5 Reasons why we should bury the term GOAT along with the GOAT (Muhammad Ali)

As we say  goodbye to the greatest for good we should also say goodbye for good to the term GOAT (save for conversations about Ali). Muhammad Ali embodied the term and it’s less than respectful to his legacy to bestow such a hollowed moniker on any other athlete or entertainer–especially those who have done little outside of their master craft to measure up to what the champ did outside of his day job. So in honor of the GOAT’s passing here are five (of many) reasons why no one should ever be refereed to as the greatest of all time ever again…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. He created the term

I shook up the world

On February 25, 1964 after the artist formally known as Cassius Clay stopped the heavily favored Sonny Liston in seven rounds he took to ring center and proclaimed that he was the greatest and that he shook up the world. Little did anyone know that this young brash 22 year old was not just smack talking and would go on to embody both the term “I Am the greatest” and the act of shaking up a world in need of shaking. Ali through the years had trials and tribulations that put to test his greatness and at every turn he would remind friend and foe alike that he was indeed the greatest of all time. You will be hard pressed to find an utterance of that  verbatim prior to Ali saying so. Therefore he’s the standard bearer of what the GOAT should look, sound and act like.

2. His convictions were not compromised by public opinion, monetary gain or even peer pressure from his contemporaries

african-american-athletes-at-news-conference-af400c2cb31b07a9

Muhammad Ali’s refusal to be drafted into the Army during the Vietnam war and the revocation of his title for it is well chronicled. One of the more poignant photos from that period of his life is the one where he is surrounded by some of his contemporary greats including Bill Russell, Jim Brown and Lew Alcinder. The misconception is that they were there to support Ali and his defiant stance against the war. The truth is they were actually there to do the opposite. The private meeting was to convince him to enlist and to assure him that he would not be going to war but instead would serve as an ambassador to it and a morale booster to the troops in much the same way that Joe Louis was used during World War II.  Ali who was far less educated than all of the men in attendance  (in a formal sense) had a rebuttal for each and every point they brought up. He went on an almost two hour filibuster going into great detail why he would not be supporting the Vietnam war or enlisting.  He won over the well meaning yet naive greats and forced them to reexamine their tacit support of the war. So much so that Lew Alcindor followed the path of Cassius Clay and retired his slave name a couple years later.

3. Ali Spoke truth to power instead of seceding to the powers that be.

Muhammad speaks truth to power

There has never been an athlete before or since Muhammad Ali that has had the courage to speak truth to power. He did not shrink, bow or take a back seat to white supremacy. He confronted the white supremacist construct with as much confidence and zeal as he confronted his opponents in the ring. His defiant stance in media gave a nation (within a larger more hostile nation) of millions courage and pride. It inspired protest and affirmed the fact that we as a people are great. He was not worried about endorsement dollars. In fact he knew that it would be more lucrative for him to go along to get along just as pretty much every athlete today does but he remained steadfast and fearless.

4. He was not trans-racial and did not transcend race. He was unapologetically Black.

 

Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis,  and Jesse Owens were phenomenal athletes that paved the way for Muhammad and others to thrive in the sports arena. By extension they paved the way for black people to more equitably integrate in to all levels of sports, entertainment, business and academia because they humanized blacks in the minds of millions of white Americans that saw (and treated us) as less than. Jackie, Joe, and Jesse were not a black mans black man though. At least not publicly. They were the white mans black men and while I completely understand the precarious line that they had to walk they lacked the intestinal fortitude of Muhammad Ali who made the conscious decision to be the black mans black man. Before him on the national sports scene there was none and sadly no such an athlete has come after him. Muhammad Ali’s embrace of his blackness was so real and so authentic that white people loved and respected him for it (the ones that did not hate him for it).

Michael Jordan  is widely considered the GOAT in basketballcentric conversations. However he was as bad off the court about being a strong black man that took strong black stances as he was good at dominating the league over the span of his playing career. Michael Jordan was arguably a greater basketball player on the court than Ali was a boxer in the ring but his sheer cowardice as it pertained being a black mans black man exempts him from legitimately  holding the GOAT title. Micheal Jordan was famously asked in 1990 to endorse a black man running for the US Senate by the name of Harvey Gantt. Gantt at the time was trying to unseat one of the most rabidly racist and regressive US Senators since reconstruction by the name of Jesse Helms (NC). Michael Jordan’s response to the endorsement request was “Republicans buy sneakers too”.  MJ was the closest athlete to reaching the world wide recognition as Ali. Black America could have really used from MJ in the 80’s and 90’s the kind of unapologetic blackness that Ali gave to black America during his prime. He chose to do the opposite therefore he’s much closer to being a goat than the GOAT.

 

5. He is the father of rap music and by extension the hip-hop culture

 

DJ Kool Herc is the father of hip-hop. Muhammad  Ali however is the father of rap. The only thing missing from the punch lines, similes and analogies inherent in his prophetic and poetic proclamations were bars and hooks.  The precocious and braggadocios rhymes  that Ali spit was primordial hip-hop. In fact it was hip-hop (LL Cool Jay) that actually coined the acronym GOAT. And while LL is not the GOAT he is Ali. Jay Z is Ali, Ice Cube is Ali. Scar Face is Ali.Biggie was Ali, Tupac was Ali. Fuck being like Mike, Be like Ali. The one and ONLY GOAT.

 

 

STOP THE MADNESS: The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis and Dontre Hamilton are NOT the Mothers of the Movement

I’m probably gonna ruffle a few feathers with this one but someone has to do it. It has to  be said and overstated that The grieving mothers of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis,  Dontre Hamilton and Mike Brown are nothing close to being the mothers of any kind of movement and to label them as such for the express purpose of getting Hillary Clinton elected  president is as embarrassing as it is offensive. Offensive and embarrassing to the untold mothers who have had to bury their sons and daughters due to an encounter with an overzealous  non-empathetic cop and  offensive and embarrassing to the millions of people from all walks of life that have taken to the streets with myriad acts of civil defiance  seeking redress for the long standing and ongoing grievance of state, local and federal police officers abusing their authority and murdering innocent unarmed black people with impunity.

When Hillary was not on the chitterling circuit  with these mothers shoring up her southern  firewall (also known as the black vote) she was in the homes of the other half of her southern constituency (Dixicrats) raising funds and talking about “the issues”

The two diametrically opposed dispositions by Hillary Clinton in the last two videos is rivaled in galling political pivots only by the great feat that her husband pulled off in June of 1992 while he himself was on the stump. During Bill Clinton’s  first bid for the white house  he played the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show to illustrate how down he was with the blacks and ten days later at a Rainbow Coalition event using Jesse Jackson as a backdrop he conflated an  out of context a musing by Sister Souljah with some of the lyrics in one of her songs to build up a black radical  boogey monster  that he was there to destroy. He actually compared her to David Duke to an audience full of black people. Of course his true audience were not the black folks sitting in attendance.

bill plays the sax
June 3, 1992: Bill playing the sax on Arsenio Hall letting the good black voters of the 90’s know that he can shuck and jive with the best of them
bill clinton disses sister souljah
June 13, 1992: Bill Clinton using his invitation to a Rainbow Coalition Convention to assure the soccer moms and NASCAR dads of America that he is willing ready and able to put black folks in their place as Jesse Jackson looks on in bemusement.

To be clear the movement that they are referring to as being the progeny of these women is the #blacklivesmatter movement. And to be even more clear it is a movement  that the murders of the children of these women no doubt helped buoy and embolden. For that these women should be recognized for as having paid the ultimate sacrifice. No mother should have to endure what Sybrina Fulton, (mother Trayvon Martin), Lucia McBath,  (mother of Jordan Davis), Geneva Reed-Veal, (mother of Sandra Bland), Gwen Carr, (mother of Eric Garner), Maria Hamilton( mother of Dontre Hamilton) Samaria Rice (mother of Tamir Rice) or Lesley McSpadden (mother of Mike Brown) have had to endure. All of these women are inextricably linked to the movement due to their involuntarily blood sacrifice, but to call these grieving mothers the mothers of the actual movement is to deeply discount the millions of black mothers before them that have lost their children to state sanctioned and/or white vigilante violence. Before these women there was Mammy Till, mother or Emmit Till, Eloise Glover, mother of Clifford Glover, Kaddiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo, Valarie Bell, mother of Sean Bell and hundreds and even thousands of other mothers in the last decade alone that walked the same precarious walk that these mothers have had to. For these women to sell out their share of the movement for the perks and pittance that only a Super Pack with tons of dark money can afford is unconscionable. And no, I don’t have proof that this group of grieving mothers were paid for their less than logical endorsement but I’m pretty sure that they were.

