10
Aug
14

A Word From Don

Michael Brown

• • •

Don

It is amazing how black men can keep their sanity despite the insanity that happens to them.

I remember one time I took my wife to a medical appointment at an office building, usually I drop her off at the entrance and I wait in my car in the parking lot usually listening to music or talk radio. Anyway this one time I decided to go in the lobby to use the rest room. As I exited my car this white lady was walking towards me, the look of fear she had or her face was palpable, she clutched her purse so tight her hands turned red. As usual I smiled at her to ease her fears, see I’ve discovered that when I run into white people on a one on one situation I smile just so they will feel comfortable.

I’m tired of smiling; I’m tired of having to worry about some stranger feeling comfortable or uncomfortable in my presence. Why is it that when I’m the only black person in an elevator with a bunch of white peoples, nobody smiles to make me feel comfortable?

Why is it that when I’m anywhere and I’m the only black person there, nobody smiles at me to make me feel comfortable?

The average black man will tell you, if he’s lived long enough, that he’s discovered certain mechanisms he uses to make people feel comfortable in his presence. So now another black kid is dead under unclear circumstances, another black community is in pain, and another policeman is on paid administrative leave.

By this time tomorrow we’ll know everything this young black kid has done since he left his mother’s womb, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. I’ve got an eight year old son; I used to wonder about what college he will attend or what does he want to do when he grows up. As black men we’ve learned to focus our thinking on the present more so than on the future when it comes to our black boys.

• • •

• • •

Nerdy

Thank you for your truthful commentary, Don.

It is a horror in our country that we always have to worry about making white people feel comfortable first before we think of ourselves. When outside, we make sure we smile to make them feel comfortable, we put our hands out so they don’t think we’re hiding something, we make sure we aren’t dressed in threatening ways (who the heck knows what that is because apparently, a hoodie is now threatening), we make sure when walking to our cars, our keys are prominently displayed so suspicious stares stop and cops aren’t called (I’ve been harassed in that manner and now whenever I’m in a predominantly white neighborhood, I make sure my car keys are prominently displayed so that they’re comfortable that I am indeed walking to my own car. I shouldn’t have to do that, but I must so that a group of white people aren’t threatened by one black person).

We make sure we don’t run in public because that looks suspicious (yeah, apparently running is suspicious), we make sure that we are 100% respectful to cops or your life may end that day. Yes sir, no sir, I’m sorry, sir. My hands are out, sir. I’m not holding anything suspicious, sir. I remember my shock and surprise when my white friend argued with a cop and I had to tell her to stop doing that because the person who’ll get shot first is me not her. I can’t even imagine the freedom that white people have to argue with cops and tell them loudly that they have rights. The thought that runs through my mind when I’ve been stopped by cops is the talk that my parents had with me. Be polite, make sure your hands are where they see them, say yes sir/yes m’am, never raise your voice, speak very softly, and it goes on and on and on. The prevailing thought being, good god, please let me be alive after this interaction. White people don’t understand that fear and pain where the cop isn’t there to serve and protect, but to shoot you first then ask questions later.

We make sure that we don’t raise our voice in public lest we seem threatening. I’ve been in coffee shops where white people raise their voices and everyone shrugs it off, but then a black person raised their voice while talking on the phone and a deathly silence filled the shop as people looked fearfully as though the black person was going to kill them. It’s insane.

We make sure that we never leave the house without any form of identification or company card to prove that we’re respectable and that still doesn’t guarantee your life will be safe.

The thought runs through your mind: Why are you as a white person not trying to make me feel comfortable in public? Why are you allowed to raise your voice in public and express your frustrations but I can’t? Why are you allowed to assert your rights with cops but I can’t? Am I not a human being too?

I’ll say it again. It is a horror in our country where a large swath of people can’t think about their lives and safety first, but have to think about others and making them feel comfortable just because of the color of our skin. We’re doctors, teachers, lawyers, business owners, parents, children, etc; but that doesn’t seem to matter when we’re out in public.

• • •

Africa

Thank you so much for these powerful words.

I had a restless night. I have a 17 year old son. We live in Florida. There is never a night that he goes out that I shut my eyes, not until I hear the garage door opens. If he is one minute late, I find myself constantly texting him. I have told him don’t text when you are driving, yet I find myself texting him because I want to know he is OK.

