Archive for Mike Ramey

ONE MAN CAN STILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags on July 18, 2014 by Black Man

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COMMENTARY BY REV. M. G. RAMEY

“Once a man understands his place in God, and how powerful a weapon prayer TRULY is; it makes it easier to stand against howling feminists, scowling sodomites, prowling criminals, ambushing reporters and feminized politicians. The God-fearing man KNOWS who he is, to whom he belongs, and his role as protector, provider, priest and king.”
–REV. M. G. RAMEY

The last great revival in American history took place because one man–Jeremiah C. Lamphier–believed the Bible, believed God, and started praying. Lamphier didn’t ask anyone’s permission; he wasn’t a preacher, or deacon in a local church. He was just a layman who–somewhere between 1857-58 looked at social conditions, did the work of an evangelist, and humbled himself before God.
He performed his Christian duty in reaching out to others in the name of Jesus Christ.

If any a man needed prayer, Mr. Lamphier did. He was a single, middle-aged businessman without wife or family. Yet, he was a committed Christian, ministering to others in New York City’s Hells Kitchen district–a rough part of the city even back in the 1850s. The time came when the work began to overwhelm him, and he sought to get a prayer room to refresh himself. He was granted a room at the North Reformed Dutch Church, located in the city’s financial district. History tells us that Mr. Lamphier took time out to strengthen his connection to God as he proclaimed Christ to others.

An interesting thing happened. As he prayed, others arrived to stretch their souls before the Lord. Sure, there was some trial and error. Soon, this man had six more men attend his first prayer meeting venture. From that initial Noon Day Prayer Meeting grew an awakening in America that lasted from just before the Civil War, well into the early years of the 1900s. It reached across the country, across color lines, across oceans and continents. Postcards, letters and telegrams soon came pouring in to the prayer meeting, asking for the prayers of the men (and later women) involved, giving praise reports of what soul-stirring events took place thanks to the prayers of many, and how the event had blessed people from one end of the earth to the next. Only eternity will reveal how many churches were awakened; preachers were revived, laymen did their jobs, and marriages and homes were restored.

Two great books–among others–covered this event in detail: “The New York City Noon Prayer Meeting.” By Talbot W. Chambers, and “The Power of Prayer: The New York Revival of 1858.” By Samuel Prime.
One man–on his knees before God–made a difference!

THE INFLUENCE OF ONE FATHER ON HIS DAUGHTER:
Right about now, I would expect a few men in the audience to start reaching for the smelling salts, because out ‘modern age’ has not done very much to honor men, let alone fathers. God created man FIRST, and woman SECOND. He had a firm plan in mind with his order of creation. Thus, my brother, once you get down to the bottom line, if you ARE a man, it’s because of providence…not because of an accident.
A few years back, I happened across a great piece on marvelicious.com about the origin and history of Father’s Day in the USA. The observance was started by Sonora Smart Dodd. Mrs. Dodd was attending church in 1909 and heard a Mother’s Day sermon being preached. Thinking back upon her own upbringing, she reflected upon how her father, Henry Jackson Smart, raised her by himself following the death of her mother. Sonora remembered the sacrifices her father made, the love he showed her and she wanted to pay tribute to him. Since her father was born in June, Sonora managed to hold the first Father’s Day observance in Spokane, Washington on the third Sunday in June, 1910. A few years later, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day–nationally–in 1924.

WHY AN INTERNATIONAL MEN’S PRAYER DAY IS NEEDED:
IF we won’t pray for ourselves, or one another, who will?
Bringing together (a) the fact that the church has served in times past as the launching platform for honorable efforts to showcase men and manhood, coupled with (b) a man’s need for connection to His God by prayer, it seems only natural that the church be called upon again to usher in a renewed effort to bring men back to their rightful place at the forefront of the home and society with the launching of an International Day of Prayer for Men.

There is still a need for men to pray in our modern era. Not only to pray FOR one another, but to pray WITH one another. The challenge? Changing the mindset that men should and must keep silent about their spiritual needs, in the wake of a global culture that views men as little more than ‘breath and britches’.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am eternally grateful for my Pastor, Brian K. Shobe, and one of our Senior Deacons, Aaron McGriff, for their asking me to serve as Minister over one of our prayer bands for a season. It awakened in me a desire to ‘step up’ my OWN prayer life, and I bring some of these fruits of blessing to paper in this written work.

In the eastern, oriental culture, men are firmly at the helm of their homes, families, and communities with little question–but increasing challenge. In the western, industrialized (and feminized) culture, men are NOT regarded as being capable of these things, but rather women are held to be ‘more capable’ of replacing men in leadership positions across the board. Especially in the vein of religion. The western ‘view’ continues to ‘mission creep’ its way into eastern culture as a byproduct of expanding international markets, and increased infusions of western cash to make improvements to the infrastructures of foreign lands. Couple this with the expansion of social media and modern electronics, add to it the continuous exporting of western values via entertainment fare and you see an increasing disrespect for men in general, and men of color in particular.

Call me sentimental, but I still remember the effort of the Promise Keepers organization back in the 1990s here in the United States. I visited and covered a few of those events, got to hear REAL Christian men addressing crowds of men about the issues of life and eternal life through Jesus Christ, as well as hearing men singing praises to God, in some places 65,000 voices strong. This was a ‘touch’ of a spiritual awakening. However, it didn’t last long, as (a) the leadership of the organization bowed to external pressure to ‘include’ women into the mix, and (b) there was moral corruption at the top, thus ruining the impact of this international ministry. While the ministry may have been damaged, the ideal of uniting men to God is still in play.

Thank God we have another chance to develop this ‘men’s only’ mission…before the hands of God’s clock reaches midnight and signals the end of all things.

MEN MUST RESTORE THEIR CONNECTION TO GOD:
When men turn their backs upon God, the KJV Bible is full of examples of what God does in order to cause men to repent and seek Him out. In the Book of Joshua, for example, the infant nation of Israel was starting to move into the promised land. They had soundly defeated Jericho–but got their clocks cleaned at Ai. Why? Because a man by the name of Achan disobeyed God, saw the wealth of Jericho, and decided to ‘help himself’ to some of the material goods that were marked OFF LIMITS by God. Joshua, after the defeat at Ai, went to the Lord IN PRAYER to find out why the armies of the Lord were defeated. The answer came back: There was SIN in the CAMP.
The actions of ONE man managed to halt the progress of ONE nation.

Achan was given every opportunity to repent and confess his sin…but he chose to keep it hidden. Joshua revealed Achan’s theft of God’s property before the entire people. The end result? Achan, his wife, his children, and all of his livestock and property were taken to a designated place. ALL the people stoned them Achan and his family, piled the bodies and goods up and burned them with fire. The Book of Joshua records this tragic scene. There is ALWAYS a high cost associated with low living…and Achan found out that God said what He meant, and meant what He said.

I realize that there may be a few men that think this is all ‘Sunday School’ stuff and may not have ‘time’ for it. I also realize that there are other men who may be reading this who may think that it’s alright for their wives to supervise the church going in their households, and leave the breadwinning to them. Still other men may be behind prison walls, or in a substance abuse shelter, or on the street corner, thinking that they are disqualified because they have failed.

My friend, prayer WILL help turn your situation around, BUT YOU need to deal with the sin in YOUR OWN camp…before it takes you to the grave.

Many men around the world are leading defeated lives, attributable to either one or a host of sins that have not been dealt with in their lives. IF men are going to be all they can be for their homes and families, we NEED to take care of first things first and check our relationship with God. One may find that if they line up with God, there will be a HOST of blessings that He has had waiting for them. The best way for a man to find the strength to stand is directly proportionate to his ability to humble himself before God.

If I may be so bold, I make no apologies for being a Christian. I became one later in life, after having my fill of ‘doing it my way’. Sure, it cost me a few things. Yes, I’ve lost some stuff. Yes, there ARE people who don’t believe the changes in me. But I got back more than what I lost, because of the mercies of God.

And, it started by my seeking Him through prayer at an old church altar.

ONE GENERATION OF MEN MUST HOLD THE ROPE:
During World War II, a generation of Black men suffered a host of indignities in order to secure their place in military history, put the liars, catcallers and race-baters to shame and clear the way for a desegregated armed forces. In short, they ‘held the rope’ of courage and sacrifice in order for the next generation of Black men to cross the battlefield with their heads up, and their banners held high. One generation of men took the risks, suffered, sacrificed, and stood their ground–sometimes soaked with their own blood–so that the next generation of men could enter the leadership ranks and rise to the top.

Prayer–real prayer–gives a man a clear view of God’s purpose for his life, instills him with courage, fires his backbone, and gives him the strength to stand in the storms of criticism, protest, and hypocrisy. A man will find the strength he never knew he had to ‘hold the rope’ for not only the men in his family, but the men coming up behind him in his society.

I realize that there will be some who may ‘dismiss’ the need for a laying of a spiritual foundation in the men of our day. However, if men would start such a journey by reading the Word of God, they will see much of themselves within its covers.

Why has their been a ‘downplaying’ of men discovering the trueness of God BY prayer? Could it be that the fearful and double-dealing secretly know that they can’t stop a praying man? Prayer is that ‘rope’ that secures a proper connection to our Lord. And, once a man has it and nurtures the prayer habit, it is hard to stop his forward and upward progress, come what may.

