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            Showing posts with label AB Instant Classics.
            Showing posts with label AB Instant Classics.

            Wednesday, March 23, 2016

            What Happened To This Blog?!?

            Greetings and salutations to the tens of you who might someday stumble across this, if only by your RSS reader. As you might gather from the relative lack of new postings here, the blog is for all intents and purposes a wrap. GoDaddy renewed the domain name the other day, so at the bare minimum will still come up when/if you choose to type it in your browser window for another couple of years, but for the most part, this blog's finished. It's been an 8+ year, 3506 post ride, and I loved every moment of it, but it was just time to take the the old mutt to a secluded field in the country北京体彩网官方网站 and put him down gently.

            The reasons are plenty, but the overriding one is time. I simply don't have it anymore. I have three quickly growing kids, a day job that's more brainwave consuming by the day, and a wife who appreciates that I not use the little free time and energy I have after all of that on people who aren't physically in our 北京体彩网官方网站. There's also the small matter of online conversations shifting to Twitter over the past few years, that make the relatively outdated mode of blogs and comments a bit anachronistic. If that $3 word throws you for a loop, sorry. It's my HBCU education speaking.

            Of course, I'm not dropping off the cyber universe. Since this blog will still be live, I'll undoubtedly throw something up here from time to time because I have paid ads on those sidebars and have no choice because I still value you guys opinions. Does this contradict everything I said in the prior paragraph? Yeah, prolly. But whatever.

            Play on App stores

            I guess since this is a quasi goodbye, I should that everyone who made this blog what it was, because without an audience a blogger is just some dude who leaves his personal journal on a park bench. Ya'll made this what it was, and I thank you because while it did last, this blog opened some incredible doors and gave me some lifetime experiences I'll never forget. None of that happens without pagecounts, and ya'll delivered. Preciate that.

            Thanks to The Uppity Negro, RiPPA, CJames, Spool32, VLatte, EBW, Marbles, Mwatuangi, Cinderfella Daeda Daedalus, Ciara, Shady Grady, rozb, Antonio, SKTheKid, Lavern, The Janitor, Just_Lena, JD, TwoNuse and everyone else who was here over the years. If I missed your name, sorry. Thanks anyway.

            Two fingers,


            Friday, August 28, 2015

            The Problem With Black Lives Matter...

            [Editor's Note: So yeah, this post is gonna surely piss off a lot of people. I don't care.]

            For months, I've watched the whole Black Lives Matter movement grow and expand. The whole thing seemed to originate around the same time as the Ferguson protests, and has always sorta rubbed me the wrong way with its one-message mission of preventing police from killing innocent people. While the marches themselves have been impressive for their sheer size and frequency, there still doesn't seem to be a coherent message or a well stated agenda to all of this. What's the endgame? Is there one? Beyond millenial catchphrases like "microaggressions" and "transformative justice", it's hard to say. When confronted, self-proclaimed "leaders" of the movement can't even clearly articulate what they actually want.

            "But hey, we've got new cameras following us, so let's do something just for the sake of attention, why don't we?"

            This has lead to the movement hijacking presidential campaign speeches with no purpose other than hijacking them, and demanding time of other candidates, then doing jack sh*t when given the requested time other than posing a few awkward questions and subsequently leaking unauthorized video of said meeting online.

            In between, we've seen countless protests in the wake of police-involved shootings even when said shootings were somewhat justified. Other times, we've seen protesters demand action in the wake of other incidents, when the full scope of said incidents wasn't even known yet. In short, any time where's an incident where the victim is black and the perpetrator is non-black, BLM swarms like a hive of misinformed bees, quickly jumping to the defense of the victim, details be damned. And other times, BLM simply shows up and raises a ruckus when some action involving cops is merely being proposed, regardless of why.

            This odd tendency was typified in the most obnoxious of manners yesterday, as BLM activists showed up at press conference being held by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. For those unaware, DC homicides are in the midst of a startling uptick, especially in mostly black Ward 8 where the murder rate is up 95% since last year. Earlier this week, a bunch of ignorant MFers literally jacked a Metro bus, which lead to Metro temporarily suspending bus routes out of fear of more violence against drivers (someone also shot at a bus recently). With routes disrupted, people are having to walk as much as 30 minutes to catch an alternate bus, through these very same crime ridden areas. So yeah, that's not good thing, if you're merely a law abiding citizen who wants to get to work, like my in-laws, who live adjacent to this section of the city.

            Common sense would dictate that shifting a few cops over to the effected area would be a good idea, and that's what Mayor Bowser was holding a press conference to announce (among other immediate common sense actions to get crime under control). But to, and they essentially showed their asses, disrupting a very important press conference for no good reason.
            Chanting “police are not the answer,” dozens of protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday prevented the mayor of Washington, D.C. from completing her announcement of a new police program plan to curb a sharply rising murder rate in the nation’s capital, local news reports said.

            The chants disrupted Mayor Muriel Bowser’s speech and the first-term Democratic mayor, who is black, left the stage as the crowd both jeered and cheered, according to The Washington Post. Bowser, who was elected in 2013, spoke to reporters after she left the stage.

            The new program would put hundreds more officers on the streets and ease restrictions on searching 北京体彩网官方网站s of some offenders, along with other changes. Instead of an increase in police powers, activists say they want to combat violent crime with an approach that involves members of the communities afflicted by the killings.

            She was trying to announce her plan in Ward 8, a largely African-American area in the city’s southeast quadrant. Neighboring Ward 7 has experienced a 95 percent increase in murders this year. Citywide, there have been 103 killings so far in 2015, compared to 72 at this point last year, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

            Bowser’s plan includes adding about 200 more police officers to the streets, the Post reported, and easing restrictions on searches of the 北京体彩网官方网站s of violent offenders. Some officers will be shifted from administrative duties to the streets.

            The new measures let police detain for 72 hours violent offenders who violate restraining orders. Another part of the plan allows police to search for guns in the 北京体彩网官方网站s of violent offenders on parole, as the mayor’s office and the Metropolitan Police Department say that parolees are mostly responsible for the rise in murders.

            Eugene Puryear, an activist and Green Party politician who represents the BLM-affiliated group Stop Police Terror D.C., said the mayor’s approach was deeply flawed and would result in more police oppression in African-American communities.

            “More cops with more weapons and tougher laws and expanding police powers — that got us the era of mass incarceration, but it didn’t stop crime,” Puryear told Al Jazeera. “Instead of a police surge, there needs to be a community surge.”

            He said that successful ways of reducing police violence require the participation of community members who have returned from jail, or who have “walked in the shoes” of young people at risk of committing or falling victim to violent crime. Bowser’s bill would put such people under stricter scrutiny by law enforcement.

            Bowser’s plan does include the opening of a new community center to help residents get access to social services. Puryear, however, said this represents a mere nod to community involvement, and doesn’t make it a centerpiece of the program.
            With all due respect to BLM, building more community centers has jack sh*t to do with people shooting at city buses. But once again, their one argument fits all approach to activism undermines immediate, concrete plans that the mayor is taking to curb a very serious issue that's literally killing people. Sometimes, cops can actually be effective, ya' know. This would be one such time.

            I don't have an issue with BLM in theory. Social justice has always been an impetus of civil rights protesting, and on that note, BLM is serving a much needed purpose. Police and other government entities do indeed prey on those in minority communities, often with devastating ramifications. Those things need to be pointed out, and BLM has been consistent, loud, and diligent in doing so. I do believe that these actions will lead to smarter policing, better public policy, and if nothing else, awareness and empathy from the rest of the American public that's willing to see things with open eyes. On that note, I applaud them heartily.

            That said, if they want to be taken seriously (which should not be confused with "getting on the news consistently") they're gonna need to expand their scope a bit. I'd love to see BLM put the same amount of energy, effort, and attention into things that are more proactive in nature like mentoring, tutoring, coaching, cleaning up communities, giving financial awareness seminars, classes on parenting, etc. You know, things that actually improve the communities they say they want to protect from the inside out. Reality is, cops could stop shooting unarmed citizens tomorrow, and those communities would still be pockmarked with the very same dysfunction that BLM's trying to eradicate from the outside-in. Why not harness that energy and put it towards efforts that can simultaneously fix both sides of the problem?

