Harassment is never cool

This is typically one of the greatest months headed into the holidays and the end of the year. While it has had its ups, it definitely is still 2020.

Especially with a certain pandemic and election still going on.

It seems with both of this, people are feeling awfully bold about being disrespectful and harassing to others. Ok everyone isn’t registered nor going to vote. Nope everyone still isn’t going to wear a mask nor maintain 6 feet of social distance.

What doesn’t work is continuing to berate, bully and bug folks about it also. I’m unsure who thought it was a good idea to make cold calls and send texts at 10pm on a weeknight about voting, but they need their tails whipped. Also, there are ways to politely and firmly ensure folks are being safe and complaint. Being a bully or a douchebag will only make things worse. Police know they can’t get onto everyone constantly about speeding and having their seat belts on. Consistent and creative monitoring works best. Think of the Andy v the Barney approach.

Or better yet, that of SC senator hopeful Jaime Harrison. Win or lose, he has been the most relentless promoter and marketer of this entire election season. The best part is he has been visible and not overly aggressive, annoying and not harassing. People can laugh and embrace Harrison’s actions rather than be angered by them.

There are always more ways to skin a cat. Let’s see these out as we work to make each other safe and to achieve a common goal.

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes

The Greatest Month and keeping it great

Yeah October is supposed to be awesome. However Trump is dominating the headlines, giving the Proud Boys attention and my weekends are getting occupied.

We’re still in a pandemic but this feels more and more normal.

Fall, leaves changing, going to the mountains, Halloween, football, basketball and baseball. I’m voting early this Friday and I love the weather. I don’t need to let politicians that have very little bearing on my life control me.

I’m ready for all of the feels and to keep things clean, fun, and organized. It’s gonna be great!

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes

4th quarter

Well the final quarter of 2020 is upon us.

We still have the upcoming election, three of the major holidays of the year, Fall, and then Winter. Not to mention flu season along with COVID.

It seems while we are far from normalcy, many are adjusting well as the summer of torture is behind us and we have a chance for more optimism.

One should still be safe and careful regarding the pandemic. Don’t throw away your masks yet. Be positive and encouraging throughout this time.

Lastly continue to fight for what you believe in, love each other and remember it takes all of us to succeed in life in general.

I haven’t been on in a while due to positive changes in my life. I hope that will change and will drive hard towards the end of this weird 2020.

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes #BlackLivesMatter

Embracing the Black American experience

Note the double entendre.

Tomorrow is 9/11, Patriot’s Day. We all remember when and where we were on this tragic day. It has become a microcosm of what this entire year has been.

I wish that people would embrace the Black experience and have more sympathy as they did in the weeks following 9/11.

Many do not get why Blacks have a conflicted relationship with the country and patriotism. America, especially certain parts, has not been the best to most minorities. Blacks have been the latest target over the past few years.

To me, anyone that believes contrary is arguing with themselves. Period. There is no good excuse for inhumanity. Please educate yourselves,have these tough conversations and truly embrace your fellow Americans as you did shortly after 9/11.

Lastly we only need to force love and compassion on each other. Let blacks suffer and express themselves in constructive manners. Holidays such as 4th of July, Flag Day, and the National Anthem will then hold more weight then.

We have already had a 9/11 type of year. I’m unsure what else it’s going to take to get that we are all human beings and simply want to get treated as such.

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes #BlackLivesMatter

Salute to my females

I’ve been appalled the past month at not only how black women have been under attack, but women period.

We shouldn’t pick a month that’s a milestone for the 19th Amendment (women’s suffrage) or an occasion where a woman of color is on a major presidential ticket.

In the past month, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Beyoncé, Cardi B, Meg Thee Stallion, Lori Loughlin, and of course Kamala Harris have been catching Hell.

Now whether or not it’s warranted, I believe in attacking the character, rather than the person for being a female and not acting “like a woman should”. What chauvinistic man originated and kept this nonsense relevant?

Look I’m not going to pretend like I can relate to a woman, especially a black woman. They undergo so much grief daily and it’s tripled due to COVID. I just salute them and do the best I can to be a listening ear.

This is the classic case of not saying anything if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Please have more respect and cander. I even see this locally as mayoral candidate Steph Smith is basically not being considered now that she’s in a runoff against an older, white doctor with a sketchy reputation.

The truth is some people and communities have a preconceived notion about women. They think they cannot or should not lead.

My response to my sisters and queens is to continue shining, inspiring and striving. I will support and uplift you every chance I get.

#imjustdrew

Why equal representation matters

As I continue to do my part in fighting for racial equality, I’m seeing another microcosm that’s very important as well: equal representation.

This includes in Black-owned businesses, leaders, politicians, football coaches, and teachers.

Also if you’re reading this, please don’t say you’re colorblind and you don’t notice the color of the person nor the owners. You actually may not be prejudiced but others are.

Jane Elliott’s “Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes” experiment really brings this to light. Black people have gone without so much for so long, been dismissed and not well represented in certain aspects.

Listen here friends and associates: why do you think so many Blacks choose to send their children to HBCUs? Moreover, why do you think they want to move out of the South unless it’s Atlanta or Houston, or even to Canada? We as a race get tired of reminders and symbols such as the Confederate flag, Confederate memorials, not seeing yourself or your culture represented.

It shouldn’t have taken until the 90s to make MLK day a federal holiday, and it shouldn’t be 2020 and Juneteenth still isn’t one. There are layers to it and one should have their facts and knowledge together before trying to understand.

