The Ramey Commentaries
BLACK LEADERS: REGULAR STANDARDS?
BY MIKE RAMEY
Time was being Black AND a recognized leader in your field meant something. It meant that you were a success. You had ‘arrived’ by the sweat of your brow, and spending more than a few ‘sleepless nights’ in mastering your profession. After all, the old school rule was that ‘we’ had to be ‘twice as good’ to get ‘half as far’.
Sadly, the ‘nu school’ belief that ‘we’ don’t have to ‘strive’ for excellence at all, and our people will ‘blindly’ support the efforts of Blacks who are either ‘in charge’ by election, have the ability to sing a song (or, undress on command), run a school district, or merely ‘show up and clock in’ behind a desk which has a nameplate that reads “THE BOSS” (a.k.a. ‘THE H.N.I.C.’) is crazy!
Oh, I know the emails being warmed up in the bullpen, but I digress.
Never mind ‘Honey Boo-Boo’, ‘Jersey Shore’, or the ‘Amish Mafia’. We’ve got more than enough darker-hued hands involved in the self-poisoning of the national landscape. Some of it is coming from the classroom and reaching ‘up’ into other venues which used to have standards–regular standards–of watching out for the next generation and encouraging those of us in the present.
WE WON THAT: THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE!
In case you tuned in late, let me give you a Ramey Black History Minute.
The sixties are over. No matter how much some would wish, they won’t be coming back. The revolution didn’t have to be televised–it happened because we ALL pushed in the same direction–for US. WE did that! After the confetti was swept up, the banners were put away, and the photo ops were completed, what happened? Why haven’t we acted like victors, expanded our internal and external economic infrastructure (like other people of color), and learned how to work together for the good of all of our race?
The ‘whine’ of victim hood; because victims ‘get paid’ in the good ol’ U.S.A.
Some among us are still content to play ‘the victim’ because America–when it comes to Black people–still rewards ‘perceived’ victims…and those who ‘love’ them. Check it…Hispanics are regarded as ‘up and comers’. Asians are regarded as ‘overachievers’. What about US? Well, Blacks are now the THIRD minority group in America. How did we drop from the number one color group to the number three color group in a generation? We’ve shucked success and accepted failure. In short, in ONE generation, failure has gone from NOT being an option, to being acceptable and palatable.
BLACK FACES, STRANGE EXCUSES AND BIG MONEY:
Here in my neck of the woods, the head of what used to be our largest school district is set to retire after seven years of ‘service’. He is going to be getting a booming retirement package, BUT the graduation rates, test scores, and achievement standards of this urban school district have gotten WORSE. Nationally, he’s not alone. To compound the fracture, a variety of Black school administrators in various parts of the nation are–or have been–getting FAT checks for FAILING schools and school districts…yet the Black community have been ‘less’ than public in criticizing the mess we find our urban–and now suburban–schools wallowing in. In ONE generation. Crazy checks, UP…in ONE generation. Black school dropouts, UP…in ONE generation. Young Black Male gang participation, UP…in ONE generation. Young Black women doing stupid stuff on video, UP…in ONE generation. Black on Black crime, UP…in ONE generation.
Now, we ‘do’ have ‘some’ successes to point at…but the REAL successes seem to escape our radar and our view. As a matter of fact, successful Black men and women are often ridiculed because they have succeeded in spite of the roadblocks piled against them by their own people! To those successful brothers and sisters, a tip of the hat from me. Keep on keeping on and showing us the right way…to get the job done.
However, the same symptoms; the same problems orchestrated and spotlighted by the ‘victim hood’, government-fueled, grant-driven gravy train still dog our steps as a people, giving us the illusion that we are incapable of success.
The true solutions still exist within ourselves–IF we have the courage to admit that the problems which can be solved ARE solvable. The ‘regular standards’ that got us through the Civil Rights struggle CAN ‘get us past’ this bump in our history.
THE ACTION PLAN: REGULAR STANDARDS MAKING A COMEBACK
I find it amazing that there is a severe lack of sober thinking in our race. We have achieved; we’ve been in leadership positions from your house, to the church house, to the White House for a generation and are doing WORSE? This simply means that we have to get back to basics; back to sober thinking. It’s not just about being ‘Black and proud’; it’s about being ‘Black and SMART’!
From a biblical point of view, this means clear, concise, serious thought about actions and consequences. Thinking and applying rewards to those who are friendly to our advancement, and ‘cutting off’ those who are dangers to our cause, our families, and ourselves. From a business point of view, it means giving our best to those who want the best for us…and not just for themselves.
Here’s an example: The last election cycle. President Obama and many of the Black Hollywood elite, Black Press, Black union members and Black RINO Republicans went for a pro-choice, pro-homosexual, anti-small business and anti-family agenda, all for the sake of ‘keeping a Black in the drivers seat.’ We’ve been down this path before…at the municipal level. Detroit, Gary, Washington DC, Atlanta, Cleveland, and now New Orleans. Still we’ve not learned the lessons of history.
Sure, President Obama got re-elected. Who were ‘cheesing’ on camera (or, nearby) at the inauguration? Colin Powell, Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Tyler Perry, Condi Rice and Rihanna and other ‘major’ Black power players who went clearly against the history of our people (which, for the short-sighted, is the following: anti-abortion, pro-traditional marriage, pro-church, anti-homosexual and pro-self-sufficiency) for the ‘sake’ of keeping a Black face in place. They knew better. They were raised better. But, they made their choice and expect us to ‘accept’ double-digit unemployment and less-than-minimal economic growth in our neighborhoods.
As our elders have said: “God don’t like ugly, and ain’t too thrilled with pretty.”
Regular standards simply mean holding folk accountable for their actions, and not being fearful of letting people know that ‘we object’ to negative, wrong, and nasty actions taken ‘for the sake of one’s personal agenda’. Don’t merely ‘wring your hands’ about the wayward actions of our own who are in charge. When one of ‘us’ in a position of leadership goes astray, hold them accountable! Have the guts to write letters; stop spending your money with them (economic sanctions), use emails, and public withdrawal of our support! It works wonders for putting ‘out’ the harmful fires of image and race-intent destruction. Remember “All My Babies Mamas?”
We need to let our own leaders know that they ‘need’ to remember what color they are, and whom they represent. Leadership MEANS acceptance of responsibility! When they approve of a fire being started down the block–in order to promote those things which are harmful to us for their profit–it doesn’t take that long for that fire to burn towards their house. Let’s get back to being consistent about policing ourselves.
THAT doesn’t take a government grant, talk show, book tour nor forum.
It takes an individualized effort of upright living aimed at the good of our race to make–and keep–us successful, viable and upwardly mobile. This is also being done by other races–which is quite interesting…since the original concepts began in US!
When righteousness makes a return through sobriety and putting regular standards back into place, the ‘victim hood mentality’–the last enemy of our people will be retired. Then, what a day…THAT will be!
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email manhood
email@example.com. © 2013 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
In the first part of this two part commentary on the subject of bullying, I wanted to make it clear that a ‘cottage industry’ has been built off of this issue, and a lot of people are making money off of the misery of others.
TRUE bullying is about power and control. The politically correct ‘thought police’ are doing their best to distort true bullying to further their real agenda–closing down public dissent and alternative points of view.
In short? A segment of our ‘enlightened’ society doesn’t want to hear truth!
I also mentioned that there are three GOOD things that bullies accomplish:
First: A bully will force you to stand on your OWN two feet and deal with what could be a major, real problem. Second: A bully forces you to focus on reality. Third: A bully will force one to protect that which is precious to them.
“WE’RE ALL “FUNNY LOOKING!”
I shared some basic truth with the youth of my church one Sunday morning, which I will be happy to share in this column.
Everyone, and I do mean everyone is ‘funny looking’. God delights in variety.
Today, we put far too much emphasis on looks, public opinion and social media. We live in the “Era of Least Resistance.” TV shows are being ripped off of blogs, because TV producers are too lazy to be creative–but they want to be paid well. Relationships ‘rise and fall’ based upon what someone’s FB or blog page ‘shouts’–because people have grown too lazy to invest time and work in face-to-face contact. Marriages fail because one partner would rather push their own agenda over the stability of a home and family–but still want to ‘wear a wedding band’ while creating Hell at home.
Young person, God created you as an individual. From your fingerprints down to the DNA in your genetic code, you ARE unique. Don’t let another person ‘rob’ you of your individuality for the sake of peace, security and ‘going along to get along’.
‘Peace in our time’ never comes from satisfying people who love to whine!
CRITICS COME AND GO!
Instead of crying about why you’re not like the ‘crowd’, you SHOULD spend your time finding out the gifts God has given you and use them for His glory.
You might find out why God likes to brag on you!
