Because I love America.

Today, just a few days before we celebrate our nation’s independence, I felt compelled to write an open letter to our country, because I love America.

You see because I love America when I look around what I see pains me. I see my fellow countrymen at each other’s throats.
I see many rightfully upset with our past transgressions but with no pride in our heroics.
I see the home of the brave giving way to fear-mongering and sheltering in place.
I see calls for police reform transitioning to demands for dismantling.
I see righteous demand for acknowledgment of Juneteenth morph into a shocking attack on the Fourth of July.
I see the long-overdue demands of equal pay for equal work, becoming a movement to remove masculinity from men.

You see, because I love America, I hold her to a high, nigh impossible standard.
Those ideals are a heavy load, under which she has stumbled and fallen short more than a time or two. Like the young children we raise, I refuse to ignore how far she has come despite her mistakes.

In just 243 years, we have gone from a nation founded by slave owners to a country that has been lead by an African American.
While we have so much farther to go, only a fool would ignore, and fail to take pride in, just how far we have come.

Because I love America, I will stand by your side and do my part to hold her to the ideals on which she was founded.
Because I love America, I will take to task anyone who seeks to deny any man, woman, or child their inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Because I love America, I will fight for you, both here and abroad, and because I love her so, I will take pride in all the good she has brought to this world.

So, you see, because I love America I will celebrate the Fourth of July, and I encourage you to join me.

Jesus, Black or White.

Just recently, Shaun King stated that “White Jesus” is a form of White supremacy and must be torn down. While I agree with him that Jesus was, of course, not White, I vehemently disagree with his notion that we should tear down Statues or artwork depicting him as such. Let me explain why this is a problem.

When it comes to removing Confederate flags, statues, or anything from the ilk from government buildings that dog hunts, and for multiple reasons. They were traitors to the sovereign government. I am not going to waste my time arguing about what the Civil War was fought over. Still, we can all agree that slavery was, at the very least, a significant factor (it was the factor, sorry I couldn’t help myself), and the flag has been adopted by terrorist groups such as the Aryan Nation and the KKK. It has no place on buildings that taxpayers pay for outside of National battlefields and museums.

White Jesus on private property is an entirely different matter altogether. You see, you don’t have that right to tear that down. You don’t have the right to tear down a confederate flag on someone’s private property, either. That’s called freedom. Freedom has absolutely nothing to do with what you like.

If an artist wants to depict Jesus as white, pink, or polka-dot, that is their right. If a church wishes to have a White virgin, Mary, that is their right. The same is true if they want to cast Jesus as Middle Eastern. That is freedom.

I will support any movement that fights for equality. I will not help anyone who calls for the attack on the personal liberties of any man, woman, or child. I am a stickler like that.

It’s just like I explain to veterans. I don’t like to see the flag I fought for burned, but we all fought for their right to burn it. Freedom is hard.
Jesus may have indeed not been White, but it’s not up to you who gets to paint him as such.


When do we win?

Let me lead with this for those who don’t know me. I support the Black Lives Matters movement. I support police reform. I support attacking the roots of systematic racism. In short, I support the mission. There’s only one issue I have with it. No one has told me how we win.

There’s an old saying, “When you don’t know where you’re going, every road leads you there.” My fear for this movement is that it is going to get derailed going after everything at once. Do I believe that Confederate statues should be on government buildings? No. But, I do find myself asking, is that the first fight we should pick? Is tearing down or defacing a statue going to do anything to help those in need, or is it just going to make the angry feel righteous?

I am asking this sincerely.

The term allyship has become trendy lately, and I believe that the vast majority of my demographic (White American males) wish to be one. Still, one of the hardest things to do is understand what needs to be done when you aren’t even sure of what you’re trying to accomplish.

This is how you make a change in your life, your company, and your world. You make S.M.A.R.T goals. For that unfamiliar with the term, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. I believe that as a White person, it’s not my place to say what they should be. I do think, however, as a troop in the line, it is fair for me to ask for direction.

So far, as far as I can see (and I’ve gone looking), I haven’t found someone leading the charge that has laid that out. In my humble opinion, that is all this missing right now—someone to channel this energy into a concerted effort to accomplish a specific outcome. I am ready to follow. Who’s ready to lead?


