It’s been a while since I wrote. Simply because of everything that has been going on. From coronavirus shutting the country down to killer bees (who knew) to videos of police officers killing black men on the street, again. It’s been a lot to take in. But I felt the need to tell a story.
I remember my first racist interaction with the police as a kid. It was the summer time, and alot of my friends were in a neighborhood a few miles from my house. We were out playing basketball in the street in front of one of my friends house. Cars would occasionally come by and we would respectfully move out the way. Apparently, someone called the police and said we were cussing at cars going by. I don’t remember anyone doing so towards cars, but a police officer showed up. Short, frail white guy, sunglasses, typical tv cop lookalike. First thing he does was gather us around on the side of the road and tells us it was illegal to play basketball in the street. We had never heard of that but we complied and move the goal in the driveway. He then went on to say “The last thing we want is one of these drivers hit you mother f*ckers”.
Interesting choice of words.
I replied back “Can you not cuss at us?” It wasn’t disrespectful, just a simple request. So I thought.
I was then met with his reply of “Oh, we got a smart mouth badass, huh?”
I said “Excuse me?”
“Alright, let’s go. Get in the car.” He replied.
He then put me in the back of his car. I couldn’t believe what was going on. He went and gathered more info from my friends and he got in the car. He then told me “Listen here you lil shit. A lil nigger like you needs to respect police officers. Tell me where you live.” There were more words said after that but I got mad, and then I got shook. I realized the danger I was in. I wasn’t for sure what was happening, but I told him my address. I had too.
“Can you read and write?” He asked.
I replied “Yes.” He handed me what looked like a contact sheet on a piece of cardstock like paper. He handed it to me thru a plexiglass window separating the front and back seats. With my hands shaking, I filled it out… name address, age, etc… all while sitting in the back seat of a police car. I gave him directions to my house while sitting in the back of a police car. I seen someone walking on the street, which seemed like forever seeing someone since leaving the front of my friend’s house. It was a classmate. I saw her but I don’t know if she recognized me sitting in the back of a police car.
When we got to my house, he got out. My father was outside washing his blue van with a Kool cigarette in his mouth. They spoke for about 10 minutes and then the police officer came and open the car door. I got out with my head down knowing I was in big trouble. My father smacked the back of my head as I walked by. I went inside and went to my room.
Sad as it may sound, that was the end of it. I never recieved any type of talk, punishment, or anything. My father never gave me a talk about how a black kid should interact with white police officers. My father never talked to me about how there are some bad police officers out there. My father never told me about the negative outcomes that could have happen by getting in that car. My father never heard my side of what happened. My father never spoke another word about it. I’ll never know why.
My first encounter with the police was one I’ll never forget. I learned even being respectful and polite will never change the color of my skin. It will never change the fact that to many white people, I’m just another nigger with some chink in him. But I’m alive to speak on it. There are many who are not, like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. We have to continue to be vocal about racism and have these uncomfortable conversations about it. If protesting isn’t your thing, then maybe organizing a fundraiser is, or running for local government seats, or financially supporting those who are willing to be on the front line, or even speaking and writing, performing, raise a fist, making tik tok videos, or whatever you want to do, you have to continue to support the fight against police brutality and racism. We’ve been fighting a long time and we must continue to fight.
Continue to fight.
Starting Chapter 37
This past year was full of ups and downs. From starting a new hobby, to visiting a new country, to celebrating 10 years of being married to my best friend, to starting a new job, to date nights, to daddy daughter dances, to death of friends, to spending time with friamily, to comedy shows, to meeting famous people, to Broadway shows, Chapter 36 was pretty eventful.
This past year taught me a lot, and in taking those lessons I’ve learned, Chapter 37 will be a great year. Here are some of the things I’m taking with me:
1. I’m using my PTO. At my last job, I was so stressed at work that the thought of using my PTO would put me further behind in work and in some cases, frowned upon by management. So I didn’t use it or if I did, I worked from home. Being in my new position for a while now, they actually encourage it, so I will take my PTO.
2. I’m going to do better at keeping in touch. I try to keep in contact with people mainly thru social media, but starting today, they’ll be more phone calls, more visits, more game nights, more double dates, etc.
3. I’m going to learn something new. I had 5 goals last year I wanted to reach, and some of them I didn’t reach, but in that process I did learn new things and accomplished some other things I didn’t know I wanted to do. So now, this year, there’s not a set number to reach, but a “let’s see how many” I can learn.
4. I will teach my daughter something new as often as I can. As a parent, one of my main focuses in life is to make sure I, along with my wife, teach my daughter as many things as I can. Whether it’s about handy work, cars, grass, etc, my focus is to make sure she knows we tried. So she’ll be learning a lot of things not only from us, but from experiences we introduce her too as well.
5. I will make new memories with old and new friends.
These are things I need to work on, because I’m not perfect in any way, shape or form, but I can do better at trying. Hopefully they work for me and I’m sharing with you. Everyone is different and everyone has had different experiences so these things may not work for you. But if they do, let me know!
What else would you add you this list?
I’m off to enjoy my day and birthday weekend. As I celebrate, I look back at some of the stupid things I did when I was younger and think to myself “I’m surprised I made it this far.” I’m truly blessed and I know I can’t take that for granted. Thank you for all the thoughtful texts, calls, and messages. I truly appreciate it them. Love you guys! A special thank you to my wonderful wife. Thank you for making me a better person, a better husband, and a better father. I love you more than word could ever express. Thank you.
