Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The "urban veteran."

A couple of incidents during the course of the day influenced me asking the following question:

Can just living in the "hood" expose you to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

I ask because I had some professional interaction with a gentleman today, who informed me, in no uncertain terms, that he cannot work, or even think about keeping a job, because as an "urban veteran", he suffers from PTSD.

" I am sorry sir. Were you in the military?" Oh no Mr. Field, but I live in Southwest, and as a black man, yourself, I am sure you understand what I go through on a daily basis. After you reach a certain age, a lifetime of living in the hood takes its toll on you and you just can't function." "Sir, I don't want to sound insensitive to your position, but have you ever considered moving?"

I know I know, that was kind of harsh, but I was having a bad day.

Still, I have been thinking about what that man told me, and you know.....hey, the guy might have a point. I am not a psychiatrist, and for professional reasons I can't get into too much more of what went down with the guy, but let's just say that the guy had some legitimacy to him. And before any of you reading this go thinking that the guy is full of it, think again. There are others out there legitimizing what the guy was saying.

Then,to top it off, I saw this story from Detroit. It's urban tragedies like this one ---which plays itself out in so many cities in A-merry-ca on a daily basis--- which led me to the question I asked in the second sentence of the post. We know about the knuckleheads running around and destroying our communities, but what about the people who have to live among them? How is the senseless and random violence and the fear of living with it affecting them?

Veterans coming back from the horrors of foreign wars fall victim to PTSD all the time. Does living in an A-merry-can city and surviving the mean streets that come with them qualify the survivors as veterans as well? Military veterans suffer from various forms of emotional trauma. Apparently urban veterans do, too.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"If I knew then what I know now I would have picked my own damn cotton!"

I bet that infamous quote has been on the lips of lots of white folks lately. I know it was running through poor Mr. Ricci's mind back in 2003, when he thought he passed a test given by the New Haven fire department to promote 15 captains and lieutenants; only to be told that the test would be tossed because none of the black applicants passed.

Well worry no more Mr. Ricci; today the supremes vindicated you and they said that the city of New Haven was wrong to throw out the test. Yep, it was 5-4 for your team and zero for the black guys. That will teach them to pass over more qualified firefighters for less qualified blacks. Well, actually field, that isn't exactly true, no one was passed over. And field, what about the poor black firefighters? Haven't black fire fighters all over the country been discriminated against and suffered racism from their supposed comrades on the various ladders? Really? Prove it. Well, how about this:

".. In New Jersey in 2006, two black fire officers from Camden won a suit that included evidence that African-American firefighters were abandoned by white ones at the scene of a fire, that beds in the firehouse were divvied up by race, and that a white fire chief had told one of the plaintiffs, "I am better than any 10 of you fucking black guys." A federal appeals court the same year found Cleveland liable for putting most of its African-American firefighters in one battalion, which became known as "Monkey Island."

Oh that's you black folks just being sensitive again. You people are so sensitive and always causing trouble. Look, you won a few of these battles in the early seventies due to some isolated incidents but........but field, they won battles in Philadelphia, New York, Newark, Baltimore, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Bridgeport (which just happens to be the city over from New Haven). Okay, so there were a couple of cases. But what does that have to do with now? You blacks need to study and work harder if you want to be rewarded. The poor guy (Ricci) was dyslexic for crying out loud!

The truth is, the "New Haven 20" (That has a nice civil rights sounding ring to it) are great A-merry-cans, they challenged the political correctness police and won. No more affirmative action? Well, not quite, field. The court's ruling was very narrow, today. They didn't actually address the issue of affirmative action but chose to focus on Title VII and work place discrimination. The city of New Haven anticipated a lawsuit from the black firefighters and the supremes were all over that. And the ruling was still pretty close. "The court noted that despite what otherwise would have constituted a "prima facie" showing of disparate impact race discrimination, several defenses were available to the city--namely that the exam at issue was job related, consistent with business necessity, and there existed no equally valid, less discriminatory alternative that suited the city's needs but was not adopted.."

Hmmmm, well, whatever, you democrats can spin it all you want, it's still a punch in the gut for Ms. Sotomayor. Some of my republican friends sure seemed thrilled:
“Every citizen has a right to have his or her case heard by a judge who will rule on the laws, the facts, and the Constitution—and not play favorites. This case sharpens our focus on Judge Sotomayor’s troubling speeches and writings, which indicate the opposite belief: that personal experiences and political views should influence a judge’s decision. That theory is a breathtaking departure from the proper role of the American judge and will clearly be the subject of questioning at the upcoming hearing.”..This case will only raise more questions in the minds of the American people concerning Judge Sotomayor’s commitment to treat each individual fairly and not as a member of a group.”

That was my main man, Jeff Sessions, the ranking republican on the Judiciary Committee. You go on Jeff, you might as well score some political points to go along with your victory. Way to throw that Obama pick, Sotomayor, in the mix. Yeah wasn't this her baby? Well, not really field, she was on a three Judge panel of the Second Circuit Court Of Appeals who simply refused to hear the case. And the full Second Circuit court voted 7-6 to deny a rehearing. So from a legal standpoint, what she did was not that radical. Actually, she practiced what republicans are always calling for: "Judicial restraint". Besides, read this quote:

"...[in] Ricci, five justices of the Supreme Court narrowly reversed the ruling of the Second Circuit, which had been supported by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, many states, the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties. The lower court’s ruling in Ricci was also supported by the majority of the Second Circuit, including judges appointed by Democratic and Republican presidents. "

Ahh that's just democrats talking, again. What do they know?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Voting Rights from a wingnut's perspective.

I tried to watch the BET Awards tonight, but after seeing T-Pain's dumb ass go on stage with what was literally a "big ass chain" (yes, a big ass chain that said "big ass chain" on it) I just couldn't watch anymore. I decided to come and do some work and blog, instead. I will let you all tell me about it. That is, of course, if you are still watching and didn't decide to turn it off like moi.

Anyway, tonight I want to talk about a fellow member of the Pennsylvania Bar, Christine Flowers, who wrote an article comparing our rights to vote in this country with what has been happening in Iran. She started off alright when she said the following:
'WHERE is my vote?" screamed the protesters in the streets of Tehran. Bloodied opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made their disenfranchisement public and demanded that the world pay attention. And we did, using the magic of the Internet, logging on to Twitter and YouTube, and sharing, in real time, the agony of the Iranian people. We watched, horrified, as one young woman was murdered by government thugs and we witnessed the beatings of countless others.

Votes are precious currency. We pay for democracy with each ballot, each inked finger, each raised hand. The right to self-government isn't free - it's purchased from citizens at a sometimes monumental price. And when those votes are stolen in any way, tyranny takes root. That appears to be what happened in Iran. And it's also what happened in this country at times in our history when huge swaths of our citizens were denied a voice in governance.

It was the days of Jim Crow and gerrymandering, when voting districts in the South were structured so that the black vote was watered down or, in the worst cases, eliminated altogether. A time when men in white sheets did their dirty deeds with ropes and crosses at midnight.

Eventually, we found a way to dismantle the hateful oligarchy of the racists. It was called the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and gave the federal government unprecedented power to oversee local elections to ensure that every citizen of the Deep South, especially those once counted as three-fifths of humanity, could cast their ballots.

It worked. And it deserves to be recognized as one of the pillars of evolving social justice, along with the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act and Brown v. Board of Education. But this doesn't mean that, 40-plus years after the fact, it can't be revisited to see if perhaps some of its provisions are dated and no longer relevant. Of course, don't tell that to the New York Times editorial board, the American Civil Liberties Union and many other groups for whom the mere notion that you could even think of revisiting the VRA is heretical.

And it's exactly why they trembled when the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to Section 5 of the act, thinking that the conservative justices would be able to overturn four decades of progress with a stroke of their mean-spirited pens.
Surprise! It didn't happen."

Okay Christine, so it didn't happen, (no thanks to Clarence) but you shouldn't be gloating because the fact that you folks on the right think that Section 5 of the act should even be revisited at this particular time in our history, just goes to show how out of touch you really are.

Anyway, I said Christine's article started off okay, but then it ended like this:

"...Back in 1967, my father spent a summer in Mississippi registering black candidates for office and black citizens for the vote.

He came back with stories of little children using the "n-word" and "Yankee lawyers" dodging spit - and worse. He wrote in his diary that "It made me feel very ill to know that there were people in America who differed very little in my judgment from those who manned Auschwitz in 1944."

And that's why, 40 years ago, that law was a godsend. But as Chief Justice Roberts noted in his majority opinion, today "minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels." He also observed that when Congress renewed the act in 2006, it relied on data more than three decades old. Talk about back to the future.

You'd think we could sensibly judge for ourselves whether in 2009, with a black president sitting in the Oval Office after a serene and glitch-free election - and a black woman being one of the richest and most influential figures in the country - the Voting Rights Act could withstand a sensible critique - especially in utility-district voting in Texas.
YOU'D also think that, given what's happening in Iran, we could look at ourselves honestly and say, our votes, once threatened, are now safe.
At the very least, if we want to maintain the fiction that black voters are still denied their full rights at the ballot box, we could also acknowledge that white voters who are intimidated by Black Panther thugs at Philadelphia polling places should get the same federal protection.

But when the Justice Department shelves the prosecution of those thugs, you have your answer. I guess the times are indeed a-changin' - in some unexpectedly interesting ways."

"Our votes...are now safe"? Christine, of course, makes the classic mistake that so many whites make when the view the achievement of black folks as a collective: They cherry pick the few of us who have achieved to extraordinary levels in this country, in spite of racism.

And finally, she ends her article by telling a flat out lie. Those "Black Panther thugs" intimidated no one, and they were at very few polling places on election day in November of 2008 here in Philadelphia.
So what started out as a decent article which seemed like, for once, the issue of race was going to be given fair treatment by a wingnut, pretty much turned out how I suspected it would: Wrong.

I am sorry you didn't surprise me, Christine. But I am sure you are not.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

You know I have to keep it real with you.

That's why I want to talk about something that has been bothering me ever since we lost the King Of Pop on Thursday. It's the other half of Rev. Inc. Am I the only one who thinks that Jessie is way over the top inserting himself as the family spokesperson for the Jacksons? Like WTF? Look, maybe I am wrong, and maybe they asked him to be their spokesperson throughout this terrible time for them. But if they did, I am still not sorry about this post, because that's just the way I feel. Hey, Jessie made me this way. He has a history.
Honestly, I know the family is upset about the circumstances surrounding the gloved ones death, not to mention the lack of access to him in the months leading up to it. (Mike's doctor has some [as Ricky Ricardo used to say] "splainin" to do) Still, where did Jessie come from? And how about the other half of Rev. Inc? He has been all over the television in this Michael Jackson news cycle as well. And he has also become somewhat of an unofficial family spokesperson. I am sorry, but we just don't need Rev. Inc. overkill right about now.

And wait; it's not only Jessie and Al. I have seen former choreographers, make up people, some guy who met Mike in a bathroom after his trial, some lawyer who worked for a lawyer who represented Mike back in the day, some guy who made a comic book about Mike; and on and on. These networks are digging up anyone they can find with some kind of connection to Mike (any connection) to jump on their station and give their two cents. I saw some lady on Geraldo and I swear they made up her bio. Who are these people that keep crawling out of the woodwork to get their own shine from this tragedy? It's sick and pathetic, and they need to stop.

If you don't have a legitimate connection to MJ, such as a family member. Or if you were not in his inner circle within say the last ten years, I don't want to hear shit you have to say. I just don't.

Which leads me to Rev. Inc. again. They have been all over the networks. Part of it,I understand, is no fault of their own, because these networks have Jessie and Al on speed dial. Black icon dies? Call Rev. Inc. Trouble in the black community? Call Rev. Inc.

I guess my problem with Rev. Inc. is that they don't always have to answer the call.

Hi Rev. Sharpton? Yes, this is Bob, the producer from CNN. I was wondering if you could come on our network tonight and talk about Michael Jackson for us?

Well I have a sermon to deliver, but it can wait. What time do you need me?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Here goes another one.

When are these house Negroes going to learn that it's not cool to violate the public trust? As if Motown doesn't have enough problems, here comes Monica Conyers (The wife of congressman John Conyers) pleading guilty to conspire to take a bribe. You all know how I feel about black elected officials who get into power and give the rest of us their asses to kiss while they live high on our dime. The shit is repugnant and it is seriously house. They love money so much that they betray the very people who put them in office to get it.

This woman was the City Council President Pro Tem but she didn't act in the best interest of the people of Detroit. Instead, she acted in the best interest of a company called Synagro Technologies. Oh field how do you know that she really did it? How do you know that she wasn't set up by "the man"? Well, if she was, it was a hell of a set up, because she pleaded guilty. And the facts just don't look good. I mean, let's see now, meeting someone in a parking lot to take an envelope of cash on behalf of Synargo Technologies? Yeah, if I were her lawyer I would probably advise her to plead guilty, too. That, coupled with the fact that she suddenly switched her vote to get the company a 5-4 vote in their favor, pretty much sealed the deal for me.

So here we go again; another depressed predominantly black city, being let down by the people who are supposed to be helping the plight of the citizens within its concrete walls. But I am sure she will serve her time or pay her fine, and the citizens of Detroit will just embrace her like they did another one of their disgraced officials.

"On the sidewalk, Kilpatrick stood for a long moment amid bright television camera lights, a crush of awaiting reporters and swirling snowflakes, smiling occasionally to those in the crowd who called his name and shouted: 'We love you, Kwame! Detroit loves you, baby!"'

Maybe I shouldn't feel so sorry for the good people of Detroit. They deserve everything that they ask for.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The end of an icon.

If you told me that I would outlive Michael Jackson, I would have told you no way. Honestly, MJ is one of those people who you just knew would live forever. We thought of the possibility of other artists and iconic people dying, but never Michael.

I grew up with the guy, and I am sure that damn near all of you reading this did as well. He just seemed like one of those constants: Death, taxes, and Michael Jackson. But no more. That part of A-merry-can music history died today in a Bel-Air mansion at approximately 4:00 PM EST. That white glove and the red jacket will be in the Smithsonian one day. (If they are not already.) The guy was that much a part of A-merry-cana.

To us black folks this loss is especially hard, because no matter how hard he tried to change himself and run away from who he was, many of us still accepted him. He was the same little Michael from Gary, Indiana that he was four noses ago. Maybe it's because we understood that he grew up on the stage and under the eyes of a taskmaster like unforgiving father. Maybe it's because we understood that he never really had a childhood and for all his talents, he was somewhat of a pathetic figure. And then, of course, there were the alleged little boys. None of us can pretend that the ugly trial didn't take place. We all whispered about it long before the trial, and even after he was acquitted of those horrible charges, many of us still believed that the whispers were true. And still, in spite of all that, we accepted him. Oh we killed him for those and other indiscretions, and rightfully so, but at the end of the day, he was fam.

We forgave because he broke barriers. He was the first black artist to really get some shine on MTV. He turned white folks on to our music and the way we dance to it. (Who can forget Michael moon- walking into white A-merry-ca's living rooms and their hearts?) And he crossed over and got paid. (Yes, we celebrated the fact that he got paid. Because contrary to what plenty of you believe; black folks aren't all crabs in a barrel)
But we loved him mostly for what he gave us: The memories. Those old J-5 albums: The Love You Save; ABC;Dancing Machine;One More Chance. Pick one. Anyone. I am sure you would be picking a memory right along with it. I watched some of those old J-5 routines on television tonight, and I got goose bumps. (Oh if that Michael Jackson could have still been with us) I felt a profound sense of sadness, because it reminded me of a youth and an innocence that I will never get back. In a way, Jackson's dying closes that chapter, and I never wanted to say goodbye.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The most dangerous Negro in A-merry-ca!

I was going to post about my man Casanova Mark tonight, but that would have been too easy.

Nope, instead I want to talk about a man who is so repulsive and disgusting to me, that after this post, I promise you I will be taking a shower.

Some sister must have really done Clarence wrong back in the day, because that Negro seriously hates his people. I bet he vowed to get the entire Negro race back for those black folks who dissed him in his early life.

Honestly, how could Uncle Clarence be the only one of the Supremes to vote against not scrapping a certain provision of the Voting Rights Act? (He even went against his closet lover, Antonin Scalia, on this one) A provision which pretty much insured that certain states would not be messing with the civil rights of minority voters? Has this Negro taken leave of his senses? Does he just do this kind of shit to get attention? Folks, believe me, in spite of what some folks in certain states would have you believe, that provision is still needed today. Those pesky little literacy tests could come back faster than you can say Jig Clarence, Jig.

It has gotten so embarrassing that even white folks are making fun of his dumb ass.

And if you think I am kidding about Uncle Clarence, read Ofari Hutchinson's article again; the man (Clarence) does have some serious pay back issues. I mean it is just not healthy.

But is this the way to do it? How could anyone want to be remembered this way; as a clown and a lightweight among his peers and a pariah within his own race, not to mention his family? Well, if you are slave catcher extraordinaire, Clarence Thomas, I guess all of this doesn't really matter, it's all about preserving his legacy as A-merry-ca's number one "Tom".

"Thomas's mean-spirited and vindictive views and legal opinions on the death penalty, age and gender bias, first amendment, prisoner rights and affirmative action cases were well known by the time he hit the court in 1991. It can hardly be said that Thomas latched on to judicial conservatism solely to curry favor with white conservatives to snatch a seat on the high court. He believes what he says and writes even when others don't and can't. But even if he didn't he'd still say and write the ridiculous thingach! s [sp] he does that masquerade as dissenting legal opinions. He's simply fulfilling his vow of payback."

And the church said preach!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The "hiking" excuse.

How many of you fellows who happen to have a significant other have to beg to get out of the house to play a round of golf with the fellows or hang out at happy hour? Don't act like it's just me, you all have to do it. You can't just pack up the golf clubs on a Sunday morning and say; honey I am off to the golf course, I will see you around six o clock tonight. Ain't happening.

Which brings me to my man Mark Sanford. Mr. Sanford happens to be the governor of the fine state of South Carolina. My man just up and went MIA on his family--- not to mention his state-- for four days. FOUR DAYS! Yep, seems he had been missing since Thursday. No phone call;no text; no letter. Just poof! The dude just vanished into thin air. Sort of. Now I would be the last person to tell a man that he shouldn't be able to go off and find himself, lord knows that it must be hard to be a republican governor in the age of Obama. But my goodness man; on Father's Day weekend? Doesn't this man have children? Shame on you Mark for abandoning your family without letting them know of your whereabouts. "Sanford’s wife, Jenny Sanford told the Press today that her husband Sanford needed some time away from his children in order to write something and thus he had gone somewhere for several days and even she do not have any idea that where he is now a days. No one knows where he has gone. Either the earth has swollen him or the sky has eaten him. We all wish to see him back safe and sound. " Mrs. Sanford may I suggest a Lo Jack. Mark, just be glad that you aren't married to a sister, because if you were, the state flags would be flying at half- staff right about now. And you sure couldn't use the hiking excuse. Field where the hell were you? Ahhh honey, I was out "hiking" with the fellows..... yes, I am sure you get the picture.

And speaking of the state; how could you do that to the citizens of your fine state, not to mention your number two man. " Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R), in a statement last night, said that his staff had been misled into believing that Sanford’s staff had spoken to him and knew of his whereabouts. “I cannot take lightly that his staff has not had communication with [Sanford] for more than four days,”

I wouldn't take that shit lightly either Mr. Bauer. But check the lines around that man's eyes, he could have been seeing one of those human body repair people if you know what I am saying. The man is, after all, getting ready for a presidential run. At least he was until he fooled around and did his best Ambrose Bierce impersonation for us.

But all is well that ends well. Daddy is home. And now the people of South Carolina and Mrs. Sanford can relax. Unfortunately for the GOP, it looks like yet another challenger to his O ness has fallen by the wayside.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cheap wingnut tricks.

Have you all been paying attention to the latest political debate over the showdown in Iran? If you haven't, you have been missing some of the best examples of political hypocrisy since Newt and his boyz impeached Bubba.

Here we have the neocons and some (I say some because not all the folks on the right have lost their minds) of their cronies from the right, imploring his O ness to more openly embrace the people of Iran and show them that the A-merry-can people are behind them.

These clowns have been channeling their inner Reagan and they have been making fools of themselves while doing it. I mean let's ask ourselves; what is it, exactly, that they would want Obama to say to these folks? How could he possibly make the situation on the ground there better by stating the obvious? Do these idiots realize that having a sitting A-merry-can president praise the protesters is exactly the type of fuel the Mullahs want for their fire of hatred for the west? Here is a news flash for you clueless neocons: There is nothing republic about the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Mullahs and the Supreme Leader, Ali Hoseini Khameini, have the final say so in their state of affairs, so whether it's Mousavi or Ahmadinejad, it doesn't really matter. It is, after all, a Theocracy. So please folks, don't expect to be partying in downtown Tehran to Kanye West tunes anytime soon. The fact that the Mullahs have come out for Ahmadinejad kind of gives you an idea of where their heads are. If his O ness seems like he is meddling they will only use it as an excuse to bash the "great Satan" to the Iranian people and change the subject from the real issues. The Mullahs are good at this type of stuff, apparently they trick their own people all the time."They tricked us into this whole thing. They got us out in droves, only to fool us and credit themselves...I even got five of my family members who had not voted since the revolution to come out and vote. Shame on me!" I shouldn't have had to explain that. But then again, we are talking about wingnuts, here.

Still, these neoclowns will hear none of it. They want a Reaganesque quote: "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Nothing else will do. Supreme Leader Khameini, drop those tear gas canisters. Give me a break! Hey, don't get me wrong, I feel for people like Neda Soltan, but whatever Obama said or didn't say was not going to affect her fate one way or the other.

And finally, here is a little bit of irony to consider: Neda might not even have been alive to protest if the neocons had their way. The very same neocons who are now screaming for us to stand behind the Iranian people would have bombed them into oblivion if they had their way under the frat boy. In fact, for awhile FOX was pushing it so hard, that I started to wonder if they didn't already plan a reality series around it. The Bombing of Tehran, see how ordinary Iranians cope with American might. Let me stop. But you get the idea. These people are sick.

Let's not forget folks. The people protesting for their freedom in Iran, are, for the most part, brave and courageous. The people in this country who are using their protest to score political points, are slimy cowards.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Promoting away an education.

"The pressure to pass students - even those who rarely go to class or can't read - is pervasive in the Philadelphia School District, teachers around the city say. The push comes in memos, in meetings, and in talks about failure rates that are too high, the teachers say. It comes through mountains of paperwork and justification for failing any student. It comes in ways subtle and overt, according to more than a dozen teachers from nine of the city's 62 high schools."

'We have to give fake grades," said a teacher at Mastbaum High in Kensington. "The pressure is very real..."' The thing is, we're not asked to educate our kids. We're asked to pass them," the Gratz teacher said. At Olney West, a teacher said she had received warning calls after failing students.'I'll get a phone call saying, 'Are you sure he earned a 58? Are you sure it wasn't a 65?' the teacher said. 'To me, if a student has 80 absences, the question should be, 'Why did they pass? and not, What are you doing so they don't fail?' "

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am totally against social promotions. I think it is one of the things destroying many of our inner city schools. Teachers have a hard job, and if anyone says that they aren't, for the most part, underpaid, that person must be living on the planet Dreamland. Read the quotes from some of our teachers under siege (and not from students per se. But from administrators and bureaucrats) here in Philly again. Is it any wonder that our murder rate is where it is?

The quotes in the first rwo paragraphs were taken from a Philadelphia Inquirer article which dealt with the subject. Clearly there is a problem in our schools with social promotions, and teachers and other educational professionals are finally speaking out about it.

Of course, as with most of these types of issues, there are two different points of views. There are some people who take the opposite view and who actually argue that social promotions are good. How else, they argue, would these students be able to graduate from their respective schools? Not socially promoting them could devastate them psychologically and do more harm than good in the long run. The dropout rates would be huge, and the end result would be children with no shot at getting even what would be considered a low paying job.

Well, I am not buying it. The kids who are socially promoted do no better in the long run than if they had been held back. Of course the social promotion advocates disagree:"They never really catch up.... They are stigmatized, and that makes it worse." So says one Ivy League expert on the subject. And my question to that would be how and when are they going to catch up if we just give them a degree and send them off into the world? Sorry, I am not buying it.

Of course the real problem is that many of these kids are coming from homes which makes it so much worse for them from the jump. Their backgrounds are so messed up and full of obstacles that by the time they get to school learning plays second fiddle to just surviving. But I am sorry, these kids usually hold back the kids who really want to learn, and they can be disruptive to a good classroom environment when they do decide to come to school.

So in the end, my position on this issue might seem harsh, because it would seem as if I am not considering these other variables, but I am. It's exactly why I would would hold these children back and work harder to educate them and prepare them for a future in the work place. Hey, I know that when it comes to this issue I come down on the same side with the folks from The Manhattan Institute , for crying out loud, but sometimes good ideas makes strange bedfellows.

Before I go, this is a good time to segue into the next subject; a tribute to my father.

He was the smartest man I ever knew, but he never acted like it. He knew famous and powerful people, but he was most comfortable with the people you and I would pass on the street everyday and not even know they were there. He was loved and respected by more people than I will ever know in my life, and to this day, because of the legacy he left me, I am treated by the people who knew him with the kind of respect that I could never earn for myself.

He believed in education, family, and hard work. And he believed in treating others like he would want them to treat him.

Finally, he taught me to respect people for who they were and not for what they had.

Thanks Dad. You raised me in the house, but you gave me a value system straight from the fields.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Coming to an art gallery near you.

When I was a teenager growing up in Mandeville, Jamaica, I took a street sign from one of the town's streets (Sorry Mayor Charlton) and put it in my room. I don't know why I did it, it just seemed like something to do.....wait, I just thought about something: Maybe it wasn't me, yeah, that's the ticket, I didn't steal that sign, I got me confused with someone else. :)

I mentioned that street sign incident, because I want to talk about Joseph Carnevale, the North Carolina State student who allegedly commandeered a bunch of traffic barrels for the purpose of creating art.

Now I won't front, I like Carnevale's art, and I think his idea was somewhat ingenious. And apparently I am not alone. Carnevale is a hero to some and has gotten very popular thanks to the Internet. So much so that the very construction company who owns the barrels he allegedly destroyed now wants him to recreate his art at their headquarters.

Go figure. But the police won't drop the charges, they are still charging him with vandalism, and I suspect that they will take it to the max.
Anyway, here is my question: Should he be prosecuted given the totality of the circumstances surrounding his case? Should people get to slide when they break the law because they happened to do something clever and ingenious while breaking it? Personally, I think not. Joseph Carnevale, if found guilty, should face the consequences of his actions. Some of the stuff I see with urban graffiti is clever and creative, but I want them prosecuted as well, because they tag other people's property. So sorry Joseph, you don't get a pass.
"I had the idea in class that morning, and it kind of grew in my head, until it was something I had to do," You know what Joseph? I have this idea about Lark Voorhies all the time, but it stays in my head if you get my drift. We can't always act on our ideas and thoughts.

Oh field, you are such a hypocrite. You did something similar when you were a youngster and got away with it, and now you want this guy to pay for his crime? Wait, I thought I said that wasn't me?
If Joseph is prosecuted I wouldn't feel too sorry for him. I am sure that he will be coming to an art gallery near you very soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"The end of civil rights"?

I have been thinking about civil rights a lot lately, and how far we have come as a country from the dark days of Jim Crow and the likes of Bull Connor. I look around and there are positive signs of progress and people of conscience among us who no doubt will make whatever battles we face in the future easier to win.

I had this in my mind while I read the following article by Richard Thompson-Ford in the Boston Globe:

"America's racial problems are persistent and vexing, and since the 1960s, the nation has used a powerful weapon to fix them: the ideas developed during the civil rights movement. Courts and government agencies enforce legal prohibitions against discrimination; private businesses and universities fashion their own diversity policies based on civil-rights principles. Even private individuals think about race relations in civil-rights terms: we aspire to the ideal of "colorblindness," and condemn the evils of discrimination and bias.

For a long time this way of thinking made perfect sense. In the past, the biggest impediment to racial justice was overt discrimination, inspired by a widespread belief that blacks were inferior to whites. And in fighting this kind of outright prejudice, civil rights have been an astonishing success. Race discrimination in restaurants, theaters, and hotels was quickly and thoroughly eliminated by the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Discrimination in employment - while still a problem - has been dramatically reduced and is widely and roundly condemned. Public figures who make overtly bigoted statements typically suffer widespread contempt and often lose their jobs. As a result, each successive generation is less bigoted than the preceding one. Polls suggest that racial animus today is at an all-time low, and Barack Obama's election demonstrates that race is no longer the impediment it was in the recent past.

But in dealing with the worst racial problems we now face, the civil rights approach is no longer the right tool for the job. Today's most serious racial injustices aren't caused by
bias and bigotry; instead they stem from racial segregation and the many disadvantages that follow from living in isolated, economically depressed, and crime-ridden neighborhoods. These problems are a legacy of past racism, but not, by and large, the result of ongoing discrimination. Civil rights litigation and activism have hardly made a dent in these formidable obstacles. It's tempting to believe that we just need more of the same - that we've only been too timid in enforcing civil rights laws or too conservative in interpreting them. But the real problem is inherent in the civil rights approach itself: faced with racial inequities that are not caused by discrimination, civil rights law is impotent and civil rights activism too often a distraction from the real work we need to do.

