Wednesday, July 25, 2007

At last.. a brother who gets it!

This morning while I was channel surfing the radio during my 40 minute commute to work, I came across an interview with Knicks guard Stephon Marbury. He was talking about his clothing line and his new sneakers. Any other time I would have continued surfing, but I stopped to listen to the brother. It seems that Mr. Marbury is selling his clothes and shoes for.... (drum-roll please) a measly $14.98! That is both clothes and shoes!
Now what is the catch you may ask? According to Mr. Marbury there is none! He is simply trying to give back to the thousands of kids around the world that idolize him. Now who would have thought that a multimillionaire NBA superstar would give a damn about the people who support him and fill Madison Square Garden to see him. Who would have thought that in this day and age, with all the TALK about "keeping it real", and "Bling-Bling", and "I gotta get mine" attitudes that there are actually black men that really do care about where they come from and realize the pain and suffering the average person goes through on a daily basis. I am sure that Mr. Marbury could have pulled a Jordan, or Iverson, or Kobe and sold his apparel for 10 times what he is selling it for. But he is not.
Mr. Marbury realizes that the average parent cannot afford the $150 sneakers, $200 outfits, or the $35 sweatbands that are in every Footlocker in every mall across the country. Mr Marbury realizes that too many of our youth are getting robbed and sometimes killed for the same above mentioned items. Mr. Marbury has not forgotten the hand-me-downs that probably got passed down to him during his youth. If I can say so myself this is the ultimate example of "keeping it real".
I applaud Mr. Marbury. I wish more of these sports stars and actors would realize that most of the people that support them do not drive Mabachs. They do not live in the Hamptons. They do not have a house where they live in the summer, and another one they live in during the winter. The people that support them work 9 to 5 in a blue collar job. A lot of the people are single parents that can barely afford day-care. The very idea of spending $150 for a pair of shoes that your kid will grow out of in 6 months makes my stomach turn. So keep up the good work Mr. Marbury, and I hope your good deeds catch on to some of your fellow multimillionaire superstars.
Well... I guess I can dream can't I?

Eine...Meenie...Miney... Moe....

The Democrats held their historic U-TUBE debate Tuesday night and I still have no idea on who I am going to waste my vote on for the next president. To tell you the truth, the only reason I am going to vote is so my forefathers will not have suffered and died in vain. If you have been paying attention to my blog you should know how I feel about politicians. And to think I was considering at one time to run for some kind of office. Oh the shame!!

I think I am too honest to be a politician. I have been known to tell a few whoppers in my life, but never at the expense of another person. I have told females that I drive a Benz, or when I was younger I have told females that my Pops was a Doctor and my Moms was a lawyer. You know, stupid "white" lies.

I have never told a lie to hurt someone else, or I have never lied to intentionally get out of something. Lying is wrong no matter what, so I know that I will have to answer for all my little "white lies" some day.

Politicians on the other hand lie just to be lying. They lie to the people that donate to their campaigns. They lie to the people that they represent. They lie to the media. If you are reading this blog, you have been lied to by a politician. That is why I have a very hard time voting. I do not believe anything a politician says. So whose lies am I going to listen to when it's time to vote for Jr.'s replacement? I have no clue.

I know for certain it will not be for a "rethuglican" (Shouts out to my man the field). I am so sick of these war crazy, big business courting, "religious" zealots, I don't know what to do. I am tired of the rich people getting the tax breaks that I am supposed to be getting. I am tired of thinking about my Grandmother not being able to afford the medication that she needs to live. I am sick of paying 85 dollars a week to fill up my truck just so I can make it to work. I can go on and on. So me going "rethuglican" is completely out of the question.

On the other side of the coin, the democrats are not doing too much to woo me to their side either. I think our borders need to be secured at all costs. I think that the welfare system needs to be completely overhauled. I think that religion and politics need to be completely separated. I think our public schools need to be torn down and rebuilt from the inside out. I think that this illegal war needs to be stopped now. And I think we need some people with big enough balls to stand up to who ever sits in the big seat behind the big desk in the big white house.

So that does not leave me with too many choices huh? I know that I will not vote for Obama just because he is black.Let me make myself clear... His being black is not enough of a reason for me to vote for him. He has not shown me anything yet. I am not too excited about his smooth pimp talk. (I am from the streets, so I have seen and heard his kind of rap before). There is something about that brother that doesn't sit right with me. I am on the fence about Hillary. I am kind of skeptical about putting another Clinton in the big seat. John Edwards has my attention, but we will have to see what he does in the coming months. As for the others, who the hell are they?

