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.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Decisions to Make

This post isn’t directly about Sean Taylor. I decided to write it on the way home while listening to talk radio. I didn’t really want this kind of inspiration. I’m not going to write about the killing part. Nobody knows what happened yet. I want to talk about choices. I heard a few of Sean Taylor’s old friends and teammates talking about how he was trying to change but had a lot of negativity in his life because of his old environment. Someone even said he was frightened whenever he was in Miami.

As rough as New Orleans gets sometimes I am usually never scared. That‘s because my name doesn’t ring out in many circles. The reason for that is I made a conscious decision to not be popular. There are people who grew up blocks away from me that have no idea who I am. Me and my grandpa had a conversation one time about making decisions. He told me one time that if you make a decision and you think it’s right, all you have to do is live long enough and sooner or later what you did will make a lot of sense even to the people who didn‘t like it.

One day when I was 16 years old, a conversation started at my friend Donald’s house. There were about 7 guys out there. The subject was what we were all going to do in a few years when we were “grown“. I don’t want to play the high and mighty role so I have to say that I wasn’t the only one that had a real plan. The thing that opened my eyes was the passion and the spirit of some of my boys when they were talking about their plans to rob a dope house or how they wished a drug dealer would drop some of his product and they could find it to get their business started. Right at that moment it hit me. I had to get the hell from around there. I went inside that evening and never hung our around that corner again.

Now, don’t think I am about to say that I never talked to those guys again or how I moved away from the neighborhood and got all these smart intelligent friends. I have love for every one of those cats. When I see them it’s all good. The only difference between me and them was some intense parental involvement. I love the neighborhood. I just realized that day that I wasn’t trying to rob any drug dealers or find any dope. Some of those guys were going to be on that corner forever. They chose their path and I chose mine. I probably missed out an a few really fun parties and a few escapades with some shady young ladies but that’s ok. I’m having more fun now.

We have to start making decisions based on living well for a long time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Prove Me Wrong Ms. Clarkson

I am trying my best not to be so negative about my city. There are a lot of good plans being announced these days. Plans around here are just like opinions. Everybody has one. Something that I can’t get on board with is Jackie Clarkson being on the city council again. I have been ranting and raving about Ms. Clarkson but I don’t know if I have done a good job of clarifying why.

Jackie Clarkson looks and acts just like my sixth grade English teacher. It’s probably her cousin or something. She’s got that same hairstyle she’s been wearing since the 60’s. She wears those DH Holmes outfits. She’s got that pompous way of talking in that New Orleans accent that implies she is always right and nothing you say makes any sense to her. It always feels like she is looking down on everyone. I can still remember my 6th grade teacher correcting the way I speak no matter how hard I tried to tone down my New Orleans accent even though her twang was worse than mine.

The point I am trying to make is that I have known people like Clarkson my entire life. She is back on the council with one goal and one goal only. That goal is to make sure that the class of people she hangs out with does not get any part of their good life disturbed. This was proven when she held up all the early trailer sites and altered the plans of thousands to save the fun of a few golfers. There were people who’s neighborhood’s were still in the dark and she wasn’t bothered at all. What makes everyone think she’s really worried about the homeless or affordable housing? New jobs don’t mean anything to this crowd either. Their kids have jobs set aside for them by the time they pass to the eight grade.

After Eddie Jordan resigned when I said he wouldn’t, my physic skills have taken a hit like Ms. Cleo. I am going to predict the next few years in city government. The French Quarter, Algiers and any non flooded neighborhood will be in good shape. All you people who are not making enough money to afford decent housing or want to sit around in public all day and not work, you better look out. Ms. Clarkson hates to see people sitting outside and she doesn’t care if you don’t have anywhere else to go. I just hope Arnold Fielkow is progressive enough to fight back the “ they can come back as long as it ain’t around me movement”. The vibe in the city is about to change. You know what the saddest part of all is? Cynthia -Willard Lewis is the exact same kind of person that Clarkson is. She’s just a few shades darker and we don’t want to admit that there is a high society of black people here too. Jackie’s crew is also less likely to steal from the government because they already own and control most business in the city anyway. I hope I am wrong again and things get better for the hood. We have already had too many years of the privileged passing around money to one another.

Monday, November 26, 2007

In Search Of Inspiration

I'm having major issues. I am in serious need of some inspiration. The news is just too damn depressing to want to write about. Jackie Clarkson got re-elected. The local media celebrated the majority white city council so much that as a black man I started to feel played. Former Councilman Oliver Thomas got sentenced to three years in prison because he didn't want to rat on anybody. He's either been listening to too much rap music or the political scene in New Orleans is just like the mafia. Nooses have been popping up all over the country and I just know one of these instances is going to lead to a scene that is going to make the Jena 6 case look like child's play. By the way, anyone who gets the beat down behind a noose deserves it. Who in the hell wants to talk about all this negative stuff? I need something to get me going.

I'm trying to stay out of the gentlemen's club because it's too close to Christmas and the iron in my blood is too low so I can't sell it to make up for the lost money. I was going to buy me some property today but when I went to the New Orleans Tax Sale website and noticed that 70% of the property was from the Lower Ninth Ward I got pissed and made some anonymous calls to city hall cussing out whoever answered the phone. I know the sale is legal in all but how about a little understanding of the situation. Isn't that like the city of New York sending someone who was parked in front of the World Trade Center a bill for an unpaid parking ticket? Maybe it's just me. It was too close to the third straight holiday without the Lower Nine in full bloom to see that junk.

