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This site was created by Nicholl McGuire, Inspirational Speaker and Author. Feel free to comment, share links and subscribe. If you have a business or would like to guest post feel free to contact. Check out topics on this blog and select what interests you. They are found at the bottom of this page. Peace and Love.

Wednesday

Lottery Foolishness

Looking in the eyes of veteran lottery players over the years, I saw the same sparkle in each of their eyes--something that said, "One day I am going to hit the big one."  I couldn't help but think that these old players, 70 plus years, still singing the same ole song.  So that's when I made a mental note to start reading about the history of the United States lottery.  I also checked out other lotteries internationally.  Of course, they are all scams run by none other than people who are very much into numerology, the occult, black magic, and other things that would make some readers go, "What?"

Some of you may have heard of dream books, now I'm not talking about those books that tell you the definition of something that has occurred in your dream.  I'm talking about those old number books that would tell you a three digit number based on something that you dreamnt.  For instance, to dream of dead usually meant 769 would soon hit.  Sometimes the books may include a dream meaning supposedly to help you in life.

Now some old folks swear by these books because they believed they helped them win while others just call them "jinky."  Jinky is just another word for the unlucky in some black circles. You might be called jinky if your three or four digit numbers you gave an old person didn't hit either.  "Keep your jinky numbers, they didn't hit the last time!" 

I started thinking about these number books while researching lotteries and I found that at one time there was a pattern.  Old folks knew when certain cash three numbers were going to hit.  But these days, many players "can't get a good read on them" one player told me.  Now with the use of computers, watching for trends are more difficult.  However, since finding out that lottery owners are very much into numerology and using all sorts of media tools to communicate messages between one another, one must know what the current trends are in your state when lottery playing and how to convey the number messages in order to determine what might come out in the next drawing.

Of course, there are many books that provide systems to increaase odds, but many lottery players will agree that they just don't work.  Sometimes you win, but most often you lose.

Right before your eyes there are many signs, symbols and colors that convey messages between the elitists.  The lottery is no exception. The rich laugh at the poor folks who keep contributing to their games.  Every now and then, someone  may win a jackpot for a substantial amount without a system (and I'm not talking about those $80 hits either,) but not many.  Sometimes elitists will allow certain numbers to hit after popular days of number playing, for instance after Christmas (here in Georgia) 222s hit.  They could afford to do that considering how much people played the lottery the day before. 

If you don't play everyday, you don't increase your odds--that's a fact.  Old people and the unemployed have time on their hands to play, so they will play.  Now, if you don't watch for lottery trends or patterns, before you play, you don't increase your odds either.  There are those older people who will not only pray about winning the lottery, but they work out a system to select certain numbers.  They also play with bookies too (which is illegal.)  Also, if you don't use a lottery system, you don't increase your odds.  There are books out there that show you various ways to pick numbers. 

Unfortunately, the lottery games that start off being a simple form of entertainment, become downright evil because people do so many things that lead them away from God and His word in an attempt to win.  The devil just loves that!   There are those players who consider themselves lucky and pray to lucky gods, use magic, speak with psychics and do other things to increase their odds.  Then there are those who happen to be at the right place at the right time, but this doesn't mean that the one true God was a part of their winning.  Look at how many people do ungodly things, yet still consider themselves to be blessed, there is something wrong with that picture. 

Then there are those who sell their souls for a win like a rapper selling his soul to the devil for fame.  Then they wonder why they never have enough money to do anything of significance with their lives.  They tap into certain energies and get a desired result for a time, yet still cry broke. 

So is playing the lottery really worth the time and money?  You be the judge.  We can believe everyday that the sun will rise and just because we believe it doesn't mean that everyday it will be sunny.  Meanwhile, your time was wasted believing in something you have no control over. 

For centuries, our people have been brainwashed into taking our hard-earned dollars and putting them into a gaming system that is specifically designed to make it difficult for you to win.  Even when one does win big, the veteran lottery player rarely gets back his investment.  The winners smiling on TV and telling their stories on the radio don't represent the majority.

One veteran player of the lotto told me that he use to keep bags and bags of his lottery tickets for many, many years.  Then one day he looked at those bags and thought, "Had I done this with all my money over the years, I probably would have enough to give to my children and grandchildren by now."  His sparkle to win had turned into regret.

Nicholl McGuire 

To conduct your own research about the lottery, start with YouTube and similar video sites.  Google lottery scams.  View past lottery results and look for trends when adding and multiplying numbers.  Find out if there have been any complaints recently in your state.  Search for authors who expose national and international lotteries.

Monday

How Are You Living?

I can't see how anyone can say that they are their own person when they keep referring back to what momma and 'em did back in the day while keeping up the same act!?  Somebody tell me where is the individual in individuality?

It seems to me that, as a group, we often look at one another as one in the same.  Ever notice when you walk by someone who is the same color as you, there is a need from you or the person to say something?  There is also some other similarities as blacks we share that non-blacks would question, "Why do you do that?" 

It's unfortunate but some of our people want to keep us in that "back in the day" mindset.  In their worlds, there is no room to be an individual.  They question things like, "Why you wear your hair kinky rather than straight?" when you decide you want to do something different.  They wonder why you choose to listen to various types of music rather than R&B and Hip Hop daily?  They laugh when you start talking about traveling or taking up a hobby.  "You acting white...you one of them n*ggas who like what them white folks like, huh?"  Some of our people have to comment about any and everything that doesn't fit the mold, but why?  Blame it on ignorance, a herdish or sheep mentality, fear, a history of drugs, alcohol, media brainwashing, or mental illness.

I recall the day that I told my relatives I wasn't celebrating any of the holidays anymore.  I gave my explanation which was quite simple, "I rather be at home in peace.  I could use my money for other things.  What's the big deal anyway?  I see ya'll other times--don't need to be in the same room with everybody."  I knew that some of them were more interested in what I could do for them and I was tired of it!  It wasn't like it was back in the day anyway when people were younger, funnier, and had more going on with their lives.  Later in life, I had prayed and fasted about all those so-called family traditions.  God set me free from the traditions and plenty other things too back in 1997. 

Now fast forward and I am re-awakening to all this programming that has been taking place in my life for decades in a variety of areas in my life from TV shows to religion.  I have wondered why a black person on the east coast can identify with the struggle of a black person on the west coast despite growing up in different environments.  I quickly came to to the conclusion that if both are spending hours listening to the same hyped-up musicians, actors and others in the entertainment field while hanging around the same type of people who imitate the artists, then most likely both people from the east and west coast are going to act similar, especially if they had become fans of the entertainers at a very young age.  The entertainment industry keeps black people bound in everything from credit card debt (trying to keep up with the Jones') to out of wedlock children.

What keeps us all from being our own individuals, I believe, first starts with the demands placed on us by our parents to act like them.  "You know momma did that...Well daddy like to listen to that...grandma was always watching..."  Then we are presented with a different model of who we are supposed to be in school and then on to higher education, a trade or some other training that forces us to reinvent our wheels to fit the non-blacks' way of thinking and acting.  In all of this, where is the individuality?

Most of us never fully realize who we are or what our purpose in life is, because we are still feeding ourselves the foolishness from television PROGRAMMING as well as from music and other forms of media.  However, when some of us break the mold, we are shunned by the majority.  We are falsely accused of being any and everything, but black.  We are treated differently, because we are not like the rest.

You can easily confuse the minds of many of our "in the box thinking" people when you turn left while they assumed you were going right.  They thought they understood you black woman, black man; but, you shook their game!  They incorrectly assumed that, "You were one of us."  You see, as long as you do for our people, especially those who are broke, busted and disgusted, then "you are the man...you are down...you are my girl...my boy!"  But when you start dancing to a different drum, they don't like you too much.  Now if you can balance your people and your own individuality, then you are considered "a bad mutha..."  But seriously, how long does that last?  How long can you keep smiling one way with this group and then another way with this one and so on while still keeping yourself happy?

We see alot of the fake persona on the TV screen and when someone wants us to buy something from them.  These people are just going along with the PROGRAM.  But do you or I have to?  Aren't we free to live in this world to be our own individual with our own belief system?  Do we have to do everything that the majority tells us?  Can't we figure out right from wrong without someone telling us?  Do we seriously need only faces that look, act and sound like us to complete us?  Ask yourself, "How am I living?  Then ask yourself this, "Am I really living or am I just doing what years of programming has conditioned me to be?

Nicholl McGuire  

Wednesday

On Exploiting the Ignorant

"So you think because you went to school, you can treat me any kind of way, huh?"  I have heard variations of this quote coming from those who are envious because they didn't attend college and also from those who were seriously being taken advantage of by someone who was more educated than they.  "It's a shame how they do us," says an elderly person about a white owned establishment.  But some educated blacks are guilty of lying, stealing, and hurting the disadvantaged in their own communities and surrounding areas and not feeling one ounce of guilt about their actions either.  They are what some call psychopaths, but I digress.

