brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

By Default Black People Are Not Included

image4772161x1

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the first African American to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, is catching a lot of attention for making the suggestion that people take advantage of Black History Month to begin a dialogue about race and referring to the United States as a nation of cowards for not discussing the country’s history and continued tolerance for race disparity.

In an address to Justice Department workers, Mr. Holder said that they have a special responsibility to acknowledge social limits and to push past them.  Mr. Holder told employees that the level of social interaction among people of different races is bleak and that it in many ways does not differ significantly from the country that existed fifty years ago.  The fact that within a few short decades, demographic changes will result in no single racial majority only underscore the need for openness and, in some cases, confrontation on issues that separate people.  And just like clock work, social conservatives jumped on their soapbox and used whatever resources they could muster to make Mr. Holders attempt at breaching the racial divide an act of American heresy.

I heard that uber conservative Pat Buchanan and one of my favorite peeps on racial matters Professor Eric Michael Dyson were on Hardball With Chris Matthews to discuss Mr. Holder’s comments.  I went to YouTube to see if I could find a copy of the show.  I really didn’t have time to see it all because if I did, I would’ve been late for work.  But, after about fifteen seconds of watching the two guests I had enough to realize that if Mr. Buchanan was any indication, any talk about talking about race would fail because of the conditions the dominant community has defined for black and white relations from the first moment that black people set foot on American soil shackled in white people’s chains.

Mr. Buchanan was outraged that Mr. Holder would call white people cowards.  Black people are the ones separating themselves from America.  There are the black beauty pageants and the Negro League and the United Negro College Fund and the black caucus and all of these institutions developed for black people.  Never mind the fact that these institutions were developed because white people were excluding black people from participating in the standard beauty pageants, baseball leagues, and the like.  Black churches were developed because black people were not allowed to pray to white people’s god in white people’s vicinity.  These institutions were developed because of white people’s need to keep separate from black people.

There are periods in American history white people were free to put up signs saying white only.  Coloreds had to make due with other arrangements.  But now black people are the problem.  This is nothing new.  I’ve written about this a few times before.  Many people who are sensitive to the need for racial equality and the many manifestation of racial disparity have written about this subject.

But what was different this time, at least for me, was that Mr. Buchanan admitted that the United States, by default, is intended to be a country of the white, by the white, and for the white unless explicitly stated as something else.  Mr. Holder said that the United States is a nation of cowards.  Mr. Holder did not say that the United States is a nation of white cowards.  Mr. Holder did not say that white America needs to come to terms with race.  Mr. Holder never mentioned white people.

However, Mr. Buchanan understands that it is natural to hear the standard and to know that it only applies to the white people in this country.  So when we hear United States beauty pageant, we know that this is an institution designed and developed for the white community.  When we hear about other integral parts of American culture we know that this as white America as surely we know baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie.  The term “all American boy” invokes the image of a young white male, it is implied that this is a reference to the white community.

So when we hear about the beauty contest or the institution for education, we know it is an institution targeted to the white community first and then black people who want to participate and play by white people’s rules.

When we invoke the name America, or the name United States, some people, like Mr. Buchanan, automatically translate this to white only.  We are not talking about black people.  Black people are excluded.  He admitted as much when he said that the term United States is a reference to white only.  If black people want to be included, we have to make sure it is understood unequivocally, without the least bit of confusion.  Obviously, black people are not the only ones who separate the black community from the United States.

Friday, February 20, 2009 Posted by | Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black People, Life, Pat Buchanan, Racism | 9 Comments

Partners Not Opponents

dancing

The last thing I see when I see a black woman is my opponent.  The first thing I see when I am in the presence of a black woman is an ally.  My first inclination is someone who shares my strengths and weaknesses, my joys and pains, my likes and dislikes, my future and my past.  At least, that is what I see when I meet black women.  If I’m fortunate enough to start a conversation with a black woman, I will learn whether or not any of my assumptions hold water.  The last thing I see is someone who is beneath me, a black man.  When I see a sister on the street, the last thing I see is someone that needs to submit to my will.

Recently, maybe a few months ago, I wrote an article titled Elk Snout Mayor For Vice President about my misfortune of discussing politics with a black woman at work who I discovered was a staunch supporter of everything Republican having voted for George Bush to be President twice.  The woman was unsure whether or not she would be voting for then Illinois Senator Barack Obama or Arizona Senator John McCain.  When Mr. McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin the woman made the choice right then and there to vote Republican again.  I was seriously disappointed.  But now that I had a better idea of who or what I was dealing with, I understood that we weren’t two black people with the same goals but two people who happen to share an ethnicity and little more.

When Mr. Obama made his Father’s Day statements that were thick with the perception that black fathers are somehow less responsible than fathers of other ethnicities and cultures, my friend responded with one of her rare moments of support for the black candidate.  My friend had a seriously low opinion of black men.  She was a single mother with a son whose father abandoned the two a long time ago.  I asked her about her choice of partners to copulate with, what attracted her to him.  He was tall, he was fair skinned with a good grade of hair, he had an attractive build, and he had an air of excitement.  Never once did I hear her say anything like he was responsible, he was intelligent, he showed courage to do what was right, or he was family oriented.  This woman was ready to use her experience with this man as the prime definition of what it meant to have a relationship with a black man.  So when Mr. Obama says black men need to be more responsible, she was simply too supportive of that single perception.

I wrote another article about Good Orgasms.  In it, I made reference to a black young lady back in college who made a decision that led to her having a child with a young black man who was a sexual predator.  No doubt, this was a woman who also felt black men were irresponsible.

Both of these black women feel the need to define their problem of being single mothers as the product of trying to have a relationship with black men who failed to appreciate these women for who they are.  But whether or not these women can lay the blame for their choices solely at the feet of black men is a matter of contention.  They can’t even lay blame for their choices on the poor excuses for the black men they chose for themselves.  They both made the choice to have a relationship with black men who were less than ideal partners for the development of a meaningful relationship.  They both chose to have relationships with men who did not value them as meaningful partners.  But by no means does this type of behavior define all black men or all black women or all black relationships.