I bought a book by Juan Williams that is so hard to read I feel confused when I try to get through a few pages. I even want to buy a Wii game but I have talked so much trash about men over 30 being obsessed with video games that my hypocrisy won't let me fully enjoy RAW vs. Smackdown 2008. You can actually stand up and do wrestling moves. If this would have been out when I was younger my entire teenage life would have been different. Every time the commercial comes on I get more and more drawn in. At least if the Saints were in first place I would feel a little energized. Well, at least my fried turkey didn’t burn and the doctor side my cholesterol was only borderline high. Nobody wants to hear about that junk.

If anybody out there has something to inspire me please let me know.

I got a little inspiration……………..Breez won a car. They should have given you some rims.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Free Barry Bonds!

I have understood white people being obsessed with O.J. Simpson. You have to wonder if he spent that much time around white people trying to be one how he doesn’t understand it. I never had a problem with it. I like to think realistically. If that would have been a famous white athlete that sliced up two black people we would have never stopped picketing his ass until he confessed. O.J. going to jail doesn’t bother me.

What am I bothered by is the public anger towards Barry Bonds. The sports media is obsessed with this man because he did the same thing hundreds of athletes have been doing but happened to be so talented that he smashed all the records. If you listen to sports talk radio during the day you would swear that Bobby Bonds helped plan 9/11. They act like Barry Bonds is a master chemist and invited the cream and the clear. They want him to do time in prison. They want asterisks by all of his records because he cheated even though there is no record of a positive test. The questions I have are this. Are the owners who made profit from all the games that Mark Maguire and Sammy Sosa were chest bumping and hugging Roger Maris’s family going to give that money back? What about these 45 year old pictures still throwing a baseball 90 miles per hour? Are we going to throw out every stat from 1990 until now? If the answer is yes to all of those questions then go ahead and curse Barry’s name. If not, you are all a bunch of hypocrites.

Barry’s main problem is that he doesn’t kiss the ass of mainstream media and they hate that especially when a black man does it. If treating the media with disrespect got you this kind of treatment then how did Bobby Knight coach so long? The only thing I wish Barry would have done for my enjoyment was to get to home run number 716 (passing Babe Ruth) and then retired five minutes later. That would have been awesome! I would have called in from work just to watch ESPN and see Mike Lupica have a heart attack.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sitting On My Porch - Part II

I have been trying to think what to write about the last few days. I have read about 100 blog posts trying to be inspired. I’ll share those later. I had something in mind when I got home but that all went out the window. While I was in my bedroom getting my clothes ready for work tomorrow the phone rang. I was alerted that a car was slowly making it’s way up the street headed for our Nissan. Some kids jumped out of it while it was running when the police got behind them and the car kept rolling. If it wasn’t for the work of the good police officer that was able to slow it down it could have been a catastrophe. Thankfully it wasn’t wrecked. Have you ever tried to console a person when there car gets wrecked and it wasn’t their fault? It would have been a long night. While I was out there looking around to make sure the guys weren’t hiding in the back of my truck, the sight of that stolen car made me think about my dad. I thought about the night of my grandpa’s 88th birthday party when my jeep got stolen and me and my dad turned into the black Starsky and Hutch to go find it. How much street cred do you get for tracking down your own stolen car? If you have never drove through the Lower Ninth Ward after midnight with your daddy hunting down car thieves, you have missed something in life.

If anyone out there wants to see an example of friendship and the positive side of black men at it’s best I advise you to find out when Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel is coming on HBO again and check out the story on Ron Springs and Everson Walls. Any guy regardless of race who has a friend that they truly love should watch this story. If you want to see the worst in men watch I Love New York.

I heard on the Tom Joyner show this morning that there was a study done that showed black men’s wages over the last 30 years have went down and that our women are doing far better than we are. While I don’t dispute the accuracy of this report, I do have some questions.

How do these studies keep getting funded? Is there a bill signed into law that keeps money flowing in order to find more information to lower my self esteem?

Are they counting all the brothers that cut hair, make tattoos and cut grass? I know a cat who makes 100,000 a year doing piercing in his FEMA trailer. We might be able to close the gap with his information.

When sisters hear stuff like this does it make them feel good? If that’s true, shouldn’t they feel bad about feeling good ? We are proof divide and conquer works.

I have been hearing reports like this since I was a little boy that told me how I wasn’t going to live long, be healthy, have money or take care of my kids. Let this be an example of why when you meet most successful black men they are egotistical and arrogant assholes. They have to be to get through all of the low expectations society has for them.

I would like to ask the asshole that feels free to come to my desk and take stuff to use when I go home to at least have the decency to put everything back the way it was. I turned my fan on this morning and papers flew everywhere because someone took it, turned it on oscillating at their desk and then put it back on mine without changing it back. This is what happens when you don’t show your ignorant side at work and people get too comfortable. Tomorrow I am going to dumb my paper shredder bag all over the kitchen table if the person who keeps using it doesn’t change it.

