Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gun Violence: An American/Black Problem

I was listening to Keeping it Real with Al Sharpton today.

Lately, I have been trying to gauge which direction my spirit leans while listening to talk radio – and discerning what I should hold onto. What I have noticed is that my patience for liberal noise is not high (MSNBC). Actually, the emotional threshold is extremely low. I have also noticed that I have no 'compassion' for the lingering issues that black Americans inflect upon themselves day to day. If I, a black man, has stop caring just imagine what our white brothers and sisters are thinking.

Of course I have empathy for any person who is a non-contributing victim of violence or any other affect that typically plagues America’s communities. What I cannot appear to accept any longer is the ongoing problems that black people complain about. Such as, black on black gun violence. Those of us who do express concerns usually do not live amongst those that continue to shame the black race. Well, what’s left to shame!

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence : Statistics Overview

It amazes me that the National Action Network has to (still) stage rallies that address an issue that has been analyzed, dissected, and re-analyzed for decades. Shouldn't we (black people) be past the self hatred killing of each other?

Rev Al Sharpton and NAN to Lead Emergency Day of Outrage Around ...

A colleague, a black man, asked a serious question in the presence of whites the other day:

"Why do black people discuss the same black issues, same black diagnosis, and same black treatment over and over again?
I asked him, "What issues?"

He listed the same occurrences that I have heard for years. Like the one (gun violence) that gave birth to the National Day of Outrage.


Are we really that concerned that it requires a themed calendar day?

I just don't get it. I respect Al Sharpton for his continued efforts at "fighting the good fight". My question to him the next time I call into his show:

Aren't you tired of the same fight?

I am. Must be the reason why I get so irritated with black talk radio. What about the environment, health care reform, international relations, federal budget usage, and governmental and corporate corruption? However, the Brady link does indicate that gun violence is an American problem. Not a black one…

I beg to differ.

A Brian E. Payne Expression

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Right to Life is a Human Right

This week I wanted to focus all my attention on the ridiculously confusing health care debate considering the House of Representatives narrow accomplishment last week. I planned to begin my non-intellectual analysis by asking the question that’s getting a lot of media play these days:

Is health care a human right?

While thinking about the question…and my answer (H*ll no!) I decided to look for a human right definition. Here is what I found. It actually mirrors my understanding of what so many people around the world lack. Including the United States!

The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.

Health care, TANF, Welfare, and other social services are not mentioned.

This definition also got me to thinking about “the right to life”. What does that really mean when life is snuffed out so freely? When a child’s life is of no importance? Not valued?

N.C. Police Charge Mother in Missing Girl Case - Local News News ...

“Right to life is a phrase that describes the belief that a human being has an essential right to live, particularly that a human being has the right not to be killed by another human being.”

If you are wondering where I am going with this, note that I used the word “wanted” in the first paragraph. First sentence.

I can answer all the Sunday school questions related to ‘life’. Who is the giver of life? God. Who is in control of life/humanity? God. Both questions are predictably answered with God. You can read that…You probably have an identical answer.

God in all his useless magnified glory and reverence is the giver of human rights. He provides us with initial freedom and liberty. So says the Sunday school teacher! But, where is His protection after ‘injecting us’ (we did not ask to become terminal creatures) into His fragile and now doomed world?

As an agnostic believing adult, I must admit that I do not require God’s protection. However, my expectation for a child’s protection is paramount! With this understandable expectation, we must acknowledge that security for our children is absent. The news story above is only one justification for my belief.

God is missing. Unavailable when a child or any innocent man/woman is brutalized by one of His creations? Think about it. God created the very being that takes life?

Many of you who have been with me on this spiritual and theological journey may be asking, ‘Why does Brian emotionally torture himself with this? Why can’t he just accept that God’s job was completed on that seventh day?’ So says the Sunday School Teacher!

I can’t get there. To that understanding: Intellectual Dead end…when we need the essence of our human rights preserved:

The Right to Life

We do not have a ‘right’ to life/live when life is drastically vulnerable. Easily taken away from our future, children. Not sure why I require so much explanation considering God, Himself, sanctioned the murder of The First Born…So says the Sunday school teacher!

As we think about if we deserve an expensive service, health care, as an entitlement please think with me:

Why did God create us if He knew we would face evil and unpreventable atrocities?

There is no purpose in this that I can obtain from a Sunday school teacher. Well, there may be ‘something/somebody’ responsible, The Elusive Devil, is at work again:


“We don’t know what happened – but we know the devil did this.”

I guess I will do what I and others have always done: Seek God…and Blame the Devil. We definitely ain't shaming him. Satan in full control!

I am done for now...

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a victim of God’s inaction, Shaniya Davis.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Muhammad: Is Where he belongs…now

John Muhammad is no more. Dead. Put to sleep with tax payer revenue: taxes kill people.

Do I care that he was put to rest by the state? No, I don't. Am I a proponent of the death penalty? Yes, I am in some cases. I actually want to be the one to inject the lethal dose if the man/woman on the gurney has taken or terrorized the lives of the innocent e.g. children.
Does this make me a mean and uncaring person? Nope. Not in my mind. Judgmental? Perhaps. I will be that under these circumstances.

Justice rarely shows itself in this world these days. The days and moments of biblical accountability and punishment are long gone. Can't you tell? Out with the Old Testament in with the New Testament. A testament that has proven to give us humans a much easier way to function. And, a dangerous green light to behave badly without worrying too much about a stoning.

Muhammad (how I wish he did not carry the name of such a wonderful prophet) was a stone cold killer. Unremorseful. Not that his remorse would have mattered to me. Perhaps, to the New Testament junkies it would have. The bleeding hearts. They may be now wondering where is my New Testament belief in God's forgiveness and grace.

I don't have any for the DC Sniper.

Besides, seeking forgiveness is a cheap way to get over on God. Typically, what we demand forgiveness for will be selfishly done again. Therefore, regulating the 'price' of forgiveness to an inexpensive loaf of bread.

Cheap bread gets stale fast! At least it can be used for something good e.g. bread crumbs. There was no re-usage (rehabilitation) for John Muhammad. His hatred and evil-ness could not be 'fixed' like Saul's.

A commentator last night summed it all up for me:

"Muhammad got to die in peace tonight. His murdered victims did not. Those of us who lived through the horrific time of this unrelenting maniac were victims too."

He is right on. I remember the fear this sociopath sadistically had lingering over the DC Metro area. Everyone was terrified:

'Will I be next?'

I also recall the critics 'predicting' that the serial killer was an educated disgruntled white man. They were wrong. They, the biblical scholars, are not wrong about Saul; the now Paul of the Good Book...however. He was purified. Changed. Does this mean I could be wrong about John Allen Muhammad? Was there any room for redemption?

Either way, wrong or right, forgiveness or unforgiveness, redemption or redemption denied, John Muhammad is where he belongs:

A way from here! With more like him lurking…He was a military man…Like Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood Killer.

I guess my next commentary should be a question, What is our Military Creating?

Written by Brian E. Payne

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Evolution of Sports

Zenyatta: She was the Smart One!

The ‘girl’ horse showed those ‘boys’. Was the horse responsible for the strategy used to win?

Brandon Spikes

First Clip: Fundamentally sound football tackle - and definitely clean. Considering the behavior in the Second Clip, I am wondering what Spikes said to Moreno after the ‘clean’ hit? How do we, parents/mentors/uncles/aunts, explain the behavior in the Second Clip; and the punishment to our children? Only suspended for one game?

Jahvid Best

This is a necessary opportunity to teach football little leaguers that leaving your feet while running is DANGEROUS.

As we continue…

Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons

As the old saying goes, 'the church is no different from world.' It was solidified years ago that sports will be a reflection of the world...with all its nastiness.

Elizabeth Lambert

This young lady is mentally ill...as many of us in this world have become. Wow. She crazy.

LeGarrette Blount

Behavior punished then rewarded. He gets to play again...?

Let's not forget how Tommie Harris (Chicago Bears) punched a player this past Sunday.

Let's not forget how Ochocinco attempted to give a referee a dollar this past Sunday...to get a replay call to go his way. Then he used the word bribe in the post game interview. Dumb!

Just wanted to share with you what ‘stood out’ for me already in the month of November in the World Wild World of Sports.

Brian E. Payne

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What was Once Sacred

I was raised to believe that education is precious. Sacred. "No one can take it away from you." I have memories of my uncle Jerry never failing to ask me every single day, "What did you learn today?" How that question irritated me! I now ask Judah Mordecai the same question hoping he will take this as an indication that education is critical. For him to understand that a tidbit learned is an investment in his future. As I continue to push this concept in to the forefront, parents have to balance the growing contradiction that school systems, state legislators, and Capitol Hill lawmakers project.

How do we, as a nation, answer the following question that a 5th grader asked President Obama while he was pandering to get elected?

"Why is education being cut if America really cares about the future of its youth?"

This young lady is onto something. Right?

We have seasoned teachers being forced into retirement, furloughed, and pay cuts occurring routinely throughout the United States. We also have superintendents communicating the 'don't be too comfortable' in your job security to teachers.

"Unless Georgia’s revenue picture rebounds dramatically in the coming weeks, I would anticipate next year’s State funding of public education may be even less than this year’s...My best advice is to be extremely cautious in your personal budget decisions. You have my promise that I will do everything I can, in concert with the School Board, to minimize the impact of any additional State funding reductions on our valued employees." -A Georgia school system superintendent

My Message

The greatest asset to mankind is his ability to be educated.

And yet, this nation allows a downturn in the economy to affect something that should be sacred.
As you are reading, there is some talk about the Atlanta Falcons building a new stadium. Guess who Arthur Blank, wealthy investors, and some state leaders want to help foot the bill?

The tax payers.

I would rather my taxes be increased to keep a good teacher from getting a termination letter.

Where are our priorities?

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by another night awake thinking about the State of America.