Sunday, December 27, 2020

Code Switching and Black Baby Boomers

Recently I came across an article regarding the slang words and phrases we, as baby boomers, used to say as young adults and the fact that these words are no longer spoken by the younger generations.  After reading the article, it occurred to me that many of my black friends and I have been code-switching practically all of our lives (that means at least 50 years).  Now for all of you "educated white folks" reading this post, code-switching is the practice of interacting in different ways depending on what environment we're in.  It's what we do when we are interacting OUTSIDE of our own communities. We change the way we talk when we switch from our world to yours.  Why?  One reason is because we would have no opportunities for growth or advancement in the business world since whiteness is the dominant culture.  Whites, on the other hand, do not see or feel the need to code switch because their way of speaking is considered natural, normal and legitimate.  I could certainly write a whole blog about code-switching but the purpose is to show how different the slang talk was for whites and blacks during my young adult years.

Here are some of the words my generation used:


GAS--something or someone is a lot of fun 

FLIP A WIG--to get very angry or upset 



DROP A DIME--make a phone call 


KICKS--doing something for fun 


Now I will admit I am familiar with all of these words, however, they weren't widely used in my circles.  THREADS was universal for clothes "Those are some nice threads you got on!" and while I heard many of my white friends use the terms SQUARE and DRAG, the only time I really used the word GROOVY was when I was singing lyrics to Groovy Situation by Gene Chandler:

Oh it's a groovy situation

A splendid combination

That we should meet

At a time like this...... 

DROP A DIME may have meant make a phone call but in the black community it meant (and still means) to tell on someone or betray them. (to rat them out)<another slang phrase. 

SCRATCH may have meant money to white baby boomers but we called money BREAD.

KICKS meant some nice shoes

Other words we used that white baby boomers didn't....

FLY--meant good looking or fine

THE MAN--the police (or someone in authority over you like your boss)


RIGHT ON!--to be in agreement with


CRIB--your house

JIVIN' "Stop jivin' around man!" Stop lying or playing around. 

CAN YOU DIG IT?--Do you understand?

If you can dig it, that's outta sight!


Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Scam Alert for Baby Boomers

 "Tis the season to be jolly...."
Yes, and it's also the season when older adults need to be on high alert because scammers are lurking online to prevent us from having a holly, jolly Christmas this year.

Did you know that more than 500 million passwords have been exposed in data breaches.  Yours could have been one of them and you may not even know it unless you have some type of fraud identity protection.  For identity thieves, your passwords open doors to the kinds of things they're looking for---personal information and banking accounts.

Here are some tips on how to stay as financially secure as possible while you're engaging on social media during the holidays (or anytime for that matter).

1.  Now would be a good time to change your passwords, especially if you've had the same one for more than a year.  For some of us, that may mean coming up with several passwords but it's better to be inconvenienced a little bit than to be sorry later on.  And when you're creating a new password, be unique and creative. You should never use your name unless you have characters behind it that don't seem to make any sense.  For example:   It would be easy for someone to figure out Beverly57 because that's my first name and the year I was born.  BUT If I use Beverly577506&!$----that would be pretty hard to decode.  I am also an advocate for writing your password down and keeping it in a safe place.  I know there are many people who say you shouldn't do that but if you are only using your computer inside your home you shouldn't have to worry about someone trying to steal it.

Along those same lines, don't share your password(s) with anyone, especially your children or grandchildren.  There's no reason they should have it.  Let me give you an example:  Let's say you ask your grandchild to order something for you from the Amazon website and you give them the login information. Not only do they order what you asked but later on they decide to order something they want because they still have your password and the attitude is "Oh grandma (grandpa) won't mind because she/he loves me!"  WHATEVER! 

You are not too old that you can't navigate your own way online and if you think you are, then you shouldn't be online anyway.

2.  Do not log into public places with unsecured networks.  Some people love going to coffee shops with their laptops or smartphones and hopping onto some website.  Logging into an unsecured public wifi network gives hackers the opportunity to watch your activity.  Also, talking business on your cell phone in a public place leaves you at risk of someone eavesdropping on your conversation---especially if you are trying to make a purchase and using your credit card/bank account information.  

3. Do not throw away information that contains personal information in a public place.  You may think nothing about throwing that old utility bill that's been in your jacket pocket for months but that bill contains information that could become a good fortune for an identity thief.  The best thing to do with personal information is to shred it.

4.  Now if you get a phone call from someone claiming to represent one of your utility companies or a government agency, don't give them any information until you can verify, for sure, that they are who they say they are.  Ask to call them back via a number posted on their business or government agency website.

Finally, don't fall for the Fake IRS refund scams.  Scam artists have gotten pretty clever in disguising themselves as IRS representatives on the phone and online.  If you get an email from someone claiming to represent the IRS, disregard it and call the IRS directly to see if it is legitimate.  Also, don't wait until the last minute to file your taxes.  Did you know identity thieves will often file fake taxes with stolen information in order to capture tax refunds?  

If you suspect you have become a victim of a scam act quickly.  Contact your creditors and financial institutions about any unauthorized charges or debts and close any compromised accounts.  File a report with your local police and the Federal Trade Commission.  In order to avoid becoming the victim of a scam stay informed and research any communication that seems slightly questionable to you.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Returning to Work After 50

 When I left the news business, I was in my late forties. Now that I'm over 60  I see that so much has changed and I am having to learn how to adapt. I chose not to return to my chosen career of "established media" because, quite frankly, I no longer had the stomach for "breaking news" that starts out with A LOT of half-truths and stations always trying to out do the competition. Furthermore, I was no longer interested in going toe-to-toe with younger, less-talented journalists who always seem to have the advantage because of their "blondeness" and desire to work no matter how little the pay.

These days I'm working part-time as a Writing Tutor for college students.  While I absolutely LOVE what I do, the challenge is dealing with young people who come to the table thinking they know as much as you and don't particularly like being told their writing needs drastic improvement.   As I travel through this leg of my journey I am learning a lot about getting back in the game even on a part-time basis. 

Here are some things for you to consider if you are thinking about returning to the job market:

HAVE A CLEAR OBJECTIVE: Know why you are returning to the workforce. To make ends meet is one thing but you should also be thinking about what you would like to accomplish while in your position. Just going through the motions of working from 9 to 5 (or whenever) will ultimately make you unhappy and could lead to your untimely termination. 

Once I was hired for the position I'm in, I decided to set a goal and am now striving towards it. 

Understand this: THE JOB MARKET HAS CHANGED: Not only are many of the employees half our age, but some of them may end up being our supervisors. I've been in that situation.  Some of my previous managers were just a few years older than my 31-year-old daughter and, honestly, it was hard to appreciate and see them as my superiors but THEY WERE and if I was going to succeed I was going to have to accept that fact and act accordingly.

HAVE SOME MARKETABLE SKILLS!:  Just because you spent 20-30 years with one Company and worked your way up to middle-management doesn't mean you are qualified for any available job.  As I said before, the market has changed and you will have to learn to adapt to the times.  Since the pandemic, more employers are looking to hire remotely.  That means you will need to be up to speed on how to deal with technology and be able to troubleshoot any technical problems that may arise because, trust me, trouble will happen! 

ACQUIRE NEW SKILLS:  If you see a job that captures your interest and you know you don't have the necessary skill requirements, find a course at your local community college to help you obtain the skillset necessary.  If you have children or grandchildren who are tech savvy, don't be afraid to ask them.  I'm always my grandson how to do something because I know he knows and he gets a kick out of helping his grandma.

LEARN TO BE HUMBLE: I've always been a take charge person so it isn't easy for me to sit back in a subservient role as I am currently having to do. Quite frankly, humility as an employee is something I'm still working on but I do keep my devotional reading with me at all times to remind me of WHOSE I am so I don't get it twisted and end up saying things I will live to regret. 

If you have aspirations beyond the job, you will have to learn to swallow your pride, know-how and "I can do it better than you!" attitude sometimes for the greater good. 

BE WILLING TO ACCEPT LESS MONEY: The job market today is what I call an "employers' market." They can get away with paying less money for employees because the market is saturated with young, hungry professionals who just want to get a foot in the door so they can begin to navigate their way throughout the company. For many baby boomers, like myself, we have been accustomed to the nice, comfortable salaries that afforded us the opportunities to have beautiful homes, a sizable bank account and take fabulous vacations. That is no longer the case. You must be willing to accept the going rate but I would caution you to NEVER accept minimum wage because it devalues your skills and abilities---especially if you have 20 to 30 years of talent and skills to bring to the table. 

GET A SIDE HUSTLE:  This may not be for everyone but if you are thinking about retirement (and you definitely should be!), then you should look for a gig that can pay you some extra cash.  I recommend checking out Fiverr and see how you can put some of your "other skills" to use.  

HAVE A CLEAR EXIT PLAN: Going back to work is serious business for those of us who are more mature than the average employee. Know why you are returning and have a plan for an exit. Working indefinitely without a plan or purpose only leads to frustration.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Will You Outlast Your Retirement Savings?

It used to be when you retired you got a gold watch (or some other trinket), a send-off party, and a nice pension to rely on every month in addition to your social security check.  At one time nearly 90 percent of private sector workers had a pension as their workplace retirement plan which was FULLY FUNDED by the employer.  Today that number is down to 33 percent.

These days the idea of collecting a pension from your employer is practically non-existent. Unlike our parents, most baby boomers aren't likely to spend their entire working lives on one job to benefit from a pension.  In addition, more employers have opted to offer 401K retirement plans where you have to contribute a portion of your salary if you expect to get anything in return. 

According to a survey by the Insured Retirement Institute, only 24 percent of baby boomers were confident their savings would last throughout their retirement years.  That's a dismal thought considering the fact that we are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day through at least 2030.  What's even more dismal is the survey also indicates approximately 35 million of us lack any retirement savings today.

Admit it.  If you knew then what you know now, you would've been saving like crazy.  Back in the 80's I had a retirement savings plan.  I had no real clue of its value so I used it as my personal spending account.  I FAILED to plan for my future life expectancy and even though I pride myself with being smart I was financially illiterate.  I had a lack of knowledge about what it meant to do retirement planning and saving and when you have a LACK OF KNOWLEDGE you have a lack of savings and investments.

 Financial Investment Advisor, Chris Gure says "Baby Boomers have spend the last 30 plus years in the workforce accumulating their savings in order to retire.  It should be imperative to them to have a trusted financial advisor to help alleviate their financial stress." And while the 401K may help jump start your retirement, Gure says it may not always be tailored for a retiree's changing investment needs, transitioning from accumulation to distribution isn't always easy and that's why it's important and helpful to have someone guiding you through the process.

There's an old Chinese proverb that says, The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now (or 40 years depending on how old you are).

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Will Millennials Decide the 2020 Presidential Election?

Millennials may lean towards the Democratic party (59 percent versus 37 percent Republican) but less than half of them voted in the 2016 election.  Will that change this time around?

According to a new nationwide Zogby Poll® of Millennials voters (born 1980-1995), a majority (55 percent) say they support Joe Biden over Donald Trump (35 percent).  In addition, Biden also beats in various regions of the country:
East Coast:  (Biden led Trump 60 percent to 33 percent)
West Coast:  Biden led Trump 57 percent to 30 percent)
Central/Great Lakes Region:  (Biden 59 percent Trump 31 percent) 

Millennial Women vs. Men   
Biden beat Trump 59 to 27 percent (women) 
Biden led Trump 51 to 43 percent (men)

Education Level 
The education of surveyed voters did not impact the race, as the former vice president bested Trump with college educated voters (56 percent to 38 percent and non-college educated voters (54 percent to 32 percent). 

On the other hand, Trump did well with Millennial voters who earn at least $150K (58 percent to 37 percent) and Trump wins with Millennials who have at least $30K invested in the stock market (49 percent to 44 percent).

The Millennial votes in the South appear to be up for grabs with Biden leading by a slim margin of 46 to 43 percent.  

In 2016, according to Pew Research, Trump received roughly 28 percent of the Millennial vote, while 58 percent of registered Millennial voters voted Hillary Clinton.  But Trump's victory was, in part, because of his support by white men (62 percent) and non-college whites (64 percent).

No doubt the voting population is getting younger and now that we have Generation Z, they could also have a significant impact on the election outcome.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Parents are Raising Mean Kids

Nearly 80 percent of moms believe kids today are less kind than in past generations, according to a recent PARENTS 2020 Values Survey. So if that is, in fact, the case the question is why?  Perhaps it's because parents are not instilling the kind of values in their children to make them kind-hearted, grateful for the little things, respectful of others, etc. Or maybe it's because the parents raising today's generation of children never learned the true meaning of kindness from their own parents.  Ironically, in this same survey more than half of the moms rate their parenting abilities as either excellent (13 percent) or very good (38 percent), while just 1 percent say their parenting skills are poor or very poor.  Kudos to the one percent because I believe they were telling the truth!

