Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sugar v. Coco

"Damn... that mare has a big round ass, long shapely legs and golden hair."
Maybe Rodell Vereen was imagining himself as Ice T and pretending that the horse (Sugar) was Coco.
Mr. Vereen was probably told that he was "Hung like a horse" and decided to test the theory out.
(Identity of victim hidden to protect her privacy.)
Buggery, Paraphilia or Zoophilia - that brotha' is just wrong.
But Sugar got off easy - she only developed an infection.
A few years ago, Henry Lewis - in Sweetwater, Alabama - caused a horse to become so sick that it died a few days after being raped.
What is wrong with these country ass Negroes?
Do they really desire a blond so badly that they will settle for a horse?
I can only imagine Mr. Vereen's photos on his prison cell walls.

(HT - Citizen Ojo and Rippa)

What The Heck, Beck

Most racist people feel as though they have been wronged by society instead of focusing on their own shortcomings.
Glenn Beck's troubled past
is evidence in such a hypothesis.
I'm sure Mr. Beck wished that it was he who;
-was in a stable long-lasting marriage,
-enjoyed a complete Ivy League education,
-had healthy children
-had no addiction to drugs or alcohol,
-and was President of the United States of America.

It's hard to blame a guy whose culture taught him that by playing by all the rules it is you (he) who deserves all that is good in this country, and anyone who disproves this ideology must be a racist.
This is why police officers get offended at having a Black man as their societal superior.
This is why Palin's followers are up in arms over a Black President.
This is why Limbaugh followers are vexed at the idea of any minority group gaining a toe-hold on power.
This is why Fox News survives.

There are still those who assume a sense of superiority predicated on their race alone.
This is why racist whites don't really hate poor Black people. (Poor and undereducated Blacks are not a threat.)
This is why racist whites discriminate against Asians for doing so well on standardized tests. (Asians don't only compete against just the best of other races - they must compete against the best of their own for the few slots at top-tier universities.)
This is why racist whites form militia and claim that their jobs are being taken by simple immigrant workers.
This is why Black celebrities are hated-on as being too ghetto. (They didn't follow the established rules.)
This is why Barack Obama is the most hated Black man in America.

So Mr. Beck - Who is it that has the motivation and symptoms of being a Racist?
(Definitely not he who has consistently overcome the limitations put upon him by a still somewhat racist nation.)

Better Than Magic

He doesn't have to be as funny or as culturally relevant as Arsenio - But I'm just hoping that Brian McKnight can pull off the (not too difficult) task of being better than Magic Johnson.

Not since the days of In Living Color and Arsenio Hall and Spike Lee movies (With music from Public Enemy.) have we had the chance to redefine our cultural standards.
Here's to hoping we get it right this time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daddy Style

Tyler Perry stated that he is often frustrated by his critics who say that his material is too juvenile or too sophomoric.
That his material appeals only to the most base elements of our culture or that the humor is too broad.
He points out that his television show, movies, and plays often have a message that gets lost in such criticism.
Ne-ga-ro please.
Barney, Teletubbies and Vegetales also have a message - and they're geared towards children -
but even these children's shows contain as much or more sophistication as your material.
Really... does a whole family have to come across as being in bad over-acted Novella on Telemundo?

Recently, I walked in on a group of teen-aged cousins discussing how their fathers, step-fathers or uncles were like characters on television shows.
None listed the Wayans character from My Wife And Kids,
None pointed out similarities to the father on the Wayan's Bros. show.
None listed the imbecilic father (uncle) of House of Payne.
But all of these father stereo-types are seen by many as "keeping it real".
In reality - who has a father as inept as these?
In fact, from this group, none listed even Cosby.

Bernie Mac was often cited as the common father-type for cool uncles.
James Evans from Good Times was cited as the stern father-type of those with an attendant father.
The father on Everybody Hates Chris (Julius) was also commonly cited by those with a father who was present in their lives.

My step-father was a combination of James Evans and the Julius fathers.
My step-father was a working union man who would always seem to be going on strike.
My step-father was quick with the belt but cheap as hell.

Maybe that's why my father-figure style is a combination of Cosby and Bernie Mac.
When I'm mentoring my young cousins - I'm Cosby.
But when it's time to take care of business - I'm Bernie.
At least that's what they say.
That's what their friends say too.
Okay... I'll take it as a complement.