The true irony in  the Stockholm like love that Hillary is getting from the “Mothers of the Movement” and the millions of other less than enlightened black politicos, pundits and voters that have her well on the way to the democratic presidential nomination is that she has successfully  latched herself on to a movement created to abate a problem that she and her husband greatly exacerbated while Bill Clinton was president and she was the first lady touting his “tough on crime” legislative goals.

Mike Browns mother Lesley McSppaden encapsulates the kind of incongruity inherent in the logic of these mothers “I’m with her” proclamation with this ringing yet confusing endorsement.

Since August 9, 2014, I have wondered where do we go from here? I have made it this far by my faith, but we need more than faith. Our criminal justice system is broken and damaged, and it left broken hearts and damage in our communities. Fixing this will require time and commitment of someone who wants to make things better for us all. I want a leader who is willing to take the steps to reform a justice system that dehumanized my son. I want a leader who will now honor my son’s life and fights for our children’s futures. I want a justice system that is fundamentally based on fairness for everyone…This election season, we are at battle for the soul of our nation…if we want to continue to build on the progress made by our country, we need a president who is ready to lead–and I trust Hillary” ~ Lesley McSppaden

Ms. McSppaden seems to have a solid grasp on the kind of cultural construct in law enforcement that deems it prudent to dehumanize and over criminalize black people to justify their lethal method of policing but she seems totally oblivious to the not so hidden political forces that empower them. For every 100 police officers that have said “I feared for my life” or “he reached for my gun” to explain away them shooting to death an unarmed African-American there’s at least that many politicians on the local, state and national level pushing the kind of hyper-criminalized trope to create the space for these men to continue to get away with murder. It’s no coincidence that the super predator trope was used by Darren Wilson to escape justice after he murdered her son in cold blood. I mean he did not come out and call Mike Brown a Super Predator but you’d be hard pressed to argue that he was not inferring as much after reading the following quotes of his to the grand jury that ultimatley decided that he was justified in killing McSppaden’s son.

Darren Wilson on the initial confrontation at his car:

DW: I see them walking down the middle of the street. And first thing that struck me was they’re walking in the middle of the street. I had already seen a couple cars trying to pass, but they couldn’t have traffic normal because they were in the middle, so one had to stop to let the car go around and then another car would come. And the next thing I noticed was the size of the individuals because either the first one was really small or the second one was really big...

He then grabs my door again and shuts my door. At that time is when I saw him coming into my vehicle. His head was higher than the top of my car. And I see him ducking and as he is ducking, his hands are up and he is coming in my vehicle.

I had shielded myself in this type of manner and kind of locked away, so I don’t remember seeing him come at me, but I was hit right in the side of the face with a fist. I don’t think it was a full-on swing, I think it was a full-on swing, but not a full shot. I think my arm deflected some of it, but there was still a significant amount of contact that was made to my face.

And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan.

prosecutor/defense attorney*: Holding onto a what?

DW:Hulk Hogan, that’s just how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm.

Prosecutor/defense attorney*: And it was your opinion that you needed to pull out your weapon because why did you feel that way, I don’t want to put words in your mouth?

I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he’s obviously bigger than I was and stronger and the, I’ve already taken two to the face I didn’t think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.

He grabs my gun, says, “You are too much of a pussy to shoot me.” The gun goes down into my hip and at that point I thought I was getting shot. I can feel his fingers try to get inside the trigger guard with my finger and I distinctly remember envisioning a bullet going into my leg. I thought that was the next step.

Like I said, I was just so focused on getting the gun out of me. When I did get it up to this point, he is still holding onto it and I pulled the trigger and nothing happens, it just clicked. I pull it again, it just clicked again.

At this point I’m like why isn’t this working, this guy is going to kill me if he gets a hold of this gun. I pulled it a third time, it goes off. When it went off, it shot through my door panel and my window was down and glass flew out of my door panel. I think that kind of startled him and me at the same time.

Darren Wilson on what happened once he exited his vehicle:

DW: The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up.

When I look up after that, I see him start to run and I see a cloud of dust behind him. I then get out of my car. As I’m getting out of the car I tell dispatch, “shots fired, send me more cars.”

We start running, kind of the same direction that Johnson had pointed. Across the street like a diagonal towards this, kind of like where the parking lot came in for Copper Creek Court and Canfield, right at that intersection. And there is a light pole right there, I remember him running towards the light pole.

So when he stopped, I stopped. And then he starts to turn around, I tell him to get on the ground, get on the ground.

He turns, and when he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he’s coming back towards me. His first step is coming towards me, he kind of does like a stutter step to start running. When he does that, his left hand goes in a fist and goes to his side, his right one goes under his shirt in his waistband and he starts running at me.

At this point it looked like he was almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I’m shooting at him.

And the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn’t even there, I wasn’t even anything in his way.

And when he gets about that 8 to 10 feet away, I look down, I remember looking at my sites and firing, all I see is his head and that’s what I shot.

I don’t know how many, I know at least once because I saw the last one go into him. And then when it went into him, the demeanor on his face went blank, the aggression was gone, it was gone, I mean I knew he stopped, the threat was stopped.

 

Again he did not call Mike Brown a super predator but he sure did describe him as such. He actually got away with telling a jury of HIS peers that Mike Brown who was unarmed and already wounded by at least one round from his .40 caliber pistol grunted at him and charged him head on before having to be put down for good with what was left in his clip. If only Mike Brown’s mother and the mothers of the other well chronicled victims of police abuse were enlightened enough to connect the dots they would know that Hillary is neither a leader or a visionary when in comes to truly understanding and rectifying the problem of our broken criminal justice system.

Hillary did not invent the Super Predator bathos and neither did Bill Clinton. They both however used it in the most insidious and political expedient ways to justify their means to an end. These mothers have every right to endorse who they wish but I don’t think that it’s too much to ask them to leave the movement out of such a dubious decision.  They certainly cannot lay claim to the “Mothers of the Movement” moniker while bestowing undue praise on the very same  people who helped necessitate the movement in the first place.

 

the real mothers of the movement
Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi are the creators of the #blacklivesmatter hashtag. A hashtag that has helped galvanize and inspire millions to fight back. If there is a mother to the movement these three women are it.

 The 4 Block Buster deadline Trades That No One Is Talking About

The NBA trade deadline came and left last week  with little to no hoopla, fanfare, or late breaking news of any kind of three team swap changing the predictable balance of power in either conference. It’s been something of a downer for us fans of the game that like just a little bit of drama to go with our hoops. However, in lieu of Kevin Love not becoming a Celtic, Laker or Clipper; despite Carmelo having a no trade clause in his contract and irrespective of the fact that Dwight Howard & James Harden are married at the hip for at least the remainder of the season there still  were some really block busting trades consummated at the 11th hour of last weeks NBA’s trade deadline. The NBA NRA (National Racial Association) quietly announced four huge trades.

