Archive for the ‘African American Stories and Viewpoints’ Category


It’s been a hot minute since the scratching my head blog has been unleashed. I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my father passed and still dealing with the fact he’s gone.

But I still have something to say about the not so happy current affairs of the country and the world. So here it is.

Why do certain folks have an issue of Angel Rye’s shirt: “We built this joint for free!” Knowing it’s the truth when it concerns African Americans? 

Why do certain folks (Church Minded) have to get attacked knowing that they have to go harder every single time in and out of the four walls?

Is going after North Korea really all that? 

What’s this? Bill O’Reilly got fired from Fox News? And the station is under fire of racial discrimination of it’s black employees. Why hasn’t no one seem to realize that racism still rears its ugly head in America’s DNA? Especially at Fox News!

Stop hating on the Milwaukee Streetcar, Milwaukee. You know folks need jobs right?

Who was so glad to hear Former President Obama’s voice after all this mess of 45?

Men, when the women had Women’s History Month in March, we realize that every “Movember” is our International Men’s Month, right? Why trip?

The Republicans failed to sign away the Affordable Care Act. Why didn’t they say something to change it then 7 years ago? Oh, they were still hating on Obama.

Was Shea Moisture really that marketable to black women? 

For the Serena Williams haters worldwide: she’s beating you. Why hate her and her choice of marriage, and her soon to be child? And Black Kings(and queens): let it go.

Is anyone feeling the Milwaukee Bucks lately? #FearTheDeer #DeerRun

Yo, this Eric Thames “talk” about him doing roids or juicing is nothing but a distraction. Dude was tested three times and nothing came out bad. So what is the real problem? Where are the test results?!! We speculte too much, Americans.

Can African American Men be relaunchers for Adult Internships too? 

If moving out of Milwaukee is a solution to get away from violence, why do the suburban areas have issues of drug problems? And some violence issues too? My father once said, “it’s bad everywhere.”

In 2018: the midterms are coming. Midterm Elections. Can Wisco get rid of Scott Walker and David Clarke for real? 

Introvert folks, are we still good? 

So the State of Wisconsin has this problem of 80,000 plus jobs that need to be filled. As well as Milwaukee. And the companies all say “we need to find people.” Well what is the real problem with hiring, matching, education, training and transportation, in getting that job? 

Was the “Mother of all Bombs” really that necessary in Syria?

So the Nintendo Switch is out. Who is really waiting to see if us “grownfolks” gamers can try it? 

Milwaukee: you realize our 2nd MPS Alumni Reunion is coming in May, right? 

I need to ask this question: and it’s for those who wished reunions. Why do many get mad about a so so class reunion that tried to happen but didn’t work? Also why get mad at all class reunions? You know you can use that to generate your class reunions right?

Why is there not enough representation for African Americans when it comes to groups like The American Legion and it’s subgroups? Note: some of them might have been or are American Legion members.

Why is Wisconsin the state so far that doesn’t do expungements?

Really Ivanka Trump? Your father is a champion when it comes to women? You know what he said to Billy Bush, right?

Question: is it a check up, or a physical? Make up your minds when going to the doctors, folks. Jeez.

Should TJ Watt be a Green Bay Packer?

In May, Military Appreciation Month is approaching. Why do we get “Veterans Day” and “Memorial Day” mixed up? 

I need to ask: why did we sent our kids back to school the DAY AFTER EASTER?! Back in my day, we started our spring break on Good Friday, then the week was nothing but a break. And the week after, it was back in the classrooms. Explain!

Do folks really believe the fake news on Social Media that folks display? 

Why do folks have to test the Bible in what the folks who want to say that the people are right and the Good Book is bad? Seriously.

If you are a single man with no kids and not married (Especially if you’re Black) why the barrage of assumptions from women who wanted them to have kids and a wife? Um….Last I checked: kids cost money! And many women today have gone “Independent”. Society does suck.

And the last to ask: Is the truth dead? Or just opinionated? 

I’m back, folks. Get woke! Stay empowered.


 

This post will be a regular post after my father’s unexpected passing in February. But like the old saying goes, the show must go on. And even thought writing this might be hard, but I am reminded that the quote stands of “It’s time to go to work” is a necessary thought. So I’m declaring this blog as is: It’s time to get back to work.

Now I’ve been reading about internships lately. Really I have. I was approached by this by my pastor about networks and the connections we have with the colleges in Wisconsin. Specifically Milwaukee. My pastor would offer me a chance to see this network of jobs and internships to see what is the happenings around the employment world for a man like me at 40 years old to get back on track in getting that particular job in my long search of Industrial Management that I earn the degree from UW-Stout back in 2006.

When I looked at the Google Search results about Internships, it’s related to college kids. We know. But further examination, there was something else: ADULT INTERNSHIPS! Yes you read that right. Adult Internships. So in all of my mysterious search and I’m calling out Milwaukee/Wisconsin Employers here and my Schools, and my community connections this one question: “WHY DIDN’T NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS?!” All that searching I’ve been doing have been squat. Nothing. Ok some have been well. But the thought and the issue of Adult Internships should be on the mind here in Milwaukee the most due to the fact that there are folks here with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees years back that had the papers, but not the jobs to show for it. Even President Obama said this exact same thing about graduating and getting the jobs afterwards. And the Universities have to show proof that their job placement departments have to back up their information. They have to, but the question is, will #45 do the same? Answer: NO.

