Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Civil War Was One Of The Most Shameful Things In The Short History Of The U.S

I am going to approach this as an educator, because that is what I am and that is what I do when trying to make a point.

Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War (this is just soldiers mind you, not civilians so the numbers are much larger). No other war in our history killed so many:

This was a war that deeply divided a nation, and whatever your ideology, those divisions were not good for the country and some areas never recovered.  

I have heard people from the south refer to the civil war as “the war of northern aggression”, I still find that amusing, but my point is the war is still a sore point with people even today. 

The confederate flag is called a battle flag to some, and people want to use it to remember their war heroes; we are all entitled to our thoughts and beliefs, and quite frankly it does not bother me but I have an advantage of being a first generation American on this issue. It is also a symbol of hate and death to others, and unfortunately it gets displayed that way an awful lot, especially by people who are racists (not everyone is by the way).

Here is what people should really be thinking, here is where we should be focusing our thoughts for just a moment. This was a war that deeply dived and still divides the nation, so why then would you want to keep flying the symbol of that division? Healing cannot start until wounds are closed, and the confederate flag, like it or not, is a wound that needs to be healed.

So looking at it logically, it’s time to retire “Old Dixie” just like other flags and symbols that got retired after wars, because of the great divisions they evoked.

Swallow your pride and think about your nation for just a second.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, June 18, 2015

National tradgedies belong to all of us...

We have another awful incident in this country today, and unfortunately it will not be the last. However, how we approach and talk about it can change right now.

These were American victims killed, so they were all our victims, and there will be more victims before this is all done including the family of the shooter.

Do not concentrate on sound bites, approach this with love and compassion, not hate and more hate. We need to come together to solve future incidents, and we need to do it now before each story fades away as old news.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sharing and article June 10, 2015

This is worth a read and thoughts:

The War on Thugs

How propaganda fuels our prison problem

By Jason Stanley

“In 1980, there were 500,000 Americans in prison or jail. By 2013, there were more than 2.3 million. The explosion in incarceration has fallen disproportionately on the descendants of slaves. White Americans are 77 percent of the U.S. population, and black Americans 13 percent. Yet more blacks are incarcerated than whites. There has scarcely been a time in history when one group has composed so much of the world’s prison population; black Americans may only be 13 percent of the U.S. population, but they are 9 percent of the world’s prison population.”

Keeps this conversation going because it is an education problem.


Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, June 8, 2015

Race is still a consideration in America

Image result for Race  in America
If you look at the title of this piece, and nothing jumps out, then you are missing the point. We still divide people in this country into various races, as if we are genetically different. Yes I know race is a social construct, but many people do not; they really believe there are different races.
I have said this before, and I will say it again; when a country as young as the United States, that is built upon oppression of poor people and people from different lands, and we do not acknowledge this sordid past, then we will never be post-racial. Also, there is a difference between bigotry and racism, but that is a different subject.
From a simple numbers perspective look at the facts:
·         Law enforcement and legal punishments are extremely skewed when it comes to people of color. It so happens poverty is higher in this group, and so those same stats are skewed against poor people in general (http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/department-of-justice-report-on-the-ferguson-mo-police-department/1435/)
·         “Interracial” (hate this term) relationships, although legal, are still treated like they should be illegal in many parts of this country; especially if it is a black male involved. I have heard a million and one “logical” reasons from well-meaning individuals when what they really meant to say is simply “because they are black” (http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/another-religious-freedom-showdown-brews-north-carolina, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/15/interracial-couple-denied_n_322784.html)
·         Most Muslims are not Arabs, not all Arabs are Muslim, and not all Muslims are terrorists. We believe in freedom of religion in this country, not “freedom of only the religion I approve of”. Believe in the constitution or shut up
·         If not for the power of technology and social media, we would not even believe many of these police brutality incidents ever existed (https://news.vice.com/article/south-carolina-cop-charged-with-murder-after-video-shows-him-shooting-unarmed-black-man-in-the-back, http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/08/us/mckinney-texas-pool-video/)
·         For all you foolish people now quoting this new silly statistic I have seen floating around: “93% of blacks voted for Obama in 2008 for all the wrong reasons”; what makes you think you know the right reasons, and how do you know what their individual reasons were? The population of the United States is approx. 400 Million, of which 12% are black or African-American. So there is no way African-American’s could have been solely responsible for voting President Obama into office, the majority of the voters did that. For the record President Obama is the president of the country, like it or not, he was elected twice. Respect the office and the political process or shut up.
There are people we all know and respect who regular say, use, and act out bigotry, and often they are not even aware of it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdyin6uipy4).
My point is this, sweeping things under the rug will not help, and pretending it does not exist will not help. Inventing terms like “race baiter” and “reverse racism” is foolish and perpetuates the ignorance; and if all you do is mention Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson every time there is an incident involving race then you have no clue.
Image result for do you believe in the constitution?
The constitution is for everyone!  If you truly believe in God then believe in the message that is being delivered, not just the parts you want to hear. Do you love your neighbor, tolerate them, or wish they would go somewhere else because you feel they are bringing down property values?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Monday, June 1, 2015