So I am like most Americans, undecided. But I will be voting. It is the least I can do to uphold my forefathers legacy. It just depends on whose lies I choose to listen to. Maybe I should throw my hat in the ring someday. I know from talking to some of my co-workers and friends, that some are my views are their views. Besides, I cannot do a worse job than the people that have lived in the big white house on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. since it's construction in the 1880's. (If you did not catch that, that is past and present occupants) So who knows? I quess we will have to see, huh?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Here we go again...

A a former Army Sgt, I have a special feeling for the military and all the military does. I know that if I had not joined the Army when I was 18, there is no telling where I would be at this moment. Probably dead, dying, in jail or just getting released from jail. I was a product of my environment as a teen and I wanted to be that environment. All I saw was negativity, racism, and despair in the neighborhood I grew up in. The Army showed me a world outside of the one I was living in and it taught me respect and discipline. That is why I hate when politicians, most of whom have never served a day, pass laws trying to control something they know nothing about.
I am referring to the current situation in Iraq. Americans should not be in that country. The war is unjust, immoral and a flat out lie. Everyone knows that.
Iraq was a much safer place when old man Hussein was in charge. Yes, he was a bad man. Yes, he gassed his own citizens. And yes he killed scores of his fellow Iraqis. But.... there was no sectarian violence, there was no suicide bombers destroying that historic city piece by piece, and the governments economy was not in shambles. Saddam ruled with an iron fist, so his country was at peace. Everyone knew there place and their role within the government. People might not have liked Saddam, but they feared him. Fear is how he kept all those factions in line. No one knew what he was going to do next. So people did what they were supposed to do. Life might not have been up to American standards, but at least it was life.
Now rewind to 2003 when we invaded Iraq on the word of liars, cheaters and hypocrites. Men (and 1 woman) who only have their best interests in mind. I am referring to American and British politicians. America took over the whole country in what?.. A week? How much of a threat was Iraq, if we can take over a whole government in a week or less? I have friends that have died or have been wounded in Iraq. I have friends who have had to leave their families for 3 different tours to the same mess that American and British politicians have created.
And now fast forward to the present, what was the benefit of going to war? Thousands of American Hero's have died, tens of thousands more have been wounded, and the good Lord only knows how many Iraqis have died. For what?
There have been a few theories about why. The number one reason is Oil. Number two is Jr. trying to finish what his daddy started, and last but not least what the tricksters was trying to tell us was number one, the now famous non existent WMD's.
All of it was bullshit as every American now knows. Gas prices are through the roof, the next President is going to have to find a way to finish what Jr. started and as of July14, 2007, no WMD's have been found. I do not even know if they are still looking for any.
So here comes the the politicians. Democrats campaigned on how wrong the war was during the 04 president elections, and lost.
Republicans campaigned on how great the American troops were doing and how we have to support them and won.
Now here is the question... Which side actually has my fellow soldiers and their families in mind? We always have to support our troops whether in peace or at war because our military is our countries bread and butter. A country will not survive without a strong line of defense. On the other hand, our soldiers would not be in harms way if it were not for lying, cheating, backstabbing politicians. Both Democrats and Republicans. So which way do we turn?
Democrats campaigned again in the 06 House and senate races on how wrong the war was, and low and behold they won! But what has changed since Madam Pelosi and her band of Merry men have taken control? NOTHING! One bill that was supposed to bring our troops home barely squeaked through, and after Jr. showed Congress who the HWBIC is, (head white boy in charge) Madam Pelosi and her band of Merry men backed down, and ran away with their tails tucked. Another bill that is supposed to bring our troops home squeaked through last week, and again Jr. is promising to pull a Cheney and shoot it in the face. So again I ask, which way do we turn?
I owe my life to the United States Army. So the military will always have a very special place in my heart. I was and will always be a soldier. I was proud of being in the Army and I am still proud of the fact that I was brave enough to volunteer. The Army made me the man I am today and I will always be grateful. So it kills me when these slick talking politicians try to tell the American public what is best for our soldiers. I have friends that are still in the Army, and not one of them has told me how being in Iraq is good for the country, ours or theirs. All I hear about is how messed up and disorganised it is over there. All I hear about is how otherwise good soldiers are turning to drugs to block out some of the horrors they have witnessed over there. All I hear about is how many otherwise good soldiers are going AWOL during their two week rest and relaxation period because they don' t want to go back. And all I hear about is how our government is lying to us and them about how much progress we are making over there.
So what do we do, continue to listen to the lies or demand the truth? I am beginning to suspect that most Americans don't want the truth. Most Americans would rather stand in line for days to buy a $500 cell phone than open their eyes to the truth. I know from experience that if I go to Walmart to buy something, and the product doesn't work the way it was advertised to work, I either return it for a new one or I get my money back. So why don't we do that with politicians? They are supposed to work for us. They are supposed to work the way they are advertised to work. We continue to put up with their arrogance, lies and hyprocisy. In other words they are broken and need to be replaced. I think we need to return the whole lot of them, and either get new ones or get our money back.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

