Category Archives: Authors A-H

Authors listed by last name A-H

Dear Ms. What’s your name – by Terry Howard

Okay, you don’t know me and I don’t know you. And maybe that’s a good thing because you may not like what I’m about to say to you Ms. “What’s your name?”

You see, I pulled up in my SUV the other week, parked, put on my mask and was about to head into the grocery store when I saw you and your three young kids – two in car seats if I remember correctly – in the parking space next to me. And by the way, your kids – all less than five years old I’d guess – are absolutely beautiful. You must be one proud momma.

Now there was nothing out of the ordinary for me until I saw you roll down your window and pluck out a still smoldering cigarette you’d been puffing on. Hey, I thought (and wanted to shout) “hey lady, haven’t you heard about the dangers of second-hand smoke on children?” as I walked towards the store.

Continue reading Dear Ms. What’s your name – by Terry Howard

Try living in the building – by Terry Howard

If there’s an upside to the images of those protesting the death of George Floyd, it’s dismantling the myth of angry blacks alone roaming the streets, looting, setting fires and burning down their neighborhoods. I mean, one must be blind if they did not see people other than African Americans holding up “Black Lives Matter” posters, getting tear gassed, hand cuffed, arrested ….and looting. Truly a watershed moment in social history if ever there was one.

“Oh my, why are they destroying property in their own neighborhoods?” “They’re hurting their own cause!” Continue reading Try living in the building – by Terry Howard

Leaning in and speaking out – by Hanadi Chehabeddine

In the wake of the killing of George Flyod and the civil unrest that followed, communities of color around the country are feeling more empowered to speak out on issues of racism that make their everyday life harder and even painful. These bitter experiences are not limited to the dominant culture but also take place within communities of colors themselves.

Speaking within the Muslim community, voices echoing sentiments of injustice started rising on the maltreatment of black Muslims under the patronage of Arab leadership. Among the stories that have been circulating offensive social media posts among Arab employers, lack of participants representation among mosque dwellers and incidents of verbal offense among school board members towards black students or their parents.

Continue reading Leaning in and speaking out – by Hanadi Chehabeddine

Watching the Game – by Devan Burton

America for me
is having black conversations
with white friends.
When asked
why million dollar football players
kneel
I thought of
Tamir,
Michael,
and the Minnesota gentleman
who had as much right to carry a gun
as he did to drive.

I cannot see
the soldiers my friend
—the medic in Iraq—tried
to save.
I do not know the sound the flag
made when it fell upon each coffin.
We’ve had dialogue before,
leaving us wiser,
possessing more insight
into each other’s race.

The following week,
we studied defensive schemes
towns apart.

Image credit: Children hugging (The Healing Universe); scripture verse added— ‘The Bible is more than information, it is intervention’ (a quote from Pastor Erwin Lutzer heard on a radio broadcast June 14, 2020)

Editor’s Note:

On November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice, a 12-year old African-American boy, was killed in Cleveland, Ohio by Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old police officer. Rice was carrying a replica toy Airsoft gun; Loehmann shot him almost immediately after arriving on the scene. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Tamir_Rice#:~:text=On%20November%2022%2C%202014%2C%20Tamir,after%20arriving%20on%20the%20scene

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down in the street, begging for his life and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_George_Floyd

Word Up King – by Jody Harris

Words should never be used as weapons,
The mass destruction it causes can wear us down.
In those tense moments,
Leadership should step up.
KING stands for Kindly Invoking Natural Generosity,
It should be shown equally to the majority and the minority.
Definitions state what a word means,
Reshaping how it is used.
Seems like the laws regarding race, uplift the abuser
Further punishing the abused.
I’m not the enemy
Treat me with respect.
Stepping on each other’s toes is useless,
We’ll never learn this new dance.
The aim of conquering innovative new ground is a sign of progress,
Moving backwards doesn’t help us at all.
Kitchen Interiors Need Groundwork
From the ingredients to the utensils,
America needs a different recipe for Harmony.
Knee In the Neck of George was too much,
A Knee In the Neck of George touched off a rebellion
That is what KING stands for.
The K stands for the Knee
The letter I stands for In
The letter N stands for Neck
The letter G is for George.
Souls of those we miss often visit.
If you’re out of the office and tune in with the universe,
You’ve often missed it,
Titled crowns still have meaningful substance.
Swag and style vary from person to person,
There is no need to impose on the life of others,
Feel free to open your own museum of you,
Especially if the Holy Spirit advises you.
Dr. King marched peacefully,
He protested in a non-violent manner
In the midst of personal attacks.
Police brutality and racist policies embrace hate-fueled violence.
Words of affirmation try to countermeasure those acts.
We hold these truths to be self-evident.
Our goal should be making the world a better place,
Free hugs for everyone while supplies last.
Put words as weapons down and take our love off safety.