I want to send a shot out to G and say sorry for missing the book signing. I was on vacation learning that it’s not a good idea to grow a Suge Knight beard when taking kids to a theme park. It just attracts strange attention especially when you dancing with little girls and singing the Winnie the Pooh song. I also learned I’m about 20 lbs away from the rollercoaster bars not fitting on me. I am going get the book this weekend.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I didn’t know Detective Thelonius Dukes personally. I know some good people who knew him personally. By all accounts he was a good brother . It’s a shame this man is gone after a random act of violence. He was shot trying to defend himself and his wife from a home invasion a few weeks ago and died yesterday. I want to send my condolences to Mr. Dukes and his family. The strangest thing about this whole story is the guy who was hanging out with our ex DA’s girlfriend is a suspect. Even by New Orleans standards some crazy stuff is going on. Stories like this one along with all the other senseless murders leave me in a state of confusion. The reason I am confused is the black community of New Orleans sometimes seems like one big ass ghetto. I spend too much money on bills to feel this unsafe. I know a lot of smart people with enough income to move to the suburbs and not be around this stuff all the time. We live in these neighborhoods within the city limits with limited resources, limited progress and unlimited threats from a criminal element. I shouldn’t need a pistol to walk to my truck after dark. I never get into a deep sleep because I am too busy listening for noises and watching the motion lights. I guess the thugs have me paranoid. When I lived outside of Jackson, Mississippi after Katrina I never felt like this at night.

We are the people who’s friends and family in other places call crazy. As a close friend of mine loves to say “Cliff, you need to represent the city from afar”. Times like these make it hard to disagree. My reply to that statement is always the same. What’s going to happen to the city if we all leave? Someone with good intentions has to stick around the inner city. On the other hand, how much of a cost do you have to pay for a dream that may never come true. For months after Katrina I campaigned for my parents to move back to the Lower Ninth Ward. That was being selfish. The truth of the matter is that when I ride up St. Claude Avenue to their house and think about the neighborhood they live in now, there is no way I could promote moving back to that area. You can't compare the two enviroments and hard working people should be able to go outside without looking over and around their shoulder. Maybe getting closer to me would be nice but I wouldn’t sleep if they moved back to the original spot. That makes me sad to admit. The strangest thing about our people is that element that has nothing is running away the only people that are willing to give their ass a chance. If the working and middle class black community leaves this city, the ghetto doesn’t stand a chance. They are just to ignorant to realize it. My spirit is running low. I’m ready to leave it all to the thugs and illegal immigrants. My next vacation is going to be a permanent one.

This is dedicated to Fatt who lost her brother and Tina who lost her son……and my boy Renaldo Cains who’s murder 14 years ago made me realize there was nothing cool in losing your life that young for no reason.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This Is How It Happens

I just got back to town from vacation and it didn’t take long for something to piss me off. I would never condone hitting a woman. I am not really endorsing hitting one now. However, if anyone knows this little boy’s mama……….and his daddy for that matter, please feel free to whip their asses for me. It’s bad enough the boy was alone in the gas station with no shirt on. Neither one of his parents went down there to get the child. See, this is why police and district attorneys have nothing to do with crime. You take a sweet kid like this one and make his circumstances at home so rough that he is taking care of himself at the age of five. Then you give him a piss poor education and no guidance. Twelve years later when he is seventeen, he will be kicking in someone’s door or in a vacant building making a drug deal and everyone will make him a monster. He’s not a monster. The truth of the matter is that he never stood a chance of making it as a regular citizen. No one wants to do a damn thing about the future that he and many of these young brothers face. They just want to build billion dollar facilities to make his legal slavery as comfortable as possible until he gets stabbed on the recreation yard. Maybe his mama letting him wander into that service station might be the best thing that ever happened to him. Instead of wasting all that time worrying about Imus and Dog the Bounty Hunter, we need to figure out how to keep this stuff from happening. Where are the plans and the rally to stop this? Somebody call Bill Cosby. I’m going to the store and find out how to send this baby some clothes. I hope we can find out what happened to him since the Times Picayune put the kid on the last page of the Metro section in a small little box. If little Timmy from Metairie would have been lost and abandoned he would have had his own section in this morning's paper.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tuning It All Out Today

I truly love my job. I am one of those cats that get ready for the next work day as soon as he gets home from the previous one to make sure the morning goes smoothly. There are some Mondays however where the only word to describe how you feel about getting the work week started is………………SHIT!!

I guess today is one of those days. During days like this I am usually not up for any real stimulating conversation. I’m blocking things out. I guess that applies to this blog as well. I could write a letter to George Bush thanking him for making me realize how he screwed our recovery to make Blanco look bad from his comments last week. I could use the fact that there was a sellout crowd at a football game in San Diego to make the distinction between the fires and Katrina. I could make fun of all the email invitations from all these Myspace clones like Facebook, Multiply, Tagged and all that stuff. Why does it seem like the same person is joining these new networking sites and sending you an invite? Are they just sitting at home searching for them? I should be thanking that person for making my personal life feel a little less pitiful. Anyway, I won’t talk about any of that today. What I will do is share my Blue Monday mixtape. This is how I made it through the work day today (written as I played them). Feel free to put on your headphones really loud to mute the voices of your co-workers. Just make sure that if you are listening to something with explicit lyrics you hit the volume button when the cussing comes on and don’t sing along out loud. Yes, I have a catalog of music saved on my work computer. That’s a benefit of paying dues. At least I deleted all the Buffie The Body pictures.

  1. Back on my Grizzy – Lil Wayne (I’m guilty of liking this fool’s music too much)
  2. Groove Swing – Roi Anthony (Look it up!)
  3. Spirit in the Dark – Aretha Franklin live w/ Ray Charles
  4. Ms. Fat Booty – Mos Def (played 5 times in a row)
  5. Big Things Poppin – T.I.
  6. Soul Soul Soul – Wild Magnolias
  7. Mothership Connection – Parliament
  8. Sweet Sixteen – B.B. King
  9. My Soul Ain’t for Sale – Jazzy Jeff featuring Raheem Devaughn (Theme song)
  10. Be Alright – Zapp & Roger
  11. Adrenaline – The Roots & Beanie Sigel (played 10 times in a row)
  12. International Players Anthem – UGK ft. Outkast

Friday, October 26, 2007


What the hell are you doing brother?

What happened to the dude in the cool hats prosecuting Edwin Edwards?

What is going on with you?

You wouldn't have gotten this far in your career if you displayed the bad judgment you are displaying now. You know once you fired those people without a legitimate reason everything had to go right to keep things together. Until this drama blows over, don't let anyone visit your house that you don't know personally. I read the story and I realize you didn't have anything to do with the robbery, but damn Eddie. You need to be working an evening job to come up with this extra cash to pay this settlement. If you don't one of your ex employees will be renting out the second floor of the traffic court building once the court seizes it.

Looking into my crystal ball I can already see what's about to happen. Eddie Jordan is going to run for re-election. Some group is going to run an ad that goes over the line and gets too racial. Community leaders are going to jump all over that and rally around Eddie. The city is going to be right in the middle of a color war. Black people will get up and vote for Eddie out of spite. He will win. The next day the Times Picayune will be flooded with letters from people saying they "have had enough and are leaving this awful place forever!" Then, I will repost this the day after the election and look like a genius. I'm no genius by a long stretch. I just know the local formula.

If you think he's going to step down you can forget it. Everyone in local politics is tied to these organizations with the catchy names like SOUL, GUMBO, PUSH, etc... They control so much money and influence that it would take years to recover from someone stepping down in shame. That's why William Jefferson ran again and why no one will ever ever ever turn against Marc Morial. They have to protect the machine. The same people who foolishly advised him to layoff all those people will also tell him to take the heat and not resign.

Maybe I am wrong and he will step down. We will elect a new district attorney and everyone will feel safer when he convicts a few of the hardcore criminals. Then, a few months later the crime stats will go back up and we will realize that the district attorney, sheriff, police chief, or the mayor have nothing to do with the large amount of young men who feel the need to engage in criminal behavior. Maybe the new DA will prosecute every member of the school board for the last 40 years. They are responsible for at least 40 percent of this crime problem.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Suffer in Silence

The black community of New Orleans has a serious crime problem. Almost everyday some young kid is laying in the street full of bullets. We need new schools and health care facilities. I truly believe that some things are being stalled in the recovery process purposely to keep some people from coming home and others to get frustrated and leave again. So why in the hell was the voter turnout so low? I am amazed at how all these people put themselves on an anger time limit or let the government buy their pain away for a few thousand dollars. We should be angrier. We should be angry at the crime, and the murder. We should be angry at how people chose to experiment with our kids’ education at their most vulnerable point. We should be angry that 30,000 migrant workers were here working before I could even get to my house to open up the windows for the mold. We should be calling Spike Lee to come and film another four chapters of When The Levees Broke. We should have lines at the polls. New Orleans is one place in America where black people have to vote and do it responsibly. There is an element here with a lot of influence that doesn’t hide their intentions. Do you think 20 police cars showing up at a second line in Treme was some kind of once in a lifetime thing? This culture we are supposed to love so much can be taken so cheap. We were too busy to get off our ass and vote Saturday. If the people on the register no longer live here then we need to register some new people. Now Jackie Clarkson will sit on that council again and if you think low income housing is going to come rushing back to the city with her having any influence you are foolish and stupid. She’s one of the main reasons now that it took so long for people to come home and all of the parks are full of trailers. You always get what you deserve when you vote the wrong way. It happened with Blanco, it happened with Nagin the second time and it's about to happen again. I don't want to hear anything when everyone has a midnight curfew and the N.O.P.D. is shaking brothers down everyday.

Alright Bobby

Bobby Jindal is the governor-elect of Louisiana after getting a majority vote in the first primary. That is truly remarkable in this state. It’s easy to explain. First, Kathleen Blanco and the Democrats let their main voting block sit around waiting for help after the levees broke and watched them drive out of the state. For that alone they deserved to lose. Second, all the closet prejudice people that didn’t vote for him the last time did so this time as a way of apologizing for making such a big mistake. This race was over in August 2005. I’m going to be optimistic about Bobby. I did vote for him the first time since he was clearly the better candidate. This time around I had to go with Walter Boasso because we shared the same flood water and there is no way his policies wouldn’t have helped me. A few years from now everyone is going to be really glad that they corrected the mistake from 2003 or feel really stupid about being misled by another politician using big words but having little action.

Hey Bobby, with such an impressive victory for the Republican Party, wouldn’t now be a good time to go to the White House and get George to send us a few billion dollars to make up that Road Home short fall? The plan was flawed, full of red tape and Blanco designed it in a way that showed a lack of trust in her own citizens but the positive effects of it are visible.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sitting on my Porch

It’s been a long time since I freestyled one of these blogs………………..

Alright Tyler Perry, I didn’t bootleg the movie. I actually spent the 40 bucks at the movies to see Why Did I Get Married. You did a great job. I don’t usually like going see stuff like this at the movies but this one was worth it.

I just want to throw this out there right now. I saw Senator Craig’s interview with Matt Lauer. If America lets this guy get away with that crazy story he’s telling, every black person who has family in jail for something stupid gets to set one person free.

It seems another rapper is trying to find ways to give back all the money and fame by doing something crazy. T.I did a commercial with the most popular dude in NASCAR. All he had to do was join the NRA and they would have sent him brand new guns. I said it before and I will say it again. You can do really ghetto stuff only if you never plan on leaving it.

I know the Saints won Sunday night and a few people had a good game. However, upon further review I think I am going to leave Saintsation DiAnne as the MVP.

I just watched a great documentary series on VH1 Classic called Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music. It was a great show full of rare clips and performances. The hour devoted to Otis Redding and Stax was particularly well done. It will probably never air again until February when everyone pulls out the black shows. If by some chance it shows up before then I recommend it. I hope I didn't miss the Eric B. and Rakim reunion or something history on the BET Hip Hop Awards. I probably didn't.

If every campaign ad from the challenger is about how the incumbent didn't do anything and every ad from the incumbent is about how the challenger is unqualified or corrupt, why in the hell are we voting for either one of them? Would there ever be a campaign slogan that says "He did a good job but I can do better"

I will give five dollars to anyone who has sat through one of those recorded messages from an elected official endorsing a candidate in the upcoming election. How do they get that recording to start talking after the beep on your voicemail? This has got to be a waste of money.
Speaking of voting….

Voting is the essence of democracy. People gave their lives for me to be able to do it and I truly believe in going to the polls to exercise this right. Everyone should but I have a request. If you are one of those people who doesn't watch the news, read the paper or have a clue about what’s going on; go to the polling place, sign the book and then walk out. Don’t bring your ass in there and vote for someone because you like his hair or he is light skinned. How do you think we got George W. Bush for eight years? A bunch of hillbillies somewhere voting for him because he had a ranch and like to BBQ. Now it’s mainly their kids who are stuck overseas. Be responsible about what you are doing in that booth.

I came across this video yesterday and the words of the song fit’s the life of damn near everyone I know. If black radio stations weren’t obligated to play the same song 30 times a day I would call and request this when I had one of those moments at work.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Song From My Soundtrack

This is dedicated to all the brothers that were sweaty like me after waiting for hours on those "Meet me at the bus stop" dates back in the day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cliff's Voting Agenda

Election day in this state is October 20th. We will be electing a new governor. There will also be races for State Representatives, judges, an at large city council seat in New Orleans and all kinds of other things to confuse you in the voting booth. This blog will not be officially endorsing anyone in any race except for Joseph S. Clark’s own Tommie Vassel as councilman at large for New Orleans. We also will refrain from telling anyone who not to vote for except for Jackie Clarkson. I would sign the register and walk out before I vote for her. Honestly this race is so confusing from the standpoint of knowing the candidates that I am not sure who I am voting for in most cases. I don’t want to sit here and give someone props then find out they were running a prostitution ring a few years ago and all the girls called Senator Vitter “Bishop David Magic Juan”. I would feel pretty bad endorsing that person. With that in mind, let’s focus on the things I can and cannot support in this year’s election. I have to admit that before Katrina I pretty much voted along regular African American lines. I usually voted for the person who was closest to my skin tone or as far to the left as possible. Something about making grits on a BBQ grill in Mississippi with no electricity will make you look at things differently. Yeah, I know George Bush appointed Michael Brown but Kathleen Blanco is as Democrat as it gets and she spent a few days worrying about what shirt she had on before she did anything. These days I need to make sure that whoever is in office is going to support what my community needs regardless of where they are politically. Now, here is my agenda.

  • I will not support any candidate who’s name can be tied to a specific indictment or scandal.

  • I will support any candidate who advocates for renters assistance as well as the rebuilding of affordable housing in the city of New Orleans. Please note, opening up a few housing project buildings does not count. We need real affordable housing for working class families.

  • I will not support any candidate who’s plan for reducing crime is built on more jails and more police on the street. Prison does nothing to solve the root problems of crime. Plus, when more prisons are built, more brothers have to be arrested to keep that industry moving. The key is education, parental involvement , community development, and job opportunities.

  • I want to know which candidate has the guts to stand up to Entergy New Orleans and fight these monthly increases in our energy bills.

  • I will support any candidate that understands the need for more medical facilities in New Orleans. We don’t have enough clinics and medical facilities in residential areas.
  • I will not support any candidate who thought it was a good idea to put trailers in the parks where kids are supposed to play. This was only done under the idea that those neighborhoods were not repopulating and to keep the trailers off of the golf courses……..Jackie Clarkson!

  • I will support any candidate who’s in favor or tax breaks for local businesses in order to help them get back on their feet since Katrina. Stop traveling to Asia and South America to beg for business that ain‘t coming. Economic development here is going to start at a grass roots level.

  • I refuse to vote for anybody who hasn’t mentioned funding for new school facilities in New Orleans.

  • I won’t support anyone endorsed by Ray Nagin. I am sorry Mayor Nagin but you seem to be so out of touch sometimes it’s hard to believe you know what’s best these days.

  • I will vote for anybody in favor of closing the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

  • I will campaign against anybody who doesn’t believe in the cultural diversity of New Orleans and the importance of it’s local traditions.

  • I will support any candidate committed to rebuilding all neighborhoods of the city because it wasn’t any of those neighborhoods’ fault they were flooded in the first place.
    I will not support anyone who could have done anything about the situation in Jena and did nothing until after the march.

  • Finally, if someone can just guarantee me that the lights on the lakefront will be turned back on at night they can run for mayor and get my support. This may not seem big to anyone else but would do wonders for me. Quality of life without leaving the city limits is important.

That's my agenda. Make your own decisions.......except for Tommie Vassel.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Game Day Tally

Price of Saints game ticket = Free…Thanks Shawn

Amount of money spent on drinks and food = 27.00

Number of blocks I had to walk in the rain to and from my parking space = 20

Days of work I am going to miss when the flu kicks in = 3

Number of people I heard seriously discussing harming the kicker = 273,000

Watching the Saints bring all of New Orleans together in disappointment = PRICELESS!

Fatherhood and Katrina have changed my perspective because this was one of those games five years ago I probably would have scared little children in the Superdome with my rage. Teena Marie has to be a Saints fan because she wrote the perfect lyric to describe how we usually feel. She wrote “I can feel this for sure. I’ve been here before”. This is truly strange times for me in the 504. Nothing is really the same. I don’t have anyone in the Lower Ninth Ward to visit. I can’t go to the lake after dark. There is not one good po boy place, snowball stand, or hole in the wall in walking distance of my residence. Last week in the cradle of the city’s culture Treme, a musician went to jail for honoring the deceased with a second line. In a strange way the Saints being pitiful so far this year feels very normal and relaxing. Now all we need is for one of our backups to get traded to another team and become a hall of fame player while Reggie Bush runs that wide sweep for no gain for the next seven years. Then it will all make sense. Until somebody on this team does something to win a game Saintsation DiAnne is the MVP of the season.

You know what? I have a good score for you.


J.S. Clark 18
De La Salle 6

Our first win Post Katrina at Joseph S. Clark Senior High School!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The City's Number One Revenue Generator

Ladies and gentlemen of New Orleans, District Attorney Eddie Jordan has ran out of appeals and extensions and has to pay all the white people he fired for no reason their money. This is truly sad for local citizens. It’s not sad because he has to pay. What he did was wrong and if the situation was reversed black people would have exhumed the bodies of deceased community leaders to march against that kind of thing. It’s sad because anyone that has lived here more than five minutes knows how New Orleans city government covers unexpected expenses. That’s right, traffic and parking tickets. I’m pretty sure they are ordering more tow trucks and radar guns as we speak. Every driver in the city is going to have to give their fair share to cover up Eddie’s mistake by getting a citation.

I have extensive experience with receiving traffic and parking tickets in New Orleans. I have been innocent every time but I paid most of them because I believe in the city being fiscally stable. Some of you may not share my dedication and will get pissed when you turn that corner right into a middle of a speed trap. Since I believe in helping the community and have no fear of offending the police department(thank goodness you don’t need a picture on the Blogger profile page. ) I am going to share with those of you who may not be familiar with the unwritten driving rules of New Orleans. Here are five helpful hints to avoid missing a day of work sitting in traffic court.

1. A No Parking sign on a post has a radius of two blocks in either direction in the local meter maid rulebook. If you park anywhere without a meter, you must drive two blocks in both directions to make sure that there isn’t any sign she can write a ticket for. How come the electronic meters have a debit card slot but not one for dollar bills? Everytime I put my debit card into the machine it automatically bills me for the maximum time. I'm spending three dollars for a 5 minutes stop. Which one of Pampy's cousins owned the company that won that contract?

2. If you have an older vehicle and the seatbelt doesn't work any longer, this is what you do. You pull the strap over your shoulder, tuck the buckle part under your thigh and sit on it. This won't make you any safer but it will fool the police. Be sure that if you get uncomfortable not to adjust yourself too suddenly and have that buckle jump up and hit you in the temple causing you to black out and run into a poll. You don't want that to happen because I am sure that old hooptie doesn't have an airbag.

3. In the morning, you may pass a school zone sign but also notice that the school itself is boarded up, abandoned and probably has never been touched since Katrina. Slow down to 20 miles per hour anyway. Doing 45mph through one of these zones may be the reason to stop you under the hope you have something else wrong and help fill the quota.

4. Many New Orleans streets are curved so much to the point where you can’t see two blocks ahead. When you get to a blind spot of this nature, please lower your speed by ten. New Orleans traffic cops love these spots. Pay particular attention to the intersection at St. Claude and St. Bernard, N. Broad St. near the I-610 onramp, Almonaster Blvd once you cross the overpass on Florida Ave and several spots on Claiborne. Trust me they will be waiting.