            Like it or not, black on black crime is a real thing, and it does need to be addressed. There are scores of organizations that work, often with little funding and worse, few volunteers, to address all of the issues I just spoke of. From teen pregnancy, to adult literacy, to financial awareness, to the achievement gap, to urban crime, to bad role models, to absentee fathers. Addressing the cops only is treating one of the symptoms, not the actual illness itself. I'd love to see those protesters mobilize an sign up in large numbers to help the organizations that do such things.

            Imagine all of these BLM protesters volunteering to provide consistent, ongoing Sylan Learning Center style math and early reading tutoring at an inner city school. Or BLM protesters committing to be a Big Brother/Big Sister and mentor at-risk tweens. Or putting their collective education and savvy together to teach courses at a local community center on how to balance a budget, invest in the stock market, or plan for retirement. If all of that stuff sounds pie-in-the-sky, it shouldn't. I, as a 20 something single participated in all of those activities as a volunteer at some point. It's not impossible, because such programs already exist, but simply need more hands on deck to be really effective. Throw a few dozen protesters into each of these programs for a year, and you're gonna begin to see substantial inside-out changes in these communities.

            Of course, the TV cameras probably wouldn't come along for the ride, and there'd be actual time and effort and sacrifice and delayed gratification involved, sooo...

            Movements die when there's no clearly articulated goal or agenda. We saw this with Occupy Wall Street, whose net net was just a bunch of trampled urban parks and more attention for Elizabeth Warren, but little else. Ditto for the Tea Party, which managed to slow down President Obama's agenda, but has done little else beyond get a bunch of phony politicians who have since fallen in lockstep with the GOP establishment. Both of those movements were better funded and both were taken more seriously by the media and politicians. And yet, both have essentially fizzled, with not much to show for the grunt work of the regular people who spend days yelling and holding signs.

            I don't want to see BLM suffer the same fate. At some point, very soon, the media's fascination with police shooting unarmed minorities is going to subside, if it hasn't already (I suspect it is). The camera will stop showing up, and when camera stop showing up, so do people. And then what? The movement will die, cops will probably have a few more pieces of equipment, and the communities they police will still be rotting from the inside.

            Maybe I'm wrong. Tell me how wrong I am below.

            Question: Does BLM have staying power? Should the movement be more proactive and building communities, as opposed to getting police to stop shooting unarmed people in these communities?

            Monday, November 17, 2014

            The Day Darren Wilson Walked...

            There's a great chance that today, a day when 20 degree temperatures and snow are forecast for the Greater St. Louis Area, will be the day that the Darren Wilson grand jury decision is announced. I'm not saying that the timing is intentional, and being done in a manner least likely to lead to civil unrest, but well, that's just me being a paranoid conspiracy theorist. As usual.

            I'm only about 99.9% sure that Wilson is going to walk, and I'm somewhat shocked that there are still people who think otherwise. The cops have been leaking "details" for months now that have all but poisoned the well for potential jurors in an effort to make it clear that Brown got what he had coming. Never mind recent video surveillance that on his face a couple of hours after the shooting, which contradicts his claims that Mike Brown was beating him senseless. Nope, all that matters is that that Brown had it coming and got what he deserved.

            St Louis County has stocked up on extra at a startling rate in anticipation of what Negroes will do once the decision goes public.

            When I think about this story, one thing just really, really sticks out to me: the Ferguson police department's utter incompetence throughout the entire ordeal, and how it's likely emblematic of what residents in that city experience on a daily basis. From the misplaced cruiser cams, to Wilson (allegedly) turning his radio off during the (alleged) scuffle, to the horrible optics of how information about the case was trickled out.

            Think about this: had the police immediately said that Brown was a suspect in a strong-armed robbery, instead of leaking that small detail a week after the fact, would people have maybe seen this story in a different light from the very beginning? Had they given the family the common decency of not letting their child's body lay in the street for 4 hours, might tempers have not flared nearly as much? Had they treated (understandably) agitated citizens who are merely looking for answers with a bit of respect instead of confronting them with military grade weaponry, might tensions have been diffused a bit? Again, the level of rank incompetence is astounding.

            Now put yourself in a community in which that rank incompetence is displayed on a daily basis. Live with, deal with, accept said rank incompetence on a daily basis for your entire life. And ask yourself how you might have responded when said rank incompetence resulted in the death of an 18 year old.

            Say a prayer for Ferguson. I have a bad feeling that city (as a whole) is gonna need all it can get in the next few days.

            Question: What do you expect the grand jury decision to be? Will there be rioting? BTW, should the verdict be announced today, this will be the open mic. I probably won't be writing anything more about this.

            Monday, August 11, 2014

            One Of My Nephews Was Murdered. The Other Is Heading To College.

            [Editor's Note: I intended to write this about a year ago when the original incident happened. I couldn't then, today I am. If you need some insight into why I wrote what I did about the Mike Brown murder, I'd suggest you digest this.]

            I had an 18 year old nephew.

            Last summer, that 18 year old nephew (technically my second cousin) was gunned down while sitting on the back of a car in Ft. Myers, Florida. The assailant, who snuck up from behind the house and fired shots at the car, intended to shoot my nephew's friend. He accidentally squeezed the trigger at the wrong person, presumably because they both had the same hairstyle. I will not pretend that my nephew was a saint. He was not. He made some poor choices in life and hung with the wrong crowd. But he was attempting to turn his life around, get a job, and complete his GED when this happened.

            As I flew to Florida for the funeral, I had to confront a lot of previously unprocessed feelings. I had last spoken with my nephew a few weeks earlier, not long after he'd finished a 6 month stint in the county jail for a crime he actually didn't commit (he was released and his record was expunged after the alleged victim changed his story). He seemed genuine in his goal to move forward, even as the bitterness of a lost half year of his life lingered. He asked me for money to get a driver's license. I said I would, then I got busy with my life and I never got back to him. I felt guilty about this. I felt guilty about a lot of things, actually.

            My nephew was my spitting image as a child. He was smart, witty, funny, maybe a little too mischievous, but still, he was my buddy. When I'd take him out with me, people always assumed he was my kid, even though he was my cousin's, by a man I'd only met a couple of times and who bore no resemblance to me. As the years passed, I moved away from NC and saw him less often. His mom moved him to Florida, and I saw him even less. Between the time he was in my wedding as ring bearer (around 5-6 years of age) and the time I last saw him alive (he was maybe a preteen at this point) there wasn't much contact. The occasional phone call (usually for "I got a good report card!" money, which I gave when I could) was about it, until I found out he was in jail. From there, we reconnected, sending smail mail letters back and forth. I tried to encourage him, convince him to change his lifestyle. He gave me a the typical "I got this" brushoff that 17 years olds are apt to give, but some of it sunk in, I'm sure. Or at least I hoped it did.

            Reality is, I couldn't do much for him. Physical distance aside, there were other rifts that were too large to bridge. He briefly lived by my brother and his family in Boston, but became such a disruption to the household that they sent him back. In Florida, he had chosen friends unwisely, made typical teenage decisions. The juvie stint wasn't warranted, but he'd done plenty else already to make himself familiar to those in local law enforcement. I would have loved to help my nephew. To get him out of Central Florida and move him to DC. To get him in better schools, with better support, and help him achieve a better outcome. But I have a life of my own, with demands of my own, a family of my own, problems of my own. I could have found time to get him the money for the driver's license. Maybe it would have helped him find a better job, an education, a way out. That, of course, never happened.

            When I saw my nephew, in a casket, I barely recognized him. The bright, cheeky kid I'd last seen as a tween was gone. In his place, was someone I didn't recognize. At all. Survivor's remorse enveloped me like a wool blanket. Reality is, I didn't do more to help him. I'm not sure anything I could have done would have helped. But I didn't do enough.

            Neither did the local cops, who in an ironic twist of fate, helped the person whom the bullets were intended for flee town for safety, then escorted him back into town for the funeral. And before you ask, yes, the guy whom the bullets were intended for knew who the shooter was. And no, he wasn't talking. And the cops also knew, but because the intended victim (and the others present when this happened) wasn't talking, they couldn't bring in the guy who did it. So I watched, in suspended disbelief, as the nigga who should have been in the casket, got police protection to come to my nephew's funeral. From a logical standpoint, this made sense. If the shooter came back to their original target, you'd want cops there. From any other standpoint, this was fucking insane.

