The Sell-Out at the Citizens Academy


A really good person thinks that he was a sell-out at a meeting or class he attended at the Citizens Academy, in Syracuse, New York. ,

The Class offered many students the opportunity to learn more about the government and/or how the city of Syracuse and its surrounding counties operated. Each week, a panel is involved as each person who is incharge of their department in Syracuse discusses what they do to make the city of Syracuse a better place to live. Apparently, no one has the courage to challenge its panelists on how non-diverse Syracuse really is. There seems to be monies available for revitalization and getrification in the city but not for much else. The poor in the city stay poor. Crime is rampant and rising as talks about the I-81 infrastructure takes true precedence. The area affected would be the poorest in the city and is the most dire for a makeover. Being that it would be considered a makeover, something or someone would have to go.

Back when Black people were forced out of the 15th Ward to make way for a new highway, those in higher positions turned a deaf ear to the people of that community. Today, with all of the meetings and forums created to supposedly invite voices to be heard about the I-81 viaduct, it seems those souls are being placated and patronized. A decision has already been made to tear down the eyesore known as Pioneer Homes. Although there are those meek souls and gophers who work for Blue Print 15, a company brought in to smooth-over the tempered voices of the soon-to-be decimated area, they steadily expect their check to arrive weekly. The Workers in the House quells those working in the fields. Visions of sugarplums dance in the heads of those truly expecting to move back into their old neighborhoods in a new dwelling alongside the middle and higher income level residents. Does this really seem realistic? Who would or could tolerate such? Why should they tolerate living next to a family that crime follows? Then again, Blue Print 15 was incharge of like communities in Atlanta, GA. Go figure.

But there is also the issue of diversity in Syracuse where it is perceived that persons of color don’t have the proper skill set to hold mid-level positions in companies. As an incentive to bring new companies into the Syracuse area, tax deferments or tax breaks (spread out of years) are offered. Do those companies hold the proper skill set to maintain employees of color. Of course, there are those who would say, “But at least they could have a job making a decent wage.” Is it really a wage that would allow them the luxury of living comfortably without having to secure a second or third job? And, what if the person of color is held to a different set of matrixes, a higher set, that could see them walked out the door of that job before they have met their probationary period?

Aside from and in lieu of all that, the person tried to incorporate Atlanta, GA into a question he asked: What does Syracuse have to offer me? The real question, as the reason he felt he sold-out, should have been, “What does Syracuse have to offer a Black man like myself?” I told him that I’m sure some people understood where he was going with the question, but everybody should have gotten it. Each panelist spoke on the wonderful qualities Syracuse has to offer. It’s just that each panelist, including Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, knew that there was only one real race, genre, and nationality that mattered. White. A new proposed Aquarium, new downtown loft apartments, all the non-inclusive eateries and clubs that frowned upon the thought of intimidation or fear that accompanied a single or group of persons that did not include at least one white person were just a few joys of one moving to Syracuse.

What does Syracuse have to offer a Black Man? More crime, harassment, discrimination, discouragement, complacency, static. Just how would the panelists have answered that question? Isn’t the Black Man, and even the Black Woman, part of the economy they spoke about? Even the Deputy Mayor wouldn’t be able to answer that question with a stragiht face, since she was trying to save face. Yes, the gentleman could have been a Maverick from seeking an answer to that question. Would it have been worth it? Probably so. Were those waves that should have been ruffled? Yes and No. More Yes.

Loving a Badge with Honor


Black and Blue
is what they both wore
Just that, he donned a cap
And she, long-sleeves and shades
so the neighbors could reach out
His pistol he used brutally often
even while the gulf flowed crimson
A silent partner to a proud one
Her cross was his badge of honor
Someday, they’d all see her praying
Someday,
she would have to close her eyes
and feel thunder and lightning no more
and hear what her voice sounds like
Someday, he will close his eyes
and relive it all

Loving a Badge with Honor


Black and Blue
is what they both wore
Just that, he donned a cap
And she, long-sleeves and shades
so the neighbors could reach out
His pistol he used brutally often
even while the gulf flowed crimson
A silent partner to a proud one
Her cross was his badge of honor
Someday, they’d all see her praying
Someday,
she would have to close her eyes
and feel thunder and lightning no more
and hear what her voice sounds like
Someday, he will close his eyes
and relive it all

Loving a Badge with Honor


Black and Blue
is what they both wore
Just that, he donned a cap
And she, long-sleeves and shades
so the neighbors could reach out
His pistol he used brutally often
even while the gulf flowed crimson
A silent partner to a proud one
Her cross was his badge of honor
Someday, they’d all see her praying
Someday,
she would have to close her eyes
and feel thunder and lightning no more
and hear what her voice sounds like
Someday, he will close his eyes
and relive it all

The Old Man in Apopka, FL


“Did he need remind them
Of his age and wisdom?
When the bones are frail and
The mind goes back, only then
Can they overcome age and wisdom
Even if blood should be thicker than water?”

Impoverished few
Though constructed into many
Not much you can do
When you’re in search of a penny

Apopka was always home
Just look at Phyllis Wheatley
Though police can make you unknown
And blood covers so neatly

He lived his life
Despite the color and strife
Eleven he made with his wife
Early years lost one to the clan
Karma caught up with them in a van
The beginning of the end of this land

Greedy boys
Who couldn’t see the sky
Craved for better toys
And willing to lie

Strutting with a cane
You could even feel his pain
Remember, he was old and wise

Deserving of his monthly check
Dressed like he had stacked the deck
He never favored the grandkids buys

Had they even looked for a job
Or just something to do?
May as well go ahead and rob
But when it’s one of your own
Who won’t throw you a bone
Get it done, but leave a clue

Laugh is what they did
Sheltering evil in the mind of a kid
Why should anyone else care?
Feeble needing his crutch
Only to stand and walk and such
Without it, why would he go out there?

The Black and Blue made their decision
Based on the deceased mindset
Never was there a revision
No one asked for permission
To challenge his condition
They still just didn’t care yet

It’s easier for a company to decide
The pain and the struggle
of someone else’s ride
Especially when it doesn’t hit home

Let’s just say he was confused
he tripped and fell, that’s why he was bruised
and then just call it a day
But the dead from the river does speak
Maybe in dreams, secrets do leak
Why was the cane left in the house, anyway?

