Monday, May 4, 2009

SAYING YES


Yes, go ahead ,but hurry up. These were the last words I said to my cousin and the last time I would ever see him alive again. Why didn’t I just say no, why the three letter word yes? As a child I always strived to hear the word yes. When you get a right answer on a trivia game they tend to holler yesssss! Now that I write this paper, and trigger my thoughts. I can think of a million ways the word yes, could implement positive results. I thought saying no was negative, but then again there is the slogan Just Say No To Drugs. Then there is Nike whose slogan is , Just Do It. Another way of saying yes. Breathe Malcolm channel your thoughts and quit blabbering. In my scenario, I just said Yes. I was on my way to a party on a Friday night. School was finally over. No more test, no more studying, and ultimately in my sake, no more High School. All of my class mates were throwing a huge party to celebrate the end of this journey. We talked about the party all week, so the anticipation was killing me. I picked up my younger cousin, well he was only two years younger than me, but at that age every month counted. On the way we listened to all our favorite songs and imagined we were already on the dance floor. It was officially summer and time to celebrate. On our way to the party we decided to stop by my friend Gary’s house where everyone gathered before big parties, his parents were never home. It was still early and we could not arrive at a party sober right. This was Gary’s motto and I believe we all practiced it. We passed around beers, wine coolers, and shots. Hay we were graduating, so what if were not 21, we were out in the real world now. I t was around 10 o clock and we didn’t want to get to the party at twelve, but before we went to the party we all needed to freshen up. We could not go to a party where adults would be smelling like alcohol. Tonight was different, usually Gary would have a bowl of peppermint for us or limes, but neither tonight and everybody needed gum. As we all sat there and debated who would run to the store and get it, my younger cousin who didn’t have a license was amped at the chance of driving. I’ll go,” I’ve had less to drink than the rest of yall”, he said. “No No No, not for you to run my car into a ditch “ I replied. “Come on Malcolm, im coming right back.”. “Yes, go ahead, but hurry up.” Fifteen minutes later I received a phone call from my mother frantic and hollering, wanting to know if I was ok. I was so confused of course I was. The police just called us and told us you were in a car accident and had died she said. I was really confused by this point, “ huh what im fine”. “ Where is the car Malcolm, they read the license plate and all.” I dropped the phone and stood in silence, my younger cousin would never make it to the party. Now I think twice about the word yes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Anger got the best of me and I believed I enjoyed it.


