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?

No.

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.

Sad?

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.

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Black-ish: It’s About Time

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE J. A.’S DEBUT NOVEL, ADINKRAHENE: FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET

Black-ishOn Wednesday, September 24th, America was introduced to a host of new characters, as the comedy Black-ish boldly stepped into ABC’s prime-time lineup.  I’m not going to lie to you; I thought the title alone would turn people off.  But after viewing the first episode, I’m proud to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Black-ish stars comedian Anthony Anderson as Andre, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow and Laurence Fishburne as Pops.  It chronicles the misadventures of an upper middle-class Black American family as its members strive to keep their American dream alive while not losing their authenticity as members of the Black Diaspora.  In short, producers Anderson and Fishburne seem to offer this show to America in an attempt to dispel the myths that have come to define what it means to be Black in America.

In the first episode alone, Anderson’s character Andre has to come to grips with his being appointed Vice President of “Urban” Promotions.  Andre was confident that he would be getting a more prominent position within the company, one that has him mingling more with the corporate fat-cats.  But when he gets the word, in front of his mostly White colleagues mind you, he views it as a slap in the face, resulting from the fact that “urban” is synonymous with being, well, Black.  Like most of the Black people in America who happen to be working in Advertising, Public Relations or Promotions, Andre didn’t want his blackness to be the primary reason for his promotion.

Andre also has to deal with his son being so passionate about making the field hockey team. Andre wants his son to play basketball or football like most other Black kids in America. And when his son tells him that he wants to have a Bar Mitzvah, to solidify his friendships with a predominately white peer group, Andre loses it, taking matters into his own hands by making his son dress in African garb for a Rites of Passage ceremony.

It’s about time America got reacquainted with American Blacks.  Yeah, I know Kerry Washington is doing her thing on Scandal, and Viola Davis the same on How to Get Away with Murder, but America hasn’t been able to peer inside the home of a well-to-do Black family on the major three networks (i.e., ABC, CBS and NBC) since The Cosby Show. Moreover, it hasn’t seen Black youngsters thriving and surviving on high school and/or college campuses since A Different World.  It should be noted that both The Cosby Show and A Different World were televised on the same channel, NBC.  And their success had co-creator Bill Cosby seriously considering buying the NBC network.  It was clear then that a diverse coalition of Americans was falling in love with us as a people and as equals.

That being said, I hope the creators of Black-ish stay true to their core mission – portray Black Americans in a more positive light while clearly articulating Black American concerns.

My hope is Andre will visit his kinfolk in Ferguson, Missouri to hear them complain about the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

My hope is Andre’s wife Rainbow, who’s a pediatrician, will talk about how the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) is making healthcare more accessible and affordable to everyday Americans.

My hope is Laurence Fishburne’s Pops will go to the polling booth on November 4th, and, while waiting his turn in line, offer insight to his red, yellow, black, brown and white siblings from other mothers on why this country’s unenlightened Americans would rather make it harder for people to vote, not easier.

These are but three examples of issues that could be explored during the airing of this show. If the creators’ intent is to offer a true facsimile of what it means to be Black in America, they must do a Jon Stewart (from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show) and educate and enlighten while making us laugh about some very persistent issues.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE J. A.’S DEBUT NOVEL, ADINKRAHENE: FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET  

Guiding Principles of an Adinkrahene Agent (of Change)

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WE descend from great, charismatic leadership.

WE commit to developing strong minds, strong bodies and strong spirits.

WE work diligently to rebuild the Beloved Community – the Pangean Nation.

WE reject any and all attempts to put profits over people.

WE give selflessly of our time, talent and treasure.

 

From ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet by J.A. Faulkerson

Copyright 2014.  All rights reserved.

Click here to purchase electronic edition ($3.99) from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

Click here to purchase print edition ($7.99) from Amazon’s Createspace.

A Hard (Yet Not-So-Hard) Decision

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Combot from Adinkrahene: Fear of a Black Planet

All writers know we are never at a loss for content. Topics to write about are all around us. But 33 pages in to my first novel, Adinkrahene: Fear of a Black Planet, I almost felt compelled to toss it.

No one, especially unenlightened Whites, wanted to read about a syndicate of powerful, altruistic Blacks, I thought. They especially didn’t want to learn that these powerful, altruistic Blacks were God’s chosen people, humanity’s only hope against an imminent alien invasion.

The decision to forge ahead was initially a hard one. My visits to local bookstores and movie theaters left me disappointed. Very rarely did I find Science Fiction and Action and Adventure titles featuring African and African-American characters whose sole purpose was to save the day.  Most of the Black characters I read about or saw supported the efforts of White heroes.  And the fact that traditional publishers and the major Hollywood studios were slow to accept stories featuring strong, black characters had me thinking a market didn’t exist for these types of stories.

I decided to forge ahead because the story in my head had to be told. It had to cast powerful, altruistic Blacks in more powerful roles. It also had to shine a light on the racial politics that work to demonize members of the Black Diaspora so unenlightened Whites will have an easier time justifying their racist attitudes and actions.

I know the story isn’t going to sit well with some of my unenlightened white brothers and sisters. In this story, I assert that the Republican Party has been co-opted by the Corporate Cabal, and the Corporate Cabal is being manipulated by the spawns of Satan, for crying out loud. But because my story plays on the prejudicial behavior of some members of the Republican Party, it’s easy for most Americans to see why I would try to make such a connection. A party who prides itself in respecting all Americans’ individual rights to life, liberty and happiness is wanting to impose policies that deny these same rights to racial/ethnic minorities, women, college students and immigrants.

And it is my contention that the Devil is making them do it.

Today’s Republican Party supports the implementation of tougher voter restriction laws, even though studies show voter fraud has never been a problem.

Today’s Republican Party voted over 50 times to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which, to date, is serving over eight million Americans.

Today’s Republican Party questions the legitimacy of America’s first, black president, saying no to his proposals even though most, if not all, of his proposals originated with Republican legislators and/or Conservative thought leaders.

Today’s Republican legislators speak disparagingly about African Americans, women, college students and immigrants at town hall meetings and fundraisers, even though their own 2012 post-election autopsy showed they stand on the side of the 1 percent and place profits over people.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why they are taking these extreme positions.  First, and foremost, they are trying to fan the white resentment that exists in this country.  Unenlightened Whites resent the fact that African Americans were “given stuff” following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  What they consistently fail to consider is the maltreatment that led up to the passage of this piece of legislation.  Africans brought to this country against their will to serve as slaves, or uncompensated laborers.  African Americans being treated like second-class citizens because of Jim Crow legislation.  Black children being taught in inferior classrooms.  And black men and boys being shot dead or hung from trees after being deemed threats by unenlightened white men.

Yes, I choose to go there.  And I’m not ashamed or deterred.  But please know that the intent of this series is not to infuriate you.  My intent is to awaken a racially diverse coalition of readers to the racial politics that the Conservative Movement is using to divide us, get us to regress rather than progress.  Through my words, I want to unite us in thought and purpose by showing you how the agents of the Adinkrahene Reparations Management Syndicate (ARMS) work with their like-minded brothers and sisters to push back alien Satanic forces.

The electronic version (Retail Price: $3.99) of Adinkrahene: Fear of a Black Planet is available now through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.  The print version (Retail Price: $7.99) is also available, albeit through Amazon’s Createspace.  The Adinkrahene story arc will be completed in Adinkrahene: Fear of a Beloved Community and Adinkrahene: Fear of an Alien Presence.

Thank you in advance for your purchase of Adinkrahene: Fear of a Black Planet, as well as your ongoing prayers and support.

ADINKRAHENE!  Or I wish you well in your quest to consistently display great, charismatic leadership.

Excerpt # 2 from ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet

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“We were through two years into our marriage,” Selina exclaimed.  “Found out he had been cheating on me when the Bulls were on the road.  One of his tricks gave him herpes.”

We were seated at a table in Sweet Georgia Brown’s Soul Food Restaurant.  Smooth jazz emanated through the room as patrons either claimed or relinquished their tables.  I was pleased to see that Selina had changed from her pant suit to a yellow and white summer dress with a low-hanging front.  Selina smiled when she spotted me staring at her rack.       

“That had to hurt,” I replied.  My tongue took another swipe at the rib meat lodged in my back teeth.   

“You haven’t changed one bit.”  Selina tugged at the top of her dress.  “Those eyes of yours are still as shifty as ever.”

I chuckled as I rested my arms on the table. 

She continued, “I always liked you, J.  I know I used to give you a hard time about being so quiet, but you were always good to me.  I think of you often, you know?”

“Really?”

“Yes.  Really.  I even subscribed to the Post when the Bureau relocated me to Los Angeles.  You’re an excellent writer.  Loving your new book.  It is opening my eyes to how unchecked power corrupts.” 

“Glad to hear that,” I said, leaning in.  “But I know you didn’t invite me here just to talk about my book.  What’s up?”

Selina breathed in deeply.  “I’m living in D.C. now, J,” she whispered.  “Been here two weeks.  Working a new assignment.  Cold case division.”  She took another deep breath.  “That’s why I’m here, J.  We just reopened one of those cases, the one I told you about at UT.”

“The one involving your grandmother?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle, girl.  I profiled Shuler for the Post, remember?  When his father Watson retired from the Senate.  The man is squeaky clean.”

“But no one has ever been able to explain how my grandmother’s body was pulled from the river in Montgomery when she had just gotten off work in Jackson.  Remember, she never got on that two o’clock bus, J.  Two and half months passed before they found her body.” 

I noticed tears welling up in Selina’s eyes.  “I was invited to the press conference as one of their special guests.  But I’m tired of maintaining this façade, like everything is alright between us.  It’s not.  I’m just trying to keep my enemies closer than my friends.  Did his announcement surprise me?  Hell, yeah, it did.  But I should have seen it coming.”  Selina breathed in deeply as she used her napkin to wipe at her eyes.  “This new assignment gives me the resources and authority to take him down, J.  I’m also aligned with a group that believes better days are ahead for people like you and me.  We just need a little help from a political insider.  You game?”

Selina placed her napkin back on the table.      

She continued, “The American Dream – the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness – is nothing but a façade, J.  A façade that has been created to keep us in check, line the pockets of rich white men.  Taking the Shulers’ down gets us one step closer to exposing what my benefactor calls the Corporate Cabal.”

Selina then reached into her purse to pull out a metallic business card with aluminum wording and graphics.  She placed it on the table in front of me.

“What’s this?” I asked, studying the card.  On one side of the card was the image of one, smaller, red circle inside two larger ones.  A telephone number was centered in black on the other side.

“Call that number,” Selina exhorted as she stood.  “With your help, Kyle Shuler will finally pay for what he did to my grandmother.”  Then, as she turned to leave, “We know it as the Adinkrahene symbol.  Google it when you get home.  Once you take this first step, our hope is you will be more open to what we have to say.”

Copyright 2014 by Jeffery A. Faulkerson.  All rights reserved.

Excerpt from ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

Unpublished Excerpt

April 19, 1843

I write this letter under the cloak of darkness.  I am a free man, an abolitionist, residing in the northern American states.  But now that I have gazed into the eyes of the enemy, I am once again bound, by fear.

The enemy I speak of is not of this world.  I can make this claim because I traveled to their world through something my green-skinned friend Daygon calls the Intergalactic Connector.  The Intergalactic Connector allows Satarians – that’s what they call themselves – to travel to and from other planets, teleport away from detection or danger.

As I watched them from an underground Satarian overlook – with Daygon by my side – I concluded that the Satarians are vile creatures.  Besides having green skins and forked tongues, they also stand at least ten feet tall, both male and female.  Physiologically, their bodies resemble our own.

Daygon told me that his people were created by Lucifer, or Satan, as full grown adults days after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  The Satarian race was created for the sole purpose of taking possession of the Earth to rule over us, its inhabitants.  I asked Daygon why his people did not invade our planet immediately after our foreparents’ expulsion from Eden, and he said it was because of people who look like me, the descendants of Africa.

