Trumpism Being Trumped

“Rich people who don’t read are a**holes and poor people who don’t read are f**ked!”….Sherman Alexie

Donald J. Trump has been our president, without releasing his taxes, for more than 100 days, whether you like it or not. President Trump has brought a level of excitement and resentment to our national consciousness that is impossible to avoid. As president, he has dominated not only the daily news cycle of the United States but the entire world, and there exist little doubt that he is enjoying every moment. The rise of Donald J. Trump can easily be traced back to 1987 with the success of his book, The Art of the Deal, reportedly written by Trump and “ghostwriter”, Tony Schwartz. This best selling book that spent forty-eight weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, eventually gave rise to the television show, The Apprentice, in 2004.

While waiting in the doctor’s office I ran across the July 25, 2016 edition of The New Yorker. Before I knew it I was drawn toward this portrait of the backside of Donald Trump and the story written by Jane Mayer called Trump’s Boswell Speaks .Schwartz reportedly came up with the title, The Art of the Deal but was quoted as saying if he wrote the book today he would call it “The Sociopath.” Schwartz takes credit for writing The Art of the Deal and the former head for Random House, Howard Kaminsky,  the publisher of the book, confirms Schwartz’s claim stating that “Trump never wrote a postcard for us”. Once Schwartz was informed that Trump was running for president, he revealed how the real and true Donald J. Trump was a stark difference from the Trump depicted in The Art of the Deal. Schwartz appeared on all of the major television and cable outlets long before Trump’s ascension to the White House and basically took credit for being the “Dr. Frankenstein” that created Trump.

As America waits on our 45th president to “pivot”, to start acting “more presidential” and dignified as president of the free world, it is becoming  obvious with every passing day that “Trump is Trump” and not only will he not change but it is possible he is unable to changed. Before Trump’s decision to run for president, America “knew” he had the propensity to lie and distort the truth. As he rode the “Birther Train” from Trump Tower to the White House, we are still waiting on his “investigators to return from Hawaii with the goods on former president Barack Obama. Schwartz  stated that “Lying is second nature” for Trump. America has witness this fact for ourselves over the past 20 months as many of the lies that Trump has espoused continue to go round and round as the print and mass media goes from one rabbit hold to another chasing down what apparently is a lie. It has been said that a “lie has wings but no legs” so it just flies and flies unable to land. I prefer Dr. Martin Luther Kings assessment of lying lips, “Truth crushed to the earth, shall rise again”.

President Trump has a penchant for “gold” and several golden nuggets were gleaned from The New Yorker article as observed by Schwartz, who basically had to become a “fly on the wall” in his efforts to produce The Art of the Deal: Trump’s is pathologically impulsive and self -centered; Trump views everyone as a scummy loser, liar, or you are the greatest; Trumps has no attention span; his lack of a vocabulary and not liking to read; and the list goes on and on. Many of the traits “we”((at home and abroad) have observed and can confirm the above character traits and many more. Schwartz’s statement about “lying is second nature” for Trumps goes on to say that Trump “has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at a given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true”.

D. Watkins, the author of The Beast Side, subtitle, Living and Dying While Black in America. called Trump a “hustler.” Watkins reported that his former lifestyle as a “hustler” coming up in Baltimore, Maryland gave him the insight to know a hustler when he saw one. Watkins introduced me to Sherman Alexie who is quoted (with some clean- up) at the beginning of this article. To date President Donald J. Trump has managed to keep America in the “dark” as it relates to his taxes and his domestic and foreign agenda for this country and maybe even the world. The Washington Post quote on it Website is most appropriate, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

Tears We Cannot Stop

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

“America is in trouble, and a lot of that trouble-perhaps most of it–has to do with race…” reads the first line in the chapter “Call to Worship”. This is the lead in by author, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson in his newest book, Tears We Cannot Stop. “We have, in the span of a few years, elected the nation’s first black president and placed in the Oval Office the scariest racial demagogue in a generation,” writes Dyson. The title of Dr. Dyson’s book, captured my attention and I quickly purchased a copy. As I began to read his book I could not avoid thinking of the tears I have shed that could not be stopped. Recently at a prayer breakfast, I talked about the book and its’ probing title. I informed the audience how my tears flowed after watching certain segments in the movies, Hidden Figures and Fences. I remember the tears that flows sometime when a sermon penetrates the dark recess of my soul, or the loss of a love one. Tears that cannot be stop when depression sets in, or one releases tears of joy. Tears (some flow within and some flows outward) are universal, I reminded the audience. There are no such things as white tears, or black or brown tears, yet the universal unspoken language can break through to all in the human race, clearly communicating pain or pleasure without the use of the spoken word. The Word of God even records the shortist verse in the bible, “Jesus wept” as Jesus, the God Man shed tears over the death of his friend, Lazarus (John 11:35 KJV).

Dr. Dyson book has a sub-title,” A Sermon To White America“, but I contend that his sermon is not only to “White America, but to “Black America” as well. I recommend his book, Tears We Cannot Stop, along with Charles B. Dew’s book, The Making of a Racist. Dew, a white author invites the reader into his home and “his”  up bringing as a son of the Confederate South. Dew gives one an up close and personal view of “white privilege” and how his life was molded by his parents and their relationship to the very blacks that cooked their meals, clean their home and manicured their lawn. Dew also gives an in-depth study on the economic benefits of slavery and the Four Billion Industry before the Civil War. Both Dr. Dyson and Dew talks candidly about “white privilege” and the inherited benefits it accords to White America at the expense of the “other.” in general and blacks  in particular.

America and many other nations are surprised and somewhat alarmed after the first two weeks of President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office. There exist a fear that social, economic and political changes will be occurring at a fast and furious rate, changes that look akin to ” Un-American activity”. Sure his base is happy and welcome their champion and savior, the right man for the right job and at the right time. President Trump never lied to the American populace. His views and how he plans on governing have been openly broadcast all over the airwaves. He continues to “suck all the air” out of the room as little to no effort is being used to unify a divided country. But the truth of the matter is that America has always been and will most likely continue to be “a house divided” as Dr. Dyson and Mr. Charles B. Dew contend.  “With malice toward none and charity to all” sounds good, but this too is one of America’s greatest illusion.

“I alone can fix it” President Trump asserted during the long election season. He frequently brags on how “smart” he is and what “great companies” he has built. President Trump in many ways sounds like the biblical character named Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. ”The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30 KJV) .It maybe that President Trump expects “us” to sing a song in a strange land” if in fact he plans on taking us to Babylon. President Donald J. Trump takes pride in referring to himself as the “Great Negotiator.” But if he reads up on King Nebuchadnezzar, he just might learn about the “Great Mediator.”

From Shake and Bake to Super Bowl XXX

The “dark room”was blacker than twelve midnights and one was unable to see their hands in front of them or the whiteness of one eyes standing next to him. How was it that “this man,” James A. Finley, without X-ray vision could do all this work without seeing. The mystery nearly ran me crazy and being the mentor that he was, he refused to share the secrets of his passion, later turned into his profession until my curiosity began to take root. Then and only then would he share the light of his knowledge to me hence picking up his passion, and later my profession which ultimately lead to my 50 yard line seat (and credentials) at Super Bowl XXX and more.

I did not know magenta from cyanine, but I learned to follow the instructions given to me. If Finley said, three minutes and thirty seconds, 3 minutes and 30 seconds was what I did. Before long, the Associated Press stringers (part time free lance photographers) would bring me their many rolls of film from the St. Louis Cardinals as they took on the Dallas Cowboys or the numerous other teams from the NFL. If I messed up the film the photographers could not go back and asked O. J. Anderson or Tony Dorsett to do a instant re-play. The winning touch down would be loss if I failed to pull off my assignment in the dark room. The frequent agitation of the tanks containing their precious rolls of film, monitoring of the temperature, double and sometime triple checking the film so that the right roll of film went to the proper photographer. The “Fin” would later introduce me as the “shake and bake man.” During the home run chase between the Cardinals’ Mark McGuire and Chicago’s Sammy Sosa, I processed the rolls of films for national and international AP members. Prior to McGuire, there was Bruce Sutter, Jack Clark, Ozzie Smith, “Silent George”, Brett Hull, Wayne Gretszey, Tony Twist, President Ronald Reagan, President Bill Clinton, several World Series and anyone and everything in between.

by Harold Jenkins AP/Stringer

by Harold Jenkins AP/Stringer

There were the many “home plate” photographs that made the sport page of nearly every paper in the country, taken by “me.” If there were 120 baseball games a season I worked most of the 60 home games at Busch Stadium, manning a 600 meter lens perched high above home plate. I would often tell others that the “last” thing I learned in becoming a photographer was “how” to put film in a camera.

