Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU…..Part Two

Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU…..Part Two

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In the United States of America, we have so many different ethnic groups and by rights, we should embrace our heritage. I understand that the People of Color went through a period of Slavery, yes it was an awful time for their ANCESTORS! From the time I was about 10 years old, I have lived in the South. So by rights I am a Southerner. But does that make me a Racist – does that make me responsible for Slavery? Does that make me hate Black people? No it certainly does not! I choose to respect others, and love all people. And in my faith – as we all stand before The Judgement Seat of Christ – we are all one and the same – His children created in His image who must answer for our own actions – not the actions of our family members.

I have attended Black Churches, White Churches and the Preachers and Pastors all preach the same thing. Now I get it – I am but one person. I cannot and do not speak for all of the White people. But I can tell you this – there is just as many Racists in each Ethnic Group as the other. Skin Heads, Panthers, White Supremacists, Black Live Matter, White Lives Matter, Chicanos, and Latinos,

All People have some sort of Heritage that is associated with them. It should not define us as people. In this part of the world it is Southern Heritage.  Perceptions of the Confederate flag depend upon context. At a national cemetery or national battlefield it is seen in the historical context of the American Civil War. At popular re-enactments of that war’s events, or in films like “Gettysburg” or “Gone With the Wind”, it is seen in a theatrical context. In the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard” the flag on top of Duke boys car has been seen as a symbol of a non-racist Southern spirit by millions of viewers internationally. To those 70 million of us whose ancestors fought for the South, both Black AND White, it is a symbol of our family members who fought for what they thought was right in their time, and whose valor became legendary in military history. This is not nostalgia. It is our legacy. The current attacks on that legacy, 150 years after the event, are to us an insult that mends no fences nor builds any bridges.

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It is obvious that some racists have appropriated and desecrated the Confederate battle flag for their pathetic causes but we must never lose sight of our Heritage. As Christians we fly the Christian Cross – does that make us Racist? We as Americans fly the American Flag – does that make us Racist? So where does it start and where does it stop – It begins and Ends with You. You and only You can choose to love or hate. You choose to like and dislike, to hear or be heard. You choose to start or Stop. Where do you fit in?

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statement Tuesday calling for the removal of more Confederate monuments. He also said that “I don’t pretend to know what it’s like for a person of color to pass by one of these monuments and consider that those memorialized in stone and metal did not value my freedom or humanity,” he said. “Unlike an African-American father, I’ll never have to explain to my daughters why there exists an exalted monument for those who wished to keep her and her ancestors in chains.”

Furthermore, Cooper said that “he will also urge the legislature to defeat a bill that grants immunity from liability to motorists who strike protesters”. Really?? What the Hell are you thinking Roy Cooper? I mean that is a BS way of copping out. Talk about Not Standing up for what is Right. You are supposed to be our States Leader. Enforce the enforceable, defend what is right. Clearly, what these people are doing and have done is illegal. They should be arrested, charged and held responsible for their actions. Instead of bowing down and trying to be popular so that you may win another election, take the high road, do the right thing and do your job. These people need to realize that there should be a time in their life that they have to grow up. Realize we are not who we were 100 years ago and that the people of today have learned a thing or two over the years. I’m sorry if you are offended that I don’t like you – but wait – you don’t like me either – it’s just a fact of life. Get over it and get on with it! Try to rush my vehicle and beat me out of it and watch what happens – you will get run over. I’m not going to stop my car, let you break my windows and pull me out, beating me to near death – and neither would you Mr. Cooper! Our Government needs to quit being an “Enabler”.

Racism exists in every Ethnic Group in the USA. Red, Yellow, Black, Brown and White. It is not just something White people or Black people do. Sadly it is something that unites us. We share this in common. But again, shave off all of our skins and see if you can tell the difference.

Ok, so now if you have read all of my last two posts, I’m sure that you have already formed your own views and opinions about me – you probably think that I’m a racist, a hater, an activist. Well you would be sorely mistaken. I love Black People, I have Black people in my family. I love Mexican People, I have Mexican people in my family. I love White people, I am white. I love me and I love you! So what? If you peel off your skin and peel off my skin – we are just the same! We are people – we are the Human Race!

It is 2017 – don’t you think it’s time we all grow up and learn to get along. Yes we all have different views and opinions but this is exactly what Martin Luther King once preached about. Equality, Love, Understanding and Forgiveness. God Bless the USA and God Bless its People!….. which hey – includes YOU!

Peace Love and Understanding

A Little Girls Story….

A Little Girls Story……..

WARNING – First off I want to warn you that this post is very raw and may touch a nerve. Reader discretion is advised….. I really feel that this story needs to be told – if not for the child, then for other children or parents that may need to hear this – My heart breaks as I begin to write this – WARNING….

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As some of you may know, I have an older Brother and this story relates to him and his granddaughter. His youngest son was married to this girl and they had a daughter which is now 12 years old. In the beginning, this little girl was full of energy, beauty and pure innocence but at some point during their marriage, the son and the wife realized that they were very toxic for each other and decided that it would be in their best interest if they parted ways, They finally split up a few years ago and both have remarried now. The mother and the child moved in with her new husband and have lived in Henderson, NC for the past four or five years now- they even had a new baby together. During the course of the last few months, we (the family) have learned that the 12-year-old girl has been sexually molested and raped by her stepfather repeatedly for the past two years.

My brother had noticed that his granddaughter was acting out, the mother, who is less that anything fit to be called a mother, had been back and forth with the father of the child trying to pawn her off and get her to move in with him. The father, with a new baby himself and two other children said he had no room for the oldest daughter. After some time, my Brother and his wife took the 12-year-old child in to live with them and that’s when “Pawpaw Bill” found out what was really going on. The child complained of pain, sickness, was acting out and just plain disrespectful at times. My brother told me that the child asked him one day about keeping her safe from the nightmares and bad things which triggered him into further questioning the child. That’s when the child came out and told him of the horrors that had been going on. The child reported that the stepfather would come into her room and make her touch him, kiss him, and he forced her to let him touch her. The child described in detail of the stepfathers’ anatomy and distinctive marks. We also learned that the mother of the child was in the home when some of these things were going on.

Can you imagine the awful feelings that this child had knowing that something this terrible was happening to her and that her own mother was in the next room and not being able to say anything.  The psychological torment, torture and terror that she had to experience without someone to talk or to tell would be unbearable. Upon reflection, I feel the rage building up again for the pain that she has gone through but at the same time, I feel the joy that she must have had when she was moved out of that situation and put in a safe place. About three weeks ago, my brother brought her to my house for a quick visit and I have to say that she looked amazing. It had been quite some time since I had seen her last and she came up to me and said – “do I remember you?” I reassured her yes sweetie and gave her a big hug and she immediately felt at ease. She then turned to her Pawpaw Bill and said, “can I go play now?” which of course just thrilled her and you could see the happiness was starting to come back while she was playing with my daughter and some other kids that were over for the day.

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Fast forward to this past week, my Brother called and told me that Joe had been arrested this past Saturday in Henderson and that his wife was yelling at the police and was trying to get them to let him go. Apparently she is on his side and believes that he is innocent. Even after Physical Examination by a Doctor and verified that she had been assaulted and raped over an extended period of time. Even after Police Investigations and interviews with the child, this “mother” remains by his side while the child is left thinking that this is somehow her fault and that her mother doesn’t believe her or even love her.

During the investigations, it seems that Joe, the stepfather, was “having his way” with the child and performing sodomy, fellatio and even full penetration and rape of the child over the course of two years. Multiple times this child had to endure pain, anguish and terror inflicted by another human being that was supposed to be in charge of, taking care of and providing for her. A person who she should be able to feel safe with and depend on in a positive way – one to always keep her safe – yet he is the one that she had to fear the most. On top of it all, she felt that she could not tell anyone, especially her own mother who lived in the same house.

