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…

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…

StoryCorps interview!!!

StoryCorps interview!!!

I had the opportunity to participate in an interview with Storycorps, an organization that is committed to sharing stories of people everywhere in the world. We talked about writing, race, gender, travel, friends, and new projects. I have to say this was the best interview I have ever given. Such a great time, I advise everyone to participate in a StoryCorps interview.

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…

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….

The Grind

The Grind

This originally appeared on The Good Men Project My days and nights are consumed by one thing: how to make it pop. There is not a moment that goes by that I am not thinking about how to get my writing and myself in front of people. It is a constant cycle of ideas, triumphs, failures, out-of-the-box thoughts, and strategies. There is another word for it: The Grind. The Grind requires anyone who is an entrepreneur or has an idea and wants to see it come to fruition to work…

Why I am voting yes on Prop 57

Why I am voting yes on Prop 57

This originally appeared on Glide.org When I learned that the California Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative, otherwise known as Prop 57, would be on the ballot this November, my curiosity was immediately piqued. I am a writer who has published essays on the destruction of mass incarceration. I am a co-chair of the Glide Memorial Church Racial Justice Group, a team devoted to fighting racism/white supremacy. Most importantly, I am a Black man in America. I see the importance of Prop 57. In a report…

Why I don’t say white privilege

Why I don’t say white privilege

This originally appeared on The Good Men Project  Recently I was invited to participate in an online forum about race in America. Three other guests and I were discussing the murder of Mario Woods by the San Francisco Police Department, the Bundy Oregon occupation, and the lack of African Americans in Silicon Valley. As we talked about the issues and the reasoning behind them, one of the guests said, “The reason why the Bundy family has not been arrested, more Blacks are not working at dotcom’s, and Woods was murdered…