Friday, June 20, 2008

McCane hates America!

So it seems McCane/McSame has some 'plaining to do! Cindy should be outraged...considering how she has ALWAYS been proud of her country.

I love this! Not because I truly think McCane doesn't love his country (whatever that means!) But, I love the hypocrisy of it all. They wouldn't hear it when Michelle was misquoted and taken out of context! This all reeks of racism.

Because of this country's racist history, it is all but expected that Blacks would have some level of anger and some fear that we may turn that anger into revenge. That's what this whole thing is about. Point out the ANGER and lack of BLIND trust for the government, and you have tapped into racist fears.

McCane's comments won't carry as much weight because 1. All Whites love America...right? 2. Angry whites aren't scary (despite McVeigh, Rudolph, et al.) McCane is known to have a bad temper, call his wife out of her name and has even resorted to physical attacks. But the Obamas are catching hell because Michelle said she's never been REALLY proud of our political process until now.

Good strategy but NOT THIS TIME!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

R.I.P. Sean Taylor...Hail to the Redskins

I never loved football but I have grown to like it now. My husband is an ex- college and highschool player, and diehard football fanatic. Living with him, and playing a little fantasy football, have increased my interest.

Regardless of my interest level, I have always been a 'skins fan. I grew up in the D.C. area and momma is from the city. So, we were raised to be fans! We left the area last year but it's still a big part of me. That is home. I am a 'skins fan and the 'skins are part of home.

When I heard about Sean Taylor's shooting, I hoped it was nothing. A bullet in the leg didn't sound so ominous. Little did I know. As I was getting dressed on Tuesday morning, I heard the announcement of his death. It felt like a friend had passed. I was seriously bummed about it.
Right or wrong, our society idolizes these players and we follow their every move. Because of his troubles, Sean was very exposed. That exposure makes them familiar. He was a friend who showed up and showed out every Sunday. Now he's gone. R.I.P. Sean Taylor.

Why does Hillary get the Black vote? (aka Why I love Barack)

I was checking out Bossip and saw an article on recent comments from Jesse Jackson. They were related to politics and you can check it out here.

The reader comments turned into a debate over Hillary, Barack and others. Of course, I had to comment. Since I wrote a novel and haven't written lately, figured I'd post my response. lol. Seems to be a blog post for a month...Bossip post gets me heated.

Before the novel…let’s get this straight…1. One should not support a candidate on race, gender or *gasp* electability alone. 2. NONE of the candidates have experience as president. ALL of the candidates will need “on the job training” as Hillary calls it. lol.

I support Obama because he's the best candidate IMO. Reading his book and learning about the actual man and the choices he’s made, led me to trust him and that’s not something I do easily. When given a chance to earn top dollar in some fancy law firm, he went to the Southside to help REGULAR folks like me. Could he be a puppet? Maybe. But, I don't think so. The above example (and many more that I read) lead me to believe in his moral character and what he TRULY stands for.

Truthfully, all politicians are puppets to some degree or another. They have to play to both sides and know how to straddle the fence. But, I'm not sure why we'd elect someone who has SHOWN us exactly how effective they are when needed and is nothing more than a talking piece. How exactly has Hillary shown her ability to lead the country? She’s polarizing to both Republicans and Democrats. She and Bill’s movement towards the right hasn't exactly earned points with Democrats. And now Bill is hanging with Bush Sr.?! I am not a conspiracy theorist; however, I believe she and Bill are now part of the New World Order with Bush, Cheney, Thompson and ‘em. That “no ways tired” nonsense seemed like a routine from the “baiting negroes playbook” and yet we failed to jump on that. Why?! That showed what she thinks of us. Throw a little slang at ‘em and you got ‘em. She talks the talk but is not walking the walk.

We Black folk give her credit because of Bill. No matter what you say, that's the truth! Being Bill's wife is not true experience. She didn't know he was creeping in THEIR home with another woman. How much did she really learn about his job and what it takes to do it? Recently, Bill said he opposed the war from the start. Oh really? Hillary said she supported the war because, by watching Bill, she understands these situations. Well apparently she was watching Bill from the wrong angle because, she voted for the war and continues to straddle the fence on ending it.

Don’t get me started on Bill! Black president my ass! As a teen and young adult, I was all about Bill. But that love affair has died. As I got older, I learned more about his policies and realized he is FAR from the left and was damn near a Republican when he left office. That’s why his approval ratings were so high! Some call these “centrist” politics what we need. But, Black people, we need to read between the lines and look at the policies these folks create. For example, did you know BILL CLINTON is the guy who signed off on making drug dealing a DP offense? Oh, he added dozens of crimes to the federal DP list and opened the floodgates for more of us to get death in what is known to be an unjust system.

