Perspective: one's "point of view", the choice of a context for opinions, beliefs and experiences
Perspective may tell you that a young man walking down the street with his pants sagging and wearing a hoodie means that he is going to rob a house. Perspective may tell you that a man sworn to protect a neighborhood has the right to protect by any means necessary. Perspective may tell you that the media’s coverage is slanted to favor the young man or the watchmen. Perspective may tell you that this is a racially motivated crime or it may tell you that this is just about protection.
What does perspective say about being unarmed? If you were walking down the street and a man was starring at you and then chased you holding a gun what would be your point of view? If you were trying to protect your neighborhood and thought you saw a young man who looked suspicious what then would be your point of view? Would it make a difference if as the young man you were black or white? What about if you were the watch person would race play a factor if you were opposite the suspect? What is the victim was a young black girl? What if the victim was a young white girl and what if the watch person was the opposite?
The nation is up in arms right now and it is not going to change until our collective perspectives change. The type of clothes you wear does not create or change the person you are inside. The color of your skin or hair does not determine who you are or what you do. No one has the right to profile anyone despite the fact that almost all of us do it. However we as a nation do need to hold people accountable for the things that they do.
Even though it is not the opinion of this paper and it is mine and mine alone I will say this. Black, white or other the thought that a young unarmed person can be chased at gun point and killed and the person responsible can still be free makes me very angry. It sends a very clear message that no one is safe. According to what we know, there were no other weapons. According to what we know, the only things recovered were a drink, some candy and a gun. The watchman says the gun was his. With this being the case there is no reason there should be a dead young person. There is no reason they should have engaged at all and there is no reason an arrest shouldn’t have been made.
It’s not about the hoodie and it’s not about the houses being robbed. It’s about profiling which makes it racial and it’s about excessive use of force which is criminal. It also calls into question what the police were doing. But we need to keep in mind that the actions of one watch person or one police company are not the actions of all.
This can be a way to tear our nation apart or help to put it back together. What is going to be our next move? Are we going to start condemning those around us that we feel are guilty by skin association? Are we going to start profiling those in similar power positions and deem them at fault? Are we going to stay angry and stop pushing the issue of justice?
What is your perspective? How would you handle this if it were your child? How will you instruct your children to stay safe should they encounter this? What if they have to deal with this and race is an issue, what should they do? Last what is your perspective on the questions asked? Would you know if they are being asked if your child were the young man or the watchmen...
I am a business owner and so I am dressed up a lot. I however would dress in a suit most of the time for no other reason then I like to be dressed up! But does that make me a certain type of person? Does it mean that I am stuffy, starchy or stiff?
I do think clothes make a statement about who you are and what you’re about but I don't think that’s all there is to it. There are people that believe that if you wear a hoodie and some sagging jeans then you’re a gangster and a thug. However in the 20's it was common for gangsters to wear suits and look very crisp and clean but still carry guns and rob you and your family blind and sometimes worse...
On the other end you have people like Russell Simmons and Mark Zuckerburge who can be seen a lot adorning hoodies sneakers and T-shirts. These are very well to do young men who seem to help the community more than hurt it. But because they wear these clothes do you think people wonder if they are thugs? I think this is just the style that they prefer.
What does this mean? It means you can't judge a book by its cover. Suits don't make me any more stuffy or snobby then wearing parachute pants back in the day made me MC Hammer... Are there appropriate places to wear certain things? I think so. I have very comfy pajama pants and an old t-shirt that I sleep in, but that outfit doesn't do well in an interview. However I may get a soft smile from my wife. In the same respect my $600 suit doesn't do well on the volleyball court either. Sometimes on a regular day that I’m hanging out at my house I lay back in a hooded sweatshirt and jeans and relax. And even if I happen to go to the store dressed like that to get snacks it doesn't change who I am.
So my thought is we need to start talking to each other again. We need to start seeing each other for the people that we are. We need to start doing more to help each other out. Actions speak louder than words. They also speak louder than clothing.
Our Michigan State Spartans are HOT on the court and the weather is HOT outside.
I am a fan of both! Outside, the trees are budding, the flowers are exploding and the grass is showing us how fast it can grow. On the court the Spartans are showing us their skill and poise under pressure.
It's not that we haven't had our issue both on the court and out of doors. But one of the things I love to see is our great state coming together in both times of tragedy and triumph.
In Dexter Michigan we had a devastating tornado and happily we had no serious injuries but we did have incredible damage. But once again our state is banding together to help find relief for those affected.
There is no telling what the future holds for our great state but I for one am proud to know we are in it together and we are aiming high and enjoying the heat!
For a time now I have seen the men on the corner adorned with the cardboard signs that explain where their lives are right at this moment. For years I have wondered what lead to this life and what will happen to these people tomorrow?
A couple of years ago I watched a special on a man who made a great living at begging for money on the side of the road. He would drive up in his car and park it several blocks away and then he and his sign would go to his favorite corner. His car was a Jaguar. His house was huge and elaborate. He had been giving money to a man who claimed to be homeless for months and then realized that he could make just as good a living by asking for money instead of working at his law firm.
Now this is not to suggest that the people out there need a hand out. I think that unless you know their individual story its best not to judge. However, I find it very hard to just give someone money because of their sign.
Lately I have seen an increase in people with signs needing money because they are homeless. There are women as well and they have signs that claim they have kids and they are all homeless. It pulls at my heartstrings! But is it true?
There are men that are on the corners with their dogs all bundled together for warmth. Is it a ploy? Are they playing on our emotions to get a fast buck? Or are their kids out there hanging on by a thread needing assistance?
It is hard to know what is real and what isn’t. I for one have come up with a plan. Because I am very religious I pray for the people I pass with the signs. I pray with as little judgment as I can. For those less religious or not at all I suggest well wishes and hope that things turn around. Maybe even write down the number of some of the places that may be able to assist them like shelters in the area and churches that give out free meals.
I like knowing that Lansing cares enough that those who have help those that may not. In the same respect I want my fellow Lansing people to be careful and helpful at the same time. A good rule of thumb is don’t put yourself in a situation that you wouldn’t want your kids in. That means not inviting the man on the corner that you have never met in the car with you in the middle of the night and things of that nature.
At the end of the day love big, be safe and help your fellow person.
If you are like a large number of people here in the Lansing area you have or are suffering from the "bug". Mine started very sudden. I was great one day and the next day I woke up and I was a mess. I was coughing, sneezing and my head was something I wanted detached from my body!
Now, even though I am not a doctor and cannot provide information on how to keep from getting whatever "bug" seems to be going around, here are some tips on things to do to keep them from spreading.
One of the biggest ways to keep from spreading the germs is to be conscious of what you're doing. Cough or sneeze into your elbow so that your hands are free to touch things to get you where you need to go. Almost everyone has seen someone sneeze in their hands only to put that same hand on the bathroom door knob...
Second is wash your hands often. Things like rubbing your eyes because you are tired can pick up the cold virus and many others and deposit them on an unsuspecting person just looking to greet you with a hand shake.
Carry your own box of tissue. Many people will sneeze into their hand and then use that hand to pick up the community box of tissue leaving their germs outside the box. Then when you are sneezing because of the pepper in the food and reach for the tissue time bomb you pick up more than nose comfort.
There are lots of things we can do to keep from getting sick but one of the biggest is think about yourself and your fellow person and go that extra step to keep you both healthy.
It’s true that the history of black people is wrought with tragedy but it is coated with triumph. There are black people throughout history who have done amazing things despite overwhelming odds like Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and George Washington Carver, just to name a very few. The accomplishments of these strong and determined individuals have helped to pave the way for other black people as well as other people of color respectively. Our current president Barack Obama
is a result of hard working individuals like the fore mentioned and many others changing the way African Americans were treated and looked at.
The history of the Negro, to black history, to African American history has come a long way. Even now history is changing. How much do our children know? How much more will they learn?
There are events going on throughout the month and one of the ones that kick it off is the opening ceremonies for Black History Month at Dart Auditorium. But there are many, many more. Check your local listings and then enjoy Black History Month.
It’s that time of year again when politicians begin to push for your votes. You may hear some good, you will surely hear some bad, and you may hear in between. The thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you do your own research. Every politician is going to look good depending on who is telling you about them. In the same respect, all of them are also going to look bad depending on who is spinning the tale. You have the power at your finger tips to get the real scoop. Now with that being said, it is important to go to websites and read articles that you trust. There are many publications out there with their own agenda...
It’s always good for younger people to have some idea of what’s going on and I believe that having family discussions on any and all subjects are important. It gives the youth a foundation to base their own ideas on, whether those ideas remain the same as the majority of the family or if they differ. However, because the mudslinging has gotten to be a little more prevalent as of late, it's a good idea to monitor what is heard.
Last but not least, remember to vote. It doesn't make sense to bash a public official if you never voted for anyone. We have the power to vote for and keep in office who we want. But we have to exercise our right to vote.
On this day 175 years ago Michigan became the 26th state in the union. Today has been proclaimed Michigan Statehood Day.
Though we celebrate this day as this great states birthday today, the festivities will commence this weekend. The Michigan Historical Museum will host events Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
I encourage all families to take a moment and reflect on what Michigan means to you and yours. Do your kids know the state stone? Do you know the state bird? What about the state flower or tree? Have fun Michiganders and lets celebrate the birth of our great state!
Happy birthday MICHIGAN the best is yet to come.
Today we honor an amazing person and a great activist for civil rights. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did a lot of great things for countless people and for that we are eternally grateful.
I for one love his heart. That is what put the plans in action. That is what kept him being so persistent in his pursuit of the dream! How many of us love so deeply that we vow to be non violent, even to those who vow to hate us? Who among us work so hard that despite what seems to be overwhelming odds? There are those that strive to push forward and make things better and they are the ones that keep his dream alive.
I vow that on this day that we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that I will continue to honor him with working harder to institute equality, and respect not only the similarities between us all, but embrace the differences and make the world a better place. I will do this all year, every year. I encourage you to look around and see what changes you can make to honor your neighbor. What changes can you make in your community to further unite everyone?
This has never happened before in history! There has never been this day of this year with you doing exactly what you are doing right now!
This year is a blank piece of paper. You can create whatever kind of masterpiece you want! You want to have a better home life with great relationships and money?
You can do it! You can put the right combination of things together to make this puzzle finally fit!
But I had such a bad year last year... That was the blue print on what not to do this year. You will check last year against this year while doing what you are supposed to do. All of those wrong turns, bad ideas, over spent money and ill placed faith can now be used to make sure you never do those again.
You have greatness inside you as we all do! What are you going to do with it? Are you going to feed it and watch it grow and with it watch the happiness of those around you growing too? Will you share the new found energy to making yourself better with others? Will you help to inspire your community to greatness? I will! I hope you will too.