Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are The American People The Victim of Their Own Stupidity?

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Are The American People The Victim of Their Own Stupidity?
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It's amazing how clueless people can be. I'm currently focused on how people can't see the negative impact that some of these ego maniacs like Cornel West and Ralph Nader are having on their lives. How can they not see that when you divide the vote of like-minded people that it only serves to help the people that they like least? So when they blindly follow people like Nader and West they’re allowing the mysterious agenda of these people to have a direct, and undue, impact on their very lives.
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In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Seth Masket and Hans Noel points out that "The last third-party candidate to win the presidency was Abraham Lincoln, in 1860, 151 years ago. But Lincoln's campaign was hardly independent. The Republican Party had been organizing for years, and it had representation in Congress. And one of the previous major parties, the Whigs, was collapsing, its followers mostly switching to the Republicans." (http://articles.latimes.com/.../la-oe-masketnoel-indies...)
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In a similar article, "Third-party candidacies: Rarely successful, often influential," that ran in The Washington Times, Henry Olsen, who heads the National Research Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute, was quoted as saying, "‘Fringe candidates can affect the outcome of an election . . . They can be decisive in a lot of ways, often in ways that don’t necessarily show up in how well the candidates do, but rather where they do [it],’ said Mr. Olsen, who suggested George W. Bush may not have become president in 2000 were it not for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader . . . Mr. Nader was ‘inconsequential nationally, but because of our electoral system, he cost [Al] Gore Florida, and hence cost him the election,’ Mr. Olsen said" - and that’s what led to the Iraq war, the deaths of over a million Iraqi citizens, the death or disabling of thousands of American troops, and our current economic condition. Was it worth it, for the need of ideological puritans to simply vote their conscious? Personally, I don’t think so.
(http://www.washingtontimes.com/.../third-party.../...)
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So again, why can't these "ideological puritans," who claim they want to "vote their conscience," recognize that by dividing the vote of like-minded people, they’re actually helping the people that they like the least? In essence, they’re so upset with the Bogeyman, that they're leaving the backdoor unlocked for the Devil. It's pure stupidity.
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George W. Bush, and his trickle-up policies are the primary reason that we’re in the condition that we’re in, and the Nader/West coalition is the primary reason that Bush was elected. But in spite of that, now we have Cornel West going all over the country doing $30,000 an hour speeches demonizing President Obama for not doing enough to remedy the situation.
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The sheer gall of this guy is unbelievable. West is like a guy who walks into a restaurant and craps on the floor, and then calls the Health Department because the owner didn’t get it up fast enough. People like Ralph Nader, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, and Boyce Watkins are the quintessential hypocrites. People like these are pursuing their own limited and self-serving agendas while portraying themselves as the saviors of the very people they’re hurting the most.
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After Ralph Nader was rejected for the 2000 presidential nomination by the Democratic voters, instead of acknowledging his rejection and falling into line to help defeat the Republicans, Nader went into a petulant snit and ran as a third party candidate. It was clear that he purposely ran as a third party candidate with the mean-spirited intent of sabotaging the Democratic effort, because third parties never win; the only purpose that third parties ever serve is to help elect the people that you like least, because they divide the vote of like-minded people.
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Cornel West joined Nader in this foolish - or treacherous, you make the determination - campaign, and as a result, George W. Bush won the election over Al Gore by winning Florida by a mere 537 votes. The Nader/West coalition peeled off 97,488 votes from Gore in Florida alone. So when I say that Cornel West is more than a little responsible for George W. Bush becoming President of the United States, and thus, your current economic condition, don’t take my word for it – you do the math.
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Most people, if they were sincere, would look at the disastrous results of their activities and be devastated. After all, causing Bush to be elected was the worst possible outcome for everything West is SUPPOSE to represent. So most people would conclude that they had made a grave error, and that they would never do anything to divide the progressive vote again. But not Cornel West, he teamed up with Ralph Nader yet again in the 2012 election against Obama, and tried do the very same thing that they'd done in the 2000 election that resulted in Bush's presidency. The only thing that stopped them was, this time the people weren’t buying it.
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So yes, in September of 2011 Ralph Nader and Cornel West teamed up to try to sabotage the Democratic Party yet again. They canvassed the country for Democratic opponents to challenge Obama in the primaries. According to Nader, "Without debates by challengers inside the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries, the liberal/majoritarian agenda will be muted and ignored." And he goes on to say, "The one-man Democratic primaries will be dull, repetitive, and draining of both voter enthusiasm and real bright lines between the two parties that excite voters." What he failed to say, however, was it kept the liberal voice solid and united. So if Nader and West had been successful, they would have divided the Democratic Party just enough for Mitt Romney to squeak out a victory, and the nation would now be under conservative leadership. Now, just take a moment and think about what life would have been like for poor people then. But did the illustrious Cornel "I love My People" West care about that?  Not a bit. (http://wattree.blogspot.com/2014/10/is-cornel-west-judas-goat-when-was-last.html).

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Proof That The Ralph Nader/Cornel West Coalition Purposely Helped Bush Become President
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Outside Magazine, August 2000:
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"If California tips Green enough, Bush could win the state and the whole damn election. Which, Nader confided to Outside in June, wouldn't be so bad. When asked if someone put a gun to his head and told him to vote for either Gore or Bush, which he would choose, Nader answered without hesitation: ‘Bush.’ Not that he actually thinks the man he calls ‘Bush Inc.’ deserves to be elected: ‘He'll do whatever industry wants done.’ The rumpled crusader clearly prefers to sink his righteous teeth into Al Gore, ... [and] concludes with the sotto voce realpolitik of a ward heeler: ‘If you want the parties to diverge from one another, have Bush win.’
(http://www.hereinstead.com/QUOTATIONS-FROM-RALPH-NADER.htm)
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Those are the words of a clueless and self-serving lunatic who is more interested in his own agenda than he is the best interest of the American people, as the results of his activity clearly demonstrates. Thus, it was no accident that Nader and West teamed up. They are of the very same ilk - they’re brothers in self-serving indifference to America. In addition, they’re both self-absorbed, they both crave attention, and they’re both extremely petty and spiteful, as demonstrated by Nader’s antipathy toward Al Gore, and West’s spitefulness toward Barack Obama.
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Nevertheless, in the past, they were both highly respected for what appeared to be their selfless advocacy for the people. But their current activities clearly demonstrate that what seemed to be "selfless advocacy" was actually self-promotion. As mentioned, they both crave attention, and they both have a contrarian nature, so in the past, it just turn out that their contrarian dispositions just happened to coincided with the public interest, so they seized upon the opportunity in order to promote themselves. But now, they’ve both made it perfectly clear that they’re willing to turn their backs on everything that they were suppose to believe in so passionately if it's in conflict with either their pettiness, or own self-interest. A perfect example of that is to ask yourself, how many people did Cornel West influence to stay away from the polls in the last election by the suggestion that it was alright not to vote if they disagreed with any one of President Obama’s policies - he said in a Time.com article, "I couldn’t vote for a war criminal." (http://time.com/3475306/hear-cornel-west-on-obama-a-drone-presidency/)
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As a direct result of such messages being sent to the American people, we now have a Republican controlled house and senate - and what kind of compassion does this Republican controlled congress have for the people who West is supposed to "love" so passionately . . . ?
The GOP is engaged in an unconscionable effort to obstruct the implementation of Obamacare, which provides affordable health care to millions of Americans.
Retraction
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Previously we reported that "Congress Eliminates Child Tax Credit, Mortgage Deduction And E.I.T.C From Tax Code." That was in error.  What we should have reported was congress has failed to renew the expiration of many of these middle class tax deductions.
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Nevertheless, in the 2014 midterm election, the American people decided to thumb their nose at the man who prevented them from going into a second Great Depression, saved the American auto industry, and provided affordable health care for millions of Americans, to follow demagogues, and the very people who are directly responsible for their dire economic straits. I’d call that, blatant stupidity.
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A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. - Edward R. Murrow.
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Black Community Controls $1.1 Trillion in Buying Power, Yet . . .

