Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Was That Clifton and Bernadine's Oldest Boy On The Radio?
Yes that was.....................Don't ask me how it happened.
Please forgive this moment of shameless self promotion. Anybody that reads this blog knows how much my city means to me and I was happy to represent it.
You can listen to the show by clicking here.
I would like to send a sincere thanks Devin Robbins and Sister Farai Chideya of News and Notes for giving us an avenue and introducing me to a new show that I wasn't aware of before.
One love to G. and E.J for representing the other side of young black New Orleans with me.
I didn't get a chance to thank all of my English teachers for giving me enough skill to write well enough that someone thought my opinion was worthy of attention.
I also didn't get a chance to give recognition to my two friends who are as close to brothers as you can get without DNA. I couldn't have made it after the storm without them. Shout out to Trevor Brister and Cedric Williams. I love you and thank you.
100% Full Blooded New Orleans
I’m not going to replay the whole Katrina scenario again on the anniversary. I was born in
I'm tired of acting like I need to be ashamed of being different from everyone else. I am 100% full blooded
Monday, August 27, 2007
It's Nothing Serious....I'm Just Here to Blog
In order to get something you got to give something
I would like to start off by saying goodbye to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. I am not surprised President Bush is still defending him. Someone would have had to shoot a video of Gonzales beating one of the fired attorneys in the head with a baseball bat in order for Bush to think he did anything wrong. I am expecting a Medal of Honor ceremony at any minute. Am I the only person that notices Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are the only ones in the administration that haven’t been suspected of anything? That’s because a brother or sister can’t get that high by being shady.
Yes, he was stupid. I know I said I didn’t feel sorry for him because he couldn’t play football right now. I think he deserves what he gets because he should have made better decisions. I also don’t want to sound hypocritical either but some of these people act like Mike Vick was in the bushes with O.J. I like animals too but you can’t be calling for the brother to be castrated and all that foolishness. Some people take things too far. That must be the same fanatics in the canoes passing up humans during the flood to go rescue squirrels.
I would like to welcome Mr. Michael Darnell to the New Orleans City Council. Please don’t feel any pressure to come up with any master plan or make big improvements. Some of your colleagues have been behind that desk for years and haven’t come up with anything. Why should you stress about anything? I will be happy if you just stay out of the news and not give a construction contract to your cousin who doesn’t have a construction company.
Would it be too much to ask for the city to take down all the school zone signs near schools that haven’t reopened? I guess that’s not possible since a school can open in New Orleans at anytime and no one knows where the hell they are going to be located. Now that I think about it, we should just make the speed limit 20 miles per hour everyday city wide from September to June. No one knows where kids go to school anymore.
Monday, August 20, 2007
We Need A Test Run
In a few days Hurricane Dean should be slamming into
Before you look up my HMO and find the name of my primary care physician let me explain. Right now there are about 300,000 people living in the city. Some of them are just getting back in their homes. Others are building bigger and better before. There are hundreds of people who have better jobs and better opportunity. Jim Letten and his team are finally exposing the corruption. The Saints season is about to start and I think we have a shot at the Super Bowl. On a personal note, my professional status is better than it’s ever been and my neighborhood is coming back to life with every Road Home closing. The people that live here have truly accepted the fact that we are going to pay some dues for the next few years in order to revive the place we love. With all of that being said, I still feel shaky knowing that the Corps of Engineers is responsible for protecting me. Call me crazy but I have ZERO confidence in anything the federal government does outside of bombing nations that support terrorism. Wait….we got that wrong too. I honestly don’t trust them and I think they just put the same faulty floodwalls right back hoping they won't fail. Unless we get some tropical conditions in here to see if the plan is faulty, no one will be able to truly complain. Hell, our city leaders probably won’t complain anyway but a brother can dream. Now, I don’t want a Cat-5 storm to come up the mouth of the river and wash it all away. I just need a decent wind and a good tidal surge. I need to know if the pumps are going to fail. I need to know if the city is going to be able to evacuate people. I need to know how long before they let me back to my house if the storm passes and nothing happens. I realize Dean was a little too big for a test but I am sure there is a little cousin out there that won’t be bigger than a weak category one that could come through here. We all could use a good reason to visit our refugee family members in other cities while we see what’s going to happen. It’s either going to make everyone more confident or more aggravated. We need to know either way.
Is Kathleen Blanco going to call a state of emergency every time a hurricane forms in the
Friday, August 17, 2007
This Was Not The Plan
At what point does keeping it real become stupidity?
Any moment now Michael Vick will be making an agreement to plead guilty to dog fighting charges and will probably end up in prison for a few months. Sunday night, 60 Minutes ran that “stop snitching” piece where those kids sat around talking about how they would never tell on anybody. There are going to be many black people are going to say that Mike Vick is a victim of the racist justice system of
For the majority of the history of this country our people didn’t have a chance to do anything but accept a second class position. Our entire basis for the Civil Rights movement was to get to a point in this country where a black man would be judged on the same level and receive the same status as a white man. We were born here, we live and work here, and we pay taxes here. That means we are due the same rights and privileges as any other man. Am I right about that? If I am then the only question I can come up with is after all the blood, sweat and tears have been shed to reach this point, why are we always trying to defend dumb behavior and our willingness to not follow the law. Do you realize how stupid we look to the rest of the world to actually go on TV and basically say its ok for murderers and criminals to do what they want to us because we have a code of not snitching? Is there really a human being in the country with the money and access that Mike Vick has who doesn’t understand how
Somebody has got to have the guts to tell the people of the hood that no one outside the hood thinks the way you do. You can’t smoke weed every single day and get a really good job. You can’t have your baby daddy’s name tattooed on your forehead and go to an interview. Every now and then, you might have to get a haircut, wear slacks and tuck your damn shirt in. That comes along with getting an opportunity to take part in the game. We fought for a seat at the big table and now we want everyone to be cool with us eating off of the floor. You can’t have it both ways. The moral of the story is this, if the goal of the struggle was for thugs to prey on us, black politicians to rob us blind, and rich black people to have loyal support even when they do something to embarrass us, we could have just stayed segregated and let Martin, Malcolm, Medgar and everyone else who gave their life grow old and watch their grandkids “make it rain” in the club.
That’s how I feel about it.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sad but Necessary
If someone would have asked me who was the one local politician I would have never thought to get indicted it would have been Oliver Thomas. I’m truly shocked to hear that he is going to plead guilty to a corruption charge and resign from the city council. I like Councilman Thomas enough to even defend him if he wasn’t going to plead guilty. I guess it’s not a lie. This is really a sad day for the city. I don’t see anyone on the horizon who I think is deserving of being mayor more than him. However, you have to look at things on a larger scale. To put it in perspective you have to do three things. The first thing you have to do is ride around the city and look at the condition of the infrastructure. The second thing you have to do is pick up the classified section of the newspaper and look at the professional job section. It’s kind of thin. Third, you have to think about all the people from
The question now is who else did Pampy rat on.
Friday, August 10, 2007
To My Ladies
Pour out some liquor and I reminisce
'Cos through the drama,I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I'm hopeless
You say the words that can get me back in focus
I am closing out my week of positive blogging with a dedication to special people. Today’s blog is dedicated to all the women in life who helped raise me. I still struggle everyday with the fact that you were all so close by and I lost that all at the same time. I would like to thank you all for helping me become the man I am today and the better one I hope to become tomorrow. Lord, I miss those kitchen table conversations. I’m going to need to drive and get me one. It’s going to be one of those days today. It’s been a really good week for me. It just goes to show you that when you dealing with a traumatic experience one quick moment of thought can just jump on your back and make you sad even when good stuff is going on. Oh well….I have it under control mama if you happen to read this. Here’s to my ladies.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Plus, he’s my dad’s younger brother, which means he has #2 Harris man spot behind the older Cliff and in front of the younger one. I don’t mind following behind those two cats. Here’s to my Big Uncle. I promise I will visit one day. If you are riding down
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I believe the ability to think is blessed. If you can think about a situation, you can deal with it. The big struggle is to keep your head clear enough to think.
I had about ten women lined up for dedications but in the interest of not turning this into my own personal King Magazine we are going to change gears today. Today’s blog is dedicated to Richard Pryor, one of the people I always wanted to have a drink with. You have to dig a man who can be totally honest about all of his demons and make you laugh hysterically at the same time. Here’s to you Richard.
Smell the Smoke
Chuck D. from Burn Hollywood Burn…Fear of a Black Planet Album
I was under the covers and just about to shut my eyes and get to sleep before my normal 1:00 AM bedtime when I saw the commercial that made me get up and write this blog. I was watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central when I saw the commercial for the comedy roast of Flavor Flav. I don’t know if any of you have seen a Comedy Central Roast before but it’s basically a bunch of B-List comedians making fun of some B-list entertainer who needs to get some publicity. Flavor Flav is not some desperate entertainer at all. He is a member of hip hop royalty. See, I have been a loyal hip hop fan since I was nine years old and my daddy let me buy the first Fat Boys album. I consider it to be the music that has most shaped my personality. I actually look at it as more than music. My favorite hip hop song is Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos and the group that sings that song, Public Enemy is our most important group. That’s why I got out of bed to send a special request to Biggie, Pac, Jam Master J, Scott La Rock, J-Dilla, Mc Trouble, Just Ice and all the other hip hop legends in the sky to please, please, please, don’t let Chuck D. be in the audience. I have already accepted the fact we have lost Flav to the struggle. As a 25 year hip hop fan, I have survived Vanilla Ice. I made it through early 90’s without buying a pair of M.C. Hammer pants, and I even survived all those wack G-Unit albums these kids love. I’m still standing and dedicated to the art form. Watching Chuck D. giggle while some washed up comedian makes jokes about Flav’s crack addiction will be more than I can stand. The sad part is that 18 years ago when I was 15 years old, anyone making fun of any member of Public Enemy like this would have started a revolution. We have come a long way in the wrong direction. The only thing that would make this show enjoyable for a cat like me is if right when the crowd is laughing hysterically at some bad joke about Flav, Chuck, Griff, Terminator X and the S1W’s bust through the door of the venue with leather straps and starts to whip everybody’s ass in the room. That would be the only way I would find this shit enjoyable.
And that is as real as I can keep it when I am this sleepy. I am going to bed listening to my It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back CD.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
This blog is dedicated to the lovely, talented, sexy and classy Chrisette Michelle. She has the number one jam fa'sho right now. I'm digging this sister.
PLLLLEEEEEEAASSSEEE don't make a video wearing clear heels and a leopard skin body suit. You don't have to dress like that to sell records. Keep it classy darling.
It's Not Easy But You Do It Anyway
One of the stories of the city since the storm has been the number of people who have found higher pay and better working environments in other cities and have not returned. In keeping with my positive vibe for the week, I would like to take this time to recognize all the people who came back home to serve the community. I work for a non profit organization. My position puts me in contact with social service providers throughout the city. Most of the staff is usually underpaid and over worked. They also have to deal with some serious circumstances. However, they still get up everyday and try to make the city better. It’s kind of difficult to know that you could move somewhere else and make more money without all the hassle of living in this environment.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
What is going on?
I am sorry that the citizens of
I needed a Crown on the rocks just to cross a bridge the last two days. Doesn't it piss you off that there is always some official that knows something was messed up but doesn't inform the public until after the shit has broken? hat's the worst that could happen if you inform the public the damn bridge is old and raggedy? Someone might actually have to do their jobs and fix it or maybe some pharmaceutical company won't get that secret 5 billion dollar grant in the next spending bill to develop a pill for cracked knuckle syndrome. I know what the next step is. Since people have died and the government looks so inefficient, don’t be surprised if on your way to work and there is a roadblock at the entrance of the bridge you usually take because engineers are reviewing every inch of it. First they put you in danger then they inconvenience the hell out of you. Now would be a great time to include that "None of The Above" button on the voting machines that are rigged anyway. We should all just write in a vote. Since I am not naive enough to think
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Can Al and Jesse help Shaquanda?
15 YEAR OLD GIRL, GETS SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR PUSHING A TEACHER!!!
Creola Cotton (left) and Shaquanda Cotton
By Tracy Stokes, BET.com News Staff & Wire Services
Posted March 28, 2007 - In Paris, Texas, last year, a 14-year-old White girl burns down her family's home. Her punishment? Probation. In the same town three months later, a 15-year-old Black girl, Shaquanda Cotton, is sentenced to seven years in prison for pushing a hall monitor at her high school.
Shaquanda had no prior arrests, and the monitor, a 58-year-old teacher's aide, was not hurt, according to Black leaders in the northeast Texas town of about 26,000 residents. But in March 2006, the same judge, Lamar County Judge Chuck Superville, who let the White teenage girl go on probation, convicted Shaquanda of "assault on a public servant" and sent her to prison at least until she turns 21.
Officials at the Texas Youth Commission declined to discuss the case with BET.com, citing Texas law.
"State law forbids us from acknowledging whether we have any youths are in our system, despite the 50 million issues of print that's been run," said Jim Hurley, a spokesman for the Texas Youth Commission. "We'd have to break the law to talk about it."
Civil Rights Uproar
While the U.S. Department of Education is investigating the incident, the case has civil rights groups in an uproar.
"I don't understand the judge's rationale for his decision," Dr. Howard Anderson, president of the San Antonio Branch of the NAACP, told BET.com.
In highlighting what he called an egregious miscarriage of justice in a town with a long history of civil rights abuses, Anderson pointed to the case of the 14-year-old convicted arson (whose name was not released because of her age), who was slapped with probation, and the case of a 19-year-old White man in Paris, convicted of killing a 54-year-old Black woman and her 3-year-old grandson with his truck. The latter, he said, was also sentenced to probation and told to send the family a Christmas card every year.
"Then you have Shaquanda's case," Anderson said. "She pushed a hall monitor, and she gets seven years confinement? If I look at all three of these sentences, and I'm not a lawyer, I have to wonder what the judicial system is doing. In this particular case, what is this judge doing?"
Gary Bledsoe, an Austin attorney who heads the state NAACP branch, told BET.com that Shaquanda was merely trying to defend herself.
"All she (Shaquanda) did was grab the aide to prevent a strike," Bledsoe said. "It's like they are sending a signal to Black folks in Paris that you stay in your place in this community, in the shadows, intimidated."
And keeping Blacks in their place is nothing new in Paris, say leaders, who remind that it's the site of the first highly publicized lynching of a Black by a large White mob. In 1893, fugitive Henry White was captured in Arkansas and brought to Paris, where he was tortured and burned alive on a train bed as more than 10,000 angry townsfolk cheered and jeered.
Activists say that the Shaquanda sentence is nothing more than a modern-day lynching.
Cotton has been incarcerated at a youth prison in Brownwood, Texas, for the last year on a sentence that could run until her 21st birthday. But like many of the other youths in the system, she is eligible to earn early release if she achieves certain social, behavioral and educational milestones while in prison.
But according to The Chicago Tribune , officials at the Ron Jackson Correctional Complex repeatedly have extended Shaquanda's sentence because she refuses to admit guilt and because she reportedly was found with contraband in her cell - an extra pair of socks.
"She's not admitting any guilt, because she doesn't feel that she did anything," Anderson told BET.com . "Not to mention, who saw the pushing, if it did occur?"
Cotton's mother, Creola, who Anderson describes as "strong-willed," said her daughter was singled out because she accused the school district of racism on several occasions.
In fact, 12 discrimination complaints have been filed against the Paris Independent School District in recent years. District officials dispute the charges, but the U.S. Department of Education, which is still investigating the case, has reportedly asked the U.S. Department of Justice to get involved.
In 1998, Paris, Texas, was named the "Best Small Town in Texas" by Kevin Heubusch in his book The New Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities.
*****FORWARD THIS ON TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE!!!
WE NEED TO BRING THESE INJUSTICES TO LIGHT*****
Are you interested in reaching out to Shaquanda? You can write a Letter directly to her at the address below:
She also receive mail here:
Ron Jackson Correctional Complex,
Unit 2, Dorm 4
P.O. Box 872
Brownwood, Texas 76804
Protest letters can also be sent to Judge Chuck Superville, who handed down the sentence at the address below:
Honorable M.C. (Chuck) Superville, Jr., Judge
Lamar County Courthouse
119 North Main
Paris, TX 75460
Phone # 903-737-2410
Fax # 903-785-3858
Justice For The Jena Six
While I am taking the time to make the case for Ron Isley's freedom, I would not feel right if I didn't make mention of the Jena Six. This is the perfect example of what I mean when I say the system needs to be fixed. There is absolutely no reason this kind of thing should happen to anyone in 2007. This is exactly the kind of thing we need leadership for. I am putting a few link below on this post if you want to read more and sign the petitions. It's cases like this one where we all reminded that racism is alive and well.
Click Here to Read The Story of the Jena Six.
Free Ron Isley, Free Ron Isley, Free Ron Isley
Time is truly wastin'
There's no guarantee
Smile's in the makin'
You gotta fight the powers that be
Got so many forces
Stayin' on the scene
Givin' up all around me
Faces full a' pain
I can't play my music
They say my music's too loud
I kept talkin about it
I got the big run around
When I rolled with the punches
I got knocked on the ground
With all this bullshit going down
First of all let me say that I think Ron Isley is old enough and has had money long enough to know that he needs to pay his taxes. There is no excuse for him not taking care of that for years. This is another example of someone creating a reason to be a target. With that being said, why does he have to go to jail when it’s obvious he can earn enough money to pay this back? Why is it so acceptable to cage a brother for everything? The way I see it is that Scooter Libby helped our president’s administration exposed a CIA agent. He was found guilty and had his sentenced commuted almost immediately. The attorney general of the country gets in front of Congress to lie every week and gets to keep his job. Spoiled actresses get high and drunk and drive recklessly through the streets of
Am I the only one that thinks it’s kind of strange to ask George Bush to pardon Ron Isley when none of us voted for him and most of us hate on the black woman he promoted to the highest position a sister has ever had? See, you dog Condoleezza but I am hoping she’s listening to Footsteps in the Dark when she gets home for Ron’s sake.
Leadership and Justice for All!
Police brutality is wrong. As a black man I believe any officer of the law that puts his hands on another person without being in danger should be fired, punished and have to pay restitution. There is no identification I can wear to let them know that I am not a threat. That's why they need to treat us all with respect and dignity as long as we don't do anything to put them in danger. There is a difference between being racist and treating people different. We make the problem personal when it is bigger than that. The way the criminal justice system is set up in
Do I believe all police are racist? No
Do I think they are quicker to get rough with a brother if he makes any kind of move? Yes.
The reason why we can't get this kind of systematic problem resolved is because our leaders attack individual people and incidents instead of the process itself. We also pick and choose the victims to defend. Some of the most powerful ministers and bishops in the