Refusal of Understanding

One of the biggest stories in the news currently is the anthem protest being conducted by professional black athletes, specifically those employed by the National Football League.

Many have proclaimed that these protests are an insult to veterans, a disrespect to the flag, and the United States in general.

I would like to address the matter of the protests insulting veterans. I am a veteran, and I do not feel insulted. I have spoken with many veterans of all races and creeds, and not one has stated that they were insulted. In fact, many have expressed support for the protests. We served because we believe in fighting for what we believed what was right. We believe in every American having the right to say and do as they please. I have as of yet to hear any veteran organization to come out against the protests. The main problem with this argument is when people who are not veterans begin speaking for veterans. We can speak for ourselves.

Now to the matter of the protests being disrespectful. What is disrespectful are the claims themselves. The reason is that no one is willing to address why the protests are taking place in the first place. If all one cares about is respecting the American flag, and not why someone is protesting, then that person obviously does not care about the issues that brought about protests to begin with.

Most of the protesters are black males. This very fact may make one construe that the owners of the “disrespect” claim are racist. Racism is the heart of the matter for the protests, and the resulting claims.

As long as this country, the National Football League along with its owners, and the media lives in complete denial, this issue will never go away.

People forget one thing, professional athletes are people too. They have feelings and opinions like the rest of us. They also have the means to address the major issues of the world. This is something that many of us do not have. When athletes stand up for what they believe is right, then should be celebrated, and not vilified.

People Are Way Too Sensitive These Days

Courtesy of jokideo.com
Courtesy of jokideo.com

Let’s face the facts, people are way too sensitive these days.

The latest episode involves Cam Newton, who is the quarterback of the NFL team, the Carolina Panthers. Cam said to a female reporter that it was “strange to hear a woman talk about football”.

Apparently, this comment went too far for this reporter, and everyone else in the media. Cam was vilified as being sexist, which resulted in him loosing his endorsement deal with Dannon. The same Dannon who made a large donation to President Trump’s campaign – after he made sexist remarks.

Now, I do not see where Cam’s comments could be construed as being sexist, and nor do most of the people I know consider them sexist. Why do people who work in media, entertainment, or sports always seem quick to be offended or over-sensitive?

Even worse, this happened in the NFL, one of the last places a man can be a real man. Commissioner Goodell has done nothing but totally wussified the game of football since he took office. I knew we were in trouble when Jonathan Martin, a 300 pound offensive lineman complained of bullying. Let me say that again – a 300 pound man(?) complained of bullying.

Courtesy of i0.kym-cdn.com
Courtesy of i0.kym-cdn.com

Let us not forget the time the A&E Network pulled the show Duck Dynasty because one of the cast stated that they believed marriage should be between a man and a women. Their reasoning was that those comments “may” offend someone. Thankfully, viewers had the last say, after many complained and the show was returned to the air.

Political correctness has gotten out of hand. Now, everything you say can be misconstrued,which in turn, dampers free speech. Many, especially Liberals, demand freedom of speech, as long as it is not offensive to anyone, or is agreeable to everyone. Anything else is considered hate, or divisive.

Colleges use to be the bastions of free speech. Students were encouraged to speak their minds and to become leaders of their generation. Speaking your mind on many campuses these days could get you expelled. Young kids are so sensitive these days, that many campuses have “Safe Zones”. Give me a break!

This great nation of ours has become a haven for a bunch of spineless, weak-minded individuals. As a veteran, I served so that others may have freedom. Freedom to live as they please, to believe as they please, and most importantly, to speak as they please. Personally, I could care less what others think. If what I say “may” offend anyone, that’s too bad.

Courtesy of imgflip.com
Courtesy of imgflip.com

Would You Like To Donate?

Donation Sign
Donation Sign

It seems you can’t go anywhere these days without being bombarded by a donation request.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe strongly in giving. I have run funding campaigns for various organizations that have provide assistance to combat homelessness, hunger, poverty, and especially veterans. During the holiday season, I always donate to the Salvation Army.

But, I want to know where my money is going and how it will be used. I like to know some things about you before I give you my money. To be put on the spot is not agreeable at most times, especially in a public setting. It makes people feel bad if they choose to not give.

