Black Veterans: The Epitome of American Patriotism

I want to give a big thank you this Veterans Day to every Black man and woman that served in the United States military. It is ironic that patriotism and racism go together like baseball and hot dogs in the good old USA, as those who scream the loudest saying, “Support our troops!”, often care little about the domestic polices and de facto racism that keeps their “heroes” from living the very American dream that they are told to fight for and export to nations around the world.

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The Black soldier lined up to fight the British in 1775, even while they were being enslaved! To add insult to injury, many of the Black soldiers fought in the so-called Revolutionary War “in place of their masters, fighting for a freedom they would never see for themselves. (In many cases, their enlistment bonuses or even their pay went straight to their masters.)

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At the time of the Civil War, Fredrick Douglass argued that the Black soldier could help the North win the war, but Abraham Lincoln did not want armed Black slaves (and you were taught in school that he wanted to free the slaves right?). He later gave in, but imagine the horrific torture that awaited a Black Union soldier that was captured by the Confederate army? The Black soldier did not receive equal pay for his fighting, and heroes like Robert Smalls proved that the Black soldier really was as smart as the White soldier, which was a common stereotype of the time as well as today (e.g. “IQ tests”). These Black soldiers would soon be placed back into second-class citizenship in the U.S., as the Union and Confederate states sought reconciliation with one another, not the men and women that it had enslaved for over 250 years. Those same Black soldiers, like other formerly enslaved Black Americans, didn’t receive their ”40 acres and a mule”. That land was given back to the very people they had just fought against just years prior.

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Fast forward to WWI, right in the midst of the Nadir period for civil rights, as Black Americans were “free” but certainly not equal, so many Black men enlisted to fight, “the War Department had to stop accepting black volunteers because the quotas for African Americans were filled.” “African American men who owned their own farms and had families were often drafted before single white employees of large planters. Although comprising just ten percent of the entire United States population, blacks supplied thirteen percent of inductees.”  They returned to a nation who’s cities erupted with race riots that stole black wealth (Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921) and lynchings and sundown towns.

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By WWII, Black Americans still enlisted and desired to fight so-call fascism with pride. However, how embarrassing was it for the USA to be called out on its hypocrisy by none other than…Hitler. He noted that the USA’s treatment of the Negro set an example for how Germany must deal with “foreign Jews”. They returned home after WWII still subjected to Jim Crow segregation, more race riots, and once again, unequal pay, as 1.2 million soldiers were not able to take advantage of their GI Bill and be free to move into the newly formed suburbs which would soon create an even wider wealth gap through housing that remains firmly entrenched into the 21st century. The result, the Black soldier’s family could not benefit from sacrifice that he made for his country not just with housing, but because they were also unable to use the money for college tuitions or business loans. To add insult to atrocity, many were attacked by Whites as they were on their way home from the war.

 

How much changed by the Vietnam War for the Black soldier? I think you know the answer, as the 1960s are the one period of time most American’s did learn about in school as the “Civil Rights Era”, due to the assignation of Dr. Martin Luther King. Black Vietnam veterans, as after every other war, returned to segregated communities and “their place” in society. However, this time, the situation was in the process of changing. Some of these veterans returned home determined to now make this country live up to the promise it had been making to prior Black veterans for generations.

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How will we look at the time of service for those who served in Desert Storm or the so-called Iraqi War and years of fighting the “War on Terror”? Fifty years from now, will we look back and note their time of service at the time when Black men and women were being shot and killed by police officers and the officers continuously get found “not guilty”? Will we see that they served at a time when “White Extremists” in their own country, are considered more dangerous than the terrorist they were fighting in the Middle East?

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In my opinion, the Black veteran is the epitome of an American patriot. Perhaps they have never fought for what America actually was to them, but for what America always promised it would be to them and their offspring for their service.

For that, I sincerely say, thank you for your service.

Cool Pappa

Mom Arrested For Homeschooling Her Kids In Buffalo, NY

Kiarre Harris was arrested not for a violent crime, embezzlement, or drinking and driving. No, she was arrested for homeschooling her children.

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Now, homeschooling parents are aware that educating your kids is always a risk, and that is why many join the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, even if their state is considered “homeschool friendly”. It seems that if you are a member, the association will even publicize your case on their website and a check in the news area shows at least two other recent stories of families under fire in New York. I’m not sure what is going on, but it certainly seems like NY’s Child Protective Services is putting extra pressure on homeschooling families in 2017. That decision is probably made from a higher agency, but more on that in a moment.

If you watch the video below, you will have the opportunity to hear Kiarre Harris tell her own story.  But allow me to expound on a few other points:

  • At first blush, this seems like the typical media trick (or should I say dog-whistle) being played when describing Harris in many news outlets. However, there is some relevance, as NY is said to be contesting her right to homeschool because she does not have full custody of the children.
  •  If having full custody appointed by the court vital for homeschooling, why is it not a requirement for sending the child to public or private school? After all, a common area of contention with parents that do not live together is where the child should go to school. So, if there is fear that the parent does not have complete authorization to homeschool the child, shouldn’t the same standard apply for enrolling the child in any school, as there is no guarantee that the other parent agrees with that decision?
  • According to theblaze, “In addition, the district told WKBW that children are not to be taken out of school until individual education plans are approved.” Isn’t it amazing, that New York is considered a state that consistently votes Democrat over Republican, a party that prides itself on fighting for civil rights? This is why I do not get caught up in the politics game. Why does a “liberal” state that many flock to for the opportunity to express themselves, need to approve what you can teach your children? Many of us homeschool to teach our children true history, biblical values and to have a more focused overall education free of violence and the surrounding culture, so do you think they would approve of  When We Ruled as a textbook in the curriculum? Do you think the POTUS will “tweet” about her case as an example of democratic hypocrisy and over-regulation?

Now that leads me to my final two points:

  • Kiarre Harris’s children were put into foster care. Unbelievable, and extremely sad for such an “infraction”. Much is said about the foster care system and whatever your view is, I am sure we all agree it is nowhere near the same as being with your parents in a loving home. A home so loving, she is choosing to stay at home with the kids 24/7! Is her “crime” worse than the possibility of her kids being harmed in a stranger’s home or even her in jail? And even if they are not harmed, how do you account for the confusion, fear, sadness, and anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen to them and why it is happening? Yet now, despite doing the “right thing”, the children are in the system. There is a file that has been created that will follow them at least until they are 18, and in the 21st century, likely much longer.
  • Kiarre Harris is officially “in the system”. While I do not know anything about her past, below she says that she has never been arrested and is not a criminal. Sadly, most so-called Black folks need to always give this disclaimer because if they have had police contact of any kind (this is why “stop and frisk” laws are so dangerous in case you don’t know), any injustice against them is now warranted as acceptable by the dominant society. But now, she has something that all law-abiding so-called Black people fear, a record. Again, it will follow her for the rest of her life as well, because she had the audacity to homeschool her children. On that note…
  • Kiarre Harris represents the quandary that proves why and the risk of so-called Black folks homeschooling their children, you BETTER have all yours t’s crossed and i’s dotted. Listen to me. If you are homeschooling in New York and have the finances to join the HSLDA, please do so! Forget that lawyer that our cousin used that we could call or just thinking nothing is going to happen, there are stories in your area showing that they are cracking down big time. When some groups catch a cold, we catch pneumonia, so a word to the wise is sufficient. That said, most so-called Black folks grow up in areas with subpar school systems and we cannot afford to send them to private schools, which are often subpar as well! Trust me, I went to one in the suburbs and there were numerous Detroit public schools that would have given me a better education and more advantages. But this generation, we no longer have to settle, we can bring them home, or at least do the main teaching at home! Just remember if you do, make sure you have extra layers of covering. It certainly appears Kiarre Harris had everything checked, but like we all know when that police car is in your rearview mirror, they can always get you on something.

Hear Kiarre tell her story below. Warning, language alert if your kids are around. While I’m not a fan of swearing, I ask that you do not be hypocritical in your assessment of her because of some of her foul language (I made the mistake of reading the comments section on some of the stories about her case…I normally know better and yes, they were as ugly as expected). After years of working in the corporate sector, I cannot hold her to a standard that those in the boardroom and on the golf course are not required to follow, not to mention, I’ve heard the bombs many drop in front of their children…

TeachThemRight About Geography: Arizona’s Top 5 Industries By Employment

A new contribution by another “student”. Big Homie (my 12-year-old son) contributes the following post looking at Labor in the state of Arizona.*

I’d like to show a chart of the top five industries in 2014.

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Yes, the government was on Arizona’s top five employers in Arizona. We will later see if other states are similar. This chart shows how many employees are paid by:

1: Trade, transportation, and utilities: 494,000

2: Government: 411,300

3: Professional and business services: 390,700

4: Leisure and hospitality: 290,800

5: Financial activity: 195,300

However, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is still Arizona’s biggest employer, followed by Banner Health, a healthcare company, and grocery chains Kroger Company. I know what you’re thinking “so why is not Wal-Mart on this list”? This is because Wal-Mart is technically a business, not an industry.

By: Big Homie

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* Remember your old boring Geography class in school? Did you ever wonder whether it really mattered if you knew exactly where various states were located in the United States? Really, you were not even able to drive yet and what if you never planned on even visiting those states when you got older? Well, I’ve noticed the fruits of this mentality in adults over the years, so this year I wanted to try something different with the Tribe. 

Now in full disclosure, Lil Pappa (my dad) would take the fam across the country to California and one of my favorite activities (besides counting BJ Trucks…but more on that another day) was following along in the atlas, and observing the topography and demographics in each state. 

Therefore, we are combining Geography with a bit of Sociology. We are choosing various states and besides just asking questions like, “what are the main tourist attractions in the state?”, they are making a short analysis of each state within Neely Fuller’s Nine Areas of People Activity paradigm: 

1. Economics
2. Education
3. Entertainment
4. Labor
5. Law
6. Politics
7. Religion
8. Sex
9. War/Counter-War

Economic and Education Stats for the State of Arizona

Quick intro from Cool Poppa:

Remember your old boring Geography class in school? Did you ever wonder whether it really mattered if you knew exactly where various states were located in the United States? Really, you are not even able to drive yet and what if you never planned on even visiting those states when you got older? Well, I’ve noticed the fruits of this mentality in adults over the years, so this year I wanted to try something different with the Tribe. 

Continue reading “Economic and Education Stats for the State of Arizona”