What is the Black Church’s Responsibility?

You’ve probably heard of the latest uproar in our community concerning the black church. Recently, Presidential hopeful Donald Trump hosted a; well let’s not even give it a name. The billionaire who is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination to run for President of the United States in 2016 had chosen few Black Pastors to attend a meeting. The Nov 30th meeting billed as “Donald Trump meets with Coalition of African-American Ministers. It went on to name some of the most media-visible pastors and added, “Live from Trump Towers.” The public was offered several ways to watch this gathering. To keep it fair, I understand those invited were not all Trumps supporters. Some chose to go just to see what this particular candidate had to say or how he would address problems in our communities.

If I’d known about the event beforehand would I have watched on TV? No, because I already know Donald Trump. What I know of him, his politics over the last few years is enough for me to pay no attention to him.

From all I’ve read and surmised Trump was at best seeking an endorsement and at the very least seeking and bringing attention to his campaign. The question on the table was there for the consumption of those watching as well as those in attendance.  Would this event show or make him a viable candidate that could attract the vote of the black community?  A tall order given the rhetoric he has spouted the last few months.

Right after the meeting, a few pastors found the microphones of an eager national media. They wasted no time in stating what a wonderful meeting it was and how they had met a man that was true to his convictions, etc., etc. One of two went so far as to say, we need to take another look at Trump as he is not who he is portrayed to be in the media. At that the black community yawned.

Upset at the entire spectacle, Baltimore Poster, Reverend Jamal Bryant was quoted as stating about those in attendance, “ They are prostituting themselves and, in essence, the black church.”  A couple of ministers who attended were a guest on Roland Martin’s TV1 News One Now show. Martin, who thought the entire meeting was “a waste of time”, asked his guest if there were any relevant substance gained from the meeting. In short the collective answer was no.

Some in social meeting took this incident to ask a potent question. What is the black church responsibility in our community?  As it always is in social media, opinions were all over the place with most upset at the pastors for allowing themselves to be a pawn in Trumps media circus. People posted their opinions on Facebook and other social sites. Most of the comments centered on the role of the church. Again, it’s a question that concerns me as both a community advocate and church member in my little town.

I don’t pretend to speak for anybody but myself in any written matters. But…just for the record, the church is not the police department. In response to some who think the church should do what to the drug dealers and other criminals in the community? The church is made up of community people and as such goes about trying to follow the word of God as noted in the Bible.

The real question for those who always seem to overstate the church’s responsibility is what should the community do about the dealers and criminals in their midst? Whenever and wherever that questions answered, then the community could seek the church’s assistance in developing programs and assistance for those in need of services that are no longer available because of political or financial reasons.

But the bottom line, the church is in the business of saving souls, Hands on Biblespreading the word of God, and providing a place for its members and all who want to worship. I would imagine if you ask any pastor, they would tell you it’s a full-time job just keeping their members entrenched in the word of God. Pastors, Deacons and Ministries are there to assist or provide the tools and interpretation of the Bible parishioners require to be saved and act as a good Cristian. Anything outside of actions that meet those goals is either a bonus from the church or what one would call extra curriculum activities. I have no problem with any pastor advocating his members to exercise their right to vote in all elections. The clergy can implore our cooperation and discussion with city, county, state and even national political offices to facilitate improvement within our community.

There is always going to be a Pastor, Preacher, or Evangelist, who goes outside of what they are supposed to be in the name of God. Every week or so, there are questions in my mind as to how some supposed man of God can justify their belief in Jesus Christ while spouting viewpoints that goes against the word of God. In the end, they are human and have their agenda when it comes to most of their actions and rhetoric.

More importantly to me, is the fact that some in the black community who are so very quick to criticize our churches role don’t belong to a church. Nor do they even attend a church in any community.  Do You want to find out the churches role, get more involved in your community church? All you need to do is attend a church of your choice, join and become involved in the church business.

There is no doubt the church can have a tremendous effect on their community. But also, keep in mind that the church is comprised of members of your community. Your church pastor serves at the members convenience.

Any church will do their members bidding if enough of the members make it a priority. At least, they will do it in the disguise of their mantra. So as for that little performance by Donald Trump or any candidate that is looking for the black vote, the church is a great place to troll for votes.

On the other hand, any prominent clergyman or woman can suggest endorsing a candidate for its members. The vote is still up to each and every member. And just as there are black Republicans and you wonder why given their rhetoric over the years. Some black person will back some idea, cause or individual that makes you wonder if anybody is home in their brain. And you can bet their action will lead off Fox News and all the ultra-conservative media spots. But that is really old news by now. We all know what side our bread’s buttered on as the old folks use to say.

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

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at  http://wp.me/p65rCa-6N

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

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

An International Thanksgiving

As is the Hampton family custom on Thanksgiving, my wife Sandra and I visited our son, Richie and his wife Endeliza for dinner at their house. Our wives agreed on a menu beforehand as well as who will prepare what for our little get-together.

Keep in mind that although Rich and Liza have been married going on twenty years, and together for five more, they don’t have any kids. My wife, always the one to crack a joke, makes reference to the absence of a possible grandchild by them in this way. Referring to Rich’s younger days when he was in the streets, she always asks, “Well, when is little snub-nose going to join our little family?”  Liza always laughs, plays it off and reminds her mother-in-law of that Christmas long ago when she gave her a stuffed doll and told her she could pick any name for it. Anyway, the couple is happy in their life with each other, and that’s all that counts.

They live a block from Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland so that you can imagine the size of their apartment. It is perfect for them, with a small kitchen, small living room, small office space and a bedroom with a nice queen size bed. Although small, you did get that didn’t you? It reminds me and my wife of some of the little love nests we rented back in the day. The point is although small, it’s designed to accommodate the two people who inhabit it.

We had no idea as to who was joining us but was very surprised when four more people arrived a half hour after my wife and I. Richie answered the knock on the door. “This is Paivi. She is from Finland. This is Nicoletta. She is from Italy. And then there is George, he is African but has been living in the US forever. And last but not least, this is Carol, she is from Ohio,” Richie stated as we shook hands and acknowledge each other.

Me, who cannot ever seem to remember names when first introduced, remembered the homeland of each person. After setting down, my wife who received a cell phone call from one or our friend wishing us a happy Thanksgiving quickly summed up the affair. “Oh yeah, we are having an international Thanksgiving with Richie and Liza.”  I, never wanting to offend anyone looked at Sandra, who asked me “What’s wrong with that?” On second thought nothing, I reasoned as she had perfectly described the gathering.

My son, looking at his parents questionable expressions went on to say the group (the three ladies excluding George) had just arrived in California to attend a concert in Santa Cruz and took the time to visit him in Oakland. They were leaving the day after the concert. They all met on Facebook and were seeing each other for the first time on this trip. At least that is what I got out of the conversations.

It was fun watching my daughter-in-law work it. Liza, always the make do with whatever you have, efficiently did her thing. She made everyone comfortable by placing the dinner table in the middle of where everyone was already seated in chairs or on the sofa.

DSCN0414.JPG

As you can imagine the before, during and after dinner conversation was interesting, especially while listening to the newcomers’ impressions of the United States. Nicoletta was told to bring a bikini as it would be bikini weather. She chided George, who was the one who gave her such a tropical weather report. His report caused her to pack clothing as though she was headed for beach weather. Sunshine and blue skies were dancing in her head. Needless to say, she had to buy a warm coat to deal with the Northern California cold weather.

It was her description of differences in the US driving requirements versus Italy that brought about an almost universal agreement. For those who have driven in Italy or know that the speed limits are, well let’s just say, a driver is practically on their own in gauging how fast they should drive in certain areas. She felt a speed limit of 25 miles per hour was “just too slow.”  And the fact that you had to stop at a stop sign whether anyone or a vehicle was around was as she described it “Stupid.”  Ummm…are you reading this DMV?

Paivi was a little shy, except when asked a question. She smiled a lot as others dominated the conversation. I was trying to get in a question regarding the social aspects of Finland, but it never happened. Finally, she responded to another subject question directed at her.  It turned out she was not as shy as I thought. So she felt comfortable enough to express herself in perfect English. It was Nicolette that was having problems with translating her thoughts into English. In the end, she got her point across where as everybody understood her.

George was the talker, and who seem like the main guide for the ladies. He played the role well. No hanky-panky here as all had left mates back home. It was a just a genuine friendship between them that allowed each to be themselves.

And of course, we learned that Carol was a nurse from Canton Ohio, home of the NFL Hall of Fame. She stated her family lived a few blocks from the old stadium where they played the game.  Adding her kids played high school ball in the stadium. They’ve torn the old stadium down making way for a brand new one. The NFL is also building a new four-star hotel to house the dignitaries, guest, NFL personnel and the new honorees as well as the old inductees. She says the event is more like a two-week celebration up to the Hall of Fame Game and shortly after that.

All in all, we had a very nice Thanksgiving meal with interesting conversations from nice people. We also got to visit with our son and daughter-in-law.

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

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p679Jy-cA

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

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

 

 

What Am I Thankful For In 2015?

What am I thankful for on this Thanksgiving? Where do I start? First of all, I am thankful for being the child of Doreatha (Childs) and Codis Hampton. Two people whom I dearly loved and will miss through eternity. And my heavenly father for placing me in their care and guidance in the first place.

