Ace's View

Dedicated to minority issues, topics and everything in between

Archive for August 2014

Edge of Seventeen

leave a comment »

ferguson1

And so, it’s come to this.

This post originally started last night as a long dissertation on how I didn’t understand how, once again, some of us would try to explain and justify the killing of yet another black kid by police in Ferguson, MO.

How some people–including the very same group of people being victimized regularly–are quick to classify an understandably angry group of protestors as a “mob”, anticipating a riot, putting the deceased’s life under a microscope to find some justification for their life being lost, etc.

But this ain’t about that, today.

This is not another entry where I express my pain and sadness over black life lost unneccesarily by those who are sworn to serve and protect, not shoot unarmed kids.

The purpose of this entry is twofold:

First, to clear something up. Michael Brown, no matter how much of an adult he appears to be in pictures posted on social media, or in the stories that are sure to surface in the days to come, was a kid.

A college student to be in a matter of days, yes–

–but still, a kid.

A seventeen year old kid whose offense was allegedly stealing candy.

Who apparently deserved to die for the crime of theft and for being an unarmed black youth unfortunate enough to be caught by police.

For the record, I used to be one who would watch “reality” shows like Cops and scoff at black suspects who attempted to run from police and when caught and asked why they ran, said, “I was scared.”

Now, I can understand. The fear isn’t of getting caught and going to jail. It’s fear of loss of life.

Which brings me to my second point, and the original focus of this post:

Black kids are already viewed as mini-adults. There are a lot of reasons for this, which I won’t delve into tonight, but I have a theory:

Since they are viewed as such and treated accordingly, why not train them in the ways of adults?

And no, I don’t mean teach them the law and the proper ways to interact with authority. Many of us have these conversations with our children, and it does not change the way that they are treated.

No, I mean, teach them to record these encounters. To stream them, live, if possible, so the world can see exactly how they are treated by law enforcement.

And, if push comes to shove, teach them how to defend themselves properly.

As a wise man once said, I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.

This theory first dawned on me when seeing this video on a friend’s Facebook page, and my first thought was that if this had been a young black child learning how to shoot like this, it’d be hell on Earth in the comments section.

So from here, let this post also serve as one of many memorials to Michael Brown in the next few days–but do not mistake the message behind it as simply this.

This is a call to action. Because once the signs disappear, once the outrage dissipates, and once this is forgotten about by all except those who love and knew him–

–what will you do next?

What will we do next?

Advertisements

Written by aceviewblogger

August 10, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Iota Profile #17: Certified Gold

leave a comment »

t.oduwole1

(Editor’s Note: Full disclosure: this will probably be one of two featured Iotas that I have not only had the pleasure of seeing transition through trials and tribulation into a positive, highly motivated young man–but one that I also had the opportunity to live with for about a year, where I witnessed his drive to be successful firsthand. Also a highly talented music artist with several songs available for download, Tosin Oduwole is adding another peg to an ever-growing and increasingly diverse resume: author.)

Please introduce yourself to the readers.

Hello, my name is Tosin Oduwole. I am 28 years old, born and raised in Saint Louis, MO. I am the second born of six boys to Nigerian parents. My goal in life is to bring finacial education to the forefront of my generation so we can begin to support each other in ways we have never before done.

What drew your interest to Iota Phi Theta?

My freshman year at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, I was privileged to meet a young man by the name of Marvin Mitchell, who was a very active student on campus and with student government and Greek Life. Upon researching the other frats that were on campus and going to informationals, I determined that the image I wanted to see of myself–not from others, but my own personal image–was that of a man who is rooted in the uplifting of himself and his community. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. exemplified that in exactly the way I saw fit.

What is your current job title/business, and why are you in that field?

Currently, I am the owner of a property investment firm based out of Hoboken, New Jersey, and an author. I am in my current field because it is what brings me joy. I wouldn’t call it a job because a job is something you are paid to do. However, I pay to do what I do because I love it. I pay with my time, I pay with my ideas, I pay with my labor. Not to mention I would still do what in doing even if I was not earning a living from it. That is how you find fulfillment in what you do, professionally.

