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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!