It's about our community and our spirituality!

Elk Snout Mayor For Vice President!

An hour after Sarah Palin was selected as John McCain’s running mate for the presidential nomination, I asked my friend at work how she felt about it.  Since I’ve been at this current job, she’s the only person I really look forward to seeing at the office.  We have sat and discussed issues pertaining to the black community in depth.

We both hate the fact that there are so many high profile black men going after white women after they have dumped the black women who have helped them.  However, she didn’t see a problem with high profile black women going after white men.  There are so few good black men for those high profile black women anyway.  We disagreed about that issue.  Why should high profile black women be given a pass to date outside the race when black men shouldn’t is pretty hypocritical.

We’re not talking about black people who just so happen to develop a relationship with non-blacks.  So spare me the questions and comments about black people separating themselves.  What we’re referring to are the black people who feel that there is no point in dating their own.  We’re talking about black people who only date non-blacks or feel that a relationship with black people runs contrary to their interest.

We both feel that the black community needs help.  She feels that black men should step up to the plate.  She’s a single mother who hasn’t seen her child’s father in years.  Most of her friends are single black mothers as well with children and absentee fathers.  I asked her what did she see in her sperm donor.  Her eyes roll back into her head as she briefly reminisces and replies with a smile on her face that the man was fine.  I’ll ask was he responsible.  She turned kind of sheepish and said no.  So I asked her that because she made an irresponsible choice, black men are now her problem.  She responded that it’s a given that black men are absent in their children’s lives.  I’ll reply that it’s a given that some black men are absent in their children’s lives, but aren’t their white men absent from their children’s lives?  Not like black men.  Based on what?  All my black girl friends are single mothers.  All my brothers are active in their children’s lives.  But y’all had the same upbringing so that doesn’t count.  Whatever…

Anyway, an hour after it was announced I went to my friend’s desk to discuss the development.  She was literally dancing in her seat.  She was pressing the keys with the flair of a person who was either on illegal substances or are just on a natural high.  Nevertheless, I asked if she had heard the news.  Are you kidding?  I am so happy.  She’s got my vote!  It’s a woman!  She’s against abortions.  It’s on!  It’s on!  It’s on!  What about the black community and eight more years of this mess we’re in?  I don’t care!  What about continuing this war on terror?  I don’t care!  What about any other issues in this political race?  I don’t care!  I don’t care!  I don’t care!  I wanted to cry I felt so deflated.  I wished her good luck and walked away.

This woman said she cared about the black community.  She always said that the black community is front and center in her life.  But it became painfully obvious that the black community takes second place to the female community and the community of unborn babies.

I actually thought that only idiots would be persuaded by Senator John McCain’s selection of Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.  There has been so much talk about Senator Barack Obama’s inexperience from his Republican opponent.  So many people talk about the first time senator having the hubris to run for President.  But then the Republican who would be President picks the first time Governor from the least populated state, the former Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska with a population of less than six thousand according to the city’s last estimate, a woman who is now under investigation for trying to have her brother-in-law fired as an Alaskan state trooper as retribution for divorcing her sister in a bitter divorce and a nasty custody fight over their children, as the best choice to replace him if he is ever incapable of serving as President.  This is his best choice?  Talk about playing the female card or maybe the ovary card.

One of the most important decisions for the next person who will be President is the choice for who will lead the country if something were to happen to the President.  Senator Obama selected Senator Joe Biden.  I’m not happy about the pick.  From the perspective of someone who truly cares for the black community there are much better choices.  I think Governor Bill Richardson would have been a nice choice.  But say what I will about Mr. Biden who could lead the country if necessary.

However, Governor Palin is not someone that is ready to lead the country if Mr. McCain is ever incapacitated.  She’s probably a nice woman.  I know she is family oriented.  I know she’s willing to put her career on the line to avenge her sister against her former brother-in-law.  She is definitely family oriented.  And I can just see Ms. Palin using her experience as commander of the Alaskan National Guard to command the most powerful military force on the planet.  “That state trooper that divorced my sister?  Nuke’em!”  If she was a man we would be questioning Mr. McCain’s sanity.  But because she could do a stint as Buffy the Trooper Slayer people are actually talking about Mr. McCain’s shrewdness and boldness.  If he just wanted to prove his boldness selecting Queen Latifah would’ve been an even bolder choice.

The choice of the vice presidential candidate should say a lot about the man who would be President.  A Condoleezza Rice would have been a much stronger choice.  Kay Baily Hutchinson would have been a better choice.  I don’t care for either one but at least they have some real national political experience and isn’t just a bold choice.  But unfortunately, a lot of people don’t care about those things.  However, the approval of such a choice says a lot about who we are and what our priorities are.  I don’t know how many people are sold on this choice.  I do know at least one person who’s intensely happy about the choice and to me that’s way too many.

Sunday, August 31, 2008 Posted by | Alaska, John McCain, Life, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Thoughts | 10 Comments

The Freedom To Beat Monkeys

When I was a young man, long before I even knew what it was like to take a woman to bed, I had my elders making me believe that when a man turned forty a man’s libido, a man’s sex drive, a man’s reason for being a man, dries up and goes away.  Male impotence was just a matter of time.  No man could escape it.  It was just one of those facts of life.  The little perky guy that wakes up with you in the morning and happily points the way to the bathroom for you gets sadder and sadder over the years.  By the time forty rolls around the little guy’s doing not much more than uselessly hanging around and waiting for the end.  Nothing gets his attention any more.  Nothing could put the perk back into his step.  At least that’s how I understood things listening to my uncles talk when I was little.  Keep in mind that this was way back before there was such as thing as the little blue pill Viagra or Cialis or Enzyte.