It was then that Daygon recounted mankind’s origins.  According to Daygon, Adam was created in God’s image, from the dark African sands of Eden.  Adam was a black man.  Because there was no suitable helpmate for Adam, God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs.  Because Eve came directly from Adam, she was black as well.

Supernatural forces were at work during Adam and Eve’s residency in the Garden of Eden. Their first act of sexual intimacy in Eden caused a tidal wave of creative, electro-magnetic energy to cascade beyond Eden’s borders and across the nation of Pangea. Adam’s sperm and Eve’s eggs mingled with Eden’s embryonic sands to spread through the Pangean nation, producing multi-colored humans that spoke a common language. They would continue to speak this common language until God confounded them. They had disobeyed God by constructing a tower to get closer to Him.  This construct came to be known as the Tower of Babel.

The Satarians’ infiltration into human culture became more purposeful and strategic fifty years before the Babylonians built their tower to God.  This was a time when everyone in Babel was united in thought and purpose.  Its citizens also believed in the one, true God.  But it was a time when embedded Satarians laid the groundwork for dividing and conquering the united Pangean nation.  Lucifer reminded the most loyal members of his sect that a kingdom divided cannot stand.

Masquerading as lighter-skinned Babylonians, they convinced other lighter-skinned Babylonians that they were better than the darker-skinned ones.  Thus began a race to the top, with the victorious racial group being allowed to offer up its own version of world history and humanity’s relationship with the one, true God.

After God confounded their language and scattered them across the Earth, members of the lighter-skinned group committed themselves to ruling over their darker-skinned siblings.  The Satarians in their midst provided them with the advanced weaponry they needed to subvert the darker-skinned groups.  They were also able to create tools and devices that revolutionized the way humanity lived, worked and played.  And if and when they saw something interesting that was created by members of the darker-skinned groups, they claimed it as their own.

Daygon said there are other residents on Sataria who do not want to invade Earth.  They would much rather use the Intergalactic Connector to explore other planets in the universe.  Taking such a position is considered blasphemy to the leaders of the Satarian Empire, for it is a demonstration of affection for the one, true God.  Lucifer wants to prove to all creation that he is God’s better.  However, achieving this lofty goal was made even more difficult when many of the early blasphemers deserted his camp.  They used their Intergalactic Connectors to escape Sataria and build peace-loving colonies on other habitable worlds.

My African brothers and sisters, I received confirmation from Daygon that we are God’s chosen people, the instruments that God is using to thwart Lucifer’s schemes.  Daygon told me that Lucifer directed his minions to remove many of us from Africa so our minds would be fixated on our victimization and not on discovering the source of our strength.

That source is Eden, Daygon says.  And it is located somewhere in Africa.  Find it, and you will know power like you have never known before.

Our beautiful, black bodies are supernaturally linked to Eden.  Therefore, I tend to believe our best days are ahead of us, not behind.  The natural sons and daughters of Eden will rise up again to provide the charismatic leadership that this world needs to rebuild the Pangean nation.  To rebuild the Beloved Community of equals.

Adinkrahene!

 

Copyright 2014 by Jeffery A. Faulkerson.  All rights reserved.

Coming Soon from Novelist J.A. Faulkerson

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ADINKRAHENE: Fear of a Black Planet

IN A WORLD WHERE AMERICA HAS ELECTED ITS FIRST, BLACK PRESIDENT, A NEW GENERATION OF HEROES MUST ARISE TO UNITE A DIVIDED KINGDOM.

When Mississippi Senator Kyle Shuler announces his bid to unseat presidential incumbent Herbert Newsom, America’s first, black president, Washington Post political reporter Jonathan Fraiser is miffed.  He knows Senator Shuler’s dirty, little secret – that he and two of his friends murdered an elderly, black woman as teenagers.  But Jonathan isn’t the only person disturbed by Shuler’s announcement. His longtime friend Selina Giles, an FBI agent, was eleven years old when Shuler slit her grandmother’s throat.  Now, Jonathan and Selina must join forces as Adinkrahene agents to prevent a Jim Crow criminal from becoming the leader of the free world.