Tag Archives: religion

Doubting Thomas

The echo of footsteps leading to his destination fills the breezeway. The opening of the automatic doors quickly removes the moisture that was accumulating on his shaven head. As he enters the venue, a quick scan of the setting is all too familiar; conference room tables lined in three (3) rows, two (2) tables each, with four (4) chairs, each table for occupancy.  He relishes in his ability to speak before a captive audience. During his adolescent years this would have been unforeseeable, as criminal activity and school truancy was the pillar of that period.  For the individual dubbed as “Brother Truth”, his propensity to enthrall onlookers is unlike a grandiose salesperson pitching their products to an unsuspecting homemaker. His introduction, comforting; his conversation; spellbinding. Before being able to finish his presentation, the customers are reaching for their pocket or purse, producing cash, a debit or credit card to purchase what is being sold. When an individual is passionate about what they believe in, the speaker is only lending voice to the capacity of what is being presented. In their eyes, the truth needs no convincing; it is only the listener’s willingness to accept that truth, which will then reward them of those efforts.  As the new millennia Don Quixote, “Brother Truth” toils to educate the masses in his quest to broach subjects that have become both popular and yet taboo in today’s society; the disenfranchisement of the Black male, and sexuality as it relates to spirituality. In both instances, standing seemingly alone, his messages are a labor of love and salvation.

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Street Disciple

In preparation for the event, the controversial author and community activist places his manuscripts at the location for which he will be seated. A name plate placed before his chair will identify him before he is able to utter a word. He harkens back to his Miller Homes Housing Projects upbringing in Trenton, New Jersey to an era where conflictions were the norm. Being raised in a conservative evangelical household meant attending some semblance of church activities five (5) to six (6) days per week. His father being an Associate Pastor believed in discipline which led to a strict upbringing.  Attending school to receive a formal education proved challenging, as there was a level of disinterest from hearing lectures and participating in book assignments. He attributes his behavior then to that of many melanoid young men in the school system; he, and in his assessment like many Black males as a culture are kinesthetic learners. They desire hands on experience as opposed to watching demonstrations or reading books.  As a “doer”, the inability to actively participate in the educational process leads to disinterest, shorter attention spans and behavioral problems.  Compound that fact with witnessing discourse within his family unit; something which had been concealed from his vision throughout his childhood, he ultimately became a living statistic. As a result of his parents’ divorce, his suburban rearing had been reduced to a one-bedroom apartment to house himself, his mother and younger brother.  At age fifteen (15), he dropped out of school to pursue a life of street pharmaceutical sales and lusting the temples of females mind manipulation.  It was only at the behest of his crying mother did those activities cease. After receiving an ultimatum, the potential scholar attended an alternative educational program, New Jersey Youth Corps, to attain his GED (General Equivalency Diploma).  After which, he enlisted in the United States Army and was commissioned as a Medical Officer for which he served four (4) years in the armed forces earning an Honorable Discharge upon his departure.

A Call to Serve

The sands continue to seep sluggishly from the hourglass, as patrons slowly make their way into the dwelling to be seated.  As the attendees mingle amongst themselves, whispers between onlookers are reminiscent to the discrete hand to hand exchanges that were the standard during his days as a “boulevard broker and sexual intercourse negotiator”; in laymen’s terms, a drug dealer and pimp.  His call to ministry was far different than that of when he was requested to pick up fists full of U. S. currency or drop off packages of narcotics. It was a telepathic connection between he and “the source” which transpired at the age of twenty (20) during his time in the military. While stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany, he began his journey as a spiritual teacher.  Upon returning state side, in the year 2000, he graduated from Philadelphia Biblical University, now known as Cairn University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies and a Graduate’s Degree in Church Leadership.  He was a devout minister of the Pentecostal Apostolic Church and taught at the School of Theology in Plainfield, New Jersey.  As a juvenile, he recognized his felonious behaviors were a detriment to him and those he loved; though wrong, he fashioned it as a necessary evil. He knew he had to step away from that lifestyle or risk having his obituary printed in a newspaper or be incarcerated in a correctional facility. He was now experiencing a spiritual tug-of-war. At the apex of his ministerial career, he faced a number of unanswered questions which deviated from the teachings of the Pentecostal Church.  There were no overlapping police patrols, neighborhood watch programs or rival competitors to be fearful of on this occasion; it was resistance from local church leaders that led to his resignation and steered him to the founding of a house church ministry in Ewing, New Jersey.

Ministry in Manuscript

The seal tears from the opening of a bottle of water as his heart rate begins to elevate. Though calm yet slightly parched, a quick sip allows him to collect his thoughts. He takes his seat and recites his speech one last time within the silence of his consciousness; wanting to ensure that each sentence flows flawlessly when the words are spoken from his lips; that all the analysis and research that has brought him to this moment are concise and potent. The determination he used to hustle during his childhood, he now implores to distribute messages of unconditional love, universal salvation and warnings about the plight that African-American boys face on a daily basis. Challenging conventional thinking and the need to discuss sexuality from a spiritual perspective led to the writing of The Naked Truth: Understanding the Spiritual Origins of Sex, Marriage, and Intimate Relationships. It dares the reader to strip themselves of their societal binds, such as religion, gender specific roles, cultural assumptions, and provides an in depth look into why women are more promiscuous by nature, why males and females were cursed by God with circumcision and menstrual cycles, and why oral sex is the most sacred act of scripture.  From the Books of Genesis to Revelations, he provides a thorough synopsis as to why the Bible is the most sexually provocative book on the planet and how civilization arrived at an inequality of genders.  And like any good entrepreneur, the momentum he garnered from his first offering led to the writing of his second book, The Streets Can’t Have My Son.  Using his experiences as a barometer, the book was written to equip parents, educators, and church members with the skills required to assist African-American boys in succeeding and graduating from public schools, escaping the trappings of the juvenile justice system and going on to enjoy lives as productive members of society. With each page turn, the typeface font sentences release a passion and reveal a reality unto familiar with those who have either dealt with or experienced those ordeals. The book divulges tools which are paramount in the educational training of their sons and provides the attitudes, principles and skills that must be acquired to be prosperous for a lifetime.  Foreworded by Dr. Chance W. Lewis, Ph. D., professor of Urban Education in the College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the book has been touted as, “A must read for anyone raising an African-American son.”

