Abolitionism and Harriet Tubman; MLK, Jr. And The Civil Rights Movement; Pres. Obama …

It’s Friday again …  How are you holding up??  I mean, it looks shaky worldwide, so see if we can muster up a TGIF!!  Cool, thanks!

Have you noticed how many folks get all wound up over a conversation?  Is it because they might be wrong?  Or are “they” just looking for an argument?  It’s hard to tell sometimes.  Nobody wants to appear fallible or simply wrong.  So, they spin this incredible story that has nothing to do with what the initial topic was.  Now, don’t get me wrong … I lose track of what I’m saying sometimes, too.  But I don’t make up a story trying to defend the indefensible … and then blame “something” … “anything” … on YOU!!  That’s not cool and I prefer not to be around it … or you, if that’s how you converse!

Then, some “toxic” folk a la “Marjorie Taylor Greene” decide that now is the time for “red” states to “separate” themselves from “blue” states!!  Didn’t this person study OR learn anything about the Civil War?!?  And now, people like Ron DeSantis think it’s HIS job to set the curriculum in his state!!!  Can you repeat after me:  “This is authoritarianism in a democratic republic!!”  Now HERE is where the less informed get lost and pulled “down” various rabbit holes while simultaneously advocating “anti-woke” nonsense (dog whistle for anti-POC!) which will guarantee that that folk remains “sleep” or “not woke”!!

If anyone with half a brain and half of a heart can’t see that the States doesn’t need Civil War II … especially while China and Russia are solidifying their relationship … then we definitely have some problems in Congress.  Over the years of #45, we could see the divisions in the attitudes of “my fellow Americans”.  You see, as a social activist I can see and have experienced how the American Dream can become a nightmare for POC (people of color).  Is this a “white” vs. “black” issue … or a “red” vs. “blue” issue?!?!?  Haven’t we “adults” graduated from dividing ourselves first of all … let alone based on two colors?!?  Wait … WHAT?!?  If Rep. Greene knew what Harriet Tubman who conducted the “Underground Railroad” with the help of Quakers (white-skinned people) experienced, she might be able to make an educated guess regarding her position!  But no … she can’t!!  She would rather sow hatred, DISCOMFORT for others, and discontent in this country.  It’s not like we don’t have enough problems in “the stolen land that became populated and controlled by capitalist bullies and racists”!  There are “white” men and women who can see the truth and see through the mirage being fabricated right before our very eyes!!  Can’t you SEE?  Or are you falling back to sleep!?

The Civil Rights Movement quickly developed under the hard work of regular people like Rosa Parks as well as extraordinary people like Martin Luther King, Jr.  And yes, the Black Churches (Baptist, Protestant, AME – African Methodist Episcopal, etc.) paved the way for a place where African Americans could feel safe and organize the foundations of the ever-growing Civil Rights Movement.  Do most Americans know what “civil rights” are?!?  Not if you didn’t recognize, study, or understand why there were so many marches being held by those “woke” people of ALL races … or colors, if that helps one’s understanding of things!!  That’s why the “system” leaders were so alarmed when hundreds of thousands of “woke” people showed up to hear a real leader speak to unite Americans at the Washington Monument!!  It was also a speech that emphasized the need for jobs and Freedom for African American citizens!!  This is why so many republican leaders don’t want “people who are awake” in positions of leadership and definitely not as followers!!

Needless to say, with the momentum created by Dr. King and his philosophy of “non-violent passive resistance” which came into full bloom on the Edmund Pettus Bridge as the “woke” protestors tried to wake up the WORLD to see on international television, some changes occurred in the USA.  The barbarism of the police and the unity of African Americans and others as they sought their civil rights in a country that they helped to build was on full display!!  You see “we” are the American Experiment in Democracy!!  Don’t take things personally and out of context!  And please don’t “use” the “it makes me uncomfortable” to talk about race excuse!  Did you see the discomfort experienced by African Americans since Trayvon Martin was murdered by a self-proclaimed security person?  How about the “discomfort” experienced by George Floyd??  And I could go on and on!!  It’s ridiculous how “Black men and boys” have been gunned down by police in the States … but now “YOU” feel uncomfortable just talking about it!  What do you think an African American citizen feels each time a racial slur, racist joke(s), and gerrymandering takes place in “our” midsts?

