Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Both men lived in racially and politically charged times in American history; a dangerous time where they were under the scope of aforementioned media, the public, CIA and the FBI. To use Jsmooth's words I'm being "Extras suspicious of a government that has a history of being crazy paranoid". Yet for Malcom X, a man who in his youth experienced violence (his fathers' murder) and knew that his own life was in danger said to his friend "Ain't nothing wrong with keeping your cool". The other master of nonchalance living in the same racially and politically charged time was Martin Luther King. He too advocated keeping your cool in the face of the opposition which in his case was people like George Wallace, a lot of the south, CIA, and the crazy paranoid FBI. Both of these men lost their lives to assassination.
So when I see Oregon University senior and Running Back LaGarrette Blount not keeping his cool to the point where he punched an opposing player ( On national television) after the game was over and then needed to be restrained by the police as he made a Ron Artest charge towards raucous fans I can't help but wonder what ever happened to that keep your cool philosophy with this generation. It seems to have them missed them completely.
Black men like Martin and Malcom faced adversity that you and I will probably never have to face because of their personal sacrifices (their lives) yet there has never been footage or pictures of either them loosing control and hitting some one. Trust me that would have been in every American history book, documentary and movie ever made about either of them if they had.
Not only has Blount been suspended for the season he also may have hurt his chances in the NFL draft. In in one moment of unchecked emotion Blount has put everything in jeopardy just like Ron Artest did when he charged the crowd at Auburn Hills and attacked a fan. When coach Mike Singletary was the interim coach for the Sanfrancisco 49'rs and one of his players responded to the taunts of an opposing player and got flagged by the refs Singletary kicked that player off the field and his now famous post game rant about not being able to coach players who put themselves before the team has been seen by every sports fan in the country numerous times.
Maintaining your cool is not only a philosophy for black activists and football coaches but also for black men period. We don't have the luxury of loosing control and being given the same benefit of the doubt that others get. When the black man looses his cool, he losses everything including his freedom and in some cases his life. For black men who survive their blown cool moment lies a even harder path to walk down than the one laid before them by simply being born black in America. While I'm sure Blount will eventually come back and one day joke about this moment the same way Ron Artest has; those of us who will never be star athletes will only have hurdles to jump as try to rebuild reputations and our lives in the blown cool aftermath if were lucky enough not to end up in jail or six feet under.
One last thing
The fat guy in the Pistons jersey that threw the cup at Ron Artest face and set him off got banned from the Aubrun Hills. The opposing Boise State football player who needlessly provoked Blount after his team won the game needs to be punished too. What Blount did was wrong and I don't feel sorry for him but their needs to be punishment for both actions and not just one.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Lets' start with the Hip-Hop. You know I thought about blogging about this one for awhile but I was wrestling the the notion that maybe I was romanticizing the past. You know what I mean. Was I doing to rap in the 1990's what some white guys are still doing to America in the 1950's; remembering only the positive moments of a by gone era while glossing over negative ones. After all Hip-Hop in the 90's did have its ups and downs (Horror rap, Dj Scorpio, Vanilla Ice, ) but the Hip-Hop (I use that term loosely) that I hear on the radio sounds like only worst parts of rap and by that I mean the lowest common denominator as far as creativity is concerned has become the norm while more exceptional rap has become well...the exception. I swear to you it wasn't like that when I was in High school when you had rap music coming from almost every corner of the country. That includes the south by the way.
No I'm not in the anti Snap rap brigade (sorry Ghostface) though I have to admit I've been tempted to join. I heard enough of that brand working at my old in the after school program where we allowed the kids play their music. Some of was good but a lot of it with that "Ball with my white T" kind of rap style was grading on my ears. It was so formulaic and simplistic and I couldn't get down with it. I didn't want to admit it but Hip-Hop I knew was going the way of the Arsenio Hall Show; a one decade-only-bright-shining moment of brilliance (some not), creativity (some not), and most importantly rebellious (again some not). What happened? Where are the Public Enemies, EPMD's, the KRS-1's, the Special ED's. What about the Eric B's and Rakim's, Kool-G-Raps's, who's being inspired by them. Where are the NWA's (under a different name perhaps) MC 8's the West Side Connection's, who will pick up the mantle for them. I'm not looking for copy cats but heirs to the throne, descendants who have a similar sound. The Fugees, Jeru the Damaga (pronounced dah-meh-jah), the Heavy D's and the Kid n Play's where have they all gone?
