Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Something Aint Right!

One of my favorite groups, the "Roots", is about to drop their seventh album, "Game Theory", and the field can't wait to cop it. Not only because the Roots reps my adopted home town, -Philly- to the fullest, but because they are producing some of the most relevant and innovative music out there right now hands down. Whether you are a fan of hip hop or not, you have to give it up to the "Roots", because these brothers have some serious talent.

Anyway, the first single from the album is a little number called: Things Don't Feel Right, and for the field, it's like these cats were reading my mind. (Maybe it's a Philly thing)

"You in the land of the unseen hand, and hold trouble theorize your game, it's difficult to roll a double the struggle aint right up in your face, it's more subtle...."

So is it me, or does it seem like we are living through a time in this country, when things just aren't quite what they seem? The scary thing is, I can't put my finger on it. But I just know, like my boys rap about, that something is wrong. I feel it when I pick up my phone, I didn't use to, but now I swear someone is listening to my conversations. I feel it when walk down the street, that there is a camera watching my every move. Now before you go thinking that the field has a problem with cameras, let me lay it out for you, I don't. I live in a city that has had over 230 murders this year, so bring on the cameras to fight crime. But only to fight crime, nothing else. And that's the problem, I don't feel like they are only being used to fight crime, they are being used for something else. I heard a white colleague declare the other day; "it's us against them, this is World War III". Ok, so who is the them he talks about? Is it the islamic terrorist? Is it the illegals? Or is it the .....well let's just put it out there; is it the blacks?

I don't know, certainly on it's face it wouldn't seem that way. There are, after all, laws to protect us aren't there? And didn't we just get the right to vote again? Certainly race -at least not between blacks and whites-is not an issue any more in America is it? But then, there is that new "Survivor" show that's about to hit CBS this fall. Mmmmm, and there was that Katrina thing a year ago. And every time I turn around some elected official is making a bone headed comment about race, or I see a news story, like the one in Northern Louisiana where the black kids were forced by the bus driver to go to the back of the bus so that the white kids could sit in the front. Yeah, I can't quite put my finger on it, but something just isn't right. Maybe this sense of unease about terrorism is bringing out old fears and hidden emotions from our brothers and sisters in the majority. Maybe they are looking at the hue of all the terrorist and they are, at least in their minds, thinking guilt by association. So they have to be more vigilant, not only against the terrorist from outside, but the potential terrorist from within. They saw what happened to their friends across the pond, and they are scared. Maybe that's what the field is feeling, the fear of others.

"I try to show these brothers but they dont wanna listen that's the reason the system makes paper from the prison"

Yeah fear is a mother, listen to right wing talk radio, and you will hear it. You will hear it from the callers and from the host. You will even hear it in the republican talking points. Karl Rove figured it out; that at the end of the day, people will vote for, or back the party that will protect their families from that enemy, whoever they percieve that enemy to be. It's why Rudy is so popular. He tamed that enemy in New York City, hell, they are thinking, I know he can keep me safe in small town Iowa.
Maybe that's what I feel, the fear. And the more fear that's out there, the more the field feels like he is being watched; the more that something ain't right feeling comes back. John Q Citizen looks at the field a little longer before he takes his eyes away these days, and Mrs. John Q holds her purse a little tighter, and takes her steps a little quicker. Do I blame her? Heck, I don't know. If I were in the majority population would I do the same thing? Maybe, but fortunately those are questions the field will never have to answer.

So now I don't know what to think, all I know is that the feeling won't go away, crime is up, people seem poorer, and inspite of all the so called wealth in America, I just don't see it trickling down. I keep seeing more and more poverty and hopelessness every day, yet I keep hearing about politicians throwing around billions and trillions of dollars like it was nothing. Speaking of politicians, it's almost November and the politricksters will be around with their hands out for our vote. Only this time they won't be promising tax cuts, and pork, they will be promising security. We did get the right to vote didn't we? Maybe politricksters should stop worrying so much about that terrorist threat and worry more about the type of terrorism that entails pocketing millions of dollars for yourself while children literally starve to death in the greatest country on earth. Yeah, if everyone had a clean conscience maybe the field wouldn't be feeling this way. This feeling that things just doesn't feel quite right in the home of the brave and the land of the free. Maybe things will change, if and when we change regimes. Maybe then we will go back to a happier time, a time when all we had to worry about was an overweight intern giving our executive in chief a blow job. Yep, those were the days.

"Remember back in the day,when the kitchen had eggs and pancakes, thick and green and Kool Aid when the fridgerator naked them the cupboard is bare people got to strip naked; stick em up in the air. Wasn't lies when they told you wasn't nothin to fear somethin don't feel right out there" ....If you aint tryin to get popped, then give me an option helicopters choppin from Philly to Compton...if you aint sayin nothin you a system's accomplice"

~~~The Roots~~~

Saturday, August 26, 2006


The field would like to thank the people who helped me make it through another birthday. People like the wonderful posters to this site: Mahndisa, Mark, UGZ, my fellow yawdie Asa, we saw that, and my man Cobb. All you people laid down some encouraging s#@# . (Cobb we very well might know some of the same people; my first job out of college was in L.A. I lived there for five years; right there at Fox Hills in Culver City. Heck,I might have gone to one of your parties :)) And I don't want to forget all of my other friends who showed the field mad love during this time of introspection.

At the end of the day, this is what life is all about; developing relationships, and meaningful friendships. I have been lucky, because I have been fortunate enough to have very good friends, and solid meaningful and enlightening relationships. We might not always agree, but I am always learning from others around me who have different views and perspectives about life.

Of course, there are still some things I would like to do. Like run for, and win elected office. (Yep, I went to law school so that I would know how to make laws, not interpret laws someone else made) Visit the motherland, shoot par in a round of golf, hold my first child, fly or jump out of a plane, visit Brazil, (though I suspect I am getting a little old for that one) publish a book, set up a foundation in my mother's name, and last but certainly not least; a day with Lark Voorhies would be nice. -:)

So from the bottom of my heart, the field would like to say; thank you everybody! You have made this a pretty good week after all.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Life Worth Living?

