Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’


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

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

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

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

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

Some of the positive highlights of the service:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Time to breaking the clubbing shoes on, it’s the three way dance. And based on the tile of the subject, I’ll be like the DJ and get the music warmed up and just hit the beats. Meanwhile, GET ON THE FLOOR!

First on the card: Stacey Dash MUST RETIRE!

You probably heard all the shade that Stacey said this past week. All the shade about well, BET, Black History Month and her so-called viewpoints of segregation of OUR BLACK historical perspectives and networks. Oh really? Talk about Clueless from 1995. She is one of the epitomes of CLUELESS. As if! Well let’s review what this “Clueless” actress turned Fox Correspondent had to comment. Hold on to your hats:

I’m certain that many had to be like, “Really?” However Stacey isn’t the first nor the last person had try to call a cancellation of BET or Black History Month. There have  been countless others before that had that notion and the ending result, is the fact that they ALL FAILED. 11 years ago, Morgan Freeman, said on 60 Minutes that he doesn’t want a black history month, he wanted a “American History Month”. Oh, yeah there were those who agreed with him and failed. Adrienne Curry, America’s’ Next Top Model had stirred a fire storm and I was one of those who was well, fed up with commentary about her so-called ending of Black History Month or BET and she had to echo the words of Morgan Freeman saying the same thing. Then she talked about that it was not her intent to end TOTAL FAIL. But now we come once again, and this Clueless star has the nuts to say, oh we need to end BET and Black History Month to desegregate us per say. Check this, if she’s out to destroy Black History Month or BET or anything is black related, then ask me this, why was she was on various covers of Jet, King, and many other platforms that were indeed black related, on a BLACK NETWORK like BET? Plus, someone had to school her bad:

In the words of Walter Cronkite: And that’s the way it is!

See, this trips me about about folks, especially some black folks who go on these platforms and strike down on their own. They will get roasted. I don’t care how bright you are on a republican network like Fox News, you will get roasted. Well, Stacey has been on the list by those roasted, and it took another shooter like Roland Martin to floor it. When Roland had to go and google or dig up the ghosts of Stacey Dash’s Black Picture and Magazine Past, he brought the truth. Oh, he wasn’t the only one, her  cousin, Damon Dash (They Cousins?!) went on air to comment that his cousin to “stop cooning” for Fox News. Hello! Her ex-husband, called her out on Instragram about this same issue, also concerning their son! Whom is black! She is out here “throwing shade” per say about BET, Black Awards and all, but she’s been on the platform in movies and shows ON BLACK NETWORKS! Like AS IF?! She’s being paid to say those things. Is the bank account dried up?

Spoiler Alert for the haters: Black History Month turns 90 years old next month in February and there will be folks celebrating the accomplishment thus far of Black Culture from abolitionists to activism. From those whom can’t that could. From the Introverted to the Extroverted in all things in work, play and do. Speaking of that, in Black History Month, I will highlight some figures that I think stood out as Introverts that shook up the world. Be on the lookout for it. We know this is an everyday thing, but there are those who are literally clueless that need to brush up and their heads need to be examined! Yeah, we know about what we were taught in school, BUT what is being taught at home, church, community centers and mainly with the adults who are NOT teaching, nor reteaching? Somebody better say Amen! Another alert: The black networks of BET, TVOne, Aspire, Centric, Bounce, and many others will still continue whether we like it or not. And of course you can make your choices to watch or not. But remember why they were put there in the first place! Man, I had a church member who once recited a Marcus Garvey like poem called “Hey Black Child.” Don’t play me. I maybe as American as they come, but when it comes to my Afrocentric side of reference, I cannot NOR EVER overshadow that EVER! That goes for the white folks and black folks! Gotta Keep it 100, right?

Second Dance on the card: The Water issues in Flint Michigan.

I want to direct my attention to Flint Michigan. Yes, America is praying for you. We have heard and seen your concerns about your water issues, and as a Great Lakes Resident, I feel you. 23 years ago in Milwaukee, we had the almost same problem as you guys are going through. We had the Cryptosporidium Outbreak, or The Milwaukee Outbreak in which our water was poisoned in making us sick. We like you had to rely on water bottles, and plus we had to boil our water to keep it fresh without getting sick. It happened between March and April of 1993. I was a High School Sophomore when this happened. I don’t know what Gov. Snyder had tried to do to prevent this, but like Scott Walker, he’s not doing a good job. And also, for you guys, this was under the radar for two years?!! REALLY?!! If this was under the radar for 2 years, why wasn’t it reported back then? And what was the hold up for the decisions back then in order this is to prevent from happening? Oh yes, you are angry and had the right to be. Lake Michigan is our good resource and like many good resources it needs to be maintained in ship shape. Again, we were like this 23 years ago. So I get it.

So yes, Flint Michigan Residents, you probably need new upgrades to maintain the cleaning of your water supply. On the real: Get on your Governor’s case. Your mayor’s case and demand UPGRADES for your water supply. Conduct tests! All the time. This is a safety hazard that should not be on the necks all the time.

