I See Your Majesty!

 

 

I see your majesty on the dreariest of days

When the lake isn’t sparkling

The view clouded by haze

I see your majesty on the dreariest of days

 

Not only when the warm sun is shining

A gentle cooling breeze against my skin

The wonder of your creation continues to amaze

I see your majesty on the dreariest of days

 

I know the blessings promised

The timing yours and yours alone

You will never ever leave me

So I kneel before your throne

 

You’ve kept me through my trials

Though I never once deserved

I prepare to do your bidding

Thanks for giving me the nerve

 

So I’ll never feel deserted

On the loneliest of days

I look round and see your majesty

You continue to amaze

The History of American (White) Exceptionalism: Chapter Five

We have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind, of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race…. We are anxious to force free government on all; and I see that it has been urged … that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent. It is a great mistake

Sen. John C. Calhoun – SC

The History of American (White) Exceptionalism: Chapter Five

“We have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind, of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race…. We are anxious to force free government on all; and I see that it has been urged … that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent. It is a great mistake.”

Sen. John C. Calhoun – SC

According to historian William E. Weeks, there are three themes generally agreed upon that comprise Manifest Destiny.

  1. The Virtue of the American people and their institutions
  2. The mission to spread these institutions, thereby redeeming and remaking the world in the image of the United States
  3. The Destiny under God to do this work

Working in reverse. Some Americans then and a higher percentage now believe that God has ordained America to be the greatest nation on the Earth. Broken down it means that God has given favor… to America and at the expense of other nations because, because, what? Certainly, most nations have some degree of nationalism where they believe something about their country makes them superior. America may indeed be the greatest nation because of its resources, its military, and its economy. One of the things that made America great in 1845 when the term Manifest Destiny was coined was its reliance on the cheap labor from slavery and indentured servants which made it a better trade partner that produced goods at a better price than other nations. It is a model that many corporations use today but instead of slaves, they outsource labor to nations where workers make as little as cents per hour under terrible conditions. In America, they fight against minimum wage standards and unions and participate in A.L.E.C. to shape our laws to allow for their excesses.

Another area in which America is the greatest nation in the world is the sale of arms to other countries. In 2010, we sold arms to 62 other nations, sometimes to both sides in disputes in an effort to increase profits. I mention these things to suggest that America’s position in the world does not necessarily come from God. Some of our success seems to come from doing things with which the God I believe in would have a problem.

The philosophy behind Manifest Destiny is exactly the same behind those of White Exceptionalism and White Privilege. Americans (white Americans) are entitled to supersede the rights of non-whites because… white. The originator of the phrase Manifest Destiny, newspaper editor John O’Sullivan, didn’t believe that Americans would have to fight with the Indians to take their land. He thought the Indians would somehow recognize the God-given right to the land of white Americans and simply accept whatever accommodations that were made for them.

In the present day, we have labeled ourselves “the world’s policeman” which translates to, we have the right to interfere in the business of any other nation to achieve our own goals and to advance our interests. This is almost always applied in our relationship with non-white nations and we would hate for our interference with our white allies to become known.

Domestically, white privilege and White Exceptionalism manifests itself in how districts are drawn for state and congressional elections, in gerrymandering and in voter suppression laws. All of these are designed to give increased power to a dwindling white demographic when fair and democratic elections would not produce the same outcome. It is almost funny to see Donald Trump wailing about the unfair process used to select delegates to the Republican convention yet he’s never said a word against gerrymandering or voter suppression.

America had no problem taking land from the Native Americans as they marched west yet negotiated in good faith with England to settle what would be the Canadian border. Mexico to the south presented a different problem.

Texas declared independence from Mexico in 1836. This ultimately led to the Mexican-American War ten years later and because of our military success, there came a point where the country considered annexing all of Mexico. One of the reasons given was the desire not to impose democracy against a people against their will which somehow didn’t matter when gobbling up Indian land. The debate in Congress made clear that the primary reason to not absorb Mexico was because it would mean giving citizenship to millions of Mexicans. If you listen to the arguments today about a path to citizenship for those non-citizens in America today and the vitriol behind them. You’ll know what the debate was like in 1848. When ultimately America absorbed New Mexico and parts of California, it was because they were sparsely populated and not many Mexicans came along.

