I like controversies, a good juicy controversy. That’s when you can see and hear the most extreme differences from every voice  from every crevice they emerge from.  Controversies always  begin when one person or many , go on the mountain top and shout a story they either heard or read   and without much facts, the different faces of the story appear. The faces that appear begin the chatter and idle chatter becomes fodder, fodder becomes  conspiracies and sooner or later the conspiracies become the truth.  

Conspiracies always have a receptive audience. 

The Colin Kaepernick’s story is one such scandal. As the  story goes,  Kaepernick has been sitting all along , not standing , when the US national anthem is being played. For days he did that until one reporter casually asked him why? That’s when all hell broke loose. He told the reporter his truth. 

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” – Kaepernick
To say this story had the effect  like the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima is  putting it lightly. Every possible theorists  had something to say, scurrying for more ammunition to further advance their hate.  From outright calling him a radicalized Muslim to a communist traitor,  once the golden boy of the 49ers football club , Kaepernick  was now the most hated person in America. 

The noises were loud and often loud noises drown out the truth. And then suddenly in comes Jim Wright, quietly and succinctly making his point on his discovery of Kapernick’s truth. And there lies the meat of the problem. 

Discovering the truth.

Kapernick’s story erupted all the vile and viscous emotions of those that read or possibly heard the story and few attempted to discover the truth behind the story .Jim discovered the truth and it is this truth I am so proud to repost on my blog. 

Read the truth and hopefully you will understand Kapernick’s story. 

Kwesi Copyright (C) 2016. All Rights Reserved


I’ve been away from the internet all day. 

I came home from a family picnic on the Blackwater River to find my inbox, as usual, overflowing like a ripe Port-O-Pottie. 
One of the first messages I read was about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, quoted above, who last Friday night at the beginning of a preseason game suddenly decided to become the most hated man in America du jour by deliberately not standing for the National Anthem. 

Yes, that’s right, a football player didn’t stand for the National Anthem. 

As you know, this means Kaepernick is scum, a horrible human being, a likely member of ISIS, a Muslim terrorist, a black thug, a communist, a socialist (and not the cool share your weed Bernie Sanders kind of socialist but the Red Brigade kind of Socialist who sleeps under a poster of Chairman Mao), a radical, a Black Panther, and he probably has Fidel Castro’s phone number in his contact favorites. 

Yeah. Okay. 

I answered the message and went on to the next one. 

The next message was about Kaepernick. As was the next one. And the next one. And…
They all begin pretty much the same way: Jim, AS A VETERAN, what do you think about this? Well? 
Let me answer all the messages at once

AS A VETERAN, what do I think about Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the National Anthem? 
As a veteran? 
Very well, as a veteran then, this is what I believe: 
The very first thing I learned in the military is this: Respect is a two-way street. If you want respect, true respect, sincere respect, then you have to GIVE IT. 
If you want respect, you have to do the things necessary to earn it each and every single day. There are no short cuts and no exceptions.  
Respect cannot be compelled. 
Respect cannot be bought. 
Respect cannot be inherited. 
Respect cannot be demanded at the muzzle of a gun or by beating it into somebody or by shaming them into it. Can not. You might get what you think is respect, but it’s not. It’s only the appearance of respect. It’s fear, it’s groveling, it’s not respect. Far, far too many people both in and out of the military, people who should emphatically know better, do not understand this simple fact: there is an enormous difference between fear and respect. 
Respect has to be earned. 

Respect. Has. To. Be. Earned. 

Respect has to be earned every day, by every word, by every action. 
It takes a lifetime of words and deeds to earn respect. 
It takes only one careless word, one thoughtless action, to lose it. 
You have to be worthy of respect. You have to live up to, or at least do your best to live up to, those high ideals — the ones America supposedly embodies, that shining city on the hill, that exceptional nation we talk about, yes, that one. To earn respect you have to be fair. You have to have courage. You must embrace reason. You have to know when to hold the line and when to compromise. You have to take responsibility and hold yourself accountable. You have to keep your word. You have to give respect, true respect, to get it back. 

There are no short cuts. None. 
Now, any veteran worth the label should know that. If they don’t, then likely they weren’t much of a soldier to begin with and you can tell them I said so. 
IF Kaepernick doesn’t feel his country respects him enough for him to respect it in return, well, then you can’t MAKE him respect it. 
You can not make him respect it. 
If you try to force a man to respect you, you’ll only make him respect you less. 
With threats, by violence, by shame, you can maybe compel Kaepernick to stand up and put his hand over his heart and force him to be quiet. You might. 
But that’s not respect. 
It’s only the illusion of respect. 

