Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
"You were quoted in the Detroit Free Press this morning as saying that, you know, the key is to connect the dots and maybe the Obama administration will now realize that. Is it really fair to hold the Obama administration responsible here?" asked Wallace.
"Yeah, I think it really is," replied Hoekstra. "Connecting the dots here is not really on this particular case. It's connecting the dots that we've seen over the last 11 months, over the last eight years." [story]
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Now my question is this: Are there more Umar Famoul Abdul Mutallabs out there? And if there are, were they working in concert with this genius? I use the word genius facetiously of course, because there is nothing genius about this guy.
Umar, you had a chemical engineering degree, I am guessing you are smart enough to know better than trying to kill your fellow human beings . Religion can be a beautiful thing, but it sure can make people do some crazy things.
Also, for all of you black folks who thought that only Arabs were going to be profiled, think again. This Nigerian brotha just changed the game for some of us Negroes here in A-merry-ca. Thank you Umar. Now my flight home will be delayed due to increased security and longer lines.
Anyway folks, I jut wanted to say a few words about that, and to get your take on the situation and the mood of the country right now.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
"There is nothing a white man with a penny hates more than nigger with a nickel"
Remember that saying Hip Hop Mike? Well I hope you do, because it is about to become very relevant in your life.
Poor Hip Hop Mike. It seems that he has been doing a little moonlighting for dollars while collecting a check from the GOP to make them the party of Lincoln again. Mike has been charging $8,000 a pop to speak at different venues while chairman of the GOP.
Hey Mike, I am not mad at ya. A brother has to live. Gators and those fly suits I see you sporting cost money. But the GOP crowd is not pleased.
"The former Maryland lieutenant governor, who was elected chairman of the GOP in January, has given a dozen speeches to corporate boards and colleges. He has charged $8,000 per appearance while at the same time collecting a salary of $223,000 as the leader of the party. The chairman's paid speeches were first reported by the Washington Times.
Richard Bond, who was chairman of the party from 1992 to 1993, said he was "shocked" Steele had accepted the money and that he "didn't take a dime" from speaking fees during his tenure. A current member of the 168-member RNC, who did not want to blast Steele publicly, called the speeches a "bad idea."'
Now Mike, you and I both know that they don't like you. They only put you out there because you were their version of his O ness. Now, as the president's star dims, watch how yours will go dim right along with him. The republicans don't need their own version of the articulate Negro anymore, because the one they feared so much is getting his ass handed to him in the polls.
Don't believe me Mike? Well guess who broke this story about you? If you guessed one of those liberal rags like the New York Times you would be wrong. It was the conservative Washington Times. I wonder why you think they did that, Mike?
"Harry Sandler, who handles Mr. Steele's bookings at Newton, Mass.-based American Program Bureau, told The Washington Times that Mr. Steele "tends" to charge between $10,000 and $15,000 for an appearance and that he received roughly that amount for a Sept. 21 speech at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. Mr. Steele has an upcoming speaking engagement at DePaul University in Chicago, for which he will be paid $12,500.
"Holy mackerel, I never heard of a chairman of either party ever taking money for speeches," said Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., RNC chairman under President Reagan and CEO of the American Gaming Association.
"The job of a national chairman is to give speeches. That's what the national party pays him for. We didn't have a rule book back then, but being national chairman was and is a full-time job," Mr. Fahrenkopf said."
Mike, I tell you what I am going to do; -and some of my fellow field Negroes won't like this-. But here it is: I am going extend an open invitation to you to come back to your people and leave the dark side. Those people you are running with are not your friends. See how mad they get at you when you make a little money? It's because they don't think you should be pulling down $230,000.00 per year AND still want more. The only black folks in A-merry-ca allowed to make money are ball players and actors. Didn't you know that Mike?
So hurry Mike, this offer won't last very long. If you can make as much as $10,000 per speaking engagement now; just think of how much you will be able to make once you pull the switch.
*Pic from Getty Images.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Critics have called alien epic Avatar a version of Dances With Wolves because it's about a white guy going native and becoming a great leader. But Avatar is just the latest scifi rehash of an old white guilt fantasy.
Whether Avatar is racist is a matter for debate.
Regardless of where you come down on that question, it's undeniable that the film - like alien apartheid flick District 9, released earlier this year - is emphatically a fantasy about race. Specifically, it's a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people. Avatar and scifi films like it give us the opportunity to answer the question: What do white people fantasize about when they fantasize about racial identity?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Field Negro, there goes your crazy left wing friends again. What is it with you people? This latest cowardly and disgusting act, by no doubt, one of you communist, just goes to show how low you people will go.
How dare you throw tomatoes at Sarah Palin? This woman is the heart and soul of the republican party (not to mention its most important spokesperson) and you people disrespect her growing legacy by throwing tomatoes at her? I say tomatoe[s] because that joker threw two...
Stop laughing field Negro, what if this had been the president? You liberals would be screaming bloody murder about racism and the president not being safe. This was no laughing matter. What if those tomatoes were poisoned with some kind of deadly venom? What if those were grenades instead of tomatoes? This Jeremy Paul Olsen fellow should be sent straight to Gitmo with the other terrorist.
But you lefties are such hypocrites-not to mention bad throwers-. You tried this crap with Ann Coulter; and you tried this stuff with Michael Steele, throwing Oreo cookies at him. (Well...that story might not be true. Whatever! ) And one of your Iraqi friends even tried it with our last president. Throwing things at people you don't agree with politically has got to stop. It is not civil, and it is dangerous. Sometimes you people even get tired of throwing things and just beat your political opponents. How do you explain that one field Negro? Ahhh Passion?
"Palin was not hit by the flying tomatoes, which instead hit two police officers standing near the former governor. Olson was arrested on charges of suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct.
Palin — who has sold more than 1 million books since starting her signing tour last month — did not comment on the incident. "
Thank goodness! Now the book tour will continue, and our next president will be be able to go on spreading her populous message to the rest of A-merry-ca. You people can't stop Sarah, field. You can only hope to slow her down.
Is Sarah's book tour taking her to Philly? I would love to volunteer my time to help protect her. Just to insure that nothing is ever thrown her way again. You never know; there might be another Jeremy Paul Olsen out there.
*Pic from Politico.com
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
'People have, apparently, lost their minds. There seems to be a panic that we have lost the fabric of our society and I’m having trouble getting a handle on what has happened that is so drastic that people would think its tyranny or fascism or hitleresque or stalinesque' (Jon Stewart)
There is a certain segment of the American population that really believes in the American foundational myths. They identify with them. They believe that America was built by a handful of white, Christian, men with exceptional morals. Their America is the country that showed the world democracy, saved the Jews in World War II, and tore down the Berlin wall.
These people have always fought changes to their mythology. They have always resented those of us who pushed to complicate those myths with the realities of slavery, Native American genocide, imperial war in the Philippines, invasions of Latin American countries, and secret arms deals.
No myth illustrates the slight of hand behind our national mythology quite like the myth of the cowboy. In the mythology, the cowboy is a white man. He is a crusty frontiersman taming the west and paving the way for civilization. He is the good guy fighting the dangerous Indian. He is free and independent. He is in charge of his own destiny.
Read Richard Slatta’s Cowboys of the Americas and you will get a very different picture. In reality, the first American cowboys were indigenous people trained by the Spanish missionaries. In reality, more than 30% of the cowboys on Texas trail drives were African American, Mexican, or Mexican-American.
And cowboys were not so free. Cowboys were itinerant workers who, while paid fairly well when they had work, spent much of the year begging for odd jobs. Many did not even own the horse they rode. Frequently, they worked for large cattle companies owned by stockholders from the Northeast and Europe, not for small family operations (a la Bonanza). The few times cowboys tried to organize, they were brutally oppressed by ranchers.
So what does all this have to do with Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, teabaggers and white panic?
Marginalization and myths have always been about economic exploitation. White supremacy is not simply personal bigotry. It is the systematic exclusion, dehumanization, and erasure of the majority in order to preserve economic dominance for the wealthy minority. And while white men may be in most positions of wealth and power to this day, only a very few of them really benefit from our current economic system. White supremacy helped distract poor and working class whites from targeting their economic exploiters. White supremacy helped mask the lie of equal opportunity.
When you know the real history of the cowboy, it makes the selling of Reagan and Bush as cowboys seem like an inside joke. The mythological cowboy is the heroic figure that many Americans wish they were. The fact that the cowboy was actually an exploited worker is virtually unknown.
When Americans vote for a president, they want to see that heroic version of themselves looking back at them. They want to see that free cowboy of the mythology. No matter how poor or exploited white people were, they could always take subconscious comfort in the fact that, when they looked at the highest power in the land, they saw an idealized version of themselves.
I had my whole life to get used to the idea that the government was never made to really represent my interests. Many of these angry people are the very white, Christian, men that this country was supposedly built by and for. And this is the first time the myth of America has been unmasked for them." [More here]
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
"Them belly full, but we hungry; A hungry mob is a angry mob. A rain a-fall, but the dutty tough; [rain is falling but the dirt is still hard] A yot a-yook, but d' yood no 'nough.[a pot is cooking but the food is not enough] " ~Bob Marley~
Oh lawd O man, I think the natives are getting restless. The black side of your family is threatening to come out of the basement and embarrass you in front of the rest of A-merry-ca.
I think they are upset because it seems like you have been doing more for Wall Street than Mai....no, not main street, MLK Boulevard. (Doesn't every black neighborhood in every city have an MLK boulevard?) I mean this recession has really hit black folks. And they see you in the White House and wonder why you can't throw a bone their way.
Oh field, stop it. The man is president of all A-merry-cans, he has to be presidential. I guess you want him to go down to the hood and sit on the corner and sip a malt liquor with pookey "an dem." It doesn't work that way field, we are talking about the president here. Didn't you see him getting with the bankers yesterday? Come on field, the man has only been in office a year now, give him some time.
OK, I will give him some more time. After eight years of the frat boy I know he needs it. But it just seems like the man on the street (not only black folks) are getting left behind while Geithner and his banker friends in Manhattan clean up. And please spare me the economics 101 speech. I get it. The banks had to be bailed out or there would have been no loans for anybody. A-merry-ca would have been in big trouble. But now the bonuses are flying again, the DOW is over 10,000 and poor people still can't find jobs.
Mrs. Field broke my heart today (not to mention my checkbook) by telling me about a family she adopted and their woes for Christmas. That shit is not cool. And it's not like these people don't want to work. They do. But no one is hiring.
I am no fan of the CBC, but I have to give them a some props for getting with his O ness recently.
"Black lawmakers who have largely held their tongues during President Barack Obama's first year in office are stepping up their demands that the nation's first black president do more for minority communities hit hardest by the recession.While still careful about criticizing Obama publicly, they appear to be losing their patience after watching him dedicate more than $1 trillion to prop up banks and corporations and fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while double-digit unemployment among blacks crept even higher.
"Obama has tried desperately to stay away from race, and all of us understand what he's doing," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. "But when you have such a disproportionate number of African-Americans unemployed, it would be irresponsible not to direct attention and resources to the people who are receiving the greatest level of pain."
Dating back to Obama's campaign, many black leaders have pressed him to take more of a stand on the challenges facing minorities. Most voiced criticisms privately for fear of jeopardizing his candidacy or undercutting his popularity after his election. They also have tread lightly so as not to be at odds with their own majority-black constituencies, who strongly support Obama........ frustration has been building. The 42-member Congressional Black Caucus flexed its influence last week when 10 of its members held up a financial regulation bill backed by the administration until leaders agreed to add about $3 billion in foreclosure relief for struggling homeowners. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the House Financial Services Committee chairman, later added $1 billion for neighborhood revitalization programs.
During the stalemate, the lawmakers issued a statement saying they would no longer support public policy "defined by the world view of Wall Street." [Link]
Good for them. And did I see where the author said that black lawmakers were afraid to confront his O ness for fear of a backlash from their constituents? Interesting.
You gotta love us black folks. We stay down with brown no matter what.
"Cost of livin' gets so high, Rich and poor they start to cry:Now the weak must get strong;They say, "Oh, what a tribulation!"Them belly full, but we hungry;A hungry mob is a angry mob"
Wrong Bob! Only the poor is crying. The rich will be fine.
Monday, December 14, 2009
" Supporters of a Frankford High School junior who was allegedly beaten by two school security officers called on Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman today to launch an independent investigation into the incident immediately.
They also demanded a probe into the alleged "boxing glove beating" of students at Olney High School by a district officer known as "Sarge."
"The schools are out of control and we need to do something about it," said Gregory Brinkley, Philadelphia chapter president of the National Action Network, a civil rights group headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Brinkley led a rally of about 20 mostly network members this afternoon at Frankford High School as classes let out for the day.
Jeffione Thomas, 17, a star running back for the Frankford High Pioneers, admits he was late for school Oct. 29 when the two truancy officers followed him into the building.
Just inside the school doors, Thomas said the two officers "jumped" him and knocked him unconscious. One of the officers put him in handcuffs while the other continued to beat him, Thomas said.
Several students watched as school surveillance cameras captured the episode.
"The beating lasted seven to 10 minutes," said senior Denzel Parker-Dixon. He said it took five administrators to pull the officers off of Thomas.
The assault, Thomas said, left him with a bruised eye and a torn lip that required six stitches.
After being treated at a nearby hospital, Thomas was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly hitting the officers. A court hearing, scheduled for this morning in Juvenile Court, was postponed until Jan. 22."
"We're calling for the DA to convene a grand jury immediately," Brinkley said.
Thomas - in a dark suit, lavender shirt and a paisley tie - quietly watched the rally as his mother and grandmother stood by his side.
Since the incident, he said he has "problems eating a little bit," but his injuries have otherwise healed."
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Reality for David and Joanne Stratton and their 7-year-old son, Dominic, is a 617-square-foot home, a former chicken coop that was built in 1940 in what is now the affluent suburb of Mount Laurel. Their days and nights play out in the small space that serves as the couple's bedroom, Dominic's therapy room and, when there's a rare visitor, the living room it was intended to be.
The Strattons, a fiercely proud and humble family, never had any room for charity either and weren't comfortable being the guests of honor at recent community fundraisers held for them.
"Me and Joanne never asked for anything," said David, 42, seated on a coffee table pushed against a television in the cramped living room. "We're kind of quiet people. "We've always just depended on each other."'
Friday, December 11, 2009
I am doing a mostly cut and paste job tonight because I think the post I am going to feature is very important to the discourse among black folks here in A-merry-ca. I like the fact that black thinkers are writing about where we are as a people, and how we can move forward to improve our condition.
The post is from Devona Walker over at the fine African American web site known as "The Loop". The author is concerned about the mindset of black conservatives and she writes in a thoughtful reasoned manner. It's why I wanted to post her essay and comment on her views about an important aspect of her thesis.
"We are born to a race, to a family, and that does not pre-determine how or what we think, act or believe. With that said, there is something very suspicious about many Black conservaties whose ideas I read about, and whose faces I see — often on Fox News— giving racial cover to white conservatives to go after other average Black folks or political leaders. They are so routinely paraded before us, despite the fact that they make up such a very small minority of Black political thought, it makes me wonder if it is intentional. They might not be intentionally trying to sell out Black people, but they often appear to be used in that way. And they certainly don't seem to mind.
Even though I fully understand we are not a monolithic people, in watching them, I can't help often wondering if they are sellouts, suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or just patently unconcerned with the plight of Black people?
This below clip really drives it home. [the clip is in the last link provided] We have former Vice President Dick Cheney essentially calling President Obama a traitor. And here we have a Black man excusing Cheney’s outlandish actions. Once again, a Black man providing cover for a white man as he goes for the jugular of another Black man. In this case, it's particularly concerning because Cheney is intentionally trying to characterize the president as illegitimate, and therefore nearly condoning violence."
So far so good, right? I can't disagree with anything she said so far. But then....
"House Negro vs. Field Negro
There is the whole house v. field negro dynamic that we often use to define folks like this. Quite frankly, I’m tired of it. I do not want to be defined today by something that happened in our collective history, especially if it is not useful. We do not appear to use this historical identification in any productive way, as a means to measure our progress (which is how Obama generally references the black experience) or as a means of motivation (which is something that Colin Powell has done quite eloquently).
If you consider the difference between the Black and Jewish experience, it does make you wonder how our collective identity affects our ability to rise above adversity. Jewish people tend to use their history and cement that history of oppression through religious ceremony and customs, much like the Black community does. But it appears to be something that binds them as a people yet motivates them as individuals.
