Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Holidays are here and New Year is Upon Us.

The holidays are upon us and I am looking forward mainly to new year’s eve. I have always loved the idea of a new beginning. My moving to Dallas away from Memphis four years ago was a new beginning in my life. This is not to say that I will always live in Dallas, but this was definitely a good place to start for me on my journey to a new beginning. As a single man with no children, I can see myself moving to another place in a few years like Miami Beach or somewhere south of the border. I can see myself reaching the goals that I set for myself years ago in my youth. Changing one’s environment means a lot when trying to reach personal goals.

As we move closer to the New Year, I have the highest of hopes for myself, my family and my friends. Those of you who take time out to stop and read what I have to say on a weekly basis, I can truly say that I appreciate you. I appreciate the honest responses and feedback. Believe it or not, it helps me to grow more and more with each blog-post that I write. Granted, my growth may be different from your growth. According to an old Gramblinite and former friend, last week, I have not grown racially or in my perspective on race. Of course, I beg to differ. I think what he meant to say that the American people have not grown in regards to race.

I learned a long time ago that when it comes to the topic of race and obviously race-related issues in society, people are sensitive and people are fine with being in denial about race. I, on the other hand, welcome the topic of race. No, I have not had sex with, had children with and even dated anyone outside of my race. I am very proud of myself for this. However, I am open to dating outside of my ethnicity (as long as she is not white) and as long as she has melanin flowing through her body, it’s all good. This is not to say that I can’t be cool  and be friends with all people of all races because I am cool with all people of all races I am friendly with people of other races and even sexual orientations. I just choose not to share my bed or my seed with a non-black woman. Is this a crime against humanity? I think not. Sadly, many in my own race believe that this is a crime against humanity.

With the New Year approaching, my hope is that we all grow in our own special ways. I want us as Black people to finally stop casting out those of us who are fine with just loving Black people. This does not make us less intelligent. This does not make you (with your white spouse/mixed kids) any more racially aware than those of us who have chosen not to go that route when deciding to date and create a family. This does not make us hateful towards white people or another ethnic group. This does not make us hateful towards Black people who have chosen to date and make with whites and other ethnicities. This does not make us less intelligent than you. As a matter of fact, I think this makes us more secure in whom we are as Black people, believers of God and more knowledgeable of our culture what we have to go through in this country historically and currently.

What I just said strangely does not have to be said when it comes to White Jews, Italian, Asians, Hispanics, Latinos, Greeks, and W.A.S.P.S because somehow it is expected for them to date and mate within their own racial and ethnic groups and not be criticized or labeled racially immature because they not only BELIEVE but PRACTICE love amongst their groups. Sounds interesting huh? As I grow, I want to you grow with me. As I continue to love you (despite our different views on certain topics) it would be nice if you continued to love me even into the New Year. I don’t write and share my thoughts for the purpose of creating enemies. I write and share my thoughts because I believe that we can still can talk, disagree, agree, come up with solutions, and after the conversation is over we can hug one another and appreciate the light we both shared that opened us up to a perspective that we probably had never considered before.

Anyway, I have one more article to post for this year. It won’t be anything new. It will be a repost of an article that I wrote a couple of years ago addressing another pertinent issue in society, which is the ever-group trend of Teen Pregnancy. Yes. I will definitely go out this year with a bang. If I don’t see you or speak to you before the New Year, I would like to take this time to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. If you are in Dallas, I may see you at one of the New Year’s Eve parties somewhere in the Dallas metroplex.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sometimes I hate being a Conscious Black Man!

Sometimes I get frustrated being a conscious Black man among so many of us who are UNconscious. Meaning, I often become frustrated at being a lover of Black people. I sometimes become frustrated at being a lover of Black women (only). I become frustrated at being a lover and a staunch advocate for young Black males. I remember when I was a young man back in college on the campus of  mybeloved Grambling State University in early 1990s. I wrote an Op-Ed column here and there for the university’s campus newspaper called “The Gramblinite.” I was not a writer for the Gramblinite or anything. The paper accepted weekly submissions from students on campus and I just submitted an opinion every week. LOL! Each week I would submit an opinion or thought about a subject that was a part of society or just an issue that was exclusive to the campus itself. Each week, people scrambled to get a copy of the issue where I was sharing my thoughts. Yes. My thoughts often created a campus-wide stir among the students as well as the faculty and administration. I was even asked by the faculty editor of paper to write  an article from time to time on various topics because I generated such a buzz throughout the university with my writing style. I guess the rumbling was too much for the administration because out of no where the faculty editor of the Gramblinite just stopped accepting my submissions to newspaper.  Hey, it was all good because I went on to create my very own campus media outlet, which was my very own campus newsletter called, “In My Opinion” by Rico Rivers.

In my newsletter, I was able to be as expressive as well as “real” as I wanted to be. However, my wanting to be free to express my thoughts without any limits came with a price. The price was the reality of being shunned by the very people whom I thought I was trying to educate about the many ills in our community, on our campus, and in the country we live in as Black people. Well, when you speak truth without a filter, there are those will not be ready for the truth. So much that they begin to plot and pray to God for your demise. I remember a many evenings walking home alone and not understanding why so many students and faculty expressed outward dislike and even hatred for me after a newsletter would drop. Yes. I reported on the messed up behaviors on students on campus. Yes. I broke a lot of stories in my newsletter that The Gramblinite just would not touch. Yes. I was very outspoken and very vocal on issues that the appointed leaders on our campus just would not touch. I was that alternative voice to that scripted mainstream voice on campus. Strangely, I was viewed by many at the university as what was wrong with the university during the four years I reigned as the much needed and desired alternative voice to the mainstream voice at the university.

You see. I thought I was delivering a much needed message to the students and those at the university who felt that they did not have a voice. However, it did not dawn on me until later that it was not ok in the minds of quite a few at the university to air out the university’s dirty laundry. I also learned the hard way that speaking the truth also meant putting some people and groups on blast. A lot of people back then did not care for me speaking the truth on campus about their favorite professor, church, fraternity, sorority, religion, and even about race. However, there were those who did appreciate what I doing back then. They often came to my defense when those who decided that they did not care for my commentary attempted to bad mouth me or my character. By the way, none of this ever swayed me from telling it like it was back in the day. Yes. My feelings were hurt often by the backlash I received often from an article I wrote that uncovered and exposed a wrong doing at the university.

Some people actually believed that I got a thrill out of exposing people who were essentially hurting the university and misleading the student body. I did not. I walked home alone often emotionally and mentally exhausted and even physically worn-out from distributing a newsletter that I knew would create a not so positive stir on the campus because of the nature of the articles written in that particular issue. I would walk home feeling like the bad guy even after I had just written an expose’ on an actual bad guy on campus. I remember sometimes walking home alone and crying and asking God, “Why did you choose me?” “Why did you choose me to be one of those people”? Then, I as would get closer to home, I would have this thought, “You know. I guess I am supposed to do this now.” When I got home, I’d wipe away my tears and just collapse on the bed and just sleep. I mean sleep until I had no more sleep left in me.

Sometimes, I feel the same way these days. In the midst of all the craziness that is currently going on in the Black community and in the world, I have often found myself not wanting to say anything about some of these issues that are going on today. I know that I will say and write something that will be the truth, but will be the truth that people are not ready to hear right now. It is not that I am afraid or anything. It just gets tiresome and repetitive. People becoming upset with me because I have the balls to point out the pink elephant in the room is that all that great. It’s not even worth pointing out the pink elephant in the room any more. My thoughts on racism, religion, interracial dating, obesity in the Black community, reparations, education, out of wedlock births, homosexuality, white supremacy, teen pregnancy, drugs and crime, etc, really don’t coincide with the current mainstreamed thoughts of most people. In this era of multiculturalism and diversity, my people, black people are still not ready for a conscious Black man’s thoughts. This still saddens me. I will continue to share my thoughts as a conscious Black man, however, what’s makes it different for me these days is that I now know why God chose me way back then and I am now ok with the price tag that comes along with being a conscious Black man.

In closing, I just want to say just in case you are wondering. My concern has never been what white people about my opinions or my positions on issues. My feelings and my heart have always been in tuned with Black people. However, it has become too much of an emotional burden for me to invest as much time and energy in speaking to my people about what “We NEED TO DO” to make things better in our communities. This is why I changed my focus over the years. Less talk conversations and more action. I have work to do. However, it does get at me a little sometimes to just sit and watch our people destroy itself out of ignorance and fear of being referred to by whites and Blacks who have really bought into the Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, RG III, O.J. Simpson, and Tiger Woods love affair with the European mindset as prejudiced or even racist.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Single/Never married women should not be awarded child support payments by a court of law.

I think Single/ Never Married women should not be awarded child support by a court of law when she nor the father EVER signed a legal document that would support the legal reasoning behind the awarding of such payments. What I mean by supportive and legal documents are: A marriage license that was signed by both parties or a birth certificate signed by both parties after a DNA test has proven that he is the father. Hell, I would even accept a recorded verbal agreement between the two single people who decide to lay down in moment of lust and have unprotected sex. Just because it is a moral thing to do which is a man stepping up to the plate to take care of the child he helped to create, it should not be allowed to be turned into a LEGAL matter if no supportive legal documents were ever signed. I figure if this single woman was woman enough to get him sleep with her, she should be woman enough to get this same single man to help her support the baby that she gave him permission to place inside of her. Nooooo. This sounds too much like right when the female is being called upon to not only take responsible for her actions, but also be charged with protecting her own body.

