Tuesday, May 6, 2014

We All Should Be Outraged At the Kidnapping of 240+ Girls by Boko Haram

Respect Everyone.  Thank you for reading.  This is directed and those of you with families(which is pretty much all of you).  I want you to picture something in your mind's eye.  Imagine going to pick up your child from school.  When you arrive at the school, imagine seeing police cars, flashing lights, and government vehicles and personnel.  Imagine being told your child and several other children were taken at gunpoint by armed terrorists.  Imagine receiving a phone call that your son or daughter, or your brother or sister was abducted while sitting in class.  Now imagine that those who took your children announced your children would be sold into slavery and prostitution.  Imagine the government and law enforcement being slow to act.  Imagine it happening AGAIN just a few weeks later in a neighboring city where you live.  Stop there and just think about how you'd feel.

That is how the families of nearly 250 girls in Nigeria feels.  It was reported today that Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 8 more girls ages 12-15 from their village.  (Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27298614 ).  This is in the wake of Boko Haram kidnapping 234 girls from their school on April 14.  This is an absolute catastrophe.  There is no way to overstate how horrible this is.  It is impossible to overstate how terrible this is.  Yet for some reason, we have heard nothing from military leaders, political leaders, or the media.  The only thing more outrageous to me about what has happened to these poor girls is how casually we've been ignoring it.

We constantly hear talk of fighting for freedom.  We constantly hear talk of fighting injustice.  We constantly hear talk of fighting oppression.  So why the silence?  Where is our outrage?  Where is the media?  You want me to be outraged over Iraq.  Over Afghanistan.  Over Benghazi.  Where is your outrage over Boko Haram?  Why isn't this story trending on Twitter?  CNN had us chasing an airplane for weeks.   Why isn't CNN chasing our girls?  Fox wants us to mourn four dead Americans in Benghazi.  Who mourns for nearly 250 lost girls?

The fact that we are so disconnected from what is happening in Nigeria is both sad and deeply troubling.  What does it take for this story to take center stage?  How many more girls?  How long will military forces in Nigeria as well as around the world allow this to go on?  When will top ranking Republicans and Democrats speak on this at length?  When will the President?

Imagine these were your children.  In your neighborhood.  In your towns.  Imagine terrorists running up into schools and neighborhoods snatching your seeds.  Your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and cousins.  Our collective silence on this is both shameful and disgusting.  We should all be outraged right now.  And I'm outraged that we are not.

Thank you for reading.  Follow me on Twitter @DocSinn
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Friday, May 2, 2014

"Doc Sinn Why Do You Focus So Much on Race?"

Respect everyone.  In this blog entry I want to address a question I'm frequently asked.  A week doesn't go by without someone asking me this question.  I am always puzzled by it even though I understand why they are asking.  It does get tiresome though so whenever someone asks me this question from now on I will refer them to this blog.  If you are like me and hear this question often yourself, feel free to refer your inquisitors to this blog as well. 

On the surface the question seems to be a rather simple one:  "Doc Sinn why do you focus so much on race?".  The question is often presented in a non threatening way and appears to come from a place of curiosity and even innocence.  But in reality few questions are more ignorant and more annoying.  Few questions grate the nerves more.  Let me explain why.

For starters, as I have said many times, racism is woven into the fabric of America.  This country was founded on racism and centuries later this country continues to function based on it's tenets.  A day doesn't go by without us seeing or experiencing racism in this country and abroad.  It's literally everywhere.  It's in the workplace.  It's in entertainment.  It's in sports.  It's in politics.  It imbues every aspect of our lives.  It's in our faces every day of our lives.  So the real question is not why do I focus so much on race as much as it is "How can I NOT focus on it?"

But that's not really what makes the question annoying.  What makes the question annoying is that it's very much a rhetorical question.  The answer to why one would focus on race in this country is brutally obvious.  But those who ask the question already know this.  They are not asking because they are curious.  No.  When you ask me "Doc Sinn why do you focus so much on race?" what you are really saying to me is "Doc Sinn I don't like that you are focusing on race.  It makes me feel uncomfortable and I want you to stop talking about it.  I don't want to deal with this so why are you talking about it?  Stop."

Now some of you are saying "That's not true.".  But it is true.  How does one look at a black person(or any person of color) in America and ask that person "Why do you focus on race?".  Knowing how this country was founded.  Seeing how society treats "minorities".  Witnessing the hatred and discrimination people of color experience.  Seeing the constant injustice.  Observing the systemic imbalance that promotes a caste system based on skin color.  Truth be told, the question is almost an affront.  It's almost disrespectful.  It is akin to asking "Why are so focused on that foot on your throat?" or "Why are you focused on that gun to your head?".

I'm sorry was that example extreme?  Tell that to the families of Trayvon Martin.  Or Rekia Boyd.  Or Ayana Stanley.  Or Jordan Davis.  Tell that to families of the young boy who was killed taking out trash.  Or the elderly woman who was accosted by police and thrown onto a highway after a traffic stop.  Or the young black man who was shot in the back.  Or the Mexican brother who was kicked in the face while handcuffed and lying on his stomach.

So while I'm not mad at you, before you ask me "Doc Sinn why do you focus so much on race?" I want you to consider the society we live in.  I want you to consider my people's history in this country.  I want you to think about how America was founded.  I want you think about all the hatred that exists in this country and in this world.  By then you'll have answered your own question.

Thanks for reading.  Follow me on Twitter @DocSinn
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Brothers: It's Past Time To Speak Up

I am speaking to my brothers right now.  I am also speaking to men in general.  I am speaking to the strong minded, strong willed Alpha males of our communities.  The stand up, stand strong, focus minded men of our communities.  The fathers, sons, and brothers that are the pillars of their families.  My brothers, there is a catastrophe taking place.  A near epic crisis.  This is not hyperbole.  It is the truth.  An ugly truth that up until now we have not really spoken about.  That crisis involves our sisters.  Our wives.  Our daughters.  Brothers, our women are suffering.  Badly.  And it's time we said something about it and did something about it.

I've been married a long time.  I have a son and two beautiful daughters whom I love deeply.  It pains me to see what our women are suffering through.  This isn't an attempt to pander to women.  This is an attempt to shake us out of our collective, apathetic funk.   Our women are going through a ton of shit right now and it's really high time we collectively took notice.

We need to speak to our fellow brothers.  Oftentimes females are dismissed as loud, angry, man hating feminists when they speak of the issues that plague them.  Such stereotypes seem to make it easy for us to ignore their pleas.  That is where we need to step in.  We who count ourselves among the strong minded Alphas.  We need to get a hold of our brothers and let them know that this is serious.  It's on us to start healing the black family and so far we have been deficient. 

I know some of my brothers are reading this and are already dismissing my words.  I know you are.  You've been trained to.  We've all been trained to.  So I want to hit you with some hard math.  Math we have been collectively ignoring.  These are just three glaring examples of the struggles our women face:

One in five women have been sexually assaulted in college.  One in five.( Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/new-obama-group-tackles-sexual-violence-on-campus-102479.html ) If you have daughters or a sister that number should shake you to your foundation.  As a father with two girls that will soon be heading off to school it's disturbing.
One in three women have been raped in the military.  The MILITARY.  One in three.  (Source:  http://www.care2.com/causes/war-among-comrades-1-in-3-women-raped-in-the-military.html )  A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than killed in combat. 
Two weeks ago 234 girls in Nigeria were abducted and are now being sold to Boko Haram militants.  (Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/kidnapped-nigeria-school-girls-reportedly-sold-as-brides-to-islamic-boko-haram-militants/).  Innocent girls who likely being raped, assaulted, and treated like trash as I write this.

Now look at those three stories and combine them with the everyday stories you read about rape and domestic violence.  "Crisis" and "catastrophe" doesn't seem that far fetched now does it?

It goes deeper than that as well.  How many young boys are not learning how to be men because we haven't taught them how?  How many young girls are suffering with bad men because we didn't teach our daughters what a good man looks like?  We need to own this stuff my brothers.  That's what a man does.  A man owns problems and then solves them.  That's what we do.  That's one of our many callings.  We need to own this crisis and start working on ways to fix it.  But we can't fix what we don't acknowledge as broken and collectively we've been too quiet.

I'm also not going to offer the proverbial phrase "there are good men out here".  Because I already know we're out here.  We've BEEN out here.  What our sisters need is for those of us that are out here to make some NOISE.  Let you voice be heard.  This isn't about pandering or patronizing.  This is about your wives.  Your ladies.  Your mothers.  Your sisters.  Your daughters.  This is about helping them.  Keeping them safe.  Making sure they have what they need.  They are counting on us to do what we do.  We need to start delivering and we haven't been doing enough.

So lift your voice up.  Get your hands dirty.  It's time to confront this crisis.  Your wifey is worth it.  Your mother is worth it.  Your daughter is worth it.  Your sisters is worth it.  Alphas where you at? 

Thanks for reading.  Follow me on Twitter @DocSinn
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