How many times do we have to scream it before someone acts like they care?

Another unarmed black man has been gunned down.  I’ve lost count of how many have died within the last few years.  If you run, then you get shot.  If you fight, then you get shot.  If you comply, then you get shot.

What does it take to not get shot other than being white?

And don’t feed me that garbage about “he looked threatening” or “he was a bad guy”.  Or my favorite: “we don’t know what he did prior to getting shot”.  Uh, did he pull a weapon and attempt to use it on a cop/civilian?  Because that’s the only reason he should be shot dead.

I can name some very high profile examples of non-blacks who actually had weapons who went to jail instead of the morgue.  One even got taken to Burger King for a meal after killing multiple black people in a church.

The only way to stop these senseless killings is for:

1) Police to admit that they have a problem with their perception of black men in society.  Acknowledging that black men scare you will get the ball rolling on how to fix it.  Yes, there are some intimidating brothas out there, but if you’re scared, then don’t be a cop.  That’s not the right job for you.  Walmart is hiring.

2) Police need to start going to jail when they kill unarmed black men.  “Oh, I didn’t know he was unarmed.”  Well, too bad because you’re still going to get this jail time for involuntary manslaughter if nothing else.  There has to be a consequence to the action.  Paid administrative leave is not a deterrent to shooting someone.  In most cases, these shootings appear to be cold-blooded murders and should be treated as hate crimes.

3) Police need to stop training their officers to shoot to kill.  This within itself doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  If soldiers overseas have certain protocols that require shooting to kill to be a last resort, then why is it normally the first choice here in the states against our own citizens?  In the latest incident with Terence Crutcher, the cops were close enough to easily shoot Crutcher in the leg if necessary.  But, that’s not what cops do.  They shoot to kill.  It has to stop.

4) Police need to do their jobs!  If your job is to put away criminals, then do so.  Even those criminals are within your police force.  Stop turning a blind eye to your “brother in blue” while families are losing loved ones on the regular.  How can you continue to put on a badge every morning that is simply seen as a piece of tin by black communities instead of something that represents integrity?  Show that you’re to be trusted by doing the right thing!

It’s a shame that I’m 44 years old and I’m terrified to see blue lights while traveling.  The same feeling my dad had in the 50’s and 60’s whenever he drove some where.  Even if you’re polite and accommodating, there is no guarantee that you won’t be a target over a “misinterpretation”.  Imagine an agitated black youth who may not make the effort to be polite or accommodating.  How do you think his day is going to end up?

Colin Kaepernick is never going to get off the ground at the rate we’re going.  I hope that he brought knee pads.  SMH.

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I’m a very calm guy.  In fact, some of my friends wonder if anything bothers me at all.  I can’t help that I’m a very nonchalant guy.  I like to keep things in perspective, so that keeps me grounded.  I’m usually pretty patient, but sometimes, there are some things that can raise my blood pressure.  And it usually involves people not respecting the roadways.

Road rage happens to all of us.  However, some overreact when compared to others.  I don’t angrily blow my horn (any more — people get shot for less) or throw finger signs.  I usually just mentally curse people out in my head and keep it moving.  But there are two things that irk me when it comes to sharing the road:

They acted like we weren’t even there.

Cyclists

If there is any group of people on this planet who seem to feel more entitled to the road, it’s cyclists.  They act as if they have bumpers on their bikes.  Just recently, I was going to visit my grandmother.  She lives kind of off in the country, so the roads are just two lanes for most of the way.  I rolled up behind a group of cyclists.  It was close to 20 of them and they were just pedaling away around 15 mph.  In my mind, I’m thinking, “Well, I’m sure that they’ll get over to the side and allow the cars to pass.  After all, it’s a curvy road, so the only way to get by is for them to allow us to do so.”

Yeah, I don’t know why I thought that.

They rode and chatted for close to 3 miles while me and roughly 8-10 vehicles followed them like we were in a parade.  They never made an attempt to pull over on a side street to allow us by or even ride single file to give us room.  They just left us back there to cruise as if we didn’t exist.  By the time I got to my grandmother’s house, you could probably see a vein popping out of my neck.  If I’d only had a snowplow, I could have just shoved them off in the ditch and kept rolling.

Very frustrating to get stuck at an intersection.

Intersection Blockers

These are the people who pull into an intersection although there’s no room on the other side to clear the lane.  So, when you get the green light to go through, you can’t go anywhere because these numbskulls are blocking your way as in the photo above.

If they only allowed machine guns on the front of cars.

I took that photo at a very busy intersection in Jackson.  Every day at 5 PM, people clog the lanes knowing that they’re blocking you, too.  But, like the cyclists, they don’t care.  Because they obviously think that they’re more important than you and that your time isn’t valuable as theirs.  All you can do is wait on them to clear the intersection and hope that you still have a green light.  If not, you may have to do it all over again with the next set of idiots.

Old schoolers will get this reference.

Conclusion

If I were to ever snap and take a tire iron to someone’s knees some day, then know that one of these two types of people would be the recipient of me going Tonya Harding on them.  People should respect the roadways and everyone on it.  It would make the commute to your destination go that much better if the person next to you is considering you when making decisions.

But that’s not the world that we live in.  Everyone thinks that they’re more important than you and that you should understand that.  That’s why people pull out in front of you, refuse to let you merge, and things of that nature.  Society gets more disrespectful each and every day.  I guess that I may as well get used to it because there doesn’t appear to be enough people willing to change it.


I was watching the “Amber Rose Show” just recently.  In all honesty, I was watching the show for all of the wrong reasons.  I just think that Amber Rose is smoking hot, so I decided to tune in.  But the show was so awful that I know that I won’t be watching it again.

The entire show was basically Amber Rose asking women questions about sex.  Women were disclosing everything from how many side dudes they’ve had to being on top during sex.  Some people call it “women empowerment” and other people call it “women being promiscuous”.  Whatever you want to call it is totally dependent on your upbringing.

As for my upbringing, I was taught that sex was something sacred.  You didn’t share what you did with everyone.  It was deemed disrespectful to your partner to discuss your sexual experiences with them to someone else.

Fast forward to today and everyone is doing it.  People are getting on TV, radio, and social media and discussing their sex lives like they’re talking about their day at work or something.  I watched Amber Rose talk about sex for her entire show except for the last segment (which was only a couple of minutes long).  She “interviewed” rapper, T.I., and asked him his favorite sex position, the craziest place he’s had sex, and if he masturbated.

I was thinking to myself, “how in the world are kids going to not be teen parents if all they see on TV is how much fun sex is?”

I guarantee you that there are a ton of kids under 18 years old watching Amber’s show and shows like hers.  It’s not like parents pay attention to what their children watch.  A ton of the girls watching probably want to be Amber Rose and a ton of boys want a girl like her.  She has a glamorous lifestyle and makes a lot of money for basically doing nothing truly talented.  Who wouldn’t want that life?

But, back to the topic… Sex isn’t sacred any more.  People will tell you all of their business without any thoughts to how you feel about it or how their partner would feel if they found out.  And if you feel awkward discussing it with them, then you’re looked at as someone abnormal.  A conversation that may have been reserved to close friends and siblings is now something you can get from a coworker you barely know.

In roughly 30 years, the United States has done a 180 degree turn around in morals.  Sex is “empowering” and not something kept private.  Cursing is simply just talking and not something done out of the public’s earshot.  Being reckless with your life is no longer scolded, but it is praised by everyone for you “expressing yourself” (and sometimes rewarded with money and fame).

Nothing is sacred any more.  TV has dumbed down in 30 years what took hundreds of years to create.  The end result is me watching Amber Rose ask a woman if she has a side dude (actually, “dude” wasn’t the d-word that she used) and this young lady must have named 10+ guys.  She was applauded for it.

To each their own, I guess.  It makes me wonder what conversations are parents having in households across the U.S. with their children?  Is this type of thing even being discussed?  Based on what I’m seeing on TV, it is being discussed.  Just by celebrities instead of parents.


So, a couple of more unarmed black men are approached for something petty and ultimately gunned down at the hands of cops.  One of many reasons why I wrote about black people being extinct by the Year 2100.

Let me start off, like every other black writer, by saying that I have nothing against the police.  For some reason, people think that if you’re pro-black that you’re anti-white or anti-cop.

That’s just stupid.

Just because you want to stop breast cancer doesn’t mean that you’re all for cervical cancer.  This blog encourages common sense, so those who actually use it before commenting or inboxing me are appreciated.

The Media

First of all, I’m tired of the media regurgitating the same ol’ rhetoric that means nothing.  I’m tired of hearing “It’s time to have the conversation about…”  About what?  We’ve been talking for 60 years and nothing has changed.  The only difference between 1956 and 2016 is that we have the ability to film the killings today.  The only downside to that is how the media exploits it.  They’re the main reason cops are afraid of black men today.  We’re portrayed as predators and the police hunts us down as such.

The officers being shot last night in Dallas was a tragedy.  The media should be bringing their family together via satellite with the family of the unarmed black men who were recently shot to show their similarities.  Instead, they act as if those grieving black families no longer exist.  Because the shooting of cops is more important to them than of unarmed black men.  Black lives don’t matter, but cops lives do.  The value of their lives are unequal in the eyes of the media.  That nonsense is passed on to the American viewers who ultimately start to subconsciously believe the same thing.

The Police

The same police who scream about how snitching is protecting criminals in the black communities are ALWAYS tight-lipped about one of their own who commits an atrocity against an unarmed black man.

Has anyone in the police department ever stood up and said, “my partner was wrong for shooting that man”?

If so, then I’d love to see a video of it because I’ve never seen it.  Police protect their own yet chastise the black community for doing the same.  The irony in that is astounding!  They want black people to help them find cop killers, but won’t help black people find unarmed black men killers.

Black Cops

If you’re a black cop and you don’t speak out against your own people getting killed, then punch yourself in the throat.  It’s a shame that some black cops will protect the law enforcement brotherhood while ignoring their own.  Is this lady the only cop with guts to speak out against the treatment of her own people?  Does it have to be someone in your family before you start to care?

Oh, I almost forgot.  The Commander in Chief needs to take a stand for the killing of black men like he has for the LGBT community’s rights and health care.  Stop ignoring black people, Mr. President.  This has nothing to do with gun control unless you’re going to start taking guns from the police.

Conclusion

This will never end.  It will never end because we will always have an Us. vs. Them mentality.  There is a ton of evidence of blacks snitching on blacks for the greater good.  When police start doing the same with each other, then maybe some trust can be developed.  When police actually start going to jail, then maybe black folks can be alright with the PD.  When the media actually bad mouths police like they did Christopher Dorner (a former black cop), then maybe black people will come around.

Oh, and Christopher Dorner was a terrorist for sure.  But if you think that he’s much different than the cop who shot Philando Castile, then you’re not capable of understanding the point that I’m trying to make.

Good and bad doesn’t have a color, but we don’t treat it that way.  If it were, then armed white men wouldn’t get taken into custody and bought sandwiches while unarmed black men get taken to the coroner with multiple bullet holes in them.


Meet Ayesha Curry.  Chances are, you already know her.

Tonight is Game 7 of the NBA Finals and very few are actually talking about the game itself.  Just about everyone has spent the last few days discussing what Ayesha Curry tweeted about Game 6.

Mrs. Curry essentially insinuated that the NBA is”fixed” to allow Cleveland to extend the series to a Game 7.  A 7th game brings about more money through TV ratings and ticket sells.

As much as I love the Curry family and how they represent themselves, I think that she crossed over the line with her tweet.  Way over the line.

However, let me backtrack a bit.  Since the creation of the “Basketball Wives” TV show, it appears to me that a lot of women have come to the forefront of the game.  My only problem is with the ones who are bringing that reality show element along with them.  Sports fans honestly don’t care what you think, good or bad.  We want to see Skip Bayless, Jemele Hill, Stephen A. Smith, and the likes discuss the game.  Not the wives of players.

Why?

Because wives of players are always going to side with their husbands.  Duh.  Where’s the journalistic integrity of that (not to say that all talking heads on ESPN have integrity).  Brent Grimes of the NFL has a wife who is so outspoken that he has difficulty even signing with a team.  Imagine that!  Not being able to get a job because of your wife’s actions on social media (and in real life for Miko Grimes).