The Fine Print

The NBA collective bargaining agreement states that in every trade the two parties being traded must be within 125% of each other salary wise. Since the NRA does not track the salaries of those on the trading block the formula that they  use to remain in compliance with the collective bargaining agreement are the professions (or lack there of) of their trade prospects. So for an example if  I was the sole arbiter of what was and was not a fair trade I would gladly trade Dr. Ben Carson for the Puppy Monkey Baby. Only problem with that is the fact that Dr. Ben Carson is a world renowned neurosurgeon and the Puppy Monkey baby a prop from a Super Bowl commercial. The Puppy Monkey Baby maybe a bit more cogent and capable of carrying on an adult conversation but it’s hardly enough to compete with a guy that has on his resume the separation of Siamese twins  conjoined by the noggin-even if that guy is a certified loon.  So it  goes without saying that such a trade would not be approved by the Association. So much to the chagrin of the Black delegation Dr. Carson will remain a part of the black community for the foreseeable future. The good news for the black delegation however is they did find trading partners for four other blacks that have long been considered  to overstayed their welcome in the community and in need of having their respective black cards revoked. I’m certain that most would agree with the following deals that were most recently agreed upon before the trade deadline.

NRA Trade Number One: Stacy Dash for Gary Owens

gary-owen-stacey-dash

You don’t have to be the GM of the Lakers or  Celtics or be the next coming of Jerry West for this deal to have been your brain child. This particular trade comes straight out of No Brainerville. Two B-C rated actors that are already comfortable in the others skin (figuratively and literally) and seamlessly able to traverse cultures and code switch their way right up into the family. Stacy Dash went from being a video vixen extraordinaire  serving as eye candy to inner city generation X’ers with hip-hop proclivities to Fox News’s resident coonologist and eye candy for angry white ammo-sexual baby boomers. She’s been on the trading block since at least 2012at least 2012. Her decision to resurrect her  faint relevance as one of the resident Fox News Coontributors specifically hired to assuage the  guilt and placate the fragile feelings of the Networks Salty white Tear dripping viewership.  Just did not sit well with the home team. The straw that broke the camels back though was her latest viral diatribe  after being invited on the Fox & Freinds to opine on the #oscarssowhite controversy

STEVE DOOCY: What do you think about this?

STACEY DASH: I think it’s ludicrous.

STEVE DOOCY: Why??

STACEY DASH: We have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. And if we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard.

STEVE DOOCY (HOST): So you say there shouldn’t be a BET channel?

DASH: No, I don’t think so. No. Just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month. You know? We’re Americans. Period. That’s it.

DOOCY: Are you saying there shouldn’t be a Black History Month because there isn’t a white history month?

DASH: Exactly. Exactly.

 

She could not be any more clearer about want g out off of Team Blackness with that mindless missive. Not since Latrell Spreewell choked PJ Carlisimo in practice way back in 1997 has a player been so undisguised about wanting to be traded.

For Gary’s part he celebrated being traded to the black community just as you would expect a black person to do. He took to the Gram…

Welcome to the fam G!
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NRA Trade Number Two:Jason Whitlock  for Dave Zirin

 

With such a huge dearth in black journalism and the black perspective being bantered in the ether to compete with and combat mainstream media bias and mind manipulation it’s a shame that we have to put one of the more successful and widely read and regarded black sports writers on the market. But when the opinions you posit present more poison to the problematic nature of post Fairness Doctrine specious and pernicious journalism as opposed to being an elixir to such a societal malady then you really have worn out your welcome and need to cease being a Journalist in Black Face. We are better off with you being on another team because a black face postulating white supremacist thoughts and codifying the inexplicable angst of a large swath of AmeriKKKa is actually worse than it is coming from your typical AM side of the dial angry white talk show host.  . As a sports writer Jason Whitlock has  been largely able to fly under the radar as it pertains to offering an opinion on the germane issues of the day. But on those rare occasions that he’s asked or tasked with taking on issues of equality, intersectionality,  and/or oppression nine times out of ten he’s going to offer a convoluted quip that Ted Nugent would be proud to re-tweet.

Dave Zirin on the other hand has long used his pen as a sword for social  justice and equality. Not just for black people but all oppressed, neglected and disaffected people around the globe. He’s penned several books that delve deep into the heart of the pertinent issues of the day from a high minded and holistic perspective. The John Carlos Story and Game Over are just two of the many books that he’s authored that I recommend as a great reads…


More recently these two contemporary sports writers had the prime opportunity to opine on the same issue tackling intersectionality in a sports related kind of way and their opinions  could not have been any more divergent. By now everyone is aware of Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance where homage was paid to The Black Panther Party, victims of police brutality and mis-conduct as well as the LGBT community. The overall message was one that was about love and they went to great lengths to say as much.

But…

Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show

…that obviously was not universally interpreted and understood and our latest trading partners could not have crystallized any better how differently the message in the music of the Super Bowl Half-Time show has been conveyed.

Jason Whitlock on Beyonce’s performance:

 

Beyonce, why are you bringing this rebellion to a sporting event? This is an event that all of America comes together, 100 million people around America and throw Super Bowl parties, we come together across economic and racial lines and it’s all just one good time and the players … represent all these great things in America. … Probably not appropriate for the Super Bowl. It’s just not that type of event.

If you want to send a message, if you want to pander to social media and Twitter, if you want to extend your brand by involving yourself in controversy, [then] what Beyonce did was absolutely brilliant. You listen to the song’s lyrics, there’s no real rebellion in it. None.

“So I can see how the NFL got fooled by this. They listened to the song, and there’s nothing to it. There’s no tribute to the Black Panther party or any real shots at Hurricane Katrina or anything like that in the actual lyrics of the song. You have to watch the video to get the rebellion. She didn’t release the video until the day before the Super Bowl. So I could see how the NFL got caught off-guard.

When you tie the whole thing together, Beyonce snuck in some subversiveness that has put her in the center of controversy and has enhance her and Jay-Z’s brand. They had been getting beaten up in social media by the Black Lives Matter movement, that ‘You don’t support us,’ ‘You’re not down with this movement,’ blah blah blah . . . Beyonce pulls off this publicity stunt and now she’s all good with the social-media crowd and the people involved with Black Lives Matters.

“It’s all just a game and a fun marketing tool for Beyonce. They’ll make more money out of this and enhance their brand. But they’ve also set off some divisiveness in America, and that’s what’s disappointing to me.” ~ Jason Whitlock

One thing we know for sure the homie Jason Whitlock has no qualms about telling us how he really feels. On the flipside neither does Dave Zirin as he penned a piece entitled In Defense of Beyonces Black Panther Tribute At the Super Bowl for The Nation. In it he goes on to say:

A whole hell of a lot of people on Fox News and in the right-wing sewers of the Internet have lost their damn minds. I am not going to link to the statements, ranging from the historically ignorant to the unabashedly racist, because that’s their game. But I will say that if you are comparing the Black Panthers to the KKK, like one police sergeant did on Facebook, you are only proving that the extent of your historical knowledge is what some asshole said on Twitter. It’s like “comparing Adolf Hitler to Richard Pryor because they both had mustaches.”

Yet despite the right-wing noise, Beyoncé’s performance has created space for a real conversation about the Black Panthers, beyond the caricature. It is a chance to get people to see the recent Stanley Nelson PBS documentaryVanguard of the Revolution or read The Black Panthers Speak or Seize The Time or any number of books. Just to give one example, the most illustrative, politically textured Panther memoir in my humble opinion is My People Are Rising by Seattle Black Panther Party founder Aaron Dixon. When Dixon’s book was released in 2012, I pushed people to read it on social media and among friends and was met with a tepid response. After Beyoncé’s performance, I went back and recommended it again. The reaction was off the chain.

Being in the Bay Area this week has also opened my eyes to another part of what made Beyoncé’s halftime performance matter. There are people here who have dedicated their lives to fighting police brutality—most recently in the form of the killing of Mario Woods—and for the rights of the homeless to not be treated like collateral damage of gentrification. They wanted the Super Bowl to be an opportunity to spotlight these issues for the country. Instead, they were met with a smothering police presence, indifferent media, and an NFL occupation that made swaths of their city resemble the Green Zone in Iraq. ~ Dave Zirin

It’s pretty clear from reading the thoughts of these two sports journalist that hearing more of the latter and less (a whole lot less) of the former would be sort of a good thing.

