Archive for the ‘The United Methodist Church’ Category


With the season of spring is coming up and also a thing of St. Patrick’s Day coming up going green, and also we’re just coming off a day or more from International Women’s Day being once again asked by men and some women of the previous and upcoming International Men’s Day. And the same GOP attacking High School Students after the Parkland School Shooting. Plus many stupid stuff out of the 45 land Trump. I’m scratching my head again, let’s go!

For the Misguided Women and the ongoing Whining Gents had to ask the International Men’s Day question: why is that important to you?

And seriously women, did I hear that some of you won’t celebrate your International day until you celebrate a International Men’s Day?

Females: I like you. Can you please the next time you go on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and EXPLAIN the details behind why there is a International Men’s Day?! You claim to know the day more than we do. Just saying! And Google doesn’t save us at times.

So the GOP like to attack high school students and those like Emma Gonzales protesting. How juvenile. Really?

Speaking of our children: In Austin, Texas: why did that young man, who had high hopes of opportunity had his life cut short at 17-years-old?!! Due to a bombed package?

Did Daylight Savings Time really fooled you?

I need to ask this question about International Men’s Day, why is this day is not on the calendar and rectified by the United Nations, like International Women’s Day?

Health officials: is it OK to have Blood Pressure Screenings in Barbershops for Black men who don’t trust doctors?

First KB Toys, now Toys R Us. Why is our Toy stores getting cut?!

The Milwaukee Streetcar is doing the test next week in Milwaukee. Ready for the teaser?

For all of the Non-Black Audience: why are you hating on Black Panther being “too-black?” I don’t get mad at the X-Men being majority too white!

When will the Android Phones get 32 GB’s? Really for AT&T Prepaid Phones?

Black people, did you get called out on St. Patrick’s Day?

This is worth asking: by now, you’re watching March Madness. Has your bracket been busted yet? LOL!

Jordy Nelson didn’t take the pay cut to stay with the Packers. Now, he’s a Raider for 2 years. Why?!!!!

Have the offseason moves for the NFL is really turning heads so far? And of course, Colin Kaepernick is not in a NFL Uniform signed up.

This has been on my mind though: for the United Methodist Church and particularly the United Methodist Men, why the addition of support to the Girl Scouts? Let the United Methodist Women have that.

Should I do a blog story on BET’s Mancave? Get set, gents.

Seriously? What got into Snoop Dogg doing a Gospel Album?

Many of our young folks expressed their concern about the Gun Violence in schools. But there is always that group of folks had to get stupid and say something stupid. Adults, why?

So the younger sister of Dylan Roof had to say something negative on Snapchat and got arrested by bringing in a weapon to school. Is the family on the stuff again?

Speaking of BET’s Mancave: again (and I mean no disrespect) why are you the female audience watching this? I’m sounding kind of old school, but the MEN should watch the Men shows, and the females you watch The View, The Talk, Sister Circle, and any other women’s programing on the screen. Even The Real. I know it’s 2018 and the change in times, but still why? Hint: not all men think the same ladies.

Moving forward: What about those Marquette Golden Eagles though? In the NIT?

When Spring time is here, Wisconsin don’t break out the shorts yet! We know it gets warmer in April, right?

You know already that the 45 leader is crashing and burning with all those vacanies and firings, right?

Black people, we need to be careful about the talk shows should be for another hour or so. The last show was like that and got cancelled was on BET . Remember the show “Don’t Sleep with T.J. Holmes”? Let that sink in.

Who liked the Cobra Kai previews on YouTube?

Last question: with Easter coming up and yes your church will be packed and the Easter Suits will be on point. What is the reason why this holiday and Christmas is like the main reasons folks go to church and other other Sundays don’t count? You know the reasons, don’t lie!

Welcome to Spring, readers.

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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.

 

 

 


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!


Oh yes. Is this mic still on?

Of course it is. Many have now realized that the Lakewood Church in Houston is having lots of company in which those whom are still in need of shelter, clothing, food and many other needs that those are displaced. And Houston, I must say again that many are us in prayer that you will recover and revive your community. And yes many of us don’t know jack about what you’re going through with the flooding from the Hurricane but just assure that many of us got your back with donations, support, inspriration, and many other needs. So yes Houston, we got you.

Now again, it’s time to go back to the thing of hating on the cloth. Pastors. Lots of us already know that the Lakewood Church in Houston, the same church that many of you critics hammered on that wouldn’t open up. And having some claims that it wasn’t flooded. Yeah that one. The same one that opened up and did what they had to do and many folks (non-believers and believers) had to still comment about Osteen not doing it sooner. Look, I don’t know how Lakewood Church operates, and neither do you or I. They don’t operate like the smaller churches like our grandparents and great grandparents went to years ago before many of us were born. Again, WE DON’T KNOW SH*T! We don’t. Stop playing.

I want everyone to view this video clip from Facebook. This minister, Chad E. Brown had a whole lot to say in regarding churches, the concerns, and what many are not saying after the bashing of Joel Osteen. Again, I’m not a fan of his work. But I’m a fair minded person that has to give the other side a chance to respond.

 

Did you hear what he had to say? I’m asking again: did you HEAR what he said? Don’t act like you know. Oh, the phrase he used the words: “Stupid People!” And personally, I don’t blame him. It’s the actions and reactions. The same stuff many that commented on. Oh yes, many of you got guilt written all because of this man’s stance with his church being all closed up. No I am not defending him. What I am defending is something that many of you NEVER commented on: Safety. The first thing you wake up in the morning: Safety. The next thing you do when going to work or school: Safety. The next thing when you take your breaks/lunch or whatever: SAFETY, and BEFORE you go to bed and set your alarm: SAFETY! Now if the idea of Osteen’s church opened up when all the floors were wet in all the folks he would let in would be at risk. Ok, so Osteen said that he could have been more aware ahead of time. He could have. He could have done that idea.

In the winter of 2014 there was an email blast put out on our lists, in regarding severe weather. This was a wind chill weather factor that happened in Wisconsin and at the time, the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church sent us this message:

Weather Precautions Advised; Shelters May Be Needed
Wisconsin needs to be ready for a dangerous blast of arctic air that will be moving into the state on Sunday and persisting through Tuesday. Meteorologists are predicting lows Sunday night of -10 to -25 with wind chills at -40 or lower. Monday, highs will reach only -5 to -15 with wind chills remaining in the -30 to -40 range.

Church leaders, please take a few moments to read over some health and safety tips from the State of Wisconsin here and here. Some churches may be asked to provide shelter to those who may be facing problems during this bout of very severe and dangerous weather. Your local news station will have the most current information on conditions in your area.

In addition, the Sun Prairie Conference Center will be closed on Monday.

