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Insurgents are merely citizens of a particular country who are being invaded by another country (such as the United States) and who make their dissatisfaction at this invasion known using guns, bombs, rockets, etc.  Oddly enough, guns, bombs, rockets, etc. are the instruments of choice of the invading country as well.  Conversely, members of a country in support of an invasion of another country are known as patriots.  People who are against the invasion of another country are known as traitors.

Thus, the term “insurgent” changes hands depending on your place of residence.  Specifically, patriotism is called insurgency if you live in the country being invaded.  Terrorism, which in this case will be deemed the use of tactics that are meant to inspire fear and terror in opponents and bystanders, must also change with perspective.  After all, launching a missile strike at an “occupied” city can be just as terrifying an act as bursting through someone’s door pointing guns at them without just cause.  In both cases, the innocent did not expect that to happen and thus were terrified.  Of course, that is assuming that you were not one of the users of said terror.  In that case, the methods may be deemed perfectly acceptable and reasonable when attempting to destabilize a government – a government that, in your opinion, has turned a deaf ear on its citizens.

The definitions of terrorist, patriot, insurgent and traitor are fluid, constantly changing depending on the speaker.  They can be thrown around by either side.  In the most extreme cases, they can be thrown around by both sides.  If the words have no concrete definition, then what do they really mean?  Do they mean anything?  Can anybody hear me?

The more I read about the atrocities of the Jewish Holocaust, the more convinced I become that the devastating events associated with the Holocaust are  comparable to other similar historical events, such as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and other crimes against Blacks, Africans, Asians and Native Americans, though on a smaller scale.

Don’t misunderstand.  I don’t mean to minimize mistreatment of any member of the human race.  All of it is deplorable.  At the same time, however, I do not wish to elevate the genocide of one people over the genocide of another.  All are atrocities and the perpetrators deserve nothing but contempt.

Still, the Holocaust is the most recognized crime against humanity.  While other peoples who have been mistreated are forced to relegate all memories of their mistreatment to the backburner—or risk being told that they are bitter and holding on to the past—the Jewish Holocaust is continuously passed down from generation to generation in text and in film as if it were the only recorded time in history where men flagrantly mistreated other men.  Truly, if the exploitation of other races of people were given this same level of respect, press and sympathy, the world might just be making real progress and, as a result, true healing.

Instead, we are left in a world where the abusers and the children of the abusers are able to dictate the terms of their forgiveness.  Entire peoples are openly scorned and ridiculed.  Crimes against some are so accepted and commonplace that they are considered to be acts of patriotism, instead of the terrorism that they truly are.  This is what happens when crimes against humanity go unpunished or, even worse, are pushed aside in the interest of “moving forward” or “getting along.”  Getting along is not the same as truly living together or even surviving together.  It is just what it says, getting along.  But where are we getting to?  Can anybody hear me?

I still find myself reaching for just the right words to describe mothers and fathers.  That’s because a mother’s/father’s job has no set description.  They are on-call 24/7/365.

I am aware that not everyone has a wonderful mother or father.  Nevertheless, know that, regardless of who your parents were, they were just people.  They were just human beings, like you, with the same flaws, the same dreams, the same hopes and the same fears.  They were not superhuman, even if, at times, wanted them to be.  They were not immune to illness, failure and pain.  At trite as it might sound, they were only human.  Try to remember that if you ever feel you have been let down by them.

Instead of focusing on rating your parents’ performance, learn to respect them whether they were good parents or not.  After all, no matter how bad they are/were, you would not be you and, most importantly, you would not be born without them.  You owe them for your existence.  Honor them for this if nothing else.

If you are a parent, try to give your children what you feel you didn’t get from your parents (e.g., more hugs, more kisses, etc.).  But, be warned that some children are bottomless pits that cannot be filled.  No matter what you do, it will never be enough.  In the end, you just have to do the best you can.

At your best efforts, you may find that you are not as good as the parent you criticize.  Realizing the limitations of both yourself and others is called maturity, and it is that maturity that can and should lead to your having mercy on them.  The mercy and understanding you show will earn you some of the same from your own children.  Remember, in the end, you are just as humans as your parents were.  For all your efforts, don’t be surprised to find that your children are no more pleased with you then you are/were with your parents.  Only time will tell.

If you have no children, try not to be too judgmental of those who do. Parents find themselves in situations for which there is no preparation.  Even the so-called parenting books are just someone’s opinion on what should be done.  They aren’t the concrete gospel because one just doesn’t exist.  Believe me, you don’t know how you will react until the time comes.  When it does, hope and pray that you can react with the same wisdom, grace and maturity that you demanded from your parents.  Can anybody hear me?

How come white Americans have the freedom to speak publicly about not wanting to be “too white” and, consequently, of the desire to tan or darken their skin, crinkle their hair (curly perms), inject their lips in order to attain fuller lips, increase the size of their buttocks (surgically or otherwise) etc., under the guise of self improvement and health while black Americans, on the flipside, suffer socially if they talk openly about being “too dark,” of straightening their hair (perms), of skin lightening (the opposite of tanning), of wanting smaller buttocks or of wanting thinner lips?

White females are allowed to wear weaves, wigs, hair extensions, fake nails, fake butts and fake breasts while black females receive ridicule for using the same beauty props.  Why is this?

White Americans are given a pass to pick and choose body parts off of other races of people, especially from black Americans, without appearing on Steve Wilkos, Maury or Tyra as haters of themselves and/or of their race.  Isn’t it apparent that they “dislike” their natural white attributes enough to risk skin cancer in order to darken, not to mention enduring other risks factors associated with surgical alterations, etc.? Blacks in this same situation are referred to psychiatrists, psychologists and deemed haters of themselves and their own race.  At the same time, they are seen as lovers of the white race.  So, why aren’t whites who make physical changes that resemble blacks treated similarly?

