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Everything posted by CDBurns

  1. "It just goes to show, you never know where life will take you....if you keep on living." Pioneer this is exactly my point. I know what the pitfalls are and the problems, but spending time dwelling on those things saps the positive energy required to get things done. I prefer to generate as much positive energy as I can when it comes to believing in the potential of my people. Doing this allows me to see the response to the good things and it helps. I look at the successes and then share those stories so that there will be more. As far as the passport it isn't any faster for a Veteran just a few steps shorter because I have a DD-214. I just don't have one, but I've been to Singapore, Hong Kong (which is how I was able to start my shoe company), Perth, Dubai, and Manila. I haven't been to Alaska, Maine, or Puerto Rico (places here and commonwealths). I'd like to visit a lot of places here in my country and I claim this country as my own with all of its flaws. There isn't any other place I'd rather be. I'm not as down on the country as most people are. Maybe because of what I've been able to do coming from where I'm from. As much as I enjoyed visiting all of the places I saw overseas, America to me is still a great place. I see beauty in the struggle and I see opportunity. Good dialogue!
  2. I think Pioneer just nailed the entire discussion. Troy I think you are not clear on what I'm discussing. My goal is not to get people to move to Memphis, my goal is to ask you with your facts and data why is it that a city with the infrastructure and political influence of Blacks in almost every major area why is Memphis failing to sway crime and why do we have the low education rates? Why is it that Memphis has everything that you seem to shoot for in establishing if there was more Black leadership or political influence, why is it Memphis is struggling. Once again the fallback answer will be history and once again I repeat I get that history has had an effect, but why are the kids here choosing to kill each other when they could all earn a living wage (yes I said all) at the multitude of warehouses and distribution centers in Memphis? The majority which offer tuition reimbursement. Memphis is the perfect model for establishing how a city can prosper under Black political influence, but because of the previous years of racism and laws it simply can't overcome the past. This is why I keep coming back to the need for the parents and immediate circle to build. This is why Pioneer's last post is so powerful. He states it perfectly, there has to be an effort at every level in the Black community. You overlooked again where I said there were crappy teachers. Stop overlooking that. My personal experience is the exact same experience as your data I simply haven't take the time to write a book on the three distinct locations I've taught in that shows how the kids overcome the worst of circumstances when the teachers and parents work together. Please stop acting as if I said there aren't crappy teachers. I said based on percentages there are more good teachers than bad, and there are more good students than bad. If there weren't all Blacks would be in prison or dead and that just isn't the case. Your doom and gloom is almost as bad as the nihilism that prevents our people from seeking a way out when there is something they can try to latch on to. Now to your points, my passport thing as you explain it is a great point. I may get a chance to speak and will need one, but remember I've spent time in more places in the world than most while in the Navy on West Pac cruises so my experience is extremely diverse. My decision to see more of this country is one that I'm doing now, but the fact is these opportunities are difficult when your kids are 14 and 8. I would assume a lot of your travel was as your kids became old enough or your extended family was capable of taking care of your kids. The reason I bring up why people aren't looking at passports and why that's a poor barometer is you've said continuously the opportunities aren't there for them so why would they spend time on a passport? More important some kids aren't even aware of what is available in their own cities. I know Black people in Memphis that have never been to any of the restaurants here that are locally owned. They only go to chains. I knew people in San Diego who lived in Southeast and had never been to the beach! Like you said, they are struggling. I was speaking with my son last night (14) and I told him that when a person lives in the hood, that's all there is. If they don't have a car, they can't get a job. If they don't have food near them, they can't eat healthy. If they can't eat they can't perform well at school. They are absolutely stuck. I get that the government should do something and be held accountable, what I've been saying this whole time is that I just don't see it happening, so now what? My solution is basic, touch the immediate circle. Your solution is to change the media. Pioneer's solution is to attack the system at every level through activism. Every one of these solutions are viable and important. I keep saying this. I'm only introducing Memphis as a city where everything is in place at the political level and with Black media outlets, but in Memphis as in every city where there is a majority Black population (using your words back there) Blacks are not doing as well as other groups. I chalk this up to my position that we are not focused enough on our immediate circles. Parents are not invested in their kids. Kids are not invested in their schools. Teachers are hindered from doing "everything" they can to build stronger people, but ultimately it's the lack of investment in the kids by the parents which is at the root of our shortcomings. For this reason I spend as much time as I can uplifting and trying to change what I can touch. This is my logic. I'm not asking that it become yours. I am asking that in your discussions you use the data that discusses the success of kids who have parental involvement. Racism and Society are factors, but Parental Involvement is a very strong tool in battling the issues in our community. It is the only one that can work no matter the income level or government involvement. Oh, Nixon... read it, heard about it, how is this any different than the previous 400 years? This has always been done. The difference is in the last 40 years Blacks have placed the attainment of things over their children at every income level in the Black community things are more important than kids.