I am thankful for having such wonderful siblings as my sisters, Delores, Carol, and stepsister, the late Johnny Mae. And let me not forget my little brother James Edward. I was the oldest and should have been the most responsible, but forgive me when I strayed to the dark side in my late teenage and young adult age.

That was a period when all five feet four of me thought to be cold blooded, hardcore and tuff was a prescription for survival in this country. The streets of Milwaukee called for guile, cunning, a bad attitude and short fuse. At least that is what I thought at the time. The first words out of my mouth to anyone who disagreed with me on any subject was F_ _ _ you, followed by I will kick your M-F A_ _. It made no difference if the guy was 5’4” 140lbs or 6’4” 250 lbs. My only suggestion to the person was to bring a lunch because it’s going to be an all-day fight to the finish. I won some and lost others. In fact, have you ever seen a group of different size dogs on the street or in a yard? The smallest runt of the pack is always barking the loudest, jumping up and down. The others may not even bark, but that runt is lunging at you as you walk by and seems to want to tear one of your limbs off your body. I was that runt.

I was mad at the world, didn’t care who knew it and was not planning on passing the age of twenty-one. And if that was to come to pass, I was going down swinging at my foe.  Along the way, I found out a simple truth. It didn’t matter who won, my body still felt the pain from being in a fight. ThanksgivingAll praise is to God; I got over and lived through that phase. I also give thanks to a three-year service in the US Army which helped me mature in a manner I never knew existed for a black man in this country.

I’ll tell you some other people who knew what I was  learning the hard way. And that is my mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, uncles, Aunts and adult cousins. If I had listened to them in the first place, well…that phase in my life could have been spent more productive maybe resulting in a master degree in something or the other. I have no regrets. That is what it took for me to get to 2015. Now it’s just another reason for me to be thankful today.

I am grateful for having met my wife, Sandra along the way. For our children, Shawn Lynn, Richie and Brandon, now grown and finding their way in life, I am all so proud of their accomplishments. They are down to earth people who are real and see life as it is not through rose colored glasses. My wife and I tried to raise them in the way we were raised hoping they would be better and avoid some of our mistakes. The fact that they are alive and well is a blessing in itself.

Today, I can say; I have family and friends that I keep in contact with, some daily, weekly, others monthly, and yearly. There are friends and family I haven’t touched bases with in a while who know me well enough to know I still care and think about them. As in life, there have been disagreements with family and friends causing them to fall out of touch for whatever reason. They should know; I’m not a person who holds a grudge or harbor some dislike for them because of some incident between us. Thank God, I can say, I’m not that kind of person today. I have evolved and continue to do so. I am a better person than I was years ago, last year and several months ago, as I continue to work on me every day. I am certainly thankful for that.

Make no mistake about it. I go through what you all go through on a daily basis. We have to deal with rude and obnoxious people in the grocery store or other retail outlets. Making a phone call to a vendor while trying to correct their billing error can be challenging. Is it me, or am I correct in concluding that customer service is lacking at too many of our service industry companies these days?  Sometimes it’s as though the Human Resource Office in these companies have hired a staff of incompetent, uncaring, and impatient individuals to answer their phones and yet call themselves a customer service representative. Most of time, I feel I should send them an invoice for helping them do their job. You feel me? But then, over the years I’ve learned not to let a person or persons put me in a bad mood for the day. I deal with it at that time with that person and move on; it’s that simple. And for that change in my personality, I am thankful to Jesus Christ.

I am oh so thankful for the new people I am meeting in my life. Some of which, I have never personally met or seen, but often communicate by phone as if we’ve known each other for a lifetime. I’ve met most of these new friends and contacts in connection with my church, BTR Show, publication of books or my role as their tax preparer.

Every day many of these people or colleagues give me hope there is a better day coming for our people of color and communities across this nation. We share a common goal for the human race and specifically for the black race. These are people of all colors who demonstrate on a daily basis that they are community driven first rather than only seeking profit for their endeavors. It is these people, along with my upbringing that keeps me going and selfishly giving of my time for my community.

I am so thankful to my Savior for guiding me as I take the actions required to give and contribute in my way to our community.  To say that I’ve evolved into a good husband, father, citizen and black man in 2015 is an understatement in my view. I’ve found peace with myself, my God, my family, friends and everyone else. And for that, I am eternally thankful this Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all, may you find the same type of contentment in your life.

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

 

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-6t

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

 

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

 

 

 

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

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,

**RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENSHIP

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.”

         **VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES

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

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-5h

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

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. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

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 https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-5c

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

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. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

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 https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-4s

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

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. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

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 https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-3L

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

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. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

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