Friday, July 31, 2009

Guest Blogger: Black & Blue: Racial Profiling by Eddie Blue-Eyes

[Editors Note: I wanted to have a serious discussion about racial profiling on this blog for some time now. That said, I couldn't have done as well with this topic as my brother from another mother Eddie Blue-Eyes of the blog [un]Common Sense. Added to this post is what I think to be a video of a very good discussion on this subject.]

The most dysfunctional aspect of the almost non existent national dialog on race is that it is almost always filtered through the narrow lens of individualism. This serves to leave out any discussion of practices rooted in centuries-long systemic racism that benefits whites and excludes people of color. In this way, the core issue of racism -- how it is deeply embedded in our social institutions -- is left out of any meaningful public discussion. In this way, the arrest of a prominent academic (in his own home) is seen only from an individual perspective, severed from its social context. Our national dialog on race is similar to communication in families plagued by addiction: no one dares speak about “Daddy’s problem” because of fear and shame. As in such families, a destructive dysfunction is maintained by its denial.

Conservatives contend that liberal indulgence has been the cause for black crime in America. This is utterly astonishing considering it has come after decades of a historically unprecedented increase in the incarceration of black Americans. A conservative-dominated era marked by efforts by legislators and courts to “get tough on crime” and drugs in the inner city. Those who read me are by now familiar with the sickening numbers: almost one in ten black men aged twenty-five to twenty-nine was in prison at the start of the twenty-first century, compared to one white in ninety. Between the mid 1980s and the mid 1990s, the number of black men sentenced to prison for drug offenses increased by more than 700 percent.

This conservative disconnect between the idea that blacks have been absolved of personal responsibility by guilt-ridden, namby-pamby liberals and the reality of nearly thirty years of increasing harshness to black offenders suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with the conservative argument.

There is.

The problem of black urban crime is arguably the ugliest, most emotional, aspect of the debate about race in America today. Beginning in the late 1970s and continuing on during the neoconservative ascension during the Reagan years (and accelerating during the 1990s), white and conservative commentators felt blacks lost the high moral ground. During this time the image of the brave little black girl walking up to a schoolhouse door in the face of jeering white crowds was replaced by fearsome (“wilding”) young black men coming down the street ready to take your wallet or your life. That transformation of black youth from victims of injustice to sociopathic predators fueled public policies that quietly reduced funding for education and other beneficial programs and funneled those resources into the service of creating a prison/ industrial complex historically unparalleled by any enlightened society.

Conservatives downplay racism (except, apparently, when it comes to appointing wise Latina women Supreme Courts judges) pointing out that victim surveys do show that victim of violent crime, including black victims, describe their perpetrators as being disproportionately black. Following this wave of research, many conservatives suggest that racism has nothing to do with the disproportionate number of black arrests. However, victim surveys cannot be legitimately be used to dismiss the fact that the criminal justice system is free of bias. They tell us nothing of how blacks are treated before incarceration, for example. More concisely, victim surveys alone cannot explain why the number of black men sentenced to prison for drug offenses increased by more than 700 percent in the ten-year period of 1985-1995, or why 80 percent or more of incarcerated drug offenders in seven states are black.

Recent research makes it clear that aggressive police behavior toward minorities cannot be explained away simply as a result of higher rates of black crime. A study of police stops of civilians in New York City, for example, done for the New York State attorney general’s office (Flynn, 1999), found that over a fifteen-month period in 1998 and 1999, blacks were stopped by police six times as often as whites were, and Latino/as, four times as often. Blacks made up about 25 percent of the city’s general population but 50 percent of the people stopped by the police. Whites made up 43 percent of the population but just 13 percent of civilians stopped by the police. Blacks were stopped considerably more than they were arrested, whites less so.

In fact, the scientific evidence on patterns of discriminatory police practices show that it is consistent and long-standing. Evidence from a variety of sources has shown for decades that such discrimination is systemic and widespread, even in police departments that are generally considered to be highly professional. Indeed, those discriminatory practices are not only tolerated but also frequently justified as good police work by the police themselves. Those practices, however, are often the initial steps in a process through which people of color, and minority youth of color specifically, are funneled into the maws of a criminal justice system.

In a classic observational study, markedly different treatment for black youth were found, even in departments widely known for the superior quality of its personnel. Especially minor offenses (situations where officers hold a great deal of discretion in deciding which actions to take) the police were much more likely to give blacks the tougher dispositions and less likely to release them outright. The researchers discovered that the most crucial factor in the police officer’s decisions was based on cues inferred from the youth’s character: “Older youths, youths with well-oiled hair, black jackets, Negroes, and soiled jeans... ” and boys who in their interactions with officers did not exhibit “what were considered to be appropriate signs of respect” tended to receive the most severe treatment and dispositions (Piliavin & Briar, 1964).

More recent work suggests that similar patterns prevail today, even after decades of efforts in some jurisdictions to improve the racial record of police. Newer research (Conley, 1999) reconfirms that black and Latino/a neighborhoods are more likely to be the focus of heavy police monitoring and surveillance to begin with, and that black and Latino/a youth are more likely to be defined by police as threatening and insubordinate, more likely to be stopped under various (and often false) pretexts, more likely to be arrested than to receive a warning, less likely to have charges dropped by the police (Human Rights Watch, 1996).

There is supportive evidence from some recent research that police are well aware of these racially structured practices but that they often defend them on one or more related grounds. On the one hand, police still operate under a peculiar form of circular reasoning that tends to reify the black stereotypes that were common over a generation ago. Since minority youth are more statistically more likely to be carrying weapons or dealing drugs on the street, the line of reasoning goes, why would police not concentrate their limited resources on them?

But the consequence of this reasoning, of course, is to exacerbate the very differences that are invoked to justify racially targeted practices in the first place. This in turn reinforces the public’s image of the gun-toting drug dealer or gang banger as black or Latino/a. And this confirms the validity of the police focus on youth of color, which then goes around and around in the same kind of vicious circle described in studies over forty years ago.

It’s all an exercise in tautology. In other words, By largely confining surveillance and searches to blacks and Latino/as, police authorities ensure that most of the people arrested for transporting guns or drugs on the freeways, for example, are black or Latino/a. This, of course, further validates the disproportionate focus on minority drivers. “To the extent that law enforcement agencies arrest minority motorists more frequently based on stereotypes,” a report mentions, they continue to “generate statistics that confirm higher crime rates among minorities which, in turn, reinforces the underpinnings of the very stereotypes that gave to the initial arrests” (Human Rights Watch, 1996).

This vicious cycle was escalated during the 1990s with injunctions that allowed police to target youths, often in ambiguous terms, as gang members if they so much as stopped to talk to a friend on the street. At one point, the county of LA outlawed so many colors, it was discovered the colors of the flag were illegal (Davis, 1992). This escalation has certainly been a major factor in the role of the police in the school-to-prison pipeline -- the shunting minority of youth into the criminal justice system. One study in a California County widely known for its extensive white drug-using counterculture found that 93 percent of youth sent to juvenile court for the offense of “possession of narcotics or controlled substances for sale” in the 1990s were Latino/a. Of youth and adults arrested in 1998 in California for the recently enacted offense of “participating in a street gang,” only 13 percent were white and non-Latino/a; almost 67 percent were Latino/a alone.

It follows then, that race still helps to determine who will enter the formal justice system in the first place and thus shapes what will happen thereafter. And what the research shows clearly is how persistent racial stereotyping works with long-term structural disadvantages to ensure that blacks wind up more often in the criminal justice system. It is well-known that adverse structural disadvantages cause blacks to have higher rates of offenses to begin with. The higher rates of offenses are then used as a justification for closer police monitoring of minority youths and by courts to sentence them more severely. The levels of incarceration serve to undermine black communities, as the collateral consequences of incarceration include obstacles to employment, education, and housing, which increases the risks of re-offending and higher rates of recidivism.

