My thoughts

So a week has passed since the Governor’s State of the State speech – Let’s take a look at this from a different aspect – He has a nine million dollar war chest, he’s running to make history to win a second term as the Republican Governor that hasn’t won re-election since Spiro Agnew was Governor in the early 70s. He has a very high respectable rating as the Governor. He has made a few points that I have to be able to look at with a very fine grain of salt. I have to say that after hearing his state of state – I really wonder if he understands that most of his policies are in some way helping Washington – with his infrastructure plan that really can be reinvested in the counties of Maryland. But some of the things that he mentioned really should be looked at with a very fine magnifying glass – such as the School Accountability Act – when schools work hard to ensure that they are held accountable – what about the role of MSDE? Where will the Accountability start? And who should be punished or taken accountable? There are some bills that I support that does make sense – But he has to be able to understand that people will see this as a re-election promise – I am just saying that he could really have delivered the State of State better – “Maryland is open for business” – Maryland was always open for business – but it also has a chance to be open to anyone who wants to be able to make a better living than where they were previously.

 

As I type this, I type this with an understanding that we are heading into a different era. We are heading into an era where Fake News has become the norm, Hate is on the rise, and people are just feeling unsure. I leave this message for people with open arms: Love is always here – in our hearts, in our minds, and in our voices. I say that as I continue to try to be the voice of reason among madness – I say that as I continue to try to fight with love, education, and peace with open arms. But let’s not stop asking questions, let’s not stop trying to get the answers.

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My thoughts

My Thoughts

So today I want to compose this post for several reasons; some of the legislative proposals that are being spearheaded in the 2018 Legislative Sessions down in Annapolis, along with my thoughts of MLK Day.

So, the General Assembly is currently debating a very important issue that I think needs to be addressed: Term Limits. I think it’s very important to be able to address this topic because I think it’s time to impose term limits on the legislators. I believe in imposing term limits because Maryland has really been a beacon of progressiveness when it comes to social liberal issues and fiscal issues. But speaking as a person who is looking from outside in, the lack of term limits can really put a stop to the progress because in a democracy; term limits is what makes a small cornerstone of our great institutions work – George Washington was the first elected President of the United States under the Constitution; and there were no term limits imposed on him; he voluntarily turned over the mantle of power after his second term because he knew that the fight to be independent of a tyranny that was not paying attention to the terms of the citizens. So for the General Assembly to take that issue to the floor; I commend them and I hope that they pass it. I also want to take the time to recognize that the General Assembly did the right thing by overriding the Governor’s veto on the paid sick leave legislation that passed last year.

My thoughts on Dr. Martin Luther King in the 21st century is one of the most daily thoughts I have as a black male in the modern era where many different things have appeared and I just feel shellshocked over it; from the 45th president making derogatory terms about various minorities; to insulting other nations and the pride that they harbor for their home. It really makes me wonder so much about the direction that we are going as a nation. As you know, Dr. King made a speech that resonated throughout the National Mall 55 years ago – one of the things that he said in the speech that really needs to reflect on the values of the populous –  “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” — “I have a dream” — Dr. Martin Luther King. So somewhere along the line, we have lost ourselves and we need to find that dream. We need to be able to take a look and see what can we do to provide the proper steps toward that dream.

My Thoughts

2018!

So, 2018! I must admit that the first week of 2018 has been interesting to say; a lot of things has transpired. But I want to take the time to be able to mention a few things; as my readers are full aware of my political aspiration; I want to let you know that I have officially announced my campaign as we are entering the 2018 election cycle. I will try to make sure that I continue to keep you updated with various things that is going on from my end.