Beneath The Spin*Eric L. Wattree

The Black Community Controls $1.1 Trillion in Buying Power, Yet . . .
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The African American community controls more spending power than the Gross National Product of Germany, the third richest industrial nation in the world, so why are we whining to the White man to provide for our needs?
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Dr. James P. Neelankavil, a professor of marketing and international business at Hofstra University, says in his book, International Business Research, that "Since the output of a country is an indicator of its economic activity, the GNP [Gross National Product] is often used as key factor in evaluating a country’s economic strength. The five largest countries in the world based on their GNP are the United States, $7 trillion; Japan, $2.5 trillion; Germany, $1.1 Trillion; France, $873 billion; and China, $393 billion."
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So based on Professor Neelankavil’s data, the African American community’s buying power of $1.1 trillion is equal to the economy of Germany, the third largest industrial economy in the world. We control $127 billion more than France, and $607 billion more than the gross national product of China. So why was it that in the 2014 midterm election people like Tavis Smiley and Cornel West were running around suggesting that due to high unemployment in the Black community, Black people would be justified in sitting at home, not voting, and letting the Republican Party win governorships around the country, and take over the House and Senate? There’s something wrong there. Either they, and their ilk, are grossly uninformed - in which case, they need to keep their mouths shut and educate themselves - or they’re in active collusion with the GOP - the Black community’s worst enemy, and the domestic enemy of the United States as a whole.
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It’s not President Obama’s fault that we have high unemployment in the Black community. We in the Black community need to educate ourselves to a few fundamental facts. Barack Obama is merely President Obama, not King Obama. The U.S. Constitution gives the U.S. House of Representatives SOLE power over spending, and the house is controlled by the Republican Party. Thus, President Obama has to get permission from them to even pay the light bill, but the GOP has a vested interest in keeping the American people hungry, angry, and divided, so they’re blocking everything he tries to do. We saw the reason for that in the midterm election, because with people like Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, Boyce Watkins, and the entire Republican Party, they can convince the American people that it’s Obama’s fault, and win elections.
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NOBEL PRIZE WINNING ECONOMIST
The very same thing is true of the nation’s high unemployment. The economy is doing better than ever, and corporations are making more money than they’ve ever made in history, so the American people should be more prosperous than ever, and riding high. But the corporate/GOP coalition have a vested interest in not allowing that to happen, so they’re sending what should be American jobs, overseas. Again, the reason for that is political for the GOP - they want the American people angry with President Obama so they can win elections. And for the GOP’s corporate partners, it’s a business strategy - they’re trying to soften the American middle class up to the point they will accept a lower standard of living. They want to lower the American middle-class standard of living to where it’s more in line with the global economy, where in some countries workers make less a week than many middle class Americans spend on lunch per day. So the bottom line is, even though Barack Obama is President, in a free society, there is nothing that he can do to force corporations to hire more American workers. So I find it quite strange that someone who is SUPPOSE to be as brilliant as Cornel West is laying all of our problems at Obama’s feet, and not saying a mumbling word about the corporate/GOP alliance.
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Again, the Black community controls as much spending power as the GNP of Germany, the third largest economic power in the world, so we’re a nation within a nation, and there’s no reason why we have to sit around and wait for the White man to pass us crumbs. The reason we’re in this situation is because of our conditioning. As I’ve said many times before, we are products of the very same racist environment as White people, so some of us harbor some of the very same underlying bigoted attitudes toward other Black people as any barefoot, sheet-wearing, Hillbilly, as people like Clarence Thomas, Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and a whole hoard of Black conservatives clearly demonstrate - oh, did I forget Boyce Watkins (It’s important that I keep mentioning these people, because with the exception of Clarence Thomas, the others are trying to influence Black people covertly).
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As a direct result of many of our underlying attitudes toward our own people, Black consumers will drive right past Black businesses to give our hard-earned money to Walmart, a corporation that’s closely associated with ALEC (and Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, I might add), and an organization that leaves no stone unturned to obstruct Black people’s right to vote, support politicians who are dedicated to impeding any legislation or program designed to enhance the interest of the minority community, and undermine poor and middle-class American worker’s as a whole. For this reason, Black businesses are absent or barely surviving in the community, and can’t afford to hire Black workers, so we’re creating our own Hell. 

The following statistic says it all:
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"Currently, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for a month, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days and white communities 17 days. How long does a dollar circulate in the black community? 6 hours!!! African American buying power is at 1.1 Trillion; and yet only 2 cents of every dollar an African American spends in this country goes to black owned businesses"(http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2014/02/african-americans-1-1-trillion-dollars-buying-power-putting-good-use/).
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But in spite of the $1.1 trillion passing through the Black community, there are many who still insist on coming up with the excuse that the problem is with the banks - they won’t finance Black businesses. That’s a lame excuse, and we really need to stop trying to make excuses for our condition, because by coming up with all of these excuses, we’re simply giving ourselves a convenient excuse for failure. With all of the money that passes through the Black community, if we came together we could establish our OWN banks.
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Black Community Opens Its Own Market, and Creates Its Own Jobs

The Black community of Greensboro, North Carolina has seen the light. The African Globe reports the following:
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"Winn Dixie and other large grocery chains had divided up market territory, resulting in the closing of some stores despite their profitability. The loss of this Winn Dixie turned Northeast Greensboro into a food desert . . . For more than 15 years, there were many efforts to lure a new grocery store into the space. However, while the store would be profitable, it wouldn’t be profitable enough to satisfy the demands of the shareholder-based economy of a large corporation. Fed up with essentially begging for access to affordable, quality food,  residents of this predominantly African-American and low-income neighborhood decided to open their own grocery store.
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"After learning about cooperative businesses, they decided to open a community-owned grocery store. The store would meet local residents’ needs for access to quality food and dignified, well-paid jobs. And now it’s going to happen. When the Renaissance Community Cooperative opens in 2015, it will be a conventional grocery store (like a Food Lion or Kroger) where wages start at $10 per hour."

The Black Community Must Rid Itself Of Poverty Pimps

If the Black community ever wants to be a viable entity, however, we’re not only going to have to follow Greensboro’s example, but in order to do that, we need an organized community, and a big obstacle to that is the self-serving poverty pimps among us who benefit from our suffering. We’ve got to eliminate these people. These are the ones who are primarily responsible for the plight that we currently find ourselves. When Martin and Malcolm were alive, the only thing they wanted from the White man was for him to leave us alone and allow us to live our lives in peace. My grandfather had a little verse that reflected their attitude. He used to say, "The only thing I want from this whole damn nation, is a pretty little wife, and a good foundation." I didn’t realize it at the time, but in that one little verse he was teaching me the meaning of life - and he had that - a prosperous and meaningful life, and more.
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But after the death of Martin and Malcolm, the poverty pimps swooped in to try to take their place, but both their philosophy, and their agenda, were much different. They convinced the Black community that we couldn’t make it on our own. They convinced us that we were incapable of such a monumental feat. They told us that we needed the White man’s help to move forward, so it was incumbent upon us to hire them as our official emissaries to the White man. That was in the late sixties and early seventies. But since that time, the "emissaries" have all profited greatly, while we’ve been sitting on our hands suffering, whining, and begging for the past forty years - and we're still waiting for the White man’s response. Sure we want our piece of America's pie, but the only way to get that is by organizing and making ourselves a strong enough political force to DEMAND it, not pay poverty pimps $30,000 an hour speaking fees to talk about how unjustly we're being treated. First, we already know that; and secondly, the only one it's benefitting is the poverty pimp. We're actually PAYING him to help spread the word, and profile us, as an hopelessly inept culture.
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So it’s time to bring the poverty pimp hustle to an end. We don’t need one voice speaking for millions; we need millions speaking with one voice. We also need to re-embrace our self-esteem, and begin to recognize who we are, what we represent, and the dignity of what we’ve managed to overcome. We're not puppies who need to be defended. We are a strong and vibrant people. One of our number has risen from the very bottom to become President of the United States. That's one of the most amazing accomplishments in the history of mankind. It's the equivalent of a captured slave rising to become the emperor of Rome, and it also speaks volumes about the American people's respect for excellence. But the poverty pimps have a vested interest in playing that down. They have a vested interest in playing you down.
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The Community Must Control The Way We Are Being Portrayed

In addition, the Black community is doing itself a huge disservice by just sitting back and allowing ourselves to be portrayed in a distorted and negative fashion. It sends the wrong message to our children, and the world. When our children sit around for hours on end watching the antics of Lil’ Wayne and others flaunting the very worst of who we are, it sends the message to our young people that they have a moral obligation to be stupid in order to demonstrate their Black pride. They’re, literally, being instructed in what it means to be Black by sources other than ourselves. They’re being taught that being Black means wearing pants saggin’ off their asses, engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior, scarring their bodies with ugly tattoos that can prevent them from obtaining employment, and giving priority to chasing "bling," momentary pleasure, and superficial trinkets over pursuing education, knowledge, and investing in themselves as individuals.
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If we’re tolerating these things in our homes, we have no right to complain when the rest of society refuse to hire us, and profile us a superficial and irresponsible idiots. But the fact is, we’re not only tolerating it, we’re making people filthy rich by supporting an industry that thrive on producing videos that are nothing short of ten minute commercials being circulated around the world saying that the very womb of our culture are sluts and whoes who are only good for abuse, and that Black men want everything out of life but a job - and will do anything to get it.
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That’s not who we are as a people, but that’s the way that 90% of the community is being portrayed by a mere 10% of the most dysfunctional element in the Black community.  That’s who our young people are looking up to, and that’s the way the rest of the world sees us. So if we allow this to continue, whose fault is it when the rest of the world believes their lying eyes? No wonder unemployment is so high among Black people. I wouldn’t hire anyone like that either - would you?
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So the Black community needs to come down on the media like a sledgehammer, and stop them from slandering our community. We also have to start letting our children know, in no uncertain terms, that stupidity’s not cute. And we can't start to disseminate that message too soon, or too early in a child’s life, and since kids tend to gravitate toward those things that they’re rewarded for as "cool," it’s not enough to simply address this issue as individual parents - we might as well be spittin’ in the wind. We have to address this issue as a COMMUNITY.
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We’ve got to let BET know that if they want the community’s continued support, they’re going to have to change their call letters to stand for Black Excellence Television, and their programming is going to have to reflect that. We have to make it clear to BET, MTV, and the rest of the media that if they want the support of the Black community that they’re going to have to air programming that’s consistent with our agenda as a community - programming that reflects manhood as having the character to face and defeat adversity, and reflects strength as being tender enough to sooth the wounded feelings of a baby girl.
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And we should also encourage the promoters of these awards shows, like the Soul Train Awards, to be more responsive to the needs of our community. We don't need yet another parade of swaggering millionaires staggering up on stage, snatching microphones, and acting a fool. We need to start placing more emphasis on honoring young scholars, educators, and the people in the community who are helping to move Black people forward. That isn't to say that celebrities and entertainment shouldn't be involved in the shows (I'm a musician myself), but they should be the "help," not the honorees. After all, if all our young people ever see the community honoring are singers, movies stars, and athletes, why should they aspire to be anything else?
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And finally, we've got to demand more responsibility from our churches. We've got to make it clear to some of these preachers that if they expect to take collection money out of our community on Sunday, they’re going to have to do more than just flap their lips; they need to be prepared to put some kind of service back into the community during the week. Our churches should be serving as low-cost childcare facilities for working mothers during the week. They could then employ unemployed mothers, and at the same time hold classes in child rearing. They should also put some of their tithes into starting businesses to provide jobs within the community, instead of squandering it on big cars and expensive homes (generally outside the community) for the preacher. So the community needs to send a very direct and precise message to some of these preachers -"Don't just preach me a sermon, live me one."
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http://wattree.blogspot.com/2014/11/why-i-love-being-black-revisited.html

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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A DYING LOVE

Beneath The Spin* Eric L. Wattree

A DYING LOVE


We vowed that we would love forever, the love of two puppies, they said, in our youth. But now two marriages
and four children between us,
I vow my love is just as strong
for you.