This message, again came from the headquarters of the Wisconsin United Methodist Churches in Sun Prairie ahead of the Wind Chill on a Friday BEFORE the weather happened in January of 2014. And yes I remember putting this same message out on Facebook to inform my audience about that yes, some churches were available to be open for those whom want to keep warm and etc. WE WERE WELL INFORMED! And of course there are those who will complain and piss about Churches in general being negative after you survived  4 to 8 years without providing YOUR ideas to the table or to the Pastor. HELLO! No wonder we got some weak minded folks who just left with doing nothing. Oh yes, I’m not talking about those who actually are trying. I’m talking about those who gave up and complain! In my “Church Experience” of 27 years as of this year of 2017, I went through the ups and downs and been criticized in all, BUT I AM STILL THERE doing my part! Now I’m an officer and have a head position of Social Media under the Communications and doing what I like every week. I have been call out for Tweeting in church like every week, but I still do it anyway every time! And I’ve been a employee of the church since 2007 for 10 YEARS! And in the 10 years, I didn’t just work, but I also participated in meetings, took notes, went on field trips for note taking for administrative needs. So yes, I’m doing my part instead of moaning and groaning for doing nothing!

But like the pastor said in the video that he (Pastor Joel Osteen) had a family to look after first to make sure that they are ok. No matter what happens: FAMILY ALWAYS COMES FIRST! Period. No matter what religion or being mixed up with the consciousness being all free thinking and yes you will have the folks will say the mess that you would not believe. I KNOW. And here’s the thing, it’s not just those outside of the church, but also in the church too. Whereas not just on SOCIAL MEDIA, but also away from social media. And not just on the job, but also outside of the work of those long hours for that one paycheck! Somebody say amen! And I don’t care if you went to the same Schools, Colleges, joined up a fraternity, sorority or whatever. There are those who will say whatever in a negative sense no matter what group or organization you belong too. Of course there are those whom are going to say, “Oh you know it’s freedom of speech! It’s the truth, duh!” However, you need to watch your words. That tongue thing is mighty wicked at times.

Now I’ll know that many of you got booted off of someone’s Facebook timeline or lists all because of someone’s wicked feelings about a certain pastor or a certain time when the church was really popping but popping out of order. You left. You posted your feelings of hate and guilt towards others whom probably are still members  who have the faith and beliefs. And also the others gain the defense of the beliefs. They get ticked off and you make the move to remove them all because they follow the likes of Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer,  or Jimmy Swaggart. REALLY?! You had those “good folks”,  on your contacts but you let them go all because of a certain pastor or bishop or evangelist they follow or gain support. Maybe you should have been booted off the Island! I think I know the reason why. Your mind and words say one thing, but your eyes says something else. And that something else is fear. Be honest.

When I was a youth member at the New St. James Community Church UMC (or St. James United Methodist Church) in Milwaukee, we were passing around flyers in the neighborhood of 24th and Keefe for an upcoming summer program. We did all the houses back then and of course some of the neighbors at the time were yelling and nearly cussing at us youth folks all because of informing the neighborhood about the church’s program. This was in the late 80’s or early 90’s. And again I was a youth member. I do remember telling my mother about the incident and it was discussed. Look we were in our youth teen days back then and I wasn’t as defensive minded then. Now I am. What I’m getting at is this, fear and misunderstanding can be a mess. And many folks know it. Even you know it from being messed with on Social Media. I don’t blame the technology set up of Social Media of people’s problems. That rests on the folks who use it in a negative fashion! Just like a credit card. Or the Telephone. And for you hyper consciousness folks even you also can use your tongues of pride in a negative sense too!

I dare someone say that on Facebook. Go ahead. Some will agree, some won’t. But when it comes to these knowledgeable things per se, that will change. And I know that many don’t want to hear it. BUT THEY KNOW IS SO TRUE! Just like when many say, “Oh Joel Osteen should have opened his doors.” False narrative! The truth: he didn’t have the doors closed. Plus also the blame could be put on the City of Houston for not giving that distinct order to get the ball rolling for this. So point the fingers on that.

I did a scenario on Facebook about buildings being inaccessible. And insurance plus liability. And when I was doing the example, it brought me back to the days of my Industrial Management Distance Education Homework Assignments of UW-Stout.  And I shared that same experience of Homework with my Church because there some concerns of Safety Clearances that had to be cleared up from my lessons in the classroom. Many you so-called church experts who lambasted on Facebook need to check yourselves. Go to school and learn Occupational Safety. And even if the building had wet floors, that too can be a health concern hazard. Why? When water seeps into buildings or homes, it’s dirty. We don’t know what might be in that water that made it murky. But after all that water would get pumped out, it leaves behind mold and dirty on the floor, the walls and yes carpets! The smell of that will be harmful and yes THAT is a health risk! And you want the folks to go into the church with that going on? When Pastor Osteen said something about safety concerns, THIS came to mind! Hate the notion all you want but the thing is the building should have been check out before anyone or anybody should have walked in! Church folks: have some of your members take these Occupational Safety classes or workshops at your colleges or universities. I want to suggest this!

Folks: ministers are regular people. We may think we have them to fight all the mess by themselves, but it’s more than just them fighting the system. It takes a team effort to do it. And plus I knew PASTORS (even though it’s United Methodists) that had been bullied, attacked all because of their stance of ministry. And usually the most came from the former members. And some non-members too! And District Superintendents who oversees circuit ministries. I kid you not! And sometimes Bishops don’t even care also at times.

I felt a need to say this more because, coming from a person who has a sibling that went though ministry: I get it. And no I’m not a pastor. And I get what the minister said on the video because in some instances I get what he’s saying also.

Again: if you haven’t done so, donate and pray for Houston. Even if you don’t have family there but hey do it anyway.

 

 


Well folks. The year of 2016 is closing up shop. Hope everyone had a great Holidays of celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa. The year of 2016 will be retired and to be put in the throwback archives for future generations to come. There has been alot of the Good, Bad, and essentially Ugly in this leap year of 2016. The year of the monkey will be back in the cage. As far as the issues: we know what they are.

It’s time, folks. It’s time for the Traditional Stephen’s Spot Annual Review of the 2016! So here we go.

The Good:

Most recently on December 27th, 2016: The Dow  hit 20,000 points. Under Obama’s watch.

The Affordable Care Act got new folks to sign up for the  insurance. Way before someone is about to takeover the White House.

A first for the Obama Crew: Cuba and the US are talking again, plus the Prime Minister of Japan visits the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor for the very first time.

President Obama gives his State of Union Address for the last time.

The Chicago Cubs won something that they haven’t had in a loooooong while: a World Series Title.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won something that was long overdue: A NBA Championship.

For the NFL: Denver Broncos. Superbowl 50.

For the NCAA Men’s Basketball: Villanova beat North Carolina.

For the NCAA’s Women’s Basketball: Connecticut beat Syracuse.

For the 2016 Olympics: Team USA won more medals of 120+ and 1,000 gold medals. Oh, names like Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps (now retired), Simone Manuel, The USA Men’s Squad of Basketball and Women’s Squad of Basketball got the gold yet again, the events of Shooting for the females caught on with gold, a chance to see the US Fencing Squad winning silver and bronze, The Track and Field Women’s Squad hit the reset button and got into the Gold Medal Relays and WON the gold medal,  Shot Put was won gold by a Shot-Put diva named Michelle Carter. Plus US Rugby debuted. And even Wisconsin’s OWN Gwen Jorgensen winning GOLD!

