Author Archive

Holiday Darkness

We are approaching some of the darkest days of the year. There are literally more dark hours than there are hours of sunlight. Around this time, we may experience feelings of being down, gloomy, or even depression. In many respects, this aligns with the “As without, so within” principle which would suggest that there is a sun inside of us (soul) just like there is a sun outside of us (El Sol in Spanish/ solis Latin).

Many cultures before us understood this correlation and had celebrations of lights and other festivals to illuminate us externally in hopes that it would have an effect internally. This is a large part of the reason why there are so many lights used during the Christmas season.

However, the more I think about darkness and its place in this existence, the more I realize that we run away from the darkness. We are afraid of the darkness. We think something is wrong with us when we experience dark and depressing times.

If we think about nature, light is not shining all of the time. There is day AND night. There is being awake (light) and being sleep (darkness). We even blink approximately 20 times per minute, giving us moments of darkness in our waking hours.

As I have been doing my year-end personal reflection, I have discovered that I have been severely imbalanced for a while. Somewhere along the way, I have adopted the notion that I am supposed to be happy and smiling all of the time—and any time I feel blah or like I don’t want to put on the mask, I ask myself, what is wrong with me?

Currently, I am in a place where I am accepting ALL of me: my good and my bad; my happy and my sad; my light and my darkness. I am learning to embrace it all—for that is the only way we can really know ourselves.

I always take everything back to nature. The trees outside have a part of themselves in the sun, but the other part is underground. And it’s said of most trees, that as high as they go up, they are equally or greater in length below—as the roots are what anchors the tree—giving it the foundation to stand up in the first place. The roots grow before the tree. It develops in the darkness before it ever sees the light of day.

If there are seasons in nature, why can there not be seasons in life? Does Mother Earth take a pill every time the winter comes to keep the sun out longer? Does Mother Nature go to the doctor every time it rains?  There is nothing wrong with a few bad days. Explore the darkness, the loneliness, the gloom. Observe the way it makes you feel. Observe how you feel when you come out of it. Note any lessons you learned from it. Appreciate it. But don’t punish yourself for being natural. Don’t medicate yourself for having a few rainy days. The sun will shine again.

#thatslife.

If you liked this article, you might like this video.:


Thoughts about Darkness

When I was younger, I used to be afraid of the dark. I remember wanting my mom to leave a light on in the hallway bathroom so that I wouldn’t be scared to go to sleep in pitch blackness.

These days, I understand the value of pitch blackness at night, and have gone to lengths of purchasing curtains that keep out light, and even an eye mask to make sure light doesn’t get in as I drift off to sleep or immediately when I wake up.

You see, I am starting to become more curious about darkness, how important it is to personal balance, and how it relates to spiritual growth and development. After beginning to reread the Bible the other day, I could not get past the second verse of Genesis chapter 1a. “And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Here are some of my thoughts.

To elaborate on some ideas I don’t think I completely expressed in this video: I am curious about the benefit of the symbolic meaning of darkness connected to not knowing (ignorance). I am not, talking about dark thoughts or dark entities. But what the conscious mind would refer to as ignorance and the hidden KNOWLEDGE we don’t consider from the higher part of ourselves to which we give too little attention.

I have two ways I use the word “know”. And while I understand the distinction in my thinking and communicating, when writing, I use all lowercase letters for one and all capital letters for the other. There is a “knowing” connected to the conscious and thinking mind and there is a “KNOWING” connected to your heart and soul—the higher/ greater parts of you (the true you) which KNOWS KNOWS best and KNOWS all.

So in the video when I mentioned how, ten years ago I was doing and now I see more evidence of me trying, I attribute my doing to me following my heart and listening to the KNOWING my soul which is in many times in conflict with the knowing of my mind. When the unction from the heart/soul came, I moved on it. I didn’t think about if it made sense or not, it I acted on it. I correlate this to acting blindly, in the dark, or in ignorance. This is different from what I’ve noticed in recent years, where I find myself “thinking before I speak”, or thinking before I publicly release something I’ve been working on—counting costs, calculating steps, and trying to predict outcomes.

