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David Nelson, Writer, and Concerned Citizen

“Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came,” President Abraham Lincoln

First of all, Don’t lie to Yourself

My wife and I saw “Think like a Man Too” last Friday. A hilariously funny movie, it was a good time out to relax and laugh. I did notice it

HCofA’s BTR Premiere w-Guest Rapper Rich Tycoon

Some of you might not know that I’ve been blogging and writing articles, which to me is one in the same, since 1999. That was the year I started a

What’s Going On, 2014

One can’t help but look at newscast and internet headline reports from near and far and wonder just like the title of the Marvin Gaye’s classic mega hit, “What’s going

Whoa! Just a Minute…or

Note: This blog was originally written in Nov. of 2005. I am currently compiling the best articles from then up through today. I’m going to enclosed them in an e-book

The Soul in Our Music

Whenever you mention the word soul to people in this day and age, one might get the idea you are thinking in religious terms. Or they may feel you are

Hey Black Folk, It’s Our Time and Turn

Have you ever had that feeling that something you have created may be your best work? Maybe you have reaching a level in your career that might be one of

Thoughts of Black History Month 2014

Back in the day, I’d hear older people say to anyone listening in a matter-of-factual manner, “I don’t have as much patience as I did when I was a youngster.” 

The N Word is not a Term of Endearment

Jarrett Mathis, Founder of Empowering Ourselves, Inc. wrote an in-depth article entitled “Black Music, The Mis-Managed Gift.”  The gist of the post, via Blogger Jessica Ann Mitchell’s, Our Legaci.com site,

Footprints into 2014 and Beyond

I was to fulfill a promise I made to God in 2012. I don’t even remember what the almighty was supposed to do for me, probably because it was secondary

Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953

Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953. Over the last several Arkansas years, Gracie Hall-Hampton had become somewhat callous in manner. Friends, family,as well as foe, say dealing with her could

Who really has a Slave Mentality

Note: This blog taken from the blogs home page of www.Katara-Rhythm.com, “Hamp’s Corner of America”. My wife and I went to see the movie, “12 Years a Slave”. The film

David Nelson, Writer, and Concerned Citizen

As an old school brother, a man who has been around the block a few times and took inventory of whom he saw and who they were, I am not easily impressed. All right, I hear some of you saying who cares…

Well, I am trying to make a point. And that is…I saw a FaceBook contact and city neighbor of mine post a paper online. The title of which is “If the United States had lost her Civil War.”

Being a thinker, it blew my mind to think of the ramifications of what could of, would of, might of, and maybe not even come into being if the Confederate States of the South had actually won the Civil War.  In my opinion, one way or another, slavery would have ended. And that, as a black man, is the scary part to me. Race wars, among a few things, come to mine when thinking of what would have happened. I am sure, you and others can imagine all type of scenarios and not that many of them good.

Writer and Concerned Citizen, Mr. David Nelson has taken his own personal time to fully analyze what might have happened if the South had won the Civil War. As stated, I was impressed with the title and even more impressed after reading the piece and meeting the man himself.

In this current American environment of me, me, and mine, and “I got to get paid,” we find a man who understands American human nature in its barest form. He has no other personal agenda but to give of himself and his ideas to his local community, his fellow California’s, his United States of America Countrymen and thus the world. He is a very rare individual, indeed.

HCofA DN FlyerYet the story here is still about the piece he wrote. By reading his approximately thirty page manuscript, one sees the thoroughness of his efforts. After you talk to him, you understand what led him to write such a timely piece. But then you’re absolutely floored by his reason, especially in this day and time of political gamesmanship going on in Washington DC at the expense of the American People.

I have asked and received permission to run his manuscript in its entirety as a guest blogger on Katara-Rhythm.com.  In addition, he will appear as my special guest on Hamp’s Corner of America Blog Talk Radio Show. You will get a chance to hear why he wrote, and what he expects to accomplish from such a herculean effort. Join us on Wednesday, July 23rd at 6:00pm PST for a chat with David Nelson.

A reprint of the opening of his manuscript follows while we provide you with the ability to click onto the remainder of the piece after the introduction.

Major Revision:  #357/15/14/TUE/ 8:38 am / PST

Friends, I’m going to keep on revising this essay until there’s nothing left to do to it, worth doing. By which time, it will have formed the basis for the “Civic Mentor Network/ National Element,” under my construction.  This is for the people and the people can watch and participate in its evolution as they please.  I dearly hope you all will.  Can’t do everything, alone — and without considering ALL viewpoints — I ONLY KNOW (or believe I know) JUST SO MUCH AND THE REST, I HAVE TO LEARN — there will always be inputs to add to this great story. This work will be perfected to the extent that the common wisdom interacts with it and me.   This also must exist to feed into, help direct, and empower the Neighborhood Management System (NMS) model I’m building for our nation.  You can now roughly see why your public inputs HERE will be most helpful to properly shape the NMS (and virtually, everything else).  I had planned to introduce NMS to you on 7/4/14, but found I needed to work on this absolutely essential element, a bit more. But now I’m back up to full speed on the NMS. Please standby. (How I HATE these delays!) D. Nelson
***********BECAUSE THE U.S. WON HER CIVIL WAR

The U.S. Constitution Still TRIUMPHSas a Human Master Stroke ***********Which Flourishes a Nation and a World!

Meditating on the Crucial Effects the U.S. has on Total Human Existenceand What Her Absence Would Do to This Life

The more we grasp and appreciate exactly what the world almost lost… 

the more likely we will be to appreciate our great good luck in what the world won instead … 

and to act, accordingly.

 

FOREWORD

Dear Readers —  
1.  Have you ever SERIOUSLY considered what the world would be like if the United States were 

suddenly subtracted from the Human Equation?

2.  HOW DOES A “NEW DARK AGE” STRIKE YOU? 

3.  COME.  Reason with me.  

Let me show you how this could have been ONE of WORST things to have EVER happened 

to the FORWARD MOMENTUM of human PROGRESS(a chain-reaction awesome in scope,a monumental set-back)

4.  AND THAT IT ALMOST DID HAPPEN!Let me lay out the scenario for you.

5.  THEN, LET’S SEE if this doesn’t make you better appreciate the precious thing humanity has inherited(for just a short time, in terms of individual life-spans) and what we’re supposed to be doing with it (as we each pass through).

6.  I believe that ALL the material presented here is as logically valid, philosophically sound, sufficiently thorough, and as historically accurate and FAIR as I can make it — for the time being (since I’m still growing) — and ought to be profoundly interesting, thrilling, important, and immensely PRACTICAL and RELEVANT to all. 7.  If you’re in a hurry, you might find Section III to be especially enlightening and provocative — because it gets right down to “brass tacks” — systematically inventorying and briefly exploring — many of the real and potential components — of an unprecedented national and global disaster — which stood nearby — primed and ready — to uncoil and ruin us – beneath the haunting specter of national suicide — but which “grew us up, magnificently,” as a nation, instead.   8.  As you will find, this is NOT an instrument of BLAME, but one meant to HEAL and ENRICH.  It is a concerted attempt to honestly analyze our situation — express reliable conclusions useful to the future — and help synthesize PRACTICAL courses of action — which will enable us to better do — what we all crave — namely, to create the best possible future for ourselves and for those whom we love.  In my case and, I trust, for countless others — who deliberately embrace and prize the concepts of deep HUMANLY LOVE, RESPECT, and AWE (since everything is much better and more fun that way) — that means a much better world for ALL HUMANS.
We often fail to truly appreciate what we have, until we’ve lost it – and sadly found that we can’t get it back!

