Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Too Busy For Blogging.....

Sometimes professional people have meetings, conferences and trainings to attend. Other times you just get lazy and don’t feel like typing. That will explain my absence from posting to this blog. For the rest of the week I will either be extremely busy, trying not to fall asleep during a presentation, or watching the NFL draft. I won’t even mention the NBA playoffs. This post will have to cover everything. There are five things I learned the last week and a half.

1. Punk ass cowards always want to hurt people and then kill themselves like that dude at Virginia Tech. If you were that pissed you should have stayed alive and faced the work.
2. I love my sisters but it’s very unprofessional to come to a business meeting with some dude’s teeth marks on your neck.
3. Dirk Nowitzki is the most overrated basketball player in the NBA. He is going to single handedly get my homeboy Avery Johnson fired.
4. Never assume that someone will conduct themselves like you do just because you have the same DNA.
5. The “No Snitching” feature on 60 Minutes was a allot worse and more harmful to the future of black people than anything said by Don Imus.

On April 28 there is a march across the Industrial Canal to the Lower Ninth Ward in order to “Reclaim our Land”. I’m all for protest but the people already have the land. We need the damn money. The funniest thing I have heard in a long time is the Road Home commercials on the radio. Apparently, they found the only black dude in the city of New Orleans to actually receive his check. I won’t even mention the commercials about the school system.

Speaking of the New Orleans school system….In August it will be two years since Katrina. If the state hasn’t broken ground on at least one new school facility in the city, I think it will be ok to take up arms and declare ourselves and independent state. We can hold the Superdome hostage for ransom. How in the held are we 600 teachers short when we fired thousands of teachers without a thought? That tells me that they had no plans on any of these kids coming back.

I think the turning point for the city will come when the white people of the city admit out loud that they are having to suffer because they made the choice to live in the parish associated with all these black people. We can fight for things as one New Orleans after that. As the days go by and the money sits in Washington and Baton Rouge, I think it’s time to start asking the question that if the 17th St. Canal broke on the other side would things be taking this long. Lakeview isn’t that far away from the St. Bernard Project. If things were going slow to frustrate that Seventh Ward community from coming back then you would have to wait to. I think white people inside the city take some of those racism claims too personal. You can’t deny the facts no matter what color you are. The Superdome is damn near brand new inside and it was top priority. I passed Barbara Jordan Elementary School yesterday and they just started taking the damage furniture out this week.

Someone in OPEC or Exxon/Mobil has the direct line to a higher power. How else could you explain that at the exact time the weather gets so hot that you have to run the air conditioner in your car gas goes up about seventy five cents a gallon. No human can guess at this so accurately without help.

I have some good news. If three more houses are torn down in certain spots, I will be able to sit on my car in my driveway and actually look right into Club 7140. I will be able to check out the club scene without getting dressed. It will be just like living across the street from the barroom like I did in high school.

I would like to officially start the movement to boycott the Disney corporation. Every weekend they run hundreds of commercials full of kids and their parents have a blast at one of their theme parks. Everybody looks so happy but they never show the next six months with mom and dad are getting second jobs because it took two hundred dollars just to buy a weeks worth of hamburgers and fries. You try explaining to a three year old that it will take years of saving the nickels and pennies she finds in your car before she can get to Disney World with that method. It’s time to set some traps for Mickey’s ass.

Props to the Jazz and Heritage Festival for giving Ed Bradley a tradition New Orleans Jazz Funeral.

Peace to the Virginia Tech students that are going back to class.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Number 42

Sixty years ago today Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Reds. He was the first African American to play in a major league game. I don't know if enough young people understand what baseball meant to America in 1947. Baseball was more than a game in 1947. In many ways it was the symbol of America. It took a hell of a man to be willing to make the mental sacrifice necessary to break that color line. Try going to work everyday and suffer abuse knowing that for the good of an entire race of people you can't retaliate and let's see how long you last. For the laws and structure of the country at the time and the significance placed on baseball by white America, Jackie Robinson playing that game 60 years ago has to be one of the top three moments in African American history. If you don't know anything about the man or this story, please go find a book and read. The one I read when I was ten was only 30 pages long so you don’t need much time to read about it. It might help put things in perspective the next time your supervisor asks you to stay an hour late and you want to go to his office and keep it real.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

In order to balance out my appareant discuss with certain hip hop artist, I present a video of one of my favorite songs ever. Not Yet Free by The Coup. This was one of the first songs I downloaded after Katrina.

Segregating Our Respect

First of all let me say that I am a 32 year old black man who has Five Minutes of Funk by Whodini as his ring tone. I love hip hop. I still follow it like I did in my teens and I have not given up on the dream of making a mix tape one day after I get my flow right. I’m even listening to some right now as I write this. I would never speak on issues with the race and place the blame solely on the culture. That’s backwards to say anyway. Hip hop has always been built on the premise that the music reflects the world around it and not vice versa so how could it be the reason for what the community has become? I said all of that to take the focus off the fact that the following quote just happens to be from a rapper. I'm not picking on him or his music but he said it. It is what it is. The following quote comes from brother Snoop Dogg.

"[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC."

