Archive for the ‘Wisconsin African American Commentary’ Category


I have to address this concern. Crazy Drivers. The type of driver that cut infront of you in the city. Always weaving in and out. Always seeing that one vehicle that starts at the traffic light being the car is on the right and pulling ahead after the green light shows up. They are just being inconsiderate of the traffic laws and not giving no one the respect on the road!

And some of that, leads to accidents!

On Facebook, of my newspaper columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  posted pictures on the site that dealt with one vehicle having an accident. And the vehicle was tipped on its side. It was so crazy that the vehicle was infront of one of my connectional UMC churches here in the city.  In summary these crazy drivers in all, they are winning. I repeat: THEY ARE WINNING. They are winning because not just because they are young and stupid, they are winning because there are not enough speed traps or police that can actually spot them and track them down with tickets. I had a incident when myself and my mother were going north to our dentist and this one car, a Buick with a AAA Wisconsin Licence Plate gave me the finger twice because I used my horn on him twice for cutting infront of me on purpose. And it was a black male driver. Not only he got away but he was weaving back and forth in between lanes going the same direction. YOUNG AND STUPID!

I also seen drivers whom are always on the right side of the lanes, crossing over to the left middle lane cutting infront of the drivers. Again, these are young black male drivers who don’t have no FORMAL DRIVERS TRANING out of respect and just coming up with their own rules and no respect for seasoned drivers whom like me are real people and have families and friends. Do these fools know this? Nope.

I’ll bet that many are asking, are drivers like this all the time in Milwaukee? My question is are there are young drivers whom are all stupid to not obey the traffic laws and get away with murder without insurance? Hmmmm…..And it doesn’t matter where you live in this country.  Knowing that is not about young black drivers who disrespect the traffic laws. Other folks do it also and they get away with this crap like it’s a game. This is not a game folks. You want to drive crazy, go get or play Need For Speed or Grand Theft Auto for all I care. Those are games. Out on the street: NO GAME!

Other that that, don’t be surprised if any of the vehicles get those cameras that record every driving date that comes up. And it’s legal. When they come up, guess what’s going to happen? Either their DL’s will be removed or they have to give up driving their parents’ cars. And if you parents have young drivers who drive and cut infront of drivers in traffic, you WILL BE RESPONSIBLE! Simply because, they are driving your cars! Be responsible adults and take the keys from them.

Time to break out the cellphone cameras, dash cameras and take the photos and send them to the Police. Enough playing around.

End of rant.


 

 

Fold 3 Flag

Folded Flag – by Stephen’s Spot Photography

 

 

By now, we’re back at work. Back in school. Back to the part where it’s the now the “unofficial start” of summer. We know that Memorial Day has past and many of us paid respects to those that did the job for us by serving in uniform.

Whether they were killed in action, or like my father whom had passed on while a veteran, no matter they had served in any of the 5 branches, served in conflicts or peacetime, they all served. Period. Even if we don’t like it that much.

But, I’m scratching my head again.
CALLOUT: Yo, why are we saying the words: “Happy Memorial Day?”

Wisconsin, you realized we turned another year of Statehood, right? Been around since 1848.

You also realized that Memorial Day started with black folks, right?

On Facebook and Instagram: many of you did this, why are you putting up pics of MLK, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass, and other famous African-Americans whom DID NOT SERVE?! Especially on Memorial Day.  Just curious……

For those whom are still stuck: why do we confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day so much?

You realize that Armed Forces Day gets skipped over alot, and many don’t realize that it gets celebrated in May of our current Armed Forces Members?

Do many African-Americans families go to Memorial Day tributes at cemeteries and parades outside of the big cities?

Where are the black Gold Star families in Milwaukee that lost those whom served previously? As well as those who lost loved ones when they were recognized as Veterans?

Like many in America, there’s always going to be concerns about shootings around the Memorial Day Weekend. And the real reason because…..?

Instead of hating on those who don’t get any acknowledgement on Memorial Day, like those who fought in the community, could they’re be an idea of drafting a “Community Memorial Day” state or city holiday?

Instead of hating the idea of a certain Community or Civil Rights or Abolitionists doesn’t get a recognition on Memorial Day, can there be a “National Civil Rights Memorial Day?”

I said this last year: why isnt there an African-American Rolling Thunder Event for Juneteenth Day? You know like the one in D.C. every year?

During any Rolling Thunder Event of Motorcycles: was there a black Marine, or a black Airman, a black Sailor, a black Coast Guard Member or a black Soilder saluting in DC?

Where there any black American Legion Members or Sons, or Auxiliary, or Legion Riders out yesterday?

How many of those felt when the Tuskegee Airmen got recognized in DC during the Memorial Day Concert?

Did ANY African-Americans knowingly got recognized on Memorial Day when presenting names or having their names displayed?

Off topic question: Why is there a theater in Texas not having men to come out to see the upcoming Wonder Woman Movie? MEN: go to the theaters to see Wonder Woman that will welcome us dudes that like the DC Woman Character. And also keep going to that theater so the other theaters will lose male customers!

Second off-topic question: What will it take to resist the negative acts of #45, the negative acts of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and negative mindset of Sheriff David Clarke?

Third off-topic question: Can the DNC really resist this summer?

OK last one: how many of us will always pass the knowledge, tell the stories, learn the lessons of those whom have passed on and either they were killed in action or died years later as Veterans? If we don’t tell the stories, who will?

The Struggle Continues Red White and Blue

 


Ok. I’ve been on the “Facebooks” lately, and also the Internet about the latest Summer Fashion Trend. No, it’s not for females. It’s for the Men Folks. We’ve worn these clothings before they were a fashion trend, and it’s making a comeback with mixed emotions of negativity and sharp opinions. I’m talk about “Rompers”. Yeah the Romper Craze has begun and not many aren’t impressed. Matter of fact, not very interested in the reaction of having one.

My reaction of this summer fashion craze for men: NO!

I already expressed my opinon on Facebook that there will be NO ROMPERS in the HOUSEHOLD. NO! The last time I wore rompers was like…I don’t know when I was in the Terrible Two’s maybe?! Why would I want to rock this thing called a romper when I’m 40? Really! Ok, for some of us whom are feminezed and are male, oh yes THEY would rock a Romper. No question. Just wait until June, during the LGBT events. I’m just saying. Now, of course we know some Senior Citizens would probably wear those in their later ages in all, but for current status, NO!

My take on this is real clear, No Rompers! Of course the Kickstarter campaign started this idea in thinking that it will “fly”. Maybe it will fly for some but not all. But we all know it won’t fly for many! Real talk.

Let’s be really honest, this “Rompers” thing will not last! Just wait. And many thought that baggy jeans was bad. Go figure.


Let me say this: Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers who are grinding. Those whom are old school, new school, community, and many others. Oh yes it’s your day and you probably had a blast.

For now, I’m scratching my head again.

So James Comey got fired by #45. The same one that took down Hillary and the so-called emails.  Are we suprised?

Oh I see that the class of 2017 at Bethune Cookman College did not appreciate the presence of Betsy DeVos. And the folks on Social Media (in an opposite sense) had to call them disrespectful or “they won’t get any jobs” speech. Who’s the blame? Not the students! And for the record, she did talked “smack” about the HBCU Schools! Let’s be real.

If you’re a black graduate from Liberty University and just heard #45 spoke, and after the stuff he pulled so far, what is going through your mind?

What’s it going to take to solve this? Seeing a bunch of folks protecting a statue with torches?

Really, Steve Harvey? You fired your staff and having this “shield” that you don’t want to talk? Dude, stop!

Is Facebook really that hypocritcal? You get your movie clips with music banned but they don’t remove a pic with someone being hanged. Really?

Most recently, there have been alot of Sky Fox drones for news. Can there be more Sky Fox drone Jobs? Hmmmmm…..

In Wisconsin, can there be “Telepresence Jobs” and “Fab Lab Jobs” in the making for us over 30 years old? Training perhaps? With Bachelor’s and such.

Who is making all these so called memes about the Holy Bible and Slavery? Like the design and slave boats?

Does Wisco have a “Real Strong” candidate against Scott Walker? I mean a real strong candidate? No weak folks in 2018!

So folks hate these “spinning fidgits” that are being advertised. Being all distractive. How so?

Why I don’t see more POC in the Sons of The American Legion, Auxillary Legion or the Legion Riders? Especially in areas where not enough POC’s reside? I think they need to expand it more to the minority communities.

Milwaukee: did we enjoyed the 2nd Annual MPS Alumni Reunion?

