Jamie Mayes, AOE

Archive for March, 2014|Monthly archive page

Lady Liberation

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2014 at 2:13 am

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Why is it that we who claim to be most free
Seem to actually not be free indeed
Bound by perceptions and reflections of who we used to or need to be
While declaring that liberated version is really “me”

Still I’m being told that I must be molded
Into a particular person for particular reason in preparation for my season
Because allegedly I’m finally free.

Still I must censor my thoughts and curve my mind
To fit the opinions of a particular kind
And if I think anywhere outside of a certain cardboard box
Well, this is when the path to my destiny stops

I can’t be left and right winged
Because that makes me inconsistent
I can’t be optimistic and pessimistic
Because the two are resistant

I can’t be bitter and sweet
Because it’s one or the other
I can’t have my cake and eat it too
So I guess I’ll let my hunger suffer

So tell why it matters that I proclaim to be free
Because it’s the world who says who I should be.

©Copyright 2014 by Motivational Inspirations

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A Pocket Full of Stones…to Throw

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2014 at 5:17 pm

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Well, well, well…it has been an interesting 24 hours. The release of one of Louisiana’s most famous rappers has set off a round of conversations. While most people have celebrated this release, of course, the naysayers and side-eyers have come with much criticism and skepticism. I was not over-the-top ecstatic about his release, but as a writer and lover of all music genres and even a fan for many years, I am quite eager to hear how Lil Boosie has changed during his five year incarceration. I am reminded that some of raps greatest lyricist was taken to another level of artistry during time of isolation, as are many writers, whether isolation is forced or chosen.  Nonetheless, let me not digress from the point of this very short conversation piece.

Much criticism has arisen regarding the enthusiasm of Lil Boosie supporters. Already, many have questioned whether he is any different or why it is such a big deal to people for such a “bad” (in their eyes) person to be released. I began to think about society and the world that we live in and many things came to mind. Torrence “Lil Boosie” Hatch was sentenced to five years; he served five, and paid his debt to society. Why do so many people still feel the need massacre him? My mind is always blown by the way that society throws stones at people when their sins are visible, but shy away from acknowledging those things which cannot be seen or have not been caught. As I grow older, I am reminded more and more that an unseen flaw does not mean a flaw does not exist; therefore, I must be careful about the tongue lashings I share when the imperfections of others become public information.

I considered the Lil Boosie social issue from a social stand point. I have seen post after post about thug and street life and what happens to young men, but there is another issue that plagues me. The more I work in corporate America and watch the news, the more I see that thugism is not limited to rappers or street drug dealers. Our suit and tie politicians, public officials, and even religious position holders are committing crimes of unspeakable nature. Yet, we criticize young men who are enticed by rappers and barely address the number of educated, well-dressed me who are defying the stereotype that education makes a difference. I have discovered that education makes no difference, character does. If the focus becomes creating good character, young men will make better decisions no matter what profession they choose. This is not an attempt to declare Lil Boosie to be the lesser of two evils, but he is not the greatest of them either.

My hope is that Torrence “Lil Boosie” Hatch has grown as an individual. He has always emphasized his love for his children and his mother; I hope that his future decisions will reflect the importance of those individuals. I hope that I will again hear about his annual Easter Egg Hunt off Gus Young Drive where kids find eggs with $100 dollar bills and he gives out dozens of bicycles. I hope that he continues to brag on the achievements of his mother the teacher and his brother the well-educated Kappa. The courts granted him freedom; I’m glad to see that another man has been released from the Louisiana slave system. I do not have a call to make on who he is or what he has done; I can only give him the same well wishes I would give anyone else.   

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rapper-lil-boosie-released-from-prison/

 

Open Letter to Black America

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm

ImageThere is a timeless quote which says, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Black America we have currently fallen for anything and everything, and still have nothing at all. I have watched the continual power struggles of black Americans in authoritative positions and the mass injustices everyday black citizens have struggled with, and I am disappointed with the reaction of black America.  We have seen everything from the public disrespect of the President to the slayings of young black men, and hardly anyone has done much more than mumble behind closed doors.