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We danced, we frolicked,
we experimented with love,
and shivered warm
against the sea;
Private memories
of a carefree love,
memories that belong
to just you and me.

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Now, I love my wife with all of my being. She’s made my life a pure delight. But love never dies, and you need me now, so I stand here, at your bedside tonight.

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I’ve done well in choosing the women in my life, as your fading eyes can see; for as you lie here dying and I profess my love,
my wife stands here in tears, next to me.
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You’ve also chosen very well. Your husband loves you more than his pride. For he’s the one who summoned me here, so we could say goodbye.

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So good-bye sweet soul who taught me to love, and brought such
burning passion to me. As you close your eyes for the very last time, let my love be the last thing you see.




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Eric L. Wattree
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does. 



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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

LIFE WITH VAL: THE PARTY

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

LIFE WITH VAL: THE PARTY
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I was recently in what can only be described as a verbal altercation with a couple of feminists today. They took exception to a picture that accompanied an article that I wrote showing a man holding up the world, Atlas-style, to keep it from crushing his family. It showed his wife, son, and daughter, obviously in fear, and on their knees praying. The feminists took the position that it portrayed the woman as weak, and needing a man to protect her.
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I was really taken aback by their position and lost all patience with them. I mean, what kind of rabid ideologue does it take to take offense at a picture of a man protecting his family!!!?  One even said, "It is not a distraction to say we need to stop teaching boys to be saviors and start teach them to be partners,"  to which I replied, "Men NEED to feel like saviors. That's what makes them men..
When my wife died and my son and daughter were grown, many of my female friends stepped in to make sure that I didn't have to prowl the streets looking for sex, but I was still depressed. I thought my life was over as a man, because no one NEEDED me to be a man and to protect them. But fortunately, I was a musician, and met a lady - who did need me - and it made me feel like a man again, and it gave me a reason for living."  So it's a part of a REAL man's nature to be a protector. Again, that's why nature made him bigger and stronger, and emotionally, that's what makes him a man.  I didn't realize that myself, until I was left with an empty nest. I began to feel like I no longer had a reason for being.
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I went on to tell them the following:
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What some of you are doing here is buying into a philosophy that is destroying the poor and middle class. We are currently knee-deep in a CLASS WAR, and race, sex, and religion are the most potent weapons of the people who are waging this war. We’ve got to keep in mind that what the corporate/GOP alliance thrives on is anger, division, and frustration. They’re agenda - to lower the standard of living of the American middle class to conform to the new global economy, which pays people of many countries less per week than many middle class Americans spend on lunch per day - is so toxic to the American way of life that they MUST keep Americans divided to promote it.
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The picture in question is not about religion, it is not about the denigration of women, and it is not about anything other than Black men stepping up to the plate and being Black men. Thus, those people who see something else in it that is offensive to their narrow ideology, must understand that their vision is CONTRIVED, DIVISIVE, AND LACKS AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIG PICTURE. How do I know that? Because I posted the picture, and what they’re complaining about never once occurred to me when I posted it. So they are digging up, and looking under rocks to see what they want to see.
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Now, I can fully understand women wanting to be recognized as equals and peers in every sense of the word. But this photograph does not either say nor does it imply that women or not equal. It simply acknowledges the fact that men and women are DIFFERENT, just as nature did when it made men bigger and stronger than women. 

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Equal doesn’t mean that men and women have equal assets. Equal means that men have certain strong suits that they need to bring to the table to combine with the assets that women provide to the family unit. And to even suggest that being feminine, and not being as physically strong as a man is less than equal, is being bigoted and condescending toward what it means to be a woman. Being physically strong is not everything. My late wife literally MADE me. The mere fact that I can write this is a tribute to the strength of that woman, and even though she’s gone now, I’m STILL trying to live up to the man I saw reflected in her eyes. And by the way, when she died she made $37,000 a year more than I did. One of our biggest arguments was I refused to let her hire ME.
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So if you’re a feminist, instead of nitpicking about what YOU THINK is being portrayed in a picture, your efforts would be better served in fighting to see that ALL women received equal pay for what they do. Because if that were the case, Val would have made $57,000 a year more than I did. And even though she's gone, I still get a check from her on the 28th of every month. So grow up, and see the big picture.
 

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That started me thinking about Val, and just how special she was. So I'd like to relate the following episode in our lives:

The Party
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My late wife Val and I met when she was 14 and I was 16 years old. Her aunt worked at the 55th Street Medical Clinic in Los Angeles processing insurance documents, and my mother was head nurse and physician’s assistant. That year my mother hired Val to send Christmas cards to the patients. I met Val while I was on one of my routine missions to the clinic to bum money from either my mother or Dr. Atkins. It didn’t matter to me - whichever one I ran into first was cool.
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It was my routine to go to the front desk and have whoever was there buzz me into the inner sanctum. Once there I would lay in wait in the lunchroom for whoever came out of one of examining rooms first. I always hoped it was Dr. Atkins, because he was an easier touch. He didn’t have time to listen to my sad scenarios, so he’d just pull out his bankroll and start peeling off paper without even listening to me, with maybe a caustic remark like, "Eric, you need to get you a job." It was kinda embarrassing, because my younger brother, Fred (12 years old), used to work around the office to EARN his money. But, being the consummate little deadbeat that I was, a little embarrassment didn’t phase me a bit.
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But what I didn’t know was, on that particular day, when I walked through those doors it would change my life forever. When I walked up to the counter, Val was turned facing the files. I waited before I said anything, because even then she had the body of a full grown woman, so I just stood there and took in the view. But when she turned around, I was shocked to see that she was a young girl. I also saw that it was my lucky day, because when she looked at me I saw for the very first time that look in her eyes that made me feel special until the night she died.
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We were married on Christmas morning when she was 19 and I was 21, and she’s been an ongoing gift in my life every since - even today, now that she’s gone. When I originally wrote this, several years before her death, I pointed out that we have two kids - a daughter, Kai, who was 23 at the time, and a 21 year old son, Eric, Jr. They’d both graduated from college the previous month (Eric, on my birthday).
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I also pointed out . . . that I'm sort of a laid-back, ‘cerebral’ kind of guy who refuses to make a move without thinking it through. You know the type - the kind of guy who people aren't really sure about until they get to know him. Val, on the other hand, is a totally spontaneous, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person that everyone loves on first sight. But she's *so* spontaneous that the kids and I have to keep an eye on her to keep her out of trouble.
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In both high school and college my son was the school basketball star, and before each game countless kids would congregate at my house waiting for Val. Others would go to the gym early to save seats in the bleachers, waiting for her to show up - and when she did, the party was on.
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The kids used to call the section where Val sat "The Dog Pound." More than once a player on the other team would miss free throws or plays because they were laughing so hard at something Val might have said about one of the referees or opposing players - and the funny thing was, in spite of that, the referees, and the kids on the other teams, loved her, and they all call her by her first name - some of the kids called her "Nani."
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Kids who were scheduled to play our team would come by the house and say, "Now Val, this is just a game. Don't be doggin' me on the court next week." And she'd say, "I ain’t gon have to, my son's gonna do it for me - and get out of my refrigerator. Don't Ruth feed you?" Sometimes after a game my son would say, "Moma, you know you were a bad girl at the game today, don't you?" And she'd say, "What? His topee was on crooked!" Sometimes I seriously wonder was the Whoopie Goldberg movie, "Eddie," loosely based on Val's Antics.
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She is so out there. She lives in her very own universe. I tell her sometimes, "Val, if WWIII broke-out, you wouldn't even know it until you heard the blast. And it's true. Val is so oblivious to the things that the rest of us worry about that it verges on dangerous. In spite of the fact that she is well known as one of the top Property Administrators at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, Ca., she manages to leave all of her business acumen in her desk at work. One day, for example, she saw a very expensive household item that she wanted to buy. So she came to me and asked if it was alright for us to purchase it. At the time, we were sort of strapped, so I told her that we didn't have the money. She looked at me with deep disappointment, and said with total sincerity, "What do you mean we don't have the money? You have a box full of checks in your desk drawer." So, needless to say, I handle the money in the family.
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But her disarming personality has also helped us out of a number of uncomfortable situations. About ten years ago when we moved from Los Angeles to Covina, California, we were one of just a few Black families in the area. Not being use to that sort of situation, we - make that I -was more than just a little uncomfortable. And to make things worse, one of the neighbors had a huge Confederate flag spread across one entire inside wall of his garage - and the garage door was always open, so whenever we drove down the street his blazing Dixie flag hit us right in the face. I felt uncomfortable with it, but hey, that flag was draped across that wall long before we moved into the neighborhood, and besides, the man has every right to love Dixie. The only thing I hate more than a racist is a person who comes into a situation and thinks everyone else should rearrange their lives to accommodate them. So I just learned to ignore it, as I THOUGHT Val had.
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About a month or so after we moved in, however, the lady from across the street invited us to a party that she was having. Again, being the laid-back kind of guy I am, I felt uncomfortable about the prospect. I don't like parties as a matter of course. You have to stand around laughing and smiling when you really don't feel it, and discussing issues that you really don't care about (How about those Dodgers?). It's not my thing - it makes me feel phony. I had the feeling that this party would be all that multiplied by a thousand - especially, not knowing anyone, and being the only Black couple there. "Hey, Bubba! Guess who’s comin’ to dinner?"
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But Val immediately lit-up. The lady had said the magic word--PAAAAAR-TAY! Before I could say a word, Val took the ball and ran with it. "I'd love to! Hey, can I be the bartender? I make the best...." The lady ended up at our house all afternoon laughing and talking with Val. By the time she floated back across the street, under the influence of a quart of Val's "sample" Margaritas, Val was up on all the neighborhood gossip, and the two women had forged an unshakable, Most Favorite Neighbor Treaty.
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The lady's name was Rose, and watching her and Val together was very enlightening. By watching the way that she and Val bonded I began to recognize that people don't naturally bond by race.  In a multiracial society, grouping according to race is a contrivance of man. Let to their on preference, and the absence of artificial societal rules, people would bond according to type. Watching Val and the blond, blue-eye Rose together made that perfectly clear.  These two women were clearly sisters.  They had just met a few hours ago, but if some who didn't know them walked into the room they'd think they grew up together. And later, my son and daughter validated my new recognition beyond refute. When they went to school and began to blend into the neighborhood, their crew looked like a United Nations assembly.  The only thing missing was an Eskimo, and they didn't even seem to realize that there were any differences between themselves. 
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That taught me a lot, and it caused me to drastically revise the way I viewed the world.  It's a lesson that I should have learned years earlier, because when I was in the Marine Corps, my closest friend was a White Hillbilly from Kentucky name Stan.  We hated one another upon first sight, due to our preconceived notions. Stan saw me as a radical Black militant, which I was, and I saw him as a racist Hillbilly, which he was.  But he was also a world-class Black belt in the marshal arts (he later made a career as a Navy Seal close combat instructor (the Marine Corps is a part of the Department of the Navy).
