Monday, June 27, 2016


(written by Ed Oakley)
In horror, I watched the reality unfolding in Orlando just as the news carried this event to all points around the world.  Tears came to my eyes as I realized this was not just another news cycle; the event had become personal.  I saw Anderson Cooper lose his composure and cry as he read the 49 victims’ names and what little was known about each of them.   The event became even more personal to me when I heard Patty Sheehan speak about the LGBT community in Orlando. Patty and I served as elected officials on committees at National League of Cities some 10 years ago.
In an attempt to fill airtime, reporters hurried to line up interviews with people having knowledge of the event, and they found ways to connect bits and pieces of information I thought unusual.  One reporter referred to the vigil held at Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969 and reminded the viewer that LGBT historians refer to the riots that followed the vigil as “Stonewall,” the beginning of the gay movement.  The news anchor made a very poignant comparison: “At the Stonewall riot, law enforcement officers were dragging people out of the club to beat and arrest them for simply being present and being gay.  In Orlando 47 years later, other law enforcement officers were dragging people out of the club to save their lives.” The comparison was how far the gay movement had come in less than half a century.
Prior to this event in Orlando, I had taped the HBO series “The 1980s” and watched the segment on HIV and AIDS.  That caused me to think back to Stonewall—I was a junior in high school in 1969 and certainly not concerned with what was unfolding in New York. My only thought was to graduate and go to college.  I came out at the age of 22 as a college senior in 1974.  Five years had passed since Stonewall, and I had no understanding of the magnitude of that event.  Caught up in the Disco era, I made friends easily, went to gay bars no longer hidden on back streets, and thought I was in the mainstream.  In 1980 a fear took hold of the LGBT community—an unknown disease unlike any other in history was devastating the community’s men and women.  In addition to having seen the HBO segment, I read a book and play titled “And the Band Played On.” It hit me in the gut to realize that I’d lost ALL of my friends to this disease.  
In 1984 I moved to Dallas from Oklahoma City. The purpose: to escape the pain of having seen my friends become sick and die. In the new city, I worked and moved on with my life. One day in 1990 a politician—friend of the LGBT community—was pushing a change in the Dallas Zoning Code that was presented as a benign change.  I begin to study this change.  I came to realize that this was going to require dance clubs to obtain special zoning to exist.  I perceived this to be an attack on the gay clubs that others were not aware of.  I took up the fight for the LGBT community against this ordinance.  I met a man—Alan Ross—for whom the Texas Freedom Parade is now named. He lived through the 1960 gay movement, the 1980s AIDS crisis, and the LGBT movement in Dallas.  With his encouragement and help, I ran for Dallas City Council in 1993.  Though unsuccessful in that attempt, I ran again in 2001, was elected, and served until 2007, at which time I ran for Mayor of Dallas, placing second in a field of 11.  This made news around the world, the possibility of an openly gay man becoming mayor of a large city in America.  I drew support from Republicans, Democrats, LGBT, conservative businesspersons, ministers, the Black community, the Latino community—a very diverse group in Dallas.  We passed, for that time, the most sweeping nondiscrimination ordinance of any city, and it still stands today.
I give all this history because I think it lends credibility to my prediction.  Just like milestones in our LGBT history—The Stonewall Riots, AIDS, nondiscrimination ordinances, LGBT in the military, gay marriage, executive orders, human rights campaigns, to name a few—Orlando will become the turning point in politics in this country.  This is a WATERSHED EVENT that will change the course of history for what has become the hate mongering by politicians.  I believe this will begin the movement to purge all elected offices across the country of antigay, hate mongering bigots.  When polls show that 70% of the general public is okay with gay marriage and the elected officials continue to use this as a rally point, the politicians don’t realize the horse has already left the gate and it’s not going back. 
As I watched the news concerning Orlando pouring in from around the world, I witnessed grieving, compassion, help, concern, and condolences from very unlikely places.  I heard hate speech from some of the likely places—ministers and politicians. I watched interviews of people trying to backpedal on their past records of antigay stance. The one interview that stands out most clearly in my mind is that of the Attorney General of Florida. She previously had fought all the way to the Supreme Court to uphold antigay laws in her state; now, in front of the news cameras, she portrayed herself as a champion of the LGBT community. As people sat in their living rooms, surely they looked at each other and said:
“Enough is enough. You know our grandson is gay, our granddaughter is lesbian.  Yes, I know my boss is gay. My secretary married her partner. Well, I’ve always known my hairdresser is gay. The organist is a lesbian living with her partner, the church secretary. My plumber married his business partner, the city manager is gay . . . so is the police chief.”
In homes all over America people are realizing that what happened in Orlando could have happened to someone they know and care about.  This could have happened to their own families. The antigay rhetoric needs to stop. 
What our misguided political leaders are missing is this—Take a look at the 103 people we know died or suffered injury at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando.  They represent a microcosm of this generation—the future voters in this country. For them, sexuality was, or is, not an issue.  They accepted, still accept, people for who they are, not members of groups defined by archaic stereotypes. Just as what rose from Stonewall and from the AIDS crisis, this horrific catastrophe will give rise to a movement.  It will begin with this presidential election and all upcoming elections. With the help of technology and electronic data, any politician’s derogatory, disparaging, and/or homophobic remarks leave an electronic footprint, and that information will be used against them.  At some point in the future, I believe people will no longer tolerate homophobic words and deeds.
Just as Stonewall began the movement, and AIDS devastation forced politics on the LGBT community, and the 1990s refined the political movement, and the 2000s energized the political movement, I believe we’ll come to see the 2010s as a time during which our country witnesses a movement of understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community.

