26 July 2006
I see that Israel has bombed a clearly marked United Nations outpost in Lebanon, killing 4 UN observers. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave multiple assurances to the UN that their people were safe and their observation points were well known and would not be bombed. This was true right up until an Israeli jet blew the building into a million pieces!
I couldn't help but laugh out loud that poor Kofi Annan has declared the bombing "apparently deliberate" and has demanded... DEMANDED, that Israel investigate the matter. He demands that Israel investigate its own wrong doing, it's own possible war crime, and I assume he also expects them to find themselves guilty and write a stern public assessment of themselves. Then of course, he'll probably demand that they come up with a harsh punishment for themselves and then of course he'll expect them to carry it out. This is why the UN is rapidly becoming an international joke.
Kofi, please get your head on straight and get some real investigators to look into the deaths of your staff members. It is probably an insult to every UN peacekeeper and observer, to have the country that killed their co-workers, be charged in investigating the actions that killed them. What Kofi Annan is saying to the UN is, "If you die in service of the UN, we will not take your death too seriously. We will not try too hard to punish those responsible."
My disappointment in Kofi aside, this killing of UN observers is really not unheard of when Israel feels threatened. Many people have either forgotten about, or never heard of the USS Liberty incident. I haven't and it came right to mind when I heard about these UN casualties being called deliberate.
Basically, on June 8, 1967 on day four of the six day "Arab - Israeli War" the USS Liberty, a clearly marked, US flag baring, intelligence gathering ship was in the eastern Mediterranean sea. The ship was 13 miles off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula in International waters. The night before, for over six hours, Israeli jets flew low overhead, visually inspecting the lightly armed ship. The Israeli's were US allies so, there was no alarm on the Liberty. When the morning came, Israeli jets and torpedo boats attacked the US ship for almost 75 minutes, using rockets, napalm, torpedoes and machine gun fire. When the unprovoked attack was done, 34 Americans had been killed, 172 had been injured, the ship was in flames, listing to her side, and communications had been knocked out. Later inspection showed over 800 bullet holes in the ship and a massive 40 foot section of the hull was blown away by a torpedo.
Israel immediately called the incident a terrible accident and sent apologies to Washington. However, few in DC bought the story - for one, during the attack, the Israelis jammed communications from the ship, they jammed the specific frequencies known to be used by American vessels. Then there was the fact that President Lyndon Johnson did not want the Israelis to seize the Golan heights from Syria. They infact took the Heights just after the Liberty was attacked - many believe they knocked a US intelligence platform offline so Washington would not hear of the Golan Heights matter until after it was complete. But - the most shameful aspect of the whole situation was the fact that just as the attack started, the Liberty was able to get off a distress signal to an aircraft carrier in the Med. Several US jets were dispatched but when President Johnson heard that Israeli fighters were attacking our ship, he declared that he didn't want to see a US ally embarrassed like that, so he ordered the US jets to return to the aircraft carrier. He was willing to sacrifice American lives and an American ship, to allow Israel to save face.
Amazing how the more things change, the more they stay the same.
For more information on how Lyndon Johnson let Israel get away with murder, visit:
25 July 2006
Something about this new middle eastern conflict became crystal clear to me a few days ago. And, it bothered me that if I, a typical everyday guy, could put this together, then why can't the political thinktanks in the White House and on the Hill figure this out.
Let me explain - this past weekend I was watching CNN and they were interviewing this Lebanese woman. Her home had been destroyed and she and her daughter had to flee the southern part of the country. She was explaining to CNN that Hezbollah was not to be blamed for the scale of violence that Israel was bringing to her country. She said that no matter what Hezbollah had done - she still supported them and believed in them. She explained that in her part of the country, the Lebanese Government did next to nothing for the people. Whereas, Hezbollah paid for medical treament, they picked up the trash, they made sure the people had food and electricity and that the kids got a good education. She said that when the fighting started between Hezbollah and Israel, the people in her town where yelling, "God be with Hezbollah!"
Then her 9 year old daughter spoke and she said that Hezbollah was a blessing to her people. At her school when things needed to be fixed or painted, Hezbollah quickly got the school back in shape. She said that Hezbollah kept her school running. She said that when she grows up she wants to be a doctor for Hezbollah so she can heal them when they fight the Israelis. THIS WAS A 9 YEAR OLD GIRL!
It was further pointed out that prior to the initial Israeli attacks, Hezbollah went through the towns along the border evacuating citizens and soon after the bombs started falling, Hezbollah members were collecting names and coordinating relief and relocation efforts. So, the citizens of southern Lebanon were - in their opinion - being cared for and looked after by Hezbollah.
This is when I realized that no matter how many bombs Israel drops, no matter how many bullets they fire - they cannot destroy Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a movement, it is a concept, it is a spirit in the hearts and minds of many Lebanese. So, for Israel and the United States to claim - "let the bombing continue until Hezbollah is fully disarmed..." it's frankly the definition of 'an impossible goal.' Even if every gun and rocket possessed by Hezbollah was destroyed and every Hezbollah fighter killed - the concept of Hezbollah would continue. It might languish for a decade or so, but the concept would soon rise again and take shape in the hearts and minds of young Lebanese men. And as far as weapons go, rockets, pistols and rifles can be bought for a handshake and a smile over there - so this whole disarming issue is a joke.
This bombing campaign is truly doing nothing but making the Lebanese Government look more and more impotent on the middle eastern stage. At some point, the Government will be so emasculinated by allowing Israel to systematically destroy it, that it will be ripe for an overthrow by Hezbollah or Syria - and then there will be even bigger problems in the region.
