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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Neo-Slavery: Welfare

In times past in the history of the American South slavery was a reality. One kind of human thought it fit and of destiny to “lift” another kind of people out of what they perceived as savagery by methods that included forceful free labor. It was this free labor that contributed to many of America’s greatest corporations being in positions of great wealth and prestige. Aetna Inc., CSX Corp. , FleetBoston Financial Corp., New York Life, AIG, J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank, and Wachovia are just a few of the more than 1,000 organizations that are still in existence that benefitted from slave ownership and/or labor. Wachovia even went as far as issuing a formal 111 page apology for the company’s offenses. (

Whether you belong to the group that feels reparations are due are not, the real issue is the new and improved form of slavery that exist in our country. It is in the decietful system of welfare. It differs in that the chains have been lifted and it is optional in many cases whether to remain on the plantation or to go out and make your world better from your own ingenuity, ideas, and/or sweat, but make no mistake the system is real and oppresive. The current system was started in the 1930’s during the depression. Although the intention was good, the system has over time dwindled into one that begs of its beneficiaries a state of being subjects instead of citizens. Like most government programs, it was designed to be a hand up more than a hand out. Again, like most government programs it was corrupted and used by political forces to subject the most vulnerable among Americans.

This systems abuse has crippled many people into believing that their government exists to improve their lives when in fact it controls their lives through the rationing of livelihood. This is the same mentality that slaves were taught to have toward their masters in the "Old American South". Many believed the master was good to them when in fact slave-owners shielded them from prosperity by forcing them to believe that their best option was through him and because of him. Sound a lot like your local politician, right? The master split their families, as does welfare benefits. To receive benefits in most places a woman must be without husband and without the benefit of a man in the household, cohesion and stablilty be damned! A free place to stay isn’t free at all when someone can dictate what happens in your home, inspect your home, and put you out of your home because you violated their “rules”. Ironically, one of their rules is that you are not allowed to be a traditional family, you know mother, father, children! The government becomes the de-facto parent as would the slave owner after artfully ridding the family of the head! In addition to this, didn’t the slaves master REWARD them for having more “little slaves”? Why are women in the ghetto being financially rewarded for having more “little slaves” that now vote for their parents owners in future elections? To this I say, at least the slave put in sweat equity as opposed to the new slaves that don't have to work at all.

Welfare is not a bad thing when used properly. It is intended to be a short-term solution between employments, not a long-term manner of livelihood. Some people have a need to have this helping hand all of their lives…if this is you, I am not speaking to you or of you. I am speaking to you, yes, the slave that is of sound health and mind. This is for the person that can work to release themselves from the shackles of the welfare system but refuses to do so. This is for the welfare recipients that are living in the comfort of discomfort. Whenever you allow someone else to make your decisions for you please understand that they are going to make the decision that is beneficial to them first! Hard is not impossible and telling the government to get the HELL out of your business in very much the way to go. As soon as you are able to get off of welfare, it seems that the government becomes interested in taking as much from you as they can to redistribute in their effort to make more subjects dependent upon their subsidies. I am not sure how you feel about it but I don’t like to wait on the master to come around once a month and give me what he thinks I should have, usually not enough. I don’t like the master to tell me where I can live, usually not a choice you would make for yourself. I don’t like the master to inspect my quarters, I am a grown man! I don’t like the master to sweep the crumbs off the edge of his table and think me happy to receive his waste. In this capacity the master is at ease because he knows that you are no threat to his lifestyle. A working person is a threat to a slaveowner anywhere and may get the dependents riled up!

His worries come when you no longer need to feed off of his teat. To be in perfect harmony with slavery is to not recognize that you are a slave indeed. My dad used to tell me, “There is nothing wrong with not knowing something son, there is much wrong with not being bothered that you do not know.” Ask yourself carefully and thoughtfully, “Why would someone give me welfare for nothing in a world where NOTHING is free?” Slavery can only exist when the enslaved is of dormant attitude and sufficed aptitude. Is welfare your new slavery or your short term solution to make sure you never need it again? Are you raising other little slaves to take your place when you leave or are you preparing your seed to live off of their own ingenuity, ideas, and/or sweat? Master is not very interested anymore in your labor. It is now your vote that counts. Eventually you have to pay the Piper back in some fashion. Can you or your descendants really afford it?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I aint really feeling Grandma2010

It is the end of 2010 and I have wanted to get this out of my head and onto paper for some time. I have been carefully considering the right words and correct tone as to not offend anyone. I do understand that as things progress, they do just that, they progress. The problem with some progression is it is not necessarily for the betterment of society en masse.

This leads me to ask this question: Why is Grandma getting younger and/or acting younger? I guess your answer to this question speaks to your personal experiences with your grandmother and how it will direct you to act as a grandparent one day. I think that most of us want to be a grandparent ONE DAY, RIGHT? Grandparents have always been the backbone of the African-American community. From their experiences we gained sage advice, an oral and often pictoral accounting of our history, a knowledge and expectation of what it is that we are to become, and a heritage second to no other group on this planet. Usually the strength of that backbone was the Grandmother. Grandma has been the family griot, banker and financial counselor, teacher, preacher, relationship expert, expert child-care provider, nurse-practitioner, executive family event planner, family chef, clan police and judge, intercessor to God, CEO, and all out Big Mama. Often all of this is accompanied by her love, care, and support of those that are descendant from her. Don’t get it twisted, Grandpa is isn’t lazy or tired, he just realizes…SHE GOT THIS!

That was, and in many cases, the picture of Grandma that sustained many generations that would have otherwise collapsed without her. In many cases the collapse happened without her. Many of you have experienced this. The concern happens when you see the new Grandma’s, Lord help me. I am talking about the Grandmothers that are not like the ones written about above. I met a Grandmother in the bar with her granddaughter and daughter one night while out with friends. I don’t think I was ready for that one. They looked like they were having a good time and I am sure that works for them but because of my own prejudices and opinions I thought this was not the Grandmother my kids needed.

I think that Grandma got younger all of a sudden. I think that Grandma didn’t get her chance to be young and free; I think that Grandma was not yet ready to enjoy the full blessings associated with being Grandma. Maw-Maw prayed that I would be protected when I went out and prayed even harder that God grant me the wisdom to avoid places that she knew were not in my best interest. I know this because she told me so. It may not have always worked out the way that she intended (God is still working on me), but I knew SOMEONE was praying for me no matter where I was and that person was not WITH ME. She had already been there done that before I was thought of.

It takes a gentle stroke of the keypad to put this in a way that is not offensive to the Grandma in the young club but here it goes: Are the grandkids really getting their bang for their buck? Are we raising a generation of kids that will not see Grandma in the same way that we did. Are the days of Grandma always being available over? Is Grandma’s social circle no longer the church? I do understand that this is not the picture that we all have of our Grandmothers, but dammit its mine and this is my blog! I say Grandma should be the pillar of the family and this she cannot be if she is out with the grandkids. Thank you God for my Grandmothers, you don’t make em like you used to!

How do you know that you love? Here is the definite definition!

Love is a complicated thing that will cause each living person to feel each and every emotion at one time or another in their life because of it or because of what they believe is it. It has been written about, magnified in song, and has even caused pain and death throughout the history of time. All historical records account for it and wars have been waged in its name. God even subjected his only son to death because of it.

Many people get the emotion of love very confused with the very real action of love. The two are different and distinct. The emotion of love can be being fleeting, cautionary, and often not authentic. The action of love only knows authenticity and cannot be any of the above for it endures because of the action itself.

I define love as this: The action of willingly giving to another that thing or those things that can hurt you the most for no other reason than to actively seek their happiness or their salvation.

Think about that. That thing or those things that can hurt you the most! It is to make yourself totally vulnerable to another for no other reason than to actively seek their happiness or salvation (whatever that may mean to you). That is much to think about when unpacked. It means that the person you have professed to love is the one that you shared your most secret secrets with, the one that you exposed all of your ugliness to, the one that you gave the extreme pains of your life to, the one person that can absolutely destroy you by what they know, have witnessed, or have the ability to steal.

