Archive for the ‘Midwest African American Commentary’ Category


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

The Lessons and Aftermath

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

Were holding on and still in the struggle.


For many of us, it’s the last leg for President Barack Obama and Family. He will always be a type of President that many will talk about for years to come.

HOWEVER: there are those who felt that he didn’t do enough or should have been more on the Black Community over the Gays, Women, and many others. Of course, we can talk about the times that the Republicans REFUSED to have the vote in, the ACA, jobs, and world issues. And of course we can talk about the many many times that some goober talked about “YOU LIE” and many other hate angles. Oh, including that Mitch McConnell said that he would be a one term president. We know that bullet was dodged.

So today, being that it’s the day that we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. And the hopes that many WILL learn besides the dream. King wasn’t always about I Have A Dream. More on that later. With today being for MLK, I’m shifting the focus on the past 8 years that America Had it’s Black President for real and for the yahoos, racists, haters, sellouts, and wackos who felt he didn’t deserve it: YES HE DID!

Who thought that the 8 years was so positive for Obama?

Did the Republicans really succeed badly when they decided to go against Obama?

Why did the “Blue Dog” Democrats had sold out?

They say that Obama was a socialist. REALLY?!

When was the day that Obama had to really defend himself?

Many of you must have forgotten that Barack got a Nobel Peace Prize, right?

Oh for the forgotten doors: Why so much has been asked what he had done? Another reason why Americans have some short memory spans. And I’m not talking about the older folks. Younger folks don’t remember much either. SAD!

So the soon-to-be President Donald Trump had Barack to produce his Birth Certificate and many had followed. You do realize that was a dumb move, right?

Why did Fox News feared Barack’s middle name “Hussein”?

Oh when the time that Osama Bin Laden was killed, were you  or anyone else cheering along with the President’s decision then?

For you: the Tea Party jack offs: Why so racist? Like really!

Has EVERY COLLEGE really had to dig deep about the degrees and jobs that Obama made a declaration to check on?

Has EVERY ORGANIZATION of Debt, or Credit Checks, really assigned themselves well after a few changes when OBAMA made that declaration?

Oh let’s talk education again: specifically community colleges. Have many of us realized that Community Colleges cannot be slept on? Also like science fairs for the kids?

For all you conspirators and jack offs: why making all this mess about him wanting to be killed?

For all you Michelle Obama haters: yeah those kept those so called “ape in heels”, or “she should act more First Lady Like” or like Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner said something about her having a big butt, or others making ridiculous comments about her outfits or just her in general  that weren’t as lady like: Do you ALL realize that you sounded so stupid after making those remarks, and many of you probably don’t have jobs now?

For all you Sasha and Malia Haters: you know that ignorance is a mitch, right?!

And folks, were we so overboarded when Sasha wasn’t at her father’s last speech?

And also: that time when Malia was at Lollapalooza in Chicago and yes she was being a normal carefree teen at 18. But did we really OVERREACT that much?  Yes, Malia will learn accountability as she grows up. 18 doesn’t mean much that well per se.

What about Malia taking a year off before starting college? Should all High School Graduates follow that same procedure?

Did the losers like John McCain and Mitt Romney actually learned their lessons after losing to Barack in 2008 and 2012?

Did Black Entertainment really rocked when Obama was in office?

Did Hip Hop really rocked when Obama was in office? So many Obama references in rap songs like crazy.

For all of the black media: BET, TVOne, Podcasts, Social Media sites, Newspapers, Radio Shows, Magazines, Blogs, Articles, and more: was all that appreciated of the JOLT of Confidence by our work to archive for the Obama-Biden Crew?

For all of the black businesses that printed up Obama T-shirts, hats, buttons, sweaters, jackets, in all: Can we do more of that even after Obama is not in office?

For all the black supporters that backed Obama since DAY ONE: did we really back him up other than hearing the speeches?

For all the black churches that invited Obama to speak: was it good?

For all of the Joe Biden haters: have you disregarded him too much?

Joe Biden was the huge F-ing deal as VP. Agree or Disagree?

Yes, Barack and Joe had the bromance thing going. We know. But others are asking why and how. Really?

Obamacare was the jolt for healthcare. Why are those wanting to kill it for those who want to be insured, get checked, pay less, etc?

For those whom are major confused: Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing! Why is that so hard?

 

Did anyone of us got lucky when we can finally take pictures IN THE WHITE HOUSE?

Why do republicans as much want to erase everything that Obama did like he never existed? Hate does come into play.

CALLOUT: For all of my conscious, hotep, and sometimes not connectable black people: what was it that Obama wanted to do for us?

CALLOUT: For all of my conscious, hotep, and sometimes not connectable black people: what was it that Obama should have done for us besides well, being President of the United States?

CALLOUT: For all of my conscious, hotep, and sometimes not connectable black people: did we really partied that much in these 8 years?

