Archive for September, 2016

Why I Kneel with Colin Kaepernick

September 9, 2016

kaepernick-kneeling

Once again, we’ve been shown, in two distinctly different situations, the differences between white and black people in America.
Imagine if you will, then-Senator Obama praising Putin during the 2008 presidential campaign. Can you imagine the outrage, justifiable in my mind, that the GOP and media would have evoked and exhibited towards him? Now, look at the relatively muted response from both towards Donald Trump today. They would have destroyed Barack Obama and called him everything but a child of God.
Add in the various responses to the recent actions and words of 49er QB Colin Kaepernick regarding the American flag. For the most part, whites have called him ungrateful and unpatriotic while most blacks, have said, “Yeah Kap, you get it. You see the hypocrisy of what’s going on today.”
You can say whatever you want about me but I support Colin Kaepernick’s stance 1000%! Black men have been killed by police for doing such things as selling loose cigarettes on a street corner or not getting out of the street when ordered to by a police officer. BUT, a white man shoots up a Colorado movie theater, killing TWELVE people and he’s taken into custody alive.
A white racist goes into a black CHURCH in Charleston, SC, kills NINE innocent people who were gathered to worship and praise God, and not only is he taken into custody without a single shot fired, the police stop by a Burger King on the way to the jail because he was hungry.
My family has a long and proud history of serving in uniform. My parents and uncles all served as did I (USAF 1973-77). They put themselves on the line for this country at a time when in many parts of it, they weren’t even treated as full citizens. The very same flag they served to protect and honor was used to deny them their full civil rights in the segregated Deep South.
I know this makes some white people, well-meaning and who don’t support any form of discrimination and police abuse, uncomfortable but, there are huge and significant differences between the way most black and white Americans view this country and its flag and what it’s supposed to mean. Kaepernick, in his own way, is giving voice and a face to those differences and I kneel with him all the way.

Labor Day 2016

September 5, 2016

Like some of you, I’m “seasoned” enough to remember when Labor Day meant the unofficial end of summer and the start of school the next day. Today, kids go back to school in August and Labor Day seems like just another Monday holiday.

Since Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers en masse – to be fair, they knew they were legally barred from striking and had been warned that Reagan would fire them – we’ve seen a steady reduction in the numbers and influence of unions and their members. Many states, particularly in Southern states, have enacted “right-to-work” laws and regulations which have led to reduced earnings and benefits.

The GOP has been virulently anti-union and its elected officials from the local level to the White House have done everything within their power to heed the desires of their corporate bosses and donors. They see unions and their members as greedy, lazy, unproductive workers who don’t want to work hard, but just want to be protected and coddled. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve dealt with unions for almost 40 years now both as a member when a part of labor and management when I’ve held executive positions. I respect and honor the primary goals of unions – good wages, benefits and job protection – for those they represent. Currently, I am a proud employee of the State of California and an equally proud member of SEIU and both entities have been good to and for me.

On this Labor Day, I salute the past, present and future of labor unions and their members. Unions have been at the forefront of ensuring a middle class in America and must be supported in trying to keep that dream alive and obtainable for as many as possible.

May God Bless and Keep You All and please, vote on Election Day!