The Flint Water Crisis: Racism Or Incompetence?

Monday, January 25, 2016

In 2014, state officials decided to change the water supply in the city of Flint, Michigan from Lake Huron to the Flint River as a way to save money.  Up until then, Flint paid Detroit to have access to Lake Huron. 

According to reports, shortly after the switch, residents started to complain that the water tasted, smelled, and looked funny.  Although the water was discolored, residents were told by city and state officials that everything was fine.

The problem had been attributed to the extremely high levels of iron in the Flint River which is what caused the water to turn brown.  It gets worse.  Apparently, the river was not properly treated with an anti-corrosive agent so the water eroded the iron water mains and due to a majority of homes having lead service lines, it allowed for lead to seep into the water supply along with the iron potentially poisoning the over 100,000 Flint residents.

Some people have made accusations that race played a role in all of this because Flint has a predominately Black population.

I am going to take the road less traveled.  It is my opinion that America has once again witnessed incompetence in its clearest form.  It is no secret the state of Michigan has had its share of problems throughout the years.  In 2013, Detroit filed for bankruptcy which was practically unheard of at the time and Flint was in a state of financial emergency from 2011 to 2015.  So I find it to be somewhat plausible that in an effort to save money they made the rash and impulsive decision to switch the water supply in Flint without taking the necessary precautions to ensure that the water would be safe.

I am not defending the actions or decisions of the state officials because it was their responsibility to do their due diligence to ensure the safety of the residents and they simply failed.  Those state officials did not professionally nor ethically perform their job and unfortunately it has caused major, irreparable damage for possibly generations to come.

The reason I chose not to write from a racial aspect is because I want whoever reads this to view the landscape through a different lens.  I am concerned for the residents of Flint and I am glad that they have been receiving bottled water from various sources, but as Americans we need to be asking ourselves, if something like this can happen in Flint, can it happen in my city too?

Thanks for reading!
(John 3:16)

Golden Statues, But No Black People

Thursday, January 21, 2016

After reviewing the list of Academy Awards nominees for myself, the popular hashtag #Oscarssowhite that has been making waves on social media and the Internet, I must say, is a true statement.  The Oscars this year are as white as a Ku Klux Klan rally.

I find it quite astounding that Sylvester Stallone, who's white, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the film 'Creed' but the lead actor, Michael B. Jordan, who's black, was completely snubbed of a nomination for the same film.  Also, despite holding the number one spot at the box office for three weeks straight after its release into theaters on August 14, 2015, the only nomination that the N.W.A biopic 'Straight Outta Compton' received was for Writing-Original Screenplay for Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff who are both white.

The conversation of the "lack of diversity" at the Oscars that has dominated the Internet and television for the past few days is nothing new for those paying attention.  For years there has been an imbalance in diversity not only when it comes to white mainstream award shows, but Hollywood as a whole.

Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith and director Spike Lee have both publicly announced they will boycott the Oscars by not attending nor watching the show.  There was some chatter that Chris Rock, who is the esteemed host for the evening, felt some pressure to boycott as well.  Mr. Rock would later state that he will continue to host the 88th Academy Awards that will be held on February 28th.
A major statement that Chris Rock could make is when the Oscars show begins, he comes on stage as normal, but substitutes being his expected comedic self and instead makes a bold proclamation that cuts to the heart of the lack of diversity in this years nominees and walk off the stage followed by a walk out of all the other black actors and actresses that are in attendance. 

Not that I would want anyone to break a contract or 'jeopardize their coins', but talk about taking a stand and it would all be live.

Now, that scenario is not likely to happen, but on a serious note, we as Black people
have to take some of the blame for the Oscars being so white.  A solution is, we need to flood the industry with good, quality Black films so much so that the Academy would not be able to ignore the contributions of people of color and not be able to shut us out.

I tweeted back on February 27, 2011 that "I personally would like for the Oscars to be completely flooded with black movies".  That was 5 years ago and it would seem that things are moving backwards instead of ahead.  To the Black people with the power to make it happen, it falls on your shoulders to make change.

Thanks for reading!
(John 3:16)

It's A Long Road To November, Mr. Trump

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In June 2015, Donald Trump made the announcement that he was going to run for president.  When speaking at various venues and giving interviews he spewed his outlandish, racist and preposterous views that attacked not only other presidential candidates, but the American people. 

At first, I simply thought of Mr. Trump as the sideshow act of the Republican Party with no real potential of being taken seriously as a true contender for a presidential nominee.

Now that his poll numbers are steadily climbing and his shenanigans seem to dominate daily news cycles, I am sadly starting to have a change of heart and thinking that this "sideshow act" is fearfully a contender to be our next Commander-In-Chief.

Close the shutters, lock the doors, and hide under the sheets! President Donald Trump could be coming!

Although I think the man is a racist, which is what I thought of him years before this presidential run, I refuse to even spend my money at Trump establishments so him getting my vote is not even a possibility.  They say numbers don't lie and right now on the Republican side, Donald Trump has the numbers.  Currently at the polls his numbers stand at 38% keeping him ahead of his Republican counterparts.

I often wonder if Mr. Trump is saying what a lot of Americans are thinking and that has led to his surge at the polls?

Since announcing his official candidacy for president, Mr. Trump has been very vocal about his thoughts on immigration, terrorism, education and healthcare and the steps that as president he would take to correct these programs and "make America great again".

Regardless of my personal views on Donald Trump he is a successful businessman and I think if he were to become president, he would run America like a business which can be a good and bad thing.  The primaries are fast approaching, but it is still a long road to November.

Thanks for reading!
(John 3:16)

My Brief Opinion: Gov. Paul LePage

Saturday, January 9, 2016

On Wednesday, January 6, 2016 Paul LePage the Governor of Maine was speaking in Bridgton, ME about drug trafficking and a drug problem in the state and he said:

“These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothy, Shifty, these type of guys, they come from Connecticut, New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time, they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is real sad because now we have another issue that we gotta deal with down the road.”

Now, Gov. LePage mentioning those nicknames is not what made him sound racist because in my opinion those names could be used by a man of any race.  When he specifically said "white girls" he was bringing race into a situation that didn't call for it.

Making one race the target of his talking point was the racist act not the nicknames although one would not be wrong in arguing the point that he was being racist there too.  Honestly, if Gov. LePage had not brought up "white girls" then no one would have given his comments a second thought.

Just my opinion.

Thanks for reading!
(John 3:16)

Mixtape Review: Jay Scales In 'Perpetual' Motion

Monday, January 4, 2016


The hip hop artist, Jay Scales prides himself on being a fresh face and breath of fresh air in the hip hop community.  I would be inclined to agree with him.  His second mixtape, Perpetual which was released for digital download on September 30, 2015 at is not your typical rap mixtape.  It is not the materialistic, misogynistic and over glorified lifestyle tirades plunked over rhythmic beats that have come to represent the norm of mainstream rap.

Instead, this 18 track mixtape highlights pieces of Jay Scales’ life and the circumstances that have brought him to where he is today, which is not only fighting for the throne of hip hop, but the success and glory that comes with it. 

Perpetual is full of tracks with catchy beats and vivid wordplay such as ‘110 Percent’ and ‘Learn A Lesson’ which describes Jay Scales’ hustle and optimism of a successful and promising future.  Then there is ‘Stoner Life’ which tells of his propensity to partake in the usage of marijuana while ‘Criminal Minded’ on the other hand speaks on his troublesome and youthful days.  On ‘Solo Dolo’ Jay Scales shows his boldness by telling of the guiding forces in his life which is based on his Christian faith.

Perpetual has a unique sound and tracks that can resonate with almost anyone.  Perpetual, tells the story of Jay Scales, who is making perpetual strides towards a greater goal.  After listening to this mixtape you can only be left wondering where will Jay Scales the Harlem born, DC raised and exit strategist of life be seen next.  Let him tell it -- on billboards.
Thanks for reading!
(John 3:16)


Telling Of Love: Stop Fighting The Other Woman

Saturday, January 2, 2016

I have been very blessed in my romantic life to not have experienced confrontations that involved a man I was in a relationship with and the other woman that he was seeing behind my back. 

So, having said that I write this post from an outside looking in perspective. 

When two people make the decision to be in a relationship it is in my opinion an unspoken rule that those two people are going to be loyal and faithful to one another. 

When a woman discovers that her man is being unfaithful far too often she lashes out at the other woman instead of targeting her anger on the man that she is in a relationship with. 

Women need to stop fighting over men.  When the man is caught cheating stop attacking the other woman.  The other woman doesn't send you sweet text messages, he does.  The other woman doesn't kiss you and make you feel special, your man does.  Your man whispers sweet nothings in your ear not this random chick.  Women fight amongst themselves and the man that did the dirt is let off scot-free. 

No ladies don't get upset with the other woman be upset with the man that was disloyal to you.

Now, I am not condoning violence of any kind whether it is domestic or otherwise.  I just want to convey to women that before you lift up your hand or use your words in anger towards the woman that your man was cheating on you with - stop, think and use that anger and choice words on the one that was last calling you baby.

Thanks for reading!
(John 3:16)

When Do Black Lives Matter?

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Black Lives Matter movement started in 2012 after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.  Since then, several Black Lives Matter protest have taken place across the United States as a response to the police related murders of unarmed black men and women. 

My question is: when do black lives matter?

Black lives should not only matter when the police or justice system are involved, but also black on black related violence and crimes that have plagued the black community for far too long.  People protest and chant and hold signs that read Black Lives Matter to show not only the United States, but around the world that the lives of black people share equal value with every other race on Earth.

It is unfortunate that the actions of a few spoil the reputation of many.  For example, the riot that occurred following the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD.  The media showed a peaceful few protesting, but what really caught the attention of media cameras was black people looting a liquor store and burning down a CVS store that was across the street from a senior citizen housing facility and many other acts that displayed black people inflicting chaos and carnage on their own communities.

Black people, we must ask ourselves, how can we expect for other people to respect and find worth in our lives when we tear down and destroy one another while wreaking havoc in our own communities?  While too many of us continue to perpetuate antiquated stereotypes instead of collectively breaking through barriers with our potential.

I want it to be clear that I am not defending the deplorable and horrendous actions of police officers that have murdered unarmed black men and women nor am I defending the justice system that in some cases sets free these dishonorable people.  I, however, want to bring to the forefront that black people need a call to action when it concerns black and black not just when it is black and blue.

To learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement visit

Thanks for reading!
(John 3:16)