Conservatives fail to recognize the destructive effects of that cycle, mostly because they deny that there are structural reasons for high black crime rates. According to the conservative mindset, blacks are congenitally more prone to a criminal mentality. In this way, it's deemed perfectly appropriate to stop a well-dressed black professional. And if he becomes "insurbodinate (read: "uppity"), it's just as justified to arrest him.

Taken on its own merits -- divorced from its social context -- the Gates arrest doesn’t seem like much. I know some black people who express their belief that the incident had nothing or very little to do with race. However, placed within its social context, Gates’ arrest had a lot more to do about race than we care to admit as a society. Surveys show that at an overwhelming number of black men admit to being racially profiled at some point in their lives (Fausset & Huffstutter, 2009 ). I know Gates has experienced this as has our President. Almost all my darker-skinned friends have been targets. There is a strong conservative push to deny racism in our lives. And that, my friends, is a huge part of the problem.

Conley, D. (1999). Being black, living in the red: Race, wealth, and social policy in America. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Davis, M. (1992). City of quartz: Excavating the future in Los Angeles. New York: Vintage Books.

Fausset, R., & Huffstutter, P. J. (2009 July 25). Black males' fear of racial profiling very real, regardless of class. Los Angeles Times.

Flynn, K. (1999, December 1). Racial bias shown in police searches, state report asserts. New York Times, p. A1.

Human Rights Watch. (1996). Race and drug law enforcement. New York: Human Rights Watch.

Piliavin, I., & Briar, S. (1964). Police encounters with juveniles. American Journal of Sociology, 70(2), 206-214.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who said Black men don't like animals.

Look at the man in the picture above. Look into his eyes. Doesn't he look troubled? His name is Rodell Vereen. Can't you feel his pain? Well folks, that's the look of a man facing a maximum sentence of 5yrs in prison. I don't know about you, but if I were facing 5yrs in prison I'd be slightly bothered too. I don't know about this guy, but I have a wife and kids with a new addition on the way, and being away from them that long would be devastating.

Yep, not to mention not being able to have sex with my wife for that length of time. Maybe I'm wrong, but maybe that's what this guy was thinking when they took his mugshot. Yep, that whole "no sex for a while" thing can weigh heavy on a man's brain especially when you've finally come across the best sex ever:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina man was charged with having sex with a horse after the animal's owner caught the act on videotape, then staked out the stable and caught him at shotgun point, authorities said Wednesday.

But this wasn't the first time Rodell Vereen has been charged. He pleaded guilty last year to having sex with the same horse after owner Barbara Kenley found him in the same stable. Then he was sentenced to probation and placed on the state's sex offender list.

Kenley said she noticed several weeks ago that her 21-year-old horse Sugar was acting strange and getting infections. She noticed things in the barn had been moved around — dirt piled up and bales of hay stacked near the horse's stall at her Lazy B Stables in Longs, about 20 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach.

"Police kept telling me it couldn't be the same guy," Kenley said Wednesday. "I couldn't believe that there were two guys going around doing this to the same horse."

She spent several nights at the stables, which are about 4 miles from her home, but didn't find anything. So she installed surveillance cameras, and when she reviewed the footage from July 19, she couldn't believe she was seeing the same man doing the same thing to her horse.

Kenley didn't call police because she was certain the man would come back to the stable, and she wanted to make sure he was arrested. So she staked out the barn and caught Vereen inside Monday night, chasing him to his truck and holding him with her shotgun until police came.

"He said he wasn't there to do anything, and I said, 'I know you were. I have you on tape.' And then he said he was sorry if he hurt me," Kenley said.

Vereen, 50, was first charged with trespassing, but police added a buggery charge after watching the surveillance tape. [click here to read the rest of the story]

Now, I've heard of some guys who have gone to jail over or because of some good p*ssy, but, err, umm, horse vagina? Yeah, I think this is a first folks. And apparently this guy takes his bestiality pretty serious; yes, he's obviously a one horse loving man. How do you go to jail for the same crime against the same victim, twice? This would lead me to believe that there was not enough embarrassment thrust upon him by his actions. Either that, or horse coochie is just that good.

The messed up thing about it (actually it's pretty damn funny to me), is that this guy has been placed on the sex offenders list. How do you explain that to a potential employer? Forget that, can you imagine him being in jail and being asked by another inmate what he did to wind up in prison? How do you explain that?

"Nah bruh, I'm no child molester or nuthin. See, I hit a horse doggie style from the back and fell in love. It was so good I had to hit it again and that was when I got caught. I sho, hope the horse is still alive when I get out. I gotta gemme summa dat one mo' gin."

Even funnier to me is that this Negro gave the horse an infection. Can you believe that shit?!! This fool went raw dog without a condom all up inside a damn horse, and gave the damn horse a virus. Ain't that a bitch? Seems like it should have been the other way around. Speaking of it being the other way around: I wonder if this dude tried to get head from old Ms. Sugar.

I could only imagine the cops watching the tape of this guy literally riding the horse. You know what? It might sound kinda sick, but I wish I was able to see the tape. I bet it would be as funny as reading the story. The article I read said that Rodell Vereen had mental issues. I hope this is true for the horses sake. I'd hate to think that Sugar the horse would have to be placed into protective custody or the witness protection program.

All in all this Negro needs some act right because clearly he's out of his mind. Didn't he see what happened to Mike Vick after he killed a few dogs? Did you see how disturbed and protective the old lady was of her horse? You know at one point in time people were killed for stealing horses in the country? I wonder if he truly realized how close to death he may be. Having sex with a horse has to be punishable by death in some states.

Lets Get Drunk and Be Somebody

Today I am channeling my inner red neck honkeytonk and I have Hank Thompson on my mind (sorry Toby Keith, but I don't like your version). Yep, I woke up with a song in my heart today hence the title of this post. Yes, today is the day that people all over the country have been looking forward to. That's right folks, today is Beer-fest. That's right, today is the day that all racial tensions will be eased; years of inequalities will be recognized; and, in an atmosphere conducive to much needed "teachable moments", all will be absolved.

Doesn't it make you feel good to wake up on this day? I don't know about you, but just knowing that things are going to be different after today brings joy to my heart. Yes, who knew the blending of barley and hops served cold by a man with the aplomb of an old school jazz musician would be such an important moment in our history. Just think, when today is all over and the last beer is served, all of this will be no more:

Hopefully when it's all over the word doesn't arrive late in the state of Texas prompting future Julyteenth celebrations. Yes folks, as of today racism will be a dead issue; and, we will have nobody to thank but this country's first Black president for making this possible. Now here's to hope that the family of Brandon McClelland who was hit and drug to death in the video above gets some form of reparations justice even if the rest of us Negroes do not. Maybe they can get a lifetime supply of beer compliments of Uncle Sam. Being Black however, I think they might settle for either Hennessy or Crown. Probably Crown, because you can never have enough of those velvety purple bags to stash loose change in.

God Bless America

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Well I'll be a "jungle monkey". Don't look now but a racist Boston cop gets fired.

Oh yeah, I'm wondering if people are going to come to the defense of the cop in this case. Hell, I'm wondering if this cop was freeling left out like my man Glen Beck and did what he did so he too can receive an invitation to beer-fest at the White House. I'm telling you, this summer is reminding me more and more of 1989 and Spike Lee's movie "Do The Right Thing". And to think I was just telling a good friend recently that it's hard to believe that movie is 20yrs old:

A Boston police officer allegedly sent a mass e-mail using a disgraceful racial slur in referring to Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., prompting the commissioner to move immediately to fire the cop, the Herald has learned.

Officer Justin Barrett, 36, a two-year veteran assigned to District B-3, was placed on administrative leave pending a termination hearing yesterday afternoon. When a supervisor confronted Barrett about the e-mail - in which he called Gates a “jungle monkey” - he admitted to being the author, according to officials.

Police Commissioner Edward Davis immediately stripped the cop of his gun and badge, according to officials. Barrett, who could not immediately be reached, has no prior disciplinary history.

Barrett is also a member of the National Guard, a source said, and the e-mail was sent anonymously to his fellow guard members and the Boston Globe. It was unclear whether the scurrilous missive was sent to members of Boston police as well.

“There is no room on the department for someone who uses those words,” said Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll, who declined to provide the specific text of the letter. [source]

I'm not gonna say too much more about this cop other than I'd like to see his face on TV being grilled by the media. What I would say is that you White folks are sure letting modern technology fuck up your privately held moments of racism or racist behavior. Damn, how much longer are you folks gonna continue to get busted by sending the ole office email? Maybe you folks should just go back to burning crosses in yards or something more blatant and obvious. If you do, maybe more people would take men like Henry Louis Gates Jr. more seriously and more as human beings.

Glen Beck says Obama is racist. But doesn't it take one to know one? Or is it that Beck is just acting "stupidly" as he always does?

It's probably a good idea to watch this clip before you continue reading:

After watching and listening to Glen Beck's latest on air assertion about President Obama, I'm convinced that there's a midget employed by Fox who secretly spikes the water with stupid pills. I mean, aside from Jesse Lee Peterson who's obviously a natural when it comes to being stupid (trust me, his is not an act), people like Beck, O'Reilly and company obviously for the sake of ratings spew feces laden verbiage due to said midget employee. Yeah, I now believe that there's either a magic Elf or Leprechaun running around Fox studios because those people who work there cannot be this hateful and ignorant.

Can you believe this fool said that Barack Obama was racist and has a problem with White people? Ok, don't answer that; it's Glen Beck we're talking about here. Yes and I've already told you how he arrived at that conclusion. But for the sake of this blog let’s just say that Beck wasn't under the influence, and he was quite a normal and rationally thinking man, lets break down his statement; yes, let’s have ourselves a "teachable moment" shall we:

1) If Barack Obama was racist I think it would mean that upon his election victory last year, a large percentage of the Black electorate would have ran out and purchased guns, no? I mean it only stands to reason that by him being the first Black president that Black people would take to arms as a way of either protecting themselves from the impending race war, or possibly starting one, right?

2) If Barack Obama was racist I doubt that he would create all these caricatures of himself which because of his race are meant to be degrading. I'd like to think that if he were racist he's wear a Swastika, and maybe, just maybe, he'd idolize Hitler instead of Abraham Lincoln. Surely if he was racist he would publicly call his wife a monkey or gorilla. Yep, and he would be a monkey holding a smoking gun while standing over dead cops in a certain newspaper cartoon.

3) If Barack Obama was racist he would do blogs or in his weekly address to the nation proclaim his disgust for all the trailer park trash little White girls who run around the country wearing those peace sign t-shirts. Not only that, but he'd probably circulate emails throughout his staff and elsewhere depicting White people as cavemen, and blue-eyed devils.

4) If Barack Obama was racist being the Muslim that people thinks he is, he would have already proclaimed Jihad against his own country and flew two planes into Graceland. Or maybe even blew the noses off of George Washington on Mount Rushmore. Yes, only minorities would have health insurance coverage in this country.

5) If Barack Obama was racist he'd ask all White people in this country to produce a birth certificate before they ever tried to gain access to any gov't services. Either that or all White people would be considered to be European Americans instead of just Americans.

6) If Barack Obama was racist in his speeches to the nation he would say, "My fellow Americans, and the rest of you peckerwoods & crackers out there..."

7) If Barack Obama was racist Rahm Emanuel and all the Jews in this country would be enslaved and forced to build a new White House on the south-side of Chicago. Yep, and Rev. Wright would get to be the foreman of the construction project too.

8) If Barack Obama was racist he would have called John McCain "that one," and he would have probably had people at his campaign rallies screaming "Lynch McCain," at the top of their lungs.

9) If Barack Obama was racist there would be no tea parties. Everyone who showed up for one would be met by the military and shipped to concentration camps in Detroit. Yes, and they would all be forced to work 80hrs a week for the Big three auto makers for free at least up until his term ended which as you know will never end with him being racist and all. Surly you know he would seek to purge the registrations of White voters.

10) If Barack Obama was racist and he hates White people as Glen Beck said. With Obama's mother being White, and having been raised by his White grand-parents? Surely he would be filled with self-hate enough so for him to have plastic surgery, darken his skin tone, and put a bone in his nose, no?

Look, I never really pay any mind to anything Glen Beck has to say, and it's not him that I'm worried about. What concerns me are the purple-necks who listen to this crap day in and day out. Yes, I call them purple-necks because well, they're so pissed that "America's changing" that even their necks aren't red anymore. These are the very ideologues that are motivated and influenced by the rhetoric of Mr. Beck enough so to shoot up prominent museums like the Jewish Holocaust Museum was recently. Hell, I live in Memphis TN., and I'd hate to be taking my kids to the National Civil Rights Museum only to have to encounter some racist ass-clown with a gun bent on destroying lives because they don't care anymore.

But since this is a "teachable moment", it's going to be interesting to see what White folks can teach us in relation to what Beck said, as they have with the recent Gates arrest controversy. As for me? I don’t really believe there’s a midget working at Fox with a bag of stupid pills. In this case, I’ll just have to say that Glen Beck is probably a closet alcoholic. Either he was drunk when he said what he said, or he’s just trying to get an invitation to drink beer at the White House. I'm just sayin: surely there are no White people in this country who feels this way about Barack Obama, right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hey Richard Jefferson, I would have dumped her before the wedding too; it's all about you Bro.

I might be kinda late on this one, but a longtime reader asked me to share my thoughts on it. That plus my wife has been talking about this since the story broke.

Uh huh, and to make matters worse, last week in a round-table discussion over at the FreshXpress - a forum you folks should checkout - I was asked to share my thoughts as well.

Before I get into this one lemme say that I'm somewhat surprised that this story is getting attention in the media unlike the story of Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger’s rape allegations.

It's surprising that people are still talking about NBA player Richard Jefferson leaving his fiancé at the altar. I don't know but it seems to me that some ole "he raped me," shit should be in the news cycle continuously. But no, that's not an important story, and no I'm not going to say it's racial because Kobe Bryant was on blast 24/7 with his alleged rape story a few years ago.

Nope, Kobe being Black and Ben being a White guy has nothing to do with it. The fact that people are still talking about Richard Jefferson just proves that the only reason Kobe was put on blast was because he was a married man at the time. Yup, and Ben's a single guy and that's why he can get a pass; yes, him being White has nothing to do with it; it’s not rape when you’re a single White guy; nor is it news-worthy.

But, that's not what I want to talk about today. If you feel like shedding some light on the subject feel free to do so in your commentary. Instead, I'd like to talk about Richard Jefferson.

Check it:

Okay, first of all, did you notice that he did not leave her at the altar as the media put it out about a week ago? Yeah, we all had the impression that this brother just chose to skip out on the wedding at the 11th hour. Well, you heard it in the clip above; she knew about a week before the wedding that he wasn't going to go thru with it. Uh huh, and she also said that her friends and family still all showed up and had a "life" celebration? Oh well, why let all that hard work and money she spent on the 2 million dollar wedding go to waste. Oh my bad, she didn't spend shit. But understandably she's still shitty. Yep, it's not everyday a baller slips through your fingers like that. Shit, for all we know she may have been the Bridezilla type.

You know what? You might not agree with me, but I think Jefferson did the right thing. Ok yeah, so he pretty much threw all that money down the drain, but in the end I think it was still worth it. According to him he said that they were having issues even in the month leading up to the wedding so he didn't want to go through with it and probably make one of the biggest mistakes of his life. Personally, I think he should be commended for that. You know why? He should be commended because he did the honorable thing by calling off the wedding when he had doubts.