     —A. True Story

NAACP is at it again! Praising those who are against darker-skinned individuals…


  1. I seriously cannot understand why all the hate towards Black people…not People-of-Color, but Black people seem to really disgust a certain basketball team owner, Donald Sterling of the L.A. Clippers. Apparently, this same gentleman who instructed his ‘girlfriend’ to “not bring any Black people to basketball games,” is being praised by the NAACP for his Lifetime Achievement. I guess I can see the resemblance. The NAACP did, in fact, throw dark-skinned Claudette Colvin under the bus and supported light-skinned Rosa Parks during that momentous boycott period. Discrimination and Racism…are they really two different things? Good Hair – Bad Hair…Light-Skinned – Dark-Skinned…Ebonics – Correct Grammar… What a never ending saga for the “Black Man,” huh? Just when some of us thought Lupita Nyongo’s People Magazine cover was a breakthrough, a true breakthrough would be Don Cheadle gracing that cover very soon (should People Mag ever decide to issue a Most Handsome Man edition).
    So much hate is spread in the media only to later have that person apologizing or saying their words were taken out of context. Maybe honest is the ‘Best Policy.’ But why is it necessary in the first place? No other race, in my opinion, seems to be hated more than Black people. And please, get rid of that term “African-American.” It just doesn’t fit…anybody.
  2. Remember Claudette Colvin?  She was the one individual the NAACP turned its back on during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955.  Because of Miss Colvin’s dark skin, and the fact that she was an unwed pregnant mother, the NAACP chose to support the lighter-skinned and less threatening, Rosa Parks, after she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. 
  3. Should the NAACP change its name?  I mean, the term or word “colored” is no longer used.  That is, unless you ask someone still living from that time period.  Jesse Jackson saw to it that ‘Blacks’ were to now be referred to as ‘African-American.’  Though he was then catapulted to stardom during the Democratic National Convention in 1988, where is he now?  Has Mr. Jackson seen any real advancement for ‘African-Americans?’  I think Spike Lee explained it well in his movie “School Daze.”  Then again, I can’t remember if the Willie Lynch speech was ever mentioned…or ever needed to be.
  4. Even having money doesn’t seem to make a Black person accepted into many environments.  There is always the question and wondering how that particular individual could afford a certain thing designed and designated for the white individual.  The main thought or reason…Drugs!  A Black person is rarely ever considered to have acquired his or her means through hard work.  She persistence, Yes!  Though the thought always reverts back to some illegal nature.  And it’s usually the darker-skinned male who gets the short-end of the stick.  Does Lil Wayne wreak of the ‘Thug Life?’  While rock star, Prince, receives royal treatment?  Jay-Z without Beyonce over Vin Diesel?  Disparity in treatment?  You betcha! 
  5. What does the NAACP get out of promoting and praising those who exhibit racist behavior?  If the organization believes they are receiving favor or acceptance in return for theirs, they’re probably right.  Should Black people cease looking to the NAACP as their savior for equal or civil rights, the famed group would still exist.  As racist comments continue to soar on a daily basis, the NAACP’s roar really is the loudest.  And there obviously is no shame in their game.

 

Dear President Obama


 

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

    I know I don’t have to tell you the history Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech, so I won’t.  At that time, and definitely when you were elected by a landslide in 2008, Americans as well as foreigners alike were hopeful that a change would come in the issue of racial equality.  Dr. King dreamed of a better day for minorities.  Sadly, unfortunately, he was struck down long before he could witness a man he fought so hard for to rise to the mountain top.  Yes sir, you are on the mountain top.  But, it makes one wonder if you truly had the same dream as Dr. King. 

 

 

 

     People still march in front of and around the house that you command.  Jobs are lost, homes lost, lives lost…and still, the hope is there but it seems like it’s fading away.  Though we all know that it’s not just minorities who are in jeopardy of a continuous diminishing livelihood, so much media attention now is comparing Dr. King’s message to your “Yes we can” or even the “Change” messages you promoted.  “Yes we can” is what Blacks and Whites alike chanted back to you, in an effort to get you elected as the first “African-American,” not Black, President of the United States.  I guess in Dr. King’s time, he was considered colored or Negro.  Boy, have the times really changed?  Now, Blacks are considered African-American with thanks to the Reverend Jessie Jackson and his 1988 campaign for your spot.  Yet, the “Change” so many shouted for you has not been felt.  Then again, many minorities feel that it has gotten worse for them since you took over the podium. 

 

 

 

     With jobs being a major focus for Americans, one should wonder how jobs will be created when there is no real demand for products that can’t be afforded.  Education pales due to the fact that once the paper is received and the debt is grieved, it’s all about who you know to get placement in this world.  Then, there are the lucky ones who have the stars lined up for them and feel that the law of prosperity will follow them if they go to the side where money talks.  In other words, once Democrats now become Republicans.  Yes, Republican is synonymous wealth and status.  Democrats are for the hopeless and near-desperate.  As an elected-Democrat, what exactly do you represent?  The podium is yours, the microphone is yours.  Though you stand up straight, it’s actually confusing as to where you stand…for the un-chosen broken.

 

 

 

     I read a poem called, “The Day the Ghetto Died,” and found it to be interesting.

