Archive for the ‘My Take’ Category


Juneteenth Day Matters!

Today is a legit day to celebrate an occasion that actually mattered. No, it’s not the 4th of July as we know very well. We’re talking about Juneteenth Day. A day that many don’t know about but to quote Kevin Hart: “You gon’ learn today!” For the 155th time, America is recognizing a forgotten Independence Day that almost had right previously in the late 1770’s. Yes we all know that originally, Independence Day was started in 1776 in which that yes and many will hear that black people were still slaves. They were in bondage. No rights. Yes, Master. No Master. We know. Frankly, there was a lot of that and a few black patriots at the time fought in the Revolution, attempted to seek their freedom and most went back into slavery. However, it seems that 4th of July was the mainstay of celebrating the Independence of America. Again, you will know this next month. But again, this day of the 19th is a CLOSER! Think of this: July 4th is the opening pitch to freedom. An opening pitch to eliminate tyranny, oppression, and persecution. Even though it should have been stopped in that particular year, many in the country who benefited and owned slaves actually didn’t want that to end. Yes, let’s call it what it was, slavery and commodity equals money. Even though the British rule was already divorced, but the inner struggle of slavery was a long shot to be eliminated. It took 89 years which in baseball is about 16,198 games. But on the first to last game, which was January 1st, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to decide that black slaves would be declared free. 2 years later in 1865, after the assassination of Lincoln, the news to Galveston, Texas from General Grainger that the slaves would be now and forever free. This was known as “General Order Number 3.” This is why I say Juneteenth is the CLOSER, or the closing pitch that ended the dreaded streak. That ended the game that many fought for so long to eliminate. This is why I also say that “Juneteenth Day Matters Like The 4th!”

For many of you who are not black, and just wanting to know what this is, and we know many of you will be going all decked out Red, White, and Blue next month. Get this: if you know the 4th, get to know what Juneteenth Day is about. Get to know why this day matters. And many of you are in education, working for the curriculum. I challenge you to put Juneteenth Day further ON THE MAP! I challenge all of those who are black educators: put this day of June 19th ON THE MAP for the curriculum. It is necessary because this is part of the historical events that Americans need to know and summarize. After all, do many people still say that “Black history is American History?” Remember that quote that I hated since Black History Month? Yeah well, since Juneteenth Day is an American Occasion, why not add this to the American History that folks again, need to know! And Black History is STILL World History!

Unlike many Juneteenth Day Celebrations in the country, there were not many marches. And social distancing was in effect due to the coronavirus. In spite of that, Juneteenth Day went on regardless. There were marches, shutting the streets down, murals were and are still being painted on to streets that were declared “sacred ground.” Speeches were made to declare slavery was dead but the struggle goes on. Even after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor and countless others that died in the hands of the police. And yet, the Juneteenth Day flags were raised in cities that were used for the first time. EVER. Milwaukee, my homecity that has celebrated Juneteenth longer in the north, raised the new flag outside of the Zeidler Municipal Building. This is the same building named after one of Milwaukee’s Mayors, and a centralplex for the April Voting Drives. Not only that , but Madison also held its Juneteenth Day Flag raising on the State Capitol signifying the 155th occasion. And also, our Milwaukee County Courthouse also raised the new Juneteenth Banner for the special day. All areas of Milwaukee and Madison had the historical moments documented and summarized!

Now let me go left field on these non-black companies and advertisers that are now just discovering Juneteenth Day. Even the Networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC are now just discovering this soon-to-be Independence Day. And our so-called president claimed to “made Juneteenth famous”. Let’s cut the Bull….right now:

First of all: Juneteenth Day was made famous by those who were set free from slavery.

Juneteenth Day was made famous who later marched and protested who were mostly black and fought for Civil Rights that we read about over and over again and making sure that the stories still remain in tact for another era of citizens.

Juneteenth Day was made famous by many who still recognize our concerns, our voices, and our black god-given rights to remain active and ALIVE to let those know that our black rights, and lives still matter! Even at a time when many black men are not as active as black women when it comes to concerns in the community. Even though the black men of TODAY are not as active as the forefathers, but they are out there. And they are active and educating the men of now. Of course, the men of now will do their own thing in the future but guidance must be placed on the table!

If many of the folks who are just now discovering Juneteenth, where have they been?! Black folks have been talking about this for YEARS! This is why the white folks and those who work in non-black establishments must listen to every single black citizen either at work or the house. Not just say, “here you go…………” NO! the key words are to “listen to the black folks!” Let us continue to have our turn to say what we want and need to say. Regardless of our stance on employment, health, finance, spiritual, mental, educational physical and countless others that we discuss that we may agree and disagree, but hear us out! If we don’t see a chair at your table, we have chairs at home to bring. Long ago, we didn’t have those rights as we do now. And that struggle has been going on since the start of loading the boats!

And to have our so-called president to have his “rally” on Juneteenth in a town like Tulsa, Oklahoma that had a history of Black Wall Street being destroyed by racist whites in 1921, was a slap in the face. 99 years this month. Although it was moved to June 20th, which is the first day of the summer solstice. Wow. However even though it’s a different time and a different era, but the struggle again still continues.

So yes, Juneteenth Day 2020 is in the books. However, in the recent “support” of Juneteenth must continue to go on. Like those sales of oil changes to get $17.76 off. Where are the $18.65 discounts? Where are those that need to surface? Yes, I know as a black man that Juneteenth Day MUST be carefully guarded not to be fumbled with a commercialized sense of being jaded. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look at all those sales that are geared towards holidays: New Years, Valentines, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, the 4th, Labor Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and yes Christmas. I’m not saying Juneteenth Day should be marketable. But being careful HOW Juneteenth Day should be marketed that it shouldn’t be sold in a negative sense. That is the main point of all of this. Same as Target marketing Black History Month. Which it has. But I hope that those that market Black History or Juneteenth Day should donate some of those sales to most needed black-owned businesses, and especially to the schools. I’ll give four letters: HBCU. That’s the Historical Black Colleges and Universities. Don’t just donate to the causes on these occasions, do them ALL YEAR LONG! And I hope that since the companies are “supporting black workers” and donating all the causes, for all of you big companies from Facebook to U.S. Bank, Harley-Davidson, John Deere, Tesla, Taco Bell (yeah I’m putting them on the list after firing the worker who had on a Black Lives Matter Mask) Best Buy, Walmart, news media, technological companies, health organizations, employment agencies, the federal government, state government, city government, county government and anywhere that they claim or stake their claim in the support of black workers: I got four words for you: step your game up! Prove to many that you back up your African-American employees. No matter what their positions are. Why you ask? simply put, their black lives DO matter. And they should matter just like everyone else.

So yes, we made it to another year of Juneteenth. And its very legit like the 4th. But after this day is over: The struggle continues!


Preface: you may have seen this on your news feed this morning. Or in the last few days.

So what has protesting accomplished?

👉🏾Within 10 days of sustained protests:
Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.

👉🏾Charges are upgraded against Officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.

👉🏾Dallas adopts a “duty to intervene” rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.

👉🏾New Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.

👉🏾In Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.

👉🏾Los Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.

👉🏾MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.

👉🏾Police brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities (i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale).

👉🏾Monuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.

👉🏾Street in front of the White House is renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Military forces begin to withdraw from D.C.

Then, there’s all the other stuff that’s hard to measure:

💓The really difficult public and private conversations that are happening about race and privilege.

💓The realizations some white people are coming to about racism and the role of policing in this country.

💓The self-reflection.

💓The internal battles exploding within organizations over issues that have been simmering or ignored for a long time. Some organizations will end as a result, others will be forever changed or replaced with something stronger and fairer.

Globally:

🌎 Protests against racial inequality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd are taking place all over the world.

🌎 Rallies and memorials have been held in cities across Europe, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

🌎 As the US contends with its second week of protests, issues of racism, police brutality, and oppression have been brought to light across the globe.

🌎 People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where ‘I have a dream’ is a real and universal political program,” Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.

🌎 In France, protesters marched holding signs that said “I can’t breathe” to signify both the words of Floyd, and the last words of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.

🌎 Cities across Europe have come together after the death of George Floyd:

✊🏽 In Amsterdam, an estimated 10,000 people filled the Dam square on Monday, holding signs and shouting popular chants like “Black lives matter,” and “No justice, no peace.”

✊🏽 In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality.

✊🏾 A mural dedicated to Floyd was also spray-painted on a stretch of wall in Berlin that once divided the German capital during the Cold War.

✊🏿 In Ireland, protesters held a peaceful demonstration outside of Belfast City Hall, and others gathered outside of the US embassy in Dublin.