Why is it acceptable for whites to be displeased with as well as to alter themselves physically while blacks are supposed to celebrate and accept the physical attributes that they are born with?  Did I miss something?  Can anybody hear me?

Politics.  D.C. Politics.  Straight from the headlines, yet another D.C. Council person is under attack!  Read all about it!  Kwame Brown, the Chairperson, is in hot water!!  Though we all know that the original dragnet was supposed to waylay Barry, other council persons such as Harry Thomas, Jr., and most notably, Kwame Brown are merely Barry henchmen needing to be removed to make way for the new regime — a less Barry-influenced Council…and Mayorship for that matter.  Stay tuned!

Just a short while ago, you might remember Harry Thomas, Jr. was embroiled in controversy over spending funds intended for at-risk youth.  No matter how painful, even the most ill-advised amongst us, could see the fate of Harry Thomas, Jr.  However, Kwame Brown is another situation altogether.  Kwame Brown, former Chairperson for the District of Columbia Council, was forced to resign after being caught  . . . . after committing  . . . .   Just what was the crime?

Oh, now I remember!  Mr. Brown overstated his income in order to acquire a larger loan than what he would have been able to qualify for ordinarily.  So, let’s get this straight, Mr. Brown received a larger “loan” from a bank and not a grant from the government.  He did not “understate” his wealth so that he could receive free money, grants or public assistance.  Mr. Brown received a loan that has to be paid back!!  They called this bank fraud — a felony.

The reality is that the vast majority of us can’t cast even the smallest stone at Kwame Brown.  That’s because for all our Christianity and high morals, these things occur every day.  It is akin to lying on your résumé and then learning the skill set—the one you said you already had—after getting the job.  This is akin to lying on income taxes and claiming more dependents then you are entitled to.  You know, let’s throw out just one more.  This is akin to taking office supplies from your place of business for use at home.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that these are correct behaviors or that they are even remotely the right thing to do.  However, I am saying that they are everyday behaviors committed by ordinary citizens on a regular basis in this country and probably abroad.   The fact is…people embellish.  People lie.  People are, at the core, dishonest.  Even so-called honest people can be dishonest if an opportunity presents itself.  Dishonest in private.  Honest in public.  So, who’s the judge?  Who’s the jury?

And, what of the investigations of Councilmembers Graham and Evans?  What was the outcome?  Does anyone even remember?  Did anyone even care?  Can anybody hear me?

How many people remember the days when children played tag, jumped rope, roller-skated, drank from a garden hose and, didn’t have a cell phone?  Remember when they had self-respect, respect for elders, manners and fear — that’s right, fear- of their parents, their schoolteachers and their ministers?   Remember when children understood that they were children and didn’t expect to be treated as equals to their parents?  Remember when children had paper routes and sold lemonade instead of marijuana and cocaine?  Remember when it was only the “bad guys” who sold illegal drugs and, all you had to do was be inside before the street lights came on in order to avoid them?

Remember when children who were thieves were made to give the stolen items back to the owner along with an apology and, if the items were stolen from a store, made to provide free services in the form of mopping, sweeping, etc., to make up the debt?  Remember when children, after having been bad, expected and received discipline without court intervention?  Note that I said discipline and not abuse.  Remember when they weren’t synonymous?  Remember when children received spankings at school and/or were made to write, I will not —,” until their hands got tired?  A few of us do.  We remember a time before this one, when abuse was clearly understood to be foul and discipline was clearly understood to be love.   Now, no one knows, or cares to know, the difference.  Now, a light tap on the arm is enough to warrant criminal charges, even when more severe actions against the child would have been justified.

And what of the abuse that parents are now supposed take from smart-mouthed, well-dressed on their parents’ dime, video-game addicted, non-curfewed unless imposed by the state, parent supplied cell-phone sporting but still refusing to check in because they have more rights than adults, little hellions?  When did that happen?  When did children receive more rights while living in their parents’ homes than their parents have as mortgage/utility paying, grocery buying, adults?   Does anyone remember when parents were allowed to discipline their own children as well as other people’s children? At the same time, does anyone remember when we weren’t afraid to walk the streets at night? Do we remember how they both mysteriously changed at the same time?

Remember when children never even considered dialing 911 on their parents unless it was an honest-to-God emergency?  Remember when a simple spanking didn’t count as such?  Remember when people understood that calling the police every time you get a spanking minimizes the plight of those individuals who are truly abused in this country on a daily basis?!  Every day, it gets harder to remember those times.  Nowadays, society/police want to discipline your children with a billy club after mandating laws that allowed your children to become monsters in the first place.  Can you really cripple a dog and then marvel at the way he walks?  Can we be surprised that children are so out of control when the ability to rear was taken away from parents and given to agencies that were already overworked?

So, when world-renowned Pastor Creflo Dollar laid hands upon his wanna-be-party-going-fifteen-year- old-daughter who didn’t seem to want to take no for an answer, my memories came back to me, and I applauded him for his courage and willingness to go against a society that is determined to self-destruct!  I applaud Pastor Dollar for not only providing excellent instruction to his congregation, taking back the reigns of his household and, for leading by example.  I applaud him for remembering the lessons that we were taught generations ago and have since been forgotten.  I applaud him for remembering that he, not his children, is the true parent and that it is his role to govern their lives and not the other way around.  Maybe, just maybe, I will have a chance to applaud others, not brave but responsible individuals who bring discipline back!

Can anybody hear me?