Thursday, June 23, 2016




   A public or private statement involving the intent to inflict harm to another person is a threat. When the threat includes the word KILL it becomes a death threat. Death threats are against the law, and when a death threat is made, the FBI is required to take immediate action. The individual is placed under surveillance, questioned, and possibly jailed. 
   In recent days, many statements have been made by preachers, television evangelists, and elected officials including the words “ALL GAYS SHOULD BE KILLED.” These statements meet all the requirements of a death threat. If a person of Middle Eastern descent were to make these statements, that person would be in jail. But because these people are from a so-called Christian background, absolutely nothing has been done.  The FBI should treat these threats the same way as if they were made by a person outside the Christian coalition.   
   If Americans truly believe the constitution of the United States—as in the Fourteenth Amendment when it directly states, “All citizens must be given equal treatment under the law”—then several preachers, evangelists, and elected officials would be in jail.  No one should be allowed to use the Bible as a reason for violence.
   It is common knowledge that the hate radiating from the pulpit is partly to blame for the acts of violence against gays. For over two hundred years gay Americans have been verbally and physically abused. There are laws in place, and, if enforced, they would stop this kind of the abuse. There should be a nationwide ban on death threats.   
    A tribute should be made to the 49 innocent Americans who lost their lives in Orlando and the 53 other individuals who have suffered terrific pain. The Orlando Massacre should be recognized, not only as a Watershed Moment, but also as a Pulse Point in the entire LGBT Movement.

                              (comments welcome ---------   

Wednesday, June 22, 2016



   When a mass shooting of straight people occurs a gay person would never say, “they deserved to be killed.” If there was ever a time in American history when it’s appropriate to use the words “enough is enough” it is now.  We must not allow the lives of forty-nine innocent young Americans to be lost in vain.  We must make sure something good comes from this horrific act of violence.
   Now is the time that Americans must shun the voices of those who have tried to make a mockery from the deaths of those who are gay. We must turn our tears into actions. It is time for churchgoers to walk out of churches when preachers make such statements as “death to all gays.” We must make sure our broken hearts maintain the strength to continue the fight against bigotry. We must exercise our right to vote against political candidates who expound hate against LGBT communities.
   There is a unique characteristic in the power of love—the more it is challenged, the stronger it becomes. Therefore, love will never be defeated by bullets or by hateful words from pulpit orators. 
    I am proud to be part of a group of people who experience sorrow when any mass shootings occur.  Gay individuals have long accepted the fact that violence is not the answer.  For over two hundred years we have been subjected to violence that has come in many forms of hatred.  As a member of the gay community, I want to make this perfectly clear, we will not participate in hate, but we will stand and fight for our rights. And our stance is much stronger than any spineless preacher or applause-seeking politician has ever expected. One thing you can count on—we are the generation of gays who will never retreat to the closet.  The time is now that the world will not allow death threats to gay individuals go unchallenged. 


Friday, June 17, 2016



   “Good morning class, my name is Mr. Wilson, and I’ll be your teacher for today.”

   “Where’s Miss Lawson?”

   “Miss Lawson is not feeling well, so I have been asked to teach the class. Make sure you sign the roll sheet that’s going around. You will notice I have written today’s objective on the board: THERE IS VALUE IN LEARNING HOW TO GET ALONG WITH OTHERS.”

