Views… From the Right

This is part 2 of rights view of this past election.

Many individuals who voted for Donald Trump have come under fire and they have been unfairly labeled racists, mysoginistic, homophobic and their values have been questioned.

After several conversations I have found that so many people voted to spur economic growth and they also believe the Affordable Healthcare Act was detrimental, to their economic success.

What I have come to realize from discussions is those people who voted against Hillary wanted an America where an college education is not the key to having a better life. Donald Trump sold them on his ability to run businesses and that he could translate the experience developing into developing our country.

To these individuals healthcare prices are high for them and they personally needed a break from the prices they were paying. The blame for that has been placed on the Affordable Care Act. The honest truth is attending a doctor can be expensive and the monthly costs for healthcare can be expensive for families with children.

As an aside healthcare costs are the way they are due in large part to individuals who can not afford to pay and for those who chose not to pay. Here is an example. You and I visit the same doctor, I choose not to pay or cannot pay, but I still received care and you paid. The physician who treated us still worked on two people, however he was only paid for one. He has two choices he can offset his costs or take a loss. If he offsets his costs he has to raise his prices to make up for the shortfall. The insurance company who pays for the majority of the costs now has to raise their prices to cover those who pay for coverage through them.

The reality is just like the left many on the right who voted against Hillary or who voted for a third party candidate saw economic issues as the paramount issue for their future and they are justified. Hillary nor the third party spoke to the concerns of Americans.

Though more people are employed inflation, rising housing costs and slowed pay raises have made the ability for many families to create any financial breathing room.

As another aside many of the issues we face are due to a changing workforce and economy. It is cheapest for companies to automate their business replacing people with machines and finding ways to grow profits without growing their workforce, while investing in technology which costs.

As for the rhetoric that Donald Trump shared throughout his campaign, those who voted for him chose to look past it, as many due with their family members who have shared similar sentiments about minorities (even if you are a minority).

To lump those who chose to vote for Donald Trump in the same boat we lump Donald Trump in is a bit unfair. Their vote does not mean they are racists, bigots, xenophobes or mysoginists.

Please share, comment and of course like it if this resonated with you.

#iamjoecarnell

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Views… from the Left

The next two blogs will be dedicated to this year’s Presidential Election results.

I needed two parts to discuss the emotion that people on both the left (liberal) and the right (conservative) feel. Now that I have laid the framework let’s start with the left.

Donald Trump seems to represents a caricature that is representative of white male privilege. It seems the message that we shared and lessons we teach our children, by electing someone who has zero experience of public service and libels nearly every minority group. Lessons about treating people as equals and being respectful, being an inclusive society.

Throughout the campaign he called “Latino immigrants” rapists and murderers, he said “the blacks” are living in poverty and their neighborhoods are a wreck and he said that John McCain should not be considered a war hero, because he was captured during his time serving our country. These are Donald Trumps words. The transcripts of his speeches are available.

Donald Trump, through no fault of his own, was born wealthy. He ran on working hard and assisting the middle class. The trouble is he has never been a part of the middle class and probably has not driven a car or purchased a gallon of milk ever. Donald Trump also admittedly has not paid taxes in over 20 years and claims that’s smart. He then went on to say there should be a Muslim ban and identification system. That is banning an entire religion of people from our country and tagging people similar to the system used in Nazi Germany.

Here is where things get dicey. To vote for and elect a person who slanders entire groups of people allows those that voted for him to ignore everything he has ever said about individuals. Individuals who are black, Latino immigrants and those who are surviving Prisoners of war.

To allow a person to govern a country where people of all races live and say those disparaging and unfounded things is ignorant, dangerous and disrespectful. These remarks became a daily antic of Donald’s which lends MANY to say he believed the things he said. The morality we compel our children to have, that we hold our neighbors to and expect from ourselves seems to have been thrown out the window by people supporting a persons who says them.

For those of you who say I can not be and am not racist, fearful of Muslims and I respect war veterans your vote said that you side with Donald J. Trump’s opinion on the groups I mentioned. Maybe you are not a racist, biased against a religion and you respect veterans. Your vote was symbolism and seems to be an admission of sorts that you do not have a problem with your elected leaders disrespecting, offending and marginalizing a group of people. As a note President Obama was heavily criticized for the views and words of his pastor, not him, he was called a racist after a video of a sermon, Jeremiah Wright preached where he used the term, “white devil”. In this instance President Obama did not share those sentiments nor did he say those words.

