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White America’s Misunderstanding of the Black Lives Matter Movement


I truly don’t understand how it can be any clearer that the statement: Black Lives Matter does NOT imply that: White Lives Don’t Matter…it does NOT imply that “Police Lives Don’t Matter”…nor does it imply that “All Lives Lives Don’t Matter” – because they all do! That is not what those who are involved in this movement believe. Where do people interpret that such a declaration, which apparently is a very powerful one or else it wouldn’t be receiving so much grief, means or implies in it anywhere that ONLY Black Lives Matter? How does the mention of this single statement serve to disqualify the importance of all other lives? I have not heard anyone in this movement make such a claim. And last I checked, life doesn’t have a color.

The words BLACK LIVES MATTER seem to be piercing the unconscious minds of Americans who lay asleep in their own little dream worlds. Is it because it is such a novel idea for White Americans to mentally peruse? Why does it bother so many of them to hear this particular declaration? Are Black Americans not supposed to value their lives, and the lives of their seed in such a way? That is to say, in such a way that White Americans value their lives, and the lives of their children and loved ones? A valuing that ultimately elicited the construction of a police force that would protect them from their perceived fears of Black people being a threat to them? In many people’s minds, the majority of which appear to be white Americans, this declaration does, in fact, mean that what those who declare it really intend to say (in secret, I guess) is that no one else’s lives matter, except for Black lives. And I just don’t get that – it simply isn’t true, and it isn’t at all the intention behind the slogan. Are we really that deep-seeded in our racist ideologies that we cannot see that it means nothing of the sort?? We are. And this bothers me even more than all of the other foolery that is clogging up the American media airways, as the lovely tunes of ISIS threats and the dangers of Latino immigration from Central and South America, play voluminously in the background. It is utterly absurd!


The Black Lives Matter movement seems to be fiercely dedicated to achieving the goal of equal treatment of a race of people who have historically, as well as in modern times, been mistreated by both police and the judicial and justice systems that support them and legally allows them to mishandle people of color, primarily Black people. This can be seen in the disproportionate number of Blacks occupying American prisons versus Whites, and overwhelmingly for non-violent offenses carrying unfairly extensive sentences. When statistics show that Whites are just as likely, and more likely in some cases, to commit a crime and when convicted, receive more favorable sentencing. We are learning daily that this is a product of criminalization and dehumanization, which serves to enable the system to devalue the life of the dehumanized. This same tactic has been used over and over in America, as well as in other countries such as Nazi Germany, to create a pretext that would justify an annihilation of the dehumanized in accordance to a preset agenda of the dominant and prevailing power structure.

Here’s what I don’t get. There has never been a question as to whether or not White life matters – it is obvious that it does. From the beginning, everything in American society was/is designed to safeguard and cater to a world of White privilege. Let’s be honest about this. However, conversely, it is not so obvious that Black life matters just the same. Being that so much in our society has been historically designed to do just the opposite for Blacks – not to uplift but to oppress. You would have to be blind and dumb not to notice and acknowledge this to be the case. I have been observing the Black Lives Matter movement closely for about a year now, following the controversial murder of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by white police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, MO in August 2014. Let’s make note here of the fact that I felt the need to specify the “race” of these two individuals in this blog, as proof that even I am not immune to the disease of separatism that has polluted and plagued The United States of America since its very beginnings. A beginning which is known for its genocidal actions against this land’s native and indigenous people. I digress.

Community residents around a recent alleged shooting of a Texas deputy sheriff by a Black male (one of course fitting the same old description that has been used to demonize Black men in America for centuries), who had a long rap sheet of criminal activity trailing behind him – is attempting to link the murder to the activist activities of the Black Lives Matter organization – an organization that clearly seeks to end police brutality via augmented policing tactics and the implementation of modified public policies. This benevolent organization has been under fire since its inception, and is now being characterized as a hate group. Are you kidding me?! The commentary that people are making all over social media threads is mind-boggling to say the least.

The assailant in the aforementioned Texas sheriff incident had a history of several run-ins with police, and had resisted arrest on a few occasions during those run-ins, blah blah blah…Typical, right? Now I am not saying that none of this information is true or accurate, but it is certainly a song that I am sure so many Blacks in America, and quite a few Whites as well, are tired of hearing played like a broken record. Why can’t we just get our shit together once and for all in this country, so many of us are thinking! We are arguably the most educated, innovative, civilized (so we believe), prosperous, and wealthiest people on this planet, yet we are at the same time an utter shame to the rest of humanity. The Whites think the Blacks are the problem, and the Blacks think it’s the Whites who are the problem. When in fact, that is the problem – We have never understood each other’s plights, nor have most of us sincerely sought to. Yes, there is a certain plight that comes along with being birthed into White privilege, I do get that. But there is a serious struggle of life and death that comes along with being born with Black skin in America, and I have found that most White Americans cannot begin to wrap their heads around it; they’d rather avoid the conversation altogether. They don’t believe things are as bad as Blacks make them out to be. And on some level this is understandable. Why is all of this possible? Well…it is because collectively, we are fools. We are fools, who will buy just about anything and who continually allow ourselves to be ‘played’ by this recurring narrative that has been supplanted into our subconscious by the media, and with great frequency, I might add, in order to keep us from ever trusting each other. If we never learn to trust each other, we will remain divided. Without trust, we will never come together and move beyond skin color to finally see what is hiding behind the curtain of hate that is constantly being draped over our eyes. We are fools, I repeat. The police (not individuals but the collective psychological makeup of the police force and the profession as a whole), and their mentality toward the way they feel they can handle citizens, is a HUGE part of the problems we are facing in our society today. Their egos and arrogance too often blind them to this fact. Their loved ones are also oblivious to the severe damage these heroically hailed officers have and continue to cause between poor and Black community members and themselves. Their vast ignorance is the real culprit here. I’ll save the rest of my thoughts around that topic for another day.


So yes, White Lives Matter! Yes, Police Lives Matter! And yes, All Lives Matter! But what we are proclaiming here is that the lives that are not being treated and/or seen as though they matter just the same, do. Yes, Black Lives Matter! Say it loud and long together with me – BLACKLIVESMATTER! Yes, they do.


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Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up humanity to see a world that could exist if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, and to see themselves truly as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, to schedule individual sessions, or book him to speak to your youth organization.

What Does GOD Really Want of Your Life?



Above: The Christian GOD interpretation

Literalists and religious fundamentalists who parade around in getups of fanaticism have littered our world today with misinformation that has formed the greatest misconceptions about what we call GOD. This has been largely a result of ignorance and little fault of their own. However, there has to be some responsibility and accountability on all of our parts to want to see and discover the real world that is surrounding us – not the fantasy world living in our minds that has been created for us by others. This fantasy is what has driven humanity mad, and held firm the obvious wedge that exists between the relationship of science and GOD. This fantasy has also served to keep humanity captive to a substandard understanding of its true and powerful potential nature. As I told a friend the other day, “my brother, Science IS GOD! The two cannot be separated.” To fail to see this is a vast oversight of what sits quietly screaming just beneath our noses.

These misconceptions that I speak of have shaped our perceptions of the being often referred to as GOD – and particularly what IT wants of our lives. In truth, we have no clue – none of us do. But the belief that we do has left billions on Earth with the feeling of guilt that they have and are constantly failing to achieve what is expected of them by a GOD who forgives, but only to cast judgement again. What gives! Through sacred texts, so-called “enlightened” men have given us rules, principles, and commandments, all bearing the unique signature of their own interpretations of experience, wrapped and presented as synonymous with GOD’s wishes for how we are to live. Billions have swallowed this idea whole, primarily for a lack of alternative perspectives to consider. These interpretations have been passed down through generations by the purveyors of this “truth”, which is really only truth to them, and based upon their personal experience. Sidebar: You must have your own experience in order to truly know! They have gifted us countless ancient, outdated, obsolete and irrelevant second and third-hand stories and accounts of what GOD wants out of the lives of every single human being on Earth. A life that has been given freely and without any expectation of what to do with it. But we’ll get to that in a minute. Note: I use the word “IT” or “Source” – to refer to what most label GOD – in complete reverence…reverence to the fact that I do not perceive this Divine entity of LOVE as personified in the form of a male; I vehemently reject this idea in fact. If I had to assign IT a gender, it would both male AND female/masculine AND feminine. No human form at all would be my highest preference; I hope this chosen terminology doesn’t bother you as a reader and distract you from getting the point and intention of the entire article.

Above: Interpretation of one of the Hindi GODs

So let’s get to it! It is my personal belief – and I think most of us can agree – that life is given to us freely; to use entirely as we wish. To our awareness, we did nothing to arrive here on earth. You didn’t have to do anything to earn your existence, did you? So for all intents and purpose, Life appears to be some sort of gift, right? When we think about the proper intent behind a gift, it is for the receiver to use that gift in whatever way they see fit or desirable. Of course, as the giver of the gift, we may have our own wishes about how we would like to see the receiver use the gift we gave. But in the end, it is their choice on how – or even if – they use it at all. However, the way in which we choose to use the gift of life does not come without consequences attached to those choices. But this does not mean that you are not still free to live it as you wish. For example: if you choose to use drugs and alcohol without moderation, it isn’t a sin – but you could end up dead or acquiring health issues that could affect your gift in drastically negative ways. If we choose to engage in casual sex or promiscuity, it isn’t a sin – but such partaking could lead to fatal or life-long diseases, or a child shared with someone we never had any intention of being with on any long-term basis. If we choose to bring harm to or mistreat others, it isn’t a sin – it might be considered immoral by many social standards, however, and the results could return a similar fate to the perpetuator of such hatred. So you see, there is always cause and effect at play – it’s just the way our Universe is designed. The purpose of this design is to create unlimited potentiality for the experiencing of limitlessness, as well as to provide a mechanism and a mirror by which human beings are to see themselves in their relationships to other people, things, events, and experiences.


Above: interpretation of the ancient Egyptian GOD, Osiris

The best way to analogize the GOD/Man relationship, and the inherent expectations that accompany it, is to consider it within the context of the relationship between a parent (the creator on a microcosmic scale) and a child (the created). The parent typically loves the child, there is rarely any doubt about this fact. The parent wants only the best for the child, we can probably all agree on this as well. The parent also harbors a great desire to see their child smiling, happy, and joyful as they move through life. They want to be there to celebrate them and their achievements, as well as to wipe the tears from their eyes when they are feeling sad, are hurting or suffering. These are just a few of the most basic things that any parent wants for their child – they want the absolute best for them. Parents will set certain rules into place for the child to abide by, in an effort to protect them from harm. This is a symbol of their love. They will often use others to help get messages to their children that they are having a difficult time delivering. Love is never a question. The most primal thing that a parent wants to see in their children is their surviving and thriving. An emotionally healthy parent has a deep, deep desire to see their child filled with glee. And THAT, beloved, is the only hope and expectation of you with YOUR life from your Creator to you, the created.

The Creator/parent at some point must come to the realization that they cannot protect the child from all suffering that life is sure to bring. They realize that at some level they must let go a little, to allow the child to get their feet wet with the rich experiences of living. But, they will always be there for them. Not because they want to, but because they have no other choice. You see, the connection between a parent and child is far more complex than most of us are aware of. It is not just a physical or genetic one, but a spiritual and energetic one as well; this is most often overlooked. Energetically, a parent can never escape the connection they share with their child; not even when they abandon them or give them up for adoption. There is an invisible line, an ethereal link that is always there connecting you. Such is also the case between YOU and YOUR Creator. Even when you choose what some might view as a crooked path, or life of chaos for yourself, just like a child is always connected to and loved by its source, so are you also connected and loved eternally by YOURS.


Above: New Age interpretation of GOD – pure energy; without form, but containing all forms

The variations in which we could possibly live our lives are endless. We tend to only be aware of the limited number of ways that we have been exposed to; oblivious of the fact that there are people living in distant corners of this planet, living a completely different way of life than you. There is no expectation for how you are to live your life, but I do believe there is a hope that you will during your time here, choose to live an enlightened one – a life that is filled with love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, and selflessness. The hope is that you will awaken from the dream, and to the realization that YOU are the dreamer. Always know that you are ALWAYS connected to, and ALWAYS loved, no matter what you choose for your life. It is impossible to lose love, because Love is what you are.



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Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up humanity to see a world that could exist if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, and to see themselves truly as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, to schedule individual sessions, or book him to speak to your youth organization.


Inspirational Injections with Bradford Speaks – Dec 2, 2014


















The primary of living is to fall in love with the moment.” -Bradford Speaks

Bradford Speaks’ Mind
Though some believe they have solved the mystery of life, such a claim is an extremely bold statement to make; so let’s be clear that this is not my claim here. But I want to also be clear that it is my claim that from my perspective the point of living is to totally fall in love with the moment; and I believe this with 100% of my being. If this belief serves to solve life’s mystery for you, then so be it – embrace it wholly. It certainly works for me! :)
When we are unwilling to embrace  the moment – and ultimately fall in love with – every single challenge, struggle, consequence, victory and success life brings our way, we suffer. We spend more of our time trying to figure out the “why”, instead of taking it all in as simply what-IS, and loving it just as it is. As humans, our nature is to weave meaning to things; we attempt to attach meaning to all the twists and turns of our lives. This is why the phrase “everything happens for a reason” is so popular in modern culture. We may not know what that reason is, but we are fairly certain it must have some meaning behind it. It all just can’t be random, can it? Weaving meaning is the way we make sense of the vast and mysterious world surrounding us. We should strive to make meaning of our experience, and come to love whatever meaning we make of it. We typically find it easier to fall in love with what we like A LOT.
So my suggestion is: Set your intention on making the point and meaning of life one that you like A LOT, so that falling in love with it is smooth and easy.
Embracing each moment in no way means to ignore our feelings or emotions. Feelings and emotions are what give life depth, contour, and well…motion. They are what make a still frame shot into a movie. Life represents itself to us in small bits – or what many call, moments. Like single, milliseconds of a motion picture, we edit each frame simultaneously in our minds, and then paste them favorably together to create a story we can be proud of. But, is it the actual story that makes us proud, or is it the way we receive and perceive the story? I would argue that it is the latter.
Often times we cannot change the story, but we can ALWAYS change our perspective on the story. Change your perspective on anything, and you will be amazed at the love that can potentially follow.
Shine Brightly,
Bradford Speaks
Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker
Certified NLP Practitioner
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Inspirational Injections with Bradford Speaks – Nov 24, 2014

If it were not for the darkness that we experience in life, the Light that subsequently illuminates our pathway would not shine as bright. Darkness is a necessity for The Light in YOU to become more evident, showcasing the true essence of who you really are. – Bradford Speaks

Bradford Speaks’ Mind


We all know that Darkness and Light are literal and polar opposites, at least according to the way the mind interprets our world. The concepts of these have great implications, as they have come to define the ideas we have around good and evil as it relates to the life-dream we are creating and experiencing together. They have also served to form the great barriers that we have so neatly placed around ourselves and our true potentiality. To most, Darkness (or blackness) carries a connotation of evil, bad, or dirty. While Light (or white), on the other hand, has been connoted with good, pure, “holy”, and clean. Many have taken this belief and run with it as truth, when it couldn’t be further from it.
The truth is that without Darkness, Light could not and would not exist. Light is the daughter of Darkness. We cannot be cognizant of one without first having re-cognition of the other. Light can only been seen against Darkness, for if it were not for darkness Light would have no background from which to reflect its innate beauty. Doesn’t this make Darkness the intrinsic beauty of Light? Darkness is the characteristic of our lives that we try to shun and avoid, but that we should actually embrace more fully. In this embracement, we can be assured that the Light is just beyond the horizon. In fact, the horizon is already before you – it is YOU.
Life has an array of Darkness that it must present to us in order to make us take note of the Light that is ever-present withIN and around us. You strategically chose your dark moments to serve as a gentle reminder of who you are – to awaken you inside the life-dream so you can be given multiple opportunities to choose again to live life more lucidly. You chose these moments of darkness because at some level you knew that like a trail of bread crumbs, they would lead you back to the Lighted path. There is no darkness, there is only YOU. And YOU…ARE…The Light.
Shine Brightly,
Bradford Speaks
Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker
Certified NLP Practitioner

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on PinterestView our videos on YouTubeView our profile on LinkedIn


Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up the world to see one that it could exist in if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, to see themselves as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, and to schedule individual sessions, or book him to speak to your youth organization.

Who Do You Want As Your Neighbor?: Looking Through The Eyes of the Solitarily Confined

“Who Do You Want As Your Neighbor? That’s what it really boils down to!” -Marquis 


Above is a photo of my friend, Marquis. The words above, as well as the ones to follow, are his own. He was one of the participants who filled one of the 23-hours inside of the mock solitary confinement cell at UCLA during October 2014, the Month of Resistance Against Mass Incarceration.

What makes Marquis unique, you might ask? He actually served 15 of his young 36 year life inside a state penitentiary in Texas for a first offense, non-violent crime. Seven of those 15 years were spent in solitary confinement, so he speaks from first-hand experience and from his heart. But even after that, he still doesn’t feel he’s paid his full debt to society. I’ll tell you this, contrary to what many people’s perceptions are about so-called ex cons, the young man is very intelligent and bright, very well spoken, wise, and very open and honest about his experience inside the system. And he is committed to changing it.

Here are some of his most notable remarks as he spoke to an 18 year-old about his solitary confinement and incarceration experience:

I have no regrets, no quarrels with the time I served. I did the crime. My issue is with the product that the prisons are producing.
– The intent of prison is NOT to reform or rehabilitate inmates, it is to torture, abuse, and use. It actually breeds an even more violent and criminal mind than the one that entered the prison, one that has little regard for life due to the violent nature of the prison environment. It eats away at their conscience.
– I no longer have the right vote, so I have little political power to choose our leaders. So I’m doing things like this as my part to help create change.
– I skipped my plumbing 101 class at the community college today because this cause is so very important, not just to me but to all of us.
– Taxpayers footed the bill to feed me, clothe me, and house me for 15 years. I’m not even close to paying back that debt.
– Solitary confinement creates insanity in what was once a sane human being. It breaks down the mind.
– I was often beaten and spoken to harshly by corrections officers and other prison staff, for trying to organize and hold study groups, encourage reading, self education, and self discovery – true reform to other prisoners.
– I saw 60 year old men become so frustrated with themselves because they could write their name but could not use it in writing a sentence. What happens to one who can’t read or write when they re-enter society? We’ve failed him yet again.
– The only reason I was able to survive and come out relatively healthy and sane was because I was one of the 4% of inmates who had great family support. They sent me books, newspapers, magazines, etc; their contact and care is what helped me maintain my sanity.
– Your bed is about “this wide”, you can barely turn over in it, and you have a toilet/sink combo over in that corner.
– People don’t realize that by not ensuring a prison system that actually addresses the real (often mental and emotional) issues that many prisoners face, when released, those same people could be their neighbors. So do you want someone who’s a worse criminal than before around your family and children, or someone who’s going to be a contributing member of society?
– Solitary confinement corrupts the mind, so it is not strange that a detainee might draw an image on his wall and begin having conversations with it…or start masturbating to pictures of fully dressed women. Something just isn’t right about this type of treatment toward humans; on so many levels.
– On my day of release after 15 years of time served, they handed me $100 cash, and sent me on my way. If you’re lucky, that might get you a night in a hotel and a meal or two. But then what?


Marquis, much love to you my brother for speaking out so loudly against the system that has misused and abused you and millions of others. We need more brave ones like you to fight and win this war against mass incarceration, and finally put a halt to this slow genocide. Thank you!




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Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up the world to see one that it could exist in if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, to see themselves as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, and to schedule individual sessions, or book him to speak to your youth organization.

I Relaxed, I Trusted, I Shouldn’t Have – And That’s On Me

trustI am alive. As I continue to watch the struggle of being Black in America, and the flurry of young black men being brutalized and senselessly gunned down like wild animals by bullying police officers all across the American landscape, it all evokes memories of my distant childhood and the rejected messages and conversations that my dear mother so eagerly wanted me to hear and understand. It wasn’t that she was paranoid or anything, but it was that she loved me so much, and my safety and well-being were of the utmost importance to her; this didn’t only apply to me, but it was the case with all of her children. The same can be said of most mothers as it pertains to her offspring; even in the wild kingdom. I grossly ignored her, and listened to my own experience, and as of today was horribly deceived by it.