When given the chance to address the disparity between crack and cocaine sentencing, he chose to only “recommend” change while he oversaw legislation that made those disparities law. And now, under the Bush administration, the Justice Department has changed its guidelines…but that law stands in the way! Bill pushed folks off welfare. On the surface, it may have sounded good. But what has changed?! I don’t see it, where’s the training and development he promised? Where are the economic gains and independence for our community?

It doesn’t take much to go to Wikipedia or wherever you research to see the policies and laws these people support. Read up on NAFTA and some of Bill’s other disasters. Giving Hillary credit because of Bill is not really saying much at all. What EXACTLY did she do, as first lady or Senator, which worked and made us better? Yes, she did draft a healthcare bill and told us “it takes a village.” But, that healthcare bill was not jiving with the times and her new one isn’t either. Go to her site and read her plan…then check out Barack’s. He is being truthful when he said her “plan” is to force us to get insured. That’s not a damn plan. That’s not dealing with the real issue…which is cost.

During the recent debate, Hillary called $97,500/year middle class. When questioned, she basically said “well that’s who I represent.” Meaning, she represents the wealthiest in the country and will create policy based on them. Those PACs and lobbyists she takes money from -- unlike the other Dems -- will be her new constituents. Now I could just look past these facts – my husband and I make more than that – but I’m worried about us as a community and want to raise up the bottom. What are we doing about poverty? Who can we trust to really address the issue?

We as a people need to stop voting in fear. That “most electable” stuff is BS. Black folks and women could play an important role in this election. So, we’re the ones who can determine what is electable. “The Man” does not have as much power as we give him. But he gains it exponentially when we choose to vote in fear or even worse…not voting at all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Did the Jena Six Buy Bling with Defense Funds?

The quick answer is "no" read on if you'd like... has posted a youtube video which alleges to show members of the Jena Six flossing with defense funds. And when I say flossing, I really mean picture shows Robert Bailey (allegedly) eating hundred dollar bills! But what's the real deal? Should we really "put them back in jail" as Bossip's headline states? Or is this another sign of how quickly we turn on each other?

When I first saw this, my stomach turned...first the appearance on the BET Hip-Hip Awards...and now this! Don't they know we have roles to play when in the public eye? We most certainly can't act "ghetto" when we've reached a certain level of fame (no matter how we got there.) Don't they know how this makes "us" look? Those were my first thoughts if I'm being honest. But, after some thought, what the hell do we expect from kids?

Flossing. Bling-Bling. Making it rain. Stuntin'. These words have become part of pop-culture and are not limited to the hip-hop crowd. I've heard the straightest arrows use these words. So why is it so alarming to see young Black boys acting a fool--like so many of us do when we chase bling and shiny things?

Even more disturbing were the quick-to-judge comments from Bossip's readers. It seems neither Bossip nor its readers bothered to research this! Instead they accused supporters of jumping on Al and Jesse's bandwagon and not checking for the facts. If you have followed my blog, you know I debated this very issue before I jumped on anything!

This is apparently not a new story. A quick Google search led me to an October 1st news article regarding these pictures. These pictures were posted and removed (on MySpace) BEFORE the protest. But, a NEO NAZI group is furthering the story by posting this nonsense on its site and accusing the boys of using defense funds for bling.

According to the parents, checks and money orders come into a P.O. Box and are used for the defense fund only. I remember a recent article which said their defense is exceeding the amount of donations, a number easily tracked based on account statements (I presume.) So I would seriously question these allegations before jumping to conclusions!

I'm not saying these guys are saints...these pictures, if authentic, are troublesome. Seeing them at the hip-hop awards - given the recent controversy - was troublesome. They are certainly not "performing" well. But you know what? I swear I see celebrities and rappers doing much of the same...on Bossip…on a daily basis. So I’m not sure why it is so shocking that our kids would be doing nonsense like this.

I didn't realize equal justice was limited to perfect angels! It was a known fact that Mychal Bell had previous convictions. I never supported them under any illusions. I supported them because no matter what *I* think about a person's choices, intelligence level, race, class, etc., EVERYONE deserves equal justice and those boys didn't get it!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fired Up! Ready to Go!!!

On Saturday, I attended the Walk for Change II in Greenwood, SC. This walk was sponsored by Obama's South Carolina headquarters and involved thousands of volunteers canvassing the state.

So how did an Atlanta girl end up in Greenwood? Well, I went to a local volunteer meeting and learned of plans to import supporters to canvass the very-important palmetto state. While this is all new to me, I was ready for the challenge!

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, four buses departed the Atlanta area. My bus had approximately 60 adults and children, from all backgrounds and ethnicities. They included Emory students, seasoned canvassers and beginners like myself. It was SO inspiring to see people excited for change. It has been a long time since a candidate generated so much hope!

Greenwood, SC is a small town and has all of that comes with a small town in the deep south. A few things that were alarming…

* Barack supporters seemed afraid to voice their support! I don't know what that was about. It was like they expected retaliation if they said it too loud. One of my contacts was an older Black man who had to get his wife before telling me he supported Obama! When his wife came to the door, he was still apprehensive. Other teams reported verbal harassment from some of the locals…I wonder if that has anything to do with it? It's high time people felt empowered to support whatever they want!

* Unregistered voters. There seemed to be a LOT of unregistered voters, I encountered that at the above contact's home and many of the volunteers did. Some met elderly folk who never bothered to register or their entire lifetimes! The Greenwood/Aiken office is planning a major voter registration drive and that's a good thing.

* Apathy. This is a forgotten town in so many ways and because of that, it's hard to get them fired up and ready to go! They gave up on politics long ago.

The highlight of my day was meeting Ms. Childs. She is the woman who "taught" Barack the "Fired up, ready to go chant." See below for a video featuring Ms. Childs.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Will the real Hillary please stand up?

I was a big Hillary fan. When she became a Senator, I hoped she had bigger aspirations. If any woman could do it; Hillary could! A few months after the announcement, I started to rethink things.

Sure, she's intelligent, strong and has some great ideas. But, she tries too hard and because of that, there's a constant reminder that she's one of them...and a lingering feeling that she's "up to something."

Bill has charisma to spare and that's part of his appeal. But, Bill was a perfect politician. He knew how to play to his audience and he did it well. Despite the obvious coaching from hubby, she is horrible at best! I worry that she'll fail at president too. I mean, if you can't make Americans like you...

Bill was a natural and you almost always thought he was sincere...but we know that wasn't exactly true. Hillary bounces from being robotic to singing negro spirituals (see second video below.) You have to wonder about someone with so many faces.

What is SO funny Hillary? This is a little she has a twisted plan to take over the world or something. Speaking of which, I hear Bill and George Bush Sr. have become bosom buddies.

We can’t let this election be about who can work the system the best. We have to fundamentally change the system if we’re going to see progress on health care or education or the war.

For old times sake...I don't feel no ways tired...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fire Reed Walters!!

As if his past behaviors weren't enough, these were his words from yesterday's press conference...

"I firmly believe and am confident of the fact that had it not been for the direct intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ last Thursday, a disaster would have happened," Walters said.

"The Lord Jesus Christ put his influence on those people, and they responded accordingly," he said, without explaining exactly what he meant.

Until he prayed, us Black folks were coming to destroy the town!! Fire this guy!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mychal out on bail!

Yesterday, Gov. Blanco held a press conference announcing that Mychal's case would remain in the juvenile s system. While his conviction was overturned, he remained in jail because the DA appealed that ruling. So yesterday's news was a big development. I just got home, logged on and saw this headline "Mychal Bell of 'Jena 6' released; bail being posted". How wonderful is that?!

Even better, Al Sharpton made a few comments...

"We do not condone violence of any kind, but we ask that people be given a fair and even chance at the bar of justice," the Rev. Al Sharpton said outside the courthouse.

"Tonight, Mychal can go home, but Mychal is not out of the juvenile process. He goes home because a lot of people left their home and stood up for him," he said.

"Let America know -- we are not fighting for the right to fight in school. We're not fighting for the right for kids to beat each other. We're fighting to say that there must be one level of justice for everybody. And you cannot have adult attempted murder for some, and a fine for others, and call that equal protection under the law. Two wrongs don't make one civil right."

Love it! Get em Al!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mychal Bell's Case Moved to Juvenile Court!

Action = Action!!

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (CNN) -- The case of Mychal Bell, a black teenager accused of beating a white classmate in Jena, Louisiana, will be heard in juvenile court, Louisiana's governor announced Wednesday.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco said that she discussed Bell's case with LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters on Wednesday, and that Walters agreed not to challenge a state appeals court ruling that dismissed Bell's battery and conspiracy convictions.

Can we send O'Reilly into exile now?

Just wondering if that's a possibility now. This man has proven to be a cancer on our society. He bashes Al and Jesse--and then does lunch with Al--only to make the most racist comment of our recent history. If you don't know, check this link:

O'Reilly and Sharpton "did lunch" at Sylvia's and, to Bill's suprise, the Coloreds were profanity-free, clean and friendly. According to him, we are finally thinking for ourselves now.

This story shows the following:
* Bill does not get out often and, when he does, he wears blinders
* Bill has no idea who Anita Baker is…why is it surprising there was no profanity or rap? Anita is an older R&B singer, where the hell would rap or profanity come into play? What was surprising about her band wearing tuxes? Does this idiot realize how insulting this is to Anita Baker? Damn, do a little research before you stereotype! Hip-hop is only 30-years old, so you can't blame that every time!! More importantly, the entire bit is insulting to Blacks.

