Archive for the ‘Decision Factors’ Category


If anything today while at work and the classroom taught us today, it’s about one word: Respect.

We all just witnessed the homegoing, or funeral of Aretha Franklin. Whom we all know died 2 weeks ago in her home in Detroit at 76 years old. And to think that she died on the same day decade wise as Elvis Presley, whom passed at 42 in 1977. The fact of the matter is, Aretha you really can’t say too much about her. And yes she had her “rival” moments selling the shade of those wanting to get into her personal realm. But all in all, respect was the keyword.

Like many artists before her, she was raised in the church. Her father was a minister in the south before migrating north to Detroit. And yes, we all know about Detroit and the Motown Sound which also escalated during the Civil Rights Movement. Like many others in the famous side, she was honorary pledged into the black sorority of Delta Sigma Theta, and I’m sure many that heard about this sorority, like assuming. If not check with your friends whom are apart of the Divine 9. Plus the Deltas had conducted a “Omega Omega Service” for their departed honorary Sorority Sister. Now if anyone has been to a funeral in which a Fraternity or Sorority member is funeralized, they usually have a moment of reflection and towards the end, they declare that the deceased member is apart of the “Omega Chapter.” Omega is the end, by the way. Many of us will have an Omega Service in a somewhat fashion in our departure.

Now, we know the hits from Respect, Pink Cadillac, A Rose is Still A Rose, Rock Steady, and even many Gospel hits. Winning numerous awards, even acted movies like The Blues Brothers. For her live performances, we can talk about the Grammys, President Obama’s Inauguration Day ceremonies, and such. But I also saw her doing renditions of America the Beautiful on which wrestling program you asked? WrestleMania. Both at the Pontiac Silverdome and also Ford Field. Now I want to say something here. When I looked at the WWE Facebook Page about her, many of the “WWE Universe” had no idea who she was. Like really. For all of you wrestling fans who don’t know Aretha, does the WWE Network still work? I’m just asking! Do you still google in all? Hello!! Do any of your relatives or black folks you know have any Aretha Franklin songs or albums in the house? You better study! You better ask questions! And that goes for those whom are under 21 and into trap music.

Fast forward to the long nine hour funeral. Oh yeah it was long! If many folks complain about long church services, I’m sure you probably complained about the long preaching, long songs, testimony off script, the eulogy didn’t match up well enough, the dozen of families, dignitaries, special guests, folks protesting about (oops) Donald Trump, and oh it wasn’t just a Homegoing, it was also a time for action of what’s going on in the country. Oh yeah have we heard this before when Coretta Scott King was remembered? And George W. Bush was hammered! Don’t act like we know!

Some of the positive highlights of the service:

Rev. Al Sharpton and his comments about mistakenly spelling respect and telling folks that Donald Trump should use the word describing Aretha.

 

Rev. Jesse Jackson and the part of him commenting about famous deaths and minimal voting lines.

 

Michael Eric Dyson and that knowledge. Plus the shade on 45:

 

These to me were the highlights of the funeral as Aretha was remembered. And yet, even many questioned it. But it had to be said at this funeral because of what the country is going through despite the commentary of 45. You say, what was all the Civil Rights and Activism about? This is supposed to be a funeral! Um….it has happened before. Reference AGAIN Coretta Scott King’s Funeral from 2005 and there was a lot of talk about George W. Bush’s blunders of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and many others. Go back and read it.

Now, music-wise: I’m not going to say, Ariana Grande. But I will say, Jennifer Holiday, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, and yes Stevie Wonder. All to me were the highlighted singers that cameout to perform.

Plus we cannot forget, Cicely Tyson who was the oldest in the room giving the knowledge and truth as she always does. When Cicely Tyson talks, we all better listen.

Of course the funeral couldn’t be without the commentary from her family mainly her Grandchildren whom were raised well. And yes there was support from the men, whom looked after Aretha to check on her to make sure that things were well kept and taken care of. Oh, by the way the men were black looking out for the Queen!

Now let me shift back to Ariana: And that touching thing….let me say this: the bishop who of course apologized to Ariana had his hand according to the live footage, was near Ariana’s breast. And many called foul that he shouldn’t have his hand near there, and of course many of the former church crowd cried foul of the hand as well. And if you are of the “former church crowd” that pisses on the church so much, why does this concern you? And I’ll agree sharply that the way it was: totally disrespectful. But as a bigger man, the bishop did infact apologize. He was in the wrong. And of course that when things go wrong on live TV, they go wrong! So yet he did apologize. However, many were calling for his head to be charged or sued of the “illegal touch”. Dude, he hasn’t been charged! There was no indication about him going to jail, or facing court. Until I see any DOCUMENTED PROOF about him being charged, and found guilty, and having his title and leadership stripped, and being banned from his church in all, then you can kick his butt! I haven’t heard the remarks of Ariana. She hasn’t said anything. Not one sentence. Nothing! Come on #MeToo movement! Where are you? And keep in mind that the jury is still out. And here’s the thing: many of us don’t know the Bishop Charles Ellis III well. We don’t! We don’t know him, his education, his family, his finances, and justly we don’t know if he went through a background check.

So if you call these Pastors “janky” after one tiny mistake, that is out of bounds. We don’t know him! Even you non/former church goers should know better! And no I’m not defending him.

And as far as the minister who did the eulogy Rev. Jasper Williams. I will agree that eulogies should be about the deceased. All the way. But if you eulogize or give your final analysis of a person that is not matching, it’s not cutting it. This reminds me of my cousin’s funeral from 2002 in Milwaukee that the minister gave the eulogy but his comments was about George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. But it was not about my departed cousin, who was killed at 21 years old in late July of that year! So I get where the Franklin Family is coming from on that part. On the other hand, the minister’s sermon was like the talk of the town. Folks still slamming it. Then there was a news conference about what was said. This is stupid! Was it a slow news day? Of all the things popped up on Social Media, as well as news outlets, you have this man, this minister had to further explain his eulogy of Aretha Franklin to a worldwide audience after mostly it was sharply criticized. You got to be kidding me! In the words of my Dad. Again, like the bishop, we don’t know him nor done a background check! Many folks already said that he told the truth. In regarding black households not up to par of what was previously. And many houses need to turn back into homes. And to think, partially many kind of missed the mark completely.

I hate to say it but many of you whom are sensitive at darn near everything, and I know many of you are in school and college: Take a class on Public Speaking! Please take that course! Not only take the course, but also learn about “tone”. I’m not talking about music tones, I’m talking about tones in the speech. “Tone” is related to attitude. Um….hello! Learned that back in high school in the 1990s, actually my Senior Year called American Authors. And one of the items for discussion was: “On the Pulse of the Morning” by Maya Angelou from 1993. It’s 25 years old now, but still it’s one of the best toned poems out of the 20th Century. Oh, it was Bill Clinton’s Inauguration.