NRA Trade Number Three:Darnell Earley for Tim Wise

 

Most people don’t know who Darnell Earley is but I’m certain that they know his work.  Darnell Earley is the Emergency City Manager that was put in place by Governor Rick Snyder to run the city of Flint. There’s really not much else to say about this son of a bitch ass coon. He played a major part in poisoning the drinking water of an entire city full of lower middle class, poor black, brown and white people. He was then promoted to head the Detroit Public Schools to put the final nails on that coffin  before his previous dastardly deeds came back to haunt him and he was forced to resign due to the mess that he co-created in Flint. He was essentially a black face hired to push a white supremacist agenda and he did a stellar job at it.

Tim Wise on the other hand has been one of the more formidable and unabashed white voices against racism and prejudice in American society for the last 10 years. He’s nothing short of an ally in the fight against white supremacy so this one again was pretty much a no brainer.

NRA Trade number four:The Congressional Black Caucus for the Congressional Progressive Caucus

The CBC’s recent endorsement of Hillary for the democratic nomination over the much more progressive (and trustworthy) Bernie Sanders was rather disappointing. It however was not enough of a reason to put the CBC who has long been known as the conscience of the Congress on the trading block . The unconscionable and inexplicable reasons that the leadership gave for their endorsement is actually why they have been offered up for the kinder, gentler and much more socially aware  Congressional Progressive Caucus. It’s hard to begrudge Congressmen John Lewis and Congressman James Clyburn for endorsing a person who has helped their PERSONAL ambitions in maintaining their congressional seats by allowing some of the unmitigated and untraceable big money that flows through their coffers to trickle into their own respective campaign war chests. However when they conflate someone being able to help them personally with actually doing the same for the black community, the masses the have supported them for the last 40 years have every right to take umbrage with their reckless word choice on their already questionable endorsement.

Now don’t get me wrong. Someone simply doing what was right in 1963 or whatever year it was that Bernie Sanders marched for equality or was arrested at a sit in does not automatically earn the black vote in 2016. However dismissing his involvement in the Civil Rights movement because you are supporting someone was on the opposite end of the historical and  ongoing fight for justice is rather dubious.Take for instance John Lewis’s response to a reporter asking him about Bernie Sanders well documented dalliance with the Civil Rights movement during his college years:

Well, to be very frank, I’m going to cut you off, but I never saw him, I never met him. I’m a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. I was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery, and directed their voter education project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.”~ Congressman John Lewis

 

Lets parse that statement real quick. He is implying one of two things both of which are nonsensical.

A: he’s either implying that he knew Hillary and Bill from being supporters of Civil Rights some 50 years ago.

OR

He’s implying that he’s never in his life met Bernie Sanders. Both  statements are patently false. His statement was a conflation of facts. When you have to resort to that kind of double speak to justify endorsing a person then you deserve all the back lash that comes your way (as it did) to force you to eat your errant word play (which he did). Quite naturally he took a lot of criticism from corners of the political and social movement world that are in most cases reticent when it comes to critiquing elders from the civil rights time period. Predictably he was compelled to walk back his aggressive response to the innocuous query:

I was responding to a reporter’s question who asked me to assess Sen. Sanders’ civil rights record. I said that when I was leading and was at the center of pivotal actions within the Civil Rights Movement, I did not meet Sen. Bernie Sanders at any time. The fact that I did not meet him in the movement does not mean I doubted that Sen. Sanders participated in the Civil Rights Movement, neither was I attempting to disparage his activism. Thousands sacrificed in the 1960s whose names we will never know, and I have always given honor to their contribution…If you take a look at a transcript of my statement, you will find I did not say that I met Hillary and Bill Clinton when I was chairman of SNCC in the 1960s. My point was that when I was doing the work of civil rights, led the Voter Education Project and organized voter registration in the South in the 1970s, I did cross paths with Hillary and Bill Clinton in the field. They were working in politics, and Bill Clinton became attorney general of Arkansas in the 1970s as well. That began a relationship with them that has lasted until today~ John Lewis (mea culpa)

The double speak did not end there. Both he and congressman Clyburn both denounced the idea of free college. They said that such a thing sends the wrong message. Here are two men particularly in the case of John Lewis that purport to carry the torch of Dr. Martin Luther King and his fight for economic equality sounding like Paul Ryan when it comes to evening the playing field in a most fundamental way. It was only 8 years ago that Clyburn was denouncing the race baiting of Bill and Hillary in their nomination fight against Obama. Now he can’t stop extolling her virtues. Collegiality over conviction is what that amounts to. It’s certainly not egregious enough of an offense for an individual trade so both John Lewis, James Clyburn and every other member of the CBC (not named Mia Love or Tim Scott) are all on Team Blackness for life but as an organization in congress boasting the teams color and logo it’s time that we trade them in for a more forward leaning body in the House and Senate.  Even before the CBC bet their black card on Hillary Clinton they have been slowly but surely losing their way and subsequently the right to be called the Conscience of the Congress.  Just to illustrate a few of their more incorrigible misdeeds as a caucus the following list serves as exhibit A.

  1. In 2014 Rep Alan Grayson (of the Congressional Progressive Caucus) introduced a Bill to put an end to the Pentagon siphoning their military grade weapons and equipment off to America’s already overzealous police forces. The measure failed and only 7 of 41 members of the CBC voted to for it.
  2. They have in increasing numbers started to capitulate to the Wall Streets demands on regulating their blood sucking hood predators like Pay Day Loan and Rent-to-Own companies
  3. In 2008 the CBC Foundation which had raised over $55 million dollars from 2004-2008 spent more on a lavish banquet for ($700,000) than they did in scholarships that they awarded.

Again. As individuals the CBC members have little to worry about as far as being traded but as a collective the Black Delegation can do much better so…

 

 

 

Top 10 Coons of 2015

2015 was another coontastic year full of black folks doing their latest and greatest “Shuck & Jive” routine to remain in the good graces of mainstream conservative white America. I could go on and on for days about the kind of self loathing self centered and selfish motivations that go into making certain black men and women suspend all manners of pride and common logic while spewing the most embarrassing rhetoric for the sole purpose of ingratiating  themselves with the kind of dying breed of thought propagated on Fox news, but I don’t have all day and since we have already said farewell to 2015 I’m going to cut to the chase and share my top 10 Coons of the last 365 day cycle…

#10 Raven Symone

Raven the bird

Now Raven is probably one of the more innocuous additions to this list because unlike the coons that will  follow her she has not outwardly advocated for or co-signed the murder of black people, stumped for Trump or any of the more outlandish things that her brothers and sisters in coondumb are guilty of.

With that being said Raven is a black woman that has a national media platform and while The View to most serious people may be superficial day time programming in nature, Ravens words, thoughts and opinions reverberate and have wide spread resonance. With such a dearth in black voices in media she has a responsibility (whether she accepts this or not) to represent the overall interest of African-Americans as they portend to social uplift and all manners of equality. While Raven is far from the most egregious on air offender of black sensibilities I would be remiss not to coon-crown her for openly embracing discriminating against people with ethnic or as she puts it “ghetto sounding” names.

She received enough backlash for her banal brain musing that she did the unthinkable–at least for a coon. She actually apologized to black people and retracted her statement. And while there are other examples this year of her cooning we will not belabor the point because again, unlike the coons on the list that will follow her there is some hope. Let’s pray that she understands the error of her ways and does not make next year’s list.

#9 Jonathan Gentry

jonathan gentry

~ Now most don’t know this “Soul Glo” Negro. Hell, I barley know who he is. I just happened to pass one of his coonified productions on Facebook and could not help but to opine on the kind of chicanery  chicoonery that he had on display.  Of course the mostly all white people on his page that pats him on his greasy ass head for his Uncle Tom soliloquies rushed to defend their lawn jockey. My retort to his rabidly racist followers  ended up getting me a 30 day ban from Facebook…

Banned from FB pic


 

…so needless to say my number 9 selection was more personal in nature. Though the Coon-job that he’s pulling off is still worthy of mention.

