Blacks must cross Every T and dot Every I

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Traveling the Gotcha Road 


Traveling the Gotcha Road.

By Lorenzo Clemons

 I am no longer surprised that life will find a back-story to any feel good moment. In other words because of how we are in society today, someone is perusing all aspects of your success as they may be the ones that say GOTCHA!

     Learning this lesson over the years have made me make sure I cross as many t's and dot as many I's as possible to withstand the scrutiny that was sure to come with my success.  If it is because I was the first African American to achieve a goal, the scrutiny was there.  If was because I was the first urban child to do it, the scrutiny was there.  If was because I was from the single parent household that was supported by welfare, the scrutiny was there.

     The sad part of being scrutinized is the reluctance to enjoy most things that will have a review by other people.  You want to be elated and enjoy the moment, but somehow you know that down the road some report will come out doubting your efforts and your success.  "He could not have been that smart to achieve that result?  After all look where he came from and who his parents are?"  Sounds of that statement has echoed many times in my brain because I heard it said.  I am sure the person felt it was fair to make a statement against character based on who and what they were I am almost prepared to stop watching sports, the news and social media entertainment because it is mostly based on a self-centered paradigm.  Most will see it as only their way and mutual understanding is damned.  It has even permeated our politics, which is an agenda of haves versus the have not's.  If you doubt that it is as simple as whose streets get attention with the snow ploy.  Think about that as you shovel out your car.

    This morning as most I received the disappointing news of the stripping of the championship from the Jackie Robinson West Little League team.  My heart went numb at the news.  Such a feel good story about African American men and boys at a time of so much violence and disrespect for African American men and boys that is prevailing in this country being destroyed by a case of the GOTCHA.

    I find it interesting that the scrutiny and charges are coming for two communities such as Evergreen Park in Illinois and Las Vegas in Nevada.  I am not saying they had no right, but Vegas a bastion of holiness and purity surrounding its little league makes you wonder who lost the bets in that town.  Evergreen Park never has it been a warm and fuzzy for African American people.  In fact the state of Illinois had to monitor the Evergreen Police department for its traffic stops of African Americans traveling through that town.  Two fine example of fair and honest scrutiny.

       Jackie Robinson West Little League, should have known, as I learned years ago, that you must cross t's and dot I's in such as way as to withstand the scrutiny that is sure to come.  The organization should have lived by the rules that were applied to its namesake and know that being prepared in this situation calls for almost super human control to withstand any challenge or any GOTCHA!

     As an African American man I am more than proud of the Jackie Robinson West Little League.  The pride is because of the character that was on display for the world to see, African American men and boys showed respect to each other, different cultures, and the flag of America and to this country.  This was done in deference to the images of violence and race that says it is impossible for these people to have success because look where they come from.

       Oh yes even having stripped the organization of the championship has not diminished my pride in the accomplishment.  I say I am proud and to the scrutinizers, GOTCHA!

Lorenzo Clemons

"Do it because it is right and fair.  Do it because you will make the world better."
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