Bob Marley 3

DON’T LET ‘EM FOOL YA OR EVEN TRY TO SCHOOL YA

 

There are people on this earth whose entire existence centers on telling others what they can or can not do. They thrive off of sending words and images into the atmosphere that function as traps to imprison the mind and spirit of others within the paradigm of THEIR choosing. Their primary goal is to prevent you from dreaming big things or imagining your life any differently than THEY would feel comfortable with. As we enter the “New Year” it’s wise to be aware of the folks who operate in such a way as we all embark on setting new goals and imagining new possibilities for ourselves.

Enter Justice Antonio Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In Fisher v. University of Texas, which involves the affirmative action program of the University of Texas, Scalia suggested that slower-track schools would be the best fit for “Black students” that tend to struggle at Ivy league colleges. Now maybe if he’d simply said “students” who do not do well at an Ivy league institutions, I might have agreed with him, because based on class and other socio-economic factors, some students actually do benefit more from attending a community college or trade school. However, (un)Just-ice Scalia intentionally implied that “African-Americans” were more likely to not do well at an advanced school. This is a very racist statement. I think I’m going to need Dennis Hopper to have that same little conversation he gave Christopher Walken (in Quentin Tarantino’s movie True Romance) with Scalia. How soon some forget; Scalia’s mother is Sicilian. 

Speaking of the case Fisher v. University of Texas, you may already be familiar with the hashtag started by Black Twitter, #StayMadAbby, that has been trending and highlighting all of the successful Black graduates of Ivy league universities.  What you may not be aware of regarding this case is that little Abby(Abigail Fisher) is just the type of student who would probably actually benefit the most from (un)Just-ice Scalia’s subtle suggestion to “Black students”. She did not attend a top high school, her grades were not exemplary and on top of that, 47 students with test scores lower than Fisher’s were admitted; 42 of them were white and 5 were black or Latino. One hundred sixty eight black students with higher test scores than Fisher’s were denied. So, ummm, where is the reverse discrimination present? And what drove Scalia to make such a broad brush statement regarding the potential of BLACK people’s success at Ivy league schools? It was a poor attempt to entrap the minds of many into his small paradigm of thinking…to stop folks from dreaming and imagining new realities for themselves.

Meet Khadijah Williams of NYC, who has proven (un)Just-ice Scalia woefully wrong. Khadijah was born to a teenage mother, slept in shelters and sometimes was forced to eat out of garbage cans, a totally different upbringing from the silver spoon situation a certain “Justice” grew up in; yet Khadijah, after going to a series of different schools due to their living situation, managed to be accepted into Harvard University and graduated with honors.
Khadijah Williams From Skid Row To Harvard and Beyond

Connie Burwell is another person who dared to dream beyond the expectations of many. Connie worked as a janitor for a university. After experiencing a few incidents of mistreatment and under the influence of her daughter’s encouraging words, Connie decided that being in her mid 50’s was not going to deter her from dreaming a different version of herself. She decided to enroll in the same university she was working at to finally complete her degree. After two years of staying focused and determined, she was awarded her degree and is embarking on living her dream as a mental health care counselor.
Duquesne University custodian quietly finishes bachelor’s degree

Daring to set new goals or to dream an improved version of your self isn’t limited to academics or age by any means. Ida Keeling took up running as a hobby at the age 67, under the encouragement of her daughter. Ida was suffering from major depression after the loss of her husband and later, her two sons due to drug addiction. She literally began running “for her life”. At the age of 95, she set a world record, running 60 meters in 29.86 seconds. She managed to compete in the Gay Games at age 99 and broke records there as well!
95 Year Old Woman Sets Running Record

So, what will you choose to do? Will you allow the Scalia’s of the world to continue to tell you who YOU can BE and what YOU can do with your life? Are you okay with keeping your mind trapped in their reality they’ve designed for you? Will you remain “comfortable” just for them to feed off the insecurities they project upon your mind for their own “comfort”? Or will YOU dare to put in the work to design YOUR own life???

“Don’t let them fool ya,
Or even try to school ya! Oh, no!
We’ve got a mind of our own,
So go to hell if what you’re thinking is not right!
Love would never leave us alone,
I am the darkness there must come out the light.

Could you be love and be loved?”  ~Bob Marley




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