Nevertheless, a powerful force is being used to promote an idea into the minds of young impressionable black people the notion that black people should not, must not, and cannot unite in any reasonable fashion to take the black community into the future.  Where can this notion manifest itself best than in the idea that black men do not see black women as equals in our struggle for equality?  A house divided cannot and will not stand.  Ever since black people have been brought to this land against their will, black men and black women have been programmed to see each other as scapegoats for the failures of the black community.

Right now, the overwhelmingly negative misogynistic and antisocial behavior of the black community’s hip hop phenomenon is the only flavor of the black community some people can see.  And all too often, this image has been carefully nurtured by the racially generic dominant community that is predominantly white to help project a negative perception of black people in general.  A black man that disrespects black women is promoted as a new musical phenomenon by the music industry.  Images of blacks as people with questionable ethics and morals are constantly being promoted throughout fictional and actual media broadcastings.  And instead of us turning our attention on the music industry or the movie industry or whatever you may have that promotes these images and helps to shape the idea of what it means to be black in America, we turn our wrath on each other.

The black community sits inert as people focus on such phenomenon as black on black crime and HIV/AIDS running rampant through the black community without ever hearing what the relative numbers are for white on white crime or for what the HIV/AIDS numbers are in the white community.  Too many black fathers are not participating in their children’s lives?  Interestingly we never hear what the numbers are for white men not participating in their children’s lives.  Anything that is promoted as a black problem is consumed hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, waders, boat, pier, dock, and etcetera.  If it is about black people it must be true.

Black women feel that black men do not respect them.  It should be no surprise that black men feel the same way.  Too many black men want to promote the idea that black women are difficult to get along with and life is just easier and sweeter with a white woman.  I don’t buy that malarkey either.  Not to say that some black men do not have it rough with black women or vice versa.  If anything we should take those rough times and learn from them so that we can build better relationships the next time.  Certain brothers are a headache.  Black women should take the lessons learned from the bad relationship and apply them to a new relationship.

When black people make general statements about other black people we do the racist propaganda for the dominant community for them automatically.  I refer to this as racism on cruise control.  I hate to see people from the dominant community used general statements to describe black people.  I hate it even more when black people support negative stereotypes about other black people simply because they had a bad experience with another black person or a series of bad experiences with other black people.  We don’t like it when we are collectively simplified into a single caricature of behavior.  We should refrain from simplifying each other so.

If a black woman learns from her experience with a black man that black men use their penis as some kind of weapon then she should learn to use her head as a shield for protection.  Use your head to think about what you’re getting into and you will not have to suffer that wrath again.  Brothers don’t like sisters that are emasculating?  Don’t get with emasculating sisters would be my first word of advice.  Black people need to think more about our behavior and our choices that leads us to other black people who may do us wrong.  When we discover that our choices are not right for us we should remove ourselves from the situation.   But we should refrain from blaming other black people for our poor choices, especially when we use other black people to justify the choice to separate ourselves from the black community.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black Men, Black People, Black Women, Life, Thoughts | 17 Comments

Young James T. Kirk

startrekshield

I have never missed the new release of a movie based on Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future known around the universe as the world of Star Trek.  From the release of the first film Star Trek: The Motion Picture with the original cast whose greatest claim to fame is that they played the main characters to the original series, to the last film featuring the Next Generation cast in Star Trek: Nemesis when Commander Data was destroyed while trying to stop Captain Picard’s alleged body double, I was there.  If I wasn’t there the very day the movie was released I can guarantee you that I was there within a week of the release, happily giving my money.

The actors playing Captain Kirk and his plucky shipmates are far too old, if not far too dead, to reprise the roles they made famous.  So the latest version of the original starship Enterprise, serial number NCC-1701, will launch with an all new cast.  I saw the trailer of the new movie.

The trailer started with James Tiberius Kirk looking like he might have been all of eleven years old, give or take a year, in the twenty third century driving a second generation convertible Chevrolet Corvette being chased by police officer on a floating motorcycle.  Little James Kirk, played by child actor Jimmy Bennett, drives the car off of a cliff and barely escapes with his life.  He is defiant and he is a troubled youth.  In the next scene James Kirk is a little older and rides his old fashioned wheeled motorcycle to an assembly area where the brand new Constitution class starship Enterprise is being put together.  The rest is Star Trek history.  James Kirk straightens up and becomes the most successful captain in Starfleet, the multipurpose defense, research, and exploration arm of the Federation.

Star Trek wants to portray James Kirk as a wayward kid who managed to straighten up and fly right.  Wayward kids turning themselves around are pretty common when the story is about a white kid.  It’s a good thing that this new version of Star Trek didn’t have James T. Kirk depicted as a black kid in the twenty first century stealing cars in Florida.  Otherwise, he’d be sentenced to a boot camp where he stands the chance of being murdered by the camp guards while the camp nurse looked on with approval.  But that would be okay for many people who believe black people are beyond redemption.

Consistently we are presented stories of menacing white youths who able to change their lives around with just a little well placed guidance.  But menacing black youths are beyond salvation.  Why else would so many people excuse and even celebrate the abuse, even the murder, of black children by so many agents of authority.  Why?  Could it be that we rarely see black youths, black people, finding salvation?  Could it be that we are only fed the image of black people rarely changing off their path of self inflicted destruction and annihilation?