I'm on my second marriage and even within the last few hours of my single life before my first wedding I had doubts. With good reason, having received some not so good information about my then fiancé, I should have called it off. Instead, I didn't want to disappoint anyone, so I went through with it and figured we could work out our differences in time. Sorry, having found out that she had cheated by her confession almost at the 11th hour, I should have been man enough to call the wedding off and save myself the heartache I eventually went through.

So this is why I actually applaud Richard Jefferson for doing what he did. Of course his situation is probably not like mine was back then. But hey, you never know why they were beefing. But you know what? I have a theory on that. You see, to me, I think he got shook by all the Steve McNair news. He had to be, and that would mean that he too is/was messing with a deranged 20yr old chick from Iran. I’m just sayin, you don’t pull stunts like that unless you’re getting married at the courthouse.

Throwing away $2 million and giving your boys your black card to kick it for the night as an act of contrition is jacked up even by Pacman Jones standards, yes. But hey, it was either that or get married, and then get murked by some crazy chick who you've been lying to and make the news. At least he's still alive and making money unlike a certain dead ex-professional athlete who played for the Tennessee Titans.

Ok yeah, so that's just my theory, and you don't have to agree with it. But do you think he was right in doing what he did? My wife when she first heard the news wanted to cut his balls off, and I'm sure most women thought that way as well. But like I said, you gotta give him his props in the end. At least he didn't wind up in Mexico or some remote location after telling everybody he was abducted by a Black man like somebody once did.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Racial profiling? No, not in our country!

Yes, since racial profiling is no big deal and can be forgiven over a six pack, lets look at it from another angle shall we. Ok, lets say you have had a series of parking tickets and you've yet paid them. Hardly a criminal act, but instead a civil issue, right? How would you like it if being in that position, you're awakened to the police in your home at 4am ready to take you to jail?

Oh yeah, I forgot to add that they got into your home without an arrest warrant or a phone call from your neighbor as in the case of Skip Gates. Yeah, kicking in your door, arresting you and searching your home without a warrant; I hope you know that isn't quite the way things are supposed to be done in this country.

But seriously, can you imagine what would happen if this only happened to White people? Fortunately for them this only happens to people of color. Or more specifically: to the people who are brown in color and love tacos.

A recent investigative study by researchers at Cardozo Law School found:

• Despite the purported focus of ICE home raid operations, the report concludes that the large majority (approximately two-thirds) of people arrested during home raids are not dangerous targets but rather are mere civil immigration violators who are in the wrong place at the wrong time — people who have, for example, overstayed their visas.

• While ICE has publicly and repeatedly admitted that it does not obtain judicial warrants for its home raid operations, the report finds a pattern of ICE agents physically pushing and breaking their way into private homes in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

• Once inside, the study finds a pattern of ICE agents abandoning their purported focus on high priority targets and instead illegally seizing residents without legal authority – in an apparent effort to meet inflated arrest expectations.

• Finally, the data reveals that Latino residents are disproportionately likely to be arrested without any articulated basis during ICE home raid operations. Indeed, approximately 90% of the collateral arrest records reviewed, where ICE officers did not note any basis for seizing and questioning the individual, were of Latino men and women – though Latinos represented only 66% of target arrests. [Click to read the entire report]
Uh huh, then given these findings: why is it Barack Obama on July 10th made a move to expand on a measure which gives local police in certain jurisdictions the power to cooperate and assist the Feds in rounding up undocumented immigrants? If you don't believe me, you should: click here to read. Now mind you, this was a Draconian style witch hunt practice signed into law back in 1996. But, can anyone tell me why Barack Obama has moved to expand it's practice when clearly there have been violations in doing so?

(Well RiPPa, those people are in the country illegally and they need to be rounded up by all means necessary!)

Yes, you're right that they're here illegally; yes, and they should all be rounded up and sent to Guantanamo Bay to be water-boarded. Yes you may feel that way but listen, there is this document on this old piece of paper called The Constitution... yeah, law enforcement officials must adhere to it. Yes, and from the looks of it, they sure haven't been following the letter of the law too well.

(Well that really sucks then RiPPa, and it needs to be changed.)

Sure it needs to be changed; especially if you like police officers having the power to walk into your home and drag you to jail if they feel like it - you know, kinda like what Sgt. Jim Cowley did in Cambridge? I mean you probably don't look like you hopped over a fence two days ago into Texas or California from Mexico, but if we're all afforded equal protection under the law why don't we just throw out the 4th and 5th amendment. How about that? Sounds good doesn't it?

What gets me is that supposedly the Obama administration has suggested a different direction on immigration enforcement pending comprehensive reform. But somehow, I'm a little wary of this type of reform especially since arrests have drastically increased. Sure there's going to be an increase when law enforcement is able to enter a home without lawful consent:

When monthly 2009 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was up (32.1 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 122.5 percent from levels reported in 2004. [Click to read the entire report]
Hmm, looks like they're doing all they can to fill those new super-max prisons. Look, unfortunately the problem of racial profiling in this country is perceived to be exclusive to African Americans. Yes, people raised hell and were of the opinion that the Gates' arrest was another in a long line of this practice.

Well, the truth is, it wasn't; the police were called to his home on a possible breaking and entering. No, they did not drive by and happen to see a Black man attempting to kick his own door in.

But now that all of this is behind us and the president has encouraged us to have a conversation on this issue. Am I wrong for highlighting what I see as Government sanctioned racial profiling? I mean if I am, maybe someone needs to have Obama give me a call and preach to me about personal responsibility. After all, I too am an immigrant who like everyone else has helped to build this country, no?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

So that's it? We're just gonna drink beer in the White House and it's all over? For real? You're kidding, right?

Beer? No, seriously? Let's have a beer?? You mean to tell me that all the current racial tension dug up by the recent arrest of a Smart Negro by Cambridge police Sgt. Jim Crow(ley) is now going to be resolved by, beer? Well I be damned; who knew that beer would be the ultimate intervention centerpiece. You mean to tell me that Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, people marched on Washington DC, had lunch counter sit-ins, got sprayed by fire hoses, and all of that could have been prevented if someone had decided to twist off the cap on a cold one? You mean to tell me it took all this time for this to be figured out? Damn, that Barack Obama guy is a genius. Yes he is; and the Bloods & Crips could have stopped their bullshit turf wars back in the 90's if someone had thought of this.

Hopefully this new policy can be extended and used by way of foreign policy. Yep, nothing like a good old 40oz. Mr. Taliban leader. Yeah, Mr. Abdi Najad, you and Kim Jong Da Illest should come over to the crib and kick it; yeah, we'll drink Budweiser and figure out the whole nuclear weapons beef. I mean hey the last thing we'd wanna do is start world war three and accidentally have one of your missiles destroy St. Louis or the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Nope, can't have that because we'll have no beer left; and then what would we be to do without that, right? Besides, that would totally kill the whole plan of getting those Muslim extremists drunk all over the world and have them do the Electric Slide.

You would have thought that George Bush would have already thought of this idea. I mean after all, he was touted in his campaign when he ran for president, to be the guy most likely you would have a beer with. That may have been true back then. But looking back I think Georgie Porgie drank a keg on a daily basis and screwed things up. Yep, he was drunk at the wheel alright, and that would probably explain the lies about weapons of mass destruction. I'm just sayin', nothing like a national crisis the likes of 9/11 to cause you to hit the bottle really hard.

Let’s hope this doesn't happen to Barack Obama after his upcoming beer fest at the White House. Here's an idea: how about an invitation to Republicans, and Blue Dog Balls Democrats to the White House. Yeah, how about you get them drunk, and by the time they wake up with a hangover we'd have a public health care option. Sure all this media bullshit over his "acted stupidly," comment will die down. But hopefully it doesn't get kicked up again because M.C. Skippy G gets mad because there were no 40's of Old English at the White House to satisfy his inner thugism. Hopefully he doesn’t get mad if they run out of Miller High Life; you know how the "Good Reverend Doctor" can be…

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Apologies to Soledad O'Brien and CNN on behalf of the United Negroes of America

Recently I did a post The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Watch CNN's Black in America 2. Today, after watching the first installment or part one, I must say that for me it was quite worth the 2hrs of my time; now, as for the reactions of some of my cousins? Well, let’s just say that they don't feel as I do. I honestly didn't want to even share my thoughts on the show until I saw part 2 or the conclusion to the series. But after reading some of the commentary around the blogosphere I feel compelled to open my big ass mouth.

CNN, I want to apologize to you for my people. On behalf of the United Negroes of America -- you know the ones who enjoyed your show last night? -- I offer you my sincerest apology. You may not know it CNN, but many of my people have been bashing your show. They did that last year as well, and, umm, I kinda felt their pain back then. Yes, I too in the pre-Obama age felt some type of way about you airing out our dirty laundry for White America to use as confirmation on long held beliefs. This year however, I'm not feeling them -- the Angry Negro crowd -- so much. Before going into details allow me to say: it is my belief that Black people in America will never be happy.

That's right CNN, you can't please all Negroes. However, don't allow all this "hate" to permit you from bringing forth the programming which illustrates the various experiences that is being Black in America. You see, last year Negroes were complaining about all the negative stereotypes or illustrations of some of our social ills. The funny thing about that is that in doing so, none of them could dispel your presentation to be false. The irony of all of this today is that you put forth a much more nuanced approach with focus on solutions in education, and yet, Negroes are still mad.

You showed us thirty kids from the Bushwick neighborhood (not too far from the Brooklyn neighborhood my mother lives in that I know all too well) who through the work of a wealthy Black woman took them to South Africa. You showed us that in an attempt to illustrate how broadening our world-view has a positive impact on our lives as Black Americans, but even that wasn't good enough. I don't know, maybe it's the fact that me being born and having resided in the Caribbean as a child I'm a bit critical of the Black people in America who cannot even find Africa on a map. Trust me; I've had a hard time convincing a few of my Black American cousins that Africa and Jamaica aren't neighboring islands.

I know, you probably don't know this CNN, but Black people in America are just finicky like that. What can I say, White America has done quite the job on our minds and it didn't happen overnight; it took about 400yrs or so. In a society where we're inundated with negative images of Black people -- you know like on our local 10 o'clock news? -- You’d think that my cousins would be happy to see some well to do African Americans, who are doing well on your show. But no, that's not good enough; no, instead the complaint is: too many bougie light skinned people. Yeah CNN, it would appear that to my cousins you didn't keep it real enough.

Uh huh, and the sad thing about it is that they think that Barack Obama isn't one of those uppity elitist Negroes you showed on TV last night. Which is rather funny because he himself is now the measuring stick for African American success? Yes, today all Black kids are told that they too can be like Barack Obama. Be like the bougie Negroes you showed? Nah, not so much; but we've got that "keeping it real" thing down to a science. You see Black people in America "keep it so real" that we cannot help but to talk shit and only see the glass as half empty when you guys go out of your way to show Black people in a good light for two damn hours of our lives. Yeah, some of them are still mad that you showed how the dauther of an alcoholic father, and crackhead mother can manage to go to college. Yep, screw the triumph in what that young lady acomplished CNN. You guys made us look bad by putting that dysfunctional family on there.

I won't even take the time to go into how much it was a great idea of showing that sister walking away from her $70K per year job and entering that 18mth program as prep for her MBA. Nope, I'm not going to even touch that one because, well, quite honestly, some of my people missed the mark on that one. Yeah, and my inbox is filled with hate mail as is, and I don't need the extra headache. Just know that I thought it was good to see Black women especially doing big things. Yes, and hopefully just by her example we'll see more sisters break the glass ceiling that is landscape of corporate America.

Just know CNN, that this Black man in America is glad that you did what you did in part one of your show. Just know that I'm eagerly awaiting the airing of part two to air. And in closing I say to you CNN and Soledad O'Brien: keep up the good work and don't change what you're doing; hopefully last night's episode will impact the lives of our youth and adults who are not adverse to change, or maybe even hope. Here’s to hoping that the response from Latinos and Latinas in America when you air your documentary focusing on them in October. Hopefully the “Wise Latinos/Latinas” are not as fastidious as my Black relatives in America.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

So You People Are Still Talking About Obama's Birth Certificate? Does He Need to Produce His Umbilical Cord As Well?

Lemme let you in on a little secret. Somewhere in my mothers house in Brooklyn New York there's a baby shoe box with my soon to be 39yr old umbilical cord. No joke, my mother for whatever reason decided to save the umbilical cord of each of her four children. As I was growing up, I'd peek in at them every now and then, but I haven't in a long time. Watching this "Birther Movement" thing in the news where "certain people" are still questioning whether Barack Obama is a natural born citizen made me reflect on my umbilical cord. I've come to the conclusion that these "Birthers" would not be happy even if Obama produced his Birth Certificate tomorrow.

Something tells me that the hate in their souls is such that they may require him to provide his umbilical cord and his mother's placenta. Yeah, and this should all be presented in triplicate form accompanied by pictures of my man Barry O., actually exiting the womb with his hand on a bible as he recites the pledge of allegiance. Oh yeah, and Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan must be the attending doctors. I don't know if my mother had visions of this sorta thing eventually having to happen to Black people, but I'm glad that she did. Maybe it will come in handy one day should I decide to become president or something. My wife is currently 4mths pregnant and I have the sneaky suspicion that she'll have to do like my mother did 39yrs ago. Hey, you gotta be forward thinking these days.

Black Man Joins the Klu Klux Klan - Score One for Post-Racial America with Another Black First in Los Angeles of All Places

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it's official: post-racial America is the shit! OK yeah, so I know we've had some not so good moments of post-racialness here in these United States since the election of Barack Obama. Yes, I know this, and yes we're only 7 months in to this "new world" of ours. But alas, just when we needed a sign to promote hope and change I bring you the story of another Black first. Yes, and while you're probably still steaming over the recent Philly pool incident or the smart Negro encounter with the Cambridge Massachusetts police department, I bring to you Michael Hunt.

You see it seems that Michael Hunt (dammit if the Negro doesn't have a cool name...Mike Hunt) recently sued the city of Los Angeles in Federal Court to challenge their vending ordinace. I don't know what his beef was or what's the deal with the vending ordinance. But I do know that Mike won. Yes, he won his lawsuit and was victorious to the tune of $264, 000. Oh yeah, Mike is Black and that in itself was a moral victory by taking on the city in Federal Court and winning; shit like that doesn't happen to brothers too often.

Well, given the recent troubles in California as far as balancing it's budget and the city of L.A. having to pay for Michael Jackson's funeral. It would appear that the city of Los Angeles, being down and out as it is, cannot afford to pay Mr. Hunt, so they've appealed the Federal Court ruling.

Needing his money as any Negro in America, Mike decided to protest at a public hearing:

LOS ANGELES -- A protester dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit made a third appearance at the Los Angeles City Council Friday in what has turned into a test for city officials about how far people can take their First Amendment rights in city council chambers.

Hunt, an African American, recently won a $260,000 settlement against the city challenging its vending ordinance in federal court as a violation of his rights. Instead of paying Hunt, though, the city has appealed the decision.

Hunt claims the reason the city hasn't paid him is racially motivated. He says wearing the KKK outfit is his way of exercising his First Amendment rights to protest the city's decision not to pay him.

City council members pointed out Friday that the First Amendment does have its limits, and in this case they say Hunt crossed the line.

"In an abstract way, there is no limitation on you wearing a mask and that outrageous and offensive garb. But if it has a disruptive effect that goes into the area of action, we will have you removed," City Councilman Eric Garcetti told Hunt.

Hunt didn't put his mask back on for the remainder of the meeting.

On Wednesday, City Council chambers went dark early after Hunt refused to remove his white robe and hood before speaking.

"Mr. Hunt, you're going to have to remove your hood," Councilman Dennis Zine, who was the presiding officer, told Hunt twice.

