October 29, 2014
Every human being is entitled to their own opinion, but that does not mean all opinions are always valuable. Anytime an idea is espoused as true, the speaker is making a faith-based assertion regarding their opinion. Less faith in the truth is required when facts are present in the argument. It is my desire to bring honest undisputed facts into the arena of conversation in an effort to substitute faith with certainty. The task is a difficult one because most issues that are circulating in our time are bombarded with agenda laden media pundits and outlandish conspiratorial hoopla. SperaSpeaks is a combination of my own personal opinion along with the opinions of strangers who are willing to speak to me in front of a camera: giving honest feedback on their “opinions” of today’s issues.
My latest endeavor took me to Chicago, Illinois for the National Lawyers Guild Convention. The event was crowded with intelligent passionate activists discussing a wide variety of issues. For the purposes of my YouTube channel I decided to focus my attention on the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. I spoke to many individuals who actually went to Ferguson to observe the protests shortly after the shooting.
Another major topic, outside of what I covered in my video, was what they called the “school to prison pipeline.” The argument goes like this: kids are graduating high school and end up going straight to prison or juvenile detention. The NLG argues that incarceration is no way to treat the issue of teenage criminals. Instead, a system of further education must be available to the youth in order to keep them out of a jail system that is becoming more of a revolving door than a rehabilitation center. One gentleman I spoke to was Clair Anderson who was formerly incarcerated because of his activities as a Black Panther in Chicago during the 1960s’. His opinion was that the school to prison pipeline does not go far enough because minorities are targeted for incarceration at birth, rather than just after graduation. Regardless of where the unjust imprisonment begins, it is clear there is a serious problem with the prison industrial complex in our generation, particularly with regard to minorities.
Among many other significant and intriguing social issues being discussed at the convention, the atmosphere was light and welcoming. Attendees gathered at local bars and clubs to relieve the insurmountable stress of social subjugation. With a little alcohol in our systems opinions became loose and honest and ranged from gender inequality to Apple’s use of slave labor. The experience was rewarding and intellectually satisfying. My opinions have grown and become more concrete because of my visit to the NLG, and hopefully I can bring some of that clarity to my viewers and readers. For more information on my column and videos, please visit my youtube channel @SPERASPEAKS.