Archive for July, 2010

Tribute Poem to the NSA 2010 theme “Imagine”

July 28, 2010


Imagine a world where speakers were no longer needed

Where corporate revenues were all exceeded

Negative thought processes all defeated

A world where our clients all lived in the black

All children reading on grade level, no child left back

All starfish having a difference made in their lives

Humorists making us all laugh just for fun and not for our own salvation


Imagine a world where the words you uttered

Led to

1 less hate crime

2 fewer sexist sentiments sputtered

3 fewer racist remarks

4 fewer anti-Semites

5 fewer forgotten infants because of our insight


Imagine a world where Lenora’s lectures attained the appreciation for diversity we so crave

Where Patricia Fripp’s elegance was the law of the day

Where Brendon Burchard showed us all how to have meaning in our lives

And our spouses supported all we do like van Hooser’s wife


Well I submit to you that the day will come when what we imagine will be a reality

Because we speakers walk this planet

With the spirit of Robert, Cavett

Living to serve humanity in the humblest of ways

We move forward for we believe we can birth a better day

So we’ve charged ourselves with bringing hope to the world

Speaking words that’ll make a president out of that fearful fifth grade girl

Creating presentations that show corporations

To incorporate the environment in their work like Tim Sanders

We grow forward showing the world the glass is half full

Because Charlie tremendously reminded us that it doesn’t work unless you work it

So we work harder everyday to make our imagination a reality

Until our cup runeth over to all of humanity

We must always go forward with that Ziglar “Gosh” attitude

That Les Brown latitude that Jana Stanfield gratitude

For we are the fearless

And when it comes to the size of our hope we are peerless

So speakers of the world let’s indeed come together

And continue to show the world that if we believe it

The whole planet will see it

Deep down in your gut I know that you feel it

You feel that if we think it, we will be it

If we just…imagine

Obama! Please don’t make another race speech!

July 21, 2010

Your adminstration has already issued its apology and Ms. Sherod accepted. If this happened under President Clinton or Bush, the media outrage would have stopped at the Secretary of Agriculture. There were many racial incidents during their tenure and they spoke about by them by choice, not by force. Please don’t turn yourself into a Black mammy figure, always consoling the guilty people you work for. We as adults should be able to handle this with the example that you set in your administration. If we can’t then the problem is with us, not you. No more words need to come directly from you on this issue.

Ground Zero: No Muslims Allowed?

July 20, 2010

If America is going to be as good as its promise, a mosque should be built near Ground Zero. Some are even calling this a “monument to terrorism.” We cannot act as if it was only White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males who died during 911. There were Muslims, Christians, Jews, blacks, whites, males, females, Latinos, Asians, etc. In earlier times, we couldn’t have a Jewish synagogue in some places or a black church in other places. Granted it wasn’t Jews who attacked us on 911, but it wasn’t all Muslims either. Muslims are integrated in the American fabric. We let the Muslim extremists who attacked us on 911 win if we continue to demonstrate intolerance towards the Muslim community. With the current animosity towards this mosque, a mosque there would be blown up too. We can and should do better, especially if this mosque can serve as a tool to bridge cultural divides, as it professes to.

Selling out Shirley Sherrod

July 20, 2010

In an era of non-fact based journalism, we have sold out Ms. Sherrod. Because of our fear of talking about race, we used video editing to kill someone’s career, in this economy. The NAACP sold her out so it could look objective, conservatives edited video, and now the White House sold her out because it’s afraid to talk about race. This is shameful. Is the NAACP now going to protest for her to get her job back? What happened to hearing both sides? This is the state of america we are in and we should be ashamed.

South Africa: STAY African AFTER the World Cup!

July 6, 2010

While it is great to see South Africans showing love for the Ghanaian team, I hope that the love continues for fellow Africans after the Cup is over. I LOVE South Africa. I have been there 7 teams. While there is great beauty there, there is also animosity towards African immigrants that rivals the hatred towards certain immigrants here, maybe even exceeds it. There have been cases, for example, of tires being placed around immigrants and then having them be burned alive. I have Congolese cousins who live there now and some of their stories have also been grim. There are also many South Africans who don’t see themselves (until now) as belonging to the whole continent. I’ve heard some say that one day they wish to travel to Africa. Huh? Lastly, some of the economic polices of South Africa (as Africa’s largest economy) have served to undermine other countries in the region. It is for these reasons that I hope that this great spirit of the World Cup towards Ghana will spread towards other Africans after the Cup is done.

The good & the bad about Ghana in the World Cup

July 6, 2010

While I as a Congolese-American am rooting for Ghana, I am torn. Media reports I hear continually call Ghana the pride and hope of Africa. It’s almost like how black boxers like Joe Louis and Jack Johnson decades ago represented the entire race in the eyes of the media. While this may be true, we are serving to perpetuate the same stereotypes as Africa as a country and not a continent. If we are going to promote that mentality, let’s look at Ghana as a country whose economy has been growing faster than many around the globe. Let’s look at its political stability and other great things happening there. My hope is that this World Cup experience will serve as a way for many people with only stereotypical images of the African continent to open their minds to the diversity that does exist on the continent because, after all, it IS a continent. It’s not a country.

Thanks Mel Gibson!

July 6, 2010

As sad as Mel Gibson’s latest racial and misogynistic rant is, it should be a reminder to us that we cannot put all of our faith and hope into these stars because they ultimately will disappoint us and our kids who look up to them. From Micahael Richards to Tiger Woods, we see star after star fall from grace from things they do publicly in the Richards case or privately as in the Woods case. We have to remember that WE put them on this pedestal. Rather than making these people heroes who we don’t even know, we need to focus on celebrating our local heroes like parents, teachers, police officers, etc. These are people we see every day and have grown up with so (most of the time) we are knowledgeable of their success AND flaws. In a time where we are supposed to be in a recession, we are still spending tons of money to go see these stars and make movies like Avatar the #1 selling movie ever. We have to get our priorities in order. This situation with Gibson is a reminder of that.