For me, the power in “not knowing” is the product I create in the end. “Knowing” and wanting to know gets me stuck in a mode of thinking and overthinking where I am just left with a good idea on a piece of paper. Today, I am choosing more and more to explore what has been an unknown space and to trust the higher senses my mind calls ignorance.

FINAL THOUGHT: For me, the magic occurs when I step outside of my comfort zone and follow my gut. I experience power when I follow my heart and listen to my soul. Ultimately, I am elevating my heart and soul on the ladder of authority, and allowing them to lead. As I put my mind in its proper place, I sincerely believe I will ACT in a way that will make a difference and change the world.


Jesus is King | Cover Art Colors

By: Tim Lee

I didn’t think that Kanye West’s cover art for his latest project, Jesus is King, meant anything until I visited a freshman English class at Howard University. The lecture, taught by Dr. David Green, the associate professor of English and Director of Writing, was about the importance of and techniques for using descriptive language. As an exercise, he asked everyone to look up one of their favorite artist’s Cover artwork for one of their albums and write a brief description about it using the knowledge from the day’s lesson. Since I have been working on a review of Jesus is King for the past week, I decided to look up Kanye’s cover art. To my surprise, I not only found that several people had already written about the cover art, I also found that Ben Blackwell, a Detroit music historian, had allegedly cracked the code to the cover art. After reading his findings, several questions came to mind. I will only ask and answer the top three.

  1. Is “AR 1331 A” the only code in the cover art?  
  2. What does blue signify?
  3. What does gold signify?

My questions lead me on a quest. Here’s what I found:

1. Of course not. Beyond cracking the code of the number significance, I haven’t seen much talk about the color significance. Perhaps a deeper dive into the meaning of the colors may at some later time open more doors of interpretation about the code.

2. BLUE: Water is blue. The sky is blue.

Psychological Significance: mentally relaxing, evokes feelings of calmness and serenity; described as peaceful, tranquil secure and orderly.

Biblical Significance: Heaven, healing power of God, the word of God, the presence of God

Spiritual Significance: depth, trust, loyalty, confidence, intelligence, truth and wisdom;

Chakra Significance: the throat chakra: associated with creativity and self-expression, listening and communicating; when open even negative experiences are transformed into wisdom; success and failure are determined by this chakra; guilt blocks it, meditating on it can bring about occult powers and visions

Occult Significance: occult power, expansion, Jupiter, abundance, long journeys, summon demons, used in spells, incite depression, sadness, helplessness, lack of sympathy, coldness and gloom

3. GOLD: Fire is Gold. The sun is gold. Gold is the precious and coveted metal into which alchemists sought to turn other metals. 

Psychological Significance: success, achievement , prosperity, affluence, material wealth  

Biblical Significance: glory, divinity, kingship, eternity, beauty, holiness

Spiritual Significance: purity, communion with the source of all being;

Chakra Significance: solar plexus chakra: golden yellow in color; associated with leadership, the power of fire, and transformation; considered to be the center of our power, self-esteem, self-discipline and the essence of identity; meditating on it can give power to save, change, or destroy the world, blocked by self-criticism and self-judgment

Occult Significance: one of the most powerful colors, divination, fast luck, magical power; Satan has a golden aura, Satanic alchemy, perfection of the soul, power

In literature and art, there are several meanings to everything. One of the reasons I like listening to music and interpreting art overall is to apply the various layers of meaning to see what the artist was intending beyond the surface of what the common eye is able to see. Based upon the above definitions, one could assert a number of meanings from the cover art of Jesus is King. It could range from one to ten, everything in between and beyond. One (1) signifying Kanye’s new relationship with Christ and the true healing and real peace he hopes to experience from his recent profession of Jesus’ Kingship. And ten (10) signifying that Kanye West is masking his worship of the planets, specifically Jupiter (planet/god of abundance that makes people rich)—casting spells on the listeners with hidden messages using satanic alchemy and magic disguised as miracles and the power of God.