And on the final dance card: Yes, you can boycott oscars.

It seems that the Oscar buzz of African-Americans have been the norm every time. The last couple of years as we know, #OscarsSoWhite. Go ahead and say it. We know what  it is. Throughout history of the Oscars only 31 winners of the trophy have been African-American. From Hattie McDaniel to Octavia Spencer. And who can forget Three-6-Mafia winning a Oscar of “It’s hard out here for a pimp.” Even though the live performance was indeed edited. And who can forget last year “Glory” won for best song from a soundtrack via Selma. So far, not bad? Well not really satisfied. The now supposed tobe nominations of the Oscars of 2016 were about 49 represented, but none of them were black. NOT ONE! So now, from Whoopi to Jada no matter whom is in the middle, it’s still the same but upgraded talk of the town. We know it’s old news. But it’s also a reminder. Yes, I do know that the President of the Academy Awards is African-American. And the host of this year’s Oscars, is Chris Rock. Oh, boy. Yes, Chris Rock has been chosen to host this year’s Oscars, but there are those whom are suggesting that he should drop it out of protest. Or there are those whom are saying that he should continue to do it and bring the discussion to the platform in why some or many are making the mark not to attend. Will Smith made his declaration by stating that “Diversity is America’s Superpower.” But he also commented that it’s not living up to the hype. This hype of Hollywood shutting out the black folks of not getting oscar is as much to think that the New England Patriots may not make it to the Super Bowl. Again, it’s not just the assumption of thinking, but more of a reality that could be a fact coming.

So yeah, it’s an ongoing struggle. If I were one of those whom are looking at those should have been nominated, then yes I might have egg on my face. And begin to ask, what could I have done to nominate these talented actors and actresses? What could have I done to have this to be? And how? The mark has missed badly. And it’s not the first time. But next time, there should be more targets to hit than missed. And many are saying that it’s not just the statue. They are right. But it’s something that is bigger than the Oscar Gold Trophy. Way bigger. And that long conquering monster needs to be tamed. And tamed PROMPTLY!

 


Just recently, I stumbled onto a story that needs to ask this question: Are we still living in a post racial society? I’m going to say NO!

In today there was a story that a Nurse was discriminated all because she’s black. Yep. A black nurse, Tonya Battle in Michigan was discriminated because of her duties of caring for a child. And the person making the liberty, per say is white and has a swastika symbol on his skin. I beg the question again because all what I remember what Ann Coulter said in asking where are the real racists? Um……..Hey Ann try this story. Get out chick. I have to ask the question: Have I had nurses who were Black, White, Latino and others that game me the care and advice for my health needs and concerns? Yes. And I’m African-American. When I look for doctors, or selecting doctors, I don’t really care about the ethnicity. Maybe in a sense of connection. But the bottom line of this of me asking the question: Is he or she good? Despite of the credentials and degrees, is the person good? That’s basically it.

Fortunately, this is why America needs to revisit the real reasons of Race. I know that those in other countries had probably  read this article and still saying, “same ol’ America. They talk about equality in their speeches and have this you are an American period crap.” Let me say in response: I know. “And they elected their first President of color twice.” No wonder the rest of the world looks down on us. Keep it up racists for making America look bad. All that “Tea-Party Don’t Tread on Me/No Blacks Allowed/Mess.” Speaking of that, those folks who act like that are just juvenile. Of course we know. And these same folks always got to dip in acting they know better than we do. This nurse in Michigan will get a win somehow. She has done nothing wrong in her 25 years of work. And plus I smell a Civil Rights issue. No need to go after Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton on this one.I know that is what most folks think. I can see the questions now: “Where’s the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons?” Uh-Huh. But if Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were here, they would be on point in defense as usual like Jena 6. And since most of non-black America likes to talk smack about Jackson and Sharpton, don’t forget they also knew and marched with Dr. King. Research it Conservatives! And I need to ask: What took Mississippi so long to FINALLY took slavery out of their state?! Don’t get wrong, I got family and friends in the state.

This reminds me when I got a notice from Reed vs Dresser in 2010, in response to a job offer that I was turned away because of my color. I know this in Wisconsin. And at the time, before that, I was submitting a resume at a Career Fair in nearby Waukesha. That was it. I still talk about it because it’s an on-going issue. I am very lenient and careful about distributing my resume to a company or organization that does not have any interest in taking in applicants of African Decent. And no, I didn’t go NAACP after them. Companies should have established in their minds about not discriminating against anyone against race, creed, class, gender, and etc. But if they don’t retain those rules of their own, of course it will be brought up. No ifs, ands, or butts. Let that be a lesson to those in the corporate organizations, clinics, manufacturing,  and I dare say small businesses. And if you are non-profit, you better pray that does not happen! And I think that is one of the problems that most companies that are looking for workers the most! Other than experience, education, etc.

And this begs the question also: Let’s say if a person who has racism in his heart doesn’t have enough blood or running low on gas. And if the person did that and was black, how would that person feel about it? That’s how I see it with this scenario.