5. You may get stopped for something that you don’t think you are guilty of. You may want to use your freedom of speech and complain to the officer writing the ticket. It’s your right to do so but please be aware that there are members of the NOPD that have no people skills at all and somehow they all ended up in traffic enforcement. These elite group has the gift of taking one violation and writing it three different ways on the same ticket. It might be a good idea to just say you did it, compliment his keen awareness and move on. You can fuss if you want to, but when you get stopped for doing 40 in a 30 mile zone and that turns into speeding, wreckless driving, illegal lane change when you get over to stop for him and a mandatory court date don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Take these tips, buckle up, drive safe and enjoy the city.

Someone may want to translate this into Spanish for our thousands of migrant workers who are living here. If you do, please add that they may want to watch all those illegal turns and stop going the wrong way down one way streets scaring the hell out of people. I’m not being mean. I’m just trying to help.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

If He Could Just Learn To Control His Zipper More

I want to make something clear before I get into this post and somebody sends me an email about how I am selling out the brother. Most little boys have idles in sports growing up. I can name all of my favorites; Magic Johnson, Rickey Jackson, Junkyard Dog, James Worthy, Dan Marino, Charles Barkley, Kirby Puckett, Walter Payton and last but certainly not least Isiah Thomas. When all the kids were buying Michael Jordan posters and wearing Bulls colors I was a Pistons fan. Isiah was my boy. With the exception of basketball, nothing ever came easy for this cat. No one ever gave him anything and no one outside of his family really wanted him to be successful. He was just too strong to let them keep him down. He used that strength to carry the Pistons to back to back titles as a player. Even after he retired and had a few failures he always came out on top. After a few disappointments my boy ended up in charge of one of the NBA’s most important franchises the New York Knicks. It takes fortitude to overcome those kind of things.

So what the hell was he doing treating the sister and costing his employer 11.6 million dollars. As big of a Zeke fan as I am, I am going to say the same thing about this situation as I said about Mike Vick. Sometimes when you get to a certain level of achievement and responsibility, we have to hold you at a higher standard. You have fought your way out one of the roughest ghettos in America. You got over being left off of the original Dream Team. The Pistons played you after you retired. You bought the CBA and it damn near went out of existence. You built the Pacers and then got fired. You went through all of that to end up in charge of the Knicks and tried to throw it all away with your pimpin. It's a good thing for you that the NBA's current focus on their image doesn't include the respect of women that work for their organizations because they would have fired your ass.

I was having a conversation with my dad one day. I don’t remember exactly what story came up to trigger this quote but it has applied to so many instances public and private since he said it. My daddy told me “Son, a black man could run this entire world if he wanted to…….if he could just learn to control his zipper more.” Yes, I know men of other races do this kind of thing too but we are talking about Isiah Thomas right now. Yes, I know there is a slight chance that the sister isn’t being totally honest (I don't think she was lying) and set Zeke up but if you have went through as many obstacles as he has to get to this point, why would you even take that chance. A brother with his status should have no problems finding women who don't work for him to play around with.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bye Harry

I would like to take a moment to say goodbye to Sheriff Harry Lee. I know it sounds crazy coming from a black man who fit Harry’s criminal profile but that guy made the New Orleans area feel special. I don’t there was anywhere else in the country that a Chinese American could grow up in the Ninth Ward, move to the suburbs, run for successfully for sheriff for thirty years, be beloved by white people and feared by most blacks. You couldn’t write a life story like Harry’s. I may have had a few uncomfortable moments on Airline Highway with some of his muscle bound deputies but once they ran your license and realized you were legal they got kind of nice. Rest in peace Harry. Get with Buddy D. when you get up there and send some positive vibes down for the Saints.

For some reason, not all my friends had the same reaction to Harry's passing.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Studio Conservatives

I have a question for conservatives. How did this guy get so popular with you? I have looked all over for something in his past that qualifies him to be a spokesman for the right wing agenda and have found nothing. He hasn’t worked for any Republican politicians. He didn’t go to school with Karl Rove. He’s not a member of Dick Cheney’s hunting party. I haven’t found one thing to make you guys love him so much other than the fact he’s on FOX news and says exactly what you want to hear. I’m not the biggest fan of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton but at least they have a history of activism that validates what they try to do. This guy was hosting Inside Edition and would probably be covering stories like why Paris and Nicole aren’t friends anymore if he hadn’t gotten replaced. Does that sound like the champion of American values to you? You people are so gullible. For all we know O’Reilly and Limbaugh get together on the weekends. They pop in a Tupac CD, roll up a fat one and laugh about how they are robbing you fools blind by validating your narrow minded way of thinking.

Love Thy Neighbor

Business travel sure isn’t like it is on the commercials. It’s boring. You don’t get to sleep late because the itinerary starts at 8:00 AM and then when it’s over you have to act like you want to socialize with these people just because you are at the same conference. Needless to say when you get home all you want is peace and quiet. I have been on two trips in the last two weeks and every time I get home my neighbor’s wife is tripping. We have been living next door to one another for years and never had a problem. Now, she has been home from Houston for a month and is losing her damn mind. See, there is a FEMA trailer in front of my home. When the assholes installed it they placed in a position that blocks half of my driveway. For the last year everyone has been pulling in at the front of my neighbor’s driveway and turning into mine. The other day I drove up tired as hell and when I got ready to turn in I noticed a damn barricade made of cinder blocks closing off the open part of the driveway. Before anyone thinks we were just using their space while they were not there, her husband has been home for a year and we have all been living in harmony with no trouble. We even feed the man from time to time like a member of the family. I asked the crazy woman if she was having a problem with people pulling into the driveway when I wasn’t home and she blew me off! I have never had a problem with this woman before and I don’t want to have one now. We already have a problem in our community with unnecessary conflict. I left the barricade there and parked in the street but the more I think about it the madder I get.

Everyone in this neighborhood had the same damn flood water. There are lots of people who haven’t been able to get back or just got back recently. You ain’t the only angry stressed out person around here. You should have kept your ugly, angry ass in Houston if you didn’t want to deal with things. She doesn’t understand that I am a peaceful man by nature and I can’t stand the kind of ignorant drama that causes violence and separation in our community. She didn’t have to disrespect me when I was being respectful to her. What she doesn’t know is that I had an energy bill that was higher than my car note, and that Wednesday would have been my grandmother’s 74th birthday and that I miss my dog, and my windshield crack is starting to spread, and that I have sat through two weeks worth of seminars and boring conversation and my ears have yet to pop back in place after getting off of the airplane and the Saints are 0-3 and Drew Brees sucks at the moment. When you add all that up, it makes me want to do something to get revenge. I don’t want to hurt her or any of her family. I just want to do something dumb like let all of the propane out of the trailer tanks or fill the drain pipe with old socks so the next time she flushes the toilet it erupts under her. That would give me a good laugh for about an hour but it wouldn’t change the fact that there are people like this all throughout the city and no matter how good the intentions are of most people here there will always be this negative, miserable, close minded group that will suck the spirit out of everybody by doing things that make no sense. It’s people like you that make people like me load up the U-Haul and get my ass out of here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why We Don't March on The Thugs

Father Forgive Us For Livin' While All My Homies Stuck In Prison,
Barely Breathin' Believin That The World Is A Prison,
It's Like A Ghetto We Could Neva Leave, A Broken Rose,
It Could Bloom Through The Cracks Of The Concrete,
So Many Otha Things For Us To See, Things To Be,
Our History so Full Of Tragedy And Misery,
To All My Homies Neva Made It Home,
The Dead peers i Shed Tatooed Tears,For When I'm Alone,
Picture Us Inside A Ghetto Heaven, A Place To Rest,
Findin' Peace Through This Land Of Stress,
In My Chest I Feel Pain, Comin' Sudden Storms,
Life Full Of Rain In This Game Watch For landstorms,
Our Unborn, Neva Gotta Grow Neva Gotta See What's Next,
In This World Full Of Countless Threats,
I Beg God, To Make A Way For Our Ghetto Kids,
To Breathe Show A Sign Make Us All Believe

Tupac Shakur

I read a post over at M.D. Filter’s blog that struck me. He listed all the names of the murder victims in New Orleans and asked the question why no one was marching for these men like they are in Jena. Now, M.D. is white but he is a good guy and I believe is sincere. He wasn’t being sarcastic or making the point out of spite like some people have this week in regards to the Jena 6 rally. I’m not an expert on everything involving black on black crime. I'm just an concerned observer who has lost some close friends to the streets and know how they got there. With that in mind I will try to explain the difference between the rally and the violence and answer his question. If anyone reads this and disagrees please feel free to let me know.
The first thing is that the Jena 6 Rally was not to excuse the actions of the kids involved. It was to call attention to the unbalanced charges given by the district attorney. That deserved attention no matter what is happening on the streets of the inner city. That’s an entirely different issue than black on black crime.
There is a difficulty with black on black crime as it relates to a solution. In my opinion, the only way to truly come up with a solution to this problem is to admit that the last 40 years after integration have been a failure and people gave too much to that struggle to admit that. This fight against destructive behavior would be easy if some group of old white men came out and admitted they have been altering the minds of young black people and influencing them to hate one another on a large scale. That would change everything really fast but it’s not going to happen. Black Americans feel a common bond to each other more than any other group. That’s a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing when something like Jena happens because it leads to common outrage. It’s a curse when it comes to violence because we are not comfortable turning our kids over to the system because when we do that’s an admission of failure by all of us on some level. I don’t think we have a clue what to do about all this killing.
What the rest of the nation is seeing is an internal struggle. It’s a struggle that leads to questions to ponder. Did we embrace the drug culture and subsequent violence because of the money involved? Have black men not had enough control over their need for sex, creating too many kids that were unplanned and abandoned? Are we making the educational system a scapegoat for the lack of home training? Many of our great grandparents could barely read and write and there wasn’t 300 murders a year in major cities. Have the black upper and middle class spent too much time convincing themselves that they have overcame and not enough time in the community trying to help? Is that even their obligation and if it’s not then who’s is it? What about the church’s effectiveness? Having a rally won’t do anything to answer these questions. These issues will only be solved from open and honest discussion. The solution won’t be easy to achieve and I am afraid that there will be more death before we even get close.
The only advice I would give to my white friends is if you have an idea to help save a kid from the streets where you live then by all means do so. I would also advise not to try and make sense of some this unless you want to admit that the culture of this country has messed up my people. If you can’t see that then I can’t have an honest discussion with you either because that means you are ignoring history. There are some built in obstacles that are not our fault that make this problem harder to deal with. We might have to march on those once we get this violence under control.