Silence is Not an Option

History has always been convulsive. It goes forward—backwards—forward—backwards.  Its door constantly remains shut to populations for decades, even centuries, then is finally opened, only for another one to close, then that door opens, and on and on the pattern goes. In the case of racism in the United States, the issue is much larger than rights written on a bill. It begins with ideologies passed down from generations that enjoyed the exclusivity of a closed door, and it continues when there is no agreement even from your next-door neighbors on whether or not the door remains closed—in spite of how visibly it is. It will take a long time for the mechanics of this system to open the same doors for people of color that are open for whites. There is, however, a door that must be opened immediately for all races in light of the nauseating stream of police brutality sweeping the United States, and that is the open door that leads to a national discourse on police brutality between absolutely every American citizen that has a modicum of humanity.

A friendship, whether casual or deep, means listening. It means having deep, uncomfortable talks even if it begins and ends on opposite sides. It’s one thing to bandy with an anonymous face on a public post where the chances of hostility are heightened, and compassion and consideration become absent; and another altogether to converse with a familiar face. When people take to the comments on a news article to seek insight on a social issue, it is like going to a well-known restaurant down the street with an extensive menu, even though the majority of the dishes leaves a pungent aftertaste washed down with piss-poor customer service; instead of going to the friendly mom-and-pop restaurant right next door that is known for warm, genuine service and a culinary staff of greater knowledge and expertise. Most people may not realize this, but friends could be much smarter than you think. Imagine that! You could have wise friends and not even know it! And if you ARE aware of the intelligence of your friends, that is all the more reason to get your mental nutrition from this source instead of the venomous, poisonous heap tossed at and senselessly gorged by the masses. It is long overdue for all races to come together and converse with familiar faces on this urgent issue at a national level. This post is being written to provide an outlet for this to happen without leaving the comforts of your home.

The Colin Kaepernick controversy is just the most recent reminder of how divided the response to police-brutality protests are. There are far too many people who are either ignorant of or dead silent about the spirit of Kaepernick’s protests. Instead of informing themselves, many blindly attack Kaepernick or anyone who dares utter a word that could be received as unpatriotic—whether it’s against rogue police officers or the systematic racism that lies beneath the flag—regardless of how many victims go without justice. This protest is bigger than any one tragic victim. It is affecting the lives of friends, families, and loved ones of millions of Americans and it is time to activate the power of social media to do something about it…even if it’s just speaking up. Everyone who is committed to seeing and creating a change must privately contact every single friend they have on social media whose position on police brutality in America is either vague or completely unknown. Not confront. Not attack. CONTACT for an open dialogue. There are three objectives to be met here:

1) For those who are deeply affected by this issue to know where their friends stand on police brutality in America. They are entitled to this knowledge. Simple as that. What they do with the knowledge they attain through these discussions is up to each individual person.

2) To facilitate a healthy dialogue among FRIENDS, not strangers, which theoretically should have a much greater probability of gaining insight, perspective and even knowledge from another point of view. This could also lead to a gradual paradigm shift that begins to erode racial tension in a palpable way.

3) To spread awareness and hopefully get more people to support the fight against police brutality. Whether it’s just sharing an occasional post that speaks on the police brutality crisis or actively contacting state congressmen to attempt to enact legislation to combat this problem. There are too many people who remain silent during this time of urgency, and if they are unwilling or unable to speak up in defense of human rights, then those who do speak up must attempt to give them a nudge to do so. Instead of saying how some groups of people must be more vocal about police brutality, these discussions will actively and personally give them a much-needed push to do so. Not unlike the power structure of any government, a population cannot sit back and wait for change to happen on its own. If you believe that there needs to be a change in who speaks up about police brutality, then you must help catalyze the change. It is asinine to sit idly by and hope that someday a light switch comes on that enables those who have been silent for years to suddenly speak up. If it comes to light that these friends do not agree that there is a problem with police brutality or even consider protest groups like BLM a terrorist organization, these opinions must be addressed with evidence and logic. If this is truly to be a productive dialogue, all parties must be willing to be uncomfortable. And yes, it will take the courage to open this discussion even with the knowledge that you may lose some fair-weather friends as a result. This concept is meant to be extremely doable, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Change doesn’t come easy. It takes bravery, sacrifice, and voices. Enter these conversations bravely, knowing how uncomfortable and heated they may become. Sacrifice a small portion of your time to carry these conversations through private messages. And KNOW that your voice, even in a private discussion, is never small…especially when the same discussions are happening simultaneously on a national scale. At the end of each conversation, reason should prevail. As human beings, we should never be closed off to having a philosophical or intellectual breakthrough. Truth is a virtue that must be sought, obtained, and defended. To shirk this and to stubbornly cling to beliefs before, during, and after a discussion is to deprive the human brain of its infinite capacities. Never limit your intellectual capacity for the expense of old baggage passed down from others. Listen and embrace reason from all sides and even more graciously from friendly faces, and the end result will always be knowledge – either about others, yourself, the entire world around you, and finally: solutions.

Shaun King, a prominent journalist for the New York Daily News, has a growing social media following that is approaching one million supporters. On King’s Facebook page, he has listed 25 actual solutions to police brutality. Equally as important, he works tirelessly to inform the public daily of racism and police brutality occurring in America. King is an important tool for these discussions because anyone who is oblivious to what is going on in this country should be advised by the initiator of these discussions to visit and LIKE Mr. King’s page, because if they truly have an open mind, the plethora of credible news stories that are reported daily should open and enlighten even the blindest of eyes. Share the page with them. Then, talk about the facts presented. Talk about your personal experiences and observations. Talk about how it doesn’t matter what color you are, if you are a human being with a soul, THIS MATTERS. THIS IS A HUMAN ISSUE. Talk about ANYTHING that even grazes this topic. JUST TALK. And please, please, do not forget to listen. Speaking for myself, any and all friends who take me up on this invitation will be treated to a fully open mind as well as an extensive list of solutions which I believe will help mend this divide, while slowly opening another door in history.  Please join me in this project via hashtag—and more importantly: participation, for a crucial national discourse for the sake of humanity:

#Silenceisnotanoption

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Alma Mater: College Poetry

On March 3, the final volume of the Alma Mater series will be released. Between now and then I will continue to share pieces from the series daily, highlighted by pieces from the most recent installment: Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, which will now be shared publicly for the first time since its release.

Kirkus Reviews has described the series as “A thoroughly unique project” with “A variety of delightfully unexpected poetic forms.” I see it as a project that reaches out to millions. Whether college alums, current undergrads, or those who seek to learn more about the country itself or maybe just have a love for poetry. I believe this series has the makings to cross boundaries and go beyond just the genre of poetry.

This series is more than about celebrating life in each of the featured institution. It is about celebrating life itself. Each university covered is but a snapshot of the bigger picture: The capture and embrace of youth, education, beauty, love, and what indeed, what makes each geographic location and specific university special. This is not just a book for college students, and it’s not even just a book for poetry lovers, it is a book for anyone who wants to explore through the eyes of someone else. To see what they see. To live what they live, and to learn more about the human experience as undergone by others around the world.

Follow ClydeAidoo.com to read many pieces from the Alma Mater series shared daily. And you can support the series by purchasing my latest release, Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, a poetic celebration of the top universities of the West by clicking the link below. Each volume is available for only 99 cents respectively.

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Alma Mater: College Poetry

On March 3, the final volume of the Alma Mater series will be released. Between now and then I will continue to share pieces from the series daily, highlighted by pieces from the most recent installment: Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, which will now be shared publicly for the first time since its release.

Kirkus Reviews has described the series as “A thoroughly unique project” with “A variety of delightfully unexpected poetic forms.” I see it as a project that reaches out to millions. Whether college alums, current undergrads, or those who seek to learn more about the country itself or maybe just have a love for poetry. I believe this series has the makings to cross boundaries and go beyond just the genre of poetry.

This series is more than about celebrating life in each of the featured institution. It is about celebrating life itself. Each university covered is but a snapshot of the bigger picture: The capture and embrace of youth, education, beauty, love, and what indeed, what makes each geographic location and specific university special. This is not just a book for college students, and it’s not even just a book for poetry lovers, it is a book for anyone who wants to explore through the eyes of someone else. To see what they see. To live what they live, and to learn more about the human experience as undergone by others around the world.

Follow ClydeAidoo.com to read many pieces from the Alma Mater series shared daily. And you can support the series by purchasing my latest release, Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, a poetic celebration of the top universities of the West by clicking the link below. Each volume is available for only 99 cents respectively.

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University of Vermont Tribute

From Alma Mater Vol. 2: The Northeast
Available Now for only 99 cents!

AlmaMater_Northeast-Final

*UVM*

Universitas V. Montis,
Winning in nature’s long contest,
To this retreat we bring our best,
The Green Mountains.

The Catamounts Trail in Vermont,
Apple-picking along the jaunt,
In the iced glades the skiers daunt
The Green Mountains.

By the beauty of Lake Champlain,
The study setting lies again,
Where sunsets gleam as they soak in
The Green Mountains.

As syrup drips from the maples,
We drop by Church, and all staples
of the state that blazes April,
The Green Mountains.

4/20 each year: the Green fills,
Superpipe high—snowboarding skills,
Here where green rolls like the hills,
The Green Mountains.

The fests, people, and love is dank,
High volume of the loud we crank,
The winter life found is first rank,
The Green Mountains.

Catamounts barefoot in the snow,
Throwing snowballs, passing hydro,
Free People Reaching High, let’s go:
To the Mountains.

Girls clad and waving Proud Mary,
Guys in sandals; red eyes weary,
Wearing the Gap, ’til there’s nary,
The Merged Mountains.

Feel Good in Davis and throughout
A place where ev’ry Cat stands out,
Gold ambiance in parks that shouts,
The Green Mountains.

A home of Gold and Green routing,
Like the fountain of Green sprouting,
This is our favorite outing:
The Green Mountains.

Follow ClydeAidoo.com for more poems from the Art of Mind and Alma Mater series shared daily. You can purchase Clyde Aidoo’s latest release, Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, a poetic celebration of the top universities of the West by clicking the link below.

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Middlebury College Tribute

From Alma Mater Vol. 2: The Northeast
Available Now for only 99 cents!

AlmaMater_Northeast-Final

*Middlebury College*

Come ye all around the Christmas tree. From
Vermont
to this Lighting,
All around is Christmas glee.
A Christmas tradition passed from Vermont
to
The Mansion of D.C.

When Paul Moody began this tradition,
Who could’ve known what would be given back?
A true
Gift for Giving.

Not confined to Christmastime but due to charitable benefactors
like Gamaliel Painter and the Secret Santa of ’04:
Vermont has ingrained a land forever for free men,
Beginning as the first state to abolish slavery and
in the tunnel of equal progression, Alexander Twilight was the first highlight
of this legacy where a Bachelor’s freedom is shared with women,
black Panthers,
and any other who has wished to join
Club Midd
to see the campus art, rove the open spaces, and ride the thrill
of Winter Carnival.

Each year there are many who make this same wish around the world…

And underneath the lights of the National Christmas Tree and shooting stars,
Middlebury’s selected few only want to get back home to their wish…
Thus reliving the joys of Christmas every day.

Swooshing down the slopes of the College Snow Bowl on a campus
Where knowledge and virtue await you,
a premiere Liberal Arts College that
leaps through winter higher
than any other school
as winter’s spire.

Middlebury has Panthers who patrol the
peaks of knowledge & mountains,
then the Snow Bowl—
chuting down the verge of a readied escape
Where Febs begin the winter procession
to receive a diploma in any degree
then graduate to a reality away from their wish.

Each year there are many who make this same wish around the world…

There are those who’ve lived it and those still living it.
There are those who just by enjoying one another’s company,
Make college itself an experience worth wishing.

This is where the Panthers get away within the very
axis of their home. Retreating to the touch of winter’s caress,
and by touching one another, relieving the stress
of fellow Panthers whose wishes have all come true,
and Middlebury College,
They owe it all to you.

These are the Christmas Carols of a never-ending season
of giving where cheer is always outside your door.
And in the spirit of Christmas some benevolent soul is
wishing that someone else,
far, far away,
Prepared to graduate high school will share this wish
of standing by the Christmas tree singing with them
the joys and praises
of such a blessed

Alma Mater.

Follow ClydeAidoo.com for more poems from the Art of Mind and Alma Mater series shared daily. You can purchase Clyde Aidoo’s latest release, Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, a poetic celebration of the top universities of the West by clicking the link below.

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Brown University Tribute

From Alma Mater Vol. 2: The Northeast
Available Now for only 99 cents!

AlmaMater_Northeast-Final

*Brown University*

Boarding Brown
Means you have already arrived at forever,
Beginning at the Van Wickle Gates in the fall,
Attached to this Loose Ivy, the Bears flow wherever
The ocean of glorification calls.
In God We Hope is our phrase—it’s the motto,
And we hope to God you can share this journey,
Of cruising great waves with the mind on auto,
Set to embark and add sails to our story:

One of Discovery
&
American Revolutions;
Collectivism with searchers
Who find absolution…
In the destination
of our journey itself…

The Ivy League’s golden crown:
The free-thinking palace that’s
Boldly Brown.

Carrying ideas that move each of their makers—
Is a vessel of artists, activists, and growers,
In the dough of academia—we are the bakers,
Rising to the top like our female rowers.

The men fleet isn’t far behind,
Though it’s education that makes the man,
Bears learning & advancing mankind:
Thinkers & reformists who join Horace Mann.

In the annals of the history of modern education,
On the grass where we dance on the Island greens,
The tracked grass reforms—into Brown creation,
These grounds are where Bears’ tracked spirit careens.

This is our home, our destination, our journey,
Come join us in forever—within this residence,
Once more, our destination is our journey:

We shall see you in Providence.

Follow ClydeAidoo.com for more poems from the Art of Mind and Alma Mater series shared daily. You can purchase Clyde Aidoo’s latest release, Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, a poetic celebration of the top universities of the West by clicking the link below.

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Brown University Tribute

From Alma Mater Vol. 2: The Northeast
Available Now for only 99 cents!

AlmaMater_Northeast-Final

*Brown University*

Boarding Brown
Means you have already arrived at forever,
Beginning at the Van Wickle Gates in the fall,
Attached to this Loose Ivy, the Bears flow wherever
The ocean of glorification calls.
In God We Hope is our phrase—it’s the motto,
And we hope to God you can share this journey,
Of cruising great waves with the mind on auto,
Set to embark and add sails to our story:

One of Discovery
&
American Revolutions;
Collectivism with searchers
Who find absolution…
In the destination
of our journey itself…

The Ivy League’s golden crown:
The free-thinking palace that’s
Boldly Brown.

Carrying ideas that move each of their makers—
Is a vessel of artists, activists, and growers,
In the dough of academia—we are the bakers,
Rising to the top like our female rowers.

The men fleet isn’t far behind,
Though it’s education that makes the man,
Bears learning & advancing mankind:
Thinkers & reformists who join Horace Mann.

In the annals of the history of modern education,
On the grass where we dance on the Island greens,
The tracked grass reforms—into Brown creation,
These grounds are where Bears’ tracked spirit careens.

This is our home, our destination, our journey,
Come join us in forever—within this residence,
Once more, our destination is our journey:

We shall see you in Providence.

Follow ClydeAidoo.com for more poems from the Art of Mind and Alma Mater series shared daily. You can purchase Clyde Aidoo’s latest release, Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, a poetic celebration of the top universities of the West by clicking the link below.

Posted in Alma Mater, Uncategorized

University of Rhode Island Creative Piece

From Alma Mater Vol. 2: The Northeast
Available Now for only 99 cents!

AlmaMater_Northeast-Final

*URI*

Rhode Island is a treasure—hidden in the sand,
Where the visual’s bland can now get an even tan,
Where the ocean meets the shore with beaches galore,
Whether beaches or parties: There’s always more.
The summertime’s here and leaving seniors arrive,
On Block Island—to take a deep dive,
Into the state with some fine maritime,
All aboard the yacht, Rams, cuz it’s party time!
After leaving URI, they’ve begun their 5th year
Of basking in this glory—remaining at the steer.
When bodies float to campus they sail away…sail away…
Others are taken by the scene then fail away…fail away…
Not these seniors, they have left with well-wishings,
The freshmen all get hooked, then come out shells: Shellfishing.
They find all the parties and right there begins the gamut,
There’s a ragin’ scene in Kingston—and one in the Gansett.
This yacht has seniors who’ve been there, done that,
And loved every minute so they remain on tap—
Ready to pour freely in the basin, break the seal,
Taken by the rolling coasts the countless bluffs reveal.
This yacht is rockin’ hard—Cumberlandite,
The sun and bouncing waves make an unencumbered sight,
When this boat’s a-rockin’, don’t come—refrain,
Don’t knock and disturb, wait up, they just came.
They hook up on this yacht like an end to a nexus,
The music’s in the sheets the theme’s the Battle of the Sexes,
Four years back: They were landing in the dorm,
Now they’re in the waters “facing” Newport Storm.
Those years of beverages are now leveraged in the gut,
They washed down those lunches and dinners from “The Butt,”
They call the hall The Butt because it tastes like bass,
Fresh, well-cleaned, and scaled up the class.
These Rams, they had times with emotions still harbored,
So though they graduated they remain on the harbor,
If you want a school that parties, well here, they do,
But don’t think they don’t Think Big because
We Do.

Follow ClydeAidoo.com for more poems from the Art of Mind and Alma Mater series shared daily. You can purchase Clyde Aidoo’s latest release, Alma Mater Vol. 3: The West, a poetic celebration of the top universities of the West by clicking the link below.

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