Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Whats Hot in the Streetz: People Who Drive Minivans

This just goes to prove something that I already knew. People who drive minivans have a unmatchable level of cool. Posse up!

Identifying the object of our outrage: Some notes on the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones

On Sunday, May 16, at a little after 12:40 am, Detroit police executed a raid on a home in which a murder suspect was thought to be hiding, and in the process of executing that raid, a police bullet entered the neck and head area of a seven year old girl, Aiyana Stanley Jones, sleeping in that home, and she subsequently died.

That much is known for sure; however, practically every other aspect of Aiyana’s tragic death is in dispute. And since I first learned of the incident, I have been calling around and scouring the internet for additional news, but the only thing forthcoming are accusations, speculation, and calls for and promises of justice.

And in my best estimation, we seem so caught up in the swirl of emotions surrounding the moment that the moment itself is momentarily forgotten and has become a victim of politics and personal agendas.

Everyone seems angry to the point of utter outrage that police should be so careless in their part in setting the stage for this child to lose her life, and rightly so, but this should not be the only reason we are outraged, and our outrage should not stop here.

First and foremost, we should be outraged that another child’s life has violently and tragically ended all too early. Keep in mind that it was the violent death of another child that led to the violent death of this child.

And we should be in a constant and unwavering state of rage that the violent deaths of children are not even that unusual anymore; they are, in fact, quite commonplace now. The United States has the dubious distinction of leading the world in homicides against children; this country alone accounts for about seventy-three percent (73%) of these homicides.

But it seems that only when such stories make the front page does our shock and outrage manifest itself; suddenly for a week or two, if that long, we are up in arms. We rant, and we rave. We point fingers and demand change. But the moment the media moves on to the next story, we forget.

Remember Derrion Albert? How long did we sustain our outrage over his death?  A week after his death it was all but forgotten.

Why are we not outraged all the time? Why is it not enough just knowing that somewhere right now some child is being abused to the point that death seems more desirable than life? Or that somewhere some child is being raped or otherwise sexually abused? Or that children are being sold for the purpose of sexual exploitation?

There are a number of questions that arise from this case. For instance, why would police stage a commando like raid using military style weapons and tactics in a residential neighborhood in a home in which they knew children were present?  That seems just an blatant and absolute disregard for the safety of everyone else in the home.  They seemed so intent on getting their man that nothing else mattered.

And why would the suspect, if he is indeed guilty of the charges brought against him, seek refuge in a home and area populated with children knowing that police were hot on his tail and how they would react once they found him? He, in effect, put that child in harm’s way. What is his culpability in this matter?

I am not saying that there is something inherently wrong with being angry; often anger is a natural and understandable response given the gravity of the situation. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that there is a certain romance in anger. Often anger and discontent with the status quo become impetuses for change.

However, anger just for the sake of being angry, anger just because everyone else is angry and/or because you think you should be angry, anger un-sustained even while the antecedent of that anger remains unchecked and unchallenged, is simply self-serving. I understand that you are angry.  You very well should be.  But as we move forward, what are you going to do about it?

A comprehensive list of links of organizations concerned with the welfare of our children.

Monday, May 17, 2010

John McCain’s circle of humiliation is now complete. “Just Build the Danged Fence” campaign ad now a Star Wars mash-up spoof.

The humiliation of John McCain is now complete.  His “Just Build the Danged Fence” campaign ad has now been made in a Star Wars mash-up spoof.  Senator McCain, please just retire because I hate to see you humiliated like this.

For the original "Just Build the Danged Fence" campaign ad, click here.

The Long Shadow Cast by Arizona SB 1070: Georgian College Senior Brought to this Country Illegally at Eleven Faces Deportation

Lately when bigots sense just a little bigotry afoot, they swarm to be a part of it.  I guess all those years living in such a politically correct society have left them eager to practice their bigotry openly now that racial prejudice and animus seem to be making a comeback.

Take, for instance, this case near Atlanta, Georgia.  A young Mexican girl, Jessica Coliti, was brought into this country illegally at the age of eleven.  Now she is a senior in college.  But recently during a traffic stop, she was found by police to be an undocumented alien.

