Full disclosure, I’m vaccinated. I was slow to make that move, but after seeing the numbers and the lack of negative side effects, and after weighing the fact that I wouldn’t be able to see in person my 80-plus-year-old father if I didn’t get vaccinated, it just made sense world for me to do it. I’m not even trying to convince folk who’ve decided otherwise. But what I can’t understand for the life of me is being anti-mask; anti something that could shield us from nastiness. I mean, we’re the same people who avoid office pot lucks because we don’t trust Karen the cat lady’s cooking habits. We’re so anti-germ, our aunties and big mamas put plastic on all the furniture, then won’t let us sit on’em. We’re so afraid of catching something we won’t sit next to Sister Eunice at church, because even though we want to catch the Holy Spirit, we don’t want to catch it like her… hopping up, doing laps around the sanctuary and convulsing uncontrollably, yet still able to keep her wig from falling off. We don’t want to catch anything, yet we won’t mask up? Somebody make it make sense.


I have crazy love for TSU. Not only did I attend summer programs there as a youth, not only did I work there for a decade, my wife graduated from TSU. I made lifelong friends there. TSU has one of the most beautiful college campuses (not just most beautiful HBCU campuses) in the nation, and some incredible programs, students and faculty too often slept on by “mainstream” media outlets who are still in the habit of connecting anything negative in Houston with TSU (ex: a couple was murdered in the Woodlands, across the street from TSU). The Defender doesn’t ignore newsworthy stories about TSU that may be negative, but we “sho-nuff” go out of our way to shine a light on all the positive (as we do with PVAMU). And that includes sports. Our sports editors cover and shout-out every achievement coming out of TSU, including and especially the sports that don’t get the bigtime exposure: volleyball, golf, softball, bowling, etc. So, imagine my surprise when I hear TSU recently honored local media for giving love and coverage to the school and nary a Defender sports editor was listed. I still love you, TSU. But in the words of longtime Defender sports editor, the late Max Edison, “Y’all need to go sit down!”


While we’re breaking our necks doing the milk crate challenge, other folk are literally calling for war. GOP U.S. congressman Madison Cawthorn is calling for violence if future elections don’t go the Republicans’ way, and saying there are plans for multiple Jan 6-style insurrections.

Another anti-mask, anti-everyone but angry white men dude was videoed calling for “20 strong men” to violently remove school board members who voted to protect children and adult school workers by requiring masks. Just weeks ago, a Trumpite threatened to blow up the entire U.S. Capitol. Not to mention the Jan. 6 insurrection and the white domestic terrorists who plotted to kidnap and kill the governor of Michigan. Every day, Becky, Todd and ‘nem are preparing, like Cawthorn, “to take up arms against fellow Americans” (i.e. Black and Brown folk). They’ve already proven how serious they are. Hello Texas open carry! So, while we’re fixated on Kanye’s “Donda,” let’s do what scripture and old folk say a people should do when threatened. Let’s “gird our loins,” i.e. do something to be prepared.