Now I’m just a couple of clicks away from fifty and I’m happy to say that on many mornings my little friend still greets me with a stiff morning salute hello and points the way to the bathroom for me.  I have to say many mornings because more often than not Ms. Peacemaker just isn’t in the mood or is just a bit too tired from chasing junior Peacemaker around all day.  if I’m fortunate enough to get a little loving the night before or sometime during the night or earlier in the morning, my little homey is going to try and sleep late.  We’re both getting up their in age so I have to cut him some slack.  If I had my way, I’d sleep late too.  But inevitably, one of us has to get up in the morning and it’s usually me.

As a young man, it was a piece of cake to contort my body to take that morning leak when homey was doing an iron man impersonation.  Just stick a hand out as if I’m trying to do a one armed push up off the back of the toilet tank and use the other hand to direct the flow of my early morning stream.  But these days I just don’t have the strength, the energy, or the desire to make the toilet tank serve as a homemade Bowflex and go through such lengths to relieve myself.  Not only that, with nearly fifty years of experience under my belt, I’ve learned to work a little smarter, at least part of the time.  There are a lot of euphemisms for it and it don’t matter which one you choose.  Whether you call it choking the monkey, buffing the banana, checking the dipstick, cleaning the rifle, draining the monster, the five knuckle shuffle, greasing the pipe or just plain old whacking off, masturbation helps to take the starch out my little friend.  I won’t say how often but I will say on a monthly basis billions and billions of sperm cells are lost.

Depending on your personal point of view some people might say that I’m guilty of murder on a massive scale.  A lot of people don’t approve of grown men, or anyone else for that matter, whacking off.  Some people actually think it is sinful behavior.  Personally, I call it relief.  I would find it an extreme violation of my privacy if someone was to pass a law making male masturbation illegal.  I would think that what a man does with his two friends Ruby Right and Lucy Left is his own business.  The idea that somebody in some government office somewhere feels that their morals should be made law simply because of their beliefs is rather despicable.  I would find it just as abhorrent if someone passed a law that said men must regularly lube their tube.

Everybody has certain choices in their behaviors.  We could pass laws that require men to weigh no more than a couple hundred pounds and women no more than one fifty.  We could pass laws that require people to save twenty percent of their earnings.  We could pass laws that require people to live within five miles of their workplace, consume five servings of vegetables every day.  We could even pass laws that make low grades in school a punishable offense.  We could pass laws that limit all kinds of questionable or less than acceptable behavior.  But one thing that’s even more abhorrent is the idea that someone or some group feels that they can dictate what the rest of us do.  Different people have different ideas at different times in their lives and really don’t need someone telling them how to live with dictated morals and values.  If that was the case, all those laws we passed against racism would’ve worked a long time ago.

Somebody has a problem with me jacking off?  I’m sorry.  But I enjoy having the freedom of personal choice.  Our freedom is supposed to be one of the key reasons as to why the rest of the world is standing in line waiting to blow us up.  We have to fight them there so I can jack-off here.  And come tomorrow morning if the little misses isn’t in the mood, I plan to put those personal freedoms to good use.  Those bad guys in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t the only ones trying to our freedoms away.  From the way a lot of people talk the freedom to make personal choices is under assault right here in the good old United States of America.

Saturday, August 30, 2008 Posted by | Life, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Republican Party Priorities And Blacks

Republicans and Blacks

Whether it is warranted or not, the Republican Party is not the favorite of the black community even though a major portion of the black community is conservative and promote conservative values. For example, my partner and I are not married even though we are committed to each other, we have a child together, and we might have another some day. But we feel that registering our relationship with the state and having it sanctioned by government is not necessary. However, my mother feels that we should make our relationship legal in the eyes of god. I don’t know what god has to do with the state. God doesn’t have an office in the state capital. But the point is that my mom will allow her conservative values to dictate whether my woman and I are welcomed to spend the night in her house together as a loving couple.

Another good example of the conservatism of black people is a woman I know who voted for George Bush as the forty third President because he took a firm stand against abortions and he was a devoted Christian. During the year 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore made the mistake of selecting Joe Lieberman as a running mate. Mr. Lieberman is Jewish and this woman felt that being Jewish was being anti Christian and that would make Al Gore the anti Christ. And all those poor babies that could have been saved if abortions were outlawed. And many of those poor babies would have to go through their childhood with inadequate healthcare and a mother or parents who tries to make do on a sub-living wage.

I know black people who want to shut down the borders to keep all the illegal Mexican immigrants out of the country and save jobs for the black community. Ask these people if they wanted to pick crops all day hunched over a field that stretches off into the distance and they’ll reply with a “Hell no! But it’s the principle!” I know many black people who are dead set against the idea of raising the minimum wage. There are black people who promote the idea of low capital gains taxes so they can save a few pennies while billionaires save millions. And the number of black people who wear their hypocrisy on their sleeves is ludicrously high as they claim to that they want to protect the sanctity of marriage from homosexuals that want to express their commitment to their partner with the state. And yet, these same protect the sanctity of marriage black people turnaround and cheat on their spouses at the first opportunity. Some seriously conservative values indeed.

These black people that I’m referring to are not members of the Thurston Howell III jet setting black conservatives. I’m talking about people who have gone through or who are going through or who are just a relatively minor crisis away from going through hard times. You would think that the party known for freeing the slaves and for having the type of conservative, family oriented values that many black people support would have an easier time getting more black people on board with the Republican program.

But just the opposite is true. While some black people enjoy their secondary status within the Republican Party and are oblivious to the disparity between the black community and the white community that conservative policies promote, they standout like raisins in the sun. Take a peek under the roof of the convention center when the Republican’s are assembling and you see an overwhelmingly white pool of people. The few black people that you do see under the roof are more likely to have a dominant mindset that enables them to distance themselves from the majority of the black community. Five will get you ten that black people within the Republican Party are more likely to have a white significant other than the black people outside the party.