Also noted in the survey was the fact that 65 percent of moms say that kids today are less happier than kids of previous generations and they blame it on technology, social media addiction, bullying and undefined parental issues. But then, the next question is what are parents doing about that?  How do you blame technology for your child's unhappiness if you're not spending any quality time with them?  Have any ground rules or limitations been established for social media time?  When it comes to my grandson, he knows his phone will be taken away at any given moment (for at least 24 hours) should be choose to misbehave or not get his schoolwork done.  As far as bullying goes, Bullying experts say kids who go out of their way to intimidate others are often neglected by their parents in the home so they lash out to get attention or, even worse, they learn first-hand what it means to be a bully from a parent who also has that reputation.  

Moms were asked to select the top three qualities they most hope to instill in their children:

1. Kindness (73 percent)

2. Love of family (68 percent)

3. Intelligence (51 percent)

4. Strong work ethic (51 percent)

5. Individuality (31 percent)

When those moms were asked what THEIR parents valued most for them, this is how they responded:

1. Having a family of my own (64 percent)

2. Having close family ties (63 percent)

3. Being better off financially than they were (57 percent)

4. Getting a college degree (49 percent)

I might point out that "kindness" isn't on the moms' list of values from their parents so that may explain a whole lot.  You can't teach what you've never learned.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

My Connection to Helen Reddy


Fresh off the heels of the most disastrous Presidential debate in American History, I woke up the next day and learned that Australian-born singer/songwriter Helen Reddy had died.  As a young teenager in the 1970's I remember her song "I am Woman" and how it became a rallying cry for women EVERYWHERE. I became an instant fan of hers' and, to this day, still play my all-time favorite:  That Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady.

But my connection to Helen Reddy goes a little bit deeper.  Early in 2006, I started working on my first book, Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle AgeIn my final chapter, I wanted to include  lyrics from I am Woman --and create my own song called We are Baby Boomers.  But, in order to use her words verbatim, I had to get her permission since she was the songwriter.  

This is where I learned how good my journalism researching skills were because I had to dig and keep digging some more just to find out how to reach her.  I just assumed she was touring somewhere in the U.S. but, of course, as luck would have it, she would be in her native country without my ability to gain direct access.  So I kept researching until I was able to track down a man named Ray Burton, who I learned played a significant role in collaborating with Reddy on the song.  I also discovered that the original song was published by Irving Music so I found a telephone number for them, reached out and explained what I was trying to do.  I was advised to send a copy of my lyrics with a request of specifically what I wanted to do with them.  

At the time I think I expected they would respond right away, without knowing all that had to take place on their end.  After a month went by I was getting a little discouraged but I was determined not to publish without those lyrics because I felt they were essential to the overall theme of my book.  Well, about three months later, I received a reply giving me permission to use the lyrics and also a request for two autographed copies of my book. Also, in their response was a message saying Ms. Reddy and Mr. Burton both gave their approval.  And, what was even better, I didn't have to pay a royalty fee for the usage (thankfully, because I had just lost my job!)  I remember crying when I read the letter (over and over) and thinking about all that I had gone through and how that moment in time was really orchestrated by a Higher Power.  Not long after receiving permission, I self published my first book.

For those of you who haven't read it, let me share the lyrics I wrote in chapter 6:

We are baby boomers
Hear us roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And we know too much to go back and pretend

And one thing we know for sure
As we're passing through the door
We're never coming back this way again

Oh yes, we are wise
but it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, we've paid the price
But look how much we've gained.

If we have to, we can do anything

Thank you Helen Reddy for your contribution to my life and career.  R.I.P.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Jerry Falwell Jr. is NOT His Father

By now you have probably seen the photo circulating on the internet of 58-year-old Jerry Falwell Jr. posing with a young woman (not his wife or daughter) with his pants unzipped.  As a result of the backlash from folks who said "How dare you when you're supposed to be an evangelical man of God?!"and a call from NC Republican Congressman Mark Walker to resign, Jerry Jr. removed the photo from his Instagram page and decided to take a leave of absence from Liberty University, where he served as President. In his defense, he did try to explain that the photo was taken out of context, saying it was taken at a "costume party" while he was on vacation and it was "just in good fun." He added, "I'm gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.  But why does he have to be good?  He is NOT his father and he doesn't pretend to be.

Jerry Falwell Sr.(born in 1933) was an ultra conservative Southern Baptist preacher who became a leading voice of the religious right movement which led to the so called Moral Majority. The organization, which formed in the late 1970's, worked hard to push through a pro-life and pro-family agenda complete with conservative judges to serve their purpose.  Falwell Sr. founded the Lynchburg Christian Academy in 1967 and Liberty Baptist College (now known as Liberty University) in 1971.  Over his lifetime, he stoked fear and hatred for Muslims, gays and radical blacks.  He went to his grave (2007) as a staunch conservative and kept the door open for an even more extreme version of white evangelicalism to take shape.

Although Jerry Jr. may describe himself as an evangelical, he is NOT his father.  He is not an ordained minister and according to Senior Politics Reporter Jane Coaston, "Jerry Falwell Jr. was the beneficiary of a family legacy built on the promise of sharing the Christian faith.....a legacy which he appears to have used to benefit himself and his family."  And while he is touted in some circles as one of Donald Trump's evangelical advisors, that relationship may be more "business related instead of a relationship with Jesus Christ.  According to published reports, Jerry Jr. and his wife have been the subject of some possible illegal wheeling and dealing.  (see more:   here   )

In my opinion, it is unfair to judge Jerry Jr. based on that photo because he was always that man. He wanted us see the picture or he wouldn't have posted it on his Instagram account with more than 24k followers.  He wanted us to see his "fun side."  He wanted us to know that he can be in Trump's orbit and get away with similar behaviors because that's what white male privilege affords to him.  He also wants us to know that "all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God." 

And according to Isiah 55:7, 

"Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn to the Lord and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Surely, he will seek that pardon from God because Trump has probably already given one.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Carlson and Hannity Speak for the Deaf Dumb and Blind

Following a glowing tribute to the life and legacy of Congressman John Robert Lewis, it didn't take Fox News commentators, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity long to turn his funeral into a racist rant.

Carlson told his audience he thought President Barack Obama was a "greasy politician" and said, "The country is falling apart, riven by racial strife and tribalism, and one of the most respected people in the whole world decides to pour gasoline on that and compare the police to Bull Connor."  For those of you who need a history lesson, Connor was Alabama's Commissioner of Public Safety in the 1960's, who enforced legal racial segregation and denied civil rights to black residents.  He is famous for using police dogs and fire hoses to try to squash the civil rights demonstrations.  He became an international symbol of institutional racism. 

Carlson went on to tell his blind, deaf and dumb audience that it was unfair to compare Minneapolis or America to Alabama.  Of course, Carlson speaks from a place of white male privilege where he, nor his audience, has a clue (or refuses to get a clue) about the struggles Congressman Lewis went through in the South or the struggles any black person experiences.  Furthermore, he obviously didn't really listen to what President Obama said or he took the quote out of context, which is a standard "norm" for that Network.

"Bull Connor may be gone.  But today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans...." ~President Barack Obama

What I heard Obama say is police continue to use extreme and unnecessary force to subdue and even murder blacks.  So Carlson must believe police using vicious attack dogs and stinging fire hoses is better than having a knee placed on a man's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.  

And as far as the "racial strife and tribalism" he referred to, that was created by Donald Trump and his manipulation of the Republican party.

Meanwhile, Sean Hannity condemned Obama for, what he called, a "divisive, politically charged and mean-spirited" eulogy.

When a faithfully married Black President, who was the son of a single mother, the first Black Editor of Harvard Law Review and a professor of Constitutional Law is called "greasy" "immoral," "divisive", and "anti-American" by Carlson, Hannity and those who buy into their philosophy, you have to wonder what they see when they think about Donald Trump.  In comparison to Obama (of which there is NONE), Trump is a xenophobic, misogynistic, philanderer, racist, trust fund kid who quotes from the National Enquirer, peddles conspiracy theories, routinely calls women ugly and fat, disrespects military veterans and advocates for separation of immigrant parents and children.  This is the person who has captured the hearts of a majority of Republicans and white evangelicals.  This is WHITE SUPREMACY.  Plain and simple but a blind, deaf and dumb audience will never see or hear that.

Remember, Racist thoughts and actions say more about the person they come from than the person they are directed at.  

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Why Do I Have to Be a Black Author?

