Monday, February 26, 2007

Too Much Information

A few days ago Rev. Al Sharpton discovered that his descendants were once owned by the descendants of the late Senator Strom Thurmond (the one with the secret black baby). I know how progressive black people feel about having one person speak for all of us so I will only speak for me and probably most of my close friends. I don't think I am ready to find out what white family owned my kin folks. That's a psychological barrier I am not prepared to climb. I guess it's ok to find out what tribe you are from unless you are from the one that sold the first slaves. Then you have to deal with being the brothers that started this madness. What if you are a supervisor somewhere full of confidence then you find out that the janitor's great great grandfather used to make your great great grandfather pull the plow when the donkey got tired. I don't care who you are, that's going to bother you. I think I am cool knowing my people are from the 7th Ward. No one owned us once we got that far.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Denial is a Problem's No. 1 Enabler.

There are a few columns I like to read all the time. Really high on that list is Jason Whitlock from the Kansas City Star newspaper and AOL Sports. He is usually on point with his opinions except for picking against the Saints for most of the year. He wrote two pieces this week that I would like you to read.

You have to read this one first.

Then read the follow-up.

The Black KKK is a serious term.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Stupid But Honest

Tim Hardaway has been getting unwanted attention after saying he hates gay people and they shouldn't exist. That was some harsh statements. Everybody is pissed at Tim when we all know lots of NBA players feel like he does. Speaking for myself, I don't prejudge anyone based on race, relation or sexual orientation. It's much better to get to know somebody and then not like them. Plus, I am a Katrina survivor that hasn't gotten over it yet so the anger I feel is crisp and precise. I know who I hate and why I hate them so I am not down with Tim and his blanket statements.
What I really don't understand is why we can't have a discussion in America about issues without someone getting labeled. It's like the politically correct police pick the side that makes you civilized and anyone that goes against suffers the consequences. You know even if Tim would have thought before he spoke and cleaned it up he still would have been punished. Call me crazy but if I was the first openly gay male professional athlete in a team sport I would want to know where everyone stood honestly. I need that info for two reasons. The first one is that maybe this person is uninformed and I can open his mind up to who I am. The second reason is that if he is one of those over the top ignorant people like Tim was sounding I may have to watch my back in the locker room. In 1947 when Branch Rickey was looking for a brother to break the color line in baseball, he chose Jackie Robinson primarily because he knew Jackie had enough intelligence to understand the bigger purpose take a lot of crap from people that didn't understand. Imagine that if it was like it is now back then and everyone would have been scared to say they didn't want to play with that nigger. He would have got some brother with no tolerance for bullshit and sent him out there. Inevitably he would have whipped someones ass and messed it up for everybody. No one in this country can honestly say how they feel anymore if the mainstream is against them.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Building Them Up

Last week I wrote about the tragic story of two young men. One is deceased and the other’s life is destroyed after a fist fight turned into a shooting. I asked the people that might come across this blog to send me names of positive brothers since I was tired of getting beat down by all the negativity. The site of that kid on the front page of the paper with his gun and money really depressed me. I was only hoping to have 100 names. I received over 200. Thanks to everyone who sent me an email or a comment. I only have a very small number of readers. If I have 200 names imagine what would happen if would ask for the same thing. You would have hundreds of thousands of us. That means that we really don’t have an excuse for people for any of our brothers to be like they are. I’m going to do my part. I just don’t know exactly what it is yet. We have to build them up. I’m going to build these brothers up right here.

