Room To Be: Jaden & Willow

So Jaden & Willow Smith have been philosophizing about life.  Willow says time is not real.  I know some people who believe her though my aging body say it is real.  However, It reminds me of my college days when we sat around and talk about the world as it turned.  Gosh do I miss those days of thought euphoria.  I continued to go to school for a long time because I loved the place.  I realize that these two young adults have a privilege that is not available to many kids.  They have lived a life of privilege no doubt.  And I love the parenting style of their parents – allowing them as much freedom as they can handle.  Unlike many, I see the kids as free thinkers and unencumbered by stifling social norms.

I remember I had an employee, black female, who was really good friends with another employee, a white male.  They got along really really well.  It was hard to not notice the chemistry.  The black female was very methodical and operated within societal norms.  She wore her hair plain.  She wore the in-style conservative jeans.  She wore a hint of lip gloss.  She did her work.  She never did anything even slightly spontaneous.  And we knew she would never venture outside of her world to be open enough to dating this white guy.  I was sad when I learned a couple of years ago she died of cancer.

I have a son.  He is unique.  As we are planning to see my mother in a couple of weeks I am growing concerned about this encounter.  Josiah loves to climb, boy stuff.  He is active, boys stuff.  But he also likes art and dolls, girl stuff.  I didn’t tell him to like dolls.  One day we passed the leftover toy box at church and he picked up the doll and it’s been first love every since.  He is still in love with his toddler hat and will wear it in the summer, strings and all.   And he will wear his rain boots in the garden and through the house.  He has claimed my red scarf as his own.  And he shows compassion freely and openly.  And I know he’s different.  And I want for him what I want for every kid including Jaden and Willow, a receptiveness on the part of society to give them enough room to be authentically self.


Dear Christians

I remember back in my seminary days, in a night ethics class, the clash of Christians.  Somebody said something so lubricious to the rest of the class that an Evangelical starting a new church pastor said, what is Christian anymore?  I think it’s a good question for the 21st Century.  There is a dominant thought of what Christians are all about but that notion gets challenged daily.  In fact there could be a war in America made of up bible toting and God loving fearing Christians fighting on both sides.

My friend, Afri, host a variety of people in her home for a profit.  So more recently she had a Pentecostal white christian woman in her household.  This woman had some preconceived notions of salvation and perversion.  She casted both her pedophile ex husband and gay men in the same category.  She was in a for a rude awakening even if she was the guest.  During her stay she broke the microwave handle.  Instead of coming clean, she avoided her host for two days.  She never confessed she did it.  A second set of guest were staying with my friend, youth from South America.  It was five of them total and Afri had warned them no loud noise.  They were quiet.  Towards the end of their stay, while my friend was away, they broke the handle.  They called her and told her they were leaving money.  She explored to see if it was something that could be fixed but they were sure that it couldn’t.  She would have never known about the handle or at least not right away because it was in a less conspicuous area.  Interestingly it was the group of youth who acted more noble.

So let me say not all Christians break things and don’t confess.  You can tell Bill Maher.  Many may be confused but that’s a different topic.  And not all non-religious people are honest.  But with that said what is christianity? Is it a belief in the Bible and God?  Is it not swearing?  It is not drinking alcohol?  Is it inviting certain people in while telling others they are going to hell as a moral obligation?  Is it promoting your way as the only way with little receptiveness to other ways?  Is it going to church every Sunday?  Is it tithing?  Is it passing out literature and trying to visit with people you believe are wayward individuals?  Is it being counter cultural?  Is it lobbying for justice issues?  Is it standing with the least of these?  Is it looking good and showing people how good God is in your life?  Is it feeding the hungry?  What is christianity?  And is it worth anything anymore?  I say that on the heels of an election wherein pastors in Chicago were brought.

My friend Afri reminds me I’ve been a christian a long time, almost as long as I’ve been living.  And at different times in my life it meant something different.  I have evolved on this journey.  But today I am more uncertain of what it means.  For me it has meant walking with people.  It also has meant confessing when I stepped on someone’s toes.  It’s owning my mistakes and along with recovery folks trying to make amends for them.  It is loving as best I can with all that is in me.  It is helping people connect the dots if they want to and be content with not connecting them if that’s what that person wants.  It’s getting out of the way.  It’s fostering a community where people can come and laugh, cry, sing, and share honestly and deeply.  It is living the human experience all of it in a shared faith space.  Maybe tomorrow it will change and it seems it is changing.  But today that is what it means for me to be christian.