If these things were not part of the deal, you really never loved that person. You see, what makes love a complicated terror in the lives of people is the fact that you must expose your vulnerabilities to others to actually be an involved party to it. It is what it means to love another. Some people are together and they assume that they love one another because of the emotional feeling, but do they really? Can they REALLY be totally honest with the person that they proclaim to love? Can they trust the object of their loving action to be as vulnerable and honest about their life ordeals with them? Do they have the ability to hold that persons well being, future, and livelihood in their hands? Can they be trusted? Can YOU?

Love will make you share these vulnerabilities even when you know that your actions will cause you to be persecuted or wronged by the actions of the person you love. This kind of love is unconditional and hardly found outside of a familial relationship. Parents and family love in this way. They give what is most precious to them to those they know are not worthy of trust. Why? It is the sacrifice of real love and at one time or another we will all pay it to a family member. That sacrifice is again giving the things that cause us the most pain to others for no other reason than to actively seek their happiness and or salvation. Many times this is done when we previously know the outcome to be disastrous.

I notice that the majority of people that I know that say they cannot find true love have a wall of protection built around them to hide their vulnerabilities and weaknesses from the entire world. That wall is built by their wits, their words, and often their keen eye for what is wrong with everyone else’s relationship. They don’t realize that connecting humanely with another person on a level attained because of love requires that they exposed themselves to another person and allow that person to share their vulnerabilities with them. That is love.

Soften that shell and let someone in. This is not a promise that you will not be hurt. It is a promise that knowing that pain is part of a life of love. If my vulnerabilities are to be exposed so that I may know that I have had a chance at love…SO BE IT! I will not live my life without as much as a taste of real love! I have exposed my darkest secrets to the woman that I love and she absolutely has the ability to assassinate my future and expose my scabs for the world to see. She has done the same for me. I promise to protect her vulnerabilities with my life even if we depart our relationship. Why? Because I love her!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You never realize how expensive the trip is when you are getting a ride from someone else.

Let’s face it; many are carrying the weight of others silently. If this speaks to you then you are to be commended and applauded for faithfully and quietly helping someone along the way. At issue is making sure it is their way. You cannot forever carry two cases for one nights stay at the inn. At some point you must allow, or dare I say force, that other person to receive the enlightenment, joy, and exercise associated with carrying their own wares.

As children we want according to our expense. As children that expense is zero so we tend to want “it all”. We did not have the burden or luxury, depending on your adult perspective, of having to worry about the price of “it all”. My children often enter stores and, in cadence, commence their request to have me and their mother purchase the entire contents of the store to satisfy their minimal and sporadic spans of attention. They find it egregious that we may have the audacity to utter the term “NO”. This is expected from children that have no earthly or cosmic perception of the cost. Along with not understanding the cost, they are also indifferent to the sacrifices and/or the labor put into being able to happily enter the shop and exchange products for money. We do not expect them to. They are kids of course and the matters of the world such as these are due in right time to be given to them.

It will one day be their times to practice this same ritual with their offspring. No doubt they will have an adult appreciation for the times we had to tell them “NO”. There is that word again. You see they will be in their right element as adults to understand that the time has come for them to develop an appreciation for an understanding of what it feels like when it is their time to give the ride to their children. They will, no doubt, make sure their children enjoy and understand fully what it is to be a child with little to no worry. After all, we all aspire to give our children better lives than we had.

As an adult, the child-like thinking is not so fly. Many adults still find it hard to understand that the ride is expensive to someone. If you are not paying for your seat in the truck, someone else is burdened with paying twice the fair. The greatest things in life are truly free; it is just the rest of it that you have to pay for. It seems that many people were never given that “NO” by their parents or they were never made to eventually learn that the trip is only cheap or free because someone else is paying your way. It indeed cost. It maybe that you just don’t pay your part to ride in comfort while someone else is worrying about how to get you there at their expense. I say let these people stand in the sun until they get their own busfare and work their way up to their own ride. I had to and they are no better than me, I PROMISE! If you are paying the emotional, spiritual, psychological, or financial cost for an able bodied adult…STOP IT. They will be ill prepared if and when your car has no more room in it because of all of your own “Stuff” that requires the space that they have abused and occupied for so long.

Stop making me a slave with your welfare...I NEED tuition help!

From Suject to Citizen: Aint no stopping me now!
I am no politician, nor am I a political scientist. I am also not an economist or sociologist so I will agree that the devils in the details are currently beyond my understanding. What I am is a citizen, taxpayer, and child of the ghetto. I have watched what works and have noticed what enslaves.

Let me start by saying that everyone cannot be saved. I understand this is opposed to popular belief, but, the Promised Land is not for everyone! Prosperity is not for all. Some people do not want prosperity (that is another subject). Some people, who are more than capable of the opposite, are content with living and managing their lives with meager means and are more than happy to exist instead of living the full life that is afforded to those that put in the hours and sweat equity. These people will forever be the ones that consume from the workers and producers. God takes care of fools and babies and in his strange manner directs those that are the workers to maintain the lives of and to share our earned resources with the consumers and takers. They will never bring bread to the table but we are directed by God’s Providence to make sure they are fed and cared for to the best of our ability It took a while for me to realize this but these people are who they are.

You also have the people that are the salt of the earth; I have no problem with these people. These are the people that have already fulfilled their ambitions. If the world were built of only limitless ambitions people there would be no one to make sure the rubber met the road. There is a need for people that are content and are willing to do the work that makes the world move. Being a child of the ghetto, I have loved and cherished people like this. I count them as family, friends, and loved ones. I have been one, and am called to be just this person depending on the client in my line of work. I am proud of my work but I am also too ambitious to put my period here.

I have often thought that it seemed a good idea to pay for the first two years of college for anyone who is raised on welfare, a parent receiving welfare, or to any young man who is from a home under a certain income level who is felony free that can reach certain scores on college entrance exams. This would be your eligible ambitous students worthy of investment. It would bridge the gap from consumer- recipient to ambitious taxpaying job creating citizen. The cutoff age would be negotiable among politicians(I would suggest 25 because the hood has it's challenges). Because this is a blog I will omit the details and share with you the concept:

If we did this we would allow the neediest among us to obtain at the very least an Associate’s degree. This in most cases creates a want and need for the graduate to pursue a Bachelors degree, almost akin to waking the apathetic sleeping giant that is the ghetto children like me that just need a little push to self-sufficiency. Let’s deal in real numbers (although made up out of my ignorance). If you could get a 35-50 percent success rate in this you could turn 35-50 people out of 100 people that would probably be welfare recipients into willing, happy, educated, taxpayers. They would then become productive taxpayers in their entire working lives instead of taking from the system in an unproductive manner until their deaths (as it is now). This would create generations that would better understand the benefit of their education and in turn usher into existence a renaissance of learning and college attendance in urban America. We already “intend” to pay them welfare for at least the next 21 years whether we want to admit it or not.

If you paid a recipient $1000 a month in food benefits and rental assistance for 21 years, the cost to the tax payer over that time would be $252,000 and you likely get nothing back from that person in the form of taxes…EVER. In essence it is a $252,000 hit to the taxpayer per household of a welfare recipient over 21 years. If you follow that logic, that is multiple taxpaying households taking care of one publicly assisted family over 21 years. If you invested free tuition at a community college for three years to that same recipient while giving them the same subsistence it would cost the taxpayer about $50,000 or less over the three years. With a success rate of 35-50 percent this would make the $8 to $12 million that you would spend on this group turn this group from costing the taxpayer $8 to $12 million over 21 years to adding $7 to $10 million to the American coffers over the same time. This is based on each paying $10,000 in taxes averaged over 21 years. We haven’t yet added the taxes that they now pay over the 21 year period for food and other goods that they would now be paying as taxpayers instead of the taxpayers paying their food subsidies. As a taxpayer, I would vote for such a plan. It would also mean a more educated urban community and fewer votes for those politicians that depend on the dependency of their constituents. Now imagine if we could get that percentage to inch up over time. Too much math for ya boy, but it could not be a bad thing.