Social media and Education

Have you ever tried to incorporate social media into your classroom? I often hear the argument that it is important to use the tools students are using in order to reach them; trouble is what if the students are using the tools badly in the first place?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Do you really know what your job description is?

Look at some of the classified job ads on the internet today, read the descriptions and then compare the descriptions to the titles. Now, take a look at your own job title and compare it to what you actually do. Does the information match?

Companies are obsessed with productivity nowadays, to the point where there are actual metrics for how much time you spend in the bathroom (seriously). Funny thing is, we are more productive than ever thanks to technology. It seems we are constantly plugged in to some kind of information stimuli, even when we should be relaxing, and companies seem to want to capitalize on this trend until they can discard you for the “newer model". There is no social contract at work, and the expected ramp up time for jobs is getting shorter and shorter.

Now back to the job description. The descriptions are so general or so all-inclusive that it borders on false advertising; and the reward for doing a good job is more work (with no pay increase). There are large companies that hire large amounts of people, but do not seem to understand why they have 50% to 100% turnover rates. Sure, they will blame it on the “metrics”, but human beings are more than just numbers and require more than just orders.

When was the last time you had one-on-ones with your employees and asked them about their family? When was the last time you gave a heartfelt thank you to all your employees just because? Some companies reward the top people because they want them to keep producing, then burn them out because they expect more and more from them all the time. These same companies punish everyone for not hitting the same goals as the top people; they punish until the employee has had enough and then the company has to start again with new people. Your most valuable employees are actually the ones who are there day in and day out being consistent: not everyone is going to be a superstar.

Companies are you being honest when you hire people or are you deliberately obfuscating? Do you have a long-term plan for your employees or are you running a puppy mill.
Image result for puppy mill

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Saturday, May 9, 2015

True patriotism

There are a lot of common misconceptions it seems on what it means to be a patriot, now keep in mind this is just my opinion, but since I am highly educated educator I hope you will give my opinion some thought.

  • Being a patriot does not mean you must have done a combat tour in the military, only 7% of the population currently serve, and of that 7% percent most will never see combat. But I dare you to try and run a war without your supply or mess hall unit; let me know how that works out for you. Also, do not tell me the community volunteers are not serving their country
  • Hoisting a flag in your front yard does not make you a patriot. Most people are not even aware of proper flag protocol anyway, but they mean well. The flag is a symbol of something bigger than you not a symbol of you.
  • Being anti immigrant does not make you a patriot, especially since this country was built on immigration (listen to what I just said not what you interpreted)
  • You do not have to be a diehard Christian to be a patriot, there are many people practicing Christian values who have never step foot in a church in their life: does that make them bad?

There are many people out there practicing what I call “false patriotism”. They will proclaim their love of country to everyone in the bar, but when that person of color who has served their country in uniform (even though you might not know) moves into your neighborhood you throw rocks at their window because you do not like the color of their skin.

There are many other examples I could give, but my point is this: true patriotism means, “love thy neighbor”. It means be a good person, and try to leave the world a better place than you found it. It means that after you are gone, people will still think of you with true love and honor your memory.

Look around you, and find the opportunities to be a patriot close to home and not just in the news.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam