Tuesday, December 30, 2008
As this year comes to a close, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the historic nature of the past 365 days. We have a black president-elect! This alone is evidence that the United States is slowly but surely changing. We are a LONG way from what I would like to witness. Nonetheless, we are approaching significant change laced with specks of freedom in this corrupt country - but only IF we face the truth; and deal with it.
No president, governor, and/or city councilman can help us with the personal change we all may need to embrace. What we should do is prepare ourselves for the next minute, the next hour, and the next day while keeping in mind that as years quickly past we are called to EVOLVE, and not remain the same.
Let's start thinking about our self-evolution (that's if you are willing to 'move to the next phase') by thoughtfully recapping:
What have you done this year that makes you proud to be you?
If we live 2009 with this question in our frontal lobe we may just be able to list a few more 'proud accomplishments' on December 31, 2009.
I am going to work on this next year because I want my list to be long.
Let's check back in with each other on the last 31st day of 2009.
Peace and Love.
People Get Ready (Ready for 2009):
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by The Closer.
Please be on the look out for the first commentary of 2009:
Karma vs. Spiritual Discernment
"I do not believe that there is an unseen force out there coming to haunt us as a result of a poor decision we made two-three years ago (retribution). My belief: as a result of a decision we made, we are now faced with its delayed reality (life)."
I think we may have forgotten about the affects something so high profile could have on a teenager. So many of us got so caught up in being a part of history instead of really addressing the REAL issue: Mychal Bell is a troubled young man. But, how could we have helped him from afar? Family should have stepped up. Apparently, they did not i.e. foster home??
This is yet another reminder that WE need to do better. We must...if not we will continue to perish. Something has to give. We have yet to ARRIVE the way we should.
I am SO TIRED of having to say the same damn thing when it comes to black men, the black family.
But, here is a story that should touch your heart in a positive way.
A black father being a father even in death:
Shared with the world by Brian E. Payne.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I am definitely not a Trump fan - but he is onto something that many of us haphazardly believe is true. We just too damn afraid to put some of the blame on Mr. Divine. Yes, I know we (humans) are responsible for America's current predicament e.g. economy in peril. Nonetheless, IF He is in control He did ALLOW this mess to occur which means He is partially directly/indirectly responsible for honest men and women not being able to feed their kids tonight. Yes, we can preface Freewill. Nonetheless, if God intervenes in the matters of men/women as a result of prayer, why can’t He provide some financial relief for the most needed? I am just saying...
Please follow an intellectually stimulating discussion by clicking on the Comment icon. But first, read the article that can be found after navigating to the URL below.
Brian E. Payne
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The fed's just cut the interest rate again. This time to 0% - .25%. After thinking about this and waddling in ignorance I have the following questions:
How does this help the average man/woman who may have a ding on their credit report? I ask because people are applying for loans - but they are getting denied because of a ding that is the result of a bad economy e.g. job lost, one late payment, salaries lowered, etc.
Seems to me that if the idea is to help the average man/woman (there are more of these folk in America), how do the federal government expect for them to get ahead or reestablish if they cannot secure the much needed loans e.g. home re-finance loans, first time home buyer loans, business loans, modest car loans, etc. to jump start their efforts to get back on their feet?
Who is really benefiting in this new 'socialist' economy? It ain't the car workers in Detroit. It ain't the men/women who have been unemployed for months/years. It ain't those who are looking to purchase a home: they (the American people owned banks) want 20% down and a 750 plus credit score. Who has that
topnotch FICO score today among the average folk I have discussed?
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a citizen who is part owner of the banks that refuse to give him and other Americans loans.
Friday, December 12, 2008
It’s that time of the year when community members and state legislators argue over whether or not an Abies Alba is erected to honor Christmas. An argument over a damn tree? Some say that Christmas trees have no historical connection to Jesus’ incorrect birthday, and others believe that the tree has its place during the festive season. Personally, I don’t care about its value or non-value. I just like the smell of a freshly cut down tree. It not only adds a pine fragrance to my mannish domain, it reminds me of a holiday that I once appreciated.
One would think that I ignore Christmas because of the mall sponsored commercialism. That’s not the case. I have discovered that my discontent stems from how Christmas has lost its original meaning because of excessive liberalism.
Just the other day a determined to be heard atheist decided that it was within his Freedom of Speech Rights to post a sign next to a nativity scene that reads:
At this season of the winter solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens our hearts and enslaves our minds.
While I agree with the second sentence beginning at “no devils’ and the entire final sentence, I am opposed to extreme leftist views that are only purported ‘to be different’ and/or irresponsibly combative. Not that atheism falls into the aforementioned categories. Actually, the non-believing system of ideas is legitimate, and makes a lot of sense when one removes his/her faith lenses.