Do you see what I see on TV?  Ignorant blacks being exploited to act like fools.  Now those behind the scenes financing these so-called reality show projects wouldn't ever be caught on TV acting belligerent.  But why should they care?   They know that some of our people just love the idea of fame and money by any means necessary.

Now our people, those that don't have the education, you would think that some of that church attendance and Oprah watching over the years would have taught them a thing or two about conducting oneself proper or shall we say, respectful, "I may not have the education that you have, but I do know how to act," an uneducated woman told me once.  But from the looks of things on TV and even on the local street corner, many aren't practicing what has been preached for centuries.  Many blacks still have a long way to go even in soon-to-be 2012!

So what does the educated black, who can't reach to the heights his or her degree or connections was supposed to help elevate him or her do nowadays?  He or she comes up with an "educated" way to take advantage of those who don't know better.  If you don't like to read the kind of things to enlighten you mentally, it doesn't matter if you went to college or not, someone somewhere is going to find a way to get you to hand over your hard-earned cash for a little bit of nothing.  This is why the ignorant is so easily deceived they don't like to read anything that will help them exercise their critical thinking skills.

"Come to this meeting...join our group...visit our temple...sign up for this business opportunity...be your own boss!"  If you don't read, you most likely will get caught up and left out to dry by businesses, civic groups, non-profits and the like.  When the lights are turned off on you, the recruiter is on to someone else.  How much did they take you for in dues, tithes, offerings, commissions, referrals, or wages--hmmm?  The sales pitch is always the same, "It takes money to make money.  God isn't going to give you unless you give him.  I can help you, if you help me."  These statements are so true, but behind them is a long list of twisted philosophies to get you to do one thing and that is to stop asking questions and just do as I say.  Isn't that just what the ignorant do?  "Okay baby, I trust you...no I don't need to read it, I trust you."  

While you are asleep tonight, someone is up late at night creating a plan to get you to sign on their promissory note.  "Let's see, how we can get Ms. Emma and Mr. Tony to invest in my project...What sort of things are brothas in the hood into now...what might sistahs want for Christmas...What are the struggles that are currently facing the poor?"  That's what they do while you are asleep.  Brainstorm, make a list, brainstorm, and then act on the plan.  They find ways to make a dollar out of 85 cents.

So we sit back on our comfy furniture clicking the remote control being bombarded with all sorts of ridiculous advertising.  Marketing groups take the time to survey groups of blacks to see what they like, where they like to shop, and what they like to buy for their children, nieces, nephews and more.  That's how they figure out what advertising to stick in between those award shows, Tyler Perry comedies, and other sitcoms.  They know your favorite colors that will attract you to their packaging.  They listen or read your messages online.  They check those cards you like to get scanned to save you money at the local grocery and drug stores.  They know you, as I mentioned in other blog entries, better than you know yourself!

It's sad but if you give the ignorant a message they will chant it sometimes for the right price, but usually for free.  "Vote or die!"  I'm sure you can think of many chants over the years.  It's unfortunate, but people don't realize that when they go out and try to force someone to get them to join their bandwagon, they are disturbing one's right to choose.  Most of the time, the ignorant doesn't bother to research the messenger or the message ie.) Christmas holiday, Satan I mean Santa.

There are so many scams to shake the money tree it isn't even funny!  From payday loans to renting furniture long-term, the man behind the plan knows that many black folk is living paycheck to paycheck so he is going to find a way to keep us in bondage.  Can we say lottery?  How many tickets does one have to buy to finally hit the big one where you never have to work another day for any man or woman for the rest of your life?  What better way then to use one of the educated or enlightened in the community to sell his rip-offs to his own people?  But why doesn't he go elsewhere to sell his cheap stuff?  Oh he does, but he knows he can make more money with those that he knows and then he can get them to tell their friends and so on.

Now not all blacks, of course with a little or a whole lot of education is in the business of exploiting the ignorant.  Some educated blacks actually try to uplift the crazy, dumb, blind, poor and whatever else.  But these same educated blacks can get a little bit disgruntled with the ignorant too.  "Our people is just lazy...they so stupid...oh they get on my nerves!" they say while at home nursing a headache after a long day of work.  There is always a temptation to throw the towel in and take a fool for any and everything or just let him or her suffer.

Mama didn't raise no fool, so the old adage goes.  But if your eyes aren't open to the hustle of foolishness, then you are no better than a fool no matter your education or color!  Expose stupidity wherever you are and point out the rip-off.  If you are an educated black, help your ignorant relatives, friends and even a stranger by pointing out the flaws in the contracts, the high percentage rates, the penalties and the like.  Will some listen?  Maybe.  But of course, some of our people won't and that's their own dumb fault!  At least you tried to help a brotha or a sistah not get hustled!  You will be one of the educated or enlightened blacks that can go to bed at night knowing you didn't try to hustle or allow the ignorant to be hustled and for that alone you will be blessed.

Nicholl McGuire

Thursday

Poem: Educated Black Step Back!

Went to school
broke a rule,
learned to imitate his white brother
now he knows how to play N.Y. undercover.

While observing his people,
thinks up a plan to keep them sheeple.
Hoping they will react,
so that he can make an impact.
Educated black, please step back!

Robbing folks blind,
while kissing his white brother's behin'
says he's helping his people
stands below the church steeple.

Ignorant people have been lied to for so long,
stopped knowing the difference between right and wrong.
Leaders keep selling their people the same, sad song.

"Unite, uplift, represent, repent!"
Claims they are the messengers God sent.
But wise people know better,
they too read God's love letter.

From the church to the board room,
meetings that ultimately bring doom.
Itchy ears wish for progress,
while groups work to oppress.

Stand on the shoulders of the old,
flash hand signs for gold.
The ignorant, the poor
seem to always fall for the lure.

Created a new walk,
learned a different talk.
There goes that educated black,
please step back!

Thought you could be the very best
'cause you passed test after test.
But what you didn't realize,
that the system is made up of one big lie--
using you until you die.

Claim you already know about the show,
but keep watching things you don't know.
Claim you are ahead of the pact,
educated black, please step back!

When you discover the truth,
you want to play detective sleuth.
So you go back to read,
try to plant a new seed.
But how can you,
when one keeps thinking like them,
when the enlightened lamp grows dim?

Believe what you want today,
forget about the past keep telling folks to pray.
Even God don't like you jumping in and out of the word,
then flushing it all down like one big turd!

Educated black keeps recruiting for this and that--
Trying to maintain his powerless seating,
always want somebody to go to some meeting.
Still trying to earn the love, money and power,
believing in a god who will be dead in the final hour.

Determined to be one of them whose down,
playing another life underground.
Ignoring all constructive advice,
has a blueprint for a new vice.
Testing crazy stuff on your people,
so that they will remain crying sheeple.

Educated black, please step back!
Been nothing more than a tack.
They've been using you to decorate their walls,
then raping you in bathroom stalls.

You don't really know how to compete,
keep sacrificing blood to maintain your seat.
Twisting words all the time to win,
selling out your favorite kin.

They don't teach you love in the school,
Train you to abide by a rule.
Don't complain or get upset,
your future has already been set.

Educated black, please step back,
knowledge of your roots you do lack.
Educate black, please step back,
too busy running, always acting funny.
Educated black, please step back,
because I know you, and you know me
I use to be a victim on your family tree.

Nicholl McGuire

Monday

Highly Educated vs. Ghetto

Who do you think will win?  Your answer ought to be neither.  We are all products of the system from one's buying habits to the way you wear your hair.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

More topics about the relationship (or lack thereof) between educated blacks and ghetto blacks is coming your way, stay tuned.

Showing Some Love to African American Bloggers...

I couldn't post an entry about mainstream websites sapping up all of our energy and not show some love to fellow bloggers trying to keep our people informed, conscious, and ready to do battle by all means necessary.  So here are some bloggers who come out on top in the search engines to date.

Your Black Bloggers What black bloggers are saying about black america.  This is what the site says and from the looks of things, there are up to date news about mainstream media stories.  But like this site, no one isn't doing much commenting.  No photo anywhere of the person running the site.

Black Women Speak a forum where you can voice your opinion about whatever comes to your mind (of course within reason.)

Naturally Beautiful Hair Blog nice place to get encouragement and some ideas for those of you who seek to go natural.

Top African American Blogs for Men activists blogs,  business, fatherhood blogs and more all in one place.

Where are Black folks hanging out on the web?

To answer this question, I decided to first check out the African American bloggers on the web through a search engine.  I noticed there were so many blogs, I would have been up all night, all day, heck--all week!  Far too many, so I decided that wouldn't work and besides I didn't know how did these rank other than where they fell on the front of a search engine page--that really didn't help me. 