  3. I agree with pretty much everything you've written there. The passport I'm in no rush since I'm a disabled vet and getting a passport for me and my family isn't that hard at all. My philosophy on pulling yourself up is really based on my sense of community and is exactly what you are explaining that was done. Your organization and action led to a change in the system, but the system won't respond if the people don't pull together. When we talk about what can be done, this is why I stress the self sufficiency route. It is the natural precursor to gaining access to that position where you can no longer be ignored. I agree that all accomplishments stem from the past actions and the groundwork that is laid by the previous generation which is why I came off so frustrated with Troy's suggestion that the small movements burn out without a cosign and dry up. The small movements are the only route to change because we all can contribute. My only problem with expecting the president or federal government to do anything is that it just doesn't happen that often, but on the local level you see change happen all of the time. Oh I didn't even share a link of the Memphis city council: http://www.memphistn.gov/Government/CityCouncil/CouncilMembers.aspx
  4. We definitely agree to disagree. I learned my work ethic from watching my mom take any job she could get. From 5-12 years old I went to 10 different schools. I can only look at my immediate arena when I discuss things because it my immediate arena I see accomplishments. If I looked at what you wrote (The need for a white cosign) and I shake my head. You're still here! Where is the white cosign? Are you saying you are not affecting anything? Teachers like me, although I don't teach anymore, are not rare, that is the biggest lie I've seen and I don't care what statistics you find I don't buy that at all. Teachers care and everyday they shape and change the outcomes of the lives of kids. In my mind you are dead wrong and looking at the statistics ignores the real and genuine work being done by this group. It's almost insulting. Even new teachers care about what they are doing. As far as teachers being pushed out, it happens, but there are still teachers there. The majority of teachers love what they do, the majority of students love being there, the smallest number of teachers who are poor get all of the coverage and the smallest number of bad kids get the coverage. It shows in your opinion of the educational system. I guess you have seen something in education that I was "lucky" enough not to experience in 20 years (not likely). As far as the job thing, I didn't say jackshit about the kid wanting to emulate becoming a McDonald's worker. I said they can learn from the parent working that job how to push through and work when there isn't any other option. If you look at a lot of the high profile athletes they all share a story of watching their mom struggle and this drove them to success. In your eyes they will resort to drugs and do, but that discounts all of the kids who don't. Maybe you are right though Black people don't have any pride in working at these places which is why they would rather be unemployed than have some type of job, maybe you're right. Everything I wrote is not about succeeding. It's about laying the groundwork to support the endeavors of those like Pioneer who will be fighting on the political front. If the people aren't helping themselves it becomes much harder to sell anyone on a program to improve things. Passports. I don't have a passport. My wife and I have talked about it, but we don't see the point. There are so many amazing places in our own country that we haven't seen that we are doing that first. We go somewhere great every year, and plan to conquer abroad as well, but I think the reason people don't have passports is because they aren't shown that they can travel. When was the last time you took the time to go to a local school and show kids your trips out of the country? How can they think about doing it as parents if as kids they never saw it? People have to see it first and then they can emulate and try it. I don't just talk about this kind of stuff. If you go to CBP right now and type in City Visits, or Highlights, you will see pictures and long blog posts showing where my family went. I share this because my students are becoming parents and it gives them something to fight for or think about. We do agree that corporate dominance of the media is a problem... but what are you going to do about it? That is my point in going back and forth. I can only do what I can do to make things better. I don't have access to a congressman or the time to march and fight the political fight, but I can go to a school as a sponsor. I can teach a class on a weekend. I can write and share what I'm doing and then see how it effects my old students. I shared a picture on Facebook a few weeks back of a group of young Black women who are attending a cooking school here in Memphis. One of those girls was a student of mine. I like to think that my own pursuit of a dream led her to pursue becoming a chef. I don't know if it did but just this morning I was tagged by an old student who is getting ready to graduate from college in a post that said, "Best Teacher I Ever Had _______" All of the teachers mentioned responded to that post. These posts come up often. Remember I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm only saying that the small things work. Your whole message is of doom and gloom, but overlooks the good. My last story. I had a student when I taught at a charter school. He was disruptive and had a lot of issues. One day I looked him in the face and told him, "One day I'm going to see your stupid face on the news saying you're in jail." had social media been prevalent I would have gotten in trouble if I had been taped. Two days later he was in jail. He was 18. He pulled a gun on someone's mom. I was told by another student he got the gun to come back to the school and shoot me. I went down to that kids hearing and I went to visit him every week while they held him in jail. I put money on his books and the kid every week looked forward to me visiting. I'm not the only teacher who did this type of thing. The evidence for this is in the abundance of feel good stories that are in books and film about teaching. That kid today actually has a job and has a family. He added me on Facebook. He hasn't been in trouble since. We had a first year White teacher, a young white woman and I promise you she was more engaged than you could ever imagine and did a wonderful job. Once again this is my circle. It's what I can see and affect. Did I see crappy teachers? Of course, but they were in the minority. You can't tell me that the little things need a cosign or that the majority aren't succeeding without telling me what can be done. Tell me what can be done because waiting on these grand solutions is what has us in the position we are in.