✊🏿In Italy, protesters gathered and marched with signs that said “Stop killing black people,” “Say his name,” and “We will not be silent.”

✊🏾 In Spain, people gathered to march and hold up signs throughout Barcelona and Madrid.

✊🏾 In Athens, Greece, protesters took to the streets to collectively hold up a sign that read “I can’t breathe.”

✊🏾 In Brussels, protesters were seen sitting in a peaceful demonstration in front of an opera house in the center of the city.

✊🏾In Denmark, protesters were heard chanting “No justice, no peace!” throughout the streets of Copenhagen, while others gathered outside the US embassy.

✊🏾 In Canada, protesters were also grieving for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black woman who died on Wednesday after falling from her balcony during a police investigation at her building.

✊🏾 And in New Zealand, roughly 2,000 people marched to the US embassy in Auckland, chanting and carrying signs demanding justice.

💐 Memorials have been built for Floyd around the world, too. In Mexico City, portraits of him were hung outside the US embassy with roses, candles, and signs.

💐 In Poland, candles and flowers were laid out next to photos of Floyd outside the US consulate.

💐 And in Syria, two artists created a mural depicting Floyd in the northwestern town of Binnish, “on a wall destroyed by military planes.”

Before the assassination of George Floyd some of you were able to say whatever the hell you wanted and the world didn’t say anything to you…

THERE HAS BEEN A SHIFT, AN AWAKENING…MANY OF YOU ARE BEING EXPOSED FOR WHO YOU REALLY ARE. #readthatagain

Don’t wake up tomorrow on the wrong side of this issue. Its not to late to SAY,

“maybe I need to look at this from a different perspective.

Maybe I don’t know what its like to be Black in America…

Maybe, just maybe, I have been taught wrong.”

There is still so much work to be done. It’s been a really dark, raw week. This could still end badly. But all we can do is keep doing the work.

Keep protesting.

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO START A RACE WAR; WE ARE PROTESTING TO END IT,
PEACEFULLY.

How beautiful is that?

ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER UNTIL YOU INCLUDE BLACK LIVES.

YOU CANNOT SAY ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ WHEN YOU DO NOTHING TO STOP SYSTEMIC RACISM & POLICE BRUTALITY.

YOU CANNOT SAY ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE DYING AND ALL YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT IS THE LOOTING.

YOU CANNOT SAY ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ WHEN YOU ALLOW CHILDREN TO BE CAGED, VETERANS TO GO HOMELESS, AND POOR FAMILIES TO GO HUNGRY & LOSE THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE.

DO ALL LIVES MATTER? YES. BUT RIGHT NOW, ONLY BLACK LIVES ARE BEING TARGETED, JAILED, AND KILLED EN MASSE- SO THAT’S WHO WE’RE FOCUSING ON.

🖤🖤🖤BLACK LIVES MATTER🖤🖤🖤

IF YOU CAN’T SEE THIS, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

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Postface: The Struggle INDEED Continues! Now we don’t know who wrote this piece, but whom ever was the writer of this statement will be revealed in the future. But in the mean time: #BLACKLIVESMATTER!


Warning: what I am about write is not for the thinking at heart. I’m going there.

“A Riot is the language of the unheard”.

These last few days since Memorial Day, most of us Americans have had reality hit in the face. It’s all due to those getting assaulting and after the killing of 46 year old, George Floyd. A black man if you will. Now for those who are not so squeamish, you already know over and over again about the Police Officer putting his knee on the back of the neck of George Floyd and he is face down handcuffed. Can’t Breathe. Or in his lasting words: “I Can’t Breathe!” That sounded VERY FAMILIAR out of Staten Island when Eric Garner was killed. Yes I’m saying killed! All because of suspicion and yet I’ll say this: BLACK. Let’s call it what it was and is: those dudes were killed and targeted because of their black skin tone! If anyone of us African-Americans living and breathing knows the feeling of being “hunted” by those who don’t like us that much, we’ll be on someone’s hit list to get buried. Nothing to do with the jobs, the house, the cars or any other earning thing. But nothing that matters. It’s all about ONE THING! And that one thing is being black. I wrote on my Facebook page the words that many hear too often.

And I heard this in the late 1990’s and I’m saying this now in 2020: It’s hard to be a Black Man in America!

I’ve been saying that then and now. Even in a year that many of us were hoping to see in our lifetime to say, we made it. But like any other year, any other decade, there will be dark times to go through. What has transpired in Minneapolis is no different of what happened here in Milwaukee 4 years ago when a Milwaukee Police Officer killed Sylville Smith, and the area of Sherman Park of the Gas Station, a Red Snapper Fish Restaurant and nearby, the former building that housed BMO Harris Bank were engulfed in flames! Even a freaking Jet Beauty Store, a O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store and other shops along the 35th St, Fond Du Lac and Sherman Boulevard areas. And yet, Milwaukee remains a segregated city. And this was in the last election year of 2016. Previously, we Milwaukeeans had to deal with deaths of Dontre Hamilton, Corey Stingley, Jay Anderson, and Derek Williams, whom like George Floyd and Eric Garner had uttered the words, “I Can’t Breathe” before he died in police custody.

Here we are in another election year of 2020 and we still have problems. The problems of Racism, White Supremacy, 45 acting a da*n fool on Twitter saying that the thugs will be shot, and oh, Blue Lives Matter is acting as a fraud! Blue Lives Matter couldn’t save a BURNING POLICE STATION! Blue Lives Matter can’t even save Target, Best Buy, Cub Foods, 3M or any other Minnesota related firm or company! All those stores and companies I mentioned, they are all from the state. For all you Blue Lives Matter Maniacs out there backing up Cops with your Thin Blue Line Flags, Attire, and other forms of support, where is your loyalty now?! Huh? Where is it now?! You got a white cop in freaking Minnesota that laid his knee on the back of a Black Man’s neck face down and dies in about 9 minutes! And you have another cop just stood there and did nothing! And two others were just as doing the job in a guilt manner. Deer caught in the headlights. Remember when Colin Kaepernick was doing the kneeling, and many of the overly patriotic folks got all upset because it was about him dissing the Flag, the Anthem, and the Military? But when he said that it was about Police Brutality? Come to think that his act led to the truth. Somebody must be saying the words, “I Told You So”. Matter of fact it was the truth that justify the means.

Speaking of us blacks being “hunted” we need to be part of another group besides the NAAGA Gun Group. We need to be our own response team. When I was looking at those idiot protesters that hounded against Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer At Home Order, some of them had on these shirts that had these words: “Tyranny Response Team”. I’m like, who is doing the tyranny? Those idiots were protesting in those shirts were just silly and fake!

But if anyone really deserves to be apart of the “Tyranny Response Team” is an obvious one: African Americans. It makes sense because if anyone knows more about being Tyrannized, Oppressed, Persecuted, and many other inhumane acts of concern like Slavery, it’s US! US as in BLACK PEOPLE! None of the folks we know don’t have a shirt like that to wear. But dress it up in a Red Black Green and make it our own. Others I would say would be Native Americans. Excuse me for saying in a more appropriate way of American Indian. Knowingly they too sufferer being tyrannized, persecuted, and having their land STOLEN by those we know that claim it’s theirs. So for all you white folks who like to be all Americanized, when you put on that “Tyranny Response Team” clothing, you are acting like idiots for an inappropriate racial cause.

When a Black Man dies in a act of racism/police brutality, many of you said nothing and did nothing like cowards! Hiding behind the keyboards. Let’s be honest, many of you probably have black friends. When was the last time in this hour of need per se that you called, emailed, texted, social media DM, Video Called or Messaged your black friend or family member that is married inter-racially to see if they are doing well? Out of danger, Out of harm? Black folks we know us! And keep in mind, were still in a pandemic like the Coronavirus! This is the OT version, not the warning level.

Just now as of today: And I know that many of you are looking at the protests. Not just in Minneapolis, but in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Louisville, Staten Island, DC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and yes Milwaukee. All of the cities even those across the globe like London, Brussels, Berlin, Tokyo, Iran, Paris, and even Hong Kong, were in fact protesting the cause. And it’s not a joke. There are folks EVERYWHERE that are protesting this cause after a man that many didn’t know about. Even though George Floyd is not well known, the fact remains that certain policing practicing that is unfairly just must be called out. Minneapolis’ Police Department is being called out after many realize that they had negative ratings or work points that 44% of the African-American Residents of the State were effected by this unfairly. And like Wisconsin as well as any other state dealing with race, Minnesota from what we now have learned, is no comparison of the unfair police practices are being summarized. In other words, the land of 10,000 lakes and the home of Prince has problems too. And yes, its bigger than the Vikings not SKOLing in the NFL.

