Editor’s Letter

By all standards, ours is a nice democracy to have. And it would indeed be a detriment to many, domestic and foreign, for something to “happen to it.” America believes itself to be the manifestation of its idealized self as set forth in its founding documents. This self-perception is schizophrenic in both form and substance and contradicts reality, where in one breath, we move closer to our altruistic potential. And the next, believing our own hype, we lay waste to the lives of our own citizens under the guise of patriotism.

Quite simply, some love the jingoistic lies they believe about themselves and despise the truth of humanity in us all.

Our history documents our country’s perpetual cycle of expansion and contraction; three steps forward, two steps back, denial, complacency, reality check, repeat. And so we prance along for all the world to see, deluded that we are in top form as our self-inflicted wounds fester.

In this week’s articles, renowned statesman Frederick Douglass (yes, that Frederick Douglass), the late musician and composer Ben Lane, historian William Spivey, and I assess the state of our union head on, and present remedies—tried and true—that require full-dosage for complete recovery.

To say these past few years have been rough would be a gross understatement bordering on abject denial as our democracy is being dismantled. In real-time. Before our very eyes. And the past two weeks have been a one-two punch akin to getting hit with bricks in the face. Unfortunately, it appears a more rigorous volley awaits.

If this country is to rise and transcend, its citizens best wake up and contend with the crises and miscreants at hand. It will be a shame if we allow these things to “happen to it.” From within.

Love one another.

Clay Rivers
OHF Weekly Editor in Chief


White Supremacy Always Deals from the Bottom of the Deck

Photo by Ryan Moulton on Unsplash

Typically, I write about the interpersonal relationships between people of different ethnicities, how love–practiced according to Christ’s definition–can solve the world’s problems, and sometimes I write about my observations about current event. But this post is different; it is an open letter to a respondent to my “SCOTUS Gone Amok” article.

I sat down with my thoughts after I read the reply and jotted down my thoughts. When I finished, I realized my response was much too long to post in three, four, or five comment boxes.

But I suspect the respondent's points might be widely held and thus warrant addressing publicly. Some of you may be put-off by the title. I’m fine with that. You are more than welcome to sit this one out.

For those willing to read on, simply eat the fish and spit out the bones. But don’t come at me with, “ . . . not all white people.” If you do, I will find you and douce you with a venti Mocha Frappuccino.

Of course, you know I’m kidding. I’d never waste a Mocha Frappuccino. A pie pan full of whipped cream? Yes. A perfectly good Mocha Frappuccino? Never.


Dear [Name Redacted],

I don’t think you’re even partially aware of how you sound at this moment. Truly, I don’t. There’s no way on Earth you could.

Please, don’t refer to us “blacks.” Doing so objectifies people of the African diaspora, and makes you look uninformed. And while I’m sure that was not your intent, the negative impact remains. Personally, I prefer to use “Black” as an adjective or descriptor in conjunction with nouns like “people,” “folks,” “community,” “peeps,”—anything affirming that recognizes the inherent humanity of a group of people. Never as a noun.

We, Black people (remember, not “blacks” and definitely not “the blacks”), as a whole, do not throw up our hands and accept defeat. We do not accept defeat regardless of the placement of our hands. We never have. And we never will. Exhibit A: Black folks are still and will always be a vital, vibrant, and impactful presence in this land that does not love us as much as we love it.

If you’re going to quote me, please, quote me in context. My original sentences follow. Note I’ve also added bracketed text for the contextual parts that are for the most part common knowledge, which unfortunately you seemed to have missed:

“What it [Affirmative Action] did was lessen the impact of prejudice and implicit bias [specifically, the rejection of Black, Indigenous, and applicants of Color due to overt and subconscious implicit bias held/practiced by institutions and individual decision-makers involved] in the college admission process that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [uniquely] experience by making room for qualified applicants [the same aforementioned Black, Indigenous, and Applicants of Color] who otherwise would be turned away because of the color of their skin.

Read the complete article at OHF Weekly.


SCOTUS Gone Amok . . . as Planned and Purchased

Supreme Court of the United States portico. Photo by Jesse Collins on Unsplash.

With today’s ruling that essentially strikes down Affirmative Action, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has demonstrated to America the white supremacist principles to which they are beholden. Once again, the SCOTUS has shown People of Color in general, and Black people in particular, the naked disdain they are more than willing to exercise against us. And once again, the cries that Black Americans need to rise up fill the air.


Racial equity in the United States will never come to fruition solely as a result of the efforts of Black Americans. Why is it so hard for some people to realize this? When you get down to the crux of the matter, there can only be two answers:

  1. They’re content with the hastening trend to further denigrate Black folks in America, or
  2. See No. 1.

Read the complete article at OHF Weekly.

On America

Hope Amidst Hopelessness

By William Spivey

More than a few words on the state of our union. William Spivey examines the somewhat shocking and provocative way James Baldwin suggest we deal with racial inequity and oppression in America.

Hope Amidst Hopelessness
James Baldwin saw the good and the evil in America. He knew the answer didn’t lie in fixing Black people when he wrote: “We cannot be free until they are free.”

“Patriots in Heart and Song”

By Ben Lane

The prolific composer of sacred music, musician, and friend Ben Lane reviews the ties between our national anthem, patriotism, and stated and seemingly little-known purpose of the Statue of Liberty.

Patriots in Heart and Song
Singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” caused me to wonder if we actually have the courage to strive together toward common hopes and aspirations.

“What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?”

By Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass’s work should be required reading for all who would take up the mantle of ally. Now, 171 years later, Douglass’s words are still applicable today.

What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?
The text of abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman Frederick Douglass’s July 5, 1852, speech in his hometown of Rochester, New York.

Final Thoughts

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