So Mr. Perry - One can represent a true image of a Black father without assuming that the Black audience needs to be entertained in the same manner as children.
So Mr. Perry - It would seem that your version of "real" isn't so real after all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vick To Raiders?

A four to six game suspension might seem a bit harsh to some NFL fans and players - but this punishment isn't without precedent.
During the 1960's - Pete Rozelle suspended Alex Karros and Paul Hornung for an entire season for violating the league's gambling policies.
League commissioners have usually gotten away with enforcing punishments on players who are deemed to have devalued the image of the league.

But when Vick gets his pass back into the league - where will he play?
The Oakland Raiders seem to be a good fit.
Their outlaw image could be used as a marketing tool in Vick's favor.
The Raiders are in the 'hood.
The Raiders are 'hood.
They play across the bay from the more cultured croissant eating 49er's.
They play in an area that would understand the lure of dog-fighting and thugishness.
Vick in the land of Pac - it would be a perfect fit.

Who do the Raiders have?
Jeff Garcia?
Pa-lease. He reminds me of Jim Plunkett - A solid Raiders quarterback, but boring as hell.
JaMarcus Russel?
Why settle for a Vick-like quarterback when they could get the real thing?
Charlie Frye or another of the no-names on their roster?
Al Davis and the Raiders could actually benefit from from having a former felon on the field playing for the former felons in the stands.

My prediction - Vick in Oaktown.

Shut Up Bitch !

So PETA wants psychological testing before it will feign contentment with Michael Vick's punishment?
I just don't see it.
The only bitch that could have any real complaint against Vick is any one of his victims.
How is it that Paris Hilton (after serving her sentence for a drunk driving conviction) still gets to make a living doing... what exactly?
But she still gets to make a living.
Where is the M.A.D.D.?
Michael Phelps still keeps his endorsement deals after being caught taking a few puffs from a bong.
How is he any more of a "role model" than Vick?
Where is the anti-drug lobby?
Marta Stewart still makes millions as the Queen of Entertaining after her stint in federal prison.
Where is the anger of those burned by the recent manipulation of the stock markets?
Vick has (and will) serve his sentence.
His (potentially) earned full reinstatement after missing the first six games of the regular season,
combined with his lost income,
combined with 20 months in jail,
combined with work being done with the Humane Society,
should all be enough for him to continue to enjoy his Constitutionally protected right of pursuing his happiness.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Okay, okay... I've heard and read the complaints against the series, but many have missed the point.
The series was called Black In America not "For Black America".
The intent of the series was to inform non-Blacks about the conditions within many Black communities.
The series wasn't intended as a salute to Black Americans for Black Americans.

Many have noticed the lack of knowledge possessed by the series host Soledad O'Brien.
But that too was the point.
Journalists like Walter Cronkite often learned while they were on location to report a story.
Soledad appears to have done the same.
Soledad appeared to be learning things for the first time along with her intended non-Black audience.
If Time Warner would have wanted to do a bunch of Black History moments, they probably would have put the show on the CW or on TBS after House of Payne.
But the point of the show was to bring to light many concerns within the Black community to a white audience.

So is race a topic of conversation on the network and cable news shows?
Did BIA2 aid in the furthering of discussions concerning race?
Did BIA2 fulfill it's intended mission?
So, all petty quips aside - CNN's BIA 2 receives an "A-".

LessNique (Please)

Citzen Ojo asked why it was that I can't seem to stand Mo'Nique.
FreeMan said that she must have taken my lunch from me when I was a child.
(Nah FreeMan - she never took my lunch, but whenever I see her, she just about makes me lose my lunch.)

But I hate Mo'Nique and women like her because they are haters and hypocrites.
I listen to many of my less than attractive, fat, dumb, poor and simple cousins talk shit about any woman who they think looks better than themselves (which is most other women).
I listen to these beastly women hate on Beyonce, Rihanna, Keisha Coles (who looked great with the black hair at the BET awards), and anyone else who has a life better than their own.
I listen as they talk about Halle Berry, Kerry Hilson or Ciara being anorexic - all the while they are drinking Diet Coke and eating a salad with their 3000 calorie meals all in an effort to lose weight.
Mo'Nique just looks like an old meatloaf. All greasy and sloppy but an effort has been made to make it seem more appealing.
Mo'Nique just sweats gravy.
Women like Mo'Nique don't really hate these people - they just hate that it isn't them living the life.

