My cousin, Deidra, asked me to say a few words about the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship for her students at church. I thought I’d share it with the rest of the world how the Gates Scholarship changed my tragetory in life.
I will make other comments in other posts; they will be posted as I recall and remember my experiences in college and beyond. The most important take away, is to apply for the scholarship! There’s no excuse for anyone not to get a good education in America. The resources are here, it just takes work, effort, and energy to get it! Go to www.gmsp.org for more information.
I’m starting to write/vlog my workout experience… Please pray for me, lol
Recently, America has witnessed acts of violence from people and law enforcement that’s tearing this country apart; from the killing of Mike Brown a year ago to the standoff at Dallas Police Headquarters, to the abuse of children at a McKinney pool, to the abuse, arrest, and death of multiple people getting arrested during a “routine” traffic stop. I’ve wondered, “What are people’s motivation? Is it hatred? Fear? Ignorance? The power to exercise their insecurities? A combination of them all?” It seems like a complex problem.
Well if it’s such a complex situation, why are we succumbing to a simple solution: race relations… I love how in the last year we are placing this conversation in the race box, and nothing else; we’re not talking about privilege, or economics, or power…. Just race. Really? JUST Race? I argue that race is only the manifestation of a deeper issue; it’s the fruit we see, not the root we need to dig up. This is an issue that needs to be addressed, illuminated, and corrected by ALL parties affected; the oppressed, but most importantly the oppressor, in order for real change in America to happen.
Lets get one thing straight before we proceed: I am not saying that race doesn’t play a role. It’s OBVIOUS blacks are the beneficiaries of violence and oppression from perceived powers at be. I’m saying our assessments and solutions have been too narrow in scope. Now back to the post….
My heart is saddened that people are thinking myopically… We’re easy to slap the race card on everything so we perpetuate our cycle of trivializing how blacks are felt in this country and how whites (or non-blacks) can “ignore” the problem and continue to complain how the blacks crying and complaining is affecting productivity or the “American Way”. The influx of immigrants who can’t empathize the Black American struggle easily side against blacks or become apathetic; they weren’t subject to the slavery and dismantling of their culture for the “American Good”, and sacrificing any policies or opportunities to start from square one in “The American Dream”.
Well I’m sick of it…. There’s a reason why black people feel hopeless, and it’s not just because they are lazy; I, as a “successful” black man, have a double conscious; one to strive for the best, while the other to strive for the betterment of my people. I am not ONLY screaming for equal rights and opportunities because my demographic is the most vilified, least to tolerate, yet most replicated and admired from afar; that’s too small. I’m urging ALL people to understand they have a responsibility tomake our society better; and everyone needs to check their position, make corrections, and move accordingly.
We are smart enough to solve the real problem: Addressing our iniquities of the past (yes, I mean slavery, misogyny, etc.) to make America better. It won’t be an easy road, but we are made to withstand it. So before we judge or ignore, let’s try to solve the problem for all to excel.
I just got back from Washington D.C., initially for a conference (where I learned a lot and became reinvigorated in economic development) but stayed a couple of days to enjoy the city, reflect, and recharge before the consistent grind I will have in Dallas this fall. It’s probably one of the best choices I made this year. I was starting to flame out, and was starting to get discouraged. Though I couldn’t afford a vacation (timing’s bad), I was able to hang out with friends and see new sights in a different land, where I’m just one of many, so I can refuel for Dallas.
I want to share a few points I thought of on my flight home:
It’s important to have a different environment for reflection/reset
I’ve tried to have stay-cations, or relax in Dallas, but it doesn’t work for me. I’m involved in too many things that can pull my attention from resting, therefore not being productive. For me, I have to physically remove myself from my day-to-day tasks in order to disconnect from it entirely. This doesn’t have to be the case for everyone, as people can lock themselves in their house and watch Netflix, or turn off their phone to do the same thing. Me going to another city (or somewhere that’s not Dallas) is very therapeutic; I’m able to hit the “reset” button while observing things that may be able to work in Dallas to improve the city.
Enjoy where you are fully; let go of stresses/burdens from other situations
The one thing I tried not to do, was to take Dallas with me during my R and R time. I was responsive during the conference, as I was working, but during the weekend, it was my time. I didn’t respond to emails, I didn’t worry about what was going on in Dallas, I just enjoyed DC. By doing this, I was able to feel good about where I was Sunday night, and was able to work Monday morning (I was still in DC, but letting everything go for two days showed me a couple of opportunities I can do up there).
Once your back in your normal environment, GO HARD!
This morning, I woke up, and started SPRINTING! There’s a lot of things I need to catch up on, and new stresses that appeared, but I’m able to have a fresh perspective and rejuvenated spirit to take them on. I advise people to go all in when you first arrive from vacation so you can set a tone of intensity and purpose.
The one thing that’s starting to sink in from advice numerous people have told me in the past is to take time for myself… I get it now. I’m not taking weeks off, or going to the moon, it was an extra two days after a conference I attended, but those two days positively affected me! I’m ready to take on the World!!!
I started doing it again… Sitting/thinking/processing…. entering “Paralysis by Analysis” stages in certain aspects of my life.
I was reminded last week that I shouldn’t do that because too much analysis will bring in a culture of “political correctness” and uninteresting commentary, but later on there was an incident that reinforced my character-flaw:
That evening, I was enjoying time after a long day of work with my friends (of different races, profession, and relationship statues) at North Park before going to AMC to watch Marvels Ant-Man. Our last conversation was concerning race and the table next to us (two white young women) told us to “Shut the fuck up”… Maybe it was the saki bomb I just had, but I noticed most tables on the patio were monolithic- blacks were with blacks, whites with whites, and so on… As I looked at them, both my friend I was arguing with (who is white) and I were in sock; he was pissed, I was scarred (not of what they said, or what I wanted to tell them, but the effects/ramifications of my actions in Preston Hollow) that after all of the subjects we’ve talked about in 2 hours, they decide to comment (destructively) on race in America; this has another blog post that I’m working on… don’t want to go too far on this road for this post.
I have to continually think about my thoughts and actions: As an African-American man in America, 6 feet tall, larger than an average white person (as this is relevant to this discussion because our society is still controlled by white males and their influences), voicetrous, and can (and will) state my opinion on matters, so I can have an OPPORTUNITY to accomplish what I want. In this society, if I falter, I can easily be oust from the main population as a convict, trouble-maker, or even die. I’m sorry, but all of this goes through my head every time I make an opinion of something in public, or when I accidentally bump into someone I don’t know, or write a post that can ruffle feathers. In effect, this can cause me (and others like me) to error on the side of caution, or not even acknowledge it-which both are detrimental not only to my ego, but the healing of America. Do you have to go through these thoughts? If not, then you are privileged.
Back to the “topic” of this blog: Before you judge anyone, please be sure to walk in their shoes first. We all have things to improve on, meaning no one is perfect, and EVERYONE is flawed… So friends, If you don’t see anything new on my website, please feel free to reach out to me; it’s not because I don’t have anything to write, I may be processing things so much that I won’t express my thoughts. Shake me out of that, please? That’s how we all improve in this society.
It’s around 11 p.m. and I’m on my laptop wrapping up some work. In the mist of completing my tasks, I reflect on my day… It was a GREAT day. Like, I’m still smiling type of day…. Like, I KNOW I need to get ready for bed because I have long day tomorrow but can’t because I have so much energy day. No, my stock didn’t spike at the right time, nor did I find a bag of money or hit the lottery, but the interactions I’ve had with people (my peers) really felt like a million bucks.
This normally doesn’t call for an extraordinary message post; I interact with people all the time (I’m an extrovert, this is what I do)… Today, however, was different because I’m not thinking solely on my interactions with the public, but am recognizing HOW I have people in my life; remembering where I was (and how I met them), knowing where I am currently (and how I can retain such great people), and planning on where I want to me in the future (and having the appropriate people mold me).
I had several observations in my interactions with people who positively influence me:
I had at least a dozen interactions with people like this today. I’m so blessed to be in a position where I can learn from people that can positively motivate and inspire me. The moral of the story is to surround yourself with purposeful people. There will be plenty of people who wan to drain your energy, goals, and aspirations like a leech. They exist in your family, amongst your friends, and in strangers who haven’t met yet. Try to avoid paralysis at all cost; you don’t need to avoid them per se (we are in this world to influence others), but avoid their attempts to drag you down, and don’t stay in a prolonged period of time with them in their poisonous state.
Just as there are bad people, there are also good people who just need a good word or attitude to turn their attitude around. A constant interaction with people with a plan, goal, or aspiration will result in you improving your life. If you hang with purposeful people, influence them, allow them to inspire you, and evangelize to all people to become great, then we will make this a better place.
Yesterday morning, I was honored to attend the City of Dallas Council Inauguration ceremony at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Yes, it was a grandiose occasion where dignitaries, civic leaders, role models, even our future (shout out to the Parks and Rec Department for sending a couple of summer camps to witness this event) were in attendance, but that’s not why I was excited. Yes, it’s believed to be one of the youngest councils in Dallas’ history, speaking volumes based on the historical decision makers of the city and how this affects young intellectuals views of Dallas proper, but THAT didn’t even excite me, either. For the first time, I had several friends (and one former teacher-she taught me AP Government) who were starting their career as a city policy maker, and I felt very proud of them. I’m witnessing people who I’ve learned from and worked with in “the movement” achieve one of their goals, and I’m extremely happy for them. They have all worked hard the last several months (and years) to get to this point, and they deserve to enjoy this time….
This entry isn’t designed to be a very long message, I just want to thank the 15 people who will be doing the work of the people of Dallas; from enduring hours long of council meetings, becoming target practice at town hall meetings, not feeling appreciated for the daily decisions made to better the city, and sacrificing their time, energy, and talents from their families to help the greater good. You are true leaders who will be admired, acknowledged, and appreciated for the work you will do to help your constituents.
With that, I trust you all are doing this for the right reason; to make ALL of Dallas a better city. You all are the city’s highest ranking officials; the realization that, if different people from different backgrounds can work together and create a solution for the greater good, then ALL of the city will benefit. Do you notice I’m emphasizing ALL, lol.
Everyone on that stage motivated me. I was able to see the bigger picture, and want to make sure I’m able to do what I need in order to make your job effective at the horseshoe. We need both policy makers and the citizens to pull their weight in order make this work, and I’m willing to do just that.
Let’s make Dallas Great!
Since early Friday morning, I’ve read the articles concerning Rachel Dolezal, the comedic memes questioning her true “blackness”, and the MANY texts/debates on her choice of action in the civil rights movement. While I have no issue of her, a caucasian woman, heading a chapter of the NAACP (if you know your history, this organization was not only founded bi-racially but had a mission of something that is much larger than what we are actually practicing today), I do have an issue that she disregarded her cultural background and totally “reinvented” herself, not for a person who supports blacks (White Chocolate) but a person who pretended to be black (A Macaroni Nigga…)
*Start at 5:00 mark
Though funny to some (and offensive to many), Paul Mooney makes a valid point; black people are one of the most replicated, exploited, unappreciated, and underestimated group of people on this Earth. This is not from happenstance. Black intellectuals, scholars, and leaders have to fight harder than their Euro-centered counterparts to make their points legitimate to American Culture because of our historic preconceived notions that blacks are ignorant and primitive, and should be confined to athletic and entertainment avenues to exercise our “expressions”, ones that can also be controlled and monitored by someone whose more capable to control (sounds familiar?…). In order for us to “conform”, several things can happen: we can disown our culture (as Dolezal did), and not acknowledge our past and assimilate to mainstream society, be an “Uncle Tom” to ensure the safety of our families and loved ones at the sacrifice of our self-respect, “shuck and jive” to entertain and distract our oppressors, which will provide comfort and stability to a struggling black family (an outlet that was necessary in MANY cases, but not sustainable in the long run), or we can rebel (which will DEFINITELY) oust us from society, either through media suicide, discreditation, or death.
SOME progress has been made the last several decades; but we (ALL Americans) still have a long road to travel before people are not only equal, but society will judge people on the content of their character, and not the color of their skin. Dolezal’s deception not only discredits a successful (and necessary Civil Rights organization), but it forces people to stop working on the improvement of race relations in America… and when we stop working on an incomplete project, we will digress and go back to square one. Rachael Dolezal, for her to be more impactful, should fully recognize, embrace, and articulate her past, continue to fight for people she wants to, and show that other ethnicities can enhance different cultures. It’ll be MLK’s dream realized and will allow our country to make a step forward. For her to disown her past, illustrates a denial of a piece of her life that needs to be addressed.
Again, I don’t have an issue with Rachel, but I am concerned for her mental health. It’s not healthy to disregard your heritage, create a new identity, and misdirect/misrepresent people on your history, your culture, or your intentions. Some blacks have tried that already… mission failed.
Thank you Phillip for writing this blog! It was great catching up with you and I love what you are doing w/ your family, your community, and uplifting people ensuring their financial stability. Keep up the GREAT work!
To look at his message, click on the link below: