DENIAL OF REPARATIONS IS WRONG
By Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration
Why were the survivors of those killed on 911 compensated for their loss? What was the logic or the rationale used to arrive at the conclusion that those survivors deserved compensation?
The workers voluntarily went to work for monetary gain. They went to work in order to earn a salary in order to sustain themselves and their families. Noble, yes, for anyone who works should be compensated because they add value to the company, organization, institution or individual for whom they work.
There is one learned scholar, Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, PhD, who says American descendants of African slaves are not due reparations because some were sold into slavery by other Africans, probably tribal chiefs. Let’s look at how illogical that is.
The archaic point of view that says a woman would not be raped if she were not out alone late at night, especially is she is wearing “provocative” clothing has been debunked and fortunately an enlightened view is now prevalent.
Using the logic of Dr. Gates, it is the fault of the parents of kidnapped, exploited, abused and often murdered children, who are to blame and are guilty for allowing their children or sometimes forcing their children to go to school. The alternative for the parents might be censure and maybe even imprisonment for negligence of contributing to the delinquency of their children if they don’t force their children to go to school. Legally, until age 16, children are mandated to attend school.
Let’s say that at the very least the African chieftains were guilty of negligence for selling their fellow man. Let’s say that they knew the institution of slavery was a brutal one. It’s hard to imagine that they knew the fate that awaited their citizens during the middle passage where human beings were stacked on top of each other with no room to stretch, stand or move freely about. For the duration of their voyage, they were treated as less than humans. If they survived, they lived in unsanitary conditions living in the bodily wastes of each other, unable to scratch an itch, swat a fly or fight off a rodent. Close your eyes, picture this, put yourself in this picture. Unable to bath or take care of your toilet needs, breathing stench day after day, month on end. Why don’t you do as some people have done to walk in someone else’s shoes. There are people who wear fat suits to see how obese people are treated. There have been a few instances where people have cosmetically darkened their skin as an experiment to find out how it feels to be of African descent. There is currently a new television program where millionaires dress down, play down and join the ranks of those in need in order to walk in their shoes. There is also another television program where the owners of companies don the gear of their employees and join them on the job in order to be able to walk in their shoes.
I invite each of you to walk in the shoes of African slaves and or the descendants of those slaves. Close your blinds, your shades or your curtains. Turn off the air conditioning. Fasten off all of the house and lock yourself up in your bathroom, no, the smallest closet for some of your bathrooms are luxurious and larger than the bedrooms of those less fortunate than you. Take off your clothing. Take your position on the floor, no cheating, no pillow, no sheet, no blanket, just you naked and alone on the floor. To make it more realistic, put on a strait jacket so you can’t move your arms or hands. It is doubtless that a fly or rodent would be in there with you, maybe an occasional spider for those little burgers can get in anywhere. Did you remember to close the vents so no little air can seep in? You can arrange for someone to come in to feed you a little slop a couple times a day, other than that no popcorn, potato chips, no beverages except for an occasional quick sip of water. Comfy yet? How do you feel the third week? Are you having fun being denied all the rights, privileges and most of all the freedoms of determining your own fate? Are you beginning to smell yourself, yet? Are you squirming in your own fecal material, yet? Are you beginning to feel dehumanized, yet? Oh, there’s a thunder storm, you hear the wind blowing fiercely, you hear the rain pounding on the roof. You wish you could snuggle under the cover of your cozy bed; but, you can’t. Remember, you can’t move. Remember, you are captive. Remember you are not a human being, you’re just a thing to be used for the convenience of someone else. You are helpless and hopeless. You are frightened and lonely. Got the picture, yet? You have almost approximated what the Africans felt as they crossed the middle passage.
Now, you have your freedom, you are removed from your closet. Are you free, yet? No, because now you are chained to other human beings and led to the slave block. Families, which means women and children, are gawking at you. The women try to pretend not to look at your near naked body so they either lower their hats, put a fan up to their face or otherwise divert their eyes away from your miraculously smooth dark skin and your surprisingly ripped body. The auction begins and you are sold separately away from your wife and children if you are a man. If you are a woman, you are sold away from your husband and often your children. Right now, I’m thinking of that song, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” This is the ideal. This is just what you expected when you were taken from your homeland. Though you cannot communicate with anyone because they are speaking a strange language and you have no one to speak to because members of your tribe were sold to different plantation owners. Though you think in your language or your dialect, you cannot speak it because no one understands you.