After Pres. Barack Obama demonstrated the abilities of an African American man not only to win two consecutive terms in office but to attempt to guard those hard-fought and earned civil rights for African Americans, in came #45 to turn the clocks back in time!  This character talked racist crap from the biggest bully pulpit in the world!!  And believe me, #45 twisted truths, and spouted racist and sexist philosophies (grab ’em by the p***y) in such a disgraceful manner that some people even tried to “blame the victims”!!  Leaders are supposed to lead with dignity and respect in a democratic republic!  How do we get that back?!?  The whole world is watching!!

In closing, I hope that I didn’t offend anyone because I knew you weren’t trying to kill African Americans on that bridge in Alabama, we know it wasn’t you who murdered George Floyd in plain sight and on video.  But we do need all of us to talk about how “we” can make things better together … while we still have a chance.  Thanks for joining me in my attempts to elucidate the importance of learning “Black History”!  It has been and will be a part of American History forever!  Let’s get it right!


John I. Cook, Director

Thank you for reading!!

Remember the Children . . .

Happy Friday, Y’all!!  And may I be one of the first to wish you such a thing!!  TGIF, even!!  Thanks for your support here!!

It’s interesting how people interpret things one might say regarding sensitive subjects … like racism!!  It’s like they demonstrate in many “self-help” programs:  “You can’t get over this addiction until you admit you have this PROBLEM!”  Been there, done that … got the T-shirt and buried it!  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again:  “To me, racism is a mental illness!”  You know how in several instances when someone does something crazy like at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or … in Buffalo at that supermarket, it turns out that culprit had “mental issues”?!?  Well, both have been found guilty!  Since the latest incident that occurred at Michigan State University in Lansing, mass shootings continue to be on the rise in “the land of the free, home of the brave”!!  You see, “we” Americans messed up!  I know some of the RICH white men are enjoying the dream they’ve created.  But the rest of us are responsible for getting our interpersonal behaviors in order!!  The rest of “us” are fighting each other based on race, religion, or economic position!  This “democratic capitalism” is in trouble!  Sure, the “system” is working … money is “king” and the rich are getting richer!!  Are YOU?!?  We humans almost hate each other, especially those who get manipulated into thinking that their fellow human being is “out to get them”!!

Some people try to justify the murder of innocent children who were PLAYING inside The 16th Street Baptist Church on September 15th,1963 in Birmingham, Alabama.  It has been confirmed that the bombing was done by “white supremacists”!  (I have one associate who tells me that violence against African Americans will continue as long as I write about it!!  Don’t make me say it!!)  Recently, there has been a rise in “anti-Semitic” hate crimes.  Any excuses for that?!?  It seems that some people have lost regard for being civilized as plans have been uncovered regarding domestic terrorists who want to damage the electrical grids of critical locations tied to the proper functioning of “America”!!  WT@!!  It took forty-something years to even charge the self-proclaimed Klansmen and white supremacists with the crime of bombing that church!  One of the men had died before being charged …  Yet, I guess … I shouldn’t talk about it!!  RIGHT!!  Ignorance is bliss!

Well, once again the States prepares for another weekend!  Let’s see if the number of mass shootings goes up.  Right now in February, the total number of mass shootings is 71 …  Oh. and let’s not forget how many unarmed African American citizens have been killed by police.  Add one more with the killing of an African American man by the Shreveport, LA police a couple of weeks ago!!  After the officer realized that the unarmed man was dying in his arms in front of his face, even he began to scream: “Hey!  Breathe!  Come on man … Breathe!”  I guess this “associate” of mine would blame ME for that, too!  Admit it!!  There IS hard-core racism built into “the American Experiment”!  It was there a long time ago!  Quit making ignorant excuses!

Do you have children?  Maybe you have grandchildren?  Would you like to see them blown to pieces while playing together in church?  Or, don’t you care anymore?!?  Maybe you’d like to see them murdered in school, the university, or just walking in the local mall!

I remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. …  My parents had a small painting of him over the collapsible dining room table!  While my parents raised us to believe in non-violence, they reminded me of the FACT that there may be others who want to end MY life … because of the color of my skin!!  How ignorant!!

In closing, remember the children … they haven’t done anything to anybody!!  Give them a fair chance at a decent life, too!  And please don’t corrupt them with hatred, stupidity, and low self-esteem!  “We’re better than that!”


John I. Cook, Director

ps. – Thank you for reading!!

Blaming the Victim (Continued …)

Happy Friday … again … from where I sit!!  And you folks … how’re you holding up?  I’m still grateful … for everything!  So, I’m going to give up a TGIF for us!  Yep!  Done!

First of all, I wanted to mention that I am not trying to harm anyone in any way. There are many things that I’m good at like social science, I am good at making arguments against racism aka I am an anti-racist, a learning facilitator (teacher) for various subjects I have taught, a social activist, and a citizen of the universe.  These whole country boundaries or separations have led to the decay of shared values that formerly united humans.    Yet, I want to state firmly that I don’t take on other people’s spiritual work that they need to do themselves, not ME!  I don’t want to get any “disease” from my interaction with other people.  I mean, sure, I could react and overreact again and again and come up with some nasty words and behavior!  But, that’s NOT one of my goals in my life right now!!  That’s what I mean when I write: “Don’t make me say it!!”  LoL!!  That’s negative energy and such behavior requires a lack of decorum!!  I have learned from experience that this behavior depletes one’s positive approach to life AND drains the “victim’s” positive energy.

Who is the constant “victim” in race-related challenges in the USA?  People of color, women, Asian and Jewish people, and others outside the norm of the status quo.  It was just yesterday that someone sent me a video from the news that showed many Americans (white ones, too) want to retire OUTSIDE of the country!!!  What does that say about the good ole USA?!?  From where I sit, it looks like the so-called leaders in the government have decided to go “Rambo”!  Not just one member … but so many congressional representatives seem to want to be famous for as many minutes as they can while yelling at a “State of the Union” address that the President himself is a “liar”!  Now, this statement comes from a person who has pushed ridiculous conspiracy theories and “says” that #45 won the election … which is clearly a lie!  I don’t know if it is happening in your circle(s) of friends and associates but EVERYBODY wants to LIE!!  With so-called “political leaders” showcasing their ability to fabricate multiple lies and show little to no respect for the polity and positions of authority – like the president, American citizens are more and more confused, especially those with hatred in their hearts!  It’s already been established that there are so-called “survivalists” who have stockpiled not only food but WEAPONS!  Can you even utter “Civil War II”?!?

So rather than stand around engaging in “small talk” about less important things I choose to take those stands … like the aforementioned ones!!  I can’t just sit here and watch the modern “Rome” implode!  As far as I see it, negative energy (attacks on Native Inhabitants and the land) will ultimately produce attacks on “each other”!!  Can you see it yet?  The stuff is getting crazy!  So crazy that some “Americans” don’t want to live in America … once called “the land of the free, home (OMG) of the brave”!  You see, if something starts out as a lie, it will probably finish in an even bigger lie!  #MarjorieTaylorGreene  I know it seems that the status quo or “white men” is/are being attacked!  But please don’t forget who attacked who FIRST!!  No one, especially me, is blaming “white men”.  Yet, the system that was put into place at the beginning of “the American Experiment” was done so by and for “white men”.  Don’t take it personally, PLEASE!  But the universe is demanding changes … or else!  I speculate with my limited science background that Putin’s bombing of Ukraine is aiding the development of things like earthquakes …  Hmppfff!  Don’t be surprised!  So who is going to “lead” humans out of this eternal quagmire?!?  It ain’t going to be easy …  But SOMEBODY has got to do it … or ELSE!


John I. Cook, Director

Thank you for reading!

Support Black History Month!!

Good day, Happy Friday even!!  So TGIF with me if you’d be so kind!!  Cool!  Thanks!