What will go from here? Besides Aretha’s music. Her videos from the Blues Brothers singing Think. Us Milwaukeeans remember her performing at Summerfest 3 times and the last time I saw Aretha perform was at Summerfest in 1996. And the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was on stage at the time, during the 4th of July holiday. I kind of shy away from that, but now after her passing, I was glad to see her perform but also glad to see a piece of black history. A piece of Civil Rights History. She was woke before woke was a thing. Not only she was woke and conscious, she acted on it. Not just saying some one liners to get all engaged. Like many before, its hard to pickup the torch and carry it forward for another era. But I think that we know that Aretha’s lessons of her life and entertainment will long be remembered and really can’t say nothing bad about it. We can’t. Now some may argue about her not having a will or not being married. But the fact of the matter is, her mark was felt by many those who packed that church on that August 31st morning, and mostly stayed for 9 hours. And the broadcasts like BET or Bounce TV having to stay on for the 9 hour duration. Plus, even having the now former TV One host Roland Martin filling us in with the summaries via Twitter. Look: I need to say something. When I was looking at my Twitter feeds, there were dumb questions on why Roland was tweeting during a funeral. I think we all know that he is a journalist. And part of what he did, Aretha liked! There were times folks called me out for Tweeting in Church, but guess what it is part of my communications ministry. It’s part of my job! So to those whom say that, I dare you to try it. See how it feels. Oops, I’m sorry, many of you are sensitive! Just let us do our jobs and you can do yours. If you have one.

Overall: between the 4 dress changes, performances, Pink Cadillac Cars, poems, proclamations in all, it was really about one word: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

 

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For everyone that was hot mad after seeing the footage of the Black Pastors and Bishops with Trump, guess what: you should be.

By the way, it’s more like a statement here than a blog letter.

You should be pissed, angry, mad as hell, and every negated feeling in your body that the church leaders you followed or supported all this time met with a president that does not care enough about the black community. And yet there are those who supported the idea of the Pastors and Bishops in the churches that met with the crazy, always tweeting, stuffy president of Donald Trump.
CALLOUT: Of all the questions I need to ask as a still church member: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!!!!

Many of us who were raised in the church well that God doesn’t like ugly! Does that ring a bell? And yet this needs to be asked, what does this mean if you will be hosting events, activities, or better yet, inviting new folks to join up? And what about those who are young and they see all this going on, and they might wonder what was the Pastor thinking about meeting with someone like Trump that does not care about them?!

And to think, this is one of the major reasons why many STOPPED coming, attending, contributing to or supporting the church! Don’t believe me, google the web pages, surf on social media like Facebook or Twitter, and many who have gone COGIC, Pentecostal, Baptist, Non-Denominational, Methodist, or others have said the same thing! No matter how they said it or expressed. They will look back on this and stories like this one and will distinctly remember it all. This is one of the hardest reasons to believe that many don’t do church!!!

Remember the last year……no this year I commented on that question about why don’t People don’t go to church? Yeah, that one. Go back and read it. Via the station called WNOV. Read every single word I wrote. Now, this was 7 months ago. And look where we at now with the Black Pastors meeting with Trump.
CALLOUT: Shameful!

And this meeting was supposed to be about Prison Reform! Many don’t even care about that. Just a photo op with Trump.

In the video that we all saw, one the pastors, Darrell Scott commented on this about Trump that was so messed up. We’ve all seen it right?

That was the ugly backbreaker. Dude just said that Trump was the Pro-Black President we have. Is that so shameful I don’t know what is?

And oh, many of us in Milwaukee was informed about one of our Bishops, Darrell Hines of Christian Faith Fellowship Church, was one of the ministers in the discussion about Prison Reform with Trump. Many of us were floored and shocked that this man who helped rebuild a strip mall into a school and youth center in all met with a guy like Trump. One of our radio stations, Jammin 98.3 broke the story first, then the rest of the media like Channel 4 also chimed into the story with comments via WNOV’s Jermaine Reed’s show.

Mostly according to the story, many whom called into the station were against the opinions but without any surprise, the folks who backed Hines the most were the Church Members themselves. Christian Faith Fellowship Church has a neon sign posted in described: “Sinners are Welcome Here.” It’s a need for a remake.

Now many are asking, what was the reaction of the Pastors who were NOT present during the so-called meeting? One has spoken out:

Dr. Kevin Murriel of Cascade UMC in Atlanta spoke for about 33 minutes and he hit the nail on the head in with the pastors and bishops didn’t do their “homework” in that meeting with a guy like Trump who disrespected Puerto Rico, Haiti and other African Nations being labeled as S-Hole Countries, Re-vamped up Mass Incarceration, Ignoring Housing issues affecting Black Folks, Education and many others. As the young cats of today would say, he went in! And in part, he challenged the members of his church to research the pastors (including Bishop Darrell Hines) about what was said and commented. Dr. Murriel said in his sermon: “Do your homework!” Well apparently, AGAIN neither the men and women in that room with Trump HAVE NOT DONE THEIR HOMEWORK! Come on now! Just like in school, if you have not done your homework, YOU WILL FAIL! You will get bad grades. You will get that Failing Grade on the test. You will get that low percentage and get mad at the folks who DID their homework, than those who DIDN’T do their homework!

Oh, you don’t hear me.

This needs to be a wake-up call for every pastor, bishop, apostle, lay servant, deacon, head mother, head father, and any HEAD of the Church that this example will NOT get you more members or visitors. This will not get you noticed positively. This will not get you or your congregation on the same page as everyone else. I know what I’m saying is a bit harsh as a “STILL contributing head church member”. The folks whom probably left and talking smack about you or anyone else have given their due by stating of what they saw in the pews back then. They didn’t speak then. But now, I think it’s an emotional issue. It’s a remembrance of the pain of what they went through, and yes they I think to recognize that not many are as evil or scandalous as everyone else, including strict. Heck, I was raised by strict parents. So what, it’s the truth.

So this video of the Black Pastors and Bishops needs to be learned. And I know that it will not be very liked. But I dare say this also: hold the folks accountable. Just like in the Obama Administration often said all the time. And if you hold them accountable, then they remain intact of their jobs. And of course many in the community will continue to condemn all the Churches having “alleged ATMs” in the building, forcing folks to stay and tithe more, scandals, don’t show love for the LGBT, and telling about the abuse they encountered growing up and hearing stories of what goes on behind the scenes in hypocritical context. However, I should say this: yes not all are like that. Are many hypocritical at work? Or the club on Saturday Night? Your Class Reunion? Your Fraternity/Sorority Meetings and events? The mall? Uber? Lyft? Smoking or smelling like Weed in Walmart? Operating your own business? The old neighborhood? The new neighbors in the new neighborhood? Think about it.

All in all, no matter what your stance on religious stuff is: it’s an ongoing process.


Slightly Breaking News!

Just today that “The Forum” has new life. As we know that the segment was dismissed on July 28th due to the “irreconsobile differences with management” of WNOV.