So what is needed after this that White America needs to start listening to black folks. White America whom are so “gung ho” about being an American, standing up for the flag, get all patriotic, telling us black folks to “get over Slavery”, and pulling yourself by the bootstraps, that has NOTHING TO DO WITH Blacks in general! What they need to do is to hush up, and be quiet. Let us have our say! We were born in this country too! And of course, they have black friends. But their black friends need to speak the hell up and tell them to listen to the concerns and what is needed to say. Remember I used to blog years ago about the same folks you work with or hang out at the games, or get a beer after work, then they fellowship for a good time? And are they like that when they go home to be with their families? Ask that if you dare.

So depending of this, it has garnered attention. But the fact of the matter is this needs to be addressed more openly when the issue of white cops, black victims or cops and black folks need to have a level of understanding. I’ll bet you when looking at the protesters may of them wanted to let the cops and military know that they are not about disruptions. They wanted to them to listen of what is really going on regarding white supremacy, racism, fascism, discrimination and many other harboring things that black folks know VERY VERY WELL! And those whom perpetrate the groups are just wannabes. All they care about is trouble and don’t really call for the cause of Black Lives Matter or any other anti-racist group. They don’t! Do not ASSUME that they associate with the Peaceful Protesters. The protester groups need to weed out the wicked like in Church.

Already, George Floyd is being remembered. From Minnesota, to North Carolina and soon to be his home state of Texas. Leaving behind his family especially his six year old daughter, his son, and a host of brothers, sisters, parent, and many other folks that are survivors. Look, George Floyd was 46 years old! He was apart of my generation that many looked upon as slackers. Yes I’m talking about Generation X. He had a good life, kept up with his faith, business, family-life, etc. But we all know that the Golden Casket we saw at his memorial service was the lasting thing of him. Many stood in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Those numbers are familiar. Reference 9/11. But we’re not talking 9/11 in general, however we’re talking the last 8 minutes and 46 seconds of a black man that the police thought had problems with $20.00 died on the street. Over a $20.00 payment from a store! REALLY?!

Make no mistake: this issue will not go away! We all know by now that ALL of the 4 officers have been arrested. And well all know that the AG Keith Ellison is doing a sweeping of the cases that the Minneapolis Police got away with in years past, is now coming into light. And we all know VERY WELL that chokeholds that Police used previously will be banned. EXPECT THAT to happen in all Police Departments in America. Mark my words!

So yes I will say this WITHOUT DEFLECTION: Black Lives Matter! And my black life matters just as those who work, volunteer, attend church, give back to donate, graduated from college and high school, and many other needs that I do like everyone else. No I didn’t serve in the Military, but I serve my community! Let that sink in. No this will not go away. And I don’t care how many individuals are so “All Lives Matter” and those love to bring up “black on black crime” for deflection. When individuals says that, it’s more a say of saying “I don’t want to hear that, talk about you.” Umm….To the Caucasians who say this, believe it or not, you will hear this. You will see color. If we are sick and tired about hearing about your predecessors came to America as Immigrants to Ellis Island and couldn’t speak the language, and had to work really hard, defending America in the World Wars for freedom and many others you brag about with no disrespect, then guess what: YOU WILL HEAR US whether you like it not. Again, we’re citizens too. After all, just like Tamika Mallory said about America’s issues of looting, we learned it from you! I’m just saying.

There will be a part two. Stay tuned.

The Memorial Service of George Floyd – June, 2020.


In the second installment of us going through the Coronavirus, it’s now time to shift gears to talk about the “S***T Storm” that many had to go through in Wisconsin of the Spring General Election. However, before we go to that, ask yourself, what exactly led to this.

OK so….what really happened was goes back to last month when three of our early voting sites had to be closed due to the pandemic. It seemed like a good idea at first, but as the concerns of our health and wellness came about, it was not a choice but more of asking why. Also on March 22nd, this was posted on the City of Milwaukee’s Election Commission Page as indicated:

REVISED POST: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Effective immediately, the City of Milwaukee will no longer be operating in-person absentee or “early” voting at the city’s three locations: Zablocki Library, the Zeidler Municipal Building or the Midtown Center. Due to increased CoVid-19 exposure risk, the Election Commission can no longer maintain sufficient staffing levels to operate these sites in a manner that would ensure a safe or efficient public voting experience.
Given the city’s longstanding dedication to fair and equitable elections, the decision to end early voting in Milwaukee has been exceptionally difficult for all involved. However, given daily increases in CoVid-19 cases on the local level, a critical balance must be achieved between access to voting and the health of election workers and the public. Milwaukee residents may still request an absentee ballot online at myvote.wi.gov or by calling 414-286-VOTE. Online voter registration (previously suspended in Wisconsin) will resume on Tuesday, March 24.
Even during extraordinarily difficult times, the Election Commission encourages residents to exercise their constitutional right to vote in the upcoming election. By-mail absentee voting is accessible to the public and safe.

Then came the news that nobody didn’t wanted to hear on March 29th:

For Immediate Release: Contact: Neil Albrecht
March 29, 2020 (414) 286-6119

Milwaukee Election Worker Staffing Drops As Cases Rise
City has less than one-third of required election workers

MILWAUKEE— March 29, 2020, The City of Milwaukee Election Commission reports a continued decline in election worker staffing numbers in anticipation of next week Tuesday’s Spring Election and Presidential Primary.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, nearly half of the City’s election workforce were over the age of 60, with one-third over the age of 70. A majority of those workers have indicated an inability to work due to their high-risk status. Others, following local and state Stay at Home guidelines, are self-confining. The City has provided regular updates to elected state officials as well as the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

“The math is simple,” said Neil Albrecht, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Election Commission. “We would normally operate our 180 sites with a minimum of 1,400 election workers. As of today, we have less than 400. We will not be able to maintain our longstanding tradition of neighborhood-based voting for this election.”

The Commission’s recruitment efforts have been ongoing and many in Milwaukee have come forward to allow senior election workers to stay home, but the numbers of trained workers have declined daily. The Commission has three more training classes scheduled prior to the election.

The Election Commission is currently reviewing voting models used by other states in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as seeking guidance from the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Many municipalities in Wisconsin are consolidating sites in order to reduce the number of necessary workers and to be able to better enforce health and safety standards.

One option would involve Milwaukee moving to a model of ‘voting centers,’ where several aldermanic districts are combined into one voting site. “This is not a model I’m comfortable with,” said Neil Albrecht, citing that combined sites could also mean many more people voting per site, “but this is where the inaction of the Wisconsin Legislature has left the public: potentially placing themselves at risk in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote.”

Milwaukee has joined with other municipalities across the state to request an extension of the election date and limit voting to absentee only. Last week, all 19 Milwaukee County municipalities submitted a letter to the governor and members of the Wisconsin Legislature encouraging the elimination of in-person voting due to the risk to election workers and the public. To date, there has been no response.

The City continues to urge residents to vote absentee by applying online at myvote.wi.gov, or at Milwaukee’s recently launched drive-up voting site at the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building located at 841 N. Broadway. By-mail absentee ballots can be requested up until Thursday, April 2, and returned by mail or at any of the City’s five absentee ballot drop-off sites. Drive-up voting will continue until Sunday, April 5, with weekday hours of 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and weekend hours of 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

And of course, here we were on April 3rd courtesy of the Election Commission:

Due to severe shortages in election workers, the Election Commission has had to consolidate the city’s 180 voitng sites into five voting centers. This means that very few Milwaukee residents will be voitng at their traditional voting site on Election Day. To locate your voting site, please click the link below or go to myvote.wi.gov

This change is in no way an endorsement of this state’s dangerous decision to move forward with the April 7 election, but is instead a necessary step to provide in-person voting.

More information to follow.

And just to add, the 5 voting centers were Riverside High School, South Division High School, Hamilton High School, Washington High School and my Alma Mater of John Marshall High School. And they all had multiple wards into one school . So if you saw a long line of cars and voters yesterday that was a prime example of Voter Suppression. Make that “Dangerous VOTER SUPPRESSION!” And you know who really kicked that off? You’re assuming Milwaukee right? Not exactly. Mayor Tom Barrett? HELL NO! Sorry Lena Taylor Fans. With many feel about him in general being a nice guy in all, even Barrett wouldn’t put citizens in danger like that. You know he had the Coronavirus, right? The real idiots or to quote WWE Superstar The Undertaker, “A$$Clowns” on top of this were indeed coming from the legislature of the State. Make that Republican Led Legislature like the minds of Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald. Oh these are the same A-hole clowns that also “limited” the powers of Tony Evers, and when Scott Walker was still around, they were responsible of dismantling unions, no High Speed Rail and many others that didn’t appeal to all Wisconsinites. And don’t forget they recently whined to the State Supreme Court and later on the US Supreme Court to block Governor Evers’ Executive Order that would have been rescheduled for June 9th and to extend the use of the Absentee Ballots to be postmarked. BUT OH NO: they said April 7th by 8pm.