As for the junk food. Is it me or have the powers that be; the same people who took the Birthers' America and my Hip-Hop taken the taste out my junk food too. The MSG, High Fructose Con syrup, the Trans Fats. All the shit that made the food what is was which is why we ate so much of it is gone. Only candy bars and Soda have yet to surrender their decadent die hard stance on being healthier kitty whipped versions of themselves. Just the other day I was eating Honey Nut Cheerios and even the sweet tasting cereal that served as a substitute has gone all whole grain. It doesn't' taste the same any more. Look I know we're trying to change but it wasn't just the food. It was our complete lack of discipline that was doing us in (still is). Our avarice for excess lead us to re-engineering our food so we could still consume it in the same mass quantities (We come from France; for those over 30) as we spend more time playing video games and surfing the web. Now my junk food has lost all its kick and the frontal lobe of my brain where the pleasure zone is (and every one else) no longer reacts the same way. I mean this...If the same shadow society that has stolen this country, my Hip-Hop, and my junk food comes anywhere near Krispy Kreme I'm moving to Canad with Stephen Baldwin.
As for my flash card well my bedroom needs some tidying up and that's usually when I find things I'm looking for so...its here somewhere.
Couple of things. I know there is good rap music out there now, Young Jeezy, Kanye West, Tanya Morgan, Marco Polo Torrae, Lupe Fiasco just to name a few.
Hey Rip don't take it personally.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
There is however on every side of every argument people who cheer or cry out against one side or the other who don’t fully understand what it is they’re arguing for or against. These people are like Chicken Little.
For those of you who don’t remember Chicken Little it was story about a fox who knows there is a bunch of gullible chickens and turkey’s in yard locked behind a really high fence. The lock is on the inside and fox can’t get in. One day Chicken Little takes walk out side the safe confines of the yard and gets hit by an acorn. He believes the sky is falling and tells all the other not so smart farm fowl a plot for a movie staring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck. The fox who wants to eat the birds over hears him and begins to hatch a plan. Since neither Chicken little or the other birds have ever done much traveling outside the yard or reading up on woodland predators and they don’t’ know what a fox is otherwise they would have never trusted him and got ADT for that fence. The fox smooth talks the gullible yard birds into believing that the sky really is falling and they are all doomed but never fear he has a cave that they can all take cover in. Chicken Little halls but back to the yard and tells everyone that the sky is falling and we’re not safe here and just at that moment an apple falls from a near by tree causing the dim witted birds to panic and they make straight for the fox’s totally non suspicious sanctuary that’s far away from the yard where no one can hear them…what could possibly go wrong? Well everything, the yard birds find themselves in dark dank cave (a domain of evil it is) waiting for an Armageddon that never happens only to be easy pickens for a fox ravaged with hunger. They all get devoured by the sly fox and the moral of the story is THINK FOR YOUR DAMN SELF OR QUESTION YOUR SOURCE OR QUESTION AUTHORITY OR FOR GOD SAKE GET THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL!
The point I’m arriving to is this when I see SOME of the people attending these town hall meetings with their poster of President Obama with the Hitler mustache and cries of Nazism and the fall of Democracy Chicken Little seems less like a quirky fable more like a dark foreboding warning about the dangers of Group Thinking.
What is Group Thinking you asked?
Groups Thinking is Sociology Term used to describe how normally smart rational adults can be swayed into thinking and agreeing with something that’s wrong. Basically its adult peer pressure. Remember the Challenger Space Shuttle accident that took the live of all the astronauts including the school teacher who was making history for the first time being a civilian's first flight. I was in the fifth grade when that tragedy happened and years later I found as many did that there was at least one space shuttle engineer who alerted NASA to the danger of the faulty O-Rings but was brow beaten into co-signing on green lighting the launch even though he knew something might go wrong. He followed along for the sake of not being cast out by his peers and…well we know how the rest of the story went.
That’s right even the smartest, most logical people in our society( rocket scientist fry crying out loud ) can fall victim to the follower mentality so we should not be surprised to see this...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
For starters good for Chris Matthews for getting after him abou bringing a gun to Health Care debate. This shit is getting a little out of hand and I can't but wonder is this was Bush and there was somebody in the crowd with gun would security have allowed him to stick around.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Once again I was on was searching my usual websites and I found a video clip from a public speaker by the name of Tim Wise whom some of you may now. Mr. Wise gives 59 min lecture on racism, white privilege and how we are all regardless of race are affected by it.
A lot to think about till next time
Monday, July 27, 2009
So while surfing the web I checked out World Star Hip-Hop because you never know what craziness will be on there. There was a video clip from CNN that caught my attention simply it’s of the most bizarre things I have ever seen. There is a car dealership in Kansas City that is giving vouchers for AK-47 if the customer buys a truck. it's promotional sale they've done before except last year it was hand guns.
For starters I 'm not a theologian but I don't think Jesus would've have carried a hand gun much less a AK-47. The second amendment was written when the biggest gun you could have owned at the time was musket that had to loaded with powder, then the bullet before being fired each time and even if you were proficient at doing that you could still only kill one person at a time. AK-47 is a military grade weapon made for open combat situations were there is no law enforcement to provide assistance.
Yes I believe in the 2ND Amendment too but with in reason; owning a hand gun, shotgun, or a hunting rifle should be more than enough for any man. Given the recent down turn in the economy, unemployment on the rise, and hate crimes on the rise are more semi automatic weapons on the streets a good idea? No no no, even good law abiding people can snap and having readily available AK-47 could be more of a curse than a blessing.
As for the if only they had a gun they could have stopped the tragedy before happened argument; owning a gun is not the same thing as owning Lion-O's Sword of Omens it will not give you sight beyond sight to see that something bad is about to happen. Unless that man the car dealer is talking about had been siting in his chair with the AK-47 pointed at his door waiting like Bud in his trailer waiting for Uma Thermon in Kill Bill Volume 2 more than likely the same tragic event would have taken place.
Ask the family of Vernon Forest who was killed Saturday night after being robbed for his wallet by a man at a gas station and proceeded to chase after that man if owning a gun was a good idea. He was approached by a stranger who asked him is he had any money and Vernon pulled out his wallet only have it stolen by the stranger. Vernon had his gun; you know the gun that should have given him the foresight to pull that out instead of his wallet. Vernon chased after the suspect and fired a shot but when he turned his back he got shot several times by multiple assailants. If you go by the logic and reasoning of that car dealer in Kansas City, Vernon just possessing a gun should have protected him and his belongings. He should probably still be alive because he had gun to protect him. No I'm sorry it just doesn't work like that; in the wake of Vernon Forest death along with many others I wish it did.
My foresight is telling this is a bad idea; I understand the dealer ship is trying to sell cars but how about grocery voucher instead a voucher for a fire arm. I'm pretty sure in this economy a lot of people would like to save some money on their food shopping.
(I go over my blogs many times before I post them but I'm only human so please excuse my errors)
Saturday, July 25, 2009
On Wednesday night while the President was giving an address about Health Care Reform a reporter asked him about the incident. He stated he had some bias because he knows Gates personally and anyone (of any color) would be upset to have police officers accuse them of breaking in their own home even more show after presenting ID that proves they live there. The president also stated that he wasn’t there but from what heard the police acted “Stupidly”.
The president caught flack from a lot of conservative radio (wow what a surprise) and 24 hour TV news pundits who felt that he shouldn’t have said anything. He even caught flack from everyone’s favorite TV dad Bill Cosby who said he needed to “Shut up”.
They all seemed to have a problem with Barrack using the word “Stupidly”, even I think that were a few others words he could have used in its place that would worked just fine. Illogically, irrationally, and hastily come to mind. Those are softer more diplomatic words I might have used to describe how the police acted.
There was something else though; something that I noticed about some of the conversations got on my nerves. There were number of people who said the same thing over and over again. Barrack wasn’t he doesn’t know happened so how can he speak about something he didn’t’ see?
Well there were only two black people on the scene at the time of the arrest; Henry Louis Gates and one the three police officers.
Obama wasn’t there, I wasn’t there, and any black person reading this blog wasn’t there but we’ve all been there. What happened to Gates was hot news but it wasn’t new. A lot of black and brown people have heard this story because a lot of them have a story with the same main theme. The theme is racial profiling; it’s when law enforcement of any kind from police to mall security treat people like suspects before they committed a crime based solely on their skin color or ethnic background. Here is a video that I think illustates this point.
Now I wasn’t in that park playing ball with those kids either but I know exactly how it feels to be playing ball with other kids and have the cops harass us because they think were up to something because its similar to something me and my friends experienced in our neighborhood one time. A lady called the cops on us because she thought were ganging up on somebody when the truth was were picking teams for a half court pick up game. Two police officers showed up and one of them had nasty attitude. When they realized nothing bad was going down he and his partner let us be but by then we were so mad we didn’t want to play ball anymore. It's something a lot of young black men experience and apparently some older black people too.
It is an angry feeling to be treated in negative way becasue you're percieved as being a criminal.
Normally I try not to write as if I’m speaking for all of black America because I don’t want to contribute to the stereotype that we all think alike because we don’t. I will make in exception in this case because I know that every black person I know, don’t know, related to, and not related to have a story about a negative encounter with the police where in which they felt they were being treated unfairly based on the color of their skin. These stories are infused into the collective DNA of every black person in this country much like the stories of slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow. I haven’t experienced those things either but these stories and memories have been passed down to me by my family.
Side note; I have a theory as to why movies like Rosewood and Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored don’t do as well as say movies like Friday and Madea’s Family Reunion. It’s because we as black people have heard about all the pain and suffering from our kinfolk all our lives. We’ve heard about violence, hatred, and the overall struggle so much that when movies about this particular subject matter are made we don’t want to go see it because we can easily turn to those same kinfolk and they will a happily share their history with us. I’m not saying it's right but I can understand why we as a people won’t pay for a movie ticket for something we can get for free.
Anyway to my fellow white Americans who may not understand this; when it comes to racial profiling even if it’s only a perception I’m in that story, president Barrack Obama before he became president is in that story, every black and Latino male is in that story whatever that story maybe. We’re all in that story because it can happen to anyone of us regardless of class, or level of education. Our skin color only tells one part of our collective story and while a lot of people including police officers know there is more to that story there some who only see the cover and act on what they think the rest of the story is because they too have a history infused in their DNA. A story that tells them that certain people should be treated a certain way according to color, ethnicity, or how low their jeans are hanging (pull ‘em up guys) and that story needs to be changed.
No I wasn’t there but it’s a story that’s sounds awfully damn familiar.
( I read over my blogs several time before I post them but I'm only human please excuse my errors)
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It was an unfortuanate incident that at least to me quiets all the talk I've heard about this post racial world we live in now that we have a black president. Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. teaches at Harvard and his known for his studies race in america. He's an author, a father, and has no prior record to speak of. Despite all of that he was coaxed out of his home and arrested by Cambridge police. He spent the weekend in jail but luckily for Gates he has the friendship and respect of many people in high places so he made some calls and got out of jail. Gates is in a luxurous postions a postion he earned but a luxurious postion nonethe less. Most black men in that situation would probably still be in jail.
Racial profiling is alive in well in America even in the age so called age of Obama. What the professor experienced is something that has happened to far too many black and latino males in the country. You can try deny it if you want to, alot of people will was part fo thier over all defense of lawenforcement in this country. Now for the sake of fareness and because I've know a few police officers in my time I firmly beleive that most police officers are good honest men and women who want fo enforce the law fairly and with compassion. There his however a small percentage that seep through that have preset notions about minorities based in racial stereotypes. Those particular offiecers of the law when thier actions prove so need to be weeded out not just for the sake and safety of black, latinos and poor whites but also for the sake police community relations.
The fact is there is crime in all of our neighborhoods, especially in these hard economic times where desperate men are more prone to commit crimes and we need police officers to work with all our communities to prevent and discourage crime. To quote the late Tupac Shakur "Them same crime white people are affraid of black people are affraid of". Law abiding black and latino citizens want to raise thier kids in safe and neihborhoods and be able to take trips knowing that thier homes and property will be relatviely safe. They also want to be able to come back to thier homes and not be arrested by police officers for what I call LNNWB, living in a nice neighborhood while black.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Let’s tart with my favorite Black Republican Michael Steele the Chairman of the RNC. The Abbot of appeasement was speaking at the Young Republicans Convention in Indianapolis. Someone actually recorded an exchange between Michael Steel and some young Republicans and of course like so many things nowadays it was up on YouTube for all to see and hear. When asked by a young person about his plans for more diversity and inclusion in the Republican Party Michaels Steels response was and I quote “My plan is to say Y’all come cause a lot of you are already here, I got the fried chicken and potato salad”. Here video so you can have the full context.
"Fried chicken and potato salad" you said?
Look I’ve gotten nothing against Michael Steele personally. Like I said before he is an appeaser; he wants the Republican Party to be more inclusive but my problem with that is at what cost. The answer is we may already know cost. The cost he’s paying is his self respect which is a high price for any man to pay. The sad thing is he doesn’t seem to mind paying that cost and I have to believe it’s because he so single minded in his cause it’s blinded him to just how bad he looks when says things like this.
I had a certain amount of respect for Michael Steele before this year because I feel like we need black people on both sides of the political isle. However, when Michael Steele back downed in the face Rush Limbaugh I lost a lot of respect for that man.
I mean I already found his positioning as the Chair of the RNC to be suspect it timing with Barrack Obama becoming the first black president. My suspicions we’re well founded when in my opinion RNC real Chairman Rush Limbaugh vocalized his hopes for Barrack’s failure as president. Steele called him out on this he quickly learned who is really in charge of the Republican Party when Limbaugh punk'd him on his radio show. Michael apologized instead of standing up for himself and the party he wants so much be more inclusive. So his whole fried chicken and potato comment doesn’t surprise me but does solidify what I’ve thought black republicans like Michael Steele for some time.
If you think I’m off base about this I was listening to the Russ Parr Morning show while driving to school a week after the Michael Steele vs. Limbaugh controversy and even Armstrong Williams called out Steele for puking out to Limbaugh and you know it’s bad when Armstrong Williams who is a black man one of the more well know staunch supporters of the Republican party is more indignant about Rush Limbaugh than Michael Steele.
Then there is Martellus Bennett Tight End for the Dallas Cowboys. Apparently he has a video he and his brother on YouTube called the Black Olympics showing he and his brother participating in such events as speed fried chicken eating. He also had a watermelon eating contest with his bother also based the speed of the consumption. Thanks Martellus; thanks for reinforcing century old racial stereotypes; not that you seem to understand that.
Yes it would seem that neither Michael Steele or Martellus Bennett have had enough black history or American history to understand why their respective words and actions are so rooted in the worst racial stereotypes this country has to offer. Now obviously there is an age difference between Steele and Bennett is 22 years old ands as some one who’s worked with young people 10 years my junior or younger I can say from personal experience he’s not alone when it comes to not understanding that for mentioned history and why videos like this one are so offensive.
