Is trauma the USA’s Black legacy?

 

What life expectancy does a Black child in the USA have, when all the different variables are considered?

What life expectancy does a Black child in the USA have, when all the different variables are considered?

From the days of slavery to the Jim Crow and civil rights eras, the Black experience in the USA has been one seeped in profound trauma. The unrelenting spate of police-involved murders of Black men and women, coupled with out-of-control inner-city violence, deaths due to illnesses and accidents demonstrate, quite clearly, that the legacy of trauma will not disappear anytime soon.

Instead, more Black residents are prone to become victims themselves, even as they mourn the deaths of other members of the community.

black mental health

The protests that have erupted across the nation in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, followed by the brutal massacre of police officers in Dallas, Texas by a deranged army reserve, have emerged due to a palpable sense of fear, rage and despair from many residents within the Black community who are tormented by one question: Will I be next? Will my loved ones be next?

As the ministry of foreign affairs in the Bahamas issued a travel alert designed to keep its natives safe when traveling to the USA, it will come as no surprise if other Caribbean nations decide to follow suit, in a bid to keep its citizens vigilant in their USA travels, as the novelty of the American experience for Blacks loses its shine and the painful, raw reality hits forcefully.

A Black male mourns at the site of yet another tragedy where lives are lost.

Gone are the days when naive visitors and arriving immigrants felt that the USA was a welcoming nation, a haven of sorts for the ambitious. Now the veil has been lifted and the ugly scourge of racism and a longstanding reign of terror against Blacks, who are gunned down while walking, driving, marching, jogging or in their homes.

So, rightly, Blacks of all stripes need to be on the alert and proactive in seeking counseling to address the sustained trauma that has weakened the psyche, tortured the soul, sapped the spirit and damaged the sense of dignity and safety that all citizens should feel in their homeland. The Black reality in the USA seems unchanged, in many respects, from the days in our past that we hoped were long gone–OnPointPress.net–

 

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Thanks to all our readers and colleagues for providing feedback and well wishes as OnPointPress.net celebrates three years of providing insightful and timely news, opinions, and career guidance. We look forward to growth in the future and hope to always have a place among your daily reading schedule. Many Thanks–OnPointPress.net–

Happy Independence Day 2016!

happy-independence-day-4th-of-july-banner_1514013

Independence Day is a wonderful time to celebrate America’s freedom from Great Britain, and it is even more poignant with England deciding to leave the European Union (EU) via the Brexit vote.

But for many Americans, Independence Jay, July 4, will be marked with food, fun and family activities, in the form of barbecues in backyards and at parks, going to the movies or just relaxing at home with friends and family. Whatever form your celebration takes, be safe. Happy Independence Day–OnPointPress.net–

Timely, bold sit-in for gun reforms

Rep John Lewis, civil rights icon, staged a sit-in on the House floor on Thursday, June 22, to demand a vote on gun control. The sit-in continues despite House Speaker Paul Ryan's decision to adjourn the session until after July 4 holiday, which is a week and a half away.

Rep John Lewis, civil rights icon, staged a sit-in on the House floor on Thursday, June 22, to demand a vote on gun control. The sit-in continues despite House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to adjourn the session until after July 4 holiday, which is a week and a half away.

When Democrats in the House of Representatives decided on Thursday, June 22, to invoke the tenets of the civil rights movement and launch a sit-in on floor of the House until a vote is made regarding gun control, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed their action as “a publicity stunt.” Ryan was wrong. Inordinately wrong.

Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement, led the sit-in with a very precise and clear message: “We want a vote! We came here to do our jobs!” Ryan responded by turning off the microphones and cameras that ensure the feed by C-SPAN and eventually deciding to go on break until after the July 4th holiday, which is a week and a half away.

Breaking out into a rousing rendition of “We Shall Overcome,” and chanting “No Bill, No Break!” and shouting “Shame! Shame! Shame!” at Ryan, the Democratic House caucus members made it clear that they were steadfast in their agenda to demand and ensure a vote on gun control as citizens needlessly continue to lose their lives due to lax gun laws.

As we witness the carnage wrought by assault weapons landing in the wrong hands, it is inspiring to see the Democrats take a bold stand. They read Martin Luther King Jr’s powerful Letter From a Birmingham Jail, they sustained themselves with pizza, they used their smartphones to record the speeches that they delivered from the floor. And they remained stoic and deliberate. This is the type of action that true leaders take, making their voices heard and acting within the realm of their limited powers.

The spate of gun violence cannot continue despite the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) stronghold on the Republican Party. The time to act is now. The House Democratic caucus members have taken a bold step and they should be supported and lauded–OnPointPress.net–

Three life lessons NBA Finals 2016 taught us

An emotional LeBron James embraces teammate Kevin Love after the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors to become 2016 NBA Champions.