   “Hey, but wait a minute, when we have a substitute it’s supposed to be a free day. Subs just give us busy work, and we get to talk with our friends.” 

   “Yeah, you’re just a sub, you can’t teach us nothing.”

  “I don’t know so much about that. What’s your name?”

   “One thing I do know Zack, it’s impossible to teach anyone who is not willing to learn.”

   “Okay, Teach, here I am. Teach me something.”
   “What would you like to learn today?”
  “I would like to know more about how to pick up chicks, but an old man like you can’t tell me anything I don’t already know.”

   “Young man, I could probably tell you many things you don’t know, but they would not be appropriate here in the classroom.”

   “O-o-h, so you’re saying, you’ve been around the block a few times, huh?”

   “More than just a few,”

   “Anyway, this is Wednesday, we can’t learn nuthin’ on Wednesdays, our brains need a rest.”
    “Sorry to disappoint you, but today is going to be different. I want to ask all of you a question. What was the worst thing that has happened in American history?”

   “Making us come to this old school.”

   “Puttin’ kids in jail for smoking pot,”

   “White policemen shooting black men,”

  “I hear all of you, but now I’m asking this young man, what’s your name?”


   “Jamal, what was the biggest mistake in American history?”

  “I was thinking you might say that.”

   “Well, it’s the truth.”

  “I agree. But what was the worst thing about slavery?”

   “Mistreating humans; treatin’ them like animals.”

   “Yes, and . . . ?”

   “White men could rape black women and get away with it.”

  “White men could hang a black man and the law wouldn’t do nuthin’.”

   “Okay, but how have those things affected you?”

   “It’s made me hate white people.”

   “Hey, Mister Wilson, I don’t like talking about all this stuff.  It makes me nervous. Why can’t we talk about something else?”

   “Yes, young lady, I understand how you feel, but part of the educational process is learning how to accept facts, and slavery was a fact in American history.”

   “Hold on just a minute here, I don’t think you know just how much I hate white people.”

   “Maybe I don’t, but maybe I could help.  What’s your name?”

   “Reggie, and I know some white folks that still try to treat us like animals, and I ain’t puttin’ up with it.”

   “Okay, but what if I told you I understand.”

   “I’d tell you it’s impossible, ‘cause you’re a white man, and you ain’t never been in my shoes.”

    “Okay, Jamal, I see your hand. You want to say something else?”

   “Do you think it was okay for a white man to rape a black woman?”

   “Of course not!”

   “Well, what do you have to say about slavery?” 

   “There is no doubt all of the things you have said were bad.  But what if I told you there are ways you can benefit from slavery?”

   “I’d tell you, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
   “In a couple of years you’ll go to college, and you’ll probably take a course in Economics 101.  In that course you will learn about the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS.”

   “We’re just in the 11th grade. Don’t you think it’s too early to be teaching us this college stuff?”

   “A little bit of pre-college economics won’t hurt you.”    

   “Okay, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying the black people are the HAVE NOTS, and the white people are the HAVES?”

   “Not necessarily, because there are more people than just African Americans who make up the group of HAVE NOTS.”

   “Okay, so maybe it’s just all the po’ folks.”

   “Yes, it’s something similar to that. In general, it’s the working   group people who are referred to as the lower class or the HAVE NOTS. In Economics 101 you will also learn, it is predicted the HAVE NOTS will, at some point, rise up and overthrow the HAVES.”

   “I hope I live long enough to see it.”

   “There is a pattern in being a member of the elite group called the HAVES. Individuals become selfish. The more they HAVE, the more they want.  They become power driven and will do just about anything to stay in power. And most of all, they loose respect for others.”

   “The black people sure have experienced it.”

   “This group called the HAVES create terrible working conditions for the HAVE NOTS, such as, long working hours, low wages, no health benefits, and little or no paid vacations. But remember, at some point the HAVE NOTS will get tired of all that and rise up and overthrow the HAVES.”

   “I hope you’re saying that one day African Americans could become the HAVES.”
  “Yes, I’m saying it’s possible. African Americans could become the ruling class, if they are joined by other minorities such as Latinos and the white working class, they could control the voting process. And in a democracy, those who control the voting, control the government.  And thus, African Americans could become the ruling class.”

  “Now that’s just what I’ve been waitin’ to hear.”

   “Look man, I don’t believe all this crap. You’re saying the white man is just gonna sit around and do nothing while the black man takes over.”

   “You’re making a good point, young man. What’s you’re name?”


   “It can happen Ken, only if the ruling class becomes so comfortable in their positions they get lazy and do not realize what’s going on. It has happened in Central and South America, and it can happen anywhere.  If the proper steps are taken, and the HAVES become unconcerned, the HAVE NOTS can overthrow the ruling class.”

   “Wow, this is beginning to make sense to me.”

    “But the next step is the important one. When the HAVE NOTS become the ruling class, it is of utmost importance how they deal with their new status. If they begin mistreating others, as they have been mistreated, their reign will be short lived.”

   “Now I’m beginning to see what you’re talking about.”

   “Mr. Wilson, I have something I want to say about slavery.”

   “Good, I’m happy you’ve decided to join in the discussion. What’s your name?”

   “What’s your opinion of slavery?”

   “I think it was wrong.”

   “Because it was mistreating humans, but there are other ways humans have been mistreated besides slavery.”

   “Of course, but give an example.”

   “I was beat up by a gang of black boys in the restroom right here at this school. Now, I’d say that’s a pretty good example of mistreatment.”

   “How true that is, but did you learn anything from getting beat up?”

    “Oh yeah, I learned that getting punched out hurts, and I learned that I don’t like black boys because most of them are mean.”

   “Oh, here we go again.”

   “Yeah, I knew if we kept talking like this, it would end up with a   fight in the classroom!”

   “Hey, hey, hold on just a minute here. All races of people participate in mean behavior, but not all people are mean. Have you ever been mean?”


   “I’ve beat up my little brother when he gets on my nerves.”

   “Shame on you.”

   “But I did learn one lesson in getting beat up.”

   “What was it?”

   “I learned what’s it like to be the underdog, and I learned I don’t like it.”

   “Okay, that’s my point. When something bad happens to you, and you learn from it, you have learned an important lesson. That’s the same point I’m trying to make to Jamal about slavery.”

   “I’m not getting your point.”

   “It’s like this, most of the time the group called the HAVES mistreat the HAVE NOTS, until the HAVE NOTS rise up and overthrow them. Now listen carefully, I’ve said it before, but make sure you understand, the important lesson is how the HAVE NOTS conduct themselves when they become the ruling class.”

   “Mr. Wilson, I think I understand what you’re saying. If the HAVE NOTS mistreat the HAVES, when they get in charge, then those who were the HAVES will rise up and over throw them. And history will repeat itself.”  

    “Jamal, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

   “Man, oh, man, I’m beginning to understand all this, and I’m just one of a few white boys in this class.”

   “Okay, Bennie, I’m glad you caught on.  Jamal, you want to say something else?”

  “Yeah, but I still don’t understand what all this has to do with me and slavery.”

   “Jamal, look man, wake up and smell the coffee. The man is saying   that you, a black boy, by knowing what has happened in the past can prevent your race from making the same mistakes.”

   “Bennie, don’t be calling me no black boy, ‘cause you know what you can do with your black boy. I’ve got him right here between my legs.”

   “Man, that’s not what I’m talking about.”

   “Okay fellows, let’s calm down and not be too aggressive. Remember the best classroom learning is in an organized environment. When anger dominates, it destroys the learning process.”

   “Jamal, I apologize for using that word.” 

   “Apology accepted.”

   “Now, you see how easy that was. These are the moments that make me proud to be a human.”

   “Mr. Teacher Man, I have something I want to say.”


   “Since you didn’t ask, my name is Julian, but if I had it my way, I would be called Julie.”

   “Are you a transgender student?”

  “I haven’t had the operation, if that’s what you mean. But I am an out-of-the-closet, gay black student.”
   “Okay, so what’s your point?”
  “We are talking about being mistreated, aren’t we?”


   “Well, I’m here to tell ya’, I get beat up every day in the boys’ toilet. You see, most of these macho, big boys call me a sissy.”

  “You get beat up every day?”

  “Oh, yeah, and sometimes twice a day depending on how many times I have to pee. I try to hold it as long as I can, but if I have to go before noon, it means I’ll not eat lunch that day.”


  “Because, not only will they beat me up, but they’ll take my lunch money.”

   “I thought this school had a security man and woman on duty.”

   “That’s a joke.”

   “Yeah, it happened to me.”

    “And me.”

   “Me too, I got beat up in that blasted toilet.”

   “This school must have some real problems in the boys’ restroom.”

   “And there are some of the bullies right here in this room.”