Reasonable Suspicion

When attending presentations, the listener eagerly anticipates hearing words and seeing images that relate to their struggle.  They want those phrases to resonate in such fashion that it conjures memories from past experiences with the hopes of a better tomorrow.  The believability of the utterer is paramount in retaining the addressees’ attention throughout the course of the proceedings and any deviation from their beliefs will leave them disinterested.  The foundation is laid by revealing his background in a media scripted biography, but how involved in the underworld was he truly? Did he sell small quantities of narcotics or was he involved in huge shipments from state border to border? Were there periods of incarceration or misdemeanor citations given for court appearances? Did the aroma of late night transactions and criminal exploits linger in his clothing? How many times did he have sex with his “employees”, what went into the manipulation of their hearts and minds; what was said or done that was so controversial at his previous church home(s) that led to division and prompted him to amass his own congregation?  Will the “conscious community” be offended by the failure in The Naked Truth to mention the Egyptian Goddess Seshat (AKA Ashat), who before the account of Adam and Eve in scripture is storied to be the giver of the “Fruit of Divine Light and Wisdom” in order for the king to rule the throne as explained by Dr. Ashra Kwesi? Or that in metaphysical doctrine and varying forms of spirituality that the serpent is a representation of kundalini energy, the divine feminine creative power sleeping at the base of the spine awaiting the call for the joining with the masculine energy through the heart, conflicting with the perceptions indicated in the book? Does he question issues raised from Norman Stamper’s Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing, where the former Seattle Police Department Chief discusses why White cops kill Black men and racism in the ranks? These are some of the questions readers are likely to ponder during their appraisal of the book(s) or sitting uncomfortably in metal chairs listening to dialogue pertaining to his works.  Some critics will dissect each page and scrutinize the validity of what is written.  They will question his level of expertise in the realms of child psychology, understanding of the criminal justice system and interpretations of the Bible as an individual who is formulating an opinion to turn a profit and not provide substance.

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The Time Has Come

The microphone becomes live; and with each movement on or about the transducer, the motion causes the instrument to reverberate creating uneasiness amidst the attendees. The glare of the fluorescent lights causes perspiration about the bridge of his nose and forehead. A swift wipe of the brow alleviates any discomfort that may have been felt. In scripture, John 20:24-29, one of the Twelve (12) Disciples refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the other ten (10) apostles until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.  After meeting with Jesus, the savior spoke with the individual stating, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Upon confirming the individual appearing before him was indeed the revived Son of God, Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  In accepting the task of being a public figure, he fully understands that he is undertaking a thankless endeavor.  Armed with his belief in himself and the information he yields; he looks to provide young men with the weapons to defend themselves from the cruelties of this reality. He alerts spectators to three (3) objectives intent on the continued disenfranchisement of African-American males; miseducation, incarceration and annihilation. That the awareness and avoidance of subliminal imagery is key in keeping the heart and mind free from corruption; having “knowledge of self” is vital to removing the shackles that thwarts evolution and impedes progress; being sexually uninhibited is not a “Scarlet Letter”, and that confronting each of these issues aids in shifting the paradigm and brings awareness to situations that plague our existence. The reservations had by that disciple prior to seeing Jesus is the same had by each member of the audience until the information is disseminated and the words resound in such a way that captures their hearts.  The truth is uncomfortable, unsettling; but when delivered in such a way, the messenger can remove all uncertainties. “And without further ado…”, the Master of Ceremonies states. “Presenting Osceola Thomas!”  He approaches the podium to a round of applause; confident in knowing that unlike the apostle bearing his namesake, he efforts to bear his soul and leave no doubts.  “We Are the Change!” I’m gone! (b)

To purchase your copy of The Naked Truth: Understanding the Spiritual Origins of Sex, Marriage, and Intimate Relationship, The Streets Can’t Have My Son or his forthcoming book The 11th Commandment – My Saints Better Have My Money, scheduled for release later this year, please visit http://www.imthatbrother.com. The books are also available for purchase on amazon.com, amazonkindle, at Barnes & Noble and BAM! (Books-A-Million). Follow Osceola Thomas’ social media outlets: Facebook: Osceola Thomas; Twitter: @ImThatBrother; Instagram: OsceolaThomas.

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It’s the God in WE!

Trying to establish a brand is hard work to say the least. It requires dedication, accessibility and social interaction. So while being supportive of a colleague’s event, Zakeya Fowler’s Girl Talk engagement, I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing an old childhood friend speak as a contributor. The DJ cued the music and as Mrs. Fowler made the introduction… “Inger Hanna….!” Dressed in all black, looking stunning and jewelry shimmering in the light, the lyrics began to play for the famous “Mary Mary” hit single, “It’s the God in me.” The crowd erupted as the vocals began blaring out of the venue’s sound system. As she made her way to the designated seating area, there was a noticeable bounce in her step; an air of confidence in her demeanor. She took her position on stage next to her fellow speakers and she continued to recite the lyrics verbatim, “You see her style you think she nice, you look her whip you say the whip tight, you look at her crib you thinkin’ she paid, you look at her life, now you think she’s got it made…” The song played for a few more bars and eventually faded out, but the message was clearly delivered. Mrs. Hanna, as well as the other participants, went on to provide excellent commentary as they sought to empower women and bridge the divide that separates them; but what resonated with me was the meaning behind the melody which was Mrs. Hanna’s introduction. “It’s the God in me.” It made me examine the meaning of that statement and those similar to it and how reinforcing a belief in one’s self is beneficial to an individual’s growth.

Enlightenment Entertainment by Brandt Edwards
When you find your inner self, are you destroying your strength?

“Sometimes it’s not the pain that makes you suffer; it’s your own negative thoughts that make things seem worse.” While residing here in the states we live in a Christian society, many people would classify the results we encounter on a daily basis, good or bad, as karma; which is the law of moral causation. According to Buddhism, this inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, “nature and nurture”, but also to Karma. In laymen’s terms, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings which manifests our realities. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. The Heaven and Hell we create aren’t destinations our souls travel to in the afterlife; but are projections of the actualities we create with the power of our thoughts. We are the architects of our own fate. Confounded by the disparity that existed among humanity, a young truth-seeker approached the Buddha and questioned him regarding this convoluted problem of inequality: “What is the cause, what is the reason, O Lord,” questioned he, “that we find amongst mankind the short-lived and long-lived, the healthy and the diseased, the ugly and beautiful, those lacking influence and the powerful, the poor and the rich, the low-born and the high-born, and the ignorant and the wise?” The Buddha’s reply was: “All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.” The Buddha then explained the cause of such differences in accordance with the law of cause and effect. Dr. Masaru Emoto wrote a book titled “The Hidden Messages in Water” which described how frequency (words/thought projection) can change water’s composition. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

George Carlin eloquently framed his opinion of the celestial in this fashion. “Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet and they have to touch it to be sure.” We’re under the premise that a divine being passes judgment and shapes the events that take place in our lives. It is the power of your beliefs that fuels your reality. Emotion and thinking are interdependent; both coexisting within the same realm of possibilities. When one exists without the other, it means that the other is residing in the individual’s subconscious; negative emotions results in anger, avoidance, depression and anxiety; thus attracting bad situations; while good thoughts promote positive situations. The stronger the thoughts, the stronger the emotions; when you change the vantage points for which you exist, you change everything. This mental manipulation changes the paradigm and reshapes our existence. “The more joyful, happy and light-hearted you are, the higher will be your corresponding overall rate of vibration. The higher your inherent rate of vibration, the more powerful your attractive powers will be. Joy is a very high emotion and therefore creates a high state of vibration and energy along with unconditional love. The more joyful you are, the higher will be your rate of vibration and the more aligned you will be to the SOURCE. This in turn will enable you to manifest your desires much more freely.” (Shelb Foster)

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” All our lives we’ve been encouraged by our parents, coaches, mentors and those willing to provide encouragement to “believe in yourself.” “The kingdom of heaven is within you; and whosever shall know himself shall find it.” (Egyptian proverb) We’ve been programmed to believe that if we don’t have faith in some sorts of deities then who can you rely on? As mentioned before, believe in yourself. The contradiction comes from people posting photo captions and quotes daily about being strong, independent and self-sufficient, yet in the privacy of their homes they feel helpless and in need of confidence. In this world nothing happens to a person that he/she does not for some reason or other deserve. When you’re witnessing the signs of embodying your “higher self”, you feel physically and mentally lighter; you attract exactly who you need to meet; you can appreciate and embrace all emotions; you no longer seek love or attention outside yourself; you feel the interconnections of all life; you know how to heal yourself energetically; you only listen to your own heart; and you speak your truth even if it isn’t popular. Aren’t those the same characteristics befitting of the messiah in scripture? When faced with conflict, people are quick to proclaim that they’re a “child of God.” Well if that were truly the case, upon reaching an age maturity and an evolution in consciousness, would that in-turn make you a God; creator and ruler of your universe, source of all moral authority and having power over your fortune? Something to think about. “‪‎We Are The Change!” I’m gone! (b)

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Won’t He Do It!

Each morning I appreciate the fact that I’m granted another opportunity to awaken from a night’s slumber, listen to the roaring laughter and engaging conversation that transpires between the residents in my humble abode and embark on life’s journey made anew, as I bask in the illumination of the sun’s rays.   The dawning of a new day leads to one’s ability to overcome past transgressions and account for past mistakes.  Would’ve, could’ve, should’ves (states of procrastination) can be transformed into grandiose accomplishments with just a bit of effort; and words often left unspoken can be uttered to please the ear.  And though my life may not be what I envisioned, I have shelter, clothing, and the ability to consume food to nourish my body.   So you have to forgive me if I have a condescending attitude about most things I encounter in life, with religion being something I personally don’t subscribe to.

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Now this piece isn’t being written to bash or question anyone’s values; nor meant to sway public opinion.  It is my hope to provide levity; holding up a mirror and allowing the reader to gaze upon their reflection.  Point out disparaging behavior that we all at times suffer from; an inflated ego; narcissistic tendencies, being braggadocio in the name of their chosen deity.  As always, before I pose my argument, I like to define the key terms or phrases that will be used throughout the piece.  Religion is defined as the belief in a god or in a group of gods; an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or group of gods.  Now spirituality has no true definition; it means something different to everyone.  For some, it’s about participating in organized religion (going to church, synagogue, a mosque, etc.)  For others, it’s more personal (private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection or long, tranquil walks).  In all, these differences classify our society as a whole; the believers, non-believers and those in-between.

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“No hater can stop God’s favor.  God will give them front seats to watch your life prosper.”  When I hear someone say, “God is good all the time” I think to myself, what about the children that are subjected to child molestation by their parents, other family members or an adult role model?  What about the millions of citizens that litter the streets of our communities homeless while banks foreclose on homes leaving uncounted thousands of dwellings vacant?  The praying mother or grandmother, who pays their tithes on a weekly basis, attends Bible Study and is a participant of all the available “Boards” only to learn that after years of asking for guidance and protection that their child is doomed to a life in prison; engulfed by the Criminal Justice System or suffers from some incurable disease. Or during the time of slavery, where people of color were indoctrinated to the ways of European culture and servitude of their deities; dependent upon the belief that one individual had suffered the same atrocities they were then experiencing.  The wounds from the lash have yet to heal, the family structure remained severed and the psychological damage remains evident to this day.  The same messiah (Jesus) that John Hawkins used as the name of his ship (The Good Ship Jesus – Jesus of Lubeck)on his voyage during the Slave Trade (1564). Do you honestly believe that a higher entity had a stake in last Sunday’s football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals?  That the players on each of the rosters wanted to win any more or less than the other? When an athlete is interviewed after a victory, they immediately “Thank God” for allowing them (and their team) to be triumphant in “battle”.  When have you ever heard the losing participant thank their deity for experiencing a defeat? Wouldn’t it be amazing in contrast to hear a player state, “I would like to thank ____ for allowing me to compete.  I know this loss can be used as a learning experience and can catapult both myself and our team to greater heights.”  That would definitely be refreshing and provide a dynamic for showing appreciation despite experiencing adversity or absorbing the emotions of failure.  What about the hardship that Geno Smith, quarterback of the New York Jets, is now experiencing after being benched for his poor play?  You don’t believe he has a strong religious foundation or is this a case of “favor ain’t fair”; testing his faith?  The same can be said at award ceremonies, where the victor approaches the podium and thanks their “spiritual guide.”  But what about their opponents; didn’t they work just as hard in an attempt to be rewarded and recognized for their efforts? Is it then fair to say that someone was granted favor, when if all things were equal, one person is being elevated above the other for some unbeknownst reason. This is typically the outcome that is frequently heard when dealing with the divine and infinite?  Pray… Did it work?  Yes!  Praise the Lord! *TO THE CONTRARY* Pray… Did it work?  No!  God works in mysterious ways!  This is what perplexes me about the attitude displayed daily on social media.  Receive an upgrade on tickets to a sporting event, concert or travel accommodations, “Won’t he do it!”  Credit score good enough to purchase a new car, “Won’t he do it!”  Child passes standardized testing to move on to the next grade, “Won’t he do it!”  Do what?  I’m confused.

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Don’t get me wrong, despite the tenor of this correspondence, I believe in the “Most High”.  I just have my reservations about how “favor” is distributed.  If you peer into the evening sky, and all the stars you envision are suns for different galaxies that extend throughout the cosmos, then how can one entity be solely responsible for that; and more or less be concerned about MY well-being? People dismiss extraterrestrial activity and the existence of life on other planets, yet believe all the stories written in the Bible which have no historical significance; research the Emerald Tablets of Thoth. Is it fair for a person to work, suffer, endure, live in squalor, while another exploits and reaps the benefits off the backs of others?  And before you respond with the uniform statement of “Life’s a blessing” or “He/She lived a full, wonderful life”, who amongst us tells the truth about how we feel to our peers.  We live in an era where if you’re open and honest, you’re labeled a “hater”.  There’s no longer freedom of opinion or expression; you’re either supportive or an outcast; again, there’s no in-between. And with a diatribe like this, I know I’m an outlier for articulating this opinion.  This is an explanation written on Facebook regarding the quote “Favor Ain’t Fair”: You’ve heard the quote “Favor Ain’t Fair”… Normally when used, it’s a rebuttal to those we categorize as “Haters”… You know the ones who can’t comprehend the blessings you’ve received, so they slander your name, question your credentials and attempt to assassinate your character… Today we’re giving the “Haters” also known as “Fans, who haven’t realized their true identity” a break, they’ve been beat down enough.  We want to talk to the “Favored” and bring to light the other side of “Favor Ain’t Fair”…  “Favor”, an unmerited gift from God can sometimes feel as though it comes with a cost… Those who are living a “favored” life can relate to what we’re about to say.  It doesn’t seem “fair” you’re attacked because you landed the job others were more qualified for… It doesn’t seem “fair” lies are told to discredit and tarnish your image and name… It doesn’t seem “fair” your feelings are hurt because doors were opened for you that were slammed for others… It doesn’t seem “fair” you have to questions your family and friends motives, “Are they here because they love me? Or because they love what I have?” And so on. Like all things in life it’s a matter of perspective. Adversity has a way of changing the dynamic and make the strongest individual question their faith.

My thing is, stop attributing success or failure to an entity which is unknown to us all and only exists on the basis of faith (belief or trust; belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof).  The phrase, “Look at GOD” isn’t applicable to everyone.  Many people feel as though they’ve been shunned by the savior they’ve been taught to worship despite their best efforts to be granted blessings.  They don’t understand when you give from the heart, and it’s sincere, there are no rewards being sought; no light singling out the individual to honor them for their deeds.  It’s a feeling that goes unheralded and unappreciated.  Besides, who’s to say that the deity you worship is a “he” anyway?  If life is alleged to have begun in Africa, the first remains of human life are those of a woman, and the woman bears life…, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a woman (wombman) is therefore GOD?  Perhaps that’s a discussion for another day.  Check out this link pertaining to that subject: http://themadmanchronicles.com/2014/02/08/black-man-proves-adam-and-eve-biblical-story-is-a-lie-his-dna-dates-back-338-thousand-years/  “We Are The Change!”  I’m gone! (b)

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Invisible 0

There’s this thought that a large portion of society is oblivious to what’s taking place in the world; essentially going about their lives unconcerned with events taking place around them.  According to those who follow the teachings of the Five Percent Nation, 85% of the people are blind to the knowledge of themselves and God.  10% of the people know the truth, but teach a lie for their personal gain.  This would include religious leaders and the governments of the earth that deceive and mislead the majority of the world through the use of mass media outlets and other forms of communication.  The remaining 5% are those that do not subscribe to the teachings of the 10% and know the truth.  Alas, many won’t admit they fall into the 85 percentile because they want to be perceived as knowledgeable of all things and use their discretion when discussing an array of subject matters.  However, when pressed on their belief systems, you’ll soon discover that those who wish to separate themselves from the larger majority cannot do so because they’re entrenched in positions where their convictions won’t allow them to see humanity in any other fashion than what’s been embedded in them.  Removing the veil that blinds them from the truth is a difficult task because those ideals have been passed down for generations.  Anything new shocks the conscious; for the fear of change means rebuilding principles that were proven to be false. So to them life is about awaking each morning, preparing for work or school, taking care of loved ones, earning some semblance of an income and enjoying life’s pleasures before turning in for a night’s sleep; a recurring cycle that only changes with the proclamation of life (birth of a loved one) or death (death of a loved one).  I’ve titled this series of blogs “Invisible” for several reasons.  The word invisible is defined as impossible to see; hidden; not easily noticed or unrecorded statistically.  For those of you that study religion, you are taught to have faith; trust in the deity you worship and be assured that by following the ordinances issued in scripture, you’ll be absolved from sin and granted favor.  This belief is a contributing force that governs the human psyche and provides a sense of purpose.  God is in and all around you; controller of all things and the master of all mysteries.  Then there are the ones amongst us who remain shrouded in secrecy. When one speaks of a “secret society”, dare I say the Illuminati; a calculating elite that has intentions of controlling the planet, the same premise can be applied.  They too are invisible; and when spoken of, the hypothesis is dismissed like a plot to a James Bond movie.  No matter the evidence, the masses can’t fathom a group of individuals who can accumulate enough power to hold the populous at bay like marionettes on the puppeteer’s strings.  Amidst that speculation, it’s my job to tear down that tapestry and reveal to you what’s truly happening in the world around you. Your skepticism is meaningless when supported by the truth.  “The People must believe that they are not manipulated in order for them to be manipulated effectively.”  Keep this in mind as I provide information for this series,   “The attorneys for Fox, owned by media baron Rupert Murdock, successfully argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves.” “On February 14, 2003, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.”

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Let us begin and set the foundation for what’s to come.  There are three (3) places in the world that doesn’t have an allegiance to any nation and does not pay taxes.  These three (3) city-states include Washington D.C., Inner City of London and Vatican City. A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity, not administered as a part of another local government, whose territory consists of a city and possibly its surrounding territory. A city-state can also be defined as a central city and its surrounding villages, which together follow the same law, have one form of government, and share languages, religious beliefs, and ways of life. Historically these included famed cities like Rome, Athens and Carthage, but today only a handful of sovereign city-states exist, with some disagreement as to which states should and should not be considered city-states.  Vatican City was founded in 1929 and is not a considered apart of Rome or the country of Italy.  The city has its own newspaper, flag, prison and military (the Swiss Guard).  The second (2nd) is London’s Inner City.  It became a sovereign state in 1694 under King William III of Orange.  By 1812, Nathan Rothschild crashed the English stock market and was able to wrestle away control of the Bank of England.  The city-state of London is the world’s financial center and is the wealthiest square mile on the planet.  It houses most of the banks of the world, has its own courts, laws, flag and police force.  It isn’t apart of greater London, England or the British Commonwealth and again pays no taxes.  It’s headquarters to worldwide British Freemasonry and for the Crown (which is the corporate city-state of London). The Crown is headed by a ring of thirteen (13) ruling families which include the Rothschild’s, Warburg’s, Oppenheimer’s and Schiff’s.   The last is the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.), located on ten (10) square miles of land.  It also has its own flag and constitution.  Each of these city-states has an obelisk at its center; the Washington Monument in D.C.; Cleopatra’s Needle in London; and the Vatican Obelisk in St. Peter’s Square.  Each of the “Empire of Cities” represents a specific purpose; Washington D.C. (military); London (finances) and Vatican City (religion).  This triumvirate is responsible for everything that takes place around the world and controls our lives; pay attention to the news as one or all are frequently featured and discussed.  This is only the beginning as to what’s to come from this series of writings and we unveil truth.  It is my hope that you find them informative and it awakens your curiosity as to what’s happening on the globe.  This is but the appetizer; the meal is forthcoming. “We Are The Change!”  I’m gone! (b)

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The Whole Truth; So Help Me God II – The Emancipation of Free Speech

I guess at some point I’ll write the blog called “Riddle Me This!”  Until then, there are more “pressing” matters that need to be addressed.  The look you see as the thumbnail photo is usually reserved for Stephen A Smith’s cohost Skip Bayless.  The expression appears when Bayless mentions that LeBron James doesn’t possess the “clutch gene”, Tim Tebow deserves another shot in the NFL or that “Tiago Splitter” is the glue that holds the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs together.  Now the picture is the appearance of a man who is defeated.  A once mighty warrior in the realm of sports media, forced to bow before something much greater than him. The court of public opinion strikes again.  At the desk of one of ESPN’s signature shows, First Take, he’s confrontational, unapologetic, boisterous and forthcoming.  Before lambasting a guest on the set, ridiculing a player for their performance or speaking as an analyst at the location of a big event, his words are often times measured and calculated.  But then the Ray Rice domestic violence incident transpired; and subsequently a suspension was administered.  And being paid to opine on such issues, he was asked to discuss his thoughts concerning this topic.  And though he had expressed similar feelings in the past, this time the backlash was too severe to avoid the blisters associated with the inferno his statements caused. Smith committed the ultimate of sins; the statement trifecta: domestic violence; gender; race.  Why race?  That’ll be explained throughout the proceedings.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Ray Rice story click this link: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10484945/ray-rice-baltimore-ravens-knocked-fiancee-unconscious-altercation

Exhibit A:

Now this post isn’t to play the role of role Stephen A’s public defender, because he isn’t entirely on trial. His statements and the rights to free speech are.  So before we get started, let’s define some of the language and evidence that will be brought to the court’s attention. 1) The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights; 2) provocation – defined as the action or speech that makes someone annoyed or angry, especially deliberately; 3) we can all the agree that a large populous of society, and at times our own culture dislikes people of color, 4) “The Black woman is the most unprotected, unloved woman on earth… She is the only flower on earth that grows unattended and not watered.”  Before we begin, let’s give some background about the physical defendant. He was hired by ESPN as a NBA analyst to replace David Aldridge in 2004.  (I like David Aldridge; does a great job on TNT/NBA TV) In August 2005, he started hosting a daily hour-long show on ESPN called “Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith.” After the show was cancelled due to comments Smith made about the MVP voting that were deemed racist in January 2007, he primarily concentrated on basketball, serving again as an analyst. So it was well known that the defendant was a controversial figure, willing to provide his outlook on any discussion. With that being established and understood, let’s proceed.  Below you will find Mr. Smith’s comments in response to the NFL announcing the suspension of Rice for a period of two (2) games.

Exhibit B:

As you can see in Exhibit B, his sentiments were similar to those pertaining to the issue involving former NFL player Chad Johnson and his then wife Evelyn Lozada (Exhibit A). Throughout, the defendant voiced his disdain for men who assault women; even coming to the conclusion that if any of his family members were involved, he would have to practice restraint to avoid being disciplined by his employer.  (Ironic) However, when it came to his statements about provocation by a woman, and methods to prevent such incidents from occurring, the slope became icy and slippery.  That’s when the mob formed armed with pitch forks and torches began surrounding the headquarters’ of ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, and the cyber sphere became ablaze.

Exhibit C:

These comments essentially started the ball rolling and lead to Smith issuing an apology the following day via Twitter.  As the hours passed from the time of the incident to his next appearance on the show, people had time to settle in, let the comments linger and marinate, and what was once an afterthought; perhaps a perceived slip of the tongue, a misunderstood series of statements, had now grown legs and overshadowed the Rice story.  His proclamation drew the ire of women all over including this Facebook poster that stated the following, “To All of these people (primarily men) who are coming to the defense of Stephen A, ask yourself this question: ‘if it were your daughter being dragged out of an elevator by a man (a football player, no less), would you still be so inclined to play Captain Save an Idiot???’” It also led to an outcry of pro-Black advocates and radical empowerment groups coming out in support of Black women.  “Stephen A. Smith when being told that he offended Black people (examples – appearance; character; involvement in offenses that result in jail time): ‘I don’t give a damn what anybody thinks!’  Stephen, when being told that he offended White people: ‘I am truly, truly sorry.’  That’s the difference between being your own boss and being a corporate puppet.  Others are always telling you what you can and cannot say.” – Dr. Boyce Watkins

Exhibit D:

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As you can see, Smith was getting it on all fronts.  Thus, far the only people “I’ve” seen come to his defense are Whoopi Goldberg, with her statements as a host on the daily talk show, The View, and the average Black male. All of which have drawn the same conclusion; the violence isn’t being condoned, however please acknowledge that the female plays a role in determining if the situation escalates further.

Exhibit E:

Exhibit F:

As you can see by the example in Exhibit E, as defined, provocation was illustrated by the character Juanita in the movie Dead Presidents.  This led to a reaction from Anthony which “may” have been prevented if she had told him the truth upon his return from Vietnam.  This is but an example; an isolated incident.  No two (2) situations are the same.  Without wasting the court’s time, can it be agreed upon that violence is an unnecessary chain of events that occur as a result of one or both individuals being unable to control their emotions. No one is deserving of abuse; especially a women, who society places on a pedestal as fragile as the most elegant china.  These are the questions being asked by men since this “news” of Smith’s one week suspension from the network began garnering attention: Are there no situations that can be considered inappropriate provocation (that is more than just words) in which a man would be justified in hitting a woman (without being excessive)?  Does size, strength or aggressiveness matter? How many blows should he take before resulting to a physical defense?  Because even under all those circumstances, a man is not justified in retaliating for his own safety. Other comments include (paraphrasing): “Now I know just like each of you know, whether through an experience of your own or someone you know, that sometimes in the heat of the moment and during heated exchanges, there are women who continue to exasperate the situation by getting in his face, pushing him, slapping him, spitting in his face, blocking and preventing him from walking away, and even punching him sometimes; whether it’s in the face, chest, arm, back, etc. Sometimes even charging extreme rants like insinuating that that man’s kid is not his. That’s provoking.” The poster continued, “TV lets y’all think it’s ok to slap him if he hurts you (emotionally and mentally). And for those that don’t agree with that I implore you to explain how you expect someone to maintain their cool in those situations….when you didn’t? I think it’s ridiculous that he had to apologize AND was suspended, because he simply utilized his so called ‘1st Amendment right’, and stated something that’s factual and can actually be taken as advice to possibly prevent any heated disagreement or verbal argument, from turning into that physical and harsh reaction known as domestic violence.” And still one more male poster states, “C’mon we all know that woman who does this. That woman who jumps in her man’s face, cusses him, taps him on the chin, calls him a ‘fuck nigga’ and when he tries to leave the situation actually blocks the door to prevent him from leaving the volatile situation possibly slapping him or checking that chin while advising that “he ain’t gone do shit”. Now dare I ask is he too being provoked? Does that brother have grounds to restrain her? Does he have the right to defend himself? I have always been taught to keep your hands to yourself. It’s ok to have a heated discussion but you take it to a different level when step in a person’s personal space and when you do that you have to take responsibility for the part you play in whatever happens next. Earlier I stated that it is two sides to every story but honestly is actually three… y’all know the rest.”  We live in a different time.  This isn’t the 1800s when chivalry was appreciated by women and men “supposedly” restrained themselves from striking them.  I guess that’s why there are movies like “Think Like A Man” where one can escape from the real world, and fantasies can be played out over the course of 120 minutes.

The issue to me concerning this case has always been the ability for Smith to voice his opinion.  He’s paid a high salary to not only provide analysis, but to be controversial as well.  Former ESPN First Take contributor Rob Parker was fired by his then employer for making contentious comments about Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III.  Parker’s comments were no different than those being held in barbershops, at barbeques, on porches and at water coolers everywhere amongst people of color upon finding out about RG3’s lifestyle.  For that, Parker was dismissed.  See Exhibit G.

Exhibit G:

I ask that my client (the First Amendment) be released on the grounds that world has been turned upside down by political correctness.  Tony Dungy, (former Super Bowl winning head coach) who is well-known for being a highly religious man and is against gay marriage based on those beliefs, was forced to issue an apology for speaking candidly about being unwilling to draft Michael Sam (the first openly gay player in the NFL – drafted by the St. Louis Rams) due to the attention and possible disturbance it would bring to the ball club.  What did they expect him to say? If you were familiar with his stance on issues such as those, then his response shouldn’t have been surprising.  Listen to Kanye West’s statement (Exhibit H). Many people would be offended by his words and feel he doesn’t have the right to make that declaration; “I’m a GOD.”  And as he eloquently articulated, would you rather that he calls himself a “Nigga or Gangsta, as a opposed to a God?” As in some instances, even amongst ourselves, we don’t view ourselves any higher than those negative connotations.  What about my photo depicting Jesus Christ being drunk and placed on the cross (Exhibit I). To me it’s humorous/I’m talking laugh out loud funny; reflecting a lighter side of life and taking a poke at religion as a whole.  However, practicing Christians may find the photo offensive and ask that it be removed.  But under the First Amendment I have a right to freedom of expression. And because you find something distasteful doesn’t mean I have to placate to your wishes.  I have a right to my opinion; as do you.  And in the end, we can agree to disagree.  But I have a voice.  I’m disappointed in Stephen A. for one reason.  He champions himself as a man of principle.  Willing to press the issue when necessary and challenge the establishment when need be.  I’m unaware of his financial situation, and of course it’s easy for me to say sitting on the comforts of my couch (see free speech again) but if I were him, I would quit.  He’s talented enough to find another job as he has worked for Fox Sports in the past.  But if you’re gonna pay me to provide an honest assessment of any situation and would like me cater to specific demographic (let’s be real here), then you can’t cut my legs from up under me for voicing what’s “real” to me.  That humble pie is difficult to swallow, especially when you’re forced to do so and go against everything you stand for.  So as the crowd gathers in the arena against both free speech and Stephen A, the prosecution is like a wrestler bouncing from ring rope to ring rope, cupping their ear trying to get the crowd hyped before a startling comeback from defeat, You Honor, I present to you Exhibit J, Charles Barkley; who refused to apologize to the fans of the San Antonio Spurs, specifically the women, for calling them fat.

Exhibit H:

Exhibit I:

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Exhibit J:

If you strip a person of their ability to express their feelings, then why are we having this or any other conversation? What’s the purpose of social media? We can agree to disagree on the violence aspects or any other problems up for debate, but when you can no longer have dialogue about an issue without someone being offended, that’s crazy!!! The day you can’t arm yourself with what you believe is the truth and you’re condemned to purgatory for voicing your opinion is the day you’ll understand where people like me and others are coming from.  Free the First Amendment!!!!! Stephen A. Smith, he’s alright!  BOL! “We Are The Change!”  I’m gone! (b)

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Blood Stains

There’s a quote that circles the internet regularly that states, “Be the kind of man (woman) who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says, ‘Oh no! He’s (she’s) up!’”  A very compelling caption which announces to the world that the goodness of the heart, the kindness of the spirit will banish any evil entities that could be encountered throughout the course of a twenty-four (24) hour timeframe; a declaration that advises that the essence that harbors within the soul will not be corrupted by uncontrollable forces.  There’s no denying that the forces of good and evil are real.  As children, similar to race relations, we won’t recognize it until it’s brought to our attention.  And from that realization, we decide if we will continue to follow the foundation laid by our parents and elders, or choose to venture in a different direction.  In the African-American community, religion is paramount; it’s a belief which is worshipped each and every Sunday.  Dependent upon the location, people of color will dress up in their finest garb, travel to their church home, tithe, read from scripture, listen to the choir bellow in unison and watch attentively as the pastor delivers his sermon.  All unaware of how religion has shaped the fabric of the world at large.

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Religion controls the hearts and minds of so many people; and the blood shed worshipping a specific deity is equally heart-wrenching.  In the modern era, we focus solely on the wars in the Middle-East (Holy War) between the Arab nations and the country of Israel.  June 5th marked the 47th anniversary of Israel’s victory of the Six-Day War against Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria. But the war over the region has lasted for the better part of 3,000 years.  And during that period, and throughout the world, those who control the “Holy Land” are considered the “chosen people”.  Contributing to a society where instead of spreading “love” as all the great prophets advocated, we fight to outdo one another.   My faith is superior to yours.  Never taking into the consideration or researching what the other religions have to offer.  And with that, just like with politics, we draw our lines in the sand and stand firmly entrenched in our positions.  At no time wondering how we arrived at this juncture, just accepting the information given to us as is.

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Throughout history, wars have been waged and blood spilled.  Countless in number; some taught in World History, others concealed from public knowledge.  The Crusades 1095 – 1291; the French Wars of Religion 1562 – 1598; the Thirty Years War from 1618 – 1648; the Nigerian Civil War 1967 – 1970; the Lebanese Civil War 1975 – 1990; the Second Sudanese Civil War 1983 – 2005. Wars had between Protestants and Catholics; Islam and Christianity.  As mentioned in the movie the Book of Eli, a story which revolves around the main character Eli (a nomad) in a post-apocalyptic world, who is told by a voice to deliver his copy of a mysterious book (the Bible) to a safe location on the West Coast of the United States, (to paraphrase) he who controls the book, controls the minds of the people.  If you remember excerpts of the movie, survivors emerged from hiding after the “supposed” nuclear war blaming religion and the Bible for the devastation which took place, and subsequently all Bibles were collected and burned.

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Yet the Bible is the most centralized weapon used to engage in the psychological warfare against the masses.  There’s differing opinions as to what took place at the Council of Nicaea.  On June 19, 325, Constantine the Great held an audience with 318 bishops of the Roman Empire to determine the direction the fledgling faith of Christianity.  In what became known as “The Nicene Creed”, a compromise was proposed that Jesus and God were of the same “substance”.  In addition, the bishops decided upon a date for the holiest of Christian celebrations, Easter; the council settled on a moveable day that would never overlap with Passover again – which is the first Sunday after the first full moon or after the vernal equinox.  Then, in 1492, Pope Alexander VI commissioned Leonardo Di Vinci to recast Jesus in the image of his son Cesare Borgia with the intent of passing off historical Jesus as European in appearance. During that time, Christians were fighting the Holy Crusades against the people who worshipped Islam.  This was done, as Jesus was represented in all paintings, carvings and sculptures as the dark skinned man of Middle Eastern origin.  Thus, to blind and confuse the masses, you change the history and imagery thereby making it yours.  In 1611, under the rule of King James, a modern translation of the Bible was produced.  It was the first edition of the King James Version of the Bible.  The purpose of this new translation was to provide a version of the Bible written in the common language of the time.  It was to serve as a Bible that everyone could understand. And despite all of his transgressions (his homosexual tendencies, Catholic beliefs, being an alleged murderer, etc.) his version of the Bible is considered by many to be the greatest piece of literature and religious work in the world.  The Bible was used to enslave the tribes in Africa, the natives in the Caribbean, Central and North America.  And despite the manipulation, misinformation and falsehoods of the pulpit, we contribute to the growth and spread of propaganda that doesn’t truly assist the citizens of the world at large.  In the name of religion, goliath structures are built as a center of worship, while no further than a block away, people go homeless and starving for nourishment.  The coffers of television evangelists fill with the proceeds of hard working followers, hoping to be blessed and granted favor, only to be disappointed by promises unfulfilled.  We are all mere marionettes on the strings led by the puppeteer, as we’re lead in any direction that is suitable to assist the powers that be in their cause.  “Organized religion is like organized crime; it preys on peoples’ weakness, generates huge profits for its operators, and is almost impossible to eradicate.” (Anonymous)  And with most crime syndicates, to enforce their position, drastic measures are often taken to ensure that control is maintained.  Therefore, if lives have to be sacrificed, so be it.  “The kingdom of God is within you…” (Luke 17:21) Your understanding of that quote simply means, once you have an understanding of your consciousness and the power you possess as a person once enlightened, you’ll raise your frequency and become the light bearing vessel that you were meant to be.   When you think of it, there have been more wars waged in the name of God than any ever conceived by the Devil.  “We Are The Change!” I’m gone! (b)

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Brain Washed – Reloaded; Still An Illusion

As I bask in the warmth of the afternoon sun; with blue skies filled with soft white decor suspended above the horizon stretched as far as the eye can see, this black man stands firmly entrenched in utter mental disarray. Shedding the skin of a past littered with lies, misinformation and propaganda, to the hope of returning to an indigenous state of simplicity and spirituality. The road less traveled they say is the most difficult. Radical thinking leaves you as an outcast. Being a part of the crowd is the norm; removing oneself from that crowd leads to ridicule and rejection. It’s safer that way; all the opinions match; a united front for those who dare question the status quo.