"Are you refusing to remove your hood? ... Mr. Hunt, we can't hear you. Remove your hood."

Hunt refused to remove the garb, citing his First Amendment rights.

When three African American councilmembers left -- apparently out of disgust -- the council floor was lost, ending the discussion.

Zine told KTLA he believes the latest stunt may be an attempt to sue the city again over a violation of his First Amendment rights.

"In this day and age, no one should be wearing that attire. No one should come to a public meeting wearing that attire and offend not only the councilmembers but the general public," Zine said.

The city council is now looking at adopting rules that would allow them to remove anyone who is disruptive during meetings, or wearing disruptive clothing such as Hunt's.[source]
And just think, you people thought "Clayton Bigsby" was just a figment of Dave Chappelle's imagination. OK yeah, so you guys may think what he did was a bit House Negro-ish like [like this person], and I can understand why. But I have to give the brother his props for such an ingenious stunt.

I'm sayin' him being a Black man and having the guts to pull something like that off should be commended. As a matter of fact, I think we need a stamp in his honor. Wouldn't that be cool? Talk about a first: a Black man in a Klan outfit on a U.S. postal stamp. How's that for Black History?

Mike Hunt is my hero for today; he didn't have a lunch counter sit in, nor did he march in the hot sun holding a sign. Mike got dressed in a Klan outfit and took it to city hall; and, he refused to remove his hood when asked. Now to me, that's gangsta! Yes, and it's just as brave as getting sprayed with firehoses or getting bitten by racist German Shepherds. Uh huh, that's how you get attention and get things done. Yeah, put this shit on Black in America 2 Soledad O'Brien!

OK yeah, so he has yet to get his money from the city. But you damn sure better believe that everybody in L.A. knows his story. What's even sweeter is that he can possibly challenge them for infringing on his First Amendment rights. Mo' money, mo' money, mo' money!! Uh huh, who said symbolism wasn't important. If a real Klansman could protest Barack Obama's election victory as he did while holding an American flag, what's wrong with what Mike did?


I know Los Angeles is a magnet for wierdos, but how come nobody said jack about the guy wearing the ski-mask at the very same city council meeting that Michael Hunt attended??

QUESTION: Do you think what Michael Hunt did was wrong or offensive?

I Got Questions...

Image Hosted by

Ladies, do you think you would be able to still pull men looking like the woman in this pic? Fellas, would you hit that or be seen with her in public as your woman? What part of sexy is this? I'm assuming it's the part that should have never been brought back by Justin Timberlake. But seriously, what makes a woman wanna do some shit like this? Am I wrong for thinking that if a guy hits this there's a strong possibility that he's gay? Did this woman take the whole Kegels coochie crunch, and strong Black woman thing a little bit too far? And lastly, forget about Congressional hearings on steroid use in Baseball: do we have to have them investigate steroid usage by women?

[hat-tip to Oh Hell Nawl on this one]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Henry Louis Gates Jr: "Open and shut case Johnson; lets sprinkle some crack on him and lets get out of here." - Cambridge Police

Racism? What racism? Henry Louis Gates Jr. should have known better than trying to enter his home while wearing a ski mask. Him being a prominent African American scholar you'd think he knew better. I mean if it were Halloween that would have been different; everybody dresses up in costumes on that day you know. That said, how in the world was the neighbor who called the cops to know it was him trying to break into his own house? Yeah, and why would said neighbor vouch for him after the police showed up? I mean, you know all Black people residential burglars look alike, right? Shit, I wouldn't wanna stick my head out and vouch for the guy either. You start doing that and all of sudden your neighborhood is over-ran by Black people as they move in.

Yeah, it's just like you Black folks to get arrested and scream racial profiling and racism. Yep, you people always cry foul and never take into account your actions when encountering the police. Instead of keeping his mouth shut or providing some ID, he accused the cops of being racist and went to jail for disorderly conduct. Yep, you Negroes sure do have a way of getting that street cred by that whole "keepin' it real" thing. Well you know what Black people? Cops are known to keep in realer. And can you blame them? They do all of this in the interest of public safety. Uh huh, and if the cops don't do it, there are certain people in the state of Texas who are known to take justice into their own hands. Yes, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. better thank Black Baby Jesus that this little incident didn't transpire next door to Mr. Joe Horn: America's hero.

That's right, the police in this case was responding to a call of a concerned citizen, but you Negroes aren't happy about that. First you guys are against the "Stop Snitching" movement, but are all mad now because some smart Black guy got arrested? Listen Black people, you can't have it both ways. I mean you don't hear those oppressed White criminals upstanding caucasian citizens bitching and moaning when they become victims of reverse racism, do you? Oh you don't think White people are victims of reverse discrimination when it comes to crime? OK, well obviously you haven't noticed those Brinks Home Security commercials on TV. Obviously you haven't noticed that in those commercials all the perps are always White. Uh huh, they never show a Black perp kicking in a door, and why is that? Reverse discrimination.

Yes, and it's funny how you people are always quick to pull some conspiracy out of your rectums when it comes to racism. Yeah, lemme guess, COINTELPRO and the CIA were behind this latest event, no? Yep, it's always "the man" or maybe the actions of some "Spook Who Sat By The Door", who is responsible for taking down one of our own. Yep, the same ones who set-up Michael Vick and planted dead pit bulls on his property; yep, it's always a conspiracy. But what's sad is that you people don't see the real conspiracy behind this one. Yes, you guys don't see that this is all the work of CNN. Uh huh, Henry Louis Gates Jr. was a contributor in the upcoming installment of Black in America 2 which premieres this week. Umm, do you think it's a coincidence that he's in the news as a victim of racial profiling?

Look, all jokes aside, what happened to the good professor was really messed up. If anything it should serve notice to you Uppity Elitist Negroes/Black Republicans that racism is indeed something that everybody encounters in spite of their socio-economic status. Yes, the same way poor people in "the hood" cry foul when dealing with the police, so too can you be a victim. I don't exactly know how many wake up calls are needed in our society. But I find it ironic - and telling - that this took place on the very campus of the University that Barack Obama attended where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. Looks like post-racial has come full circle don't you think? Henry Louis Gates Jr. the formidable Havard African American scholar is lucky they didn't sprinkle some crack on him.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Watch CNN's Black in America 2

If you're still a little salty after watching CNN's Black in America documentary last year, you've probably already made up your mind not to watch part 2 this year. I watched it last year like everybody else, and yes, I was somewhat disappointed. However, unlike my wife and the rest of you ungrateful Negroes, I am going to watch this years installment. What follows is my attempt to convince you ungrateful Negroes of just why you should watch Black in America 2:

10) They're still Black people in America: Nope, we didn't all go back to Africa, nor did we or our circumstances change in post-racial America. Black kids were thrown out of a Philly pool a couple weeks ago.

9) Our president is Black: Surely you wouldn't want to miss out on all the gleeful commentary on the state of Black America when we have our first Black president? Him being the catalyst for hope and change should be enough to convince yourself that CNN is going to do a good job. Hopefully they'll offer solutions unlike him of course. I'm sure he'll be watching.

8) Watch parties: There are going to be watch parties all over the country. So if by chance you don't have cable anymore because they've finally caught up to your cable stealing ass you have no excuse. Besides, wouldn't it be cool to get together with fellow Americans for such an event? Surely you don't want to miss out on the spades tournament afterward, do you? It's gonna be like the inauguration all over again minus the cold weather.

7) It's CNN and not Fox News Channel: Yes, you should have nothing to fear when it comes to the negative depictions of Black people in America. Can you imagine if this were a documentary put together by the good folks over at the house that Rupert Murdoch built? There will be no commentary from Jesse Lee Peterson or Juan Williams on this one folks. That alone should be encouragement enough. Besides, CNN is like the United Nations when it comes to it's employees; there are more people of color on that network than Fox and MSNBC put together.

6) This is not a show for White people: Contrary to popular belief, this show is for America and not meant to be one of those "look at the Negroes" carnival sideshow attractions. If that's what you think, obviously you haven't seen the dysfunction that is Maury or a Jerry Springer episode. No, there will be no paternity test results read on this one.

5) There's no "White in America" documentary: Lets face it, if there were a true documentary which chronicled the White experience, Negroes would be mad. It's not that we don't know what it means to be White in America. It's that a show like that would be a slap in the face. And I don't think America needs a repeat of what happened when the Roots miniseries first aired back in the day. Yep, there's no need for random White people to get beat up over a TV show. That said, Black people should be glad that this is about them and not White folks. Yep, America is too scared to air such a program.

4) Soledad O'Brien: The sister is fine and there's not much more to be said than that. Other then the fact that she is Black, intelligent, and qualified to ask the right questions. And lets be real: not even Oprah Winfrey would do a show on what it is to be Black in America. Oh, and did I mention she's fine?

3) You don't have anything else to do: Yes, the program is playing on Wednesday and Thursday night. That said, you don't have shit else to do and no reason to miss either night. Unless you're a Jehovah's Witness and have to go hangout at the Kingdom Hall on Thursday night. I mean seriously: basketball season is over, and football is yet to start. There are no sporting events getting in the way of getting your family together to watch this.

2) Solutions: I get the idea that this years offering may be heavy on solutions unlike last year. I think for most people this was a problem. There was a presentation of one extreme to the next with not much middle ground or solutions. It was either you're well do do, or extremely poor and about to lose your home. This year I believe much of the discussion will be about moving forward and inspiring.

1) You watched the BET awards this year: Do I really have to explain this one? The fact that you gave your time to that station is an insult to your ancestors and you owe it to them to watch Black in America 2; it's only right. It is because I think somewhere down south a Black person is lynched everytime 106th & Park is aired.
So there you have it. I hope you folks who read this will now at least take the time to tune in and watch the show. I have faith in CNN and this years show and I doubt that they won't let me down. I wish I could say the same for everybody else. But lord knows us Negroes are never happy. Yes, and it is with saying that, that you folks know that I reserve the right to tear CNN a new asshole if they do in fact disappoint me after I watch the show.

Are you gonna watch it?

Thoughts On Personal Responsibility and Accountability

"My aim is not to provide excuses for black behavior or to absolve blacks of personal responsibility. But when the new black conservatives accent black behavior and responsibility in such a way that the cultural realities of black people are ignored, they are playing a deceptive and dangerous intellectual game with the lives and fortunes of disadvantaged people. We indeed must criticize and condemn immoral acts of black people, but we must do so cognizant of the circumstances into which people are born and under which they live. By overlooking these circumstances, the new black conservatives fall into the trap of blaming black poor people for their predicament. It is imperative to steer a course between the Scylla of environmental determinism and the Charybdis of a blaming-the-victims perspective." - Dr. Cornel West

They Call Me "Little Man"

A very good friend of mine sent this to me in an email last week:

I meant to post this last week, but I could not have done this at a more perfect time. After reading one of the most powerful posts from one of my blog brothers Brown Man Thinking Hard, I had to bring this today. His post was centered around education and today's youth. His post stemmed from a conversation on another blog where it was suggested that maybe Black kids are failing in school because the curiculum was too 'Eurocentric' -- a pretty stupid asertion if you ask me. That said, I must say that I agree with Brown Man's post entitled: "Keeping It Real" - Being Stupid On Purpose. Do yourself the favor of clicking the title of his post and have a read; I believe it's well worth it.

Now, after looking at the previous video or teaser for CNN's Black in America 2, I was left to ponder these Socratic questions:

How is it that a man who grew up picking cotton as the grandson of slaves was able to raise a family with 13 kids, and was able to put 5 of them through college? Why is it that parents today are having a hard time getting their kids to graduate high school? How is it, that he was able to do that without any education, but yet the high school drop out rate is what it is today? Oh yeah, just in case you didn't know, it's pretty damn low [Read: Losing Our Future: How Minority Youth Are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis.].

Are kids failing in schools and dropping out because, well, the curriculum is too eurocentric? What other excuses can you come up with that explains what's happening? I'm only asking because like Brown Man, I'm not going to accept that one. If all 13 of "Little Man's" kids can graduate high school in rural Mississippi and 5 of them advance to college, what's the problem? Is the problem the lack of uneducated Black men the likes of "Little Man" raising their kids today? Surely this Black man isn't an anomaly is he?

Listen, I know the subject of this post deals with education as the questions have laid out. But I would be remiss if I didn't shed light on the beauty of this story. It just goes to show that though us Black men get a bum rap in the media. There are many of us out here who do not or will not be held to a certain negative stereotype or perception. I'm willing to bet that there are many more Black men out there like "Little Man" but maybe not as old. I could only hope that CNN with their upcoming Black in America 2 documentary do a good job of highlighting this fact. We are all aware of the negative stereotypes and it is stories like this that should be used to inspire us.

If "Little Man" can triumph against all odds, why can't we all?

Check out one of my favorites from Nina Simone:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

File This One Under: They Never Shoulda Gave You N*ggas Money! Or: "I'm Broke, N*gga I'm Broke!" - Adam "Pacman" Jones

This is what happens when people who've never had anything before finally become wealthy. We see it all the time; more specifically, with professional athletes. In a recent article for Sports Illustrated - How (And Why) Athletes Go Broke - writer Pablo S. Torre had this to share:

What happens to many athletes and their money is indeed hard to believe. In this month alone Saints alltime leading rusher Deuce McAllister filed for bankruptcy protection for the Jackson, Miss., car dealership he owns; Panthers receiver Muhsin Muhammad put his mansion in Charlotte up for sale on eBay a month after news broke that his entertainment company was being sued by Wachovia Bank for overdue credit-card payments; and penniless former NFL running back Travis Henry was jailed for nonpayment of child support.

In a less public way, other athletes from the nation's three biggest and most profitable leagues—the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball—are suffering from a financial pandemic. Although salaries have risen steadily during the last three decades, reports from a host of sources (athletes, players' associations, agents and financial advisers) indicate that:

• By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.

• Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke.

This type of financial downfall is not exclusive to professional athletes. Ordinary people who by chance and the luck of the draw manage to pick the winning lottery numbers also fall victim to their financial ineptitue [See: 8 Lottery Winners Who Lost Their Millions]. Just like professional athletes, they all wish they had it to do over again. Of course not all lottery winners and professional athletes are daring enough to "make it rain" on women in strip clubs. But never the less, through bad decisions they for the most part wake up one day wondering "what the f*ck?!!"

William "Bud" Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security.

"I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare," says Post.

A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a share of his winnings. It wasn't his only lawsuit. A brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit a share of the winnings. Other siblings pestered him until he agreed to invest in a car business and a restaurant in Sarasota, Fla., -- two ventures that brought no money back and further strained his relationship with his siblings.

Post even spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector. Within a year, he was $1 million in debt.

Post admitted he was both careless and foolish, trying to please his family. He eventually declared bankruptcy.

Now he lives quietly on $450 a month and food stamps.

"I'm tired, I'm over 65 years old, and I just had a serious operation for a heart aneurysm. Lotteries don't mean (anything) to me," says Post.

I often wander off in my mind like everybody does and wish I could hitb the lottery. Like you, I have found myself imagining just what I would do if I were ever in that situation. I often wonder what I would buy, and just how my life would change. Just like you, the thought of hitting the lottery is a welcomed dream. But hey, there's an old saying that says "you gotta pay to play". I can't help but to think that sometimes said price isn't worth it.

