this is... The Neighborhood

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



Lil Bebe
by DaniLeigh

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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



 

 

STAND INSIDE BELIEF

Oz

Oz Newsflash: Last Surviving Munchkin Dies at age 98, Jme 2018

I believe
I believe
I believe
– Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

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from Season II in 2014

Stand Inside Belief
by Kendall F. Person


When Dorothy was swept into the land of Oz, she became a folk hero, by defeating the wicked witch of the west, saving all of her new friends from certain death in the process. While Oz was in celebration, Dorothy was blue. She had no desire to be the kingdom’s new ruler, all she wanted, all she ever wanted was to go home. As it turned out, after all that she had been through, Dorothy held the power to go home all along. All she had to do was believe.

There exists a reality that we cannot control. In the game of life, chance plays a spoiler role. But living our lives under the constraints of a possibility, no matter how remote, that something will happen, that will change our lives for the better or worse, is unproductive at best. We believe our prayers will find answers, but do not trust the answer when it appears.  We believe if we say it often enough, but never take steps to do it, our talk of turning pro will be true, Afraid to look inside, for the fear of failing outweighs the thrill of trying.  We stand on high ground (still underneath the sky)  believing society has fallen into decay, yet refusing to include ourselves as a part of the process, in the downfall or solution.

I believe, however, those are the exceptions, and this is the rule; most  believe that anything is possible: decreasing violent crime, eliminating famine, establishing peaceful relations among enemies, finding a cure for cancer or h.i.v., but have not stood inside ourselves long enough, to comprehend, that one person, can make a difference.

Norma Raie

write it down by Shavawn

In 1973, a working mother named Crystal Lee Sutton, immortalized  as ‘Norma Rae’ by Academy Award winning actress Sally Field, would be fired by her giant textile mill employer. Crystal Lee had sought to organize the 3000 southern textile workers into a union, to combat low wages, discuss the poor working conditions, and to address the needs of women, who were now entering the workforce in large numbers, of which many were mothers.  But her powerful and well-connected employer, was entrenched socially and politically, and would play a ruthless game, to protect the profits of its elite and board members. So they decided to make a spectacle of the firing, to humiliate her was not enough. They needed to crush the hopes of the masses and put  an end to all that union talk. But Crystal Lee believed in what she stood for, taking a moment to look inside herself. Then she stared down the police officers  summoned to oust her, and fought back using the tools at her disposal. In one of  Labor Movements defining moments, Crystal Lee Sutton wrote UNION on a piece of cardboard, jumped atop a table, holding the sign high enough for all to see.  Her belief spilled outward, as moments later, the workers would shut down all the machines, forcing her employer, to take a seat at the bargaining table.

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She was born the daughter of a storekeeper, and an accomplished violinist. She grew up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and by all accounts she was an average woman, living a normal life. In 1984, following the death of her husband Ray, Joan Kroc, as the sole heir to the McDonald’s empire, would become of the richest women on earth. She, no doubt, lived an extraordinary life, for the magnitude of her wealth, offered comforts that exist, on a plain very few will ever know or understand. But Joan Kroc also had a strong belief. Not in, if she could make a difference, but in how big of one it could be.

She would devise a plan, as how to best serve the people, and in 1990, her belief in philanthropy, would define her as a human being. She gave $15 million to the Grand Forks region to rebuild after a catastrophic flood. $18.5 million to San Diego Hospice to improve their ability to treat. $87 million to the Salvation Army of San Diego, $225 million to National Public Radio (NPR),  and for an encore (of which, she would never accept, as most donations were made anonymously), she would make the largest single donation ever, granting $1.6 billion to establish Salvation Army Centers across the nation.  But what The Neighborhood holds dear is her belief, that peace is ours for the taking.  The Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, was established and endowed by Joan Kroc, herself.

 

Dorothy

Dorothy’s Ruby Sippers by Steve Fernie

Stand inside belief and see how it makes you feel. It is empowering, allowing us to reach for the stars, and win or lose, we have touched the sky in our trials. Stand inside a little longer, and feel the solace of self-belief. There is a comfort that exists only there, since it is the one place, that we are always okay. Belief leads to stronger communication, for we are better able to support our opinions and ideals, and comfortable in listening too. If we believe it, we can attempt to achieve it, by simply following Dorothy’s lead. Clicking our heels together may not make dreams come true, but knowing that a light exist inside of us, and has been there all along, means that fairytales can come true.

this is… The Neighborhood 

DODGEBALL NATION

Dodgeball Nation

“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” – Patches O’Houlihan, Dodgeball

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Pretty Things
courtesy of David Sanya Beats

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DODGEBALL NATION
by Kendall F. Person

Everytime I hear a newscaster or a politician say these three words “This is unprecedented.”  I say to myself  (No it isn’t.) but now is the time for me to start saying it outloud. No it isn’t. It is certainly a time unexperienced by anyone currently living in the United States, in its entirety anyway, but it is far from the peak of divisional excess. We forget about a little something called the Civil War, that  cost Americans in its own blood, over 600,000 lives.

Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.” – 16th US President Abraham Lincoln, (The Confederacy of The Last Slave)

And even as ill-begotten as the Kavanaugh Confirmation hearings have become, it rings the same bell as the Clarence Thomas Confirmation hearings, and only Republican Senator James Blake (and at least one other) knows if the story will end the exact same way.  And while the issue  of race is never far from the center of any debate, just like in 1991, it is no longer about the Women’s Movement. It is more aligned with the Civil War, I say, as there is a clear difference between right and wrong, and the only qualifying fact, is if we throw it up to blue or red.

But where the difference is stark – between now and then – it is less a clear battle between specific demographics, but more of a society difference, and choosing sides is not preordained (for some reason) but is being played out, in strategic anger and ferocity as if the victors will be rewarded with Dodgeball Nation.

 

CRAZY COUNTRY

 


In 1978, the large corporations and politicians needed to shut down all that union talk before the laborers, especially working women, who were not fighting for necessarily higher pay, but simple decency and some dignity inside the workplace. So her seething bosses sent in the police, not just to drag out the rabble rouser, but to assure her humiliation would continue to suppress all those women from getting a bright idea. But the imagination of the White men in power was limited,  so they were not ready for a woman named Crystal Lee Sutton, who actually believed in what she was fighting for, As the police approached, she stood inside belief,  delivering a defining moment. – Stand Inside Belief


 

Unlike Dodgeball the 2004 motion picture starring a hilarious  Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, where teams played professionally and the rag tag Average Joe’s Gym was always going to win versus the lying, cheating Globo-Gym in the end. Most everyone identified with the good guys striking it rich in fair play. But not in Dodgeball Nation, where political warfare is on par with gangs  of the late 1980s, that nearly pulverized many American communities. Heck, even the colors are the same. But the sides are  not picked in vast groups, but one by one as even the roles of class and race have been muddled. (But not education; another post on another day)


SAMPLE KEY
Kanye West goes to the Red Team.
Blue picks up Arnold Schwarzenegger
Joy Behar is nearly hysterical in blue passion (not meant as a compliment)
White Women Republican voters stood hardcore for alleged pedophile Roy Moore in Alabama, even though his 9 accusers where White Women Republican voters in Alabama.
Dreamers & Puerto Ricans have been forced blue
Cubans go red; and as horribly as they have been treated, immigrants from Latin America still come under the same administration that took their kids.

  and so on…


And while I have voted democrat since I was 18, since  the George Bush administration, it is not the party that I take sides with, but rather the resistance to what I see as a government, building itself with isolationism on the world stage and  insulating itself with an unsustainable rage.
Dodgeball Nation

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In 1831, only 30 years prior to the onslaught of Civil War, a man named Nat Turner would send shockwaves through the slave owners’ families (white men were in power) when Mr. Turner – a slave – choreographed a slave rebellion, so successfully, it would survive in history and legend. Finding himself in a different mental state than his father, who when he escaped only freed himself. He listened closer to the words when he preached the gospel.

With an absolute belief in God and that he was ordained, to give his and to take life as he had no other means to fight the inhumanity of slavery. It took two days, for the men in power to defeat an army of 30 freed and present slaves, But if Lindsay Graham brought back the rallying cry for the angry white man, over a flawed justice, that will be bestowed with ultimate power over the law of the land,  imagine (if you must) how incensed the white slave owners were on the day Nat Turner took over.

In retaliation, 120 slaves were killed. But in order to double the number of 60, that the Nat Turner Rebellion took from them. they  killed innocent slaves, that refused to rebel and in fact, obeyed their master. And when  Crystal Lee Sutton (I call her Norma Rae) bested the men in power, for the little they gave up, women became their objects of sexual harassment, as their welcome to a less aggressive work environment, turned mental with unwanted advances  And all these years later, in the same lineage in some cases I suppose, the white men are still in power and will elevate the wrong man to the Supreme Court to hold on to it a little longer.

There was no way to compete, by going higher as Michelle Obama preached what she wanted her party to put into practice. But as history repeats – because we learn only enough from it to walk a different way for the moment –  so fire is now fighting fire.and even those who escape the blaze, will  still be burned because the bigger picture is what we see: a united America is a stronger America, not just for MAGA.  How do I know the solution exists? Because two of  the most trusted friends, are Trumpians. and White. Go figure.

We live in the United States, and Dodgeball is not for real So when we judge the velocity of our next throw, bare in mind, they are an opponent, but not the enemy… and dodgeball is a game of elimination.

this is… The Neighborhood

related ref. The Charlottesville Confirmation

 


With less than 3 months until the Season 6 season-ender, one question remains, will The Neighborhood be allowed it to deliver its big finish?  Make a Donation. If you have enjoyed yourself, or understand that support is necessary to advance  not just politics. Or to be fare. (big smile)

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this is… The Neighborhood. A place to take a stand, or fly away into the imagination.
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