2016 has been quite a coontastic year. i’m talking vintage. So much so that we had to trade in the coon train for a vessel much larger to accommodate all of them. Cooning has become an epidemic in America and it is important that we in the non-cooning negro community collectively rebuke such behavior whenever it occurs. As with anything else there are levels to coonery. These first set of 50 coons are what we call somewhat redeemable coons. Particularly the first 20-30. The closer to the number one spot they get the less redeemable they get.
So with out further ado here are your top 100 coons for 2016 (the first 50)
Coontestants# 100-91: Mainstream black media members Donna Brazille, Al Sharpton, Karen Finney, Toure, Jonathan Capehart, Eugene Robinson, Harold Ford, Joy Reid, Don Lemon and Juan Williams
The black members of the mainstream media serve a very purposeful role and that is to correct the myriad false narratives bantered about in the ether and more importantly to better inform black people so that as a community we’d be able to make the best decisions possible–particularly at the ballot box. All of these members of the mainstream press checked their journalistic integrity and intellectual honesty at the door and for the most part became defacto campaign surrogates for Hillary Clinton. They did not challenge any of the false narratives, half truths or out right myths surrounding her coronation to the Democratic nomination which in turn fed her false sense of invincibility in the general election. These ten members of the mainstream media as much as anyone else in media are responsible for the incoming idiot in chief. In 2017 lets not rely on these characters to bring us the news we need. In the very least look at each of them with a more cautious eye while holding them to higher standards as I believe they all could do better.
Coontestants#92-83: The Seahawks response to Colin Kapernicks national anthem protest
Coontestant #82: Fantasia
Coontestant#81 Mary J Blige
Coontestant#80: Laila Ali
“Yes, black lives matter. Yes, white lives matter, asian lives matter. All lives matter…And that’s kind of what my focus is. But it’s hard because, you know, you’ve got sponsors and you’ve got this and you’ve got that. And you don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. And you’re trying to be politically correct, but at the same time trying to uplift your people.~ Laila Ali
Coontestants#79-73 “The Mothers of the Movement”
Coontestant#72 Sage Steele
Coontestant#71 Jerry Rice
Coontestant# 70 Victor Cruz
Coontestant# 69 Dennis Rodman
Coontestant# 68 Fat Joe
Coontestant# 67 Tiki Barber
Coontestant# 66 Michael Crabtreeinthebucket
“I just play football, I ain’t no Martin Luther King.”~ Michael Crabtree
Coontestestant #65 Rodney Harrison
“Obviously he has the right to stand up for what he believes, but he has to understand there are consequences and might be backlash for what he said. You know a lot of people are criticizing him — I think his heart is in the right place, I just think he was going about it in the wrong way, If he really wants to make change, sitting his butt down [during the anthem], that’s not going to change, that’s going to get people very upset and he has to understand that. If you think sitting during the national anthem, a lot of people really served before his time, now, trying to give him the freedoms and the liberties that he has … and I tell you this, I’m a black man. And Colin Kaepernick — he’s not black. He can not understand what I face and what other young black men and black people face, or people of color face, on a every single [day] basis. When you walk in a grocery store, and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up in to a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you about to steal something. I don’t think he faces those types of things.” ~ Rodney Harrison
Coontestant# 64 Charlemagne
Coontestant# 63 DJ Envy
Coontestant#62 Stephen A Smith
Stephen A Smith who cracked the top ten in years past was not even supposed to make the list this year because for the most part in 2016 he practiced reasonably responsible journalism. That was until he lost his mind over the fact that Colin Kapernick did not vote. Here’s a dude (Colin Kapernick) that donated over 1 million dollars in 2016 to causes that help uplift the poor black and brown and this coon is brow beating him because he did not vote for either of the two candidates that have more than proven to not have the best interest of the community in heart mind and agenda.
in his own words:
“As far as I’m concerned Colin Kaepernick is absolutely irrelevant, I don’t want to hear a damn word about anything that he has to say about our nation, the issues that we have, racial injustices, needing change, et cetera, et cetera…He comes across as a flaming hypocrite as far as I’m concerned. I’m not interested in a damn word that he has to say and quite frankly I hope he goes away, He’s lucky to be in the league right now…And Colin Kaepernick after all this noise that you’ve made, even though you didn’t intend to do so by offending our military service men and women. And pointing out about how you wanted to bring attention to racial injustices and beyond that’s in this country. To turn around and not to even take your behind to the polls to vote for a particular candidate–it is shameful. Absolutely shameful, Him of all people, because of the position he took, because of the attention he brought to the issues, the fact that he doesn’t have the decency to go to the polls and activate yourself in this election (as our president said) is a damn shame…I don’t want to hear another word from Colin Kaepernick. It’s a waste of time. [As] a matter of fact, I would personally make a request to the media in this nation: Wherever he is, if he ain’t on that football field trying to throw another damn incomplete pass, do me a favor and make sure of one thing, take the camera away from him. It means nothing. Because for him not to vote, as far as I’m concerned, everything he said meant absolutely nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t want to hear another damn word from him. Nothing.” ~Stephen A Smith .
