The Top Stories of Today that Might Make Dr. King ask ‘What is America’s Blueprint?’ – #HometownChat

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

It’s been a wild and crazy time in social anxiety and political discourse over the past few days, and even over many months. The list of mouth-dropping moments is still growing. As the nation celebrates another Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, many consider throwback moments from his day compared to today.

During his time King delivered inspiring messages of hope and social change. Sometimes it was in written form like his letter from a Birmingham jail. Other times it was through his oratorical genius heard in the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. His life’s work continues to challenge the powerful and empower the masses.

There was his 1967 speech to a Philadelphia High School where he asked students to consider their life’s Blueprint. He told them that it’s important to have a great sense of self-worth as well as a determination to achieve excellence. He also encouraged a commitment to principles of beauty, love and justice.

He ended by saying no matter the challenge whether social or personal, they should just keep moving. That’s a theme that would apply today as we consider top news stories and ask ourselves ‘What is America’s Blueprint?’ The answer needs to be more than just political talking points as we consider:

  1. What gives us the honor of being America the brave?
  2. How do we take pride in being America the beautiful?
  3. How do we improve the standing of America the brand?
  4. What keeps us moving towards being America the best?

A tragic fire in the Bronx a few weeks ago took the life of an American soldier. It was reported he went back in the building many times to rescue others. He lost his life in the process. There’s no question that he was an example of America the brave. He didn’t die fighting a war but warring the fight to save others.

These days there’s a fight for truth on our hands. It takes being ‘America the brave’ where loyalty doesn’t get confused with its newest form of lie-alty. Dr. King once said “To ignore evil is to become accomplice to it.” Well, today he might update those words in saying “To ignore lie-alty is to become accomplice to it.”

The Superbowl show lineup is set to include a performance of America the Beautiful by Leslie Odom Jr. The national anthem will be sung by P!nk and the halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake. But it’s more than just a song and a dance in these performances that will help us take pride in America the beautiful.

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King would remind us that we fall short of America the beautiful if we glorify the flag but decry the ideals of the Constitution. We fall short if we elevate hate but denigrate love. We fall short if we multiply our economics but divide our politics. We fall short if socialism benefits the rich and capitalism hurts the poor.

Some recent news stories make us wonder about the effects on America the brand. Having migrated to the US over 35 years ago, there’s a sense for the ‘before and after’ experience. For many, before coming to America there’s a sense of awe and wonder. After coming to America it’s a sense of wonder and awe.

On the inside you see the winning formula of ‘America the brand’ is its diversity. That diversity is built on being an immigrant nation. So can ‘America the brand’ improve its standing by damaging the winning formula? That’s the question to be answered by political leaders if they want America to keep its magic.

These days King might have a problem with many of the policy reversals underway. America’s history has had its moments of choosing between settling or rising. It’s like a bottle of juice or liquor that sits for a long time. They’ll need a little stirring or shaking-up to get the full measure of taste and enjoyment.

King reminds us that it’ll take a drum major instinct to shake things up, keep things moving and get the full measure of America’s promise. Sometimes it’s being a drum major for dignity, for excellence, for purpose. We get to ‘America the best’ by being a drum major for justice or at least standing up for something.

Tip: We’ll keep celebrating America the beautiful and moving towards America the best by being a drum major for justice or at least standing up for something.

Talkback: How are you being a drum major socially, professionally, in the community or in pop culture?

Tracks: Bob Marley – Keep on Moving – https://youtu.be/tsjVzuUg4qo

Andra Day ft Common – Stand for Something –  https://youtu.be/2GhY7qXGx-0

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

Hot Shot – “Real Talk with Industry Players & Biz Leaders”

Doc Wynter – iHeartRadio Urban SVP

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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