   David NelsonThe Mentor Enterprises / ELMS

 

Contents

Foreword I.  Introduction (An Earnest Heads-Up)

A.  Purposes

B.  Statement of the Problem

C.  Major Premises

D.  The Setting

E.   Side Note:  The Echoes From a Loud Bang…Arguing Blame or Finishing the Healing? At Long Last?

II.  Overview and Thrust(Through a telescope: A New “Dark Age” Averted)

A.  10,000-Foot View

B.  Closer to Home

C.  Wisdom for the Ages    D.  Casus Belli – the Case for War

III.  Specifically (Under a microscope: A Partial Inventory of Horrendous Threats Avoided)

A.  Just Suppose…. The Plunge Into the Horror — The Fall of Darkness    B.  Whew! Such a Smothering List!    C.  Of Course, We’d Never Have Known All We Would Have Lost!

IV.  Conclusions (Through the telescope again: Bringing it all together)

A.  A Great and Heavy Darkness Forestalled

B.  A National Soul Triumphs and Self-Fulfills

C.  Still Intact and Secure

D.  The Constitution IS Us.  It Made US an US and a U.S.

E.  A “New Golden Age” Instead of a “New Dark Age”

F.  Moral of the Story

V.  Stars and Stripes Forever! (Boiling it all down: A Nation’s Great Victory, Humankind’s Priceless Heritage)

A.  The Blessing

B.  The Symbol

C.  The Vision

D.  The Eternal Mission

The following link provides the remaining content of Mr. Nelson’s manuscript.

If the US had Lost her Civil War Continued R35 Update

End of topic….

 

 

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p436aY-40

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/Gracie-Hall-Hampton-Arkansas-Years-1917-1953/dp/1491831138/ref=pd_rhf_pe_p_dnr_1

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, onlinewww.chiia.com

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

First of all, Don’t lie to Yourself

My wife and I saw “Think like a Man Too” last Friday. A hilariously funny movie, it was a good time out to relax and laugh. I did notice it was not so much of a “how-to” in this movie as it was in the first one.

You may remember the initial movie was based upon Steve Harvey’s book entitled “Act like a Woman, Think like a Man.”  The book examined ways women can establish or improve upon their relationships. It contained a few really good pointers.

The problem, as I see it, misses one of the main ingredients conducive to starting, continuing, or enhancing one’s love life. This blog’s topic is pretty straight forward but very hard to manage as we all have a strong tendency to lie to ourselves.  Being truthful to one’s self also addresses our personal self-growth and maturity. At the risk of redundancy and seemingly dancing around the point, we all need to check ourselves, and simply stop lying to ourselves about any and everything. This is true for any relationship between lovers, spouses, kin folk, and even our friends.

Let me add right here that our first relationship should be with our almighty Lord and miraculous Jesus Christ.  We can start the countdown after that.

While looking for love and companionship, we hear a lot of people trying to explain their type. Oh no, I can’t be with them because they are not “my type” of person. While the truth of the matter is we are never really sure what or who “our type” really is. We are all sure of one thing; girls want their men to be tall, dark, handsome, and fully employed. He has to look like Denzel Washington, Michael Ealy, Shemar Moore, or Morris Chestnut. Fellows want their woman to have the old coke bottle figure, be a woman in public, a mother like their mama to their children, and a sex goddess in bed.  Oh yeah, and she has to look like Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, or Meagan Good. You get the picture. One of my stepmother’s warnings to me was, “Those who look good may not be good for you.” Needless to say, there are very few people who are fortunate enough to have all of those God-given qualities.

Therefore most folks enter into a relationship adjusting “their type” to fit the person they are currently with. While re-evaluating we may not really see this person’s full personality.  We start lying to ourselves about who we think they are. We are certain of one requirement; we want the person to have as many physical and personal attributes as the aforementioned people.  Some may call it lowering our standards or settling for less than we originally wanted. There is another fact of life that we should always look for, people will eventually show you who they are, you just have to be aware and believe it when you see them in that light. Don’t lie to yourself and call it an anomaly. That would also include people’s tendency to select someone who will hurt them physically, mentally, or both. There some people, examples of which are known to us all, that consistently chooses people who are abusive, calculating, self-serving, and selfish to the point of taking everything in a relationship and giving nothing in return.

Whoever you end up with that is not the flavor of the month or year will have no doubt have settled for you too. Now that you are a couple, met each other’s parents, cousins, and friends, the real work of building a relationship begins. Truth is, it really doesn’t matter if you are married or living together at this point. The fact is a relationship must have the foundation laid, and the structure erected in order for the two of you to go any further in hopes of it being rewarding and fulfilling.

There is another relationship in which we find ourselves other than love affairs, and that is business relationships.  If this type is not equally as important as a love affair, it is a solid second. Why? Because this type is probably one of the sources that affects our financial well-being. In short, the words integrity, honesty, quality, timely, profitable, and long-term are the key attributes required and practiced by all here. Otherwise, action verbs like cheated, swindled, angry, pissed-off, audited, lawsuits filed, or God forbid, criminal action, murder, prosecution, and jailed follows.

While overeating, we say things like, I don’t care if I am a little chubby, they (your significant other) have to take me as I am or otherwise they don’t really love me anyway. Here the person is lying by justifying a possible overweight condition.  Yet, often they won’t accept the same reasoning from their mate.

Then there is the God-fearing Bible toting Christians. They know the Bible verse for verse. They can tell you exactly what a proper Christian person should or should not do. They post all these religious messages on the social sites. They forward email after email urging you to forward the same or it might be curtains for you and your destination could be Hell. Yet, they treat their mate like crap or as if she or he is a slave. Ironically almost everything they do is opposite of what God would have them do. They sit back and depend on God to take care of their every whim or need. Do they really think that God doesn’t approve of personal growth? He, in His wisdom, provided us with a brain and numerous abilities. My personal belief is that He did this so we can use them. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t have to take any initiative or work at anything because God will provide.

There is no secret to how you treat people in any relationship. You simply treat them as you want to be treated. You should give as you want to be given, love as you want to be loved, support their endeavors as you would want to be supported.  Love them for who they are and not who you think they should be.

There is another old saying; I am not sure who authored it but it is so, so true. It says, “Men marry women hoping they will stay the same and women marry men hoping they will change.” Whether we admit it or not, there is a lot of truth in that statement.  Oftentimes you will find that both sexes are going to be disappointed if that is what they truly expect out of their marriage or relationship.  Women will change, because that is the evolution of life itself. However, there are some habits men have that will go to the grave with them. You all know what I mean.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to this blog at  http://wp.me/p436aY-3Q

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/Gracie-Hall-Hampton-Arkansas-Years-1917-1953/dp/1491831138/ref=pd_rhf_pe_p_dnr_1

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, onlinewww.chiia.com

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

HCofA’s BTR Premiere w-Guest Rapper Rich Tycoon

Some of you might not know that I’ve been blogging and writing articles, which to me is one in the same, since 1999. That was the year I started a newsletter entitled Katara-Rhythm. Most were an attempt at trying to relay my thoughts on various subjects out to the masses. Most were social and political in nature. In other words, like most writers, I had something to say and I wanted to be heard, or in this case read.

It has been an uphill battle to get the attention of a large readership. There should be no need to remind one that normal readership of the written word is basically a headline and one paragraph consumer these days.  You have to present a really interesting topic to capture the attention of the masses.  Some say, I should hire a full-time editor, specializing in the English language. To those I say my background is filled with proper English teaching and Black Cultured Ebonics, otherwise known as African-American Vernacular English.  Ideally, with me you get the best of both worlds. Keeping in mind, I write as though I am talking to you on the street.  That is my preference and how I will continue to write regardless if the medium is a blog, article or book. Thank God, my readers have and continues to grow at a steady pace over the years, even though my blogs and articles average two and a half pages in length.

Wikipedia states that “On 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. On 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million (Tumblr) and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide. According to critics and other bloggers, Blogger is the most popular blogging service used today, however Blogger does not offer public statistics. Technorati has 1.3 million blogs as of February 22, 2014.” Obviously I am not the only one who thinks they have something to say and writes it in a blog format.

The challenge, as it was in the beginning and now, is to reach more people for which the material is intended. Never one to back down from a challenge, being from the Baby Boomer age where we like to do out thing no matter what other people think, we accept such a challenge. We can’t help ourselves because “we are just a stubborn kind of fellow” (forgive me Marvin Gaye) with our mind made up to keep on keeping on.

We have found the perfect media for us to continue our quest to say what we mean and mean what we say. Hamp’s Corner of America is going to air a bimonthly Blog Talk Radio Show, beginning June 25th at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time.  The premiere show will be centered around my son, Richie Hampton, aka Rich Tycoon. Not because he is my son, because he has skills which you will be able to witness firsthand. That’s right; it’s going to be “A family affair” (sorry Sly Stone).

Our mantra is simply, on this corner, we hang out to exchange constructive ideas. We discuss neighborhood, city, state, country and world affairs. People who talk out of the side of their neck or with forked tongue (if you get my meaning), need not hang out with us. We mix old school common sense, current innovations, street knowledge, with high school, GED, even trade school skills. We add the thoughts and ideas of those who possess Bachelor of Arts, Masters and Doctorate Degrees to come up with a formula that benefits the common man or woman entrepreneurial or daily spirit and lifestyle.  On top of that we have fun doing it. The intent is to enable growth and success in people of color, and all races who do not necessarily have the bankroll, afforded those who are well-connected within the United States.

In other words, we the willing, led by the unknowing are doing the impossible for family, friends and community. We have achieved so much for so long, with so little. We are now qualified to do anything with nothing. While we are not perfect in our accomplishments, we are exceptional, creative, and effective.

We are pleased and proud to kick off our premiere show with Rich Tycoon, lyricist and rapper extraordinaire. That would be my professional opinion, but then I’m not alone. While listening to one of his songs, or viewing a video, one gets the immediate impression that the performer is passionate about his craft. The lyrics are different from the norm and are not centered on his cars, hoes, money, habits or other personal possessions. He is clearly a man who has more than his mind on his money and his money on his mind. No way…here is a man who is putting his previous, current and future lifestyle out for a full examination from fans and all. The purpose for which, we will learn in our direct interview on June 25th.

Clues to his soul are in the lyrics penned by him. He’s had his chances to go commercial over the years and release cuts that appeal to the masses.  Yet he chooses to be true to himself and continues to stay on course by rapping about the life he lived, witnessed and are living.

No man is an island, and everyone needs somebody. He has been fortunate enough to find someone who plays a lot of roles in his life, the most important one being that of his Mrs.  Though his living style may have been tested by keeping it real, he has Endeliza (Liza) Hampton, his wife of twenty years supporting his every move. She has literally stood and continues to stand by her man affording him the opportunity to continue to make good music.  A few of his latest feel good musical offerings are  “Stay” (featuring Indecent the Slapmaster) produced by M.e.r.k.1, “Everything You Need” (featuring Lasro) produced by Keem Beats, and the special dedication release entitled “My Family” (featuring Sisco Stylz) produced by Reece Beats. It’s a song that not only speaks of his family but the average family across this land. In addition, he has smartly become his own living business entity. The fact that he does various shows, sometime averaging one a week, sell his records from his www.BlackBizness.net site, also contribute to the economic side of his creative efforts.  One can contact him regarding an appearance and or performance at your event by simply clicking on the designated link you see on the web site.  He truly understands the multiple incomes concept and requirements of self-marketing, note the name BlackBizness.

The slickly done “Ain’t Goin’ No Where” (featuring Chris Rene, a finalist from the X Factor shows first season) is presented here for your viewing pleasure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufuXniJEQAk&feature=player_embedded      The video reveals the professionalism of filming along with the talent on display for one and all to see. Click on the above to see what I mean.

You can find his latest releases and more on the BlackBuzness.net site; he also has a presence on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/RICHTycoon

Yet there is nothing more immediate while searching for information about an artist than asking him yourself. He will be available to answer questions while on the HC of A show. You can call in at 347-237-4908, or you may choose to submit questions in advance of the January 25, 6:00pm PST one hour live show. You can e-mail to me, your host, at champtonii@yahoo.com.  I will see that he gets them and he will answer all he can on the air. Those that are missed, we will ask him to post the answers on FaceBook or whatever venue he sees fit. Either way, we will let you know during the show.

Also, keep in mind the live show is taped so if you miss it, a link will be available on Rich Tycoon’s websites as well as the Host’s. That way, you will be able to listen to the broadcast at a later date and at your leisure.

So by all means, check us out, it surely will not be a waste of your time. In fact, we are counting on it being an entertaining Family Affair.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p436aY-3K

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/Gracie-Hall-Hampton-Arkansas-Years-1917-1953/dp/1491831138/ref=pd_rhf_pe_p_dnr_1

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group,  www.chiia.com

 

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

What’s Going On, 2014

One can’t help but look at newscast and internet headline reports from near and far and wonder just like the title of the Marvin Gaye’s classic mega hit, “What’s going on?”

As our imagination recalls the melody and the lyrics, “Mother, mother, There’s too many of you crying.”  We are shocked, taken aback and sorrowed by the act of a group of Islamic extremist kidnapping of almost 300 school girls from their classrooms in Chibok, Nigeria. They, nor their leader, Boko Haram have no idea of the wrath and repercussions from the girl’s family, people of all races and religions, local and foreign governments and indeed the world, they have put into place for committing such a horrendous act. Hopefully, it will all end well with the safe return of the girls.

In Oakland, CA. another family is holding vigil over their 8-year-old little girl hit by a stray bullet while she was playing on the porch of her family’s home. She is described as in “grave condition.”  While this type of senseless violence hits families in the United States on a weekly basis. The end results mostly ends up like the Philly high school basketball star who recently succumbed to severe gunshot wounds to his leg and groin. He was simply standing with friends, one of which was the target because he had gotten into a heated argument with the gunman a day or so before.

Meanwhile the song says, “Brother, brother, brother. There’s far too many of you dying. You know we’ve got to find a way. To bring some lovin’ here today.”

While our politicians cower at the threats of the organization that has and continues to oppose any kind of gun control, the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.).

The practice of the word Tolerance has gone the way of the Pet Rock in this country, null and void. An NBA Owner surprises his team, coach, and the local NAACP management office, which was lucky they had not issued the award to Mr. Sterling, with racist comments. Then there is the 80-something-year-old New Hampshire Police Official who called President Obama the N-word. Why are some people shocked because he will not resign or apologize? On 5/19, he finally did resign from his elected position.  Yet, politicians, in and running for office have called the president, First Lady, their children and mother-in-law every name but a child of god during the last 5 years of his presidency. Let’s not forget the rancher who is feeding his cattle on government land for FREE while announcing he does not recognize the federal government as a legitimate entity while adding offering his opinion of “The Negro.” He was quickly championed by Fox News, a few conservative politicians and a small contingent of roving militia. The various backwoods militia personnel, who are looking to join the people’s revolution somewhere, anywhere in the USA fall out in their Army fatigues banishing military weaponry that the NRA calls sporting rifles. I, being an Army Vet know how futile their efforts to overthrow the US Government would be against the US National Guard, much less a real military unit. Remember the movie, Captain Phillips? In the end, it was 3 pirates in a lifeboat, holding Captain Philips as a hostage against the US Navy. Somebody needs to tell these militias its 2014, not 1775 nor will they be allowed to relive Fort Sumter of 1861.

And Marvin sings, “Father, father. We don’t need to escalate. You see, war is not the answer. For only love can conquer hate. You know we’ve got to find a way. To bring some lovin’ here today.”

Maybe I am taking this one too personal because the practice stems from a member of my immediate family. I just do not understand why some people interpret the bible in a way that supports whatever action they want to take with events or against people in their lives. Simply, the feeling is that as a child of God, all one has to do is pray and our savior will make a way. That may be true up to a point. But God did not provide man a brilliant gift of five senses (Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell, and Touch), that correlates brilliantly with another supreme gift (the brain), for us to wait on him for each and everything. We all know there are some people who can see, but don’t really know what they are looking at, or they can hear but do not understand what has just been said. We know the type, they spout or post religious passages all day long, yet act like someone lying in the bed waiting on God to tell them when to get up, brush their teeth, and prepare breakfast. I know of no religion in this world that prescribes to that theory.  I do believe God likes a person who takes initiative; likes one who is able to treat their fellow man as they would like to be treated, while never taking another’s kindness for weakness. I’m just saying…

“Father, father, everybody thinks we’re wrong. Oh, but who are they to judge us. Simply because our hair is long. Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way. To bring some understanding here today,” the song and life continues.