I guess in the end we can all say that what happened to these people will never happen to us. But that's easy to say especially when you never had it to begin with. Adam "Pacman" Jones, though unlike other athletes who have lost money and are broke after retirement was a fool. I'm sorry, but I don't think it gets any more silly than going into a stripclub with $100,000 in cash. Especially when you can get women for a lot less by just being a professional athlete in ton on Allstar Weekend. He took forgranted the opportunity he had, and he threw it away. He was given a second chance in the NFL and he has since pissed it away. In my opinion, though a gifted athlete, and as much as I believe in people given a chance for redemption, Adam "Pacman" Jones deserves no more than he was already given.

You can read this article - 25 Rich Athletes Who Went Broke - to get a feel for the who's who of professional athletes who have had their share of financial ruin. Like me, you'll probably be surprised to see the host of White athletes who made the list. Further proving that failures are not always the kid you take out of the ghetto.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Preaching to the choir

I listened to Barack Obama's speech at the NAACP, and I'll be honest, it wasn't one of those come to Jesus moments for me. Unlike the people in attendance the Holy Ghost didn't run through me, nor did I start speaking in tongues. I suppose it's due in part to the fact that I felt like he broke no new ground with his speech; seriously, how many times have we heard the whole dreaded "PR" words - personal responsibility - dished out at us. Of course this "self-accountability" theme or line he delivered is being played out by the media for obvious reasons. Yeah, I know it's the NAACP so it's probably to be expected, but tell me something I don't know. I mean, tell me about how the green jobs are going to create employment in the Black community. Tell me about how those "shovel ready" projects are coming along and it's impact on the crisis of minority unemployment. Tell me if us minorities will ever have to worry about predatory lending ever again.

I don't know, but is it too audacious to think that a person like myself filled with hope and longing for change to ask this of our president? Can we hear some talk about how implemented policy will directly, and specifically impact the Black community? How much longer will we as Black people be the choir that is lectured? When will we be just members of the church who tithe every week and question the progress on the building fund? Look, personal responsibility, and the importance of education is one thing - an important thing. However, haven't we stressed these ideals a time or two? The thing that bothers me, is that if this were George W. Bush giving the very same speech - obviously with less eloquence and passion - a part of me thinks that us Black folks would be offended. Yes, we would and I dare you to tell me I'm wrong; I'll let you marinate on that as I move on.

Speaking of hope, change and social justice:

A good friend of mine, Tracie Powell, who is a weekly contributor to CQpolitics wrote a piece recently that I found interesting and thought provoking. Her piece centers around president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Eric P. Lee. He has come under fire for expressing an opposing view which supports the LGBT movement and their fight for equality and marriage. As a result of his stance or support the organization wants him fired. Her piece is titled: Gay Marriage: What Would King Do?, and after reading it one can only wonder - as I did - what, how or where would Martin Luther King Jr. stand on this issue today were he alive. I'd really like you to take the time to click the aforementioned link to her post and give it a read.

It is my hope that you would be brave enough to leave your honest opinion on her post as you would here. Personally I would hope that if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, he would lend his support to the LGBT movement. After all, he he did champion for equality economically and socially, did he not? However, even in knowing that as well all do. A part of me wants to think that he too would have back pedaled and become hypocritical and lend no support to this cause. Him being a Black preacher, I think he would have folded under the pressure of the Black church, and organizations like the SCLC, and I think that would have been tragic. Tragic because for most of us, it's probably hard to see Martin Luther King Jr. as a hypocrite. Even more tragic, is that there are some of us who believe that organizations like the SCLC and the NAACP are no longer relevant. Well, if they aren't where would Barack Obama go to preach to the choir?


What did you think of Barack Obama's speech in front of the NAACP gathering?

Do you think Martin Luther King Jr. would be supportive of the LGBT w/ gay marriage?

Do you think as an organization, that the NAACP or the SCLC are still relevent today?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't Ask Don't Tell: If You Do, Either You Get Killed or Lose Your Job While Obama Does Nothing - And Yes He Can, Remember?

So if I told you that "Porky Pig" was gay would you believe me? Probably not. You'd probably think I was trippin’ like usual. Well, the truth is, I don't know whether he's gay or not nor can I even prove it. But, if I could prove that he was gay, and of course if you believe me, would it make a difference in how you looked at Porky? It probably wouldn't make a difference to you; it wouldn't because he's just a cartoon, right? Exactly! He's just a stupid cartoon that we grew up watching as kids and he’s not real. Now if Porky was a real person, things would be different. We'd all look at him differently. He'd be Porky the gay pig instead of Porky Pig.

I think its vapid how we judge and label people because of the sexual orientation of their partners with whom they engage sexually. I mean, I personally love eating p*ssy, but now that you know that, do you look at me any differently? No you won't, because I'd still be RiPPa instead of RiPPa the guy who likes to eat p*ssy. I think it’s stupid to get hung up on someone’s sexuality or sexual preferences. But here in America, it’s a big deal. I'd like to think that in other countries things are different and people are more liberal. But the hell if I know; maybe you can tell me if it is.

Unlike most people, I'm not paranoid about gay people. Hell, when was the last time you heard of a gay rapist in the news? (No seriously, I’d like you to think about that last question) You see, in my younger years I could have been considered a homophobe. Like many people in today's society, I'd throw a middle finger up at gay man all the while embracing lesbians or some girl on girl action. I mean, that’s what men do. That’s what men insecure about THEIR sexuality do. But as I've gotten older I've come to realize just how closed minded and juvenile it is to have such a mindset.

[Read the story of August Provost III here]

I mean hell, heterosexuals engage in sexual activities that are somewhat out of the "norm"; but do we judge them like we do homosexuals? Sure we don't! Do we run around persecuting people who choose to engage in shittin’ on each other while having sex? No we don't. There is no protest if two would be "shitters" wanna get married. Instead, there's outrage about gay marriages and their ability to openly serve in the military. Look, gay people live in this country and pay taxes just like everybody else. They're not forced into a higher or lower tax bracket just because they're gay. So why prevent them from being able to serve their country in the military? I mean, how come there isn’t a special “no shitters” clause in the military? Shittin’ on your partner while having sex is a dirty habit but yet I don’t see anyone trying to ban it.

Of course some people say that it’s not morally right because God didn't intend it to be that way. Newsflash people: nobody voted for God to run this country; God doesn’t put his hand on a bible to be sworn in. And besides, if God didn’t intend for it to be this way, doesn’t that show that even he isn’t perfect? Whatever happened to separation of church and state here? The churches or religious groups have that much power to influence policy or their own moral agenda? Hell, why don't they use that power to stop the f*ckin war in Afghanistan?!! Oh I forgot, in Afghanistan those people are Muslim and not Christian so it’s cool with God to kill them just as long as the person pulling the trigger isn’t gay?

Yeah, the United States military makes bullets and guns that only work for heterosexuals. Yep, that’s why they have to kick gay people out of the military if they’re exposed. Uh huh, that’s why there’s that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. You see once a gay person is found out it causes major malfunctions with the nuclear defense systems that are strategically placed all over the world. And well, you know as a country we cannot afford to become so vulnerable since we’ve pissed off so many people around the world, right? Yeah, if they find out that you're gay, you're gone. Is that fair? Gay people are not qualified to promote democracy and freedom? I guess being gay is anti-American? Isn’t it time that they update their weapons capability so as to prevent them from malfunctioning in the hands or presence of gay personnel?

But hey, this is America, the land of the free, home of the brave, and the hypocrites. F*ck, R. Kelly gets to pee on a 14yr old girl and still make millions from fan support, but a gay person can't exercise his or her right to serve the country in the military and protect our freedom as the military often espouses? I know it’s pretty Utopian of me to expect people to be judged by their character rather than the color of their skin and all. But it’s a damn shame that, I'm considered a better person because I'm heterosexual. Sometimes I swear I wish I lived in a cartoon world. Maybe life would be better for us all if we did. I don’t know about you, but I think Barack Obama is and has pussyfooted enough with this issue, and it’s time for him to deliver. But then again, should they bring back the draft I think it would be kinda cool if all of a sudden everybody decides to be gay so as to skip going to war. Yeah, because war sucks anyway.


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