Morning Cup of Joe

A Message to My White Friends

To my white friends,
I know it may be difficult to speak out against the recent tragic incidents in Ferguson and New York although you may have a sincere desire to. I know it must be challenging to say something that may ostracize you from your group. After all, a basic human need is the need to belong and saying something may jeopardize that and perhaps be counterintuitive. I know race is a sensitive subject and with acknowledgment comes the pressure to act. If you won’t say anything about the fact that white police officers are murdering black men without recourse then say something about the fact that human life must be preserved at all cost. In the end, it’s not only about race; it’s about the excessive use of force from law enforcement officers against citizens of this great country. No one can deny the fact that what is happening is wrong, regardless of its racial undertones. You have a rare opportunity to speak up and speak out against these blatant injustices.

I’m reminded of the immortal words of Mr. Rogers, the same Mr. Rogers we all grew up watching on television, when he said “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” The world needs a few more heroes; will you be one of them?

Sincerely,
Joe PaulSame Voice

A Message to the Brothers of Alpha

As my beloved fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., celebrates 108 years of scholarship, manly deeds, and love for all mankind, I am reminded that as much progress as black Americans have made in the United States of America, it pales in comparison to the incalculable work that still needs to be done.

When white police officers continue to slaughter and murder black males at an alarmingly disturbing rate with no indictment and no recourse, we still have work to do. With the deplorably unacceptable condition of institutions of learning in predominantly black neighborhoods, we still have work to do. When black children idolize recording artists who encourage misogyny, murder, and selling drugs as a means of viable income, we still have work to do. When black men feel like a target regardless of social status, we still have work to do.

When black women lack respect for themselves and falsely believe that their bodies are their most valuable asset, we still have work to do. When black children aspire to be rappers and ballplayers rather than scholars and professionals, we still have work to do. When black men no longer feel any obligation to take care of a child that he helped create, we still have work to do. When black people anticipate the release of the newest pair of Jordan’s sneakers more than the reading list on Oprah’s book club, we still have work to do.

When black people are more interested in the lives of celebrities than the politicians who create policies that govern their lives, we still have work to do. When black people will line up for hours to take advantage of a Black Friday sale as opposed to standing in line to vote, we still have work to do.

108 years is certainly worth celebrating but what exactly are we celebrating if the condition of the black community continues to decline? What exactly are we celebrating? If our brother, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, what grade would he give our efforts to pursue his dream as a brotherhood? A failing one I presume.

The time is now to step up and take charge of our own destiny; not only take charge but lead it. Our founders, with their infinite wisdom and adroitness, started this organization not only to be first of all but to be servants of all in hopes that we will inevitably transcend all. We can no longer sit idly by and watch the continuous decline of Black America from the convenient comfort of our corner offices or comfortable lazy boy. We can no longer wait and hope and pray for change, we must demand it and take a significant part in creating it.

This fight is not only Alpha’s to fight. We must collaborate with every organization who is ready for change and refuse to accept the 2nd Class citizenship that has been afforded black people in this country since slavery.

We can no longer dream as Brother King did, the time to act is now.

Fraternally yours,
Brother Joe Paul
Fall 1998 Initiate – The Iota Delta Chapter, Florida State University
2000 National Brother of the Year
2001-02 Assistant Regional Vice-President, Southern Region

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100 Days to a Better You! – Day 45

Day 45 –
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67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.

You can say that you are going to accomplish your goals, you can even unequivocally believe that you can and will achieve them. However, if you do not write them down, you can believe all you want but nothing will happen. What this means is that your goals will remain fleeting thoughts which may never come to fruition if they are trapped in your head; you must write them down.

Writing down your goals creates an interesting dynamic that forces you to act on that what you’ve written. It also encourages you to track your progress and creates an unbelievable sense of accountability and responsibility. There are immeasurable benefits to writing down your goals.

There is certainly power in the spoken word but there is much more power in the written word. 67% of wealthy people writing down their goals should tell you something. Writing down your goals gives you the ability to track your progress, much like a to-do list.

If you think it, dream it, imagine it, write it down, believe that it is possible and work like hell until you have it then it shall be yours.

Don’t just hope and pray like it depends on God, work like it depends on you.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

55 days to go!