Hamilton still rocks. Even the Mixtape rocks.

Again: Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Empire, The Haves and Haves Nots, If Loving You Is Wrong, and Blackish still dominates.

Underground on WGN: Strong Debut.

And yet, Modern Family continues to roll.

Yet again the Hallmark Christmas specials came back for another year.

Netflix brought back Voltron, but also gave us Luke Cage and Fuller House.

Roots was remade.

Harley And The Davidsons was on Discovery.

The Smithsonian National African American History Museum in Washington DC opens up to the public. And that was LONG OVERDUE!

WWE Raw and Smackdown brought back the brand extension, and of course, Goldberg and Shane McMahon.

Milestones in 2016: The USA celebrated 240 years of life. The Black Panthers, Star Trek, Kwanzaa, the Country Music Awards (featuring Beyoncé and Daddy Lessons)  and the Superbowl all celebrated 50 years. Pearl Harbor marked 75 years since 1941. Black History Month celebrated 90 years.

For us Gen X’ers, Transformers: The Movie turned 30. Learn it, Millennials.

Top Gun also turned 30 years old.

The Simpsons made a TV milestone: 600 episodes! And that 600th Show was a Halloween tradition of the Treehouse of Horror #27.

MTV turned 35 years old, and also launched a channel to play nothing but………..Classic Shows like The Real World.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was revamped. Let’s do the Time Warp Again!

Macy’s (like the Milwaukee Holiday Parade and Tony Bennett’s Age)  Thanksgiving Day Parade turned 90 years.

Toward the end of the year: Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin Eve turned 45.

Nintendo made waves this year: First the company brought back the NES….The NES Classic.  And also the Nintendo Switch which will come out in March of 2017, via their video preview.

North of the Border: The CN tower also celebrated Black History Month (their 40th year)with the Red, the Black, the Green.

For the Movies (my only picks I should say):  

Barbershop: The Next Cut

Angry Birds Movie

The Magnificent Seven

Deadpool

Race

Suicide Squad

Almost Christmas

Ghostbusters

The Birth of the Nation

Office Christmas Party

and When The Bough Breaks, all came out this year.

 

When the BET Awards this year happened the most: The tribute to Prince, and Jesse Williams busted out his Humanitarian Speech. I’ll bet many were listening.

American Idol had it’s final season after 15 years, and the last winner was Trent Harmon.

AT&T and DirecTV have debuted DirecTV Now. Unleash the cord cutters.

For the United Methodist Church: the General Church Conference took place this year in Portland, Oregon. But also featured a Black Lives matter Protest. The United Methodist Church also was represented during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

2016 was also a leap year.

For the music: Well not that much but I’ll take this here:

The Hamilton Mixtape – My Shot

Beyonce/Kendrick Lamar – Freedom

Alicia Keys –  In Common

Bruno Mars – 24k Magic

SATE – What did I do/Warrior

Mary J. Blige – Thick of It

Leela James – Don’t Want You Back

The Rolling Stones (YES THE STONES) – Commit A Crime/Just Your Fool

Eric Benet – Insane and Sunshine.

A Tribe Called Quest – We The People…..

Anderson.Paak- Come Down.

Drake- One Dance.

Bad Rabbits-How High.

Prince – 1000x’s and o’s.

Sharon Jones – Midnight Rider

Charles Bradley – Aint it a Sin

Well known to retire: Kobe Bryant, Charles Woodson, Tim Duncan, Peyton Manning, Kevin Garnett, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Phelps, Ray Allen, Amar’e Stoudamire, Charles Tillman, Makayla Maroney, Kyla Ross. All hung up the jerseys and cleats and unis.

Protests at Standing Rock took place. #NoDAPL!

 
Straight Outta Wisconsin in a good way:

Mayor Tom Barrett, Jason Fields, Lena Taylor all retained and/or won their seats back in office. And yes, Congresswoman Gwen Moore is still the congresswoman.

My Alma Mater, The University of Wisconsin-Stout turned 125.

Several Milwaukeeans created designs of The People’s Flag, and well….here was the winner.

The Milwaukee Streetcar is still on point. To be continued until 2018.

Train maker Talgo made a comeback: in repairing trains in the same area where it was pulled out due to politics.

A Reality TV Show, Milwaukee Blacksmith was filmed here.

The Bublr Bikes still expanded.

The Northwestern Mutual Tower is nearly completed and is expected to open in 2017.

The Wisconsin Job Center had multiple units for jobs that were accessable to various neighnorhoods.

A revived Black Panthers Group debuted in Milwaukee. From protests to celebrating Kwanzaa. Actually called the Revolutionary Black Panther Party. And no, they are NOT A RACIST PARTY!

The Milwaukee Bucks new arena is in full swing of construction. To be continued until the 2017-2018 season.

Attention Black Milwaukeeans and Wisconsinites: We have Outdoor Afro in Milwaukee and Madison.

The Milwaukee Admirals moved out of the Bradley Center, into the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. (For you old heads, the Mecca Arena)

For the black radio stations in Milwaukee: WNOV 860 AM’s “The Forum” surpasses 1000 broadcasts in 4 years in November.

The Community Journal, a African American publication in the city celebrated a milestone of 40 years. Been around since the year I was born: 1976.

The Milwaukee Public Schools welcomed back the Alumni: An Alumni Class Reunion, Summit and Networking event all happened this year. All a first of its 170 years.Expect a handbook for the Alumni to get scholarhips, reunions, and other ideas in 2017.

Speaking of that: Milwaukee turned 170 years old this year.

My Alma Mater, John Marshall High School (or should they say Milwaukee Marshall High School) is 55 years old and the Morse*Marshall name is no more.

And speaking of that: MPS will have a new Calendar to work with next semester.

For the retirees in Milwaukee: Charlie Sykes retired from 620 WTMJ AM radio after 23 years. (Non fans rejoice!) Two of our Milwaukee television personalities: Vince Condella and Katrina Cravy of Fox 6 have also retired this year. Vince Condella worked for 33 years, and Katrina Cravy work for 18 years.

CBS 58 debuted their news coverages via Drones. Yes! Drones are in effect.

Fox 6’s own, Jenna Sachs is now doing Contact 6. Going after the scammers like Katrina Cravy and Tom Hooper.

Milestone: Speaking of Fox 6, it’s 60 years of broadcasting this year.

Our Milwaukee Holiday tradition of the Christmas Parade….er Holiday parade reached its 90th year.

In the response to the shootings of Orlando this past summer: The City of Milwaukee was featured with the LGBT flag at City Hall, and also on June 2nd several monuments and landmarks in Milwaukee were featured in Orange.

For the Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a 4 year deal: A $100 million dollar contract to continue play for the team. Talk about own the future! Plus also signed Thon Maker.

For the Milwaukee Brewers: Eric Thames is in the Keg, and scouting young players to add for the crew to get the wins.

For the Green Bay Packers: In addition to signing Jared Cook at the Tight End position: still surprising the opponents. Ty Montgomery made waves as a Running Back,  Jordy Nelson got his groove back,  Aaron Rodgers is still a baaaaaaad man, Clay Matthews is still the Claymaker, Damarious Randall is getting his game on and of all players improved: Davante Adams! As of right now, the team is tied with Detroit at 9-6. But  previously:

Jacksonville: Win

Minnesota: Loss

Detroit: Won

Then after the Bye week:

Giants: Won

Cowboys: Loss

Bears: Won

Falcons, Titans, Redskins, and Colts: a four game loss

Eagles: Win

Texans: Win

Seahawks: Win

Bears: Win

Vikings: Win

And as usual: The Packers OWN December.  And the new monkier of “Run The Table” is a test thus far.

For the Wisconsin Badgers Football team: Say what you want, they are a good team. Making the record of 10-3 in the AP ranks/regular season. Winning back the Heartland Trophy, retaining the Freedom Trophy, and the Axe for the 13th time. Sorry, Minnesota. And beating LSU at Lambeau which looked good in Red and White.

The players from Bart Houston, Rob Wheelwright, Corey Clement, Leo Musso, Troy Fumilgali, Dare Ogumbawale, the Freshman takeover of Alex Hornibrook, and Bradrick Shaw doing the mix is rebuilding the structure of the Badger Crew.

During the election, Sen. Bernie Sanders bested Hillary Clinton, which Bernie won the state.

Our station Channel 18 has gone back being “Super”. As in Super 18.

 

The Bad in 2016

ISIS or ISIL was a problem. Either in person or online.

Funai rolls out the last of the VCR’s.

Nintendo rolls out the last of Wii U.

Racism happened again in 2016. Yes racism.

Fake Stories SUCKED! Ask Google and Facebook on that.

FBI Director James Comey goes after Hillary Clinton and those darn EMAILS!

The Legion of Police wanted to ban the “Bulletproof Black Lives Matter” shirts from Walmart’s website. Oh, the idiots!

Speaking of Walmart and Amazon: Like them, but give Run DMC their respect when it comes to BRANDING THEIR LOGOS!

Black Lives Matter still was a burning hole in those whom have the hate.

The 2016 Election had the worst turnout. Low Voter Turnout that is.

Baltimore had a shooting.

Hillary Clinton lost the Election and Donald Trump won the White House. Which left the Clinton Machine in stoppage.

Chicago’s murder rate as of this year by the numbers: 750+ Higher than LA or any other city.

Chicago’s Murder per capita: 3.8 (as in earlier in the year).

Donald Trump’s cabinet members will feature those who don’t have enough experience. Even if the name is Linda McMahon. Yes, Vinny Mac’s better half will be serving with Trump.

No he didn’t! BET Founder Robert Johnson believes that African-Americans should give Trump a chance.

 

Straight Outta Wisconsin in a bad way:

Lincoln Hills continued to be an eyesore of concern.

Milwaukee’s murder per capita: 4.0

Carjackings was so bezerk in Milwaukee.

Fighting in Mayfair Mall after Christmas: dumb.

Former Police Officer, Dominiquie Heegan-Brown shot Slyville Smith during the summer of 2016 and a pre lead the unrest in the Sherman Park area.

4 inmates die in a Milwaukee County Jail. Under the watch of Sheriff David Clarke.

Wisconsin is a “red state” because of Donald Trump’s win.

Sad news if you are a Russ Feingold fan: Ron Johnson still retained his seat. And other sad news: Paul Ryan and Reince Preibus are still hanging around.

As many know, that Wisconsin still remains a “worst state for black people.” Whereas Milwaukee still remains the most  “Segregated City” in the United States.

The problem with the Milwaukee water system with lead still remains a hot-button topic that must be addressed every time.

Hillary Clinton DIDN’T show up to Wisconsin to campaign when getting her second wind as trying to become President along with Tim Kaine.

The Wisconsin Badgers didn’t win the Big Ten Championship, after winning the B1G West Title.

Midtown Walmart in Milwaukee: closed. And all I bought was a Straight Outta Compton DVD and Oreo Cookies.

Flat out Ugly in 2016

Been to a Donald Trump Rally? ugly. Matter of fact it was the most ugliest rally that was produced and seen. Even fighting and taking away black folks.

Zika Virus happened.

Samsung discontinued one of their smartphones due to exploding concerns.

Flint Michigan and the water issues.

For you Brits: Brexit.

Michelle Obama was a target of those who called her “ape in heels.” Oh that was ugly!
Russia and the “Election hacks”.

A footage from 2005 on Access Hollywood, over hears the words: “Grab them by the P***y from whom? Donald Trump.

The rise of the Alt-Right. Oh yes, they’re on the spot.

Oh and that DL Hughley mama joke: that was way you guess it.

 

Ugly for Wisconsin:

140. The amount of homicides in Milwaukee in 2016.

Milwaukee had and still has ongoing effects of lead levels in the drinking water.

The Real UW: in which the University of Wisconsin Madison had an ugly side when it came to race. And the hidden stories of why it happens.

UW-Stout student Hussain Alnahdi was killed near the campus on the weekend during the Halloween holiday. A spoiler in the 125th Anniversary.

After the recounts in other states like Wisconsin, Donald Trump is still the victor.

 

We Say Their Names. Those whom left us. 2016 had this moniker of having no chill. Some of the famous fallen left and right.

Abe Vidgoda

Justice Antonin Scalia

Maurice White

George Kennedy

Denise Matthews (aka Vanity)

Nancy Reagan

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

Arnold Palmer

Trey Walker

Garry Shandling

Patty Duke

Merle Haggard

Will Smith (Football Player, New Orleans Saints)

Balls Mahoney

Doris Roberts

John Saunders

Joanie Lauer (aka Chyna)

Muhammad Ali

Lemmy Kilmister

Kimbo Slice

Pat Summit

Garry Marshall

Bill Nunn

Don Marshall

Janet Reno

Robert Vaughn

Ron Glass

John Glenn

Craig Sager

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Debbie Reynolds

Henry Heimlich

Ricky Harris

Florence Henderson

Carrie Fisher

Prince

Alan Thicke

Phife Dawg

Doug Banks

The victims of the Florida Nightclub Shootings.

The victims in Los Angeles shootings.

Thomas Mikal Ford (aka Tommy from “Martin”)

Aldon Sterling

Philando Castile

Gwen Ifill

David Bowie

George Michael

Gene Wilder

Here in Milwaukee, we also lost those who gave the city a voice, and a reminder:

Eric Von -known for being on WNOV, 1290 WMCS, and the health initiative of Brain, Brawn and Body. He was 58.

Slyville Smith – a 23 year old shooting victim that was killed in Milwaukee that also erupted portions of the city that was engulfed in flames.

Za’layia Jenkins was only 4 years old after a bullet struck her, while watching TV.
Colin Demge- well known DJ in the Riverwest Area, died at 33.

Jay Anderson, killed in Wauwatosa by a police officer, At 25 years old.