Back in 2005 I started working on my very first book (Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age).  The book was written for middle aged women, like myself, who were going through things like menopause, divorce and dating after 40, working for bosses young enough to be your children, etc.  I not only shared my own personal (humorous) experiences but I also did research to offer tips to women in order to help them navigate their own middle age journey.  The final stage was creating the cover.  I was trying to decide whether or not it should include my picture.  I wanted to have it there---probably more so for vanity than anything, but it was my first book and I wanted people to be able to put a book and a name with a face.

BUT then this happened...........

When I was putting the finishing touches on my first book, a person I highly respected (a white woman who was a colleague in the newsroom) told me to leave my picture off of the cover because I would get more sales.  She said if I put my picture on the cover, white women would think it was a book about black women and they wouldn't buy it.  I took her advice and the book went on to become an Amazon Best Seller.  I wonder, in hindsight, what would've happened if I ignored her and put my picture there.  (I actually wrote this in 2008 in response to a blog post on diversity written by my good "virtual" friend, Mitch Mitchell (@Mitch_M).  

Mitch recently reminded me of what I wrote back then and it got me to thinking about how systemic racism permeates every aspect of a black person's life.  Why do I have to be classified as a "black" author?  I'm just an author who HAPPENS to be black.  Am I not qualified to share my experiences about menopause as someone who went through it for several years?  Don't white women get divorced and try to get back out on the dating scene just like I did?  Haven't many of us been in real life work experiences where we find ourselves taking direction from someone who's 5-10 years younger? 

Systemic racism says I am ALWAYS labeled as Black first:  Black journalist, Black blogger, Black Motivational Speaker, Black Professional, Black woman, Black mother, Black grandmother, Black activist---BLACKLISTED!

Fast forward to 2017:  I published my 5th book (to the right on this page).  I didn't hesitate to put my face on the cover and I intentionally chose a white person as a counterpart.  Some people thought I did it to add so-called "value" to the book.  I did it to show that I was in control and I had the power to do so! Oh, and by the way, The Baby Boomer Millennial Divide: Making it Work at Work  also became a Best Seller on Amazon.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Southern Heritage and the Confederacy

As someone who was born and raised in the Midwest, I had no idea how deeply rooted southern heritage was until I moved to North Carolina.  I learned about the Civil War in school but the Confederacy lost---case closed. But no----that is not the case and as I quickly learned, southern heritage means something totally different for Whites born in the South than it does for Blacks.

I've never seen one black person with a confederate flag waving from their pickup truck or from a flag pole at their home, however, the "Stars and Bars," as it's called, can be seen in many rural areas and on  1 in 5 pickup trucks with someone who looks like a redneck (stereotype I know) behind the wheel.

When NASCAR announced, a few weeks ago, that they were banning the confederate flag from ALL of their sporting events, that was a MAJOR move because their biggest supporters seemed to be from redneckville (another stereotype I know), who waved their flags proudly.  But then I thought, that's just the tip of the iceberg.  If real change is going to be made, it's time to get rid of everything connected to the confederacy, including the statues of confederate generals that stand proudly in many southern states and renaming the buildings named for those losers. 

Army Bases:
Ft Lee (VA):  Named after General Robert E. Lee
Ft. Bragg (NC):  Named after General Braxton Bragg, who I understand was one of the absolute WORST!
Ft. Hood (TX):  Named after General John Bill Hood
Ft. Benning (GA):  Named after General Henry Benning (lawyer turned soldier)
Ft. Gordon (GA):  Named after General John Brown Gordon (who went on to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 1872 and reportedly the head of the GA chapter of the KKK)
Ft. Rucker (ALA):  Named after Colonel Edmund Rucker

A side note:  A law passed under former NC Governor Pat McCrory restricts moving confederate statues on government owned property.  An Alabama law makes the removal of confederate monuments illegal.

If you want to know how many colleges and universities are impacted, click here: Schools

 And while we're talking about statues, let's not forget about the one located at the Supreme Court Justice building of Former Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who was famous for his argument in the Dred Scott vs. Sanford decision in 1857.  In his opinion (as part of the majority) he wrote: Scott was a slave and as such was not a citizen and could not sue in Federal Court.  Taney's further opinion was that Congress had no power to exclude slavery from the territories and that Negros could not become citizens.

