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v44_jboneyAn old man once told me when I was real young, “If you want to hide something from a black person, just put it in a book.”

I used to always get mad when I thought about what he said, and I made it a point not to be someone who had something hidden from me because I didn’t read.

I would read the dictionary and the Bible from cover to cover, seeking to get as much knowledge and information as I could soak up. I was like a little sponge.

Reading was so much a part of my life that I was reading at a 5th grade level, while I was in Kindergarten. I got skipped from Kindergarten to 2nd Grade and reading remained a part of my daily regimen.

Looking back on my life, I have come to realize that if I would not have taken reading seriously, I would be ‘up the creek without a paddleright now.

The Bible says in the Book of Hosea 4: 6 (KJV), “My people perish from a lack of knowledge.”

It amazes me how folks are so easily deceived.

Folks believe stuff that is so far from the truth that it makes my head spin. YIKES!

I have been hearing stuff from folks who were told that someone told them that (a) the Republicans vote on November 6th and the Democrats vote on November 7th; or (b) they could vote online; or (c) they were going to receive a text message stating that they would get a special code that they would be able to use to vote from their cell phone; or (d) voting hours would be extended on election day until 11:59 pm to ensure those that can’t make it by the voting times can still vote. THIS IS NO LIE!!!!

I would continue on, but my head has started spinning.....oh my. My people perish!

It saddens me to see how many people are constantly hoodwinked and bamboozled, because they don’t read and research things for themselves.

The majority of people in the United States DON’T READ! They are used to be told what to do, where to go and why they should do it. That’s pure laziness.

Most people rely on television stations that run on a 24-hour news cycle to get their information and they treat it as the gospel. Many others rely on select sound bytes from the media; a media who feeds them information that they want them to accept or believe.

The media can be a powerful tool/weapon. It is no surprise how the media can shape people’s thoughts, opinions and actions. Take the Presidential race for instance. Prior to the first Presidential debate, the polls reflected President Obama trouncing Mitt Romney. All of a sudden, Romney “wins” the debate (based on what criteria, I’m not sure), and then Romney closes the gap....lol.

Check this out. If Romney was consistently losing in the polls, then folks would no longer give to his campaign, which means that there would be LESS money for advertising with the media. Political ads, especially in a Presidential election year, help news and media outlets make record profits and help them with sustainability until the next major election.

QUESTION: If you are informed and educate yourself, coupled with having a conviction about what you have learned and what you know, how can ANYONE sway you from that?

Could it be that you never knew what you thought you knew in the first place? Wake up and study for yourself.

Don’t take what I say or anyone else says at simple face-value. Go after knowledge and information for yourself. I want you to be equipped and empowered, in order to deal with every aspect of life and more importantly to educate others who may not be as knowledgeable about things as you.

We should be a village to help each other. Remember, as the United Negro College Fund has told us for years, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Jeffrey L. Boney is Associate Editor for the Houston Forward Times newspaper, a Next Generation Project Fellow and a dynamic, international speaker. Jeffrey is the Founder and CEO of the Texas Business Alliance and is an experienced entrepreneur and business development strategist. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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