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.

The Coming Out Party

It’s time

Let the lights shine

Break out the Bacardi

All Hail the coming out party


Might not be a big thing

Why don’t you see what’s underneath

Jump up and down and sing

Why did Eve have to wear a leaf?


Times are changing

Not so much for the world

So the closets are flaming

Even children want to unfurl


Why hide so much

When all love is hearty

So much Sweetness to the touch

Time for a coming out party


Break the taboo

Was it really written in stone?

Powers that be don’t have a clue

They tap more than a telephone


Raise your voices

And take a stand

You have choices

Hold the same hand


What a treasure

Make their hearts see

Pleasure is the measure

Just join the coming out party




Stupid is as Stupid does! Or does Insensitivity breed Insensitivity?

Are NFL football players public figures like a Syracuse Mayor? 


When NFL football players, who are selected by a group of men to serve their teams don’t deliver a return on the powers-that-be investment, they generally leave a sour taste for their fans on and off the playing field.  Take for example cornerback, Chris Culliver, for the San Francisco 49ers.  When Culliver made the ultimate scathing remarks about gay football players not being “welcomed” in their team’s locker room, many believed this young person had definitely crossed the line.  As confident as he assumed his position, the comment held much weight as so-called straight men playing in Super Bowl XLVII were being likened to Goliath and the closeted gay men held hands with David.  Culliver and his band of cronies would even deny taking part in a near “It Gets Better” campaign.  For a moment, gasps could be heard around the world as the 49ers drew closer to triumph.  Ultimately, Culliver and his Goliath brethren lost the match to the lone vocal David, Brendon Ayanbadejo, linebacker for the victorious Baltimore Ravens on February 3, 2013.  While there are surely Christians who believe homosexuality is an abomination, Ayanbadejo’s good over-powered Culliver’s evil.  Where was the leader or leaders who elected the bashing Culliver and his fellow mates at the time of the foul attention they garnered?  No one said that Culliver was wrong for his poor choice of words during his interview with Artie Lang.  It was almost as if the 49ers were sending a message directly to Ayanbadejo that “any sissies on the field are going down…”  Isn’t it time for the media to make Ayanbadejo’s crusade for Gay Rights and his Baltimore Ravens victory an example to all who oppose gay players in the NFL?  Would a 49ers victory at Super Bowl XLVII have been a slap in the face of adversity?  No doubt.  Isn’t it even time for team owners to speak up and say, “We will not and do not tolerate imposing fear on any player who can and wants to play football”?  In no way has it been shared and cared that Ayanbadejo is himself a gay player for the NFL.  However, if he is, has he not already become the “Jackie Robinson of the NFL?”  Not only should the owner or owners of the Baltimore Ravens applaud Ayanbadejo’s behavior on and off the field, the general public should do so as well.  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is obviously running amok in the testosterone-enraged locker rooms that Christians have helped to support.  Are club owners held to a majority view-point?  Maybe so.  For the love of the game, whether a man or woman can play the game should take precedence over one’s lifestyle or “way-of-life.”  Like any public figure, serving for the betterment of good should be the motto.


But like the NFL’s lack of cultural adversity, there are other figures or officials, like Syracuse Mayor, Stephanie Miner, who choose to ignore those who elected her to her position.  Like NFL players are employees to their team, a secretary or personal assistant to the Mayor should not overstep their bounds and become selective in which messages require a higher priority for the Mayor.  It may be a given that the Mayor receives all kinds of phone calls from voters and non-voters alike.  But when a call is made and a message is left with a secretary regarding discrimination or misuse of funds, the Mayor should extend the courtesy of returning the call.  What a scapegoat for the Mayor to say that she was never made aware of the attempt to expose the wrongdoing.  Again, like the abhorrent players in the NFL, a non-customer service oriented Mayor shows her true colors in a way comparable of flipping off endearing voters.  Having become interested in politics at an early age, Miner may have inherited or obviously enveloped a “Fake it till you make it” mentality toward the people of Syracuse, New York.  Although Miner is seeking a second term as Mayor in the Democrat majority-ruled city, her not so glorious performance record may go unnoticed by the people.  While the word “Democrat” or democracy is synonymous with being “for the people,” it is not yet discovered who or what Miner serves or supports.  Not returning phone calls is just one way to explain her ill towards the non-private sector.


