Lyrics Post: “Free Your Mind”

Quite unexpected, not really a genre I partake from too often; too often that’s where the gems lie.

Lots of folks know these ladies rock it, knowing the beats, words good too, message good too. Whether you’re en vogue or not, free your mind all the same. Maybe now more than ever.

“Prejudice, wrote a song about it.
Like to hear it? Here it go.

I wear tight clothing, high heeled shoes
It doesn’t mean that I’m a prostitute, no no
I like rap music, wear hip hop clothes
That doesn’t mean that I’m out sellin’ dope no no
Oh my forgive me for having straight hair, no
It doesn’t mean there’s another blood in my heir yeah yeah
I might date another race or color
It doesn’t mean I don’t like my strong black brothers.

Why oh why must it be this way
Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me, I said
Free your mind and the rest will follow
Be color blind, don’t be so shallow.
Free your mind and the rest will follow
Be color blind, don’t be so shallow

So I’m a sistah
Buy things with cash
That really doesn’t mean that all my credit’s bad, oooh
So why dispute me and waste my time
Because you really think the price is high for me
I can’t look without being watched, and oh
You rang my buy before I made up my mind, OW!
Oh now attitude, why even bother
I can’t change your mind, you can’t change my color

Why oh why must it be this way?
Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me, I said
Free your mind and the rest will follow
Be color blind, don’t be so shallow…

Why oh why must it be this way?
Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me, I said
Free your mind and the rest will follow
Be color blind, don’t be so shallow… FREE YOUR MIND!”

Writer(s): Denzil Delano Foster, Gerald Edward Levert, Thomas Craig Mc Elroy

“Pressure Is A Privilege“

This idea, timeless. Let’s remember, often times it is so. The pressure we feel is from the circumstance we’ve put ourselves, the opportunity to benefit, to shine.

And so this particular pressure is a privilege. Let us rise to the occasion. Let us rise each day and give it our best. The moment asks nothing less; and perhaps we have nothing less to give.

Let it be so.

What is a President?

Talking about the top elected official of our Executive Branch, the President is the CEO of the country.

The President is the ultimate servant leader, elected to set policy, make decisions for the betterment of the people, and the Commander in Chief empowered to protect the citizenry and our land.

The President’s duty is to the Constitution, and to the people. To serve and to protect the people. ALL THE PEOPLE

Here’s the text, the following Presidential Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

And usually closed out with…”so help me God.”

With these words an ordinary person is given tremendous power for a time, entrusted by the people to fulfill the oath.

And then often, and maybe quickly, and maybe frequently, things get muddy, and things get murky.

But the work of the President, it’s Sacred Duty. Sacred Duty.

More Props

I just heard a piece on the radio about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the diversity of their coaching leadership. It’s expanded my appreciation for the team and my attitude about that team, Tom Brady joining the team, and their victory in Super Bowl LV.

Listening to Rod Graves, executive Director of the Fred’s Pollard foundation, it all comes quickly into focus. Lots of good from the Tampa Bay organization, their approach, their leadership, their victory.

Some of the insight came from this piece:

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers And Diversity In The Upper Ranks Of An NFL Franchise”

And here, the proof in the staff:

https://www.buccaneers.com/team/coaches-roster/

Then more insight from Rod Graves, ED of the Pollard Foundation, and about them, here:

https://www.fritzpollard.org/fritz-pollard

Bottom line?

More props, more GOOD. Let the colors wash together, let the very best rise to the top.

On Bended Knee

I’m on bended knee, looking at the weekend…

Two days like any other, yet expectations so high…

Hoping for a break, a little rest, a different pace…

Somewhat so, somewhat so, some otherwise more the same, by choice really…

Same pressures, same pause, same joy, all really there,

if only we make room…in our minds, hearts, both, tied up and twisted and searching for calm, understanding, inspiration, something more…

On bended knee, on bended knee.

Navalny

Democracy is for all humanity, at least it should be, in my humble opinion.

One country in which democracy has long struggled is Russia.

One voice that resonates from within? Alexei Anatoliovich Navalny.

He has become maybe the most powerful voice calling for an end to corruption and more transparency in the Russian political system, policies, and decisions therein.

He was poisoned in Russia last year; flown to Germany for treatment; there, he recovered. There he could have stayed, safe in self-imposed exile.

But he did not. His place is in Russia. His home is Russia. And there he must do his work.

He flew back to Russia with his wife last week. And he was swiftly arrested at the airport.

The charges? Money-laundering. Six years ago. The details? Murky. What’s not murky?

Navalny’s steady voice of opposition in a country long characterized by a heavy, authoritarian hand against said opposition.

Well more than 10,000 protestors across all of Russia’s vast timezones protested for Navalny’s release on Saturday. More than a thousand were arrested.

His voice, and all such peaceful but very critical voices need to be heard. When the people‘s voice is silenced, it must be supported from all sides, allowing it to resonate.

Let Navalny’s voice be heard.

More on Navalny? Yep.

Straight from Wikipedia: Navalny, (born 4 June 1976) is a Russian opposition leader, politician, lawyer and anti-corruption activist. He came to international prominence by organizing demonstrations, and running for office, to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Putin’s government.

And the link to the whole wiki-profile, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexei_Navalny?wprov=sfti1

And the article about his arrest, here: https://globalnews.ca/news/7595321/alexei-navalny-putin-protests-explainer/amp/

Let Navalny’s voice be heard.

Another Voice for Change

After MLK Jr. Day, after all the many situations and examples and tragedies that have been freshly brought to light of late around racial inequality, and the many things we need to do to change things for the better…

I came across these two posts from one of my more favorite voices on social media. Fred Wilson.

He’s a business guy, a big money guy, but he’s also got one of the best perspectives and voices and balance to social and economic and cultural topics I am aware of. He’s no B.S., and he’s worth listening to.

And so though I have a couple hundred followers on WordPress, and six hundred some followers on Twitter, and Fred Wilson has more than six hundred thousand followers on Twitter – point being he’s got plenty of social media reach -?I’m going to share these two posts anyway. Because I agree with his remarks and I want to elevate them.

This is a guy whose making a difference on a lot of levels, including racial / social justice in these United States of America. Thanks, Fred ~

He wrote:

JAN 18, 2021

Six Months Later

In early June, I wrote this post explaining that I and we need to do more to reduce the inequality issues for Black people in tech, venture capital, and startups.

I think MLK day is a good time to talk about what has happened since that post.

We have identified a number of areas where we must do better:

  • Increase the number of Black founders we back
  • Increase the number of Black team members at USV
  • Increase the number of Black VCs we work with and support
  • Increase the number of Black board members in our portfolio
  • Increase the number of Black leaders in our portfolio
  • Increase the number of Black employees in our portfolio
  • Increase the number of Black engineers in our portfolio
  • Increase the number of Black investors in our funds
  • Increase the number of Black college graduates going into tech, venture capital, and startups
  • Create pathways for Black students to study STEM and find their way into careers in tech, venture capital, and startups

We have ongoing projects, workstreams, investments, and efforts in each and every one of these areas and we have made tangible progress in almost all of them.

I believe that the inequity issues are so severe and deeply rooted that it will take a concerted effort over a number of years to truly erase them.

But we are making progress and if we keep at it, across many dimensions, we can get where we need to go. Roughly 15% of Americans are Black. Until we can look around the room and see at least one Black person for every six in the meeting, we haven’t done enough. Today is a good day to remind ourselves of that and recommit to the work that needs to happen.

Jeff Interlude: And before that one, he wrote this one:

JUN 4, 2020

Black Lives Matter

I believe that Black lives matter.

I understand that the phrase Black lives matter speaks to a movement to stop the murders of Black people at the hands of the police. I also understand that it speaks to a broader protest movement seeking to reduce the unchecked power of the police. I support these efforts and am sympathetic to them.

But the words Black lives matter mean even more to me.

They mean that a Black person’s life matters as much as any other person’s life.

They mean that the living situation of a Black person matters as much as anyone’s living situation.

They mean that the food a Black person eats matters as much as the food anyone eats.

They mean that the health care that a Black person has matters as much as the health care anyone has.

They mean that the education a Black person has matters as much as anyone’s education.

And they mean that the economic opportunity that a Black person has matters as much as anyone’s economic opportunity.

My record and that of the USV is poor on that last measure.

We have spent much of the last week at USV talking about that and we talked about it publicly on our blog and Twitter yesterday.

When the collective minds at USV focus on something we have always met our goals.

While we are late to put our collective minds on this opportunity, we are not too late. And we have already started our work on it.

We will do this the way we do everything at USV. We will stick to our thesis of access to capital, knowledge, and well-being. We will back teams that are working on these problems in ways we think are impactful. And we will be engaged, honest, and present in the work.

How Far? MLK Jr.

This is a day to remember many things.

Where we started.

Where we’ve been.

How far we have to go.

And of course, this man, Martin Luther King Junior, his words, his work, his inspiration.

Especially after these recent years, and all the divides, I think I’m most hopeful that King’s words only gain more credence, more salience, with time.

I’m also hopeful because my children know King’s stories, they know his leadership, his vision. So very VERY grateful for that.

“He was a hero, a leader, a speaker, a man of great courage, and a very wise man, a counselor, a believer, a pacifist, a preacher. And all people were the same to him.”

Yes, there is reason to hope. There is much MUCH work to do, be we should do it being hopeful. We CAN make it better. Let it be so.