Friday, October 28, 2005

Listening to R.A.Washington's AUDIO BLOG. Pretty compelling stuff. Who Am I? Where Do I Fit? How Do I Be True To Myself? Damn! I'm starving, in the dark, without heat!
He questions whether folks in careers are satisfied, doing what they want in their carriers, and more or less making it.
Reasons folks don't succeed include: no skill, no drive, no education, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of a risk, no confidence in God, and because God has not allowed it. I guess this last one supersedes all of the rest except that God might not allow it because of one of the other reasons. Catch 22 at it's best, wouldn't you say?
R.A. feels it is an unalienable right to make money at what one loves. This a is relatively new concept in Industrialized America as far as the masses are concerned. Educated folk thought that way but higher education wasn't a mainstream concept until the late 60's when Black people saw it as a way out and mainstreamed it, followed by White women in the early 7o's. This country was driven by longshoremen, factory workers, construction folks and folks would have to be crazy to be in their careers for fun. That's why until recently this country's work force has been "
Llivin' for the Weekend."
John Keynes, an economic theorist brought in a theory that was soundly rejected until the 1929 deppression. President Kennedy assigned, Keynes follower, Walter Heller to head the President’s Council of Economic advisers and thus we have Keynesian economics being pushed at us by the government. His theories give rise to the consumer driven economics and culture that we have today.
I hope I don't sound like I have answers. I am about to give up on the notion that I will ever make a proper choice that will lead to prosperity and happiness and fulfillment. Like R.A. at first glance all the ingredients are there for success. It hasn't happened yet. God doesn't count success like I do and that is a problem.
I know my own heart can lie to me. It has done so on many occasions. So I try to trust and follow God. It seems I am not capable of seeing the right thing to do AND then doing it and I suffer the consequences.
What will be my legacy?... poverty, defeat, dissolutionment? Suppose I am rich in God's eyes? Wouldn't I know it? Well I know no such thing. I have the grace of salvation but that is not enough in the present and I've yet to develop a long range view of where I am.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tookie, the Crips and Capital Punishment

Stanley Tookie Williams, III, the founder of the California street gang called the Crips will be executed December 13th, 2005 for murders committed in 1979. July 30, 2005, news article detailing the life of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, a convicted killer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Tookie's Corner
Fact: Executions for murder do NOT lower the murder rate.
Fact: Death penalty convictions are usually racially motivated according to a NJ study in 1996.: Racial discrimination was [also] highlighted in a study conducted for New Jersey's Supreme Court, made public in February [1996]. The study concluded that black defendants in the state are 10 times more likely to receive a death sentence than white defendants (where other factors were equal) from a jury. The study analysed 341 murder cases dating back to 1982 in which defendants faced the death penalty and found "strong and consistent biases" against black defendants. Of the 16 prisoners under sentence of death in New Jersey, 10 are from ethnic minorities. Here for full story.
Even if this were not the case there's always that possibilty that someone innocent is being convicted and executed for something they didn't do.
"But what a closure for the murder victum's survivors?" What about justice? I admit if someone murdered a loved one of mine my first reaction would be reveange, an eye for an eye, I don't think is morally right.
"What about the burden on society caused by keeping a murderer incarcerated?" Look elsewhere in the system to lower the burden. Most people are not in for murder. Many, many people don't deserve to be in prison.
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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Slavery in Detroit

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Went to Detroit yesterday (Saturday) to meet with Aurora Harris . Noelle sat in the front seat with me and we talked and played tapes (I don't have a CD player yet) on the way up. Amazing woman that Aurora! We got there so late though. Aurora is a phemoninal poet and social activist. She is beautiful and driven and very accomplished. We are hoping we can connect with her on our poetry/technology program. She and Noelle seemed to really hit it off. Noelle and I were both very juiced up after talking and planning with Aurora. Aurora works with her partner Chazz Miller. He is director and she is co-director of Public Art Workz . Aurora does so many things she must have a twin.

Also saw the Charles M. Wright African American History Museum . Noelle cried her way through the life size replica of the bottom of a slave ship with slaves in shackles lined up and crammed together like livestock in a shoot on their way to slaughter. We saw a slave being branded like a cow. We saw a slave woman on a ship strung upside down about to be whipped by a laughing white man.

If slaves got sick the slavers could still be paid if they threw them over board but could not get paid for delivering sick, diseased slaves. We read that in shackles slaves couldn't move and had to throw up, urinate, defecate in the ship's belly and lie in it. It said that the ships stank so badly that one could smell the ships from miles away and that once a slave ship always a slave ship because that is all those ships would be good for there after.

We saw the Elmina slave castle which still stands in Ghana on the coast. I remembered being there and this group asking me to take a photo of them as they stood on the drawbridge. Their faces were a mix of oblivous joy from some, anger from others, sadness from yet other quarters of the group and then there were people who knew they should be angry and so tried to look appropriately. The group was a church group I believe made up of both Black and White folk.

