31 August 2006

You are NOT the father...

I've got this little television set in one of the cabinets in my office. Sometimes during the day when things slow down or I need some background noise, I turn it on. I'll check out The Judges: Judy, Mathis, Joe Brown - one of them ALWAYS seems to be on for some reason. And one other show ALWAYS seems to be on - Maury Povich.

I have to admit, I can't just listen to Maury because I always have to turn and look at the fools that he has on his show. The Baby-Daddy Drama, The Lie Detector Drama, The Transgender Drama and the I-Used-to-be-a-Nerd Drama. I mean - there is a never ending stream of non-sense on this man's show.

The in your face foolishness aside - The Maury Show format brings to light that there are some people with serious problems - sadly these problems usually end up with children not knowing who their real fathers are and women that KNOW their men are cheating on them, but for some reason need to come on national TV to be properly humiliated.

Seeing women [most of whom are Black] having upwards of ten or more men tested to check the paternity of their children and still finding that potential daddy #10, 11, 12 etc ARE NOT the father - I can clearly see why HIV and AIDS are spreading so quickly through our community. Guys are just using these women and these women are allowing themselves to be used as nothing some than semen dipositories.

I find myself scratching my head over these women that come on Maury's show crying and saying, "I found lipstick on his underwear! I found a used condom on the floor of his car! I found pictures of naked women in his wallet! There were dozens of women's numbers in his cell phone! He smells like sex when he comes home late from work! "Maury I think he might be cheating on me but I don't know!" These women are serious too! They THINK he MIGHT be cheating. Really, how stupid do you have to be to not see the writing on the wall? And, when these guys fail the lie detector test - these women fall out, scream, roll around the floor, holler, pass out - and Maury, not one to spare these screaming women one ounce, he follows them to the back still reading results, "We asked him if he's slept with more than 50 prostitutes and he said, 'No.' The lie detector showed - that was a lie!" It's horrible, mindblowing, twisted and darkly amusing all at the same time. I find myself lost when I try to understand what would make a person humiliate themselves like this in front of 1o million people?

With the Baby-Daddy issues - I've somehow managed to realize that the trouble sign is when they show a picture of the child next to the accused father and the mother jumps up and starts yelling, look at my baby's big-assed ears, and those big-assed lips, and that big-assed forehead - just like his father... "and Maury, both him and his father have the same little penises!" {This is actual stuff that is said VERY often on the Maury set!} These nasty descriptions of these little children are often the rantings of a desperate mother that has no real clue as to the identity of the baby's father. And 80% of the time, Maury says, "You are NOT the father!" And these women too, fall our, roll around, scream - yadda yadda. Give me a break - PLEASE!

And last but not least, there are the people that used to be nerds in high school and got teased and they want to come back and confront their former tormentors. The thing is - the former nerds ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS come back as one of two things STRIPPERS or TRANSGENDERS! I swear! The women come back, usually blonde and pumped full of silicone and collagen and they have names like "Tootsie" or "Pasha". They prance around the guys that used to torment them wiggling their butts saying, "Don't you wish you were nice to me back then?" I damn near pee in my pants when the guys go, "No! I don't regret it! I was 14 years old! Give me a break - we were just kids!" These folks look so stupid when the guy says that - I just crack up!!! But, deep down I feel sorry for these people that have to drastically alter their bodies and sell themselves as sex objects to find a way to feel better about themselves. Just once I'd love to see someone come on and say, "I used to be teased as a nerd, but now I own a plumbing company, I have two offices, 12 trucks and 21 employees. My husband is a great guy and we have three beautiful kids!" Just once I'd like to see one of these ex-nerds say, I lead a respectible life, I'm heathy and happy, and I'm doing great - so, kiss my butt!"

But um, I know there are far more important and intelligent things to blog about... but Maury was on my mind - so I figured what the hell.

And our lie detector tests shows, he's telling the truth!


29 August 2006

Black Men / White Women (Revisited)

I've talked about the subject of interracial dating before and until this past weekend, I figured it would be awhile before I brought it back up. Then I found myself at the mall with my family...

My wife and myself and our kids were at a local mall and we stopped in the food court to get some lunch. The county we were in at the time was a majority white county, but there were people of all races walking about and shopping. While we were eating I happened to notice that we were the only Black "nuclear" family that I could see. Now, I'm 100% certain that there were other Black mothers, fathers and children around the mall - but from where I was sitting, all that could be seen were White and Latino nuclear families, us, and several tables with just women and children... and then there were the two tables with Black fathers (husbands) and White mothers (wives) and a total of seven bi-racial kids.

There are several things about Black men and White women that baffle me, but seeing these familes I couldn't help but ponder one specific issue: Do Black men have ANY standards beyond the color of skin when they choose to date White women?

Sure, I assume some Brothers date pretty White women, but the women I saw this weekend, and the vast majority of other White women with Black husbands/boyfriends that I have seen over the years - are largely, unattractive, out-of-shape, and unappealing looking. It's as if these Black men say to themselves, "I want a white woman! I don't care what she looks like as long as she's white! She can be fat! She can be homely! She can be dim-witted! She can be unemployed - JUST AS LONG AS SHE'S WHITE! Gimme' dem White Girlz!"

I, honest-to-God think that is what MANY of these Black men say to themselves. I've run this past my close friends just to make sure I wasn't crazy and they [all Black men] feel the same way I do! All these women have to be is - White. And, the amazing thing is, these Brothers - if they were to ever look at a Sister - they would have a million conditions on her looks: She's gotta be sexy like Melyssa; have thighs like Serena; have eyes like Beyonce; a body like Ki-Toy; and legs like Tina! All this non-sense that is impossible to find in ONE WOMAN! But damn-it if they won't take just any old White woman.

Now, I'm not bashing White women with this commentary, but I am bashing the Brother's that see nothing more than White skin when they go out and choose a girlfriend, or wife or even baby-mama. Frankly I think this shallow, colorcentric desire is pathetic - it is a slap in the face to our women, our mothers, and to those countless Black men that were beaten, tortured and lynched for as little as a rumor that they looked at a White woman.

Meanwhile - the opposite trend is still holding true with regards to White men and Black women. Nine times out of ten, I find myself at a loss for words when I see White men with Sisters. These women tend to be the literal cream of our crop. I very rarely see White men with unattractive Black women. Quite often, our women that they choose are nothing short of stunning.

Now, with all this being said - I do want to put in a small qualifier. I don't think that every Black man with a White woman [as Wife, Girlfriend or Date] has issues against Black women, nor are they all with these women JUST for their skin color. I completely believe that True Love knows no color, and sometimes you just can't control or choose who you fall in love with. So, this commentary doesn't really apply to them. HOWEVER, I think the Brother's who devalue Black women and then so proudly sport White women on their arms, are desperate, sad, and confused individuals.


18 August 2006

Nevaeh spelled backwards is HEAVEN...

Nevaeh spelled backwards is heaven.
I wish I didn't know that.
I've been saying it to myself all day.

I've been saying it all day because I heard it on the news a few days ago.

Nevaeh spelled backwards is heaven.
(see, there I go again)

The reason I keep thinking about this cute little name, which happened to belong to a three year old girl named Nevaeh Wanzer, is because little Nevaeh died yesterday. She died three days after an incredibly brutal beating at the hands of her mother's boyfriend.

The human pancreas is an interesting organ. In a three year old it is probably the length and size of an adult middle finger [give or take]. It is wedged between the large intesines, stomach, heart, lungs and kidneys. Pretty snug. Nevaeh's was RIPPED during her savage beating.

The trauma to her head was so severe that she suffered a stroke in BOTH halves of her brain.

Nevaeh spelled backwards is heaven.

The monster that did this to her is named Fateh Shafeek, the 30 year old live in baby-daddy to Nevaeh's mama's youngest child who is one year old. According to reports, Nevaeh took some scissors and cut some of her little sisters hair. This asshole, Fateh chose to discipline the three year old by choking and beating her until she passed out. From the pictures I've seen of this asshole, Fateh, he looks like a burned out drug-head. He looks like a human piece of shit.

Okay maybe I'm just bitter and angry because I 'm a parent and I know that there is no way heaven (which is Nevaeh spelled backwards) that I will have the opportunity to be alone in a room for three minutes with Fateh and my 5-iron. I picked three minutes because Nevaeh was three years old! But, I doubt if I would ever have a chance to show him how the last few minutes of her life felt. I doubt that I would ever have a chance to see if I could rip his pancreas or cause a double stroke in his brain. I kinda' think I could,

This kind of thing probably happens everyday in this country and is only reported in the Maryland, DC, Virginia region every few months. I know that no one is pyschic, and very few people can look into another's eyes and see them for the evil that they are. But I always ask myself, didn't these mothers get a sense that these men like Fateh are monsters? I know EVERY mother can't tell that her man is a nut case, but can't some tell? I mean, why do some mothers turn a blind eye to troubled men. Why are some mothers more concerned about losing a man than losing a child?