UNDERSTANDING REAL PRAYER:
To be honest, many of us are of the ‘smartphone’ mindset–assuming an ‘app’ need be pushed, and a problem will be instantly solved. That may work for getting a bank balance, a weather forecast, or a hotel reservation…but it has nothing to do with REAL prayer. To put it simply, if one wants something from God, they must be connected to Him through His son, Jesus Christ and strengthen that connection with prayer.
Let me provide an example. In the Book of Acts, Chapter 19, the Apostle Paul is ministering under the power of God. If you are familiar with Paul, he once was named Saul, and was the top enemy of the infant church on behalf of the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin Council. Saul was so good at his job, that he managed to scare the church world…but he didn’t scare Jesus Christ. Along the Damascus road, the crusader against the church was brought to his knees, accepted Christ, became a champion FOR the church, the agenda of God and a true prayer warrior. In Acts 19, Paul was ‘on the job’ for the cause of Christ, which involved healing the sick, and other special miracles that were wrought from his hands. As the passage goes, certain sons of a Jew named Sceva saw what Paul had accomplished and sought to duplicate what they had witnessed…without taking the time to secure themselves into Jesus Christ. These men tried to take on a demon-possessed man under the name of Christ, without being secured IN Christ. The end results were destructive, to say the least. The demon in the possessed man awakened, looked at the pretenders, and beat them bloody. For good measure, these seven men were sent packing, butt naked. Amen.
Here are some quick lessons on prayer:

1. Don’t pray to God IF you are not connected to God. As a car battery won’t start a car without being connected to the proper electronic devices, prayer without being connected to God will give one a good show for those around them…but there is always TRUE evil that knows who is for real, and who isn’t. Make your connection sure. The Gospel of John, Chapter 3 and the Book of Romans, Chapters 3 and 6-10 are great places to start to check your connection.

2. The ONLY connection to God is through Jesus Christ. I realize that there are men who will take me to task for this, but, as a Christian myself, I have to stand with the God I serve and the Bible He provided. The mark of a man is that when he puts his foot down regarding an issue, his foot does not move. My stance on the best version of the Bible is the KJV. My foot will not move. The only way to God is through the doorway marked Jesus Christ. On this, my foot will not move. We are living in an age where real men are needed. Real men can only be raised up by real prayer, and there is a FIRM need for ‘prayers’ and not ‘players’. Amen?

3. Be prepared to humble yourself before God in prayer. The Bible is God’s ‘Talking’ Book. If you want to see how a particular thing is done in the scriptures, you have to both READ and HEED its contents. The Bible will talk TO a man, in direct proportion as to how that man humbles himself before God.

REAL ENEMIES TO REAL PRAYER:
A man who is connected to God by Jesus Christ will have three enemies who desperately attempt to keep him away from his prayer duty. The first enemy is our world system (better known as society-at-large). The second enemy is ourselves, the man-in-the-mirror, so to speak. The third enemy is Satan, otherwise known as the devil. Of the three, Satan is the most sinister, because he has blinded many in our day to doubt that he is real. His job description is a simple one: keep men from praying to God by any means necessary. Satan knows that IF he can keep man apart from God, man will never truly know the full love of God, nor the destiny and blessings He has in store for him on earth and in eternity. Keep a man from communicating with God through prayer, and you can push him into any evil desire available.
Prayer is more than a ‘spiritual exercise’. It is a hallowed means of direct communication with the throne of Grace. It is to the spiritual man what air is in the lungs of a physical man. One preacher held prayer to be so essential to living this life, that he developed the following stanza:

Little prayer; little power.
Much prayer; much power.
More prayer; more power!

WHERE MANY MEN HAVE ‘MISSED IT’…
I would have to honestly say that many men in my generation (I am over 50, thank you very much for asking) have missed out on God’s best–even IN the church–because of one tiny word: Sin. What IS Sin? It is the missing the mark of God, by God’s definition. What is a Sinner? A man who is without God, by God’s definition.

Whether by word, deed, action, non-action or interaction, we come up short. Instead of us confessing our sins, men have gotten ‘cute’ and have taken to ‘covering up’ their sins by changing their vocabulary, and relying upon God’s grace and mercy to ‘wink’ at their transgressions. It doesn’t fool Him…nor His true servants.

What do I mean by changing vocabulary? Simple. Once upon a time, ‘an affair’ was called what God called it: Adultery. One who likes to snort cocaine, shoot heroin or smoke marijuana is now called a ‘substance abuser’ instead of a ‘drug addict’. One who likes to watch an endless parade of sports on TV or in person is now called ‘a dedicated fan’ instead of an idol worshipper. I needn’t go any further. You catch my drift. Changing the name of what one would call being kicked by a mule does NOT change the fact that a kick DID take place. But wait, there’s more. Many men have gotten so sophisticated about their sin(s) that they have lobbied for changes in the law to help expedite the ‘healing’ of their sinful activities. ‘Sodomites’ in many places, are rapidly gaining the right to marry. ‘Pornographers’ are merely exercising their first amendment rights as they ‘ply’ their ‘wares’ with men, women, boys AND girls.

When one becomes a man, the biblical admonition is made clear by Paul. The time comes to put away childish things. No longer can men afford to be intoxicated by sports, or held to the sidelines by the whines of the social engineers, feminists and environmentalists. This doesn’t mean that the attacks will stop, nor will the temptations cease. This doesn’t mean that a firm connection to God won’t cost you your marriage, your home, or your children. Being secured in Christ and establishing a real prayer life does not guarantee that all will be sunshine and rosy days. It just means that more men will have to firm up their backbones and decide NOT to participate in activity that is detrimental to us. Prayer gives one clarity of vision to spot the dangerous. Furthermore, with the strengthening of attacks on ALL men, racism is going to have to be shown the door. There is going to have to be a renewal of supporting our fellow man and helping him to get to higher ground, regardless of his color, social position or economic level.

It starts with prayer; REAL prayer.

…AND HOW WE CAN GET IT BACK!
The first way in which we can mark an International Day of Prayer for Men is to have the appropriate Scripture verse: “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old (Psalm 44:1, KJV).” It sets the tone for the day, and gives men the courage to forsake their sins, to repent and seek the face of God.

He will draw near to us, when we draw near to Him.

Many men have heard of the triumphs and failures of David. Other men have heard about the trials of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they faced off against the wicked king Nebuchadnezzar, risking death rather than bowing to his pagan god. Still other men have heard of Jesus’ parables of the Prodigal Son or His miracles in feeding the 5,000. Such a day of prayer will give men an opportunity–perhaps the first one in years–to find their way back to God. As the old folks used to say: “God didn’t move away from us; we moved away from Him.”
What day would be good for such powerful prayer? To be truly thankful for such a day, the third Sunday in November would be an ideal ‘marking place’. It comes after Veteran’s Day, and just before Thanksgiving, here in the states. We–as men–need to be thankful for one another. November is the perfect month for the cultivation of such thankfulness.

Where should we meet? Well, there is no better place to meet than in God’s house–one’s local church. You see, many churches have been ‘programmed’ to see men either at Christmas time or Easter. Still other churches have been hoodwinked into believing that women can serve in the role of Pastor over them. A woman who dares to put on pastoral robes is a danger to the church and herself. Man did not get caught in the transgression; woman did! When a church allows a woman to take a role meant for a man, it makes a mockery of God and sets that church on a collision course with destruction.

The only way to clean God’s house is through obedience, prayer and consistency. The Bible holds: “Judgment MUST begin at the House of God.”

Man has his place; woman has her place. Let us not confuse the two. If I may use a sports phrase, men and women are on the same team in God’s house, but are called to different positions. The positions are determined ONLY by God through His Word.

God’s house IS above all things–a House of Prayer. Secret prayer at home, followed by public presence, worship and prayer at one’s church will do wonders for your life. (I’m sure that if you don’t have a church of your own, prayer can be made in advance of this date for the Lord’s leadership to an upright church!)

Why should men go to church? As one story goes, an old man continued to attend church, bring his Bible, and support his Pastor, rain or shine. The old man was hard-of-hearing, could barely see, and walked with the aid of a big cane. A young man watched this old man in his faithfulness, and asked him: “Old man, why do you continue to come to church, Sunday after Sunday, and support her?” Without batting an eye, the old man replied: “I want to let the Devil know who’s side I’m on!”

Brothers, whose side are YOU on? Surely, NOT the side of those oppressing men in our current day! IF you are on the wrong side, take heart! God does allow U-turns. If He can do it for others, He can take that limp or switch out your hip, and make you a MAN after His own heart!

As a part of this day, I would encourage that men should have a moment of silence for those men in their lives who have ‘cleared the way’ for them. The ‘rope holders’ of our past. Fathers, Grandfathers, Great-Grandfathers, Uncles, Coaches, Teachers…etc. A moment of silence to honor the passing of these men off the scene who have had great impact upon our lives. We didn’t get here by ourselves. Another man from our past helped to shape us into the men we are today…and this would be a great day to remember them…the third Sunday in November.

They held the rope for us. We need to do likewise for the men coming up.
This is our time to shine, and not to whine. Let us get together and storm the gates of heaven with our prayers. As the prayers go up; the blessings DO come down!

Here’s to an AWESOME first annual International Day of Prayer for Men! One man CAN STILL make a difference!

M. G. Ramey is a Minister, Columnist and Book Reviewer who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a contributor to and supporter of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD MAGAZINE, as well as one of the behind-the-scene tacticians for the International Day of Prayer for Men! © 2014, M. G. Ramey/Barnstorm Communications. Use permitted to IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD MAGAZINE.

The United States of Excuses

Posted in Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Ramey Commentaries with tags on March 11, 2014 by Black Man

Ramey

By Mike Ramey

With the cries of: “Hike the Minimum Wage!” making the rounds of the nation’s capital, a report released late in February, 2014 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is worthy of mention. The report concerned the ‘real’ cost of such a move.

It seems that, IF the Minimum Wage is raised–again–the economy would lose yet another 500,000 jobs. President Obama has already ‘issued’ his decision to hike the wage to $10.10 per hour as it impacts those working under federal contracts. Members of Congress, spurred on by Democrats in the Senate, are putting forth legislation to expand the hike. Since teens are the most impacted by Minimum Wage hikes, I’ll leave it to you parents who read my column. Would you advise your son/daughter to give up their part-time, Minimum Wage job ‘for the common good’?

I didn’t think so.

THE HEAT IS ON!

 When it comes right down to it, many Americans ‘love’ the appearance of acting charitable in public. When the issue of charity starts to impact their children and a future shot at a job and college, it’s amazing how ‘stingy’ they become.

Let me say up front that this is going to be one of ‘those’ columns that should be shown to a teen you may know. Their future is–literally–hanging in the balance.

A few months back, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the criminal justice system. I can remember a time when one who drew prison time was called a ‘convict’. When that person served their time, and was released, they were called an ‘ex-convict’ or an ‘ex-con’. Many of them who returned to society were humble, because they KNEW that they had done wrong in committing crime(s). They also knew and accepted the fact that they had a long way to go in order to ‘climb the mountain’ to successful employment. My how the times have changed. In the continuing social quest to ‘negate’ individual responsibility, we have seen men and women emerge from prison–unrepentant. In fact, the attitude among many ex-cons today is that ‘society’ is at fault for putting them behind bars in the first place.

Say ‘Amen’, somebody!

Furthermore, the term ‘ex-con’ has undergone urban renewal as it has been translated to ‘ex-offender’; then translated again into the ‘PC’ term ‘reclaimed citizens’. Even US Attorney General Eric Holder has been heard making comments to further ‘pacify’ the egos of those who have done prison time by urging that society quickly restore their right to vote–ahead of their ‘right’ to getting a job, paying restitution and becoming upright citizens by paying their taxes.

 CAN WE TELL THE TRUTH?

 A few years back I addressed this issue in several columns. I never thought that I would have to bring up this matter of individual responsibility again, but there are some who are new riders of the ‘short bus’ and have to be re-taught the basics of common sense and proper social behavior.

Can we get back to telling the truth?

It seems to be worthy of noting that there are some–repeat, ‘some’–in our society who fly to trouble, innuendo and wrong doing like a moth flies to a flame, and demand the hard-working, regular people of society to wink at, overlook and cover the damages and consequences of their antics.

‘Rebels’ fail to understand the racial implications of their abuse of other cultures. They fail to understand the sexual implications of STDs and OOW births. They fail to understand the damage to their family name by going to juvie, jail and/or prison. They fail to understand the damage to their community by living deliberately destructive lifestyles: BUT…they want to have the ‘freedom’ to ‘do their own thing’ without consequences, while active citizens of “The United States of Excuses”.

There was a time in American history when our fore parents told us–in no uncertain terms–that we needed to be a ‘credit to our race’. Those words are still true, but have lost their luster and power, thanks to our becoming a nation of card-carrying excuse makers. In short, we have backslidden to social adolescence; demanding full rights and restoration after spending years of putting our churches, families, friends and communities through a very real hell on earth.

A SIMPLE CHALLENGE TO THE EXCUSERS: Years ago, a veteran homicide detective appeared on a local radio talk show fielding a call from person who was against capital punishment. The detective, with a great sense of cool, listened to his opponent rant and rave about the ‘rights’ of the criminal. Then, the detective spoke. “Sir, if you will come with me to the scene of my crime victims, I would be more than happy to honestly listen to your point of view.” What the detective was saying–if I may put it in a nutshell–is that there are too many do-gooders who have not seen the end product of a criminal’s inhumanity to the person on the receiving end of his/her crime spree.

To those of you who are ‘anxious’ to place ex-cons back into the workforce AHEAD of those young men and women who have taken the time to live crime-free lives, I offer you a challenge. Let me see YOU do it, with your own family as the sacrifice. Tell your son or daughter who are going for that first job, or continuing their education, that they must ‘give up’ their dreams for someone who has been to jail or prison. I’ll wait for word of your sacrifice…but not for too long.

Think that my challenge is a little bit too harsh? Well, let’s take this one step further: For those who write hour after hour about the ‘need’ for companies to hire ex-cons ahead of those who don’t have criminal records, try this one: I have yet to see a study of businesses–owned/run by ex-cons–citing how many of their behind bars brothers (and sisters) they have exclusively hired.

Do you see where I’m going on our excursion?

LET’S WRAP THIS UP:It’s always easier to be ‘charitable’ with someone else’s money or livelihood. It’s hard to be as generous or magnanimous when it comes to the economic security of those who live in our own homes. If I may get personal for a moment, if more homes did THEIR jobs, the ‘excuse’ community would dry up overnight, and the prisons would close!

Want to see our country get back on the right track? Let’s start shucking the excuses. A criminal lifestyle is MEANT to have a downside, no matter how many movies and TV shows may glorify the opposite.

Remember the Bible basics: A good name is worth more than diamonds, rubies–or excuses. The rebellious must change; NOT the righteous.

MIKE RAMEY is a syndicated columnist, book reviewer and Minister who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emails always welcomed to manhoodline@yahoo.com  (C)2014 Barnstorm Communications

When Ceasar Goes Mad

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , on January 25, 2014 by Black Man

Ramey

By Mike Ramey

Had a great time off, and am tanned, rested and ready for another go-round! To my friends, supporters, as well as my haters and trolls…wake the neighbors, get out the torches and brew the coffee ‘cause Mike Ramey is back–and still Black–on the funky electronic frontier.

A GREAT STARTING POINT:

Let’s start off with one of my favorite stories. In Daniel, Chapter 3 (KJV), we see the three Hebrew men: Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego). They were originally kidnapped as teenagers from their homeland (along with their friend Daniel), had their names changed, and over the course of time were promoted to leadership positions under King Nebuchadnezzar. One fine day, the king decides to erect a huge golden statue of himself. When it was finished, it was decreed that ALL the officers and officials under his reign would bow their knee to worship the golden image of the king–or face the death penalty.

