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Open Letter to Paul Ryan... (747 hits)

Open Letter to Paul Ryan
Dear Representative Paul Ryan,

Your own words: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

I am the descendent of slaves. We might have been brought up from Louisiana or Charleston, SC to where my ancestors were interned in Columbia, SC. That detail of history is lost to time and indifference in keeping records on “mortgaged property.” The plantation still exists: two cousins, one of which is the family historian were less-than-tactfully invited to “never visit again.”

In 1867, two years after the Civil War and Emancipation, my great-grandfather Julius and his brother Isom helped found a church – New Light Beulah Baptist Church. It was called New Light for this reason: originally African Americans worshiped at Beulah Baptist Church on second and fourth Sundays; the whites first and third Sundays. Someone going by on several observations noticed that the church was unoccupied and my ancestors spread their worship to the entire month. They were eventually met at the door by a man with a shotgun. They promptly departed and formed a new congregation elsewhere. New Light was born from that. It still exists in Congaree, SC as do the graves of my great-grandfather and great uncle.

My father – Robert Harrison Goodwin – was born to Moses Pickett Goodwin, Julius’ son. Moses was a teacher and in the extension of slavery in the south a sharecropper. The toll of working long hours on land he didn’t own according to his death certificate I found on Ancestory.com resulted in pneumonia. Luckily, my great-grandfather lived to be 102; he and his segregated village raised my father as their own.

Robert was a gunner and boxer in the US Navy during World War II. I have records that he sent his entire enlisted check home to help his mother Estelle. He’d been providing for his household as “man of the house” since the age of 11. After the Navy, he took and passed a college entrance exam with a sixth grade education. He opted instead to work at Hanes Dye and Finishing, marrying Ms. Mildred Dean (my mother) and becoming step father to my sister, Mamie – a young soldier of many Civil Rights marches, sit-ins, fire hoses, dog bites, arrests and death threats.

I was born and raised on East 25th and Cleveland in Winston-Salem, NC. In 2010, it had the distinction of being 16/25 on the list of most dangerous places to live, as example; I only ordered my first pizza for delivery when living in Austin, Texas at the ripe old age of 23. It was the place like the eastside or south side of anywhere designed for us to live post-Civil War; post Jim Crow; American Apartheid as practiced in the antebellum south exported in the mentality of municipalities at all points of the American compass. It is no wonder sit-ins were organized first at my Alma Mater, North Carolina A&T State University, as Moral Mondays are being organized in Raleigh-Durham now. Shakespeare said “what’s past is prologue,” Ecclesiastes: “there is no new thing under the sun.”

I have an Engineering Physics degree from A&T. I was a commissioned Communications Officer in the US Air Force, privileged to see ARPANET develop into Netscape then the 1st commercial application: AOL. The rest as they say “is history.”

My own personal history: I am the caretaker of Robert’s grandsons, having raised them to manhood with my wife Cassandra. I was laid off from my high tech job in 2003. To make ends meet with dwindling resources, I did apply for and use SNAP benefits as well as the unemployment insurance every able-bodied American earns as a benefit of citizenship. I guess that makes me “a moocher.” I worked as an entrepreneur – a martial arts instructor – for a time, then as a certified math and physics teacher at two high school campuses in Texas. I am currently living in New York working again in the semiconductor industry and pursuing a Master’s Degree in Applied Physics.

A sense of history or an acknowledgement of circumstances is something I see bereft in your statements. They were not “ineloquent” as what elegance is needed to blow blatant dog whistles? Your party’s own post mortem after the 2012 elections said you needed to outreach to minorities. Along with minorities, youth and LGBT your outreach feels more like a sledgehammer; your velvet gloves encase iron fists. Your party’s attempts to block such groups aforementioned at the polls only suggest to me you realize your problems but can’t change course: change would be an admittance of error. The “Southern Strategy” isn’t providing the results it used to in the 20th Century as this IS the 21st.

As I reminded your running mate at the end of my essay in 2012, I am still registered to vote, and plan to do so…just not for you if I lived in Wisconsin, or your party.

We will remember every statement you’ve made against women and groups, faux pas and dog whistles on the 4th of November. This is 2014: it is the day of reckoning.
Posted By: Reginald Goodwin
Tuesday, March 18th 2014 at 9:07AM
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Irma: I deleted what appears to have been a double entry. The point of my open letter is his thesis: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” just based on my own personal history is not logical. He was blowing a dog whistle, that from recent posts I've read, is apparently blowing up in his smug face. I just did a STEM presentation to 8 kids at a children's home to inspire them despite their circumstances. Though I don't disagree there should be other venues expressing this, we can only do what we can. I tend to do it in blog posts or one-on-one seeing the joy in a child's face when she/he puts together a simple circuit from Radio Shack that works! When I hear as I did this morning: "I know where I'll be next week," meaning he's going to "the Shack" to drop $40 on an electronics kit, I think I've served a good purpose.
Saturday, March 22nd 2014 at 3:59PM
Reginald Goodwin
REGGIE, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHY I SAY THIS ARTICLE IS ANOTHER PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW WE NEVER DO ANY THING FOR OUR SELVES AS WE JUST WAIT FOR OTHERS TO DO IT FOR US?!?...

WELL REGGIE, IT REPRESENTS ALL WE DID IN THE 40S BUT NOT THE 60S...IT REPRESENTS ALL WE HAVE BEENDOING SINCE THE 60S OR HAS ANYONE NOTICED THAT UNLIKE IN THE 60S WE CAN NO LONGER VOTE...???...

UNLIKE THE ORGINIAL AFFIRMATIVE- ACTION HAS (THAT WAS CREATED BY OUR COMMUNITY) ONLY ENDED UP MAKING THE WHITE WOMAN THE MINORITY AND AS BEST HELPED US REMAIN IN THE 'TOKEN' CATAGORY THUS NOT ALLOWING IN THE SECND AND THIRD QUALIFIED MINORITY....

AND, IS WHY I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH, "NEVER ALLOW ANY OF OUR PROUD BIA HISTORY TO BE: C-H-A-N-G-E-D, STOLEN, REJECTED BY US...AND PERSONALLY AS ONE WHO HAS BEEN THERE DONE THAT AS A 70 YEAR OLD NATIVE N.C. AS WELL, BORN AT HOME AS WE HAD NO BLACK HOSPITALS...MY MOTHER DIED AT 27 , AGAIN, BECAUSE WE HAD NOT BLACK HOSPITAL TO TAKE HER TO FOR A MEDICAL EMERGANCEY...MY ADVICE IS TO TAKE THIS OPEN LETTER TO CHURCH , WORK,SCHOOL, ECT.AND ASK WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO BE ABLE TO EDUCATE!!!EDUCATE!!!EDUCATE!!! US TO MOVE ABOVE AND BEYOND ROAD BLOCKS LIKE PAUL RYAN WHO AS A DEVOTE CATHOLIC BELIEVE NUNS HAS ABOUT AS MUCH RIGHT TO EXIST AND TRAVON MARTIN DOES?!? ...

IT IS WRONG AND A SIN TO BLAME PAUL RYAN FOR HAVING LEARN HIS LIFE'S LESSON OF SURVIVAL OF THOSE MOST LIKE HIM FROM OUR NATIONS' RACIST INSTUTIONALISM AS THAT VICTIM/ BLAME GAME HE USES WORKS BOTH WAYS...THIS OPEN LETTER , I REPEAT IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF IT IF WE ARE INTO A LITTLE SOMETHING CALLED...NOT BEING ABLE TOSTEP INTO THE OTHER PERSON'S SHOES AND RESPECT WHERE THEY COME FROM...MY RELIGIOUS TEACINGS, TEACHES...WE ARE ALL MEMBERS OF THEHUMAN RACE AND IT MAKES US EQUAL AS HUMAN BEINGS THUS MAKING US ALL DUE RESPECT FOR BEING HUMAN BEINGS...

LOV YA A-L-L (S-M-I-L-E)

GREAT TEACHING MOMENT BLOG, REGGIE, THANKS. (SMILE)
Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 6:47PM

Republican Majority Leader, the HONORABLE USA Congressional Representative Paul Ryan,
should have said

“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men and women not Understanding what an American Citizen is RESPONSIBLE for....of being A well educated VOTER and working for the common good of America; a Citizen that is LAWFUL and respects the Laws of the Constitution and the Laws of Our Democratically Elected Communities to Better their Lives and Communities.”



Friday, November 7th 2014 at 12:42PM
robert powell
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