  5. More information in support of Troy and Pioneer, which also shows that nothing much has changed for Blacks: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/26/america-has-locked-up-so-many-black-people-it-has-warped-our-sense-of-reality/
  6. I think you both are continuing to overlook that I've said, I know that there is racism, but I don't place a lot of stock into it's power because to do so limits my own ability to move. There is racism, but it's not going anywhere. To continuously bring it up does one thing that's needed, it keeps us informed and it allows the marchers, protesters and activists to do what is needed on their end. I just think a more proactive approach has to be taken. Troy with your site it is a proactive approach. All of the racism and frustration is real and time consuming to keep it running, but this is the type of action I look at as the way to go no matter how futile it seems. Pioneer, here is an article that further cements what you are saying: http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/04/11/473414348/talking-housing-segregation-and-chicago-with-wbez-s-natalie-moore?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160412 Once again, I agree. I think you two assume I'm arguing. I'm not. I'm telling you that racism is here and politics won't change until the visual representation of it increases and people see how ugly it is then the goverment has to fix "something" but it will always be a temporary patch until we get our shit together. I live here in Memphis. Pioneer you don't live here. But you can do the research if you like. There are black owned media outlets in Memphis, not the major media that's Clear Channel of course. The property is owned by White folks here, but unlike you've said which is why you can't look at this city the same The Police Union is black dominated. http://www.memphispoliceassociation.org/executive-board-members/ The Teachers Unions are Black dominated. http://www.scsk12.org/uf/board/members.php?mylink=15 Home Ownership in Memphis isn't really that hard to breakdown, but when we first moved here, my wife is from Vallejo, and she said it was the first time she had seen such huge sub divisions filled with Blacks. Which is more of a comment on how diverse California is and of course the cost of living there. BUT her point is based on the obvious North Memphis is Black, South Memphis is Black, East Memphis is a mix of Black and White, and West Memphis is in Arkansas :-) My point is when you look at Memphis you have the model for a city that has Blacks in places of considerable influence and this wasn't more noticable than when Mayor Willie Herenton was the Mayor of Memphis for over 20 years. Where there Whites pulling strings? I'm sure there were because like Troy said MONEY pulls strings and Whites have more money than Blacks so be default this is the way it is. As far as your statement, " My basic point is, you have people in government who are actively involved in trying to DESTROY Black America and this is an absolute fact. You can't fight this by yourself, or by giving pep rallies and motivational speeches to young people.You need political ALLIES. People in high places of government who will keep these enemies in check ad protect you and your interests. " My question is, When hasn't America or government not been actively destroying Black America? I definitely disagree with your statement that I can't fix this because it completely discounts what you are doing with the New Flint project. It discounts Troy's work with this website. It discounts my 20 years in education and basically says I didn't change anything when I know damn well I changed and many teachers everyday produce young adults who become very productive members of society. I say without any hesitation that the teachers have done more than any politician could ever do. You need political allies. You do. That's your end and I agree you do because that is path you have taken. It's an important path and is just as important as what I've chosen to do with my voice, time, speeches, teaching, sponsorship and love. So I need you? Yes. I need you to advocate for me because I am not leaving the trenches. I will be here for my old students and for people who have to enter small business and need help navigating it so they can avoid my pitfalls. You go and get those allies and work on it on your end because maybe you're right "people in high places of government" will keep these enemies in check... but those people you are looking for haven't been doing a very good job in the last 40 years have they? Crime is high across the board. Murders are going up and the housing bubble and the subprime kicked our ass. I'm sure you'll say it's because we didn't have political representation, but it wasn't just Black folks that caught it, although we caught it the worse. Troy, you asked what will fix it? We all know there is no one answer, but for me I say it's the small and continuous push by people like you (with AALBC), and Pioneer(With New Flint) and Cynique (with her long form letters that critique society, but create questions to be discussed) are all that we can do. It's the teacher that wakes up in the morning and says one thing that may stop a kid from gunning down another kid today. It's the parent who goes to work at McDonald's and hates it, but keeps doing it because it shows her kids a work ethic. It's the dope boy who tells another athlete, "you can't do this," even though he may be killing his own people he prevents someone from doing what he does. I think when the people pull together and show their power this helps Pioneer take his complaints higher up and it gets more accomplished because you can't deny a together people. You just can't deny them when the imagery is there to support the rhetoric. My final thought on this is you can't kill Black kids when the Black kids learn to respect and stop killing themselves. Unfortunately you would say it's the societal constructs that create kids killing kids and crime which leaves us right where we are, a loop.
  7. Troy and Pioneer, I can only speak from what I see firsthand in my city. I can only talk about what I know from the places I lived and it was not institutional racism that has created the problems in any of the places I've lived or worked, except Benton, County Mississippi which is obviously deeply affected by racism and institutional practices. Pioneer in regard to jobs and your friend who moved to Murfreesboro, the jobs here pay very well for non-skilled warehouse jobs. But paying well is relative to cost of living. A very nice home in Memphis is 130,000 bucks. A decent apartment can be as little as 750/month to 1500/month it depends on where you want to live. Does Memphis have food deserts? Yes. In this sense institutional racism is an issue Troy, but less than 15 minutes away by car is access to everything a person needs in Memphis, it's not that big. Fed Ex is one of the largest employers in the world and the base is here in Memphis. Nike is based here in Memphis, UPS, Kellogs, Old Dominion Trucking, International Paper, I can go on and on about how many job opportunities are here in Memphis. It's why so many people here can actually live and retire and build lives without any education at all. The cost of living is allows this to happen. All people need to do is stick with a job. Unfortunately that is not the case. The unemployment rate is a choice. I have felons in my extended family who work for the city. There are programs in place to make sure the opportunities are there for felons to actually attain jobs. I know felons here who have started landscaping jobs. I say this to tell both Troy and Pioneer, when I look at this city it's very hard to find the racism. Is there gentrification? Yes. When they shut down the projects the drugs and crime shifted to the better parts of the city. Those better parts of the city are now, the bad parts of the city. Some parts of the city have remained the same as they've always been, but still even in those areas the job opportunities are attainable. The crime here is a choice. It's not lead in the water as Memphis has some of the best water in the country. Opportunities