Looking at the polls about the firing of James Comey. 29% only approve of his removal. What about the other percentage?

Milwaukee: what about that streetcar construction?

Why is #45 using the word “tapes”?

Glad to see that the Obamas are not going away. Good. Will the haters listen yet again?

Why is hazing still a problem in Fraternities and Sororities that lead to death? I don’t know it’s time to use a background check on the groups.

Dang, why was a 15 year old black teenager Jordan Edwards, who had straight A’s was recently killed in a car by a local police department in Texas? Did his life (black life) mattered? Oh I don’t hear the “All Lives Matter” groups talking now!

Ok. I have to say this: why was Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took on the salary speaking funds that Barack Obama is getting?  Let the man get his paper!

Alot of the haters still hate on the Affordable Care Act. And those are supposed to be “Gun Touring Christians and follow the Good Book to screw others” in all. And I’m saying this as a Christian! Um….explain the details of why that about 29 million Americans should not get any coverage of pre-existing conditions. Explain why that those who are diagnosed with Diabetes, MS, Cancer, Heart Disease, or any other health concern should not get nothing to treat! Y’all making me run back to the medical folks for physical. Dang!

And the last question is…….. Mothers, are you blessed once again for Mothers Day? Enjoy and have fun. And always honor those whom are not here physically but around spiritually.

Speaking of which, I will be doing a Father’s Day Scratching head in honor of my father, and other fathers whom are eternally resting. And those whom have stepped up to the plate that act upon like fathers. It will be special. Stay tuned.


For most of us in Milwaukee County, Sheriff David Clarke had overstep too many times. We know what they are. And apparently we know it’s not just him parading around in the cowboys hat or being a supporter of #45.  This recent act in the Milwaukee County Jail in which another prisoner was deceased and also there an act of villainy in which the water in the prisoner’s cell was turned off completely. This is an act of that miscarriage. I’m telling this because it’s happened before. Go back to 2016. Please.

This recent act has had the county and the city buzzing.  The prisoner, Terrill Thomas was the inmate that had lot of attention of this situation including black media of News One. And not only that, our own black media was all over this.

What was the real reason why Terill Thomas was given no fluids during his prison stay?!

I am asking that for those of us that again, voted up for Clarke are we satisfied with his job now? After him going on Fox News and most recently on Milwaukee​ Black Radio that in attempt to hid his real cover per se, I must ask again is Sheriff David Clarke worthy enough for his job? 

Let’s be honest, yes we watched over and over about the inmate’s news about him not getting any water of any reason, and the mixed emotions of prisoners in the County Jail not getting enough protection or treatment per se in 2016, the words are already on the wall. Let’s be honest again: Clarke is not right. And many have asked Walker to remove him from the Sheriff’s chair immediately. But of course, Walker says that it’s up to the Milwaukee County Voters to make that decision.

Which brings me to this: Earnell Lucas. A former MPD Officer of 25 years of experience​ plus a former MLB Security Supervisor now wants to run against Clarke. Plus he is already getting noticed that he could be the man that can take on Clarke in 2018. 

So yes, this is what I think that Clarke should​ go to the unemployment line. And Milwaukee County: time to come correct. 

And that is my rant.


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 the last three and a half weeks, it’s been a nightmare shocking whirlwind of the death of my father. For the first time here on WordPress, I’m going to summarize the feeling that I experienced losing Dad. This post will be in three parts.

The last time I saw my father alive was Sunday, February 19th, 2017. He was last looking at a picture album full of past funeral bulletins in the last decade or so. As my father was looking at the book and summarizing the funreal programs of my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles (his parents and siblings) he realized to my mother that he was the last one. The last of the 10. My Dad was the youngest of the five brothers, my uncles. His last visit to my sister’s house in Milwaukee, was February 21st, 2017. He told my mother that he had to go to the store, and then home. He also told my sister that he was prepared to leave. That was the last time collectively within those two days we saw him alive.