" Bury that sucka"

As we all know by now the NAACP has officially declared the dreaded "N" word dead. It has even been buried in a real coffin, with a real grave, and it was given a real headstone. Now my question is this.... What does it all mean? Was this an attempt for the failing leadership of the NAACP to try to connect to the people that no longer has faith in them? Or was the "burial " a really sincere gesture to try to educate our youth to stop glorifying negativity? I do not have an answer to these questions and I would bet my next pay check that the leadership at the NAACP does not either. So why is there such a fuss about "N" word? I have been guilty of using the word myself on countless occasions. When I was younger, the word nigga was just a way of me to acknowledge a fellow black person. I did not know the full meaning of the word, and to tell the truth I did not really care. I guess I was what you might call a typical black teen growing up in an all black neighborhood in the inner city. Older people would try to tell us to stop using the word to describe ourselves and others, but guess what? I was a teenager. What they said went through one ear, passed through my still developing brain, and right out the other ear. Like every other teenager, black and white, I thought that my shit didn't stink, and if you were not in my "crew", (meaning my age or maybe 1 or 2 years older than me), what you said didn't really matter to me. Oh, the joys of being young!! I have definitely changed my way of thinking in my older years.

I think a definition of the word is called for before I get to the meat of this post. According to Webster's Dictionary the word niggar means, " nig·ger . Offensive Slang.
Used as a disparaging term for a Black person: Used as a disparaging term for a member of any dark-skinned people. Used as a disparaging term for a member of any socially, economically, or politically deprived group of people". It also means, "A lazy person with no self respect, no regard for family, ignorant, stupid, slow moving, does not speak proper English and has childlike qualities". Now I must say that I agree with both of these definitions. The first one, straight from the man with the meaning off all English words, is the one I am most familiar with. I have been called a nigga by American white people, American Black people, Mexicans, Germans, Jews and even Africans, and in every case the term was not used in a " I love you" sort of way.It was used to hurt me, to demean my worth as a man, and to let me now how I was viewed by the person saying it at that time. I have used the second definition that is quoted above myself to describe other Black Americans. I know that I am not the only black person in America that has used the word nigga in this fashion. How many times have you heard, "Man that nigga ain't shit", or "That nigga has 3 kids and don't take care of any of them", or, "I am going to kill that nigga". In each of these scenarios, the word was not used in a very loving way to describe another human being.

So who has the right to use it? Is it OK for me to say it when I am referring to another black person? If this is the case, why do we (black people) get upset when someone who is not black says it? I try not to use it all anymore, but I still slip every now and again. But what kills me is when I hear black people, famous people, saying that the more you say the word, the less sting the word has. To me that is bullshit. Example... I have used the word "shit" in this post. If I continually write or say the word "shit" a million times, the word will not loose it's meaning. It will still mean shit! People will still know and understand that it is not a good clean word. Parents will still discipline their children if they overhear the word coming out of their child's mouth. "Shit" is not a nice word. We all know that, so we teach our kids the meaning of the word and teach them that the word is not to be used. So what is the difference between that word and nigga? To me the difference is nothing! It is not a nice word and it should not be used by anyone. To me the word is demeaning and degrading , just like "spic" is to Mexicans, "Faggot" is to gay people, or "Kike" is to Jews.

So maybe the "burial" was a good thing. In my opinion the word should have been hung from the city courthouse, and then shot execution style. The "N" word has a very hateful history, with an even more hateful present. It is used to describe not only black people, but damn near every negative thing that can be thought of. I cannot understand the love affair that Black America has with this word. I used to be one of the millions of confused and uneducated black youth that threw the word around like a football, but I have grown up and educated myself to the real meaning of the word. It is degrading, demeaning, and does not describe any of the black people I associate with. I do not hang around niggas anymore. And if you want to go by the second quoted definition above, I know more white "niggas" and Mexican "niggas" than I do black "niggas". But there are still some good old fashioned black "niggas" out there. In the words of Chris Rock, " I love my black people, but I hate niggas!" So I am going to end this with a wish that the NAACP not only bury the word, but educate our youth to the real meaning of the word. Because the roots of this word run deep in my community, and it will take more than a symbolic burial, and a couple of sound bites by politicians to kill the word "nigga", and make it stay dead.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Real Freedom Fighters