Let me say this. Morally, I think it is horrendous for ANY MAN to just walk away from a child he helped to create. However, on the other hand, I don't think that he should be held liable legally and monetarily for the WOMAN's CHOICE to ALLOW HIM to IMPREGNATE her without being a woman and getting the necessary legal paperwork signed. Since she gave him PERMISSION to go up in her without a condom, she should woman up and be prepared to go with the consequences of her actions and NOT CRY ABOUT HER CHOICE to a court of law. The court of law needs to stay out of single people's business and bedrooms. Again this sounds too much like right when the court system makes a profit off of child support payments being paid out by the man and in some cases the woman. This to me is gender bias on the deepest level. Maybe some of this behavior can be stopped if the female, who happens to be all in love with Jesus Christ and who professes to be the follower of God's word, would just keep God's word in mind when deciding to have sex out of wedlock with a man who is not her husband.     I J S.   :)

Before I am asked, "Rico, what about the man?" Well, what about him? He can only do what he is ALLOWED to do. Get it? Legally, a single man should not be harassed by the courts for money that is not legally due to a single woman or a child that she had out of wedlock or shall I say without having any legal documentation in place to justify such payments.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

I am just asking a question about AIDS/HIV and RACE!

World AIDS Day has come and gone and the conversation about AIDS/HIV continues. The cure has yet to be found and the national campaign to get us all tested for HIV/AIDS continues. However, every year the focus or the theme of World AIDS day seems to be Africa. Please forgive me, but I never knew AIDS saw race and/or color. Yes, in the beginning of this AIDS epidemic, which was back in the very late 1970’s, it appeared that somehow AIDS recognized sexual orientation. Strange, huh? AIDS/HIV was initially referred to as the gay white man’s disease. The disease was supposedly spread through gay sex being had among white males. Then, the disease became known as a Black people’s disease (as if sickle cell anemia wasn’t enough). Now, according to the latest statistics from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, it has a become a Black female disease, which is supposedly mainly spread to these women by having sex with Black men on the "down-low" and men coming out of prison. Ok. I always thought that the virus was passed along from one infected person to non-infected person. Hmm, how does a few brothaz who get released from prison make such an impact that is being suggested by these statistics? How do a few cheating “down-low” Black men even measure up to the statistic that the CDC in Atlanta has presented to us as facts?

If this disease does not see color, race, gender, and even sexual orientation, then why aren't there staggering statistics among whites, Asians, Italians, and even Hispanics? How did Black people all over the world become so infected by this deadly disease? Please don’t insult me by saying that Black people are infected the most because of us supposedly being sexual risk takers or have unprotected sex more than any other race of people. I never knew it mattered how many times a person had sex without a condom with an infected person when comes to contracting AIDS/HIV. Also, sex was not just given to Black people by God. All people have sex. This how all races reproduce themselves. They are having plenty of sex (unprotected) in all of Europe and in all of the white suburbs all across America. Hell, in Italy, Paris, and London where wine is consumed heavily culturally, not only are these groups of whites having sex, but they are getting drunk and then having unprotected sex. So, why aren’t they contracting the AIDS virus and passing it around in their communities like it is being reported about Blacks all over the world. Also, if AIDS does not see color or race, how come these same statistics of Black women who have been contracting the virus from men have not contracted any AIDS from their white husbands and/or white boyfriends? You all do know that a lot of Black women do date/marry white men, right?

Is this to say that white men don’t have gay sex with other men in 2012 and cheat on their women? Come on now. I know you are smarter than that. Where are the statistics of biracial children born with HIV? If the virus does not see color/race, well this would mean that the Black mother to contract the HIV virus, she would have to go out and cheat on her white and Hispanic man with a Black man. This appears to be another message being sent about Black people’s alleged proclivity to bad sexual behavior and poor moral character. I’m just saying. We all know that everybody cheats on their lovers in ALL races and genders. However, the CDC and the World Health Organization gives the impression through “their” statistics and “their” purposeful focus on Blacks around the world, that we are a bunch of amoral, sexually reckless and promiscuous people. You and I know that this behavior is not exclusive to one race of people. So, what gives? Why is the focus primarily on Black people in Africa and Black people in America when it comes to AIDS/HIV?

Anyway, I just have to ask these questions sometimes because while we tend to celebrate certain days and causes, we tend not to really look deep into what we are celebrating or why the need for fundraising for a cure when there is clearly no intention of ever finding a cure. I am not saying don’t get tested. I am saying do some thinking about certain situations and even issues that are brought before you in this society that have been deemed very important. Don’t get me started on the cancer issue and this particular foundation that has made an economic killing off of people dying from cancer. This foundation is so savvy that it has gotten major corporations to fund its annual fraud for the cure campaign that’s got everybody wearing pink even the guys in the NFL! Corporate capitalism and fraud at its best.