So, I wanted to be able to convey my thoughts about 2017 – 2017 was a year that really has been a blessing and a lesson in one. As one of my dearest friend came up with this quote: “Every lesson is a blessing” – I took that advice and I saw what she meant when she told me that quote; Everything that one does – it’s a lesson and a blessing because you are your own teacher with the right guidance, you can understand the lesson that is being taught and feel blessed by it. Often, I wonder about the direction of life – where are we going; how are we making a positive impact on people that comes into our circle and that leaves our circle. 2017 also created some uncertain moments for me but I realized that having uncertain moments are necessary – because it can either create a make/or break moment for you – When I decided to file my candidacy for public office – I was uncertain about the plan that I created for myself – but I realized that I am doing something that I’m certain about – I’m following my dreams of going into public service – so uncertainty is an good thing; it will enable you to think about the negative – but it will also force you to be reminded of the positive aspects of that doubt; every positive thing will always produce some form of negative feeling – but it will also allow you to be able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture only to realize that some of the things that you have done or started is for you and your ability to follow/chase your dreams.

So on that note – 2017 was a dear friend to me and I relish every moment of 2017; where I have lost and made new friends, where I have lost myself and found myself again – where I have taken opportunities and made it a blessing and a lesson – I look forward to what 2018 has to offer.

2018!

Alabama Senate Special Election

So a few night I decided to look at the special election that was being conducted for Jeff Session’s seat. There were a few signs that this would be a surprise and something to be able to keep a close eye on as the 2018 election comes to the front view. The special election in Alabama really shined a lot on a lot of things from the brand messaging that the Grand Old Party (GOP) delivered was very poor – to the Democratic Brand messaging which they showed that they were the better choice. Also, the special election shined a light on a new demographic: Black Voters; specifically, black female voters who came out and wanted to show their support for the democratic candidate Doug Jones who won. But I want to be able to take the time to congratulate the Senator-Elect Doug Jones; but more importantly I want to be able to congratulate the 49.9% of the population who came out and made their voice heard. That’s the best part about our way of governance, the fact that the republic heard the voices of the citizens of Alabama who rejected the ideology of pedophilia, bigotry, and misogyny that has been promoted by the GOP. One of the things that we need to look at is the concept of Trumpism and how that will end up damaging the country if we do not try to change it with people who care about this country.

Many people are calling the election of Roy Moore and Doug Jones a bellwether of 2018 as they look at the historical win of Scott Brown and the damage that the Democratic Party had in 2010; where they had complete major control of both the United States Senate and House of Representatives. But the Democratic Party managed to make mistakes along the way that costed them that control; but now we understood the consequences of ignoring the stakeholders and the party itself is taking necessary measures to ensure that we don’t ignore them 100%. There was an article that was published in the Slate Magazine that explained that the Doug Jones campaign owes its victory to the 98%; mostly Black females that wanted to send a message and I’m here to say that WE HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR! So, in 2018; we must ensure that all parties involved are heard by a party that wants to take the wheel back and make sure that we fulfill the dreams of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama – a direction that puts America on a path of success; progressive – forwardness.

Alabama Senate Special Election

Long Overdue

First off, I want to take the time to apologize for my delay in posting – Life has really become interesting over the last two months, from starting graduate school to working a new job – I have to say that I feel blessed with the support system that I have.

With that being said, I want to be able to take the time to be able to shine the light on the Maryland Election Cycle (MEC) of 2017-2018. As we know, based on history, that the United States Constitution requires the House of Representatives to undergo an re-election cycle every two years to ensure that one party doesn’t become too dominant in that aspect, along with the United States Senate. This year, we have 435 seats that are up for election/re-election, along with 33 Senate seats that is up for election/re-election. To add to that, we have 36 gubernatorial elections that could change the dynamics of the nation in a very riveting year since the surprising upset election results back in November 2016. But I want to be able to shine a light on the election cycle that is currently underway in Maryland.

As many individuals are aware, that the incumbent is Governor Larry Hogan, who has really surprised a lot of individuals within his own party and within the opposition party as well. His popularity rate as of September 2017 hovers in the low 60s which is rare for a sitting Republican governor that occupies the Government House (Governor’s home). But he has managed to push a platform that doesn’t alienate the ideology of both parties, however in a time where issues can be polarized – it doesn’t take much for one to know their stances. I made my informal announcement that I was running for the House of Delegates – working on a formal announcement in the due time. But however the platform that Governor has spearheaded doesn’t really put everyone on that same standing — take the Amazon Bid for example – Howard County, Prince George’s County and Baltimore City has submitted a bid with the full blessing of the Governor – but once again he is honing his focus the central part of Maryland without taking in consideration other counties that needs to be counted – that deserves a seat at the table.

That’s why I’m running for the Delegate seat because it’s time that all counties get heard, get a seat at the table when it comes to statewide issues that eventually affects them; not just Baltimore County, Howard County, Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, or Montgomery County. All counties has a voice and we deserve to be at the table. It’s time that we pay close attention to the Main Street communities and not just to the big businesses that is doing division than collaboration. We need to make sure that we can be able to bring that main street approach back to the table and ensure that we are doing all we can to make Maryland a better Maryland.

Long Overdue

Recap National Black Deaf Advocates Conference

So, I thought to take the time to be able to reflect on my experience on my first attendance at the National Black Deaf Advocates conference in my hometown – Baltimore, MD.

First off, let me explain that this is my views and my thoughts since this was my first time attending something that I have heard for years as if it was the spot to be – truth be told, it was a spot to be among different individuals from different walk of life, history, and knowledge. I felt like I was part of a community that has been fighting for many things and I felt honored to be among them because I am still learning about new things daily. Seeing some of the founders was like seeing history come alive, seeing young children running around felt like I was at a church function where we laughed and we cried. But I’ll be honest with you, there are moments where I had to scratch my head and wonder what the hell is going on? So, it was a mixture of feelings that made me wonder – will I see this at the 2019 conference? Many people have told me the same thing – “it’s the same old song and dance” and has been for the last few years so the question I often ask myself is how will the cycle be broken? How will the community be able to bridge the divide that I saw at the conference and experienced firsthand?

So, I want to start off with the disappointing stuff that I noticed over the last week – the rejection of blooming minds, xenophobia, judgmental attitudes (cliques), refusal to take accountability, to being with. Often time, I have hosted parties and to be the host for the conference was a huge honor. But I noticed that the older generation were just harsh and judgmental – maybe it was me being a good host but I just felt that they were rejecting the notion of a young black man because they looked at me as if I was uneducated or naïve. Again, that’s just me, I can’t speak for the rest. That was the first two days where I found out that my chapter was doing everything all backwards from the national board, and they had the nerve to accuse me of not communicating with them which was an insult to me and to the people of my chapter when they were being hypocritical – and all I asked of them was to take accountability into the mistakes that were made – and make the proper remedies to satisfy my members since they have put a lot into forming this chapter only for a senior citizen to simply say “ACCEPT! AND MOVE ON!” – to me, that’s saying “you have to deal with the fuck up that we made” when we shouldn’t have to do so in the first place since we were following the guidelines and the requirements that the board set for us and we met it with flying colors. That left a bitter taste in my mouth especially when I had to chase the board down and make them realize that they screwed up – not us!

The second disappointing thing about the conference was the cliques that I noticed at the business meeting, it really was a wake-up call for me because I didn’t realize how divided it was and how the older generation really rejected the blooming minds of the young professionals who could have really helped change things around – the business meeting really need to be conducted in a proper fashion (Why are we still discussing something from two years ago when they could use that time to discuss new business or new ideas for the organization – put the minutes on paper and keep it moving!) But the young professionals really were excluded from voicing their opinions and thoughts which really made me wonder “is the organization trying to progress forward or stay stuck in the historical phase?” I just was in shock because I’m like these young professionals will become the lifeline of the organization, especially when the older generation slowly wilt away.

The last thing I want to address and I think it’s a very important thing to address – XENOPHOBIA – It was shocking to see that a community that prides itself on being united and show that unity practice xenophobia on a harsh level. I am sure some of you are familiar with the US driver license motion that was proposed and failed. The detail of that motion was just so insulting that I just couldn’t help but drop my jaw and ask “Is this for real?!” – are we actually excluding a community of immigrants, legal aliens because they are not US citizens? At the conference of black people?! It was just OMG – if it wasn’t for the voice of a few people who opposed the idea of this motion, I would have walked out and got in my car and went home because I didn’t come to a conference just to participation in this disgusting behavior yet alone try to even perpetrate the cycle. These were the disappointing factors that really made me wonder about the next conference.

But I will say that the most impressive thing was the knowledge that I walked away with – from black females, black males, youth, LGBTQIA+, and senior citizens – I feel like I was dipped in water and came out anointed with holy oil on my head. I felt like that I was learning from the facts of life and how they managed to use their experience and make it a positive one in a time where uncertainty is becoming the new norm. I just felt that the experience alone was enough for me to realize that I’m in a community where I can feel safe to talk about issues that impact the black deaf community. I also made it clear that it takes a community to raise a community. That’s how I felt when I was seeing some of the positive things taking place such as different programs like Y.E.S, different community leaders working together for the bigger picture. That was the most impressive part for me and that’s what I would aim to see more of that at the next conference. I just felt that the positive things sometime can cause one to look at things differently, allow one to really be able to paint a different picture than what has already been painted. So that is the recap of my experience at the NBDA conference. Does it mean I would go to the next one? Sure. But would I go with rose-colored glasses like I did this one? Nope.

Recap National Black Deaf Advocates Conference

Fourth of July

So today is the day where a political experiment celebrates the formation of it. Almost 241 years ago, a group of individuals in a room created a document that we call today the Declaration of Independence where they broke away from King George III and the Empire of Great Britain. But the word independence stuck with me. The definition of independence really means: “the fact or state of being independent” which rings true for some cases. But we should look at similar meaning such as – self-determination, self-reliance, freedom and liberty.

When I look at terms such as freedom and liberty; it makes me wonder how are we still free when we are still struggling with different issues that doesn’t move us forward as a nation. How are we still free when women are still struggling to have equal pay as their male counterparts? How are we still displaying liberty when the LGBTQ community are being cast aside as if they are second-class citizens? How can we live up the words of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” We are living in a nation that still is unpacking the volatile history of racism, oppression, and discrimination.

As Dr. Martin Luther King said at the closing of his “I have A Dream” speech – “Free at Last, Free at last and Thank God Almighty, I’m free at Last” – he was speaking from a vision that he wanted to happen but his life was cut short by hate. Many lives that I have read, who aimed to be pioneers for many things such as Harvey Milk, Amelia Earhart, John F. Kennedy and so many names who had different visions for the nation and its spirit still lives on through those who want to see those dreams come true of a nation that learns to love one another, learn to support one another regardless of age, sexual orientation, creed, gender.

I, as an American, don’t say Happy Independence Day – I say Happy Freedom from Tyranny Day. Again, Independence means freedom and liberty – I can’t express joy if members of LGBTQ communities are being cast aside like second-class citizens, I can’t express joy if women still must fight for equal pay for equal work. I was taught to respect the skillset that a female counterpart CAN offer, so it’s only right for them to paid the same amount that I get paid for. I was taught to love members of different communities and to support them in their struggles as I continue to FIGHT for them. I can’t express joy for liberty when black individuals are being shot down in the black or in the front when they are following the law. I can’t express joy in a nation that’s going backward to a time where the barrel of a gun dictates how things should be run; or when a group of men huddle in a backroom making side deals to take away so many form of securities from families that shouldn’t have to worry about medical bills versus mortgage payments.

I must ask myself – what are we? 52 individuals that is in control of the United States Senate, and 240 individuals that is in control of the United States House of Representatives which controls the United States Congress – and they are showing the true colors of the GOP; Trump’s GOP. Not the GOP of Roosevelt or Lincoln where they took everyone into consideration. So as I type this, I am coming to you with a message: WE THE PEOPLE can rise up, we can show the world that we are forward-thinking nation by continuing to show love, freedom for our fellow brothers and that we continue to fight bigotry, hatred, and ignorance with education, love and understanding.

Happy 4th of July, a holiday that will continue to allow us to unpack ourselves as citizens, as a nation.

Fourth of July