I can tell that many of you have heard this one…if you’ve ever been to church or read the Bible. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow. Of course the rival leaders (who didn’t like them anyway because they were Hebrews) ‘snitched’ to the king about their refusal to bow to the king’s image. “Now, men,” said the king, “I’ve been good to you; I’ve set you up in fine positions and paid you a good wage. I’m gonna give you another chance. Please…bow…now!”

The three men didn’t miss a beat…because they knew God had their back. They refused. “Oh King, we won’t bow. We serve God. He can choose to deliver us, or not to deliver us…but we won’t bow!” Their refusal was made before a packed house of other officials. The king flipped out. “Bow…or burn!” The Hebrew men refused again!

Nebuchadnezzar ordered immediate execution. “Heat the furnace seven times hotter; tie these men up, and have the strongest men in my employ throw them in, and that will be that!” The heat killed the strong men, but did nothing to the three Hebrew men. Somehow, the king got a look into the furnace and saw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego lose, walking around, and conversing with the pre-incarnation of Jesus Christ.

While the three Hebrew men were later freed and promoted, the story didn’t end well for Nebuchadnezzar. Eventually, for his lifting himself up against God–and God’s people–the Babylonian king lost his mind (sanity), lost his family, and lost his kingdom.

There is always a high price for a nation and its leaders to pay, when they follow the same track. The Bible records a host of other public officials–from kings on down to governors–who exalted themselves ‘above’ God, and sought to abuse His people.

WHO IS ‘CAESAR’?

Let’s have a brief history lesson as to why I use the term ‘Caesar’ when I refer to the government or government systems. The Caesars were the leaders of ancient Rome, the world power that was in place when Christ walked the earth. While the Bible urges Christians to pay their taxes, pray for government leaders and others in authority and support the established systems of government, where government ‘crosses the line’ and; 1) disregards the teachings of the scriptures, 2) passes laws that are in direct conflict with biblical teachings, 3) deny the rights of the righteous by setting limits on the freedom to worship, or; 4) in any other way oppresses those who identify themselves as Christians, then it is the Christian’s duty to obey God, rather than the government.

The Caesars were arrogant, for the most part. Nero was the most ruthless of the Caesar class. His sins were many and mighty. Nero also had mental health problems. Not only did he persecute Christians, history teaches us that he set fire to Rome…and laid the blame at the feet of the Lord’s people, leading to widespread torture and persecution.

Of course, it didn’t end well for Nero…or Roman society. Do you see a pattern?

WHEN CAESAR GO MAD AND MOCKS GOD‘S LAW:

There have been more than a few examples popping up in the Mainstream Press (MSM) and the Internet of ‘Caesar’s kin’ going mad.

Let’s begin in California.

It’s no secret that Californians voted by more than two-to-one against sodomite (homosexual) marriage with Proposition Eight. While the people expressed their will at the polls, those who were on the losing side of the measure ran eagerly to the federal courts–where the will of the people was overturned for sake of immorality. Yes, this same tactic has taken place in other states of late, but let’s look at the result of the overturning of Proposition Eight in California through the eyes of Scripture.

A drought began in 2010 in California–and is still going on as I pen this column.

Allow me to continue. The drought is sooooo bad that Gov. Jerry Brown, in January, 2014 urged Californians to ‘pray’ for rain! You read that right! A governor of a state which has allowed God’s ideal of marriage to be mocked, is asking for prayer to break a drought!

In Oregon, a court ruled that a Christian-owned business could NOT stand on its principles and REFUSE to back a wedding cake for a homosexual couple’s ‘wedding’. This is not the first time that this has happened to Christian-owned businesses in the USA. On the large side, remember the venom pushed against the Chick-Fil-A chain? At the small business level, I recall that a Christian couple who owned a Bed and Breakfast Inn were hauled into court by a sodomite ‘couple’ for being refused service. That case was also long and messy, and socked the business with legal fees.

Make no mistake about it. Caesar is willing to take the tax money generated by Christians and Christian-owned companies. However, when Christians are being forced out of business, or out of state by the ungodly, God is not pleased, nor do the offending parties get away with their antics. I have yet to see a state prosper where laws have been passed and oppressive tactics used against God’s people.

Remember what happened to Pharaoh–and Egypt–when God intervened.

NOT ANY BETTER IN HIGH PLACES:

In the White House, President Barack Obama has–since his first term–sided with homosexual marriage, abortion, and turning America’s back on the nation of Israel in favor of Iran, Syria and other enemies of the Jewish state. The particularly troubling note in those decisions is that President Obama and his family spent some 20 years in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Chicago church, sitting under his pastorate and preaching. Even a ‘casual’ scan of the KJV Bible will reveal that God’s hand of blessing is not on a nation that turns its back on Israel, let alone additional types of national immorality.

