming under fire about their educational concerns. The recent closing of ITT Tech around the country shocked many who have gotten started or continued with their majors is disappointing and will take their educational experience elsewhere. But I’m here to tell you that my experience began with ITT Tech, was in late 1994 when I was still a Senior at John Marshall High School. They came to the school in one of my English Classes, in talking about the classes and majors and they wanted to have some insight from the students at the time. Later on, I got a phone call from one of the recruiters from ITT, a black man if you will, to have to meet me at home for a well rounded interview with my parents. The interview went well, and also giving me an overview about ITT to have those connections with Archtietture, the Military, and many others. Later after that, the school picked me of course and I was selected to come to the school for a visit. To see the classrooms and labs. The ITT Tech thing seemed very interesting. And I got my financial aid thing set up and I had to take a test to have a fit per se in getting a spot on the campus.I flunked the first test, but passed it on the second try. After I graduated from Marshall in 1995, I had a short summer rest. Real short. When June 12th came, I started the classes right away. Yep! Sure did. I wish I had taken a year off to process my brain like Malia Obama is doing now. But in between the classes, I remember taking the Bus from 41st and Capitol to 63rd and Layton which was an hour ride listing to my CD player in all. The classes I remember were lectures and labs. Success in Learning, was one of the subjects was well known. Other classes of Drafting lectures and labs, were so-so Ok. But the harder stuff was seeing the Educational Serivces Area to see how much progress was made. Most of that, was not that great. There were times I stayed after class to catch up on classwork of the draft drawings to get the extra credits, but usually that wasn’t enough. And plus I got my first MLK Scholarship in January of 1996.

So in the summer of 1996, I withdrew from the school to go to the one Tech college I know: Milwaukee Area Technical College. When I got to the MATC Downtown Campus, I remember taking their asset tests to see where I would stand in getting that extra start. Here is the thing: I took the Basic Skills Courses for ONE Semester and passed them all. Plus also, I took the Accuplaer Test on Campus, passed that to get into the Printing and Electronic Publishing Program in 1997. And that transition of that was alot more simplified than ITT Tech. In 2004, way after I graduated from MATC in the Y2K,  I was already taking distance ed courses with UW-Stout. Plus when I was in one of the Teleconference Rooms before linking up with one of the classes at the time, there was talk about ITT Tech not being a good school. And I lend in my experience about what happened, MAINLY with Basic Entrance Qualifications that ITT didn’t have. One of my male UW-Stout classmates was at ITT one time, that in his experience, was his comment:  “ITT Tech is Full of Sh*t.” So we got one thing common on that. But yes that was my expereince that happened in 1995-1996 in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

Note to myself: I should have gone to MATC in 1995!

In the wake of the closing,  I need to ask: Should ITT Tech payback ALL THE MONEY that many were robbed of years ago? (No question is a dumb question) Especially those who withdrew years back? If anyone from ITT can read this, I WANT MY MONEY BACK! What ever was paid back then, I WANT BACK! Since you guys are closing up shop, give all the former students their free transcripts and a check. Even for those who didn’t graduate. Plus for those whom are in the struggle at ITT and having the closing of the school on you, my heartfelt sympathies. But just to let you know that your experience may have ended, but your Tech Colleges will take up the slack to help you out. For those in Milwaukee, go to MATC and finish your Associates. Or any WTCS 2 year school. If you were taking the classes for Bachelor’s Degree for ITT, I would transfer those credits to a University. Take it to any UW-School. Even UW-Stout! Yes, I said Stout. Take that! If I were you, I would consider either finishing your Education at MATC and/or a University. Manily at the University of Wisconsin whatever! It ain’t over, folks. You can begin again, but your journey is not yet broken!

Third dance on the card: The still ongoing saga of the Milwaukee Unrest.

As many of us in Milwaukee are trying to adjust to our daily lives of work, school and play, we are still dealing with the ongoing unrest that is a constant struggle we know. For all the REAL citizens whom are praying for the city from the outside, I speak as a citizen to say thank you. Keep praying for Milwaukee as well as any other city that is going through an Unrest Session that is against People of Color to go through.

