Justice for All

Last night, a black man was murdered in New York City…but most people wouldn’t know that because he was a police officer and he was shot in the head by another black man.

I thought black lives mattered? I thought people were supposed to walk up and down Times Square screaming and shouting with picket signs in their hands. Wasn’t it just a week and a half ago that people were screaming “Justice or Else”? Where is the justice for this officer, his family, and his fellow officers? Where is Minister Farrakhan? Better yet, where are America’s favorite reverends—Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?

On August 9, 2015 a nine year old black girl was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri while sitting on her bed finishing up her homework—No Justice. One year prior, an 11-year old girl in Chicago was making s’mores when a bullet came through her kitchen window leaving her dead at the scene—No Justice.

Black on black crime happens far too often but sadly there is only outrage when we as blacks feel as if we have a case of racial profiling. The same frustration that was expressed following the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray should have been demonstrated after what happened to the two young girls I mentioned above. As a young black male, it disgusts me to see movements like Black Lives Matter because as Maury Povich would say, “the survey has determined that was a lie!” As a race, we show the least regard for black lives. Why would anyone take us seriously when we don’t even take our own lives seriously? Then we have a nerve to get upset when people say, “All Lives Matter.” I guess there is a reason why we take offense to that statement—all lives don’t matter to us. What’s important is that we make people think we are truly about promoting a better society even though we are not. However, as long as we want change with our mouths and not with our hearts, things will always remain the same.

If you enjoyed this post, you should consider reading the book, Tired of Being Black.

For media inquiries, please contact Rodney Jordan via email, jordanliterature@gmail.com or by phone at (703)595-5055

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I Am Not Impressed

I am not impressed by the phony, hypocritical, bandwagoners that have taken over our society today. You know…the ones who wait to see what’s hot in the news and the stance taken by the majority before they make a comment supporting that point of view. They really don’t have an opinion, they just want to be on the popular side. Most of them are just hoping for twenty minutes of fame while others are trying hard to sound intelligent.

I am not impressed by these state officials who all of a sudden want to remove the Confederate Flag from their grounds, Capitols, state flags, or even their state license plates. Wasn’t that same flag there last week? Last month? Last year? Somehow, now it’s a problem? Yesterday no one cared but today they all want to be on the right side of history? It is June 2015 and big businesses have decided it is time to remove Confederate merchandise from their stores but the Civil War ended in April of 1865. That’s over 150 years!

Removing the Confederate Flag and all other merchandise has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong. It’s about that good ol’ bandwagon, satisfying a personal or political agenda, and the almighty dollar.

Once the Confederate flag recently became associated with a white male killer of nine innocent black people at a bible study in South Carolina, individuals began expressing their feelings of dissatisfaction with the flag and its history, communicating that it must go. The media did its job, enhancing the rage already in African Americans stemming from the multiple killings of unarmed African American males at the hands of white police officers. Finally, one governor said, “the flag must be removed.” Next, one of the world’s largest retailers released a statement saying it would no longer sell Confederate Flags or merchandise. Obviously, if you’re a public figure or a big business you can’t let the competition out do you so what do you do? You follow suit because if you don’t, the media will make sure that everyone knows and you will lose money faster than a man with holes in his pockets.

I am also not impressed with this retired cop deciding to become “Mr. Tell it All.” Wednesday, June 23, 2015 he sends out a tweet that he was going to be revealing all of the corruption that took place during his time on the Baltimore, Maryland police force. Wow! What a coward! He spent years on the force participating in unlawful and unjust activity but now wants to inform the world? For what? Speaking up now does nothing for the lives he disrespected, abused, or even took while he was in the line of duty. I am not impressed with him; I am actually disappointed in him, just like I am with the NFL’s double jeopardy treatment of Ray Rice, the Los Angeles Clippers phony protest of Donald Sterling, and all of these hypocrites jumping on the Confederate trail. Ray Rice was suspended during the 2014-15 season because of the public’s outrage, not because he knocked his wife out in an elevator. The Los Angeles Clippers wanted to let their previous owner Donald Sterling know how much they hated his racial comments so they turned their shirts inside out. Yep, that showed him.