I'm honestly not calling anybody a good guy in this situation, neither side, Hezbollah OR Israel is without sin in how they do business. But, I can say that this relentless and disproportionate bombing campaign is going to only assure an unstable and highly volatle middle east for years and years to come.
24 July 2006
When I was a teenager, in the 1980's, it was important to me [and my buddies] to be a Manly Man.
Please note that I didn't just say, "to be a man" - I said, to be a MANLY MAN.
I lifted weights so my body was muscular, I kept my hair and mustache trimmed neatly so I always looked dapper, I always walked with my head up and my shoulders squared, so I looked strong and ready, and I never did anything that would be considered [even remotely] feminine or girly. None of this took any particular effort, because I was a boy/young man and it just came natural and I didn't really believe I had any girlish tendencies, so - I was just ME. A young man, being manly.
But, this weekend I saw a teenaged boy, a young Black kid, about 16 or 17 and he was wearing a "Rugrats" backpack. It was a bright yellow backpack, one of the new small backpacks just big enough to store a small lunchbox. By the way - RUGRATS is a cartoon that is popular with 5 to 7 year old kids. He was wearing this backpack and chillin' like nothing was unusual. I tried to get his attention so I could ask him why he was wearing a 6 year old girls backpack, but I didn't have a good opportunity. Sure, somebody might say, he was wearing it because he likes it - my retort would be, why does a 17 year old boy like a 6 year old girls backpack? Why is he avoiding the call to be a Manly Man?
Here are a few more examples of young males, more specifically our young Black males seeming to try and avoid, duck and dodge, what I personally thought was a natural desire to be a Manly Man:
- A few weeks ago, I noticed a young Brother, probably in his late twenties wearing a big red Snoopy backpack. To me [please note I said, TO ME] this looked rediculously childish.
- The rapper Cam'ron is trying his damndest to make pink the next black among young Black men. There are lots of photos around of him in pink leather, pink fur and pink outfits. Please Cam'ron, quit trying to confuse our young men into thinking pink worn as promanently as black or blue is manly. It is not. They, and you look like damn fools.
- This weekend I saw this big hulking dude walking down the street with these two huge afro-puffs in his hair. He looked like a 6 foot 4 inch 400 pound Mickey Mouse Club reject.
- This one isn't an everyday event, but we've all seen it - in the rough and tough sport of football you always seem to have the Brothers that score a touchdown and the first thing they start doing is prancing around, wiggling their asses, and fluttering about in the endzone. This is one of the most manly sports in the world, and yet you have this crazy number of guys that do something big and the first thing they want to do is prance around like a bunch of Frilly Kansas City Showgirls!
Look - I can go on and on, but I won't. The point I'm trying so windfully to get across is - I feel like there is a strong undercurrent within the Black community to emasculate our young Black men. Okay - sure, I'm not the fisrt person to say that, but I do think this emasculation transends the violence, abandonment, and self loathing we see so much of. I think this process is as clear as day in the way that so many of our young men carry themselves in their daily lives.
First there were the earrings, old school guys frowned upon this fad, but for some reason it blew up in the early 90's - almost all the brothers had to have one. Then the baggy pants hanging off the ass phenomenom kicked in. Ex-cons brought this beltless, drawers showing habit into 'the hood' and it spread like wildfire. I have heard a million times that the flagrant homosexuals behind bars use this style of pants wearing as a sign of their open-ness to sex. Again, this is what I've heard. But for some reason, the homeboys liked the look and embraced it with vigor. Then the braids and cornrows and twists all these different hairstyles popped up on every damn corner in our neighborhoods. I'm not what I would call old, but damn - I have an old school attitude about this, all these twists and braids and shit are GIRLY! There is nothing manly about having your hair all made up with beads and clam shells and colors and all this kinda' crap. It is amazing to me that these poor guys think sitting down on the front porch and having their sister pick their hair out and then braid it up nice and pretty is manly. Guys - your hair should NOT look cuter than your girlfriends.
Now, I'm not saying that every man with an earring, or braids or pink dress shirts is gay or effeminant - but what I AM saying, is that over the last 20 years there has been a significant watering down of what it means to be a MANLY BLACK MAN. A large number of our men are embracing practices and habits that were not too long ago, clearly regarded as feminine. From clothes, to jewelry, to mannerisms, to the desire to look 'pretty' - many [not all] Black men, don't seem to have an ounce of desire to be manly. Just a few years ago - we thought that being MANLY meant being tough, strong, and rugged. Now, we have THUGS that carry guns instead of using their fists, we have BABY DADDIES that abandon their children, we have young males that want to express their individuality by wearing the same braids and white T-shirts as 90% of their contemporaries. I hope this trend is reverseable, I hope Manly Black Men come back in style and all this desire for pretty hairstyles, pink tennis shoes, showing off of underwear to other men, and wearing 2 karot earrings fades away and we see our strong Brothers come back to the fold.
PS> (I read a comment on another blog recently about this phenomenon, and I loved it. It went something like this: "A Christian minister said to his congregation, 'Black people, we used to have hard-working men and pretty women, now we have hard-working women and pretty men. Men, we have to get ourselves together." )
20 July 2006
What I'm about to say is NOT a knock on good guys. It's not intended to generalize men, or even the majority of men - it is meant to cast a furrowed brow on bums, scrubs and losers.
Let me put down a few definitions before I get started:
GAME - (noun) the strategic element that bonds and binds men and women in emotional and physical relationships, "The GAME of love should only be played by willing participants."
GAME - (noun) a skill or talent possessed by either a man or a woman that makes him or her desirable, attractive, believable, appealing and/or interesting to someone of the opposite sex, "All of the women love Johnny because his GAME is together."