A public figure is one whose life and behavior are the main focus of intense scrutiny and public interest.  Whether viewing a game on regular television or paying monies to attend an intense match.  As tensions brew on the football playing field, so do them inside City Hall or during the Mayor’s public and private addresses.  But as serving for the majority is a key issue, bestowing one’s own personal beliefs become more hurtful to those who are blindsided as fans.

Overcoming Adversity


Employment Exhibition
Employment Exhibition (Photo credit: Modern_Language_Center)



How proud the person must be who tells another to “Overcome Adversity.”  Are they just talking just to hear themselves speak?


Obviously, the one who offers up this ridiculous statement must be of the non-oppressed and has no future of ever being in the position of having his or her livelihood in jeopardy.  For a person of color to ‘overcome adversity,’ there would first have to be the opportunity to take advantage of an opportunity.  To be able to have an outlet that would allow one to showcase the skills or qualities that were acquired while in a trade or four-year college would be a dream-come-true in this day and age.  The playing field just isn’t that leveled.  Even if that body who is experiencing adversity faces little to no chance of being made permanent on a temp-to-perm position.  Very few chances come that easy.  If they do, a sudden layoff is inevitable.  Then, solely for numbers sake, the hire is fed into the government statistics.  The tax breaks for a company that hires a certain number from a specific race group of people could be quite beneficial.  Employees of all races are being told to go back to school and get more skills for higher paying jobs.  Why couldn’t a company hire from within and train that long-standing employee?  Instead, a company would rather authorize a layoff and advertise higher-tier so-called available positions that really don’t exist.  So how on earth does one overcome this kind of adversity?  And please, let’s not leave anything to faith.


It seems adversity and diversity go hand-in-hand.  They both result in permanency.  While one cannot change the hue of their skin, just as impossible is it to pull oneself out of the mire that unfortunately befell them.  We all have tried to save for a rainy day.  Some of us even thought that we were pretty set when it came to money; our company pension would suffice once we hit that twenty year mark or if we diversified the right way we could live comfortably off of our 401k plans.  Little did we know, adversity loves no one.  It’s easy to say that someone lived above their means after they lost their job, especially if they had to accept a job paying $10 an hour when no one was hiring for the $52,000 per year job they once held.  For those not face with that kind of condition, they believe that getting out among others and networking will improve their mental health.  What they don’t know is the number of people who are trying to manage the perception that all is well and good by smiling and repeating positive affirmations.  People love to offer their opinion thinking that they are helping by making just any suggestion.  Most often, it’s best to just say, “I’ll keep a lookout for you.”  One of the worst things a more prosperous person could say to someone down on their luck is, “If you need anything, let me know.  Okay?”  Most of the time, they don’t mean it and this sends the needy further into a tailspin.  Just be open to listen and try not to make any promises you can’t keep.  Adversity (misfortune), Diversity (difference), Diversify (spread)…spread the difference of your misfortune and overcome it the best way you can.  It’s all easier said than done.  Without support, you must contort.  Talk is cheap, but now it’s not even the difference between life and death.


By just telling someone that they have to overcome adversity does nothing to truly aid their mental health.  If adversity is another word for misfortune, it only seems fair that the stars should realign to change the conditions.  Staying active, becoming fluid are two ways the universe can feel that one has not given up.  Words without actions do nothing.  But sometimes, even staying active doesn’t automatically generate the results we need.  Some people believe that they can actually speak change into being.  For others, the longer the desired results fail to materialize, the deeper they fall into a depressed state.  Then, the chosen are the ones who recognize a lesson, open the door to opportunity, and welcome it in with open arms.  Settling is out of the question.  It’s all about survival – and they don’t become too good for anything.  Meds keep you from knowing the difference.