Don’t riot but…

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have never understood riots. I have never understood destroying property, vandalizing vehicles and looting stores. I have never understood the violence.

Until now.

I am angry. I am frustrated. I am overwhelmed. I am sad. I am tired. I am hurt.

I want this to stop. I wanted this to stop in 1992 when they beat Rodney King in the streets of LA. On video. I wanted this to stop in 1999 when Amadou Diallo’s body was filled with 19 bullets. I wanted this to stop in 2006 when Sean Bell was killed the morning of his wedding. I wanted this to stop in 2012 when Trayvon Martin’s life was cut short because of a lunatic’s “suspicions.” I wanted this to stop in 2013 when Jonathan Ferrell needed help but got the death penalty instead. I wanted this to stop in 2015 when Sandra Bland went to jail for a minor traffic violation and came home in a box.

I remember every single one of these incidents. I remember the pain I felt as the narratives unfolded. I remember the questions I had. And I remember wondering why. Why does this keep happening?

It has to stop. I need it to stop.

But it hasn’t.

And now it has hit home.

The war zone is Charlotte. A mere 45 minutes from my hometown. The city I was in on Sunday as well as Tuesday night – the night the city erupted over the fact that once again a black man was dead and the police was behind the trigger.

Police said he had a gun. Witnesses and family say he did not. To me, none of that truly matters. What really matters is why? Why are police always shooting to kill US? Why has execution by cop become the norm? Why are we not given the same treatment as Dylan Roof and the NYC bomber who had a shootout with the cops but lived to tell us all about it?

Why do I have to fear whether or not my brothers, cousins, nephews, father and friends will return to their homes daily? I pray for them every day but rarely am I worried that they will get into an accident or be at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, I do fear them interacting with a cop who may see them as nothing more than target practice.

You want to know why people are rioting? Scroll back up to the top and read the quote again. People are rioting because they are tired. People are rioting because they are frustrated. People are rioting because they are angry. People are rioting because they are fearful. People are rioting because they are scared. People are rioting because the justice system keeps handing out injustices to black people like parking tickets. People are rioting because even when we are peaceful, we are not heard. People are rioting because of systematic oppression. People are rioting because they have been pushed out of their comfort zones due to gentrification. People are rioting because they are tired of being viewed as less than a human. People are rioting because very few are taking the time to listen. People are rioting because violence is all they know. People are rioting because violence is what they have been taught. People are rioting because the people who swore they would serve and protect are the ones they need protection from.

That is why Uptown Charlotte looks like ground zero.

I do not condone rioting. I do not believe it is the answer to the problems. I do believe it makes it even harder to find common ground with those who have no grasp of the issues.

But when you have tried everything else and it falls on deaf ears then the language of the unheard shouts back LOUDLY.

Can you hear them now?

 

#PrayForCharlotte #PrayForNC #PrayForPeace #PrayForTheWorld

 

Kaepernick’s “sit in” stands out…

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

Or in this case, sit.

Enter Colin Kaepernick. Unless you have been on a boat in the middle of the ocean with no wi-fi then you are already familiar with the controversy Kaepernick has immersed himself in. Call me crazy but I honestly am stunned by the amount of attention this has gotten. I took a break from social media for a few days last week so I really did not get caught up on all the backlash, until yesterday. And that is when my head started spinning with thoughts I was eager to record.

I was going to make this one of my paint a picture, extensive vocabulary posts but I am beyond that because I am so over the foolishness. There are kids being killed in our streets in broad daylight and you all are more concerned with an NFL player not standing during the National Anthem? There are kids committing suicide due to bullying and you all are more concerned with an NFL player not standing during the National Anthem? There is a ticking time bomb campaigning to add President of the United States to their resume and you all are more concerend with an NFL player not standing during the National Anthem? There are 28 million people uninsured in this country and you all are more concerend about an NFL player not standing during the National Anethem? There are young black men who are buried in cemeteries across the country because a trigger happy police officer used him as target practice and got away with it but you all are more concerned about an NFL player not standing during the National Anthem? There are 2 million plus homeless veterans, you know the people who you have used to support your argument regarding Kapernick’s decision, but you all continue to be more concerned about an NFL player who did not stand during the National Anthem.

Miss me all the way as far as left as you can go with that foolishness.

See. Here is the “real problem.” We are tired. We are tired of inequality. We are tired of having to work twice as hard to get a fourth of what we deserve. We are tired of racism. We are tired of our actions being dissected. We are tired of our movements being misconstrued. We are tired of institutionalism. We are tired of being ostracized. We are tired of a justice system that leaves behind more injustices in its trail.

And when we get tired, we take matters into our own hands. Sometimes, things are not handled in the most effective way. However, you cannot to continue to expect every reaction to be peaceful when peace has not been afforded to us. I am over people who do not look like us trying to tell us how to think, feel and act. WE ARE NOT PUPPETS.

Colin Kaepernick did nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing. I find so much irony in the fact that there are so many talking heads, including current and retired NFL players who NEVER condemn the issues plaguing our country, who feel the need to chime in regarding his action while failing to realize they are doing the same thing Kaepernick did – taking advantage of the First Amendment right.

The flag he “disrespected” is a symbol. That symbol is supposed to represent the freedoms that all Americans are “entitled” to. The freedom that Kaepernick used that is supposedly afforded to him. The freedom that the brave men and women of our armed forces fight for daily. It is that freedom the flag represents – the freedom to agree or disagree, hedge your own beliefs and express your thoughts whether we agree with them or not. Remember this is supposed to be a democracy not a dictatorship.

Or is it?

From my vantage point, Kaepernick should be commended. It takes a brave, courageous man to willing face adversity head on when there is so much at stake. Thanks to him, even I have learned some things I did not know – ie. the third stanza of The Star Spangled Banner glorifies slavery. Great. And you want me to be OK with that? Well, I am not and I never will be.

Until more people in this country are willing to address the issues head on, you know the issues Kaepernick pointed out very clearly while speaking to reporters at his locker – you know the ones the talking heads keep ignoring, then we will keep riding this merry go round. I truly believe love can drive out hate but only when it is given the opportunity to do so. Are you willing to do what it takes for love to have a chance at winning? Actions speak louder than words. What do yours say about you?

Life happens.

I have not blogged since March. 

I have had a lot of things I could have said. I have had a lot of things I have wanted to say. I have even had time to write out those thoughts, at times. I just have not taken the time to do it. At least not on here. And I am ok with that.

In the past, I have been very hard on myself if I did not write consistently for the blog. I tried have tried to make sure I am always addressing the hot topics. I have tried to make sure I am always posting at least once a week. I have tried to keep my blog fresh to satisfy my followers and to attract new visitors.  

But life happens. And life has happened over the past few months.

I have had my hands in so many projects that it came as no surprise, to me, that The Korner is lacking content. And I am ok with that.

Life happens. I got bit by a dog. I recovered getting bit by a dog. In some ways, I am still recovering. I took one of the best trips of my life. I have done some more traveling. I turned 35. I went to Carowinds. I planned, executed and directed an overnight summer camp for three weeks. I managed a pool. I trained clients. I engaged in thought provoking conversations via social media. I wrote columns for my hometown newspaper. I had a sleepover with my nephew. I addressed controversial topics on Facebook. I attended my family reunion. I took on new projects. I went to a couple of concerts. I hiked up a mountain. I played in some waterfalls. Oh and I went tubing with my family!

So I have been busy, living life. Fun is what happened.

Instead of fussing at myself for not keeping everyone informed and entertained, I let life happen.

In the process of letting life happen, I finally let myself embrace something I had begun to notice a little over a year ago. I no longer want The Korner to be mainly a sports blog. My thoughts land on so many topics outside of sports. I have never been hesitant to address those topics but I have been hesitant to direct my blog into another direction. Why? Who knows?

What I do know is that life happens. And in the midst of it happening, I have realized it is time to breath fresh life into The Korner. This included changing the look, the byline and the feel of the site. 

I love writing. I love sharing my thoughts. I love engaging in healthy discussions. 

And I love letting life happen. We were not designed to be stagnant, complacent or hamster wheel runners. We were designed to evolve, grow and blossom. Let life happen. I guarantee you are missing out if you do not allow it. How will you ever know what you are capable of if every time you encounter a situation that wants to force you out of your comfort zone, you plant your feet deep into the sand? Life does not happen there and it will keep on passing you by.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Break out of that box! That is where all the magic is. Quit conforming to what the world wants from you. Stop wondering why you are miserable. Step out on faith. Allow yourself to be challenged. 

And let life happen! Cheers!

 

Til next time….whenever that may be🙂. 

 

My ‘Untitled’ Peyton Manning Piece

Hmmmm, where do I start?

Do I start with naming the countless records he holds? Or do I start with by highlighting his career with the Indianapolis Colts then proceed to his career with the Denver Broncos? Or do I start with the way he revolutionized the game of football?

Or do I just start with what today means to me?

I think that is a good place to start.  Continue reading “My ‘Untitled’ Peyton Manning Piece”

Who you pulling for Kassie Nette?

I have never been so conflicted over a Super Bowl.

I have always drawn the line when it comes to who I am rooting for in the big game. If my teams are not in it or one of my favorite players are not playing, my rooting interest usually hinges on my dislike for another team, player, coach, fan base, etc or my like for another organization, player, coach, fan base, etc.

But this is different. This is my second favorite team vs the team lead by my favorite player. This is the team I have been a fan of since October 26, 1993 vs the player I have been a fan of since his days at Tennessee; a fanatic since roughly 2004. This is the team who I want to see finally get that championship that has alluded them for 21 years vs the player whom I want to see win another championship more than anyone else.

So what’s a lady to do? Who do I roll with? Or do I roll with anyone? Continue reading “Who you pulling for Kassie Nette?”

Super Bowl 50 is set…..My Panthers vs. My Peyton

{Source: Google Images}

 

{Source: Twitter}
{Source: Twitter}

A few months ago, right after Peyton was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, I started a blog post. The topic was going to be about how we may have just seen one of the greatest, Peyton Manning, take his last snap behind center. I couldn’t do it though. I couldn’t bring myself to write the blog because I knew if anyone could dig deep and get back on that field, it was Peyton Williams Manning.

Look who was right🙂. All I heard all was week was Peyton can’t beat Brady. Peyton can’t throw. Peyton has no chance. Wonk wonk wonk. “That’s why you don’t listen to they. They don’t play.” Ain’t that right, D. Wade? At 39 years young, Peyton is headed back to the Super Bowl and his opponent is my beloved Carolina Panthers. Yes, I had a great Sunday!  Continue reading “Super Bowl 50 is set…..My Panthers vs. My Peyton”