Don’t Drink the GOP’s Brand of Government Kool-Aid

Every time there is a natural disaster who do we call for help? What about if some terrorist drop a bomb in New York City, other US land, or US presence via ship or whatever anywhere in the world? What happens if you need to regulate an industry from taking advantage of the common man and woman in the US Street? The point is that we look to our United States Government to solve those problems.

No one calls up Donald Trump, The Koch Brothers, Russ Limbaugh, or California’s Silicon Valley tech billionaires. In those instances, the only entity that can take on, address or solve those issues. And that is the United States Government. By the way, that is the same organization that wrote the rules of commerce those billionaires used to become wealthy.

As we enter this political election sphere leading up to the nomination and eventual election of a new president and members of Congress, we are confronted with the same concoction. I call it The GOP’s brand of Government Kool-Aid. You will probably recognize parts of the formula. The indigents are as follows,

Start with the base flavoring, one small package of ultra-conservative Sugar Substitute.

Add two tablespoons each of Super PAC Cash, Various Right-Wing Media, Erroneous Polls, Right-Wing Christians, Tea Party Rhetoric and Fox News. Make sure they are all lemon-lime flavored to give it that tangy taste.

Slice up a Secession Orange, only found in states like Texas, etc. to give it that States Rights wholesome flavoring.

Kool Aid - CopyPour in two gallons of plain water, top it off with a few ice cubes to make it a cool drink and serve at Media parties, election campaign offices, and to attendees at all political gatherings.

There should be a warning on the packaging of this concoction, but there isn’t. The warning would state; Beware of drinking this type Kool-Aid as it will destroy your compassion toward your neighbor, fellow US & world citizens and lead you to vote against your best interest.

Whatever speech uttered by one of their candidates always includes the two mantras of the Republican Party political platform, Govt. should not be in any private business affairs and States Rights overrule the US Govt. Rights. It’s a concoction they serve that works well all the time. A word of caution, avoid mixing any socialist ingredients otherwise you will ruin the batch.

I am saying this because in a little over fourteen months we are going to select another President, Vice President, members of the House of Representative, and Senators. Who we choose will have a definite impact on our country’s priorities. Will it be more governmental involvement where it should have oversight or no government involvement at all except to protect corporate interest? Will our president be a man or woman of the people or a corporate puppet? It’s just that simple.

Here is one very, very important note that you must remember. Whichever party is the majority in the House of Representatives and Senate runs that congressional body. That means they will run the agenda that their members vote on or bring up for a vote.

And the final piece of this important political process reviews to remember. The next president will have his pick of who will be the head of government agencies, i.e. The IRS, Social Security Department, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), etc. Those agencies act as the watchdog to protect you, the average citizen in the street. The question, which candidate do you think will serve your needs, or which one will serve corporate needs? Those are the issues in the next election.

And let’s not forget, in the case of a vacancy the president will make a recommendation as to who will sit on the Supreme Court. A reminder should be the 5-4 split on most decisions now favors the Republican Party. A show of hands…or think about it, who do you think the Republican Party represent? Don’t say what you heard on Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC. Who do you really think the Republican Party represent, given the actions they have taken in the House of Representatives over the last few years? How about the present Senate? Do you think they care about Black Lives Matter, Climate Control, Minimum Wage, Women’s or Equal Rights, or the Voting Rights Act? Look at what they have done, not what you hear on the news or your buddy tells you. How many of their sons and daughters have served in the military or fought in a war? They’ve had one theme going on over the last six years, Damn President Obama, the Antichrist and repeal Obama Care. Of which they have spent a lot of money telling you it’s a stupid law. They have no plan to replace it. And immigration, should I go on? Now do you see why I am asking you not to drink their brand of Government Kool-Aid?

For added measure, I am going to solicit help in articulating the following,


Citizens of the United States, it is clear, have a great many rights that give them freedoms all peoples hold dear: the freedom to think what they like; to voice those opinions, individually to their elected representatives or collectively in small or large assemblies; to worship as they choose or not to worship at all; to be safe from unreasonable searches of their persons, their homes, or their private papers. However, the theory of democratic government holds that along with these rights come responsibilities: to obey the laws; to pay legally imposed taxes; to serve on juries when called to do so; to be informed about issues and candidates; and to exercise the right to vote that has been won for so many through the toil and tears of their predecessors.

The responsibility that can make the most lasting difference, however, is getting involved in the political process. “Proponents of participatory democracy argue that increased citizen participation in community and workplace decision-making is important if people are to recognize their roles and responsibilities as citizens within the larger community,” says Craig Rimmerman, professor of political science, in his book The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service. “Community meetings, for example, afford citizens knowledge regarding other citizens’ needs. In a true participatory setting, citizens do not merely act as autonomous individuals pursuing their own interests, but instead, through a process of decision, debate, and compromise, they ultimately link their concerns with the needs of the community.”

Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator from Iowa, says that the kind of activists who fueled the earlier civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, and environmental movements are now focusing their energies “closer to home, organizing their neighbors to fight for such issues as better housing, fair taxation, lower utility rates, and the cleanup of toxic wastes…. Cutting across racial and class and geographical boundaries, these actions have shown millions of people that their common interests far outweigh their differences. [For all of them], the message of citizen action is the same: ‘Don’t get mad, don’t get frustrated, don’t give up. Organize and fight back.”


Some concerned American voters have chosen to stay involved by being in touch with their elected officials, in particular, the president and their senators and representatives. They have written letters, sent telegrams, made telephone calls, and gone in person to the official’s office, whether in Washington or in the home state or district. During the past few years, however, a new medium of communication has burst upon the scene and given voters extraordinary power — the power to learn what is going on in their world, to comment on those events, and to work to change the things they don’t like. This medium is the Internet, the World Wide Web, the Information Superhighway. Whatever it is called, it is changing politics in America, rapidly and irrevocably.

** Source: U.S. Department of State, entitled ‘Government of the People: The Role of the Citizen.’

So the next time, you are having a debate with your family, neighbor, or friends, realize who is responsible for the individuals that represent us in Washington today. Indirectly, we are the Government. They represent us, so it is up to us to determine if this is the type of Government we want.

I am not advocating overthrowing the US Government. In fact just the opposite; I am saying more of us need to get involved with Government. Voting, Community organizing with the help of the Internet, demonstrating, letter writing, and phone calls to our personal and other US districts representatives always lead to action by the same. No matter what you might hear from uninformed or self-promoting political analyst, these tactics do work. It is the number of people that are advocating a particular idea that implement change for the better and all involved.

For the record, I’m not a fan of people storming the stage of an event, interrupting the speaker and shouting “What are you doing about our people getting shot by the various policemen around the country.” Yes, they should be confronted wherever feasible but not at a major speaking engagement. All you are doing is giving the other side ammunition to say…”I told you those people are crazy and violent.” Let’s be smart and efficient about our protest. And yes target Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We need to hear more than a thirty second TV ad. And by all means, once they are elected, hold them accountable for their promises. We should press for fair-minded actions, not political party-speak that favors who donated to their campaign. The Constitution begins by stating “We the People, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, Insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, etc. etc.” You think they were trying to tell us something, give us a hint on how we as a society should behave?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

The Political Landscape for August… or This, That, and the Other.

Who’s not running for president may be the better question?

Why such a long title, because there is a large number of Republicans running for their party’s nomination for president. When John Kasich of Ohio jumped in, followed by the Virginia guy,  I believe this concluded the complete list of those individuals who the press thought might run. Wait until the debate starts, you talk about a seventeen ring circus. The one thing they all can agree on is that President Obama is the Anti-Christ. It’s fun listening to their rhetoric and squabbles. Jeb Bush has already stated his words were taken out of context two, three, four times? I’m sorry, I’ve lost count. Yeah, it’s funny all right until you start remembering the 2008 presidential campaign with John McCain and Sarah Palin race against the Chicago Community Organizer and his VP nominee. Remember the Republican gun-toting darling who could see Russian from her back yard or was it the front. One of her famous lines was “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” One may start to get chills running up your spine when you think what kind of country would this be had those two gems won. That’s when you realize that the crowd of 2015 is not so funny. They all have the same MO, dangerous rhetoric and idiotic plans for this country. No sense in listing them here, you heard the same things from that party since 2008.

My guess is they think they see Hillary Clinton’s blood in the water. The latest, more troubling news about classified information mixed in with private emails. They can almost taste the negative advertising dollars backers will be willing to contribute to their campaigns. I would agree, it has not been as good as kickoff as she envisioned the last few months, according to the polls. But never fear, barring an out and out monumental failure, she will be the Democratic Nominee. Then folks you can hold on to your hats. In fact, you may want to turn them upside down where you may be able to catch some of the millions of dollars that are going to be spent on the 2016 presidential election. As for the Republicans and their supporters, they are not through trying to buy this country. And the Democrats? Once again that is going to be interesting. How will they defend themselves, and Barack Obama record? And we the public where we vote or not (and you should), we are going to curse the day that the Supreme Court opened up the PAC money spigots. Just as we did during the last Presidential Election in 2012. We got tired of those commercials, robocalls, newscast, and a mailbox full of political ads.

This is so tragic, unreal and solvable.

How many more people have to die before police departments around the country realize the game has changed? What looked like a Hunting Season on people of color is no longer an untrained or psychotic law enforcer’s playground. Perpetrators should be charged, tried and sentenced just like the criminals they are.

There should be a timeline placed on the days a local PD (Police Dept.) has to report the early findings of these type deaths to the Attorney General’s office. All witnesses names, the tapes, and footage should be included in the package. In other words there need to be strict guidelines for forwarding info on these type cases.

We also need to be proactive about the role and conduct of Police Officers on the street. First the Federal Government should develop a Recurring Training Course for all Police Personnel, including county and state troopers, etc. I know you can’t eradicate racism during a few hours or fourteen days to a four-week course. However, you can develop a course that teaches policeman how to do their job on a day to day basis in almost any kind of situation. A stress test and psychological exam should also be a part of that course curriculum. Finally, it should be mandatory to any Police Department in the US of A who want assistance from the Federal Government. That would be access to any federal funds, armory, or technical assistance. Some wouldn’t sign up, but that same kind of information, as noted previously, could be demanded by the Attorney General on a case by case basis.

With that assistant federal inducement, you would be surprised at how many Local PD’s would sign up. No, I am not advocating outfitting a small Army similar to the armory Ferguson, MO and others have. Certain kind of armor should be reserved for the Natural Guard.

My uneducated guess is that 95.5% of all policemen want to finish their shift and return home to love ones. It’s just a job and a career and if they can help people while doing their job, they are better policemen and people for it. They are not all racist or burnt out from street duty. “To Protect and Serve” should be a national motto where all American citizens know that they are talking about them too.

No Child left behind Overhaul?

Let’s see, wasn’t that a G Dubya (Geo. Bush) program patterned after some module in Texas? Did you really expect it to work? Remember we had educators from across the country along with other experts in the field warning us that it was not going to work. Some went as far as calling it a sham and reuse. Most just felt it was a disservice to our youth. The only result would be the have local educational boards set up curriculums that would be geared toward passing the standardize high school test. And that is exactly what happened.

How do they plan on correcting or overhauling it? Is it more smoke and mirrors? The Senate version of the bill leaves it up to the States to select which schools are failing and what if anything should be done about it. Civil Rights groups fear a return to the local districts ignoring the needs of schools that are predominantly attended by children of color.   Five Democratic senators offered an amendment that would have corrected this flaw. The amendment failed to pass. The GOP House bill is even worse. I think we all can agree that this time we better get it right. American children of all colors are falling behind the international norm every day.

NBA Players doing the right thing

Much respect to the Players Awards Show on BET. It was so nice for its Producers/Directors to point out NBA Players who head or are associated with specific charity foundations give back to their community. If you noticed during the season and playoffs, short videos were shown pointing out various players doing just that. One should immediately realize they don’t really have to do that.

Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time stayed away from political issues as it was the plague. Being involved with his people concerns of poverty, lack of education, etc. was considered political issues during that time. In fact today, they are still used as code words by many white businessmen. Not sure where it came from but somebody in Mike’s camp felt it would jeopardize his marketability. They were overly cautious to a fault.

Stay tuned political observers    

By the way, can anybody name a Republican Politician that actually gives back to a disadvantaged community? We are not talking about giving to your church, Mitt Romney backers. Yet they have no problem in telling poor people to stand on their own two feet and get a job. All while voting to snatch programs that assist people to do just that. Nor do they want to fund an infrastructure jobs bill as proposed by President Obama. It makes you wonder how long the majority of the American voting public is going to tolerate politicians who actually work and vote against American concerns on behalf of lobbyist. We may find out during our National Election of 2016. Will it be more of the same or a vision and a political platform that actually serves everyone in the American Public?

NFL Season has officially begun     

I never thought I would agree with Commissioner Rodger Goodell on this Tom Brady-Patriots issue of deflated footballs. You have to admit, no matter which side you fall on, he knew or didn’t know; much less order the deflation of the game footballs, Goodell got this one right. Despite, the appearance of a buyout by owner Bob Kraft by submitting to the fine and loss of draft choices and their close friendship, Goodell made the call for the entire league. Can you believe they even floated the idea that one should not make Brady mad? This upholding of the suspension was right in line with the Commissioner previous behavior when his authority is challenged. His actions toward this and other matters involving protecting the NFL Shield has always been, I am commissioner and you (Bob Kraft-Tom Brady) are not. Next time maybe, the arrogant Brady will give the league’s investigators his cell phone, and anything else they want. I was almost certain that Goodell would reduce if not downright eliminate the punishment. Not because of any evidence supporting the QB’s innocence, but because the commissioner and Bob Kraft, the owner was tight.

And for the record, especially for the Bay Area sportswriters, every time there is a game on the 49ers schedule, I am positive the team will show up and play the game. And…they will play to win. Whether or not they win hasn’t been decided and will not be until the end of the games. Sportswriters, retired players, and analyst shut the hell up and let them play the games. Some players and coaches of last year’s team are no longer there. New coach, new team, new season, let’s all wait and see how it turns out. For me, if they look better at playing the game than they did last year, they might be on to something. Go Niners’.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Follow Hamp at!/HampTwo   

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Why Do We Rush To Get Everywhere?

Every now and then I remember the words of a class instructor from back in the day. I was attending a Semi-truck driving course in Plymouth Indiana. It was during the time when I was searching for any profession that would allow me to take care of my newly growing family as a married man. This class was one of a few I took hoping to land, as my father use to call them, “A good job.”

The instructor reminded us all as we prepared to get practice time behind the wheel of semi’s that particular day. He warned, “Remember this…there is an accident up the road. If you hurry, you can get in on it.”

Everybody is always in a hurry. They say, and I repeat, they say they don’t have time. Or the old standby, “Hurry up, I’m running late.” Most automatically add the word “again” to “I’m running late.” Do you notice we never seem to catch up? Frankly, I am not even sure if some of us would recognize what we were chasing if we caught up with it. If you are not careful, you may pass it moving so fast. You’ve heard the saying “Can’t see the Forrest for the trees.” And what is it? That, my friends, is the real question. What are we really chasing?

As youngsters, we were trying to get in all the playtime we could before our parents asked us to come into the house. We chased the opposite sex as teenagers. As young adults, sometimes our chase of that main squeeze became our number one priority with a career as number two. However the numbering, the chased took on a serious note. Because we were also chasing a standard of living, to live life the American way. You remember, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

And let’s say you, sooner rather than later, found them both and all that they encompass. With that being, a good mate, young children, a decent place to live, and a good paying job (or career) to support all those other things. Maybe you’ve been one of the fortunate who is a professional sports player or blessed as an entertainer. If not, and we are talking about today. Most households have both parents working to make ends meet. Whichever …you’ve finally made it. Now what, are you going to slow down, stop rushing all over the place? No…because now your nickname should be Mr. or Mrs. Paranoid. You remember how it use to be compared to how it is…and now your number one priority is to keep what you have. You have got to keep producing, rushing before somebody catch you and take some or all of those things away. Then there is the possibility that you may do something to lose one or more of the things that are currently making you happy. That is if you are happy. It’s difficult to be happy and paranoid at the same time.

There is safety and comfort in a family unit. At least it was back in the day. Today we are not spending as much time with each other as we have in the past. Teenagers are somewhat on their own whether one or both parents are at home. They tend to be self-absorbed with smartphones, tablets and talking with friends. Yet we, including them are still in-a-hurry and normally chasing something or the other. Mostly it’s ourselves because we’re constantly running out of time. Life does have an expiration date. We don’t know when but we do know it’s a certainty.

I remember prior to retirement I made punctuality part of my D&A. It was a fetish to get away from the term “Color People Time.” Now I find myself not being able to calculate how long it is going to take me to get to the freeway from my house. This, knowing the way that I drive, it’s not going to take me as long as some people to navigate my way through traffic. I might add that I am a defensive driver, not a reckless speeder. Defensive driving is another mindset I learn at the semi-truck driving school. Mind you, we are not talking about commute traffic. While in my car, I sometimes smile as I become impatient with a particular driver. In these cases, my mother would often yell at the same type driver, “I wish I’d known you own this street (or highway), I would not have come this way.”) So in retrospect, I am still in a hurry to make appointments on time.

The point is we don’t really have to hurry. If we take the time to give ourselves enough time to avoid being pressed for time. That would include timely appointments and the biggie…reaching a certain prosperous station in life. One thing that I have learned over the years is if there something for you…that God has in store. You will get it. It may not be in the time frame that you had in mind, but it will be there waiting for you whenever you get there. Our Father in heaven is not going to give someone else your blessing. He does not work that way.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a religious fanatic, or someone who can quote the Bible from start to the finish. Many, who’ve read my articles, know how I’ve described how the Catholic practices and beliefs had me questioning God Almighty as a teenager attending St. Benedict de Moor. It took me a long while, but I have reconciled my faith in Jesus Christ and all that he embodied. Although, as an acquaintance of mine said the other day, “I’m not quite there yet.” This was his answer to an unsolicited question of did he feel as forgiving as Christ was and is. That would be my answer too. For this articles view, I am simply stating that even if you do not believe in Christ. And you choose to look at it another way. The fact is, life will provide what you have coming and you don’t have to rush to get it. That is the exact point of this article.

No matter, how fast we attained certain things like food, shelter, a good mate, fame and a workable annual income that supports you and yours. After securing all those needs and other things that come with that, most will not be satisfied. I will just state here, Google or Bing Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs.” Study his pyramid and think about life.

You simply cannot rush to success. It has to come to you. You can and should prepare, by continuing to put in the work to handle it once received. Oh, a few might get it early in life and lose it just as quickly. And…success for some might mean an entirely different thing to others. You know the hashtag, “It’s complicated.”

So the advice here is to take your time. Save yourself a lot of stress, wear and tear on you and your family’s nerves. Whatever is for you will come, sooner or later, to you. Just make sure you are aware enough to recognize it, especially those progressive steps. Sometimes it looks like we are going backward instead of forward but that is not true. No matter whom we are, we learn something new every day. That alone is progress because you are better today than you were yesterday. You have to take advantage of the circumstances leading up to your blessing. And just as important, live life one day at a time, one moment at a time and you will find yourself enjoying it more if you slow it down. I’m just saying…

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at!/HampTwo   

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Mount Olive of Bradley County AR

I am fascinated by our people who suffered the humiliation of Slavery and subsequently the Jim Crow era of the South. I have a profound, deep respect for people who were not only able to survive but thrive while raising a family.  Personally, my tolerance for pain is very low and my patience with racist people? Well, let’s not even go there.  We will just say, there are days when I feel diplomatic and somewhat forgiven. And then there are days, when I am not feeling it, don’t have time for it, and will rise up on a fool if they don’t get out of my face.

As I write this article, I remember the times I would stop by my grandmother’s apartment. I was in my twenties, at a time when I was hurrying to get somewhere but really didn’t know where I was going. Grandma Gracie lived by herself in a little ground floor studio apartment around seventeenth and Vliet Street in Milwaukee. That had to be around 1965 or 1966. I always liked to stop by and have lunch, eat one of her teacakes while visiting with her. Sometimes I would bring her something, a packaged pastry or candy bar from the corner store. She liked the company but was always in grandmother mode. “Junior, you moving too fast…boy why you in such a hurry?” she’d ask. “Have you found you, somebody, to settle down with?” “Naw mama…but I am having a ball looking,” I would respectfully answer in the street lingo of the times. She would just look at me, shake her head and smile. “That’s all right, you’ll learn someday.”

We would sit there and chat about this, that and the other. She would ask about daddy and the rest of the family. I would report that all was well. She would tell me stories of how she had to tell the doctors at Milwaukee Country General Hospital “what is what” about her health. “I told him, you better stop poking me so hard otherwise Um gonna have to cut you.” “Grandma you didn’t pull your knife on the doctor again did you,” I’d ask while chewing my food. “Naw, but that old fool knows, he better not mess with me.”  “I am sure after that time you chased him down the hall, they all know you,” I would say the both of us laughing about that particular incident. After a couple of hours, I would excuse myself, telling her I’d see her no later than next week and hurriedly leave after getting a hug and kiss. More than likely, I was headed for my favorite hang out at the time, Loves Hideaway Bar. It was only about four blocks up the way.

While walking I would laugh at some of the escapades Grandma had caused, been in, around or ended. She, like a lot of her peers from Bradley County Arkansas, was a woman who didn’t take any stuff from anybody of any color. Later on in my life while researching the book I wrote based on her life I learned of the hardships our people had to endure living in Jim Crows South. And that is when the reality of it all hit me.

For those who are still with us, we ought to kneel down, wash and massage their tired feet.  They survived knight riders and other racist terrorism. Or at the very least, keep in mind the humiliation, mental and physical pain they endured as we look into their tired old eyes. Try to imagine some of the things they have seen and heard in Jim Crows south during their lifetime. Young white boys that had too many beers, looking for a darkie to tease, abuse, and push around. I’ve have heard a few black folk make statements like, “Don’t start bringing up those days. It’s over and I am glad I don’t want to have to deal with it.” I just shake my head and say, those people are the reason we are here. We are the reason they took all of those insults, beatings, and sometimes hangings. So, a little respect for those who came before us is in order…please.

You want to know who you are.  Look across the dinner table at your mother or father. Talk to your grandparents if you are lucky enough to have them around. Ask your older uncles or aunts what it was like living in Bradley County when they were barefoot children. They didn’t have a television, radio, or even electricity. The comforts of hot running water or indoor bathroom facilities were not part of their house.

How about the right to vote? Or be educated with the most current educational tools, or even work for a fair labor rate?  When you get a chance, look up the word sharecropping on the internet. Read all about the land owner’s requirements and how they tried to bind sharecroppers to a lifestyle of servitude. Look up and read books about the great migration of the Negro race from the south. Think about reasons why, reasons other than the primary one of searching for a better life. You will realize our folks decided that living in the south was like a dead end job at the time.

In fact go back to pre-Civil War days. Yes slavery, that time that some of us would like to erase from our consciousness and maybe our history. Look at that famous picture; it’s in all the documentation, on the internet, books, and films. They show you a not too old black man with his back to the photographer. He has so many whipping scars on his back it looks like a design of some sort until you realize what the whip has done to this man’s skin. Have I got your attention yet?

It places the importance of such places as Mount Olive in perspective. Imagine if the ground, trees and foliage could talk, what stories it could tell you about your people. Think of the contradictions between how white folks worshiped, calling themselves christens, all while wholeheartedly supporting slavery of black people. An example of that solid Southern support can be found in the following Civil War era 16” x 21” propaganda poster. It begins by announcing in a bold headline…

“SOUTHERN DEMOCRACY! The object of the Southern Rebellion and its Northern allies is to render Slavery universal. Under the names of Democracy, they seek to deprive labor of all its rights. Read what the Leaders say: The theory of free labor is a delusion. Slavery is the natural and normal condition of the laboring man, WHITE or BLACK. –De Bow’s Southern Review. The enslavement of the laborer is right in itself, and does not depend upon difference of completion. -Richmond Enquires….Make the laboring man a slave, and he would be far better off.- Fitzhugh’s Sociology…Thus the “Democrats,” North and South pronounce free society a failure, and feel labor a curse. Slavery is a blessing to be extended over all men who labor whether black or White.”

This idea came from and was no doubt written by the cream of high society. One thing is clear, they don’t really care who gets the work done as long as it gets done and garners them all the profit and a bare minimum amount of expense. After reading this poster, I bet some poor white people was able to see the writing on the wall, while suddenly realizing that these planters didn’t really give a damn about them either. A sobering thought for whites who thought they were just as special as the masters and mistresses.  Nevertheless, and by the grace of God, the Civil War ended with the Union intact and the end of slavery as they knew it.

It was a long and hard road for those who were once slaves to find their way in this new environment.  Amidst this chaos sprouted, one of many in the South, a community of black folks. It is noted that Mount Olive began as a safe haven for black land owners. Land as low as fifty cents per acre attracted homesteaders from surrounding states at the time. These settlers did as white settlers around the country. They built a community with entities that communities needed to function, such as a church, school and stores that sold or barter goods and services. Some of which they didn’t have or couldn’t grow. Every month or so, such items were brought into the area by steamboat on the Saline River. And therefore by the grace of God, and their belief in the same, they acted as the unincorporated community they were by raising families.

They built log cabins for housing. Women ‘wore homespun dresses, knitting their socks and stockings.’ Their first church was called Camp Ground. Its seats were made from split logs.  By 1883, they bought a little church that was near the center of the community, naming it Mt. Olive.

The Mount Olive community was the benefit of funding from a favorite project of philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. His School Fund was established to build schools for the specific education of black folks.  In 1927, the Mt. Olive Rosenwald School, located on Bradley Road 45 was built. The wood frame building, one of five such schools built in Bradley County during that era, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2004.

That is why they have these Homecomings in the South. It’s like walking on hallowed ground that once supported our ancestors.  You get to see and feel the hot sun they endured during field duty.  There is nothing like visiting these type events that are so connected to our great grandparents and other relatives from that era. Call Hostess/Host Princella & MacArthur Davis at 870-226-7011 for details.

Let us embrace how our ancestors spoke, conducted business, lived their lives with morality, cooperation among other members of their community. We should remind the world that those people who many categorized as simple, uneducated by societal design and thought to be nothing but chattel was able to make away for us to be here. Let us show the world who we are and where we came from. What if the world doesn’t care? Oh well, it does not really matter because it’s not the world that we wish to honor. It is those millions of black folks brought to this land in chains and their offspring and thus…ourselves.  It’s the culture borne out of poverty and a lifestyle of survival and the necessity to cope with life. It is the way we sing, dance, eat, dress, and yes even pray and forgive that we are honoring today. For with the events happening in the way it did, we are a stronger people for it. We may be forgiving of the past, yet we are also cognizant of the future.  As a people, we embrace it with open arms. It is great to be black and alive.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Real Talk for July 4, 2015

(Here is a conversation I can imagine having with the President of the United States and First Lady Michelle Obama. They just seem to be real people compared to some of the stiffs we have had in the White House. This picture just confirms what I suspect that they are just warm and friendly people -CHII)

What do I mean by real people or real talk? I am referring to people who are genuine and are opposite of phony. They are people with whom you can have a conversation void of pretense.

Most people, especially politicians, try to show their social side, especially during an election cycle. You’ve seen their publicity film on the national news, eating a hamburger, slice of pizza or hotdog with the common folk at the neighborhood eatery. After winning the election, they retreat back into that congressional twilight zone. They only reappear when they are putting out spin stories for the press to feed to the public. You watch their lips moving, hear them speaking, absorb the words coming from their mouth and wonder if they think you and the American Public are really that stupid. You really can’t take that stuff personally because you know their words are aimed at a certain voting segment in this country. Please keep that in mind as we listen to the run up to the 2016 national election.

Yet, every now and then I see something that inspires me. Something that let me knows there are still politicians out there that show real emotion at the drop of a hat. This picture of Barack and Michelle is one such instance. This picture is so real; it makes me want to meet them and have a face to face conversation.

Don’t they look and act like people you can walk up to and say…”Hey, Barack…let me holler at you a minute. Oh yeah, Michelle, wow, I am so glad to meet you two in person. Please… this is my wife, Sandy Candy. Oh, let me stop, her name is really Sandra. Can we all sit-down and have a cup of coffee, a glass or wine or something?  Since I don’t drink coffee, I will take a diet Pepsi if you got one…or lemonade whichever is convenient. Oh Wow!  This White House is really amazing. The historic significance of it all is just…well, there are no words.”