CALLOUT: For all of my conscious, hotep, and sometimes not connectable black people that didn’t do enough: why are we mad now that Donald Trump is going in? EXPLAIN! Put down the Hidden Colors and Dr. Umar Johnson speeches for a moment. Just explain why.

CALLOUT: For all of my conscious, hotep, and sometimes not connectable black people that didn’t vote (as well as everyone else): REALLY?

For all the international folks, can you really remind us that Obama was the best thing that America had since Kennedy or Bill Clinton?

CALLOUT: For the international folks that hated Obama. Called him a monkey and all that mess, you realize that your racism is just as deadly as America, right? And you know who you are. Don’t front!

For the racists: You really think that Black Lives Matter was linked with Obama all this time?

About that 60% approval rating though. Really? Yeah really though.

For all the gun freaks: were you really that scared that Barack was coming for your Guns way after the gun issues were handed out? Oh, he Skeet Shooted at Camp David with a rifle. Hmmmm………..

For the misinformed that were way too misinformed about Obama: when will you get your facts straight? Besides him where he was born, got his education, his teachings, his first jobs, etc!

For the doubters: have you underestimated Obama by a slight margin?  Or should I say a big margin?

Who is getting Obama’s book when it comes out in the near future?

Anyone is still or will continue to donate to OFA and/or My Brother’s Keeper? And the female groups?

Did GM rocked the house after the bail out for jobs? Plus the jobs that bounced back to positive digits?

What group of folks are still hating on Community Organizers? Don’t front!

Will this President inspire those to run for office, especially of color?

Will the Obama-Biden Crew continue to be a force that no one can NEVER EVER overstep or deny

And the last question. After 8 years, one term in Illinois: Will you miss “the hell “out of President Barack Hussein Obama II? Admit the guilt.


Within the past year I have asked many many times: Will you miss Obama?

Well I hate to say that after 8 years of being fired up and ready to go, and also delivering the ideal of Change, and many other factors, yes it’s time to say thank you to the 44th President who had to put the country on his back whether anyone or anybody likes or not. Even you are a so-called hotep warrior who probably just copied almost every word out of Hidden Colors or maybe, yep I guessed it: A Trump supporter who had to remind everyone about the so-called deplorables that had to vote for him over Hillary Clinton. But I’ll say this though, Obama did infact asked Americans to hold him accountable of the concerns and ideas he puts out. And yes Trump Supporters: you must hold ol Donnie accountable. If you don’t, someone will!

Back in 2008 as many know, many in the country were estactic and shocked that an actual African-American actually won the White House. With an African-American First Lady that was so active and black! Even the daughters who grew up so fast in the 8 year reign. I mean they were kids! Now Malia is 18 years old and off to college and seeing the world. Sasha has a way to go to make sure she finishes High School and then off to College. I mean wow, whether anyone likes it or not, the Obamas really have jolted America, and the world that a guy like Barack rocked the culture. If only my late Grandparents and Great-Grandmother were alive to see this. Man!

The Obamas brought life into The White House. From the right to take pics to cooking barbecue on the White House Lawn. Even having black history related events of Jazz, and BET. I’ll bet many African-American Historians, Analyists, and many others had to dig real deep about the history of the House and it’s black representation. It wasn’t just slaves. It was cooks, leaders, supporters and many others who were black that couldn’t been seeing around the House and having their stories really told. When Michelle Obama said this past year that everyday she woke up in a house that was built by slaves, for you Obama Racist haters, she was telling the truth. READ A FREAKING BOOK! Many really have to read on how the White House was built, by free and slaved black folks! She also got us active with the Let’s Move initiative along with the garden, and also putting up new ideas of nutrition on our labels of foods and drinks. Plus supporting Military Families.

Barack on the other had, started up the Affordable Care Act, in which many hated the idea that it’s the law of the land, in which many who cant afford the high costs of healthcare, can now afford it due to the fact that not only it helps to go to the doctor, but also paying less that Blue Cross Blue Shield current has on the high level. Oh yeah, you Obama haters hate that do you! Look, not everyone is not going to get the high coverage as you, but look it’s about those who had a hard time (like many of you giving him a hard time) actually looking for coverage that can be invested in to support.

Jobs: As of right now, the jobs report were on stat. But also before that after the mess that George W. Bush made after leaving office,  Obama had to reverse the negatives all that in which was left behind. It was shameful. Specfically the auto industry that was losing. But got bailed out on  the Governent side to get the jobs rolling again. Remember MasterLock? Of course you do. MasterLock was delivering jobs outside of the country, but Barack broght some of those jobs BACK HERE in America, specifically here in Milwaukee.

Add Science, WindPower, transportation ideas, and more that we needed to explore. Even moonshots about ending various forms of cancer! And I’ll bet also those who hated on gun violence: probably are gun owners themselves. Yes, there was a time when Obama was doing Skeet Shooting at Camp David and lord and behold, there was pic of him with a shotgun. At least he is a responsible GUN OWNER! Speaking of which: President Obama was NOT coming for anyone’s guns! All you fools who posed around with your glocks, pistols and other arsenals that about gun safety or gun accountably, you had to realize that he wasn’t coming for the bullets or rifles anyway. You were tripping! Admit it.

And just for the record, Milwaukee for those who may not know, gave birth to MasterLock in the first place. Just like the Beer, the Harleys, and of course Usinger Brats and a festival called Summerfest.

Plus the bail out of GM in my point of view had to happen in a sense because of jobs as well. Along with education. MOSTLY education! I’m not just talking about getting a High School diploma and actually going to work, but also making sure that the colleges and universities have that access of summaries that they display after the graduates leave school, to make sure that job or that career is ACTUALLY on display to have. Most colleges have this right now, I should point out. Even the technical colleges.

Oh and about the haters. Everything from “YOU LIE!” to actually being targeted by Racism. It’s all brought out by those who have the hate against Obama. You on the other hand probably got all that stuff talked about at Grandma’s for the Holidays. And even though that many in the black community praised him, there are some (I hate to say) that have this disdain that he should help out Black America, over the gays, etc. Look HERE! HE SERVED AS  THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! When the Affordable Care Act was signed, the majority of that act, per se mostly geared to black folks. Most of them didn’t have enough coverage per se didn’t cover all that pre-existing conditions that many others have wiped away like right now. As far his speeches, again look what he said at Morehouse, and Howard. Oh did I mentioned that he gave a speech in one of the “so-called” bad neighborhoods in Milwaukee? And it was a black voting ward, and it was at North Division High School. Hmmm…….I wonder what happened. Remember My Brother’s Keeper? Ooops I’m sorry. Go back and read it why it matters!

The first time I heard and seen Michelle Obama: August 2012 at Bradley Tech High School campaigning for her Husband in Milwaukee. I got pics. And video footage from my Canon Camera! Then I thought that after she was here, Barack is coming next. After that, guess what? He came! September 2012, and a long line that was formed from the Art Museum to the Summerfest Gate. Plus metal detectors and yes, the man himself was overheard on the crowd at the BMO Harris Stage near Gate 20. And I know Gate 20 because I used to work at Summerfest moons ago! Hearing my President, along with mother, and getting about 3 or four pics of  him was just so priceless! I still have them even today and to my FUTURE FAMILY MEMBERS: DO NOT LET THEM GO! FOR NOTHING! THEY ARE HISTORICAL PICS FOR LIFE!

And yet here we are. America: you can love them or hate them all you want. Matter of fact you can sit down. Simply because that this Family, had really rocked the country to new heights. Plus also the main reasons I picked the Obama Crew (TWICE) is because of the enthusiasm and vision. And no it wasn’t just because he’s black. Yeah I know America has a disdain when it comes to race, here’s the thing I’ll bet President Obama had to deal with the race factor all day everyday for 8 years! And dealing with the same mess from those who opposed him on everything from the very beginning. Ask our republican friends with the Tea Party family folks.

Like the time that now President Elect Donald Trump had an idea to produce this thing called a Birth Certificate just to see if he’s actually an American born-citizen. And he and the rest of the racist republicans was just that: hating on him just because he kept being Barack! Let’s be honest America, the country as great as is, does have a race problem. And  you wonder why many in the world is laughing at us. That’s like saying, “Well there is America, acting all gung ho and making dumb remarks to their First Black President!”

And what we do about it the most? NOTHING!

Almost having this thing about the church he attended under Rev. Jerimiah Wright. The same pastor who uttered the words: “God Da*n America.” And many of you haters had gone wild! Again, In the words of my former Pastor, “when you Da*n someone, you are condemning.” That what it is. Or like when someone says “Da*n You!” He or she is condemning you. Flat out.

Plus also, like many others in America: there will be Obama stories that will be every archive, every throwback, every flashback, and every single black home (almost) that we know very well! Of course that there will be those who want to erase all or most of the things that he worked hard for some those who feel he didn’t deserve it. NEWSFLASH: OBAMA DOES deserve to be respected in every archive and summary we put out. Period! And like many other presidents before him they will get book deals to be made. I want to get his book! I want to get his side of the story that is uncut, maybe uncensored (YES I DO) and also what he really REALLY NEEDED to say as a Private Citizen. Or Private Citizen Obama, or Executive Citizen Obama. Don’t matter what his new title is after January 20th, but note this: He’s still a force. Period. He’s still an influence. Period. Even in hip-hop. And I want him (or anyone in the Obama-Biden Crew) to have a adviser thing when drafting NEW leaders in the Democratic Party. Matter of fact, make that BETTER leaders in the Democratic Party!

So yes, it’s time for the Obamas to get that LONG retirement. It’s time for Joe Biden and Dr. Jill to take their retirements as well. Speaking of Joe, dude was Barack’s number two. making sure that the duties remained in place, remained on point. He may have been on that crazy side, but yes Joe Biden was and is like Barack: a force. And I’ll say also, like he would say about the ACA, Joe Biden was a huge F-ing deal! And even though he lost his son Beau, didn’t have a chance to run for President, (which would also been great to do) I’ll say also yet again that Joe was that 2nd Dude. Oh, you  all remember that 1994 Crime Bill that many black folks hated and still hate, um…..Joe Biden had a hand in that. Just to add. And I mentioned that he made and appearance and declared that he was a member of the NAACP? Yes, the soon-to-be former VP is an active member of the organization that was founded by 6 whites and one black. And yes white folks, you can join the NAACP as well as getting scholarships named after Martin Luther King. True fact! Try it.

The country in my opinion had a “real 8 years”. A real 8 years that was bombarded by the reaction of race, reaction of change, reaction of second chances and reaction of getting involved. I had the fortunate privilege to work during the Obama Campaign in 2012 and I don’t regret it not one bit. NONE!  I felt that I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t have to tell myself in the next 20 years nearly 60 saying: “I wish I would done that.” But yes we live in a nation of woulda, shoulda and coulda. We know. But however not many thinks that way. We know.

And now, it’s time that on January 10th, 10 days ahead of the Inauguration, that the 44th President will address the nation for the last time. And yes, it’s going to be sad. It’s going to be like dang, how did it get here so fast? We were just used to him! Or why didn’t he do this or that then he had to leave? Well for all you who weren’t so active these last eight years, WHY DID YOU COMPLAIN?! You sat there having him to do all the work, and when problems happen, you get mad happy and just complain. “I wish he came to this or came to that!” BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Many of you didn’t. Now since Donald Trump is going to take over for the next 4 years, now you want to say: Oh I should have helped Obama more. WELL……….too late now.

Many of you whom stayed at home on Election Day, or having the gaul not to vote at all are going to get the ultimate price of a thing called: Elections Have Consequences! Take notes yet again!

Wisconsin is now a red state. – Elections have consequences.

Obamacare might be gone. – And for those who voted for Trump and having a problem that your medicare might be in jeopardy, Elections have consequences.

Most of the executive orders that many favored  UNDER OBAMA might be eliminated. Election have consequences.

Let’s be real here: this is not a game.

So let me say this to the Obama-Biden Crew: THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for the 8 years of enthusiasm and vision. Thank you for being open and bringing in real values. Thank you for being open and bringing in things that had to be done! Thank you for the swaggers, the black woman magic, the magic of us have to get up and the magic of support. Thank you also for the valor and value that this nation must continue to endure even when a Trump Presidency might worry us. Thank you for the encouragement that when they go low, we must REMAIN HIGH! And most of all: thank you for you!

There will be future blogs I’m going to write that will have Obama-like references in it and unlike those that want to, you will read it.  And yes it will family friendly!

 

 

 

 


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.


ssp-thanksgiving

 

Everyone knows how this goes. And it’s real simple. No need to link or google or even #Hashtag. Today, many around the country and in household or other areas, we Americans will be celebrating that holiday of food called Thanksgiving. From the Parades, to the NFL Games or other new traditional ideas that will boost the food day. And yes, there will be us going out to the clubs and shaking off the pounds to get loose for Christmas.

And yes, there will be constant reminders of the horrors that our Native American brothers and sisters will not participate in this Thanksgiving Day due to the killing of their ancestors outside of a church on a Sunday morning many moons ago. Henceforth, The National Day of Mourning. 

But this holiday, yes does have the two words of Be Thankful of the things and ideas we already have. So here in it’s almost decade tradition, here is another traditional Stephen’s Spot Thanksgiving Blog of “Be  Thankful”. Break out the tablets, Smartphones, PC’s or laptops. Start reading!

If you have a job that is good for you, be thankful.

If you don’t have a job and still looking and not giving up, be thankful!

If you have good insurance, be thankful.

If you have a good car or truck that gets you to work everyday, be thankful.

If you have an idea or a lead to get a good doctor, but don’t have one, but still want to get that monkey off your back, STILL be thankful about improving your health.

If you have a cool dentist, be thankful.

If you have voted this year despite of the viewpoints of this hard election year, be thankful.

If you have lost loved ones this year, and still feel down that the space is empty or the chair is empty, and you want to fill it up with a new generation of family members that want to pull ahead, be thankful.

If you had folks praying for you for all the things you’ve been experienced no matter good or bad, be thankful that there are folks that know, and are in your corner.

If you are expecting a raise in 2017 and will be getting it, be thankful!

Love your gifts and talents that are unappreciated? And still do them? Be thankful!

If you still got your parents as your back up,  be thankful that they still care.

If you have a sibling in the freaking hospital, who is being taken care of, and you go there EVERYDAY, and hearing good news about coming home real soon, and I know this: BE THANKFUL!

Got good neighbors that know you? Be thankful.

Got a good plan to get that next step in your career, or a different career, and a mindset? Be thankful.

Expecting a milestone birthday? And willing to kick off a new fresh slate? Or had experienced it already? Be thankful.

Expecting a milestone anniversary? Or already did it? Be thankful.

If you are very introverted, and darn proud of it, and not ashamed to tell about it, be thankful!

Single and not in a relationship?  Be thankful.

Married with or without kids? Be thankful.

Single and no kids? Be thankful.

Divorced?  Be thankful.

Still have a church home that you stay and willing to have your kids to grow IN THE CHURCH? Be thankful.

If you have been given a side gig, and love it to be paid with that cash money or checks, be thankful.

Got a good pet? Be thankful.

If you give back to your community, your Alumni, your Church, your Scholarship Committees, your Fraternity, your Sorority, your Unions or other groups that have been treating you good all this time, be thankful!

If you have served in your community as a Election Inspector (like me)  for 10 years or more and still work, BE THANKFUL!

If you have celebrated YOUR 10th anniversary as a Alum of your College or University(like me) , and still want to give back for another 10 years, BE THANKFUL.

If you appreciate the value of your former teachers or coaches, or former principals, of anyone that knew your value of education, be thankful.

If you can’t wait to eat to your meal that gives you life, be thankful.

If you read my old blogs that I can’t control of the reading, but still want to read what I want to say regardless from my black point of view, be thankful! Not just for me, but for you.

If you got stuff in your house that you want to give away, be thankful.

Got a good business? And it’s good for you to make that money like Uber or Lyft or It Works? Hey, be thankful!

If you switched your career to a new company in the past year, or will go to a new company, be thankful!

If you got many reachable sources to give,  or to provide, or to share, and it’s really catching on,  you better be thankful!

If you are looking forward to another holiday weekend of fun, be thankful.

If you are NOT shopping on Black Friday, but willing to spend Black Friday outdoors in the woods or parks, Be Thankful!

If you are not shopping on Black Friday, but willing to spend your cash at a local business, be thankful.

If you can’t wait to deck your halls for Christmas or Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, Be  Thankful.

If you written a thank you note to the Obamas for their 8 years of service to this country, BE THANKFUL!

If you feel that my blogs are reaching to those who want to know something, and it’s been working, but want me go harder than this, tell me: should I be thankful for this talent like over 10 years?

If you are breathing right now normally: be thankful.

If you are walking tall real good, be thankful.

If you condemn any racist act on the internet, social media, at your job, or in the house, or in the neighborhood, or any act of disrespect, and you had to write letters of complaints to a certain company, STILL be thankful!

If you bought appliances for your house to use for another 10 years, be thankful!

If you got a plan to take a vacation, be thankful.

If you still got your old game systems on a Throwback Thursday, be thankful!

If you still listen to your old school joints on your radio, or maybe some new school material, be thankful.

If you are a conscious-minded person, a defensive-minded person that you know is best, for your own opinions, be thankful!

For my Sagittarian readers: guess what? It’s our season. Are we thankful? (SAGS RULE!)

And finally: If I missed anything that many have thought about, and it’s good: we all should be and forever so thankful that we must march on. Like they say at the black funerals: It’s already been said.

Happy Thanksgiving!

#BeThankful

“Be thankful for all you got!” – Natalie Cole (1950-2015)

 

 

 

 


This seems to be the talk of the town:

“Aaron Rodgers is off!”

“His game is off.”

“He’s not the same.”

Oh we know it’s the talk of the town.

We’ve seen the lost when the Packers had on the Old School Jerseys at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau. And also, previously at Minnesota in their new arena. But many are still asking and wondering why Aaron Rodgers’ game is off with the Packers O Line.

Before I get into that ask yourself these questions:

How many times has Joe Montana been off?

How many times when Michael Jordan’s game was off?

How many times when Kobe Bryant’s game was off?

How many times when the likes of Walter Payton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird ALL HAVE BEEN OFF their games?

How many times has Wayne Gretzky’s game in Hockey was off?

What about Gabby Douglas, or Billie Jean King, or Venus or Serena or any other athletes that have been off?

Can anyone tell me why?!

Why I am saying this you ask. It seems that oh boy “Aaron has a problem being off.” We’ve been off to, so what? I’m saying is that right now, it sucks. Of course. But why is it sucking?! At this day and time?

Yes, I’ve looked at the Dallas game, and yes Aaron was at times on his game but not fully on his game, and that was exposed. I get it, Cowboys Nation. But guess what, it’s going to happen to Dak Prescott sooner that later. Bank on it!

Before I get into that ask yourself these questions:

How many times has Joe Montana been off?

How many times when Michael Jordan’s game was off?

How many times when Kobe Bryant’s game was off?

How many times when the likes of Walter Payton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird ALL HAVE BEEN OFF their games?

How many times has Wayne Gretzky’s game in Hockey was off?

What about Gabby Douglas, or Billie Jean King, or Venus or Serena or any other athletes that have been off?

Can anyone tell me why?!

Why I am saying this you ask. It seems that oh boy “Aaron has a problem being off.” We’ve been off to, so what? I’m saying is that right now, it sucks. Of course. But why is it sucking?! At this day and time?

Before I get into that ask yourself these questions:

How many times has Joe Montana been off?

How many times when Michael Jordan’s game was off?

How many times when Kobe Bryant’s game was off?

How many times when the likes of Walter Payton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird ALL HAVE BEEN OFF their games?

How many times has Wayne Gretzky’s game in Hockey was off?

What about Gabby Douglas, or Billie Jean King, or Venus or Serena or any other athletes that have been off?

Can anyone tell me why?!

Why I am saying this you ask. It seems that oh boy “Aaron has a problem being off.” We’ve been off to, so what? I’m saying is that right now, it sucks. Of course. But why is it sucking?! At this day and time?

And you’ll be asking the same question. Colin Kaepernick has been off his game, and no it’s not because of him taking knees in protesting the Anthem. The other teams with potential profile players have been off too, but like many they are asking why.

Ok, back to Aaron Rodgers again. Yes, he probably already knows in his brain that his precision on the field, along with judgement is clouded with mistakes. He already knows it. As a matter of fact it’s been kind of known in a few years. Remember when Brett Favre WAS OFF HIS GAME, Packer fans? Oh we booed him, calling for his resignation to be traded or left behind with the 16 year reign in the Green and Yellow. But majorty of us in the Packer Nation still liked him anyway! Even he went to the Jets and the Vikings. Let’s be honest, what Aaron Rodgers is going though of “being off”, is the same thing that many football quarterbacks had gone through with their careers. We already know this. Why is this new? Was Bart Starr or Don Majikowski off in their Packer days?

So I say this as a “DieHard Packer Observer Fan” I want to give 3 words to Mr. Rodgers as well as the players on all sides of the ball: Careful. Precision. Judgement. On Offense. On Defense. On Special Teams. Manily this is for Aaron and no it’s not to blame on Olivia Munn. Plus I dare say for Mike McCarthy!  And about this jink that when Favre is around, it’s a problem. Technically it did happen when he was being honored by the Packers last year on Thanksgiving, and yes the Bears beat them in all the celebration. And the same thing happen this year as well. Can the old Gunslinger stop jinking ARod? Dang! I know this is silly of being in the 21st Century and having all this curses and Jinks. Only main reason why they stay it’s still around its all mindgames. Plus getting in the head of the opponent and signaling that it will never happen. Oh, the Chicago Cubs are in the NLCS and still the Billy Goat Curse lives. The only way the Cubs would “reverse that Goat Curse” is to do one thing: Win the World Series. Just like when the curse of the Bambino was lifted off the Boston Red Sox.

But what does have to do with Aaron Rodgers? Frankly, nothing. But the one thing that the December 2nd Sagittarius must break through is the slump he’s in. Get out of the funk. Enough with the though he’s off comments!

So the Packers are not dead yet. It’s still 10th month like the almost mid-season of the NFL.

G’s up Cheeseheads! We’re still in this thing.

Aaron is off. But he can climb back on to the Football thing he knows with new needed upgrades!

What was that word that Aaron said last year? R-E-L-A-X.

This year, Ty Montgomery said CHILL! CHILL! CHILL!

So RELAX and CHILL!

#GoPackGo!


never-forget-black-and-white

 

NEVER FORGET!

Is that the slogan?

NEVER FORGET!

I ask again: is that the slogan?

That phrase of NEVER FORGET! has been so etched in our minds I can’t even count. We use it everytime when we think of the worst things of humanity that we encounter, or summarize every single time. We know this, because it’s a common thing. We adapt the usage of NEVER FORGET that it’s a constant reminder. From wars, to assasinations, to foundings, and even other concerns.

By which many Americans mostly know about the wars of WWII. Oh this: Remember the Alamo. Or, the most recent: NEVER FORGET September 11th. Of course we shouldn’t forget 9/11 like the Jews can’t forget about the Holocaust. The Native Americans can’t forget about The Day of Mourning in which their ancestors on a Sunday after Church were killed. Thus havin a disdain about Thanksgiving. And so on. But when it comes to us Black folks and Slavery: we were told to “Get over it!” Or “It didn’t happen to you.” Or you’re just playing the race card….This is not a race card thing. When we in the black community talk about slavery or innocent black men and women get gunned down in the streets by the police or by a so-called guard with a gun, of course WE WILL ADDRESS IT! Why, because it needs to be heard, summarized, not swept under the rug , or not forgotten about.

For many years, we’ve been suggested to NEVER FORGET, but however in “Americanized Commentary” in most things we’ve been told to get over it!  TOTAL B.S!!!

No tragedy should not be forgotten. NONE! Black folks, I’m glad we got this sense of not forgetting our history of figures and worst strategies. No question we should NOT forget about our version of what happened with Slavery, Unarmed Shootings,etc. We have been silent or told to shut up about it. NO MORE! If there is a story about findings that were covered up or sealed, you darn right it will be uncovered. Even the topics that non-blacks talk about on Facebook that they well get mad; WILL COME INTO THE LIGHT!

NEVER FORGET – That slavery actually happened. It was real. And the effects of it still lingers today. Just like sexism, or that thing called Body Shaming. And homophobia, and so on.

NEVER FORGET – Black Servicemen that served in wars the early to mid 20th Century, served in nations that were treated well. But when they came back home: TOTAL DISRESPECT!

NEVER FORGET – Black folks, OUR VOTE MATTERS! Just like every other vote should matter.

NEVER FORGET – Black folks will tell you all the time, that no matter what degree you get, or level of assurance to obtain, or highest position to get in the working field, yes they worked hard, but still: the N-word, or some non-POC will say something stupid to say in a racist manner. Let’s be real! And to add, the comment working twice as hard is so clear.

NEVER FORGET – That in addition to the Black on Black Crimes that many non-POC’s still talk about, guess what: White on White crimes do happen that is not overlooked!

NEVER FORGET – Black folks: the legality of getting to finish line has not been so easy for us. Too many obsticles that are still in play. Even in 2016.

NEVER FORGET – Conversely, not EVERYONE is your friend. Or loyal to your family members.

NEVER FORGET – Black Lives Matter talk is still out there. In telling the concerns that need to be talked about no matter who’s listening, and mostly it’s the truth. And, the idea of the talk has not been done before in this country!

NEVER FORGET – White folks: I have to say this in a “patriotic manner”. While you remind us black folks here in America that “We Are Americans”, period. We know this.

But many of us are NOT as Patriotic As YOU!

We’re patriotic to learn about our culture, our heritage, or purpose, or joys, when and how long we mourn, and may others that we know VERY WELL. We need NO permission nor pass to do this. In the words of Taraji P. Henson: We are enough!

NEVER FORGET – Besides 9/11, in which it should not be forgotten,  what about the destruction of Black Wall Street and many other disasters or wars, or bad distractions that MANY sleep on TOO MUCH!

NEVER FORGET! – For those who think that the church is all about money and that pastor behind the money or scams, just to let all know that there are churches in America, especially the Black Churches that really DO WORK! Not play work.

NEVER FORGET! – While many look at black folks as being thugs, some of the folks complaining forgotten that they are neighbors, friends, workers, bosses, advisors, citizens, community leaders and etc.

NEVER FORGET – Education is still a priority. Even college degrees that will point somewhere to propel.

NEVER FORGET – Even though many have made it, it took someone before them to prepare them to make it!

NEVER FORGET – Black media matters. As in black TV, Black Radio, Black websites, Black Bloggers, black etc.

So when I hear: NEVER FORGET out of the mouths of the you know that you know what. Well, yeah, but there are other things that WE SHOULDN’T FORGET about the other dramatic concerns and not the black things that weren’t so great. All stories should be told. No matter what. And not the response of “getting over it” or whatever. This NEVER FORGET mantra can go any direction. Even as I said earlier about slavery, racism and many others. THOSE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!

SO NEVER FORGET THAT!

 


TBT: Here is one of my Myspace blogs from 2010 around Black Music Month.

New Thought: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! After many many years, Johnnie Walkers in Downtown Milwaukee has closed. I want all those to take a look at my profile pic and notice the blue suit: That came from Milwaukee’s Johnnie Walkers.

New Thought: I smell blood. True Blood that is. Time to fire up the DVD Recorders and DVR’s for a were/vamp/human connection all summer long.

New Thought: Milwaukee, stop tripping about having different “Festivals”. We have Asian Moon Festival, African World Festival, Irish Fest, Festa Italiana, Mexican Fiesta, Arab Fest, Indian Summer, etc. If you were on Facebook, and commented about this and being Americans, look. If Milwaukee had an “American Fest” would that be happy? You can still be a full-blooded American while recognizing your heritage. What’s wrong with that?! And besides, Milwaukee is known for being “The City of Festivals”. Duh!

New Thought: If any Milwaukeean felt noise prone in the Air, complain to the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels crew. Matter of fact don’t complain, because this is what they do in order to protect the country. I didn’t hate on their practices.

New Thought: Cholesterol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Always know your cholesterol number. Cause if you don’t, it might kill ya! Wanna go through it? Just take a simple blood test. Then exercise more. I’m telling you this because I had mine done, and well, have to start losing more weight.
New Thought: Enough with BP, BP, BP! I am so SICK of looking at the footage of the oil leak over and over again messing up the Gulf of Mexico. Just plug up the freaking hole already! And plus, if I were President Obama, about the statement of “whose A** to kick?” it would be BP’s. And the TeaBaggers, and the so-called Congressmen who stood behind George W. Bush for 8 years with an unfinished WTC Center, Hurricane Katrina and flew on a Air Craft Carrier with a banner in the background stating “Mission Accomplished”. That’s right I said it!