At the plantation you are forced to work from sun up to sun down, from can to can’t. You labor in the cotton or tobacco fields with no sun screen, no sun glasses, no sun hat to shield you from the merciless sun beaming down on you. Tired, hungry and lifeless you now go to your shack where you eat the remnants from the masters’ tables.
At the end of the week, when most people are paid for their labor and look forward to their paycheck, it’s just another week for you. There is no compensation and no gratitude. You may be whipped with a horse whip because you did not produce as much this week as you did the last week because you weren’t feeling so well. What does that matter to the slave master? He’s upset because you did not make as much money for him as you did the last week.
I think by now you have the picture. I think by now you may be able to visualize and conceptionalize a little of what it was like to have been a slave. If this slave were adequately rewarded for his labor, he could have accumulated some wealth as his master did; and, he could have left an inheritance or an endowment for his heirs just as the master did.
By now, I’m certain that you know that his descendants deserve reparations to level the playing field, to make up for all that he lost and to relieve your conscience of the guilt that you feel that is evidenced by so much mental illness in this country. Your hatred of the very person who is responsible for your wealth and success is weighing on your subconscious and you are acting out in so many strange and bizarre ways, imbibing too much alcohol, using illegal drugs, manipulating numbers, falsifying records and all sorts of unusual behaviors. Now, your former slaves have adopted some of your ways. In trying to be accepted by you, he is emulating you. Not only that, he is engaging in self loathing because he is constantly exposed to loathing.
Our country can make amends. Our country can relieve herself of the burden of her guilt. Our country can compensate those who were deprived of their birthright. Our country must pay reparations to the descendants of those Africans who were taken from their Mother land, lost their identity, their homes, their language, their culture and cut off from their roots. In cruelty, some racists tell Americans of African descent to go back where they came from. None of them know where they came from. They do not know who their ancestors are. They do not know what part of Africa or family they came from. They have no home other than the one that they built for others in this land of plenty. The White House, which white men covet, was primarily built by slaves with no compensation. Wall Street was also primarily built by slaves with no compensation; and yet, Americans of African descent seldom get the opportunity to work on Wall Street, invest on Wall Street and become a part of the fortunes made by those who skim and scam and cook the books on Wall Street. We, of African descent, deserve reparations. We deserve it now because we, through our ancestors, have earned the back salaries due them for their labor which has made this the richest country on earth.
ARE WE SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADERS?
By Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration
Some suppositions were posed to me by a friend from St. Lucia in the eastern area of the Caribbean Sea.
Here are the suppositions:
“A nation that rejects Health Care for all,
Rejects plans for sustained development for the future,
Rejects educational advancement for its youth and retraining for its workers,
Rejects sustainable and renewable energy,
Rejects the most balanced President in History,
Fights against its own people;
And, a list too long to continue, can never be as smart as 5th graders.”
Looking at this nonintrospective look from an outsider made me pause to think about the answers to his theory.
It might amaze Americans to know how much people outside the United States are knowledgeable about what goes on in this country and why they form the opinions of us that they do.
I remember from my travels how well versed the children of Europe Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands were. They knew more about the geography, the history and culture of America than their counterparts here in the United States know. I observed the classrooms in China and saw how focused and well disciplined the children were. At that time in the early ‘70’s China’s television consisted primarily of higher mathematics instruction. There were no commercials. On Saturdays, the children attended Saturday school or as it was called in Beijing, the Children’s Palace.
I always made it my business to talk to young people wherever I travelled because the teacher in me just made me inquisitive about what children were learning in other parts of the world. I found that I could have intelligent discussions with the young people on a variety of topics.
I looked at the images coming out of Cairo, Egypt and saw the discipline of the people in their quiet and yet determined protest. It reminded me of the non-violent protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the era of the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King, inspired by the venerated Indian leader, Mahatma Ghandi, avowed and practiced non-violence. We, Americans, seemed so supportive of the Egyptian people. I, too, admired them for their quiet strength and purpose. The eighteen days that they stayed the course, they won. Their president, Hosni Mubarak abdicated. Their work is not yet complete; they still have a complicated victory that is still unfolding.
By contrast, many Americans were critical of the workers in Wisconsin who also engaged in a quiet non-violent protest of their infringement or denial of their rights to petition their government.
In comparing and contrasting events and practices here at home and events outside our borders, I find it is interesting that we, who elected people to represent us, are not being represented by the people we voted for.
Overseas the disruptions are caused by countries that are basically run by despotic dictators and they have had no voice and no choice in who represents them.
I then started thinking about the challenge presented to me by my St. Lucian friend about how smart we are. When one of our country’s leaders dismisses the citizens by saying, “So be it,” I feel he is completely detached from the very people who need him and voted for him. When the leader of a state refers to workers in derogatory terms, I wonder if we are smarter than 5th graders!
In November of 2010 the balance of power in the House of Representative shifted when the minority party became the majority party. Voters embraced them as their hope for making the changes needed to get the country back to work and to balance the budget. Did they get what they voted for? They got a crying leader who plays tough between tears and totally ignores the will of the people for job creation. Instead the new majority members in the House of Representatives are spending all their time trying to overturn the crucial programs that were passed during the lame duck session of Congress that benefit the majority of the citizens. Have they, the new majority in the House of Representatives, presented any programs that would create jobs? No. These same misguided people who voted for this “new” change are the ones who are being laid off, denied unemployment benefits and are being disrespected and neglected while the representative they voted for are busy looking out for corporations and institutions that are a major factor in the financial crisis in the first place. Those voters must have gotten a covenant or a contract with a “guarantee” that they will have excellent health for all the days of their lives, for they are trying to dismantle the health care reform which provides health care for people with pre-existing conditions, assurance that they won’t be kicked out of their health plan should they become ill and will allow their young adult children to stay on their insurance policies until they are twenty six years old. I wonder what a 5th grader would think of that kind of decision making?
To make certain that these voters would be supportive of the dismantling of health care reform, millions of dollars were spent denigrating the health care reform and using as an adjective the name of the President of the United States, thus, instead of calling it health care reform, they refer to it disdainfully as “Obamacare.” Because 24/7 they devote media time disrespecting the President of the United States, anything with his name preceding it has got to be bad. Knowing the limitations of the average American to do due diligence, to read anything other than the sports section, to watch anything on TV other than sports, entertainment and propaganda purveyors, their brains are sufficiently washed clean of any constructive or self preserving thoughts. They are being programmed to do things that are not in their own best interest. Self preservation is the first law of nature and yet these people are programmed to preserve the top 2% or the oligarchy or the ruling class. How does it benefit the average hard working man to agree to give big tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires when they, themselves have no job security, if they have a job at all. I’ve seen 5th graders who knew how to hold their ground and stand up for themselves. I keep thinking back to what my foreign friend had to say.
Americans have access to the best information on the globe. We have publicly supported libraries with volumes of books on all subjects. Most people have computers in their homes or access to computers in libraries and other public facilities. All of the world’s information is easily accessed on any subject. The background, record and position taken by any politician is right there as a matter of public record. Because that is true, why is it that so many people voted for those whose philosophies are not compatible with their own or that don’t look out for the best interest of those who voted for them? Unlike 5th graders, they no longer have teachers and or parents who are telling them to study or to do their homework, so on their own, they do nothing and learn nothing.
As much as I like to debate issues, I cannot quarrel with my friend who is taking an objective look at Americans. I find I must agree. For the most part, we are not smarter than 5th graders.
A SAFE HAVEN FOR ALL VULNERABLE CITIZENS ALL OF THE TIME
We've been involved with the structure and development of a ten year plan to end homelessness for more than ten years, and long before that time we have pushed for a place where people could go anytime and be safe. ANYTIME! We need a Centralized place for services for everyone. If we concentrated on this it would make all of our lives more stable and safer because there would not be people out in the neighborhood and the issues that people face could be more readily dealt with.
Unfortunately that is not the interest of the neighborhoods but it is in the interest of public safety and decency. It costs far less for people to access a one stop center than it does to be wandering around using every conceivable resource and then dying on the street or in a hospital after being traumatized. The staggering cost to the community and the terrible inequity; plus the amount of lost resources while tragically cutting off lives is untenable. Especially considering that half the numbers of homeless are families. The average age of the homeless is nine years old.
Please consider mayoral candidates and current administration the wisdom of determining a place where diverse needs of divergent persons can be addressed and where access to services is automatic.
EVERYONE needs a single point of entry and no wrong door for safe and sound communities and for vulnerable people to thrive.
These are a few of my questions for the mayoral candidates.
The governor has committed to homeless planning at the state level however what the governor would like and what is possible are diametrically opposed because of conservative fiscal constraints. What homeless people need is diverse housing stock. The metro Denver plan committed to 5,000 units in the next decade. The actual number of diverse housing stock is ten times that number. How do you reconcile the disparity?
Housing First works not because it saves money as opposed to doing nothing but because of intensive supportive services, how do we plan to provide a real chance for people who live marginally to live in sustainable housing who are ex-offenders, violent criminals, young adults, elders on fixed incomes, people who are disabled and families who make up the bulk of those who need housing?
Basic costs of services keep rising like transit, medical costs and day care. What are we doing to ensure that a) people keep jobs b) that people can go somewhere without a car c) people can decide whether to pay utilities or eat?
Cost cutting is the buzz word of the modern world. Is it important for us to consider major tax increases?
The economy for many people is turning around, but not for the most impoverished. For these people there is no room for training, education, opportunity, creating micro-businesses, people are fed up with being poor and blamed for their plight. What hope do we give to the newly destitute that they will ever have a basic living wage, when there are no jobs for 10% of the population in any sector?
It's an issue that the mantle of Democrat and Republican is antiquated and that we have to find a way for all sides to work together to solve these critical affairs. Respond to these questions based on the idea of us getting to work together and that for most of us the spiritual matter of our lives is the one that matters most, meaning how we regard one another as distinct and significant members of a clan.
Incarceration does not work. What plans do you have to do away with jails and prisons unless absolutely necessary? The same is true of Capitol Punishment?
Immigration rights for all citizens and the children of these families is a critical issue because most of the undocumented are doing work that Americans don't want to do. Is there a way in which immigration can be made a matter of care and regard for everyone as indispensable?
We still do not have equal rights for women. Why not and what will you do to effectively close the chapter on this issue that goes back to the beginning of the arrival of people from Europe here?
When I think of the slave trade and how it is thriving we think of why we cannot do anything to curtail the wanton destruction and subjugation of others. Can we do anything to live together in peace and sustaining a way of life that makes sure that no one is in harm's way ever?
Midnight at the Oasis: A Place to Rest, Yes, Feel Sustained, and Yes, a Refuge from the Storm Within
by Randle Loeb on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 4:37am
The presence of St. Paul United Methodist Church at 16th Ave and Ogden Streets has been a gift and a safe haven in my life over the last several years, an oasis and a refuge in a time when I struggled to define my course, making it possible for me to be free to do what was necessary to change people's perceptions of reality with respect to being "homeless." Being homeless is not a special class of undesirables. It is not a stigma of a group who have given up and are worthless. Homeless people are like me and in many ways like the mental illness that I have, distinct, unique and inseparable from any other person.
As I sit here in the stymieing cold with a terrible headache that appears to have come from stress from lack of order and an inability to calm down the skeletal-muscular system, I feel a throbbing of expectancy in my body that I have to go out in the bitter cold and fortify myself for the ordeal. I am concerned because I could hardly walk across the wasteland to get to DenUM (Denver Urban Ministries), to shovel the walks and the back alley. Looking out the window of the room, with the doors open and no heat I have lived here at St. Paul under harsh conditions of deprivation and simplicity. This scenario is about to come to an end, hopefully.
I came to St. Paul to be the security, maintenance, caretaker, grounds keeper, special events person, office and on site shelter manager in exchange for a place off the street. At that time, in 2004, I was managing the Denver Homeless Voice newspaper. My work was, and still is, keeping me alive not because of earning an income but by virtue of focus on anything that makes sense to do to feel worthy. Most “homeless people” have no intention of being helpless, shiftless and co-dependent on social services. What we're seeking is a way to harness our interests and skills that would lead to employment. One day a woman with whom I had worked as a member of the research team at Iliff School of Theology came into my office and offered me a place to live in exchange for a role as a caretaker or sextant. I was delighted and when I was interviewed it became obvious that my background as a chaplain with a Masters Degree in Divinity and also in Education would finally be utilized. I never dreamed that eventually I would be working across the community in Capitol Hill, the Colorado General Assembly and the City and County of Denver on human relations with policy makers and advocates even though I already had been doing public speaking, testifying and writing on these matters for more than a decade. Denver's Road Home, the ten year plan to end homelessness in the City and County of Denver, was my calling to direct my interests and hone my skills. I was able to cross two worlds, one of poverty and loss of spirit and the other of being one of the decision and policy makers for change as to how policy makers integrate homeless citizens in all aspects of the government. We became partners and are not a public nuisance, as some neighbors complain .
I am filled with grace but I am also conscious of what sacrifices that I have made on behalf of my personal life, and practice of the day to day discipline of earning a living. Simply stated, I would not have done what I did and I would never have taken the time to work in these endeavors with those who are cut off, and cared for myself without the social service providers and the programs that persevered in providing a mantle of safety, after I had abandoned sense and wisdom, forgetting my heritage and my spirit.
I literally went from one cauldron to the next, raw and eviscerated from the turmoil in my mind. I have lived with bipolar disorder for more than five decades and in that time I have adapted, as the first psychiatrist observed, “by being able to accept the tumultuous dark clouds and storms, as well as the reckless driving demands of a life that rose, flowed, ebbed and crashed on the breakers of the beach like a marooned starfish.” There was no one upstream to throw me back in and I felt urgently a need to turn and gut out the vulnerable and desperate situation in the terror of the cacophony of the crying gulls in my head.
When I attended Iliff School of Theology in 1979 it was noted that I had already earned a Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Bank Street College of Education, three years earlier and that I had worked in the prestigious street pad of Covenant House, for nomadic and wayward youth in Greenwich Village, New York City. I graduated from Bank Street College of Education in 1976, by writing a thesis on what it was like for a middle class white male from a suburb of Philadelphia to create a dynamic relationship with someone who, for example, would come to the door of the house, in the middle of the night when I was the house manager and threaten to stab me if I did not let the person in.
In those eventful, fitful days I was perceived as a vulnerable, precocious child who sat for my thesis in the first semester of graduate school in the Department of Education. I was riding my bicycle from one end of Manhattan or running, from the work I did at night to the bookstore where I was a clerk on a scholarship and work study. I was studying group process and sociology with the best that New York had to offer and working with the most troubled youth in the nation, and with the most able street out reach workers in the business. My thesis was about being quiet and listening. When a young person wanted to trust you this required listening to the bizarre swings, the sexual dependency, the use of substances and the quality of their precarious lives. In fact, most of the young people who came to the programs frightened me because they reminded me of how terrifyied I felt about being an adult.
On the last day I was in New York City, I peddled my bicycle100 miles back to Philadelphia to the protective environment, not of my family, but of the camp I would come to manage called Woodrock, Inc. I worked forty miles northwest of the city on Fellowship Farm's ten acres of woods in a program on platforms and with a lodge that was the meeting ground for the leadership training and anti-violence and racism program of North Philadelphia. Ten years later I became the director after completing the program at Iliff, and working as a chaplain in Tucson, Arizona at St. Mary's Hospice.
When I first strolled into the lodge at the camp I was a boy learning to navigate with my sense of wonder and enthusiasm and at the same time I was scared that I would fail. My assigned campers were far more sophisticated and aware than I ever have been and they were almost the same age. All three of my children would come to participate in the camp program along with most of the cousins of my wife's Latina family. We were a symbol of the "mestizo" culture of Jewish suburban and Puerto Rican heritage. Many people flocked to us because we were young and naive. They witnessed the sense of desire and elan that marked my manic states and the ambition to provide a safe place in the woods an hour from the urban landscape to learn and gain insight into human relations, "that we are all the same, when I look into the mirror I see you and when you look back there I am staring back at you, smiling." We had an obligation to be fully engaged and developed a peaceful and responsible role as citizens no matter what, how hard and how we had to stand and be counted.
Most of those children and their families, who were never out of the city, came to see that at Woodrock there was a place where everyone belonged. Still there are members of the staff and community who feel that this was the best and most challenging place that they have ever lived. On New Year's Eve for years we took a group to Rickett's Glenn and stayed on the crystal palace of the fjords that graced the miles of flumes from years of glaciers and eroding rock. We slept on the edge of Lake Jean on the frozen wilderness much the same as it is outside at this moment. We fought the urge to give in and remained because we believed that this was the way to say thank you for the finite responsibility of being alive and of making a difference as a clan. Many of these same wayward young people came years and years later pleading with me that we return. Ironically it was one of the most dangerous trips that we ever embarked on. For a bipolar person it meant a chance to test the limits of my endurance. It was no accident that in dealing with my education and fear that I overcame both in order to cross the line to tell people in charge, “that unless you listen to the views and expectations of the impoverished that your programs were all doomed to fail.”
