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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

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As the day comes for the Dads, we know that many will celebrate the men that gives us love. We also realize that Father’s Day for the church side is going to be less than Mother’s Day in which we know already. Plus yes there will be women that will moan and complain about the father’s not being there for the kids, not doing nothing for the kids, community, etc. And yes, even the fathers whom are missed in death will be everyday reminded that their ongoing spirit still lingers on. And we have to face the wacky events. And I’m scratching my head again.

Ok, ladies. Let’s be real. Why will some of you will complain about the fathers of your kids this Father’s Day?

Will all the men wear some sort of blue like the baseball teams on Sunday? It’s to recognize prostate cancer awareness.

So after 60 years in the game, IHOP or the International House of Pancakes, will be now known as the International House of……..Burgers?!! Seriously?! Will Pancakes be still selling?

Black folks: June is Black Music Month as we know. Are we educating the masses who love our music in all?

So far the hype of the Milwaukee Streetcar is gaining steam. Plus you realize it’s only 5 months away until it fully debuts, right?

Right now on the election watch here in Wisconsin, August 14th will arrive before you know it. Still voting, right?

Milwaukee: Summerfest will be here. You ready? I got tips!

Why is 45 having issues with Canada? Particularly with the Prime Minister?!

The Brewers still own the NL Central so far. Is it real yet for the Craig’s Crushers?

They say that one of the introverts’ nightmares is job fairs. Career fairs, etc. Is the prophecy true? Do we Introverts need our OWN job fairs?

For the All Black American Legion Posts in Milwaukee/Wisconsin: why do you NOT have any Sons, Auxiliary or Legion Riders Groups? I need answers!

It’s been 20 years since James Byrd, Jr was murdered. By racists in Texas dragging him to his death. Did we forget this, America?

The Milwaukee Bucks’ new home will be opening in a couple of months. Who took the tour so far?

Here in Milwaukee: the Milwaukee Police Department is rocked with pain of the death of Officer Charles Irvine, Jr. We all know what happened yet again and I know many of us are still mixed by the feelings overall by the Police: Racism, Brutality, etc. We all know. Even harassment. Even the unacceptable stuff of the moniker copied of “Blue Lives Matter.” We know it. After Officer Irvine is remembered at his funeral on June 16th, what will the attitudes of us and the Police change for the better?

Sidenote: Reference the Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Player Sterling Brown after he was tased 18 times by the MPD.
CALLOUT: For us in the United Methodist Church, specifically in the Black UMC’s and BMCR: Why are we being attacked? Seriously ask this question at the Annual Conferences! Let them know how you feel.

This needs to be asked: why there are not hordes of Harleys in Milwaukee that do parades for Juneteenth Day? Yeah, I’m asking this that needs real answers!

Anthony Bourdain passed on due to suicide. Why did he go that way?! Man! And also Kate Spade went the same.

Here in Milwaukee: what will it take for the MPS Alumni to continue the “machine of reaching out” to the former students? Besides social media? And what will it take for the Alumni of all High Schools to be FURTHER engaged?

Is there a real reason why many will celebrate Juneteenth Day and or the 4th of July in the Black Community more or less?

In two months: Harley-Davidson will be 115 years old. Black Community: WE NEED TO BE READY WITH THE IRON ELITE – BLACK BIKER JAMS! Can we do this? Last time, we were late, but on time! White folks, do not get upset about a black biker jam in Milwaukee. You know what you said 5 years ago on Facebook!

Milwaukee: who will be the best Sheriff for the County? Richard Schmidt or Earnell Lucas? Make your choice on August 14th.

Of all the field of Wisconsin Democrats for Governor: I think that Mahlon Mitchell is the underdog. Can this underdog be the man? And oh, Wisconsin never had a black governor in its 170 year history!

Why is Sheriff David Clarke still talking on Twitter? Oops, I’m sorry FORMER SHERIFF David Clarke!

Is the time for Scott Walker up? Is this is the end?

For the Fourth of July, should many design a shirt that has “The Struggle Continues” draped in Red, White and Blue? You designers need to be ready now.

So I’m reading about this extended warranty about CarShield. I like many others are tired to pay high costs in car repairs in all. Is this CarShield thing a real good deal to have? I need answers. Real answers!

For my Pride Readers: How is your Pride month doing? Now for those wondering, Stephen’s Spot on this WordPress does NOT discriminate against anyone based on race, creed, class, sexual orientations, etc.

Class of 2018, congrats. Now what? Expect a blog letter!

During the Pridefest weekend in Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson had the “Ride with Pride“. You know Harley attracts all kinds of folks, right? Even the LGBTQIA folks.