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But anyway, I was in Oceanside one night in a phone trying to call home.  I dropped my dime and I was bent over trying to pick it up.  This damn BLACK MP thought I was drunk and grabbed me and caused me to bump my head on the little counter that they used to have under the phone, and it hurt like hell.  So I came out swinging, and MPs (on Black and one White) started beating me with their clubs. Stan happen to be there at the Greyhound bus station and came and jumped in on my side. It took four Oceanside policeman to peel us off their asses. But fortunately, after we were subdued, one of the MPs (the Black one, of course) decided to spray me with mace, after I was handcuffed.
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Our 1st Sergeant (also from Kentucky like Stan) came and got us out the brig the next morning. Then when he got us back to his office he said, "You know, I'm completely cluster fucked about you two.  Everybody in the unit knows that you can't stand each other. So how in the hell did you two end up in the brig for givin' two MPs a good ole Marine Corps ass kickin' (congratulations, by the way, I here you did the unit proud)?  Sgt. Delorge, aren't you the one that said that Cpl. Wattree was an asshole?  Then Stan said something that I'll never forget - "But he's our asshole, Top."  Thereafter, Top just smiled and called the Provost Marshal and said, I hear your people sprayed one of my Marines after he was handcuffed.  That's an unprovoked assault. The old man is pissed, and he order me to follow up on that. Yeah, I know, but ain't that what we train 'em to do?  Well, I'll tell you what, why don't you just let me handle these two on my end and we call it a wash. Okay, I owe you one."  Then he look up and told us, "Get the hell out of office."  Thereafter, me and Stan were inseparable.
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Many years later I went to visit the colonel I used to work for (I used to do all of the writing for the battalion when he was our battalion commander), who by that time was a Maj. General and the commanding general of Camp Pendleton, and he told me that they still used me and Stan's story for morale training - and often used Stan who had become a training officer with the Navy Seals, to tell it.  So I should have known how the racial dynamic works on an individual level, but the instant connection between Val and Rose served to bring that reality back home.  
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But when it came to this party, that was a different situation. Relationships forged between individuals, and  the group dynamic works much differently, as the current situation in our society readily attests. So I began to think that this was going to be more complicated than I thought - it had become serious. We had just moved to the area, and already, life as we were just coming to know it was about to come to a screechin' halt. I could just picture this nice, quiet neighborhood under the influence of Val and her notorious mixed drinks. Once the neighbors came down from their hangovers they'd never forgive us. I could just see the headline of the next day’s San Gabriel Tribune now - "BLACK CHICK CORRUPTS COVINA!" - and knowing my woman, there was no doubt in my mind that’s exactly what was about to happen.
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Val has a real knack for mixing drinks in a way that masked the liquor. She can blend various juices, fruits and crushed ice with more artistic flare than a Renaissance master. If she could pull-off the same thing with paint and canvas we'd be instant millionaires. She can mix these drinks so well, and make them so pleasing to the taste, that people generally forget about the gallon of liquor that's in them. We'd have parties where I'd here non-drinkers saying, "Ah Val, can I have another 'slush,' please?" I'd think, "slush, indeed. The only thing that's going to be slushed is you, in about five minutes." Val got a real kick out of it - and now she was about to do it to our new, unsuspecting, neighbors.
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The night of the party I wasn't as uneasy about it as I had been previously, because by then I'd had a week to get to know both Rose, who seemed to have made Val her closest friend on the block, and her husband, Al, who was really a nice guy. But I still wasn't passionate about the prospect of being paraded about as the new Black guy on the block to a lot of people that I didn't know. So I begged off with a cold that I had made it a point to cultivate three days prior to the event.
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The night of the party I kissed Val on the cheek and told her to have a good time. But as she was leaving I held on to her hand and reminded her, "but not too good of a time." She promised to be good, and she was off.
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I then got comfortable and settled into the bedroom to watch television for the night, but I kept the windows open and the blinds open so I could keep an eye - and ear - on the house.
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By 12:30 a.m. the party was going full blast. I could hear the laughter and the faint sound of music playing in the house, but by 2:00 a.m. I began to hear the sounds of Val working her magic. A couple of guys who I recognized as two of my more conservative neighbors were in front of the house arm-wrestling on the hood of a brand new Chrysler, and another guy was calling out to a woman who was struggling down the street barefoot in an evening gown. So I decided I'd better drop in on the party.
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When I walked in it was clear that Val was in full control of the festivities. It was also clear that I didn't have to worry about uneasy small-talk - everybody in the house was about as loose as you can get. Val walked up and hugged me, saying, "Hi, honey! Hey everybody! This is my Nu-nu, Eric." I heard various drunken responses:
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"Hi, Eric"!
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"Hey, Nu-Nu!" 
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"What's his name?" "Nu-NU?" 
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"Big, ugly rascal, ain't he? Just kiddin', don't beat me up, brother!"
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Then this one guy walked up and said, "Hi, I'm Stewart. I live down the street. This is quite a lady you got here."
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"Yeah, I know," I said. "I hope she's been behaving herself?"
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"Naw, I can't say that she has," the man said. "First, she done got everybody drunk - but I can't fault her for that, that's what I came here for - but then, she called me a Commie."
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I said, "what?"
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Then Stewart's wife chimed in. Between the booze and her laughter, she could barely get her words out. She introduced herself as Sue, and said, "No, she asked my husband, 'Are you a communist or something? And my husband said, 'No, I ain't no damned Commie. What made you say that?' Then Val said, 'Well, why you got that Communist flag in your garage?'" Sue went on, trying to talk through her laughter. "Then Stewart said, 'That ain't no damned communist flag! That's Old Dixie. We from Georgia.'"
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With that, someone else took up the story. "Then Val said, 'Same thing.'" Then everyone fell out laughing all over again (even me, because I knew Val was serious) as Stewart stood there pretending to be incensed. But everyone knew inside that while the joke was suppose to be on Stewart, we were actually laughing at the childlike way in which Val viewed what was suppose to be an uncomfortable subject.
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It seems that Stewart had been receiving a lot of ribbing over the flag for quite sometime, and Val's remark just put the icing on the cake. It turns out that he and Sue are both really nice people. Stewart is quite an intellectual, and - believe it or not - has turned out to be my closest friend in the neighborhood. We spend hours together debating everything. He says, "I admit, I’m a Southern bigot - I think we should lynch anyone who roots against Georgia Tech." 
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Stewart and I agreed on one thing, however - since the essence of our being is what we think, and physical attributes are purely superficial, it makes more sense to define ourselves according to the way we think, rather than the way we look - and if that is true, then our preoccupation with race is an exercise in stupidity. 
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LOOK AT WHAT OUR BABIES
BROUGHT HOME
I really like that guy, and if it weren’t for Val we probably never would have met. And she’s brought so many other things into my life. I discovered my love for writing as a direct result of finding that I didn’t write well enough to answer the love letters she used to send me while I was in the Marine Corps; she encouraged me to go to college, and she also talked me into buying my first Commodore 64 Computer when personal computers first hit the market. So, while living with Val can indeed be challenging, I can’t imagine life without her.
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I could go on and on about this woman, but I’ve got to go now - it’s time for me to mount a campaign for dinner.
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"Oh, Sugar Lips!"
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"Sugar Lips my ass. Hit the microwave, Buddy!"




