This Is A Better Way Forward!


“You know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once why don’t I talk about race that often. I said, “It’s because I’m a neurosurgeon.” And she thought that was a strange response . . . I said, “You see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are. The hair doesn’t make them who they are. And it’s time for us to move beyond that because . . . our strength as a nation comes in our unity.” Dr. Ben Carson

Last week, the GOP held its first 2016 presidential debate.  Dr. Carson gave the response above. I posted it on Facebook and there were several likes on the post. The thing that struck me most, was Republicans and Democrat, White, Black, Hispanic and Latino all made up those likes.

But some of the responses from a couple friends who commented were against Carson and promoted the need for a conversation on race.

Below is my position and feeling that supports Dr. Carson’s quote above.

“There’s so much pain in the Black community and guilt in the White community.

Our nation was created in a vision, fought for with courage, built on the backs of slaves, righted by the struggle of Blacks so that many others can share in the fountain of hope that she gives. 

We know there are wrongs that still need to be righted.

But I ask that you reflect on this before you answer.

What if all the struggles were for us to learn that the best way forward is together? That we must come up with a better strategy.

We’ve been doing the same thing since the 60s: begging to be accepted.

What if it’s our turn, our time to GROW up! To be stronger! To be a king and queen! To stop being emotional!

To use our intellect. To be proud, not ashamed of being the descendants of slaves. To see in the example of our President, how to elevate above the chaos and do historic things.

To stop asking for, demanding and just be the best example.

See, if we keep talking about race, instead of addressing issues of national concern, we will never get to the promised land!

Blacks hold up progress as much as Whites. Don’t react to that statement emotionally. Really think about it!!!

Yes, police officers are wrong. Want to fix it? Address the policies of policing and rules of engagement in America. It doesn’t have to be about Black and White.

Want to address black on black crime in America and the killing of unarmed citizens who are too often black but also, White and Hispanic? Then address gun reform!

Want to address economic disparity in America. Then address the issues of education. And why young poor people in particular, young boys take their education for granted. Open up opportunities for them to know their history and increase their desire to be doctors and lawyers. This education piece is a national epidemic.

Want to address jobs and unemployment then you have to do those things first, so that these young people are inspired to create jobs. And then our athletes will want to contribute and invest their millions in ways they can build more wealth instead of retiring with no money!

Want to address health disparities? Address economics and do it holistically with a national approach. And it will get better, you will see for everyone.

But the best part of this approach is, if Blacks stand up as a whole and address these issues as a national one, many will join.

They will love and appreciate you as kings and queens who rose above the issue of race. Not because race isn’t an issue. They will because we found an elevated way to approach it. That didn’t point a finger in the chest or one in the eye.

And guess what else? When you rise up to that level, we can make sure that the history books document the true history of Black and White in America. Because not only will we be sitting at the table. Or chairing the meeting. We will have many more on our side, who will vote for what is right for everyone. Not what is just for a few.

That’s what America is about. And that’s what Dr. Carson was saying. Stop talking about race and let’s use your brains to formulate, strategize and develop a better way FORWARD!”

Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP). Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Like Atiba Madyun on Facebook.

All Lives Matter!

  

I will always seek to speak the truth and stand on the right side of justice. 

I will always seek to find ways to create stronger pathways to build bridges of communities. 
I will always even if it means others feeling want to unfriend me on FB, stand up for what I believe. 
Blacks in America have felt the burden of injustice for a long time. Yet have not taught their children to embrace that we are descendants of slaves.  
Too many are not proud of this. I’m not proud that slavery existed, but I embrace the strength and resilience it took to come through it.

I lived in Africa for 2 years, because my father wanted his children to know the continent personally. And when we returned to America, we wanted to kiss the ground. 

While my heart aches for the torture slaves endured, I am so appreciative that God saw fit that happened so that I and millions of others are in America as Americans and not in Africa!

If more of our children were taught this, they would understand that our slave ancestors built the economic foundation of this country. That was our down payment on citizenship. Battling and overcoming segregation was paying it in full.  

Yet, too many don’t look at the symbols of freedom and yell out I’m an American!  I built this country and am entitled to the rights of citizenship just like any other!

Instead they beg to be accepted. We say my way or no way. We cry, scream, holler and shout when someone does something and are quick to cry racist! Yet, Black men are killing Black men.

That is the image that Americans have of our community. Those men wouldn’t be killing each other, selling drugs to one another, creating baby after baby with multitudes of women, if they knew their history. If they were proud of the road we have traveled, they would treasure being an American. And understand why so many struggle to enter this country for an opportunity to be called an American. 

Don’t tell me #BlackLivesMatter until you and others in this movement are ready to work and fix what’s wrong in Black communities first. 

Stop blaming others. The image of Blacks in this nation is warped because of a few. And it’s warped because a majority of us, don’t want to tackle that issue because it is too hard. 
Chicago is just one example of how bad things are with Black on Black crime. 

I’m an American. I’m proud to be an American. I embrace that I am a descendant of a famous abolitionist and freedom fighter, Frederick Augustus Bailey. And I am a descendant of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 

That is part of my American bloodline. I can’t run from it. But I am a reminder to those who seek to divide on both sides that I am a part of the history of this country. 

My bloodlines are the byproduct of slavery. I’m not ashamed of it. I can’t go back and change that. But I can say with all conviction in my heart, that embracing one life over another is wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right.  
South Africa never becomes free of apartheid and America never rids itself of slavery or segregation if someone on the other side didn’t wake up and say wait, #AllLivesMatter. Right the wrongs by being right for all!   

And this nation will not overcome the sickness of racism until someone steps forward with a message that heals and binds instead of sickens and divides.

Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP). Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Like Atiba Madyun on Facebook.

What If Police Didn’t Have a Gun?

  

Would police forces get smaller or have fewer recruits, if they weren’t allowed to carry a firearm?

The video of #SamDubose’s murder is just another example of why guns in the hands of “insecure” people who need to feel powerful, are dangerous.We the People must put pressure on our policy makers and share ideas and solutions to change laws governing “rules of engagement” for law enforcement. 
Demonstrating public outrage without putting our back into the effort to tear down these policies will go only so far. Let’s brainstorm solutions and share them. 

For instance, police training should include advanced tactical training on de-escalation tactics. How to approach situations without a gun.  

And/or what if police officers approaching a driver for a traffic stop are required to leave his/her firearm in their patrol car? 

What do you think about a world where police officer didn’t have a gun? 

#Gun #Reform #NOW #AllLivesMatter
Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP). Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Like Atiba Madyun on Facebook.

We Are Moving FORWARD! 

I laughed first, when I read Ted Cruz comment on SCOTUS decision Friday legalizing gay marriage in America. 

Then I was sad. 

Now I am reflective on the historic events of the past week. 

A week where  SCOTUS upheld that the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits for eligible Americans living around the country are legal. 

The same week, President Obama spoke at the funeral of Rev. Clementa Pinckney who was one of nine people senselessly  shot and killed at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Is the same week members of both political parties called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds. 

To my friends working on justice, equality, race issues take a bow. The long journey on a narrow road has not been widened enough, but it’s wider than its ever been.

There is plenty of room for folks like Cruz when they come around to realize, this nation is not for you, it is for all of us. 

We are, because of the work of so many, in a different America then we were 50 years ago.  And a far different America  from 150 years ago, when slavery was abolished.

Although, there is much to rejoice about, there is time to reflect on the funeral service of Rev. Pinckney.

“Without a struggle, there will be no progress.”

The President’s speech during the service was filled with reflection on America’s journey.

Often, the tone on social media can feel tense as we discuss what we want to see in an ideal America.

The President’s speech was delivered with a measured somber tone and language that offers HOPE.

We can address the calamitous tone of those like Ted Cruz whose comment was that this is the “darkest 24 hours in in our Nation’s history” stronger and better with similar language of HOPE, instead of despair, frustration and anger.

That doesn’t mean those emotions are not just. They just don’t offer the class and dignity to those too often pushed down.

Together, the good people of this Nation have CHANGE and are moving FORWARD.

I was uplifted seeing the #LOVEWins yesterday. As some of you know, I’ve used the #LOVE often this year.  Even been lamented by some, who believe my encouragement of love and forgiveness is meant to wipe away the frustration of so many.

It is not meant to be defined that way. Rather it is meant to reflect that when you show LOVE even to those who are against you, the positive energy it emits will come back to you stronger and purer.

We saw that in the reaction of so many after SCOTUS decision on gay marriage and the response of millions around the world to the senseless Charleston shooting. The response of the victims families can teach us so much!

Our Nation has moved and CHANGE is here. We are moving FORWARD.

Our glass is not half empty.

OUR GLASS IS HALF FULL!

It is up to us to fill it. Either we can fill it with LOVE or hate. I choose LOVE.  Look at what happened yesterday and see the power of LOVE.  As the President eloquently said the murderer had no idea that his HATE would bring the opposite of what he intended.

How about you will you choose to LOVE or hate?

Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP).  Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Like Atiba Madyun on Facebook.

Enough is Enough

Atiba

by Atiba Madyun

Very saddened to hear about the shooting in Charleston.  Unfortunately, it reminded me of the church bombing in Birmingham in 1963.

The gun culture in America has to be reformed.

America’s history is entwined so much in violence. Our country was created and founded in a document of war declaring our independence from England.

It took a war within to end the culture of slavery in our nation.

When we seek to level our playing fields ie. women’s right to vote and to end segregation it often came after a fight to end its oppression.

All of this including reading today that police officers (who carry guns) in Alabama with links to the KKK have been suspended.

The culture of hate in our nation is not spiraling, it is out of control. To those who believe every citizen has the right to bear arms I agree with you. But I don’t believe that every citizen or any citizen needs to own a gun. More and more, I believe most police officers should not be armed with a gun.

As a nation, we are at times respected and at times feared and at other times hated because of the power of our weaponry.

As a leader in the global community, it will take our citizens as we have many times before, coming together to end the gun culture as we know it.

It will take citizens coming together to champion for a society not predicated on violence, but one reformed by the recognition that if we don’t…..we will continue to have shootings like New Town, Connecticut where innocent little children and teachers were killed.

Or Arizona, where former Congresswoman Giffords was shot.

Or more Columbines and Virginia Techs. Or senseless killings in Chicago, DC and NY of innocent citizens and innocent police officers.

Or more shootings of young people like Tamir Rice, Oscar Grant, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin or Walter Scott.

Or more shootings like the one last night in Charleston, SC…..

Enough is enough. Let’s not make this one about race even if it is!

Let’s make this about the billion dollar gun culture in America that makes people think they have power over someone else.

Let’s not make this about hate. Let’s make this about the serious mental illness we have in this country.

Let’s make this about something bigger than what we see on the surface.

Let’s make this about US. A nation seeking to become a more perfect Union.

May God Bless The United States of America!

#CharlestonShooting #AllLivesMatter #America #Guns

Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group, a Public Affairs firm based in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP).  Follow on Twitter @atibamadyun or Like Atiba Madyun on Facebook.

Selma & Ferguson Are Now!

selma

By Atiba Madyun

I applaud the DOJ for its findings released this week on Michael Brown’s senseless, tragic killing in Ferguson!

The findings bring to light what we’ve known a long time, Black men and Hispanic men are too often targeted by police.

But there are other systemic issues, like the revenue states and local jurisdictions rely on by issuing fines. Or the length of time for the same type arrests that Blacks are held or detained.

Ferguson shed light on its department, but this has gone on, too long in the US.

What are the next steps to be taken?

President Obama last week in an Immigration Town Hall in Florida said that only 1/3 of registered voters voted in last year’s midterms.  And that much of the gridlock in Washington could be avoided if more people voted.

In light of the historic anniversary tomorrow of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama, it is important that everyone regardless of political affiliation recognize, acknowledge and do their part in elections simply by casting their VOTE!

Let us remember that many men, women and children died so that we have the right to vote.  Rev. Jesse Jackson said shortly after Ferguson, that if 5,000 more people were registered to vote in Ferguson, they could effect the outcome of their mayoral election.  Guess who picks the Chief of Police?  The Mayor!!!

We speak often of the gridlock in Congress.  Well those who marched in Selma did so 5o years ago so that we could all Vote.  In Ferguson and other reaches of the country, we can continue to complain or we can exercise the right to Vote and elect representatives who best serve the interests of the many not the few.  Selma and Ferguson are now!

We the People can change the gridlock and complexion (pun intended) of the Congress and other elected offices around the nation, if we all VOTE!

Atiba Atiba Madyun is the President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP). Follow @atibamadyun or like on Facebook Atiba Madyun