CornerstoneDad Knowledge Nugget: CNN Cuts Short Its Awkward Interview With John Carlos Because Of Technical Difficulties

 

Last month I purchased The John Carlos Story (http://www.johncarlos.org/JohnCarlos/JohnCarlos-TheBook.html) for my two oldest boys. While I cannot wait for one of them to finish the book so I can start working my way through it, I have been listening to a number of interviews by Dr. John Carlos and David Zirin as they promote and tell the story behind the story.

But CNN (not Fox News) seemed to have another agenda in mind when they wanted to interview Dr. Carlos. Funny how this “mishap” as you will see, is an excellent example of the story of John Carlos and Tommie Smith. As long as they do what the nation and media wants them to do and say, great. Let us paint the portrait and you be the brush.

However, if you know anything about Dr. John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Peter Norman and Dr. Harry Edwards, you know these guys paint their own portrait, tell their own story, and the truth about America as well.

Click link below to watch this SHORT interview:

http://deadspin.com/5856071/cnn-cuts-short-its-awkward-interview-with-john-carlos-because-of-technical-difficulties?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+deadspin%2Fexcerpts+%28Deadspin+excerpts%29

Dad’s, if you’re unfamiliar with the story of John Carlos and Tommie Smith and their protest during the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City, please check it out and learn more. This was truly a pivotal and misunderstood moment in world history. This is also a tremendous teaching moment for your kids: Will they be willing to take a stand for what is right, if it may cost them their life?

What did Carlos and Smith have to gain by keeping silent and not protesting for human rights? Certainly fame, money, power and privilege and all we have to do is look at the lives of Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt to see the riches that can be gained just from being the fastest sprinter in the world. But what did they gain from their silent protest? Persecution, slander (by their own nation especially), broken marriages (the wife of John Carlos later took her own life), and unemployment.

How would sports be different today if more athletes would be willing to put all of that on the line to help others?

How would society be different today if more parents were willing to give up many of the same advantages to raise our children and do what is right as well?

To hear Runner John Carlos: No Regrets On Olympic Salute on NPR, click link below: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/07/143271325/olympian-john-carlos-no-regrets-on-olympic-salute

Advertisements

Happy New Year – from CornerstoneDad

Dads, have you made that New Year’s Resolution yet? Whether you have or have not, check out the tips at All-Pro Dad titled:

Our Classic 10 Ways to be an All Pro Dad  http://www.allprodad.com/top10/parenting/our-classic-10-ways-to-be-an-all-pro-dad/

You can find details at the link above, but here’s a peek at the list:

1.) Love your wife

2.) Spend time with your kids

3.) Be a role model

4.) Understand and enjoy your children

5.) Show affection

6.) Secure your family’s financial future

7.) Eat together as a family

8.) Discipline with a gentle spirit

9.) Pray and worship together

10.) Realize you are a father forever

If you have any other good ideas of goals for dad’s or would like to just share some that you have, let us know in the comments section!

Make 2012 the year you become the dad that you want to be and the year you help make your sons and daughters the men and women that they are to be.

Introducing: TIA – The Next American Idol?

Message for more young people: Stop teaching yourself how to play video games and teach yourself how to play an instrument or learn a skill!

I think the best parts of American Idol are the shows highlighting the people who miss notes like Tim Tebow in the 1st quarter of a Bronco game. But you know, not all of the performers on the “worst of” shows who audition know that they can’t sing. Many have probably received standing ovations from their family at reunions or in their church. Lets just say, the hometown crowd can be quite forgiving. Therefore, I didn’t know what to expect when I recently asked my little cousin to sing for me for the first time while recently visiting the family.

Yes, I remember when…I remember when she was born…I remember that squeaky little voice…and I’ve really missed her and her siblings since her family has moved. Trust me, I don’t really miss other people’s kids, whether they are my family members or not, but I’ve really missed my little cousins.

Hopefully her dad, who is definitely a CornerstoneDad, will make it on an upcoming podcast episode (and Happy Birthday Big Cuz since it’s right around the corner). He has a tremendous testimony, much wisdom, and he was the first in my age group that said, “We are going to have a ton of children regardless of what people say or our circumstances…”

Six kids later…

But back to Tia, I was so impressed at her ability to not only sing, but she also taught herself how to play the guitar plus she writes and composes her own songs.

So check out this video I took with my Canon T1 (the transitions would have been better with a real video camera so forgive me videophiles). Tia allowed me to record her after one of her classes at college. Her first performance was totally impromptu while sitting in the house with fuzzy slippers on, so I figured she certainly deserves a better presentation of her skills.

Would Tia ever audition for American Idol? Who knows, but if she ever decides to do so I think she’d be celebrating with, “I’m going to Hollywood!” and making the family proud every step of the way.

Now Tia, how about that theme song for the CornerstoneDad Podcast huh? Yea I know, family’s always trying to get the hook-up…

Enjoy the video and please check her out at her YouTube page at .

What Do Reggie Jackson and My Father Have In Common?

Today, Mr. October Reggie Jackson turned 65 years old. My dad recently turned nearly the same age at almost the same time. Reggie Jackson is a lover of muscle cars, my dad is as well. Reggie Jackson’s public persona seems extremely complex. Well, my dad’s public and private personas are complex as well. Reggie seemed to be one who did not believe in turning the other cheek. My dad’s advice to me was always throw the first punch because you don’t know if he’ll lay you out with his first blow. Reggie was born in Pennsylvania, my dad’s relatives are in Pennsylvania (okay, that one’s a stretch but I still counted it as a kid!).

But there is one glaring difference between the two men. Reggie made his fame and fortune from baseball and my dad hated sports. He made his fame at home and his fortune in the plant. Both men got dirty and worked with their hands, but in two very different ways.

Yet, had it not been for my father, I never would have looked up to “the straw that stirs the drink” (and Reggie did not mean that the way the reporter told it by the way).

Despite the fact that my dad never liked sports, he never discouraged my passion for baseball. As a matter of fact, two things he taught me early on that I’ve carried for over 30 years:

1.) Do not cheer for the home team, because they are losers.

2.) Look at Reggie, and how he handles himself, and that’s how you must handle yourself in this world.

 Dad knew the impact the ‘hood could have had on me. While we weren’t exactly living in the projects, many of the problems of the projects existed, just in a cleaner neighborhood. Selling drugs, or what we called “rollin'”, was still the fastest way for a kid to make a lot of money and have a lot of girls fast. Shootings across the street from our house were common along with break-ins, car theft, and fighting. Thankfully, we also had many parents working solid middle-class jobs to always keep the neighborhood a float. Since they weren’t allowed to move into traditional white suburbs, they were forced to stay in their own community so in many ways, it benefited us all as a whole.

What we also had commercially, was a lack of black athletes on television when they were not on the field. But when dad saw how Reggie mastered the King’s English and commanded respect for his knowledge of the game and demeanor, he was wise to tell me to observe. Reggie often commentated for ABC in the ’70s and ’80s if the Yankees were out of the playoffs.

Little did I know at that time that one day I would have to at least know many of the rules of the King’s English as well when I grew up. I would also have to not be the “typical nigga or black guy” that many of my colleagues would expect me to be, just like Reggie. I would have to talk a certain way at job interviews, avoid being labeled and yet stand up for myself and prove that I deserved to be in that class or office and not because of Affirmative Action. At the same time, I would have to be just as complex, for people in America have a hard time understanding how you can be pro-black and yet marry someone of a different race. I’m sure Reggie ran into this as to some black folks, Reggie was a sell-out with his proper talking, candy bars, and white girls. But Reggie seemed to always make sure that he represented himself and the black community well. He spoke out about teams that did not have enough black players and even advised former teammate Willie Randolph not to take the Detroit Tiger job. They were the worst of the worst in Major League baseball. Reggie threw out the question the black community always asks, “Why do we only get the job/call/White House when things cannot get any worse? That’s just setting us up to fail!”

I can’t say I idolized Reggie. The man never put food on my table, but he did wave at me when I yelled his name at a California Angels game…he did…really! I’ve memorized many of his stats, read his autobiography, visited the Baseball Hall of Fame to have my picture taken with his bust, and even named one of my kids after him. But my fascination with Mr. Jackson was never about him, but about what he represented. He was a man of class, determination, dependable, clutch-performer, and he danced to the beat of his own drum all the while paying homage to those like Robinson, Aaron, and Mays that bought the drum.

Overall, the man was much like my father.

Photo from: http://kevinmayle.netaidz.com/v/Realism/Steel-Worker-sepia.jpg.html

So dad, who are you allowing to influence your son? Is it a street pimp, a corporate pimp, a drug-dealer, or a prescription drug-dealer? Do those people reflect the values that you want your son to have or the values that you have or at least want to have?

Understand this, somebody and something will influence your boys. You better take advantage of the time that you have to determine what kind of influence that will be. I’m glad my dad had the insight to do that when I was younger. While I’m no where near the man that I wanted to be, I’m no where near the man I could have been.

Happy Birthday Dad and Mr. October!

…just 15 Minutes: “Play Ball!” Style

Finally, a couple of back-to-back warm and rain-free days allowed me and the boys to get out and throw the baseball around. Now we’ve gone out a few times already this year, but now it’s finally beginning to feel like baseball season.

For nearly 10 years, I played in the typical softball league and then I even decided to see if I still “had it” and play hardball. It was good to face real pitching and play with guys who took the game seriously (too seriously sometimes). Then I broke my hand and was forced to spend the next six months in a cast and a sling. I could not play with my kids the entire summer besides running and I officially retired like Barry Sanders. My wife doubted my retirement like Juanita Jordan, but I’m yet to step on the field again. Why, because I now have my own team to play with. A team that needs me more than any other. Not being able to be a Five-Tool Dad (run, throw, catch, hit, and teach), was too much for me and something I never want to experience again.

I am so impressed with the progress my six and twelve-year old sons have made. The elder has played baseball for six years, but the sport seems to be taking on more meaning for him, especially as he reads through a biography on Willie Mays. Recently, he drew me a picture of us playing ball together and labeled the ball park as the Polo Grounds. Now, there aren’t many kids today who even know who Willie Mays is, let alone what the Polo Grounds represent!

My six-year old, aka Big Homie, is showing the quick hands of an infielder and can throw with a little sizzle as well. This is a 180-degree turn from the boy that was scared of the ball just a year ago and threw like Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn. 

That’s one of the greatest parts of being a CornerstoneDad. Being there and assisting our children doing things that let us know they are “growing up”. Sure, mom keeps the teeth, hair from the first cut, and remembers the first step. But dad remembers that first game, keeps that first glove and that first model car.

Right now, I really don’t need “the fellas” to play ball with or other people to do something I enjoy. I can do it with my own boys (and my girls as I was out cruising with my 5 year old daughter the night before) as they can now throw hard and play hard. They are even able to heckle me when I make an error out in the field. Wow, these boys are learning fast. Dad does tend to crank-up his sweet-o-meter quite a bit when the ball comes his way, so the criticism is well deserved I guess.

I’ve also learned that I don’t have to spend all day outside playing with the kids, but if I can continue with starting with just 15 minutes of playing catch, throwing the ball around, or even giving occasional instruction if necessary, the payoff is immediate and appreciated. Just remember CornerstoneDad, 15 minutes is where you start. (See: http://cornerstonedad.com/2010/11/21/just-15-minutes/)

Whenever we leave the park, my 12 year old is always quick to say, “Thank you for taking us dad.” I often respond, “Thank you for going.”

Little does he know, I am the one who is far more appreciative as I have a more finite idea of time than he does.  Sons, I thank you, and will do all I can to remain on the field of play as long as I can with you.

How about you CornerstoneDad? What is the spring activity you remember learning/playing with your dad? Are you still able to play with them today?  What do you enjoy playing with your children this time of year? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

D-Wade, Who Did You Call A Hero?

Today I just so happened to catch a story on Dwyane Wade on ESPN’s E60 program. It seemed like a feel-good story about how Wade’s mother, who was addicted to drugs much of Wade’s life, has now made a recovery and re-established her relationship with her son. ESPN reported that Wade grew up in Chicago, protected and reared by his older sister, while his mother used and sold drugs from the family dwelling. After doing various stints in prison, Wade’s mom later got off drugs, became a minister, and was even called a “hero” by her son Dwyane.

Usually in stories like this, I often ask, “Now where was the father?” Sadly, it’s more of a rhetorical question, as I often know the answer. However, in this case, dad was around according to ESPN and Wade. “D-Wade’s” dad was interviewed in the story and had wanted his son to live with him early on as he knew of the things going on in his “baby-mama’s” household. Wade Sr. and Jolinda had divorced when Wade Jr. was a boy. As the boy was becoming a man, Wade Sr.’s son came to live with him with the agreement of his mother Jolinda.

Now, all I know about the life of these three people is what they and ESPN shared in this short piece. But I was left asking, “Should’ve his dad been his hero? Why was the story not about his father, who was now remarried with a family of his own, and how he brought his son home and raised him into a man despite the things he saw his mother do in front of his very eyes?” It seems that the only time the word “hero” should have been used in this story would have been to refer to his dad, not his mother.

This is to not take away from the progress that his mother Jolinda has made in her life. But all too often, even when men do the “right thing”, it really is “no thing” to our society. I dare say, that if D-Wade’s father would have been a drug addict until his college career, the outcome of this story would have been very different. We’ve all heard it before…the “that man was nothing but a sperm donor who didn’t step-up to the plate” or “he didn’t make me the man I am today, my mother was both the mom and dad in my house”. At last report, Shaquille O’Neal’s father was the one addicted to drugs and prison when he was a child, and the two still do not have a relationship to this day.

 

So until I hear otherwise, I want to give a shout of honor to Dwyane Wade Sr., because somebody needs to give him some credit. Not because his son went on to dribble a basketball well and make shots with the sweet-o-meter cranked to high. But because he stepped in to raise a son who would later be a father, a father that would later fight for his own two children in a bitter divorce custody dispute. (See: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/news/story?id=6212517&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines)

Sometimes fathers can teach you much more than how to play sports, but how to be a CornerstoneDad. Sometimes they teach you how to fight for your kids, instead of how to just fight in the street.

Here’s to hoping to hear more about Dwyane Wade Sr. from Dwyane Wade Jr. and the rest of the media.

Perhaps the story below should have been called, The Good Dad:

CornerstoneDad’s Greatest Day Ever

Can a cold winter day feel like a beautiful California day?

Well, when kids experience something great in their lives, they often say, “Today was the greatest day ever!” I think CornerstoneDad’s should say the same thing when they take care of business and do something that they know will impact their kid’s life, even if the child does not know it yet.

Today, my “greatest day ever” or GDE, was spent with my 11 year-old son. Since this week at work is rather slow in the office and I only planned to work part of the day there, I figured it would be a great time to take him with me.

On the way to work, we chatted about the importance of loving your work, so you will never have to “work” a day in your life. I let him know that dad is not there yet and probably will not ever get there at his current job. Yet, I am very fortunate to have the job I have as well as some great managers. But I know my God-given talents are not best utilized at this point and even at his age now, he can begin to take notice of the skills God has equipped him with that will allow him to add value just by being himself.

Did you ever notice even in Hollywood, the kids generally grow up to be an extension of the characteristics that the show writers had in them as a little child?

Do you really think Michael Evans did not at least become a lawyer when he grew up?

Many of us lose the script or just move to a sitcom with poor ratings instead of being what the Master Writer designed us to be in the first place.

"We should have just stayed on Three's Company!"

Time was spent meeting my colleagues and I had him brainstorm ideas for creating his own blog. I felt it was extremely important for him to utilize the quiet time that he never gets to enjoy, as his time and space are always being shared with his other siblings when at home. Before leaving to attend my meeting, we called my dad and they had a moment to catch up on things, something I encourage my son to do often.

Get the old school wisdom while it is here, because one day you, or the wisdom, may be gone.

My manager said that my son would be more than welcome to sit in on the meeting and later my son did join in and sit in the back. During this time he got to see how my company does business with a client who works for a major American company, but he is Japanese. A true demonstration of our global world, diversity in the workplace, and why it is important to be at least be proficient in the “King’s English”.

After our time at work, we headed for the movie theater to check out Tron 3D. There aren’t many action filled PG-movies out there, as thrillers like Transformers and GI Joe are getting closer to R-rated flicks than something you can take your boys (or girls if they like action) to see at the local “overcharge-o-plex” theater. Just like dad, my son looked at his watch and asked, “Why is the movie starting at 2 o’clock when it was supposed to start at 1:30?”

Yea, my thoughts exactly kid.

What was the highlight of my son’s day? Seeing dad with dual-monitors! But 10+ years from now, whether I’m here or not, I think he will benefit seeing dad at work, understanding more of the business world, and of course being the center of attention for much of the day. I remember only a few times visiting my dad at the plant. I also remember going with him to pick up his paycheck a couple of times as well. There is much value of those trips for our children, especially our boys, as they can learn so much just watching dad get up and go to the office, or the factory, or the construction site, or wherever else you go to “keep the lights on”. I am amazed at the number of grown men that cannot keep a job because they cannot get out of the bed to punch the clock. Don’t let your kids be one of those people.

As I told my son, I may not want to go to work, but I go because of the commitment I have to our family and to God. Colossians 3:23-24 says, ”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

I look forward to more GDE days with all of my children. Dad, plan some with your children or even grandchildren. Take one out at a time if you can. Each child is an individual with separate needs and wants from you. As they get older, the need for individual time increases even more. And if you don’t give it to them, what are you going to do when they get it from somewhere else?

Great days with dad will equal great children and leaders in this society. Never underestimate, or allow other people to underestimate your influence. 2011 is nearly here, so how about making a goal to schedule at least three or four GDE events with your kids? Post your days and ideas here as we would love to hear how things went for you!