After a month in detention, officials finally released her with a year long reprieve before being sent back to Mexico so that she might finish her degree.  Tragic story, but this is when the real foolishness begins in earnest.

As has become a common, recurring theme, a local politician running for higher office, Sheriff Neil Warren, seized upon the moment as an opportunity to score a few political points and strengthen his base.

Perhaps emboldened by the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, Sheriff Warren rearrested Coliti citing her presence in the United States without authority, violating Georgia law by operating a vehicle without a license, and “her blatant disregard for Georgia law by giving false information.” [source]

I’m sure Boss Hogg would have been so proud.

Arizona state officials have one thing right.  This nation needs a comprehensive immigration bill.  This case highlights just how desperately so.  However, their lamentations ring hollow when it has been Republicans who have consistently blocked any efforts to pass such a bill.  Maybe now that the topic is foremost on everyone’s mind, congress will be forced to act.

What do you think?  Should she be allowed to stay, or should she be made to return to Mexico.

h/t RiPPa

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Black Vote: Taken for granted, ignored, or necessary

The black vote is important because it represents the behavior of a group of people whose voting power had been denied for many years, both by political mandate and by threat of physical violence. However, the black vote is unique because African American voting behavior is intrinsically rooted in the people's history.

Since the Reconstruction, the general behavior of blacks is to vote in block, either for one party or the other. Until Roosevelt came into the presidency and began the New Deal, blacks were committed to the Republican Party.

So what happened? Looking back at the 2008 presidential elections, where blacks voted overwhelmingly Democrat, the question still remains: Just what went wrong or has changed? 

Tonight we'll break it down with a robust panel of guests representative of Democrats, Republican, and Independents. Most notably to present the case for the Republican party, will be Lenny McAllister, the Hip Hop Republican. Central to our discussion is the question: Which party today, best represents the interest of black America? Tonight, our guests will all make their best case for the parties with whom they identify. 

Do join us, feel free to share your opinions, and you be the judge, on Freedom Thru Speech Radio at 8pm EST/7pm CST.  You can listen through the show's platform by clicking here, or you can dial in on our special dial-in number at 914-803-8441.

Reason vs. Unreason: The Right's Argument Supporting the Arizona Ban on Ethnic Studies Is Falling Apart, but Do They Even Care?

As the discussion centered around the new Arizona law banning ethnic studies continues, the racist motivations and underpinnings of the law become plainer.  Opponents are definitely winning the war of reason, but does that even matter when proponents seem so unreasonable?   

Watch as sociologist Michael Eric Dyson completely annihilates Arizona state school superintendent Eric Horne.  Dyson posits a very concise, well-informed argument.  Too bad the right values racist, jingoistic, xenophobic rhetoric over reason.

h/t Chauncey Vega of We Are Respectable Negroes

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Easy Listening Gangsta Rap for You Aging Hip-Hop Heads: Boyz in the Hood by Dynamite Hack [NSFW]

A Few Burning Questions: Things that Make Me Go Hmmm

Okay, the weekend is upon us again.  It’s been a pretty good week.  It was pretty productive for me.  How about you?  I got a lot done, and I was still able to get me some rest.  I even managed to get a little time in for myself this week. 

But in my idleness, I began to think.  Well, I think all the time, but during this time, a number of questions came to me that I just can’t seem to answer.  Maybe you can help.

Why do people with foul breath like to chat so much?  I have a good friend.  He’s a very amicable fellow, loves to talk, and is an excellent conversationalist.  He can go on for hours and never be boring.  But his breath stinks.  He seems to have the condition that my uncle always referred to as zack-ly.  That is when your breath smells exactly like your behind.

And when you are talking to him, it’s almost like you get caught up in this foul green miasma.  Even after you are out of his presence, you can still smell his breath.  It’s almost as if it gets caught up in the fabric of your clothing or something.  He has to know his breath stinks to high heaven.  Can’t he see the disturbed, pained expressions on people’s face as they talk to him?  Why doesn’t he just shut up?

