Notes of a PROUD Dad

Like most fathers, I enjoy teaching and sharing my knowledge and/or opinions of things to my son. And, like most fathers, I naturally tend to think such efforts go on the wayside. Yet, there are occasions when I’m happy my son (G) proves me wrong in that thinking. For example yesterday, during a visit with me at work, he and I had some very good discussions about the presidential race and BOTH the Republican and the Democratic National Conventions. Can you believe that? We also discussed Iran and its relations with the world and that country’s desire for nuclear capability. We discussed World War II and how the winners of that war (U.S., Russia, and Britain) divided up the spoils of war. We talked about President FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and how THAT idea or portions of it might be useful to help today’s economy. We discussed the Korean War, and even touched on former presidents Carter and Reagan, among other things, which any stranger in the room would find deeply intriguing! At 16 years old, G often reminds me of the way I was at his age!

I suppose I can take some credit in starting him off right many years ago (and up to the present), when I had with him (what probably seemed to be boring) talks about the things that will affect him as a man, as a Black man, and the things that affect everyone in this world.

My son CONTINUES to make me PROUD! You go G!
Keepin’ It…REAL!

Self-respect & Decency and the Freedom of Expression

My God! Is there no decency among certain women today? It is SHIT like THIS that makes me, as a Black man, ASHAMED to be a member of the Black ethnic group!. I makes me ashamed to be an American! Never mind the AWFUL tattoos or where they were placed. That’s only PART of the problem with this picture! These…”women” have NO sense of SELF-RESPECT, PERSONAL DECENCY, CLASS, or PRIDE about themselves! They are a DISGRACE and EMBARRASSMENT (yes, I SAID IT!) – not only to the classy, self-respecting Black women who have come before them, but to those same classy self-respecting Black women – and women of ALL COLORS and NATIONALITIES – dead and living today, who have worked damn hard, sacrificed an awful lot, giving of their livelihood and lives, just to make BEING A WOMAN a bit easier for their sisters (regardless of race), while at the same time, trying to earn the RESPECT of men, other women, their own children, and general society itself!  And many women of today STILL wonder why they get no respect!  To those women who ‘liked” this picture here on Facebook and actually support this, I say, “give me a fuckin’ break!” I am certain that if ANY of my three sisters did ANYTHING like this… AND placed such TRASH to be seen PUBLICLY, no matter how much my mother loved them, she would probably DISOWN them!

AND MEN: If you would fuck, date, or marry “women” such as the ones pictured here, I want NOTHING to do with you! For not only would you be ENCOURAGING SUCH behavior but you would be class-LESS by sheer association!! Yes, I SAID IT! YOU WOULD BE CLASSLESS!

I hold ALL WOMEN, particularly BLACK WOMEN (for I was birthed by one and RAISED by THREE, in far too high regard to simply give THIS picture a “pass”. My upright MALEness and my self-respecting BLACKness DEMANDS that I give scenes like THIS protest! Yet when I made these comment on Facebook, I got accused of being “judgmental”, “non-supportive of self-expression”, and “making too harsh a statement”.  In my defense,  I want to address such baseless accusations:

  • First, I think I reserve the right to disagree with whatever I see or hear, wherever I happened to see or hear it. I can CHOOSE to give it a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down“. In this sense, I have chosen whether or not I like what I see or hear. This is also called “making a judgement”. People make such judgments everyday for just about everything! This is exactly what I’ve done regarding this picture. I have not imposed on anyone’s right to freely express themselves.
  • Second, you would not find anyone more supportive of a person’s right to freely express themselves than me. For example, I sport tattoos and body piercings. I am never hesitant to tell a stranger who is sporting some awesome ink how much I like it!  However, I believe that the freedom to express one’s self comes with a certain responsibility to at least have some understanding for the perception and the message one’s method or style of such self-expression sends to others. If that method/style of self-expression offends or perhaps even endangers someone, then it offends or endangers and the offended or endangered reserve the  right to make comment or to protest. Not everybody is going to like or support the way a person chooses to express him/herself.
  • Although we may support the RIGHT of  others to freely express themselves however they see fit, we also reserve an equal right to disagree with that person’s method/style of self-expression. We can choose to either verbally or in writing (in print or on-line forums), that person’s method of self-expression. Again this is the same as us using the “thumbs up/thumbs down” method of expressing our approval or disapproval about something.
  • Finally, the first three points I made were instrumental in making the summation of my so-called “harsh” comments. Period. My comments are simply MY opinion and, like everyone else, I reserve the right to call shit how I see it. It’s called “being real” people! Some have told me they agree with what I said about this picture but yet felt I was “imposing on the right of the women  (in the picture) to express themselves”. Well, I DO NOT know anyone pictured here. I DO NOT know their names or anything else about them, therefore, they would be like any other “model” I’d see in a magazine or billboard and had made a comment about. My comments would have absolutely no effect upon those pictured. I’m simply making a comment. No one has to pay attention to what I say; they don’t have to like or respect my words. But…here in America, they have to respect my right to say it.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

PRIDE – a POSITIVE view!

Pride.

It’s been both said and written that “pride cometh before the fall”.
The actual phrase, which comes from Proverbs 16:18, is: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”.
Obviously over time, this proverb was shortened by many people.  Either way, while this proverb may be true in some instances, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with pride or with being proud (in the right circumstance). For example, I’m proud of my accomplishments. I’m proud that I’ve gotten as far as I have – on my own, with the set-up and design of this new blogging project. I’m especially proud of my son and of his accomplishments!

Pride is a perfectly natural, selfish feeling of just, well… feeling good about something we’ve done or have worked hard to become in our lives or what others have done! We have all been proud. About the only time pride or being proud is bad, is when we boast/brag about our achievements and/or things we have and rub all that in the faces of others who have less or have difficulty in obtaining much of the same. I have to wonder if  “bad pride”, is what King Solomon (the author of Proverbs) had in mind or had been experiencing at the time he wrote this famous proverb about pride.

The multi-award winning music band, Earth, Wind, & Fire, wrote a song that places a more positive view on PRIDE. The song is featured on their 1980 album, Faces.


Check out the lyrics!
(Composers: Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Freddie White, Maurice White, and Verdine White):

Mighty men have come and gone
But the pride lingers on
Heritage will claim every man
With desire to make a stand
Some say pride’s for the strong
What’s the use, holding on?
We say pride’s everyone who
Wants to come to touch the sun

Why you pout?
Is your world in doubt?
It’s all about
Life won’t let you out of the scheme

Just believe in your dreams
Pressing on self-esteem
Now participate,
Turn to love to motivate
Energies to say,
Brighter you, brighter day

Set your mind in view
Of the real man in you
Heed the call to all
Standing tall, not to fall
Time to check it out
Pride relieves all your doubt
We say pride’s everyone who
Wants to come to touch the sun

(Why do you doubt?
It’s all about
Life won’t let you out of the scheme)

Thanks, Earth, Wind & Fire! One of the reasons you’ve always been my favorite band of all time is because you guys are…
Keeping it…REAL!