Here We Go Again

This is a preview of the upcoming “An Endless Battle”.  I am asking myself, why is it endless?  Why have the government not been able to curtail the drug flow that enters this country and finds it way to these street dealers? There certainly are no poppy fields in America that I know of, do you?

It is me or does it seem to be a continuation of stereotypes protrayed in the media of Blacks being the only ones dealing drugs? What about Meth dealers? What about “meth babies”?  Well you know, with the crack epidemic in the Black community, of course they produced “crack babies’.  But in reporting the incidents of meth related crimes, the children are called “Meth’s Tiniest Victims” or “Endangered Children”, they don’t get the LABEL that follows them for most of their school years.

What’s worse is that they make that stuff right here and from what I have read about it, it is deadly.  Have you heard of any learning disabilities amongst the children whose mothers are meth addicts?  No I don’t think so. Get ready to write your complaint letters, I have a feeling this is going to be the same ole, same ole.

Who’s Transporting Your Children?

I have always had an issue of busing children from their neighborhoods to schools that are far away, that process has disrupted neighborhoods and the comradery associated with walking to school everyday. But over the years my fears have been validated when it comes to transporting our children and the safety surrounding it.

Are you aware of the bad safety habits of school bus drivers?  Have you observed them talking on the cellular phone while driving?  Have you noticed them driving faster than they should?  I certainly have. One thing I also know is how EASY it is to get a job driving a bus.  I have heard horror stories of bus drivers actually cussing out students and doing all types of things while driving the busses.  I have been informed that these incidents are kept on the hush.  There are millions of dollars at stake and I guess you can see why they want to keep the “light low” on these incidents. But if the community really knew what was going on with the safety of their children, I believe stronger enforcement of the rules of transportation would be done and more on the street monitoring of drivers would be done as well.  Right now, it is pretty lax, in my opinion.

As I drive to work and back home every day, I am more aware of the on-road behavior of those who transport our children to and from school .  I am appalled at the behavior I have observed of some bus drivers behind the wheel, and behavior I have been told about when they are not driving the buses.

I see many driving too fast and I mean TOO FAST. They are tailgating cars, which mean they are stopping too close to the cars in front of them. They are talking on cellular phones as they drive the buses, even when turning corners with these huge buses. They are using one hand to maneuver the bus around sharp corners while they are talking on the cellular phone!!!  Is it me or does anyone else think this is dangerous?

For the past few years, I have begun reporting anonymously what I am seeing to the perspective bus companies, but I see no improvement in the way the drivers are driving the buses.  Perhaps it should be more than me doing it. Then I have learned that at these “bus stations” fights break between the drivers?????   I mean, I have a bit of information from a pretty reliable source, who was in an argument personally. Yes, they get fired but guess what? They simply move on to another bus company.  No behavior management classes or anything are mandated for them.  If they are so unprofessional that they will fight on the job, they really need professional help in proper behavior and anger management.  They also need reminding by their companies; on a daily basis; to not use their phones when the buses are in motion. Even regular car drivers told to use hands-free methods when driving their cars, even though I think driving while holding long conversations on a cellular phone is a danger period.

If we care for our children, we ALL must be the watchers to assure that they are safely transported. Winter is coming and the roads can be pretty dangerous and slippery. We need our drivers with both hands on the wheel, monitoring their speed and paying attention. 

So when you see these drivers, driving unsafely, please report them.  I think you may call Milwaukee Public Schools transportation department and get a list of all the bus companies that service the school district with the telephone numbers.  Keep it in your car and REPORT THEM.  Be sure to note the day, the time, the area and the bus number.  I know this is a lot but there has to be more than a few people who are making sure of transportation safety for students. We cannot expect Milwaukee Public Schools or the bus company managers to be able to see everything.  We are on the streets with them, we see it, and our duty is to report it.  Perhaps we should start calling the BUS COMPANIES out by name and incident??????

What About Those Politicians, Do They Represent YOU?

Before anyone take the time to waste the tax payers dollars to investigate when I am doing this blog. It is done at home and uploaded during my lunch hour on my PERSONAL computer. Okay? 