It is a painful existence. No one should have to live this way. Not us as parents and not our children.

Every time there is another shooting, no matter how many times, we have had the conversation, we do it all over again. Last night was no different. As soon as my son walked in the door, we began talking about the latest child gunned down in this senseless violence.

That young black boys, even those in Middle School are somehow viewed as threats and so dangerous that they become endangered species, is unacceptable and a stain on this society.

The shootings become acceptable, because there is not wholesale condemnation. Instead, it becomes open season on the victim and families, as you alluded to. Last night I kept thinking, how do we fix this? How? Enough is enough.

• • •

EveinGeorgia

I feel the same way, Don. I have two adult sons who have to navigate these treacherous waters every day, here in the ‘open-carry’, no insurance for the poor, Georgia.

I have gotten to the point that I worry about the time they spend with their white friends, their travel, everything. Being raised in the Jim Crow south, it’s not hard to become almost paranoid. We simply do not know who to trust, all over again.

My biggest concern is my 13 year old grandson. He has Asperger’s syndrome. He is intellectually gifted, but his condition makes it difficult for him to function in some social situations. Aspie’s are often given to angry outbursts. What happens if my grandson has one of these in public? We are doing all we can to keep him protected. But, we can’t protect him against reactionary, trigger-happy, often anti-black boy policemen. It’s a nightmare living in this country. But, what can we do, and where can we go? It seems that there is no safe haven from anti-black racism. Sadly, we often turn on ourselves

• • •

DesertFlower

I just woke up, and you’ve got me crying already. My heart aches for his family, for your family, for all that feel the way you do. I have a son. I will never have to talk to him about the things that you have to talk to your son about. We get to look to the future and dream about the possibilities for his life. I don’t even know what to say. I have feelings of rage, of guilt, of sorrow and so many others just all welling up. This keeps happening, like the one before it never happened. We never learned. Never addressed the root cause. Never saw through others eyes.Fear gets stoked and some people make money off of fear…fanning even the tiniest uncertain ember into a rage of hate and loathing. I don’t think the majority of the country feels this way toward POC, but it doesn’t matter really. There are enough of these hateful, ignorant people spread all around to make life more than difficult and scary for far too many and that’s not acceptable in my America. Hardly exceptional.Not even close, for so many reasons. This bigotry and racism being only one of many.

I’m so sorry, Don. Saying that sounds empty to my ears. It sounds like I’m throwing up my hands and saying, ” Oh, well! That’s the way some people are.” It’s not even close to what I really mean, but saying it doesn’t even come close to what you and everyone else, deserves to hear.

We must teach our children better. We must instill in all of them that they are important and an invaluable asset to the human race…no matter the race. That they can rise as high as they can envision and the only thing they need to prove is they have a strong work ethic to reach the goals they’ve set for themselves and no one will stand in their way….not only that, but all of us will help them achieve their goals. If we can teach our children this…we will be on our way to becoming an exceptional nation…. Because when you put your son to bed at night, you deserve to feel that sense of hope and unbridled possibility that I feel when you look at him snug in his bed. We took that away from you somewhere along the way and it needs to be given back.

• • •

PrettyFoot

NW & Don…have summed up so poignantly…what it means to be BLACK in America..
and now after the press conference….we see the beginnings of a cover-up…

.I have 4 nephews and 2 grandsons…I worry about them…and their chance to grow up..be happy…and be productive members of our society…

yesterday I attended a trunk party for my oldest nephew (18) he will be attending Howard University in the fall…he is an exceptional young man….polite…caring…generous…always ready to help…always giving….he is truly special…

Giving our children the talk…teaching them how to maneuver thru the racist scenarios arms them with tools to face the challenge…but as we know…it I not always successful…and you have to wonder what impact on psyche the “TALK” must have…
.but we must do more…….I saw a tweet from Bob…that shows side by side pics of dogs being used to intimidate and threatened blk protestors..