Nevaeh's Grandfather told people that he didn't trust Fateh, and had tried to get his daughter to leave him. But, no - she stayed with him. Now, I'm not saying she knew this guy would kill her baby, but this guy had a history of violence and frankly he looked like he had some screws loose. What made her stay with him. Didn't she feel it in the air? Didn't she feel the danger, the threat, the anger in the air.

Am I just crazy?
Am I just devastated that this little girl spent the last few minutes of her conscious life in sheer terror, being choked, punched, shook and pounded into darkness?
Am I angry that I can't do the same to him?
Am I angry that her mother brought Neveah's killer into her home?
I don't know...

But, do you know what I do know...
I know Nevaeh spelled backwards is heaven.


16 August 2006

I Blame it on the Dryer!

I GOT INTO A FIGHT, with this kid named George. It was really a grabbing and pulling match more than anything. He pushed on me, I grabbed him, we fell against a fence, I pulled on his coat, he held onto mine. I don't even think I dropped my book bag in this punchless showdown of four grade warriors. After 29 years, I have no idea of what we were 'fighting' about. It lasted for less than three minutes and I was home in less than five minutes after that.

Why was it that my mother was waiting at the back door for me when I got there?

She demanded, "Why were you and George fighting in the street, just now?"

I didn't curse back in 1978, but if I had, I would have said, "Ma, how in the hell did you know that?"

What had happened was, a woman up the street that knew my mother through another woman in the neighborhood, who also knew me and all my little buddies, called my mother to let her know I was acting in a manner - that was not proper for little nine year old boys.

YES, I got in trouble. I got in trouble because of the neighborhood network! What I would come to call in later years, "The Clothsline Syndicate".

I'm in my late thirties, and one of my most promanent memories as a pre-teen / teen was is of my mother, my next door neighbors, the rest of the ladies with back yards along our alley, and the rest of my buddies moms - all hanging up laundry to dry on Saturday afternoons. (Sure, us kids hand to hang up laundry too, but that's another blog for another time). This "Clothesline Syndicate" was how the neighborhood moms shared, information, news, receipes, and 'intel on us kids!' It was one of the key ways families got to know each other. A hand wave to the woman 6 houses up the alley and just out of shouting range! A casual stroll down the alley to complement the mom hanging up these cute "Tom and Jerry" bedsheets.

The "Clothesline Syndicate" was me and my crew got to be known by many of the moms in our Baltimore neighborhood. We were always treking up or down the alleys with footballs, baseballs or frisbees or bicycles looking for one another. We'd throw a wave to one of our buddies mom's, "Hi Missus' Brentley, can Kevin come out?" They'd nod and say, "Hey Ralphie, yeah he's upstairs in his room, go on up." Or, there were those times when we'd be somewhere we shouldn't be and the memebers of the "Clotheline Syndicate" would step out on the back porch and yell, "Cal-vin! Calvin come on in here!" Then you'd hear another voice a half block away calling, "Cal-vin! Your Mama is looking for you!" Then, "Here he comes!" And then Clavin would come trotting down the street.

Then the Clothesline Syndicate, died.

I Blame it on the dryer. When electric dryers became more affordable, and my mom and then Mrs. Brentley and Mrs. Newhaven, and Mrs. Jenkins, and Ms. Ellen got them. I saw less and less meetings at the clothelines. I saw less bed sheets waving like family flags from the clotheline flagpoles. I saw less and less of the mother's and mom's in my old neighborhood standing in the back yards talking, laughing and sharing kiddie intel.

I think Kenmore, Whirlpool and Amanna improved the quality and ease of washing clothes and keeping our fabrics clean. But, they killed the Clothesline Syndicate and changed forever the dynamic of our family and community. Some might even say - they ruined The Village.


03 August 2006

What about the DC kids....

With regards to my previous post about the DC curfew, someone commented:

"What about treating our young people like they're criminals? Kids are rounded up and taken to "processing centers." To me, these centers look like a way to enter young people into the industrial prison complex at an earlier age. What lesson does exposing our children to the police (who can't seem to prevent the murders) and the jail system send them? If the police were on the street to talk to kids, to engage them and understand their needs, that would be OK. We need to take our resources and give our young folks avenues of expression and education?"