Should the Milwaukee Police Department go back and hand out Baseball Cards like they did back in the 80’s? Way before you Millennials and Gen Z folks.

Final overall question before I ask about the Dads: Has the Golden State Warriors whom just now won a back to back championship over the Cavs is considered a “Dynasty?” If you win more Championships in lets say 4 years in a row, then you can call yourself a Dynasty. Not yet, Dub Nation! Even though you got stock of weapons. Just saying.

Now: this is for all the fathers. Ladies chill out. Don’t say a word!

How many Fathers didn’t have a father go to, became a father to go to?

What is the main reason why Father’s Day is so less than Mother’s Day when it comes to church?

My father mattered. Anyone else’s father mattered when they were living? How do we continue to legacy on the real tip without having the hassle of breaking traditions? And knowing each other besides going to Reunions and FUNERALS?! That seems to be the theme for generations. It’s time to break the cycle! Seriously.

For the first time fathers: how will you really support the toughest job of backing your son or daughter?

Since when Target had the “Baby Daddy” cards out? Did I miss it? Nah, Pass.

For the seasoned vets of fathers: you know the game. Is there a father to be that you are training right now to be a great dad?

For us who don’t have children and are men and not fathers: How can we support the kids in the community with the families that need the extra assistance? Always remember, it takes a village!

For us the families that never had an experience of growing up without a father, how have our Uncles, Grandfathers, Older Cousins whom are Dads, still play a role in getting that ultimate objective in life?

I dare to ask: why there are moms “now just blaring the thought” of seeing Father’s Day Cards for Mothers? Like in 2011 in Walgreens!

For the fathers whom are behind prison bars: I know that this is a hard question to ask, but do you really have the heart to see your kids?

For the fathers that have been missing for over 20 plus years from your kids, why did you leave them?!

For the fathers that have been reformed and out of jail, was the lessons learned for the better?

For the fathers that are legendary, are you inspiring the next era to step up?

For the fathers that are still in the fight and hard working, are you quitting or not? Do you still have the fortitude?

And for the families of fathers that keep it real: what is next?

On the real tip though, listen up:

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers!

Happy Father’s Day to the fathers who read my blog.

Happy Father’s Day to the fathers who are changing lives.

Happy Father’s Day to the fathers who are staying in the fight!

Happy Father’s Day to the fathers whom are missed and remembered EVERYDAY!

Happy Father’s Day to the fathers who are reclaiming their time. RECLAIM YOUR TIME DADS!

Happy Father’s Day to the fathers who aren’t always living foul!

To the non-Fathers that take care of folks on the fly, (like Godfathers) even though that this day is not really for you, but you act upon on being a father in general!

Lastly, even though it’s Father’s Day, don’t single out the Mothers that support. Please don’t. All Fathers Matter! And the Mothers (especially today’s MOTHERS) need to recognize it. Mothers you had your day last month. But today: Happy Father’s Day!


This is an excerpt that is from the Stephen’s Spot Facebook Page. Yesterday, the Milwaukee Police Department lost an Officer that was on duty during a high pursuit of a suspect driver. The department is shocked by this incident as well as the family.

SSP_MemorialTribute_MPD

No matter how you feel about the Police in general, we know that the supporters are in full force in all. BUT the officer, Charles Irvine, Jr. whom has passed on, had a family and also was in pursuit of a fast paced driver, at age 23.

We in the community mourn the loss of this officer. And also, we also have mixed feelings about the police in terms of brutality, racism, crimes, etc. But not today. Be in prayer for the family of this officer.

The last time an active officer was killed in the line of duty in Milwaukee: 1996 and it was Wendolyn O. Tanner.

Sidenote: The Funeral of the late officer is being planned at this time. This has definitely rocked the core of the Milwaukee Police Department, and the driver that the cops were chasing has been caught. It was a reckless driver that is one of many that the police is still on the hunt to arrest and investigate in all areas. Like many in the community I choose not to celebrate harshly about this officer’s life. No I do not! Again, we all have mixed feelings about the police, especially if you are Black! We know what it is. We say: Black Lives Matter, but the supporters spun it and came out with “Blue Lives Matter.” That moniker is not flying today. Yes, his life mattered. Not because he was a cop, but he had a family to support. Officer Irvine came in at age 19 as a Police Aide for the City of Milwaukee and 2 1/2 years later, he was a cop for the city. Think about the times when we were 23. For him: his life was just getting started, but cut short.

Again: whether you like the police or not. Or if you back the badge or not back it up, but know this: the family is in shock. They lost someone close to them.


