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Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

God Sponsored Bias: The Black Edition

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

“It’s in the Bible; doesn’t that somehow cover it ?”  © Peter Griffin

Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock (SN: The rock home market never experiences a bubble) for the past week or so, you’re aware of the latest example of Vice President Joe Biden living up to the caricature of himself by spouting off his and by default, the White House’s groundbreaking stance on Gay marriage.

Meanwhile President Obama somewhere still preparing for his next Gay rights play after the highly successful run of “Repealing of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, was shoved from behind the curtain and thrust into the spotlight on the Gay marriage issue while still rehearsing his lines.

After the POTUS deftly responded to the political sucker punch thrown by his second in command and “affirmed” his backing of Gay marriage, talk quickly turned to how Black people, his most ardent group of supporters, would react to his newfound political philosophy.

Many surmised that Obama proclamation could end up being the nail is he reelection coffin. Why? Well because if you didn’t know Black people HATE Gay people more than any other race in America.  Not true? Well hey that’s what the TV tells us.

The whole “Black people REALLY” hate Gay’s theme really began to pick up steam in 2008 after Californians passed “Prop 8” an eventual amendment which restricted marriage to opposite sex couples only.  Exit polling showed that 70% of Black people voted for Prop 8 and the conclusions drawn from said voting cause all Hell to break loose.

Blacks were labeled sexual preference Nazi’s so to speak, who should know better and be ashamed of themselves for discriminating against another minority given America’s wonderful treatment of them.

Much ignored was the fact that 49% (read half) of White and Asian voters alike voted for Prop 8 and 53% of Hispanics did also.  Numbers usually don’t have attributes attached to them, but those figures don’t come off as tolerant and accepting.

Now I’m a avid despiser of the “Crash” style “Everybody’s racist/sexist/homophobic etc, so its okay” logic, so the numbers above aren’t meant to absolve Black people, but to bring some context and clarity into the situation.

I mean Hell, during the Prop 8 controversy you’d think that  President Bush  didn’t  get reelected four years prior on a “Fuck the Gays” (figuratively) platform with a very minute amount of the Black vote.

Regardless, Blacks needed to take onus for the large amount of prejudice that went into their anti Gay marriage voting stance then, and the same goes for those who still hold such a position today.

Personally, I, like many other Blacks, have never liked the conflating of the Civil Rights with the Gay rights movement. Maybe it’s my habit camping out in the World of Science waiting room, waiting for somebody dressed in white to bust though the doors proclaiming the finding a “Gay Gene” that would easily debase my belief that many who engage in homosexual activity do so by choice, not by genetic impulse. I’ve never viewed  persons being persecuted for a chosen sexual act, was the same a person literally just being alive.

Still such a view, right or wrong, isn’t a justification for discrimination.

What does seem to be proper justification for Gay prejudice and acting upon said prejudice is religious text ,b.k.a at “The Bible” (for our purposes) a.k.a “The Word of God”

Blacks happen to happen to be some of the most ardent Christians encased within America’s borders. That’s saying something given that United States is the most religious industrialized nation in the world. Such religious devotion lends itself to application of the word in many believers lives and the admonishment of non followers of certain religious tenants.

The Bible’s rebuke of homosexuality has been largely taken up by the Black Christian community.  It would be unfair not to state, no matter what inside the Bible they consciously ignore, that many Black Christians act in certain ways  towards Gays in order to get right with God. 

Securing a place in everlasting paradise aside, the degradation by of Gays by Black Christians, consciously or not, negatively builds the self esteem of a oft degraded group at the expense of another. One can’t help but think of the Southern yeoman who abused and exploited themselves, given Black slaves as a group to mock and abuse, receiving a temporary reprieve from their own suffering.

Such actions are sad, but they are even worse when they or acts similar to them, are propagated by the more learned among us.

When Dr. Boyce Watkins states: 

“It’s OK to be gay and even to be gay within the walls of the black church.  The key is that you simply can’t be gay in public” 

The black church has always been forced to accept homosexuality within its ranks.  The problem, it seems, is when gay people are actually proud of being gay. When they want to kiss, hold hands, get married and secure equal rights, that can be too much for some black Christians to bear.”

 
Bishop Harry Jackson envoks the slippery slope as rationale to exercise discrimination

Or

Sophia Nelson patronizes Gays and shamelessly resorts to underhanded debate tactics to defend her prejudiced stance

Sadly another chance for an intelligent and influential individual who holds sway in the Black community to call for the end of arguably senseless discrimination passes.

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SOBER UP NAS

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm
On April 19th 1994 I skipped school.

No, I wasn’t feigning being sick on that date or trying to avoid some bully on 3 o clock high b.s. I had a much more substantial reason.

Nas ‘s eventual, if not instantaneous Hip Hop classic Illmatic dropped that day.

The release of such a testament  of artistry  was easily rationalized in my 16 year old mind as reason to say “fuck school” , and while Nasir’s  numerous future releases weren’t viewed a good reasons to stunt my education, I always, and continue to, check for them.

Given the reverence I have for Nas’s talent and how appreciative I am that he has blessed us with it over the years, I was extremely amped to hear he would be a part of Peter Rosenberg “Noisemakers” series.

I have a love hate relationship (Even though he doesn’t know  who the f**k I am) with Rosenberg. There are times when he blames Bobby Brown for Whitney Houston’s death, makes off color racial remarks, or takes the holier than thou pure “real” Hip Hop stance, when I despise the guy.

Other times though, I find him to be a welcome element in the world of Hip Hop personalities, who often gives earnest cogent opinions on matters past and present utilizing his undeniable knowledge on the subject matter.

I’m a avid listener to his “Juan Epstein” podcast, and a big fan of his “Noisemakers” series, which is basically a Hip Hop version of “Inside the Actors Studio”

How much do I like Noisemakers? I watched one on Jim Jones who I could give a **** less about and who happens to have the range of an office putting green, and was thoroughly entertained and even somewhat informed.

So imagine how happy this Hip Hop head was when he heard that God’s Son err well not thatGods Son, by QU’s finest (sorry Mega) was going get his own Noismakers and bless his fan base with in depth tales from the life of one of the best to ever do it.

Well, you know what they say about expectations…..

It most situations it takes a little while to evaluate a situation and predict what is to come.  1:49 into the 30 minute plus interview, (aka the first question  mark)  it becomes painfully obvious the viewer that what is occur during the nights festivities will only be played during the “dark period” portion of any upcoming Nas retrospective.
Prompted by Rosenberg querying “What the first distinct memory you have of hearing Hip Hop” a better than barley coherent Nas responded in a slurred manner   “My moms and my mom’s stomach”

Okay…..

Now I’m not a avid despiser of train wrecks, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the Mr.Turner tape, but I’ve never been one to empathize with the proverbial rock star who shows up to drunk to perform.

Nas was indeed that rock err Hip Hop star the Texas night of the Noismeakers interview.

When not repeatedly calling Peter Rosenberg “Paul, Paul, Paul” in rapid fire succession, Nas takes time to haphazardly invoke Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X with the  dexterity of the alcoholic friend we all have.

That’s not all, if you watch the video posted about you also get to see Nas’s humorlessly dubious diatribe on simplicity and elaborate on how Michael Jackson was a sprit, even when he still walked amongst the living.

Funniness aside, the interview is equal parts funny, sad, and troubling.

When 16 minutes in (b.k.a the halfway mark)  Nas stated that he realized “This is a REAL interview”, the man who has never went platinum, isn’t regarded as one of the best humans to perform his chosen craft and hadn’t engaged in conquest that would’ve made Wilt proud, felt bad for the person who had.

I must say preeminent thought I had while watching this video was that Peter Rosenberg was a muthaf***** professional. Even though he had to know early on that his interview was going to be the polar opposite of his greatest hopes for it, he fearlessly soldered on not showing any signs of inner disgust that had to be building.

While I found the interview personally disappointing and was some was surprised Nas tweeted it out (I guess all publicity is good publicity when you have an album coming out) there was some illuminating substantive conversation.

Nas does elaborate on his rough divorce with Kelis and surprising utilities breath to divulge his finical issues which could logically explain the state he was in.  Overall though, the interview mainly consists of drunk not by myself and try to kick knowledge moments

Sober up Nas, at least when the time calls for it.

A Pictures Worth a Thousand Prejudices

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm

It was bound to happen.

While engaging in everybody’s part time job while at their place of
full time employment (surfing the internet) I came across an
interesting post on Byron Crawford’s site

Given the well known realities of the once tellingly unknown and now seemingly omnipresent Trayvon Martin story, the headline utilized by Crawford; “White people turned up pics of Trayvon looking like a budget Tupac” disturbed me immediately with its off-putting tone.