Coontestant#61 Venus Williams
After her sister Serena took to Facebok and penned a heartfelt missive about her concerns about the ongoing injustices dealt to black people at the hands of police and municipal governments Venus was asked her thoughts. And lets just say her opine was not Black Twitter approved..
Coontestants 60-58 Elijah Cummings, James Clyburn and John Lewis
These three “distinguished gentlemen” underscore the fecklessness and ineffectual direction that the Congressional Black Caucus has long been going in. Once billed as the conscience of the congress the CBC just like these three bozos are bought and paid entities of America’s corporate overlords. No longer are they in congress to serve the people. They are there to enrich themselves and hold on to their seats. It’s high time they all be replaced by some new blood.
Coontestant#57 Lil Bow Wow
Coontestant#56 Dorsey Montgomery
Coontestant# 55 Young Thug
Coontestant# 54 Kevin Gates
On the heels of all the protests surrounding the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, this is what Kevin Gates had to say:
“We kill each other. I’m talking about we lay up under each other’s cars, lay behind each other’s houses then whip by, boom boom, kill everybody in the car…but as soon as a white boy kills one of us, everybody go to hoopin’ and hollerin’ and all that old stupid-ass shit …That’s bullshit. When you stand for something, you’ve got t[o] stand for it all the way, not half way.” ~ Kevin Gates
Coontestant# 53 Trick Daddy
Coontestant#52 Tommy Sotomeyer
Back in July he got into a fender bender with a black woman and after the sister questioned why he was recording her he says this:
“That’s the problem with Black women right there, they talk, “This is why nobody likes these Black whores. Look at her. Black whores. Black whores. Get out my face, though, bitch. I’ll whip yo muthafuckin ass…I don’t like Black bitches, anyway. Bye, broke bitch. My car cost more than your house, bitch. My car cost more than your house, bitch. You don’t know who you talking to. Watch when you find yourself online.”~ Tommy Sotomoyer
The video went viral as he intended but the blow back for his cooning for clicks shenanigans was too much for him to handle hence he used his platform for the first time to speak highly of black women where he pulled the “I never had a father” card. Of course we all know that the apology was bullshit but that is a testament to how much of a bully pulpit the Twitter verse can be when properly leveraged. Another win for Black Twitter but I will say this. It really is time to start giving eye jammies to these brothers out here that think it prudent to be so overtly disrespectful to black women as he and a number of the coons that made this list have been.
Coontestant# 51 Rza
“If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day — things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them…I tell my sons, I say, ‘if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie — we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid.” ~Rza
What makes his statement so eggregious is the fact that as one of the founding members of the Wu Tang Clan and the so-called genius of the group he made his living off of urban wears and urban vernacuilar. Now that he’s hanging out with Russell Crow and the Hollywood Click he wants to go all rescpctable Negroe on us.
Coontestant#50 Wendy Williams
“His speech was very poignant, on one hand. On the other hand, you know, I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically White college. We have historically Black colleges. What if it was the National Organization for White People only? There’s the NAACP.”~ Wendy Williams
After a noticeably silent gasp of her normally gregarious audience she goes:
“Look everybody’s quiet. You’re leaving me out here to dry by myself?”
Now a normal dummy, even with coon tendencies would take that silent queue as a hint that they should probably quit while they are ahead and switch up the conversation. But not Wendy Williams. She’s a special kind of stupid. She goes on to say:
“National speeches like this always rub people the wrong way. Just like White people will be offended because Spelman College is a historically Black college for women. You might feel funny about that. I know I’d feel funny like I just told you. If there was a White college or whatever.”
Twitter eat her ass up so bad that that Chevrolet who previously helped underwrite her show dropped her.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
…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
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.
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.
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.
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
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…
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” ~ Stuart Scott
I was born in May of 1973 in Brooklyn New York at Down State Hospital. A couple months later and roughly 20 miles away at a Bronx Community center basement party, Hip Hop was born.