The question that has risen, leading to protests in major cities across our country, why is it acceptable to behave in the way Donald Trump has throughout this entire election cycle? The common consensus shared from those who did not vote for Donald Trump is he incited closet racists, bigots, homophobes and hate. You may not be any of the individuals, but a vote for him seems to state you do not have a problem supporting someone who is. The part says that you may in part agree with some of the assertions Donald made.

This blog is not meant to point fingers or name call, simply to provide perspective.

Share your views and your respectful thoughts and let’s create a dialogue.
#iamjoecarnell

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I Traded Financial Stability for Mental Peace.

In 2014 I realized I no longer wanted any parts of Corporate America and the hustle and bustle of working a 9-5 where I had to wear a suit and tie regularly. I knew I enjoyed the perks of being able to travel when I wanted, earning a great salary, but I hated working to live. I will not make this about race, but I will say Corporate America is not always the friendliest if you look like I do.

It seemed no matter what I made there was always something coming up that I had to work to pay off, pay down and contribute to. I admit that was me. It was spending habits, social circles and coping (as Solange explains it in Cranes in the Sky).

Like so many years 2016 started with me discussing moving to Los Angeles and quitting a very good paying job, but I did not put a date on paper. In February of 2016 after a weekend trip to New Orleans I discovered that a longtime friend had passed away due to complications during a surgical procedure.

It was literally at his funeral that I became inspired. Seeing a church with standing room only for a 31 year old shook me as if I was in a bounce house with twenty 5 year olds. I walked to my car thinking that my friend who passed, figured it out. He was determined to enjoy life as it is supposed to be enjoyed. Despite his health issues he never stopped pursuing his goals and his dreams. It was that day I looked at my calendar, decided on a date and made a declaration that on this day I would not only leave my comfortable job with a company car, good salary and ridiculous bonus, I would take a leap of faith.

I had applied to jobs in Los Angeles for nearly two years with frequent interviews and no job offers. Every job wanted a candidate to start or to come in to interview the next day. So I decided to trade my financial stability and move to Los Angeles with no job. I tell this story, because despite moving here without a job, a car or a place to call my own I never felt better. There was a huge mental weight lifted off my shoulders and I spiritually I found myself in a place of peace I had not experienced in at least 18 years.

That move not only, blessed my spirit it made me a better at managing my finances, my time and protecting my peace. I have become more clear on who I am, who I do and do not fit with and I have been able to grow.

Though my bank account is not as large, I may not be able to go out as much (on my dollar); I may not be able to eat out as much I have everything I need. If I never knew before I know now what faith looks like and what stepping out on it yields.

Though I know this may not work for everyone, I encourage anyone reading this to find out what it is you need to do to get mental and spiritual peace and go after it.

#iamjoecarnell

4 Reasons We need to Change the Elections

Do you remember what middle school and high school elections were like?

There was a group of students who wanted to work with the administration (principals, assistant principals and/or administrators) to get things accomplished. They campaigned with posters, gave campaign speeches and most times had platforms.

What if our adult political elections reflected those elections? If you recall those elections did not involve political parties, but the candidates were fostered based on the wants or needs of their constituency. However small and however insignificant high school students needs are, that is what happened.ย 
Somehow in our country we have gravitated far from our first example of how politics work. Here are the top 4 reasons why this political season made everyone very angry.

4.) The majority, formally white Americans, is no longer the majority. That is to say America has more Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Middle-Eastern Americans than ever before. Within those groups there are a lot of diverse issues each respective group feels are important.ย 

3.) Blanket statements and generalizations are no longer acceptable in our country. There was a time when you could say the Latinos, the Blacks or the Asians. Though I am black I grew up in a middle class neighborhood, I went to a middle class high school and I attended two amazing educational institutions enroute to a bachelors degree. The assumption that the schools I attended were run down and I could get shot going to the store are not only offensive to me, but offensive to the diverse community I grew up in. My neighbors were white, Latino, black, phillipino and black.

2.) A two party system no longer fits our country. It’s obvious. Unlike in high school everyone does not have a candidate they feel feels their pains and understands their needs.ย It was clear. Many democrats, republicans and independents found common ground on several issues.

1.) Over the next 4-8 years it is clear that we not only need a diversity class for everyone, but we also need to hold those in power accountable. Which may also include terms limits for congress as well. Unlike in high school that administration cannot be fired unless we vote them out. It also seems to be time to reform police accountability laws and to create civilian review boards (with subject matter experts of course).