Oh, get ready for some criticism. But, here’s the antidote: When criticized, square your shoulders, lift your head high, and exhibit some backbone. You are NOT ‘bound’ by what a critic may utter about you! Be YOU! The quicker you learn that you are unique, and take pride in your religion, culture, talents, skills and abilities, the closer you are to maturity, and the farther you are away from being a bully’s conquest!
Critics NEVER grow up. Stand up to them, don’t ‘cower’ before them!
Better yet? Find or create a new crowd who appreciates you–FOR you!
WHEN SCHOOL RULES–AREN’T:
A few months back, there was a big stink raised by parents over video postings of student-to-student ‘beat downs’ in hallways, locker rooms, classrooms and cafeterias. Some parents were outraged that their children were the targets of these on-school campus attacks.
This is, actually, and old issue.
A few years back, when Modern Street Gangs started recruiting openly in many public schools. Many school officials and juvenile authorities just let the gangs take over.
If schools won’t cooperate and identify gang leaders ON school grounds, why would one think they would do any better in stopping bullying? Students have BEEN using their iPhones as ‘combat-a-cams’ to post such videos to You Tube and other venues as soon as these tech devices came into the marketplace. Sure, some school districts have specific rules against students using iPhones in school. Still others have rules against students recording such beat-down events. Of course, having a rule and enforcement of a rule are two different things when it comes to school districts.
Since school administrators won’t show any backbone, nor hire the security staff needed to stop students at the door (and send them home with their iPhone and/or other electronic gear), they try to place their teachers in the role of ‘iPhone cop’ in their classrooms. Like the average teacher doesn’t have enough to do? Amen!
To refresh our memories, gang recruiters required members to sneak in iPhones to record ’jumping in’ ceremonies IN schools to ‘prove’ the reach and power of gangs. Many school districts ‘ignored’ the problem…until it made the TV news.
Guess what? Schools no longer have a gang problem. They now have a ‘bullying’ problem. In other words, gangs are still doing their dirt. Instead of the schools meeting the trouble makers ‘head on’ and either expelling them or transferring them to more secure, alternative schools, they have changed the ‘name’ of the game to bullying to qualify for more money to deal with this ‘new’ issue…instead of cutting off the REAL problem at its roots.
REMEMBERING PAST PUBLIC ‘CONCERNS’:
When public ‘concern’ is riveted upon a perceived issue, it’s time to take a historic pause–especially if a little something in the back of your mind causes you to wonder: “Where have I seen this public ‘concern’ before?”
How about ‘domestic violence’ and ‘homosexual domestic relationships’.
Prior to the seventies, the issue of domestic violence was considered a private issue. TV shows and comic strips made ‘fun’ of this issue. It was an unfortunate part of life, and women and men were BOTH capable of it. As America entered the seventies, a rising number of homosexual couples came out of the closet and started to set up housekeeping. Incidents of domestic violence among same sex couples started to increase…then skyrocket, often leading to the involvement of local police departments–and injury to some responding police officers. Instead of dealing with the ‘smaller’ universe of domestic violence among same sex couples, the public ‘concern’ was focused upon the ‘perceived epidemic’ of domestic violence ‘throughout our society’.
Who ‘focused’ the concern?
Why the Mainstream Media/Education/Entertainment/Sports/Liberal Kabal…the people who are in direct sympathy to the feminist, homosexual, global warming, etc. agendas. The SAME people–by the way–who are unapologetic when they take your money at the box office, record shop, sports arena, or Pay Pal and reside in gated communities far away from the common man or woman who consumes their wares.
This is how public discussion is being squelched and manipulated.
We’ve seen a bloody 2012 end with a series of very public and very brutal mass murder incidents involving guns–some of them registered guns. This aside from major cities–with gun control laws in place–seeing increasing homicide rates.
The calls for ‘more gun control’ have already gone out from the Kabal. New and tougher anti-gun laws are being brokered and ushered into existence with little in the way of public discussion.
Who are some of those who are calling for more gun control?
Why, the very people who ‘claim’ to have public ‘concern’ at heart:
*Actors and actresses who play armed violent characters on the screen.
*Politicians and reporters and rappers who have guns and gun permits.
*Sports figures…who have armed body guards to keep their ‘fans’ away.
Anyone disagreeing with the ‘wisdom’ of the Kabal?
They are called ‘bullies’. That’s the truth.
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2013 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
An Issue To Remember: The OGBU Study
BY MIKE RAMEY
Out of Detroit, a web clip surfaced showing a gas station being ‘overrun’ by local teens who have decided to make the station their ‘hang out’, scaring away business for the owner. The true bottom line of the story rests with two parties: The teens and their parents. Web and blog comments don’t matter when there is a collapse of parental responsibility.
The economic ignorance of teens and adults of our modern era is tragic. Taxes are paid are generated by people who go to WORK daily. MOST of the jobs in the USA, your state, and your city are generated by small business owners, NOT by the government. IF teens are allowed to ‘vent’ their frustrations today, and IF their parents allow them to continue, few employers–Black, brown or white–will be sticking around ‘the hood’ to employ anyone tomorrow.
The same can be said for education. IF students ARE NOT motivated by their parents they WILL NOT achieve in the classroom. The teacher can OFFER your child knowledge, and teach them skills. However, IF the parent decides to abdicate their responsibilities, a student can be placed in a gold classroom with a diamond desk and silver computer–and still not be able to read, write or count!
A teacher can take you child to the academic fountain, but only the HOME can teach their child to drink, and motivate that same child to swim–even if it’s upstream.
AN ARTICLE AND A STUDY:
A few years back, I happened across a study concerning academic achievement and Black students. The article on the study was so insightful that I like to refer to it in those times when I hear how ‘unfair’ the ‘system’ is towards African American youth. The study was done by a Black researcher, and is available at Amazon.com. The formal title of the work, in book form is: “Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb: A Study of Academic Disengagement,” by the late Dr. John U. Ogbu, a University of California at Berkeley Anthropology Professor. It was published in 2003.
There are far too many of us that like to believe that we–as a people–will never be able to achieve anything noteworthy. Let me offer some food for thought. Just because the ‘good’ news never seems to hit the newscasts or newspapers about our young Black men and women does not mean that we have to rely upon ‘majority culture interpretation’. IF other races can achieve…we can TOO! WE have to make sure OUR people are truly on duty in the home, and not just ‘hooked up’ to the entertainment system, taking their daily six to eight hours of ‘rump shaker’ trash intravenously.
SOMETIMES THE SOLUTION IS IN THE MIRROR:
In one ‘Geico’ commercial Mrs. Lincoln asked her husband, ‘Honest Abe’ about her figure in a dress…THEN stomps off out of the bedroom fuming when her husband tells the truth about her shape! Life lesson learned? Folks, no matter how much they say they ‘want’ the truth, can’t, don’t or even won’t handle it when it is right in front of them.
Back in the 1990s, Shaker Heights, Ohio, was a hip, happening suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It had a sizeable, affluent
Black population, a great school system–and failing Black students. Things were so bad in the classroom that–according to a high school newspaper at the time–Black students had an average GPA (grade point average) of 1.9, while White students had an average GPA of 3.45. Furthermore, Black students were simply not cutting it in other academic areas, ranging from standardized test scores to enrollment in advanced placement coursework.
Of course, many of the Black parents–who were college educated themselves AND had high-powered careers–FREAKED! They reasoned–they ‘gave’ their kids everything! Why weren’t the offspring of the Black ‘best and the brightest’ achieving?
“It must have been some kind of intentional, systematic racism”, they thought. Some of the Black parents banded
together and sought outside help to make sense of the underachievement issue. They begged Dr. Ogbu to come and help.
At first, Ogbu, a Nigerian native, was apprehensive. However, he and a research assistant eventually came to Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1997, lived in the community for the better part of a year and made an in-depth study of the school system, the students, the parents, and everything in between. It took Ogbu and his team three years to crunch the numbers, and compile the data. Before the study was published in book form, he gave the parents a full year to respond to his findings. According to a lengthy article written on the study by Susan Goldsmith (which is still available on line in various parts of cyberspace) no parent ever responded to the work before it was published.
OGBU INVESTIGATES: THE TRUTH DOESN’T RESONATE:
One of the bottom line facts I have found out about life is that many people clamor for truth, only to rail against it when it surfaces. Even though Ogbu’s study was published nearly ten years ago, some of the results STILL stand out:
*Some affluent Black parents expected their merely moving to Shaker Heights to translate into improved academic progress of their children without their involvement. By ‘moving on up’ without keeping ‘parental pressure’ on their kids to achieve in the classroom, failure became not only an option, it became–a fact!