Mothers and Suns often share a very special bond, as do father’s and daughters. My relationship with my mother was no different – my mother and I are still very close today. My mother was born in 1931 in the small Louisiana town of Bogalusa,  Louisiana, located just outside the back door of the still highly racist state of Mississippi. My father actually moved to Bogalusa as a young teen (where he met my mother) from Silver Creek, Mississippi, in search of better opportunities than were afforded anyone of African descent living in Mississippi during that time. I can’t imagine there was much more in Louisiana for a black man than was in Mississippi during that time, but he came over and just like so many other descendants of slaves, somehow found a way to make it work. He was born in 1930, not too far away in the rearview of the “abolishment of slavery”, which any unbiased historian would tell you, wasn’t fully accurate. It had not been truly abolished, especially not in the south. I mean, lynchings were still taking place. The murder of 14 year-old Emmitt Till, one of the most horrific in recorded American history, happened in 1955 for godssake, and Jim Crow Laws were in full effect! These laws carried the power to incarcerate people for being unemployed. And yes, you guessed it, due to the lack of opportunities afforded to blacks in a economic system uncompromising to their predicament, thousands upon thousands fell prey to these wretched laws.


In the 1970s-80s, I was growing up in a slightly different time than they had, of course. I had no idea what true segregation was really all about. In every school I had ever attended, classes were filled with both black and white students, so there wasn’t much that I observed to be extremely strange or odd. We played together on the playgrounds and laughed together in the classrooms and during lunch and recesses. As I became older and more aware, however, there were a few things that began to stand out: The fact that every day after school, most of my white friends would be picked up by their parent or get on different buses and go to their neighborhoods, and we (the black kids) would either walk home or take the bus to our neighborhoods. Many of the poorer white kids took the same buses as the black kids, and didn’t live too far from our neighborhoods or housing projects, but there still existed separation between us, literal and figurative. These whites were who would be called today – and even then – “white trash”. This is a very negative term that I always abhorred and was very uncomfortable with. I would often wonder with the mind of a child, though not quite in these words – why are we separated after school but not during school? Why do we live in different and disconnected neighborhoods? Why can’t I see and play with my white friends away from school like I can my black ones? Where do they live and how far away are they from me? How do their neighborhoods and lives at home differ from mine? What horrible thoughts for a child to have to entertain! These are just a few of the questions and curiosities I held inside.   

The conversations that my mother would attempt to have with me as a young lad were what I perceived to be racist in tone, but in retrospect, I realize they weren’t. I didn’t want to hear her because what she was saying was in direct conflict with what I was experiencing, or what I wanted to experience. I wanted to be happy just as any child or person does; I wanted to fit in, I wanted to live in a perfect world of acceptance by all, and I was trying to protect that desire at all costs, even at the risk of ignoring my mother’s precious and loving advice. I wanted to see the best, believe the best, and to trust that I was liked because of who I was as a person and a human being. My mother was only attempting to protect her child from a system that she knew was potentially dangerous and meant no good to a young black adolescent male. Of course as a child I couldn’t see things in the way she did; my experiences were quite different from hers. In my mind, my little world was already perfect to a great degree, and again, I wanted to keep it that way. Thinking this made me feel good. Instead of listening to her, though, I chose to trust my own representation of society and how it was being shaped for me. Against all warnings, I chose to unconsciously trust the system and those who had designed it, thinking it must have my best interest at heart. After all, I was only a child, so how couldn’t they? I didn’t see myself as a descendant of slaves; I rarely saw myself as less than human, or much different than anyone else. I knew I was just as smart, intelligent, funny, and talented as anyone else, regardless of my color. So why would I be treated differently, I thought? That was how I saw myself, but apparently not how the society around me did. I had some very kind white teachers throughout school, and I love them for the effort they made to break out of how there were undoubtedly raised to see blacks, to show what seemed to be genuine concern for my well-being. What conversations took place in their homes, I don’t know. All I can go by is how they treated me when I was with them. I would learn that this is how America works. The same people who smile and laugh with you, are often the ones voting for legislation to create hell for you. Racism has become more easy to hide. Because of the fight to eradicate it, and the growing unacceptability of it, racists have been forced to go underground and work from behind the scenes. Michelle Alexander makes this crystal clear in her book, The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. This is a highly recommended read for all Americans.

Today I have my own children, and up until now we have taught them to see themselves just as we do – as equal, because they are. We have taught them to be virtually colorblind- to expect to be treated no less than the valuable human beings that they are. Today I feel that this was a little naive of us, so I’ve added a little caveat. Let me explain. We didn’t fail by teaching them to be colorblind per say, but by neglecting to make them aware of the unwritten, unknown, invisible disadvantages that come along with being Black and/or poor in America. Their mother and I have succeeded in teaching them the power of self love and self empowerment, but failed to educate them to the fact that the society in which they would exist may not actually be colorblind towards them, as we have instructed them to be towards it. Sure, there are many people, including white people – in talk and in action – who claim to not see color; which is really tough to do, especially in America. The foundation of America’s systemic architecture never viewed people with darker skin – or non white skin for that matter – as equal or deserving of the same privileges. Not the Native American, not the African, not the Filipino, not the Japanese, not the Guatemalan, not the Korean, not the Chinaman, not the Cuban, not the Mexican, not the Brazilian, nor the Palestinian. Historically, they seemed to be all just casualties of Western convoy and conquest. Over the centuries since slavery, the laws have been slowly, systematically, and cunningly augmented to continually enforce and support racist, caste, and slavery ideologies through the use of over policing in poor and black neighborhoods, mass incarceration, the building and development of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) school to prison pipelineand the creation of American ghettos across the American urban landscape. Even though I have European, African, and Native American blood flowing through my veins, in America I’m only considered and seen as Black, with little weight given to the complex, multi-racial aspects that truly make up who I am biologically.


In America, this counterfeit colorblindness that exists is indicative by the the single fact that the Unite States Constitution was not written, and was never re-written, to take into account and consideration the well-being of the African descendent, for he was never intended to be a permanent part of its society outside of the role of a slave. The “freedom” that Blacks in America have today is the result of a great miscalculation on the part of the master architects or “founding fathers” of the American Empire; an oversight of the slaves’ strength, resilience, and will to fight and rise up against the oppressions that had long caged them. The rights that come along with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for every American citizen has always been a grey area for Blacks, and in many ways still are. There has never been any open apology for this great crime against humanity, no reparations paid to offset the loss of both life and the opportunity to create generational wealth that could have helped stabilize and empower a group of people that had been gravely oppressed for more than 400 years. Surely they could use an economic boost that is beyond social welfare programs, which only serve to perpetuate a search for more of the same. But I suppose that such a lift might pose too large of a threat to the system, and we can’t have that now can we?

I should have been a little less trusting of you, and more trusting of my mother. No one loves me like she does; what on earth was I thinking?! I should have been a little less optimistic in my belief that the society to which I was raising my children to go out into and become loving, value-contributing citizens in, might not embrace them in the same way as they would embrace it. I trusted that my Suns would be allowed to dress and express themselves in whatever way they choose (as long as they were not violating any laws or harming anyone) without the worry of being profiled, harassed, and hunted down on the streets like some kind of prey. I trusted that you would protect them, respect them, and value their lives as you do your own children. You don’t, because you don’t see them as you do your own – the way that I see yours as my own. I can see it so clearly now, and I can’t change you by myself, but I can change me, and I can re-educate my own. I will not teach them to stop loving or to stop trusting, but simply to be more keenly aware of what surrounds them behind the drape of reality.

My misunderstanding of your intent is totally on me. It’s on me that I gave you so much credit, entrusted you with what means so much to me, and expected so much of you as it pertained to the value of my life, my children’s lives, and the lives of all people. I shouldn’t have.


20 BradfordSpoke 14

Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up the world to see one that it could exist in if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, to see themselves as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, and to schedule individual sessions or book him to speak to your youth organization.

What Exactly Will It Take?

pledgeofresistanceprofpicI attended a demonstration protest yesterday at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). October 1st 2014 was the first day of the Month of Resistance against mass incarceration and the criminalization of a nation of black and brown faces by America – mainly Black and Hispanic. Desiring to be on the right side of history as it pertains to the rights of all humans, I’ve chosen to be an active and vocal participant in this movement to STOP the madness of what is increasingly becoming a police state in America.

POTUS Nixon first introduced the idea and initial launching of The War on Drugs in the early 1970s, and subsequent perpetuation of it was headed by the following former POTUSs Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, both Bush’s, right on down to Obama. This all happened right underneath our noses; not many people other than its architects were cognizant of its effects of it until decades later. As a product, today it boasts increased incarceration rates in America of more than 500 percent – wait a minute, I don’t think you heard me clearly…I said FIVE HUNDRED PERCENT!! If we are negligent in allowing things to continue as they have, statistics indicate that 1 in 3 black males will see the inside of a prison during his lifetime. This is NOT acceptable!

The United States (including Hawaii and Alaska, accounts for less than 10 percent of the world’s population, but it imprisons somewhere in the neighborhood of 26 percent of that same population. The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. more than triples the number of any other so-called “civilized” society. Doesn’t sound very civilized to me.

This had to have been an act of deliberation, not much different than the forced transportation of African slaves across the Atlantic and to America for the deliberate purpose of cheap labor needed to build and feed the then infantile corporate greed monster. Of the more than 2 million people currently warehoused behind prison walls, upwards of 60 percent of them are Black or Hispanic male. A large proportion of these prisoners are tortured and placed in solitary and often unsanitary confinement, with only one hour of freedom each day. This is modern day slavery if we’ve ever seen it. What makes these numbers even more condemning of our justice system is that there is no evidence in terms of what race or ethnicity commits the amount of crime that would justify such a disproportionate increase or occupancy. There are also many injustices that are happening with the women in American society and around the world, but we’ll have to touch on that one some other day.

youth inprisonI would like to commend the very small group of students – all female – that headed up the demonstration today and for exhibiting great courage in the face of their peers. You did that bullhorn major justice today! :) I was reminded of myself, who as a young college student, had very little hesitancy to stand up for what I believed was right and fair. Seeing this encouraged me that there truly is hope. I must admit, however, that I was a little disappointed with the number of students who were willing to jump right in and stand beside us against this slow genocide taking place among us – among them. It is a genocide of epic proportions of their generation, so I hoped that having a close proximity to these happenings might give them more motivation to engage. What we received from most of the students passing by was apathy. I know they had other agendas, but apathy was what we received. Just like most of the adults who regularly occupy and influence their lives, apathy is mostly what they could offer. Without being able to identify directly with this issue; without having had someone relatively close to your life go through this or be touched by this; without having someone who at least looks like you be targeted and criminalized on the basis of their skin color – seems to able to breed only apathy, I guess. I will tell you this – apathy will get us absolutely nowhere, of that I can assure you! I will give credit to the many students who were willing to at least stop and inquire of what was going on, as well as those who were willing to accept a copy of the informational leaflets we were distributing. Thank you.

So, what’s it going to take? Is it going to take the number of people incarcerated to reach a whopping 3 million? Is that what we’re waiting for? That number is very likely if we don’t wake up and act NOW to reverse this tragedy. Is it going to take every single individual having someone close to them, or someone they know peripherally, to be murdered or brutalized at the hands of law enforcement? Is it going to take a number greater than the sixty black and brown men who have been murdered in the last sixty days alone? What is it going to take to fuel this much needed movement?? What’s it going to take to get as many people to LIKE and inquire about “what it is I am involved in, and how can I play my part to help” as I get to LIKE a recent photo of my favorite pet? Are human lives not as important as a cat’s? Are human lives less valuable than the latest pair of Jimmy Choo pumps? Watching my Facebook feed, such would surely seem to be the case. I can tell what won’t move us to the next plateau as a society fighting for equality – and that is the kind of reaction we saw from people yesterday. We will need the energy of millions of you to propel this engine of demolition and reconstruction of a broken penal system forward. Standing around watching your brothers and sisters fight on your behalf simply is not going to cut it as it has in the past. We are at a very pivotal point in regards to two main topics – Global Climate Change and Mass Incarceration in America. If America is intent on remaining the Superpower that it is (and I’m fairly certain that they do), it had better start doing right by its citizens and immigrants, else they will inadvertently create an entire generation of enemies living within its own borders. The veil that has covered its dirty underwear for so long is wearing thin, and their “privates” are slowly being exposed to the rest of the world. How can you continue to project yourself as a nation of peace when the way you treat your own citizens are so barbaric? How can you do this when all you do is perpetuate war and not peace?


Get from behind those laptops, mobile phones and apps people! Come out and join the fight the power structure that is intent on suppressing, oppressing, and alienating poor people and people of color, forcing them into a social under-caste . We must stand together, hands interlocked and united in love and respect, and demand systemic change that will take us all in a better direction that will serve to salvage this young generation that is on the fringe of being lost for good.


20 bradfordspoke 14

Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up the world to see one that it could exist in if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, to see themselves as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, and to schedule individual sessions or book him to speak to your youth organization.


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