Eric L. Wattree
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does. 

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Monday, November 10, 2014

WHY I LOVE BEING BLACK - REVISITED

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

WHY I LOVE BEING BLACK - REVISITED
 
During the sixties we used to say, “I’m Black and I’m proud,” but we never said why we were proud. I’d like to correct that.
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I absolutely LOVE being Black - and I'm not just saying that because it's expected of me. While I have the ultimate respect for the unique character of every race and ethnicity, if I'm reincarnated a thousand times, I want to come back Black each and every one of them.
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Being Black in America gives one an education and perspective on life that you can't get anywhere else. That's not widely recognized, because public attention is often focused on the most dysfunctional in the Black community. But contrary to popular belief, that might not be an altogether bad thing, because it allows the excellence within the Black community time to incubate, untainted by the public eye. That's what allowed Barack Obama to explode upon the world stage as a fully developed powerhouse, and there are hordes of others just like him who are currently incubating in Black cocoons in suburbs and inner cities all over America.
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Another thing that's not widely recognized is that the “soul” of Black people extends far beyond music. What's commonly referred to as "soul" is actually creativity, and as any cognitive scientist will attest, creativity is a primary indicator of advanced intelligence. 
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Since Black people are some of the most musically inclined people in the world, the ramifications of this newly discovered scientific information is not only astounding, but it also serves to validate what many of us in the Black community already knew. While it takes utter stupidity to suggest that one group of people are intellectually superior to another (it's like trying to suggest that a Black Cocker Spaniel is innately superior to a White one), it's been a long accepted scientific concept that adversity triggers evolution, so it is far from outrageous to suggest that after over four hundred years of being subjected to the very worst kind of adversity, that adversity has served to make Black people more, rather than less.
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While many White people don't realize it, every day of a Black person's life they're forced to deal with some sort of bigotry, either blatantly overt, or subtle and covert.  It's generally the latter. That's why many White think that Black people are being overly sensitive when we complain of racism.  But, by just going through life having to routinely outwit bigots on a daily basis constitutes a constant workout of our intellectual abilities.  Many Black people don't even recognize this.  As a result, many take the growing power of their intellectual potential for granted.  They don't recognize their growing intellectual power. They simply think racists are dumb, so they often squander their intellectual potential.
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That's why Black people simply laugh to themselves when White conservatives assert that the only reason Black people support the Democratic Party in such large numbers is due to handouts, when the actual fact is, unlike poor and middle class White conservatives, Black people support the Democratic Party because they're not stupid enough to support a party that's out to cut their throats. Another fact that White conservatives should consider is the only reason that America is in the dire economic condition that it's in is due to their decision to vote for George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections.  In addition, the only reason they're not currently in the grips of a second Great Depression is due to one Black man - Barack Hussein Obama, who they hate so passionately. Thus, if they had followed the lead of the "intellectually challenged" Black population, they wouldn't be in the shape they're in today.      

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Charles Darwin would call what's referred to as Black "soul" as a unique adaptation to adversity, and the most insightful within the Black community recognize it as being much like a sixth sense that reaches the very depths of human understanding. When fully developed, it provides Black people with a unique grasp, empathy, and insight into the human experience. That's why Black people are so effective in conveying human emotion through music and the arts - so effective, in fact, that "soul" has been confused with emotion itself.
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So Black people don't just live life, we experience it. We experience life in the exact same way that we experience music. As a result, we actually feel our environment, with the exact same passion that we feel a lonely bass struttin' through the back alleys of a slow and funky blues. That accounts for our swagger, but our "soul" also accounts for making us far more than swagger alone - a point we must get across to the more frivolous within our community.
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You see, the very same swagger, or soul, that goes into the making of a Ray Charles, a Miles Davis, or Areatha Franklin, under another guise, is also responsible for the power and solemnity of mind of a Colin Powell, Johnnie Cochran, or Michelle and Barack Obama. Thus, the very same soul that allows Black people to excel in music, can also be directed towards physics, politics, philosophy, or engineering. The only reason it's been reflected primarily in music up until now is because music was one of the few activities that Black people were allowed to freely engage in. But the rise of Barack Obama has signaled a change in that regard, and America is going to begin to feel that change.
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So this is an exciting time for Black people, because we recognize that the world is about to discover what we already know - that there is nothing in the human experience more impressive than watching the development of a Black child, who's been dragged through the pits of Hell and the brutal experience of “American Exceptionalism,” then emerge on the other side as a well adjusted, uniquely eclectic, resolute, and learned product of his or her environment.
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These are society's unsung heroes, and there are many more to come. They've been tested by fire, and they've prevailed. By the time they've reached thirty, they've faced down more adversity than the average American at eighty. So simply having survived America unscathed, by definition, makes them special.
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So when I come into contact with the "strivers" in the Black community, I may not say it, but my heart whispers, "Thank you for your service." Because, in my heart, I know that these are the people who have been selected by nature, and circumstance, to blaze the trail of a new reality, and move America forward - and considering America's history, these young people represent the very height of irony. But as the old folks used to say, "God works in mysterious ways."
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So just watching the collective journeys of these young people have inspired me to recognize that, I too, can take great pride in being the product of adversity, because the lessons of adversity have served to make Black people  more, rather than less.
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Simply having survived the trauma of being Black in America speaks volumes. It represents an independent source of knowledge, and an unassailable credential - a credential that none of the great institutions of higher learning can possibly provide. And while we must strive to attain it, we don't have to rely on sheepskin to attest to those credentials. Due to the tremendous adversity heaped upon us here in America, our beautiful black skin says it all.
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So yes, I'm Black, and I'm very, very proud.  I'm proud of who I am, and I also take great pride in my history - and that even includes slavery - because adversity constitutes knowledge, and that knowledge is what made me, me.
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A Slave’s Prayer
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I was stole from Eden, an innocent soul,
crossed seas and centuries, chained and cold;
My mother was raped and beaten to death,
my daddy was sold, and my sister is kept.
So how they praise God and brag dat they free,
and even sing songs about freedom, 'din look upon me?
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I was chained to 'dis land, 'dis "Land of the free,"
by people with a God, who sho must can't see.
But a change is a comin', tho I won't no mo be,
but when it get here, Dear Lord,
please let my soul see.