Now I am going to get a whole lot angry on this. You are not like what I am about to say or think so here were go. When I hear stuff like this coming from our leaders, it’s sickening. First you can blame Tom Barrett and Neil Albrecht all you want. The fact of the matter is they didn’t wanted this way at all! NOT ONE! I hear that Senator Lena Taylor blamed both Barrett and Albrecht for this, but Senator Taylor in view “failed to look and ask” those in Madison like Fitzgerald and Robin Vos about the choices they did in this matter! She is a State Senator, duh! Oh Lena’s got issues too. But we know this don’t we Black Milwaukee? If Senator Taylor would have done her job and asking the tough questions to Vos and Fitzgerald on how why the ultimate decision was notified instead getting on Barrett’s and Albrecht’s Case that that would have been an ultimate option. Yeah, I’m going there. You probably like, “Oh Stephen is siding with Barrett and kissing up to Neil Albrecht of the Election Commission”. Look here, idiots. I don’t care if Barrett would be a 5 Time Mayor in the making. Long as he does his job right all that matters. And for those who thought he hasn’t done nothing, um….what was “the nothing” he’s supposed to do? Where are the receipts? I have not seen not ONE RECEIPT from any radio station, host, blogger, video editor, media, or any other person claims they were taking notes. But as far as Neil Albrecht of the Election Commission is concerned, I have not met him. Yes, when I’m not doing Secretary stuff for the Church, I am a Poll Worker and I know the game for 13 years! I studied the inside and outside. Every time I go to do these things, it’s for the people! Not JackA**es! You may not agree with that, but it is THE TRUTH!

I’ll bet a lot of you who voted for Lena Taylor probably got mad with emotion and yet, uninformed! How many of you that voted for Lena are Milwaukee Poll Workers that didn’t get called up yesterday? Don’t worry I’ll wait! How many of you contacted the Election Commission’s office and ask why you didn’t called up to work? How many of you so-called woke folks followed that? That’s right NONE OF YOU! So who’s pointing fingers now? All of you who didn’t ask that are just punks! But oh, you want to go in on Barrett regarding this. No, you REALLY should have went towards AGAIN: Robin Vos , the Republican Legislature left behind by Scott Walker, and Scott Fitzgerald. And to top it off: say with me – ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES! And yesterday’s “S—t Storm” noted by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes on Twitter was a prime example that this should not have been taking place. AT ALL! And usually when elections happens bad, why does Wisconsin have to be the number one spot of embarrassed objectives? And this time, it’s not on the Mayor or anyone else that didn’t want this to happen!

April 13th will be the day we’ll see who moves on, gets booted off the island, and stays home!


Alright, we are several weeks removed from the horrible shooting that took place at MillerCoors on Ash Wednesday here in Milwaukee during Black History Month 2020. And yet, the reaction of the shooting is not only shocking Milwaukee but also the state of Wisconsin and also captured the lasting impression on the World and North America. Oh yeah, Milwaukee they know us now!

But as we progress in the months and weeks ahead of our work weeks, it’s respectable that we remember those who have been fatally killed in the Miller Brewery Shooting:

  • Jesus Valle Jr., 33, of Milwaukee
  • Gennady Levshetz, 61, of Mequon
  • Trevor Wetselaar, 33, of Milwaukee
  • Dana Walk, 57, of Delafield
  • Dale Hudson, 60, of Waukesha

These five men were hispanic and white. Some were fathers, brothers, one of them was a Veteran of the Armed Forces, and they were all machinists, electricians, and engineers. And on Ash Wednesday 2020, they never came back home to be with their families. They had their last dinners with their families on the night before, and their last good byes on their final working day on earth at the legendary brewery. Everyone knows that Milwaukee is the original home when it comes to beer. From Blatz, to Schlitz, Pabst, and of course Miller. Milwaukee was a strong hold of Breweries that got the city like Harley-Davidson and Cream food on the map. Of all those those things that made Milwaukee famous, we all know that there was and is another thing that made Milwaukee famous that we talk about all the time: Segregation. For many of us in the city, we know that Milwaukee is “hyper segregated”, hell we’re segregated with our recent voting from February 18th which is different story. But even that also effected the major breweries based on the experiences the black workers went through based on discrimination and racism. The shooter, Anthony Ferrill in which many have labeled him as a folk hero in the black community faced discrimination at Miller 5 years ago when many stated about finding a Noose in his locker and a black spade card. Later on the discrimination portion was solved. But afterwards, it escalated with additional racism. The shooter also killed himself as part of that fateful day of shock at Miller Brewery. For those who don’t know, Miller Brewery has been a staple of Milwaukee since 1855. The company’s headquarters near 45th and State or 38th and Highland has been supporters of our sports teams, community involvement, sponsorship, and yes retail in which many of our stores sell the legendary beer product. When you take a tour of Miller, you’re taking a tour of history from the beginning until now. I’m not talking about the hops only. And also that the company has caves, brewery caves that is. In which many that the beer had been transported years back. Now it’s a highlighted attraction of showing the image of the late Frederick Miller, plus word is that you can do Yoga exercises in the caves that used to transport Beer! And yet, it’s across the street from Harley-Davidson facing Highland Avenue.

But now in all this, we Milwaukeeans or most of us have rallied around a hashtag that many supported. The hashtag, #MilwaukeeStrong has become a new beacon that enable us to get and be strong in our city that has many felt lost it way. The same “strong” hashtag has got other cities like Boston, Las Vegas and many others rallied in terms of rising after a bad disatster of mass shootings that had taken place. We hope that the #MilwaukeeStrong should have a positive role of uplifting this city in the dealt of Segregation, Racism, Violence, and many other concerns that many feel that it must be changed for the better. Milwaukee is 174 years old, but as its status of having this moniker of being a segregated city, its going to take more than a hashtag to move a city better.

The Designer of the Milwaukee Strong Logo.

But..when I was on Facebook, and I’m looking at all the #milwaukeestrong hashtags, there was posting that was questioning an angle relating to racism or being racist. One of our community activist, Tory Lowe recently stated his “opinion” in regarding the “Milwaukee Strong” moniker on March 4th:

Tory LoweMarch 4 at 12:48 PM

“I heard that allegedly the saying Milwaukee Strong is a code word for the Milwaukee white community to stand together. The images promoting Milwaukee Strong came as a cry for unity after the shooting at Miller Coors. A marketing campaign said to further push the narrative of segregation not inclusion of the black community. Milwaukee is considered the worst place in the country for blacks to live and one of the best places for whites to live.

I honestly hope that one day everyone will be included in moving the city forward”

I need to say something here. And while were at it, he is currently is running for Alderman for the 6th district verses current Alderwoman Milele Coggs in April for Wisconsin’s Spring General Election. But I need to call out this comment of being misinformed. Yes you got that right! So Tory’s sources thinks or assumes allegedly that the Milwaukee Strong hashtag, sign, statement or whatever is another division to separate black folks and white folks who want the same thing of thriving, working, building a better city. Really? How does that add up? Let me perfectly clear of what I am about to say and if any of the supporters and backups are reading this that felt this way, STOP! Let me break this down:

Did Tory Lowe ACTUALLY contacted the Leinenkugels about this sign?

Did he ACTUALLY contacted Graphic Designer Lindsay Leinenkugel who works for the Leinenkugels Brewery about this sign and the reasons behind it?

Did anyone of his “sources” ACTUALLY went to the Leinenkugels or contacted them about the reasons why the sign was made in the FIRST PLACE? Did they actually talked to them? Just like among themselves on Social Media? Or anyone in general that uses the Milwaukee Strong slogan regarding something positive?

If all those answers were no, NEWSFLASH: you played yourselves! Straight up! You’re probably thinking, “So what it’s what I feel in all”. Yeah, but did they ask them?! It’s a simple yes or no question. They probably didn’t! Bad move! And if so, where are the receipts? Proof? Evidence? WHERE?!

