Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The column on cnn.com today wasn't especially insightful or enlightening, but the topic is nothing short of a lightning rod for conversation. Why are there so many single Black women and what, if any, role does the Black Church play in that? I believe that there is no simple answer to that question. Is it that Black women are too picky? Is it that Black women have limited themselves? Is it that there are too few "Good Black Men" (and for the record I hate that phrase)? Is it that there are too few Black men period? Are they all in interracial relationships? Are Black men too promiscuous? Is this some over hyped phenomena and a figment of our imagination? These all could start hours of conversation.
The nuts of the topic, to me, is that there has been an erosion of love and relationships in Black America. Through our music, our media, our messages, we reinforce the message that Love, Monogamy, Education, Marriage, are all "non-Black". For Black men: Jail has become a badge of honor. Education and employment are for "Sell Outs". Love and Relationships were for punks. Monogamy was comparable to a scarlet letter. Taking care of your children is "optional". I could go on and on. We did this to ourselves. For Black women (and I preface this as just my opinion and response and insight are more than welcome): They have been the last of the "collective" to openly and willingly expand whom they sought relationships with. Not to say that Black women haven't dated / mated / loved outside of Black men for as long as Black men have, but Black women held onto the hope of the IBM (Ideal Black Man) for far too long. Black men exploited this hope for their personal gain to the point where "pimpin" became the new "loving". And I know first hand how Black women have "held it down" through all of this.
How does this, IMO, related back to the Black Church? Here goes, and please do not be afraid to tell me I'm wrong. The Black Church has long served as the center of community and hope to Black people. It was the place of congregation and community. The place where a group of people who were on the outside of mainstream society came to pray and plan a way for a better life and tomorrow. Black men (in my unscientific non-supported theory), through the collective beat down that many societal ills placed upon them, began to lose hope, and thus, lose faith. This created a gap in the number of Black men and women who attended church. So thus while a large number Black Women continued to pray for ( you name it ), a decreasing number of Black men held onto that faith and hope and the growing number of those whom lost faith went on their merry way. Remember Chris in "Boyz N The Hood", Church was where there were a "gang of women, fine ones too". This topic has been around for a long long while.
So to say that the "Black Church" is to blame is completely inaccurate. However, to say that there isn't a role the "Black Church" played in this particular topic would be to lack perspective. Religion can be a wonderful thing. It gives many people a sense of strength, purpose, hope, and faith that they need in their life. The Black Church is greater than a specific religion and it's impact goes far beyond faith.
Having said all that, I may be completely off base and wrong. I may be right. I may be crazy. I may be all of the above. Let me know.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Fear is a powerful emotion. It protects us from harm, its so strong because it's there to keep us from harm. Unfortunately, it's also one of the easiest to arouse in people. The best way to control fear is to be able to think and rationalize. Remember when you were young and you had a fear of something silly, like the dark, or the "Monsters" under the bed or in the closet? We weren't able to think and rationalize that it was all in our head. There was nothing there but our imagination. Well as we got older that fear just went away (mostly :) ). Why? Well we were able to rationalize that nothing changes once the lights go out, it's still the same room with the same nothing there lurking for us.
Well, welcome to the United States 2010... It's taken decades, but we've dumbed down the schools where the kids don't learn a damn thing. Anytime something comes up in society the first thing we hear is, "What about the children?" But when budgets are cut, the first thing we cut is education FOR the children. How can we expect to continue to be a world leader if those that we are training to come after us are so ill prepared to take the wheel?
We don't value the future in this country because we don't value each other. Debate, Discussion, Facts, Truth, are no longer acceptable. It's not even about why you should vote FOR something, but rather, why you should FEAR something else. If you are made to fear something, it's human nature to do anything that you believe will keep what you fear from happening. Welcome to the "Post Racial" GOP! It's not about facts, or civility, or debate, or discussion, or truth, or even one bit of real compromise..... It's about Fear! You don't want to have a debate, you want to rule based on fear. Fear the Terrorists, Fear the Liberals, Fear the Gays, Fear the Government (which they desperately want to control), Fear the Blacks, Fear the Mexicans, Fear Big Government, Fear Socialism, Fear fear fear fear. And if you've made people consistently dumber and less able to critically think on their own, it's much much easier to accomplish this....
Terrorists hate us for our freedom. Liberals want to tell you how to live your life. Gays want to change your children. Government wants to take all your money. Blacks are going to rob and rape you, Socialism is coming like the Russians. Our President is Hitler. Our President isn't "One of US". Obama is a "radical". Obama Hates America. Obama is going to take OUR guns. I mean seriously...... There's a reason they keep the phrases no longer than 5 words. They don't want people to actually try to solve or think through this problem...
Now the new group to fear is Mexicans..... They take our jobs, they drain our resources, they bring over drugs, they behead people, they are nothing but a bunch of baby making machines who live off of welfare. And it's ONLY Obama who has let the border go unguarded. He hates America because he's letting all the tan people come in. News flash people. If you grew up anywhere near Mexico like I did, born and raised in San Diego, there have been Mexicans HERE, and coming over here legally and illegally, for decades, if not centuries. The GOP will have you believe that names like California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Jose, San Diego, etc...... are European. It's just plain stupid. But that's been the mission for decades.
Should there be a more secure border, absolutely. Should undocumented immigrants of all nations have to get on a path to citizenship or face deportation, YES. But let's look at the reality. How much BIG GOVERNMENT is it going to take to round up and find all these people? How much is it going to cost to go on a Black and Brown witch hunt? How KGB Communist would it be to go door to door and say, "Show me your papers?!?" How is that going to impact the labor industries of Construction and Agriculture? How opposite the American Ideal would that be? How much debate, thought, compromise, rationalizing, would that take? The answer is more than the average American is willing to put into it. Probably way more than the average American is ABLE to put into it.
You hear all the code words... "Not like people where I COME FROM", "Not MY America", "Not Main Street"..... News Flash, the America you talk about, the one the GOP wants you to think is "Real America" is getting smaller and smaller every day. There is a good portion of White America that is unwilling, unable, or unsettled by the REALITY that America is no longer White. And until those people are gone from media and government, we'll never be able to move forward, together, as Americans.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
How long into this video did you watch this before you had to hit pause for fear of breaking something? Me, oh about as soon as I saw that officers fist fly. As they say in the hood, "Gatdayum"! Let's list a few things you don't do nor think about doing to any woman, especially a Black Woman, unless you're a white cop, and even then, you should think again:
1. Stop her for her routine for some bullshit. For example, "Hey gurl you got a fatty! Holla at me" or "yo baby yo baby, let me see that shake shawty!" or "Stop, I'm sighting you for jaywalking". None of these are good ideas.
2. Grab her without her permission, in the presence of her "girlfriend", on Martin Luther King Blvd.
3. Attempt to restrain her after stopping her for any reason covered in #1
4. Do anything listed in #1,2,3, especially the "jaywalking" example in front of a large group of African Americans, one of which has a video camera.
5. Closed fist punch said woman for not complying with your reasons for #1, or any reason.
6. File a report that contradicts said video evidence that is already in the hands of the media, and subsequently You Tube.
What The Fuck?!?! I mean, seriously. Look. I'm not advocating open defiance of Police. It's not in any one's long term best interest. But damn! Who among us even knows what Jaywalking is anymore?!? Let alone be sited by the cops for it. This asshole really doesn't understand his job description. "To serve and protect" That's the motto of most Police departments I've heard of. But in the Black community, with good reason, it really means "To serve yo Black ass all the rights, lefts, sticks, and bullets I feel; then protect my ass afterwards". There's a damn good reason Black people fear the Police. It's about once a month we hear about a case where some guy gets hit, shot, killed for being unarmed, Black (Brown), and "suspected" of doing wrong.
Ever since I was about 7, and saw it with my own eyes, I've known cops to be aggressive / violent towards minorities. I saw police searching / chasing a Black male around 45th and Logan in San Diego. And if you know San Diego, that's a corner near 45 Park and 2 Liquor Stores and a huge Section 8 apartment complex 3 blocks from "The Dip". The Suspect jumped a fence, realized he was caught, and gave up. His reward for stopping the pursuit? Three slams on the hood of a squad car and countless punches, jabs, with a nightstick. That's damn good for business and what I call, good customer service. NOT!
That's the basic premise here. We are the customers of the Police. We pay them through our tax dollars. We count on them for their service, and in return, expect good service in return. So what is good customer service? Getting to know your customers. Knowing what they "buy" and expect from your "business". Delivering the goods all the time, not running out of key items. Being courteous, respecting the money they spend. Creating a business environment where they frequent your establishment and tell their friends that they should come there too. Next time something BIG happens, and you need some information, a snitch, or clue, you'll have the credibility with your customers. Respect isn't a gun and a badge, it's character and how you carry yourself when you have the power and responsibility.
The Police have an awful reputation in many minority communities across the nation. They protect their own that engage in this type of behavior, and it's extremely bad for business. This is a systemic problem. Like any business, if you can't get rid of bad employees, it's bad for business. Bad salesmen, Bad service reps, Bad Cashiers, they all get canned. Bad cops, get insulated and protected. Being a cop is a customer service job with INCREDIBLE responsibility and if you lack the demeanor, judgement, and discipline to do it, ya ass need not be hired. And if you don't want to have your Police department on National News for doing dumb, violent, racist shit... you need to shit can those that punch women and kick Hispanics. It would make me a lot more willing to go in your store.
Monday, June 7, 2010
First off, the STATE of ISRAEL is a completely different topic than the rights of Jewish people. Let's just agree to that off the bat. People and State are two different things. When the UN voted for the partition of Palestine for the creation of an Arab AND a Jewish state.
Look, we can sit here and talk about which came first in the latest and greatest violation of a peace treaty or agreement, but the basic facts are simple. Europe wanted very little if anything to do with this war, which is literally before Abe. After WWII the political climate seems to have been, give the Jews some sort of reparations. So they threw together this plan for a 2 state solution. Problem is, THERE WERE ALREADY PEOPLE LIVING THERE. So when you propose making one group of people happy, but simply taking land from another, you're gonna piss some people off. Add to that, you're doing this on the sacred religious lands of BOTH peoples. This is a little more complicated than a simple "who's side of the fence is that tree on". You add to that religious friction between the two groups and countless encroachments, bombings, "innocent civilians", etc... and this problem will NEVER be solved without a powerful 3rd party stepping in, working out an agreement AND remaining there to enforce it. Since the US is that 3rd party, but the US has been undoubtedly tilted towards to actions of Israel, this problem is NEVER going away and the blame is at the doorstep of Washington.
The language of this issue has been completely twisted. The "Right of Israel to Exist" has been equated to "The life or death of people of Jewish faith". The two are completely different. This issue needs rational, honest, critical thinking, now more than ever. Both side are going to need to be TOLD the rules of the game since both sides don't want to talk. The Palestinians MUST be given a state. There is political structure and viability without boarders and autonomy. Israel needs to realize and respect that it's land was given to them at the cost of thousands of Arabs who lived there for centuries prior, and respect that much. The State of Israel needs to be respected by all nations of the world. But the State of Israel must also abide by laws and resolutions and not add settlements which do nothing but continue the agitation of those already under siege.
The right of Israel to exist MUST also coincide with the rights of the Palestinian people to be compensated for their loss as well. This is the perfect storm of religion meets politics meets inequality. If the United State would support Israel while at the same time, be a good parent, and discipline it's child from time to time and keep it playing nice with it's neighbors, it's credibility in the region would be incredible, and it wouldn't be looked at by many in the Arab and Muslim world, and the supporters of injustice.
Sadly, you can't say a thing negative about Israel without being called Hitler, Anti-Semitic, Terrorist, etc. It's like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton on steroids. You can stand for the upliftment of Black people while at the same time saying that the Black community needs to step up and not blame everything on "The Man".
It's time for rational discussion.... not more rhetoric.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I'm scared. Seriously. I'm afraid for this country. Where are we going to be 5-10-20 years from now? If I had to wager money, I would say the USA, with it's current political and social climate, may very well be recovering from a civil war. Our elected leaders, particularly the new minority GOP, have chosen a unilateral policy of 100% opposition to anything the Obama administration does. Wall Street, Health Care, this faux "War on Terror", even the way he greets foriegn heads of state, hell the man himself, all have been labeled as being Un-American. In 2010, it is acceptable to label the President of the United States of America, as Un-American.
Throughout history, the great societies and the great crimes have both been destroyed from within. Think about it, we are at a point were there is no longer a real threat of war and conquring from an outside force. There is no nation or group of nations capable of mounting that kind of threat. Even if a rogue group of terrorists or fringe nation got a hold of one nuclear weapon and, god forbid, set it off, the response would be such that it would not be worth it. The justified elimination of an entire nation-state or group of people, could change the Earth as we know it.
My admitted dept of historical knowlege is limited. However I've noticed that all the great empires have been destroyed from within. They gain power through war and conflict. Enjoy a period prosperity and expansion. Then as they grow in size, their leaders begin to rule the fear and intimidation. The wealth is hoarded by the few, and the masses grow to a point of frustration, and the empire falls. How do cops bust big criminal operations? They get a rat on the inside and somebody goes spilling all the details.
It took about 53 hours to go from parked Nissan Pathfinder to pulling the accused off an airplane. Half of the episodes of "The First 48" aren't that successful. By all accounts, all parties involved worked together, gathered evidence, and put the puzzle together. Now granted, had this dumbass been even 1/2 capable, this could have been a major tragedy. But the point is, now, we have a suspect, in custody, who's spilling his guts. Oh yes, he's also been read his rights AS A US CITIZEN, and he's still flopping. No waterboarding, no Jack Bauer style heroics, No electrodes, sleep deprivation, or dirty women's undies.
You would think that this is a victory for the system. The ENTIRE USA. "HELL NO IT'S NOT"!!! Republicans can't even give their own country credit for this much, expecially under the Obama Administration. They don't give a damn about the Constitution. The laws of the land, due process, no, these sum bitches don't give a damn. Nevermind that the Military Tribunals have convicted 3 people, 2 of which are now free, our criminal courts are too "un-american". That's being "soft" "weak". Actually going to court, presenting evidence, and putting it into the hands of a jury, how socialist is that?
Liebermann actually thinks you can arbitrarily "revoke" someone's citizenship. Hatch thinks that actually arresting the alledged bomber is a failure. Nevermind Bin Laden is breathing nearly 9 years after 9/11. The next time one of these two faced ignorant bastards feels the need to talk about how this admistration is "un American" they need to take a look in the mirror and realize they are the ones who hate America.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
It is 2010, 10 years into the new millennium. 10 years ago we believed that the electronic mechanisms that were so woven into our daily lives would collapse upon us and send us into a panic and chaos. Today, more than ever before, we use computers, electronic devices, and information technology to allow us to communicate like Capt. Kirk. We are able to do more from our homes than ever before. We can email, text, IM, around the globe. And yet through all of this, we've somehow lost something.
We've traded face to face conversation and hand shakes for "Facebook" and "LOL" "BFFs" and "BRB". We've allowed our quest for the latest and the greatest to consume us as a culture. Do not mistake this for a "War on Technology". I am a Blackberry addict, and I, more than anyone miss Brick breaker too. But there is a greater point. We as Americans have lost something with one another.
I remember growing up as a young man from San Diego CA, and visiting my Grandmother in Camden South Carolina. A small town, southern town, just like many across this great nation. And I remember sitting on the porch with her and just rocking in the metal chairs on her front porch. Every so often a car would drive down the street and the driver would give my Grandmother the "Hi, How you doing, take care, God Bless you, all in one" waive of the hand. All of that in about one second. Over and over, cars would pass, and with that motion, all you needed to know about my Grandmother, and that town, was in that waive.
People walking down the street would speak. "Hi Mrs. Boykin", "Hey da'lin" she would reply. That's it, no long conversations for the most part. But that, by itself, was more than enough. People knew one another. They knew your name, your face, where you lived, what was going on in your life, and they cared. We cared for one another. We've lost a part of that in America, and we need to begin to get it back.
I believe it starts right here. Right now. In this great hall of Democracy. Where our Founding Fathers once held the belief that I was property. Where Women were excluded from participating in America. Where we have come together to amend the very document that formed our Union 27 times. Where we as a Nation have come together to continually shape and mold our framework, but always under the rock solid foundation of Freedom, Justice, and Equality. So to start, before I go any further, I ask that each member of Congress stand up, and find a new seat, Senators next to House members, Republicans next to Democrats, Bernie and Joe, you may fill in the gaps (applause and laughter). It is time for actions to speak louder than words, and as YOUR elected leaders and representatives, WE set the bar.
Five years ago I stated that there is not a Black America, or a White America, there is only one America. There is not a Red America or a Blue America, but a United States of America. Our need to embrace that fact is no greater than now. Our differences should not push us apart. We should us them to find common ground as Americans. This is not about Left and Right, but Right and Wrong.
We may not agree on Health Care, but we must agree that our current system that puts the health and well being of millions of hard working Americans against the profits of Insurance Companies is Wrong.
We may not agree on Abortion, but we must work together to not only protect the reproductive rights of women. We must work together through education and information to decrease the number of unplanned pregnancies and maintain the protections of those women who, through faith, deliberation, counseling, and family, decide how THEY want to proceed with THEIR right to control their bodies.
We may not agree on HOW we fight the "War with Al Queda", but we absolutely can not question our love for our country or our desire to protect our citizens. We may not agree with the when or the why we ask our solders to be willing to lay down their life so that we can continue to live free. But not providing them the best care during and after their service to our country is abhorrently wrong. Asking them to pay the ultimate sacrifice while sacrificing the means in which we ask them to take that risk is criminal. Doing so is tantamount to Treason, and unquestionably WRONG.
We as the representatives of the American People must remember that fact. Recently the Supreme Court ruled that Corporations are persons for the purpose of participating in our elections. For far too long we have allowed the rules of lobbying and influence of lobbyists eat away at the ethics and morality of each and every one of us. Now that the Supreme Court has made this ruling, we have one moment, one chance, a crucial opportunity in the History of the United States and perhaps the World..... A duty to those that we serve, to return to the proper role of Government in our capitalist society. Our negligence in this role brought our country to the brink of economic ruin. Our immoral behavior has given the people just reason to have no faith, no confidence, no trust in the people in this room. In that, we should all look down in shame, and reflect upon the faces we see in our towns and cities across the Nation. The stories we hear, tales of incredible plight, but also of wonderful blessings of what it means to an American. We must be the caretakers of this Country. It's People, It's Resources, It's real value. We must work to provide equal opportunities for our citizens and our businesses. We must provide a framework for fair and just taxation. We can not provide a system that creates loopholes and incentives for people and business to gain extraordinary wealth at the expense of unjustly compensated labor, and then compound that injustice with avoiding just taxation or job reinvestment. It is not in the best interest of the United States to be a nation of only business owners and product consumers. We must be a nation of creators, innovators, builders, buyers, and responsible owners. We must be a nation that once again believes that I am my brother and my sisters keeper.
I'm calling upon each of you in the room, from this moment forward, to remember your oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States of America. To work FOR We the People. To once again be able to look those you represent in the eye, sit on their porch, make a promise that you will take that concern back to this body and work your Red White and Blue ASS off to try to make their world a better place for them. If all of us in here take that oath, make that promise and come together, as Americans, we WILL leave this office better than we found it, we WILL make this country a better place, and we WILL stand together, and we will be A More Perfect Union. Good night America, We've all got work in the morning.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
It takes a special kinda someone to look for a way to exploit any and everything to their advantage. The kinda guy that would take the death of his best friend as an opening to sleep with his wife. The skanks that look in the Obituary section to find some rich old man to marry and take his fortune. Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint. If I get change for a $20 when I paid with a $10, I may not always give it back. I'm sure that I have some small sins still left to pay for. But never, in a lifetime, would I look to take a natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane, and turn it into an opportunity to achieve a goal or push an agenda.
Then again, I'm not Rush Limbaugh or Pat Robertson. Haiti, one of the poorest nations on the planet, was struck a little less than 48 hours ago by a 7.0 earthquake and dozens of smaller aftershocks which have taken a country of limited infrastructure and human resources and simply turned it into ruins. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people are dead or dying. The physical houses of government are destroyed. What access there was to food, water, and medical resources, cut off. A modern day Pompeii. These people are not Liberals or Conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, Christians or Muslims, none of that matters. They are HUMAN BEINGS. That's it, end of discussion. They need help, and the United States and it's incredible wealth and resources are, as it should be, springing into action to aid.
But not so fast my friend. Let's start with Pat Robertson. He thinks it high and mighty of him to say that the people of Haiti, who at the time were enslaved by the French, made a deal with the Devil, and the Devil helped them liberate themselves. But since this "deal" or because of it, they have been made to suffer repeatedly. So until they get right with "God", they will continue to suffer. So piss on you people, you are getting what you deserve because you made this "pact with the devil". Pat Robertson, I hope on your upcoming journey to judgement, just before you take your VIP seat in Hell, you get right with Haitians that "brought on" this disaster and the residents of New Orleans that "deserved the wrath" of Katrina.
Then again, if you're Rush Limbaugh, this is just another case of President Obama and his liberal, soft on Terror, agenda. Presidents, as they all should do, unless you like your major city disaster from 10,000 feet above and several days later, spring to action in times of crisis. On 12/25 some dumbass recently "radicalized" decided to try to use his Hanes as an explosive device. However swift action on the part of the passengers averted a terrible tragedy and all the passengers of that flight landed safely. So to take a couple days to figure out what ACTUALLY happened and what EXACTLY went wrong in the security chain and then make HONEST remarks to the American people seems like the Presidential thing to me. but Oooooohhhhhh No!
Apparently President Obama took less than 24 hours to make comments and commitments of aid and resources to Haiti and Haitians because his poll numbers with Dark Skinned African Americans had slipped into an approval rating of the low 98th percent. Not because he breathes oxygen and has a conscience. Not because he has a soul. Not because it's his duty as the leader of the free world. No, that's soft ass liberal wussyness. Because he doesn't jump in front of a camera and start screaming like Tom Ridge that the sky is falling, he's a punk.
No Mr. Limbaugh, it's called leadership. Some things in the world happen and aren't to be used for exploitation. Sometimes things happen that remind us that we are all connected a human beings. Sometimes our eyes aren't able to remind our souls how fortunate some of us are to have so many luxuries that we take for granted. It's not socialism to lend a helping hand. It's not Communism to ask that those with the most, give to those in need. It's called being human and having a soul. Even when the Grinch took all the possessions of Whoville and waited to take joy in their misery, he soon learned that what they loved most was not under a tree, but in their hearts and souls.
I may not attend church, but I learn a lot more from Dr. Seuss than I ever would from these two assholes.