In an effort to accommodate the non-believer the state of Washington accepted the application from him and his group, The Freedom from Religion Foundation; and as a result the sign has been placed in close proximity to the infamous Birth of Christ display. Since then there have been a handful of lefties submitting request to have their self-centered views represented in the capital’s rotunda.
What does this have to do with liberalism?
As we approach a new era, an energized movement - it is obvious that the majority of voting Americans are willing to try something new (the election of a black man to the US presidency). Understanding and accepting that Barack Obama represents the liberal agenda, we are officially solidifying the push from the ultra liberal left. This, indicating that the American people are prepared to toss out tradition and the values that have worked for America for such a long time. One has to agree that the basic tenets of the value system are decent. Trashing the tradition means that there will be an inevitable shift in the way laws are legislated and enacted. In my belief, this can only cause harm to us rather than emancipate us.
When the United States decided to push unregulated political correctness I knew then that we were more interested in accommodating (not accepting) outlandish beliefs and values than protecting what has ‘maintained’ us for years.
Where will we be when we cannot identify what is right and what is wrong? Will we be in a position to reprimand/punish those who declare: ‘I did it because who is to say what I did was wrong?’ Believe it or not, this is the road we have taken. There is no more sacred structure surrounding the holidays that have assisted in shaping righteousness. Besides, what is the harm in celebrating the life of a great man (I did not say, the Son of God)? What is wrong with believing in something as long as you do not force your beliefs on someone else and not emphasizing that your way is the only way? What is wrong with keeping with the status quo if it is not harmful?
Why is there a need to liberalize freedoms we already have?
Does not make sense to me – but what does is that anything too far to the right or left cannot be healthy. It is in fact suicide. What we need is a balance that’s acceptable by the Divine Creator while keeping in mind that this Creator that this Christian nation believes in is/was NOT a Liberalist Lefty. He supported conservative customs (Ten Commandments), and was against any belief that disturbed/disrupted His work in forming tradition.
If only we could talk to those who got in His way.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a fleeting conservative approach.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Michael Vick is paying his debt to society. He is paying restitution to the victims of his crimes. He is even willingly prepared to speak out against the heinous crimes he committed. Nevertheless, his self-inflicted financial problems will still be an issue when he is released from prison. This may prove to be the biggest hurdle of his life; not serving time.
In the article (link below), I was amazed by the amount of ‘love’ he GAVE away to family members and friends. My bewilderment prompted me to begin an email correspondence with a few buddies.
Here is what I wrote below. Please follow the conversation by clicking on the Comment icon.
“Blacks will go broke ‘taking care’ of each other. I just don't get it. I always try to put myself in others' shoes. I wonder if I would just give my money away to family members. You? Also, a multi-millionaire with only $96 in a retirement account?"
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by my continued criticism of Black Men.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Some useless legislative branch of the government wants to merge HBCU’s with white majority schools for the RIGHT reason? If money is the primary motivation I might just agree with their fiscal responsible justification – but only because of one reason. A reason I will touch on in a moment. Please keep reading.
During this time of colossal state and federal budget cuts in many areas it is high time that we (black folk) consider that the social and municipal services that we (some Americans) may be accustomed to receiving will be taken away. It is also about time we (black folk) implement black nationalistic tendencies and practices. This could also be another cue for us to do a few things for ourselves e.g. pool resources to help each other out during the holiday season instead of waiting on a stimulus check or a tax break from our failing government.
Just today I saw a woman ringing that familiar seasonal Salvation Army bell. I was tempted to throw the change I had left over from my sandwich making essentials purchase into the red pot – but I had a second thought: ‘I am going to identify one black person seeking employment services at my workplace to donate all of my spare change to after about two months.’ I may just have enough to purchase some brother or sister a days worth of meals. Hope it is more than my usual: peanut butter and jelly.
Hey, this may not be much to offer. Nonetheless, it is this type of thinking that we need to contemplate considering America’s present economic crisis because the lowly of us will certainly be forgotten. It is this path of thinking that needs to be introduced and/or re-introduced into the minds of all black people nationwide that have an affinity toward HBCU’s.
To that ‘reason’ I mentioned above:
“Alumni associations for these black schools are very protective of their legacy.”-Senator Seth Harp
Harp is actually correct. However, he has overestimated the ‘protection’ we, HBCU grads, are willing to extend. If black graduates really were protecting the HBCU’s there would not be a threat of a merger. Now, would there?
With all of black America’s wealth, there is no legitimate reason that some senate governing body should have control over the fate of black colleges/universities. Actually, we should not even be in this position…again, considering our wealth and the money that we spend on frivolous crap like ridiculous Homecoming cover charges to get into an over crowded party.
Perhaps, I am beating an old drum. I know for sure that this discussion has been had before too – but when will we seriously consider a suggestion that
has been pleadingly touted over and over again? If it has not been a valid recommendation presented by countless black historical figures, why are we (black folk) still the owners of nothing collectively, and the consumers of everything? Why are we not in a position to fully fund the heartbeat of black academia?