Even with all the similarities in values between conservative blacks and the Republican Party one point that seems to be at odds between the two is the insistence by so many white conservatives that black people are of a secondary class status and are of little importance compared to white people. While many black people in the Republican Party can easily and automatically pooh-pooh away any criticism of the way the Republican presidential administration fails to respond to the needs of black people, most black people are not so willing to overlook the constant barrage of offenses the black community appears to be subjected to. Yes family values are important to black people. But for the vast majority of black people it is just as important that the black community has the same opportunities to provide for our family’s needs and prepare our families for the future. The black community can’t do that if we are constantly denied or relegated to opportunities that do little but sustain our perpetual less than status in the economic hierarchy.

The Democratic Party is by no means perfect in its support of the black community. But there is a popular perception that the Democrats are more willing to acknowledge the conditions of the black community and are more willing to do something to give the impression that they are more sensitive to the racial disparity being suffered. Republican Party supporters may say that they are doing their best to help alleviate the disparity between the black community and the white community. Truth be told anytime there is a Republican in the White House the black community seems to suffer a variety of economic setbacks and slippages. It could be just an unfortunate series of coincidences. However it appears to me that the Republican Party would rather defecate on the black community than do anything to help. That would be too much like a sense of social conscientiousness that would actually help black people and such a concept isn’t a natural part of Republican Party policies.

Friday, August 29, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black History, Life, Racism, Republicans, Thoughts | 6 Comments

Words Of Clarification

“Just wondering, why is clean and articulate an offense? To me, it would be a compliment. I don’t see what AT ALL that has to do with race….. seems like sometimes (and I’m not trying to be offensive) people take offense to things that aren’t meant to be offensive because they’re a little overly sensitive in areas they no longer need to be. If you live in a constant state of defensiveness, how will you ever be able to get past it and see that nobody is attacking you anymore?

And I do believe that Mr. Obama is inexperienced, but that has nothing to do with his race. Perhaps, if that’s how Biden felt, it was not an issue of race, either. It’s simply the fact that he’s a first term Senator, coming off of one term in his state Senate, and he’s never been a diplomat, in the military, or a leader, or held any position of management in his career….. perhaps that’s why he’s inexperienced…. he’s just too young and his resume is lacking!

And I noticed at the top of your page, about the flooding in Florida….. have you considered that the government simply learned a valuable lesson from Katrina…. that in the future they need not let local state emergency systems take care of themselves, because obviously not all states are prepared to take care of themselves? If we do learn from our past mistakes, we shouldn’t take offense to that!!!

I hope you do not take offense to this, I’m just hoping to maybe give you a different viewpoint to ponder upon…” – Comment by Ura

Thanks for the feedback Ura,

Here are a few words of clarification for you.

“Just wondering, why is clean and articulate an offense? To me, it would be a compliment.”

I don’t know of any other presidential candidate ever being described as clean and articulate. As I said in the article Mr. Biden had offered an intellectual assessment of his other opponent’s policies and programs. But all he could say about Mr. Obama is clean and articulate. Let’s look at it another way; I work as a database applications developer. If I got my performance review at the end of the year and all it said was that I spent the year being clean and articulate I would be offended. I have created management reports. I have recovered and rebuilt databases that other people thought were irrecoverable. I have created user interfaces for various database applications. And all someone can say about me is that I was clean and articulate. Maybe you would be satisfied with such commentary. But I would find it insulting.

I’m sure if you were normally dirty and incomprehensible with a poor vernacular or poor pronunciation of words then there would be little doubt that you would be happy with such simple words of praise. However, I’m shooting for higher standards of recognition for who I am and what I have accomplished. You might think that I am simply living in a constant state of defensiveness. However, I think that you live in a constant state of denial in an attempt to appear as much of an assimilationist as possible.

“And I do believe that Mr. Obama is inexperienced…he’s just too young and his resume is lacking!”

When have you ever looked at Mr. Obama’s resume? If Mr. Obama did nothing but serve as a first time Senator of the United States then I might be willing to buy your argument. But you will forgive me if I say that your comment sounds like something you may have heard from a political expert or one of Mr. Obama’s opponents. A U.S. Senator is in itself a position of leadership. Most people like your self will dismiss this fact. But if that’s truly not enough the fact that he served as president of the Harvard Law Review should help assuage those concerns. But too many people are ready to buy into what they are told about Mr. Obama instead of finding out for themselves. When a person doesn’t bother to learn anything about someone else, it’s easy to say that others don’t have any experience.

When it comes to the presidency of the country, everybody is inexperienced. No one running for President at the moment has any presidential experience. Mr. Obama happens to have just as much experience as any other Senator including John McCain and Joe Biden. Why is it an issue for Mr. Obama? Add the fact that the most experienced person for President is George Bush, Jr., I really don’t think experience is the primary concern here. Mr. Bush is more experienced than anyone with the sole exception of Bill Clinton. However, Mr. Bush is also the most incompetent President this country was ever doomed to suffer. Mr. Bush proves experience isn’t all that and judgment should be a far greater consideration.

“…about the flooding in Florida….. have you considered that the government simply learned a valuable lesson from Katrina…”

The government learned valuable lessons from Katrina? Like what, don’t wait too long to fish people out of water? That doesn’t sound like something that needed to be learned. I think that’s common sense. No disaster experienced by this country prior and no disaster ever since has ever been handled so abysmally. Anyone who thinks that the American government had to learn that it shouldn’t wait four days to get food, water, medicine, and some form of relief to American citizens is truly fooling themselves. It was not a mistake. It was a coldly calculated decision not to help black citizens of this nation to the fullest extent that our government is capable of.

If anybody learned anything during the Katrina debacle, it should have been black people. We should have finally learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that the members of the dominant community do not care to help black people. Black people who want to pretend that Katrina and the government’s response was just a matter of confusion and learning lessons for handling disasters are drinking so much propaganda ladened kool-aid in a serious single effort to fool themselves. We should have learned the lessons of Katrina. Unfortunately, we choose not to. For many of us, it will take much more than that to wake us up. And by then it will be much too late.

“I hope you do not take offense to this, I’m just hoping to maybe give you a different viewpoint to ponder upon…..”