I say all of that to say that Hip Hop is literally and figuratively the sound track of my life. Hip-hop’s story telling nature and keen ability to contemporaneously snap shot the times, it could easily be construed as the back drop of not just my life as well as the lives of most inner city and suburbanites– from generation X to the millennials to generation Z and beyond there is a shared sense of ownership and loyalty to hip hop and the culture that it has spawned in just under five decades. So it is with great sadness that I report that the cultural construct that has enveloped my existence is cancer stricken. The good news is that the immortal words of Stuart Scott, one of the great ambassadors of the culture is spot on when he surmised that death or even sickness from cancer does not equate to a loss to cancer. And that in order to avoid taking an L to the big C the, collective has to come to grips with the fact that the culture is ailing. The culture itself has to reexamine how we are living, why we are living and the manner in which we are living. In other words it’s time to re-calibrate, and in order to do that we need to peer deeper into the asbestos like elements that are giving rise to the malignant tumor growing in hip hop. Due to the genres ubiquitous reach to say that black culture is synonymous with hip hop culture is to speak the unvarnished truth. So the malady that besets hip hop is indeed one that besets much of black America. There are myriad carcinogens that actively contribute to the malaise that is hip hop. The following 5 are in my humble opine the biggest contributors to the demise of the culture and if we can remedy them at least in part, it will go along way into seeing this culture survive.
Carcinogen #1: The Gangster Rap subgenre
Street life and the inner workings of the hood has always been a major component of hip-hop. In fact the very definition of hip-hop could be summed up and defined as being a mirror to what’s going on in the streets of America’s ghettos and urban dwellings. For this reason there has always been a rebellious– anti-establishment edge to the the culture. It was and still is the single most expressive outlet for the most marginalized demographic in America– Black youth. It was and still is this particular demographics only outlet available to express the collective joys, pains, poverty and frustrations with life that both bonds the community as well as what tears it asunder. Before a category such as “gangster rap” was invented there were rappers that spoke about their dalliances with street life while painting vivid pictures with their words of what life was like for them in their particular projects, borough, county, state or municipal dwelling. They were relate-able stories that had wide spread resonance from state to state and hood to hood. They (nor their audience)however did not get hung up on the violent elements and negative optics, nor did they stake their claim to fame on being drug king pins, mass murderers and outright menaces to society. They were nuanced in their subject matter and story telling. The gangster rap sub-category was coined by outsiders that were hostile to hip hop culture from the beginning. They had a flawed understanding and a tainted interpretation of the almost esoteric form of urban mass communication known as rap music. To the outsiders, Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five’s ‘The Message‘ was just as gangster rappish as Easy E and NWA’s ‘Straight out of Compton‘. It was all “gangster rap” to them, and since those outsiders had the ability to make labels stick, those labels stuck and served as self fulfilling prophecies. This point was ironically made clearer by none other than the former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke most recently when he said:
“Take a look at Gangster Rap…Take a look at constant media, chronic media. Talking about Gangster Rap elevating and making exciting Black criminality, thuggery, promoting drugs, promoting all sorts of sexual abuse, abuse of women. The videos for Black rappers and so forth show women at their feet, sucking their toes or God-knows what else. Just being practically slaves to Black males. You take a look at it, the media in this country—and it’s for white people too, European-Americans are affected by it too, but Black people have been really affected by it. This Black, so-called Gangster Rap and this other disgusting and degrading degenerate music which is the most popular music among the Black people and a good sector of the white people—just look at the Nicki Minaj. I don’t even want you to look at it it’s so horrible. You will never hear more of the ‘n-word,’ more words about ass—God knows I’m not gonna say all the things they say. Every kind of filthy word. Every kind of filthy, violent drug-promoting material. It’s just absolutely sickening. It’s the most amazing thing you ever heard. And the guy that produces all that, one of the Jewish producers, in fact, the entire music industry is absolutely controlled by the Zionists, the Jewish extremists, the same ones in the media that support Israel and basically pervert our country and the interest of America for that of Israel…One of the Jewish producers was boasting about the fact that every one of the Top 10 Billboard songs were those he controlled. So, I tell ya, even Rap music is not something that Blacks really were responsible for. It was the Jewish record producers who promoted this degenerate and sick music.” ~ David Duke
While Duke indeed makes some valid observations in his long winded missive, the single stroke brush is emblematic of how the art of hip hop was perceived by the masses (outside of the hood) from inception so he as well underscores how the outsiders contributed to the problem. But since we know the guy to be an avowed white supremacist it’s fairly easy to parse this particular musing to extract the relevant facts to corroborate just how bad the creation of the “gangster rap” sub category has been for hip hop, black music and the black community as whole.