What has been the ‘blow-back’ of President Obama’s decisions to the American landscape? Well, according to the latest news, some 20 percent of American households are on food stamps. There is a 40 percent rate of OOW births, while the US has recorded some 55 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade case from 1973. Traditional marriage has declined, along with the birth rate. According to one financial analyst, the REAL unemployment rate is 37.4 percent–IF you add in those who are no longer looking for work! Black unemployment and Black Teen unemployment are BOTH in the double digits and are NOT expecting to go down anytime soon. Throw in one of the worst winters in recent memory, and you have a mess of major proportions.

When Caesar goes mad, the righteous aren’t the only ones who suffer. Those outside of Jesus Christ also suffer, though they won’t admit it. It rains on the just and the unjust. The cries of ‘tolerance’ and ‘peaceful coexistence’ that we see plastered on bumper stickers and in newspaper headlines are really buzzwords for open hostility against godly morality and those who believe in it. The only prayerful stance against those who have ‘gone over’ to a reprobate mind is a simple one: Deliverance from evil.

Many of us have come too far, to bow our knee to the Caesars now.

MIKE RAMEY is a syndicated columnist, book reviewer and Minister who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emails always welcomed to manhoodline@yahoo.com. ©2014 Barnstorm Communications.

 

 

HOW TO DESTROY–A BLACK BOY

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags , on September 1, 2013 by Black Man

Ramey

By Mike Ramey

If you kill him in the womb, you won’t have to bother at all.

But, bring him into the world to do the ‘real’ job;

Put him in braids and pigtails by two or three;

IF not married Teach him nothing about Mama’s or Daddy’s lack of sexual responsibility,

IF divorced Tell him his Daddy ain’t nothing (cause Mama will NOT allow him around)–for “You can get your Child Support girl”; Let the courts keep Daddy away, while Mama lies…and ‘hangs’ with her friends and blames…

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

If the TV commercials, iPods and iPhones, don’t warp his brain;

Fear not, for some…Mama and Boyfriend are seldom at home; let ESPN raise him!

By third or fourth grade, the system has it made–off him in the shade,

Pumping him full of Ritalin: ADHD, Bipolar, ‘crazy checks’ and mental slavery;

Misteach him about his worth–rewrite Black history: and the ‘superiority’ myth of Black girls…while Pastors are too busy planning ‘yet’ another ‘church’ holiday, doing nothing for Fathers to come home…THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

Of course…You can and do keep him from church or Bible, Jesus Christ is a ‘white man’s’ tool…don’t need it; Tell him about JW’s, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, TM and Yoga! Don’t teach him about right and wrong, or the cop on the beat;

When he’s hauled to juvenile, let him frown and ‘mean mug’; look down and blame

To your guilt…someone else? The social worker, the cop, the court…never you?

Oprah, 50, your soros or fraternity…or the Lodge, your boat trips?

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

The preacher can preach, but can’t teach…what Mama and/or Daddy

Should have done at home, by getting married FIRST and cohabiting fast;

But now the committal is past, the shovel of dirt is the last.

Face down in the street…drugs and gun in hand.

And on the East side of town…another male child is born.

The cycle starts again…full of worldliness and sin…instead of joy;

Much to the Devil’s grin.

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

AND…look how successful ‘the plan’ has worked!

–©Mike Ramey

Labor Day Weekend, 2013

 

The Ramey Commentaries

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Ramey Commentaries with tags , on January 4, 2013 by Black Man

By Mike Ramey

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 manhoodline@yahoo.com. ©2013 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

Bullying and The Truth: Part One

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Interests, Latino Interests with tags , , on November 24, 2012 by Black Man

By Mike Ramey

A few years back, one of the best ways to liven up a divorce custody case would be for one parent to ‘declare’ that the other parent had ‘done’ something to the children. The one who had dropped the nuke–in many cases–were not going to get custody in the first place. The rationale–kick over the card table so that one could/would get their way by judicial decree. Never mind who got hurt, or whether or not the other parent would have been the better parent. The ‘nuking’ party wanted their way…and pretty much got it, via legal ‘bullying’. Thanks to no-fault divorce and joint custody agreements, this weapon has been pretty much neutralized, but not totally erased from society.

BULLIES–A SURVEY AND A DEFINITION:

To me, a bully is one who tries to get their way ‘over’ another person by any means in their ‘kit bag’. They can use threats. They can use manipulation. They can use force. A true bully is easy to spot and is usually a person who is trying to get their way over another person. Institutions can ‘bully’ their participants. Bosses can ‘bully’ their employees. Co-workers can ‘bully’ each other–or entire workplaces. Spouses can ‘bully’ spouses. Single folks can ‘bully’ those with whom they’d like to date or marry. Countries or nations can bully ‘weaker’ nations.

Let’s not be fooled. TRUE bullying is about power and control. The cocktail of selfishness. In our ‘app’ era though, bullying is rapidly being used to form a ‘cottage industry’ and take dollars from taxpayers while increasing political/social/sexual preference power for the socially selfish. This is just another ‘issue’ that is being manipulated to further ‘silence’ possible public dissent against those who want to ‘flaunt’ their rebellion against social norms.  Of couse, the social ‘victims’ tend to forget one thing…they often demand that the very people who have the guts to stand up to their foolishness ‘must’ clean up their self-destructive behavior–after running its course.