I take no offense to you and your attempt to offer a different viewpoint. But just like a house Negro would more than likely have a different perspective of the white plantation owner than a field Negro, it is obvious that the two of us have totally different understandings as to what is happening in the black community’s relationship with the racially generic dominant society that is predominantly white. Your words sound like the parroted, empty words of someone else. I hope you do not take offense to my viewpoint of your viewpoints.


Thursday, August 28, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black People, Democrats, Joe Biden, Life, Politics, Thoughts | 12 Comments

The Center Of The Black Community

“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.”Regular Brotha

It’s wonderful that some people take time out of their busy lives to go and volunteer at the community center. There are a lot of black children who can benefit from such personal sacrifice for a few hours a week, a month, or whatever. More people should be so motivated. And after the few hours are done, the volunteer can go home knowing that they made a change in a child’s life or in children’s lives at least for a few hours. Such sacrifice can be its own reward, but it helps just a little bit more when you win something as noteworthy as the Volunteer of the Year recognition from the community center. Then again, if you’re the only volunteer showing up for weeks on end, you’re a shoe in for the award.

I have to confess that it has been years since I’ve volunteered my time in such ways. But one thing I must say in my defense is that while some are volunteering at the community center, I choose to live in the center of the black community. Being able to play games and entertain children for a few hours is nice. But living in the neighborhood with a number of underprivileged black children it can be considerably helpful to be one of the steadily dwindling number of black professionals in the black neighborhood, to be a neighborhood role model, rather than the weekend only role model.

Case in point, sometime ago a single black mother in the apartment next door decided she was going to go under her car and change her starter out herself. I have to give this woman some serious credit because I have difficulty trusting myself to change my oil correctly. I’ve done it a couple of times. But I have no confidence in my automotive mechanic skills and will stress myself out constantly worrying if I did it right. But this woman was under her car replacing her starter trying to save some money. The woman had two sons who were playing with other children in the alleyway. One looked about twelve, the other was walking and climbing but still in diapers. The younger started to climb a leaning chain linked fence. He climbed to the top and was doing his best to reach the tree just an adult’s arm length away. However, junior looked inevitably like he was going to fall. Mom was under the car working so I called out to the little boy’s older brother who was playing with some of the other kids his age.

Hey! Is that your brother climbing that fence?
Doesn’t he look like he might hurt himself?
My mom is right there.
She’s under the car and looks kind of busy. Why don’t you help her out by watching your little brother for her? I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.

The older brother took his little brother down and actually started looking out for him. Do I need a cookie? While it would be nice to have one right now, that’s not even close to being necessary. It’s not even necessary to get an award at the end of year. The fact that I can help teach a kid in my neighborhood about taking responsibility for caring for his little brother is just a little thing that helps make the black community a little better. Black people who chose to stay in the black community don’t get rewards for making the sacrifice to do what’s right for the black community. When we see the kids in our neighborhoods throwing rocks into a neighbor’s garage, looking for something to do because the nearest community center is about three miles away, we are there to stop them and make them realize that not only are they doing something wrong, but there are other people watching them.

They don’t give awards for people who sleep in the center of the black community at night, who wake up in the middle of sleeping to hear gunshots outside and press local politicians to take responsibility for cleaning up the community the way they promised when they were trying to be elected or trying to stay in office. However, I really don’t think that this type of strategy to help counter some of the social problems of the black community makes me a hypocrite. In fact, I suffer no doubt that I’m being hypocritical at all.

“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 [challenged] by OUR culture.” – Regular Brotha

Glad to hear it. But, I’m willing to bet that it wasn’t just the neighborhood kids whose shields came down. I don’t even think they had a shield. I believe the author of this comment, Regular Brotha, was the one who dropped his shield. Once he spent a little time with the people he realized they aren’t as bad as our culture describes black people in general. This is the same man who claims that other black people are inspired “…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 [you’re] looking down on me?” He also wrote, “I know what I see and I know what a mean mug is when I see it.”

This is the kind of thing that happens when we don’t bother to live amongst each other in a black community. Chances are good that if Mr. Brotha actually talked to those white T-shirt wearing brothers he would find out that they aren’t the thugs that he has been previously programmed to think they are. If Mr. Brotha got to know other black people he wouldn’t be so quick to judge them through the lens that the dominant community has defined black people to be. Without knowing any thing about other black people this black man reads other black people’s thoughts and can determine that all these other black people are ridiculing him. That sound like some pretty narcissistic paranoia.

When we take a moment to talk to each other we can learn who each other are and what each other are thinking and feeling. Like the girl in the original quote above we should have the gumption to talk to each other and ask questions instead of making propaganda fueled assumptions about how some black people hate other black people because they wear slacks. And when black people live in the center of the black community we can learn so much more about our other black brothers and sisters that no amount of propaganda can drive a wedge in between us. Black people should have an affiliation with each other, instead of just standing back and making asinine guesses as to who they are and what they are thinking. I can learn the conditions of the black community better when I live in the black community and not just by what I hear or read or learn through the filter of the dominant community. Volunteering at the community center for a few hours a week is really a good thing. But there is nothing better than black people actually living in the center of the black community if we are to rebuild the black community.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black Men, Black People, Life, Philosophy, Thoughts | 11 Comments

Nothing More Than A Glitch

The meeting room at the Lima, Ohio police department on the evening of January 4, 2008.

Okay people listen up. We have a warrant for the arrest of Anthony Terry, thirty one, suspected of drug distribution. We’re having trouble trying to find Mr., and I use the term loosely, Terry. However, we believe he’s hiding at and/or operating out of his girlfriend’s house. Her name is Ms., another loose term, Tarika Wilson. She has a history of crack possession. Four years ago she was arrested in a drug bust that netted…oh my goodness…a whopping eight ounces of crack.

The officers chuckled slightly at the sarcasm.

We have a search warrant for the girlfriend’s house that we’re going to execute tonight. And I use the term “execute” very precisely.

