Friday, December 28, 2007

Support Your Local Basketball Sensation

I am watching this Hornets game on NBA-TV and I would like to apologize to Chris Paul and the rest of the team. See, I have been mad at Byron Scott for two years about some comments he made when the team was in Oklahoma City and I haven’t been to a game since. That has been a mistake. I spend all this time following the Saints who sometimes play with absolutely no passion whatsoever and possibly the MVP of the league is representing every night with my city’s name on his chest. Not only is he a great player, he also has high character and a young brother like this could be an example for some of these young soldiers walking the streets. This kid is a role model plus he’s got mad game. He reminds me of a young Isiah except he hasn’t punched anybody yet. I hereby endorse going to as many Hornets games as possible.

Add buying Hornets tickets to the list of things to do in 2008.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No Hope For A Great Idea

My community is divided into two frames of mind, “I made it in spite of the obstacles” and “I made it so there are no obstacles”. This housing development situation made me question myself about which side I stand on.

I love being black. The love I have for myself extends to everyone who looks like me. Whenever you read anything about me going off about the actions of another brother it’s because I love them and want them to do as well as possible. I have love for the people I am about to rant about in this blog.

I may be a foolish dreamer but I want the best for my people. I will never accept substandard conditions and circumstances because we don’t deserve that. We are better than that. That’s why I think not re-opening the old housing developments is a good idea. Why should my people have to live and survive in dilapidated conditions just because they haven’t been able to make it out a system that is designed to keep them where they are to begin with. The struggle is hard enough without having to live in a second class environment. The projects of New Orleans were no Taj Mahal. The people want, deserve, and should have much better housing options.

We all knew this was coming. I don't think anyone was surprised. So why did the unanimous decision piss me off so much? There has been nothing I have seen in my lifetime that makes me have any confidence in the government to replace this housing. For that reason the buildings should stand until we have the money in the bank. Let the buildings stand as a reminder of the mistakes of the past. I feel if the buildings are gone then its no longer a worry and we need housing to get our people home. Get the money, sign the contracts and then start demolition. There is no way in my opinion that a black person who has lived in this city could think that after decades of false promises and stolen money, all of a sudden everybody that’s been screwing us is now going to turn around and create an urban paradise. Excuse me if I can’t wrap my mind around that notion but people don’t usually let their prostitutes sit at the table with family overnight. I personally find it disappointing that some of the folks in the community are so comfortable with their position now since they have slightly better pimps than the rest of the hood. If the KKK would have known that all they had to do for our best and brightest to turn their backs on the less fortunate was to give us a few 401k’s and let us move to their subdivision, segregation would have ended in the 30’s. Make W.E.B DuBois a housing secretary. Appoint Marcus Garvey as the Director of Urban Development and give him a take home car. It’s fascinating how we forgot that in the first rebuilding plan for the city none of our asses would be here. A bike trail was going where my house is. The mayor practically told us that if we come back there wasn’t going to be much done for us. Now we are so much more worthy than the rest of our people like our neighborhoods are a sparking example of development. One of those negroes on that council or the mayor should have spoken for those people. They have been living here too long to look me in the eye and tell me they are that confident in this working out easily or at all. The unanimous decision was a joke. Somebody needs to wake up Dorothy Mae Taylor.

Lately I have been wrong about a few things. I really want to be wrong about this. If I am wrong, it would be the first time that I can say that the government as ever done anything right by us since this storm. I will gladly take everything I just said back and delete this entire blog if someone can send me an example of anything in this city that actually got accomplished under 5 years or ever. I’ll delete it and apologize. No one is going to send me anything.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sittin On My Porch - Part III

This is one of those periods of time when I feel like heading down to the Ninth Ward and sitting on somebody's porch...but no one is down there. This post may suck.

You have to love the holiday season. It's the time of year when parents spend way too much money on things their kids don't need or won't play with more than a week. I still contend these kids would be happy with a ball, a stick and a box. We could put all that money to their college educations. When I was growing up, my favorite toy was a homemade skate mobile. All you needed was two old 2x4's and a pair of old skates. I got stuff for Christmas but by the first week of the new year it was all boring or broke............

Isn't it amusing that parents always talk like this when spending their money? If my parents wouldn't have bought the Atari 2600 when it first came out I would have ran away from home for a few hours.

It's time for all stories blaming Barry Bonds for the destruction of baseball to cease and desist. After the Mitchell Report was released, I think it's fair to say that Barry Bonds would have had to take something just to keep up with the rest of the drug addicts. That includes Roger Clemens. I am sure he is going to take a nice vacation and the media is going to let it blow over.

The tearing down of the housing projects in New Orleans has started. I won't call the decision to do this racist yet. I won't call Alphonso Jackson an uncle tom and a George Bush flunky yet. I won't accuse the elite of all colors of this city of running out poor people yet. I won't even question the thinking about some middle class black people here of thinking this is a good idea even though they are one or two missed paychecks from needing help their damn selves yet. If a year goes by and all of those spots are empty lots. I will call out all of the people I just named. I hope the poor of the city will look at this in another way and realize that the truth of the matter is no one is responsible for your well being more than you. I know you want to come home. If you really want to come home and make sure you stay, get your stuff together and make sure you can afford to live independently. If that levee breaks again the government won't put another dime into public housing.

My choices for president were narrowed down by one with Hillary Clinton played the cocaine dealer card on Barak Obama. It would be a pitiful shame if she received any black votes after that no matter how cool black people think her husband is. To me this is unforgivable. It was bad enough that they made fun of his kindergarten paper like a young brother can't dream big. The only way I will vote for Hillary is if she is running against Mitt Romney. Let's face it, if Mormons were running the country we would just be at the Jim Crow stage as a people. He has a right to run, I just can't vote for him.

It's been a few months now and the only person that has went to jail in this corruption crackdown so far is Oliver Thomas. If Jim Letten doesn't get a few more names for a lot more money, the racial divide is going to get wider and wider in this city. You have to get someone else for more money. It would also help to get a caucasian or two so it doesn't look slanted. There many people on edge because it looks like a big plan being implemented to keep people away and take back certain power.

Finally, I know I am a week late on this. Last week when the Saints played the Falcons on Monday night, I couldn't help but notice some of the players on the Falcons team with the number 7 on their face paint and on their t-shirts. It made me wonder where was all this love a few years ago when one of them could have pulled him to the side and told him to get rid of all that stuff before he destroyed everything he worked for. Apparently hood love only kicks in after the person has made a shamble out of everything.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Superstar Rebuilds The Hood

While Avery Alexander, A P Tureaud and Morris F.X. Jeff roll over in their graves.

While local black politicians fight to keep their reputations and try to hide from Jim Letten.

While “black leaders” all over the country sit by their television and wait for the next Don Imus or Jena Six to jump off.

Guess who’s down here on the ground actually helping poor black people rebuild their homes?

The guy in the picture up there.

I’m not sure if I agree with the color choice for the exhibit
but I appreciate the fact that he has spent so much time trying to turn attention to the issues of the people in the Lower Ninth Ward. Those pink blocks are an eye opener at night. Before Katrina he probably didn’t know it existed. It's something to ride to the Lower Nine on a Tuesday afternoon and see Brad Pitt just walking around the hood with work clothes on. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before but every time I saw a group of volunteers cleaning, gutting, and rebuilding houses it’s been a group of white college kids and religious groups on a vacation or school trip. I am still waiting for the Rainbow Coalition or the full gospel bus full of brothers and sisters in work clothes to come drive a few nails. I guess they will be back next Katrina anniversary to help us sing.

Brad Pitt is now an honorary resident of the C.T.C. We need to get him a t-shirt made or something.

The Project Dilemma

This project dispute is crazy. I could see the benefit in tearing down the old projects and replacing them with better mixed income homes. On the surface it seems like a good idea except for the Lafitte Housing Development. Those buildings are in decent shape and it would take three Katrina’s to knock it down. I wouldn’t have had a problem with the rest of them at first. Then I thought about how our government does things. I thought about all the people in Duncan Plaza and under the Claiborne underpass sleeping in tents and on concrete. Then I thought about August 29, 2005.

Who gave any of these jerks in power the right to decide who’s worthy of coming home and who’s not? Who gave them the power to determine who’s a worthy resident or not even though the federal government’s faulty levees cost everybody? There wasn’t a bunch of brothers from the St. Bernard Projects jumping up and down on the wall of the 17th St. Canal and made it fall. Uncle Sam's spotty work did that. Where is it written that people coming back to the projects will bring extra crime? What about all the crime going on now from people in houses? I guess the next step will be tearing down all the rental property too. You will have to be a homeowner just to get a New Orleans pass. The real issue is our lack of ability to change the conditions of our citizens. I find it sad that a city that has done nothing to make the lives of these people better would now choose to keep them out of here instead of coming up with anything progressive to change the situation where they want to live. Let other cities take care of all the people they stole from and oppressed. I would love to see my people in better facilities than some of the current developments. Lets be honest, it will be ten years before the government puts forth the effort to rebuild all of those apartments if they ever do. I have no confidence in the powers that be to replace all the housing they are about to tear down.

On the other side of the coin I have a few concerns. The first concern is that these fools will come back with the same kind of violence that causes the local media to salivate and run story after story to prove a point. My other concern is that after two and a half years why are people willing to fight this hard to get back into some of these apartments? I know you should have the right to come home, but have you done anything to make things better? I still don’t understand coming home to New Orleans to be homeless when there was available housing in other cities.

How about this idea. What if we repair these apartments, let the people come home with a commitment that in 5 years we will cut the occupancy level in half? Imagine how many creative ideas could come from that kind of commitment.

Never mind, that’s a horrible idea. I forgot that in New Orleans progressive thinking is worse than that stomach virus that’s been going around. Let them all come back home. My quality of life won't get any worse with the extra people.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sometimes You Run Into People

When I was in the ninth grade I hooked up with a bunch of crazy young men. We all thought we were tough. That was probably from listening to too much NWA music. We called ourselves The Six Man Posse. Everybody had a posse or a crew back then. I feel so old. Out of the six of us, I can only account for two still being alive. That's really messed up since I am only 33 years old. The craziest fool in this group was Dee. I used to go to his house in Gentilly, get a free haircut, drink Crazy Horse Malt Liquor and play basketball at the school around the corner. That was about 120 pounds ago when my jump shot was so sick it needed medication. We had the unstoppable pick and roll game. I loved those cats. Just like I mentioned the other day when I was talking about decisions, I had to stop hanging over at Dee’s house because no one else in the group was getting up to go to school. I loved my boys but I didn’t have time to drink and smoke all day long. A few years ago I was sitting at my desk reading the obituaries in the newspaper and saw Dee’s picture. At the age of 25 he was gone. I found out why but I won’t mention it here. I had spoken with him a few times. He had lost a lot of weight and wasn’t the same vibrant guy I used to know but he was still my boy.

Yesterday I was just thinking about how frustrating it was that I always seem to run into people since Katrina that remind me of stuff I don’t want to be reminded of. Part of my responsiblities at work is training people to enter data into a software package that we use. There was a bunch of older black ladies in class today which was cool with me because there presence automatically keeps me in line and this stomach virus has me off my rocker. One of the ladies looked really familiar. I looked at the sign in sheet and her name looked real familiar too. As the day went on I became pretty sure about who she was. I wasn't 100% sure so I decided I wasn’t going to say anything. You just don’t know how stuff like that affects people. I mentioned who she might be to my co-worker and she made a good point. Maybe she needs to hear what you have to tell her. So many times young brothers leave us and the world just adds their name to the running total of wasted potential. Maybe a cat like me could tell her something to make her smile. I was discreet about it. I waited until the class was over and the people who didn’t know her were leaving.

Cliff : Excuse Ms. K? I don’t mean to be out of line or anything, but did you live on Myrtle St. in Gentilly around the corner from the school?

Ms. K.(eyes lighting up): Yes I did.

Cliff: I thought that was you.

Ms. K: I was trying to remember your face all day.

Cliff: Can I just tell you, your son could always make me laugh. I had a lot of love for that fool.

Ms. K (Smiling widely): Cliff, wasn’t he a character?

Cliff: Yes ma’am, he sure was.

Ms. K: He would be happy to see you doing well.

In light of that, I am dedicating Talking All That Jazz by Stetsasonic to The Six Man Posse; Dee, Dave, Renell, Truck, Doug, and Cliff. You couldn’t fade us…………….Those were the good ole days.

The Mold is Finally Fighting Back

Medical Watch: Norovirus could sideline the afflicted for days

You know what the most upsetting thing about this virus is besides the uncontrollable stomach contractions. There is a guy on this article that said he lost 13lbs. I have been going to the bathroom since Saturday morning and ain't lost a damn pound. I guess I have that built in big body gene from my family lineage. All the weight in the world couldn't handle this damn virus. I thought my stomach was feeling this way because Jackie Clarkson got sworn in.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Still Down With Reggie

Dear Reggie Bush,

I am willing to risk being called an over zealous fan to write this letter. Listen Reggie, I know you left the Dome yesterday without talking to the media. I won’t blame you or that because honestly I probably would have drove my car home in full uniform. Let me just get to the reason I am writing this letter. We have never had one single player with the superstar status as you Reggie. You are the first Saints player I have ever seen on non sports stations on weekdays. You are the single most visible resident of our city. Actually, Lil Wayne is probably just as popular but I don’t think he will be on any United Way commercials anytime soon. I know you put a lot of pressure on yourself Reggie and I don’t want to add to that. But I need you to do great. I need you to shine Reggie. I’m not going to put you down like some people. When the city needed a boost you came through last year when you could have pulled an Eli Manning and refused to be drafted by the Saints. That will always put you on top in my book. You just have to stop looking like you forgot how to play football. I know how it is to lose your confidence sometimes. Even the simple things that you can do in your sleep seem really difficult. That’s probably why you are dropping all those passes and letting everybody throw you around like a rag doll.

When I am not feeling too well about the way things are going, my daddy always tells me that if you can wake up from it the next day then you can overcome it. Just remember all the opposing players and media that have said you can’t get the job done. Stay in town this off season and workout with the team instead of hanging out in California. Add about 20 pounds so you can take the pounding. Watch some film of Brian Westbrook from the Eagles to learn how a smaller back should run between the tackles. Come back next year, have one of those highlight reel seasons and stick it to the haters. Even if you never have that season, it’s ok. You can still stay in New Orleans. The next time I have a fight party you can come over and get a plate of red beans and some BBQ hot sausage. Hell, bring Kim Kardashian with you as long as you don't mind her signing a copy of my King magazine with her on the cover. You always have a home here in New Orleans. Just promise me that if Sean Payton makes that call again you pretend you don’t hear him and keep the ball.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I have been a Saints fan my whole life....That was the worse play call I have ever seen.

It is times like this when I realize just how much Hurricane Katrina changed my perspective on life. If Sean Payton would have called that reverse about five years ago, I really think I would have drove to his house, parked outside and waited for him to come home so I could challenge him to a fist fight. Now, with my new priorities about what’s important, I only want to find his phone number and make a few anonymous calls to his office voicemail calling him so many cusswords that he gets the number changed.

I know Tom Benson believes in getting the most for the least amount of money possible. If he gives me 20% of Reggie Bush’s salary I can get to the line of scrimmage and fall down. I might even catch a pass or two for no gain.

We could have kept Joe Horn and Fred Thomas around if we were going to do this. At least they were like family and I wouldn't feel so bad.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

How Much Street Cred Does This Give You?

Cities all over the country have gangs, and crime, and corrupt police officers. How many places can claim firefighters running a drug gang on and off duty? It's time to give these guys another pay raise.

New Orleans firefighters indicted on federal drug charges

06:12 PM CST on Friday, November 30, 2007

Four New Orleans firefighters were among six men indicted Friday on federal gun and drug charges, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten announced.

According to Kathy English, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, all six men were named in a 24 count indictment and charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine and 100 grams or more of heroin. Additional charges were applied to each of the six men named.

The firefighters were identified as Milton Joseph IV, 25; Wayne Williams II, 28; Aaron White, 24; and Eddie Sandifer III, 22. The other two men named in the indictment were 34-year-old Lawrence Honore and 40-year-old Damon Burkhalter.

English said court documents indicate undercover authorities began to investigate the six men in late May 2007. The indictment also said White rented a home in the 1400 block of North Derbigny Street for the purpose of storing, packaging and selling heroin.

If convicted, Williams faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of $19.5 million and five years of supervised released if he’s ever let out of jail, English said. Likewise, Joseph faces life imprisonment, as well as a $6.25 million fine and five years of supervised release. White could also be sentenced to life in jail if convicted, pay a $5.25 million fine and undergo five years supervised release. Burkhalter, Honore and Sandifer each face life imprisonment, a $4.25 million fine and five years of supervised release.

Joseph, Williams, White and Sandifer are currently employed as New Orleans firemen, but have been placed on suspension pending the outcome of a trial, English said.