Ade Young
Freddie Wilson lll
Mr. Alfred Givens
Pastor Perry Wainwright
Albert Baptiste
George Thomas
Mr. Alton Celestine
Pastor Philip Davis
Alonzo McGhee
Gregory Anthony Clayton
Mr. Andre McCoy Sr.
Pastor Raymond Watson Jr.
Alphonso Sims
Haywood Cavett Jr.
Mr. Anthony Johnson
Pastor Robert Davis
Alvin St. Cyr
Henry McCathen
Mr. Billy Perkins
Pastor Troy G. Peters Sr.
Andre Wilson
Henry Smith Sr.
Mr. Cedric R. Williams
Pastor William Davis
Andrew Burrell
Herman Reese III
Mr. Cleophus Green Sr.
Patrick Mcdowell
Anthony Curry
Isaac Evans
Mr. Clifton J. Harris Sr.
Perry Bolden
Antoine McGhee
Jai Atkins
Mr. Corwin D. Broady Sr.
Phillip Martin
Antone Estes
James Mcdowell
Mr. Curtis Woods Sr.
Randy Verdin
Antonio Gaines
James Reid
Mr. Darvin Dotson
Ray Johnson
Augustus Robinson
Jason DeJesus
Mr. Dwayne Taylor
Raymond Southall
Ayo Young
Jason Turner
Mr. Edward Williams Jr.
Reginald O'Neal
Benjamin Cisrow
Jasper Howard
Mr. Elwod Mitchell
Rev. Arthur Harris
Bishop Oscar Francis
Jefferey Johnson Sr.
Mr. Eric Wright
Rev. Darrell Knight
Brandon Cooper
Jeffery Turner
Mr. Fabian Ballard
Rev. Jessie Williams
Brandon Harris
Jerald Harris
Mr. Frank Hubbard, Jr.
Ricardo Davis
Brian Monroe
Jeremie Buie
Mr. Frank Hubbard, Sr.
Robert Eames Jr.
Brien Richard
Jerome Magee
Mr. George Roberson
Robert Ellis
Bryant Thornton
Jesse Magee
Mr. Gregory Watson
Roderick Fleming
Calvin Brumfield
Jessie Ricks, Sr.
Mr. Harold Garrett
Roderick Wright
Charles Casimere
Joe Gayten
Mr. Ivy Lee Perkins
Ron Sterling
Charles McPherson
John Boykin Sr.
Mr. Jack Givens
Ronald Robinson
Charles Phillips
John Morton
Mr. Jerido
Ronald Russell
Chief L. Charles Gaines
John Thomas Robertson
Mr. John Williams
Roy Cager Jr.
Christopher Lorenzo Williams
Jon Miguel
Mr. Johnny Griffin Sr.
Sam Taylor
Christopher Small
Joseph Corley
Mr. Joseph Perkins Jr.
Samuel Young
Christopher Turner
Joseph Davis Sr.
Mr. Joseph Perkins Sr.
Sean Rosser
Clarence L. Long
Joseph Green
Mr. Kenric Polart
Shaun Evans
Clarence White
Justin Gaudet
Mr. Lanny Scharpon, Sr.
Stacey Thomas
Corey Jackson
JW Moore
Mr. Lawrence Moody
Terrell Haynes
Corey Mickel
Keith Ambrose
Mr. Lawrence Williams Sr.
Terrence Thomas
Dale Robinson
Keith Smith
Mr. Lloyd Harris
Terry Smith Jr.
Dalton Scott
Kenneth Johnson
Mr. Louis Burnett
Theodore Spence
Damon Williams
Kenyatta Arnette
Mr. Marlon Adkins
Timothy Pugh
Danny Tyler
Lamar Smith
Mr. Patrick Harris
Tom Hillard
Darly Finch
Larry Alberts
Mr. Rasheed Lacour
Tommy Cavett
Darrell Mc Cloud
Larry Taylor
Mr. Ray Parker Roberts Jr.
Tommy Lee Ricks
Darrius Epps
Larry Turner
Mr. Raymond Watson Sr.
Tommy Tobias Sr.
Darryl Fleming
Lee Estes
Mr. Robert Bateman
Tony Gaines
Darryl Shuford
Lewis Ridgley
Mr. Sean Watson
Tony Lee
Darryl Tate
Lionel Grant
Mr. Shawn Hubert
Torey Bullock
David Baker
Lorenzo Bradley
Mr. Sol Williams III
Tory Anderson
David Tate
Lt. Sheldon C. Matthews
Mr. Sol Williams Jr.
Tory Anderson
Derek Jones
Lyric Anderson
Mr. Sterling Young
Troy Lawrence, Pastor
Diallo Jackson
Marcus Moore
Mr. Thomas R. Peters Sr.
Troy Louis Raymond Southall
Douglas James Robinson
Marcus Parham
Mr. Travis A. Peters
Tyran Grainger
Dwayne Butler
Mark Cullota
Mr. Trevor Brister
Waddell B. Penn III
Dwayne Hills
Markee K Cooper
Mr. Walter Harris
Walter Smith Sr.
Eddie Lawrence Robinson
Marvin Martin
Mr. William L. Harris Jr.
Walter Wade Harris
Eddie Scott Jr.
Maurice Cullota
Mr. Willie T. Marshall
Wayne Johnson
Edgar Lane
Maurice Gilford
Nate Williams
William Owens, Jr.
Edward James
Meina Mwura
Olu Young
William Wilson
Emmanuel Mahand
Melvin Lamar
Oscar Cavett
Willie Henderson
Eric Clay
Melvyn Molder
Otis Palmer
Willie Rawls Jr.
Eric Moore Sr.
Mitchell Williams
Wilson Gage
Freddie Blue
Montrell Cooper
Zion S Cooper