There are so many circumstances to this sad story and so many questions that cannot be answered like, why didn’t she tell her father or her Pawpaw?, why didn’t she just tell a teacher? Why didn’t her dad pick up on the fact that something was wrong? Why did it take so long for someone to realize that this child was not the same as before. I can tell you a factor or two in it all and that is that the child was used as a pawn between several people to get their way, there wasn’t enough parental involvement in the day-to-day activities with this child. There wasn’t enough love in the homes between her dad and her mother and there was never any home training for the child. She simply didn’t know what to do. She had no guidance in her life and was allowed to do whatever she wanted until it finally broke her in such a way that will affect the rest of her life.

She will forever be different now and in many ways changed for the worse. As far as trusting, loving, or enjoying another person or even becoming a mother herself one day (if that is even possible after what she has endured), will not be an easy task for her and may lead her to a life of depression, eating disorders, self-harm or even suicide…..the list goes on. Without the proper nurturing, guidance, love and support, she will have a very rough and troublesome life and I fully blame the parents. I blame the parents for allowing the innocence of this sweet young child to be taken away. I blame the parents for not “raising” up this child in a positive environment and keeping her safe at all costs over their own wants or needs.

So now, this creature has been arrested and is being held with no bond in the Vance County Jail awaiting court appearances and undoubtedly a bond reduction hearing. If I know the Court System like I used to, this scum will be out in a matter of days and surely they (the mother included) will try to strong-arm and influence the child in some way. Now I have talked with my brother about Lawyers, Domestic Violence Protection Orders and even a Guardian Ad Litem but apparently the District Attorney’s Office and or the Vance County Clerk of Court cannot agree on what steps to take next so I fear that this child may be on her own. My brother has vowed to be her guardian and protector and to do his very best to save her from what is to come. I truly hope that she finds some form of peace within and that her Perpetrator is adequately punished.

My take away on this whole ordeal is that……. I want parents and guardians to know that this type of crime happens every day to men, women, and children.  You never know what someone is going through but we always need to be vigilant and look for the signs – to always be there to lend an ear or a heart to someone who may be in need of help. I want the children to know that it is not their fault. They did not do anything wrong and it is not ok for people to do these things to them.

This type of crime happens in all classes of families from the richest to the poorest, from the south to the north – in the Country and in the City. Evil is in our nature but God gave us the choice and the Will to do the right thing.

What if it were your 12-year-old Daughter??

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The opposite of Love is………….

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The opposite of Love is………….

Most recently I was devastated to learn about a situation that had happened to a very close friend of mine dealing with his marriage. For the sake of anonymity, I will call him Ryan. Now Ryan was like most guys I know, he was very heartfelt and always tried to please everyone most of the time – especially his wife.

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But seriously, most guys are the same with the difference being home training and life experiences. During their separate lives they have had to overcome many obstacles including previous marriages and as most of you know, this in itself will change a person – for better or worse – it does change you. There have been challenges in their marriage yes but from what most could tell, they have been fairly routine things that most couples encounter during their time together. The main issues that I have seen over the years with people most often deal with Money and Finances. Each person wants to feel independent in their personality but in reality, they are joined as one, therefore they must function as one. It’s a hard concept to grasp but if you get it right, it is so worth it – One completes the Other.

Recently I was told by Ryan that he and his wife were going through a rough patch in where they just seemed to be co-existing together and not really connected anymore. Ryan said that life had wiggled its way in between them and they had begun to be at odds with each other. During one evening, they had gotten into a very heated argument which led to some pretty harsh words, said by both parties, when all of a sudden his wife spews out “I F*@king Hate You”. Well apparently that seemed to have immediately stopped the whole argument and from what it seems, the whole conversation. Ryan said he just froze in his tracks while his wife simply walked away. Ryan said that this was something that he never thought he would hear from her. During their time together, she had never said evil or hurtful things to him in such a manner nor was it customary between them to carry a grudge or harbor ill feelings for any length of time beyond the scope of a normal argument – but this was no ordinary argument. This was something much worse.