It became crystal clear that we need to make an alliance among the homeless to define our solutions and that in all cases that the homeless do more than half of the work that makes Denver's Road Home and all of the Governor's expectations real. I said this to the Policy Academy of the Federal Inter-Agency Council on Chronic Homelessness and in testifying before the "Housing First," eleven grantees in Washington D.C. on the benefits of evaluation that includes and lifts up their perspective as to whether this makes sense. I became the president of the board of the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, the seven county Metro Denver continuum of care, which brings fourteen million dollars here from Congress. I also have had a stake in a grass roots movement to create a safe place for people to live outside and a council of homeless people and providers to change the nature of reality for others because we dare to say, “We can.”
No one can minimize the threats and values of encompassing those who are marginally treated by the whole of the nation and lifting their situation up to be counted on to define what matters most in the quality of their lives. I spend as much time now as ever before in one simple mantra, listening to people. I continue to be trusted and valued as I once was as a peach fuzz boy, not because I know anything, but because I respond to the humanity of the person who is in front of me as an equal partner, a member of the Talking Circle, a person who practices the Red Road Way, with love and awakened consciousness, with serenity and loving kindness.
Colorado - Bike MS: Great-West Life Bike MS, Colorado's Ride 2011
Randle has raised $1,035 toward their goal of $10,000 for Colorado - Bike MS: Great-West Life Bike MS, Colorado's Ride 2011. Please support Randle with a donation and join the movement toward a world free of MS!
60 support the MS RIDE FRIENDS SUPPORT OUR TEAM. WE'VE REVISED THE TEAM PAGE. OUR PASSWORD IS "HOME."
JOIN US JUNE 25 and 26 as we raise money to stamp out MS and support the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Team. We have raised 3% of the $100,000.00. WE'RE SEEKING RIDERS and SUPPORTERS, SPONSORS and FANS.
COME OUT to FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE in WHEATRIDGE as we get under way at 6 a.m. on Saturday June 25 and ride 75 miles over the Horse Tooth Reservoir into Fort Collins. Then we will have a birthday celebration. COME OUT AND CHEER US ON.
We need you to sign up and participate, sponsor us with a matching donation of a dollar a mile.
Make a match for riders who are homeless to share the experience and ride with us. We need to cover the ground with a strong team and registration is in high gear already.
February 21 I will have the right knee replaced. There is no cartilage in either knee. When I get back from the ride, they'll replace the left knee.
Many of you ride and know riders spread the word and come celebrate with us two great causes.
He is close to death as all of the people in the world pause to grieve over the passing of such a person that makes everyone more than what we are or we each dare to be. Nelson Mandela walked in the world in which we are walking. Nelson Mandela breathed the air that we breathe. Nelson Mandela looked up into the sky in the same universe as we do. He gave us pause to reflect on our humanity and our fragility. As we sit and wait for the news we must also be immeasurably blessed that we stood on the same ground that this everyday hero walked, knelt, slept curled in his cell and grieved over his mother's, and his son's death. Now it has come to be his turn and we all curl in a ball in a cell of our own fashion. But we will not forget the gift that was given to all humanity by this humble warrior of the spirit. His reconciliation trials was a path for us all to revel in and his craft of a coalition for all to share, his lifting of the spirit of the people and helping them to resist the temptation of slaughter made us all weep with the milk of loving kindness.
Welcome home Nelson Mandela. You, who wore your heart openly for all to know, we will never breathe without your breath sustaining us in the furnace of the forge of human compassion.
reading back over this and reflecting over the years that seem to have passed it is a watershed. I recognize the genre, the structure of the writing, which I never had a chance to read .................. all the air escaped from my balloon. Ways to ends, means to numb the spirit, spinning off course, resolutely stepping into the dim foggy bottom of distant dreams and the drone of the horn calling, come home safely.
The Denver Urban Spectrum, a monthly newspaper spreading news about people of color, invites you to join in the conversation at SpectrumTalk. Check out the news and views supplied by our featured bloggers, and comment on any issue that moves you. To see our newspaper content, go to the DenverUrbanSpectrum.com and click on our cover page.