First, I was reading a Op-Ed story from CNN about Milwaukee recently. But the thing was, it was coming from a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Journalist, Sarah Hoye. Many of us remember Sarah writing for the JS Columns way back, but what we didn’t know the most was her upbrining in the Sherman Park area. It was titled, “The Milwaukee You Don’t Know” and Sarah being the native born was on point. As I was reading her opiniion piece on the site, I was clearly amazed and shocked that she had to go through all that hate growing up. Not getting a date for the Prom or Homecoming. Being called a Nigg*r or Monkey while being hated on, and she also writes that there were those who told her that she couldn’t mount much to anything that she can accomplish and etc. Reminds me of my childhood when folks were telling me that I can’t do certain, or can’t comeback of a certain behavior problem. Isn’t that right Milwaukee Urban League’s Betty Speed and Manpower? After all, isn’t that part of Milwaukee’s problem with all the unrest of crabs in a bucket? Let’s be honest here: we still have that today! You still have black folks hating on black folks even if they were brought up in a household full of educators, and you look at a male member of the family thinking he aint sh*t. I don’t care who is reading this part, you might be that person that is doing it.And you sit behind a desk telling him this! And I’ve seen white folks do the same thing. Oh there will become a time that when your end comes, you may be BEGGING HIM to apologize or to admit of any wrong doing. Trust me, I’ve seen it and I’ve read about it. Just watch it! Later on in the article, Sarah highlights her opinion piece by these words, and I STRONGLY AGREE!

But here’s the thing: I am not sorry for being born and raised in Milwaukee.

Can anyone say “Praise the Lord!” Listen: I’ve heard folks say, I’m from the Chi, folks cheer. I’m from the MIA (or Miami), folks cheer. I’m from New York, the BK, Jersey, Philly in the house! I’m Straight outta LA or Compton, or Atlanta, and other city that folks will cheer for. Why is it that when Milwaukee is in the convo, folks had to bow their heads as being sorry?! What is this?

Am I sorry being from Milwaukee? HELL NO!

Am I sorry being born, raised, educated, worked in Milwaukee? HELL NO!

I am not sorry for being born here for any reason. Yes, Milwaukee may have punk haters who don’t give a two cents about your upbringing, like other cities in all. But there are those in Milwaukee that want to give you a chance! Even if you think you might scoot to the other cities, but there are those who will give you a chance, here! And it REALLY depends on who you know. Now some are probably are going to say, “Who in the hell in Milwaukee can help me?” Who?!

My question is: who in the hell that knows you very well in Milwaukee?

Who knows you, your family, your Alumni, your neighbors, your school where your kids play, your community center, your church, your local officer that comes by your neighborhood or church, your insurance person, your store owners, musicians, or others. Even a Funeral Director at a Funeral Home that also does communty work that YOU KNOW VERY WELL! That is what’s up. We got them here!

Even those who that volunteers or spends time tutoring your children after school, but again, it depends on who YOU KNOW! Even those who are finding jobs. Especially for city likes to take in those who have more experience than those who don’t. And those that want the skills to improve. Again it depends on who knows you! That is what it needs to figure out. Link with those who YOU KNOW that KNOWS YOU! Plain and Simple. Then from there, then you can connect with those you don’t know that expand.

Now getting back to the Unrest: I was watching a special on our local station, CBS 58 about the subject, “Milwaukee at a Crossroads”.  Before I get into the commentary, review this video from the September 7th, 2016 showing. No Commercials! It’s part 3 of the special that was aired this week.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/181647676″>Milwaukee at a Crossroads Part 3</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user47145479″>CBS 58 News</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

The entire 1 hour special that was aired in no commericals, was centered around the subject of those losing their children and teens in gun violence in the past. The mother of the late Marcus Debak was on the special. Marcus was killed on a Milwaukee playground back in the mid 90’s. The mother knows the most, on how that a child like Marcus can be taken out with despair. The many other parents and Great-Aunts were sitting in the room with the pictures of their loved ones that they have lost. Everyone of them has a common story of how they were killed. Many of them believed that Guns weren’t the problem. It was the people behind the barrel that caused the problem. Most of us haven’t heard that in a while. And no, it was not about about having those right to bear arms things. And many of them had asked the same question about, how can something like this be stopped or preventable. I think it’s going to take an ongoing effort to have this to stop. We can create all the programs, the getting the church folks out, the jobs stuff all we want. Event the activisms. But WE NEED to stop running in circles in what we really want and just go get already!

As far as the orange fence around Sherman Park, I’m glad it’s down.  I can understand that Sheriff David Clarke had it up to increase the curfews or law and order. But it has been going on far enough. Personally, I think the County Executive had made the right call by removing it. Of course, it didn’t sit well with all wtih David Clarke, but when the judge made the ruling about the removal, that was it! Nothing more.

Milwaukee is still in progress. In order to complete this progress, the work must be done. It will take a long time, but still it must be done!

 

 

 

 

 

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