Hey it's one of those weeks for the field. A birthday fast approaching and I don't know if I should celebrate another year under my belt- especially when it's getting so much rarer for a black man to live past forty these days- or if I should feel sad about my inevitable date with the Grim Reaper. I was reading my man Cobb, over at Booker Rising ,as he reflected on his current station in life. And I guess that, combined with my birthday fast approaching, got me in a retrospective mood. So I guess it's as good a time as any to reflect on my life and the things I have done. Not to mention the things I am hoping to do in the future:

So what I have I done? Well, I almost got arrested by the Mexican police in Cancun once. And there was the time I made nooky on the Governor of Louisiana's desk. (Don't ask) I took Magic to the hole once (just once) and scored the rock on him. (Yeah, that Magic) How you ask? Well we were both kids, and our families became friends while my parents did their graduate work at Michigan State University. I Slept over his house a couple of times, and even snuck out and partied with EJ (that was his name then) a few times. And speaking of sports; I saw Pele play, met Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, and I partied with Shaq. (Yes, that Shaq) Let's see now, what else? Oh, Mark Kibble, lead singer from Take 6 (yeah, that Take 6) was one of the men in my wedding. And while we are on the subject music; I actually sat next to Bob Marley for an entire sound check in Kingston, Jamaica, once. Thanks, of course, to my cousin Mike, who is a major record producer on "the rock". And staying with the music theme; Chaka Khan, (yeah, that Chaka Khan) once rear ended me in West L.A. with a car full of screaming kids. Of course the field wasn't hurt, so no harm no foul. But the field blew the moment; he didn't even get one chorus of "Tell Me Something Good"out of girlfriend. Then there was the time I almost pushed *Chubby Checker's drunk ass (yeah, that Chubby Checker) off of a boat on a boat ride from Catalina Island to Long Beach. And speaking of boat; I was on my buddy's boat one night in the middle of the False River [ Louisiana] while it started taking on water, and the field almost had to swim for land.

Mmmmm, let's see, what else? Oh, I almost got shot by an undercover police officer in Kingston, Jamaica, who thought my cousin and I were steeling our own car. Yep, that was a close call. Not to mention the time some political gangsters chased my buddies and I off of a soccer field just because we (quite by accident) had on the colors of the opposing political party. (And Americans think their politics is rough) Speaking of politics, there was the time I went to a Fidel rally. (Yes, that Fidel) I didn't understand a word he said but I was cheering like crazy. Talk about charisma, that guy has it. More on politics: I was front and center in New Orleans at the 1988 Republican convention. My good buddy, Gino Gates , (his real name) is a life long black republican, and he dragged the field thinking I would see that republicans are human after all. Well, I bet he is sorry he did that, cause if looks could kill. Anyway, this was pre-"compassionate conservative" days, and before the republicans figured out that if you even make a dent in how black folks vote it could have a huge impact on national elections for years to come. So that wasn't a very fun time for the field, but I was there. So for all of you "Johnny come lately" black republicans; just remember, the field has been there done that.

Yeah that was just some of the exciting and interesting stuff the field did in his past. Of course, the field has done some good things as well. I did teach in rural Jamaica for a year in the National Youth Service program. And I have done countless charity and pro bono work here in my adopted home town of Philly.

So as the day I was born approaches, I am thinking about how to take my existence to the next level. And I ask myself: what does one have to really do to contribute to society? Is it patent, a great invention? Writing a meaningful book or play? Being a mentor to some lost soul who had no shot before you came along? Or is it starting a movement for change? The answer is, of course, all of the above. So I am thinking that I am quite literally running out of time, and it's time to get my s#@% together. Because when it's all said and done it's about what you left behind for those who will follow you. It's about your legacy and your mark. And sadly, too many black folks are checking out having contributed nothing to the world they are leaving behind. The field is determined not to be in that number. Yep, I want my life to have been more than just brushes with famous people, and crazy things for enjoyment along the way. I want it to mean something, so that when I am looking at my creator (Whoever the heck that is) and they say; field, what have you done with your life? I can look him or her in the eye and say; well, I gave it one hell of a ride, and I rode it until the wheels came off.

The field is out!

*CORRECTION-Whoops! The field would like to make a correction to this post. That was Chuck Berry, and not Chubby Checker I got into it with on that boat coming back to L.A. from the Herbal Life Ball back in the eighties. So I am getting old and my memory ain't what it used to be. Hey, that was damn near twenty years ago. Sorry Chubby, I should have known that I couldn't throw your big ass off of a boat. :)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

His Majesty's Constitution

"The ends justify the means. Oh, and by the way, President Bush says the means are constitutional. And he's never wrong"~The Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Page

I would like to start this post by thanking newly appointed field-negro, The Honorable Anna Diggs -Taylor for her sweeping denunciation of frat boy's warrantless surveillance program. She ruled that the administration's use of warrantless surveillance was both illegal as well as unconstitutional. Good for her, and good for us, the American people, who will benefit from this ruling. King George and his minions have time and time again been blocked by the courts for their attempt to "bum rush" (that's field speak for attack) our constitutional rights. And this latest ruling just underscores how arrogant and out of touch King George and his crew in the white castle really are.

I must say, that I am not always proud of my profession, but the ruling from this judge made me proud to be a member of a profession whose job it is to look out for, and protect the constitution of our country. Unfortunately, not all of us think that way, and power and holding on to it has become more important than what has actually makes our country great in the first place.
I mean, best case scenario would be the doctored photo of one Mr. Rove actually being a real photo. But I guess, the good judges ruling will have to do for now.

I keep asking myself why I am not so willing to embrace frat boy with his war on terror; and the answer is becoming increasingly clear to me as things begin to unfold politically. It is, after all, almost time for the mid term elections, and all the ugliness that is politics in America is starting to rise to the fore again. The mantra for his majesty and his side kicks has become; it's either you side with us on this war on terror, or you side with them, the terrorist. The choice is clear, republicans and safety, or democrats and terror.

Well let me answer that for you Mr. Rove; my black ass is not siding with you or the terrorist, because that is false choice. It's a a straw man, set up to divide us, so that you can gain political points. Honestly, some of the people siding with frat boy on this issue have become almost-and I emphasize almost, for fear of becoming like them- as bad as the wack job religious fanatical terrorist that we are in this fight with. They don't represent the America I want to live in, with their one sided monolithic view of the world, their moralization of all things good and evil, and their unyielding intolerance.

They -the right-have bought into the Limboughfication-my word-of American discourse. Them bad and we good. You are either with us, or a "cut and run" traitor. It's why people like Dick Cheyney and Karl Rove scare the living sh#% out of me. Too dogmatic, too power hungry, and too willing to win at all costs politically in order to push forth their own agenda.

So to Judge Taylor, I say, you go girl, way to stick it to King George and his crew. Now of course you know what's coming next. The right wing talk shows will be in full attack mode, and salivating to start ranting about liberal activist judges who are way out of control. But we wont believe it this time, we have heard that song way too many times before, and it aint a hit anymore. In fact, the beat is kind of played. So King George, you might want to reconsider your strategy this fall, I don't think the scare and vote, your are with us or against us tactic is going to work anymore. Americans actually value their constitution and their freedoms way too much. And not even you, King George, with all your King's men, will be able to change that simple fact.

Friday, August 18, 2006


What's with me and this movie bug lately? Anyway, tonight is the opening of a movie I have been looking forward to for awhile now. Not because I think it's going to be some new cinematic classic, but because, quite frankly, the title, SNAKES ON A PLANE, or SOAP for short, intrigues me. I have been seeing the billboards, and watching the trailers, and thinking to myself;~~ what a dumb title for a movie~~~ But the more I thought about it, the more I started wanting to see the stupid flick. And if the Internet buzz and all the pub is any indicator, there are alot of people out there thinking just like the field-negro on this one. So from all indications, at least for the first weekend, Samuel L. and New Line cinema is going to have a hit on their hands. Good for them, not to mention smart of them, to come up with such a seamingly dumb but obviously catchy title.

Which got me to thinking; I wonder if I could take this SNAKES ON A PLANE thing to a whole different level? I wonder if I could write an urban based novel or movie based on my daily inspirations, and give it a catchy title like New Line did. And wouldn't you know it, yesterday, as if someone from up above was listening to my musings, quite by accident, I got my inspiration.

I usually drive into Center City Philadelphia to go to work, but yesterday, I had to get my car inspected, and so I left it with my mechanic. As a result, I took the regional rail into town. (Or as it is affectionatly known in Philly, "the white line") Of course on the "white line", there is no inspiration for my scary movie, because the people on the white line are all happy, and looking forward to going to their fifty, sixty, and seventy thousand dollar a year jobs. Every one is smiling, and just happy to be alive. But after work, I had to run to South Philly to do some business, and rather than catch a cab, I decided to take the subway, (or as folks in Philly affectionately call it, "the black line"). The subway is the black line because it is much cheaper, it runs mostly through portions of North Philly which is a 100% black part of town, and it carries mostly...you gussed it; black riders. Of course it runs through parts of South Philly too, but most white folks would rather ride a unicycle, or let their feet do the walking than catch the "black line". The few brave ones that catch it, do so out of extreme necessity and trust me, the apprehension and fear shows when they are on it. The people on the "black line" aren't as happy as the people on the white line, because with all due respect to Forrest Gump, "life aint like a box of chocolates" in their world. Heck just a couple of weeks ago a man stabbed another one to death over a pack of cigarettes, not to mention a shooting in broad day light at one subway ticket area that left one man dead.

So anyway, I am riding the black line and its right after rush hour. Every one has what I call their "hood face"on. This face says don't f#@% with me, I am not in the mood, and I will f#@$ you up if you even look at me funny. As I ride, I am looking at all these very sad very black faces. These unhappy campers, trapped in an urban environment they clearly want to leave but can't. Having to work twice as hard, to bring home much less, having to cope with crime, failing schools, blight in their neighborhoods, and who knows what else. And that's when the inspiration for my movie hits me. That's when, like a vision from the skies, the title for my not yet released movie appears to me: BLACKS ON A TRAIN, or BOAT. Think about it, if you think a bunch of snakes on a plane is scary, try putting yourself in the position of one of the few white folks that brave the "black line" in Philly, and suffers through having to ride with the blacks on the train. Surely they are terrified to be riding with all these blacks. Just like Samuel L. Jackson and his fellow passengers are terrified of that plane full of snakes. Of course, these blacks don't bite, but I bet those poor white folks on the "black line" think that they do. I can see it in their faces, there is a look of pure terror in those eyes. And I can do so much for my movie with that terror and that fear. It is, after all, what makes a scary movie gripping; the fear and apprehension of that terror, always lurking just around the corner.

Of course, I will have to add some drama to spice up my movie a bit. I could have the white passenger accidentally step on some young thugs foot, and compounding the problem by not apologizing or acknowleding what he did. That would cause some scare for your ass. Or, I could have the lone terrified white guy miss his stop and have to go all the way through the heart of North Philly, and then have to unboard to switch sides to head in the opposite direction. Think of all the drama with that one. Throw in the sound effects, some scary camera work, and you would have a full scale thriller on your hands. Every black approaching could be a potential threat, every stare could cause a possible confrontation, every move could be the poor guys last.

Yeah I think we can do this movie. I wonder what it would be rated? It will probably get an R rating for the language alone. Oh yeah, people on the "black line" will curse; sh#@, you would too, if you had to get up at 5:00 AM every morning, take three different modes of public transportation to get to a $7 an hour job way out in the suburbs cleaning bathrooms at the mall.
Or, if you had to take care of two minor children in a section 8 house, all by your lonesome, while their father is doing 10 to 20 upstate for whooping your ass within an inch of your life. All these people are on the train with you, and none of them are happy. Of course not all of them are victims. Some are predators, who are out to make a quick buck or hustle, by pouncing on the first mark or sign of weakness that they see. There are career criminals all around, people who have never made an honest dollar in their lives, and who think pulling a trigger is easier and less risky than cracking a book, or pushing a broom. Yep they are on the train too, and when you throw them into the mix with all the other cast of characters on the train, the possibilities are endless.

I think I can do this, and I think BLACKS ON A TRAIN can be a hit. Of course, I would have to get a major studio to back it. I need some major studio money behind my project. Kind of like New Line put into SOAP. Yeah, maybe a black studio will take on my project, cause I don't think the white studios will touch it. Mmmmm let's see now, .....damn it, doesn't look like there are any major black studios out there. Oh well, I think I will hold on to this one until I can come up with an idea for some.....wait a minute.

