What is The Culture Code?

By now, many of you are probably wondering why I decided to create a blog titled The Culture Code. The title has a lot to do with the name of my company, Culturally Coded Content. Through this company, I have been able to independently publish three books, Adinkrahene: Fear of a Black Planet, Real Men Raise CHAMPIONS: Unleashing Your Inner COACH and Young Achiever Playbook: Planning to Achieve.

While my company was created primarily to produce written projects that educate, entertain and enlighten, I know who I am, a Black man with strong thoughts and feelings – opinions – about the issues of the day. Consequently, I knew I couldn’t remain silent as I watched dark, evil forces suppress full expressions of the spiritual fruit, i.e., love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I found myself becoming upset at the news media for ignoring the message of peaceful protestors boldly proclaiming, “Black Lives Matter,” preferring to sensationalize the antics of looters and rioters instead. Like many of you, I know members of the news media are being used by these dark, evil forces to spread messages of hate, injustice and chaos. But what they don’t seem to fully comprehend is the lengths these dark, evil forces will go to discredit the Black Lives Matter Movement specifically, the Civil Rights Movement generally. The dark, evil forces seem to have initiated a well-funded and coordinated campaign to cast their agents as the good guys, peaceful protestors as evil.

But we all know how this story ends. When all is said and done, good will always prevail over evil. Good prevails because harboring hatred for one’s neighbor gets old after a while. We humans were created by God the Father, in his image, to be in relationship with each other. He has also gifted us with the ability to be compassionate for earthly brothers and sisters who are being mistreated for just living in the skin they’re in. But the tone that is being set by these dark, evil forces is changing the temperature in the room, causing us to be less compassionate. Instead of creating a more perfect union, some of us want to dredge up the same selfish sentiments from sixty years ago to make America great again.

But why? Why are so many U.S.. citizens allowing the dark, evil forces to lead them down a rabbit hole? I believe it has a lot to do with changing demographics wrought by the browning of America.

Conservative Republicans are seemingly losing their minds because of it, believing they will never win another presidential election due to their apparent disdain for votes from Black Americans and other persons of color. And after voters elected Barack Obama, a Black American man, as the Leader of the Free World for two presidential terms, they thought their fates were sealed. They were, but the darkest, most evil agents in their ranks weren’t about to go down without a fight. They seemingly are in the midst of a last-ditch effort to rig the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government for themselves. By inserting their people in high-ranking government positions, some of them being lifetime appointments, they could at least ensure their futures are a little more hopeful.

Unbeknownst to them, their calculated crimes against humanity are going to be costly.

Right now, we have a generation of children and adolescents who are being victimized by these dark, evil forces. As these young people watch the six o’clock news with, or without, their parents, they listen to the dark, evil forces’ champion talk about “dominating the streets” in an effort to deny U.S. citizens their First Amendment Right to free speech. They listen as the dark, evil forces’ champion says, “It is what it is,” when answering questions about how he feels about the more than 150,000 COVID-19 deaths that have occurred on his watch, not Barack Obama’s, George W. Bush’s, Bill Clinton’s, George H.W. Bush’s, Ronald Reagan’s or Jimmy Carter’s. And they watch as the dark, evil forces’ champion walks around in public spaces without a face covering or regard for his proximity to others. In their minds, if he can behave this way as a 74-year-old Caucasian male, they should be able to do the same.

I still want to entertain, educate and enlighten, so I guess my The Culture Code blog can be seen as a much-needed addition to my portfolio. Just know, my intent is to promote love not hate, justice not injustice, peace not war. We have to be more sensitive to the wrongs that are occurring in our culture, acknowledge how the dark, evil forces want us to fuss and fight rather than kiss and hug. I don’t know about you, but COVID-19 has shown me just how much I took these kisses and hugs for granted. When I am once again able to kiss and hug my loved ones, there’s no doubt I will be more appreciative.

Know this, though. At the end of the day, we are family, a human one, united for all eternity by the Blood of Christ if we have love for God and neighbor in our hearts.


To learn more about J. A. Faulkerson’s books, visit http://www.jafaulkerson.wordpress.com/store.