 

#8 Rod Wheeler

wheeler

Rod Wheeler is another lesser known coon (unless you are a Fox Newsbot) who deserves some recognition for his incessant coonery and failing of black people in media. The following clip speaks for itself. As a black man and former police officer he has totally abdicated his responsibilities to the community by co-signing the deaths of the innocent victims of racist policing in America. His answer to how to stop police killings of unarmed black people is to get out of their way and let them do their jobs. Oh and that there needs to be a change at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He really said that…

#7 Kevin Jackson

kjacksonbookcover

Kevin Jackson is one of the better known hired guns (against black progress) of Fox News. He makes a living being the attack dog for white supremacy on air. No matter how egregious the offense to black people are he will always side with whatever Sean Hannity’s opinion is. He is to Sean Hannity what Justice Clarence Thomas is to Justice Antoion Scalaia–a lap dog.

His answer about what ails black America will always default to liberal policies, the Democratic party and Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson. No matter what the specific topic at hand is. I think we all know a coon or two like this guy.

#6 Diamond & Silk

diamonsnsilk

~ Now these two coonettes were plucked from under the same rock of obscurity that the rest of Donald Trumps dangerously uneducated following crawled from under. The two of these women together can be described as nothing short of a minstrel act. The kind of cooning that they have on display would normally grant them a higher ranking but as I said earlier–2015 was quite the coontastic year and these birds have little to no influence on even the most guile among us so all this performance really amounts to is a modern day Amos and Andy skit.

Two extra mediocre ghetto birds with lace front weaves endorsing Donald Trump and his Mein Kampf style of politics amounts to being just a misdomeaner in comparison to the Trump endorsements coondorsements to follow…

 

#5 The Black Preachers that endorsed Trump

black preachers for trump

…because after all not even the average ghetto bird will  follow these ghetto birds to the polls to vote for him. The Diamond and Silk coon combo at the end of the day will garner minimal (if any) black voters for Trump. Their purpose more than anything is to assuage white racist guilt and to allow Trump to keep on saying “The Blacks love me”. These black preachers stumping for Trump is a much more nefarious act of treason to the community because these men are literally paid to lead flocks of black people and they are knowingly leading their flock to vote for a man that overtly disdains them and is literally promising to increase their misery index. No matter what these men and women have done in their respective ministries in the past to uplift the community (if they’ve done that at all) they will now and forevermore be remembered for selling out the black and progressive cause for Donald Trumps chump change. They have reached the point of no return and are coons for life–the same holds true for their respective congregants. So yes, if you still sit in any of these house niggers pew on Sunday, you too are a coon for life.

Then there was this…

#4 Omorosa

omarosa-trump

Omorosa was the actual ring leader of the Black Preachers for Trump Coon Brigade. She’s higher on the list and singled out because in addition to being an ordained minister she’s a very accomplished woman and has enough merit and stripes that such cooning on her part for Donald Trump is wholly unnecessary. Her literally whoring for one of the most overtly racist men to run for president since Barry Goldwater should forever relegate her to being nothing more than a coon, bed wench, mammy (insert Uncle Tom pejorative of choice).

 

#3 Ben Carson

ben-carson-and-evolution-with-tardis-and-jesus-riding-dinosaur

~Mr. Gifted Hands has anything but a gifted mind. His meteoric yet ephemeral rise to the top of the GOP presidential polls mirrors that of Herman Cains rise (and fall) four years ago. By now it’s pretty obvious that both men are the ultimate tokens of the Grand Ole Party’s fledgling nomination process whereby they serve as the ultimate cover for the most ignorant and bigoted voters (and pollsters that corral them) in the nation and allow them to opine in the most mind numbing racist ways only to claim that they are not racist because they are voting for a buffoon named Ben. Even the dolts that claim to be supporting this useful idiot know that come Super Tuesday his name will be no where near a ballot.

Ben Carson is the Rain Man of brain surgery–politics not so much. In the school of medicine the dude is genius extraordinaire. In the school of politics, common sense and all things unrelated to cutting open the medulla oblongata, he’s arrested in his development  and suffering from an undiagnosed case of Asperger’s (no offense to anyone with a child on the autism spectrum).  He’s more socially awkward, inept and out of place on the national political stage than a 3rd grader at the opera. The good news is that by this time next election cycle he will be the same faint and distant memory (and footnote in history) that Herman Cain is today because his useful idiocy will have long expired. Enjoy Corky while you can.

#2 Sheriff David Clarke

David Coon Clarke

Sheriff David the Coon Clarke has never met a police shooting of an unarmed black person that he did not agree with or co-sign as great police work. His rise to notoriety (mostly via Fox and CNN) coincides with and is in direct correlation to the level of outrage generated by the myriad murders by police caught on tape. He’s paraded around the networks to basically explain away racist police policies and abuse of authority. This makes him one of the most dangerous men (for blacks) on television.

And oh yeah, his answer to what ails the black community is single black women.

#1 Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson

jesse-lee-peterson

Allow me to drop this verbatim right here (Rev. Jesse Lee Patterson on the Black Lives Matter Movement)

“It’s a hate group, they’re no different than the skinheads or the KKK. They are people who have never been taught to love. From the beginning of their lives they were taught to hate, blame and become victims. They’re just spending a lifetime blaming white Americans, blaming slavery for their lack of good parents in the homes and their lack of love… If Black Lives Matter was a white radical group, doing exactly what these black people are doing, they would be shut down. America would not allow that to happen…white Americans feel helpless and they have fear and they allow black lives matter, and other groups, to destroy our country…I’ve done a lot of work in the prisons and jails, and juvenile detention centers over the years. They have taught, and are teaching black youth, both male and female now, that Christianity is the white man’s religion and that Islam is the black man’s religion…At one point, I was a liberal Democrat, and I had the same anger as Black Lives Matter have because my father wasn’t there for me. Instead of people helping me to forgive him, they told me it was white racism, so I had to same hatred for white people…But I went to God and asked him to show me what was wrong, he  allowed me to see it was that anger that starts in the home.

Uncle Ruckus could not have said that any better (from the purview of a coon of course). And if that is not enough to justify his top billing as Coon of the year the following clip should cement his standing

When Sean Hannity has to tell you to dial back the coonery–you have officially earned the title Coon of the Year.

 

*Honorable Mention*

Clarence Thomas

Clarence Stephen Thomas

Charles Barkely

charles the coon

 

Don Lemon

donlemonsideeye

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen a smith

Taye Diggs

taye diggs

Anthony Mackie

anthonymackies

Stacy Dash

stay dash

Juan Williams

juan williams

Niger Innis

niger innis

Tommy Sotomayor

tjharrismugshot2

Wayne Bradley

wayneisacoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We appreciate you finally accepting the truth about that flag but who Killed Clementa Pinkney??

Let me preface this piece with the caveat that I am not a conspiracy theorist.  Really, I’m not. But… Who killed Clementa Pinkney? We all know who pulled the trigger, but who gave the order?  Who had Dylan Roof walk into Emanuel A.M.E. Church and murder in cold blood a sitting state senator?  A sitting state senator who was a rising star in South Carolinian politics. The kind of leader that comes around once every couple of generations with that rare, powerfully potent voice and requisite courage to speak the harsh truth to power was wiped off the face of the earth by an assassins bullet.  Sound like a familiar story?

Martin, Malcolm & Medgar 

For the uninitiated think Martin, Malcolm and Medgar. Oratorical juggernauts  at the apex of their organizational strength and leadership on the cusp forcing revolutionary change in the light of day while commanding an inordinate share of the daily media cycle  further inspiring the masses.  It’s easy to forget that  for most of Clementa Pinkney’s  career as a politician and public servant he was literally an enemy of  his state and a political foe diametrically opposed  to the overwhelming majority in his state legislature–many of which have eulogized him in the wake of his untimely demise. Are we really all to believe that the far right (and racist) leaning South Carolinian state legislature had an overnight revelation that that hateful racist flag that they and most of their constituency have in the distant and not so distant past publicly revered no longer sees as some innocuous ode to southern heritage? I’m sorry but my faith in the redemptive plausibility of my fellow countrymen (particularly below the Mason-Dixon line) is not that strong. The modern historical record is far too replete with instances like this whereby a black leader gets assassinated in the prime of their life fighting for what’s right. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were both murdered at age 39, Medgar Evers was killed at age 38. Clementa Pinkney lived to see the ripe old age of 41 before white supremacy silenced his voice. Unless you believe that it was mere coincidence that this uneducated aloof and borderline autistic misfit would have the wherewithal to first and foremost know who he was, (he specifically asked that he be identified) know his importance to the anti-racist struggle down south and moreover know his schedule there’es no logical explanation for why Dylan Roof would be privy to the personal schedule of any sitting senator devoid of some sort of collusion with at least one other party.

I don’t mean to be dismissive of the lives of Cynthia Hurd, DePayne  Middleton-Doctor, Ethel Lance, Myra Thompson,  Susie Jackson, Sharonda Singleton, Danial Simmons or Tywanza Sanders whose lives were every bit as precious as Clementa Pinckney’s, but their deaths in this massacre was collateral damage. The target was Pinkney and the murderous thug that they sent to do it said as much when he said that the people that he killed were so nice and warm that he almost could not go through with it. If this young misguided boy consumed with hate was acting on his own accord the love of Christ, the notion that love conquers hate [insert your favorite turn the other cheek cliche] would have actually worked as advertised and ballyhooed ad nausea by many Negroes alike. That tactic proved to be unsuccessful in reaching the minuscule yet malleable mind on a mission to commit dastardly deeds. The question(s) is who gave him this mission to carry out, why did they give it to him and what was/is the end goal. Is it really a race war as posited in the manifesto that he supposedly authored? Are we really crediting this kid with having that much foresight? Or was there a more esoteric sublime order from a higher placed source in state, local and/or federal government?

Dumb and dumber

Dylann Roof was both a high school dropout (9th grade) and a certified tea bagger. That combination would normally net some pretty egregious grammatical errors in a typical 147 character jibe so how he got through a 2,440 count scribe with all his subjects and verbs in  agreement and no misspellings is a surprising feat even if the late great Marva Collins or that woman that taught Helen Keller how to read and write were tag team tutoring him.

Lest we forget this is the typical verbiage of a high school drop out from a poor white bigoted town in the south :

Eglish

huge mistake

lier and cheif

So yeah, I’m calling bullshit on that manifesto being authored by Dylann Roof. I’m also calling bullshit on the website that features a bunch of pictures of the kid that were all seemingly taken in the same year, month or even week.

dylann 1

Dylann-Roof-Confederate-Flag

dylann 3

As you can see there’s no change or growth (in his face, body or bowl cut) in any of these photos that populated his website. It suggests to me that it was all put together in one instance. Was that instance to cover up a sinister conspiracy to kill a black leader and state senator? I’m inclined to believe so.

Flag under the bus

White southerners have a legitimate bone to pick with their state leadership and many of the conservative stalwarts that they have supported over the years for so easily acquiescing to that flag being taken down from the state capitol and the various other land marks that it proudly flies.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not a proponent of it being flown and I’m not above stomping on the flag while it’s down, but the stars and bars insignia that graced Dylann Roofs apparel had no more to do with the 9 lives that he ended on that fateful day at Emanuel A.M.E. Church than the stars and strips has to do with the countless men and women of color that get gunned down by American law enforcement whose apparel bears that symbol. The flag is too easily being made a scapegoat when there are much larger culprits at play. Removing the flag from the public space is all good. Such an eye sore is long overdue to be buried in the annals of history. However if this reactionary gesture gets construed as benevolence or anything greater than the insult being rescinded from atop the actual injury (that many still remain in denial of) we once again have been hoodwinked ;()

So I ask again in closing:  Who Killed Clementa Pinkney???

Five things about the Rachel Dolezal Saga That Everyone is missing (or failing to talk about)

By now everyone has heard about ad nausea the chicanery involving the white woman passing as a black woman and being so successful at passing as a “sister gurl” that she was able to parlay that performance into becoming the  local Spokane chapter head of the NAACP. Depending on your purview (and sense of humor) you may find this funny, offensive,  atypical of white people culturally re-appropriating aspects black culture that they can market and exploit for their own benefit or a little bit of it all. Speaking for myself I find the entire episode to be quite fascinating. Everyone seems to be talking about it and the opinions on what and who Rachel Dolezal really is and what her inner most motivations for turning colored run the gamut but there are about five aspects to take away worthy of a more discussion. At least more than the surface level analysis currently being bantered about in the ether. If I may, I’d like to bring them to the forefront to dissect and discuss (since we are gonna talk about the woman anyway).

1. Black really is beautiful (universally) and Black power is actually getting stronger not weaker and that fact that a white woman from Montana would go to such lengths to play black is proof

blackgirlsrock

In a day and age when the hashtag #blacklivesmatter has to constantly be dropped on the minds of Americans just so that they can recognize our humanity it’s kind of hard to accept as truth the fact that black people in America are more emboldened and powerful than we were at any other period of American history but I’m here to say that I stand by the above proclamation. Sure we remain a mere 13-15 percent of the nations population but we account for no less than 50 percent of what goes into to making this nation so great (no matter what perspective you view history from). This country literally marches to the beat of our drum.

There’s a very strong case to be made that black women are the most disrespected subspecies of human in America and if you account for the global rape of the African continent and all of the atrocities that beset the native mothers of the mother land one could say that she has been the most disrespected and mistreated in the world and be able to back it up with sound data. At least sound enough to make a good argument. I’m not going to go so far as to say that those who make the argument that black women are the most disrespected and reviled in America (because I don’t feel like arguing)are wrong but I will say that there’s levels to the hate (real and perceived) that emanates and once we begin to add a little nuance (more on that) to these race based conversations the more layers we will be able to peel back the more that black people will get to the bottom of the inherent feelings of inferiority masked behind America’s age old construct of White Supremacy.

The great philosopher Nasir Jones once said “People fear what they can’t understand, hate what they can’t conquer, I guess that’s just the theory of man.” The same is obviously true for women. The image of the Black woman today is much more enamored than scorned despite how many bitches and ho’s your favorite rapper has called you. From Kylie Jenner’s lip suction shenanigans to deadly butt injection phenomenon to Miley Cyrus twerking all over the place–Black women are trend setters and the envy of today’s popular culture. Despite how much those magazines in the check outline try to convince you otherwise. I get that you own your image and your experience as widely varied as it may be. Just don’t be too surprised, confused or bemused by the fact that others want to be like you.

Take solace in the fact that the standard for what America defines as beautiful is slowly albeit reluctantly changing–it really is okay to acknowledge this in the face of #askrachel

2. Black people are not a monolith (a good thing) but too often lack the requisite nuance to reconcile differences in perspective (a bad thing)

arguing

During the past several days while Rachel’s story has been ubiquitous in our social media timelines and the national media headlines  I’ve witnessed some really heated and deeply visceral debates on the matter. In these conversations all sorts of issues are surfacing in lieu of Rachel. And while open dialogue is a good thing it’s kind of hard to find common ground when so much hyperbole and conflation of disparate facts and opinions are part of the equation. If a picture is worth a thousand words than a meme is worth a million.

This cleaver meme conflates the Uncle Tomlike disposition of Stacy Dash and her proclivity for extolling the greatness of White Supremacy juxtaposed to Rachel Dolezals rejection of the aforementioned white supremacist worldview.
This cleaver meme conflates the Uncle Tomlike disposition of Stacy Dash and her proclivity for extolling the greatness of White Supremacy juxtaposed to Rachel Dolezals rejection of the aforementioned white supremacist worldview(minus the single white female jack move).
This one conflates the transgender transformation struggle with the newly minted transracial struggle.
This one conflates the transgender transformation struggle with the newly minted transracial struggle.
And this one of course was quite a shit starter. It conflates the issue of black women "diversifying" in tone, texture and color their hair with the "au natural" hair style rocked by Rachel.
And this one of course was quite a shit starter. It conflates the issue of black women “diversifying” in tone, texture and color their hair with the “au natural” hair style rocked by Rachel.

These memes are jokes poking fun at the very peculiar behavior exhibited by Ms Dolezal but inherent in almost every joke is a hint of truth.  Sometimes convenient and other times not so convenient. Meme one sort of states the obvious and I for one would approve of such a deal but that’s just me. Meme two conflates the Bruce/Catilyn Jenner transition from man to woman with Rachel’s from white to black. While two separate issues it’s hard to not notice the disparate reactions to the two transitions. Especially since gender is a real physiological distinction while the race designation was born out of the white supremacist mindset devoid of any sort of scientific evidence or study. It was actually used as a tool or rubric to designate the racial superiority of whites in the concocted racial hierarchy spectrum that of course designated blacks as the bottom of the food chain. The last one was more of a shit starting meme than any true point worthy of high minded discussion. But optic was golden and gave birth to some great angry retorts.

The notion that we all think and act alike  today thanks in large part to the proliferation of social media has been ripped to shreds. We don’t all think alike at all and this issue is one that brought that to the forefront. The opinions on this woman and what she did range from hero to villain but very few things in between.

I lifted opinions of two people from two different generations that I greatly respect and while I find it hard to agree with either in totality together they encapsulate my point about the lack of nuance that we often times apply stories such as this one:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  wrote an op-ed on the matter and made the following statement:

Perhaps some of this sensitivity comes from her adoptive black siblings. Whatever the reason, she has been fighting the fight for several years and seemingly doing a first-rate job. Not only has she led her local chapter of the NAACP, she teaches classes related to African-American culture at Eastern Washington University and is chairwoman of a police oversight committee monitoring fairness in police activities. Bottom line: The black community is better off because of her efforts.

Slow down Captain! This is where some brothers make it hard to be middle of the road. Rachel Dolezal is NOT Sandra Bullock from the movie Blindside. She did not do anything for the black community that we have not long done for ourselves 100 fold. She also did not do anything posing as a black woman that she could not have accomplished as a white woman. Her posing as a black woman is part and parcel to her own level of dysfunction.

Then there’s the opine from the oppisite end of the spectrum. Talib Kweli posited this on the manner:

I’ve known white people who have said to me verbatim, “I feel black on the inside.” There’s nothing wrong with being honest about that. But she took it to the next level. When you lie; when you’re saying your adopted brother is your son; when you’re suing Howard one year for saying you’re too white, then saying people hung nooses at your door the next year – that’s crossing the line. You’re not a friend or an ally to the movement. You’re an enemy. Maybe you’re not as dangerous an enemy as killer cops, but you’re not down with us at all. ~ Talib Kweli

This woman is also not some evil villain part of some nefarious plot to infiltrate and destroy the black community. Where is the middle grown? Why does she have either saint or savior?

Today’s word of the day is NUANCE. Lets learn to add it to our daily dialogue. It will make us all smarter. I promise it will.

3. America’s White Supremacist Construct is even more damaging to white Americans (believe it or not) than it is to the longest running intended victims. 

LBJ quote

Black people in America have been living under the perils, threats, promises and actualization of overt and covert white supremacy for as long as we’ve been in this country (1619- present). Racism and all of it’s negative reverberations on the black community is a known quantity. Very few instances of American racism or aspects of structural white supremacy in America shock the ethos of even the most oblivious black people in America. Whether it’s officer Eric Casebolt in Texas tackling, manhandling and forcing the face of a 14 year black girl in the ground (on the heels of Tracy Carver-Britton  precipitating a fight with another black  teenager simply for being black and in a predominantly white neighborhood pool) or the more deadly variety of police interactions with black people such as Eric Garners, Tamir Rices, Freddy Grey’s  or the countless other names (I can literally go on for days)  of unarmed black men and women that have had fateful encounters with white and even black overseers  officers– it IS what it IS with black people vis-a-vis the acceptance of the fact that racism in America is thriving. White people though?? While some of them actually get what’s going on far too many willfully remain in an abyss in so far as seeing and saying something about it. If only they knew what their complicity in overt inequality is actually just as detrimental to them and the future of their progeny as it is to “the blacks”. Even more because most black people are already armed with the knowledge that there’s a very thin line between sovereign citizen and enemy of the state. Whites however are just beginning to figure it out. The first signs came during the Bush administration when he signed the Patriot Act and other police state measures to law on the way to almost bankrupting the nation. Bush/Cheney and company made off like Madoff with the nations treasure–so much so that America thought it prudent to elect a janitor to clean up the mess they left behind. I mean President Obama is not a janitor but you can’t tell by the level of respect bestowed him and the office that he holds by far too many white Americans. In fact his presidency has single handily brought back the Dixi-Crat movement in the form of the Tea Party. But I digress because this piece is not about the half black half white president of the united states. It’s about the fully white former president of the local NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington. Her very damaged psyche is being blasted for her African-Americanly outward appearance and her self-identifying as black when in reality the damage was done to her long before she started rocking extensions and the “au natural” that has become synonymous with her look. Her family went to great lengths to expose her lie while knowingly ruining her carefully crafted social and professional reputation. The divisions in her family run deep and her rejection of them and her blue eyed blue blooded Caucasian American heritage has as much to do with the collective dysfunction of her family and the white supremacist mindset and  cultural construct that enveloped her early childhood as it does for her longing for the beauty of  darker skin, kinky hair and to call some really cool and diverse beautiful black people her kin. It’s a dysfunction that I recognize.

I had a good friend that has a similar yet more authentic experience. She was a mixed (black & white) young lady that was adopted by a white family. A white family that did not disclose the fact that she was adopted nor did they let her know that she was half black. She did not know about her African-American linage until she went away to school. Subsequently she grew up with a complex. A complex that’s far above my pay grade to diagnose but even the untrained eye could spot as being not normal. This friend of mine adopted a deep seated hate for not just her adopted parents who she believed to be racists deep down but her disdain was for all white people. Regardless of who they were or what they purported to think about matters of race and class. It was a position that I could not move her from no matter how hard I tried.  Buzzfeed interviewed Rachel’s adopted brother and he gave perhaps the most insightful reasoning for the mysterious behavior of his older sister:

She chose African American art as her focus, she stuck out as a student.  Ezra states that his sister encountered what amounted to reverse racism on campus and she felt that she was being treated differently by both students and faculty.

“Because of her work in African American art, they thought she was a Black student during her application, but they ended up with a White person,” stated Ezra.

This social rejection, oddly enough, caused her to not dislike Black people, but to hate White people for making Black people not accept her.

Yes, it’s confusing. In her delusional, educated mind, only she understood the impact of White supremacy and racism on Black people. As such, she saw her inability to be accepted by Black people on campus a direct result of the impact of White racism.  So she hated White people for creating the discriminatory behavior on campus. It was then that her brother Ezra stated that Rachel started being “hateful to white people.”

He’s essentially stating that she rejected white culture because of the effects that came in the form of black people rejecting her whiteness. It’s a plausible theory and one that deserves more discussion. We may find that such an un-diagnosed mental affliction is more common than we think. At least I would not mind if a few cops, judges and politicians came down with such an affliction.

4. Rachel Dolezal is finally being treated as the black victim that she so vividly painted herself (no pun intended) to be for the last several years of her life. 

NBC handout shows Dolezal being interviewed by Lauer on the NBC News "TODAY" show in New York

Raven Symone in recent years has said some pretty dumb things as they pertain African-Americans, race relations and culture. Stacy Dash has said even dumber things than her. Both women upon outwardly embracing white supremacist thinking and down playing their African-American heritage were hired by major networks to keep up the good work and even to expound on some of the thoughtless diatribes that they have come to be known for. Dr. Ben Carson the renowned neurosurgeon and author of the best selling biography Gifted Hands is currently one of the front runners for the GOP presidential nomination. He however is not a front runner due to his advances in medicine nor his rags to riches story. He’s the GOP front runner because when it comes to race, class and politics he’s a Black White Supremacist. He once mused that the Affordable Care Act was the worst thing that happened to this country since slavery. He really said that shit with a straight face. And guess what, he was not called crazy, unhinged or even an appropriator or mis-appropriator of anyone’s culture by the mass media. He too was given a job in media until his perch got big enough to launch his presidential ambitions. Rachel for all of her confused commentary and behavior scored a few interviews but it’s doubtful that she will be given a permanent  platform to discuss her disdain for white supremacy or even her affinity for black people  Like Ben, Raven and Stacy have been given. The message is quite clear. It’s cool for blacks to disavow black culture and be considered perfectly fine by the mainstream media but when a white person disavows white culture (which has historically been unkind to all of mankind) for black culture you are deemed certifiably crazy. Of course this is not an apples to apples comparison and Rachel did go to great lengths it’s worth noting that more black people than we care to acknowledge racially pass for selfish and self centered purposes as white and have been doing so for longer than anyone reading this has been around.

5. The Dolezal family is Cray Cray and collectively they have some deep unresolved issues that are at least in part responsible for us even knowing about her sordid tale

Josh D

It was reported that from 2001-2002 Rachel’s biological brother sexually abused at least one of their families adopted sons from Africa. Rachel gave a deposition on the case in 2013 long before she was outed as a white woman posing as a black woman. Since her history with telling the truth is dubious at best it’s hard to take anything that she’s said at face value but if in fact she and the alleged victim are telling the truth about the abuse than her being outed by her parents makes her all the more a victim. It does not mean that she deserves your acceptance or sympathy or even understanding. But what I do hope is that some of the ancillary issues brought up due to this story could be more resonate with those of us who care about this issue in one way or another however slight or intensive that may be,

What did you mean by thug Mr President? : An Open letter to Barack Obama

Dear Mr. President,

As someone that voted for you both in 2008 & 2012, supported your campaigns financially, volunteered my time and even played key stroke warrior on your behalf when undue criticism ,insults and racist diatribes were lobbed at you and your family, I feel that I’ve earned the right to express how disappointed I am at what I see as one of the lowest moments of your presidency. At least as it portends to the uplift of African-Americans (particularly the most vulnerable) and the continued fight against white supremacy in America (particularly law enforcement).

Question(s) for you Mr President:

Did you call George Zimmerman a thug for stalking, attacking and then shooting dead that unarmed kid that you claimed would look so eerily similar to your son if you had one? How about Darren Wilson–did you call him a thug for shooting Mike Brown as he had his hands raised–the universal sign for surrender? Timothy Loehmann shot and killed 12 year old Tamir Rice within 2.5 seconds of arriving at a park where he innocently played with his TOY gun–was that not an act of thuggery? Did you call him a thug? Walter Scott was shot 5 times in the back by a thug in uniform that sits in a jail cell as we speak–did you label him a thug yet?

I get it, they are all law enforcement (minus the wannabe) and American law enforcement are sensitive creatures so for whatever reason you feel that you must coddle them so I will forgive (for the moment with a dash of sarcasm) your reluctance to call a spade a spade vis-a-vis law enforcement. What about the guy who stormed an elementary school and murdered in cold blood over 20 babies? Did you call Adam Lanza or any of the plethora mass shooters that thugged out on your watch thugs for any of their thuggery?

What is a thug in the first place?

   

Now that we have a baseline to work with in the form of definitive means, let’s examine exactly what you could have meant  by calling some of the poorest,most disaffected, and criminally mis-educated, boys from poorest end of one of the most impoverished cites in the country you lead a bunch of thugs. A thug is defined as a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer. Now I know they were rioting and throwing rocks but they did not kill anyone, nor were they particularly cruel. In fact one of those thugs even had his mom greet and beat his ass all the way home. Now I’ve listened to a lot of rap music in my life and at least according to the hip-hop doctrine that ain’t how a thug goes out.

Is this what you call a thug Mr. President?

Let’s say for the sake of argument that your flippant use of the term to describe these provoked, misguided and rightfully angry youth was more a generalization for what they were doing at the time (rioting) and not part of the American racial codec. Every year you host the winner of the Stanley Cup at the White House and almost every year that that cup in won and loss there’s rioting in the streets of the city that one or both teams represent. I never ever saw you or anyone in your administration or the mainstream media call them thugs or petition the team owner from the winning team to talk sense into their unruly (for no damn reason) fan base. Like everyone else in America you picked Kentucky to win the NCAA championship this year. There was a bunch of college students  in Kentucky that took that loss way harder than you, I and most other Americans–funny how you nor anyone else in media labeled them thugs. What gives Mr. President? Why does black America get the Angry Obama Alter ego in real life concerning real issues and white America only gets to see that guy in a stand up routine talking about a bucket lists?

For someone who normally has his ear to the street and stays connected to the realities faced by many you sure let your radar down with that one reference. Either your code switching skills are slipping or there is at least a modicum of truth to the widely held belief propagated by many in the black community that you take our feelings, worth and even intelligence for granted. It’s not necessarily a belief that I subscribe to in fact I vehemently disagree with that notion. I’m still however having trouble wrapping my mind around why you called those boys a thugs and what exactly did you mean by it.

 Your employ of such a dubious term to describe the Baltimore youth that rebelled at YOUR (I stress your because you have yet to denounce them)  armed and shielded agent provocateurs better known as the BCPD (as well as the rest of them in America) was nothing short of heart breaking.  While the totality of what you said was fair-minded and empathetic your use of the word thug to describe those kids does a great disservice to them and most black men in America. It over shadowed much of the good things that you said.

Baltimore councilman Carl Stokes perfectly summarized what the media and other irresponsible handlers of the bully pulpit (yourself included) mean when they call those disadvantaged kids thugs.

http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/embed/80773

Am I my brothers Keeper

In case the memo has not made its way to 1600 Penn, let me be the first to break the news to you that “Thug” is euphemistic speak for nigger–ask Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch and Fox News. Hell, you’ve been called a thug numerous times–how could you not know it’s contemporary meaning? The first black president codifying such racist code speak is akin to giving up on black youth. As much as your use of the term  thug disturbs me (and your lack of use of the word at other times) I know for a fact that that is not your aim so this letter is written with love. You established the My Brothers Keeper initiative and pledge to improve the lives and mitigate the hardships faced by black boys in urban America. One of the first steps in uplifting our black boys to manhood is to disabuse the notion that they are the embodiment of their worst acts–especially while mired in the doldrums of poverty.

My organization signed up to take your pledge. We are taking it very seriously and we aim to make a huge difference in the lives of some of Urban Americas least franchised. That would make us partners Mr President and as partners in this great and worthy endevor I hope you receive this letter of slight rebuke in love. Your words were disturbingly counter-productive. An apology and retraction of that very in-artful sound bite would be nice. A vow to never ascribe that term to the kind of kids that you did the other day would be even better. I’m not saying that you need to have a mock funeral for the word thug like that failed mock funeral they had for the word nigger a few years ago. We’d actually like to hear that word roll off your lips a little more often. First  it would be nice to hear you ascribe that term to cops that murder innocent unarmed individuals. Second and more importantly we’d like to hear you mention all of the good work that our organization is doing with the youth. THUGS Inc is the organization (Together Helping Unite Gods Sons) and we are our brothers keepers. The kids that you refereed to as thugs are actually sons of God. Help us help you help them.

Recap according to your words a logic

 

Thug

cop beats woman

Not a Thug

kid on cop car

Thug

Thugs not thugs

Not Thugs

  

Thugs

We gotta do better than this Mr President

Signed

T.H.U.G.S., Inc. Board of Directors

Shaka Berry, President

sberry@thugsinc.org

Stephanie N. Arrington, Treasurer

sarrington@thugsinc.org

Allen M. Graham, Founder

agraham@thugsinc.org

Carlton Ferguson, Co-Founder

cferguson@thugsinc.org

Diana Campbell

dcampbell@thugsinc.org