Michael Steele on the other hand is 50 and has to remember experiencing or at the least hearting about acts of racism and the stereotypes that accompanied it. He should know better than the 22 year old than to make a bad joke out of it but like I said before he's blinded by his own cause.
Both of these black man seperated by age, up bringing, and profession lost someting along the way like sohave as strive acceptance when we should working toward empowerment.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
One of the main pluses is being thin is it's a good way to become more attractive to the opposite sex. Yes ladies I’m single. I’m single for a lot of reasons; some of those reasons I can’t do much about right about now but some I can do something about. Weight loss is one of them. Hey you look better you fee better; you have more confidence. That confidence makes you more sure footed and thus more out going thus more attractive.
Being confident gives you that glow; not that Soul Glo mind you but Last Dragon glow. I want that glow.
I’ve never told anyone this before but I have often imagined my self coming out the trenches of the war of the sexes waving my own white flag of surrender. I have a megaphone in my hand and I state my terms assuring all the young women of the world that they won’t have to worry about the Big J being the bugga-boo who can’t take the Las Vegas neon light glaring sign hint that says ”Kick rocks we’re not feeling you”. I turn back to the men in the trenches; the players, pretty boys, muscle dudes, and the tech guys and I salute them and encourage them to press on with without me. I grab my bag, my laptop, a hot pocket and I do the David Banner leaves town routine off into the distance.
Ladies please don’t misunderstand I’m not mad at cha (Ebonics) I understand. I may not be what you want but I remain the hardcore gentlemen none the less.
E.G. (Example Grande)
In order to kick this inaugural blog off the right way I thought a little back history was in order.
I was born by the river…no I wasn’t I was born in at the FT. Bragg hospital in Fayetteville North Carolina. My father who is no longer with us was in the military when he met my mom; they were married seven years before I was born. Doctors told my mother that she was past a certain point in her life where having another child was possible. Luckily for my parents that diagnoses didn’t stop them from trying. I guess you can say I was a miracle baby; a few months after my arrival my father was transferred to Ft. Ord in California. Ft. Ord is northern California twenty minutes outside Monterey. I’m a Military brat; I was lived and move from Cali back to Virginia where I spent the majority of my youth.
By the way I thought about Vlogging all of this; I have the means to do so but after watching jsmooth’s latest video on illdoctrine.com and his take on Michael Jackson (may he rest in peace) and the whole video media personal validation thing I find myself wrestling with posting any vlogs though I won’t totally rule it out.
So Where was I ah yes I grew up in the suburbs of northern Virginia. I went elementary and high school there along with some junior college and more than a few odd jobs. Those jobs included Barber shops, Dishwasher, Office Clerk. I’ve done some volunteer work and even two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA in an afterschool program.
I’ve traveled a lot; I’ve seen a lot of the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and some parts of Europe too. I’ve have been fortunate enough to meet a lot of different people from all over the world.
I was a published poet at the age of 26. I’ve been published over 12 times and I have even had two songs made out my poems. I’m a writer who’s currently attending school. For those ladies who may be reading this you’ll be happy to know I’m single but you will probably run for the hill when I tell I still live at home. My father passed away from a heart attack eleven years ago and I’ve been looking after my mom ever since. I have an older sister, two nephews, a niece, two grand nieces and a brother-in-law still living in Maryland. There is a lot more but those are tales to be told later.
What I would like to do is expand on thoughts I usually have to cut short on Eurweb or my twitter and post them on my own personal blog. This is just my point of view; I'm not speaking for an entire group of people though I would like to believe I represent for my people with my own point of view. I read alot of these blogs and I feel (self servingly enough) my voice is different based on my upbringing. I have a few thoughts to share and if you don't mind a little reading I have a point of view you may not have read before.