The Colin Kaepernick Effect: How ‘Made in America’ is More Than Just a Designer Label or Stamp of Approval #HometownChat


A simple way to describe my immigrant journey is “Born in Jamaica, Made in America.” This means at various times in the year you’ll find jerk chicken or fried turkey on my dinner table. I just haven’t been able to do the ‘afro thing.’ But I’ve come to learn how ‘Made in America’ is more than just a designer label.

As the NFL season got going many wondered out loud on social media about the Colin Kaepernick effect. His taking a stand might not be seen as a halo but it certainly isn’t hell either. Somewhere in between is a lesson for how ‘social labels’ prevent us from seeing through the fog of a culture clash to live higher.

There’s a certain sense of pride that comes with designer clothing labels. They can provide some with the feeling that they’ve got socio-economic status. But these labels might also be used in another way that could appear self-righteous or condescending. Maybe that’s some of what’s going on here because:

  1. History shows we sometimes see things through a prism of prejudice.
  2. Oftentimes a select few people get to experience things in a lane of privilege.
  3. We are distracted (fooled even) by believing things through a parade of ‘false promises.’

These days we have the Internet at our finger tips. Who knows, maybe human progress is taking us down a path where we’re becoming technological adept but socially inept. This could be part of Kaepernick’s message. But it’s also the scope of efforts to get prejudicial flaws out of the criminal justice system.

Interview with sister of Terence Crutcher

Prejudice seems to raise its ugly head in ways that affect the legal protection of African-Americans under the law. How else can we explain the unwarranted death of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma. Think about how the social theory of ‘Broken Windows’ or Rockefeller drug laws unduly harmed urban communities?

These measures created a strain/stain for some but political/professional gain for others. Wearing the label ‘Made in America’ shouldn’t just be about padding our pocketbooks. It should open our eyes to these inequities, injustices and inconsistencies. This way we’re not looking down on others with prejudice.

If flawed laws are a leading force for fixing social ills, then that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface are other stories made possible out of privilege. Just think about Ryan Lochte being on Dancing with the Stars or Brock Turner who served little time for rape. This wouldn’t be possible for just anyone.


Social privilege could be a factor in what Kaepernick is trying to express. He’s lived in a bi-racial environment which allows him to connect with the privileged side of America. But he’s also seeing how others get left behind in the political games that stiff & stifle the less-privileged treated as second-class.

This may be why there’s a bubbling frustration across the country for how some past and present election campaigns make a joke of the process. So there’s a growing tide of ‘We the People’ turning into modern-day populism. But things seem to have gotten out of hand where it feels like Politics Gone Wild.

It’s like the beekeeper in charge of running a bee yard. Then an outsider comes in and stirs up the bee hive. Now the bees are distracted from working towards shared purpose. Instead they’re driven by shared chaos. That’s some of what has happened where citizens are being stirred-up by the buzz of chaos.

Have things become more of a race for ratings and a parade of false promises? That’s a self-starter question that will be on many minds between now and November. In between the halo and hell of this presidential campaign season is figuring-out whether what’s good for ratings is good for America’s reality.

Marvin Gaye once asked “What’s Going On?” Well, Kaepernick might not have everybody’s stamp of approval, but he could help spread shared purpose. Dr. King gave us shared purpose with the words ‘I Have a Dream.’ JFK did it with the goal of a moon landing. We can propel shared purpose by how we handle social issues, system flaws and pursue truth promises.

Groove-tracks: The Black Eyed Peas – Where’s the Love? –

John Legend ft The Roots & Melanie Fiona
– Wake Up Everybody –


Lolo Jones Lost Her Footwork and Fans’ Hearts on Dancing With the Stars


Trivia: Who is the guess judge on this season of Dancing with the Stars? (Answer below)

Another season of Dancing with the Stars is here. This new cast of characters includes TV Host and Commentator Tavis Smiley, Alfonso Ribeiro from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Youtube celebrity Bethany Moto. Lolo Jones got the boot in week one as it seems she lost her footwork and fans’ hearts.

Many know her from Track & Field as a hurdler. She’s been to three Olympics but hasn’t yet won her signature event. Just recently she performed at the Winter Olympics as a Bobsledder. That didn’t go well either. So her short stint on Dancing with the Stars has Twitter filled with people posting reasons why.

Her dance routine fell apart. Add insult to injury and some say her outfit did her no justice either. She was so disappointed in her performance it showed. Not just on the dance floor but also on her face. She even posted on social media that she’s tired of being embarrassed in public. Maybe that starts in private.

She’s been struggling to have a breakout performance in anything she does. Some think it’s in her not wishing the best for others so karma comes back around. Public victories (defeats) may begin in private. To see things change means being true to ourselves and denying ourselves of “judging” pleasures.

There’s a scripture that says “judge not lest ye be judged.” Well, that might not make sense from the perspective of the judges on the show. Their job is to provide constructive feedback. But when we look down on others it doesn’t leave room for us to look-up at the opportunities we have for greatness.

Answer: Julianne Hough

Dancing with the Stars Season 18 Champions Maks and Meryl Were Hot to Trot


Trivia: What’s the name of the trophy given to ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winners? (Answer below)

Another ‘Dancing with the Stars’ season is in the books. The dance partners from Hollywood to the Hamptons flash their stuff like peacocks across the stage. Some of the contestants seem to have a built-in fan club, while others are like surprise contenders. The champions Maks and Meryl were hot to trot.

Meryl Davis must be having the time of her life. Earlier in the year she took the gold medal in ice-dancing with partner Charlie White at the Sochi Olympics. After soaking-up that moment she switched partners and dance floors to team-up with Maksim Chmerkovskiy on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ And they were loved.

Some show-watchers thought they might even have fallen in love. Their floor chemistry came across real strong. No wonder show judge Carrie Ann suggested they should get married. When asked how he felt about winning Maks was thankful that even-though it took ten years he’s happy he won with Meryl.

Maks could easily have said that Dancing with the Stars is a lot like dancing with your dreams. You never know how long it will take to jump-off. You never know what might be the catalyst to set-it-off. Even after feeling rejected for a time, once you’re accepted the experience is one that is fully appreciated.

Maybe their bond was so strong because in Maks’ words, “There’s a reason why it didn’t happen before, because it was meant to happen with this one.” Meryl was already riding on her Olympics success. Maks was hoping for validation in his success. They showed dancing with your dreams as a journey in success.

Tip: Dancing with your dreams is a journey in success where the steps come together at a fully appreciated time.

Answer:Mirror Ball Trophy

Corbin Bleu Wants to Make Greater Inroads as a Hollywood Star


Trivia: Which NFL player was recently seen at the post-Superbowl Disney parade? (Answer below)

Everybody knows the Disney brand as a big tourist attraction. Their parks cover hundreds of acres with rides and stage shows. People flock from near and far to see Mickey & Minnie. Disney is just as big when it comes to launching movie careers. So Corbin Bleu hopes to make greater inroads as a Hollywood star.

Many know him from the High School Musical series. Bleu has had various roles in film and television. Beyond being an actor, he’s also a dancer, producer and singer/songwriter. He’s been cast on daytime and in primetime on Dancing with the Stars. Bleu takes his passion as serious as he does his life’s work.

He remembers being miss-treated as a child because of his biracial heritage. This helps explain why he’s so driven to help shift the tide on bullying. He’s producing a film called “The Day I Died’ about a friendship between two teens that goes sour. He’s tapping into something that others describe as soul-shine.

Bleu knows what soul-shine does for humanity is like what sunshine does for the earth. You know how the sun lights up the morning horizon, delivers energy for all living things and blazes a trail across the sky. Well, that’s how soul-shine is as a light-source and awakening force across the human landscape.

On an upcoming interview for Oprah’s Where Are They Now, he talks about embracing his Italian and Jamaican background. He doesn’t want to limit his acting roles to being seen as the ‘token black.’ But he also doesn’t want to shut the door on movies for black audiences. Bleu simple wants to be true to himself.

Tip: When the sun shines people come out and play. When the soul shines play comes out of people to the cheers of screaming fans.

Answer: Seattle Seahawks’ Malcolm Smith