Being truly devastated by her words, Ryan felt that his marriage was over and that she did not love him anymore. He wondered how he could have let it get so bad in the first place and where was he going to go from here. In doing some research (because I did not have an answer to help him), I found that in the normal comparison of emotions, LOVE is the opposite of HATE as most would think. But if you actually mean opposite (the most reversed factors possible) then I would have to say it was indifference. In both love and hate, you care about whoever or whatever you are loving or hating at the time (although in different ways). Ex. You love a person. You hear that something awful happened to them. You’d want to know more, right? If you hated that person (and I mean actually HATE, not just dislike), you’d also want to know more about what happened to them. Additionally, love relationships break apart because of indifference much more often than hate. (“You don’t care about me at all!”) If you actually hated somebody, you wouldn’t be together with them. Hate is the opposite of love. Hate is a feeling of anger, rage and violence. I read that Hate comes along with love. Actually, without hate there is no love. They are two sides of the same coin.

            What is the opposite of Hate? – The answer is not Love?  Regardless of what a thesaurus might say, the true opposite of Love is – Indifference, which is the direct opposite of caring or feeling for someone or something. Hate cannot be the opposite of Love because like love, hate means that you care and have strong feelings towards another. Whether the feelings are positive or negative is subjective and arguably superficial. I realize that there has been so much back and forth on the whole love / hate thing – indifference, selflessness, apathy, intolerance and fear. The best article that I had found on this topic was at www.keen.com in an article entitled “Hate is NOT the Opposite of Love”.

So – I will add this to finish my article. Whether Love is Hate or Hate is Love – either way it is real and it is something that must be dealt with very quickly before it is able to spread like a wildfire causing unrepairable damage to the very foundation. Say what you will about this but if we would talk to God and ask him for guidance in our personal affairs, there would not be so much unresolved circumstances in this world because when He speaks – Peace, Be Still – all will cease and there will be a great calm.

My heart goes out to all those couples affected by this type of the Devils’ Treachery and my sincere hope is that you find peace soon and resolve your indifference. May God Bless each and every one of you.

>Tug

My Outstandingly Amazing Day……

My Outstandingly Amazing Day…….

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So yesterday was my lazy day, I set about doing odds and end chores around the house and just piddling around not in any one direction but you know, staying busy. I had a doctors’ appointment earlier and had a little extra energy to burn so I thought that I would work outside for a bit. It was such a beautiful day, not too hot and not cool but somewhere comfortably in the middle. The sun was out and it just felt like an amazing day. I guess partly because I had gotten a good report from my doctor.

I was mowing the lawn and doing a little spring clean-up around my property.  After about an hour, my daughter said that she wanted to learn how to cut grass on the Zero Turn – I thought, hey, why not, she’s 13 now. So I put her to work cutting grass in the back part of the yard while I trimmed up some overgrown limbs and bushes. Ivy looked so grown sitting on that mower with her sunglasses on, laid back just enjoying being able to ride and do grown up stuff helping her dad. This was awesome in its own right but this is not the highlight of my day.

After about 20 minutes, I see my neighbor come half-trotting across my property with her 16 month old baby boy draped across her arms, legs and arms dangling like a limp dish rag. The look of terror that was on her face spoke volumes and I knew in my mind that something was terribly wrong. Without being able to hear a thing over the lawn mower, I dropped my loppers and begin making my way over to her. She immediately handed me the lifeless body of her son and screamed “Please help him” – “Please help me, I think he’s having a seizure and isn’t breathing”. I guess years of training took over but I kinda remember looking at the child as if to do a quick trauma check – his eyes were rolled back into his head, no rise and fall of his chest and he was turning blue around his eyes, lips and chin.