I really couldn’t sleep well last night. It was weird. For some reason, this celebrity death hit different. I was super emotional all day after. As an athlete, specifically a basketball player, Kobe was one of the players everyone my generation wanted to play like (Either him of Jordan). He played hard and gave everything he had. But now as a father, to know he was in the helicopter crash with one of his daughter strikes a serious nerve. The way he interacted with his girls, the way he talked about them, showed he truly, unconditionally loved them. One of my greatest fears is not being able to protect my family. I think that one of every father’s/husband’s greatest fear. Kobe, along with Coach John Altobelli, lived through that fear in real life and I know it’s what hurting me the most.
We all grieve different. We all have feelings. Even though I didn’t know Kobe, his daughter Gianna, or any of the others involved in the terrible crash, I’m still sad. You don’t get the opportunity to tell someone how to feel. We all react to different situations differently. Console and be there for them. There’s a little kid who just lost his idol. There is a generation who grew up watching him on TV and we’re all hurting in some way.
Those are all the words I have because it still hurts. Even writing about Kobe in a past tense feels unreal.
Rest in Peace Kobe and Gianna Bryant, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Cheste, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan.
Aye! First post of the year! I’m hoping to write more this year to keep a steady flow, but I have a few more things I want to put on my plate so I’ll see how that turns out.
Like a lot of people every year. We all decide to get back in decent shape. I started in December, but I’m noticing my body ain’t what it used to be. I would like to be around when mini me gets older so I need to figure out different ways to stay in shape than just the same old gym routine.
So not too long ago, a friend of mine posted up a video talking about Sea Moss and the benefits it has for the body. We had similar athletic backgrounds with present pain associated with playing sports. For me, its mainly bad knees (left knee surgery ’09, current osteoarthritis), back and neck pain, and crispity, crackity joints. Working out is painful, so I can only do low impact, non-stressful activities on joints, which really limits to what I can do. So my wife was like you should look into it. So I did. I read a few articles and watch a few videos on Dr. Sebi’s take on it and decided I would try it out. Although Sea Moss isn’t regulated by the FDA, I figured it could be any worse than some of the stuff that is (take 1 too many Aspirins, it’ll be the last headache you’ll ever have.)
This year, let’s live with ambition, let’s dream bigger, let’s love harder and love better, let’s inspire and be inspired, let’s spread integrity, let’s embrace honor, let’s seek tranquility, let’s celebrate each other, let’s laugh with each other (not at each other), let’s encourage, and always, let’s believe tomorrow will be a greater day.
Happy New Year Ya’ll! Let’s continue to grow together!
As 2019 comes to an end, I want to say thank you to all of you who took the time and shared my pain, my laughs, and my experiences. Hopefully in 2020, we’ll continue to grow together, grow mentally, financially, spiritually, and all ways possible. 2019 has been full of new experiences and opportunities. While we build on those in 2020, we’re going to step out of our comfort zones and branch out to new things. Let’s grow together yall!
My family and I would like to wish you and your a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a Happy New Year!
A decade ago, I “sang” my vows to my wife… yea, you read that right… I sang the vows song from the Jamie Foxx show and man, was I past nervous… I knew I sounded a hot mess, but in my mind, I was good… but it was all for a special day.
A fun #TBT #GrowingUpKorean story yall…
So I was about 14/15 and I was a bit of a rebellion, probably more than I want to admit. I didn’t follow rules very well and I did not respond to any type of authority very well.
To start off, it was summer break from school and this particular summer, I was given a curfew… My mom worked nights, so I had been staying out late, doing things I shouldn’t have been doing, things that would have landed me in jail. But there was 1 night, my momma caught me out late, like 3 or 4 in the morning. When I seen her car underndeath the carport, I knew I was gonna be reintroduced to that golden belt. As soon as I came in the house, I locked eyes with my momma… she knew I knew I was in trouble but she didn’t say anything. She went into her room. I thought maybe, just maybe, she was more relieved I was home safe than wanting to kill me. So foolish me, went to sleep thinking everything was all good. But absolutely nothing was good.
When the sun came up, she woke me up with the golden belt in her hand… She’s yelling at me, telling me she was tired of me disrespecting her and not listening to her rules in her house.
She told me to strip down naked …that’s right… buck booty naked…
I said ‘uh, wait what? No’. That was the wrong response. She went to work until I started to take off my clothes. I was down to my tighty white-ies… my mama told me that I was brought into this world naked so I’m leaving naked.
The other night, I had the chance to take my daughter to a Daddy Daughter Dance, and even though mini me wasn’t feeling well, she toughed it out. I told her we didn’t have to go but she really wanted to, so we only stayed for a little while and we had a blast. About 1.5 hours into the dance, I could tell she was exhausted, so we called it a night.Later that night, I realized how determined she wanted to go to the dance to spend time with me. Her determination sparked mine to make sure I’m the best father I can be. So ever since then, I try to spend as much time with her as possibly. Whether it’s playing board games or hide and seek in the house, outside in the 95 degree sun setting up a bounce house or walking around downtown… I can only give my best. There will be a time where hanging out with daddy isn’t cool, but we’re not there yet. So I’ll continue to go on daddy daughter dates for as long as I can.So here’s a little something for my mini me. Feel free to share with your daughters!