However, what if I told you that it wasn’t meant to be that way? That within yourself you possessed the ability to change your reality. Your mere thoughts and gestures held more power than the actions of others who took opposition. Your voice could make plants grow or whither. Your thoughts could heal your body in the physical realm and enhance your soul in the spiritual one. The foods you ate were genetically modified to change your DNA structure; chemtrails lined the skies to your detriment. Religion was a means of control and television a form of slavery. Corporations based their profits on your consumption, paid politicians to push their agenda and didn’t care about your well-being. A society where the NRA pushed for gun control during the era of the Black Panthers but now deems it unconstitutional in 2014. Where Black Leaders are silenced, jailed or killed for attempting to uplift their people. Where after over 400 years, the Willie Lynch syndrome continues to affect our culture and the exploitation of Black women on primetime telecasts is at a premium; that there are more prisons being built than educational facilities. The CIA introduced drugs to the neighborhoods of Southern California and the government bombed a community in Philadelphia. Pharmaceuticals companies have replaced street level drug dealers. Where the government has a machine to control the weather & create natural disasters (HAARP). And the endangered species are no longer housed in zoos or placed in wildlife preserves for their protection, but are hunted daily on city streets; nothing more than a newspaper or Internet article reflecting a life lost and a killer exonerated. That the version of history that we were taught in school was revised to favor the nation’s agenda while hiding its crimes. (Sigh)

If I told you all of this and more, would you believe me? Of course not! My name doesn’t carry the same cachet as an Amos Wilson; doesn’t resonate like a Cornell West, Dr. Umar Johnson or Tavis Smiley. But despite that, does it make it any less true; is the message any less real? Like having a megaphone and yelling “fire” into a crowded movie theater, some people won’t move until they feel the heat, are engulfed by the flames and suffocated by the smoke. And as humanity sits back comfortably, unsuspecting of the events taking place behind the scenes, the puppeteer strings the masses along like marionettes as we abide by their commands. The “Matrix” live & in effect. However, there will be no Neo or Morpheus to free the minds of the oppressed and enlighten souls.

“People don’t want to know the truth because it may force them to make changes that they’re uncomfortable with; changes that they aren’t willing to make. A comfort level has been established where a change in mindset won’t allow them to accept anything to alter their reality or ability to function. There’s no other truth than the one they’ve embraced. The truth destroys their desired reality, points out their shortcomings and look at themselves in a way they don’t want to acknowledge.” (#forbiddenknowledge)

“I sit alone in my four (4) cornered room staring at candles.” Not contemplating suicide, but trying to decide if passing along information to enrich the lives of so many is worth the banishment that comes with it. And that’s always the fight taking place within the soul of person tainted by the world around them…

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“Imagine being born into a dream: a mass illusion transformed over thousands of years by billions of people into what today you call reality.  The billions of people subdivided into territories they called countries, into belief systems they called religions and into groups they called races.

Countries subdivided into states, provinces and cities, which then subdivided into neighborhoods that subdivided into neighborhoods that subdivided into buildings or single-family homes.  Religions divided into conservatives and liberals sects, which then grew into more conservative and liberal branches.  Races divided themselves by all of the above, including color, tone, ethnic makeup and financial status.

Each group then teaches and defends that its way is the way and its truth is the truth, and each group creates its own reality out of what it believes.  Each group then tries to sell you on its current forms and laws, telling you that this is what is ‘right’.  Each teaches you that the closer you are to following its form, the happier, more successful and peaceful you will be.  And somewhere deep within, you know that it is your right to be happy and to be at peace.  So you buy into it, and regardless of how little sensed the illusion makes, you keep participating, for if you stop, you will be judged as an outcast, a troublemaker, a bum.

You are taught that if you stop participating in the group’s way of life, your hopes for happiness, success and peace will also end.  The group tells you that if you go against the norm, you will not find happiness, peace or success.  So you buy into the illusion the group offers, believing that there is no other way.  You carefully weave and contour the illusion into one you can live with for now.  But my friend, regardless of how you choose to weave, contour and experienced the illusion, it is still an illusion.” – James Blanchard Cisneros, “You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey From Perception to Knowledge, Peace of Mind and Joy” “We Are The Change!”  I’m gone! (b)

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!!!

So during the Christmas holidays, BET (Black Entertainment Television) annually televises Alex Haley’s Roots. The highly recognized drama gives an account of his (our) ancestors’ existence in Africa and their subsequent life in the United States as slaves. It’s a generational account from a somewhat historical standpoint. Lost in the story is how people of color began studying Christianity. Prior to being brought to the Americas, people of color worshipped their own deities. It wasn’t until they were stripped of the language, culture & names, were they forced to adapt to their new lifestyle. One of these adaptions was being introduced to religion. Religion was a method to placate slaves and used as a means of control. In some instances, when the “labor force” was taught the ability to read, the first publication they were introduced to was the Holy Bible. Hence forth, that sometimes overlooked aspect of the television series, as Kunta Kinte AKA Toby would pray to Allah as opposed to Jesus Christ, would now prove to be the linchpin that holds a race in place.

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How did you become a republican or democrat? Was it of your own doing by learning the democratic process in Social Studies or American Government? How did you choose your religion; Baptist, Methodist, Islamic faith, whatever? Was it your idea to begin attending church or Sunday school at a young age? I pose these questions to show that many of the beliefs we have, whether political, spiritual or following a sports franchise, aren’t consciously made by us using rationale. They’re made for us generationally. Long after slaves ships arrived on the banks of the Southeast Atlantic region, from great, great, great grandmothers to the present, whatever religion they believed, you also believed. Whatever political party they were aligned with, you had to register and do the same. An example of this would be that people of color use to be republicans until the mid to late 60’s. It could have been a result of Lyndon B. Johnson signing Civil Rights litigation; or Richard Nixon’s implementation of “Southern Strategy”, from that point forward, an entire race became Democrats despite the issues or the intent of the candidates in the election process; interesting to say the least.

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The point of this is at birth we’re all born atheist. We have no concept of religion, racial disparities, political affiliations, anything until it’s taught. All of the results thereafter are learned behaviors. Some people can step outside the box and use all the information available to make conscious decisions regarding their faith, marital views and interactions. Those people go against the norms of society and use rational thinking and logic. So if they chose to practice a particular faith based on their research of the other religions, I respect that. If some choose to align themselves with one political party or be an independent based on their research, I’m cool with that. However, I can’t accept someone being a part of something or feeling a certain type of way based on the fact that, “It has to be! That’s the way I was taught or that’s all I know”. Just like with people, if you don’t know their entire story, how can you judge them based on appearance, speech or hearsay? Who religion is the best? Is it Christianity because we leave in America? Is it Islam because their residency in the Middle East? Is it Hindu or Buddhism because they reside in another part of the world? Wars have been fought over religion and political views since their advent! Make decisions based on your own thought process as opposed to those passed on by others. It’s ok not to swim with the school of fish; be your own person. “We Are The Change!”  I’m gone! (b)

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