What's up Chambliss?!

I saw this ad on last night's news. It was almost funny...until I realized how sad it is. I will not claim to know ALL of the details, but my limited research hasn't surprised me. Let's fire the whole lot and start over with regular people! They are ALL too connected and slimy for me!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"White Backlash" to Jena Six & Vick

Over the weekend, I saw a story on the "white backlash" from the Jena Six protests. The report detailed how race and opinions (on the case) are related. Not surprisingly, a large percentage of White America did not understand last Thursday's protest. Why were they out there fighting for six thugs? Do they know Mychal Bell has priors and is headed for a life of crime? Oh, here we go, Jesse and Al showed up...time for the race card. I saw the comments on local and national news sites. As the shell of the story made its way to mainstream America, the entire purpose of the fight got lost. Once again, we were misunderstood. So let me state the following: The protests were not about approving violence--we were demanding equal treatment in the judicial system...something that is FAR from the reality in America.

I cannot say that any of this was surprising to me. Being me, I like to look at everything from all perspectives. This is one of the biggest "issues" my friends and family have with me. t takes FOREVER for me to form a concrete opinion on something. I actually asked myself the same questions--double-checking my beliefs. Forming an opinion is a major thing and I like taking the time to weigh all aspects and come to a conclusion which is in-line with the facts AND my personal beliefs. So, believe me when I say I did not "jump" on the Jena Six bandwagon blindly.

Nope, Al and Jesse did not hand me a few race cards to play. There is no single factor--not race, anger or hate--driving my opinion. There is no single part of this story that got me either. It is the sum total that caught my attention (see below for details). Us Black folk don't sit around waiting for something to jump on. I am American and, like the rest of you, I tend to be self-centered. But the more I read about the Jena Six, the more I thought of MY children and how this could easily be one of them.

Regardless of what you think of these guys or the crimes they are accused of, this story did not play out fairly...

- For whatever reason, a group of Black students believed a tree was off-limits because of their race. They asked a school official for "permission" to sit there and did just that one day

- The following day, three nooses were hanging from the tree. The responsible students were expelled from school, however that was over-turned by the school board, and replaced with in-school suspension because hanging a noose is "just a silly prank." Actually, it's a federal hate crime!

- The Black students held a protest after the noose hangers were given a slap on the hand

- In reaction to the protest, the DA visited the school to speak with the students. He has admitted to telling the Black athletes "I can erase your life with the stroke of a pen". The Jena Six were part of the Black athlete crew.

- Teachers and officials allegedly held the Black students in a different light because they protested--some of the protest leaders are now part of the "Jena Six"

- A few days before the fight with Justin, Robert Bailey attended a mostly-White party. When he walked in, he was greeted with a punches and beer bottles. Supposedly, people didn't realize he was INVITED to the party--just assumed he was there to get jumped. Robert's first attacker was a 22-year-old man. His charge? Assault His punishment? Probation

- A few of the "six" ran into one of the guys who beat up Robert. Words were exchanged and the guy pulled a shotgun on them. They wrestled it away and were later charged with assault and theft of the handgun!

- STUDENTS testified that Justin Barker made racial slurs and made fun of how Robert was jumped at the party. This happened over the lunch period preceding the fight.

- At least one of the six says he was not part of the fight, others testified to say it's impossible to pinpoint everyone that was involved. Also only one witness testified to the alleged kick after Justin was unconscious and he was one of the noose hangers!!!

- Attempted second degree murder?...charged as an adult? That doesn't jibe with anything I've seen before and apparently the courts agreed. The initial charges were lowered in court and the appeals court said Mychal Bell should not have been tried as adult

Where is the equality in this picture? Why shouldn't we all question the behavior of this DA? We all deserve equality, regardless of our skin color, priors or anything else.

This evening, we watched ESPN's The Vick Divide which, like the CNN story, detailed how race affects opinions in the Vick case. It was filmed in Atlanta, Ga., and included a fairly diverse audience. Panelists included former Falcons players and talk radio's Neal Boortz. I can sum it up with a few sentences...At one point, Neal Boortz said, "You're not doing Vick a favor by thinking he didn't commit a crime" and the show closed with several Black audience members chanting, "We love Vick! We love Vick" over and over again.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Well I'll Be...Mychal Bell's Conviction Overturned!!

Mychal Bell's conviction has been overturned and sent to juvenile court!!! Hallelujah!! Today was really odd...I finally posted about it and also wrote up an email urging my friends/family to get involved...and now this. How wonderful!!

Jena Six...What if they were YOUR sons?

I mentioned it yesterday and soon realized I have never posted the info here. I am hoping that any and everyone is aware of the Jena Six. I am also hoping everyone knows about September 20th. If not please see the links below. Words cannot express the feelings I have surrounding this story.

It's time to STAND UP and speak out people. These could be your children facing 20+ years over provoked nonsense. What happens when YOU need help? Let's join together and make a change!
If you cannot make the rally, please support the boys by wearing ALL BLACK next Thursday, September 20th!!!!! (Best source for info on Jena Six story and the upcoming protest on Sept. 20th)

FYI....Per Tom Joyner, the leading Democratic candidates were all contacted for support. Obama's team responded within hours and have requested briefs to see how they can help. They are still waiting for Hillary's response....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Officially Obama!!

If you have followed this blog, or happen to know me personally, you know I am a life-long Democrat. The party is not perfect and I don't follow anything blindly (ask my husband!) However, I am a PERMANENT Democrat. The parties would have to do a 180 for me to change that.

As you can imagine, the last seven years have been rough! Between the 2000 election debacle and the never-ending Iraq war, I was *this* close to giving up on politics. When your country is headed in the WRONG direction, what do you do? I'll tell ya. You feel like a prisoner in your own home and become completely disengaged. I have bounced between both feelings...and yes, I do take it that seriously!

After years of anger and outrage, I realized action was my only choice. Martin Luther King, Jr. once quoted Marti Jose with, "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees." That sums up my beliefs on everything in life. I have never been one to shut up, only to get "done" in the end. Again, my husband can vouch for me on that one!

When the media started covering the 2008 election (back in 2006!) I knew it was time. I have spent my entire life watching from the sidelines and there was no time like the present to change that. While I enjoy offering commentary, words without action mean nothing. As the cliche goes, "You are either part of the problem or part of the solution."

Mention the Jena Six, Imus/Hip-Hop, Genarlow Wilson or NCLB and you're sure to boil my blood. This country is topsy-turvy if you ask me. The rich get richer (check out this satirical Onion piece) and the poor get killed after unlawful break-ins by COPS.

We need a resolution...and I am convinced Senator Barack Obama is the answer.

I did not make this decision lightly. I started off as a STRONG Clinton supporter. I know what we'd get with Hillary...I mean she's just Bill minus the charisma right? Despite what the conservatives say, I thought she was the one. Then I read Audacity of Hope! If you saw my posts, you know this book really touched me. I think it should be required reading for the voting public. Barack is not a politician, he's a motivator and one of the best sociologist I've read. He knows what he's talking about and has gone to great leangths to analyze our issues and provide reasonable solutions to them. He is not defined or limited by his labels (e.g., Black, newcomer, Democrat, liberal.) This man is the truth and for that reason, I am officially Obama now!

I attended a volunteer meeting this past Saturday. It was not surprising to see dozens of supporters in the Atlanta area (due to a large population of Democrats and minorities.) However, it was surprising to see so much diversity in the room of supporters. The crowd was a mix of generations, colors and even sexual orientation, and we were all there to support our first Black president.

As I walked to my seat, I was greeted by a young Black male. When I first saw him, I assumed his parent forced him to come. I couldn't have been more wrong! This HIGH SCHOOL student was one of our leaders and an official Camp Obama graduate! After local politicians shafted his school--and failed to make promised repairs--this young man took action. After seeing Obama on TV, he was intrigued to learn more and read everything he could find on the senator. He then signed up to help out because, as he said, Barack is the only truth-speaker/seeker out there...and I totally agree!!!

So, for those that aren't too sure about Barack I suggest you watch the videos below and then cop The Audacity of Hope. I promise it will move you...hopefully it will move you to vote for Barack!!

UPDATE: Oprah loves the "Ice Cream Man"

Make 'em say "UHHHHHHH, NANANA" Percy!!

Oprah hosted her much-talked-about fundraiser for Obama this past weekend. A surprising guest was none other than Mr. Ice Cream Man himself. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad that he was there. On one hand, he WAS the only rapper in attendance and that speaks volumes. But, given her distaste for misogynistic and profane lyrics, I find this picture SO comical...I mean this IS the Ice Cream Man...

Remember P back in '98? Does Opes remember P back in '98? He built the house that gave us "Shake Ya Ass" and I Got the Hookup...not exactly Ope's cup of tea. I know, I know, he has changed his ways and vows to make clean music from now on (which was his only option considering how people stopped buying his "dirty" music many moons ago.) This is TOO funny to me. I love it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mike Vick: Can he live?

"I reside in VA, ride in VA
Most likely when I die, I'm gon' die in VA
Virginia's for lovers, but trust there's hate here...

Ironic, the same place I'm makin' figures at
That there's the same land they used to hang niggas Virginia"

- The Clipse “Virginia”

For some reason, the Mike Vick story has really stirred something in me. Never expected to have as much emotion --or defense--for ole Ron Mexico! As previous posts show, he's one of my favorite f'ups to discuss. I mean, who has better stories than Ron? Stolen watches, herpes, water bottles with hidden compartments and now dogfighting! This guy has proven to be a piece of work. Before now, I had little to no sympathy for him. I admired his talent and accomplishments, but found him comical.

But, something has changed. I am now intrigued, saddened and concerned for Mike. Maybe it's our similarities? We were both born and raised in Virginia. Though our hometowns are seemingly worlds apart, I'm sure that's part of it. We're kinfolk...kinda. I know and understand growing up with an addicted and absent father. After years of bouncing in and out of prison, my own father died of a heroin overdose. I was 16. For the record, Mr. Bodie claims to have been there...but I believe Vick and his moms on that one!

Back to the point, I remember how those things changed me...and not for the best. When you don't have needed support at home, you turn to anyone or anything that will cure that feeling. Thankfully, my issues were minor speed bumps in my life. But, I fully understand how those feelings can have a stronger effect on different people. I've witnessed that with my own brother, who struggled to stay on the right path. So, I guess, I always thought Mike was like many fatherless men I know...immature because he lacked proper home training...which is whose fault?

The point is; I understand Mike. This dog-fighting thing is just an extension of previous behaviors. The details of the case were horrible and I will not dare defend his crimes. He knowingly committed them and should face punishment. But, I don't understand the hate and anger some Americans have dished at him. If I didn't know better, I'd swear people were describing Wayne Williams, the infamous Atlanta Child Killer. Scum of the Earth? Sadistic and mentally insane? Get out of here!

In the WP, John Feinstein wrote an article saying Vick should never play football again. Here's an excerpt:
...But Vick going behind bars doesn't mean he or his story are going away. Even with his plea eliminating the "he's innocent until proven guilty" argument, there will still going to be plenty of people who argue that Vick really isn't a bad guy or that he was set up by prosecutors or they will use the ever-popular cliché: "He made a mistake and deserves another chance."

Does Vick deserve another chance to go on with his life once he has served his jail time? Yes. But not as a professional football player.

There are certain crimes that people commit that make it impossible for them to return to society in certain jobs. If you commit a crime against a child, chances are pretty good you won't be allowed to teach children in the future. If you are seriously involved in drugs you probably shouldn't apply for a job as an airline pilot after your jail time is up. It isn't an absolute, but anyone who has committed a felony will probably find gaining admission to most law schools difficult.

Vick's crime is both brutal and cruel. Other than beating up a woman or a child, killing dogs for sport or entertainment is about as cowardly an act as exists. Those who make the weak "how is it different from hunting?" argument miss the point. I'm no hunter (never held a gun in my life and think the second amendment should be abolished) but there are legitimate reasons why hunting is legal in some places, some of the time. It is heartbreaking when dogs or cats are euthanized legally but at least their deaths are painless and do not take place to give sick people their jollies.

Vick and his friends are sick. Even if Vick can convince people he's truly sorry for what he did -- and it says here the only thing he'll ever be sorry for is getting caught -- that doesn't mean he should be allowed to play in the National Football League again.

If you play in the NFL, you are, by definition, viewed by a lot of people as a hero...Mike Flynn said, describing what it was like to walk onto the field in street clothes because of an injury as opposed to running onto the field in uniform during player introductions: "You go out there in street clothes, you're just another guy. You run through that tunnel in uniform, you feel like you're a God."

Michael Vick doesn't deserve to ever feel that way again. If he wants to go back to Virginia Tech and finish his degree, that's fine. There are plenty of jobs he can get when he's done his jail time. But football shouldn't be one of them.

Forget the money. He's forfeited his right to be a hero, to hear those cheers anymore.

If someone participates in, or even attends, a dog-fighting match, I am willing to bet he's not a member of PETA and has little to no concern for the life of a dog. For whatever reason (e.g., southern upbringing, ignorant, childish), he does not value dogs. In the same way, I do not value fleas, spiders, rats, roaches, ants and the like. Say what you will--and I'm NOT advocating dog-fighting or breaking the law--but that's a valid argument! We have varying levels of respect for animals and one man's lack of respect for dogs cannot be called insane. Not without additional evidence to prove that. Mike may be immature, but I don't think he's insane or crazy.

These dogs battle it out and often die DURING the match or are so injured they must be put down. So I find it hard to make killing a dog a worse act than viewing a dog fight. I won't pretend to understand why anyone would enjoy a dog-fight, but I've known people who have. I always figured it was fairly similar to enjoying a boxing match or...gasp...a brutal football game! This I know for sure; it is not unheard of in the south. Mike's participation is related to the company he kept and the prevalence of dog-fighting in our country. He is not alone in that world and while we may not condone or understand it, death and injury are part of it. Now that he's pled, animal rights activists are calling for the dogs to be put down--as they do with THOUSANDS of animals. Feinstein says euthanizing, when done legally, is less brutal. Dead is dead. Which reminds me of an interesting and slightly off topic point; we legally electrocute and suffocate humans in many states.

But, Feinstein and many others are calling for an end to the man's life because he fought dogs. What I don't understand is; how does that help anyone? What does taking away a man's right to earn a living--using PURE God-given talent--do to better society? He pled guilty and should serve whatever sentence he's given. However, the public interest should stop there in my opinion. What else does he owe US? Nothing. And the notion that he has lost his "right" to be a hero is silly! What hero, besides the fictional kind, was/is perfect? Every hero of mine, from Martin to Malcolm, had well-documented flaws and imperfections. Even heroes are HUMAN.

Rightfully so, his employer will impose a punishment. So long as it's not done to make an example of him (a la Pacman) and follows standard procedure, I think that's fair. But, I do take issue with us outsiders calling for the man's ban. Again, I ask why? What is it, inside of us, that makes us feel good to see another man's life OVER? Insecurity? Jealousy? I don't know, but I know I am sickened by comments like the above. Everyone DOES deserve a second chance, if not we'd all be up the creek.

"Happy to be escapin poverty, however brief
I know this game got valleys and peaks, expectation for dips
...Can I live?"

- Jay-z "Can I Live"

Friday, August 10, 2007

More Evidence of Southern Hospitality

So I came across an article, in the AJC, regarding the growing Hispanic population in Gwinnett County (an Atlanta suburb.) A sick hobby of mine is browsing and reading the reader comments...especially the "Vent" section. It's pure comedy for a moderately-liberal-Black-yankee like me ;) I sometimes get caught up and write these long rants. Today is one of those days, the comments turned to how this is the second time moving was necessary...the first being when "the Blacks" came. Here's my rant:

Interesting comments. Can't say that I'm surprised by any of it. Yes, I'm a "Yankee" who chose to live here. But, I remain surprised at the level of bigotry and ignorance some of you have.

I grew up in a majority white--but fairly diverse--surburb outside DC. I knew several Black families that owned--and maintained--nice homes. When I lived in Maryland, my child attended a private school which was nearly 100% Black. Parents were very involved and the students tested well and were good kids.

Reading these comments leads you to believe these things aren't possible. But, I know several Blacks, in and out of Atlanta, that tell me differently. I AM one of those Black people and find your comments highly offensive! Is it that you haven't left your front stoop? Or are you that blind?

White folks did not invent morality or "goodness." Let's hypothetically agree that Blacks/Hispanics/Others are somehow morally corrupt or less than Whites. Well how do you, as good ole Christian boys, explain that? Did God somehow corrupt an entire race of people? I mean you claim Blacks do most of the violent crimes (more on that later) and that we are stupid and low level, so how do you explain that? How do you explain Blacks who don't fit those stereotypes? I will agree Blacks are disproportionately represented in our prison systems and that we are falling behind in many categories like education and income. It's not crazy to expect that poverty leads to crime. No matter the race, that is the truth. You can go to the trailer parks of Wisconsin and find a higher crime rate than other areas in the same town. It's the same with Atlanta and America overall. Poverty leads to crime.

I love how nonchalantly a few of you write off slavery. It's time to get over it? What am I getting over?The fact that I am a CREATED race? Remember the story of how your ___ immigrated to America? Doesn't that give you pride? When learning the story of MY heritage, I didn't exactly feel pride. As a child, that's a lot to wrap your head around. I asked myself, what can I take pride in? Thankfully, my mother, education and maturity taught me to value that history and I allowed it to empower me. But that's a tall order and we're dealing with generational issues of low self-image and feeling very un-empowered.

Slavery forced Africans to let go of their history, family, language, religions and culture. In one fail swoop, my heritage was wiped away and there was no turning back. There was no way to solve the damage done and now we must all deal with it. How are we going to deal with it? As this article shows, minorities are not going anywhere. Where will you run to? The moon?

Names were replaced and chains (tangible and not) were placed on us. After slavery, there were over 100 years of legalized chains which prevented Blacks from having equal rights. Take any group, ANY GROUP, from its home, force a new EVERYTHING on them, enslave them for hundreds of years and what can you expect when you release them? Especially when society continues to say they are less and expects less from them? Those Africans didn't have $20 in their pockets or the freedom to start anything. They were prohibited from READING! And this was less than 100 years ago! Yet, their descendants should somehow measure equally to Whites? And slavery doesn't hold any weight today? Give me a break!! Slavery is alive in kicking in ALL of us. As witnessed by you pompous folks who think you are too good to be around minorities and see all in one way.

RE: Crime Stats. I will not deny that Blacks are disproportionately represented in the prison system. As I said, poverty can do that. However, you should be more careful with your sweeping allegations and how you word things. Studies have shown minorities and/or those with older vehicles have much higher pull, arrest, and conviction rates. Cops, whether on purpose or not, see "suspect" with certain people more than others. That does NOT mean certain groups COMMIT crimes more than others. Also, and maybe this comes from living in GA, but you need to remember Blacks are only 12% of this country! And some areas have little to none. It's not even possible to blame Blacks for committing MOST crimes. Check out what the FEDERAL GOV has to say about it

Also it's important to note that most crimes are not interracial. Again check out the FED's stats, MOST crimes committed against you are done by your own

Your fear and white flight are mostly unfounded. Yes, Blacks are ARRESTED and CONVICTED at higher rates for some violent crimes. But it is impossible to say we commit more. How can you quantify that? Rape is the most common violent crime. It is also mostly unreported. Based on the demographics of this country, I'm all but certain your assumptions are incorrect. But this is a silly game and we shouldn't even go there...why should we have to prove ourselves? Can we not get acceptance based on being human? Or are we still stuck in slavery? It's either one or the other.

The real issues are poverty and education. Until everyone has access to good schools and a decent quality of life, we will have citizens (of every color) who are more likely to commit crime, use drugs and become disconnected from their communities. How can you expect people to care about YOUR community? You make it so clear that they are beneath you and that this is somehow your pristine territory, so again where's the motivation to change their "ghetto ways" or whatever you call them? It's time to realize we live in ONE community.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Surprise, Surprise...Ope hates rap!

So Ope is in the middle of her two-part "After Imus" show. From what I can tell, she decided to focus on hip-hop music.

While I can agree we should look at all media and use this as a chance to open dialogue, I am disturbed by the quick turn to bashing hip-hop. I grew up listening to this music and will make no excuses for listening! I understand the complaints surrounding the music but am saddened by how all of us have shifted the blame. This is a GROWN man who made these comments. Not some impressionable teen. He knew full well what he was saying. Additionally his choice of words ("jiggaboo" and "nappy-headed") are not common in the hip-hop community.

I'm sick of people dabbling in the African-American world and thinking they know all about us AND what all of OUR problems are. EARTH has a problem with how we treat women. It's been a problem since the beginning of time. Yet, we're placing blame on a 30-year old music genre? Give me a break!

I know Oprah has a well noted bias against hip-hop, but even she should know better. The media loves to place blame but this time they have it all wrong. The blame lies with Imus. Yes, we should examine every part of our culture and discuss accordingly. But let's not start or stop with hip-hop. It's much deeper than that. Women and Blacks were NOT equal, to white men, 30 years ago. Hip-hop did not ruin some magical land of equality. Oprah you do a disservice to all by running with this "hip-hop is to blame" concept.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You can't negate hate....

LOL. The title is my Jesse Jackson ode ;) I got tired of reading the garbage comments on CNN. So here's what I posted....

I find it appalling for anyone to negate this Imus situation or to pass the blame. Imus clearly has a problem with stereotypes and bias towards minorities. He has called a respected journalist “the cleaning lady” and his producer has likened the Williams sisters to animals. Now he calls a triumphant group of women “nappy-headed hos.” There is no righting this wrong.

Over the past few days, I have read about this so called double standard. Apparently, “urban” DJs and rappers use this term all the time. Well I grew up on hip-hop and listen to “urban” radio daily. I have yet to hear “nappy-headed ho.” I would love for someone to provide details on where this term is used. I am not excusing hip-hop; it definitely has its moments of misogyny. But, doesn’t the world? Have we not limited women since forever? Again, I am not excusing the use of words like “ho.” But, I see it from a different perspective. The music represents the culture we (or maybe “they”) live in. It is not always right nor is always wrong. We cannot blame a music genre for the obvious racism and sexism displayed by Imus and his producer. These are grown men who should know better.

In closing, I would like to point out how some trivialize the involvement of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. If people would read beyond sound bites and mishaps, they would see the truth about both men. They have long histories of civil rights activism and involvement with the “little people” in our country. Think what you will about their mistakes or what appears to be a love of fame. But, no one can negate their contributions.

For the record, both of their histories include fighting against misogyny in rap and violence. Additionally, Mr. Sharpton discusses various topics on his daily radio show. I am not an Imus fan but I do listen to Sharpton. I do not agree with everything he says. However, I am certain he discusses the issues your viewers directed him to. Sadly, pointing out the more important “Black problems” shows just what’s wrong here.