If you want welfare reform, there is at least one step in its simplest form. We already spend this money on people for their first 12 years of schooling just to continue to spend on them if we continue to help and push them into the welfare system. What is an additional two to three more years to make them taxpayers instead of consumers as opposed to the next 20-30 years on welfare and allowing their next generation into the same bad deal? If you want the answer, here it is. A more educated constituency needs less governing and less government interference. How many politicians do you really believe want that? If you offered this plan to a politician, and I have, they will tell you it needs to be studied or try to tell you every reason that it cannot be implemented. Politicians, especially those that depend on the votes of the least educated (Democrats), will never agree that you should be on any level that puts you closer to them! In many cases, our elected leaders are in the business of helping us to remain subjects instead of citizens. Subjects work for the leader in a kingdom and the leader works for the citizen in a democracy. The last I checked, America was still a democratic republic…this is until we can get EVERYONE dependent on the government. When EVERYONE is dependent on Uncle Sam, who then will oppose him?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The problem is this: Everyone is always saying, “The problem is…”

The problem is this: Everyone is always saying, “The problem is…”

In the world of Trent I would make speaking this phrase punishable by death or dismemberment.

Ok, maybe a little too strong. I would at least make it punishable by solution. If the phrase had a speaker, that speaker would be made to offer a concise suggestion for solution. I have been hearing this phrase, “The problem is…” since I was able to decipher what words those around me were speaking. I still hear it often without the beneficial follow up that starts with, “This is what needs to be done to fix it….”

Many, many problems and very little solutions. In many instances, solving the problem creates more problems and to some that is either profitable or a hindrance to their current meal ticket. Make sure you know where that that you trust are as it pertains to either of these situations. Do we really want to solve issue plaguing our community or are we too afraid to call the people out that assist the problem in its fight to live in perpetuity? The mere mention that a problem exists causes those that create the issue to draw arms or at least show their sharp tongue. I know, it used to be me!

• Currently 1 out of 4 black children are born to a single parent.(Out-of-Wedlock Births in Black America) THIS IS A PROBLEM! Mention it as such and the people that are having multiple babies without the benefit of a two parent household will attack you instead of having effective dialogue and action aimed to solve the issue. My observations point to Black Men being the assholes that are really pretending as if a woman good enough to have your child is not good enough to marry. How’s that working out for you brauh? How can she be entrusted to nurture and bring to adulthood your most precious asset and not be good enough to marry? Shame on you brother!! Currently our welfare system encourages, by pay, our young women to have children without the benefit of planning and/or self-supplied financial wherewithal to bring this child into the world. THIS IS A PROBLEM!

• Currently some young man is leaving his parents home with his pants down to his knees and his underwear exposed to the world. That parent said nothing but, “That’s the style.” THIS IS A PROBLEM. He now knows that his parent(s) will cosign for his misdeeds and awful decisions.

• Our politicians would rather give a mother 21 years of welfare and make her a consumer of the workers wealth than to offer free tuition for 2 years of college and make her a tax-payer that eventually pays into the system. She would then have a greater chance of becoming self-sufficient and the tax-payers would not only be off the hook for supporting her for the next 21 years, she would then be adding value to her community and nation as a paying member of the taxed. It would no longer be support and would become an investment. THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM THAT OUR “PLOTITICIANS” don’t really want solved. People that are prosperous and diligent in taking care of themselves need little governing.

• Black children are increasingly being taught that they don’t have to learn to master the English language and that Ebonics is a socially acceptable form of communicating. Not so in the world of commerce and business. Somehow we let someone legitimize bs! THIS ONE IS A REAL SOURCE OF AGONY FOR ME! It is not cute when your child cannot speak! The check writers usually understand English and the check cashers sometimes need not.

• We have let our children believe that the “hood” belongs to them! What! Children and grown folks alike are claiming property that WILL NEVER BELONG TO THEM! In most cases it is subsidized property belonging to those that ALLOW this behavior in order to continue eating from that meal ticket. BUY YOUR HOME and then you can call it YOUR hood! THIS ONE WILL PISS OFF A LOT OF PEOPLE. It is not your hood if you do not own the property.

• For generations, the same people have enjoyed the benefit of our vote. Problem is we are still the same poor or poorer than when Grandma and Big Mama cast that vote for the same people. Insanity is continuing to cast that vote for these people and expecting something different to happen. THIS IS A PROBLEM. Other people tie their votes to their finances and make their representatives accountable if their financial standing changes. As a race of people we do not. I was poor four years ago when I voted for you, I should personally be doing better or you will not get my vote again.

I could go on for days, weeks, months…you get the picture. To fix and issue or problem it must first be identified as a problem. We have to quit telling our children that these issues and others are not problems in order to save face. I tell my daughter ALL of the crap that I did and thought in my younger years. I let her know that these were mistakes that are not to be continued by her or her brother. I let her know that I did it and the egg is on my face. Now what good would it do to save that kind of face?

Our solution is to call a problem a problem, then and only then can we get it fixed. Your house will flood if you think the hole in the roof is not an issue. The next generations really need no help from us telling them what the problem is without our wisdom in helping them to solve it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Watch the ones that scream "Racist!", they usually get the least done!

I would like to share this thing with you that you should already be aware of. It is not something that is etched in the psyche of all people, yet something you realize is quite clear when given focused and concentrated thought. Here it is: Racism is alive and kicking but those that that complain the loudest among us are the least productive. There, I said it.

People that are complainers are seldom people that are producers of action. The fact that an ism is out there and it exists gives them grand illusions of acceptable ineptitude. To be racist is significantly different than being prejudice. Every one of God’s human children is prejudice. We all pre-judge others until we are brought to a realization of their true character and/or personality. We are all hard wired from experiences, either ours or someone else’s, to protect ourselves from the historical pains of others. We do this by trying to figure things out before they happen to avoid them. This is done by pre-judging a person, place, or thing based on our personal knowledge of what this person, place, or thing is capable of. Without this, kids would run up to play with snakes and tigers. The prejudice doesn’t stymie me because it can be changed immediately in most cases with some education.

The racist are the ones that you have to constantly battle against. You see racist have the institutional power to stop! It is a practice, an act that can be perpetrated on others in the name of uneducated prejudice. In most cases minorities have not enough power over institutions to be racist. We own banks but do not own banking, we own houses but we do not own housing, we vote but we are too minor in number to completely politic for ourselves in America. We have little to no power to stop the majority from doing as they will in most cases. We have little to no power to be racist. If you think that we do then explain to me Eminem!

My issue in this piece is with those among us that use racism as a point of discontinuing to move and an excuse to become the town crier. People are racist, so what! If the wall is too big to climb go around, if it is too wide to round find a way to go through, if it is too thick to go through – invent! If this fails create your community where the wall will not move. When that community prospers, EVERYONE will want to be a part and you must guard against the history of your founding being rewritten. Everything is not a cry to call others racist! Republicans are no more racist that Democrats and vice versa. We have to stop calling the one pushing scraps off of the table the least racist. They aint “good white folk” because they gave you a damn turkey during the holidays! Did they tell you how to get your own turkey? Did they impart on you the knowledge to have your kids compete with theirs? Did they really answer the real questions that you had or did they train you to not ask the right questions? I am really getting tired of people always relying on the racist card without looking under the engine. Don’t just kick the tires folks. Hell some of these black folk are racist too. Do you really believe that your local Democratic politician wants you and the family moving in next to them and theirs?

Racism hides in the form of herded black folk too. Notice the next time someone pulls the card of racism their accomplishments and actions. Are you really worthy to tell me that someone else is racist when your kids commit all of their crimes against one group of people and usually that group is their own. That is what I call racist! Be very careful the person you follow and listen too, everyone doesn’t want you in a better situation that they are in. Who then will they stand on? Racism is alive and well and no one party has a monopoly on it. Since you know it is opposing you, you are in a better situation to fight it instead of just complaining about it. Wasted energy is talking about a solution, Well expended energy is shutting up and solving it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What ever happened to good old fashioned MEN?

It used to be that there were very noticeable differences between the sexes. Your sons did things that boys did and your daughters did things that girls did. Remember your aunts and uncles saying, “Boys stay with boys, Girls stay with girls.” Okay, maybe that was just in my family, but anyway. The times have moved us toward the dissipation of the lines that once helped us to place individuals in proper sexual perspective. To me, this is not a good thing.

A boy in skinny jeans wearing earrings in both holes and carrying European carry-alls is rather contemporary, yet new to me. Young ladies sagging, wearing fitted caps and playing middle linebacker at the local high school is something, I guess, I will need to get used to. Households are starting to show the signs of the man being away. In the natural order of things a man serves as the protector, guide, and leader of the home or pack. The lack thereof is catapulting our society into something more akin to an unnatural state of being. This may be something that is desired by non-traditionalist or those that would oppose nature in Her wisest of ways.