Before I tackle such a tough topic, I wanted to acknowledge yet another group of fine Men.  Some of them are white, and some went to the same boarding school and/or college as me!  I was in some good company academically, and the organizations were benevolent – they didn’t have to do what they did.  This first guy I call “G”.  “G’s” name is Gary and he’s an attorney. He’s a white gent … He’s taken me WITH his family to see the Panthers play ice hockey and have dinner together with them when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale.  He’s come through with spiritual and mental support, too.  He calls me “Senator”!!  Then there are two brothers (African American) who fit that spiritual support group for me … “Vee” and “Woody” both of whom I’ve met and tried to stay in touch with since college and boarding school respectively!  And yes they are both African American men.  Another guy, Peter Zachary, is no longer with us.  My Jewish friend and his family were a huge support for me, as I tried to be there for him … when I could,  One of our junior high school football teammates, “Howie”, is still a good friend of mine after so many years.  There probably are more, but …  Oh, but wait!!  I have to mention a guy whom I met here … also from the States, “Darren”, who when Caleb Isaac (my GrandSun) was here made sure we had enough to eat every day!!  I always pay my “tab”!  Thanks, Darren!!

So, first of all, let’s congratulate the many many African Americans who have made it to see another month dedicated to “Black History”.  It’s a tough job being a “person of color” in the USA today.  I have continued to broaden my information about the country I was born in that was initially an experiment.  I just recently learned how closely related the “Free Masons” were with the founding fathers and the Federal government itself.  In fact, the first Black Free Mason, Prince Hall, started the Black Free Mason’s Lodge for African American men.  He did this because he was denied entry into the original Free Masons because of his skin color.  Many of “us” people of color owe our existence not only to our immediate families but to ALL those people of color who came to the country and those who inhabited the land before near extermination – Amerinds!

Haven’t you heard the expression: “If you don’t know your history, you’re destined to repeat it!”?  It’s scary!  I had been reading about how the French government charged the Haitian people and government for the profits they lost in agriculture when the Haitian slave revolts forced the French to leave!  The sum of money was astronomical for this already poor country and this “fake” repayment scheme plopped Haiti’s economy into the toilet!  You see, the conversation of reparations to African Americans is not so far-fetched!!  It’s about “man’s (humans) inhumanity to man (humans)”!  African Americans have spent a good part of American History trying to make the country better as they sought to assimilate and make their own lives better.  And even when “they” were rejected by the wider “white” society, they “respected” segregation and built “BLACK WALLSTREET”!  Have you ever heard of that?!?  It was so successful with ALL BLACK-owned and operated banks and businesses, that the “jealous” whites in Tulsa, OK came up with a “fake” story and attacked, and killed innocent people who were making a living that was better than their white counterparts … and burned the ENTIRE city to the ground!!  This event is seldom mentioned in regular “American History” books.  This was another reason that the students in the classes I taught appreciated the FACT that there was more to “Black History” than happy little slaves!!  Once again, people who are “different” including people of color are attempting to help “America” live up to its promises …

Sad news in the States … Memphis, TN to be exact … where five African American police officers stopped, beat, punched, and kicked another African American male, and lied on the reports!  Shortly after he died!  Another “Black” father, son, and brother … all in one … unarmed … and killed by “police”.  You see, it doesn’t matter the color of the officers’ skin, what matters most is to realize that the States MUST put into law the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.  Law enforcement has a long history of corruption dating back to the post-emancipation of African Americans and their connection to white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society.  It’s an intellectual piece missing in current law enforcement practices that needs to be put into place IMMEDIATELY!

In closing, simply try to pay attention to the numerous contributions of African Americans, especially those NOT included in the “history books”.  Be decent, be HUMAN, and try to learn the TRUTH about those contributions and “the people”, too.  Trust me, as a “Black Man”, I know it is no easy topic.  Yet, we have to talk about reducing and eliminating “man’s inhumanity to man”!  It’s a tough job … but WE have to do it … or else face self-destruction! Civil WarII? World War III?? They are not on my bucket list!

Thanks for reading!


John I. Cook, Director

Thank you for your readership!! 😉

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