While doing some channel surfing last week, I happened to come across a cable news network’s live broadcast of the protests and riots going on in Charlotte. A very brave white reporter along with his cameraman were right there in the middle of the protests interviewing the protesters. The passion and anger of these protesters could be felt right through my television screen. I can certainly understand, to a certain degree, the anger that these people are feeling. They want answers after another police involved shooting of a black person. This anger is not limited to Charlotte. Throughout the past couple of years, groups such as “Black Lives Matter” have held countless rallies to bring about awareness of so-called police brutality against minorities, particularly African-American people. I find it rather interesting that these groups and protesters seem to have so much anger and rage over police shootings and want to draw attention to them, yet they remain awfully quiet about the increasing problems of crime in many inner cities across the country.
Lets look at what has been going on in Chicago during the past year. In the first 3 months of this year, the murder rate has gone up 72 percent and shootings by 88 percent compared to the same period last year. That city is on pace to set all sorts of crime records. Many of the victims are young black people in the early years of their lives. Some are young children who just happen to get caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I find it ABSOLUTELY disgusting and appalling that this alarming increase in crime does not get anywhere near the attention that a police shooting gets! When was the last time that the “Black Lives Matter” group held a protest in the streets of Chicago demanding an end to the violence and crime. None that I can recall! I do not see people marching in the streets of Chicago holding signs and demanding that officials clean up their city. I highly doubt that many of the out-of-town protesters who are in Charlotte right now will travel to Chicago after they finish and protest in the streets of Chicago. Why not? Don’t all black lives matter? Why are people cherry picking what to get enraged about?
Before we start having a discussion about so-called minority oppression in this country that the likes of Colin Kaepernick and some high profiled athletes want to discuss, we need to start with the bigger problem of crime in our inner cities such as what is going on in Chicago. There are areas of Chicago and as a matter fact, areas of my city here in Minneapolis, St. Paul that are pure hell holes. You could not pay me to visit this places; it would be safer to visit Iraqi and other dangerous foreign countries than these areas. That is totally unacceptable in our country. Unfortunately, these problems get shoved under the rug. Why is that? Maybe the policies and politics that cause these problems will get exposed.
We do have a problem with minorities being oppressed in this country. When a young black child cannot go out and play in their neighborhood for fear of being shot, that is a huge problem. It is extremely sad that people cannot realize the bigger problems facing minorities in this country. Police shootings of black people is NOT a huge epidemic problem that many seem to think. For every black person that is killed by a police officer, there are perhaps thousands saved by some officer who is willing to go into these high crime areas to restore order and peace.
I just wish that people would recognize and be passionate about solving bigger issues facing minorities such as what Chicago is going through. I could fully support any effort involved in doing that as could most Americans. Unfortunately, it is all about those evil police officers. Let’s start having equal or greater passion about ridding our streets of those dangerous gang-banger thugs and making our cities safe for everyone.
Being single for some folks is a painful situation. Everyone dreams of true love and finding that perfect soul mate to spend the rest of their lives with. When that soul mate is suddenly taken away and one becomes single again, that pain is only compounded. Especially at an older age. You begin to wonder if that is it, my one and only hope for true romance. I will grow old and have to spend the rest of my live alone. Well it doesn’t have to be and my own mother ‘s story is a perfect example of finding love at any age.
About 13 years ago, my mother suddenly became a widow one night. It was a devastating and very sad time for our family. My father really meant a lot to us and we still really miss him. My mom was a few years away from retiring and they had big plans for retirement. Suddenly, it was all taken away. My mom was alone and single.
A few years after my father’s death, my mom retired and moved to a town to be closer to her grandchildren. She also bought this huge house which has given our family so many great memories during many family gatherings. I knew deep down that she had this desire to meet some gentlemen but she seemed to be pretty content with her role as a grandmother.
My mother was deeply involved in her church and volunteered on numerous occasions. It was on one of those occasions that she met someone who would turn out to be someone very special. She was volunteering to help at a Sunday afternoon worship service for nursing home patients when she met a younger man who was the pastor of the said service.
During a family gathering last Christmas, my mother summoned everyone together for a big announcement. She announced that she was dating this wonderful man. That announcement took me and the rest of our family by surprise.
A few months ago, they announced plans for a wedding and next weekend, they will become husband and wife. My mother who is in her early 70’s will be getting married for the second time! It just goes to show you that true love can find you just when you least expect it. It is very fitting that a couple of individuals who have a compassion for volunteering and helping others would meet and eventually get married. Yes, you can find love at an older age and without the use of an online dating site! Getting out and helping out other people can lead you to perhaps something more than you expect!
A few weeks ago, I posted my thoughts on the Colin Kaepernick protest of not standing during the playing of the national anthem. Since then, more players have joined in this disrespectful act. There have been reports that even some high school players are now not standing in protest of what these players view as oppression towards minorities in this country. Some folks out there feel that the actions by these players will finally bring much-needed changes that our country really needs. I see things totally different. In fact, sports in general could be facing a huge PR nightmare in the future if more players become a part of these protests.
The comeback by people who support these protests is always that the player has a constitutional right to not stand during the anthem. I totally agree on that point. But isn’t there a better way to show your displeasure at a particular part of society that may be unfair towards minorities? Do these players not realize that these protests are insulting towards thousands of people who may be watching your games either in the stands or on television? These men and women have served our country so you can go out and play some game and make millions of dollars. Is it not too much of an effort to take a moment to honor these people who have made your life so much better? That also includes many other generations of soldiers who have fought and died for this country. That flag represents what these people have fought for.
I think I join many millions of fans who are completely turned off by these acts of disrespect towards our country. It is people like me who support these athletes and help them make their astronomical amount of money. The more these protests go on, the more I feel like just turning off the television or not buying a ticket to the game. Hey, it is your right to protest and it is my right not to support some league who supports such disrespectful behavior towards our country. If more fans like me get turned off, the league will face a huge decline in popularity and lose a lot of money.
If a player is upset about police brutality, they should do what any normal citizen should do and contact the law enforcement agency that is involved. Sitting down during a national anthem is not really going to accomplish much in my opinion. It will further polarize people on this social justice issue. Maybe ESPN can lead the charge and hold a special where players can hold a town hall meeting to address these issues. While they are discussing these so-called acts of oppression towards minorities, another discussion about why so many minorities are losing their lives in these inner cities (see Chicago) should be included. Funny how many of these athletes do not touch that subject!
So these athletes want to have a talk about social justice for minorities? Cherry picking issues of justice and disrespecting people in order to get that discussion will not work and only make matter worse. It is time to stop the silly juvenile behavior of disrespecting our country. All this will eventually backfire in the player’s faces when the fans tune them out.
This Sunday marks the 15 year anniversary of that fateful day when nearly 3000 innocent people lost their lives at the hands of 19 cowardly terrorists. Nearly everyone has their own personal story of what they were doing on that horrible day. For me personally, I remember that day like it was yesterday. There will probably never be any event in my lifetime that tops the pure tragic and shocking nature of what took place on September 11th, 2001.
It was a pretty typical Tuesday morning at work for me. I had just arrived and was getting prepared to attend a meeting when one of my co-workers ask me if I had heard about the news from New York. Apparently a plane had just flown into a building at the World Trade Center. I just thought that it was another tragic news story and more details would come out later. It did not immediately dawn on me that it was a terrorist attack. Nevertheless, I turned on my radio at work to hear some more horrifying news; another building at the World Trade Center had been hit. Before I could catch my breath and process what was going on, the Pentagon building had been also hit. And to add to the chaos, reports were coming out that another plane was hijacked and unaccounted for. Who knows were it was headed! I gathered with many of my co-workers in the break room to watch television. Needless to say, it was a day that I will never forget at work. Absolutely nothing got done that day. I tried extremely hard to stay focused and get a few things done, but that became a real challenge. I can remember an exchange I had with one of my co-workers who was upset that the airport was shut down and one of our products could not ship. I told her that her little package getting there on time is completely meaningless at this time. Nothing else mattered right now except for the security of our nation.
For days after this horrible event, I kept picturing myself being stuck in one of those doomed airliners or being a worker trapped in those burning buildings. How would I react if my death was increasingly imminent? Those are situations that nobody and I mean absolutely nobody can prepare for. It is everyone’s worst nightmare. 3000 innocent lives taken. It would have just as easily been you or me in those burning buildings that collapsed.
Even though this was indeed a horrific event, there were many acts of selfless bravery that really touched me. Who can forget the heroic acts of those firefighters who gave up their lives to help save the lives of other people? Those firefighters and first responders are true American heroes. And lets not forget the brave act of those passengers who fought with the hijackers on the missing plane. The plane unfortunately crashed but those everyday Americans probably saved many lives. Those individuals will also go down in history as true American heroes.
15 years have passed since that unforgettable day but it still seems like just yesterday doesn’t it? The big question I have is will there be another 9/11? How can we be sure that it will never happen again. Sadly, we cannot. This event should serve as a serious reminder that we are definitely vulnerable as a nation. The next event could make 9/11 look seem small in comparison. Another question I have to our government and political leaders is this: what are you doing to make sure this does not happen again? If we let our guard down just an ounce, it will happen again and you or I could be the next victims. All of our thoughts and prayers need to continue go out to the victims of that horrible day. It was a nightmare that will forever be etched in the history of the United States.