I’m with you, I love you even when you hate me or see me as a less of a person. Please understand my daily struggle, and try to think if you were placed in a situation where none of the businesses, teachers, leaders, etc, look like you and represent your culture. I’m willing to bet you would see color then and it would matter who owns the business then.

Time for another angle in #Schoolsinsessiondrew74

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes #BlackLivesMatter

Just Speak!

I just outlined in my STAR series on how to approach and effectively communicate with someone if they have been bothering or annoying you. This has to be done unless you are falling out completely with them.

We are seeing too many people’s true colors and a lot of people that are either afraid of saying the wrong thing or are waiting for the right opportunity.

Stop the wait! Be proactive not reactive. Nothing good will persist from letting the feelings marinate and allow you to become more angry. You’re not being honest with yourself and others and that is super unfair in itself.

I always like for folks to know where I stand with them. It’s called being honest and grown. If you struggle with that, then it’s harder for us to coexist.

Therefore, if you are that disgusted and frustrated with someone, let them know peacefully. Just speak out! Closed mouths don’t get fed and it will free you both!

#imjustdrew #fromdarknesstosunshine

Communication is too important and why

I have said for years that one of the downfalls in any successful relationship is lack of communication. If this fails, you’re setting yourself up for failure and disaster.

There are scores of different ways to communicate with folks and we have found more during the pandemic, including Zoom and TikTok.

Find a medium that you all can communicate on effectively. Everyone you link with has to be on the same page, no deviation.

You also need to make sure the message is properly conveyed and confirmed. Communicate with clear, easy to know details. Just get to the point and have all of the information together.

Talk to them early and often. Plan to communicate well. Keep records of emails, messages and texts. Receipts in this case are very important.

Also, never continue trying and learning how to effectively communicate. It’s always a work in progress, like working on the highway. You will get to know different people and no one communicates the same. Therefore, please don’t stop researching mediums to reach those that are most important to your daily lives.

#imjustdrew #fromdarknesstosunshine

5 years with Amazon, 25 years of employment overall.

Milestones are plentiful I celebrated my 5 years with Amazon this past Friday. This week marks 25 years that I have been employed period. I began working at my first job in 1995 at Hardees in Blacksburg, SC, cooking chicken.

The last quarter of century has saw me work for two other restaurants(McDonald’s, Shrimp Boat), at Winthrop University in a variety of roles and titles, and a 12 year stretch with The Robert Allen Group in Gaffney, SC.

The strange thing about all of this is that not only do I still carry the same lessons and values learned; I am actually still cool with many of my coworkers and former managers.

The latter doesn’t happen very often. I would attribute it to treating others like human beings, talking to people instead of at them, and maintaining a positive, hardworking attitude.

I can honestly say I like the current company and position I am in at Amazon. I look forward to more growth and whatever else life has in store for me. Things change in the world faster than careers and socks and I just want to soak it in and do the best job I can.

Thanks to all that played a small part the past 25 years!

#imjustdrew #fromdarknesstosunshine #scaredeyes

One of my driving forces

I saw something this week that took me back to a dark time and place in my life. It was still a driving force within and I didn’t realize why.

First of, you can read throughout both of my blogs how much I enjoyed my time at WU. I rode through an empty campus this weekend and reminisced over the great times I had there and how it made me into the man I am today.

I had a key happening to me that may seem small to others, but yielded large results.

You see, during that time, I had deep insecurities about my looks. I didn’t think women thought I was good looking or sexy enough. I wasn’t rich, athletic or in a fraternity. I was more embraced than I ever was in high school but I still had inner demons to fight.

Fast forward to a popularity contest that was had by a sorority. They had a calendar contest, had around 30 guys that people could place money in and vote for. Then the top 12 were chosen based on that money.

41 year old me knows that was silly then. 20 year old me felt excluded and even less valued because I wasn’t even asked. It was your classic “Mean Girls” type of stunt.

I certainly don’t think the sorority members did it to hurt feelings, especially them being 20 years old. But man that really hurt and lit a fire in me that burned for years. I wasn’t very confident but I knew I looked better and had more value that half of those guys that were chosen by a popular vote and money that resembles our election process today.

I never approached these ladies until recently and I didn’t use force nor anger. Too much time had passed, although I still felt some type of way when I saw that calendar again. I may not remember everything about my WU days, but I remember the feeling in my stomach I felt when I wasn’t chosen for that calendar. It took me back to my dark high school days and it made me feel undervalued.

Fortunately I don’t stay oppressed. I continued to work hard and excel as a student, person and man. The last two years of my college career saw me winning 2nd place in a men’s pageant, winning Homecoming King runner-up, becoming a renowned slam poetry artist, and the lead speaker at Winthrop’s Open House. I used that omission to fuel my remaining college years and the beginning of my professional career.

I look back to that moment 22 years later and what I have accomplished since then and I am extremely blessed. I turned pain and exclusion into triumph and continue to do so today. That’s how I got into the role I currently hold at work. I now advise and mentor others who are experiencing what that sorority made me experience in 1998.

Point being is, please treat others as you wish to be treated. Also, stay motivated to excel. Someone will value you and see your greatness. Remember Michael Jordan, JK Rowling, George Lucas and Oprah are many successful figures that experienced that pain. Use it to rise higher than ever before!

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes