America’s Team Takes Unified Knee For Equality

Photo credit (Matt York/AP)

By Atiba Madyun

Last night, an NFL team that’s been tagged for years “America’s team” did something with their coaches and team owner that no one imagined they would do. They took a knee.


Because one person, Colin Kaepernick last year took a courageous step to sit during the national anthem. After talking to a navy seal, he decided peacefully #takeaknee to protest the social injustice going on in the way of police brutality.

His peaceful protest asking that the nation look on the American issue of police brutality cost him his job. In the process it started a national conversation. It’s led to the boycotting of games by some.

It also created a firestorm of controversy by many who say its disrespectful to the men and women in uniform and those who’ve graciously and courageously served our country.

Controversy often leads to yelling before we get to the conversation.

Last night and this morning I’ve been reading and commenting on both liberal and conservative friends timelines. Some are criticizing the symbolic gesture of unity for equality because the Cowboys knelt before the anthem and not after.

What I see, hear and feel is HATE on both sides.

What I saw last night were American men of multiple ethnicities, Black, White, Hispanic and Latino lock arms with each other. Their coaches joined and so did the owner who has been an outspoken critic of the gesture.

Want to know what that was?


President Trump’s statement Friday night lit a fire and moved an entire team to say timeout! It moved a conversation forward that one man started.

Instead of criticizing the team for standing after kneeling, consider the images we saw this week that Eric Holder posted that made its way around the internet of Dr. King and others taking a knee.

We’ve come too far now to turn around. The way forward is together. If we spend too much time criticizing instead of encouraging we lose time needed to save the lives of people being killed by the police.

We lose time needed to save children of immigrant families from being deported.

We lose time addressing the issues of social justice in America.

What the Dallas Cowboys team did last night before a national audience is move a conversation onto the international stage. They also may have made it possible for other teams, their coaches and owners to do the same thing.

When Dr. King and others took their knee in prayer, I believe they were asking God for help. Asking God to send more people not just Blacks to their side asking God for deliverance.

It may not look the way you want. Last night didn’t win the war. But it was a victory on the battlefield nevertheless. Imagine what we can get if we use encouraging words instead of negative ones. Who else may join the fight.

Sun Tzu said, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

The strategy should be to win as many people to your side. The Dallas Cowboys just opened the way for others to join the cause.

Want to know why they took a knee? To show unity for equality.

Why isn’t that enough? Win them over compliment them for what they did and stop pushing Hate.

Someone has to take the higher road the one less traveled.

What do you think?


President’s Tough Talk UN Speech

President Trump’s intro today at the UN started with the US economy. Strange for a foreign policy speech. He falsely represented the strength of the economy as an accomplishment of his. As if its success is tied to his November 8th election victory. He talked about the stock market rising. This should alarm us all. At the speed it is rising, the further and faster it has to fall. Another recession is on the horizon and the question is not will it, but when. Where will we be in a year or two?

When he got to foreign policy, it sounded like he would stay on script. He was composed and deliberate with his words. He tied America First to an ideal that all nations should put their nation’s first. And then he said Unated Nations (not a typo) and called the leader of North Korea “Rocket Man.” Here the speech went off track. His speech sounded like his tweets with talk about destroying North Korea to protect America and its allies. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday, “despite President Trump’s fire and fury rhetoric the US is still committed to a diplomatic solution. “I’m waiting for the regime of North Korea to give us some indication that they’re prepared to have constructive, productive talks.”

This is in contrast to what UN Ambassador Nicki Haley said when speaking on US military action. “We wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first,” she said Sunday on State of the Union. “If that doesn’t work, Defense Secretary James Mattis will take care of it.” Have we exhausted all diplomatic opportunities.

What did the president achieve using a name like “Rocket Man” to refer to Kim Jong Un? Is it his way of appealing to his base and not the 190 leaders in the UN hall?

The speech was anything but diplomatic. It sounded like imperialism, not patriotism. He referred to President Truman several times. Why Truman? Because he was the only president to drop an atomic bomb not once, but twice to end the war with Japan at the end of WWII.