When I lived in Las Vegas, there were days in which walking down the street could invite a constant attack of open hands waiting for spare change. Stopping at a corner to wait to cross the intersection was asking for trouble.

There was one episode during my time in Vegas in which I was asked for some “spare” change. I told the person that I didn’t have any cash on me. They then had the nerve to ask me to go to the nearby ATM to withdraw money so I could give. One could get worn down.

It is not that most people do not want to give, but I would gather that most do not not like being confronted out of the blue, even for a good cause.

I find myself going to the self-checkout to avoid being asked by a cashier to give. In the beginning, I would get depressed, but later I became content with it. I can live with myself as I do actively help whenever possible. I am willing to donate to any cause. I just want to know for who, and for what.

I’m A Racist, and Didn’t Even Know It

The Dukes of Hazzard Album, courtesy of Amazon Images
The Dukes of Hazzard Album, courtesy of Amazon Images

I’m a product of the 70’s and 80’s. Like many of my generation, I watched the television show “The Dukes of Hazzard.” This is the same show that the television network TV Land pulled for fear of offending viewers.

The issue that TV Land had with show was the car, yes, the car. The car was called “The General Lee”, and featured a Rebel flag on the top. In the minds of many, the flag is a symbol of racism. So, does that mean anyone who watched the show was racist? I watched it, and so did many of my friends, black and white. Every young boy during my time had a crush on Daisy Duke, who was played by Catherine Bach. We would all go around doing impressions of Sheriff Rosco P. Colthrane, and saying Boss Hog’s famous words, “handle it.” I guess we were all racist.

Speaking of Daisy Duke, she spawned a fashion style of shorts called “Daisy Dukes”, which usually describe shorts worn by women that were short and tight. Black women especially, began wearing those shorts. Heck, even a very famous rap was made about those shorts. That means blacks, black women who wear really tight shorts, and rappers are racist toward minorities, for example, blacks. For the record, I’m black.

Now people want to remove anything that may symbolize racism, and that is understandable. So, let’s look at that premise in detail. Currently, everyone wants to remove all the statues that were put up to honor the Civil War. Well, they shouldn’t stop there.

As I already stated, blacks who watched the Dukes should be gotten rid of. Then there are the statues of Buffalo Soldiers, some who helped in the fights to kill, or displace the American Indian. Those statues have to go too. Speaking of the military, it was them who conquered the American Indian, plus, lets not forget the many years up until World War II that the U.S. military was very segregated. After Pearl Harbor, it was the military that ran the internment camps of Japanese citizens. So, the military must be disbanded.

As far as the Civil War is concerned, most slave owners were white, so all whites must go too. Plus, when the West was being settled by white settlers, who were protected by the military which was controlled by a federal government. So, the Federal government has a history of racism, and therefore, should go. We can throw in Federal Housing Subsidies, and along with support of discriminatory lending practices from banks directed toward minorities as further proof.

It is because of discriminatory lending practices, that the banks should all be shut down. Not that they are exactly lending money anyway.

So far we have blacks, whites, the military, federal government, and banks should all go. But, wait, there’s more.

Hollywood is guilty of racism. Many years in the early days, blacks were always portrayed as uneducated servants in cinema and on television. Compared to white characters, minorities are still under served in movies and on television. So, Hollywood, gone.

Any newspaper or magazine that has been in existence at least 50-plus years probably was not kind to minorities in their coverage. Gone.

Back to the American Indian. Say everyone and everything was gone to eliminate racism. Will that solve all the problems? Nope. Indians participated in slavery pre-European so they need to go too. But, most historians would tell it was not the same as the slavery experienced by blacks, as many slaves were assimilated into tribes. Yet some tribes were known to have kept black slaves, for example, the Chickasaw and Choctaw, so, they would at least have to go.

This is all stupid conjecture. The thing is this: Removing symbols do not remove ideas. It is the minds that must be changed. Running from history will not solve anything. What are all these people who want to destroy artifacts doing beyond that? Are they having discussions? Are they reaching out to others? Are they finding ways that we can all come together for the good of the whole?

Well, I’m in search of the season DVDs of The Dukes of Hazzards. If you call me racist, then I’m a racist.