.how do we defeat this beast that time and time again rears its ugly head…how do we cut it off at the root…This attack on blk folks attacks the rights of ALL people…it breaks down the Humanity of the police along with the Humanity of society in general…

Bob says that …Humanity is in Balance…and so it is…

This is not a crisis that just threatens the Blk community it is a crisis that threatens all of America….

We must All see a stake in pulling this beast out by the roots…because unless we do…it will return…and return…threatening the Humanity of all…

#MovingForwardTogether….

because We Must…

• • •

GGail

Don’s story and NW’s story is real life for us black folks.

I just got off the phone with my son. He called me out of the blue. As bad as I wanted to call him just to hear that he was okay, I refrained because you don’t want them to think you are always worrying about them. But it was so comforting to hear his voice – I didn’t care what he was talking about. I let him talk about all that he wanted to discuss, then I brought up the shooting in StL. He hadn’t heard about it, but he immediately assured me that he knows the drill – “Mom, I know” and I let it go.

Sadly, this is everyday life for us black folks in America.

• • •

swbluega

I have been reading all the comments regarding the murder of Michael Brown, as well as the so-called explanation given by the Ferguson PD. I’m sure there was a time the police could would not have had to even give a statement; their actions would have just been accepted and the assumption would have been that Michael Brown, by virtue of being a young black male, MUST have done something. It is even more of an insult that the police can give a statement so full of holes and EXPECT that it will be accepted.

I am the mother of a young black man. I, like other parents, worry about him from the time he leaves the house until the time he returns. I used to chide myself for projecting my paranoia onto him and being overprotective. But each day confirms to me the realities of my paranoia.

It saddens me that along with talking to our children about what they *can* be, we also have to talk to them about just being able to *be*. They are taught in school about civics — all men are created equal; rights and responsibilities as a citizen, etc. Then as parents and community, we have to teach them that they have to live by a different set of rules if they want to survive in this world; rules that are emphasized as they watch the news and as they go about their day to day lives.


119 Responses to “A Word From Don”


  1. 6 @pierretteY
    August 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I am here to say I AM SO SORRY to what all people of colour are going trough in the USA. I know you you call your country “the greatest in the World” but since i came of age, i have never seen an evidence to support that notion. I have no idea what it is like to live over there while Black that’s why i will not judge. Again i am so sorry, i have no idea how you feel but let God, Allah and whatever you pray to, comfort you.

    • 7 globalcitizenlinda
      August 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      thanks for your thoughts – life is very complicated and it is not easy navigating the challenges

  2. August 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Don, Nerdy and everyone, cannot thank you all enough for these powerful words and for sharing your experiences.

    • 9 desertflower
      August 10, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      This is a special place. Thank you for letting us share.

    • 10 Nerdy Wonka
      August 10, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you for TOD which allows us to share.

      • August 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        Nerdy, your parents’ advice hit me in the gut. If I lived forever, I would never ever ever even come close to understanding how this must feel:

        “We make sure we don’t run in public because that looks suspicious (yeah, apparently running is suspicious), we make sure that we are 100% respectful to cops or your life may end that day. Yes sir, no sir, I’m sorry, sir. My hands are out, sir. I’m not holding anything suspicious, sir. I remember my shock and surprise when my white friend argued with a cop and I had to tell her to stop doing that because the person who’ll get shot first is me not her. I can’t even imagine the freedom that white people have to argue with cops and tell them loudly that they have rights. The thought that runs through my mind when I’ve been stopped by cops is the talk that my parents had with me. Be polite, make sure your hands are where they see them, say yes sir/yes m’am, never raise your voice, speak very softly, and it goes on and on and on. The prevailing thought being, good god, please let me be alive after this interaction. White people don’t understand that fear and pain where the cop isn’t there to serve and protect, but to shoot you first then ask questions later.”

        Thank you again for sharing your experience.

  3. August 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for posting these heartfelt commentaries.

  4. August 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    ALL these comments hit me straight in my gut.

    I feel all of them.

    My heart is heavy.

  5. 15 Allison
    August 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  6. 16 Judith Fardig
    August 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you for this post and for the insight into how gingerly AA people, especially young black men, have to step out from their homes into this country where white privilege still rules.

