Power never takes a back step — only in the face of more power.

February 21, 2010

The first month that an independent franchisee association survives proves that franchisees are more powerful than any franchisor.

Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. You don’t need anything else.

Maybe a little help with tactics and training…

It symbolized hope when freedom was almost an impossible dream

January 14, 2009

kingmartinIt is a deep personal privilege to address a nation-wide Canadian audience. Over and above any kinship of U.S. citizens and Canadians as North Americans there is a singular historical relationship between American Negroes and Canadians.

Canada is not merely a neighbour to Negroes. Deep in our history of struggle for freedom Canada was the North Star. The Negro slave, denied education, de-humanized, imprisoned on cruel plantations, knew that far to the north a land existed where a fugitive slave, if he survived the horrors of the journey, could find freedom. The legendary underground railroad started in the south and ended in Canada. The freedom road links us together. Our spirituals, now so widely admired around the world, were often codes. We sang of “heaven” that awaited us, and the slave masters listened in innocence, not realizing that we were not speaking of the hereafter. Heaven was the word for Canada and the Negro sang of the hope that his escape on the underground railroad would carry him there. One of our spirituals, “Follow the Drinking Gourd“, [decoded] in its disguised lyrics contained directions for escape. The gourd was the big dipper, and the North Star to which its handle pointed gave the celestial map that directed the flight to the Canadian border.

So standing to-day in Canada I am linked with the history of my people and its unity with your past.

The underground railroad could not bring freedom to many Negroes. Heroic though it was, even the most careful research cannot reveal how many thousands it liberated. Yet it did something far greater. It symbolized hope when freedom was almost an impossible dream. Our spirit never died though the weight of centuries was a crushing burden.

Today when progress has abruptly stalled and hope withers under bitter backlashing, Negroes can remember days that were incomparably worse. By ones and twos more than a century ago Negroes groped to freedom, and its attainment by a pitiful few sustained hundreds of thousands as the word spread through the plantations that someone had been reborn far to the north.

Conscience for Change, Martin Luther King, Jr., The Massey Lectures, 1967


I live now in the house I was raised in and Midhurst is about 4 km away from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, on the corner of Line 3 Oro-Medonte Township and Old Barrie Road.

I grew up believing that it was the northern terminus of the underground railroad but I guess that was more local puffery.

Ontario, however, did draw many from the underground railroad.

The black settlement at Oro “was the result of government policy to settle Loyalist black refugees, who may have been escaped slaves, free men, or veterans of the War of 1812”  [County of Simcoe]. Even giving away 2,000 acres of free land could not overcome the God-forsaken swampy or stony soil. The only type of land farming that is successful is for aggregate (sand and gravel pits). The last black descendant packed up and left in 1949.

In 200 the church was designated a National Heritage Site and a 2003 plaque reads:


Built in 1849, this church is the last vestige of one of the oldest African-Canadian settlements in Upper Canada. Here at Oro, former members of the Loyalist militia from the War of 1812 established the only Black community sponsored by the government. Free Blacks from the northern United States later joined them. Located in the heart of a strategic and vulnerable region, the community guarded against an American invasion via Georgian Bay. This church is a testament to the contribution of African Canadians to the settlement and defence of Canada in the 19th century.

Sincere ignorance and Conscientious stupidity

July 21, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Trying to apply law to franchising’s woes is way, way beyond foolish. What you or I or a battalion of victims do is irrelevant because you’re trying to breathe air into a corpse.

  • The pain you feel is grieving. Wake yourself: Wake franchising.

Pain is mandatory in this life; suffering is optional. Thrash around as much as you like but know that others such as Kahlil Gibran have come before you. They have an understanding that is different from yours.

Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility: For this hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen…

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

Trickery succeeds sometimes, but it always commits suicide.

If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.

They have exiled me now from their society and I am pleased, because humanity does not exile except the one whose noble spirit rebels against despotism and oppression. He who does not prefer exile to slavery is not free by any measure of freedom, truth and duty.

This is the bitch: I had to do exactly as you are doing now to start to become detached. You may feel that you have to repeat this seemingly endless cycle of complaint/faux listening/movement/betrayal.

You are the way and the wayfarers. And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone. Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.

You can, however, stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before.

This is called progress in a civilized society.

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