Terminator, War Games, Manhattan Project, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Breakfast Club, Lost In Space, Juno, Soul Man, American Beauty, American Graffiti, Never Back Down, the Covenant, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Hard Candy, Vamp, The Craft, My Bodyguard, Peter Fucking Pan, and many others.  Twilight, the hottest movie out right now is about a young white vampire in love.  As long as he or she is white, our racially generic but predominantly controlled by white people culture is more willing to cut a bloodsucking night crawler some slack before we would give a young black person a break.  The latest version of Star Trek seems to follow the tried and true formula of making a great hero out of some troubled white youth who will come through in a pinch when the greater good is at stake.

I would imagine that when the police officer on the floating bike saw the little white boy James Kirk he saw some potential.  When the police officer took James Kirk to wherever little thugs go in the twenty third century, somebody there saw the potential of the little white boy being brought to their custody.  We are being programmed to give troubled white youths every opportunity to succeed.  This latest version of Star Trek is just another in a long line that reinforces the notion that we should look at the bigger picture and tolerate the insolence of white children.

But we all know that had that been a little black boy climbing away from wrecking that three hundred year old Chevy some of us wouldn’t bat an eye if the cop thought he saw a shiny object in his hand, pulled out his phaser, and blew him away out of fear of a black person.  We wouldn’t think nothing of the cop of the future pulled out his baton and started beating an eleven year old black kid for resisting arrest.  Some of us would even go so far as to celebrate if the wannabe Judge Dred on the floating bike had simply dispensed some twenty third century justice and blew the little juvenile offender away regardless if there was a shiny object in his hand or not.  Misbehaving black children are nothing but thugs.  Everybody knows that.

Saturday, December 6, 2008 Posted by | Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black Men, Life, Martin Lee Anderson, Racism, Shelwanda Riley, Star Trek, Thoughts | 3 Comments

The Obama Prophecy

I wish I had some kind of graphics manipulation software, and the time to learn it, so I can put together a picture of Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain in a Nazi uniform replete with swastikas and doing the hail Hitler salute with Cindy McCain at his back looking like Eva Braun in her own Gestapo getup.  Although Mr. McCain is far from being my first choice as President of the United States, I would mean no offense to Mr. McCain or his wife Cindy.  Although the McCains would be the subject of the touched up photography, my real intent is to get a reaction from people who insist that the racist and misleading portrayals of Senator Barack Obama as anything but a red blooded, stars and stripes flag waving American.

No person running for President has ever been so disrespected as Mr. Obama.  So many people have placed so much emphasis on his middle name Hussein as if it is evidence of his otherness.  People claim that they have read so much about Mr. Obama being an Arab and a Muslim.  Mr. Obama is not an American citizen because he wasn’t born in America, in Honolulu, Hawaii like his birth certificate says but in Baghdad, Iraq or some other nonsense that has no place in this political race.

Mr. McCain’s vice presidential nominee running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, claims that she read in the New York Times that Mr. Obama wants to associate himself with terrorist such as the recently remade infamous Bill Ayers in order to facilitate America’s decline.  It’s just my opinion but no terrorist could ever do as much damage to America as President George W. Bush has done with his bone headed policies.  It’s a fine time for America to get picky about who is going to do what to ruin this country.  Talk about closing the barn door after the horses left.  If only Ms. Palin had a sincere love of gathering information and would do more reading she would learn to differentiate between baseless conjecture and actual facts.  Just because something is read somewhere doesn’t mean it is true.  For example, Ms. Palin is a nice person.  Just because I wrote it and you read it here does not negate who Ms. Palin really is.

Every politician should be expected to be caricatured in countless ways.  But the turban wearing caricature of Mr. Obama reaches new heights of race based tastelessness.  It brings to mind the old Warner Brothers cartoons with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck pitting their wits with a slant eyed, slack-jawed Japanese soldier on some Pacific island jungle.  Or how about the Popeye cartoon where the one eyed, corn cob pipe toting, spinach eating with instant steroid-like muscle enhancements, sailor is in the jungles of Africa fighting against entire tribes of bone in the nose, overdosed collagen lipped Africans intent on sacrificing Olive to their local volcano.  These particular cartoon episodes were deemed so racially insensitive that they were pulled from public broadcasting long before the rest of the cartoon series were canned.

But now we can sit back and allow the pot of racial animosity to be stirred up again to levels so racially and ethically insensitive with cartoons that some people want to dismiss as nothing more than jovial pranks like the hanging of nooses in a public square by white people as a friendly reminder to black people of the social status quo.  I wonder if everyone would see the humor of the depiction of John McCain as a closet Hitler admirer would be taken in such stride by the same people.  Or how about the image of John McCain as one of those dueling banjo players that reside in the Appalachians of Georgia made famous in the movie Deliverance.  That would certainly be a hoot.

I don’t particularly care to see Mr. Obama depicted as a cheesing Muslim sambo on a derogatory billboard.  It is a slight to Mr. Obama.  It is a slight to people of the Muslim or Islamic community for it implies that they do not belong here in America.  It also implies that Americans with unorthodox names like Hussein are not to be trusted.  And the more the Obama supporters complains about such racist campaigning the more the supporters of Mr. McCain will say the Obama supporters are simply trying to play the race card from the bottom of the deck.

Mr. Obama predicted as much months ago.  It was Mr. Obama who said, “Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face.  So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me.  You know, he’s not patriotic enough.  He’s got a funny name, you know.  He doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on the dollar bills.”

People gave Mr. Obama so much static.  People accused Mr. Obama of trying to inject a little racial victimization into the race for the presidency.  A lot of people accused the Democratic nominee of playing the old “they don’t like me because I’m black” routine.  But with virtually little chance of being wrong, it turned out to be nothing more than just a prophecy of things to come in this political race where desperate people will not hesitate to play the ace of spaces of all race cards.  Desperate times call for desperate, and racist, measures.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black Men, Black People, Democrats, John McCain, Life, Politics, Racism, Republicans, Thoughts | 4 Comments

Greener Pastures

Last night I was dreaming of Osun.  I was sleeping in an all white bed in an all white room when my partner told me Osun was on the phone.  I reached for the all white receiver and when I said hello Osun appeared in the chair right next to the bed.  She was truly stunning.  Her hair was jet black and she had it in a loose bun on top of her head with strands hanging down framing her face.  She had golden irises and some of the fullest lips I’ve ever seen done in a golden lipstick.  Her skin was a smooth medium brown.  She was saying something to me that I didn’t quite understand.  She was upset because someone had made a comment about her lips.  There was water falling out of the mirror that hung over the sink in the all white bathroom next to the bedroom.

Suddenly my partner was waking me up in real time.  It was one o’clock in the morning.  Somebody was trying to steal our minivan.  I was instantly awake and out the door.  The minivan was in its designated parking space in the little lot right off the alley in the back of the apartment building.  The doors were unlocked.  There was a brick sitting on the dashboard.  The steering column was smashed.  The papers that were in the glove box were strewn around the shotgun seat.  The windows were not smashed.  The doors were not broken.  It looks like we may have left the van unlocked and the would be thief saw an opportunity.  We believe the only thing that saved our van was that the would be thief found our Esu that we keep in our car and was suddenly seized with fear.  Esu had been pulled out of his space and unwrapped.  What ever it was we were thankful.  The minivan suffered a little damage.  But it was better than replacing an entire minivan and whatever else we may have lost like baby boy’s car seat.

The next morning we got in the minivan getting ready to drop me off at work.  The minivan started and immediately died.  We tried it again, feathered the accelerator, and it died.  We tried it another time.  The vehicle’s engine wouldn’t even turn over.  Our minivan was dead as a door nail.  We went back inside and called the body shop.  It turns out the minivan not starting is an anti theft feature.  The steering column didn’t look that bad.  The keyhole for the ignition had scratches but was intact.  But the damage it did suffer was enough to make it shut down.  A tow truck took the minivan away to the body shop just around the corner and I had to catch the bus to work.  I was three hours late.  The bill is expected to run just over five hundred dollars.  I was fucking livid.

I worked hard to save and buy my minivan and some selfish bastard who didn’t give a rat’s ass about other people’s property has now cost me five hundred dollars.  More than likely, in my neighborhood, this was a black person.  More than likely this was the type of black person that many people like to use as the model for black behavior.  However, nothing can be further from the truth.  This is just one depraved individual in an entire neighborhood of people who were more than happy to leave our minivan alone and let us keep it.

If I was to follow standard operating procedure I would condemn the entire black community for the poor judgment of one individual.  I would start saying something that runs along the line of this is the type of thing one needs to expect living in the black neighborhood.  I’m supposed to go and tell all my neighbors that I’ve had it trying to do something positive for the black community and I need to make a fresh start somewhere else, somewhere that isn’t as black.  That way, I can feel better about moving my family to a much safer environment, possibly a formerly all white neighborhood.  I can do the George Jefferson and take my partner “Louise” to move on up the eastside.  But the fact of the matter is that crime is a fundamental part of life in America no matter what neighborhood you live in.

Case in point, I have a brother who lives in a major metropolitan area in the southeast.  He moved his family out of the city into the suburbs and he bought him and his family a nice little corner spread.  He was one of the first black people in his new neighborhood.  His family felt a lot safer in their new digs.

One day my brother went out to his Toyota sport utility vehicle one early morning to go to work.  He got in, turned the key, and his car made the loudest racket ever.  He must have triggered every car alarm in the county.  He quickly turned off his engine, got out, and looked up under the car.  His catalytic converter had been pilfered.  He was pissed.  According to the demographics of his neighborhood, my brother was the victim of some white thief.  While I may have been a random victim of a crime of opportunity by one of my black neighbors who may have taken advantage of my oversight in a classic example of black on black crime, my brother may have been the intended target of a crime by his white neighbors in a classic example of white on black crime.  And for what he paid for putting his Toyota back together, I can do two more trips to the body shop with the minivan.

But even with all of this taken into consideration I’d be willing to bet my brother would never think to get his family out of his virtually all white neighborhood in order to get somewhere else more safe.  I really don’t think such conclusion jumping thinking should apply in my circumstance as well.  The would be minivan thief in the black neighborhood is no more indicative of all black people as the successful catalytic converter collector in my brother’s neighborhood is indicative of all white people in the predominantly white neighborhood.  More of us should learn to keep things in perspective instead of jumping the proverbial ship that is the black neighborhood at the first transgression.  The grass isn’t necessarily any greener on the less black side of the fence.

Friday, October 10, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black Men, Black On Black Crime, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts, White On Black Crime | 4 Comments

European Images Of Beauty

There is a commercial that has a little white girl walking by a billboard with an extremely thin white woman modeling black bikini underwear.  The girl stops and takes a look at the billboard.  From the perspective of the viewing audience we are suddenly pulled into the bikini clad billboard to see another billboard of a close up of a photogenic white woman with professionally applied makeup.  Without stopping we’re pulled into that billboard to see another billboard of another bikini clad, thin but athletic white woman.  And after that we’re pulled into another billboard of a white woman in bikini clad underwear caught running along the beach.  We are pulled through into another billboard of an image of a white woman barely dressed, and then another billboard of a white woman in makeup, and the process is repeated over and over again with young women with standards of beauty from a European perspective.

The images stop.  The commercial suddenly shows the little white girl sitting on a couch in a living room.  The little girl is apparently unhappy and looking a little insecure with herself.  She is wearing baggy clothes and is in a pose with her legs pressed against her body trying to minimize how much people can see of her.  A message appears on the screen that says girls are under more pressure than ever.  The commercial is for a self-esteem workshop created by Dove beauty products.

Obviously the concern is that we are feeding our little girls images of beauty and female body standards that not many people can ever hope to achieve.  The images of the women on the billboards have probably been manipulated to make their waist smaller, their bosoms rounder, their stomachs flatter, their legs longer and their smiles whiter among a number of other things.  The little white girl is made to feel inferior and insecure with her own body image.  That’s unfortunate.

But what about the little black girl?  In the Dove commercial, not a single image of an extremely beautiful, obviously black woman was played.  What affect does such propaganda have on the development of the little black girl’s self esteem?  What affect does the constant barrage of white beauty images combined with the absolute lack of black beauty images have on our collective psychological makeup and in the development of our racial relationships?

Little black girls see the same images of European standards of beauty that the little white girl sees and will develop an even more inadequate sense of self esteem over their inability to meet the minimum beauty requirements.  And then we wonder why our beautiful black women spend so much time trying to bleach their skin to appear lighter.  We watch and wonder why so many curvaceous black women work so hard to achieve near anorexic levels of body mass.  It’s why so many black women work so hard and spend so much time trying to transform their naturally kinky hair into something that resembles the covering of a horse’s ass.  Our culture is one that regularly rejects black people for embracing hairstyles that more accurately reflects our ethnicity.  Black women who wear an afro to a job interviews might as well wear a sign around their neck saying angry black ho’.

Generally speaking while white girls have at least something in common with their high fashion white role models.  But black girls are the furthest removed from such images.  And while there may be unreasonably high standards of well known European beauty images paraded in front of the little white girl, there are a large number of other white female role models helping her develop her self esteem.  A white women came very close to clinching the Democratic nomination for the White House, a white woman is currently running for Vice President, and white women operate in both houses of the Congress as well as operating as Governors and other state level capacities.

There are white actresses that run the beauty spectrum from Angela Lansbury to Dakota Fanning.  There are a number of white women in business as chief executive officers such as Carly Fiorina and Arianna Huffington and Meg Whitman of eBay.  But who do black women have to serve as their role model to help them develop their self esteem?  Oprah Winfrey?  The last time Ms. Winfrey did anything to help anyone in the black community develop their self esteem was last never.  I don’t think Ms. Winfrey even knows that she’s black.  Her magazine O is the very epitome of European beauty standards.  But who can blame the rich, formerly black, female billionaire?  Ms. Winfrey is just as much a product of this culture that pretends black people don’t exist as anyone else.  Like most black women, Ms. Winfrey has embraced this culture that plays so heavily to the European standards to the point that she, like many other black celebrities who know their place, will perpetuate the stereotypical images of American beauty and poison the self esteem of little black girls along with little white girls everywhere.

It is wonderful that Dove is taking steps to help little white girls resist the stereotypical images of beauty and accept who they are.  It’s a daunting task considering the broad spectrum of propaganda that oozes from every orifice of media that says conform, consume, and obey.  But given that the restoration of a little girl’s self esteem is an awesome challenge, it pales in comparison to the challenge of helping little black girls develop their sense of self esteem without so much as a single powerful black image to help them not only accept who they are, but to accept their black community as well.

Thursday, October 9, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black Hair, Black in America, Black People, Black Women, Life, Racism, Thoughts | 30 Comments

No AIDS In The White Community

“[The] Black AIDS Institute reported that if African-Americans with HIV/AIDS were their own country, they would make up more HIV/AIDS cases than seven of the countries currently receiving emergency funding for… AIDS. Think about that. There are almost 600,000 African-Americans living with HIV, and there are still 30,000 newly infected cases every year. As things stand now, AIDS remains the leading cause of death among African-American women between the ages of 25 and 34, and the second-leading cause of death among African-American men between 35 and 44 years of age.”

“As Jesse Milan, board chair of the institute, said, ‘When the world wasn’t looking, the AIDS epidemic refused to go away.’ AIDS has always been a disparate African-American problem. Even at the beginning of this epidemic in the United States, when there were only a few thousand cases, more than a quarter of them were among African-Americans.”

“Today, 47% of the HIV cases in the United States are in African Americans, even though African Americans make up only 13% of the population. If you peer deeper into certain cities, you find of all the HIV cases in Washington DC, 80 percent are among African Americans. In Jackson, Mississippi – 84%.”Doctor Sanjay Gupta

Mr. Gupta went on to say that the AIDS rates in the Latino community is also on the rise. Although Hispanics make up about fourteen percent of the population, they account for about twenty two percent of new diagnoses tallied as reported by federal officials in 2006. Mr. Gupta never mentioned what rates or numbers were for the white community or how much of a problem it truly is. It appears that this disease isn’t an issue for the country until it becomes a problem for the non white communities. So I decided to go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for myself to get the information I wanted.

According to the table I found (click here), at the end of 2006 there were 439,693 cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States. Of this total 154,495 cases are in the white community and 191,590 cases are in the black community. That’s a breakdown of 35% for the white community and 44% for the black community.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a state by state breakdown for 2006 (click here for access to all the 2004 tables). I had to go back to the 2004 tables to find a breakdown across the states, District of Columbia, and other United States territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico. While it is true that areas like Washington, D.C. and the state of Maryland can have black infection rates of about eighty percent of all cases, I discovered that states like Montana, Maine, Idaho, and Oregon will have white infection rates that can go as high as ninety percent. Would Mr. Gupta be willing to go public and say that there are areas where white infection rates are so high that they mimic what is happening in some of the worse places in Africa? Would the good doctor be willing to say that the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the white community appears to be just behind the numbers for the black community? Is anybody making the claim that if white people were their own country they would out number six of the countries currently receiving funding for HIV/AIDS?

I went through the numbers and added them all up in a spreadsheet. In between 2001 and 2004, over a four year time span, there were 365,444 new infection cases of HIV/AIDS in the white community and 360,860 cases in the black community, a virtual tie. And yet, at the end of 2006, there are only 154,495 white people living with HIV/AIDS and 191,590 black people with the disease were still alive at the same time. Although the black cases are high, higher than the numbers in the white community, it is far less than the six hundred thousand reported by Mr. Gupta. Nevertheless, it could be assumed that even with more access to better healthcare, more white people appear to be dying from the disease than black people.

But Mr. Gupta was not talking about numbers, he was talking about rates. Black people are only thirteen percent of the population but make up forty four percent of cases. Therefore, black rates are many times that of white people who only make up thirty five percent of cases and about seventy percent of the population. Rates are the only things that matter.

And if Mr. Gupta was truly a man of medicine, which implies he’s a man of science, he might have put some context on these numbers. Poverty plays a large role in the proliferation of this disease. A lack of education and a lack of opportunities play significant roles in the spread of HIV/AIDS. A lack of healthcare and a lack of family planning are huge factors. And all of these contributing factors runneth over in the black community.

But what’s the objective of Mr. Gupta’s story? Is he actually trying to help the black community or is his objective is to reinforce the stereotypical negative sentiment most people associate with black people and our behavior? Where was Mr. Gupta when HIV/AIDS was more prevalent in the white community? Did Mr. Gupta ever do a program where he talked about how the white community is so ravaged? Why is the black community his sole focus for this disease? Are we to believe that white people do not suffer from HIV/AIDS?

And why the focus only on HIV/AIDS? According to the Florida coroner that examined the body of Martin Lee Anderson, latent sickle cell traits are killing fourteen year old black males in boot camps. Why isn’t Mr. Gupta advocating something being done about all of these so-called dangerous latent sickle cell traits? Or how about a little help bringing attention to the black community’s susceptibility to hypertension or diabetes? Better yet, why doesn’t Doctor Gupta do something to help the black community obtain something that resembles racial equality in America instead of contributing to the negative stereotypes that makes the black community the subject of everything bad?

HIV/AIDS is a problem for the entire country. No one should be focusing on any single segment of the population. Any modern man of science who tries to give solace by saying only black people are a problem is a fraud and a quack. Mr. Gupta needs to hang his head in shame.

Monday, August 4, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black Men, Black People, Black Women, CNN, Health, Life, Philosophy, Racism, Thoughts | 9 Comments

What Does It Mean To Be White In America

Hopefully, after reading this, everyone will have a better idea of what it means to be white in America.

Tim Donaghy

NBA referee Tim Donaghy is due back in court for sentencing today. He faces up to 33 months in prison. Last summer, on August 15, 2007, Mr. Donaghy stunned the league by pleading guilty to federal charges that he took payoffs from a professional gambler for inside tips on games, he conspired to engage in wire fraud and transmit betting information through interstate commerce. Since then, Mr. Donaghy has claimed corruption among referees runs deeper, drawing angry denials by the league and demands that he pay hefty restitution. Mr. Donaghy pleaded for leniancy citing a professional analysis that his defense could afford that discovered he would never have committed these offenses if he was not a pathological gambler.

Even though he was fairly compensated by the NBA and enjoyed a truly unique opportunity to be involved with professional basketball without having anything in the way of talent, Mr. Donaghy marred the NBA finals by making fresh accusations that the league routinely encouraged refs to ring up bogus fouls to manipulate results. He also claimed that the league discouraged calling technical fouls on star players to keep them active in games and protect ticket sales and television ratings in order to make even more money for American corporations that already had a virtual monopoly on the ability to generate income from the games.

Court papers argued that Mr. Donaghy deserved leniency for voluntarily disclosing the alleged corruption even though he did not come clean until he was arrested. The documents also refer to one instance claiming referees rigged a 2002 playoff series to generate more revenue by forcing a seven game playoff. Although no teams were mentioned in the documents, only the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings series went to seven games during the 2002 playoffs.

NBA commissioner David Stern has called the allegations baseless since Mr. Donaghy cannot prove his allegations beyond a shadow of a doubt. Mr. Stern accused Mr. Donaghy of “singing” in order to get a lighter sentence. Mr. Stern is obviously implying that Mr. Donaghy should have followed a code of silence and kept the secrets of the league out of the public. Mr. Donaghy also implicated two of his former high school classmates. Mr. Dongahy named James Battista, the professional gambler who paid thousands of dollars for Donaghy’s tips, and Thomas Martino, who acted as a middleman. Both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced last week.

To date, 100% of NBA officials indicted and convicted for gambling have been white.

Fatal Shootings in Tennessee

Jim D. Adkisson, an unemployed trucker, is accused of killing two people and wounding six others during a children’s musical production of Annie at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Sunday morning. A four page letter found in Mr. Adkisson’s truck indicated he picked the church for the attack because he hated the liberal movement of the congregation. The letter is proof positive that Mr. Adkisson made the choice to commit a hate crime. Mr. Adkisson was on welfare and was on the verge of losing his food stamps

The attack Sunday morning lasted only minutes. Mr. Adkisson entered the church during the children’s performance and fired three blasts from his semiautomatic shotgun. The anger behind this attack may have been building for quite a while. It appears his lack of being able to obtain a job combined with his hatred for the liberal movement are two contributing factors. He said that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country. Mr. Adkisson was a loner who admitted that he hated blacks, gays and anyone different from him.

The Unitarian Universalist church advocates women’s rights and gay rights and has provided sanctuary for political refugees. The church also has fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its Web site. The police chief said Mr. Adkisson bought the shotgun at a pawn shop about a month ago, and he wrote the letter in the last week or so. A .38-caliber handgun was found in his home.

To date, 100% of people accused or guilty of church shootings and bombings have been white according to the Cap the Steeple People foundation.

Record Breaking Federal Deficit

The United States government’s budget deficit will surge past a half trillion dollars next year, according to new estimates by the Bush administration. The deficit will hit $482 billion in the 2009 budget year. However, that figure will rise after adding the eighty billion dollars in additional Iraq war funding that is not included in the total. And the estimate could be higher yet if the economy fails to recover as the administration predicts. In a break from tradition, and in violation of new mandates from Congress, the White House did not include its full estimate of war costs. It will be the biggest deficit ever.

The deficit situation confronting the next President in early 2009 is reminiscent of that which Bill Clinton faced in 1993. Under financial pressure from Wall Street, Mr. Clinton abandoned promises of tax cuts and pushed an aggressive tax deficit reduction plan through Congress.

The Bush administration claims that the deficit was being driven to its all time high by the sagging economy and the stimulus payments being made to America’s households in an effort to keep the country from falling into a deep recession. The Bush administration refuses to connect the federal budget deficit to the tax breaks that were a tremendous benefit to wealthy Americans. Regardless, pressure is building to allow some tax cuts enacted early in Mr. Bush’s first term in 2001 and 2003 to expire as scheduled.

Monday’s figures capped a remarkable deterioration in the United States’ budgetary health under Mr. Bush’s time in office. He inherited a budget seen as producing endless huge surpluses after four straight years in positive territory. That stretch of surpluses represented a period when the country’s finances had been bolstered by a ten year period of uninterrupted economic growth, the longest expansion in U.S. history. In his first year in office, helped by projections of continuing surpluses, Mr. Bush drove through a one point three trillion dollar package of tax cuts. On average, Wealthy tax payers received about two hundred forty thousand dollars in tax savings. However, most people’s savings barely passed a thousand dollars.

To date, 100% of the people who have run the executive branch of the United States government have been white.

Lawnmower Man

Keith Walendowski is accused of shooting his Lawn Boy lawn mower because it wouldn’t start. According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Walendowski said, “I can do that, it’s my lawn mower and my yard so I can shoot it if I want.” Mr. Walendowski has been charged with felony possession of a short barreled shotgun or rifle and misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed. A woman who lives at Mr. Walendowski’s house reported the incident saying that he was intoxicated. Mr. Walendowski could face up to an $11,000 fine and six years and three months in prison if convicted.

White people are ninety hundred thirty two times more likely to shoot their lawnmower according to Lawnmower Shooters Monthly.

Poor Parenting Techniques

Dear Dr. Jan,

My wife and I have a loving marriage. We have been through more than our share of hard times. One problem that keeps coming up in our relationship is her eight year old son. He is Oedipal, extremely jealous of any attention his mother gets and inappropriate around her. He touches her breasts and her behind, and constantly tries to invade her space if she’s showering or changing clothes. He also walks nude into the room where she is and touches himself in front of her. I have been trying to tell her these are unnatural behaviors, but she says the boy is just more in touch than his contemporaries and doesn’t hide his curiosity. Who is right?

Stepfather

Dear Stepfather,

What this kid is in touch with is emotional disturbance. To think that the youngster is not hiding his curiosity suggests to me that the mother has oatmeal cookies for brains. Nothing you describe is in the realm of normal child development. You somehow have to get your wife to a session with a child specialist who can convince her that the kid is off the rails. It’s possible she is feeding his neurosis. Believe me, there is nothing customary about a boy who’s in the habit of touching his mother’s breasts and behind and taking every chance he gets to see her naked. Displaying himself and attempting what sounds like masturbation is a red flag for psychiatric intervention. That your wife thinks all this is normal means there are two people in your house who need help.

Dr. Jan

White eight year old boys are four million eighty two times more likely to masturbate in front of their mother without repercussions according to Choking the Monkey Monthly.

Dad Flees With Daughter by Yacht

A divorced father with a murky background snatched his seven year old daughter during a supervised weekend visit and may be trying to flee the country on a 72-foot yacht, police say. Boston police said Tuesday they had no new information on the whereabouts of Clark Rockefeller or his daughter Reigh Boss. Authorities alleged that Mr. Rockefeller, who they said has used several aliases, grabbed the girl Sunday during a visit supervised by a social worker and fled in a vehicle driven by another man. Massachusetts posted an Amber Alert for Reigh, but canceled it Monday after New York City police reported that Rockefeller had been seen the night before at the city’s Grand Central Terminal. Authorities said they believe he may be trying to flee with his daughter Reigh on the yacht, possibly to Bermuda. The New York Police Department Harbor Patrol, the Coast Guard and the FBI searched for the yacht Monday around New York City and Long Island.

Boston police issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Rockefeller on charges of custodial kidnapping. He was also charged with assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon because the social worker was injured while trying to hold onto the vehicle. Reigh lives with her mother, Sandra Boss, who works in London as a partner in global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and who also is on the board of The Mount, Edith Wharton’s estate at Lenox, Massachusetts.

Little has been made public about Mr. Rockefeller’s background. Fraser Seitel, a spokesman for the descendants of John D. Rockefeller Sr., said Clark Rockefeller was not descended from that side of the wealthy family, and added there is no indication the fugitive was descended from William Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller Sr.’s only sibling.

To date, 100% of people who try to kidnap their children by 72-foot yacht in America have been white according to federal yachting statistics.

Prejudice Hiring Practices

Former Justice Department officials broke the law by letting Bush administration politics dictate the hiring of prosecutors, immigration judges and other career government lawyers, according to an internal investigation. For nearly two years Monica Goodling, a top adviser to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, discriminated against applicants for career jobs who weren’t Republican or conservative loyalists. At times, the search for GOP activists delayed filling judgeships and threatened to clog immigration courts. Ms. Goodling routinely asked career job applicants about politics.

Ms. Goodling would ask candidates things such as, what is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him? Other questions to candidates were used to guage their conservative convictions on issues such as abortion or gay marriage.

The investigation was one of several examining accusations that White House political meddling drove prosecution, policy and employment decisions within the once fiercely independent Justice Department. Those charges were spurred initially by the firings of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006 and culminated with Mr. Gonzales’ resignation under fire as attorney general last September. Mr. Gonzales claims that he was unaware of the political hiring process outlined by Ms. Goodling and other Department of Justice officials.

