We don’t know how to help each other

blackwomen

Written by Gregory Meriweather

 

What can be said when the biggest news in the 14th largest city in the US is a fight between two girls’ high school basketball teams?  The news has become so huge that ESPN W has it featured on their page. The images are distasteful, and display a picture that would cause one to call these young ladies common hoods, thugs or criminals.

But isn’t it the job of the media to tell a juicy story that makes you come to some sort of conclusion?  Yes, we have social media, we have cameras, we have phones to take pictures and share videos, but does that mean perception is reality?   My answer to that question is NO!  Reality is reality.  Perception to me is lazy man and woman language.  Perception to me means that you are afraid, or too lazy to take the next step to find out what is real.

Before writing this, I could not seem to go to sleep last night, because my mind went beyond the fight.  My mind went back to that angry kid who lived on 21st street, that had a father who abused his mother, and some nights when food was limited, or nights when the lights were turned off, or the furnace was bad so the gas man turned off the gas. I thought about still going to school every single day, and not missing a day.  Were there days when I was mad at the world? Absolutely, but I found a place that was therapeutic, and that place was a basketball court.

When I stepped on that court, I let it all loose. Did it take the pain away?  Well for a small period of time, it did. I was able to use that game to get me out of a place that brought me so much pain. For the people who don’t know what it takes to be a student-athlete, understand that it is not an easy task at all.  Generally, you are practicing when people are doing homework.  You have games on nights when your friends are hanging out.  You have the responsibility of maintaining a good image, even when things are not going well in your personal life.

Well if no one else will say it, I will…WE MADE A MISTAKE.  We made a mistake for looking down on these children instead of finding out the problems off the court.  We made a mistake for comparing these student-athletes to the common thugs that roam the halls wreaking havoc on teachers, and students alike.  We made a mistake for not providing these young ladies an avenue to say that they’re sorry for this terrible altercation.

We are upset about our precious daughters being on the court throwing punches, and stomping as if they were Ronda “Roudy” Rousey.  I do believe that these young ladies should be penalized for their infractions, but to take the entire season is a bit much in my most humbled opinion. 

What will these young ladies do now that their season is over?  What will their days look like if playing basketball kept them from being home by themselves for a long period of time?  What about that person who does not have siblings and the team has become family? What about the senior who may have been on the verge of getting out of the turmoil of the neighborhood? What about me?  What about the kid who went home to abuse, stomach rumblings, and no heat or lights?   

Who will become pregnant?  Who will be sexually assaulted?  Who will die?  Turning the lights off and putting the chains on the door may be simple to some, but to me, this is more than just a game.  This may have been a big brawl to some, but to me it was an old school fight that we televised. Now the adults have to take the position to do some preventative maintenance (to prevent further damage), and help teach a lesson that builds these young ladies back up. Rehab these ladies. Don’t let this be a death sentence for them.  My heart is hurting for them, because I truly understand that hurting people, hurt people. 

There is a lot of self-righteousness floating around these days, especially in the Black community.  Let me say this, “You didn’t get caught!” I can bet a dollar to a thousand that you did something that could have ruined you, if placed in the right eyes or hands. I reached out to a lot of people to help bring these young ladies together, and the response to come to their aid has been repulsive. I have even had people who know some of the parents, who have informed me that the parents are just giving up on the situation. We need to learn how to help our people when they are down, because if we don’t learn how, we are just a wrong as any young lady kicking her opponent while she is on the ground. Kicking a man or woman while he/she is down is not just a literal term. 

How many of these young ladies have you kicked now that they are down??

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Thank you President Obama…

Thank you President Obama…

Written by Gregory Meriweather

 

President Obama has just completed two terms as the President of the United States of America. Not only was he Commander-in-Chief, but also the leader of the free world.  Most people who know me, will tell you that I have not been one to agree with a lot of the things that President Obama implemented or stood for.  I had many knock down, drag out moments with friends and colleagues alike about our beloved 44th President.

Now that he has rode off into the sunset to embark on the new chapters of his life, I want to take some time to say, thank you President Obama.

Thank you President Obama for being determined. By being determined, you have proven that not only Black people, but a Black man can fulfill his hopes and dreams in the midst of opposition if he has a goal, attaches himself to the right people, and for the right reasons.
You have shown us that nothing is impossible. Most people (all races) thought the U.S. would never have a Black President. You have helped put that rumor to rest, and I thank you.

Thank you President Obama for being a loving husband. We live in an era where the divorce rate is at an all-time high.  There are Black men and women who have given up on each other. There are so many people who have not seen a positive example of marriage. Visible love between a Black man and woman has become a thing of the past.  Most of us have not seen anything like this since the days of watching “The Huxtables.”  You and First Lady Michelle have shown us that Black love does not have to be fictitious, but as real as the air we breathe.
Thank you for acknowledging your wife in public. Thank you for holding her hand. Thank you for showing how much you love her to us. Thank you for showing that you not only cared for the safety of the world, but also for the safety of your Queen, children, and your castle.

Thank you President Obama, for being a great father. Thank you for showing Black men that we must learn to balance.  It is important to do our jobs outside the home, but we have to realize that we have a job that is in some ways more important on the inside of the home, and that job is being a father to our children. I am sure you had tons of things to do when Malia ran into a bit of trouble, but you showed men all over the world how to go to your child to get things in order. On the flip-side, you showed us that after you corrected her, the next step was to protect her from further ridicule. You have hugged, kissed, encouraged, and praised your daughters in front of the world, and still managed to run the country, and for that I say thank you.

Thank you President Obama, for remaining cool while under constant pressure. Black men face a lot of trials and tribulations that sometimes go unnoticed.  Generally, people do not know that we are struggling until we do something that is considered detrimental. You have shown us how to stay cool in the face of adversity.  We have watched people disrespect you publicly, but you never lost yourself. You remained cool.  You still smiled.  You still shook hands. You proved that class cannot be taught. You did all of this as a Black man, and I am thankful for it.

Finally President Obama, I want to say thank you for leading.  I was once told that leaders, lead. We have always been viewed as inferior by our oppressors. During a time when the NCAA has minimal, Black Division I-A football coaches, and Fortune 500 companies have so few Black men and women in executive positions, because they would rather keep the rumors alive, you have shown us that we are more than capable of leading.  You have shown us that we should not settle for being second tier.  You have shown us that it is OK to be smart.  You have shown us that it is OK to be articulate. You have shown us that operating in excellence is what we should aspire to do daily, while being unapologetic.

I may not have agreed with you on many things, but I must agree, and say, that you are necessary.  I now understand that your mere presence has been a present to me, and so many others.

Thank you President Obama.

When Unity is the Only Solution

When Unity is the Only Solution

 

Written by Gregory Meriweather

On January 20, 2017 America watched Donald J. Trump become the 45th President of the United States of America.  On the same day, America watched the 1st Black President, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama, ride off on Marine One to bring an end to a historic Presidency.

As I watched everything unfold, my mind began to think about what we must do as Black people to move forward under this new administration.

I started to think about how fragmented we have become.  There are so many things that separate us now.  Social status has become even more powerful than racism, because we now don’t work together simply because one person may have more money than the other.  We are now defined by where we live. The church has also become a place that treats the haves differently than the have nots. What has caused such a disturbance between people who look alike? What is it that makes us act as if we are not attached to the same history that once had us all bound together collectively?

During a time when racism was obvious, black people were treated the same by our oppressors. It did not matter how well you spoke.  It did not matter how well you dressed.  It did not matter who you worked for, and it certainly did not matter what church you belonged to. All of us were called niggers.

America is still calling us by this negative term.  It became brutally obvious to me when I watched then, Vice President-elect Mike Pence shake every hand that he could, and even went on the row right behind President and First Lady Obama, but never shook their hands. In my opinion, Vice President Pence was calling them out of their names. He was sending a message to so many with his actions.

So now that President Trump is in office, what are we going to do?  Are we going to ignore the White House? Are we going to bad mouth every Black person who makes the decision to talk to the President? Are we going to keep allowing these political parties to separate us?

If we are going to participate in politics, we must first learn more about the political processes.  We have to know more about who we are voting for. We need to know who is truly on our side, and not just talking. There are politicians who we continue voting for, but never see the changes that they claim to be fighting . We must work to hold these individuals accountable. If we can’t, then we must find candidates who will work in the best interests of our people.

We can no longer allow Democrats, Republicans , church denominations, or social status to separate us from each other. We are prime examples of divide and conquer. Black men are separated from black women. Black families are falling apart at a rapid rate. Our neighborhoods are run down because we are no longer neighbors.

The time for unity is now!

You are my brother. You are my sister. There is NOTHING that will cause me to treat you less than I would myself. We must learn to treat each other better, while operating in excellence.

We have yet to see if this will be the worst President for us to have as Black people.  To this date, we do know that we have seen some very difficult times in this country. The difference between then and now is how we worked together to get through those tough times, and terrible people. We can do it again.

Unity amongst our people is the only solution. It has been tried, and tested. I believe that if Black people can come together as one, we will be the most powerful nation within this nation, and an unstoppable force.

The time is now.

Best Candidate…Yes! But what will change for Blacks in America?

hillary

We are  one step closer to electing a new Commander-in-Chief, and from what I see, Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the first woman President of the United States of America.

Let me make this perfectly clear, I do not think that we had much of a choice when looking at the two candidates.  Donald Trump was never fit to be President in the first place, but after last week’s revelation about “The Donald” putting his hands in places where they have no business, things have become clearer than ever.  Furthermore, to bring women who have allegedly had interactions with President Bill Clinton to a debate, is just a low blow.  We do not need a man in office who will stoop so low. His campaign trail is nothing shy of a three-ring circus. Donald Trump will not be the next President of the United States of America…So let’s move on!

Congratulations Hillary Clinton, you have made history.  You will be the first woman to become President of this country. The Clintons will truly become the “First Family.” Only FDR (4 terms) has been in the White House longer than the Clintons. What a powerful White House for this country have. To have a former President living back in the White House as the spouse of the current President has got to be a win-win for everyone! Two heads are better than one, right?  This just seems like a match made in Heaven, right?

Now that we have celebrated your accomplishments, I have one question. What does all of this mean to Black people? Julia Craven of  The Huffington Post wrote, “What a lot of black voters aren’t aware of, however, is how the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of his presidency helped mass incarceration become more efficient with the “three strikes” implementation, a provision that imposed life sentences on anyone convicted of a violent felony after two or more priors. Former President Clinton also signed into law the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which gutted welfare. He repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1996— a Depression-era banking law that kept different kinds of banking institutions separate — which, arguably, led to the 2008 housing crisis and disproportionately affected black homeowners.”

Have we thought about what things may look like once the Clintons enter back into the White House, and the effect that it will have on us again?  Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza in her interview with Bloomberg stated, “The Clintons use black people for votes, but then don’t do anything for black communities after they’re elected. They use us for photo ops.”

What are we worth to the Clintons?  Are we just a vote?  What does history say?  Have we been taken care of by them? When we look around the globe you will find that they Clintons are doing the same damage to Blacks abroad that they do here  in the United States.

For example, the Clintons lobbied the State Department to transfer funding away from AIDS programs to a training program for health professionals in Rwanda.

We also know that they helped donors profit from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which killed approximately 200,000 Haitians. Another person who profited from Haiti’s earthquake was Hillary Clinton’s younger brother Tony Rodham. In October 2013, he joined the board of VCS Mining which is part of the Clinton Global Initiative. Mining can be very dangerous for Haiti, notably to their soil, and water supply .

I won’t even begin to speak about the corruption in Nigeria, and Boko Haram.

There is enough evidence to be concerned if you are Black, but I guess this is better than the alternative…  There are a lot of Black leaders who have spoken out about the Clintons, only to be silenced by our own people.  We claim to know how good the Clintons have been to us, but for some reason, I have not seen their goodness on display in most predominately black communites which I have visited in the US.

I am truly concerned with what the next 4 years are going to look like.  I believe that we are placing our faith, and our fate in the hands of an individual who has shown us that we are only a tool in the shed, with a certain purpose. We are valuable only for a short period of time, and after that we will get back to our normal way of living.

I know that our options are limited.  I know that she is the better choice in comparison to Donald Trump. I know that Hillary will be our next President.  What I also know is that she will do what she has always done to help the Black community, and that is nothing.  I also know what she has done to hurt Black communities all over the world, and that is much.

Get prepared, the Clintons are heading back to Washington!

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Gregory Meriweather is the CEO of the Black on Black Network (blackonblack.network), and the host of the Black on Black Radio Show in Indianapolis, IN.

 

 

I’ve Got Mine…Get Yours!!

mamie

There are two famous quotes that come to mind when I think about the status of Black America.  The first quote is from Mamie Till, the mother of the late Emmett Till, when she said, “Two months ago I had a nice apartment in Chicago. I had a good job. I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South I said, `That’s their business, not mine.’ Now I know how wrong. I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all.”

The other quote is from who some would consider the greatest civil rights leader of all time, and that person is none other than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

As we press toward November, and what looks to be one of the most challenging elections this country has ever faced,  I find it truly detestable for Black people because I believe that no matter who is in office, we will face the same issues that we have been facing since the start of of this country.  I have become troubled about one thing that has come out because of what was said by one of the Presidential candidates.  Donald Trump stated, “Black people are living in Hell!”  The explosion that has come from this has made me scratch my head one moment, and hold my head in my hands the next.

After Trump made this statement, I have seen Blacks posting pictures of their cars, their homes,  and what they are doing all over social media.  I have heard people say, “I am not living in Hell. They may be living like that is some places, but I am not.” I have seen people post,    “It is not like that down here in Atlanta.  They should move down here!”

According to stateofworkingamerica.org, “Among racial and ethnic groups, African Americans had the highest poverty rate, 27.4 percent, followed by Hispanics at 26.6 percent and whites at 9.9 percent. 45.8 percent of young black children (under age 6) live in poverty, compared to 14.5 percent of white children.”

If these numbers are not enough, maybe we should look at the unemployment numbers for Black men in Chicago.  According to University of Illinois Chicago, “47 percent of 20-24 year old African American men in Chicago were out of school and out of work in 2014. Across the state, the number was 44 percent, much higher than the national average of 32 percent of young black men.”  The unemployment rate nationally for Black men ages 20-24 is 32%!

I am bothered with how we look at our personal situations, and claim that everything is alright with me, so what is wrong with you??  We have lost the compassion that we once had for one another.  We look down on Chicago, instead of finding out what the real problems are.  We don’t want to  accept that we are collectively living sub par.  Instead we find comfort in knowing that we don’t look like the rest of us.  I hear people bragging on their ability to escape the strong hold of our community.  The question I have is have you really escaped?

I have learned that we are more accepted by White America when they do not see us as a threat.  As long as we are conforming, and not causing any fuss, we might just have some different opportunities.  Yes, they want us to forget about helping our brothers, and sisters who are living below the poverty level.

The Willie Lynch letter is nothing more than a remake of Exodus 1:9-11 where the Bible reads, And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.”

We are being dealt with wisely. Unfortunately, there are people who do not see themselves as part of the “Them.”  No matter what you have going on, don’t think for one second that you have become the exception.

When I visit Chicago, New Orleans, New York, and Baltimore, I know that there are lot of people who are experiencing what would be considered “Hell on earth.” I have enough compassion for my brothers and sisters to fight for them. We need to start concerning ourselves with our brothers and sisters who are dealing with struggles that we don’t understand or have to endure, because it could very well be us.

Mamie Till is the prime example of how quickly things can change.  Please do not wait until death, or a loss comes knocking at your door to help you realize that you may not be living in Hell, but are very close to the heat that most of us feel daily.

We have to start looking at ourselves as one. I believe this is the message that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mamie Till were trying to  get us to hear.

For the record, I am not a Trump supporter.

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Gregory Meriweather is the CEO of The Black on Black Network. He is an activist, writer, public speaker, and voice of the Black on Black Radio Show with Gregory Meriweather.  Please follow Black on Black blackonblack.network

Where they at? Where they at?

 

 

blackwomen

 

I am always on Facebook reading posts.  I find it interesting to see how people actually think. There are some things that I think are the most ridiculous statements in the world, but then there are some things I read, and think that the writer is a total genius (rare). Nevertheless, I love coming across some of the posts written by my sisters (black women), asking where all the good brothers are. Before I go into a great deal of writing, I am going to say this; there are a ton of great black men walking this earth.  You are not doing the right things to attract them. If you are attracting a lot of men, there is a greater chance that you are attracting terrible men, or you are attracting good men, and don’t know the first thing about keeping them.  Here are a few of my thoughts, for getting and keeping a good Black brother.

  1. If you have any issues, concerns, or troubles (this does include bad relationships)…get some therapy so that you don’t keep those things in front of you. This will help your picker get cleaned up.  A good picker is not an easy thing to attain. We live what we learn, and tend to do what we are used to doing.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be who you truly are. If you are a more introverted person, you need to be secure within yourself, and stand firm on how you’re made.
  3. What are your core values?  Don’t allow your core values to be compromised.

Now here is the list that you may not like:

  1. Learn to take pictures facing forward. Stop taking booty pictures!  I know that you may think this is sexy, and cute, but it sends a subliminal message.  If you truly believe that your only asset is behind you, then we have a bigger problem HOUSTON!
  2. Take the time to actually learn someone. There are couples who have been with each other for decades, who are still learning about each other.  The reason for this is that they actually started with a genuine interest in knowing more about this person. If you slow it down a little, you may be able to determine if this man is truly your type or not.
  3. Work from the inside out. A man will know that his greatest assets are his brain, and his heart. If he does in fact have some money, he should not show his hand too early. Ladies, if he starts out spending on you, please know that money is his #1 asset, and chances are if it is, then you will never truly know him, because he will always use his money to define who he really is.
  4. Stop looking for money.  This is why you end up with guys who are out here doing everything under the sun to get money.  Yes, you may have fun.  Yes, you may get a few gifts, but you also may get to accept a lot of collect phone calls. You may have to live in fear 24/7.  You may also find yourself doing criminal activity to prove your loyalty to this man.
  5. Cut the crew down.  I know that this is going to hurt, but if you want a man to come to you, then you can’t have your secret service team blocking you. Being approachable is important.  The crew is notorious for keeping things going. Learn not to tell all of your business to them, because somebody just might be hating on your happiness on the low. I am sorry to tell you this ladies, but your momma just may be part of the crew that you need to cut down when it comes to having and keeping a man.  Momma may need to read this too!
  6. We already know that you are independent, so you don’t have to tell us.  Stop wearing your independence like a badge of honor.  Yes, you have your degree.  Yes, you have your money. Yes, you have a great career, but if you desire to be in a good relationship what does your independence matter?
  7. If there can be an infomercial on your “goodies,” eventually your “goodies” will lose their value. Protect your name as if it is a luxury brand. People want things that are rare finds.  People don’t want what everyone has or have had.
  8. STAY OUT OF THE CLUBS IF YOU’RE OVER 40. There is nothing worse than the mother who has children who are at a clubbing age, being in the club where there children are.  Now if your child wants to come to a nicer environment like a lounge, I can understand because they are in a more mature environment. If you are out there doing your 20 year anniversary pose in front of the airbrushed Bentley with the other 40+ crew, showing the same backsides that have now grown up a lot, you NEED TO STOP! Your time has come, and gone.  9 times out of 10, the men that you see in the clubs who are your age are either going through a middle-aged crisis, looking for some drunk love, or they have been locked up for so long that they are now living like they are 21.
  9. Find some time for HIM, and only HIM.  There will always be something to do.  There will never be enough hours in the day.  Let me tell you; find the time to give to your man.  Shut everything down, and focus on each other. People tend to forget that the relationship consists of two people.  Not the kids, mom, the job, the girls, and everything in between. Don’t take time for granted, because tomorrow is not promised.

Ladies, I can understand your pain.  It is becoming a more difficult task finding that knight in shining armor, but you have to do a better job of attracting, and keeping him.  I am not claiming to know everything, but I do know what we look for.  So the next time you decide to ask, “Where they at?” You might just have to do a self-examination to see if you are in the right place first.

We don’t know how to help each other

blackwomen

Written by Gregory Meriweather

 

What can be said when the biggest news in the 14th largest city in the US is a fight between two girls’ high school basketball teams?  The news has become so huge that ESPN W has it featured on their page. The images are distasteful, and display a picture that would cause one to call these young ladies common hoods, thugs or criminals.

But isn’t it the job of the media to tell a juicy story that makes you come to some sort of conclusion?  Yes, we have social media, we have cameras, we have phones to take pictures and share videos, but does that mean perception is reality?   My answer to that question is NO!  Reality is reality.  Perception to me is lazy man and woman language.  Perception to me means that you are afraid, or too lazy to take the next step to find out what is real.

Before writing this, I could not seem to go to sleep last night, because my mind went beyond the fight.  My mind went back to that angry kid who lived on 21st street, that had a father who abused his mother, and some nights when food was limited, or nights when the lights were turned off, or the furnace was bad so the gas man turned off the gas. I thought about still going to school every single day, and not missing a day.  Were there days when I was mad at the world? Absolutely, but I found a place that was therapeutic, and that place was a basketball court.

When I stepped on that court, I let it all loose. Did it take the pain away?  Well for a small period of time, it did. I was able to use that game to get me out of a place that brought me so much pain. For the people who don’t know what it takes to be a student-athlete, understand that it is not an easy task at all.  Generally, you are practicing when people are doing homework.  You have games on nights when your friends are hanging out.  You have the responsibility of maintaining a good image, even when things are not going well in your personal life.

Well if no one else will say it, I will…WE MADE A MISTAKE.  We made a mistake for looking down on these children instead of finding out the problems off the court.  We made a mistake for comparing these student-athletes to the common thugs that roam the halls wreaking havoc on teachers, and students alike.  We made a mistake for not providing these young ladies an avenue to say that they’re sorry for this terrible altercation.

We are upset about our precious daughters being on the court throwing punches, and stomping as if they were Ronda “Roudy” Rousey.  I do believe that these young ladies should be penalized for their infractions, but to take the entire season is a bit much in my most humbled opinion. 

What will these young ladies do now that their season is over?  What will their days look like if playing basketball kept them from being home by themselves for a long period of time?  What about that person who does not have siblings and the team has become family? What about the senior who may have been on the verge of getting out of the turmoil of the neighborhood? What about me?  What about the kid who went home to abuse, stomach rumblings, and no heat or lights?   

Who will become pregnant?  Who will be sexually assaulted?  Who will die?  Turning the lights off and putting the chains on the door may be simple to some, but to me, this is more than just a game.  This may have been a big brawl to some, but to me it was an old school fight that we televised. Now the adults have to take the position to do some preventative maintenance (to prevent further damage), and help teach a lesson that builds these young ladies back up. Rehab these ladies. Don’t let this be a death sentence for them.  My heart is hurting for them, because I truly understand that hurting people, hurt people. 

There is a lot of self-righteousness floating around these days, especially in the Black community.  Let me say this, “You didn’t get caught!” I can bet a dollar to a thousand that you did something that could have ruined you, if placed in the right eyes or hands. I reached out to a lot of people to help bring these young ladies together, and the response to come to their aid has been repulsive. I have even had people who know some of the parents, who have informed me that the parents are just giving up on the situation. We need to learn how to help our people when they are down, because if we don’t learn how, we are just a wrong as any young lady kicking her opponent while she is on the ground. Kicking a man or woman while he/she is down is not just a literal term. 

How many of these young ladies have you kicked now that they are down??

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