Showing posts with label it takes an entire village. Show all posts
Showing posts with label it takes an entire village. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Opening of The American Mind

"Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy." - Dr. King

Now that Barack Obama has taken the oath as POTUS for a second term, I cannot help but wonder if this is perhaps the only time I witness a man of color - or any ethic minority for that matter - elected to the highest position of political power in America. Hopefully, it isn't the case. We can never be satisfied. I reflect back four years ago and recall the completely overwhelming feeling that overcame me as Obama initially won the presidency, and become captivated in the moment all over again.

"A black American elected as leader of the free world."

What a land, and so improbable, considering the racially-divided principles in which this great country of ours was built upon. Shortly after the first set of nearly 645,000 slaves arrived, beaten and tortured, at no point did any of these unsuspecting souls figure the day would appear where someone with the same skin tone would emerge as leader of the proud defenders of then-impossible Western thought. Yet, in spite of the lack of opportunity and horrors inflicted, the day arrived.

Although none lived to witness - as descendants, fellow black Americans currently bear witness to the feat in the form of applause, laughter and tears. Emotions that perfectly coincided with Dr. Martin Luther King's words recorded nearly fifty-years ago in Washington, D.C., "Let us not wallow in the valley of despair." Similar to King and others beforehand, there is no doubt in my mind that such realized dreams will continue to inspire generations for years and years, even if you and I aren't there to bask in the reality.

So, while acknowledging the hard road uphill that accommodated blacks in America, it is only fair to recognize other cultures that await such a historic significance. Meaning, it should neither start nor stop with President Barack Obama. Whether black or brown or yellow or red, man or woman, let us all join together and recognize the appealing fact that we've somehow progressed into a multicultural society.

America, the beautiful.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to ALL the moms of the world

"Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall. A mother's secret love outlives them all."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hurt People Hurt People: It Will Only Get Worse

Thanks to A Young Woman's Expressions for guest blog.

Today, I take the first step in admitting I was mentally, emotionally, verbally abused. I always stated how women are stupid for tolerating abuse, but, here I am, a victim of abuse, although not physically. I never wanted to talk to anyone concerning what I was going through. I was in denial and felt as if I didn't have anyone to talk or listen.

During the relationship with my ex, I felt like a child. I know it sounds crazy, but I did. I was always disciplined if I did something he disliked. He'd call me stupid for not thinking the way he did, and suggest I was incapable of thinking for myself. He used non-verbal communication to punish me, instead of just talking to me about things.

He tried to train me to behave in ways in which he wanted me to behave. He gradually made me feel differently about myself - diminished my confidence. When we'd hang out or go dancing at a lounge or club or just anywhere, it was like he was my bodyguard. I couldn't dare look at anyone without him making a comment. If a guy even said hello to me in passing, he would give him an evil look. I hated going out with him, I felt smothered. I was at a point in my life where, before I made a decision, I'd worry about him getting mad at me if I didn't make the decision he thought was best.

In essence, I could no longer think for myself.

I shared every single detail about my life, and I mean EVERY detail, because he made me think if I didn't, I'd be a liar. He tested me months later to see if I purposely lied about something in the past. He never told me everything about his life, yet he knew everything about mines. There were times when we broke up, but I still never felt single.

He was in my head, literally.

I was unable to love nor care for anyone else because he made me feel guilty for not wanting to be with him. Whenever I wanted to call it quits, he made me feel like crap for doing so. Like most women, we hardly want to hurt a man's feelings, so we go crawling back. Along the way, he caused me to lose friends as well.

After a crazy episode of verbal and emotional abuse, he expressed how much he loved me and would be very loving, the next day. It was the man I wanted him to be all the time. But he wasn't. I loved when he was nice and encouraging, but, in due time, he reverted back to being the controlling, abusive man. He made me feel like no other man would love me the way he did, and that all previous relationships of mines were fake and nobody ever really loved me.

The sad thing - I actually believed him.

I became a different person.. I became verbally abusive towards him. I was angry inside and hated myself for being in the situation in the first place. I hated him for making me feel trapped. I put him down, hoping he'd just go away. Instead, he would stay even after I said mean things to him. Our back and forth's had gone on for years, even when we were friends. It became worse as time progressed and we became a couple.

I once expressed my feelings to his own mother and she told me I made him this way. Which basically made things worse, because she pretty much gave her son a pass for how he treated me. She made excuses for his behavior and advised, "Hurt people hurt people."

I am sorry, but there is no excuse for a man abusing a woman.

Although we are no longer together, he continues to put me down and deliberately wishes me harm. It's unfortunate, due to our sharing a baby. Sometimes I still feel trapped because I am forced to communicate with him on behalf of our child, and he knows this. However, NOW, now I am able to really see this man for who he is. He's out of my system and I know everything he says are merely words and have no impact on who I am.

This man has everyone fooled in thinking he's the nice guy - normally, abusers hold the ability to make others think you are crazy for telling people they are abusive. He does not respect women at all. In fact, it's so true when they say how a man treats his mother is how he will treat you. I'm living proof of this statement being truth.

Moreover, I believe alot of women stay in these type of relationships because they are looking for love. They may not have felt loved within their household growing up so they look for that man for comfort. I think that was my situation, but that's the old me. I deserve happiness and I deserve to be respected. Sometimes I sit back and think about all the wonderful men I met while I was with him, and now that the good guys are either married or in a relationship.

At times I feel a little sad, but, it’s okay, I would rather feel sad than continue to be abused. For the women out here who may be in a similar situation, it will only get worse.

Get out of the relationship if you are being abused.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

From what I was told as a child, it is better to give than receive.

The first time I heard those specific words, they had fallen from the lips of someone in need of a favor.

Just as the person expected to perform the favor, I too managed a slight grin. We both agreed that people in desperate need will pretty much say anything it takes to get whatever he or she wants.

Well, it wouldn't be too long afterwards before I heard the saying again.

Only this time, it would be repeated in a completely different and respected setting. Church, to be exact. The preacher instructed everyone inside to turn their bibles to one scripture, in particular.

Sure enough, I could not believe my eyes.

There it was; written in black and white, as clear as daylight.

In my routine efforts to gain a better understanding and see exactly how this lesson could be applied towards everyday life, I reluctantly probed my aunt for answers.

"Listen, it's right there in the bible and that's all you need to know. It is impossible for God to lie!" She then cautioned. "And don't go worrying your grandmother either!"

Needless to say, her conservative remarks did little to curb my appetite. If anything, all they did were leave me craving even more food for my young and liberal soul.

Question: Once the act of giving becomes a matter of what have you done for me lately, then what?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Conscience Does Cost

"You win some, you lose some."

A saying which describes life, perfectly.

Life's journey; the ups and downs experienced along the journey. If keeping score, and chances are, you are, the best that each and every one of us can hope is that, in the end, we win more than we lose.

Given that, it's all about how you play the game.

Take Lawrence Taylor, for instance. Former pro football player who played the game in a manner unlike any linebacker in the history of the league. At the height of his exceptional Hall of Fame career, LT, as he is affectionately known, became an opposing quarterback's nightmare.

On the field, LT did whatever he wanted. Whenever. However.

A physical talent which led his team, the New York Giants, to celebrate victory more times than not, during the process. "Lawrence Taylor, defensively, has had as big an impact as any player I've ever seen,' famed NFL analyst John Madden said. 'He changed the way defense is played, the way pass-rushing is played, the way linebackers play and the way offenses block linebackers."

In other words, LT played the game as if he had no conscience whatsoever. And we as football fans loved every second of it.


Unfortunately, after the bright lights are dimmed and accustomed cheer becomes a thing of the past, there remains a game to be played. Otherwise known as Life; an experience where one cannot do whatever, whenever, however.

You can, I suppose, but, as I have personally learned, there are stumbling blocks that are patiently awaiting, along the ways.

Well, it appears that fifty one year old Lawrence Taylor has stumbled upon a rape charge. This, his latest and perhaps greatest checkpoint of off-the-field legal troubles which includes a couple of drug arrests - once buying $50 worth of crack cocaine from an undercover officer. It was later revealed that LT suffered cocaine addiction during his career.

Only Lawrence Taylor himself knows what he currently suffers from.

Chances are, like LT, we all suffer from something, at least to some degree. Life isn't always the tight spiral or "pretty pass" that we are hopeful for. Often times, it's speaks of under and overthrown balls, interceptions, sacks, fumbles. Blown calls. Illegal formations.

Throughout the process, a voice enters and hopefully remains inside our mind. If we are smart, we learn to listen and respect such voice. For it tells us when we should seek guidance, apply ourselves, get there early, be a little slow or be a little late. Understand remorse. Reconcile.

No, this inner voice hardly assures that we will experience a high level of success. Yet, and most importantly, in the end, it doesn't guarantee that we pay the price of inevitable defeat, either.

Run towards the light, LT.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A silent prayer goes out to a member of the blog fam and his family

The Rich House - a couple years ago, me and this renaissance brother used to spar with one another in the boxing ring. We eventually realized our inability to defeat one another, so we accepted our calling as writers. Same flavor; his blog a little more polished than mines.

Sorry to hear the news that blogger Richard Fitzgerald lost his mom. I am sure that all prayers would be greatly appreciated by Rich and his family at such a difficult time. A decent human being, I can only imagine the heartache which he currently attends.

I really hate to hear that for you, Rich.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"....reach your hand down from Heaven, and pull me through...."

Growing up I wasn't the easiest deal where life arrived at church and religious matters. While it seemed that my sister and aunt, and most of my young relatives could hardly hold back their excitement of attending church, I found it hard to add to their festivity.

Not that anyone assumed me to be the anti-Christ or anything. Far as they believed, the anti-Christ appeared more serious than I.

It's just that sitting around, numb, watching others sing and shout about a practice that I simply could not see didn't quite appeal to me. In fact, it kinda bothered me. In the sense that I never saw exactly what they witnessed. Or, should I say, pretended to witness, and follow.

Pretense; in the sense of most of the very ones who claimed to be touched had "ways" that resembled Lucifer, the fallen angel, who went against everything God stood for.

Needless to say, it all left me confused. I often wondered if I were the only one who noticed the obvious contradiction.

Even my aunt, God bless her heart, appeared as a completely different person once she stepped foot inside of the church.

All of which led me to eventually view religion as a game of sorts. A charade. For every scripture that my aunt and her "brothers and sisters of Christ" served me, I'd backhand another scripture which placed the mirror back in their own face.

Our exchanges continued until my aunt had heard enough and threatened to strike me with her enormous-sized Bible, if I uttered another word. She accused me of being disrespectful towards my elders. Of course I begged to differ. At least, disrespect was never my intention.

If asking, I was perfectly aware of my spiritual struggles, while it appeared that others were perfectly content with the fact that they said one thing yet did the complete opposite.

The way I saw - in my heart I understood the existence of God, or a greater being, in a place not of this world. This much was always clear to me. How else could I explain the moon, the sun, the stars and the Earth. But, in the back of my mind, I wasn't so sure that God wanted us, his creation, to reside in that particular place. If so, how does one explain the fact that we were created here on Earth, to live and die, along with every other form of life?

"Nevermind all of that," my aunt constantly advised. "Just have your dollar out and ready to drop in the collection plate when it comes your way."

I should have known that her reply provided a sample of more to come in life.

Which is the reason why this song speaks to my spirit in a way like you would not believe.

Monday, April 12, 2010

You Be The Judge: The case of Jordan Brown

As parents, we share an unconditional love towards the lives of our children.

For the most part we do. Or, at least we should anyway. The fact that mothers and fathers are responsible for the birth and upbringing of a newborn in this ungodly and sometimes sadistic world is more than enough reason for the heart of any parent to show great compassion towards the plight of their child.

As once children ourselves, who perhaps stumbled along the way before finding our way, we remain fully aware of the awaited troubles. Troubles seemingly placed as strategic as uniformed road blocks on a day that you least expected. In other words, obstacles are present everywhere within society. On just about every corner. At every turn.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it. There is no getting around it. Well, there is, if a child is able to keep his or her head on strong, walk in a straight and narrow direction, and make the right decisions towards achieving their set goals in life.

A mission that can be accomplished. Children can easily look around and see perfect examples of individuals who avoided such pitfalls and understand that, although the road appears tough at times, it can be traveled. It has been traveled. And will continue to be traveled, against all odds.

If or when a less than favorable incident occurs involving our own flesh and blood, besides showing compassion and wondering where did we perhaps go wrong as parents, all we can do in times of certain grief is provide enough strength and comfort for the hard bed in which the child will surely be laid upon.


Which brings me to this story.

A tragedy out of Wampum, Pennsylvania, involving Jordan Brown, an eleven year old boy who, on February 20, 2009, allegedly shot and killed 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk, his father's pregnant girlfriend, as she lay asleep in bed in the home she shared with the child and his father. Her unborn child died as a result of a lack of oxygen.

Jordan, now 12, then got on the school bus and went to school, as if nothing happened.

Later, the fifth grader, after being questioned by detectives which revealed a fake story concerning his remembrance of a "strange black truck" being present on the morning in question - a lie which was rebuked by the seven year old daughter of the deceased, Jordan Brown was immediately taken into custody.

Recently, a Pennsylvania judge refused to move the case to juvenile court and ruled the child will be tried as an adult under the state's homicide law. Prosecutors have said they will seek a conviction on first-degree murder charges, for which he could face up to life in prison if convicted.

When examined by a prosecution psychiatrist, Jordan Brown denied killing the pregnant woman, although ballistic tests showed the shell was fired from Brown's youth model 20-gauge shotgun.

Which, by the way, was later found inside the child's bedroom.


Now, I have no idea whether Jordan Brown committed this awful crime or not. For his sake, let's hope he is telling the truth and the true culprit(s) are eventually arrested and convicted. If not, all the tears in the world cannot save him.

It will be a long, long time before 12 year old Jordan Brown walks out of a Pennsylvania prison.

In light of the strong evidence weighed against the child, chances are, he will be tried and convicted as an adult and sentenced to life in prison. I, for one, can really feel for the father of the child. This has to be a hard pillow to swallow.

See, not only does Jordan's father stand the chance of losing his son to life in prison. But he also has to live with the fact that it was his son who, incredibly, ended the lives of the dad's girlfriend and unborn sibling.

Question: Do you believe Jordan Brown should be tried as an adult or under juvenile law where, once convicted, the child will be released from custody at twenty one years of age?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay

note: repost

The entitled post was taken from a poem once written by Robert Frost. The concept itself served as the opening scene in the movie The Outsiders.

The poem makes reference to how nothing gold can stay. Meaning, the beauty of a new day doesn't last. In life, dusk unfortunately settles and everything ages to old. A perfected newborn bundle of joy will one day turn into nothing more than dust. Apparently this is how God meant life's existence.

Perhaps this is the reason why I hold such profound joy for only two things in life: the complete innocence of a child, and great wisdom offered by an elderly person.

Children are unaffected by that which is yet to come. The old earth offers knowledge of how to survive that inevitable. Personally, these are the only things which I consider gold. During those times where I felt there was absolutely no good left in this world I look back and see where and why I found great comfort in my two young daughters, and my now-deceased grandmother.

I imagine there is some good still left. Although hardly certain, only inclined to believe. I have to believe. Either I hold onto this view, or become completely numb and void of everything around me. I am also under the belief that no one can change the world. History repeats itself. So the best anyone can ever do, is simply find a way to live in this world. Make the best of your time between the first and last breath.

All else which transpires between these stages, or life, arrives on uncertain terms. The fact that we have all fallen short of the glory of God serves as a point blank reminder that, no, nothing gold can ever stay.

And we know this to be a great truth because, eventually, the ways of the world rob us all of our innocence ... and grandmothers die.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Some things never change

note: repost


I need to stop cursing. Every day I tell myself this. But I don't see what good that constant reminder does. It just doesn't seem as though I will ever break this bad habit developed back when I was younger, when my older sister and I would sneak into my aunts' bedroom, and listen to her collection of Richard Pryor albums.

We couldn't wait for her to leave the house Saturday morning. Picture two little kids sitting on the floor next to the stereo, eating bowls of Frosted Flakes, dying laughing at the extremely funny jokes Pryor effortlessly delivered. Sometimes we'd laugh so hard that our stomach would hurt. We may have not understood every single joke he told, but the jokes we did understand, they had us in tears. Especially the ones which involved curse words. Which, if you've ever listened to the hilarious comedian, was pretty much all of his material.

Sure, we'd heard our aunt say "cusswords" before. We never laughed. There was no reason to laugh. When she said them, they were usually followed by an ass whooping, given after she walked in and caught us listening to Richard Pryor. If you've ever experienced an ass whooping as a child, a good one, where the belt licks come too fast to block 'em, then you already know there is absolutely no punchline involved. Only tears. I doubt if my aunt could have struck out Barry Bonds, but that woman had an arm on her. Lord knows she did.