See, this is what I have learned from things that I don’t understand, I usually do what many folks forget to do at times is to , ASK THE SOURCE! Ask those whom design, promote, advertise and etc. Stop the assumptions! Why is this so hard, even in this technological era of the 21st Century? Even asking the main folks! This really defines stupidity in our so-called Woke Conscious, Hotep era that many don’t really listen or don’t ask! If the Black Panthers for example keep asking among themselves online about why the churches don’t open up their doors when it’s cold and freezing, then they have failed! They haven’t attended the churches! I have not seen not one of them attending a church asking the pastor or congregation about the hard questions. Not one! No church meetings, picnics, block parties, dinners, fundraisers, or even during a service on Christmas, Easter, or Mother’s Day. Yeah I’m saying this. (#ThatPart) Again, for those who feel that the sign is “allegedly racist” per se and never asked the main source without any receipts, congratulations you’ve played yourself. And just to add, I’ve seen on Instagram that some black folks either used or displayed the #milwaukeestrong hashtag moniker in their pictures or comments. So what again in my viewpoint is wrong for a black person who is from this city, and works in this city that uses that hashtag? Well, nothing. Now what will happen if the colors of the sign above were to be Red, Black and Green? Or have a sign that might say “Black Milwaukee Strong?” And check this out, there was a color scheme in Black History Month that the makers of MKE Black App used the People’s Flag design that was designed in the Marcus Garvey Colors. And no one said anything bad. Hmmmmmm, where’s the lie? Lot of you probably assuming that I’m hating on Tory. No, I’m not hating nor judging him personally. I’m hating on the fact that he didn’t do the one thing by asking the main source of this matter. That right there, will get you trapped. I told my church this slightly before my father’s third anniversary passing, and I’m saying it here: to quote Ice Cube, “You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself!” And to add: #FACTS and #THATPART.

Well, it’s a known fact that mis-information or assumption can spread like a virus. But it’ll take the truth or main source to inject the real deal to seal it.

So in conclusion, and might I say in closing, in regarding Milwaukee Strong, we need to be really “Milwaukee Strong” in our neighborhoods, schools, jobs, and many other areas to thrive and rise. EVEN VOTING! And that goes for all Milwaukeeans. Even for us in the Black Community that faces the constant struggle each time we see and experience discrimination of White Supremacy. No matter where in this city or area. We pay our taxes and pull our fair share too! So what’s up with that? And yet, the struggle continues. Even though there are more minorities here than everywhere else in the state, but still we to inject all into to make “Milwaukee Strong” a living breathing reality.

In other words: Steady Progress.


Preface: I wrote this on the Stephen’s Spot on WordPress Facebook Page in regarding this beef between Snoop Dogg/Gayle King/Oprah Winfrey in regarding the recent interview of the Kobe Bryant Case from 2003. Also since then, former UN Ambassador Susan Rice warned Snoop to back off in the regarding an army that he may not win over. In fact in a couple of days, Snoop did apologize (with a hand from his mother of course) for what he said to Gayle in the recent passing of the NBA Legend. However many don’t want to acknowledge nor accept the apology of Snoop Dogg in which the same folks side with him of opinion.

It’s time for the black community to really have a real serious dialogue regarding this matter. Everybody knows that many of the black men are still hurt by the untimely death of Kobe Bryant. And also angry at Gayle King of what was documented regarding the Sexual Assault case that happened in 2003. If Gayle King had talked TALKED to Kobe way when about it this would not have happened in this dialogue!

Now of all this death threats against her, THIS IS NOT THE WAY! It does matter who you are! This is not High School getting beat up after 3pm on a bus stop. Black Men need to check other black men in regards that this is not how we handle this. Black Men say all the time about protecting the Black Woman like all the time, but it’s not enough when it comes to things like this. How is THIS is setting the example for our black boys our future black Kings that we are supposed to raise up right now? And to think that also there are black women who have been harassed in any fashion are trembling right now about this. Doesn’t matter if it’s your mother, sister, cousin, aunt, grandmother, or matriarch in the freaking family! Yes we can say the same about BLACK MEN being harassed by Black Women because #melanin women you know it’s the truth regarding that part of the harassment men get laughed at. The attitude going back to your younger days until now. Being all bitter because when a black dude tries to approach you now in a respectful manner, you dump it like yesterday’s garbage. How is that inspiring black girls, though? REALLY? You realize that all of this is prelude to domestic violence, right? Let that sink in!

Let’s be freaking real of what is happening in the neighborhoods, matter of fact in our black community where this is still a problem! We know it’s still #BlackHistoryMonth 2020 but this happens in any month on the freaking calendar!

It’s ok to agree and disagree in all but don’t go there with threatning someone’s life that is not cool! Whether you like Gayle King or not, she like many of you has folks to feed that is bigger than her job.

What did Ice Cube used to say? You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself!

By the way this would be a time when your black male groups and female groups need to have that discussion!

Postface: Like many, there are those who are still upset, sad, angry or just plain stunned in regarding Kobe Bryant. I get that. Many get that. What also many must realize when Snoop was going after Gayle King, just like 50 Cent, Boosie and countless others that agreed with the Doggfather is that when you put out a message like “Funky Dog-head Bit**” and using the words “we’ll come get you” that is more like a threat. So you mean to tell me that Gayle King should have been in a school yard fight after 3pm just for this interview that she did with Lisa Leslie? Oh were glad that didn’t happen! That would indicated domestic violence in which is like dudes can’t hit girls and that would resulted in legal action. Now think about this for a moment. Is this what Kobe Bryant wanted? Is this what Vanessa Bryant wanted? What about Kobe’s parents? His sisters? Relatives? Close friends and associates? And yet Kobe’s surviving daughters of Natalia, Bianka and Capri? Now Capri is the youngest of the four just born last December. Keep that in mind. But seriously, Kobe would not want this so-called war to start up like this. He probably would tell those involved: CHILL OUT! Of course I said it! And the thought of this would be not very pleasant of remembering him. Already, Kobe and Gianna had a funeral service which was private. And many are willing to wait to attend the Public Memorial Service later on this month in Los Angeles on the 24th.

Many might thought that this dialogue would continue. BUT………courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter, NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar written this statement online. He summarizes this:

However, without finding out any facts or contacting King, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Snoop Dogg immediately released vitriolic personal attacks on King reminiscent of Trump’s attacks on Megyn Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell. Both men responded to the video by calling King a “b***h,” among other insults. While it’s clear that 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg were reacting from a place of deep grief, their personal emotion doesn’t justify such a public and misguided attack. When a man calls a woman a b***h because she does something he doesn’t like, he is nourishing the already rampant misogyny in society. But when a black man does it, he is perpetuating negative stereotypes about how black men perceive and treat women. That is harmful to the entire African American community. Snoop Dogg has 39.1 million followers on Instagram and 50 Cent has 25.3 million followers on Twitter. When they send out to their followers a threatening and abusive tirade, they are influencing a younger generation of men to continue to refer to women who don’t do what men want as b****es. Worse, King started receiving death threats.

Several celebrities came to King’s defense, including Oprah Winfrey, Sen. Cory Booker, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and others. To his credit, Snoop Dogg has since apologized for his comments, admitting he overreacted: “I would like to apologize to you publicly for the language that I used and calling you out of your name and just being disrespectful.” He also said, “When you’re wrong, you gotta fix it.” That’s something Kobe would have agreed with. Fame is unforgiving. Most people who make mistakes in their lives have a degree of privacy within which they can heal and redeem themselves. With the famous, nothing is forgotten and rarely is anything forgiven. Kobe did indeed go through an accusation which he said was consensual, but still was adultery. That was 17 years ago, when he was only 24. The case was dismissed and Kobe redeemed himself many times over with his exemplary life since. To me, Kobe was even more exceptional because he learned from his mistakes and devoted himself to being a better person. Few have that kind of strength, courage or commitment. We can love and respect Kobe without canonizing him as perfect. Death often immortalizes the ideal rather than the real. But it was the real Kobe, flaws and all, that we should love. Kobe would not have appreciated the attacks against Gayle King because he knew they perpetuated a climate of disrespect that would be physically, mentally and socially harmful toward all women, including his wife and daughters.

Again, I say that even though that this angle might be dying down sort of speak, but the summaries of this might continue. And it’s going to continue when the real women who have been abused and violated after hearing this, they might react alot more frightening than the usual. I know many might say what would if your mother, daughter, sisters, cousins, aunts, matriarchs would have this unknown fear of getting violated think? Yeah, for all you #GirlDads, and Dudes with a house full of women, think about it!

