Saturday, February 21, 2015

February 21, 2015 Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Malcolm X

Malcolm X was murdered 50 years ago today in the Audubon Ballroom in New York. Malcolm founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) after leaving the Nation of Islam. Can you imagine what might have occurred if the Organization of Afro-American Unity and the SCLC and other groups had joined forces? Something to critically think about.  Rest in Peace Malcolm.

  "My Alma mater was books, a good library... I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity."  Malcolm X

Sunday, February 15, 2015

African-American Community Leaders Recognized in Black History Month Ceremony

by Jayed Rahman, writer for Paterson Times

Municipal officials on Friday afternoon held a Black History Month award ceremony to recognize nine African-American community leaders for their contributions to the Silk City.

“I think about black history and the struggle our ancestors went through, the hard times they went through, and I always say that no matter what I do in life I hope they are proud of me for what I’ve done,” said Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman, who served as the mistress of ceremonies.

Council members expressed their appreciations and a sense of proudness by recognizing four city activists, three educators, a theologian, and a social worker.

Community activists recognized were: David Gilmore with the Medgar Evers award; Dwayne Cox with the Jesse Owens award; Ernest Rucker with the James Forman award; and Gerard Burns with the Ralph Abernathy award.

Educators recognized were: Marc Medley with the Frederick Douglass award; Felisa Villarin VanLiew with the Harriet Tubman award; and William Raheem Smallwood with the Benjamin Mays award.

Psychologist and social worker Kelley Moss-Brown was recognized with the Inez Beverly-Prosser award.

Pastor Randall Lassiter was recognized with the Martin Luther King award.

The awardees shared character traits and similarities with great civil rights leaders whose namesake awards they received.

Medley, like Douglass, has been on a crusade to promote literacy in the African-American community. Medley said he was moved to promote literacy after reading a poster inside the abolitionist’s home in Washington D.C. which read: “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

City’s nine council members each named a candidate for the awards. The same council members also handed out framed resolutions recognizing the contributions of each of the awardees.

Council president Julio Tavarez, who nominated Medley, was absent from the ceremony. In his place Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, handed the award to Medley. Tavarez’s absence garnered a strong negative reaction from the audience, when it was announced the council president couldn’t make it. One audience member blurted out: “Not surprised.”

“We take pride in our own African-American men and women who overcame insurmountable obstacles and achieved great success” said mayor Jose “Joey” Torres. Torres listed a number of city residents who went on to overcome racism to obtain success. He listed Larry Doby and Johnny Briggs, both of whom made it to major league baseball by cutting through the color line.

“Change was made when William “Bill” Mason led the Charter Study Commission that changed the form of government to our current Faulkner Act Plan D,” said Torres. Mason was a 4th Ward councilman from 1974-76.

Torres highlighted the important roles city’s African-Americans community played not only locally but nationally.

While Torres was reading off his list, William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, donned a Nigerian garb, to bring some “authenticity” to the ceremony which began at 11:30 a.m. and continued into the afternoon.

“We don’t do what we do to receive awards,” said Medley, a principal at the Frank Napier Academy, a school named after the city’s first African-American school superintendent. “We do what we do to make life better for others and the awards come as a byproduct.”

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Some Thoughts on Valentine's Day and Black History Month

You are invited to join me each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. ET on and WP88.7 FM for The Reading Circle with Marc Medley. Each week I interview authors from around the world to offer unsurpassed book talk radio. I also invite you to follow me on Twitter @readingcircle01 and @thinkcritical01.