In America’s pending debacle (the bottom falling out) we MUST seize the opportunity to build a united financially-sound community. If not, we will surely be the victims of our legislator’s poor decisions. We will lose our schools and the ability to foster a unique educational experience that prides itself on black student development.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by my time at Howard University.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I am trying to wrap my brain around this tragedy. Here we (America) are in a financial crisis that contributed to a worldwide economic alert, and a recently announced recession – but yet there were 2,000 people waiting in line to get the Early Bird deals at a Wal-Mart on what retailers have coined as Black Friday. With mass job lost, company closings, record foreclosures, and sky-high credit card debt Americans still flooded the stores to purchase Japanese made electronics.
How could this day get any blacker? A man was killed by what some Wal-mart employees are calling “savages”. To be referred to as a “savage” means the individuals conducting themselves in that manner had to be behaving in the worst of ways. Right? All for a Vizio flat screen or a violent video game. I can believe it! This is America.
The supporters of America are saying with a smirk that stampedes occur all around the world. Yes, they do. However, the international stampedes I am familiar with happen for different reasons. Typically, people in a poor African or Asian country trample each other to get to food that an American cargo plane drops from the sky. This is what they (the hungry) are fighting for: The next meal. While we (Dumb Americans) get up at 3:00am, drive to the local superstore, sit in an expensive lounge chair eating salty country ham biscuits, and then at 4:59AM we position ourselves to participate in a steeple chase-type shopping extravaganza.
What type of sense does this make considering Americans by all accounts are struggling to make ends meet? I guess the ends met for a day?
As I viewed the video footage of the EMS workers trying to resuscitate Jdimytai Damour ‘it’ came to me:
America will not under any circumstances learn from this awful occurrence.
I know this because the steeple chasers were still in the starting blocks ready to enter the building without regard for Mr. Damour after he was man slaughtered.
I wonder if Jdimytai Damour recently arrived to the United States seeking a better life? I ask because his name is definitely non-American. Just trying to put 2 and 2 together. If he was a newly arrived documented immigrant he surely got introduced to our American ‘priorities’. Didn’t he?
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a disgusting reality.
Monday, December 01, 2008
I try my best to give professional athletes the benefit of doubt considering the spotlight can be overwhelming. Those who keep up with my commentary may not believe that since I have been extremely critical of Terrell Owens, Ron Artest, and other troublemakers. But, after securing two Op-ed spots where I shared my thoughts that basically blasted Michael Vick I have been accused of being judgmental by people who suddenly value biblical scripture. Therefore, I have also been somewhat closed lipped when it comes to expressing my unadulterated feelings about the behavior of a few black athletes.
Since that accusation (judgmental) I have been selective with my words of disappointment because to be labeled ‘judgmental’ can assist in credibility lost. And, we all know that a writer must be creditable. However, I am willing to put my reputation out on the limb if I am standing by what I believe to be appropriate characterizations of men who in my bold opinion do not give a damn about loyalty, family, personal character, and the law. Unfortunately, Plaxico Burress falls into this category this week. He is a reasonable target for my condemnation; and lingering frustration with black men who allow money to change them for the worst.
Plaxico is flashy. He runs routes with precision. Plaxico is boastfully outspoken. He has proven to be dependable when the ball is in the air. Plaxico is everything most fans like. He is the type of guy everyone loves. The sad point is Plaxico and the likes of him know that they are liked and loved without restriction; and they use this to ‘juice up’ their already inflated egos. Egos that allow them to make stupid decisions that put, not only their careers in the hands of a rich white guy, but their lives in jeopardy.
I keep asking myself, ‘Why would Plaxico insist on carrying a 40 caliber glock in a nightclub after he was told that he could not bring it in?’ In his persistence what he has done is injured himself, strained his relationship with a colleague (Antonio Pierce), disregarded his responsibility to his employer (NY Giants/NFL), further damaged his reputation, and added a label to the list of descriptives he has earned in his short time in the National Football League: Felon.
How stupid can these guys be? They have money, fame, and respect – but they for one reason only (ego) cannot stay away from becoming another judicial system example. I often wonder how I would respond to becoming an instant millionaire. Some will tell you that I cannot make the following prediction when and if I ever earn or come into millions of dollars:
I would not be a damn idiot!
Plaxico is in the need of our tenderly stern judgment. Someone besides the NFL Commissioner and the District Attorney of New York must. Those powers surely will in the coming days while we sit back and allow another black man to go down without culturally reprimanding him for dishonoring himself all because some outdated source (bible) tells us that it is wrong to judge.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by “judgment is not wrong if done with a sense of lovingly resolve.” I believe that, and not this: Romans 2:1.