Musings on survival: Living In The Ghetto and the Near Inevitability of Prison

Musings on survival: Living In The Ghetto and the Near Inevitability of Prison

I recently read Blood in the Fields: Ten Years in the Nuestra Familia Gang and was taken aback by one of the main characters in the book. Mando was a young guy who grew up in a violent household who joined a gang, and ended up committing a murder that would net him a sentence of 29 years to life. I became very sad and thought of one of the young men I met in San Quentin, Efrain. While visiting San Quentin, California state prison for an educational panel, I…

Men and the need to be vulnerable

Men and the need to be vulnerable

I have been pondering a question for some time: what if we let men be themselves? Without any of the societal pressures, role assuming behaviors, or passed down expectations? What if we did not force men to succumb to any of the actions or conventional behavior of what a man is supposed to be? What if we just let men be free from all the identity destroying expectations we have placed on manhood? As I ask myself that same question over and over in my head, I have come to…

I don’t care about a statue: Pacification in the fight against racism

I don’t care about a statue: Pacification in the fight against racism

Pacify – [pas–uh-fahy]  verb (used with object), pacified, pacifying. to bring or restore to a state of peace or tranquillity; quiet; calm: to pacify an angry man.   In the last few weeks, the spotlight on America’s white supremacy has been magnified tenfold with the events at Charlottesville, Virginia. What began as a rally of Neo-Nazis and different factions of the far right movement now known as the “Alt-Right”, complaining of America’s treatment of the white man, and proclaiming this to be a time to “return to what the U.S. is supposed to be”, has morphed into a battle of free-speech, anti-fascism, racism, and where America is headed to. The response from…

Race Baiting and white America’s response to the Procter & Gamble commercial

Race Baiting and white America’s response to the Procter & Gamble commercial

  I, like millions of people, saw the Procter & Gamble commercial. In it, there were various Black children and teenagers of various ages talking with their parents about the everyday rigors of racism. A little girl sits with her mother looking in a mirror as she is told she is beautiful; a young boy talks to an older relative about being called a racial slur; a young man is counseled by his mom to get home safe; a teenage girl driving for the first time is given advice by…

Thoughts on the Google memo

Thoughts on the Google memo

I am not surprised at the Google memo that has been leaked. If you have worked at any tech company in Silicon Valley, you will know it is rife with sexism. People often ask, “Why aren’t there more women in tech?” I have a theory – Tech companies are extremely sexist and anti-female. Women are talked over, their input is disregarded, and they are thought of as “too emotional” to do IT. When women are our superiors their directives are ignored or questioned more than men. When a woman is…

How the Good Men Project Helped Me Find My Voice

How the Good Men Project Helped Me Find My Voice

In my life, the one thing that has come the easiest to me is writing. The ability to create worlds on paper, express my thoughts by using a pencil and pen, and to make my point through the written word has always been effortless. I was always encouraged by my mother to write, my craft was refined in high-school, my writing style was influenced by those who had come before me, and my environment and upbringing shaped what I was to talk about. I truly love writing; there is not…

Tupac Shakur, Malcolm X, masculinity, and the importance of fatherhood

Tupac Shakur, Malcolm X, masculinity, and the importance of fatherhood

June 16th was the birthday of Tupac Amaru Shakur. Everyone was celebrating his life and the release of the film “All Eyez On Me”: the biopic about the rapper, activist, actor, and icon. There was the usual praise lavished on Shakur – greatest rapper ever, legend, brilliant actor, and symbol of Black male excellence. While I agree with everything that has been stated about Shakur, when I think of him two things come to mind: a life unrealized and the importance of fatherhood. Tupac was like a lot of young…

Pushing The Boundaries of Creativity

Pushing The Boundaries of Creativity

  In 2017, technology is making a permanent place in our lives. What was once optional, tech has now become almost as important to our everyday lives as water, food, and sleep. Leaving house without your smart phone is unthinkable. Airport check-in kiosks have replaced clerks, Email and text messaging are the preferred mode of communication, and instead of purchasing a physical magazine or newspaper, a periodical can simply be downloaded. In other words, technology has changed our lives forever. With tech being nearly irreplaceable, it is only logical that…

The dark turn of the immigration fight…

The dark turn of the immigration fight…

  In light of the current immigration raids, I thought of a conversation I had with a good friend of mine. When he was a child, his parents smuggled him into the United States in a trunk of car. Growing up, he and I did the same things as any other young man – went to school, played video games, read comic books, and talked about girls. It wasn’t until the Immigration Customs and Enforcement raids started to happen around our city that he told me how he arrived here….

Only in America: What a Donald Trump presidency means to me Pt. 1

Only in America: What a Donald Trump presidency means to me Pt. 1

  I am not surprised, in shock, or disappointed. The 2016 election unfolded the way I thought it would. Donald Trump: real estate mogul, reality television personality, bigot of all things not white, and possible sexual abuser has won the presidency of the United States. It’s weird; even as I type this, it is weird. In what land can you spout economic inaccuracies, hurl racial insults at large groups of people, cheer on Black protestors being assaulted at his rallies, make light of womens’ health issues and ascend to the…