Thursday, June 28, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court Upholds Individual Mandate

If in my SHEER excitement I can be colloquial for a looks like "obamacare" aint goin no where haters!!! Only moment ago in a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court has voted that the individual mandate IS constitutional, effectively upholding the Health Care Act.

Being chronically ill this is extremely important to me and I'm ready to celebrate and I know if I'm beside myself with glee President Obama has to be feeling remarkable. After taking years of heat and abuse over this he's finally able to shut all these conservative nay sayers up and now he has a HUGE political boost for the upcoming election.

Unfortunately this isn't a celebratory day for us all. I'm pretty sure Romney, his advisors and all these tea party lunatics are meeting in the Legion of Doom, sipping gin and calling up Pinky and the Brain so they can figure out an alternative world domination plan. So I'm going to keep my antennas up and my ears open 'cause I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this just yet.

ACLU Set to Represent KKK in Latest Case

As I write this I'm pretty sure David Duke is somewhere watching Hitler documentaries and steaming his favorite hood and sheet combo because it looks like his former organization has gotten a big hand up today.

In opportunistically hypocritical breaking news the ACLU has decided to represent the KKK in their recent highway debacle. Not too long ago the state of Georgia blocked the KKK's plan to adopt a stretch of route 515 in North Georgia and apparently the Klan is not taking this one lying down.

I'm not particularly shocked at the Klan, they're a racist organization who constantly attempts to spread their hateful propaganda so honestly their just doing their job. The ACLU on the other hand...I cannot. I understand that they believe in defending 1st amendment issue but getting into bed with an organized TERRORIST group who generally hate 98% of people or groups you've defended might help you politically but in reality it's BEYOND reckless and insensitive.

I'd like to believe this case won't go far but with the current climate of the nation that's unlikely

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hip Hop: The Music Of My Revolution

As Black Music Month winds to a close I thought I'd take a second to reflect on a particular genre of music that is close to my heart, Hip Hop.

Like most 20 and 30 something’s I grew up on Hip Hop. My mom taught me my body parts using "Whoop there it is", when playing hide and seek with my friends I'd often hum The Fuggees "Ready or Not", and one year for Christmas I instructed my family to "Give it up for Santa" while performing my own version of Naughty By Nature's "Hip Hop Horary" (and there’s footage to prove it). As I got older Hip Hop fueled my militant stage (one I'm not completely sure I'm out of). Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" was like my eternal theme song and NWA's "F the Police" was always on heavy rotation. As I moved from angry to conscious the music of Arrested Development, Brand Nubian and Dead Prez were like my bread and butter.

As I grew and developed I forgot something very important.....ALL Hip Hop is political. From KRS-One to Tupac to Ace Hood there are always political undertones. See for some time I had sub categorized what I believed to be conscious Hip Hop and in a way I was right. Most people wouldn't put Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five in the same league with artist like 50 cent and though they might not be on the same stream of consciousness their base message is the same.

Whether its 50 cent rapping about his life in the dope game, Kendrick Lamar spitting about the plights of prostitutes or J Cole flowing about life in the hood it's all political, it may not be conscious but it's political. They are rapping about a margin of society that is ignored and disenfranchised and that in its essence is political. Granted they might not be wearing Each One Teach One hoodies and calling us all to action like many artists have in the past but they are, in their own way showing America what's going on in their neck of the woods.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, artist like Nicki Minaj and her Mattel minions (and all of Young Money really) tend to just spit random raps about money, weed, expensive alcohol, strip clubs and their latest sexual exploits.

Luckily not all current artists are like that. In many ways Hip Hop is still political and is still is voice of the "youthful revolution" within black America. You just have to look beyond the surface to find it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"That Dope Ain't No Joke": Florida man Gets Naked And Eats Man's Flesh

I'm not saying the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us but well this is some crazy stuff.  According to Florida police Charles Baker got naked, busted into his girlfriends house already high on some drug, bit a piece of another man's bicep and then ATE it.  This isn't the first bit of cannibalism craziness we've seen from Florida, not too long ago a Miami man was shot and killed by police after eating the vast majority of a homeless man's face.  Though we don't know exactly what Baker was on we do know that the Miami cannibal was high on bath salts, which seems to be a growing trend. 

Because of the face eating nature of these and several other attacks, the CDC released a statement assuring the public that there is not a zombie epidemic and everybody can calm down.  Logically I know they're right but I'm packing my survival kit and leaving it by the door just in case.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Breaking News: House Oversight Committee Has Voted To Hold Eric Holder In Contempt of Congress

Just moments ago the House Oversight Committee decided in a 23-17 vote that Attorney General Eric Holder Will be held in contempt of Congress.  Republicans are claiming that the Department of Justice and more specifically attorney general Holder has refused to to hand over documents involving "operation fast and furious" (click the link below to get the back story).  Here's what Holder had to say about the vote.
" Simply put, any claims that the Justice Department has been unresponsive to requests for information are untrue. From the beginning, Chairman Issa and certain members of the Committee have made unsubstantiated allegations first, then scrambled for facts to try to justify them later. That might make for good political theater, but it does little to uncover the truth or address the problems associated with this operation and prior ones dating back to the previous Administration."
The Republicans are doing what they do best and that is shamelessly politicking. This is political theater at it's greatest and with four months till the election I'm sure the best is yet to come.

Operation Fast And Furious

Watch It: Awkward Black Girl Season 2

Season 2 of Issa Rae's Awkward Black Girl recently premiered and it's Just as funny as the first.  I really can't think of anything to say besides GO WATCH IT.  She hilarious it's hilarious you won't be disappointed...I hope :)

.Awkward Black Girl Season 2 Episode 1

Tyler Perry....I Need You to Stop

So before I start I already know this post probably won't win me any friends but  after seeing the previews for Madea's Witness Protection, I can't stand it any longer.  Now I know some of my people love Tyler Perry, they watch all those terrible shows, they pay eleven dollars a ticket to see his movies, and they bring buses filled with the entire church congregations to watch his famous drag shows stage plays, but I cannot drink the southern sweet tea flavored kool-aid. 

I'm tired of the Sambos and Mamie like characters, the over use of trite Christian themes and his employment of ignorant buffoons who can't pronounce words and don't know the difference between Algebra and Aljero.  I'm tired of seeing some fat angry black woman running around, brandishing weapons and showing less intelligence than my 3 year old cousin and I'm tired of seeing skinny angry black women in every movie.  I don't want to see another light skin black man save some damsel in distress from her violent dark skin husband and for at least a year no more CRACK HEAD STORIES! I'm tired of the repeated story lines and sophomoric writing and the terrible acting.  I'm sick of the faux drama he creates in every one of his shows and if I see another damn person who's had their house burned down or who's mother, father, sister, cousin is on some type of drug I'm going to lose it. 

And I think what really bothers me is the fact that Perry honestly believes he's speaking for black America....AND doesn't mind saying it.  Now I'm not saying that nobody lives in this perpetual state of ignorance but we all surely don't and what's probably most troubling is the fact that white America is eating this stuff up.  Characters like Madea and Mr. Brown have become household names in black and white suburbia.  These shucking and jiving images aren't making white people uncomfortable, they've embraced them and they aren't laughing with Madea and people like her, they're laughing at them.  Sadly black Americans are only to blame.  Large amounts of us have embraced Perry as our great filmmaker and spoke person and turned our back on people like Spike Lee who have spoken out against him.

Now before I'm called a hater and a sufferer of "crabs in a barrel" syndrome I do want to say this.  I'm not knocking his hustle I'm knocking his message and methods.  As a Christian I don't think pimping the Church for monetary gain is cute and as a conscious black individual I don't appreciate ANY ONE portraying my race as ignorant or coonish.  The NAACP fought to have Amos and Andy removed from the air for their coonery so for that same reason I think we need to take a more critical look at Perry and his many works

So maybe instead of running to the theaters to see Madea Goes to the Unemployment line or Madea Fries Chicken we can all pop in Spike Lee's Bamboozled because that's where we're heading if this mess doesn't stop.

Bad Day?: Former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's Group Dropped By

Well well well look how the mighty have fallen, has officially dropped Michelle Rhee's anti union StudentsFirst organization (full story at the bottom). is liberal, online organization that attempts to create social change by the use of online petitions so them affiliating with Rhee in any way, shape or form made no sense to me.  Apparently this decision came as a shock to Rhee and her affiliates.  I guess they assumed they could ride the BS wave of Waiting For Superman forever.  Once again I just don't understand her.  For those who aren't from the DC area and who only know her by the glowing interviews and documentaries she's been featured in let's look at some more realistic facts.

Not long after taking office she closed down several public schools without holding hearings

-She fired a very large number of teachers in the middle of the school day. The teachers who were being fired were told to gather up their belongings and leave the buildings.This caused an insane backlash by students, parents and other teachers. In one school the students even walked out in a heated protest that ended with police being called.

-When speaking about the 266 teachers she fired Ms. Rhee had this to say "I got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of schools," "Why wouldn't we take those things into consideration?" Needless to say this was far from true and she was later forced to retract her statement after pressure from teachers unions and the school board.

- She has also been accused of not reporting complete budget figures at D.C. council hearings, excluding parents from involvement, hiring former supporters to conduct an evaluation of her performance, opposing student protests of her security policies, managing using authoritarian principles, spending considerable time before the national media (Time, PBS, lecture circuit) instead of visiting schools

And that's not even the half of it.  I have only the best wishes for Rhee, as long as it's far away from education and DC

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adidas Cancels Shackles Shoes

I'm not sure who's working for Adidas these days or who's brilliant idea it was to create these shoes but they tried it and it failed faster than Madonna's last album.  According to the Boston Herald  Adidas announced Monday evening that they would be canceling their plans to release the shackle sneakers after the huge public outcry. You can read the full story at the link at the bottom.  Apparently we're supposed to believe that the creative minds behind the shoe's design NEVER EVER considered they could possibly be seen as offensive, to them millions of urban youths running around with bright orange shackles around their ankles wasn't racially reckless, it was just another day in the 'hood. 

Now that I've said all that I do want to issue a quick PSA.  I don't care what race, religion, creed, nationality, age or species you are, please do not tell me to get over slavery.  I know it sounds random but as I was reading through some of the comments on websites like CNN or The Huffington Post,  I saw a number of people either eluding or just out right saying that black people should get over slavery.  This isn't the first time I've heard this in fact when I was in high school (a long three years ago) many of my paler peers would say statements very similar to this so instead of getting into an extend rant about this I just want to state a few facts:

  • No one kindly asks Jewish Americans to just forget about the Holocaust (which they shouldn't)
  • No one would EVER tell the families of September 11th victims to just get over the attacks and move on
  • No one asks the Native Americans to drop any hard feelings about the rape of their land and the attempted genocide committed against their people
  • And No one would ever dare to tell any group of American to simply get over Pearl Harbor because well it happened a long time ago
See generally when it comes to the deplorable acts carried out against people of color Americans have a funny habit of wanting people to simply forget about it.  Instead of owing up to their bad behavior they sweep the events under the rug and deflect.  See because after all it's not their fault that they did something wrong, it's yours for not letting bygones be bygones, but I digress.

Boston Herald Article

Monday, June 18, 2012

Really?!?: Sarah Palin mocks Obamas drug use and dog eating.

These days i try to make it a rule to pretend Sarah Palin doesn't exist, kind of like the bogeyman or Peter Pan.  In my wonderful dream world Palin was just a mystical figure who's now somewhere with Puff the Magic Dragon in a land called Honalee or hanging out in some magical country where being dumb is smart and geography is non existent.  I had pretty much kept up my delusional fantasy until today when I finally broke down and read a Politico article about a speech Palin gave at some conservative bloggers convention.

Apparently Palin decided to try her hand at intentional comedy and had this to say: “That cocaine snorting, and what he ate — Fido? Rufus?” and “I think it’s funny that the cocktail circuit gives me a hard time for eating elk and moose. Anybody here have a pet moose? There’s a difference.”  

I'm really not sure where to even start with this.  I think what really confuses me the most is that this is Sarah Palin throwing shade at Barack Obama.  Sarah Palin?!? The woman who could see Russia from Alaska, the woman who couldn't name any newspaper or magazine that she reads on a DAILY BASIS.  The woman who was probably the biggest presidential political liability in the past 30 to 40 years!!  I just..I don't even understand her.  She's not running for any office but she still feels the need to well just talk.  I don't know maybe I'm just being extra but unless she's competing on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader I don't want to hear her speak.

Can't We All Just Get Along: RIP Rodney King

So as most of the world already knows, Rodney King was found dead yesterday in his swimming pool.  20 years ago King's vicious beating by several LAPD officers and their eventually acquittal sparked what is now known as the L.A riots. 

No matter how you feel about the situation preceding King's beating I think we can all agree that there is no reason for MULTIPLE officers to beat an unarmed man, it's just not right.   So maybe today we can all try to live by King's unrealistically optimistic dream and "just get along"

Friday, June 8, 2012

Vote 2012...because enough people don't want you to

A couple of months ago I delivered a speech about modern voter disenfranchisement at a student conference on my college campus.  At the time I knew it was a BIG deal and needed to be addressed but I didn't think I'd be seeing it on the news every other day.  I could spend hours discussing the many ways Republicans are trying to rip away minorities votes but for the sake of time...and my own attention span I'll only deal with a few.   So lets start with some stats and facts.

   Last May the governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley signed the R54 bill into law, it would require voters to show 1 of five government issued ID’s in order to cast their ballots.  To most people this doesn’t seem like a huge deal but passing such a law could result in the turning away of a significant portion of American voters at the poll According to New York University’s Brennan Center 11% of the population is of voting age but for various reasons lacks the government issued Identifications to vote. In December the Justice department rejected the changes citing that South Carolina failed to prove that wide spread voter fraud was taking place and that the R54 bill failed to comply with the 1965 voting rights act.  Unfortunately South Carolina is not the only state attempting to initiate such laws.  According to the National Conference of State legislators in the year 2011 alone 34 states introduced voting rights legislation.

The main claim that state law makers assert in favor of these strict ID is that voter fraud is rampant and this is this only way to neutralize it.  The only problem with this argument is that Evidence of wide spread voter fraud has never been substantiated.  What has been proven however is that these law disproportionally impact traditional democratic voting blocs such as the young, minorities, elderly and naturalized citizens successfully deterring them from voting.  

One of the major provisions of the Voting Rights act of 1965 was to prevent the Jim Crow era tactics of voter intimidation.  Sadly however some political hopefuls and their supporters continue to use updated pervasive tactics in order to clinch electoral victories.
For example in 2002 flyers were posted in majority black neighborhoods in Baltimore Maryland reading “Urgent Notice: Vote Tuesday Nov 6th but make sure you pay parking tickets, motor vehicle tickets, overdue rent & most importantly any warrants”   This was a clear racially biased attempt at reducing the amount of black voters that came out to the . 
Just this past February also in the state of Maryland, Paul E. Schruick the campaign manager of Robert Ehrlich was sentenced by a judge to home detention and community service for his attempts at voter suppression.  As reported by the Baltimore Sun Schurick approved automotive Election Day calls, often referred to as robo calls that were made to areas with predominantly urban voters stating that the race had already been won and that there was no need for them to go the polls and vote. 

Now I haven't even mentioned Florida's recent attempts to purge suspected "non citizens" from state voting rolls because that's a blog for another day. But let's not pretend like it's not all connected.  These are just one of many attempts by the David Duke Army republican party to keep down the minority vote.  It kind of makes me wonder, if their working this hard to prevent minorities from voting then what exactly do they plan to do or nor do when and if they are elected. 
The only way to fight this is to be aware and to vote.  For once I agree with BET....we must Vote like our life depends on it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Remember Jasper

On this day 14 years ago in Jasper, Texas 49 year old James Byrd Jr. was beaten, urinated on, before being chained by his ankles to the back of a truck and dragged for three miles by three white young men.  He was alive the entire time until his body hit a culvert and his right arm and head were severed. 
This crime did not go unpublished.  The three men were jailed, one was executed another is still currently on death row and the last is serving a life sentence.

Since 1998 James Byrd has ceased to be a household name.  The atrocities committed against him have become generally unknown among the younger generations as June 7th has continued to be recognized as just another summer day.  Sadly this isn't shocking.  My beautiful black Americans have seemed to forget the importance of discussing our past, be it good or bad.  We like to sweep the unpleasantness under the rug and pretend that this "Post Racial America" thing really exists.  It's truly sad to say that my generation of children probably knows less about their history than any other before it.   Hopefully the Trayvon Martin case isn't forgotten like this but if we don't start talking and stop forgetting it probably will.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012 Grand Re-Opening!!!

So It's been almost a year since my last post and now that my life has calmed down I've decided to get serious about my blog.  That being the case, I have completely redesigned the blog and now its time for my grand re-opening!!! I figure if Kohl's can do it every other month then so can I.  Along with the surface changes taking place, I've also decided to alter some of my material.  From now on my blog will mainly consist of political news, opinion and a dash of pop culture info that's of particular importance to the Black community. So happy reading :)