are in abundance and many Blacks are doing very well. I was only talking negatively of the criminal element because I am talking about it to say that you can't blame institutional racism in a city like Memphis. In every branch of power in the city there is Black wealth. It is in the churches and in politics. Memphis even has its own Black political family in the Fords (one of whom ran for office in New York, Harold Ford Jr.) So when you lose the ability to blame racism for the problems of crime in this city, what do you blame? This is why I only look at where I am because I can't analyze the entire country. I can only analyze what's around me. I don't put a lot of stock into conspiracy theories because I've seen firsthand the decisions people make. I see it everyday. I see it in business, and I see it in education. I saw it in the classrooms in San Diego, Ashland and Memphis. In every setting I saw kids overcome their "perceived" obstacles to do very well when they did the work. Some do well, some don't. I've said over and over that I'm not naive, but the more I become a business person the more I'm beginning to see that those thoughts I once had in the book 100 Black and White questions, thoughts that sounded a lot like what both you and Pioneer state, those thoughts don't just aren't carrying the weight and truth they once did. I'm becoming less convinced about the instutionalized structures blocking the path and I'm becoming more certain that poor decisions are the culprits and that those poor decisions are handed down from generation to generation. Does this sound like I'm saying there isn't racism, it does and that bothers me, but after today and what happened to me personally, (I know I'm only one person) I'm just not so sure anymore. Finally, why is it that I'm exceptional when you two have done the same thing in the face of all of these structures? Why is that you have drank the same water and you aren't killing or making horrible life choices? You two are on this board and in life doing important work. Are we just the exceptions? I don't think so because in every place there are guys like us who make decisions and we deal with the consequences. I will say this right here so you both can see it and understand where I come from: I don't give a damn about the government and their help or racism. I care that we should support each other and that if we do, we can't be denied. I know this is a fact and it is true. Like Pioneer said up there the laws and policies changed because of the actions we took 50 years ago. if we do that now without worrying about the outside, things will change.
  8. Pioneer, I'm not exceptional. I'm the same as these other dudes. My arrest ended up under my juvi file which was sealed. I ended up with a ton of community service that extended until I turned 18. Once I hit 18 I was given the option of entering the military. I did so and it changed my life. It didn't stop me from doing more stupid stuff after I got out though that I was lucky to get away from. I definitely agree with you that the marching and protests helped, but not because of the marching and protests, it was because for the first time in history the world could see on video the mistreatment of Blacks in the US.I think the images had just as much to do with the change in this country. I've made sure to say that both self sufficiency and protest/political action are needed. I just believe more in self sufficiency. My opinions are swayed considerably because I live in a majority Black city where racism doesn't really come into play. Interestingly enough, even when I lived in Cali, it wasn't racism that created most of the issues. It was the actions of the people that created the situation. The government moves in stages as you know. Obama Care will be changed to become a better solution (at least I hope it will), but it had to start somewhere and it is a start. It will never be the solution that everyone wants, but my sister in law is in that middle class no man's land. So for her it was a good thing. Once again, I'm sure you've seen what you've seen, but I'm here in Memphis and the loss of jobs doesn't happen here. There are an abundance of jobs here, skilled and unskilled. Skilled or white collar jobs actually have to be outsourced, or people have to come in. Hell, we just brought in Detroit's Small Biz leader (A white lady I can't remember her name and I don't feel like looking, lol). We have a vibrant startup community and a host of programs implemented by the city. We have one of the biggest Black small biz resources in the country, but even with all of these things in place, we have the highest murder rate in the country (percentage wise higher than Chicago) and we have a serious crime problem. Which is why I ask, what exactly do you want the government to do in a city like this where everything is set up for Blacks to succeed and they aren't?
  9. I don't know if this video will show up, but this is a perfect example of why I don't place a lot of time into pushing for government reform. <div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-video" data-allowfullscreen="1" data-href="/Vets4Sanders/videos/vb.471628832987820/603921163091919/?type=3"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/Vets4Sanders/videos/603921163091919/"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/Vets4Sanders/videos/603921163091919/">MSNBC Goes Off On Dem Party for Rigged System.</a><p>I&#039;m genuinely shocked that this clip actually happened. Maybe the MSNBC employees got some courage. They I mean, what are they going to do, fire all of their front line commentators? Well, maybe. But I think that would backfire spectacularly. Regardless, enjoy watching The Morning Joe cast take the DNC to task for their rigged system and disenfranchisement of the voters, specifically U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders&#039; s supporters. — Bernfantryman#Sanders2016 #TheSystemIsRigged #TimeToDoubleDown #NYPrimary #PAPrimary #VetsForBernie VetsForBernie.org</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Vets4Sanders/">Veterans for Bernie Sanders</a> on Monday, April 11, 2016</blockquote></div></div> Troy I hate using a Facebook embedded video, but it was on Facebook in my timeline so I pulled it as an example of how rigged the system is. If it doesn't show up then I will explain it. This video discusses Bernie Sanders recent win in Wyoming. He won by 12% yet Hillary carried the state with the delegates 11 to 7. This is why I take such a position that self sufficiency is the way forward. The government has structures in place that hinder progression. There is only progress when it can't be ignored anymore. Pioneer, my sister in law had a condition and couldn't get health insurance at all. Because of Obama Care she was finally able to get health insurance although she had a pre-existing condition. What you see as a horrible plan is at least a plan that repaired things for many. This is why blanket dismissal of what this President has done is a complex discussion. For you, Obama Care is not Universal Health Care, for my sister it was a life saver. All discussions and points are what they are just talk. It doesn't make you right or me right. We have our positions and our reasons for those positions. I will always speak about myself because in a message board where we present ideas, my values and the way I was raised and how I grew into the person I am is the biggest reason for my positions. To leave out who I am leaves out what I really feel and think which leaves the discussion in the realm of history and research which does the same thing it has always done, leaves us informed without and more knowledgeable about the past, but without any position on the here and now. I dig what you say because you are speaking from a historical position but in your signature is a website with a plan of action. I can respect that because you are doing the work and really that is all that matters. Keep pushing! Thanks Cynique for the kind words. Like I said in my previous post, if it's marching that you do, do that. If it's self sufficiency, that's cool too. It all has it's place and is all needed.
  10. LOL!!!!! D Rose would be a bit taller I'm sure. My wife has been questioning the new hair of the players in the league. I have been too, but my son is wearing his hair like that so I kind of just shoulder shrug. The Butler is Jordan's illegitimate son thing is gaining some traction too. The Bulls definitely suffered from the injury bug though. The Joakim Noah injury took their heart away. Chicago is such a great hoops city that I know it's frustrating to watch the team slide into the lottery, but it may be just what's needed. A solid high draft pick, trade Butler while he has value, get Gibson back and possibly trade Noah and let Gasol walk and the Bulls will be in rebuilding mode, but they have a lot of opportunity to change to Fred's system... which I don't think is gonna work, but hey what do you do? I have the DVR set for GoT and Empire is getting shakier, but I am looking forward to the Luscious backstory. I'm also a big fan of the 30 minute sitcom Silicon Valley and Don Cheadle's House of Lies. Television has trumped movies for me and it's a great time to enjoy the medium. It is also the perfect break from business stuff.
  11. This is just great! The Bulls are suffering from the rumors of Jimmy Butler being Jordan's illegitimate son, and of course they couldn't stay healthy for one month... but that's not important considering the Memphis Grizzlies played 28 different players this season. The most of any season in NBA history and we still made the playoffs. I'm thinking getting rid of Thibs wasn't such a good idea. Watching Golden State is amazing. They just tied and they will certainly break the record of the Bulls 72-10 by defeating my Memphis Grizzlies! Talk about being connected! You're in Chi Town, my wife is from Vallejo (The Bay Area) and I'm from Memphis, coincidence? I think not. I don't think Jon Snow is coming back, but I do think The Lanisters are going to kick some major ass this season after the walk of shame last year (which I watched with a keen interest ;-) The election is going to be just as interesting as the Olympics this summer and will probably garner better ratings as these nominations are going to go down to the wire. Good post!
  12. I stay slow on HBDs, but seeing Pioneer's post cracked me up! Nothing like a little Turbo Tax refunds to brighten a day. LOL!
  13. I think S&S realize what I realize, if the content is there eventually it may be viewed. I only use the Microsoft products, but I'm not doing much at all so they work fine for me. Videos are crazy though... what we have to remember is that the majority of people watching on YT are young. They gravitate towards the hot topics. Those people who speak about things that are current do much better. Take Dr. Boyce Watkins. He is a financial adviser, but many of his videos are on current events and timely matters. This increases his viewership and allows his audience to grow for his financial content. I am trying to avoid responding to the latest hot topic, although I am seeing more and more that is what gets your views up on YT. I guess when I say content is better than the quality of video, I'm saying that what you talk about is more important than the look. For instance, there is a guy named "Tyrone" and the guy was in an RnB singing group that went no where. He started doing these videos where he walks up on people and says, "I'm Tyrone and I'm here to fuck somebody's wife." The guy is now getting ready to be picked up by movies and his signing career is back on track. If you were putting on wigs and reviewing books you'd have 400 subscribers in one week, but integrity is a bitch.
  14. I completely agree. We've been taught that having your own makes you a man/woman.
  15. Pioneer, everything you've written is a great history lesson and it's informative, but at the end of the day it is more rhetoric that ultimately like Tavis and West is directed at people who know what has been done. Your information is possibly more valuable for those lurking than it is for me because no matter what you write, you can never explain to me how the last 40 years is any way worse than the first 400 for Blacks. You can't do it and there aren't any comparisons that can be made. If there is one, it's that this life and the things that happen are status quo and more of the same. As far as FDR and LBJ, you are only right in that there has to be a movement to force people to take action. Nothing that was done for Blacks was done for the improvement of the Black status, it was done to save face as the world watched the treatment of Blacks by their own country. In other words the laws and every thing enacted was to show that White America and the government could be civil and trusted to enter other countries and control those people. In regard to Memphis... before and after Dr. King died here we had White government. In the late 80s that changed and Memphis truly was a Black city/Chocolate city with Blacks in power positions throughout the city. At the same time you had White flight... but overall Memphis is unique and unlike Detroit because this is one of the few cities I've lived in where you can be a felon and still find work if you want it. I digress. I wrote these two posts to clarify my thoughts. http://www.cbpublish.com/social-black-lives-dont-matter-but-black-dollars-do-aalbc-coms-discussion-boards/ http://www.cbpublish.com/business-the-black-dollar-is-powerful-lie/ This article gives you a racial breakdown of Memphis and the economy/idea of building Black wealth as it relates to Memphis. It could be better and longer, but it was a response to another discussion. I present these two posts because they give the foundation of what I think can fix things. Once again, I'm not naive about how homelessness increased under Reagan and how crack was introduced and recidivism rates are all screwed up due to Clinton, but as tragic as both of those things are Blacks today and for the last 40 years don't have half of the battle that we've had in this country. We are doing far less with much more access. The regression in the Black community is amazing especially when you consider what we overcame to create the opportunities we have today. I guess I shouldn't speak in broad terms. I will only