Another Great Day in America

Culture Code Logo 2, 8-11-20During last year’s presidential debates, I was rooting for Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) in her quest to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the United States Presidency.  Her sharp criticism of The Other Guy’s failings resonated with me..  A gifted attorney and prosecutor, she made Attorney General Bill Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brent Kavanaugh squirm in their seats when they were being vetted by the Senate.  And now that she has been named as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate in the upcoming election, I am ecstatic about what lies ahead for a country that has been struggling under the leadership of The Other Guy in its efforts to create a more perfect union.  If elected this November, Kamala Harris will become the first Black and South Asian woman to occupy a presidential office.

Kamala HarrisWhile Senator Harris’ multicultural background is appealing to voters like me, I believe her gender will be a more significant draw.  After what happened to Hillary Clinton in 2016, when she was vilified by the Republican Party for using a private server to send emails, it’s going to feel good to see an equally capable woman in the limelight again.  But I predict The Other Guy and the Republican Party are going to have a difficult time disparaging Senator Harris’ record and reputation.  Truth be told, it is shameful that The Other Guy’s go-to play is “finding dirt” on his Democratic opponents anyway.  But I guess that’s the play – “make them focus on the dirt so I won’t look stupid talking about the issues.”

Because this statement is undoubtedly true, my hope is the Biden/Harris ticket will shift the conversation back to the issues.  Joe Biden has already demonstrated his willingness to focus on the issues during his many television interviews, social media posts and virtual town hall meetings.  He has spoken directly to the citizenry about the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, chastising The Other Guy for his failure to retain the services of the Pandemic Taskforce that his predecessor, Barack Obama, left for him, along with an 86-page pandemic playbook.  He has also spoken eloquently about the social unrest sparked more fervently in recent days because of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of a rogue Minneapolis police officer.  Joe Biden shows us daily why he is fit to be the Leader of the Free World on day one of his presidency.

Biden Harris 2020Selecting Kamala Harris as his running mate shows Joe Biden’s intent is to surround himself with morally decent and highly competent leaders.  With this selection, he is also telegraphing to The Other Guy, and The Other Guy’s Little Guy, that their greatest fears are about to come true.  The Democratic Party-controlled House of Representatives impeached The Other Guy, but the Republican Party-controlled Senate acquitted him, refusing to remove him from office.  But in the months leading up to the election, I predict that the Biden/Harris surrogates will reintroduce US voters to the Steele Dossier, the Mueller Report, the firings of James Comey and Andrew McCabe, the Ukraine Shakedown, as well as those Other Guy associates who have either been shamed, indicted, convicted or jailed.  More importantly, the Biden/Harris ticket will show they can walk and chew gum at the same time by offering up practical solutions that allow the USA to build back better.

There are some Other Guy supporters who falsely believe The Other Guy hasn’t been able to achieve any major legislative victories because of Democratic Party obstructionism.  They cite the impeachment hearing before the House and the trial before the Senate as culprits.  And, of course, the “China Virus” is what derailed his “thriving economy.”  The Other Guy has been in office for almost four years, and he spent a majority of his time undoing all the good wrought by the Obama Administration. But like he said a few days ago, when asked if he is troubled by the number of COVID-19 deaths, The Other Guy responded, “It is what it is.”

When I vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris before or on Tuesday, November 3rd, I will know they care because their actions have been speaking louder than their words. And when they win this presidential election, and pave the way for down ballot Democratic Party victories, the US citizenry will once again be able to celebrate another great day, one not seen since Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012.