An emotional LeBron James embraces teammate Kevin Love while J. R. Smith celebrates nearby after the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors to become 2016 NBA Champions.

By Carmen Glover

It’s no secret that sports sometimes act as a metaphor for life and amid the rush of euphoria being felt by fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers who won their first NBA Championship with a decisive 93-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors, there are some important lessons to learn. The victory comes after a 52-year drought in professional team championship in Cleveland in any sport.

As NBA fans around the globe celebrate with the deserving Cavaliers (I was rooting for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors because I admire his tattoo-free, wholesome image and his thrilling style of play) the lessons that can be derived from the results of the NBA Finals 2016 are worthy of emulation.

The Cleveland Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors and win the 2016 NBA Championship trophy.

The Cleveland Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors and win the 2016 NBA Championship trophy.

  1.  Never Give Up On Your Dreams

Throughout his life, James, 31, has been driven to succeed, propelled by a fierce desire to escape poverty, reach the pinnacle of basketball, while being an astute businessman, loyal friend, devoted father and exemplary team-mate. After a successful career at St Vincent-St. Mary High School, he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft

After failing to win an NBA championship, he bolted for Miami Heat in 2010 in a controversial ESPN special called “The Decision,” in which he famously announced that he was “taking my talents to South Beach.”  With the Heat, he won consecutive NBA championship titles in 2012 and 2013 before returning to Cleveland to lead his team to the ultimate victory last night, June 19, coming back from 3-1, a feat never before seen in the NBA Finals. “Cleveland,” James screamed as tears of joy streamed down his face, “This is for you.”

In his first year as head coach, Tyronn Lue, 37, leads the Cleveland Cavaliers to the team's first NBA Championship.

In his first year as head coach, Tyronn Lue, 39, leads the Cleveland Cavaliers to the team’s first NBA Championship.

In life, we all face disappointments, uncertainty, betrayals and what appears to be insurmountable odds but the key to true success is an unwavering impetus to keep on pushing and fighting until the bitter end. Curry and the Warriors failed miserably in that regard, which, though unfortunate, provided a poignant lesson to all viewers of the game

 2.  Leaders Set An Example

Throughout the NBA regular season and Finals, it was evident that James was frustrated with his teammates when they failed to perform according to what was expected. In the past, he took out his frustration by posting cryptic messages on social media and demonstrating questionable body language.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 2016 NBA Champions.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 2016 NBA Champions.

But when the team was in the 3-1 Finals hole, an epiphany occurred and the Cavaliers finally understood that they were in that hole together. Every member of the team stepped up and contributed with James, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Richard Jefferson and Kevin Love providing pivotal, albeit inconsistent and spirited, performances. Banding together, the Cavaliers erased all questions about their supremacy and created NBA history by becoming the first team to come back from a 3 game deficit to win the championship.

With first- time head coach Tyronn Lue at the helm, the team responded, came together and were victorious. Conversely, the Warriors fell apart, in more ways than one, with Draymond Green missing game five due to a suspension and Curry being ejected during game six. Meanwhile, coach Steve Kerr, basking in the glory of a team assembled by former Knick Mark Jackson, disappeared along with Klay Thompson, Shaun Livingston and other usually productive players.

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors failed to repeat as consecutive NBA Finals Champions as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers battled valiantly to the finish and emerged victorious.

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors failed to repeat as consecutive NBA Finals Champions as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers battled valiantly to the finish and emerged victorious.

3.  Achieving Goals Require Grit and Focus

The Warriors got caught up in the hype after winning their first two games on home turf and stealing one in Cavaliers territory. They became complacent and sloppy, conducting themselves with a careless aura of arrogance that was shortsighted at best and immature at worst. Amid the theatrics, they forgot one important lesson: It takes single-minded focus and grit to achieve goals and you cannot rest until you taste victory.

The Cavaliers, on the other hand, were steadfast in their goal of hoisting the NBA Championship trophy. They recovered swiftly from their mistakes and remained focused on the task at hand. They played with passion and purpose. The Cleveland Cavaliers deserved to win and the lessons that their championship run taught us can be applied to every life situation. Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers! Well done and thanks for the lessons!–OnPointPress.net–

 

 

Happy Father’s Day weekend!

Proud Father Ephieum Allen poses with his daughter, jasmine.

Proud Father Ephieum Allen poses with his daughter, Jasmine.

The impact of involved, responsible, caring, supportive, effective fathers on the path children take cannot be overstated. When fathers demonstrate those traits they help to shape children’s choices, attitudes and yes, their potential for success and independence.