There is a fight between congress and the president on the minimum wage increase. All you have to know is that Barack Obama is for raising it to $10.00. That automatically means that Republicans across this land, including the House of Representative majority and their minority party members in the Senate are uniformly opposed to the idea. That’s a fact that should be plain to all who have been paying full attention to the Republican-Democratic squabbles the past six years and even those who’ve followed one particular political topic.

Fast-food employees out of Miami and New York, some of which are actual recipients of the current federal minimum wages of $7.25 per hour in the US, feels the amount will not allow them to raise a family. So they went on strike, Thursday, May 15th. Their goal is to demand pay hikes. They also wanted to support the right to unionize, which was also observed in other cities around the world. Dozens of workers joined them in support and went on strike for several hours in Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston. This mood of wage increases for fast food workers is catching hold around the world.

While Marvin lyrics addressed the issue with the release of the Motown LP in 1971, with the bridge and finishing lyrics that said, “Picket lines and picket signs. Don’t punish me with brutality. Talk to me. So you can see. What’s going on. Tell me what’s going on. I’ll tell you what’s going on.”  

For those of you, who do not think that certain sixties civil rights gains have been taken and are currently being taken away every day, just follow Al Sharpton (MSNBC, 3:00pm PST, Mon thru Friday, or find him on FaceBook). He is discussing on a daily basis, the rollback and new rules of voting rights across this country where Republicans are in control of the Governorship and states governments of their particular state. Pssst! Are you paying attention?

 

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

 

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Whoa! Just a Minute…or

Note: This blog was originally written in Nov. of 2005. I am currently compiling the best articles from then up through today. I’m going to enclosed them in an e-book format that’s due for release around the middle of June. Stay tuned to my web sites and blogs for further details. Meanwhile check out one of my favorites, entitled,

 

Whoa! Just a Minute, or

You are not as smart as you think you are. And…I’m not as dumb as I look.

 

How many times per day you run into people who think they are smarter than you? When I am out, and about, some days, as many as three, four, or five complete strangers will challenge my intelligence. Is it just me? Am I getting paranoid?

 

How about, the busy cashier who talks to her neighboring cashier while she is ringing up your groceries? If you correct her, she will give you that death stare.  You had a lot of nerve interrupting her conversation because you wanted to pay 99 cents per pound for tomatoes as marked, instead of the 1.99 per pound she punched into the cash register. She rolls her eyes as you exit the door and you feel the comment she makes in lieu of hearing it. “Who does that idiot think he is…Mr. Important?”

 

If you haven’t run into those types of people, you must be a shut-in that never leaves your house. Come to think of it-you may not have to leave your residence. These people will find you.

 

Why, I bet there are mail-persons, newspaper carriers, Fed Ex, UPS, and all sorts of self-aggrandized VIPs who think they are more intelligent than you.

 

How about the newspaper carrier who becomes impatient and fed up with your attitude? I mean, who are you to insist the paper land at or near your front door? So what if you have to climb a tree in your bathrobe? What is wrong with crawling under the car in the driveway? It’s vigorous exercise. Or you can simply move the car before you try to pick up your paper, he advises. “You do know where the keys are, don’t you, he asks?”

 

No! He will not get a ladder and retrieve the paper he threw up there. He will remind you that they are your rain gutters, idiot.

 

He will tell you he has a lot of stops to make and have to drop his eleven year old off at school. How dare you impose upon his timeline.

 

In fact, you are lucky you got a paper yesterday, he would say. Your neighbor, Mr. Haney didn’t get his morning paper. Why? Because I threw your paper so hard trying to hit your front door, I didn’t have time to pick up another paper and re-cock my arm to make another throw toward Mr. Haney’s door. After all, I was driving my car at 25 miles per hour. Your houses are entirely too close together. And I don’t actually have time to explain these things to you every morning. So before you call the office, look around for your paper. In fact, you may want to check with Mr. Haney, he may have a paper because it was his turn to get one. Do you understand? As he walked away, I could hear him say…”Jesus Christ…what an idiot.”

 

The FedEx person will leave whatever they deliver at your front door if it doesn’t require a signature. My wife and I have become familiar with their modus operandi. You hear a truck come to a stop, the doors open and there is immediate silence. “Are you expecting a notary signing package” she asks? Before I can answer, we hear the loan papers envelope hit the front door entrance, the doorbell chime sounds off followed by the startup of the truck as they start to drive away, all in the span of 9.5 seconds.

 

I’ve often wondered and actually looked at their shoe types to see why I never hear them walking (or running) up the 16 feet to our front door. Talk about running silently. They could enter an Olympic event based upon the speed alone.

 

I’ve begun making a game out of it. At the sound of the package hitting the front door walk-way, I’ll make a mad dash to open my front door before they have made it back to their truck. Sometimes I win. It depends on where I physically am in my house, in relation to the front door. More often than not…I lose.

 

I…being a Notary Public who receive an average of four to five loan packages per week via various carriers, had the nerve to ask a FedEx driver what I thought was an extremely serious question. “What happens if we are on a two-week vacation? Who would be responsible for the package? Obviously I am talking about the delivery of an unexpected package from, let’s say JC Penneys? Who would be responsible for the package?”  The guy gave me that familiar are you some kind of an idiot stare and responded with, “My job is to deliver the package.” He then turned and dashed back to his truck, started it up, and closed the door in one motion. I could have swore I heard him say as he drove away, ”What an idiot.”

 

I’ve got to hand it to my mailman. He is on time (about 10:00 to 10:30 a.m.) with his deliveries and thorough. He will ring my doorbell and actually wait until someone answers the door to hand you a package that will not fit in our mailbox. He may or may not be smarter than I am, but he certainly is in better shape.

 

Anyway, from time to time, he will test my knowledge of old blues song artist. “Can I change my mind,” he asked. “Oh yeah, that song is by Tyrone Davis,” I answered. “That’s pretty good. Okay, see you later,” he said as he turn and walk away. You could tell he was thinking of another challenge for the next time.

 

It took me several weeks to figure out why he would challenge my artist-to-song recognition. You know how you are sitting around, and a thought flashes into your mind. Why, he delivers my CDs from Columbia House. That’s how he knew about my interested in music. See…I told you he may be smarter than I am.

 

When he is sick, or God forbid on vacation? The entire neighborhood gets upset. This past summer he was out almost two months. We all were asking the same question. Where is our regular mailman? Why, you ask?

 

You ever see a mail person delivering mail by stopping her little jeep at every mailbox in the neighborhood? This was such an unusual sight for me that I had to watch this entire ritual as she made her way around our little Cul de sac. She would get out and walk to the mailbox return to the jeep and drive to the house next door. Now mind you, our mailboxes are about 16 to 20 feet apart. Can you imagine that type of delivery process?

 

I receive mail so late one day (about 5:00pm), I suggested he take it back with him and bring it back along with the next day’s mail at a more respectable hour. The little guy who was using the same jeep delivery process as the lady, just laughed. I guess he thought I was joking. And damn if he didn’t mumble something as he drove to the next mail box. I could not understand him, but could it have been the word idiot?

 

At times, the whole neighborhood was on mailman watch, especially on a Saturday. Neighbors were hollering across, up and down the street. “Have you seen the mailman?”

The old guy across the street and I got into a routine. We’d both walk to our respective mailboxes in unison, look into it, turn, wave at each other, shrug our shoulders a couple of time, throw up both arms, shake our head, turn and walk back into the house.

