On a lot in Beaumont, Texas there is an empty chair. It symbolizes the fact that the chair needs to be filled and someone needs to be seated there. It inspires the recollection of a vision of building a home on the lot. That home will have a large entertainment room with a big screen television to watch the Oakland Raiders.
Sometimes when I read the Oakland Raiders B/R page, I peruse the profiles to determine how many ladies, young and old are active writers on it.
Obviously, when I read the names and see the profiles of the writers, it seems that the voices of the men in the Raider Nation are more audible than those of the women. More chairs with women of the Raider Nation need to be filled.
Why aren't there more women expressing their opinions, forecasts, views and creative input on the Oakland Raiders B/R page? Perhaps they are and their pen names veil their true identity.
A lot of comments use "guy" and "man" with no care to examine who the writer is. Since my main purpose is to have my voice heard and to learn more about this great team that has been challenged over the past seven years, I simply ignore any errors that may be made. I simply smile or write LOL.
My mission is bigger than you can imagine. The confidence that my vision will manifest itself is a sure thing in my mind.
Don't we want diversity on the B/R website? Don't we want to hear from more people in the Raider Nation? Is there something subtle and covert that is driving people away from using an opportunity to have a voice? Hasn't Al Davis taught us lessons on diversity by modeling and making choices that promote diversity?
Well, the same determination and fortitude that we expect the Oakland Raiders to have we must also have. We have to be present, audible and write what we think.
Does what we write have to be perfect? No. Does what we write have to follow the pattern of the mainstream? No.
Does what we write have to concur with the thoughts of others? No, not always.
The poem "Autumn Wind" expresses the creative and powerful approach of people in the Raider Nation and on the Oakland Raiders.
I write using a pen name, Damali Binta. It is a name I selected when I started writing years ago. It means, "beautiful vision." Lately, I have added, "Yael" which means "strength."
Now, what do you think the Oakland Raiders need to reclaim their glorious position in the NFL? They need strength.
From what source might that strength come? We all have different answers. Your answer will be in accordance with your definition of what it means to be strong.
In my opinion, strength means to not waver, to not wobble, to be stable, sure-footed, keen, clever, determined, focused, steadfast and unmovable, accurate, excellent and on and on.
Some of the B/R writers show their strength through their opinions and writing. Our hope, I believe, is to impart that strength, that steady pursuit of excellence, to the young Oakland Raiders in 2011 and beyond.
There are those who don't believe that the team is growing strong. There are others, however, who unequivocally hold fast to an expectation of more victories in 2011.
Join those of us who are steadfast in our belief in the Oakland Raiders. Fill the seats in front of the laptops, radios and televisions. Fill the seats in the stadiums. Fill the seats on the parking lots at the tailgate parties!