And yes, guess what women, you might think this is all about you but guess what? Men can be abused from you as well. So we all got to get the talking in our families, fraternities, sororities, men’s groups, women’s groups and any other group out there that needs the ongoing dialogues. After all, I need to pen this: OUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING! And what are we handing them to the next generation that want to fairly well lead us to new and better things? Bet nobody cared about that until now.

Not a cool way to start Black History Month 2020!


*Note, I was about to comment about the packers and this past season of 13-3. But since the passing of Kobe Bryant, I felt this My Take will be appropriate. But, the commentary of the Packers will happen after the SuperBowl.

This past Sunday, we the citizens of the world, heard the shocking news of the passing of Kobe Bryant. Yes, that Kobe Bryant. And yet many have not felt this loss within the last couple of years or decades. As I write this, today is the 34th Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion that occured when many of us in Generation X were just in Elementary, Middle and High School. This was our major disaster that at the time was on live television. But that was 34 years ago, and no Millennials and Generation Z, Kobe’s death was not bigger than this. Kobe was just about 7 years old when this disaster happened. Me, about 8.

But as many of us were leaving Church on Sunday, we all got this news about the accident. And like many before him, we all were shocked. My memories of this comes back when Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston all were taken from us that we loved all day with their music and videos. But hold up: Aaliyah was dead at 22 in a plane crash just like legends like Otis Redding, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper. Plus Stevie Ray Vaughn. And countless others whom have passed on so quickly. And yet again when their deaths were going on, I’ll bet many had to ask “what about the other folks who died with them? What about those of the pilots, and passengers? It wasn’t just them alone.” We need to stop that. Seriously.

We keep seriously asking because we’ve been reaching too much. I think the only reason this happens that no one gets left out. Yes, we feel bad for the folks who had their lives ended. But we get so over the top with emotion, as if we knew them.

Spoiler Alert: WE DON’T KNOW JACK ABOUT THEM! The ONLY person out of the victims the most known to all was Kobe Bryant! Many of us never knew about Gianna or Gigi his second oldest daughter who was held when the helicopter went down. Others were a Baseball Coach, a Basketball Female coach, a teammate of Gianna’s from the Mamba Basketball Team, and others . We don’t know them. Same thing when Aaliyah passed. She along with 9 passengers died in the Bahamas in 2001. But the MAIN PERSON of the passengers, was Aaliyah! Let’s be clear. Yes, the others should be on the Memorial List. With all due respect with them and their families, again many of US who are looking at all the footage, videos, sound bytes don’t know about the others. PERIOD! So yes as the days and hours and minutes are progressing then we’ll learn about them and also put all the pieces together to get the final results. But yet, in my opinion the center of this as we know was about Kobe Bryant in the terms of main person on the chopper going down.

Now let me continue to say that Kobe was a member of Generation X. Yeah, that so-called slacker generation that I’m apart of that can’t amount to anything. Oh yes, there are those older and way older than 41 are probably asking man, “why didn’t we support him?” (note to the Baby Boomers) Had his head on straight, won all those NBA Championships, got married and raised 4 daughters, owning his own business of Mamba Sports Academy, and most of all: He was involved in his kids lives. Never left them. So yet, why are there are those and others are tripping that a black man, who married interracially to Vanessa had all this going for himself and those he connected with? Seriously, what was and is the problem? Mainly because I think it’s because of jealousy, hate and self absorbed attitudes and behaviors. Think about it!

In the days since the tragedy, there have been most of us showing emotional pain of grief. Mainly of us Men. And yes, Black Men. When that happens that many of our women friends and family members and other male counterparts would tell us to “Suck it up.” Or “Stop making all that noise.” Or “Stop crying like a Bi…you know what.” Or “No tears!” And many of us who go hard everyday for ourselves and families mainly men are not getting any respect at the house that many of us work hard for! I know many of our women folks had and still probably stated that they love us and still give us the boost to keep going in all of our avenues of opportunity. They are saying that now, but what about the next time? Or on our days while we are still here? What’s that quote “Give people flowers while they still live?” Women say it all the time mostly to each other! But for us guys, we don’t get flowers until the casket drops in the cemetery. Tell me I’m lying! So yes women, we’re still waiting up on your end of the deal to really believe that what you say is what you mean. Don’t always assume the obvious that we’re not like you. Matter of fact, we’re not! It’s the dang truth. Let’s just call it what it is. And all that examination has to be on failure mode because we let stuff that was handed down get it the way. Here’s something that we better know. We all laugh, cry, share joys, share concerns, share ideas, get emotional, get woke, get crazy, and many other human emotions we get all the time. Even me. Even you reading this blog. So what is the real problem here?

In reality, Kobe crafted his blueprint. He CRAFTED his blueprint. And I know that many are willing to follow what this man done for his 41 years of life. But we all know that 20 years of his life was his Basketball years to the LA Lakers, and yes The Redeem Team of USA Basketball. And his later years of owning his business, Oscar Award, novels, and many other things and assignments he organized, formulated, built, and summarized he grasped. And this Mamba Mentality? Well let’s talk about the word, Mamba. For those of us who like reptiles like snakes, A mamba is a snake. A poisonous one to be exact. Don’t believe me, google it. Or matter of fact, you can watch a scene from Kill Bill when a Black Mamba snake struck one of the bad guys so fast and so quick. By the way it was the same Black Mamba was a code name for Uma Thurman’s character from the the movie. And yes mamba is a name of a candy that came out years ago. And yet I believe it’s still around. When a Mamba strikes its prey from afar or up close, it will see it, know it and then when it happens, it strikes hard! Sort of like a King Cobra, or a Python, or Anaconda, Boa Constrictors, or any other snake in the jungle that strikes for the kill. More like kill at will. And like many, Kobe didn’t go to college. Like Lebron James, he also went the route from High School to the Pros. Some probably debate that, which is understandable.

Many of us are still in mourning. As we should. But as we approach the final day to say farewell to Kobe and Gianna and as well the rest of the 7 men and women who were on that chopper when it went down, we must continue to give the families their right to mourn in peace. Let them have the right. Let the parents of Kobe Bryant and his Sisters (yes they are still living) to process this loss and have to do the one thing that many won’t do is to bury their only son and brother. And old folks, we all ready know that you said that you should never bury your kids! Don’t seem right.

We know it’s been a week but still. And yes it’ll take a death to pick up that phone and call them to see what’s up. Leave a message please because nobody don’t want to hear no blank responses. Someone said don’t text. I disagree. If using a text message is a way to get a hold of the person contacting then by all means do so! And if you are planning a gathering (not a funeral) do it. Not just in a blue moon. At the top of the year, I always say that if anybperson you met with last year, he or she may not be around this year. Even I’ve heard church folks say this phrase all the time. And when you thinking about it, #FACTS. Right Generation Z and Millennials? So keep checking on your people because we never know. In any way possible!


Welcome to the first My Take of 2020 or the first My Take to make the transiton of the 2020’s to be. We all know trannsition, right?

But now, time to talk about attire that many of us know that shouldn’t be done. I’m talking about the attire that the Greeks wear all the time. But the gist of this, is or was the still talk of the town that many Greeks and Non-Greeks still comment to this day.

Now we all know by now that Boosie (or Lil’ Boosie or Bossie Bad***) was wearing a red shirt that had the Greek letters of the Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi on it. Boosie was wearing the shirt at a basketball game and yet like many, it was photographed and shared online. But of course when the picture was passed around, so did the comments from the fraternity. Many have took it to social media that Boosie should have taken the shirt off because he is not in the fraternity. According to Boosie, he bought the shirt from a store, a public store. But many had to ask, what was the store thinking to sell a Fraternity Shirt to the public KNOWING that it should have been bought in a school or within the Fraternity?

If many haven’t already forgotten, this was similar three years ago, when Lalah Hathaway did the same thing. She was given a fraternity hat that her famous father, Donny Hathaway wore while as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. She, like Boosie put on the hat, took a picture, shared it and many of the Fraterntity told her to take it off in a harsh manner. When Lalah went on the show, The Real to address this issue, she admit that she knew nothing about the Fraternity culture in terms of the hat or letters. But yes, Donny was an Alpha member. And it resonated with the boundaries that many know now. So after what Boosie went through, he understood in all of not wearning the Kappa Shirt, but he had a deal with the Fraternity by learning the Shimmy Dance. While dancing to Boosie’s song, “Wipe Me Down”. yes, that’s the song according that the Kappas are dancing to.

SO…..this needs to be asked, why are many of us are falling for the trap yet again? All the time, same thing. When this story broke, it almost reminded me that again, we are dealing things that are meanlingless. Folks again are still going to ask, “All about a dang shirt!?” REALLY?! We got folks who couldn’t afford shirts DAILY and you Kappas worrying about Boosie wearing your letters!? FOH – I know what that means by the way. No comment.

But yes, even in the year of 2020 this matter is still being discussed. And like many who we see around our churches, neighborhoods, stores, events, reunions in all, we see alot of folks who wear the Greek Attire of their Fraternity and Sorority. Of course we do. It’s all over the place. All on the cars and everything. We know it when we see it. BUT: I will admit those who wear those things more often, they know about the organizations more than those who have not pledged or honored into a secret society. Just like many we see who wore the uniform while in service, but for those of us can never understand the valor of while wearing the uniform. They had to earn the right and privilege to get those letters, medals, uniforms in all to display, show and tell what this is. However there are many who might hear the story, but will not understand the hard work that lead to getting the letters and unis. When folks who didn’t pledge or suited up, have to act like they did, it’s like STOLEN VALOR! I am a Vietnam Veteran Son. If were to walk around with my Father’s Bronze Star Medal and showing it off like a fool, I’ll get checked! I DO NOT do that at all! That would be a slap in the face becaseu I didn’t earn it. He did. Now that he’s deceased, the only thing I can do is just display it and tell the stories. As far as the attire, I’ve bought Vietnam Veteran Son Shirts, 25th Infantry Son Shirts, Veteran Son Patches, etc. The Keywords are these two words: VETERAN SON. They can’t say nothing about that. Its’ all about honoring my father’s service. PERIOD.

Plus also, I’m a member of the United Methodist Church. I know what the Cross and Flame is and it’s meaning. For all those whom are Greek, pay attention: If I see you walking around wearing a Cross and Flame, and you don’t know what it is and have no knowledge about it, of course I’ll straight check you! Point blank ifs ands and no buts required. Nope! The only way to become a member is to do what you guys do: come check us out.

So….regarding this: what about those in the fraternities and sororities, Masons/Shriners/Eastern Stars in all? What about them? Well even though many of us can’t wear their attire, but maybe JUST MAYBE they need to start making supporter shirts, or proud relative of a Mason/Shriner member shirts. For all you in the Divine 9, especially those that partied up in January with your founder days that many of us were like:

I’m sorry this is hilarious, but many of us busy folks never get to celebrate these days all the time. I’m just saying for real. But many of you who got offended by a non-Greek wearing greek stuff, why don’t you make apparel that would have “ALPHA SON” or Son of a Iota? or Zeta’s Daughter, “Divine 9 Supporter” or Sigma Gamma Rho’s Niece? Since many again are offended about the non-greeks wearing the shirts, make those for who want to support your groups! Do that!

Then maybe we’ll get some where without all this mess of dealing with attire! I’m just offering my two cents of this matter that would be better for the benefit of mankind!

Think it over.


Yes, for over 25 years I have been a backer for the Wisconsin Badgers. The first time that I visited or seen a Bucky football game live in Madison at the beloved Camp Randall Stadium was 1993. And yes there was a time that I witnessed the members of the UW Band at the then Milwaukee Holiday Parade (excuse me, The Milwaukee CHRISTMAS Parade) that were marching down the street near Wisconsin Avenue. And yes there was a time that NOBODY was feeling Wisconsin until that resurrection came in the 1990’s before the route to win 3 Rose Bowls, and seeing the legends like Darrell Bevell, Terrell Fletcher, Jamar Fletcher, Brooks Bollinger, Ron Dayne, Chris Chambers, Russell Wilson, Montee Ball, James White, and even soon to be legends like Jack Coan, Jonathan Taylor, Qunitez Cephus and many others that want to stamp their Badger name for life! And for basketball I’ve seen Michael Finley play as well as Frank Kaminsky ball for Bucky. Yes, they were great legends and upcoming players that rocked the house.

But what I am about to post is not about them nor it’s about sports. It’s not about Camp Randall, or the Fieldhouse, or the Kohl Center or any other building or center at the UW-Madison Campus. It’s about this:

Press play above.

What you just seen was a video that was talked about and was further examined. This was the finished product of the UW-Madison Homecoming Video titled, “Home is where WI are.” WI is representing the student body of Wisconsin that attend currently. But in the video, it’s all white folks. No blacks, no Hispanics, no Asians, not even biracial or mixed folks. None of the Native American Students. NONE! When the tone of this product was finished, there were some black students that were apart of the early drafting of the footage, but part of it was cut out. And yet this set off an early firestorm of protests that the black students as well as other students of color were not pleased. Mainly FROM THE BLACK STUDENTS! For quite a while, you may have seen this hashtag online: #TheRealUW. This was just an awareness of the campus’ side that many never get to see. The lack of representation of black students, and some dealt with harassment, racism, intimation while being on campus. And many according to the stories that the black students endured while they stayed for their 4 years. #TheRealUW since then had received very alarming news in regarding the black student population that the University had ignored for many years. Even doctoring photos for a magazine cover to make a face look even less of a color that the true color. Many of us seen this cover like this:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/photo-finish-2/

This was a booklet cover of the UW Admissions for Undergraduate students from the 2001 – 2002 Semester. And this booklet cover has sparked an outrage among the folks that wanted to capture a black student in the crowd. It was more like being photoshopped. And we know what that happens to be make it more like the real deal. However, this was a bad PR stunt that the University now regrets.

Why do I talk about this? Mainly even though that UW-Madison is a fun college, but it does have it’s issues concerning with race. Most recently, UW-Madison Senior Payton Wade (who also presented the footage on her Twitter Page above) also weighed in her thoughts and reactions to the atmosphere of the video:

Courtesy of WKOW:

https://wkow.com/news/2019/09/30/uw-madison-removes-homecoming-video-from-social-media-after-backlash/?utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR345dTQDXvvLL_A6_RMOg-uBbMOulEv_D7nhzjbo5JTPr99k4X-smjAS0g

In the response to the Homecoming Video being pulled, this is what the Homecoming Committee had to say:

As the student Homecoming Committee, our goal to is to create events that are fun, create pride in our university and are welcoming and inclusive of the entire UW-Madison student body.

To promote student Homecoming, we recently produced a video called “Home is where Wi Are”, and we invited various student groups to participate in the video. Unfortunately, not all the video images produced were included in the final product, including those of students from under represented populations.We regret omitting those images and we recognized that, by doing so, we unintentionally caused hurt to members of our campus community.We are sorry that our video failed to show the full breadth of the university experience and made members of our community feel excluded. We appreciate being made aware of the impact of the video. We apologize to those students who participated in the video but were not included in the final product, as well as to anyone who was upset by the video.We are committed to doing better and working harder to make campus a welcoming and inclusive community.

And in response to this it came to a footage of this:

When I looked at the footage of the black students all centered around the Wisconsin symbol as well as the other minority students, this message should be sent TO ALL if the Universities in the State that have this disdain of black students that are unrepresented. Not seen not recognized. You are probably thinking, “this is supposed to be UW- Madison, the heart of the UW School System and a Big Ten College”. A party school folks wearing “Sconnie”. Oh we know. But many of who study this thing about Madison being racist on Campus, in this context is nothing new. Many of you White UW Students and Alumni probably have said about, “oh I went to Madison and never had a issue of a black students or is all imaginary being racist on campus”. Many of you are SILENT! And uninformed. And having your hands tied. And allowing this to happen all the time. I saw the African-American UW-Madison Alumni Facebook Page and for the former students voiced their disapproval of the then pulled homecoming video. And yet many if them wished they would have attended an HBCU, (that’s the Historical Black Colleges and Universities like Morehouse, Spellman or Howard). But many of them got into Madison based on Scholarships, Grants, and etc. Even though many of them had gone that route of education, however the sting of racism and not being felt at home at Madison was a different plateau.

Of course when the current black students get out of Madison, even this will concern Payton Wade, racial discrimination will be an effective mantra upon graduation into the real world and yet, this will not be a cake walk. Nope! The real world does not give care about your stats, your Fraternities, Sororities, your past college work and many other things you have gone through. And it should be commended and appreciative no matter where you go. Even if you’re black!

