Wednesday, October 31, 2007

point of order

Just left San Diego and they say it was an hour before an earthquake hit up North by San Jose. Now I am in DC, really Bethesda, Maryland for a scholars round table sponsored by NIH. As a scientist, I often make use of higher order statistical and mathematical models for the purpose of evaluating the efficacy of my research outcomes. My personal profiecincy ranges to cover Item response analysis, structural equation modeling and assorted regression analysis techniques.

Regression allows me (at least in theory) to predict outcomes of one variable based on another. Unfortunately utility is limited to numbers and not humans nor human actions or events. In the world we reside, regression means sliding backwards in time.

Last week, Clarence Davenport Jr. was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Although he should, from this purview listed in the annals of U.S. History somewhere, chances are his story won’t. You see the retired Army Colonel was the 6th African American to ever graduate from West Point. A member of the class of 1943, he matriculated some five years before President Harry Truman ended segregation in the military in 1948.

During this time at the academy, Davenport was subjugated to a practiced referred as being “SILENCED.” It was mainly used against cadet who had broken major rules of conduct. Not Davenport, his was the result of his skin color and ethnicity. He was made to eat alone, not speak or be spoken to by anyone unless it regarded official Academy activities and lived in isolation. It has been written that other cadets did horrible things to him including but not limited to putting sht in his bed, clothes and shoes.

This was some 50 plus years ago when segregation was retro chic. It just seems that the same attitudes are prevalent now. A lot of states now like Texas and California have passed ballot efforts that have banned the use of Affirmative action for college admissions. Some states such as Florida spend more of corrections/prisons that they do on higher education annually. The Supreme Court just struck down measures in Kentucky designed to curb school segregation issues resulting in race not being viable whe trying to implement equal and quality education for all students.

They say at his funeral, some member of his graduation class attended his funeral. They also say these same men, the ones that didn’t speak to him, stood in silence again as his casket passed them and placed in the earth. I guess showing up is a form of change. If it took them fifty plus years, how long will it take for the rest of the folk to fall in line?


"D" said...

"The greatest tool of the opressor is the MIND of the opressed"

Since the begining of time and humans, there has been mind control happening. The craziest part about it, to me, is that it is all in the state of mind. We are a human race, not white or black, or christians or catholics, nor upper class nor lower class. We are HUMAN BEINGS. One would be silly not to recognize the differences among us however, we have no more control over how we arrive here than we do over the rising and the setting of the sun! We are born male or female, with two arms or one, we will be tall or short. OK, so we do have control over our religious beliefs and our judgments and prefferences, but with that said, does it not make sense that these have been ways to control us and our state of mind? If you are a muslim and I am a jew, we just placed a judgement on eachother and determined that we are different and we act accordingly, I argue my belief with you and you with me because we both believe we are "right". So there is seperation. We are divided.

If you want to conquer something, what do you do? You DIVIDE and conquer. Division and seperationism is and always has been, a means of controling the masses. And we fall into it every time. If I am black and you are white, we are different. Prior to ever even speaking to you, I have placed a judgment simply because my skin has more pigment and melonin than yours. We are different. We can say that it is because our culture's are different, our upbringing is different, the way we are viewed in society is different. But we haven't even opened our mouths to eachother yet. How different are we really? We both have bone and flesh and blood. We both need a heart and a brain. We both require nourishment to keep our body going.

The key is in the mind state! We are different because we have been conditioned to be different. Because our fathers and their fathers and so on have told us we were. So I meet you and I see your form and I place a judgment on you, we are different.

I will not argue that today, in the state of our society, we are, in fact different. But it is because we all choose to still live in our conditioned mind states, in our judgments and preferences. We are in form, humans, however in heart we practice no humanity. There is no balance of logic and emotion. We lack compassion.

How long will it take for the rest to fall in line, you ask? Well, we will have to first start with self, I must learn to observe. When I observe people and things, I must not observe with the intent to supress or change, I just simply observe. In that observence, I see you. I begin to understand you and in my relating to you, you see me as well. In starting with self, I must look into the depths of my mind and start the tedious project of determining where my many patterns of action and reaction come from. What is truely disturbing about this person that I am different from? Is it really the color of their skin or the god which they choose to pray to, or the amount of money they have? Or is it more likely to be the condition that I and my mind are in and how I am viewing these differences. Because if I peel away all the layers of that conditioning I am, afterall, looking at my fellow man, am I not?

Once we have been able to find the causes of the patterns of action and reaction that SELF has, I can begin to understand other than self. Only then can I establish equality. By first applying it to self. In my comment on your last blog, I said..... you cannot evoke from someone else, that which is not in you."

When I know self, I am in control of my mind. I am no longer controlled by my upbringing, the media, the society. I am in control of me and my MIND STATE.

"When you are disturbed by an outside source, it is not they that disturb you; but rather your judgment of them. And you have the power within you to wipe out that judgment." ~ Marcus Aurelious Antoninus

One love

Clay Lowe said...

This one is close to home for me as I am an Africa-American graduate of West Point, Class of 1992. Thanks for posting this tribute.


"D" said...

One more thing.... lol... (sorry to be taking up so much space).

Imagine if we all would learn ourselves? If we would just start there? Imagine if we could all gain an understanding of self, observe self? If each of us could wipe out our judgment and prefferences that pin us against eachother?

It certainly doesn't fit in to the grand scheme of things, at least the way the ones wh are purposefully controlling the masses want it.

But what if we each would start there..... with ourself?

That my friend is when everyone will fall into line!



Heyyyy, you were in my parts of the world. I live in San Diego, I guess you may or may not know that already..LOL

My sistert lives in Laurel Maryland....

Okay going back to read the post, I got all excited...LOL

nice photo....=)

KIKI said...

It's like I always say...I don't care how much better things SEEM to be now; We are still being held down and nothing's going to change until we (as a people) start doing for ourselves and learn to unify!

Girly_Girl said...

Beautifully expressed tribute, Torrie.

RYC: How many in my congregation??? How many do you think, Darling?

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

D - I could never have said it better. That is what is so troubling, we are HUMAN first, al of us.

Clay - welcome, West Point huh, congrats

Still P - I sorry, didnt know we could have beveraged

KikI - Dont tred on me is supposed to mea somethin in this country, but not for us

Girly - Thank You as usual, and in tha poem i thought u were talkin about your bed.

The Diva's Thoughts said...

You have such an expressive way of writting. I love it. Great job on this "tribute".

Don said...

They say it's twice as hard nowadays, so I'd guestimate that it'll take somewhere between 90 - 100 years.

But then again it appears the killing spree point may arrive sooner.

On another note, I didn't know you were a scientist too.

Dawg, whats your first love?

Tha L said...

great post and wonderful tribute to an awesome gentleman. oh, and you've been tagged. check me out for details.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

tha 1 - tagged, is that like catch a girl kiss a girl?

Don - that long, we better grow out hair then and tak the HUN approach like thy used with he Knights of Templar

Dive - thank u, i write like i talk and think

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