There was more laughter from the team.

We haven’t done any real police work on this. We haven’t had the house under any kind of surveillance, so we don’t know our elbows from our shit holes as to whether or not Anthony Terry is actually there or not. So tonight we’re going to go in and find out what’s really happening there. And one more thing, Tarika Wilson is black, possibly Latino. The address is 218 East Third Street. We are going to go into the black community.

Suddenly the crowd of seasoned SWAT veterans gasped in shock terror. One of them raised their hand to ask a question.

Sir, this sounds dangerous and I’m afraid!

Hey mister, we’re all afraid. We’re about to go into the black neighborhood with nothing but two dozen men, our semi automatic rifles, police issued Kevlar armor, and permission to kill anything that moves on our side. Like those poor police officers that shot and killed Amadou Diallo for walking with groceries we don’t know if the guy walking out the grocery store has a bag of groceries or a bag of ammunition or a bag of drugs or whatever. We just don’t know and it’s too much of a risk to err on the side of caution. We don’t know what we’ll face in that home. So we are a go for careless and reckless behavior. So forget your training where you’re not supposed to shoot innocent bystanders or children. If it moves, it dies. Repeat! If it moves, it dies. Do we have an understanding?

A mixture of mumbled affirmatives hesitantly came from around the room. There was another question from the group. Officer Parker raised his hand.

Sergeant, do we know if there are any children in the home?

We believe there could be as many as six children in the home. The oldest is about eight and the youngest will be about one.

Shouldn’t we practice some restraint given the possibility of hitting children?

Yeah we could go over there and practice some restraint. We could go over there, ring the doorbell, and ask very politely for Anthony Terry to come out. In fact, why don’t I just call him on my cell phone right now?

There was some nervous laughter as the police sergeant pulled his personal cell phone out of his pocket and held it to his ear without dialing.

Hello? Is Anthony there? Yes, this is the police. We’d appreciate it if he would just come down to the station and give himself up in order to keep some black kids safe.

He quickly put the phone away.

Look people we are talking about a dangerous minority drug dealer with a history of marijuana and cocaine. Even if he’s not in the home we have to do everything possible to show him and the rest of the people in that godforsaken neighborhood that we are tough on black people committing crime. Are little black kids going to get hurt? I really don’t care if you hope they don’t. We have a job to do. So if it moves, it will lose. Got it?

What if she’s holding the baby?

For crying out loud, these are black people! These are hardened criminals! They had over eight ounces of crack when they were busted four years ago. They don’t care about babies. Do you really think that if we go in that house, break the front door down, and throw in a few stun grenades, that a mother of six might run to protect her children? Sure if they are white. But who knows how black people think, especially black people with a history of crime from four years ago?

But Ms. Wilson never had a gun and I’m sure her kids didn’t have guns.

Oh, and you don’t think that they can get one? Listen here Parker, I don’t think you’re up to the job tonight. You’re relieved. Does anybody else have any questions? And please don’t make it a retarded one like black people might be unarmed or don’t we care about black children and babies.

There were no further questions.

Okay people let’s go. And for god’s sake undo those safeties. Remember when in doubt, shoot’em out.

Such must have been the conversation in whatever meeting room the Lima, Ohio police used the night just a few minutes before Tarika Wilson was murdered in cold blood while holding her youngest, trying to comfort the baby just moments before police veteran and senior officer Joe Chavalia, who wrote the manual on the rules for SWAT training decided to do his Barney Fife maneuver, closed his eyes, and pulled the trigger on his riffle to snuff out her life, and potentially the life of the infant. Luckily the baby recovered from the injuries, but the finger had to be amputated. A lifetime reminder of the night the mother was murdered.

I remember watching the 1987 movie RoboCop. There was a scene with Ronny Cox as Dick Jones and Daniel O’Herlihy as the Old Man who ran the corporation. The demonstration of a new police robot had malfunctioned and the robot had killed one of the executives right there in the boardroom in front of everyone.

“Dick, I’m very disappointed!” said the Old Man with anger in his voice.
“I’m sure it’s only a glitch. A temporary setback” said Dick Jones in his most matter of fact.
“You call this a glitch?” The Old Man asked. His anger raised another notch. He continued. “We’re scheduled to begin construction in six months! Your temporary setback could cost us fifty million dollars in interest payments alone!”

When I first saw that scene I thought it was funny. No one could be that callous and uncaring towards another human being. However, my eyes have been opened over the past twenty plus years.

Here we have an instance of an unarmed mother of six being killed by Lima, Ohio’s finest and all people have to say are comments like: She committed a crime so she deserved to be killed. She was stupid enough to hold a baby when police came busting into the room. She should’ve known she was about to die. Do drugs and this is what you get. She should’ve known her boyfriend was up to no good. The poor police officer was in fear of his life.

Actually, this is what black people get. Some people like Robert Downey, Jr. do drugs and they get the leading role in one of the summer’s smash hit movies. Or someone like Tim Allen who can get busted for doing drugs and become one of the biggest stars to never take an acting lesson, at least that’s how it appears from the quality of his acting. Kelsey Grammer can feed his addiction to drugs and alcohol and win a number of Emmys and Golden Globes. All of these people can redeem themselves. But the idea that a black woman can redeem herself is just too farfetched to be entertained as a number of people say in their most matter of fact tone of voice, she deserved to die.

As a national collective, we stand ready to forgive police officers anytime they pull the trigger to kill a black person. All of their training and judgment evaporates in an all encompassing cloud of cowardice when they find themselves pointing their gun at unarmed black people. The black suspect is as good as gone. Would we be so forgiving if it was a black person who said that they killed a police officer out of fear for their life?

Your honor I shot officer McWhitington out of fear that he would recognize me as a black person and not hesitate to kill me out of his own fear. Plus, according to his records from police internal affairs, the fact that he has a history of using his car to mow down black suspects, was investigated three times for shooting unarmed black people. I didn’t know what else to do.

