22 March 2006

Demand more from Hollywood...

I was asked the other day if I had seen "Hustle and Flow."
I said, "Yeah."

They replied, "I get tired of seeing blacks in the same old roles - pimps, drug dealers, thugs..."

I absolutely agreed. The only reason I saw 'Hustle and Flow' was because I'm a big Terrence Howard fan. I've seen him always in the shadows and always playing the supporting roles - 'Dead Presidents' , 'The Best Man', 'Ray', 'Crash' and 'Biker Boyz.' (Thank God that he died in the first 10 seconds of Biker Boyz - this was a truly horrible movie!) I wanted to see Terrence Howard in a leading role and I wanted to see how he could handle it. If anybody else was in that role, 'Hustle and Flow" wouldn't have even showed up on my radar.

I too, am disappointed at the role offered to 90% of blacks in Hollywood. The roles and themes of most blacks and most black movies are so unoriginal and unbeneficial to our race - that they border on being criminal.

The shameful repetitiveness includes:
  • BLACK WOMEN - There are only few roles for black women in movies either prostitutes or crackheads, or fat and loud church going characters. I hate the fact that once the need for a black woman over the age of 40 comes up, she has to weigh over 250 pounds to get on camera!
  • COOKOUTS - If black folks aren't shooting, pimping, rapping, dancing, playing basketball or slinging dope - they are at a COOKOUT. My god - can't we play lawyers and doctors and politicians and teachers and activists and scientists in movies? Why is the only alternative to violence the same repetitive hot dogs and baked beans at fat grandma's house?
  • FAMILY REUNIONS - see 'cookouts' above.
  • SAVE US MASSA' - The common theme of the hapless blacks that aren't strong enough, or smart enough or skilled enough to pull themselves up out of the dire straights that life has put them into. Therefore, the great White Knight rides in to teach the poor downtrodden black folks to shuck and jive or sing or dance or play basketball good enough to get out of their dismal surroundings.
  • VIOLENT DRUG DEALING - The only way out 'of the hood' for most young black men is to master the game of the dope hustle. You watch your friends get shot and killed, you make deals with the Columbians or the Italians and hope you don't get double-crossed, you kill somebody and then discover you have a taste for it and then you 'Get Rich or Die Trying." Lame, lame, lame...

Now, if you've ever read my blog before - you know I don't mind putting in disclaimers - so here is my disclaimer for the day. Not all movies with blacks fit into the niches I outlined above, but I will absolutely say that 85% to 90% do. And, considering the small numbers of blacks in Hollywood, we have to demand more from our presentation on the big screen. We have to stop supporting the movies that focus on black drug dealers and black on black crime. We have to stop telling Hollywood - "Thank you for setting my people back 100 years. May I have another, please?"

And now, with the movie 'ATL' coming out this week, featuring Big Boi from the music group Outkast as, what else - a drug dealer - and pitched to critics as a 'coming of age' film. I see that we are headed into yet another movie season of black degradation on the silver screen.


20 March 2006

Look in the mirror...

I took an interesting look in the mirror last night.

I was loading my dishwasher and cleaning my kitchen with the TV on. It was 10:00 and the local news was coming on. The newscasters were all excited that George Mason had upset North Carolina to make it to the Sweet-16 for the first time in school history. But, before they could talk sports, there was "Breaking News" out of Prince George's county...

It seems as though 3 kids, all under the age of 13, had stolen a minivan and were speeding down a street called Livingston Road in a town called Oxon Hill. They passed a police car which made a U-Turn behind them just in time to see the van crash at high speed into a utility pole. The newscaster said, "All three youngsters were rushed to the hospital in critical condition..."

I glanced at the TV and then turned back to the dishwasher and started pulling out my silverware. After about a minute I realized that I didn't even bat an eyelash at the fact that these three kids were in some hospital at that very moment hovering between life and death. I wondered what that said about me.

I was looking in the mirror, and wasn't sure what I was seeing.

With me, I'm a bottom line thinker. To me, 98% of all things are either black or white, with little to no gray. They are either good or bad, right or wrong and that is usually - THAT!

So, I think when I heard some kids had stolen a van and had wrapped themselves around a pole - what was most important to me was what I didn't hear. I didn't hear about any innocent bystanders getting hurt or killed. That is what is most important to me when these little hoodlums decide to show their asses. I always worry about the innocent law-abiding citizens that fall victim to these heartless little bastards that steal cars and go speeding through red lights and hot-wheeling down quiet child filled streets hurting and killing anyone in their way.

It didn't matter that these were kids. 13 or 30, it didn't matter. Yeah - that might be a heartless way to be, but damn-it, it is how I am. These kids went tearing down a pretty busy street [I've driven right past the place where they crashed plenty of times] it is no small miracle that no one else was killed by these foolish little uncaring monsters. I'm sure plenty of people will whine and say, 'oh, these kids were probably disadvantaged...' or 'they just didn't understand what they were doing...'

While these people will coddle and make excuses for the ever growing criminal element spreading through our younger community. I look in the mirror and see the bottom line. Sometimes it is just US vs THEM. So, when WE don't take a loss and THEY do, I look at it as a good thing.


My cause of the month...
(Make Exxon pay for the Valdez)

13 March 2006

We could always use MORE rappers...

Grammy winning singer/performer USHER will start a program to teach young black kids how to succeed in the sports and entertainment industry.


Okay - I'm a little torn over this.

I'll say I'm 25% for this and 75% against it.

Why am I partially for this? Well, there are millions and millions of dollars to be made dunking basketballs, throwing footballs, cracking jokes on stage, singing in sold out arenas and rapping about your cars and your homies. Many of the young blacks that fall into any of these skill sets don't have a clue as to 'how to be successful.' Sadly, many of them waste their financial gains or they use their earnings to destroy their lives and themselves. Some simply aren't mature enough to change their 'thug' mentality and stop robbing, raping and shooting their way out of the limelight and into the jail cell. So, part of me is glad that USHER might be trying to show young people how to spin their wealth into a decent, respectable lifestyle.

But - Why am I MOSTLY against this?

Because there are far, far too many young black kids that think dribbling a basketball between their legs, or grabbing their crotches while mumbling about 'bitches and hoes' or telling dirty jokes in the back of the classroom is their only way to succeed in life. Too many young black kids lack the drive and the support and motivation to put down the basketball and pick up the text book. Too many young black kids know the hook to the latest Jay-Z single and not enough know E=MC2.

For USHER to devote his time and energy at a time like now, during his peak in popularity in the music industry, I think his idea is sincere and well intended but the message that many young black kids are going to take away from him is: I don't have to study and develop my mind and my intellect - USHER is going to teach me how to be a successful basketball player and/or rapper!

I think our young people need to prepare their minds for the intellectual changes that our people will face in the coming decades and throughout the rest of our newly started century. We must aim ourselves and our children higher than the 10 foot NBA rim, higher than the NFL goalpost and higher than the diamond studded bling of hip hop toughest gansta's! We need to mold them and prepare them for tough roads ahead. This country is quickly moving towards a technology driven society, and for those that want to deny this and refuse to open their minds to knowledge and would rather watch Sportscenter all day or rap about the party at the club and the half naked women - failure is waiting, just around the corner. We need to push them past the free throw line and into the classroom and from there to the board-room.

Survival is of the fittest, we have to ask ourselves are our children going to survive or are they going to dunk and dance their way to self destruction?


(Make Exxon pay for the Valdez:) http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/262707_exxonsettle13.html

09 March 2006

In Memoriam - Octavia Butler...

Octavia Butler
June 22, 1947 - February 24, 2006

Sadly, one important fact seemed to miss the mainstream media in the last two weeks...

The passing of one of the most dynamic writers in the last fifty years... Octavia Butler.

Please notice that I didn't say 'one of the most dynamic women writers...' or 'one of the most dynamic black writers...'

Octavia Butler was an innovative, highly original and thought provoking science fiction writer. Her novels often revolved around master-slave relationships which blended humans, aliens, genetics, love and hate on an often post-apocalyptic and psychosexual platform.

A recognized literary talent, Octavia Butler won the Hugo [Gernsback] and Nebula awards for excellence in science fiction writing and the [John D.] Mac Arthur fellowship for written accomplishments.

I have personally had the privileged to read her novels 'Parable of the Sower', 'Parable of the Talents' and 'Kindred.' I found them all to be some of the most intense, imaginative, thought provoking and well written novels that I have had the pleasure to read.

Her talent remains with us - in our library's and bookstores and if we're lucky, in our homes. People of all races should pay her the debt of honor that her talents, her mind and her spirit deserve.

Thank you, Ms. Butler - for your enduring legacy.


07 March 2006

Throwing the NIGGA out!

Very little gets me angrier than black folks calling each other - Niggas!

I'm really going to have a hard time putting all my thoughts in this one blog, so expect to see this title over and over again.

Sitting on the subway on the way to work. These three young black kids, boys around 16 or so got on and sat near me, talking loud, being rowdy and laughing.

I have long come to accept the fact that [sadly] because the nuclear black family is a dying establishment, many young black kids don't get the love and attention that they need to develop into socially well rounded individuals. Sadly, because daddy wasn't man enough to stick around after mommy got knocked up, and mommy wasn't smart enough to close her legs after daddy left - many inner city black kids grow up in single parent homes with 3 or 4 little illegitimate siblings. With mommy trying to make ends meet between getting her GED, collecting her welfare and working extra shifts off the books at the fast food joint down the street - a large number of these kids just don't get the hugs and kisses and time and attention that a nuclear family can provide. These kids have the deck stacked against them from the moment they come out of the womb.

So, when I see this kind of behavior, I tend to accept it as a hidden cry for the attention they never got at home.

Then it started...

"What was that nigga's name that plays for Roosevelt?"
"That nigga had some moves..."
"Yeah, I saw that nigga around my cousin's way."
"I played that nigga! He got some phat game!"
"Naw, nigga I ain't scared of him!"

Eventually my head started spinning and all I heard was...

Blah blah blah NIGGA blah blah NIGGA blah blah blah blah NIGGA...

Now, sometimes what I have done when this happens is I shoot a look at the one who says it, admittedly this doesn't work often, in fact I think it makes it some of them work harder at saying it more. But, once every blue moon the kid gets the message and calms down. On a few occasions, several of the offensive little bastards have gotten off the train leaving one or two of their friends and I've sometimes pulled them aside with a calming tone and said, "Young brothers, I couldn't help but overhear you and your friends throwing the nigga out..." and I follow it up with a brief bit of positive insight as to why they should refrain from that word and that kind of behavior. I haven't gotten cursed out or shot or stabbed yet, so I guess that's a good thing.

But, today it was just so overwhelming. The word nigga was raining down all over me and all over the train. I wanted to say something to these young assholes, but I know if I said what I was thinking, the way I was thinking it, I wouldn't be THE THINKING BLACK MAN, I would have been THE FIST-FIGHTING BLACK MAN!

It absolutely devastates me to think of the tens and hundreds of thousands of black across this country that still thinks its okay to call each other nigga. These foolish asses stick to the lame rationale of "I'd better not hear a white person say it..." like that is a reasonable justification. I have actually heard someone say, "Oh, we blacks don't say NIGGER , we say NIGGAH. The AH is like the AHHHHHHH sound you make over a warm cup of chocolate. It gives the word NIGGA a newer and warmer feeling." I ACTUALLY HEARD SOMEONE SAY THAT!!! I damn near passed out trying to restrain myself from choking the living shit out of them.

But that is what we have in our community. Dumb assed black kids who have never been told that they have worth, and that they should respect themselves and each other. And who, in turn, embrace centuries of racial stereotypes and the suffering it has caused and refer to each other by the white slavemasters evil name for their forefathers. And they are reinforced by the quasi intellectual, self deprecating, neo-ebonites that feel it's okay to call each other, "My Nigga!"

That is some straight bullshit!

It fills my heart with anger, hatred and shame! When will these lost souls open their eyes and realize - We are our own worst enemy!


05 March 2006

Straight Thuggin'

I was sitting in my truck today near a grocery store in a modest
upper-middle class neighborhood. I was listening to a local news and talk radio station. Then something beside me caught my eye.

It was a group of four young black kids. Boys, all around 15 or 16. They were talking to each other, but they were yelling. I must have heard 2 or 3 "niggas" just as many "mother fuckers" and at least one "punk ass bitch." These kids were in full thug regalia, extra baggy pants, North Face coats, jerseys, wild-ass hairstyles and untied Timberland boots. And, they all had the same limp / bop walk as if anyone near them had better get out of their way. They walked past two black girls a little older than them and tried to get some squeeze hugs and ass rubs. For the most part it worked and when the girls walked away, one of the boys patted his chest and hollered at them, "Thug love, baby! Thug love!"

There was a time when being a thug was what no sensible person wanted to be. Actually, that time is still here - but for a large number of our young black men, who are still lost in a lack of positive self identity, they chose to be called 'THUGS.' And so not to have a title without a reputation behind it, there has developed an unspoken rule that THUGS must be vulgar, foul mouthed, violent, threatening, pathetic, horny, gun toting fools that travel in posses. It amazes me that such a negative mystic is embraced by so many young black men. Now, I know not all young black males that sport the braids and twists and throwback jerseys and Timbs are thugs - and thank god for that. But there is an enormous number that are. They talk loud and disrespectful and just do nothing to present their race in a positive light.

I have to try and find a way to bring a positive self identity to my young black brothers and sisters! Right now, so many are just wandering through the jungle that is life in modern America. They know nothing of where they come from and nothing of where they are going. They need a positive self image to wash away the 'thugs' and 'baby-mama's.'


03 March 2006

Sadly... "College Hill" is back.

A multi-car crash is an absolutely unbelievable event. It is amazing and awful all at the same time and it is virtually impossible to look away from. It is almost impossible to believe that cars can go airborne. It's hard to get past the sounds of metal crunching, glass breaking and people screaming. It is a horrible, horrible event...

much like COLLEGE HILL.

For those who don't know - College Hill is a BET original program, dubbed "The First Black Reality show." As a response to MTV's "Real World" Black Entertainment Television (BET) has created this pitiful, and usually embarrassing series.

Again, BET proves that it is the voice of Black buffoonery. Whereas MTV grabs 7 or 8 white kids and usually 1 or 2 blacks and sticks them in a swank house in a random city and lets them run wild - BET grabs 8 or 9 college kids from a Historically Black College, puts them in a drab little house and films them setting higher education back 50 years.

The worst part is that BET calls this BLACK ENTERTAINMENT! Exploiting the perfect mix of stupid, horny, self-conscious, arrogant, conceited, and insecure students. Like the previously mentioned car wreck, it's hard to look away because it's impossible to believe that young people that claim to want to the leaders of the future are acting like out of control hookers and hoodlums.

I'm saddened because BET chooses to bring this foolishness and exploitive programming into the very heart of Black higher education- our colleges. This season, Virginia State University is the scene of the crime. As hard as it has been, and is, for blacks to get a higher education - BET should show more respect for our black institutions. But they don't. BET only cares about the bottom line - dollars.

I hate the fact that BET is largely responsible for so many negative stereotypes that people around the world have about black Americans. Its years of hip hop video shows have presented an overwhelming image of the black man as a over-sexed, over-liquored, violent, gold-tooth wearing thug. Our women are largely presented as scantedly-clad, brainless playthings that do nothing more than bounce their asses and open their legs for the thugged-out black man. And, now stepping onto our college campuses they want to try and present our young men and women how seek a higher education in a bad light. When the images from COLLEGE HILL go out across the world, BET would have succeeded in sending out yet another false image of the Black collective. Now, many people [with few counter-images of blacks] will think - "Even the American blacks getting college education are still horny, drunk and out of control."

College Hill is a disheartening program that exploits our young black men and women and harms our racial reputation as a whole. It mispresents so many young blacks that are focused, ambitious, dedicated and mature in their pursuit of higher education, a better quality of life, and a positive impact on the future. BET should be ashamed to call this 'Black Reality TV."

And while College Hill is like a car wreck, I will find a way NOT to watch it! SHAME ON YOU BET!!!


02 March 2006

And baby makes two...

"I'm pregnant."

Few words in the English language, when put side by side, insight more emotion than, "I'm pregnant."

Those words have a powerful way of bringing true feelings and true character to the surface of people - especially MEN.

When a woman tells a man that she's pregnant, typically she's pregnant with HIS child. These words mean: A part of you is growing inside of me and in a matter of months your life will change forever.

Different men also hear different messages...

Decent, strong, loving, and responsible men hear:

  • I'm going to have a child that I am responsible for,
  • I'm going to have to make sure that I'm a good role model,
  • I'm going to show my child, everyday how much I love him/her,
  • I'm going to do right by my child's mother
  • My child is going to be my legacy,
  • I'm going to be the best MAN and FATHER that I can possibly be,
  • I am going to dedicate myself to this child's well being,

Ignorant, uncaring, low-life bastard cowards hear:

  • That kid ain't mine,
  • She's a ho, that could be anybodies child,
  • Damn, I can't afford child support payments,
  • She only has my mom's address, I'm moving across town,
  • I ain't trying to hear this bullcrap,
  • I only slept with her twice, it can't be mine,
  • I can't get tied down to her and some kid, there's booty out there to get,
  • It ain't mine, I pulled out in time,
  • I'm rollin'' out - that ain't my kid!

'I'm pregnant' is how women learn about the men that they've been giving themselves too. The decent men will stand up and the cowards will run and hide. It deeply saddens me that at that point, its far too late to determine the measure of a man. At this point a new life is in play. At this point, in the worst case scenario, mom is facing single motherhood and dad is about to hit the pavement.

I wish that our women and men would be more responsible with their actions. I wish that more women were smart enough to realize that a man that wants to have an apartment or a house with you and have unprotected sex with you but isn't man enough to marry you is only bad news. These men are doing NOTHING more than waiting for a better ship to come along. And if you happen to get knocked up before that ship comes along, these men are willing to fain interest in you until they can pack their sh*t and leave. HINT - if he won't marry you, but will live with you, and ride bare-back, 9 times out of 10, he's just waiting to leave. Then, baby will make two.


01 March 2006

Unclaimed baggage...

Sadly, there is a phenomenon in the black community that is growing out of control. It is...

The abandoned child.

Our young people are destroying the very foundation of the black community. Over 70% of black children are born to single / unwed mothers.

Both our males and our females are destroying our strength, our core and our future - The Black Family Structure.

When our males (I refuse to call them MEN) come across a young ladies, some primal desire to have sex with them kicks into overdrive. It has nothing to do with looks, or with love or with anything of that nature. It is a purely dick-driven desire to conquer that female. No consideration is given to safety or to the potential for an unwanted pregnancy. With AIDS running rampant and unchecked through the black community, it would seem that more men and women would be 'strapping up' and using condoms. But looking at the rise in the number of black children being born to single mothers, they seem to be doing everything BUT 'strapping up!'

The black females are no better than the men! These women are giving no consideration to their health or their futures. These women are willing to lie down with these various men, unprotected, and then when they get pregnant MANY (not all of them) suddenly get stupider or they suddenly get holier -than-thou. They rule out abortion. Yeah! I said it! THEY RULE OUT ABORTION! With many of these women, they are just not ready OR qualified to be mothers. They are often to stupid to realize that the guy that got them pregnant is going to leave them all alone, or they are too stupid to realize that their child is going to be at a huge disadvantage growing up the child of a single mom. Or, they suddenly get holy and feel, "Abortion is a sin! And, I ain't no sinner!" Lo, they forget their seat in the front pew of the Sanctified Mission of the Open Legs Baptist Church.

I think many young women are just oblivious to the fact that once that baby is on the way and the dad splits town or suddenly discovers that he's not ready for a committment, it is the woman that is left with the unclaimed baggage. It must not register to these girls and women that they will bare the burden of parenthood and all that comes with it - ALONE!!!

Now, not all single moms are bad moms, because I personally know some very good ones. But the ones that bother me and hurt the black community the most are the ones that are poor parental role models, the ones that do nothing more than sit at home and breed 4, 5, 6 and 7 kids with 4, 5, and 6 different fathers. These are the worse people in our community. They are creating a generation of unloved, poorly guided, un-supervised, angry, little kids with no ambition and no ability to be anything more than a candidate for the more-than-willing U.S. penal system.

We need to stop the madness! We need to teach our young women to respect and value themselves and to demand that same respect and value from the men in their lives. We need to teach them to close their legs more often and we need to teach
our young men to keep those little ding-a-lings in their pants and work harder at being stronger men and better examples of black pride for our children! Our out of control people are destroying our race and turning our children into unwanted little bastards. YEAH, I said it!