this is... The Neighborhood

ALONE WITH SILENCE

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“True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit, what sleep is to the body: nourishment and refreshment.” – William Penn



Kiss Me Deadly
by Cho Young Wuk

 

“Silence is the source of great strength.” – Lao Tzu

ALONE WITH SILENCE
by Kendall F. Person

On the clearest night, when the clouds fail to appear, clearing the stage for the performance of the stars. And when the weather is just right, and all the day’s responsibilities are behind us; not on a day reserved for our favorite show, for our mind will be preoccupied. But on a night when we have no excuses, no way out of being alone with ourselves, under the vast expanse of a starlit sky. And once our minds are captured, by what we will later call surreal – but it was not – see where it takes you, all on its own. When the imagination takes control, our minds produce beautiful performances.

Yellowstone, the Sierra Nevadas, the Rocky Mountains, the Florida Everglades or most places in Alaska, or right outside our door, nature has a way of establishing order. It gives us back both inner peace & serenity, although for the animal residents, what we call peace, for them it is a constant struggle. And no matter how at ease our minds become, a constant state of inner peace we simply do not want, although when we have it, we do not want it to go.
Alone with Silence

We accept quotes of Eric Burdon – Inside each of us there is the seed of both good and evil… – believing we are bonded to hate and anger and evil, inhaling words like these, as if they in fact, are the gospel we seek. We wear our shields to ward off temptation, and drop to our needs in prayer, for strength to be a better person. We talk big, watch films and make plans to find positive, resourceful solutions to defeating hate, before it can spiral to the point of no return. But blame becomes the tool, that makes us feel as if we have done something, and we disperse without any progress made, on stopping the pendulum from swinging.

Silence. Just look into the sky and think real hard. Use your imagination, it is the key to all progress, and picture our world where the emotion of anger and the need for vengeance have been banished and now archaic. But if we cannot imagine it when we are all alone, embraced by the wonders of nature on a night of utter perfection, than we cannot achieve it, and by default accept, that we are good, but evil lives in equal parts  within us.

this is… The Neighborhood

 



We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. – Elie Wiesel
VOTE BLUE



 

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THE HOUSE IS A HOME.

The House is Your Home Too

 

A Heart is a House for Love
(final 3 minutes of scene i)
The Five Heartbeats (1991)

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“The life of a nation is secure only while
the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous.” – Confucius

 

 

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The Five Heartbeats (1991)

The Five Heartbeats (1991)

The House is a Home
by Kendall F. Person

When The Five Heartbeats (written by Robert Townsend & Keenan Ivory Wayans) hit the big screen, it caught everyone off guard. Even with the famous faces and the plot loosely following the rise and fall of Motown, by shadowing some of its most famous groups, headlined by the tragic, yet remarkable story of The Temptations, we were clueless  Perhaps, it was the combined comedic genius of Townsend & Ivory, that gave pre-show audiences the false expectation of laughter. But as it turned out – with the actual stage set at the closing of the first scene – it was a raw, emotional experience, and not until Dreamgirls, would there be such an entertaining and personal perspective about an era of music, that was a part of our homes.

And not since 1966, has a Midterm election, caused such a wave of mass hysteria and violence on home turf, against different sides of the same team.  We would have to go back to 1861, to find a higher level of discourse, that broke the house and nearly destroyed the home.

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Two weeks ago, I had a somewhat surprising political discussion with my younger brother. Surprising, not because I doubted he held an opinion or was not interested in national politics, but because his perspective was one I had not yet heard in such clear simplicity.

“They are in power now. And yes, if the upcoming elections do not balance it out, than power will evolve toward dominion, but as bad as it will be, it too shall pass, because if they put down the democrats, then mean requires they turn on one another. But who wants to go through all that.”

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“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,”
King wrote. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

 

The Trump Party

Trump that Bitch (Trump rally t-shirt standard) author of civilization quote, Muslim Ban enthusiast, one of 1500 children ‘lost’ are they endangered servants now? Make America White Again Tennessee political billboard approved by an actual candidate

It is both counterproductive and useless to believe, that nearly half the country has adopted a philosophy of mean, a disregard for truth, or still weighed down by sincere ignorance or hexed by Fox News.  Supporters of Trumpism come in all orders. From the alt-right, neo-nazis and White supremacist, to internationally recognized Black recording artists. From the backcountry of Appalachia to scientist on Ivy League campuses. and from the greedy to the dirt poor.