I know there are huge differences between the Black and Jewish experience, and comparing the Black experience with the immigrant experience as well. Many of those non-Black minorities came to this country as tradespeople. They often represent the most entrepreneurial of their people, the ones who would venture to another country to claim their fortunes.
But I must admit that as a people we have historically appeared to use our history as a “collective grief.” We have, at times, nurtured that grief. Even now, we continue to use our historical framing as a way of discrediting folks who look like us but do not think like us. And much of this rhetoric has, especially among younger Black Americans, become irrelevant.
So the premise of the Black conservative is reasonable. There is something to be said about this “Get over it,” mantra." [ More here.]
Since I consider myself somewhat of an expert on this subject, this part of her essay really got my attention.
First, the only thing that I can say about the "Get over it mantra" is that it's a false construct. Contrary to what the author and black conservatives like to say; progressive black folks don't go around crying "woe is me". We are way too busy trying to put in the work that's needed to better our lives and our community. Just as she suggests that the house Negro/field Negro mantra is "not useful" and, as she says, is something that she is "tired" of. I would suggest to her that I am tired of the false label of victimologist [don't look for that word anywhere, you won't find it] as well.
And with all due respect to the author, the field Negro house Negro "dynamic" is not "history", it is still happening today. (Hell she talked about some -house Negroes- in the first part of her essay.) And it's still a dichotomy that is worth exploring and trying to understand.
I would even argue that the house Negro today is worse than the house Negro that lived on the plantations during slavery. At least those Negroes would tell the field slaves, from time to time, what massa was up to, and they would even slip them food and supplies from out of the big house to the slave quarters. These modern day house Negroes (you know who you are) would never share with those they consider fields slaves. They would never do anything to help them or teach them to try and uplift their condition. In fact, they are embarrassed by them, and they like to tell their modern day massa that they are nothing like those Negroes, they are different.
Finally, she uses the Jewish people (Happy Chanukah to my my Jewish friends.) as the model black folks should use to better their condition. But that would be impossible given the inimitable nature of the Jewish experience. The Jewish religion is over three thousand years old, and it is probably the oldest monotheistic religion known to man. Black people in A-merry-ca have no religion other than the one that was given to us when we got here. Our religious history doesn't motivate us as individuals, because it was used to pacify us and keep us on the plantation.
So sorry Devona, there is nothing "reasonable" about the "premise of the black conservative". It is a tired monologue rooted in selfishness and a false sense of patriotism that only he-the conservative- can understand.
Still, overall I loved the essay, I agree with lines like the following:
"The race and class debate is not about offering an image of an oppressed people who are without fault, it is about solving issues and about understanding the full context into which many oppressed people are born and must rise above. Black conservatives, much like their white counterparts, offer no solutions. It would seem their proclamations are simply meant as a way to unburden themselves from caring. "
Well said, now let's see if our conservative friends agree with you.
*Pic courtesy of BTX3's Blog.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
"School officials say this week's clashes were an aberration that belie strenuous efforts to improve race relations and cultural awareness. "What gets lost in all of this is the fact that the school, the community and the students have worked hard over the past two years to foster that kind of positive learning environment," said James Golden, the school district's chief safety executive. "Despite what happened this week, that positive learning environment prevails."
Sunday, December 06, 2009
What's a 50-plus-year relationship got to do with it?
I'm just saying Dad Vail sounds like a two-timing boyfriend.
Everyone, it seems, is all up in oars and blaming Mayor Nutter for not fighting to keep the marriage gliding - even though the Dad Vail broke it off and found another sugar daddy without the city even knowing. And all for money, of course.
Rejection hurts. After all, the Dad Vail's prestige draws more than 125 elite college crew teams. Not to mention that the cash-strapped city could sure use the millions in revenue that 100,000 rowing fans are sure to toss around...
...Well, it hurts for some people. Of course, we always take back misbehaving boyfriends, but if the city had any foresight, it would shoot for a better version.
One that's a lot more representative.
Especially as our cash-strapped city tries to decide what events to fund, I'm not sure I'd put money into a public event that - unintentionally or not - has become a private endeavor.
The Dad Vail would mean a lot more than just a nerve-racking traffic hassle if it belonged to everyone.
No diversity. The cry for diversity along Boathouse Row has been ongoing for years now." [Link]