A couple days later, my sister had to be admitted to the hospital for her health needs. And all day my mother had been calling Dad. Finding out where he was in all. No answer. Same day, no Answer.When Thursday came, I was going to my Aunt’s house to take over a recipe for a Black History Month Event at a Milwaukee Elementary School. It was a Thursday night watching Scandal and getting prepared. After a middle of that, I received a call from my mother to see how things are going.She also advised me to go over to the house to check in on Dad to see how he was doing. Plus again, no answer. So after I left my Aunt’s house I headed over my parents house. First I called into the house. No answer. Then I walked to the front door and rang the doorbell. Nothing.Then I checked the mailbox and it was full. That was odd to me because it’s not like my father to keep the mailbox this full. He usually takes in the mail and sorts it for myself, my sister and mother. Then I went around to the backdoor to try to gain access to the door. One vital factor,I needed the keys to get in. I had to return to my sister’s house to get the keys in my backpack. Then while I was there, I dropped off the cornbread and called the house to see if my father would pick up. I left a voicemail message to see if he would answer it. No avail. And I told myself that “if he doesn’t answer in the next fifteen minutes, I’m going over there.” So I got back in my mother’s minivan and returned to my parents house. Having a feeling of being scared I went inside just to see what’s been going on. I accessed the backdoor to get into the house yet again. While looking around I had my mother on the cell checking in. I looked upstairs to see if was there. Nothing. Along the way in the living room and nothing but his brown hoodie on the couch next to his Vietnam Veteran Flag. But then, I went downstairs to the basement, where his Entertainment Room was full of movies and CD’s, plus a table, an easel drawing from 1991. And my father was on the floor. I told my mother, “Mom, Dad’s on the floor!” And she asked “what do you mean he’s on the floor?” I called out to Dad to wake him up. Even I shook him a bit to wake him up. I checked his pulse on his neck and wrist. No pulse. Nothing. Then I told Mom that he was not responding.  I called 911 to have the parimedics to come, and while they were arriving I turned him over to have him face up, then did the CPR compressions to try to revive him. His head was slightly bloodied appeared he hit his head hard. And his Right Arm was bloodied with his blood tissue sticking out.  (Warning Graphic Words) When the Parimedics came, they took over and asked the questions. Moments later my mother called to see if we’re there any results, but the bad news that my father who gave me his name….had been dead for two days. I was shocked and numb! And sad. My mother and sister: Sad. Grieving. I was in disbelief. MY OWN FATHER!!! My 69 year old father, died. I was just absolutely shocked sad and numb all around. Later on , the Milwaukee Police Department came over to investigate the basement where he died. And between the police and the Parimedics, I had to answer the tough questions like: “When was the last time you talked with him?” My mind kept thinking back to Sunday, February 19th for a reason. In which that was the final time I saw him alive. Another question: “What kind of medications was he taking? He was taking his medications to upkeep his health, including his blood sugar to see how he was doing in which at the time was his focus. “Was he a smoker? At the time, Dad quit smoking in October 2009 after a major colon surgery. Which he lived to talked about it. And other Health conditions in all. With all that going on, I had to take control of the situation. I didn’t panic, nor freak out. I maintained my composure, answered the many questions as possible and they were impressed. I told them about the work history of what my father did from Allis Chalmers, Pfister and Vogel Tannery, the VA Medical Center and the US Postal Service. Plus I mentioned his military service with the US Army and served during the Vietnam War. I also described an attire that he wore the most of his dark blue shirts, blue jeans & shoes. He usually dressed like that in order to do work around the house, or other houses if needed.

My relatives mostly my cousins, aunt’s and uncles, all came over. Plus for a stint, it was dead silence. And the thunderstorm was brewing above with hailstones early Friday Morning. Later, my pastor and his wife came over to check out the situation. After many was assembled we all had prayer. I started to say that “you know me since the beginning. You know what I’m about”. After the prayer, I was given the honors to cover up my Dad with a yellow sheet. But before I did that, I uttered the words “you empowered me sir. You Empowered me!” And I made another vow “I got your back.” After I covered him up, I went back upstairs with the family by shutting the doors. Plus there were others from the Milwaukee County Coroner’s office wanted additional info to provide in all. Moments later, my pastor and one of my older cousins wanted to see Dad. I took them downstairs to the room, uncovered the sheet and at the moment, my pastor have given a prayer at the spot. He wanted to see him, and he did. Not a good look for my cousin’s reaction with grief. After that, we went back upstairs with me covering up the sheet and closing the door. Much later, I felt I needed to take a break, and sat in my Dad’s bedroom. Then, my mother came in the house, sobbing. And she called out my name when I was upstairs. I went to her immediately and hugged her tight. She thanked me for coming over knowing that I had felt scared of what happened to Dad. She was relieved of that part. Later on she wanted to go downstairs to see Dad. Along the way, she saw his last meal of greens and Barbecue Porkchops. As myself, my mother and uncle went downstairs, I opened the doors and the three of us hugged each other tightly while grieving. All she saw was him covered up except his foot. And after that, I closed the doors to his Entertainment room. Much later, here come the Undertakers. The representatives from a local Funeral Home stopped by to get Dad out of the room and with him covered. They got him and took him away to do further summarizations of his death and what lead to it.