I am so glad to see you two in person. Do you play whiz or spades? I mean I don’t want to seem impetuous but what’s happening Barack? How you been? You hanging in there huh? Yeah, I know what you mean. We all are just a couple of paychecks away from poverty. I heard you just won a couple of rounds at the Supreme Court, Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act as it’s really called. And that Same Sex Marriage ruling, man…Republicans keep thinking you are dead and buried and you keep rising like the Lazarus Man.” (A big round of laughter from everybody, especially the president)  Right, but…, President Obama starts to say. “Yeah I know, oh I’m sorry I interrupted, you lost one with that EPA thing but hey. It is a conservative court. What’s that baby? I am not going to ask her if she has extensions. Besides I think that is her natural hair. Oh, Michelle, you say it is your natural hair. See I told you, Sandra.”

“Speaking of hair, man…I remember when you didn’t have a gray hair on your head. It comes with the job, you say. I heard that…”

Anyway, I bet both of you are thinking about what you are going to do in January of 2017. From all I’ve heard, Michelle, you can hardly wait. No…I am not rude baby, I’m just telling like it is. These are our new friends. They are real people. They respect and respond to an honest conversation. What’s that…oh, thanks Barack for having my back. I mean that…for this conversation and all the things you have done for all Americans.

“What’s that baby, wow, you are right. Barack, Michelle I am so sorry, I have just dominated this conversation. After all, we just met you as we were touring this magnificent White House. I am sure you are busy. Come on baby, let’s move on and let them get on with their schedule. So… nice to have met you two, here is my business card. Next time either of you is in San Francisco, call me. We’re just across the Bay Bridge in Pittsburg. Stop on by and we can have lunch and another real conversation. We will probably throw something on the grill. Hey, don’t worry about it, we’re originally from Milwaukee so we know what you ‘all Chicago folks like. We are out…call me you hear.”

I’ve just given you a taste of my wild imagination, but the point should not be lost. Barack and Michelle Obama are not your normal run or the mill people or politicians. Besides the fact that are really nice people.  Historians are going to point out the president’s blunders, and missteps compared to his accomplishments. They are going to write about how those accomplishments were gained despite the opposition. In my view, there has never been a president (except Abraham Lincoln) that had to deal with so much opposition, some of which came from his own party. Remember the conservative senate democrats that opposed Affordable Health Care just before its initial passage in the Senate? Think about the money spent to avoid this man reelection in 2008. Every day in the past since that election up through today, no matter what he does, it was not the right thing to do according to Fox News analyst and all Republicans. He is the only American president where I have ever seen placards (Tea Party Rallies, etc.) with him pictured as Adolf Hitler, mustache and all in full Nazi uniform. Yet you never heard a peep about it from the national media.

One day our history books are going to show that President Barack Obama was one of the most accomplished presidents this country has ever seen. Historians are already comparing his record with Frankly D Roosevelt. Just for a quick reference, FDR brought this country back from the Great Depression and through World War II.

It brings to mind a favorite cartoon of mine from the Cagle Post and Cartoons. It depicted George Bush, with cowboy hat and on horseback. He rode off into the sunset. His horse had reared up in a Lone Ranger-Hi-Ho Silver styled salute with him smiling and waving his hat while saying goodbye.  The picture went on to depict little trails of horse manure left behind with each name designated pile. Words like Bail-out, Deficit, Economic Crisis, Iraq War, Housing Crash, Unemployment, were written on each pile. And in the background you see this figure of newly elected President Obama with a broom and pulling a garbage can as he scoops up each pile. It is an obvious reference to cleaning up the crap G Dubya left behind. The caption read something like “They always leave a mess for us to clean up.”

I thought it was priceless along with the enormity of issues that needed to be addressed in 2009 and beyond. We can look back at that on this July 4th, of 2015 weekend and say, a job well done Mr. President. People can always said, he didn’t do enough for black people, or he didn’t do this or that. You know, the old Monday morning quarterbacking routine. The one thing no one can deny is that he has and continues to make real progress in how we as people and politicians address problems. All in all, he has made a difference where John McCain and Mitt Romney would not have had they been elected.  As a country, we are better off with President Obama in office. Historians will bear that out in the history books. So on this holiday let’s give credit where credit is long overdue. And above all, let’s not forget our United States of America troops and their families’ sacrifices from the War of Independence, the Civil War through the undeclared skirmishes’ of today. They are the reason we can sit and enjoy whatever degree of freedom you think you have in this county.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment



Forming Co-operatives is a Smart Business Decision

The right kind of Co-op is a boost in spending power, product and inventory management for the small Entrepreneur. Wikipedia defines a Co-op as “an autonomous association of people who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit.”    The operative word is cooperative. Further, it means that a group of individuals has decided to band together because it makes them stronger in some manner than trying to go it alone.

Back in the day, my wife and I was the owner-manager of a Gift and Record Shop. We got lucky enough to be located next door to a pizza restaurant. During one of the hot and muggy summer weekends, say like…Thursday nights through Sunday night, my eyes were opened. After the bars had closed, the parking lot filled up with a lot of couples, or people stopping to get food before turning in for the evening. I extended my hours to accommodate this crowd. Now I was getting the spinoff from that jolly and enthusiastic crowd who’d had a few drinks and noticed that we were still open too. After eating or ordering a pizza to go, they would stop in buy a record or some pretty little gift to impress their date and head off into the night, smiling from ear to ear. Oh, don’t be coy…you know what would come next between those couples.

That particular summer saw a big threat to the mom and pop record stores. They were being chased out of business by the large record store chains. Now that I had a good customer base, I thought I would try to talk to some of the other small shop owners into forming a co-op of sorts to buy records directly from the large record labels.

Five of us met in the shop of another record store after business hours. We will call him Jim for this article. I presented my plan to the group. It fell flat on its face. There was no debate; the plan was no good, according to Jim, the oldest shop owner in the group. Even though we all were currently getting our records from the same downtown wholesaler (let’s call him Bossman), paying the same price regardless of the quantity, we could not strike up a deal.

I’d already spoke to a large chain out of Chicago that was willing to sell us records at an average savings of fifty to seventy-five cent less than we were currently paying Boss man. And, depending upon the size of the record (45 single or 33.3 LP), artist, and label, some purchases were returnable if we didn’t sell them over a certain period of time. It was a sweetheart of an offer, but we had to buy in certain quantiles to get the deal. It was an ideal reason for forming a co-op.

The co-op deal fell through not because it didn’t make sense, but because of the old “who died and made you the big chief” syndrome. It was quickly noted that I was the youngest of the group. Jim, approaching his tenth year of business, did not see any value in the proposal. He and one other guy, who I later learned was a friend of his, didn’t want to anger Boss man. I never could find a way to validate Jim’s wholesale price. I suspect he had a different kind of deal. His shop was smaller in size, as opposed to others, only sold records. Although he said, we all were paying the same price. I’d already been told that every business owner paid the same prices by Bossman. He also gave me a printed wholesale price sheet.

The Bossman supplied almost all of Milwaukee Record stores, white, black, Hispanic or whoever bought records wholesale. He even shipped to the suburbs. The biggest problem I and others had was that Bossman would put his LP’s & 45 on sale for the same price he sold them wholesale. He was not trying to help you out in any shape of form. If you bought 4, 5 or ten copies of a record, no matter the format, you owned it. No returns unless it was discovered the records was scratched. So you either had to sell the record at some price, usually at a loss if it was old or eat the cost and get rid of it any way you wanted. Either way, Bossman had been paid his price and was also selling the new release at the same sale price he asked us for at wholesale. Now day’s people are savvier about their industry than we were at the time.

Today allows for a much more level playing field. There still may not be much profit margin between wholesale prices versus a retail price, especially for small stores. Product cost is always going to be the number one concern of the consumer, thus the retailer. Yet, now I believe an invaluable difference is how you market your product, the quality of the same and your shops customer care and service. You hear certain entrepreneurs talk about it all the time. After you have settled on a competitive price for your goods and product, you have got to produce an environment in which to offer the same.

As people, we always remember how we are treated, was it a pleasant experienced at say…a dentist office? I have a local dentist I’ve used since moving to Pittsburg in 1996. He was recommended to us by my wife’s co-worker. I was nervous on my first visit to his small office. Normally I am one of those people who warn (which I did) the dentist before I sat down. “Don’t start anything and there won’t be nothing.  Doc, I cannot stand pain so…watch it.” He just smiled, while reassuring me that I was in good hands.

First of all, you sit in his dentist chair, serenaded by soft jazz music. The pain you ask, I don’t remember. I do remember the precision he showed as he went about his work.  He shook my jaw and gave me a shot to numb the area he needed to drill and fill. I never lost consciousness as he carried on a conversation with me trying to contribute with my mouth wide open. My ears were also fixed on the sounds emitting from his office speakers. Suddenly it was over; he was telling me he will see me in six months. I got in the car and could not wait to tell my wife what a wonderful experience I had at this dentist office.

I know, this might be an extreme example, but you can equate this experience with any profession. Look at today’s restaurants, displays in the mall windows, on the department store’s floor. They don’t only make attractive displays for holidays. You walk in one of the malls quaint shops or a high-end jewelry store, the temperature’s just right and they have impeccable display lighting. The product is laying there as if it’s saying “Hi there, take me home with you.” Not trying to shock your system while you daydream but now think of WalMart. Do you see the difference?

As a small entrepreneur, there are many subtle changes you can make to create atmosphere.  And there is no doubt you can and should create it, especially if you want staying power. That goes for websites, as well as brick and mortar stores.

Use your business associates to help you improve, buy in quantity or bounce ideas off them while networking. If you do not remember anything else about this article, remember this…pick those business associates, and people who you interact with on a daily basis very carefully. The one mantra one continually hears when attending “Success” seminars in any field, including personal growth, is to choose your associates and friends wisely. The difference between me back in the day and now, is I do not waste time interacting with people who have no plan or in the extreme case really have no clue. I am not mean or anti-social. I love people, but I know some type of people is not good for my state of well-being. So I just avoid them as much as possible. It’s for personal and business reasons.  I can now report that I have a great group of people that I interact with on a continuous basis. They all bring something to the table as I hope I do the same for them. People who have your type of goals and aspirations are not hard to find these days. You just have to reach out and network with all kind of people. This attitude is also the reason I love communicating that fact to all of you via my articles and books.

No matter what anyone says, there is still room in the retail and even services marketplace for creativity and cooperation. Don’t, believe me, sat down in a quite area and turn on your laptop or tablet. Disregard the news headlines on the portals; listen to your electronic friend talking to you. It’s saying, “Where we going today Boss? What is it you want to know? What can I do for you?”  Let your creativity flow and you will find the answers to your questions are not that far away after all.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at!/HampTwo   

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Get my latest book, a collection of my Blogs/Articles from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details.

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Prelude and In Honor of My Father

Following is a rewrite of a blog I wrote back in 2009, republished in 2013 in honor of Father’s Day. It is included in my latest book entitled “The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp.” More importantly, it was an inspiration for my next book, which is about the life and times of my father. Look for its release during this September/October timeframe. For this Father’s Day, allow me to repost an updated version of “In My Fathers Honor.” A faded but priceless picture from mid to late fifties. Left to right (My stepsister Johnny Mae, me, my stepmother Rosalie, baby sister, Delois Ann, and the man himself, Codis Hampton.) 

Those who know me, often hear me talk about my father in glowing terms. Many of my “old school” crowd has or had fathers with attitudes in the same mode. He worked hard and played hard. He was so full of, yet simply enjoyed life. He said what he meant and meant what he said, and did not like repeating himself. When I was a young lad, there were numerous teachable moments. If he gave us the warning to get our act together and we did not hear or misunderstood him. His famous words were “You heard what I said.” At that point, we better figure it out because if we made that same mistake that brought on his warning in the first place? Well, let’s just say that Papa did not take no stuff.

It took my hard head years to figure out that he was truly doing these things for my benefit. Another one of his favorite sayings was “I’ve been down the same road you are traveling.” While, in my teenage, and smart mouth years, I would reply, “But daddy, the roads have been paved, there are new things to see and conquer.” It was an obvious reference to him growing up in the South. Now, I laugh when I think about it. Because, he would just look at my dumb butt and say “Keep on living son, keep on living.”

Codis Hampton worked for the City of Milwaukee for twenty-eight years and retired (2-17-1985) as a trash collector. He was one of the men that walked behind the truck, emptying neighborhood houses trash receptacle. Today it is called recycling. Often, he would bring home items people threw away and repair them. We would use it, or he would sell it for extra spending cash. At times, he would have a basement full of old fans, toys, radios, and other small appliances. The bounty was a bonus for him working the wealthy side of Milwaukee. Some of our neighborhood kids teased me because they would not differentiate between a trash and garbage collector. I just laughed, for my family of small means, it was like shopping. “What you get today, daddy?” He once told me they offered him the truck driving position at one time.  He turned it down. A position change would interfere with his hustle.

In the wintertime, it almost took him twenty minutes to get out of his clothes.  He would have so many layers on to keep away the hawk. Yeah, Milwaukee, we knew “The Hawk” (cold weather) up close and personal. His message to his kids, get an education, and you will land a “good job”. He, like all parents, wanted his kids to be better than their parents. He probably never knew, but I always felt being a better man than my father would be a tough job. He was just that unique in my eyes.

Daddy grew up in Banks Arkansas. He moved his family (me and my mother) to Milwaukee when I was four months old. Being from Arkansas, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and all the country stuff. We went fishing almost every weekend of the summers. During our teenage years, my stepsister and I didn’t want to go. We wanted to hang out with friends. Eventually, they trusted us to stay home. Did that mean party time in the house? Not hardly, because if we had brought a bunch of kids to the house while they were fishing, and they found out about it. We would have had to leave town. Did I say Papa did not take no stuff? Although, he was the most loving and caring man you would ever want to meet.

My father was soft spoken, a man of few words. That is until he had his weekend drink. Imagine having a conversation with him on the front porch of a bright summer day. The next door neighbor might play a James Brown record. He hears the music. Daddy would stop the conversation, yell “That’s my record or jam”, and break off into one of his dance routines. That could be any record, R&B, Blues, or even Country Western, anywhere, or any time he was in a playful mood. He just had to dance and dance he did. I’ve got a picture of my father in a hat, dress shirt and pleated dress slacks with a dirty spot on one knee. That’s right; invariably he would do a half split or just go down on his knees and slowly gyrate back up never missing a beat.

Just as it was in a lot of households in those days (late fifties, early sixties), daddy did not want his wife working, so my stepmother was a housewife. She was responsible for me, my stepsister, and after their birth, my younger half-sister and brother. I was the oldest. I thought we were poor, according to the standards of some of the neighborhood kids. Sometimes Santa Clause skipped our house altogether. We always had a Xmas tree, decorations, and visits from family and friends. Gifts were items of need, like school clothes and new shoes. Or in my case those doggone black ankle high “Brogan Boots.” They had a metal tap plate on the front and a metal horseshoe-like plate for the heel. They also had a steel toe. They were similar to today’s safety shoes for hazardous workplaces.  One could not tear up that boot with a blow torch. At times, I used everything but, trying to destroy those boots. I think one pair would last something like two years. For maintenance, all I had to do was polish them.  After which they would look…polished.  I was so glad when I turned thirteen. I did not have to wear them anymore.

We never went a day without food or a hot meal from my stepmother. Never went a day without clean and freshly iron clothes. We never came home to a nasty house unless there was a gathering culminating with them playing cards and drinking on a Friday or Saturday. Either way, Mama Rosalie had that house spic and span by the next day. Little doilies placed on the arm of the couch. Pillows smartly placed where they should be, end and cocktail table shining with furniture polish, clean ashtrays for company. She would put out one or two ashtrays that could be used by the guest. We had ashtrays for show that were never used. And cook, she is the only woman I’ve ever known that could make beans, neck bones and cornbread taste like a Rib- eye steak dinner, with all your favorite side dishes. She was also the first lady I called my friend. That was partly because she liked to talk and would try to answer my questions.  All we had to do was to keep our bedrooms clean. In our house, everything had a place and everything was in place.

It was not only my house. Most neighbors and family members I knew kept a clean house and somehow dust free. Now, I often wonder where all this dust was when I was a kid. Oh, there were the exceptions and everybody in the neighborhood knew the identity of that family. Why? The entire neighborhood talked about them.

I was living the American Dream at home and did not even know it. I learned more about being a man, being part of a family and life itself from watching my dad live his life. As previously stated, the men back then did not talk a lot. There were times I wanted him to explain things to me. Now that I look back on it and being as inquisitive as I am, he probably felt like he did not have the time to explain every little thing in long detail to me. I practically ran the nuns crazy at St. Benedict (Grade and later, Jr high school) asking them about God and racial relations.

All in all, he was a great dad. I would not have had him behave in any other way. He taught me by words and deeds. After moving my family out west, (1978), I would always call him, a couple of uncles, cousins, and my mother. Living a Long distance from family, each of you not so sure when you will see each other again, has a tendency to eliminate all taboo subjects. Conversations were meaningful, heartfelt, and simply enjoyable.  These were people who I missed talking too, seeing or simply being in their presence. I learned so much more about them and from them during those conversations than I ever knew.

Today, many of them have passed on; I will never again talk to them on this earth.  My father died of a stroke (January 14, 1988), twenty days before his 63rd birthday. I knew at the time how important it was for me to have had those memorable conversations with him. Especially… those that were between a once knuckled-headed son and a very understanding father. You think you and your homies are close, try family. That is a real bond of blood for life and eternity.

So today, or on his special day, if you have the opportunity to look into your father’s eyes, smile at him.  He probably is not really looking for flowers, candy, or some other small gift from you this Father’s Day. That’s not the way daddy’s roll. You might just catch him staring at you. Know that he stares because he is looking at his finished product, so to speak. You, just happen to be the one great legacy or gift he gave this world. He looks at you knowing that in you, he has placed in this world another part of himself. The remainder of his dreams and aspirations are in you. Oh, he won’t say it because he doesn’t want to put a large burden on you. But you can bet your last bottom dollar, he wants you to carry on. That is the way daddy’s roll.

On a personal note, I’m having so much fun reminiscing while working on daddy’s book. It’s a pleasure to write about the man for whom I give the credit (besides God) for making me into the man I am today. I just wish you all had met him. You would have remembered him because he was the kind of individual that left a lasting impression. RIP, I love and miss you, Daddy.    

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at

Get my latest book, a collection of my blogs from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details.

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

European Tourist, Black Churches and Race

A few weeks ago a friend and business colleague of mine posted pictures on his Facebook site of European tourist standing in line to enter black churches. My colleague was enjoying a vacation in New York while sending back photos of interest. The churches, doubling as tourist attractions are located in New York City (NYC). My mind, being what it is, first thought was…this a wonderful idea. As long as church members didn’t mind, why not accommodate the visitors?

Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who had not heard of this practice. By the time I saw his post, my vacationing friend had dozens of comments. They ranged from surprised, befuddlement, and suspicion with most in agreement to let the visitors see and learn.

It immediately sent me into research mode. Well…how long has this been going on you ask? If you are not familiar or heard of the practice, it seems to have caught a few national journalist attentions in 2012. The actual practice began in early 1980 and has become part of NYC Tour Company’s itinerary. Some of which are selling tickets at charges up to $55 per person, and providing most participating churches a cut of the profit. Plus you can be sure each church goes through their donation process to take advantage of all these visitors.  Naturally it brings about several questions, problems, and issues. What are the pros and cons? What do the church members think? How about the Pastor and Deacons? What do they think about this practice? Do the financial gains outweigh members or church officials concerns? Oh yes…there is that word again, finance. In other words is everybody concerned getting their fair share of the cash flow?

After taking a look at the NYC European tourist history and current practice, for me, there is a deeper issue. It is centered on how we as a people are portrayed in today’s media. Better yet, how much time should we give in an attempt to balance out the tendency of our white owned-managed national and local media? Those tendencies are targeted to an overwhelming majority of white readers or electronic viewers.  It reminding me of another recent headline, that went something like, is it the black folks responsibility to educate white people about race issues?

And…taking into account the past Memorial Day, it brought back another old memory for me. Back in the sixties, I took a Greyhound bus ride home from a US Army post (Fort Carson, Colorado). I could have taken a plane, but the bus ride wasn’t a long trip to Milwaukee. I was just getting out of basic training and wanted to save a little bit more spending money.  After all, I was looking forward to a little R&R with assorted partying on the side.

Anybody who has been on a bus knows that it stopped at every little nook and cranny town and corner bus terminal on its way to Chicago ending up in Milwaukee. One of our stops was in some little godforsaken spot south of the boonies. I got out and went into the little bit larger than a bathroom sized terminal to get a candy bar. We had already been told by the bus driver that lunch could be bought further on up the road.

The moment I walked into the little outlet, all eyes were on me including somebody’s dog that started barking. Since I was still a little groggy from just waking up, it finally dawns on me what was going on. I was a dark black man in a full US Army dress uniform, shining metal coat buttons, and spit-shined shoes. Keeping in mind I was also the only black person on the bus and certainly in the little bus stop.

As I made my way to the vending machine, one little blond hair girl was staring so long, I could actually see the fear in her eyes. I walked forward toward the machine which was to the right of the ticket window. She began to back up, feeling for her mother’s leg who was transacting business at the ticket agent’s window.  Her eyes were wide and fixed on me. I smiled and waved to no avail. For a second, she reacted in kind but evidently thought better of it and decided to take the cautious route. The girl let out a low whimper and turned to grab onto her mother’s leg. The mother was temporarily startled by her daughters’ action. With an annoyed facial expression, while attempting to reassure her daughter, the mother turned around to see what or who caused such a reaction. By then I must have been about six feet away from them. She placed her arm around her daughter and called out her name advising the youngster to “settle down and be quiet.”  Looking directly at me, she immediately understood what had almost set off her little girl. She smiled at me and admonished her daughter telling her “that soldier is not going to bother you.” Still fondling her daughters head pressed against her leg she returned to transacting her business with the ticket agent. I bought three candy bars and gave the little girl one of them. Her mother immediately took the candy out of her daughter’s hand and saying “you can have this later.” She nodded to me with a smile and turned back to taking care of her ticket window transaction.

As I settled in my seat, I remember thinking, I was probably the first black person that little girl had ever seen up close and personal. That was why I made the conscious effort of offering her the candy bar. I wanted to reassure her, as did her mother, there was nothing to fear from me.

Back in the early sixties while traveling as a soldier, there were similar incidents. Believe it or not, most odd reactions and staring came from adults rather than kids. At the time, a soldier must be in a full dress uniform when traveling to get a servicemen ticket rate. My family use to tease me. They wondered why the only time they saw me in uniform was when I arrived or was leaving home. I avoided wearing it during my R&R times because…sooner or later somebody in the hood would always want to challenge a uniformed soldier to a fist-fight. Sometimes all they needed was to hear you were in the military. They always wanted to test your toughness. I don’t know, I guess it was just a street thing.

As for the stares and the little girls’ reaction, remember this was the early sixties. Besides Amos and Andy, several appearances by Nat King Cole or Sammy Davis Jr. on the Ed Sullivan Show, blacks on TV were null and void. Where else would white folks come in contact with black people? Not in those small towns and rural areas.

Too much you say. Again, why should we act as educators on race issues? I say, because like it or not, we are ambassadors for our race when we are out and about in public. And frankly, it doesn’t matter if we are in mixed or non-mixed company. Remember Chris Rock’s rant, “I love black people but I hate (you know the word).”  We, as do all races, including white people always represent our race-ethnicity in dealing with the public on a daily basis. Why because, every time someone begins talking about an incident they observed, were involved in, or heard about they always mention the person’s race. If they don’t, somebody listening to the story will ask…was they black, white, Hispanic, Asian, etc., etc. It’s because we, especially in this country are obsessed with race.  I don’t necessary like it either…but somethings are out of our control. People are going to look at people through a racial microscope, good or bad. We are just trying to project who people of color really are, not somebody’s twisted imagination of who they think we are.

Just as some of you hate reading these race issue articles, I hate writing them. But then, I am compelled, no…not forced, I enjoy acting as a counterpart to the Bill O’Reilly’s, Sarah Palin’s, Rush Limbaugh’s of the world? Add an occasional slip of the tongue by some politician, entire political parties that thrive on creating a hostile “we against them” environment. Or attacks on our voting rights by Republican Governors, there is no shortage of voices needed to combat these forces.  These people need to be checked, rebuffed and corrected every time they voice an ignorant opinion. We all need to be involved and aware at all times.

We ought not to display our talents to others as if we are in a zoo, but rather on stage. When someone wants to see us at prayer, play, or exercising our abilities in the Arts, we should accommodate them. We should be glad to education those who have a natural inclination to see who we really are in our natural habitat, so to speak.  Anytime that black folks can have a real teachable moment or event that contradicts stereotypes, we should take advantage.

We are a people born with special qualities that some may not possess. That does not mean we are better than any other race. What it does mean is we are and should be responsible caretakers of our heritage and customs. These are very special traits that should be passed on to our young. Our children, who are smarter than we were at their age will have the same responsibility. They will pass it on to their children. If the History of Race in America has taught us anything, it’s that we can never become complacent. That just the way it is my people.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp


Codis Hampton II’s Episodic Thoughts of Hamp Offers Fly-on-the-Wall Insights on Movers and Shakers


Episodic Thoughts treats readers to amusing observations on the private discussions of movers and shakers and lawmakers.


January 15, 2015 – Denver, CO, and Pittsburg, CA – Two-time Author and blogger Codis Hampton II takes readers on a journey that’s both personal and politically and culturally insightful with his newly released African-American and pop culture book, The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. The book is published by Outskirts Press.


The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp is a timeless collection of articles about comparing ones individual lifestyle with notable and relevant people and events in the political, entertainment, social and personal realms from 1999 through 2014. The articles/blogs are written in an informative manner offering different viewpoints while highlighting the fallacies presented by the subjects of his writings. Hampton reports not just what is said, but points out the relevance of what is left unsaid, what should have been said – and what should have been done. Readers will find the subject matter relevant to their personal and business economic status in America.


Hampton’s creativity is on full display with his creation of a set of new characters, Kyle and Jamal in their own Blogs.  They are literally hip “flies on the walls” buzzing around Congress and other major newsmakers. Through Kyle and Jamal, readers are treated to amusing observations as they listen in and report on the private discussions of movers and shakers and lawmakers. Throughout The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp the author ties in the broader events to one man’s upbringing, family relationships, internal and external personal issues, as well as black history to illustrate the relevance of the conclusions reached within these pages.


Codis Hampton II is a blogger at and Blog Talk Radio Host at Additional information about him and his work is available at these websites and the parent website of the CHIIA Group at You may also visit the retail site of the Group at



The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp is available online through Outskirts Press at The book is sold through Amazon and Barnes and Noble for a maximum trade discount in quantities of 10 or more, and is being aggressively promoted to appropriate markets with a focus on the social science, pop culture, ethnic studies and African-American studies categories.


ISBN: 978-1-4787-4623-2           Format: 6 x 9 paperback cream                Retail: $16.95

Kindle: $9.99           Nook: $9.99        EBook for iPad and iPhone: $9.99

Genre: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture / Ethnic Studies / African-American Studies


For more information about The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp, visit the book page at the author’s webpage,


About the Author: Codis Hampton II is a jack of all trades who’s worked in the Department of Defense, as well as in self-employment ventures. His varied interests range from business and political commentary to creative arts such as acting, comedy, cartooning, and vocal and instrumental music. For more information about Codis Hampton II and his book, contact the author at P.O. Box 668, Pittsburg, CA 94565 or email


About Outskirts Press, Inc.: Outskirts Press offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press, Inc. represents the future of book publishing, today.


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Outskirts Press, Inc., 10940 S. Parker Rd – 515, Parker, Colorado 80134 1-888-OP-BOOKS

All About SEO on

A good no nonsense explanation of SEO myths. News

We get a lot of questions about SEO here on, and no wonder — you work hard on your site and want to get the word out! SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO recommendations are intended to help your site rank higher and more accurately in search engines, like Google. Say you write a blog about sailboats. When someone Googles “sailboats,” how many pages of results do they have to scroll through before they see a link to your blog? The goal behind having good SEO is to increase your website’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking.

many sailboats On the busy internet, it can be tough to make your “sailboat” stand out from all the others.

Ideally, you want your link to be on the first page of results. The best ways to accomplish this are:

  • consistently publish useful, original posts about sailboats; and
  • promote your blog in intelligent ways to people…

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