We have made the mistake of believing that the election of a black President has made our issues null and void when the inverse is true. Our issues have actually amplified to an unbelievable level in attempt to remind us that even when we think we have control, we really have none. Congress has made attempts to shoot down every productive and progressive bill possible supported by the President. He has been called names racial names and blatantly disrespected at his own home (Gov. Bobby Jind-Al); his birthplace has been question. He has been falsely accused of crimes and actions, and the list of public calamities goes one. However, an even more pressing type of revenge has taken place in the black community one individual at a time.

While Trayvon Martin’s case was the one that brought much media attention to the injustices of the American justice system, it was not the first reminder that “America” sent out to Black America that we need to remember our place. The 2011 execution of Troy Davis, a black male who had several witnesses who admitted error in their testimonies and that they had been coerced to falsely accuse him of murder was executed despite several serious protests and requests that his case be review again. It would be less than a year later that 17 year-old Trayvon Martin would be gunned down in his neighborhood by a man twice his size who accused him of being an aggressive threat. White America rallied for George Zimmerman’s innocence and he walked away freely. During the same year that Trayvon Martin was murdered, Marissa Alexander was arrested when she fired a warning shot in at her house during an altercation with her abusive husband. She would later be sentenced to 20 years. After much public outcry, the sentence was revoke, but there are currently attempts to retry Alexander and give her up to 60 years in prison.  In 2012, another case temporarily grabbed America’s attention when Michael Dunn sprayed bullets into a vehicle of black teens killing 17 year-old Jordan Davis. While Dunn was found guilty of firing the shots, a mistrial was granted in the case of killing Jordan Davis. Most recently and close to home, in 2013 Alfred Wright went missing. After several days searching in the same parts of Hemphill, Texas, friends and family members finally found Wright’s body. The police department attempted to accuse him of everything from drug addiction to theft in order to cover up what has obviously been a murder.

I am tired, angry, and frustrated. I would like to blame my emotions on the legal system of America and how I detest the constant attempts to discredit and destroy black people at any cost possible, but that’s not it. I am accustomed to the ways of this country. I am not surprise at the aggressive ways in which public reminders are being sent that we came to this country be the footstools. I am aware of this. My issue is with the weak response of black America. It is shameful that we have become so self-absorbed that when issues like this do not affect us directly, we merely make a social media post about it and move on. I am sickened by our alleged leaders who have become so socialized by money-making-America that their vision has become obscured. I have often wondered if the objective of giving Al Sharpton a television show was to put a muzzle over his at least partially reactive mouth, for it seems that “America” has effectively done so.

For about the past year, I have searched relentlessly to understand why black America seems so non-responsive or hardly responsive to the issues of society. Why are we ignoring the clear signals that black America is in trouble with the American justice system? This is this country is truthfully not much better today than it was sixty years ago? It is no longer just about the disproportionate number of black people receiving unfair prison sentences, the opposite side of this situation now says that blacks can still be murdered with little or no recompense to follow. The “American” legal system has made no real efforts to correct these issues, because we have made no real efforts to demand correction. Instead of marching, rallying, or writing letters, we get angry for a few weeks and then move along, evenly becoming complacent when such actions occur again. We make excuses about how inevitable change is and instead sit on our butts at home living freely off of the executions, lynchings, and assassinations of our ancestors, refusing to make a sacrifice for the next generation and barely paying respect to the last generation.

I am not an organizer, Civil Rights protester or a politician, but I am a writer. I have already committed myself to a personal letter writing campaign over the next few months in hopes that a letter will land in the hand of one who will act upon the urgent matter at hand. Tears and fear will not produce change. Therefore, I have charged myself to stop wallowing in disappointment over issues that I knew existed, and instead aim to be a mechanism of social influence. I will no longer wait on Rev. Al Sharpton or Rev. Jesse Jackson or some new aged black community activist to exude influence over these matters, I will used my gift and skill to support a matter that can no longer be ignored. I considered charging a question at the close of this letter, but if this work is written effectively one will ask self what he or she must do to take action for the sake of the future of black Americans. We can no longer afford to be so self-absorbed, for the threat of a non-existent black America is at hand and in a few years, we will no longer have a President in office to serve as our point of pride. Provisions must be made and actions must be taken to protect the lives and rights of black Americans.

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