After that, I looked to the heavens and told my late grandparents, aunts and uncles that “S.T. is home.” Meaning that he was on his way to be with them. S.T. was my Dad’s nickname growing up.

Many of us had our hugs, but I had many of them the most. After all that, this was the most hard beginnings I began to endure.

Part two of “Losing Dad” will continue featuring the hard facebook post, and preparations for his funeral.


 

 

Folks: I haven’t been on the blogs as of much. A primary reason because of a extreme matter that took place. My father recently passed on at 69 years old in Milwaukee, and like many in my family, we are saddened and shocked by his death. How did I felt really? This my statement via my Facebook page from February 24th, 2017:

I have breaking news to share. And I don’t know if I have the bravery to say this but I’ll manage. Folks, I am shocked and numb now to say that my Father, whom I’m named after,  is now passed. Us in the family are taking this hard that this has occurred. Literally I know that when I hear folks passing away yes I feel this sympathy to be close. I also have this option to say to those that yes is to learn the lessons to move forward. Now it’s time for myself and my sister, to learn the lessons that my father taught us. For those of you that lost Fathers, I will listen to you. I will learn what you went through in order for me, my sister and most definitely my mother will take to move forward. My father was the last of his McClinton family bunch to pass on. And knowing my family will feel it knowing he’s in a better place.  One thing for I know, Dad didn’t play. He was a straight shooter all the way and knowing yes was fair. There been many times that for financial reasons whether my sister or I had little money on hand or no money on hand:  he was there. For moral support, he was there. He was there for my church (the same church that he was a member since 1969), things to fix around the house all the time. He was known to have a Corvette for alot of years, even a Honda V45 Manga Motorcycle, a Ford Truck, and a Cadillac Escalade. He also was known for his art talent of old school portraits, woodworking, at one time, playing a guitar, and of course gadgets and CPU’s  – in which I got him interested. But mostly: he was known for being a Veteran of the Armed Forces. Served in the US Army between 1966-1968 before the tet offensive in Vietnam. Married to my mother since 1969 and again raised me and older sister. Plus he was an Alumni of the Milwaukee Public Schools. He went to Lee Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School, and a true Blue Devil out of North Division High School “when it was real”, as he stated. And the jobs: Allis Chalmers, Pfister and Vogel Tannery, VA Medical Center and mostly the US Postal Service for his work for 27 years of service.
Yes I am sad, shocked and numb right now. And the pinch ain’t good. I will do my best to make sure that his memory as he stated last year: Leaving a mark. In which he did. My father Empowered (and I mean EMPOWERED) me to be the best of I do. Same with my sister. No question.  I’ll be in and out of Social Media as this long process of setting up my Dad’s Service of life. That is all. Send condolences to my family at this time if you wish.
Thank you.
At this time, I’ll be on a short hiatus with the planning of my Father’s funeral. Meanwhile, we ask for prayers and support in the hour of bereavement. 


America:

As we know by Sunday Afternoon, we lost the legendary Alwyn Lopez Jarreau. Or to many, Al Jarreau. So far this week, we have heard tributes from News One, to those playing the music that gravitated us to hear.

Many of us are griveing and shocked that he already announced his retirement after 50 years in music. But also passed on way after that. At age 76 years old, he made himself well known.

Yes, he had to go west to get well known after he got his master’s degree in Iowa. And the saying goes, the rest is history. But there is ONE caveat that is part of this. One word: Milwaukee. The same Milwaukee that many don’t want to come back all because of whatever. More on that later.

Al got his start in my hometown of Milwaukee in church. He was a graduate of Lincoln High School (now called Lincoln Center of the Arts) from the class of 1958. Lincoln High School was a rival school to North Division High School which was way before Rufus King and Riverside University High School’s rivarly were thought about.His parents were in ministry and a pianist in the church where he got his start. From his high school days to his career in the music game as I said before, Al was getting noticed.