Hip hops addiction to the crack game is perhaps one of it’s most self perpetuated self defeating attributes.The “trap music” trend started in the late 80’s and reached a crescendo in the 1990’s. Today sadly it’s almost a prerequisite for any young aspiring emcee to hear his music on the radio. And it’s not just the youngins that are beholden to the commercialized thug culture. Former corrections officer Rick Ross is a 40 something year old rapper mimicking the style, likeness and subject matter of a 20 something year old rapper that died over 20 years ago. From Rick Ross co-opting the name of one of the most notorious exporters of cocaine in urban American history to Bobby Schmurda playing the starring role in an episode of “when keeping it real goes wrong” , the incestuous relationship that hip hop has with the crack cocaine trade has been as regressive to the genre as it has been to the communities where it has served as a 30 plus year staple.
2. Carinogen #2: Viacom
There was a time that MTV would not play rap videos. In fact MTV did not play any videos made by black artists. It took the king of pop to break the video music television color barrier before we were able to boast of seeing the likes of Fab Five Freedy and Yo MTV Raps. At the time it was something to celebrate. Generations later hindsight suggests that we integrated the genre into a burning building. The advent of the gangster rap subgenre coincided with the introduction of rap music being brought to life in video form. Being able to see what was vastly becoming the trend in hip hop (studio gang banging) in visual form made it that more attractive to the lay person and subsequently that much more potent form of cancer. The optics had indelible affect on the ethos of the culture. Not only were we able to hear about the imaginary gangster chronicles of the young and misguided. We were able to watch it in motion picture form. It was reality television before reality TV. As a matter of fact you can probably credit the marriage between MTV and hip hop for birthing that garbage industry as well because if my memory serves me correct it was the Flava of Love show that made popular the kind of rampant disrespect and disregard for black women that seems to be the most common theme of all of these shows.
BET prior to being bought by Viacom was at least halfway decent. They had Video Soul, Teen Summit, The BET News, and the Tavis Smiley show–all of which gave the network, genre and black culture a positive if not fair and balanced presentation. Shortly before the merger all of those programs were canceled and in its place came more of the same that was offered on MTV with even less creativity, thoughtfulness or balance. BET Uncut was born into existence and it codified and cemented the already burgeoning sexist and misogynistic trend within the music. And while it’s been almost two decades since BET Uncut was canceled, it has been replaced by a series of what seems like tri-annual award shows that serve only to further impugn black people and black culture.
The BET and MTV hip hop awards are analogous to a minstrel award show. If there were an awards show for the performances given by Amos and Andy or Steppin Fetchin back in the day it would have no doubt looked a lot like the BET Awards. I’m actually surprised that they have not posthumously given them lifetime achievement awards since cooning, shucking and jiving is what they all seem to strive for at these award shows anyway.
Carcinogen#3:School budget cuts and forgoing music and arts education
When I was in school I was nothing close to being musically inclined. And I’m still not. That however did not stop the mandatory music classes that I had to attend in elementary and junior high school from playing a role in how I appreciate music today. Being introduced to the tonal scale was much more than simply learning about “do-re-me”. It was about planting the seed of musical discernment in the young and malleable subconscious mind. One that could be relied upon from youth through adulthood to make and appreciate the music, art and culture of their time for posterity. The birth of hip hop unfortunately came during the same period that birthed the current anti-intellectual bend that has engulfed much of America.
The Reagan years started a trend whereby austerity at the expense of posterity was the order of the day. They cut services and funding to the schools for extracurricular and even even primary curricula activity– Art and music education being the biggest casualties of this assault on public education. With all manner of artistic expression and discernment stripped from the preceding generations (post 80’s babies). The genre and more importantly the impressionable youth that serve as it’s target audience were primed for maximum exploitation by corporate owned radio. No longer did the rap audience and fan base decide what and who was hot. The corporate radio via the new 5-6 song rotation format dictated to the fan base what was good music and absent their own music sensibilities they are today rendered powerless when it comes to abating the harmful imagery inherent in the music or even when it comes to seeking out and finding alternative choices to mainstream and make hot. What was hot in the 80’s and much of the 90’s were well versed lyricists that were creative with their word play–even if what they said boarded the negative. Today what’s hot are ‘ring tone rappers’– emcees that I have no lyrical talent or skill. In most instances they don’t even have a command of the English language so they compensate by relying on a hot beat that has maximum resonance that they simply mumble on in between a catch phrase or cliche for a hook with a few inaudible southern drawls thrown in. Straight garbage!