I was going to write something about what I really feel about the 4th of July, about how not one black person living in 1776 America was free. I was going to write about how in 1776 a black man was not even considered a man, but 3/5 of a man. I was going to write about how Americas' founding fathers wrote that "all men are considered equal", but as Americas' History has shown, that only applies to "men" that look like the founding fathers. But on a whim, I have decided to change up and celebrate the 4th of July without all the negative feelings. I have decided to write about something good. I have decided to write about some things that Americas HIStory never talks about, (drum roll please...), the contributions of American Black people to this country's freedom.

First I am going to start with a brother named Crispus Attucks. Crispus Attacks was born into slavery in 1723. He grew up on a farm with his parents and older sister. Although he was treated "well" by his master, he began to feel the need to be free. As we can suspect, this became a problem for "massa", so low and behold, young Crispus was sold. He stayed with his new master until he was 27. Sometime during his 27th year as slave, he went on a business trip with his master to Boston. While there he secretly applied for a job as a whaler on a ship, for it was his desire to become a sailor. He knew that the ship would not return to Boston for a long time, so he was not worried about "massa" or the lynching party that run away slaves was greeted with on their return to the plantation. He returned to Boston some 20 odd years later to find that the King of England was trying to impose his "taxation without representation" upon the colonies. Of course this upset Mr. Attucks as well as everyone else, so Mr. Attucks decided to do something about it. He stood on a platform in the middle of the town square and called for a plan of action against the British. His short, but very stirring speech prompted the colonists to fight for their freedom. About a month later the town heard loud bells in the street, and they rushed out to see Mr. Attucks leading a small group of men. He was yelling out that now was the time for the men to be men and stand up against the British. He demanded for the town people to come out and fight for their respect and their freedom. He led his small group of men right up to the British Troops and challenged them to a fight. Of course the British was not trying to fight one on one, so shots rang out, which killed Mr Attucks and four of his followers. This "little incident", became known as the Boston Tea Party. Mr. Attucks was not only the first black man to die in the Revolutionary war, he was the first American to die. This is a little known fact that HIStory books leave out.

Next, comes the story the of the Buffalo Soldiers. These brave, young Americans fought Indians, bandits, cattle thieves, murderers, gunmen, bootleggers, trespassers and Mexican revolutionaries during the years that followed the Civil War. They were called Buffalo Soldiers because the Indians they were fighting against noticed the similarity between their hair and that of buffalo fur. These men protected the settlers that came out west after the war. Some of these same settlers were left-overs from the Confederate Army, so you can imagine the reception that these soldiers received. They not only received undue hostility from the people they were assigned to protect, but also from the government that sent them there. They were supplied with inferior horses, equipment, rations and living quarters. But besides all this, the 9th and 10th regiment racked up 16 medal of honer recipients.

The 15th regiment from Harlem, New York was deployed to France during WWI. On September 29, 1918 during the French campaign Meuse-Argonne, the brave men from Harlem, took control of the French city of Sechault. They took the city after it was bombarded by German artillery. After this battle, the young men from Harlem was nicknamed the " Hell Fighters" because of their ferocity during combat. The "Hell Fighters" never had a man captured during their campaign against the Germans. Why were Americans fighting with the French, you may ask? Well, these "Americans", were not considered good enough to die for their country, so they were shipped off to die for someone Else's.

The Tuskegee Airman fought segregation and racism to become one of the most decorated regiments of all time. These all black military aviators, fought aerial battles over Italy, North Africa, and Europe during WWII. They flew over1578 missions as bomber escorts. This was a very dangerous mission because the bombers were always under very heavy attack, and it was these fighter pilots mission to make sure that the bombers completed their bombing assignments. The Tuskegee Airmen completed their duties with distinction, considering at the time that black men were not considered smart enough to do anything but serve as cooks.

I could continue this post with stories about the Red Ball Express, which protected supply routes during WWII. Or about the 555th parachute battalion that served as smoke jumpers during WWII. Or about the 54th Massachusetts Infantry that was a group of volunteer ex-slaves that fought for the north during the Civil War. The 54th was the first organized black regiment in the northern states. The movie Glory was based on these courageous Americans. I cannot leave out the courageous Black American women that did thier part in securing this countries freedom. The Women's Army Corps 6888th Battalion was a World War II unit that was comprised of 855 black women.Besides the all white nursing corp, this Battalion was the only all female Battalion to serve overseas during the war. Their main responsibility was to ensure that all the soldiers (BLACK and WHITE) serving overseas recieved their mail,which was a very big responsibility.