I wanted to REALLY reply to this, so I decided to make it a post:

I'm a little on both sides of the fence and I hope I can explain myself clearly.

I don't think rounding up kids en masse and sending them to a jail-like facility is a good idea. Law Enforcement may be trying a bit of "scared straight" with the kids, but I'm personally not 'feeling' that approach. However, curfew violators need to be taken off the streets! SOLUTION - Parents need to respect the law, and if your kids are 16 years old or under, get them off the streets. Simple as that!!! Now, if you're one of these wimpy parents that like to piss and moan about your kids not wanting to listen to you, BE A PARENT, STOP TRYING TO BE A DAMN FRIEND TO YOUR KID! Punish them, take those video games, DVD players, MP3's, CD players, designer clothes, Internet, Cable TV, cellphones and expensive tennis shoes AWAY from them until they start listening to you!!! Nothing gets a kids attention like taking their shit away! If that doesn't work, these parents need to whup some asses! [ Tender hearts - PLEASE Save the moral high ground for somebody that wants to hear it! ], a good old fashioned ass whuppin' will get a lot of kids in line quickly! [ Anybody reading this above the age of 30 will probably agree with me! ] The bottom, bottom, bottom, line is this: Parents making their kids come in by 10:00PM will eliminate the problem of police roundups! PERIOD.

I tell my kid all the time, "I give you rules in the house so you will learn to follow them. When you don't follow my rules, there are various punishments. I want you to learn how to follow rules in the house, so that when you get bigger, and go outside into the world, you can follow the rules of the OUTSIDE world. Because, when you break the OUTSIDE rules, the punishment gets much much worse!" Parents need to prepare their kids.

Now, for the police-

I'm all for police being kinder and gentler and talking to kids and all, that's fine. I think there is always room for improved understanding and compassion between police and citizens and citizens and police - but lets be real here - COPS are NOT these kids PARENTS, it is not the responsibility of cops to hug and coddle and be warm and fuzzy with our kids! THAT is our job as our childrens parents! Don't get me wrong, I know cops aren't perfect, I'm not trying to say they are, they are people just like you and me - only, they carry guns and risk their lives every single day!

We as a community have to find a way to create better parenting situations among our young people. We need to stop these babies from having babies! For example, An 18 year old girl with three kids is in no way prepared or qualified to raise these future teenagers, anyone who thinks so, lives in Fantasytown DC. When this girl had her first kid, someone needed to take control of her life, but they didn't. It is this type of look-the-other-way attitude that creates so many unqualified parents in our community! We can't blame the cops when Sharondasia is 26 years old and the single parent of a 14 year old and an 11 year old that she can't [or won't] control in the streets of DC at 11:15PM.

And as far as cops not being able to stop these murders, Jesus Christ, just - where do you see "Protect,Serve and part the Red Sea" on your police officers badges? I'm the first person to tell you, cops aren't perfect [like I said above], but these people, like the guy that asked me the question above that think cops can stop murders. Sadly, you all need to get real. I mean really - that kind of statement is almost comical.

Look at the dynamic of a homicide:
16 y/o Johnny "J-Rock" Doe, drives his mothers car to Prince Georges county. He buys a 9mm Glock for $90 in the parking lot at Prince Georges Plaza and sticks the gun in his waistband. He then drives 14 miles to Benning road and walks up to a kid he doesn't like from school and he puts 3 bullets in this kid's head. Where exactly, do the Psychic Cops come into play? I mean - that is REALLY the only way they can stop a murder right?

Let's try it this way now... Johnny "J-Rock" Doe's, mother teaches him that when you don't like somebody, you either avoid them or you talk to them and try to find a happy median, but no matter what you do, you don't ever hurt anyone... TAA DAA! J-Rock's mama just stopped a murder! Imagine that!

Or, here's one more [since I'm feeling REALLY cynical tonight]
Bobby "Boo Boo" Jenkins, is carrying a five inch knife in his suede Timberland boot. He's 15 and he's hanging out in Barry Farms in Southeast DC. He gets into an argument with another 15 year old over the Washington Wizards. The other kid says, "Boo Boo, you're full of shit. The Knicks can't beat the Wizards." Bobby gets angry and stabs the other kid eleven times and kills him. Has anyone seen the magic, psychic cops anywhere? No.

Now, had Bobby's dad stressed non-violet conflict resolution to his little boy, in the years before this fatefull night, Bobby would have waved off this other kid when he said he was full of shit, and therefore - Bobby's DAD would have stopped a murder.