Chances are good that no one would buy that argument from any black person. It is a fail proof defense for use only when going on the offense in the black community. A black person is as good as dead in America.

Monday, August 25, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Obama And Biden

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama has finally let the cat out of his proverbial bag. Senator Joe Biden will be the vice presidential running mate. Like most decisions of presidential politics it could have been better. Like most decisions of presidential politics it could have been a lot worse. What does it mean for the black community? Like most things at our national political level it doesn’t mean anything good for the black community. Like most things at our national political level, there is plenty of evidence to support the supposition that the black community is simply along for the ride.

Many black people were put off when Mr. Biden described his black competitor for the Democratic nomination in the most simplistic of terms as “clean” and “articulate” while delving into carefully constructed, somewhat intellectual reports of the political positions of the other contenders for the nomination like Senator John Edwards and Senator Hillary Clinton. It would be a reasonable assumption to take such a lame description as an indication that he dismissed Mr. Obama as no one to be taken seriously. Was it because Mr. Obama is black? Mr. Biden was also one of the first people to dismiss Mr. Obama as inexperienced and ill prepared

The only other thing that I can think of off the top of my head that could indicate Mr. Biden’s appreciation for issues sensitive to the black community are the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill Hearing that Mr. Biden presided over. Mr. Biden is a long time member of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary and served a number of years as ranking minority member. Mr. Biden was front and center in the Mr. Thomas’ contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings back in 1991. Toward the end of the confirmation hearings, information was leaked to the press regarding an FBI interview with Anita Hill, an attorney who had worked for Mr. Thomas at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ms. Hill was called to testify during the confirmation hearing.

Ms. Hill made a number of allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Thomas. The hearings broke down into a who did what between Mr. Thomas and Ms. Hill. However, Angela Wright, who also worked with Mr. Thomas at the EEOC, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Mr. Thomas had repeatedly made comments to her, much like those he allegedly made to Hill, including pressuring her for dates and commenting on her body. Rose Jourdain testified that Ms. Wright had discussed Mr. Thomas’ behavior with her at the time the incidents occurred, and that she had considered it sexual harassment. In light of the fact that Thomas had testified that he had fired Ms. Wright for calling another employee a faggot, Mr. Biden decided against publicly hearing Ms. Wright’s testimony. There were powerful interests putting enormous pressure into getting Mr. Thomas confirmed quickly to replace Thurgood Marshall. Mr. Biden caved to those pressures and made the controversy look like nothing but a squabble between a bitter black woman and a maligned Supreme Court nominee chosen to continue the legacy of black people being represented in the highest court of our land. The rest is history. And if Mr. Thomas had his way, so would the black community.

With respect to the black community, the choice of Mr. Biden to be the Democrat’s running mate says a lot about our relationship, or more precisely the black community’s lack of a relationship, with the Senator from Illinois. I seriously doubt if the good Senator who would be President actually wants to do harm to the black community. He simply doesn’t think the political strength of the black community is worth the effort of a positive thought. If anyone had a history of making any disparaging remarks or behaviors that would call into question Mr. Obama’s affiliation to people that he really did care about, like his unconditional affinity for the people in the state of Israel, Mr. Obama would not take a chance of taking that kind of hit on his reputation. But there is no danger in raising the ire of black people. Besides, some black people are so stuck on making history they cannot take a moment to pull back from that single tree of thought to see the entire forest of our relationship with Mr. Obama.

Politically speaking Mr. Biden was a choice that the black community can live with. Just like the way the black community had to live with the choice of the ultra conservative Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court for the past seventeen years. It’s the kind of choice the black community has become accustomed to ever since we became a part of the American collective. Very little happens where the perspective of the black community is taken under any consideration. We should be used to this kind of treatment by now.

Sunday, August 24, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black People, Democrats, Joe Biden, Life, News, Philosophy, Politics, Thoughts | 11 Comments

What’s Wrong With Black Unity

I just read a post called What’s Wrong with Blacks from a blogger who calls himself Regular Brotha. The post was inspired by another post called What Is Wrong With Blacks from one of my main sources of inspiration, theblacksentinel. The article by theblacksentinel was in itself inspired by a comment from a web surfer by the name of ladyrm2 who believes that, “The main problem a lot of blacks face in this country is that they must change their personal behaviors and stop expecting the government to solve everything for them…[They] need to discard their victimhood mentality.”

The problem with the original comment from ladyrm2 is that it reinforces the notion that the black community isn’t entitled to the assistance from the government that many in the dominant community enjoys. I actually saw a young brother put this type of thinking into practice. During the State of the Black Union address with Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley, a young black man, either on his way to college or just starting, was on stage saying that he didn’t apply for any government grants or other forms of assistance because he didn’t want a government handout. The audience applauded. However, he thanked Mr. Smiley for making a sizeable donation to his education. The audience applauded again.

It was good that the young man found a financial source, Mr. Smiley, to help him pay for his education. Although I really do have to wonder how many young black people Mr. Smiley will be willing to help in a similar fashion. Not many I’m sure. However, the government has programs to help many Americans obtain an education. Nobody in the dominant community refers to these programs as handouts. But now, young college oriented people in the black community are supposed to feel like victims because we want access to the same programs and benefits the government supplies to other communities.

The post from theblacksentinel reminds us that too often people in the black community have to go to government offices to demand the same considerations that are regularly bestowed on non black communities. People in the black community have to protest in order to get asbestos and lead removed from schools. The black community doesn’t make enough tax contributions to get the same investments in its schools. But we can make more than enough investment to have a police presence in the black community’s midst. Maybe some of those tax dollars from the black community paying for a military defense should be spent on educating the black community. The government’s tardy response to the victims of Katrina, compared to the immediate response to the victims of Fay in Florida, is another indication of the decision to short change the black community. And instead of people in the black community collectively coming together to demand the services that we are entitled to, that the government bestows on others, we are being programmed to think that anyone who expects government services is a victim.

And why are black people being singled out for irresponsible personal behavior? Aren’t there irresponsible non black people as well? In fact, from what I understand about the Russian versus Georgia conflict that is currently in the news, the reason Russia invaded Georgia was because Georgia was emboldened by its affiliation with the Untied States and NATO and invaded South Ossetia. But nevertheless, it doesn’t stop America from pledging a billion dollars to help repair Georgia’s infrastructure. This country would rather take better care of the people on the other side of the world that start wars and push the world towards Armageddon than take care of its very own.

But Regular Brotha has a different opinion of problems. Like ladyrm2, Regular Brotha believes the problem with the black community lies squarely on the black community. As a collective, too many black people do not have the maturity to handle equality. But nobody ever expresses the immaturity of white people to handle their superiority. An infant state of mind exists in the black community.

In order to support his supposition, Regular Brotha talks about the way black men greet each other with phrases like ‘what up boy’ and referring to their home as a crib and listening to songs like Jay-Z’s I Ain’t Ever Growing Up as proof of the black community’s inability to grow up. Black people look at this man and call him a sellout because he wears slacks and a dress shirt.

I don’t know about all this. I mean I do a lot of slack wearing myself. I’ll slip on a Carlton Banks type of outfit to go to work or where ever and I have never had a problem with the other brothers in the black community. In fact, I know a number of brothers in my black neighborhood who wear slacks and dress shirts. The brothers who wear T-shirts have never looked at any of them sideways or up and down or left and right or in and out or any other way. I think black people know some black people have jobs and have to look a little more professional than others. And when it’s the weekend and I don’t have to dress up and I’m wearing a T-shirt or whatever I don’t look at brothers wearing a dress shirt sideways or any other way. For all I know he could be going to a wedding or a funeral or a job or whatever. Who cares? This claim that black people are constantly looking at other black people who are dressed sounds like more propaganda to me.

Regular Brotha talked about the woman he knew who struggles to get her son through school and yet the boy decides not to make an effort. This man wants to take this one example and apply it to the almost forty million black people in America. Why do we insist on generalizing ourselves like this? Are we to believe there isn’t a single white boy living with his single white mother flunking out of school? If so, would we use him as the yardstick for white people’s behavior? No we wouldn’t. Why do we insist on applying the stupidest behavior of one or of a few to all black people? This is what’s truly wrong with the black community.

There are stupid people among us who are black and white. But while the stupid white person is seen as an individual with their own personal flaws, the stupid black person is indicative of all the problems in the general black community. And to add insult to injury, too many black people, black people who really could become an asset to the black community, buy into this propaganda and even conjure up their own stories of sidelong glances from other black people because they want to believe that they are the only black person in the vicinity who has to dress for work. Brothers are probably looking at the Regular Brotha and wondering why is that brother in the slacks looking at me like that.

Instead of black people telling stories about how we are different from the typical black thugs, stories that everyone is ready to accept without question, or the stories explaining how we are different than typical black people because we are that rare exception of black people who have ethics and morals and accept our responsibilities and maturity, we need to be focused on trying to come together as a community once again. It’s all too easy for black people who do well to look down our noses at black people who don’t. That’s what’s wrong with the black community. Yes there are black people who act immature and refuse to do what’s right. But not all of them wear T-shirts. You can find some of these irresponsible homeys in dress slacks as well. All black people have a responsibility to do their best to come together for the good of the black community. Which begs the question, why can’t we? What’s wrong with black unity?

Friday, August 22, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black Men, Black People, Life, Thoughts | 8 Comments

Shopping For Junior Peacemaker

Baby Feet

Last night my little junior Peacemaker had a serious cold. He woke up this morning with raspy breathing. But he had the most beautiful smile on his face. I had just gotten back home from my early morning workout at the gym before heading to work. His mother was changing his diaper and applying some diaper cream to his ass. He looked up at me. I was standing on the other side of the bed so I appeared upside down from his vantage point. He grinned and started to roll over. Mama didn’t stop him and he crawled towards my direction. I had to stop him so his mother could finish dressing him and so I could finish my morning rituals as well. But as I disrobed and got ready for a bath I heard his breathing and didn’t like it. He was going to get a respirator today if I had to travel across the state to get it.

I try to get to work no later than eight thirty in the morning. But I was running just a tad late and I had promised I was going to get his respirator. The Target store right down the street from the office didn’t open until eight and I was there about ten after. I walked to the baby section and picked up his respirator. But then I saw the training potties and I thought I’d pick one of those up as well. And he’s been out growing his pajamas lately so I wanted to see if I could find him another pair. Plenty of stuff for girls but there wasn’t a one piece for boys his size. There were a couple of pajamas that featured the local sports teams. But I wasn’t about to buy anything that would influence my son to have an allegiance to a corporate logo or sports team or any other dominant culture icon that could care less about his welfare or the welfare of the black community. So I was disappointed not to be able to add pajamas to my shopping cart.

I took my purchase to the front and waited my turn in line with the single open cashier in the row of forty registers or so. I stood there and while I was waiting I realized that I loved shopping for my boy. I enjoy providing for him. Just a couple of days earlier I was in the store trying to find some clothing for him sized eighteen months or so. I always said that if I had children I’d buy them clothes so large they’d be able to wear them for years before they had to be replaced. But I was talking out my ass. I enjoy seeing him looking handsome in his striped shirts with little farm animals or his overalls looking like a little farmer.

My sister bought him a couple of Winnie the Pooh outfits and we graciously accepted him. But every time I saw that Pooh logo on his chest I cringed. The Disney Corporation, the owners of the Pooh copyright, couldn’t give a rat’s ass about my son. If anything Disney would be more likely to reinforce the racial stereotypes that prevent black children from being able to develop their own sense of self and identity. Too many black children are growing up thinking they can be the next Cinderella, Snow White, Christopher Robin, or Prince Charming. Too many black people who go to work at the Disney Corporation have to leave their ethnicity at home so they can go to work and be racially generic in the corporate environment that is predominantly white. So I will be glad when we can kick that Pooh shit to the curb.