But after about a week being absent, “The Forum” host Sherwin Hughes made the breaking news via social media, that his radio segment will be on another station, 1510am WRRD Radio.

If anyone knows about the station in general it is independent news/talk radio. And it was created via my knowledge, that the station like this was born due to the overlapping of Conservative Talk Radio that blurred many in the Greater Milwaukee Area. And yes, the African-American voices like 1290 WMCS was gone in 2012. 860 AM of course is still out there. Now the shift has gone from that of dominant conservative radio, partially liberal, to have a break with filling it up with independent talk. Partially, that’s why I think the WRRD Station was created in my opinion.

On several occasions, I have listened to WRRD featuring Earl Ingram in discussing various topics. Even education. As an example of that, out of me blogging my mind all the time, I take part of a organization that supports higher education bound students for scholarships here in Milwaukee called the MLK Scholarship Coalition. This was the second occasion of this year it was promoted on the segment. This I really am proud of getting out the word of the scholarship, and the host was awarded a special appreciation a couple of years ago for his work in the community for a long time. Even on Black Radio.

But……..beginning August 13th, the same day that Milwaukee Public Schools starts early, “The Forum” will be on the air again between 8am -11am Milwaukee time. At the same time, from my understanding that WNOV’s early time slot talk show, “The Rise and Shine Morning Show” with Jermaine Reed will be during the 7am – 11am hour. So it will be interesting to see how this goes between two African-American males on two different stations discuss topics that many in the community already know and will know. Head to Head!

But for “The Forum” listeners, the black talk goes on. Be ready for August 13th for a brand new era.


Check out @TheForum860’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/TheForum860/status/1023248092425019393?s=09

July 28th, 2018.

Mark that date down that many in Black Milwaukee will not be happy to hear. The reign of WNOV’s The Forum segment has surprisingly closed. Due to this decision was not “mutual” or irreconcilable differences. By now at this hour, you’re just listening to the hours between 9am – 12pm and no Sherwin Hughes on the microphone. No Forum. No more “Bye Felicia Awards”(the awards that got you locked out with bad remarks) and no voice here. But the voices are still out for more.

What will actually be a factor to enhance the voice of concern to the African-American Audience of Milwaukee? And second, if those had been following The Forum for all or most of the six years, is the due season coming for the next level of hosts? When I was listening to the radio today this morning, nothing but music in the 9-12 hour slot. Nothing but R&B, Rap & Hip Hop. Nothing but that. Of course the show at the previous hour was on during the slot but many like me, didn’t hear that voice to talk about the issues and happenings of the day. Yeah, that was missed! Was there friction between the management and host? What really let to the dismissal? Most of us reviewed the comments of the listeners online via Facebook when the story broke, and many found it like: “WNOV made a huge mistake of this decision”. “That’s jacked up”, or “Why during the midterm election season going on” (shades of 1290 WMCS being cancelled), and many also did appreciate the value of the host for his political viewpoints and raised an idea to get back in the game by using a different platform like podcasting .

I will admit, the Monday of today is not the same as last week. It’s a different week. And I don’t know how the radio works in terms of broadcasting or getting your messages out to the mass folks that are listening with management and experience. Hopefully, we’ll get to the real bottom of this and actually get a real conclusion beyond the “irreconcilable differences” in Milwaukee Radio. Not trying to speculate anything, but many may ask, why this dismissal was necessary in 2018?

“The Forum” ran for 6 years. And yes in those six years, we heard many topics. And to me, it mattered to Black Milwaukee and the listeners alike because we needed a fresh prospective from an angle that was never given before. I think also we needed a fresh prospective from the Generation X point of view because its clearly thought that the older generation was listening and learning. Many look at Generation X being all slackers and can’t do nothing right. Well that’s a load of BS. That’s not in part of the truth. And I’m part of the 1965-1981 crowd of the generation. And another reason why it mattered to the black community and it’s an obvious one, we need to keep and maintain our issues, our conversations, happenings, health stories, finance, lifestyle, creations, education and dozens of topics at hand everyday! Even yes addressing crime and racism. The three hours were just a spoke on the wheel, but the reality is that must keep the voice of the community on point and visible all the time. And that is why partially, the voices in the black community must be more than just one. It must be many!

What were my top moments in The Forum’s history? Let’s go into that right now. But first, I’ll dig into the crates of my blog stories that can support the story.

Going back to 2013, I remember a segment about opinion polls:

Now I’ve been heard about the recent Marquette Poll, or the Raussman Poll. This percentage of citizens this and this percentage of that. And mostly I’ve heard the question on black radio stations like WNOV, and asking, “Were you polled?” or “I was never polled on this topic.” Most of the folks in my opinion who do these polling statues, are white. Think about it. I’m just saying. And check this, how many of these polls in Wisconsin were done by African-Americans? No matter which side they see? AGAIN: there is 6% of African-Decent living in the Badger State.

 

2014: During Black History Month….

I was listening to WNOV today. Yes The Forum with Sherwin Hughes. He had on a guest of the name Oshi Adelabu who really dropped serious knowledge on why Black History Month is around. He also dropped real serious topics about us black folks don’t really know our history as much as the other ethnics. If anyone in America, or in Milwaukee had a chance to listen to him, you probably got lectured on a different level. And he did address the concerns of those who are our children who don’t care about the history. And the reason being, partially many of the adults don’t really go into the deep reason of the hidden stories of lynchings, hangings, inside discrimination, the first Egyptians being black (in which they were) or telling blacks not to go into the doors that whites used to go. I think our generation (the lower half of Gen X, Y, Millennials) were and are shielded from the extreme part of it and many of us don’t care. It’s sad to say but it is. Want a prime example: go to the Instagram and look at those bogus pics like, “Pookie and them were the first blacks to get turnt up in the club drinking Hennessy.” You mean to tell me that we would poke fun at those who have blazed trails, set new foundations, and declare holy hell on those who feel that this occasion that was started in 1926 is a joke of a failure? No its not a joke of failure because those who made the joke or the bad assumptions felt cheated because we haven’t learned the deep gist of the occasions. Of what it supposed to be. Yet, many years ago, I didn’t understood a lick of why black history month exists. But as I grew older and to appreciate the value of our summarizing our ancestors, and what is going on now, it has become to me a staple. More like a centerpiece celebration. I mean “every occasion” has a centerpiece.

