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T.R.I.A.G.E.

T.R.I.A.G.E. Legal Corner

This is a great day for, this organization, and all people who relish cohabitation with honorable people. Today, Mr. Pierce received notice that he will be heard in oral argument on his appeal from the Ninth District Central California Court on May 5, 2015. Mr. Pierce's original action was filed in November of 2011. One of the issues is whether the actionable remedies incumbent to the experiences of a racially harassed person, are applicable to only those who witnessed the... harassment. The issues ask whether only a person with epistemological knowledge of discrimination can make an action for civil tort. Some of this has already been decided before, but it seems it fell upon one man to call the record into question. Mr. Pierce is honored to be able to speak before the three justices, in Pasadena, CA. He hopes it will be a good day for T.R.I.A.G.E.

OUR MARCHING ORDERS


THE T.R.I.A.G.E. TREATISE

On this day of honorarium and tribute, I come to you today to commemorate all of Dr. King’s achievements and desires for democracy in America. And while so doing, I would be remiss to say that it is yet a dream unfulfilled; for all that has been done together in united bands of color and creed, there is much still silting its way to the bottom of man’s darkest nature. 

The dream is not fulfilled because while black children are still not judged by their character, they can yet and still be mowed down by police while playing in a park; The dream is not fulfilled because the true meaning of this country’s creed of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness doesn’t necessarily apply to young people in a hoodie. The dream is not fulfilled—because even though we have had access to the highest office of the free world, our courage and leadership remains a question thrown in the face of our results. Yes, Dr. King had a dream…but today the American Civil Rights Movement needs to come up with a plan. Dr. King had a dream. I have that plan.

On this day, January 19th in 1958, I was born in the Northern Illinois prairie; Dr. King and I are linked by my birth and the celebration of his. And it shall be that way all the rest of my days, so perhaps that is why I feel something needs to be offered from the civil rights activist stage that is fresh; there will be some who welcome the shift in ombudsmanship, and there will be others who would chasten me for being so audacious as to self-declare a stewardship. But, part of this plan I have for America is going to have to take change being committed to. I was told once that I had the right message, but maybe I was the wrong messenger. Well, that might be true. But, on the other hand, it may also hold true that the audience I originally would have spoken to-- was too small. A man doesn’t choose a message, so much as its time bestowing the message to the man.
I am thankful for the gifts God placed in me. Part of what all this really comes down to is that I want to utilize what gifts he’s given me for his purpose. Our Heavenly Father gave me a mind that yearned for knowledge. And so it soaked it up, and when the cup ran over with one master’s degree it went on to achieve a second. I have mental discipline because of being educated. And mental discipline leads to moral fiber. Now, this gift is not to stand in judgment, but rather the conduit as to how to dissolve a problem down, and get it into manageable components. It helped me tremendously in creating a venue for everyone to come up with a solution. I am not a clergyman, by any means. But I am a man of faith; faith should not be what defines us over our humanity, however, but rather faith should be what defines our humanity. I am not perfect, and life is not fair. But it is our duty as civilized people to do whatever we can to making the whole of life fairer, at the very least for everyone, as much as is humanly possible.

I have studied and thought about the ills of our society intensively for the past seven years; during that time I published my non-fiction work Microaggressions Across The Great Divide. That book became a tool in the creation of a transformative multicultural study, I called T.R.I.A.G.E.  T.R.I.A.G.E stands for: Trancending Racial Issues Aimed At Generating Equality. It is a program of professional development in sensitizing each individual’s conscious with the myriad of perceptions we receive. Through media, politics, cultural events, the codes that are attributed to people by skewed and deviant perceptive norms, can perpetuate the continued indignity of oppression. It is not far from the truth to say that America is affected by state-sanctioned apartheid in this country. And this means north of post-bellum boundaries of intolerance of the past, as well. Every race is codified by perceptions through language acquisition in the very young and in the recesses of aged institutions. T.R.I.A.G.E. is meant to change the hardwiring of aggression in our culture, based on miscommunications concerning race.

T.R.I.A.G.E could find a room to fill in Ferguson, Missouri. T.R.I.A.G.E could find a room in a New York City Precinct. It could find a place to shine its light in Boston. T.R.I.A.G.E should be the counter-barrage in the police target ranges in South Florida. It’s time for it! I’m telling you, it’s time for it! It’s Nation Time, people. This is a call to action, but not a call of violence. Violence is the quickest way to keep everyone dreaming about freedom, instead of actually making it happen. We need to open up our hearts, and our minds to the glorious ignorance of love. And in that vain, teach one another.
You know, I’m telling you folks. A man doesn’t choose the message. The message chooses him. In the year 2000 I wrote the late and beloved Senator Edward Kennedy (MA) while he was still chair on the Health and Education Committee. I put to the senator, that it would be a prudent opportunity to find some way that African American high school students could have a two-year college degree paid for them, and everybody else who met entry requirements. I never heard back from Senator Kennedy, but the President must have gotten his idea from somewhere. I don’t know. My Republican friends, passing a bill to have junior college trained Americans is a positive thing for America. Educated people don’t foul their own water. Educated people can be, should be, engaged in making this land better than what it was before we got here.

So, in closing, I want to have others to join me in the journey. I will form a 501 3(c) so T.R.I.A.G.E. will have a non-profit platform, and funding can be undertaken for a
Political Action Committee. I am not seeking an office, I am seeking to be a good citizen that believes together with you can create a good deal of hope for the future of all of us. The beliefs expressed by me will never be anti this, or anti that, but I will say that I am pro-black. Not to be placed above anyone, but to say that is where the most support needs to go in the steady unraveling of our country. I will work with any non-violent civil rights organization, and talk with candor, but also with civility.



JUST ANOTHER MANIC MICROAGRESSION

THE GATEKEEPERS AMONGST US is something we'd like to bring up to the public in discussion in regarding multi-cultural interactions; institutions such as the criminal justice system, education, and finances, are known to have regulatory policies and laws that over time have been seen to be inherently skewed for the privilege of Anglo Americans.  There are people within the society, however, who believe they also have a duty ("White Man's Burden") to make sure minorities, especially African Americans, get no sense of equality.  They police for the police.
 
Here's an example.  My wife and I happened to be spending our holiday in Solvang, CA this past year, using up our remaining timeshare credits.  We had lived there for a month seven years ago, when I'd first become an assistant principal in Santa Maria.  My wife, being German American, was enchanted with the locale.  But it held no such compulsion for me.  She took along an old canvas bag that she'd gotten from a local retailer there, and told me she wanted to get the free bag our timeshare offered through the shop.
 
My wife went into the shop alone, save for our grandson, on the second to last day of our visit. She told me that she showed a nice young clerk her timeshare coupon, and her faded bag, and a replacement one was given her without incident.  But my wife decided to give the "solarized" (sunlight activated coloring) bag to my grandson, yet still wanted another for herself.  She gave me a duplicate coupon she found and told me that I was supposed to get a bag for her the next day.  How hard could that be?
 
The store manager was giving a demonstration to shoppers from off the street at a blue light display in the store, when she saw me come in.  She was of retirement age and piped up, "You look to be on a mission," she said.
      "As a matter of fact," I waved my coupon, "I came to see you about a tote bag,"
     "Give me a minute, and I'll be right with you."
    The young clerk, who was doing nothing but standing by the manager during the demonstration, apparently couldn't get me the bag, for some reason.  And soon, I found out why. Or, so I thought.  "Well," the elderly clerk said, "do you know about the postal service being behind on deliveries?"  Actually, I'd heard that it was Amazon, but maybe they got their merchandise through them, as well.  "We're waiting for yesterday's delivery, yet," she said.  "And the delivery won't come until around two."  It was brunch time, so  I gave her a genial smile (a good smile, too--people think I have implants) and said I'd come back.  My wife always tells me to be sure to smile at people.
 
It turned out, for various reasons of procrastination, that I never got back down Alisal Road that day.  But I promised the wife she'd get her bag, so we took a stroll down to the store on the morning of our departure.  In fact, after we'd already checked out of the timeshare.  My wife and grandson sat on a street bench in the unseasonably warm sun while I found out that I was the only customer, and was grateful I wouldn't have to spend a lot of time there.  Cut to the chase, you know. 
 
The wavy-haired blonde girl smiled welcome and folded t-shirts.  "Good morning," I said.       "Did the tote bags come in?"
      "Not so fast," the elderly lady practically snapped at me.  "You don't just come in here and pick up a free bag.  You got to see the store, first."  The coupon said nothing about that, nor were there any signs to that effect, but I went along with the prerequisite.  And she went through the same blue light spiel I saw her do the previous day, but added.  "Now, over here is the men's section.  I want you to look that over, too."
      That's when it got weird.  She started to pump me for information: 
      "Where you visiting from?"
      "Why would you go to a timeshare less than an hour from where you live?"  I was about to ask her if her last name was Krupke, but decided I didn't want to balk at her rudeness because my wife was patiently waiting.  The manager continued and pointed out their children's line, trying to get me to give her a size to see if she carried it, but I ended the game she was playing, and asked to get the bag.  She pushed a card out to me that asked for my personal information, and I began to fill that out when she mentioned, "Oh, and I'll need to see your room key."
      "What?"
      "We need to see it because the coupons are only meant to be used by the owners at the timeshare.  If I see the key then I know you didn't pick the coupon up from off the street."
      "We've already checked out."
      "Do you have anything to prove you're a timeshare owner?  You can come back with paperwork or something, and then I can get you the bag."
 
THAT WAS IT!!!
   
I walked out of the store and collected my family and went back, introducing my wife.
"Now, I know the coupon said there's only supposed to be one bag per family," I admitted, "but tell me how my wife could a bag yesterday without being asked to see our room key?  But I'm supposed to show you one?"  Oh, my, did that get that old lady riled.  She began screaming out a defense, but I just let the Caucasians standing there in the store, including my wife, to figure it out for themselves.
 
Learn more about microaggressions, and the threat of stereotype in my book, "Microaggressions Across the Great Divide" in the T.R.I.A.G.E. Educational Group section.