A little while ago it was junior Peacemaker’s one year birthday. We decided to get him a walker and mama was doing all the online research to see which one got the best reviews. We avoided walkers that were made with any Caucasoid figures. We didn’t want to give him anything that would reinforce the impression that white people are more important than his own ethnicity. If we couldn’t get anything that featured some black characters we didn’t want it. So while she was doing the research, I went to one of the local Toys ‘R’ Us and found a little reversible walker without any characters on it. It had a bevy of colorful thing-a-ma-jigs on it to keep him busy. When we gave it to him on his birthday morning he couldn’t stop playing with it. He got up on it and walked it to one side of the room. He looked like he was pushing a lawnmower. It took him a second, but he figured out to keep walking once he ran out of real estate he had to turn it around and walk the other way. And in the first week that he had it, his confidence in his walking grew tremendously. The pushing arm is reversible so after he’s through using it as a walker it will double as a little wagon for him. This thing is definitely worth two thumbs up.

Like I said before I started buying him clothing. Nothing with any status labels. I see parents buying their babies little versions of status labels and I cringe again. People train their children early to look for cachet when there are generics that are just as good if not better. Little baby sized Caterpillar boots are cute but for what I pay for that crap I can buy my son a closet of shoes that Imelda Marcos would envy. And he doesn’t need to learn the handicap of being a slave to any particular corporation.

So I will continue to enjoy buying baby boy the things he needs and the things we want him to have. His wardrobe grows almost on a weekly basis with all the clothing he gets from his aunts and grandparents. They know how we feel about high profile corporate symbols but sometimes they just can’t help themselves. Mama Peacemaker and I are gracious enough to accept a Pooh outfit every now and then. But if things start getting out of hand we’ll have to take the risk of hurting somebody’s feelings. Baby boy needs to find out who he is first. At this point, the only affiliation he needs is to know that he’s one of the Peacemakers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 Posted by | Life, Thoughts | 17 Comments

Free Credit Report dot COM

Credit Cards

If you’re a television watcher then chances are good that you’ve seen the commercial from Free Credit Report dot COM. There are at least four versions of the commercial I’ve seen. They all feature a guy strumming a guitar while singing about how he took his credit for granted. In one commercial, he didn’t find out that his credit had been messed up by someone who stole his identity until he went to buy a car. With his credit stolen and his rating so poor he could only afford a beat up, partially rusted, fifteen year old Geo Metro. He’s driving away from the dealership with his friends and is too embarrassed when he stops at a light next to some girls in a nice Ford Mustang GT convertible. They laugh at the guy and his friends as they pulled away when the light turn green.

In another commercial the guy had to take a second job to repay all the people who said that he owed them money on his credit report. He’s working at a knock off Captain D’s restaurant in a pirate costume and singing about not knowing his credit was bad. There’s a third commercial that’s not getting too much air time. But in the third one he’s singing because he didn’t know his girlfriend’s credit was messed up and when they went to get an apartment together they couldn’t do it. And in the fourth one he’s trying to buy a bike. Homey needs to chill and quit trying to buy so much stuff he can’t afford.

Talk about the power of persuasion. Don’t let your credit rating go astray. Log on to Free Credit Report and keep track of what other people are doing with your credit so that when you need it you won’t have to work so hard to repair any damage.

People have to understand that the entire credit system is designed to work against the individual to the advantage of the corporation. Corporate America designs a system of credit that is just way too easy to be manipulated and defrauded. This system is so easy to corrupt that all anybody needs to do is to get one of the many credit applications that the credit companies mail out in bulk to people like pizza coupons. The imposter only needs to fill the application out with a change of address and the credit company is more than happy to become the collaborator in the destruction of my credit. Somebody with my credit can buy things that I could only dream of. And then it becomes my problem.

If the mortgage meltdown has taught me anything is that the whole system of credit is skewed against the black population. Black people with good credit were given the more expensive sub prime mortgages just because somebody felt that they should be making more money off of black people. Maybe black people who are buying a house should have shopped around for a creditor. But I know without a doubt that some black people are so happy just to get somebody to take their application that the thought of shopping around just isn’t an option.

As much as possible we need to kick the credit card to the curb and do things the old fashioned way. Wait until we can afford it, put it in law away, or simply do without. Personally, I really like the idea of doing without until one can actually afford it. Not only do you avoid enriching somebody else for loaning you their money, you’re actually assured not to get in to too much financial trouble. Monthly payments for anything can easily hide how much you can pay for something. These days, car payments can be stretched out for as long as seven and eight years. Or you can lease a car for a few years, give it back, and have nothing to show for it. A lot of people who lease like the idea of getting a new car every handful of years. But people like me like the idea of not having a car payment.

If somebody uses my name to cheat some lending institution out of thousands of dollars then that is between the lender and the imposter. I had nothing to do with it and there is no way in hell I’m going to take responsibility for it. I am doing fine without a credit card. I will do fine saving up my cash to buy my next car. It may not be the latest with DVD encoded satellite navigation with the downloadable MP3 stereophonic sound system with forty speakers and xenon enhanced nitrous encoded backlights. The stuff they put in cars these days sounds like the techno babble from a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. I’ll do fine with what I can afford.

I plan to do my next house the same way. I will buy a fixer upper for cash. After I buy it, I might have to spend some time just getting it up to code so I can live in it while I continue to repair it. But, that’s okay because when I am through repairing it, it will belong to my family and me and not to the bank or anybody on Wall Street. If any lender wants to give somebody who pretends to be me any money then that’s between them. I do not have a thing to do with it. My credit is not my name and vice-versa.  I don’t have the time or the desire to protect a credit report that is so easily corrupted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Life, Thoughts | 6 Comments