2013 when Harley-Davidson was 110 years old. And the black community was almost left out, and yes even the late Polly Williams weighed in:

Recently up until the days and weeks before the start of the celebration, there was almost a concern. A concern about the African-American Community being left out of the celebration with nothing on the program. I read the Harley Bikers Guide courtesy of Visit Milwaukee, in which almost every organization or company had sponsored the event, but I didn’t see ANY representation of the African American Community that either was on the cover, nor in the ads! Come on, now! Just a thought that African-Americans do ride motorcycles, and are apart of the biker culture and network. But until recently, the organization of the MLK Street Jam folks have added a line up, vendors, and live music for the 110th. Originally, “The MLK Street Jam BBQ” was the name in the Black Community and yes 5 years ago, it was a listing among the Brady Street, and other Street Jams for the Harley Riders and non riders alike. I was listening to WNOV last Monday about the concern, and about the concern of the black bikers not having a connection for the 110th in which the black community, I think I may have heard that, in means of where to go, and having black businesses to engage the support of the event. Personally that almost hurt. Did some businesses or connections from H-D or Visit Milwaukee, ever talked to the Milwaukee black community, or those along MLK Jr. Drive about hosting a spot for the 110th Anniversary ahead of time? Did anyone who is African-American that works for H-D in the Greater Milwaukee Area asked those in the black community or inform of the 110th events beforehand? That is a question I want to know. Maybe Harley-Davidson needs to have Inner City Sessions on jobs, or outreach. Or have a parade to route along MLK Drive or Sherman Boulevard to Milwaukee’s Washington Park for a fellowship. I heard that portion on WNOV.

Just to add: in the days after this segment, Jammin’ 98.3 held a Iron Elite Black Biker Jam at Uihlein Soccer Park in which displayed the different motorcycles, vendors, The Kevin Hayden Trio Band and several famous faces like Willie G, whom we all know is a descendant of the company. And even film director, F. Gary Gray. Whom also did a special documentary of the Iron Elite and the history of the African American Harley-Davidson Riders. Food for thought. And no, it was not racist.

Elsa’s on the Park and the issue of racism and this was my “introduction” to The Forum in it’s inaugural year of 2012:

This story has been non-stop. Even on the radio has been non stop. This morning, I was listening to WNOV 860AM, and there is a new segment called “The Forum” with radio host Sherwin Hughes. By the way the radio station is now online at http://www.wnov860am.com; and as well on the radio. Plus you can listen to the station via the Apps on Android, Blackberry, and the I-Phone. “The Forum” is a hard hitting segment in which the topics of political, civil and many other issues that seem and gain the thought in the African-American Community; that will you will not find like on WTMJ or any other station that most don’t address issues like this in Milwaukee. Sherwin voiced his liberties in terms of the incident at Elsa’s as of what happened. Apparently, the information given was from of his close friends in which was the victim of the incident that took place. Sherwin and those like him will never set foot in a place that doesn’t feel “welcomed”. But he also said that there might be folks who would still support the establishment and spend their money! Hold up. Why would ANYONE would continue to support any organization or company that has or had bad experiences that dealt with racial problems concerning African-Americans and not everyone else?  It’s the same thing with Milwaukee’s clubs on the East Side. Some of them had negative experiences with black folks too, as in terms of not letting them in. If I was a customer per say, and this went down, GOODBYE! No more Elsa’s. Go somewhere that can be appreciative to me,and fair quality of service. Like Black-Owned Businesses. And for the record, I have some members in my family that do own, operate, coordinate, and direct their own businesses. And they’re African-American living in Milwaukee. Yes, I know that this experience is well “sensitive” to most, BUT it is a concern that must be addressed. Everyone around the country that knows about Milwaukee’s Segregation problems, I can them saying, “you need to talk!” NO MORE HIDING! It’s either “put up or shut up.”  We have too. Matter of fact, we Americans have to address this issue of race as well instead of running away to other cities and countries just to get away. I’m just saying.

2016: The year we lost Eric Von.

When the day of September 8th came when Eric’s death came up: it was like a shock. I kept reading my Facebook Newsfeeds to see if this was real. When you get those notices of a well known figure around your community that died, usually it’s a hoax via Social Media. BUT……this was no hoax. Eric Von really did die at his home in the Sherman Park Community. The next day, WNOV was really focused on him, his life and work. I was listening to his segment and The Forum and let me tell you: it was sad, but it was a time to celebrate him of what he brought to us over the years. No matter if it was his days at 1290, or WNOV. The callers kept calling the station to offer their condolences and sympathies. Even former 1290 Personalities that called in to do the same thing. And those that used to rival WNOV were also called in to equal the messages of those offering condolences. I will admit, it will be hard to replace him on the radio. But I think that with all of this, the WNOV Family; no, the remaining WNOV family will be fine. It will take time, but still will be fine.

Also with that, there was radio broadcast about Sherwin commentating about his then-health problems in terms of him going under an examination. Which also led him to get an colonoscopy. He was very expressive about his health in terms of what he had and was able to still do the show. In the lessons followed, yes he still addressed the medical issues that many of us in the African-American Community don’t go to the doctor. Specifically us African-American Men! This was an eye-opener and yes, I’ve been woken as well. It’s a life saving issue that many must not cover up nor ignore! Speaking of colonoscopies, the age limit for that, is still in the 50’s, but there might an age reduction to about 45 and up because now many of the those in that age range may have to get checked for that detection! Either way: GET SCREENED! I would say this to the men, but women you too! Of course you already know that.

Also in 2016: The aftermath of picking 45 and questioning whom to look next.

Sixth: I was listening to WNOV this morning. And there was question about who will represent the Black Community in the Trump era? Black folks: Look to our Senators, Our Congressmen or Congresswomen. Our Alderpersons, regional leaders whom are black. Here in Milwaukee: We got just to name a few, Senator Lena Taylor, State Representative Jason Fields, Congresswomen Gwen Moore, Alderwomen Chantia Lewis and Milele Coggs, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Khalif Rainey, Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Russell Stamper II, County Supervisors: Marcelia Nicholson, Supreme Moore Omokunde, and Willie Johnson Jr. And no, I’m not putting Sheriff David Clarke on the list because I think now we in the community are waking up with the real truth about him. He’s not what he says he is. He don’t qualify.  Other black leaders like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Shelia Jackson-Lee, and other well known black officials must not be overlooked either that can be viable to represent.

 

Let’s see, another highlight I remember: Building an African American Community Center in 2013.

Let me go in on my home of Milwaukee for a bit. I have to blog about this story that is very dear and I think important to think about for the African Americans for our city. Recently this week, I was paying attention to Milwaukee Black Radio, namely WNOV about a comment of a potential (idea-wise) African Community Center. As many of us Black Milwaukeeans know it was supposed to be built near the Milwaukee County Transit System Headquarters, which is near 17th and Fond Du Lac, years back. But however it never got built. Many were and still asking why.

Just yesterday and today, I listened to WNOV’s Sherwin Hughes, with guests Mikel Holt, former Alderman Fred Gordon, and Troy Shaw,  and in a twist of that thought: It had something to do with that project and the Italian Community Center. From the commentary, one of the then-Milwaukee Alderman’s Mike D’Amato had a problem with that. In regarding that project of the African Community Center, that would give dilemmas for the Italian Community Center. Say what?!!! When you really think about that, Milwaukee has Community centers of the Irish, German, Mexican, LGBT, Spanish, Asian and Italian. But not a African Community Center, based on this absent minded thought? Really?