Please name one aspiration you hope to accomplish in the next 20 years.

In the next twenty years there are many more than one aspiration I would like to achieve; however, the most significant would be to have a hand in positively changing as many lives along the way as I can. It doesn’t have to be in just business either, I want to pass along financial information as well as wisdom that can be used to become better men and women in our families and our communities at large, I would like to have mentored and been a friend to as many people as The Lord allows.

How has Iota helped you in your endeavors, personal or professional?

Iota has taught me so many things when it comes to carrying myself professionally. It has taught me how to be a businessman. The lessons I learned about profit and loss from throwing college parties was priceless. The importance of branding to attract potential investors is no more different from the branding you must do to attract potential members to be interested [in intake]. Iota has taught me to be outspoken and proactive, to not be afraid of taking a calculated risk if the potential reward is a worthwhile one. Everything that I do now is built on the foundation that Iota Phi Theta helped me lay. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have been a member of the Alpha Beta Chapter and grateful for the relationships built with brothers and sweethearts from surrounding chapters in Illinois and New Jersey.

What would you say to anyone considering membership in Iota Phi Theta/Iota Sweethearts?

My only advice would be to do it for more than just social benefits. Enjoy your college life and party, drink, have fun and do all the things you’re supposed to do in that stage in your life, but keep in mind that we should grow up and out of that stage to become leaders that extend the life of this fraternity forever, via the improvement of our communties in any way that one can contribute.

Tosin Oduwole’s

    The Wisdom To Grow Gold

is available in E-book format on Amazon.com for $7.00. The physical version is TBA. To purchase the book for download, go here.

t.oduwole2

Written by aceviewblogger

August 7, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Iota Profile #16: Man On Fire

leave a comment »

j. mitchell1

(Editor’s Note: This young brother featured today joined the fraternity in Spring 2010 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The reason this information is pertinent is that while there are those known as “t-shirt/letter wearers” in every Greek Letter organization, with Iota being no exception, this brother is definitely not one of them. Four years under his belt with the organization, and with a bright future ahead of him, Jake Mitchell serves both his country and his fraternity with great zeal and humility, and takes the motto of “Building A Tradition, Not Resting Upon One” to new levels.

Please introduce yourself to the readers.

Jake O. Mitchell, P.R.O.L.I.F.I.C. ( People Rarely Observe’s Life’s Intellect Fortunately I Can), University of Missouri-Columbia, Spring 2010.

What drew your interest to Iota Phi Theta?

I pledged Iota because I saw a chance to be and do something different. My line was the first Iota line to cross at the University in 10 years, it was an opportunity to directly affect the growth and development of an organization, as well as being a part of history.

What is your current job title/business, and why are you in that field?

I am currently getting ready to go back to school and am quite possibly getting ready to become a licensed insurer and finance broker. I was drawn to this field due to interest placed in me by several different companies who recently viewed my resume.

Please name one aspiration you hope to accomplish in the next 20 years.

One aspiration I hope to accomplish in the next 20 years is to become a JAG officer ( military lawyer) with the United States Marine Corps while also authoring several books, one of which I have already started on.

How has Iota helped you in your endeavors, personal or professional?

Iota has helped me in both my personal and professional endeavors. It has imparted many life lessons that I have found beneficial. It has taught me much about myself such as my strengths, my weaknesses, and overall what makes me who I am. It has influenced the way I carry and conduct myself in all aspects of life.

What would you say to anyone who is considering membership in Iota Phi Theta/Iota Sweethearts?

I would tell anyone considering membership to first make sure this is something truly in their heart. To be a part of this family is not to be taken lightly. Iota is still young and impressionable. Their membership in the organization can directly influence the image of the fraternity. Do not be afraid to be yourself while also carrying and promoting the tenets of the organization, it is the thing that makes Iota unique.

j.mitchell2

Written by aceviewblogger

August 4, 2014 at 6:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized