• Thoughts About the Violence at the Capitol

    Thoughts About the Violence at the Capitol

    After you get passed how wrong it was and how it showed how far we have fallen; here’s some thoughts on the violence at the Capitol.

    Where were you, when the great experiment ended? We have successfully transitioned power from administration to administration, party to party for over two hundred years. Do you really want to break that streak? As Americans, we should be proud of our heritage of non-violent government transitions as it’s exceptionally rare in the history of the world. Except for the instance of our civil war, we have never had a disagreement that wasn’t solvable or at least manageable to most people’s satisfaction. I fear that that time is over.

    Violence is now the currency of our society. I say this because people on all sides of every issue feel that they are out of options. This creates desperate people willing to do violence in pursuit of their goals. The people who stormed the capitol today are angry and unable or unwilling to listen to reason. I understand being upset and angry that your guy didn’t win reelection. I understand wanting to question and understand the election results. I even understand feeling like a swindle happened. But the answer is not violence. It’s running a better candidate next time. It’s engaging with more voters and changing your messaging. It’s the soap box, THEN the ballot box, and finally, the bullet box. It’s not time for the bullet box. The bullet box is the last and worst resort. Justified in certain instances but frankly, we aren’t there. And if you’re willing to kill and harm people for your political agenda, well that’s terrorism by definition. Some might point out that terrorist and freedom fighter have very similar definitions, and generally they are labeled as such by the victor. Remember, the victor writes the history books. Your candidate may have lost this election, don’t worry, there are more in a couple years and another presidential one a couple years after that. That’s the awesome thing about our great experiment, we can’t get too far off the rails as long as everyone agrees to keep a cool head on both sides. That agreement, is failing.

    I am so disappointed in the behavior and decisions that my fellow countrymen are making. I’m disappointed because it seemed inevitable to those of us paying attention to the rhetoric and discourse over the last few years on both sides. I’m disappointed in leadership not taking responsibility for their words and actions. I’m disappointed that the system both simultaneously worked and failed. While I won’t make excuses for those who occupied the capitol today I would offer a word of warning to those who despise them. Their bullets kill just as efficiently if they are right or wrong. A correct or accurate perception of events isn’t required to commit violence. 

    My solution is understanding and calm from both sides with a commitment to forcefully upholding our rule of law and peaceful transition of power. Both sides must come together to calm the rhetoric. Both sides must try to understand the other. Love and understanding can deliver us from this ugliness. What I say is not easy. Nothing worth doing is. But this is something worth doing, and it’s something you can do in your own life. Talk to people who you disagree with. Speak to them respectfully. Ask them questions without judgement. Suggest other sources without condescension. Don’t demand anything from them. Listen to them. Empathize with them. Love them. This will change more hearts and minds than getting angry could. And then if it ever does come time for the bullet box, you’ll rest easy at night knowing you did everything in your power to avoid violence.

    Dave Chappell may have said it best, sometimes you have to be the lion to be the lamb you truly are. We must be a lion for our democracy, even if we’d rather be a lamb. 

    Just in case no one has told you today, I love you and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

    Check out these podcast:  Black Man With A Gun Show ,  Speak Life church , and  Indian Motorcycle radio  The Books, Kenn has written.

  • What this country needs to move forward

    What this country needs to move forward

    Back on Track

    Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are fun forums to banter about many different topics from the inane to the profound. Sometimes it makes us laugh and sometimes we just want to cry. One recent topic that came across my feed asked “What does it take to get our country back on track.”

    Education was my answer. This may seem pretty funny to those who know me by my posts alone. I often say that college is not necessary for financial success. Please don’t confuse college with education or knowledge. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla recently said “College are basically for fun and to prove you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning,”

    The educational system is failing America. Baltimore spends more than $16,000 per student per year in 2016 graduating 70% with a reading proficiency of 11% and math proficiency of 12%. While that is just one horrific metric but the real tragedy is not being measured. 

    One area education should address is difference among rights, needs, and wants. Reread that. Now don’t be dismissive of something so seemingly simple. These are important ideas that have started many wars that have and continue to shape our world. As simple as these are they can be hard to define.

    In the Declaration of Independence it speaks to unalienable right among these are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. These are examples of natural rights, often attributed to God, because it applies to people everywhere There are also civil and political rights. These include the right not to be discriminated against or the right to vote.

    Needs are things you must have or you will die. That’s how many people see needs. Abraham Maslow broke down needs into different strata which we know as the Hierarchy of Needs. Each level provides the foundation for the next. Physiological needs like food and sleep come before Safety needs come before Belonging and Esteem needs. Most people recognize that the foundational physiological needs are universal needs. As you move higher on Maslow’s pyramid the “needs” are less needy in most people’s minds.

    A want can be just as powerful a motivator as a right or need, maybe more so. Many times our wants are actually tied to our needs. I want a bacon cheeseburger because I need to feed myself. 

    So how does knowing the differences between rights and wants get the United States back on track? Tracks lead some place and if we follow those tracks we will get to where we want. If you follow a want, thinking it is a right, then you will eventually find out you are not where you want to be. 

    Free healthcare is considered a right by many people. A lot of time and money have been put forth into making this a reality in America. Is it really a right? We say that life is a right given by God and recognized in our founding documents. Here’s the false equivalence the healthcare equals life can be seen. We know for certain that nothing is truly free. Economist study the use of things that have alternative uses. Even the most abundant things end up being scarce meaning they are limited. You know what’s not free about free healthcare? Everything. Doctors don’t work for free. Construction companies don’t build hospitals for free. Government workers who oversee the industry don’t work for free. So that means government must take money, by force or threat of force to make this happen. This violates the pursuit of happiness and liberty of others. 

    Rights are before needs are before wants. Before you act consider what is really the goal. Does your path to success infringe on other peoples rights? Does it fulfill a need? Maybe next time we can address lack of teaching involving critical or logical thought and the art of debate and salesmanship.

  • Make America Great Again, I Say Nay. Reform Yay.

    Make America Great Again, I Say Nay.  Reform Yay.

    What do we need to get back on track as a country.

    Well, I really had to think about that, especially being a 56-year-old Black man in this country.  Yes, the pandemic that we are now facing has paused the world as we knew it to be in 2019. Was is good for me, or people of color? Let us take a walk down memory lane to 2019.

    The LA Times reported,

    “About 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police, according to a new analysis of deaths involving law enforcement officers. That makes them 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die during an encounter with cops”.

    I am not sure if that is the country I would like to get back to. Police use of force iscomparatively like a cancer, as it relates to cause of death of blacks in this country. That does not seem to be in our favor either! (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

    Lets look at the unemployment rate in the United States of America.

    There are numerous reports on a national level that show the number of unemployed blacks is double the amount of those of whites. Do not think I would like to get back to thateither. It is so clear and blatant in this country that people of color are held back in every aspect of trying to live a good life. The life that many consider the American dream.

    Look at television, big screen movies and Netflix which is probably the favorite these days.

    There are so many actors and actresses in this world. Why is it then that in  many movies we are hard pressed to see one person of color in the movie? If we do, they are partnered with either a white guy and black girl or a black man with another black man.

    Listen, Hollywood or the powers that be are not stupid.

    They know we as human beings buy into what we see and most of the images they are putting in our young people’s minds are bad.  It is like they are reading the Bible and portraying the total opposite, knowing the outcome of their actions.

    For me, no I do not consider THAT getting the country back on track.


    Let us look at our country’s leadership. As a reality show star,Trump was funny because of how rude he was with thecontestants. I also will admit that as a businessman, either he or the people he has surrounded himself with have been able to pull him out of some tough situations to keep him wealthy.

    As the President of the United States, he is not worthy of running the presidential kitchen!

    His actions of blatant racism has lead and allowed the country, to openly display racism against people of color, to the point where white officers feel comfortable killing a black man in the open daylight. While many of these horrific actions are being witnessed and or recorded and they dare you to try to help, knowing that if you do your life is in jeopardy as well.

    So if you ask me, what do we need to do to get back on track as a country?

    I would ask, have we ever been on track for people of color? For the fifty-six years I have been on this earth I have been made to feel as if I am a second or even third class citizen. I have not had the same opportunities as my white counterparts. It doesn’t matter how many degrees you have, if you’re a professional athlete, an “A list” actor or even the President of the United States. If you are black, you have a mountain to climb that thus far we have not seen the top of.

    Do I want to get back to where we were, on track, making America Great Again, I would have to say a resounding NO!

    What we need is for God to soften some hearts to see the truth and be willing to rebuild with us at the table, at the meeting before the multi-culturial/ethnic meeting.


    Dr. Lionel Green Sr., D.Min,