The Flag

As I wake-up to take my dog out to the backyard for his morning rituals I gaze at the back of the house on the street behind me. The house is less than a football field away and each morning I see the occupants’ flag fluttering in the breeze. Each morning I see a Confederate flag flying in their yard. There are a few American flags flying in the front yards of the occupant’s neighbors. However, they choose to hide their flag in the back of the house and lower than the topmost part of the house’s roof.

               I understand why they fly the flag. I have been told more than once they want to continue to love and show their heritage. These people are proud southerners, and this is their way of showing it. I do not know about that sentiment because I know of northerners that also fly the Confederate flag and they have never been to the southern states nor know anyone that live in the south.

               The flag is properly named the Confederate Battle Flag. Please excuse my ignorance but I thought the Confederate States of America lost the Civil War. My understanding of a loser of a war is that all their spoils are taken by the winner. If that is the case then why are there monuments, plaques, books, memorabilia, and the still flying battle flags of the loser?

               As losers they have major bridges, roads, buildings, parks (local and national), military bases, and many other things dedicated to them and their proclaimed heroes. Heroes of what? There is a strong fight to not offend, tear down, destroy or rename anything that is Confederate. If it is Union, there is nothing said or done about it. This kind of thinking befuddles the mind. For someone not knowing history it would seem as though the Confederacy won the Civil War and the government in charge took the country from them.

               Yet, each and every day I see that flag flying and cannot say anything about it unless I want to start a huge mess. I do not know the people, never met them. I see them occasionally and never wanted to have a conversation with them. They may be nice people, but I know that deep inside them I am not wanted in their neighborhood. I am not sure if they want me to be alive because I am Black and I am an American, not Confederate. I do not know if they participated in the January 6th siege on the U.S. Capitol. I do not know if they are planning or is a part in the planning of another siege. They fly their flag which make me think anything is possible.

               I will fly my American flag and I am proud to have retired from the United States military. We have lost a few battles, but we are winners. Things are at last starting an attempt to change but there is a long road ahead. As the courts and laws change against things Confederate look around you for those that scream the loudest because of the attempted change. Are they American or are they Confederate? Look for the flag. That will tell you who they are.

Voter Suppression

During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s I was a member of the NAACP and SCLC. I not only walked in peace marches and sat during the sit ins but, as a teenager and a person too young to vote, I helped Black adults learn to properly vote. Non-White people voting was openly suppressed in Virginia and there were many obstacles. Among things done was the poll tax, counting jellybeans in a jar, outright threats and more. Blacks were afraid because a person could lose their life by simply letting the wrong White person know that they were going to vote. Contacting law enforcement and going through the judicial system was not the thing to do because it was extremely dangerous. The system was all White and, going through the system would put your name and address on file.

               Through the years, things were supposed to have gotten better and the law and judicial system was supposed to be equally dispensed. Not so. All that happened was the inequity became shrouded. This is only a small portion of the reasons why Blacks do not trust law enforcement and the judicial system. I, like many other Blacks, have worked in law enforcement, both the military and civilian, and have seen the inequities up close and personal and have heard the comments uttered by the Whites. Not one thing could be said because my life and the life of others would be in jeopardy.

               Now the Whites have removed the shroud from the inequities. Congressmen have started voter suppression. States are attempting to change the laws to make it harder to vote, especially by mail (the military vote by mail, what will happen to their votes?). The Klan and other groups are brazenly out in the open. There are too many of these people in the judicial system, law enforcement, military, Congress and state and local government. These people are there to fully take what they want and to do whatever they choose to do.

               There are too many in Congress that want to have a fair vote only if it goes their party’s way. If the vote is expected to not go their way, they want to filibuster until the bill goes away which means they won by suppression. So far all I see and hear is the suppressed saying they cannot vote and if they do their vote will not be counted plus some states want to make it exceedingly difficult to vote, yet they do nothing about it.

               Voting have been happening since the beginning of time. One of the most famous votes was when the crowd had a choice of saving Jesus or the thief. The people had a choice, voted and the government official did as the vote dictated. Why not today? We voted, elected officials to act in our behalf (to do as we the people want) and expected results from what we the people wanted. Yet the elected officials are only acting in their behalf, not ours.

               Going back in time to my days of battling voter suppression will not work today for a myriad number of reasons. Things are the same, yet things are different therefore the situation must be met differently. All that was accomplished in my day as a teenager can be done today to stop the outwardly voter suppression and make it go underground. I do not believe it can be wiped out, but it can be held at bay. Remember, the person you think is not doing wrong may need a second, very stern, look.  

He Wants Your Money

Not too long ago I wrote a piece about following the money and had a positive response. If you followed the news I was right as have others in the past. The saying about following the money have been said for many, many years. This time it seems like Trump have changed the tune to ‘send me your money’. He is talking to his PAC and other cult members that are fool enough to think the money will be shared with the Republican party.

               I have an exceedingly rare statement to make. I agree with Trump. I know some people are shocked at this but give me a chance to explain. Trump wants the Republican donations sent directly to him because the party is using his name and image to raise money. If the Republicans do not want the money to go to him, the party should not use him to raise funds.

               Here is the fly in the soup. Trump will use the money on the lawsuits, fines, attorneys, appeals, and his pocket for his businesses that are in deep trouble. It is said he is not broke (I do not know) but he does not want to use his own money for anything. He wants to use yours if you send it to him because the Republican party will use it equally among party politicians.

               Trump has a history of getting the money and wanting more. He does not care who he steps on, push out of the way, or lie to. Just give him the money, be very loyal to him and you will be smiled upon. Do not give him the money, disagree with him and you are forever ostracized. Money and power are everything. No one and nothing else matters.

               The Republican party is now two parties. One party that is trying to continue as a political party that does not include Trump and is trying to boost all party members. The Trump party (which have the acronym SAP (does it mean you are a sap)) is a party with Trump at the head with Trump getting the lion’s share of the funds and all other members getting what is left over, if anything.

               Everything to do with anything have a tinge of money on it. That is where Trump have his many problems. Not the political ones but the personal, civil ones. I will give an example. The people that have property and money is like a multitiered cake. First there is acquiring the property. Then there is maintaining the property. Next, and not necessarily in order, is staffing the property. Depending on the nature of operation of the property there are many companies that does work and supply things. The bottom line is lots of money to put out to make money, if possible. If you send Trump money, he does not use his money to maintain the property and he will not use his money to attempt to quash the lawsuits to keep the property. He wants your money and lots of it to do it.

               You say you are poor and do not have money to help him. That puts you on his wrong side. Okay, you send him money, but you still cannot set foot on any of his properties. I say, if you want to send money send it to the GOP not him.

Quanah Parker

This is the last of Black History Month and I was asked to do one more but with a twist. The twist will be not of a Black person but to give honor to an American Indian. Indians are seldom mentioned when it comes to doing something great but with just a little research shows there are many.

               I could talk about this great nation being taken from the Indian. I could talk about the ‘Wind Talkers’ that helped win WWII. I even could talk about the Indians that lead the wagon trains across the west to help White people settle their lands. But this blog installment is about a man that led his people from certain extension. I will write this in the way I write for The Albemarle Tradewinds Magazine of which I am a regular contributor for their music column and special interest column.

Quanah Parker

                                               (1845-February 24, 1911)

               Quanah Parker was a war leader of the Kwahadi (Antelope) band of the Comanche nation. Quanah (Comanche, ‘smell, odor’) was born about 1850 on Elk Creek just below the Wichita Mountains to Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker. Cynthia Ann Parker (born c. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1930s. She was captured in 1936 (c. age nine) by Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas.

               At the battle of Pease River, as the American Forces (U.S. 2nd Cavalry and Texas Rangers) Quanah Parker and his brother were the only warriors to escape by horseback. After his father’s death, Horseback, the head of the Nokoni people, took Quanah and his brother under his wing. Horseback taught them the ways of the Comanche warrior, and Quanah grew to considerable standing as a warrior. He left and rejoined the Kwahadi band with warriors from another band. Quanah Parker surrendered and was taken to Fort Sill, Indian Territory where he led Comanches successfully for several years on the reservation.

               Quanah Parker was never elected principal chief of the Comanche by the tribe, but the U.S. government appointed him principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections. He also became a primary emissary of southwest indigenous Americans to the United States legislature. In civilian life, he gained wealth as a rancher, settling near Cache, Oklahoma. Though he encouraged Christianization of Comanche people he also advocated the syncretic Native American Church (of which he founded), and passionately fought for the use of peyote in the movement’s religious practices.

               He was elected deputy sheriff of Lawson in 1902. After his death in 1911, the leadership title of Chief was replaced with Chairman; Quanah Parker is thereby described as the “Last Chief of the Comanche,” a term also applied to Horseback. He is buried at Chief’s Knoll on Fort Sill. Many cities and highway systems in southwest Oklahoma and north Texas, once southern Comancheria, bear references to his name.

               Quanah is only one person out of many, many more. Take the time to research and read about them. I squashed Quanah’s bio down to a few words, there is quite a bit more. I hope all of you have found this piece interesting. Let me know.

Black History

This is Black History Month and I have been thinking a lot about who I would write about and could not make up my mind. Everywhere a person looks there is something about someone that need to be recognized this month. Then the more I thought about it the more I wanted to beat myself up because the answer is all around me.

               I have an article in Albemarle Tradewinds Magazine (www.albemarletradewinds.com) normally giving the bio of old Black jazz artists (I am usually next to the last page), occasionally I write about someone other than a jazz artist when the editor/owner ask. Therefore, what I am saying is every month I write about a Black person that overcame the odds against making it in the United States of America. Why, you may want to ask me, do I say in the United States of America? My answer is many talented Black people moved to another country and had a better life. Some left the United States and was given the opportunity that was denied them and succeeded. Some of the jazz artists I wrote about lived in other countries for the peace and tranquility they could not have at home.

               It is unfair that a month must be dedicated to have people think about and know Black people that have contributed to and made possible the well being of all. People only think of recent times; however, Black people have contributed for a few thousand years. Using only one fact…Blacks built the Pyramids, the stones are so close a piece of paper cannot slide between them (by the way, the Pharaohs were Black).

               The great majority of people know that Socrates and Plato were well educated and as they taught others, great knowledge was passed on. What is seldom known or told is they were taught in the schools and library in Alexandria Egypt (the library is still there). Most rich people of European countries usually had Black slaves from Africa teaching their children. Brainiac Blacks have always been around but as the Europeans began to grow stronger, they also started to change history, taking credit for most things, using Black slaves in the background.

               I know most people are yelling that it is not the way it was or is. I am only saying, believe it or not, we would not be living as well as we are now if not for the intelligence and teachings of Black people. Yet, a month is dedicated toward a few achievements when the numerous accomplishments are all around us. The people from the pass are forgotten and the people that are here today are passed by un-noticed. It has happened to me and it have happened to many people I know.

               So, Black History Month does not mean anything to me because every day, past and present, is a day that a Black person did something great. As you watch the impeachment trial remember this. Washington D.C., streets and important buildings were designed and built by Black people (slave and free) but most people do not know that fact. There is so much about so many things that is Black that even I am considered ignorant about the history. I know just enough to get me into trouble.

               (by the way, check out my other blog… www.faithingodministries.net )

The Fourteenth Amendment

The fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution say all that is necessary to say in the impeachment of the ex-President, number forty-four, of the United States. His words were heard around the world as the mob incitement was carried out. The mob was sent to the United States Capitol to take it over and stop the ratification of the state’s votes by ‘fight like hell’. What was said before and after those words were incendiary as well. Sedition of our government should not be tolerated nor condoned.

               There were Congressmen that were speakers at the rally and, from what I find, will be dealt with separately at another time.  This includes people in Congress texting the hiding location of fellow Congress people.  Then there are those that do not want the article of impeachment be brought against the ex-President because he has departed and is not in office. That type of thinking is like not bringing charges against an individual for robbing a store because the individual departed. Or, if someone shoot you and throw the firearm away the individual is forgiven because he no longer has the firearm.

               The fourteenth amendment is not a criminal provision, it says that whoever is guilty of the fourteenth amendment (in this case sections three and four) cannot ever hold a federal position again. Which mean the ex-President can never run for nor be in office again. It does not say he will go to jail. That is for the decision of other departments of the government.

               There is still a faithful following that are homegrown terrorist, and others, that believe an insurrection (a violent uprising against an authority or government) and will do anything to see that it is done. Some of these people, like the ex-President, have made it into the government. These people are attempting to bring the government down from the inside out. The fourteenth amendment would apply to them also.

               Thinking about criminal charges, accessory to murder comes to my mind. This would apply to the people on the inside and the ex-President. There are those that do not want the impeachment of the ex-President because, maybe, they rather have Trump instead of a sane government and do not want to carry out the will of the people that elected them. Maybe they want to be a part of the new party that Trump want to start with him as the head. If the new party is activated a newer head would be in power soon because Trump is old, and I believe his health is not as good as he says it is.

               Even if a new party happens the fourteenth amendment must be enforced. Seditious people cannot be a part of the government. The new party cannot make their own rules contrary to the United States Constitution nor can they have their own Constitution. I am not the expert but, I am wondering, can the members of the new party be impeached also? If that is possible, then sedition is out of the question, the fourteenth amendment will be enforced. It will be interesting to watch all of this play out.

Together We Stand

Many times, I have heard the words ‘together we stand, divided we fall’. Those words are truer than most people think. In any combat situation it takes all members of the operation to come together as a unit to survive. If a member decides to go it alone the entire unit is in jeopardy of dying. With the unit fighting as one, there is a good chance that the unit will survive.

               There are two major situations before the citizens of the United States, and both need our immediate attention. COVID-19 and The President of the United States. There are people that do all the precautions, up to and including wearing masks to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19. The other is the present man in the White House inciting the siege on the U.S. Capitol. In fact, both concerns greatly involve the President.

               The President have told everyone that listens to him that the virus is a hoax, bleach and other things would clean the body and cure the virus, stimmed information on what is happening and what to do about the virus, not to wear masks because he was not going to wear a mask, and many other untruths about the virus. Those people that reported the truth or leaked truthful information were fired. This was from our President and the Republican party, his underlings, and his followers did as they were told and did not try to stop nor correct him. Everything that is happening is on them as much as it is on him.

               Sedition and conspiracy against the United States of America is the worst thing I have ever seen and heard in my lifetime, except in third world countries. I saw and heard the President tell his base, that were present for his speech, to go to the Capitol. He knew what they were going to do, and he encouraged them to do it. They had inside help, I am sure. The Capitol was lightly manned with protection and the warnings that was conveyed was disregarded. While grocery shopping, I heard two men talking, not loudly but slightly louder than normal. They were talking about a civil war and how the election was stolen, etc. I did not confront them, my wife and I got what we were in the area for and walked on. I noticed others looking at them and they also walked on.

               Our country is divided and if that seam of contention is not sewn together, we will fall. It reminds me of the book ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire’. Looking back at history and, in most cases history can and will repeat itself, I find that the downfall of the nations is done through division. Like in a combat situation, divide and conquer. Because the President can not be a dictator or supreme ruler, he wants to take the nation down and his followers can not see this nor do they have sense enough to care. His followers, especially those in government (Congress, staffers, etc.) should be investigated, fined, and jailed as soon as possible.

Caste System

Most of us mean well but we are only human and at times dislike this or that causing hurt upon our fellow human whether at the time we realize it or not. Our feelings are fragile, and we tend to look down our nose at those not in our group, our status. Most of the time we do not realize we are doing this and when we do realize it, we attempt to correct the situation, the wrong that we have inflicted.

               Everyone know of the Hindu caste system, well, a lot of us know of the system but, in a minor way, caste is everywhere. Here in the United States, it is said that everyone is equal but, like a lot of people, I disagree. Like the Hindus we have a caste system also. Maybe not as strict but we do have the system and the last four years have recently put the spotlight on it.

               Caste is nothing but social and/or hereditary groups. Like the television program it is the ‘Have and Have Nots’. There is the CEO and then the others. There is the office worker and the others. There is the homeowner and the maid. I could go on and on, but I believe you understand what I mean. Their rankings on the ladder of success or the higher you are on the ladder the less you would speak to or rub shoulders with the people on the lower rung of the ladder.

               The caste system is definitely imbedded in skin color, race and nationality. The darker the skin the fewer chances there is for a person to advance except in sports or something that entertains the people on the upper rungs of the ladder or to make them more money. Nationality will put you into certain jobs that the people on the upper rungs need. If, by chance, a lower rung person get money, the distain for the person is hidden when outwardly there are smiles. Listen to the words of the song ‘Smiling Faces Sometimes’ recorded by The Undisputed Truth (1971). Lower rung, caste people, are not to have much money unless it benefits the higher rung people.

               But the more money a person has the more they turn their back on the people on the lower rungs of the ladder. The upper crust people will throw a little money to the lower people if it is a tax right off. They will interact with lower rung people for the photo op and then go home thinking that they did their civic duty for a while.

               Look at the United States structural system and most people think the head person is the President. However, he has a boss, and it is the citizens of the United States. It is a large circle, a never-ending circle where everyone has a boss. It would take a book to explain the workings and all that is involved. The people in the government were sent there to labor for us but today they are among those on the upper rungs of the caste system and they are for themselves. Our government is a large part of the caste system and they are flaunting it.

Got To Find A Home

As of January twentieth, twenty twenty-one, where will ex-President Trump live? Is he welcomed in Florida at his club? The governor of New York and the mayor of New York City told him he is not welcomed there. Where will he live? Will there be a Trump Library like other ex-Presidents? As the old folks say, I guess I am a part of them now, ‘you made your bed so lie in it’. He has ostracized so many governors and mayors that they do not want him.

               The people that control the property at Mar-A-Lago have filed papers to not allow Trump to reside there. In 1998 Trump signed papers making staying at the club more than a week illegal because he wanted a tax write-off by making the residence a club. In the signed papers it is written that a person can not stay longer than a week and no more than three times a year. He has stayed there more than that.

               He told New York that he did not want to stay there because they were after him for his tax paperwork and more. This includes his kids and their families. There are still numerous lawsuits in play and is waiting for him to be out of office. Well, Florida and New York are out. California is out also because he told them they were not doing things right to control the fires. He wanted them to rake and sweep the forests to prevent the fires. California disagreed therefore he withheld funds to help them in their time of need (that was one reason but there is more).

               Maybe his supporters will let him live with one of them. They love him and will do anything he say, up to and including anything that is violent. Maybe by him living with them they will not worry about losing their job because of the pandemic and will be able to keep a roof over their heads. Maybe he can give them a little money to keep on keeping on. Nope, I must be delusional to think he would give someone money. He would want money from them.

               I guess going overseas is out also because he has alienated all our allies. I can not expect any country taking him in and that includes Russia. Why not Russia? He has outlived his usefulness to Putin and the Russian people. And, thinking about allies, Moscow Mitch, oops, Mitch McConnell may want to take Trump and his family in, but Mitch just accepted President-elect Biden. Personally, I would not trust nor believe McConnell for any reason. And, thinking about calling people names other than their own, it is ironic that Republicans are raising hell that a Democratic aide used a bad word toward them. That is something I have heard from the Republicans, especially the President, for over four years and the Republicans are silent about it.

               I know where Trump will get free living quarters…when the civil lawsuits are finalized and the courts have their say he will have his own private cell, members of his family as well as other people in his administration. Trump will make history again. He will be the first President that will be homeless and the first President that is taken from homelessness straight to jail. There are many crimes he has committed, and they are both federal and civil. He can, technically, escape the federal crimes but he can be and will be held accountable for the civil crimes.

               As the old song about the bole weevil stated ‘ got to find a home’. This President, soon to be ex-President, need a home before he is given a home behind bars that is paid for by the people he has scammed daily. It will be interesting to watch what happens as it occurs. It is reported he has said he will not vacate the White House. This way he will have a home sooner than he think. JAIL!

This Pandemic

Whether you want to believe it or not the pandemic is still with us and is, believe it or not, getting worst. Sure, a vaccine is on the horizon, but it is not here yet and exactly how it will be distributed have not been determined, so far. Even after the serum distribution start it will be a long while before most of us are in line to get it, maybe in the middle of next year.

               The thing that bother me most are the people that are still calling the pandemic, COVID-19, a hoax. There are people on death’s bed and doctors and nurses have given up on them. Some of the patient’s final words are that the virus is a hoax. There is no hope for them, physically or mentally. I was in Red Lobster and heard a man tell his wife that more people die from the flu than COVID-19. Really?

               Worst than that are the people that go to crowded bars, restaurants, clubs, parties (this includes private and family), rubbing shoulder to shoulder and a face mask is almost unheard of (the Red Lobster was almost empty). The people that does this truly do not care about themselves nor anyone else. Yet, they want this pandemic to be finished without them doing their part to stop it. All that these people want (the vast majority are young) is to party, to have life the way they had it before the pandemic, to do what they want to do when they want to do it.

               Everyone has their rights to privacy and to maintain their own body and life the way they want to do it. However, they do not have the right to endanger someone else life in the process. To contract the virus not only endangers my life but the life of the healthcare workers that are attempting to save the ill person’s life. It is the same as other professions, like the police, when a person is requested not to do a particular thing, the person say they have a right to do it and does it anyway. When things go wrong, they call for help to save them from the thing they were requested not to do therefore putting the professional’s life in jeopardy trying to save them.

               There have been fights, attempted murder, assaults, etc. because someone asked another person to wear a mask. People are heard saying they have a right not to wear a mask, the virus is a hoax, and they are young enough that it will not harm them as much. Most of these people have never been in the military because, in the military, you learn not only to follow orders but to be without things for the good of the whole. You do it without grumbling because you know it will not be forever.

               This pandemic will never end with people disregarding science and recommendations form experts in the medical field (non-political, of course). If everyone had done their part in attempting to stamp out this virus, schools would be safe and have in-school learning, everything else would be back to normal or almost normal and we would be looking toward what is coming next. Thanksgiving was a disaster, and we are almost back to square one.

               We are all suffering through this pandemic, whether you have COVID-19 or not, because life is not what it used to be and never will be. Those of you that call this a hoax, does not want to wear a mask and do not and those of you that whine about the slightest change in your life remember you are not helping the situation. When you get the virus, do not call the doctor call the mortician, because it is a hoax and doctors do not cure hoaxes.