I often say to myself I have reached my quota of Evangelical Christians.  By that I mean some days I simply get tired of being around people who speak one language and live another.  I get tired of Christians promoting one standard but living another.  I get tired of the bullshit.  I long for real.  So when my shut in member says, I’m having a hard time connecting with a loving God I find that more honest than people who say without any thought hypnotically God is good all the time.  I have one fb friend who only quoted Old Testament scriptures on her status until she got married.  I get tired of what impresses me as fake.  I get tired of pretentious superficial talk.  And for my own spiritual health I have put myself on a diet of how much holy sanctified bullshit I expose myself to in one week.  And the cup gets full pretty quick.  Honestly, I get tired of Christians.


One of You


Dying With Dignity: Brittany Maynard’s Choice to Die

So Brittany Maynard has bit the dust.  She chose to end her life.  On New Years day, she learned she had brain cancer.  Like most humans she chose to fight it.  In April she learned she was terminally ill.  She could go through aggressive treatment but she was going to die.  The death would be slow and debilitating.  After much research she decided, with 6 months to live more or less, she would end her life.  She relocated to Oregon, a state that honors choosing to die without criminal charges.  And so Brittany on November 1st ended her life.  I believe someone who wants to live has to go through a major storm to come to the decision to end her life.  Sadder than her choice is that she had to die at all due to brain cancer.  Therein lies the real sadness.

In the religious world, where I was born and raised, many believe to end one’s life is only an act that God can perform.  We obviously have seen this is not so. There are still others who believe that when we take on the act that is reserved for God only we do so placing our soul in hell for eternity.  People feel uncomfortable with others having the right to end their life.  Perhaps this is less problematic for me than those who choose to end another person’s life.  But I have some thoughts, no conclusion.  As you live longer you bag of experience grows and there are two things that shape my sentiments around dying with dignity.

As a teenager I read, A Lesson Before Dying.  It’s a story in post slavery times of a black man being sentenced to die.  He is not guilty.  He is innocent.  But in that world, not so long ago and some believe is still here, he will die.  His grandmother goes to the black school teacher.  She has one request.  She wants him to teach her dumb grandson how to die with dignity.  She wants him to walk as an innocent man.  Since there is nothing that can change his fate she wants him to have agency as he walks to death.  While this impressed upon me agency, even when it seems we have absolutely none, I am constrained by the injustice of death.  It may be a stretch but I see a parallel truth.  Sometimes even in the unfairness of it all there are choices.  It is hard for me to utter; I’m not sure I believe what I have just said.  I’m trying.

Second story is that of of my colleague Ruth Harley.   She was my colleague in ministry up until a year and half ago.  She was a runner.  She was a pastor.  And she was a single mother.  And even moreso she was just a good kind human being.  She was diagnosed with ASL which has gained more media attention with the bucket challenge.  The disease ravaged her body.  Six months before she died I visited her.  She sat in a chair propped up.  She struggled to talk; she was not clear.  She had made peace with death.  I imagine she even found her own dignity on the road to death.  She was gracious even in that moment with the most recent cards she had been dealt.   I know, even though I wasn’t there, she died with dignity.  She was somebody everybody ought to know.

Brittany was robbed.  She was robbed of a full life.  She was robbed of the opportunity to have children.  She was robbed of the opportunity to self actualize.  She was robbed of the opportunity to have a career.  She was robbed of the opportunity to evolve through another developmental stage.  She was robbed of the opportunity to grow old with her spouse.  She was robbed of the opportunity to live.  And so given all that she will never have or experience I think maybe I would leave alone her choice to die with dignity since in the greater scheme is one of the few choices she had.  In a world where we’re all trying to live, maybe Brittany and others are trying to us how to die with dignity.




Dear Morehouse Football Team

So I learned that your team, like me and my friends, went to the see the movie, “Dear White People.”  Never mind it wasn’t what I expected, it did give me a lot of food for thought.  Bu,t then, so did you behavior.  I was saddened that students from a prestigious HBCU would act so ugly towards the gay black male in the film proving the bigger point in the movie that a signifiant number of blacks range from homophobic to ignorant.  I have felt a heavy heart this whole week regarding your behavior.

Some years ago I was watching “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” when a particular scene came across the screen of Ike beating the crap out of Tina.  There were some teenagers present.  And in that moment, they began to laugh seconds before the tears fell from my own eyes.  I recognize that violence and sexuality touch my life in very personal ways.  It was only later when someone, older and wiser, explained to me that the teens were laughing out of awkwardness, did I understand.  I understand that in that moment perhaps you all felt uncomfortable.  Amongst peers the best you could do was protest the awfulness of the scene.  You wanted to make sure no one could possibly think you thought that a man loving a man was acceptable.  And so rather than support a brothah you supported the white racist male who was beating the crap out of the black brothah.  The irony of heterosexism is that you turned in your race card to support violence against a brother, who by the way was standing up for the cause.

There are ways for dealing with awkwardness.  First honor what you feel and just let it be.  Figure out why are you awkward.  Look at yourself first and do a thorough examination of your journey and beliefs.  Try not to turn on the individual or situation that makes you feel uncomfortable for it is often that person who is most vulnerable.  They do not need your laughter or your jokes or put downs.  And you don’t have to be a part of the choir when it’s off tune.  Remember association doesn’t contaminate you; it’s not airborne.  And value the top notched education you are supposedly getting at the elite Morehouse College.  You will be our future leaders so it’s time to grow up a little.  You can be the change agents in our world.

So I had an awkward moment myself this week and it’s still on my mind.  I chose to come out to a friend because I thought it was the ethical thing to do against other people’s advice.  The confession was awkward.  The person’s questions were awkward.  And most likely the lack of a response was awkward.  The lack of communication is awkward.  I’m feeling really awkward right now.  In response to those who want to know which team I play for the last I checked I’m not playing for a team.  I don’t even like sports so the imagery is bad.  I’m a human being who fell in love with another human being.  I’m in love.  I don’t know where that will lead but I like having love in my life.  I don’t have a lot of answers but I am better because of love.  And while it may make others feel awkward it has made me feel a whole lot better.




Raven Symone Speaks: Resisting Labels

I use to work for an Afrocentric social service agency prior to full time pastoring. And at my work location there was a retired black man that often was out in the neighborhood when I arrived to or left from work. He had been in the community long enough to know the happenings on his street fairly well. Our relationship evolved from greetings to occasional conversations about world events. Whenever he discussed something in the news that pertained to black people he would say “your people.” He was clearly disappointed by some of our actions. He was African American so I would jokingly say they are your people too. He would say no they are not and we would laugh. Even though he was joking I’ve been told there is some truth present in all jokes.

I once heard someone say labels only help the labeler but often they are not as helpful for the one being labeled. Let’s go there. When people start dating someone of the same gender when they had previously dated people of the opposite sex, the first question people generally ask is, “so are you gay? ” So what does that really mean? I mean it’s obvious the person is dating someone of the same sex. What more are we trying to ask? What does gay mean? I know the basic definition but what really does gay mean? And what does the label do for the one labeling and the one being labeled? And what does it tell you that you already didn’t know? Labels sometimes are a way of ending conversations as opposed to engaging others. Labels allow us to take short cuts without ever getting to know someone. They sometimes allow us to make judgments, exercise assumptions and draw conclusions without any real information.

So Raven-Symone in her interview with Oprah stated, “I’m tired of being labeled.” She also stated she didn’t want to be labeled gay. She’s not African American. But what others heard particularly among African Americans was a stupid little young girl who was rejecting her race, and therefore rejecting her people. It’s not the firs time someone black of notoriety has tried to distanced themselves from being black. I am reminded of the community guy again who would say “your people.” We embrace our Indian side, our Caucasian side, and our Latino side but those black roots are just too much to bear. As Oprah predicted Twitterville lit up.

I have a wise friend with not many words. She is older and has raised her two children and is enjoying her grandkids. As a parent, I asked her what were her ambitions for her children when she was rearing them. I thought she would talk about college or the American dream. Her answer was different from any I had ever heard to the point that I never ever forgot the wisdom of her words. She said Charlene of course I want my kids to be happy but mostly I just want them to be good human beings. I want them to be kind to others. I want them to treat others with respect. I want them to work hard. I want them to be good human beings. When I am frustrated or challenged by the distance between my son’s ambitions and my hopes for him I remember her words and they comfort me.

I think Raven knows who she is.   It’s impossible to be on the Cosby Show all those years and not gain a sene of one’s cultural identity. The Cosby show portrayed the black family for the firs time on a national syndicated tv show as functional, loving, professional, middle class, and human. Raven is saying something more and we missed it because it triggered the pain of our history. Raven is saying something and we need to hear it. She recognizes the limitations and oppressiveness of labels and she’s resisting. In fact she says, “I’m tired of being labeled.” She is gay. She is black. But beyond that like my friend raising her children she wants people to see her humanity. She wants people to see her. And maybe just maybe that is a prophetic idea for all of us. By the way I too grow weary of labels


Kicked Out Of The Choir

I remember decades ago I attended this big conference.  It was my second year and they had a choir.  I remembered from the first year how much I enjoyed the choir.  So it wasn’t a hard decision, when I heard the dates for practice, to decide I wanted to be a part of the choir.  I showed up with goo gobs of people to make beautiful sounds.  They divided us into sopranos, altos, and tenors.  I had always sang in the alto section so I joined that group.  Honestly, I had never felt comfortable singing alto; it was hard on my vocal chords but I knew absolutely nothing about the world of music.  I only knew I love the sound.  I was tone deaf to my limitations.

Each group had a leader.  I remember feeling scared because I had never been a part of such a big choir.   The group leader of the altos came over and barked out a few orders.  We began going over a piece.  I was excited and scared.  At some point during rehearsal the leader of the altos came over to me and said what do you sing?  With doubt, I said, “I think alto.”  With confidence, she said, “no you don’t sing alto.”  I had been dismissed.  So much for compassion and kindness among the saints.  My very first big choir and I was kicked out.  I don’t remember what happened next.  I think I tried to put as much distance between me and killer of small dreams.

Years later, I look back on that incident and chuckle. I have used it in several teaching moments.  And I did discover that I was a tenor with lack of confidence.  I love joining my fellow tenors today.  And every now and then I tip over into the alto section when the tenors go lower than I want and I crawl back to my tenor family when the altos go further up the hill than I can travel.  The truth is I love to sing with the choir but I will never be a part of the choir.  Or better yet the choir doesn’t want folks like me.  And I don’t think I’m ready to get asked what part do you sing?  So I listen, which I do with skill, and when I can’t resist I join.

Well all this talk about choirs has me thinking on parallel lines I’m not really a part of the political choirs on our home front.  I listen to the climate of racial, religious and political tensions.  I listen to both sides perhaps because neither side is compelling enough for me to add my voice.  If I did, because of the lack of authenticity someone might ask and what part do you sing?  I can join in as it relates to race relations are bad in America.  The quality of human life is tainted by race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.  The list does really go on.  I know since Obama has been in office that which was dormant has awakened.  So I sing with one group.  But I am not a conspiracist.  I cannot always look over my shoulder because that type of vigilance is tiring.  I do not think everything that happens to minorities is the result of some group/systems somewhere else plotting to harm others.  And no matter how far out in the ocean I go I always want to return to shore to discover how do we live together?  How do we work out our differences?  How do we hear the distinctive parts of the choir as opposed to continuing to sing with folks that sing in our range?  Perhaps I will just sing as I am called, in movement.  Perhaps there is no choir for people like me.


Between Us: Black Women and Their Stuff

I just attended a retreat for black clergy women.  One speaker spoke about not only the inseparable bond between black women but the stuff between us. For some reason, the stuff between us registered with me.  I have experienced for some time the wonderful sistah girl relationships and yet some of my greatest wounds come from sistahs.  I believe in sistah girl spaces and I have a group of sisters that I have developed close community.  It is essential to who I am but that’s not what I’m really interested in talking about.   I want to delve deeper into this thing that sometimes exist between us.

Years ago I interviewed a sistah for a listed position at my church.  She applied with others and did not get the job.  It had nothing to do with her ability.  She is competent, called and bright.  Job employment involves several of things inside our control and several things outside our control.  I have a unique congregation with unique needs.  And I was looking for the best fit.  The interview was intense which has more to do with my style.  I like to know the person beyond the easy correct answers.  So I ask off the map questions wanting to solicit as much of the person’s experience and self as possible.   Anyway, by the time we ended, it was obvious that the interview did not go well.

A couple of years later (six degrees of separation) it gets back to me that this sister is bad mouthing me.  I’m talking about to the point where she uses the b word.  And as a human with all of the flaws that comes with that package, I felt anger.  It’s one thing to have a  bad encounter.  In the small world of black women clergy it’s quite another to bad talk a sistah.  Why was she bad mouthing me?  Why was she telling folks to stay away from me?  Why didn’t she have the courage to come to me versus talking behind my back?  And did she not have enough moral courage to face her demons whatever they were?  I felt like it was immature on her part.

So I’m on a retreat and she’s here.  Let’s see how this plays out.  She can barely speak to me and her eyes divert elsewhere.  And I listen to her because that’s what you often do on retreats.  And I realize that her bad mouthing me hurts, that this thing between us is awkward and that would be a good place to start for me.  I also reflect maybe the interview impacted her in such a way that she was never able to own her feelings and made it about castigating me in a bad light.  But as I listened to her and observed I realized that many of us sistahs have a lot of issues and the external beautification often mask the internal damage.  We still have a lot of stuff we have to sift through.  I see sistahs doing bad stuff on the globe and yet psychologically damaging one another.  And I realize that black women have a lot of stuff between each other.


Why Racism is Not the First Card in the Eric Duncan Case

So Eric Duncan, the first American resident, dies of Ebola.  Some believe because he was black he received medical treatment later that led to him dying.  Here is why I am on the fence but never the less sad about the situation:


Eric Duncan lied about being exposed to Ebola.  Some say because as an African he feared he would not be allowed to return to America.

Eric Duncan went to the hospital with symptoms of Ebola.  He was sent home.  They didn’t catch it but he had to have known he had it.  He just left the area most hardest hit by Ebola, Liberia.

He was admitted some days later in worse condition.  It was clear he had it.

This disease has best result when treated early.  He was not in the hospital early to treat it.

It took a few more days to give him the magical medicine.  Why did it take so long?  #conspiracy theorist have answers

The hospital clearly did not know what they were doing.  They are operating in panic.  We have hospitals here in Chicago that you pray you never have to visit.

Eric Duncan’s condition worsens.  Family is concerned about his decline.

Eric dies.

And now the middle class black elites are hollering that it’s racism.  There are too many extenuating circumstances different from the other Ebola patients for me to jump on the reactionary band wagon.  With the other cases the disease was identified early.  They were flown in to hospitals ready to receive them.  They were treated by different hospitals.  They return to America with a high alert already in place.  These are the biggest differences.  And if we follow black conspiracy theorist then the stereotypes should have led this Dallas hospital to accept an African man with Ebola symptoms.  With all the media coverage any African would be a high suspect for Ebola.

Over and over again, I have learned that there is much we do not know often more.  We are so ready to cry racism as the first card without even looking at other possibilities.  In light of being given very select information, we rush to form judgments and opinions based off the little which means we are alread slanted in what we thinks happens to black bodies in America.  Eric Duncan is just a fulfillment prophecy of what we already believe.  That said, the hospital’s actions or lack of action is questionable.  Why didn’t he get the medicine?  What kind of insurance did he have?  Do insurance and class also have some impact on his level of care? What is the  whole story of his journey back to America?  What are they not telling us?   But wait for the answer instead of drawing one’s own conclusion.  I do not know why this man stayed at home so long with the symptoms and I’m not trying to blame him but understand.  I really think there is more that we do not know and yelling racism is premature in light of all that we simply do not know.  For all of the reasons above race is not the first card for me.


White Mommies, Black Baby, & Sperm Bank Mess Up: The Race Factor

So the sperm bank supposedly gave these two same gender loving women #330 a black male instead of #380 a white blue eyed blond haired male.  They live in a less tolerant of diversity community.  The sperm bank when they learned of their mistake said sorry, we can no longer talk to you, and goodbye.  The mothers are now considering moving because they want their daughter in a more diverse community.  They didn’t sign on for biracial kid.  They had a business transaction that went south. And now much of society is looking at them judgmentally for suing a company as implying they do not want that black child.  They are saying we love our daughter and we want this company to be held accountable for their mistake.  The company reimbursed them for the mistaken vials sent out and called it a day.

Desires of motherhood came rather late for me.  When I did embrace this as a desirable journey for me, I moved ahead.  My waiting and excitement was replaced with shock and a tiredness unknown to any other species but parents of newborns.  I cried and cried.  My goddaughter even started commenting about how tired I looked.  Others later would concur, but during the baby doesn’t sleep through the night stage, kept their opinions to themselves.  As the baby grew and grew so did his personality.  Josiah from the beginning was a demanding child confirmed by the Grandmother Association of America.  At some point I realized that being a mom was not the picture I had in mind nor was Josiah the child either.  But then something magically happen.  Truthfully it tools a lot of bumps in the road for me to arrive.  I learned that I had to love the child I had been given instead of yearning for the child in some fairy tale book.  I took another road and I find my love and appreciation growing deeply.

Rarely do we get what we want.  The mature soul learns how to adapt and make the best of what they have especially as it relates to relationships.  And I imagine this same gender couple did not get what they wanted.  With sperm bank arrangements it really is about getting what you want.  They paid money and invested time in researching individuals and they chose #380.  Their movement was calculated.  And yet after the long journey of questions, answer, process, hope and waiting, to discover upon seeking more vials for a second child that they had #330, I can only empathize with them.  But to then discover not only did they not get the hunk #380 they got a black man either is insane or funny.  It’s almost unreal.  And because it is a business I think they should sue.  I think America should leave them alone.  I hope they win.  And I hope they are able to love and raise a beautiful biracial girl who is loved and nurtured and has a sense of her place in this world.


Loud Music: Michael Dunn & An Excuse for Hatred

The other day I am driving home from work.  I’m tired and looking at at least 5 more hours of work, cooking, homework, and bedtime ritual related stuff.  My son is int he back seat.  I am stealing a moment of peace while he occupies himself in a mentally-transported fantasy world.  I pull up to the red light only to have my peace stolen by a car with loud music.  You know the kind of loud music that makes all the cars around vibrate.  I look over at the offender in a white Nissan Ultima.  I would love to say a few words to her.  First, how can one be so insensitive to impose your choice of music on everyone else.   Second, it’s a nice day and if you have to play it, turn on your ac and roll the windows up, at least.  I was frustrated and felt like someone’s choice of loud music had intruded on my already very busy day.  And then I thought of Michael Dunn.

So Michael Dunn has been found guilty.  Up front I want to say I support that verdict and also that I am slow on coming to a conclusion in general.  But in this case I believe a second trial gives us some justice because there is no justice for dead bodies.  While I too do not like loud music I share the planet with others.  And even though these folks bother me sometimes, I complain and keep it moving.  t stay in my car.  I might make a face too.  As a therapist, I have observed that we are all carrying high levels of anger, so I try not to stimulate folks more.  It is an inconvenience but the interesting fact of an inconvenience is it’s temporary.  I almost forgot about the lady with the loud music, until I heard the verdict on the Jordan Davis case.  It seems so pressing in the moment but that moment passes.

I’ve read some of the comments on the articles announcing the verdict on Michael Dunn and I am shocked.  It seems the conservatives have gotten a foothold on the comment boards.  It reads something like this:  blacks kills whites at a much greater number than whites kill blacks;  black folks kill their own; I’m black and the person I’m most afraid of is other black people; get over slavery bs; blacks are evil and they kill each other all the time; and God allowed Jordan to be killed which may be part of the God’s plan to punish the Hamites.  Some of this stuff is incredible and hard to believe and then I remember I have a high school classmate that has a gun and threatens to use it if any intruders come on his lawn.  And I know if I see him in the news ,what time it is.  As I read comments, I am concerned about the hatred.  There seems to be a whole lot of ignorance out there.  Even if we believe all of the hype out there on black males, it can never justify the killing of Jordan Davis this I am convinced.  We have lost our way to one another.

Michael Dunn encountered black males with loud music.  We see race everyday and based on our socialization it’s not hard to conjure up an image of what gets played out when we pass black brother in a SUV with loud music.  My colleague just the other day says she clutches her purse whenever she passes by an ashy black male with locks.  Our stereotypes are real and I do not think Michael Dunn is exempt.  Michael was visibly upset and he acted on it.  He did engage folks who were not talking to him in a defensive matter.  Generally, that sets up a dynamic for you to get told off.  He acted aggressively on a situation he created.  If he had of kept his mouth shut, griped with his girl, and kept it moving like me, he would have realized frustration is short lived.  But he did not act in such a manner, and as a result a male is dead and the lives of those other males will forever be changed.  Parents lost a kid.  The clock cannot be turned back.  He did the crime and now it is just that he serve the time.  What does society want?  Justice. When do we want it?  Now.  Glad you were found guilty.  And a word of advice, instead of looking outward and shocked look inward at the hate that is lodged there.  With your time that would be  good place to start.


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