Thursday, August 27, 2009

Control…We have none.

Control is a force that we try to master in various ways. One way is in our ridiculous attempts to unknowingly (subconscious) dominant others. Some do this in an extremely detrimental way while others do it in a more coy way. On the sly - but thought of in a harmless innocent fashion. In such a way that the perpetrators of the undercover control, at times, have no idea that they are locking down their grip on the individual or individuals within reach. For example, men and women do things for each other under the guise of trying to be caring and loving while knowing full well that their motivation comes from the pits of selfishness: Looking for or expecting something else that they cannot completely disclose at the present moment.

The attempt may be operating from the disposition of subconscious because MOST people have no other outlets to control their very own lives. To bring this void to the conscious level only reminds them that they are minute in this universe. Smaller than a grain of sand. They are control impotent on the job, and in many facets that they desire to be ‘important’. Taken seriously. Consequently, this leaves these pathetic souls with not many options to be in control...ever!

Has this been you? It was me at one point as I traveled on this journey. More on the most humiliating - BUT humbling 7 hours of my life later.

So, what many of us do is try to control what is in striking distance: our relationships with others. We do this not realizing that our mates/spouses are in the same boat that we are in: unable to control anything outside the immediate. Gridlock. Tension is imminent. Conflict is abound and later dissolution (break-up) is inevitable. In the end, two people with false senses of control end-up alone. Literally by themselves...all because the power that they want was snatched from them as soon as they made themselves vulnerable to the other.

Vulnerability is what we need to master. Not, control. We are weaken by the impact of vulnerability. However, a chance must be taken to open-up without worries of getting played. Then we must have the respectable fortitude to productively ‘deal’ with any pain that may present itself: Nothing Last Forever.
Ironically, pain is something we all will face - and in most cases we have no real effective way to handle it. As a result, we over time destroy ourselves spiritually and crap on each other relentlessly.

We must find a better approach.

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by Chef! I thank him for taking care of me when I had NO CONTROL WHATSOEVER.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Pigs had us Running

I remember when my friends and I would take off running when we saw the police. It never failed. We could have been sitting on our momma’s clunker chillin’ eating cherry Now and Laters - Momma should have kept her 1980 Nova: Cash for Clunkers: What You Need to Know Reuters – but when the Pigs (such a disrespectful description) rolled-up on us, without hesitation and for no real legitimate reason at all, we would begin to run to the creek. The creek was our hiding spot. Nothing but boys would go down to the stream that separated the New Projects from the Old Projects.

Now, before you folk from ‘the north’ begin to blast me about my beloved projects just know that I grew-up in Thomasville, North Carolina. The country. Our projects were “townhomes” according to my college buddy, Lamont Morrow: “Man, please I am from the city. I know what projects are…I grew-up there. Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn. These are projects stop trippin’.”

I never did go to Lamont’s projects. I would not have made it one night!

What I did ‘make’ was a mockery of law and order each and every time I ran from the police. Not that they were coming for me – but I exhibited behavior that was ‘hood acceptable’, and confusing to the policemen. Think about it for a moment…We ran from those who are in uniform to Protect and Serve. These white men, and occasional token black cops, were just doing their job: On patrol on James Avenue. They were making certain that we were not being violated or committing violations. That’s all. However, I and many other African Americans for various reasons without significant personal justification may not have any respect for police officers.

Of course, I have asked myself why over the years. Then all I have to do is click on:

After countless years, I cannot watch all of this video. In this act of police brutality which was later in effect sanctioned by the Los Angeles’ courts in the form of acquittals – perhaps a pervasive repugnant-ness of cops is understandable? Or, what about the Haitian immigrant that was viciously sodomized by a gang of cavemen frontin’ as New York City policemen?

Abner Louima - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don’t relive these horrible occurrences in law enforcement history via commentary to spread venom. The acts alone are enough to leave one with lasting negative impressions of the Men in Blue. I am just contemplating lately about why so many people of color hate the police. Even as I recall these stories I cannot say that I dislike the police…as my early project days my have indicated…I am just leery of them. Unable of trusting them.

One thing I will NEVER do is raise my children to disrespect the laws of this unjust land and the enforcers of the law. Warren Balentine, a man I like when he is not trying to please all his radio talk show listeners, said something that I agree with: “One of the best weapons we can give our black kids is a general understanding of how law works.” He is right. He was also correct when he alluded to this: “We all should practice some level of civility toward law enforcement.”

Cops are not all bad. I actually want to believe that most are good. Un-crooked. On the Up and Up. With this positive mindset we should support them and appreciate the sacrifice they make. Also, just maybe the young girls featured in this story (below) would have told the cops the truth if they we not scared of them:

Dallas Girl, 14, Jailed With Adults For 10 Days -

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by the Pigs…no sorry: The Good Police!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What is all the Fuss about?
Someone help me, I thought the idea was to make sure all the uninsured in the United States (preferably citizens, IMO) obtain coverage? If this is the plan, why in the world are these town hall meetings morphing into all out rebellion? Are these people protesting against President Obama’s new socialistic agenda, are they more concerned with what they may lose within their coverage, or are they pissed because the reform will be another social taxation e.g. Medicare?

I can’t figure it out.

America’s Freedom of Speech facade is such an advantage and times: Some folk need to shut the h*ll up and others need to understand that it is not an absolute! I actually respect the opportunity to publicly voice opinions. If I did not I would not send readers a commentary every week. Nonetheless, the healthcare debate continues to divide the nation. Some are accusing the Republican Party of “sending the mob” to democrat lead town hall meetings to create havoc. If this is the case: THEY ARE WRONG. THE WHITE HOUSE IS WRONG FOR THIS: Asking the public to forward emails to the White House email account if one receives an email notification with misinformation about or challenges to the new healthcare initiative. What is this a ‘police state’? Is our government in the business of keeping tabs on people who have opposing views? Yes: Black Panthers, SCLC, All African People Revolutionary Party, and the Nation of Islam.

The outcome will be a passing of Health Care Reform. That’s a given. The Republicans are too insufficient in numbers and leadership to stop this forceful push from President Obama. Loud-mouth Rush can’t even help them! The yelling and screaming will soon be history; and then we will look back on this political circus with respect or disrespect for the protest. I will be one to respect it! I will also be one to disagree with and detest the methods that are being taken to pass the bill: impatient intensity, a strategic effort but insincere plan to slow down the push, and the ignorance that members of congress appear to have relating to the reform they are about to sign-off on.

All of this fuss about socialism principles will further put us against them and them against us. I am not too frustrated by or defensive about the new administration’s intentions. Not at all. My concern stems from what I, a working tax paying citizen, may have to help pay for next. Already paying for cheap condoms and Similac!

I am perfectly in agreement, ‘if you have you should consider sharing’ – but I am adamant about NOT giving a dime to those who do not do for themselves. This is the sentiment of many. Voicing it should not be an alarm or indication that the one mentioning it is a cold-hearted white Republican. I am not. My registered voting status is Independent, and last I checked I am BLACK.

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. –Proverbs 21:13

I want equality across the board. For those people with good intentions e.g. seeking employment with health benefits, trying to stay in good health, etc. who are unable to pay for health care: I am WILLING to donate some of my loot via higher taxes. If a person is shiftless and uses tax payer dollars to buy a case of Welch’s grape soda, salty Swanson frozen dinners, Oreo cookies, and sugar-laced cereal (too many to single out one): I am UNWILLING to donate any of my loot via taxes.

Perhaps, yesterday I should have told the woman with two fat face kids about my unwillingness while I was shopping at Kroger on a strict budget. Soon my and your tax dollars will have to pay for her child’s foot amputation as a result of diabetes.

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by Mjiba Adeze Frehiwot.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The District is No More

Going back to a place that was once familiar can cause disappointment. Change, of course, can be good - but change that causes unfamiliarity can bring pleasantry to some and bewilderment to others. I am among the many former District of Columbia transplants who are bewildered by the new high rise condo buildings, independently owned coffee shops, and swank looking restaurants.

To my surprise white people actually walk the streets that were once considered 'seriously off limits'. Even I, a big bald black brotha, would not walk in the Trinidad community or on any DC streets where the preconceived possibility of getting harassed or robbed is high. However, our Caucasian counterparts are riding platinum scooters and walking costly full bred dogs (poodles) up and down the street without a care in the world.

Life is safe and good for the residents on S, T, and U Streets. The police officers on mountain bikes make sure of that. The stick-up kid has a suburban locale now. He no longer robs the white tourist near the famous hotel where President Reagan was shot. No. He has finally and completely relocated his self-survival thieving operation to PG County. As a result, the elderly who moved out the city to get some peace have to contend with violent home invasions. ‘Blatant disrespect of the elderly ONLY occurs in the United States.’

Nothing I have typed is new to the DC area or any urban center. The initial seeds of the inevitable, gentrification, were planted in disgraced Marion Barry's city when I was planning to leave America's capital. The new youthful mayor has fully embraced the ‘developments’. Why would he not? It is the responsibility of mayors to ‘clean-up’ the mess. Giuliani did it!

Off to Atlanta I went, and the departure of what once characterized the District of Columbia dwindled away: high crime rates, pervasively visual homelessness, and the abandonment of countless row houses.

To read my words one would think that DC is void of Benning Road carjacking, Pennsylvania Avenue sleeping in the park, and North Capitol property squatting. Not the case. The District still has its long standing issues. Nonetheless, one cannot help but notice the 'improvements’ that gentrification brings. Even here in Atlanta, where the city leaders boast with pride the ethnic and social economic cleansing: only major city in the union without a Housing Authority (projects), are loving the fruits of urban renewal.

After discussing this new and final chapter with a friend while I spent my weekend in my second home I concluded that what's synonymous with improvement or getting better is WHITE. Think about that for a moment...

"If a metropolitan city becomes an improved and safer place to live the way you can tell is if there are more white people becoming residents." –Anonymous DC City Councilman

That is an extremely depressing commentary. It basically says that black folk are incapable of 'making a city better'. I do not necessarily agree with this line of thought - but there must be something truthful/factual about what I am conveying. DC and Atlanta were polluted with murder, litter, and urban squander prior to the whites entering. We cannot dispute this. It is true! With this truth, when will we, black people, begin to take back our communities?

Here is a model:

Miami Gardens, Florida – The state’s largest city with the most African Americans listed as residents. Blacks can do it…if they want it!

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by Go-Go. It has NEVER left DC.