CSD Dinner Table Topic of the Day: College, Student Loans and 21st Century Sharecropping

Definition of SHARECROPPER

: a tenant farmer especially in the southern United States who is provided with credit for seed, tools, living quarters, and food, who works the land, and who receives an agreed share of the value of the crop minus charges
Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sharecropper
share36s

When I graduated high school, I remember people who didn’t go to college saying, “I know people with college degrees that make less than I do and I didn’t go to college!”

Now, I’ll be one of the folks telling high school grads, “I went to college and got a degree and I make more money than average, but I’m still poorer than most people who didn’t go to college!”

“Under this system, black families would rent small plots of land, or shares, to work themselves; in return, they would give a portion of their crop to the landowner at the end of the year.

The sharecropping system also locked much of the South into a reliance on cotton, just at the time when the price for cotton was falling. In addition, while sharecropping gave African-Americans autonomy in their daily work and social lives, and freed them from the gang-labor system that had dominated during the slavery era, it often resulted in sharecroppers owing more to the landowner (for the use of tools and other supplies, for example) than they were able to repay. Some blacks managed to acquire enough money to move from sharecropping to renting or owning land by the end of the 1860s, but many more went into debt or were forced by poverty or the threat of violence to sign unfair and exploitative sharecropping or labor contracts that left them little hope of improving their situation.”

Source: http://www.history.com/topics/sharecropping

At the current rate, over the next few decades, we will likely return back to a time when only the affluent can afford a college education and those who previously had earned a college degree, will not be able to afford to send their own children to school and will be paying student loan payments out of their social-security checks.

“Forget hitting the books son, better go dribble that basketball or throw that football to get a scholarship!”

students-loans2

Oh, and before someone comments, “Well, if you can’t afford to pay for a college degree, then you shouldn’t get a loan to pay for one!”

As a Dave Ramsey fan, I agree.

So surely you don’t have any credit cards, a car note or a mortgage right? Because if you can’t pay cash for a house, then why should you feel entitled to get a loan to buy a home. After all, the amount many owe in student loan debt equals what they would pay for a home.

Also, I’ll agree more with that statement when our student loan debt is seen as “too big to fail” like the banks that loaned the money, and maybe it can just be wiped off the books.

…just like the folks that walked away from their houses when they bought more than they should have when those loans were flowing like water.

Quite honestly, college is still the best option for the young and old. However, my gripe is with the “wisdom” that getting the education is a guarantee to a great paying job, home ownership, and “you’ll make much more money than your peers that didn’t go to college over your lifetime.”

Well, none of those are absolute truths.

But you better be absolutely sure what you want to major in, how much does it pay in the end and know exactly what you can pay off. Because while the banks that loaned you the money are too big to fail, you aren’t…and you can’t file bankruptcy on student loan debt like they can!

Check out this article from blog.metrotrends.org

With national student loan debt of roughly $1 trillion, it’s no surprise that many Americans are worried about their student loans.

Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt and is second only to mortgage debt among those age 29-37. This ballooning student loan debt is a contributor to the “lost generation” of 20- and 30-somethings, whose average wealth is lower than the average wealth of those in their 20s and 30s three decades ago.

We published a new brief on school-related debt, using the FINRA Investor Educational Foundation’s 2012 National Financial Capability Survey. One in five adults age 20 and older has school-related debt and concern about the ability to repay is pervasive. The majority of student debt holders (57 percent) is worried that they may be unable to repay that debt.

If Congress doesn’t reach a compromise and the rate of subsidized student loans doubles, student loan debt and the increased payment burden will increase stress around repayment.

Beyond the short-term burden of repaying loan balances and interest, this early debt can have ripple effects and hinder borrowers’ ability to get on a secure wealth-building path. It can delay building a rainy day fund, homeownership, and saving for retirement.

Some of our findings may not be shocking to those who write monthly checks to Sallie Mae, yet they illustrate the magnitude and pervasiveness of the issue:

  • Student loan debt affects people at all levels of educational attainment. Nine percent of those with just high school diplomas have school-related debt, possibly incurred for non-degree training or to fund a child’s education. Twenty-five percent of those with some college education but no degree have student loans.
  • Student loan debt disproportionately affects African Americans and Hispanics. African Americans and Hispanics are twice as likely to have student loan debt as compared with whites. The large racial wealth gap and lower wealth among families of color likely lead these students to more often turn to student loans to finance their education.
  • Student loan debt affects people at nearly all income levels. Twenty percent of those in households with annual incomes under $25,000 have student loans—that’s only 2 percent more than those earning $100,000 and up.
  • Concern about repaying student loan debt also cuts across economic and demographic groups (see figure below). Nearly three-fourths of those with incomes less than $25,000 are concerned about their ability to repay—and so is a still-substantial 36 percent of those earning above $100,000.

College is a good investment for those able to complete the degree, but roughly half of people do not. Out of the starting gate, students should consider the cost and completion rate at the institution they plan to attend, earnings in their field of study, and type of student loan (public or private). Helping young people take advantage of student loans to get their degrees—but avoid burying themselves in debt—is a step in the right direction toward economic stability and wealth accumulation.

studentdebt_graph

Illustration by Daniel Wolfe / The Urban Institute.

 

CornerstoneDad Podcast #12 – CSD On The M-I-C With J-Sizzle

Broke-athletes

We have someone new joining the podcast, J-Sizzle!

J and I tried to limit our discussion to three topics, but we could barely make it. However, we still tried to catch up on some great topics that we’ve had on our minds that include:

  • ESPN’s 30-for-30: BROKE – We ponder the question, how could all of these athletes end up broke after making millions of dollars?
  • “I’d like to thank my lord and savior”…wait, what did Jamie Foxx just say? Did he say Barack Obama?
  • J-Sizzle answers the question that I will now ask every dad that appears on this show. He’s truly setting the bar high for the men that he comes in contact with, but what would your answer be to this all important question?

So tune in, check it out here

Podcast #12 with J-Sizzle

or on iTunes and feel free to let us know what you think!

 

CSD Dinner Table Topic – What’s For Dinner? Betcha Verizon Will Know Because Your DVR Is Telling Them

BBrother

Perhaps you want to go back and check out these posts on CSD before reading the article from PCMag.com below:

http://cornerstonedad.com/2011/12/29/xbox-kinect-and-privacy/

http://cornerstonedad.com/2012/10/03/privacy-watch-xbox-your-data-sorry-sir-youre-too-fat-to-order-the-meat-lovers-pizza-and-all-you-do-is-play-video-games/

So if you thought ole Cool Pappa just had his black suit, tin foil hat and DVD’s of Doomsday Preppers loaded in my BOB, you’re right! I knew this was coming.

If human beings can, they will.

Companies will do whatever they can to maximize profits, if that gain outweighs whatever consumers will just “get over” in two weeks (because you know, we’d rather hear about pregnant royalty in the “Motherland”).

Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP

Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP

Keep your eye on this story.

If not, don’t worry, because they’ll be keeping an eye on you!

CSD

Verizon Patent Covers DVR That Knows What You’re Saying, Doing

Your cable box is listening. And judging. Yes, that set-top box has become self aware and will be listening to your fights, phone calls, and pillow talk in order to serve up targeted ads.

Well, not quite. But it might one day become a reality, according to patent application from Verizon Patent and Licensing, Inc. that was recently made public. It covers a system that displays ads based on the “ambient action of a user.”

As noted by sourcefednews.com, the patent describes a “detection zone” whereby your set-top box (or any media “processing device”) will pick up on “ambient action” and play ads that relate to your activity at commercial breaks.

An ambient action could include eating, exercising, laughing, reading, sleeping, talking, singing, humming, cleaning, and playing a musical instrument. Specifically, the patent cites “cuddling, fighting, participating in a game or sporting event, and talking.” So, if you’re fighting, ads for anger management, and condom ads for times when you’re cuddling?

The patent also notes that ads could be directed to a mobile device.

“Traditional targeted advertising systems and methods fail to account for one or more ambient actions of a user while the user is experiencing media content using a media content access device,” the patent reads. “For example, if a user is watching a television program, a traditional targeted advertising system fails to account for what the user is doing (e.g., eating, interacting with another user, sleeping, etc.) while the user is watching the television program. This limits the effectiveness, personalization, and/or adaptability of the targeted advertising.”

This, of course, could either be terrifying or intriguing. If I’m chatting with someone about possible vacation spots, go ahead and serve up possible hotels and flights. But if I’m on ice cream sandwich No. 3 for the night, will my TV show me Weight Watchers ads? Or Match.com if I’m home on a Saturday night. Ouch.

I can also already hear privacy advocates having a collective seizure. They are already concerned with computer programs that serve up targeted ads based on computer searches and Web activity. A device that listens to your conversations and monitors your activity? Can’t wait for the congressional hearing on that one.

Of course, many patents either go nowhere or take years to implement. Apple, for example, has a patent for “5D” technology. This might all sound very Big Brother in 2012, but who knows what type of technology we’ll have in five or 10 years? The patent holders are likely thinking ahead to what could be – and how it can make some good money on patent licensing deals.

“Verizon has a well-established track record of respecting its customers’ privacy and protecting their personal information. As a company that prizes innovation, Verizon takes pride in its innovators whose work is represented in our patents and patent applications,” a Verizon spokesman said in a statement. “While we do not comment on pending patent applications, such futuristic patent filings by innovators are routine. This is also highly speculative and whatever we might do in the future would be in line with our well-established track record of respecting our customers’ privacy and protecting their personal information.”

Editors’ Note: This story was updated Thursday with comment from Verizon and to clarify that the patent has not officially been granted.

For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2412896,00.asp

CSD Dinner Table Topic of the Day – Dad, Which Would You Prefer?

…for your son to come home and tell you that he cashed in his student loan check or maxed out his new credit card (because you know, you gotta establish your credit right?) on this:

 

OR

For your daughter to come home for dinner with her new boyfriend and when he takes off his coat, you see this:

Discuss!

 

CSD

CornerstoneDad on True Riches With The MissionMen: What Is Going On In the Church That You Are Considering?

 

So you think you may have found a church, or at least a church that may make your short list.

But what’s going on in there? What are they practicing?

Join me and Mission Man Ron, as we discuss some other things to look for in your church search.

Are they focusing on the physical more than the spiritual?

What are they seeking, fleecing your wallet or feeding the flock?

Does the pastor have a Cadillac?

Do they only take care of the “elite”?

Do church officials have so many titles in their name, that their own momma’s don’t know what to call them?

Would the church treat you better if you introduced yourself as, “Reverend”?

Does the church have a proper understanding of healing and prosperity?

That’s just a little of what we discussed in the fast-fifteen that we call, True Riches With The Mission Men!

Click the link to listen: True Riches With The Mission Men

 

 

 

CornerstoneDad Podcast #11 – Free Labor, Free Education or Just A Lack of Freedom?

Kory Devon and I discuss the latest happenings in the sports world and try to come to an agreement on whether college athletes should get paid (legally) or not. What do you think? Sound off and let us know in the comments section!

This was actually recorded before podcast #10, so please go back and check out that episode if you’d like to hear a continuation of our discussion.

Click Podcast #11 to listen!

CornerstoneDad Privacy Alert: Insurance Companies Want Your Car’s Data

A few years ago, I predicted this was going to happen and folks thought that I had the tin-foil hat on again. But State Farm (and I’m sure others are sure to follow soon) wants your data, urrr….car’s data. Now this isn’t completely new, and trust me, it will one day be common. But lets think about the ramifications.

1.) At least once per week, I travel to a high crime area. Now they already judge me on the number of days I drive my car to the office, and that’s only part of the week, so why would they NOT develop an algorithm to determine the increased risk on the other days?

2.) For you vacation-draft-behind-truck-speeders…gotcha. Forget about your Fuzzbuster (my old school dads know what I’m talking about-that’s a radar detector for those born after 1985), your car will just report that you averaged 79 mph with applied braking at high speeds.

3.) Don’t get me started how they are messing people over by using their credit report as another factor in determining rates.

…can you give us a few more?

What other things do you think the insurance companies will extract from your ride and driving habits?

Oh yea, I bet the amount of the discount for good behavior is never as high as the rate increase for bad behavior. That’s not justice, that’s insurance company mathematics.

What do you think?

The World Is A Ghetto: Motown Getting Mo-Crazy

I grew up in the D. when terms like crack, carjacking, and checking-in were being born.

This was one famous Detroit group that you won’t find ever performing at a halftime show.

At the same time, terms like Reaganomics, Star Wars defense, and pull-yourself-up by your bootstraps also thrived in this country’s vernacular.

But as bad as things were back then, some of the things going on today make shake my own head.

I’m I getting older or do you feel the same way?

Yesterday, Marvin Winans of the famous gospel group, The Winans was carjacked and robbed in the middle of a gorgeous afternoon in the ‘hood. For my readers not in this area or country, the streets don’t matter, but trust me, he was stopping in the ‘hood.(Story here: http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/detroit/pastor-marvin-winans-carjacked-and-robbed-in-detroit)

Now, I also grew up listening to The Winans as they were on my dad’s approved music list. My close friend’s father used to pick us up in the Ford panel wagon LTD and she’d have a Winans tape jamming every morning on the way to school. When my family heard the song Tomorrow before I did, I remember them telling me, “We know you’re going to love that song” and they were right. To this day it’s still one of my favorites.

So it bothered me to hear that Marvin Winans was now a victim, especially knowing that he has tried to make a difference in the city.

I’ve listened to some on the radio that criticized him for stopping at a station with a Rolex and a purple Infiniti SUV. But knowing that his QX56 only gets 16 mpg, I’m sure he’s stopped at gas stations in Detroit numerous times without incident.

But not this time.

Plus, is it now THAT bad? It wasn’t THAT bad in the ’80’s. Back then, we watched a Fiero get stripped right across the street in a few minutes in the middle of the afternoon. But I don’t remember it being THIS bad. I’m I wrong or do I have those “back-in-my-day rose-colored glasses on”?

Also, just the week before, this incident happened and lets just say my man certainly didn’t look like he was displaying a Rolex to fake Ludacris you see in the video. (Note: That old-head got with phony-Luda and it’s sad he had to get a bunch of his “boys” to help him buck with a guy twice his age…and the punks hit an older woman too…those fools are hard right there.)

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/couple-robbed-and-beaten-at-detroit-bp-gas-station-20120509-ms

But the gentleman in the video above did everything right. He didn’t look scared and even spoke to the dudes respectfully and didn’t even call them niggas, like I’m sure they call each other. What did he get in return, a beatdown that could’ve been much worse and thankfully it was not for him and his wife.

Are things just THAT bad?

If we say that they are, then what?

My prediction? At the current progression, two scenarios are likely to play out.

1.) Drastic measures will not be taken until someone of European-descent gets beatdown or killed as the national outrage will cause leaders to speak up and the negative attention will reach past the Michigan border.

Does anyone remember the fireworks brawl that got caught on tape in the early ’90’s (and remember, that was before Youtube)?

2.) Notice the event happened at another gas station. Fuses are getting real short on gas stations as they aren’t calling police on crimes taking place on their property and if you do something that effects them, they shoot you. Lack of police response and growing animosity against the police are all making for fumes that could ignite with one “minor” incident.

Does anyone remember 1967?

Back in the day, we knew who Marvin or at least The Winans were because we went to church.

Dad, when was the last time you did THAT with you kid(s)?

I’m not even talking about whether your church is good or not, but at least it puts the moral compass in the right direction.

An atheist sees me and my boys (friends) crewed-up with hoodies, Kangols and Adidas on at night. Why would he/she breath easier seeing us with Bibles in our hands as we walk from the Mission instead of the gas station up the street?

All rights reserved by Detroit Liger

(We may look bad outside the Mission at night, but trust me, we’re harmless)

Why? Because they know that “religious fanatics” have a moral compass and they are glad about it, because if we didn’t and just believed that now is the only reality and there are no consequences for our behavior, then they may be stretched out on that sidewalk and not make it back home that night. In other words, I’m sure the atheist would be glad we hold the fanatical worldview and not their view in that situation.

Now Dad, do you know where your children are?

Whether living with you or not, are they hanging out in the street, doin-dirty?

If you don’t know, you better find out.

Cause while it may not be YOUR kid that’s going to rob or kill you (then again, it could be: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/news/Son-of-Farmington-Hills-beating-victim-arrested-2-others-seriously-hurt/-/4714498/10918534/-/15dc71oz/-/index.html) because they’ve never been taught to have regard for human life and have determined that they will be the predator not prey, you may one day fall victim.

You may get stuck by a kid who was raised with a lack of supervision like your kid was raised.

So forget the old saying from parent to child, “I hope you have a kid that acts just like you one day!

I now will say, “I hope you run into some kids (or they marry) some kid that has been raised just like you raised yours one day!

Maybe that’s the only way to keep things from getting worse in the D. or any other place, cause I’m getting a headache from shaking my head.

“Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s goin’ on in the ‘hood.” – Boyz N The Hood

What do you think and how are things in your neighborhood?

CSD

 

 

 

 

Washington Watch Exclusive: The Parents Of Slain Florida Teen Trayvon Martin Speak Out

I will deal with this story and issue soon. In the meantime, I wanted to post this video from Washington Watch, as it knocks down all the stereotypes that I’m sure people are looking for. Many times people will say, “Well, I’m sure something happened to make that guy act that way” or “Maybe the kid was threatening to the man”.

What saddens me the most is that my son and I were just visiting the Orlando area exactly one month ago. I gave him more freedom while we were away than I normally would at home since his other siblings were not there. My heart rate increases when I ponder on the “what-ifs” like, “What if neighborhood watch would have been following him when he was making the one-mile walk to his cousin’s house?” “What if something would have happened when he was out playing football and on his way home just before dark?”

I think I would be thinking just like Trayvon Martin’s dad said in the above video, he would have been waiting on me to protect him, and I would not have been there.

My mentor Dr. Lyn Lewis used to say something to the affect that black men grow up knowing that they are one step from jail or dead, no matter who they are or what they do in life.

I’ll echo another saying she’d say, that’s some good Sociology right there, because this Trayvon Martin murder proves her point. Good kid, good parents, smart, athlete, but still dead like a L.A. gang member.

Lets keep the heat on this story before it gets swept away by more important things like what the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing or what Peyton Manning is doing.

Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP

Terrell Owens vs. TO; You vs. Your Inner TO – Who Wins In The End?

A friend of mine shot this story to me on TO, or Terrell Owens, or ah, I don’t know…

http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201201/terrell-owens-gq-jeremiah-trotter-told-me-not-apologize-donovan-mcnabb

I just know he’s the guy that dropped the classic line, “I love me some me!” and had the great pom-pom end zone celebration that seemed much less rehearsed than the weak Sharpie-in-the-sock celebration pulled in Seattle in 2002.

Yes, it’s been that long. Hard to believe, but the San Francisco 49ers finally eclipsed the success they had when TO was there this season, as he departed the team in 2003. Back in 1999, there was Terrell Owens, a receiver that looked like he could re-write the record books and quite honestly, he eased the pain of Jerry Rice leaving for 49er fans as his talent seemed limitless. He was in perfect shape, 6’3 220+lbs, with deep-speed where DB’s could hang with him from 0-40 yards but post-40, “bye-bye”.

But then TO was born.

Obviously TO had a lot of fun. The article states that the he earned over $80,000,000 (1). That number is not a typo. However, now Terrell Owens finds himself “broke” (dude’s apartment is still the size of my house plus he’s in L.A., and I have 6 people with me) after suffering a knee injury without a contract, at 38-years old, with big child-support payments. Turns out that TO made a ton of bad business investments and even blames agent Drew Rosenhaus for not protecting him. Over the years, TO has always blamed a lot of people for a lot of things. I just watch the ESPN-tabloid so I don’t know what’s true.

But who’s to blame for this four kids by different mothers? The article states,

Now he is in court with all four women, whom he lumps together like one big bloodsucking blob. None of them are being fair, he says: “They know I’m not working; they know the deal.” Although he never established regular visitation with any of the children through the courts, he says he sees the eldest three as much as he can when their mothers allow it. So bitter is his relationship with the mother of the youngest child, a son, that he has never met the boy. (1)

Now, before I continue on, you may ask, “Who am I to judge?” Well, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to seek a child support reduction, have a tenuous relationship with my son’s mother and fight for visitation. I didn’t make $80 million dollars, I was making a few hundred dollars every two weeks, worried about the lights getting shut-off, and had to take out a zillion dollars in student loans just to go back to school and re-invent myself because I didn’t want my son working side-by-side with me when he turned 16 years old. So yes, I’ve been there TO.

But TO, you need to start fighting to see your kids, and not just “when their mothers allow it” and you need to find a way to be a dad to the youngest you are yet to meet.

Any other single-dad that’s reading this, let me tell you that you fight. You continue to fight. You never stop fighting. Amazing that a fool is willing to fight and kill over stepping on his Jordans, but will hide like a mouse from our own children. This is not because we don’t care, but because we’re scared.

Scared of confrontation.

Scared of our own emotions and how they make us vulnerable.

Scared of losing because we are not in control of the situation.

But you call yourself “Hard”?

How well do you fight your inner-TO?

I often hear Terrell Owens speak of his grandmother and the impact she had on his life. However, I’ve never heard him really talking about his father. Perhaps it was because he didn’t meet his dad until he was 11 years old (2). In a 2004 Sports Illustrated article, we discover,

“At age 11 Terrell developed a crush on a girl across the street and began sneaking over to flirt with her–until her father told him that he could not “be interested in her” because she was his half-sister. “It took me a while to understand that I was talking to my father,” Owens writes. When he asked his mother why she’d never told him that his father lived across the street, she said that “it wasn’t necessary to explain everything to me.”

TO asks for no sympathy because nothing in his experience has given him reason to expect any. But he is entitled to it just the same, and his critics who read this book might want to lay off him for a while. It’s not hard to understand why a man deprived of his father, deprived of his childhood, deprived of the words I love you, would develop a tendency to call attention to himself when he succeeds.”

 That was Terrell Owens talking right there. A man making himself vulnerable. But TO takes over when that same man, who knows what it’s like to grow up with a father so close yet so far, turns around and continues the same cycle with his children.

If a good man is hard to find, then the impact of a bad father is even harder to get rid of.

Just as Terrell’s dad was right across the street, TO’s image will be just as close for his children as daddy is just one ESPN click, internet page,  and reality show away from them.

For what it’s worth, and not because I’m a 49er fan, I think I’d like Terrell Owens if I met him in person and we hung out. He seems like a guy that I’d get along with and I’d certainly love to hit the steel with him. But it’s TO that I couldn’t roll with, and if the article is true, I don’t think Terrell even wants to roll with TO any longer. Therefore, I hope Terrell steps back up and becomes the man and the father he’s supposed to be to his kids.

Perhaps you’re a single dad or soon-to-be divorced dad and you’re having a hard time dealing with visitation. Don’t stop fighting to see them and having a relationship with your child(ren). It’s not about you and the mom any longer, so don’t let that relationship hinder you.

It’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, but when you look back and know that you fought for something worth for more than $80 million, then you have reason to celebrate like this:

Remember, you only have one shot at this, so do it right.

CSD

(1) Jeff Arnold, Terrell Owens In GQ: I’m In Hell, http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201201/terrell-owens-gq-jeremiah-trotter-told-me-not-apologize-donovan-mcnabb, January 2012

(2) Charles Hirshberg, Sympathy For The Showboat, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1113703/index.htm, 2004

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

A Living Eulogy for My Mother

Happy birthday to my mother! 

Today is a day that I remember how blessed I am in two special ways.

  1. Both of my parents are still alive
  2. Both of my parents are still married

As I get older, I appreciate both of those points more and more.

CornerstoneDad.com is about promoting fatherhood. But because it is my mother’s birthday, I have to touch on motherhood today. Too often, mother’s are honored while fathers are taken for granted, scolded, and ignored. Even the Intruders cracked on dad in the song below for no reason! But not around here though dads, here you are safe. But please allow me to give my mom her props right now.

Perhaps the smartest decision my dad ever made was choosing the right mother for his children. Everybody talks about being that “Proverbs 31 woman”, but my mother has truly been that woman in our household.

 Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife who can find? 

   She is far more precious than jewels. 

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, 

   and he will have no lack of gain. 

12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

 Yea, my dad picked a winner.

 I remember my mom getting me toys from her job as a gift-wrapper at Hudson’s. I found a photo once, where she was one of the only black women in her corporate job back in the ’60’s.

My mom left the career behind to stay home and raise some kids. My dad didn’t make a ton of money, but they decided that her being home raising us was the best way to keep the streets from raising us instead.

Therefore, she was there when I took the bat outside to knock out Ricky Collins in elementary school. Yea, bullying isn’t a new phenomenon young readers. Instead of bombs, some of us had to handle it different ways. Mom kept me from getting in more trouble that day.

Mom would hold down my dad’s arm, to calm him down, as there were times he wanted to go knock out the truck drivers that called us niggas or other names on the CB on family vacations. “Okay, meet me at the rest area and say it in my face!” screamed dad. Mom would calmly but firmly say something like, “Please, let it go, lets just keep going…”. Mom kept daddy from getting into more trouble plenty of times too.

I guess that’s why I love Good Times so much as her and Florida sounded so much alike.

Mom told me about Jesus Christ at eight years old, and my life (and my family’s life) has never been the same since then.

Mom told me about Jesus Christ at eight years old, and my life (and my family’s life) has never been the same since then.

Mom taught me that taking two papers out the paper box was stealing, even if it was just sitting in there and my friend wanted to get one for the box scores also.

Mom almost died when I was around 13, and I’ll never forget the pain she was in as her “insides” fought like Ali vs. Frazier. The crying I heard still upsets me now.

Mom was at home when I called as my high school friends were getting blown out at parties and I didn’t want to join in because I knew the effects of alcohol, plus I was driving. She was my alibi for not joining in the “fun”.

Proverbs 31:27 – She looks well to the ways of her household 

   and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Mom wrote me a letter when she saw that after high school, the gravitational pull of the streets was too much for me, so she tried to pull me back.

It didn’t completely work.

So I’m sure mom wasn’t surprised when I told her I got a girl pregnant.

It was mom that was there when I saw my son for the first time, and no matter what kind of relationship I had with my son’s mother, it was my duty to be the best father I could be to him.

My mom never understood why white parents didn’t except her son, while she never mistreated or rejected any girl her boys brought home regardless of their skin color. Plus, knew that they treated women with respect because we always respected her.

Therefore, my Mom was at my wedding, when I was marrying a “white girl”…and to this day she loves her not because she has too, but because of the relationship she developed with my wife.

Proverbs 31:26 – She opens her mouth with wisdom, 

   and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

My Mom is a superb grandmother. The photo above is her telling them things that I never even heard about growing up, like her struggles in the segregated South. Tales about the old buses she had to ride in for school while the “white” schools got the nice new buses. Yea…so much for “Separate but Equal”. (see: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_plessy.html)

 Proverbs 31:28 – Her children rise up and call her blessed; 

   her husband also, and he praises her: 

29 “Many women have done excellently, 

   but you surpass them all.” 

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, 

   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, 

   and let her works praise her in the gates.

If you’ve read this far. Thank you.

I hope it made you think about all your mother has done and if she’s still alive, please let her know.

I write not to be sappy, but because I do not believe in giving dead people the flowers and praise at their funeral instead of while they are here on earth to smell the flowers and hear the praise.

Young men, be wise, and choose the right woman to be the mother of your children. Every woman you lay with has the potential to be the mother of your child and I’d bet that many of them, you would not want raising your children (shout-out to Evander Holyfield, Shawn Kemp, and Travis Henry – all athletes that forget that sex and reproduction are still linked despite our 21st century technologies).

Mom, you are blessed.

You have blessed me and my family.

I thank God that you can still be here to read this.

Without you, there would be no CornerstoneDad.

Without you, I don’t even no where I’d be today.

Thank you, and may God allow us to see many more birthdays together as there’s so much more work to be done.