Category Archives: Skills–building them

A Stagnant Movement

The Grand Jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. Sparking a shocking reaction in St. Louis, and countless solidarity protest across the country. It was raw and angry.

I’m all for helping North County, I was before August. But stop pretending this one incident in Ferguson exposed so much. It didn’t. No one cared before—that’s the real tragedy—that’s the only thing that’s been exposed, people didn’t care what happened in the north part of St. Louis county.

Black lives do matter. Never met one serious person whose ever implied otherwise. I don’t know why it’s trending or how it became a hash tag, that implies a widely expected sentiment that black lives don’t matter—which is false and frankly ridiculous—but it is.

Think about it: if you knew who Dr. Gosnell was, his race, and what he did. You’d know that’s one of the stupidest social media campaign to date. It’s almost as stupid as gamergate.

It’s stupid, and I don’t use the word lightly, to say that no good working and caring relationship exist between races is disingenuous and flat out wrong.

Here’s a great example.

The St. Louis American introduced a new columnist. John W. Payne. It’s significant because in the midst of all the racial tensions the old and storied African American publication based in St. Louis made a bold move. Bringing in a white academic to commentate on black crime and incarceration.

Like, I know the guy…


Hope on the Horizon

I was watching my African America friends watch Ferguson and one post popped out, it hash tagged: Don’t Get It Twisted. By a former a Basketball teammate. He’s successful in sales and coaches a youth basketball team. His dad’s a pastor. He’s an all around good guy.

It’s a real discussion with my real African American friends from the same place I knew John from, home.

I saw this written in response to a friends honest reaction Ferguson.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

At least now you know.

Here were my words of comfort.

Nah, there’s some good stuff happening. Some of us are noticing the real work.

Just my humble opinion. I speak because Tony and Brent were my teammates, on a team that was forced to deal with these issues, before the vocabulary existed to have the conversation. We had a good coach who taught us to get past the stupid things we had learned growing up in the sticks. We were lucky.

I once dropped a 6’8″, 380 pound dude for Brent [Brent Little, a great guy who lives in Chicago]. Ask Greg [Greg Hansborugh, Tyler Hansborough’s brother. Shout out to Snake Diesel true story] . (But that was basketball camp, this giant was pushing my teammates around so, I knocked the big bastard on his ass, people were stunned. Brent was my teammate, he was my brother on the court) This is serious stuff, though. We have to get past this. We have to see the people wanting real change as our countrymen, am I advocating violence? No. Our coach made me run 20 suicides, for the incident. When he ask me if it was worth it, I said “Yes”. I got punished for my stupid act of punching someone. I should have. However… That doesn’t mean that type of loyalty shouldn’t exist between the black and white American communities—most definitely on a higher, more mature level. It’s an opportunity for good change and an opportunity for idiots. It’s anyone’s guess… If I had to wager, I’d bet on good people rising to the occasion, moving forward.

I don’t mean to preach, but something needed to be said

Vigilance Isn’t Without Some Cause
Serious, nefarious, opportunist elements loom on the outskirts looking to use this for whatever radical cause they seem focused on. A tone has been set by some, one name that comes to mind is Bassem Masri.

@Buck Sexton: @GrantGambling is that the guy who has a rioter steal his cellphone out of his hand, and then tweeted “the cops did it” ?

Yes, Mr. Sexton he was.

@bassem_masri: We had 90k ppl watching us live good strat by police stealing my phone sending in crash dummies #ferguson

Is Bassem, “dangerous”? I don’t know. But I do know he bitched about his own freedom speech and ran journalist out of town twice. It’s not just his community. It’s a big region. It’s a big fucking place. Bassem does not speak for an entire community. He speaks for his lie-stream.

It’s still tense here, but like my close and personal friend John W. Payne “wrote: this has all been pretty mild.”

@AndrewKirell: A very thoughtful piece of perspective from a friend in St. Louis:

The movement is not stagnant, but bogged down by the same problems that plagued Zuccoti. The current scores of solidarity protest leaves one gob smacked.