In the next few days, the president has a tough decision to make about Iran. Will he signal to Congress that Iran is out of compliance with the Iran agreement. He said today that Iran is using its oil profits to fund terror groups. This follows what Secretary Tillerson also said on Sunday, he believes Iran has violated the spirit of the agreement with other “destabilizing activities in the region” hinting that they’re using oil profits to support terrorists groups.

What will we hear from the president over the next few days and weeks as he decides what to tell Congress about the Iran agreement? I think he hinted today that he wants to say Iran has been non-compliant but the world heard fighting words today. Almost like the president wants to put our troops in harm’s way.

What do you think?

President Trump UN General Assembly Speech

Republicans Are Even 

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

By Atiba Madyun

Maybe I missed something. As an independent voter, #activecitizen and analyst I watch both sides closely. I’m wondering….

Why didn’t Obama, the Clintons and Bernie, the Dems big hitters go into Georgia to rally behind Ossoff?   

When will Dems in Congress fire Pelosi? And learn that winning elections isn’t just about raising the most money. It’s also about taking risks! 

“Handel struggled to compete with Ossoff’s money, but she presented herself as an experienced conservative in line with the district’s traditional Republican leanings. Top Republicans flocked to Georgia to aid her, including Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who helped raise $1 million for Handel at separate events, according to her campaign.

Speaker Paul Ryan, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (a former Georgia governor) and Price himself came to the district to rally GOP voters, too.

The GOP has now won each House special election of 2017, after Trump selected a handful of congressmen from conservative seats for his Cabinet — though Republicans had a close call in South Carolina Tuesday night, where Republican Ralph Norman won the state’s 5th District by a surprisingly close 3-point margin.” Elena Schneider

If Democrats are to make any gains they should learn from Hillary Clinton’s safe campaign tactics that that will not work today. Senator Bernie Sanders proved that taking risks and getting away from the establishment platform of the Democratic Party attracts voters. If the Dems don’t take risks, they won’t win elections and won’t make the gains they believe they should in 2018.  It’s not rocket science! 

Thoughts, Prayers and Party Politics 

​    By Atiba Madyun, President, Party Politics US

Party Politics US offers its thoughts and prayers to Congressman Steve Scalise, the police officers and congressional staff affected by this morning’s shooting in Washington, DC. 

Let us put party differences aside and recognize that the hate and emotions of the shooter that led to this incident are felt by others. People are hurting for all kinds of reasons and our leaders divisions trickle down to the masses.  

It is our hope that Party Politics platforms bring people together across party, religious and cultural lines. It is our hope that we play a part helping us get to know one another. 

As more information about the shooter comes to light, let’s keep in mind that if we don’t find ways to unite our nation, get to know one another and have empathy for all citizens, we could see more incidents like the one today. This is and always should be about our humanity.  

Thank you to our first responders, our law enforcement officials who stopped what could have been far worse. Our prayers are with all impacted today.

#weareone #epluribusunum #makeamericagreatagain #feelthebern #republicans #democrats #cometogether #culture #gun #LOVE #StopHate #activecitizens #BarriersToInclusion #Conversation  

Harness Your ANGER!

By Atiba Madyun

I will be on CGTN America’s program, The Heat tonight at 7pm. Then a guest tomorrow night on Party Politics Chalkboard Conversations podcast with our partner Meghan C Enriquez of True Conversations. 

I hope you will watch the live taping of the podcast and join the conversation, ask a question or make a comment about what you hear. Sign up here to join the conversation tomorrow.

I don’t know how deep Meghan is going to prove but I’m willing to have a real true conversation about my journey and how Party Politics and Chalkboard Conversations grew from a vision to what it is today, a baby ready to grow very fast and extend across continents. Here is a glimpse. 