            And I couldn't take it. I left the burial, skipped the repast, and went back to my hotel. I couldn't bear the thought that the man who should have been dead (and who could help get the shooter locked up) was going to live, while my nephew's casket was being covered with dirt. Something about that reality was perverse. Disgusting. It made me feel both vengeful and depressed at the same time. It made me hate myself for not trying to do more to help my nephew, even while acknowledging that he was so deep in the lifestyle, so far gone, that nothing I did would I likely spared him the fate he met. Delayed, maybe. Prevent? unlikely.

            I have an 18 year old nephew.

            He is smart, witty, funny. On rare occasions when he was younger and my wife and I had him out in public, people would often mistake him for my child, which is kinda silly because we are related by marriage. He was also a ring bearer in my wedding, along with the aforementioned nephew.

            Some days, when I sit alone with my thoughts, I am absolutely dumbfounded by how much their lives diverged since the only time the two of them met, some 13 years ago. While one nephew is in a grave, the other leaves for college, at my alma mater, to pursue the same degree as his uncle later this week. And I couldn't be prouder of him.

            This nephew had advantages my other didn't. A two parent household. A safe neighborhood. Good schools. Constant reinforcement from those around him. I cannot pretend that I had any bearing in how he turned out. I was just his uncle, a guy helped a little at the end, with college applications and visits. That was about it. But in many ways, I feel like it's my son headed to AggieLand this weekend.

            I just wish there were two of them.

            Why I Can Only Get So Angry About The Ferguson Police Shooting.

            [Editor's Note: This is one of my infamous, un-spellchecked, stream of conscious rants. I hope you follow, I understand if you don't. Nothing here should be misconstrued as a lack of sympathy for the victim or his family. If you read it that way, then you may be missing the point. And if you're missing the point to such a wide degree, then please don't comment here.]

            Another young, unarmed black man was over the weekend, in what seems to be a summer full of such incidents.
            A city in the St. Louis metropolitan area has become incredibly tense after local police reportedly shot and killed an unarmed teenager on Saturday afternoon.

            18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by Ferguson police officers during an encounter near the Canfield Green Apartments. According to KMOV, witnesses say Brown was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times by an officer.

            Eyewitness, Piaget Crenshaw, 19, was waiting for a ride to work when she said she saw the police officer attempting to place Brown in the rear seat of a squad car.

            She then observed the teen, hands in the air, attempt to flee. Several shots were fired at Brown as he ran, Crenshaw said, striking him in the head and chest.

            Crenshaw said police asked and she complied with a request that she turn photos of the scene over to authorities.

            Dorian Johnson said he was walking with Brown in the middle of the street when a police car pulled up. The officer told the teens to use the sidewalk, according to Johnson.

            After an exchange of words, the officer shot Brown even after he raised his hands in the air, Johnson said.

            The officer “shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” Johnson told KMOV. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

            Almost instantly, the scene of Brown’s death became ground zero for local outrage. Residents posted stark images from the scene to social media, including the below photo with the teenager’s corpse laying facedown in the street.

            The genesis of this was a physical confrontation,” Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, said at a Sunday news conference.

            The officer tried to leave his vehicle just before the shooting on Saturday afternoon, but Brown pushed him back into the car, “where he physically assaulted the police officer” and struggled over the officer’s weapon, Belmar said.

            A shot was fired inside the police car, and Brown was eventually shot about 35 feet away from the vehicle, Belmar said, adding few details because he didn’t want to “prejudice” the case.

            Police have not yet revealed what prompted the incident, but have confirmed that it was their officer who fired at Brown. Hundreds of local residents reportedly swarmed the scene, some chanting obscenities at the police.
            Having seen extensive coverage of the incident, I'm not buying the cops story here. This happened in broad daylight and in plain view of dozens, if not hundreds of people. They don't have any reason to lie. If they say the boy turned and had his hands up, then I'm going to believe them. It's not like dozens of black people had the time to congress and corroborate their story. So yeah, the cops shot this kid, even after he had turned and assumed the position. Nothing the police say, or do at this point will change the fact that they took a woman's child for no reason. They were wrong. Period. The cop who did this should face murder charges. Period.

            But I'm sorry if I can't get all that upset about this one. Yes, it's tragic that this boy was shot and killed. But come on, when I'm seeing ...
            Police in Prince George’s County say a 2-year-old girl was killed after being struck by gunfire.

            Police say they were called to the 6900 block of Forest Terrace in Landover, Md. on Sunday and discovered the child. The girl was taken to the hospital where she died. Police say there was a fight between two men at the residence and that one man left and returned to open fire.

            Police say the girl does not appear to have been the target and that they are searching for the suspect, who ran away after the shooting.
            A man was found shot to death inside a Prince George’s County 北京体彩网官方网站 early Thursday morning, and police have ruled it a homicide.

            Police were called to a 北京体彩网官方网站 in the 9900 block of Chessington Way in Mitchellville just after 5:30 a.m. for the report of gunshots. When officers arrived they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

            Homicide detectives are at the scene investigating. Police say there is no threat to the community.
            A 30-year-old woman charged with fatally stabbing her mother in a Columbia Heights apartment told police that she may have been high on PCP during the attack, after which she tried to take her own life, according to an arrest affidavit filed in court Friday.

            The document says the suspect, Kieva Lynette Hooks, told a police detective that she had been arguing with her mother. She then broke down in tears and said, “I feel bad about what I did to my mom,” the affidavit says.

            Hooks was charged with second-degree murder while armed and ordered held until a preliminary hearing Aug. 11. The body of her mother, Tajuana Lynn Hooks, 54, was found Thursday morning on the floor, next to a couch, in a first-floor apartment in the 1300 block of Columbia Road NW.
            All of those incidents, involving black suspects and black victims, happened this week in the DC area. There were no protests. There was no Al Sharpton.[1] There was no call to action. No marches. No catchy hashtags. No Nancy Grace. Nothing.

            Those people's lives didn't matter to us, because the people who shot them look like us. Their murders were garden variety. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the visceral reaction to incidents involving police shooting unarmed people, and the media attention that follows such incidents. That outrage is because power was misused by those who should be there to protect us. But bullets don't discriminate. Whether from a cop, an errant driveby, an intruder, or a daughter, the net result is the same. A person senselessly killed.

            So I'm sorry if I'm not pouring out tears for Michael Brown. And I don't say that with any trace of sarcasm. Not when I had a nephew murdered in broad daylight last summer and nobody cared enough to tell the cops who did it, even though they all know. I guess I've just gotten so desensitized to black murder that the circumstances which lead to it don't even phase me anymore. And that bothers me. I hope it bothers you, because the net result is the same. Death. Pointless death. One of these days, we, collectively, will get angry enough as a society to do something about this. I pray we will.

            On a completely unrelated note, what's up with this sh*t? Some negroes in Ferguson said "eff' a peaceful protest . Because Michael Brown would have wanted that.
            Protests over the slaying of a teenage boy reportedly turned violent on Sunday evening in the Missouri city of Ferguson.

            On Saturday afternoon a police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed at the time, setting off a wave of protests. Read our extensive coverage of the incident here.

            Portions of the crowds gathered for a vigil on Sunday have reportedly turned violent. Footage emerged on social media of crowds swarming a QuickTrip convenience store, looting and causing damage. The latest on-scene reports indicate the QuickTrip is now “burning,” and rioters have moved on to other local shops.

            KMOV-TV alleges that protestors also smashed out a window of their live news truck. According to multiple outlets, riot police have been called to the scene.
            Expressing your anger at the police shooting by looting a beauty supply store? Werd?

            The only thing standing between black people reaching our collective excellence is niggers like this.

            Question: What do you think? Why don't we as a collective community find black-on-black shootings as enraging? Is the media's tendency to trump up stories of black-on-white crime or police shootings while damn near ignoring black-on-black shootings a strange Grand Hu$tle that makes us feel like black life is without value? Have I turned into Black Bill O'Reilly or are you also outraged that you aren't more outraged about this latest police shooting? Why is there such a sense of nihilism in the black community regarding garden variety black-on-black crime?

            [1] BTW, I love Al Shapton, so there's no shots fired here.