And in each and every place it’s the same

@hboulware: “Fuck the police!” “The police need to back off and shut up!” “WHY ARE THE POLICE NOT STOPPING THIS VIOLENCE?”

That’s the cries from the afflicted outsiders. I wish they’d hush. The people who live here really want to be about the business of moving on.


Something Happened.

Protest sprang up again in St. Louis. This time on the South Side. Near interstate 44 and Kingshighway. It shut down traffic and diverted routes, according to Metro Officials. Not really a big deal on a Sunday night at 8:30 pm. Inconvenient, sure.. But the protestors have the right to grieve. This has been the best and most constructive way I’ve seen their grief expressed, thus far. However, I don’t pretend to understand their grief, I only claim to not understand the reactions to what we’ve all come to label as “sensational coverage”. Charles C Cooke called it the “professional grievance industry“. These protest happened near The Grove, arguably the most progressive part of St. Louis, the city.

Photo Via Twitter and Matt Pearce’s dome


@mattdpearce: I’m fine, FYI!

Good News

The media has beat this horse to death. The protest have increased to an eyebrow-raising level of organization. The rhetoric has been loose and violent (google Bassem Masri). That photo above for me says everything about how the media has come out on the other side of Ferguson. Post-Feeguson, if you will. A bit bruised, bloodied and battered, but smiling. They love it. The community, the region, is still held hostage by fear.

This story for example, a woman shot “accidentally” by her boyfriend who had recently purchased a gun due to the coverage of the upheaval in the area—died, she was in a car with him and accidentally shot herself in the head.. That’s the story anyway. It’s said the gun was purchased out of fear of Ferguson unrest. Could we place the blame on sensationalized reporting? Maybe…

If we do, it certainly makes that photo even more apropos, the self-inflicted wound. Ray Downs first covered the clashes. I miss him. He told it straight. Read his twitter timeline from that August. It’s real, it’s in the moment, even if he is a hippie, Ché-loving-commie. It’s always better to give credit where it’s due, and it’s always due to those who tell the truth. He said it long before Ferguson, here. Of course, he too went on an absurd offensive, before he moved on. We did find common ground at times.

Ray isn’t coming back.. This is something new. A valve of some sorts, to let off the steam of a community. We have what we have.

I love this state, this region. I stand ready to tell the truth, along with many others. I will hold my line… Along with many others.

@JeffSmithMO: I have no words after reading this. // Woman allegedly kills herself with gun bought to prepare for Ferguson unrest

Lastly, I sincerely hope Matt Pearce is okay. I am curt and short with him on twitter, but in reality, he’s my fellow countryman. I wish him well.

Benevolent Sexism: Do You Engage In It?

This whole post was brought about by a letter from a fella named Rob Fee, a write/comedian on the west coast. He wrote this, The Letter, and it was good. You should probably take a look at it as well. In it, he says, “Sure, there are males that experience this, but that doesn’t somehow negate the fact that all women do as well.”, which I found to be an honest observation. He sums it up well with, “Let’s stop trying to convince everyone that there isn’t a problem and start listening so we can figure out a solution.” Those are wise words. The words were measured and in an attempt to be helpful in the discussion. The man makes a living off of using words. I feel his perspective on the overall use of words in our society, is an informed one. He has perspective on this topic.

This whole discussion really did make me think. To be honest, it made my thoughts race. Having all girls, I want to do right by them. I wanna “give it my best shot” so to speak. But the whole debate seems so confusing and overwhelming.


Benevolent Sexism
In looking into this debate, my friend Lora, pointed out some studies and ideas being discussed in her academic sociology circles. That is to say, she studies this very layered topic and had some advice on where to start to grasp the notion of inequality among women in our country. She wasn’t proselytizing. She was being a caring friend, happy to share her knowledge with a dad who is really trying to sort through the hoopla. One study she sent me on the effects of over exposure to graphic pornography by heterosexual males, was titled “Pornography and the Sexist Attitudes Among Heterosexuals” mentioned “Benevolent Sexism”, a phrase I had never heard before. When I went to research it more, I found this article The Article. In it, it defines Benevolent Sexism as the following: “‘Benevolent sexism’ is the belief that women deserve to be protected and cherished by men, with the implicit understanding that these are perks in exchange for men’s general dominance.” To be frank, that makes me a little sick, that somehow that thinking could be inadvertently “programmed” into my girls psyche.

It makes me wanna buy them a fire arm as soon as they’re legally able to own one–but I know that’s a bit reactionary. Like Mr. Fee said, “start listening so we can figure out a solution.” I don’t know where to start, but I’m all ears on suggestions.

My girls are worth that effort, on my part, to present the truth to them, as best I see it. I owe them that much.

Meet Me At Musial

It’s Yankees vs. Cardinals at Busch Stadium this Memorial Day. I got paid the highest compliment one can receive while being a Cardinal fan. I was given a seat, (two actually, but the second seat is a different story) by a friend, in the bleachers. I received the coveted ticket because my friend’s son had better things to do at a theme park. I won’t speculate, but I will say my friend’s son is at a certain age where he’s probably noticing girls. It’s really the only logical explanation for such a choice. I haven’t seen or heard about “her”, but she must be something special for thIs particular kid to miss such an important game. The kid lives baseball…all the time. So, to hear he was relieved to find out that I was taking his seat was quite an honor.

He was relieved that an authentic Cardinal fan was taking his seat. Like my eyes, my speculation, on the events at the game, can some how alter them. Then, it hit me. The trick baseball plays on the American male psyche. The return to some sort boyhood bemusement. The leisurely observation, with the casual pauses for conversation. The opportunity to cuss and discuss topics, from the weather to world events. Baseball was designed for the socializing of it’s spectators. We don’t call it gossip, but it’s gossip–except when discussing the game. There, the player is strictly judged on their performance. The “gossip” isn’t mean spirited, it’s just the nature of baseball culture. Stats are kept for the game, but the “gossip” comes when you’re “judging” a player’s performance. The system of keeping a record of the game is well established. It’s complete. It’s orderly. It’s well kept. The gossip is in the conversations, the sidebars around the hitting cages or the in depth analysis of “the bull pin” committee. Yes, it hit me–baseball brings us back our boyhood. It sends us back to the time in life where we believed our hopes and wishes could somehow effect the outcome of the game played at the highest level. Where superstitions actually matter. It’s a nice feeling. It’s a nice mindset to find yourself in on a holiday.


To my friend’s son, I will represent your seat well. Thanks for thinking of me and paying me such a high baseball compliment.

Oh…the title? It’s what Cardinal fans say when we meet someone at the stadium. Because no matter if you’ve never been there before, if you walk long enough around the stadium. You will see a statue of Stan Musial. You can’t get lost.

Private Chattering: A ramble that applies to a select few…

That St. Peter’s burn hurts, Chris. It cuts me deep. Obviously you made a friendly “bro” burn. (Friendly insider talk.)

In other news, Bill Maher does have a right to be an asshole. He’s stayed in character for 30 fuckin years in “the business”. Always the same sanctimonious son of bitch–but always a comedian. That’s the thing about “staying in character”, I think you have to have some in first place, to maintain it.

That mother fucker took the Catholics on, and live to tell the tale. Not a lot of people can say the same.

That’s an over all contentious point in the “American Church”, that is to say with people who identify in some form with Christianity–be it MORMONS (Ryan) or Protestantism with it’s many sects and divides.

Contentious point: Free speech. Who gets it? Who ensures it? Who VERIFIES it as actual speech, on behave of a religion? (Churches are a lot like corporations, a lot like corporations. They have rights too.)

Those conflicts can be exploited by whom an why? Simple questions? Complicated answers asked by me–Grant. To A few friends, they know I love them, dearly.

(Phot via, Mrs Hizer. Edited from original format. )

This photo is what/who Maher seems to her trying to protect, in his attack on the tenements of faith who harm small children–they did by the way . It’s a fact. Maher addressed that on his platform, even putting in his own funds. That deserves respect, and most definitely the curtsey of hearing him out. 30 years in the business, does that–it gives you credibility.