Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anger and Pain

Cho Seung-Hui was angry and hurting like none other. It was recognized a while back. Yet, his anger and pain was left unchecked. In this fast-paced, high tech world we live in now we no longer slow down to smell the roses or see dead spirits. The results of one dead spirit lead to a festering soul that had ceased to function normally.

The massacre at Virginia Tech is a signal to stop our rush to gobble up all we can in the shortest time we can do it in. It is a signal to as the old song goes, “reach out and touch somebody’s hand” and save a soul. The demeanor in which Cho Seung-Hui left this world did not happen overnight. It developed over time. Time we seem to longer have to notice changes in humans.

How many other young adults are out there feeling similar to Seung-Hui, with no coping skills to guide them through it all? How long will it be before we take notice? I hope not too long. I hope that this incident will assist us in knowing that advancements are good but we must draw lines as to how far we go without responding to cries of help. Seung-Hui cried out. A professor took notice and looked for assistance. She was told there was none. That was wrong and it is time to fix our moral consciousness.

If only someone had said yes you are right, Seung-Hui needs help and we will find it for him. But it didn’t happen that way and now 33 lives, including his, are gone. Thirty-three souls sacrificed to make us become aware of our moral obligations to help in any way we can. But as an old saying goes, “too much, too little, too late.” This should never have happened. Obviously, we didn’t learn from the Columbine or Amish school massacres. School is where the young go to learn not exist in fear.

Wake up America! Stop the presses. Open your eyes. Lend a hand. Do not let this happen over and over again. Listen to the cries. Recognize the health of a dying soul. Then maybe, just maybe, souls will no longer become filled with anger and pain. No it won’t be easy but nothing good ever is. The good must out weigh the bad. Now is the time.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Maybe It Is Time

As I listened to the news today on Don Imus making derogatory remarks about some female athletes, I was so darn mad I almost picked up the phone and went berserk. Why was I mad? I was mad because everyone was focused on Imus and his remarks.

My belief is what Imus said was only the results of what we have allowed to fester too long. We should be focused on where he got those words from. Yea, I know, we as Black folk should be mad that the white populace still use terms like those spewed by Imus but it is not the first time and I would bet your life and mine that it won’t be the last. Can we really still believe that we have fixed the racial and sexist beliefs that exist in this country?

Two weeks ago here in the Detroit Metro Area, some teenagers defaced a newly erected Christian church with racist graffiti about citizens of Arab descent. And just two or three years ago I saw with my own eyes a home one block from me scrawled with racist graffiti inside and out. If we are to believe that whatever made Imus say what he said is shocking, then we have been walking around too long with our eyes close.

One journalist stated that what Imus said were more sexist remarks than racist ones, was somewhat on the mark. But to understand what he was referring to you have to also understand what bigotry means. Although the dictionary does not include sexism in the definition of bigotry, it is an additional intolerance of something or someone that is different from what is considered the majority.

Don Imus is a bigot, plain and simple. He is not alone. Yet we as Blacks have too long accepted from our own kind and others the words used to describe us. The words that came out of Imus’ mouth were not new, they originated from rappers and as we accepted them then, we got upset when Imus repeated them. I don’t know about you but, I personally can’t stand rappers and the way they describe young women. I also, don’t like that young women will not take a stand and tell the young rappers to hold on a minute, loud and clear.

Instead they twist their butts, smile, and rub their fingers signifying money in their hands on the videos as a sign that it is ok to degrade them as long as the money is coming in. So should we get upset with Imus for his remarks? Yes. But we should also get more than upset that the young rappers haven’t been put into check. We have to start at the beginning to correct a problem of this size. Imus only continued the chain of words, words young Black rappers originated.

If Imus gets suspended, so what. I didn’t see President Bush losing his job. Yea, you heard me right. Bush should have lost his job a long time ago but we excused his ignorance and prejudice. Why not do the same for Imus.

People wake up! Imus is only one of many still out there doing what he does without ever having to worry about whom he offends. If he did lose this job, you can bet he will recoup his losses by writing a book on his version of the radio flop. We have got to stop blaming others for doing what we allow them to do. It is now a good time to take a good look at ourselves and start making the necessary changes so that others don’t get confused ever again about what is right and what is wrong. And we have to start at home.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

The State of Michigan

A journalist writes because it is the means to expressing opinions, analyzing ideas, and providing information. Yet, finding time to write is not as easy as most would think. My calendar has been quite full lately and I don’t like not having any writing time. With all that has been going on in this country and the state of Michigan in which I live, a full schedule has left me in a void when it comes to contributing thoughts.

As a journalist, I feel as if I have cheated many of you out of knowing what my reflections on the economic state of the country and Michigan are. So here goes, covering Michigan this week. Like others, I too am gravely concerned with the Detroit Public School System, the unemployment rate in the state, and the budget deficit of both state government entities.

In the year 2003, I felt that Michigan had not recovered from the recession that followed 9/11. Now in 2007, many state politicians, economists, and statisticians seem to agree. Michigan has been on a downward spiral for some time and has bottomed out.

So, how is a state to climb out of a bottomless pit and recover what once we had called success? Well, first its citizens must accept the inevitable. They have to embrace change. Time never stood still. Because of that, nothing surrounded by time stays the same for a long time. It is certain that policies and programs that governments oversee must be redesigned. Without doing so, a recovery will never be foreseen.

Recovery is the magic word here. In order to accomplish this recovery, we all must look beyond the immediate into the future. What exists now is the result of standing still in time and not having forethought on changing times.

We as citizens can no longer look to standing in the comfort zones we have dwelled in too long. We must be willing to explore, experiment, and attempt to engage in healing. Without doing so, the black hole that surrounds us will never be brought to the light.

How can we contribute? Stand up and voice loudly our view points, let politicians know what you agree with and what you do not, but do it with dignity. Ask serious questions on the issues that directly affect you. Express your ideas on what you feel can work. Do not accept what is handed to you without concrete evidence to support it.

It is up to you to be willing to open your arms to new discoveries, no mater how impossible they may seem. If our forefathers had not had the guts to adopt new ideology, we would not be where we are now.

So I end this expression of my reflections with a few words. Take heed and remember, time waits for no one and it never has. You must keep up with it or it will pass you by. I too will attempt to improve by doing the same.

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