Now I know that others who are non-black and reading this blog and from the Greater Milwaukee Area are probably might come out and say, “Oh that racist! Why does he have to write that? We are all Americans. We should be equals.”  Oh Shut up! I’ve heard that so many times. I get it. Remember when I said that I’m embracing my African-American side, while expressing my slice of Americana? This is what I’m doing right now. I’m expressing my freedom of expression as an American, while honoring my African-American, or American of African decent laurels. Period. If WNOV’s “The Forum” can do it, so can I.

Just to clarify currently that the site of the former America’s Black Holocaust Museum that the late James Cameron founded was torn down, but as of this year on Juneteenth Day, it was resurrected in a new Museum with Apartments. It’s called “The Griot” and it sits near the corner of 4th and North Avenue in the same area. Hopefully this can be a new start of getting OUR African Community Center started up to educate, entertain, inform and summarize the news and happenings in the Black Community.

From last August: Confederate Monuments in Wisconsin.

Most recently, I was tuning into a radio broadcast of WNOV, yes the black station in Milwaukee. And it featured a story that had a Confederate monument in my homestate of Wisconsin. I’m not joking. You might be saying to yourself: WAIT, WHAT? Wisconsin had a Confederate Monument?! Really? Here is the featured story, from June of 2015. As we all know that Wisconsin was a Union state during the Civil War. Check out the site called “Iron Brigader”, or do a search called, “The Confederate Cemetery in Madison, Wisconsin”. I’m reading this article for the first time. And the thing that struck me out of the story was the fact that I had no idea, no iota that this existed in the state of Wisconsin. Never in my near 41 years living in the Badger State I knew that. The story summarizes that the use of the Cemetery was the burial place of the Union Soldiers that died in the Civil War. It also summarized that part of the Cemetery was known as “Confederate Rest” in which that 140 of the Confederate Soldiers whom were POW’s was buried in the area. Before that, majority of the Confederate Soldiers (approx. 1,000 plus) that were captured, were sent to Prairie Du Chien, and then to Madison. Many of them also were diagnosed with Measels, Mumps, Pneumonia, not enough food or medicine for the prisoners and many died because of it. Also some the prisoners were transported to Camp Randall (the same Camp Randall where the Wisconsin Badgers play on the UW-Madison Campus) for medications and supplies to receive treatments. Additional before Camp Randall was the house that many of the Big 10 feared, it was a training ground for the then Union Volunteer Soldiers during the Civil War. Now you wonder why Camp Randall Stadium is a “battleground” on Saturday afternoons! The story also summarized about a woman, Alice Waterman who was southern born that moved to the city to care for the Cemetery that housed the dead soldiers. She put her own financial needs to care for the graves and markers to maintain them. She is also buried at the cemetery towards the front of the site.

And to add, like other Confederate Monuments in America, that too was removed.

2014 when many got so “sensitive” about Black Milwaukee Radio. Like really?!

And check this: even Sheriff David Clarke had to call in and say “It’s David Clarke. Tone it down.”

I want to make a comment about this. I want to tell all the folks, the hyper sensitive folks something. Just my opinion: THIS WILL NOT BE TONED DOWN ON ANY FRONTS! NONE! Many times I said that Milwaukee is the most segregated city in America. That is a fact. Even if those live in the North Shore area gonna learn today. Obviously, most are afraid. They are scared. When I listening to the entire 3 hours, Sherwin had made strong references that many agreed about the understanding of black and white citizens. Even a black Vietnam Veteran! Where’s Sheriff Clarke on that? No where. Where are those who had to gall to call the station, after not what they want to hear based on strong and TRUE references? I said this on the MyFoxMilwaukee blogs that many will get mad when the truth comes out. Even if an owner gets all hyped negatively about a McDonald’s harboring Drugs and Mary Jane!

Speaking of Toning Down: Where is the “Toning down” of prevention of drugs in businesses?

  • Where is the toning down of high unemployment among African Americans IN Milwaukee? WHERE YOU AT CONSERVATIVES?!!!!!!
  • Where is the toning down of admitting the fact that this region and state is still segregated? And having Transportation issues of getting to the jobs? Hello, folks!
  • Where is the toning down of preventing teen pregnancy, not being in the poor category IN Milwaukee? EXCUSE ME?!!!!!
  • Where is the Toning Down of Drugs being going into the suburbs and while many get off easy, but hard in the larger metro areas?
  • WHERE IS THE TONING DOWN of the so-called others who thought that a school like Malcolm X shouldn’t be an Community Center after it was legally PASSED by MPS?!!
  • Where is the toning down on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Comment folks who blast things that they don’t and get a freaking pass? Such as one JSOnline commenter at one time had talked about that an officer should have punched Jeanine Tracy harder while being handcuffed in a squad car!
  • Where is the toning down on these Conservatives Radio folks like Mark Belling who labeled Derek Williams a thug after being handcuffed in the back of a squad car? Couldn’t breath in all. Neck broken. And died on the scene.
  • Where is the toning down of the Hilton Garden Inn, and Alderman Bob Bauman, about the accusations of black nightlife like 618 on Water, and many other clubs that mostly cater to African-Americans,and Urban Hip Hop Music?!!!  And having those NOT LIVING in Milwaukee had to jump in? UM, EXCUSE ME?!!!
  • Where is the toning down of the State of Wisconsin that is getting sued by Talgo because of the refusal of the High Speed Rail project, that many of the leeches of the Tea Party Wisconsin based, plus Scott Walker shutting it down? Hmmmmm………don’t see it here!

What’s up with that? Milwaukee County Residents?!!!!! You all getting all hyper sensitive about a black man’s strong truthful reference, and don’t want to admit it. Folks like Sheriff David Clarke needs to understand that he is going to get talked about. Period. I mean, if various folks can talk about Chris Abele, Tom Barrett, Scott Walker, Senator Lena Taylor, or any other official, so Clarke is off the list? REALLY?! But if Sherwin is wrong of what he said about him, maybe the second black Democratic (but mostly REPUBLICAN supportive) Sheriff needs to be a man about it and defend his record!

 

And what about being “Church Hurt?” From this year in January!