address myself and my circle. I was born in poverty, extreme poverty. Raised by a single mom. Went to Jail/juvi at 17 based on a mistake in my age and was then transferred to juvi. I had a gun put to my head twice, was almost killed in Los Angeles, but I'm still here. My life was probably shaped by White policies, but I can't tell you what they were. I can tell you when I got busted I was in a stolen car. I did that. I had a gun. I did that. When I was almost killed, it was by a Black dude. When I was almost killed in LA it was by Black dudes. When I saved lives on an Aircraft carrier, I did that. When I earned degrees I did that. My support system was my friends and the government because I earned my College fund. When I decided to teach and coach, I did that. I say all of this to state that nowhere in my life was I affected or shaped by White or government policies in a negative way. I watched my mother overcome being a temporary employee and she worked her ass off for 30 years to own a home. She was the first in our family to own a home. My sister and I both have degrees and are living solid lives. Was everything we did shaped by racism? OF COURSE! I'm sure my mom was a temp far too long. I'm sure I was impoverished because of the policies and laws on the books, but still we kept working. Now I say all of that because I can only speak on myself. The easy thing to say is maybe I was the exception. But I'm not. Most of the guys I know were raised in single parent households in poverty. We made conscious decisions to not follow the path that we were supposed to be on. The one that would have killed us, or at least should have killed me twice and probably a few times I don't know about. When I look at the kids I taught who grew up in the poorest areas in San Diego and Ashland and Memphis, the kids who made it to school and did the work are doing okay. Some are doing better than I am, some are not. Someone has to do the marching and fighting for the government to take notice. Everyone can make good decisions and improve their immediate circles and touch as many people as possible in a positive manner. I choose not to be the marcher, but the person who takes on the grassroots because I can see that change and it drives me. Maybe you are the marcher and fighter for getting government assistance. Both have qualities that are needed in making this country better. I guess I'm not disagreeing with you, I just have a hard time seeing the benefit in pursuing change through the government. I know it works, but I know that being a teacher and a coach works just as well.
  16. To record my desktop I use a program that is free from Microsoft. Apple comes with a product to record your desktop but Microsoft had to build a separate program. The program is called Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 Screen Capture. it works very well and gives you an option to use the camera to add yourself to the video and also provides editing options. Your question about quality is a fair one. Quality doesn't really matter as much as the content. People go to YT for specific reasons or just to be entertained. While Amiri Baraka is important, he doesn't rival people who have movies about them, so naturally the Bumpy video will get more traffic. I've been consistently improving my videos, but I focus more on content because I'm building my YT for business primarily. It will be a very slow growing website until I hit a million and someone talks about me in detail on some other channel. In other words, if I spent the time talking about how much money I've made people will then take what I say as valuable. Since I don't talk about how much money I've made my site doesn't pull in many visitors. I talk more about my mistakes and losses and I guess that's not as attractive. My most popular video is my complain about a customer returning the incorrect product in an attempt to hustle me. My least watched video has more content than most of them. That video is about Crowdfunding which is a topic that a lot of people want to know about, but are only willing to listen to from someone who has had a "BIG" crowdfunding campaign. I had a successful small campaign so my value isn't that high. As far as time invested, I've done 10 minute videos in one shot, but I was so familiar with the topic it was easy. I didn't need a script. I have some videos that are direct from a script. Most of my BBZ lessons are read from a script. My other videos are often unscripted. The best performing videos overall are shorter and although I know this, I still make longer videos because I think the content is worth the time of investment. Overall I think content is more important than quality. The only enhancements I've made to my videos are lighting and that's because I know people will click away when they can't see you.
  17. That was short and sweet. I really dig this info and sharing.
  18. All very good points Troy. As far as a sneaker widget, when you go to my online store you will notice that all of the shoes listed there are listed as Amazon Associates Ads. Most of the shoes are for shoes I have in inventory, but a lot of the shoes are years old and I don't have them but others do so I still get a kickback on commission through Amazon Associates. I say this to say don't waste your time building a widget for my sneakers... simply use your Amazon Associates and earn revenue that way. It's what I do. I stopped trying to fight the battle of selling solely through my website. I talked about this on one of the BBZ lectures last week. I can put a shoe up on my site for 150. I can put the same shoe up on Amazon for 250 and people will pay the 250 99% of the time. It's crazy. As of right now I have the AALBC link in my blogroll and the events widget. The more people who do this we create that precious web ring. Oh I forgot to link the video for the press this feature when you asked... my bad.
  19. I love the growth of your sidebar!!!!! Nice job Sis! When you get your adsense account I can't wait to see those ads and your updates and tweets from there. We all have to empower ourselves and capitalize on everything. I'd rather make 1 dollar for my blog work than zero so why not monetize that sidebar? Nice work.
  20. When I say nuclear it isn't in the traditional sense at all. I'm talking doing what Latinos and Asians do, live in the same home with extended family. People think it's some secret that Asian families build wealth quicker. My experience in Cali and with my next door neighbor here in Memphis is Asians will buy a four bedroom, two bathroom house by pooling resources. 3-4 families live in that one house and they all pay rent. With four families paying the mortgage and sometimes doubling up on the mortgage (in Memphis my mortgage is barely 1000 for a three bedroom two bath on a quarter acre for a 2500 sq/foot house) and the house is paid off in 5-10 years. They then invite family to purchase another house. Are all of them doing this? No, but what they (latinos and Asians) have done is say they aren't worried about what the government or the higher ups can do for them, they are doing for themselves. My own family is actually looking at doing this here. There is a 500,000 dollar house 6 bedrooms, guest house and all of that. Split level. I'm looking at renting out my current home, and my mother in law, sister in laws and my family are looking into purchasing that house because right now combined our mortgages/rents total right under 4000 per month. We could get this home for right at 3000 and pocket 1000 as a family. When I say nuclear I'm talking the extended family of coaches, teachers, neighbors that has pretty much deteriorated. What I'm really getting at though is how family members, even poor ones live in six different residents because they can't get or along or have too much drama, etc. When even if that family only made 1000 per month they could share expenses with another family. Right now I'm shooting from the hip and just typing,but I think you get what I'm saying. Our people are so fractured that I don't think we even consider taking three single parents and sharing a house because inevitably we think something would go wrong. On my street in all black and all white Memphis I'm seeing more Latino and Asian families buying property. There are 4 cars in the driveway and slowly those four cars become two cars and another home is purchased. Meanwhile we are sitting around waiting on Obama and the government to kick in and give us reparations and make things equal.
  21. Pioneer when has any president really focused on domestic policies that shape Black America? At the end of the day we can all complain about what he didn't do, but as a nation mentally we may not be in a better place, but I don't think anybody will say that we are where we were under Bush. With that said, I repeat, all of the programs you've mentioned that he could have focused on, i get it and he could have, but if we learn to focus on that which we can control we would be in a better position. It's hard to convince me that failing school districts need government support because I was a teacher for almost 20 years. Programs to reduce recidivism... I agree those are needed and that is a state and federal issue so Holder could have dedicated a lot of time to it. I agree with you on that one. The infrastructure is also a good point because that is a federal and state issue. Schools however, while funded by the government are easily repaired with parental involvement and student engagement with teacher's who know their stuff. The only thing that the government can do is make sure students have adequate food so they can focus and concentrate better. Overall everyone is saying that this President should have been different because he is Black. Which implies that the other Presidents enhanced the lives of Whites while they were in office. The other Presidents enhanced the lives of rich people and they are white, but poor White people are just screwed up as poor Black people so to think that a President would enhance the people he identifies with by race is a little crazy. 1 half Black president wasn't going to do anything to enhance the lives of Blacks directly. However, he indirectly gave a new generation the idea that they can be more and be greater simply by his mere presence of being a Black man in the White house. A powerful Black man with a beautiful and incredibly educated and talented Black wife with beautiful Black kids. For me that was enough. I will make my own way with or without racism and I will bring up and help as many people as I can. I honestly don't expect that out of the political machine.
  22. As far as the myth of the super predator, I haven't done any research, but when people talk about poorly performing schools they are often located in areas where poverty and crime are highest, which is why I brought it up. Without research though I can't stand on that and I won't. I will stand by the fact that regardless of what Coates' proclaimed to be the problem in Black America in "reparations" no one ever explains to me why or how Blacks who are from the Civil Rights era and before were capable of coming through the absolute worst time in this country to be Black and gain ground, and why today in an era with more access to technology and tools for learning Blacks aren't doing so. No one has explained this in a way that clarifies why the last 40 years have been so "hard" for Blacks. When the previous 400 were the absolute worst conditions ever. I understand the systemic issues of welfare, the fracturing of the Black family by government programs, but are these programs and institutions any less harmful than the Great Migration was to the Black family when the men left families behind on sharecropping plantations to find work in the city often producing southern and northern families, both lacking fathers? I mean let's be real is any government institution implemented greater than Jim Crow? Was the lending debacle that crushed the middle class specifically the Black middle class any more destructive than the laws preventing Blacks from buying homes in the 50s? For that matter, did the subprime effect folks in the hood? I don't think it did. Those people were struggling and continued to struggle. First generation homeowners lost everything. I understand that, and the government should have stepped in, but this was not going to happen just because we had a Black President. I will say this if people want to fix or make things better in the Black community, I said it up there, look in the mirror and fix that which you can fix. Fix those things around you first. 1. Don't kill each other. 2. Support those Black businesses that are doing great jobs. 3. Support your spouse and children with what you have. If that's love, then give them love. 4. Take jobs that may not give you the life you are looking for but will at least show your children a work ethic. 5. Reestablish the nuclear and extended family. If more Blacks lived in homes together, a lot of small incomes could accomplish things. 6. Instead of buying more things, give the children more of what you can. 7. Make sure that the arts become more important in the community again. When our art uplifts we do better. When our art is destructive, it shapes us. There are a lot of other things that can be done to improve our lot in life. Writing articles about how banks wiped out the wealth of families, or discussing how laws prevented Blacks from amassing wealth is needed, but ultimately it doesn't do anything. What works is action. Understand I do not discount what slavery and racism and the continued lack of fiscal equality has done to Blacks. I know what it has done, but when has it ever NOT been this way? When was it ever right or equal? Name me a time when "institutions" weren't gutted for Black people? It has always been this way. Should it change? YES a resounding YES. Coates' article tells us what we already know. It also gives solutions which will never arrive or will arrive too late. I believe in self sufficiency. It's why I make an effort to visit AALBC everyday. It's why I stay on Facebook so if my students ever need me they can find me and call on me. It's why I make an effort to write reviews on my website about local Black owned businesses. I do this because it's my responsibility. If people basically took care of what THEY can control things will get better. I really do think it is this simple because it has worked for me.
  23. I don't have the stats on crackbabies at all. I just know that the neighborhoods have an abundance of kids who are now in their 20s and the crime rate and graduation rates reflect some type of change that can only be associated with the crack generation coming of age now and having their own kids. I won't try to support it with hardcore stats, but it would really be interesting for people to take a look at the numbers. In regard to big business and books, I get that Amazon basically wiped out Borders and small mom and pops, but you know what else kills small Black bookstores? Black folks not shopping and buying as many books. There isn't anything the government has to do with this. People buy books, stores stay open. When I look at simple supply and demand from a business standpoint the government doesn't have anything to do with this. For instance Carl Weber had two book stores here in Memphis at the Raleigh Springs Mall and the Southland Mall. Rent in both malls probably totaled 2000 bucks per month for two locations. He had about 4 employees running those stores. At a salary of maybe 15/hour we are looking at about 6000 for salary at both locations. So to keep these stores open on a monthly basis the stores had to make at a minimum 7K. Average book cost is 10 bucks. The store would have to sell 700 books per month just to get back to money paid out. So to buy those books you divide by 2 and you get 3500 for the books. Both locations needed to make a minimum of 10,000 per month. To be profitable they would have to make 15,000 which is 1500 books sold per month or 50 books per day. Where does the government come into play in this equation? Startup Capital? Maybe, but I can't see how the government affects the bookstore moving 50 books a day. The only thing that affects this is the customer walking in and buying. I'm not naive so I know that startup capital is hard to get. I know that better than most, and I know that lending practices aren't fair, but we are talking about a guy who didn't need any of that to start up. He could have only carried books from his imprint and cut out the book cost and hired people at 10 bucks an hour. Either way the store would have to sell something to stay open. The government doesn't affect that. In regard to Black owned businesses staying open I can do a breakdown for any type of business like I did above. You get your business license, you come up with a business plan, you get capital, you open a business. Taxes are collected and paid. You sell stuff. I do it for a living. When I make stupid decisions, I lose money. When I make good decisions I make money. Does the government affect me? Maybe because I can't get a traditional loan, but the fact that I need a loan is my own fault because I didn't need one before. Once again, if I have what the people want, I sell stuff. How does the President affect this at all? I was in education from 95 until 2012. I know what's happening in schools. From California to Mississippi to Tennessee and from middle school to college, I've seen the inner workings of charter and pubic schools. I've seen HBCUs, public 4 year schools and 2 year colleges and while tuition is very high and resources are few, I've seen the poorest schools perform well when teachers did the work. So it's very hard for me to blame the government and testing and all of that because even with testing you can teach the test and still teach the material needed to make good students if the teachers are knowledgeable in their subject area and the kids want to learn. I know you're not coming at me and this is just commentary, but I really do think that people who blame Obama and they have a platform, are doing so to get paid and bring attention to themselves. I stand by my statement that the government has never been for Blacks, but Blacks have overcome much more difficult circumstances than today to do great things. What is the problem now?
  24. People attacking the President make me laugh. Most of the time the people attacking have given nothing of themselves to this country, or they benefit MASSIVELY from attacking the President. They garner better positions at academic institutions. They also get really nice paychecks on the lecture circuit. They are basically talking heads attacking a talking head. The office of the President has a lot of esteem, but the basic numbers for the country under President Obama have improved. The numbers for Blacks have not, but let's be serious this is a slide that started 30 years ago and is just continuing. Was it faster and bigger under this president? Yes, but his presidency also coincides with the crack baby generation becoming parents. What in the hell did people expect to happen over the last 10 years when the crack babies are now becoming parents? Now that's a generalization and only addresses one part of the issue in Black America, but it definitely speaks to a serious point. The President had several plans of action when he came into office: Kill Bin Laden, Get Healthcare, exit Iraq. His platform was not save Black America and it didn't need to be. His responsibility is to the country and to the government not one particular facet of the country. President Obama doesn't have jackshit to do with the way these kids behave in schools, or the increase in gangbanging and teenage parents. We want him to speak towards because he is Black and I understand that. It makes great conversation and creates an Amen corner situation for dudes like Dyson who I have long been bothered by with his jumping on the coattails of Hip-hop and rhyming and trying to be down, but that's my personal bias against dude. I can go into greater detail, but it doesn't matter because he doesn't know me and I don't know him so my opinion of him is meaningless. But this idea that the President has to act on the behalf of the people is the same silly ass idea that has existed since Dr. King died. Black people waiting on a savior when Black people could save themselves by looking in the mirror. There isn't any need for an executive order from a President to fix us. All there is needed to fix us is self accountability and responsibility. You want Black books to sell, support AALBC, don't ask Obama. You want Black small biz to work, take your ass to a Black business more than once a year. You want Black schools to get better, support the teachers, discipline your kids and then sit and discover what your kids are working on everyday. You want political influence? Get together and form groups that go out and pool the money to buy land and watch what the hell happens. If 100 McDonald's workers put 10 dollars in an account for one year they could potentially buy a franchise and share the proceeds from that franchise, but will that happen? Probably not. If 20 families on the same street organized and walked the streets each day with phones in hand they could cut down on crime, or die trying, but that's not going to happen either. The power is in the grassroots. I've never looked at my Commander in Chief to solve problems. I don't expect that to change because he's Black. Only a fool would expect that to happen and it seems to me there are a lot of fools looking for the answers to come from on high instead of being proactive.
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