   “Why don’t you just shut up, you little faggot? If you were a man, you wouldn’t get beat up in the first place.”

   “That’s not true, because I’m not gay, and I got beat up.”

   “I’ve been beat up many times in the boys’ toilet. What you gonna do when you’re outnumbered by about nine to one?”

  “Okay, now y’all listen to me. My real question is, why can’t boys like me use the girls’ restroom?”

   “I thought the President had already made a ruling about transgender restrooms for students.”

   “Now that’s a real joke. You don’t expect this school to go along with the President’s ruling, now do you? But it don’t apply to me. You see, I don’t come to school dressed like a girl. If I did my parents would have a cat.”
   “So your parents don’t know you’re gay?”

   “Yes, they know alright, but they still make me go church to learn how to be a real man, so they say.”

   “Is it working?”

   “No, it ain’t working, but I do have to sit up there and listen to old Reverend Claw Hammer, that’s what I call him. Just last Sunday, he stood up there and said it would be better for a person to have a rock tied around his neck and drown in the ocean than to be gay.”

   “Are you sure your preacher said that?”

  “Yea, and I’ll tell ya’ what should happen. That bastard should have a rock tied around his neck and drown in the ocean. Then the whole world would be better off.”

   “Hey, hey, hey, let’s not use inappropriate language in the classroom.”

   “Sorry about that, but I don’t understand preachers who can stand up in the pulpit and say bad things about people they don’t even know.”

   “You won’t get an argument with me about that.”

   “And there’s something else I don’t understand. What difference does it make which toilet you use, particularly the girls’ toilet?  Everybody in there uses the stalls, so nobody can see the other person’s business, no way.”

   “How do you know what’s in the girls’ toilet? Have you been peeking through the keyhole?”

   “No, Andy, I haven’t. But common sense says there’s not much use for urinals in a girls’ bathroom, unless just maybe, it was a transgender bathroom.  And this school will never have such a thing like that. Come on, I wasn’t born yesterday.”

   “I don’t think there are any transgender kids at this school, so why go to the expense to build one?”

   “That was my next question. Are there other LGBT students in this school?”

   “I don’t know, but if there are, they are afraid to come out of the closet.  Any gay or transgender student in this school will have to live in hell.” 

   “We sure have ventured a long way from the subject of slavery.”

   “Sorry to disagree with you, sir, but the days of slavery that you’re talking about are long gone in America. But there is a modern form of slavery.  Any gay, lesbian, or transgender student living in the Bible Belt is living in a form of slavery.”

   “Maybe so, but that wasn’t the subject of today’s lesson.”
   “But sir, may I say something else?”

   “I suppose so.  You have this classroom under control so continue.”

   “He don’t have me under control.”

   “Right now, I am the teacher here, so I say we continue listening to this young man.”

   “If Donald Trump can brag, so can I. I make some of the best grades of any student in this school, but every day I face discrimination because I’m gay.  Not only have I been beaten up, but I’ve been called every name in the book. I’ve been called a faggot, a dog, the N word, that I won’t even mention, and a low down dirty queer.”

   “Now wait just a minute, Julian.  You are describing very bad social conditions for any gay or lesbian student at this school. In the hallways of this school, you are telling me, students are calling other students the names you have mentioned.”

   “Yes, I am, and sometimes even worse. But I’m gonna keep my head up high, and I’m gonna keep on trucking. I’m gonna graduate from this school, and I’m going to college. I don’t know exactly how, right now, but I’m going. I was praying that maybe by some miracle Bernie would  be elected president, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Nevertheless, I’m going to college.”

   “Have you thought about a scholarship?”

   “Sure I have, that’s why I study hard and make good grades.”

   “Since you have turned this into such an interesting discussion, have you thought about the subjects you will take in college, and what profession you plan to pursue?”

   “Yes, I want to take all the courses I can in public communications. When I get out of college I plan to be a politician. I’m gonna put some of these scumbags out of office.”

   “All I can say is good luck, and I hope I’m around to see it.”

   “Thank you, sir.”    

   “Wow, I guess we opened up a can of worms in this discussion.”

   “I don’t know, but I’d call it a discussion where we were allowed to speak the truth. Mr. Wilson, I thank you for that. No other teacher would let us talk about these things.  I may get in trouble for saying this, but the principal, the assistant principals, and the teachers all know what goes on in the boys’ bathroom, and they don’t care.”

   “Okay, but I think it’s time to move on.  Where were we in today’s lesson?”

   “Hey, Mr. Wilson, I know where we where.”

   “Okay, tell us.”

   “We were talking about that group of rich folks who call themselves the HAVES.  Now, the rich folks start being real mean to the poor folks, who are called the HAVE NOTS. The HAVE NOTS get tired of all this, so they get together and start a big fight and overthrow the HAVES.”

  “Yes, that’s it.”

  “But that’s not all. Then the HAVE NOTS become the HAVES and the HAVES become the HAVE NOTS. Those who were the HAVE NOTS start being real mean to those who were the HAVES.   But those who are now the HAVE NOTS get together and start another big fight.  They overthrow the HAVES who were the HAVE NOTS. And that’s an example of history repeating itself.”

   “Believe it or not, I understand what you’re saying.”

   “I don’t!”
   “Oh, and by the way my name is Alan, just in case you want to know.”

   “Alan, I must say, you’ve got the bull by the horns on this one.”

   “Thank you, sir.”       

   “Okay, now I remember. Let’s back up. I was telling you how important it is for the HAVE NOTS not to mistreat the HAVES when they get in control, just like Alan was saying. Understand?”


   “So, Jamal, if the tables are turned and your people become the HAVES, you could be instrumental in preventing your race from making the same mistakes.”

   “I understand, but maybe I wouldn’t want to, maybe all I would want to do is just get even.”

   “That’s the point, getting even doesn’t prevent history from repeating itself, and when history is repeated, the picture is not pretty.”

   “So you’re saying if African Americans controlled this country, and if we make the white people our slaves, that in time, the white people will raise up and overthrow us.”

   “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. There will always be strife within the human race until someone like you is smart enough to break the cycle.”

   “And you’re saying if I have the knowledge about these things, and if I know what could happen, I could prevent my race from making the same mistakes.”

   “Yes, that’s right. That’s why it’s so important for you to be a student of history. Remember, no group of thinking creatures will remain slaves forever.  Even if there had not been an Abraham Lincoln or a Civil War, sooner or later there would have been a major slave uprising. The slaves would have never allowed the plantation owners to live in peace.”
   “Man, oh, man!  I see what you’re talking about, and it makes sense.”

   “It’s interesting for you to say that, Ken, because it’s important for the white race to admit major mistakes were made. And it appears we will suffer the consequences. There is the old saying, ‘sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost.’ ”

   “And I believe it.”

   “Many years ago, before there was integration of public schools, I was placed in the position of a white teacher in an all black high school. It was a time when black students needed to express years of built up frustrations about the white race, and it was definitely a learning experience for me. One day a young lady stood up in class and quoted something that ran deep in the hearts of most African Americans. She said, ‘Before the end of time, those who have been last will be first, and those who have been first will be last.’ Even though, that has a scriptural background those were her exact words. Sometimes when a race has been mistreated and has endured years of suffering and pain, something unusual will happen. They will develop superior talents that will help them to rise above.”

   “And I definitely believe it.”  

   “And you, Jamal, I am speaking directly to you.  If you become the leader of your race, and it is possible, you could be a glowing example for the world.  No matter how high you climb up the social ladder, if you will remember the knowledge learned—never mistreat anyone and never cause suffering and pain to the lower class—you could be the instrument in preventing history from repeating itself.”

   “Maybe I understand, and maybe I don’t. What do you really mean?”

   “It’s simple, if the upper class does not mistreat the lower class, there will be no need for an uprising. There is nothing more important than a nation of people living in peace.”

   “You know, I hope I understand.”

   “Knowledge is a valuable tool, but knowledge without implementation is a foolish act, and fools will destroy themselves and their surroundings.”

   “I understand it, and I understand I don’t want to be a fool.” 
   “Right now in America there are political leaders who are struggling with the issues of increasing the minimum wage and providing improved benefits for the working class. They know there are all kinds of statistics that prove this is good for an economy, but they foolishly make excuses to the contrary.”  


   “That bells always rings too soon.”
   “Yeah, and for once, I agree!”

    “Mr. Wilson, I want to give you a hug. You brought light to some things today that will make me a better person. And sir, you don’t have to worry about Bennie and me, because we are good friends.”

   “I’m glad to hear it, and Jamal, I needed a hug today.”

   Jamal high stepped out of the classroom and into the noisy hall. Mr. Wilson turned and erased the board. He shuffled some papers on the desk, and quickly prepared for the next class.

   “Good morning, class, my name is Mr. Wilson, and I will be your teacher for today.”