Today it’s Starbucks’ turn for caustic opprobrium. It’s their turn to be piñata of the day, because there were more decent customers than others, in the coffeehouse, and a woman was adroit enough to use the most feared weapon in America -a cellphone.
I’m not worried about the two Black men victimized. They are smart and doing well enough to take legal action to redress the wrong. Nor is there any sympathy needed for the Black police chief, who made himself so powerless that I don’t want to imagine the compromised, sectional existence that must be his. So all is well until tomorrow, when the world sees another America within a minute of the electronic upload. Worst if streaming. To come are the rest of the stories and American children are all watching and learning.
If this reads as uncaring, that’s not my intention. This is more about how I cope with institutionalized racism that pervades all life in America, and don’t ever think that the perpetrators and enablers are always White. I know that because of many experiences.
Starbucks would have us believe that firing a member of its staff and sensitivity training are good enough….to get by. Well, Mr. Starbucks, visit any of your stores and let us know if you see what your brand projects. Look the thing that you hatched, in the eyes. It’s not pretty and it’s menacing.
Your corporate culture is who you are. Your staff don’t need sensitivity training, they need leadership and good examples worthy of emulation. Just as nothing happens until something moves, people do what they believe is expected of them. They want to please you and maybe get recognition.
They are probably stunned by the swiftness of what corporate America and many governmental agencies rely on. Go to the most junior employee, publicly fire them and some people are satisfied. The latest script is, “that is not who we are.” I differ.
So my personal philosophy in coping with victimization is this: first, who needs whom; second, is the commodity essential to my comfort, and third, is it be available elsewhere? What cannot be changed from within can be changed from without. Starbucks needs me. I don’t need Starbucks. Problem solved.
Lastly, the employee fired and those remaining have learned something and that something would likely be taken to the next jobs. How, Mr. Starbucks, have you helped?
By Leyland A. King
September 28, 2017
If you happen to think that the tagline is weak, you are right. But after abandoning the last eight, I decided that I had to decide to do what I can, and not worry about being calm and deliberate. I am too pissed, outrageously pissed to worry about writing norms.
Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands were devastated by two hurricanes, which we knew were on their way days before they arrived. If particular individuals in the U.S government chose to be willfully blind to the forecasts, they must live with that. All evidence suggests that the people who fervently run our government, make good things NOT happen, at the worst time, wouldn’t miss a wink. Absent a conscience they are unbothered no matter how despicable and gigantic the eff-up. Only they could make a hiccup a cause of death.
Let’s suppose that no one in Trump’s mal-administration saw the hard to miss projections. Just supposing. Weigh that against the fact that all the pirates and blessed plunders since the 15th century, knew that that part of what was called the Spanish Main, was a perilous place to be in August through September. (The actual caution is June 1 to September 30) Put everything together, and see you how hard put it is to claim objectively that this Trump Administration gave the best of our capabilities and resources to our citizens in Puerto Rico.
We should not let any of the Trump’s misfeasance go unpunished. But, I wish again. Over a week since disaster struck the Caribbean, Trump has not visited ANY of United States territories. Rather, he chose to make a spectacle of himself trying to explain to his cabinet that the problem of bringing relief to Puerto Rico was because “it’s an island in the ocean, a big ocean” and that the island is surrounded by water; that you can’t drive a truck there. Trump also said that he plans to visit “the island” in about a week. That is, three weeks for the president to visit disaster areas in his own country. During that time, he was fighting Colin Kaepernick and the NFL, who are legitimately protesting police violence and murders of African-American citizens.
Trump is not only loutish. He has no compassion for anyone other than his bagman. But, I need to stop, lest I.🤢
July 22, 2017
By Leyland A. King
“A fine day, it is. I just love my life”. Say that randomly to colleagues, casual friends -amicable smiles accompanying- that’s your private space-protection, right there. No need for canned sardines and onions. Sometimes it seems that maudlin bests maturity and pragmatism. Even expectations. One might suppose that we wanted to avoid happiness, as much as we, do a bad cold.
I got more interested in the life-and-love business, after being impressed by what must be the absence of shoulders to cry on. Why was there so much hurting and complaining? Well, I put on my Dear Abby hat and pseudo-empiricist eyeglasses then began counting certain keywords and phrases in social media communications. It was a challenge finding the few happy needles in the digital stack. I wail.
Done with reading mawkishness; watching trivial entertainment, play some she/he, done-me-wrong music, and salvation is now a bottle and a handkerchief. If that’s a choice in life, then keep in touch with a preferred undertaker. No fixer can enlighten and enliven, what amounts to an emotionally desolate place owned by another.
