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Archive for the ‘What’s on a brotha’s mind’ Category

Took some time off. Life is, for me, a balancing act that sometimes requires such concentration that I tend to step away from things that are “hobbys” for prolong periods of time only to revisit them when the need arises. This is essentially where blogging fits into my life.

During the time off, I have definitely compiled a plethera of topics in my mind that I’d like to address via blogging at some given time. Topics such as Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, President Obama, the Gulf Oil Spill, Progressive Democrats displeasure with Obama, the economy, the Afghanistan War, The Iraq War, former Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair, Isreal, The Isreali attack on the aid flotilla, Fox News donating money to Republicans, Target Corp. donating money to Republicans, hell Republicans themselves, the Tea Party and their antics, remember the Contract With America?, remember the “Christian Coalation”?, right wing polical schemes, unemployment jobless benefits, Regina Kings take on the lack of black representation in the history of the Grammy Awards, the double standard of news coverage related to the Omar Thornton/Hartford Distributors killing rampage compared to other workplace rampage shooters of white descent, the Wake County NC School Boards decision to end desegregation, CNN commetator Roland Martin, Fox News commentator Bill O’rielly, Huffington Post, Arrianna Huffington, Salon.com, Politico, How the New York Times has become my “go to” news source, the manor in which corporations controll everything in American life the same way foreign governments control things in everyones lives in a Communist Country (US freedom is false).

These are just what comes to mind. There are more, ofcourse. Looks like I’ll be busy throughout the rest of the year…

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I went to the 15th Annual Woman’s Empowerment event in Raleigh yesterday. I’ve lived here for 8 years  and this is the first time I’ve gone. I went with my wife and two daughters.

I guess the motivation for me going was more related to my older daughter being 17 and about to leave the nest and go to college, along with the fact the event advertised a “Mens Lounge” for men who attended the event. I’m sentimental in that I look forward to doing things with my oldest knowing it is the last time I could do them with her before she “spreads her wings and fly away”…

O.K.. Yes, I was also there to critique the event.

I had made comments in the past questioning just “how empowering” the event was, making assumptions that it was more of a concert with vendors doting the hallways of the event hocking wears and flea market type goods. I had heard of the “workshops” marketed on the local black radio stations so I assumed they were a intergral part of the event . I figured this was a great opportunity to see if I was off base and just how plain ignorant my past assumptions could have been.

Well… to me, the event was just alright.  A concert with SOME workshops, but more of a concert with a flea market. It clearly and rightfully was not catered to me (a man, a black man at that) but having been” raised” (more on that in another post) the past 18 years by three members of the opposite sex, I’d like to say that I can relate to issues and events targeted toward black women better then most would think. I really believe I have a say with respects to the event because I live in a house with three black women (well two and one up and coming), so something that talks about empowering them (which I don’t mind) has got my attention.

The event was, to me, a jumbled mess really. The guest speaker (Mary J. Blige) apparently did not connect with the women in attendance in the stadium. Well maybe not all of them. While “hanging” in the “so called” mens lounge, I met these three other brothers, one who told me that his wife had commented to him earlier that Mary J was not inspiring at all to her. She was unprepared and really was just there to make a buck.

At the end of the event, my wife and two daughters essentially echoed her sentiments about Mary J. They also commented on the so called “question and answer” session with Mary J, which they said was just a total mess.

My wife said that she did attend a couple of good workshops, one in particular was about fibroids. She said the workshops were  uncomfortable because you could barely hear the speaker due to the fact the workshops were in open spaces adjacent to the arena. The noise from the performances really conflicted with the presentation.

From my vantage point, it seemed to be more of a festival for black women then an empowerment event. The stadium stayed packed. The only time the hall ways of the RBC were crowded was in between acts when attendees made their way to the concession stands or the bathroom.  I think the event would benefit from being held in the new Raleigh Convention Center as opposed to the RBC Center.

In the convention center, they can section off the workshop rooms so they are more intimate and there is no interference of noise from the performances. I’ve took part a couple of “Black Expo” events in convention centers as an entrepreneur and I believe this type of setting is better served  for this event then in the RBC.

The acts at the event was kinda cheesy. Or at least the mens acts (other then Raheem DeVaughn) were. My wife said “I guess this is what black women has reduced themselves to as far as what they consider entertaining”.  My older daughter basically said the same. Mim’s, Bobby Valentino, and Pleasure P (?) of Pretty Ricky were all garbage as far as I’m concerned. Valentino is more of a rap record “hook” singer then an established artist. AND WHY THE HELL WAS HE WEARING SAGGING ASS PANTS THAT CONTINUALLY SHOWED HIS UNDERWEAR at an event meant to empower women? To de-power ( OR deflower some of the groupies)  them into continuing to make bad choices in men? If anything, I suspect it reinforced in quite a bit of the women attendees minds that this is the type of black man that’s attractive, one who has no respect for himself and perpetuates the thug life look.

God dammit, black woman need to all see the documentary “Diary of a Tired Black Man!

Jennifer Hudson was good, but after seeing all of the garbage that came on before her, it was sort of a let down that she was on stage for a mere 15 minutes (or so it seemed). Then BAM, it was over.

Like I said, a move to the convention center and less focus on entertainment and more on the workshops would be a good move for the event. Of course, the question is, will the event sell out without the primary focus being placed on the entertainment?

Something tells me the answer is NO! I guess Tom Joyner knows what he’s doing when he labels his events ” A Party with a Purpose”.  You know we’ll come out to snap our fingers… Black Women are no different the Black Men in this area.

However, I did run into this young woman who resides in Va. and has a pretty good website/blog ( I checked it out this morning). It’s cleverspeaks.com… check her out. She has some important things to say about our plight from the vantage point of a smart black female.

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P.E. said you “Can’t Trust It!” I guess this is how slug Republicans feel after their “Chairman in Blackface” (or so they thought) has shown “his real color”.

Michael Steele talks like a regular black guy

Michael Steele has been making comments that Republicans thought their “Leader in Blackface” surely would not be making when they elected him Chair of the RNC. michael-steel-gop

After back tracking on his comments about Rush Limbaugh being more of an entertainer then legitimate Republican leader, lets see if Steele does the same about his comments about being “Pro Choice” that has rattled the “religious nut” base of the Republican Party.

I’ve “felt” (not listened to, but felt what Chuck D was saying in) “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” by Public Enemy. You sir (Mr. Steele) are no Chuck D, indeed…

public-enemy-black-steel-in-the-hour-of-chaos

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That bang is on MY drum. That’s right. My blog is MY drum. It just took me reading several comments from (what I believe to be)  members of the white race to realize what my blog really is.

In 2009, I’m bangin on it like I’m at a ZULU tribal dance. I’m bangin on it like I’m at a South Miama Reggae set in Cutler Ridge. I’m bangin on it like the participants of the Gary Drill Team Competition stomps their boots on the floors of West Side High Schools gynasium.

Like FOREVER, I  become TOTALLY irritated whenever I hear someone white try to tell a black person what is or is not racist.  My blog sets free my voice on topics that affect ME and MY family, relatives and friends.

I don’t and I won’t qualify anything that I say about these concerns because I DON’T HAVE TOO! I know what the hell racist are. What a racial situation is.  And what constitutes a racist moment. Why?

BECAUSE  I’M A BLACK MAN.  EVERY SINGLE F__KIN DAY I DEAL WITH THE LITTLE SLIGHTS THAT ALL BLACK MEN AND WOMEN HAVE TO ENDURE. Hell, some days, their certainly not little.

I WILL NOT TOLERATE SOMEONE WHITE TELLING ME WHAT IS AND IS NOT RACIST WHEN IT COMES TO SITUATIONS WHERE A BLACK HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY A RACIST ACT!

PERIOD.

Most of the time, if your black, you get it.  I’d suffice to say that the majority of whites (I presumed they were because they’d start their comments off with ” I ‘m a white guy or a redneck girl…) get it- in reference to my 2008 blogs.

2008 is the year that I started blogs. 2009 is the year that I find my voice and say what the hell I want to say;  in whatever way I want to say it; and whenever I want to say it!

Check a brotha out…

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This blog represents the first in a series of blogs that will attempt to chronicle “what’s wrong & right with the City of Gary, Indiana”. The blog is written with the sole purpose of creating forward thinking dialogue on how to improve, not lambaste, the City that I grew up in.

No, I no longer live there. However, it’s where I was born and raised. My parents raised my family there. Worked and lived there for 30 years. I have a connection there that will and cannot ever be broken. The place has so much to do with who I am today as well as “how I am” as a person.

As I told my wife the other day in a conversation, I believe in laying blame. I know, I know. I’ve been around many a situation in the corporate setting where a “leader” has espoused the type of statement that “placing the blame is useless” when addressing a major issue that needs fixing.

The thing about the topic of Gary that differs from that of say a business setting is that what ails Gary is of a social nature. Yes, business or lack there of, is a major component of what ails Gary. But from a social vantage point, I believe, we first have to solve, or improve, the social environment of Gary before ANY type of viable business structured solution can be brought to the City.

In solving, or improving the social environment, we’ve got to call out those who seek to continue or contribute to the spiraling fall of the city where I was brought into this world.

Yes. Gary is a predominately Black city. I therefore feel that it’s problems are predominantly those of the Black citizens of the city. Essentially, I get the impression that my former neighbors who have decided to stay in Gary and “tough it out”, feel they are powerless at effecting change in Gary. They do vote. They pay their property taxes. They are not the problem. They have aged and contributed to the city and the elected officials there have let them down in return.

Sure, this sounds like the post is going into the direction of, say, a Post-Tribune or a NWI Times editorial written by some outsider person of the White race who, it seems, takes great joy in pointing out the ills of Gary.

However, I am not White. Though I am now an outsider, I still have a connection to that city in which life long friends and neighbors still traverse the mean streets of Chase St, 5th Ave, Grant St., Broadway, Burr St and Taft St., among others.

I understand when a friend who calls me and tells me he just came from Gary, helping his mother purchase a lawn mower and comments on how bad the city looks, or that someone I grew up with just died and how they died, I understand the sorrow in their voices. It’s different then the tone of a editorial written by some White resident who lives in Merrillville or Hobart or Crown Point who harbors a stereotypical mindset towards Blacks due to the history of the existence of Blacks in the Lake County area. Gary in particular.

That tone is one of innuendo and hate filled propaganda. The tone of my friends when they tell me things about the city they still live in, there is a tone of hurt, despair, and love. They dearly wish the place would see better days. The tone of the Post Tribune columnist is one that gives the impression they couldn’t care less if the people in Gary all killed themselves and died a horrible death.

So Fuck Them. (This the only time you will see such an offensive statement in this blog about Gary, I promise)

The emotions that I have on the whole issue of my UNDERSTANDING as to how Gary ultimately arrived where it is today, is fueled by my distaste for those people who essentially have kept a death grip on Gary financially while living outside of it’s boundaries. Those would be the “White Flighters”.

I have purposely, in the recent past, traveled to Gary with my daughters who for the first time were old enough to see Gary and remember it after the visit. I can argue that the place looks nothing like it did when I first took them there when they were very young, that type of thinking is directed towards the neighborhood I grew up in. More importantly, the house I grew up in.

I loved that house. I loved my street. I certainly remember the days, years, that everyone (well most everyone) took pride in how their homes looked. Kept up their quarters. I had a beautiful childhood on 8th and Taney. I would not trade it for any other type of childhood experience. And yes, it was a 100% and viable Black neighborhood!

There are some who think there was no way this was possible in the City of Gary. As far as most Whites in particular are concerned, Gary has been a  S-hole since at least the early 70’s. Well I can attest to the wonderful upbringing I had in the city. I take the good memories with the bad.

So I’m driving down Broadway with wife and girls and showing them our sparkling, dynamic downtown. Yes, the first thing they notice is that all, yes every building is boarded up. I ask them to take a CLOSER LOOK at the boards that were on the store fronts. I asked them to take a close scan of the buildings that were dilapidated. I then asked them to identify one sign that informed anyone as to how to purchase or lease any of those buildings.

THEY COULD NOT FIND ONE! Then I explained something to them that I found out when I returned to Gary years ago at a time that I myself was a business owner in Nashville, Tn. I had an interest in how one would go about purchasing one of those buildings. The thing I found out is that for the most part, they are not for lease or for sale!

Most of those entities who abandoned Gary in the 70’s under the guise of White Flight has retained ownership of the business store fronts they abandoned while relocating their shops and businesses in places like Hobart and Merrillville. They have a vendetta against Black Gary citizens. Yes the Black ones who essentially voted in the nations first Black Mayor of a major city, Richard G. Hatcher.

The way Hatcher ascended to power contributed to the lingering resentment that those former White citizens of Gary have towards Blacks today.  I explained to my girls that Hatcher ascended to the position of Mayor of Gary on the coat tails of the Black Power Movement of the late 60’s. I explain to them that even today, any type of black political figure that was or has been associated with the “Black Power” movement of the civil rights era, is a hated figure in the racist part of the White community and is often identified as examples of racist blacks by modern mainstream media and White politicians the like.

I explained to my girls, there is a deep hatred towards Black citizens of Gary by the suburban White citizens of Lake County Indiana who still own those store fronts on Broadway. Essentially, Blacks stood up to what was then a racist City of Gary government that treated black citizens as second class citizens much like the way Blacks were treated throughout the country at that time.

The big thing was that Blacks in Gary chose to use ideology more in line with Malcolm X then that of Martin Luther King to effect change.

You know. The line Bernie Mac used to use to open his shows on Def Comedy Jam.

Well for now, read this article in the Post-Tribune for an example of one our own (Black Men) who clearly has been taking the citizens of Gary for a ride with their tax dollars…

Glen Park group forgets about ‘that’ $100,000

Like I said. The Post Tribune does a good job at making sure the ills of Gary are on display. I’ll use it to make a point. I promise to dig deeper then the sarcastic tone the journalist who wrote the piece clearly has taken.

(to be continued…)

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They are to blame for the mess that we are in today. They gave us this:

And was hell bent on giving us this:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Politics/Story?id=6196407&page=2,

Today, they have the gall to post crap like “Obama supporters and Obama are going to ruin this country” crap.

YOU HAVE RUINED THIS COUNTRY WITH YOUR PAST UNEDUCATED VOTES FOR BUFFOONS!

You have the nerve to state that “most of the new voters voting Democrat should not be voting because they don’t understand the process and could choose someone UNWISELY.

!@##%$^^^&*

(TRANSLATED NICELY, THIS IS WHAT YOU FOOLS DID THE PAST 8 YEARS WHEN YOU VOTED FOR DUPYA!)

I will not rest and let you fools get away with what you did. Number one, GOP/Conservative/Red State/Republican supporters have lost all credibility. Every time you try to spout some type of ill conceived notion that “see that, see this” is an example of Obama going against his word, you need to remember that NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU TRAITORS TO OUR DEMOCRACY THINKS.

Your attempts to destroy our democracy is not going unnoticed, Nor are will your attempts to further harm it go unchallenged.

This is precisely why Obama chose Rahm as his Chief of Staff. He is equipping his staff with “people who carry big sticks”. Obama is smart enough to know what the right is going to bring.

BRING IT…

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Everyone knows that Fox News is the talking head of the GOP. It’s only fitting to highlight a report of Sarah Palin’s ineptitude that reinforces what I believe a majority of Americans came to believe prior to the November 4th election. That Sarah Palin was and is unqualified to be anywhere near the White House…

Republicans. You guys don’t get it. The most important factor of the election of Barack Obama  as President was the fact that WE NOW ALL KNOW THAT HE IS AN INTELLIGENT MAN.

Male or female, I believe the next President after Obama should at least meet this criterion. George Bush was and still is an idiot. John McCain could not hold press conferences without a teleprompter or looking down at his written speech throughout the event; and Sarah Palin, well let’s just say that we also know that George W. Bush does not read newspapers, magazines or books. How different can she be from ole Dupya? Not much at all.

Republicans, in the future it’s going to take more then good looks, the ability to put your fingertips together to portray an “executive” posture while speaking (see any video of Rudy Guliani, Sarah Palin or ole foot in her mouth Carly Fiorina) and references to statements that your regular folk just like everyone else, to convince the majority of “regular folk” to vote your butts back into leadership.

The cat’s out of the bag. Dupya, exposed you all for what you really are, self serving liars who don’t give a rats ass about the middle class. You only care about your membership in the upperclass and your fellow upperclass members issues.

Stop ascending stupid, stubborn, angry people to your leadership positions (see Sarah Palin, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Chaney and Tom Delay) and you might make some inroads in the future.

Ditto heads.

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