A BULLY…FOR HAVING AN OPINION?

By now, many have heard of the incident out of Wisconsin where a female TV news anchor was called obese by a viewer. Furthermore, the complainer made his views known on a FB page that belonged to the woman’s husband–who also is an anchor at the same TV station. After seeing the publicity photos of the woman in question, I’d have to side with the complainer. The truth is the truth…and it was amazing how many people came to the defense of the female anchor. Sadly, the supporters of the woman called the complainer ‘a bully’ for exercising his right to his opinion.

Let’s consider a little reality here.

What if the TV station’s consultant decided that the female anchor HAD to lose a few pounds ‘for the good of the station ratings’? Would the consultant be called ‘a bully’? Would the station be accused of ‘bullying’ for wanting slimmer, trimmer TV personalities representing their ‘brand’?

I think not.

In the media profession, those who appear on the air or in print have to develop a ‘thick’ skin. They were hired for their looks and/or for their talent, skills and abilities. I’ve heard of, and seen TV and Radio personalities fired for a variety of reasons. These were ‘business’ decisions. Not the best ones, and oftentimes not in the best interest of the media personality. Nevertheless, they were ‘business’ decisions.

It may ‘shock’ many of you to know that there are those who have ‘stalked’ me and sent me ‘nasty grams’ for the columns I have written. It’s part of the territory. You can’t write about a topic without bumping into a few trolls.  Former Fox TV Network commentator Brit Hume once said, and I’ll paraphrase: “Jesus Christ are the two most dangerous words that can be uttered in American society today.”

Could I contact federal authorities about my on-line trolls, stalkers and haters?  I would be within my rights to do so…but it would defeat the satisfaction of exposing the foolishness I receive. Would I call my critics ‘bullies’? That would be rather childish. I knew the risks. I knew the job was dangerous when I took it! I may disagree with them, but they aren’t going to stop me from saying what I’ve got to say. As we used to say, back in the day: “One monkey don’t stop no show!” I know the Constitution, rely on Jesus Christ, and keep on stepping–and writing. Everyone has an opinion, whether they have the courage to state it to your face, or talk about you to other writers or individuals.  Stating an opinion does NOT make on a bully.

A BULLY…FOR BLUNTLY DEALING WITH A FREAK?

One of the things that I have noticed in our ‘app, post and text’ age is that there are more and more people who ‘revel’ in being jerks and fools. There used to be a way you could tactfully state your beliefs. However, with more and more people deciding that they have to be ‘mega viral’ in order to hype their individual relevance, the usual common sense safeguards have been cast away. We have a class of people who ‘get off’ on talking about their sexual orientation as if it is a civil right, when many know it is a moral wrong. This IS America. You have a right to be a freak! Just don’t bring it up to my face and expect me NOT to react to it! Further: Don’t hold a press conference, or prance around the Internet calling folks ‘bullies’ because they don’t appreciate your invading their personal space, or attempting to negate their gift of common sense by throwing your trash onto their front lawns.

THREE GOOD THINGS BULLIES DO:

Aside from all of the ‘hand wringing’ about bullying, they do have some benefits.

The first one: A bully will force you to stand on your OWN two feet and deal with what could be a major, real problem. Sure, you may call someone ‘a bully’ for telling you that what you are doing is self destructive and in bad taste. Keep in mind that someone is brave enough to tell you a truth that many of your so-called ‘friends’ have been hiding from you–for months or years. The second blessing is that a bully will force you to focus on reality. A bully doesn’t ‘allow’ you to exist in a dream world. You have to focus on reality. When David was taunted by Goliath, David had to focus on Goliath in reality…not fantasy. Real rocks cannot hurt imaginary beings. Rocks of truth can bring down real giants–and real bullies. Thirdly: A bully will force one to protect that which is precious to them. People who ‘step in’ and cut off gossip and/or slander from folks who are not able to defend themselves have great courage within them. Without a bully to taunt them, some people would not find their ‘inner strength’…nor would they need for God to get involved in their lives to help them develop a ‘backbone’.

A federal grant, a seminar, or congressional hearings WILL NOT stop a bully. To STOP a bully requires the person being bullied to RESIST! More to come–in Part Two!

RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email manhoodline@yahoo.com. © 2012, 2013 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

AN ISSUE TO REMEMBER: THE OGBU STUDY

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Ramey Commentaries with tags on October 21, 2012 by Black Man

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 manhoodline@yahoo.com. © 2012, 2013 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

The Selfishness of the Sexes

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags , on September 23, 2012 by Black Man

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 manhoodline@yahoo.com. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

 

 

NOW’S THE TIME–TO “CUT A SWITCH!”

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists with tags on August 5, 2012 by Black Man


BY MIKE RAMEY

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 manhoodline@yahoo.com. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

The Quiet Reshuffle

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men with tags , , on July 13, 2012 by Black Man

By Mike Ramey

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 manhoodline@yahoo.com. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

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