The question we need to ask is this……

Who's ready to protest on behalf of the " ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money." ? Aren’t they not our sisters and worthy of the same outrage we gave that shock jock? How are they separate things? Who has been trained to detect the difference between a black woman and a "ho" by the naked eye? In regular clothes walking down the street, the Rutgers basketball team looks just like " ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money" and every other black woman of their age group. I know there not and you might know that but does some white dude in Wyoming know that or some kids in Japan if we are promoting that? Is it ok to disrespect all black women that still live in the hood unless they go to college? If we are going to be valid in the statement that the aggression towards Imus was a part of a bigger movement then we have to start boycotting Snoop Dogg, his label and his sponsors tomorrow right? If not, all we did was take the easy victory over a weakened opponent. That’s just a quick adrenaline rush with no real effect on us as a people. I was having a conversation with a person I respect about this and she made a statement that maybe we probably aren’t fighting for the kind of sisters Snoop was talking about because if they were worth fighting for, they'd be fighting for themselves at least a little bit. What if they don’t know how to fight? Slaves were not in a position to fight but they had Frederick Douglass and other free blacks and abolitionists to help explain their plight. Black people in the south were segregated and under the thumb of Jim Crow. They didn't know how to fight but intelligent men and women of color stepped up when they didn’t have to and put their lives on the line for their behalf. Maybe if we fought for " ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money." , they might not be “ho’s” anymore and people won’t think of disrespecting them or anyone that looks like them in public without any recourse no matter what they look like. If we eliminate all the "ho's" then there is no confusion. If someone reads this and thinks I am wrong please send me the instructions on how to look at two black women of the same age, style of dress and way of speaking and know which one's dignity is worth fighting for and which one isn’t. I’ve been living with black women my whole life and never knew it was ok to disrespect any of them.
Our generation is missing that sense of collective responsibility to one another. We lie to one another in our small circles about how the world sees us because the few of us have our act together. The truth of the matter is that at some point an intelligent black woman went somewhere without her business clothes on and a person in that place with no intimate knowledge of her culture other than the media looked at her and grouped her in with these girls walking around with Snoop on this leash. That's just how America works for us. Just to be fair, I don't go through my entire day without slipping here or there in regards to some of these issues but I also haven't made millions and traveled the world promoting my "culture" to the masses. There should be a double standard for anyone that has became wealthy from promoting the most destructive part of our community. If you don't want to be under the microscope, have Chuck D write your next album or stay home, get a real job and let someone else be the face of young black America.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

No Evidence

This message is for Betty Friedan from North Carolina and everyone else who sent me about 50 emails and comments after I wrote about waiting for the evidence to come out in the Duke Lacrosse thing. Well, it turns out there was no evidence. I don't think I actually accused them of being guilty. If I did I am sorry for that. Please understand that when things like this happen and black people hear about it, our history in this country makes us react a certain way. I don't believe two wrongs make a right so since they are innocent I hope they can get everything in order. I would just like to add that this kind of thing goes on everyday in America and the accused are far less capable of defending themselves then these guys. I hope in the long run this case will lead to a review of that.

One Request for Dr. Blakely

I have no problems with how Dr. Blakely depicts our fair city. I actually agree with him for the most part. I only have one request.

Dr. Blakely, New Orleans’s belatedly appointed Hurricane Katrina recovery chief, refers to the city’s racial factions as “a bit like the Shiites and Sunnis,”

I would like to be referred to as something other than the people we are fighting in Iraq. It's bad enough I was a refugee in my own damn country after the storm. Now I am Saddam's cousin. Actually, my neighborhood is being protected by the National Guard so it's kind of accurate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Before We Go Knocking On Our Neighbor's Door

A few sisters read my blog about Don Imus and thought I was defending him some kind of way. I wasn't doing that at all. I am not saying he should be forgiven for anything he said but I think the two week suspension he got is as far as this is going to go. I’m glad he is meeting with the sisters from Rutgers. They appear to be the only level headed people in this whole thing and they are the real victims. There was a interesting tone on the radio today. White people are getting tired of throwing their people to the wolves for stuff we do and say all the time. I understand how they feel because I am tired of looking like a hypocrite when there is outrage about something like this. I just hope that in all of our disgust and outrage towards his statements, we are prepared to answer the following questions.

1. Did our own behavior towards those words being used by us to describe us affect how
comfortable he was in saying it?

2. Are we outraged because he used the word "ho" or is it because these particular girls just happened not to be “hoes“ as defined by the black community? We all know black people separate certain groups of our community as acceptable for ridicule. What if Imus was talking about a visit to the strip club?

3. How much would be able to change if the same energy put forward against him was put towards some of our own self destructive actions? I am certain that those girls and almost everyone else in our generation has a song or two on the IPOD that is not the most respectful piece of work.