I am actually impressed with the people who stopped supporting the Confederate Flag before now (at their own will) and those who continue to support it although society says they no longer can. People have a right to feel and believe in anything they want to regardless of whether it is right or wrong. At least both of these groups of people took a stance for what they believe in or have accepted without any outside influences.

I am impressed with the police officers who speak up against the wrong doings of their partners while they are still on the force. Those men and women have my respect. Not some guy who is receiving a pay check for the rest of his life after failing to uphold the law and the honor of his badge.

Rodney Jordan is the author of the books Tired of Being Black and From the Heart of a Teacher.

If you’d like to interview Mr. Jordan, please use the contact information below.

Rodney Jordan

Teacher, Author, and Motivational Speaker

www.yourfavteacher.com

jordanliterature@gmail.com

703.595.5055

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Colin Kaepernick: What’s Really Going On?

A year ago when Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee during the San Francisco 49ers preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, I questioned his timing and reasoning. I believe we all have the right to protest and boycott, especially against injustice and oppression. However, I think Kaepernick’s actions would have been much more effective when he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl rather than when his career was on a downward slope.

Following the 2015-2016 season, the 49ers were reportedly in trade talks with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and Cleveland Browns. Both the Jets and the Browns wanted Kaepernick to take a pay cut but he refused, causing them to say, “No thanks.” The Denver Broncos signed Mark Sanchez during that offseason and traded up in the draft to select Paxton Lynch in the first round. https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2016/4/29/11364848/colin-kaepernick-trade-49ers-denver-broncos-paxton-lynch

According to John Lynch, the 49ers General Manager, Colin Kaepernick was given the opportunity to opt out of his contract or be released. Kap chose to opt out. Lynch and new coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t think Colin would be a good fit for their new system. https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/the-49ers-wouldve-cut-colin-kaepernick-if-he-hadnt-opted-out-of-his-contract/

Last season, Kaepernick completed almost 60% of his passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions in 12 games. He also added 468 rushing yards, and 2 touchdowns. Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, and C.J. Beathard are the quarterbacks currently on the Niners roster.

Hoyer only played half as many games as Kap last year but managed to complete 67% of his passes, while throwing for 1,445 yards, 6 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Matt Barkley threw 8 touchdown passes in contrast to 14 interceptions last season, in only 7 games. Beathard has yet to play in an NFL game. If the 49ers don’t think he can start, why not give him a chance to be the backup?

If you talk to some people, they’ll say Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed. Others will say he is no longer the superb athlete who nearly won a world championship a few years ago. What we know for sure is that our nation still isn’t ready to have an honest conversation about racial injustice in America.

What is keeping Kapernick from playing in the league isn’t his protest nor his stats. It is the money NFL Owners fear losing if he is a member of their teams. New York Giants owner John Mara reported receiving tons of letters from fans telling him they’d stop supporting the team if Kaepernick were on the roster.

There are probably just as many people who support Colin Kaepernick as those who don’t. What if those who side with the former 49ers qb decided to boycott the NFL? Do you think the owners would change their minds?

 

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America’s Team…Says Who?

Entering training camp this summer, the Dallas Cowboys have added another opponent to their 2017 schedule—the legal system. Ezekiel Elliott has been dealing with domestic violence allegations, Damien Wilson was arrested for aggravated assault, Nolan Carroll was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), Dak Prescott was accused of forging autographs, and David Irving has been suspended for the first four games after taking substances banned by the National Football League (NFL). Interestingly, all of these guys are still on the team.

Meanwhile, wide receiver and return specialist, Lucky Whitehead, is out of a job today after he was supposedly arrested on June 22nd in Virginia and then missed his court hearing July 6th. Whitehead has since made it clear he didn’t know anything about the arrest or the court hearing. Moreover, his agent claims to have proof that Lucky was in Dallas when the alleged incident occurred. Hmm…

The report surfaced yesterday morning. The Cowboys cut Lucky Whitehead yesterday evening. Today, police said they had the wrong guy. Something just doesn’t add up here.

Cowboys Coach, Jason Garrett, lived up to the hype in an interview with news reporters when he mentioned “upholding standards.” Standards…really? Why are the other guys still on the team? Garrett continued, “It was time to go in a different direction.”

I wonder if this decision was made yesterday or back in the spring when the team drafted Ryan Switzer out of the University of North Carolina to play the same role as Whitehead.

The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when.

Sports is more professional than personal—a lot more. Teams will profess their love for their players, until they no longer have use for them. Look at how Peyton Manning was treated by the Indianapolis Colts a few years ago. After all he had done for the Colts franchise, they didn’t hesitate to show him the door when they thought his career was over.

Lucky Whitehead’s situation isn’t about whether or not he is guilty but more so about what the Cowboys think they have with him. It is obvious, they thought they were better off without him but not because of his character, which took a major blow yesterday, but because from a business standpoint, it didn’t make sense to keep him around. Judging by social media posts, fans weren’t too happy with Whitehead on the field. Disappointed fans lead to a decrease in ticket sales. The New York Giants told reporters they couldn’t sign Colin Kaepernick because fans sent numerous letters threatening to boycott if the team decided to give him a chance. See how that works?

Hopefully, Whitehead will have the same recovery as Peyton Manning who went on to lead another team to a Super Bowl Victory. However, the most important lesson to be learned here is that professional sports teams care about one thing—money. The athletes who work to better themselves 365 days a year aren’t viewed as people but dollar signs, instead. If you don’t believe me, just wait until the Dallas Cowboys no longer have any use for Ezekiel Elliott or Dez Bryant.

 

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Grown & Sexy…in the Workplace?

Last week, I heard an interesting discussion on the radio about professional dress in the workplace. A woman was upset because she was criticized for wearing an outfit that “showed her curves.” She argued that it wasn’t fair for her to be required to change when skinnier women were permitted to wear the same outfit.

When it comes to appropriate dress in the workplace, I think my wife is an excellent example for women. She is an attractive, curvy female who knows how to cover up her body while still looking good. Her blouses don’t reveal any cleavage and her skirts always exceed the fingertip test. She doesn’t wear anything that hugs her body but her clothes aren’t baggy either. It’s usually a nice fit and perfect for her work environment in corporate America.

However, I think her style is too conservative for most women. It would probably be described as “old fashion” by most.

The radio show hosts sided with the lady who felt like she had been discriminated against. “I should not be held to a different standard because of my body. I don’t have any control over my hips, thighs, or breasts,” the female co-host explained.

Personally, I think people should be allowed to wear what they’d like as long as it is presentable considering their environment. For example, walking down the street in a bra and panties would be viewed as unacceptable but the same look is appropriate at the beach or a pool. The same must be considered for our place of business.

There are clothes for skinny people and there are clothes for thicker people and something for those in between. In fashion, not everyone can wear everything. Just because we can put it on doesn’t mean we should wear it. In the same way, just because we have money in our pockets doesn’t mean we should spend it.

When we leave our homes, we represent ourselves and our families. There is a time and place to be sexy. Hopefully, we are successful in determining when and where that place is.

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Stop Supporting Your Enemies

“The first black…”

“The first black man…”

“The first black female…”

“The first female…”

Barack Obama was the first black president of the United States. Gabby Douglas was the first African American woman to win the all-around gold in the Olympics. Becky Hammon became the first full-time female coach in NBA History in 2014. Sadly, these stories were major headlines because of race and/or gender, not because of the achievement.

It is 2017 yet blacks and females are still fighting for equal rights. Meanwhile, a Maryland family was just awarded $1.26 million after their dog was shot and killed by Anne Arundel police.

What gets me, though, is how we as minorities continue to support the enemies we claim we’re trying to defeat. Including our race or gender in our accomplishments only implies that blacks or women aren’t capable of meeting certain benchmarks. Why can’t a black man be president of the United States? Who said black girls can’t swim? There are women who know more about basketball than men so what’s wrong with one coaching professional basketball? It sounds bad when commentators or news reporters make these ignorant comments but it is worse we parade around our communities like flags with this garbage. We are more proud to be the first black than we are of our recent milestone but then wonder why we don’t get the respect we deserve and desire.

I am not inferior because I am black or less than anyone else because I’m a black male. Instead, I am confident because I have taken the time to acquire the necessary training to reach my goals. I was born intelligent, ambitious, and resilient and my skin color has nothing to do with where I am today.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you should also read my book, Tired of Being Black. You can purchase the soft cover or the eBook through any book retailer including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Yes to Domestic Violence…No to Protesting

“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue. If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game.”

New York Giants owner John Mara told yahoo sports he received many passionate letters with this message from fans regarding former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

The first sentence in this quote is what got my attention…

If it is true that Mara hasn’t received more heartfelt notes from Giants Nation, what does that say about their feelings towards the organization following their decision to give former kicker, Josh Brown, a new contract and kept him on the team after he was arrested for domestic violence? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t people be more upset about a man putting his hands on a woman than a man choosing to protest during football games?

Furthermore, this proves that we the people of the United States have the power to do anything we want in this country. Mara’s comments imply that the Giants front office would consider signing Kaepernick if it weren’t for the fear of losing fans…I mean money. That’s what this all comes down to just like anything else in this country.

People and companies/organizations have proven time and time again that they can be bought and that money drives their decisions rather than morals. Think back to the Donald Sterling case a few years ago. According to multiple sources, throughout his life and business career, Sterling constantly made racist comments and alleged racially motivated decisions. The NBA didn’t react until there was public outrage after he was caught on tape expressing his ill feelings towards Magic Johnson and black people.

As far as Kaepernick goes, he made the decision to protest and hopefully considered the potential backlash from the NFL and from American citizens. Some people agreed with him and others didn’t. We all know there is a price tag on every decision we make and sometimes, the price we have to pay is unfair, but convenient.

I’ve watched both Ryan Nassib, the Giants backup quarterback and Kaepernick compete in games; Kaepernick gets the edge in my book. However, I don’t make the personnel decisions for the Giants.

There may be several factors contributing to Colin Kaepernick’s unemployment but the greatest one is the fear NFL owners have about the money they will lose if they sign him.

If you enjoyed reading this blog, you should check out my books, Tired of Being Black and From the Heart of a Teacher. Both are available in soft cover or electronic download through every book retailer.

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What You Should and Shouldn’t Post on Social Media

This morning, I was greeted with posts on my Facebook timeline with friends and family members threatening others about deleting anyone who shared the horrific video of the senseless shooting that took place in Cleveland yesterday.

Mr. Robert Godwin’s life was snatched from him and the shooter decided to do it live on Facebook. Since then, millions of people have decided to spread the video across social media which has made many Americans upset. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/us/steve-stephens-video-facebook-live.html?_r=0

While I agree that the video should not have been shared for many reasons, I find it hypocritical that individuals have an issue with it being posted to others’ pages.

I can’t tell you the amount of inconsiderate, disrespectful, and attention-seeking garbage I’ve seen on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. People share videos, images, and quotes all day long that should have never been created, let alone shared. However, because people want to be important, liked, or noticed, they will post just about anything for likes, comments, shares, and follows. There is no barrier for most people.

Where was this outrage last week when the footage from the United Airlines was showing up all over the internet? Where is this frustration when little girls are twerking or teenage boys are flashing money in a rap video they created in their neighborhood? What about the videos of fights that keep popping up? Why is World Star Hip Hop still in existence with all of its foolishness?

I understand why people don’t allow pictures or videos to be taken with cellphones at their weddings anymore. We are such a selfish generation that we don’t think about other people, their feelings, or how our words/actions will impact the next man or woman. We just want the spotlight. Before people can share their proudest moments from their special day, that have been captured professionally, they have already been uploaded for the world to see. Let everyone share their own great news. Stop being in a hurry to tell everything. Learn to be considerate and sensitive about tragedies and other matters.

It is a shame that people have to find out about the deaths of their loved ones on Facebook because we don’t have enough self-control to allow members of the family to call other relatives and the victim’s friends. Social Media has become a drug that many people just can’t get enough of.

What should and shouldn’t be posted on social media is a debate that can only be answered by each individual user. If what someone says or does bothers me enough, I just unfollow them without saying a word to them or making a public service announcement.

At the same time, I am careful about what I post because I don’t want to be misunderstood or misrepresent myself in anyway. I am a young black male school teacher and writer who is aspiring to be a school administrator and best-selling author. My focus is transformation but I only try to change myself and continuously encourage others to do the same.

If you enjoyed this blogpost, you might also enjoy reading my two books, Tired of Being Black https://www.amazon.com/Tired-Being-Black-Rodney-Jordan-ebook/dp/B009EPUJM6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= and From the Heart of a Teacher https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Teacher-Rodney-Jordan-ebook/dp/B00KXB2784/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1492461311&sr=1-4&keywords=from+the+heart+of+a+teacher

 

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Who are you voting for?

“What I’m hearing from families all across the country is”

“The American People”

“The Middle Class”

“We need stronger leadership in Washington”

“Let me be clear”

Do these phrases sound familiar to you? Let’s just say, if you can master them, you are ready to run for a political office in America. If you’re like me, you are probably tired of hearing them, though.

I often wonder about the families or “American People” these politicians are referring to? No one has ever asked me, my family, or my friends, anything. The more I watch debates and press conferences, I’m convinced our leaders or those seeking to be leaders are more out-of-touch with everyday people’s needs than aliens probably are. It is no secret, they are going to say what they think we want to hear in an effort to get our vote. Republicans say the democrats are lying, the democrats say the republicans. Is it possible they are both lying?

They claim to want a better life for our veterans, education reform, equal rights/equal pay, an end to terrorism, and a decent health care system. Do you notice politicians and their families are never impacted in a negative way by the things they argue about?

Their children receive the best education, their families have world-class health care, and it is usually not their spouse, parent, or child protecting our freedom through our military.

What is probably the most heartbreaking, though, is watching relationships/friendships be destroyed because of political views. We watch candidates on television or listen to them on the radio, and then take their positions to social media which typically leads to a harsh exchange of words between close friends. Sometimes, people either unfriend or unfollow others without saying a word. If we side with the left, then we bash the right, and vice versa. There is no way our candidates are wrong. We eat up whatever they say instead of doing our own research (with an open mind).

During former President Bush’s two terms, conservatives praised him while democrats criticized him. In contrast, democrats think President Obama has done a good job as our commander-in-chief but the republicans can’t wait for him to leave office. Now, we are seeing the same thing unfold as we approach another presidential election.

However, what we fail to realize is that America isn’t ruled by a dictator. Yes, we have a president but their word is not the final say unless it is an executive order. We have a Congress, made up of one hundred senators and 435 representatives, and nine Supreme Court justices. The United States operates under a checks and balances system. Therefore, our executive, legislative, and judicial are equally responsible for what goes on in our nation. When a bill is on the table, no one gets what they want without giving the other side something. That’s just how it works.

I challenge you today to examine the lives and lifestyles of our federal, state, and local leaders. Then take a look at yours and the lives of the people around you. Do you notice a difference?

Who are you voting for this November?

If you liked reading this blog, you will most likely enjoy reading my two books, Tired of Being Black and From the Heart of a Teacher. Both can be purchased through any book retailer including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

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