Last week on the first Friday of the year, I listened to WNOV’s The Forum Program. And the full 3 hours of the program was about those who have been “church hurt”, or being hurt by the church. It was based on the article that some folks read (mainly younger black folks) about the reasons why they don’t attend church. And I’ll bet it came from those who haven’t been there. It also featured those whom have had history in the church ranging from bishops, ministers, and members whom have those vivid memories but mostly it was NEGATIVE! As I was listening to the program, it was coming from those who say it was a scam, the black church don’t allow the LGBT no love, and other negative factors. Oh the issue of money was conversed. I want those being effect by this “church hurt” thing to hear me out on this. Yes, there are pastors, bishops, deacons, and many other church leaders that did things negatively on the value of money. Yes, it’s true. BUT: don’t assume that it’s all of the Churches! Not all the churches are about MONEY. Not all of the church are about kicking out the LGBT. Not all the Churches are about the erasing the thought of supporting young folks. Not all churches are about hating on someone who is in need of coming in to keep warm from the freezing cold! Not all CHURCHES are the same! WAKE UP! If that were the case, I wouldn’t be in church now! I’m sorry you’ve been hurt. Church hurt. But many of you members who haven’t been to any the services in a minute, and you’re complaining, why haven’t you come forward? Ok, maybe you have been working. Raising families. Taking care of a senior person. Or sat out and did nothing. And you complain. If you complain and not attended the services, you need to go! If you are on the membership roll that haven’t been at the services, meetings, events, activities or there special outings to support or donate, then you need to retool and revise your membership! Hate to say that.
Don’t always assume that the church is ALL evil. What is evil is being put or driven by those who spoil the bunch. That is EVIL! Hell, I wouldn’t stepped into a 4th Generation family tradition that I wouldn’t be able to work, earn scholarships, utilized groups (both men and women), photograph archives, record sermons and still raised almost 28 years later! That’s right, this June will be my Church Anniversary of coming in as a full member through conformation class. That’s a joy. And that’s positive. And the Church NEEDS MORE POSITIVE OUTLOOKS! Not just hearing the music or the sermons. And also the biggest issue that many have against the church besides the money and pastor, is when we get done hearing the sermons, we go out to eat to Red Lobster or a local restaurant. Church folks got to eat too! There are 168 hours in week. The Average hours on a Sunday morning Worship Service is like what, 2 hours? So in those two hours of Church, we go to the restaurant and chow down for about 1 hour or so. And we go home. BUT THE WORSHIP WORK in the week goes on. It goes on at your job. Your community centers. Your activities of recreation, homes, the elderly, Your Sorority, Fraternity, Veterans Groups, Peace Groups, Activism, Alumni Associations, etc. Even when you help folks to Vote! That is your Worship Work in the continuation of the Church! Think about that. If many more folks in Milwaukee who were listening to that broadcast would actually get it, they would actually get it. I know some understand.
I say this mainly to Milwaukee. After all, it was a Milwaukee Black Radio broadcast of WNOV that commented on this. We know what the host said. We know what the guests said. And we know that. But look here: it’s not perfect. Many of you go to clubs on Saturday Night, partying in all. Being catered. Which is nothing wrong at all. But also, like the church at times, there are members of the clubs whom can be hypocritical of the DJ, the clothes, the set up, the bar, the drinks, the food, the parking, and the security. Just like your jobs, groups and etc. You don’t hear me! We’re trying. We know it’s hard. After all, being a Christian or a every Sunday church person is not just happenstance. It’s a hard job. Period. But with God’s grace, we’re up for the challenge.
Amen.

These are just a sampling of the highlights while listening to the program for those 3 hours. And 6 years. And the things I mentioned here, serves as a lesson to engage and take it out to the world and educate our minds and thoughts about the concerns and joys per se to commence. A lot of this, I do credit “The Forum” for allowing me to express my viewpoints here and summarize them to all of you. Mainly for those whom haven’t been to Milwaukee or have not seen Milwaukee in ages! And to think that, it was not a surprise in coming. And the host has seen this blog before, so I say to that thank you!

However, why I talked about this? It goes all the way back to February 2012, when there was a rally on King Drive in about “We stand for our men for Jobs”. The very same rally that former Wisconsin State Rep Elizabeth Coggs formed. And the guest MC you asked? Homer Blow. He also expressed that morning about that we must continue to tell about what’s going on in Milwaukee. If we take pictures, blog (like I’m doing now) or whatever, this is what we have to do. So I’ve been doing this since 2005 by doing this blogging thing that may not be noticeable. But based on this and the good highlights I’ve written about in the past, my voice along with my brain, is paying attention. If this blog had not existed, I wouldn’t be telling this now. Not about anything that pertains to Milwaukee or Black America. That would be in the interests of the Newspapers or journals that rely on the sources all the time. But what happens when the sources don’t get to the source we want? That is why that blogs like this and many others need to fill in the gaps of what we know to continue the conversation. As I said before, this is not for a job thing, this is a personal thing. And the personal thing to me is to help correct the wrongs that I went through growing up to be added on to the masses of research and homework assignments. And yes, WordPress camps.

The guests over the years comprised of politicians, business owners, activists, educators, historians, young men and women, Gen X’ers, Baby Boomers, Millennials, and organizers all stopped by to lend their viewpoints of the subjects at hand. Even guests like Officer Jack, a former MPD Police Officer that gave the audience about scenarios in regarding police work and also what to do regarding law enforcement and the understanding the law. Former Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Darienne Driver (who recently resigned this year) was on the show usually on the first Fridays of the month that gave us statuses about the conditions and happenings in the Schools.  Others from Mary Burke to Lena Taylor, to Gwen Moore, and to Mahlon Mitchell, same thing. Speaking of Mary Burke that many didn’t realized that when she was campaigning for Governor (and later lost to Scott Walker)  she appeared on the show more times than any other Republican Representative. Even more than Scott Walker whom have not appeared once. Something should have told you there. And yes, even the former Sheriff David Clarke stopped through as well wearing a Trump Shirt. The callers you asked? They ranged from everyday folks that know the city very well, even a black Marine Corps Veteran that the host ALWAYS acknowledges every time!

So guess what, black people and those others wanting to know? “The Forum” was only the spoke on the wheel. But, there is so much work to be done. Even telling our stories continuously. You will not hear this from WISN 1130 or 620 WTMJ. Or any other progressive format. Nope, not here! Not happening! Oh, by the way: for those of us that couldn’t get past the emptiness of The Forum, the show recorded 832 segments in it’s 1,000+ shows. Check out The Fourm 860’s Website for all the references.


Now I know that the Milwaukee Brewers are having a heck of a season. They are. And reached 50 plus wins in the NL Central. Oh yeah it’s positive vibes.

But that’s the good news. The bad? Josh Hader. If anyone paid attention to the recent All Star Game in which the National Team lost, there was a report about Josh Hader using racial terms, or messages on all things: Twitter. There was messages of “White Power” and hating gays and many others. Seriously. And he was 17 years old. A teenager. When I saw the footage about him making that appearance to the mound, and the fans making the standing ovation, that to me is a problem. How can any fans in Baseball, especially majority white, give a guy like Josh Hader a standing ovation after his racist remarks? This looks very bad and disturbing. Especially for the Milwaukee Brewers Organization.

Many are saying, “he was 17 years old”. And saying this on social media. Of course, that the old heads kept saying that be careful what you post. Even I said this! Josh Hader is getting that lesson right now even in the City of Milwaukee that we all know that it’s segregated. Do majority of the white folks who come to Miller Park or any other comes to Milwaukee Special Events knows about the segregated checkered past? They better. Now I know that I’m getting a reaction of like “yes we know”. But we don’t know enough. Have I’ve been discriminated against my black skin in Wisconsin? Yes. I’ve explained it over and over again about being hated on for a job offer through Dresser Waukesha 8 years ago. It will be 8 years next month in August when I got that letter from Tallahassee, Florida about black folks not being hired by the company due to it’s checkered past of racism in the Greater Milwaukee Area. This is one of the reasons why I don’t usually respond to job postings as much because of this matter. Of course many companies will say, “we don’t discriminate against anyone based on race, creed, class, gender, etc.” But do many companies actually feel this way? Let’s be honest, not all of them. But there are those whom are jealous about a applicant that they just looked up on LinkedIn or Facebook who had all the credentials and being passed over all because he or she was black or highly educated. That’s why we have folks like Scott Walker and Donald Trump whom have all that White Privilege and I dare say, racist angles in office. And majority of the voters put them in office. And I’ll bet many who put them in office, don’t want a guy like Mahlon Mitchell per se in the race to be the next Wisconsin Governor. To me, I’m still betting on Mahlon to get a chance to steal this shocker to get the chair in Madison. But that’s another story.

Long time ago in Church, my older sister once said about being careful what you say during a Youth Moment segment. Even she also said if it was in the second grade. By looking at the racist tweet from age 17, Josh Hader had to be in high school as either a junior or senior. Go figure.

If any of the African-American players on the Brewers whom like Eric Thames, Lorenzo Cain, or Keon Braxton said some messages of hate on Social Media, they will be GONE! Out of the picture or banned! And many will be asking why that is. For Josh Hader, he will be getting the full “Ethnic Sensitivity Treatment Classes” on respecting cultures in all. It’s kind of interesting, that the Milwaukee Brewers in August are having a theme night event called African-American Heritage Night on August 3rd, in commemorating the Negro League Tribute to the Milwaukee Bears, whom at one time were apart of the city’s history that was long forgotten. When I saw the comments on Facebook, there were some “jerk offs” had to ask about, when is Polish American Night happening, or making some meaningless jokes about black culture. I’m not kidding. And many don’t realize that the problem in Major League Baseball is the diversity that not enough black folks are engaged with the game. Unlike Football or Basketball. Wait until football season starts either NCAA or yes the NFL. Just wait. And also that Heritage Night is day before of the newly Black Arts Fest MKE will be debuted at Summerfest after a 5 year absence of no African World Festival in the city.

Another thing comes to mind that the same week that Josh Hader’s racist tweets had surfaced, guess what? Hulk Hogan was reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame in the same week! For those whom may have forgotten, Hulk Hogan was suspended for three years from the company’s Hall of Fame Status due to the fact that he was caught using the N word in regarding the thought of someone who would date his daughter Brooke. And oh, the firestorm had started. Forget about Hollywood Hulk Hogan with the nWo Heel Turn, this was Hulk Hogan or Terry Bolea using the N word and getting caught red handed out for that. When he was reinstated after three years, last week yes he wanted to make things right, but not every black WWE Superstar ranging from The New Day to Titus O’Neill didn’t somewhat approve of him being back. Except for Mark Henry whom is a newly inducted WWE Hall of Famer.

But the fact of the matter is, Hogan had to get right with himself about what he said. Maybe, just maybe that Josh Hader should do the same. And oh, it will not take a week. But the sting still remains in regarding to talk about race in all angles even in sports and entertainment. The jury on both is still out. As well as accountability.


Before anyone in Milwaukee gets bent out of shape about the up and coming People’s Flag: I need every Milwaukeean no matter what age or generation to closely listen up. Even if you moved out or just don’t know. I don’t know why I’m talking about this. But, whatever.

It seems to me that this whole while, we’ve been talking about a Flag. The city’s current flag being a “hot mess”, outdated and not up to par of the current status of what’s going on now. It ain’t hip, I know.

For this, I unlike many, who didn’t took the time to read about the history of things of how it came to be. Let me put it like this: many of you are “flag sensitive” about this. But I’m here to help you about the meaning behind the “so called worst flag” for the Brew City from my point of view, with facts.

OK. Let’s start with this.

Stop the sensitive crap and grow up. Let’s go over to see what this so-called “hot mess” actually means. Like many of things, I’m going from left to right.

Starting from the left: That funny looking yellow thing there represents wheat and barley. All that beer you drink from MillerCoors or Pabst comes from that. Moving on, is the old Milwaukee County Stadium. And I’m assuming who used to play there. The next building as many know is the Panther Arena. Or for you old heads: the MECCA. Towards the center is a building we see near 200 East Wells Street is City Hall. Another building towards the right is more industrial buildings of the same meaning of industrialization. The boat with the water waves shown symbolizes the port. As in the Port of Milwaukee. Port of Goods. And many of you got offended by this cross. To be specific, that almost resembles the Basilica neighborhood on the South Side. And I know many have been there besides morning mass. It’s a church, folks.

The “1846” is what you ask? The founding year of the city. The big cog in the center is the main feature in which it is symbolic for manufacturing history. Like our Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, and other manufacturing parts we produced here. And currently.

Inside of the Cog, are three symbols. One of them is a head of a Native American. Let’s be calm here, its yet to believe that is symbolic of it’s connections of it’s earlier settlers whom happened to be Native Americans. How do you think Milwaukee got it’s name? Its also saying, millioke , the Good Land.

The little flag for most almost resembles a service flag or a Civil War-Era flag. And the last mini symbol in contrast has a connection to the Milwaukee Public Library.

Now for all of the “flag sensitive folks”, I need to ask, do you all get that? Is this making sense? I had to research this over and over again just to get a sense of understanding of what this is without learning a darn thing!

Of course many will not know because many will not do their homework! Like I said, do your research, please.

Other questions loom up. Now I know this has to be far fetching, but what about the family of the creators that designed and made the city flag? Did anyone from the common council community, mayor’s office, or the people’s flag folks ever talked to them? I would speak on that. The descendants of the late Alderman Fred Steffan needs to be contacted face to face. Why I’m referencing them you ask? I think would be benefiting that Mayor Tom Barrett, the entire Milwaukee Common Council, the Milwaukee Arts Board, the representatives of the People’s Flag of Milwaukee, historians and most of all, the family of the late Alderman needs to have a “city flag conference” about stating why the city flag would be updated with the current design. The family I believe, needs to be contacted. I don’t know the family, but if I were one of the committee members or flag art reps, I would bring them into the conversation. The descendants are still out there and one of them did an interview with the Journal Sentinel several years ago about this subject. And I mentioned that subject here.