Here’s the tweet heard around the world (that she deleted afterwards).

And I want all the people who are supporting Ayesha to think about that.  If your husband comes home and discloses to you that someone at his job is holding him back, is your first thought to go on social media and bash his company?  Absolutely not.  Because you know that he will be out of a job if you do.

So, why do you give Ayesha Curry a pass on doing the exact same thing?  Because Steph is too talented to get fired from the Warriors?  Well, that’s true, but that doesn’t make it right.  Because believe it or not, Steph has been totally impacted in a negative way by his wife’s antics.  He will never say that publicly because it’s his wife.  Duh again.  But she’s done more harm than good.

How so?

It’s Game 7 and what who are we talking about?  Ayesha Curry.

Who are the reporters asking Steph Curry about in the interviews leading up to the game?  Not Lebron, but Ayesha.

What questions are Steph’s teammates getting asked about in interviews leading up to the game?  Not about the Cavaliers, but about if they think the games are rigged.

And if the tweet was not enough, she challenged an ESPN talking head legend in Stephen A. Smith into a war of words.  He called her out on being a distraction to the team and her response was to challenge what he said and be even more of a distraction.  She even said that Stephen A. was pitting women against women simply because he stated that Lebron’s wife, Savannah, experiences much more scrutiny of her husband than anyone in the league, yet she lets him handle it.  Imagine that.  A woman letting a man fight his own battles.  I would personally be offended if I had a wife who attempted to fight my battles for me.  That’s emasculating.  It’s just not right and it’s humiliating.

Steph Curry is going into what could be the biggest game of his career and no one is really talking about the game.  And even if Ayesha Curry is correct in her accusations, how is she going to prove it?  What if she pissed the referees off so much (they’re human) that they decide that they’re not going to call many fouls tonight?  They may decide just to let the guys play it out and stay out of the picture.  A physical game favors Cleveland and not Golden State, so that would hurt her husband’s chances of winning.  How is her tweet going to help her husband tonight?

Newsflash: It won’t.

I’m not a fan of either team, but I do hope that tonight’s game is a close one and has plenty of action.  I am a fan of both Savannah and Ayesha.  I’m a fan of Savannah’s for being able to stay away from the spotlight, as tempting as it may be.  And I’m a fan of Ayesha’s for how she’s handled the spotlight, up until now.

It’s not that Ayesha isn’t entitled to her opinions.  She just has to realize that once she becomes the story, she becomes a target for criticism.  It doesn’t matter if it’s justified or not.  That’s just how the media works.  And any criticism of her affects her husband’s game whether anyone believes it or not.  It also puts him in a bad place with his teammates who also are affected by the controversy.

The last thing a player wants to worry about in a locker room is his wife/girlfriend or family.  You have to worry about how the media will make her look.  You have to worry about if some deranged fan(s) will accost her and hold her responsible if Golden State loses.  We live in a world where those two things are very likely.

Ayesha will probably have her own cooking show or something in the future.  She’s a likeable person and she has the ability to brighten up any room.  She’s one of the more positive recognizable figures in social media today and we need more like her.

But tweets can’t beat microphones.  In a game between Ayesha Curry vs. ESPN, I’m putting my money down on ESPN every time.  I hope that she now realizes that she’s fighting a losing battle and that she takes the high road going forward.


I had fallen asleep on my couch with my TV on ESPN.  However, I woke up and noticed a mural on the left hand side of the screen showing Muhammad Ali’s face.  Before my eyes could adjust and focus on the words on the screen, I knew that Ali had died.  I’d just spoken to my cousin about Ali just hours ago about how grave his condition was.

My first “favorite athlete”,  Muhammad Ali, was dead at the age of 74 years old.

There aren’t many men like Ali being produced in this country any more.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  He had his issues when it came to his wives.  He wasn’t perfect.  But he did more for this country than anyone who may have stepped foot on the White House lawn in the past 50 years.