But this isn't endemic to Mo'Nique or her hater sisters.
TMZ, Hollywood Tonite, Entertainment Tonight and others have made careers off of being such haters.
People watch the judge shows, reality television, and talk shows so that they can talk shit about how dumb other people are.
People watch Wheel of Fortune instead of Jeopardy because they can imagine themselves as intellectual for being able to play a high-tech version of hangman.
Popular culture is a hater culture and to me; Mo'Nique is the poster child for that culture.

Racism 101

It would seem that Professor Gates needs to pay more attention in his own classroom discussions.
How did the professor fail to understand the racial and social dynamics of the town in which he was teaching.
Sorry Skip, but; white wife+white neighborhood+white life... does not equal white man.
If anyone should have known the limitations of their Blackness, it should have been Professor Gates.

Simple Arithmetic

One of the problems with trying to help people is deciding which people to help.
Most people would assume that the best thing to do is to help those who are in most in need.
But this thinking is often a waste of time, effort and resources.
These "negative" people usually act in such a way as to cancel out any positive influence on their life.
Then we have the survivors.
These people are neither hot nor cold.
These are the people that accept any condition they are given and fail to make much effort in making things better.
These benign individuals will be helped by any assistance - they just won't show a profit beyond what you've put in.
At the end of the day, the only improvement shown is what was put in by the outside source.
The outside resources could have been spent in a more profitable way.
The best way to aid anyone one is by only helping those who are helping themselves.
This way, your "1" plus their "1" actually adds up to some thing of greater value.
A person who is helping themselves and others could be assigned a greater value.
If a person is helping ten other people, assisting him will enable him to positively effect ten more.
This way, your one effects ten more (in addition to the original recipient).
Instinctively, we assume that he who is greatest need should receive the most help.
But these people are always in need.
People who always need something are the people who will always need something.
The people who settle for anything will settle for anything.
Your investment in that person won't grow.
The only way to effect any real change is by utilizing your resources on those who are actually making an effort to help themselves (and ideally, others).
Really, it's just simple arithmetic.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Craziest Blog On The Internet

Apparently, a Russian company is doing great business processing human body parts.
Check out AbyRad;

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Everybody Dance

Everyone knows (and some can even do) the Electric Slide.
The dance is performed at most weddings.
If one happens upon a white wedding (No, not as in Billy Idol's song.), the Chicken Dance is all too common.

The next craze?
The new chicken dance?
The Mini Buffalo Ranch Dance?

Friday, July 24, 2009


How is Obama's 1.7 trillion dollar health care program going to save Americans money?
It isn't.
Almost two trillion dollars? For what?

The American health care system is financially controlled to limit cures but to encourage a dependence on ongoing funded care.
If government programs will pay for a fat guy to take a pill - that pill becomes more expensive.
If erectile dysfunction is funded - Viagra has a market.
If people are nervous - there is a laundry list of pills that will enable them to cope.
If a man (or woman) is going bald - insurance will cover that too.
Boobs too small - many insurance companies will cover that too.

We are a country looking for the quick fix.
(Or the illusion of such a fix, to be more precise.)
What ever happened to a proper diet and exercise?
A better diet and exercise would eliminate many of the costs insurance companies pay to pharmaceutical companies in the billions of dollars annually.
A lack of vanity would eliminate even more wasted money.
"Illnesses" of lifestyle should not be covered.

The big pharma/big insurance complex generates about two trillion dollars in revenue annually.
For example - the ingredients required to make one hundred tablets of the popular drug Lipitor cost about $5.80.
The hospitals charges the consumer (through insurance companies or other) $275.37 for that same bottle.
A markup of 4696%.
The cost of this markup is passed along to whomever is paying for the coverage.

We are paying a premium for coverage that most of us don't really need.

The UCI Medical Center in Irvine California cost about $325 million to build.
The hospital generates about $180 million in annual revenue.

For TWO TRILLION DOLLARS - we could build more than 3000 similar hospitals nationwide.
These Basicare hospitals would only cover true illness.
If you smoke - illnesses cause by your smoking will NOT be covered.
If you have a poor diet - illnesses caused by your poor diet will NOT be covered.
If you have sex without a condom - penicillin will NOT be covered.
No "illness" due to lifestyle will be covered. (That would have to come out of your own pocket.)
These Basicare hospitals would deny the vanity inspired boob job, lypo-suction or male pattern baldness treatments.
This group of hospitals would only cover the basics.
These hospitals would use generic medications and promote healing.
This would keep costs low but ensure basic coverage at premium facilities for all.

If one would like more coverage they could buy the Basicare+ option.
But the burden of this more extensive coverage would rest upon the individual.
Today's system is like telling everyone that their right to own a car should translate into their entitlement to own a Bentley (And us buying that Bentley for those who cannot afford one.).
Any coverage beyond one's basic needs should become the burden of the purchaser.

After the system is in place, the hospital group could be put on the market for purchase by any company who has fewer than one thousand employees.
Each employee would be able to purchase shares from their 401k-type payroll contributions.
But this stock should not be allowed to be blended in any way into a mixed portfolio.
Forget the tons of wasted paperwork - a web site and annual televised stockholders meeting would eliminate the wasting of time, money, paper and resources.
(Really, how thoroughly do you read your yearly prospectus?)
These shares should not be permitted to be speculated upon.
This could be done in much the same way as Kaiser Steel transformed itself into Kaiser Permanente.
This way, all Americans would have an opportunity to become shareholders in their own futures.
(Kind-of like a credit union type of economy.)

Will this rough idea work?
I don't know.
But it makes more sense than trying to prop up the already flawed current system.
It makes more sense than Obama's plan of subsidising the already all to powerful insurance/pharmaceutical industrial complex.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Divide and Conquer

( Image; The "Divide" part of the divide and conquer eigenvalue algorithm)
brohammas said - "Do you think that at the heart of your recent string of posts - the Black/not Black/sellout etc. - is that Black culture tends to be exclusive rather than inclusive?"
Of course it is.
Just plug supposedly "different" types of people into their respective boxes and...
The thing is - the algorithm takes no maintenance.
Just divide once and the culture will continue the meme.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Madea, Mo'Nique and BET

When can we criticize Black culture without being called a "Sellout"?
Whenever I state that I'm not a fan of Tyler Perry and his Madea movies - it's just me exercising my right to choose.
Tyler Perry movies are no more representative of traditional Black life as are Will Ferrell movies of white life.

But the difference is that there are more genres to choose from in white (or mainstream) movies.
Will Ferrell isn't on 24/7/365.
Will Ferrell isn't being touted as deserving an Oscar.
Will Ferrel movies are seen as what they are - pablum fed to the masses to satiate a desire to laugh at or mock others.
In much of Black culture, there is a desire to call that which is worst that which is best.

I can't stand Mo'Nique.
In Fact, I'd like LessNique.
Trying to call Mo'Nique sexy is like calling...

Mimi from the Drew Carey Show sexy.
Sometimes, disgusting is just disgusting.
Why lie?
Just because Mo"Nique is Black is no reason to say that she is on the same level as Beyonce.

George Carlin is to
Richard Pryor.
As Larry Bird is to;
a) Magic Johnson
b) Wilt Chamberlain
c) Micheal Jordan
d) Tim Duncan

The answer is "Tim Duncan".
Larry Bird was just a really good player who contributed to his team winning championships.
The other players changed and dominated the game.
It is really a false question. Pryor and Carlin are the shit. Duncan and Bird are just 'aight.
MTV is to ?
Nope, not BET.
BET is beyond compare for gross negligence.
(Well.. maybe it does compare to Tyler Perry movies.)

Shared Consciousness

FreeMan said; "So how do we change the people?
This would seem to be the problem.
It isn't racism that is the cause of our malaise - it is the inability to overcome the obstacles put in place by racist institutions in general,
and Black racist institutions in particular.

The common (or shared) consciousness of our Black institutions is one of victimization, or of seeking the material rewards without having done the temporal works, or of surrender.
This view is racist because it assumes a position that is predicated on one's race.

When was the last time a major television bishop or pastor spoke on the second half of the Beatitudes?
Everyone knows the "Blessed is he ...", but what about the "Woes"?
There is a responsibility that goes along with the authority that is desired by most.
There is a responsibility to do for others.
But this message doesn't get ratings. This message doesn't elicit donations. This message isn't glamorous.

I was watching a young cousin clean only his dishes after he'd finished eating dinner ("Supper" in the South.).
When I asked his uncle why the children are taught to only clean up after themselves - "Because I ain't gonna' ", was his reply.
(I had to re-train these kids with the belief that one does something because it needs to be done - not just because one has made the mess.)

But this is the same thinking behind the NBA ball players who are more concerned with "getting theirs" than they are with the team winning.
This is why Iverson can't win a championship.
Even the boring-ass Spurs win championships because they play as a team.
Their slightly better than average group is better than an excellent individual.
(Or better than a group of players who play as individuals.)

This is why ghettos are so dirty and devalued.
People leave trash in the street because it is someone else's job to pick it up.
Kids do poorly in school because it is the teachers job to teach the children.
People don't point out robbers, rapists and killers because it is the policeman's job to catch the criminals.
Everything is "Someone else's job".
Everyone is only looking out for themselves.

Since religion is often used as a control of our shared consciousness - our religions are failing us.
Our religions are leading us down the wrong paths.
Our religions are leading us further down the path of dependence on others instead of having others being dependent upon us.
We are in a constant state of looking to others for the answers instead of having people come to us for the answers.
(Hint; Answers generate money, money generates power and power dictates the terms of peace.)

Ghettos and slums have been in place since there were two groups of people who lived in two different areas.
The more desirable area was the "burbs" - while the less desirable was the "ghetto".
But things are not always static.
When those from the "ghettos" ("Ghetto", in this case meaning low lands, forests, bayous, or any land or area that is less than desirable at any given time.) decided to capitalize on their resources, and market and sell those resources to people from another area, wealth began to flow into and take root in these areas.
As more people became aware of a better way of life - the better life became one that was expected.
This expectation created a shared consciousness of propriety.

But this prosperity wasn't readily available to all.
Some groups of people assumed that prosperity belonged to them alone.
These groups oppressed and subjugated the other groups to maintain their expected way of life.
This dominant group had a shared consciousness of dominance.
Most within the minority groups assumed the position of inferiority.
This group accepted and preached a message of surrender.
Their (the minority group) expectation (and eventual realization) became that of "The Victim".
Even when opportunities became available - most within these minority groups lacked the understanding to take advantage of them.
They had no concept of success beyond what had always been taught in their homes, schools and churches.
This group kept themselves back because they couldn't see themselves as anything other than "Victim".

Many of our schools coddle our children into a false sense of success.
If a group of kids can't pass tests - "Make the tests easier" is the common response from many of our school teachers, administrators and districts.
If a group of firefighters can't pass a test - "Make the tests easier" is the response from our local leaders.
Why not just make the schooling more rigorous?
I'm not saying that this problem is endemic to Black schools - but how many tales of remediation do you hear from teachers and professors at the college level that is required for Black students?
Why are students even graduating if their level of understanding is that of an eighth grader?
Why do we accept this as the norm?

But there are some who are called "Uppity", "Sidity", "Bourgie" or any other pejorative.
( )
This group possessed a shared consciousness of success.
This group viewed their former condition as a challenge.
This group knew that they were more than the limited expectations of the presumptuous dominant culture.
This group chose a life beyond the limited expectations of their friends - many of whom are still stuck on the block.
This group had to overcome the constant pushing by the dominant culture,
and the constant pulling by the submissive minority culture.
This group failed to believe that; Black=Bad.

(@ FreeMan - FreeMan Jr. will be part of this group and he will be called the same names that many call this group today. He will lack the understanding required to live on the block unless he is forced to experience the block. His values will be shaped more by his experiences than by yours. Seeing that you value success more than acceptance, expect him to do the same.
This isn't wrong.
We have no concept of what it is to be a sharecropper, servant or slave,
but our grandparents and our predecessors do.
This is just progress.)

So FreeMan, How do we change the people?
By being honest in our criticism.
By not settling for less from Black people just because they are Black.
By raising our level of shared consciousness.

Monday, July 20, 2009

True Faith

Maybe faith is like the game Mine Sweep - some choices are benign while others lead to death.
While the straight and narrow path is the most profitable - it is also the most uncommon.
But what happens when we stray from our most favorable path?
How do sacrifice, fasting and prayer work?
Do these actions eventually lead us back to our desired path?

I believe in knowledge.
I believe in skill.
But somehow, I believe more in the intuitive actions of faith.

Faith as an action?
Of course.
It takes the action of faith to drive someone to look beyond and strive for a life that is better than that of their surrounding environment.
It takes faith to believe in oneself when everyone else is telling you why something cannot be done.
It takes faith to endure when all hope is lost,
when all one's strength, knowledge and skill are spent,
when the only way to succeed is by going beyond all comprehendable human abilities.

I know, I know... this sounds like "endurance".
But endurance is a huge component of faith.
Endurance is required when the battle is at it's worst.
Endurance is required when all of one's natural abilities are spent.
Endurance is required to reach the supernatural state of performance that can only be sustained for short bursts of time.

Beyond endurance lies exhaustion.
The state of exhaustion leads the weak to faint.
But for the faithful - it becomes a state of euphoria.
A state of unconsciousness.
No, not a state of being unconscious, or asleep, or unresponsive - but a state of awareness so heightened that all of time seems to slow down.
A state of being that turns the largest mountain into a pebble - or a small baseball into a slow floating beach ball.
This is what happens when athletes are "In the zone", or when warriors obtain "Blood lust", or when the religious become enraptured in the spirit.
This is what happens when the stress becomes so severe for oneself that one must go beyond them self in order to perform.
This is what happens when marathoners are said to "have their legs running under them", or basketball players are said to be "unconscious" when every shot seems to be going in,
or when grandmothers can lift cars from fallen babies, or when we make counter intuitive decisions that end up being the only ones we could have made in order to succeed.

It is said that "Faith without works is dead".
I've encountered many people who have prayed from birth to death without receiving their desired request.
But this isn't God reproving their faith.
This is God reproving their lack of faith because they have not done the work required to be able to handle their request.
This is as though God were denying the keys to the Lambo to a four year old.
An immature individual may fast, pray and do all the good works they can manage - but if that same person can't handle their request, the responsible response from God would be to deny such a request.
Actually doing something about one's desires (making preparations to receive) is another aspect of faith.

But what of prayer?
Prayer puts one in the correct mental state to again begin the task of working towards one's desires.
Prayer allows one to focus on what is really important.
Prayer is the tuning of one's spiritual voice to again reposition oneself to be able to acquire one's desires.
Think of it as driving a car in the snow, in the rain, or on a dirt road.
When one begins to slide, they are advised to look in the direction that they would like to be going.
Because we instinctively (even if unknowingly) drive in the direction we are looking.
Kind of like look-e-loos running over police officers while staring at a wreck on the side of the road.
They don't intend to hit the officer - the officer just happens to be in the path of the driver's line of sight.
Prayer works by facing us in the right direction.

Actually, I don't have any real evidence of how faith works.
I don't have a theory or even a hypothesis.
All I do know is that faith is the first requirement for any form of success.
Faith is our starting point.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goin' My Way ?

These extremophiles are thought to be hitchhikers on meteors crashed to Earth.
Maybe these are what could have kick-started the primordial soup.

Great Marketing

They don't usually sell Maybachs, Vacheron Constantine, Prada, McMansions, Versace or Louis XIII in the hood.
These brands aren't even made in the hood.
People in the hood don't even own these companies.
But somehow, many people know about these brands. Some even have the knock-offs.
But how do people, who are thought of as being too poor to advance in society, suddenly acquire the urge to possess these things?
It's not as though they are inherently part of their culture.
Maybe seeing the products in videos on BET has an effect.
These videos seem to be a nice marketing tool to bring such item to the common consciousness of many people who really can't afford them.

Some say that we shouldn't celebrate the rare individual who has overcome the many social, political and racial obstacles involved in making it to a higher level within our nation.
But why not?
If seeing someone else with a large flat screen television can stimulate the desire for one having there own - why can't the same be true of success?

I'm sure some people who were born into slavery were operating under the assumption that that was all there was to life.
That freedom was just some myth, or something only possessed by the bourgie.
That the system was always going to keep them in chains.
But what created enough volition in men like Nat Turner to cause them to attempt such an audacious grasp at freedom?
What caused some to escape through the Underground Railroad?
What caused others to learn to read - even though it was illegal?
Their "culture" was one of servitude.
What caused some to seek freedom and go against "their culture"?

During Segregation, when oppression was legal - what caused some to see past their roles imposed by society to a life of freedom?
Were the Civil Rights leaders "thinking white" in operating under the assumption that all men should be free?
How could they see themselves as more than "their culture"?

Obama is to Polo as Oprah is to Hermes.
Tiger is to Louis XIII as Cosby is to Maybach.
They are not the saviors (We are our own saviors in this sense), they are just the marketing tools that need to be used to elevate the expectations of the culture - of our common conciousness.
They are not "Too Bourgie" - they are the luxury brands.
If people in the hood can spend thousands of dollars on rims, Jordans or Hennessey - why can't those same people spend the same money on Your Baby Can Read?
If people in the hood can assimilate these luxury brands into "their culture" - why can't they assimilate the luxury brand of success?
How are Tiger, Oprah and Obama seen as "Too White" - But brands like Polo, Versace, and Rolex are not?
Maybe we need to redefine our "culture" instead of using one that has been defined for us.

Strike !!!

Hitting a baseball is said to be one of the most difficult acts in sports.
But if we examine the philosophy behind hitting a pitch, we see similarities with how one should approach life.

Hitters like Jr. are able to hit balls that are thrown at various speeds, at difficult angles and over different parts of the plate.
Being able to adapt to the pitch enables such hitters to take control of any situation.

If we use the baseball metaphor as it relates to race, gender, sexual orientation or whatever - we can formulate a process on the best way to deal with each group's problems.
Many bloggers and social commentators have dismissed Obama's recent speeches at the NAACP and in Africa as empty rhetoric, pandering to his audience or as just trying to maintain his white base.

But Obama was (is) right.
Many people wait for that perfect pitch at a perfect speed at their perfect place over the plate at the perfect time of day before making any effort.
Many become angry when a pitch is thrown too low, too fast or is anywhere beyond their strike (comfort) zone.
But one could swing at such a pitch or one could wait for a better pitch.
The results from each decision will be determined by one's acquired abilities and knowledge of their opponents tendencies.
This is just part of the game.

Often, when I hear cries of racism, the people complaining should have never been up to bat in the Bigs in the first place.
For many, their game is still single or double "A".
The Majors require more talent and skill.
These complaints diminish the credibility of complaints of real discrimination and oppression.

The most common complaint among the educated is that they are cheated out of their desired position in life because they are (fill in the "oppressed" blank).
While their assumptions may be true - it may also be true that they lacked the game required to fully take advantage of their opportunities.
It may also be true that they are trying to play a position for which they did not prepare.
(As when an outfielder is trying to be a pitcher.)
It may also be true that each team already has enough skilled players to fill their slots within their lineup.
(Kind of like a company, city or state having enough communications majors but lacking enough engineers.)

So, if one lacks the skill to be the best (adding an incentive to displace those already in the current lineup), and the backup slots are already full - you're not being discriminated against, the team just doesn't need you at this time.

Some people complain that they are overwhelmed by the conditions of the game.
This is what happened with the NBA players trying to compete in International tournaments.
The more talented and skilled NBA ballers failed to understand the nuances of the similar, but slightly different, International game.
While the NBA ballers were use to playing a more one-on-one street style - their International counterparts were playing team ball (and winning).

This is what happens when someone is trained to only hit fastballs.
A curve ball or slider will limit their ability to perform at the Major League level.
This is also what happens when someone is trained only in the ways of the streets.
While they may be use to doing well when things are flying hard and fast - a more controlled pitch becomes harder to hit.
This is not racism.
This is one failing to fully develop their abilities to be able to possess a complete set of game skills.

But what of those who aren't playing in the Majors?
What of those who are still growing or who've reached their peak at less than Big League levels?
That's just life.
Does an uneducated janitor working for an hourly wage deserve to be compensated as much as the highly educated Dean of Students?
Does the guy stuck in the minors expect the Nike endorsement deal?
No. He understands that he lacks the skills to generate the salary and perks of the Big League players.
But somehow, when it comes to race, gender and other issues, this understanding gets lost.

When Obama said "No excuses" - what he really meant for us was not to "strike out looking".
He doesn't want us to settle for a walk.
He is saying for us to have our games at such a complete and dominant level as to diminishes the effectiveness of a low pitch or a slider or a curve ball.
What he was saying was for us to do the work (get our 10,000 hours of practice) to be able to compete at the Major league level (and to receive to salary and perks that go along with that).
He wasn't saying that all the pitches were going to be high and over the center of the plate - but that we should be prepared to hit them anyway.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Old World Order, Worried?

So, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) just finished their most recent conference in Egypt.
With 55% of the world's population and a vast amount of under-exploited natural resources - it seems that the world's underdeveloped countries are trying to form their own New World Order.
It would seem that Obama is the least of the Old Boy's Club's worries.

No Jobs ?

"It was the worst of times,
and it was the worst of times."
Or something like that. But maybe I need to re-read A Tale of Two Cities.
The Wall Street Journal thinks that things are bad;

Maybe the downturn in the economy will add incentive for those who are under-qualified to become qualified.
Maybe McDonald's can fire all those ignorant ass little kids and hire employees who understand service.
Maybe Home Depot or Lowe's can get rid of all those people who seem to just wander the store in uniform and hire people who actually know about a product and where that product is located.
Maybe the job market will be so tight as to inspire more kids to stay in school past the tenth grade.

But really - the market for jobs is there, just not for the jobs most people desire.
These less desirable jobs are so prevalent that some companies are sinking to the depths of smuggling employees from Central and South America;

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Racism v. Oppression

Jack Celliers ( ) said; "...The only thing I really don't get is why "race" is such an issue. Not even race, but something as difficult to define as the color of the skin.
For me, race is simply a biological thing - something one cannot choose.
'Oppression' is what makes a difference..."

This is probably the most sagacious comment made on this little blog. Not even Pythia herself could have put it any better. If my Spanglish was any better - I'd read his site.

Well... you see Jack - I share the opinion that race is but one of the many symptoms that is evident in the greater illness and cause of oppression. Whether someone likes my "Race" or not - it is of little consequence. But when someone attempts to limit my opportunities based on my race - that is the problem.

Does It Work Both Ways ?

Gary Owen is on BET as more than Katt Williams.

Before this past election - Bill Clinton was viewed by many as the Blackest white guy in America.
Cool enough to play the sax on Arsenio, game enough to handle a thick legged wife and at least one intern, street enough to smoke weed - and enough swagger to get away with it all.
But can white people also be "Too Black"?

Is Kim Kardasian thought of as acting Black for dating Reggie Bush and (like Ice T's girl Coco) possessing the body type desired by most Black men?

Or does it require being more 'hood like Kim from The Real Hoodrats of Atlanta?

Or can it be as simple as playing opposite a number of Black leads as has Julia Stiles?

Are any of these women considered "Black"?

Randy Moss's boy JayWill can almost get away with it.
A weed smokin' basketball player with a street attitude who speaks in Ebonics is usually assumed to be Black - but does this combination make number 55 "Black"?

The soulful voice and style of delivery of Joss Stone are not enough to pass the Black Test.

But what if one adds a relationship with Rick James?

Does Tina Marie get her Ghetto Pass?

Hall and Oats is one of those groups that anyone Black can name at least one or two of their songs.

During the height of their popularity - most radio stations geared toward Black listeners included many of their songs on their play lists.

But that was a different time.

Groups like The Doobie Brothers (With Michael McDonald), Steely Dan, Wild Cherry, Toto and others were commonplace on the Soul Charts.

These groups weren't trying to act Black - they were just playing the style of music that moved them most.

Later in the Eighties - British Soul Boys (Culture Club, Wham, Paul Young, etc.) incorporated the Motown influence into their acts to gain position on the U.K. and American charts.

I really don't need to mention these (i.e. Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love, or Art Of Noise - Moments Of Love) New Wave act's current popularity on the Slow Jams nights or Old School Lunch formats.

And I really don't need to mention David Bowie.

But none were considered as "Black".

Even Robin Thicke (Black wife and all) can't be called "Black".

So how does it work for Paul Wall?

Or Bubba Sparxx?

The Beastie Boys had one (or two) of the most seminal rap albums ever.

The Beasties were part of the first wave of commercial rappers and the Hip-Hop culture that it spawned.

The Beaties kicked it with Graffiti artists Zepher and Dondi White, chilled with the Rock Steady Crew, were part of the Motown-esque Def Jam label (Swatch Fresh Fest and all), and still manage to get old school dance floors boppin' whenever Paul Revere hits the ones and twos.

But the Beasties still managed to be white.

Is Eminem Black?

What about Matsyahu?

Jamiroquai is funky - but not Black (Although his Portuguese father might be able to trace some roots back to Moorish culture.).

Do white people have to add "Ghetto" to a skill set to be considered Black?

Can a white person be considered too Black because they easily fit within certain parameters of a learned Black culture?

Or do the same rules even apply?