“Teach that boy how to used that camera” I over heard Fred Waters talking to Finley. Waters was the staff photographer for the St. Louis Bureau for AP. Waters mentored Finley who at the time was a AP stringer. Finley had been the Director of Student Activities at State Community College in East St. Louis. He previously attend SIU Carbondale and Edwardsville, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Math, with his minor in Engineering. He would later earn his master’s degree in education. I recall Finley informing me how Harold Washington, the first and only black mayor for Chicago, and the commencement speaker one year at a SCC graduation, once came to his defense when Washington supported his desire to pursue his passion of photography. Pursing his passion was one thing, leaving SCC was another, and Rosetta Wheaton, the President of SCC was not in the mood for losing one of her most prized administrators. SCC produced many registered nurses, teachers, lawyers and other professionals, however today the institutions’ history and legacy has been abandoned, which will become a story for a later date. (Try to Google State Community College)

James Finley just prior to State Community College days.

James Finley just prior to State Community College days.

A former administrator for SCC and a beloved friend of Finley was able to locate a “42-year-old article title “Have You Met James Finley“. The article ran in the East St, Louis Crusader on June 13, 1974 written by Marlayne Simpson. The Crusader, a black own and operated weekly newspaper was the communication center for East St. Louis just as the Chicago Defender was to same for Chicago. “He (James Finley) is to the student (at SCC) what a lighthouse is to a ship. He reaches out to help others” wrote Simpson. Simpson had observed several students who entered Finley’s office during her interview. “…Each student entered his office with their own individual problem from inquiring about school rings, to film negatives, to a previous school affair.  Each problem was treated efficiently and expeditiously.” wrote Simpson. Ten years later Finley joined the staff at the AP Bureau in St. Louis after being mentored more than five years by Waters.

Finley retired from AP in 2006. After years of arriving to more than ten Super Bowls, usually a week before the event setting up the venue for AP and their members. Every year he was off to spring training in Florida for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in 2009, one year after his mentor, Fred Waters’ similar induction honor. “He (Finley) was my mentor” said retired St. Clair County Circuit Judge, the Honorable Milton S. Wharton. You can search the archives of beingbornblack@wordpress.com for Judge Wharton’s article titled, Outside Agitators, post date June 8, 2014. I had several allias during my journey with the “Fin” from being called “H” to “Mr. J.”. But my official name, as Finley and I called each other is “Home”, short for ‘Homeboy.” The only regret I have is that I did not make the trip “down under” to Sidney, Australia with “Home” during the Olympic Games of 2000. It has been one heck of a ride and I wouldn’t take anything for the experience and the journey. Thanks “Home.”

Obama, Over and Out!!!

obama-photo“Today is Friday, November 24, 2016, and there are 36 days left in the year and President Barack Hussein Obama has been our president for a mere 2,866 days, with or without his birth certificate, whether you like it or not and there’s noting you can do about.” The above is basically a paraphrase of a local radio personality on (IHeartRadio) Hallelujah 1600 Gospel Hits; St. Louis. He gives this public announcement each day he is on the air and his statement is generally augmented with an old heart felt gospel song like No Auction Block For Me.  This is a Bob Dylan song, however the black group, Honey In The Rock, sings it after the public service announcement. I have changed the words to read something like this;” Donald J. Trump has been our President-elect for a mere 17 days, that’s with or without revealing his federal and state taxes, whether you like it or not. and there absolutely nothing you can do about it”.