  7. 17 Betsy
    August 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I, too, have a son, but he is white and I will never have to have the talk and as df says so eloquently, and I cannot, I am truly sorry that there is no equality in our society, that the ideals of freedom and equality that our country was founded on is not applied to all people regardless of color. There is no justification for this. My heart is very heavy too.

  8. August 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Massive air attack?? Like say…, 2 twenty megaton nukes? That’ll stop ISIS right mr king? :(

    • 19 Don
      August 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      I just saw his interview on fox, bombs are the only game in town for these guys.

    • 20 Layla
      August 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Well he is NOT the President so I don’t care what he says!!!!!

    • 21 Jeff
      August 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      King is a mad man and every time he opens his mouth it renews my dislike towards the republicans. Well actually every time a republican opens his mouth, it renews my dislike towards them.

    • August 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      The President has said in no uncertain terms that there is NO Military Solution to this crisis…that the only way forward has to be an Iraqi Solution via a Unity Government that addresses the issues of all…

      what part of that cannot the neocons and MSM not understand….

      that is my response to all who would challenge The President on the way forward in Iraq…

    • 23 anniebella
      August 10, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Just like Hillary is not President, and why does it matter so much what she thinks? She is the one who supported G.W. Bush invasion of Iraq. And John Kerry is a better S.O.S then Hillary. One more thing why aren’t Hillary out there trying to help the Democrats win this fall? Is it cause she and Bill are just about her and Bill.

    • August 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      As I wrote Friday: empire is all that neocons understand. They’re not happy unless we’re bombing someone.

  9. August 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

  10. 27 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Chips, thanks so much.

  11. 28 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Another one:

    • 29 Don
      August 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      I thought Wal-mart was for open-carry, I guess it depends on who’s doing the carrying.

    • 30 Jeff
      August 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      I read that article… Got confused by the two because they seemed to happen so close together. This has really gotten out of hand with the police departments. I’ve been trying not to think about it too much because it just makes me want to tear up. :(

  12. 31 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    August 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I AM SO SORRY FOR ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS THAT HURT AND DEFILE GOD’S CREATION OF MULTI-COLORS…TO BE SURE…ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT OUR LORD CREATED EVERYONE IN’ HIS IMAGE’ AND WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD..NOONE CAN TELL YOU OTHERWISE! PRAY FOR THE INEPT WITH COLD HEARTS TO CHANGE AND KNOW THAT GOD LOVES YOU…

  13. August 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I just want to cry I feel so heartsick but I also feel like I want to smash something I’m so angry. Thank you to everyone who shared their truth here. This is really a special community.

  14. 33 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm

  15. August 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    He was shot in the calf?? How?

  16. August 10, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Powerful words from all contributors to this front page.

    Initial reaction for many people will be fear and outrage on hearing about another senseless killing (on the heels of the murders of young Black men by someone who thought music was too loud, or who “feared” for his life by chasing down a teen with skittles, etc.), this time at the hands of a person with all the advantages (uniform, badge, firearm, backup, etc.).

    I wish all the best to the Dem Mayor of St. Louis, (the unfortunately named) Francis G. Slay, to diffuse this powderkeg. I hope he takes a page from President Obama’s habit of reading letters from Americans and takes time to listen to his constituents. I hope his constituents are able to express what Don and NW did so eloquently — what a “day in the life” of productive citizens looks like — if they happen to be Black.

    Thank you Chips, for posting a thread to highlight these thoughts.

  17. 39 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 12:55 pm

  18. August 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    When the far left acts like the far right!!

  19. 44 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

  20. 47 desertflower
    August 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Can we entertain the thought that open carry states have an issue? Seems police are trigger happy and anxious all the time…on edge? Slightest issue makes them use deadly force….

    • 48 hopefruit2
      August 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      df, I’ve been entertaining the thought that racist cops have the far bigger issue. Because these incidents seem to occur only or mostly in the case of young Black males.

      I don’t recall the last time an unarmed white teen was killed by trigger-happy cops who were on edge.

      • 49 desertflower
        August 10, 2014 at 2:05 pm

        Oh no..I totally get what you’re saying! I mean as this relates to young men of color. It seems to be their excuse to use this deadly force…I’m not sure that i’m making myself totally understood here…

        • 50 hopefruit2
          August 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

          No worries df – I do see your point here. :) Just wanted to emphasize that part of the Cop culture as well.

      • August 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

        Not a teen, but in Albuquerque, white man shot and killed by ABQ PD for illegal camping while surrounded by many armed police on a hiking trail.

        Death sentence for illegal camping, many municipalities buying surplus military equipment designed for warfare — against citizens (?).

        Let’s do something about what we can control, and start with the war against police and civilians. IMHO.

  21. 52 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm

  22. 53 Don
    August 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    To all those black police officers that work for that police department; if you have sons, how do you sleep last night?

  23. 54 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

  24. August 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm

  25. 56 africa
    August 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    • August 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Africa, did you see the original tweet that prompted ABL to respond?

      It’s simply beyond belief. I won’t post it here because it includes a photo of Michael Brown lying dead on the road, but this is what the guy said –

      @Carlyle_ : The scene photos show Mike Browns body laying there with his pants still sagging. I don’t feel sorry one bit.

  26. 64 desertflower
    August 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I detest these idiots with the heat of a trillion suns.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/10/lindsey-graham-american-city-in-flames-obama-war-iraq/

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned on Sunday that militants in Iraq and Syria would attack the U.S. mainland if President Barack Obama did not immediately take military action to stop them.

    “I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and Iraq,” Graham told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “Mr. President, you have never once spoke directly to the America people about the threat we face from being attacked from Syria, now Iraq. What is your strategy to stop these people from attacking the homeland?”

    Does he HEAR HIMSELF? He sounds unhinged and deranged. We have other issues at home to deal with and it has nothing at all to do with these guys in the ME right now….seems that Ms Lindsey and McCain are more of a danger than any ME terrorist right now. Republicans handled that threat so well the last time!

    • 65 desertflower
      August 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      In other words..”Please don’t pay attention to just how badly and completely Republicans fucked that place up!!”

    • 66 Don
      August 10, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      “I think I will have myself a nice mint julep before the lovely Col. arrives to escort me to the Governor’s ball.”

      • 67 desertflower
        August 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

        :)

      • August 10, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        Maybe Ms. Lindsey Graham should be shrilling at GWB, Cheney, Condolizza, and the whole Bush Administration that ACTUALLY LET an American city go up in flames while he did nothing while on more vacations than any president when there were warnings of terrorist determined to fly planes into buildings.

    • August 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Good grief calm down Senator. Where did he do this interview from an undisclosed iron dome basement? I’ve seen teething two years olds handle things more calmly. It’s not just that Graham wants endless war. The fact is everything scares him into a petunia pile of jelly.

  27. 71 globalcitizenlinda
    August 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

  28. 72 Don
    August 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    “I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and Iraq,”

    um, 9/11/2001.

  29. 73 globalcitizenlinda
    August 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm

  30. 77 desertflower
    August 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    For eveingeorgia…hoping you saw this:

    http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2014/08/autism_cares_act_signed_into_law_by_president_obama.html

    Every year, some 50,000 youth with autism come of age in the United States. No one can say for sure what adulthood will hold for them, but legislation signed into law by President Obama Friday will help ease the burden on them and their families.

    Known formally as the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act of 2014 (Autism CARES), it was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.) and his fellow congressman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.).

    The legislation authorizes $1.3 billion over the next five years: $950 million is allocated for research grants; another $110 million will go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue researching the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders; and $340 million will go to early detection, education and intervention.

    “And the new law, for the first time, tasks the federal government with examining and anticipating needs for autistic adolescents who are ‘aging out’ of their school-based support and transitioning into adulthood,” said Smith, who authored the original 2000 legislation that helped form the base line of federal autism programs.

  31. 78 GGail
    August 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks & TOD family.

    Don’s story and NW’s story is real life for us black folks.

    I just got off the phone with my son. He called me out of the blue. As bad as I wanted to call him just to hear that he was okay, I refrained because you don’t want them to think you are always worrying about them. But it was so comforting to hear his voice – I didn’t care what he was talking about. :-) He’s currently in Montana and had downtime so he called. I let him talk about all that he wanted to discuss then I brought up the shooting in StL. He hadn’t heard about it, but he immediately assured me that he knows the drill “Mom, I know” and I let it go.

    Sadly, this is everyday life for us black folks in America.

    Thank you Chips for allowing us all to gather here and have a voice. <3

  32. 85 hopefruit2
    August 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Allan can plan on not getting any response – and if he does, nothing that can be verified with video/audio footage….

  33. August 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Well, anything I could add would pale in comparison to what’s been expressed in this post. I may still try to write something, but it just seems so pointless: a white man trying to write about the black experience. What happened to Mike Brown never happened in my world, definitely not after I moved out of New York. To those who say there’s “no white privilege”, ask them what was the last time that a white teenager was killed over a candy bar.

    • 87 carolyn
      August 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      All I can do is echo what LL has said…..I can say nothing to add depth to the heartbreak I’ve felt this morning here. All I can say to all of you is thank you for opening your hearts and letting me see what you feel. I am humbled, and heartbroken.

  34. 89 Roberta in MN
    August 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    The police are already confiscating video from personal one camera’s. That is why it took so long for them to come up with stupid press conference. I am a white female and my heart was jut broken last night for both families. I am still crying after reading Don’s, NW response. In my gut, I think this is going to just light a tinder under the unrest. I hate to say it, but I really think this is just part & parcel for a prolonged war and I will say it “war” against the colored of this nation. And I am not saying just Black men & women. (((hugs))) to you all and thank you for this forum Chips.

  35. 91 hopefruit2
    August 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

  36. August 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I have been reading all the comments regarding the murder of Michael Brown, as well as the so-called explanation given by the Ferguson PD. I’m sure there was a time the police could would not have had to even give a statement; their actions would have just been accepted and the assumption would have been that Michael Brown, by virtue of being a young black male, MUST have done something. It is even more of an insult that the police can give a statement so full of holes and EXPECT that it will be accepted.

    I am the mother of a young black man. I, like other parents, worry about him from the time he leaves the house until the time he returns. I used to chide myself for projecting my paranoia onto him and being overprotective. But each day confirms to me the realities of my paranoia.

    It saddens me that along with talking to our children about what they *can* be, we also have to talk to them about just being able to *be*. They are taught in school about civics — all men are created equal; rights and responsibilities as a citizen, etc. Then as parents and community, we have to teach them that they have to live by a different set of rules if they want to survive in this world; rules that are emphasized as they watch the news and as they go about their day to day lives.

  37. 97 hopefruit2
    August 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

  38. August 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    In less serious news, my sleep study: The tech told me this morning that while I did have “incidents”, it didn’t seem they were serious or frequent enough for a CPAP. I’ll wait to see what the doctor’s official report is.

    • 99 Don
      August 10, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Glad to hear that, LL, I wondered what had become of your sleep study. And please make sure that the doctor explain to you in great detail about your “incidents.”

    • 101 GGail
      August 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      LL, glad to hear that there is nothing “serious”, but do find out how to avoid the “incidents” and don’t be surprised if they advise, more exercise and less alcohol. :wink:

      • August 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm

        “Spot on”, GG, in your advice to him. After my husband lost weight, he never had to use CPAP again. Know other people same thing true.

        • 103 HZ
          August 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm

          LL, thanks for sharing your news. I am grateful that your report was uplifting, however, when you go in to see your doctor regarding this report, make sure to have your questions on all front of the results of the ‘incidents.” I hope all will go well when you consult with your doctor on this report. Thinking good thoughts for you and the missus. HZ

  39. 104 desertflower
    August 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Important read.

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2014/08/04-immigration-tea-party-constituencies-parker?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=BrookingsInst08091&utm_content=BrookingsInst08091

    The (Real) Reason Why the House Won’t Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    Why, then, do many House Republicans oppose comprehensive immigration reform, as presented in the Senate bill?

    It’s because House Republicans aren’t motivated by true conservatism. Rather, they represent constituencies haunted by anxiety associated with the perception that they’re “losing their country” to immigrants from south of the border.

    The Republican Party is 89 percent white, and 97 percent of Republican House districts in the 113th Congress have white majorities. Moreover, 67 House Republicans won seats with the support of the Tea Party. And people who are highly identified with the Tea Party are anxious about Latino immigrants taking over “their” country. In some instances, Tea Party groups are leading the charge against comprehensive reform.

    Nativism enjoys a strong presence in the Tea Party Caucus among House Republicans. Indeed, according to the most recent data gathered by the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR), approximately 70 percent of the House Tea Party Caucus overlaps with the anti-immigrant House Immigration Reform Caucus.

    • August 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Why put 11 million brown folks on the road to citizenship…esp when they will not be voting for you…esp when they will contribute to the “Browning” of America…

      These folks don’t want the blk folks who are already “citizens” to vote….

      • 106 desertflower
        August 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm

        NO…they don’t! Thus, I see a connection to this thread and the fear factor in general of POC….it’s all connected

  40. August 10, 2014 at 2:26 pm

  41. August 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  42. 109 dotster3
    August 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Sorry for the OT, but daughter called giggling from Cubs game saying 5 yr. old gr. son won a drawing to yell “Play Ball!” from the broadcast booth. Just heard him, loud and clear—–real loud—–but disappointed they didn’t show him. Couldn’t they have put the camera on the cute little guy for a second? (would have had to pay him?) I’m sure I’ll be seeing daughter’s mini-vid of the Big Excitement soon tho.

  43. 112 globalcitizenlinda
    August 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

  44. August 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I like this, a lot!!

  45. 114 yardarm756
    August 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm

  46. 117 sjterrid
    August 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you for posting and sharing Don’s, NW’s, and all the other’s stories. I’m so sorry. My thoughts and prayers to Michael Brown’s friends, family, and neighbors.

  47. 118 HZ
    August 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    My deepest gratitude to Chips for sharing these very moving commentaries from Don, NW, Africa, EveinGeorgia, Subluega, Prettyfoot, Desertflower, and all who have expressed words of what it really is like living in black and brown skin in our country. Too many of our precious young men are being removed from our society when we should be embracing each other with encouragement, loving words to work together and live a full and fulfilling life on this earth.

    My heart is grateful this afternoon to know that we still have the courage to stand together and make sure that we are the ones to help start a renewal and revival of the loving spirit of a Good and Decent Humanity in this nation. I do believe that the young people will move with us and make another chapter in this book of living in harmony and respecting the very breath of life for all young men of color to live a peaceful life and see a better land than what they have to see everyday of their lives in this nation.

    “The Talk” is even necessary for all of us. I remember my mother giving all of us “The Talk.” I use to walk in my city (where I reside since 2000) until I had a very chilling experience happen to me a few years back, and I was not afraid, but I was not going to be foolish. However, with the calm but NSIYP, words from my loving brother, the walks became restricted to a very private place. But every time that I leave my home, I get the looks from some, but I do not smile anymore. As Don said so eloquently stated in his comment;, when does the smile have to take full control of my life, but others can just move on. That is the ugly aspect , well one of many of this entire trap that we in this nation have tolerated
    too long.

    And when you get my age, it hurts like hell to see that my subject matter to my great nephew has to be reduced to saying at the end in my salutation on the phone with him has to be something like this:, “now do be careful, and watch how you carry yourself; remember to……on and on and on. Well, why can’t I end my conversations to my great young nephew with language that is not color coded? Just why? This can stop and has to stop. Yes, we all have to get our shovels and dig the ‘roots of this hatefulness out of our nation, and make sure we have new soil planted for our young men of color to spread their new, fresh, and joyfulness with the wonderful seeds that they have and want an opportunity to plant them freely and given respect to plant them in good and decent soil. We need new soil, my fellow Americans. It is time to dig up the old roots and rotten no good soil. We want a beautiful and lovely garden to choose from to allow our young men of color to move through this beautiful and new garden with assurance of the nobles of character, intellect, fairness, pure justice for all, and to be able to walk down our streets with no fear that they have to pull out the code words to just get to the store and purchase a candy bar or an ice cream. Just rightful decency for all. Our pigmentation will not move one inch, but what is in our hearst surely can be changed. That I know.HZ

    • 119 jacquelineoboomer
      August 10, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      So heartfelt, beautiful, and uplifting is your spirit, HZ, no matter the awful circumstance you depict, I could cry. May we all find the courage you and others have, in our own lives.


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