But speaking of chatty people…

Every time I am in a hurry and run into the store just to pick up a few items, I always end up in the line with the chatty check-out person.  Why?  I know this has happened to you.  You are in a hurry, but you have to stop by the store to quickly pick up just one item.  But there is just one line open, and that one line stretches to the back of the store, and the check-out person is the jolliest person who has ever lived and is holding marathon conversations with every customer.

All the while, you are looking on from your place at the back of the line and checking your watch, silently seething.  I do believe in service with a smile, and I love a cheerful check-out person, but by all means, greet the customer, smile, and keep the line moving.

But speaking of long lines…

Did Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton sell his soul to the devil in exchange for success?  Recently, I ran out of ink at about three in the morning, and I desperately needed to print a document.  So I saddled up and headed to Wal-Mart since that is the only thing seemingly open at that hour.  However, once I got there, I could not believe my eyes.

It was three in the morning, but at Wal-mart, it was like high noon on Main Street.  What in the hell of department stores are all these people doing out shopping at Wal-Mart in the wee hours of the morning?  And not only that, it was the motley-est, half-nakedest, most oddly clad, weirdest, most inbred, most tattooed and pierced bunch of human beings I have ever witnessed in the same place at the same time in my life.

It was if the dregs of the earth seemed to converge on Wal-Mart at the same time.  And there I was standing right in the midst of it all.  Suddenly the thought came to mind, if I am here with them, what is wrong with me?

But speaking of tattoos and piercings…

It seems that a number of young people are choosing to adorn themselves with a multiplicity of tattoos and piercings.  Do they ever expect to find a job?  In one of my classes, I have two students who are actually a married couple.  They are about nineteen or twenty years old and both are very smart and very attractive individuals.  They are perhaps the very best students I have had in quite a while.  But both are covered from head to toe in tattoos and piercings.

The young man even has this disk through his earlobes that is opening this big hole that is about one inch in diameter.  It certainly occurred to be that if they are in college, it could reasonably be assumed that they do desire to enter the workforce one day.  But who is going to hire them with them looking like that?

I checked my class rooster so that I might ascertain just what their majors might be, but it said undecided.  So, curiosity finally drove me to just ask them.  Both said that they planned to be elementary teachers after college.  Elementary teachers, huh?  Okay.

But speaking of jobs to do…

Why does my wife get to dictate what I do with my weekends?  Every weekend, my wife presents me with this honey-do list a mile long.  But she doesn’t refer to it as a honey-do list or a to do lists, but a list of “suggestions.”  She suggests that I do these things that weekend.  However, I know that if I don’t at least make an attempt to get to some of the things on the list, they’ll be repercussions and consequences.

Nothing on that list coincides with what I had planned for the weekend, my weekend that I earned through a week of tiresome, unrelenting work in the salt mines.  Well, today is my day.  Damn that list.  She knows what she can do with that list.  I tell you what I am going to do.  I’m going to…  Wait a minute.  Here she comes.  Gotta go.  Holla.

Do you have any burning questions to add to the list?

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop: Stephen Colbert castigates Glenn Beck for his pitiful attempt at channeling MLK

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Glenn to the Mountaintop
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

Could some please help me with something?  Could someone please answer one simple question for me?  Why do people continue to even listen to Glenn Beck and his unique brand of pious, pretentious pomposity?  Recently I saw pictures of a Tea Party protest, and some lady was holding a sign which read, “Think you for telling us the truth, Glenn Beck!”.  What?  Huh?

And why does it take supposedly comedy themed shows like Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert’s The Colbert Report to point out the gross inconsistencies in his message?  Is it because everything Beck says is so absolutely absurd that Comedy Central is perhaps the only logical place for it?

Friday, May 14, 2010

[Guest Post] Max, I am a white woman who dates Black men, but I absolutely abhor other white women who do the same. What do you think about that?

One thing I really enjoying about blogging is that you come in contact with a wide range of people you might never have come into contact with otherwise.  JuJuBe, a brand new voice in the brown blogosphere, is one of those persons.  Please do check out her site and give her encouragement.