The early (5am) morning edition of Cris Matthews, Hardball, caught my attention this day after Thanksgiving as the show was billed, “How Not To Run For President and Still Win.” Chris Matthews has his esteemed panelist of four well rounded and political experts like former RNC Chairmen, Michael Steele and Huffington Post writer, Howard Fineman. For more than half an hour they chronicled President-elect Trump’s primary and general election exploits from the name calling of Jeb Bush being “low energy”, to “Ly-in-Ted”, “Lid-dle Marco”, and “Crooked Hillary”.  From name calling to the public exposure of the Hollywood Access audio tape, one thing appeared to be the common denominator, “every potential mortal wound to any other candidate had no affect on President-elect Trump. Every time Trump felled in a political cesspool he came out smelling like Calvin Klein’s Eternity for Men cologne. As Hillary Clinton appears to be headed for nearly two million more popular votes that President-elect Trump, the nation like Rip Van Wrinkle, can’t help but wonder what happened as we went to sleep one night and received the biggest political upset in history the next morning. How could the polls, the media, and everyone else been so wrong?  How did the women, the Latinos, the blacks and many other groups, both young and old, vote enough in numbers to snatch out a victory for President-elect Trump from the jaws of defeat for Hillary Clinton?  Was there really a so called  “silent majority”  that came alive after FBI Director Jim Comey dropped a bomb on the Clinton Campaign less than 10 days before the election?. Beingbornblack I remember the FBI and the agency’s involvement with the Black Panther Party, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X and others, but that a post for another day.

Speaking of post, I reviewed my post of 10/18/13 titled, The White House With a Black Man, and the comments that were written regarding the post. I recommended your review of the archives of same as we transition from “No Drama Obama” to the “Trials of a Triumphant Trump”. I await each day with the latest news of our rigged system and the rigged media as President-elect Trump prepares to “give the people what they want.” Will he have the compassionate tears that rolled down President Obama face when he was “Mourner in Chief” during the Sandy Hook killing of the 20 young first graders?. Will he be able to feel the pain of the survivors at the Charleston, South Carolina, Mother Emanuel AME Murders? I could go on and on but I think you get the drift. Only time will tell as President-elect Trump said to African Americans in his effort to court their vote, “what do you have to lose?’ Adversity makes some men and breaks others.  “I alone can fix it”, President-elect Trump said. Well, you wanted it and now you got it. Let the show begin. The 44th president, Barack Hussein Obama will have the last word after the transition of power. Say it LOUD, Obama, OVER and OUT.

Make America Stank Again

IMG_5323“Funk, getting ready to roll,” or “Trump getting ready to roll”. Not too much difference. No one should be surprised, other than President -elect Trump, that he (Trump) won the election. I acknowledged during a post written back on  August 31, 2016, A Tiger Named Trump, that there existed a chance that Donald J. Trump could win the presidential election and move from Trump Plaza (Tower) to the White House. President-elect Trump has been open and honest with the American people. He never tried to hide his vision and agenda as he campaign over 16 months telling “Make America White Again” what they wanted to hear. President Barack Obama bet on America and stated that the American electorate would vote in favor of “hope” and not cave in to the politics of “fear.” President-elect Trump heard the heart beat of America and smelled a strange oder coming from the very swamps that he promised to drain and like King Midas, he demonstrated he has the “midas” touch. One think all the “gold” furniture and other items seen in the back drop of interviews held at Trump Tower is breath taking, please hang on. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

To paraphrase then Senator Obama, there is no “Red States or Blue States, only the United States of America”. Sound good but it is not true. There also exist “Red” counties and “Blue” counties in each State and a review of the electoral map clearly identified each county in every state. Thirty seven counties in southern Illinois overwhelmly voted for Donald Trump except for two counties that were 40% or more minority (black and brown voters.) Trump could have won Illinois, if the Chicago votes had been a little weaker. President Obama has stated in the past, that elections have consequences, and ready or not the consequences are knocking on our front door.

Black America, Brown America, Muslim America, LGBT America and yes even white America that earns less than $250,000 a year, will not disappear over night. Try as you might President-elect Trump, you can not “un-ring the bell” of progress made during the past six decades or longer. Try as you might, the days of “Leave it to Beaver,” or the “Ozzie and Harriet Show,” are over. Pact the Supreme Court as you so desire. Go “hardliner” on your cabinet, build the wall, make billions of dollars while you are in office, and get all you can and can all you get for you and your family. But when the dust settles, black people, brown people , Muslims, LGBT and others will still be here. We may have to wear “gas masks” as the smell emanating from the White House or Trump Tower may be toxic as the winds of progress give way to the smoking clouds crossing America. Your trusted aid and confident, Steve Bannon, talks of the power of the darkness in his recent interview with columnist, Michael Wolff of The Hollywood Review..  “Darkness is good,” Bannon was quoted saying. He cites “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. “That’s power…”  But darkness will never over come the LIGHT of the world. And by the way, there exist no reason to share your taxes with America.  You were so right, not paying taxes for 20 years make you “smart.”

The African American Museum

“A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

The above words were spoken by former President, George W. Bush at the opening ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on 09/24/2016. It is hard to believe, per the Washington Post  special dedication edition of 09/22/16, that eleven years ago, Lonnie Bunch, the Founding Director of the Smithonian’s National Museum of Africian American History and Culture (NMAAHC) had “No collections. No site. No money. No staff.” President Bush wasted no time in acknowledging this almost impossible accomplishment of Director Bunch. It was President Bush who sign the bill authorizing the construction of the Museum back on November, 2003. President Bush cited three reason why this national treasure should be housed on the National Mall, and I will praphase same. I highly recommend the reading of his entire speech which serves as a beacon of hope to a nation that is highly divided and in need of a good dose of hope and a even larger dose of humility.

Bush highlight how “America’s original sin” of slavery  reflect a country founded on the promise of liberty, held millions in chains. How the voices of men like John Adams, who called slavery an “evil of colossal magnitude,” were not heeded and often not heard. The NMAAHC covers the African Slave Trade, the Middle Passage and the Slave trade in the Americas with the artifacts from shackles from a sunken slave ship to the inhumane marketing and evils of the slave industry. The museum basically looks at three time periods: Slavery and Freedom; Era of Segregation, 1876-1968; and A changing America: 1968 and beyond.  But those “voices” were “always known to a power greater than any on earth, one who loves his children and meant them to be free.”

aahcm3Bush pinpoint his second reason in equally eloquent words. “…this museum shows America’s capacity to change. For centuries, slavery and segregation seemed permanent. Permanent parts of our national life. But not to Nat Turner or Frederick Douglass; Harriet Tubman; Rosa Parks; or Martin Luther King Jr. All answered cruelty with courage and hope.” One photo on exhibit shows Dr. Martin Luther King being arrested by two white police officers. Dr. King is being man handle like a “rag doll’, with his hat barely remaining on his head. The officers have him handcuffed from the back, as Dr. King almost falls to the ground. The look and demeanor on the faces of the officers and Dr. King pierces the heart and soul of the on lookers. The 3000 or more artifacts clearly documents the cruelty and the courage of the many Americans who heard and heeded the call of freedom denied until freedom was delivered. That journey towards freedoms continues today.

The Mothership

The Mothership

Finally President Bush reminds us that the museum showcases the talent of some of our finest Americans. “The galleries celebrate not only African American equality, but African American greatness.” Bush highlights one of his favorite as a teenager, Chuck Barry and his restored 1973 Eldorado convertible. “I’m not giving you anything” Berry reported said. Yet  after curator, Kevin Strait ended his meeting with Berry the Cadillac was on a truck headed to Washington.  A similar story exist regarding the beaten-up PT-13 plane that was restored by its owners and now hangs high proudly in the NMAAHCM. Christened “the Spirit of Tuskegee” to honor the airmen who used the PT-13 to train during World War II, the plane was in use by its owners until the curator sealed the deal. The greatness of the African Americans goes from the artifacts of Mohammed Ali to the Parliament Funkadelic’s “Mothership.” From James Brown to Etta James, from Mom’s Mabley to Redd Fox the African American experience is well documented. “The African American experience is the lens through which we understand what it is to be an American.” said Bunch. Learn more at nmaahc.si.edu.

 

An Open Letter to My Grandson

20160223_170927850_ios-2“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” are the famous words of the southern author by the name of William Faulkner. If there was one crown jewel of wisdom I would like to past on to my grandson, Samad, and others, it is the need to “know your past, and how knowing your past prepares you to deal effectively with your present and finally how you engaged the present, will determine the successes you may have in the future”. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are intertwined throughout the fabric of life and the biblical scripture of “My people perish due to a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) is one infallible truth.This letter is to my grandson, Samad, but in actuality it is a letter to all my grandchilden and to you.

