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Posts Tagged ‘black men’

Things are going  a wire. All of these deaths of relatively young black American celebrity men . Gerald Levert, Sean Levert, Bernie Mac, MICHAEL JACKSON, now Steve McNair.

Regardless of what Mike wanted, these were all black men. Falling dead either in their prime or in the prime of their careers.  This needs to be addressed within the black  blog  community as well as withing the community themselves. It’s just not happening to the “gang bangers”. It’s happening to Regular Brotha’s and the so regular brotha’s (celebrities).

We gotta talk…

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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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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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“That One!”. That quote said it all. Far more so then McCain not even being cordial to Obama during the first debate. McCain is an extension of the disdain that Hillary Supporters have towards the fact that “a black guy” is winning. The Harriet Christian Democrats and certainly the VAST RIGHT WING of the country that has run this country into the ground the past 8 years is pissed!

I believe I’m seeing something similar to when Jim Crow behavior initially became politically incorrect. I wasn’t alive then, but you can just tell that McCain would have loved to have used something else rather than “That One” to describe Obama.

Like “Inadequate”. What about”Uppity”. You add the ending to each snipe. YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS…

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My post a week or so ago on “What’s Wrong With Blacks” was met with attacks by blacks who blog about the lack of a focus on white acts of racism and their double standards.

My facts focus on how WE act within our own communities and our lack of respect for one another and how slack we are on calling out our own.

Now I got Stockholm Syndrome?

I’ll tell you what I got.

I got passion for my people that tells me that we equal whenever the playing fields level. Hell, one might even say we’re superior.

I’m not hearing ya when you say the only way to better our own is by tapping on the keyboard about the wrongs those fools keep perpetrating on us. Why?

Cause they ain’t hearing you! But really, i do. It’s just that I want to say more about how we cause our own sores in the community that we all live in.  I do this while also understanding that the core of our problems is still the man.

That’s all brotha sista (my fault). When I say “Focus Man” (or in your case, “Woman”), I say that cause you doing the work of the man, not me, by coming after someone who see’s that his little black angels will have slim pickin’s for a mate.

Take the time to see where someone is coming from before you judge. Isn’t that ONE of the problems WE have with them?

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My post on “What’s Wrong With Blacks” was recently commented on by “brotherpeacemaker”. Basically, he summed up my post as my congering up a vantage point that brothers who are doing less with their lives were looking me up and down because I had on slacks. Additionally, he said that maybe I was the one with the problem in that I didn’t understand that I did not have the right to look them up and down and judge them.

Well, gotta say your post on black unity is some what needed. I gather you don’t live in the south. I know what I see and I know what a mean mug is when I see it. Your post is par for the course with respects to the “black unity theme” of old. It needs a tune up.

In the same way that Barack Obama has commented on how blacks have to embrace responsibility, I’ll respond to your response.

When Bill Cosby came out years ago and criticized blacks in great detail on how they were squandering the progress that so many DIED FOR, I was in agreement with him. In brothapeacemakers post, he said that it’s easy for many of us black people who do well to “look down” on those who are not. Furthermore, he comments on a lot of my quotes with a perspective that “Why don’t I/people mention how there are white people with the exact scenarios that I mention as examples of our plight”

I think it’s fitting that these posts are tagged in victim mentality. My wife, who’s black by the way, has from time to time in the past accused me of displaying a victim mentality when something I KNOW HAS NEGATIVELY AFFECTED ME BECAUSE I WAS A BLACK MAN has happened to me. I identify very well with the topic.

I’ll start off by saying honestly, I don’t give a damn about white boys still living with their mothers and squandering their lives. I care enough about black young boys and girls that I have actually won Volunteer of the Year at the local Boys and Girls Club Teen Center here in Raleigh. Yea, by volunteering.

I remember a teenage black girl, after seeing me in the center after several days, asking me why I was there. Before I could answer, she followed the question with a quick quip, “What you gotta do community service?”. When I told her that I was just there as a volunteer, she put a bewildered look on her face that struck home with me. Bill, the teen center manager, would soon tell me that volunteers at the center are few and far between. One day while signing in on the volunteer log, I noticed that only I had signed in as a volunteer for the past several weeks that the log displayed. This spoke directly to what Bill had told me.

I know, I know. give me a hero cookie, right? The only reason I’m mentioning this is to qualify that I’m no hypocrite. BUT I SURELY DO HAVE A WAY OF VIEWING A LOT OF BLACK PEOPLE WHO CHIME IN ON THE TOPIC OF BLACK UNITY AS HYPOCRITES. What I find is that most of them will write something or take a position in conversations, like brothapeacemaker has, when the facts are that they themselves are all talk no action. LIKE THE BLACK CHURCH. LIKE MOST OF THE SO-CALLED BLACK LEADERS IN THE U.S. OVER THE PAST TWO TO THREE DECADES.

We just saw how Jesse Jackson’s “This nigga’s got the nerves to talk down to blacks” went over. The fact is, everyone needs someone in their lives to check them. Not coddle them. I will not coddle my people. As far as me doing well, I’m struggling to stay afloat like most. But I was fortunate to have been raised in a family in Gary, Indiana that, while not perfect, surely put the sense of no give up in my soul. In fact, having grown up in Gary, I was given examples daily on what giving up had in store for me. Didn’t want it and never will allow it to happen.

As far as me looking down on the brotha’s wearing the knee length white T’s that I accused of basically looking down on me. I’m guilty as charged. And I will continue to do so. But not in the way that you insinuate. In most of those white T’s, I see potential bankers, enterprenuers, land scapers, construction workers, accountants, group home owners, administrators, college freshmen, division II college basketball/football/baseball players (I say division two because it’s actually hard on average to make division I). Because the playing field in life is not level, most of them will not take these paths.

How do we level the playing field. I’m tired of asking white folk to alter their ways. One thing at 40 I have learned, especially through law enforcement, is that you can only change yourself. You have no control over anyone else but yourself. As a people, we don’t have any control over white people. The fact of the matter is that when your black, what that black male in the long white T does in society DOES AFFECT ME!. What the identical white male in a long white T does in society DOES NOT AFFECT OTHER WHITE MALES!

This is why I care brothapeacemaker. While working in the teen center, there were some rough looking young men in there. I mean, to the common white person (and even some blacks) they looked like thugs. I’M FROM A CITY THAT IS 95% OR MORE BLACK. These were the bay-bays and shine dogs that I grew up with when I was a young kid. I saw the kid in these teens. After they get to know you a little, the tough shield starts to dissipate and what’s really there is a teenage kid that has hopes and dreams that are constantly being challeged by OUR culture. Not by a white teacher that’s telling him or her that they can’t be a doctor or a lawyer like what happened to kids our age who went to predominately white schools. But by these fool rappers out here or ballers that their single mothers have dated who are constantly saying ‘your a sucker if you think gettin a job is gonna get money”!

Brothapeacemaker, this isn’t propaganda. This is reality. The facts are that blacks in this country have the greatest opportunity to succeed in life than any other black in the world. WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR OLD WAYS OF CALLS TO UNITY. We need to realize that the poorest of the poor blacks in this country IS NOT EVEN POOR as far as WORLD standards go.

I just put myself in a self made recession funding a trip to China this past month for my daughter. The reasons for my wanting her to go differed from those of what others suggested in conversations I had with them about her going. Quite simply, I wanted her to see what real poverty was. She did not go for the Olympics. It was a language immersion trip so they went to provinces that were in the Chinese communities that aren’t fancied in mainstream media. And poverty she did see. The kind of poverty that I saw in the countryside of Korea or the Phillippines when I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

When you see people who don’t have running water, electricity, infrastructure. In the worst projects in this country, people have a refrigerator let alone running water and a frickin toilet to shit it. There is no open sewage to deal with in the projects( benjo ditches as they called them in Korea). This is why when a foreigner from a REAL poor thirdworld country steps foot on this soil, they have a hunger and an appreciation for the opportunity that has been presented them that push most them to excel at living a quality life. EVEN THOSE FROM AFRICA/Haiti/Jamaica!

But us? Now I’ll never say “get over slavery”. That to me is a call to arms like a Jew standing next to an anti-Semite. But I will say these minorities from these other countries that are coming here. THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT. In fact, they see how we are still hung up on the victimized mentality of the situation that they say “good for me. I’ll take their spot”.

I truly believe that one day, the white race will ultimately pay for their sins of enslaving our ancestors. In the mean time, I gotta survive. Make sure my daughters thrive. THEY WILL NOT BE NEGATIVE STATISTICS in any matrix!

FOCUS MAN! We gotta get on our own so we can move ahead.

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I just browsed a post on “The Black Sentinel” titled “What is wrong with Blacks?” I thought I’d chime in on this topic.

After a life of ranting on the issue, at 40 I think I have a more mature, refined vantage point on what ails our people versus my rants of the past. This is just a short take on the topic.

For starters, it is apparent that we have lost a purpose as a people. During the civil rights movement as well as the 70’s, we had a purpose as a people to “OVERCOME” our oppression. I’ve read books that cite statements from white opponents of civil rights for blacks in this country that referred to the lack of “maturity amongst blacks” that could lead them to not be able to handle their freedoms. As I cringed every time I come across such a statement, it leads me to a perspective that Dr. Frances Cress Welsing conveyed in her book “The Isis Papers”. That an infant state of mind exists within the black community. Until we address this issue, Our plight is lost.

The way she mentioned how black men greet each other with “What up Boy” or calling their home the ‘crib” among other quotes really struck home with me. I met Dr. Welsing at Fisk University sometime back in 1994 and at the time I owned a record store. I remember observing my customers behavior in my store after my meeting her and being astonished at how accurate she was in this assesment.

Years later, I still believe this is a major issue within the black community. During the civil rights movement as well as throughout the 70’s, a sizable percentage of the black male population I believe had a mature mindset. Fast forward to today and this is not the case.

From Jay-Z’s 30’s are the new 20’s mindset, comes a plethora of “I aint ever growing up” based entertainment figures that have inspired a generation to sport long white T’s as a fashion statements that influences them to stare me up and down while we’re in line at Wal-Mart ridiculing me in their minds because I’ve got on slacks and a dress shirt.

They view me as sell-out. I got a damn mortgage. I gotta pay college tuition next year for my daughter. I’m doing what people died for, marched for during the 50’s and 60’s. And your looking down on me?

Lucky for me I know how to give the “don’t let the slacks fool you” look, just to keep em straight.

We no longer as a people have any sense of family or purpose. Hell I think these fools think that ballin is overcoming. YOUR DOING THE WORK OF YOUR OPPRESSOR YOU DUMB ASS. (Not that you’d be logged on to wordpress and reading this) Basically, our homes are broken.

The young black male today doesn’t see a future for themselves in any corporate structure within their community. The skilled labor jobs have gone to illegal aliens in their respective communities so if a guy wanted to do right, their just isn’t any path to doing right available for them. To that extent, I do understand. Being from Gary, I gotta understand this.

But it doesn’t help that Plies and these other ignorant ass rappers are constantly in these young brothers ears talkin bout, “get yo hustle on mane”.

One of my co-workers has worked long and hard as a single mother to raise her two children in a way so they could go to college. The son has constantly given her headaches. He just wants to chill and get women. She got him into school at Winston Salem St and he is close to flunking out.

Essentially, he’d rather work his job at the commissary on a military installation bagging groceries and getting tax free tips while living with mom rent free. His dad is a buster who really had no involvement in his upbringing.

The problem with this scenario is that there are much older black men who have the same mentality as this 20 year old. I won’t even go into how black women play into this. Let’s just say I have a constant daily interaction with their “I don’t give a shit bout a black guy” personality whenever I visit the gas station, Wal-mart, department store, or local restaurant. They are/have been affected by the broken home syndrome as much as the black male has.

Basically, we need to grow up as a people or we will be left behind.

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