Well earlier today, there was a public discussion about the flag and it’s objective use. I’m talking about the people’s flag here. And yes, the creators gave their incentive about the reason why it was chosen, from the brainstorming of young and old, even black folks that shocked me a bit. The 1,000 designs and then the main five chosen for finals. The one got picked on Flag Day 2016 came to this:

Yes this is the flag that was chosen. According to the creation of this, it’s description as follows via the CRWFlags.com website:
The flag is horizontally divided orange-dark blue. In the center is placed a disk, whose upper part, located on the orange stripe, is white, and whose lower part, located on the blue stripe, is lighter blue with two horizontal dark blue stripes.The meaning of the flag is the following: “The sun rising over Lake Michigan symbolizes a new day. The light blue bars in its reflection represent the city’s three rivers and founding towns. Gold symbolizes our brewing history and white represents the city united.”

During the Common Council Meeting, which you can see via the City’s website, yes there were talks about symbolism. The “sunrise” for example was inspired believe it or not is from an unlikely source: the City of Milwaukee’s Seal.

Look at the center of the seal. What you see is a house, a tower like structure of a lighthouse, a human figure that probably resembles a founder or settler. But the viewpoint by the land, is Lake Michigan. And the Sun is rising over the Lake. So yes, that is where the People’s Flag folks got parts of it’s Sunrise from: The city’s seal.

And yes there talks about flags giving power or meaning. There were references of the American Flag with the colors of Red, White and Blue. The Red and White Stripes signify the Original 13 Colonies with meanings of Hardness/Valor for the Red, and the Purity/Innocence for the color White. As far as the Blue: Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice. And the 50 stars, which represents the States. And for the record, Old Glory is not being replaced. That is thrown out. Stop the hype on that!

After all the questions and comments, there were some additional comments about taxpayers, the funding, sensitivity, branding, ownership, design creation copyrights, new identification, etc. But there will be additional talks for another couple of months towards the end of the year to see where the idea goes from here.

My advice: those ideas I described earlier, probably needs to happen. And for the record, not everyone uses the internet, texting or Social Media. And I would like to see if possible, put that on the ballot. Since it’s a “people’s project,” put it where the people can decide in voting. A referendum. And of course, talk it over with the whole city! Not just the usual 6,000 plus that represents Milwaukee online! The population is well over 600,000.

And if officially, the “S” in my Stephen’s Spot Photo logo and cover photo might change the colors of the ideal flag. Don’t call me a fan yet. The jury is still out.

#SteadyProgress


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

Dear Class of 2018:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Stephen


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caught up yet? Good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The North Gate area is new. All decked out.

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

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

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

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

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

Now, go party and be safe!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh you don’t hear me!

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


It’s time for me to blow up. Really. I like many African-Americans in this country have “had it up to here” with all this meaningless and pointless B.S. about the “cop calling Caucasians” and they know who they are telling them about certain black folks doing things like sitting down, waiting, sleeping in college areas, refusing to get up for white customers, and a bunch of lame excuses!

CALLOUT: For all those can I say this, and excuse my french: Shut your trap!

You heard me. We see you doing the same stuff almost and do we get on our phones calling the Po-Po? No!

For many weeks, and months, stop me if you read or heard these examples:

Sleeping while Black:

Or what about this concerning Cracker Barrel and it’s long history of discrimination against blacks?

https://thegrio.com/2018/04/25/cracker-barrel-black-veteran/

A 57 year old black Air Force Veteran was discriminated in restaurant all because of these things: One, the veteran Randy Freeman, 57 years old is a black male. That’s right. Black Male. And he is a business owner. Two, Cracker Barrel had a extended history of discriminating against black customers for years! That is not so shocking. Three: He was kicked out of the restaurant because the restaurant was accusing him of being rude to waitresses via the manager. In the ending result, he filed a federal lawsuit in the regarding the incident that occurred in April.

Let me switch gears on a “I’m calling you out on being quiet” story. I’m sure that many of you heard about the two Native American Teens were on a college campus and they were questioned by the College Police about who they were and what were they doing on campus looking suspicious?

First off, why were they being questioned because they didn’t talk on the tour?! That BS don’t fly right! It don’t. I’ll agree that even this example is nothing more than a reach for racism! Discrimination. Hating on. Get the message. Obviously they were let go and the University wanted them to come back for a shot at the campus. I wouldn’t take that offer because to me it’s a bribe. The college can beg all they want but if they don’t want to comeback, they shouldn’t. I wouldn’t set foot on that college ever again! They got exposed. My this is, go to a different school that you feel is best for you! Nothing else.

Now back to the black stories. This next one, I really don’t understand. This concerns the recent Community Service project of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Everyone knows that Sigma Gamma Rho is the youngest sorority of the Divine Nine and they wear the royal blue and gold and known for being founded in 1922. Plus the mascot is the Poodle. And yes the Sorority has members of well known names like, Vivica A. Fox, MC Lyte, Martha Reeves, Deshauna Barber (Miss USA), Marylin McCoo, just to name a few figures. And yes like many in the NPHC it’s about service work We know the parties and gatherings and strollings. But the keyword in this is SERVICEWORK!

In Pennslyvania: a group of the sorority were cleaning up a portion of a highway 83 when they were interupted by a State Trooper claiming that they were fighting. Then the State Trooper asked them to show their ID’s. Showing ID’s?! All because they were cleaning the interstate. Really?! Eventually in the end, the Sorority was later resumed doing their services and the State Trooper was dismissed from the area of the conversation.

Now I need to ask this on the real: Was that necessary!? I’ve seen community service projects on the Freeways before. Why is this a concern?! And why does this have to be called in through the authorities?! This is so stupid! It’s clearly stupid because it’s a case of an overreach. Yeah I’m going there that it’s a matter of assumption and suspicion that it’s a vendetta that the ongoing so-called being watchful on black folks is now escalated. We all thought that being watched in stores is one thing. But when we are out in the community doing service duties, or waiting on a friend for a business deal, or hearing a convo during a tour like the Native American Teens encountered, or sleeping in a college commons area, and if the majority of that is black, then there is an assumption of trouble that might spark. Oh, but guess what: there was NO CRIME! NOTHING!

It’s like as the major crime of the century just been unleashed. What was the crimes exactly? Folks, all of this is nothing but one thing: fear. It’s all about fear or the assumption of fear that “Oh, he looks suspicious because he’s not talking to me. He needs to be on watch.” Or like “oh we need to be watching those folks. They need look strange with that activity!” What would happen if church folks of any denomination is doing picture taking for a book and they get questioned by the Police? They are doing ministry! Something bigger than themselves! Where’s the crime in that? I often heard this from one of my former teachers whom were white always say, “do something constructive with yourselves!” Yes white folks I’m sampling that notion from you since 1994! Well……what about it?

All of this is junk. Trying to steer away the actual thought. And it’s completely stupid! There are real crimes that happen everyday. And it’s usually the major ones that get you caught on the evening news or the local paper. Why not go after the bad guys who don’t this?

Enough.