New Thought: Who the crap is “Amber Smith?!!!!!” And why is this “Amber Smith” want to chat with me on MySpace?

And in conlcusion, New Thought: I’m not a fan of Soccer but Go TEAM USA! I can’t the help the fact that oh, Stephen is a soccer fan? Frankly, I am not a fan of players kicking a ball from one goal to another, and having a announcer screaming GOOOOOALLLLLLLL! Nope not me. And I know that there are countless Americans like me in the country that don’t really care about the sport. Sort of like Hockey.

But for the U.S. Soccer Team, I haven’t really paid attention to them lately. I know this is a dumb question but are there any well-known blacks play for the U.S. Soccer Team? I’m not racist, but just a thought out well rounded question in asking. Just want to know. If there are black soccer players on the U.S. Team, I might take an interest. Just want to know who they are and what city they represent. You feel me?

Back around 2002, I didn’t know a lick about Vonetta Flowers, you know when she won the gold medal in Bobsledding? Every Black History Month I bring up her name because of not only who she was, but that one moment that has escalated in sports history by becoming the first African-American Woman to get a Gold Medal in the Winter Games. So no excuses about blacks can’t get the sport on frozen elements. The same can be said for Tiger Woods. In 1997, he made history by winning The Masters. And he was dubbed the first black to do this. And the same can be for Venus/Serena Williams that made tennis watchable.

So the irony of it is, it’s not me being like, Oh he’s full of it. NO! I just want to know in asking who are the BLACK soccer players, on the U.S. Team? Are they well known? That’s all.

 


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.

 

 


Man oh Man.

What a way to summarize Black Music Month 2016.

If anyone had the chance to watch the 2016 BET Awards, on a deal by those that can upstage Madonna in a sense of who can do a better tribute to Prince, yes I will admit, the BET Awards put their monies where the mouths are. Just admit it, they had to do it on their word. And yes, the main portions of the show was dedicated to Prince. Artists from The Roots, Bilal, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae (with the outfit that had her butt cheeks shown – HEY PRINCE DID IT 25 YEARS AGO!) and others all paid homage to the Purple Artist.

Of all the artists whom paid homage to Prince the most to me I would think that would belong to Shelia E. Her mixes from HouseQuake to A Love Bizzare were definitely on point. Even Mayte made an appearance along with Jerome Benton. If that mix didn’t do justice I don’t know what will. And the look on Sheila’s face says it all toward the end. It was a job that had to be done. And a job done well that the group did. Hope Prince is happy. Now they  need to take that craft and continue to generate new artists that can follow that MPLS and Midwestern sound that Prince laid out in the beginning.

Another highlight of the event: Jesse Williams winning the BET Humanitarian Award.

If anyone had NOT had a chance to hear what Jesse said, I’m sorry to say that it was a MUST HEAR SPEECH! It was probably that MUST HEAR SPEECH that every single one of had to listen. Why? because it was the truth. And apparently he got some folks mad after what he said. You know what,let them be mad. Let them get pissed.

Here is the full context of the speech straight out of Time.com:

Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that .

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics – the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.

I’ll bet many have probably said the same thing. But couldn’t get it out. But Jesse Williams did. And I’m glad that he said the words he said. You can call it powerful, real talk, on point, whatever. The fact of the matter is, it is happening. It’s not just denial. In the words of my former pastor, “they know its the truth, but they just don’t want to hear it!”

Speaking of that: of  course there are some “haters” that had to clap back with denial or anguish. Like Stacey Dash whom wished the death of BET and Black History Month back in January. Didn’t work Stacey! You have been exposed. If she hated BET or anything that pertains to African-Americans, why was she getting paid BACK THEN? And this millennial Tomi Lahren, she had to “clapback” about what Jesse said and having the gaul to call the BET Awards racist. LITTLE GIRL: GO TO YOUR ROOM AND SIT DOWN! She is a non factor trying to be paid like the likes of Glenn Beck on his Blaze TV  Program or whatever. She knows nothing! All it is, she is being played to say the things she does. She already got the Donkey of the Day by The Breakfast Club anyway.

CALLOUT: Should Stacey Dash and Tomi Lahren should have that “Come to Jesus Meeting” after all? My case is yes! And many of those like them and we know who they are better have those tickets punched for those seats! And this goes for those black men and white men who got mad after what Jesse Williams said also. If those men ACTUALLY got the balls to say what he said, in public, or on a Black Network, then why they mad? Even they need to go in the corner and SIT DOWN!

Or in this case: sit down and shut up!

Yes it was powerful. Straight up.

And a sidenote: the BET Awards also acknowledged one of my hometown residents Marcus Duke out of Milwaukee. He is the owner of ClubKids414 and has great things for the city in terms of Milwaukee’s youth and kids. If those have not checked this out, please do so.

 


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