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Just Leave

Before I post my list of positive brothers I have something else to get off of my chest. Lots of people left New Orleans after the storm and many haven't returned. Some haven't been able to and others have found better opportunities in other cities and chose to build their lives in these places. I have no problem with these two groups in general. I also admire anyone that has came back home like I did and is trying to rebuild their lives and the pride we have in the city. It's been a very steep hill to climb. Some days it's down right depressing to be here. Every decent person here knows what kind of toll this rebuilding effort takes emotionally. That is why I am so sick and tired of national news stories about local residents talking about how miserable they are and leaving. I don't have a problem with you leaving just shut the hell up about it. It's bad enough I have to live through this shit everyday without you traitors adding fuel to the national fire and bitching to the press. If you are not happy pack your shit and go. Don't invite these big city publications into your home to show them everything that's wrong. They are not trying to help. They just want the story so they can feel better about the boring ass city where they live.

Friday, February 9, 2007

100 Brothers Strong

Two days ago two teenage boys got into a good old fashioned fistfight. One kid, Clarence Johnson apparently lost and went home. His mama gave him a gun sent him back outside and told him to “kill them all”. Here is the story if you want to read it. The young man that was murdered, Robert Dawson was taking care of his mom who has some health problems. He had been home for only four hours after riding 10 hours from Dallas with his mama. The picture of Clarence Johnson above was on the front page of the newspaper. His mama, Vanessa Johnson had this up on her mantle at home the same way you would have your child’s graduation photo. This story has affected my entire day but I am not going to dwell on it. As a black man this is a depressing thing and we tend to dwell on depressing issues. What we need to do is combat this ignorance with something uplifting. It just so happens that after I read this, brother Lionel Milton came on the radio. He is now a world renowned artist and a graduate of Thomas Edison Elementary school (a year before me). I couldn’t be prouder of that brother. That’s when I decided to write this blog at my desk this morning.
I am not writing another blog until I get the names of at least 100 black men that are positive, strong, and working hard to do the right thing. I hope to get way more than that but since this is a blog I will stick with a low number. I want anyone reading this that knows one, and we all do, to send me a comment or an email and give me their names. Once I get them all I will post them here. It doesn’t have to be a doctor, or a professor. It can be the plumber that lived across the street when you were growing up. It can be your husband, brother, dad, friend, co-worker, or anybody. Age doesn’t matter. We just need to counteract the negative. So send me your names and send this to your friends who may want to contribute.

I’ll start off with these:

Mr. Clifton J. Harris Sr.
Mr. Cedric R. Williams
Mr. Alton Celestine
Mr. Curtis Woods
Mr. Trevor Brister
Mr. Shawn Hubert
Mr. Marlon Adkins

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

No Respect

Yesterday I was driving to this meeting I had. I was Second and Baronne uptown in New Orleans. I am naming the streets in case someone that reads this is related to this girl and wants to go slap her. I was getting ready to park my car on First and Baronne. To my left was a group of old men sitting outside of a FEMA trailer. They were just staring at something but I couldn't see what it was. When I got a little closer I noticed a teenage boy and girl playing around. They looked innocent enough but they kept laughing at something behind this truck. When I got next to the truck I realized what the kids were laughing at and the old men were staring at. There was this teenaged girl with her legs off the ground and this boy was holding her up. This baby was serving this boy with a lap dance in the middle of the sidewalk at two o'clock in the afternoon when they both needed to be in school. I’m sure those old men wanted to say something but youngsters are so scary looking that they just shook their head.

I'm not going to preach about this one. I just have a message to everybody. If I see one of my daughters, any of my friend's daughters, any of my family members, or any of my family member's daughters out here giving some young jackass a lap dance with her legs off of the ground during the day in public, I am taking the baseball bat out of my trunk and beating down everyone involved and anyone that is out there finding it funny. I guarantee that will be the last time they shame themselves in public. We have to get some respect for ourselves back into the race. When I was ten years old me and my dad were driving and saw this girl leaning against her boyfriend's private parts at the bus stop. Big Cliff looked at me and said "if I ever see you treating your girlfriend with that kind of disrespect in public I am going to beat your ass". He was not joking at all. I'm glad my daddy wasn't with me yesterday because seeing that might have killed him.

If anybody in the New Orleans area wants me to monitor someone they know for the beat down send me an e-mail. All I need is a picture, their first name, and where they hang out.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Most Serious Problem

For many years the kids of New Orleans have received sub par education. New Orleans has done a horrible job at educating its youth, me included, for decades. By no means am I trying to free the local school board for the mismanagement and abuse of the system. The state has been trying to take over the schools for years. I always thought local activists were crazy for fighting this considering the condition of the schools. After Katrina, Governor Blanco put the schools takeover in the special session of the legislature and the state took over while the population of the city was still hanging out in hotels. It’s now seventeen months later and some kids just got into school on yesterday after being on a waiting list. The school year started in August. When I saw this the only thing I could come up with is questions.