When I look ahead it feels like I’ve lost more than I’ve gained. I mean, it hasn’t been easy. But when I look back like I will tomorrow night, the journey doesn’t seem so hard. On my plane ride in 2014 from South Africa in 2014, I watched the movie Mandela for the umpteenth time in tears. At Robben Island I lay on the hard, cold floor where Nelson Mandela “Madiba” and his comrades slept for sixteen years while in prison for fighting against apartheid system that oppressed people of color.  
That evening at the home of the late Ahmed Kathrada “Uncle Kathy” who was in prison with Nelson Mandela for 26 years, I sat at the feet of a wise man right there with his rocking chair. And I learned the power of leadership is not how loud you talk, it’s how patient you are. And it’s not about telling others what to think, it is about encouraging others to think for themselves.  

That’s what the Chalkboard is about. And I love reading your thoughts and insight. And I love to run into people on the street who never comment who say they love the Chalkboard. But this is just the beginning. As fast as I want to go, a little patience and having more of you with US will make this go further and faster when the time comes. Not everyone understands the impatience I have, because I’ve learned to quiet that part. Experience is the best teacher, everything I need comes when it’s time to make the moves. It’s strange but true.  
My excitement is that there is much more to come. When I go on The Heat, my travels prove that this show has great bandwidth. It reaches hundreds of millions of people around the globe. This year, I’ve seen the show myself in Cuba, Costa Rica and last week in Hungary. And my cousin, messaged me excited that she was flipping stations and saw me on television in Dubai. 

I share this because, the journey ahead to right what’s wrong with our country will not happen without looking back. It will happen by connecting with cultures inside and outside our country.  

Today, I feel your anger in your posts and comments. That’s a human emotional energy I want you to harness. Anger that is not channeled will harden your heart and cloud your ability to strategize and act. But I’d harnessed it can be a useful tool.  

Looking ahead at times it feel like we’ve lost a lot of progress. But if we look back and see where we have come from, I think you will understand why I believe as former president Obama often says, “I am more optimistic about our future than ever before.”

That doesn’t mean it’s going to get easier before it here’s better. In fact, it’s going to be harder. But if we find ways to have fun together, and harness that hate and anger, strategize and act, we will find ourselves in a better place. 

I believe this because I can see how good and bad incidents are bringing us together. After each attack on humanity we love a little harder. Clutch our children a little bit more. And we are forced to ask the question, why?   

Forgive this long lost, but keep reading almost there. 😜

When I was a child, I had to explain to my friends what Ramadan was and why my family was fasting. Now, my friends some of them on the Chalkboard, know when it starts and ends. They know because more people in the world of other faiths know more about Islam than when I was a child. That’s what I mean by looking back we can measure how far we’ve come. 

We cannot overcome what is wrong until we recognize that coming together across party, cultural, religious, racial, sexual and gender lines is necessary to combat those who want to do harm. And that we have a responsibility to ask why do they hate us so much. What is the president’s agenda. Why is racism and sexism bearing its ugly head.  

See, we are inextricably linked by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we enjoy and our words and actions.  

To change the course of history we have to get outside our comfort zones. My first appearance on television was not as easy as I thought. In fact, I was very uncomfortable. Looking back I am at ease because I got comfortable with being uncomfortable.  

My travels have taught me the more people I get to know the broader my perspective becomes. That’s why I encourage each of you to share more love and get to know someone new everyday. Set in motion an energy of love that will eventually become an unconscious habit you repeat every day.  
I hope you agree, we need more love in the world. Together we can build a world where the party of US that LOVES will far outnumber the party of THEM that HATES.  


Atiba Madyun is founder and president of Party Politics US by putting the party before the politics amplifies and attracts the unheard voices by creating fun, innovative events and safe space where genuine conversations are possible.  Chalkboard Conversations is a platform of Party Politics US created in 2015.  It’s physical boards have captured stories of thousands. Today, it has more than 4,000 members in a private Facebook group.  There people of all walks of life both citizens and elected officials talk and cordially debate the issues of the day by sharing news stories and moderating the conversations. To learn more find Atiba Madyun on Facebook and ask to join the conversations. Join US!

True Conversations is known for its hallmark “true conversations” style interviewing which is reperesentes across the multiple podcast shows hosted on the TRUECast NETWORK, a podcast network for all, panel discussion, True Conversations Podcast, innovative training and speaking for leaders, healers and every day people, events and open arms vibe. 