I will not disclose what I took away from the cover art. I will, however, say that I am sure there’s more to it than what is on the surface. And way more to it than what’s in the letters and numbers on the side. Were the numbers a convenient distraction?


The Lion King: More than a Movie—A Message to the Black Man and Woman

the-lion-kingI love movies. Not because they are so entertaining, but because they are layered with so much symbolism—and I love drawing parallels and meaning from movies and seeing what lessons I can learn from the stories and what truths I can apply to my life. Isn’t that the purpose of stories anyway?

I am a Black male Millennial living in America on a quest to discover earthly purpose and understand the spiritual significance of my life. This is the lens through which I watched The Lion King this time. And seeing it as an adult and as a live action remake helped me to see many things I didn’t clearly see before.

With you, I will share three (One race-related, one spiritual, and one romantic).

  1. Pumbaa and Timon are NOT Simba’s friends. Pumbaa and Timon are self-interested, fear-ridden characters who seek benefit from Simba’s guilt, pain, and ignorance. They mask their fear as friendliness and tell all the animals that he is not like other lions (but is one of the “good ones”) and train against his nature. Pumbaa and Timon encourage Simba to reject the Circle of Life Philosophy of harmony and balance in exchange for a “meaningless line of indifference” philosophy where one not only worries about nothing (Hakuna Matata) but also does nothing. They change his diet, converting him from a carnivore to an insectivore, and even poke fun of his spiritual beliefs about his ancestors. Simba’s mis-education goes so far and deep that his only enemy was another lion which he was willing to kill in order protect those who are using him and duping into believing they are his friends and not his natural prey.
  2. Mufasa represents Simba’s Higher Self. Mufasa is depicted on the surface as Simba’s father, but on another level of interpretation, Mufasa is Simba’s Higher Self. Remember when Rafiki tells Simba that he can show him where Mufasa is? The chase that ensues represents the spiritual journey we must all go on to find ourselves. At the end of this chase, Simba learns that Mufasa never died, but lives in him. Here, we can learn that the separation (of spirit and soul) that occurred after the “fall of man” is also an illusion, and that the higher principle of ourselves is still up there, rooting for us and cheering us on. This truth causes Simba to remember who he is and consequently return home to reclaim his position in the Circle of Life. On this other level of interpretation, Simba reconnects with his higher self and the truths he learned from his higher-self before the separation. On after this connection is he able to be the “mighty King” he dreamed of being when he was a cub. His fear disappears. His focus becomes more precise. His roar is more ferocious and powerful than ever before. Simba becomes a fully realized lion to such an extent that Scar thinks Simba is Mufasa; which I argue he is (John 10:30). In this state, Simba is able to defeat Scar and the hyenas and restore balance and bring back order to the home he was born to protect.
  3. The Black women should be exalted. In my opinion, Nala is the most important character in the movie. She represents unconditional love, balance, power and unity. is the catalyst that calls Simba home. She is grounded, self-aware, and consistent (Simba’s number one fan since they were children). She sees courage in him when no one else is able to and literally enCOURAGEs him to be all that she sees. She puts courage in him. She calls out what she sees in him. She brings out the best in him. She demands that he is his best and does what is best for the family and the home. This process, for men, can be embarrassing, difficult, and even painful—the same way it was for Simba who hasn’t fully dealt with the puffed-up view he had of himself or the unprocessed pain and guilt he had from childhood. But Simba MUST find himself if he is going to be a suitable mate for Nala or a “mighty king” for Pride Rock. But because he is not ready, they break up. Nala leaves Simba. As much as she loves him, she intuitively knows that he has to come to the knowledge of the truth for himself. Her leaving, is not in vain though. It prompts him to think about himself in such a way it initiates his quest for self-discovery. He finds himself, finds Nala, and finds his place back in the Circle of Life.

Without Nala, Simba would have died in the wilderness. Her love for him and her belief in him saves Pride Rock and preserves the family that otherwise would have perished under Scar’s reign. Nala represents the divine feminine when, once joined to the divine masculine creates an enduring love that sustains life in magical and majestic ways.

I recently read a Facebook post that said: “Please stop putting all the problems of the world on the shoulders of Black Women.” For some reason I was hurt when I read this. It pained me because the truth is, the Black woman is the only human being that can handle such pressure. But the other truth is that she cannot succeed alone, the same way Nala couldn’t over throw Scar alone or Rule Pride Rock alone. Once they came together, and only then, was balance was fully restored.

For some reason, I was moved to stay in the theatre until the very end. The first song during the closing credits was “Never too Late” which, to me, speaks of the truth that it’s never too late to remember who you are, return to your home and reclaim you land and place on the throne. Compound that with the fact that when you reconnect to your higher-self, you have all of nature fighting with you to help you restore balance and restore order to the circle of life, the message to me was clear: 1) Disconnect from your enemies (within and without). 2) Reconnect with your higher self. 3) Connect with your woman. 

BONUS

My key to the characters and what they concepts they represented. I was probably distracting a few people around me trying to take notes on my phone during the movie. Messages were being downloaded like crazy and I didn’t want to forget them. The more time I have, the more I will unpack them, but here is what I have so far. Consider these when you watch the movie. See if they resonate.

  • Simba represents the Black Man.
  • Mufasa represents Simba’s higher self (truth)
  • Nala represents the Black Woman (unconditional love, power)
  • Rafiki represents Spiritual Guide
  • Scar represents Simba’s lower self (deceit, fear, guilt, death)
  • Pumba and Timon represent Foreign culture superimposed through education and religion (Colonialists)
  • Hyenas represent (western) culture of greed and insatiable appetite
  • Zazu represents guardian angel, order and knowledge (all seeingness (bird’s eye view) and all knowingness (messenger/snitch to King)
  • Pride Rock represents Home/ Paradise
  • Pumbaa and Timon’s home represents the Wilderness

Why We Should KILL the Idea of “Die-Ins”

I told myself that I would not participate in them—especially after I learned what they were called. But I ran into one accidentally the other day. Had I known what was about to happen, I would have never stayed around to witness it, for I was not prepared. Someone was speaking to a group of young protesters when suddenly, a young man walked in the middle of the circle and fell to the ground as if dead. Then faster than a domino effect, each person in the circle fell to the ground to mock dead too. I assume they laid there for a designated amount of time while others who weren’t participating walked the other way or perhaps watched the demonstration until they hopped up to do some chanting and angry talking. I can only imagine because once I saw what was happening I walked away as quickly as I could.

I wonder how the participants felt after this demonstration. Did they feel a sense of accomplishment based on the number of people who participated? Based on the number of people who watched? I wonder whether or not they thought their actions prevented a police officer from shooting another innocent human being. Did their actions stop a future grand jury from not indicting a corrupt officer who will murder a black child in cold blood? Or were they just parroting what other people around the world were doing just to say they did something–claiming to spread awareness about the issue of police brutality and the systemic devaluing of Black life in America?

The whole notion to me is silly.

1. Make a sign that says Black Lives Matter.Protestors enact 'Die In' at Union Station in Washington

2. Play dead for a few minutes.

3. Get off the ground when ready

4. Dust yourself off

5. Run a personal errand

Beyond silly, the notion of a die-in is dangerous. As someone who believes in the power of suggestion, visualization, and other aspects of the law of attraction, playing dead is the first step to dying. It’s the same, if not worse, than rolling around in a wheel chair or playing cripple with someone’s crutches. We are encouraged not to do such things because going through the motions of walking with crutches or rolling in a wheelchair will attract a circumstance to your experience that will require you to need crutches or a wheelchair—in the same way carrying a fertility doll is believed to help a woman become pregnant. The reason why we need to kill the idea of the die-in is because the only thing it is attracting is people dying en mass.