Imagine an animal kingdom where the male lion decided that he would no longer lead his pack, or the queen bee deciding she would relinquish her duties to move on to something that made her happier. The natural order of the collective would surely be thrown into generations of confusion, if they survived. This is what has happened to our human world, particularly in the USA and especially in the African-American community. The natural state of things is not as it should be.

Young men are told that they can no longer be too active or rambunctious. Rambunctious used to be a natural state of the untrained boy. Now it dictates he needs drugs. Men are told that we can no longer become angry, when controlled anger is what has kept our families safe and secure for generations. The Father’s discipline is disallowed and replaced with government controlled diagnoses that lead pharmaceutical investors to enjoy lofty retirement benefits. We are now told that we are no longer allowed to teach our sons how to deal with bullies and we must now “report” our issues to the bureaucrats that do no more than catalog and document for further pontification. Your home can no longer be protected lest you become the prisoner of the new laws.

Men are reduced to being parts of the whole instead of leading the whole out of danger and darkness. Was not this great national identity of ours to stand up to bullies, even for others that are less powerful than us? Were we once, as men, made of tougher things than we currently consist of? Were we once that ones that were looked up to by our sons and daughters as examples of what they should be and seek in their years toward self sufficiency?

What happened to the man that did it by the sweat of his brow and took no handout that was not paid back with interest? Where did the men that protected their OWN neighborhood go to? Why is it that the gangsters and pedophiles no longer fear the man of the house? Is he really gone never to return? Not many men even tend to their own yards anymore, or change their own oil and spark plugs.

I am thankful that my father produced a son that never looked past him to give me guidance to stop others from bullying me. I am glad that he taught me that I was responsible for protecting the Gamble kids that live in Katy, Texas. I am glad that he made me push the lawn mower and hold the light on cold nights when the starter needed to be changed. I am thankful that he told me that I have no right to complain if I refuse to be part of the process. Thank you God that my father was the first to teach me to shoot a gun, to stand and be counted, to open my mouth and get fed, to lead from the front, to be the man of my household, to analyze with great scrutiny the solutions of others and to stand straight up with ten toes pointed forward and proclaim I am a MAN. It is exactly what I will teach my son.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I love you sister but you need to stop using me as an excuse for your failures!

Behind almost every good man is a good woman driving his success or behind most bad men are women supporting their failures. Often that woman may be a mother, aunt, wife, or girlfriend. This is easily recognizable by his words and actions. No man can forgo his good blessings and deny that this is so. We understand that the rock that we anchor ourselves to has our faith or lack there of and a strong angel or powerful demon attached. Usually that angel/demon is a female. We love you ladies with all of our heart and all of our souls as well as with our resources, but you have to stop blaming us for all of your shortcomings!

I hear and read about women that are stuck in neutral because of some bad experience or relationship with a person of the opposite gender. I am often left asking why this is. It is as if some women are hard-wired to seek out the worst among us so that they may have wonderful excuses for their ineptitude. He broke my heart so I have to remain bitter for the rest of my existence, He will not take care of his child so I cannot move forward. He is in jail so I have to retard my progress in life to support his incarceration; all of the good men are married or gay. So many excuses and so little guidance from the older generation are frankly hurting the next batch of men that are brought up by single mothers.

First of all, you chose him usually knowing his shortcomings and with open eyes looking at his horrible future. Did you not think that he would try to make you a part of his plan? Again, behind almost every good man is a good woman driving his success or behind most bad men are women supporting their failures. Did you really do your part to drive his successes? This was the man you chose right? I would wager your choice was not to help him fail in life, right?

You cannot expect that every man that you meet will be a Prince. There are many frogs that need to be kissed. The issue is that many of the frogs are getting more than kisses. I think it is high time that the focus be put on the learned lesson achieved from negative experiences and relationships. ALL LESSONS COST YOU SOMETHING! It is important that you do not let the lesson cost you your dignity; it is often the last thing you have left to sell and ironically the most costly. Funnier still is that the dignity that is so costly usually is given at a cheap price and the stock on it never again rises.

I would love to see more women passing on the knowledge learned to the next generation of ladies. I would hate for my daughters prospects in life to be limited by her mother’s excuses and complaints about a man. I would hope that she would be taught that she succeeded and survived despite the fall. Her story would say that there are good men out there; they just want a good woman. Despite your experiences, are you a woman that a man with choices would choose to date? Have you overcome instead of being overcome? Have you exposed your sores to the world or did you clean, bandage, and work diligently to heal them.

I don’t want to date a woman with stab wounds still open from her last fight, oops I mean relationship, sorry. I really don’t want to hear her excuses and stories about her “baby-daddy’s sorry ass”. I want to know that she was resilient enough to not let any of that stop her and that she can get past the pitfalls of life. That is a woman that I would want to find, date, and spend the rest of my life with. Often in the animal kingdom only the strongest and most resilient get to pass on their seed. If only human beings were the same way!

Move on past the bad and talk no more about it unless you are educating another about getting past it and prospering in life. Too many times have I watched the life being sucked out of young women because no older woman would let her know that the stop sign in her life meant to look both ways before crossing and not to cut the car off and park. We need more sisters to get this across to them, REAL TALK.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Did desegregation really work out for Africa-America? Not so much for my hood!

Imagine if you will the neighborhood that I come from. It is sometime between 1930-1960 in 5th Ward Texas. The area is bustling with growth, home ownership, trailblazing good schools, doctor’s offices, dentist offices, printing plants, photography studios, many entertainment venues, professional people, and little crime relative to today’s onslaught. There are current prominent people as well as those that would make their mark on the world that are proud to call it home: Julia C. Hester (Hester House namesake), Barbara Jordan, Ruth Simmons(The very first black president of an Ivy league school), Mickey Leland, Joe Sample, George Foreman, Lester Hayes, A.K. Kelly(Kelly Courts namesake), and Lightnin' Hopkins to name a few. If you grew up with me I am sure you could easily add a member of your family to this list.

Jensen drive was the place to be on the weekend. Many Negro artists would come to Fifth Ward to entertain, not Houston but Fifth Ward. People expected their children to do well and the community did well as a result. You got fruit on Jensen and Collingsworth, your shoes were fixed on Collingsworth and 59, you swam at Finnegan or Tuffly, and kids would ride bikes from Jensen to the railroad and Clinton to Collingsworth, then came the integration of the 1960’s.

Many residents moved away to pursue other opportunities. With this came the deterioration of the fabric of life that was pre-1960’s 5th Ward. Crime started to rise, families fell into states of unrest and the “hood” became notorious for being one of the most crime-ridden and financially retarded areas in the nation. This can be said about many predominately African-American areas that were prosperous before integration. Travel this country into old Africa-America and there are still people behind that have the oral history, the American Griots if you will. They watched their culture strive and build when insulated and watched it water-down and leave behind the have-nots when emancipated from integration. Did we really want to start to look out for number one in the 60’s? Did we discontinue being our brother’s keeper and becoming integrated soloist as a result of the good fortune of integration? Were we integrated when we really wanted an end to desegregation?

The world may be better as a result of integration but areas like the area that I grew up in are far worse. These areas were left behind. The Fifth Ward was a place where everyone took care of me as a child. I knew the entire neighborhood and they knew my family. They made sure that my family knew what I was doing and where I was doing it at. This works if your family responds appropriately to the intelligence. Now the yards of many of the people that took care of me are overgrown with weeds, the homes are boarded up or gutted, the city rarely maintains their part since the taxes collected from this area are far less than other less forgotten, more prosperous areas of the city. Buildings that were once vibrant with commerce or entertainment life are abandoned, the area bounded by Collingsworth, Russell, Liberty Road and Jensen Drive that was proudly once known as  French Town has been absorbed into the rest of the neighborhood as it lost its rich Louisiana-Creole/Catholic identity. People now walk down Collingsworth as if there is no urgency in their steps, almost as if they are seeking something that has been lost.

