Monday, November 26, 2012

Albert Pike 33 Degree
“One of the most influential American Freemasons”

Pike Dreams

This Article is not an Albert Pike Expose, nor is it a trip down Illuminati Lane. This Article is about the difference between advocating Social Justice vs Social Status and knowing how to properly recognize the difference. I use Albert Pike as a model to illustrate this because his varied background provides a great social study for us to recognize these differences. The reasoning is to get us, especially Black/Brown people, to learn to think more critically about the Sociopolitical platform of Societies, Organizations, Fraternities, Clubs, Businesses and Institutions before we join or become affiliated with them.

To give you a basic backdrop of the social and political factors that played a significant role on in Albert Pike's life:
  • He settled in Little Rock Arkansas in the early 1830’s becoming a Teacher and Writer for the Arkansas Advocate Newspaper.
  • He became the owner of the Advocate in 1835 and used it as a vehicle to promote views of the Whig Party that he was affiliated with. The Whig Party comes from the Scottish Word 'whiggamore' and were known as American Patriots, anti-Democratic and took many of the stances that would be considered ‘far-right’ today. The Whigs were succeeded by the Republican Party.  
  • He passed the Arkansas Bar in 1837 and became the first reporter of the Arkansas Supreme Court writing notes on points in court decisions, publishing and indexing the court’s opinions. In 1842, he published the Arkansas Form Book, providing Lawyers with models for the different kinds of motions to be filed in the state’s courts.
  •    He left the Whig Party because of their failure to take a unified pro-slavery stance. Pike then joined the Know Nothing Party. The Know Nothing Party’s platform was xenophobic (fear or dislike of foreigners/outsiders), anti-Catholic, against immigration/naturalization and often violent. This Party was considered semi-secret because members were instructed to reply, “I know nothing” If asked about the Party’s activities. To join the Know Nothings you had to be a Protestant Male born of British ancestry.
  •   In 1850 Pike became a Master Mason (Blue Lodge) at Western Star Lodge No. 2 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He received his York Rite (Red Lodge) Degrees between 1850-1853. He received his Scottish Rite (Green Lodge) Degrees in Charleston SC in 1853 from Albert G. Mackey. Pike received the 33rd Degree on April 25, 1857 and was elected Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite’s Southern Jurisdiction in 1859 and held that office for 32 years until his death. *Note the Red Lodge (York Rite) is a religious orientated wing of the Masonic Body and the Green Lodge (Scottish Rite) is a military orientated wing of the Masonic Body.
  •  Pike was pro-slavery and a Confederate General during the Civil War from 1861-1862. He supported Succession from the Union and published a pamphlet in 1861 on that position titled State or Province, Bond or Free? In regards to acceptance of Blacks as Masonic Brothers, Pike was quoted as saying in a 1875 letter to his brother, “took my obligation to White men, not to Negroes. When I have to accept Negroes as brothers or leave Masonry, I shall leave it.” (History and Evolution of Freemasonry 1954, page 329).
  • Pike was said to be an active member of the Arkansas Branch of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK); a Movement founded in 1865 in Pulaski, TN by six Confederate Army Veterans. There are no public records of his involvement with the KKK. However, the book ‘Ku Klux Klan’, written by Walter Fleming (1905) states that Pike was the Chief Judicial Officer of the Klan. Also, the ‘Authentic History Ku Klux Klan, 1865-77’, written by Susan Lawrence Davis (1924) cites Pike as the Grand Dragon of the Klan for the state of Arkansas and Chief Judicial Officer appointed by Klan founder, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.  
  •  From 1867-1868, Pike worked in Memphis, TN (about 4 hours away from Pulaski, TN) as editor of the Memphis Daily. He also established a new Law Partnership with Confederate General Charles W. Adams. In 1868 Pike wrote in the Tennessee Daily Appeal, “With negroes for witnesses and jurors, the administration of justice becomes a blasphemous mockery. A Loyal League of negroes can cause any white man to be arrested, and can prove any charges it chooses to have made against him. The disenfranchised people of the South can find no protection for property, liberty or life, except in secret association. We would unite every white man in the South, who is opposed to negro suffrage, into one great Order of Southern Brotherhood, with an organization complete, active, vigorous, in which a few should execute the concentrated will of all, and whose very existence should be concealed from all but its members."
  •  The Shriners, of which Pike was not a recorded Member, is a Masonic Body (founded in 1870) is not recognized as an appellant Masonic Body in the State of Arkansas. Reference: Article Prior to 2000, in order to join the Shriners a person had to complete either the Scottish Rite and York Rite degrees of Masonry. Nowadays any Master Mason can join and they’ve streamlined Shrine Membership. William J. Simmons, founder of the 2nd Klu Klux Klan and Imperial Wizard was a Freemason and publisher of the KKK ritual handbook called the 'Kloran'.
  • In 1871, Pike published the 900 + page Masonic handbook known as Morals and Dogma of the Ancient andAccepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Although Pike published other Masonic Works, Morals and Dogma is solidified Pike as the Philosophical Father of American Freemasonry to this day this book is traditionally given to many new Initiates of a Masonic Lodge.
  •  By 1888, there were 7,210 Shriners in 48 Shrine Temples in the United States and Canada. Although the Shriners are said to not be connected to Islam and the Order originated from the imagination of Freemasons Physician Walter M. Fleming and Actor William J. Florence, in the "Former" History of the Imperial Council of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine it states that "the Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine was instituted by the Caliph Ali in 656 AD" (Page 36-40). Reference: History
  •  Pike is still the only Confederate General to have an outdoor statue displayed in Washington, D.C. and the Statue is at Judiciary Square.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, do these images/symbols associated with Albert Pike's legacy make sociopolitical sense?

Original Ku Klux Klan Costume (notice the star and crescent)

Original Ku Klux Klan Costume (notice the star and crescent)

Ritual Book written by KKK Gand Wizard/Freemason William J. Simmons (notice word 'Kloran' is a play on the Islamic word Koran/Quran

KKK Language (notice word 'Klaliff' is a play on the Islamic word Khalif/Caliph)

Image of a Shriner (notice the word Islam, star and crescent)

Shriner Patch (notice the Freemasonic square and compass where the star usually goes)
Racoons, known for being "tricksters", were the early symbol of the Whig Party.
The racoon also symbolize being "frontiersman" (pioneering colonialists)
Know Nothing Party Flag (Native Americans referred to "Native-born White Citizens")

Confederate Flag (symbol for the South who were pro-slavery)

Confederate Flag/Masonic Decal (Pike was a Confederate Army General and 33 Degree Freemason)
Symbol of the Scottish Rite. Latin for "My Hope is in God". The two-headed eagle symbolizes
guarding it's agenda in the East and West. Pike was Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme
Council for 32 years. 

 The Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction's Supreme Council Headquarters in Washington DC

Scottish Rite Temple dedicated to Pike on the US National Historic Registry

Albert Pike Memorial in Washington DC

Contrary to what many people would like us to believe about Albert Pike, he was far from double-headed and his affiliations/views were consistent throughtout his lifetime. Now, upon closer examination of Albert Pike's colorful legacy and affiliations what does this tell you about his Sociopolitical Worldview? Can you say that the allegiances he forged and partnerships he formed were for Social Justice or a Social Status (Quo)? More importantly, are the allegiances we forge and partnerships we form for Social Justice or a Social Status (Quo)?

"When you look at an Organization with so many Members at the top of the Socioeconomic Food Chain, in so many Industries, do you NOT THINK they'll do whatever is necessary to put mechanisms in place to protect their group interests, it's members and maintain their Status Quo?" -Life

I received an anonymous email the other day from a 'Jane Doe' who asked me, "Can Gods and Earths become Freemasons?" My response to her, if it was a her, was that people can choose to do whatever they want yet the question is what is their reasoning for those decisions and are they Right & Exact? If a God/Earth is truly invested and committed to our common cause and recognizes that 'God' or 'Earth' is the apex of their identity, there is no need to 'become' anything else. I'm not saying that we shouldn't forge alliances with others. It's important for others to add-on with us and to share a common cause as long as it doesn't fundamentally compromise what we teach or what we will achieve as a Nation. Unfortunately, there are alot of Gate Keepers; people and groups that are only interested in maintaining and upholding the Status Quo, not true Social Justice. So for us to claim a sense of Social Justice and simultaneously join or affiliate ourselves people and Societies, Organizations, Fraternities, Clubs, Businesses and Institutions that are maintainers of the Status Quo it neutralizes us from bringing about any effective change. Especially when they're 'Special Interest Groups' we as Black/Brown people didn't have a voice in founding or don't have a voice in modifying their Mission Statement.  Albert Pike was a man of many faces. Yet when you look at his affiliations and the social and political factors that played a significant role in his life, you'll cee what his Determined Idea was. Obviously all of these Political Parties, Societies and Good Ole Boy Networks provided common, consistent resources for him. If not, he couldn't have used them, he wouldn't have been involved in them nor would there be any traces of his affiliation. Among other things, this Article shows you that being a White Protestant, Freemason, Shriner, Confederate, Anti-Immigrationist Klansman is not contradictory and there's obviously a place in all of these White Special Interests Groups for someone who has these views to flourish and prosper... This Article also shows that there are built in mechanisms in place that will undermine, neutralize and dismantle any progress towards true Social Justice because that was never the objective of some of these White Special Interests Groups from the beginning. I say "some" because Freemasonry (and Shriners) was established for the purpose of raising upright men (and women who belong to masonic bodies). Yet like one 33 Degree White Mason/Shriner once told me directly, "In the 32 years I've been a Mason there is only one flaw that I've found. It's made up of human beings and you can never say what you'll do in a given situation!" So after all this conversation about Freemasonry making good men better and how the working tools help build a perfected man he not only tells me how human "they" are and how "they" will fall short b.u.t. how they ultimately accept these falls/flaws as a part of who "they" are. (9,10/1-14) That sounds like "Hug Your Imperfections", "Proceed With Caution" or worst yet "Enter At Your Own Risk" to me; not very encouraging when it comes to a trustworthy relationship where you can depend on someone to do the right thing when situations get rough. As Gods/Earths we strive for perfection and don't settle for mediocracy, especially when it comes down to doing the right thing. Culturally speaking, that weak posture and attitude contradicts (destroys) what's Divine. Our stance is "we are just and true and there is no unrighteousness in us" because we are committed to "show forth our power that we are allwise and righteous... WITHOUT FALLING VICTIM TO the devils civilization" (37,38/1-40). So regardless how rough situations get, we're determined to seek the right way and trick-knowledge, devilishment, stealing, telling lies or mastering others is never an acceptable option (4/1-14). I've ceen and heard people make the argument that, "they had to do what they had to do" or "the ends justify the means" when in reality they're simply confirming that they don't really recognize righteousness as the ultimate standard to adhere to "regardless to whom or what" (11/1-14). In otherwords, they're still NOT CONVINCED that righteousness is infallible (unfailing) and that there's always a right way to act or respond in any given situation. That is a tragedy for them and will be tragic for anyone around them whenever these people feel like situations are getting too rough...

In closing, I ask all of us, regardless if we call ourselves Gods/Earths, Moors, Hebrews, Muslims, Kemetians, Nuuwabians or etc., are we truly seeking Social Justice or a Social Status? Are we like the double-headed eagle of the Scottish Rite; claiming we're about Social Justice (revealing the truth to all who seek it) yet simultaneously upholding the Status Quo (concealing the truth from the uninitiated)? Many of the special interest groups many of you are intrigued about joining don't even offer you the benefit of full disclosure and transparency about what you'd be committing your life/finances to upfront! For you to even be interested in that means that you either have done or can cee yourself doing the same thing; there's an affinity for the 10%. Committing yourself to something under these clandestine circumstances is like agreeing to marry somebody you don't really know and who's not allowed to tell you much about themselves  until you say "I do!" Regardless of how great they say they are, the benefits you'll get from the relationship and etc., the very foundation is untrustworthy and unequal. You have no way of judging whether that's true or not and you're completely vulnerable (open) to what they need to get from you. In otherwords, there is nothing restricting you from sharing everything about yourself with them yet they're restricted from sharing everything equally with you. It reminds me of those who 'petition' to join a Lodge or go 'on-line' for Fraternities/Sororities; there's a thorough investigation done on you yet you have limited resources to actually investigate it's members or the Group you want to join... Then if they do decide to let you in, you're required to uphold the same standard. If anything, it says alot about a person's self esteem and social ambitions to put themselves in that position to begin with. Nobody who's truly concerned about Social Injustice would put themselves in such an unjust position.

So for those of you who're truly about real Social Justice, be mindful of joining or affiliating yourselves with anything that serves the purpose of neutralizing your efforts. If you've already made decisions like this and now you cee those Societies, Organizations, Fraternities, Clubs, Businesses and Institutions undermine your ability to work towards Social Justice then you have a serious choice to make! And when I say undermine your ability to work towards Social Justice, it can be anything from paying dues to them that could otherwise go towards something else or even actively attending their Events that create conflicts in your schedule for participating in our Events. Some of you will dismiss this Article by simply saying you only joined or are affiliating yourselves with certain Societies, Organizations, Fraternities, Clubs, Businesses and Institutions to preserve the best part for yourselves and add-on to your foundation. What you really mean is you're trying to climb the social ladder, seek upward mobility or get a piece of the American Pie. My questions to you are Who's ladder? Up to where? Who's pie? Others will even go as far as to say that some Special Interest Groups (Societies, Organizations, Fraternities, Clubs, Businesses and Institutions) aren't keepers of the Status Quo. I've heard Prince Hall Freemasons claim that they're independent from England and American Grand Lodges so they're not keepers of the Status Quo yet when I ask them, "Who gave them permission (their Charter/Quo), Where is this Charter kept in a vault, Where is the Cornerstone of their Original Lodge said to be kept and does all of this reflect true self determination and autonomy for us as a people?" they don't have any answers. Well I'll leave all of you with this thought: If your involvement and participation in something is clearly keeping you apart from "our own social equality", then that ultimately reveals where your allegiance lies. And to believe otherwise is nothing but a Pike Dream. (8/1-14) For those of you who already know what's up, I appreciate the work you're doing to continually advocate true Social Justice. The Father (Allah) and other Men and Women who demonstrated this unwavered integrity couldn't be bought or sold! And it was because of this commitment to our common cause that we are here today.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cryptic Codes

"Audio files and file cabinets by the Patmos Isles/swimming the Nile with Peter Wolf and his two exotic rooks/cooking sundials/creating secret potions of an ageless child/out last the time avalanches and Quahadi dances.../through a ceremony and Seracean demeanors/see what I mean?/see what I'm meaning?" -Self (Cryptic Codes)

Over the years with the expansion of the Internet and Social Newtworking, I've learned more and more how important it is to not take for granted what someone knows or what they've been exposed to when I'm striving to communicate my ideas. As a Journalist I've also learned as a rule of thumb "don't assume or take for granted where others are in their growth & development and be specific in regards to the audience I'm targeting." In many of my Articles you've noticed that I often highlight certain words/phrases in red and then put a numerical reference at the end of the sentence in red. This is specifically done for Gods/Earths who have those cultural references so they recognize exactly where I'm coming from.

Because I'm usually not writing/speaking to the general public in our (The NGE; The Nation of Gods and Earths) pure language, I've been able to target a much larger audience who're sincerely striving to grow and develop. People reach out to me from all over the World all the time about how easy to understand I make the Principles/Values within my Culture and I really appreciate that! It's just confirmation for me that I'm communicating effectively. People also reach out to me and raise questions about what I've written/said and often ask me to elaborate further on something I may have only mentioned or didn't mention at all. I also appreciate this because these sincere exchanges help me learn to communicate even more effectively. 

"We can't give someone Understanding; they have to cee things for themselves. What we can and are responsible for giving them is the best opportunity to Understand and for us to be Understood, and this is done through effective communication."

As Gods and Earths our language can be very cryptic and abstract, not only to outsiders b.u.t. even to those within our Nation depending upon how they were taught and their exposure to other Gods and Earths. We are not a monolithic group. There are some Gods/Earths I know personally who are directly involved in their City's Local/Regional Politics while there are others who wouldn't touch Politics with a ten foot pole. There are Gods I know that say it's all (and sometimes only) about Supreme Mathematics while negating the importance of memorizing 120 Lessons while other Gods will tell you strait up that 120 is the Foundation. There are Earths who know little to nothing about 120 and others who know, speak nd understand 120 better than alot of Gods. So just within our Nation alone there is a wide range of perspectives; some Culturally based, others that aren't Culturally based, and can poise various challenges towards effective communication and coming to a Cultural/National consensus. This is WITHIN our Cipher. Now imagine the communication challenges that exist with those who are clearly on the OUTSIDE of our Nation... Consider what it takes to come to a consensus with someone who really doesn't know about or hasn't been exposed to your Culture. Even if they have been exposed to something or know of something they came across on the Internet or even Books, that poises an initial challenge of finding out what that exposure was, how much they were exposed to and if that exposure was the right or wrong perspective. I've had experiences with People reaching out to me about learning our Culture and when I asked them about what they've been exposed to, just their honorable mention of some People's names told me what type of job I would have in store for me if I decided to educate them. Cee, many of us are under the impression that "Building" is all about telling others what we think. I think we're more effective listening to what others know and what they've been exposed to first. Then we can more accurately determine what their needs are and if we're even capable of meeting those needs.

Just because someone asks for something, especially something that is Culturally sacred (such as Supreme Mathematics, Supreme Alphabet and 120 Lessons) doesn't mean that we should give it to them. 95% of the time (85% + 10%) they don't even know what they're asking for! Instead of just handing them Supreme Mathematics (with your name on it!) or even Lessons, stop for a moment and ask them what is the reason they want to learn. You may be floored by their response. So it's best to find out up front if this person is really sincere about growth & development, only interested in boosting their lyrics, getting a Man or using your Righteous Name to shield their dirty Religion. Some People literally approach learning our Culture like you're hittin' 'em off with a lick. They usually have no idea that "The Knowledge" they're asking for is really a lifelong relationship that's based upon a our commitment to improve ourselves, others and our environment. One time I asked a dude, "What's the reason you want to learn?" and he said, "It's like, I'm just striving to get that money and I'm going to get it regardless!" I've also had other experiences with People sniffing around wanting to learn and if I didn't invest the time to find out what they knew and had been exposed to I would have ended up "Deputizing" undercover active Knights Templars or Pan-Hellenics.
In closing, I cannot stress enough the importance of effective communication. When we don't invest the time to find out what others know, don't know, have been exposed to or haven't been exposed to BEFORE we start communicating where ew're coming from we always run the risk of leaving them to their own devices. In otherwords, don't assume or take for granted that others have an Understanding of the word 'freedom' the way you undestand it. You may be using the word 'freedom' in relationship to cultural development and they may think you mean "Doowutchyalike" (Do What You Like!). The so-called Intellectuals or 'People Who Study Everything' might think you're saying we need to be more like "Caligula". The next thing you know this person walks away from a whole conversation you had with them about 'freedom' and now they're confidently sharing their Hedonistic ideas with others with your name attached to it... The bottom line is this: Just because someone nods their head and keeps their mouth shut it doesn't mean they understand or agree with what you're saying. You won't know for sure where a person's head is at or how they're processing the information you're sharing with them until you simply ask them. Ask them how they cee what you're saying and ask them to explain what you're saying in their own words. You'll both be learning because they may raise some questions or point out more effective ways that you can communicate. This way you're giving them the best opportunity to Understand and for you to be Understood. That's indeed Equality and the premise upon which effective communication and harmonious relationships must be built. If not, there will be obvious inequalities and comprehension gaps. If something is important enough to us to share with others.., then it's also important enough for us to do our best to share it.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco for President!
-A Message to the Voters/Non-Voters-

With the Presidential Election underway I've come in contact with many People who don't Vote and aren't involved in the Political Process. Cool. I definately understand how they think. What I don't agree with is the apathy that accompanies non participation. In otherwords, although they can give you a laundry list of reasons why they don't Vote and aren't involved in the Political Process, rarely do they share even a few concrete, practical alternatives to not Voting or not being involved in the Political Process. It always leaves me wondering just how much thought they really put into Politics (The Science of Power) and the Political Process itself. It also leaves me wondering about their concern for the many People who actually share their sentiments... Without having any concrete, practical alternatives to an Ideology, Program or Political Structure we don't support, we consequently support that Ideology, Program or Political Structure by default. For example, if we don't support Public Schools because we claim they suppor the misducation of our youth yet aren't providing viable alternatives such as Charter Schools, Home Schools, GED Program and etc., then we're apathetically supporting the same system of miseducation we accuse the Public Schools of promoting because we ourselves have nothing to offer. Therefore, the youth are left to stay in Public School or drop out and fend for themselves. I can't speak for you b.u.t. I don't think those are very good alternatives.
The above paragraph exemplifies a common non-participatory approach I cee many People take towards 'unsolving' the problems we face. We often have a various creative ways of critiquing problems, pointing out flaws and articulating why we aren't going to support something yet invest little thought, time, finances and etc. in providing actual solutions. The next time you hear somebody explaining why they don't do something or support a certain program, ask them what do they suggest as an alternative. More often than not, you and they'll be surprised what they actually come up with. What you will find, in most cases, is that they never even put much thought into doing something about it beyond words. This sheds light on a greater problem than the ones you heard them pointing out in the first place.
One of the lessons I've learned growing up and that was reinforced through gaining Knowledge of Self is that it's not enough to point out a problem without striving to provide a solution. Growing up in a household with six siblings we were all responsible for taking responsibility and playing our part. There was always work to do and playing the 'blame sombody else game' didn't allow us to get the work done. Yes we tried and were usually unsuccessful. In order for our family to operate with some basic level of efficiency we all had to pitch in and help -whether that was doing dishes, dusting or have a sock party (where we'd all sit down and match the washed socks). Likewise, in order for our communities, cities, counties, regions and states  to operate with some basic level of efficiency we all have to pitch in and help too. Me and my siblings weren't allowed to get away with pointing out a problem and not striving to do something about it or not being held accountable for helping solve it. I couldn't imagine my Ole Earth or Ole Dad running around to put out brush fires, and there were alot, everytime one of us ran to them about a problem. Wisely they delegated responsibility to us by age and taught us to develop problem solving skills to address these issues ourselves. I'm thankful I got it and learned to further develop this strategy towards Life as I've grown and developed. I'm sure that many of us didn't grow up in this way and possibly the 'blame somebody else game' was a way of life in our household, yet that doesn't sentence us to a life of irresponsibility. As Adults we have a choice and if a philosophy or approach towards Life isn't working out for us we have the power to change that.
I would like to make a few suggestions to those of us who aren't voting in the upcoming Presidential Election or who aren't involved in the Poltitical Process as a whole. First and foremost it's important to recognize that your non-participation makes you an unwilling participant by default. You're still subject to all of the Governmental Policies and Procedures that are enforced on a National, Regional and Local Level. To simply choose to have no say (voice) or opt out in how these Policies and Procedures are drafted, implemented and enforced on a National, Regional and Local Level doesn't mean that you, your family, your community and your place of employment won't be affected by these Policies and Procedures. As a matter of fact, to choose to have no say (voice) translates into your 100% approval. If we don't approve then surely we should be willing and able to provide some concrete, practical alternatives that we approve through participation. If we haven't come up with anything we actually do or we can encourage others to do, then we're doing ourselves and others an injustice by having nothing to offer b.u.t. words. Keep in Mind that if it really came down to it People will drink mop water if there's nothing there for them to drink... So this is what I suggest to those who don't Vote or aren't involved in the Political Process:
1.) Do something about it. If you're not Voting or involving yourself in the Political Process then come up with some practical alternatives. When I say "practical alternatives" I'm talking about concrete activities People can engage in right now that will help empower them in a way that Government is supposed to. I'm talking about practices that can be implemented amongst those who share the same sentiments on a daily basis that serves the needs of the People. If you don't agree with the Governments Policies towards funding Arts Programs then do something about it by establishing an Arts Program or committing yourself to helping financially support Arts Programs.
2.) Network with those who share your sentiments. Network doesn't mean get together and vent, trade conspiracy theories or beat up on Fox News about what's going on in this Society. You're intelligence and their intelligence equals a whole lot of intellectual compacity to either change the System as we know it or set up your own. If that's not the reasoning or goal for why your congregating with eachother then what's the point? Personally I and many others may agree with many of your thoughts about Politics and the Poltitical Process b.u.t. simply because we got together and didn't do anything above and beyond talking, we feel no more inspired, educated or empowered about the future than before we met.
3.) If you're not actually doing anything about it then save your time and breath. I didn't say "going to do" something, I specifically said "doing" something. In my short lifetime I've been to many meetings to meet about something to plan another meeting about what we need to meet about. Years, Months and Days later nothing has changed and the same concerns exist. A simple rule I've learned to follow is that if I don't have anything to offer than I don't have anything to offer. Make sense? In otherwords, if I'm not in the position where I know for a fact that I can get someone employed, I'm not going to have a long discussion about how a person needs to stop hustling or sitting around not working. Usually THE FIRST THING People who are in positions will say is, "I don't have a choice" (there aren't any alternatives). And if you can't provide any alternatives then you are simply a part of the problem. I know you mean well and don't cee yourself that way b.u.t. that's what you actually are. Hey, you may be able to get them a job at Burger King which ain't equal to the paper they make on the block b.u.t. at least it's some thing. Something they probably won't have to always look over their shoulder, over the counter or through the drive thru to do. If anything, they'll at least recognize that you cared enough to provide an alternative for them beyond a mini lecture and you never know, they may follow you up on that! 
In closing I just wnat to emphasize the importance of being Proactive. Regardless if you choose to Vote and be involved in the Political Process or not, we all need to play a positive and productive role in our families and places where we live (communities) to ensure that it's a better place for us, our children and our elders. There are many things we share in common and take a vested interest in regardless of our Political or Non-Political stances and it often takes a shift in our Geopolitical landscape (Hurricane Sandy) to cee this and work together. So regardless who gets elected as the President of the United States, lets at least agree to commit ourselves to being Presidential in our families and communities. Lets at the very least agree to take more responsibility and be accountable for the change we desire to cee, not simply in words b.u.t. in deeds!