But Did You Vote?

Tomorrow is it. It’s our opportunity to correct a tremendous blemish on this nation’s record. Whether we’re looking at legislative powers or impeachment and removal, tomorrow can be a turning point for America or it can continue down the same path it’s been on for centuries: One seeped in bigotry, hatred, and white patriarchy that is masked as progressive freedom.

Have you voted? If not, it’s ok. You still have a chance. If so, have you encouraged anyone else to? Cool. Well, encourage someone else.

Do I believe the process is flawed? Yes. But will not participating fix it? No. Participate and then, when it fails you, fight.

 

Make voting a priority.

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You Aren’t In Kansas Anymore

While I am far from happy with the state of American race relations, specifically when it comes to the injustice system, at least I know it. No, I’m not an attorney and I never formally studied the law past certain elective courses that touched on certain legal subjects. What I am, however, is a citizen of my country who knows that, though black men and women are often disenfranchised when it comes to the court system, there are rights we are supposed to have and, if those rights are violated, we can appeal for quite some time (unless, of course, we are murdered by the police, which is also a very real possibility in America).

I digress. I am writing this because, as a learned black man who travels internationally frequently with his black wife, I do my best to keep up with stories across the world. I subscribe to an array of publications from Blavity to Valet Magazine to the New York Times and, in keeping up with articles, both domestic and international, I’ve read about American citizens who have been detained/imprisoned abroad. While it doesn’t happen frequently enough to hit national headlines (unless the offender is one of the Ball boys), Americans are often detained for doing stupid things. And, though I do believe in law and order, I know that 1) punishment should be doled out in an unbiased manner and 2) the punishment should match the crime. But, in some nations, that’s just not the case. Take the case of Wendell Brown, for example. Wendell is a black man whose only crime was defending himself against a Chinese citizen by shoving him. There is a video that completely supports this statement. Now, he is serving a four-year sentence in a Chinese prison. President Trump and his staff have refused to come to this American citizen’s aid. Click here to read more.

As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Have fun, but do so with an awareness that the person who hits you may possess rights that you don’t. Because laws are dynamic, it is impossible to know every law in every nation that you want to visit but know that ignorance of the law is not a defense in most cases. Stay smart. Stay safe.

 

Make staying safe a priority.

 

One Time For Mother Earth

“I’m happy Donald Trump became the president b/c we gotta destroy before we elevate.” — Rick Ross

I don’t often speak on my political views but I’m pretty sure you’re able to figure out where I stand. Today, the president signed an executive order removing funding that was intended to be used to offset the impact of global warming.

So, here is my letter to the guy that half of our nation voted for:

Mr. Trump,
You may not live to see the impact of greenhouse gasses at their most detrimental but, if I live to my life expectancy, I will. And my kids will. And my grandkids will. And so will your kids’ grandkids. So how about you have some integrity and think less about the legacy you will leave and more about the future of not only the nation but the world that you’re supposed to be serving.

You’re not only working to take away American citizens’ health coverage, you’re taking away Earth’s as well. Fiscally conservative, in this instance, can be equated to environmentally remedial.

Do better or I will call for your impeachment.

Signed,
Deryle A. Daniels, Jr.
A Citizen Who Has an Aversion to Living Sick Forever

And, to those who say that, as a blogger who writes about professional development and young professional lifestyle, I should keep my political point of view to myself, I say this: “What kind of profession do you plan on developing when, in 15 years, you’re supposed to be at the peak of your career but you can’t breathe air well enough to even work comfortably? Or, worse, when you have to leave work every time your kids’ asthma acts up because their lungs couldn’t develop properly in this environment?”
Make saving the earth a priority.

A Big Game of Chess

I’m a chess player. Not great but I’m good. And, after this first full week of Donald Trump’s presidency, I see that we, as American citizens who oppose this president’s points of view, are playing chess. We must take actions that are not only decisive and intentional but also strategic. I tweeted it last night and I strongly believe that “There are things that every , or , or , or , or , should agree on.” Failing to see things this way makes me question one’s intentions for all of humanity. As a young professional who cares more about the future of the next generation than the future of his own pockets, I must say that I reject any presidency that starts on the same note that Hitler’s reign did and you should too. There are certain components that have historically come together to create the ideal conditions for genocide and those initial components are present right now in America. I don’t know about you but, as a young professional who has an affinity for world history, I know that a war that would lead to another depression like that of the 1930s will not be good for my professional aspirations. We have an obligation to keep the world around us stable so that the next generation has a foundation to stand on. So let’s reject the oppression and discrimination of this Trump Administration and, instead, stand on those explicit truths that we hold to be self evident.

 

Make social justice a priority.

Neither the Place Nor the Time

I do not subscribe to the old fashioned school of thought that politics are not to be discussed. There is certainly a time and a place for those discussions: anywhere but work. I am a firm believer that, unless of course politics is your field, you should keep it out of the workplace. And that includes professional spaces that are not necessarily in your place of employment.

This morning, I was on LinkedIn and one of my followers had liked a post about Donald Trump so his liking it caused it to show up on my feed. Now, I understand there are Trump supporters in the world and that is their business. And broadcasting your support (or disdain) for a certain candidate on your personal profiles are fine. But a professional networking site just isn’t the place folks. There are people who will respond, disputing your point of view and, if you are one to get into an online debate, you both end up looking terrible. Some people who are in control of hiring may associate what you do in a professional online setting with what you will do in a professional in person setting. And then, guess what? You’ve lost yourself a job. So it’s better to save your political points of view for another (actually any other) setting than a professional one.

Just my three cents.

 

Make professional development a priority.