How in the hell are these kids supposed to learn everything they have missed? Will they still have to take the LEAP test? If they take it and fail it, is that part of their permanent school record even though they’ve missed six months of school time because there were not enough classrooms and teachers? Why did the state fire 7500 faculty and staff without at least estimating how many schools might open first? Some of those custodians would have been here night and day getting those schools together. Why didn't we have a housing plan for teachers that did come back or want to? Why did Lusher School (who already had a dry building) get to move to Fortier High School's building that could have accommodated thousands of kids immediately since it didn't have any damage? Why are there schools sitting untouched since the storm? Why is my mayor talking about a jazz park and all this pretty stuff and not saying anything about kids not having anywhere to go school? Shouldn't he and the city council be holding press conferences in the governor's mansion everyday to protest? Shouldn't this have been the first item in their "crime prevention summit"? Is Cleo Fields the only black politician in the region with the conviction to say something? Is the Recovery School District having public meetings so the citizens can voice their concerns? If they do, why is it I never hear about them? If I had school aged children, would it have been right to bring them back? How many concerned parents like mine with a school aged child didn't bring their kids back because of stuff like this? Doesn't that hurt the recovery of the city if concerned parents either can't come home or have second thoughts when they get here and leave out? The final question is this. How many people will be around to pick up the bodies of these babies from the streets after most of them become victims to the cycle of crime and violence because their country abandoned them during their formative years? Who will tell their story instead of just calling them thugs?

It might take someone more educated than I am to come up with answers and solutions to these things. I can only give you my humble opinion. My opinion is that all of these things are a cause of class warfare, racism, coward black politicians that care more about their political careers than their people, and uninformed citizens too worried about getting over. Parents have to be responsible but there isn’t a government in America that expects parents to build their own school buildings and hire their own teachers. I don't know who it is or where they are going to come from. Hell, it might even have to start with me. Something has got to be done to save these kids from this shameful activity. Maybe we should get as many buses and rides as possible and drive over to those big state of the art public schools in the suburbs and just walk on in. If we keep this up we won’t need a tidal surge and a failed levee system to destroy the city again. It will be done from the inside by the ignorance of our own children when they destroy each other and take the community with them.

A Few Houses At A Time

A group of volunteers and paid workers helps build two new homes in the 2300 block of Delery Street. The houses, feature a new hurricane-resistent design, are the result of a partnership of the group ACORN and the LSU School of Architecture.Chris Granger / Times-Picayune
The Lower Nine is coming back a few houses at a time.

Monday, February 5, 2007

To Mr. Dungy

Today's blog is dedicated Tony Dungy for being the first black coach to win a Superbowl. In American professional sports there have only been nine coaches total to ever win a title. There are 119 Division One college programs that have 46% of black players. There are only 6 black coaches at these programs. That's why Tony Dungy winning was a very big deal.

It's not just that he won and his skin is dark. Tony Dungy has class, dignity, faith, and character and he didn't compromise any of it to make it in a profession dominated by people that don't look like him. He kept his head up after the tragedy in his family and he didn't show any bitterness when he was fired in Tampa and another man got to take all the credit for something he built. It goes to show that if you stay true to who you are things can work out for you even when there is adversity. That's a great lesson in this day and age when black men seem to want to go to war for the slightest sign of disrespect. I've never heard anyone say a negative word about him as a man. You never have to cross your fingers and hope nothing stupid is coming when Tony Dungy is on television. As a black man and a sports fan you have no idea how much that means.

Congratulations Tony Dungy and the Colts.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Still Bitter...

I'll give Tony Dungy and his team props in the morning. After watching the game tonight the only thing I can think of is. Why in the hell didn't we run Deuce right at these clowns. This is going to haunt me for months...

Damn you Sean Payton. We should have ran the Deuce.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

I Used to Like This Guy Too

"I mean, you've got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a story-book, man,"

Senator Joe Biden

The key in this statement is first sort of mainstream. That means that in all the years he has been a public official Barak Obama is the first black man that Joe Biden has ever been impressed with. Guess what? Joe Biden's a Democrat. There are not many statements made publicly that offend me but this one does. In fact, this is worse than Michael Richards using the N-Word because this man has a say so in the policies of America. Did I mention he was a Democrat? Everyone who thinks Barak Obama has a real chance of winning a popular vote in this country please speak now.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Wednesday night, "It was a gaffe. It was not an intentional racially pejorative statement. It could be interpreted that way, but that's not what he meant."

Is Jesse Jackson serious? The only reason he feels this way is because Biden is a Democrat. If Joe Biden was a conservative Republican from Alabama or Mississippi, he would be leading a march to his house and demanding he step down.