Anger is a word that in my opinion has no definition. Anger has no certain set of rules on how to resolve the emotion. It comes at you like a thief in the night, you never know when he will strike, but you can never stop Anger. As I sit with my eyes closed and visualize the one moment when anger controlled me mentally or physically, I hesitate. The memories pass my closed eye lids like a jack pot machine in Las Vegas. Caching Caching JACKPOT. My mind has rested on the one moment where anger was welcomed into my mental capacity.
This story began on labor day week end on the year of 2007. Me and five of my colleagues were headed to Miami for the holiday and I could not wait to pack my bags and head out the door. The excitement of going to Miami blinded me of the small details I probably should have paid attention to. The bigger picture was all that matter, I was going to reside in Miami for 4 days and I could only imagine the festivities that would take place. My friend Terrence planned the trip for everyone, so all we had to do was follow his lead and learn as we go. He booked the room, transportation and even planned some of the events we would attend. This made the trip even better, for I did not have to concentrate on small details all I had to do is show up with my percentage of the money and get ready to party. We arrived at the hotel downtown Miami as planned. The room was beautiful a little more costlier than I had planned, but just what I expected. The location was wonderful and I was ready to began my vacation. I placed my bags in the room and noticed there was not enough towels in the room. I told my vacation partners I would run down and get some, besides I wanted to look around. As I waited at the front desk I over heard the woman confirming her price of her room with the service clerk. This is when the curiosity that later progressed into anger began. The woman ahead of me had an exact replica of our room for 200 dollars less. I pondered before I spoke, but before I knew it I interjected and joined the conversation. The questions began. It was then the first phase of anger appeared, when I realized I had been lied to and bamboozled out of fifty dollars. I immediately informed my other colleagues except for Terrence , threw text messaging. We all secretly planned our confrontation and hoped for the best. Well at least they did, I have and always was the aggressive type. We all came to an conclusion to meet with him the next day about the issue to give him time to correct this error, hoping it was a mistake. Through the course of the day we all acted blinded about the situation and even threw in comments to make him confirm the price of the room. Comments such as “I’m so glad we got this room it was a great price” , or my favorite “Did you get an employee discount, because me and the woman next door was talking about how cheap the rates are here.” Terrence had no idea and continued his lie, so we played the game.
Well we awoke the next morning and again secretly text messaged and decided it was time for confrontation. I being the ring leader wasted no time. “So Terrence, How much did the room cost again? “Six seventy eight”, he replied. “Oh ok, so why is that the woman next door has the exact replica of our room for over two hundred dollars less? “. “Uhh Uhh, I added money to help pay for gas and why are you going behind me anyway.” The anger in me ran threw my veins and took over my body , I felt like I was the only person in the room and knew this would not end pretty. For the fact he was already beginning to become defensive. The other roommates waited for me to respond, “ Terrence this is what you are going to do, your going to go downstairs to the ATM and get me my money and we will go on as if this never happened, everyone else’s money is their issue.” Terrence replied, “ I will get you your money when we get home I’m not using that ATM it charges an extra fee. The anger is visible by this point. “ No your not leaving this room unless your going to get my mon…” Before I could even finish the word money he walked towards the door aggressively and , my only instinct was to attack. The anger used my body to inflict how I felt. I slammed him to the grown and repeatedly struck him with my fist. We wrestled as our friends looked in shocked. He reached for his keys which I knew had mace on it. I took the bottle of rubbing alcohol and slammed it into his face, completely disabling his vision. The alcohol ran down his face and covered my hands as I struck him in his face. My friends stopped the fight. He ran to the lobby to call the police. I packed my clothes fast and left the scene for the fear of a criminal record. Anger got the best of me and I believed I enjoyed it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Commentary: 'Post-racial' America isn't here yet REFLECTION


The op ed clearly stimulates and re energizes questions that already existed in my mind. These questions were created when the first black president was elected into office. Will the world change? Has the world already changed? Is this just a symbol of what the futures hold? The title stimulates you from the beginning. Commentary: 'Post-racial' America isn't here yet
Many people have created this immediate reaction after the presidential election, thinking that race was not longer an issue. Unfortunately we do not have a microwave society. We can not get everything we want right when we want it. As the editorial states blacks and whites are progressing from two different mind states. If we could only get on the same level, then maybe the progression would take place faster.
This op ed educates the everyday reader on what is going on in today’s society dealing with race. He analyzes the issues the average person in America recognizes, but fails to articulate. The author avoids from being heavy handed, but I can hear his opinion slightly in the article. Or in other words his personality.

Should This HBCU Be Saved? Reflection


Should this HBCU BE SAVED? After hearing the title your mind races, wondering what HBCU. This editorial stimulates the mind from the first sentence. The editorial illustrates the financial issues that have arisen all over the nation at historically black colleges. There is one in particular that rises above all financial problems. Morris Brown a HBCU based in Atlanta, Georgia. This college has been ridiculed lately for it’s rocket high water bill that can not get paid. The article educates the reader on the last minute schemes and fund raising to eliminate the water bill.
This topic really grabs the audience, which in my case are students whoa are currently enrolled in a HBCU. It made me question my current finances at my institution. Where is my pell grant being applied, will the water ever get discontinued on my campus. The writer does a great job of just stating the facts and allowing the reader to make up their own mind about the institution. It’s hard to identify whether the author is pro shutting the university down or con.
This op ed really helps me, a college student put a face on the economic crisis. I mean hay, isn’t this the same school they filmed Drum line on. A very popular movie and now your telling me there broke. It just does not make sense to me. If they can easily reach a financial crisis who’s to say little ole Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C couldn’t be next.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How Slavery Should Be Taught