Desegregation helped many of us to get to where we are today; it also played a part in us forgetting where we come from. Many are reluctant to remember the history and the vibrancy of what was ours alone. It was when we didn’t commercial our culture or have a lack of color on our album covers and in our videos. We were once proud to be from the Fifth Wards of the world because it meant you came from good stock. Now many look down to those remaining as if they just haven't made it out yet. We were once happy to go down to Jensen Drive for the concert. We were once asking only that you desegregate, not integrate…we could handle that part. We are losing our own and clutching what belongs to someone else in our unfocused and unconscious effort to let our history die. There was once a time when other people copied us, now our young men wear skinny jeans and speak proudly of getting white-boy wasted. If the jewels of Fifth Ward could see us now!

Conservative and Black, yeah that’s what I am

Sojourner Truth, P.B.S Pinchback(twenty-fourth governor of Louisiana and the first African-American governor of a U.S. state), Eldridge Cleaver, Frederick Douglass, Alveda King, James H. Meredith(the first African American student at the University of Mississippi), Rod Paige(seventh U.S. Secretary of Education), Colin Powell, Hiram Rhodes Revels(first African-American Senator), Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele(chairman of the Republican National Committee), Lynn Swan(former NFL receiver and Hall of Fame member), Peter Boulware(Super Bowl Champion Linebacker), Booker T. Washington, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett(co-founder of the NAACP), Wallace Jefferson(chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court), Karl Malone, Jimmy Walker(J.J. from Good Times), T.D Jakes, Sheryl Underwood, Richard Parsons(CEO of Time Warner),and Don King to name a few.

This list represents the great diversity in thinking that is our community. I count myself a conservative (no secret to those that know me). I will not use this moment in this blog to proselytize the merits of conservatism. I will say that my belief system dictates that I should pick up the banner of conservatism as opposed to liberalism. I deeply believe in personal responsibility and in the social norms that are driven by the churches that have sustained the African-American community through many trials and tribulations.

I respectfully honor those that believe differently and will in any way defend their right to believe as they shall. This is more of a glance into the forgotten history of the African-American. By nature we are a conservative people. Although our actions are often contrary, we hold vast conservative views. We believe in the sanctity of marriage, we believe in personal responsibility, we believe in handling our own affairs, we believe that the power belongs to the people and that the government is an employee of ours. On many issues we are more conservative than most of America. Being able to believe as I do is what really makes this country great.

Personally, I am a black conservative that believes in black nationalism, I believe that any two people can enter into marriage(it’s not my business what two consenting adults do in the eyes of the law), I believe that reparation need to be paid, and I believe that abortion is an issue between a person and their God.

I also believe that excuses are worn out tools to build monuments of nothing (thanks Mrs. Clara Bailey for that one). I find great fault in those that have many excuses for many things. I believe that the government should be small to govern well. I believe that a man that can and does not labor should not have a seat at the dinner table. I believe that you are your best friend and your worst enemy, suppress one and nurture the other and your life will pay the price or reap the reward. I believe that this country is the greatest in the world. People are dying to get in and no one is even yelling to get out. Patriotism, Nationalism, traditionalism  and capitalism are essential for our lives and prosperity to mesh into success.

I join the long line of black folk that were able to leave the herd and think independently. I am a black conservative and damn proud of it. When you think about it, are you?

Some of my favorite links and some websites that I am proud to be a member of:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The greatest thing to take into a relationship: The ability to walk away!

In growth there is change. This change is subtle yet extreme. Every organism that exists is hard wired to put forth it’s the best effort toward attracting a mate. What you see to attract you is often the very best of what attracts you has to offer. Of course this is not always true as some things and situations improve with time, when the minor issues are ignored, most don’t! What you see is often what you get. Unfortunately, many times we neglect to analyze what it is our eyes actually see.

We ignore the disgusting habits that will slowly rip the interwoven cloth of a relationship. In blind love or lust we try to achieve some other unstated goal that will at best blow away with time. You ignore the spending because most of it is on you. You ignore the horrible cooking because she is really attractive and it’s not that great an issue…now that is. You try not to give too much attention to the way he treats other women in his life because he doesn’t do that to you (or any other woman in the beginning). You ignore the lack of ambition because the other person has money for now. You pay little attention to the fights and arguments because the makeup is pretty awesome. As time continues to move, the things that you ignored have matured and now they desire ALL OF THE ATTENTION.

The issue with this is that the maturation of these issues was fed by your lack of ability to walk away. Now that these issues have reached adulthood, other parts of the relationship have taken your power of choice away. Mentally, financially, psychologically, and sometimes physically you have completely woven yourself into a person or situation that analysis could have proven the wrong move for your life. You have not the mental makeup to move on, you have not given enough attention to your finances to be able to leave a very bad situation, you have not psychologically prepared your life for separating yourself from a doomed relationship, or you have not physically taken care of yourself enough to feel that you can attract another.

I have always told my wife that she needed to be in a position where she could take care of herself and her personal situations without me. I have made it my point to help her get there. You see I like the fact that she wants me to be in a relationship with her much more that she needs me mentally, financially, psychologically, or physically. I have no idea what is in store for me around God’s next corner and I have always had a need for her to be able to handle things without me.

Some people find comfort in their thinking that their significant other cannot be prosperous in life without them. Some people love that they have beaten their other half down psychologically or mentally. It gives them the ability to abuse the situation. The perfected situation that allows one to have extra-relation activities is the feeling that your significant other has no other place to go. It is the perfect storm for an abusive and adulterous situation. Having more children than you can afford, lacking a skill and knowledge, being fiscally ignorant, and creating ungodly and unnecessary debt are just a few circumstances that can cause one to feel they are tied to very bad situations and even worse people.

My wife maintains the ability to walk away from our relationship. I would have it no other way. It is, in part the engine that drives me to be a better spouse, friend, father, and lover. I know that she does not need to be there and that sends me to the gym, keeps me constantly looking for ways to advance in my career, it also lets me know that someone else would love to step into the situation and take advantage. I am not going anywhere! The greatest asset that she has to keep me a great partner is her ability to leave my foolishness behind; therefore, I try my best to make sure I act according to the way a man is supposed to.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keep the division of duties between Men and Women DIVIDED!!

My wife and I once had a spirited discussion about me helping with the laundry. I am not opposed to helping with the laundry nor am I a Neanderthal of a man, but this really bothered me. You see there should be, in my opinion, a clearly bolded line that defines the separation of duties in a relationship. It helps to maintain order, it helps to teach children about our cultural definitions, and it helps in nurturing an ambiance of blissful division and cooperation.

You see women are fairly quick to ask for help as it involves the duties that are traditionally that of the female, yet they are curiously taken aback when approached for help in the duties that are befitting their male counterpart. I am often asked to help cook, clean, wash dishes and clothes, iron, fold, and even mop and wax at times. Let me state again that I have NO problem with these duties. After all, it is my abode as well. The problem begins when it is time to divide what are traditionally my duties. I get no help cutting the lawn, weed eating, changing tires and oil, grilling, cleaning the garage, cleaning the house (Hardy Plank and brick as per the Homeowners Association), there is no help with mending the fences, scrubbing patio furniture, washing vehicles, or cutting and hauling the firewood. No one helps me to clean the fireplace or chimney; I am alone in mulching and planting, etc.

You see the duties need to be divided more evenly and the responsibilities shared across the board, if this is the way it is to be. When the lines get blurred I receive no benefit, only more responsibility and duties. As a man you are expected to do all of the “manly” things and at times wash some dishes, cook some meals, and fold some clothes. If you are not willing to do this you are described as one who, “doesn’t help around the house”. What about my help? What about my assistance? Can I define her as the one who is not helping around the house?

The story goes like this: My wife and I were in the bed one night after having that spirited discussion about the equitable division of our duties as they are traditionally known. I expressed to her the importance of what I do around our home and how it contributes to the welfare of our investment as well as our lives together. She disagreed. At this I told her that we were going to split all of the duties down the middle, women’s liberation style. She continued to try to make her point and convince me of the merits of her view. About an hour later she shook me awake because she thought she heard something downstairs. She said quietly, “Trent, I think I hear something downstairs. You need to go see what it is!” I turned to her and sleepily replied, “ I went last time, it’s your turn.” Let’s keep it real and divided people. You cannot want to be treated as an equal and also want me to open your door. Choose what you will be and stop confusing us.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

STOP calling EVERYONE your friend!