Anyway, we had a discussion around a post I did almost a year ago entitled “Black Mothers, Black Sons, and Little White Girls.”  I found her take on the issue interesting, so I had her write it up. 

I really dislike seeing white women with Black men. Although I do not have children yet, I have always said I would be extremely upset if I had a son, and he brought home a white woman. The thing is, I AM a white woman. AND, I date Black men. So, why do I have an issue with OTHER white women dating Black men?

First of all, I find that most of the white women who DO date Black men do it for all the wrong reasons. Either they look at dating a Black man as some sort of  exciting new  adventure, OR they believe certain myths about Black male sexuality, OR they are trying to rebel against their parents, OR they want a "bad boy" and to them all Black men are "bad". It is not too often that I see white women with a Black man simply because she loves him.

The second issue I have with BM/WF couples is that MOST of the time, the white female wants NOTHING to do with Black females, and in fact disrespects Black females every chance she gets. She insists that if a Black female disagrees with something she says or does it is because all Black females are jealous of her. 

I have heard it time and time again: a white woman saying they she is not racist because she dates a Black men, and in the next breath go on to enumerate the reasons why she is better than a Black woman.

I also cringe when I hear that white women get offended when someone says her child is Black, protesting that her child is, in fact, biracial. It seems to me that they think that being biracial is somehow better than being Black.  And, they often insist on raising their children in their own little lily white world, surrounded only by their WHITE family, living in neighborhoods where their child is the only person of color, having their child attend schools with only white children.

Another issue I have with IR dating is with Black men who ONLY date white women. They give all sorts of reasons for why they prefer white women, and it usually has nothing to do with love, or even with attraction. To them, dating a white woman is "easier" than dating a Black woman. They have the impression that they can do whatever they want and not have to answer for it if they choose to be with only white women. For this reason, I will not date a man who ONLY dates white women.

A Black man who disrespects all Black women and embraces a white woman is disrespecting women as a whole because he is dating a woman based on a stereotyped assumption of behavior. Plus, these men often allow white women to disrespect Black woman, including his mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers. This is deplorable.

Personally, I see so much racism in the white community, including from people who are in interracial relationships, that when I have a child, I would not want my child to date a white man or woman. But of course, I cannot say I would feel that way if the situation actually presented itself. Maybe if I got to know the individual, they may show me something that makes me change my mind about them. 

I know, from my experience, friends and family members of men I date are often reluctant to accept me, for good reason. If 95% of white people ARE racists, which I believe to be true, then it is only natural for the friends and families of my boyfriends to be wary of me until I prove myself to them.

And, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I am perfect by any means. I grew up in my little insular white world believing the same stereotypes that are forced down our throats by the media, the educational system, friends and neighbors. Even though my parents were not blatantly racist, this society teaches white children that they are somehow better than other races. Even when it is not put in terms of race, the implication is there. It is there in the television shows we watch, the books we read, the things we are taught in school.

Personally, when I reached college, I realized there was a whole world out there that I knew nothing about, and I was determined to counter my own ignorance with the truth. Most white women do not feel the need to do that. The think that by having a few Black friends, or dating a Black man, they are “proving” they are not racist. Yet they still hold all of these prejudices near and dear to their hearts.

Until a woman is willing to reject and counter the racism in herself, she really should not be dating or marrying Black men, and she certainly should not be raising a Black child!

This ain’t your grandparents’ drug dealer. Or maybe it is. Eighty-three year old woman charged with selling crack.

When I saw this one, I didn’t know what to think.  We all have our own stereotypical ideas of what a drug dealer looks like.  But with the arrest of eighty-seven year old Ola Mae Agee, that stereotype has been completely and utterly shattered.

On Thursday, May 13, Police arrested the eighty-seven year old Pensacola, Florida, resident and charged her with selling cocaine after undercover sheriff’s deputies video-taped her selling a twenty dollar piece of crack.

Ola Mae got them jumbos y’all.

At first I approached this news item as the story of an elderly lady who was forced to do the unthinkable just to provide herself with the barest necessities, but then I found out that when she was seventy-three, she was charged with the same crime and served two years on probation.  

That makes her a habitual offender.  Ola Mae is a straight hustla’, baby!

But in all fairness, the sheriff’s department also speculates that others may also be dealing drugs from the house.  So, I would like to believe that perhaps she was somehow being manipulated by others due to her old age.  Or at least, I certainly hope so.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

California Newsreel Doc Blacking Up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Culture Free Online Until the End of May

California Newsreel is offering up another documentary for free viewing.  Black Up:  Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity critically examines the popularity of hip-hop among white youths in America.  What is driving this phenomenon, admiration or mockery?  Is this simply another episode of cultural theft?

The video will be available for perusal without charge until the end of May.  After then the documentary can be purchased simply by going to California Newreel's site.  A short trailer is embedded above. 

And a big hat-tip once again to Prometheus 6.  He has a definite knack for finding free stuff, but I ain’t mad at him though.

And John McCain Finally Nears Rock Bottom: Fellow Republicans Mock His Newest Campaign Ad

Conclusive proof that Senator John McCain has outlived his efficacy as well as his facilities of good judgment.  Watch as Joe Scarborough and fellow Republican Arizona Republican John Shadegg, along with the rest of the panel, laugh at McCain’s campaign ad, “Just finish the danged fence.”

He probably will win his re-election bid, but in doing so he will have also lost any self-respect he might have left.  Such a shame.  Who would have thought he would go from presidential candidate to this desperate, pandering foolishness?

So, Lawrence Taylor, you didn't have intercourse with that child but only masturbated? And that makes it better?

Yesterday morning TMZ reported that troubled former New York Giants linebacker and Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor now claims that he did not have sex with the underage prostitute he procured with the help of a gentleman who now faces charges under federal child trafficking statues for kidnapping, drugging, and offering the child up for prostitution.  And additionally, the condom found in the hotel room in which the sexual act was to have taken place did not belong to him but to someone else.

Instead, Taylor now claims through his lawyers that his purposes for hiring the young girl were purely masturbatory.  No intercourse took place between the two.

You don’t know how much better that makes me feel because when I first heard of the complaints against Taylor, I was somewhat disgusted and more than a bit outraged.  But now I’m relieved to know that he displayed such character in choosing not to participate in the further exploitation of this young lady and took his carnal pleasure into his own hands.

Man, Lawrence Taylor, you have got to be out of your drug-addled monkey mind.  You just masturbated and that makes it alright, huh?  Perhaps this latest claim, if believed by the court may result in lesser penalty, but that in no way makes it in the least bit better.  In my mind, you are still a lowlife degenerate perv bastard.

And it dawns on me that you may have a daughter or daughters yourself.  I remember a while back you were in hot water for not paying your child support.  What would be your reaction if someone kidnapped them, drugged them, and offered them for sex to some perv-ish former professional athlete?

Or perhaps you haven’t spent a whole lot of time with them.  It seems that after football you have spent the lion’s share of your time in and out of jail on crack cocaine charges and procuring prostitutes.  You, and people like you, make me cringe, Lawrence Taylor.

And speaking of cringing,

This video seems to be making the rounds on the internet as of late.  I actually came across it in several places before I decided to take a look:

Is it just me, or is this some abject foolishness?  What is wrong with us?  One the one hand, we claim to be appalled and outraged when our girls are exploited or otherwise misused, but on the other, we cheer and applaud when they are dolled up and paraded before us in hyper-sexualized situations labeled as harmless performances.  A bunch of pre-pubescent girls gyrating suggestively on stage ain’t in the least bit cute.

And recently, I came across a series on TLC entitled Toddlers and Tiaras which features a number of very young girls competing in beauty pageants across the country.  The girls were made up and glammed up to be damned, and wearing sometimes the very skimpiest of costumes, encouraged to strut about the stage in the most suggestive of manners. 

That’s simply disgusting to me.  And from all appearances, it seems this whole spectacle is for the benefit of the overbearing parents attempting to live through their children.

I’m in no way a prude, or at least I don’t believe myself to be, but there seems to be something wholly contradictory in our behavior.  And I really hope that I don’t seem to be speaking to you from atop a soapbox.  But from where I’m sitting, we cannot decry the sexualization and exploitation of our children in one arena while encouraging and applauding their sexualization and exploitation in another.

Certainly, the kidnapping and prostitution of children is not commensurate with these over-sexualized performances, but they do seem to be simply flip sides of the same coin.

Am I wrong?  Am I over-reacting?

Lewis Black Concludes that Glen Beck Has Nazi Tourettes

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Sitting in on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Lewis Black delivers one of his trademark over the top rants in pointing out the irony of Glen Beck taking offense at protesters labeling the Arizona immigration law as Nazi-like.  I always enjoy a good Lewis Black rant, but this one is one of the best. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Shopping Cart with the Shaky Wheel Theorem: Is It Just Me, or Does President Obama Seem to Be Veering a Bit to the Right?

Since President Obama assumed the presidency, he seems to be doing a credible job.  He got off to a shaky start, mind you, but since his early mis-steps and mis-calculations, he has come into his own.  I do believe, however, that his early mis-steps and mis-calculations may have given the GOP a foot in the door in the mid-term elections that they might not have otherwise.

But the president does have a certain predilection that I find curious, that I cannot quite figure out.  Let’s see if I can explain it with this analogy.

Have you ever gone to the supermarket and gotten that grocery cart with the shaky wheel?  You know the one.  No matter how hard you try to prevent it, the cart keeps veering in one direction.  Sometimes it’s simply a minor annoyance, but at other times, it bgecomess so utterly aggravating that you just leave the cart there in the aisle in the middle of the store and stamp back to the front to get another cart.

That’s how President Obama’s presidency appears at times.  It seems that despite the direction we would like him to go, he keeps seemingly veering right. 

Take for instance his nomination of Harvard legal scholar Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.  Admittedly, I know very little about Kagan, but that’s just it.  No one seems to know much about Kagan.  Since she has never been a sitting judge, she has no important rulings that we might have to examine. 

And despite her being a long time legal scholar, it appears she has produced very little in the way of scholarly writing that we might examine to determine her legal inclinations.  Besides that, her record of hiring minorities while serving as the dean of the Harvard’s law school leaves a lot to be desired. 

She’s basically an unknown quantity;  we have no idea what we are getting , so we cannot be positively sure it’s what we really want, if she’s really the change we voted for. 

And in addition to Kagan’s nomination, the evidence of President Obama’s tendency to veer right abounds.  When he assumed office, he kept many of his predecessor’s policies in place much to our chagrin.  And in putting together the HCR package, he seemed to stack concession to the demands of the right on top of concession even when it became apparent that the right just might not be negotiating in good faith.

When we throw in his reluctance to do away with DADT once and for all, his Bush-lite like policies toward the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his plans to expand offshore drilling, and numerous other lingering glances to the right, you just have to stop and wonder.

Perhaps it is simply a case of political exigency.  Certainly, Kagan’s nomination might be considered to be a shrewd move;  the paucity of information to sift through gives the GOP little ammunition in attacking her which, of course, we know they’ll do anyway no matter who the nominee might have been.

And in the uber-contentious, partisan climate of today’s Washington, such forays rightward might be necessary in order to gain political traction.  And keep in mind that to win elections, to remain in favor, President Obama must appeal to moderates and Independents. 

It is the base from which you receive your support, your energy;  however, no national politician can win without the votes of moderates and Independents.  It’s always a precarious balancing act, placating your base while maintaining the support of moderates and Independents.

And if this is the case, I do understand.  After all, the game’s chess not checkers.  But again I believe President Obama to be doing a great job.  I’m not being critical just for the sake of being critical.  I just wish that every once in a while, he would give just a nod and a wink to those of us who are just a bit left of center.

Do you think that President Obama has a tendency to veer left?  If so, what do you think of this?  Is it simply a case of political necessity?
Related Posts with Thumbnails