To say discrimination is not the cause of our worst racial problem is not to deny that racism is still a serious problem. Even today, too many people distrust or belittle others based on casual stereotypes; racial tensions continue to trouble social interactions in schools and workplaces, and the racial hatred and contempt that underlay the Jim Crow system is far from gone. Civil rights are an important response to these problems"

The rest of the article can be found here.

I liked what Thompson-Ford was writing here; not because I agree with everything he said, (I disagree, for instance, that "racial animus is at an all time low". Polls say it is for the very reasons the author cited: it's not cool to be a racist these days. So who is going to tell a pollster how he really feels about race?) but because his article was about solutions and ways to try and attack whatever problems we have dealing with race in A-merry-ca.

It's certainly worth discussing. At least we can learn from each other.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Big Timer"

For those of you wingnuts who claim that I never rip people on the left, hold on, I am about to surprise you.

My friends and I have an expression, we call it "big time[ing] " We use it to describe what one person (usually someone with more power or fame than the person they are talking to or in the presence of) does to someone they consider beneath them, or who is not worthy of their very important time. As in; Donovan McNabb "big timed" me when I saw him at the Mayor's reception. To "big time" a person is not cool. I don't care if you are Oprah, Barack, or Bill Gates. You just don't do that shit. No matter how important you think you are, you are never too important to show mutual respect to a fellow human being. And the titles you earn don't mean shit, they are just titles, they don't say anything about you or your character. House Negroes love to try and "big time" people, because, well, they are in the house. But us field Negroes usually laugh at them, because we know better.

Which leaves me to the person that got me pissed off enough to do an entire post, Barbara Boxer. (D-Ca)

Seems Ms. Thing "big timed" a Brigadier General today while conducting a senate committee hearing. All the the poor man was doing was sticking to the military protocol guide and addressing Boxer as ma'am. Bad move. Because Boxer went all Eric Cartman from South Park on him.

"'Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am? It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title. I'd appreciate it."The General's response? "Yes, Senator." '

Are you kidding me? "Worked so hard"? And who the hell didn't work hard to achieve anything in these divided sates of A-merry-ca? But I will tell you what the "thing" is: it's called your ego and your fucking sense of entitlement. The man is a Brigadier general for crying out loud, he should be "big timing"your sorry ass. And yes, I know it's the lowest rank of all the generals, but he still rates above a senator in the field's pecking order.

Come on Bar...I mean senator, get a grip, it's not that serious. Everyone knows that you are a U.S. senator, and that you chair the damn committee. You don't have to dress down a man who served his country, and who was only trying to be respectful to you. Stuff like that only gives the wingnuts red meat for their fire. Besides, wingnuts or no wingnuts, it's just not cool.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Apologies and the Christian card.

I love blogging, I really do. But sometimes my fellow bloggers pull some shit that leaves me scratching my head. Like this latest story, for instance. Did you all hear about this one?

Seems there was a blogger in Illinois who posted a fake story claiming to be pregnant with a terminally ill child. (First red flag) And, of course, she chose to carry her poor child to full term rather that opt for an abortion. Why you ask?Because of her "deep Christian faith", that's why. (That's it, play the Christian card, it works every time)

Anyway, the gig was up after someone spotted a rat. Or should I say a doll. Yep, girlfriend had a picture of a doll up on her site posing as a real live baby after she supposedly gave birth to the little bundle of joy. (I am still not sure if the baby was supposedly born dead or not)

Sunday, she did what A-merry-cans have become so good at; she apologized for her little scam. (Hey at least she didn't ask for any money)

"Beushausen posted a lengthy apology on her blog Sunday, saying she had lost pregnancies in the past."'I have suffered this type of loss, more than once, to varying degrees, and while the circumstances and the times vary ... the pain is very constant,...."'

Rebeccah, I feel your pain, but unfortunately, your doll can't.

And before I call it a night I want to talk about another recent A-merry-can apology. This one is from yet another phony ass republican poli-trickster who couldn't keep his johnson in his pants. This time the wondering johnson belongs to republican senator, John Ensign, of Nevada. Apparently, like our boy John Edwards, he was getting his freak on with a campaign staffer. (Hey, gotta get those talking points, right?) But unlike John Edwards, this creep was a member of the Christian men's group "Promise Keepers", and he has championed all sorts of religious causes to pander to his conservative base. In other words, he is a fucking hypocrite!

Oh field, there you go again, if he was a dumbocrat you wouldn't have even blogged about this. Yes, that would be correct. Because if he was a dumbocrat he wouldn't have been conducting bible studies one day, and sneaking away and getting Bill Clintons with campaign staffers the next.

"Last year I had an affair. I violated the vows of my marriage," Ensign told reporters, refusing to take any questions. "It is the worst thing I have ever done in my life. If there was ever anything in my life that I could take back, this would be it."

Yeah right, just another apology from a conservative poli-trickster who was saying one thing and doing another. Hey, at least he wasn't getting his freak on with a doll.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jig Juan Jig! A-merry-ca is watching.

People like Juan Williams wouldn't bother me so much if they didn't have a platform to reach millions of people with their pronouncements.

Now here comes the latest from brother Juan: This clown was actually on national television equating the civil rights struggle with what Bill O'Reilly was doing in the midst of the Tiller controversy. Are you serious? Honestly, every now and then I have a momentary brain lock and get on the fence with Juan when it comes to where he chooses to align himself. This, in spite of evidence of Juan's Housiness. [I made that word up] But no more. Juan Williams is a straight up house Negro. Period!

This negro [he doesn't deserve a capital "N"] has written books on the civil rights struggle and yet he goes on a show with the most ignorant ego-maniacal buffoon in A-merry-ca. And then, inexcusably, he kisses the man's ring--not to mention his ass--- by telling him that his constant attacks of a man who is now dead (killed by a lunatic whose ideology is not far removed from his own) was somehow equivalent to the civil rights struggle in this country. Let that sink in for a minute.
I keep blogging about the dangers that these types of Negroes present, but no one will listen. Oh I get the usual bullshit from the pseudo intellectual types: "Field, why must you constantly harp on this silly house Negro field Negro dichotomy among black people. It' silly and it's pointless and it doesn't advance the cause." No, actually what doesn't advance the cause is what Negroes like Juan Williams are doing. Negroes who might be the only black person that's held up to be a black intellectual that some white guy in Iowa will ever see. Because all he [the white guy] watches is FOX News and the only other black people he sees on television or reads about in magazines are entertainers and athletes. So when he goes looking for political punditry and to try and learn something from the black point of view on issues that speaks to all of us in A-merry-ca, he gets Juan Williams.
But field why should we care what some white guy in Iowa thinks?

Because there are many white guys like that white guy in Iowa, who refuse to acknowledge that there are some serious problems in this country when it comes to race and poverty. Problems that with the right policies in place we can get on the road to solving. ( Notice I said get on the road to solving,because, ultimately, us black folks and poor people are going to have to do the bulk of the work ourselves.) But with Juan and other house Negroes shouting that everything is alright and minimizing the civil rights struggle by equating it with bullshit, solving some of the the problems that we face (like proper health care reform for all A-merry-cans) becomes that much harder.

It's funny, but is it just me, or do you all get the feeling that some people want it this way?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not all riots are created equal.

The only thing that Tehran has in common with Los Angeles, California these days is the fact that both cities were recently besieged by large crowds rallying around a common cause. In Tehran it was the outrage over what many people in Iran believed to be a sham of an election; and they were, in essence, protesting against what they perceived to be a lack democracy in their own country.

In Los Angeles, the crowds were taking to the streets; not for democracy, but in jubilation. Jubilation that their professional basketball team had won the National Basketball Association championship. See it's like this: In A-merry-ca the very same thing that might have happened in Iran, is what many folks in this country thinks happened here. But A-merry-cans did not take to the streets and act like lunatics and defy authority in a quest for justice. No, A-merry-cans have to be happy and in a mood to celebrate before they riot.

You gotta love it. We only tear up shit and riot when we are happy. Unless, of course, we happen to be talking about inner city black folks. They riot for perceived injustice like the Iranians, and they do a pretty good job of tearing shit up as well.

But I am not mad at the Iranians, and I only get mad at inner city black folks when they riot and tear up there own neighborhoods. That defeats the purpose of the riot in the first place. The Iranian uprising is a righteous cause. Whether these people were robbed of a fair election process or not is irrelevant. The fact is that many of these people believe that they were robbed and they are doing something about it. The Iranian government is trying to keep the images away from us, but thanks to what might be the worlds' first Internet revolt, we are seeing what is going down over there on our television sets and lap tops.
Sometimes I wish we had the passion for this stuff like our friends in other countries. But it's hard to be a revolutionary when your stomach is always full, you have hot and cold running water, and a big screen television to watch your favorite basketball team is on the wall.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A stunning statement and a couple of not so stunning wins.

A few months ago I said the exact thing that Leon Penetta said recently. I bet some of you thought back then that it was just pure hyperbole. But now, since the head of the CIA is saying the same damn thing, maybe you will give the field a little credit for picking up what old Dick was putting down.
The only thing that bothers me a little is that Penetta actually says that Darth Dick "smells some blood in the water." Ahh hello, Leon, is there something you should be telling us ? Should I cancel all future trips to New York City? Should I stay off the mass transit system when commuting? Inquiring field Negroes want to know.

Come on folks, is it only me who thinks that the head of the CIA calling out a former VP in such a manner is stunning?

"It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that's dangerous politics." No shit Sherlock! I have been saying the exact same thing all along. But I have some news for you Leon; it's not only him, it's the entire right wing machine in this country. Starting with their blogs and ending in their halls of power. They want his O ness to fail so bad that if it will cost a few A-merry-cans their lives..... well, so be it.

Give me liberty or give me someone else's death. I am just saying.

Finally, a couple of congratulations are in order: Congrats to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for winning his election in Iran. Mahmoud, I see you learned something from the man who declared your country a part of the "axis of evil. " Question; do they have a Florida in Iran? Just curious.

And congrats to Kobe and his La-girls for being the new NBA champions. At least you didn't steal the title, Kobe. (Although the NBA sure tried o steal it for you) To many people here in A-merry-ca Kobe and Mahmoud is the same guy. But don't believe it. Mahmoud is much shorter.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And the beat goes on.

Here in Killadelphia we are used to murders and carnage. Usually the killings are relegated to the second or third page of the Metro section of our local paper. But every now and then we get a story that is so shocking and outrageous that it shocks the conscience of even the most jaded among us; and, as a result, the news from our little corner of the world goes national.

(The Lex Street killings come to mind.)

So the latest story out of Killadelph which became national news is the one where a thug took it up on himself to bike-jack a citizen and proceeded to try and get away on the bike while his accomplice drove a car. You all know the rest of the story by now: In doing so, they drove the getaway car into a crowd of children, killing three of them and a young mother.

Of course, now comes the usual finger pointing. The citizens of my fair city are outraged that these career criminals could be back out on the street. (Yes, I know the driver of the car was only 18, but he started young.) They want someone to pay for this unspeakable tragedy.

But.....well, here is a little sampling of what is being written in our local paper:

"..Cradock's stepbrother and alleged accomplice, Ivan Rodriguez, 20, was formally charged yesterday with murder and other crimes, and was being held without bail.
Cathie Abookire, spokeswoman for District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, said Rodriguez had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday on four counts of murder, four counts of homicide by motor vehicle, conspiracy, robbery, gun charges, and other offenses.
As relatives and neighbors struggled to cope with the sudden carnage that claimed four lives, they vented outrage that two young men with troubling criminal histories had been free in their midst. Both had outstanding bench warrants for their arrests.

Cradock, who lived with his mother a few blocks away in the 300 block of East Rockland Street, had eight prior arrests dating to age 12, five involving gun violations, according to police.Cradock's most recent arrest was April 2, 2006, a case that involved the armed robbery of a pack of beer from a pedestrian near Cradock's home in Feltonville. Cradock was adjudicated delinquent and began the first of several placements through Family Court in juvenile treatment facilities, most recently at Summit Academy, a residential facility and school north of Pittsburgh.

Cradock had been granted a home pass by Summit in April but failed to return. Summit contacted Family Court and a bench warrant was issued by Administrative Judge Kevin M. Dougherty on April 15.

Yesterday, court officials rejected claims by Vanessa Cradock, who raised both boys, in an interview Thursday with NBC10. Cradock said that when her son failed to return to Summit, she called his probation officer and asked that he be taken into custody. No one picked up her son, Cradock said."
NO ONE PICKED UP HER SON? I know you all see where I am going with this. Vanessa Cradock and the piece of shit sperm donor who made a deposit and got up are to blame; no one else. I am sick of these people not taking responsibility for their own children.

Vanessa, when you bring a child into this world, it's not the "probation department" or the courts who should be charged with doing what you should have been doing for 18 years, it's you. Blaming the institutions whose job it is to keep the rest of us safe from your son is foolish.
So now, four people are dead, and your son will never live with the other people in society for the rest of his miserable life.
Today it's Vanessa Cradock and tomorrow it will be someone else. The beat goes on, and so do the killings.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I bet Siskel and Ebert wouldn't give you these gems.

It's tough trying to entertain a four year old. I have no four year old friendly movies in my collection, so I have to pretty much rely on Comcast. Later after the little one was tucked away I broke out an oldie but a goody in my collection. It's while watching this particular movie that an idea came to me for this post.

So I was thinking; who are the top ten movie house Negroes of all time? I have my ten. Check it out and tell me what you think. If you have someone who should be on my list, by all means, please let the rest of us know about them.

Here is my list in no particular order:

1. Hoppin Bob from the movie Life. (The prisoners were more afraid of Brent Jennings character than they were of the warden. And you always got the impression throughout the movie that the warden had less respect for Hoppin Bob than he did the prisoners he was charged to keep.)

2. Bagger Vance from the movie with the same name. (Will, you are my homie, but come on.......don't you ever pick a script like that again)

3. Wendell from Get On The Bus. (Wendell Pierce played the hell out of this character. That line where he says to Ossie Davis; "why Nigger?" had me on the floor. But a used car salesman who sells Cadillacs and is proud of the fact that he didn't go to "one of them Nigger schools"? They should have thrown his ass off the bus a whole lot sooner)

4. C.J. Memphis from A Soldiers Story. (Am I the only one who thinks that Adolph Caesar's character, Sgt. Waters, was right?)

5. Sam, from Casablanca. (Sam, you don't have to play shit for me ever again. Dooley Wilson played Sam. The Negro's name was Dooley, so I guess playing Sam made perfect sense.)

6. Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump. (Run from this house Negro Forrest, run. I loved Mykelti Washington in "Con Air", hated him in Forrest Gump. It's S-H-R-I-M-P negro S-H-R-I-M-P!)

7. Left Hand Lacy from Mo Better Blues. (It's not the fact that Giancarlo Esposito's character was in a interracial relationship, it's the fact that he was so proud of it.)

8. Mammy from Gone With The Wind (Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Oscar, and the first to sing on the radio. That's all great; but sorry Hattie, you were still Mammy in Gone With The Wind.)

9. Charlene Morton from Bringing Down The House. (Perfect title for that Queen Latifah fiasco.)

10. And last but certainly not least: My man Hoke Colburn from Driving Miss Daisey. (If I have to explain why to you then you might be a house Negro.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Most of you know that I am not religious, but I will be damned if this next story doesn't make me want to rethink my position on fate. Remember how the old heads used to say that "when it's your time it's just your time? Well, consider:

Seems a poor Italian woman who missed that doomed Air France flight by accident, just died in a car wreck in Austria. Talk about bad luck. That is some eerie stuff. The Grim Reaper was not going to be denied on this one, the killjoy must have really wanted this poor woman.


Speaking of Italy; sorry folks, but I am not feeling any sympathy for Amanda Knox. Her trial for killing her British roommate is in full effect, and she will be taking the stand tomorrow. Maybe it 's because, initially, it was just another case of the black guy did it, but my gut isn't stirring for Amanda. I know that her case has become somewhat of a cause celebre[sorry for the lack of accent marks] for some A-merry-can journalist, but the field isn't biting. It's just the same old same old from where I sit.

Speaking of old; you have all seen the video by now of one of those Texas storm troopers tasering a 72 year old woman. The scary thing about this story is how many people have come to the defense of this clown and said he used proper police procedures. Yep, I saw it on FOX. But there is no amount of proper police procedures in the world that would justify such actions from someone who is paid to protect us. Shoving a 72 year old lady to the ground because she refused to sign a parking ticket? I don't care how obnoxious she was, you DON'T TASER A 72 YEAR OLD WOMAN! PERIOD!

Texas, I can't wait for you to go.

Speaking of FOX News; it's amazing how the folks on the right are trying to spin this latest domestic terrorist killing here in A-merry-ca. "Political correctness caused him to kill"? Please! You people on the right are becoming seriously unhinged. But I guess guilt will do that to you.

I'm out.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Sick twisted freak"

When I am 88 years old I hope to be enjoying my golden years by playing 18 holes every day in some exotic place and sipping exotic drinks until I pass out from boredom. Unfortunately, James W. von Brunn does not share my views about how to spend his golden years. After a life filled with hate and hateful rhetoric, this loon decided that he would rather be shooting niggers and Jews instead of relaxing on a cabana at the Golden Slippers Nursing Home.

Today, his miserable life took a sick and twisted turn. Armed with a 22- caliber rifle he walked into the Holocaust Memorial Museum and took the like of a young field Negro named Stephen Johns. But this is how it's been in A-merry-ca these days, violent extremist acting out their sick twisted fantasies. Abortion doctors; Army recruiting stations; and Jewish museums. What's next?

But we were warned. And except for the idiots on the right, (their toes were hurting from everyone stepping on them) we expected that it was just a matter of time before the hateful rhetoric swirling around us combined with the hard economic times would spur the "black helicopter" folks into action.
I have a suggestion for all you field Negroes and honorary field Negroes out here: Be vigilant; it is only going to get worse. There are plenty James W. von Brunns out there. And there are plenty more people willing to push their buttons.

To the family of Stephen Tyrone Johns, we feel your loss. To our A-merry-can family, we feel your loss as well.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A racist by any other name.

The following post comes from a writer over at AOL Black Voices who calls himself JYaleman.
It's his response to this question: "Can only white people be racist?"

"First of all, we have to understand a few things to answer this question correctly. Race (racism) is a late 19th century early 20th century western european construct. It was created for socio-political reasons in order to control. It stemmed from the silly study based on phenotypes, i.e., the size and shapes of heads. Europeans used this to justify white supremacy. They also used it to divide and conquer in the colonies. The warring in Rwanda to this day is due to purposeful race baiting of the Dutch when they took over there more than 100 years ago. They told the Tutsis and the Hutus that this one was more superior than the next because this one had this kind of nose and shape of the head, etc. They fell for it and hence the ethnic genocide of today. Old biases are hard to break.

That being said, racism only matters when it is white people who are the racists because they are the ones who have historically had the power. Others who have no power cannot be racists because they are devoid of the power to affect another's collective future. When I use the word power, think Karl Marx. Marx defined power of a people as being able to actually sit at the table to decide one's own destiny.... "

Okay, JYaleman makes some interesting points by connecting racism to colonialism, control and power. His definition is similar to Marriam Webster's: "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

This argument has raged forever here in A-merry-ca. If you are black you do not believe that people of color can be guilty of racism. If you are white, on the other hand, you absolutely believe that they can.

Now here is my question: If you believe JYaleman's definition of racism, aren't you also agreeing with most white people when they say that we are just as capable of being racist as they are? If it's about control and power and a black person happens to be in a position of power, wouldn't it be possible for him/her to use their position to hold back a white person, an Asian person or whatever because of their race? And if and when blacks gain real power, ("deciding ones destiny") will that be the end of racism as we know it? All those former colonies are now being led by black people, and people in those countries are still being treated like shit. Poor people are still the victims of classism, and some of the black people who become powerful use their power to do the wrong things.

Personally, I think that being a house Negro ( a Negro who uses his position of power to hurt others and only benefit himself) is just as abominable as being a racist. In fact, he might be worse, because we expect more from him.

So this is what I struggle with. Not whether only white people are capable of being "racist" in the strictest definition of the word, but whether the person in power (be they black or white) uses their power to hurt others.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Jeremiah is a bullfrog.

"Get ready for action, don't be astounded We switching positions, you feel surrounded Tell me where you want your gift, girl. Girl you know I-I-I, Girl you know I-I-II been feenin Wake up in the late night Been dreamin about your loving, girl Girl you know I-I-I, Girl you know I-I-I Don't need candles and cake Just need your body to make...Birthday sex... Birthday sex oohoohoohooh(It's the best day of the year girl)Birthday sex... Birthday sex oohoohoohooh(G-spot g-spot let me hit that g-spot g-spot girl..." "FIELD!!!"

"Field, what the hell is that you are listening? Do you realize that there is a four year old in the back of the car?" "Play it uncle Field, I like it. "

Some background: We are in a rental down in the Sunshine State, the radio is on the first black station I could find, and this little Negro, Jeremiah, or ---whatever his name is-- is singing this crap and corrupting my little niece. Of course, usually I will listen to this garbage, but I had a momentary lapse and forgot about the little one in the back.

"Did you hear what he was saying sweetie?" "Field, why are you asking her that?" "I just want to know what she heard, dear"." Yes uncle Field, he said birthday text, birthday text." "That's it sweetheart; birthday text. The man just wants to text his friend on her birthday."
"Change that station field! I don't even know why you listen to that garbage. I swear the lord didn't give you children for a reason." "Noooo, keep it there uncle Field, I like it".

Right about now I am in full parent mode and I am starting to understand what you parents have had to put up with for all these years. What the hell possessed this record company to promote this kind of song? (That's a rhetorical question. I know why they promote it) Don't they know that there are children out here listening to this stuff? I don't blame Jeremiah, he wants a hit by any means necessary, but the record companies have a greater responsibility. Don't they care if our children become sex obsessed little creatures?

Question: how do you parents keep your kids from listening to this stuff? I will be playing Daddy for the next three weeks or so and I really need to know. It must be really tough when record companies seem to be conspiring against you. I mean the television is bad enough, and these popular songs on the radio these days just adds to the problem.

The problem is, the little rug-rat loves music, and she learns the lyrics to songs faster than her ABC's. She changes the television stations by her lonesome to the video channels and before you know it she is doing Beyonce imitations right in front of the boob-tube. The bigger problem is that I can't say no. "Uncle Field, I want to watch videos." "No, your aunt doesn't like you listening to this stuff." "Please uncle Field"........ "Okay, just this once. But I have to keep the remote." Uncle Field can't take a chance with birthday t-e-x-t coming on.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Does "our" culture discourage wealth building?

This weekend I was kicking it with my little niece at what is supposed to be the happiest place in A-merry-ca, and bits and pieces of things went down to inspire my next rant.

The first thing that moved me was kind of obvious: I saw all those happy families in Disney with even happier children. Sadly, (and most of you who have been to Disney World will vouch for this) there were not a whole lot of families of color there. Well, not my color. There were, relatively speaking, quite a few Asian families; and Indian families; and yes, even quite a few Latino families. But not a lot of us. Why is that? Field, Disney is expensive, our people can't afford that kind of disposable income. But why? Why can families from other races---even those who traditionally have less disposable income than we do--- afford to go and take their children, yet we can't? I know the shit is expensive, I just blogged about it. But even if it was half the money pit that it is, would you see us there?

The next thing that inspired this post was an article I was reading from the Orlando Sentinel while flying home this morning. It was, in essence, a book review of William Julius Wilson's new book, "More Than Just Race" which dealt primarily with urban poverty in A-merry-ca and its root causes. The premise of the book is that poverty is caused primarily by "structural" and not "cultural" factors. Wilson writes in his book that it's institutions that are most responsible for poverty, and not the culture of poor people. Although, he argues, that "persistent" poverty does have many causes, he ultimately concludes that structural causes are "far more important" than cultural ones. (I will get back to that in a minute.)

And the final thing that moved me to do this post was watching Boondocks late one night from my hotel room long after the little one was fast asleep. The brilliant episode called "The Itis" was in full effect. You remember that one don't you? Where Huey's Grandpa opens a restaurant called "The Itis" and soon everyone is hooked on the soul food and invariably the "Itis" sets in. (Every one of you Negroes reading this know exactly what the "itis" is, so don't front. )

So let me connect all these dots by first commenting on the lack of us at places like Disney World. Here it is in a nutshell: Black men still do not understand the negative financial impact of fathering multiple children with different women. I see it every day here in Philly. Brothers with very good paying jobs, making good money, but getting little of it because of their child support obligations to different families. We don't build. We don't understand that marriage is good not only for our emotional and physical well being, but it can be good for our financial well being as well.

It's not rocket science; marry one woman, have children with her and concentrate all of your wealth into one household. Mommy works, daddy works, and the children are all better off in the long run. Why? Because all of daddy's pay check is coming into one home. Daddy can focus all of his attention---not to mention his financial resources---on those children. Little Jamal will be off to college, and hopefull he will be able to repeat the cycle one day.

And this is where I take some exception with Julius Wilson's book. Yes, poverty is caused partly by both the structures in place and our culture. But I don't think that the structural reasons are "far more" as he would suggest. For whatever reason, as I mentioned above, too many of our men have fallen into this mind set that it's cool to walk away from our baby mamas. Hey, we all enjoyed being single and living the single life, and for those of you who still want to go that route by all means go at it. But live the single life without fathering children you won't be there for. That shit is not cool and it contributes to poverty.

Just like certain habits [plural] that we have. (This is where Boondocks come in.) I know the "Itis" episode took it to the extreme, but are there any among us who do not believe that our dietary habits are seriously messed up and that it causes us all kinds of problems? All the civil rights in the world won't stop us from killing ourselves with the shit that we eat. We fought to sit at the lunch counters and when we ordered our meal it was shit that could kill us faster than anything the white man did to us ever could. We can't build wealth when we are spending half of our time and all of our money in the hospital fighting shit like diabetes, high blood pressure and all kinds of heart deceases . That shit is cultural, and it's just one of the things in our culture that we might want to consider rethinking.
So yes, institutions, for the most part, are not blameless for our condition, but we have to take responsibility as well. I won't be as hard on us like my man AI has been in the past, because I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. But far too many of us have lost sight of what is really important in life: building wealth for our future generations and putting something away for them when we are no longer here. And, in the end, taking care of our bodies so that we can be around long enough to see them enjoy some of the fruits of our labor. (But field, if the institutions and the structures in place are working against us, how are we going to have wealth to build with in the first place?) They might be working against us, but they haven't stopped us from building something. Let's start with what little we have and then we can start bitching a little more about the institutions and the "structures" that are in place, if they happen to prevent us from building our wealth.

What's the title of that old Billy Preston song?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Stop the monorail I want to get off!

From the Main Street parade, to the Jungle Cruise, to It's A Small World, to The Monster's Comedy Show, to Peter Pan's Flight, to.......I swear that by the time I got to Minnie's House I was ready to bring old Walt from the dead and put his ass down again. There ought to be a law against this. It is just not fair to you parents out there. You are slaves to the marketing of Disney and their control of your children's minds. You are, in effect, pawns in an incredible conspiracy.

I have a new found respect for every parent in A-merry-ca. And if you are a single parent, you deserve a congressional medal of honor. My hands, neck and my feet are about to fall off of my body from carrying a four year old all over the Magic Kingdom. My ears are still ringing not only from the screams of these little aliens whose minds have been taken over by all things Disney,but from the chi ching of money passing hands to Walt's faithful servants.

"Are you having fun?" "Uncle Field this is the best fun I have ever had. Are we going to Toontown now? And are we going to see Nemo tomorrow?"

My flight leaves this planet of the children tomorrow at exactly 8:30AM. I cannot wait to get on it. Killadelphia, you never looked so good.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Micky and a fake Muslim are on my mind.

So I am blogging from Buena Vista Florida, how I got into this I don't know. But Mrs. Field promised her niece a trip to Disney World (AKA Rip Off Land) on her fourth Birthday and today was the day to deliver. So here I am in the kiddy Mecca until Sunday, my hand forced by powers way beyond my control.

I have made the trip to Disney World before, but it was more like the adult version. This time, my movements, not to mention my pocket book, is at the mercy of a drooling four year old who wants all things Micky and Minnie. Yep a hundred large before I even get out of the airport tells me that this trip is going to set back field inc. just a bit.

But anyway, I didn't just want to talk about my trip tonight. What I wanted to talk about was the FAM (Fake ass Muslim) who shot up the recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas. I have been getting a bunch of e-mails calling me coward and daring me to blog about this clown. What made people believe that I was afraid to call out this Negro, I don't know. But just to let you all know that the field isn't afraid to call a spade a spade, let me say a few things.

First, that Negro is a domestic terrorist, and he is no different than the white supremacist terrorist who I call on the carpet for taking the lives of fellow A-merry-cans because of their twisted beliefs. This Negro was upset because of how he thought the US Army was treating Muslims. Okay,that may or may not be a legitimate beef, but is that enough reason to go sniper on a US Army recruiting station? All you are doing Negro is giving the rest of us a bad name, and giving wingnuts and their apologizers a chance to say they do it too. We kill an abortion doctor, they kill a soldier. More ammo for the FOX propaganda machine.

Oh, and Abdulhakim, the next time you decide to commit an act of terror, it might be a good idea to skip the trip to Yemen. Just a thought.
I'm out folks it's been a long day. Tomorrow I will be in the theme park "where dreams happen", and where pocket books go dry.