It was a hot 3rd of July, 1971. A twenty-four year old man lays unconscious on the cell block floor in the basement o 300 Indiana Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. – many would say so what! Well, this man was a police officer, D.C.’s Finest. Just two weeks earlier while on routine patrol, this very same officer was hailed as a hero for detecting smoke bellowing out of a window in an apartment building at 5th and O Street N.W..
As he leaped from his scout car, he popped his trunk and with blanket in tow, entered the two story apartment building and actually put one vagrant out of fire with that blanket -- saved nine children ranging in age from one to eight years in age and one adult male as well as two other vagrants. Rumors of The Medal of Honor were abound and rightfully so.
That officer by-the-way was – James A. Bethel, Jr., pictured above -- the singer, voice impressionist, artist, inventor, athlete, youth motivational speaker and now retired detective and President and CEO of Edna Products.The bible tells us in Luke 12:48 KJ version; "for unto whomsoever much is given, much is required".
"I would’ve told my side of the story a lot sooner but to be honest – it hurts sometimes to talk about it -- to this very day. I will say though, that I held my head high then and spoke my mind but I refused to hold my head high for a mugshot (LOL) and that's why I laid unconscious on the floor; it was all the result of two men in a verbal confrontation gone bad. Unfortunately that man was my white racist superior who ordered that I be arrested, suspended and handcuffed for no reason and treated like a regular prisoner. That's all I'll say about that. I forgave my suppressors but God didn't; many felt his wrath by, death, traffic accidents with injury, traffic fatality and advanced syphilis -- didn't take God long either! Some asked for my forgiveness."
I was suspended for over three years. I worked as a McDonald’s Manager while on suspension and was approached by a man after a managers meeting where we exchanged marketing ideas for a Washington Redskin Promotion -- he described me as a marketing genius. He owned the marketing company Needum, Harper and Steer. They did marketing for McDonald’s. “Audit my class at Howard University, where I teach marketing and I’ll hire you at $24,000.00 a year, this was 1972-73. If you don’t do this you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.” Well, I didn't listen to him -- BIG MISTAKE!
That man was Dane Needum of DDB Needum -- the second or third most successful marketing company in the world the last time I checked and yes I regret it every day. I’ve been through a lot and he knew that I’d be the smorgasbord for intellectual property thieves. My concepts, patents and trademarks have been used by many and I’ve learned that they’re worthless unless you have the money to defend them.
I was the first to trademark, ‘Yes We Did’ as soon as I heard, then candidate Obama’s slogan of ‘Yes We Can.’ However, others used it and coupled with the fact that I couldn’t afford to cover all basis like books etc.—there are four books out with that title including President Obama’s and other items. Usually the patent office and the wealthy are the only winners. Other winners of my works or inability to defend are, Md. State Lottery, Free Credit Report.com, numerous BBQ Grill Makers Charcoal Companion and more.
My biggest heartbreak came when I patented the Football Shaped BBQ Grill to support my mother, Edna Dyke after whom I named my company. She had a massive stroke and wouldn't you know it -- the patent was infringed and caused immense financial suffering and setback. Patents are nothing in this country unless you can afford to defend them. The American Dream hasn’t been for everyone but that’s about to change. I've been the smorgasbord for big business for too long and was awakened from my sleep one night after a heated argument with my Lord and Savior -- he loves to be challenged by-the-way!
I'd grown impatient with God and asked for a sign after explaining how frustrated I was with a system that brags about the American Dream but blocked everything I'd ever done and used it for their own financial gain. We love you Lord I prayed but -- where are you? Give me a sign to at least let me know you hear me or care. I was awakened at approximately 3am by a firm touch on the shoulder and when I opened my eyes I saw a white robe before me -- since I wasn't alone I said OK and turned over thinking it was my wife because I'd fallen asleep on the couch -- but I quickly turned back around and the robe was gone. My questions have been answered and my steps ordered -- I've received the blessing and know my purpose in life.
Project Safe Hands is just the first of many. Everything seems geared to safety and helping people, feeding the hungry and much more. The system -- especially the justice system, promotes shootings of citizens by putting officers on paid vacations. It takes 6 months to 17 mths. on average to investigate a police involved shooting. This gives an under paid officer a way to supplement his or her income and is precisely one of the main reasons for the National Anthem Protest. I'd like to use Safe Hands to honor good cops killed in the line of duty as well as the Wounded Warrior Project and wrongful death victims.
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