Okay, now that I've pointed out my two interpretations of the word GAME, let me give The STATE OF THE GAME.
"The game is in bad shape." There, you have it.
Let me explain. I was just told two stories within 30 minutes of each other, and I've heard a lot of stuff lately - but these two have dropped my jaw. The names will be changed to protect the innocent...
I have a friend named, Paula - and she recently traveled to the west coast for a few days on vacation. While there, she met a Brother named James. He took her our for dinner one night and things were okay at first, then he decided to start telling her that he wants to fall in love with her and she's such a special woman. She saw that his GAME was transparent so she went along for a few minutes. He tried to convince her to come back to his house so they could 'discuss' their loving future. She told him that their love would flourish better if they waited. Needless to say she came on back home to DC a day or so later. He called her the day after she arrived and started telling her that DC was the kind of town he wanted to relocate to. Then he hinted at moving in with her and proceeded to tell her that this 'big check' he deposited in the bank wouldn't clear for a few days and his car note was due. She quickly told him that he'd be okay, and his exact quote was, "So you ain't even trying to offer a brother anything." She said no and he proceeded to tell her that it would help him out a lot if she'd run down to the Western Union and just send him $100. She basically hung up on him. How lame is this guy? I mean really - he just met her a few days earlier and now he's BS'ing her about moving to DC, and falling in love - as long as she can loan him $100. Guys with ZERO 'game' tend to shoot themselves in the foot with their own stupidity. He's trying to present himself in a way that might get him some sex, but at the same time he's showing that he is a broke, begging, busted, bum! Why even insult a woman's intelligence like that. What he's telling her is, "You're not smart enough to realize that I'm playing you for a naive fool that will open both your pocketbook and your legs to my lame rap."
Now for the second story, there is a woman named Renita, who for years gave men a hard time. She always said that God would send her a man when he was ready for her to have one. (Note: women, if you happen to pray for a man, make sure you ask for a GOOD man) So, she meets this guy, an African fellow that has no job and for some reason she believes that he is The One. They get married and homeboy develops this big dollar mindset when it comes to his spending. As the debt starts to build, he gets a job in Newark, NJ. So he spend his weekdays and nights in New Jersey and comes home on Friday for the weekend. Well, this goes on for awhile and then Renita gets a little suspicious of her man. It is soon discovered that her husband has a girlfriend/lover up in Newark that keeps him company when he's away from home. So, they are now set up for divorce proceedings. My thing with this is not so much him being a low down dirty dog, it is her overlooking the obvious trouble signs. Now, I know sometimes folks lose their jobs, but as a man - if I can't take care of my own business, my bills, my money and my living space, then the LAST thing I should be doing is trying to start a relationship with someone. I just think a man has to be able to step up and be accountable and responsible and... uh, GAINFULLY EMPLOYED!!!! So, my issue here is with HER, if this guy came to her empty handed, then he was showing her what he had to offer. NOTHING!!! The cheating issue is not to be overlooked by the way, but I think its a by product of this guy not taking Renita seriously enough in the beginning of their relationship. Ladies, please keep this in mind, don't be so quick to rush into the arms of a man bringing Champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Look deep at the game before you leap into the ring!
This happy husband and wife, were cheerfully sipping orange juice and grenadine, served from a covered tray by a unformed steward - they were not on vacation. Well, they were not EXACTLY on vacation, even though they were on the cruise ship Orient Queen. This happy couple was being evacuated from war ravaged Lebanon by YOUR and MY tax dollars!!!
Two things about this bother me:
ONE - When you see pictures of the Lebanese civilian evacuees, they are worried looking, disheveled and distraught over the destruction of their homes and country. They're wondering how they'll ever get their lives back to normal after Israel's punishing onslaught. But not these people, these people were sipping juice, laughing and joking without a care in the world. It is this kind of flagrant arrogance that causes people around the world to hate us Americans. I'm not saying we have to pile thousands of people head to foot - side by side on their backs and ship them to America... [that would never happen, would it?] But, it just seems arrogant to me that these people appear to be getting full cruise ship amenities, and on top of that, some photographer has decided to document the whole bash so the whole world can see how the US does "Evacuations." How is this going to look to the people in war torn countries around the world? It's going to look arrogant, that's how its going to look.
TWO - Why are my tax dollars giving Mr. and Mrs. International Traveler an all expenses paid cruise across the Atlantic? Someone please explain this to me. When ever some sh*t pops off in some corner of the world, our Government starts writing the blank checks to rush Americans back home! Why?
Now, I can understand, military people and families, diplomats, Government employees and people contracted by the US to be overseas. But when Mr. and Mrs. International Traveler want to go spend the summer with Great Aunt Jaillia picking grapes in Beirut, and a war suddenly flares up - then to me, they are just SOL (Sh*t Outta' Luck). Getting back home is on them. But in reality it's just not like that. Good old Uncle Sam will rush and bring them home for free. I can't even afford a cruise right now, but these folks are getting a free one - at OUR expense!
I'm like this - today is July 20th 2006, the world is a dangerous place. If you travel outside the CONUS, then God Bless You, you are traveling at your own risk. That is why I stay here for right now, down the road a few years... we'll see. But for now, I'm keeping my @ss in the good old U S of A!!!
19 July 2006
Okay, let me type this quickly. When I last checked 15 people had been murdered in the streets of DC and I want to be able to submit this before someone else is killed, thus making me a statistical liar. Oh - but wait, Mayor Anthony Williams and Police Chief Charles Ramsey have declared a state of CRIME EMERGENCY, so everything will be fine now. Whew.