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Half checking for a pulse, I flipped the boy over onto his stomach cradling him in my left arm as my right hand began to firmly pound on his back – I began walking up towards my house. I knew that we had to call EMS and after what seemed like a couple of minutes I felt his chest inflate in my hand and I saw some discolored fluids come out of his mouth. Still not making any sounds and struggling to take a breath, I flipped him over once again and I saw his eyes open a bit but still very weak and rolling around. I flipped him back over again and resumed my light pounding on his back until I felt a little more comfortable that he was in fact taking in a decent breath of air. All of a sudden I heard the most wonderful noise of all – he took a gasp of air and started to cry.

At that point I knew he was going to be fine until EMS got there and provide any treatment that he may need. I handed the child back to his mother and had them sit down while she patted his back and rocked him. EMS seemed to get there relatively quick – they grabbed the child and took him into the ambulance. Living in the country, we are used to the ambulance having to come from the other side of the county and a 15 to 30 minute response time is nothing new but they seemed to have gotten there so fast. Actually, there were two ambulances, a first Responder and two Deputy Sheriff’s to arrive all within 15 minutes. After a few more minutes, the ambulance and the mother of the child were well on their way to the Hospital and my Wife and I were standing there looking at her three other children that had been left behind with us.

We made contact with the Grandparents and the father of the child and alerted them as to what had transpired and that we had their other children there with us. As the day progressed, we kept in contact with the neighbor and were kept abreast of how the child was doing. As it turns out, the child was running a fever of a 103 degrees prior to the incident. According to the mother, the child had a seizure from the high fever and then from what I gather, he had aspirated on his mucus and phlegm which had caused him to quit breathing.

So now, hours later, the child is back at home sleeping blissfully and I am relaxed on my catnapper taking in the whole experience thinking to myself “wow – did that just really happen”? As I told this story to my son who had come in later on in the day, he responded with “wow – you’re a hero” – I thought to myself yeah right but at that same minute, I felt very proud of the fact that I was there at home to be able to help this family. All those years in Law Enforcement, my only motive was to help people and I was lucky enough to have helped many people during my career – but this was something special. This was Outstanding and Awesome to say the least. I went to bed knowing that I made a difference and that in the eyes of my children I was in fact a hero…………

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ZEKE

My Little Neighborhood

My Little Neighborhood

Back in the mid 1970’s there was this small piece of property in the Ridgeway Community of Warren County known as the Mustian Land which sits just left of Crowders Pond. The original owners decided to divide this land up and develop it into a private subdivision called Mustian Forest with about 15 to 20 home sites. Well as you can imagine, there were the basic county laws and regulations concerning this property, one of which was, that the subdivision was supposed to be governed by a Home Owners Association.

There have been many homeowners come and go over the years, each with their own ideas of country life – some good, others, not so good. We have watched the elderly thrive in the area and we have watched them decline in their later years and the need to move on to something a little more suitable for their needs. We have had many good friends come and go but through it all, it has been a nice little neighborhood.

Fast forward to 2017, to my knowledge, there has never been a HOA established here. Keep in mind that this little loop road (Mustian Rd,) is still dirt and gravel and is not maintained by the state. As you can imagine, this is something to keep up with each year. Between cutting the trees back and keeping the gravel mounded, can be an ongoing and costly task to those who choose to actually work on the road.

Our property was originally purchased as a 10 acre tract of land that was to be used as a small horse farm. Within the first year, a one acre section was divided out and sold off to a family that needed a place to live. Over the years, that family has expanded and children have moved in from “up north”. The Parents (I say parents but they were actually the grandparents) worked to maintain the property and made some improvements over time and established a nice little home site there for their family. Everything was moving along peacefully until……. these kids hit their teenage years and with that comes all of the so-called “fun” things that teenagers these days are doing. Loud music, loud cars, disrespect for others, etc. We have watched these kids grow from being well-behaved toddlers to unruly disrespectful little heathens that have the mindset of a common street thug. I guess it may be the area in which we live or the society of it all but these youth have no moral groundings, no moral fiber to compel them to have respect for others and to look out for someone other than themselves.

There once was a time when these same young boys would come into our yard and play basketball, baseball, tag, hide and seek, explore in the wooded areas with my children. As these boys got older, we started to restrict our children’s involvement with those other children because of the lack of supervision and the recklessness that they were developing. I have always raised my children not to see color but to always try and see the actual real person. I imagine that “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. We watch day in and day out at the many different cars coming and going, bass thumping and strange new faces peering out of the windows as they go by. We have watched our quiet little private dirt road where our kids could once play and have fun, turn in to a speedway, being littered with trash, debris and beer cans. Among the occasional wildlife that visit and live in the area, we now have a new breed of animal living among us.

The other day, and I should point out, that my wife and my 13 year old daughter witnessed what can only be described as a drug deal. A quick hand to hand transaction with glares in all directions to make sure that they were not being spied upon. Then, just like that they were gone, in a matter of seconds. Now I’m not one to judge and what they do to themselves is their own business, but when it comes to this sort of thing happening right outside my front door – then I have to step up and do something – actually my wife beat me to it. Air and opportunity presented itself and she stopped her car and got out to engage the passengers of the other car. Again, as most of you know, my wife has no fear. As she was speaking to one of the occupants, she observed the other passenger dump some marijuana out of the passenger window trying to be as discreet as he could. This in itself is quite hilarious due to the fact that I was once the Drug Agent for this county – I guess my reputation continues to follow me to this day or it could be the fact of my wife’s reputation of “one not to be bullied”. The incident ended without confrontation and these three young men quietly and quickly left the spot where they had pulled off on the side of the road to do their business.

I recognize that there needs to be some resolution to this issue, some sort of clean up if you will, of my little neighborhood, but where to begin.

I was reading an online article about the youth of this generation and the author summed it up with the explanation of what he classified as “Generation iY”.  iY is simply younger Millennials born after 1990.  Their world is defined by technology and shaped by the Internet— iPod, iBook, iPhone, iChat, iMovie, iPad, and iTunes—and for many of them, life is pretty much about “I,” “Generation Y is the largest generation in American history and the second half of this generation, (i), is measurably different.”

There is also a subculture of that which includes the poorer, less fortunate of our society. These people are born into and governed by their upbringing, their surroundings and circumstances. Back when I was in Law Enforcement, I had accumulated over 300+ drug related arrests, asset forfeitures and countless hours of surveillance, both covert and overt. I witnessed first-hand, those stricken in poverty just trying to survive. These people were hustlers, con-artists, drug dealers, and they did whatever they could to make a dollar, either by hook or by crook. Most of these were genuinely good people but they had to have a means to survive. Unfortunately, due to their circumstances, they chose to be lazy and live in the moment not putting forth the effort to make an honest living. They did what they knew and were taught by their parents and peers. The almighty “quick” dollar was all they could see.

Most of the time, their actions and choices landed them in the interrogation room at the local Police Station or Sheriff’s Office, the court system and eventually in jail for some extended period of time. Whether they learned anything from this or not was questionable due to the fact that they were constantly in and out of trouble from an early age. With the passing of time, these people who I had interactions with back in the day now have children and grandchildren of their own. They now see this new generation coming up with the same struggles that they were faced with and the choices that they are making is nothing new. There is a system, a continuing chain of events that lead down the same path that they were faced with not too long ago.

I recognize that there needs to be a resolution, there needs to be change. The question that I asked earlier of “where to begin” once again came to mind and I realized that the answer was staring at me from the very beginning. If you want to change the world – start in your own back yard!

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Will YOU ever unplug and discover your own true identity? Will YOU ever experience the solitude that enables you to think or reflect on your own lives? Will YOU become a generation so connected that you just parrot what your peers are doing and saying in their social network? Or will YOU be the individuals who can think and act on your own without consensus from others and be the ones to break the cycle that has kept so many chained down for so long.