What’s His Objective?

By Atiba Madyun

Reuters/Kevin LaMarque

US opposition is growing. Trump is a puppet doing someone else’s bidding. Watching him speak, he reads directly from the script.  
Looking back on the November election, I believe we witnessed a coup. It wasn’t a violent coup, but our government was overthrown nevertheless and put into the hands of someone else.  

That explains a secret meeting in the White House where American media were excluded. It explains a campaign, administration staff and even family members with extensive relationships with Russia. It explains provoking North Korea and dropping the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan.  

There is a concerted effort to lead us into violent conflict abroad. This isn’t new.  Look at the escalations that led the world into WWI and WWIII. 

Withdrawing from the Paris agreement is a blatant disregard of global responsibility meant to further isolate us. What is the real objective? Destabilize our markets? What we have here is a hostile takeover of a company (government) with plans to break it up and sell it for profit.  

What happens as the Russia investigation moves forward. If the president’s back is up against the wall, and it’s proven that there was and is a concerted effort by his folks and Russia that impacted the election, what will he do?   

Instead of focusing on what he is doing or done, I want to know what is his overall objective. It isn’t to create jobs or provide healthcare Americans. This is about something sinister and evil. What do you think?
Goldman Sachs CEO tweets for the first time, slams Trump’s Paris decision

Make America Great Again?

By Atiba Madyun

I knew as many of you did, that racism would rear its ugly head under this president. This is why we were disappointed when we learned that some of our friends and even family members were complicit in the scheme to elect this president. 

America’a history is mired in an ugly past. My ancestors from Africa came here unwillingly. They didn’t give in to slavery, they fought it. Often losing their lives within seven years on America’s soil. Their restless souls and mental capacity couldn’t allow their physical bodies be subjected to something so evil and cruel. Some lost limbs, others were killed to keep the others in order. But they rebelled. Slave masters and their families were killed. But history books leave this part out of the books used in schools. Make America Great Again? 

To my friends who voted for Trump or against Clinton because you said she was unfit for office, do you still believe he is fit?   

The ugly head of hate and oppression is showing itself again. The ugly splinter of hate is showing you what we already knew, racism and sexism are alive and well.

Tomorrow is the start of the NBA basketball championship. Even the winner will be called world champion. This in itself is a mockery to the game and to the world. When our athletes will not have played international teams.  

America has a unique way of making it appear that we are the greatest nation on the face of the planet. How is that so, when the game features millionaire superstar African American athletes, descendants of slaves playing for teams owned predominately by white billionaire owners, whose ancestors made money off of free Black labor?

These owners are no different in many respects to the slave owners. It is a hard way to look at basketball. But it is the truth and can be said about football and other sports too! 

The best way, I know to address what we see with this administration is to confront our past. This requires serious introspection and uncomfortable conversations.  

The Chalkboard is a safe space for us to have some dialogue but the real meat will be in confrontational dialogue face to face.  

It requires serious dialogue to address questions that will make all of us, even the descendants of slaves uncomfortable.  

Can we reconcile our past? Only if we are willing to confront it! But it starts with letting go this get over it mentality, that Make America Great Again has perpetuated in incidents like LeBron James home being vandalized. Like countless unarmed Black men being killed by overseers masked in police uniforms.  

To my friends that voted for Trump or a candidate other than Clinton, I still have love for you in my heart because that’s how I’m built. I still have love even for Trump. This will surprise many of you. My love for both is masked in this simple belief. That this had to happen for us to get to a place to have these conversations. I knew then that the death toil would rise. That insecure men would surface thinking they were doing something in the name of Making America Great Again.  

It is necessary for this to happen to let the racism and sexism of insecure men come to the surface. It’s not pretty. And you are complicit in this crime against humanity.  

LeBron has my utmost respect. Not for what he and his family endured. My Jewish and Muslim friends at their synagogues and mosques across the nation are feeling what LeBron has. He has my respect as do these religious institutions for standing up with love in the face of hate.  

Hate will only divide us, love will truly liberate us.