Friday, June 08, 2018

You Do Have Power

One of the biggest lies in the world is the view that we have no power. We do have power. We have the power to wake up, to work, and to help others. We have used our power to liberate tons of people from the Holocaust, to free slaves, and to build in our own communities. Therefore, we do have power. The problem is that the oligarchy is using their power wrongly to oppress others, to damage the environment, and to suppress democratic freedoms. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with power when it's used correctly. When someone uses power to do evil, then that is a problem. We have to be realistic too. The wealthiest 1% control the majority of the wealth and the lands on Earth. So, while we may not have more financial power than those of the 1%, we do have power. Mentors are using their power all of time to help the youth and others suffering. Lawyers are using their power to defend victims of police brutality and other forms of injustices. So, never ever allow anyone to tell you that you don't have any power. The Creator gave us life and power for a reason. That reason is to help ourselves and others in making the world better. Permanent pessimism is just as wrong as total naivete. We must not embrace either extreme. We have to be optimistic realists and use our realism to be urgent in fighting for freedom and justice completely. That is the point.

We used our power to make the Montgomery Bus Boycott successful. We used our power to end apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow apartheid in the States. We are continuously using our power to boycott institutions who mistreat our Brothers and our Sisters. The haters omit that there is a lower teenage pregnancy rate since 1992, black life expectancy in America have increased since 2000, black owned businesses have increased since 10 years ago, more black women are being educated (as we always honor and love black women), the black men suicide rates are declining, and black people are now far less likely to die of HIV than in 1999. These are all great news. People can look up these facts too. We are in this together and nothing will turn us around. I will never lose faith. I have lived for almost 35 years on this Earth and I have never wavered in my core convictions at all. Decades into the future, I will still have faith and believe in the Dream. Power within ourselves can change things. It will take a collective effort in eliminating the systems of racism and economic oppression from our world. Developing our collective power is very key in this audacious endeavor.

Today is 50 years after the death of the late Robert F. Kennedy. He was a person who have gone throughout ideological transformation. He went from a person who worked with Joseph McCarthy (later, he resigned from working with McCarthy because McCarthy obviously promoted anti-democratic values) to find solidarity with black people in Bedford-Stuyvesant NYC, Latinx people in California, and very poor black families in the Delta of Mississippi. His story relates to him being born in privilege (he was the son of the multimillionaire Joseph Kennedy) and later in his life understanding the importance of expressing empathy towards the oppressed. Talk is not enough, because we desire concrete, progressive action to rectify injustices. Robert Kennedy learned about that point after the Freedom Riders' movement and the 1963 meeting (with James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Clarence Jones, Jerome Smith, and other black activists who told him that radical efforts must be made in order to get freedom for black people). He went from being antagonistic to the Freedom Riders to be in support of civil rights completely. A lot of men wouldn't do that back then, but Robert Kennedy to his credit, as a man, evolved to be more progressive. He spoken out against apartheid, fought pollution, and believed in gun control. He was a competitor in sports and in politics. Politics can be cut throat and he adjusted to fight for high political office. He ran for President in 1968 in one of the most controversial, transformative years in human history. He won many primaries and was murdered in Los Angeles back in June of 1968. People can speculate whether he could have been President, but we are reminded that the journey and the work continues. There is still economic inequality, there is still health care problems, and there is still police brutality worldwide. That is precisely the reason why our duty is to speak up and to fight for our human rights by any means necessary. Robert Kennedy opposed the Johnson's actions involving the war in Vietnam and desired a negotiated settlement. 1968 saw the Tet Offensive, revolts, student protests, and space exploration. RFK addressed poverty in America with inspiration from Marian Wright Edelman (who ultimately inspired the Poor People's Campaign). Therefore, 1968 saw the beginning of the end of old school New Deal liberalism as we know it and the rise of the far right movement (with reactionary, extremist figures like Reagan, Trump, etc.). The fight isn't over, but right is on our side. We will defend the rights of black people, of immigrants, of the elderly, of the disabled, and the rest of the human race.

He's a legend from the 757. He was born in Hampton, Virginia and he became one of the greatest basketball players in history. His name is of course Brother Allen Iverson,who is now 43 years old. He played football and basketball in Bethel High School. He also came into Georgetown where he was mentored by the great coach John Thompson. He played for 2 seasons in the NCAA and came into the NBA. While in the NBA, he was ahead of his time and started trends. He showed creativity and showed the world that black men can express themselves with cornrows and other tattoos and this black man still wasn't some nihilistic person. He refuted the stereotype that a black man must deny himself in order to be free. He played hard at every game. He played in the NBA Finals back in 2001. He also was a great scorer too. Iverson was an eleven-time NBA All-Star, won the All-Star game MVP award in 2001 and 2005, and was the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2001. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. He has always shown unconditional love to his mother and to his children. He retired from the NBA in 2010. He showed no fear in the court and he has motivated future sports athletes, both men and women, to be unapologetic about how they will express themselves. Yes, 757 is always in the House. I wish Brother Allen Iverson great Blessings.

Yesterday was the Birthday of a late legend. He is Brother Prince. For decades, he not only sang greatly about love, romance, and life in general. Also, he was a polymath or a multihyphenate by playing multiple instruments, understanding the music industry, and establishing a monumental amount of creativity. Always a trendsetter, he has shown unique fashion and brilliant artistry in our time. During both the 20th and 21st centuries, he articulated many messages about society in general. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His debut album For You came about in 1978 and his second album Prince from 1979 became platinum. He is very famous for his litany of hits during the 1980's from When Doves Cry, Purple Rain, and other singles. Evolution was part of his persona. That is why he was once called the Sign in order for him to fight for creative control over his masters,and other aspects of his music. Back in the day, corporations, in many cases, wanted carte blanche control over their artists with corrupt contracts and other tactics. Today, many more artists have greater independence in determining their rights, their tour dates, their masters, their publishing, and other aspects of their content. Prince was the man who helped to cause that reality to happen. He toured the world too. Universal acclaim existed among his albums. Playing basketball, producing, songwriting, and instrument playing all encompass his life. From supporting animal rights to acknowledging the power of Black Lives Matter, Prince encouraged political social activism. Now, he belongs to ages as an artist who wanted the world to know his passion and his love of music on his own terms. Most importantly, he wanted us to be as honest as he was in expressing his genius and his Blackness. He was the proof that unapologetic self-expression makes the world better.
Rest in Power Brother Prince.

By Timothy

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