*Without Black parental involvement and pressure on their OWN kids, the ‘myth’ among young people that ‘achievement was a sign of acting white’ spread like wildfire, manifesting in lousy grades, dropping test scores and a host of other academic maladies.
*Lastly, in the classroom, there WAS a different treatment pattern by teachers towards Black and white students. Ogbu found that the cause for different treatment patterns centered in the fact that many Black students failed to complete assigned work and homework, while many of their white counterparts did. Thus, in the matter of performance and adhering to deadlines those who did not do their work did not reap better grades!
While Dr. Ogbu passed away a few years ago, his work will continue to speak for him–and to us–for years to come. It caused–and continues to cause–a LOT of controversy…ranging from sociologists who said that he ‘didn’t’ have the ‘credentials’ to properly do the study; to parents who ‘broke their silence’ after the study was made public, to those who stand to gain the most from the lack of Black responsibility–the ‘race hustlers’. Dr. Ogbu’s study unearthed more than a few unpleasant truths.
The central question: Now that we know, are we willing to DO what is necessary to reverse our own failures? Or, will we be content to follow the ‘advice’ from the ‘race hustlers’ over the cliff to our own destruction–while they line their pockets?
Why aren’t the children of our villages achieving? Read the article. Read the study. Let your kids read them as well, and discuss it with them.
Then re-introduce yourself to them as their parent (or parents) and start making academic demands of them.
People jumped on Bill Cosby a few years back when he wondered why many homes could afford the latest in electronic gear, but wouldn’t spend the money necessary for “Hooked On Phonics.”
The success of our Black youth hangs in the balance.
The REST of the world is not going to wait for your ‘precious baby’ to get his or her track shoes on to compete. They will be MORE than happy to run on and nab the brass rings of earning potential, jobs, and relationships while your child FAILS. Put another way; those IN the education system WILL motivate THEIR children to succeed. YOUR child is viewed as an ‘optional achiever’ to some of the same teachers who have ‘complained’ and went on strike about their ‘poor pay’ and working conditions while THEIR kids are enrolled in better schools and are turning in their work on time.
YOUR child is mentally starving to death daily in rooms full of academic food!
Dr. Ogbu said it best in his roadmap to academic freedom. The realities of academic progress MUST be stressed in the home…NOT learned via social media nor in the streets. Parental involvement at home WILL determine the types of grades brought home, and will cause our youth to strive to own businesses…not just ‘hang out’ at them.
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email email@example.com. © 2012, 2013 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
The Selfishness of the Sexes
By Mike Ramey
Her name was Gomer. His name was Hosea. Gomer was a party girl who eventually became Hosea’s wife–but she had an agenda. She still loved the night life even AFTER she got married, had several kids and made Hosea into the world’s first ‘househusband’. To make a long story short, Hosea had to serve God, run his household alone AND keep bailing his wayward wife out of trouble. Sadly, Gomer’s selfish ways caught up with her, as she discovered a very valuable lesson: the streets and the people in them don’t ‘love you’ when you get old, broke, and broke down. Hosea spotted his wife at a slave auction, paid the price asked for her, and brought her home to her kids.
I thought about that Bible story while surfing the web recently. The Internet is certainly loaded with blogs, with the most unrealistic offenders being (drum roll please) the ‘relationship’ blogs. What makes many of them sad reading is the phrase ‘battle of the sexes’…and it is usually shouted from the web by the female of the species.
Of course, in our modern times, if Gomer had her own blog, she would be ‘chewing out’ Hosea for ‘not’ giving her the right to live as she wanted to (even though she was a married woman); demand he financially subsidize her abandonment of the children that she wanted AND birthed (child support/crazy check, please), and ‘thumbs downed’ the notion that her home and marriage were more important than her ‘career’ as a social butterfly and part-time ‘party girl’.
One would think that Gomer would learn from her self-destructive selfishness.
But wait; she’s not died. She’s modernized–AND multiplied.
SELFISHNESS–A SURE FIRE RELATIONSHIP KILLER:
One old saying about marriage is worth remembering. Women tend to marry TO change their husbands; Men tend to marry NOT TO change their wives. In short, both–IF they aren’t careful–will enter a marriage or relationship for selfish motives.
Marriages with any other agenda than ‘becoming one’ never last.
Why is selfishness such a ‘deal killer’ in a relationship?
Because it is easier to claim ‘victim status’ rather than to change behavior.
Adults like to chide teenagers for having unrealistic views of relationships, fueled by modern music and the entertainment kabal. Well, IF we were honest, many adults love to ‘hang on’ to unrealistic views as well, fueled by nostalgia and selfishness.
Here is the unwritten secret of eternal youth, in a nutshell.
It’s ‘cool’ to be a victim.
Right now, I’ll bet that there are more than a few people who have done a ‘spit take’ into their Iphone or Ipad. Here me out, as I say it again. It’s ‘cool’ to be a victim.
There are some men and women who enjoy ‘rehash hash’ for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even after their BFFs have heard their tale of woe for the umpteenth time.
The relationship is over; they have their ‘freedom’, and their ‘no-good’ ex is GONE! The ‘victim’ belt is theirs…by a technical–walkout!
FREEDOM–WITH A SELFISH ‘CATCH’:
Being a Christian (and not just playing one), I have a tendency to LISTEN to older folk–especially Christians–who have fought the battles of life and come up with the scars AND victories. I’ll never forget the sage advice of one veteran pastor from years ago: “You can LOSE what you GOT by trying to GET what you ALREADY have.” Clearly broken down for Generation Y, the Millennials and the ‘Disney Generation’; if you KNOW yourself to be a selfish person, you’re going to have to change you BEFORE you are ready to meet someone to be WITH you…OR you will eventually LOSE them.
Selfishness between the sexes has reached an all time high. There IS no such thing as a battle between the sexes; but the air abounds with selfishness!
Me-me-me; My-my-my; do it MY way, or say–Bye–Bye–Bye!
THEN folk get shocked that their ‘love for a lifetime’ decides to hit the door, because they have discovered that they are no longer needed in a relationship where one person is selfishly in love–with themselves!
Just how bad is it out there in relationship land? I recently read that psychologists and psychiatrists, because of the dearth of common sense shown by many of their patients, have taken to ‘administering’ tough love therapy sessions, just to keep their OWN sanity! They listen to the stories, then tell their patients the truth about their selfish behavior and self-destructive morals. In short, since the ‘psycho meds’ are NOW in short supply, the shrinks have discovered that a dose of the truth can do what medication has been unable to do.
Can I get an AMEN for the truth?
SOCIAL ROLLER DERBY–BUT AT HOME ALONE:
The legal system is not immune to the problems caused by selfishness. Courtrooms have become crammed with ‘exes’ of either sex, who like to use the courts as a kind of ‘roller derby’ to order resurrections in graveyards littered with the corpses of destroyed marriages caused by agendas based on selfishness. Family court judges fear the months of November and December as ‘emergency’ hearings spring up like so many blades of grass. Lawyers for custodial and non-custodial parents wrangle over everything from an extra day’s worth of visitation, to an extra five dollars in child support because one parent ‘heard’ or ‘had the kids research’ the other parent’s FB profile or web activity. The selfish who ‘train’ their kids against another parent eventually loses that parent outright, and their kids over the course of time.
God don’t like ugly, and ain’t too thrilled with pretty.
The selfish can ‘snag’ a book deal, a magazine cover, or a talk show. Never mind the fact that your ‘supporters’ are shielding themselves (and their relationships) from your venom. The selfish are sought out by the bitter–who fuel the 24/7 news cycle and cash registers of our modern era. The selfish can create ‘new’ words and phrases–or change the meaning of existing ones such as ‘bullying’ or ‘my career is more important’. The selfish strut into church, read the Bible, and sing all the gospel hits. Church splits and pastoral vacancies abound because the selfish in the pew would rather sing, “I Did It MY Way” rather than “Oh, Lord…I Want You To Help Me.”
If you view your relationship as ‘only’ all about you–and you enjoy it–take heart!
You’ll be alone…soon enough!
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
Now’s The Time–To Cut A Switch
It seems that there has been a lot of ‘loose headed’ thinking when it comes to parents disciplining their OWN kids. I’ve even heard of one state recently attempting to pass a law BANNING corporal punishment from the schools and the home. Of course, if corporal punishment is outlawed, the DOC facilities of that state are going to be doing an SRO business, from Juvenile Hall on up. Hellooooooo tax increases!
Let us begin our electronic adventures in Hollywood. There are certain members of the entertainment kabal who also happen to be parents. Let me provide a short list of a few of the celebrity parents who have forbidden their children to see their ‘art’ on the big screen, watch their videos on the small screen or listen to their music: Madonna. Steven Spielberg. Even Snoop Dogg (before he changed his name). It seems that these–and others–delight in performing without taste, class, or sexual restraint in front of YOUR children…just don’t let THEIR kids get a peek as to what they are doing–or undoing.
