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Op Ed

Just a Long-Ass Thought About Spirituality, Forgiveness, and Black America

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Walk with me on this Amber Guyger and Botham Jean family story…

We all see life as the longest thing that we will ever do… so we should get the most out of it and we should damn sure not settle for suffering while we’re here. I agree. Do not settle for suffering. But try as we might, we will all suffer at some point. Pain is inevitable. Such is life. The only difference between people of faith, and people who are just grinding, is perspective. If you’re a Christian, like the huggy brother, you believe in your soul being eternal. Whatever hardships we face in life, no matter how unfathomably difficult or negative, you believe that if you live righteously -and that means  not living in revenge and resentment — your soul will live eternally in paradise. People can’t comprehend that. Life is the longest thing we’ll ever do, but if you have real faith, (not that every  Sunday faith) life is short compared to eternity.

Now some of your eyes just glazed over when you read that last part and you made the 🙄 face. It sounds silly and Pollyannaish when you look at the history of America. Black folks have been killed, massacred and overlooked everyday since we got here and it continues to happen. Forgiveness sounds helpless. It sounds foolish. How can you be weak enough to be forgiving of those who hurt you -especially when it’s is systemic and woven into everyday life? And there’s the part about the same people that enslaved us introducing us to a God that will save us? How do those things go together?

Perfectly reasonable questions. If you don’t believe in God or Jesus or an afterlife then forgiveness sounds like bullshit. Hard to believe in what you can’t see, especially when you CAN see oppression everyday. I get it. I truly do.

Some of my closest friends mute me on here because I’m always on political shit. 🤣 I share a lot of it. I am frustrated by inequality and oppression and I fight it in my own life in every way that I can -with my wallet and my time and my purchasing. I speak out on it in uncomfortable personal conversations with friends or acquaintances when I feel people are bullshitting or are blind to -isms. I hate inequality and I don’t avoid it. I wade into it and stress myself out everyday. I’m not for punting on life and settling for what happens after we die. That’s weak. Fight for your joy and your prosperity. Period.

Forgiveness isn’t my mantra here. It’s just part of the story because the story isn’t one dimensional.

None of us are just one thing or one way. Just for a moment stop and try to release your bias against the idea of forgiveness and ponder this blip in time that we call life, versus the reality of eternity. Physics says energy doesn’t stop, it just changes. Think of your life and your soul scientifically. When we die our energy and essence does *something.* Why can’t that something be what people of faith believe? If the Jean family truly has that kind of faith many people will mock it beacause most can’t comprehend it. But if you really have faith and can imagine the notion of eternity then you get it. Meditate on that. You know that that young man getting murdered in his own apartment was horrific and unforgivable and the trial was a signifier of white power vis-a-vis black bodies in America and that’s why the verdict meant so much to us. She was found guilty. And not just of manslaughter or negligence. But murder. That meant something.

However, the sentence was light. That meant something too. But the family’s forgiveness means something too.

Don’t @ me. @ your therapist.

The unfortunate part is that that image of the hugs and the tears is what will be tied to the administration of justice here. Was it necessary for the family? Absolutely. Was it good for America when we so rarely see justice in the killing of black people at the hands of white cops. Hell no! The image that we should have walked away with from that trial was her walking away in shackles. We don’t want to see oppressors feel comforted when it should be our moment to feel some measure of justice. But would an image of the family celebrating have nourished us yesterday? That wasn’t the answer either. I hate that the image of that killer cop being comforted after she murdered a black man in his own home was what represented the story in the news. The angry me gets it and I was pissed yesterday. But so does the person inside who believes that there is an unbelievable strength to that kind of faith and a reason for our resilence in this country is the strength of our collective souls.

But what do I know?

Op Ed

And Knowing is Half the Battle…

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I’ve seen Terminator references used to argue against Artificial Intelligence, foreign movie clips used to “prove” the pandemic was a well executed plan and baseless clips from folk with large media followings telling me all about vaccines and how I should interact with science.

My concrete and definitive conclusion is that the person least likely to make a mistake is the person with the most training / experience, not the person with the most social media followers / apprehension.

We put too much faith in what lies behind a screen instead of those who actually engage in the practice. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with paring common sense and common science.

I get it though. I like to take part in conversations too but if you aren’t willing to do any work further than clicking a share button simply because you just want to engage, you were genuinely more effective sitting on the sidelines.

I trust NASA more than I trust Rocket Racoon. I trust Tesla more than I trust Cyberdyne and I trust DOCTORS more than I trust my friends, celebrities and any other schmuck burger with a social media platform propagating nonsense.

SIDEBAR I don’t know if y’all heard of this thing called The Internet but its amazing! People mostly keep their booby pictures on it but it also has something called GOOGLE that you can use research stuff. Some of y’all should check it out. SIDEBAR COMPLETE.

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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Op Ed

Robbing Hoods and Stopping Games

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Ten bullet points for your reading pleasure:
  1. Every single time the stock market crashed, it was done by the “professionals.”
  2. If a group of folk can get together in a chat room and legally take BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM YOU IN YOUR OWN PROFESSION…IN DAYS, you may wanna reevaluate how professional you are.
  3. Retail investors had nothing to do with the Great Depression, Black Friday, Black Monday, the internet bubble or the housing bubble. That was Institutional.
  4. I’ve never seen so much call for regulation in the stock market from those who typically make the most money in my life. I believe the correct financial term is #BigMad
  5. They aren’t upset retail investors are making money. They are upset retail investors are making the market place volatile, making it harder for THEM to make money long term.
  6. Why was there not this level of concern when retail investors were losing their pensions and IRAs at all other instances?
  7. Why are hedge funds even allowed to use people’s pensions to short sell?!
  8. If you are using your rent or mortgage to invest in the stock market, you have bigger issues. #gambleholic
  9. Retail investors have never had a platform nor the income to throw markets off. They still don’t.
  10. No one has a problem with the rules until it works against their own interests.

Bonus: When you gamble, you could either win or lose. Investors don’t need to be CPAs to understand that concept.

Sidebar; Pay more attention to your money management!! Sidebar complete.

Happy Friday!!

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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Op Ed

A Riot of Entitlement

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1. If a foreign government had pulled off what occurred on Capitol Hill last week, that nation would currently be a rubble laden parking lot, bombed into the stone-age.

2. If BLM had pulled off what occurred last week, we would currently be having conversations like “Y’all remember freedom?” and “You ONLY got shot 6 times?!! Sheeeeit. Everybody else got at least 9… yeah we all in the studio recording now…”

3. Why is the foreign policy response more stringent than domestic policy when the threat is much worse due to proximity?

4. Why is the current law enforcement response akin to aiding and abetting simply because the assailants resemble, and in some cases are “law” enforcement? Do bullets not kill when your cousin is the shooter?

5. True privilege is complaining about your rights taken away right AFTER and BECAUSE you used those rights to violate others. Rights were granted by LAW and as such, can be rescinded… by LAW! Why does this even have to be explained?

Sidebar: For future reference, this is how you properly storm the Capitol! With Beyonce and legal votes!! Ahhhh 2012. The good old days! Make Inaugurations Great Again (MIGA Please!!) Sidebar Complete.

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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