So I did a research about Adult Interships on the site called IRelaunch.com, a site that is geared toward those who have been away from their previous careers and are interested in getting back to something new or different. And even if they were to take care of their families, or kids or whatever, but the thought of them getting back to the workplace under these relaunch programs is an idea to get back to. Now as I scrolled through the webpage, I was amazed that this was actually a good deal. And yes younger workers, the older folks aren’t dead yet. They still have a chance to start over and rebuild. And I was looking at the site, yes it was fully of those whom are women, based on the fact that it has a female connection. Even the SWE or the Society of Women Engineers have this connection to IRelaunch.

But have to ask this question and no disrespect to the CEO of the company in all, but why don’t I see African-American Men on this page? I see the African-American Women, but I don’t see any Black Men on here. Can someone explain that to me please?

The reason why I bring this up that many of us in the African-American Male population are right now have this hard time looking for work. Many of us do have Degrees, but having the hard time to plug in the degrees with the jobs out there. Why hasn’t IRelaunch or any Adult Internship Program has NOT reached out to the African-American men population like the women? Many of us got to work in security or janitorial work which is not a problem. But many of us want to have those jobs that we earned those degrees in while in college. Yes, I know that many of us are in jail more than in college. And that has to be addressed.

Oh yes, we do play ball. We have been told to go to school, graduate with your degree, and get that job. That’s it. But no where it was mentioned that you can apply for a Adult Internship along the way to get the extra step to your part of employment. Or should I say “better employment”.

I want to put on notice, that these companies need to come to the black communities that have a high sense of unemployment in which African-American Men must be examined. For example, here in Milwaukee. We got this high unemployment rate that is in the fifties. The city has a negative track record of being the “most segregated city in America” due to racial tensions that the city harbored in the last 50 plus years. The State of Wisconsin in a recent report that has over 80,000 jobs available but has a hard time to fill them up. And all I hear is that “we need to find people.”

I have to question: WHO IS WISCONSIN IS FOOLING?

What do you mean we have to find people? Are you kidding? You got all these unemployed/underemployed folks here in the Badger State that need work. And what I hear out of these companies is more like matching and competition. So when I go to a job fair or a “CAREER FAIR”, I’m hearing almost the exact same thing. Who is running the show? Man, I posted my resumes on LinkedIn, MilwaukeeJobs.com, CareerBuilder, my Alumni Websites, and others and I’m getting little results of jobs like Lab Cleaners and such. No disrespect to the lab cleaners, but I want to see better results. I didn’t go to school nor got my Bachelor’s almost 11 years next month to earn this. I’m sorry!

And now, I’m hearing that these relaunchers or the still ready for work folks seminars are popping up, where does Wisconsin fit in? Where does Milwaukee (especially Black Milwaukee) fit in all this that has never heard this? Where does the Wisconsin Colleges and Universities fit in? That is sad. I think as a resident, I want to see these relaunching, second chance working programs that works for the women folk need to come to places here to relaunch these jobs for those of us here that got all that educational fire power and operate the goods.

If those want to know about Irelaunch and the Paid Internships they offer, check out the site here.

 


Here is the final part of my experience of losing my father in “Losing Dad.”

The week of March 5th was indeed approaching. And with the coming days of the funeral, it was going to get tough to declare my father heaven bound.

Most of that was of me looking at movies like Higher Learning when Malik (played by Omar Epps) and Professor Phibbs (played by Laurence Fishburne) were talking about the recent shooting on campus, and Malik perservered throughout the madness. Nearly at the end of the conversation, Professor shouted, MALIK! And quoted this from a famous African American: “Without struggle there can be no longer progress.” And Malik responded, “Frederick Douglass.” Final word from the Professor: “Right.” Later on the scene of Any Given Sunday when the coach talked about the inches pep talk. But most of that was gearing towards Rocky V when Rocky himself visited Mick’s old gym and hearing him and Mick going over the boxing moves before the title fight. Mick’s advice (played by Burgess Meredith whom was Penguin from the old Batman Shows) telling Rocky about being prepared for the fight, and his words of when we losing our friends and family members, and Mick didn’t have a reason to go on. But when he looked at Rocky, he had a reason to move forward. It was a scene I played about three times and getting a “wave of emotion” dealing with the loss of Dad. That felt real. And it has.

March 9th, 2017 was the hurdle of that. Before many of the public was open to the viewing of Dad at the Williamson Funeral Home, myself along with my mother and Aunt had our private moment. It was very sad. Seeing my 69 year old father lying in the casket. Heartbreaking. Tough. No matter what you call it, it wasn’t felt right at all. I said that day that I got his back. And plus he still inspires me. He helped me out, my sister out, he served this country and many others. I said, “thank you, Dad. THANK YOU!” Too bad my sister couldn’t make it to the visitation due to her health concerns, but being the representative that I am, I had to pinch hit. Dad was decorated well. Including the suit he wore along with him being in the silver diplomatic casket with the Stars and Stripes of the flag being displayed. The flowers with the themed red, white, and blue were on each side with the US Army Flag in the background. The American Flag was draped slightly towards the right by not touching the floor. After we had our moment, our guests and family members visited us as they offered condolences and sympathies. We also had guests from his old high school of North Division to come out to visit us. Old neighbors, friends, my pastor, relatives on both sides to come for a visit. Even current and former members of my church, my mother’s Alumni and Sorority came along. They came to show the support of us.

Later on in the visit, my pastor asked for prayer, and then I was given a chance to speak on my Dad’s behalf. I address the family and guests as a way to kick off the sharing of the memories. Most of the references that I summarized was from the funeral bulletin in which I highlighted the graduations, special events, and others. It was called “Final Salute to my Father.” Even also he matched my church salary in which to him to help me out to support. Even about if the Packers played, being the victors or losers. And the lasting thing I summarized the statement as a “Veteran’s Son” in which I am. I said to my family that he, was the last one. But I also said to my 1st Cousins espeicially that we have to step up. It’s our turn now. We have to be there for our children. If we don’t tell the stories, then who will? After that, I thanked the guests coming out and thakning them for their support.

Other neighbors and friends summarized my father in similar ways after I spoke. And the end of that, and exiting out of the funeral, I told my father that “I’ll see you tomorrow” with tapping the casket.

Then came the day. March 10th, 2017. This was the day of my father’s funeral. Hard to swallow on this. When my family arrived at the church, we had to set up some pictures and a portrait of him when he was in the military. Also displayed a booklet of some of his best projects he done over the years. We had a short visitation when the guests were coming in as well as my cousins and aunts from my Dad’s side came in to greet my mother and I. My former pastor, a Vietnam Veteran himself came along with his wife for support. Before the last 10 minutes were up, my mother got emotional knowing that this was the last time we see Dad. And as we approached the casket for the last time at the church, we said our goodbyes, our thank yous,  and I promised to make sure that my mother and sister will be safe. And I have his back. My final promise to him is my solemn vow that I had to be that next person to support.

As the service continued, there had been many references that were summarized. A representative from the North Shore Post Office, was the first to speak and remininced about my father’s work, involvement with food drives, his relationship among workers, and of course his Corvette. My former pastor talked about his viewpoint in terms of war stories, and similar issues dealing with knee problems! My younger cousin (a millennial mind you) was the next to summarize our family and the sympathies to support. Finally my Aunt had to pitch in for my sister, but the poem she read, was titled: “My Daddy”.

My Daddy
I sit and look back to how far I can remember,
And you are always there next to me.
Each and Everyday you were helping me to grow up,
And making me be the best that I can be.

Your love was forever strong,
Your cuddles forever tight.
Everyday since I was born,
Your love was always in sight.

I will always be your Baby Girl,
And you will always be My Daddy.
I know I will always be the luckiest,
To have the best Dad any girl could have had.

My Daddy I love you with all my heart,
Much more than I could ever say.
You are my world, my everything,
Each and Everyday.
Written by Ranja Kujala July, 2009

The similarity with the poem, also resonates the feeling that my sister got word of losing Dad. We know the connections between Fathers and Daughters are inseparable. Very different from my father and son talks. No matter the pain or feeling, it was all around. And love for my father was deeply felt.

The eulogy of my father talked about forgiveness, love for one another, and a subject called “unfinished business.” The pastor highlighted the room that he saw my father that featured his easel of an oil drawing from 1991, and of course his video collections on the wall with a Wide Screen TV (BIG) in the center. The pastor also commented about a staircase, in which his spirit and Jesus would meet. At the end of the service, we gathered our things as we exited the church. But here was the shocker. When we were in the line to leave, we saw more folks packing the church as if it was like, how this happened?! First it was small, then it was large. And yes, there were members of the clergy mostly ministers who knew my Dad came out for the support. Talk about leaving a mark.

We headed to the limos and made a hour trek to the cemetery in Union Grove, Wisconsin. As we gathered in the area to meet up, we were greeted by the cemetery staff and leaders to go over my Dad’s gravemarker, featuring quotes and a symbol of the United Methodist Church. Then after we (my mother and I) went over the committal portion to summarize how it will go in the almost 6 minute session. From the music of the Army Song, the honor guard saluting the casket on both sides, the Marine Veterans on the outside in formation of the 21 gun salute and the Folding of the flag. Plus the bullets and coin were handed to my mother.

For The Committal portion, review the entire video below courtesy of my recording.

 

I had to say that the Committal was the highlight of my Dad’s service. This made me realize I am even more proud to be a Veteran’s Son! Being a Veteran’s Son is not some made up badge overnight. It’s a way of life to actively say that I salute his service, and will continue to tell the stories that will live on in me. It’s not just a catch-phrase, that is a promise! Nevermind all the negative hoopla about war, viewpoints and politics. Even bold consciousness. I’m proud of the fact that my father did that by serving. I respect him for that and yes there will  be more my Veteran support in my house! No I didn’t serve, (don’t hate me on that), but I’m just darn proud that his decorated standard was just that: Good! Mostly with family members that had indeed served! Yes, my father served in an unpopular war in Vietnam, and mentioning to my mother way back that when we came back home to the States, he said “that the world turned dark.” I remember him saying that there was no recognition for Vietnam Vets like him that never got the welcome thing like the military has now. Of course NOW, they are getting their respect years later. But why not then! One of job duties was a Helicopter Gunner, and one of his accommodations was the Bronze Star Medal.

As the service ended, we exited the chapel with the honor guards saluting us. Plus one of the Marine Veterans whom did the 21 gun salute, greeted my mother and I. Even though the Marine Veteran didn’t knew my father, he commented that “It was an honor for me to this.” That was real talk. Even though, he was an older caucasian man, but he did that for a black Vietnam Veteran that was honored for his service as a SP5. On the way back to the church for the repast, I had to put on my music on my cell phone. I chose the music to play of “Nighshift” by The Commordores in which was one of my Dad’s favorites.  Another was “I’ll Be Rested” by Mavis Staples, and plus a Nina Simone favorite, of “I Shall Be Released.” That song of course was a highlight favorite from watching Scandal.

The Lessons and Aftermath

In the later days, we still had our ups and downs, some things have become a little harder with now the three of us running the show. And I’m the man of the house now. But knowing the supporting cast has been uplfifted, and new standards have been updated with new accountabilty. Make no mistake, my family, my McClinton Family is still alive. We are still here. And yes that even though that our 10 members that are no longer here, wtih my father being the last one, we (the next era in the family) must do is what I said to my mother: we have to stay in the fight. And like in scripture: So it was written. So it shall be done.

Were holding on and still in the struggle.


For the last three and a half weeks, it’s been a nightmare shocking whirlwind of the death of my father. For the first time here on WordPress, I’m going to summarize the feeling that I experienced losing Dad. This post will be in three parts.

The last time I saw my father alive was Sunday, February 19th, 2017. He was last looking at a picture album full of past funeral bulletins in the last decade or so. As my father was looking at the book and summarizing the funreal programs of my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles (his parents and siblings) he realized to my mother that he was the last one. The last of the 10. My Dad was the youngest of the five brothers, my uncles. His last visit to my sister’s house in Milwaukee, was February 21st, 2017. He told my mother that he had to go to the store, and then home. He also told my sister that he was prepared to leave. That was the last time collectively within those two days we saw him alive.

A couple days later, my sister had to be admitted to the hospital for her health needs. And all day my mother had been calling Dad. Finding out where he was in all. No answer. Same day, no Answer.When Thursday came, I was going to my Aunt’s house to take over a recipe for a Black History Month Event at a Milwaukee Elementary School. It was a Thursday night watching Scandal and getting prepared. After a middle of that, I received a call from my mother to see how things are going.She also advised me to go over to the house to check in on Dad to see how he was doing. Plus again, no answer. So after I left my Aunt’s house I headed over my parents house. First I called into the house. No answer. Then I walked to the front door and rang the doorbell. Nothing.Then I checked the mailbox and it was full. That was odd to me because it’s not like my father to keep the mailbox this full. He usually takes in the mail and sorts it for myself, my sister and mother. Then I went around to the backdoor to try to gain access to the door. One vital factor,I needed the keys to get in. I had to return to my sister’s house to get the keys in my backpack. Then while I was there, I dropped off the cornbread and called the house to see if my father would pick up. I left a voicemail message to see if he would answer it. No avail. And I told myself that “if he doesn’t answer in the next fifteen minutes, I’m going over there.” So I got back in my mother’s minivan and returned to my parents house. Having a feeling of being scared I went inside just to see what’s been going on. I accessed the backdoor to get into the house yet again. While looking around I had my mother on the cell checking in. I looked upstairs to see if was there. Nothing. Along the way in the living room and nothing but his brown hoodie on the couch next to his Vietnam Veteran Flag. But then, I went downstairs to the basement, where his Entertainment Room was full of movies and CD’s, plus a table, an easel drawing from 1991. And my father was on the floor. I told my mother, “Mom, Dad’s on the floor!” And she asked “what do you mean he’s on the floor?” I called out to Dad to wake him up. Even I shook him a bit to wake him up. I checked his pulse on his neck and wrist. No pulse. Nothing. Then I told Mom that he was not responding.  I called 911 to have the parimedics to come, and while they were arriving I turned him over to have him face up, then did the CPR compressions to try to revive him. His head was slightly bloodied appeared he hit his head hard. And his Right Arm was bloodied with his blood tissue sticking out.  (Warning Graphic Words) When the Parimedics came, they took over and asked the questions. Moments later my mother called to see if we’re there any results, but the bad news that my father who gave me his name….had been dead for two days. I was shocked and numb! And sad. My mother and sister: Sad. Grieving. I was in disbelief. MY OWN FATHER!!! My 69 year old father, died. I was just absolutely shocked sad and numb all around. Later on , the Milwaukee Police Department came over to investigate the basement where he died. And between the police and the Parimedics, I had to answer the tough questions like: “When was the last time you talked with him?” My mind kept thinking back to Sunday, February 19th for a reason. In which that was the final time I saw him alive. Another question: “What kind of medications was he taking? He was taking his medications to upkeep his health, including his blood sugar to see how he was doing in which at the time was his focus. “Was he a smoker? At the time, Dad quit smoking in October 2009 after a major colon surgery. Which he lived to talked about it. And other Health conditions in all. With all that going on, I had to take control of the situation. I didn’t panic, nor freak out. I maintained my composure, answered the many questions as possible and they were impressed. I told them about the work history of what my father did from Allis Chalmers, Pfister and Vogel Tannery, the VA Medical Center and the US Postal Service. Plus I mentioned his military service with the US Army and served during the Vietnam War. I also described an attire that he wore the most of his dark blue shirts, blue jeans & shoes. He usually dressed like that in order to do work around the house, or other houses if needed.

My relatives mostly my cousins, aunt’s and uncles, all came over. Plus for a stint, it was dead silence. And the thunderstorm was brewing above with hailstones early Friday Morning. Later, my pastor and his wife came over to check out the situation. After many was assembled we all had prayer. I started to say that “you know me since the beginning. You know what I’m about”. After the prayer, I was given the honors to cover up my Dad with a yellow sheet. But before I did that, I uttered the words “you empowered me sir. You Empowered me!” And I made another vow “I got your back.” After I covered him up, I went back upstairs with the family by shutting the doors. Plus there were others from the Milwaukee County Coroner’s office wanted additional info to provide in all. Moments later, my pastor and one of my older cousins wanted to see Dad. I took them downstairs to the room, uncovered the sheet and at the moment, my pastor have given a prayer at the spot. He wanted to see him, and he did. Not a good look for my cousin’s reaction with grief. After that, we went back upstairs with me covering up the sheet and closing the door. Much later, I felt I needed to take a break, and sat in my Dad’s bedroom. Then, my mother came in the house, sobbing. And she called out my name when I was upstairs. I went to her immediately and hugged her tight. She thanked me for coming over knowing that I had felt scared of what happened to Dad. She was relieved of that part. Later on she wanted to go downstairs to see Dad. Along the way, she saw his last meal of greens and Barbecue Porkchops. As myself, my mother and uncle went downstairs, I opened the doors and the three of us hugged each other tightly while grieving. All she saw was him covered up except his foot. And after that, I closed the doors to his Entertainment room. Much later, here come the Undertakers. The representatives from a local Funeral Home stopped by to get Dad out of the room and with him covered. They got him and took him away to do further summarizations of his death and what lead to it.

After that, I looked to the heavens and told my late grandparents, aunts and uncles that “S.T. is home.” Meaning that he was on his way to be with them. S.T. was my Dad’s nickname growing up.

Many of us had our hugs, but I had many of them the most. After all that, this was the most hard beginnings I began to endure.

Part two of “Losing Dad” will continue featuring the hard facebook post, and preparations for his funeral.


2 weeks ago, as many already know that my father passed unexpectedly. And it was a shock to my family. As I reflected and reviewed with solace and bereavement, there were times I had a wave of emotions of Dad being there. In his Entertainment Room not moving. Even sentences of Frederick Douglass like “without struggle we cannot progress”. Every time I think about those words especially when those I know pass on, it is a struggle. That is what I felt all this time. Plus the word of empowerment popped up in mind even more. 
I want to say to everyone on behalf of my sister and my mother: thank you. Thank you all for the acknowledgements, sympathies, inspirational messages of faith, prayers, cards, texts, and support in this hour of need.
Last year, I was reminded of my Dad said about leaving a mark. In his words, “I want to leave a mark.” By the looks of what I saw of the folks that came out for the funeral, for every mark left, even the committal service, that I think was Dad’s doing. No question about it. I know that August 18th will not be the same. That would have been his #70 coming up. December 20th won’t be the same. That is the anniversary of my parents marriage. And at Christmas Time, I give them both Christmas and Anniversary cards at the same time. That was fun. 
In between I will never forget the memories nor the lessons learned. And to those that reached out, I’ll reach back. I know that this will take time, but with the support of you, it will make me to have hope to move forward. 
Yes, my father had a good run. Make that a great run. 69 years strong. I am indeed a Veteran’s Son. 🇺🇸✊
Thank you, folks


 

 

Folks: I haven’t been on the blogs as of much. A primary reason because of a extreme matter that took place. My father recently passed on at 69 years old in Milwaukee, and like many in my family, we are saddened and shocked by his death. How did I felt really? This my statement via my Facebook page from February 24th, 2017:

I have breaking news to share. And I don’t know if I have the bravery to say this but I’ll manage. Folks, I am shocked and numb now to say that my Father, whom I’m named after,  is now passed. Us in the family are taking this hard that this has occurred. Literally I know that when I hear folks passing away yes I feel this sympathy to be close. I also have this option to say to those that yes is to learn the lessons to move forward. Now it’s time for myself and my sister, to learn the lessons that my father taught us. For those of you that lost Fathers, I will listen to you. I will learn what you went through in order for me, my sister and most definitely my mother will take to move forward. My father was the last of his McClinton family bunch to pass on. And knowing my family will feel it knowing he’s in a better place.  One thing for I know, Dad didn’t play. He was a straight shooter all the way and knowing yes was fair. There been many times that for financial reasons whether my sister or I had little money on hand or no money on hand:  he was there. For moral support, he was there. He was there for my church (the same church that he was a member since 1969), things to fix around the house all the time. He was known to have a Corvette for alot of years, even a Honda V45 Manga Motorcycle, a Ford Truck, and a Cadillac Escalade. He also was known for his art talent of old school portraits, woodworking, at one time, playing a guitar, and of course gadgets and CPU’s  – in which I got him interested. But mostly: he was known for being a Veteran of the Armed Forces. Served in the US Army between 1966-1968 before the tet offensive in Vietnam. Married to my mother since 1969 and again raised me and older sister. Plus he was an Alumni of the Milwaukee Public Schools. He went to Lee Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School, and a true Blue Devil out of North Division High School “when it was real”, as he stated. And the jobs: Allis Chalmers, Pfister and Vogel Tannery, VA Medical Center and mostly the US Postal Service for his work for 27 years of service.
Yes I am sad, shocked and numb right now. And the pinch ain’t good. I will do my best to make sure that his memory as he stated last year: Leaving a mark. In which he did. My father Empowered (and I mean EMPOWERED) me to be the best of I do. Same with my sister. No question.  I’ll be in and out of Social Media as this long process of setting up my Dad’s Service of life. That is all. Send condolences to my family at this time if you wish.
Thank you.
At this time, I’ll be on a short hiatus with the planning of my Father’s funeral. Meanwhile, we ask for prayers and support in the hour of bereavement. 


You may have seen this on Facebook. Or any other outlet. Many of us who have posted this stat are taking real stands of what we see in our U.S. Government. And the center of it is number 45. No, I’m not going to use the name, but we know who he is. But however as far as all that “Making America Great Again” in all: NOPE. Time to rally against the thought that many who supported “45” and having his attitude against immigrants, blacks, Mexicans, and many other things that are not like him is just is. Yes, it’s like a call to activism.

WAKE UP!

This is where I stand. To me, FB (or this blog post) is a useful vehicle for connecting with old friends and keeping up with family, but it is also a place for my passion and activism. I believe and respect all opinions, even if they don’t agree with mine, so we can all use FB (or this blog post)to vent.

I believe that our 45th President, his power hungry cronies, and the majority of Republicans in Congress are a real and active threat to me, my way of life, and all the people I love. Some people are saying that we should give Trump a chance, that we should “work together” with him because he won the election and he is “everyone’s president.”

This is my response:

•I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years…

•I will not “work together” to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.

•I will not “work together” to build a wall.

•I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.

•I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from other countries.

•I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.

•I will not “work together” to help Trump use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his family and cronies.

•I will not “work together” to weaken and demolish environmental protection.

•I will not “work together” to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.

•I will not “work together” to enable the killing of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills killing them.

•I will not “work together” to remove civil rights from anyone.

•I will not “work together” to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.

•I will not “work together” to slash funding for education.

•I will not “work together” to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

•I will not “work together” to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.

•I will not “work together” to eliminate the minimum wage.

•I will not “work together” to support so-called “Right To Work” laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.

•I will not “work together” to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.

•I will not “work together” to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.

•I will not “work together” to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.

•I will not “work together” to put even more “big money” into politics.

•I will not “work together” to violate the Geneva Convention.

•I will not “work together” to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.

•I will not “work together” to deny health care to people who need it.

•I will not “work together” to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of a “pre-existing condition.”

•I will not “work together” to increase voter suppression.

•I will not “work together” to normalize tyranny.

I will not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversite at any level of government.

•I will not “work together” with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.

•I will not support anyone that thinks its OK to put a pipeline to transport oil on Sacred Ground for Native Americans. And, it would run under the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for millions of people. An accident waiting to happen.

This is my line, and I am drawing it.

•I will stand for honesty, love, respect for all living beings, and for the beating heart that is the center of Life itself.

•I will use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will LISTEN:

That “winning”, “being great again”, “rich” or even “beautiful” is nothing… When others are sacrificed to glorify its existence.

If you agree feel free to copy and re-post (this results in larger numbers of people seeing a post), and if you want, sign your name below ours. Also, if we have left anything out, feel free to add it to this list.

Signed:

Me. And anyone else that wants in to really save the honor of this Country the right way.

SSP The Struggle Continues


This whole thing about trolls are just whatever. We read about those everyday just making a fool of themselves everytime they put out a meme, a comment, a posting,  or making fun of someone or something that can lead to someone being banned from Social Media for life. Oh yes we know.

Henceforth, this is in relation to those  whom have no life by making those suffer. Oh yeah: what goes around, comes around.

Milo Yiannopoulos or whatever his name is, last year struck a nerve of SNL Actress and Ghostbusters Star Leslie Jones, all because what he was trying to do is to get her to have some thick skin of something like that. THICK SKIN?! REALLY?! All because of a movie that didn’t do justice that well in 2016. But what made matters worse it led to bullying online. This reminds me of those who want to “rib on those” just to gain attention. That’s all there is. And these “Ribbers” HAVE NO F-ING LIFE! They don’t. Oh by the way, Milo wants to have a scholarship for white folks. Let that sink in.

Fast Forward to 2017. I’m looking at Real Time With Bill Maher this past weekend, and the Milo dude was on the show talking about Free Speech, Trump, his Gay Lifestyle with Pearls, and all this other stuff. I’m like, Who cares? When I looked and listened to this goober, I’m like: Is this the dude that dissed Leslie Jones last year?! Dude looks like a rejected version Morph from X-Men Cartoons! Man, if this was back in the 1980’s he would have been beaten up in a school yard Street Fight. Oh yeah I said it! Back in the day, I got bullied all because of my size and difference. But sometimes I remembered saying this: sometimes you got to a fight back. Period. No matter if it was against some punk kid that kept harassing you all because you wouldn’t fight back. BUT HATERS BE DAM*ED! You will get fought back. Just wait.

I’m going to say this: Milo is a hypocrite. Yeah I said it. He, just any other person will go around and prance around thinking that all this talk poking fun per say is all about Free Speech. Sometimes that “Free Speech” will backfire. Folks who do all this “Shock Jock” comments is all for attention. 10 years ago, ex model Adrianne Curry had her Shock Jock moment when she wants blacks to get over slavery, and to boycott BET and Black History Month all for attention. Guess what? SHE FAILED! She’s not speaking now. She learned her lesson by not dissing black folks in a way of the verbiage “to get over slavery”. Sorry! Even I had a saying all that when Channel 6 here in Milwaukee had blogs!

Just as wise advice to summarize: Black History Month and BET are still alive. Like it or not.

So this Milo dude better be aware. (Warning Shot)

All that shock jocking he’s doing is going to fade out. And basically the best way do it is what Roland Martin suggested on Social Media: Ignore him. Oh yeah, Milo maybe winning the battle now according to those who agree with him per se, but HE WILL LOSE the war later! Trust me on that. And by ignoring this hater will do just that the most. And 10 years from now when I’m almost 50,  he’ll be nothing but a blemished memory that wasn’t all that anyway. Just like any other hater, or troll that will not matter. Not just in the schools, but also Online, at Work, in Church, at the Clubs, at Walmart, the Malls, Summerfest, or anywhere else. Even in the house!


America:

As we know by Sunday Afternoon, we lost the legendary Alwyn Lopez Jarreau. Or to many, Al Jarreau. So far this week, we have heard tributes from News One, to those playing the music that gravitated us to hear.

Many of us are griveing and shocked that he already announced his retirement after 50 years in music. But also passed on way after that. At age 76 years old, he made himself well known.

Yes, he had to go west to get well known after he got his master’s degree in Iowa. And the saying goes, the rest is history. But there is ONE caveat that is part of this. One word: Milwaukee. The same Milwaukee that many don’t want to come back all because of whatever. More on that later.

Al got his start in my hometown of Milwaukee in church. He was a graduate of Lincoln High School (now called Lincoln Center of the Arts) from the class of 1958. Lincoln High School was a rival school to North Division High School which was way before Rufus King and Riverside University High School’s rivarly were thought about.His parents were in ministry and a pianist in the church where he got his start. From his high school days to his career in the music game as I said before, Al was getting noticed.

He had his share of hits from “We’re In this Love Together”, “Mornin”, “What you do to me”, “Boogie Down”, a theme song from the 80’s TV show, “Moonlighting”,  to  “In My Music.” Oh, he did a Christmas Album too. Plus he did a song in 1976 about his hometown, “Milwaukee” from his album “Glow” mentioning his move out west to California with the Old Milwaukee Road in between.

Speaking of the songs, and yes many of you went to his concerts over the years. And most definitely that Al did Milwaukee gigs at Potowanomi Bingo for his homecoming concerts. Even singing the National Anthem at a UW- Milwaukee Panthers Game.

Yes Americans, he followed his dream as summarized on the Because of them we can Facebook Page. BUT……He did came back to Milwaukee for not only other music concerts, he came back to visit the students in the schools to give them some knowledge and advice about their gift of music. Most recently, he was at The Milwaukee High School of the Arts, (for you MPS Alumni old heads, West Division High School) providing that notion. He also expressed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that the kids today in Milwaukee aren’t getting the same music opportunities as him back in his MPS days. Yes, Al Jarreau was a MPS Alumni member. Plus he hoped that the kids would get music in the schools to maintain just as science, technology, engineering, and yes math. Music is just as important in the schools like Gym Classes or sport teams. Period. I am a living witness to this as a music dude myself blowing Saxophones since 1989. 7th Grade. So yes, Music/Arts in Public Schools does matter.

Now I want to say this: For you fans, he was a great musician. For us in Milwaukee, he was our native son. Hope you all respect that. 

Now for us in Milwaukee: if we can get the stuff lit in orange,  or purple for Prince, we need to light up our landmarks in Al’s favorite color in symbolic of him. I’m dead serious. If we say we love him or admire him, light up Miller Park, his schools, City Hall, the Art Museum, Summerfest, or any other Landmark in honor of him. Light up all the Milwaukee Landmarks. Period.

For Summerfest: we know the 50th Anniversary is coming in June. Expecting all fest folks to come out. I would like to see a all star Milwaukee tribute in honor of Al Jarreau! I’m calling the locals who follow Al’s music, to the famous Milwaukee folks like Eric Benet, Speech from Arrested Development, to Tank even a Core DJ  that is really known famous and is Milwaukee Born, get yourselves to Summerfest this Summer and get this tribute thing started. If I can think of a good Summerfest 50th Anniversary Celebration idea, this could be it. So I’m challenging the Community, the Landmarks, the musicians, the famous fans like all over, and even us at heart, get that set up! If any relatives or family members are reading this, ponder this for a moment after your bereavement.

Not only that, expand that energy back to the students. They are looking at this and one day in the next era, they might pick up the advice that Al Jarreau said and keep playing. Speaking of that: we all know that Al Jarreau’s Homegoing is going to be private. And since the donation factor of his cause is still open, I urge all supporters to go to this website: UPAF.org. For you folks outside of Milwaukee, it’s the United Performing Arts Fund. It’s been around since 1967 in the recognitions of Milwaukee’s Arts of Music, Dance, Theater, and many of the fine arts that had produced locally. Matter of fact, read about the mini summary of the organization here:

https://upaf.org/what-is-upaf/

Let’s keep the name alive for him. Al Jarreau has given us 50 years of what he knew and let’s give him some love back in his memory!

 

 

 


I did this last year in Black History Month. And it’s back again. So yep, it’s time to scratch the noggin and actually boil the questions. Oh yes, we know we’re in the era of that dude named Trump, and many of us might loose our minds. So now I ask, what’s next for the future of Black History Month? And many of us have been spoiled that it’s supposed to be everyday, but hardly: we black folks DON’T acknowledge our history EVERYDAY! WE DON’T. Yeah, we can do this after March and get all charged up, but might ask where was the energy during February? Hmm……It’s the same ole thing we encounter every time.

Are we still believing this statement? Be honest.

Why are those saying that it’s “National African-American History Month”, than “Black History Month?” Black History Month is now global, not just for the United States.

Is the whole thing about the 45th President saying that the word “black” is outdated true? Last I checked: BLACK is BLACK!

Someone stop me: when we black folks say we celebrate our people everyday or I’m black everyday, are we meaning this or just saying to get the monkeys off the back? Just be honest!

Someone stop me again: are we really teaching our children more about black history everyday? Be honest.

I asked this last year many times: Have you missed Obama?

Is Donald Trump really supporting black folks? Or should I say, those whom are on his side are black?

When was the last time that many took their kids to see a tomb of a famous African-American Figure than to see a  pair of Air Jordans at the mall?

When was the last time that many saw a famous African-American figure that was still dropping knowledge and took the kids?

How many more of the New England Patriots whom are black will not attend the White House?

Dang MSNBC! Why did you kicked off Tamron Hall?!

Is it just me, or is America wants to be driven by those in office whom do not have experience or just being dumb?

You do know that 2017 is a voting year, right?

Is the black media still on point?

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I’m surprised that many in America didn’t know who James White was after the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Um, did anyone checked the Wisconsin Badgers for Reference?

How hard will “The Quad” on BET will go?

Is it just me, or what has gotten into BET with the added cussing in movies?

Had everyone seen Hidden Figures? Not Hidden Colors. HIDDEN FIGURES!

Should AFROPUNK make a Milwaukee Visit? Take my money.

When will President Obama release his memoir? If that happens TAKE MY MONEY!

Black Businesses: are you holding up well?

Was Maxwell out of bounds for his remarks about including whites for Black History Month?

Did The New Edition Story on BET really sparked new ideas for biopics?

Should all of the black Alumni of High Schools or Colleges rock dashikis for Black History Month? Primarily with the school colors we know?

Who still reads books? Mainly African-American Novels?

For my Black Introverts, are we good? Are we are still holding up to resist?

This year in Music Anniversaries: 30 years of Jody Watley’s Real Love, Whitney Houston’s I wanna dance with somebody under the self titled Album, Whitney. Kool Moe Dee’s How You Like Me Now made the cut, NWA and the Posse made it’s debut by the group itself. Even Michael Jackson’s Bad was good.

25 years of R.Kelly & The Public Announcement’s She’s Got That Vibe and Honey Love. Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back. EnVogue’s Funky Divas of Free Your Mind, Giving Him Something He Can Feel, My Lovin’and Give it up Turn it loose. Mary J. Blige’s What the 411? Whitney Houston and The Bodyguard Soundtrack.  Boyz II Men (ALL FOUR OF THEM) serenade the women with the single, End of the Road. Also, Prince with the Love Symbol Album premiered,  and Bobby Brown had the joint Bobby out with Humpin’ Around as a hot single. Just to name a few.

20 years of Missy Elliott’s Supa Dupa Fly, Puff Daddy and Family’s No Way Out, Aaliyah had The One I gave my heart to and Hot Like Fire, Timbaland/Magoo debuted Welcome to our World, Will Smith was back with Big Willie Style, The Notorious BIG’s last album before his death: Life after Death, and Michael Jackson had the album out called “Blood on the Dance Floor.” Just to name a few.

15 years ago: Ashanti and Tweet both debuted with their albums, Musiq Soulchild had “Juslisen”, Meshell Ndegeocello had the album, Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape.  Plus Donell Jones had the joint Life Goes On, Will Smith was Born to Reign, Nelly had the joint Nellyville, Sean Paul had the Dutty Rock thing going, LL Cool J: 10,  Deborah Cox (one of my favorite black Canadian exports) had the album out called The Morning After, and Missy Elliott took us back in time with old school hip hop beats in Under Construction. Just to name a few.

And  10 years of Angie Stone’s The Art of War. Plus Timbaland took us a Shock Value favor with Keri Hilson singing hooks. What music are you celebrating….IN BLACK HISTORY MONTH?

This year in Movie Anniversaries: 10 years of I am Legend, Why Did I Get Married? and Black Snake Moan. 20 years of Men in Black, Soul Food, and Amistad. 25 years of Class Act, Mo’ Money, Bebe’s Kids, Diggstown, Malcolm X, and Trespass. 30 years of Beverly Hills Cop II, Leonard Part 6, Sign ‘o’ The Times, and Shaka Zulu.  What flicks are you celebrating….IN BLACK HISTORY MONTH?

This year in TV Shows that are Anniversary material: Martin. 25 years since WZUP, Martin Love the kids, get the steppin’, and many of the quotes that we know it like that. Also, Living Single debuted in the same year also of 1992. Plus, The Cosby Show ended the 8 year reign the same year.  Easy question: What shows are you celebrating in Black History Month?

Is Tyler Perry’s The Haves and The Have Nots show still rolling with new ideas?

Will TVONE continue to roll hard with shows and news?

We keep talking about the firsts in Black History. Who’s next?

I’m not easily fooled by the phrases, Black Future Month, or Black Conscious Month. Nope. Wanna know why?

I’m not easily fooled by this notion of blacks not referencing the ideals that Africans were sold by their own and America ate up the idea of slavery commodity. Wanna know why? (Hint: Part of it is the truth whether we like it or not.)

When will all schools acknowledge Black History? Not just in the cities.

When all those who hate the idea of Black History Month actually stop hating?!

When will all those who don’t like the thought of having a Black History Month actually read what Dr. Carter Woodson wrote about the miseducation portion of us not knowing our history?

And yet again, how will all of this be worthy for our children, especially our black children that need to know this? Not just in school, but in the homes, and certainly in other areas like the church and community centers?

I learned black history in the house, school, and church!

So, Happy Black History Month! or #HapppyBHM2017 whatever many prefer.