I wondered what the white people going through the exhibition in Detroit thought. Previlaged white kids completing homework assignments held their papers up on the walls taking notes. A middle aged white woman met my eyes but quickly averted hers. I smiled a little trying to make her feel at ease and trying to give here the benefit of the doubt for at least being there.

Most of the white folk I talk with about this, no matter how liberal, rebelliously contend with that guilty paternal attitude that they have... you know the one I'm talking about, "I never owned any slaves!" They are so willing and able to over look the fact that they benefit from it and do nothing to change the status quo and would probably fight tooth and nail if there was ever a serious challenge to their melanin deficient previlage. As it is their passive agressiveness strike many mighty blows. Especially in the 216.

Took Fred up too. He had a good time and rarely thought of "bitch". My words not his. I'm sorry for thinking that and I thought if I just said it I would get it out of my system. The more I pay attention to her though the more she is like Lydia, whom I hate. I haven't prayed for her, that is Ethel, recently and when I don't pray for her and remember I am/we are no better I let myself get angry.

O.K. of course that didn't get it out of my system. I will pray for her. Father in the name of Jesus put your protective sprit around her right now. Through your Holy Spirit soften her heart and mine too. Surround her with your servants to be her guide to you. Forgive me that I couldn't /didn't over the years pray for her as much as I could have. Love her as much as I could have. Forgive her in light of the things you have forgiven me of... that are much worse than what I know of her. You are willing that none be destroyed. Help me to accomplish your will in me and through me. Forgive me In the name of Jesus amen. . I know I have to face my heart and God's word concerning Lydia... sooner rather than later.

Detroit also has artist activist Tyree Guyton and the Heidelberg Project . <-click there and see for yourself.

Friday, October 21, 2005

What Is Important?
I was reading someone's blog here at Blogger that said, "This Blog is Going to be Important Stuff". It turned out to be an Al Qaeda update. If there was an opinion, I didn't see it.
What is important? I think the update would have been positive or negative depending on where one is in the world. How important is this entire Al Qaeda thing to me? I can't change anything. I don't have the ear of anyone who can change things. I could go protest but so what?  I don't think the real "story" has been revealed.  Conspiracy theorist that I am I think it's mostly oligarchical and government spin at best.
Here's a scary thought. Suppose history proves Bush right? One hundred years from now Iraq is a democratic world power and they owe it all to the U.S.A. It could happen!
Then what would be important? How many of us jump on this band wagon or that or even pull the band wagon and have yet to conquer ourselves and bring our minds into submission? If you've ever meditated you know that your mind is out of control unless you take it over.
That would be important to me, having control of my own mind.
What about conditions of the heart? Greed, covetousness, murder, envy, lying, etc. If we could conquer the tongue and the heart things would be a whole lot better. I don't think we have it in ourselves to conquer our hearts. They can lie to us. If your own heart can deceive you than what hope is there that we can ever now where reality is ergo what is important? Selfishness is a challenge and balancing it is important. It's in our bones so what do we do?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

We live in a nation of wussies. That’s right, self absorbed wussies at that.
I’m sick and tired of aggressive attacks in the guise of Politically Correctness (PC.) absolutely no prayer in school because of separation of church and state though this is not a legal thing; there no Jesus at Christmas so Mr. Agnostic doesn’t get his feelings hurt and feel left out, oh yeah and how about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” so Mr. Homophobe can keep his head up his atrophied surreal world vision of the “good ole days?”

However, I am sicker of those that buy into it.
Christians want the right to say “Merry Christmas, have Christmas parties be called Christmas parties, take their beliefs into the schools, keep GLBTQ folks  in the closet. Many of them are “saved” and struggling, thank you very much. They should have those rights according to this world system in America. I realize apostle Paul exercised his right as a Roman citizen but we are not of this world.

Why would a Christian want to go to a “Christmas” party at work or anywhere that was not centered on Christ with people who don’t give a flip about Christ? It should be called a “holiday party!” Why would a Christian want total strangers to agree, ”Merry Christmas!!?”  Neither of these two things are particularly good proselytizing tools. Hit me back if you’ve had anyone fall on bended knees and accept Christ because you or someone else said “Merry Christmas!”

Believe me, this is not sewing seed!

It is a self-centered oblivious approach to interacting with others. When I was a child working  for Harlan Diamond (Owner of Executive Caterers, Beachwood, OH). I would greet him  “Merry Christmas” every Christmas season and inevitably he gave me a quizzical look. One year it hit me, “he’s Jewish!!” What an opportunity to engage in conversation AND find out about Hanukkah and Judaism, the roots of Christianity.  Well not with Harlan but you get the idea.   As you know we Christians are many times less than bastard Ishmael to Jews but we ain’t got nothin’ but love for ‘em. It’s all in the family, right? Merry Christmas!