Carcinogen#4:The Telecom Act of 1996
The telecommunications act of 1996 signed into law by Bill Clinton was largely remembered for the sweeping changes that it brought to the telecommunications industry. The lesser known but more viscerally felt changes that came as a result of this bill were in the music, radio, television and print media. The bill that the FCC boasted would create more competition did the exact opposite. At least as it pertained to radio. With the FCC removing the cap on spectrum ownership they all but eliminated competition and diversity. Before the 1996 Telecom Act a single corporation could own no more than 40 radio stations nation wide and no more than 4 in a given market. The idea was basic and sound economics–you know the anti-monopoly type duh 🙄. Once that new act was signed to law the cap on FCC spectrum for national ownership went from 40 stations nation wide to an unlimited amount of spectrum ownership nationwide. The cap for local market ownership also went up from 4 stations to 8. The actual results of this dynamic are even more astonishing:
Just over a week of that bill becoming law over 700 million dollars in buying and selling of stations ensued. There were station mergers left and right.
In less than 5 years the the number of radio station owners dropped 25 percent (5100 owners of spectrum to 3800).
By 2001 two companies, Clear Channel and Viacom (Parent company to Infinity Broadcasting) laid claim to 42 percent of the commercial radio listening audience and pocketed 45 percent of the profit from the industry.
The biggest single owner of radio stations nationwide in 1996 was 39. By 2003 that number ballooned to over 1100.
The affects of these corporate takeovers reverberated throughout the industry because of how wide and deep their corporate tentacles reached. Clear Channel for instance is today the preeminent owner and controller of radio. Well they also own about 100 performance and amphitheaters. And even more clubs and arenas around the country. This means that they have unprecedented, unchecked and most importantly undue powers in the industry to make or break artists. They are controllers of the manifest destiny that is hip hop in ways that are dangerously untenable.
Carcinogen #5 Studio Technology
The fifth carcinogen is perhaps the hardest pill to swallow in so far as accepting that which is wrong with hip hop. Any lover of the culture or lover of music period whose ear buds date back to the days that vinyl was the standard could appreciate all of the advantages inherent in going from an analog world to a digital one. Expedience with standing, this digital age has in addition to making the average emcee rather lazy brained due to people being much more enamored with a hot beat than lyrical skill, has removed one of the primordial and quintessential components of hip hop from the equation–the DJ.
I’m the Rapper he’s the DJ was not just a Will Smith album. It was the codec of the culture. The DJ was part and parcel (in a major way) to the foundation of hip hop. Were it not for the wide spread misogyny, rampant promotion of drug use and drug selling the most sacrilegious aspect of hip hop today would be the manner in which the DJ’s importance has been downsized and swept under to the side. Jam Master J, Africa Bambatta, Scott La Rock, DJ Premiere, Spindarella and the list goes on, were all pioneers in hip hop. None of them get the due that they deserve.
If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to attend a party with a Kid Kapri or Ron G or Biz Markie on the ones and twos than you know the importance of what a DJ is to the culture. You would also be able to better understand how and why DJ Cool Herc is universally seen and respected as the father of this great culture.
Perhaps if we bring the father back into the fold the family unit could begin to self repair.
I’ve often been told that I was angry. An angry black man to be exact. I used to vehemently reject that label until I took stock of all the things that pissed me off and/or truly had enough power over me to disrupt my mood. More things in this world, especially as it pertains to social justice and uplift anger me than I care to admit. For the sake of clarity I’m gonna give you 10 reasons why I’m an Angry Black Man.
To be a negro in this country and to be relativity conscious is to be in a rage almost all of the time ~ James Baldwin
1. The myth of Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was known as the “Great Communicator”. As with most labels, talking points and platitudes from the right, the moniker “Great Communicator” is euphemistic speak for something much more sinister. By great communicator they really mean to say that he was a great liar. One that is able to effectively articulate the dastardly deeds that his party had in store for the country by couching said message in between some innocuous sound bites with his signature evil grin. Our 40th president saved his best acting for his post Hollywood career because his emulating even a marginally effective sitting president was a more Oscar worthy performance than anything he ever had as the B list actor that he was.
I would have to dedicate an entire blog post to the guy recite all the ways in which Reagan was a foul and failed president, so for the sake of brevity I will provide a truncated list of infractions
All in all the dude sucked royally and the hero worship he receives today should be enough to drive any sane man mad–so yeah, I’m angry about that.