            Wednesday, July 30, 2014

            Did Stephen A. Smith Actually Say It Was Okay To Beat A Woman?!?

            I'm not a big ESPN viewer, unless we're talking about live sports. The reasons are many, but most of them have to do with the network's tendency to over-sensationalize stories to the point of idiocy. In a lot of ways, ESPN's programming is like Fox News with sports subbed in for "politics". Most shows feature people yelling over each other disguised as a "debate", which seldom yields in any level of intelligent discourse. No show exemplifies this more than First Take, with Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, and a black chick who sits between the two and seems to do little other than say "ummm hmmm" and occasionally nods her head.[1]

            Smith is no stranger to controversy. A guy whose comments on non-sports topics often land him in hot water, Screamin' A. has made a good living off of toeing the line between political correctness and corporately acceptable ratchetness. But lead to ESPN putting him in timeout.
            ESPN suspended Stephen A. Smith for a week on Tuesday for comments that suggested women should avoid provoking men into assaulting them.

            Smith raised the subject of provocation last Friday during a discussion on “First Take,” on ESPN2, about the two-game suspension received by Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice from the N.F.L. over allegations that he beat his fiancée, now his wife, in a casino elevator. Smith’s remarks led to a rebuke on Twitter from another ESPN star, Michelle Beadle.

            In a recorded apology Monday, Smith said that he had failed to properly articulate his view and that he had not intended to say that domestic violence was a woman’s fault.

            Smith will return to “First Take,” and to his afternoon ESPN Radio show in New York, next Wednesday.

            Smith’s weeklong suspension is less severe than the 30 days imposed on Max Bretos, an ESPN anchor who used the term “chink in the armor” in reference to Jeremy Lin in 2012. In 2010, Tony Kornheiser was suspended two weeks for comments he made on radio about an outfit worn by Hannah Storm, a “SportsCenter” anchor.
            Smith is a staple at ESPN and First Take's ratings are huge, so there's no way the channel was going to fire him Rob Parker-style unless he refused to apologize. Not one to go out like Anthony Cumia, Smith has now apologized more than Reuben Studdard. He is taking his one week suspension like a "G", and all will be back to normal next week. But I'm wondering what was so wrong about Smith's comments in the first place.

            Let's have another listen.

            I know it's trendy and fun to clown Stephen A. I mean, seriously, that hairline alone is reason enough. But uhhh, sorry if I'm missing the boat here, but what exactly did he say that was so controversial? At no point did he say it was okay to beat a woman. He went out of his way to say the exact opposite. He simply said that as a man with sisters whom he might have to defend at some point, he wants to make sure his sisters don't do anything to put themselves in such a situation in the first place. Can a woman provoke a man to the point where he defends himself/responds out of anger? Yes. Does that justify the man responding out of anger? No, not under any circumstances.

            I may be wrong, but I believe that's all Smith is saying here. Don't provoke a man to the point of violence and there won't be any. That doesn't excuse Ray Rice or any other wifebeater, it simply says that domestic violence is (in some cases) a two way street. Don't dish it out if you don't want to end up in a scenario in which you might have to take it.

            That's not in any way justifying a man hitting a woman. I will raise my sons to not ever put their hands on a woman. There's no justification for that at all. But as a man with a daughter, I'll also teach her the very same thing. Don't assume that every man you interact with has been instilled with the same values as your brothers.

            Because they might not have been, and you don't want to find that out the hard way.

            Question: Did Smith have a point, or was he just being a sexist, woman-hating blowhard?

            [1] Seriously, what does she do? Anything?

            Monday, March 24, 2014

            The Real March Madness: Just Pay The Damn Kids Already!!!

            A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a large majority of the general public opposes paying salaries to college athletes beyond the scholarships currently offered.

            Only 33 percent support paying college athletes. At 64 percent, opposition is nearly twice as high as support, with 47 percent strongly against the idea. Nearly every demographic and political group opposes it except non-whites, for whom 51 percent support. The breakdown among whites (73 percent oppose, 24 percent support) tilted strongly in the opposite direction, echoing the perspective of NCAA President Mark Emmert.

            Only 19 percent indicated they strongly support paying salaries to college athletes. No demographic or political group, except for non-whites, had more than 25 percent expressing strong support for the idea . Though some groups were more supportive overall than others, most rejected the proposition. Just 40 percent of men, for instance, are in favor vs. 27 percent for women. Among self-professed fans of college sports, 37 percent support paying player compared with 27 percent of non-fans.

            The public, however, was split evenly when asked about the proposition of allowing college athletes to form a union to negotiate their rights and working conditions, with 47 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing.

            The racial contrast was more pronounced on the issue of unions, with 66 percent of non-whites supporting the idea but 56 percent of whites opposing it. Nearly two-thirds of respondents under the age of 40 were in favor, but 57 percent of individuals over age 50 were against.
            I'm not going to unwrap the racial disparity in views on this topic. I'll let ya'll have at that. My sentiment is as it has always been: pay the damn kids!

            The NCAA has a 14-year, $11 billion agreement with CBS and Turner Sports for the TV rights to a 68-team tournament. The NCAA sells billions in merchandise bearing the number and likeness of these athletes each year. In many states, the football/basketball coach is the highest paid public employee. NCAA President Mark Emmert was credited with nearly $1.7M in salary last year. Name me any other walk of life in which the talent gets paid zero, while the people in charge literally make billions. Go ahead, I'll wait....

            I think student athletes in revenue generating sports (men's BB and FB) should share in any annual profits those programs generate. Open the books, and do some basic math. Give the athletes some small, fixed percentage at the end of each year of eligibility that the program turns a profit and put it in an interest bearing account. If you don't play a sport that generates money (ie: baseball, track, which FB and BB actually fund at most schools) and you get nothing. You drop out of school, transfer out, fail out, turn pro, or fail to graduate within 5 years and you get nothing.[1]

            Also, allow the student athletes to get summer jobs and/or take internships in their field of study to properly prepare for post-graduate life. They are prohibited from doing so right now, which just illuminates how silly the "student athlete" moniker really is. If you're a computer science major and graduate with no relevant work experience, your degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on in today's hyper-competitive workforce. By design, the NCAA says you can't both play basketball and prepare for your future. How is that fair?

            Graduate on time and you get whatever vested amount your program has set aside for you in a 401K upon receiving your diploma. At schools that make money (ie: Florida), a football player can walk away and begin their post-graduate life with maybe $15-$20k. At schools that make nothing (ie: McNeese State) the kids get nothing. It's a fair, a free market approach that rewards those who contribute to the bottom line of universities and the NCAA, cuts down on corruption, and rewards both the school and the athletes for their shared success (or lack thereof).

            So next time you're cheering for these "kids", remember they're really getting nothing in return for their efforts. and not only could you lose your eligbility, but you could also be on the hook for your own medical bills (something that happens far often than most people know). Have an off year and you could be dropped from your scholarship altogether (ditto). How on Earth is that "fair"?

            March is "Mad" in more ways than stunning upsets.[2]

            Question: Should the kids be paid? What's with the racial breakdown in those who support paying athletes and those who don't?!?

            [1] Yeah, I know, I've written this post at least once every year that this blog has been in existence. I'll stop writing it when the problem as addressed. So there.

            [2] Duck Fuke. Always. And look at that white kid doing the Nae Nae!!!!

            Monday, March 17, 2014

            Would You Publicly Whip Your Teenaged Daughter With A Belt For Twerking On Facebook?!?

            My daughter turns two in a couple of months. She looks and sounds every bit of 3 already. She speaks in full, intelligible sentences, is over the 100th percentile in height and weight, and already has perfected the art of selective listening. She's also cute as a button. So yes, I have sleepless nights wondering what this is all going to look like in about 11-12 years. Namely, how I'm going to juggle the typical father/tweenage daughter dynamic.[1] You still have to maintain some level of authority while allowing a girl to find herself. Push too hard and it's revolt city. Be too passive and she'll walk right over you. It's a precarious balance that some fathers ace, and others don't even bother to navigate.

            So when this video, courtesy of The Uppity Negro landed on my radar, I had to post it. And yeah, I already know. I'm scouring World Star Hip Hop for post fodder. It's that sorta day. Deal with it. Or Beal With It™. The video description says "Bad parenting or is this type of discipline acceptable now a days? Father disciplines his 13-year-old daughter after missing for 3 days messing around with boys & then posts all on facebook." and that's about all the context I have here.