The latest parent ‘protestor’ is Salma Hayek. The actress, in a published, July 2012 interview, admitted that some of the studio scenes from her movie “Savages” were ‘too racy’ for her 4-year-old daughter to see (this time), and she had her daughter banned from the set while the movie was in production. Hayek made her revelation, according to the article, while she was on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”
There is no ‘real’ mystery in how to be a parent. It boils down to whether or not you have the will to be a parent! Not a friend. Not a ‘mentor’…but a p-a-r-e-n-t! REAL parenting involves rules. REAL parenting involves making sacrifices after a child is born. REAL parenting involves saying NO more times than saying YES. REAL parenting does involves discipline–including a good spanking if needed. Oh how quickly we adults in the Black community have forgotten: There WAS a time when WE were young, and attempted to rebel against our parents.
Rebellion–back in the day and in the hood–didn’t just merit a ‘time out’ or a ‘talking to’. You were quickly spanked–like a four year old in a Quickie Mart! In the case of Grandma or Grandpa, they TOLD you to ‘…go cut me a switch…’.
They made you DANCE…like you were up for a trophy!
The FIRST lesson? You USUALLY didn’t immediately repeat the bad behavior.
The SECOND lesson? IF you cut up in school, or in public, you got a whipping there, and another one when you got home.
Let’s take a breath at this point! More than a few of you may be smiling, or grimacing–or suffering a bout of PTSD, but I’ll dare mention the THIRD lesson from a ‘parental tune up’: It kept you from entering the juvenile or criminal justice system!
PAYING A HIGH PRICE–NOW:
Tony Brown said it best: “Success is NOT being with white people; success is having what white people HAVE!” In our ‘quest’ to be integrated, desegregated or just plain old included in the melting pot of America, we forgot THESE three lessons from our past AND four very important lessons in the present:
First, that we were ‘somebody’ because of our connection to God and His church.
Second, we were ‘successful’ because we looked out for one another.
Third, we had a high respect for marriage before paternity.
Four, we had a high standard of morality!
What happened?!? We, like many modern people, turned our backs on God, the Bible and church.
We got a little money, power, and visibility. The end result? We paid a very high price in OUR quest to be ‘accepted and liked’ by the majority culture. We ‘imitated’ the majority culture’s flawed system of discipline with OUR young people. The DLS? Time outs, verbal reprimands, no spanking has FAILED in man white homes as well. The only difference (besides the occasional reporting of a mass-murderer in the MSM); when their children got before the bar of justice, because they can afford private lawyers and private insurance plans, their children got therapy.
We go with public defenders and excuses. OUR children got TIME!
I don’t care how Black or African you are. It’s too late to complain about what ‘the system’ is doing to your child at twelve, when YOU–dear parent–didn’t do your job in disciplining your OWN child, when they were two!
LACK OF DISCPLINE AMONG ADULTS, TOO:
I think a lot of people misinterpret biblical truth when it comes to this matter of the right of parents to discipline their children. One can not use biblical truth IF they have not made a connection with the author–God himself!
God does not sign off on mess, nor wink at Sin!
Let’s take this a bit further. Why are we even talking about the need to discipline children? Why do we continue to see a daily parade of out-of-control children?
Many are ‘birthed’ by adults who did NOT marry before having children.
The whole issue of corporal punishment is only a diversionary tactic by politicians and social engineers to keep the revenue coming in to fund useless programs and worthless discussions! Bullying? Really? How much is THIS gonna make for somebody’s after school program? In truth? One can not address the beating problem until they have addressed the bastard problem in our society!
What has THIS to do with out-of-control kids? Plenty! An out-of-wedlock child is regarded as a bastard in the sight of God. Let’s make this CLEAR! That child is under a ten-generation curse (Deuteronomy 28) and IS going to have a hard way to go UNTIL the birth parents apologize to that out-of-wedlock child for their lack of physical discretion and follow God’s plan in the rebuilding of that home, instead of passing the buck. Matrimony before paternity. It still works–and it still matters.
Some may say that this plan is too hard and can not work. We’ve tried the alternatives and they have ALL failed. (As of 2011–estimated 1.5 million gang members, up from 800,000 in 2005–according to federal reports)! No amount of social engineering will cool the wrath and anger of a child born out-of-wedlock. No amount of child support; no amount of ‘teen baby showers’ at the local high school, no amount of government freebies will ‘make up’ for the fact that a child’s parents didn’t have the courage–or discipline–to marry before reproducing. Once a child discovers that they are a bastard? They get angry. VERY angry! And, like ‘The Hulk’, they don’t care whom they take their rage out upon–or who gets hurt in the process. Our society is presently under attack by groups of angry children because groups of rebellious adults thought more of their immediate pleasure than their future marital responsibilities. They birthed these babies and have been allowed to go on as if nothing has happened. Some of these undisciplined ‘adults’ attend our churches, sing in our choirs–and even preach from God’s pulpits. You may be sitting next to one of these wayward breeders in your OWN church next Sunday and NOT know it! They have never been held accountable, nor felt shame for their actions.
PUT BOTH ISSUES ON THE TABLE:
I realize that this will go against the teaching of some churches and denominations. It doesn’t go against the teaching of the Bible. Disciplined children BEGIN with disciplined parents who START the discipline process by getting married BEFORE the children arrive! IF this formula isn’t followed, chaos is inevitable.
I realize that there are some households where corporal punishment ‘hasn’t’ been used (much) in the rearing of children. Might this be because the parents united in matrimony BEFORE they united in the bedroom? The MAJORITY of us Old Schoolers have stayed out of ‘major’ trouble because our married parents or married grandparents got a hold of our backsides when it was needed. Marriage represents unity and discipline of men and women in front of God but ALSO in front of their children. Even IF a marriage ends in divorce–and some have–that child KNOWS that they have the name of a REAL father who was man enough to marry his/her mother, and his/her mother was woman enough–and respected herself enough–not to have sex with a man who wasn’t going to marry her.
Let me close with this: Will those adults who didn’t have the guts to marry before they had children please meet the Village Elders behind the woodshed? On your way there, cut us a switch for YOU and your wayward children. After that, THEN we can start the rebuilding process…for the good of ALL of our communities.
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email email@example.com. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
A Quiet Reshuffle
A few years back, I happened across a newspaper article advising parents on how best to prepare their teens for college. In this particular piece, the author noted that colleges were starting to ‘check out’ applicants’ grades, starting FROM the eighth-grade level, a full YEAR earlier than what we had previously been led to believe. In short, for OUR teens to have a decent ‘shot’ at a 4 year degree, parents are going to have to get their kids to start ‘buckling down’ with the books once they reach SIXTH grade.
By the EIGHTH grade? Student grades will be considered permanent.
This is just one card in the deck of what I’d like to call ‘the quiet reshuffle.’ The academic fences are being moved back. The rules are being rewritten–while the game still goes on. If OUR teens DO NOT get the message in time? Parents will be paying out more out-of-pocket costs to get their teens to the college of their choice, IF they go at all–NOT to mention the facts that these teens will be putting themselves farther back in the starting blocks when it comes time to compete for future jobs and–yes–mates.
NOT GENERAL KNOWLEDGE BUT PUT IN PLAIN SIGHT:
You may be scratching your head and staring at this column in amazement, as you realize that you haven’t heard nor been told about this, nor seen this matter discussed in the mainstream press (MSM). You’re not the only one that has ‘missed’ this issue.
Many of our historic Black publications have overlooked this ‘reshuffle’ as they continue to be fixated on entertainment and sports more than the future education of OUR youth! Seems that, unless our teens can bounce a basketball, throw a football, or look good going to jail or prison, many Black publications and entertainers have chosen NOT to stress the need for academic achievement! Instead, we continue to hear a steady stream of ‘excusihood’ (excuses coupled with victim hood) reasons ‘why’ some of our teens can not seemingly achieve, while teens of other races have not only made the cut…but continue to EXCEL! Furthermore, many of our ‘bedrock groups’ such as the NAACP as well as various Black religious denominations have been more focused on hoodies and homosexual marriage rather than the academic and moral survival of our race.
‘Success’ seems to no longer be the mantra for our race. But, I digress.
THE VOLUNTARY ELIMINATION OF–BOOKS?
Call me paranoid if you want to, but the Bible speaks of a culture where there is an explosion of information, but a lack of wisdom. How is wisdom developed? Mainly by READING and LISTENING. IF the academic training of a people is ignored, the economic progress of that same people is stymied. A continued lack of academic preparation BY US will grant us more–not less–crowds of young people with a ‘flash mob’ mentality–talking loud, sagging proud, and achieving nothing but misery and prison time. Non-readers ONLY care about self-gratification. They don’t care about their culture nor have the mental capacity to remember history–which is what the social engineers are counting on!
HOW WELL DOES YOUR CHILD READ–AND UNDERSTAND?
As Adolph Hitler rose in power in Germany during the 1930s, he instituted a well-documented string of events designed to eliminate written competition to his rhetoric. History identifies them as…book burnings.
Fast forward some seventy years. School libraries around the country are having book ‘recycling’ efforts–far away from the MSM radar–ranging from the wholesale destruction of taxpayer-funded books, to the giving away of said books to local libraries for resale. The voluntary ‘recycling’ of books for the sake of obsolescence is JUST as dangerous as book burning.
It has been documented that students who do not have solid reading and/or reading comprehension skills do not do well on standardized tests. With the increased use of standardized testing (not only act the academic, but in the employment selection process as well) a student who does not read well is NOT going to ‘make it’ academically and WILL be limited, economically!
Remediation? Only IF the budget ALLOWS!
Quick quiz, hotshot: WHICH students are OFTEN identified with ‘poor reading skills’? African American students. Who are the ONLY ones who can change this identification? African American parents! WHICH schools are having their books replaced the quickest? Urban schools! Where do the BULK of our children attend school? Urban schools! Need I say more?
NOT THE SCHOOL OR CHURCH, BUT THE HOME:
When I brought this up on a recent radio talk show on the East Coast, the host could hardly believe that this was going on. Of course it is. But, it is happening behind the scenes, and VERY quietly…under the guise of ‘obsolescence’. If Adolph Hitler would have used this strategy, he wouldn’t have had to use bonfires. They could have touted the removal of books as a ‘need’ to replace ‘outdated’ material.
Many Germans of that era–and Americans too–would have fallen for the lie.
Like it our not, thanks to the advancement of the I-Pad and other tech marvels, more and more school libraries are getting rid of textbooks, in an ‘effort’ to, a) save taxpayer money, and; b) eliminate what are deemed ‘useless dinosaurs’ of thought.
They are NOT asking the permission of taxpayers–or parents–to do this.
Where will the war truly need to be waged to keep our kids from being victimized by any ‘quiet shuffle’? In the home! The home has been set in place by God with the specific authority of training children. Thus, the parent or guardian who doesn’t think enough to make sure their kids have the right spiritual, social, and academic foundations built within them from the cradle up, allow them to become victims–and possible slaves–to the society at large, whether it be at school, church, or applying for a job.
It is up to parents to fight ‘the shuffle’! Read your own Bible. Study our history, and culture and let your children SEE you reading, not just texting! Read now, or watch your children suffer later. The apple STILL doesn’t fall too far from the tree!
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
A BUILT-IN SCHIZOPHRENIC FLAW
BY MIKE RAMEY
During a recent appearance on the ‘Dr. Vibe’ Internet talk show, the subject of feminism came up for discussion. Of course, I couldn’t help but to add my two cents worth. “Feminism,” I stated, “is like ‘Athlete’s Foot’; it can be treated and put into remission. However, if you don’t take care of your feet…it will be back with a vengeance.” You could hear the loudest high fives reverberating throughout cyberspace from men and women of color.
If you know your history, feminism has NEVER been ‘friendly’ to people of color, no matter how feminists have tried to spin it. With recent attempts to ‘try’ to resurrect feminism for our modern era, one needs to address it with the harsh light of reality AND history. Allow me to strike the first match to light this column’s torch.
ROAD MARKERS TO SPOT:
Feminism is dying because of a built-in schizophrenic flaw.
It’s killing itself by its own creative and constantly shifting double standards.
Let’s walk through this carefully. Schizophrenia, when I apply the term to feminism, means that it’s loaded with conflicting intentions and linguistic sleight-of-hand. For example, card-carrying feminists of yesteryear did not ‘kiss and tell’. In fact, many of the so-called earlier feminists were PROUD of the fact that they didn’t care to obsess over men. It was considered a weakness for a true feminist ‘to admit’ that a man was involved with her on a romantic basis, because it signaled a loss of stature (even though Valentine’s Day was held to be an ‘allowable’ holiday for feminists to indulge) among her like-minded peers. Feminists of today can lust for and even obsess over men (they WILL kiss, tell and brag); they can shamelessly smoke, drink, cuss and flaunt their behavior (and bodies) and still be ‘in good standing’ among their peers! It’s OK for a feminist to engage in adulterous behavior–as long as there is a pay off in BIG dollar signs, as exampled by the acquittal of politician John Edwards. His ‘chick on the side’ already had her deal set up BY trial time…and afterwards. She would be considered a ‘good feminist’ in today’s playbook.
There are various road markers along the death march of feminism. First, more and more young people are discovering the TRUE differences between men and women, and are celebrating them!
Marriage is making a comeback–and MEN are back doing the proposing! Women actually like having doors opened for them, receiving flowers and being adored and wooed by her beau. Many younger women have come to realize that feminism can’t fit in a speed dating society. Why? Because young men have finally discovered that they have the power and option to move on from a bad relationship AND NOT have to put up with a lack-of-respect from a woman they may be dating.
Second road marker: feminists hate to compete against REAL women who are secure in their womanhood! A secure woman is a happy woman–and will attract a happy man! Now, modern feminist are quite willing to try and trap and brainwash a man. Unfortunately, there are more and more young women who are spending time preparing themselves to be home MAKERS and NOT home WRECKERS!
A Proverbs 31 woman will ALWAYS beat a ‘feminist scream machine’!
WOMEN IGNORING–YOUNGER WOMEN?
There is another road marker about feminism, further signaling its death.
Older professional women are opting NOT to work…with younger women.
Let me lay this on out. Let’s say a heinous crime involving a young woman–or group of young women–takes place in the news, or goes viral on the Internet. Everybody is talking about it, one; because it was so outrageous and, two; because of the fact that the incident(s) were done by young women…sometimes young Caucasian women.
Go to a female social worker, therapist or counselor and ask them: “Why ARE modern girls getting hooked on crime?”
The answers will vary, sometimes ending with: “Well, they need ‘help’.”
“Well,” as the conversation continues, “why don’t more professional women work with these young girls to steer their straight? You COULD help them–with all of your wisdom and experience. Wouldn’t YOU rather do more counseling with girls?”
The response is–like the commercial says–priceless!
“I’d rather work with BOYS,” the professional woman often states with little hesitation, “because BOYS are easier to work with than GIRLS.”
THE HEARSE HAS ARRIVED:
Remember the monster movies of old? Scientist creates monster. Monster programmed to destroy enemies of scientist. Monster realizes that its self-existence is threatened, and kills its creator–THEN kills itself or is killed by a mob of townspeople?
In spite of the attempts by those with power, money, and high profiles in the public limelight to prop up the monster and dress it in modern clothing, feminism is dying. The cat has finally come out of the bag, for the entire world to see.
Let me drop this in: Feminism isn’t an ‘illumination’ but a result of some twisted thinking. Feminism, as it was created, was NEVER about rights–it was about destruction and division. From a historical point of view, the current version of feminism started off back in the seventies, effectively watering down the Civil Rights Movement, and quickly pushing it out of the view of society. The same serpent that led Eve to deceive Adam in the garden, has been used to separate men and women of color from each other, creating an atmospheric fog of mistrust and deception, which has grown worse, not better, with the passage of time. Once time has passed…it can not be recycled. It is G-O-N-E.
The ‘goods’ that men and women have been sold from the feminist carpetbag have grown stale and costly over the last four decades. Many women have dropped dead of heart attacks, strokes, and have suffered shortened life spans, higher divorce rates, child support and alimony orders–along with a slew of other afflictions–in the quest to ‘have it all’…ONLY to discover at the end of their days, one can get more peace from the corner of a nursery with one’s own child and a loving husband rather than a corner office with a view, hateful employees and an increasing need for ‘self medication’.
We’ve arrived at the cemetery. Time to put this ‘ism’ in the grave, where it belongs.
THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email email@example.com. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
The Ramey Guide To Mentoring
*A mentor is NOT a personal or verbal punching bag.
*A mentor is NOT a person to be disrespected.
*A mentor is NOT a person whom YOU seek–they seek YOU!
*A mentor is NOT an ATM that you may tap at will.
*A mentor is NOT a person who will always tell you that you are right.
WHAT A MENTOR CAN & CAN NOT DO:
*A mentor CAN NOT undo your past, but CAN point you in the right direction.
*Mentors CAN NOT fight your battles, but CAN teach you how to fight your OWN battles.
*Mentors CAN NOT change your attitude, but CAN give you the tools to check yourself out!
*A mentor CAN NOT tell you only the good things, but CAN share the good and the bad about your abilities to help you correct shortcomings.
*An effective Mentor SHOULD NOT be of the opposite sex, but SHOULD BE a born again, Bible believing Christian who has been where the one being mentored IS going to go.
THE DUTY OF A MENTOR:
*A willingness to let the person being mentored GO. Meaning that the mentor’s job ends when it is time to let that individual go out and DO what they have been trained to do.
*A willingness to provide Biblical TRUTH. Sure, war stories are nice…but training someone else to fight life’s battles on their own is the main objective. The person is NOT a carbon copy of the mentor; but have been taught the truths of life–good and bad.
*One CAN NOT mentor via long distance. A mentor has to let individuals IN CLOSE for not only instruction, but also up-close observation. It is one thing to tell someone how to handle something. It is another to let them SEE how YOU handle the matter you are trying to convey.
*A willingness to INVEST in the person being mentored. This means coming out of the pocket of the mentor. Books, magazine articles, newspapers…even a new Bible if needed. Bottom line–the spoken word is effective; but giving someone something to take home with them–for homework and future study–is great!
*Modeling of character in the face of adversity. This is where the rubber meets the road. How the mentor handles disappointment, tragedy, loss, reversal, and loneliness is the fuel that gives the one being mentored the strength to go on.
*A Mentor NEEDS to be involved for the LONG HAUL. It may take weeks, months or even years of effort to teach the one being mentored the ropes of the business or discipline that one is entering.
THE DUTY OF ONE BEING MENTORED:
*Loyalty: A person being mentored cannot afford to harbor a spirit of ingratitude towards their mentor. They also cannot give in to ‘gossip’ or ‘innuendo’ that happens to surface about their mentor.
*Patience: A person being mentored MUST be patient with their mentor AND themselves.
*Professionalism: A person being mentored must keep the relationship above board.
*Punctuality and Observation: Be on time, or have the flexibility of time.
*Respect: At all times, respect your elders who are taking the time to train you.
*Reflection: Take the time to ‘chew on’ what you have been taught. It may come in large chunks, or small portions. The biblical admonition: Write it down and make it plain!
*Gratitude: Always take the time to thank those who have helped you ‘grow up’ and mature.
*Becoming a mentor: Eventually, you will have the opportunity to ‘pass on’ what you have learned to another individual or small, select group of individuals. After all–someone took a chance on you!
*If you can live to be forgotten and possibly re-forgotten, you have a great life ahead of you as a Mentor.
The Ramey definition of a mentor: An older person–oftentimes of the same sex– who will serve to guide, to teach, and to equip you to succeed at a particular stage in your life–and will let you go on to be successful. This may not be a ‘by the book’ definition, but one based upon my personal reflection, observation and experience.
GANGBANGERS VS. YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL: WHAT’S DONE THERE–STAYS THERE?
In the fall of 2011, it was reported that a one well-to-do school corporation were the target of a police investigation. The police had discovered that a school-based gang was busily recruiting members for a larger, local gang.
Both gangs were involved in burglaries, car break-ins and other thefts.
Of course, parents were the last to know about the police probe.
The existence of school-based gangs may be new to parents, but they continue to grow rapidly. The cops know that they are there. Schools officials know that they are there. The students know that they are there–and eagerly join AND participate.
The ONLY people who seem to be left out of the loop…are parents.
In far too many cases; what’s done IN the school house, STAYS in the school house. Once more, the taxpayer is being asked to ‘foot the bill’ for those school officials who maintain the mantra that ‘all is well’.
THE NUMBERS CONTINUE TO CLIMB:
Back in the mid-2000s, federal authorities estimated that there were some 800,000 gang members in America. In 2009 the number swelled to slightly more than 1 million. Now, a scant two years later, federal authorities issued a new study, reporting that there are some 1.5 million gang members in the USA. Two things clearly seen; 1) The programs which have been touted to fight gang activity since 2002 have NOT been working, and; 2) Our public schools are turning out to be safe havens for gang activity.
Forget the fake social flags about school house bullying and poor self-esteem. Gangs–and their recruiters–are on the march, leaving teachers, students, and administrators either caught in the grip of deliberate ignorance…or willful silence. The ‘basic’ attitude of many school officials, in my view? “Gangs are not a school problem until ‘good students’ get hurt, or, the children of school employees (often enrolled in so-called ‘better schools’) become gang targets.”
Parents are not the only ones left on the outside. Many local churches–some of them great helpers of public schools–are being left behind. The subject of religion has become blurred in the school house to administrators, but not to gang members. While Christian students who bring their Bibles to school or have prayer over their lunches are held to be troublemakers by some schools, many Modern Street Gangs have adopted a religi-criminal mode of communications. Students ‘rep’ their favorite gangs with relative ease–and scant comment–by wearing gang symbols appearing to be harmless religious icons such as crosses, crucifixes and prayer beads in plain sight on school grounds.
STREET CULTURE AND THE SCHOOL HOUSE:
Those who follow the teen scene are familiar with ‘the hoodie’; an article of street wear. Little more than a sweatshirt topped off with a hood, it has become useful in masking the identity of gang members–or others. They started to ‘catch on’ in the early 2000s as teens had adopted them as ‘the’ main choice of street wear. More than a few school corporations around the country banned hoodies as being “…disruptive to the education process…”. Many of these same school corporations later backtracked on their bans. Why? Simple economics and internal pressure.
Athletic departments and PE teachers saw hoodies as a means of; 1) keeping their student athletes warm with an article of low-priced clothing, and; 2) having something that student athletes could use to inspire ‘school pride’ via incorporation of the school athletic logo. The ‘use’ of the hoodie eventually slipped into the schools via student athletes–even though it was officially ‘banned’ by school administrators. Soon hoodies started to turn up in a variety of school colors courtesy of eager vendors. Thus, a clear item of street culture–which was officially banned–was quietly ushered into the school house because officials saw it as an economic fix. The hoodie could be ‘useful’ IF students bought them FROM vendors of the school districts’ choice!
THE THREE NEW ‘Rs’ OF EDUCATION:
Let me state this again. What was once ‘banned’ was ‘unbanned’ because it became a ready revenue source for the schools. Of course, gang members and recruiters were overjoyed. They could ‘rep’ their gang in trendy school colors and be LEGAL.
Public schools have not always been overtly ‘money hungry’. Tax revenue provided by the public ‘used’ to be enough to satisfy many school corporations. Many schools lived within their means. It seemed rare to hear that school budgets ran tight. It seemed even more rare for schools to go to the voters and request more tax revenue.
This has changed. Over the last ten years or so, school corporations have gotten greedy. Every new innovation; every new consultant’s dream just had to be ‘inserted’ into the classroom. In the mind of ‘professional educators’, the ends may not jive with the means…as long as we can count on using public money to pay for it. Furthermore, school corporations could ‘double dip’ by insisting that parents provide ‘extra’ items for schools, as in parents needed to ‘provide’ two reams of copy paper per each of their students for each semester.
When do parents see ‘cash back’ from schools? Hardly ever. Should schools ‘save’ money on an innovation, the public never seems to get a refund.
Remember the ‘Channel One’ innovation from back in the nineties? Local school corporations were to receive ‘free’ televisions and video equipment ‘in exchange for’ five to seven minutes a day access to students ‘before’ they began their studies. Before the Channel One experiment, students were limited to the outside television influences they could receive during the school day. After Channel One arrived, it seemed that schools–especially at the secondary level–couldn’t live without the use of the television in the classroom.
Let’s fast forward a few years. Now we have name brand vending & snack machines placed in many schools; name brand franchises being allowed to provide their foods in the lunch line (or have a mini-restaurant on the school campus), endless PTA/PTU fundraising drives, and students drilled to compete as young pitchmen in order to ‘win prizes’ for themselves and their schools.
These days, the 3 Rs may be interpreted: ‘Raise Revenue Regularly’.
CONFIDENTIALITY IN THE SCHOOL HOUSE:
During my tenure as a probation officer, one certain word was kept in the forefront of every case heard by the juvenile court. That word was ‘confidentiality’. There were internal rules and external rules of confidentiality existed to protect the rights of those on probation. In short, while a juvenile had committed a very real crime, they were still held to be a juvenile. They–and their parents–were entitled to having their cases kept confidential; information was not to be released to the general public. Because of the uplifting of the hip-hop/criminal ‘gangsta’ lifestyle in society, many teens have opted to ‘brag’ about their being on probation to their friends, teachers and schools. The reason for the bragging is two fold: 1) To impress their friends, and; 2) To attempt to intimidate their teachers and school staff.
Some school corporations–in co-operation with their local juvenile courts–have tried to bring back some confidentiality standards by allowing for the placement of probation officers in the school setting. Unfortunately, this innovation didn’t last. School-based probation officers soon became bogged down in the school house machinery they were sent to be above. Many of them have been used by schools as extra baby sitters or social workers for all students of their respective school, leaving them of little use to their own clients or courts.
IT’S UP TO PARENTS TO GET BACK INTO THE LOOP:
The bottom line for parents? In keeping your OWN teens and children safe, it is up to YOU to educate yourself as to gang activity in your school. Remember the saying: “What’s done in Vegas, stays in Vegas?” Your local school house has the same, basic attitude towards the safety of your children. While there is a never ending shortage of programs for the prevention of bullying to teaching the joys of homosexuality and lesbianism, basic training programs for administrators and teachers to learn how to spot and stop gang activity are often ignored–even though they are plentiful.
The safety of your children rests with Y-O-U!
Schools operate on a stair step approach to discipline. Modern gangbangers are very familiar with not only school rules in the rule book, they are also familiar with them in actual practice. Just as a ex-con knows the prison system, juveniles who are involved with gang activity know how their own schools and teachers functions. Gang recruiters know that as long as they operate ‘just under the radar’, they won’t encounter much resistance from parents or the schools.
Parents have to get ‘wise’ as to the school world their children exist within.
It begins with asking questions and doing your homework.
Let me give you just a few things to look for in your teens backpack, room, notebooks or school locker. These items–and others–are identifiers of possible gang activity of your child, or some of his/her friends:
HARD/SOFT GANG IDENTIFIERS FOR PARENTS
HARD IDENTIFIERS: (2 OR MORE ITEMS)
Tattoos [Including New UV Tats] Eyebrows Shaved In Patterns
Hairstyles Hair/Head Symbols/Shavings Hand Signals/Signs
Nose Rings Earrings Rosary Beads/Cloths ‘Mean Mugging’
Markings In Webs Of Hand/On Knuckles Religious Art Facial Markings Nail Polish
Speaking Unusual Languages/Slang/Symbols Sores On Hands
SOFT IDENTIFIERS: (3 OR MORE ITEMS)
Hoodies NFL NBA College MLB Sportswear & Hats
Scarves Doo Rags Hankies Jewelry Ringtones ’Special’ Songs
Notebooks With Gang Signs & Symbols Excessive Use Of School/Uniform Wear Colors IF Gang Colors Weapons Books On Advanced Subjects
C.D.s MP3s Ipods Alcohol Cell Cams Drugs Mouthwash Inhalants
Excessive Cash Burglary/Break-in/Lockpicks Advanced Computer Websites
Custom Gang Clothing with Street Names Notes/Codes/Gang Symbols On Journals/Non-school related paperwork
WILD CARDS & POSSIBLES (2 OR MORE ITEMS)
Articles on Specific Gangs Disciplinary Problems At School Gang Websites
Active On Probation/Parole Gang You Tube/Twitter Lists
Late Night Calls Visits/Hanging Out With Older Teens/Troublemakers/J.D.s
Strange Odors/Smells ‘Bragging’ About Friends With Juvenile Records
Spending More Time Out Of Home/Away From Home
A wise parent will do a quick ‘head to toe’ check of their child before they leave in the morning, and when they come home in the evening. If enough of these items are found, it is likely that your teen has been recruited by a gang–or is already involved. Don’t get hung up on which gang your teen may representing. They are ALL dangerous, as Modern Street Gangs are quick to change their ‘look’ inside of six to nine months.
Their hope is keeping the upright off balance and ignorant to their existence.
Parents, when you see these items turn up; WISE UP and turn up the heat as to where your teen may have gotten them.
Don’t wait until you see on the TV news, or read in the paper that the school of your child is the target of a police investigation.
By then, it may be too late.
MIKE RAMEY is the Lead Instructor of THE GANG LINE, Indianapolis, Indiana. RAMEY is a Certified Street Gang Specialist and does workshops for law enforcement or non-law enforcement agencies. He can be contacted at his Email RameysGangLine@yahoo.com. ©2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
THE MSM: NOT OUR FRIEND
BY MIKE RAMEY
If you think that the new normal is viewing or reading news stories depicting ONLY; a) Black men being arrested; b) Black women on welfare or on corners; c) oversexed young Black women fighting each other in the streets, or; d) young Black men locked into a sports-rap-hip-hop-gang slanging personna a generation after the Civil Rights movement concluded, you’ve been hoodwinked…TOO!
The propaganda tactics of the MSM–and their cohorts have become tragic of late. A few years ago, a slew of tell-all books and articles were released by those who were in the news/entertainment game. Surprisingly, many stalwarts of the MSM admitted that they ‘put forth’ their political/social/moral agendas through their fare, which leaned to the left (radical) side in far too many cases.
THE VIDEO SCREEN VS. REALITY:
The real world does not ‘run’ on a sitcom or reality clock. It runs on faith in God, loyalty, respect for authority, and perseverance. Frankly, I’m amazed at the number of young men and young women who don’t ‘get’ these key facts, THEN get upset when they are out of school–or a job–through their acting out bad behavior which has been fueled by hours of consuming videos, video games, or other MSM fare.
In our advanced technical age, African Americans are STILL the number one consumers of television. America still is the number one exporter of entertainment to the rest of the world. OUR images have not improved, nor do many of us seem to care about the MSM ruin to our reputations. Even fledgling cable networks are making a killing showing the re-runs of much of the seventies and eighties buffoonery that doesn’t seem to ‘die’. Fewer Black entrepreneurs are attempting to get broadcast licenses or set up film studios to release better-quality and uplifting video fare. What makes matters worse is Oprah and Tyler Perry–among others–continue to contribute to the mental weakening of our youth and young adults by their providing non-inspiring fare and raking in the cash for more freakish adventures into an alternate reality not fit for man, woman, nor beast.
JUST ‘PERFORM WELL’ ON A STAGE TO GET AHEAD:
Years ago, the late Newton R. Minnow opined that television was ‘a vast wasteland’. That has since been updated. Television and the MSM are now ‘a vast white-land’…by deliberate design.
History has repeated itself–even among video games! Doubt me? Next time you pick up the latest video game fare for your child or yourself, spot the number of racially stereotyped characters among the heroes, villains and supporting cast.
The MSM is NOT a friend of Black people. Again, I am pointing to a slew of tell-all articles and books which have been quietly released over the last few years, explaining in great detail how many television executives and producers took audience favorites–including M*A*S*H, Friends, Family Ties and Happy Days (among others), leaned them deliberately to the left and rendered Blacks invisible, nonexistent or very stereotyped. While you’ve been viewing, laughing, gaming or texting on your gadget of choice, again: You’ve been hoodwinked…TOO!
MONITOR YOUR CONSUMPTION & PROTECT YOUR MIND:
In my travels, I have covered, appeared before, or observed courts and judges. The FIRST rule of thumb? NEVER address a judge by their first name. This is considered a major no-no and could earn one a possible trip to jail. The SECOND rule of thumb? Dress for success. It shows respect for the judge, and for the system of law. Of course, many of the MSM court shows–even the ones featuring Black judges–are not based in reality, but in buffoonery.
Why is it important for us to monitor what we watch? Why is it crucial that young people especially need to be able to separate fact from fiction; myth from reality?
Let’s start with the obvious–the subjects of marriage, sex outside of marriage, and OOW births. Young Black men MUST learn how to prepare themselves to become husbands, not rappers and thugs. Young Black women MUST learn how to become wives, not video vixens and thuggettes. Children born outside of wedlock are not cute; they are bastards–as outlined in the Bible. Homes are built by families headed by husbands, supported by wives, and are populated by obedient children trained by their parents. The MSM hates what I have mentioned, because it robs them of revenue and viewership. God loves and blesses the nation, family, and education which backs his plan and his WORD. It’s your call–blessing or cursing in your own life?
Monitor your viewing choices.
Let’s move into the arena of crime. There is nothing glamorous about being arrested. Sixty minutes on television or ten minutes in a video is quite different from doing state or federal time. Young brothers who decide to make their mark in the criminal world, and wind up doing time in jail or prison OVER the advice of parents, school and the police. Then, these same young criminals–now with a record upon release–wants sympathy and find it ‘harsh’ that employers won’t ‘give’ them a job after they have served time.
Monitor your viewing choices.
A young person who spends five to six hours a day listening to/watching the MSM today is not going to get blessed in their education, career or even dating choices. Thinking eventually becomes muddled, and dreams become compromised. The same thing can happen to young–and older adults if they don’t keep a grip on their minds and eyesight. We don’t have to ‘buy in’ to the propaganda and images which appear before us. We can either put pressure on the holders to the keys of the MSM to better represent us, or, we can opt out of the brainwashing by restricting our consumption of their wares.