Now I am certainly not advocating that all statues be removed and destroyed (even though the South lost) but they can be put in a Museum similar to the artifacts in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Perhaps it's time for those white southerners, who believe their heritage is tied to the confederacy, to re-think how they view their heritage and what TREASON really means.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Marriage Between NASCAR and the Confederate Flag is Over

As a 60-something year-old woman, I used to say I never thought I'd see the day when we would actually elect a black man for President.  Then, lo and behold, young people in this country decided it was time for REAL CHANGE and galvanized to elect Barack Obama as our 44th Commander-in-Chief.

Another thing I never thought I'd live to see was the dissolution of the relationship between NASCAR and the confederate flag. That happened on this date June 10, 2020.
The move came after the only black driver on the NASCAR circuit, Bubba Wallace, came out two days earlier urging officials to ban the flag from all events. (I have to admit I didn't know he was black with a name like Bubba) But it's like that old E.F Hutton commercial, remember:  "When E.F. Hutton Speaks, people listen..."

NASCAR statement

"The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”

What I found interesting about this statement is that it called their events a "welcoming and inclusive environment for ALL fans..." and that the flag was a deterrent.  I don't know about you but I never thought of NASCAR as a welcoming environment for anyone other than lower class and rural whites.  I certainly could be wrong about that but at the one and ONLY race I ever went to I felt like I was in the midst of a KKK rally and everyone communicated  like they only went as far as the 6th grade. I've never understood why the flag was always associated with their sports racing events. 

But now NASCAR has jumped on the bandwagon of those companies who are attempting to march in step with the current climate of the country.   For more than two weeks (as of this writing), people have taken to the streets all over the country and around the world to demand justice for the police killing for George Floyd and against systemic racism.  Young, old, black, white, Asian and Latino are raising one shared voice, which hasn't been heard in more than 50 years.

This is a good move for NASCAR but I'm wondering what the fallout will be.  You see, the confederacy still has a stronghold in some places, primarily the South. And NASCAR is REALLY BIG in Darlington, SC, Ridgeville, VA (Martinsville Speedway), Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Motor Speedway) to name a few.  

Stay tuned for the next episode because as well all know there can be something called "reconciliation." After all, when you have a 70 plus year history with something, is it really that easy to just walk away?

Saturday, June 06, 2020

The Millennial Uprising

Uprising:  An act of resistance or rebellion; a revolt

More than 40 years ago I was a member of a young generation who took to the streets to protest for affirmative action and against the Vietnam War.  Before me, my parents were part of the March on Washington---that eventually led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Now the torch has been passed on to my millennial daughter and Generation Z grandson who are among tens of thousands (perhaps millions) of people who have become part of a new uprising:  Equal Justice under the Law. 


Who wasn't stunned, appalled, outraged, hurt, sad, or horrified by what they witnessed for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in a video on Memorial Day 2020?  How many white people were downright ashamed or embarrassed by the actions of the white police officer?  How many blacks were terrified that they, or someone they know, could become the next victim.  The whole world has seen the video of Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on the neck of George Floyd (They called him Perry, Jr.) as he lay face down, handcuffed, and grasping for air.  As a mother and grandmother of a young black male, I burst into tears upon hearing him call out for his "mama" after learning his mother had passed away two years ago.

26-year-old Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own home by police after some phony drug sting and shot her eight times.  25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was jogging when he was hunted down like an animal by two white vigilantes who claim they saw  him steal something from a house under construction in their neighborhoods I was on grief and anger overload---just like the overwhelming majority of blacks.  I felt compelled to pick up where I left off in the 1970's but because of COVID-19 and my underlying condition, I was limited in my outside activities.  But then I started to see a shift.  Young people everywhere were starting to take a stand against the injustices they were seeing, reading, and hearing about.  Since the murder of Floyd, they have taken to the streets in droves and the beautiful thing is, depending on what city the media shows, young whites outnumber other races. And surprisingly, some of them are rising up against their own parents.  While donald trump is running around professing to "make america great again" Millennials are saying the way to do that is to move forward not backwards.  GenY, by the way, is the most racially and ethnically diverse population ever. 

It will be up to our young people to carry the torch for REAL change.  It will be up to them to be the change we all wish to see in this world (everyone except the white supremacists and evangelicals).

In 1971, Gill Scott Heron recorded a song called "The Revolution will Not be Televised."  Here's a portion of those lyrics...

"You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag (heroin)
And skip out for beer during commercials, because
The revolution will not be televised..."

In 2020, the Revolution IS Televised!