This is not a drill. Matter of fact it’s a breaking news that many are now waking up to on Social Media.

For many years, at least 5 years, I have been asking and blogging about this question:

Is Milwaukee ready to go through another missing element of African World Festival, AGAIN? You really can’t have a “City of Festivals” without black folks!

And this one:

Now the flip side of this, I know Milwaukee is known as the “City of Festivals” but how does that equate? How does the other festivals get crazy paid per say, and African World Festival gets chewed out?

Well there is some news to this. A former Summerfest Marketing Executive, of the name Patrice Harris is the new mastermind/creator behind the making of this festival. And yes, she knows Summerfest!

The news hit the city today, on the same day that the Milwaukee Common Council voted to have a section of 4th Street between Capitol Drive and St. Paul Avenue to be renamed “Vel R. Phillips Ave.” Named after the late Milwaukee Alderwoman whom recently passed on.

Black Arts Fest MKE is a new thing that is coming up so I guess that everyone in the 40% of Black Milwaukee better stand in line now to back this up.

Oh, check the website: http://blackartsfestmke.com/

It may not be African World Festival, or Afro Fest, and it’s a one day festival. But let’s hope this can grow and be supported promptly like the predecessors. Even also, better! And like later on, I’ll give my take on it and what it can be a new spark for the black community in the city. Wait until August!

 

 

 


Call it another exclusive.

Since 2016, the Milwaukee Public Schools has been doing an intuitive of a thing called Rethinking High Schools. Part of this is engaging a group of folks that know the feeling of that previous work, the Alumni.

Us Alumni in the MPS world have been long forgotten in terms of the Students, Staff and Parents whom seem to be the bulk of Milwaukee’s largest school district. In 2015, there was a meeting at my old high school about this intuitive, and it was good to see the various ideas then to flow. But until 2016, as we knew, that changed a step further. It changed with the first MPS Alumni Reunion in which many of the MPS High School attended the Bradley Center and greeted by the dignitaries, and even Mayor Tom Barrett.

From there, we even had a Alumni Summit in discussing about our Alumni Associations and various ways to reach out. Plus even we discussed about the name changes of the schools, such as why John Marshall High School became “Morse*Marshall” and the reasons behind it. Not a very good one by the way. Even we discussed about those wanting to start an Alumni Association or Foundation that involves commitment from those that want to keep them open and active. We also had networking series events, Alumni luncheons/picnics as well as Panel Questions/Answers at the MPS Headquarters.

That was in the first two years since the idea was launched. And it worked.

Callout: Now the question is: why does this matter? Why now this idea? And also why didn’t we didn’t get this treatment when we were coming up in MPS?

This should matter to a point that the MPS Alumni Forever Family is part of the community. We are in our careers, families, activities and yes we do hold our titles to a prompt thought. We have been long forgotten in other means, but I think it’s time to celebrate us no matter where we are.

Why now this idea, you asked? Again it’s about us. If we can celebrate our kids and parents of the Milwaukee Public Schools, as well as teachers, principals, staff workers, recreation in all, even other schools; this also SHOULD include the Alumni. Many of us whom are alums probably have connections to MPS in some point based on experience, lessons and also support. As former students.

And why didn’t we get this treatment when we were coming up? Easy answer. It was never thought about. It was never indicated to the times that we had those great times in High School and frankly it was never invented the thought that MPS should create an Alumni Group for every alum that has graduated from Milwaukee’s largest school district.

I mean if the Colleges and Universities can do this, and they do this a lot as we know based on the mailings, emails, Social Media Posts in all, why not Milwaukee Public Schools? I mean we got successful alums in medicine, politics, journalism, science, architecture, business ownership, ministry, and many more areas of work we are currently in. We know this very well.

And I have to say that yes, MPS has problems. MPS has issues. And MPS has concerns with the Teachers, Staff Workers and most of all: our Kids! As an alum of the district, yes I recalled that MPS had concerns about Me. But however as I looked back, even though I had to highs and lows from grades to activities. And a one time suspension from fighting of being provoked and bullied in High School. Overall, I survived being a Milwaukee Public School Student. And I’m sure that many had survived that as well. The thing is many forget that yes, there are good things that MPS provides. And there are bad things. Just like the real world. Do I think about the bad things about the District? All the time. But I also remember the good as well.

So what can I expect at this new year of the Milwaukee Public Schools Alumni thing? What can I expect this year overall even more?

First I think that the idea must flow and continue into every single Milwaukee Public High School Alumni Association and Foundation. Period. They are the foundation for the MPS Alumni and hopefully they are the way to get those whom are engaged, stay engaged.

Second, the younger alumni must work! Like every group from Churches to Organized companies, even Alumni groups must need to have young folks. This is an Achilles Heel in all groups. If we want groups to survive, it’s the need for the younger alums to continue. Now I heard they don’t do Alumni Council Meetings, or be at a Reunion full of older folks. But what do they really want to see? They are MPS Alumni folks too and they need to be at the table voicing their ideas to support. For you younger MPS Alums between 18-35, we need to hear you. We know this is not your thing, but still we need to hear what you have to say. Seriously. Fill us in! There was talks about an idea of having their own Reunion Get Together. Have them! Organize it. But the seasoned vets would like to stop by and give you some tips to keep the Alumni ship going. Hear them out of respect.

And also: this needs to be said, if you say you would to come out and do this and that, and don’t put in the work, that is a problem! Regarding reunions, events and planning. Take notes, young Alumni!

Back in 2011 when my old high school was about to turn the golden age of 50, I was selected to be a new board member at 34 years old. And the date: May 2nd, 2011. 7 years to the date. I’ve worked my way up the ladder and I’m still learning. Plus I serve as a treasurer. I take pics and go to my 90’s reunions and share those whom are not familiar with that decade to give them some insight of who we are and what we did. And here is the kicker, for a while, my Alma Mater’s Alumni group never had anyone from the 1990’s to represent as a board member. But that changed in 2011 when I joined. Again, at 34 years old. And I’m from the Class of 1995. Go figure.

Now for all those that escaped from Wisconsin to go to Texas, Georgia, Illinois, California, New York, Tennessee, or even overseas. If you’re just now looking at this, and still asking what this is, and you are living in your new digs, and still are just wondering what this is: yes you’re missing out! But you can still support your alumni groups.

If I were one of you, I would go to this site right now: www.mpsalumnihub.com

This is the website for the MPS Alumni that has all the information in regarding the reunions, profiles, Alumni Directory, and other events.

Another is social media. If you haven’t killed your Facebook Page or Twitter handles you should be following them via MPS. Including Instagram.

Plus since many in the Alumni has a JOB, and likes to DONATE, this is an idea from one of my uncles who is an MPS Alum: “If I don’t come, I will donate!” I urge you the transplants of the MPS Alumni (as well as living in the state) to donate to the MPS Foundation or even donate to your Alumni Associations/Foundations to whatever area of the school you want. For example, if I lived let’s say…..Utah, and I’m just now reading about the MPS Alumni stuff and I can’t make it to a Networking event, or the Alumni Reunion due to distance in all, I would EXTREMELY donate to the cause of music of my Alma Mater or MPS! And I remember being in Band Classes back in the day. I’ll either send in a check or pay online. Why is that so hard? It’s not! You pay your bills online in all, right? You tithe online to your church, right? Why not this?

Folks, newsflash: It’s not rocket science.

One of the things about the ongoing suggestions that if you are going to be apart of this, it needs to be pushed and examined.

Pushed as to a point to let those know of what is going on in their Alma Maters. I’ll bet many others are asking, “How is the school now after 30 years since I’ve been gone?” Or “Does the school do drill squads, or music?” “Does it still have a football team?” Or, how can we the Alumni support this cause of Education of the school? We know this. We hear it all the time!

Examined as an example to preview and attempt to take part in some sort or many capacity. Now a days, when folks hear about certain events, or groups, they need to see it. Show the receipts, as the young folks would say. If a person that is interested in their Alma Mater Alumni Committee, and/or the MPS Alumni Hub to support or partake, I think he or she needs to see what’s going on. I think they need to ask questions, get information about the status of the Alumni Groups, even if they never heard of one. I think all Alumni Groups needs to have meetings, specifically interest meetings with the Alums to get a clarity of who they are dealing with. From the Chairperson, President on down. They need to see faces, and shake hands. And yes, Skyping.

They also need to go out into the community, particularly the school’s community to the events or meetings and support ideas of fundraising or services. If it’s for a Football Team, or a Jazz Ensemble it does not matter. Even if it’s a bake sale or a Open House, go and do it. Let them know that you (the Alumni) are here to donate your time and money to support this cause. The faces will lit up! Trust me. Many schools do have websites, and again Social Media Pages. Feel free to explore them! If they have an alumni page online, check that out also! If they have an Alumni Badge Lapel or shirt, wear that everywhere you go! Also let the future Alums know at their graduation ceremonies, and grad parties!

Even if you hear about a class reunion or another some sort of get together announcement, see if you can attend and get a table for the Alumni Association.

*Sidenote: Alumni Associations/Foundations, you might want to update your online pages to keep current of the news and contacts. JUST A THOUGHT!!!!!!!!

This is an also an idea: If you are an MPS Alum that is out of state, and the MPS Alumni Reunion is going on, take a pic of yourself with the school colors/MPS Alumni Lapel Pin. Let them know you represent the school district that gave you your first break! And it doesn’t matter where you are working. Even send a video message!

If you are in the working world and a MPS Alumni Member, guess what? You can network! You might want to do that to keep potential and future alums engaged in the company you are working in. Colleges do it all the dang time! Even network with clubs and organizations like Fraternities and Sororities. Veterans Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Elk Clubs, American Legion Family, Toastmasters, and more. How many of the MPS Alumni are in these organizations? And still active?

*Second Sidenote: If you are asking about a milestone reunion or a ideal reunion, and heard nothing back about it, you need to organize and also get assistance from the Alumni Association/Foundation. That goes for everyone!

Finally as I close, with the 3rd Annual MPS Alumni Reunion is coming up on Mother’s Day Weekend, I hope that the ideas would continue to flow beyond the event. I know that there will be pics taken and memories added. And contacts made. However, after the event is over, I also hope that the event would encourage others who have not yet came out once to actually try. This is still a young event, but eventually it will grow and be successful. And it has to start with the foundation of us Alumni to begin the engagement!

Plus I’ll save a piece for the Class of 2018 after they graduate!


Yesterday in Milwaukee, our long waited talk about the Milwaukee Streetcar is over. The vehicle came in from Pennsylvania via a truck and it was parked downtown near the Post Office at around 11:30am . And yes, the interest “per se” was building due to a fight that lasted for over 2 decades in an idea to connect means of transportation in the city. It really started with former Mayor John Norquist.

Just to think, as of the newslinks, it’s been 60 years this month of March since a Streetcar last appeared in Milwaukee, and it’s here. Many of us under 60 years old only saw Milwaukee Streetcars in museums, books, displays of the past when Milwaukee was coming up. And yes after that, the buses came in for MCTS.

Now after all the debate, after all the madness, after all the protesting, after all the ideas that Potawatomi Hotel & Casino would pay for the first year and nicknamed the vehicle “The Hop” if you will, and many others: even my “letter” to the City of Milwaukee Common Council of making that big decision on this blog of the need of jobs in the city, NOW IT’S HERE! Lock it up with an iron clad and let it operate. And speaking of that, The Streetcar needs folks to work!

Now since it’s here, word is that the testing will continue for the rest of the year to make sure that it’s in place starting in April. We just can’t ride the thing out of the gate. And yes of course the naysayers will have their continued say. But like many things: it will all come around in time. In my view.

The Streetcar or The Hop may seem controversial, but like the book by Eric Bischoff which it titled promptly to a point: “Controversy Creates Cash.”

So let’s give this thing a chance. After all, is this a country of opportunity? Plus this should be some sort of small victory in Wisconsin after the blown coverage of the High Speed Rail being faulted by Scott Walker.

Follow the continued momentum via the streetcar website: https://www.themilwaukeestreetcar.com/

There will be more commentary to come.


Well it’s about that time to go to the dance floor of the first three way of 2018. And you know what time it is. For those who are just reading this for the first time I do a “three way dance” on this blog in which I summarize three different stories into one. That’s a three way. For this, I’m commenting about the retirement of Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, the recent crap out of H&M, and a local radio comments about “being church hurt.”

First on the dance card: The retirement of Chief Ed Flynn.

If those in Milwaukee haven’t heard: the first announcement of a retirement of 2018 has been declared that Ed Flynn is stepping down as police chief of the city. Just to think that 10 years ago this month of January,  he came in as an outsider to Milwaukee in which Mayor Barrett wanted a police chief to make a difference. And yes, it wasn’t an easy search. But it paid off. Ed Flynn was sent to Milwaukee from Massachusetts at a time that the community and citizens were deeply concerned. They were concerned about out of control crime, tension, happenstance, and the ability of one word: trust.  There were other concerns but to me that was a concern that many feared in Milwaukee. The crackdown on fear in the city was heavy issue to tackle. But it was faced in a new way. Ed Flynn had brought in new ideas since his first day on the job. Again, this was 10 years ago.

In the past decade, under Chief Ed Flynn in the Milwaukee Police Department:

Technology – the birth of CompStat and the Greater Milwaukee Committee with new ideas of data driven.