Slavery is a subject that has a very negative connotation behind it. The word has always been revealed as bondage and cruel. I do agree, but we must give credit to the opportunities it allowed. United States was founded off of slavery and without I believe our nation would not have flourished as it is today. This helps tie in the main subject of this editorial, slavery should be taught as a multi dimensional topic. Not one sided, slavery was a very important economic process that help found the greatest nation in the world.
It was the slaves that allowed this nations to flourish as it did. An immediate example of the benefits of slavery would be the value of cotton today. Cotton is terribly important, not only to the South, but to the nation. In fact, by 1815, cotton is the most valuable export of the United States. By 1840, cotton is more valuable than everything else the United States exports put together, so the value of slaves is tremendous. By the time of the Civil War, by 1860, the dollar value of slave property is greater than the dollar value of all of America’s railroads, all of America’s banks, all of America’s manufacturing put together. Slavery was no sideshow in American society. It was very much the main event, and the cotton crop that slaves produced made America important to the world.
In “The Economics of the African Slave Trade” Anika Francis refers to a quote made by James Rawley which states "black slavery was essential to the carrying on of commerce, which in turn was fundamental to the making of the modern world" The first mention of Africans being taken away from their homes to be used as workers in Europe was in the 14th century. By the 16th century an African Slave Trade was set up, so a constant influx of slaves could be brought to Europe in order for the economy to keep growing. Africans presented able bodied people with high immunities for some diseases that Europeans were catching easily by working in the fields. By the 17th century, the slave trade was booming, and society was quickly changing its economy from mercantilism to capitalism. The slave trade thrived because of all the needed workers in European colonies, such as in Cuba, Jamaica and Guadeloupe. The local populations in these places dropped dramatically after the Europeans arrived. Cuba, for example, had an estimate of over 2 million people living there before the Europeans arrived, and afterwards only around 2,000 remained. People had died from the wars against the Europeans, who eventually conquered them. They also died from hunger, disease, suicide, or simply harsh conditions; the Europeans forced them to work long hours every day in gold mines. With most of the natives dying, Europeans needed more labor hands in order to keep profiting from the gold mines. The African slave trade provided their solution. Also stated in “The Economics of the African Slave Trade” Colbert, a Frenchman, said, "no commerce in the world produces as many advantages as that of the slave trade".Now take a look at the American dilemma during the 17th century. In the early part of the century the colonists were literally going crazy because of the need for food. They wanted so badly to make money off of tobacco, it was planted everywhere. But they didn’t remember to plant food. Even if they did remember, they didn’t know how, just like they didn’t really know how to plant tobacco. The Europeans needed people who would plant and grow corn for food, and who would grow tobacco for money. They readily accepted the idea of slavery because they didn’t know how to do it themselves. The Europeans couldn’t force the Indians to work for them because they were grossly outnumbered. This could result to a massacre. So, because the African slave trade was such an accepted thing by those days, it didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary for the colonists to use them for labor. In fact, in their eyes it was the perfect solution. Although this may not seem morally right you must ask your self if the world ran off of morals, would economy’s survive at all. I currently work at wal mart as a part time job while I matriculate through Claflin University. We were often reminded , Wal- Mart is a business and does not have feelings, there fore leave your feelings at home. This is a example of how businesses survive. Everyone will not always have an immediate benefit, in the case of slavery African Americans did not have the immediate benefit. This is why I believe that slavery should not be taught as a moral dilemma, but strictly the facts and why this awful idea thrived so.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

TECHNOLOGY IS CREATING NAIVETY



Technology is ever changing and is always evolving, whether it’s the latest cell phone or the newest camera, consumer demand for the best and newest technology is at an all time high. We all must admit that technology is becoming more and more distracting and is changing the way we communicate, gather information and even our complete way of life. Take a moment and think on how the latest technological advances have impacted your life. The list should go on and on. Technology is building bridges between people on opposite sides of the globe, but it is also building even stronger walls between neighbors. Some people are surrounding themselves with modern technology while paying little attention to the needs of others. Others use technology to better understand their fellow man to overcome physical distance, and better their personal knowledge bank.
My fellow colleagues and I have discussed the pros and cons of technology for the last week. Have you ever noticed that call waiting is both intrusive and rude, or what about text messaging causing more automobile accidents than ever before. You may have noticed these things, but are not even bothered by these events. This concludes my next point technology is making society na├»ve about many issues in today’s world.
As my college professor explained that it has been years since she and her mom have talked without being interrupted by call waiting, I had to examine my own personal conversations. I would have to agree with her it is a rare conversation when call waiting does not break my conversation and demand attention. I could be in the middle of a very serious and emotional phone call and like a thief in the night that awful little beep comes and steers the conversation. Following the beep you will hear, hold on, or my favorite I’m sorry let me call you right back. Right then and there I have never thought of this as a negative issue, but now that the issue has been presented to me I would have to agree with my professor. Technology is making society more acceptable to distractions.
When you hear people complain about getting in automobile accidents for not paying attention, I always think of a woman putting on make up, or looking out the window. In today’s society text messaging or cell phones period are distracting us from safely operating our vehicles. Here are a few facts to help enforce my conclusion. Each year, 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the result of cell phone usage. This result has been expected to grow as much as 4% every year. Almost 50% of all drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 are texting while driving. Over one-third of all young drivers, ages 24 and under, are texting on the road. Now are your eyes open to a very serious problem?
Technology is a great thing, but we must admit there are just as many cons as there are pros to the demand for technology.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Homeless woman's plea to Obama draws flood of support



This story has touched millions of citizens in America. The story explains how a 61 year old woman and her son are living out of a truck dying for a place to stay. As a college student who has never been threw an economic struggle this story really helped me put a visual to the economic distress. The same distress that has been talked about everywhere around the nation. As a college student I have been somewhat sheltered from the economic situations, but this really help me see exactly the kind of problems that are occuring.

This woman just wants a place to stay, the things that me and my colleagues sometimes take for granit. Although she is just one of the many people who are feeling the struggle right now. The media hs made her the face of the recession. She represents homelessness, and unemployment all in one. She represents the veterans of this country it was her hard work that helped the nation get to where it is today. This same veteran in life has no where to lay her head.

To every bad story there can be a good ending. Many people in america have stuck together and offered funding to help this woman find a place to stay. This shows me that America really believes in Unity and there are some good people left in the world.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

newest FACEBOOK TREND


25 Things I Didn't Want to Know About You ( CNN TITLE)

If you are a facebook junkie like myself, you would definitely know the symbolism of this title. It has swept across the nation at record levels. The fun random survey has became clearly addictive. For those that are not facebook junkies, let me educate you on the rules first!!

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. (To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)


Over the course of a week i have read aproximately 20 surveys and i must say although some are funnier than others, I have ultimately enjoyed every one. Facts you would never think about people are posted with pride. Things about my friends i waited years to find out are listed for the world to see. It makes me wonder how ashamed are we of our secrets and how much will the world bare just to be the center of attention. These surveys are nothing but a cry for attention. Although i have participated i couldn't help but question why would i want to bare all on the internet. It has turned into a competition, who will get the most laughs, who will seem the craziest, who will attract the most friends. When honestly we are doing nothing but handicapping our selfs. These secrets we are revealing, are exposing our true selfs to the world. Without discretion about your life why would any one want to take the time to get to know you.

Facebook has became more and more personal and the users are day by day ruining the professonal outlook of ones reputation. Surveys like these have people ' TELLING ALL" about their lifes. Just for a quick comment or message to their inbox. Now that you have exposed all demensions of ones self, do you still act like the bashful female/male on campus? Act all you want, because the world truely now knows you.