Never one to judge a book its cover, or an article by its headline, I proceed to read the brief post. The words that followed explained how less than flattering pictures of Trayvon had begun to surface and somebody with the free time to match his or her conviction crafted homage to media bias utilizing lesser seen pictures of the fallen Martin and admitted shooter George Zimmerman.

 

 

Impactful

Given where the energy to create such a image spawns from, I can guarantee you, the person who created the picture above and I, view the Martin case (or lack thereof) differently. I can however sincerely empathize with the point being made by the anonymous internet graphic artist, while understanding and taking great umbrage with a particular media practice and its heinous effects.

Every event which occurs on this planet or within the cosmic regions of man’s informed grasp, regardless of the universally agreed upon facts of said event, will generate a narrative.

Narratives would be more accurate assessment, but the singular is used due the routine inevitability of one common theme being developed for a particular story and disseminated to countless masses via a myriad of outlets.

The general narrative crafted media to describe Martin’s death at the hands of Zimmerman has up to this point been deferential to him Zimmerman.  Like most mug shots, the one of Zimmerman from a previous arrest, utilized by most news outlets doesn’t paint him in the best light to say the least.

While the initial imagery used to project Zimmerman strayed from neutral, the words used to describe him and his actions have been extremely cautious, forgiving and excusatory.

Zimmerman despite clearly disobeying orders from law enforce that would’ve prevented the death of a child and  explicitly  explaining in his own words his race based rational for suspecting, pursuing , and ultimate  engagement of  Martin that literally  left blood on his hands, has routinely  been given outs by the media

“Nobody really knows what happened.”

“He was just trying to protect his community”

And the police assisted “He’s a good guy, he went to school for criminal justice”

Martin who undoubtedly was a victim on unwarranted gun violence has up to this point, has been portrayed as a benevolent kid by his grieving family and supporters in and out of the media.

Such framing is understandable for it could definitely be true and even if exaggerated, the recently deceased are almost always presented in a manner that is more prestigious than the life they actually lived by those that cared about them.

What was personally troubling about Martin’s portrayal was the seemingly angelic resonance bestowed upon him.

Every mention of how Martin allegedly save his father from a house fire at the age of 9, every exceeding innocent looking yet seemingly age askew picture released, along with the orations describing a perfect child, bothered me.

They bothered me because they shouldn’t be necessary

They bothered me because as humans, we are predisposed to never be perfect and are fallible by inherent nature.

They bothered me because they painted the hope of attaining justice for Martin’s slaying and lasting perception of his memory into a corner.

Fighting through the pain of losing a loved one, let alone one’s own child, to seek justice for them, is itself a beyond praiseworthy act. The stoicism displayed by Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton has been immaculate and her tactics she’s used to bring the story of her sons killing to the national for front are pretty much beyond reproach.

The twisted mindset that causes the necessity of such tactics is not.

The need to create a “angel” narrative for Travon stems the greater American populace enduring placement of the burden of proof, in regards to the character of Black people, on Black people.

Simply put, Black people often don’t receive benefit of the doubt of being a “good” or even regular person in society’s arenas.

Instead Blacks, more so for Black males, and even more intensely exaggerated for young Black males, the designated, ardently imposed default characterization of “bad” until proven good continually affixed to them.

That classification, which can logically, argued caused Martin’s death and influenced local law enforcements callously apathetic treatment of the case revolving around it is constantly on display in the media.

Without fail, Ms. Fulton is initially peppered with questions about her son’s character in the inception of interviews involving her by host assuaging the American psyche’s “bad by default” stance.

To sway such a belief, which justifies a variety of actions against fates imposed against those falling within its realm, the most pious Trayvon possible has been put forth by his mother and those supporting her cause.

The problem with such an approach is, when something, anything comes along to counteract that narrative, the narrative itself is looked upon as a farce and the wholly unfair default position held against those of Trayvon’s ilk, is fallen back upon, in a more reinforced state.

When pictures arise showing Trayvon in displays common to teenagers of all backgrounds, yet far from what our hardwiring would connote as innocent or reports surface the strongly infer that he was a weed smoker, the known facts of what actually happened Martin that fateful February night, that he indeed was a unnecessary victim of gun violence, are discarded by far too many.   They are replaced by views that Trayvon isn’t deserving of empathy at best, or deserved what he got at worse.

Such are the actions of those who believe they have been misled.

Little do they know they misled themselves long ago.

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