People who don’t know the man think that he was “The Greatest” because of what he did inside the boxing ring.  No.  Ali was “The Greatest” for what he did outside of the boxing ring.  Ali inspired the world with his approach to day-to-day living.  He was a motivational speaker.  He was a civil rights activist.  He was an entertainer.  Oh, he was such an entertainer!

Ali had a relationship with the media that we will never see again.  He gave interviews that resembled stand up comedy sets.  The beneficiary of many of those interviews was a sports commentator named Howard Cosell.

Cosell and Ali were partners.  They fed off of each other in their interviews to become two of the biggest figures in sports.  The respect that they had for one another provided entertainment for more than a decade.  Despite their close relationship, Cosell remained unbiased in his journalist approach unlike what we see with some talking heads today.

Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali turned each other into legends.

Ali won many awards and honors during and long after his boxing career.  I won’t go through all of his accomplishments because the talking heads will do that over the next week.  However, I will mention his impact on today’s culture.  Ali started a culture of brashness that we see in sports today.  This was a man who not only showed you in the ring that he was “The Greatest”, he would tell you that he was, too.  The predictions that athletes make today, the “getting in the head” of their opponents, and things like that were made famous by Ali.

Seated: Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

He embraced his blackness and his message resonated throughout black communities around the country.  He stood for his beliefs regardless of the controversies and criticisms that surrounded him which is something athletes refuse to do today.  Ali didn’t care if you liked him.  He didn’t care if he lost money from losing fans.  Heck, he didn’t even care if he went to jail for what he believed.

Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X

There are many things that I wish that I could change with the world.  There are many things that I wish that I could go back in time and fix.  But if I had one wish to change anything regarding Muhammad Ali, it would be for him to forever have his voice.

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984 and it slowly robbed him of all of the gifts that he’d displayed for us over the previous 25 years prior to that.  If he only had the opportunity to continue speaking, what would his contributions to black communities and to his religion would have meant to society today?

Muhammad Ali and Sam Cooke

Would he have put black athletes and celebrities in their place when it came to their selfishness?  Would he have continued to inspire people to do more with their lives and not be ordinary?  What would Ali have given us had his voice not been trapped inside of his body?

We will never know.  The first athletic entertainer is gone.  A lot of people speculated that Ali was in a bad place this time around as we got word that he was being hospitalized.  Over the course of 24 hours, we all knew that his condition was getting worse and that he may be passing on.  Despite that being the fact, it still feels like a body punch to the gut to wake up and find out that my favorite athlete is gone.

R.I.P., Champ.


(written 5.8.16)

Okay, so I’ve been waiting to see Captain America 3 since it was announced a couple of years ago.  I’m a single guy, so I found myself in a situation in having to find someone to watch the movie with me.  After all, I’ve never been one to do movies solo.  So, I decided to call a few people to see if they were available.

I called and asked one lady if she was interested and she told me “no.”  She wasn’t into comic book movies.  I appreciated her honesty.  I don’t know if she’s ever given the Marvel movies a try or not, but I guess she knows her limits.

I texted another young lady and she was busy attending a Beyonce concert in Houston and wasn’t able to go.  Beyonce is a ticket just as hot as Captain America around these parts.

So, the 3rd time’s the charm, right?  Yeah. that’s what I hoped.  Worst. Movie. Experience. Ever.

Never see a Marvel movie with a non-fan.  Just don’t do it.  I asked her if she’d ever seen any of the other Captain America movies and she said “no.”  I should have hit the eject button at that point.  When people don’t understand the backstory to characters and the concept of super powers, then it can get very annoying in the theater.

“How can the red head survive these fights without super powers?”

“Does Captain America’s shield give him powers?”

“Why is Spider-Man a boy?  Wasn’t he grown in the last movie?”

“Jeremy Renner doesn’t do anything except shoot arrows?”

Well, that one is a legitimate question.

Anyhoo, the questions became so much for me to handle that I simply asked her to take mental notes and I’d answer the questions after the movie.  That was also a waste of time.

Needless to say, she thought that it was the worst movie she’d ever seen.  I thought that it was an awesome movie.

Memo to self: when you see X-Men this weekend, take someone who has seen and enjoys Marvel movies.