Reviewing the history of Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine preceding it. It is clear that America is far more the same despite the belief we have evolved. America is committed to the appearance of fair elections, equal rights for all of its citizens and an impartial justice system. In truth, America allows the disenfranchisement of some of its citizens through gerrymandering and voter suppression laws. It is rolling back the protections designed to achieve equal rights and conservative states like North Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana among others are actively removing protections for some of its citizens and it is only the reaction of the business community that is causing some delay in implementation. Lastly, our court system has demonstrated its partisan nature and pro-business leanings and with Citizen’s United has made clear that the rich and white will have every opportunity to have the upper hand.

Rigged Elections

Donald Trump is crying about the “rigged elections” that don’t reflect the will of the people. When he starts fighting against gerrymandering and voter suppression I’ll give a damn.

Living the Dream

Letting my followers here know. I’ve submitted my first manuscript for a consideration by a publisher. I’ll be submitting to other publishing houses and they may take an incredibly long time to respond but I have a finished product which is a huge blessing considering it all started as an idea. I won’t be saying much more about this until prayerfully there’s a deal. Many of you have already been highly supportive for which I thank you.

William Spivey

Friends

 

Friendship is the sincerest compliment I can offer. Typically when I meet someone I analyze them, seeking to categorize them and determine how they might act in a given situation. I am not always right and evaluations are subject to change but I am apt to classify them all the same.

 

Should I define you too quickly, we may become acquaintances of a type but we will likely not become friends. With my friends I require a degree of complexity, layers. I do want the comfort of reliability without however the kiss of death of predictability and the difference is a fine line.

 

Friends are forever. Not defined by frequency of contact or distance or even life choices with which one might disagree. Friendship is not questioned, it simply is, and can always be depended on.

 

The best of my friends have somehow evolved beyond the process of analysis. No longer do I attempt to classify them and place them in a category. The best of friends I acknowledge, accept and indeed love them for whoever they are without having to define them being part of the equation. We pick up where we left off no matter what has transpired since last we communicated. We have a language and history and a sentence started by one can oft be finished by the other. These relationships are defined by a lack of judgment, only acceptance and embrace.

 

I am blessed to have not only old friends but have found the capacity to accept new ones. They appear as if by magic at a time when the need was present. If you have a friend, someone who you actually have permission to take for granted. Thank them anyway for they are part of your backbone. Thank you friends!

Most Of Us Need A Love Sounding Board!

Most of us Need a Love Sounding Board
Love is hard to get right under the best of circumstances. Unless you’re one of the ones that meet the love of your life on the first try and you somehow manage to grow at relatively the same pace and communicate well enough to overcome the obstacles of life. You’re likely to fail at least once and in some cases often before getting it right if ever.

One thing women are somewhat better than men at is having a sounding board to share some of their trials and tribulations and get advice to consider besides their own counsel. I’m going to attempt to walk a thin line here and generalize about both men and women by saying women often seek counsel from the wrong sources while men often choose to go it alone. Neither method has a good track record of success.

The optimum solution is to find your love sounding board that helps you work through your situation and is looking for the best resolution for you as opposed to them. With that in mind, I have a few tips for choosing your love sounding board. They may be someone you already know well. The rationale for that is that hopefully they know you pretty well also and can make suggestions based on a working knowledge of your likes and dislikes and as important your history which if left to your own devices you are likely to repeat.

In a seeming contradiction, your sounding board may be almost a complete stranger or someone you only know through social media. Your sounding board to be effective must ask some deeply personal questions and it’s sometimes easier to communicate openly with someone you’ve never met as opposed to someone you have to look in the eye every day.

They should ask you questions and lead you to examine and making your own choices as opposed to only telling you what you should do. Some sounding boards have their own agenda and/or strong beliefs and end up not helping you to determine what’s best for you but instead, tell you what they would do in a similar situation.

They should be able to keep a confidence. If it’s someone you already know well they have already demonstrated whether they have that ability. They have told you who they are… believe them. A stranger that has no contact with your circle of friends may seem safe but in these days of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook it still pays to be discerning.

Start slow. You don’t need to reveal your deepest secrets or fears in your first discussion although if you never reveal them you may be blocking the benefits you hoped to achieve. Ultimately there will come a time for truth telling if you want real help with your relationship concerns.

It might seem with all that I’ve mentioned that it might be best to forego a sounding board altogether and work things out yourself. You could start by asking yourself how well keeping everything to yourself has worked for you in the past? People both men and women like what they like and without an intervention are likely to repeat the same patterns over and over. My weakness was cheerleader types and I found myself attracted to pretty but relatively self-centered women that put their own interests and needs far above my own. Until someone pointed that out to me I never realized it and I submit that each of you have some pattern you are following that might not be in your best interest.