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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR:
A MAN WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE
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The United States of America has honored only four men in history by declaring the day of their birth a national day of celebration - Jesus Christ of Nazareth, widely accepted as the father of all mankind; President George Washington, the father of this nation; Christopher Columbus, the man credited with discovering the Americas; and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man whose forebears were brought to these shores in chains.
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That says a lot about this humble Black man. In spite of the fact that Dr. King began his life burdened by the inherent disadvantages of being blessed with Black skin in a Jim Crow environment, his words, his intellect, and his deeds so inspired the heart and soul of humanity that America saw fit to set aside a day for this nation - this world - to thank God that he was allowed to walk among us.
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His was a soul with such strength that it served to lift the rest of mankind to a higher level of humanity. That's not only a testament to one Black man's ability to pull himself up from the dust of his humble beginnings, it's also a testament to the capacity of his people to meet the test of greatness.
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When one considers that even today some are engaged in a raging controversy over the intellectual capacity of the African American people, it only further emphasizes Dr. King s stature in this society, which speaks with flawless eloquence to the boundless potential of the African American intellect.
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Admitted to Morehouse College at 15 years of age and a Nobel Peace Prize winner by age 34, Dr. King rose to become one of the most honored men in this country's history. By his untimely death at age 39, it was clear that his was to be one of those rare voices that would speak to all men, for all time. Long after the bones of his detractors have turned to dust, this unassuming young man's name will continue to reverberate throughout the ages.
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That was the legacy of Martin Luther King. Through his moral strength and tenacity he demonstrated to America that the Black man was much more than just a beast of burden, and through his intellect, and his ability to personify all of black America, he inspired the world to embrace his cause. Thus, the legacy of Martin Luther King - like the man himself - stands as a monument to the depth and breadth of the African American culture.
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Too often we focus on the most negative aspects of African American behavior, while we totally ignore the great strides that are being made by the vast majority of Black people. We pay special attention to the relatively few violent, Black criminals, while we ignore the millions of Black law abiding citizens; we focus on the undereducated in the Black community, while we turn a blind eye to the hordes of African American students and professionals who are flooding our colleges and universities; we've become experts on those African Americans who are a burden on our society, while we remain blissfully ignorant of the multitude of African American doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, laborers, musicians, writers, architects, homemakers - and yes, now a president - who contribute their unique talents to making this a better world.
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These are the people - the people who Martin cherished - who we truly honor in any tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. Because as we honor Martin and Malcolm, and all of the other nameless Black heroes who have struggled, and in many cases given their lives, to move our people forward, we cannot help but honor ourselves. That is the true meaning of Martin's legacy.
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Thus, in any tribute to Dr. King, we also celebrate the African American culture - a new culture, conceived in pain, delivered into turmoil, and baptized in a sea of deprivation. We celebrate a culture that is only now in the Spring of its development, yet, a culture that has managed to combine the wisdom, strength, and spirituality of its African origins, with the sophistication, knowledge, and creative intellect of its new found home.
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So on this day, let us also gaze upon the mountain top - inspired by the knowledge that our reach no longer exceed our grasp. Let us dedicate our lives to leaving the world a little better than we found it. And while we take a furtive look back - let it not be in anger, but with a resolve, and a sense of pride at what we ve overcome. And during this time, let us take at least one moment to thank God that Martin, this humble and spiritual Black man, was allowed to walk among us.
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And finally, let us take a moment to listen to our hearts, as they quietly murmur, free at last!--every man, woman and child. Free at last!--from the sandy beaches of California to the shores of Maine. Free At Last!--from America’s shores to the tiniest village in Zimbabwe. THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, WE RE FREE AT LAST!
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Four Year-Old Anala Beevers: IQ 145
*
"AWAKEN, MY CHILD, AND BEHOLD . . . "
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I Now stand firm. My dedication to the power of knowledge is the platform upon which my podium rests. I stand firm, strong, and now free--free of anger, free of self-delusion, free of the folly of empty vanity, and free of the pernicious bane of meaningless pride without substance.
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I now stand free to look upon the eyes of other men, reflecting dignity over sorrow, and accomplishment over pain; I stand with a burning passion, fueled by the very flame that forged ancestral shackles, with a deep sense of pride, and a pride that flows deep.
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I now stand erect! The steel that once degraded my father, that chained him in bondage to this bitter Earth, now reinforce my character, making me more, rather than less; and the blood and sweat that once drenched his brow, and oozed from the yoke around his neck, now rage with resolve, a sense of purpose, and tremble with passion, within my burning breast.
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I now stand as a new being–-neither simply African, nor simply American, but a hybrid forced to transcend the sum of my parts; no longer simply African, since being torn away from the African motherland to suffer and toil in the fields of America, and more than simply American, after being forced to be more than simply American, Just to survive within the bowels of this prosperous land.
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Thus, I stand now armed—-armed with the wisdom of deprivation, the courage of my conviction, and a deep conviction of my courage; and fortified–with the confidence of a survivor, the empowerment of knowledge, and a ravishing hunger for greatness.
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I now stand the product of love, struggle, and sacrifice; a witness to man's inhumanity to man, and a monument to the hopes and dreams of a million slaves. I stand embraced by my creator, as God now smiles upon my people.
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Yes, I Now Stand Firm--Firm, Black, and Free.
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"Thank you, Lord. I knew a change was a comin'. That boy talk wit enough schoolin' to live in town someday - if they ever let 'em.
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"What?!!! . . . President!!! . . . of the United States?!!! . . . Georgia too?!!! . . .
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"Oh, my God! How long I been dead?"
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***
NOBEL PRIZE WINNING ECONOMIST
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Saturday, November 08, 2014

THE EULIPIANS

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

THE EULIPIANS
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Once again I indulge my ritual. I sit here in the womb of the night, serenading the birth of a new day by contemplating, and celebrating, my youth. I think of Watts, of the Jordan Downs, the Imperial Courts, and the Pueblo Del Rio Bricks a few clicks down the tracks. I think of the 60s, of Dashikis, and the soft sound Miles Davis caressing my young consciousness, as proud and beautifully Afro'ed sisters strut across the landscape of my mind - Hey, Gil, there's a morning thought.
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But what I think of most, are those older brothers, the ghetto griots, who constantly sought to enlighten our minds; who introduced me to Bird, Dex, Miles, and Trane, and who laid the foundation that colored the rest of my life. They planted a seed in my soul that continues to flourish, and bears this fruit on this day. These, were the Eulipians; nameless heroes, ghetto scholars, and the custodians of Black wisdom.
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So all these many years later, this one’s for you, good brothers. I bring it full circle - from you, back to you, because I was listening, and I continue to walk in your wisdom:
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The Eulipians
.
Some of the greatest minds I've ever known
held court while sitting on empty milk crates
in the parking lot of ghetto liquor stores.
At their feet I embraced the love of knowledge,
And through their tutelage defined self-worth
In my own terms.
.
These were the "Eulipians" — writers, poets,
musicians, painters, and uncommon drunks —
those shade-tree philosophers who
contemplate the fungus between the
toes society;
Who danced with reckless abandon,
unfettered by formal inhibition
through the presumptuous
speculation of the ages;
Who live in county jails, cardboard boxes,
alley ways, and luxury Apartments.
Insignificant here in Great Bruteland,
but of ultimate significance in the eyes of God.

While these obscure intellectuals
stood well outside the mainstream
of academy, I watched
with astonished delight as
they sang, scat, and scribed their
various philosophies into the
mainstream of human knowledge.
.
Their philosophy?
knowledge is free, thus,
will transcend attempts
to be contained through barriers
of caste or privilege,
leaving man's innate thirst
for knowledge free to someday
overwhelm his lust for stupidity.

.
- The Hood Rat
  

 
 
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.
 

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