Yes operator? Chicago, Chicago Illinois please. Yes that's Oprah, Oprah Winfrey. It's spelled O-P-R-A-H.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Some Of Their Best Friends Are Tar Babies

I have always had a very simple philosophy about racist. Don't bull s##t me, let me know where you stand. I might not like you, but I will respect you a whole lot more. It's why I have no problem with the trailer park trash that posts on this site from time to time, and if someone wants to post racist views in the fields, they are free to go at it. Why? Because I believe in knowing who and where those who despise me because of my race are, and what they are up to. Heck, some people have described me as being a racist, but I believe that in the true definition of the word, I am not. Because while I might love my race more than any other, I don't necessarily think that one is automatically superior just because he or she happens to be black.

Which leads me to the reason for this post: Republicans can we talk? It seems lately you have had a race problem. It started with Bill Bennett, and his quote about aborting black babies. "If that was your sole purpose (referring to ending crime) you could abort every black baby in this country"Then, amazingly, it was the "tar baby" revival among republican pols. It started with White house press secretary Tony Snowjob, who said: "I don't want to hug the 'tar baby' of trying to comment on this program" when answering a question at a white house press conference. Now Mr. Snow and his right wing apologist, still, to this day, don't think he said anything wrong or insensitive. And Mr. Snow tried to explain his racially insensitive remark by saying: "I'll probably take that (tar baby) out of my tool chest of rhetorical devices, rather than having to explain a hundred and fifty years of American Culture". Sorry Mr. Snowjob, your American culture aint my American culture. And it certainly isn't Toni Morisson's American culture. Not when she says: "Tar Baby is also a name like nigger, that white people call black children. No Tony, I am going with the other Toni on this one.

Soon after came another republican tar baby snafu. (Just what in heavens name are these guys smoking ?) And delivering the lines this time, was the Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. Now of all people, you would think Mr. Romney would know better. Because he strikes me as one of those white people that even if he were a racist would know how to cover it up. But what does he do? He goes to a picnic in Ames, Iowa, and while eating chicken and watermelons-just kidding, I really don't know what he was eating- with a few of his closest friends, makes another stupid tar baby remark: "...just get as far away from that 'tar baby' as I possible can". He was of course referring to the "big dig" fiasco in Boston. Now I don't know if the good Governor is a racist or not, but he is a Mormon, and isn't that the church that banned blacks from holding office a few years ago? Mmmmm. But hey, churches like people can change I guess.

Which leads me to the granddaddy of republican racist or idiots- take your pick of whichever category you think he falls in. His name is George Allen, and he is a Senator from the great state of Virginia, with possible presidential aspirations. It seems Mr. Allen, while chilling with a few of his closest friends in a little town known as Breaks, Virginia, - Which by the way happens to be near the Kentucky border (Hey, when in Rome) -made what many consider a racist remark to a campaign worker of his opponents, by referring to the gentleman as a "Macaca". "Macaca or whatever his name is...welcome to America and the real world of Virginia" Now keep in mind, that the gentleman in question, S.R. Sidarth, was born and raised in Virginia, and Mr. Allen, was born in,...gasp, California! But Mr. Allen is white, and Mr. Sidarth is Indian, so it was easy to pick on the Macaca boy given the circumstances and surroundings. Do you think Mr. Allen would have made that comment in Washington D.C., or in Northern Virginia? Of course not. Now if you think Michael Jackson can moon walk, you didn't see the back pedeling the Allen campaign was doing after this one. "In no way was it meant to demean him, I'm sorry if he was offended" that was Allen's statement when he realized that the sh#@ was hitting the fan. Then his campaign went into full spin mode, but soon lied and said that Macaca was a name they often gave to this particular young man, only to have Allen say later that he just made the name up. Talk about "dumb and dumber". (See what happens when you try to be less than honest ?) But let's just say for argument sake, that Allen made up the term Macaca to describe his Indian friend, and assume that he did not know that a Macaca was an Asian monkey, and a term often used as a derogatory slur to North African immigrants in Europe. How does Allen explain his xenophobic comment about the "real Virginia"? He can't, but I am sure that he, as well as his GOP apologist friends will have an explanation for that one too. Now if Mr. Allen could just come out and admit how he really feels about blacks, immigrants, etc. I would at least respect the man. A fter all, doesn't every one love and respect an honest politician? I bet he would get more votes close to the Kentucky border.

Since the Allen gaffe, I have heard republicans, not to be outdone on the Indian racism front. Question why there was no outrage over Joe Biden's insensitive comments about the Indians and their Donkin Donuts franchises. Well let's see now, could it be because Joe Biden was not caught writing "nigger" on the wall in school? Could it be because Joe Biden did not have a noose hanging in his law office, or a picture of confederate troops in his governor's office? Could it be because Joe Biden did not try to do away with Martin Luther King's holiday in Delaware, or kick the only black trustee off of the UVA board? Maybe that's why. You see George, like so many of his republican buddies, have a problem when it comes to race. But just like his fearless leader, frat boy, explaining away his boozing and cocaine days, George says: "I have grown since those days". Really George? Apparently you haven't grown quite enough.

Honestly, I don't know what's in the heart of all these republicans, but I am sure starting to see a pattern. They are, at the very least, insensitive, and at the very worst, racist, masquerading as decent men. Well..let me amend that. Racist masquerading as politicians pretending to be decent men. Of course, the field negro could care less if these men are racist or not. They could pray to the Imperial Grand Wizard every night as far as I am concerned, and it wouldn't bother me one bit. All I ask is that they at least let me, and every other black person know where they honestly stand on issues of race. That way we can judge them for who they really are, and not some slick talking politician who says all the right things, but who thinks his race, like his country, is superior to every one else.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

1984 In The Fields

"The 'war on terror' has always been a misnomer. It assumes that the terrorist threat can somehow be 'eradicated' through the mechanism of war" -Julliette Kayyem. | Lecturer in public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

I couldn't agree with Julliette Kayyem more. Terrorism and the people who use the threat of terror as a means to an end, will never be eradicated from our midst. That's just a fact of life. There will always be people who are so fanatical and so hell bent on destroying a counter point of view that they will resort to the most extreme means of making their point. If it means taking the innocent life of civilians, so be it. This is what we face from radical Islam, white supremacist, and various separatist and nationalist movements throughout the world. I have always known this, so why do I feel like I am living out my own version of George Orwell's "1984"?

Kayyem argues, and I am paraphrasing; that we should engage them, that there will always be a core group of people such as Osama bin Laden, who will never change, but we must make it less attractive for the bigger circle around the core to join the extreme group in the middle. Again, Keyyem is on point. It seems with his current fool hardy Middle East policy frat boy is doing just the opposite. By sitting on our asses and letting the tensions play out between Israel and Hezbollah; we have allowed a full scale war to break out between the two. And by doing so, we have made a hero of Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. Not to mention inflamed the rest of the Arab world by creating sympathy for the terrorist group Nasrallah leads. When Osama bin Laden attacked us on that faithful September morning, this is exactly what he hoped would happen. -A full scale war between extremist Muslims and the west- Things could not have worked out better for OBL if famous Muslim author, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali had scripted it himself. Frat boy attacked a country that had nothing to do with the 911 attack, and now our troops are viewed as occupiers not saviors. Arabs all over the world are opposed to the war; they see the sectarian violence, the daily blood shed, and they hear of the prison abuse scandals. They hear news reports of American soldiers behaving badly, see images on Al- Jazeera T.V. of liitle Arab children being blown to smithereens; and as a result, they move closer to the core, the inner circle, closer to Osama bin Laden and his terrorist deeds. Of course, this means nothing to frat boy. Because here in America, his base smells blood, and they see this war as an us against them showdown that is already a fait accompli. And anyone who sees it differently, is a "cut and run" traitor. To those who aren't in frat boy's core,- the independents on the outer ring- he appeals to their fears, not their thirst for blood, but their love for their children, and the thought that another 911 could be looming right around the corner. There goes my thoughts of "1984" again. It's why terror has now become so politicized. Karl Rove sees this as a win win issue for the GOP, and any news of terror regardless of where it is in the world, is good for the GOP in this country. It's why cynics, such as yours truly, will always question the timing of news about a terror cell break up somewhere in the world. I have seen this act before, and I always say to myself, why do these terrorist groups always try to act close to an election in America? Mmmmmm. "The plot is further evidence that the terrorist we face are sophisticated and constantly changing their tactics" Really frat boy? You think! Nooooo, what makes you think that? And just exactly what did invading Iraq have to do with neutralizing thiese terrorists?
In his radio address, frat boy linked Hezbullah, to the insurgencies in Afghanistan, and Iraq. Nice try frat boy, but the only link that I can see to these groups is your abominable foreign policy.

So let's talk about that foreign policy, and this so called "war on teror". If this was a real "war on terror" all our troops would be in Afghanistan trying to find OBL himself, the culprit who was responsible for the real terror that poor innocent Americans experienced. Instead, we are still bogged down in Iraq, and the killings, bombings, kidnappings and all out sectarian violence continues. And there is no end in sight, and no strategy in place to bring it to a winning conclusion. Let me quote Kayyem again: ""...we keep believing-in Iraq, and possibly now in Lebannon-that the Arab world understand only force and power; as if the Arab world is a beta dog, needing the alpha United States to put it in is place. The administration has insisted on bringing 'democracy' through force to Iraq and unconditionally supporting Israel in its present battles in Lebanon" Once again, Kayyem is right. Frat boy and madam secretary just sat back and co-signed on Israel's actions in Lebanon, and gave Israel their blessings. By the time Condoleeza took her trip it was too late, and all hell was breaking out from Haifa to the Litani River. Now hundreds of lives and billions of dollars in destruction later, all we have to look forward to is a quickly brokered cease-fire, and ultimately, a UN peace keeping force which will not be able to keep the peace if Israel or Hezbullah decides to do like Marvin Gaye, and "get it on" all over again.

So where does this so called war on terror stand? Well according to "Pews World Survey, Arab attitudes towards the United States is the lowest it's ever been. So we can look forward to more extremist being created among that outer ring of Arabs, because more hate is festering and more fanatics are being born, and embracing a destiny of martyrdom every day. Some are already grown, and many are children. But they will be adults real soon, and there is no telling what type of hate they are feeling towards us. Now I don't know about other Americans; but the terrorist who is not afraid to give up his or her own life because of a total commitment laced with fanaticism, to his or her beliefs, just scares the living s#@% out of me. Because no matter how crazy most criminals are, they still think self preservation first, and will do what it takes to save his or her own skin. Not the terrorist frat boy is creating with his Middle East policies; these terrorist hate us and everything we stand for so much that they are willing to give up their own lives to take ours. That my friends, is scary, and that's why we need to start looking for real answers and engaging these people in a constructive way, instead of thinking we can change their hearts and minds by dropping leaflets or bombing them into oblivion. And unlike a conventional war, they are not all unified in some recognizable country that we can strategically attack. They are all over the world, they are among us, and contrary to what the proponents of racial profiling would want you to believe, they have no discernible look. Organized battalions are not needed, instructions can be given via the Internet, and all it takes is an army of one to walk into a crowded restaurant or a mall to strike the enemy. So we keep playing politics instead of trying to come up with real answers, while our enemy takes on a more sinister profile, and continues to try to find ways to be the ultimate victor in a war that no one might end up winning.

I started with Kayyem, and I will close with Kayyem-

"De-radicalizing a generation is not a job we can do alone, and it's not a job we can finish. (That's partly because our policies have helped radicalize people) But we need to stop doing so much to hinder. The world does not want to necessarily, and we ought not to require it as a condition for working to minimize a threat we all will win for some time"

The field-negro could not have said it better himself, and if Mr. Orwell was around, he would change the title of his book to 2006.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

King Of The Fields

I told you I would not comment directly on the news for awhile, and I will not. There is just so much happening in the news right now that my poor brain is locked into news over load. It's just way too much for the field-negro to deal with. Anyway, I am sitting here in the fields, glad the heat wave finally broke, and thinking about the world and all of its problems. Why just today there was a major terrorist plot uncovered in England to blow up airplanes over the Atlantic. May I steal a line from Arsenio? It makes me want to say mmmmmm. So they have been watching these guys for months and just decided to move in on them? That's funny, why are they moving in now that my man Tony Blair is in political trouble in the UK, not to mention, major mid-term elections coming up in this country? But I digress, it may, after all, just be the cynic in me coming out again. So while in the fields, my mind starts to wonder, and I say to myself; self, what if you were King of the world or at least of the United States, what changes would you make?

So here goes:

If I were King of the world, there would be no death penalty period. No civilized society puts another human being to death. Lock him up and throw away the key. Force him to do free manual labor for the rest of his life to benefit society, but don't take his life. Especially given our very human proclivities towards bias.

If I were King of the world, a woman would be free to do what she wants with her body. I have always said that if men could have babies, there would be drive through abortion clinics. Now do I like the idea of aborting a fetus? No, but then again, it aint my body carrying it.

If I were King of the world marijuana would be legal and taxed like tobacco. I know I am from Jamaica, but give me a break. Nothing that comes out of the earth and is not touched by any man made chemicals-like cigarettes for instance-should be illegal to smoke. And Bill, you are a f#$@*%g lier, you did inhale.

If I were King of the world, organ donation would be mandatory. Like what the f#@# are you doing with it? You are dead!

If I were King of the world, homosexuals would be free to marry, adopt children, and have every legal right that heterosexuals have.

And speaking of marriage, if I were King of the world, marriage license would expire every five years. - like a driver's license- That way you could have an option of renewing that bad boy. Think of all the headaches and money people could save, not having to go through the entire divorce process.

If I were King of the world, every elected politician would have to send their child to a public school for the equivalent number of years that they stay in public office. Think about it; Chelsea Clinton, and the Bush twins would have gone to public schools for their entire educational career. Now that, as my white friends like to say, would be "rich".

And speaking of schools, if I were king of the world, parents would be fined $100 for every PTA meeting they miss. Unless they bring a damn good excuse why they weren't there. Parents will also be fined if their children miss over 25% of classes, or forget to do 25% of their homework assignments in a given school year.

And under King Field, teachers will be given bonuses if their classes out perform the previous year. Mmmm sounds like "no child left behind" I didn't say frat boy was all bad. I happen to like parts of the "no child left behind" program.

If I were King of the world, all preachers would be taxed relative to the membership of their churches.

If I were King of the world reparations would be in the form of a free state funded college
education if an individual can prove that he or she was a direct descendant of slaves. The land grant state college in the state in which they reside, would guarantee them four years of college as long as they graduate high school with a "B" average.

If I were King of the world, welfare to work recipients would be given mandatory classes in debt and personal management skills. And section 8 recipients would not be punished for having a man in the home, as long as he does not have a criminal record, and he either has a job, or is trying to find one.

Speaking of welfare; people who are granted public assistance would be removed from their grant if they did not vote. And speaking of voting, felons -if, and only if, they complete their sentences- would be given the right to vote. Also if you are on public assistance, you will not be allowed to get benefits for more than two children.

If I am King of the world, affirmative action quotas, will be based on your income and background, not your race or your gender.

If I am King of the world, there will be term limits for every elected branch of government-not just the presidency- No more Jessie Helms damn near dying in the senate before his old racist ass had to go.

If I am King of the world, insurance companies will have to give auto policy holders a rebate check every five years that they- the policy holder- stays accident free.

If I am King of the world, all you can eat food joints would ban patrons who appear to be more than one hundred pounds over weight. Yes obesity is a national health problem. Hell, we ban cigerette smoking in public places, so let's stop overweight people from killing themselves in public places. And speaking of overweight; (And I stole this one from somebody) food items in the supermarket should be taxed proportionately to the calories in them and not the price.

If I were King of the world, the IMF would forgive the debt owed to it by all Third World countries. Like those greedy SOB's need the money. And while I am still king, I might as well force countries like America and other first world countries to buy farm products from poorer countries first before they buy anywhere else. It's the least they could do after years of colonialist exploitation.

If I were King of the world, I would ban assault and semi automatic weapons in all areas where there is a population of over fifty thousand people. Heck, you know what, I would ban all hand guns period in these areas. Only those in law enforcement can have handguns. Lock your f$#@&%g guns up at the gun or hunting club. So if your ass gets caught with one in the city, it's a mandatory five year sentence. And if you are caught selling one, it's a mandatory ten years.

If I were King of the world, I would stop funding NASA with the government's money. I would use some of that money for things like surveillance cameras for high crime areas, more funding for mass transit, more funding for things like child support enforcement and after school recreational programs. Space can wait. I don't think we are missing out on too much up there anyway.

If I were King of the world, I would offer more tax relief for people who buy hybrid cars, and people who own small business. Especially those people who try to start their businesses in poorer communities. Oh, and they woud have to be citizins, I am sick of foreign business in the hood. Ever notice that they only hire their own family members to work in these stores? What does that tell you black folks? Get your own!

Finally, If I were King of the world, I would order Jessie Jackson, Ann Coulter,Rush Limpbough, Bill Oliely, Al Sharpton, Sean Hannity, Michael Eric Dyson,Ken Blackwell, Michael Savage, Ray Nagin, and...oh what the heck, lets throw Clarence Thomas in there too. All sent to Gitmo indefinitely until I decide it's time for them to be released. Oh, it's good to be king. Now I know what King George feels like :)

Oh, before I go, the King must have a Queeen. Mmmmm let's see now, Ok Lark looks like you are it.

I'm out.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Field-Negro 101

I am always amused at how sensitive some blacks-particularly black conservatives-get when you talk about the house Negro field Negro dichotomy among black folks. Black conservatives are always quick to lash out at the house Negro moniker as if it's directed at them. They see it as a straw- man and red herring set up to distract from the real issues confronting black America.

Well it's not. The moniker is one that was created by Malcolm X in one of his more famous speeches to make a point about certain blacks not giving their all to the movement because of their so called stake in America. That speech is so inspiring and so on point, that it is from where I find the inspiration- not to mention the name- for this blog. I use it because I think it's still relevant for today's discourse in matters of race, as well as the black political movement in this country.

When I post on other blogs I always use the handle The Field-Negro, and the vitriolic responses I get for my handle alone -from whites and blacks- is at times frightening. "Why must you use that handle, it's so degrading to blacks?" "Shame on you for such a despicable handle". "You embarrass yourself and all self respecting black people by using such a handle". Anon and on it goes. This is just from the black folks. You can imagine what I get from my fellow white bloggers on the web; or, for that matter, the fringes of the web.

But, once again, I would like to set the record straight about this house Negro field Negro metaphor(and yes it's just a metaphor) and where I stand on this issue. Think of this post as Field Negro 101 for your self improvement.

First, being a house Negro has nothing to do with how you look, how much money you have, where you live, or, for that matter, where you work. The same can be said about being a field Negro. It's not about how radical you think you are or how militant or African you may appear in your features. It's why I explain my background in detail to all who come to my blog. It's important to understand that in spite of my upbringing and background, I am firmly entrenched in the fields. It's not about my credentials or how I grew up, or even what privileges were afforded to me. Rather, it's about my state of mind at this point in time, and how I choose to engage in the struggle to uplift black people in modern day America.

For instance, I consider wealthy people such as Bill Cosby and Denzel Washington field Negroes. On the other hand, I consider some not so wealthy people, such as Jessie Lee Peterson and La Shawn Barber; house Negroes. I consider certain sports icons such as Jim Brown, Magic Johnson, and Muhammad Ali, field Negroes. But I consider icons such as Michael Jordon, O.J. Simpson, and George Foreman, house Negroes. Oprah Winfrey, in my book, is a house Negro; while her good friend, Maya Angelo, belongs in the fields. Jessie Jackson (Yes, that Jessie Jackson) is a house Negro, but John Lewis, the congressman from Georgia, is a field Negro. In terms of appearance, the very dark Clarence Thomas should have his picture in the dictionary beside house Negro, while the fairer skinned Thurgood Marhsall was a big time field Negro. Get the point? It's certainly not about how you look. It's all about who I think is contributing to the cause of advancing black issues in the right way.

Now let's look at this phenomenon literally for a moment: I have no problem with someone living in the house, and wanting the things the house offers for his or her family: The better schools; the safer neighborhoods; and a better quality of life. Only a fool would think otherwise. I don't even have a problem with the house Negro running to put out the fire if massa's house catches on fire, or, for that matter, if he tries to save massa's life. After all, if massa and his house are gone, where is the house Negro going to live, and who is going to hire him to work? On the other hand, I do have a problem if the house Negro tries to save massa before his own. That type of house Negro is a problem, and he is the one I speak so disparagingly of when I make fun of the house Negro. Unfortunately, as Malcolm said, there are still a lot of house Negroes like the latter around today. They are the ones who write the books for massa's ears only, kicking black folks harder than massa would ever kick us by telling us how bad we are. They are the ones -insert Thomas Sowell here- who write about America and her problems, as if the white man is blameless, and we, black folks, brought all the problems on ourselves. They are the ones-insert Clarence Thomas here- who are not only too happy to work in the house with massa, but wish that they were a part of massa's family as well. That is the dangerous house Negro; the self hater, the one  who will do anything to be more white than the white person himself, because just working and living in the house is not good enough for him. That house Negro wants a stake in the house, and he will sell the rest of us out to get it.

I will give you an example: I have a black colleague who does very well for himself and his family. He recently purchased a home in a very affluent predominantly white neighborhood, and has from time to time bragged of being the only black in his development. Now this individual is a classic house Negro. And living in his all white subdivision didn't make him one, but being proud that he is the only black in said subdivision does. Like the "house nigger" in Malcolm X' s speech, he was proud to be the only Negro living among the whites. This is the inclination and fixed way of thinking of an individual who has fled from his people and would not mind if he never sees a black neighborhood or anything associated with black people again. This Negro didn't flee to white suburbia for better schools, safer neighborhoods, and cost effectiveness. Nope, this Negro fled to white suburbia because he wanted to be around massa and his house. This house Negro is the one I refer to when I make my lists, and speak of when I try to point out the Negroes that are holding us back by projecting to white folks-insert Oprah here- a false image of what black folks are going through. The field Negro, given the same circumstances, would find himself going back to the old neighborhood, volunteering his time, and helping when and where he can. He would not care about how many other Negroes lived in his development, as long as his family was receiving the benefits I outlined above.

So for all of you who see the handle, and wonder why The Field Negro. Think about that for a minute. Think about what makes a field Negro: Hard worker, cares about his family and his race, always with the masses so he knows what it will take to improve our plight, understands -because he works so hard in the fields- that it will take more than just talk to make things happen. And finally, that the house is not his, and ultimately he will have to build his own.

That, my friends, is the essence of the field Negro, and that is what every Negro should strive to become.

Folks, you will notice that I have not been reading from the massa's paper for the past few Sundays. Why? Well, quite frankly, the news has been depressing to the field negro, -war, inner city murders, heat wave,global warming, serial killers, doping scandals,accusations of drug abuse by Lark Voorhies. (Ok maybe in the bigger scheme of things that's not so important)-and it's all just more of the same. So until things change a little in the world, I think I will stay away from writing in depth about the news for awhile.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Still Hot And Still Ranting

One of my favorite bands, "Third World", has a song called "Ninety Six Degrees In The Shade". I kept thinking about that song all day today, and yesterday, and the day before, and....well, you get the picture. Folks, it's been hot out here in these fields. The heat index was up to one hundred and ten here in Philly, and I swear it was hotter than ninety six degrees in the shade.

So you can imagine what type of mood I am in. Oh, and this is for that ignorant ass Internet stalking trailer park trash that keeps coming to the fields. Hey inbred, I have central air in my house thank you very much. But unlike you, I have a job, so I must venture outside from time to time. Now that I have that out of the way, I have some ranting to do. And please bear with me folks because I am going to be all over the place.

Now where do I start? There has been so much sh@# going on that I really don't know where to begin. Well, let me start with World War freaking III breaking out in the Middle East, because I suppose, in the bigger scheme of things , it's the most important news item of the day. There is a sign in my gym's weight room that says: "If you can't put the weights down gently, please don't pick them up" That sign, describes perfectly, the mess that frat boy has gotten himself into. Because our great leader, has picked up one hell of a mess in Iraq and the Middle East, and he doesn't quite know how to put it down, let alone put it down gently. Frat boy let the neo- cons who had his ear, talk him into a fool hardy and unnecessary war, and now the entire region is a powder keg that is about to...or should I say, have already exploded. Honest broker with Israel you say? Nope, we can't do that, because we invaded a country ourselves, and unlike Israel, our country was not in any danger of being attacked by the country we invaded. I see where our secretary of defense said that what is happening in Iraq is -and I am paraphrasing- an unfortunate set of circumstances but not quite a civil war. WHAT? Not a civil war? Let's see, when two different sects within the same country are killing each other at a rate of about one hundred a day; it's a f#@$#^% civil war. Don't even get me started on this fiasco again. I think frat boy's approval ratings kind of sums up the mood on this issue pretty well. And make no mistake, frat boy's low job approval is all about this war. The Dow is over 1,100, and the economy isn't great, but it aint bad; so what else could it be? Sorry Condi, if you want to preserve a good name for yourself in the history books, you better do like my Jamaican buddy-the general- did, and bail on frat boy before it's too late.

Oh, and while I am thinking about the war, I want to say something about Joe Lieberman's fight for his life in the race for his senate seat in Connecticut. (I told you I would be all over the place) Shame on race pimps Jessie Jackson, and Al. Sharpton for dropping in on Yankee country to support Lamont over Lieberman. Yes, I am on different sides of that war issue with him, but guess what, Joe Lieberman has earned the right to go back to Washington. Lieberman walked the walk during the civil rights struggle and risked his life to do the right thing when it mattered. I agree with most of what he stands for -except for the war of course- and the guy is a democrat who has made his bones in the party. Trust me, I was just as sickened by that smooch with frat boy as every one else, but his support for the war should not cause him to lose his senate seat. If that's the case, then Ms. Thing from New York should go too.

Speaking of Washington, I see yet another book is out telling black folks how we should get our house in order by pulling up our boot straps blah blah blah. This time it's Mr. FAUX NEWS Juan ~I will take the liberal side~ Williams. Like all the other books of this ilk before it, this one will sell, because white folks love nothing more that hearing or reading about black folks talk about black problems. And yes, I know I do it too, but damn it, I rant on a blog to a few of my closest friends, not pimp books on television and radio, to an audience of millions.

Every time I get pissed off at this heat wave I think about Al. Gore and how right he is about this stuff. (Yes I know I say it every time I post and I will keep saying it). Every scientist now agrees with him except a few in the minority like the wack job conservative climatoligist, Richerd Lindzen, who every conservative in the country likes to site as an authority on this subject just because he disagrees with Gore. Yeah, keep playing politics with this s@#t. This is more serious than the NBA sized man hiding in a cave somewhere with a beard. Trust me on this one. The glaciers are disappearing, the ice caps are melting, and we just had Katrina. Yet, people are still calling Al. Gore a crack pot. Unbelievable!

I see Fidel is in poor health, and all those Cubans in South Florida are losing their freaking minds. My advise to them is; get a f#@%&^g life. Who cares if the old man gives up power at this point. He is 80 years old, and has ruled that country for 47 years. Do you really think there will be any major changes in Cuba, in your lifetimes? Yes he took your grandfather's land, get over that sh#@. White folks took the Indian's land, and Europeans exploited Africa and the West Indies for years; and yet, you didn't see a bunch of Jamaicans and Trinidadians celebrating when Princess Di died did you? Hey, I will say this, I saw some programs Fidel Castro brought to Jamaica in the late seventies, when Michael Manley was Prime Minister there. Things like; micro dams, new schools, farming cooperatives, and medical training etc. and all I can say is, I don't see him as the monster that many Cuban Americans see him as. -Of course he didn't take my father's land- Hey, have you ever noticed the pigmentation of all the Cubans in Florida, as opposed to all the ones that were left in Cuba? Think about that one for a minute.

Still no final outcome in the Mexican elections. Be careful Mexico, you don't want to be another Cuba. The ingredients are all in place. The very rich, the very poor, corruption at all levels of government. I know you try to be like your neighbor to the north, but must you imitate everything? The Florida fiasco-Gore v. Bush- was not a good thing, so let's try to be open and fair shall we amigos.

Seems my man Mel Gibson's mouth is his "Lethal Weapon". Sorry Mel, that was too easy. Advise to Mel: Take your money, all your awards, pack up the kids, and head to the Australian Outback. While you are there, stock up on some Fosters, throw a shrimp or two on the barbie, and kick back while you do some soul searching to find out what type of a person you really are. And just what the f#@% you were thinking on that faithful night in Malibu.

Run Cynthia Run! Girl you look like you are in real trouble. I think "The Man" got you again.
But you make it so easy for him.

Yet another American track athlete accused of doping. Justin Gatlin, I think Asafa Powell's world record is legit. Yours on the other hand; mmmmmm. Let's throw "Me and Mrs. Jones" in the mix while we are at it, not to mention the Amish cyclist that just won the Tour De France. And to think, we thought only the East Germans liked the needle.

Oh, I read in "black electorate" where my man "Star" from the Star and Bucwild show is making a comeback. Good for him, I liked to listen to him in the mornings; his show was irreverent, funny, and sometimes brilliant. Yes black folks were all up in arms because he said the "N" word on the radio, but guess what, some of these same people's kids are saying it every day to their friends at school. I agree with Star that " we are quickly heading towards a totalitarian state in this country" and it's scary. Just like Lenny Bruce before him, Star was arrested for his speech; and that wasn't right. Like who really thought that he was going to go looking for some other DJ's child? I bet the other DJ didn't. Give me a break!

Oh, before I forget, I would like to turn everybody on to this beautiful site I stumbled on. It seems this sister was checking out the field-negro's blog from Africa. Anyway, she shot me an e-mail and explained that due to the nature of her work, she finds herself living in East Africa.
Well I checked out her blog, and I am homesick for the motherland. She is in Malawi, and the pictures on her blog from that country took my breath away. Check it out; the site is called "Humble Beginnings" And if like me, you yearn to visit the motherland, you will be glad you did.

Let's see, what else. Oh, big up to the Delta's, they have invaded Philly for their annual conference, and it's red and white everywhere. But it's a beautiful thing to see all these sisters, young and old, doing their thing, and taking care of business. I even took a couple of them to lunch today. Hey, just trying to do my part as an ambassador for the city ;)
Ced & Toney, I wish you were here. [Inside joke]

The field-negro is outta here, I have to turn up my air.