Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Return Of Kanye

Of course, any writing about Kanye West is an interesting read. I've had a number of Kanye blogs which have been well-supported by my beloved followers. One even suggested that Kanye is homosexual. Well, that just goes to show how hard it is to figure out the guy.  But one thing that is for certain, Kanye West is indeed a musical genius.  He's also one of the most complicated humans we will ever see in our lifetime.

Yes, I watched the Video Music Awards. And yes, I saw Kanye West's reception of the Video Vanguard Award.  He was looking at the audience, and the audience was looking at him.  Everyone was like, 'what the hell is he gonna do.'  It was an extreme oddity at the very least.  Kanye takes what seems like an hour to explain his awkward first encounter with Taylor Swift during the infamous VMA where he snatches the microphone away from her. He rambles on, and he rambles on...then all of a sudden he goes all Kanye 2020 on us. 

Now, we all regress to our normal "Kanye's crazy" mentality. But at the same time, with the recent success of Donald Trump's campaign for president, we are reminded that even the presidency is a popularity contest.  It's like high school all over again.  I mean, the guy isn't serious is he?  Is he??

Well, in Kanye's world he's probably dead serious. We also know that the odds of he winning such a thing is a probability that can only be seen in the movies.  But then there's the ongoing success of Trump. But still, it's Kanye... And all of a sudden, 2016 seems far less interesting.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Addressing Baltimore: 1200 City Workers Making Six Figure Incomes Doesn't Help

Some time ago, I had worked as a counselor for a major city in the state of Virginia. It was the first time I had worked in the area of local government. I was an eager twenty-five year old man who was two years removed from college. There was much to do then and so many people to help.  

In the first year I received an award for performance excellence, and I am still very proud of that accomplishment to this day. However, all I had really done was perform my job efficiently. I did nothing (at that time) out of the ordinary.  I was actually still learning my job duties. My true difficulty centered on dealing with city employees who were blatantly more focused on receiving big pay checks rather than assisting those who were in need. Helping people in the community was actually the reason our jobs were created. 

When I read that 1200 city workers in the City of Baltimore received six figure incomes, it agitated me somewhat. We've all seen the issues pertaining to police brutality in the city of Baltimore.  We've all seen the poor handling of the matter by the city's administration. Just like most major cities, there are key issues regarding youth education, poverty, and race relations. Yet, the funds distributed to these areas remain few and infrequent. While investigating the matter in Baltimore, I've found that people who are on a $70,000 a year salary are making upwards of $160,000 due to excessive overtime pay.  I have no quarrels with anyone receiving money for a good day's work.  My concern is that there are people in need who are not receiving assistance because local government is improperly handling its resources. 

It reminds me of the time when my department was being audited by the state during an annual review. There was an unlimited amount of overtime pay being offered just to get our files in order.  It was if a red flashing siren was turned on by the administration just to cover our overwhelming amount of negligence. Clinicians were making double and triple their monthly salary just to cover a facade, meanwhile funds that could have been given to the homeless, the mentally ill, or the hungry were never being considered for dispersing. 

Twelve hundred people made six figure salaries, yet these same people who are in the position to help those in need are basically benefiting from other's misfortune. This is what many would call a broken system. Sadly, when I'm traveling or interacting with various people, I often hear complaints that the protests in Baltimore, St Louis, New York and Oakland are all cries over spilled milk. Truly?? Spilled milk?

Why are we so blind to the mistreatment of the many who are in need? It's as if we feel better about our own lives knowing that there are others out there doing worse than we are? I suppose that is a question that is more suited for those who have recently moved to a higher tax bracket courtesy of an inadequate government system. Because obviously there are deceitful activities occurring right under our noses; yet somehow, we continue to accept it.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

3 Reasons Why Nobody Cares About a Meek Mill and Drake Beef

Nah...we don't care.  I mean, we really don't. Of course, hip-hop heads love a good beef every now and then; but overall, no one really cares about a Meek Mill and Drake hissy fit. Sure, the two are super-sensitive grown-ass men who are drawn to attention like a desert horse is drawn to water. And yes, I'm sure Nicki Minaj did voice to her new boo Meek that once upon a time someone did write a few bars for his pseudo-enemy Drake; but still, no really cares about this beef. And here are three reasons why:

Reason One:  We are seeing on a regular basis that people of color are mistreated every single day; thus real news is out there, and the average person is more society-conscious today than ever. Therefore, this little quarrel draws no true interest...well, with exception to the folks who get paid to broadcast (or create) entertainment news. But basically, all of it is sort of unimportant.  

Reason Two: Drake is no stranger to criticism. Not only is he immune to criticism, but he's managed to surpass the kicks and punches from both haters and critics alike. Let's face it, the man is super-talented...maybe a little passive, but he is super-talented. And yes, he's far more talented than Meek Mill. I mean, hey...come on now, you know it's true.

Reason Three: It'll all blow over in a week or two. And after that they'll probably do another song together just as Drake and Chris Brown did after their real beef in which more bottles and law suits flew over New York City than Mike Tyson's pigeons. And truthfully, I'll probably be the first to buy the collaboration album when it's all over (or download it for free on DatPiff.)  Yeah...I'll probably download it for free.

But still, I do give the folks who lurk in the shadows a bit of credit for keeping this "beef" thing going. Surely, units are being sold and people are getting paid; and perhaps the one who's benefiting most of all is Meek's boo-thing Nicki Minaj. I don't know why, but I got a feeling she'll end up with most of the buzz when it's all said and done. Actually, I kind of feel a little sorry for her. For the life of me it seems like poor Nicki just can't get away from these overly emotional dudes. But I don't know; I suppose they're everywhere nowadays. 

Bless their precious hearts.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wimbledon: Thumbing Its Nose To The World

Don't we simply love to watch the good-looking rich folks as they sit grumpily at those prestigious venues. They may appear grumpy, but in fact they a not. These people are the wealthy few whose images are a fixture in the minds of those who see Wimbledon as it desires to be: posh and upper-class. However, there are grumblings from the country's citizens who would like to see far more than what they're getting.
Truth is, British tennis players haven't performed very well in Wimbledon in years, and the country's people would like to see a change. It is indeed possible to attract more people to the sport. Tiger Wood did just that in the sport of golf, and the William's sisters changed the view of American tennis nearly 20 years ago. Certainly the British can do the same.  All you have to do is promote and advertise. Nike's sponsoring of young phenomenons such as Michael Jordan and Labron James has changed the NBA forever. So why not do the same in England? Well...I suppose that's not quite the British way.
Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates, a media and sports consultancy, estimates that Wimbledon takes in roughly $6 million a year from sponsorship by companies like IBM and Rolex.  Over the past several years Wimbledon has generated an annual profit of $42.2 million.  The U.S. Open tennis tournament, which has similar audience figures, earns $118 million from sponsors. Wimbledon does not deny that it can increase profits by simply advertising more; it simply prefers to keep its level of exclusivity by appealing chiefly to the middle-class and up.
So, what does this mean for tennis fans?  Well, that depends on your perspective.  Certainly, Wimbledon would continue to require athletes to wear lily-white outfits, Mercedes-Benz and Rolex will maintain their sponsorship for years to come, and apparently Britain will always be mediocre at best as it pertains to representing their country in tennis.  But if you weigh all of that with the visual of Bradley Cooper and other super-star media folks sitting in the front row of Wimbledon in their dashing suits, designer gowns and expensive sunshades, isn't this really nothing but a non-issue? Well...I suppose not.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Who Should Celebrate Independence Day

What a great day Independence Day appears to be. It is the day our country celebrates its independence from Britain, and one which it annually proclaims to be the greatest country in the world. Certainly the United States is not perfect, but indeed there have been numerous global accomplishments. 

Great men and many leaders have placed their lives on the line for the belief that this nation had the potential to be great. If that is the case then certainly the mud that stains its red, white, and blue coat should humbly be displayed, and then hopefully mended before washed it away. This year alone has certainly been one to remember. There have been murders of black people in a South Carolina church and churches have been burned throughout the Bible Belt. Baltimore was forced to stand up and march against both police brutality and a government trying its best to mask the problems exposed from its fragile inner structure. Poverty has remained an overwhelming issue, as well as the not-so-subtle injustices directed towards gays and lesbians, and immigrants. In the past six months we have been a country in mourning due to prejudices and hatred directed towards a bulk of its citizens. 

Still, we celebrate...and we should. We glorify the magnificent country that has endured war, recession, and a downtrodden spirit with a faith that this nation can truly be that which it claims to be. It is no longer one which waits on the actions of an ever-active president, nor is it one that can count on state government to effectively lead.  Instead, it is a nation that now knows that the true power comes from the citizens who will help steer it in the best direction it deems necessary.

Again I say celebrate. Celebrate yourselves for seeing this country's faults and acting against them. Celebrate your actions in standing against recognized injustice. Celebrate your open-mindedness as you finish out the year knowing that it is you and your contributions that will make this country all that it has claimed to be. Celebrate yourselves on this Independence Day!

Without a doubt, change has indeed come and change will once again be needed as we the people help this country restructure its foundation. And we'll do it again and again, all for the sake of this fragile nation's often-assumed greatness. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Supporting Rachel Dolezal

"She has to be crazy," they said. "Who would pass themselves off as being black?!" Those were the words said by many throughout the week after Dolezal, head of the Spokane, Washington NAACP, was discovered to have lied about her race for years. Dolezal's parents were seen on news outlets around the country stating that their daughter is indeed not black, and also produced the birth certificate proving that very point.

Rachel Dolezal told KREM reporter Shawn Chitnis, "Actually, I don't like the term African-American; I prefer black. So if asked, I would say, yes, I consider to be black.

The NAACP leader explained that everything she is being questioned about -- her race, her children and her biological parents -- are "a very private matter." Dolezal has two adopted brothers who are black, as well as a son who is of African-American descent. She obtained legal custody of her adopted brother, Izaiah, after he sought emancipation from Dolezal's biological parents. Dolezal also refers to Izaiah as her son. "I am his mom," she told KREM. "I do see myself as [that]. He's not my brother. That's not our relationship.

She has also revealed that she doesn't consider her biological parents her "real parents." Dolezal does not speak to them due to an ongoing legal issue; and perhaps that's why she was interrogated on the street by a news investigator.  

Instead of the focus being on the "crazy white woman" who tans her skin and wears afrocentric wigs and blowouts to make herself look black; certainly credit must be given to the woman who raised two black men on her own and heads a local NAACP chapter. One can easily say that this white woman has done more for the black community than 100 Caucasian and Black people would do in a their entire lifetime. 

So, let's simply leave the white/black lady alone. Surely, she has plenty of work to do.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Police Brutality Exposed In Cleveland And Everywhere Else

Once upon a time there were these musical artists, you see...(okay, we can call them rappers) and they went by the name of NWA. One of the groups most noted songs was titled "F### Tha Police." It was a song popular among many, including street kids and teens, who were attracted to the rebellious words which bombed out of their stereos.  

The group spoke of police brutality on a scale that suburban America did not truly believe existed. That was nearly 30 years ago; and it seems as if nothing stemming from their words has changed since that time. 

Most recently, a Cleveland officer was found not guilty in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire. Thirteen Ohio officers fired at the suspects' car that night in a school parking lot. One officer was charged in the incident. His name is Michael Brelo. 

Prosecutors said Brelo waited until the vehicle had stopped and the occupants were no longer a threat when he stepped onto the hood and fired 15 rounds into the windshield.

The judge's verdict for 31-year-old Michael Brelo came after a four-week bench trial on two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams on Nov. 29, 2012.
Brelo was also found not guilty on two counts of felonious assault. Russell was struck 24 times and Williams 23 times.

So, how much more police brutality do people of color have to endure? There's no need to strike up conversation about those who have died by the hands of police in Baltimore, New York, Ferguson, and surely every city where black Americans live. We're now quite familiar with those accounts. 

Still, no one wants to regress to a radicalized mindset such as the one expressed by rebellious, yet poignant, hip/hop artists nearly 30 years ago. However, the more we see injustice regarding senseless black killings by the hands of the police, the more we truly feel like regressing to a "f### tha police" state of mind. Surely by now, they have to understand that...I hope.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Missouri's Poor Handling Of Their Welfare System

Lawmaker's in Missouri have voted to remove thousands of people from its welfare program. The act will force 6,400 children to lose benefits in the first year alone. The new law will reduce the state's lifetime limit for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from five years to three years and nine months. This act starts a countdown before many will go further into hunger, homelessness and despair.

Individuals will have six weeks after a meeting with a social worker before losing half of the family's benefits. All benefits will be cut off after an additional 10 weeks. In 2013 researchers from an anti-poverty group, Maine Equal Justice Partners, found that cuts to TANF push families deeper into poverty and forces them to rely on charity. Neighboring state Kansas did a similar, yet somewhat milder, act to Missouri's when Republican Governor Sam Brownback prohibited families on welfare from using cash assistance on recreational activities such as swimming pools and movies.

A study which focused on families transitioning from welfare reported that 70 percent of the recipients had to go to the food bank, and more than 1 in 3 families quickly lost their utility services. Such acts as these are part of the reason why the outpouring in Baltimore felt to be a reasonable and necessary resolve. The local and state government had been consistently letting their citizen's down. 

It's almost amazing to think that groups of people in the United States have been deprived of certain freedoms for hundreds of years. In addition, these deprived people (our citizens) are expected to believe that the "bootstrap theory" (which maintains that you alone should be able to pull yourself out of your own muck) is an American manual for successful living. To this day, it is a concept rejected by most university professors and sociologists.  

Only six years ago, many Americans were homeless due to a recession which took years to overcome. It was not government regulations that supported Americans in these dire times but government assistance. It seems logical that people who have experienced tougher times should be able to empathize for others going through similar situations. However, one can only conclude that in order to have empathy for another, one must first obtain the necessary characteristics which defines a human being.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Race Tensions: Will Baltimore Be The First To Change

Much needed protests turning into acts of random violence is something that appears to be a regularity these days.  The city of Baltimore was the latest to record this experience.  Police cars were vandalized and a 7-Eleven convenience store was trashed as people outwardly expressed themselves in reaction to the death of Freddie Gray to the hands of some Baltimore police officers.

Twenty-five year old Freddie Gray died after suffering a severed spine as a result of police brutality. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts voiced months earlier his concerns regarding his officers' handling of daily matters.  Now Batts has to handle the reactions of black Baltimoreans who are asking for immediate change.

The city of Baltimore could be the one place where measurable changes can actually take place. We've seen young black men murdered by police in states all over the country and no can actually say that "change" has occurred. However, many sense that the city of Baltimore is a place that can be more welcoming to change. Baltimore is one of the smaller metropolitan cities located in a prominently liberal state with a large black population. Each of these factors is an important one if a positive outcome is expected.

Moreover, if a measurable change were to come, many in the city would agree that it would not be because of the responses (and requests for assistance) from black mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake nor from the expected works of black police commissioner Anthony Batts. It's apparent that this matter is all in the hands of the black citizens of Baltimore and the small number of non-black protesters. But most importantly, this group has to survive whatever reaction there is to come.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Walter Scott Murder: Is It More Than Racism?

We've seen a black man strangled to death by police officers for selling loose cigarettes and we've seen a young black man killed by police while his hands were held in the air. We've seen black kids shot to death while holding toy guns and we've heard the struggle of a black teen shot to death while walking home by a self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman.  The result has normally been the same.  Another black man or child is murdered while the killer who has vowed to serve a community is set free.  

We've considered these incidents to be acts of racism. We've also categorized these murders as police brutality feeling that something is wrong with the way the police force trains its officers.  But, have we once thought that these assaults are the result of innate feelings that non-black people can not truly explain. Well, sounds like racism, right?  It always sounds like racism; and it certainly feels like racism.  But can one truly explain how one automatically concludes that the best course of action to handle a child who has a black pointy object in his hands is to drive towards him and shoot him dead?  There simply has to be more to it than racism.

Walter Scott ran away from his vehicle after being pulled over by Michael Slager, a white South Carolina police officer.  It is presumed that Scott felt that he would be going to jail for non-payment of child support or some other minor offense after Slager checked his ID.  Scott fled and Slager pursued after him. There was a confrontation and Scott fled again. Slager then shot Scott eight times in the back.  What logical reason did Slager have for shooting a fleeing man in his back? Would he have done this to a white man? That's something that we honestly do not know; however, the majority of rational thinking people feel that he probably would have not.

Are some white folks truly that afraid of black people? Are some white folks simply tired of seeing black people in prominent positions?  Is there pressure felt based upon the fact that the American society has changed in ways that is far from the "good days of old?"  

All of these scenarios are possibilities, but I'm starting to wonder if non-blacks truly know that these thoughts exists. Nevertheless, they continue to act upon a level of hatred that seemingly they don't even understand. For certain, this is an issue that does not appear to go away. More questions and better answers are needed; these casual murders of American black men is growing sorrowfully old.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Why Black Men Are Somehow Considered More Threatening Than ISIS

Prominent U.S. Congressmen recently stated that the terrorist group, ISIS, is the country's number one security threat. If so, then why have so many black men been incarcerated or shot down in the streets over the past 60 years? Exemplified by the number of police shootings of men and children of color in 2014, many people today consider a 22-year-old black man to be a more threatening figure than a teenage member of ISIS. Why is this the case? Well, let's take a quick look at our American history.

Since the early days of slavery (and believe me, no one wants to start a paragraph using those words), it had been instilled in the minds of slave owners and slave traders that a successful slave revolt would be absolutely devastating. Just like an animal in the zoo; black men, women and children were bound in chains in order for their captors to force their will upon them. Maximized security was a part of life's necessities for the slave owner. To this day, it's still shocking to think that humans would capture and enslave other human being.  It's just as mind-blowing to think that such action and behavior is still minimized in unapologetic fashion.

Nevertheless, slave owners would often remind one another of the importance of handling their slaves. Fathers would tell sons to refrain from playing with enslave children in effort to build distrust for their perceived enemy. Nightmarish stories were told to family members in effort to rid feelings of compassion for slaves. In a nutshell, dark people were bad and could not be trusted. To this day, this form of thinking exists in the core of folks for such foolishness was passed down from generation to generation.

As a result, blacks remain incarcerated at an ridiculously high rate in a country that houses more prisoners than any nation in the world. Unarmed blacks have been seen on video murdered by police based upon training that perceives blacks are dangerous. This is a manner which is indeed no different than how blacks were handled centuries ago. Meanwhile, terrorist groups are recruiting and training soldiers with instructions to capture or kill for reasons chiefly based upon hatred.

How is it that a youth with a gun and a mask seems less threatening than a black youth wearing a t-shirt and jeans?  The problem is that many have been bred to think that way. The problem is that people take pride in being prejudice because somehow it feels good to think that you're better than someone else. The problem is that this belief of maintaining hate has yet to go away. Time has proven to be ineffective in washing away this stain that was created so very long ago; and even more concerning is the fact that we are running out of solutions to resolve a problem that has existed for over 400 years.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Barack Obama: The Greatest President in U.S. History?

With less than two years before Barack Obama leaves his position as President of the United States, the time is approaching when we will be comparing his legacy as Commander-in-Chief to those of other presidents. Of course, there are many who consider his performance to be nothing more than questionable at best. Throughout the years, people have voiced an obvious dislike towards the president based upon race and perceived notions pertaining to his beliefs and values. There have been members of the House and Senate calling for his impeachment; and there have even been people in the media who have voiced a disapproval of him as a father and husband. Despite the disfavor, surely one cannot argue his ability to repeatedly bring about effective change.  Listed below are only a few of over 280 accomplishments of President Barrack Obama.
  • He created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.
  • On his first full day of office, he froze White House salaries.
  • He pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as "the stimulus package."
  • He held the first-ever online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public.
  • The president appointed more openly gay officials than anyone in history demonstrating his stance on equal rights.
  • He expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act.
  • The Obama Department of Justice made significant reductions in drug sentencing guidelines for current prisoners.  The final step in 30 years towards reducing the highest prison population in the world.
  • He ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
  • He funded the Department of Veterans Affairs with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veteran's services.
  • The present oversaw the expansion of the Pell Grants program to expand opportunity for low and middle income students to go to college.
  • He reformed the student loan programs to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate.
  • He helped steer the Affordable Care Act which dropped the number of uninsured Americans by over 22%.
Certainly, any reader can take a look at this list and recall an achievement that is not listed here.  There have been presidents who are remembered solely for leading the United States through wars, there have been those who are remembered for being an advocate for human rights, and there are also those known for being a pioneer for economic reform.  President Obama has achieved all of those feats during his tenure, in addition to numerous other significant works. Without a doubt, it can be argued that Barack Obama is one of the most effective presidents in United States history.  However, one most make the effort to remove the disdain and obvious prejudices in order to see it.


Friday, January 16, 2015

For The Love Of Cardale

He said it.  Ohio State's national championship winning quarterback Cardale Jones has told America that he's returning to school and forgoing the NFL to continue his pursuit of a college education. Surprised, anyone? Sure you are. Haven't we all seen high school and college athletes quickly decide to seek the financial benefits of going professional over the pursuit of a quality education?  Quite obviously to Cardale, the latter is proving to be more valuable. 

Cleveland bred Cardale Jones did something that even Labron James has yet to do.  He has proven that he's a man committed to the town that raised him. Certainly, the two are totally different people. However, both are from Ohio's inner city; and both were heavily supported by their communities as youths.  Despite the similarities, Jones is one who sees that an education will eventually take him further than professional sports ever will.

Cardale Jones has shown in his young adulthood that commitment, loyalty and the pursuit of knowledge are the traits that showcases a true role model.  Please pay attention, dear youths of America. Finally someone emerges on the national stage who is not tarnished by a self-inflicted shadowy past, and is worthy of the attention that he feels that he does not yet deserve.

In the meantime, the shoe deals and the Buick automobile contracts will have to wait, corporate America. Young Cardale has proven that the key to success is the surety that you're on a successful path. So, thank you for your service, sir. Already, you have proven to be a huge success.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Second Civil Rights Movement

Thanks and blessings to the many men and women who lay in the streets and walked the avenues in hundreds to protest injustice on behalf of the many people of color who were killed by law enforcement in the year of 2014. Thanks and blessings to the people of prominent stature who were not afraid to wear t-shirts reminding the world of the wrong-doing done to people of color by the hands of those who unjustly practice law enforcement. Thanks and blessings to the many college students who were willing to stand up for justice in recognition for the people of color who lost their lives because of the color of their skin. Thanks and blessings to all the people who have taken part in the beginning stage of the second civil rights movement in the United States.

Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice are only a sample of the many black people who have lost their lives due to no reason of their own.  We have seen black men executed on television yet nothing has been done. We have heard the story of black men murdered while surrendering, yet nothing has been done.  For years, black people have voiced that racism still exist in this country; however those voices have been rejected by the masses as the faces of prominent athletes and entertainers mask the fact that racial problems truly exist.  

This letter and blog was completed to prepare my fellow citizens for the civil rights movement which is to come. Please see this concern for what it truly is for black people are still being incarcerated in waves.  Black people are still living in a high poverty rate.  Black people are passed over on promotions and are nearly non-existent in the newest areas of commerce such as technology.  Mexican people are considered a threat to this country as the fight against immigration reform remains a focal issue in Congress. Since the election of Barack Obama, it seems that there has been a pressured vendetta against people of color. How else do you explain the filming of a man being choked to death by police (despite the cause of death being ruled a homicide) yet no man has been held responsible for the act. These stated actions can easily be construed as an act of revenge on the people of color.

Fellow citizens, prepare yourselves for a trying new season for there is still much work to be done. The fight remains for Mexican people who have migrated from the south. The struggle continues for women of color who continue to survive while her children's father remains incarcerated. The war remains for young black men who will always look like a suspect in the eyes of law enforcement. Prepare yourselves for the necessary marches and protests that are to come in this new year. The opposition has an unwanted look in its eye; and until a better fight is fought, that stern look of injustice and revenge will remain.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Missing People Of Silicon Valley

It's the land of the entrepreneur and the dream place for those aiming to birth a billion dollar start-up company. In the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay area lies a place called Silicon Valley, and it is the home of most of the world's largest technology corporations. It has prided itself for being the place to be for venture capitalist and young CEOs. However, these super-rich businessmen and executives failed to mention that blacks and other minorities have an extremely low representation among this group.

Within the past year civil rights activists have pressured tech firms to release the figures on ethnic and racial makeups of their companies. Seekers of this information had believed that this data was hidden from the public. Surprising to most, the result of these numbers perhaps indicate that there may have been reason for the conspiracy theory.

Google was the first to report its numbers on the company's racial makeup. Out of its 46,000 employees there were only 2% who were black, and only 1% represented its technology workforce. Similar to Google, only 1% of Yahoo's 12,300 employees are black; and only 1% of black people comprise Facebook's list of employees. Apple appeared to be the least shameful of the pack with 7% of blacks making up its workforce; however, when you factor in the number of minorities working in Apple's 425 retail locations, that slightly higher percentage simply masks the company's poor representation of the group.

African-Americans have represented every aspect of business in the United States, but no black man nor woman has attained a high level of success in the technology industry. In this recent time of protest for police humaneness, certainly this writer isn't suggesting that racial discrimination is the reason for the misrepresentation. But surely there are talented young black entrepreneurs in the San Francisco area; and surely there are enough venture capitalists willing to give these highly-educated young people a chance to start a business. Therefore, if you shed the idea that racism exist in Silicon Valley then certainly one would have to ask, so why keep these numbers a secret?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why Ferguson Had To Burn

The jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for firing six shots into eighteen-year-old Michael Brown could go down as the the worst judicial response to racism in U.S. history. Peaceful protest is expected from the people of Ferguson, Missouri; and one can certainly expect that non-peaceful protest will exist as well. Unfortunately, there truly may be a need for both.

The biggest misconception that the general public has about the protesters in Ferguson is that there is a desire for an "eye for an eye" type of resolve. Although there are people who want Darren Wilson to suffer, the reality is that all the people of Ferguson really want is for the world to see that racism is happening in their town.

"We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen." 

Those were the recent words of Michael Brown's family, in addition to a request for a peaceful resolution. President Obama and U.S. Attorney Eric Holder have voiced their concerns regarding non-peaceful demonstration; however, peaceful protest have been active for months yet the jury's outcome was one that many had expected. There is a need for an outlet in the town of Ferguson, and sadly the only one which appears to get the most attention is one of violence. Are visuals of war zone activity necessary for people to see that there are position needs for special investigators to look into particular matters such is this one? Surely, one would assume that such logical ideas would be an immediate response to a police killing of a teenager. Unfortunately, such resolves do not happen in places like Ferguson, Missouri.

Peaceful demonstrations will help bring a conclusion to this dilemma; but they will not be effective until the powers-that-be view the smoldering embers that was once a town's factory, warehouse, or restaurant.  It appears that many have forgotten that a unarmed teenager was shot and killed by a man who was hired to serve and protect the citizens of that town. It also seems as if the jury there had forgotten that the people of Ferguson are no longer going to witness the senseless killings of its young black men.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why It Took An Army To Bring Down Bill Cosby

The story had been alive for years that actor, comedian, and philanthropist, Bill Cosby, had been drugging women and taking advantage of them. Some women reported that he would pretend to be their confidant and life coach who would steer them into the entertainment business. Other women reported that the drugging was simply his standard method for obtaining sex. However, it wasn't until after the interview with former model Janice Dickinson's on "Entertainment Tonight" did the masses take the matter seriously.

Some people know Bill Cosby from the days of the television series "I Spy" and his creative social cartoon "Fat Albert." But most of America know him as the loving father Heathcliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show." In addition to those works, there have also been a slew of other television shows and movies which Cosby has starred. In his later years, Cosby has been considered an educator and a philanthropist who has been paid to talk about societal problems in America. Beloved by white America for his comedy and fatherly roles, including one as the popular host for, "Kids Say The Darndest Things," such allegations of rape and sexual assault appeared to be of no interest to anyone. Cosby had already lost favoritism with most black Americans due to years of his criticism of blacks on issues pertaining to education and culture. Even today, more white Americans come to Cosby's defense than do black Americans.

It was only two months ago when another rape allegation surfaced concerning Bill Cosby. The story lingered in the news for about a week or so before drifting away. When Cosby himself requested that he wanted to be projected in social media memes (an idea or style expressed by way of using pictures with captions), it appeared as if Cosby was purposely shooting himself in the foot as the public brought more attention to the accusations. However, when Dickinson recently voiced her opinions on the matter, the issue became a career-altering one for Cosby. The television series "The Cosby Show" alone had generated well over $300,000,000 dollars; therefore those who were financially affiliated with it certainly did not want to rock that money-making boat. But, it was Cosby's request for attention fused with the strength of social media, in addition to Janice Dickinson's comments, that forced TV Land, Netflix, and NBC to cancelled its recent showings. Cosby's new project has also been scrapped due to the popularity of the topic.

So why did it take so long for the matter to be taken seriously?  Was there simply too much money involved for anyone to care that a celebrated figure had been drugging and rapping women for years?  Did the women involved not have enough clout to get Cosby's crimes acknowledged?  Oddly enough, as all of this unravels, it still feels as if we still won't get an understanding of who the true victim really is. In the meantime, let us at least seem content with the idea that due diligence is finally taking its course.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Reason We've Given Up On Keyshia Cole

She has 3 platinum albums and sings in a way that can easily be described as soul fused with raw emotion. Keyshia Cole has entered the hearts of millions, yet somehow has not been able to stay there. Cole isn't a menace to society nor is she an attention-seeker looking for the next opportunity to discard her clothes.  So how could this songstress so quickly fall from many people's lists of favorite people?

Keyshia Cole appeared on the national scene with her debut album, The Way It Is.  She has a total of six albums with half of those selling over a million units. Cole was one of America's favorite star who represented her life, her culture, and her city to the fullest. She is also known for dauntlessly displaying her true self on reality television. But is it Keyshia Cole's "realness" that has placed her in the public eye as being inconsistent, or maybe "too hood" (as if such a term exist)?

Cole married professional basketball athlete, Daniel Gibson, and seemingly poured all into a relationship that eventually ended in failure. She's criticized for making comments about singers Beyonce and Michelle Williams. Her judgement is questioned again when she appeared at rapper Birdman's condo and gets arrested for attacking one of his female companions. We invited her in to our lives and then we discarded her just as quickly for doing things that most of us claim that we would do but probably would not.

I am not Keyshia Cole's #1 Fan nor will I ever be. That title probably belongs to a little girl in Cole's hometown who sees nothing but God's graces when she stares at the artist's postered face on her bedroom wall. However, I do confess to being someone who knows passion personified in a human form when I see it. Keyshia Cole is someone who will respond outwardly (and sometimes publicly) to matters without totally spiraling away from her ability to self-reason.

A similar type of person was introduced to me in a novel years ago entitled The Sorrows of Young Werther, a book written  by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In that novel the main character, Werther (pronounced Vector), would not allow his passion for the woman he loved be constrained. Young Werther inhaled the essence of his love-interest on a daily basis ultimately displaying true love in its paramount. It's a book of which one learns that a closed mouth and a closed heart proves unsuccessful in the areas of true love and conviction. Keyshia Cole is indeed like the character Werther. Her voice is strong and her actions are even stronger when it relates to something that she deems important.

I proclaim that Keyshia Cole is certainly not a "hood chick" who can't control herself, nor do I consider her to be a pampered artist. We need to support her for being quite the opposite. Cole is someone who is simply led by her heart; and surely that's a character-trait which should be respected. Or maybe we should give credit to another of her lesser known qualities: the ability to disregard her heart's cravings when love no longer beckons its way. I'm sure that talent alone should make us all want to buy Keyshia Cole posters.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Key To Handling Ferguson

I'm sure that you already know that there have been recent demonstrations in the tiny city of Ferguson, Missouri. More protest came when another 18-year-old was killed by police only weeks after the murder of Michael Brown. Seventeen protesters were arrested on the 12th of October, and many others were subdued with pepper spray. it was reported that riot police told the crowd to leave, but some 50 protesters linked their arms together heeding the police warning and intentionally walked past a police barricade. The activity gets more unpredictable by the day.

So, how are we going to resolve the matter in Ferguson, Missouri?  I believe that President Obama has said a word or two; and I suppose that Reverend Al Sharpton voiced his opinion, and even Jesse Jackson made some sort of attempt at making himself heard. But, the key to handling the problems in Ferguson, and in all other parts of the country where police brutality exists, is simply keeping the mental and physical aspects of protesting alive. The people are sticking together on this one. This isn't some fad where it's cool to take a selfie on the same street where Michael Brown was killed. This isn't Occupy where we show up on Friday then go back to work on Monday with our "We Were There" t-shirts.  The marches are real, the voices are loud, and the demonstrations will not stop unless careless acts of violence towards young black people ends.

Do I have a problem seeing an elderly Cornell West getting arrested by Ferguson police in his attempt at being relevant?  No.  Do I have an issue with the report that Jesse Jackson was booed in Ferguson after requesting monetary donations during the demonstrations?  Nope.  Did I find it unnecessary when reporter Don Lemon was repeatedly checked by his own people during his Ferguson interviews simply because it was a much needed act?  Not at all. What about Chris Brown's appearance, or J. Cole's, or any of the other so-called celebrities? No. No. And no. We need attention in Ferguson today, and we need attention in Ferguson tomorrow.

Something enormous is going on in that town, and quite honestly, it doesn't matter if the young black males who were killed were stealing a drink from a convenience store or walking home from bible study. The goal is to show the world that it is not acceptable for black teenagers to be killed by police; and it has become very obvious that black people in Ferguson have grown tired of being a witness.  So once again, what is the key to handling the situation in Ferguson?  It's simple: you can show up, you can tweet about it, you can repost news feeds, you can challenge celebrities on social media, you can talk about it in class, you can remind someone that there's a fight going on, you can even share this page. Whatever it is that you can do then do it.  This matter may be a current event, however it is certainly not a fad. The people of Ferguson are all in on this one. It's a city where over 70 percent of the population is black. What else are they going to do, leave the fight?  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Is The Media Raising Today's Black Youths?

Arizona Cardinal's Jonathan Dwyer
The fact that Beyonce's 63-year-old dad, Mathew Knowles, has fathered children from women much younger than he (one while still married to his then-wife) characterizes what many would consider to be trifling behavior. The fact that the Carolina Panther's 6-foot-4, 275 pound defensive end, Greg Hardy, is being suspended by the NFL because he threatened and beat his girlfriend is also a verification of trifling behavior in its abundance.

There's been an outcry over former Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice's domestic abuse case, as well as the Minnesota Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson's child abuse case.  After viewing the public display of these men's negative behaviors, once can conclude that the media is doing something that has been lacking in the black community. They are successful re-educating our youths.

In a time when going to prison is considered to be a badge of honor and drug use is glorified, black youths have lacked the proper guidance necessary to make the transition to becoming responsible adults.  Also, due to the decreasing number of long term marriages and the increase of young people raised in single parenthood, education of black children has proven to be stifling at best; leaving many to feel that the future for black youths is daunting.  However, that notion appears to have changed some weeks ago when Ray Rice was ridiculed publicly when the video of he beating his then-fiancee surfaced on TMZ.  The matter was so extreme that it forced the National Football League, the most visible sport in the world, to be scrutinized for how it handled its disciplinary procedures.

While the poker was still hot, there arose the Adrian Peterson case followed by the poorly handled Greg Hardy case.  Now, we have the case of Arizona Cardinal's player Jonathan Dwyer who was also arrested for domestic abuse. Even middle-aged men can't get away from a lesson because now we have the older man, Mathew Knowles, being subjected to paternity test to prove that he fathered children with women half his age. And to think, it was only about five years ago when married actor Morgan Freeman flipped his vehicle several times while driving with an alleged mistress on a Mississippi highway. Somehow, Freeman's not-so-noble act was swept under the rug. Today, however, such matters are not as concealing.

I can only hope that all of you well-known black folk continue in your ways of error for the sake of today's black youth.  If a good father or mother is not present, at least young people can rely on the people they look up to the most to be publicly scrutinized as a result of their wrongdoing. So, let's give thanks to that aloof young woman (whose name escapes us all) for almost single-handedly bringing down NBA owner Donald Sterling. Who would have known that exposing someone publicly would be one of the greatest teachers to us all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Black Man Chronicles, Part 1: Living Up to The Stereotypes

We're shiftless, lazy, irresponsible people.  I'm certain that there are at least a hundred other adjectives and adnouns used to describe the black man.  You can find us see us out in the street hustling drugs, t-shirts, or even bottled water. We've also achieved the incomparable feat of occupying the most space in national jail and prison systems.  It is said that we've fathered numerous children out of wedlock and that we have no intention of being committed to a monogamous relationship.  Surely, that is what most of you think; and I'm certain that you have mounds of evidence to support your belief.

If you live in the United States then you certainly have been affected, both positively and negatively, by some plight that has ensnared a black man. Fortunately, I was very born son to a father who had gone only 14 days without having a job during a span 45 years.  My father's father had worked as a porter on the railroads.  He was also a carpenter, a plumber, a master gardener, and a mechanic, all while suffering from the disease of alcoholism. Neither man was perfect; but they were both strong providers for their family. During that time of obvious racial strife, it was necessary for black families to stick together.  Perhaps the lack of job opportunities in areas of obvious racism, which forced most black men to move away from their families in effort to find work, was the reason for the lack of stability in black home today. And then again, perhaps not.

I've never lived in the housing projects, nor did I visit there much as a kid.  The most I've spent there was while working as a counselor for troubled youths when I was fresh out of college.  Men my age or younger were sentenced to prison in alarming numbers for drug-selling or drug related crimes at that time.  As a result, single black mothers were doing everything they could to survive. Some worked two or more jobs, some made money as strippers (which I believe propelled the acceptance and glorification of the strip club today), and others were either unable to work due to lack of child care or simply chose not to work. I suppose the black man's response to poverty during his quest to obtain that which capitalism exploited is the reason why black families still struggle to this day.  And then again, perhaps not.

There is a calling on your life.  There is a calling on every human's life.  Few have met their calling from God. Many of us are still struggling to hear what God is actually saying. A century ago, you could find nearly every black child in the church.  Almost every black family went to church during my father's child and teenage years.  When I was young, we were strongly encouraged to go to the church as well; however, the church looked different when I became a teenager and young adult. There seemed to be less men participation, and as a result there were few male role models for black children and teenagers.  Many men today simply do not feel the void of being fatherless because there existed nothing with which to compare. Many of the "old men" in the church are simply that.. old men in the church.  Either they chose not to get involved in the lives of young males who needed their support the most, or they suffered from a spiritual void within themselves and did not feel the calling to help; or maybe they felt disconnected from the youths and considered them unreachable. Perhaps, the lack of church guidance and the decline in church attendance among black male adults is the reason why young black men have a distorted sense of who they are spiritually.  But then again... perhaps not.      

As I've grown as an adult, I've discovered that there is a reaction for every action.  There is also a reason for every single thing, especially the negative ones.  Though we're led to think differently, we have to believe that the stereotypes of black men are actually not facts at all; there only stereotypes.  And not only that, it seems that we can also trace the origin of the issues that force us to believe these stereotypes to be true; and if we can gather an understanding of the root of the problems which lead to these negative thoughts then it's apparent that we can also develop the solutions to rid them just the same.  The problem with finding the cause of most problems is that there has to be an revealing of the one or ones who are truly at fault.

So, I guess I'm led to think that perhaps there are people who feel that no fault truly exist if there is no one there to step forward and take responsibility for that fault.  And then again; perhaps not. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Can Sex Solve Your Relationship Problems?

Believe me, I get relationship questions all the time.  But it's cool though.  Most of my early blogs covered relationship topics and I'll be the first to admit that I've strayed away from the issue somewhat. So when I was asked the question, if sex can resolve relationships woes?Well, I gotta tell ya, I had to jump on that. Pun intended, of course.

Look, we're all adults here; and we've all been in a relationship or two.. or eight.  Some of them were great and others not so much.  I imagine that they all started off with a bang before fizzling in disgust.  I can also go out on a limb and say that during that you probably argued more times than you thought you would have. Sometimes the rift was over money, and other times it was over something far more simple. I suppose that some of you were cheated on and some of you were caught doing the cheating. Either way, it started and then it ended. Even now a number of you still wonder if the relationship could have been salvaged; and to thought I have to say, if there was more sex involved then it probably wouldn't have ended as early as it did.

Remember Jody and Yvette from the movie Baby Boy? (if you haven't then you probably don't watch BET)  Anyway, the character Jody would give sexual favors to Yvette whenever he needed to put a band-aid on the couple's problems.  On the next day all would be okay...well, except for the time when Jody looked out of the window to discover that Yvette had taken the car the day after he serviced Yvette with some good ole oral.  But prior to that moment, his methods seemed to work. And I'm not exactly talking about make-up sex here (although that can be quite effective). I'm talking about routine sex, communicative sex, quality love-making, aggressive acts of lust, and all other means possible for two people to join together as one. Sharing sexually with your partner is indeed an absolute must!  And yes, it should also be done to resolve your relationship problems.

Okay, I know what your're thinking.  You've been watching Dr. Phil and he's been lecturing you on the importance of maintaining a verbal connection with your partner in effort to better understand the other's concerns.  Yes, it is very essential to communicate with your mate verbally.  But what about the physical connection which allows you to relate to one another intimately? What about engaging in activity that forces you both to lower your guard so that you can communicate without the anger and the attitude? You say that he never listens to you?  Well, take off your top! I'm sure you'll get his full of attention then.  And you sir, you say she's always nagging at you about taking out the garbage? Hell, drop your underpants. See if that whole "taking out the trash" thing is important to now?

Repeat after me: SEX CAN SOLVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS.  You do not need to pay a therapist so that he or she can reemphasize the importance of journalizing your feelings.  And you certainly don't need to watch Dr. Phil giving testimony about date night with the wife.  Instead, turn to the Lifetime Movie Channel on your local cable network and watch one of those drama-filled relationship movies (that are normally fused with the softest porn ever created by man) and have a good lustful go at it. And afterwards, I'm sure the two of you will be more than happy to work out that trash removal schedule... or whatever.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Apologies Aren't Enough

No one gives a rip about apologies. Once you've done the act you're going to be labeled as a theft or a drug user; and in the case of professional football player Ray Rice, a wife beater until your last day on this earth.

No one cares that he's made amends with his wife about the matter (one which she shares the blame); and no one cares that he has admitted his faults publicly for a something that is a million times more personal than it is public. Does the apology sound truthful enough for us? That's where our thoughts lie. Is it truth enough for us? For us?!

Look, sports commentator Stephen A. Smith got into a little hot water during the week for saying that Rice's booky boo (and basically, all women for that matter) are just as responsible for domestic violence as the men. Well, that could possibly be true; but that's not the issue right now. And many feel that the two-game suspension which Rice received as punishment for his actions was a minor consequence in comparison to the one year suspensions that are handed down to athletes who got caught for illegal drug use. That too is also a matter of interest; but that also is a whole different matter. The issue here is about us and our lack of empathy for fellow humans.. Us feeling that we are both the judge and the jury.  I've even heard professional news reporters say that he didn't seem apologetic enough, or the second public apology seemed more sincere than the first.  I mean, who the freak are we to judge?

There is one thing that is for certain here.  We don not know what happened in that elevator prior to seeing his fiance' apparently unconscious outside of an elevator. Without a doubt it was a horrible sight; yet still, the commissioner of the league (who saw the incident in its entirety by footage which we will probably never see) still managed to suspended Rice for only two games.  A commissioner, who knows fully well that he will be jeered upon sight for the remainder of the year, still felt that what he saw via censored footage has an end result that comes close to justifying the matter entirely.

So what do I say about it all?  It's simple; don't judge Ray Rice.  To be honest with you, I'm a Baltimore Ravens fan and I wouldn't have cared if he got suspended for the entire season, or even for the remainder of his career. I don't think he's been the same type of player since his 2011 season.  I don't think the team really need him; and I really don't expect much from him once he returns.  But what I do know is that the man said he was sorry. And if his apology is good enough for his wife then who in-the-hell am I to judge otherwise.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Will The Real Kevin Durant Please Stand Up?

He's the current Most Valuable Player in the NBA. He's an Olympic gold medalist and a former first round draft pick. He does commercials; he's globally known. He's also one of the most likable professional athletes on the planet.  I mean...hell, he even cried during his acceptance speech after winning the league's MVP award. He's charming, well-known, and loved by many; but still, how much do we really know about Kevin Durant?

Okay, here's some of the story.  The guy grew up in the DC area and spent a year of college at the University of Texas. He plays professional basketball in the much smaller sports market of Oklahoma City.  It is believed that he and Labron James are close friends. In addition, he made every fan of the movie Love and Basketball cheer with joy after hearing that he was dating and engaged to WNBA player, Monica Wright. So, I'm sure that's enough for you to formulate a pretty good opinion of the guy, right? Well.. not exactly.  

You see, I recall when a woman who goes by the name Mercedes took to twitter and proclaimed that Durant should "stop acting brand new" after she mentioned that she had a sexual affair with Durant during a time when he was engaged.  I remember when national news reporters were surprised to discover that the good guy basketball player had his entire torso and back entirely inked-out in a way that it was secretly concealed by his basketball jersey (and for the record, I have zero problems with tattoos.. nope, none so ever).  However, now that his now ex-fiancĂ© is saying that the two are splitting because of their different views on religion and lifestyles?  Hmmm... the picture seems to be getting a little cloudy.

It is well-believed that professional athletes (especially professional basketball players) are promiscuous creatures; well, in addition to other things. Being the case, there was hope that Durant would be the poster boy for morality in the NBA.  Surely you know that league players don't exactly give the impression for being ideal citizens.  I mean, there's Kobe Bryant and his rape case several years ago. There's Labron James who is quite loved by many but hated by a relatively similar number for leaving both the Cleveland and Miami basketball teams.  There are also others who have gotten into fights during games, who have gotten caught with illegal guns, who have repeatedly failed drug tests; and of course, have fathered a good number of children out of wedlock. The negative image of these players are even magnified being that most have multi-million dollar contracts.

And then there's the poster boy, Kevin Durant, who is now showing us that all basketball players are pretty much alike.  Right?  Surely, that's what a good number of you think.  I mean, maybe Durant doesn't look so good now that he's refused to have a monogamous relationship with the one he promised to marry?  Gosh! What an awful person! But still, I suppose one could see a righteous quality in Mr. Durant's actions.  I mean, the man did remain truthful to his lustful convictions.  One could even say that Durant is being honest to both himself and the person he truly loves. Surely, that takes character.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why We're Forced To Love Drake

Are you getting too much Drake? Because you said that you were tired of him crying over lost love on some of his songs. You said that you were tired of his public confessions of love for celebrity women. You said that he's not gangsta enough to be considered a rapper. You said that he's not a talented singer yet he considers himself to be a crooner. He's not handsome enough yet he's considered to be a sexy symbol.  These are all things that you've said, right?  Well, yeah.. you definitely said it; but still you find yourself tuned in to the guy. How is that?

We are simply forced to love Drake.  Why?  Because he's freakin' talented, that's why.  You can hate on him, and you can say that he doesn't fit into the mold that you want for him; but still, quit lying to yourself and admit that the guy is freakin' awesome.  Drake is like Wayne Brady in Wayne Brady's best dream which he's incapable of even dreaming.  He's like that super-talented athlete who is also one of the best musicians in the world.  Hold on a second... that person doesn't yet exist.  But still though, you get the picture.

Drake (who got his start playing the character Jimmy Brooks on the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation) is naturally talented as a hybrid musical artist. The fact that he's both humorous and timely as an actor only adds to his substance as an entertainer.  His performance as a host at the ESPYS was a little edgy for some but considered superbly entertaining by most.  Drake is someone who is already on his way but seems to have made it there already.

So, what is my suggestion to most of his haters, and to the number of people who feel that Drake is simply forced upon them by the powers that be?  Well, you can look up some old footage of Degrassi: The Next Generation. Maybe there you could find something worth criticizing... Maybe.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kim and Kanye: The Perfect Celebrity Couple

It was an odd relationship from the start, so we thought; but Kim and Kanye managed to surprise us all. Hell, they've surpassed most people's expectations to the point of Holy Matrimony.  And who would have guessed that such a thing would've happened? Well, yours truly, Blaze Hemingway, of course.  And here's why I was so right about Kim and Kanye's marriage to the point that I am certain that it'll last for Hollywood-ever... which is basically an equivalence of five to eight years.

First, lets all agree that Kanye has some real freakin' issues, okay?  Now, let's also join and agree that Kim Kardashian has some real freakin' issues her damn self. And we're not just talking about normal everyday-person-type of issues; we're talking about issues which have not yet found itself in the office of any therapist of earth.  Still, we are able to see the two of them for who they really are based upon what we know of them publicly.

For instance, we know that Kim is a money-digging twit who has a thing for black men; and I love it. Meanwhile, Kanye is an egotistical momma's boy who desperately wants to be heard; that's great! Kanye is black and has money; Kim has very little to offer intellectually but seems to be a descent listener. So there you have it. It's a match made in heaven... well, I wouldn't say heaven, but it's a match nonetheless.  

Okay, so that was a very practical explanation, but you get the picture.  Certainly Kim can save the multi-talented Kanye from self-destructing by being the mother that he desperately wishes he had.  I mean, Kim is sort of motherly-like, right?  She got that big momma's booty that is normally obtained after giving birth to five or more kids.  She's got that whatever you do is okay because I'm your momma blank stare that let's you know that everything' is right with the world.  Geez.  I totally get the Kimye thing; and it's so co-dependably precious!

But still, if it fails after a month, don't jump off the bandwagon and respond with some "I knew it was gon' happen anyway" bullsh#t.  I mean, we're talking about drama-filled Kanye here.  Hell, they've probably broken-up and gotten back together at least three times in the past 16 hours.

Bless their little co-depended hearts.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Race, Trust and the NBA

You all are now aware. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was recently heard on a recording voicing his dislike for minorities, specifically black people.  The news spread like a wild fire on Saturday April 26th. Some people stated that the team should boycott the playoffs and others wanted the Clippers fans to stop going to the games.  It's a horrible situation, yet it's one which shouldn't be a surprise to many Americans across the nation.

I've written numerous blogs about race, one of those covered the Trayvon Martin incident; another was about professional golfer Sergio Garcia saying that he would invite Tiger Woods to his home and serve him chicken. Hey, it's not a mystery.. racism exists. It's the reason why we still have affirmative action in place; and it's the reason why we still celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at professional ballparks, in effort to address and educate people on a matter that's both sensitive and serious in nature.  So why shouldn't we expect this particular white man whose known to be a tightwadded miser and slum lord, and who also happens to date a young Black-Mexican woman (and I still don't quite understand that) to be anything other than one of strong racial opinion?  Is it because he owns a professional NBA team in a league that's comprised mainly of black men?  Of course not.  Like I said, this should not be new information.

Nope, I'm not surprised. However, I do have an issue with this secret recording stuff.  I mean, hey...I still haven't gotten over that whole Marion Barry matter. Yeah, you remember.. the Washington DC mayor who was invited to his jumpoff's hotel room for dinner and a side order of crack cocaine just before the door got kicked open by federal agents.  And what did Barry say?  I quote, "this is entrapment...that (chick) set me up." Now, should we have a mayor, or any public official, who spends his spare time with jumpoffs and crack cocaine?  Of course not.  But isn't that just the way that a lot of  relationships are nowadays? There's simply an abundant amount of deceitful behavior.. from both men and women.

So who is this woman who secretly recorded the super-racist Donald Sterling?  And how is it that a Black-Mexican woman dates a racist man who she knows dislikes blacks and other minorities and still spends her ever-diminishing time on earth around such an egotistical old goat?  Is it the money?  Of course it was the money. But how do you decide that okay, if I record him talking about black people (a race of which I just so happen to be) that I might expose him for who is although  I might be spoiling that planned trip to Europe?  Couldn't you have taken your stand prior to this secret recording? Because surely he didn't know that he was confessing to the world something which was told under the trusted seal of relationship confidentiality.  I mean, how are we to know that our significant other doesn't record us on a regular basis. Damn smartphones!  Well.. how do we know that there isn't a presence of deceit in our own bed? Because we trust them?  Because we love them so much?  We all say confidential things in private. You know, those never repeated discussions about our best friends or our bosses or our family members.  How are we to know that those things aren't ever going to be repeated?

Surely, I could be looking at this all wrong.  I mean, God could have been using a common person as herself to do something for a greater good just as he used common folks like Moses and Esther to do His will during the good Old Testament times.  But still, why use deceit to resolve an issue for which you were not bold enough to address personally. Could you not see that he was a racist prick over those stacks of 1,000 dollar bills?  Oh, I'm sorry...I mean stacks of $5,000 dollar bills.   Shiiiit.. I hope the prick Sterling gets what he deserves; he definitely had it coming to him one way or the other.  I also hope that she gets prosecuted for illegally recording another human-being. Hopefully, she'll just get a slap on the wrist; but still, a conviction would keep others from conveniently whipping out their phones and pressing the record button.

My advice to Donald's boo thang and to anyone else who has a quick recording hand?  Just tell me how you feel to my face.  And oh yeah, put that freakin' cellphone on the table where I can see it.