Sunday, November 25, 2012

"If you really love God so much, wouldn’t you would be more particular about the creation of children?"- Rico Rivers

Yesterday, I was having a late lunch at Wendy’s with one of my younger cousins, Arrias. We were discussing abortion and teenage pregnancy and how we both did not seem to have a problem with it in regards to children being created by silly teenagers and adults who are having sex just for the fun of it or while under the influence of drugs/alcohol. This usually means that a child will be brought here to planet earth to parents or a parent who is uncertain or just really had no plans on creating a life, but who were just enjoying the act of having sex. Also, I shared with my cousin a scenario of a child being created by two people who don’t really like each but were both driven by lust. Hell, in some cases the two people actually hate each other, but were both “just doing some” because sex does feel good and it serves as a pretty good and most of the times, welcomed escape from the norm for a while. Maybe this is why so many poor people have such a large number of children.

However, during our conversation, the subject of God was brought into the conversation. The subject of God and the act of abortion in the same sentence has always pissed me off. My said, “You know, Rico. People often use God as a reason for not getting an abortion when it is obvious that an abortion is in order.” I was like, “Man, that it is trip.” I say this because I have always been turned off by the hypocrisy of people when it comes to God, Jesus, and the whole religion bit whenever it is convenient for whatever it is I really want to do. I often hear people say, “I can’t be for abortion because it is murder and it is against God’s word.” Guess what. Fornication (sex outside of marriage) is also reportedly against God’s alleged word, but people do it all the time.

Here is my position, I am pro-life. I am pro-abortion. I am mainly pro-CHILD! You see as a long time social worker and mental health professional, I look at the impact of what unplanned child creation can have on a child. If you a woman is impregnated by a man that she does not love or she does not even like, those hateful feelings are a part of her body. Those emotions be they anger, regret, hate do travel to the fetus that she is carrying. If she is depressed feeling abandoned because the sperm donor has left already even before the child is even born, those feelings and emotions are felt by the fetus as it continues to grow. So, when two people who don’t like each other and may even hate each just have sex for the sake of “doing something” and a child is unfortunately created during this process, the child will be born with this overwhelming feeling of rejection. I don’t that this is fair. I don’t think that it is fair that a child be forced to be brought here under these conditions and worse because you all of a sudden remembered what God’s word is when it comes to abortion. How come you did not have God’s word in mind when you had unprotected sex? I am just saying. Many children grow up with this feeling that they just can’t explain, but they know it’s real when they are born out a situation where the two people who created them really did not mean for it to happen. People often refer to these pregnancies and ultimate births as a mistake.

If you ever asked a single woman or a teenaged female, “So, what are your plans for the baby that you are carrying?” and she replies, “I don’t know.” Red flag! If you ever asked, “Hey, do you want to keep it?” and she replies, “I don’t know, but I can’t get an abortion because it’s murder and against God’s word.” Red flag! If you ever asked, “Hey what’s up with you and the father?”and she replies, “Him. He ain’t shit! I can’t stand him! We are not together!” Big RED Flag! Why would anyone bring a child here that they really don’t want? Please, don’t give that song and dance about adoption. Yeah. It’s an option, but I still think that it is unfair to the child. During the closing of the conversation, I made the statement, “If you really love God so much you would be more particular about creation.” This statement just came out of no-where. Well not really for me. It came from an over-standing of God, human behavior and mental health. This statement came from a place of understanding what that rejection feels like when created by two teenagers who no intentions of creating me but had sex “just to be doing something.” It came from a place of having to unknowingly live with that sense of feeling rejected all of my life until recently realized what that feeling was that has held me back from some many of life’s opportunities with marriage and parenthood included.

When my biological father rejected me to my face in 2008, the original rejection from the time of conception 40 years earlier had come full circle. My mother admitted to me recently that she hated him and that he did not care for her, they were just “doing something.” I hated the fact that I had to live with their poor and wreckless decision up until finding out the truth behind my conception. Today, with this understanding, I can now move forward and begin to claim what I had denied myself for years out of what I thought was just plain ole fear, but was actually an overwhelming sense of fear of being rejected because of the first two people who rejected me, my parents. My mother was a teen-aged mother overwhelmed by fear, shame, guilt, and regret. She hated her sperm donor and unbeknownst to her, all of those feelings where passed down to me in the womb, which obviously sent the messages of an unwanted pregnancy to an unsuspecting fetus.
So, please do the unborn child a favor. If you don’t want it, don’t have it! Don’t use God as an excuse to cover up a poor choice of a sperm donor. Don’t use God as an excuse because you don’t want people to “talk about you” for having not having it. If you love God so much, please respect the rights of the unborn. Plan for a child with a man who loves you, a man who loves God, a man who has a job, a car, his own home, an education, a clean criminal record, and who is standing right in front of you, your family and God saying, “I do.”

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"I am Still From Memphis, Tennessee!" Lawd, Gimme Strength!

Today’s blog site post/article is dedicated to my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Well, the message of this article could very well resonate with others outside of the city of Memphis and the county of Shelby. You see. I am from a city where a legendary Civil Rights leader was “set up” to be murdered by other so-called Black civil rights leaders who reportedly served as informants for the FBI and the local law enforcement agencies in the city back in 1968. The leader was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the informants were members of the local NAACP and a bunch of Negro preachers and Negro politico wannabes. The city of Memphis has never really recovered from that traumatic period in the city’s history. Well, I should be more specific by saying that the Blacks in that city have not really recovered from the psychological trauma of the events of 44 years ago.

The city of Memphis has not moved in a very fast or a steady pace racially, economically, educationally, and politically in these past 44 years. One can say that the psychological effects of that era could have caused a mental stalemate in the minds of many people of color. Well, Atlanta was hit with some rough times during that era, but somehow the city and its citizenry have bounced back. Since the civil rights movement, the city of Atlanta has more than reinvented itself, more than bounced back. Atlanta has become a major player in the world of economics, politics, and entertainment. If you seek a quality college education, trying to make it as an entertainer of some kind, or just simply looking for a better job to make a better living for yourself, Atlanta is on the lips of many as the suggested destination these days.

A President was brutally murdered in the city of Dallas, but it has not done a thing to detract from Dallas’ world class status as the city to be in when looking for a better life. Dallas has it all. I can actually say that Dallas “has it going on.” Dallas has a serious downtown. The city can boast about having the world famous Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, the Dallas Mavericks, the world champion Texas Rangers, two major airports, plenty of nice neighborhoods to live in, malls galore, major retail/department stores and outlets, and has the destination of a few NBA all-star weekends, a super bowl or two, as well as countless of network television shows that are filmed and produced here. Dallas even has Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban, Erykah Badu and host of other millionaires along with major corporations with more relocating to the city even as we speak. Dallas is not a bad place for African Americans to begin a new start. I am living proof of this. I must also admit that Dallas has its share of issues. Yes. Dallas has “hoods” of all kinds. Yes. The politicians and preachers are up to their same economic and political tricks when it comes to serving the people. In other words, they are full of shit here too.

My point in saying all of this is to say that Memphis is a city of mentally dead people. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan once described Memphis as a city of the dead during one of his speeches in the city years ago. Most of the Blacks in the city of Memphis still move around in the city as if they are still on a cotton plantation. Instead of them (being the majority population in the city) fighting to get off the plantation, these backwards people fight for better positions on the cotton plantation. It’s like they are afraid of even the idea of being a free and independent people. I mean, there is so much selling out and fearful silence on the part of so many so-called Black leaders in that town that it often becomes frustrating during city elections for a person like me. I never really know who to vote for in any of the political positions. So, a lot of the times, I just never really cared to vote at all when I lived there. It was literally like a waste of my time and my hard earned vote.

A particular status quo was set in the city a long time ago that has contributed to the continuous non-productive, non-progressive, fearful of change, and fear of the white power structure among the Black populace. It’s like most of the black people there have been placed under a spell or some sort of hypnosis of ignorance. The people’s issues are often placed on the back burner while the profession and corporate types live high on the hog. The Black preacher and the Black politician live easy lives as the people they pretend to serve go hungry and even go insane waiting for them to represent their interests.

However, there have been people over the years (including myself) in Memphis who was not under “the plantation spell” to stand up and challenge the status quo of the powerful elite in the city of Memphis. Many of us actually made strides in our efforts to get the people’s voices heard and to get the TRUTH out about how the people are being swindled, “bamboozled, run amuck, led a stray, and even hoodwinked” (Malcolm X) by the powers that be in that city. However, for as long I have known his name in Memphis, Thaddeus Matthews, has been giving the sell-out Black young professionals, the racist white structure, the fearful, cowardly and crooked politician, the crooked Black preacher, and anyone who dared to exploit the black community, and especially our children pure hell in person in community meetings, on his many radio shows and now on his television show.

He also served and continues to serve as somewhat of a private investigator to get and even uncover information for the community that the mainstream television, radio, and prints news media would not and/or could bring to the community. He is the reason that Black Memphis as well as the city at large is a lot smarter about politics, economics and religion. He has risked his own life and his economic livelihood in order to remain free in that city to bring much needed information to the masses in that town. However, when you stand-up and I mean really stand up the way Thaddeus has done for so many years in that town, there are consequences. The powers that be will be angry at you for trying to break the spell of fear and the system of disunity among the people.