I don't really know what bothers me more about this state of declared emergency; the fact that it didn't happen until a British citizen was murdered in the streets of Georgetown, or the fact that the DC political hierarchy have brought so much media fanfare to a plan that should be the standard operating procedure for the police department.
Mayor Williams has said, in some many words, that the police department will now be working six day weeks and they'll be shutting down crack houses and locking up repeat offenders in the juvenile justice system. These are fine ideas, although the six day work weeks will be physically and emotionally draining to most cops, but I like the aggressive pursuit of the criminal element.
I know people are complaining that there is not a cop on every corner of the city. Let's be real, that is impossible unless every DC resident is willing to pay 59% taxes. But instead of making this grand declaration of a state of emergency, they should make a declaration of ZERO TOLERANCE. The city politicians and leaders shouldn't wait until the camera lights come on to give the police all of the support and resources they need to keep our streets safe. This state of emergency shouldn't be a decision on how to react, it should be how the police act at all times. The crackhouses should see more cops coming through their doors than crackheads, the young people that use the juvie system as a merry-go-round, should actually be made to pay for their crimes and do some time and do some rehabilitation instead of sitting at home playing their X-Boxes until their mom falls asleep and they hit the streets. The drug dealers on the corners should be pressed and squeezed and locked away behind bars. The thugs that are sticking guns in people's faces should be chased hard by police and put away.
To me, police departments in high crime areas should always be operating a "STATE OF EMERGENCY" level. There should be no waiting until 'the right person' is slaughtered in the streets for police departments to be instructed by city leaders to aggressively pursue, capture and incarcerate criminals. There should be no wait for a big press conference before police are sent out to kick in the doors of known drug houses. There should be not wait for CNN to cover a district murder before police are sent out to lock up parole violators, There should be no wait for anything before police are sent out to take down everybody on drug corners and sent out to come down hard on criminals everywhere!
And I say all this with an eye towards not just the police and the politicians, but we - the law abiding members of our communities, we have to help the police do their jobs. We have to be witnesses and we have to stop turning a blind eye to the folks we know are doing dirt. I know being a witness in a criminal case can sometimes have dangerous repercussions - but when that happen's it's okay to send an anonymous note to a detective giving him or her a helping hand. Whatever we can do to fight crime as a whole, as a community - it will only make our streets safer, we to have to be aggressive with our own state of emergency, the cops and politicians can't and won't succeed by doing it alone.
(I really didn't want to post this entry because earlier today I wrote my thoughts on this and I really loved the way I typed it out, but when I hit "Publish" the whole thing disappeared and I lost all of my text. This entry is far from the organized first effort that is now floating in cyberspace. I hope my thoughts still make it through.)
I sat in my living room this weekend and I couldn’t help but flip the TV back and forth from CNN and FOX News to whatever else may have been on. The news didn’t change much – Anderson Cooper was still wearing his flack jacket and squinting into the sun over his cameraman’s shoulder. The racially ambiguous female newscaster on Fox was still insisting that things in the Middle East were steadily getting worse and the guys on “Mythbuster’s” were still trying to build a rocket car.
But I kept coming back to the news. Israel and Lebanon… excuse me, Hezbollah, were still bombing the hell out of each other. I kept noticing this tight feeling in my stomach, but I wasn’t sure of what it was. I mean – maybe it was just the normal human reaction to watching war being broadcast live in high def. Naw, it had to be more than that, I thought. But what was it. Was I worried about the innocent civilians in harms way? Sure! Without a doubt! But that too didn’t seem to be the answer.
Was I worried about the true motive of Hezbollah for launching that surprise attack into Israel last week that allowed them to capture the two Israeli troops? Was that it? Maybe, but I didn’t feel satisfied.
Then I wondered if I was empathizing with those two soldiers held by Hezbollah. I’m sure that if they’re still alive, they have probably been starved and beaten half to death. Yeah, I was feeling for those guys.
But after long speculation, I discovered what was bothering me, and it turned out to be that President Bush is the uh... President.
What I mean by that is - we're the United States. We are the world's only REAL Superpower. When you are a true economic, political, humanitarian and military Superpower you can do a lot of good things and you can make a lot of people listen to you, and best of all if you have a savvy, intelligent and creative leader, you can do it all without firing a shot or dropping a single bomb. Unfortunately, we have George Bush.
I recall during the last election, there were all these polls stating that average Americans thought George Bush would be better man to have a beer with than John Kerry. They said he was... a... (what was the phrase...) he was an 'everyman' George Bush was a better Presidental choice because he was an every[day]man. All I could say to that was, "Give me a break!" The last man I want running my country AND the free world is some schmuck that I could run into at the ESPN Zone! That to me is utter foolishness. I'd actually rather have a President that was more intellectual THAN ME! Not that I'm a slouch, but I think to be a GOOD President you have to have a world view, you have to be a student of history, you have to be able to see not just the big picture today, but the big picture a year from now, five years from now, ten years and so on. So, I don't really don't want my president to buy me my second Sam Adams!
The tight feeling in my stomach comes from the fact that I don't believe that George Bush, nor any of his senior staff ( VP Dick Cheney, SOS Dr. Condolezza Rice, SOD Donald Rumsfeld, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, Counselor Dan Bartlett, Press Secretary Tony Snow and/or Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin) are talented, creative or savvy enough to resolve this Middle East conflict without putting US troops, US bullets and US bombs in play. I guess with all being said, I've had enough war. I'm tired of our troops dying in Iraq over Bush's lies, I'm tired of our troops dying in Afganistan because Bush wants to pretend that he's chasing a 6 foot 3 inch Mudjahadeen son-of-a-bitch through the mountains. And frankly, I don't want to see an incredible diplomatic opportunity squandered. Honestly I don't know who the REAL bad guys are over in the Middle East right now. I mean, I know how the players line up and I understand that Hezbollah is a small faction within Lebanon, and Israel is bombing the shit out of Lebanon to force them to disarm Hezbollah, and Syria is running Hezbollah and Iran is backing Syria and Hamas is now relegated to number two on the terrorist dance card, yadda yadda yadda. But I just see things getting worse before they get better, mainly because the most powerful country in the world is lead by a man that is better suited to be running a car dealership and there is hardly anyone else that stands a chance at using its non-military might, to settle these countries down.
13 July 2006
I was standing behind a couple of Brothers in a rather heated discussion over what I assumed to be encryption software or programming. They were dressed in standard Governmentware, one in a shirt and tie and the other in a suit without a tie. They seemed to really know their stuff.
I just stood there halfway listening and halfway wondering what I was having for lunch. Beside me I heard some snickering and turned to see a cluster of three young black males, all were around 16 or 17 and wearing the standard white T-shirts and/or oversized jerseys and I heard one of them whispering something about, "...they're acting all white and shit." And I turned to the Brothers talking in front of me and I damn near lost my mind.
This was the same damn ignorant mentality that caused a major blowup between me and my brother years ago. He tried to subtley accuse me of "acting white" and I came close to beating the hell out of him.
I don't know where exactly it became "white" to speak intelligently and carry yourself with some dignity and self respect.
I'm not sure when reason and self-control became the sole property of white people.
I think what is going on is this - there is a belief in certain corners of our community that to be black... more specifically, to be a black MAN, you have to be rough around the edges, you have to be loud and boisterous, you have to be ready to fight, you have to have the baggy clothes and the rowdy attitude and above all you have to never try to look or sound intelligent. You have to refrain from calling your friends by their Mother given names and instead call them - Dogg, and "G" and Yo and Nigga' and Muw Fucka. You have to think only with your crotch - what the crotch wants is what you're supposed to get... STD's, HIV's and unwanted babies be-damned!
So with this belief running unchecked in parts of the community, you have young black males scoffing at the Brothers that are speaking intelligently. You have the young black males having "no love" for the Brothers that are carrying themselves like reasonable, mature and calm men. These Brothers can only gets chuckles and laughs and ridicule from the young ones. Sad.
When my brother and I had our falling out, I was accused of "trying to act white." To him, I was everything he wasn't and I was everything he seemed to despise. I had a good job, I spoke well, I was well read, I wore a shirt and tie to work, I was enrolled in college, I didn't have any kids, I could talk about more than just sports and I had never been in trouble with the law. I don't think he could say all of that about himself or any one of his friends. So I was the pariah, I was the joke, I was the outcast, I was the one to be ashamed of - I was the one that was not trying to be real... I was acting white.
So, in order for me to be "BLACK" in his eyes, and in the eyes of the assholes on the corner, I had to be louder and I had to be rowdier and I had to speak worse and I had to be less intelligent than I was. So... I was in the wrong.
Well, I've got a message for all those dumb-asses that think us intelligent Brothers that are properly handling our business are "acting white." We are as far from "white" as we can get. We are the true Ambassadors for our people, our Black people. We are the ones that truly appreciate the legacy and the sacrifice of those who came before us and risked and sometimes lost their lives so that we can have the freedom and the rights that we have today. We are the ones paying a lifetime debt of honor to the Dr. Kings', the Medgar Evers', the Emmett Tills', the Andrew Youngs', the Harriet Tubmans', the Coretta Scott Kings', the Shirely Chisholms', the Tuskeegee Airmen, the Bobby Seals', the Dorothy Heights', the Malcolm X's, and the Nikki Giovanni's', and the list goes on and on! By walking with our heads held high, our women and children respected, our minds free of drama, drugs and drink - we are the embodiement of the Black struggle, the Black achievements and the Black future.
So don't you ignorant hoodlums even THINK about saying that we're "acting white!" Instead, try saying, "Those Brothers are "acting BLACK!"
10 July 2006
To me, things are either good or bad, up or down, left or right, black or white. Very little is gray or neutral.
So it is easy for me to say, without caveats or conditions or disclaimers... “The District of Columbia is very a dangerous place.”
(AS I TYPE THIS, THE CHIEF OF POLICE HERE IN DC HAS DECLARED A "STATE OF CRIME EMERGENCY" - 13 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MURDERED IN THE LAST 11 DAYS!!!)
Now some folks will get all bent out of shape and start whimpering and whining about,
“No it isn’t…”
“It’s no worse than a lot of places…”
“The media just paints it in a bad light…”
“Statistically it’s no different from many cities…”
To them I say, “Wake up and smell the coffee burning!” Better yet, “Go walk a mile on New York Avenue after 11PM.” Or, “Ride the Green, Red or Orange lines for an hour or two with an Ipod on.” Or, “Go leave a Georgetown party and walk down the street alone.”
I add the Georgetown part in because a few nights ago in what was considered the last bastion of safety in the District of Columbia, four hoodlums (two adult males, one female and one 15 year old male) [I don’t call hoodlum criminals “men” or “women” because that would imply that they were human…] descended on this man and woman, beat and robbed them, slashed the man’s throat (killing him) and attempted to rape the woman. I heard the sheer violence of the attack sickened even the hardest of the DC homicide cops. This was just one crime in one part of town, I mean this stuff happens all the time it seems. Everywhere in and around Washington DC.
I drop the comment that “The District of Columbia is a very dangerous place.” Because it is true. DC has a frighteningly high rate of murders, shootings, stabbings, beatings ,carjackings and kiddie car-theft/crashes! Whats a kiddie car-theft/crash you ask? It’s when a little 8 year old monster breaks into a car, starts it, steals it and then goes driving around at high speed until they kill someone or crash into something. Yeah – an innocent lady was killed a stop sign by an 9 year old car theft last year.
It is an awful trend and it is spilling over into adjoining counties and communities. Cops have a fit because these bastards creep into Maryland sometimes, do their dirt and then flee back into their holes in the district. When my car was stolen – the first place I went to look for it was in Southeast DC – where did cops find it? Southeast DC. When my buddy’s father’s car was stolen from him at gun point, where did they find it? Southest DC.
Sadly, the perpetrators of almost all of these crimes are “young, black males, aged 16 to 28” [damn, it hurt me to write that!] That is the largest portion of the population here. Sure, you have whites and Latinos, but YBM’s are the majority and almost every night you see them either making the ‘perp walk’, or they’re ‘wanted in connection with…’, or they’re ‘convicted of…’ or they’re ‘a suspect in…’
I truly think that there is only one way to cure this problem running rampant throughout the District of Columbia. One way – with three parts.
PART ONE – Improve the schools. Put extra money into books, computers and teachers pockets! Hire more teachers and make classes smaller and help the children to truly learn so that their future can be brighter than the futile dreams of going to the NBA or being a rapper.
PART TWO – Build another jail and improve correctional training. Yeah – I know, most black folks hate the word “jail” but I don’t. You know why? Because there are some truly scary mother fuckers that truly belong there. You KNOW you feel the same way – don’t lie to yourself! I think you need to make more room to house and hold those hardcore murderin’ types that you and I never want to see walking down the street in our neighborhood! Make more room, because there are plenty out there that should be off the streets. Tell the bleeding hearts that you can’t save them all! Some folks just need to spend the rest of their lives locked away! But for those that can be saved – have REAL correctional programs for them so they can have an opportunity for success when they get out and they’ll have options beyond sticking a gun in someone’s face.
PART THREE – This is most important! We have to stress to our young people that a complete family unit is a must! To be 15 or 16 or any age [and stupid] and get pregnant by some other 15 or 16 year old [or stupid person] is statistically going to prove to be a disadvantage to the child as they grow up. To any single mom that CHOSE to be a single mom because “I can be a mother and a FATHER to my child.” I’m sorry – YOU CAN’T! Children need both a woman to be a mother figure and a man to be a father figure… that is just the truth, plain and simple. Keep in mind that I said “women who CHOSE, [to go it alone].” (Not the ones that were abandoned after-the-fact) Our young people, our girls and boys need to understand that babies are not just an accidental by-product of sex – they are living creatures that need nurturing and guiding and they need to be molded into mature, successful and compassionate adults! Far too often do “grown” mothers or fathers find out that their teen aged daughters are pregnant and do nothing but cry and wait for the delivery. We have to stop accepting this foolishness from youngsters and take matters into our own hands – yes, I’m talking about abortions here (please don’t act all offended, this is a blog for God’s sake!) – especially when the ‘baby daddy’ is either a bum, a child, a dummy, or nowhere to be seen [or any combination]. The children these kids produce are going to grow up disadvantaged and/or impoverished because as they get older mom will be called Brenda and Grandma will be called Mama, and Brenda will have three other kids and want to spend all her time in the club and every other week, because the real daddy split town, Brenda will have a new man in the house for the kids to call, “Daddy.”
I'm not saying that having a mother and a father is a guarantee for success in a childs life, just like I'm NOT saying that growing up in a single parent home is a guarantee for failure. What I am saying is we need to stress responsibility to our kids and we need to encourage them to be careful and not start families before they are mature enough to be reasonable parents. We need to stress to our young people that when children grow up with little to no, social and moral training, it is far easier to turn towards a life of crime as time goes by. We need to stress that having a mother AND a father working together as a team will be invaluable to the healthy and successful development of a child.
We have to save the kids. The ones that are out here now in DC who still have a chance, AND the ones that are yet to be born. Without guidance, supervision, parenting and sound judgment in the lives of these kids in DC, people will be declaring the District of Columbia a very dangerous place for years to come.
You don’t get between lovers…
You don’t get between brothers…
Let me explain-
About 10 years ago I lived on the 3rd floor in an apartment building. Around 2 o’clock one morning I woke up to a woman screaming. I ran to the window and I could see two people in some kind of struggle and I heard a woman scream again, she was shouting something like, “Stop it (muffled)…” I jumped across my bed and started putting on my tennis as I dialed 911. I told the police what was going on and I said that I was going down there. [my baseball bat was in my closet, and I knew how to use it!] The police said I was the third call for this incident and units were quickly approaching. I was also ordered to say inside. Just like clockwork, the night was suddenly filled with red and blue lights as 2 then 4 then 6 then 8 then 11 cars pulled up all within seconds of each other. There must’ve been 20 cops out there, and why did the guy that was fighting his girlfriend decide to swing on Princes George’s boys-in-blue? It’s safe to say they whipped his ass. He had it coming though – he had bloodied his girlfriend just before they arrived.
But in the minutes that followed, something weird happened. While the paramedics were bandaging the girlfriend up, she started yelling at the cops for giving ‘boyfriend the beatdown. Then she started cursing at them for handcuffing him and making him sit in a squad car. Then she started crying because he was going to jail. I was dumbfounded. This was the same guy that was whuppin’ her ass only minutes earlier and now she was mad at the cops for arresting him. I can’t tell you how glad I was that I didn’t run down there and risk my life to save her, only to have her tell the cops that I was the one that started the problem.
The same thing holds true for brothers.
They can fight each other, but you had better not stand in their way, or YOU will incur the wrath of both.
I think this is where we are now in Iraq.
With Shiites and Sunni’s slaughtering each other wholesale in the streets of Iraq, the time has come for us to step aside and let the Muslim brothers fight it out amongst themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of wholesale slaughter, but I am a fan of bringing home as many of our troops ALIVE as possible. If there was a clear and attainable goal in our presence over there I could understand it. But, as far as I can tell – all we’ve really done in Iraq is arrested Sadaam Hussein, and helped terrorists and insurgents hone their skills through trail and error – usually resulting in US troops in bodybags. I say that we change the goal of occupation from that of “helping to get the Iraq Government up and running” to one of “giving all Iraqi’s a chance to fight and die for a country ruled the way they want it to be.”
Let’s just say, “Hey – we saw a dictatorship, we toppled it, and now the people can do just like a fledgling United States did, they can have a good old fashioned civil war and may the best side win!”
But we have to get out of their way. We have to let the Shiites and the Sunnis have at each other with no interference and without ourselves being the third party upon which both sides can vent their anger on!
06 July 2006
And the world blames Kim Jong Il, the little runt bastard that runs the place.
I have to say that I'm no fan of Kim or any other dictators for that much, but I have to say our dear old President, Dubba-ya, should take his fair share of the blame for this.
Because, when he made his grand declaration of a global axis of evil a few years ago, and piled Iraq, Iran and North Korea into the trinity of assured destruction, he failed in his role as the most powerful man in the world. He failed to use diplomacy in the face of ignorance. He failed to offer compassion when faced with arrogance. He failed to try and become the bigger man.
Instead he placed the three nations in the wrong order of threat - what should have been North Korea, Iran, Iraq he made Iraq, Iran, North Korea.
After that, he dealt with each nation like an arrogant, petulant, dumb little child.
He scoffed at anyone that urged diplomacy with Iraq and sent U.S. armed forces into a poorly planned debacle with no clear objective for going in or coming out. First troops went in to find the WMD's, then it was to free the Iraqis, then it was to fight terrorists, and now it is only to help hone the killing skills of radical Islamic terrorists.
Then he laughed at North Korea, devalued them, and dismissed them when they asked for two party talks over nuclear weapons. They told Bush - we're thinking about making nuclear weapons, but if the US is willing to sit down and talk face to face with us we may reconsider our position. Bush chuckled and said, "No. Let's get five or six other nations around the table so you can look less significant than you are and that way we also won't have to speak directly to you little bastards." Then he gets Dr. Condi Rice to insult the Chinese over human rights issues only weeks before asking them to tell Jong Il to settle down.
Then as Iran stands up to Bush and tells him straight up, "We're going nuclear and if you even think of doing anything about it, we're gonna' make you American's pay dearly!" So, what does Bush do? He sends Dick Cheney to Russia to blatantly insult the Russian president only days before Bush calls on the Russians to put pressure on Iran for us.
So now, North Korea has been slapped in the face by Bush...
and don't get me wrong, I think Jong Il is a god-damn fool for pushing everyone in the region to a high alert status for war... but I can't help but think this wouldn't have happened if George Bush hadn't so arrogantly and narrow-mindedly dismissed the North Koreans when the issue wasn't long range missiles, but actual nuclear warheads.
I firmly believe that the only thing that matters to Bush is the number of bombs dropped, the number of troops deployed and the number of kills confirmed. I believe that peace through creative diplomacy, agreement through trust, and justice through honesty are all concepts that our president would thumb his nose at.
05 July 2006
I started laughing uncontrollably.
And, my co-worker's jaw dropped to the floor, "How can you laugh at a man's death?"
I replied, "Like this... BAW-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!"
I was promptly scolded and lectured on forgiveness and the value of all human life.
I told my co-worker this...
"Ken Lay stole millions and millions of dollars from thousands of people. People that believed in him and believed in Enron. People who worked for decades to build retirement nest eggs, with plans to spend their final years of life comfortably. People who were going to put grandkids through college with their savings, People who were going to travel the world with their savings. And he and his boy Skillings stole their money and lived a life of hedonistic luxury with it. That bastard won't get jail time and I don't really think that's fair, but that's okay because Karma is a bitch and fate has had the last laugh! Now get the hell out of my office!"
03 July 2006
It left me thinking… some of these Brothers gotta’ step their game up.
I was in line at a 7-11 and I was a few people behind this young Brother that was buying some sodas and snacks. He was about 20, with a head full of long twists. And, he had on Tweety Bird underwear. How do I know? Well, because his pants were hanging half off his ass, weighted down by his two cellphones.
I noticed this young woman, a little younger looking than him had tossed a soda and some cookies on the counter in front of him. The register guy bagged their snacks up and the dude with the drooping pants picked up the bags and quickly walked out of the store. I was puzzled because he didn’t pay for anything.
Without missing a step, the young girl pulled out her wallet and swiped her credit card to pay for their food. I was instantly drawn back to a conversation I had with a female friend of mine a few weeks ago…
My friend was telling me about her girlfriend who has this deadbeat boyfriend, we'll call him Brandon. He always boasts about how he’s the man and he handles his business, but when they go out at night SHE always pays. There have been numerous times when she has literally reached in her purse and slipped Brandon cash under the table, so that it appears to anyone around that HE is the one paying for dinner, not her. On those occasions when they are not close enough for the slip-job, once the bill comes, Brandon gets up and leaves the restaurant. He physically walks away from everyone at the table and waits outside the building – and he is not getting up for a quick smoke. He leaves because he is too big a man [in his eyes] to be seen having a woman pay for his meal. He is too proud to appear to have a woman covering his expenses. Yet, this is the case.