 

 

 

On the day the Ghetto died

 

Malcolm X bowed his head

 

While Martin Luther King stood and cried

 

 

 

On the day the Ghetto Died

 

Some sat and sang a hymn

 

Others just sat and lied

 

Lied about what the white man did for them

 

 

 

On the day the Ghetto Died

 

Little babies ran through streets

 

While their mothers bowed their heads and cried

 

To see their children with shoes on their feets

 

 

 

On the day the Ghetto died

 

The bible was opened even wider

 

To thank the Lord for a bond to be tied

 

And to pray for it to be tighter

 

 

 

In front of the steeple

 

I sat and felt a drop of rain

 

I looked up despite the people

 

And saw Jesus rejoicing over his pain

 

 

 

The pain must have been great

 

For it came down like a herd of angry men

 

But then it stopped

 

And I saw the sky smile again

 

 

 

‘Twas the Day the ghetto died

 

all the great heroes rose from the dead

 

to spread the knowledge they once had to hide

 

to the souls whose hearts now bled

 

 

 

They walked in hundreds of thousands

 

Wearing potato sacks

 

And chains and ropes

 

I can say this – for I was there

 

And in unison they sang the most beautiful hymn

 

 

 

It was one I never got to write

 

Because I could only listen in solemnity

 

It was a song that made me frown

 

 – one that gave me back my dignity

 

 

 

The tone sounded like it came

 

From the chain gang

 

But I couldn’t be sure if it was of

 

Rejoice or of pain

 

 

 

I walked around my beautiful home and cried

 

I looked and saw that I had everything money could buy

 

Then realized how little I had

 

But my ancestors had much pride

 

 

 

 

 

     Can you tell if this author is Republican or Democrat?  One would assume that because the author mentioned “ancestors,” he or she is non-white.  One side doesn’t seem to have to yell to get their point across.  Another side is just simply ignored and floored.  Who could deny the impact of one Oprah, Tyler Perry, Lee Daniels, or Quincy Jones?  They have made their mark on the world.  Crossovers?  Maybe.  Still, even the mighty O still has her bouts with abandonment.  And now, Americans are feeling abandoned by another mighty O.  Are you building your cabin the way you want it to be?  There are laws that are nearly favoring the execution of Blacks, let alone Black males – in a state many believe changed the course of history in 2000.  As time advanced, so has favoritism.  Who now represents our nation for the minorities who want a better life?  Just because of the so-called self-help television shows and books, the destination can’t be reached without support, resources. 

 

 

 

     Let’s give kudos to those who can stand back and thank their lucky stars for a blessed life.  It is with faith that those individuals cultivate their gifts and make them grow.  Also, they should remember how they got to be in their cushy position and not be ashamed to admit that they received help along the way.  Has much sight been lost by tending to the grass in other nations backyards?  When you awaken from your night’s sleep, can you honestly tell your dream without making a joke about it?  Laughter is only a temporary fix and dreams of a better way die when they can’t be fulfilled.  And time heals no one or nothing.  It only makes conditions harsher without proper treatment.

 

 

 

     Would Dr. Martin Luther King be pleased with the conditions minorities face today?  Probably not.  Then again, had his dream been kept alive 1988 would have never happened and the 2000 election would never have seen the light of day.   You would still have had your chance to speak for the disadvantage man and woman.  But you more than likely would have been forced to keep your promises of a better day.

 

 

 

     Don’t be that father that went out for milk and never came back.  Or, the one who pops back in from time to time to say, “Hey, remember me?”  Almost two years into our new house and the steps still haven’t been fixed.  You’re the only one who knows where the materials are to fix the steps. 

 

 

 

     The ghetto should have died by now and changed into a neighborhood.  Though it’s like that way for so many, change just can’t happen fast enough.  Some can’t even remember their dreams.

 

 

 

      And, to think, the movie “The Butler” made you cry.

 

 

 

 

 

Signed,

 

 

 

Ms Aerd 

 

 

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