Monday, February 9, 2015

All We Need Is LOVE

McDonalds and Coca-Cola got it right during the Super Bowl! I know it's not grammatically correct to use "got," however, their latest campaigns hit on something that the world is sorely lacking and that is LOVE. McDonalds got it right with their Lovin campaign and Coca-Cola got it right with their #MakeItHappy ads encouraging positivity. Interestingly, video game ads such as Game of War - Who I Am and Clash of Clans were about violence, war and fighting. It was noted and observed by many that there seemed to have been a shift in this year's Super Bowl ads away from the predominately humorous ads that we've become accustomed, to more emotional messages such as those mentioned above. Even fathers for once were made to look good instead of being made the brunt of the jokes in campaigns for Nissan, Toyota and Dove.With a world filled with violence, it was good to see major corporations recognizing the need for more LOVE for only love can conquer hate and unfortunately there is too much hate going around.

So, on this February 9, 2015, the fifty-first anniversary of  The Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show, they had it right too........ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.   I invite you to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and to tune in live each Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. ET on to hear The Critical Thinker live as host of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley.  Each week we bring to you provocative authors who share their work and also give you something to critically think about.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

This Is Our Elephant

There was once a group of tribesman who had captured and killed an elephant to take back to their village. The tribesman all grabbed one of the ropes tied to the elephant and they all began walking towards their village. In order to get to their village the tribesman had to climb a steep mountain, which meant they would have to carry the heavy elephant up and over the mountain. To make the task easier, they decided to chant as they labored. They all began to chant “THIS IS OUR ELEPHANT, THIS IS OUR ELEPHANT.” For a while things were going great until one of the tribesmen began chanting “THIS IS MY ELEPHANT, THIS IS MY ELEPHANT.”  When the other tribesman began to hear their fellow tribesman’s chant they all decided, well, if it is HIS elephant, let HIM carry it and they all dropped their ropes and stopped pulling. Now of course all of the weight now fell on this one tribesman and he could not carry it on his own. Realizing his brethren had dropped the ropes and was no longer pulling, he now began chanting “THIS IS OUR ELEPHANT, THIS IS OUR ELEPHANT” and when the others heard this, they picked up the ropes and began pulling again as all of them chanted “THIS IS OUR ELEPHANT”  together until they were able to reach their village.

Think about it.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It's Real Easy To Be An Armchair Quarterback

Armchair quarterback (noun) a person who offers advice or an opinion on something in which they have no expertise or involvement
Word Origin - 1940; as a person watching televised sports from an armchair 

"Armchair quarterback" is an idiom that originated in the United States. It refers to someone who doesn't participate in an action but still makes judgments about it. The phrase takes its meaning from the fact that a quarterback is the player in the American sport of football who controls much of the game. An "armchair quarterback" is someone who offers his or her opinion on something without actually being a part of it. It is an idiom that has branched out from the sports world to encompass many other aspects of life.
                                                                                                 Source: wiseGEEK

It's always interesting to me how folks who are not in the job of whatever the job may be, i.e. president, principal, pastor, CEO, governor, superintendent, head coach, etc. etc. etc. always have so much to say about how things are being done or was done. As an elementary school principal, I have to make decisions everyday that impact students, staff, parents and other stakeholders and there are always even among the mentioned ranks those who feel that if they were in my seat, they would have done X or Y. I am using myself as an example since I am in a leadership role, however, the same types of judgments are cast towards anyone who is in a leadership role. I am not naive and realize that it comes along with the leadership game, but it just came to me to put this down in a blog post Just Because. If you are in a leadership role, you will be able to relate to this post. I watch and listen to the pundits pontificate over what they would do if they were President Obama........"He should have done this or he should not have done that,"  and on and on and on. It really does not matter what leadership role you are happens to you. Always those who sit on the metaphorical armchair and can do you better than you can do you. Yes, my friends, it's easy being an "Armchair quarterback," because you are always talking and offering advice without risk to you. To share what you would have done or not done in any given situation really does not matter because (A) YOU were not the one in the situation (B) however the results of the decision(s) turns out, YOU are not the one being held accountable for them. Hence it really is easy being an armchair quarterback, or armchair president, or armchair principal, or armchair CEO or armchair pastor, etc. etc. (Fill in the blank - Armchair _______).

I heard this response one time from someone and have used it myself since hearing it and the dialogue goes like this:

Armchair QBIf I were you, I would have done this..........
MeNo, if you were me, you would have done the same thing I did because you were me
Think about it for a little bit and you will get it. After some thought, I think you get my point. Leaders are constantly besieged by pundits who really may mean well or perhaps have served in the particular position in the past, but it's a different game for the person who is in the position now, so what may have worked then, may or may not work now. Let's be very clear, coaching and armchair quarterbacking are two different things. For example, many of our radio talk show hosts have made their careers by armchair quarterbacking the President of the United States, particularly President Obama. The two that I am thinking about and I am sure there are others, have had nothing to talk about on a daily basis for nearly seven years now other than President Barack Obama. They have become expert armchair quarterbacks as neither would be able to do any better with the country than any other president has, but you wouldn't know that by listening to them. They would change the country, even the world. Everything would be well under their leadership.

I fly on Microsoft's Flight Simulator X and I have a ball flying my jets all over the world. I know the instrument panel, the readings, the checklists, the jargon, etc. etc. I can fly fighter jets, commercial aircraft, helicopters, private planes and so on. The difference between my flying on Flight SimX and flying the real thing is, I can crash over and over again and no one gets hurt; no lives are lost. No equipment is damaged. No money is lost. Armchair quarterbacking is very similar. There is nothing lost with what you would have done in my situation because you are not the one actually in the pilot's seat. Armchair quarterbacking is like being in the simulator. In fact, it might be even less because at least being in the simulator, you really do have to have some knowledge of what you are simulating. Reread the definitions at the top of this post; words such as "no expertise or involvement,"  and "without actually being a part of it." 

We have entire organizations created to be armchair quarterbacks and they are well paid armchair quarterbacks I might add. It is easy to walk into a place, say a few words, offer a few opinions and then walk back out, on to your next stop. It's another thing to live situations from minute to minute and make decisions based on the information that you have at the moment.

So if by chance you are a professional armchair quarterback or an amateur one, just know that it is really easy to be an armchair quarterback compared with actually BEING the quarterback. You can substitute any leadership position you would like into the quarterback role. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback. Something to critically think about. I invite you to listen to me live each Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. ET locally in the northern New Jersey area on WP88.7 FM and around the world on I also invite you to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As We Close 2014 I Believe Marvin Gaye and Teddy Pendergrass Says It Best

What's Goin' On

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Ah, what's going on

In the mean time
Right on, baby
Right on
Right on

Father, father, everybody thinks we're wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

"Wake Up Everybody"

Wake up everybody, no more sleepin' in bed
No more backward thinkin' time for thinkin' ahead
The world has changed so very much from what it used to be
So there is so much hatred war an' poverty

Wake up all the teachers, time to teach a new way
Maybe then they'll listen to whatcha have to say
'Cause they're the ones who's coming up and the world is in their hands
When you teach the children, teach 'em the very best you can

The world won't get no better
If we just let it be
The world won't get no better
We gotta change it, yeah, just you and me

Wake up all the doctors, make the ol' people well
They're the ones who suffer an' who catch all the hell
But they don't have so very long before the judgment day
So won'tcha make them happy before they pass away?

Wake up all the builders, time to build a new land
I know we can do it if we all lend a hand
The only thing we have to do is put it in our mind
Surely things will work out, they do it every time

The world won't get no better
If we just let it be
The world won't get no better
We gotta change it, yeah, just you and me

ENOUGH SAID!! I could not have said it any better myself than these two gentlemen if I tried. 

Have a great 2015 everyone!. In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, I intend $1,000,000 to come into my life and into the lives of everyone who holds this intention. 

From The Critical Thinker and The Reading Circle with Marc Medley, I wish you all nothing but health, wealth and success in 2015. I pray that we wake up and come up with the solutions to what's goin' on.  Be Blessed!