Really understanding politics is something that I admit, I didn’t do.  When I became involved in the cases for Michael McGee and April Griffin, I saw how unprotected we are by the very people we ELECT to assure that we are not violated by our very government systems. Once I began to look into how it works, and how it works for Black people in general, I formed a clear understanding of the difference between a politician and a representative. And also what an “elected official” is as well. I want to share with you my thoughts on this subject and know from the onset that I will step on some toes, but that is what you will get for sticking your big foot out there in the first place.

Let us begin with what a politician is.  I wanted to show you the definitions according to the language we speak, so that you will know it is not MY definition but this is what it is, on the real. A politician is: 1. a person who is active in party politics. 2. a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles. 3. a person who holds a political office.

4. a person skilled in political government or administration; statesman or stateswoman. 5. an expert in politics or political government. 6. a person who seeks to gain power or advancement within an organization in ways that are generally disapproved.  I want you to note the underlined words in each of the six definitions of a politician.  What this should tell you, the reader is that a politician is all for HIM/HERSELF bottom line. He or she is an INDIVIDUAL, acting as an INDIVIDUAL and has fooled you into believing that they are representing YOU. But in FACT is definitely not working in your best interest, you know, the one who took the time to go to the poll to elect these mo-fos.  

I know you heard the term rogues, and when I think of rogues, I think of the term “rogue cop”, that is where I first heard the word referenced as far as a public figure who has sworn to serve the people is concerned. Well many of these politicians are simply rogue politicians, and rogues aren’t interested in justice or what is right for the people but only for their own political futures. Trying to determine who’s a rogue and who’s just plain inept is difficult. It’s a game of monopoly whether they are rogue politicians or not because a POLITICIAN is in it for his or her self.  They use us for the pieces on the political game board.  The sad thing is that we, in the Black community are so stuck on personality and personal relationship that we forget what we need politically and actually why we elect people to positions.  I recall someone saying, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” and we simply aren’t being vigilant. And we are ALL virtually SLAVES.

Now that I have discussed the POLITICIAN, let’s take a look at the REPRESENTATIVE.   A representative is, as a noun: 1. a person or thing that represents another or others. 2.  an agent or deputy: such as an legal representative. As an adjective: 1, serving to represent; representing. 2. standing or acting for another or others.

There is only one in Milwaukee who I consider a representative of her constituents. Polly Williams is a representative for her district at the seat of government in Madison.

An official is someone who holds an office in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of authority (either his own or that of his superior and/or employer, public or legally private).  An elected official is a person who is an official by virtue of an election.  This says that what we call an “elected official” is given AUTHORITY by YOU the ELECTOR, who is part of the ELECTORATE, to exercise AUTHORITY on YOUR behalf at the seat of government.  They are only there because of YOU to assure that YOU are not violated by the government, that you are protected from tyranny, etc.  That is why they are there, people. They are not celebrities, or people who should be treated specially.  They are SERVANTS at best. They take an OATH to protect the Constitution of the United State of America, which is a document that protects the Citizens of the United States of America.  In short, this is not happening because we are not keeping “eternal vigilance”.

For Black people all those we have elected to represent US, (with the EXCEPTION of perhaps two at best) are politicians, from City Government to the seats in Washington, they sit and bargain away our right to justice, liberty, protection against tyranny and a decent quality of life. This is reflective in the FACT that many citizens can’t find a job to have a decent life. This is manifested by the sad state of Black affairs in this city and many around the country. 

Business is a measure of vibrancy for any community and I am speaking of the Black community, which is my primary concern.  It is a reflection of the financial state of a community and as we can witness the Black community is in a sad position for competitive commerce with those businesses who are literally invaders, sanctioned by licenses granted by OUR elected politicians.  This is why Black folks are always looking for a grant from these foundations for their projects instead of being able to the businesses in their community for the dollars.

I suspect there is a trade off and people are allowed to feed off the Black community with no objection from those we elect, in exchange for something.  How many how many predatory lenders are out there in our community? I have heard so much talk about predatory lending and how these lenders have literally duped people into taking loans but not ONE of them have been sanctioned in any way, nor have the people who were tricked made whole. They simply had to “suck it up”.  It was their fault, even though they were mislead and made to believe that they could afford the loan, we are told. Yeah, blame the victim.  How many pay day loan places?  Who regulates the interest rates they charge? Why are these PREDATORS allowed amongst us, wholesale? How many Class A and Class B liquor licenses are given in Milwaukee?  How many nail shops? How many beauty supply stores? How many restaurants?  How many gas stations that are actually selling cooked food? Once that information is gathered then we can detail where they are really concentrated and ask our elected, WHY? Why did they vote for this, if it is as I suspect, we the people did not benefit. I have more to say but not enough time to say it. Lunch over.  Peace


Afrofest began a few years before I came to Milwaukee.  By the time I arrived in 1986 it was no longer and I was introduced to African World Festival (AWF).  At the first festival I attended, I was so impressed with the idea of an African festival and made a decision to commit to the occasion and attend each year.  I work as a secretary, so you know I don’t make a lot of money, but this was important, I knew that I would sacrifice to take my daughter to this event that was for people of African descent.  A festival for African people, what a novel idea, I thought.

My initial disappointment began soon after when I discovered that there was very little to learn about the continent of Africa and the many countries therein. Outside of the vendors from a couple of countries in Africa hawking their wares, trying to outdo one another, the different food vendors, few of them, if any, serving African cuisine, I thought to myself, is this it?.  I didn’t feel a connection, I felt like a tourist. I was disappointed even more when I learned that no special accommodations were made for local vendors and the fees for locals were as astronomical as the ones for vendors who would get our money and not recycle the dollars they received from us back with us here in the City of Milwaukee.  The problems that arose from violent outbursts caused me to not want to be there after dark and I began to only come for the opening ceremony, leaving shortly after I had looked at the same items from vendor to vendor.

Still the biggest disappointment was the history I learned of its conception, the deception and then its demise.  I thought this opportunity for people of African descent to support their own festival was literally being squandered.  It was supported but not by the people for the most part, but by organizations, some with 501(c)(3)s who gave huge donations to the festival to keep it afloat, whose funding came from the federal government.  That money was supposed, I thought, to be used to help the people, not fund a festival.  This is not to take away from those of us who would pay for a ticket, but I thought too many FREE tickets were given away. 

Sometimes I think Milwaukee has a patronizing mentality of poverty, especially when it comes to Black people.  It appears that the idea planted in the minds of Black Milwaukeans and their “caregivers”, is that Black  Milwaukeans are so poor and in need, they can’t support something that should be an object of pride for THEM. That is a flat-out lie. As I looked at the cars, new and older models sporting rims that cost thousands of dollars, stereo systems that should have been in an amphitheatre, diamond crusted rings and crosses around necks, high priced tennis shoes and other fly gear, I know it was and still is a lie.  It was not a matter of can’t, it was a matter of won’t.  And why should they, when so many FREE tickets, backed by that very ideology was floating around?

It seemed to me that money that could have been gained from those FREE tickets would have been better spent in the marketing of the Festival in a way that would have instilled pride in the people. Enough pride to actually support it with their dollars and conduct themselves as proud African descended people. Proud to be Black and of African descent..Isn’t that something? And it is this writer’s opinion that this could have actually happened had it not been for the attitude of the liberal minded, paternalistic culture here of what Black people cannot and will not do. The proof that the capital exists is on the backs, feet, necks and filled parking lots at the local Wal-Mart stores. Still with the announcement of its resurgence, I hope that someone reads this blog and takes heed.

Now, we have a second chance to enjoy AfroFest.  The origin of this festival and concept that was its birth is reborn.  And though I am not seeing competition with AWF, I am going by the love I feel in the planning room of this Festival. The team of hard workers are huddled to make Afrofest a reality once again and to not make the mistake that went the way of African World Festival. This will be a celebration of music, food, and culture on Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18, 2010 at the centrally located Washington Park, which is minutes from Miller Park, the North Shore and western suburbs. Most importantly, it is in the Black Community and will be FREE to the community.  The people who have volunteered their talent and time to make this happen are phenomenal and infectious.

I don’t expect to learn much about Africa at this festival, but I do expect to come together with other people of African descent and love and enjoy each in peace and love.  Just having a good time with Black folks is what I am looking forward to. It is a new beginning and I definitely look forward to working to make that happen.  So I encourage you to support Afrofest and I hope to see you there on the grounds of Washington Park.  I will be behind my jewelry table in the vending area.  PEACE