Thaddeus Matthews is nobody’s angel. However, he is not the devil. Thaddeus Matthews is not everybody’s friend but he is friendly to all who offer him friendship. Thaddeus Matthews has a past that is not squeaky clean, but who does? Thaddeus Matthews will literally cuss your ass out if you come to him incorrectly. Shit, me too! Thaddeus Matthews is very opinionated. Thaddeus Matthews is very entertaining on his radio and television shows. He is also very enlightening. Thaddeus Matthews is not Dr. King! Thaddeus Matthew will strike you back if you strike him. He will also produce that double-barreled Mossberg shot gun. Thaddeus Matthews loves the President, just like most of you do. Thaddeus Matthews loves his children and grandchildren. Thaddeus Matthews has a personality that truly only a mother can love at times. However, when you have this understanding, you and Thaddeus get along very well. If you are not a lover of truth and justice in its rawest form, you and Thaddeus may not be able to share the same space. Thaddeus Matthews has a temper. Thaddeus Matthews also has a kind, gentle, and giving side. If don’t believe me ask his children, his grand children. Ask the many people whom he has helped in crisis through his many radio shows. Many of you in the community may not agree with the way he delivers his message in a call to action when there is a crisis in the community, but WE all must admit that he has been very effective in getting that message out there.

I have not written this article to praise Thaddeus. I have written this article to tear him down either. He does not need my help in the praise department. He gets that on his own because he has actually done the work and has made the sacrifices for many of us. I mainly wrote this article to show those in the city of Memphis who may be reveling or even celebrating the current ordeal that Thaddeus is currently being put through by the power that be that you all may need get your priorities and your egos in check. You are mad at the wrong man. Ok, if you don’t like his chosen method of delivering his message at times or his behavior/personality on the radio/television at times, fine. However, none of this makes him a criminal or even guilty of what he is being charged with. I won’t believe that you actually stand by and gleefully allow this one 55 year old man to be attacked by the system there in Memphis because he hurt your feelings in the past or you don’t agree with his opinions and/or a lot of the times, the truth about your favorite preacher or politician.

Love him or hate him. WE HAVE ALL BENEFITTED FROM HIS EFFORTS! So, please don’t sit quietly and allow this latest attack on Thaddeus to go unchallenged by us, the community. THEY DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT A CHILD IN A PICTURE. Thaddeus gets to the bottom of every lie to find the truth. This is why he is being attacked today. Thaddeus, love him or hate has contacts in secret places all over the city that are able to get information that helps you, the unsuspecting Memphis citizen, to become wiser about what’s really going on in the city. Thaddeus’s ability to bring out this information has helped so many people in the city of Memphis to finally open their eyes to the lying and deceit that has kept the city of Memphis so blind and ignorant. Sadly, there are those in high and low places (Black and White) (Christian and Jew) (Gay and Straight) (old and young) who do not want you to be awakened and they want Thaddeus to stop waking up the people! So, please, don’t be distracted by the negative messages in the media.

Look. If you have an issue with Thaddeus the man, that’s one thing. However, to allow your personal issues with him to cause you to ignore all of the good that he is done in the city of Memphis and in particular Black Memphis, now that is criminal to me. I will close by saying this. WE all know what is really behind why the city of Memphis has come down so hard on Thaddeus Matthews. It has nothing to do a picture of a child being exploited. So, I will stand behind Thaddeus Matthews and his good works and not be sidetracked by obvious personal attacks by the small-minded city law enforcement and petty, vengeful people in the city of Memphis. I will definitely be sending in my donation for his legal defense fund.

P.O. BOX 2121, MEMPHIS TN, 38101

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ok. The 2012 Presidential Election is over. Now what, Black Folks!?

The recent presidential election was a repeat of 2008 in the Black community. Meaning, emotions ran high. Expectations of the “so-called” first Black president were at an all time high. Debates about politics and race ran its usual emotionally driven course in our homes, on the job and on social networking sites such as face book and twitter. This time around, people actually lost long time friends because of this year’s election. People even deleted long time friends from their face book pages and twitter pages because of political disagreements about this year’s presidential election. I purposefully stayed away from political conversations this year and for the most part four years ago. I do this because when I was a young man in on the campus of Grambling State University back in the early 1990’s, I participated in debates like this all the time. I even wrote about them in the university’s news paper, the Gramblinite, as well as wrote about them in my own campus newsletter/newspaper called ‘In My Opinion’ by Rico Rivers.