I think the same holds true for this Brother I saw last night. He was too proud to be seen having his woman paying for $12 in sodas and cookies.
Now, I thought for a moment – that anything could have happened earlier in the day. He could have spent $500 on his lady for all I know… but you know why that doesn’t make sense to me? Because, HE WALKED OUT. Why walk out? Why act so proud? Or, why act so shamed? If you are handling your business and your lady is paying for something - be man enough to stay and stand there by her side. Don't act ashamed.
I think he knew his game was lame, just like Brandon, above.
Now, there’s no real big deal with a woman that makes more than a man – that happens. And, there’s no big deal with women and men taking turns sometimes covering expenses. For me personally, I’ve always tried [at least most of the time] to cover dating and ‘being out’ expenses – but that’s ME and I’ve been blessed with a pretty good job. But I know that that is not always the case and the true measure of a man is not the volume of his paycheck. So I’m a little let down that these men choose to act "to good" to have their woman paying for them.
I think what is really shameful to me is that you have some men that are to proud to stand beside their women except when they may be looking a little less than "The Man." The worst part still is that it may not be an issue of who makes more in these relationships - it may simply be a case of these men using these women and the women are just so desparate to "have a man" that they are willing to cover these losers expenses.
Ladies, if your man is always broke and you're always paying for dinner and movies, etc. Please leave his ass. He is a scrub.
01 July 2006
A few entries ago, I posted a comment on Black Men and White Women. I receieved some really good feedback from several women. (Thanks Ladies for reading my blog!!!)
One woman, a Black Woman mentioned how tough the dating scene had gotten - sticking with just The Brothers. She mentioned that she and her girlfriends of color are considering broadening their dating horizons and accepting the invitations of men outside the Black race.
How do I feel about this? Hmmm...
Well, I still stand firm behind my opinion - I do not like people to devalue their own race because of inbred stereotypes and run to the arms of other races because they think others are better because of skin color, eye color or hair type.
But, when it comes to Sista's accepting dates from men of other races. I have to say, "I understand..."
When I was a single guy, 7 or 8 years ago and I heard Black Women saying that they were thinking about going out with white guys or Latinos or Italians or whatever. I was pissed! I'm not even going to lie. I was pissed! But, I honestly think that was caused by ego. I guess I figured... "Hey, I'm a single, straight, intelligent and gainfully employed Black Man. What's wrong with me?" But it took me and my little ego some time to realize that it wasn't about Trina or Shelly not wanting to date ME per se - it was about decent Sista's just being tired of some of the bullshit that some of these Brother's were dishing out on the dating scene.
By working with countless Black women, and being fairly easy to talk too, I had heard a million stories about Brothers trying to run games on the Sista's. Of course not all Brothers try and run game, but unfortunately a lot do.
I think so many guys are allowed to get away with the lies and the bullshit that that is all they know how to bring to the table. So, when I hear about Black Women willing to go out with men of other races, I understand that it comes down to happiness and respect. Now keep in mind that these women aren't saying "Oh, I'll never date another Black Man because ALL Black Men are dogs!" What they are saying is "If Todd or Hector or Sergei calls me up and invites me out for drinks or dinner - I'M GOING TO SAY YES."
What does this mean for the Brothers?
It means that the single Brothers out on the dating scene need to treat our Black Women better. I'm not saying Brothers have to run down the isle after dating for three weeks, but they have to represent all of us better. Playing a whole bunch of games and doing a lot of underhanded disrespectful crap is only going to drive our women into the arms of the blue eyed masses.
What does this mean for the Sista's?
Never settle for less than you deserve - from within or without your race.
The fight of my life is upon me.
I discovered it last night.
I dreamed about it.
I dreamed about it ALL night.
In some of the dreams, things turned out okay. In some, things turned our bad, and still in others things turned out horrible. But in none of the dreams did things turn out good or great... "okay" was the best my mind could muster.
What is my fight?
What is it I am deathly afraid of facing?
I am having problems with my Internet connection.
There, I said it. I'm having problems connecting to the Internet.
What makes me so terrified is this - there are four companies that are involved with this problem. AOL, my service provider. VERIZON, whose phone lines AOL leases to provide me my DSL. LINKSYS, who makes my wireless router. And, DELL, who makes my laptop. I am deathly afraid that I am going to have to call all four of them for help and in the past I have had the most awful technical assistance from all four of them.
AOL - always sends me to poorest speaking Indian tech people. Now, I'm not knocking the Indians who are just working to support themselves and their families - for pennies on the American dollar. I do happen to despise the companies that take thousands of jobs from Americans and send them overseas just to fatten their own bottom line... but that's another blog for another time.
VERIZON - just throws their hands up in the air immediately and says... "Call AOL!"
LINKSYS - is simply pathetic! When I first bought my Linksys router, it took me months to get it to work! Between them and AOL, I was passed around faster than a hooker at a Busta' Rhymes party! When it was all said and done and after hours of wasted time with tech support - I ended up fixing the problem myself by pure experimentation!
DELL - Oh god, don't get me started with DELL. They too like to send me to India where I have to pay several dollars a minute to struggle to understand a guy named Sanjii - who prefers to be called 'Randy.' I'm extra pissed with DELL because now that my limited warranty has expired with them, I can no longer E-Mail or Chat with them when I need technical help. Instead I have to either read their useless FAQS or PAY to talk to Sanjii.
I think I'm completely screwed.