 

My highlights of the year

And as usual: I want to put on my 2016 moments. I feel a need to say this because I’m hoping to have a year of better opportunities. 2016 was a year of milestones for me in this order:

20- the amount of years that I am my Church’s techie. I started out running the church sound system in 1996, and worked up to taking photos, and social media. The proper name is Commutations Chairperson and I was awarded an appreciation award for what I still do!

10 – the amount of years that I celebrated as an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Plus serving as a Election Inspector for the City of Milwaukee. All since 2006.

5 – the half milestone that I served as a board member for the John Marshall High School Alumni Association. Since 2011.

And yes, I turned 40 on December 5th.

In addition: I was the Official Photographer for the 46th NCJ-BMCR Jurisdiction Meeting in Milwaukee. And had networking implications of course.

Plus adding on another board title for a scholarship committee here in Milwaukee.

Sidenote: Oh I didn’t noticed this but, I appreciate the 20,275 views on my blog. This is great, BUT: the “same old reading stuff” bubbles must be busted in 2017!  I will find a way to do it, or maybe not. We’ll see.


I was going to wait after the Olympics to blog again. But the reason for this, the Northside of Milwaukee was up in total anger with fires and tension. And to connect with social media for those of where to go and meetup and havoc. How stupid.

I had to break away from watching the Olympics in which was a historical performance, to see the ironic tension of looting, fires, deep tension and many other concerns that plagued this city. 44th and Auer is where the shootings started. A 23 year old was shot and killed in the view of the Milwaukee Police Department. And yes after that, all hell broke loose. And a weapon was stolen with 23 shots rang out. And bricks being thrown.

The hell that broke loose, also continued with bus shelters, and street lights near Sherman and Auer were damaged. The BP Gas Station in the same area where a protest happened a month ago: burned. Right near Sherman Park. Further blocks away, more fires happened at a Jet Beauty Store near 35th and Burleigh. Also a O’Reilly Auto Parts in the same area, engulfed in flames. Nearby, a BMO Harris Bank right near my old Middle School had smoke issues in the building . All of this many feel that the black community has not had no love. And the thing is, it’s a warning sign.

 

Now I know that many had to go in about Milwaukee in which like comparing this riot to a championship win. Or there are those who don’t care about the city and having this shrugging shoulders mixed with pinned up frustrating matters.For all those who think have the answers and are acting foolish, SIT DOWN and Shut up! Clearly those don’t have all the answers. I don’t give a care if you transplanted to Texas or Atlanta or the East Coast, or the West Coast or a well known international region, you’re living there now. But I’ll bet none of you never actually really care about this city known as Milwaukee!

If so, PROVE ME WRONG! Send a long distance donation to your old schools and charitable functions you left behind.

Many of you have this noting about “oh well that’s Milwaukee for you when the violence happens.” Really?! Is that what those think?  Seriously? All you have to do is go on Twitter, Facebook in all and with the negative remarks on the likes of CNN commenters saying “yeah tear down that stuff, you bunch of hoodlums!” If many of you so-called Americans say that, I consider that being unpatriotic! And many folks know it!

Now for those of us here in Milwaukee. Those of us who work, pay our taxes, contribute to our causes, we need to rise more. We need to rise up like a freaking phoenix. We can have the clergy coming out, the community leaders, the fraternity, the sorority, the employed, the unemployed, the underemployed,the neighbor that looks out, the neighborhood leaders, the hardcore activist, the conscious, the not so-conscious, the in between, the Introverted, Extroverted, Ambiverted, the Unsung Heroes, and many other categories: Rise like the Phoenix! It’s time to do it. For the police, firefighters, EMTs, your are in this as well! We pay our taxes, so your salary stays on point.

Just the other day, a day after all the burnings, I took a trip near the corner of Sherman and Burleigh and my reaction to the damage in person of the BP Gas Station was just shocked. The anger. The concern. And began to ask why this. Why would ANYONE like this would destroy a Gas Station?! Why? I went to my Nikon Camera and like everyone else, I snapped about several pictures that was like this:

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And also, if many have not guessed it, a stream of cars on Sherman Boulevard going south and north was nearly jammed packed. The same with vehicles going East on Burleigh Street. Television Trucks of ABC7, WKOW, CNN and many others from the different parts of America came out to cover this tradgey that has sparked my home city’s unrest. Also, there folks preaching the word on Megaphones on both corners. Water was on sale on the corner where Sherman Park is along with individals giving away cupcakes and free hugs.

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As I left the area, I driven North on 44th Street towards Auer Avenue, this was the area that the shooting began. And plus it was nearly jammed packed with cars and also residents and ministers as Salvation Army Chaplians.

The day after, I went further east to take pictures of the 7th District Milwaukee Police Station where it was roped off with Caution tape and boarded up. Also, the BMO Bank was boared up after it was struck by fire. A MetroPCS store was boared up after looting as well as a restaurant of KFC/Taco Bell was broken up with glass. Nearby an O’Reilly AutoParts store was destroyed by fire as well as a Jet Beauty Store not only looted, but also was destroyed by fire as well.

Ladies and Gentlemen of America, this was the experience that Milwaukee endured during that weekend of unrest. And like many others in the past, it was an unrest concern that never should have happened. The Sherman Park Neighborhood is a legendary neighborhood. I know so because my older sister and I used to reside in the area between the years 2000 and 2006. We resided on Grant Boulevard in a church parsonage in which was near Center Street. I used to catch the 22 MCTS bus to go either to work, school, shopping or church. Nearby, there was a barbershop where I used to go to get my haircuts. An organization called ASHA Family Services is in that area along with the Ritz Fish Market near the corner of 38th and Center, and it was and is owned by my family members. My old elementary school, 38th Street School, (now under the Milwaukee College Prep) is in that area. Washington High School, my high school’s rival is in the area. The homes in the area are almost legendary with years going back to about 100 years old. This is what I learned back then and understand now. Plus also, the Sherman Park Neighborhood is an active diverse neighborhood and still is. And plus I’m a northside born resident.

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But I want to go back to this shooting. And I know that many are asking: what compelled this act of shooting that lead to this burning of several buildings, cars, houses, and others that had NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS MATTER?! We know already that Milwaukee is the well known factor of being the most hyper-segregated city in the United States. That is part of the things that goes mostly heard and widely examined in the entire state of Wisconsin. Many have this notion of leaving Milwaukee and go to places like Atlanta just to get away from the violence and racism. And also talking smack about the city in which they failed to help out. Oh trust me, we had a whole lotta folks have felt that way!  But many of us WHO ARE STILL HERE, are upholding our accountabilty of our taxes, our jobs, our way of life, and purpose of being more engaged to solve the problems of our well being. What we have expereinced here most recently, is nothing more what happened 49 years ago before I was born: when Milwaukee had the race riots of 1967 and the black community back then was going up in flames. That area is now called MLK Drive in Bronzeville. And the trauma of being in the predictament of the segregated climate still lingers even today. Not just in Milwaukee. But that same symptom also exist like racism in America’s DNA. I don’t give a crap where you are in America, that racism DNA has not gone away. Even after 240 years.

But in this era, the 23 year old Syville Smith, whom had a CCW Licence, and was armed with a stolen weapon from Waukesha, was shot to death. Nevermind the history of his life, or the crimes he may have done, his killer per se happens to appear as a officer of the Milwaukee Police Department. Many of us in Milwaukee looked at the person’s picture on Facebook. And according to a family member of the victim, it was known that they go way back to High School here in Milwaukee. Try Pulaski High School, and no disrespect to the Pulaski Rams in all. Plus W.E.B. Dubois High School in the Marshall Complex.

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Other points, there are those around Milwaukee should have kept their mouths closed. One of them is Sheriff David Clarke. The reason being he kept hinting about the use of the National Guard to aid the Police Officers during the Unrest incidents. And in his own words having the gaul to blame the single mothers of Milwaukee for the incidents and and of course: Black Lives Matter. REALLY SHERIFF CLARKE?! He must be high on something to say that. And plus, Black Lives Matter or his words “Black Lies Matter” were not the reasons why some buildings in Milwaukee went up in flames. Sheriff Clarke already embarasses himself and Milwaukee County hanging out with the likes of Donald Trump. HOW DEPRESSING OF HIM! Yes he’s still the Sheriff, but in the next two years he and another guy, Scott Walker  MUST BE VOTED OUT! And part of the blame that Sheriff Clarke has his job is because of those in the Black Community voted up for him to have another  4 years. Why? Because he’s black. I think the Black Community needs to rethink their votes for Clarke. Speaking of Walker, dude had to come to a black church in Milwaukee not to far from the BP Gas Station. Let me remind Milwaukee one thing: Walker doesn’t give a da*n about Milwaukee! He doesn’t care about the Black Community, nor the needs. Remember the High Speed Rail Train that was BUILT in the Black Community? Go back to that. That was derailed by HIM due to one word: politics. Now he wants in to be supportive of the Black Community. Really Walker?! Oh please! And additional group of folks outside of the city, who don’t even in live in Milwaukee had the nerve to put the blame on President Barack Obama. Obama is not the blame for this! So stop it non-Milwaukeeans!

But of all of the folks who seemed to be in supportive the most of Milwaukee, is Mayor Tom Barrett. Call me crazy, but he is. Another is the still Wisconsin Senate Rep from the 4th District, Lena Taylor. Ashanti Hamilton, President of the Common Council, Alderman Russell Stamper II, and Alderwoman Chantia Lewis are just a few. The curfew in Milwaukee under 18 is in effect. Sherman Park closes at 6pm and roped off with orange. When it switches to the MPS Curfew starting September 1st that’s every night. And that was activated this past Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday, I was in church and during our “joys and concerns” we highlighted the concerns of the Unrest Issue. One of my millennial church members talked about the incident in which it was witnessed in person. She indicated that her younger brother was about 2 cars behind the shooter’s car going east on Burleigh near the Jet Beauty Store, and indicated that if one of those bullets hit him, he would have been gone. She also comforted an Police Officer near the Beauty Supply Store who was going though that high alertness of concern of another citizen. The last thing she said: God Bless You. And a tear was starting to roll on the Officer. I just had to tell you that because whenever I hear about church folks being all judgmental or acting hypocritical, NOT ALL OF THEM ARE LIKE THIS. And my church member is a single mother in her 20’s.And is a prayer warrior in my church under the United Methodist banner. Is she always like this? Just maybe you need to visit The New St. James Community Church UMC in Milwaukee and find out. And plus the setting of our church is in a County Park Pavilion on Milwaukee’s East Side. And the church is the first African-American United Methodist Church established in the city since 1949.

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Just today, the ATF was sprung into action to survey the damages. And it was announced that a reward of $10,000 for anyone who knew what happened and also those responsible for those alleged damages. For all you snitches in Milwaukee: FESS UP! Don’t go into Stop Snitching Mode like cowards back in the day. Whenever the Federal Government comes on the scene, it’s is a huge concern. The sticks got a whole wide larger than before. This is not a game! It’s real lives were and are still at stake!

Milwaukee is 170 years old. And in the 170 years it faced open gaps of unemployment, segregation, violence, arson, race riots, shootings, festivals going in and out (African World Festival) educational values questioned and answered, underemployment of applicants/jobs, and many other concerns and factors. However in the 170 years, Milwaukee remains a underestimated city that has some good in it. We can talk about Summerfest, the Art Museum, The Pabst Theater, Riverside Theater, the newly soon to be Lakefront Gateway Area, the soon to be Northwestern Mutual Tower, the other festivals that do go past Summerfest, Garfield Days, Juneteenth Day Parades, Bronzeville Arts, riding Bublr Bikes, and soon to be construction of the New Bucks Arena and the Streetcar.

Why has Milwaukee been like this?

It’s not Chicago, Atlanta, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas, Florida, and other cities and states that mostly “knows” black folks. Milwaukee as medium-sized as it is, its well known for Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors, our County Parks, and past relations with being the Beer Capital of the World, Bowling Capital of the world at one time, or known in the past for shows like Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. Oh, did I mention that The Blues Brothers, Public Enemies, and  Transformers were filmed here? Famous Americans like Bud Selig, Eric Benet, Al Jarreau, Gene Wilder, George Tillman Jr, Charlotte Rae, Speech, Tank were all born here. The Core DJ’s a well known DJ organization is known for DJ’s around the world, but it was started in Milwaukee. Wrestling has a history here. From AWA of Da’ Crusher, to the birth of Austin 3:16. And also currently in the WWE, Austin Aries is a born resident.

Milwaukee does have a Urban Scene that is so underground that is hard to get airplay on a V100, a Jammin 98.3, KISS FM, and others. Also Milwaukee does have some support of it’s genre of Hip Hop, but the fans say that the City has haters because the lack of support. However, not all Milwaukeeans don’t listen to rap music! Some listen to Polka or other genres. But every ethnic group has their own thing.Well known here: Ray Nitti, Rusty P’s, Charles Walker Band, Element, and Coo Coo Cal just to name a few.

For radio, we know WTMJ. But I know 1290 when it was the talk of the town. WNOV as many know us the lone wolf of black radio that many folks still listen to. Plus also there are podcasts, and other radio stations like WUWM that is well known for based on UW-Milwaukee.

Milwaukee to me is misunderstood. Very misunderstood. Our education system isn’t that bad. The Milwaukee Public Schools is legendary around here and it’s the same age as the city.I am a product to call myself an MPS Alum because of the schools of 38th Street School, Jackie Robinson Middle School and John Marshall High School.Not only that, I come from a line of educators that taught in MPS in my family!  Some of our famous folks are MPS Alums also. Our Colleges of the Milwaukee Area Technical College, Mount Mary, Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are fully known educational institutions. I’m a product of the Milwaukee Area Technical College which I got an Associates Degree in the year 2000. The program was Printing and Electronic Publishing in which I got my hands dirty in Bindery and Offset Press.

Part of Milwaukee’s history was the tanneries. Pfister and Vogel, Albert & Trostels should ring a bell. And some of our family members used to have those good paying jobs growing up! Now the tanneries are gone, and mostly the Health Care fields are in exchange, with retail, customer service, and some manufacturing are left. Printing was also huge here. It’s still exists under the digital level, but not really enough as it once was.

Milwaukee has some strong programs here that many recognize like the Running Rebels, True Skool, and mostly now known is getting recognition: We Got This. Also part of the strong programs, does have a direct connection with local churches, community counterparts, some well known companies, and neighborhood block watch organizations.

But all in all, like any other city, Milwaukee is not alone with problems. And with the issue of this recent shooting of Syville Smith is not a stranger of gun violence period.

 

 


 

 

I know what I’m about to say. And I’m going to say it.

Not on Facebook.

Not on Twitter.

Not on Instagram.

But here as I always have a say.

And no I will not use the proverbial “Conspiracy Theories” of the so-called stuff being as they are.

We already know what is going on. Orlando Florida is hit with ingrown attitude of Terror. It took only one guy and taking out about 50 folks in a nightclub. A popular nightclub that is among the LGBT folks. And the thing is, this guy who used a AR-15 on the attendees, used it in anger all because he saw two men kissing or showing their affection in public. This is what it is! What is going on is another dude that was under the influence of ISIS. The gunman Omar Mateen PLEDGED Allegiance to ISIS! And in the words of my current church members that said it years ago: ISIS IS IN AMERICA. And this act of concern sparked one of the worst mass shootings in American History. And for the record, there have been other Massaacres have been worse. They effected the Native Americans and yes, African-Americans as well. And its long documented and hidden until now. We need to recognize that also.

And Omar kills himself. Cowards way out!

And his wife probably knew what was going on.

I’m kind of mystified about this act taking place after the death of Muhammad Ali. Not only that, we had a National Gunfire Awareness Day on June 2nd, where mostly everyone who was affected by gun violence was wearing Orange in solidarity or memory of those who were killed or shot by a gun. How did we get from that, to this?!

Somebody tell me something!

And, for all the “GUN FREAK POSERS” who pose with their guns on Social Media and acting a fool, do you condone this? You better. And you can forget all about the NRA thing of protecting the advancement. Simply because they won’t. They have openly admit that President Obama was not going for their guns!

I would like to know is, what was the real motive behind this?

Was it hate?

Was it all about the “do it for religion? ”

Was it all about hating the LGBT folks because of their lifestyle?

What was it that set this whole thing off and having Omar bringing in a AR-15 in a club that slaughtered at least 50 folks?

And this also: If he didn’t have an issue with black folks, why the Gay/Lesbian Folks?

And yes LGBTQIA folks, there were folks praying yesterday in the sanctuaries. Which is nothing wrong. There might been folks in church yesterday that thought about you and making sure that you are OK. When I say that, they might have friends who are in the Pride LGBTQIA Movement/Community.

I have some connections that I know that in the LGBTQIA Community as well. Some I knew since Community Connections and high school.

Every single of the Pride Festivals around America, were in prayer of those whom were killed. Even at Milwaukee’s PrideFest, which celebrated its 30th Anniversary had a moment to sympathize for those who were killed and wounded. Not only that, metal detectors were used for safety purposes. A first for Milwaukee PrideFest. Ever. Just like Summerfest, African World Festival, the Games at Miller Park or Lambeau Field, and many others.

There were monuments and buildings in the world that were lit up in the Rainbow Colors, and also had Rainbow Flags hung in memory of those died in the shooting.

Knowing yes. We know that President Obama might have another idea. Another idea that might spark a new idea to get these dangerous guns off the hands who might use them for future concerns of hate. Even probably doing extensive background checks of those whom have issue of mental health, or this mental sense of allegiance of joining up with the likes of ISIS.

And while on the subject, let’s not also trip about a “subject over a subject”. There are those who think that this tragedy is a “smokescreen” or a distraction to come to find out that this incident, is taking over the shootings in the black neighborhoods. Or getting to the real roots of why this is when Black Lives Don’t Hardly Matter to those in the media when a promised young black female of a good future is gunned down. Or a common place when a black young male is STILL on the list of being endangered species and being someone’s target to be picked on like in high school. Or have a negative breath that the Church going folks deserved to be killed (like last year) and partially nobody cares!

Well I have a bone to pick here Ladies and Gentlemen, sometimes “we trip” ourselves because whenever we read about so and so’s deaths about those being overshadowed, we get this attitude like it’s skipped over! Don’t act like we know, because when ever we read about a tragic occurrence, or a unexpected death of a young black person, or groups that been targeted so many times and it’s forgettable.

All occurrences no matter how hidden or forthcoming, needs to be clarified, summarized, questioned, concluded and also it needs to be to a point that many MUST GRASP! No matter who or what! This shooting that happened in Orlando is just as bad as if someone lost their son or daughter.

Hold up! Wait a minute!

The victims were someone’s Sons and Daughters! Nevermind their life styles or what made them Gay or Lesbian, they were someone’s family member, probably a well known family member that probably helped the kids’ homework afterschool. Come on now! We KNOW THIS!

Just a sidenote: there were some black LGBT folks and those related to the folks,  in that club were murdered by the senseless act. As an example look at the pics. Especially a recent High School grad, Akyra Murray. She was 18 years old. And again just graduated High School. A mother of 11 Children, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool was 48 years, whom beat cancer TWICE was also killed by the gunfire. And she died by protecting her son Isisiah in the shooting.

And also for some of the positive news, there were lives were spared, thanks to the medics whom saved lives. And also a US Marine had a hand in the life saving too.

Whenever those of us think about that, it does hit home. No matter what.

Now again when it comes to the church, I know there are those who hate the idea of the homosexual thing being a sin. It’s not godly. It’s not how the Bible works. And yes there are those who use the Good Book in a way like a forceful weapon! And I know this is the part where those leave the church and become this “free thinker” person thinking that they know everything. After being in church for a few years with family. REALLY!

Is that all they know?

With the money and that car?

What about the house?

I hate to say this, but with the old tired viewpoint of being conscious is getting so OLD!

Come on Black Militant Conscious folks, you need to wake up! Not just wake up, BUT REALLY REALLY WAKE UP!

MAJOR CALLOUT: What about the church folks who do the worship thing on Sundays, and are active in trying to do the worship thing right? Trying to do the things right and helping the folks out everyday, doing the help all this time, and fellowshipping with those that need fellowshipped, and you (those doing the church hating per se) STILL don’t give them the benefit of the doubt? What does that say about you? Yeah think about that! Reverse treatment is now in play.

Guess what?

I’m part of that group of church folks that wants to reach out without any hypocritical attitudes just to make sure that it’s done right!

I’m a 4th Generation United Methodist Church members that has the “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” ethology. Along with “Rethink Church” and now with “Church can happen anywhere” things. Yes church can be anywhere, even at a Gay Nightclub.  Or at someone’s house that doesn’t believe in God, or in someone’s presence that wants in but not sure. Or yes, EVEN the overly conscious that has “Stay Woke” on a shirt with those being “Pro Black” in a militant type of behavior.

That mentality I got now, is what I’ve learned from my parents, my late grandfathers and grandmothers and others that stayed close to home.

For my LGBT folks reading, yes I’m a church going person. I may not be the most spiritual servant, but I’m hypothesizing the cause to help me to help those like you. I don’t care about your lifestyle. I don’t care when or how you came out. I don’t care about the Festivals you inspire. I don’t care what Pride Parades you’ve been in to organize, or worked in. I don’t care if you still like Hillary Clinton or despise the effects of Donald Trump! I don’t care if you think all churches are lumped together, which they are not!

All I care is that you continue to “do you” no matter what happens! And when you do you, none of that matters. Of course there will be those who will not understand. And yes, you know this. But knowing this, I don’t care what your lifestyle is. But if I come to a Pride Party with a Nikon Camera, and I’m snapping pics away for $100.00 for 3 to four hours, would that be beneficial of me as a Single Black Christian Church going person being constructive?  Or will that benefit me just because of me sharing my talents?  Or just in general?

I’m just asking. And yes the golden rule still stands. And the God that is well known doesn’t hunt out the the folks that have a gayness attitude that harbors and goes for the kill!

On a side note, I visited Orlando twice in my life. I’ve been to Disneyworld in 1985 at nine years old, and Universal Studios. Plus partied along with the Tom Joyner Family Reunion Crew in 2009.

Orlando, you have a nice city. Let me comeback for a third time visit!

In the coming week, even though we are praying for those to get through this tragedy, let us be mindful that these words will still ring out:

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!

 

 

 

 


This probably might not set well with those of my demonination. But this will get an attention: The demonination of the United Methodist Church. Right now in Portland Oregon, there is the General Conference taking place and in this conference, like many will see monthly will talk about the decisions made to see where the direction of the UMC might go in terms of variety of topics, concerns, groups, or many other aspects. The actual defininton is as follows courtesy of the United Methodist Church:

The highest legislative body in The United Methodist Church. The voting membership consists of an equal number of clergy and lay delegates elected by the annual conferences. General Conference convenes every quadrennium (four years) to determine the denomination’s future direction. It is the only body that can speak officially for the denomination.

This we know mostly.

But this is not what I’m talking about.

The main concern of all of this, is what happened in the pause of the moment concerning this demonstration:

Yes, what you are looking at is a protest and demonstration of the actions of Black Lives Matter. Yes, the movement has now reached the door of the United Methodist Church. And I have to say, with all what’s going on with use of some of black UMC churches with some elements of the LGBTQI folks in the mix of concern, this is another conversation that the church MUST ADDRESS! We need to wake up!

Now there are those either in The United Methodist Church and outside of the Church are on the side of “Oh look the UMC Members got those BLM Gangsters in there conference. Very hypocritical. ALL LIVES MATTER!”

REALLY?!

I need to tell you so-called “All Lives Matter” vocal fans that when you mention that in a sense, don’t you dare EVER say or think that notion. Obviously, you really don’t know what ALL LIVES MATTER means yourselves. You probably might bust out all the “I got Black Friends” speeches, and again spar up the ol’ MLK Speeches about color and charcter. I’m going to bust heads open: Clearly many of you saying this or implying this and it doesn’t matter if you are UMC or not, you are part of the problem! Yeah I said it! And for far too long, black folks’ voices and concerns have been NOT heard, or spoken to address the situations of what is really taking place! Racism, Sexism, targeting those whom are innocent and Black, effects of Slavery,  the new Jim Crow, and those whom are refusing service due to being black. Think about it! And it happens in 2016. And a long time.

And don’t bust the comments of “black on black crime”please. It’s not here for it. Not once here also, there weren’t any commentaries of “white on white” crime. Which does happen by the way!

Here in Wisconsin for example, there are “alleged angles” that Black Churches in UMC were and are under attack  about subjects or concerns that were hitting the fan! Even also if the chrurch’s pastors who have served A LONG TIME, got the boot to make way for those whom are younger and appeal to the current era of worshipers.And sometimes it might take a black D.S. to do the dirty work. Even taking out mininsters who have all the credentials and acculades, and black and sometimes disabled are being shut down to be lay leaders. There are only a few BLACK United Methodist Churches in Milwaukee know about this too well similarly. One black pastor was ousted forcefully on inappropiate purpose due to the fact the church previously served, was in declining numbers per say and is now out of the UMC doing his own church. Other ministers probaly felt the shifts and left. And on a side note, I have a connection to these churches because again, I grew up United Methodist and one of the UMC Churches I go to has been in business since 1949 in Milwaukee. And at times, I hate to say that there was many times that the Wisconsin Conference (with all due respect on the nice things accomplished) has NOT had the back of these Black UMC’s! I believe it’s time from the TOP ON DOWN that the Bishops and many other districts NEED TO HEAR the concerns about the Black United Methodist Churches that is ongoing and hidden to talk at the table. And not to be left out of the talk period. The last bishop, whom was black, LISTENED to us Wisconsin UMC black folks of our concerns. Period.

And I say this unapologetically, as a 4th Generation Member of the UMC.

This mix of Black Lives Matter and the General Conference of the UMC appears to the haters like oil and water. But when those say “All Lives Matter” is nothing more than a mere smoke screen with White Supremacy. That’s right I said it! On the pic, there was a sign that read All #BlackLivesMatter, and below: it listed the items: Bisexual, transgender, poor, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, disabled, women, men, young, and children. Well, I have to say again, this might not sit well with the rest of the denominaton, but the talk of the concerns in our Black UMC Churches and Black UMC things  MUST BE ADDRESSED MORE! Just like the others.

I know we got the BMCR. And for many many years the BMCR has addressed the black concerns in and outside of the church. But I think NOW the BMCR and the high authority of the UMC must address the issues of Black Lives Matter as well as any other Black concerns that the high leadership of the UMC MUST LISTEN!

We are all suppose to eat, sleep, breathe, drink, pray, worship, spread the good news, and fellowship as God’s Children, right? We know we do. But many of us need to be reminded of that. And even though that many do follow that notion, some of us I hate to say need the “Come to Jesus meeting”. Even if you say “All Lives Matter!” in a sarcastic, anti-conscious and threating manner. But you know the All Lives Matter, MATTERS to God. Just my opinion.

For those that lead the fight or this new fight in the UMC, I say as a black man that is a member of the UMC, out of Wisconsin, 4th generation in all: that is what the fleek I’m talking about! My childhood Pastor said in a sermon, “Speak truth to power, and power must listen!”  Don’t hold back nothing but the butt naked truth! Let them know!

Mad respect to those who lead that protest. Mad respect to the Black Pastors and Associates that did this! I’m assuming that the spark from that Black Lives Matter demonsration will be the new fire that many United Methodist Churches of Color must pass along!

Enough with the sitting quietly and listen. But even silence, will spark also new voices to commence.

Like the pastor said at the end of the protest, “this is our church as much as it is their church.”

As it should be.

Can they get an Amen?

Read more about the protest here via the Reconciling Ministries Network and the United Methodist Church News.