You wouldn’t think scoring a buzzer-beater in a community league basketball game would cost you your life but I woke one morning to find that that’s exactly what it costed one young man in Philadelphia. A lone gunman ambushed three teens, 14, 15 and 16 years old, after a game. The 14 year-old was shot in the arm, the 15 year-old in the face and the 16 year-old in the leg. The 15 year-old later died in the hospital. The others were last listed in critical condition and there have been no arrests. Continue reading
The other night as the world turned in on itself, I’m not ashamed to tell you that I was deeply affected by all that I heard. Listening to grown men stumble verbally and search for words to express what they were feeling when it’s their job to be eloquent signified the depth of what they, as well as any rational American, was experiencing at that moment.
But no words moved me more than those of President Obama. Watching this fluently, articulate man fumble for an expression, with long pauses between his speech, told me that try as anyone might, there are very few polite words in any language to characterize the profundity of everything that’s happening in America right now. In addition, he had to air the country’s dirty laundry on foreign soil. And he had to do so not once, but twice in the span of not 24 hours.
Obama spoke about contradictions. Here’s the bit I’m referring to:
There is no contradiction between us supporting law enforcement, making sure they have the equipment they need, making sure they’re collective bargaining rights are recognized, making sure they’re adequately staffed, making sure that they are respected, making sure that their families are supported. And also saying that there are problems across our criminal justice system. There are biases, some conscious and unconscious that have to be rooted out. That’s not an attack on law enforcement. That is reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job.
Contradictions, conflict; it occurred to me then that it’s not political correctness that’s the problem, it’s political contradictions. Continue reading
What can you say?
Here we go again with this whole “discretion” and “feared for my life” thing. Answer me this: how is it that a lone state police trooper can go into a Bourbon Street bar to eject an unruly, intoxicated customer, do it successfully without finding it necessary to draw his service weapon while in a different city, two cops with an alleged perpetrator already on the ground after a scuffle, become so afraid for their lives that they feel the use of deadly force is necessary. It’s a tale of two men; one dead, the other alive. It’s also a tale of two races; one black, the other white. Guess which man is dead? Continue reading
It’s only two, measly words but used a certain way they’re legitimately powerful with the ability to influence as well as induce. Who would think that such a scrawny phrase in the English language could strike so at the hearts of men, effectively altering their perspectives and often, their deeds along with it? In everyday life and the workplace, their judicious use can initialize joy, camaraderie and peace in almost any circumstance. So why then would some blatantly refuse to recognize and use them?
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about “thank you”. It was one of those very, first life lessons we were taught at an early age: say thank you and please. The backbone of all good manners, the words “thank you” are a tool often overlooked in man’s repertoire enabling him to interact in his world. At home, on the block and in relationships, the absence of them will quickly erode trust and turn associations sour. Continue reading
Undoubtedly, there was more than one reading of all or portions of the Declaration of Independence given across the country today. Speaking of which; don’t you think that Independence Day is a holiday geared more for children? It’s not that adults don’t enjoy it as much as their charges; they definitely do but I think their, our celebration comes with a more seasoned viewpoint on life.
Let me rephrase it. When we’re young, we’re prodded by the teachers to “think about what liberty means” over the July 4th holiday, rather than simply running around gorging ourselves on burgers and hot dogs and generally having a good old time down at the shore. And then at some point for some of us, age occurs and we do just that and really begin to think about what liberty and freedom means both for us today and what it meant back then to proclaim it in such a fashion. It’s still fun but at times, it’s bittersweet. This is one of those times. Continue reading