It’s time to Break It Down!
Originally posted on November 24, 2010, and prior to today, subsequently on November 27, 2013, and November 26, 2014 by alpha heel.
I just can’t! It’s only hump day, but there have been a number of weighty news items worthy of reporting already this week.
- We’ve seen video of a #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) Movement protester being assaulted at a leading Presidential Candidate’s rally, merely for exercising his Constitutional 1st Amendment rights. *
- The same leading Presidential Candidate, when discussing the matter Sunday morning on Fox News, said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” What he and two other protesters were doing was shouting, “Dump the Trump,” and “Black Lives Matter.”
- A leading Presidential Candidate retweeted bogus crime statistics, inflating the role of blacks in violent crime, suggesting African Americans are responsible for most white homicides; deflating the role of whites. *
- A leading Presidential Candidate alleged to have seen (on TV) thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks; a claim numerous media outlets have denied. What’s eye opening about this claim is, no media outlet has been able to produce footage of this alleged indiscretion…not even Fox News. (That should tell you all you need to know about that matter).
- Despite most news services dismissing the leading Presidential Candidate’s claim, and none supporting it, the candidate continues to insist he saw it, and in fact, has insisted he is owed an apology.
- The head of this leading Candidate’s SuperPac told CNN Monday that the BLM movement “don’t really” have a right to protest at Donald Trump rallies for the same reason that “I wouldn’t go into a black church and start screaming “white lives matter.”” Say what? The apparent logic: both telling and repulsive…that just as Donald Trump rallies are for white people and the #BlackLivesMatter movement isn’t welcome; black churches are for black people and those who would scream “White lives matter!” aren’t welcome. Oy vey!
- Another leading Presidential Candidate said he saw the same footage, but subsequently said that what he saw occurred in Middle Eastern countries, not in the Garden State.
- A Pennsylvania Police Chief was caught using the N-word. *
- A District Attorney released a video of a black teen getting shot 16 times by a Chicago Police Officer. *
- White Supremacists shot 5 BLM protesters in Minneapolis, after threatening, online, to do so days earlier. *
*Thank you James E. Ford for allowing me to e-pick your brain; ’06!
The ten bulleted items above are not just low hanging fruit; they are all national issues. Of course, we are also knee deep in collaborating with the community of nations to thwart ISIS (ISIL/IS, whichever you prefer). So yesterday’s news was dominated by reports that Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that entered its air space.
The international plot thickens, as if it were not already sufficiently dicey. Since we are currently working with France, Turkey, Russia, et. al., to diffuse the ISIS problem, it’s fair to say we have 99 problems, and Turkey shooting down the Russian fighter “is” now one of them.
I could go on, but I won’t. Or, as I said in the opening sentence, “I just can’t!” Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.
As in the past, since it is Thanksgiving Week, this post will deviate from the standard fare. I know that travel schedules (impeded by weather events this year), meal planning, family time, shopping, football, parades, and if there is any time remaining, relaxation, will dominate this week. However, it is Wednesday, so there shall be a blog! It is definitely brief.
Those among us who have perfected humility, and ascended to a genuine Nirvana state, have no doubt, also elevated giving thanks to an art form. The rest of us must fully invest our appreciation in the notion, “That’s why we have Thanksgiving!”
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, which kicks off what we commonly refer to as the Holiday Season. Almost instinctively, Thanksgiving and Christmas come to mind. Yet, there is so much more than that to the Season.
Over the next 54 days, many of us will enjoy succulent feasting at Thanksgiving, exchange gifts and contribute to the needy during Hanukkah. We will buy, give, exchange, and/or receive gifts at Christmas, eat, drink, and celebrate the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa, and party and toast the dawn of 2011 (2014/2015/2016), on New Year’s Day. We will honor the life and works of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on MLK Day. In addition, even in these tough (though improving) economic times, this weekend, millions of Americans will pay (literally) homage to our most celebrated of shoppers’ holiday weekends, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, by rising early, and proceeding to scour the aisles for those perfect gifts…and if not perfect, at least cheap, relatively speaking. In 2015, there are even some precociously enterprising businesses that will start the shopping clock Thursday. Sigh!
In past years, I have recounted my reasons for being thankful. This year I find that I have more reasons than ever to sit contemplatively in humble repose, and affirm boldly, that I know, without caveat, not only the goodness, no the greatness of God, but also of his inestimable and inexhaustible beneficence. I thank Him for deliverance, and for imbuing me with the sense and sensibility to discern the distinction between kairos and chronos, Greek concepts for God’s time, and man’s time, respectively.
Eons ago, when I was a college student, I pledged a fraternity. It is the Oldest, Boldest, and Coldest, but I digress. The point of this reference is that during the erstwhile pledge process, as prospective initiates, we were required to learn a series of poems. There were many, each selected to convey a specific life lesson. Many of them have stayed with me, but none more than Invictus, written by English poet, William Ernest Henley (1849-1903). The Latin translation for Invictus is Undefeated. You may recall it, but just in case, see it below:
Invictus (Latin for Undefeated) By William Ernest Henley:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
So, as you go about your way tomorrow, and all the tomorrows that follow, recognize that Thanksgiving, at its core, is not simply a day on the calendar. It is a spirit that dwells within us, an impulse that prompts us to thank God (for our being undefeated), and for the graciousness to share His blessings with our fellow men and women. Indeed, everyday is “A Time for Giving Thanks Redux!”
I’m done; holla back!
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