Monday, August 21, 2017

Why Trump Doesn't Understand Racism

Of course Trump knows what racism is.  Although many may disagree, he really is a smart man. However, his inablity to sympathize for the American minority will perhaps be his greatest downfall.  

We had a fairly descent month with Trump prior to the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia. He fired people on his staff who truly needed to be fired.  Trump also voiced his opinions about the North Korean threats which went over better than many expected.  

The problem for Trump returned when he abandoned his carefully delivered condemnations of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.  The president furiously stuck by his initial reaction to the unrest in Charlottesville. 

"I think there is blame on both sides," Trump said to reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan.  "You had a groupn on one side that was bad.  You had a group on the other side that was also very violent.  Nobody wants to say that.  I'll say it right now."

The problem is that when the president of the United States says something, Americans take heed to his message.  Years ago, former President Bush said in a State of the Union Address that all Americans should own a home.  As a result, subprime lenders went after every American with a job and convinced them to get a home loan with balloon payments in the first 12 to 16 months.  This led to the greatest recession since the Great Depression.

The president had an opportunity to defuse the matter. Instead we can expect months of Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis activites, along with cities and counties all over the country scrambling to make decisions regarding their once beloved Confederate statues.  

Actually, the outcome of it all appears to uncomplicated. The alt-right groups, KKK, and neo-Nazi groups will continue to look as foolish as they did in Charlottesville.  In addition, Confederate statues will be snatched up from parks and streets all over the country.  On second thought, maybe Trump's stance on racist activity was one which the nation truly needed?

So, thanks again Don.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Virginia Governor Wants To Rid School Suspensions… Why??

This month, Virginia
Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill that looks to curb school suspensions.  The state’s lawmakers passed the legislation this year in an effort to encourage alternatives to a type of discipline that
sometimes backfire.
They say suspensions are counter-productive and make it more difficult for young kids to reach their full potential. To that thought, I say bullsh#t.
I mean, don’t get me wrong.. there is a problem in Virginia. In 2014-2015, public schools in Virginia issued over 125,000 suspensions to more than 70,000 students.  However, if kids don’t want to learn then why should it be the school that forces them? Where is the parent or guardian in all of this?
“I don't have to tell anybody in this room that if you suspend or expel a child, you are beginning down a road that will make it much more difficult for that child to get a quality education and to join our workforce," McAuliffe said. 
Maybe your right, McAuliffe.  So , let’s agree that the majority of these kids who were suspended or expelled belong to a struggling family.  That problem starts in the household.  Let’s also agree that there were a significant number of kids who have been suspended or expelled who have behavioral issues.  That too is a problem that is recognized in the household. 

So why do we want to automatically shift a household problem to a school problem. Certainly there are some kids who are going to school because they want to learn.  Why not be generous to them by keeping those who are disruptive out of functional classrooms? Aren't we still addressing the issue of bullying in schools?  Or was that just a fad?  

I will be interested to see what the alternatives are.  Certainly, it's not the suspensions or expulsions that cause a child to not reach his/her potential.
The new law asks the Virginia Board of Education to “establish guidelines for alternatives to short-term and long-term suspension for consideration by local school boards. But do these alternatives include positive behavior incentives, mediation, peer-to-peer counseling, and community service? Because these types of alternatives and more are needed.
If the focus shifts to recognizing the behavior that causes a kid's suspension then that’s constructive.  However, this focus may require teachers to be more tolerant to disruptive behavior.  Unfortunately, it means that the disciplined kids will have to be more patient as well. The bottom line is simple... no one wins.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Why Colin Kaepernick Scares The NFL

Colin Kaepernick is only four years removed from appearing in the Super Bowl. He was also only seconds away from winning it; but that doesn't matter.  The man who made a household name for himself by refusing to stand during the National Anthem because of racial inequality has yet to sign for a new team.  There are many speculations why Kaepernick is currently out of football; however, the main reason why teams are hesitant is because they're down right afraid.

Okay, let's say that I'm overreacting on this one.  Maybe the 6'4" athlete who weighs over 200 pounds and has a rocket for an arm is just not the kind of player teams are turning towards?  And maybe the man who has the speed to make professional defensive ends look as if they're a year removed from high school simply doesn't have what any one of 30 teams is looking for?

You know, I recently heard that some teams are not considering Colin Kaepernick because of his vegan diet. Yet, I do recall that future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady is also vegan and he won the Super Bowl only months ago.  

The bottom line is that Colin Kaepernick is blackballed from the league.  The man who donates millions to trouble communities in the U.S., and was a part of the group that brokered a deal to send food and water to famine-endangered citizens in Somalia frightens the mighty NFL.  I mean, is it wrong to take a knee during the National Anthem?  Is it a bad look for standing for something that is very symbolic to the 1968 Olympic Black Power Salute?  Is it so horrific to refuse to support an anthem written by known anti-abolitionists whose song supposedly represents the integrity of the American spirit.

Without a doubt, the NFL is scared of Colin Kaepernick; and without question, he is being blackballed from football. Blackballed: It's such a fitting word to discribe the happenings of someone who took a stand for racial inequality...  And what's almost amusing is that he did all by standing on his knee.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Can't They All Be Like Cardi B?

It's just a question.  Why can't all women be like Cardi B? Known most recently as a rapper and a reality star from the tv show Love and Hip Hop and formerly as a stripper, the sexy Dominican and Trinidadian firecracker and instagram sensation uses her social media profiles to drop videos voicing her truths and experiences with absolutely no filter. Her 30 second videos normally go viral with over a million views.

Cardi B talks about life in the streets and in the strip clubs. She speaks of threesomes, relationships and fashion.  She's masterful at talking smack about anyone who dares to challenge her in a verbal confrontation.  Most of her material is raunchy and unveiled, yet thought-provoking and oddly sincere. Women and men like love her brutal honesty mainly because uprightness is something that is as common today as common sense. 

So why can't they all be like Cardi B?  The type of woman who has confidence to hand women dollars at the strip club?  The type of woman who demands attention from every walking being?  The type of woman who welcomes any condescending look and returns it back a hundredfold? Who would not want to spend one complete day with the attractive and outspoken Cardi?

Well, truth is to most men she's a undesired fantasy. She's real... but a bit too real, and that's problematic for most men's fragile egos. She's attractive and attention-seeking, but that too conflicts with the jealous nature of many men. Cardi B is the dream that most men have, but that somber state is where we would like to keep her.  

So women, accept and enjoy Cardi for who and what she is. Someone who keeps it on the surface but who has layers that most men are not equipped to peel. Laugh with her and bare that luring squinch of an accent because Cardi has much to offer, especially to the fickle and the easily deceived. Who is she again?...  She's the ostensible Cardi B; and on the surface is where she's at her best.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why Being Single On Valentine's Day Is So Much Better... Or Not.

Boy, those were the days! Being carefree and single...  I can barely recall the time. But I do remember the benefits. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing like being in a commited relationship.  It's absolutely the best.  But sometimes we forget how awesome it was being single. Usually, it's days like Valentine's Day that makes us feel like single life is the absolute worse.  But I'm here to tell you; single Valentine's Day can be freakin' awesome!  

First of all... there's no pressure!  You can do whatever you want. Those recurrent questions never exist... such as, what am I going to get him or her?  What if he or she doesn't like it?  What should I spend on a gift?  How much is too much?  How little is too little? Those questions don't even matter. Hell, just go buy yourself a drink!

It's also the greatest opportunity to be that caring son/daughter, uncle/aunt, single mom or dad.  It's freakin' Valentine's Day; so it's time to show love to all the family members who you know would really appreciate the attention.  You'll make your siblings or baby momma/daddy sooo jealous! Yeah, it's awesome.

And isn't it great to not have to worry about those Jared commercials or last minute shoppers at the mall?  It's absolutely the best.  But beware, social media will try to bring you down with all of that "look what my boo got for me today" sort of hype.  Just put aware that phone, go grab yourself a dinner (but make sure it's at a restaurant's bar), and have the bartender's recommended drink. It'll be great! The result is usually the same: (1). you'll miss all those corny boo'd-up Valentine posts, and (2). you'll most likely end up with terrific new company.

This piece also intertwines with my next blog topic;  Why Do Bartenders Always Get Laid On Valentine's Day. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Steve Harvey Is Not The Devil... I Suppose.

How many shows does he have?  Four?? Five?? There's Family Feud, Little Big Shots, and the Steve Harvey talk show. The Steve Harvey Morning Talk Show is a weekday-morning program that is as popular as any on radio.  Harvey is a multi-millionaire businessman; a successful comedian and television personality. He's a celebrity, an author, a self-proclaimed man of God who gives advice to his radio callers only after voicing less appropriate jests for his audience.  An iconic figure, Steve Harvey is as influential as they come for the role model-seeking black community.  So why team with Donald Trump in his upcoming presidential endeavors? There has to be a good reason, right?

For the past five months, Steve Harvey has been talking negatively about his new teammate, Donald Trump.  He referred to Trump as dishonest and untrustworthy.  Harvey argued with Trump supporters believing that the country would go in a negative direction with Trump as president.  He hinted that he would meet with Trump before the actual sit-down, but when called out on the event he slyly suggested that it would be years away rather than only days.  Harvey has received an abundance of backlash for the meeting.  He's been called "Uncle Tom" and "coon" since saying that he was glad that he met with Trump, and that he would "sit with him anytime."

Although non-apologetic for the meeting, he expressed that he was shocked by the reaction of many in the black community.  Shocked?? But why?  It was he who voiced publicly his distrust for Trump.  It was also he who spent hours convincing black people to come out to vote for Hillary Clinton.  Surely, there was something to receive in return from supporting Clinton just as there is for assisting Donald Trump. 

But what does all this mean?  It means that Steve Harvey is a businessman; a wide-eyed opportunist. On his talk show Harvey often talks about taking any opportunity that comes his way believing that something prosperous will be the return.  Perhaps Steve Harvey believes that politics is in his future, maybe even a future presidency (the formula has already worked for one television personality).  However, what Harvey doesn't understand is that one can't simply accept any call that comes his or her way.  The lack of support from the black community can be far worse than the backlash from a mistaken Miss Universe announcement.  Based on the unwavering sentiment regarding newly elected Donald Trump, the black community's voice is just warming up on this one.

My suggestion?  Stay in your lane, Steve... if you have one. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Life After Barack Obama

Firstly, lets's start by naming Barack Obama as the greatest president in American history.  Why? Let's just name a few accomplishments to start:  1. He ended the 2008 recession.  2. He reformed health care.  3. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for strengthening international diplomacy. 4. He regulated big banks. 5. He eliminated bin Laden and ended Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 6. He brokered a nuclear peace agreement with Iran. 7. He led efforts to complete an international climate change agreement. 8. He created over 17 million jobs since he took office... Look, I could go on for days and end up with a 25 page dissertation, but I'm sure you get the point.

Did the color of his skin have anything to do with how he's negatively perceived by others? Of course it did.  Did his party affiliation have anything to do with people's reluctance to accept the fact that he's great?  Certainly.  Does some of his policies collide with the few who have maintained historical power in this country?  Definitely.  Somehow it's easy for these  people to put their blinders on when it comes to accepting the fact that President Obama has contributed greatly to re-shaping this country.

Being that the president will be stepping away, (chiefly to the fact that the law prohibits him from serving more than two terms as president) what are we to expect from the greatest American president?  One can imagine more of the same. We may be uncertain of the mindset of newly elected Donald Trump, but we do know that President Obama is one of the greatest humanitarians of our lifetime.  He will continue to fight for the American people, and he will continue to be a voice for those who are muffled by the palms of the powerful and the super-rich.  And as long as he lives, and as long as his essence of hope and change lives within us, the spirit of greatness which rests in most Americans will move forth. 

So be bold in your action.  Protest corruption if you want. Boycott capital greed if you like.  But know that President Obama has your back just as true Americans had his for nearly a decade.  And that is the departing message that President Obama would want you to have faith in.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Extinction Of The Black American Male

Okay, so black males are not in the same class as the African elephant and Siberian tigers; but black males are indeed experiencing troublesome times in the United States. Every day I read at least ten newspapers from cities all across the country, and the result is always a jaw-dropping response. Black males are not returning home at the end of the day.

Firstly, black men are simply being neglected. It's not only the police who are giving black men a hard time. American businesses are doing their fare share of placing black men into situations of desperation.  Blacks are constantly being passed over for jobs (most recently by Mexican-Americans due to their willingness to work through harsher working conditions). Illegal immigrants are also preferred because of their willingness to accept less pay. As a result, there is an increase in black men's involvement in crime as they aim to feed their families as well as themselves. One can only predict that this statistic will rise until issues regarding illegal immigration control is properly handled.

Blacks are also being killed at alarming rates. It's assumed that because black on black crime is in high black unemployment areas such as Chicago that the estimated value of black male lives is at an all-time low. A white youth uses an automatic weapon to kill black church members during bible study. A white male kills a known black athlete during a road rage incident and is released by police after the killer admits to the killing. These are the types of incidents which causes people of color to protests and boycott yet the typical American response remains the same, i.e. the "Colin Kaepernick is the real racist" sort of response. It's hard for people who practice habitual racism to understand that their acts are indeed wrong.

Another form of extinction is one which I call "the seasonal controlling of minorities."  Every winter there are fires in older poorly kept buildings which are normally rented to unwealthy blacks. These residences have electrical wiring dating to the early 1900s and are not well insulated; yet, 1200-watt space heaters which compensate for the poorly insulated buildings can be bought in stores for less than $12 dollars. Black children under the age of 7 are being killed by house fires every single day during the winter season. This form of inhumanity is the result of property management neglect and is often treated as simple casualties due to extreme weather.

Black people (black males specifically) are losing a war which is directly waged against them.  And yes, war is the best choice of wording.  It's a war not much different from those read about in history books and those so vividly portrayed in movies.  Weapons of choice have been the use of neglect, the use of  guns, and the presence of fire.  All which have intentionally been used as a mean to break the will of humankind.

So what is the answer to this systematic and continual form of inhumane treatment?  It's a simple one. And it's called acknowledgement. None of this is anything new. Any elder black man will easily tell you that all this has been going on for years.  The key is simply believing that it's all true.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Why Kanye is Awesome... Unless You Paid For A Recent Concert Ticket

The news report states that Kanye came to the Sacramento show an a hour and a half late, ranted about Beyonce, Jay-Z and Drake, said that he would have voted for Trump, and left after performing only 3 songs. Well, it just so happens that all of those things were true. More recent reports suggest that he's hospitalized for sleep deprivation.  And that news story is true as well. But what do these recent events tell us about the 21-time Grammy award winner?  Actually, quite a lot.

Firstly, Kanye is hurting.  And he feels isolated.  Why didn't Jay-Z contact Kanye after wife, Kim, was tied up and robbed in Europe? It doesn't take a genius to strike up the notion that the two were never good friends.  I suppose you all know that by now. And Kanye... good for you.  It's hard to imagine Jay-Z with any true friends, and that includes his own wife. Lesson learned, Ye.

The second thing that recent events tell us is that... well, Kanye is super-sensitive.  And sure, that's a surprise to no one; however, Kanye is like super super super sensitive. Bless his heart.  And lets not forget that November is the same month his mother died 9 years ago.  That's a date in time that's never forgotten.
Often we find it hard to accept the fact that rich and the talented are just like us; and in actuality, they are even more sensitive to daily matters than common folk.  The well-known often use more temporary resolves to address their issues. That response normally leads to either rehab or the ER.

And third, Kanye is a different type of guy.  He's a creative type. The man is super-talented.  Many would disagree for reasons that truly make no sense (all you have to do is listen to The Life of Pablo at least once, your skepticism will surely change). 
People like Kanye even think differently than the average 'three-album tops' talent. He's a freakin' super-star. The internet struggles to function whenever he and his wife post a picture with a caption.

So I say, go out and rant, Yeezy.  Get the people ready for your 2020 pursuit of the presidency.  Go out for ice cream with Taylor Swift. Team up with Solange and do a Jay-Z diss album.  Do whatever it is that feels creatively natural.  But first, get some rest, man. You don't seem like the type of guy who sleeps throughout the night. 
Just know that we're here to support you, bro, whenever you feel the need to release a good rant.  But first, let the people know if you're really serious about this tour thing.  Because genius or not, I'm not about to have you cancel on my ass.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Don't Blame Donald

Hey, he put in the work. Donald didn't do anything wrong. He put in ample time, he invested lots of money; and now, the ole Don is our president. Congratulations, man... You conniving son-of-a-bitch, you. Congrats!

I mean, what did he do wrong? Besides calling Hillary Clinton "nasty"?  Saying that Jeb Bush "is an embarrassment to his family?"  Asking if "anyone would vote for that (Carly Fiorina face)? Oh, the list of insults went on and on until the very last week of the election. In fact, insults and negativity dominated the entire campaign.

But the people wanted ole Don.  And the people certainly know what they want, right?  Surely, Donald suggested that we build a wall.  The people liked that.  And, Donald did say that we needed to deport illegal immigrants.  Oh how the people loved that!  And China?  Tax the hell out of 'em!  The people were all in.

And what about Hillary?  Tell me again, what was it that she said that the American people wanted to hear??

(crickets chirping)

Yeah, that's pretty much it.  The people did not really hear her at all. I mean, they people wanted to hear her.  They really really really wanted to hear something good from Hillary. But we got truly got nothing of substance.  All that was recalled from her campaign pertained to emails... And oh how she did apologize for sending them.  Once again, cudos to ole Don for staying on top of that.

And the Democratic party?  The same folks who felt that it was an excellent idea to smear Bernie Sanders for the sake of Hillary's failed attempt at a presidency?  Hell, I say shame on you all. Hopefully, Donald's orange skin sizzles your retinas for the next 4 years.

So, what do we do now?  There aren't many options, ya know. I suggest we just hold on to tight while ole Don take us on the ride of our lives?  And I suppose if we're really lucky, we'll get through these precarious next four years.  However, in ole Don's defense, we should give the man some credit... At least he will have something to say.

Sorry, Hill.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Why We Hate To Love Hillary

Okay, so she's pompous, among other things. And trustworthy? (sigh) Not so much. She speaks often, yet people find it hard to recall anything that she says. She has a look that often reminds us of our least favorite grandmother. You know, that relative who says they really love kids but pray that you won't call if you need a sitter. But, she's running for President; and like it or not, you're going to force yourself to love Hillary Clinton.

Sure, she questioned if Barack Obama was really born in the United States.  And yes, she did clumsily send those numerous emails as if she's "granny working that old flip-phone." But her heart is true... right?  I mean, we know about her unwillingness to accept additional security personnel after being informed about possible attacks on US government facilities in Benghazi, Libya; but hey, anyone would've refused extra security in a hostile environment... right?  

And I'll admit that I'm a supporter of Hillary simply because I've accepted the fact that I have to love her.  And yes, when I walked into the Democratic Headquarters in my city to grab some Clinton/Kaine t-shirts (although they did not have any), and when asked if I would knock on some doors to get people out to vote for Hillary I surprisingly yet humbly refused. Don't get me wrong, I've encouraged people to vote for Obama and I've even driven bus loads of people out to the polls for a losing Gore... But Hillary?  It's just so damn hard.

Still, she gets my vote. I am forcibly totally in love with Hillary. And I'm almost proud to say it. The country needs her experience. The country needs her non-inviting charm. The country needs her psuedo-Democratic views.  And most importantly, the country needs anyone other than Trump.  

So, current and distant democrats, let's put away our rigid yet truthful opinions of the lady and let's all come together as one strong willful party.  And repeat after me: I --- love --- (gulp) --- Hillary.

See, that wasn't so bad.  I suppose.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Why They All Want Nicki

I’ll admit it; I had my doubts. I mean, the “the scary Nicki” threw me off a bit with that whole "Starships" thing during the Pink Friday era. Her tactics and music creation made her millions of dollars, mainly from the addition of new white female fans; but I've questioned how she would be a significant contributor to true blue hip-hop. Plus, you know... there's the fake boobs and the fake ass. There was the pink hair and the weird outfits.  I mean, geez!  

So, with all of the reinventions, and junque, weirdness and overall atypical demeanor for a superstar rap artist, I suppose the realness that is Nicki Minaj was... overseen?  And what is this realness anyway?   Well, it's the Nicki that has men (especially rappers) going crazy because, well... she chose one guy over a heap of others. Hmm.

Okay.  So there’s her relationship with Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill.  Many thought that it wouldn't last this far.  Surpassing Meek’s court appearances and house arrest she committed herself to a love affair that many once believed to be as made-up as Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ©. Yes… Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ©.

Popular rapper Drake challenged Meek a few times in an old school rap battle.  Most recently, the rapper The Game challenged Meek as well; and then called out by Philadelphia's own Beanie Sigel (for I suppose more personal reasons). One can only conclude that this whole beef has very little to do with Meek, but more to do with his spotlight. However, that spotlight was not present until the presence of one, Nicki Minaj. SooO, all of this has everything to do with his ability to snatch up the incomparable Nicki Minaj??  

But why Nicki?  

Apparently, she’s everything that most women are not. She’s rich. She’s an artist.  She’s attractive. Nicki knows the streets. She’s also newly cultured.  One can assume that Nicki Minaj is perhaps the best of the most of men’s dreams.  And now she has men (who claim to have it all) to truly feel that there is something in their life that they're truly lacking; and that missing variable is either her presence, the spotlight, or both.

So what's the outcome? Well, I suggest that you remain on yellow alert, Meek, because these conflicts are not going to end anytime soon. You see, apparently, you have something that's very much desired.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rap Star 'Young Thug' Is Evolving Hip-Hop, Sexuality...And Seemingly Everything Else

So, here's the rapper who wears women's clothes and sings lyrics like a broken instrument. (Yeah... actually sounds like music streaming from a high school band room.) He has six kids, yet he doesn't believe in gender.  He was on the U.S. Marshals' watch list, yet he's noted for being a workaholic in the studio.  He's Young Thug; the controversial super-talented hip-hop star whose name every producer wants to have in their contact list.

Young Thug was born Jeffrey Lamar Williams.  It's a name that even he dislikes, yet being forever the contrarian he entitles his latest release No, My Name Is Jeffrey.  From the projects, he steers to music; and from the music, he propels himself to be featured in Calvin Klein's Fall 2016 fashion campaign.  He's an Atlanta-based rapper who knows the streets, who knows music, and who lives for fashion.   

Initially, there were the mixtapes where slurs and shouts were heard on impressive hip-hop beats. They're a part of his creation.  He desperately wants to sing; however, simply singing would never be enough.  We're drawn to the word play and whines, and the iambic pentameter of sounds that come from his essence.  He seldom writes, and instead prepares himself for the studio by drawing symbols to plan lyrics. It's truly an art, as if seeing a Picasso art piece for the first time and knowing immediately the difference from the other paintings on the wall. Everything about him is a standout.

So, what comes out of these rumors from magazine and blogs about Young Thug being gay... or not interested in sex... or not being a stereotypical rapper... or not being... (well, you get the point).  All you have to do is listen to the music for yourself. What you'll get is a vibe, an unordinary and distinctive vibe that you can't compare to anything you've every heard.  It's a sound that is surprisingly clear and charismatic. 

He is the new weirdo of hip-hop; and an eccentric body of style who invites contrast to his doorstep.  And although previously unwilling, I gratefully accept it.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What's To Come Of Colin Kaepernick's Unapologetic Stance Against Racism

When asked why the San Francisco star quarterback did not stand during the national anthem at a recent football game, Colin Kaepernick responded, "I am not gong to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."  So, is Kaepernick's act a bold one?  Yes indeed.  Is it a foolish one?  Well, that's what many of you believe. But is it a necessary one?  Without a doubt, absolutely yes.  

So far I've heard people refer to Kaepernick as a fool, a non-patriot, even a racist.  Well, we can certainly rule out the last one.  A person has to be in a position of power to be a racist. And although Colin Kaepernick is scheduled to make $12 million this year, he's still an employee of the 49ers, and he's far from calling any shots for that organization.  However, the man does have a national spotlight; and he's free to do with his stardom as he see's fit. No one can question the fact that free speech is one of the greatest benefits to being an American.

Colin Kaepernick also doesn't strike anyone as a nonsensical. Surely, he could have a told a good lie for his neglect to stand. 'I hurt my ankle.. I was lost in the moment.. I was thinking of my dead homies..' All could have sufficed.  Instead, he voiced that there is a problem here in this country and it needs to be resolved; and with that statement comes some sort of fallback.  Surely, he will lose endorsements; and probably, he will not be on the team next year.  Therefore, Kaepernick feels so strongly about this cause that he is willing to lose his career over it.

With that being said, Colin Kaepernick deserves every American's attention.  And he's right. There is a problem regarding racism in the country, and it's a massive one.  And before we call him unpatriotic, foolish, or even a racist; with all due respect to military servicemen and veterans, we should ask ourselves... What have we sacrificed for a cause that we wholeheartedly believe in?  If it took a while for you to answer that question then perhaps you need to hear the man out.  And for the sake of humanity, I pray that one day someone will.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Racial Issues Continue, Even At The Olympics

Being that this is the 100th blog post, we'll get straight to the point. It wasn't just swimmer Ryan Lochte who behaved poorly at the Olympics.  We certainly can't forget about the mouthy soccer player Hope Solo's slew of ignorance.  A rowdy 32-year-old having fun is how the media portrayed one; and an outspoken strong-willed athlete is how they described the latter.  

Sure, they did throw Simone Biles onto our laps and said that she was the next American darling. They even put a bow on the gift when Zac Efron flew to Rio de Janiero to portray the role of the young gymnast's super-crush.  All the while Gabby Douglas is the unpatriotic one who refused to place her hand over her heart during the National Anthem.  She's also the one deemed moody and non-supportive throughout the entire games.  All of course, is how it's fed to us in the media.

Still, US soccer goalie Hope Solo refers to her competitors as "cowards" although known for beating her nephew and making negative comments about her team in past contests.  But we are to like her strong competitiveness.  Just as we are to accept that Lochte and his swim team pals are harmless kids having fun for making-up a story about being robbed by brown-skinned foreign people. That is what we are encouraged to believe. 

In an Olympics where Usain Bolt stole the show, and American women finished gold, silver and bronze in the 110 hurdles; and in an Olympics where darker-complexioned Americans will remain unknown for individual wins in the long jump, triple jump, shot put, etc. etc; it remains apparent that we can not get away from the disproportionate viewpoints stemmed from nothing other than poorly-constructed thoughts regarding race.  

But, I suppose... other than that, it was a a pretty good Olympics.  At least that's what they say. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Truth About Jordan's Push Into Social Awareness

I'm sure he didn't want to step out of his role as CEO and owner. Young black kids being shot down by police officers? Surely, Michael didn't want anything to do with it. Former black servicemen firing upon white police officers? No way, says MJ.  So why does someone as tightfisted as Michael Jordan give $2 million dollars to organizations established to help community relations?  And why does someone who has a history of not getting involved in the annual 'fight 'til your death' release of $400 dollar Jordan sneakers want to make a stand now against an injustice towards kids his own race?  One thing is for certain, it's definitely something he's not comfortable doing.

No doubt about it, Michael Jordan is one the most glorified athletes in the history of sports.  He's an icon, a billionaire, a model for generations both black, white, and other.  He's the face of a brand that made Nike the juggernaut it is today.  The man (as a brand) is simply awesome.  However, there is one thing that he is not: a voice for a change of any kind.  

There are other words used to describe Michael Jordan, "selfish," "cheap," "prideful," and "asshole."  Believe me when I say, those are not my words.  (I had to do my homework.)  So the question is: why now?  Why wait so long to have an opinion on anything outside of basketball?  He knows his global status.  And he's also well aware of his net worth.

Was the great MJ pressured (or shamed) to give some of his money and words to a worthy cause, such as the one against police violence against black folk?  Did Carmelo Anthony (who receives checks from Jordan due to Anthony's deal with Jordan sneakers) pressure him to take a stand for something... anything?  Because Jordan's monetary contribution to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund does not sound like an idea that popped into his thoughts during a midday nap on the yacht.

Carmelo said it best when he replied "it's about time" when asked about Jordan's recent contributions.  But you truly can't beat up on a man who actually does something positive for a much worthy cause. Hey, it's all greatly appreciated Michael!  Truthfully, I'm just glad you've finally stepped onto the court.   

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Black Lives Matter Pushes Beyond The Setback

"Absolutely appalling!"  It's the best way to describe the assault on Dallas Police officers a day after marches and protests for recent police brutality and other wrong-doings.  Many black people waiting in angst and in hope fearing that the shooter of these officers would not be black.  

The Black Lives Matter movement did not want the actions of idiotic folk to setback action that was building steam just as it did after the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.  During that time two New York Police Depart officers were shot; and as a result, the movement mildly spiraled down the efforts of unified people across America.  This time, however, things may be a bit different.  

News in today's world is different than it was twenty years ago.  A serious incident has the shelf life of perhaps two days, even something as awful as the murder of Dallas police officers.  In contrast, the murders of black and brown people by corrupt police across the country continue to be at its usual pace.  And why shouldn't it be?  All that has changed in regards to police brutality in recent times is the immergence of ever-present videos resulting from technology's rocketing pace.

Surely, one would expect the Black Lives Matter movement to be the culprit for the incident in Dallas.  Even President Obama has been scrutinized for placing us in the middle of a race war.  Truly, only the unwise and blatant ignorant believe such blasphemy.  

Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, recently voiced that there should be more guidelines and policy changes as it pertains to policing.  Even former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich (Rep.), stated that whites "don't understand being black in America."  Although, those words could be stemmed from his new political agenda.  He's considering a role as Donald Trump's vice president.

So, how is the Black Lives Movement responding to a perceived setback?  There are events scheduled in Huntsville, Alabama.  There are other events scheduled in Detroit, Atlanta, and other cities.  It is fact is that we all mourn the horrific incident that took place in Dallas.  But many of us know and feel the importance of continuing a movement for justice regarding black and brown people in America.  Thus, the resolve is a simple one.

The movement must continue.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The 60/40 Rule To Dating

It's totally new to me; mainly because it's utilized by women. Maybe you've heard of it: it's called the 60/40 rule. Initially, I thought it was sort of weird. I mean, you're willing to settle for 60 percent of what you actually want in a man. But still, some how, it can see it being quite effective. 

Let me give you an example.  He's a good guy with a job, but unfortunately he lives with his mother.  Girrrl, I can work with that. Or maybe he just got laid off from his job, but he has his own place and no kids.  Girrrl, that's do-able.  Okay, here's another one. He has four kids who live with baby momma, but he has a job and he's great in bed.  Girrrrl, I'll take that any day!  Okay, so that's basically the 60/40 rule.

Certainly there are flaws to every rule.  An obvious one is that you're settling and eventually falling short in receiving what you truly want. Another flaw is the eventual discovery that he has other issues (like a baby on the way or he frequently goes to the clubs on the weekend); but hey, there's always something that you don't know about any partner. 

So is the 60/40 rule the key for women settling into relationships? Well, 'settling' is the key word here so I guess it can't be hurtful. Men, however, are different types of creatures.  We'll take three 33 scores, two 50 scores, or give away our soul in search for that perfect 100. So, I suppose that since men standards are all over the place, a woman's usage of a dating model when searching for a mate can't be a too bad of thing, right?  Of course not.

Go get 'em girl!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Best and Worst of Muhammad Ali

He was before my time.  My era was domineered by Mike Tyson and a few others.  However, Muhammad Ali is forever known as The Greatest in a sport where winners are forever known as "champ." The Thriller in Manila is considered one of the greatest boxing matches ever, and his stand against Vietnam is even more monumental.  However, there are incidents in Ali's past that gives him a true humanistic quality; and with it carries far less merit. 

This Champ is far more than a myth, and bigger than any icon. Forever, he will be equally yoked with his vast number of shortcomings. So what if he was married four times?  And so what if he fathered nine (known) children?  Those qualities are as human as it gets.  The Champ was a indeed a whore just as much as he was the wayward father.  It was a familial trait perhaps modeled by his brother and he from their father.  He separated himself from his friend Malcolm X for both ignorant and selfish reasons. Muhammad Ali was a braggart and spoke harshly about black opponents.  Saying that Joe Frazier looked like a "gorilla" and an "Uncle Tom" will go down as one of the most known setbacks for racial unity in sports history. These incidents serve as examples for Ali being anything other than one whom many consider to be great.

Muhammad Ali met with Saddam Hussein in 1990 to free 15 hostages in Iraq despite being discouraged to do so by then-president George Bush.  In the 1960s, Ali arguably did more for black advancement worldwide than anyone whose last name is not King, Marshall, or Little (Malcolm X).  Muhammad Ali gave athletes more confidence to succeed and provide for their families than any athlete in American history.  Muhammad Ali is an icon.  Muhammad Ali is gold medalist patriot.  Muhammad Ali is an American success story.  Muhammad Ali is a boxing god.

His bouts with Parkinson's Disease was perhaps the most necessary battle that he ever fought.  He was rude.  He was boisterous.  He was arrogant.  He was selfish.  The disease silenced him, perhaps in order for his figure to be truly appreciated.  Karma worked this time, or maybe faith was the deciding judge.  Nevertheless, sadly, Parkinson's won.  So, today, we can see him for who he truly is: A necessary victim who needed to be sacrificed for humanity.  He served the public well, although hurting those who knew him the most. 

Muhammad Ali was oddly the people's champion. And through his silence, he could mask his regrets.  Maybe it was the best way for him to leave the world: stoic and visible, prideful and an enigma. At the very least, he represented the characteristics that many would expect to see in any fighter.  

Rest in peace, champ.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Parenting Our Kids And Facing Our Own Gorilla

Oh, how the criticism has been strong... And oh, how the criticism has been constant.  You all are now well aware of the incident of which a 4-year-old boy fell into an exhibit where a silverback gorilla once dwelled. Oh Lord have mercy, did that gorilla ever drag that little boy as if he were a rag-doll!  Oh Lord have mercy, did it ever seem as if that gorilla was going to detach an appendage from that tiny little child.  Oh laawd! Oh my goodness! 

And then, the gorilla was suddenly killed by a sharpshooting zoo employee.  Oh laawd!  That poor poor gorilla!  That poor horrendously strong beast!  That poor mammal whose only 6 times stronger than the strongest human being! That poor gorilla who was once called a "pleasant animal" who would never hurt a soul.  Oh laawd!  "That poor animal should never have been killed," screamed many on the following day.  "How could such a thing have happened... I blame the parents."  Right?  That's what thousands of people said.  Those parents have to be the reason why such a gentle creature was killed?  Oh my!  And the father has a criminal record?  Crucify him!!.. Just crucify them all!  Huh?? Uhmm... But he wasn't there when it happened, right? (silence)... Crucify him, still!

Similar acts have happened in zoos where a human accidentally stumbled into an animal exhibit.  A year ago, a child fell into a cheetah habitat at the Cleveland Zoo.  Two years ago, a jaguar killed a toddler at the Little Rock Zoo.  At the Pittsburgh Zoo, a child jumped from the arms of his mother into an African dog exhibit and was mauled to death.  Surely, such things shouldn't happen; but they actually do. 

No one should automatically blame a parent in an incident like this.  Children are children.  They do what little kids do.  Toddlers run around non-stop until they need breaks. Children older than 5 bump into adults because they seldom look where they're going.  Adolescents can't hear the screaming voices of parents because their headphones are attached to their body like cyborgs.  Children (like adults) do very stupid things.

Who do we blame?  Well, I certainly didn't want to blame the parents of the kid who wiped his dirty little hands on my freshly pressed white pants while at the local grocery store. Oh, how I recall the intensity of the anger that was directly solely at the little kid.  (sigh). The horror.  However, it did make me a little curious.  How come people don't use those little child leashes anymore?  Okay, I know what you're thinking.  What kind of person would want to see a child on a leash?!  Well, giving a child an extended 15-20 feet of roaming space doesn't sound like too bad of an idea given the recent incident, right?  Right?  I thought you'd see it my way. 

Happy toddler... No gorilla... Mom with new shapely forearms. Parenting problem all solved.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Biggie's Story: The Best Ever In Hip-Hop

Yes, you've heard. And yes, if you are a fan of real hip-hop, you already know. It has now been revealed.  The truths of The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 song “I Got A Story To Tell” has been told. And disturbingly enough, my beloved former New York Knick player Anthony Mason has played the part of the victim.  

Rapper Fat Joe told the world recently that it was the girlfriend of the late Anthony Mason of whom he rapped about in a story of a hook-up gone terribly wrong. The song, however, was done magnificently: and was certainly a favorite of many. 

The escapade starts with Biggie telling the story about meeting up with a girlfriend of an NBA player to his friends.  The story steers to the moment when the player (Mason) surprisingly returns home. B.I.G forces the girlfriend to stall Mason while he comes up with a plan to get out of the situation. The clever Biggie then has an idea to act as if the matter is nothing more than a heist. The plan works as B.I.G puts on a mask and robs Mason of thousands. In addition, it goes down as one of the best tales ever told in any manner on any musical album.  It's simply fantastic.

During the end of the song when asked which Knick player he was referring, B.I.G simply replies, “I don't know… one of them 6”5' nigg#s.”  It was the perfect Biggie response; and it left many wondering if the story was indeed fact or simply fiction. 

Everything about The Notorious B.I.G. was indeed real, and so was his story.  One could also argue that hip-hop was once true and far more authentic.  It’s the reason why true hip-hop fans consider themselves to be just so: real fans.  They've lived through the “good stuff” and they can tell the difference between the counterfeit. 

Of course, there was obvious immorality in the tale and also a hint of disrespect, but there was nothing overt about the matter. It was simply a story. One told to friends of an uproarious night; a true story…  A good story.  And for years, a good story was all that it was. And even now, a good story is what it always will be.