 

It took me a while to realize we had gotten this routine down to an art. So much so, that I started doing things out of sequence just to trip the old man up. Wow, am I dumb or just mean? Yes, it got to be quite a ritual. Finally, our regular mailman returned. I found that out by the ring of our doorbell one day. I didn’t hear a FedEx truck as I walked to the door, I thought.

 

“Damn man! Where have you been” I asked the smiling regular mailman? “I’ve been on sick leave,” he went on to explain his absence for the umpteenth time, he said. That’s right. Ninety percent of his customers along his route were asking the same question. That was because every time I asked one of his replacements, I never got the same answer. In fact, it was always the same idiot, do you want your mail stare. “Glad to have you back”, I said. We went through another blues question and answer game before he left.

 

And so it goes. The only one that doesn’t think they are smarter than me is the little six-year-old next door. But then again, the way she looks at me some time with those little cute inquisitive eyes makes me wonder. At the time, I could be doing some grown-up thing like washing the car while talking to her. All of a sudden, she becomes quiet.  It’s as if she is thinking, “You must be some kind of a fool talking to me in half baby-speak. I do my homework on a computer. No wonder my folks think you are an idiot.”

 

You see what I mean?

 

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

The Soul in Our Music

Whenever you mention the word soul to people in this day and age, one might get the idea you are thinking in religious terms. Or they may feel you are speaking of in a psychic’s terminology, as in how man’s soul mesh with the rest of the universe. Yet, I guarantee that if you mention soul to an old school dude or gal, they will undoubtedly state with conviction, “Do I have soul? Man…you damn skippy I got soul.

 

You see back in the day (I know, here I go again), soul was an indispensable ingredient that contributed to one being cool, hip, and down with it. On  one hand, it defined you, guided you, and gave one a sense of being. A primary requirement was one had to be able to dig soul music and dance to it. There were the normal funny sounding dances, The Funky Chicken, The Bump, The Bump & Grind, The Stomp. If you couldn’t dance you grabbed a girl and faked it. The house party lights were so low; people were just flickering shadows in the strobe lighting. Those flickering type lights made all the dancers seem like they “were getting down”.

 

If you were black, supposedly you were born with soul. All the other races had to acquire it in some way which there actually was no set formula. The word was, they would have to know and hang around black people to help them define and acquire this thing called soul. ‘Cause without soul, you just…well…you was just another “square”. A square you ask? Why, somebody who had no Soul. At least that was one theory.

 

However, the theory of the day was always being tested for authenticity. Evidence of that fact were blue-eyed soul singers such as the Righteous Brothers whose tune entitled “You’ve lost that loving feeling” was “number one with a bullet” on the Billboard and R&B Charts. The band Wild Cherry did their thing with “Play that funky music White Boy”. Other bands such as The Average White Band, Simply Red and Doobie Brothers displayed enough soul in their music to let everyone know that blacks did not have a monopoly on this rare and strange connotation and or use of the word soul. This irritated some who would often state in disgust, ”Aw Man, we can’t have nothing to ourselves.”

 

It’s was all about the music, the beat and lyrics. In blues, a singer is talking about an event that has happened or going to happen and its making them sad. In Soul Music, it’s about the love found, receiving, giving, or maybe wishing one had. It goes as deep as feeling the hot breath of your main squeeze while making love. The fresh kiss of someone you just met, describing the way they look, walk, and talk that turns you on. Remember “She’s a Bad Mama Jama?”

 

It appeals to your senses while causing you to reflect on a love affair you’ve had or are currently involved. There’re some old-school songs I hear that make me look at my wife of 44 years and see a seventeen year-old foxy brick house with a medium afro and wearing a mini-skirt that made me weak in the knees while looking at her walking towards me. What immediately comes to mind is the Isley Brothers cut, “For the Love of You”. You can almost hear Ron Isley singing “Drifting on a memory, there’s no place I rather be than with you, baby.” Now that’s what I’m talking about. Add the soft melodic music to that or hard- driving beat to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and you’ve got what has become known as Rhythm and Blues. There is Aretha Franklin calling for “Respect”. It’s the music that makes you feel the emotion, your feet are tapping, fingers popping, body moving to the groove. Think of how Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” make you want to run to the dance floor or get it on in place. That’s just a sampling of Soul and R&B.

 

Record Labels pushed for the undisputed reign of Soul Master. Motown, with Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and countless others had tremendously successful singing careers. Listening to any one of these legends would give one a skilful awareness of soul applied in the presentation of lyrics delivered in a song. Why even James Brown stated in a song, “I got soul, and I’m super bad”. And I know you’ve heard him referred to as the Godfather of Soul. No doubt, JB had soul.

 

There was the Philly sound (1966-1976) era with Billy Paul, Mr. “Me and Mrs. Jones” himself. Others included Teddy Pendergrass (alone and with the group), Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The OJ’s, The Intruders (Cowboys’ to Girls’). Old schooler’s can relate to one of my favorite cuts. I can almost hear the lead singer of the Intruders sang out…

“I remember…when I use to play shoot um up.” The boys in the background would go “Shoot-up bang, bang…bang, bang baby…woo,ooo.”

“I remember…when I chased the girls and beat-um up.”

“But I was young and didn’t understand, but now I’m a grown up man.”

“I know girls are made for kissing, never knew what I was missing.” Background goes, “Woo, ooo, ooo.”

“Now my life is not the same…my whole world has been rearranged”    

 “I went from Cowboys to girls.”

 

Believe me that particular song spoke to my soul.  Those were songs young men could relate to. Video games were not invented back then. A kid played cowboys and Indians on a daily basis mimicking the numerous westerns that were shown daily on TV. That song reminding me of my childhood except for the part about beat-um up. We chased the girls just to watch them run and played a little boy tricks on them, but never beat-um up. If that happened, we could not have gone home because mom and pop would have beat us up.

 

For those of us from that era or are just curious about the lives of those entertainers, there is a treat just for you, other than Hitsville USA in Detroit. Today, there is a museum that displays those down home soul singers and groups that grabbed you by your imagination and forced your feet to tap, fingers to pop, and mouth to try to sing along.

 

Stax, Museum of American Soul Music or as it’s has been dubbed by its creators, “The Jewel in the Crown of Soulsville, USA”. It has been open since 2003 while celebrating all of the Stax labels recording artist, some of which you may have heard of, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor, The Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, Booker T and the MG’s. On permanent exhibition is Isaac Hayes 1972 “Superfly” Cadillac.

 

The label went bankrupt in 1975 but has ensured the rich history of music in that era will be heard, its songwriters work identified and viewed, along with various paraphernalia and unpublished pictures of their recording artist, owners, and assorted musicians.

 

In fact if you go to their website at http://www.soulsvilleusa.com/ You will find the following lead-in verbiage on the About Soulsville page.

 “For many years, the Memphis neighborhood known as Soulsville USA was a bustling and thriving community where a young grocery sacker named David Porter became one of Stax Records’ most famous songwriters, where Aretha Franklin was born and sang in her father’s Metropolitan Baptist Church until moving to Detroit at age eight, where Calvin and Phinneas Newborn honed their jazz skills, where Al Green recorded his super hits of the 1970s at Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios, where Maurice White grew up and grew into Earth Wind & Fire, and where Elvis Presley sneaked into Rev. Herbert Brewster’s East Trigg Avenue Baptist church as a teenager to listen to gospel music, much of which Rev. Brewster had written for Mahalia Jackson.”

I don’t want to steal their thunder, but you have to check out the rest of the story. The lead in details how a community and supporters banded together to accomplish a dream of providing a place where music lovers of all colors can view exhibits and take part in programs offer by Stax, Museum of American Soul Music.

 

Last summer, my wife and I visited the Memphis TN, museum and was taken aback by the exhibits. The tour provides a walk through time, that should be experienced by anyone who likes music.

 

It is refreshing to hear that soul music is still alive of which you can hear from various hip hop artist of today. They may call it Old School or whatever, but I can still hear that cut that asked the question…”Do you like Soul Music…yeah, yeah?”