If you are blessed, lucky, and charmed you may be able to count one person as a friend. I was taught as a young man that you don’t really have friends but a great many associates. My parents made sure to let me know how these were different. In elaborating, my father would say, “Son, if you find yourself fortunate you will have a friend in this world.”

What he told me later is that you will not find that you have that friend until some drastic action weaves its way into your world. I was told that these actions would serve to let me know who my friends were really and who my associates were. Of course I thought this was a bunch of crap from a person whose bitter experiences were singing their misery into the ears of my youth. I thought that he knew nothing of my “friends” and they were my boys. Just because his friends turned out to disappoint him was no reason for me to accept or expect the same lot in life. I had friends and we would be friends forever, through thick and thin.

What he didn’t tell me was that I would have to experience the shortcomings of my own judgments and the frailness of the character of most people to know exactly what he was speaking of. This advice was indeed truthful and needed. I learned that everyone is your friend when you have something to give but you are truly lucky if you have ONE when you have nothing to give but yourself and you are in need. You are truly blessed if you can count more than one person when, not if, such shortcomings call your name.

How many “friends” do you really have that would visit you in prison, How many would really give you refuge when you have no other place to turn and no means of gaining resources to secure said place? How many would share their last with you? How many would really tell you the truth about yourself? How many would give because they love you and not expect anything in return?

I suspect that most that read this piece believe they have more than one person that would do one or more of these things for you. They will…in theory, but most will fail in test! Friendships are always eventually symbiotic in nature. The basis of this is never material. Traits that make true friends are never tangible. They are always things that you cannot go into Macy’s and purchase.

That friend is the one that hold’s your hand when you don’t realize you need someone to grasp it. It is that person that tells you, and not the world, that you are screwing up and on the path to a negative destination. It is that person who knows what can hurt you the most but never speaks about it. It is the person that will physically fight you to save your own life. It is that person who gives when you need before you have to ask!

Everyone is your friend at the funeral of your loved one, but who was there when that loved one was sick. Everyone is your greatest and oldest friend when you find success, but who was there encouraging you when others thought you were in over your head? All are friend when you wear Versace and Gucci, but who was shopping at Target and Wal-Mart with you? All of your friends will show up at your premier party, who was there at Denny’s after that show in Palestine, Texas when you played in front of 15 people in the audience?

You see friendship is a true blessing that can only be secured under the extreme pressures of life. Like diamonds, it becomes beautiful under hot and dire circumstances and it is almost indestructible. A friend is a person you disagree with, this tells you that they love you enough to be truthful and they know that your bond is stronger than seeing things differently. The next time you find yourself in a dire situation and there is no publicity to be gained and you have nothing left to give, take a good look around you and all of your associates will be gone…only friends remain.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I love me some messy and nosey people!

Our communities are in disarray. In many ways it is because of our apathetic attitudes about our own surroundings. It is too much of a hassle to try to improve our communities or it is too dangerous or we would like to think that our lives are so important that we lack sufficient time to be concerned. We tend to believe that the rain will not fall on all of us when we see thunder and lightning. The rain eventually leaves the whole ground wet. It always picks spots at the beginning of a storm but watch long enough and you will see that everything is wet. Even with an umbrella, the ground underneath your feet gets soaked, no matter where you move to.

We would like to insulate ourselves from the ills of the world, and in our immediate communities. That kid that is selling drugs on your corner is not your problem as long as he leaves you and yours alone. The neighbor who is sick is none of your concern. The children on the street who have no fathers but cry out the men in the neighborhood with their actions are to be left alone even though you are sure that they will soon become felons. Your friend is in an abusive relationship but you convince yourself that, “She knew what she was getting into to.” This is probably true, but does she know how to get out?

In our lives we have been convinced that those that show concern are nosey and refuse to mind their own business. My grandmother was one of these people. I learned later in my childhood that her nosiness was what kept the door’s of her neighbors from being kicked in. I learned that she was the first person the community called on when they needed, “someone”. I learned that to be involved when it is not your turn means that prayerful people will surround you when it is your turn. I learned that only the rats that were the thieves, killers, and perpetrators despised her nosiness. She knew where everyone was, where they were supposed to be, and when they were getting back!

In many ways I feel like a sellout. It is because I left the community that she loved so much because it was just too hard for me to raise my kids there. Although she encouraged me to move away, I can’t help but feel that my life is missing something very important. I knew each of her neighbors and they knew me. I knew not just the neighbors on her street but almost all of the people within a 1 mile radius. This is not true of my new and improved neighborhood. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t even know my next door neighbors name. Eight years I've been there and her name escapes me. My grandmother would scold me for this.

I promise that I will start today to be the person who is concerned about all of my community. It is what I come from. Your home’s concern shall be mine. Knock on my door when you need to borrow sugar, that is what neighbors are for. Ask me about my wife’s health. Ask me about my kid’s grades. It doesn’t bother me that my neighbors want to know who is at my house. If more neighbors were like that less crime would take place. Our communities are fragile and on the brink of becoming something other than communities. We need more nosey grandmothers. We need more people saying, “ Ha ya durin”, as my PawPaw would say to his neighbors and friends.

I really need you to be concerned with what is happening in my life and I need to be concerned with yours. Don’t worry if the old people talk about you. I promise you that you would rather they talk about you than them not being concerned about you. Neighbors that aren't nosey tend to be unconcerned also.

Ever notice that the families that are labeled, “messy” and "nosey" are the closest families in the hood? Ever notice that those messy people are usually unbothered by the criminals? (Well, sometimes thay are the criminals but that's besides the point)Ever notice that no one outside those families can bother anyone in them? There are some uncomfortable things that come with close families and communities, embrace them and deal patiently with them. If not, there are things far more uncomfortable to deal with alone. The nosey and messy people don’t bother me. I know that love is usually a by-product of the two. The ones that concern me are the ones that never have any mess going on and are not concerned with anything outside of their homes. Those are the ones that you can least count on. When you next experience real issues, watch closely those that are there! The messy and nosey ones, right!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last line of defense of a fool: name-calling

There are many among us who formulate “great” opinions without the benefit of knowledge. You will notice these people in an instance by their willingness to quickly label others. Many people raise their voices instead of solidifying their opinion with fact. This, to them, is a quick way to deflect from the stated subject and to also add to the chaotic nature of the fans of the brainlessness. In other words, calling someone a name when you are losing an argument entertains only the fools among you and helps you to save face…among fools that is.

Too often in American discourse the loser resorts to calling the opponent a name. This does not serve to further along the valued conversations that tend to mend communities and educate those in need the most. It is almost always those that are in need of the education that such discourse brings that are entertained by the name-calling. Over the next couple of days, take moments to see if you notice this. Listen to the names that help to demonize the opponent instead of resolving conflict. Faggot, nigger, cracker, rag-head, wetback, chink, are just a few that the least educated among us will quickly use when backed into an ideological corner when in mental battle with a more skillful adversary.

The very last refuge of an idiot is to call another a derogatory name. When armed with facts and knowledge, there is no reason to resort to such tactics. How many times have you watched people engaged in verbal battle and one suddenly spouts out, “You’re an idiot!”? Think back and try to remember who was intellectually winning the battle before it was dumbed-down. Was that person really an idiot or was the other person out of intellectual fuel? I have watched as the most intelligent among us is labeled some moniker meant to make them seem more monstrous than militant. MLK was called a trouble-maker. This entertained the most ignorant of his enemies. George Bush was called an idiot, this seemed to energize the least educated among his political opposition. It was common among blacks to call the Honorable Clarence Thomas an Oreo. This is the battle call of his distracters. Black men of title were still called “boy” by their Southern white less educated neighbors. This somehow gave these mental midgets strength.

I am not against giving these titles to people if they belong to them. The problem is this: When you choose to give someone a derogatory title, make sure you can defend it with real facts that are able to lead ANYONE to the same conclusion. If you cannot, then you are the real idiot. Entertainment for idiots usually has to be overt, undisguised and over the top. This is what name-calling is. It lacks the art of subtlety. Yes to be subtle is an art form that dies in the presence of fools.

Don’t let your children resort to name calling when they should be able to defend their positions with fact. My children are not allowed to state opinions without telling me why they have that opinion. They are not allowed to cower in the corner behind the ragged defense of name-calling. They are made to understand that you look the smaller person when you resort to this and you are usually telling the thinking persons in the crowd a multitude of things about yourself. Name-calling: The last refuge of idiots.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don’t confuse “Settling” with abandoning the search for the perfect man that does not exist…YET!