What kind of energy is spreading with these demonstrations around the nation? What are we inadvertently creating?

Please stop it.


Fathers are Essential

Nonessential expressions in writing are words, phrases or clauses that are not necessary to the meaning or structure of the sentence.  It’s easy to determine whether an expression is nonessential by omitting the phrase from the sentence. If the meaning of the sentence is still conveyed and if proper sentence structure is preserved, the expression is nonessential.

Example: We reserved this section for their fathers, none of whom attended the program.

The bolded phrase is nonessential; but sometimes I wonder whether families today consider fathers as nonessential. This Father’s Day, in addition to celebrating fathers and father figures, I think we should spread the message that fathers are essential to the family unit.

ImageAs I thought about the purpose of Father’s Day and creative ways to thank and celebrate my father for being present in my life, I began to reflect on his influence on me. That thought snowballed into my thinking about the significance of a father’s contribution to his children (generally speaking) which then led, for some reason, into thoughts about famous African Americans and their fathers. I thought about Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, and even Oprah. Each of these people has dominated their field. They have risen to the top and succeeded beyond ordinary success. But each of them also credit their fathers as essential to their success. In fact, if you omit their fathers from the sentences of their lives, meaning and structure would not only be lost, we probably wouldn’t even know their names.

We can learn a few lessons from the practices of these African American fathers.

  1. They insisted upon their child’s excellence.
  2. They demanded discipline and practice.
  3. They were unwaveringly dedicated to their child’s success.
  4. They held their children to high standards and expectations.
  5. They also, in most cases, did not ask their children what they wanted to be when they grew up; they told them. 

Because of these essential fathers, the above-mentioned celebrities will be known for what their fathers dreamed they could be, as they are forever etched on the pages of Black, American and World History.

As we acknowledge fathers and father figures today, let us make sure we do our part to raise a generation of boys who will be fathers that will dream dreams for their children and gift the world with someone who will impact it in a significant and meaningful way.

Happy Father’s Day.    


To Vote or Not To Vote: Dilemma November 2012

It never fails. Every day since the Republican National Convention, my Facebook newsfeed has someone talking about the election in some capacity. Whether it’s a link to Samuel L. Jackson’s controversial ad for Obama encouraging everyone to wake up and vote, or a picture of Mr. Obama’s backside and a caption reading, “I’ve got my president’s back,” or some word of praise about Michelle Obama’s sophistication, or even a witty picture/quote pointing out an example of Mitt Romney’s so-called ill-qualifications, more than several of my Facebook friends are expressing their ideas about the upcoming election. As you may imagine, the majority of them will vote. Interestingly, someone’s status update recently provoked me to write my thoughts about voting. It said something like: “If I ever hear a pastor encourage people not to vote from a platform, that would be my last time at that church.” And while I understand and respect her sentiment, I don’t understand or respect dismissing people who choose not to vote without exploring their opinions. Since I have had such thoughts before, and am leaning toward not voting myself, l decided to explore them a little more fully.

Before I share them, however, I will share with you my understanding of the reasons people vote. I hear two the most:

1.     Have your voice heard

If you want your voice heard in a political setting, voting is the way to do it. Instead of complaining to people who have no power to address your issues, every four years or every two years, you can express you contentment or discontentment with elected officials by voting for them into office or voting them out of office. The vote is one of the main ways everyday citizens can be heard.

2.     Because people died for our right 

Especially relevant to African Americans whose history includes people being denied their basic rights of citizenship, voting becomes a moral responsibility—a way to express gratitude for the sacrifices of our forebears and ancestors. Many put their lives on the line for the right to vote and were rewarded with death. The least we could do is register and go to the polls.