Constituents Before Party


Culture Code Logo 2, 8-11-20
On Friday, August 7, 2020, Congress failed to extend payroll protection payments for thousands of U.S. citizens who are at risk of losing their jobs through no fault of their own. Prior to our appointed Congressional leaders’ failure to lead, many of their employers were receiving weekly payments of $600 just to make ends meet for themselves and their families while weathering the storms wrought by the COVID-19 Global Pandemic.
Under the old plan, the $600 weekly payments equated to $2,400 per month, or $28,800 per year. Because there is so much noise out there, perpetuated by #TheOtherGuy and Republican legislators in both the House and Senate, most people failed to recognize that the $28,800 per year payment exceeds Federal poverty guidelines for a family of two ($16,910), a family of three ($21,300), and a family of four (25,750). So, when Republican legislators proposed $200 during their negotiations, all I could do was scratch my head. They actually wanted to lower the payment to $200 per week, or $800 per month, $9,600 per year. That would have been a pay decrease of $19,200.
But we all knew #TheOtherGuy was going to try and step forward to make us think he is making America great again. He reportedly signed an Executive Order stating that the weekly payroll protection payments should be set at $400. While this amount is an improvement on his own party’s opening salvo, it still only gives at-risk workers annual payments of $19,200, which exceeds the Federal poverty guidelines for a family of two (+ $2,290) but falls well short for a family of three (- $2,100) and a family of four (- $6,550).
But based on the news reports that I’ve seen and read, #TheOtherGuy’s Executive Orders are nothing burgers, resulting from the fact he has no control over how the nation spends its money. This control sits squarely in the hands of Congress. So, what he did is more of a distraction than a solution. Therefore, Congressional leaders need to return to the table to hash out a deal that at least lets at-risk workers know they care. But they won’t. Why? Because Republican legislators have shown from the outset of these negotiations that their loyalty is not with their constituents, it’s with #TheOtherGuy. To me, that’s a heart issue that the Republican Party refuses to acknowledge as a problem, and shows they lack the moral fortitude to address it.
But I acknowledge it. Why allow the wants and needs of one man to supersede the wants and needs of your constituents, which includes Republican, Democratic and Independent voters? We can only hope that more members of the Republican Party acknowledge their erroneous decisions to make a 180 degree turn and do what is right for all of the people. For it will be these moral and decent legislators that allow us to change the tone, enable us to become less selfish and more selfless.
Truth be told, we must applaud the efforts of our Congressional leaders from the Democratic Party. Their staunch support for the continuation of, and, in some instances, increase to, the $600 weekly payments is further evidence they have never stopped fighting for all U.S. citizens. Yes, we U.S. citizens have our differences of opinion, but the thing we have in common is our love for life, liberty and happiness.
Like many of you, I am tired of one man and one party trying to manipulate my thoughts around these common values. As long as they are promulgating hate rather than love, division rather unity, nothing they say or do will ever resonate with me. We have to get out of the business of stepping on our neighbors, or disparaging them even, to advance self interest. In short, we can’t allow one man and one party to become the thermostat that sets a room temperature designed to suppress the expression of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
In the months leading up to Election Day, November 3, 2020, the Republican Party has already shown it will cheat to win, with some of its members either directly or indirectly expressing an openness to accepting foreign assistance from the Russian Federation. And very few of them, if any, said anything when the leader of their party sent Federal troops to Portland, Oregon to trample the First Amendment Rights of peaceful protesters.
What is becoming increasingly apparent, though, is supporters of right-wing extremism are committing crimes under the guise of Black Lives Matter to undermine not just the Black Lives Matter Movement, but the Civil Rights Movement as well. By marching alongside Black Americans they don’t know, and have no empathy for, they give #TheOtherGuy the cover he needs to further criminalize Black bodies. He is also able to bamboozle Independent voters into believing excessive or deadly force is always warranted during encounters with Black Americans.
And this takes us back to where we started, Congress’s failure to extend payroll protection that allows a family of four to live above the Federal poverty level. When we cast our votes in the lead up to Election Day, we have to remember how the Republican Party mistreated U.S. citizens during a global pandemic. They didn’t think it was important enough to give U.S. workers a livable wage. They also displayed a tone deafness that prevented them from saying or doing anything that shows they believe #BlackLivesMatter too.
Those, my friends, are offenses that are not rooted in love, justice and peace.



Beware of Negative Press for #TheOtherGuy

Ever since he was elected president in 2016, I have been wondering why The Other Guy opts to chose hate over love, divisiveness over unity. I have also wondered what his negativity causes us, the general public, to do during our responses. My conclusion: We are more prone to type his last name into our posts, and, consequently, his last name sucks the oxygen out of the room.

For those who have been paying attention, I refuse to type his last name into any of my posts. Granted, I have shared other people’s posts with his name in it, but I am quick to add my own commentary when warranted. But what enlightened US citizens like us must realize is the imbecile currently occupying the White House thrives off negative press, and he is depending on it to bamboozle unenlightened US citizens into voting for him on November 3, 2020, even though he doesn’t have any major legislative victories, just manufactured crises that he has managed poorly.

The Biden2020 campaign is inundating the airwaves and social media outlets with positive press. But we have to ask ourselves, why isn’t his positive press for love and unity getting more attention on the six o’clock news?

I’ll tell you why.

Because the news media takes everything The Other Guy says at face value and then tries to sensationalize it. Sure, there are journalists like MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow and Laurence O’Donnell who call a spade a spade, but then there are reporters on the big three networks (i.e., ABC, CBS and NBC) that just tell us what The Other Guy says without taking much deeper dives. They report the news in this manner because they value access to The Other Guy over reporting the underlying facts of their stories.

If he says something patently racist and false, they just report out what he said, not that it is patently racist and false.

If he sends Federal troops into Portland, Oregon to “dominate the streets,” reporters representing the big three networks just show images of these same Federal troops surrounding Federal buildings and using unnecessary excessive force on peaceful protestors. Very rarely do they explore the reasons why these same peaceful protestors are thrown into unmarked vehicles and driven to undisclosed locations.

What surprises me is that very few of these apprehended and detained protestors (mostly masked) are coming forward to tell their stories. What this suggests to me is they weren’t protestors at all; they were White US citizens working in tandem with The Other Guy’s campaign in an ongoing effort to discredit the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.

If he says he is leading efforts to take affordable health care from millions of US citizen, rarely does the mainstream news media ask him how his replacement plan will be an improvement on the previous one.

So, the point of this post is we enlightened US citizens must do more to defang this monstrosity of a president by not including his last name in any of our posts. If, and when, more of us do that, we can rest assured that the focus will remain on real issues rather than his fabrications.

Just saying.

What say you?

J. A. Faulkerson’s PLAYBOOK INSIGHT SERIES: Becoming a Reliable Friend

Hello, everyone.

My name is J. A. Faulkerson, and I’m the author of Young Achiever Playbook: Planning to Achieve.  I released this book in early 2019 in hopes of giving adolescents and young adults some of the tools they will need to lay firmer foundations for prosperous living.

The book is available for online purchase at jafaulkerson.wordpress.com/store.

Today’s topic is Nurturing, the first of four pillars of prosperity.  The other three pillars are Learning, Working and Leading.  Nurturing is based on the belief that people should grow up to fall in love, get married, and provide parental warmth to their children.  To move toward greatness as a Nurturer, it is my belief that we must master three distinct roles, that of Reliable Friend, Present Spouse and Active Parent.  I will share my insights about what it means to become a Present Spouse and Active Parent in future presentations.  However, I would like to take some time now to answer questions related to becoming a Reliable Friend.

I believe a Reliable Friend is someone you can count on to provide meaningful advice, guidance, support, love and companionship.  But in order for me to be receptive to these provisions, I must trust the person delivering them.  I need to know that the person who wants to become my friend is not out to hurt me through the improper use of their words or deeds.

There’s a verse in the Christian bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, that describes qualities mostly associated with love.  But I’m here to tell you that these qualities should also be present in our friends.  A Reliable Friend is:

  • Patient and kind
  • Doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud
  • Doesn’t dishonor you, and isn’t self-seeking or easily angered
  • Keeps no record or wrongs, always protects you, trusts you, and hopes for the best for you

It is my belief that a person develops a desire to be reliable by getting in touch with his/her Selfless Self.  If you’re anything like my younger self, your default response when interacting with others is to focus on your needs while ignoring the needs of others.  But after many years of being focused on my own needs (i.e., acts of selfishness), I started considering other people’s needs, circumstances.  And it was this consideration that caused me to conclude that the thing we all need most are opportunities to live our best lives now while belonging to someone, or something, special.  Reliable friends care deeply about the people they befriend, and are committed to forging shared experiences that enrich the whole not just the parts.

Becoming a Reliable Friend has many benefits.  I’m about to list three here.

The first benefit is that you know your friendships are based on unconditional love, admiration and respect.  Reliable friends don’t care about you because you do X, Y and Z; they care about you because your words and deeds show you’re a decent person, one who is worthy of their love, admiration and respect.  If they did say they care about you because of X, Y and Z, I would consider that the beginning of a toxic relationship.  You don’t need any toxicity in your life, you need more tonic.

The second benefit is that you gain an appreciation for why it is so important to give of your time, talent, testimony and treasure.  Most of the time, when someone references the four T’s, we think they’re talking about philanthropy, the act of selflessly giving of your time, talent, testimony and treasure.  But we gift these things to our friends as well.  The conversations we have, the athletic events that we attend, the vacations that we take are shared experiences that will be with us throughout our lives.

The third benefit is that you set the stage for positive interactions with your spouse and children.  I will offer additional insights about these interactions in future presentations, but the important thing to note here is that we give selflessly to our spouses and children because they are us and we are them.  We create fulfilling lives with our spouses, and we help our children find fulfillment in the lives they are destined to lead.

To access purchase links to my book Young Achiever Playbook: Planning To Achieve, please visit my website, jafaulkerson.wordpress.com/store.

Thank you, and stay well.


DC Area Author Releases Young Achiever Playbook To Inspire America’s Youths

Friday, March 22, 2019

Northern Virginia – Author J. A. Faulkerson announced today the release of the first installment in his Young Achiever Playbook series.  Young Achiever Playbook: Planning To Achieve offers adolescents and young adults practical strategies for establishing firmer foundations for prosperous living, and is the latest offering from Culturally Coded Content, a Northern Virginia-based creative writing and nonprofit management firm.

YAP Front CoverThroughout the pages of Young Achiever Playbook: Planning To Achieve, J. A. bares his soul, recounting how an arthritic hip condition, and the end of his collegiate track and field career, fostered a newfound appreciation for what he calls the Four Pillars of ProsperityNurturing, Learning, Working and Leading.  After coming to terms with this career-ending diagnosis, J. A. vowed to be the kind of man who:

  • fell in love with one woman, got married and provided parental warmth to his children (Nurturing);
  • graduated from college with a grade point average of 3.0 or better to actively pursue and take advantage of educational, vocational and social opportunities (Learning);
  • developed a strong work ethic derived from an entrepreneurial mindset (Working); and
  • influenced the society at large through positive investments of time, talent, treasure and testimony (Leading).

“After making this vow,” J. A. said, “I had to connect what I was doing then to what I wanted to do later in life.  Making this connection was the first step I took to create a Personal Prosperity Plan.  I call it my Adult LIFE Vision.  By focusing my full attention on it, I was better able to identify the things I needed to do to grow the right amount of intelligence, personality and character to be successful at whatever I put my hands to.”

He added, “I’m a firm believer in the old saying, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’  During my TRIO Upward Bound days, when I was a Director, I made sure we engaged our young scholars in activities that didn’t just prepare them for college.  My staff and I also thought it was important for them to envision the kind of adult lives they wanted to lead.  The stakes are even higher for me now, as I am raising a son who I hope will unashamedly embrace all of the concepts outlined in this book.”

J. A. believes we now live in an era where personal achievement is becoming synonymous with the amount of money people have in their bank accounts (and what they do with it) rather than the amount of neighborly love they have in their hearts (and what they do to bless others). He contends that Achievers who are in touch with their selfless selves impartially consider their neighbors needs to become concerned enough to care. “Because they care,” J. A. said, “they give freely of their time, talent, treasure and testimony.  And by engaging in these philanthropic endeavors, they are letting others know it’s not all about them, it’s about us.”

The 121-page book is available now for online purchase as a paperback or ebook through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.


JAFaulkerson Headshot, 1-2-19J. A. Faulkerson is a Strategist, Author and Speaker with Culturally Coded Content, a Northern Virginia-based creative writing and nonprofit management firm. A Master-level Social Worker who has worked on behalf of disadvantaged and disenfranchised children, youths and adults for over 20 years, he is committed to producing creative works that don’t just entertain, but educate and enlighten as well.

J. A. is the author of Adinkrahene: Book One (Fiction) and Real Men Raise CHAMPIONS: Unleashing Your Inner COACH (Nonfiction). Adinkrahene: Book One was one of three titles honored at the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Book Awards ceremony, in the First Fiction category. The Phillis Wheatley Book Awards are held annually on the campus of Columbia University as the kickoff event to QBR’s Harlem Book Fair.

To purchase one or more of J. A.’s available titles, or to book him as a workshop presenter or event speaker, visit www.jafaulkerson.wordpress.com/j-a-bookings.

A portion of all proceeds from the sale of Young Achiever Playbook: Planning To Achieve support the work of ACHIEVEMENT SQUARE Development & Training Centers, Inc., a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization.  To make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.achievementsquare.org/give.


A Lesson on Lordship

54831101-8759-4FB3-ADFB-CC0AA23F6B69-33974-0000226F9FC59B48Here’s what I learned about Lordship from Crossover Church Pastor Tim Seay on Sunday, February 10, 2019:

If you view Him as Savior, you ask yourself, “What did He give up for me?”

If you view Him as Lord, you ask, “What must I give up for Him?”

We need to recognize His Lordship in everything we do. This approach is based on the reality of who He is.

Position for Salvation: Must confess and renounce our sin for it to be forgiven. Say exactly what God says about sin.

Position for Lordship: Must declare that Jesus died and was resurrected for our sin, and because of that, He is Lord. Say exactly what God says about Jesus.

How do we practice His Lordship in our lives?

  • Disciplinary Trials – God has to intervene to bring us back into alignment.
  • Developmental Trials – God brings a trial in our lives so he can advance us. He is trying to get us ever closer to Kingdom Perfection.

Under his Lordship, there is safety (Divine Protection) when we are obedient. We must never get tired of carrying his over-sized Umbrella of Protection (i.e., Cross), or try to reduce its size.



When You Were My President

Obama Family 3It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter, to you, Barack Hussein Obama, the man who, even now, means so much to so many people.

I miss you.

We miss you.

From 2008 to 2016, you served as our 44th President. And you did it with a tremendous amount of humility, dignity and grace. But, in 2017, many of us Black Americans were scratching our heads, asking one burning question: What did we gain from you being the first, Black President?

A lot?


We got Donald Trump.

Donald being elected President last year was a glaring reminder that there is a segment of the American populace that never saw the content of your character because they couldn’t get past the color of your skin. They thought your being The Leader of the Free World was an aberration, made possible only because both John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 were perceived as flawed, Republican candidates. But they were wrong. You were elected President twice, as a Democrat, because, even though you would readily admit that you possess flaws as well, you represented the hopefulness we Americans needed at the time to begin a dialogue, one that would ultimately lead to a better understanding of how our inability to get along across racial/ethnic lines prevents our nation from becoming a more perfect union.

But as I type these words, I find myself wondering if the unenlightened few who voted for Donald even want to get along with the rest of us. They seemed to embrace him without reservation when he asserted that you were born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia, not America, offspring to a White American mother and Black Kenyan father. I get that you wanted to prove them wrong by producing the long-form birth certificate that showed you were born in Hawaii, something no other American President has been asked to do, but you must admit, even that wasn’t enough. Now that you’re no longer in office, Donald is going out of his way to sully your reputation, undo all the executive and legislative good Democratic lawmakers and you did on behalf of all Americans, which includes the ones who didn’t even vote for you.

There is no need for me to recount your accomplishments. Just complete a critical analysis of everything Donald has been trying to undo since taking office. Repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Revocation of the executive order allowing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Blatant disregard for American citizens’ right to protest peacefully. And signing into law a consequential (and highly controversial) tax reform bill.

Donald is quick to tell us he wants to make America great, again. But his incessant attacks upon your legacy are evidence that you, along with at least seven of the 43 presidents that preceded you, were intent on adding to America’s greatness, not take it back to a bygone era marred by prejudice, racism and discrimination. I want you to know that your efforts are appreciated, not just because you led responsibly, but also because you made it clear through your words and deeds that all of those Democratic accomplishments corresponded nicely with your cabinet’s efforts to fairly administer passed laws, regulations and rules. Donald can’t compete with that because someone forgot to tell him there’s no I in team.

But I digress.

When you were my President, I felt even better about the Black skin I am in. I’m not going to lie; it was great seeing someone who looked like me take up residence in the White House. You knew all eyes were on you, but you didn’t use your notoriety to enrich yourself. No. You used it to encourage us to turn toward each other, not away.

