Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I swear, this must be boys in blue week here in the fields. The hits just keep coming from some of those who have taken an oath to protect all the citizens of these divided states but don't always seem to do so.

Anyway, have you ever wondered what some police officers are thinking when they are in the privacy of their patrol cars? Well thanks to a Temple University student, who went for a ride along with one of Philly's finest, you can now get a glimpse of what goes on in the minds of some of our officers.

"By DAFNEY TALES Philadelphia Daily News
talesd@phillynews.com 215-854-5084
A college class assignment may have gotten a Philadelphia police officer into some hot water.
William Thrasher, a white cop in the 22nd District, at 17th and Montgomery, has been put on desk duty after an article written by a Temple University student quoted him describing his disgust for black people in the district where he works, likening them to animals and calling their problems "typical n---- s---," or "TNS," during a ride-along with the student Jan. 30.
The article enraged The Guardian Civic League, an organization of black Philadelphia police officers, which is calling for his dismissal.

'[Thrasher] took an oath to protect all people,' said Rochelle Bilal, who heads the group. 'If that's the way he feels about black people, then he needs to be off our streets.'
The police Internal Affairs department is investigating. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that that kind of inflammatory rhetoric will not be tolerated within the department.
'I'm not happy with this at all," he said. 'I take this very, very seriously. It's not supposed to happen. You can't serve people you don't respect.'

Thrasher, 24, of Tacony, joined the force in February 2007, and was assigned to the 22nd District, a mostly black area of North Philadelphia."

Hmmm, so that's what "TNS" means. And here I thought it was an acronym for one of Ted Turner's TV stations...oh wait, that's TBS, sorry.

Seriously folks, this has not been a good week for Philly's finest. Oh field, relax, so one poor cop out of thousands slipped and made some off color remarks, and a Dominican drug dealer claims the cops violated his civil rights, what's the big deal?

It's no big deal; not if you happen to live in Mexico, but this A-merry-ca, and it just might be a big deal here. The people who are paid to protect us should protect all of us, and there are laws that they should follow like the rest of us do. No one is above it. (Unless your name is Bush or Cheney of course) If police officers are going to be my last defense against the Barbarians at my gate, I want to have the comfort of knowing that they won't be one of the Barbarians trying to get in.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sorry Negro, you look like just another drug dealer to me.

Hi, it's me,field, your friendly "racism chaser", and I have another story for you:

Terrence Jones is a retired Philadelphia police officer. He was on the force for 11 years until he got a job related injury and decided to settle down in a beautiful South Jersey McMansion with his family. Life was good for Terrence Jones until the night of February 4, 2007. That's the night he met Patrolman Michael Schaeffer. The Patrolman pulled Jones over and asked him why he was exiting an industrial park. He then proceeded to ask Mr. Jones if he had been drinking and if he would allow a vehicle search. Jones told the Patrolman that he never drinks and refused to allow the search of his Lincoln Navigator. (Come on field, he was asking to be stopped. Why don't you black people drive simple cars?) The Patrolman, undaunted, ordered Jones out of his vehicle, frisked him, and then leaned into the vehicle to look around. To top it off, he did a sobriety test after not smelling liquor on Jone's breath and justified it by telling someone on his police radio that Mr. Jones is "just shady".

Now if you think all of that was outrageous; wait, it gets better: Mr. Jones had the nerve to be outraged at the treatment he received at the hands of one of South Jersey's finest, so he did what any angry citizen would do: he wrote a letter to the Police Chief of the township where he was harassed for DWB. What do you think happened? Well, the police chief claimed that he never got the letter, and finally, after Mr. Jones called him, he decided that he he would pick up a copy of the letter from Mr. Jone's home. Of course he never questioned or disciplined the officer involved, and he passed the complaint on to a county investigator.

Fast forward to July of the same year, and to his horror, Mr. Jones found himself looking at 18 months in jail after a grand jury indicted him for filing a false police report. Yep, a false police report! Do you believe that shit? Of course you do, it's why you are reading this blog.

Anyway, fortunately for Mr. Jones, his story had a happy ending. Happy being a relative term, of course.

"Visibly angered, Superior Court Judge M. Christine Allen Jackson had called the case 'chilling' when she found him not guilty. It was over; and Jones sobbed in relief."

"A lot of people came up to me afterward and said they,too, had been stopped for driving while black..they felt nothing would be done if they complained and they didn't want to become a target."

Well, they might as well complain, because they are targets. Not complaining and letting bullshit like this slide will only make a bad situation worse. DWB is bad enough as it is. If we don't call enough attention to these racist cowboys they will think that they can get away with the things they did to folks like Ryan Moats in Dallas (who, by the way, accepted the ignorant officer's apology, just like I told you he would) and Terrence Jones in South Jersey.

Terrence Jones and Ryan Moats were lucky, there were police cameras to video tape what happened to them as they drove while black. Quite a few folks have not been so lucky.

"Jones believed the tape saved him. 'It would have been my word against the police officers', he said. 'I might have been doing 18 months in jail."

Or worse Mr. Jones, you might have been dead.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

If he goes to confession, then can he speak?

"Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame, Wake up the echoes cheering her name, Send a volley cheer on high, Shake down the thunder from the sky! What though the odds be great or small, Old Notre Dame will win over all, "

You will excuse me if I don't feel like cheering for "Old Notre Dame" right about now.

So let me get this straight: Quite a few folks in the Notre Dame family are upset because his O ness is scheduled to speak at their May 17th commencement. The faithful are appalled that the institution would dare offer an invitation to a man who is pro choice, pro stem cell research and pro civil unions. The nerve! How dare he think he can speak at their school with those positions. Who cares if he is the president of these divided states, the man is a sinner not a saint.
The Bishop of South Bend himself, John D'Arcy, said he will not be attending. And they have launched anti Obama websites and garnished over 157,000 signatures of angry alumni who object to his O ness stepping foot on the hallowed grounds under the golden dome.

But I want to go back in a little time machine with my Catholic brothers and sisters. Come on with me now, and let's put ourselves at the very same university while another president speaks. See him? That's George W. Bush; a man who supports the death penalty and who started a war that cost over [$]4,000 A-merry-cans and a countless number of Iraqis their lives.

See what he is doing? He is giving the commencement address, and it is May, 2001. Do you hear the protest over his visit? Is the Bishop there to welcome him? Yep, that would be the Bishop sitting in the front row. So why the vitriol over his O ness? Wasn't Jimmy Carter pro choice? Wasn't he allowed to speak under the golden dome in 1977? Of course he was, but this is different.....right Catholics?
If many of you have your way Barack Hussein Obama will not be the ninth A-merry-can president to receive an Honorary degree from your fine institution. So maybe you should ask yourselves: what would the Pope do? Hey, I just saw him in African with a bunch of Africans (please don't get me started)running behind his popemobile, so I really don't think he would mind if a half African was allowed to speak at his largest institution of higher learning in North America.
Oh well, good luck president Obama. I know you are the president of all A-merry-cans, but I don't think all of us believe it. To some, you are still a sinner. I don't care of you can walk on water.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is one of the "Kings of Comedy" a fraud?

I get e-mails from friends and readers all the time turning me on unjust things that have happened to different people in these divided states of A-merry-ca. (Like the story on my sidebar about the Scott sisters. And I am still waiting to hear from Abilene Christian University after hearing from the former African American head of their student body, Daniel Paul Watkins, who was, in his words, removed from his position without good cause) One such e-mail was from Tracy Carson, whose mother, Sharon P. Carson, recently wrote a book about African American relationships. Problem is, the famous comedian Steve Harvey just wrote a book that is very similar, not only in title but in content. So in the words of another famous comedian: it makes me want to go hmmmm.

Here is Ms. Carson's press release:

PRLog (Press Release) – Mar 01, 2009 – Did Steve Harvey copy the book title Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man And theme from an earlier book? Book with same title & theme copyrighted and published by Sharon P. Carson in 2003 CHICAGO, IL – Sharon P. Carson the author of the original title; Act Like A Lady –Think Like A Man, watched the February 27th episode of the Ophra [sic] show on which Steve Harvey was promoting his book of the same title. She was hoping that Steve would reveal to Oprah where he got the title and the theme for the book. It just seemed odd to her that his book had the same title and theme as her book that was copyrighted in 2003. Thinking of all the self - published poets and authors like herself who have a hard time finding publishers for their materials, she was hoping for perhaps some recognition that the idea for the book might have come from her, especially since upon subsequently purchasing the book, she found some interesting parallels. But then she thought that it was not unusual for a high profiled person to take a great title and theme, rewrite a book and use their celebrity to sell it. This she says happens too often to the unsung poets, authors and entrepreneurs of the world. Steve wrote in his book that his hope was to “empower you with a wide-open look into the minds of men”. Sharon P. Carson wrote in her book in 2003 that women need to gain some insight into how men think in terms of relationships. Sharon also noted that in chapter 8 of Steve Harvey’s book titled “Why Men Cheat” he came to the same conclusion that she did in chapter 37 of her book, titled “Why would a man cheat”; “because they can”.

Sharon actively promoted her book before the release in January 2009 of Steve Harvey’s book and would not like to see her promotion efforts hindered. She feels that her book has much to offer from a woman’s perspective and seeks empower women to practice self love and tough love in relationships. Before the publication of Steve Harvey’s book of the same title, Sharon bought the domain name; http://www.actlikealadythinklikeaman.com/ from which she has been selling her book. She has also held seminars with women at a Chicago University in promotion of her book and can be viewed on the following youtube clip as she was being interviewed on a cable television program about her book in 2007 ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxVVQX15X2Y. Sharon hopes that her earlier book with the same title will finally receive the recognition it deserves and is currently consulting with attorneys regarding her options."

Ms. Carson, if it is in fact true that Steve Harvey got his idea for his book from you, it is not right and you should be compensated. Personally, I really hope that Steve Harvey knew nothing about Ms. Carson's book before he wrote his own. (I hear a movie might even be in the works) But here is hoping that if he did get his ideas from Ms. Carson he will come clean.
As a blogger who encourages independent publishing, it would be disappointing to see someone use their celebrity to take advantage of the hard work that someone else did.
Oprah has already been duped once on her show, I would hate to see it happen to Ms. Thing again.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why do you blacks always try to escape the police by driving to the emergency room?

I first heard of Ryan Moats a few years ago after the Eagles drafted him to be the oft injured Bryan Westbrook's backup. He had some talent, but everyone in Eagle Nation knew that Moats couldn't read the Eagle's complex playbook. Still, he seemed like a decent guy, and I was glad to see that he landed on his feet after the Eagles cut him.

Fast forward four years, and Ryan Moats is in the news again. I didn't want to blog about this story last night, I wanted to really scrutinize the tape and get all the facts before I went on my usual "racism chasing" rant. Besides, I was too pissed, and when I am pissed I can't really focus on writing until I calm down a little bit. I am calm now.

Ryan Moats might not have been able to read the Eagle's playbook, but he sure got the playbook of life down pat. I watched his incredible restraint with that Dallas police officer (What the hell is wrong with these law enforcement folks in Texas? I guess, as someone commented on "Deadspin", it's still illegal to DWB in Texas), and all I could think was I could never do that. Sure, as a black man I know all the rules of survival when stopped by the po po, especially if I am on another planet like Texas. I know to keep my hands where they can be seen. I know to point to where my registration and insurance card is, and to tell the officer when I am reaching for it. And I know to dial my programmed home number in my cell phone (to get my home recording device) as the officer approaches my car, and keeping my cell phone on all times. I know to make sure I make a mental note of the officer's badge number and his name. And finally, I know to always show my pearly whites before my yes and no sirs.

I am sure that Ryan Moats knows most of those rules, too. And I am sure that the rules would have worked just fine if it was just a routine traffic stop for a real [or imagined] traffic violation. But this was no normal traffic stop. I don't have to repeat it. You all know the story by now. Ryan Moat's mother- in- law lay dying in the hospital and he was trying to get the family to see her one last time before she went to meet her maker.

Of course we also know by now that Robert Powell wasn't having it. This nig....I mean man in this fancy truck talking back to him had to be taught a lesson in how not to be uppity and to respect authority. What followed was painful to watch and listen to. But everyone of you who have been guilty of DWB can relate; and for you, I am sure it was more painful to watch than it was for others. I know it was for me.

Ryan Moats is lucky to be alive, he might not have learned the Eagles playbook, and it cost him a job in Philly, but learning the playbook of life might have saved his own, and allowed him to live to see one more training camp.

"I wish to publicly and sincerely apologize to the Moats family, my colleagues in the Dallas Police Department, and to all those who have been rightfully angered by my actions on March 18, 2009. After stopping Mr. Moats' vehicle, I showed poor judgment and insensitivity to Mr. Moats and his family by my words and actions, Powell's statement reads."

"Poor judgement"? That's what ignorance and racism is called these days? "Poor judgement"?I hear Mr. Powell is trying to reach Moats to personally apologize. Moats will probably take the call and tell the officer that all is forgiven. That's a part of the playbook,too. Always forgive and take the high road. If you are black in A-merry-ca, that's the part of the playbook that you have memorized: forgive and forget. That always works out. That is, of course, until the next officer Powell comes along, and there is a dashboard camera to see him.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Maybe they just don't like her arms.

This post is going to be like a homework assignment. It's a little research I am doing and I am really serious about this one.

So here is the question and the challenge:

Does anyone reading this have a link to an article from a left wing blogger, news outlet, or pundit, trashing Laura Bush in ways like this ,(The guy's name is Pretlusky, and have you seen him? No wonder he is bitter)and this? Or, even this?

I have to confess, before I did this post, I "googled" field Negro and Laura Bush, just to make sure I wasn't being a hypocrite. And nope, I didn't see anything remotely trashing the former first lady. I guess, like most civilized A-merry-cans, no matter how much I despised her husband and his policies, I tried to be respectful to the wife.

No such luck with these petty vindictive people on the right. I guess when you can't win a policy debate you try to get your rocks off in other ways.

It's sad, because I don't remember the frat boy ever having to beg the press to lay off his wife. Not during his presidency, or when he was campaigning for it.

So help me here folks. If you find any of these links, please put it in the comments section. Because I really am curious to know if the left was as disrespectful and cruel to Laura Bush, as the right is to Michelle Obama.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When will it end?

When the revolution finally comes, most A-merry-cans won't even know it unless their favorite show is interrupted by a breaking news update. I have been sitting at this computer for the past hour, and I can 't get a damn thing done. Why? Because Mrs. Field has been at the church of "American Idol" for as long as I have been sitting here.

Some things in life I will never understand. Mrs. Field is a smart woman. In fact, I am pretty sure that her IQ is much higher than mine. She is disciplined focused, and damn good at her job. Yet there she sits, interacting with the television, song after miserable song. Tonight must be Motown night, (because I recognize all the classics they are playing) and if Barack Obama wants to really get in my good graces he will pass a law tomorrow banning all sampling of old Motown songs.

I can hear Randy with his shuck and jive act. "Dude, that wasn't really you dog". (Who talks like that?) And I can hear Paula, and Simon, and the other one (I don't know her name), as each singer mercifully ends their song. And, of course, Mrs. Field has to give her running commentary as well. "Lil Rounds you shouldn't sing that song girl... now that was better... come on Scott, you can do better than that....Anoop, I don't know if you are going to make it...."

No Anoop, you will be fine, I don't know if I am going to make it.

I am going to give the guy with the tight t-shirts and British accent his props. He nailed it with this "American Idol" concept. Put a bunch of people who want to be stars on the tele, and have an entire country vote on who should go or who should stay. It's brilliant! But I still have to wonder: how do they hook people like Mrs Field? One day I plan to ask her, maybe when this season is over.

"You cant hurry love No, you just have to wait She said love don't come easy Its a game of give and take... "

But can we please hurry the end of this show?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Down with brown."

I heard of a statistic some years ago (I don't remember where) that a dollar lasts an average of just a few hours in the black community, whereas a dollar lasts for a few days in a similar sized Asian community. The point is, black folks are consumers. We know how to spend but we don't know a heck of a lot about saving.

Now comes John and Maggie Anderson of Oak Park, Illinois and their "Ebony Experiment". As most of you know by now, the purpose of this couple's experiment is to buy black for one year. Buying black to them means only patronizing black owned businesses. This is not a simple thing for this couple as they have to drive as much as 14 miles just to buy their groceries.

"More than anything, this is a learning thing," said Maggie Anderson, who grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami and holds a law degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. "We know it's controversial, and we knew that coming in."

Maggie, I don't know why it's controversial, there is nothing controversial about wanting to support black businesses and helping to empower your people from an economic standpoint. According to economist Jim Clingman, $850 billion moves through our hands every year, and more than 90% of that money goes outside of the black community. Oh field, come on, this is reverse racism, if white folks said that they weren't supporting black businesses you would be the first one writing about racism. Well, not exactly, but I would be curious. Because I am quite sure that white people never even have to think about the type of businesses that they support. So yeah, if some white family in Topeka Kansas said that they were only going to support white businesses it wouldn't affect their lives one little bit. In fact, if a white family in Philly, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta,.....[you get the point] said that they were only going to support white businesses we would all be saying; so what? Where is the sacrifice with that? And what exactly is the statement that they are trying to make? These poor people shouldn't be called racist and all types of ignorant things because they want to help make us black folks aware of our poor spending habits. Instead, they should be commended for raising awareness of how we spend our dollars and their willingness to make some sacrifices to do it.

Their actions have certainly made me reconsider just how much I am "down with brown" when it comes to my spending. My dentist, my lawyer and my family doctor is black, and so is my accountant. But I have to admit that I don't take a longer drive to West Philly or Germantown to support a black owned food market. And I sure as hell don't think about where I make my typical day to day consumer purchases. If I did, it would be easier for me, because I live in Philly and there are quite a few minority owned businesses, here. You black folks who live deep in suburbia or in a rural part of a red state might have a harder time being "down with brown" when it comes to your spending. So I would imagine that an experiment like this one would be that much harder for you.

Still, at least you can try your experiment on the low. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, by putting themselves out there, have no such luxury. Their lives are now open books, and they will be praised (as I am doing here) and vilified.
It's a shame, because this is an area where black folks really need to get a grip. What we really need a big ass group therapy session. Now if we can just find a black shrink to conduct it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Those trashy Obamas: Just don't shoot them Tammy.

"From the March 23 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Laura Ingraham Show:

BRUCE: But here's Michelle Obama explaining to some kids what it was like for her growing up because she sounded like a white person, whatever that means.
OBAMA [audio clip]: I did do my best, getting good grades was always important to me, and it wasn't because my parents were -
BRUCE: It's all about her.
OBAMA [audio clip]: -- hounding me or that they had the expectation, it was just something that I wanted for myself. I wanted an A. And I didn't care whether it was cool, 'cause I remember there were kids around my neighborhood who would say, "Ooh, you talk funny, you talk like a white girl." I heard that growing up my whole life, and I was like I don't even know what that means, but you know what? I'm still getting my A.
BRUCE: What? What? What -- what is that? And then she devolves into that weird fake accent, like Hillary did when talking to black people. What? What is that? That's, that -- you know what that is.
DAVID AFTER DENTIST [audio clip]: Is this going to be forever?
BRUCE: Yeah, that - remember nitrous oxide kid, on You Tube. No it's not going to be forever, nitrous oxide kid. It's not. Can you -- can you believe that?
OBAMA [audio clip]: So do I need to introduce myself?
BRUCE: What a shame. That must've just ruined her damn day. "I wanted the A for myself, and I wanted to do it, and ooh, they said you sounded like a white person, I don't know what that means, but uhh." Huh?

Man, oh, man. That's who he's married to, what does that tell you? This is what we've got -- you know what we've got? We've got trash in the White House. Trash is a, is a thing that is color blind, it can cross all eco -- ecosocionomic kind of categories, you can work on Wall Street or work at the Wal-Mart. Trash are people who use other people to get things, who patronize others, who consider you bitter and clingy."

I would like to thank Ben Dimiero and the folks over at Media Matters for hipping me to that little gem.
I know some of you Obamaholics might be incensed at the thought of some right wing loon on the radio calling your boy "trash", but I am not, I expect this kind of shit from extremist. And to be honest, I might have called the frat boy a lot worse. Thing is, I am pretty sure that he was well into his presidency and destroying our country before I resorted to calling him such names.

That's not the case here. Not with this Obama guy. The distaste is real, and the hatred is so genuine you can feel it. It leads one to wonder if they hate a little more about the guy than just his politics. Hey, I understand hate and politics, in my home country we kill our political opponents, but that's not the A-merry-can way. We are a little more civil to each other here. At least that's what we tell ourselves.

So what is it? Is it his looks? His [too] perfect family? The fact that he was editor of The Harvard Law Review? The fact that he has stifled the politics of identity and fear? I am guessing it's all of the above. If you are one of these right wing losers with their troubled personal lives, their social pathologies, and all of their outdated politics; it's easy to see why they would hate the guy. Throw in the fact that he is black (or pretty damn close to it) and the gumbo of hate and envy is complete.

So get used to it Obamaholics, this is just the beginning. But honestly, if the Dow keeps hitting 450 plus days, it won't even matter.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"There is nothing left to be outraged about".

So now comes news that a fourth police officer in Oakland is dead, (the family hasn't pulled the life support system yet because the victim is an organ donor) shot by a maniac and life long criminal who swore to his sister that he wasn't going back to jail. His name was Lovelle Mixon, but there was nothing loving about Lovelle.

I am not going to talk about the obvious, because I am sick of sounding like a broken record, but as some of you eloquently stated in the past, this is going to get worse before it gets better.

And let's keep it real with each other. If we are going to be outraged when police officers shoot unarmed men on a train platforms, we need to be equally as outraged when some psycho shoots four police officers who are trying to take him off the street. I am not too familiar with Oakland, so I am not sure about the relationship between citizens and police there. (Maybe some of you folks who comment here on a regular from Oaktown can help me with this) But I am sure someone is going to make excuses for this psycho, and none should be made. Just as none should be made for the officer who shot an unarmed man in the same area not too long ago. Some will argue that the shooter is a product of his circumstances and environment, and considering the behavior of those transit police officers and some police officers in this country, he developed a shoot em first mindset.

That might or might not be true, but he was still a fucking psycho with an obvious long criminal history, and he did not deserve to be living among the rest of us.

"A man who did not want his name to appear in print and who works at a barber shop on the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and 73rd Avenue, said he heard gunshots from outside and went down the block, where he saw two officers lying on the ground near each other.
'I went over to one officer and saw he was bleeding from his helmet pretty bad,' he said. 'The other officer was laying motionless.' He said the officer lying near a car had two gunshot bullets near in his face. One bullet was lodged in his jaw and the other in his neck.

The man said he proceeded to give the officer CPR until police arrived on the scene."

Sorry sir, whoever you are, but you don't deserve the Lovelle Mixons of the world around you, either.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pimp my point guard.

The following article is old (almost five years) but it is the kind of article that could be posted for the next twenty years and it would still be relevant. I thought about posting it today as I watched all those athletes bust their asses for their schools, while their well paid coaches pranced along beside the court.

"Editor's Note: The nation's top college basketball and football athletes earn millions for their schools, but see very little of it. And yet these so-called "student" athletes have little time for their studies and often earn no academic degree.

It's an exploitative system that must be changed, the writer says.SAN FRANCISCO--With the 2005 collegiate football season underway, African-American athletes are exciting the crowds, drawing in thousands of fans and driving up revenues from TV and radio coverage. And they're being exploited. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) pretends that elite African American athletes filling the stadiums and arenas are student-athletes. In reality the majority of top players, like quarterback Vince Young of the University of Texas and running back Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma University, are first and foremost athletes. Their lives center on practice fields, not classrooms. Coaches dictate their schedules, which are packed with meetings, practices, lifting weights, rehabbing injuries and travel.

Economists Todd Jewell and Robert W. Brown in the late 1990s calculated that athletes of the caliber of Young and Peterson generate $500,000 per year for their universities. It's even more today, considering revenues from college basketball's March Madness, a six-year, $11 billion contract with CBS, and the Bowl Championship Series on ABC, at $500 million over eight years. Premier basketball players generate over $1 million a year.These players are being exploited, receiving only a few thousands in scholarship money while earning enough cash for their universities to provide substantial salaries to a cast of coaches, trainers, administrators and support personnel for non-revenue generating sports such as golf, soccer, lacrosse, swimming and tennis. Those opposed to paying student-athletes argue that a college education is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Indeed, according to Census Bureau 2002 figures, those with B.A. degrees earn an average of $2.1 million over their lifetime, compared to high school graduates' $1.2 million.Unfortunately, not enough of these "student" athletes earn degrees of any kind. Despite efforts to improve graduation rates, the latest stats from the NCAA show that for black football players who entered college from 1997 to 1998, the graduation rates were 49 percent for each of the two years.

In basketball the rates were 41 and 42 percent. Some elite universities have far lower rates.There are also serious doubts about the quality of these athletes' educations. It is true that they have tutors and compulsory study halls not available to most students. They have the security of scholarships, so there are no financial pressures that force other students to drop out. But even if the black athlete graduates, his degree may not be worth much if he has filled his schedule with less than challenging courses. "

So is Donal Brown right? Are the NCAA schools pimping these young men? Personally, I think some of these coaches are doing just that. When you see coach K crying over losing his kids to graduation, it's not because he is happy that they are going out into the world with a Duke degree. No, he is crying because his basketball team will be losing a great player. Coach K and the NCAA well be fine, thanks to CBS and other corporate sponsors they are swimming in money.

Still, these student athletes have to remember that there is a student before the word athlete, and they should be realistic about their chances of playing the sport they love for money. They need to make the best of their college experience and get their degrees. I know that their pim....I mean coach is always in their ears to watch game films and practice, but they have a bigger responsibility to themselves than to their coach and old State U.

Wouldn't it be nice to hear a coach tell a kid that he should put in as much time in the library as he does at the free throw line? It would be nice, but ain't ever gonna happen. Coach has too much to lose, and he can't stand the risk of having his most valuable commodity forget why he needs him in the first place.

Friday, March 20, 2009

She talks like a First Lady.

"I remember there were kids around my [Chicago] neighborhood who would say, 'Ooh, you talk funny. You talk like a white girl.' I heard that growing up my whole life. I was like, 'I don't even know what that means but I am still getting my A.'"

That's my First Lady continuing her effort to reach out to children of color in D.C., while addressing some children in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the District.

Now a few thoughts about this "talk like a white girl" phenomenon: First, there is no such thing. Either you speak clearly or you don't. When I am in Southern Louisiana I still struggle to understand what folks (black and white) are saying. You folks in Baaastan talk funny to me, too. And so do some of you New Yawkers. In fact, right here in Philly your accent might be different depending on which neighborhood you are from. I can always tell a South Philly accent (they say youze a lot), and a black person from Mt. Airy sounds different from a black person from West Philly. An Irishman from the Northeast? I am all over that as well. Mrs. Field says I talk funny because my Jamaican accent always creeps into my diction. Mrs. Field would have probably been teased a lot in Michelle Obama's neighborhood as well. Mrs. Field was born and raised in South Louisiana, but she managed to craft a very generic accent. It's always fun to see the reaction we get when Mrs. Field makes arrangements over the phone and the people see us in person. Yes, may I help you? I am Mrs. Field, we spoke over the phone. We did? Oh, yes, of course....

Anyway, my point is, people have accents, and we all speak in different ways. The important thing is that we speak well, and in a way that can be clearly understood by whoever is listening to us. Now unfortunately, some of my cousins, well.....it's almost like they don't want the person listening to understand. Unless you are in on the secret slang, you don't deserve to understand what the speaker is saying. For some of us, it's our own way of communicating that might as well be a totally different language. When our children grow up speaking like this it's tough to get them out of it. And damn it, the shit can be embarrassing when they reach adulthood. If I have to strain to understand the conductor on the train, or the person taking my order at the fast food restaurant, that's a problem. Especially when they are supposed to be speaking English. I am not talking about an accent here, I am talking about putting words together that just don't belong. Just what the hell does, you be done messed up, mean? YOU. BE. DONE. MESSED. UP. That is not English, that is some kind of ghetto Morse code that will get you nowhere in school.

Thank you first lady Obama for at least addressing this issue. The kids were wrong of course. It's not speaking "white", it's speaking properly. And it's speaking in a way that can make it easier for them to succeed in school, and ultimately in life.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

But will he have a top ten list?

In honor of the chosen one joining Jaws at his late night desk, I have a top ten list that should be considered:

Here are the top ten reasons president Obama should go after Rush Limbaugh:

Reason number ten- He looks better in a suit.

Reason number nine- "Ditto heads" are never going to vote for the black guy.

Reason number eight- Rush will make 400 million over the next eight years, and Obama makes $400,000 per year. These are tough economic times, A-merry-cans can relate better to the guy who makes less.

Reason number seven- The man's name is Rush.

Reason number six- Because at the rate Rush is going he won't live to see the next election.

Reason number five- Because no matter what Rush says, he doesn't want a debate.

Reason number four- Rush has a face for radio and Obama has one for television.

Reason number three- Obama can't pick on Ann Coulter, she is a woman.

Reason number two- Did I mention that the president looks better in a suit?

And the number one reason that Obama should go after Rush Limbaugh: Two beautiful children and a lovely wife; beats cigars, drug use, and strange Caribbean vacations, every time.

*BTW, I hear that his O ness made a verbal slip up on Leno's show tonight.[something about the "Special Olympics"] Olbermann leaked it. Expect the wingnuts to be all over this in the coming days. :(

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's your call.

I need everyone reading this, just for tonight, to pretend that they are family court judges.

I am going to give you all a hypothetical situation. This is a made up scenario, so if the name I use is the same as a living person in a similar situation, it is totally coincidental. Anyway, here is the deal:

You have before you, John Smith, who is 35 years old and has ten children with six different women. Unlike Travis Henry, (whose sperm cells can probably bench press more than he can) Mr. Smith has no income or assets. Five of the women receive cash assistance from welfare, and Mr. Smith doesn't have a job, and doesn't support his children emotionally or financially. In fact, he lives with a woman who has two children of her own (not his) and she gets welfare, herself.

A child support order was entered against Mr. Smith in three cases for four of his children, but after the wage garnishments started he quit his job. Subsequently, Mr. Smith went out and had six more children with three different women.

Now Mr. Smith has been found in contempt of court for failure to pay his previous child support orders, and he stands in front of you. How do you sentence him? Oh, and forget about the sentencing guidelines. You can give Mr. Smith any sentence you want. It can be as harsh as the death penalty, or you can set him free with zero jail time.

Your Honor, we await your ruling.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Watch out for those 73 year old gang bangers.

I want to thank my Afrosphere fam, Rock, of African American Political Pundit, for hipping me to the following story. And Howard Witt, one of the best and most fearless reporters in A-merry-ca, for breaking it. (Witt was the man primarily responsible for exposing the corrupt DA in Jena)

"HOMER, La.—On the last afternoon of his life, Bernard Monroe was hosting a cookout for family and friends in front of his dilapidated home on Adams Street in this small northern Louisiana town. Throat cancer had robbed the 73-year-old retired electric utility worker of his voice years ago, but family members said Monroe was clearly enjoying the commotion of a dozen of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren cavorting around him in the dusty, grassless yard. Then the Homer police showed up, two white officers whose arrival caused the participants at the black family gathering to quickly fall silent.Within moments, Monroe lay dead, shot by one of the officers as his family looked on.

Now the Louisiana State Police, the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department are swarming over this impoverished lumber town of 3,800, drawn by the allegations of numerous witnesses that police killed an unarmed, elderly black man without justification—and then moved a gun to make it look like the man had been holding it."We are closely monitoring the events in Homer," said Donald Washington, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. "I understand that a number of allegations are being made that, if true, would be serious enough for us to follow up on very quickly."Yet the Feb. 20 Homer incident was not an isolated case. Across the nation, in four cases in recent months, white police officers have been accused of unprovoked shootings of African Americans in what civil rights leaders say are illustrations of the potentially deadly consequences of racial profiling by police.

In the mostly white Houston suburb of Bellaire, a 23-year-old black man sitting in his own SUV in the driveway of his parents' home was shot and wounded on New Year's Eve by police who mistakenly believed he had stolen the vehicle. The case is under investigation.In Oakland, a transit police officer has been charged with murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed black man in the back while he was restrained and lying face down on a train platform on New Year's Day. In New Orleans, nine police officers are under investigation in the New Year's Day death of a 22-year-old black man who was struck by 14 bullets after an undercover team stopped his car. The police say the man raised a gun and fired at them, but the man's family disputes that."All the anecdotal information demonstrates that African Americans are the most frequent victims of zealous, inappropriate police activity that often winds up in a shooting," said Reggie Shuford, a senior attorney with the racial justice program at the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's a shoot first, ask questions later approach to policing."The evidence is not merely anecdotal. The most recent national analysis from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that blacks and Hispanics were nearly three times as likely as whites to be searched by police—and blacks were almost four times as likely as whites to be subjected to the use of force.

Psychologists are stepping up research into the implicit, unconscious racial biases that may be driving such statistics and affecting police behavior."If in fact police have implicit biases—if they automatically associate blacks with crime—then that would be relevant to an officer in a split-second, shoot-or-don't-shoot situation," said Lorie Fridell, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida who is creating a new anti-bias police training program with funding from the Justice Department. "Is the officer more inclined to believe he sees a gun in the hand of a black person, rather than a cell phone? I think that is possible."In Monroe's case, friends and family members say they still don't understand why the beloved neighborhood patriarch ended up dead. Four witnesses told the Tribune that Monroe was sitting outside his home in the late afternoon of Feb. 20, clutching a large sports-drink bottle, when two police officers pulled up and summoned Monroe's son, Shawn, for a conversation. Shawn Monroe has a long record of arrests and convictions for assault and battery, and even though he was not wanted on any current warrants, he took off running into the house. One of the officers, a new hire named Tim Cox who had been on Homer's police force for only a few weeks, chased after him, reappearing moments later in the doorway. Meanwhile, the witnesses said, the elder Monroe had started walking toward the front door, carrying only his drink bottle, to try to intervene. When Monroe got to the first step on the front porch, the witnesses said, Cox opened fire, striking him several times as adults and children stood nearby."He just shot him through the screen door," said Denise Nicholson, a family friend who said she was standing a few feet from Monroe. "After [Monroe] was on the ground, we kept asking the officer to call an ambulance, but all he did was get on his radio and say, 'Officer in distress.' "As Monroe lay dying, the witnesses said, the second police officer, who has not been publicly identified, picked up a handgun that Monroe, an avid hunter, always kept in plain sight on the porch for protection. Using a police-issue blue latex glove, the officer grasped the gun by its handle, the witnesses said, and then ordered everyone to back away from the scene. The next thing they said they saw was the gun on the ground next to Monroe's body."I saw him pick up the gun off the porch," said Marcus Frazier, another witness. "I said, 'What are you doing?' The cop told me, 'Shut the hell up, you don't know what you're talking about.' "

The Homer police maintain that Monroe was holding a loaded gun when he was shot, but they are not commenting further on the case. At least one fact surrounding the shooting is not in dispute: It took place amid long-standing tensions between Homer police and the residents of Monroe's crime-plagued black neighborhood."People here are afraid of the police," said Terry Willis, vice president of the Homer NAACP branch. "They harass black people, they stop people for no reason and rough them up without charging them with anything."'

Oh field, you are such a racism chaser. If the man's grandson wasn't such a bad ass he would be alive today. Come on field, he lived in a bad neighborhood, what are good decent law enforcement folks supposed to do? Yeah I know he was supposed to be 73, but you know how you black people always look younger than your age. What is that saying? "Black don't crack".

"If I see three or four young black men walking down the street, I have to stop them and check their names," said Mills, who is white. "I want them to be afraid every time they see the police that they might get arrested. We're not out there trying to abuse and harass people—we're trying to protect the law-abiding citizens locked behind their doors in fear."

Yeah okay there officer, if you say so. Seriously, most of you know that I defend the boyz in blue who protect honest law abiding citizens in cities like Philadelphia. To me, they are the best protection I have against the scumbags who would bring harm to me or my property. And I mourn with the rest of the community when one of them is killed in the line of duty. Most police officers are good decent people. But just like society at large, there are ignorant knuckle dragging racist in their ranks, and these individuals should be weeded out. If they are not, Howard Witt is going to be a very busy man for many years to come.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A few words for the other Mr. Steele.

I am going to make a statement that might surprise some of you: I actually like Shelby Steele.

Unlike other black conservatives I find him to be genuine in his conservative beliefs, and I think he writes in an intellectually lucid way which I find refreshing. (His book, "The Content Of Our Character" is a must read for all A-merry-cans, regardless of ideological preference) Unlike Sowell, he doesn't seem to be writing to impress his intellectual colleagues on the right. What he does seem to try to do, is inject an honest thought out point of view in the ideological debate for our souls. And who knows, maybe it's because we share a certain embarrassment in our predictions about the chosen one this past election. ( I bet he won't have to run anywhere naked)
Now having said that, I must take issue with some of the things that Shelby said in his Wall Street Journal oped today.

Shelby Steele's issue with liberalism is a classic one. It is typical of what you hear from conservatives: Liberals give blacks handouts, they promote big government, and liberalism creates dependency. Conservatism, on the other hand, offers nothing but a chance to make it in our great country. But it takes hard work and discipline, and with conservatism, there is no handouts. He argues that Lyndon Johnson, with his Great Society programs, took the moral high ground at a time when A-merry-ca's morality was being questioned for her shameful racial legacy. Republicans never recovered from that, and they are still playing catch up today.
Of course, he argues,that as black people, we are misguided in our loyalties. Liberalism actually takes away our humanity, while with conservatism, on the other hand, we can maintain our dignity as humans, and not get caught up in victim hood and racial identity politics.

"The appeal of conservatism is the mutuality it asserts between individual and political freedom, its beautiful idea of a free man in a free society. And it offers minorities the one thing they can never get from liberalism: human rather than racial dignity.... What drew me to conservatism years ago was the fact that it gave discipline a slightly higher status than virtue. This meant it could not be subverted by passing notions of the good. It could be above moral vanity. And so it made no special promises to me as a minority. It neglected me in every way except as a human being who wanted freedom. Until my encounter with conservatism I had only known the racial determinism of segregation on the one hand and of white liberalism on the other -- two varieties of white supremacy in which I could only be dependent and inferior."

Right there, Shelby, is the problem with your well written essay. You only saw yourself as a person of color in two ways: "A racial determination of segregation" and the subject of "white" liberal paternalism. You should have said no to both of those choices. It wasn't one or the other. Both were destined to make you the man you became: Someone who chooses a selfish ideology which is predicated on chasing a carrot that you will never be able to grab. By embracing that ideology you have bought into the false premise that your people seek the liberal handout and are not willing to work as hard as the conservative to grab the carrot. It is not true. I submit to you that your people (and poor people of all colors) are willing to work harder. The problem is that their government has never been willing to work as hard for them. Instead, their government has worked only for a special few, and contrary to what you might believe, it didn't neglect you, it used you to achieve its own goals. At least with liberalism, with all its faults, there was a realization that it should make you a promise, and that promise was that never again will you be subjected to second class status, and our government will always work to make it so. Our government will finally give you an even playing field to compete on, after tipping the field against you for so long.

"So here stands contemporary American conservatism amidst its cultural liabilities and, now, its electoral failures -- with no mechanism to redeem America of its shames, atavistically resisted by minorities, and vulnerable to stigmatization as a bigoted and imperialistic political orientation. Today's liberalism may stand on decades of failed ideas, but it is failure in the name of American redemption. It remains competitive with -- even ascendant over -- conservatism because it addresses America's moral accountability to its past with moral activism. This is the left's great power, and a good part of the reason Barack Obama is now the president of the United States. No matter his failures -- or the fruitlessness of his extravagant and scatter-gun governmental activism -- he redeems America of an ugly past. How does conservatism compete with this?"

Sorry Shelby, it can't. And I, for one, am glad for that.

*Pic stolen from my girl Danielle over at the Black Snob blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Give him a record deal.

I see Osama bin Laden just made another audio recording. (His 60th broadcast to the world since 911) I swear the guy has more recordings than Akon.

But once again A-merry-cans are reminded that the guy who brought mass murder and mayhem to our country is still alive and kicking in a cave somewhere. The frat boy started two wars and put millions of dollars on his head and it didn't mean squat. Two months after leaving the people's house, and the man in the cave is still mocking him. Looks like the bearded one got the last laugh. For seven years he eluded the Bush crew and he will probably outlive most of the neocons who came up with the foolhardy scheme to capture him.

I don't have a fairy god mother, but if I did, I would ask her to grant me a few wishes. One of them (besides the obvious red light special with Lark of course) would be to have our Special Forces capture the scum bag (dead or alive) on the O man's watch. I would give anything to see a press conference with the O man declaring to the nation that we got him, while pictures of the capture are split screened on our television sets. Of course, it would hardly get a mention over at FAKE NEWS, and they would give all the credit for his capture to the previous administration. Thanks to the hard work of former President Bush, Osama bin Laden was captured today....

But watching the wingnuts try to explain why it took their leader seven years with no luck and his O ness did it soon after taking office would be priceless.

I only hope that if and when the O man's administration does capture the bearded one we will get the hell out of Afghanistan. No good can come from fighting with the Afghans. (Just ask the Russians) Fighting to them is like eating apple pies to us. It's what they do. And they enjoy that shit. Our only reason for being there is to capture Osama, so if we get him, let's air-lift everyone who wants out and roll. The Taliban can have that god forsaken place all to themselves.

"It has been clear that some Arab leaders were complicit with the Zionists against our people..."

Yea yeah yeah. Apparently they weren't complicit enough, because your ass is still free, and still making records.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


And now comes this from Brent Jones of the Baltimore Sun:

"The vice president of Baltimore's NAACP chapter said yesterday during a rally for taxicab drivers that his reputation has been damaged after police arrested him, claiming to have found drugs in his car. Ellis L. Staten Jr., 44, was not charged with a crime, although officers said they recovered heroin and marijuana during a search of his vehicle Thursday near Pennsylvania Avenue and Dolphin Street.Staten said he was targeted by police because of his work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which held an organizing meeting yesterday for city cabdrivers. Staten had no previous drug charges or criminal convictions.

Shortly before the arrest, Staten said, he was near a bus stop attempting to solicit cabdrivers to come to the meeting. Police came up to the car, Staten said, and asked him to step out, searched the vehicle and handcuffed him. Staten said he was held at downtown police headquarters for about an hour before he was released. Staten said he had never been locked up in his life and that the incident has 'defamed my character.'I'm calm now on the outside, but I'm not on the inside. I'm very troubled that this type of information would be made public but no charges filed.' Staten added that he has been in contact with a lawyer to consider litigation. A police spokesman said yesterday that the allegations against the Police Department are unfounded.'I'm not going to justify them with a comment,' Anthony Guglielmi said. Staten said the drugs that police found belonged to a volunteer who was helping pass out fliers about the rally. Kevin Logan, 44, who was in the back seat of the car, was charged with two counts of drug possession. But police said they found Staten in possession of Suboxone pills, or buprenorphine, which is prescribed to treat heroin addiction.

'They singled me out because I'm the one responsible for getting the cabdrivers together. No more perfect person to defame than the NAACP,' Staten said.'If the police had found something on me, why would they release me? I'm stunned. I'm shocked. I wasn't in possession of any drugs or anything. That's why I was not charged.'More than 100 taxi drivers attended the meeting at the Vulcan Blazers headquarters. Staten is one of the lead organizers in the NAACP's work with the drivers, who are considering forming a union... "

I bet who you believe in the above story depends on a lot of things, including your life experiences. A black guy playing the race card? Or just another brotha profiled because he was driving while black? (DWB) Personally, I believe Staten. (Gee, there is a shock, field believes the black guy) And no, I am not naive enough to think that just because the guy is an official with the NAACP he couldn't be doing drugs. My problem is I considered the totality of the circumstances, and I have to ask myself; why was Staten singled out and stopped in the first place? The circumstances surrounding the stop just seemed a little fishy to the kid. But then, that's just me. To me, as I am sure it is with Mr. Staten, DWB is a way of life, so incidents like these always make me say, hmmmmmm. Unfortunately for Mr. Staten, he isn't just saying it, he is living it right about now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Message to Michael"

Michael, this has gone on long enough. It's time to come home my brother. You gave it the good old college try, but you and I both know that some of these GOP folks to black folks is like oil to water. Putting you up as their leader was a gimmick, something they tried in order to stay hip and relevant in the age of Obama. Unfortunately for you , you just happened to be the only black guy (Kenneth Blackwell doesn't count. I said "black guy")around.

Of course it didn't help that all this HNIC stuff got to your head. You just couldn't shut up and stay on message, and the RNC folks weren't down with that. Bad enough they had to put a Negro in charge, but one who couldn't keep his mouth shut was too much for them.

"Let’s put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it’s incendiary. Yes, it’s ugly."

That was your first mistake: saying unkind things about the new republican leader in public. And then you had the nerve to tell A-merry-ca the truth about your party.

"You have absolutely no reason -- none -- to trust our word or our actions at this point. "

You got that right Michael. But the straw the broke the elephant's back was when you made statements to GQ Magazine which hinted that you believe that a woman can do what she wants to do with her own body.

"Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice.You do?Yeah. Absolutely. "

Now dem there is fighten words Michael, and the folks in GOP land are all over you for uttering them. As you know, there is a growing movement within your own party to send your black behind packing. Republicans don't waiver on certain things: The right to life, gay marriage, and no equality for blacks. Okay, the last one isn't an official party platform, not yet anyway, but you get the picture.

Honestly Mike, I wanted you to succeed. I hoped what I thought about the republican party wasn't true, but the reality is that just seeing you in public as the representative of their party drove quite a few of those good ole boyz crazy. And all it took was one slip up for them to jump ship. As far as they are concerned you have been one constant slip up, and that ain't gonna cut it in the land of NASCAR and Rush.

So come on Mike, how about it? Hold a press conference tomorrow and tell the country that the GOP is not ready to go main stream. Tell us that it is not the party you thought it was, and that the people who make up the base of the party are just too extreme and unyielding for your taste. Tell A-merry-ca you tried, but as a person of color you just can't in good conscience support the GOP anymore.

Mike, if you do that, I will call off the drop squad, and I will pretend all the house worthy behavior you participated in didn't happen. The groveling to Rush, the back pedaling on your stance on abortion, and your silly pseudo cool buffoonery to try and attract young blacks to your party. I will forget all of that, and to top it off; I will even put in a good word with the Negro Acceptance Coalition *(NAC) for you. I promise.

* FYI, there is no organization called the Negro Acceptance Coalition. Not yet.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing...."

Okay, true confessions: That E-Trade commercial with the two little guys in the pic is my absolute favorite. Maybe it appeals to my softer hope for A-merry-ca side. I think that's what all these advertisers are trying to do; appeal to our softer more inclusive side. Well damn it, I think it might have worked with me.

But not so fast; as with everything else in A-merry-ca, there just might be an agenda. I think those slick advertisers are just trying to appeal to my softer more inclusive side to get to my pocket book.

The following comes from AP writer,Todd Lewan:

"Ever see an inner-city schoolyard filled with white, Asian and black teens shooting hoops? Or middle-aged white and Latino men swigging beer and watching the Super Bowl on their black neighbor's couch? Or Asians and Latinos dancing the night away in a hip-hop club?
All it takes is a television.

Yes, that mesmerizing mass purveyor of aspiration, desire and self-awareness regularly airs commercials these days that show Americans of different races and ethnicities interacting in integrated schools, country clubs, workplaces and homes, bonded by their love of the products they consume.

Think about one of Pepsi's newest spots, "Refresh Anthem," which debuted during the Super Bowl. The ad, which features Bob Dylan and hip-hop producer will.i.am, is a collage of images from the '60s and today that celebrate generations past and present.
Whites and blacks are shown returning from war, surfing, skateboarding, dancing and waving American flags at political rallies, while a boyish Dylan and a present-day will.i.am take turns singing the Dylan classic, "Forever Young," each in his signature style.

Or, take the latest hit spot from E TRADE, which stars the E TRADE Baby, a 9-month-old white boy, and his newest buddy - a black infant who, from his own highchair, agrees with the wisdom of online investing even in a down economy. Ads like these are part of a subtle, yet increasingly visible strategy that marketers refer to as "visual diversity" - commercials that enable advertisers to connect with wider audiences while conveying a message that corporate America is not just "in touch," racially speaking, but inclusive.

It wasn't always like this. For much of the past century, 'minorities were either invisible in mainstream media, or handed negative roles that generally had them in a subservient position,' says Jerome Williams, a professor of advertising and African-American studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

'Today, you're starting to see a juxtaposition of blacks and whites together, doing the things people do ... Now, advertisers are not in a position of pushing social justice. But to the extent that they can put whites and blacks together in situations, I think that's a good thing.'"

It's nice to see that corporations are in touch, but will they give a brotha a job? I mean working on the field's heart strings is one thing, but would they put the field on their pay roll or *hire (thanks e-zmun, it was late) the field's firm to to do some legal work?

Hey, give me a job, put some money in my pocket, and then I might even buy my new white friend a drink.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"They shoot people, don't they?"

The crimson running through a rural stretch in Southern Alabama had nothing to do with the beloved "Crimson Tide" associated with the states famous football team. No, the crimson that flowed yesterday was from the blood of ten people, thanks to the latest in a long line of A-merry-can lunatics living among us.

I heard the first apologist for Michael McLendon last night on Anderson Cooper 's show. "Oh he was a good kid, he grew up with my kids, I used to be his T-ball coach". You would think the guy was recommending the shooter for one of those Hero episodes on CNN. No sir, Michael was a fucking lunatic ,who slaughtered 10 people before cowardly taking his own life. It's that simple. But just like the mothers and grandmothers who swear little Pookie couldn't hurt a fly, --the same Pookie who was pulling stick ups and shooting rival drug dealers on the corner since he was old enough to drive-- these folks make excuses for the inexcusable.

"The community's just in disbelief, just how this could happen in our small town," said state Sen. Harri Anne Smith, from the nearby town of Slocomb. "

Of course every time some lunatic decides that the way of the gun is best, we try to figure out why. (Oh ohhh here comes field with the gun control speech again) How could this happen in our neighborhoods, our schools, and in our nice quiet community? Only those uncivilized blacks in those urban areas should be killing each other. This doesn't happen to us, does it? Yes it does happen to you, and it will continue to happen until we get some sensible gun legislation in this country.

Already the gun rights wackos are coming out of the woodwork to wonder if this will be the catalyst for his O ness taking away their semi-automatic weapons. "..President's family is protected with fully automatic weapons yet he would deny protection with semi-automatics to yours" Call me crazy, but I kind of want my president to be protected from loons like you guys. But I don't want you, or the thugs on the streets of Philly, armed with any damn weapon, let alone a semi-automatic. Now I ask you folks, what the hell was this genius doing with a Bushmaster AR-15 and a SKS assault rifle? What is any civilian doing with these types of weapons? Which are, by the way, being mass produced for the market place as I write this.

I didn't check this, but I am willing to bet my original Al Kaline baseball card that this wacko had a license to carry, and if there was a background check, there would be nothing in his past to prevent him from owning a weapon. I am guessing that being a good ole boy from Alabama, Michael was quite handy with the steel, and was quite comfortable with his toys of death and destruction.

"Alabama has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the nation -- more than 57 percent of the state's households have guns -- and some of the weakest gun laws in the country. At the same time, its overall gun death rate for 2005 (16.18 per 100,000) ranks it fifth in the nation. "

And the beat goes on. Of course, not to be outdone, Germany had their own version of Culumbine, today. Those damn Germans, they want to be the best at everything. Tim Kretschmer killed 15 people before his 17 years on earth ended.

"Kretschmer did not shoot wildly, Rech said, contradicting earlier police statements, but hit most of his victims in the head."

Wow, a lunatic with good aim. Too bad there weren't some NRA people around.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"March Madness"

This is a great time of year if you happen to live along "Tobacco Road". What's not to love about being in North Carolina and cheering for one of those great college basketball teams down there. Yep, it's great to be in the "Tar Heel" state this time of year. Well, unless, of course, you happen to be a person of color living in Pender County. Yes folks, just in case you have been sleeping for the past few days, let me update you on what your supremes did yesterday:

By a five to four margin your supremes decided that the Voting Rights Act shouldn't be as powerful anymore in a post racial A-merry-ca. No sir, not when we have a black prez. Who needs something as racial as a Voting Rights Act? People in A-merry-ca --especially the South-- don't see race anymore.

So let's see now, the supremes decided in a case styled Bartlett v. Strickland, that because Pender County is not majority black, the Voting Rights Act shouldn't apply. In essence what they said is that county,state, and city officials should not consider race when drawing up electoral districts if you black folks don't make up the majority. (Nice, so if you are in the majority you get the protection of an act that you don't really need because you are in the MAJORITY. But if you are in the minority and you need to have a say in how your government is run; no voice for you ) Poor North Carolina, their state lawmakers actually tried to draw up a district where they thought that a black candidate could actually win. But not so fast. See, in post racial A-merry-ca, that is not fair to the white folks in Pender County who might want to elect.... well, a white candidate. It's not fair that the 39% of black folks in Pender County get to combine with another county to create a district that might elect the black guy. So they sued the state, and when it was all said and done, the supremes agreed with them.

Seems the lawmakers of Carolina misread the law. The law only applied when a "geographically compact group of minority voters could form a majority in a single member district." So said the judges in the majority, led by the man who couldn't remember his lines when he was swearing in the chosen one. (Guess which side Clarence was on? That's not a trick question) Of course there was a dissenting opinion: Four justices agreed with the field that this is a step backwards for civil rights because it would "discourage minority 'opportunity districts' in which blacks or Hispanics could win with the support of whites". This should be fun come redistricting time again down South. We will see how far we have come with this race thing.

"State Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D.,Vt.) said the ruling 'dealt a serious blow to the progress of the civil rights movement' by limiting the application of the Voting Rights Act."

Oh calm down Patrick, you are still stuck in the sixties. Welcome to the age of Obama. There is no more need for a "civil rights movement".

"Next month, the court will hear a closely watched challenge to another part of the Voting Rights Act which requires Southern officials to obtain the permission of the Justice Department before making changes in their election rules. "

Clarence should just vote now and get it over with.

Monday, March 09, 2009

To arm or not to arm, that is the question.

I dated this girl once, (a long long time ago, waaaay before Mrs. Field) who wanted to be a school teacher for all the right reasons. Years later when I saw her I asked her if she was teaching, and do you know what she told me? "Field, are you crazy? I want to live past my 40th birthday. These kids out here are way too crazy for me." And as fate would have it, I thought about that girl today while reading the following story in my hometown paper:

"OFFICER MICHAEL Alvaro was in the right place at the right time to stop an armed-robbery on Feb. 25. Sitting in his marked Philadelphia School District SUV on Olney Avenue near Broad Street, Alvaro said, he saw Tyree Pace, 15, approach three male Central High students with a knife and demand: "Give me everything you have."

Alvaro, 31, a school cop since 2001, called for backup, bolted toward Pace and caught him after a brief chase. But Pace, who has an extensive juvenile criminal record, didn't get cuffed without a fight. He spun and swung the knife at the officer, cutting into his bulletproof vest, Alvaro said. Arraignment for Pace was scheduled for this morning, court records show.

With violent assaults on Philadelphia school officers increasing by nearly 20 percent in the last year, the officers and their union are pressing hard for the right to carry guns on the job. School and city officials have balked at that request in the past, and are reluctant to talk about it now.

But Alvaro — who was attacked one block from where city police officer John Pawlowski was gunned down Feb. 13 — is a strong proponent of the idea.

'We're in marked police vehicles, we're in full uniform, but we have no weapon to protect anybody,' said Alvaro, who wrested a gun from a student outside Turner Middle School several years ago.

'Just by them issuing us a bulletproof vest tells us right there that they are putting us in danger,' added Alvaro, a 1996 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School. Pace was charged as an adult with attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon on school property and four other charges, according to court records. At the time of his arrest, Pace was enrolled as a student at Community Education Partners, a school-district disciplinary school managed by a Tennessee company.

'In harm's way every day' The union that represents the 400-officer school police force has for several years lobbied the school district to allow the roughly 100 patrol officers to carry guns. 'We put these guys out in harm's way every day with a vest, and we don't give them the equipment and the training to do the job,' said Michael Lodise, president of the School Police Association of Philadelphia. 'We're going to eventually have a casualty out here, there's no two ways about it with the climate out here today.'

He noted that officers employed by universities in the city have guns, as do SEPTA cops, and that soon guns will be issued to animal-cruelty officers with the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Philadelphia School District officials declined to comment for this story. They issued a written statement contending that only one assault on a school officer in the last two years involved a weapon.

'These statistics do not justify the arming of Philadelphia school police officers....Furthermore, current Pennsylvania law does not allow the arming of school police officers," the statement said.

But Lodise said that that's not true.' They're wrong when they said that," said Lodise. He said that the state's penal code gives school officers the power to make arrests on school property and the same authority as constables, who are armed.

Michael Race, spokesman for the state Department of Education, said that the Pennsylvania School Code does not address whether school officers can be armed."

Well Michael, we will address it here. I am sure that the smart people who read this blog will have something to say about your little problem. Well, actually, it's a big problem. And I can't blame my ex one bit for giving up on her life long dream. Still, I have to ask myself: can I trust one of these officers with firearms? And just what kind of training would they be getting? They are, after all, around children all day.

Oh wait, did that article say that SPCA officers are going to have guns? You mean to tell me that there is a chance that they could put a cap in Fido's ass? You just wait until the PETA folks and all the pet lovers get a hold of this. There will be hell to pay.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

If it bleeds it leads?

People always get pissed at me because they think I am a "racialist". (I still can't believe that's a word) Field, they say, why do you always blog about racial shit? Why is it that you always see race or class in everything? Why can't you just blog about stuff like music and sports like other folks? Well, to be honest, I would love to. I love sports and music, and it would be easy for me to talk about that stuff all the time. But I can't. Not when I hear about stories like the one I am about to write about out in Los Angeles. A story that has me seriously upset tonight, and that was so far below the national radar, that I bet most of you reading this post are hearing about it for the first time.

So here is the story: Out in Los Angeles a serial killer has killed at least 11 (that we know of) poor black women since 1985. And as I write this post the killer is still on the loose, and has probably killed as recently as 2007, again. This serial killer even has a name: "The Grim Sleeper".

Now I ask you, do you think if there was a serial killer on the loose in Belair or Malibu the LAPD would not have caught him or her by now? Of course they would have. But these women are poor, some were in the wrong profession, and they have the wrong skin color. So, as a result, it doesn't lead the evening news, and LA's finest isn't being kicked in the butt to solve the case. Did anybody ever have any doubt that Caylee Anthony would be found? And if she was found dead, that her killer would be caught? And I hope things work out for poor little Haleigh Cummings, but did her story have to lead the national news casts for three straight nights? And just as outrageous is the fact that the L.A.P.D. has failed to notify the very community that this animal is terrorizing.

I wouldn't have to blog about these murders in Los Angeles if rich white women were being killed, or if we were talking about-- god forbid-- pets. It would be all over the news cycle, and I am sure that there would be quite a lot of other people blogging about it as well.

But not this story. It's not sexy enough, and the victims are not people we can relate to. So, as a result, it remained stuck in the L.A.P.D. cold case files, and that's too bad, because these victims were human beings. They had families and people who loved and cared about them. Unfortunately their families didn't have influence or power, and the community that is at risk doesn't have any clout in city hall.

Now I hear that there is a $500,000 reward to help capture the killer, and that there are detectives assigned exclusively to the case. Well that's all well and good, but what the hell took them so long?