Donald Trump – star of The Apprentice, tabloid bad boy, and King of lies (birtherism) – was an icon of pop culture, long before he was President, transforming fans into constituents and now fanatics (take pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc, for instance) and the GOP Congressmen, into ruthless hoods (U.S. Rep Duncan D. Hunter is under a 60 count indictment for living large on hundreds of thousands of dollars, stolen from Vets and donors, then blames his wife. Still 8 points ahead in the polls).

Voter suppression has reached new heights, with a host of conservative judges, backing limited voting. Texas, Florida, North Dakota, North Carolina, Nevada and with the Secretary of State – in charged of counting votes – the opponent in Georgia’s Governor’s race, blatant suppression  has quickly evolved into disrespectful denying of rights.

Take a percursy look at The New York Times: Trump Corruption: The Definitive List and you will note it goes on and on. But what The Neighborhood finds most troubling is what he is doing to our nation under the cover of darkness (see below):

 

Elephant trophy hunting ban lifted

Stripped of U.S. endangered species protection, Ban lifted on trophy hunting (only $49,000 per shot).

With an entire American political party captured so easily, his narcissism turns savage, as he takes dominion over wild kingdom, playing God would be the ultimate, as in his own words, Trump has never asked the man upstairs for forgiveness even though he claims to be a believer, and has publicly trampled over a mixed bag of relationships including all three wives.

But animals have no voice and without means to stage a march or raise money or send a representative to Congress, then he alone determines destiny for entire species:

Trump Administration lifts trophy hunting ban on the African elephant — the largest and most intelligent land-dwelling giants on earth – then strips them of their endangerment species protections.

Yet some will double down and others will still not vote, then scream the loudest if we are forced to say “Told you so.”  



 



 

The individual men, that made up The Five Heartbeats, gained their start and rapid rise to the top, were above par singers, and before Youtube, concerts set the stage, so their fresh choreography and tightness of style in the clothes they wore, carried near equal weight. But they were also in the right place, at the right for Motown seemed nearly destined for greatness. Then Dr. King was assassinated, and once again, the country was at war with color and it became clear, that passage of The Civil Rights Act, was a moral victory, but did not translate into rights.

But it was not the outsiders, nor the worldly influences that brought The Five Heartbeats down, but rather an implosion.  As each linked their star to a different vice or hope. it did not take long for the band of brothers to cut bait and run. But the surprising lesson from a surprising motion picture, was in its demonstration of how relationships – be they friendships or marriage or partners in a business or believers in democracy until it is tested – cannot support the weight of the self-indulgent, whose body has welcomed a no compromise, self-indulgent order.

The house that the heartbeats built, divided then fell. Eventually taking Motown, Detroit and extinguishing an era of homespun soul.

VOTE ON THE HOUSE

The House is ground central for legislation. It is your home too. VOTE

From its inception, the idea of the American dream was inclusive of all its people. Although, it took years and blood and perseverance and laws and the willingness to enforced them to get there, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, ultimately declared America home for all of its citizens, by empowering the grandchildren of former slaves, with the ability to choose their own leaders, utilizing the one undeniable attribute of a democracy: VOTING

this is… The Neighborhood



The San Diego Union Tribune: Hunter Indictment sheds light on ‘personal relationships’ for congressman, Sep 8, 2018
The Hill: Trump to consider elephant trophy imports on ‘case-by-case’ basis, Mar 5, 2018

THE COLOR OF SANTA CLAUS

The Color of Santa


“I never believed in Santa because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.” – Dick Gregory



 

Feelin Lil Som’n
by Shawn Stockman

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“Jesus was a white man too… as is Santa, I just want the kids watching to know that…” – Megyn Kelly, Fox News Dec 12, 2013

The Color of Santa Claus
by Kendall F. Person

2

2 boys by Victoria Borodinova

Saint Nicholas was a legend in his day. Loved and admired for his generosity as he gave away his wealth, traveling the countryside, uplifting the poor and sick. It is believed, that in his kindness, he saved three sisters from being sold into slavery. He hailed from Turkey, an elaborate, fiercely independent nation, that literally connects the Middle East to Europe. They identify by ethnicity or religion, not by color of skin.

The American depiction of Saint Nicholas as a jolly old man, was the imagination of the creator of the modern Santa Claus, whose marketing prowess, ushered in the ‘shopping mall Christmas’ Americans celebrate till this day. St. Nick made his grand appearance into the lives of children via advertisements in 1841, a time when Black Americans were slaves. So there was no reason to imagine him any color but White. But that is a point, I wish did not need making. The real life legend, as well as the animated figure were about delivering peace on earth. But somehow, when it comes to race, we have a knack to turn the beautiful, ugly.

The firing of Megan Kelly by NBC was inevitable, and the black face overblown debacle, was simply the straw.

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The Color of Santa

a shuttered Adult Movie Theatre

1969, twas the night before Christmas and my mother was pregnant with twins, who were – for context – born only seven days later on New Year’s Eve. I was only three years old, and while I do not remember most of the details, I do remember wondering “Mom. Where are you going?”  She and my stepfather, briefly owned a cleaning company. From what I understand, things were kind of tight that year, so they contracted with an adult movie theatre to clean the dirty place up; make it look clean again. But they decided to wait until it closed, which was in the wee hours of the morning.

Childhood Girls

Childhood Girls by Cheryl Holt

I grew up the middle child and the 2nd son, but I was never invisible, the way middle children were often portrayed, like Jan Brady. Nor was I the understudy to my older brother, like Peter Brady, Jan’s brother. I had two younger brothers and one younger sister, so I was the oldest of them and since my Mother worked two jobs more often than one, and my older sister had a different life, and the eldest son, pushed against the rules, I became the helper, a role traditionally assigned or assumed by the oldest one. But I did not mind.

 

The Kick

The Kick by Sasint

No idea the cause or the reason, but it would not matter anyway (may He be resting in peace) but on December 24, 1969 my stepfather abandoned their contract, and on her work ethic alone, it was not an option my mother would have ever considered, but that is not why she completed the contract. At some odd hour of the morning, in the dead of winter in the Rocky Mountains nine months pregnant, with small children at home, she picked up my Grandmother and they scrubbed the filthy floors, while triple XXX movies played on, and scattered moans emitted from the sparse crowd, so she could earn extra money, because she wanted her kids to believe in Santa Claus. But at three years old, on Christmas Day, when my mother ran in well past dawn, but before noon I assume, with gifts for all, and still happily adoring the credit on the old dude

But I knew that Santa was my Mom, and all the parents were Santa to their kids too, which makes the color of Santa, the color of love.

this is… The Neighborhood

According to the History Channel’s website: The Legend of St. Nicholas



 

IT’S NOT JUST THE “BLACK CARD” CANDANCE OWENS. IT’S THE FULL DECK

Celebrity Deck of Cards

 


“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” –  Jawaharlal Nehru


 

We Are One in the Spirit

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IT’S NOT JUST THE “BLACK CARD”
CANDANCE OWENS. IT’S THE FULL DECK
by Kendall F. Person

In 1804, Haiti staged the most successful slave rebellion in the whole wide world. The first African nation to devastate its imperial ruler when it defeated France, even with help received from the United States. There are several factors in Haiti’s remarkable war victory, beginning with the French being outnumbered and outclassed. But perhaps it was  Haiti’s  inside game, that gave them the edge. Joker

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In 1851, Author Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which would become one of the most influential and bestselling books of that era. Such a remarkable achievement, Ms. Stowe’s celebrity would rise on the international stage.

Based on the real life of a man named Josiah Henson, who unlike in the theatrical version of the novel, died a free man. Beecher was of the first authors to humanize slaves, which gave white readers a reason to pause, to take a moment inside the looking glass self, and what many found in the northern states, rose the abolitionist trumpet and may have given President Lincoln all the moral authority he needed, to declare war on the Confederate states.

But not everyone was engaged, as the deep south was livid and began a propaganda campaign to discredit the main character – Tom (only the child of one of his slave masters called him Uncle Tom, as a term of endearment and show of respect). Unbeknownst to the Southerns at the time, it would become of the most successful rebranding campaigns  in literature, phrase definition and race relations in American history.

The Privilege Card

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh – The Privilege Card

Tom was a proud, God-fearing man, who held the respect of nearly everyone he crossed paths. In fact, his owner – because of a dying request by his daughter – declared Tom a free man, but did not complete the paperwork before his untimely death. Minstrel shows with white actors wearing black face, would become as popular as the book, but since it was not the same audience, Tom’s portrayal as a boot-licking, watermelon seed spitting, flogging boy to his White master, and willing to betray the other slaves, for as little as a “good boy,”  Uncle Tom became widespread in Black communities, as a Benedict Arnold.  But in fact, it was Sambo whose allegiance to their oppressor led to Tom’s beating death.

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In the late 1980’s, Uncle Tom was a widely used derogatory term in the Black community, specifically on college campuses. Being an Uncle Tom meant a Black person’s allegiance was clearly against them. Rather they were shuckers & jivers or straight up traitors or just friends with who they knew, made no difference, for being labeled an Uncle Tom would drop one’s rank to the bottom of the social ladder, and it was not unusual for ‘the Tom’  to be bullied, as well.

Buffeted by the smash hit tv show A Different World, memorialized by the rising star Spike Lee on film and with recording artists like Public Enemy,  X-Clan and Poor Righteous Teachers in the recording arts, the Black Greek community on non historically black college campuses would soar in popularity.

I recall one light skinned Black girl, who everytime we saw her, someone would refer to her as a Tom, because she was rarely if ever spotted with Black students – male or female. But Shelly (not her real name) would fool us all as she had a plan to live her life by her choosing; by gaining respect within the powerful UC Davis Black greek community. She would undergo the demanding  and demeaning pledging process to become a member of a popular Black Sorority. But upon crossing into sisterhood, after earning her respect and colors, she was rarely spotted within the circles. But she had her ticket, and no one ever referred to her as a Tom again, no matter who she was with.

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The Haitian leaders knew that their downfall would not come in combat with the French Army, but from the inside, as there were slaves whose allegiance was to their oppressor. So the unorthodox strategy was simple, to weed out the would be traitors, before they could sell out, and making the Haitian Revolutionary Army even stronger.  When the French attacked, little did they know, that they never stood a chance.

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The Full Deck

Playing the Black Card

Candance Owens – The Race Card

There is no such thing as the Black Card. Candance Owens made it up for its visual effect to intensify her brand of rhetoric, I imagine, The most commonly used phrase is the Race Card, and contrary to popular belief, each racial demographic has one, and many have played. But this should come as no surprise, as every single government form, application or document ask the question: What is your race? And American is not an option, as Owens’ suggest.

Playing The Privilege Card
Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court Justice Appointees, both went to the ultra elite high school: Georgetown Prep. The geographical location is limiting enough, but a $56,000.00 annual tuition, eliminates all but the one percenters. And the fact, it is an all boys school cannot be understated, as the transformation of the Federal and Supreme Courts  makeup under President Trump, has been an exercise in keeping the masses occupied, with unnecessary dilemmas, while the masterplan flows untouched.

To see entire chart, visit Mother Jones March/April issue 2018

An All White Judicial

from Mother Jones, March/April issue 2018

Playing The Connections Card
During the height of the Iraq War, a company by the name of Halliburton was given a contract  worth billions. The vice president of the United States at the time, was a man named Dick Cheney, who was hawkish when it came to invading the sovereign nation. Cheney began his two terms as VP to George W. Bush in 2001. He resigned as the CEO of Halliburton on July 25 2000, only 4 months before the Presidential elections. Although there was immense controversy – not over the fact that the VP’s former company received the contract, but that there was no way for them to lose, since the government accepted no other bids, gifting billions of American dollars to a company connected to Vice President Cheney.

 

The Because I can Card

former Philadelphia Starbucks Barista – The Because I Can Card

Playing ‘The Because I Can Card’
When the Starbucks barista in Philadelphia, called the police on two Black men who were sitting down chatting, awaiting the arrival of the third person, once he arrived, they had every intention of becoming paying customers. But in the eyes of Starbucks and its patrons, they were already customers from the moment they walked in. So why did the barista bring down the law upon them? Because she could.

Playing The Race Card
In 1991, when Clarence Thomas declared the Anita Hill Sexual Harassment Hearings in the Senate a high-tech lynching, even though his entire philosophical belief was based on that no such thing existed. So when the cowardly Senators voted him in, the seat vacated by civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall, brought politics and shame into the highest court of the land.

Playing The Black Card
In conservative commentator Candance Owens’ unfortunate lecture for PragerU Playing the Black Card, she puts on a modern day minstrel show.. Ms. Owens has become a rock star in conservative political circles – mainly by insulting Black History, Black thought, Black Leaders and the Black Community, in general. I do not begrudge her for her success, as making money in the era of President Trump has become an industry within itself. But this is real life, with troubling effects, and  I do believe, that one day, she and others like her, will be ashamed for doing more harm and no good to an already challenged race relations. But make that money, girl.The Connections Card

Her entire presentation was targeted toward a conservative White America, for them to better understand ‘how we sell books’ how we compete in a competitive world and worse yet, how Black Americans are eternal victims, but not her. Even in the charming depiction of her Grandfather, there is something that does not ring true. No disrespect intended, but my Grandfather too owned his own home and long after he died, he had taken all precautions to assure my Grandmother never had to work a day in her life. The family favorite photograph, however, is one of him sitting next to Dr. King, so even his hard work and good fortune, there was still inequities, that no man could have conquered alone, except Owens I guess.

Beyond the facade of generalizations, there is certain truth to the story she weaves.  But if she were sincere, she would do more than talk, like write her congressman and demand they do away with the Census: Historical and Ethnic Demographics, that has been in place since 1610. It has been beneficial for Americans to forget, that our nation is raced based and has always been.

 

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Debunked Pastor Mark Burns

Debunked Pastor Mark Burns

Since 2016, and the emergence of Trumpism, some Black conservatives remain true to its foundation: like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,  music mogul 50 Cent,  Federal Judge Janice Rogers Brown and Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy to name a few.

Not all black conservatives with a megaphone – no matter how loud they shout or how minstrel the dance – can cause much damage. Youtube host Jesse Peterson is too deranged to leave a lasting mark. ‘Pastor’ Mark Burns was debunked on national television on everything displayed on his bio – posted proudly on his church website. Katrina Pierson, Paris Dennard and Stacey Dash are all but washed up to matter. But Owens, as well as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, can do harm – he in his silence and she with her noise (over 10 million views  combined).

It is a full deck. And all demographics have struggles and stereotypes that ring true -either deserved or from a historical perspective, and yes, perpetrators of eternal victimhood actually exist, but African Americans do not have a stranglehold, on what I believe to be a mental health issue.

Owen’s Prager presentation does not rise to anything above misuse of her enormous platform. It reminds of Rodney King’s Can’t we all just get along?” Though his highly anticipated speech lacked eloquence, it was at least filled with heart and soul, and a quiet attempt, to heal our historically broken race relationships. While Owens is an attempt to incite. And although we are not in a physical revolution like the Haitians, as a united nation, we are in a time of critical change. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Sambo and his compatriot, were not punished by their peers, nor society in general. But when they realized what they had done, the deep regret and sorrow that washed over them, would remain for the rest of their natural lives. And the psychotically abusive slave owner and rapist, remained in power, but died a lonely man.

this is… The Neighborhood



 

images The Full Deck courtesy of pixabay
photo manipulation by Kendall F. Person

References
¹Mother Jones: These Charts Show, How White, Male and Conservative Trump’s Judicial Nominees Have Been, Kate Harlow March 2018
²The Neighborhood: Clarence Thomas and The High Tech Lynching, 
³The Neighborhood: When We Were About Four or Five
¼Prager: Playing the Black Card, Candance Owens



 

 

 

 

10 ROADS. ZERO ERRORS. 10 MINUTES. HEART RATE 190.

Heart Rate 190


“Together we can face any challenges
as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky.”
– Sonia Gandhi



Some are thrill seekers, travelling far and wide, for the ultimate high; Mountain Climbers say it makes them feel alive. I tip my hat, but not necessarily in admiration, but in the ‘do your thang, cause it’s yo thang’ kind of way. I tend to believe, that taking on an unnecessary challenge – with no way out, and zero room for error – is akin to declaring war on death. Yet there are people, who work in the sky out of a necessity to provide for family. I imagine at some point, they either feel immortal or slowly lose their minds. But their nerves of steel are amazing.

“OMG! This is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.”  – Piroska Merk

10 ROADS. ZERO ERRORS. 10 MINUTES. 190 HEART RATE.
Video Review by Kendall F. Person

YouTube Video Channel: THE TOP 10
Video: The Most Dangerous Road Trip on the Most Dangerous Mountain Roads

The Top 10 Dangerous Road Trip on the Most Dangerous Mountain Roads in the World is distributed via The Top 10 Youtube Channel, but no information on video’s editor – has created a mountainous distraction. Every tensed filled scene hold its own, but once spun together –  then drenched in a sweeping film score, 10 Roads take nondescript video editing, to a very different level. But what gives this random, non-fiction, unsuspecting thriller an edge – for best video editing 2018 – is in its diabolical refusal to release its viewers, allowing a heart rate of 190 to calm down. Instead the tension rises, till the climatic end.

“Could hardly breathe.” – Boss Monet

What bothers me about this instant classic; perfecton was in reach, but it held back on information, and they heard about it in the comment section. It appears, that there may be far fewer locations than the usual expected 10. But whoever made the regretful decision, played their viewers in the shallows. To further describe in this review, what 10 Roads lacks, would not only call for a SPOILER ALERT WARNING, but may add a deficit, that does not exist or matter for some.

10 Roads, however is so intense, so insanely captured and so wondering (I wonder how it was built? I wonder what they were thinking? And I wonder how many fell.) its flaw is far from fatal.

“My skin actually left me and crawled out the room.” – Helen Sandwick

Best Video Editing

The Top 10 Dangerous Road Trip on the
Most Dangerous Mountain Roads in the World