fire rant

FIRE RANT: Rachel Nichols Diversity Rant Drama

Everyone has been talking about the leaked video of Rachel Nichols complaining about ESPN suggesting she give up her 2020 NBA Finals hosting gig to Maria Taylor, a black woman.  The rant is really an audio of conversation Rachel was having with a colleague while accidentally leaving the recording button on.  A lot of the things Rachel said were actually true.  ESPN doesn’t have the best diversity record as they’ve had several high-profile minorities like Jemele Hill, Michael Smith, Cari Champion, and I’m sure there are more that have left the company under less than great circumstances the past several years.  It’s also understandable that a person wouldn’t want to lose their job opportunity for a lesser role to anyone without factoring race into the equation.  As my Economics of Discrimination class taught me, people in general are naturally jealous.  Most people think every opportunity is owed to them and when they don’t get it or get it taken away, they look for reasons beyond themselves for why the undesired result happened.  Sometimes the quickest excuse outside yourself is gender, race, age, and or sexual orientation.  I think people will rarely admit someone was simply better than them and if they do that won’t be the first conclusion they come to.  Basically, what I’m saying is everyone is up in arms about someone being mad that their boss is trying to take their preferred job away and give it to someone else.  Hourly employees in unions get mad when someone does their job.  People get made when jobs get outsourced overseas.  Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay Packers has been angry for two years about possibly losing his job eventually to 2nd year quarterback Jordan Love that was drafted in 2020. Why are we slamming Rachel for not wanting to happily give up her sports reporting gig?  How many of us have said worse than what Rachel Nichols has said behind closed doors to family, friends, and even co-workers?  I know I have.  If Maria weren’t black and we were talking about a white woman would this be news?  If it were black male or white man, we probably still here about it as click bait.  Again, I’m sure ESPN has diversity opportunities just like any fortune 500 company, mom and pop shop, sports team, government, police department, and local bodega.  Why are we focused on this when we got sketchily inspected buildings collapsing on folks, hurricanes, disengaged government leaders, and global pandemic is beyond me.

FIRE RANT: The Complicated Case of Sha’ Carri Richardson

So, I believe that even if you aren’t a big sports fan that you have probably heard of budding Olympian sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson.  You know, the 21-year-old that just qualified for women’s 100M for the Tokyo Olympics a few weeks back.  Well, she tested positive for marijuana and has now been suspended for a month, so she has been removed from competing in at least 1 event later this month.  Unlike most athletes, Sha’Carri has quickly owned up to the decision to smoke the weed and said that she used the drug to help her cope with getting over the death of her mother.  So naturally, there are folks outraged that something like weed that is now legalized like in many places across the USA is something that’s holding an athlete back from competing.  Though, I must add that the NFL has a similar policy that has derailed and suspended players like wide receiver, Josh Gordon, and defensive end, Randy Gregory, multiple times.  Therefore, the policy isn’t a secret and I’m sure there’s probably other sports at professional, collegiate, and lower that have rules in place against using drugs.  My take is that Richardson chose to violate the policy and knew the consequences.  Therefore, I’m not among the folks complaining that “the man” is trying to hold her back.  Regardless of her reason for the actions, she admitted she was guilty.  At our jobs and or society if we broke a rule, we likely would be held accountable if we were caught.  Sports shouldn’t be treated any different, its privilege to play a game not some God-given right.  In the end, Richardson may still get to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in another event and maybe even still medal unless she violates policy again.  So maybe both sides of the argument still get their desired result.

FIRE RANT: Nightmare NBA Finals Matchup?

I must admit that I’m relieved to see two unique teams compete in the NBA Finals for the 2020-2021 Championship.  However, a lot of folks have be groaning the whole playoffs as front running teams that have more universal appeal like the Lakers, Knicks, Heat, etc. have been getting eliminated.  I’m losing zero sleep over Lebron and Lakers not being in NBA Finals.  I believe that even without Anthony Davis the Lakers still had better roster than the Phoenix Suns and made excuses for not defeating them with an injured Chris Paul.  I’m also delighted to see that the New Jersey Nets weren’t able to buy a championship with their 3 headed monster of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden.  The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are both really good teams and earned the opportunity.  There shouldn’t be an asterisk next to the championship.  Just like people didn’t feel compelled to put an asterisk next to the Lakers’ bubble championship last season.  If Suns win, I believe it would be the first championship for the team and for “Point God”, Chris Paul.  If Bucks win if would be a great story as well of smaller market superstar like Giannis Antetokounmpo staying with the team he was drafted by and leading them to championship without leaving elsewhere to create a super team.  That’s something folks like Lebron James and Kevin Durant can’t claim.  So again, zero problem with Suns vs Bucks for NBA championship this year and I will be viewing.

FIRE RANT: Tulsa Outrage

Today, I like to speak about the Tulsa Massacre that happened in May 31 – June 1st in 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The blacks had kind of their own mini-Atlanta or black neighborhood where professionals of all kinds thrived.  Therefore, many folks called the area Black Wall Street.  Some kind of race altercation occurred that resulted in majority of the neighborhood being burned down and many black Americans being killed.  The city never recovered and was restored to its previous levels of property value and success. Like many things in America’s history that aren’t flattering the incident was buried.  There wasn’t even a common decency to get an accurate account of how many lives were lost.  I really hadn’t heard of the Tulsa Massacre until summer 2020.  My dad said the same thing.  This incident angers me on multiple fronts.  First off, I get times were different and race relations are constantly evolving so blacks and whites had their own territory.  Blacks were thriving and minding their business and whatever altercation or incident that occurred between a few people led to burning down a whole community and killing countless souls?  It’s a gross overreaction filled with envy, evil, and any other word you can think of.  Second, the lack of honesty about the massacre, burying its occurrence, and poor effort to restore what was loss is disappointing.  Especially, when we know in present day things still aren’t the same for blacks in that community.  Third, the fact that there are other incidents like that, that happened in this country that have been covered up is frightening.  Some folks don’t want blacks in their community and want them isolated but we have examples of this set in the past where when that was created it was destroyed.  What hurts is that there aren’t many representations of that kind of black thriving community in the country outside again of like Atlanta.  Everywhere else blacks are thriving while mixed in with rest of country.  Don’t get me wrong, I personally don’t have a desire to only succeed around only those that look like me.  I rather succeed when everyone is a competitor against me.  However, you must wonder what kind of positive generational wealth in the form of businesses, property, careers, and education would the black community have in presence day if the Tulsa Massacre type events didn’t occur?

FIRE RANT: Exaggerated Grandstanding by Everyone

So, as much as folks talk about being reactive versus proactive, as world we are definitely reactive.  For example, take the Black Lives Matter initiative.  Since the George Floyd murder folks have rushed to opposite ends of the spectrum for race relations.  You got folks demanding better treatment of blacks by police and just as many people saying they back the badge, blue lives matter, etc.  Companies are all trying to publicize programming, meetings and other empty gestures for diversity without having substantial progress that really matters.  How many minorities have you hired in your last 10 posted professional positions, better yet how many did you interview?  How many HBCUs or higher ethnic populated schools have you added to your recruiting list?  Crickets!  Companies are investing in or launching black product lines but again only because its what the public thinks is sorta cool.  Folks going hard for wearing a mask or not wearing a mask partially based on political affiliation.  Folks will really allow their health to be at risk to align with a political party.  When did we get to a point as society that we are so unsure of what our personal values and beliefs are that we simply went path of least resistance by looking to the general public for guidance on what we aligned ourselves with?  We hashtag things we don’t believe, we exaggerate our stances, and flip flop as needed.  Now if you are a person that truly support Black Lives Matter or police or pick another example I didn’t name, why did it take the world to focus on these topics for you to find your voice and take action?  What were you doing before, besides sitting somewhere with a thumb up your nose?  I guess what I’m saying is if more folks had the guts to take action for what they believed in we wouldn’t need all the media and social media-based blitz campaigns to attempt to dictate the general public one way or another.  We are overcompensating with reaction due to lack of proactiveness.

FIRE RANT: Lebron James Protocol Violation Exception

I have to admit that I’m sick of the favoritism the NBA keeps showing Lebron James.  I was already upset with how the league stole the play-in game from the Warriors by granting the Lakers extra free throws and calling bogus moving screen calls repeatedly late in the game.  If that wasn’t enough for you, the NBA announced that Lebron violated covid protocols by attending a party mask less ahead of the play-in game.  He literally, put two teams of players and staff at risk from a selfish and foolish choice.  Despite the league suspending other players for similar infractions Lebron will get no such discipline because they deemed that he didn’t put anyone at risks.  The rationale itself is an explanation I don’t recall them using until now.  In my opinion, the NBA is again trying to keep hope the Lakers can advance in the playoffs, so they are putting fairness and credibility to the side.  It’s a shameful display of professionalism and leadership.  It’s honestly, something I would expect to see Roger Godell do.  I hope it blows up in the NBA’s face and the Lakers get taken to the watershed in the first round.

FIRE RANT: CDC No Mask Policy

Well, well, well, the CDC surprised us not too long with the roll back of the mask policy for citizens that were vaccinated.  So, like any other policy the government has tried to implement during the pandemic confusion reigned supreme.  Our president actually stated we would use “an honor system” to assume those in public that had their mask off were indeed vaccinated.  I hate to bring it to everyone’s attention, but people haven’t shown to be selfless thus far in the pandemic and were 15 months in.  Why would people start caring about others and behaving on behalf of the greater good now?  It is counter intuitive for folks to want things to go back to normal yet refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated.  Essentially, eliminating the two biggest remedies that could move us along.  This announcement was sloppy and right on time as usual.  Remember at one point the government scolded us for wearing masks only to back track later and I never forgot that.  We took months to get vaccines available to folks and now that we have plenty, people have tempered excitement.  Unfortunately, I think that we very well could see the pandemic eventually end without common sense leadership ever showing up.

FIRE RANT: Screw the Social Media Algorithm Geeks

Look, I’m an engineer by day and entrepreneur at heart that’s simply trying to gain traction on his various business initiatives.  The kind of traction that can at minimum save souls by leading them to Jesus Christ and at maximum build a multiple arm business empire that can impact the world daily.  I don’t have time to try to keep up and play chess with social media platforms when they change their algorithms.  I remember the days when I was a newbie to Instagram and could simply pick good pics and quotes and get decent engagement by being diligent.  Nowadays, when I have a more delicate message and purpose it’s more of a struggle to get engagements without paying for them, spending all day posting videos, and or doing desperate things for attention.  I’m sorry I don’t have all day to like 50 strangers’ pics, videos, and make comments hoping they reciprocate.  I downloaded and deleted Tiktok within a few days because I have better things to do.  I’m beyond living or dying based on how many likes I get on my content.  At this point in my life, I’m going to auto scheduled my content like clockwork and go on with my day without checking the results of each post.  Which I think is opposite of what the social media platforms want.  I’ll prevail because my consistency won’t let up.  My purpose is pre-determined and is not up to some IT geek or computer algorithm to judge.  Challenge accepted.

FIRE RANT: STOP Causing Pain because your Hurting

There has been an increase in the amount of people that like to break up people’s happiness for no real reason.  Folks love to play the side chick or dude role just so they can ruin a relationship or marriage.  I mean people come out the wood works to make themselves known when folks are posting public announcements or in the media just to cause pain.  The funny thing about it, is when they do it nobody in the end wins typically.  The relationship or marriage is usually never the same or ended and the adulterer doesn’t go back to the person that outed them.  People will claim they aren’t fans of a team or person but manage to find time in their day to make negative comments on the person’s post and just type ugly things.  Again, they are too much of a coward to make the remarks to the person face to face but somehow, they think they are brave.  Nor do the comments really improve or change the course of the commenter’s life.  I can only fathom that people break up relationships and marriages because they lack a real connection in their life, so they want others to experience it.  Additionally, people try to bring others self esteem down because they don’t value themselves.  Also, by focusing on bringing someone else down or pointing out their flaws they can avoid their lack of success, achievement, and own flaws.  If you are out there causing others pain and bringing chaos to their lives, I ask you to stop and examine what you are missing in your life.  I ask you to pray to God for forgiveness and seek clarity in your broken situation so you can get out of the business of causing pain to others.

FIRE RANT: I’m Not Pro-Black Everything, But I Still Have a Voice

For the past few years, I have been irked by the belief that if a black person isn’t 100% supportive of every black celebrity, movement, and situation that they aren’t real.  Real meaning not authentic, not representative of their race.  I believe that wrong is wrong and right is right.  Regardless, if folks like Trump and Weinstein haven’t been held accountable for their crimes, I believe people like Bill Cosby and R. Kelly need to be in jail.  Yes, wealthy men of other races might be guilty of the same things that Deshaun Watson has been accused of but that doesn’t mean he gets a pass for sketchy behavior.  While it’s sad anytime someone loses a life, every police officer isn’t bad and every person that is has been killed by them isn’t completely innocent.  There have been some folks that contributed to their survival rate during the encounter with police.  I also believe there are cops that exists that are racist and bad people and possibly even more worthless cops that stand by, watch evil happening, and cover it up.  Not sure what the solution is for that, but I know destroying department stores and your neighborhood isn’t one of them.  If the black community wants to be angry about cops killing a small amount of us let’s also get outraged about the gangs, family members, and friends that commit traumatic actions and murders to our own as well.  Let’s report the crimes that happen in our neighborhood and in our homes, stop protecting fools, and put them in prison where they belong.  We tell people that if they don’t love themselves and treat themselves well, they can’t expect others to.  I think we are guilty of that in black community just like other communities are too.  Yes, I know police are held to higher standard and that other races are treated differently than us but still doesn’t’ excuse the trauma and murders we commit in our community.  Folks need to control what they can control.  Rat out the people doing bad things in the community whether that’s drug dealers, criminals, molesters, rapists, and murderers.  Invest in the businesses in the community and network.  Do more to supplement the marching, talking and destroying property.  Marching and speeches have a place but solely focusing on what others have done to us won’t solve all our issues if we don’t address the internal damage we do to ourselves.