When fathers fulfill all of their obligations by being respectful and supportive to the mothers of their children regardless of their marital status and providing financial, emotional, academic, social, career and general support to their children, it creates a dynamic where those children become exposed to, and witnesses of what it means to be a responsible father.

Happy Father's Day 2016.

Happy Father’s Day 2016, Fathers are important for our family unit and community to thrive.

When children grow up seeing fathers working hard daily to provide for their families that value of hard work is often internalized. As a result, children view that example as a template for their future roles–boys often grow up to treat their roles as providers, protectors and counselors seriously, while girls understand the importance of being independent while at the same time running quickly from men who refuse to work or solidify a career and instead choose to live off women like leeches and parasites.

This Father’s Day weekend, as we celebrate our fathers, let us take the time to thank them for the examples that they have been to us: the examples of being hard workers, consistent providers, caring advocates, supportive counselors, academic and sports coaches, fierce protectors and overall role models.

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It is a mistake for women to wish each other “Happy Father’s Day,” because it diminishes the role that rightly belongs to a man. Where there are weaknesses in parenting styles or along the spectrum of fatherhood, let us gently nudge these men along so that they can rise to the challenges associated with being exemplary fathers. Their success in their role is crucial for the survival of our communities.

Happy Father’s Day weekend to all fathers. For those who excel in their role, congratulations and keep up the good work; for those who struggle, we strongly encourage you to seek counsel, be honest about your flaws and do all that you can to rise to meet the responsibilities that your role brings. Fatherhood is not easy but engaged fathers are intrinsic to the fabric of a stable home and a successful community. Happy Father’s Day weekend, we value our fathers.–OnPointPress.net–

Where do you stand when it matters most?

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

In an ironic twist, the same night and weekend that the late boxing legend, humanitarian and peace prophet Muhammad Ali was laid to rest following an interfaith ceremony and public displays of adoration, the nation was thrust into mourning due to acts of domestic terrorism.

Former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimme, 22, was murdered after performing at a concert in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, June 10, by Kevin James Loibl, 27, who traveled from St. Petersburg with two guns. He killed himself after murdering Grimme. According to reports, he did not know Grimme. In the wee hours of Sunday, June 12, Omar Mateen, 29, of  Fort Pierce, a trained security guard, unleashed a fusillade of bullets on revelers at gay club Pulse, also in Orlando, killing 50 and injuring 53.

Grief-stricken shooting victims comfort each other as they try to cope with the trauma they experienced.

Grief-stricken shooting victims comfort each other as they try to cope with the trauma they experienced as a result of the massacre inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

As loved one flocked to the streets to learn the fate of the victims, elected officials took to the airwaves to share their views, extend condolences and, in the case of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Texas, tweet unsparingly “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” in reference to the lifestyle embraced by the victims. Calling the massacre “an act of violence and hate,” President Barack Obama ordered all flags around the nation to be flown at half staff in honor of the victims.

Ali was admired and celebrated in life and in death for taking a principled stand against the Vietnam War. He was unapologetic and willing to accept any consequence associated with his position. Some responded with hate and anger, while African-Americans stood taller, in awe of a man who risked it all at the height of his career and in the prime of his youth.

Omar Mateen, who was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, killed 53 people enjoying themselves at Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, on 6/12, 2016. He was killed by police.

Omar Mateen, who was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, killed 53 people enjoying themselves at Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, on 6/12, 2016. He was killed by police.

Where do you stand when it matters most? Today, that’s an increasingly difficult question to answer. Individuals, whether they are famous athletes, so-called celebrities, professionals or the everyday person, are reluctant to take a stand on principle. As wall to wall coverage of the Pulse massacre continues unabated, Ali’s boldness, sense of integrity and unwavering commitment to his principles stand out more than ever.

Kevin James Loibl gunned down singer Christina Grimme as she signed autographs after performing in Orlando, Florida on June 10, 2016.

Kevin James Loibl gunned down singer Christina Grimme as she signed autographs after performing in Orlando, Florida on June 10, 2016.

Today’s athletes are too politically correct and focused on money to take a stand and mean it; celebrities are more concerned with garnering followers and vacuous publicity rather than influencing others and cementing a legacy; many professionals are too complacent and devoid of passion to shape their brand around principles that define them.

But as details filter out about Mateen’s 911 call to pledge allegiance to ISIS prior to the bloodbath he inflicted at Pulse, and investigations continue into unearthing the motives of both killers, it bears asking: What defines me? What drives my sense of integrity? What are my principles? Where do I stand when it matters most? The answers to those question could shape the future of our society as a whole, while building the character of every individual so that, like Ali, we all aspire to be greater than we ever envisioned.–OnPointPress.net-