And Now It Is Really Time To Step The Game Up

Simone Biles is out of the Women’s Gymnastics Team Final for the Tokyo Olympics.

There is confusion as to whether her pulling out is based on something physical or mental.

Biles is not done yet for the Olympics. She can still compete in the Individual and the All-Around Competitions, if able.

I hope for a speedy recovery for Simone, for whatever may ail her at the moment.

And now that there is a sizable hole in who is expected to make an impact, I am really ready to see who steps up and attempts to take the open spot.

That’s why we tune in to watch after all.

Why Can’t We Teach History Based On What Happened In The Past?

When the 1619 Project was released by the New York Times, it was seen as a revolutionary look at the origins of slavery and its deeper impact to the founding of the United States of America than many people realize.

It also raised concerns across the same United States of America about how the history of slavery and Black people is being taught.

There were initial calls for public school districts to not use lesson plans based on the publishing of the 1619 Project even though those lesson plans do not exist.

This has been transformed into legislation to limit and outright ban teaching of critical race theory in public schools, which is loosely defined as the retelling of historical facts and events in a light that places undue stress and pain on White students today as they learn about the not-so-nice facts about the actions of White people of days long gone by against other races (mostly Blacks, but many Indigenous cultures are studied as well).

This is a better definition of the problem, but still not a problem, as there is not a widespread curriculum on critical race theory apart from Graduate and Juris Doctorate level study.

To make matters worse, the people calling for less talk on race-based history are doing a horrible job of explaining themselves by consistently putting their feet in their mouths. Saying things out loud and in public about Native America not putting much work into the land while White culture performed miracles (said a former United States Senator), hailing the merits of the Three-Fifths Compromise as a pollical poison pill that would eventually kill slavery (a least to members of State legislatures that I’ve seen reported), and a Black Republican Gubernatorial candidate with an official campaign issue to eliminate critical race theory from the public school curriculum of his state, which previously stated, does not exist.

To be fair to the third example, my initial source for his argument was a television interview that quickly turned into an argument with a liberal Black journalist. The journalist got kudos from his echo chamber, but it was not a good look for either party from a broader angled view.

I worked with a young lady whose birthday falls around Columbus Day. Everyone remembers being taught in First Grade that, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Then in the Eighth Grade, teachers admit that Columbus was lost and had no idea where he was when he arrived on the land of the Americas.

In the Tenth Grade, a discussion of Columbus Day being a week away came up in her World History Class, which she half-jokingly asked if they could use it as an excuse to throw her a birthday party. The teacher informed her there was no need to celebrate a murderer and rapist who got famous for not knowing how to follow a map, and without missing a beat, she asked, “But can we still have a party for my birthday?”

The point of that diversion is that we oversimply and sugar coat so much history for children to learn that when they are young adults and ready to comprehend the nuances of how it really happened. Old folks who do not want any apple carts overturned lose their collective minds.

This how we get notions of the romance of the Confederate South (the Confederates were literal traitors to the United States), Hitler did some good things but pushed it a little too far (with the genocide and the overthrowing of other sovereign nations), and Donald Trump will save America for the cabal of pedophilic, vampiric Democrats who have this nation bamboozled.

Nation bamboozling, maybe. Drinking the blood of babies, highly dramatic and unlikely.

Let us go with this: slavery is bad. Slavery was bad then, but the collective conscience went along with it, and many people fought and died to keep it anyway. You can have a love for your history and your ancestors and be real about the impact the way they lived their lives affected the world then and the ripples to how it affects the world today.

And no, I am not going to go there with reparations. But if you want to go there, or anywhere with this conversation, email me at

Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?

This week marked the 100th day of President Joe Biden’s term in office. To mark the occasion, Biden gave a speech in front of a joint session of Congress, much like a State of the Union address, but with a crowd of about 200 instead of the room capacity of about 1,600.

Also, like a State of the Union address, there was a response by the opposing party (a horrible term, but oddly fitting). This task fell to Tim Scott, one of the Republican Senators from South Carolina and currently the only Black member of the Senate.

And that is the bulk of the problem.

The point of a rebuttal is to tear down an argument. The point of the response is to offer a rebuttal of everything the current President says, spinning it as destructive ideas and horrible policy regardless of what is said.

It gets ridiculous pretty quickly, as the response never gets to acknowledge the humanity of the President, just tears down the man in an attempt to appease your own supportive followers, especially the more rabid ones.

Here’s where it got weird on Wednesday night: the view on race. Biden, the old white guy, delivered a message that didn’t label America as a land of racists, but a land where non-whites are at a severe disadvantage, and whites now at a point in history where it is time to come to terms. As part of Scott’s rebuttal, he described a nation where one group of people are unfairly persecuted for trying to uphold a standard of values that are at the core noble and just (presumed to mean ‘white,’ but not actually saying it).

As you might expect, those of the darker-skinned complexion had an issue with ‘Uncle Tim’ and his choice of teams to pull for, while the lighter-skinned ones have a new champion for the rights of the unoppressed to feel oppressed.

The silliness of the issue is only made more poignant because Tim Scott put himself in that position. A position that many other Black Americans take willingly, some because they are true believers in the overall cause and need to sell it, some because it is so easy just to sell out if the payoff is so good.

As a person who has chosen pollical independence at the cost of having a real choice in primary elections, I wish I had an answer to this. I don’t, and this is actually a cop-out article that offers no resolution.

All I know is we need to figure out what we’re doing now.

Agree? Disagree? I invite you to email me at if you would like to chat further. 

…Speaking As ‘Citizen Payne’

2021 means fresh new projects for many. And because I am an overachiever, this is just one of many fresh new projects for 2021. But this is one that has been a long time coming, and one I am incredibly proud to finally have the courage (or maybe lack of ability to care) just to put out there.

Buy Me A Coffee

‘Citizen Payne’ was an idea for a title thrown about many years ago as I tried to find my footing in the world of political commentary.

Unfortunately, as in making decent money doing commentary, the business of political commentary requires you to follow a formula that I do not quite fit.

I am not overly (or overtly) liberal. I do not tick off the bulk of the boxes as a conservative either. I am just barely right of center as far as I am concerned, as I have always been an independent thinker who took ideas from both sides to form my way of thinking.

I love radio and tried to make my way as a talk show host. It should work, as liberal media does not seem lucrative (unless you are on cable news), and ‘Black Conservatives’ are like unicorns that somehow stand out in conservative media ranks.

The problem was the formula I brought up earlier that worked well but would not work for me consistently. You have to give an opinion that falls in line with two of the three following categories of thought: angry, old, and White.

Yeah, I said it.

Conservative media relies on the majority culture (i.e., White) being afraid not so much of change because time will bring change naturally. The majority culture needs the masses to be frightened, specifically of change as pushed by any minority culture.

The majority culture also needs to be afraid of technology that makes them question how they were operating, even if it is a ‘better’ technology. Unless that technology can be co-opted so that people with power and influence can use it to reach the masses to promote its biases and claim that the platforms (or the platforms’ owners) serve the real puppet masters who they are nobly trying to protect the masses from.

The actual problems with abandoning the plan to make it in talk are multiple. Due to the nature of the business (and ironically, technology), the number of outlets to work for are shrinking. The number of voices—conservative, independent, and otherwise—are shrinking as well. Despite this, I had the pleasure of working for radio stations that provided local talk.

But with the craziness that has been the last four years of political intrigue and the insanity that has been the bulk of the year 2020, talking angry, old, and White was not enough. You also had to add crazy, illegal, immoral, uncaring, and possibly treasonous.

So, in 2021, I am starting two new projects to help develop my now defined independent-mindedness.

In a few weeks, I will give more details on an initiative to push a futile attempt to foster non-partisan measures of accountability to elected officials and consistently encourage people to stay engaged with the issues and registered to vote.

And starting with this post, I will produce content under this ‘Citizen Payne’ banner and not care who picks it up.

2020 was one hell of a hard ride, and it hasn’t gotten much easier yet for 2021. But I will guarantee if you are following along with my misadventures, it will get a lot more interesting.

Follow the ‘Citizen Payne’ movement online at and on Twitter at @ItsCitizenPayne.