All I am trying to say is that it's hard for me to jump on this bandwagon when Snoop Dogg makes public appearances everyday with a pimp by his side as his “spiritual advisor”. It's just my opinion, but we get really mad at white people for doing and saying things that we have taught them is cool to do and say. We let these modern day minstrel show brothers get rich and famous from selling that image to the masses and then want to attack all the people they sell it to. What will get solved in our community if he gets fired? One of the most popular shows in television featured a sister who got drunk and took a crap on the stairs. People loved this show so much that it's already spawned two spin-offs. R. Kelly took a leak on a young sister like she was a hoe and hasn't apologized to anybody black including the girl. As a matter of fact, one of his bigger albums came after he pissed on her AND FILMED IT! Isn't that worse than Imus? How many young sisters are dancing to an R Kelly song compared to watching Imus in the morning? It's funny how black people can absorb negative and disrespectful things as long as the person disrespecting them looks like they do. Oh well, at least when he gets fired I can used that sense of justice to feel better about myself when the “Make it Rain” video comes on again. The intelligent Nubian queens dancing in those bikinis are fine.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

My Racist Radar is Low

Every night at 2AM my television is set to turn to MSNBC for Hardball. That means that in the morning I wake up to the Don Imus Show. Apparently I was still sleeping went they went crazy and called the Rutgers Women's Basketball team "nappy headed hoes". He needs to apologize for that statement. I guess my racism radar needs some tuning because I watch this show every morning and never get offended. Even the running skit about Ray Nagin doesn't really bother me. Does the racist part come on before 6:45 Central time? Maybe I am turning into Armstrong Williams. Somebody must have put something in my drink when I wasn't looking. Forget that, I'm the blackest and the proudest dude I know and if anyone accuses me of being otherwise I will fight to the death. It's just that simple shit doesn't affect me when young brothers are laying in the street everyday. I guess eventually all the protest will get him kicked off the air or have his show so watered down with ass kissing it becomes unbearable to watch. We are headed to day when no one in the public eye will be able to mention anything about race, sexual orientation, age, gender, or anything else. Richard Pryor's career wouldn't have lasted five minutes in this current climate.

Away Sickness

I had the pleasure of traveling to Memphis to visit my parents and watch my sister get married. It had been a long time since I left the metro area and the few days away was much needed. Out of selfishness I had been campaigning to my parents about coming back home. I keep making up these ideas in my own head about how miserable it must to be in Memphis so far away from home. I was worried that they would have trouble adjusting to a new place that they didn’t have any plans on ever moving to before the storm. The only thing close to a major city between New Orleans and Memphis is Jackson, Mississippi. Right after the storm I stayed in Clinton, Mississippi which is a suburb right outside of Jackson. I loved it. My parents live in a clean, quiet neighborhood in a big ass house on the outskirts of Memphis. There are stores, entertainment and resources all within 10 minutes of their house. There’s no national guard, no abandoned buildings everywhere, and they don’t have to ride 30 miles just to buy clothes. As I went through Jackson and Memphis I noticed that there were signs of development all over the place. Just going up I-55 you could tell that major things were taking place. Once I got off of the Twin Span and got into the city limits of New Orleans, all I saw was swamp, an abandoned amusement park, and a bunch of people trying to make it with what they have even though some sons a bitches in Baton Rouge are holding billions of dollars in aid that could get our shit back on track. How can I ask my family to give up that quality of life in Tennessee and go back to the Lower Ninth Ward now? I am not sure I will be able to sell that move in a few years if things here keep going the way they are. Maybe all the stuff I keep reading about that is being planned will actually start being done and I will have a positive report. Me and my family have this thing backwards. Instead of me worrying and trying to sell them on coming home, they should be worrying and trying to sell me on the idea of moving where they are. I can say this with certainty, life is definitely harder on all of us returning refugees than it is on the folks that haven’t come back. We are all just to confused and emotional about our city to admit that and leave again or stay away for good. I don’t know if I will ever leave without nature’s help again but I sure do miss those months of comfort when I was away from this bullshit everyday. I could deal with the all the flooded homes and missing activities. I just can’t deal with the stupid ass leadership and ignorant ass citizens that act like everything is ok. Oh well, at least we got the lakefront before dark(when it‘s not blocked off), the ability to buy liquor 24 hours a day and the choice of two strip clubs if you have some extra money. I guess that has to substitute for good schools, convenience and safety for awhile.

I have gotten so little out of loving a place so much.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

I Guess Having Your Dad Around Ain't Always a Good Thing

In the wake of Eddie Robinson's passing. This link proves just how far backwards we have went as a people. Would it be wrong to just lock this guy up and take this little baby now before he grows up to scare the shit out of everybody? I don't this guy is making my list of strong positive brothers.


The Lost of a Great Man

Let's forget the 408 wins and the 220 players that Coach Robinson sent to the NFL. A few years ago Nolan Richardson was dismissed as the coach of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. He won a national championship for a big time Division One school. Out of all the players that entered the University of Arkansas from 1990-1994 none of them left with a degree. Eddie Robinson coached at Grambling for 57 years. He had an 80 percent graduation rate. That means that if you sent your child to play for him there was a good chance that he would at least be capable of being a respectable citizen. There are coaches like this all over America that get no press because the schools they coach for don't have TV contracts and play in BCS games. Coach Robinson was their standard bearer.
Rest In Peace Coach Robinson

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Away From the Drama

This blogger is taking a break from New Orleans and serious thinking for a few days. This site will be updated on Friday.....