 

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

Hey Black Folk, It’s Our Time and Turn

Have you ever had that feeling that something you have created may be your best work? Maybe you have reaching a level in your career that might be one of the great accomplishments in your life? You are beaming with self-appreciation. Your immediate family looks at you with renewed pride. Your friends are happy for you. The world is your oyster including the invaluable pearl inside.

Yet one person, maybe a few, which may even be a family member, remembers when you were not this recently announced brilliant individual. They make a negative remark about your skills. Maybe they go farther and for some reason, known only to them, take some kind of action to rain on you parade. They want to know, “who does he or she think she is?”

That’s right, there are always haters. Some people cannot for the life of themselves take you for who you are today. They remember when you were a less talented, confused individual without any goals in life, or in their mind, the wherewithal to become successful at anything you do. It’s from a time when you were living your life on a devil-may-care day-to-day basis, and having fun with it. Or you may have been struggling just to find out who you were at the time.

They’ve put you in their little identity box they crafted specifically for you. The ID box often includes where you were born, education, who your parents were or even your physical appearance. Will they ever take you out of that box? No, because they don’t want you to succeed. If you are not who they think you are and you make a success of yourself; that will make them start questioning themselves, and their lack of accomplishment.

Shame on them for not seeing you as you are today. To you, for whom your growth, maturity, and successes really count, you have achieved a status in life that once seemed unattainable. You are finally content with yourself.  Others you know and meet understand how difficult it is to reach this level much less maintain it.

Almost any upward mobility program of improving your wealth, becoming a great actor, or any kind of entertainer, making a success of your business, or simply improving your profit margin will agree on one simple fact. All successful people surround themselves with other successful people. They don’t spend their time and energy on individuals who are talking loud, often and saying nothing worthwhile in particular. Because if you do, you will spend time going sideways instead of up, as you well know.

Here are a few characters to avoid doing business with, or worst, hanging around with at all cost. We know them well.

Mr. or Mrs. Know-it-all:   This person dominates the conversation from the moment you two are introduced. There is no pause while they are talking; they’ve placed you in their little box. Since they know everything about everything, they have determined that you are not as smart as they are. Therefore anything they tell you should be of monumental value to you. If you don’t agree with their ideas, then you’re more of a fool than they originally thought.

Mr. or Mrs. I’m Handsomely Beautiful:  This person loves the spotlight so much they will construct a spotlight so they can have it shine on them. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of the dumb blonde advocates. Some nice looking people have great business sense and are personable. Just not this one, whose business priorities start, meet in the middle, and end with them. There is just no there…there. Their foundation is built on mirrors.

Mr. or Mrs. My Idea or None: This is the person that stands out in a meeting who offers an idea for all to consider. When for whatever reason, their idea is dismissed; they turn against the entire project. For each and every idea that is offered for debate, they are the first and last person to disapprove by providing reasons why it would not work.

Mr. or Mrs., you are on my side because we are friends: The title pretty much sums up the attitude. I would only add that once you disagree with them, you are no longer their friend, and in fact may have created an enemy.

Mr. or Mrs., We are Family:  Lord help you if you have got to experience this one. It’s a cousin to the one above “because we are friends”. They feel the word Family should give them all the privileges afforded a person with a good idea or capital to invest. Most have nothing to offer except their relation to you. It’s like having another dependent.

Mr. or Mrs., I have and gave you my Money: This is a hard person to shake because they have provided funded for your venture. You want them to trust you when you report on earnings or losses. Because the Profit and Loss process have been explained, most people will understand, except this one. It’s as if they have to follow you around, judging each and every one of your decisions and offering advice that they may or may not be capable of giving.

You get the idea from the aforementioned examples that the traits of these people are interchangeable. One person can have more than one of these traits.

When you hear haters talk about the lack of opportunities, or the will of our people to succeed. When you hear some rappers refer to our neighborhoods as the ghetto or streets devoid of any worth or virtuous people for that matter.

Compare that rhetoric to the recipients you see on award shows like NAACP’s Image Award, Black Girls Rock, Essence , BET Honors, to name a few. Look at the films from last year, The Butler, 12 Years a Slave, The Best Man Holiday, or the many releases from Tyler Perry. Pick up and read a Black Enterprise, Jet, or Ebony, magazine. You will find examples of black people picking themselves up, after being knocked to the ground, going on to win the race of respectability. It is that inherited strength, the will to keep on keeping on, the innate ability to survive and thrive amidst powerful economic forces created to make our race obsolete. That is a gift from our ancestors.

The only one that controls your destiny is you. That is the decisive fact to remember here. The person that speaks for you, possess your talent, is you. You have to believe in yourself when others do not, and it honestly makes no difference who those others are.

Let’s assume that this accomplishment is in the world of business. The idea is to craft a plan, gather required resources, enough capital to keep the business running for at least two years without expecting a large profit, reinvest most of the profits in the venture to build a stronger foundation or expansion. Always keeping an eye on the competition and pending changes in the technology of your field.

Having noted that, let’s look at the most remarkable invention to come along since sliced bread. That would be the computer. I knowmost of you are going “Duh?” I just feel that every now and then we, as entrepreneurs, writers, non-profits need to be reminded of the capabilities of the computer.

Before smart phones, tablets, and I-pads there was the desktop CPU.  A unit, when paired with software programs, enabled one to produce professional documents or works for their business. For the young entrepreneur, it is the perfect equalizer.  It allowed us to produce like the large corporations. That, more than anything else, will help you become who you want to be.

It is incumbent upon us to utilize the unit in the best possible manner that affords a comfortable means of support. Before we spend a large amount of money for a smartphone and data plan where one uses approximately 30% of its applications. We need to evaluate what is best for our business. How about someone who bought that expensive Tablet or I-Pad only to find out they need to purchase an additional keyboard, speakers, and a printer that comes with a normal desktop computer? Be sure you are not buying the hype instead of what is necessary to facilitate your work process. Be fashionable later but secure what’s required for proper productivity in the beginning. I’m just saying…you do want to get to your time and turns…don’t you?

 

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Thoughts of Black History Month 2014

Back in the day, I’d hear older people say to anyone listening in a matter-of-factual manner, “I don’t have as much patience as I did when I was a youngster.”  I understood what they meant, but then again, I was not aware of what they actually meant until I became a senior citizen.

Once a person reaches the age of fifty, it seems that overnight, they have no patience for dumb crap, no matter how it’s packaged and whom it comes from. If you are not their grandchildren, the younger the better, ideally a toddler, don’t talk to them about, ask them any stupid questions, or ask that they participate in any activity that reeks of bull crap. They will always view such nonsense as a waste of their time. If you don’t believe me ask your family senior citizen a dumb question and watch the expression on their face, even before they say those tell-tell words of disgust with you, “Fool, what is wrong with you?” Or “I know you were raised to be smarter than that.”

Now that you pretty much understand that this is going to be a serious article, about this Black History Month, let’s examine where we are as people.

Keeping with the theme, black senior citizens, at least those that were around before, during, and right after the Civil Rights era of the sixties, have seen gains from that time watered down or cancelled legislatively. They’ve witnessed the apathy from family members, neighbors and even so-called leaders on Martin Luther King Day activities. Are our younger black folks living in such an illusionary state that they think any actions they take will have no effect on the powers that be? They certainly know what’s going on in our neighborhoods.  Did you hear about the financial losses experienced by the MLK Freedom Train last month? So much so, they are contemplating if they should sponsor the event for 2015.

In spite of our numerous contributions to American society in the past and present, are we becoming irrelevant because of our declining numbers across the U.S.? Even worst, have we as a race become so complacent with our own limited successes that we say, I got mine now you go get yours. And something that’s worst, and certainly concerns me, are we letting other people define who we are today? Do we care if we are associated with thugs, dope dealers, spoiled athletes, baby makers who are not supportive of the offspring they bring into the world? Do they think we all walk around with our trousers hanging below our butt, or can’t complete an audible sentence?

A large number of them, and I am talking about anybody other than black people, all think we are stupid people. They see a race that has no direction, no loyalty to family or friends, loud mouth, pushy, lacking manners and are dishonest to our core.

Suppose an alien from another planet came down to record two weeks of human life on this planet. Somehow they mistake our portrayal in TV shows, including its reality shows and the evening news, as indicative of the black race; overall, we would be reported as a race of buffoons and criminals lacking the qualities to exist in a race of intelligent beings. We know that’s not true. One sure way of changing that is to take ownership of the broadcast stations, shows, and media that depict our images. I am not against comedy, even a little crazy comedy, but when it becomes stereotypically against our race, I draw the line. It’s a bit much when their entire routine centers on sexual acts.

The Nielsen Company’s African-American Consumer 2013 reports the financial power of “African-American households has increased 20% since 2000 while aggregate income has increased 45%, meaning that Blacks’ income has grown 2.3 times faster than the number of Black households.” I interpret some of that decline in households to losing a large number of our young people, especially males, to prisons and early deaths. Nevertheless, the Aggregate income of blacks in 2013 was $696 Billion Dollars. That, my friends, is a lot of influence and pure GREEN POWER to weld in getting our agenda out there for legislative action. We could use demonstrations; withhold our purchasing power, to influence what we see on TV or the movies by taking ownership. We have some ownership but more is required. It all starts with us. Black Enterprise (online or hard copy) is an excellent magazine to gauge the progress of the black Entrepreneur.

While reading articles and listening to press releases from some of the most famous and influential people involved in show business, etc., one would get the feeling that the world is their oyster, and as long as their immediate family is taken care of… then all the “Other Stuff” is certainly no concern of theirs.

“Other Stuff” comes under the heading of poverty, black on black crime, high unemployment for young, middle age, and older blacks who need to work, the gap between suburban and inner-city educational tools and teachers, hate crimes, police brutality, and the ever-growing disparity between the rich and the middle class. These problems often spill over to becoming a statistic in the other aforementioned areas.

In the real world, we can tell them horror stories of shopping, driving, even applying for a home or business loan, or just walking in an upscale neighborhood “while black”. They should be concerned. If they knew like we know they should really be concerned. They cannot isolate themselves from the rest of society. The color of their skin dictates to some who they are before they open their mouth, wallet or purse.

In August of 1963, this nation was embroiled in “racial unrest and civil rights demonstrations” across the United States. Against President Kennedy’s wishes, who thought the march would harm the legislative process eventually supported the Civil Rights March on Washington DC.  The KKK and other hate groups hated the publicity it would garner for blacks.  Even Malcolm X was against the idea and saw Martin Luther King’s march on Washington for jobs and equality as a waste of time.  A lineup of stars that supported and participated (August 28, 1963 attended by 250,000 people) read like the who’s who of show business.  Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston (surprised? He of NRA fame), Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horne, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Mahalia Jackson, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Marian Anderson, and Josephine Baker to name few. No one voiced their concern of any backlash from their fans, studios, record companies or any others backing their efforts to be actors, etc.  Who would step up to the plate today, Jay Z, Beyoncé, Will Smith, Michael Jordan? I don’t think so. There are plenty around who would, just not those I just mentioned.

Take the highly political issue of “The Haves and Haves Not” in relation to the gap between the rich and the middle class.  How many Americans have ever seen one political party band together so tightly with the Right Wing Fringes and Tea Party members while using a major TV Station to broadcast their one-sided versions of political issues caused by such viral hate for a President of the United States (POTUS)? A perfect example of the continuing attempt at placing blame like a slap “upside the head” was the interview of POTUS by Fox’s TV O’Reilly during the Super Bowl Pregame activities. His questioning continually tried to rehash old settled issues with the President Obama eventually saying, “These kinds of things keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them.”

The fact that we allow this attitude to prevail at the expense of the financial health of this country is mind-boggling to me.  I ask again, how many Americans, black white or whoever can say they have ever seen this type of behavior from our elected officials? That behavior within the last five years of some congressmen, senators, governors, mayor and other elected officials is unprecedented. I will also add that President Obama could have dealt with some issues differently which could have headed off some of the damage inflicted by these political cutthroats.

Having noted that, we must also realize our elected officials cannot do it alone. A large number of our senior citizens, and I include myself, were waiting for a leader who could act in our stead to take on the political right wing millionaires with deep pockets that continually try to steer general public opinion toward backing their specific personal goals of getting richer. There is no one single leader. I, again along with many of you have come to realize if we want something done, we are going to have to organize (Community organizing anyone?), write, protest, and even demonstrate if it comes to that in order to effect change. Let’s not forget to spend our money where it benefits us, not where we are not wanted.

That change must not only come from our civic authorities but the thugs and dealers in the street too. Somehow, someway, we have got to take our neighborhoods back from the riff-raff. The only ones we can count on to speak for us is ourselves. That is a powerful mantra to pass on and support during this Black History Month.  And your thoughts are…?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

The N Word is not a Term of Endearment

Jarrett Mathis, Founder of Empowering Ourselves, Inc. wrote an in-depth article entitled “Black Music, The Mis-Managed Gift.”  The gist of the post, via Blogger Jessica Ann Mitchell’s, Our Legaci.com site, is the contradictions found in current music from successful artist. The number one issue, the message sent in current recordings versus, many of those released in prior years.

It’s conceded and noted in the J. Mathis post that Artist such as 50 Cent’s popular 200 song, “P.I.M.P.” and the currently popular YG’s “My Nigga” (Billboard magazine certified Gold single) are songs he says “wrongly promote actions that are illegal and deleterious to our community.” I agree with this concept 100 percent. I would ask my readers to read his article in order to get the full effect of the topic. The reason is I don’t want to rehash a lot of the points he covered although the subject matter in his and my article are identical.

Over the years I’ve written about this notion that some rappers believe they have to be viewed as tough, record explicit and profanity filled lyrics to maintain their “street cred” as if they are graded on a sliding scale by their peeps in the street. The problem is their paying audience; along with those over which they have the most influence are not street people. The segments of their fans in which we (critics, parents & the older members of society) are most concerned about our youngest, brightest, and most impressionable children.  How many times have you observed a four to five- year-old repeating rap lyrics they’ve heard and even acting out the performer’s body language on stage? What’s next, even younger ones wearing their Pampers low and hanging off their little butts?

Then there is their other claim, we (Hip-Hop recording artist) have made the word Nigger, ineffective as it was used in the past. “It now means a term of endearment”, so say many in the industry such as Jay Z, Russell Simmons, and Puffy. I think their opinions are self-serving. They are speaking to their industry’s choir.

The fact is you can pronounce or spell it anyway you like, for most black people it has a definite derogatory meaning that has not changed since the Emancipation Proclamation of slaves.

These so-called experts in the human language should ask those who fought for black folk rights and lived during the Civil Rights era. Ask those, who while watching TV’s National News, saw a major city’s inner city on fire from demonstrations or police confrontations that turned into riots. Ask those who marched with MLK. Exactly what did they think?  How about the white people who shouted out words and phrases as the marchers passed by? Do they think those were words of endearment?  They will find that the words were meant to describe a person whom they considered being less than human, a leech on US laws and goodwill society, a lazy good-for-nothing baby making daddy or welfare whore who actually didn’t know the identity of any of her six kids baby daddies.

They didn’t want any niggers living, going to school, eating, working, or socializing in any kind of way with white folk. And if you were a person of color this meant you. The truth is there are a lot of people, many of which are not living in the South, feel that way today.

For further proof, watch Fox news, parts of the Tea Party, some Democrats and a lot of Republicans.  Better yet, try and make sense of some of the complaints against President Obama.

Here is a thought, imagine if you will, a 16-year-old Blue Ivy, (Jay Z & Beyoncé’s daughter) or a 16-year-old North (Kanye West & Kim Kardashian’s daughter) sitting at the dinner table with their parents. You have a split screen viewer so you can see Beyoncé and family on one screen and Kim K with family eating dinner on the other.

Blue Ivy starts the conversation at her families table by saying, “Mommy this white boy in my class called me a nigger today and I didn’t know how to react. All the other kids were laughing at me, what should I have done? And then one of the boys started calling me bitches and ho’s. He said he was repeating words from one of daddy’s rap songs. Daddy, what does it all mean? Did you think mama was a ho and bitch too?”

Stretching your imagination further, picture a 16-year-old North repeating the same words at the Kanye West and Kim table. How do you think they are going to deal with those types of questions?  Make no mistake about it, that day will come around sooner or later. What kind of people will these girls grow up to be with those kinds of questions lob at them on a daily basis?

The point is that spoken words have consequences. It might be different consequences depending on how and from whom specific words are spoken and directed, but all words have consequences.  We will not even get into how the words are interpreted by the receiver. These are the same point critics are trying to get artist like Jay Z and Kanye to understand today.

If you can take words and put them in a brilliant song and direct them at specific people with the intention of making a person feel happy about themselves or their lover, an artist has worked magic with their songwriting and singing.

Back in the day, artist such as one of my favorite, Curtis Mayfield, did just that. One of his album’s “There Is No Place Like America Today” which spoke to the plight of black people in society at the time of the album’s release in 1975. The cut “Billy Jack” is a 6:07 rendition of a bar shooting that could be interpreted as happening today instead of back in the day. The love ballad “So In Love” is on this CD. His music was simplistic in delivery, raspy voice, and words demanded attention from a listener and were memorable as we went about their daily lives. If you bought any Curtis Mayfield music, you found songs that made you think (“If you had a choice of colors, which one would you choose, my brother?”), wonder (“When Seasons Change” –title track) and proud to be who you were. They gave you hope and comfort and chided the black race for acting in ways that were not constructive.

Even the famed Mayfield resurrected his career by recorded a not so mainstream popular album in 1972, entitled “Superfly”.  You’ve heard of the LP and film. Yet even in that LP, a number of the cuts, like “Freddie’s Dead” reminded us that the drug cultural was not conducive to the longevity of life itself.  Nevertheless, the N word was used repeatedly in the Album’s title cut and the movie. Was it a double standard move by Curtis? No, because he made it clear how he personally felt about the word.

Some may remember Chis Rock’s declaration in his cable stand-up “Bring the Pain” when he said, “I hate Niggers. I love black people, but I hate Niggers.” He went on to describe the type of person we, as people of color, can’t stand either.  Yet most of us have a few in our family and certainly as neighbors. Most Niggers have some of the traits and are acutely stereotypically true to the intention of the N word in the first place. Surprise! Surprise! It’s honestly not a racial thing with us, no one likes that type of person.  I find myself using that exact N word to describe some person of color who has committed some aggressive act on me or my family. I’m not proud of it but sometimes finding myself angrily saying it before I can control myself. I am trying not to use the word.

The overall question is simple.  Is the N word a term of endearment? I don’t think so, and we are all better off if we don’t use it at all. That way, our white, and black friends won’t be confused as to how we truly feel about that word.

You can read Mr. Jarrett Mathis article, which I shared from Ms. Jessica Ann Mitchell’s “Our Legacy.com” on my FaceBook Page at “Hamp’s Corner of America”.

 

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Footprints into 2014 and Beyond

I was to fulfill a promise I made to God in 2012. I don’t even remember what the almighty was supposed to do for me, probably because it was secondary to being baptized. The most significant part of this practice of moving closer to Jesus Christ was that after all these years; I felt the need to become one with God. So I was finally baptized on December 22, 2013 at our church, the First Baptist Church in Pittsburg, CA.

After the unsuccessful catholic faith indoctrination during my elementary and junior high school years, I took the plunge. As for the Catholics, their teachings and true faith practices did not add up, at least in my opinion. I just could not understand their preaching to help the underprivileged while asking for contributions from the same. Contributions which I viewed was spent on and displayed in the form as wealth by the priest, Cardinals, Pope and artifacts in the church building.  That show of affluence is more noticeable at mass and other religious ceremonies. The gold trimmed rich looking garments worn by the priest at mass. The use of the gold chalice and religious artifacts in the church seemed as though they were flaunting their wealth during my pre-teen and teenage years.

You better believe, I asked questions regarding those subjects as well as others only to be finally told as I was not accepting the answers given, to sit down and be quiet. Unfortunately, that was not the answer I was looking for. I remember I wanted so much to believe what I was being taught.  There were just too many contradictions creating doubt in my mind.

The only other religion I’d been drawn to was the Baptist. There were signs in certain circles of some of the same outward show of wealth donated by the congregation to the Baptist Church Head Pastor.

And don’t get me started on other faiths, individuals who professed to heal people by touching them as though it was a miracle from God. Or super churches such as TD Jakes and other famous preachers who make a living on TV and seem to be consumed with grandeur in outward appearance, church properties faithfully supported by an ever-growing congregation.

I just felt the God I believe in did not hold these types of organization as beacons of light to emulate much less follow in hopes of eternal salvation at his side. So I waited for the right time and some sort of sign from God. After all, he knows me and what is in my heart. And to be perfectly honest with you as I was with God, I was not ready to lead the quality of life I felt he wanted me to live. And no matter what, I was not about to lie to myself or God. After all, he knows what’s on my mind before I can make any sense of it.

So, I waited, and waited, and I waited until I wasn’t even sure what I was waiting for. Was it some sort of sign, did I say? Was the almighty supposed to come to me in the early morning hours or whenever and say, “Codis my son, its time”?

Somewhere along the line, I finally realize that this was a personal contract between me and God. It should happen when I am ready and only when I am ready. If you honestly think about it, God is ready anytime. I think he would ask are you ready?

Slowly over the years, I began to realize that those issues involving people taking advantage of other people in the name of religion did not actually concern me. Whether it was a preacher, well dressed Jehovah Witness knocking at my door, or a friend who just wanted me to attend, even join their church, none that mattered. By the way, everybody who professes to be saved, or a Christen is not. What truly mattered was I needed to have a personal relationship with God.

I can’t honestly tell you how many scrapes or times God himself have saved me or someone in my family from some kind or disaster.  I camped out in the Fast Lane of life from sixteen years of age, the day my father finally let me go around the corner from my house, well into my thirties. The point is, God is and was always there, whether I wanted him in my life or not.

You’ve no doubt heard “The Footprints Prayer”, if not let me break it down for you.

The Footprints Prayer

One night I had a dream… I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life. This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.

“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way; but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why in times when I needed you the most, you should leave me.

The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”       

That is a powerful statement. I can’t truthfully tell you the first time I saw that prayer. I do know that it was after I moved to California and saw it printed on some artifact like a throw blanket. In my mind, there is no better illustration of how my life had gone up to that point. That prayer spoke to directly to me.

While questioning the presence and word of Jesus Christ, one has to reason, you did not accomplish what you have, maneuver through trials and tribulations, suffer through the indignities, humiliations, sprinkled with the joys and happiness of life, yet still be standing proud or hanging in there without some higher beings assistance.

You did not meet your mate by happenstance, your children were not born just because you two made love.  Many of us did not wake up all of a sudden and put our lives on a different path to success without some overt yet subtle sign of divine intervention. This means if we are not paying attention, we could miss the sign. Do you feel me?

I am not trying to preach here, I am just stating the facts. No human is greater all by themselves than the higher being that put all human beings on this earth. For those who are still searching for the meaning of life, if you can grasp that God has a purpose for each and every one of us, your search has ending.

As for me, I just wanted to share my story with you. Yes, I finally got baptize, yet my service to God doesn’t stop there. I have never been one who pushes their beliefs on an acquaintance, so in that regard, I am still Hamp. Here is hoping that you and yours have a great New Year’s celebration followed by a prosperous and safe 2014. It promises to be exciting, so let’s embrace and enjoy it. That is my intention.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

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Get my latest book, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment