Posts

"War. Huh. What is it GOOD for?"

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The title of this blog comes from one of many protest songs that were popular during the Vietnam War. The song is "War", which was sung by Motown artist Edwin Starr. As you can see in the video, there are scenes from the Vietnam War accompanying the song. I remember those scenes. They were broadcast nearly every night on every network channel. Even though my father was a load master in the Air Force on the C-131s and C-141s during the Vietnam War (dropping troops, supplies, guns and ammunition in country, taking the dead and wounded out), I rarely dwelled on the possibility that he might not come home one day. That was simply too much for me to handle at that time.

At the height of the Vietnam War, my family, which consisted of my parents, Richard and Mary Shortt, their oldest child (me), my sister Tamara and my little brother Ricky, were transferred to Clark Air Force on Luzon Island, the Philippines. I was eight years old when we arrived, and ten years old when we left. H…

A warrior with no other weapon except faith

I will remember this day for the rest of my life: November 8, 2016, which will be etched in my memory just as much as January 20th, 2009, the day Barack Obama became the first Black American to be elected President. On that January day, my father and I sat next to each other in the gym, multi-purpose room of Shiloh Baptist Church, watching the Inauguration ceremony while tears copiously streamed down our faces. Dad passed away on August 29, 2016. Even though I'm still very much in grief, I'm also grateful that he isn't here right now to witness the absolute madness that has taken place in this country since Donald J. Trump acquired the necessary electoral votes to be elected President of the United States, in spite of the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. God help us all. And I won't be watching the inauguration.

As some readers of this highly erratically posted blog may know, I am a member of the Baha'i Faith, there are thoughts, behaviors and actio…

American Baha'is have yet to deal with and erase "The Most Vital and Challenging Issue"

The long excerpt that I have included at the bottom of this post is from a book called "The Advent of Divine Justice" which was meticulously written for American Baha'is by Shoghi Effendi (known to Baha'is as The Guardian of the Faith), and published in 1938. The book was intended to invigorate the American Baha'i community to teach the Faith to others in the United States and around the world. Yet, for the most part, American Baha'is remain "largely introverted", as former National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Universal House of Justice member Glenford E. Mitchell states in his 1967 paper, "The Most Challenging Issue: Teaching Negroes" (which I suggest that every Baha'i in the United States read: 
...If it has any standards at all, they are to be found in a convenientcross-fertilization of existential philosophy and socialist aspirations. Withsuch a shapeless movement, it is difficult to separate black from white, tocond…

Earth, Wind and Fire - Earth, Wind and Fire

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The name of the group is Earth, Wind and Fire, and so is this song. It wasn't as well known as some of the other hits the group had, but then again, we bought a lot of albums back in the 70s, and played the songs that weren't always on the radio. So why am I posting the lyrics and song here? I don't know. One part nostalgia, and the other part because I love the music and the lyrics. The words have always calmed me down; made me put life in a more reasonable perspective. And the music, in my opinion, is beautiful It's also a reminder that at one point in my life, I was a teenager and idealistically hopeful about not only my future, but the future of the world. I could use a nice, big dose of that teenage enthusiasm these days.


KEEP YOUR HEAD TO THE SKY (I'm trying these days)

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"You can only take care of yourself. There's nothing you can do about anything else that's going on right now." I hear that a LOT from my fellow 12 steppers. I hear it so much that I quit confiding to them about what truly disturbs me these days. Amadou Diallo. Trayvon Martin. Oscar Grant. Alan Bluford, Ezell Ford. Kimani Gray, Michael Brown. Eric Garner. and 12 year old Tamir Rice, who was by himself, playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park. He was only five years older than my grandson. To me, he was still a baby. That isn't even close to the number of unarmed Black men who have been killed by police since 2007,

And people forget that an unacceptable number of Black women have been shot by the police, too.  Oh, you didn't know?Seven year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was shot by Detroit policeman Joseph Weekley as she lay sleeping on the living room couch under a blanket. And there have been many, many more. Adaisha Miller. Alesia Thomas, Darnesha Harris. El…

The Revolution You Do Not Want Will Start in the Middle

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Dear Friend, Voting rights are under attack across the nation, and I want you to help protect them! When the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act last year, it got rid of a powerful tool to end discrimination at polling places.  States and localities across the country are now enacting and implementing anti-voter rules that will keep many Americans' voices from being heard. I'm asking Congress to stand up for every voter and fix the VRA -- will you join me? http://www.commoncause.org/FixTheVRA Thanks!
Don't believe it? Need more proof? Well, here ya' go!
https://www.aclu.org/secure/congress-repair-voting-act
This is what happened because Congress didn't fix the voting rights act
Texas sees surge of disenfranchised voters
Well, I know that's about all people can take in at one time. And I'm leaving the commentary out because I have some other things I need to write about. But right now, this issue feels very urgent. People, you had better understand something p…

Too many have died...so that others could live

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I had a conversation a few days ago with my niece, Jasmine Shortt, about the importance of young African Americans knowing and understanding the history of what people have sacrificed over the past 400+ years, so that long standing institutions based on racial hatred, assumed superiority and economic benefits for the ruling class no longer have the type of stranglehold and taint on this country that they did at one time. Many young people don't know, or if they do, they don't understand what it means to them because people have a tendency to preach instead of teach. In my opinion, history has be broken down, put into context, and made personal to THEM. Otherwise, it's all about the Hamlet effect: "Words, words, words." What I told Jasmine is that many people died so that her grandparents, my parents, could own their home at 8420 Fawcett Avenue in Tacoma, Washington and at 2124 Kirk Way in Sacramento, California. The house in Tacoma was in a mostly White neighborho…