It was a hot, and humid day during the first week of July, two months ago as my grandson, his mother and his sister awaited our arrival from Sunday church services. Samad will be 20 in December, and the family was here in St. Louis for a family reunion. Mom and daughter drove up from their home State of Oklahoma, but Samad accompanied his grandfather (maternal) from Oklahoma to Washington D.C before arriving in St. Louis as his grandfather was continuing his struggle to obtained a redress of his grievance as it relates to the loss of more than 200 acres land. As a sidebar, reportedly 1910 was the peak year of landownership by blacks with over 218,000 black farmers owning in full or in part  more than 15 millions acres. As of 1992, those numbers dwindled down to 18,000 black farmers left, owning 2.3 million acres. Samad was blessed that his grandfather included him on the trip to the nation’s capitol in his efforts to address his grievance to the government. His grandfather is included in the class action lawsuit (Pigford V. Glickman) involving the black farmers of America who filed discrimination claims against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and that legal matter remained unresolved to date.

I was impressed that my grandson was learning how to work on a farm, the planting, and harvesting of crops, the sale of live stock, and how to operate the various heavy equipment his grandfather has. Hearing him made me reminisce how I drove my grandfather’s John Deere tractor at a young age and later was involved in the sale of nine acres of land for my grandmother. My paternal grandfather died in 1978.  I was surprised to learn about the Illinois Centennial and Sesquicentennial Farm Programs, the former representing more than 9,000 farmers throughout Illinois that have kept their family farms for “100 years” or longer and the latter group (600 farmers) maintaining their farm land in the family for 150 years or longer. I wondered how many black farmers were included in these numbers?

The conversation later moved to politics and I learn that Samad was ” feeling the burn” as he wanted Bernie Sanders to become the next president. It should be noted that my eleven year old granddaughter also voted for Bernie Sanders as her 5th grade class held a mock election. Samad informed me that he “would not be voting” as he had done the research on Hillary Clinton and could not support her. Naturally I was livid and “seeing stars” I thought of the lives loss in order for black Americans to obtain the right to vote. I circled in for more answers and asked him about his “research.” He made reference to “social medial” and I informed him that you can not always believe everything you read or hear on social media.

Later as this issues continued to simmer in my mind I ran across an article regarding Tuskegee Airman, Dabney Montgomery, who died earlier this month at the age of 93. Montgomery was a member of the fame Tuskegee Airman , the bomber escorts of the 332nd Fighter Group who became known as the “Red Tails.” Montgomery, after fighting in World War II returned home to face Jim Crow American and was refused the right to vote in Alabama. I never met Montgomery, but I did meet Harold Earl Tubbs also from Alabama. Tubbs was the brother to my spiritual mentor, the Reverend Carl Tubbs who have since transition from time to eternity. Harold Earl Tubbs fought in the Korean War and was a member of the U.S. Army. Tubbs was a POW for more than a year in North Korea. His mother refused to accept that her son was dead and always set the table with a place for the son whom the army reported was killed in action. Refusing to accept the $10,000 insurance benefit from the Army, one day she received information from the Red Cross informing her that her son was indeed alive. Harold went one to become a gifted “left hand guitar player” for the late James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Time will not allow more on what the Mongomerys and the Tubbs of the South (and North) experienced before the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement.

Samad has a high school diploma and has a bright future ahead. Like I out lived my grandfathers, there exist the possibility that he will do likewise. I never met William Faulkner, Samad, but I have met a philosopher named The Reverend Dr. Solomon. There is “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10) says Solomon. Samad is a gifted athletic and execlled in wrestling, baseball and football. He also has a good work record and is not afraid of doing a “good days work. But, if I had it to do all over and had quality time with his mind, I would make sure he could bench press his way from the “land flowing with milk and honey to forty acres and a mule.” I would like to witness him hitting a grand slam as he clears first base learning about Dred Scott, approach second base and smile at Plessy V. Ferguson, stroll on toward third base and meet Brown V. Board of Education and proudly head home where a cloud of witnesses from Emmett Till, Jackie Robinson, Marcus Garvey, Martin, Medgar and others cry out for a curtain call. Finally my son, with only ten second left in the game and your team is down by “three” the football is in your hand. Run for the goal post, score the winning touchdown and grab the victory out of the jaws of defeat as you make the world a better place because you were here.