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My 2014 in Review

2 Jan

Happy New Year, everybody! I truly hope that 2015 brings you increased peace and good fortune. Thinking back on 2014, I’d say that it was a pretty good year for me. Black folks in who have roots in the Southeastern US are familiar with an old saying: “We ain’t what we wanna be and we and what we gonna be, but thank GOD we ain’t who we was!”

Tyrone 2012

2014 was a year of new beginnings for me. I was able to get a new job after being unemployed for more than a year [Sidebar: I’m a Citizen Lobbyist for the passage of the Healthy Workplace Bill here in New York State for a reason]. 2013 really kicked me in at gut in so many different ways, but the sun did indeed come out again in 2014. I will not ramble on here in the blog post by providing exhaustive details of things that happened, but I will share this quick list of 10 things that I learned:

  1. Friends are few
  2. Allies can morph into enemies
  3. Most people are not evil, but may be arrogant, apathetic, and afraid
  4. Recreating yourself to adapt to change is crucial for survival
  5. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything
  6. When in a fight, you WILL get hit
  7. Published work (e.g., reports, white papers, articles and books) are the new business card
  8. People are watching when you think they are not
  9. It is better to conduct research and ask clarifying questions rather than argue
  10. If you don’t have more than one income source, you are at risk

Again, all the best to you in 2015.

My Thoughts on the Ferguson Verdict and Rioting

26 Nov

I have been watching the news over the last two days and I’m disappointed at what I’m seeing. Personally, the grand jury’s verdict didn’t surprise me. I am not a lawyer, but I was aware of what the Missouri law said about police use of force.

fergriots

Here is a great explanation of why P.O. Darren Wilson was not charged –> CLICK HERE.

Folks are looting and burning businesses down in their own neighborhood. One shouldn’t do these things at all, but doing it in your own neighborhood is economic suicide.

When you burn things down and loot in a given neighborhood, property values go down. Businesses that were looted and burned-out may never return. Now you will have no businesses in your neighborhood and therefore no job opportunities. Because there are no businesses, you have to travel outside of your neighborhood to buy things which of course will not be very convenient.

Being that property values are down and you have to travel far to get to work and to buy consumer goods, you will sell your home on the cheap and eventually relocate. Your bargain basement priced home will be bought by outside investors who will hold onto the property for a few years and rebuild later. That is how gentrification starts.

Also, the National Guard has set up a perimeter around Ferguson. While I’m not a military strategy and tactics expert, here is what I do know as a retired military policeman trained in civil disturbance and crowd control:

  • During civil unrest, set up a perimeter to lay siege to a town. Nothing gets in or out without consent of command. That includes food and medical supplies.
  • A perimeter surrounds your target and makes sure that unrest doesn’t spill into adjacent areas. Also, when troops are ready to close in, the vise is ready to close.

In my humble opinion, a better thing to do is to start first local then national discussion on the police use of deadly force and use the U.S. Constitution as point of reference. National standards for police use of deadly force MAY infringe on states rights (10th Amendment), and the retention of the status quo for the police use of deadly force in various municipalities MAY violate one’s due process rights (14th Amendment).

Let’s reason together and create a system of justice for all Americans.