The one hundred forty page report does not indicate whether Ms. Goodling or anyone else could face any charges. But congressional Democrats took aim, raising the possibility they would seek prosecution on a number of fronts, potentially including charges of lying to lawmakers for giving sworn testimony that contradicts Monday’s findings.

In one instance, investigators found that Ms. Goodling objected to hiring an assistant prosecutor in Washington because she said “judging from his resume, he appeared to be a liberal Democrat.” In another example, she rejected an experienced terror prosecutor to work on counterterror issues because of his wife’s political affiliations. She rejected at least one job applicant because of a rumor that she was a lesbian. Ms. Goodling is a former Republican National Committee researcher with little experience as a prosecutor. In her House Judiciary Committee testimony in May 2007, she admitted that she had crossed the lines while hiring career employees. She received immunity for her testimony and cannot be prosecuted unless proven that she lied while under oath.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto played down the report, saying, “There really is not a lot new here.”

Many are ready to believe that people in key positions to hire and fire people would rely on prejudiced political values when offering opportunities, but would never believe that people would offer hiring opportunities based on racial prejudices.

Friday, August 1, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Bigotry, Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black People, CNN, Life, Racism, Soledad O'Brien, The Race Card, Thoughts, White On White Crime, White Privilege | 9 Comments

Black In America Is Not About The Black Community

It should come as no surprise that I didn’t expect much out of Soledad O’Brien’s earth shattering documentary Black in America being featured on CNN.  Ms. O’Brien has never given me the impression that she recognizes or understands or sympathizes with the issues that plague the black community.  In fact, none of the reporting on the CNN network has given me the impression that these people are aware that the black community even exist.

I remember watching CNN when Tony Harris was reporting breaking news on the incident that became known as the Jena Six more than a year after the incidents were initiated.  While CNN was busy reporting on such perils as the dangers of people having fat pets or Roland Martin reporting on What Would Jesus Do to talk about the commercialization of Christmas or some other nonsense from Jenny Moost, six young black men were being railroaded by an overzealous prosecutor for second degree murder for a school fight with a young white man.  The network could have given a rat’s ass about this first class example of racial prejudice and racial discrimination.  And instead of the network reporting the facts of the case, the article simply reported the opinion of people living in Jena, Louisiana.  We were given a chance to hear what the white people of Jena think and then we were given a chance to hear what the black people of Jena think.  Then we were allowed to formulate our own opinion about what actually happened.

So when CNN started promoting its Black in America series with the tag line, everyone will learn what it means to be black in America, I honestly didn’t expect much.  But I could have been wrong and waited with everyone else to see what CNN thinks being black in America means.

I’ve seen four of the segments.  There was the one that started with the report from the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee talking about Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior and his dream for the black community.  There was the report from the town hall where some notables from the black community got together to discuss issues of education in the black community.  Wednesday was a report about individual experiences of a handful of black people in America.  And Thursday night’s broadcast focused on a few stories about how some black men can make the American dream and make it very successfully while some black men will suffer the American nightmare of incarceration, drugs, alcohol, and poverty.  I watched these shows and I’ve come away scratching my head and wondering what exactly is the common connection all these people have that makes their experience exclusive to the black community.

I know for a fact that there are white people who suffer with poverty and poor education.  I really don’t think the black community has an exclusive on this experience.  I know that there are white people in America who have to deal with losing their homes and being evicted for not being able to pay the mortgage or paying the rent.  I know there are white women who are raising their white children alone because the white father is absent.  I know there are white people who are looking at dating outside their race.  I know there are white people who are doing well while their siblings are doing poorly.  I know for a fact that there are white people who suffer with issues of drugs and alcohol.  Believe it or not, I know there are white people who get thrown in jail.  Are we to believe that these white people are now experiencing what it is like to be black in America?

These shows do little to show me what it means to be black in America.  Ms. O’Brien has simply taken the experience of a handful of black people and pasted their stories into a documentary.  If somebody did the same thing with people from the white community, who would come away with the impression that they now know what it is like to be white in America?  While some people might find the program entertaining not every white person would relate to these examples.  There really is no reason to think these stories define what it means to be black in this country.

I was hoping to see something that would help to explain what people in the black community are going through as a collective.  Black people have to deal with higher rates of school dropouts.  Why?  Black people have to deal with higher rates of unemployment.  Why?  Black people have to deal with higher rates of incarceration.  Black people have to deal with higher rates of home foreclosures.  Why?  I was hoping to learn what the main components were of the complex social issues that all of these black stories share in common.

The purpose of the program was never to show the issues facing the black community.  The program was designed to show instances of how black people choose not to respond responsibly to their environment for whatever reason.  I came away thinking that we are depicted as simply surviving instead of assessing our situation and planning to act accordingly.  Many of us simply refuse to pick ourselves up by our boot strap and instead simply adapt to our circumstances.  The majority of people in the black community continue to do what we do and simply hope for the best outcome or we simply fail to better ourselves for our future and the future of our families.  And all of this of course happens in a vacuum without any external influences from outside the black community.  As far as being an eye opening documentary on life for black people in America, this piece of work falls terribly short. 

But in at least one respect, Ms. O’Brien really does hit the nail on the head on what it means to be black in America.  To be black in America is to be depicted in the most simplest of terms.  Negative experiences of most black people are the result of a stereotypical lack of planning and black people’s refusal to take responsibility for developing their own solutions.  Some black people made it.  Black people who study hard will get the good job and the nice house and drive the nice car and will become examples of how it can be done for others in the black community.  Because we all know that if everyone in the black community gets a doctorate today come tomorrow unemployment will drop to zero.  Black people who make the choice to stop acting like typical black people will stop being typical black people in America.

Friday, July 25, 2008 Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black Men, Black People, Black Women, CNN, Jena 6, Justice, Life, Philosophy, Racism, Soledad O'Brien, Thoughts | 19 Comments