You might force this man into the illusion of respect. You might. Would you be satisfied then? Would that make you happy? Would that make you respect your nation, the one which forced a man into the illusion of respect, a nation of little clockwork patriots all pretending satisfaction and respect? Is that what you want? If THAT’s what matters to you, the illusion of respect, then you’re not talking about freedom or liberty. You’re not talking about the United States of America. Instead you’re talking about every dictatorship from the Nazis to North Korea where people are lined up and MADE to salute with the muzzle of a gun pressed to the back of their necks. 

That, that illusion of respect, is not why I wore a uniform. 
That’s not why I held up my right hand and swore the oath and put my life on the line for my country. 
That, that illusion of respect, is not why I am a veteran. 
Not so a man should be forced to show respect he doesn’t feel. 
That’s called slavery and I have no respect for that at all. 
If Americans want this man to respect America, then first they must respect him. 
If America wants the world’s respect, it must be worthy of respect. 

America must be worthy of respect. Torture, rendition, indefinite detention, unarmed black men shot down in the street every day, poverty, inequality, voter suppression, racism, bigotry in every form, obstructionism, blind patriotism, NONE of those things are worthy of respect from anybody — least of all an American. 

But doesn’t it also mean that if Kaepernick wants respect, he must give it first? Give it to America? Be worthy of respect himself? Stand up, shut up, and put his hand over his heart before Old Glory? 

No. It doesn’t. 
Respect doesn’t work that way. 

Power flows from positive to negative. Electricity flows from greater potential to lesser. 

The United States isn’t a person, it’s a vast construct, a framework of law and order and civilization designed to protect the weak from the ruthless and after more than two centuries of revision and refinement it exists to provide in equal measure for all of us the opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The United States is POWER. 

All the power rests with America. Just as it does in the military chain of command. And like that chain of command, like the electrical circuit described above, respect must flow from greater to lesser FIRST before it can return. 

To you the National Anthem means one thing, to Kaepernick it means something else. We are all shaped and defined by our experiences and we see the world through our own eyes. That’s freedom. That’s liberty. The right to believe differently. 

The right to protest as you will. The right to demand better. The right to believe your country can BE better, that it can live up to its sacred ideals, and the right to loudly note that it has NOT. The right to use your voice, your actions, to bring attention to the things you believe in. The right to want more for others, freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and RESPECT. 

A true veteran might not agree with Colin Kaepernick, but a true veteran would fight to the death to protect his right to say what he believes. 

You don’t like what Kaepernick has to say? Then prove him wrong, BE the nation he can respect. 

It’s really just that simple.

(C) 2016. Jim Wright. All Rights Reserved.

This was originally posted on Jim Wright’s Facebook page and reposted here .You can see more of Jim’s prolific writing on his blog I am happy I read the post. I just found a writer I can read and be throughly amused, entertained and informed. 


I have tried to refrain from commenting on the salacious news flying like a meteorite on social network regarding The Big Man in Rio , not on his latest accomplishments mind you, rather his bedroom and party antics on his birthday. 

A social liberal like myself found it personally disgusting to even read what I call this social gossip as it was, and still is, no concern of mine. But looking at the entire picture, especially as it seems the story is still taking flames, I had to give the Big Man my 1 cent worth of advise as this brain of mine keep seeing visions of history repeating itself. 

A wise man, Abraham Lincoln said this on publicity…..“What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself“. I am going to speak as clearly as possible to Usain and for those who are also consciously or unconsciously living in a similar spotlight. 

Usain, by your own words you have always maintained you have one goal to accomplish and that was to prove to yourself that you are the greatest in the sport of track and field. Many people will not remember and neither many will forget, when you , a youth champion, was placed in the jaw bone of competition in 2004 at the age of 18, Athens Greece and you placed a disappointing last, not even making it to the second round. We commiserated with you and with faith looked ahead to the next Olympics. It was there that the world began to pay attention. 

Your success skyrocketed to enormous fame and with fame comes wealth. Rio was the stage the world was waiting to see a God amongst men manifested and It was at that point you single handedly became a living legend in the eyes of your county men and the world. 

No one has ever made being successful so achievable than you and immediately the hashtag of #BeingLikeBolt was the only motivating theme for every athlete of all genre in Jamaica. You became a national treasure.

With fame comes enormous responsibility and Usain as we say in Jamaica the horse gone through the gate , brother you have no choice in this. You are who you are. Usain , know this buddy. For every birthday a man celebrates , it is not to only drink and party all night with wild abandonment, it is also for him to celebrate the REASON he was born and WHY he was born. 

At 30 you know the reason and you know the why. So Usain, guess what, you are different. You are not like the common man and the faster you realize that what you do is now everybody’s motivation , the quicker you will realize why this latest social media hype can be a cost in the long run that you will regret. 

You are young and a wealthy man but don’t ever think that the hand that put you on a pedestal cannot break you down. How many times have we seen this happen to athletes like yourself? You are 30 years wiser. Use it. Enjoy yourself to the max, but do not give more than what you want them to see. Be careful of how you use that light that shines on you every second of the day. 

With every thing comes a price and guess what buddy, being a legend has its price. If you are not prepared to pay it, then watch your legacy fade away. Usain don’t listen to the so called “blood brothers ” who will jump and shout ” mek them gwan and mine dem bloodc**t business”. Guess what , they did not create your legacy and they have not nor will they walk the path you took to create your legacy.

You want to see your blood brothers fly? Look around for them when you really need their support. It never fails Usain, friends are like flies. They are always there when the food is plenty. When food done, friends done. 

Do not compromise your legacy Usain. If you keep searching for Adventure, it is ridiculously easy to find but weigh the cost Usain, as you will have to pay for the ride.. Do not get over exposed. Stay humble even when you are partying. You are not like any other man. Know that , accept that and live your life accordingly. 

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.  John Wooden

(C) 2016. Kwesi.  All Rights Reserved. 


The stadium is now cleared of spectators. Volunteers and stadium staff are earnestly preparing to strike the big set. Some are tired, others are sitting restlessly trying to catch a breath after the amazing show.
Rehearsals have been done over and over again, starting over a year ago. The glitches, the demotivated that did not attend rehearsals and the numerous calls to do it “once again” all are now indelible memories of the journey getting to where the team wanted to be. It was, in fact, the best part of the Olympics, the preparation. 
It would not have been a true Brazil Olympics without the brand Brazil is known for, Carnival. The opening ceremonies did its due homage to the birth of this great country, but the closing was authentic Brazil and the performances were all testament to this gospel. 

The show could be easily placed next to the other best in show, China, as the most memorable. The one thing Brazil wanted the world to take aŵay is this – problems there are but the land is green, the sun continues to shine and the people know how to throw a party. Brazil pulled off sports largest party, the 31st Olympiad. 

Months, weeks even days before the opening the media spun its web of doubt. Infested water, a mosquito named Zika and of course the unloved cousin named crime, were reported to threaten the lives of those planning to attend. Few athletes took the bait and refused to attend. Countries brought additional luggage purely packed with repellents and water, enough to give every team member and every family in the favela, packets to last a month. 

Brazil was in fact dusted by the world media as the country plagued by pestilence and if you go, you do so on your own peril. Brazil was humiliated even before the first plane landed with their guests. The political strife did not help either as their President was facing a political earthquake she is hoping to survive. 

The process to creating this ubiquitous event of glitz and glamour was bumpy. In cases where the State needed land it was the residents of the favela that paid the price. A country daunted by millions of its people living below an already low poverty line, basic services seemed to be curtailed in favor of satisfying the wealthy sponsors and the many affluent citizens of Rio. Choices made were not equitable and people of the favela excercised the only power they have, the power to protest. 

It sent a message loud and clear as delays and sabotage prevented time schedules of spaces for the Olympics to be completed on time. Brazil pressed on, facing their realities and a deadline as the World was coming. A visibly shaking President of the Organizing Committee Carlos Nuzman was a happy man. In his closing speech, he declared the games would be one the people of Brazil can look back and be proud of for generations to come.
In a way, I think he is correct. The games did not lack any excitement or drama. There were many highs and as expected many lows. There were 27 World records and 90 Olympic records at the Rio 2016 games. 
The outstanding athletes Phelps of the US, Farah of the UK and Bolt of Jamaica were the stars of the games. There were other memorable moments as well too numerous to mention but for Brazil the sweet moment was the revenge victory over rival Germany for the gold medal in the beloved sport Soccer. Karma was so sweet an ale on the lips of the Brazilians. 

The lows were as low as they could go and the three that will be etched in the history of Rio2016 Games were the public refusal of the Israeli athlete to shake the hand of his Palestinian competitor and the blond athlete from the US that claimed he and fellow athletes were robbed at gun point when upon investigating the incident , was determined to be false, very false.

The other low point was the visible empty seats in the massive 70,000 seat Olympic stadium except for when Bolt was attending and the 80,000 Maracana stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies were held. No director wants to see empty seats. It says a lot about the planning of the event. If I were the director, I would have filled those seats with the people next door the Maracana. The favelas had thousands of people standing above their shanty roof top houses, that would have given an arm even a leg to be in the stadium. I think the organizers and the government lost an opportunity there. 

Every event has its drama and the event ghosts are always around determined to distract and displace every possible decision taken. Brazil faced their truth and stood back up on their feet 1 million times as much as they were knocked down 1 million times. For this Brazil can be proud. Nothing is more satisfying than to do something that your haters say you cannot.

I think Brazil had the last laugh. They can laugh at the doubters and be assured that the City of Rio has been tested and passed every test imaginable. The final test for Rio and Brazil is the test of conversion and innovation of the many facilities to serve its people. 
This will be its hardest challenge. I hope they face it with the same resolve as they did to open the games. Fairy tales they are but the land is green, the sun shines and the people not only can throw a party, they now have facilities that will move their people and country from being a great Brazil to an even greater Brazil. 
(C) 2016. Kwesi. All Rights Reserved. 


A funny thing happened on they way from a party in Brazil. Three high profiled swimmers, by US standards anyway. were reportedly ambushed and robbed at gun point. This bombshell was dropped mid way through the staging of Brazil’s biggest party, the Olympics.

As you can imagine, no country, not even the US, would want such negative headlines in bold print splattered across every major news media around the world. Negative publicity means negative impressions of the country, regardless of the efforts thousands are doing to make the games a success. It was no surprise the authorities took these reports seriously and investigated post haste. 
The findings as you would have heard by now unless you are living under a rock, were conflicting, and Brazil exercised its rights to summon the ” victimized” as the Americans referred to themselves, to answer these conflicting questions. 
The proceeding events that happened could not have been written for a reality show. The parts were moving violently and what has been to date, an Olympic Games of highs and lows, surprises and excitement , the story became the focus and the games became that other story. 
It was depressing and the lines were drawn on both sides. From outright condemnation to acceptance of the behavior, the story never went away. Neither did Lochte. 
Waiting until his “brothers in arms” returned to the US, Lochte said he had “suffered enough” to come forward to discuss “the mess” he says he is in. In a classic “let me hold your hand gently ” interview, NBC’s Matt Lauer attempted to “ruffle Lochte’s feathers. It was an attempt for Lauer to come across as the ‘tough interviewer’. 
Millions like myself did not buy it. Lauer was more intent on saving face as social media was on fire. The dye had been cast. It was another classic example of what white privilege looks like in the comfort of your home. and the media, through its agent was upholding and reminding you of this unwritten standard of the way things are in good ole US of A. 
A friend wrote his response. I thought I would share it for you to read and draw your own conclusions.
Kwesi (c) 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger and James Feigen all thought they were in a third world country, and as such, their bigotry and newly-acquired gold accessories warranted them vandalising a hard-working family’s service station by urinating on the walls and trashing the place – – and then running to the USA media with claims of being robbed at gunpoint (as is “expected” in Brazil).

The Brazilian judge (in his quick wisdom) smelled a rat and sent for the rodents on the aircraft bound for the United States . As it played our, apologies were offered, the stories recanted and monies were paid (all of this as the world watches). 
All across America white privilege apologist in the people of Billy Bush et. al. seek to offer excuses for a 32 year grown ass man and his punk team members who cite “youth” and “immaturity”. Where were these voices when a young black girl stood on the podium (yes, their teammate) and (in her nervousness) forgets to place hand across her chest at the medaling ceremony? 
 What of the superhuman gymnast of color who (after endless flips) just can’t seem to keep her nappy hair in one direction and is slaughtered within the same circles? …oh how different the cry would be if Felix and her relay peers behaved the same way eeh? 
The cushy reporting from US media would not be afforded them I’m sure! All in all, America has a long way to go. The shackles are transferred from black ankles and is seemingly evidenced now in the minds of the once captors.
The incident in Rio only highlights who these thugs are in their heads and certainly it presents the opportunity for pause to thought. Ryan, Jack and James are damn lucky they weren’t black men behaving in the same fashion in their homeland – notwithstanding there would be three funerals sometime next week – the men behind their shiny badges would have seen to it!
Good going gold medalist! …Donald Trump would be extraordinarily proud of you! 
H. Pratt (c) 2016.All Rights Reserved.