Let me start this one by saying; If this is not you don’t be offended! Secondly, I would like you to send this to that friend of yours that this speaks “directly” to (wink, wink).

There are countless eligible and able women that continue to be single. Many are single because they choose to be. This piece does not speak to them. This piece speaks to the women that have it going on, have their own, can manage their own affairs, and just have a hard time meeting someone. This also specifically speaks to heterosexual women of this sort. This is because I really don’t know much about the dynamics of any other kinds of relationships.

Many women that I speak to are specific in what they are looking for as it pertains to a man. They want someone who is without complications, a man who has a career instead of a job. They want a man that will be honest and loyal and treat them as they FEEL they deserve to be treated. They tend to want the perfect man. HE DOES NOT EXIST.

Don’t pattern your expectations on a television actor or your father. Don’t think that the guy like your friends husband is out there for you. You have to realize this about those guys: they were assholes and jerks too. Your father wasn’t always your father. Your mother had to deal with a lot for him to become the man that you see today, much of it none of your business. Not very many good men become good men without meeting the other patient half that God intended them to have to make them what they are to be. If the women that have good men are honest with you they would tell you what they had to go through to get that man to be what you currently see.

I spend much time in conversation with older people and they are more than willing to impart this knowledge when the timing calls for it. You tend to see a woman with a huge diamond and you want one. What have you really done to get it? Have you thought about what she had to endure to get that big diamond? That large rock comes with stories and wisdom. Have you seriously thought about what Sis. Johnson had to help her man become to be able to drive that expensive Cadillac to service on Sunday. Bro. Johnson was not always what you see.

Often, if not always, A man is in need of his better half to become a good man. You have to recognize the brothers that have the potential but lack a better half. I would not have married me when my wife met me. I was, and some still say, a hot mess. I must say that I am not all that I want to be but I am, thanks in great part to her and her patience, much better a man, husband, and father than I could have become without her. How can something be perfect when it is not complete? It is the other half that makes it complete. Women want the love that their parents have but they don’t want to DO what their parents did or go through what their parents went through to get it. Ask you Mom seriously how long she had to deal with underwear on the ground before Dad finally got it and started picking them up himself. Ask her how long she had to wait until he started to help with the dishes. Ask her how long she had to endure his nights out with the fellas before she helped him to settle down into the man you now see. He was not born like that. You are by far a better person for having gone through tough things and adversity than you would be without any of it.

Sis. Johnson now deserves that good man. She had a great hand in helping him to become such. How dare you ask that your man come without the imperfections that we are born with? No man is going to be what you classify as a good man unless his mother, his sister(s), you, or some other woman helped him become it! I was a better man for my wife because of the crap I put another woman through, and I am not ashamed to admit it. The mistake of the other woman was she went through crap with me and left. It made me a better man for the next woman. That next woman became Mrs. Gamble. My wife is not the type to make the same mistake. She often tells me that she is not dealing with my mess to hand me off to another woman. SHE IS WORKING ON ME FOR HER! I am doing the same with her for my benefit.

Stop trying to find the perfect man and look for the man that needs you! Chances are you need him too. He will come with some stains, but nothing you can’t wipe squeaky clean. If you think I speak what is not the truth, go and ask a woman that has been married for some time. She will tell you that the man she married is far worse than the man that she has. Most likely others want a man like him too. Why do you think women like married men!

Focus on the man that you can grow with and not the finished product you want. After all, someone else got him there, not you! What the hell makes you think that you are so perfect? He has to deal with your issues as well.

Now, send this to your "girlfriend" that desperately needs to read it!(wink, wink)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When your child is in trouble...PARENT!

Parenting is as complex an action as there is in a human beings existence. Wise parents understand that the earthly thing you love the most, your most precious asset, will someday cause you the most misery. This is not because every child is destined to be other than a great and valued asset to humanity. It is because of our expectations. Some live vicariously through the lives of their children forever advising the child against becoming what they want to be and with caution extolling the values of what we have learned from our own experiences. Be very careful to live your life and not your child’s. No two children are alike. No two children require the same from a parent, even if you had them both. You cannot love all of your children the same. You must love them as differently as they are. Since this is true, there is no CORRECT formula for raising all of them to be productive people that accomplish great things. All are not burdened with great accomplishments. Some people need to just do the work. There is great value in those that just want to collect a paycheck. If everyone had the dog-eat-dog drive, all dogs won’t go to Heaven. To be a parent is to adopt the life of a chameleon. You must blend into your surroundings while also accepting the fact that you are still the same on the inside.

No exact science to this, although there are some principles that are to be respected in followed in any attempt to raise seeds to adulthood. You have to water and feed them first. Teach them how to act, how to treat others, how to treat and care for themselves, and how to respect what is to be respected, especially culturally and spiritually. These principles are true of every culture.
Some people tend to give up on their children when one or more of these principles are not followed by the child. Let me make sure I state this so that all can understand: ANYONE CAN PARENT A GOOD CHILD. CHILDREN THAT ARE OTHER THAN THIS ARE GIVEN TO SPECIAL PEOPLE! It is these special people that usually stand between us and a society that deteriorates in a matter of days or maybe hours. Every child will do something(s) wrong. It is at this point that you are called to your eventual destiny as a parent instead of a donor or vessel. When that child is in jail it is not the time to give up. When that child is in harm’s way or in the lifestyle that is opposed to a prosperous life, the world would thank you to begin your parenting at that moment! Never mind what others say. Your child deserves a parent, no matter what they have done. Until one of us is no longer breathing, I will be Sanaa Jolie and Trennan Ziare’s Dad. Nothing that they can do can take that away, NOTHING. Everyone who is a parent faces some shame or doubt, or regret for an action of their child. Just make sure you know that this does not mean you are allowed to have less love, No, I think that you are forced to have more love. You should understand that the situation is not only about you and the child but about those that watch and talk as well.

In mysterious ways, your dilemma is also an awakening, an opportunity to learn, a showcase of your love, a learning experience, a test, a real matter of life that is meant to benefit someone else as well as you and yours. Please be aware that you may be being used to help another realize the potential in their situation. As a parent, please do not judge yourself by the missteps of your children. They are great opportunities to be the parent that you are meant to be. Do not give up. If you do you may be giving up on more than just your child.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The world will end next week, I think

On things of significance, the world seems to more readily turn a blind eye. There are few left with enough spirit, knowledge, and foresight to be able to continue to matriculate their lives among the masses of psychopaths that call themselves sensible. What used to make sense to our parents begins to quickly erode what little privacy and rights of expression that we seem to think we have found ways to maintain. It just seems simply that things are spiraling out of our collective control. The Last Days are here at last and that brings some joy to parties of people that live to die and reach their piety in the sky (pun intended). These times are like no other and the end of the world as we are accustomed is surely near. We need to be absolved of all things unclean and re-commit our lives to the Most High (depending on which name for the builder of the world you choose to use).

This summation is the official stance of every human generation that ever lived. We are all about to die. We are all about to meet our maker. Since man has existed he has predicted the world will end next week. It is just that EVERY STINKIN one of them have been wrong, at least so far! Man's attempt to predict the demise of time has been documented at least since 44 AD when Theudas claimed to be the Savior and led 400 people into the desert with him to meet their demise at the hands of Roman soldiers. Many believed the end was near December 31, 1999 as a result of technophobia. Dr. Jerry Falwell believes the Antichrist is an already born male Jew. Many New Age writers follow the Mayan and Aztec calendars to predict the precise day of the planets demise. According to their educated guesses, it will be between December 12-22, 2012. Most of this is supposed to be ancient knowledge decoded in now or earlier not so ancient times. How does the math stay the same after the world's acceptance of the Gregorian calendar in 1582? Shouldn't the dates change after 1582 since we went to a 365 day year as opposed to the previous Julian calendar. I need some mathematician to figure the numbers out for me.

My special point is that every generation seems to think that as life gets easier, things get much worse and that we are doomed to move technologically toward our oft-guessed demise. No man knows the day nor the hour for one. I am a believer in God and in the Bible that I read Mathew 24:35-36 states "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." How can Christians fall into believing that they can really tell when the end of times will occur? NOT EVEN JESUS KNOWS!!

I am sure that if I am blessed to be an elderly man I will really believe that my grandchildren's generations are bringing about the end of the world and that they just don't know what good music is. They need to listen to more Luke, NWA, Too Short, Geto Boys, etc. Ahhh, those were the good ole days, when music meant something to the soul. I really hate to imagine what they will be listening to. I really hope that I can maintain enough sanity to realize that everything has a season and mine would have probably passed by then. I will not tell them the world is about to end. I will tell them that no matter what people say they need to be prepared for it…WHATEVER that is to them. Stop listening to these mental midgets homilize about the end of the world. They know not when it will end

Every generation is at the cusp of dominating the world with wickedness. Every since Elvis shook his hips on national television the older generation has been on a tear to stop progress and invention. The world is not meant to stand still. There are still unimagined possibilities to be explored. There will always be old people to piss off. IF you are blessed, you will one day be one of them. We are meant to establish new things and to challenge the status quo. Remember this, Jesus challenged the status quo and the older generation and the sanhedrin(city council) were instumental in having had him crucified. You cannot really believe that your challenge and ultimate conclusion are greater than this! What would have happened if Jesus decided not to keep stepping on toes?

Men, break every mirror in the house and tell her she is ugly often!

I was thinking about the true beauty in an ugly woman. I am not speaking of her physical beauty alone but of the whole beauty that makes her a woman. This beauty escapes many women and even more abhor it and seek to derange or modify it. It is one of the greatest mysteries of the world; why a beautiful woman cannot see it herself. It is as if her youth were spent in a house without mirrors and someone told her many times daily that she had no beauty to offer the world.

As a man, I am thankful that more women will not recognize the power they hold. As they go, so goes the world. Thank God that they don’t recognize this! Whew! Most acts by men, be they kind or treacherous, is at the very least an attempt to impress or have a woman. War and peace are often in her delicate hand. People at funerals often tell the audience that we must all travel the way of death but speakers never reveal that we were all born of the womb or egg of a woman. It is the one thing in the world that most living entities have in common other than life itself.

To break the beauty that she was born with is becoming an increasingly easier task. Break every mirror in the house and telling her she is ugly twice a day would push her psychologically to the point that she is afraid and subservient to her abuser. Ladies, if this hasn’t happened to you it seems ludicrous and crazy, but it happens to many women that are a diminished version of what they are meant to be. Have other women berate her and allow her to only see the underbelly of this life. This will serve to create a great sense of the need for a protector and master. This will also help her to lose the self worth that she was born with. She will never know that nations were built and destroyed by the switch of her hips. She will never know that civilizations prospered and failed in her chamber. She will never know that men are powerless and deranged without her touch. This is why prisons have razor wire fences and guards with the ability to use lethal force.

As men we are thankful, in a devious way, to other women that help us to incarcerate the power that women collectively hold. If it were not for women themselves, women would run the world! We receive the benefit of women feeling they cannot meet the stringent status that other women establish. Women often wrest away pride that other women have in themselves. Divide and conquer has been the tactic since some great man among us found out that the power of women collectively was too great a challenge for male dominance to overcome. She needs implants, hair, nails, face paint, lipo, tucks, lifts, and other assorted adjustments, corrections, compressions, contractions, conversions, distortions, revisions, and variances to attract us…or is it to impress other women in this pseudo- masochist drive to be like other women you happen to really dislike? Remember a clown also wears make-up and wigs.

I for one hope that women never realize the power of the universe is in their hands. I really think that we, men, are doing a great job at running the world. We have enslaved, ravaged, murdered, plundered, starved, and experimented for our pleasure, knowledge, and profit. It is as the world should be. Women of the world, you are our helper so you have been just as culpable. We have psychologically raped and physically beat women into submission and cooperation. It is as lovely as can be.

The women’s liberation movement has even worked against you. It was built as a movement to give women equality and choices. Now it will not even let you choose to be mothers and housewives. Ironic isn’t it ?You are looked down on by other women for raising your children and nurturing your husband and home. Someone is still breaking the mirrors and not allowing women to see the beauty in the ugly women. Now it is women themselves. It did take a little training from us though(chest stuck out). We used to tell them many times daily they were ugly. Now they have been trained to tell each other how ugly their beauty is many times hourly! Even worse they train their daughters, the next generation, to do it at a more effective and efficient rate.

Women are not in the business of lifting each other up. They are very effective at tearing each other down, many times over a man that is not worthy of either of the two, three, four, or five of them(Sorry, too much Maury Povich watching). Foresight is something of a foreign word to many women. It is easier to let him have his way with me than it is to investigate him and find him worthy of giving him my most precious asset. Women will give you themselves before they will give you proper questions that may lead to the avoidance of a lifetime of turmoil and drama. Funny, they then act like their situation is new and that NO OTHER women they know has made this mistake so that they would not have to.

If I were a woman, knowing what I know, I would build my house of mirrors. I would take every opportunity to tell other women how great we are and how beautiful we are. I would work to build a network of women that walked along with the leaders of this world…I better stop there, I’m forgetting that I am a man. Too much information.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The tiger doesn't think the jungle is bad!

When I was entering into the 1st grade at Shadydale Elementary School, we all stood up in Mrs. Hughes class to make our introductions. She gave us the liberty to telling who we were and any other interesting thing that we could share in a brief moment. I had never met any of the other children. I had previously attended Emmet J. Scott Elementary School in Houston’s 5th Ward. I introduced myself as intelligently as I could and shared that I was from 5th Ward. Some of my classmates snickered at this, my interesting thing that I shared. I immediately felt self-conscious and questioned what was funny. Did I stink, were my clothes not up to par, or did I just unknowingly embarrass myself because of where I was from?

You see my parents lived not far from the school, but ALL of the Gamble children went to school close to Maw-Maw. She would have it no other way. She did not like the fact that my parents pulled me out to attend a school close to their house. Where I was from, the people had a great sense of community and it was truly a village…in my eyes. My youth was shielded from the terrors around the corner. My village consisted of 4 aunts, 2 uncles, 2 grandparents, church members and a host of neighbors who respected the Gamble name enough to make sure nothing happened to us in OUR neighborhood. Even the hustlers respected the Gamble name.

Anyway, I digress. When I came home from school that day I was visibly disturbed by something and my father noticed. After prodding me to tell him my issue, I finally spoke up and told him about the event during the day that affected me so much. At this he laughed, which I was not kind to. He told me simply this, “Son, you will understand this when you get older. The tiger doesn’t think that the jungle is bad.” He left it at that. As I grew older and wise enough to know why those kids were snickering in class, I also grew less confident about where I was from. They all seem to come from nice houses, as compared to my grandparent’s home. They all seem to wear nicer clothes than us. Their parents seemed to drive nicer cars.

This stayed with me until I got too High School and again left the 5th Ward to attend another school. This again was a battle between my grandparents and my parents. My grandparents wanted me at Wheatley High in 5th Ward or Kashmere High in Trinity Gardens. These were the schools that my friends from middle school were attending and my grandparents thought that I should matriculate through the same schools that their children went to as well as stay with MY classmates. I agreed but not my parents. They noticed a change in me that dictated I needed to expand my horizons and attend a school that was more multi-cultured. I cringed at going to Sam Houston High but grew to love it and the many friend I made there. It was there that I began to understand what my father said to me years ago, “Son, you will understand this when you get older. The tiger doesn’t think that the jungle is bad.”

Being around other people that were not raised in the same environment that I was raised in made me realize that I was a kid FROM the jungle but not OF the jungle. I realized that others neighborhoods were much worse than the one I was raised in, just in very different ways. I realized that the people from my neighborhood took care of the people from my neighborhood, FIRST. I realized that I was blessed to have been brought up in that environment and blessed to have been toughened and smartened by what my ears heard and what my eyes saw. Things that seemed so major to others were now a second though to me. It was as if I knew things and how they would end before my new peers did. I found that I was a tiger and that the jungle was home and full of lighted places that others considered dark. I realized that my jungle was full of other tigers that I could depend on in a moment’s notice. I realized that the deer wished they were tigers. Man I love the nickel! My name is Trennan Gamble and Mrs. Hughes, I from 5th Ward, Tuffly Park area! I would move back now if I could get my wife to agree. I better leave it there; this one was a fight before the marriage.