I want to be clear that EVERY College and University needs to hear the minority students. I want to see ALL Universities be very clear and concise to the point when discussing the needs and concerns and establishing a “home” on the majority PWI campues. Yes, UW-Madison is a PWI. My Alma Mater, UW-Stout is a PWI. And not only that, I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again, since UW-Madison has a African-American Alumni Association, why doesn’t all the campuses have these? Black Student Unions we know. But what about the Black Alumni Chapters that the Black Alums of these schools can have to reach to the current black student population? And vice versa? This is the problem. Now it seems that many will look at this and say “oh, its racist!” You don’t hear that on the Hispanic or Asian Groups stuff. Even they are Alumni. Of course, It’s Wisconsin. The population of black folks in the state are around the 6% – 8% while many of the folks whom are white are more that 80%. That is a fact. If Wisconsin would have had a black population more than 8% it would be a different story and many things would have been not been bad than good. That’s my take on this. But many have to ask, why does a school like this have a problem with the diversity side of minority students. Keep in mind! Quintez Cephus was expelled for one year out of UW all because of this sex scandal angle with some 18-19 year old white students that was later false! He won his case, got back into the school and got back on the team this year! Let that sink in! Oh please let that SINK IN! This is the same case that many black student athletes face most often. And usually the turnout does not look good. However on some points, it does turnout in a positive way to move forward.

So yes, listen to the minority students of color. Yep, On Wisconsin!


With the news circulating the story regarding the murder of Botham Jean from 2018, the court case has been sharply examined with Amber Gutter being the murderer she was of doing the job. We know this so well and all the drama that went along with it. It’s been a year of heartache and distress. And us in the black community, we are known to let this slide and branch out. Yet its still another day to conquer.

But I want to take a moment to discuss is the subject of forgiveness. Oh let’s go there. This whole thing about Botham Jean’s youngest brother hugging Amber Guyger has really upset the entire Black Community after the footage that has escalated the masses of commentary. And that same commentary was not very liked. 10 times over, it was not liked nor appreciastd of what was learned in a place that many black folks have not or will not go on sundays. Yep I’m talking about Church. It seems that the issue of Christianity has once again has hit the folks and many had bashed Botham Jean’s Brother in the thought of him hugging the woman who murdered his older brother in 2018. And he, asked the judge if it’s alright to hug her. He did. And not only that, the judge hugged her also, whom is BLACK! And now many are questioning or commenting that oh, he’s bowing down to his oppressor, and or it’s being brainwashed of him hugging her due to the mental slavery mentality. Don’t believe me? Look at your Social Media folks, WHO DON’T GO TO CHURCH, NOR NOT WANTS TO GO! They were all over this like white on rice. Look at those who write these opinionated thoughts about religion and haven’t have a darn clue of the positive side of things, rather they want to rant about the negative angles. I said it before and I’ll say it again, there are good and bad in all things! Look at your jobs, your clubs, your recent class reunions, or some sort of organized atmosphere and yes even though that the NFL and NCAA are celebrating milestones this year of 100 and 150 with the throwback jerseys and uniforms. But those whom wore the originals, wore them at a time when there were no black folks playing Football and to bust down barriers of hate just to play on the gridiron. And all of this was way before Colin Kaepernick was even thought about!

CALLOUT: Since when, just when the word or action of forgiveness has become the thing of being bad? Since when the word forgiveness is or had become the thought of being an enemy of the people? Yes, we all even if you had gone atheist claiming there is no God, but we all had to draw a thought to get the subject of forgiveness as an understanding of getting things out and admitting the faults or mistakes. That is the true thought of ideas. It’s not to make you look like a wussy.

Ask yourself, how many of you reading my blog or past blog stories had ever asked to be forgiven or had been asked by others to forgive? Be honest. And I know you have been asking in a sense, “when was Stephen was forgiven of anything, or had Stephen accepted a forgiveness angle of someone that had hurt him? No matter when it was, where it was, and how it was. No matter if it was in church, or school, or even in the family?” You know what, I had folks telling me “I’m Sorry.” Or I had told folks, I’m Sorry. But I also had folks telling me that saying sorry is not enough. I had folks telling me I’m sorry of the crap they did to me, but I have NOT forgiven them. Oh……I know what you’re thinking. “Dude you go to church every Sunday, in that building for 2 hours doing your thing with your members, and you on here telling folks that other people hating on you for some stuff and you have NOT forgiven them?” And oh…..here comes a trying question: “What kind of God you serve?”

Oh, ok. So many of you probably think that if I don’t forgive a person that make me a bad guy? Is that what God is expected of me? The kind of God I serve, is a everlasting forgiving, and fearful God that is far more superior than folks who hate on Church. No matter what my stats or my interests are. No matter what I have done wrong or done right, nor matter if I worked a little or volunteered alot. Even though I may not a perfect person growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin the very same Milwaukee that many black folks have dubbed as “the most segregated city in the United States”, have a little menial job of a Church Secretary, or having 2 college degrees, active in my community for my Church and Alumni, and wants a challenge in life in my 40’s with dealing the fact of Type Two Diabetes in session that I did not ask to come into my life, I said it before and I’ll say it now, I am not perfect. If the folks did me wrong so bad, and I have said it million times on this blog, I’m holding folks accountable. Doesn’t matter how long it takes. I’m not able to send out the “I accept your apologies” yet. Nope, that is way too easy. I want that person or persons to be held accountable of what was transpired and to accept the fact they were wrong period. No matter if they were BLACK OR WHITE! No matter if they’re Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Z, and the Millennial folks. Yes I’m putting all of that on blast because now a days, many want to simply forget and move on. Yes we really want to forget and move on, but I say: NEVER FORGET! Where did I heard those words from? Everytime when the issue of the holocaust comes up, the Jewish folks always says, never forget. When 9/11 or any other anniversary act of danger is being remembered, we all say never forget. But when the issue of slavery comes up, we black folks had these words scripted so many times: Get over it. Yeah, follow that. Oprah Winfrey asked Michael Jackson on his interview back in 1993 this one question: “Can you really forgive?” Like Barack Obama once said in his presidency, “Hold me accountable”. He was real when he said it. But for what I said earlier, it depends on the issue and the later stances of that person(s) at fault.

From the article of CNN.com:

It’s part of their Christian faith
Forgiveness is mentioned many times in the Bible and is a pinnacle of the Christian faith.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you,” reads Ephesians 4:32. Another verse, Matthew 6:14, goes further: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
These sentiments of forgiveness are reiterated again and again throughout the Bible, and Botham’s family is quite acquainted with this Christian tradition. Like his brother, Brandt was raised in the Church of Christ in St. Lucia, where his family lives. His mother, Allison Jean, gave all of her three children Biblical middle names. Botham Jean’s middle name was Shem, who was a son of Noah. Brandt’s middle name is Samuel, after a prophet in the Old Testament.

Let’s be honest, forgiveness is hard to accept. It’s truly hard. It’s not easy. It’s not simple. Every time when we church folks take communion every 1st Sunday of the month, we read a passage from our hymnals that deal with the words: “In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!” And many of us repeat the words to one another and say the same thing. Many of us had prayers in circles that we ask God for forgiveness no matter what act of intent was done. No matter if it was taken out of context or whatever. Hear me when I say and everyone knows: GOD KNOWS ALL! How many of us who ever been bullied in school NEVER FORGAVE anyone that tormented you all those years? How many of us got bullied on the job, in a club, organizations, and many others that never EVER FORGAVE that person or persons for what they have done? (Male or Female) How many of us NEVER FORGAVE that pastor, church member, or that fraternity/sorority member, or supporter or leader, or any other person not mentioning that still burns your blood even to this very day, and DOES NOT DESERVE any type of forgiveness? Now we are getting somewhere! Yeah, lets go folks. It’s go time! As a matter of fact, I brought this up before on this blog years back.

Now getting back to Amber Guyger who is about to be in jail for 10 years killing Botham Jean in his Apartment in Texas by minding his own business, was the central point of the incident. And Botham Jean’s Brother, Brandt gave her a hug that many felt was a trap for White Supremacy. Brandt is 18 years old. He’s young. And yet, he’ll have alot to learn in his later years about being black and being questioned about his faith and beliefs in regarding his hug on Amber Guyger. His mother, meanwhile commented that his son did his honorable thing, but also commented via her husband that “it may have consequences”. Uh-Oh! That is part many need to know in this subject. Even I didn’t expect this. Part of this is the truth, whether we admit it or not. So where do I stand in all this? Well, it’s on pins and needles. Part of me is saying, I don’t know about this one. The woman again shot an innocent bystander in his apartment for God’s sake and we should let this go? I know that we are supposed to forgive, but the act needs to be in question. Many might forgive the person of Amber Guyger, but many darn sure will not forgive of forget the act of crimes that was committed against Botham Jean by allowing her to kill a black man in his own home. And to follow up, Botham Jean’s life did indeed matter.

And also, the struggle continues! This however, is not over. So, in this case don’t go burying the hatchet yet. And make sure that person and you come together and actually work out the details to move forward. If it doesn’t happen, there is no deal. However, if there is a deal and if there is a part to be sure, then make that decision.