Image credit: Artwork by Jody Harris

Diversity & Speech Part 12: Systemic Racism – by Carlos E. Cortés

For the past two years I have been writing a series of columns about the complicated intersection of inclusive diversity and robust speech.   Although my last column appeared just two months ago, in some respects it seems like ancient history.  Maybe it is.

Because on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis Police Officer named Derek Chauvin jammed his knee against the neck of George Floyd, an African American man, for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, until Floyd was dead.  Those 526 excruciating seconds, recorded and widely disseminated, may have changed the course of U.S. history.  That incident has certainly changed the way that we are currently talking about race in particular and about diversity in general. 

Continue reading Diversity & Speech Part 12: Systemic Racism – by Carlos E. Cortés

At the Crossroads of Good and Evil – by Howie Comen

 WHICH ROAD TO TAKE

We are at a crossroads of Good and Evil in civilization. Standing with Faust. Robert Johnson, and  Joe Hardy. Do we continue to sell our souls to the devil or do we defeat him?

We are in the middle of a war against evil. Some of this evil is external and in the media hourly. However much  is internal, homegrown, Godless feelings that I’m better than you based on my race, creed, national origin, faith, or which side of the tracks I live on.  Continue reading At the Crossroads of Good and Evil – by Howie Comen

Should we Defund the Police? – by Marc Brenman

As I write, the current demonstrations against police violence have produced one good slogan: Defund the Police. Is this something we really want to do? About 64% of Americans own houses. When we need police help and call them, do we want them to not come because of a lack of personnel, equipment, or communications? Slogans don’t make good public policy, and are rarely efficacious. They can rile people up in call and response.

The alternative to policing is anarchy and chaos. As a people, we are not good at self-regulation. Do we want to surrender to vigilantes, private security forces, bodyguards, high walls, high noon, “stand your ground,” and Second Amendment advocates who claim to be standing between us and tyranny but who are advocates for their liberty and freedom only? I can imagine classic strategic planning for police, with substantial community input, to decide what to prioritize, what to stop doing, and what to do more of. And classic organizational development, to deal with the organizational culture problem obviously present in too many police departments of the supervisory chain of command losing control of the blue suits, or never establishing control over them in the first place. And classic human resources efforts, to hire the right people—ones without authoritarian traits, high control needs, or racism, and with cultural competency and thoughtful, Constitutionally based responses.

Continue reading Should we Defund the Police? – by Marc Brenman

Reducing Police Violence – by Marc Brenman

It’s a very hard thing to figure out what to do about reducing police violence in the US, especially reducing and eliminating racist violence. These issues keep coming to our attention largely because of undue and inappropriate police violence against unarmed African-American men. Recording of videos on cellphones and subsequent distribution on social media have made these tragedies much more public and apparent. These tragedies have been occurring for a very long time. Progress has been spotty and inadequate.

In classic strategic planning, we talk about what to stop doing, what to do more of, and what to do less of. There appear to be issues of organizational culture, where a substantial number of police departments are disconnected from morals, ethics, humanity, cultural competence, and the surrounding communities. Clearly, if an organization is being overtly discriminatory, they should stop doing that. But most of us aren’t overtly discriminatory, so our connection to the larger society must be producing discriminatory effects. The issues are complicated by the fact of about 19,000 largely independent police departments in the US. Continue reading Reducing Police Violence – by Marc Brenman

COVID-19, don’t get comfortable – by Terry Howard

Pssst, hey COVID-19, sit your behind down. I have something to say to you. If you’re looking for us to throw in the towel because of what you’ve done, well it ain’t gonna happen.

Ever!

Sure, you caught us off guard. We didn’t see you coming. You snuck into our back yard – “West Coast” yard, they say – and spread your destruction across our nation, snuffing out over 100,000 lives along your hellish way.

Continue reading COVID-19, don’t get comfortable – by Terry Howard