Crime Analyst Program

Early Intervention Program

Opioid Task Force

OMAP – Office Management Analyst and Planning

Neighborhood Task Force

Crisis intervention team

ShotSpotter

Homeless Outreach team

Implement of the  Digital Radio System

Creation of the Salvation Army Chaplaincy Program

Body Camera Programs

Social Media

Town Hall Meetings with President Barack Obama and Steve Harvey

Awarded over 1600 medals of heroism

He is the 5th Police Chief since the Harold Brier Days serving longer than any of the previous predecessors behind the badge. And with the announcement of his retirement, Chief Flynn along with the 10 years of policing in Milwaukee, he has accomplished 40 years overall with Law Enforcement.

This is just a few examples of what the Milwaukee Police Department had experienced under the “Ed Flynn Era of Change”. However, there are those in Milwaukee felt that the Chief didn’t do enough to curb the violence of Milwaukee’s concern. There are those whom are going to say that oh, Chief Flynn didn’t do crap because of the corruption of certain cops harassing black people in Milwaukee. It’s a common thing, ask the activist whom are out in the funk everyday. Yes, there were hits and misses. The Chief knows this as do we. Chief Ed Flynn will remain on the desk until February 16th in which he’ll return to the east coast with his family.

Second Dance:  The Mess of H&M.

Oh, let me go in on the first mess of 2018.

This story though, was so crazy. A black child on the UK version of the H&M Website is posed with a green hoodie stating the words: “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” We looked at that site and it was lit with hate and unfavorable examples of why racism is not just an American problem, but more of a INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT! As the story also went on, the mother of the boy (whom is black) went on the social media and act is if that it’s nothing. And oh, the words “get over it” was used. When I hear the words “Get Over It” it usually comes from White Folks on Black Folks regarding slavery. Now you have a black woman in a different country telling us black folks who see her son in a hoodie with a coded message telling us to get over it. I mean what year is this again? This maybe 2018 and we just got here on the 18 train, but the fact of the matter is that, the more things change the more things remain the same.  Sorry Millennials: that is everyday life! This is like the house negro and field negro comments that Malcolm X often said. Yeah, we know what he said. The mother said also she wanted the money. Those dollar signs. When that picture again went viral, so did those whom were celebrities like Diddy whom wanted to sign the boy a modeling contract based on this matter. Remember Rachel Dolezal? Me neither. She made a picture that had a different message on it. Other folks redesigned the picture adding two crowns to signify the pride of the young boy being a future king.  Now why I’m talking about this: Why is H&M is distracting us from the real issues of the world and merely our country? When we wake up in the morning, reading the news, social media, and all we talk about the news with distractions! We’ve been distracting by the news for weeks, months, years, era, generations, conflicts, etc. That’s been a problem since day one! Are we surprised by this? Yes and no.  And this mother whom ever she is must realize that one day when another child comes up and puts on a shirt, pants or what ever that has some coded message per say that many will disagree with, they will talk! And again the deep discussions will reignite the reasons why. No matter if you’re in America, the UK, Africa, or ANY COUNTRY that deals with racism every day!

Final Dance on the Card: Being Church Hurt

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 Church 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 service, 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.

 

 

 


There are a lot of observers who think they know what they are talking about, and those that don’t. And apparently there is a guy in Madison, Wisconsin who has been added to the list about when it comes to the flag, the anthem and also the protests. That person is Governor Scott Walker. Who doesn’t know much because due to him being a dropout.

Earlier today, this is what he thinks about the protests of the flag and anthem via the Journal Sentinel:

“My request is simple: stand for the American flag and the national anthem out of respect for those who risk their lives for our freedoms, and then take a stand against domestic violence to keep American families safe,” Walker said. “That’s something we can all agree on, and that just might help the NFL reunite with many of its devoted fans.”

Also in the Madison Times, he mentioned this statement to NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell: ,” but “disrespecting our flag, and the men and women who have fought to protect and defend our country, is not American in the slightest.”

Let me stop right here. First of all, does governor numb nuts actually just heard himself? How is this statement in his case is disrespecting the country in terms of the protests of the injustice? Let me put this like real work in the classroom in which obviously he DROPPED OUT! This is not about the flag. This is not about the anthem and this is not about the armed forces and veterans! I had folks in my family (MY BLACK FAMILY) that fought and served under the same flag that many decorate every American patrotic holiday every year! Since when Scott Walker actually cares about black people anyway? I know I might get less likes on this, but Walker doesn’t seem to care about black folks in the areas he doesn’t care in which folks of color are dying unceremoniously by the police. If his sons were black and were driving in a nice neighborhood and a cop pulls them over with the guns drawn, what will be his reaction? Or trying to get a job with a well known company and getting dissed all because of their skin color. What will be the reaction? Oh getting dissed is a crime huh?

Obviously Walker thinks he knows, but he doesn’t. When was the last time he got to visit or talk to Wisconsin African-Americans about the concerns of the Anthem Protest in which started by former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Oh he’s the same Colin that was born in Milwaukee. The same Colin that torched the Packers twice to get to the SuperBowl. And the same Colin that is trying to get a job in the NFL again in his words of being blackballed by the league. Walker fans, stop being stupid. You and like the current President of 45land are just way out of bounds. You think that the NFL Players are hating on the Anthem and Flag? This is way bigger than this! It’s about injustice against African-Americans that we know very well. Ranging from Racism to Police Brutality. Again, when was the last time Scott Walker mentioned this? When was the last time he reached out to those same black pastors or black supporters who labeled them as being his black friends?! Oh let me go there! That white supremacy is a deadly drug! Oh and course when was the last time he actually helped out IN the Black Community on jobs, healthcare, education, financial and even transportation? It’s ironic that he has a slogan called “Open For Business” while not giving a darn about the black community.

Of course we stand up against Domestic Violence. Duh!!!!! Has he visited The Asha Project in Milwaukee? Which is a black owned organization? We know that the answer is no. But what is he doing about curbing violence against black folks in Wisconsin in which there are approximately 8% African-Americans living in the state!

Everyone who feels Walker is utterly clueless about this subject: kneel. Kneel at the Capitol. Kneel where he makes his functions. Kneel at his house in Wauwatosa. Kneel at the mansion in Dane County. And I dare kneel at his office in the State Capitol. If this dropout needs an education on why all this kneeling is common, and the reasons behind it, take freaking notes!

Even if you still have a high school diploma and no college degree and a dropout!

Grow up, Scott.


It’s time for a Three Way Dance. Finally I’ll get to talk about that black dude that showed up at 45’s rally in Arizona. Remember that recall in Milwaukee against Tom Barrett? And for my non-churched folks who think churches aren’t doing jack for the hurricane victims, think again.

First Dance: Ok, who is this Michael The Blackman?

I’ll bet many of us were asking that recently. If many were brave enough to catch a clip about this dude showing up at a 45land Rally in Arizona holding a sign says “Blacks for Trump” I’m asking who let this dude in the building? Did ol Donnie paid him to show up? I’m looking at this footage with the surrounding of all those white folks mostly and the thing is why is that black dude in the crowd?!

Speaking of that, I peeped this dude’s website recently. He’s got a website that is so controversial like it’s crazy. Anyone seen this? It’s called Gods2.com. On his site, he’s got all of this “self-proclaimed” bible theories about religion and other mess that it’s flat out ridiculous. He believes (according to his website) that the Cherokee Indians were like the KKK and tie them with the Democrats. Another in the head line that he believes that Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican which he was NOT! He also believes that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had some controversial angles, and many other pro Republican type scenarios for support. Even posing with the likes of Sean Hannity and the Tea Party. Many others were just flat out ridiculous! Oh he’s been backing the Red Party since 1994. He’s got other names like Maurice Symonette and had been in a cult previously. Let me save my vision here.This guy is nuts. I’m sorry. After looking at his “website” for who he is I’ll bet the words “messed up in the head” comes to mind. And it does! And you wonder why that is. And I hate to say that his Bible Game is totally messed up!

Second Dance: Milwaukee, I told you so!

That so-called recall against Mayor Tom Barrett by the “Save Our City Milwaukee Can’t Wait” group. The same group that had the Allen Jansen dude that lead the campaign and had also Darryl Farmer (aka King Rick) from the Black Panthers to be a Treasurer in all. Yeah that group. They according to this blog update had about 10,000 signatures to capture to get the recall, but however according the rules of the Election Commission, they were supposed to get at least 50,000 signatures within the 60 day deadline. Well guess what: THEY FAILED!!!!!

There was no substance in this recall. NONE. I didn’t see them around the city when the festivals were happening. I didn’t see them at the parks, the neighborhood block parties, churches, Summerfest. NONE AT ALL. Where were they? Now rumors has it that they were based in the Bay View Area. But if that’s the case, that was a mistake. If they were just based from that or their intent to get it out in all, they fumbled the ball. I mean seriously, where were the base? And that’s why local recalls just flop. If they were mad serious, that recall thing were to be out in full force, but NOPE! Not a chance. One of the major keys of this so-called recall was the Milwaukee Streetcar. By the way, the streetcar idea is still rolling. And recently, our “GOP Friends” in Madison had kind of goofed up with the Transporation Infanstrcutre Financial Area. One of our freeways near the Northside of Milwaukee is still under constrction and is behind! NOT COOL, Wisconsin GOP! And also they wouldn’t offer any pull per se with the Milwaukee Streetcar with additional funds. So why the hate about the Milwaukee Streetcar you ask? POLITICS. You know what, google the Kenosha Streetcar. Really do that. And the thing is there is no hate about the Kenosha Streetcar, but hate on the Milwaukee Streetcar. Can anyone say hypocrites in politics? Most definitely, it is! And I must add, a democrat here in Milwaukee has a hate on this as well. Find him. Hint: he’s an Alderman.

And part of that is, the hate of them is on Milwaukee. The city is the leading engine for the whole state depending on the economics. Mostly that. So we got some lawmakers and Political GOP Hypocrites in our state that favor one thing and spread hypocritcal issues on many which includes minorities. This includes Scott Walker! Yep, I said it! Can anyone say “continued ideals for white supremacy?”

Even us as African Americans whom are at the 6-8 percent living in Wisconsin. Heard that before!

Third and last card: Stop sleeping on UMCOR!

For many of us who are still think that the American Red Cross is the only thing that is helpful, (not to disrespect them) don’t assume that. If you have not heard of UMCOR before I assume that:

A) You’re not United Methodist and don’t know jack about it.

B)You are United Methodist that just heard about it by googling

C) You think that ALL Churches don’t always donate to the cause based on lopsided opinions or experience. or;

D)All of the Above or

E)Any of the choices.

For those who are wondering, what is this UMCOR? What is it? UMCOR stands for United Methodist Committee on Relief. This organization is a church organization that has been in the game of support since 1940. It started out as a refugee support during the Second World War. The United Methodist Church has this reputation that when disaster strikes in any part of the world, The UMC is on point with UMCOR. If you don’t know what it is, click on the link to learn about it.

Now why I am talking about UMCOR? Why not the others? Well let me say this: UMCOR is part of my denomination, the United Methodist Church. And every United Methodist Church should know about UMCOR in a connectional sense of support. This is not just local support, but this is world wide support. There are United Methodist Churches in the globe that has this direct connection with UMCOR. And many are asking, well why haven’t I heard this before? Ummmmm…..many of you need to read the answers above! Now the next question is, what kinds of support or supplies does UMCOR do? What about the donations?

As far as support: from the website it states:

UMCOR helps annual conferences…

  • Prepare for disasters. UMCOR works cooperatively with annual conferences in the event of an emergency and to prepare for emergencies. We work through the disaster response coordinator to provide training in all aspects of disaster response. Call your conference office to find out who is your disaster response coordinator.
  • Respond to disasters. UMCOR always responds to emergencies at the invitation of and through the affected Annual Conference. In addition to providing training, UMCOR offers technical assistance and support through a highly trained network of staff, consultants, and experienced volunteers to help annual conferences respond to all phases of a disaster.
  • Recover from disasters. UMCOR can send emergency grants immediately to fund start-up relief activities. UMCOR also supports long-term recovery ministries through the provision of grants, planning, technical assistance, and training, and helps coordinate volunteers. All requests for assistance are received through the conference disaster coordinator.

For training: According to the website, UMCOR offers a wide range of disaster readiness and response training. See our list of training programs and calendar for more information.

*As an example, UMCOR hosted a Disaster Training session in the Caribbean last year in 2016. Read about this of what they went through.

For the financial donation: UMCOR uses 100% of the proceeds given to the needs mostly.

Types of Supplies: UMCOR assembles Relief Supply Kids for the most needed – Cleaning, Hygiene and School Kits. Check it out here.

So guess what? UMCOR is the real deal. Like I said, you probably have donated to the American Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army or many other organizations that many know. Nothing wrong with that. But the fact of matter is UMCOR is being slept on. And it’s a church organization that is on the move since 1940. I highly suggest that every UNITED METHODIST CHURCH need to have the info on UMCOR in your church bulletins, announcements, Social Media Pages, and others about this. And for you non-members or former church goers that got mad and expressing your liberties like crazy online like Facebook, look: you have had your message clear. But don’t EVER overshadow the thought that you got churches that are doing this through connections with overall objectives. And I should remind you: that not all are about the money, or being “highly christian” and lowly on you. We are not perfect. And neither are you. So let that sink in. And this is not Joel Osteen stuff here! Just to pass along.

Hate to say it, but it is the truth!

Give back!


Breaking news out of Milwaukee:

He resigned first. Then rescinded. And today August 31st, 2017 the announcement came this afternoon that Sheriff David Clarke announced his resignation and will officially be gone as of 11:59pm.

As proof, here is his letter as described from the County.

Milwaukee County, rejoice! He will be gone!