The most exciting part of this election cycle is, it is over! People will vote today and our country will of course find a way to move forward, but it is clear we need to reassess how we coexist together and how we elect officials. Though #imwithher
I respect everyone’s choice not to be! I may not agree with their reasoning, but our country has to be liveable and beneficial for more than just me.ย 

If you have not voted today maker sure you do! If you have sit back relax and unblock the friends you previously blocked for not thinking like you. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

#iamjoecarnell

#whyivote

#rockthevote

Emotional Rollercoaster that is “Moonlight”

Have you ever walked into an experience, watching a play? Maybe you attended a concert and you had no idea what to expect, but you find yourself completely enthralled in the experience? Last night I attended a showing for the movie “Moonlight” with my buddy Ashley .

The movie is a complex story that all too many people of color face. British actress, Naomie Harris plays, Chiron’s mother and you have to buckle your seatbelt for the emotional ride she takes you on. Chiron (pronounced Shy-Ron) played by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes is a young man with a troubled upbringing. Janelle Monae literally plays superwoman and is probably the character that saved Chiron’s life. As a note actress Naomie Harris is an incredible actress she shot all of her scenes in 3 days. 

Director Brad Jenkins masterfully wrote and direct a powerful piece of work and Brad Pitt is the executive producer of the film. The casting in the movie is impeccable and the most interesting note is the 3 actors who play Chiron, played him not knowing there was another Chiron also portraying him. The actors did not meet and did not know each other prior to the edited film was shown. Yet the embodiment of the character, Chiron, throughout 3 different segments of his life is impeccably portrayed and seamless.

Do yourself a favor and go and see the film today! It has been described as a “coming out” story, but it more of an enlightening tool into life, love, friendship, pain, drugs and poverty. 
No matter your race, whether you are black, white, Indian, Asian and/ or Latino’s should see it.

Click here to find your nearest box office showing the film. 

#moonlight

#chiron

#NaomieHarris

#AlexHibbert

#AshtonSanders

#TrevanteRhodes

#iamjoecarnell

Removing the Blinders

Grab Your Tissue, because 13th confirms everything African-Americans have felt about the American justice system.

Before we go any further about the documentary, 13th, by Director Ava DuVernay I have to explain I am no conspiracy theorists. In fact I tend to believe that in most cases we all have the opportunity to change our situation. However this film/documentary Breaks down so many facts, statistics and examples that you would have to be a deplorable to not understand the truth it sheds light on. 

However after watching statistics I have seen over the past few years, flashed across my screen an articulated after, social justice subject matter expert, after expert break them down I left feeling angry, shocked and heart broken. 

Ava DuVernay assembled, legal experts, psychologists, educators, and political experts to give us a history lesson on how the 13th amendment affected African-Americans.

It explains how slaves went from cotton fields, to prison, to share croppers, into Jim Crow victims thus spinning the African-Americans on their head. It confirms via video and tape recorded footage that politicians used the image of black people and the fear of southern whites to manipulate the masses and profit off of prison systems. 

It depicts how today we today have to say Black Lives Matter. It explains why this phrase is not to degrade any other race, but to particularly explain how phrases, images and laws have preyed on black people since the invocation of the 13th Amendment. 

There will be images of black men, murdered at the hands of police, that will bring tears to your eyes and have you heart broken all over again. It also goes beyond the surface of issues with police. Race is a very surface level issue.

Get your tissue, get your pen and paper and be ready to learn history omitted from nearly every text book.
The documentary can be found on Netflix. 

3 Tracks to Listen to on Solange’s New Album

Don’t Touch her hair exclaims Solange in one of the many solid tracks on her newest project.

The Houston native and eclectic r&b singer taps into her nostalgic sound yet again, with a much needed and anticipated album. Solange delivered with her new album a Seat at the Table

1. Tina Taught Me – The song features everyone’s favorite mother next to Michelle Obama and our own, Tina Knowles. On this interlude you have Tina Knowles articulating why self love for being black is not reverse racism. You can clearly hear where Solange and Beyoncรฉ get their confidence from. 

2. MAD – A track that features Lil’ Wayne, gives us the right to be MAD. Mad at the state of police brutality. On it Wayne even discloses an attempted suicide attempt. It gives you a deeper glimpse into Solange and her decision making.

3. FUBU – Arguably the most in your face track. On it Solange lays out that this song is for black people. She runs down a list of common questions black men and women face at the hands of police. She exclaims she wants to make her son proud and she hopes he jams the song until it rattles the walls.
Oh and a bonus is Master P narrating the entire project! ๐Ÿค˜๐ŸพโœŠ๐Ÿฝ

There are so many good songs on this album download it on ITunes or stream it on Tidal

Have you listened yet? What is your favorite song? 

Another Morning, Another Emmett Till

Another Morning, Another Black Man Shot by Police. Like so many other mornings I woke up and started reading the news. This time only to see the death of another unarmed black man. Another morning another Emmett Till.

I have to admit reading about these occurrences has become a shot to my spirit. It leaves me personally with a feeling of hopelessness. I feel abandoned. I feel unsafe. Though my life may have value to my family, my close friends and my colleagues somewhere some police officer views me as some villainous, criminal who threatens their existence and though I have never been arrested for ANY crime. I have never been physically violent or aggressive with anyone. I have paid my parking tickets. I have spent much of my twenties volunteering in my community, however should I be murdered at the hand of police, I will be reduced to a hashtag and some dirt some where will be plastered across a headline to vilify me. All to rationalize my murder.

This is what so many black men have come to understand more and more. In 2016 no matter your education, your potential or circumstances, you are just another “bad dude”.

I now get more than ever why Colin Rand Kaepernick has been vilified. It easier to ignore the origins of the national anthem. It easier to ignore that your high school classmate was murdered by police. It easier to say the guy you saw in the grocery store should have paid his parking tickets or maybe not had a speeding ticket. It is easier to say the kid accused of “insert whatever petty crime” should have just not been afraid of the police. America is a great country, but our problem is dealing with difficult issues. We would rather ignore the topic of a peaceful protest than listen to the reasoning. We would rather criticize the protestor, because we do not share the same experience as oppose to learning about their vantage point. 

So for yet another morning we will see another headline with another black man’s name in it, because he was “insert typical police reasoning” and was “overt aggressive”.

Racism Does Not Exist… If you are Lil’ Wayne

Undisputed hosts individuals with opinions. Usually the guests are focusing on sports and sports related topics as the show is housed on sports juggernaut ESPN.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 the shows guest was none other than Lil’ Wayne. During the segment that he appeared, the New Orleans native fielded questions about his business relationship with Birdman, his former rap partner, and business partner.

However we will focus on the ignorance that was then shared via Lil’ Wayne after a series of questions from host Skip Bayless. Skip asked Lil’ Wayne his thoughts of Colin Kapernick’s choice to not stand for the National Anthem. Kapernick’s boycott was launched, because he feels that people of color are being murdered by police without cause or punishment to the officers committing the reported crimes. Wayne first went on to say he does not know much about what Kapernick is referencing in terms of police brutality and then dropped a bomb. He believes racism does not exist!

Wayne used the example that his concerts are predominantly attended by white people and that he has been “blessed” and never experienced racial biased in his 33 years.

As I type this I have to take a deep sigh. Just on Sunday during a conversation with a friend who happens to be a New Orleans native, I said we have to be careful which musicians we support. The reasoning I stated verbatim, “Many artists are getting rich, by sending our young people false messages and they end up negatively impacting the masses.” Wayne proved my point. A man that has made millions of not hundreds of millions glorifying drug use, gun violence and dangerous sexual behavior since he was 16. That’s 17 years of music that has influenced young men and women to commit crimes for which the justice department reports they will be more harshly punished.

Wayne has encouraged the behaviors I mentioned above and done so without fear of the penalty he would face, because his money and connections afforded him a pass or so he thinks.

Yet many of the young black men and women who support his concerts and list be to his music will NEVER get a fraction of the “blessings” he has referred to. All that said, because he has not experienced it, it does not exist.

Even more dangerous Wayne is providing a sort of cosign to non-people of color who have been afforded privilege and cannot understand the fear that law abiding people of color face because of the acts of peers who live a life Wayne raps about.

My sigh earlier was one of disappointment. Not anger. I am disappointed in the loved ones, friends and business partners from Louisiana that have worked with Wayne and failed to have meaningful conversation about how people that look like him and live the life he raps about are being impacted. You see Wayne is from a state where black men are incarcerated at a rate more than double their white counterparts and face the death penalty more likely than any other group of people.

The danger in supporting artists who are not educated and not in touch with our communities is they send a message of ignorance to young men and women and profit off it while they get a pass. I’ll wrap this up, but if you continue to support artists who spew ignorance on a song do not expect your society to change. I for one will not be supporting any of Wayne’s work past or present starting today. It is not, because I disagree with his statement. It is because I find his statement to be dangerous and wreck less given his part in contributing to incarceration rates and behaviors associated with his lyrics.

If you missed he interview I speak of see the link below:

Undisputed – Lil’ Wayne 9/13/16