Yes, you said the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri had a right to peacefully voice their concerns about police brutality against Black and Brown Americans, and the unfair sentencing of members of these same groups within the American criminal justice system. To this day, it’s no secret that you support Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, his taking of a knee, for racial, social and economic justice. But that’s what good men do. But Donald didn’t become President because he was good, or popular. That honor was bestowed on Hillary Clinton. That’s why he only champions causes put forth by his Republican base, individuals who lack the enlightenment to see the dying breed of bad apples in our police departments, understand the profit motive that leads to the profiling, incarceration and murder of disenfranchised and downtrodden Americans.

After Heather Heyer, our White sibling in the struggle, was murdered in Charlottesville, Virginia by a White supremacist, Donald seemed to shower more praise on the Tiki Torch-bearing protesters than the brave Americans who stood against them, against prejudice, racism, discrimination and hate. But Donald knows nothing about American history, and the historians in his inner circle failed to brief him before he addressed the media in the aftermath of Heyer’s death. One has to wonder if he would have suggested that the Tiki Torch-bearing protesters were protecting their heritage if he had known the first Confederate monuments were erected between 1890 and 1950 (the era of Jim Crow segregation) to make Black Americans feel less than rather than equal to their White counterparts.

When you were my President, I was able to see Black love done right. While my 13-year-old son is able to see my public displays of affection for his mother in our home, it has been refreshing to see the same phenomenon displayed by a Black couple from the confines of the White House. But First Lady Michelle and you weren’t performing before a Black audience only. Truth be told, you weren’t performing at all. What you were unknowingly doing was reframing the negative narrative that unenlightened White Americans have been writing about us Black Americans since 1619, when our ancestors were ripped from Africa and shipped as cargo to Jamestown, Virginia.

But what did they hear, what did they see, when your faces flashed across the television screens. They heard, saw, a Black couple living and loving out loud. There were the fist bumps during your acceptance speech, your kisses to the top of the First Lady’s head. There were the interviews in which you praised the First Lady for being an exceptional wife and dedicated mother to your daughters, Malia and Sasha. And there were those moments when you applauded your life partner for sharing her concerns about men who think they can grab women and girls by their genitalia and get away with it.

That’s why I am so upset with those White Evangelical Christians who voted for Donald in 2016. They excoriated you for your evolving positions on homosexuality and abortion while accusing you of endorsing policies that infringed upon their religious liberties. Their assertions are mind-boggling, for it let’s me know they don’t understand the difficult hand American presidents are dealt.

American presidents can’t allow their decisions to be guided by their strong feelings about two or three issues. Their decisions have to be constitutionally based, and they must protect every American citizen’s right to life, liberty and happiness. Thus, these protections must be extended to adherents of other religions as well. You can’t support infringement of Muslim’s religious liberties because you mistakenly believe their religion runs counter to Christianity. That’s wrong. When White Evangelical Christians behave this way, they become hypocrites, not fully understanding what it means to practice what they preach.

And that takes me back to the Black love that the First Lady and you did right. However, this is where I choose to focus less on the black and more on the love. White Evangelical Christians didn’t vote for Donald because he is Christian; they voted for him because they have been conditioned to esteem their Whiteness over their Christianity. You knew this. That’s why you spent eight years walking a fine line when you addressed us from the Oval Office, the Rose Garden or the West Wing. You knew that they refused to love and respect you because of your blackness, even though your words and deeds showed that you are, and have always been, a part of their family, their Christian brother. For this, I say shame on them. Because when you were our president, your words and your deeds showed that you love your God and you love your neighbors, which just so happens to be the two greatest commandments of the Christian faith.

But if we Americans were honest with ourselves, we would conclude that your time in office allowed us to finally establish a benchmark for what it will take for us to become a more perfect union. To many Black Americans’ dismay, you chose not to focus most of your attention on issues that only had relevancy to us. You were thoughtful in your approach; making sure that the legislation you signed into law benefitted all Americans, not just a few. Unfortunately, the unenlightened few who voted for Donald in 2016 failed to recognize the method behind your generosity, the immensity of your love of country.


No doubt.

But moving forward, we must believe that more of them want to reject Donald’s divisive rhetoric and spiteful actions to join the ongoing crusade to make America’s better great.