A Reflection on Juneteenth

Crimes unimaginable

Sins unfathomable

Wrongs not righted

With an apology,

A soft word,

Or the stroke of a pen.

Pain to the deepest parts

Of the heart and soul,

The very fiber of one’s being,

A wound that doesn’t heal,

But rather cuts deeper

With every smile,

Every handshake,

On every pay day,

Every trip to the grocery store,

Every night at mealtime,

When they look at their children,

When they look at ours.

Privilege continues

Despite the lip service,

Despite the promises,

Amidst the meager gifts,

The dregs of easy charity

From the tatters of a bursting purse,

The guilt trip laid on thick

To the middle class and even

The working poor.

Those that lack for food,

Clothing or shelter,

Living barely day to day,

Not knowing where one’s next

Meal will come from.

And at the church the preacher

Says try harder, pray more,

Save your dollars

So you can send your little ones

To a good college,

Make them study,

Keep them out of trouble,

Tell them you love them,

That you’re proud of them

For that report card.

What do you say

When the white kid

Calls them the n-word?

What do you say

When you don’t have a job

Because you refused

To kiss your supervisor’s butt

When he would talk to you

Like you were nothin’,

Just a cog in his machine,

A disposable, replaceable,

Optional, neglectable,

Insultable, disrespected,

Used, abused, tossed out

To the street

Like so much garbage,

Black man?

Power

Wrong meets right.

The fight is strong.

Laugh, they will.

Cry out, they must.

Shout, at the top of their lungs—

Justice must prevail.

So many innocent lives

Have been crushed by the fist

Of the oppressor!

So many suffer

Because of the greed

And the arrogance

Of the powerful.

The powerful?

Who is powerful?

What is power?

Don’t you know that

The wind has changed course

On this hot, dry day.

The wind! The water!

The earth! The animals!

The birds! The insects!

The trees! Yes, even the trees!

Look at an old oak tree,

And tell me about power!

Look at a rushing stream,

And tell me about power!

Watch a lion kill its prey,

And tell me about power!

Is a gun, power?

In the hands of a six year old, a gun is just as powerful as in the hands of a grown man!

A gun is just a tool.

It’s what you do with a tool

That makes it useful.

It’s what you do with a tool

That makes it powerful.

And when a thousand voices scream,

That’s power!

When the people speak as one,

That’s power!

Don’t be afraid.

Be excited!

Be joyful!

Be glad!

For power has come to the people,

And they will not be denied this moment.

They have prayed,

And they have worked,

And they have suffered

For this moment.

Listen to the wind blow

Through the trees!

Justice has come like a mighty rush of wind,

And anything that’s old, anything that’s weak,

Anything that’s not tied down tight,

Is gonna blow away!

Those old tricks, old ways,

Cowardly words, weak attitudes,

Straw men beware!

The wind of justice has come to blow you…

Away!

For Just Being You

Possible clangs rule up and against

The things hanging in time,

The seconds you give yourself,

In between deep breaths,

Bracing for the last proverbial

Hiking boot to drop,

The one you already used

To kick yourself in the ass,

For just being you.

Strife steeple apple clarity boom

Strife steeple apple clarity boom

Stack swordfight against an orangutan

From the head clerk of the zoo.

The orangutan would only be

Supplied with a plastic spoon, so

Easy to cut a man’s skin off the

Bone, into an artery, sever a vein,

Something, damn it, there’s a walk in

Place for taking a piss. Ouch your sigh.

Life sucks. And I would agree.

Sometimes, maybe for most people,

Life does suck. Maybe if they turned

Every church in town, staffed, organized

And otherwise provided for it to function

Like any other mental health unit of a

Hospital, and then took on the insurance

And pharmaceutical rackets, you’d see

Healing right away.

 

 

Humanity: The First and Last Form of Capital

Capitalism is an ugly thing. Really ugly, at its worst. But you wouldn’t expect it, except when you see it in action in the poorest of countries, those we don’t care to help, in contrast to the way our Defense Department spends millions of dollars of our tax money to help, assist or protect other countries. At first, capitalism seems harmless, helpful, even wonderful. People just using whatever given resources they have, and then building something out of nothing. What happens, is that because each creator of a new business, especially once the business begins to take off, perhaps through their own ingenuity, hard work and lots of luck, they feel like they are an artist looking back at her canvas, and the end result is something beautiful. A religious person might say the creator and sustainer, can just sit back, make a few adjustments here and there, and let the god of capitalism bestow upon her one and only beloved daughter, the holy grail. And if this daughter does exceptionally well for herself, she will be able to shower the gift of salvation with all the true believers, the ones whom have been faithful with their talents, multiplying each for much more. Sounds like a beautiful thing, right? First, a story.

 

It all started out with a creator of an object. As the creator started to use the object, all were inspired by the god of capitalism, and the god gave it a blessing, that the daughter of god, would have dominion over her object, with a power to give a name to her creation. In her eternal wisdom, the creator gave such a beautiful name, it seemed to surpass even the beauty of the object itself. This miracle was required to save all of humanity, with this one, great and powerful gift. Her followers would then be given a greater gift, which she then revealed to them, was instilled inside their souls, a true reflection of herself, even though they themselves had not seen it. When she spoke these words, they knew in their hearts it was true.

 

Later, the creator called together her followers for a banquet, during which she explained she would reveal to each of them, what her purpose was on earth. During the banquet, she took out her object, and held it up to them once again, and they felt blessed and privileged to see it again. Suddenly, within their minds they saw a vision of a heavenly kingdom, which would be built upon this one object, and they knew that they were witnessing the god of capitalism in their midst. The creator pronounced that from this one gift, they would all be able to do as she has done, indeed, even greater things. She proclaimed that all that would be required from her children, would be for them to always remember her, as well as the object she had created and shown to them. Then she told them that she would have to leave soon, but that a great Comforter would come to them, bestowing on them all the strength that they would need. The followers of the creator felt a bit nervous with this announcement, but with this great Comforter coming, they still had hope, if they could only let it all settle into their souls. “How can we do the same thing?” they asked themselves. After the creator left, however, great success was achieved by many.

 

Capitalism was created to benefit the one with the capital, not the ones who may be the greatest asset to the business. This is because of a great hierarchy that exists. The farther down the totem pole you are from the owner, the least value you have to them, and, in turn, the further you are from getting paid what you are worth. This is the case with companies with a fast turnaround, because pay should be according to the value you have to the company, in general, excluding how much money you make for the owner. Hourly pay raises should be according to a quota, but that quota should include all types of work done, not just the kind of work that can be seen from an ivory tower, i.e., on a spreadsheet full of dollar amounts.

 

Companies who truly put their employees first, time and again, have the best chance of reaping the most profits, the least turnaround, more loyalty, more job security, best training programs and the happiest employees. But the first step is to pay them what they are worth. None of these things will happen without that. With it, they will be more interested and even excited about how the company is doing, because they will know that the company’s success is their success. If your employees don’t feel appreciated, and if it’s not reflected in their pay, you are not doing everything you can for your company, yourself, and your most precious resource, your employees.