Is it that people want to be unhappy? Perhaps it’s not knowing what it is, that makes it so elusive, or could it be that our society stifles well-being? Whatever the case, with marketing bombards twenty-four seven, all gushing people having their happiness attributed to a brand, it’s no wonder that unhappiness wins. But let’s try and see if these few lines change anything, or at minimum invite thoughtful discussion.
Happiness is an emotional state not easily describable but within reach of everyone, rich or poor. It is a personal experience, and it’s rare. It is a state of serenity that is known immediately once arrived. Happiness cannot be pursued, just as being happy every day is a disappointing absurdity. An expectation that is unachievable except for princesses to be, who get carried off to castles. A simple way of thinking about happiness is by reflection on what are the words and images that you associate with feeling unhappy. Someone chose this surprising definition, found in Dictionary.com, example: “Happiness is happiness.” It must have driven the author nuts.
I see so many statements about what “others” have done or said, to another. Dozens reply with enthusiastic “Amen.” Well, there’s that adage:
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
So said some delirious person on being admitted to hospital for long-term mental health care. Unable to distinguish between physical and mental pain, he was meandering his way through life morbidly distressed. Both words and stones might both be very injurious.
I could roam about morosely, surveying life’s landscapes for darkest clouds, below which I live nomadically. Questioned about my circumstances, I may claim that the malevolent cloud unfairly depresses me. Survive a bolt of lightning just so that I may cuss it later. (Oops, I got carried away there)
I am happy….at this moment. To be correct, I should say that I am usually a happy person, despite my own harpies. I am not deluded, sorry to disappoint. Sometimes, I do feel unhappy, most times contented; sometimes merry. But the episodes of happiness, are quite different. When they do unexpectedly, come, the moments are profound and memorable.
Create the conditions and wait. Happiness will come on its own time, and you’ll know it.
Well, what are the conditions, one might ask? That too is doable – think of a bountiful garden. Would it not be well cared, orderly, visually pleasing? Well, since weeds are more prolific and resilient than cultivated plants, the two cannot abide. Envy, strife, obsessions, regret, neglect of your own affairs, are each detrimental to one’s own emotional health. They are analogous to the garden’s weeds.
So, put down the burden where ever you are. Surrender the hurt to the time’s mist. Forgive others with all your heart, and most of all forgive yourself. And remember that even the sun has a fresh start every day.
Won’t keep you with a lot of insincere reasons. Trump is now standing on the edge of a precipice and appears to have all his options closed. Behind him are a small group of unprincipled fanatics, who are determined to hurry on apocalyptic occurrences. Trump in his naivete did not foresee his predicament. All he wanted was to ride an emperor’s horse.
I think that we ought to follow the pleas of Republicans and get behind Trump. I figure that a bump or a push from us, reasonable forgiving folks, would be more that enough to get him and Bannon’s marionettes over the edge, hopefully to a river of fire below, compliments of karma.
Today, I spent an inordinate amount of time reading posts on social media. Several hours reading just political commentary from my fellow citizens, not media articles, not blogs, only posts from John and Jane Doe.
I made sure that I was mentally prepared for every disconcerting thing, my rule: do not post or respond. I am now so glad to say that I survived but let me throw out some cautionary words. If you are prone to depression, do not visit; do not read content. It is that disappointing and utterly discouraging.
How did we get here, I thought just a little and informed myself that an accumulation of appalling choices by people who covet public office but have no business being there, stands out among the several that quickly come to mind. Individuals who are compelled to one of two parties for their own longevity of office, and because of that dependency, which they confuse with loyalty, brought us to a place not that different to communist parties. Graphically triangular, one would see the paramountcy of the party, survival of office, and somewhere fighting for the third tier comes the befuddled and abused citizenry.
It is now being claimed that all that bedevil us is race and that emerged from the legacy of slavery. But if I concede that explanation, then I correctly state as truth, what have leaders done to address the issue head on? Not by “a conversation about race,” but by being a beacon helping us through the darkness. But that is a false expectation. Why would they? They rely on racial animus to get elected. President George H.W Bush used mug shots of Willie Horton, to scare the bejeebers out of the White electorate; Nixon used crime and the Southern Strategy. Trump used Muslims and Mexicans. The malicious means justify the winning ends.
Seems to me that race was and continues to be a potent factor. It does not have to be that way. We have choices, we need leaders. Not instigators.