I Talked To a Republican Today

Actually, there were four people in the room. The Republican, with whom I have occasional conversations about politics, has come to avoid these conversations with me as he never gets the outcome he hopes for. He happens to be white, so was a woman in the room who claims no political alliance. Lastly, there was a black female who seems to be a Democrat but it never came up in conversation.

I confess I goad him into talking politics and today I must have hit his last nerve.

Me: “Your boy Trump wants Hillary DEAD!”

Republican: “What are you talking about?”

Me: “He said if she wins the election and gets to appoint Supreme Court Justices, she’ll take away your guns unless 2nd Amendment people take action”.

Republican:”I hate Hillary”

Me: “Why?”

Republican:”Because she’s a liar!”

Me: “If that’s the standard, how can you support Trump? Have you ever heard a Trump speech? He lies at least every other sentence. Then he lies about the lies!”

Republican: She should be in jail!

Me: Why?

Republican: “She broke the law!”

Me: “What law?”

Republican: “National security.”

Me: “National security is not a law. What law did she break?”

Republican: “She had a separate E-mail account, that’s against the law.”

Me: “No it wasn’t, and Colin Powell and Condi Rice had separate accounts also.”

Republican: “She was hacked!”

Me: “The FBI said there was no evidence of that.”

Republican: “What about Benghazi?”

Me: “What about Benghazi?”

Republican: “She lied and said it was about a video.”

Me: “The one terrorist in custody said the video was a factor in the timing. They were motivated by the video.”

Republican: “I don’t have time to discuss this with you right now, one thing I do know. There are four families that control everything in America and we don’t really have any say in anything anyway.”

Me: (Laughter)

Republican: “And another thing, America’s going to come under a major terrorist attack and it won’t be bombs or anything we’ve seen before. It will be some kind of dirty bomb of an EMP attack.”

Me: (Laughter)

Black woman: “What’s an EMP attack”

Republican: “An Electro Magnetic Pulse wave that will knock out all electronics in the country. They’ll target the three major power grids that run everything and we’ll be back to the stone age. Everyone will have to grow their own food. It will be horrible.”

Me: “Hysterical Laughter”

Black woman: “Have you started growing food for your family yet?”

Republican: “No…”

Black woman: “Don’t you think you better start?”

Republican: (Undecipherable mumbling)

Me: “Where do you get your news?”

Republican: “I make it my business to stay informed.”

Me: “What’s your opinion?” (directed to the white woman)

White Woman: “I don’t like either of the candidates.”

Me: “Why don’t you like Hillary?”

White woman: Well, for one thing, there’s Benghazi…



I Bought a Book Today!

I bought a book today. Not at a bookstore where I paid my money and they put my book in a bag to take with me. Not thru Amazon or some other service where they ship my book to me within days of my purchase. I bought a book that hasn’t been written yet, and I’m glad I did.

I purchased a hard copy of the Being Black at School manual, I’ll also get a couple other things; an E-book, bumper sticker and training kit. But it was the book, that hasn’t been written yet, that makes me smile.

being black at school 2

The book will become, “a manual for parents and educators who want to see Black children thrive in the education system.” My children are grown. But they have children. Children that will enter a school system that marginalizes them. A system that disproportionately suspends and expels Black children. A system that must be navigated lest they literally fail.

I know the author in an Internet sort of way. I read her blog. I follow her on Facebook. Kelly Wickham Hurst, remember that name. She’s going places. But beyond what I’m convinced she’ll personally achieve. She’ll give all that she has to take our kids with her. In her recent past as an educator and administrator. She fed kids that had no breakfast. Now she wants to feed their minds. And provide this resource to parents and educators who want children to maximize their potential. Sidestepping the institutional pitfalls designed to trip them up.

being black at school 3

I bought a book today. I don’t know when it will arrive. It hasn’t been written yet. When it comes I’ll give it to one of my children, and order two more for the other two. A few more people are required to buy a book to make this happen. Do this, for someone’s child if not your own. Buy a book today!




Six Things I Learned About Writing from Comic Books


The first things I started reading on my own were comic books. Much of how I write now stems directly from the lessons I learned reading Thor, Superman, The Avengers, Fantastic Four, Black Panther and others. I pass these along because someone else might benefit from these lessons.