A study was recently released documenting how the number of registered voters in Chicago has drastically plummeted since 2008. Although Chicago (and an overwhelming majority of Americans) were excited about Obama’s historic run, I don’t believe the aforementioned reasons are sufficient enough to keep people enthusiastic about voting in this upcoming election.  And though I don’t profess to know why people are not voting, I can imagine they feel similar to me: disenchanted because of the reasons I will mention below, or because the affect of the Obama Kool-Aid has worn off (probably a combination of both).

No. I haven’t completely made up my mind about not voting, but here are a few of the reasons why I am leaning toward not voting.

 1.     My vote doesn’t count

“He who votes counts for nothing. He who counts the votes, counts for everything.” – Joseph Stalin

When I first heard this quote sometime in graduate school, I had to read it a couple of times before it really clicked. But when it did, I was changed. Putting aside your personal feelings about Stalin and his philosophies, it is difficult to deny the truth of his quotation. There is, indeed, a veil between the voters and the declaration of the outcome of the election. That buffer is the counting process. It seems pretty flawless. If people can be persuaded to vote and then agitate the outcome to the favor of a predetermined candidate, the voters will have no idea of the corruption. They will go along with results because they have faith in the system. It’s interesting, people suspect cheating via counting in elections in high school, civic organizations, American Idol, and even churches who vote their pastors in and out, but the same suspicion appears to be absent in the people’s mind concerning the election of President of the United States and other local and national political offices.

Funny clip. But there is a message above that should not be overlooked. Electronic voting machines, though said to be more proficient, have the capability to swing elections. But don’t take my word for it; listen to a public testimony from a programmer who created a program that could fix an election.  In his testimony, he talked about the importance of receiving a receipt upon voting on an electronic voting machine. When I voted in 2008 on one of these machines in Indiana, I asked for a receipt and was told they didn’t give any out. I was encouraged to trust the accuracy of these machines that “nullify” the human error factor.  Knowing that the digital gas pumps are rigged, digital thermometers have been inaccurate, and digital scales just plain wrong (according to some women I know), I just shook my head and left wearing my “I voted” sticker.

2. It doesn’t matter who the president is, he is just a puppet

Since 1913 politics and politicians have been compromised. As we should know, The Federal Reserve is not federal at all. It is a privately owned corporation that operates independently of the government. As you research the Federal Reserve System, you will find that the bank creates our currency (Federal Reserve Notes) and that your and my income taxes go to the owners of the bank. This is relevant because the Federal Reserve loans money to the American government and the American people pay back the loans with interest (unconstitutional income tax).

“Give me control over a nation’s currency and I care not who makes its laws” (Baron Mayer Amschel Rothschild).

In summary, the president serves the Federal Reserve. As I see it, that drastically conflicts with serving the people. The Federal Reserve has controlled every president since 1913. And the ones who have gone against the directives of the banking elite have been assassinated.

 “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominate men” – Woodrow Wilson (1919)

So when I hear all of the many things “Obama has done” in his first four years touted as reasons he should be reelected, I get annoyed. Regardless, however, of the laundry list of successes or failures we attribute to Obama’s administration, I think acknowledging Obama with the credit is superficial. I sincerely believe that Obama (and any other president for that matter) makes no real decisions. The president is a parrot—repeating what he is told to say, and a puppet—doing what he is told to do. Whether the puppet tricks or treats, kisses or kicks, intelligent people direct their response of the puppet’s action to the puppet master. Don’t be confused, however. Puppets can puppet. In such a complex society, it shouldn’t be a surprise to find that puppets themselves can occupy the second and third tiers of the show. If you want to see the mind that facilitates the action, follow the strings—all of them.