Where do black folks visit on the regular?  I needed some answers to this question for curiosity sake. Hmm.  So I did some research and found some sites that were listed at the top of their rank and had many African Americans coming and going on their sites daily.  To my surprise, I found out that black folks wasn't hanging out as much as I thought on sites specifically catered to black folks.  Nope!  You know where they typically visit throughout the day and night?  Check out the following list of the top websites:

Facebook - you should have known.  Being nosy!  "Wonder what she doing today? What she got on?  Who is he wit?  Oh no she didn't say that!  So this is why he couldn't call me!?"

YouTube - creating videos, surfing videos, downloading videos, music --who knows?

Yahoo - most likely checking email, reading a story, checking email again, reading another story. Who doesn't have an email account on Yahoo?

Windows Live - probably got a Hotmail account that needs to be checked and a journal that rarely gets some love because we always on Facebook.

Twitter - looking at celebrity pages, huh?  Trying to get the news before you head on over to Mediatakeout, BlackPlanet or BET?

MSN - searching for something or trying to get to that Hotmail account again, huh?

Amazon - looking for something cheaper than the store price or selling something.

Ebay - either hustling something or replacing something for cheap -- which is it?

Flickr - probably got some photos on this site no one knows about.

Craigslist - looking for a job, something on sale, and a friend--all on one website!  Okay, scratch the friend.

So there you have it.  If you want to find your people, they most likely have a profile page, an email account, or are registered at any one of these websites. 

Sunday

For Harriet Celebrating the Fullness of Black Womanhood


Internet surfing over the weekend, and discovered this site.  Very interesting reads for women of color.  I particularly liked 30 Black Women Bloggers You Should Know, a listing that appears on this site.  Check it out:

Friday

Spiritual, Professional, Articulate & Good-Looking? Never Sleep on a Fight

They see you riding around in your nice car, walking in and out of that beautiful home, speaking before people, and dressing so well that some folks have got to stare, yeah, you know you're "all dat!"  However, someone in the group who sees all your blessings isn't admiring you, instead he or she is hating on you to your face and/or behind your back.  Even worse, they are scheming!  They want your man, woman, your wealth and anything else they can get, probably your children too.  Don't ignore that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach when he or she comes around you.

Sometimes we don't see it!  We are rising in our fight to obtain what we always wanted since childhood, then somehow along the way, we sleep.  Either our ghetto card gets revoked or we give it up, then surprise!  WHAM!  Someone hits you with something, a lawsuit, a slap in the face, a fender bender, even a curse word and you are sitting there like, "What the #$%^?"

Wake up out of that nice cozy bed my brotha and sistah!  Everyday is another fight whether in this dimension or the other one.  Haters are everywhere even in your own house if you aren't careful.  We run our mouths sometimes.  We say things we don't mean.  We pop our collars and think we won that fight and then suddenly out of nowhere someone wants to play dirty!  This isn't the time to act all proper and look real cute, the violent taketh by force, according to the Bible!  Where's your ghetto card, my friend?  Sometimes the only option you have is ghetto warfare when you are fighting with the ghetto.  You stand up with fire in your eyes while standing over your enemy, "You said what...you think you are going to do what...do you know who you are messing with...?"

I know I got a crazy side.  I saw her one day in the mirror by accident.  She didn't think about consequences or anything when she acted "out of character."  But can I tell you, after years of talking and doing the so-called right thing, I had to get ugly both physically and spiritually.   Yeah, I had the ugly face in my confrontations and when I was slain in the spirit too!  Lying down on the floor, just crying out to the one true God with tears coming down my ugly face, "I'm not interested in the god of this world, Jesus!  I need you! I'm tired of the devil thinking he has the upper hand.  I'm tired of him using me to save him money, make him money!  Handle my enemies!  Shut their mouths up!"  Yeah, I was praying like a fool after I handled my business.  I'm not going to get specific, because I am aware this is the Internet and your business goes beyond the street, but you feel me.

So my advice to those of you who are always "so clean, so nice, so right, so proper," we are in the last days, there is no politically correct!  You can't handle things by the book when it comes to people and things consistently manifesting themselves on your territory with the pure intent to rob you of your money, time, emotions, health, reputation, and anything else they can get their stinking hands on!  Didn't mama, daddy, auntie or someone tell you to fight!  Get off your butt and fight!  Write the letter, get on the phone, show up in court, contact the po-po (police,) see your children, do whatever you can to win the fight for whatever it is you want to keep (within reason of course!)

There is no way I will advocate for anyone who always has an excuse as to why something can't get done whether at home, at work, on the street, wherever!  I'm that one, you know who will ask a bunch of questions, keep showing up wanting to know has anything been done, and then go over folks heads until I get results.

All that showboating, bragging, and getting praise from the enemy makes many of our people defenseless.  That's why there is a long history of our people getting nothing for a whole lot of something they gave up.  "Give him a car, give him a bucket of chicken, give him a tax credit, tell her she will get to keep her children if..."  What do some of us do?  Agree to disagree then sign our lives away! Come on!

Who am I reaching out there?  I know some of you are in high positions of authority.  You visit a site like this for curiousity sake.  But I am preaching today!  I want to see our people stand for something.  All this "let's just hope and see...I will pray about it..."  God has been talking for years.  Let me repeat, the violent taketh by force.  When God wanted his people freed centuries ago, he asked politely at first by using Moses and Aaron.  Didn't he?  When he didn't get results, he sent plagues on the Pharoah's territory, right?  Well, the plagues are coming on those who keep brainwashing our international and national pop icons (a.k.a. modern day slaves) with false promises.  In the coming years, widely known businesses are going to fail--you know those names you grew up with and sang along with their jingles on commercials.  Major upsets in the entertainment industry like none we have ever seen is coming.  All this exposing by researchers that has been going on isn't about conspiracy theories, it is one of many plagues upon those who know they have said no to God and yes to the devil.  People will be getting rid of some artists' music out of their homes like a Ouiji Board, it's already happening, they know about the slumps in their sales volume.  Agendas will backfire.  All this talk of acceptance of everyone and everything is spiritually and physically weakening these groups.  They are fighting within their groups.  You can't  rid the whole world of people who think in black and white, good and evil.  There will always be opposing forces until the one true God shows up and shows out!  Greed will bankrupt the greedy.  That is happening and will continue--this is also another plague.

So I said all that to say this, you have to draw the line in the sand somewhere.  For those of you who are fighting, I take my hat off to you and I cross my heart, you are sincerely loved.  But those who don't fight for the things they know they should (like a relationship, a child, a job, a business, morals or even life,) I have to love you through Jesus.  Do like the hood girls did back in the day before a fight, they took their earrings off, slapped vaseline on their faces, put on their tennis shoes, rallied up their back up, and when the bell rang, they took off out into the street and beat the living day lights out of that girl who kept talking you know what. 

That, my friend, is what we have to do (metaphorically speaking that is!)

Peace.

Nicholl McGuire is a mother of four sons, in a relationship, and at times "off the hook!"

Wednesday

Black Girl's Rock! Girl's Rule: Watch Out, Something is Brewing...

At first, I was okay with all the positive, mentoring types of groups that are out here for girls, specifically African American girls.  I mean back in the day, I actually took advantage of a few start-ups and nationally known groups myself--some of which weren't catered to black girls. 

I grew up with the "independent theme" being preached in school, out of school and during my college years.  Some of the music that I heard celebrated women while many others didn't.  Back then, I noticed that there was a push to promote more positive images of women because of all the negativity being marketed from many rap musicians (which is still ongoing today which is why more girl groups have arisen.)  However, when you pay attention to the symbolism and imagery surrounding all these so-called positive messages encouraging girls and young women to do better in their lives, you also see the blueprint of certain homosexual and lesbian groups as well.

Everyone has an agenda, a purpose for why they do what they do.  I heard of organizations taking advantage of other groups with the pure intent to recruit members for their groups.  I don't know about you, but there are some groups that I don't want to ever see my children and relatives a part of especially when they show no signs of being confused about their sexual identities.  However, we all know that when someone puts a seed out there to change one's viewpoint, there are many who will buckle under pressure.  They are fearful of being labeled a certain name, ousted from groups that they benefit well from, lose power, fame, etc.

Catch slogans for declaring a young woman's or girl's independence, self-discovery and more, sound good, but you have to look beyond what you see.  Question what the symbolism means when you see something peculiar like downward triangles, odd shapes, hand signs, color combinations, or double-talk (ie. BET's Girl's Rock.)  What exactly does all that mean?  Then follow the money trail.  Let's be honest, there are people who just don't like the nuclear family.  They aren't interested in the husband, wife and children family model.  They rather see anything but!  Understand that some of the rich were once hurting children who have grown up to be cold-hearted (even though they appear to have big-hearts.)  Morals are a thing of the past with them!