This past Saturday, while inside Buffalo Wild Wings ordering some hot wings, I left my 12 year old cousin in the car. He's a smart kid, the type to ramble through your belongings, investigate, then put everything back into place. He reminds me of the younger version of my sister and I. Except our investigations would end up being too long, and we'd always end up getting caught in the act.

Since there was nothing in the glove compartment for me to be worried about, and only CDs in the arm rest, I figured it wouldn't hurt anything leaving him in the car for maybe 5 or 10 minutes.

As long as the car stayed parked, I figured the worse that could happen would be for him to put in a gangster rap CD and hear people curse. Maybe even make a mistake and repeat those same words around his brothers and sisters, which I'd end up hearing about sooner or later from his mom. That is usually how it goes with kids.

I knew he wouldn't try and drive the car. Although he is smart, he's not crazy. Of course I'd explain to his mother how, nowadays, it's nearly impossible to shield a child from hearing bad language. I mean really, how can you? Since I know how she doesn't too much care for long drawn out arguments, I learn to use them as a defense mechanism. His mom will say what she has to say, then drop the conversation.

Anyways, after having paid for my order, I walk outside and get ready to open the car door when I notice how my little cousin is all laid back in the seat, laughing. At this point I'm trying to figure out what's so funny? I open the car door and to my surprise, he's not listening to any rap music ... this little knucklehead is listening to my Richard Pryor CD.

I couldn't help but laugh. It reminded me of the times when I did the same. It also served as a blunt reminder that some things in life really never change. I didn't preach to him or warn him that I would mention this to his mom. I simply ejected the CD and put it back in the CD holder. I was curious so I asked, "Why out of all the CDs did you pick that one?"

He replied how his mom has the same CD at their house. And how he would listen to it when she was in bed, asleep. I then asked whether or not he cursed.

He said sometimes he does, but that he's trying to stop.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Throwback Post: Children of Children

How many times have you seen it?

I've personally witnessed it time and time again. So much in fact that I cannot begin to tell you how many under aged relatives, friends, relatives of friends and friends of relatives I've seen give birth to babies while being just a baby themselves.

Ages 13, 14, and 15. Children. It happens and will continue to happen, over and over again.

Nowadays, for whatever reasons, the youth of America witness entirely too much, too soon. Temptation now has a middle man who makes its job so much easier. No matter what the parent, parents, or guardian says or does to prevent these invited thoughts from conquering their innocent minds. Sadly, the children continue to slip through, or should I say fall through, these society-widened cracks.

And you know what's worse? The mentality of many adults are forever held hostage by their stubborn and ancient beliefs of "Back when I was a child, we did not..."

I hear you. But guess what? When I was a child, we didn't either. But they are. And some of these children are having sex more than grownups are.

In our undying efforts to instill good old fashioned values into the wax-filled ears of our children, the last thing in the world we'd ever do is march the child down to the local clinic and load up on free birth control. No way. Are you crazy? If we place a pack of condoms and birth control pills into their lustful hands, it will send the wrong message. One of, it's okay to have sex.

"No can do. Can't go for that."

Guess what? These young kids are going to have sex, anyway. But as supposedly adults, we don't want to act as if we condone such immoral behavior. So the little ones continue to have sex - without protection. And we up having to march the child down to the local clinic, anyways, for pregnancy test results.

Your worst fear, confirmed. Congratulations, a grandparent in your mid 30s. All hell breaks loose.

Nine months later, you insist that birth control becomes a part of their everyday life. "Either that, or find somewhere else for you and the baby to lay y'all head. You are not bringing any more babies in this house," are the words now being heard. Over and over again.

Be honest, you are more worried about what the relatives, friends, neighbors, and the church folk think. More middle men.

"She knew better," the grandmother says. "I told her, I am not taking care of any more mistakes," she warns.

But tell me, who really made the mistake?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let It Rain

I once read somewhere that whenever a sinner repents or turns completely away from sin, the heavenly angels shed great tears of joy. Hardly a biblical scholar, by any means, nor have I ever stepped foot inside a theological school, but I take this to mean the place where the streets are paved with gold becomes extremely pleased over the fact that yet another soul has emerged from darkness.

There has to be a better way, we finally admit. And, no, we cannot do it alone.

All things considered I cannot help but feel that Heaven is flooded with angelical tears. Can you imagine how soothing it would feel to one's soul if the heavens were to suddenly open and release those mountains and mountains of tears, washing away all the pain and suffering here on Earth?

Friday, October 16, 2009

The World Is Backwards

The world is backwards.

Well, maybe I shouldn't necessarily claim the world. Cause the world itself is very peaceful and serene. Like two lovers sitting on a Milwaukee beach in the heart of summer, passionately embraced, overlooking Lake Michigan and it's beautiful and enormous waters ... the world itself remains perfectly created, meant. If anything, it's more the people and our instinctive natures which are f*cked up and anything but meant.

So, in that regards, allow me to correct myself and state how it's not the earth, but those walking the land who are backwards. Not all people, only some. Or, enough to spoil the entire bunch. Including myself. Ashamedly, I will be the first to stand before God upon Judgement Day and admit serious guilt. To make matters worse I knew better. Of course I did. We all did, or should I say, we all do.

Yet, for some strange reason, we continue along our respective journey traveling backwards instead of forward, towards personal and collective salvation. At some point, it would seem we'd realize how we have targeted wrong direction then come together and change our immediate course of action.

For instance, have you realized how it sadly appears one can hardly treat another with intended respect anymore? Least not in the same spiritual manner which you'd like to be treated. Why? Because people tend to mistake one's kindness for weakness. It never fails. And end up crossing that imaginary line, to the point where you yourself become forced to disrespect, in return.

Leaving you to wonder why did you ever waste time bothering to try and show such decency in the first place. A sentiment which, once experienced enough, leads you to suddenly expect the worse from people and shun them completely. Unfortunately, kids imitate their atmosphere and turn such witnessed behavior into a remote and hopeless cycle, it appears. Thus, becoming what clearly goes against everything humanity is supposed to represent as God's creation.

Finally, I fail to understand how everyone walks and breathes and lives upon the exact same planet yet still act as if we're expected to go far, even though we continue to travel these courses filled with pain, anger, contempt - the appetite for self-destruction for both the world and its people.

Unlike two lovers and children innocently enamored with thoughts of a future filled with nothing but love and happiness. Almost as if humans actually enjoy the inevitable crash course towards our return to dust. The beginning of the world.

Or, it's ending, I should say.

Chasing Waterfalls

Back in the summer of 1995 when pop music trio TLC, the number one selling female group of all time, released their monster hit single Waterfalls, I was a young black male in my early 20s, living in the hood, doing what young black males passionately do in the hood - moving entirely too fast for my own good and seemingly rushing towards an early grave. An aggressive behavior widely known as "chasing waterfalls."

Only at the time I didn't know that was exactly what I was doing. I had no ideal. Warning signs meant nothing. Neither did the times where I'd hear my grandmother's voice insisting I stop and listen. Everything fell upon wide eyes and deaf ears. At least it did until group members T-Boz, Chili and Left Eye (re: rest in peace) rapped and sang the truth in their signature piece, via such beautiful and masterful lyrics. And equally impressive F. Gary Gray breakthrough video. A visual which remains as my favorite music video of all-time.

Looking back, after now seeing things for what they truly are, it's hard for me to understand how I or anyone else around me couldn't have known. Partly due to the fact that when you're young and dumb and filled with cum ... there is an aura of invincibility which lives within your every breath. A notion which fools us all into believing it can't possibly happen, even though it has already happened. Time after time.

And it will continue to happen to those who walk familiar paths in the future. The nonbelievers, if you will. Those whose lives sadly mirror the such detrimental behaviors immortalized. The ones who act like they could care less.

Yet amongst this revealed truth, we somehow remain confident in both ignorance and defiance. We believe ourselves to be smarter than prior victims. Even rationalize how those particular men and women were simply "caught slippin'." A lie repeated constantly, so much in fact that it has seemingly become widespread truth, growing longer than the trademark strings of weave which flowed from the beautiful lead singer's hair.

The truth is: there are and will always be countless number of other songs and videos as well as critically acclaimed books and movies which follow the same end of the road message which Waterfalls delivered. Judging from the U.S. Department recent reports on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and violent crimes in America, especially throughout black communities, the all too important message appears to enter one ear and out the other.

Waterfalls are being chased. Like a mugg.

Not too mention how since '95, studies show it's not getting better, only worse. In the end, or in the midst of what surely awaits us in the end, we can't say that we didn't know any better. Cause we did. For the most part, we knew but simply failed to do better.

See, that's the thing with waterfalls, they wildly appeal towards our romance with rebellion. And it prevents us from seeing them for what they truly are - nothing more than a steep descent, a vertical. In other words, a proven passage towards rock bottom, regret ... and the end of our lives.

Stop chasing death. Live.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What's Going On?

Last night while watching the news, seeing the amount of senseless violence that young black males exact upon one another, as well as black females, for that matter, I couldn't help but conclude one undeniable fact - there is little or no regards being shown towards the human life of a large majority of black youth. Not to say that young white males and females aren't also dying and ending up in prison, they are, but I am speaking solely upon young blacks.

So what's going on? - a question once pondered and one that personally makes me wanna holler some thirty-five years later after the socially-conscious effort was soulfully harmonized by a man who, sadly, was murdered at the hands of another black man, his own father. Every day it appears I sit and witness news report upon news report concerning the tragic death of yet another young black male, and yet another young black male arrested for murder.

Here we are, years, tears, and countless numbers of funerals later, and black-on-black violence still hasn't lessened. So what does that tell you? It's tells me that it's not getting better, only worse. As are the empty human conditions which apparently contribute to the ongoing epidemic. I won't get into details, not that I really have to, I am quite sure that everyone is well aware of the proposed reasons why so many black teenagers and pre-teenagers act like nothing more than wild animals.

I mean, what else can we as society expect when many children are being raised within concrete jungles? To become Tarzan and Jane? How, when those two were both white. Seriously, have you ever seen a black Tarzan and Jane? I haven't. Besides, they didn't raise black children. They chose to raise a monkey instead.

I am thoroughly convinced that an education and perhaps church would help, especially if there was someone in their lives who cared enough to continuously swing them into the right direction. Often times there isn't. And it's a full-time job itself, simply trying to get many to understand that education is the key to obtain the same material possessions constantly being obtained by people who are home asleep during the pastor's sermon.

So, without fail, the words faith and hope simply fall upon deaf ears of the ones who either cannot or refuse to believe in anything other than what their young and cold eyes witness, daily. One really has to wonder just what kind of world we all live in, where mere children are prone to lose and throw their life away for absolutely no reason at all, other than the fact that another child became angered and decided to pick up a gun and act upon manifested pain.

Again, what on Earth is going on? Better yet, what exactly can be done? Call the police? Feel free to dial 911 if you'd like, but the police department doesn't prevent crime. They simply enter the picture and tape off the scene after the last bullet has been fired. Not too mention how society itself has arrived at the point where young black males are now being looked upon as being convicts, long before they enter into maximum-security.

I can't say that I really blame anyone who feels this way though; I feel the same, especially during the few instances where I've looked into the decisive eyes of more than a few troubled juveniles and became introduced to their lost souls, before they were either killed or caught that all but expected murder charge.

Question: Besides being thankful that you and yours weren't victims, what, if anything, can really be done?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Don't tell me that you understand until you hear the man..."

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan thoroughly explains the proverbial Crabs In a Barrel Syndrome which painfully ails the majority of the black community.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The View: heated N-word discussion

Thursday, on the popular daytime TV program, The View, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck broke down in tears during a discussion about under what circumstances the "N" word can be used appropriately. Hasselbeck argued that the word shouldn't be used at all because "it perpetuates stereotypes and hate."

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg responded, "We use it the way we want to use it." Goldberg also took issue that Hasselbeck said they both live in "the same world."

"We do live in different worlds," Goldberg said. "You don't understand." At one point, Barbara Walters even told Hasselbeck: "You're not listening, you're just talking." Hasselbeck was brought to tears when she asked, "How are we supposed to move forward if we keep using words that bring back that pain?"

Click here to watch clip.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Willie Lynch Issue

I feel somewhat bad for the brother.


And this isn't to say that Jesse Jackson isn't responsible for the current backlash being leveled against him or doesn't deserve it, he does, but still I can't help but hold a small amount of sympathy for the brother. I do.

Because for all the years and years of foot soldier work that Jackson performed during the Civil Rights Movement, for all the injustices he spoke out and marched against and for anything he's ever stood for or against in the name of equal rights, when it's all said and done ... none of that will really matter.

Sadly, it will forever come down to Jackson's shown character during the shining moment that an aspired and well-educated black man, Barack Obama, arose from said oppression in search of the same justice, civil liberties and political power that the reverend himself once fought for, yet was never able to attain.

In others words - Jesse Jackson, this is your defining moment.

I sat and listened to the remarks which presidential hopeful Barack Obama made concerning, amongst others, the missing fathers within the black community. A brutal and well-known truth which, I assume, gave birth to Jackson's embarassing caught-on-tape reply.

I agreed that many black men are painfully absent within the lives of their children and could stand to do better. That goes without saying. But I, like Jackson, also agreed that Obama aimed his comments towards sought-after right wing voters. He did.

No matter how much I support Barack Obama and would love to see the brother become the 44th President of the United States I never fail to realize that he's still a politician. So when Jackson remarked how Barack Obama was 'talking down to black people,' I actually agreed. Unless of course black men are the only race of men who are missing from their child's life.

But regardless of how I personally feel, when I look at the Big Picture, I did feel as though Obama's words needed to be said. I refused to let my own personal fears interfere with the Big Picture, which I felt Jackson did. I cannot say whether or not Obama was calling Jesse Jackson out. Honestly I don't care if Obama was.

I can only say that during the dark moment I read where Jesse Jackson - the same man who spoke out against rap artist Nas when the popular rapper was set to name his upcoming album a derogatory remark, himself refer to another black man as a "no-good half-breed nigger," it reinforced my belief towards one great truth in particular.

Willie Lynch ain't never lied.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"God knows where we're headed..."

rockets, moon shots
spend it on the have nots
money, we make it
before we see it you take it

oh, make me wanna holler
the way they do my life
make me wanna holler
the way they do my life

this ain't livin'
this ain't livin'
no, no baby,
this ain't livin'
no, no, no

inflation no chance
to increase finance
bills pile up sky high
send that boy off to die

make me wanna holler
the way they do my life
make me wanna holler
the way they do my life

hang ups, let downs
bad breaks, set backs
natural fact is
i can't pay my taxes

oh, make me wanna holler
and throw up both my hands
yea, it makes me wanna holler
and throw up both my hands

crime is increasing
trigger happy policing
panic is spreading
God know where we're headed

- inner city blues, marvin gaye

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hip Hop vs America?

Hip Hop versus America.

The statement itself proves just how far the somewhat blind and ignorant fight which America has shown towards hip hop music and its resulted culture, has truly become.

How is it possible that a country supposedly built on freedom, directs so much of its attention towards a particular entertainment sect, when the constitution which grants that very freedom, stands largely responsible for the targeted existence of this particular entertainment sect? To me, that doesn't speak of Hip Hop versus America; it speaks of America versus America.

It does. It also speaks of hypocrisy. Meaning, since America promotes freedom of speech, Hip Hop is forever protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Which would thoroughly explain why, regardless of how many boycotts and televised discussions are being aimed towards Hip Hop, the music continues to be created.

I won't try to convince anyone that certain factions of this particular genre music isn't detrimental. Of course it is. It can be very influential towards the rebellious demeanor of every young and immature mind. To think otherwise would be foolish. Why? Because America itself can be and is detrimental towards the same group of people. That certainly makes sense.

All I hear about is how the misogynistic lyrics of artist such as Lil Wayne and Soulja Boy destroy the youth of America. I'm sure they do. But, ultimately, there is a reason why the album sales of these targeted entertainers continue to skyrocket. There is a reason why oft-ridiculed cable stations such as Black Entertainment Television continue to add to their vast media empire.

"Still I stand," as rapper T.I. boastfully states in his new song, aptly entitled No Matter What. And there is a glaring reason why hip hop music continues to stand proudly amongst its growing detractors. That reason being -- America has no other choice. The only choice is whether you choose to listen.

Also, let's be honest, is there that much of a difference between the Lil Waynes and Soulja Boys of today, than the Egyptian Lovers and Joeski Loves of yesterday? At some point it would appear that at least one person would realize how, for all the widely-publicized criticism being offered, all Hip Hop and America has done is gone in circles.

It seems as if someone would realize the undeniable truth which, sadly, is being missed -- hip hop music goes, as America itself goes.

So, instead of so much attention being placed upon the artist who create and the TV programs which showcase these type of artists into your household, I imagine it would make better sense if one of the members of the round table discussions and picket lines took a gigantic step forward and asked one simple question -- if we are truly in the business of trying to clean up America, then wouldn't it be logical to start at the head?

I mean, that is where the true influence resides.