My debating about politics continued even after I graduated from college in 1996 and moved back home to Memphis, TN where I would become a regular caller on popular radio talk shows speaking about the politics and the issues that affected my community in Memphis. In 2000, I put my money where my talk was and I ran for a seat on the Memphis City School Board. This is when I learned firsthand that in order to be considered a serious candidate in a political race in Memphis and running in a Black district, honesty, integrity, and the willingness to actually work hard for the people were not it. You need MONEY! You need to be associated with people with money. You need to apart of some organizations like a church or a fraternity/sorority. You need name recognition and with that name, it needs to be a name that is associated with status. I was running in race with a candidate that had more name recognition than me and the incumbent that we both sought to unseat was a long time school board member and a Negro preacher in the district. Needless to say, my ass came in third place. LOL! It was an enlightening experience. I learned that should I ever decide to run for a political office again in a Black district, I will at least have some money to buy commercial time on television and radio as well as to rent billboards across the district in order to get my message across to the people I aim to represent in whatever the office is I am running for at that time. As far as belonging to a church or a fraternity, THAT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!

Anyway, on election night, I really did not watch any election coverage on television. I just went about my evening as usual. Of course, I would check out some results every now and then, but nothing more. However, I did get to my computer at work the next morning to read up on the aftermath of the election. I was so surprised to read about others who had won on the night of the election besides President Obama. I read where the advocates behind the legalization of marijuana had won their in push to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in two states. I also read in the same article where the homosexual community had gained the right to marry in two more states. Not far from this article, I read where the Hispanic community had already gotten organized to get with the newly re-elected President to get back to work on the immigration protection law, the Dream Act, which protects Hispanic children who were brought to the US by undocumented parents. Now, I begin clicking pages and sites to look for what Black people won on election night.

While I was clicking to find such an article, I ran across some statistics that showed a breakdown of who voted for the President in the minority community. Let’s see. Asians reportedly voted 71 percent for Obama. Hispanics reported voted 73 percent for Obama. Blacks reported voted an astounding 93 percent for the President. Hmmm, still, I was unable to find any article on the entire World Wide Web that showed anything that black people won election night as a result of Obama being re-elected by them at 93 percent. This could be laughable, but it is too sad to crack a smile at. A lot of Black people fell out with each other at work, at church, in college and de-friended each other on face book and Twitter and don’t have a damn thing to show for it accept for bragging rights over their candidate winning. My question is, “When are Black people going to get it?” These other groups get it. These other groups seem to get what our very own Frederick Douglas said back in the day which was, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

All WE seem to want from this president and this country are the right to party, the right to laugh, the right to screw, the right to cuss, the right to shop or be overall consumers, the right to be uppity, and the right to pay for what we want but BEG for what we need. This thinking is apparently not the thinking of other special interests groups and racial/ethnic groups in this country. They demand respect. They demand protection under this American flag for their people. They demand funding for their children’s education and they demand that the politicians they vote into office represent their agenda. WE still have not mastered this even on the local levels. When Obama was elected the first time, many in the Black community said, “Give him a chance to get the Bush mess cleaned up before demanding anything from him. “ or “Hey, he is not just the President for Black people. He is the President for all people in this country.” Well, all of the other people made demands on this president during his first term and got what they wanted, while Blacks in this country are still waiting on Jesus to return before demanding something in return for their vote from this current President.

Finally, there are those who decided not to vote in this election. There were those who did not vote in the election four year ago. They have that right. Their decision not to vote did not take away their voice because they are intelligent enough to know that voting is a personal right and not a demand of others. This group of non-voters should not be attacked for exercising their right to not vote. They should not be subject to stupid lines, “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a say.” Or “Your vote is your voice.” How about this one? “If you don’t vote, you have nothing to complain about.” The one that got me the most was, “Hey, our ancestors died for your right to vote.” Really? Name two ancestors. What ancestors are you referring to? All of a sudden, black people who never mention anything about Black ancestry and Black history or anything dealing with Black people, all of a sudden have this connection to our “ancestry” during a political season. These same people don’t give a damn about Blackness and not to mention Black ancestry when it’s not a political season.

Ok. I’m done. I just wanted to share my thoughts on this year’s election and how WE as a community still don’t get it. So, to the Obama fans enjoy your bragging rights. To the non-voters, I understand where you are coming from. You get no criticisms from me. To the gay community, the marijuana advocates, and to other ethnic and racial groups in this country, I hope to be like you all when I grow up. I hope Black people will someday take a page from your playbook of politics and progress to understand what power and progress are really about.