Our America and We The People

I love how this man writes. I read this and it stirred in my mind what happened this weekend in Texas when I was down there officiating at Baylor and UT Arlington. We are Americans, something that my friends all over the world find fascinating. We escaped poverty and oppression and came to America. We believe in the rights of others and in their inalienable right to privacy and freedoms. So let me tell you a story, I was flying Delta this weekend and was in Atlanta on a layover, we arrived a little late and had to hustle to our gates. A gate near mine had closed and around a half dozen folks from another flight rushed to the door but it was closed and no one was going to open it. A young african american woman came out of the closed door after securing the departing flight and informed these folks that the gate door was not going to open. People were upset, the plane was right there why not. I agreed with them, I have never understood this. When you have that large number of people, get them on. A moment later a middle aged white male starts yelling at this young woman, I mean yelling. He is pointing, screaming and threatening. No one in that group or folks standing around did anything. I am a waiting, waiting for someone to step up. But this is America, he is mad, she deserves it. So typical. In officiating this is the same, in fact in many families, this is the norm. A wife/girlfriend does not perform well, the husband/man abuses her. So I said enough. I walked up to the man and told him to stop. He told me to F off. This is the kind of man that needs help. This is the kind of man that is killing We the People. This is the kind of man that killed the We the People in a Texas church. Women are not the problem, men are being raised in American homes, schools, churches and the military in ways that are undermining their futures and the futures of their families and others. Women and men need to step up and stop the violence against women and others.

Something else that has me often flabbergasted. While in Texas at Baylor when someone asked me about my daughter, how she was doing. I told them as I often do that she just cracks me up. That she was now going to South Korea to teach and go to school. I was hoping someplace close like Madison maybe, if anything maybe Edinburgh, Scotland where she had been accepted before she had decided on NYU. No, while I was officiating in Turkey she texted me and told me she had decided. It was going to be South Korea. These folks in Texas looked at me and said, “wow, aren’t you worried about that. With North Korea the way it it”. This was before this horrifying event in Texas. I find it fascinating, our country is one of the most dangerous for it citizens. Yet we look at other countries with a complete lack of awareness, we are one of the most violent countries in the world for our women and children. For African American men, for many of our people. It’s this independence that is our most amazing characteristic but also our achilles heel. We mind our own business and allow others to do the same. We must start a movement of all all of us to protect our own, not just our own family, our own people. Even those we do not know. We have to protect them from violence, oppression and mistreatment. Even if they may have made a mistake. To show love and empathy even if what they have done has had a negative impact on someone, someone like the white man at the Delta gate. I am asking all of us to open our eyes and look around you. Look outward and help others, regardless of the situation.

Chartwell West

I try not to write about gun violence. The gun violence won’t let me though.

In the three years I’ve hosted this blog, I’ve written 200 essays, give or take. 11 of them have been in the wake of mass shootings so sensationally horrific that writing about anything else would have been inappropriate.

Here’s number 12.

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“Yo… Come Get Your Children!”


White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville

One of the frustrations of having been a student of US History is the recognition of the ahistorical nature of our society. Every time we see something that is a direct connection to our history we hear people talking about it as if it were a brand new thing. This past weekend we saw yet another example of how White supremacy remains an ongoing thread throughout American society and culture. The so-called alt-right and White nationalists marched through Charlottesville, Virginia in a show of force. Their protest was met by a counter protest and before long one of the White nationalists drove his car into a crowd of counter demonstrators killing a young woman. Additionally, two law enforcement officers in a helicopter monitoring the protests were killed when their chopper crashed.

Our airways are filled with outrage about the presence of these White nationalists but frankly they represent exactly what…

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Where You’re Not

I see the world and I love this.

Chartwell West

Daniel was a rare and talented warrior.

He was razor sharp. He picked things up so quickly it was like he’d seen it all before. His eyes would latch on to someone when they talked like he was quietly downloading them. He was strong and tough, viciously so, if he needed to be. We beat him down like we beat down the others so that we could build them back up. But he never flinched. He never lost that deep set, dark stare. He refused to be broken down. Perhaps because we could never build him back better than he already was.

It was his home, not ours, but he had traveled further than any of us to be where he was. 

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Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination | The Nation

This I will leave for the entire day tomorrow. Please read the ENTIRE article and draft, it is a draft and I believe it is real. If this is what folks/our country is up to, we have gone to far. Can you imagine what we could all do in sports, denying children’s right to participate in junior clubs, in coaching and in officiating. Deny adults access to administrative, coaching and officiating opportunities in both public and private sectors. We are not even talking about education, military, health care. This is wrong, there is no discussion with me, it is wrong. One has to hope and pray that our Judicial body stays firm on the laws of our constitution. This is also why Senator McConnell, our speaker, must not change the 60 vote threshold requirement on Supreme court nominees. Our judicial body is our final front, hopefully in two years we can get a more balanced executive branch that every government needs.

If signed, the order would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity.

Source: Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination | The Nation


Fascinating, I had no idea. From their post.

Issue: PREVENTING WASTE FROM OIL & GAS DRILLING (Deadline: ongoing)CW-Methane

Target: Congressman Scott Tipton, Senator Cory Gardner

Action: Call Rep. Tipton: 970-241-2499 or 202-225-4761, Call Sen. Gardner: (970) 245-9553 or (303) 391-5777 or (202) 224-5941

Key messages: Let your elected officials in Congress know that ending the rule that limits methane leaks and waste is not in our best interests.

1. I do not want oil and gas companies to waste natural gas or leak methane from operations conducted on public land. The current rule is necessary to protect clean air.

2. The current rule is good for taxpayers. I want the public to continue to receive royalties for natural gas produced on public lands.

3. Already since 2013, over $1.5 billion worth of natural gas has been wasted. Loosening oversight will increase waste. Keep the rule in tact.

4. Wiping out carefully constructed standards at the whim of the oil and gas industry endangers our climate, pollutes our air, and costs American taxpayers money.

Please do not vote to dismantle this important rule.Capital Watch : Wilderness WorkshopSource: Capital Watch : Wilderness Workshop

Our National Public Land is being sold for private interest and to individuals who have that kind of money.  We don’t need the money, we need our land so we, our children and our grandchildren can see these beautiful and remote places. New bill calls for sale of 3 million acres of BLM land across 10 states | Aspen Daily News Online

Local conservation organization Wilderness Workshop came out swinging on Friday, rallying its members to oppose a bill that calls for the sale of 3.3 million acres of Bureau of Land Management lands across 10 Western states, including Colorado.

Source: New bill calls for sale of 3 million acres of BLM land across 10 states | Aspen Daily News Online