10 Thoughts for the Week of January 10, 2021 – A Coup, Tommy Lasorda, and 4,000 Dead

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1. TRUMP MOB STORMS THE CAPITOL

It was a very dark day for our country. After a rally where they were incited by President Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani that they should “never concede” and this is a ”trial by combat”.

All I really want to say about Wednesday’s events are:

  1. Things would have gone completely different if a Black Lives Matter group stormed the Capitol.
  2. Please stop calling this a “protest”. There is way too many similarities between what happened on Wednesday and attempting to overthrow a government than a protest.

2. JACOB BLAKE DECISION

This was not a good week for the nation. Perhaps, what amplified Wednesday’s events, was the announcement that officer Rusty Sheskey, who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times would not be prosecuted. Officer Sheskey claimed he feared for his life, so he shot Mr. Blake in the back. That was reasonable to the district attorney. Shooting a person in the back seven times doesn’t seem all that reasonable to me.

3. 4,000 PEOPLE DIED OF COVID ON THURSDAY

Amidst all the drama taking place in politics, it is easy to forget there is a pandemic going on. I was pulled away from the distractions when I saw that 4,000 people died of COVID on Thursday. The vaccine is being administered but the surge is still surging. A couple of weeks ago, I talked about COVID confusion and it seems to get more confusing.

4. R.I.P. TOMMY LASORDA

A fixture of my childhood was sitting at Dodger Stadium and watching Tommy Lasorda waddle out from the dugout to yell at the home plate umpire about a disputable call. In those days, a manager taking a trip to home plate was the greatest theater. The whipped cream on the Lasorda Sundae was my dad yelling “Tommy tell him what you had for lunch!” More recently I would see Tommy sitting in his seat by the Dodgers’ on-deck circle nodding off to a nice evening nap at the stadium.

Tommy passed away on Friday and I was happy he got to see the Boys in Blue win the Series one last time. He will be missed.

5. DR. DRE SUFFERS AN ANEURYSM

Last week, after MF Doom died, I said hip-hop was behind the other genres when it came to grieving. Then I heard Dr. Dre suffered an aneurysm last week. It sounds like he will pull through, but I feel like this is another sign I am becoming an old man.

6. NFL WILDCARD WEEKEND

Wildcard Weekend went as expected. The only surprise for me was Cleveland putting a beat down Pittsburgh. Last week Cleveland barely beat the Pittsburgh second-stringers. I figured they didn’t have much of a chance against the starters. I didn’t figure Pittsburgh would turn the ball over and spot the Browns 28 points in the first quarter.

7. A LITTLE HOUSEKEEPING

My housekeeper was exposed to someone with COVID so my family has been on their own to clean our home for the last two weeks. Many years ago, my wife and made a decision that if we were going to work as hard we do during the week, we didn’t want to spend the weekends. We also have two standards of “clean” and the difference in standards was going to lead to some serious marriage troubles.

Two weeks ago, it was cute to clean the house. This past week, I felt like cleaning the house dominated my weekend. I am grateful it was Wild Card Weekend to keep me distracted from my wife’s conflicting standard of “clean”. I am holding my breath until my housekeeper comes back. I know….First World Problems.

8. REPARATIONS FOR SOUTH KOREANS

A South Korean court order the nation of Japan to pay reparations for sex-slavery instituted during World War II. The women were snatched from their homes and forced to work in brothels near the frontlines of the war. They were called “comfort women”. The judge said they needed to compensated for their suffering.

It is common sense for “comfort women”. However, reparations always become complicated when it comes to America.

9. QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The quote of the week comes from Lucille Clifton – “You might as well answer the door, my child, the truth is furiously knocking.

10. ART FOR THE WEEK

The Art for the Week comes from Shawn Perkins and is called “Red Carpet Treatment”. I don’t have to say much else.

10 Thoughts For The Week of October 25, 2020

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Sorry for the delay getting this post out…I think online learning and too many Zoom meetings caught up with me.

1. LOST BORDER CHILDREN

What has to be the most shocking story of the week is the release of ICE losing track of 545 children who were separated from their parents when they were caught crossing the border. The separation was supposed to be a deterrent for future crossers. A common sense assumption for such a deterrent is a plan to reunite the children with their parents. After all, who would want to be responsible for caging and feeding these kids for a long period of time. Maybe they think losing kids will be a bigger deterrent.

2. PASTORS FOR TRUMP

In a survey of Protestant pastors who plan to vote in the presidential election, more than half intend to vote for Donald Trump. The supposed moral leaders of our country have sold their souls to a real estate shyster to overturn Roe v. Wade. I wish they felt as strongly about criminal justice reform or income disparity. I guess they don’t really know what it means when God says “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”

3. E. JEAN CARROLL v. TRUMP

This week the Justice Department attempted to defend Donald Trump in a lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll. She accused Trump of sexual assault. He called her a liar. She filed a slander and defamation lawsuit claiming calling her a liar damaged her reputation. The Justice Department, which should not be the president’s personal attorney, claims they should represent him because he made the statement as part of his job as president and you cannot sue the government for defamation.

4. RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE CHARGED WITH HACKING AND ELECTION TAMPERING

The Justice Department, in a completely different move, charged six Russian Intelligence officers with hacking including the 2016 election, the 2018 Winter Olympics and many other events. Just in case there was any dispute about that.

5. 2020 WORLD SERIES

The World Series has been all a baseball fan can ask for. The Dodgers dominated in Game 1 behind Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger. Blake Snell and Brandon Lowe lead the Rays to a win in Game 2.

Game 3 was dominated by Walker Buehler. In Game 4, the Dodgers were let down by their manager and their bullpen. Dave Roberts left Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen on the mound too long and the Rays took advantage.Kershaw was dominant again in Game and the bullpen was solid.

So much of past postseason failures have fallen on Kershaw in an unfair manner in my opinion. I am glad that he has been able to shine this World Series.

6. FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

The presidential debate was a vast improvement from the first debate. The mute button played a big part. I cannot understand why Trump goes out of his way to talk about conspiracy theories. Maybe there are people who see it differently, but I always think that he is shooting himself in the foot. I do understand I am not part of the demographic he is trying to reach. The only thing that makes sense to me is he is getting ready for a civil war and he wants to make sure all the people with guns and crazy agendas know he is with them.

7. TRUMP CHINESE BANK ACCOUNT

The New York Times published a story about the discovery of a bank account in China that was not disclosed on the president’s list of assets. It may be that he has bank accounts everywhere. The fact that the account has never been disclosed before is a little disturbing.

8. 50 CENT SAYS VOTE FROM TRUMP

Last week, I brought up Ice Cube shopping his Contract with Black America plan to both presidential campaigns. This week, 50 Cent announced that he was voting for Trump because he would pay more taxes if Biden was elected.

If I gave Ice Cube flack for trying to help black people, I have to give ten times as much to 50 Cent for just thinking about himself.

 9. GOOGLE ANTITRUST LAWSUIT

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. It is convoluted and will take a long time to work out. All I can really say about the lawsuit is this is just the beginning.

10. PENN STATE BASKETBALL COACH RESIGNS

Pat Chambers, coach of the Penn State basketball team, resigned this week after months of turbulence about a racially insensitive statement he made to a player. He told the player he wanted to “loosen the noose around his neck”. The player blasted the statement all over social media.

I am debating who was right and who was wrong. I was more curious if there was a racially offensive statement I could say to a white person that could cause the same kind of response.

10 THOUGHTS ON TIGER WOODS WINNING THE 2019 MASTERS

  1. Caddyshack – When I was in high school, I worked as a caddy at a private golf club. A majority of the caddies were African-American kids trying to make some pocket change. The club had zero African-American members. The members were nice, but we were always treated like the “help”. Working there I never imagined a golf player like Eldredge Tiger Woods.
  2. Poetic Justice – Tiger won his first Masters at age 22. He then dominated golf for the next nine years. This old caddie felt like justice was served.
  3. The Heavyweight Champion of the World – I see a lot of similarities between Tiger and Jack Johnson. They were two black men who dominated what was a white man’s sport with a swagger that enthralled and angered the masses. Both men were taken down by their sexual indiscretions. You can also include Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson in that narrative.
  4. Last year at this time – I was hoping for redemption for Tiger. He was in the hunt and then things fell apart again. Things had been falling apart for the last nine years. He suffered many injuries and appeared to have lost his edge. I still remember his comments about getting his buttocks to engage in his swing. I wondered if a day like today was going to come.
  5. The Day Came – It was Tiger’s first win at a major tournament in more than ten years. I remember the last time he won was the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines beating Rocco Mediate on one leg.
  6. 15 & 3It was Tiger’s 15th major win. He needs three more to tie Jack Nicklaus.
  7. Five Green Jackets – It was Tiger’s 5th victory at the Masters. Fourteen years after his fourth.
  8. There is a First Time for Everything – It was the first time in his career to win a major championship when he was not winning after 54 holes. He had been close in the past, but never closed the deal until last week.
  9. A Family Affair – I remember Tiger winning the Masters and hugging his father. I also remember when Tiger won the Masters shortly after his father passed. Those were touching moments. Seeing Tiger hug his kids after winning on Sunday brought tears to my eyes.
  10. Implicit Bias Sucks – Earlier last weekend while I was leaving my son’s baseball game, I saw a black man taking his son to a lacrosse match. Ironically, I had all sorts of thoughts about this guy and his son playing a white man’s game. I had to put my implicit bias in check and say maybe this kid will be the Tiger Woods of lacrosse.

10 Thoughts on How It Feels to be Colored Like Me: Hurston and Confronting Race and Racism 90 Years Later

Recently I How It Feels to be Colored Like Me by Zora Neal Hurston in an essay anthology I am reading. I struck by all the different dimensions Hurston addresses being colored in 1928. The essay inspired me to come up with 10 Thoughts on How It Feels to be Colored Like Me. Off we go:


  1. Why I am Colored – I can trace my lineage to slaves and Holocaust survivors. While I am proud of both lineages of my family, I carry the mantle of being black. If I were in an elevator with you, you would not think I was white. I do not operate with the caucasity of white privilege. I operate with a sense of defiance. 
  2. Speaking of Lineage – Hurston wrote, \”I am the only Negro in the United States whose grandfather on the mother’s side was not an Indian chief.\” I have always been amazed at black peoples\’ affinity for their Native American heritage. It made me wonder if Native Americans have a similar affinity for multiculturalism. Are there Native Americans on a reservation in North Dakota claiming lineage from Malcolm X, Nat Turner or Frederick Douglass?
  3. What Are You? – People often ask me “what are you?” like they are trying to figure out whether I am the lemur or the meerkat at the zoo. I have heard the question so many times that I know what is really being asked. Still, I would prefer if these people said “what is ethnicity?” or “what is your racial background?”.
  4. Day One – When it comes to being colored, we all have a Day One. \”I remember the very day I became colored,\” Hurston wrote. My Day One occurred on some playground in the third grade when some ignorant kid called me the n-word.
  5. Tragically Colored? – While she has jumped on the mantle of being colored, Hurston wants you to know she is not tragically colored. \”There is no great sorrow damned up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes.\” I love how this description goes against the grain of how black people are characterized and depicted. 
  6. No Race – Something I can relate to from the essay is when Hurston writes “At certain times, I have no race. I am me.” It is not often enough I feel this way; but when I do, it is pure bliss.
  7. White Backgrounds – Something else I can relate to is when Hurston writes I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” I have always felt most colored in, a good and a bad way when I have been thrust against a sharp white background. 
  8. Scary Smile – I  operate under the assumption that a majority of the white people I deal with are scared of me. Check the pic…am I all that intimidating?   always try to smile and be friendly to put them at ease. I also know I have the intimidation card if I want to play it. 
  9. Strength Overcomes – Racism or not, Hurston believed in the strength of a person and so do I. \”I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less.\” There are some that are going to discriminate and fight you no matter what. However, there is a lot to be gained by exercising one\’s strength.

  10. Discrimination – When it came to discrimination, Hurston wrote “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.” Well said, Ms. Hurston!