He had his share of hits from “We’re In this Love Together”, “Mornin”, “What you do to me”, “Boogie Down”, a theme song from the 80’s TV show, “Moonlighting”,  to  “In My Music.” Oh, he did a Christmas Album too. Plus he did a song in 1976 about his hometown, “Milwaukee” from his album “Glow” mentioning his move out west to California with the Old Milwaukee Road in between.

Speaking of the songs, and yes many of you went to his concerts over the years. And most definitely that Al did Milwaukee gigs at Potowanomi Bingo for his homecoming concerts. Even singing the National Anthem at a UW- Milwaukee Panthers Game.

Yes Americans, he followed his dream as summarized on the Because of them we can Facebook Page. BUT……He did came back to Milwaukee for not only other music concerts, he came back to visit the students in the schools to give them some knowledge and advice about their gift of music. Most recently, he was at The Milwaukee High School of the Arts, (for you MPS Alumni old heads, West Division High School) providing that notion. He also expressed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that the kids today in Milwaukee aren’t getting the same music opportunities as him back in his MPS days. Yes, Al Jarreau was a MPS Alumni member. Plus he hoped that the kids would get music in the schools to maintain just as science, technology, engineering, and yes math. Music is just as important in the schools like Gym Classes or sport teams. Period. I am a living witness to this as a music dude myself blowing Saxophones since 1989. 7th Grade. So yes, Music/Arts in Public Schools does matter.

Now I want to say this: For you fans, he was a great musician. For us in Milwaukee, he was our native son. Hope you all respect that. 

Now for us in Milwaukee: if we can get the stuff lit in orange,  or purple for Prince, we need to light up our landmarks in Al’s favorite color in symbolic of him. I’m dead serious. If we say we love him or admire him, light up Miller Park, his schools, City Hall, the Art Museum, Summerfest, or any other Landmark in honor of him. Light up all the Milwaukee Landmarks. Period.

For Summerfest: we know the 50th Anniversary is coming in June. Expecting all fest folks to come out. I would like to see a all star Milwaukee tribute in honor of Al Jarreau! I’m calling the locals who follow Al’s music, to the famous Milwaukee folks like Eric Benet, Speech from Arrested Development, to Tank even a Core DJ  that is really known famous and is Milwaukee Born, get yourselves to Summerfest this Summer and get this tribute thing started. If I can think of a good Summerfest 50th Anniversary Celebration idea, this could be it. So I’m challenging the Community, the Landmarks, the musicians, the famous fans like all over, and even us at heart, get that set up! If any relatives or family members are reading this, ponder this for a moment after your bereavement.

Not only that, expand that energy back to the students. They are looking at this and one day in the next era, they might pick up the advice that Al Jarreau said and keep playing. Speaking of that: we all know that Al Jarreau’s Homegoing is going to be private. And since the donation factor of his cause is still open, I urge all supporters to go to this website: UPAF.org. For you folks outside of Milwaukee, it’s the United Performing Arts Fund. It’s been around since 1967 in the recognitions of Milwaukee’s Arts of Music, Dance, Theater, and many of the fine arts that had produced locally. Matter of fact, read about the mini summary of the organization here:

https://upaf.org/what-is-upaf/

Let’s keep the name alive for him. Al Jarreau has given us 50 years of what he knew and let’s give him some love back in his memory!

 

 

 



Oh it’s time once again to go back to the learning tree.

For this: it’s once again that my centerpiece is set for Black History Month. No millennials, not black futures month, or a thing being conscious month. Black History Month is back again being 91 years old, and yes there many of us who think we know everything that is Black History. Or do we?

Like many years before, there are spoiler alerts: Stop me if you heard this one:

“I celebrate my people everyday.”

Or: “Every month is Black History Month.”

Or: “Black History Month begins January 1st and ends December 31st”.

Or: “I’m Black Everyday.”

Oh really? Hear me out.

How many of us in the black communities and classrooms, homes and churches and many others (including Social Media) do actually believe that when we say that, it’s almost we’re lying to ourselves?

Think about it. Years back on this blog again, I ask this same question:

What (in the H.E. Double Hockey Sticks) do we do everyday?

We are at work, school, in line to buy that new gadget, that line of weave, that line of new Jordans, that latest new single by J. Cole or a underrated rock band, or the list goes on and on! And the thing is, the age range is not a factor. You mean to tell me we can list all the sports records in Football and how the Atlanta Falcons CHOKED in the 51st SuperBowl(after beating Green Bay Twice), but can’t recite the reasons why black players couldn’t make the roster because of skin color? Or many of us love guns/militarism. Why wasn’t the US Military at the time had black servicemen who did their job for their country, but never got love for the country they served for?

I want to jump back to the quote of “celebrating our people everyday” and such.

If we really celebrate our people everyday, where are those who have NOT BEEN CELEBRATED?! Where are they at? How many of us who bleed that quote of celebrating us everyday never gave the flowers to those whom always been hidden every single time.  It’s always the front runners, the lead dogs, those that got the first divas for being out more than those that didn’t get one trophy for the hard work. And they have been grinding! What about those whom you got on your Social Media lists that has all those boat loaded accomplishments that you read about, but have this so-called opinion of them being so radical with actions or whatever and you don’t say nothing to be appreciative? Some of you may know where I’m going with this! But here’s the kicker. Many of us don’t hardly acknowledge it as much, while still being ALIVE!

5 years ago in February, Whitney Houston’s Funeral was taking place. And one of her former Bodyguards said something about giving flowers to those whom are living. That’s real talk. Every black man, and of course every black woman should be given their flowers RIGHT NOW for not only the appreciation of work, or a birthday, an anniversary, or being a good citizen or family member or friend, but still around.

CALLOUT: Especially us Black Males need that too! 

Many of us give flowers at a time of funerals. But that person lying in a casket or ashes in urns never got the chance to smell the roses while living. We need to recognize and check ourselves that yes, life is short. Anyone of us could be taken out for selfish or health reasons of anytime. That’s also real talk!

And about the phrase: “I’m black everyday or every month.”

Well duh! Of course many of us in the black community are black everyday! And I hope it’s not a diss towards Black History Month. I’ll admit that yes we got this pride of being a proud black man or a proud black woman. We got pride of recognizing our culture, our objectives, our purpose and our existence. We know.

However: I have to stress this, there are those of us whom are NOT proud of our heritage! Inner hate. Being ashamed. Being disregarded of not acknowledging the thought of having a prideful positive outlook of being black overall. Stop me if you have heard this before.

When black folks say “I’m black everyday”, I say: of course! And I dare say: what else?

  • Are you black everyday and helping out your community?
  • Are you black everyday and give back to your Alumni?
  • Are you black everyday and providing a value of support in your families, churches, fraternities, sororities, neighborhoods, and your place of employment?
  • Are you black everyday and giving back overall of the work after you somewhat post on Facebook, and other social media outlet?
  • Are you black everyday and not dissing or shaming the culture that many of us made fun of when we were younger?
  • Are you black everyday that after you have all those meetings and actually go over and review of what happened and how to make it better for the merrier?
  • Are you black everyday (talking to the men) whom don’t do the domestic violence thing, or dissing the health needs, dissing the black women in a ego sense, or financial concerns?
  • Are you black everyday, (talking to the women) who don’t diss all black men whom you think that they are dogs, ain’t all that like some thug, not being appreciated or loved, supportive, or not very extroverted like many of you, or who assumes that he has to make the same amount of cash, or whatever like many of you? As well as not dissing your needs of medical or finance?
  • Are we black everyday, and not hating on our educational values?
  • Are we black everyday and not hating on each other for clothes, money, what you don’t have, when forcing someone to speak, a certain game console, shoes, gadgets, food supply, or anything that is not worthy of being jealous?
  • Are we black everyday and fighting against racism, the gangs, prostitution,  etc?
  • Are we black everyday and do the Christian or religious related thing to things that matter and thinking it straight?
  • Are we black everyday and having a goal to have a better value of our history and future?
  • Are we black everyday and vote in every Election? Should have thought about that in November.
  • Are we black everyday like we supposed to be black everyday ? Just asking.

MASSIVE CALLOUT: We need to be real!

Oh and white folks: look, don’t ask the same tired question about when is a “White History Month” going to happen. Clearly you guys got every month locked in on the freaking calendar. Stop playing with yourselves!

Later on before the month is out, I’ll be doing a review of what was I think stood out in #BHM2017.

But for now: My #BHM2017 centerpiece is displayed on the table while staying in the struggle.