  1. Don’t be afraid to use big words – By this I mean don’t dumb down your vocabulary for the readers. If you make them stretch and come up to you, they’ll reward you with loyalty. “Omnipotent Odin”, “Imperious Rex”, the “Ultimate Nullifier!” When I was ten and reading these words I didn’t know, I got my dictionary and figured it out, and appreciated the words more.

a omnipotence2. It’s the Character stupid – If you don’t have strong, well-developed characters. Your audience will soon grow disinterested and stop reading. They have to have a motivation. Whether it be avenging the death of Uncle Ben or the death of their parents, everybody needs a motivation. Any character deserving of a name deserves a reason for being.

a bruce wayne

3.There must be conflict – As Samuel L. Jackson reminded us in Unbreakable, “In a comic, you know how you can tell who the archvillain’s going to be? He’s the exact opposite of the hero. And most time’s they’re friends.” Dr. Doom and Reed Richards began as friends, before taking their intelligence in different directions. The challenge for Superman and Thor and the mightiest of heroes is that we have to be able to believe they can be defeated. Put your characters in a position where they could lose.

a reed richards

4.Provide a hint of what’s to come – In a fiction book, think about a possible sequel. Lay the foundation for possible plot lines that may or may not be developed in the next book. You don’t have to wrap-up every subplot, leave a couple to fester. This will bring your readers back.

a thanos infinity gauntlet5. Give yourself a timeframe – Schedule your writing and stick to it. Comics came out every 30 days without an excuse. If you outline your novel, also establish projected timeframes for completion. Give yourself goals… and meet them.

a writer at work

6.Use your imagination – You have it in you to create whole universes. You are the writer and you can do anything. You can have fictional or real characters meet that never could/did in reality. Travel thru time or change history. Establish fictional countries in an otherwise real world. You are only limited by what you can conceive.

a thor vs odin

Comics were once limited to 32 pages with a few panels each to present a chapter or perhaps tell an entire story. You have the ability to use as few or as many words as you need. Remember these lessons and you will go far as a writer.

Donald Trump W.O.A.T. (Worst of All Time)

There has never been a worse Presidential candidate… ever. We’ll set aside for a moment his character, he could arguably could compete for the worst person who ran for office. But just in doing the basic nuts and bolts of running for office. Nobody has ever done a worse job.

He is the first candidate in life to have more people dislike him after his convention. Lots of candidates have won by going negative, but he goes negative against his own party as well. Many of his speeches have used more time to condemn his supposed friends, some of whom who have endorsed him, than his opponent.

Not only is he steadily dooming his own campaign. He’s dragging down the party with him. He has raised no money for down ballot races. Every candidate has to answer questions about what Trump says. And then there are the lies, every speech is full of them. The whole party has to turn their head and pretend not to see. As I’m writing this post, he’s claiming that “his campaign has never been more united.” The only thing uniting them is having to try to clean up the racist, homophobic, xenophobic, pessimistic comments and tweets he makes all day.

He knows nothing about governing, he has no grip on foreign policy, he knows nothing about domestic policy and in any given conversation about any issue he’s likely to take two or three opposing positions. He says he would hire “the best people” but there is no evidence of such. Paul Manafort told so many obvious lies when trying to defend Melania’s plagiarized convention speech that they ultimately just scratched everything he said and started over with a new lie. His “spokesperson” whose name I won’t bother to look up, just tried to blame President Obama for the death of Captain Humayun Khan in 2004 without realizing Bush was President at the time.

He invited Ted Cruz to speak in prime time at his convention after accusing his father of being involved in the assassination of JFK and inferring his wife was ugly. What did he think would happen? I could go on and on and no doubt before the day is out he’ll do something else. Republicans are planning an intervention with a group of people they hope he’ll listen to. That’s going to go well…

Of course, we still have to go out and vote to put the finishing touch on the Trump disaster. What remains to be seen is how many will vote for Trump in the privacy of the voting booth while denying it to their friends and family.

Donald Trump, W.O.A.T. (Worst of All Time)

He Has a Dream

This man has a dream

Not that the nation will “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed”

But that it go back to a mythological time when America was greater

a trump hat

Not that the son’s of slaves and slave owners sit down at the table of brotherhood

But one where he would compel respect and compliance and some lives don’t matter

Not where his five children be judged by the content of their character

Bu one where they are protected from skin color by a wall or a ban

a trump wall


Not that little black boys or little black girls hold hands with little white boys and little white girls

In his dream, those little white boys and girls would be taught suspicion and bias, and hate

He has a dream, one parented by revenge and bitterness when a black man turned the tables and mocked him



His dream has been embraced by those whose views are aligned

He renounces them not


His dream…

Our nightmare