Are you thinking of walking out on your kids?

As crazy as it may sound coming from me, someone who adores his children, I get it. As much as I could never do it, especially after it was done to me, I logically understand why some men do.

You’re scared.

Scared of what it will cost you.

Scared that you don’t know what to do or how to be one.

Scared that staying might be worse for them than leaving.

Scared that you and the mom aren’t the right fit. Scared you are not a good role model.

Scared that you are a loser and it might be contagious.

Scared of the weight of that responsibility.

At the end of the day, you’re just a scared kid. You played a man’s game and now you’re left holding the dice and she’s holding two pink lines. It’s fight or flight time and right now flying seems like the best option on Earth.

Before you spread your wings I just want you to know none of us are prepared for it, not really. None of us know all the answers. They don’t come with an instruction manual. We will never have enough money saved. It will never be the “right time.”

It’ll simply be time.

At that moment you have to make the most monumental decision of your life. To stay or to go.

What I can promise is this. If you go you will irrevocably scar at least two lives, yours and theirs.

For them, you will teach them far too soon that people are going to let them down. You will create a vast void in them, one they will have a hard time articulating, that makes them feel inferior. Worst of all you will crush the thing most important to herd creatures. You will make them feel unloved and unwanted. I can tell you from personal experience it will take them a lifetime to get over that, and it can only happen then if they are lucky enough to find a new family.

For you, whether you know it or not, it will steal from you the greatest accomplishment you could ever achieve. The unconditional love of someone who looks up to and depends on you.

To earn the title, “daddy.”

Like I said above, I get it. You’re a scared kid.
But, please listen to me.

A man can never be brave until he’s faced fear. A father can never be a daddy unless he decides to stay.

Be brave.
Be a daddy.


Different War, Same Battle.

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty. It is still easy to step back and Monday morning quarterback. We often take for granted in our judgment of the past that we may find ourselves in the position actually to do what we said we would have done.

One of the many scars on our nation’s history is our treatment of the Vietnam Veteran. They were blamed for a war that we shouldn’t have been in, in a country, no one knew about, at a period when we were trying to get our own house in order. It was the first time that war was viewed at the dinner table, and our nation’s apathy for it quickly grew as the nightly death toll turned our stomach sour.

Then we did what no nation should; we turned on our protectors. In airports all across America, we spit on the men who did what they felt was the honorable thing to do; they answered their country’s call. They didn’t burn their draft card. They didn’t run to Canada, they stepped up and served, and the vast majority of them served honorably.

The repercussions of that were far-reaching and are still having significant effects on our Vietnam Veterans today. In our effort to do the right thing, we hurt the wrong people. Many (despite attempts to right those past wrongs) still do not feel appreciated by this nation.

Looking around today, I see history repeating itself, but on a different battlefield. Police officers are being attacked as a whole, and things are being done that I am sure society will look back on one day and say we took it to far. The cry that “All Cops are Bastards” is being spray-painted on walls. We are removing cartoons because a puppy dog wears a police uniform, and calls to defund the police are gaining steam.

This is not the way to solve a genuine problem.

There can be no doubt that police reform is needed in America, but making it a war on the police will see the same outcome that the war on drugs did.

It will fail.

Wars don’t drive collaboration; they create enemies. Every day someone has to win, and someone has to lose. Both parties can’t gain ground at the same time, and there is no way to move a nation forward.

The reality is that the majority of our police force are great men and women trying to do a difficult and important job. Please make no mistake about it; society needs the police force, we know this on the most basic level. Hell, the first thing they did in the Seattle autonomous zone was to begin patrolling their newly claimed streets. Let that sink in for a minute.

When you start taking cartoons off of tv for wearing a uniform, you’re starting to react emotionally, not logically, and nothing good comes from that. Instead of attacking the individuals who have committed no crimes, let’s work on the institution that needs an overhaul. Instead of driving the good ones out because we treat them as evil, let’s ensure that we show our support for their actions. Reward those good officers so that they can restore public respect and trust as we work together for reform in our nation.

For those who abuse their power, harm those in custody, or take another’s life needlessly, may the justice be swift and absolute.
But, the mark of just and civil society is that we use reason and logic to move us forward. We attack the problem at hand, not a cartoon that demonstrates the good we wish to see.

Black Lives, Blue Lives, All Lives.

If there is one counter-argument to the Black Lives Matter movement that makes no sense to me, it’s the strong desire to rebut with All Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter. Often, they are used interchangeably, so let’s start there.

If your notion is that All Lives matter negates the Black Lives Matter movement than by logic and reason, All Lives matter renders your counter-argument that Blue Lives matter invalid as well. Those that know me know that I value consistency above all things. To have integrity, you must be consistent regardless of if it benefits you. You very well can’t say that Black Lives Matter is racist, insensitive, and cruel, only to turn around yourself and use it for a group you are trying to support.

If you are doing that, you should stop.

For those who don’t say Blue Lives Matter and focus only on All Lives Matter, I give you points for consistency (those are important points to have btw) but still find your argument lacking.

Often our most significant challenge to understanding is reading the message we infer vs. asking for clarity. Assuming, as you know, makes an ass of “u” and me.

Black Lives Matter doesn’t say that ONLY Black Lives Matter. It merely states that they do. Common sense should stand to reason that it is a valid and sound statement. It is a fact, and facts are stubborn things.

When we look at this in other aspects, we would never apply this same logic.

When a parent calls their child special, or smart, or their world, I don’t infer that they think my child is ordinary, dumb, or unimportant. I don’t assume that they wish my child would die. I understand that they have the same parental love for their kid as I do River and Willow. To me, this is just common sense.

For those that are of the Chrisitan, belief let me leave you with Luke 15, Where Jesus tells the parable of the 100 sheep.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he finds it?”

Jesus didn’t say the 99 sheep should ask, “What about us? Don’t we matter?” No, he said to leave the 99 to save the 1.

Yes, all lives do matter. But now, at this moment, we need to focus on addressing the issues of one group who’ve been crying out for justice since our inception.
If we do that, we can finally arrive at the dream that is America.


Things change. So should you.

To understand why I am so calm now you’d have to have known me when I was younger.

I get a decent amount of flack for never really wanting to go out anymore.I no longer really live up to the name “Mayhem.” To be honest, I am cool with that. I got too much to lose.

I think as you age you learn that the vast majority of people in your life are just there for the noise. It doesn’t make em bad. We all cross paths at different phase lines in our lives.

But you fool yourself if you think the majority of the folks in your 20’s are gonna occupy a lot of your time in your 30’s and 40’s. Either you or them are gonna grow up. When that happens priorities change.

Love, despite what they sell you in movies is a finite resource. Relationships take work. So if you want to be a good spouse and parent, you only got a little time left to spread amongst your circle. That circle better has a shared vision for the future or conflict is coming, and your life is gonna get messy.

That “man” I used to be would have been a shit husband and a bad dad. You can’t serve two masters. So choose wisely. My suggestion is to make your circle small AF and put your family in the middle. Anything or anyone that doesn’t support that has got to go.


Stand where you stand.

Love me.
Hate me.
I don’t really care.

All I can ask of any man is to be consistent with what he states he values.

If the 2nd Amendment is the second for a reason than the 1st is also first, for a reason.
If not all cops are bad and we shouldn’t judge them as so, then all protesters aren’t bad and we shouldn’t treat them as so.
If lockdown was wrong for COVID then wishing for Martial Law now is wrong.

This goes both ways.

I will stand up for all of our rights, for every man.
I will support good cops and peaceful protestors. I will denounce and condemn bad cops and rioters and looters.
I will be against the lockdown of Americans out of fear regardless of what it is.

What I stand for isn’t for a particular party.
What I believe isn’t contingent on your approval or what is popular.
My values remain the same, regardless of the tide of public opinion.

I am asking you to do the same.
If so, even if we disagree, I salute the courage it takes to make that stand.
That courage is what makes America great.

The Perfect Strom

If you look around surprised at what is going on, you simply have never stopped and looked around before. The plain and simple truth is this is the hurricane we knew could happen but spent years with our head in the sands pretending that it wouldn’t.

For every action, there come secondary and tertiary effects. The discontent with police brutality has always been there, simmering just below the surface. The COVID pandemic has left thousands without a job and without pay, but with plenty of free time on their hands. The killing of Geroge Floyd provided a catalyst to take to the streets. Enter organizations like ANTIFA and the KKK to provide the “push” to light the fuse, coupled with a break in the weather, and anyone who served in Iraq or Afghanistan will tell you we’ve seen this before.

It’s killing season.

Young people with a bleak outlook on the future and a cause bigger than themselves to fight for are easily moved to movement, and many times that movement can turn violent. It is also easily preyed upon by parasites that care little for the actual cause. Again, we saw this extensively in the Middle East. Men, who were the very face of evil incarnate radicalized a religion and used it to justify the murder of innocents.

These riots are no different. These “professional” rioters come in from all across America (much like foreign fighters entered Iraq) to use this movement to further our divide. Please make no mistake about it, many of those who are looting, burning business to the ground, and destroying our national monuments are not the protesters.

They are radicals.

They are the ones who want to see us fall, who want to see us hate each other, and we are buying into it hook, line, and sinker.

They are winning, and it’s up to us to remove the blinders from our eyes and stop it.

It’s personal and it’s tribal.

What I am about to write will be long, but perhaps it will challenge some of our notions on racism. Perhaps not. But, at least for those of you wondering why I see it the way I do I’ll share my reasoning.

I grew up in a very racist house. The “N” word was used freely. Growing up in a small rural town you can bet my house wasn’t the only place that I heard it. Interracial dating was frowned upon and one of the prettiest girls in our school took shit for dating a Black student. In my own house, I took flack because one of my best friends growing up was a Jamaican boy that lived down the street from me. When I came back from the Army, I was giving one of my brothers a ride home when he started dropping the “N” word while talking about people on the street. I pulled over and told him that if he wanted to continue to ride with me he wouldn’t say it again. I had met better men than him in the Army and I wouldn’t stand for it. Racism is a learned thing, but for some reason, the lesson never stuck with me. Honestly, I am not sure why.

I often hear people say in response to calls to address racism, “I didn’t own no slaves.” I understand their frustration because in their hearts they feel they are being attacked for a wrong they didn’t commit. It seems unfair, and in their eyes, they see us all as equal. So, they ask, “Why can’t we just move on?”

The easiest way I have found to explain it is to ask them if they had any family that served in World War II or Vietnam? Often the answer is yes.
I then ask them are you proud of them?
To which they respond with a full chest, and wide eyes, Yes!!

From there they will often, even without prompt, begin to exalt the bravery of their forefathers. They illustrate clearly that World War II or Vietnam isn’t a lesson in a history book for them, it was Grandpa Jim who valiantly fought for his country in Bastogne or La Drang.

Well during that same time Blacks were banned from sharing the same water fountain or going to the same school. Blacks fighting communism overseas were fighting for their own freedom back here at home. Lynchings were taking place in the deep south and segregation and sundown towns were laying the foundation for the inner cities and the poverty that many are living in today.

You see, the struggle of the African American isn’t a statistic to those who are here today. It’s grandma Shirly sitting at the dinner table recounting the hell she went through with her progeny. When they read their history, they see her face.
It’s personal.

The last facet that plays a major role in this is the basic truth that we fail to understand. Humans are tribal creatures and when African- Americans see another young Black man killed with wanton disregard for his humanity, that creates a visceral reaction, and it should.

Furthermore, we should understand it.

When our country was attacked on 9-11 the lines to join the military to “go get them bastards” was out the door. We didn’t give a shit about all the civilians’ shock and awe killed. We didn’t care about collateral damage. All we cared about, was avenging our fallen.

While there is no doubt that George Floyd’s death wasn’t the loss of life equal to the 3,000 killed on 9-11, his death was but the latest in a long history of failure by our police departments, and our country, to address the wrongdoings that are still taking place today.

That is why people are angry.
That is why this powder keg is exploding.

The answer isn’t to try to justify why you aren’t wrong personally.
The answer is to personally do what you can to right the wrongs.