How Denzel Washington & George Clooney Represent Woke Star Power from Ordinary Citizens to Extraordinary Community – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

C-SPAN’s Prez rankings are in and Barack Obama lands in 12th spot. On basketball’s all-star list he’d be first team in his first year eligible. Then there’s the Hollywood A-list with Denzel Washington and George Clooney showing us how to represent woke star power from ordinary citizens to extraordinary community.

Obama has been out of the spotlight enjoying his post-presidency, but Washington & Clooney have been front and center. They share stories of humble beginnings and social activism. Washington was recently honored with the Hollywood Legacy Award in Black film while Clooney’s getting ready to be a new dad.

They’re good role models for We the People being more than ordinary. That’s because even though they had struggles in school they figured out how to connect with their personal power and how to work with or affect the powers-that-be. There was a certain kind of voice and vision they managed with precision.

So a good start is to #LetThePeopleKnow from Coretta Scott King’s memoirs, advice she got from her mother as a child. She’d say “if you get an education and try to be somebody you won’t have to depend on anyone.” Her mother knew everybody wants to be somebody and in the community that means:

  1. Learning from those who’re beekeepers in the marketplace.
  2. Sizing-up those who’re gate-keepers in the establishment.
  3. Working with those who’re late-bloomers in the family.
  4. Celebrating with those who’re movers & shakers in the industry.

Education is a good thing in a formal way through schooling or an informal way by being self-taught. That’s something most breakout stars might say. Imagine how a beekeeper’s main thing is the skills for working buzz into honey and honey into money. It could get out of hand fast without the right knowledge.

The secret sauce is the process and not the plague. A swarm of bees can easily turn into a bad situation. So Washington might advise ordinary citizens to turn local buzz into honey and not a plague of more problems. It’s why Community 3.0 brings a process that gives folks ways to ‘run run run’ for their money.

In past days there’s been news of having to open the flood gates of a dam in California. This was a threat to towns in low-lying areas. It’s what we’re also seeing in the current political climate. Protest rallies across the country are concerned about a flood-gate of executive actions on social/environmental issues.

The threat is even bigger when it affects those of lower socio-economic status. Dr. King reminded us of how we handle this challenge when he addressed students at a New Jersey school in 1957. He said “Privileged classes do not give up their privilege without a struggle. It will continue until justice is a reality.”

At times history feels like we’re going in circles. This is true when a dog tries to bite its tail, going around and around thinking that will fix things. Whether with personal power or system power, it’s better if Mission Ready Blocks (MRBs) are wagging the tail of progress than fringe ‘tail groups’ running the dog.

A farmer sees how bees are important to the eco-system. They do their part to bring trees the pollen they need to succeed. No one really gets hung-up on whether bees or trees are late-bloomers. We’re just happy that they get to strut their stuff and deliver the goods in the beautiful fruits and flowers they bear.

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Clooney might relate as a first-time dad at age 55. It’s also why in Community 3.0 ‘bees and trees’ do their part, while newbies and late bloomers deliver the goods in the ‘burbs or the ‘hoods. That’s a case of social engagement working together with young or old, ebony or ivory, side by side in smart community.

Washington gives us reason why not everybody is just out for themselves. When we see Hollywood A-listers or other industry leaders getting their party on there’s more than meets the eye. He shares tips with young actors coming behind him on how he found his personal power and how he has since made it big.

He had to dream beyond his immediate circumstances and study as much about his craft in order to have industry impact. It’s what athletes (drafted or undrafted), actors or community players do. It’s what he’s done in major feature films towards having showbiz power and esteem among peers and fans.

Meanwhile, Clooney and his wife as industry players are working for the benefit of many. They do things to put people and community on a roll. They turn buzz into something beautiful by not having things just go around in circles. This makes for some better quality honey, community and ‘woke-place’ harmony.

So “ain’t no stopping those who’re on the move” in industry or community. Washington & Clooney know with some powers-that-be we need not be too fooled by ‘white fright.’ But to check for ‘system short-sight’ that might cause communities to get lost in the shuffle of resources, recognition and popular rankings.

Groove-tracks: McFadden & Whitehead – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now – https://youtu.be/VgYczUH-QWQ

Damian Marley – Everybody Wants to Be Somebody – https://youtu.be/ONQnat0wWC0

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Bernice King & Elizabeth Warren on How We Persisted Then and Can Do it Again – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

“Sistas how ya feel? Brothers you alright?” These words from a popular song are good for lyrics and civics for what can be achieved in the next phase of social engagement. It’s a lead-in to the kind of intro that Bernice King or Senator Elizabeth Warren might use on how we persisted then and can do it again.

King and Warren recently began setting our sights and setting the stage for new rounds in dignity, excellence and justice. They know two key things for going where we’ve not been before. It takes a destination and a map. Without a map we’re just winging it. Without a destination we’re just blowing it.

It’s a message Dr. King and President John F Kennedy wanted us to know in the short letter dug-up in ‘lost & found’ and recently posted on social media for the world to see. In a speech King gave in 1967 to Philadelphia students he asked them to consider having a blueprint that would be useful for being fruitful.

A blueprint is just as important for Community 3.0. Think about what a microwave has done for meal preparation. It’s improved how we thaw, heat and serve food. So King and Kennedy might #LetThePeopleKnow Community 3.0 has a blueprint to thaw tensions, heat dreams and serve smarts in:

  1. What we do to encourage ourselves during those vexing times.
  2. How we empower blocks & beats in the community.
  3. When we explain the in-and-outs of politics of the day.
  4. Ways we entertain people’s fun-side for more good times.

Since a recent online post, Bernice has been giving reminders for handling those vexing times. Just imagine the things she saw growing up as a child in the King household. With all that was happening around them and even happened to them they kept their eyes on the prize and hands on the wheel.

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The steps taken then might apply today. They focused on fighting the good fight, representing the race (plus shaking-up the place) by keeping the faith. That’s the formula used to overcome throughout our history. It’s how slavery chains got lifted, Jim Crow clouds cleared & homegrown conspiracies shutdown.

One of the ways a community might do this is in how we empower blocks and beats using a blueprint. Among the highest rated episodes from Oprah’s daytime show was when she gave away a car to each member of the audience. It was up there with the most talked about and uplifting pop culture moments.

The buzz was ‘you get a car, you get a car, er’body gets a car!’ That might work just as well in Community 3.0 if instead of a car it’s letting blocks get a ‘P.E.N. & C.L.U.E. Blueprint’ as People Engage Notes in a Community Letter Uplifting Everyone. It’s like a social postcard and stamp for getting from here to there.

This way for block after block it’s more like ’you get CLUE, you get a CLUE, er’body gets a CLUE!’ It would help do what Dr. King told us in his speeches, moving towards achieving more hometown respect and personal satisfaction. It might also be a CLUE in explaining the ins-and-out of politics of the day.

At times it’s hard to know if we’re being ‘played’ by some in government. We get ‘talked to’ but not ‘talked with.’ It’s not even clear when we’re ‘talked with’ if we’re actually being ‘talked over.’ The political machine seems more focused on voters who’re core nationalists, unsure working class and pure party loyalists.

Where some fall short Community 3.0 stands tall. As in the past it’s how community players and recording artists become a voice track of our days and groove track of our lives. We can let things become ‘played’ like a broken record or press the social impact ‘microwave buttons’ of change, progress and greatness.

This might also mean new ways to entertain people’s fun-side for more good times. How we entertain today in Community 3.0 was seen with recent Grammy performances. So as Mission Ready Blocks (MRBs) we gotta let purpose move hearts. With Mission Rockin’ Beats we gotta let the groove move feet.

That’s what happened back in the day when we tuned-in to watch Soul Train hosted by Don Cornelius. It was a time to rest, reflect and rejuvenate with some R&B. The dance moves were kinda like a bonus feature. Cornelius would end each broadcast saying ‘until next time, wishing you love, peace and soul.’

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We learn from and are inspired by our cultural icons of old and those we now hold. Warren as a champion for consumer protections walks in the shoes of John F Kennedy. While Bernice walks in the shoes of Martin Luther King Jr. as a champion for her mother’s voice, father’s vision and parent’s legacy.

In Martin & Coretta we have closing thoughts on giving the people what they want and serving them what they need. She once said “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved you must become its soul.” He said “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl but by all means keep moving.”

Groove-tracks: Soul II Soul – Keep on Movin’ – https://youtu.be/1iQl46-zIcM

John Legend – Get Lifted – https://youtu.be/MSpPpLDYZeQ

Ava DuVernay & Lin-Manuel Miranda Speak on Winning a Game but not Losing Our Civil Liberties – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

“Hey Martellus Bennett, Patriots just won the Superbowl, what are you doing next?” That question might remind us of those past ads for Disney. Bennett’s not planning to do the usual stuff. He’d probably love to hear Ava DuVernay or Lin-Manuel Miranda speak on winning a game but not losing our civil liberties.

While Monday morning quarterbacks broke down the game, other folks were happy seeing the Obama’s back in town. During their two-week vacation there was even a sighting of BO’s look-alike ‘cool Barry’ with his cap turned backward. They returned just in time to settle into Washington’s business as ‘Reality TV.’

What we’re seeing these days is just a new look of some old ways. That’s what a doctor might say when examining a patient or a historian might say when examining the political, social and economic system. We’ve gone from slavery to Jim Crow to an emerging system condition that could be called John Crow.

It’s called John Crow because of a certain far-away bird that takes advantage of the death, misery and ‘lost way’ of animals. This system has a new set of ‘isms’ (along with WMDs – Weapons of Mass Dah) to benefit from death, misery and lower socio-economic status. So to #LetThePeopleKnow when it’s a John Crow is to:

  1. Check the system for signs of ‘Vulture-ism.’
  2. Churn (agitate) the establishment for the acts of ‘sham-ism.’
  3. Challenge the laws against rounds of social schism.
  4. Cheer the people to avoid the pitfalls of fake realism.

Executive Orders recently issued by the Republican Administration appear to have a negative impact on the everyday citizen. Vulture-ism is seen when perks for Wall Street dig potholes on the roads for Main Street. It’s when concerns for poverty and income inequality are stunted by policies of ‘purge & reward.’ We’ve got to save our streets from being attacked by a ‘republic of vultures.’ (Is it just coincidence that Trump’s middle name is John?)

Even the idea of possibly taking Iraq’s oil to pay for U.S. troop deployment in the Middle East is like a John Crow beast preying on the least. The thing to watchout for is whether the shifting administration policies are really about ‘Make America Great Again’ or adding more power and prime rib to their plate.

These efforts to undermine & override are not being overlooked by ‘people in the know.’ Maybe that’s why Nancy Pelosi made the statement that Trump Advisor Steve Bannon is a shot-caller for white supremacy. Howard Stern saying he feels Trump ran for president to get more money for hosting The Apprentice.

By putting those two thoughts out there some political observers have concluded that we’ve got to callout the administration for the acts of sham-ism. A ‘sham’ is a thing that is not what it’s advertised to be. There’s reason the establishment has more explaining to do on their proposed policies and procedures.

In his letter written while in a Birmingham jail Dr. King outlined the issues of his time. He challenged those who questioned his non-violent protests against laws that protected Jim Crow but oppressed, suppressed or distressed John & Jane Doe. King was saying ‘Yo, that’s some social schism.’

Fast-forward to John Crow today with policies that threaten 1st Amendment rights to a free press and religion but protect 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms. The administration wants weak vetting on cabinet picks but extreme vetting on immigrant visas. We find them shutting down Obamacare signups while saying a replacement won’t be ready until 2018. Does that mean they’d rather have people die, denying them insurance while delaying them any chance for a supposedly better plan? Yo, that’s some social schism right there.

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So DuVernay and Miranda are doing their part to rally the people against losing touch with realism. She recently quoted James Baldwin who said A civilization isn’t destroyed by wicked people. It is not necessary that people be wicked. Only that they be spineless. Another philosopher once said Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (Is there a ‘true dat’ or amen?)

These notes are reminders to take off any ‘blinders’ that cause citizens to be tone-deaf, street dumb or side-eye blind. They might even suggest it’s a time to have ‘antennas up’ to get the reception and record straight. Smart community understands the past in order to better relate it to what just happened last.

When an Ohio minister says a ‘Chicago gang wants to work with Trump’ it makes people say, really? Then 24 hours later he walks it back, saying he miss-spoke as he was still tired from the recent campaign. He’s not the first minister with the campaign ‘trying to keep it real’ but showing straight-up fake realism.

The job of media, Congressional leaders, constitutional experts and engaged citizens is to keep the ducks in order. Some have committed to doing their part to fight the power as well as ‘floss Trump’s tweets’ (and the rest of his team) because the words in-and-out of their mouths can affect America’s future well-being.

‘Alternative facts’ is the new WMD in the John Crow system used as a cover for miss-information. We’ve been here before in Jim Crow times. So as we rise, let’s not be weary but stay true to realism. We’ll know if what we’re seeing will lead us to a place of more ‘still waters’ or towards a storm of some rough waters.

Groove-tracks: Isley Brothers – Fight the Power – https://youtu.be/KdJ0uv6oMRU

Solange – Rise/Weary – https://youtu.be/mKwxz23H5UY

Kyrie Irving & Susan Rice Show Why We Need Civic Engagement in a Fractured Country – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

It’s been a wild ride since the Trump Administration rollout. There’ve been Executive Orders flying across his desk, twice as many as days of the week. The theme so far seems to be Make America Constipate Again. So Kyrie Irving and Susan Rice show us why we need civic engagement in a fractured country.

Irving recently spoke out on one of the hot button issues. He told ESPN he wants to be remembered for more than being a pro basketball player. He surprised many in saying he has Native American blood-lines in his upbringing. Meanwhile, Ambassador Rice’s thoughts on current affairs: “This is stone cold crazy.”

During the campaign one of Trump’s sons said running for President was a ‘step down’ for his father. It’s not clear if he meant step down in prestige or difficulty. So far it’s been more like a step down in empathy. Plus, his administration is ‘governing by crowd’ as if still campaigning as opposed to graciously serving. It’s still not clear whether Trump’s governing style is to disrupt even if having to destroy or destroy as a way to eventually disrupt.

One way to understand the rush of Executive Orders is seeing them as ‘love letters’ to his core supporters. But they’ve also been ‘chaos letters’ to the rest of the country. Over the short time in office Trump’s administration created a bond with Russia and a ‘beef’ with a majority of the American people.

So what else might Irving and Rice want to #LetThePeopleKnow about the Presidency and public service as a step up or step down? What’s the difference between governing as a campaign and governing to serve?  We’d like to see service from the White House to the heartland where:

  1. Politicians make policies and solve problems through net impact not just net service.
  2. Leaders make change their friend and purpose something for which they’re a fan.
  3. Communities make Martin Luther King Jr more than a city boulevard but also a social beat.
  4. Societies make people better not just make better things for people.

The term ‘net service’ means the number of years a person has worked for a company. Usually, the larger the net service the bigger the net pension. The general public isn’t as interested in a politician’s net service as they are in their net impact. They’re more concerned about net-value results than net ratings.

Experts wonder out loud if Trump is serious about solving problems. During the campaign and right up to now he’d repeatedly fall back to his old TV habits of ‘drama ratings,’ with a love for all the media attention coming his way. To some policy makers like Rice, his Executive Orders are starting to feel like ‘net crazy.’

Change is usually good for the better. For example the anti-Obama protests of the past opposed change in healthcare that helped people. But the recent days of anti-Trump protests oppose change in immigration that harm people. There’re important clues when campaigns about ‘change’ get a closer look.

Some leaders say ‘we do it this way, that’s how we do it.. period!’ Others say ‘we do it in new ways as a fresh way of doing it.. let’s go!’ If it weren’t for Steve Jobs saying ‘let’s go’ we’d not have iPhones, iTunes & iPads. However there’s bad ‘change’ leadership of letting ignorance look smarter than competence.

In cities all across the country you’ll find a block that surrounds Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. From Harlem to Atlanta, these streets are significant to the heartbeat of the community. There’s a legacy to uphold and a dream to unfold. These streets are like military stripes in the life of community responders.

But military stripes can be viewed as net service as well as net impact. Kyrie Irving says he’s going to speak up more on issues, thus earning his stripes as an engaged citizen. That should give us reason to step up as well to earn our stripes not only as pop culture trend-setters but also as social change-makers.

There’s that old saying of “we didn’t leave the stone age because we ran out of stones. We left the stone age because we made new things.” The benefit of more ‘bells and whistles’ in our cars and homes is a result of us inventing new things. But it’s not enough to have better things without making people better.

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In a sense that’s what protesters are saying across the country. The actions by high ranking politicians during the Obama years were guided by ‘obstruct.’ The actions by everyday people since the start of Trump’s term are guided by ‘resist.’ The history of Mandela & Martin, Maya & Marley (and others) shows the lasting good in people who protest out of conscientious resistance.

So take a flashback to high school math and those days of trying to find the ‘greatest common factor.’ This is a high multiplying effect between two or more numbers. What we need these days is to find the greatest common formation. This would be a high multiplying effect between net service and net impact.

Sports teams have offense, defense, scorers and role players in formation. We see these same multiplying factors in community as activists, advocates, reformers and commentators. If we add shared purpose and special teams to Community 3.0 we’ll make greater strides together towards more history.

Groove-tracks: Beyoncé – Formation – https://youtu.be/1xVjx_rK0xE

Anderson Paak – Am I Wrong? – https://youtu.be/2dxOpxdp0kI