Many black people, like many other ethnicities, have historically invested their money in businesses and organizations they were not properly educated about.  They fell victim because someone emotionally charged them while sitting in church.  Someone preached a song and dance about blessings.  Others told a sob story.  Then later, investors would find out that they supported causes that weren't compatible:  with their own spiritual beliefs, sucked them dry financially, or caused unecessary discord in their homes.  Just because something says, "black," "African American," or even "Negro," doesn't mean that the black man or woman owns it, created it, or has any power over it.

When you look at the big picture with all these messages aimed at young black females, you have to see that once again (like in the late eighties and early 90s) she is not being conditioned to be a respectful woman let alone a wife.  Oftentimes, she is accepting the part of sassy (so-called standing up for herself) and sexy while cussing and fussing both boys and men.  Her character is not being equipped to be a stay-at home mother who actually enjoys teaching and caring for her children.  She is being indoctrinated to be a business mogul if you will, a hustler.  Someone who puts money first and family, well that's somewhere on the list.  She is being taught that she is the head of the household just like the man.  It sounds good, having a family, but the truth be told, she isn't really thinking too much about that in her future.  It sounds much nicer, to hear things like:  "having my own business, money, jewelry (bling,) hair done, nails done, nice house and car (even if there is no man or children to put in it.)"

Non-profit groups, local businesses, corporations are loving this new black woman that will be emerging.  She not only can look the part of someone else's vision, but she will also be open to a variety of men to date (translated still having sex out of marriage.) If she gets pregnant, no big deal in her world, have an abortion.  Her way of thinking and sound will be more like that of another culture until there is no more gospel or soul in her voice (ie. Black Girl's Rock -double meaning, rock music which many have sold their souls to the devil to top the music charts.) 

The new age black girl's great grandparents' spiritual teachings are dying with them and she is never getting a chance to fully hear them nor understand them.  Her own mother and father are too young and busy to share family history and teach life lessons--"Let the schools do it, the extracurricular activities do it," they say.  Besides, the parents couldn't care less, because "my old folks didn't have anything anyway!"

The independent young lady may or may not have good experiences of having a father figure in the household.  She may not have seen healthy love and affection between parents.  But who cares?  She may be having thoughts of a boy or girl being her future partner based on her TV watching, internet surfing, video game playing, what her friends have said, and book reading.  If she is gullible, there is some teacher, counselor or group that will bring her thoughts to surface and before long she may be "coming out" even if she isn't all that sure dating is what she really wants.

You have to know, as a parent, there is more than meets the eye with alot of these secular groups.  You have to be viligant in seeking pertinent information on how "they" plan on shaping your daughter or niece's mindset.  I think sometimes as black people, we are so caught up with the color of skin around us and "What we get out of this?" mentalities, that we don't bother to think about the messages that are being preached both verbally and subliminally to our children. 

In closing, for those of you who just love listening to sexy R&B and rap music and sexually provocative music videos and movies around your daughters and/or nieces, you might want to consider turning it all off--you are their example.  Rather, take the time out to find out how these influences (and others) are affecting your children and young relatives in the way they talk and walk.

Nicholl McGuire
Author of Laboring to Love Myself, Amazon.com
http://laboringtoloveanabusivemate.blogspot.com/

Monday

On Acting "Sometimey"

Some of you reading this, knew right away what I meant when I titled this blog entry, "On Acting Sometimey"  there is no wrong way to spell this word, because quite frankly it doesn't exist unless you are in certain black circles.  But acting "sometimey" is used as an action verb or noun in some black communities which basically means, "to act in inconsistent ways; to behave differently from one day to the next; to be an inconsistent person..." so I have learned growing up around older blacks. 

In some circles, to act "sometimey" is considered a negative action.  You will hear this word used amongst those who think they are often consistent in the way they react to others  like saying "Hi," for instance, to fellow blacks they come in contact with on a regular basis.  When used in a sentence one from the ghetto would say, "Girl, she be acting so sometimey! She speaks when she wants to.  Sometimes she don't speak at all!"  Despite this "sometimey" behavior, the one being criticized may still be considered a good friend or someone that is loved by others.  However, "sometimey" might be frowned upon by others; therefore, some blacks may pass the "sometimey" individual over for someone who is acting more consistent in her ways.

I personally embraced both the "sometimey" and the not so sometimey in my circles, because I know at times I have been considered both.  You see, a person usually has a good reason why sometimes they may say, "Hi," have lunch with someone, call or text them and sometimes they don't, it doesn't mean that they are "sometimey"--at least not in a negative sense like some ignorant blacks would have you to believe.  A person doesn't just start acting sometimey, they have been this way for some time.  Maybe they have had a bad experience with a certain person in the group, a hard day, or simply don't feel good and have chosen not to speak to blacks, whites or others.  But whatever the reason, they have a right to act in any way they please, just like someone has the freedom to say what they want about the person.

I think, as black people, we can often paint people in a box just because we don't bother thinking outside of the box.  If grandma and 'em said so and so is "sometimey" then by default you think they are.  Meanwhile, never bothering to sit down and talk with this person to find out what is really on this person's mind.  They may not like grandma and em' for the same reasons that one may secretly not like their own people.  Notice I said secretly, because a lot of times we know that someone in our family is wrong, we just don't feel like challenging him or her or may be afraid "to go there" with that person.

Acting "sometimey" is just one of those things that is in the eye of the beholder, but it should never be a cardinal rule for judging anyone, especially when you know you haven't bothered to get to know him or her.  Further, even if we did personally know that person who is guilty of acting "sometimey," is it so wrong to sometimes speak to people and other times keep silent-- what's the big deal?  Some of our people seriously need to grow up!

Nicholl McGuire

Saturday

Loud Mouths and Know-It-Alls: Why Some Will Never Be Happy, Meet Goals

I will never forget when a non-black supervisor of mine shared with me why one black woman who worked in our department wouldn't get very far.  The young black woman had a master's degree in education and was actually a qualified candidate for a leadership program through our company.  Sure, the opportunity to go was there, but what would happen afterward was pretty much left to our non-black supervisor.  She could get a better more high paying position within, train others, or take her skills elsewhere.  But there was only one person who could really work for her, that is if she believed in her, and that was our non-black supervisor.

You see, our supervisor told me that the married mother of two was "immature" and "didn't know how to turn off certain talk and stay professional."  In other words, she was ghetto acting and because of that, she wouldn't get any further then her desk position, supervising a small team in a department that was often short of money.  I personally witnessed this woman take a man's head and put it in between her breasts and just shake.  I heard her talk down to some of the people she worked with.  She often had an attitude when she was criticized about her behavior.  She loved to gossip about things she had no firsthand information about.  She never bothered to really get to know you unless you were having some trouble.  Ms. Thang dressed the part too!  She had a nice wardrobe, but her loud laughing and talking made her look ugly.

Some of you know what I mean.  There probably is one or maybe two in your department who are just loud!  They know everything!  You can't tell them anything!  These kinds of folks need to be the center of attention as well as be the one who is "all up in your business."  Picture this, you walk into work and your co-worker says, "So how was your weekend?  You okay?  I heard you were supposed to be going out of town with your man.  I thought ya'll broke up.  I heard from...but it's okay, God will work it out."  What!?

Loud mouth black folks are more concerned about everyone else's personal lives more than their jobs.  They claim, "I am just helping..." when they are really saying, "I am just nosy!"  Some will even forewarn you that they are indeed busybodies.  "Girl, I love some good gossip!  You know I'm being nosey!"

So I think about that young woman who, in so many words, my supervisor warned me about some years ago and I learned later, after I left the job, that she was still in the same position and just as loud and nosy as ever!

Thursday

When We See Young People Doing Great Things, We Should Celebrate Them!

After reading the following article that appeared in the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the oldest black newspapers in the United States located in Pittsburgh PA, entitled Floating to the top, I thought about talented young people who are often overlooked by our own people. Some of us either know or belong to groups where people of influence exist, and yet the only thing that many of these people are influencing, is their personal agendas. What about the thousands of communities that are in need of improvement, schools, housing, stores, etc.? The young people living in some of these run-down towns gradually become disgruntled with their elders, because they don't understand why aren't the church, the school, the local business, or others doing anything to help?

Amber Liggett, of Beaver County PA, is one of those girls who isn't out here wearing the revealing clothes, talking ghetto, or standing on the corner with a group of friends talking about what mischief they are going to get into tonight. Instead, this teen has been moving and shaking wherever she goes with none other than balloons. That's right, I said balloons. Somehow some way, she found her passion and she is doing great things with it like bringing smiles to people's faces. You gotta love her for that!

