Friday, February 16, 2018

The Parkland, Florida Tragedy

We have to ask ourselves either a gun is God or it isn't. I believe in the latter, which is why a conversation on gun violence must exist. What gets me is that we have regulations on water, foods, and other services, but cowardly Congress people refuse to talk about the necessity to deal with gun violence in communities nationwide (from Parkland to large urban metropolitan areas). There is no ambiguity on this issue. The big lie is that any regulation of a gun is equivalent to a total gun ban. We don't want to ban guns from everyone. Yet, a 19 year old with known warning signs (like being expelled from school) has no business owning an AR-15 rifle. People want to have investments in helping those with mental health (which ought to exist), but some use mental health as a cop out to promote the myth that nothing can be done. Connecticut passed laws and their gun violence rate has radically declined. So, something can be done. I have no problem with morality being promoted in society. Yet, what is immoral is the blatant apathy and total sick belief that nothing can decrease mass shootings in American society. That is immoral and the deification of guns is also immoral. Faith without works is dead. That means that we should pray and do the work in fighting the evil of evil gun violence too. The sick people are those who view a gun as having more of a priority than innocent human life. That is why young people in the Parkland high school want change. It is certainly inspiring to witness high school students from Parkland High School speaking about the necessity to promote changes in the world as it relates to gun violence.

Some want to to be political during this time, but it is always time to speak up when innocent people are murdered. It is important that the social and political realities in America are clear. We have increased economic inequality as compared to 30 years ago. We have seen nothing but militarism since the start of the Gulf War. We witness massive increases in youth suicide. We have the glamorization of an inanimate object and some place more value in an non-living tool than human life. We have some people struggling to find work with living wages and benefits. We witness increases in hate crimes since that person in the White House was elected and we witness massive anti-immigrant xenophobia. These factors signify how we have a long way to go. Most Americans support background checks and most most Americans support a ban on military style assault weapons for non-military citizens. 3 of the 10 deadliest mass shooting in American history (excluding 19th century and before that time) occurred in the last three months. That is why action is required to fight against gun violence in general. Violence doesn't exist in a vacuum. It comes from neglect and a lack of investments to handle mental health, to handle safety, and to handle other infrastructure necessary to deal with the conditions of our communities. When anyone places the value of a gun more than the value of human life, then that person is complicit in the situation that we're in. That is why we have to honest. My view is not popular, but it is better to be right than to be popular.

Days ago was the Birthday of Sister Danai Gurira. She is now 40 years old. She was born in Grinnell, Iowa. Her parents are from Zimbabwe. For years, she has performed magnificently in acting. She has a Bachelors and Masters degrees. She has taught playwriting and acting in Africa in places like Liberia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Theater is a part of her life too as she has been involved in writing a play and performing in theater like in Broadway. In 2015, Lupita Nyong'o starred in Gurira's 2009 play, Eclipsed, Off-Broadway at The Public Theater. She is famous for being in the Walking Dead show from AMC. She's a gorgeous black woman. Also, she is a leading actress in the historic Black Panther film that deals with science fiction, Afrofuturism, and other issues relating to Africa plus the African Diaspora. She is a very talented human being whose strength, intellect, and love of performing will always inspire humanity. I wish Sister Danai Gurira more Blessings.

Today is the 200th Year anniversary of the birth of Brother Frederick Douglass. Brother Frederick Douglass was one of the greatest and most influential African Americans of the nineteenth century (and of American history). He stood alone as not only a heroic abolitionist, but an audacious freedom fighter in general. From his birthday in Maryland on 1818 to his passing on 1895 in Washington, D.C., Frederick Douglass personified excellence, courage, strength, and intellectual greatness. Traveling the world was to oppose the abominable act of slavery was definitely a part of his life. His voice was powerful and stirred up people to advance the creed of equality. His autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845) and his second book, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) outlined the extensive scope of his life story. Also, he worked relentlessly during the Civil War to defeat the nefarious Confederacy (who brutalized and enslaved black people. Their own documents condoned slavery too). That is why he organized speeches and rallies in order for him to encourage black Americans to join the Union Army in fighting for the noble cause of freedom. Later, he saw the Union to become victorious. After the Civil War, Frederick Douglass defended the rights of not only black people, but of women, immigrants, and the oppressed in general. Land reform, the abolition of the death penalty, peace, and other causes that he fought for galvanized future generations. He was a leader, an ambassador, and an early civil rights advocate. Frederick Douglass was in fact totally American. He was honest to expose the hypocrisies of America while being inspired to seek a better America simultaneously. Frederick Douglass was inspired by so many heroes including Anna Douglass. Anna Douglass was a trailblazing black woman, whose insights and magnanimous courage ought to never be forgotten. Frederick Douglass' contributions to our world are very clear and transcendent. Now, it is time to celebrate 200 years after his birth and be inspired to fight for the justice that he continuously advocated in an interminable fashion. Agitate was his call for change and we must always agitate for peace, for justice, for righteousness, and for human freedom unequivocally.

Yesterday was the Birthday of Sister Amber Riley. She is now 32 years old and she was born in Los Angeles, California. A down to Earth personality and a great actress defines her life. She was on the show Glee from 2009 to 2015. Also, she won a Screen Actors Guild Award. She was nominated to win a NAACP Image Award and other awards too. She was in the Broadway musical Dreamgirls which shows an ode to African American women performers during the 1960's (like the Supremes). She has her own clothing line. She is a singer and author too. Also, Amber Riley is the first African American to win Dancing with the Stars. Making history is part of her repertoire. Her beauty (as she is a beautiful black woman) also deals with her contributions in inspiring people, in her wisdom, in her love for her family plus friends, and in her glorious love of life itself. She is a blessed woman and I wish Sister Amber Riley more Blessings. It is always important to recognize heroes during Black History Month. They include people like Florence Price, Ruth Hernandez, Ethel Payne, Queen Anna Nzingha, Rachel Johnson, Sarah Boone, Amy Ashwood Garvey, Carrie Mae Weems, Mahalia Jackson, Victoria Santa Cruz, Patricia Bath, Geraldine Whittington, Claressa Shields, and Sylvia del Villard.

By Timothy

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