My sounding board asks me tough questions which I sometimes avoid initially but it is in discovering the answers where growth and change occur. While I have great male friends the best advice I get comes from the opposite sex which may or may not work for each of you. She asks me what I want, what is my plan, is it likely to succeed? Sometimes I go down a different path which results in the same questions put in different ways; is that what you want, is this part of your plan, will this choice make you happy?

I was (past tense) the type to go it totally on my own in love matters. I kept choosing the same type of woman which initially may have fed my ego but ultimately didn’t make me happy. Left to my own devices I’d be seeking the next cheerleader that ultimately wasn’t the best match for my personality. If going it alone hasn’t gotten you where you want to be. Seek out a sounding board that can help you redirect yourself by asking the pertinent questions that allow you to examine your own patterns and hopefully make the changes that will lead you to your relationship goal.

William Spivey happily lives in Orlando, Florida and can be found on Facebook or emailed at wspiv001@aol.com

Note: This was first published on Lovebabz:A Life In Transition, as a guest blogger.

Even a Strong Black Woman Gets Tired Sometimes

If we are lucky we currently know or have known strong Black women who can always be counted on when things get tough. What we fail to realize is that always is an awfully long time and that depending on that strong Black woman can be draining because it so often results in them putting others before herself. It would be nice to think she “don’t get no ways tired” but even the best of them have their days.

Strong Black women are under assault, they are exempt from none of the forces systemically aligned against Black people and have the also assumed the responsibility of standing up for their children, their mates, their brothers and sisters whether family or not and have even extended themselves to other causes where the absence of justice and equality and rights threatens not just some but all.

It is easy sometimes to sit back and rely on the strong Black woman to fight the good fight, reaping the windfall of their efforts while doing little of the work. We roar at the slaughter of Black men but with Black women somehow not so much. We participate in judging and body shaming and trying to control what we ought not. Our own images sometimes depend on the woman being somewhere beneath us rather than at our side. It is no wonder that she gets tired sometimes.

To the strong Black woman, I would ask her to remember the good she has done and the lives that have benefitted from her presence. I would also ask her to deploy her own airbag first before attempting to help others because if you lose consciousness you’re of no more help. Feed yourself also if not first and look within and to your faith for strength because people are somewhat unreliable. Know your worth and use some of that strength to insist others respect it as well. Know when to cut your losses because all situations and relationships and causes may not be intended for more than a season.

To those who know a strong Black woman, support her, assist her, make her welfare a concern because she may be so busy being strong she doesn’t take the care of herself that she should. Most of all appreciate her. It will go a long way toward giving her the strength to keep doing what we all need her to do. Love her unselfishly recognizing that she is not only supporting you but a whole universe of people who have needs as well. If she has chosen you your time together will be cherished because she’s that kind of woman. And when she needs it, let her rest because even she gets tired sometimes.

A Good Son

I wrote this almost five years ago. It is important in times like these to remember the things we’re thankful for. As opposed to those that anger us or cause fear. In the four years since I wrote this. The sentiment has only grown stronger. A few words about my son:

I spent a little time with my son the other day helping one of my daughters move some things. We did some of the things we usually do; talked about sports. I enquired if there was any scenario by which his favorite college football team FSU, could win the national title? He then gave me a complicated list of the several things that would have to happen involving multiple teams he’d obviously previously calculated. Sports can be a metaphor for life between men and his eternal optimism was justified during one Ryder Cup where he “proved” that positivity can be rewarded. It’s a significant factor in the way he lives his life.

a-a-good-sonnn

I mentioned to him something I’d written on Facebook where I’d confessed to a lax approach to academics during high school. He immediately demanded reparations for all of the punishment he’d received for failing to turn in homework as obviously it was unfair for me to have administered it. He remembered the years during which it seemed he was in perpetual lockdown. I conceded there was a point at which his mother and I had to give him back privileges in order to have something to take away.

Because I thought it might come up while moving things, I mentioned some shoulder pain I was having when I raised my left arm over my head. He responded, “Don’t do it!” He reminded me of every time he came forward with a complaint of pain my inevitable response was to tell him not to do whatever was causing it. One notable exception was one Saturday morning when he came to our bedroom having broken out in Chickenpox. I couldn’t readily identify it and we rushed to a 24-hour clinic to seek remedy.

a-a-good-sonn

We all hope that our children will have better lives than we have and that they will grow up to be responsible people. For a father, there is a special relationship where he lives vicariously through a son and those hopes are heightened. I have been blessed to have a son who has turned out to be the most responsible person I know. He’s a good father, husband, person, and friend. Happy Birthday, Alan!

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