The reason a homicide is virtually impossible for police to prevent, is because by the very nature of the crime it is a secret. Few if any people walk down the street proclaiming, "I'm going to kill someone today!" On top of that, we have laws against illegal search and seizure, so police can't just walk up to shady looking characters and pat them down to look for a gun or a knife. So, until people become more intelligent, more compassionate, and more willing to settle disputes non-violently we are going to have homicides in our streets.

I simply hate when folks take the responsibilty of parenting off of the parents. And, I doubly hate it when these people expect cops and teachers to raise these kids, and when the kids fall short - they point the blame at law enforcement and the school systems! Yeah - I know... I'm a Black Man - I'm supposed to dislike cops and use my blog to talk about how racist and wrong police are... well, I'm sorry folks. I'm just NOT going to do that! I know that there are some cops that are racist, and some that don't like Black folks, and some that are corrupt and some that are violent - but I don't believe they are in the majority, so I'm not going to condemn the entire establishment - not at all. And, I'm going to close by saying this - for all those folks that want to blame the police for the problems our young people have, consider this - at 2:30 in the morning when we're warm in our beds and we hear someone walking around our home and we know it's not someone that lives with us, 99% of us are going to quietly pick up the phone and dial 911 and say, "Please send the police, right away!" and you know what, we're going to be damn happy when the cops get there! And, we're not going to be blaming them for our kids problems as they arrest a crackhead trying to climb out our window with our DVD player and X-Box!!!


01 August 2006

DC Curfew! What's up with that?

I have to admit that I am incredibly surprised by the public outcry against the 10:00PM curfew on DC kids 16 years and younger. People are really upset over this. There is a group called JUSTICE4DCYOUTH and another who's name escapes me and countless people throughout the community that are crying foul with the curfew component of DC's state of "Crime Emergency."

For those who may not know, The month of July in DC was marked by 17 homicides including a very high profile and divisive throat slashing in one of DC's more affluent communities, Georgetown. This crime was high profile because the man killed was a British citizen with significant political connections, and it was divisive because it seemed to be the sole catalyst for a declaration of a citywide state of "Crime Emergency." Part of this Crime Emergency is a mandatory curfew that requires teenagers 16 and under, who are not with a parent or coming home from work - to be in the house and off the street.

I expected a few people making a fuss, but it seems that a lot of folks are upset about this. ADULTS! Not just the kids!!! You have a lot of people that are saying things like,
"Why are you accusing the kids of committing crimes?"
"Why do the kids have to suffer?"
"Why are you punishing the kids?"
"They're not causing any trouble just hanging out on the corner?"

I personally think these people are missing the point. They're missing the big picture. Certainly there are some sad statistics about juvenile crime in DC (44 teens arrested for serious crimes in the week of June 26th and 82 teens arrested for serious crimes in the week of July 17th), but I believe the heart of this program is for the protection of DC teens. I've driven through parts of DC in the evening hours and it is amazing the number of kids that are hanging on some of the corners. Little kids, too. Just clusters of kids on the sidewalks and in the street itself. Simply put - DC streets [like many in big cities] are dangerous. Several teens have been shot and a few killed at late hours recently in DC and getting these kids off the street by 10:00PM may save a few lives.

Too many people are thinking DC teens are being blamed for ALL of the crime in DC. To these people I say, "Nobody is blaming every DC kid for every DC crime!" These people have to be realistic though, a good portion of DC crime is committed by people under the age of 18. [a 15 year old was one of 4 people involved in that Georgetown killing, and a 13 year old boy was shot to death by a group of three teenaged boys] So, getting some of the more troubled [yes, I mean 'dangerous'] teens off the streets is a side-bonus. The curfew may be saving them from themselves!

For those confused people that think teens under the age of 16 need to be out in the streets after 10:00PM to 'hang out' or 'chill out' or 'relax and unwind' - YOU NITWITS HAVE TO WAKE THE F*CK UP!!! There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING in the streets of the District of Columbia that is of benefit to these kids after 10:00PM! Standing around and dribbling a basketball between their legs; Slap boxing with their homies; Playing 'grab-ass' with the girls; and loudly rapping the profane lyrics of the most recent Paul Wall song - are of no benefit or value to the young people of DC.

Instead of all these bleeding hearts trying to keep hordes of unsupervised kids ON DC's violent and dangerous streets, I wish they'd use this same energy to get drug dealers and hustlers OFF the streets. People - we need to smarten up!!!