I can go on and on about the contributions that American Blacks have made to Americas' so called " Freedom", all in the face of racism and segregation. We have endured and maintained under centuries of injustice and hatred. And why did we not just rise up and fight for our freedom like the colonists did against Britain? Well I really can't answer that. All I can think of is we considered this our home. We were proud of our country even if our country was not proud of us. All we wanted was to be accepted and respected in the land that our forefathers had a hand in building. And so some of us died proving that we are just as equal as our fellow white Americans. This is why I have to put my feelings aside for at least one day and remember the African blood that stains this great land. For if it were not for that blood, America would not be the America that all of us have come to love and call home.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

"If you are looking for a helping hand, try looking at the end of your arm first"

I have discovered over my life that no one will take care of me the way I can take care of me. Everyone needs help every now and then, because this world can throw some things at you, that if you let it, will break your back. But if you run for help every time something adverse comes your way, you never learn how to deal with reality on your own. You will always have to depend on someone else to help you solve your problems. And to me that is a form of slavery. Help should be there when you absolutely have no other choice. By help, I mean friends and family. Every person, man or woman, black or white, needs a strong support group. And in saying that, let me get to the topic of this post.

The biggest problem that I see in the black community, is we depend to much on elected officials and our so called community "leaders" to solve all the problems in our community, and to me that is a giant mistake. First, the only things that a politician cares about is the next election. So if he or she knows that they have to talk about health care to get elected, then health care will be they're main talking point. Politicians are like chameleons. They change colors to suit their environment. So why do black people put so much trust in the Democratic party? (I am not saying I am a Republican, so do not boycott my site) What exactly has the Democratic Party ever did for black people? I wonder how many of my people know that the Democratic party was the party of all of the slave holders during the Civil War. The same party that wanted to keep us enslaved, is now the party that all of the former slaves flock too. Kind of ironic, huh?
And from what I see their mentality has not changed over the 1 or 2 centuries that blacks have been free. Look at the welfare system for instance. The welfare system is designed to keep you dependent on your government. ( the massa)If you try to get a little job to help supplement your government check, they penalize you and stop the handout all together. Now don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people, black and white, that really need help. But there are also a lot of people, black and white, that abuse the system. Why would you work for a living, when you know that all you have to do is sit at home and wait on free money? Under the welfare system there is no incentive to try to improve your situation. And that is what the Democrats are known for, social programs that take money from average taxpayers, and gives a small portion of that money to otherwise healthy people who sit at home and wait for the 1st and 15th. It always surprises me to see how many of my people are content with their government handouts. We all know the number one excuse on why this is...."They owe me for what my people have been through". True enough. We are owed something for all the pain and suffering that our forefathers went through, and from what we go through on a daily basis, but a handout is not the solution. Better schools and equality in the work place is what we are owed. Respect as fellow human beings and fair treatment from the so called law of the land is what we are owed, not money. People who have never had money, do not know how to deal with money, if they are not taught how to deal with money, so they end up losing the money to the same people that gave them the money. Besides, there is not enough money in the world to make up for 400 years of enslavement and abuse.

That is why I feel we need to fend for ourselves. We as black people in America know what we need to survive in America. Uncle Sam has proven time and time again that our best interests are not too high on his agenda, so why do we keep falling for these slick talking politicians?
The only time that we see any politician in any of our neighborhoods is when they are about to lose their jobs. That includes black and white politicians. And in my opinion black politicians are worse than the white ones, because in being black they know what it is like being black in "the land of the free", and yet they still lie, cheat and steal just like Mr. Charlie! The slaves have turned into the overseers of the massas land.

We know what we need. We know that we need better schools. We know that we need better representation in government circles. We know that we need after school programs to keep the attraction of gang life from our youth. We know that we need education on sexually transmitted diseases, and all diseases in general to help curb the epidemic of our people dying way too early. We know that we need education on premarital sex and the hardships that young mothers face in raising babies alone. And last but definitely not least, we know that WE, as black men are the answer to all the above mentioned needs. WE as black men need to stand up and retake our communities. WE as black men need to be men and stop leaving our women with the responsibility of raising our children. WE as black men need to stop killing other black men over a street corner no black man owns, or a color that no black man has ever made. WE as black men need to regain the status that out forefathers had in our communities. In other words we need to stand up and be MEN, and in doing so, we will solve all the problems in our communities ourselves, instead of looking to someone that has proven time and time again that our welfare is not their main priority.