            Warning: This video contains some very offensive imagery and isn't for the weak at heart.

            Well let's get one thing right out of the way: if you're going to publicly flog whip your child, you might want to check to make sure nobody has their i北京体彩网官方网站Phone out before you start whipping your child's ass in the Piney Courts Projects parking lot. So yeah, this guy is prolly going to jail for assault. Dumbass.

            Beyond that, it's clear this sperm donor.... errr, "father" has no authority or control over his daughter. And while it's certainly understandable that he's upset (clearly!) there were probably 1,928 other ways to process and relay his disappointment. And he chose the absolute worst option possible. Great judgement, buddy. Pull out next time.

            I won't add much more here, other than to say this man is wrong assed wrong, and that his daughter is prolly gonna be missing for a week "messing around with boys" next time, and might have a bun in the over upon return. Seriously, if you were that concerned, why didn't you call the cops and get them to issue an Aisha Amber alert? You know, like sensible concerned fathers do?

            Instead, this ass hat is headed to jail and his daughter is one step closer to the pole. #message

            Nice work, breh.

            Bonus: Since I'm already scraping the bottom on the internet barrel for material today, he's another example of Atrocious Black Parenting™ that I meant to post awhile back. This one's rather self-explanatory.[2]

            Question: Add your two cents to this senseless story.

            [1] Other than owning a firearm to ward of... err "vet" potential suitors.

            [2] Is it just me, or do SOME Black people not understand the concept of putting your phone in "landscape" mode instead of "portrait"? Just sayin'.

            Monday, August 26, 2013

            How Antoinette Tuff Restored (And Eroded) My Faith In 'Merica.

            by talking the demented gunman into turning himself in. It's a story that captured the imagination of the country北京体彩网官方网站, and would be optioned to Lifetime Movies For Women any moment now if we lived in a truly postracial society.[1] Seriously, Hollywood couldn't make this sh*t up, and Hollywood made up Avatar, so that just tells you how unlikely this story is.

            After the story broke and the details of Tuff's heroism were disclosed, I was personally dismayed that she wasn't immediately being given "The Real American Hero" treatment. There were no next day interviews on GMA, no rumors of a 7 figure book deal, no celebrities tweeting (self-congratulatory) congrats to the heroine. Nothing. By Thursday, Tuff made some appearances on CNN and other national outlets, the President called to say thanks and invite her to the White House (at some point in the future) and then... well, nothing. With the Match On Washington this weekend, the story has basically disappeared from our consciousness. A hero is certainly more than a sandwich, but not all heroes are made equal.[2]

            I can't help but compare the treatment this story has gotten when compared to other similar "Real American Hero" stories of late. Captain Sully landed an airplane in the Hudson River and had since gained international renown. The media followed Edward Snowden around the world after the snitched and gave away NSA secrets. Bradley Manning was a hero, until Conservatives realized he liked wearing women's clothes and wants to now be known as Chelsea. Hell, you'll recall Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland dishwasher who rescued three women from captivity got a greater reception, although the attention her garnered likely had a lot to do with this "colorful" personality.

            So yeah, pardon me for giving the sideye to America for not showering Tuff with the typical trappings of instant fame. To wit: the fund that Tuff established for donations to the organization for underprivileged kids that she's a part of yet.[2] I can't help but juxtapose this to the plight of bus monitor Karen Huff Klein, who endured taunts from kids and ended up with over $1M to retire with. I'm not saying that was wrong, I'm merely observing the contrast. Maybe people can personally identify with an elderly bus driver who was a victim than a middle aged black woman who was a hero. Maybe it's because no kids actually died. Maybe it's cause these were middle-lower classed black kids in the suburbs. Seriously, I have no idea, but something about the comparative receptions rubs me the wrong way. No Johnny Gill.

            Is it wrong to equate heroism with monetary donations and media attention? Sure it is. But like it or not, it's the American way. And based on the amount of those this story has generated so far, I can only conclude that America doesn't think Antoinette Tuff's "our kinda hero".

            Question: Do you feel like Tuff's story is getting the amount of attention it deserves? Have you personally donated to her fund yet?

            [1] I watch an inordinate amount of LMN for a grown, straight male. I've covered the reasons why here, already. One common thread on LMN: the heroines are never, ever, ever black. Thus the above comment.

            [2] I will confess I'm somewhat surprised that those on the right haven't (yet) started trying to tear down/discredit Tuff now that she got a call from the President and had the nerve to say he was a "good leader". I was pretty sure they'd be digging into her tax, government assistance, or state employee records looking for dirt by now. You know, the typical "guilt by Obama Association" sh*t. Word to Shirley Sherrod.

            [3] Before you ask, yes. I did.

            Monday, July 15, 2013

            After Trayvon Martin.

            [Editor's Note: This is not spellchecked, and it's also likely incoherent at points. Forgive me. Blame the hands, not the heart.]

            I, like many of you, was devastated to hear the verdict Saturday night. As the jury forewoman read the words "not guilty", my mind numbed. Did I really hear what I thought I'd heard? My wife hit the repeat button on the DVR, and yet again, the verdict, stated so quickly and matter of factly, was still "not guilty". And with that, the whole thing was over. Zimmerman was a free man, one with a bright, lucrative future once his inevitable book and movie option deal materialize. And the Martin family was screwed, left to go on without their child, with feelings of justice denied.

            Like most domesticated Negroes, the thought of going to Best Buy and stealing a few PS3's never crossed my mind. I took my frustations to social media, which is pretty much the 2013 equivalent of rioting. I predicted this would be the medium most used to air their frustrations last week, and (much to the chagrin of media outlets who clearly wanted riots!) was correct. Yesterday, I avoided any form of media (social, print, televised) like the plague. There wasn't anything I needed to hear from anyone to make me feel any better about what had happened.

            Two days after The Verdict, I'm wondering what we, as Americans, have learned from all this. That black life posseses inferently less value in this country北京体彩网官方网站's judicial, educational, and economic systems? I doubt anyone with a functional brain didn't already know this. Did we learn that "it's not what you know, it's what you can prove"? Again, anyone with a decent understanding of the law already knew that. The burden of proof was on the state, not the defense here. And reality is, they simply didn't run a solid enough case. I said so for 4 weeks. The way that the state closed its case gave me some glimmer of hope, but again, if you look at the evidence as submitted via the state, it was clear all along that they simply didn't have enough to convict Zimmerman.

            This, of course, doesn't make Zimmerman innocent of wrongdoing. We all know he wouldn't have profiled a similarly attired white teenager. That he shouldn't have gotten out of his car. That he should have identified himself as a neighborhood watchman. That he shouldn't have engaged Martin at all. That he, by virtue of pulling that trigger, is the reason why Martin is dead. We know all of that.

            I don't know is how to explain this to my children. How to prevent my two sons from meeting the same fate Martin did one rainy Sunday night in Central Florida. I, as a parent, can prepare my kids, teach them to respect autority, explain to them why they need to always be aware that they're being judged by a slightly different set of rules, even when those judging have no recourse for doing so. Just as my father prepared me and my brothers. Just as his father prepared him and his brother.

            They can do all of that, and still end up dead in the grass, because someone assumed something about his based purely on your appearance. And the man responsible can walk and become a millionaire, why I, as a father, would be left feeling every bit as helpless, angry, and hopeless as I'm certain Tracy Martin does today.


            Tuesday, May 21, 2013

            The Obamas: Black America's Crotchety Grandfather And Nagging Head Of The Usher Board.

            over at The Atlantic.]

            Four and a half years into this whole "Black President" thing, I'm willing to admit some of us might have gotten it wrong. No, I'm not talking about whether voting for Obama over McCain in 2008 was the right call (it was), nor whether voting for Obama over Clinton was the right call (I'm fairly certain it was). I'm talking about the insistence of some in Black America that electing a Black President would make the lives of everyday Black Folks better. Many thought this would magically raise achievement of black students, magically get more black folks to tie the knot, magically transport black men from "The Traaaap" to Morehouse, and magically get sistas off the pole and turned into a new generation of Claire Huxtables. Personally, I always thought this sh*t was some pie in the sky, "Success By Osmosis" talk. I've expressed doubt about this repeatedly here over the years, and many of you have expressed your (fervent) disagreement. It happens.

            Still, I thought the election of a Black President would yield some tangible benefits to the black community, beyond a slew of streets and schools renamed after him. I took his campaign promise to institute "Urban Empowerment Zones" to spur economic development, his promise to take the "Harlem Children's Zone" model nationwide in an effort to fix ailing schools, and his promise to end the disparity in crack/powder cocaine sentencing seriously. I mean, this sh*t was actually on his campaign website, not conjured up in the heads of people projecting each and every aspiration of an entire race onto one man. So yeah, I expected that much, at least, and that much would most certainly have yielded some benefits specific to Black People.

            When folks like Tavis Smiley and Cornell West raised concerns about Obama's "Black Platform" during the election, they were summarily dismissed as crabs in a barrel himself) undermined their points, but in retrospect, those points had some validity.

            Fast forward half a decade, and much of what they warned about has come true. Obama pays very little attention to the Black Community beyond the usual lip service when it comes time to get re-elected. Sure, parading all those singing, dancing, acting Black folks in and out of the White House for events makes him appear more culturally in-tune than his predecessors, but I've always been far more concerned about the near absence of people of color in said White House making decisions and pushing policy. With the minor exception of flying to Chicago to lecture Black folks about personal responsibility (and to use them as a backdrop to push gun control post-Newtown), the President has been about as omniscient in the Black community as a Zoe's Kitchen.[1] Sure, he'll drop into a black church or show up at a black commencement speech every now and then to keep his street cred save face, but the topic of his speech is almost always the same: "Ya'll n*ggas need to stop f*ckin' up so much and get like me." Of course, he would help more people "get like him" if he pushed some actual laws that helped "them", but what's a minor detail like policy in the grand scheme of things?

            The lack of concern for Black communities (beyond winning an election) was underscored 3 times last week. After some outlandishly ignorant Negroes opened fire on a Mother's Day Parade (!!!) in New Orleans, injuring 19 people (including kids), the White House did nothing beyond issue the typical "yeah, we're sorry that happened to you" press release. There was no press conference assuring Crescent City citizens that the Feds would dedicate every available resource to finding the (at that point still) on the loose gunmen. No call to examine gun laws. No promise to ensure children in New Orleans could go to a Mother's Day parade in the future without worrying about getting sprayed with bullets. No nothing, really. Seriously, Google "new orleans mothers day shooting obama" and see what you get. Lemme know how that works out for you.

            The cherries on the proverbial Insult Sundae came over the weekend. I didn't watch the POTUS' speech at Morehouse, but I did watch Michelle Obama's mostly gracious speech at my wife alma mater, Bowie State.

            I love the FLOTUS as much as I love myself a good Syfy movie and the subsequent long Sunday afternoon nap[2], but .
            "Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they're sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they're fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper. Right now, one in three African-American students are dropping out of high school; only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree."
            Uh, seriously, this speech was at a ceremony for the very people who defied every stereotype and hurdled every obstacle. What exactly is the point of bringing this up, and to whom exactly are you talking? Would you toast someone at a wedding by mentioning just how terrible the state of black marriage is? I think not.

            I'm sure this sounds petty and nitpicky to many of you, but this speech and others of its ilk ring hollow for many reasons. Educational attainment and gender gaps are issues also prevalent in the white community (albeit to a far lesser degree) but neither the POTUS nor FLOTUS would breach the subject of personal responsibility when addressing the graduates of a mostly white college. And this also isn't new, as the President has been giving slightly different riffs on the same topic for years now.

            At what point does the President use black people for something other than a backdrop to address a much wider-focused political point, and actually use his (dwindling) power to address the very government created policies that (in)directly created many of the problems Black people are facing in the first place?

            Personally, I'm getting tired of hearing all this "personal responsibility sh*t" flung at black audiences. Personally, I'd like the President to "take personal responsibility" of his own and start doing something, anything, to address said issues.

            Personally, I'm not holding my breath.

            Question: Does the President' lip service to the black community tick you off, or am I just in Super Hater Mode today?!?

            [1] , BTW. And no, that's not a paid ad.

            [2] In other words, a lot. A whole lot.

            Friday, December 14, 2012

            Is RG III Black Enough?!?

            Robert Griffin III has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing year for DC sports[1], and has singlehandedly made me a legitimate Redskins fan.[2] Dude is easily the most electrifying player to hit the NFL since Adrian Peterson, and has rejuvenated a once-proud big-market franchise. He is truly must-see TV, and has the Skins on the verge of the playoffs for the first time in years.

            Playing for a frachise that has its share of not-so-savory racial history (last NFL team to integrate), in a city that's majority black, lots of people view RGIII's contributions beyond the prism of on-field performance.[3] There's plenty of cultural cache that comes along with being a winning black QB in Chocolate City.[4] It's why Griffin's great season transcends sports in many ways, resulting in yesterday.
            An ESPN spokesman called Rob Parker’s comments about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III “inappropriate” and said Thursday night that the network “is evaluating our next steps.”

            Parker, in commentary on “First Take,” questioned RGIII’s blackness, asking, “Is he a brother or a cornball brother?” The comments came in reaction to an interview with Comcast SportsNet’s Chick Hernandez in which RGIII talked about his role as the leader of the Redskins and as an African-American.

            “Whenever you can relate to the population of the team that you play for, I think it makes it that much more special,” Griffin said. “I don’t play too much into the color game, because I don’t want to be the best African American quarterback, I want to be the best quarterback.

            “This is an interesting topic,” ESPN's Parker said. “For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people.

            “I understand the whole story of I just want to be the best,” Parker continued. “Nobody’s out on the field saying to themselves, I want to be the best black quarterback. You’re just playing football, right? You want to be the best, you want to throw the most touchdowns and have the most yards and win the most games. Nobody is [thinking] that.

            “But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him,” Parker went on. “And I’ve talked to some people down in Washington D.C., friends of mine, who are around and at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question. Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”

            What does that mean, Parker was asked.

            “Well, [that] he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us,” Parker explained. “He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the guy you’d really want to hang out with, because he’s off to do something else.”

            Why is that your question, Parker was asked.

            “Well, because I want to find out about him,” Parker said. “I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like I’ve got black skin but don’t call me black. So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on.”
            Here's video of Parker's comment. The fact that this discussion even took place, and that Stephen A. Smith was the voice of reason, simply gives me more reasons to not tune into ESPN.

            I'll admit something readily here: I've often wondered how Griffin's ultra-polished, do-no-evil, uber-disciplined military brat background plays in the Redskins locker room full of quasi-thugs like Santana Moss and Brandon Banks. That dynamic (middle classed black kid vs black kid from the hood') is one seldom explored in black culture. I'm not quite sure if that's what Parker meant by "cornball", but I suspect it is. Either way, whatever nuanced point he was attempting to get across got totally lost when he questioned whether Griffin was "down for the cause". That's some seriously stupid sh*t right there. "The Cause" is winning games. The team doesn't need RGIII to run a lunch counter sit-in or a bus boycott, they need him to run the football. He's pretty good at that (and throwing the football too). So Parker totally screwed the pooch from the jump.

            Here's the real problem with what Rob Parker said: it's barbershop talk, not the kind of sh*t you say on national television when you essentially work for Disney. Do some (not all) black folks have a natural hesitance to trust brothas who only date white chicks? Sure, that happens. Do some black folks have a natural hesitance to trust brothas who speak "proper" English? Yep. Do some black folks have a natural hesitance to trust brothas who don't wear any facial hair? Indeed. But these are typically pointless conversations that take place "amongst family". I don't know Rob Parker, but it seems pretty clear that in his quest to "keep it trill", he sorta forgot where he was. There are some conversations (ie: darkskinned vs lightskinned) that you simply don't have "in front of company".

            Of course, there's the issue of "blackness" and Parker's insinuation that Griffin doesn't "own" his (see: Woods, Eldrick) which is beyond silly. Griffin, in response to the original question, simply said he doesn't want to be defined only as "a black QB", which, given some of the historical stereotypes associated with black players at this position, makes plenty of sense. The fact that so many people are still comparing RGIII to a washed-up Mike Vick and the perpetually boneheaded Cam Newton is proof enough. Griffin's much more like Steve Young to my admittedly uneducated football eye. So I totally get his "I don't want to be defined only as a black QB" comment. As a person in corporate America who is irked at how often I'm mistaken for/compared to other black employees, I can relate. Wishing to be seen as "something more than just the black guy" is quite different from "not even wanting to be known as the black guy". Huge difference.

            Parker, assuming he's "down for the cause", prolly shoulda understood this. Obviously, he either didn't, or pretended not to so he could say something sensational. Neither is excusable.

            Good luck with that pink slip, Rob Parker. I hear the job market is hard out there for "real black" folks.

            Question: What the heck was Rob Parker thinking? Are there some discussions that need to be kept "in the family" and not had "in front of company"? Do you have any idea what that last sentence meant?!?

            [1] Those d*mn Wizards...

            [2] Thanks to VLatte for the annual ticket hookup!

            [3] Playing in a city where politics loom so large has also lead to . I also wish .

            [4] Please note the term "winning". The Skins have had other black QB's in recent seasons. Rodney Peete. Tony Banks. Leon Murray. Jason Campbell. None of them bamas was any good, and black folks booed them just as badly as any other white QB.

            Wednesday, November 7, 2012

            Obama Wins. And So Does Amurricah.

            So yeah, Obama won again. Unlike 4 years ago, which felt historical, this simply felt like vindication. Not revenge. Just vindication.

            I think the American People proved for once and for all that you can't insult large swaths of the populace and expect them to vote for you.

            I think the American People proved for once and for all that you can't say you're for something to gain your party's nomination, then "Etch A Sketch" your way to new positions in the general primary.

            I think the American People proved for once and for all that just because you win your party's nomination by default doesn't make you a good candidate.

            I think the American People proved for once and for all that you'll entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

            I think the American People proved for once and for all that mediocre, uninspiring candidates simply can't win when facing a candidat who's the polar opposite.

            So yeah, vindication.

            On a few separate, but mostly equal, notes:

            Allen West, take your 1987 high top fade and get packin'. It's been surreal.

            Michelle Bachmann, Jesus spared your Congressional seat. Maybe you should start listening to him now.

            Mia Love, a black female Mormon from Utah for Congress? Uh, yeah, okay.

            Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Karl Rove and every other "pundit" who's made a great living off trashing Obama, please have four seats.

            You can now legally get lifted in 2 states, and same sex married in 3. #progress

            Black folks showed up to the polls in record numbers, again. I'm sure the media will gloss over this factoid, but please don't. When it matters, we show up and show out. Beleedat!

            Paul Ryan couldn't even deliver his 北京体彩网官方网站 state. Combine that with him being completely and utterly exposed as shallow on policy issues, and I think this star has burned out.

            Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and every other rape isn't that bad cro-magnon, I'm so happy you lost. My daughter's uterus thanks you for your losing efforts and general loserdom.

            Hispanics voted for Obama at a 71% clip. So yeah, that whole self-deportation, Marco Rubio's awesome, show us your papers sh*t didn't endear them to the GOP after all. Shocker.

            Obama won the female vote by almost 15%. Guess they value their uteruses after all.

            The GOP won North Carolina again. Booooo!

            Anyone who thinks the GOP controlled Congress is now, magically gonna work with the POTUS is clueless. Completely clueless.

            BTW, that prior point included the POTUS, who is still on some kumbaya, bipartisan sh*t.

            Stacey Dash, I hope that 6 weeks of media attention was worth it. Black folks is prolly done with you for now.

            GOP pundits are already mapping out strategies for 2014 and 2016. They ain't workin' with Obama. The sooner he figures this out, the better.

            Get ready for 4 more years of gridlock, middling jobs numbers, fear mongering, sneak dissin', and general frustration. So yeah, basically, just like 2009-2012, with grayer hair.

            Question: What are your post-election takeaways? Did the outcome surprise you at all?

            * Is that #2Termz pic my screensaver today? Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

            Thursday, July 12, 2012

            The Problem With Boycotting Love And Hip Hop Atlanta And Other Negro Reality TV Show.

            [Editor's Note: Yes, this is a very long-winded diatribe about a reality show. If this ain't your cup of oolong, spare us the comments and just hit the archives, please. Carrying on...]

            Since I run a reasonably successful blog[1] on which my personal email address is prominently featured, I get forwarded a bunch of crap in my inbox. And not an hour goes by without me getting an e-petition to boycott some Negro Reality TV show. Enough is enough.

            Not gonna lie here, I love me some Negro Reality TV. I watch the Housewives, I watched Basketball Wives before it got really lame, my wife has been making me attempting to get me into Hollywood Exes, and oh yeah, we watch the newest Negro Reality phenomenon, Love And Hip Hop Atlanta. The shows in a strange way have become an integral part of pretty much any family function we have at our house. We store a bunch of them on the DVR, and when my mom, aunt, brothers, okay, most my side of the family comes over, we re-watch the shows together and talk smack. Could we as a family be sitting around doing estate planning and retracing our roots back to the Motherland instead? Sure. But we like this more. Sue us.

            I can't really explain why I like these shows, other than the fact that they make me feel slightly better about my lot in life on days when I need such a thing. I also realize that an educated, professional black man is supposed to be doing more productive sh*t with his time like reading books or 北京体彩网官方网站 improvement projects. Whatever. People like what they like, and when they like something, they make up reasons for liking it that seldom make sense to those who don't like it.

            If that last line confused you, re-read it. Slowly. Word. By. Word.

            Love And Hip Hop Atlanta (we'll just call it LAHHATL) is a particularly ratchet show. The show's an assortment of people you'd prolly want to avoid in real life. On TV, they're practically impossible to turn away from. It's like the TV equivalent of a train wreck.

            Child-sized "ex-Bad Boy producer" Stevie J talks like a pimp who might just have a yet-to-be diagnosed case of Bell's Palsy.[2] If he is a pimp, he has the most deplorable stable of talent. His baby mama Mimi is a walking, talking case study in Daddy issues and insecurity. The man treats her with zero respect, yet she stays with him, obviously because she has no means of paying her own rent. Which seems to be a pattern because nobody on this show has an actual job that requires a W-2. Stevie's other "girl", a strange, alien looking chick named Joseline might not even technically be a girl. The results are inconclusive. The fake pregnancy test she took that revealed she was pregnant with Stevie J's baby was not inconclusive. And yes, there was an equally faked abortion. It's that kinda classy party, folks. Do wear white.

            Veteran rapper Rasheeda is on the wrong side of 30 years old, and intermittently talks like a grandmother, which, (irony alert!) she actually is. Her husband is the most effeminate, undeniably straight man ever seen on TV, as well as her manager, which naturally means they're perpetually broke. They're the closest thing to an actual functional couple on a show that has "Love" in its title. Nice. The other characters consist of a bunch of women who look alike and are too boring for me to bother knowing their names. There's some Keyshia Cole wannabe who has a well documented anger problem that's effecting her career arc. Some other chick who also wants Stevie J to produce her records, conveniently ignoring the fact that Stevie hasn't made a hit since the Clinton administration. Some other-other chick with a hairdo way too short for her head size who dispenses relationship advice, but (shocker!) has no man of her own.

            And then there's Lil' Scrappy and his "ladies".

            Look, I actually like Lil' Scrappy. I still listen to "Beatin' Down The Block" at least twice a month. I, too, wanna be a gangsta foreveerrrrrr. But sadly Lil' Scrappy, who is now pushing 31, but acts the inverse, has no clue that the cRap game has passed him by. It's sad watching a grown man who should prolly just go enroll at Everest College and call it a day, still trying to "relaunch his career". Scrappy's baby mama Ericka is a nice girl who prolly did go to Everest College, but has no clue that when a man announces he's "moving out to get some space", it doesn't mean he's preparing to ask for your hand in marriage. Nope, it means he wants to go bang some other h*es, including one chick from Flavor Of Love who looks like she's been eating a looooot of Church's since her last Negro Reality TV series. And then there's Scrappy's Trill OG mother Mama Dee who yells at Ericka that she "left my son for dead!!!" when Ericka apparently didn't attend to Scrappy during a bout with asthma. Yes, thugs with inhalers. Get like me.

            If this all sounds too convoluted or just downright tacky for your bourgeois sensitives, join the crowd. But hey, I love the show, and watch it religiously. Does that somehow make me less intelligent? Less enlightened? Should I really be somewhere reading a book or finishing a 北京体彩网官方网站 improvement project? Prolly so. Whatever.

            I guess I don't get too tripped up by these shows because I consider them nothing more than entertainment.[3] Period. They're little more than loosely scripted sitcoms. You could even call it a soap opera and I personally wouldn't be too offended. It is what it is. And what it isn't is "making black people look bad". That's some bullsh*t and it's a seriously lame cop out.

            You wanna know what really makes black people look bad? Black people.

            Open a newspaper. Turn on Fox News the 6 o'clock news. Turn on your local Hot/Power/Kiss radio station. Take a field trip (back) to the hood'. Hell, just take a look around at your next family reunuion. We know drama, eff' a TNT. We practically invented it. These shows are but another pickle on the sh*t sandwich that is the current state of Black America, hell, for that matter, America period. If you wanna see some truly ignant behavior, just flip over to CMT. They also know drama. And yeah, eff' a TNT.[4]

            So no, I can not, I shall not, and I will not sign your simp-assed petition to get a Negro Reality TV show off the air. The problem ain't Joseline and Stevie J. The problem is us. Taking your frustration out on a TV show isn't gonna fix anything. In fact, I'mma have to "put them paws on"[5] the next person who forwards me that lame sh*t. Stop it.

            If you don't like the shows, there's a very simple fix. It's called a power button. Use it.

            Don't hate, DVR-ate. Or use the power button. Just quit forwarding me that sh*t, already. Bamas.

            Question: Do you watch Negro Reality TV shows?!? Are these shows the cause of the moral decay of the black community, or is it just freakin' entertainment?!?

            [1] #humblebrag

            [2] It's those weird facial expressions. He should seriously have that checked out.

            [3] If you're worried about the effect of these shows on your kids, here's a little tip: Watch the show with your kids and point out everything wrong while you watch it. Together. It's called parenting. Or you could go read a book/finish a 北京体彩网官方网站 improvement project together. Whatever.

            [4] Yes, I know they changed the slogan and it's just "Drama" now.

            [5] What an utterly random way of announcing that you're gonna jump someone in an unlit parking lot. And subsequently get your a$$ kicked. Next time, don't "put dem paws" on him. Square up.

            Monday, June 25, 2012

            who were dumb enough to record the whole thing and put it on the internets.

            It was just a week ago that Karen Klein was sitting on a bus enduring the teasing and taunts of a group of kids with a grace that wouldn't be recognized until days later, when a video of the incident went viral.

            Now, thanks to an online fundraising effort, the upstate New York bus monitor, 68, has more than $645,275 (and counting) to her name from people – total strangers, mostly – who saw the video, heard the hurtful words and wanted to help.

            "I keep thinking, 'What have I done?' " the Greece Central School District employee said during an in-studio interview on Monday's Today show. "It's like I almost don't feel like I deserve it."

            The campaign, originally intended to send her off on "a vacation of a lifetime," has long surpassed its goal of $5,000.

            So how will she use her money? "What would anybody do with that much money?" she said.

            She'll invest some, she said, and donate to charity. The grandmother of eight has plenty of family, and "they need, they need, they need," added Klein, who isn't sure if she'll return to her job come fall.
            Here's the offending video.

            Here's Mrs. Klein speaking with Matt Lauer.

            Let's get a couple of things out of the way first, so that the rest of this post doesn't make me sound like a total a$$hole.
            1) This is wrong. These children are poorly behaved.

            2) I'm not against people raising money to put this woman out of her Day Job misery.

            3) This woman's child committed suicide last year. Anyone with a brain can see that she's clearly in "checked out of life" mode here. So lets not make a big deal out of her not defending herself more. It's completely understandable.
            All that said, come the f*ck on, America!!!

            Seriously, people get so emotionally caught up in something that they give a million dollars (that'll surely be the final tally, she was on The Today Show again this morning) for what's essentially a bunch of bad assed kids harassing an adult? Again, I'm not making light of this situation or this woman's very real pain. I just wonder why Americans are so captivated by this that they go straight to their PayPal accounts and give money like it's nothing.

            I won't play Oppression Olympics here.[1] Yes, there are others who've suffered far more than the terse words of a bunch of non-北京体彩网官方网站 trained brats. That's not up for debate here, so please don't waste the keystrokes.

            What's clear to me, is that the astounding outpouring of media attention and monetary donations is all about absolving guilt. Yes, a lot of people look at this and see a tortured grandmother, but I'm betting far more people look at this and see their own shortcomings as parents. We'd all like to believe that our kids are little angels who respect each other, themselves, and their elders, but reality is, kids are kids. I'm betting most of the parents with kids on this bus had no idea (or at least couldn't admit it to themselves) that their children could behave so boorishly. Likewise, most of the people donating money here want the same "pay it forward" sense of redemption.
            "Hey, feel guilty that you might not be raising your kids to be as respectful as they could be? No worries! You too can feel better about yourself! Just give a little money to a woman you've never met via a website that might not even be reputable! It's that easy! Now go back to watching Greys Anatomy! Lil' Austin' will raise himself on SpongeBob SquarePants! Yaaay, DriveBy Activism!"
            If this all confuses you, sorry, it's admittedly not a well thought out hypothesis, but hey, I'm just as puzzled as ya'll. There's gotta be an explanation. If you got a better one, explain below.

            One thing that's abundantly clear: if you're getting treated poorly, the best thing you can do is have someone record it and put it on Youtube. That's a serious come-up. In fact, I'm gonna predict that Cyber Victimhood™ is the next Grand Hu$tle™. If this sounds crass to you guys, need I remind you how many people raised money for 9/11 families, tsunamia recovery, and "Katrina Victims" and put that sh*t right in their own pockets. We can be a downright triflin' society when we really put our minds to it.

            Or, in this case, we can be a great society. I just wonder why we're being this great.

            Question: How else do you explain the Karen Klein phenomenon? What's really fueling the media attention and financial windfall?

            [1] But if I was, I'd say that had some other variables been slightly different in this video, the public response would likely have been quite different. I damn sure know Matt Lauer wouldn't be "apologizing" for those kids' actions if they were black.

            Tuesday, March 27, 2012

            New Black Panther Party Puts A Hit Out On George Zimmerman (And Other Trayvon Miscellany).

            in this case, fellas. Nice job.

            BTW, they are lying. . Nor would any black person with half a brain.

            I think it's downright comical that the "lamestream media" is covering these stupid coons.[1] Black people don't take them seriously, nor should anyone else. I can't help but wonder if this story is gaining traction, just cause the President happens to be black. Nah, no way. Couldn't happen.

            Speaking of coons...

            Visit msnbc.com for , , and

            Brothaman, how much did the George Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund pay you to go on TV and be his Official Black Co-Signer™. I hope you don't wear a hoodie when you go cash that check. Actually, turns out this very polished black fella (he's a former news anchor) isn't actually Zimmerman's "friend", he's technically a family member, .[2] So nah, no bias here.

            about him "being a gold toothed thug" who "had it coming". Classy.

            But wait, there's more!

            Negroes, please.

            Question: Is this yet another black eye in the annals of American race relations? Does this country北京体彩网官方网站 have any hope or chance of ever overcoming its deeply ingrained racial issues.

            [1] If you take offense to my use of this word against fellow black people, I'm sorry. But I seriously can't think of a better phrase to describe them and their actions. They are not working on behalf of the Martin family. Trayvon's father denounced their tactics. They are simply serving as a distraction from the legitimate actions being taken to bring Zimmerman to justice, and they're changing the narrative in a way that makes the deceased appear to be the aggressor, not the victim. In short, they aren't helping. They are simply out for their own self-promotion. And yes, they are coons. Go watch the full Anderson Cooper interview and tell me otherwise.

            [2] Actually, he isn't related to Zimmerman, he's just a family friend. The Huffington Post and Mediaite erroneously reported this initially. It should be noted that Joe Oliver hasn't actually spoken to Zimmerman himself, he was simply relaying information on behalf of the family. He's also a former newscaster, who is comfortable in front the camera, and demands respect (and thus, no cross examination) from fellow newscasters. This is all about PR. So basically, he's a professional black co-signer.