I was moved by the article because I saw a young girl who was influenced by her mother and then later a community to keep her going in her dreams. It took everyone and everything in her inner circle to mold and shape her in such a positive way. Chances are there are children you know that are being influenced by everyone and everything in their inner circles to mold and shape them in such a negative way. Amber latched on to the positivity, not necessarily because she just grew up in a loving household, but it was given to her. Notice what I said? Given to her. If we can give children clothing, shoes, a basketball, or a gaming system, we can give them other gifts that they can't hold in their hands, right? Like a warm smile, an encouraging word, and the time and money to keep them busy and out of trouble. It is clear from this teen's presence on and off the Internet that she is growing into a young woman who will eventually be one of the elders, years from now, that will be sitting in an elitist circle somewhere totally capable of making a significant impact on the people and places around her.

Hopefully, Amber will learn some powerful lessons in her life that will motivate her not to run from the poor, hide behind a hedge house in Hollywood, or sit around old folks bad-mouthing the young. But rather, she will be one of those down-to-earth types who will embrace young, old, sick and tired, wealthy and poor from every walk of life. We have to challenge these young people to THINK. Put a bug in their ear, so to speak like the mother did in the article. Offer them a challenge. Tell them what you expect from them. Walk with them on their journeys in life!

As black people, we must "get it together!" Those of you who are spiritual may have already heard a sermon like this. Something that sounds like this, God is trying to tell you something. You are wasting too much time. Walking around saying what you are going to do, but never doing it. Spending too much time entertaining yourself with TV, radio, Internet, and more. Making excuses when you know you weren't busy in the first place. God wants your ears. This isn't any David and Goliath gospel to tickle your ears. God wants to know, when are you going to get it together? On your back is too late, young woman. On your back is too late, sick grandmother. When are you going to get it together? When you are in jail, out of jail? How about when the rent is due and the lights are off?

Know what are YOUR priorities in life outside of the circles and boxes that already have a plan for your life. We can start by reaching out to someone we know who can't do much for us except say, "Thank you." Maybe it is through them that we will learn a thing or two. Maybe that young person you keep driving by might hold an answer to something you have been grappling with. Maybe that young person is Amber, wanting to know, "Can you help me?" Is that too much to ask?


Nicholl McGuire

When They Call You Ugly

So we don't have the nose they have, the lips they have, the hair texture, the eye color, the build, and so on, does that make us ugly?  There have been surveys, reports, movies and more to keep sistahs and brothas down about their looks!  The perpetual "hate yourself" brainwashing is evident by some of the reactions and responses from some non-blacks about our appearance.  But apparently, we can't be that bad looking from the many surgeries that non-blacks have to make everything from lips bigger to behinds and everything in between--lol! 

Now don't get me wrong is all people, whether black or non-black attractive in man's sight, no way! Therefore, I'm not going to preach "black is beautiful" for all.  One must have the eyes of God to believe that one, and I know I am a work in progress.  However, I sincerely believe that when one is not attractive to the opposite sex like say others maybe, he or she has to work extra hard in other areas.  Beauty isn't only skin deep, but it should also show up in one's personality, body, walk, talk, and pocket, can I get an AMEN!

Ask yourself this question, "Am I beautiful?"  Now how you answer that says a lot about you.  If you say, I guess.  Then someone may not have told you that you are beautiful in a long time and there may be some underlying self-esteem issues.  If you say, I know I am.  Then you might have some personality issues that need to match all that beauty!  If you say, "Does it matter?"  Then you most likely don't care what you present in front of people  and how they react to it.  If you say, "No."  Then you are honest and most likely people have told you one too many times that something about you wasn't beautiful.  There is no right or wrong answer to that question.  There is something beautiful about all of us, it's just up to us and our admirers to find it.

I think some of the most ugly people are those that deceive themselves into thinking they are something that they are not.  They talk about how other people are ugly, but somehow they don't see ugly looking back at them in the mirror.  Some of the finest looking men and women are some of the ugliest and some of the ugliest looking men and women are the finest.  As the Bible says, beauty is fleeting.  Which would you rather be wise and ugly in your old age or stupid and ugly?  Notice the Bible doesn't say, ugly is fleeting--lol! 

Either way we are all going to get ugly, there is nothing cute about wrinkles, age marks, sagging skin, cellulite, and gray hair, because if it was we wouldn't be using things to try to cover it all up, now would we?  We can smooth over the aging process with beautiful words like, "Growing old gracefully...40 is the new 20!  All God's people is beautiful..." It doesn't matter if you are black or non-black, ugly doesn't discriminate!  Do what you can to work on that beautiful inner man and the rest is sure to follow.  You get my point.

Nicholl McGuire

Wednesday

Crazy

You most likely heard about someone you know "going crazy" or "losing their mind."  It basically implies that their thinking and behaving (that was once logical--made sense) is now illogical, confusing, and downright foolish.

What drives people to go crazy?  Well, some of us know that if you drink or use drugs long enough, it will mess you up!  I think of the many relatives and friends, who are now seniors, that are literally half crazy behind all the partying back in the day.  Toothless, senseless, and meaningless is pretty much how they are living their last days on planet earth.  But there are those other folks who lost their minds.  Their craziness had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol.  Some were just born that way while others gradually became crazy over time due to a death of a loved one (or too many loved ones,) a break up (or too many breakups,) significant financial loss, and other issues.  These people concern me, because they don't know they are crazy.

As much as we like to talk about how wise some of our elders are, if you sit with some of them long enough, they are losing what little sense they have left.  Sure, they may know a little scripture, and have some years of caring and providing for family, but underneath it all there is a weed taking root (if not already) amongst all the pretty flowers.  They mix good life lessons with bad habits.  They say one thing and do another.  They pride themselves on both "being good" and "telling it like it is."  There are those superstitions the elderly speak of which do nothing but keep people in bondage and besides its crazy talk.  Then of course "the good ole days" the elderly populace speak of which for some were really hard times.  From incestuous relationships to substance abuse, some of these older people and future generations are reaping what previous generations have sown for decades.  As much as some will, "praise God," they will also curse their children.  There is an ugliness with those minds that have gone crazy despite what others may call beautiful.

Now I know for some, the word "crazy" can also be used as a fun way to laugh along with someone who is acting like a fool.  But seriously, it is no laughing matter when someone is saying crazy statements like wanting to hurt someone over the littlest of things.  Then there is the constant forgetting, the lack of caring for one's self and others, mood swings, impatience, hyperactivity, frequent fighting, and more these are all signs someone is indeed losing it! 

Some women have lost their minds over men who have for years acted in controlling ways including: using intimidation and manipulation tactics, lying, name-calling, hollering, physical and emotional abuse.  Rather than take up their issues with that man whose driving them crazy, they are at war with everyone around them who makes them a tad bit uncomfortable.  These crazy women are ready to fight at the drop of a dime over everything from their place in line to who was last in the refrigerator and left the door open.

You can't measure sane or insane when just meeting a person, but overtime, crazy can't stay in hiding for long.  It always shows its ugly head!  Someone either tells on the person who once did a few too many crazy acts or the crazy person tells on him or herself in the way that he or she talks and/or walks.

If you consider yourself somewhat sane, but those around you are always saying, "Girl, you crazy!" or "Man, you are out of your mind!"  You just might want to check yourself.  Who knows, you just might be freed of something that may one day take over your mind in the near future.  None of us isn't getting any younger and no telling how crazy we might end up in the future.  Some of ya'll know that crazy is hereditary, so it is in your best interest to stay prayerful!

Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

Desperate for a Man: Hoping, Wishing & Waiting

Some black women want a man so much that she wakes up thinking about one and goes to bed thinking about one.  It doesn't matter if the man is single, married or not interested in her, she is hoping and praying for whoever is going to scratch that itch or tickle that ear drum.  But some men are just not meant to be.  I mean yeah, we hope for "the one," but instead, we get "that one."  As I write, I am thinking of my spiritually minded and religious sisters.  They are so open to that man who says, "God" (whether in or out of the church) that they forget about that discerning spirit that says, "Keep away!"

There is a move these days in the church that is often referenced as a "harvest season."  Basically, those seeds you have been sowing in the recent past are bringing in a harvest mentally, physically and spiritually at this time.  But those who don't know exactly what I am talking about, because you haven't been in touch with your Maker for some time now, might miss this harvest season and will have to wait even longer for that "thing" you keep praying about, which for some of you, is a man.

Now this blog entry is to warn some of you about that wolf in sheep's clothing that has been all over you.  I'm not judging, just sharing a word.  You know that man, the one who is charming, easy on the eyes, and says everything you want to hear.  Now some of you have had him in your life for years and others not so much.  Some of you even married this man, while others are waiting to see what happens next.  Whatever place you are in your life with this man, if he isn't where you are spiritually, God is going to move him out of your life!  Uh oh, someone didn't want to read that!  But it is true.  For some people reading this, the harvest season isn't bringing anything but a house cleaning.  Every area of your life will be cleaned out!  If you wanted to see healing, then you need to be detoxifying your system this season (including fasting from sex.)  If you wanted a better outlook on your life, then you needed to start surrounding yourself around positive people and things.  If you wanted to do more for someone else, like a relative or friend, then you needed to start letting some things go in your work schedule including reducing some of your church responsibilities.

When we sacrifice something in exchange for something else, our plans get accomplished and may God's will be done!  However, this desperation for a man that some women have comes from a willingness to give up everything for a man--bad move!  Some of you give up car, money, job, friends, hobbies, even the toilet when your man knocks!  This is when we can get into some serious trouble with that God we are supposed to be praising!  It is okay to sacrifice within reason, but we don't sell out!  Yet women who love too much, give up everything including long friendships once a man comes into their lives.  Think of some of the people you know who are not where they should be in life, because they gave up too much for the sake of  "man and family."  Even Jesus, had to walk away from his own family to fulfill the great commission and he asked other men, who also had relatives and friends they left behind with them, to follow him.

God doesn't want any of us who are burning with passion to burn for always, but he doesn't want us to be a fool either.  If you already prayed to God repeatedly about a partner, good.  Now let go and let God!  He isn't deaf, he heard you already!

There are deceivers at our doors awaiting to get in.  Their sole purpose is to get us to stop following God.  What you have to do if you desire more from a current or future relationship is to be open with your spiritual walk with God and invite that man to walk with you.  If he sits around making excuses, then you need to walk without him and keep walking toward your heavenly Maker.  At some point that man or you will fall and if you are going to fall, you better be somewhere near God so that he can lift you up, because that man won't (he'll be too busy cleaning his own self up.)

Hoping, wishing and waiting is nothing more than a red flag that someone is desperate for something.  Keep on acting in this way and our adversary will send a counterfeit blessing.  If we trust God like we say we do, then we need to focus on the things of God first and foremost and allow God to supply our needs according to his will.

Nicholl McGuire is the writer of http://spiritualpoemsbynicholl.blogspot.com  If you are interested in similar work like this and poems, stop by her blog.

Education is it Important in the Urban Communities?

While walking in my old neighborhood, I reflected on the days when I walked over a mile to school.  What kind of motivation did I have each day despite the rain, sleet, hail, snow and freezing temperatures to get up each morning and go to school?  Looking back, a mom and a dad who wouldn't allow my sister and I to settle for less.  However, there was also something within us that simply knew that being at home or on the street is just not the best choice.  Home and the street was boring.  There wasn't anything fun about someone fighting, getting raped, doing drugs, drinking or wandering around town.

I don't know how important education is to the average black youth living in an "urban" community.  I guess we can get a good idea by the sheer number of students who don't have a book in their hand when walking home from school.  We could also get a good idea if we just asked a few students each day, "So what sorts of interesting things did you learn in school today?"

With hip hop and R&B music permeating many children's ear drums on a daily basis, we can only hope that they will value their education before they become an adult with baby, bills, partner or all three.  Back in my day while attending high school (that would have been the late eighties through early nineties,)  there were so many girls pregnant, drinking, smoking weed, and having boyfriends (who were drug dealers,) it wasn't hard to see that education was not high on their "to do" list.  Rather, these girls were too busy thinking about a doctor's appointment, some new clothes, tennis shoes, jewelry, a purse or what their boyfriend was doing when they weren't around.  I rarely had a decent conversation with any of them.  I sincerely believed back then that these girls were more interested in learning the latest rap or R&B song.

From the looks of things, times haven't changed much since then.  There are still those girls and boys who will go on to a trade or business school and others who will attend college on borrowed money that they may or may never pay back.  But then there is that group of students who will most likely drop out or barely graduate all the while wearing their tight t-shirts and jeans and cussing and fussing about some boy, girl or their mom raising their son or daughter at home, God bless 'em.

Nicholl McGuire

Thursday

Food Stamps

If you never had to use food stamps, then good for you, but there are those of us who have had their share of food stamp use when times were hard and you didn't know how you were going to pay for groceries much less everything else.

I recall the days when food stamps were just a booklet of white paper that had a president's face on them and the numbers 1 & 5. Each had a value and spent just like money.  They also had the words "food coupon." But people sold these coupons to one another in exchange for cash.  Eventually, the food coupon was discontinued. 

Nowadays people on welfare are issued a card that has a pin number to buy groceries.  It is used just like a debit card minus the signature.  This enables shoppers to buy their groceries without having to fumble over food coupons.  Now something as simple as using a food stamp card shouldn't be a problem, right?  Wrong.  Some of our people will make a big deal out of the food stamp card especially when they are using it dishonestly.  "Tika better bring me my card with half the money on it!  I didn't tell her she could use it all up!  Where is my cash for the other half Joey?"  Families have had major arguments with one another about:  using the card, someone they have relied on being cut off from food stamps, or losing the card.

If you have never used food stamps, you wouldn't know what the frustration and tension is all about concerning them.  There is a certain degree of pride that is lost when one realizes that now he or she is dependent on the state.  Sometimes all that arguing and fighting in the grocery line is nothing more then a clear sign for a family to come up higher!  A helping hand is only temporary it is never meant to be open forever.

Nicholl McGuire 

Gas Money

It's a big deal in many African American families that are struggling to make ends meet, gas money.  Folks aren't all that enthused about picking someone up who doesn't have any transportation especially if the rider doesn't have any gas money.

There are people right now hollering about someone not filling their gas tank after taking the car for a spin.  Others are driving in their cars hoping and praying that they have enough gas just to make it home.  Then there are some people frequently angry about gas prices.

It doesn't matter who you ask or where you go, people have a story or two about gas money.  They want to know why some people can't contribute to gas when they ride in their cars.  Some purposely will opt out of going out with family and friends because they know they can't afford to fill up the tank.  Others are going so far as to tell their elderly momma and 'em, "Can't you find someone else to take you?  Gas costs too much!"   

It's sad, but the media has spread so much negativity about gas prices to the point that some people don't realize what a deal looks like anymore.  If your in California, you are complaining about $4.25 gas prices and if you are in Pennsylvania, you are complaining about $3.50 gas prices.  Watch a gas price in Georgia, go up from $3.10 to $3.25 and someone is talking about selling their truck.  Mind you, these examples are for regular gas not unleaded or premium. 

Everyone's situation is different, but the common statement heard around many African American circles these days is, "You got some gas money?  'Cause you know gas is too high to be taking everyone around everywhere!"

Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

Black Folks and Titles: It's a Big Deal for Some this Issue of Respect

The fastest way to anger a black woman or man, especially if he or she is a senior or poor, is to call this person by his or her first name.  Did he or she give you permission?  "Who does he think he is addressing me by my first name?  I thought her parents taught her better than that calling that man by his first name?" the offended asks.

Chances are the person calling you or anyone else by their first name isn't out to get you, disrespect you or get your blood pressure up.  But some of our people, oh boy, they lose it!  An attitude shows up on their face and look out, you just might not ever be liked simply because you got too friendly with them by addressing them by their first name.  "These young people these days just don't respect their elders," an angry elderly woman spouts.  Funny, most of the elders aren't taking the time to teach the young people.  You get out what you put in, right?

I personally feel it's all foolishness!  State how you want to be addressed from the start and keep reminding the person until they catch on.  Simple enough, right?  Wrong, some black folks are over-the-top with this issue of respect.  If you draw the line in the sand from the beginning, there won't be any question where you stand.  However, I think for some of our people, specifically those who don't like a particular race or gender, they carry a certain demeanor that takes this issue of respect to a whole new different level.

"White folks do that sort of thing, address everyone by their first name...I don't play that!  Call me Mr."  I heard this and other statements being said by our people.  Although it is true that many people (not only white) address one another by their first names, it should never be assumed that everyone wants to be called by their first name.  However, acting emotional over someone forgetting a title because they aren't quite use to addressing you as such, is immature and downright foolish.  Of course, there are those people who purposely don't use a title because they are trying to stir up trouble, don't feel comfortable or something else.  What are we going to do with these people?  It's real simple, you don't answer them until they respect your wishes.

As a society, we are getting away from a lot of things that seem to be decent and within order.  Therefore, I can understand why some of our elders insist on us addressing them as, "Mr. and Ms." or "Ma'm or Sir."  But I also, understand it's not what you say, but it is how you say it.  Give one respect and you might get it in return.

Nicholl McGuire

They Always Got Something to Say: Your Family

I admit I don't go around certain family members or call other ones like I use to back in the day.  I stopped wasting time with some of these folks, because they always got something to say.  Some of you know exactly what I am talking about, so just say, "Okay!" 

You can't change your hairstyle, your attire, or do anything else without a comment.  "Girl, why don't you put a perm in your hair, you would look better?  You picking up some weight, huh?  Why you dating that ugly man? I heard you got a different job, what you do get fired from your last one?"  Do these mouthy men and women ever shut up?  Oftentimes they don't have their story straight in the first place and when you put these people in check they say, "Oh, my bad!  I'm sorry...Oh well that is what I thought..." Just shut up!

Black folks are some of the most opinionated, outspoken folks around!  Some are dignified, you know the kind that keep their opinion to themselves (at least when you are around them.)  But, those loud mouth types are "going to tell you about yourself," according to one family member.  I was glad she was so braggadocios about her big mouth, because she told on her self when I asked why certain people don't come around her anymore, "I speak my mind."  I guess that is more important than family and 20 plus year friendships, huh? Ain't nothing like an old fool!

I don't know about you, but some people I know are in bondage because of their big mouths (which would also explain why some behinds are big too, but I digress--lol.)  No one really wants to help a mouthy woman or man.  Therefore, these mouthy types are more unhappy than happy and everyone is going to know about it!

Those people who choose to continue to be around these big mouth types are in bondage too, because they have managed to give up money and time just so that they can avoid the big mouth's hit list.  However, there money and service doesn't do them any good, because they too are being talked about by the big mouth. In time, they will fall out with the mouthy person because he or she is nothing but trouble!

If the mouth isn't running the eyes sure are!  Those evil eyes just look you up and down in such a cutting way, don't they?  Some of you know the looks, those haters in your family might as well wish you dead.  You say something, the eyes roll.  You ask a question, the eyes go up.  You offer advise, the eyes close and pretend like they are sleep.  What makes some of our people act so ugly?

"I'm looking at you, and..." says the hater who now wants to challenge you to a fight.  "Well, if I wasn't saved, I might just..."  that's the way some of my people make me feel.

You need to have a lot of self-control, a faith, and some other things to be in the same room with these evil- eyed, big mouth types.  I recall one relative tell me that when he is in the presence of one particular female relative, she drives him to drink.  Now that's sad, real sad!  But you know what, this might be something to think about when you see yet another man walking out on his wife, a son striking his mother, a once sober relative now back on drugs, and other similar cases.  Maybe that mouthy man or woman is to blame.  Who knows, it might be time to check that big mouth out of the family while praying that he or she gets a smaller mouth and a bigger heart.

Nicholl McGuire

Sunday

When the So-Called Good Black Man Thinks He is God's Gift

If you were to take the time to sit amongst women talking about their black men, there will always be one in the group who will heat up the conversation with her negative comments about "all" black men.  Now let's be honest, there are bad black men, but there are also good black men as well.

The bitter black woman's experience with some black men was negative and most likely her friends in the group will add to the pile of "no good, black men" stories as well.  But there are those "good," black men, and then there are those so-called good, black men that are nothing more than men who want to be appreciated for all that they do just because they have never went to jail, ran out on their baby's mama, and keep a good job.  However, what makes these men so-called good and not simply good is that they have bad attitudes and are emotionally unavailable (because there mind is often swimming in the past or focused on haves and have-nots) while their wives and children suffer mentally and sometimes physically.

You can't leave black men out of these sistah circle chats, sometimes there are those one or two who can't help but add their two cents worth about how they are the exception.  "I am a good, black man!" he says.  "That's right and I am too!" his friend chimes in.  "I don't know what you ladies' experiences have been like with other black men, but I know I take good care of my woman!"  That's great to hear and God bless him, but there are those who believe that they are the best thing since sliced bread.  These so-called good ,black men are the ones who yell, "You better appreciate me, because there isn't that many of us!"  Pride always comes before a fall.

Sure, there is a little good everywhere and it doesn't only come in black while the good ,black man boasts to his woman and friends.  You see, for decades I have been noticing this braggadocios behavior amongst some of our black men.  It isn't a humble attitude from the so-called good, black man.  Instead, it is one that says, "You better be grateful black woman I even bother staying with you and these kids!  I know I am a good man because I come home every night.  That's right acknowledge me for Father's Day, because I could have left my kids with their mama!"  We know that there are those men that have ran off:  cheated, lied, stole money and even murdered their brother and so yes as black women, we should be thanking God for the good men that don't do these things.  However, this attitude that screams, "Be grateful or else..."  Maybe a sister should be the one running away this time.

No one should have to put up with a pompous, arrogant man who believes that he should be placed on a pedestal for doing something that he should be doing anyway--like taking care of his family.  Yet, I can't fault the so-called good, black man completely, because sometimes as women, we create this monster with all our praise.  We say things like, "Oh baby, I love you so much and I am so glad you are not like so and so...If it weren't for you, who knows where I would be....You are the best I ever had....You are a gift from God..."  It isn't any wonder that this arrogant, black man walks around thinking he is God's gift.  How much you want to bet he isn't saying all that about his woman?

Some of us need to slow down with all the praise and celebration when it comes to so-called good, black men while others need to stop bragging about "how good I am..."  Last, I checked, no man (or woman) walking on this earth is good, that's why we need Jesus!

Nicholl McGuire

Monday

Being Black is Not an Excuse to Stop Trying

It doesn't matter whether one's skin tone is fair, brown or dark, if we use it as an excuse to keep from moving from point A to B, then we deserve what we get.

I thought about this when I reflected on the reactions I received over the years from all sorts of skin tones.  You are damned if you do, and damned if you don't--too light for this group or too dark for that one.  Blessed if you're one skin tone, "Come on over here, my sister!" or cursed if your another, "You do realize you're colored, right?"  I realized that no matter what a person saw, I had to make up in my mind that my skin tone would have no bearing on what I aspired to be and to do in my lifetime.

There will be those people who will attack you, because they sense that you may be one of those who are sensitive about the color of your skin.  It doesn't matter how old or young you are, they know that if they say certain words about the way you look, you will flip out.  Some people think that they are privileged because they look a certain way while others think that they can't get ahead because they aren't the right shade.  This kind of mentality stems from another's opinion of what they deem as "good, sweet, and beautiful."  But the truth of the matter, one's appearance means nothing to your Creator.  He will open doors that no man can open!  Think of a few testimonies you have heard over the years and you thought, "How in the world did she get in?  What did he have to do?  Neither looked or fit the part!"  But they got in, didn't they?  They moved ahead, right?  Maybe you were one of the blessed and highly favored ones!  Encourage someone!

The word, "black" means nothing to some and a whole lot of something to others.  This is why some will say, "The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice.  I'm black and proud!  Oh that is a sexy chocolate looking man!"  While others will say, "Look at that black baby!  She so black!  Take that off, you already black!"  Some people choose to be far removed from anything black because of a past riddled with such abusive "black" talk.  There are those who think there is nothing wrong with commenting on someone's blackness positively, but for some people it's all bad.  "Just see me for who I am!" some will say.

Whatever shade our skin tone, we all should be comfortable in it.  Maybe some of us need counseling to heal from an ugly past.  (You know you have issues when you are looking someone else up and down because they are light, brown, or dark before they even speak to you!!) Some people are just fine being who they are and can mingle with the best of them no matter what color they are.  Whatever the issue or lack thereof that some have, our blackness should never be an excuse for us to stop progressing in our dreams.

Nicholl McGuire

Saturday

Cold-blooded: That Dark Side

Has anyone ever described you as "cold, hard, ruthless, heartless" or similar words. For some of you, you may have been called that behind your back. I have been called a couple of these words a few times in my life. It doesn’t feel good, it implies that you have no conscience. To be a cold person, means one has participated in some down-right dirty deeds that has hurt someone else. You may have left the person accusing you of these things out in the cold so that they can't take advantage of you any longer! Sometimes it’s what you say or think that also makes you a cold-blooded person.

On the bright side of things, being cold-blooded has its benefits. CEOs, managers, business owners, even ministers over large congregations have first-hand experience. You can't get to the top without bending the rules and stepping on a few heads along the way even if they are relatives or long, dear friends. There are some people who have stepped on so many people in their quest to make it to the top that they walk around with bullet proof vests. Some of us envy people with a lot of zeros in their bank accounts, but if you knew the unadulterated truth about how they got the money, would you still be admiring so? What would you be willing to do for those dollar bills? That’s why some of us stay broke.

So what brings me to this subject today of acting or being cold-blooded? Well, thinking of the family specifically my own, back in the day, we all gathered somewhere as children and had a good time with relatives and/or friends at different reunions, birthday celebrations, weddings and so forth. Then someone in the family would decide to lessen the good time we would all be having by making us children, minding our own business, do something. Now it could have been something simple like, "Gone now, sit your behind down and stay out of grown folks conversation!" or something more serious like, "Come on over here and let me..." whatever that “let me” was that still makes some of my cousins flip out to this day. Liquor, drugs or just some troublemaker took great pleasure in ruining what could have been happy family memories. Sometimes the police were called and other times issues were settled with someone hitting the floor.

Well, I thought about a few past memories while listening to a black mother make her otherwise happy child playing with the other children, go out into the pool. While I'm writing this, the child is hollering and hollering crying for, “Mama!!” She kept telling the girl to, "Be quiet! Be quiet! Shut up! You ain’t fallin’!" The little girl still screaming, “Mommy! Mommy!” The girl is obviously scared and making a scene.  Whoever is teaching the child she doesn’t feel comfortable with her and the water. One person witnessing the event just laughed.

With all the yelling between Mama outside the pool and child in the pool, I was ready to call someone. It was obvious that the child wasn't ready to learn how to swim and whoever was trying to make her should have been scolded for letting the girl cry like that! I can only imagine what kind of memories the poor child will be having about the water in the future. Not that long ago, there was a black man by the same pool pretending like he was going to throw his child in and the toddler just wailed. Now some will say, “Well that was how I learned how to swim someone just threw me in.” Glad to see you’re okay, but there are others who never make it while others live with regret.

So I thought to myself, the issue of being hard, cold, etc. is a trained behavior. Some black parents do it unconsciously. A mild form of torture, if you will, for the victim to do what the dictator wants. Does this kind of action remind you of say, the movie, Roots? When that white man kept beating that young black man and telling him his name is Toby, I couldn't help but think about all the black children who was watching that and still getting whipped like a slave with paddle, belt or something else.

The school showed that movie when I was a young teen in public school a little early psychological programming to obey one’s master, eh? How about that Denzel movie when the white man is beating him and he doesn’t yell out or cry a flood of tears. That scene was worse, because it dragged on as you saw his will being broken with each lash while he was trying hard not to submit by expressing deep emotion.

So the black parent says to his child, “I’m going to make you mind me or else…You better get your black a*# over here right now…If you don’t, I will force you…You will do as I say or I will knock the black off of you!” Then the threats are followed with whatever the action. Some children will run around hollering, others will beg, and some children will just give you that slow tear and just stare at you with a look like, “Your day is coming.” I grew into that child by the time I got to my latter teens. A child that stops crying when most children would cry over the same kind of punishment is a cold-blooded child and one day someone will get hurt. It might not be the parent, but someone has got to pay the price.

Childhood physical abuse creates a cold-blooded adult, so don’t ask why some people can kill another human being, destroy a career, or steal money with no conscious. What might be the technique of choice to get a child to submit to the will of the parents and we aren’t talking about no use of a rod like in the Bible? Maybe a father might cave his teenage son’s chest in as explained to me by a boyfriend when I was a teen. “My mother would call my dad if I was acting up and then my dad would draw back his fist and punch me in the chest.” A mother might blacken both her daughter’s eyes for back-talking. As a teen, I often saw black girls walking around with a black eye or two and it wasn’t because they were fighting with another girl either.

Maybe it isn’t physical beatings at all, maybe it is a slow, psychological punishment whereby the parent puts a child in a nice setting around a bunch of family members and friends, then turns the setting into something bad to get the desired results. “Don’t think because you around all these people I won’t beat the.…out of you!” Meanwhile, the child is all confused in the mind trying to figure out, “Did I do something bad for not wanting to stand up and sing in front of all these people? Did I do something bad because I didn’t want to ride the roller coaster? Did I do something wrong for not wanting to talk about my school achievements? Did I do something wrong for telling grandma ‘no thank you’ or Uncle for asking me to take a drink and smoke some weed?  Did I do something wrong because I said yes instead of yes ma'm?”

Being punished for standing up for yourself is what the child is taught. Falsely accused of “sassing, thinking you cute, too good, or better than me” by someone who says they love her or him. No wonder some of us are cold-blooded.

I think of those old men back in the day that could walk in a room and their mere presence would lower voices. The kind of men that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You knew that these men had blood on their hands. They could look at you with such a piercing stare and then just laugh. They took great pleasure in seeing your fear. Evil, callous men that didn’t care whether you lived or died, but as long as they were around you, you better do what you are told. I thank God I wasn’t taken advantage of by these hard-hearted men as a child. It was probably because those that were around me were as equally cold.

There is an evil that we all have somewhere way down deep inside ourselves. If someone provokes you enough, it doesn’t matter how close you are to God, you are going to do or say something that you will repent for later. It is inevitable. Living with or being around an evil person long enough will taint the holiest of Christians every now and then. It’s what that child of God does when he or she is being tested that matters. Will he or she turn an evil for good? Every now and then along comes a trial to see just how much you have changed, whether for better or worse. Oh sure, we will tell people, “Praise the Lord, I thank God I’m not what I use to be!” Uh oh, here comes the devil with his schemes, “You sure about that?” He’s all too ready to create doubt, cause confusion, and resurrect fear.

I think we are targeted by evil organizations run by cold-hearted men and women for our money and time, because many of us have already been through various mind control tactics as children. Easy prey, if you will, for the devil to recruit and then use us to get others involved in some shady groups. Think about the different entertainment groups, cults, fraternities, multi-level marketing associations, businesses, and churches that specifically go after blacks. Some of them know more about us then we know about ourselves especially the way many of us have been raised by our parents.

So what do I mean by the use of mind control and who would use such a thing? Someone, usually a parent or individual or group who we highly trust, that appears to help us when we are in need. However, we quickly learn that as quick as the help is given to us so too is the smile taken back. “What will you be doing for me?” they might ask or demand. This person or group may use various demeaning techniques during childhood (when we were most susceptible to all sorts of programming including TV shows) into adulthood to get us to do what they want. I know people 50 and 60 plus who are still being controlled by their parents, church groups and civic associations. They try to break from their programming, but mama, daddy or staff knows how to keep drawing them back.

Whether that dictator for a parent or leader of a group used things on us like cursing and name-calling when we did bad while keeping back most praises when we did well, they got us to perform didn’t they? During childhood, a parent may have physically assaulted his or her child especially during times in life when a child already feels bad about things like body image, menstrual cycle or school grades to get desired results. Some parents may have forced children to go to bed hungry because they didn’t want to eat everything on their plates. What was the pay off for that? No food is to go down the drain because you would be wasting your parent’s hard-earned money. Yet, later on in life for saving your parent money, you become obese.

These cold-blooded parents may have bad mouthed their children in front of other relatives and friends while they laughed. "You so fat and lazy...whoo child he black...girl so bright gone and get some sun...she an ugly child!"  There are those parents who made their children give up school activities in order to help around the house, get a job, or care for other siblings leaving them feeling guilty for wanting a life outside of the family.

The idea behind childhood mind control or what some would argue, “I was just raising my child. You lucky you didn’t turn out bad! Kids is so d*mn ungrateful!” was to take away what you love the most in order to get you to do what they wanted. A simple request is just that simple, but a parent with a few too many loose bolts in his or head will make everything a big deal!

From pets to favorite toys, when a parent uses these things appropriately to discipline a child, most always a child will get an item back when he or she complies with what the parent wishes or something to the equivalent. However, a cold-blooded parent, like the devil, will kill, steal or destroy the things the child loves the most usually right in front of the child. Someone once told me a story of a parent doing something as simple as breaking a child’s favorite toy in front of him while the child screamed. Another person told me how her mother got her to keep her mouth shut about family business with repeated threats to punch her in the mouth and that all she would be able to do is eat soup. One day she messed up, and one day she got slapped so hard she felt her teeth was going to come out. Someone else told me how his daddy used to beat him and his siblings with an extension cord while smoking a cigarette. Needless to say they also got cigarette burns in the process.

Young abused women have talked of being abused by both people they know and didn’t know and relatives did nothing but ask, “What did you do?” In my own abusive situation, at 21 years, with an ex-boyfriend, I managed to avoid being raped but almost suffocated from a pillow being put over my face on different occasions for crying and/or screaming after being repeatedly insulted and shoved. Things like that and more happened to me over a nine month period. I wrote poetry while I was in the abusive relationship, it was my only therapy. I published it over 10 years later on Amazon.com called, Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate. It took just that long to break emotions of fear as a result of mind control programming.

I went through some brainwashing being in that relationship without realizing it at the time, and interesting enough the ex boyfriend had been in the military as well as many other men that I had known both in and out of my family. So the mannerisms were familiar to me. Most of these military men were divorced.

In my abusive relationship, I was often thinking that I was at fault even during times I wasn’t. The abusive ex had been forced to watch adults having sex as a child which he at times would get emotional even at 30 plus years. He also had suffered some harsh discipline from his mother. At one time he had a drug addiction. Then later in life he became trained to kill our countries’ enemies like so many young men. However, when he got out of the military, his programming went haywire, as far as he was concerned all women were the enemy once he had sex with them. There was a long list of women who got abused by him. Now the trained, has become the trainer.

Psychological and physical abuse is serious and when you know someone is going off the deep end with their so-called discipline, it’s time to speak up. As for the mother with the frightened child (I spoke about earlier), her and her family left the pool before I could finish this article. I guess her baby’s screams was drawing too much attention.

In closing, we mustn’t confuse acting cold-blooded with acting righteously.  Stand for truth when wrongs have been commited against you without killing, stealing, and destroying another's person's will to live. 
By Nicholl McGuire

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