Being Number One DOES have clout to knock out the wrongs being put out!
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011, 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
Herman Cain vs. Andre Carson (9-24-11)
By Mike Ramey
Remember a scant few weeks ago when Indiana Congressman Andre Carson continued his ‘rant’ against the Tea Party, calling them–in short–a bunch of racists who wanted to lynch Black folks. His tirade may have been one of the sparks that started the Florida fire which led to Herman Cain’s sound trouncing of many of the so-called ‘leaders’ in the GOP presidential sweepstakes.
It is not know whether or not Carson sent a congratulatory note to Cain for the straw poll victory. It IS known that Carson refused to apologize for his remarks. However, in a year when one political party is trying to hold onto Black and Hispanic votes by trickery, it seems like the other–at least in the grass roots level has a message for ALL established politicians: “We ain’t buyin’ the rhetoric!”
Black voters are going to have to makes some real choices in the presidential vote in 2012. Our unemployment rate is double the national average, and heading for higher levels as well. Black teen unemployment is through the roof. Retailers have ALREADY announced that they are NOT going to be hiring as many workers for the Christmas shopping season (which begins, unofficially, just after the first week of November.) And, yes, we have NOT left the last recession (which continues into the textbook realm of an economic depression). The late Ronald Reagan said it best: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Like it or not, this is what is going to be guiding a lot of voters to the polls this November–and next–as incumbency is steadily becoming a political millstone in a season of rising taxes, lower job growth, and a bushel basket full of excuses from both parties. In the words of author and talk show host Tony Brown from years ago: “The Black community can not afford to keep their votes in one political basket any longer. Our votes NEED to be mobile.”
REASON NUMBER ONE: CAIN WORKED THE VOTERS
Those who doubted that Cain was a viable candidate. Those who thought that he was ‘merely’ a good speaker, and dismissing him got a rude ‘sock and shock’ during the first official weekend of an American fall season. Cain’s percentage numbers in the Florida straw poll, according to posted Internet and published results, showed him as having 37% of the more than 2,500 votes cast. Thus, Cain made Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney D-I-S-T-A-N-T second and third place finishers, respectively. In prior poll stops, Cain finished low, but was a popular debater.
Gee…didn’t people ‘write off’ President Obama BEFORE the Iowa primaries?
But, I digress.
There are several lessons that can be immediately learned which should prove inspirational for any other future candidates in future elections. Ironically, these same reasons are how President Obama first became Senator Obama, then marched on to the White House.
The first lesson? You have to work your voters! Meaning, you have to be around to shake hands and kiss babies and drink coffee before AND after the debate process and court your base! MOST people who are registered to vote WANT to be courted and counted. They want to have a voice in the process along with their votes. Cain asked them for their vote, and spent time in the Sunshine state whereas other candidates thought that their ‘frontrunner’ status gave them a lock on the straw poll.
It’s still a LONG way to the convention, baby! For BOTH parties!
REASON NUMBER TWO: CAIN STAYED ON MESSAGE!
Cain stayed on a CONSISTENT message in the debates, in his literature, and in his meeting with the poll participants. He didn’t put forth a ‘canned pitch’ as the salesmen like to say. His conservative credentials were not ‘accidental’ nor ‘discovered’ overnight. Cain is what you got in week one and are now seeing as the campaign season progresses. If he has ‘shot himself in the foot’ it hasn’t showed up on the political landscape as of yet. He is proud of his politics…period. No apologies or excuses. Herman Cain has ‘represented’ on the biggest stage that a Black man can stand…for the presidency. And, like it or not, Obama HAS opened the door; cleared the way for Cain to be taken seriously. One cannot ‘stutter’ and be expected to make it to the top of any profession.
Is that ‘Black enough’ for the Congressional Black Caucus?
LASTLY, THERE WERE TOO MANY GOP ‘RETREADS’:
Whenever Democrats or Republicans ‘think’ that they ‘deserve’ a higher office merely because of name recognition instead of hard work and dedication, this makes for an insult to the voting public. American voters are not all that ‘anxious’ for the backroom deals and ‘vote buying’ that may have propelled the political machines of the past. They are smart enough to know that every election is ‘showtime’ for those running for public office.
The current GOP field–sans Cain–is nothing more than a bunch of retreads, has beens, never-have-beens, and weaklings. They ‘may’ have had something to say a few years back, but today is a NEW day, baby! No one has a ‘lock’ on their office. It is God whom sets up one king, and takes down another. And He works through interested, articulate and involved VOTERS. When the stakes are high enough, and the electorate is mad enough, and they are courted by sincere and passionate candidates, people VOTE!
There were some messages sent from this straw poll meeting, First, Cain’s victory in Florida JUST sent a bolt of political lightning to the leadership of the GOP: “The Voters WILL Vote…when given REAL choices!” Another message, in-between the headlines, this going to the Indiana Democrat party. While this was a straw poll in Florida, the Democrat establishment in Indiana had better remind Rep. Carson that he has his OWN re-election effort coming soon.
Herman Cain, just for grins, may provide a case of ‘tea’, to the local Indy GOP!
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email email@example.com. © 2011 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
A NATIONAL MOVEMENT LIFTS OFF IN INDIANAPOLIS
Citing the need for both biblical and spiritual solutions for a host of problems which have surfaced in the Black community, the first annual national conference of the Trusted Partners in Christ, Inc. wrapped up its inaugural run in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“It is already half-passed late,” said Dr. Henry J. Lyons, national president, to a gathering of church members and pastors from some fifteen states. “Every believer needs to wake up and gear up for war. Some will say it is time we stopped fighting. And these people are right! It is time we stopped fighting–each other.” Lyons, pastor of the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church of Tampa, Florida, brought the conference to the Midwest in mid-August of this year after prayerfully planning for the national launch of the organization for nearly a decade. Lyons, former president of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. is back in the national spotlight once again, bringing forth a coalition of churches and Christians to not only develop local training programs to help various communities through the church, but to train pastors and members to better recognize the biblical mandate in solving problems through the power of Jesus Christ. “The gospel is just as relevant as today’s newspaper. Psychology has a place. Politics has a place. Organization has a place. But Satan has outgunned us in every one of these areas. And, if you try to build your church with those things, your (churches) are going to fail.” Lyons said.
National Trusted Partners For Christ held a variety of workshops and training sessions where churches could learn about new technology, and use it along with some old-fashioned common sense in reaching people for Jesus Christ. Also, programs were being aimed at youth and the pulpit, including raising up and training the next generation of preachers. The event ran during the week of August 15th at the Indianapolis Hilton in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.
The first portion of Lyons’ remarks during the final evening of the event took on the tone of inspired leadership, readying the troops for battle and conflict. “This 21st century up to this point has proven to be a mean-spirited, cruel generation with a mind to destroy all minorities…and ESPECIALLY Blacks. With all that in mind it is our determination to meet every challenge with the love of God.”
Lyons pointed out to the assembled multitude–some coming from as far away as Arkansas–that Satan has been attacking Black families, and our communities with unrelenting force. Marriage is under an onslaught. Children and education are under attack. Even President Barack Obama is not immune from social and political attack.
“We must get our people ready for the next election in 2012.” Lyons said. “Lead on (Mr. President), for no group, no party, no force can destroy what God has ordained.”
Following his inaugural leadership remarks, Lyons lifted up his Bible, and brought the Scriptures into play, further highlighting the scope and reach of the NTPFC. As a Baptist preacher, Lyons knows that the Bible is the key in the solutions that much be used to reach our communities. It boils down to individuals and churches being trained to not only recognize problems, but to have solutions at the ready.
The conference was well received by many who attended. Plans are already underway to spread the influence of the organization into other portions of the country, as well as expanding the types of workshops and trainings available–some of them to be offered via the Internet. The NTPFC is already looking forward to coming back to Indianapolis for the next annual event.
For next year, one such subject that will likely be explored: How urban churches can get an upper hand against the spread of gangs in their respective areas. Programs on this issue are being explored and resarched.
Lyons is also the president of the General Baptist State Convention of Florida. He has had a few widely publicized ups and downs over the last 15 years. Those negative events appear to be firmly behind him. In his own words, Lyons has reconciled with whom he has been blessed to reconcile, and apologized with whom he has been able to apologize. In the end, he may have enemies, but forgiveness will have to overcome bitter feelings over past wrongs, real or imagined.
“When you were born again, you were born to fight in a battle. And not only fight. When you were born again, you were born to win! That is more than just rhetoric. It is Truth! And, it’s high time we stop singing “Hold the Fort,” and began singing “Onward Christian Soldiers!” God IS calling Trusted Partners to victory.” Lyons said.
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. His writings appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.