Its Cold Out There

courteously of pexels.com
courteously of pexels.com

As I look up into the winter sky

All I see is darkness

It feels like I’m peering into the abyss

And I wonder is it where all hopes and dreams go

Just floating around in the universe

Is there some way to get them back

Maybe I can reach my hands up and try to capture them

I seem to have lost my happiness too

Living for me is like playing the lottery everyday

You keep playing hoping the odds will one day come in your favour

But each day another loser

Surviving in this world is like being in a deep grave

Every mistake throws another shovelful of dirt in the hole

Pretty soon there is so much dirt that you can’t get out

Then one dies a slow death

The unsettling thing of it all is that I am the one holding the shovel

But I must keep trying to get out

I must go into the abyss and find my hopes and dreams

But looking into the sky all I see is darkness

That puts fear in me

Because I know it is cold out there

 

Georgia Gwinnett College Holds Veterans Day Celebration

Members of the Coalition of Veterans Engagement, Readiness, Trust
Members of the Coalition of Veterans Engagement, Readiness, and Trust

I was blessed to participate in the Veterans Day Celebration last Friday at Georgia Gwinnett College. It was the third such Veterans Day celebration at the school, and the second in the row that I would participate in.

 

Beginnings of the Day

The day began early for members the Coalition of Veterans Engagement, Readiness, Trust, (COVERT), which is a Registered Student Organization of Georgia Gwinnett College, and a chapter of Student Veterans of America. The coalition consist of veterans who are enrolled at the school, and is an organization that I am a member of.

Miniature U.S. Flag in GGC Lawn
Miniature U.S. Flag in GGC Lawn

Organization members arrived at 6:00 am. to place miniature U.S. flags around the main campus. The group was lead by John Maison, who is the Veterans Services Coordinator for the school, and is a former president of COVERT. COVERT consist of student veterans of all the military branches. You can find more information about COVERT on their Facebook page which is at: https://www.facebook.com/GGCCOVERT/

Gwinnett Veterans Memorial Museum Display
Gwinnett Veterans Memorial Museum Display

Veterans Museum Display

The Gwinnett Veterans Memorial Museum was kind enough to provide items that were displayed on the second floor of the Student Center of the school. Display items included uniforms worn by actual service members, a mine sweeper, a Kevlar helmet, a book of submarines, and an encased U.S. flag, along with other items. You can find more information about the museum at: http://vetmemorialmuseum.tripod.com/

Georgia Gwinnett College Army ROTC
Georgia Gwinnett College Army ROTC

Veterans Day Breakfast

The Georgia Gwinnett College Army ROTC opened the breakfast by presenting the colors. After presentation of the colors, I led the attendees in the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance. John Maison was the host of the breakfast. While everyone ate, I conducted a giveaway of prizes provided by the school’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

VFW and Veteran Museum Members
VFW and Veteran Museum Members

The breakfast was attended by members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5255, which is the local post for Gwinnett County. Veterans of Foreign Wars is a supporter of Student Veterans of America, and several members of COVERT are members of the local post.

Congressman Rob Woodall
Congressman Rob Woodall

Congressman Rob Woodall, who represents the 7th District of Georgia, spoke at the breakfast. I honestly have no idea what he was talking about. Maybe, it was because of my hearing impairment, so I will have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

 

John Maison, Veteran Services Coordinator
John Maison, Veteran Services Coordinator

Student Veterans of America

As mentioned previously, COVERT is a chapter of Student Veterans of America. John Maison, the school’s Veteran Services Coordinator, is one of the founders of the chapter.

Student Veterans of America, (SVA), is a coalition of student-veteran groups located on colleges throughout the U.S., and around the world. SVA provides support and resources to veterans to succeed in higher education and following graduation. SVA supports over 500,000 veterans located at over 1,300 schools, and has awarded over $1 million in scholarships to veterans since 2011.

SVA conducts quarterly Local Leadership Summits in every region of country. SVA also provides grants to campuses for construction of Vet Centers, which gives student veterans a place to study and socialize.

SVA works with members of Congress to ensure protection of the G.I. Bill, that college is accessible and affordable, and that veterans are well represented on Capitol Hill. To find out more about Student Veterans of America, look here: http://studentveterans.org/

 

I grew up saying these words and will continue until I die