2. Fox News and the Corporate media conglomerates that purposely confuses the masses
The Fairness Doctrine was created in 1949 due to a rise in misinformation and outright propaganda being accepted as empirical fact by much of the public. For 50 years it for the most part succeeded in keeping the public informed when it came to matters germane to its interest. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1980 he immediately began chipping away at this law until it was finally abolished in 1987. So if you ever wondered why the Bill O’Reilly’s’, Sean Hannity’s and Rush Limbaugh’s of the world incessantly heap praise on one of the worst presidencies in the modern era, understand that these men would not have jobs in media were it not for Ronald Reagan doing away with a law that forbade them from being the lying talking heads that they are today–at least not unchallenged. Thus began the making of the anti-intellectual society that we currently suffer through today.
The idiot age that has finally come to fruition was not just the fault of Reagan and his right-wing party, it was a bi-partisan hit job on the American people because not even 10 years after the Fairness Doctrine was repealed by Reagan, Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the very year that Fox News was born) which basically killed mom and pop ownership of local media and granted corporate owned media outlets carte blanche powers to consolidate media markets around the country. The end result is a lot more media voices with a whole lot less diversity in the perspective that powers those many voices. Fast forward to 2014 where millions of people hold steadfast to truths that have absolutely no basis in fact ,like where this president was born or what religion he claims or even more long standing and scientifically proven facts like the world being older than 6000 years. Either way it’s enough to drive any sane person mad. So for the sake of sanity Fox is a major reason why I’m an Angry Black Man!
3. The Ban the N-word movement
I’m personally offended that the word nigga has some how become the only word in the English lexicon that Americans ( black & white) feel need to be banned( regardless of the context). I’m not here to defend the words usage but I do question the logic being employed. What good is getting rid of the word nigga if you are doing nothing to abate the nigga condition? That’s sort of like putting on deodorant without taking a shower.
Several years ago I watched in sheer disgust as the NAACP conducted a mock funeral for the word. It was an utter spectacle and an all-time low for the organization that still calls itself colored. The only thing more ridiculous than the idea of trying to bury a word that has been an active part of the urban vernacular for most of the 20th century (and on into the new millennium) is the guy they choose to bury the word. They actually had Kwame Kilpatrick do the Eulogy.
How are you going to ask an n-word to bury the n-word?
If such a sad spectacle (and major fail) was not bad enough we now have the NFL commissioner stepping into the fray to give his unsolicited, unwanted and unworthy opinion on the matter (backed by punitive measures). Now mind you this is the same guy that has neither the empathy nor social awareness to lend a sympathetic ear to the concerns of the Native American population that take serious umbrage with the Redskin moniker. Now he wants to interject and legislate the speech of black men in the NFL– ain’t that some shit!?! Even more maddening is the fact that I hear so many black people co-sign this foolish and morally empty gesture. They act like he’s doing this out of sheer altruism and not because of the fact that two of his white players purposely used the word in its most offensive contexts. So basically he’s going to penalize the black players in the game because he has two white players who embarrassed the league this year. Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense.
4. Reality Television
I’m first and foremost mad at myself for knowing who many of the characters on these shows are in the first place. Unfortunately for me I tend to vicariously follow these shows via my Facebook timeline every time they come on. If it was as simple as blocking (or deleting) the people that watch these sort of programs and provide play-by-play details of the ratchet optics, believe me I would. But it’s not that easy because these shows have captivated people of all walks. From the projects to the pulpits these “reality” programs have become cult like hit shows– especially with black women. I even have sisters that religiously watch these wayward programs telling me that I should stop using the N-Word. The audacity niggacity of these particular women truly befuddle me. It’s wrong to say the word nigga but completely okay to act out the worst of nigga behavior for all the world to see and even worse, for young impressionable minds to think that such untoward behavior as exhibited on these shows are okay to emulate.
the more of this young girls see on TV…
The more of this we will all see on World star Hip Hop…
She Watch Channel Zero was song on Public Enemy’s ‘It takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back’ album that dropped way back in 1988. It no longer takes a nation of millions to hold black people back–Bravo is doing a pretty good job at it.
5. Black Conservatives and the house nigger mentality
The good Dr. Clarke said it all. Nothing left for me to add. Actually I have plenty to add but I have so much disdain to express vis-a-vis the house nigger mentality that it would take an entire blog post dedicated to the subject.
6. White Supremacy
White Supremacy is indeed one of the most wide spread un-diagnosed mental illnesses that exist today. It’s an affliction that transcends religion, race, creed, culture, and geographic boundaries. When white people in America finally get a grip on what an insidious force white supremacy is and begin to successfully combat it, the world as we know it will begin to move towards peace. The world would also begin to see a semblance of fairness as it pertains to how the wealth of the world is redistributed.
White supremacy is not just the enemy of black people and indigenous people across the globe, white supremacy is also an enemy to most white people. Why? Because it’s a facade. A mere false notion whereby the top 2-5 percent reap 85 percent of the benefits that the majority champion–under the guise of white privilege. It really is high time that White America collectively wake up and realize that the greatest problems that this country face were caused and co-signed by a white majority. The wayward white male voting patterns are to blame for all of the wars and strife that engulf this nation– almost 100 percent. From the countries two longest running wars in Afghanistan and Iraq all the way back to the Civil War (and before) where over 500,000 died quite literally in the name of preserving white supremacy (99 percent of the participants did NOT own slaves).
Congressman Paul Ryan recently made headlines for what could only be labeled a “blame it on the blacks” excuse (for pretty much all of the countries financial woes).
“there is a tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work…So there’s a real culture problem here…that has to be dealt with.” ~ Congress Paul Ryan
Now this is coming from a man that voted to go to war in Iraq (2 trillion plus tax dollars), he voted for the Afghan war (2 plus trillion tax dollars) and the Bush tax Cuts (1 trillion). Now that’s at least 5 trillion dollars alone that this man wasted since becoming a congressman. Then there’s the Medicare part D boondoggle that’s costing the tax payers 62 billion alone this year with the progressive scale that it’s on promising to raise that figure to 150 billion annually by 2019.
Now you don’t need to know algebra (or even a calculator) to come to the conclusion that congressman Paul Ryan’s proclivity for wasteful spending is far more responsible for the nations 16 trillion dollar debt than anything going on in the hood. Even he knows this. The quoted Paul Ryan musing is what you call a dog whistle. A sort of wink wink codec to white Americans to say, “once we get rid of our black problem all will be right in the country”–meanwhile he’s robbing them blind increasing their taxation while decreasing their representation in the form of tangible government benefits and services. This of course is not a new tactic. It’s a tried and true method of coalescing their base. This Southern Strategy that congressman Paul and others in his party actively employ is wholly dependent on the white supremacist worldview. Lyndon B Johnson best expressed this phenomena when he said:
“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”~ LBJ
LBJ in appealing to the white Southerners common sense was able to help them help themselves by getting his Great Society programs off the ground–the very same Great Society programs that are under attack by Paul Ryan and others under the guise of fixing the countries black problem.
The presidency of Barack Obama has galvanized the dormant descendants of the Dixiecrat movement (think Tea Party) and got them reengaged in the political process and this is the fools gold that Ryan and others in his fledgling party are playing to. Lee Atwater who was a former Reagan Aide and former campaign manger for George H.W Bush is known as the modern day architect of the Nixon Strategy. He in very laymen terms explained to Ryan and others how to execute this strategy in 1981 when he said:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger” ~ Lee Atwater (as Reagan aide)
This lesson from Atwater has not been lost on anyone in today’s republican party. It however was not his last message to them or the masses. It is also one that is sadly lost on them all. Lee Atwater’s death bed mea culpa should serve as a stark and dire warning to the GOP that today employs the worst of what he had to offer the world and to the part of white america that still needs to feel a sense of ethnic and cultural superiority in order to vote for a given candidate.
“My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The ’80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul”~ Lee Atwater (from his death bed)
Even those who have benefited the most form the white supremacist construct at the end of life regret harboring such a divisive and superficial worldview. Those in America that don’t actually benefit from such a worldview would be doing themselves (and the world around them) great justice by ridding themselves of such an ideology.
7. Stand Your Ground and The rise of the Zimmerman defense
The Zimmerman affect should be enough to raise the ire of every person of color who happens to be, or have love ones that are young black men. The gross injustice doled in the wake of the cold blooded murders of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and the subsequent exoneration for the murderous intent that went into their killing is as frightening as it is maddening.
The George Zimmerman acquittal and his failure to initially be arrested for the crime of murder was about white supremacy. The fact that a mostly white jury could not bring themselves to convict Michael Dunn for the cold blooded premeditated murder of an unarmed 17 year old Jordan Davis despite mounds of evidence is because of white supremacy.
The sense of entitlement and the victim-hood displayed by both George Zimmerman and especially Michael Dunn is the most maddening aspect of their trials. The following quote by Michel Dunn in a conversation with his girlfriend sums up perfectly what’s wrong with his thought process
You know I was thinking about that today, I was like I’m the fucking victim here, I was the one who was victimized, I mean I don’t know how else to cut it, like they attacked me, I’m the victim. I’m the victor, but I was the victim too.”
Since the untimely and racially charged murders of Trayvonn Martin and Jordan Davis more innocent unarmed black people were inexplicably gunned down by white men. Robert Bruce Black, Brian Cloninger, Theodore Wafer and Claudius Smith all joined the ranks of “victims that needed to stand their ground by gunning down a defenseless black person. Apparently it’s a dream of many white men to gun down an unarmed black kid and beat the case. They want to be like George like we wanted to be like Mike. It’s disgusting and any black man that is not angry at this seemingly growing trend is devoid of both a brain and spinal cord.
8. Black bigotry, intolerance and overall lack of political astuteness
The opposite of white supremacy is progress. White supremacy on its face is regressive and reactionary politics/policy. Policies promoted to purposely divide the populous (divide and conquer) to foster a society more ripe for corrupt capitalist to exploit.
Far too many of my so called conscious brothers think that the answer to white supremacy and all of its affects is black unity in the form of huddling the black masses (all 13-15 percent of the country’s black population) and in Marcus Garvey like fashion building our own colony away from from the “evil white man”. What such a supposition fails to account for is the inherent good and evil that exists in all men. If you talk ALL black men with you to that colony of blackness you would no doubt be taking some inherently evil and flawed minded black men with you.
First and foremost our percentages in this country are such that we need other groups to vote along side us in order to maximize a progressive minded influence. As black people we must disabuse the notion that that we are this countries most aggrieved population (even if we are) and be able to look for enough past our own historical disenfranchisement to empathize with the contemporaneous disenfranchisement of others. Even if their current plight is is not nearly as bad as the reverberations of the disenfranchisement wrought on our ancestors. If we are not going to join or co-sign the movements of the LGBT community, the immigrant community or any of the other groups like the labor movement, or women’s suffrage movement then the least that we should be doing is NOT speaking ill of those movements or worse–joining the chorus of hate and misunderstanding as it pertains to those respective groups.
One of the biggest criticisms of Obama is his lack of a “black agenda”. In that critic I often hear black people bemoan the fact that this president has done so many things for gays an immigrants, but nothing for blacks. This is a critique often bantered about by some of the more politically astute blacks. What I often find myself explaining (to no avail) to the men and women that make these proclamations is that the measures that this administration took on behalf of the LGBT community and the immigrant community were low hanging fruit. He did what any person of conscious would have done in his position at this pivotal time in history. There is no such silver bullet to solve what ails inner city America. There is nothing to repeal with a mere pen stroke. Our issues are much more deeply rooted. Therefore the panacea requires much deeper thoughts and far less regurgitation of bygone era black separatist politics.
At best black people comprise 15 percent of the countries population but our contribution to what made America the first world power that she is in no less than 50 percent. This country literally moves to the beat of the African drum. Wear that as a sense of pride but disabuse the notion that we are superior and are best served by separation from territories that our ancestors helped to build. While in many ways it may seem that we are regressing but we are a long way from were we started. I would not want to live in the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. We were doing far worse collectively. White supremacy has to continue to die out. It’s dying a slow death and whatever we can do to speed up that death would assist in moving not only the black community forward but this whole nation and the world as well. One final thought to ponder…
There could be no Michael Jordan if there were no James Naismith ~ Unknown
9. Respectable Negros
The respectable Negro is not to be confused with the House Nigger and definitely not to be confused with the negro that simply shows respect to their fellow man.
If there was an aviator in the dictionary to represent the respectable negro it would probably be a picture of the HRNIC (head respectable negro in charge) himself Don Lemon. If you know Don Lemon and can identify his major malfunction than you know what i mean when I speak about the anguish that respectable Negroes world wide are able to illicit in you average angry black man. If you are unfamiliar with the antics of Don Lemon then I have to apprise you on what a respectable negro is in a future blog post. For now judge for yourself…
10. Today’s hip hop landscape
I was born in 1973, the same year that many historians of the genre credit Cool Herc with creating rap. I was also born and reared in Brooklyn NY which is arguably responsible for birthing the worlds greatest MC’s hailing from any single borough, city, county or municipal jurisdiction, so when I see what has become of the culture it makes me Mad Rapper type angry.
We went from this….
I can’t be the only one mad at what has become of the culture.