 3.     Campaign issues are different from real everyday life issues

In my opinion, coverage of campaigns before a major election is huge distractions. The debates, news commentary, and commercials play on the emotional aspect of voters, getting them excited about irrelevant issues that have little to do with real decisions that affect citizens. In every election, issues related to Christianity (religion), abortion, homosexuality, gas prices, education, rights of illegal immigrants, etc. come up. The politicians give their usual campaign rhetoric about the matter, then the people who feel affiliated with a particular perspective vote en masse to support the candidate who professes to support the cause they are most passionate about.

This bothers me because it makes me feel like I am being played with. Many promises are made. Few are kept. I feel that the politician is fully aware of his impotence related to keeping promises. He is told to do or say whatever necessary to appeal to the masses. That way, whatever story is spun, the people will believe it. I am uninterested in being toyed with. I also uninterested in being promised something by someone who has no intentions on keeping the promise and/or no power to deliver it.

4.     Voting is NOT the only way to voice one’s concern/ express one’s voice

The main reason I voted in 2008 was because I was advised not to complain about the state of the union if I didn’t vote. You may have heard the argument that if you don’t vote, you essentially subscribe to whatever the outcome is, and therefore can’t complain. As a former complainer who wanted the space and place to complain, I decided to vote. After I voted, however, I thought about how I still couldn’t complain if my candidate didn’t win. If you vote, and your candidate doesn’t win, you can’t complain either because the process is such that your candidate may not win. He or she did not get enough support… the system works…so try again next time.

The way I see it, this cannot be the only way to express one’s discontentment with political matters. There have to be ways, in the meantime, to have one’s voice heard. Unfortunately, this is where Black people, in my view, have been stuck for the past number of years. We have participated in the system and have patiently endured the suffering that ensued from a decision we didn’t support or legislation handed down by a candidate we didn’t vote for. And we have also waited another four years to see which of several candidates would be the “least evil” to replace the one with which we are currently dissatisfied. Why are we so content with voting for the poison that will kill us the slowest? This is one of the reasons I supported the recent teacher’s strike in Chicago. They had been lied to for years and years and finally acted in a spirit of unity to express their frustration with being false hope and empty promises.

I feel that it is past time that we, as an American people, found other ways to make our voices heard in this society. Voting is NOT, despite popular opinion, the only way to express one’s voice. I lean toward not voting because voting makes us more likely to accept the status quo and go along with whatever happens during an administration. The vote has put us in a position of passivity. We are not complaining as much. We are not complaining loud enough… we are too compliant. Smh.

5.     Our ancestors fought for our right to choose.

I may get in trouble for this one, but people who say that our ancestors died that we may have the right to vote, or the right to sit in the front of the bus, or the right to eat in a segregated restaurant or sit beside white people in a waiting room are only partially right. As I see it, our ancestors died that we may have the right to CHOOSE to vote or not to vote, to sit in the front of the bus or the back, etc. They fought to have the restrictions that limited the Black man and woman’s right to determine for themselves. Our ancestors fought for true freedom and independence (as evidenced in the right to choose) and I think it is misleading to superimpose manipulative thoughts like these on our youth. I think our ancestors want us to do what is best for us in this day and in this time, not attempting to repeat what they did in their day and in their time.

Ultimately, I feel that the political system is corrupt—very corrupt. I believe that it’s a huge illusion designed to make people believe their concerns matter when, in fact, the government will almost always carry out their agenda despite what the people want or need. It is structured in such a way that gives people a sense of hope during times they would express themselves in rebellious and even violent ways because of feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness.  The way I see it, American democracy, American justice, and American politics are just ideas paraded around as realities until the government becomes so powerful, nothing can be done to stop it. In an ideal society, I would vote. It would be a legitimate way to voice one’s concerns about the state of the union and the issues that are important and relevant to elections. It would be fair and honest. Everybody’s vote would count. But sense we are not living in an ideal society, I have a dilemma: to vote or not to vote. Help me decide.

Thanks,

Tim Lee